Part 43: 22-2: Fate, ChosenUPDATE 44: FATE, CHOSEN
When it's all said and done, we have to believe Eyvind and Juno are good people and want to do what is right. Reminding Eyvind of his love for what he believes Juno to be--not his desperation to keep her alive--is what will save us. We hope.
Eyvind again stops speaking to the Serpent, but this time he turns to you with sorrow instead of anger.
BGM: FATE, CHOSEN
: Juno is everything this world deserves. Instead you got me. I'm so tired, Iver.
: Forgive me, Juno. I'll love you always.
You all chose correctly. By reminding Eyvind of what this was all for, he goes through with the ritual, puts Juno back into the sun to be trapped for all eternity, and immediately ends the Serpent, warped, and darkness. All of the Ravens survive and begin the long trek back to Arberrang, where they can only hope their friends and families will be there to greet them.
Thanks to the decisions you made in the previous two games, we had more than enough strength in the Skogr banner to hold out (even after I savegame edited to make sure we'd see most of the Arberrang content.)
The world has clearly taken a goddamn beating, though.
...and that's largely it, to be honest. Credits roll and other than a quick dialogue that we'll get to in a moment, we're done here. Which I really hate. I mean...the story's over. But I'd have killed for a Suikoden-esque one or two sentences about the future of each hero as the credits rolled. Stoic had to throw out several months' worth of work when they were putting the game together and I suspect a lot of the ideas for a fleshed-out ending were on the cutting room floor. It's not Mass Effect 3--the ending makes sense and your choices matter--but I still think it's unnecessarily abrupt. I'm going to do my best to fix that for all of you by tying together some of the other content that you wouldn't see except on subsequent playthroughs.
But first, the dialogue.
BGM: ONLY WE FEW REMEMBER IT NOW
: Whatever "it" is. But the sun's actually moving again. For a long time, things were looking pretty hopeless.
: Not all of us.
: No, but enough.
: Grass and green will sprout from the dust. I believe there are other survivors. Varl in the north, perhaps huddled around godstones. South of the darkness there may still be horseborn fleeing across the fields, or ships of men. Or dredge without Sundr.
: So we rebuild. I just wish that my dad could be here to see this.
: I know how proud he'd be.
: For a long time now I've been thinking of an epic poem. You'll never guess the inspiration.
: This seems like an ideal moment.
: Only the sun has stopped, cut with keen-edged Sword.
Little did they sleep, lest they not come home.
Weary, the weight of the Sun! Of our bones, the hills...
The Slayer, and the Slain.
From their homes must all flee, and cast their Hone into the air!
To speak in all tongues where a foe may lurk, the destined day shall come.
The Fetters will bust, brothers fight, and kinship stain...
And in Fear quake all.
The true Hero comes reluctantly, raising high their Shining light...
Alas, the sea is still dead and wide, the hounds are a-hungered.
We live as we will live, with the mighty grief that was ours and theirs.
Only we few remember it now.
: It could use a couple more verses, at the end there.
: Aye, you're right. It certainly could.
Editor's Note: Given that his poem is just all the chapter titles throughout the Saga, I can't see this as anything other than an in-joke that they wish they'd had more time to add on to the ending. Perhaps DLC one day, though it's a small studio and I rather doubt it.
You squint into the ashes of twisted land, spread out across the horizon. Oddleif's right. Something there is moving. It looks like a line of people, and at the front...
...and that's the last we'll see of our heroes. A lot obviously is left to interpretation and (ugh, ME3 flashback) speculation. But it's at least pretty clear Iver and the Ravens make it home to Arberrang.
Alette and Egil will have time to stop being so awkward (well, he'll have time; Alette's just fine) and see if there's actually something there.
Hogun and Mogun are reunited, and Hogun can stop worrying and go back to just being a family man.
Krumr and Ubin both yet live and can continue their contest.
Alfrun and Kivi can meet up with Bastion and help negotiate a peace among the races. They've been able to forgive Yngvar, and given what he's been through (as well as the fact that the Sundr are all dead or missing) it's not unreasonable to believe all parties can move past it.
Zefr lives, and if she insists life will return, I think it's worth trusting her. She knew what the darkness could do--and more importantly, what it can't do. As shown by Apostate finding food for the Ravens in the midst of the darkness, food can still grow. Our heroes and the hundreds of thousands of lives across all four sentient races that they saved will have a rough go of it, but they will survive and rebuild.
All told, the only heroes who died on the journey were Griss and Derdriu, who are also probably the two least consequential heroes in the whole game. Neither of them has a conversation or an event tied to them. I'm sure Ro'Ech's not real happy about losing his mate, but
Fasolt probably died too when he defected, but screw Fasolt. Guys a jerk.
Oh, and one unavoidable death: Rook, the Hero of Skogr. But even he gets a happy ending that we wouldn't see ordinarily. What I'm about to show you only pops into the ending if the Sundr-Slayer dies while negotiating a peace between the dredge and humanity--what our saving the dredge baby prevented.
BGM: FATE, CHOSEN (unfortunately this shares the same track with Iver's choice so hopefully the time skip in the link works here...)
: I remember this place. Where my mother would braid my hair, and we'd gather flowers. It's where Iver carried me on his shoulders. This is where my father taught me to hold a bow.
: This is my home.
: It really is.
: But I failed, father. I'm so sorry! I wasn't strong enough, I...I couldn't save them...
: Sweet girl, you failed no one.
: Do you remember gazing a the night sky with me, before all of this? I've been watching the stars since I came here, and found that all those points of light are a different fate, for different people. Some are mead halls of endless feasts, some are glorious battles.
...obviously, this didn't happen in our version of the Saga because Alette's still alive to rebuild the world. But Rook unquestionably was reunited with his wife in the afterlife. And one day, when they're ready, he'll welcome Alette and Iver home as well. Iver's pretty clearly got human sensibilities and would be happier in a Skogr afterlife with his best friends than he would be in varl endless combat afterlife. Really, for a game this bleak I think it's nice. The ending itself has hope, but it's also made explicitly clear that death is not to be feared.
There's also some interesting before-and-after artwork in the credits, too.
Alette clearly had a pretty great childhood, having a cool varl uncle to ride around on.
Poor Folka. She really cared for Bolverk, but he had neither the personality nor even the anatomy to reciprocate. Her love was always going to go unanswered. At least we didn't get her killed at the hands of the person she loved most.
The "you're like a sister to me" line from Oddleif always struck me as, well...odd. She seems to've taken on the role of surrogate mom to Alette, teaching her to sew onto the Skogr banner after Aldis died.
Though both Aldis and Oddleif made Alette dangerous with the bow. Whichever one of them taught her Overwatch probably saved the world.
Not much to show here. Just the dredge baby and a couple varl (Sigbjorn probably one of them) drinking next to the Bellower cart.
I assume this is Ubin trekking south into the Dalalond.
I'm glad the Skogr banner has Alette beating the shit out of Rugga sewn into it.
And that Rugga is otherwise remembered as a treacherous garbage man.
We never really got to see this because you made a good vote. But Eirik (who is probably the third least consequential hero in the game, though maybe he has more dialogue if he returns to Strand and joins along with Alfrun) can befriend a bear and deploy him in battle.
Not sure about the upper right, but Hogun and Mogun are reunited.
Alfrun continues her work as a diplomat, which is probably made easier by the fact there no revengeful Sundr left to create endless war.
Took me a while to figure out what this is. I think it's the play that Aleo organizes early on in Banner Saga 2, where children recreate the Battle of Boersgard.
We already know Rook and his family end up reunited, so I guess they're doing stuff like this but in a prettier place with two moons.
Folka takes on leadership of the Ravens, and Sparr inexplicably hasn't died of old age yet. He'll continue telling tales a bit longer.
Eyvind and Juno in happier times.
And perhaps most importantly: Look in the lower right: that's Eyvind with the Valka Spear. Creating a Godstone Juno with the aid of some dredge. Which suggests that the dredge do make peace with humanity, that Eyvind finds a healthier way to deal with his grief, and also that the gods were really just really strong menders. The world has taken a beating, but it's a world that can still have gods, support life, and no longer has a world-ending Serpent waiting as a time bomb.
...and that's well and truly it. Our story is over. I'll make a couple more updates to show off alternate endings, and I need to fix the first couple updates so that the images can be archived on LPArchive. But we're basically done.
I hope you all enjoyed it. It's not a game without its flaws, and I wish the third game weren't so rushed, but it's absolutely beautiful and I'm glad I got the chance to experience it vicariously through all of you.