The Let's Play Archive

Torment: Tides of Numenera

by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 34: Relationship Issues

Relationship Issues

Hey all you cool cats and kittens! Last time on Numenera we took the escape trolley that teleported all the castoffs out of the castoff sanctuary after it got attacked by the Sorrow. We managed to save the lady who was trying to martyr herself, even. Will this come up again? Probably not.

Welcome to the Bloom! It's the third and last area of this game. There was supposed to be a fourth location, the Oasis of M'ra Jollos, but that got cut despite it being the 4 million dollar stretch goal. Apparently it was an underwater dome city like in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

Anyway, the Bloom is an wacky organism we wander around inside in, like the Zerg buildings from Starcraft.

I will forgive this use of the Perception skill to realize that maybe the man approaching us yammering about finding treasures doesn't have our best interests in mind.

That predatory feeling is that he's about to dump exposition on us. I love how telling him to fuck off because these words are awful gets us Red Tide points.

: How did I get here? All I did was touch the feretory.

Aardiriis said that they had legends about the device but didn't know what it did. I don't know why random looter man here does or why TLC thinks he can answer her questions.

: I felt others pulled into the feretory with me. Where are they?

Translation: The writers didn't know what to do with them and wrote them out of the game.

: What were those voices?

The concept of other dimensions is not nearly as mind-blowing as the Numenera writers seem to think it is.

: Tell me about yourself.

: He swells with momentary pride. "I am Dracogen. I'm the man who can find what you need, even if you don't know you need it. I deal in information, and I pay those who work for me handsomely. Ask anyone here, and they'll tell you I trade fairly."

Threatening random people seems to be a terrible idea in Numenera, as for all you know one of these people is a 1000 year old AI with a cache of nuclear weapons.

Then again, this is an RPG, where even if you are a sorcerer-king with an army of demons some dumbass with a pitchfork is going to jump out of the woods and demand all your money.

: What do you want from me?

Dracogen: A business proposition, my friend. I wish to prove my value to you, and then you can provide value in return.

: Miel Avest has been destroyed by the Sorrow.

I really don't know why anyone is surprised. The Changing God himself couldn't face the Sorrow in combat and that dude was an immortal guy with space travel technology.

: What do you know about castoffs?

: "I have met your sire. I know that he makes and discards you. I know that the Sorrow pursues the Changing God and destroys his castoffs as a consequence." He smiles. "I know more, but my trade is information. We'll speak more of what I know later, perhaps."

Notice that there's no option to trade the information about the First Castoff being alive or Miel Avest's destruction.

: I am here looking for the First Castoff.

I took the stupid option to get the convo over faster.

: She's alive and she's here, in the Bloom. Mazzof told me.

But wait! Wasn't that in the past? How far in the past was that? It's implied the centuries long Endless Battle started when the First Castoff discovered the plans for the resonance chamber and then they fucked off to a place where it wasn't to fight or whatever. I guess Mazzof knew about us?

Dracogen: Mazzof? How interesting. In any case, you seem to believe what you have said. I concede that common knowledge is not always correct, and I bow to your surety. I do not have your answer, but I know one who might.

: Alright. Where can I find the Memovira?

Dracogen: Inside her fortress. But she has locked her gates to outsiders while she considers the problems that face her. Only those who can provide something of value to her get in now.

So if Matkina were here she'd start whining because she was friends with the old Memovira and they did crime stuff together, but then the new Memovira deposed him. Does the word "Memovira" sound familiar? It should. Remember those foreign troops who were just kinda hanging around the poor quarter of Sagus Cliffs, and the city's government was too lazy and inept to stop them? Those worked for the Memovira here.

: I see. So what do you want in exchange for an introduction to the Memovira?

We're not going to be doing this...quite.

: How do I get to this Ascension?

: What's a Maw?

If you guys thought the Trolley Problem shit was bad before wait till you see this shit.

: [Raises Indigo Tide] "I agree to your terms."

This starts Tybir's personal quest. We will get to it. Eventually.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:


: Who are you?

: Passed a perception check! The man talking about you like a treasure to be looted might not have your best interests at heart!

: I am Dracogen. I am an information dealer. People call me Dracogen the information dealer. Welcome to the Bloom! It's like the Zerg base from Starcraft, but with more transdimensional bullshit because this is Numenera.

: Can you tell me anything useful about what just happened?

: Nope. Though I know many things about the plot of this game, like the Changing God and castoffs and the Sorrow, I have nothing that can explain what just happened or why you were brought here. I know about Miel Avest, though!

: Did you know the Sorrow just blew it the fuck up?

: Whaaaa?

: Ok, can you tell me how to find the First Castoff? Mazzof, who I met an indeterminate amount of time in the past said she was alive.

: No, but I do have a fetch quest you have to do to progress the plot.

: Off I go!

: Oh, by the way, bring Tybir to me so you can do his quest! But be sure to do my fetch quest if you want to win this game!

So yes, we are in Act III. This game tries to emulate a three act structure, where the second act is supposed to be the rising tension, where the hero suffers major setbacks. If anyone can tell me what major setback we suffered, I would like to know. Miel Avest got destroyed and a bunch of castoffs got...teleported to safety, but we didn't know shit about Miel Avest. We were there for like 10 minutes. We talked to Aardiriis...three times, maybe? We got some sweet shit from the merchant lady. We teleported everyone with a name to safety, and the Sorrow can't get into this place. Why do we care?

Also, the tension is completely deflated by us accepting the pointless fetch quest from this asshole.

: [Raises Gold Tide] You look like you could use some help.

: Maybe I can help. Where did they go?

Unfortunately I don't think we can get there yet, which is too bad for both our sidequesting and certain party interactions.

: Tell me about yourself.

The Bloom's other gimmick is that it's full of dimensional portals and randos keep showing up, because this game still thinks your mind is blown by the concept of "other dimensions" that has appeared in things like Marvel movies and children's cartoons.

: How did you get here?

: "You've seen the catena, I assume." She gestures broadly at the massive, broken vehicle behind her, being slowly subsumed by Bloom-flesh. "It's a kind of magical carriage, capable of traveling great distances by skipping over the space in between. Governor Marrizek's priests determined that it came through Stirthal on a very precise schedule - it would appear at one of a few locations near Stirthal every seventy-three hours."

Qianne: Well among the nobles it became a sort of adventure. We would dare one another to board the catena, or even hold parties at a location where it was scheduled to appear. It was exciting! I knew people who went on such journeys and came back with the most wonderful tales. They'd spend a couple of days meeting strange, fascinating people and visiting wild locales - some, I am fairly certain, were not even in the Ninth World. I had to see for myself.

: [Raises Silver, Indigo Tides] "You are a very strong person to have survived for so long."

: Where's Stirthal?

Who cares? This isn't foreshadowing some country we have to visit. We are going two places: The Labyrinth, and the Bloom.

Qianne: Hundreds of kilometers from here, from what I've learned. As I understand it, the Bloom is located in what we in Stirthal call 'the Beyong', or actually beyond the Beyond, as I had never heard of the Sagus Protectorate or any of the places people talk about here.

Sagus Cliffs is literally down the road. It has an airport. You could...maybe go there? I know a Master Rennio who supposedly makes a living flying people on airships for free. There are robots who have a spaceship. I get it, she's a character not a rational decision machine, but why is she operating this shitty tent in the Bloom instead of maybe trying to find a way home?

The robots just want to learn about other robots. There is an advanced murder robot standing a few feet from us offscreen. You could go to the airport right now and tell them about all this shit. You just need to ask them to fly you to the big fucking chasm. Why are you here?

: Look at her closely.

Is she secretly in exile? Is she carrying survivors guilt? I think she's supposed to be carrying survivors' guilt from the train crash and that's why she lives in squalor? We didn't get the usual paragraph narration of "she speaks as though she obviously misses her homeland". Whatever.

: Farewell.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I am very sad!

: Do you need any help?

: That's something I haven't heard before. I'm Dianne Qianne, the local innkeeper around these parts. These two people keep robbing me, can you help?

: Sure. Who are you?

: I'm the local innkeeper around here - I have one tent, that I rent out, and then I exposit to my customers about my homeland. I used to be a noblewoman in a country that isn't in the game and you will never interact with. It had a space trolley that appeared every 73 hours. We were all rich so we partied on the space trolley. Then it crashed here and killed everyone, leaving only me alive. I am very sad!

: Uh, cool, bye!

This Waits-for-prey jerk is a killbot and also an optional fight. We may or may not do it.

Trying to pet an animal turns into three screens of text and a skill check not to get bitten.

You can dive into this Bloom piss water pool to get a cypher that boosts armor and then collect a flask of the piss water to drink to hear voices or something. We might do that.

Anyway we keep wandering on and we are actually forcibly interrupted. Not just get the little blue dialogue window, but Callistege stops us.

: This is what being immortal means, Callistege. Facing enemies you can't possibly imagine who want to destroy you simply for existing.

Hold the phone a minute, because nothing from this exchange makes any sense. We know 1 is not quite true because we've seen the Sorrow kill people who weren't castoffs like Marcysa and the cultists we sent against it. Callistege would be fighting with us if we got into a fight and the Sorrow would kill her. 2 is an equally bullshit answer.

You probably don't remember this NPC posted:

So that is Sylph. Her deal is that she was a dude who uploaded himself to a sexbot. We didn't see that because I didn't save scum the Amnesis check (that really needs to not be a mechanic) but the uploader guy is not being hunted by anyone. The robot is breaking down, sure, but as far as immortality goes this guy just...did it. The Sorrow doesn't care that the Changing God and castoffs are trying to live longer, it cares about people messing with the Tides. This whole "immortality is bad" thing is approached just like the resurrection stuff - the Changing God tried to resurrect his daughter, and for his hubris God sent the Angel of Death. Omahdon tried to resurrect Perseia to get his dick wet, and he succeeded the first time with no consequences whatsoever.

The third option is being a total dick and while Cal is kind of a cardboard cutout she's literally followed us into hell.

Why does it follow that Callistege's weird plans with the datasphere are going to attract the attention of something like the Sorrow? Hell, that techno lich guy was fine after we helped him!

Wow, we've gone full soap opera here.

: [Raises Gold, Red Tides] "I need you, Callistege." that a romance dialogue? Serious question. Her high approval rating dialogue is "I adore you," but, um...

I guess that makes it less romantic? She does the same thing to a male castoff, by the way.

Colin McComb posted:

"We want to treat them like real people" Said McComb. "You can abuse them so much that they will leave your party, you can sell them, you can feed them to the can make them love you as well, you can help them as much as you can, you can turn them from the bitter broken people that they are."

Although you have an endless amount of options when it comes to interaction with party members McComb wanted to reiterate that you will not have romance opportunities with companions saying: "We have no romance in this game, you will not be having sex with your companions."

Interview here

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Is the Sorrow going to kill me? What the hell was that?

: Well, that's what being immortal means, Callistege. You get hunted down by powerful enemies...except for the technolich...and the guy in the sexbot...and the AIs we met...and the people in my head...and...

: How can you ask me to stay with you? How can we ever be together?

: I need you, Callistege.

: Do you? I can refuse you nothing. Even my life. Even -


: Oh, uh, in a totally platonic and nonsexual way!

Yea, I made a crude joke about Callistege wanting to fuck TLC, but you can have romance in media without characters fucking. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but someone telling me "I can refuse you nothing. Even if it may mean my death" is at the very least indicative of deep bonds. Are we supposed to assume we mind controlled her into this too? Is she in love with us now? When we said we needed her that seemed to hit her emotionally pretty hard, but she was never interested in us before. Seriously, what is going on here?

We've still never told her a name.

Let's talk to Rhin so we can teach her other people have cooties so she never gets involved in this mess.

: Of course Rhin. What is it?

: Even though she said she needed to talk, she hesitates. "It's about my memories. I...I feel like I should remember more by know. But I don't. I can't."

Hey, Rothfuss, are you aware that you literally just wrote her asking to talk in the preceding paragraph?

: How did you get hurt?

: Why do you think that is?

: How long have they been gone? When is the last time you remember remembering them?

: [Raises Blue Tide] Wait.

I am going to want to get Blue and Silver tides very high by endgame for...reasons.

Who in this game isn't from another dimension? Anyone? Anyone? Go on, raise your hands. Go on.

I love the way she says she made a god who travels between dimensions and The Last Castoff just doesn't care.

: [Raises Gold, Red Tides] I'm sorry he did that to you, Rhin. It wasn't right.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey. Nameless person I am oddly close to! I need to talk.

: Well, I'm here. What's going on?

: I still have amnesia! We had a huge plot revelation, I should trigger some buried memory.

: Hmm, you are a video game character. When was the last time you remembered something?

: Before I was taken by that creepy slaver the game tried to present as a semi-decent - huh. I remember...soldiers...and...Ahl!

: She turns to Ahl in a stew of shitty Rothfussian metaphors.


: I remember now! I got into a fight with my parents, then I ran away. Some random soldiers thought they could take a nine year old girl, but I made a god that travels between dimensions. Then I got captured by those slavers who were obsessed with trolleys and hurting children.

: That doesn't sound like anything that would be useful on our quest to escape a very sad Ringwraith with tentacles


: Oh, jeez, I'm sorry.

: Better take him along anyway. We need that party-wide hide bonus, do you really want to be forced to play Numenera combat?

These conversations get us some levels.

The Last Castoff gets us.. better intellect restoration when we crit succeed. This doesn't happen often and doesn't actually make us better at social checks. This focus tree is hot garbage.

Rhin gets the ability to reuse cyphers. We have a cypher that heals 10 int. I think you all see where this is going. Now we can use all those gravity bombs and shit we've been collecting over the course of the game, making Rhin's DPS on par with Callistege.

I'm breaking the update here as the forums aren't letting me paste the whole thing.