Part 59: Final ThoughtsBeyond Divinity - Final Thoughts
On the Reveal
There's a reason why I didn't push too strongly that everyone should read the "Child of Chaos" Novella I linked in the first post. It's very well done, but it makes it clear that Damian can only leave Nemesis if the Divine or one of his followers (like say, a Divine Paladin) wishes for him to leave.
I don't know the exact rules for that prison, except that the follower of the Divine must be a genuine follower of Lucian, and not a follower of Damian pretending to be a follower of the Divine.
Damian's plan really was very clever - except for the obvious stupidity of not telling Samuel about it. That is an incredibly huge and incredibly obvious flaw that it's hard to believe that the same person came up with that clever plan without spotting it. And it was such an easy fix, too, all Damian had to do was tell Samuel about his plan, and Samuel would let them escape. It's easy - Samuel would have obeyed Damian. That flaw is one reason why I chose the "Stupid" tag. The purpose for not telling Samuel is to give cutscenes where Samuel is clearly upset and trying to hunt you down, and to give you a decoy boss at the end.
Here's how I would fix that plot problem: Samuel would pretend to be summoned away and the game would proceed in exactly the same way, except for the problem of a boss fight at the end - and even that could be alleviated by having Samuel hold back on purpose, and be surprised when Damian actually DOES kill Samuel for real to maintain his cover - reassembling the crystal to make Samuel vulnerable was not a part of the plan Samuel was told about.
The game is clearly trying to mislead you: Between Acts, the Death Knight has been describing the journey. But who exactly is he narrating to? Not the Paladin, he's referred to in the third person. Not to the Black Ring or himself, because in the Act 3 cutscene, he directly contradicts himself. In the Act 3 Intermission he says he enjoyed killing the Black Bishop, and in the final cutscene, he says he regrets that. The only thing which makes sense is that the Death Knight is narrating to the player, but these games are usually better about the fourth wall than that.
I also think that Taxlehix might also have been intended to be a red herring Damian. He shows up everywhere you go, has a suspicious amount of knowledge, and then vanishes again until needed. In Act 4 he's hanging around in the tunnels, not following you, but you know he's around. I didn't have a chance to be fooled, though, as I had the D.K. is Damian plot twist spoiled for me before I ever played this game - it was interesting enough to make me want to play the game, in fact.
I tried to make the narration from Damian generic so that he could have been in the group or just watching them. Just in case someone got the idea that one of the party members might be Damian, I also made a bit of an effort to make it seem as if Mort might be him, but that didn't work too well - Mort was far too nice.
Damian's ACTUAL portrait from the game is that of Malcolm from Divine Divinity.
Malcolm is a man in his 40's or 50's, balding and with greying hair. In this game, Damian is no older than 20 AT MOST. Not only did they not even make a custom portrait for the Big Bad, they didn't even pick an appropriate-age portrait to recycle.
I took the best-looking male portrait from this game, and copied Malcolm's beard over (and coloured it to match the hair).
You get the cutscene of Anlokar and Damian after leaving the rift-testing room, but you also see it again (but without Damian appearing) once you enter the High Elder's office, which is redundant and probably an error.
I guess that D.K. is supposed to change his appearance to Damian… but it doesn't happen for some reason, making his "Recognize me?" dialogue really stupid, because his "transformation" changes him from a Death Knight with whatever weapon he had before to… a Death Knight with a Two-Handed Battlehammer.
Do you recognize me?
Yes, you look EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME.
Something I discovered by accident when trying to get shots of weapons lying on grass was that you can enter the Battlefields from the final boss area, and in fact there is a very good reason to do that.
If you enter the Battlefields from the final area, all 5 Merchants suddenly have Holy Water in their inventory so you can make 5 more permanent potions. What a good idea! That is actually a smart design decision… even if it's not easy to discover.
VIDEO: Fighting Damian with Traps
I didn't do this in the actual narrative because I thought that a melee fight would be a lot more interesting than a 3-minute insect fight.
Fighting Damian with a Bow is pretty much the same as in melee, except that you don't have a meat shield anymore, so you'll be shooting him from point-blank. Oh, and I might have forgotten to mention that there seems to be a greater chance to miss from point-blank, and I think the damage is lower. You can learn a skill which increases point-blank damage and one which increases accuracy, but more practically, a bow-fight would involve going into Sneak mode and sneaking around taking potshots and sneaking away until he's dead, and that would be even more boring than the sword-fight.
Additional Tweaks to the Ending
The image of Damian taking off his helmet is completely faked. I even went to the trouble of matching the shadows.
I also tweaked the ending slightly. If you didn't watch the video, WHICH I WORKED VERY HARD ON, what happens is you whittle Damian's health down to about 5% or so, then there is a bunch of dialogue - which they forgot to have voiced. Then Damian says that he's going to let the Paladin go for being a worthy opponent, a rift opens up and the Paladin goes through it. The Paladin doesn't really lose any gear, although I suppose that Damian really wasn't badly hurt or healed to full because he says he's letting the Paladin go.
Act 4, Battlefield 6?
You saw me get 5 Battlefield Keys in this act, but where's the 6th? Well, adjacent to Elder Anlokar's office is his daughter Anlokam's office.
Move this stone aside, and you'll find a teleporter.
It takes you to a hidden room on the opposite corner of the graduation level. Inside are a couple of books (one of which has been shown already, a locked Golden chest, and a Wooden Key. It's time for Backtracking!!!
To the Philosophy Level…
To the Maintenance Tunnels Level 2…
To the Summoning Level, and finally…
…Back to the secret room on the Graduation Level, to get the 6th Battlefields Key. The end of the game is literally ONE ROOM AWAY, but the game somehow seems to think you love the Battlefields so much you want to spend another half an hour clearing one. And maybe you do, who knows, stranger things have happened. I'm not sure it's worth it because my first character did all the Battlefields and finished at level 34, two higher than Mort who didn't do Act 4 Battlefields 2-6.
Even if you don't go for the last Battlefield, I think you might want to go for this key anyway, because I suspect getting the 6th key is the trigger for the Battlefield Merchants to all get a Holy Water in their inventory.
If you do really, really like the Battlefields for some reason though, you should check out…
Also note that Mort is still glowing Red. It seems that because Berserk wore off during a cutscene, he is now stuck in cripple mode - FOREVER. Resting, drinking potions, nothing can cure glowing-red Mort.
The Paladin ends up in the Temple of Rifts mentioned in the novella. This acts like an "Act 5", although there is nothing to do but run the randomly generated Battlefields - as if you weren't sick enough of them before!
You don't have D.K. anymore, but you can have your summoning dolls. If you want to keep playing, you'll need to use them as your additional party members. Remember that I said that it would take an entire main character's set of skill points to make them worthwhile? As it so happens, you DO get that.
Just before you enter the rift, pay to unlearn all of D.K.'s skills, then invest 10 into Increased Summon range, 20 into Increase Summon Level, then level up your chosen summons. These changes stick even after D.K. leaves the party. He won't be needing his skill points anymore, so you may as well put them to use on the Summoning Dolls!
If you have spare skill points, you can even get a second Increase Summon Level on D.K., and the bonuses will stack together.
The Battlefields are the same as ever, random quests and such, but you can now learn skill up to level 20 - in some cases higher. But there isn't really any thing else new and exciting, other than the fact that your main companions are now summoning dolls.
Oh, and before I forget, the second book in the secret chamber:
Beyond Divinity Credits
I'm sure that many people have spent hours fooling around in the "Act 5", but as for me…