The Let's Play Archive

Torment: Tides of Numenera

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 15: Daddy Issues, part 2

Daddy Issues, part 2

: The girl stands outside a crumbling old house, playing the flute. She wears a simple dress, and her golden hair falls past her shoulders. The melody she plays is gentle and soft, but it somehow carries to every corner of the street.


: How much?

: Why are sad songs cheaper than happy songs?

: Here's 8. Play me a sad song.

Avina: Thank you ma'am. This one will break your heart.

We lose control and the game plays a sound clip of the flute solo. It's a nice touch. We then get a willpower buff.

: Can I ask you some questions?

: Is this your house? Who lives here?

: You remind me of someone I met in the Fifth Eye.

: Not anymore? What do you mean?

: Do you know anything more about her?

Cutting out the "are you sure".

: Let's talk about something else.

: Tell me about yourself.

: The house is in bad shape?

: Where did Zebb's father go?

Ha ha, that's great. People are deserting this crap town to join the foreign invaders.

: Tell me about Zebb and Nym.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Want to hear my wicked flute solo? Sad songs are cheaper because there are so many of them.

: Here's 8 spacebux.

: Here....far....whereeeeeeever you are....

: Ok, I have some questions. You look like that ghost from the Fifth Eye.

: Everyone always says that! That bitch tried to invade my mind, but I shanked her skanky ass!

: Uh, ok, tell me about yourself.

: Oh, we're all orphans. Zebb's dad ran off to join the ominous foreign army but he's probably dead now, so we live in this shitty house that's falling apart. By live I mean "run in and out to change and wash".

: Uh, bye!

I finally figure out that I need to talk to Imbitu for the game to register that I examined the body. He tells me to go to the crumbling house, which I most certainly didn't examine earlier repeatedly to find nothing.

: Search the rubble for clues.

: You shift aside broken pieces of furniture and small pieces of rubble, but you find nothing of value. After a short while, you realize what has happened - someone has already picked through the ruins and taken the more accessible valuables.

: You stand back, concentrating. Nothing about the pile of stone is familiar...but the view from where the door once stood - a boundless horizon falling into the sea - is.

: [Amanesis]: Study the horizon.

We have no intellect points left so of course we fail. I miss the screenshots and try the might option instead.


: Who's there?

: Your words are a whisper. You can barely breather now, and the heat fills you like a fever.

: Suddenly, a cool hand covers your burning eyes. A smooth arm folds over your stomach.

: And just like that, the heat is gone.

: You whirl around. No one is there. But you sense something has changed in the Labyrinth.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Now you can progress. Can you make a skill check? Also talk to those cultists.

: 70 percent?

: Ha ha, nooooo.

: Ok, look, Tybir passed, can we get on with this shit?

: Someone looted the house, but you find a dead girl. She is very spooooooky and suddenly she's in your head! You whirl around but no one is there! OooooooooOOOoooo!

: Fine, whatever, bye.

Anyway, the game hinted we should talk to those cultists. I omitted an earlier conversation where the cultist says she's not very deferential because she wants to be the Changing God, not worship him. Eh.

: Who lived in that ruined house against the cliff?

: I think someone may have looted that ruined house against the cliff. Did you see who it was?

: I want you and the others to watch over the orphans who live near the dump.

Um, I thought you didn't defer to - whatever, fuck it. Bonus points for binding the cultists to indentured servitude being the selfless and heroic action.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, you see who lived in or looted that house?

: Some guy lived there. Also some incredibly dirty little kids looted the place.

: Cool, thanks. Your new assignment is to take care of those kids for free.

: Sounds legit! Praise the Deathcheater!

: Abusing these cultists' religious beliefs to force them into unpaid servitude means you're a good person!

We go back to Avina to get the plot device.

: Let me ask you something.

: Someone saw children playing in the ruins of a collapsed house. Was that you?

: Show me what you found. I'm curious.

Ah, yes, the old "non-Euclidean geometry" shorthand. Nerds read Lovecraft, right?

: That's not yours. I have to return it to its rightful owner.

Look, we got you some, erm, "indentured servants," now give us the damn box.

: It's for a good cause, I promise you.

Specifically, getting us XP and stat boosts.

Remember, intentions don't matter! Actions matter! We made a little girl cry by taking her shit, but it's a gold action.

: How have the cultists of the Changing God been treating you?

These cultists are officially 100% better people then their actual god.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, were you playing in that abandoned house?

: Yup! I found this sweet ass puzzle box. Check it out!

: Give me the box you little shit. I have to return it to its real owners.

: *Sniff*...ok...

: Making a little girl cry by taking her possessions? How selfless. Have some gold points!

: How are those slaves I assigned you working out?

: They give us free shit! They have no idea how to deal with kids, but I love free stuff!

: Cool.

Now it's time to do more jenkum to get back into the labyrinth.

We can try to open the puzzlebox but we can't get it open no matter how much we hit it. Whatever.

Feriok has new dialogue if you order the suicidal pink sludge again.

This is new.

You're really doing this, huh. Also that "if emotions could smell" is certainly a line someone wrote.

Wow, helpful.

: Place the puzzle box in the outline's palm.

I think you can open it with the help of robo-daddy's friends, but at this point I want the quest to end.

: "Well done," the Specter says, turning away from the stunned woman. "I'll, ah, give you two some room to talk."

: You turn to the young woman again.

: Who are you?

: Who was your adoptive father?

: "Orseolo. He was one of you," she says carelessly. "A castoff, I mean."

: A frown creases her forehead. "Poor old man. He never wanted to be special. He found me, fed me, talked to me when I was, you know, troubled."

: She sighs. "But when the house fell on me, I guess... he couldn't stand it. And he went looking for a way to die."

: I'm sorry that this happened to you.

: No, he wasn't wrong. But you're here now.

: She nods moodily.

: "Sort of," she says. "I'm not really me though. I'm a reflection of what my father saw of me. The only piece of his mind that's left."

The game is going to get very inconsistent on whether reflections are souls or not.

: A creature named the Sorrow killed Oseoleo. Do you have any idea how it found him?

: Do you know anything else about Oseoleo?

: "I should, shouldn't I?" she says, chuckling. "I was part of his mind, after all."

: She passes a hand over her forehead absently, leaving her ghostly eyebrows completely disheveled. "But no, if I focus, I can see the other - the other women he took care of. The ones that looked like me, I mean. But it's like looking through dirty glass. I think...I think that means he didn't want to think about them. Or couldn't."

: She shrugs, looking away. "I don't know why he spent all that time caring for us. I guess I'll never know for sure now. But...all right, one time, I asked him what his tattoo meant. 'Atonement,' he said, but not, you know, dramatically. He said it like he was saying his name. Like..." she pauses, rubbing her forehead again.

: "Like it was everything he was. Like if he couldn't atone for, you know, whatever it was, there was no reason to exist anymore."

: What does that puzzle box mean to you?

: Farewell.

Seria: I'll be here. You know. In your head.

: And she is. You abruptly feel her presence inside your mind as if she's always been there. A new weight behind your temples.

What does Seria's peace do, you ask?

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, a reflection from another castoff.

: Take this box.

: Oh hey, you know, it's me, Seria! The girl whose corpse you dragged out of the house? Yea, my adoptive dad was a castoff trying to raise all the girls who were turning into the Changing God's daughter because he had to atone for it. Kinda bullshit if you ask me. Anyway, thanks for the box. I'm dead, you know, but it's pretty cool here.

: I'll leave you two for some...alone time. Oh yeah.

: Uh...

: Oh, yea, you know, I forgot. I'll always be with you. Have +1 to all your stat pools.

: Score!

Alright, let's talk to Avina's weird ghost and get this shit over with. Note that Seria's peace didn't refill our pools at all, so we're stuck with our empty int pool.

: Who is he?

...that's what we're going with, huh.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I remember now! That wacky man was my father! He built a probability engine to overwrite other women's personalities so I could live! It's a real thing! You're going to have to get him to tell you how to shut it down, because he only respects half-bald women.

Did you really think we would get through this sidequest without invoking the Trolley Problem?

: She looks sadly at the translucent man representing her father. "He doesn't know. He thinks he can save me, but he's lost me forever. Tell him. Tell him he can never get me back, not the real me."

Isn't time travel a thing in this setting? Yes, and we will find time machines. That we use.

I have an upcoming post about how this setting completely clashes with the story they're trying to tell, and I'll post it once we get through the first chapter.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: My father doesn't understand that I'm really dead, and that his resurrection machine will fail! It's kinda stupid, but I'm dead for real. Talk to the weird ghost Changing God - who is suspiciously blue.



Lest you think I'm being all wink-wink nudge-nudge, the thread already guessed this.

: Can I help you?

: I need to know how to turn the machine off.

: "What?" He whirls around, his eyes bright with fury. "Turn it off? That would kill her, kill her, do you understand? I'm so close to bringing her back. It's just a matter of tuning the machine correctly."

Alright, I'll be honest. We have three orcs, but I have 12 speed and a laser gun. I am 100% ready to kite these assholes to death for the next two hours.

Let's futilely appeal to his compassion.

: "Something's wrong with the machine, though. It's hurting people."

: [Persuasion] Don't you understand? Your real daughter is dead. Even with the machine, you can never truly have her back.

There goes three hours.

: He looks between you and her, despair growing on his face. Finally, his shoulders sag.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, she's dead. That machine is hurting people.

: I have no idea what this thing does but it can resurrect my daughter!

: Uh, no, she's really dead!

: No, I'm not your daughter. She's super dead.

: Aw, shit. I just wanted to make things right. Just wave your arms and say the magic word.

: I thought this was technology?

:ghost:: Magic, technology, whatever.

: Where do I find the probability engine in the real world?

Gee, thanks.

: Farewell.

You know what? I'll start laying out my thesis here and we should keep it in mind for the rest of the LP. Numenera does not work for the story they want to tell.

Ultimately the Changing God, as we've seen here, is supposed to be a mortal brought low by hubris (at least when it comes to his daughter, anyway). We are supposed to realize his ambition overreaches his ability because of his pride.

The problem is that all of this is based on technology left to the Ninth World by prior human civilizations that could do all of these things. Most of these hubris stories involve humans wrongfully laying claim to powers that belong to the gods. Victor Frankenstein tries to create life - but he invents an entirely new procedure to do so and is the first to trespass on the Christian God's domain. Bellerophon misuses divine gifts to fly to Olympus. Phaeton borrows Apollo's chariot but is incapable of flying it so Zeus smites him down.

The Changing God is simply trying to master technology passed down by other humans. The Ninth World is our planet Earth. Presumably he didn't invent the probability engine, his daughter described him as "a tinkerer and an explorer" so it's reasonable to assume he found some ancient device described as being able to raise the dead.

The Changing God's crime isn't that he's playing God, his crime is that he's playing God badly. The ancient humans already played God by creating all this high-tech crap. Keep this in mind for the endgame.

: His daughter was killed when their home collapsed. Grief drove him to seek his own death.

Wait, how do we know the Sorrow didn't smash the house when it attack - fuck it.

Cool, a ghostly cape.

: Good luck, and farewell.

Splitting the update once more because of the emoji limit. Don't say I've never done anything for you, goons!