The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

Part 28: Cleopatra Jones and the Boring Ass Dungeon

Cleopatra Jones and the Boring Ass Dungeon

Last time on Tyranny, we threw the laws of Kyros in the garbage and went into the Oldwalls to stop Raetommon from carrying out his incredibly stupid plan. After a bit of heroic torture, we rejoin Cleopatra and the girls in the Oldwalls.

I'm not gonna sugarcoat things. There's a lot to talk about in the actual text of Tyranny, but the gameplay is extremely boring!

We get this cloak, the most interesting thing about it being the implication that a skilled mage can maybe control Bane?

At least Cleo levels up through all this mess.

This talent is incredibly powerful and would be even better if you guys had let me take all the mages.

More importantly, we hit the soft cap for Wits and we can drink the elixir raising Cleo's spell damage further.

Spells for the spell god!

The big gimmick for the dungeon is that the torchkeys can be applied to stands like this one and will unlock switches, levers, and new paths for us to take. This will recur later in the game. I'm honestly not going to go too in depth here, the dungeon is kind of blah!

We're going to have to come back later, as I recall there are powerful endgame sigils behind this keystone.

Disregard currency, click buttons.

There are also arcane traps that shoot you when you get too bored.

See those glowing octagonal things in the walls?

Those are Bane traps. They pop and spew Bane all over our hapless party.

I really don't have a lot to say here! It's not clear whether the Bane themselves are artificial, but they are harnessable by people who have ideas clearly outside of the Kyros-permitted ecosystem. We can extrapolate from our reading that the Bane represent the threat of new ideas and/or cognitive dissonance - clearly, the ancients built these big towers and were able to use the Bane - but at the end of the day it's just walking through a dungeon and fighting some ghost dudes.

At least there's this piece of loot. I am legitimately not sure which character is intended to use this, as Eb and Lantry favor light armor, Fatebinder mages prefer light, and Barik is once again locked into his poop suit. Oh well!

Keep trekking.

The dead Brotherhood member over there has loot.

Specifically, another torchkey! We're up to two (purple and now yellow) and different stands react in different ways.

What's this?

Bane attacking yet another unlucky squad of Brotherhood members! Have I mentioned that Raetommon is a bad leader yet?

As you can guess from the full Bane traps on the walls this is a ton of combat that consists of me facerolling the spell keys so let's skip it, shall we?

This guy doesn't even get a name so I'm not making him a portrait.

: You're welcome.

: Raetommon never had any intention of coming back for you. I'm sorry.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

:hist101:: Thanks for saving us! Did Raetommon send you?

: Nope, he's too much of a fuckup.

:hist101:: Right, I knew this was a bad idea! Fuck Raetommon! Brotherhood OUT!

The Bane show their displeasure by subjecting us to Tyranny combat.

We get it! At least we can feel morally comfortable stealing the Magebane Helmet because we're personally massacred every last Bane in these Oldwalls.

No! Stop already! To continue the running Lethe analogy, Cleopatra has to fight a ton of doubts, foreign ideas, and cognitive dissonance to grasp the idea that the best thing for her to do is to break Kyros' laws. If only it weren't so tedious for the player.

More traps.

This is a Forge-bound apprentice who we would have gotten a quest to rescue back in town, but we kinda missed it. it's OK, though, this is the other way to pick up the quest. Unlike most of the rest of this dungeon, this conversation is actually interesting.

: Slow down. What are you doing here?

: I was searching the area near the Oldwalls entrance for unique metals or runes I could use in my crafting.

: I'm... I'm trying to advance to the next level of my apprenticeship. Impressing forge masters is much harder than it sounds and Master Lohara is especially demanding. You really need to stand out, and I thought this was my chance.

This sounds familiar. Remember the trial we helped Tunon with? The Forge-Bound who found an Oldwalls stone, and made a magic hammer?

: I didn't even know the Bronze Brotherhood were here until some of them showed up. I grabbed a discarded helmet and tried to blend in until I could get away.

: Their leader thought I was a soldier who got stuck away from his post, so he demanded I return to my duties. I was scared so... He shrugs with defeat. I followed my 'orders' and went inside.

: [Lore 46] Don't you know it's illegal to trespass on the Oldwalls?

We get the extremely stupid option to kill him and piss off the Forge-Bound.

: I'm in the Oldwalls too, aren't I? Let's just keep this secret between us.

We're kind of boned anyway and the entire town knows we went after Raetommon. Disregard the Archons.

: Sometimes I forget that you Fatebinders are beholden to Kyros' law. Of course! If I get out of here, I won't mention it to anyone.

: Why not disguise yourself and sneak out?

: I would have, but I was committed to finding that connection with Lethian's Crossing and left behind the Brotherhood armor I found. It was ill-fitting and noisy, and didn't help me evade the Bane, which I can assure you is a far more pressing concern this far into the Oldwalls than some hotheaded thugs!

: But you're right, the disguise is the better choice. He grimaces, shaking his fist in frustration. It wasn't smart of me to let go of it. I know, I'm [sic] haven't been thinking straight. It's been a moment-to-moment struggle just to stay alive in this cursed place!

: I'm not sure you can find the gear I left behind, but I have heard the Brotherhood running through these halls. I'm certain there must be at least one around here that isn't in need of his armor anymore. With it I believe I can make my way out.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Help! I was just trying to use illegal Oldwalls materials to get ahead in my studies, but I got caught in the Brotherhood invasion and stuck in the Oldwalls! I disguised myself as one of them, but lost my armor because I wanted to hide from Bane.

: This is illegal, you know.

: Oh, shit! Fuck! Please, have mercy!

: Eh, it's cool, I'm in here too. You should really use that disguise and get out.

: Can you find me some armor while I sit here and break the law with impunity?

: I guess I may as well honor the long Fatebinder tradition of doing everything for everyone.

This dead guy five feet away has the Rho torchkey, Convenient!


I guess Cleo is really repressed and just letting it all out here.

This is the final piece of the Spire rune - but we unlocked the Spire anyway. Oh well!

This would be a lot more harrowing if we were burning resources or something, but as it stands I think I can count the number of times I've used camping supplies on one hand, and I'm playing on Hard.

This is the armor Garrick needs. Unfortunately we can't just dump all the armor pieces we looted on him.

: Why not use this armor I found to disguise yourself and sneak out?

On the surface, it's a fetch quest. In actuality it confirms that the Forge-Bound, despite being sworn directly to Tunon, don't actually give a fuck about Kyros' laws or upholding them. Lohara won't directly go against Tunon for removing Barik's armor (though you can force her to do it), but in actuality the Forge-Bound are all about breaking as many laws as they can get away with. Don't believe me? On the rebel path, Eldian and the Forge-Bound immediately send you into the Oldwalls to look for Bane! It ties into the theme of Lethian's Crossing. The player character is waking up and realizing that even in relatively normal times these laws don't work, both for the stated purpose of keeping the peace and feeding people and the actual purpose of stopping the enemies of Kyros.

Three keystones, three stands, and if you mismatch one you get piles of Bane dumped on you.

At least we got this!

When we get to this part of the dungeon the engine takes over for a cutscene.

That's a big Bane that is about to shove my shit in.

We are forced across the trap bridge while Raetommon and his last three friends stare at the Big Bane like lonely men in a strip club.

Yup, we saw the ball, we can infer his emotions from the dialogue, and he's speaking like a pompous ass while the game describes "authority and petulance".

The clown strikes back.

: Just as quickly as it comes, his rage subsides and he smiles, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes. But I might as well be yelling curses at the encroaching darkness for all the good it will do me to admonish you. You'll never leave Brotherhood affairs alone - never keep out of something you have no business in.

: Still, I will applaud you. I never expected you would get this far.

We can't see his eyes, game, he's wearing the helmet!

: [Point to where you threw the rock.] How's your head, Raetommon?

: I've heard he gets nothing but complaints. In fact, most people ask for their rings back.

: It figures someone as base as the Fatebinder would keep equally crass company. Eb smiles and blows Raetommon a kiss.

: Why did you take the Magebane Helm and kidnap Zdenya?

Raetommon is desperately trying to look like a cool Darth Vader dude but is still a clown.

: With the Helmet, I can drive them back. They will give me the glory, the chance to have Lethian's Crossing as mine alone! He laughs, the sound eerily echoing back in the large chamber.

: Why Zdenya? To rebuild, we will need a Master of the Forge and who better to take that role than the Master of all forges?

It's amazing how small Raetommon's ambition is compared to the forces he's trying to unleash.

: What is in that prison?

You've described him as manic and maniacial, and yeah...the writing's still not good and we can't see his eyes. Oh well.

: What did you do to the Sage?

: [Lore 28] You have gone completely insane. What happened? You seemed so composed on Ironhaul Trail.

Doctor, Pagliacci, etc.

: You don't think the Bane will kill you as soon as you release them?

The Brotherhood worship the Bane per their faction bio. This literally never comes up outside of Raetommon's weird devotion here which he is going to demonstrate by attacking his...gods? I don't know.

: Do you even know how to release the Havoc?

: OF COURSE! He shouts and stomps his foot again. He shakes his head at you, as if the answer is the most obvious thing in the world.

: My special Sage 'told' me everything. He was very knowledgeable about the Oldwalls in this particular region - and the rumors of a key that could unleash the Bane. He didn't want to tell me. I could tell he wanted Kyros to have Lethian's Crossing, but I showed him how wrong that kind of thinking can be. He bites on the tip of his thumb, lost in thought.

I honestly think this style of RPG writing lulls people into not paying attention, because shit like this is the game beating you over the head that Raetommon is an insane idiot who has a stupid plan that got most of his men to either desert or die. None of the rest of this shit really matters. How did Raetommon know about the Bane? Well, his company worships the Bane, it's not hard to believe they know stuff and this Sage doesn't matter. What's his plan? He's told us before. He likes torturing people, but we already know his methods were brutal from the attack on the town. We don't need all these screens to show a breakdown, the dialog is sufficient. The Tyranny writers seem perfectly capable of being somewhat subtle, but this is where they break down and start hitting the player.

: What did the Sage mean about four points of a compass?

There are four torchkeys, there are four stands around the Bane, Fatebinders are not this stupid.

It does provide another opportunity for dunking on Raetommon for being a worthless dumbass.

: [Lore 51] Give me the vellum you got from the Sage. It might be important.

Sure. Why not. First he hates us, but he gives us the clue because he's a moron.

: Any chance you'll give me that torchkey you hid when I walked in?

: [Athletics 46] [Threaten] Give me that crystal. Now. Or I will take it from you.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I'm gonna be all cool and shit and maybe if I release the Bane I'll get to see what a woman looks like naked! I'm crazy AND incompetent now!

: This is the dumbest shit. Give me your Oldwalls stuff.

: No! You must DIE!

It ends about as well for the Brotherhood as you'd expect. Raetommon is down to four guys including himself. If he'd kept his whole force together with him they could have just shoved Cleo and the gang into the pit by sheer weight of numbers, as it stands they get burned to death by an angry wizard. Oops!

Raetommon surrenders while his men die all around him, a worthless coward to the end.

: [Kill] I need that helmet, but I don't need you. Looks like your plans die with you.

This apparently pisses off the Brotherhood, despite Welby asking us to deal with Raetommon and the surviving members of the Brotherhood being the ones who concluded that he was a worthless idiot with nothing to offer. Oh well, we can now delay getting knocked out by 4 seconds once per encounter. Yay?

Cleopatra puts on the helmet, which gives her a huge spell defense bonus and a forgettable active ability that shoots a laser at Bane.

Killsy takes this axe.

We also find the green keystone on Raetommon's corpse, which lets us go around and hit all the glowing torchkey stands.

We find this wacky BDSM collar that I'm probably just gonna sell.

Upon activating the third keystone, the shield around the Big Bane collapses.

Those are indeed Bane traps full of adds, and here my trouble begins.

Those of you who haven't played this game are probably going "what's the big deal? You said combat was stupid easy and all you have to do is faceroll on the keyboard." That's...usually true.

All of these fucking Bane traps break at once and start dumping more Bane onto the battlefield. Two of them have Malices, which are the second tier of Bane that are spellcasters, while the little Scourges shit up the battlefield everywhere.

No one in this party actually has any meaningful ability to hold aggro. Now, to be fair, Barik can't really hold aggro outside his AoE taunt, but that will at least clump the Bane up in one spot so we can AoE blast them to death.

Of course, the Tyranny threat system hates you personally, as this Bane sees that Eb is in a bikini and likes sex and thinks maybe he has a chance.

This turns into a clusterfuck in the middle. Verse has a single-target taunt, so we pull the Bane off Eb before he can offer to show her his collection of packaged Star Wars action figures in his mom's basement.

We can absolutely beat the ever loving SHIT out of the boss. The problem is that this party is not built for a sustained fight with opponents who resist statuses (or inflict them) and that's exactly what this fight is.

When we've beaten Big Bane up enough instead of monologuing about the darkness like a reasonable Bane he just fucking disappears and becomes untargetable.

The rest of the Bane take the opportunity to rush the mages now that Killsy is down.


Yea these assholes absolutely tear through our party.

Let's try this again.

This is the invite for the DLC area.

We send a polite reply, as we have a boss to kill.

I decide to pre-buff this time.

This fight is a lot harder without Barik and three mages.



Ok, one more try.

The plan this time is to use Eb's wacky floating mode to kill all the ads and then 4v1 the boss.

The boss busts out this Blade Storm ability, which is the signature manuever of a bonus boss much later in the game Motherfucking Graven Ashe!!!!!!! and wrecks my shit. Look at that! That's 91 damage on Killsy! We can't even move out of the area of effect because despite my best efforts there are Bane everywhere - including both casters - and the melee guys have us pinned down. It's at this point I get frustrated because it was late, Cyberpunk had just come out, and I was kind of tired.

In all seriousness, I consider this Bane fight the hardest in the game. You're probably not cheesing out Lore (unless you beelined the Infirmary), your spells can't cover a wide area, you're just starting to be able to rotate out through a spell rotation without getting boned by cooldowns, and this boss actually makes you do a sustained fight against things you can't just keep locked down forever. The terrain is terrible and Tyranny's aggro mechanics don't work, so the little Banes can just jump all over poor Eb or Lantry and make them die, and they cut through armor, too!

Next time: Time to kill a Big Bane!