The Let's Play Archive

Torment: Tides of Numenera

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 11: Horny Devils Are Waiting For You Now!

Horny Devils Are Waiting For You Now!

The thread voted to make me do the quest right instead of killing off Dhama and getting less XP and no money. Sure. Fine. I'm not resentful or anything.

Anyway, we've reloaded to right after I killed the squid, so I end up hopping from merchant to merchant trying to find a gun. Our Castoff does not want to be in melee combat, so let's not do that. I also remembered you could get something called a "buzzer" at the beginning of the game.

What I completely forgot was that you looted that off Qorro's dead mercenaries, who tended to go down extremely quickly if you attacked them with three nanos.

These aren't guns!

The Deathcheater worshippers (that is the dumbest title and I will never not make fun of it) have this for sale. It is not a gun. It would enhance our attacks, however.

This would also be great for an early game nano, but that ain't us!

Anyway, I say fuck it and buy a crossbow. It's not great (and we can get a laser pistol later for the low, low price of condemning an innocent alien to mob execution) but whatever. It attacks at range and runs off speed, and that's what matters!

There's a cache of shins up here. You need to make a speed skill check (quick fingers/machinery) but we get 71 shins for burning Callistege's speed pool which she will never use in combat!

The pool system is dumb.

Anyway, remember the cyborg lab? The blood nanites prevent Malaise's damage over time for 95 shins.

We want it so we can be immune to most DoTs forever.

Cool, thanks, bye.

Anyway we run around the bar talking to people again (and getting that sweet, sweet, +2 int pool). The thread demanded I get the magic 4chan powers, so...

We don't use int in combat, so I don't care!

Ha ha. Sucker.

: He leans forward and whispers the word in your ear. It is a beautiful word, and you feel your tongue curling to shape it aloud. Theboros claps his hand across your mouth, his eyes tight on yours, and with his mind he drags the knowledge of the word into the Labyrinth, into a disused corner, and he seals it with an image of steel, glass, and dark infinities of space.

: He leans back, panting. "Ziobe."

Ziobe: Yes?

The rest mostly continues as normal.

We get the bonus from O, both int and HP.

Then I fuck up with the girl in the corner and get strangled to death.

For the record, none of these mini XP rewards are anywhere near substantial.

Now we and she are in the Labyrinth.

: I think we're in the Labyrinth, a construct of my mind.

Ghostly Woman: Of your mind? Yet it feels familiar to me..."

: She looks around her again, frowning. "But even though it feels familiar, I recognize almost nothing about it. Yes, perhaps it is your mind after all."

Sure, why the fuck not. I'll pretend this is coherent because...everyone else chooses to be born? This is going to be dumb.

: What do you mean?

Sure, why not? We're in the shit now, nobody's gonna shovel it.

: How do I find these women?

Ghostly Woman: They are in the real world, in Sagus. You may have even met them without realizing it. I only have...vague impressions of them.

Ghostly Woman: I know that one of them is a leader. She has sacrificed much of her life and so gained life in return.

: Farewell.

I'll ignore the "you clicked through the text to make it stop" option.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I am very mad, because I keep getting reincarnated and cloned in the real world or something! Numenera! Help me find these other women so I can do...something!

: Fuck it, why not.

This is a female-only quest. The male-only version is helping that dork outside the cloning lab decide what to do with his life savings, but we can't do that, because he thinks women have cooties.

The Specter is worried. We ask him if he knows anything about the girl and he says no, it's our mind. Hmm.

Yea, whatever, fuck off.

I talk to Clarion, and I'm repeating the whole discussion here because the Endless Battle will come up again. Don't expect us to actually visit the warzone or do anything interesting with it, that's crazy talk.

Again. A character portrait would work wonders, or even the thing Tyranny did where they took the character models and posed them based on what the characters were saying.

Maybe I should play Tyranny instead. Not perfect by any means, but it didn't feel nearly as pretentious as this.

: Tell me about yourself.

: What can you tell me about the Endless Battle?

: "Much as it sounds," she says. "It stemmed from a rift between the Changing God and one of his offspring and has endured for hundreds of years. Raging over the same battlefields, using the deadliest technology of the ancients, the landscape is scarred and pitted beyond recognition. The walls between dimensions are then there. Every day, horrors cross into our world."

: She stands, arms akimbo. "Worse, in recent years, the struggle has expanded."

Bonus points for her never having sat down in the first place.. I would ask if the art department coordinated at all...but the marketing department didn't coordinate with anyone involved in this. There's going to be a bonus update about all the promised features that are missing.

: What side are you recruiting for?

Clarion: The Changing God's. He has always been the patron of Sagus Cliffs. Perhaps we would not exist if not for his lives and his castoffs - certainly we would not be as we are.

: She pauses. "But that is not the only reason. The Changing God's forces have allied with the towns and villages of the Verxulan Waste. We seek to prevent the Endless Battle from expanding beyond its borders, growing in size once again."

Oh no! Not the people of Proper Noun, a place not in the game we have no reason to care about!

: If I help you, will I get a reward?

: Can you tell me anything about these veterans you hope to recruit?

: Who is the 'enemy' you're fighting?

I'm sure this won't be important. There are probably vaguely Satanic parallels here, but the codex makes it clear the Changing God was just some dude rather than an actual god. I don't know what it means to be a god in this weird land of advanced technology, and neither do the writers.

: Why are you trying to recruit these veterans? Perhaps they're tired of war.

: I'll help you recruit the veterans.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hi, random stranger! Can you help me recruit these five psychics into the pointless background war? If you don't, thousands of model-less NPCs off screen might die!

: The what?

: Yea, the Endless Battle between the Changing God's armies and the dead First Castoff. Except neither of them is really around, so we just kinda shoot the same area with nuclear weapons repeatedly. Think you can talk those five traumatized veterans into joining?

: Got any money?

: Yup, I'll pay you.

: Sure.

Anyway, let's huff that jenkem and talk to our devil buddy. We're gonna kick his ass for XP, dammit!

This time we're going to fight the devil...alone, per thread request.

I drop a save and go talk to the devil.

: I'm told that you play a game with your prey, Adversary. Tell me how it works.

Does an ancient immortal evil really speak in the same list of synonyms as everyone else in this setting, talk with the same words, vocalize similar concepts? Isn't that annoying to read?

: I want to play your game, Adversary.

We didn't say his name, we called him "Adversary".

Someone wants our half-bald ass.

I'm really trying to keep my mind out of the gutter, I am, but with dialog like this it really reads like he's trying to get into our dorky grey armor.

We get the temptation sequence. The idea is that we need to do the evil thing to make the devil horny, and then reject him at the last minute so he explodes of blue balls.


: [Lore: Machinery] Try to identify the technology powering the lights.

Anyway the correct answer is...

: This is my desire. A world at peace.

Remember how intent supposedly didn't matter? The Indigo Tide is the tide of Justice, Compromise, and the greater good. Yet we get points because of our peaceful intent.

Oh no the fake people exploded because the imaginary reactor overloaded. This shouldn't get us a greater good boost, because while our intentions were good the end result was that Homer Simpson fucked up and killed everyone.

I have more to say about this scene, but I will once we're done.

: [Perception] Examine the scene for clues.

: This is not my desire. Stop the guards from firing.

See if the guards shoot the rioters the rioters will save the devil because this is a stupid arbitrary setup with no relevance to actual temptation.

: The toxins - and toxic knowledge - are trapped inside the room. They devour themselves, destroying themselves, but the world outside is spared.

: Your view retreats into space, and time accelerates. The world is full of life, combining and separating, until vast, inhuman intelligences rule over it, shaping the world to their desires. No spark of freedom remains. You feel a kinship between these beings and Malaise.

: "Peace." You feel the smile in Malaise's voice. "Observe."

And this gets us the result for "charity, sacrifice, and empathy" despite the fact that we just let Satan and company take over the earth. Remember when McComb claimed that intentions didn't matter, results did? I remember.

: [Concentration] Focus on the particulars of the room and ignore the looming danger of the Sorrow.

This, uh, might be foreshadowing.

: Let the Sorrow take the woman.

Malaise: Let us evaluate our compatibility.

Are you the lucky bachelorette who gets to bang a devil?

Choosing the first option leads to a game over. I didn't show it off because I really didn't want to deal with the RNG choices again. We could yell "penis" loudly like Theboros explicitly told us not to do, or we could take the second option.

: [Concentration] Resist the Adversary.

Incidentally, if we fail this check that's also a game over.

: And at last you close in on the Adversary... or at least its projection into this reality. It is a great extrusion of psionic force pushing through a shimmering wall. With a thought, you harden the wall, strengthening the barriers between worlds, and the extrusion dissolves into a dreamspace.

I...sure. We will pretend that little pile of incoherence means something,

TheGreatEvilKing dialog summary posted:

: Wanna play a game? I bet you've never been with a half-bald woman before.

: Hey, you're hot. I have to see if we're compatible, though, I don't like casual. How do you feel about exploding cities?

: Hot.

: How about inaction leading to the devil's thousand year reign on earth?

: It is taking all of my willpower to keep my clothes on.

: How about abandoning innocent women to be eaten by the Sorrow? Because I'm evil!


: Oh, wow, this is farther than I usually get. Can I touch your boob?

: Lol, sike, you're not nearly enough man for me, loser!

: No! Quantum transdimensional blue balls! I'm exploding in a psychic waveform probability collapse of my dick's phase reactor*! I'm dead!

*It's Numenera, so he probably has a positron dick or something. I don't want to know.

Anyway, we go to Dhama.

We equip this immediately. Yea, it drains our might, but we attack with speed and we have Erritis in the party.

Wait, hang on, aren't we forgetting something?

Dhama explaining the Adversaries posted:

Did we get...any of that? This is a devil that's supposed to be tempting us, right?

Was any of that actually tempting? I'm serious. We had...a vague desire for "world peace", a shooting at a library, and something to do with the Sorrow eating some woman we don't know for a "cosmic balance" we don't care about.

Generally when writing a temptation scene, you have to offer something that the character cares about. Doctor Faustus wanted knowledge about the universe. Eve wanted to know about good and evil. Wrestling Bradford really, really wanted to fuck Marigold. Isildur wanted the power of the ring. Ahab wanted revenge on Moby Dick. Even Stephen King figured this out in The Stand, where Harold accepts Flagg's offer because he wants to get laid. This is not a difficult concept, and it never fails to astonish me how much this game almost, almost manages to reach a concept readers could relate to and then abruptly veers away to bury itself in unrelatable bullshit.

Part of the problem is that the Last Castoff is in no way characterized and is expected to be a player cipher, but even then there are obvious ways around this. I'm not a fan of Bioware, but the demon trading the player character blood magic if they can possess the little kid works a hell of a lot better than...whatever this is. A competent writer would have had Malaise offer some kind of power for fucking over the psychics, or maybe he gives you something if he can ride along in the labyrinth and pop out and fuck you over later. The only thing that is remotely close to something that could tempt us would be if Malaise destroyed the Sorrow for us and then we got 20 years of freedom or something.

There is nothing here to tempt us. Let's take the classic example of Jesus in the desert.

The Book of Matthew posted:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’"

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’'”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

See how even though this is all stuff Jesus is uninterested in, food, fame, and power are actually things that real people would care about? I have no idea what we're supposed to be tempted by here. Being eaten by a devil? Some imaginary people getting shot? Why does The Last Castoff care about any of this? Why would anyone?

Whatever. Let's recruit all these suckers for Clarion so we get money.

I'm gonna make a long story short. Dhama joins automatically. Theboros can be intimidated into joining by us pointing out that we kinda killed his demon and freed him from the compulsion to yell "penis" loudly, so go fight in a pointless war. Leto can be persuaded. Ziobe and Feriok won't join under any circumstances.

We report to Clarion while...whatever the fuck this is happens.

Earlier, while recording the update, The Last Castoff got stuck behind Dhama at the table for 30 seconds until the game managed to teleport her out.

This is not a well-programmed game. We will be coming back to this.

This is 9 more shins than we got from the random trashpile! What the hell? Fortunately the Lord's Cup is a piece of vendor trash that sells for 159 shins. There are a lot of old unique artifacts that have portraits and whatnot that exist to be sold for money, and I can't help but feel that effort could have gone into, say, more character portraits.

We get treated to a short cutscene showing all the psychics saying good bye. Leto believes she will live because O said she would be the mother of empires. I'm still not sure if that pink shit is a deliberate effect of the jenkem we huffed or the engine going to shit, and frankly I don't care.

We run around the city for a bit as I try to out Ziobe as a robot to these guys for free stuff, but forget you have to make an int check to talk to them. Whatever.

I decide to have us rest at the Cult before continuing our adventures.

Next Time: Who's ready for Patrick Rothfuss?

EDIT: The ghost quest is not female only.