The Let's Play Archive

Betrayal in Antara

by PurpleXVI

Part 11: Fallout New Antara

Update 11: Fallout New Antara

We pick up heading south from Grandeur towards Eastbank. Despite ostensibly being just southwest of the Waste, this is one of the more verdant parts of Antara.

I'm still trying to unpick in my mind why I feel like Antara looks uglier than Krondor despite obviously having more colours and more space and power to play with, graphically. I'm not sure if it's entirely an art design thing, but I can't really place it. It feels like it's often so very close to looking really good.

Eastbank is another one of those little towns where the actual living space is set back somewhat from the main road, which I like. There are even a few people here worth talking to.

Damn shame Antara doesn't yet have the legal underpinnings for Tree Law.

So, it might amaze everyone to know that we've already been where this key is for! As far as I can tell there are no fucking clues whatsoever to it, I had to look up a FAQ. If anyone can guess it before the reveal, I'll buy you an avatar and title celebrating your vast megamind. Do show your work, though, I won't believe a word of it without a proper reasoning, because I refuse to believe a normal human brain could figure this one out.

The Prophet, and his well, actually do exist down in Camille and we'll be seeing them shortly. The Prophet is an... interesting character and I wonder if he was originally intended to be more central to the plot.

The local store also sells the best staff in the game despite being named the House of Swords. It amuses me somewhat that attacking someone with a carved stick, a literal work of art, is more effective, combat-wise, than a steel-shod staff or any number of magical wizard rods.

The local inn just has the usual rations and resting, no interesting NPC's or even a gambler.

Something worth noting, though, is that every tavern in Chuno has the following musical theme:

It sounds fucking eerie! Genuinely what I'd expect in the borders of a magi-nuclear wasteland, though the gameworld outside the taverns doesn't do a lot to present the area as such.

There are very few combat encounters in the Grandeur-Eastbank-Camille-Durst-Friole line, mostly just one, at most two, per location, though some sections actually have none at all. It feels more peaceful than the Ticoro heartland of the empire.

It turns out that the prophet of Camille dwells in this completely unspectacular shack in a little town at the edge of the Waste. Might make you think he's just some sort of huckster, right?

You'd think that giving up a weapon actually used for war, and thus lessening the amount of violence, would be more appropriate for a blessing of peace, but oh well! The Prophet will accept any 100% sword, I knew about this in advance and have thus been carrying around a 100% version of the worst sword in the game, bought somewhere in Ticoro, for this very purpose.

The game is very bad at indicating bonuses given by equipment, but now the Blessed Insurance Policy should provide +5 defense to whoever has it in their inventory. It's the only game mechanical reason to get the insurance down in Imazi and haul it all this way. If you don't have it, the Prophet's blessing is entirely set dressing and doesn't have any mechanical impact.

But, yeah, it feels like the churches were supposed to be more plot central or something, considering that you've got this guy living humbly out in the ass end of nowhere who embodies all the magical powers of the three faces of the Triune without wearing fancy robes or having huge coffers. You'd expect some faithful of Kor or Henne or something to come egg his house or whatever.

It also continues to make Kaelyn's atheist streak down in Ticoro even weirder considering that divine magical powers clearly exist outside of the temples, too, apparently just manifesting spontaneously in sufficiently virtuous or chosen people like the Prophet.

The only store in Camille deals exclusively in shields, which is probably the most absolutely useless type of store in the game.

Like in Krondor, we can run across a weirdo selling sips from his well. It works just as well as in Krondor, but there we sadly actually have to pay the price. It's a completely negligible price, mind you, a single sold suit of armor or sword(of which an average encounter will yield six) will usually pay for two drinks.

On the other hand we could also just sleep at the inn for a quarter of the price. :v:

Along the way to Durst, I run into a riddle chest.


If you're going around Chuno counter-clockwise rather than clockwise, this might be the first Grrlf bow upgrade you find, so it's not as pointless as it seems. I mean except for the perpetual issue that William can't use bows worth a damn.

Further along, we hit upon another bead chest and... honestly, they're starting to get too complex for me. I really can't figure out most of them in any reasonable time without a guide past this point. I'm not sure whether I'm just a fucking idiot or impatient or what.

Solution: Trade in Red-Blue. Trade in Green-Orange. Trade in White-Red. Trade in Yellow-Yellow. Trade in Green-Orange. Trade in Blue-White. Trade in Yellow-Yellow-Green. Trade in Red-Green. Trade in Red-Yellow. Trade in White-Orange-Orange-Green.

The reward is a Frost Band which is a notably better version of Oil. On average Oil gives you maybe a +5 damage due to the random factor, the Frost Band just gives a flat upgrade to damage which ends up closer to a 15 damage increase, which is pretty nice and much more reliable.

Welcome to Durst! I think that short of Briala and Imazi, no other town has as many of its houses actually be interactible and contain someone to talk to, taken as a proportion of the whole.

A new supply of shovels is nice, I've been running out, though I'll note that 19 out of 20 buried caches contain absolute dogshit. Either completely outdated gear or something worth less than the shovel charge spent digging it up, it's got nothing on the nice shit you could sometimes find in graves in Krondor. Senwater is 90% of my strategy for winning fights, however, so I'll always take more of that.

The tavern looks cozy except... that trophy on the wall just looks like a giant housecat to me. Anyone else? Is it just me?

Sometimes I don't get the logic of why some one-off NPC's get portraits and others don't. Anyway, her neighbour is more interesting and less stinky.

A human village? Holy shit, gang, cool it with the fucking racism! Dude's just got a lumpy face, not fucking horns or whatever. Goddamn. Also this is the first ethnic Chunese we see and... I think it might be the last one we meet that isn't just some rando we murder and loot on the roads.

Let's talk to some more of his neighbours.

I love how when it comes to the Grrrlf, the party is usually the enlightened progressive "naw, seriously, they don't eat human skulls! honest!"-voice, but when it comes to this one guy with a slightly busted-looking face, the party is interrogating everyone with this "DON'T YOU SOMETIMES WANT TO RUN HIM OUT OF TOWN??? JUST ON PRINCIPLE???"-voice while the locals seem to be fine with him.

Anyway, the last house before the church is the one we really care about.

True to his word, this guy will give everyone in the party a +5 boost to Melee skill in exchange for a pearl. Despite saying he only needs one pearl, however, you can trade him any number of them, even over multiple chapters. We have access to Ormede where we can buy pearls for about 400 burlas each. We are currently carrying so much money that it's straining the party's inventory.

Off-screen I make sure to bump William's melee skill up to its cap of 100.

Doing so also leaves Aren around 80 melee skill and changes my combat tactics up a bit because I can now (sometimes) rely on them hitting things, since enemy defense skill can negate a lot of their newfound advantage.

Anyway, the church!

Just another church of Henne except, you see that lady with the blonde hair almost hiding behind the guy in the foreground? She's an interactible NPC! And you actually have to find her to complete this chapter, too! Super cool since her interactive area is easily mistaken for the foreground guy and usually any interactible NPC's in a screen are explicitly facing the party or alone.

I'm starting to feel like one of Aren's character traits is that as soon as he's gotten freed from his betrothed back in Briala, he's clumsily hitting on every woman even vaguely near his own age who isn't Kaelyn.

At long last we reach Friole, the second-last town we visit in Chuno and also the farthest east we can travel for now.

This conversation is entirely to get us into the barn which we formerly couldn't enter. We can easily rest, but this barn is Special for three reasons.

Firstly, like the barn down in Levosche we can rest here for free.

Secondly, it contains some deep lore.

This is supposed to be a hint that the Feeblepox was unleashed by digging into ancient Vell chambers. Sadly, the chamber mentioned in this particular note can never be found. It was probably intended for a planned sequel that never happened.

Lastly, in the next chapter where, surprise, we play as Kaelyn and Raal, Friole and Durst are also accessible, so anything we want the two of them to have, we can leave here, like nice suits of armor, upgraded swords, a small cache of pearls so they can go get themselves trained up, that sort of thing!

There's no mechanical reward for saying hi to these two, so we just get to feel happy on their behalf.

The local store just sells(now useless) buckets and picks, while the inn is... just an inn. Nothing special.

Now, I could head for Isten right away, but instead, we now have a bit of cleanup to do. Back south of the mountains we've got to collect our reward from the conservatory in Varnasse, we've got the green key to us and off-screen I have a small fortune in pearls to collect.

Taking the road in the shadow of the mountains back to the pass, I run into some bandits and decide to try out some new spells the party's picked up. Some of them just get looked at, though, due to their being inherently bloody awful wastes of Aren's lifeforce.

Firstly there's Adrenaline, which raises the target's Strength by up to 20 points. Sadly it's not quite as busted as in Krondor since damage seems to scale slightly less linearly with strength gained, but it still makes William able to do more damage with swords than Aren can with spells for the first time. Combined with Quicksilver at full power, it also means that most rounds he hands out two hits(which are now very likely to hit because of the training) for a total of ~100 damage every round.

Then there's Muscular Decay which does the exact opposite. Antara doesn't have a lot of "big single enemy" fights, which is likely the only place I'd consider using it.

Communion wastes a turn displaying all of a target's stats. Great if you're writing a FAQ, less great if you're playing the game to complete it since you just wasted a turn.

Every fight from now on till at least the end of this update is William getting stuck with a max power Adrenaline and then a max power Quicksilver and then going through the enemies like an angry blender.

It doesn't make the combats completely dangerless, though, before the first round is over, in several fights, William's gotten mobbed and almost cut down. After that he rapidly turns the odds around, but the first round can still be scary.

So something interesting and easily missed here is that Naomi actually teaches Aren a new type of magic. Poison magic. It's not very good or useful, but it does seem a bit odd. Why would a kindly, caring gardener-mage know poison magic? Oh well, I'm sure there's nothing at all shady about that.

While stumbling around down here, I also tripped over a chest I'd missed up by Korus Landing.

Yellow, Green, Blue-Yellow, Red-Yellow, Blue-Blue-Green, White-Black-Black

The only gain for all that work is a Carluda's Chain with a single charge, though it does show off that it visually gets a sprite with less links as it's spent.

Now, has anyone figured out where that key we found in Eastbank goes? The green one? No? It's used here in Korus Landing.

The cheese-hungry local official has one of the few houses in the game with two doors, and they actually lead to different things. The green key is for his back door.

This out this is what happened to the ancestral tree of that poor guy in Eastbank. Not that the game ever deigns to tell you this.

Now, back to Eastbank...

It took me about ten minutes real-time to find the fucking stump he was talking about, because I expected it to be in any way different or to stand out compared to other sprites of stumps and the like.

Idol buried. Dare we hope for a reward?

At least it's a reward. It'll probably get me like 400 gold at best which is... kind of trivial for anything but buying food and senwater at this point.

Before I head on up to Isten, I also want to take a stop at Elona to see how much that friend of Naomi's is appreciating the help we provided for his garden!

This is super easily missed since you never have a reason to go back and check on this guy. :v: I guess he should be thankful that the evil poison mage he apparently has a feud with just cursed him with a fart joke rather than killing everyone at the party with poisoned vegetables.

Now we can finally move on to Isten and advance the plot!

The road to Isten is, I think, supposed to be feeling kind of mountainy with the boulders/hillocks to either side of the road. Along the way, though, we run into this corpse who's carrying a novel's worth of letters on him, so strap in for someone's completely pointless life story.

So you've got a lady who becomes a nun because of some family fuckery, she has a kid, keeps in touch with the kid's father via letters. The lady then dies when the couple are finally to be reunited... and then the dad also dies along the road before getting there and learning she's dead, leaving basically just the kid by herself. I guess we should, uh, deliver these letters or something so the nuns aren't left wondering when the dude's gonna show.

Good thing we were already heading in that direction, I suppose.

...I had also totally forgotten we were heading here to help out that lady in Everton. Good thing the game remembers these things for me so I don't have to. :v:

"Oh well, maybe it was for the best that he died horribly while travelling rather than ever being a father to his child." What the fuck, lady? Isn't your sect supposed to be all about compassion and caring? I swear everyone in Antara is some kind of sociopath.

Whatever, let's grill the locals in Isten and try to remember why we were coming here in the first place.

Oh, yeah, we were coming here to question an actress because her son had joined a fascist death cult and maybe he could point us to their hideout rather than attacking us on sight like all the other idiot death cultists do.

I think you can find this lady's chest and get the tickets from there, but I never had any damn luck locating it, so I had to do it the other way where, unbelievably, the Lucky Charm I berated as useless actually came in handy.

The other way to get tickets is to roll the dice against this guy over and over again until you score enough "wins" to clean him out and win the tickets. Zero player involvement, just mash the random rolls over and over again.

Like it could at least have been like Krondor where if we wanted to own someone at Chess to complete a quest, we needed to find a cheaty-ass secret move to bust out against them.

Time to interrogate the rest of the town and then head to the amphitheater.

This guy's treatise boosts the party's Haggle skill by a not-inconsiderable 7 points. I like his next door neighbour more, though.

And this guy breaks us into Charm magic and... I want to complain here. I generally do, but specifically here. We've learned Charm and Poison magic this update, each of which are fully-fledged skills running the gauntlet from 0 to 100 points and each of them only have one or two spells related to them at all. I think we've got, in total, something like... 20 different skills that make up our different magic types, and yet each of them affect barely one or two spells, and then only in the sense of having a breakpoint that allows learning the spell.

It's such a stupidly overcomplicated system for such minor payoff.

Graaahhhhh. Badly considered mechanics make LP'er angry.

And that's the last chatty person in Isten, now we can go not watch a play.

Once again I can't help but note that they totally COULD make nicer looking things, they just didn't in so many cases.

So her kid joined the death cult and then un-joined the death cult before running off to Durst. At least, I suppose, we've cleared the roads there already.

Also is it just me or is she one of the first voice actors for this game that actually feels like she's trying to be a character rather than just read the script? The only one with some cadences and speech tics and, you know, more natural-sounding speech? Some speech with personality? It may just be me, but I felt struck by how, while not the best VA I've ever heard, she felt so much better than the rest of the ones in this game.

Next time: we go waterboard her idiot kid and then we bust this cult. Surely it'll be simple to solve.