The Let's Play Archive

The You Testament 2

by Daeren

Part 1: It's All Downhill From Here

Update 1: It's All Downhill From Here

Like The You Testament, the game opens with this quote every time. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with playing through the game meaning you understand Islam, but if you take this game as your only source, even a community college wouldn't hire you as a professor.

Yes, this is the exact same as the character creation screen for You Testament. If you're familiar with You Testament, you're going to be getting some crippling deja vu through all of this.

Doing a full face mod really isn't necessary for Prophet due to the fact that MDickie no longer appears to use a random generator for character models. However, I wanted our hero to have a face that could adequately depict the myriad emotions the player would be going through. Contempt, confusion, disgust, fear, sadness, discomfort, all would need to be summed up in a single facial expression.

Therefore, I gave our hero Apocalypse's sneer, a pompadoured mullet, and Roman armor. Despite there being no Romans in the game anymore.


Also, you may notice that I lowered my strength and boosted agility to maximum. This is because punching and slashing dudes is irrelevant when you can use your psychic powers to light them on fire, and the faster I move, the faster I can get through this shit.

So, here we are, the Arabian Peninsula. The eagle eyed may notice that the map is a chopped up and rearranged version of the map of Israel in You Testament. Oh, and that the mission signifier is still a cross. Here's what the man himself has to say about this.

MDickie posted:

The first port of call when adapting this game for a different setting was to change the landscape. The You Testament's 1st century Palestine had to be transformed into 7th century Arabia! Mercifully, I was able to recycle most of the original locations by simply pulling them out of position and rearranging one or two things. Rather poetically, it turns out that Saudi Arabia's coastline is almost the reverse mirror image of Palestine's coastline?! The biggest change is that The You Testament's 32 separate locations have been trimmed down to just 20 - which is actually a good thing here because it's a case of quality over quantity and makes exploration less tedious. Of course, some Islamic landmarks also complete the transformation. The centrepiece of the new game is the city of Mecca, which houses the ominous black cube known as the Ka'ba.

He makes the Kaaba sound like the 2001 Monolith.

The game proper opens with a zoom in of the character on the side of a 'mountain.' One short climb later, we see a figure sprawled on the ground. Gee, wonder who this could be?

For this line, the dull reverberating 'miracle noise' is playing.

I don't even have a choice in the matter! I find myself saying things before I've even understood them!?

Everything we say and do is already written on a tablet in heaven. I caught a glimpse of it just now. You have no idea how right you are. We need to go to Mecca. I have something important to tell to the people...

Oh dear.

Yes, folks, he's able to see the subtitles.

Here's the cited verse and hadith, by the way. He's using the Hadith of Sahih Al Bukhari and Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Quran, for those playing at home.

Surah 96:1-8 posted:

1. Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
4. He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
5. Taught man that which he knew not.
6. Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds,
7. In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient.
8. Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all).

Hadith 1:2 posted:

(the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle "O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes ' off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the Sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).

As you can see, it's the standard MDickie MO of seeing something vague and cool in the cited text and running out of the park with it. Here's his 'Historical Inaccuracies' segment for Muhammad's revelation.

MDickie posted:

The "Night Of Power" during which Muhammad receives his first revelation was supposed to be an encounter with the angel Gabriel. This was neither possible to display nor in keeping with the gaming metaphor. Instead, we find Muhammad shaken after being granted a glimpse of the programming and 3D modelling that created his world. He sees his own subtitles on the screen in English and marvels at not knowing what any of it means! This is a riff on the idea that he was famously instructed to "READ!" in real life despite being illiterate.

That's right, instead of hearing the voice of God through Gabriel, Muhammed sees the code of The Making of a Prophet. This means 'the writing on the tablet in Heaven' is the code of the game. Which means MDickie is Allah.

Let's just move on before my brain tries to tear its way out of my skull.

I 'accidentally' whack Muhammad in the back of the head with my hammer at this point.

Can't you see that all attack is a cry for help? A person in control of his life doesn't need to lash out!

This is lifted word-for-word from You Testament, where Jesus says the same thing if you punch him in the face. By the way, I'll revisit this later, but it's really hard to get good screenshots in this game, for one reason.

If you understood that everything is connected, you would never harm yourself by harming others...

The camera blows goats.

Surah 18:126-128 posted:

126. And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.

127. And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but from Allah. nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots.

128. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.

Anyways, Muhammad is pretty fucked up after seeing how bad MDickie's code is hearing the voice of God, so he moves really slowly. Walking normally down the spiraling path around the mountain would take an age and a half, but there's a pro shortcut.

Jumping down the side and falling flat on your face. This also demonstrates a 'quirk' of the AI. They'll happily walk off a cliff and send their shins rocketing out of the top of their skulls. Luckily, Muhammad is a plot-important NPC so he can't die, no matter how much people beat the crap out of him. This is going to be really important in a little while.

Off to Mecca, and with it yet another dick-slap in the face of history from MDickie!

This is the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, the most sacred site in Islam. It's where Muslims face when they pray, and a major focus of the pilgrimage all Muslims must make at least once in their lives. Pretty spiffy, huh?

This is MDickie's Monolith. As I entered, I heard two death rattles and the cries of someone going mad from having their Mind bar emptied. Maybe it is the 2001 Monolith.

MDickie posted:

The Ka'ba in Mecca wasn't black with a gold trim during the reign of the Quraysh. I elected to portray it as it would be recognized by people today.

The real Ka'ba has a sacred black stone that I neglected to feature. It took 4 people to help relocate it after Muhammad purified the Ka'ba and I could not portray that process in the game.

Another inconsistency he fails to mention is the gold-plated door covered in Islamic prayers is present when this thing is still a pagan shrine.

Walking around the side of it, we find Muhammad preaching away, blithely ignoring his gelatinized legs.

I have seen the way things really are! I have seen the God of all Gods! You are in error when you worship created things instead of the Creator himself.

A scantily clad green-eyed blonde bombshell wearing a purple toga in the middle of 600s Arabia pipes up to add to the discussion.

This God of yours is as absent as your brain! Crawl back into the cave that you came from.

Holy shit, Snidely "Invisible Sky Wizard" Whiplash out of fucking nowhere!

Surah 74:2 posted:

2. Arise and deliver thy warning!

Yeah, he's taking a single verse and using it completely out of context.

Snidely, as far as I can tell, is leader of the Quraysh, 'Amr ibn Hisham. Muhammad was originally a Quraysh tribesman and...well, let's allow the Master of Mindfucks to elaborate in his own magical way.

MDickie posted:

The game's inhabitants have also changed to complement the new setting. Gone are the Romans that policed The You Testament and in are the barbarous "Quraysh" tribe that assumed control of Mecca and persecuted the Muslims therein. I was sad to see the Romans go because their distinctive dress worked well for the unique role they played. In an effort to make the Quraysh similarly noticeable, they all wear black robes exclusively. This obviously wasn't the case in reality, but I had to turn them into villainous caricatures for the sake of the game. The Muslims, by contrast, tend to wear pure white - except for Muhammad himself who stands out in green garb to distinguish himself at a glance. Again, there's no historical basis for this but such simplistic characterization is essential to a gaming experience.

And yes, the Quraysh are just black-robed Romans in word and deed. They say the same stuff, get angry over the same crimes, and put you through criminal trials if they catch you the exact same as the ones the Romans did. I might showcase those, depending on if I get busted or not. The punishments are much more hilarious this time around.

One last note about the Quraysh for now: 'Amr was called Abu; l-Hakam (Father of Wisdom) by his tribe, but his bitter proto-Dawkinsian hate for monotheism earnt him the nickname of Abu Jahl (Father Ignorance) from the Muslims. . I'll just be calling him Snidely for simplicity's sake.

During this cutscene, by the way, I discovered a bug in the camera's coding. Namely, it clips through fucking everything when the game is paused. This made getting coherent shots interesting at times, especially considering its wide, sweeping zooms and the fact that it could clip through the MDickie Monolith.

Above is the interior of the MDickie Monolith. Below is the actual interior of the Kaaba. Any questions?

After wandering randomly for a few minutes, Muhammad decides to let us talk to him.

You've been through too much to hold court with these people. Maybe you should get some rest?

En Sabah Nur expresses concern for Muhammad, while a cast member of Jesus Christ Superstar gets the shit beaten out of him in the background.

Also, the game bugs out (what a surprise) and zips through Muhammad's next line faster than I could take a shot of it. Assume he says something along the lines of "Perhaps you're right."

Can you help me reach her at the port in Rabigh? I'm still a little too shaken up to get there alone.

Surah 25:4 posted:

4. But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it." In truth it is they who have put forward an iniquity and a falsehood.

This would have fit better in the last scene vv

A tiny man decides life is too much for him.

We leave Mecca, city of benches and Monoliths, and head out on our ardous two-square journey to Rabigh as the sound of random violence plays us out.