Part 17: Episode XVI: The Shoppe
Welcome back to the trainwreck. When last we got a left Detective Briggs, he got his first lead: a pair of brothers who run the abattoir and stables are vaguely bad or something like that. Well, I suppose it's better than nothing.
Since we already know the Stables are a dead end, we might as well check out the abattoir first.
And wouldn't you know it? It too is...also a dead end with a locked door... Terrific.
The game actually expects us to return to the stables for no good reason.
It turns out the deputy mayor has erupted into a loot drop ala an enemy in Diablo. Time to ransack the corpse I suppose.
No...no Ben that is not strange at all. You are in an entirely different plane of existence of which you've spent 95% of the time mucking about in subterranean shitholes stealing people's empty bottles and jars. Finding hay in a stable is about as strange as finding tedium in Limbo of the Lost.
Next up is an empty bag. I'm sure it'll feel right at home in Briggs' closet dimension inventory space alongside the hammer of a god and pliers.
Right... So at this point Limbo of the Lost gives us fuck all indication as to what to do next. This basically means we now must systematically wander to every area one by one until something happens.
This is...this is not fun...this is not fun at all...
First up, let's try this mysterious "Dead End ??"
Said dead end is clearly not a dead end due to the just abysmal Photoshop effort to hide symbols and doors blended into the wall texture. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done here. Trust me, I threw all 137 items at the walls in hopes of something...anything to happen. No dice.
Next, let's try returning to the prison. Maybe Arach came back with...some plot MacGuffin to move things along...
Ha ha ha... Of course he didn't. Indeed, Briggs cannot even return to the cells proper. This is the only room available in the prison. guess Emperor Septim had to cut through the area and cells are on lockdown.
The really irritating part of going to the wrong area is that each and every time Ben heads toward the exit without finding anything, he stops and looks away from the camera for five seconds mumbling "interesting" and crossing out the name of the area on his notebook. Automatically updating objectives, ya know like in every other game ever; that would break immersion you see.
Alright...let's see what the hell "Cutter's Alley" is...
It's hard to tell without the dead Worrymeister's carcass, but this is the very beginning of the chapter. The characters in-game refer to it as Entryway Alley. Way to be consistent, guys. The best part is they couldn't be bothered to update the exit points to dump us back on the world map.
So, instead we must wander through a couple desolate, pointless areas to finally return to wandering about randomly. Thanks a lot, Majestic.
That said...I don't think we've check out what was down the back alley of the town square. Worth a look while we're in the area.
Ah, of course. The "Registra". It's the hip urban version of the registrar. No harm in checking out who is in charge of keeping track of jerks in this town.
Ah...a burly mummy. That is about what I expected.
Thank God no harm has come to Arthur I. Tis. And going by this new information I am ready to declare that the Soul Taker is none other than rogue Beowulf. The authorities will be informed at once!
Briggs is the authorities...?
Uhh...no, you fuckwit. You're a detective now. It might be helpful to ask more information about other victims in the soul taking crime spree at least to establish some sort of connection or mo-
--tive...oh... You're just going to automatically trot off out the door without saying a word. You are the worst detective this side of Inspector Gadget. I'm pretty sure you also lack behind the scenes a niece who ditches school every day to go on wacky adventures or a dog utilizing flimsy disguises to cover up your gross negligence so you don't lose your job.
Maybe we can get help at the town hall to open some of these locked businesses?
Of course that is thinking too rationally...
I have absolutely no idea why we'd need to go to a pie shop. So, of course, that is actually the correct area to visit in order to progress.
Well...at least this shop looks vaguely like a store. Not a pie shop, mind you. But at least there is a counter top this time.
Did Briggs go through some sort of brain damaging toxic sludge on his trip down the sewer canal to Darkmere? He seems to have turned into some sort of barely functional autistic person since beginning this chapter.
"Yes, but what sort of pies?"
"Meat pies sir and of the best quality I can assure you!"
"I'm sure, but what type of meat?"
"Well. It's just meat sir!"
"I see. Well, what type of crust do they have then?"
"Crust? Well it's just pie crust, sir!"
"Hmm....interesting... And toppings?"
"Well, sir. We have Alfalfa Sprouts, Artichoke hearts, Avocado, Baby leeks, Beetroot, Black Beans, Broccoli, Capers, Capicolla, Carrot, Cherry tomatoes, Dried tomatoes, Eggplant, various fungi, carciofi, Green peppers, Kalamata olives, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Cool Whip, Olives, Ice cream, Peas, Porcini mushrooms, Portobello Mushrooms, Crumbs, Red beans, Red onions, Red peppers, whipped cream, Roast cauliflower, Roasted eggplant, Roasted Garlic, Roasted peppers, scallions, Shallots, Snow peas, Spinach, Sun dried tomatoes, Sweet corn, Watercress, Wild mushrooms, Yellow peppers, custard, Yellow squash, Zucchini and extra cheese."
"Are we talking about the same type of pie...?"
"Well, sir. It's just pie."
Ah. So this is a pie shop in the sense that there is a sign that says as much and pies were once made here. That clears things up.
Mystery meat is a hard sell to begin with. Doubly so in pie form. Though hell, meat based pies are a hard sell for me in any condition.
"So errrrrmmm when did you actually make these pies?"
"During the Regan Administration."
Perhaps being exposed to so much sheer stupidity by Darkmere's populace is the root of what is making Briggs go all Flowers for Algernon on us.
"Ah. So what lead ya to my shop, sir?"
Well Detective Briggs may or may not listen, so it's kind of a crap shoot.
"There are those who aspire toward the ultimate goal. Seven from Limbo for one living soul."
Other than the ominous nonsequitur at the end there...no...no that was not helpful at all other than someone collects things in town might vaguely be of use.
So talking to the pie lady opens up a new Pawn Shop location on the map. Granted, it makes no sense why that location wasn't available earlier since Benjamin is using a printed map to get around. But there you have it.
It turns out our Irish pal O'Negus owns a pawn shop here in Darkmere. Shucks, I was hoping it would be Bugsy's Bug Bonanza instead.
Heading inside reveals...the jailer again...?
Well, no. This is actually a completely different character. Honest!
You see! The jailer has a green sweater vest and a white undershirt. This new guy has a black sweater vest and no undershirt. Completely different!
Well it is a holiday weekend, Ben.
I am almost certain the voice actor actually did go into a coughing fit and they just went fuck it and left it in. Just listen to the video.
People storing things in a stable I can see...like you know...horses. A slaughterhouse though is...not exactly what I'd call prime storage real estate outside of people whacked by the mafia.
Sadly he's been storing spent nuclear fuel rods in the back of his stable. He goes on to be diagnosed with leukemia later that month.
"He's got urgent business with the Mayor too."
"Ahhh... I see. It must be very important business indeed. So how come you are not there?"
"Well someone has got to keep an eye on this place haven't they? I mean you never know who might come in!"
"Well not just at the moment, Mister Skurge. But perhaps another time. The nearest Thieves' Guild fence is all the way in Bruma and that is just so out of my way right now."
Detective Briggs heads back out...
Oh FUCK! Watch out Ben! It's a... It's a...? A...? What the hell am I looking at here...?
I..think...it is supposed to be a snowball with some bandages in it or...ergh.
All I can rightly say is that it is the worst animation in the game thus far and that is saying a lot.
Investigating the snowball reveals the paper inside has transmogrified into a completely different sized, shaped, colored, and textured note from before. I am guessing this is the Blacksmith's previously unnamed daughter.
The sad thing is in Limbo of the Lost that could honestly go either way...
The Pie Shoppe (Warning: Dire Voice Acting)
The Pawn Shoppe