The Let's Play Archive

Winter Voices

by Klingon w Bowl Cut

Part 30

(You rest a little in your room while waiting for night to fall. This is your last night in Longmorn, and your last chance to see some friendly faces.)

Frida: Did you forget this morning already?

(Once more, sleep slowly comes to find you. But before completely falling asleep, you see your house on the side of the mountain and the stream that runs down the slope at the foot of the garden. Your father, sitting near the stream, seems almost asleep. You are overcome with love for this man. You smile—a strange, different smile that seems to come from far away, very far away.)

[Quit telling me what I do, game. ]

River Spirit: You have changed. You no longer simply look backwards. You learned to live. You learned to live with your demons. You learned to live with your chimera. To live with the memory of your father. To live with that pain that gnaws at your belly. To live with that emptiness. Come to me. I will deconstruct you. I am the maker and the unmaker. I untangle knotted hair. I carry bodies turned blue, at the whims of the current. I carry dirty, sadness. I carry fallen walls and lost civilizations. I drown deserts. I give life to all earth. You are my daughter. You are my lover. Come to me.

[Another form that replaces our base abilities... Which is super obnoxious, because Repulsion and Flight would be much more helpful. Cool idea though.]

[Just like Repulsion, only worse.]

[Swirl attacks are used by the enemies in the water on this map, and they reduce our movement. This ability would actually be helpful if the cooldown weren't so long.]


(Frida steps off the peer and into the water, praying quietly as it seeps into and through her.)

River Spirit: How clear and sparkling the water is in your father's eyes. Like the soft murmur that cradled your childhood. I am all of that. You can only live through traveling. You can only live by adoring me. You can only live by haphazardly following my curves. You can only live with your eyes lost in my turbulence. All begins and ends with me. Follow the cycle. Go and return.

[And the first Apparition is on the lower left there. A whole bunch of them appear, and we take more and more damage. In the end, I have to dig in the files again, because this time there is dialogue we can only get if we make it far enough.]

River Spirit: It is your inheritance. Go, carry it on solid ground, and then come back to me. I will not be your only voyage and I will not be your last either—I have seen it. But I will be your next and the best. Sleep, little girl. Sleep along the river, laying in the snow, your head resting on your father's knees. Sleep, listening to the icy river hurtling over the frozen stones.

Frida: Such arrogance. Worse than the mountain spirit.

(Frida sighs and shakes her head.)

Ven: Here we are. After you, Frida.

Chichi: Ooo. That's a nice one. Good thing I packed enough fishing poles for all of us!

(And you dream.)

[The Ancient Mysteries go on the Order tiles. Simple enough, though these are separate maps, all in a row, so they can glitch like crazy. I got lucky and only had to do them once.]

Frida: Of course I remember. You flatter yourselves, thinking you are so terrible that I would forget again.

[This part is extremely cool (as long as the fact that it's a series of three battles with no saving between them doesn't cause the game to crash) because the response we choose when the shadows speak completely changes the setup and goals of the encounter that follows.]

Frida: There is just you who hasn't changed. It is time.

Dusk Shadow: Why should we change? We are the immutable past. We don't change what is written in stone. We don't change regrets. We don't change time lost and never, never regained. We are the shadows of an evening coming like a veil, coming like a veil to reveal your life by covering it.

[The shadows have two movement points, and we have to keep them off of the black-bordered tiles for one turn. Easy enough, since our Repulsion skill has a lot of upgrades.]

Frida: If I am a ghost, what are you? The debris of dreams. Ghosts of ghosts. Less than a breeze.
["White Fight"]

Dusk Shadow: We are your spirit. We are your life. As light as you, as impalpable as you. You cannot disavow us. We are you. Do you understand? You pretend to fight us. You pretend to want to destroy us, like a hero of antiquity would strike a hydra. You are not a heroine—and the hydra that you hit has your many faces. You can't do anything about it.

[Some of the clones above are disguised shadows. To win, we have to step on the Pyre Princess tiles and burn them, but doing so damages us too. This one is pretty hard, but we manage.]
Frida: Even hydras can burn.

Frida: It will take time, but I will rebuild it all. It will only be more pleasant.

Dusk Shadow: But how much time do you have ahead of you? People live and die... Your father also hoped to have enough time. You are not the exception to the rule. How many centuries does it take to recover from disaster? Your hair will turn grey and you will not have moved from here.

['Oh, you thought we were done with the real-time damage mechanic, didn't you? Sucker.']

(Once all the seeds are gathered...)

[Frida talked without our input! ]

(Frida carefully, reverently sows the shining seeds underneath the bones.)

[And the third one that I forgot to screencap is called the Shadow of the Nascent Dusk.]

(As Frida directs her power at them, the shadows eventually become nothing more than piles of inert dust, black ash like the remains of a funeral pyre.)

Frida: Such is the way things go; there is nothing to add.

…travels have worn out, between the two pages of a book I haven't opened yet, there is a letter. Carefully written on the envelope, there is my name.

“Someone gave it to me one morning, I remember. It was a morning in November. Telling me to open it when I would understand. What is inside this letter, I do not know, but today, today finally, I think I understand.”

As you slowly slide your fingers on the paper to open the envelope, just like a caress, slowly the ship glides on the river waters. Slowly, it moves away, carrying on board its travelers to distant places, to distant horizons. Far from the absolute cold of the Great North—towards Sapphire Bay.
["Inner Crow"]

[Yes, the game ends there. Honestly, it could have ended last update and been a complete story. The journey to the capital has already been revealed as ultimately unnecessary. Frida has a measure of peace and closure. She can and does have other reasons to go, but her painful past is no longer among them. One thing I do think is sorely lacking is something for Ven and Chichi, even a single dialogue box like the crow got. But perhaps they will be in the sequel, if and when it gets made. Thanks for reading!]