The Let's Play Archive

Betrayal in Antara

by PurpleXVI

Part 17: Molotov Cocktails?!

Update 17: Molotov Cocktails?!

Welcome back to Kaelyn and Raal's amazing automated adventures where we helped a wizard get laid so he'd let us walk across a stream so we could get into more goddamn automated fights.

I went with Stephen King's Tommyknockers, I know he's not everyone's cup of tea and lord knows I have my critiques of him, but I think he's pretty good at the "creepy small-town vignettes"-bit that the middle of the book leans hard into. Mostly as long as you skip over Gard's entire early-book solo adventure in being a drunk and a ranting fuckup, the rest of the book is largely solid.

After they robotically hack a few morons to bits in the woods, Kaelyn and Raal emerge into Everton where they sell the morons' shirts, buy more healing mineral water and chat up the locals.

I do genuinely appreciate that when we do return somewhere later, we can often see the results of our actions. This was a thing Krondor didn't have an awful lot of, few characters had updates to their story later on which were related to what we did or did not do, except as was story-mandated, i.e. Ugyne getting all fucked up about her family.

This precocious girl does at least offer us a hint as to where to go next, but I'm taking a detour first since I know that in order not to waste my time, I need a stock of oil. Plus dousing Kaelyn's sword in oil and setting it on fire is one of the few ways I can increase the current party's damage output when they inevitably have to mindlessly smash through some bandits.

I make a brief detour to Teal to pick up Kaelyn some stacks of Enchanted Arrows. I'm still trying to figure out how enemies do the insane damage they do with bows, I think something's bugged about the "double arrow" thing the Speed Bow does, because it absolutely doesn't seem to even approach doubling damage over a Grrrlf Bow, and at the same time I think arrows aren't protected against by armor like melee attacks are.

The detour also involves a carriage ride to Isten for the oil.

Now we can go find Aren and William. I'm sure they haven't gotten themselves into trouble.

For some reason, the road from Isten down to the "mountain" pass is crawling with Masliths, and I just cannot be fucked to fight something that doesn't drop money for me, hence the party's crawling through the boulder fields rather than following the road.

Oh, they're having a nice rest break with the Consort! Very kind of them to wait for us.

Short version: William and Aren insist that they're "pinned down" in their "hidey hole"(the open road) by mercenaries which, if we turn 90 degrees to the right, turn out to be three loosely dispersed group of idiots that William and Aren could reasonably murder in about as much time as it takes me to read another chapter of Tommyknockers.

Instead of doing that, though, Raal teaches Kaelyn how to make molotov cocktails. Sadly we can't use these in combat, and I don't think we could make them before this point. Being able to pelt enemies with burning oil flasks would've certainly spiced combat the fuck up, though.

The three enemy groups have no aggro radius and we can, in fact, walk up and fight them.

Each fight is just a trio of mercs, but, sadly, even if we kill them all, they don't disappear from the overworld, nor do they produce any bodies for us to loot. What a sham.

Instead, tossing a flask at them makes them vanish from the world map, hence we need three flasks to continue. I feel it would've been more interesting if you got the choice between burning a rare resource or burning "limited" resources like Senwater(assuming you couldn't just pick it up in every damn town by the cartload) by going through combat to clear it. But there I go again, daydreaming about meaningful player choice.

The first two groups provide the same dialogue, but the third one...

Magically teleports Aren, William and the Consort to Antara! Let's cruise down and say hi.

Korus Landing has gotten a small amount of fresh dialogue it didn't have before if we revisit the chatty shopkeeper.

Someone's in a good mood after selling overpriced cheese to the local noble. I also get the feeling it wouldn't be the first time Raal would have had to pick a stone-drunk Kaelyn out of a body of water.

There are absolutely no noteworthy encounters on the way down there, I even think the only one we can't casually dodge is a pack of Masliths, but we could also get into a fight with some Shepherds if we wanted to, but I have really had enough of those racist hicks for the rest of my playthrough.

As we approach the gates, however, we get a conversation between Kaelyn and Raal.

Short version: Raal goes "welp, my point in the plot is done, lol, laterz" and peaces out simply because we're about to get Aren and William back. I wish I could say I'm sad to see him fuck off, but I'm really not, thank God that I'll be getting some useful characters back instead.

Like with Kaelyn's departure in chapter 4's intro, we get a chance to reorganize his inventory into Kaelyn's but... it's bugged in the way that if you actually go look at Kaelyn's inventory, you can't navigate back to his, and thus lose any chance to collect any of his stuff. Not like he had anything I wanted except maybe some spare Senwater, but whatever, he can have that for the trip home as we take another step forward and embrace a lot of cutscenery. Like a decent bit. Strap in.

Short version: Aren complains that they aren't being invited inside with a red carpet and an honour guard. William, and in fact everyone else, points out that this is because the party, as it is, consists of convicted terrorists who've blown up infrastructure, killed cops, possibly kidnapped a member of the royal family, helped organize a peasant rebellion against a local noble and left a trail of corpses like they're a small army.

Then we get the chapter transition...

Short version: We're cut very rapidly from "the party is being interrogated" to "the party is being presented to the Emperor in honour." Oh and then I guess it turns out we played into the bad guys' hands all along and the Consort was actually just a vessel to bring a Wraith into the presence of the Emperor so it could attempt to eat his soul. It got his daughter instead, though, thanks to the work of the imperial mage team.

Short version: Since we're now persons of interest again, imperial mages spend their time raking through the party's brains. Then, rather than sending in a hefty squad of imperial guards and Kaelyn's dad to put Wraithslayer enchantments on all their gear, the party just gets dumped in the farthest corner of the world map to bumble around looking for some sort of evidence as to who just tried to turn the Emperor into a soulless husk.

lol, I swear they didn't even really try to make up any kind of tangible excuse why the party has to do this rather than the military, except "well you killed a wraith or two before, good luck!"

Welcome to Januli, the last Antaran province! It's even weirder that we're sort of teleported into the middle of the province rather than, say, dropped off at the border, like, Nathby or something. And about the only reason we're here is because "Gregor came from here."

Whatever, the game put us here, so there must be plot advancement here, let's poke around Breland.

It has an inn, an archery store with nothing new, and a pharmacist that'll sell the drugs(and, notably, also Fidali Leaves which we haven't seen since chapter 1) which are the only thing keeping the party on their feet. Maybe the locals here know something about a weird conspiracy.

Hm, looks like something's up. Let's check the remaining houses.

Yeah, looks like they're having trouble, we probably shouldn't loiter too much before doing something about this.

Nahhhh, we can spend the afternoon learning magic tricks from some old dude. It's pointless at this point, I'll note, Aren has learned every spell in the game already, which means that the last ~30 points or so in each magic type is pointless since they don't unlock any more spells or add power boosts to existing spells.

Last guy in town is just a sourpuss. Anyway, let's run off into the nearby woods and kill something, then come back.

A lone Trerang! Engage!

Hell yeah, we're heroes.


Because even though this monkey apparently stole a kid after trashing someone's house, we then kill the monkey and... there's no dialogue. There's no "A BABY" item on its corpse or in a chest nearby or anything.

It flips a flag somewhere so every house in the town now has new dialogue, though, which is what's important!

Peace and love has returned to Breland.

...maybe we're not such good guys. As far as I can tell there's no peaceful way to resolve this or anything, you can just murder a monkey and make a dude sad, that's it.

But we get a shiny thing for it! Hooray!


There are no jewelry stores anywhere in Chapter 8. :v:

Off to Knightridge!

Along the way are the requisite bandits and some new enemies, dogs!

I'm sorry, Karns, which are dogs. Their only notable ability is that they have a completely absurd defense rating which prevents Kaelyn from landing any consistent hits and drags out the fights. Their ability to do any damage in turn is completely negligible.

I'm sure these dead guys were part of the conspiracy against the Emperor somehow.

Hell, since we're here on his authority, could we just kill and rob anyone we don't like the face of and say we've got an Imperial license to kill?

Anyway, uh, Knightridge! It sells swords!

This'll let Kaelyn deal some decent damage until I find her something better, even though it's not particularly accurate. It also feels a bit silly that this extremely... un-dynamic pose they chose prevents them from making a "Greatsword" actually bigger than, say, a generic longsword or broadsword. If they had something more like the Ultimate 7: Serpent Isle paper dolls, they could really upsize the bigger weapons and such.


Serpent Isle was released four fucking years before Betrayal in Antara. I fucking swear to God.

Also note that I finally realized I had to actually put the defensive charm on Kaelyn for it to have an effect. :v: I am a good videogame player person.

There's also a tavern that's part of advancing the plot, let's talk to the guy behind the counter.

Not quite the lead I was expecting at this late stage, a tieback to the very first minute or so of the game, but I'll take it. Time to hassle the locals.

Random side story about a short guy becoming a toymaker and finding true love along the way. Not a clue, but sure.

What is it with this game and artists, anyway? It feels like it consistently depicts them as pretentious post-modern fuckfaces. Whatever, he gave us a name, who turns out to be his neighbour.

Hmmm, Lord Sheffield's court mage brought the magical mutant away? The same Lord Sheffield who's William's father in law? That's not suspicious in any way.

That also completely taps out Knightridge for content, it only exists to sell us a nice sword(nicer if we didn't know Everedges exist) and tell us Lord Sheffield is not a side character as we might well have assumed all along. Let's head south to Beluckre.

Januli is comparatively low on encounters compared to the rest of Antara, I'd say it even has less than the core imperial province of Ticoro, mostly wild animals(lots of Trerangs and Karns), rather than actual bandits and mercenaries.

Beluckre has a lot of weirdos around.

It has a single general store whose main useful thing is that it sells Oil, don't mind the guy in blue on the shop screen, we can't interact with him yet.

Like with the lord in Isten, we can get something out of this guy if we just mash our faces against the RNG wheel over and over. Each roll requires 300 Burlas, though, so if our gambling skill is sufficiently low, it could be real expensive.

At this point Aren is actually quite good at gambling, so it doesn't take very long to get him this boost to his magic that he doesn't need. He might actually occasionally hit someone with fireballs now, though!

So in the penultimate chapter, we finally find an NPC that would make magic staves worth keeping around. I still don't understand why Antara decided that repair NPC's were such a super-rare thing that needed to be kept away from the player, in Krondor, though you rarely needed it, every second weapons/armor store had a second interactible location for paying for repairs.

I thought this might've been the first NPC we came across in town, but as far as I can tell this doesn't lead to any side content you can interact with.

Oh and Beluckre also has a brothel. :v: Once again, we can't interact with it yet, but sadly we will eventually have to.

The inn is also notable for having an exciting new item for sale. I am sorry to say that we will need one of these to complete the game.

Still, Beluckre is a place we'll be returning to shortly, but for now we're heading on to Nathby, the grand cube at the south of Januli.

Lots of dead dogs on the road, but no fights on the way to Nathby worth mentioning.

We haven't seen a city this big in terms of locations before, so this is kind of exciting. Spoiler: It's not actually exciting.

For one thing, three of the locations here are actually inns.

The stores are remarkably lame.

Seriously, two of the inns are completely identical except for their inside screen. No NPC's, nothing.

What the fuck is the point of this store? You can already sell your swords in Knightridge, which is two minutes away and gives you better prices anyway, and if you actually want anything this store sells wow are you in the absolute shit.

I actually ended up going to the docks last, but you're meant to go here before you go to the third inn(though you don't need to). Now, I want you to look at this screen, right? There's one thing or person to interact with here.

Can you guess which person or object it is?

It is of course the NPC that's hunched over, in brown, on a brown object, against a brown background, facing away from you so you barely even see any skin! I almost left without mouse-overing him and realizing he was interactible!

Short version: This guy tells us a bit about himself, says he misses Gregor and then points us to the third inn to talk to the guy who can actually advance the plot.

Short version: Poul also misses Gregor, but tells us that Gregor's favourite prostitute in Beluckre might know more about him!

Back to the Brothel! And now there are more exciting interactions, for one thing something happens the instant we go in the door.

Short version: Aren is weirded out by being in a brothel, Kaelyn hassles William for being a playboy who takes advantage of women, William insists it's all consensual and Kaelyn, in a weird prudish twist, considers all sex to be transactional which is kind of an odd direction to take her character.

Short version: Business comes and goes. :v: I saw what you did there, writers. Anyway, Misha tells us she could advance the plot, but she needs some cream for her various prostitution-related rashes before she'll help us. So now we need to go to the store next door and get her some cream. For her rashes.

Now the blue-shirted guy at the store has a purpose.

Short version: Sencream is made from lard(hence the fatty meat from the inn), senwater(holy water that can cure any injury or ailment should absolutely be used for anti-wrinkle cream) and fidali leaves. We have one, we can pick the other up next door, and the Fidali Leaves are for sale up in Breland. I'll do the clockwise loop down through Dumali and up to Breland because Dumali has a thing that's relevant to Breland.

This trip actually has a fight that's worth noting.

Four completely normal mercenaries, two of them archers, right? No big dealio. Just get Kaelyn to tackle one archer and the other should be able to only do negligible damage, while the melee mercenaries are too dumb to run over to Aren and swing their swords at him.

Just joking, one of the archers can do 50+ fucking damage with a single arrow shot, what the fuck, even our bulkiest PC in the entire game, Raal, only has about 120 total health, that's completely fucking insane! This adds a slightly panicked edge to the fight as Kaelyn and William are now both needed to suppress the archers which, if the enemy AI wasn't dogshit moronic, could have produced an interesting tactical challenge where I might want to prioritize blinding or blasting the archers over boosting William and Kaelyn, but that might free up the enemy melee combatants to pile on Aren, etc.

Thanks to the aforementioned "moron AI," they don't exactly make an awful lot of headway and just end up dead face down in the dirt.

On rooting through their corpses, I find that the archer is using fire arrows and a speed bow(for the double arrows), so my thinking is that while the speed bow doesn't double the base arrow damage, maybe it doubles the bonus damage on the fire arrows?

Dumali's a little seaside town, not an awful lot going on.

It does have a store selling magic stuff, including two boosting books that I buy for Aren because I haven't yet read the FAQ and realized that Aren no longer has any new spells to unlock.

I'm still kind of confused why they didn't bother to add anything for actually maxing out any of the magic skills.

This encounter is a bit weird since, first they call his donkey a burro, when everything else is in English. Secondly, would a medieval-world salt miner necessarily know a lot about how inland salt deposits are formed? I do like his description of the salt mines, though, they always sound like horribly inimical environments, but what I've seen looks kind of cool.

Also sounds like Lord Sheffield is having a hard time economically and Caverton, the generically evil noble we met back in Ticoro, is trying to take advantage of it. How generically evil of him. I'm sure that Caverton certainly is the game's generic villain.

Now, this is our one and only hint that this chapter has the one and only worthwhile use of a fishing rod in the entire game(very rarely you can get a few fish out of a river), but you can't acquire a fishing rod in chapter 8, so you'd have to have lugged one all since the start of the game, or at least since chapter 6(I don't think there are even any in chapter 7).

Exciting! We'll see what that's about when get back to Breland for the Fidali Leaves.

But first we have to poke around some bushes.

There's a single bead chest that's slightly well-hidden by various sprites, but is very much worth our time.

Because it contains the second Everedge in the game! Which goes to Kaelyn, it worsens her damage slightly(but not as much as you might expect, it should reduce her Hack-attack damage by about half, but the percentile damage reduction works weirdly, so it's not that bad) while improving her chance-to-hit by 20 percentage points, which she badly needs since she hasn't gotten as much pearl-boosted combat training as William and Aren. Now the only thing I'm missing is another suit of Montari Plate, but I was a moron and forgot that I had to bring a spare suit from Chapter 6. Still, it's not really a necessity.

I'm skipping the turn off to Havesly so far, since that really has more payoff if we resolve the bit with Misha first. There's a code chest at the intersection, though.

I thought that range of mountains was called the Glassrock Mountains, but no such luck. I had no luck figuring this one out. If you've been reading the dialogue in the game more closely than me and actually remember the answer, please post and tell me what cool shit I missed out on so I can forget about it immediately afterwards. I'm betting it's just a sandwich and some more holy water.

In the upper right of the Januli region is this little hole in the mountains containing a semi-hidden Church of Kor.

It has a little bit of lore, but the important thing is that we can bless up Kaelyn's Everedge, and also her plain suit of platemail just for what little advantage that yields.

Returning to Breland, it's time to get our fish on!

Get ready to see this, because I spent like 20 minutes not being able to find the right spot where to fish to get to the thing the Trkaa mentioned.

Eventually I give up and go buy the Fidali Leaves in Breland, but then decide to check a guide. I find one mention that I should fish "near the red flower."

Which I assume to be this thing on the right of the screen, the reason it's on the right of the screen is that as far as I can tell the right location is a good couple of steps to the left of it, which yields...

A unique shield! Tadaa! Amazing! Aside from it's Hardness, it has the best shield stats in the game.

I still don't quite understand the shield mechanics, I think they block a flat percentage of attacks, but it definitely seems less than the listed protection percentage, so perhaps it plays into the wielder's melee or defense skill or some such.

Now, back to Marlon to get our cream. It's a short exchange, but I made it a video anyway because the way some of the lines got acted were weird enough to be noteworthy.

Short version: Now we have some Sencream for Misha.

What a lovely and inviting description. I hope Misha appreciates the effectively zero work that got into acquiring this for her.

Short version: Misha has a key for Gregor's home in Havesly, and she hands it over so we can go finally advance the plot a bit.

The only noteworthy thing on the way to Havesly is that someone goofed up and dropped a tree sprite in the middle of the road, which looks silly.

On the way in, on our left, is the Sheffield Estate which looks distinctly castle-like which... perhaps... Gersson's estate also should have? Might have helped sell it as needing a besiging to bust open.

I bypass it for now because I, like a moron, assume that heading to the most important person in the area might advance the plot and I don't want to do that before I look the town over properly.

Likewise I bypass the inn and put aside Gregor's room until I'm done with the rest of the village.

It is in fact super important not to go there yet(as I learned, from doing it), because it's actually inspecting Gregor's room that ends the chapter, so you can very easily accidentally shut yourself out from everything else in Havesly! For the purpose of this update, though, I made sure to go back to my quicksave and do all of the Havesly stuff, so you can all enjoy it.

The only store in Havesly is a store that just sells shields. It is magnificently pointless. Right next door to it is a moneylender sorta thing.

Good thing the proprietor is a fucking moron who just hands over his client's records to William after only the flimsiest excuse, exposing his shady dealings.

A tailor tells us that we're all a bunch of ill-dressed losers and... frankly he's not wrong. The party does dress like dorks, I wish there was an option to buy Aren a nice shirt or something. I mean, all we're spending money on is holy water and swords. Is that really any way to live?

Now that this guy has told us about it, we can actually interact with that lighthouse in the distance behind his house.

As if we needed more hints about it, Lord Sheffield is up to something super shady... and also ordered Gregor fucking killed. Oddly enough we can't confront Lord Sheffield about this even if we go to him after reading the note.

He did help out this poor lady, though, so maybe he's not all bad? Let's go hassle him.

Short version: Lord Sheffield is really no help at all.

Anyway, since it's now blatantly obvious that Lord Sheffield is up to some Real Villain Shit, this also makes it obvious how the game... "starts" wrong. Like imagine that the party starts out with no idea that there's a connection between Sheffield/Havesly and Gregor. First thing that happens is, rather than "we gotta get Aren some wizard learning!" is "damn, Aren, you're my only witness, come with me to my father in law, who knows Politics Shit, and let's ask him about this assassination that almost killed me!"

And then you have the first couple of chapters with Aren's magic wild firing, backfiring, clearly being a danger, as they make their way to Lord Sheffield... who appears to offer helpful advice but actually sends the party off on dangerous wild goose chases that risk getting them killed, but allow them to slowly gather evidence. Hell, perhaps it's even Sheffield who tells them they ought to go warn the Consort, which results in them flushing the Consort accidentally out of hiding and into the hands of whoever's hunting him.

Along the way, Aren slowly learns enough tidbits from helpful wizards and experience to control his magic, which goes from a risky venture that might save the day, to some real archmage stuff.

And then rather than having someone you met at a party once turn out to be one of the bad guys(obviously he has more of a connection than this for William, but not for the player!), you've got this guy who's been interacting with the party practically every chapter, whom they might be starting to suspect is at least incompetent, if not outright evil, suddenly turn out to be the King Dickhead, that might actually have some dramatic payoff.

Anyway, let's go see what extremely blatant clues are in Gregor's room.

Oh thank God, he's one of those NPC's who keep a journal. Do any people, like any real people actually keep journals except if it's to keep track of certain data or for the purpose of showing off to others? I kept a dream journal once, but that was more or less because I like to see people's reactions when I share a really weird dream with them.

And for fuck's sake they didn't even format it right. Why would they fuck that up? For God's sake. Whatever. Enjoy the reading.

Oh dang, turns out Gregor was one of Caverton's agents sent here to undermine Sheffield, but instead it turned out that Gregor actually found evidence of Caverton supporting a racist death cult. I guess that explains why Gregor had to get dunked on. As soon as we leave the inn, however, we're plunged right into the end-of-chapter cutscene.

Note the timestamp, the recorder also decided to keep in the entire bit with flipping through Gregor's diary, so I skipped past that.

Short version: Just when we're about to go confront Lord Sheffield... uh, pirates show up and attack his castle instead? What? Oh God please don't let this actually have more than nine chapters. Please for the love of God.

Next time: We fight... pirates? Hopefully finish the game? Please send help.