The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 31: Session Interlude: The Greatest Dick Move of All

Hey, boys and girls! Sorry, but no update today. Instead, we’re going to have ourselves a very special episode. In honor of the final dungeon’s Very Special Surprise and the Christmas spirit, I present to you…

Session Interlude: The Greatest Dick Move of All

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas, everyone! I don’t know why I say that all the time; it’s probably a psychological compulsion! How is everyone in my workshop doing? Hello—oh, Hermey, why do you look so glum? Christmas is right around the corner!
Santa!? I—oh. Never mind.
Never mind? Why Hermey, what’s the matter? You can tell me; whatever it is can’t be all that bad.
Really? Well…y’see, I don’t really want to make toys.
Not make toys? But Hermey, what do you want to do instead?
I wanna be a gigantic dick.
Ho, ho, ho! An elf as a gigantic dick? Why that’s—I mean, you don’t really mean that literally
A tremendous prick! A giant douchebag! I wanna make other people suffer, then laugh about it right to their faces!
Oh, ho, ho, good, I was afraid there for a minute. But, Hermey, how would you go about hurting people like this?
That part’s easy. Video games are getting pretty popular these days, you know, and it’s not that big of a leap from toys into entertainment programming.
I’m not so sure that—
And after I build the basic game, I’ll pack it so full of dick moves that every minute of playtime will be an excruciating cycle of torment and pain the likes of which the world has never seen!
Aren’t you getting a bit ahead of yourself? Why, how would you even start?
Oh, that’s easy. I’d make sure the manual had all the important information on how the game works. That way, when the player loses it, they’ll never be able to play the game again!
But that’s terribly unfair.
Oh, I’ll have an in-game manual, but you can only access it by pressing F1. No one looks there these days. Plus, it’ll all be in individual information pages, making it terribly inconvenient to read through. Except for magic, that is; that’ll all be on one really long page without any tables you could check to see which spell is which class.
That’s annoying, yes, but it’s not really a dick move on its own.
I’m just getting started. Next, I’ll take a system that uses dice rolls to level up everything—skills, spells, hit points—so whether the characters get better will be completely based on luck. And to keep them from save scumming, I’ll force them to level their characters just as soon as they get enough experience, which will usually happen after long sequences or tough battles, so they won’t want to restore. Plus, I’ll hide all the dice rolls, and not even tell the player what they would be! I’ll say I’m trying to save the players a hassle, but I’ll really be keeping them from knowing why they’re sucking so bad!
That does sound hard, but experienced RPG players would be used to such things.
Just you wait! Like, how about the plot? I’ll force them to meander around the game map, doing completely unrelated quests in order to progress, and only random encounters with NPC’s in the street will point them to their next destination! Plus, it’ll turn out that if they had helped one group of people straight off the bat, the whole thing could have been solved in one tenth of the time. I plan to hammer this home by making the party deal with a long, boring combat to get to a chest, only to find out that the guy who gave them the quest had the wand they needed all along!
Oh, my.
I’ll implement diseases, too, and no matter how much skill or how many herbs they get, the characters will never be able to cure tetanus—which will be quite common—without outside help. One of the dungeons will require a party member to stay at the bottom without getting any experience! Starting characters are horribly underpowered and under-equipped! An entire red herring dungeon! Damaging areas the party has to cross to progress! Special locations that do nothing but harm the characters! Experience-draining mosquitoes! I have so many horrible ideas! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!
Those are all very dickish things to do, Hermey, but there are a lot of other games out there that are real bastards to play. I’m still not convinced this is the cycle of pain you intend.
Oh, but I haven’t told you the best part. You see, after playing through one, two, or even three games building up magic weapons, armor, stat buffing equipment, herbs, and potions, the player will probably think his or her party can handle whatever comes at them. That’s when the greatest dick move of all will kick in.
The very last dungeon can only be entered by using a shrink spell. The shrink spell can’t shrink anything besides the characters themselves—they’ll be going into the last dungeon completely naked, and they’ll have to scavenge sub-par weapons and armor out of the area itself. And as an extra-special “fuck you” to anyone using a Warrior properly, there won’t be a single Two-Handed Weapon in the entire dungeon, and the Swords will be too far down to be of any real use.
What? But Hermey, don’t you think you’re going too far now?
Too far?! I’m not going far enough!
Hermey, I have to stop you from doing this!
Too late! My creation lives!
Swallow your soul! Swallow your soul!

Ho…ho…oh boy, the missus won’t like this…