Part 14: Episode XIII: The Soultaker
Alright, folks. Time to soldier on to an actually civilized part of Limbo: Darkmere. By the time we're done we're going to wish we were still in the sewers...
We open with Briggs arriving on the docks only to be greeted by...hey...is that...? It can't be... Worrymeister?!
Oh...oh god! He's not happy. HE HAS A KNIFE!
No, that would make too much sense...
I'm not going to even justify that block of text with a proper response. At least he's not sore about the whole bear trap to the eyeballs thing, the theft and destruction of property thereafter, and all that. Well, at least I don't think he's mad about it. It's really hard to tell...
Mostly because just as quickly as he appears, he then flees and is immediately brutally murdered just off screen.
What, did you think I was joking? Some crazy ass sand monster burn victim ghost skeleton goes all Shang Tsung on the poor unfortunate little bastard.
It then turns its attention to the terrified Captain Briggs.
Luckily for Benny, the Worrymeister murderer decides to just vanish in front of our hero's face instead of doing anything meaningful or damaging to our quest.
Emotion Pictured: Surprise!
Emotion Pictured: Reveling in the sweet odor of freshly spilled blood and death.
Not ten seconds have passed since Baron von Worry's passing and already some street urchins are scurrying over his still warm corpse and emptying his pockets of valuables. Shameful.
Oh...Limbo of the Lost... That's not how you indicate a scream in subtitles... That's not even close to the right way.
The little old woman girl (still on the fence about what they're going with here) shrieks an accusation of Benjamin having stealing the Worrymeister's soul. Which, given their past history, is not something I'd rule out potentially happening down the line had the big ghost skeleton not beaten Briggs to it.
The girl then fades away into nothingness. I am honestly not sure if this is due to the fact she is some manner of spirit or if they could not be bothered to animate her running away.
I Can Not Rightly Say At This Venture.
We now regain control of Briggs for some more abysmal adventuring action. Beside the Worrymeister there is this little trinket...
Well, it is definitely not the one you used to hang that drunkard back in his office. That was much thicker and was clearly attached to some pulley system. So, you've got me...
We can also check out the Worrymeister's dead husk for no particular reason. Apparently getting your soul stolen is akin to the same fate as having a Metroid lack onto your head. Good to know.
Speaking of the Worrymeister, this is the gift from an anonymous friend that he hooked us up with at the start of the area. I suppose it's always nice to have some spending money for vending machines if we happen to get thirsty. Though, given Ben's track record with things he'll probably end up using it on something retarded and ultimately superfluous.
Moving into the next area...
Umm...okay? This doesn't actually affect anything. It's not like the Imperial Legion bum rushes Ben and demands he pay the bounty, go to jail, or the player ends up murdering everyone in the greater area before reloading their last quick save.
In the next area, Briggs comes upon a hobo. Since the homeless are clearly not people in Benny's eyes, this is the first character that our hero doesn't have an upbeat greeting for upon meeting.
"I hadn't accused you of anything, sonny."
"All I did was jam a torture device vise into his eyes earlier. That had nothing to do with his demise."
"Why...why would you do something like that?"
"I needed a pen from his desk."
"W-what? That!? What was so urgent to resort to such measures?! I know the little fellow was a bit of an odd one but h-"
"I had to break the tip off of it. That disgusting sea creature down in the sewers needing dealing with as well."
"The Guardian Harold? That was you?! He's guarded this town from the taint of the Old Ones for generations. He was gravely wounded and left blind. We had to put him down this morning to end its suffering. I'd never seen so many wet eyes. How could you do that to such an ancient noble beast? Why did you ne-"
"I needed the tip of the pen to break the final lock on this Quagmire guy out in the swamp's chains so he could tell me the final riddle to get out of that dump."
"Dread Pirate Quagmire?! He's free once more?! You... You... You...hey, what's that I see in your pocket?"
"Well yes...... But......"
What the hell are you asking me about, Ben? You know as much as I do that not a damn thing is getting accomplished until we give this beggar your money. Why even put up the illusion of choice? Just get to the thou musting.
A coin into the tin later...
"Sorry, I didn't see you were blind."
Congrats, Ben. You wasted a golden coin on a homeless person rambling addled nonsense. Money well spent.
Just a thought: this seems to be a functional town at first glance. I'm pretty sure you could walk into a general store or tavern or whatnot to ask these question about town trivia for free and not fund a hobo's heroin addiction in the process. Just sayin'.
Another coin in the pan later... Yes, we're eventually going to have to toss all three in there individually. Doing it all at once wouldn't allow player involvement in the proceedings, you see.
"Why yes, but..."
How many comments have there been about things smelling like shit now? Indeed, has there been any instance of smell being mentioned and it not been something stinky in the poopy gross leaning of odors?
The end of the line before DARKMERE is actually:
"...malevolent mere below and above which the very foundations of this town were laid..."
Not that it really matters. That's just the first instance where the subtitles are not only atrociously transcribed, but also just plain wrong.
"Would you mind answering one more question??"
"I can but try!"
"...to hold out hope you'll empty all your valuables into the ol' coffers before you realize the visitor's center and tourism bureau is across the street."
Bruce Willis was really a ghost all along! Wait... Wait no... That doesn't answer anything. Though again, I think this would be a subject readily available for inquiry and likely quick response to anyone who'd been here more than a few hours that is not this pile of poorly rendered exposition. But, it's your money given to you by a dead man for the sole purpose to give to a homeless deformed man down the street. Who am I to judge?
"Usually the bitch in the relationship who's not pitc-oh you mean the Soul Taker."
"So who summoned this...this...Soultaker?"
"Has no one ever tried to catch this thing?"
"But surely somebody..."
"No! It is a shadow creature that can appear and vanish at will and eats your friggin' soul as a light snake. No! Nobody has tried to hunt it because it steals your soul hence the NAME! This is honestly not a hard concept to understand!"
Well, that... Or, it might just get pissed and have a feast on the entire town's souls in a smorgasbord of soul taking.
What?! Why?! How did our objective switch from wandering around for three chapters to hunting arcane evil incarnate specters to free the town of evil at the turn of a dime? Did I go comatose from boredom between one of these scenes?
Right... Well, since we're broke the beggar has no further use for us or us for him. Time to explore the town. A bit north of the soon-to-be-hitting-up-his-dealer chap is a lovely statue to check out.
This is a statue of Darkmere's Mayor. Huh...it seems Worrymeister's hat is quite in fashion in these parts. The mayor's glowing Hand of Justice is also of note here, but there's nothing to be done about it just yet.
North of the main plaza Briggs comes upon the often spoke Inn of Sin. Might as well go check the place out to see of Bill Nilmates needs to be vivisected after falling underneath a bar stool or the like.
A friendly shirtless barkeep with enormous man-tits hails Ben as he enters into the Inn of Sin - Tamriel Branch.
You see! This is what I was talking about. Ben could have just bypassed the homeless, clearly dodgy jerk outside and just come in here, gotten a free brew, and likely had the same exact conversation with no money spent. Just with slightly more man nipple involved, is all.
This guy might dethrone Vincent Valentine as worst protagonist ever by the end of this game.
Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs: Freelance Ghostbuster.
I'd say this character about embodies the spirit of Limbo of the Lost.
Leaving the bar tender to his suspender wearing ways, Ben proceeds to take the most...
...to the back of the bar. Here, we find yet another charming fellow who goes by the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!" mantra.
Have they really portrayed three different characters all wearing the exact same silly top hat in the span of ten minutes? Was there some town meeting where that was the official hat for all denizens of Limbo? Or did the developers just hope nobody would notice they stuck the same dodgily rendered headwear on a succession of people since meh...effort...
A door opening is heard off-screen...
He really does stop to hiccup at all this <HIC> at every instance of it appearing above. You know, I drink a fair amount... I know a lot of people who drink varying degrees from occasionally to shitfaced most hours of the day... I've ever met one who constantly hiccuped when drunk.
The delightful conversation is suddenly interrupted by the little (possibly spectral) child from earlier with her posse of Black Kratos (armed with a recovered from the pump room Mjöllnir) and Zombie Mr. Rogers.
This can't be good. Such accusations don't come without heavy consequences in Darkmere territory.
Those consequences being, of course, big...
On that dark note, we fade to black...
Alcoholics and Hugs