Enderal first time, impressions

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19.01.2018 05:27dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
I'm inclined to say 'Jespar' if he doesn't let this thing with his sister entirely bring down his snark. The kind of life my Prophetess lives, I need someone who can laugh off finding their own waterlogged corpse.

Calia's cute, but kind of a doom n' gloom type of girl.
Aww, I was hoping you would be wanting to be with Calia (as you implied earlier). You don't have to make the choice now but there will be a couple of obvious triggers later (I think after the third stone).
19.01.2018 08:21badgesareus hat geschrieben:
I am embarrassed by your "impressions," by how much I missed by not thinking deeply about some of the dialogue such as your analysis of the veiled woman's remarks. There are so many little details you discuss (and some larger ones as well) that I just glossed over -- do quest, sell, boost stats, do next quest, etc. I feel like you could turn this into a PhD dissertation! (Or maybe a black & yellow "Enderal for Dummies.")
Me too. Since I did the Main Quest the first time I played, I was pleasantly shocked at not only how great everything was but also by how challenging it was (definitely a steeper learning curve). But in my shock, I barely managed to keep surviving to continue the story and was so focused on doing so that I didn't have much left to really follow what was being said. Admittedly, even now I only understand about half of what was going on and therefore really appreciate this Enderal for Dummies.
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19.01.2018 09:08Ragnarok hat geschrieben:
Jespar is back from the dead. But are you, Prophetess? :wink:
It's what is next that will question her reason for living.
Zorg
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19.01.2018 05:27dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
Calia's cute, but kind of a doom n' gloom type of girl.
Maybe you could help her change that :wink:
dyslexicfaser
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First off, sorry for the wait. I’ve been doing a Final Fantasy XIV quest over on anonkun and that’s been eating a lot of my free time these last couple weeks. Anyhow, onward!


- Heading back to Ark, I’m struck by the absolute beauty in some of these loading screens. It looks like something out of the Thomas Kinkade gallery. They must have an artist on staff that does this, right?

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I’m not sure I buy Enderal being less prejudiced against anyone or anything, though. Was this loading screen painted by the Enderal chamber of commerce? Trying to get those tourism dollars?

- The plan is to go track down my poor heartbroken companions while they pour out their hearts to me, and in exchange I will complete quests and gain XP. But that can wait a minute while I check in with my magic connection.
Absorption VI and Soil Elemental II are straight up upgrades to what I’ve been rolling with (16 -> 24 damage/healing and level 36 ice elemental -> level 43 soil elemental, respectively).
Paralyze II is starting to sound worthwhile: paralyzing an enemy mook for 6 seconds? I’ll give that a try, sure. With my luck it won’t work on giants or liches or whatever crazy stuff I’ll have to fight next, but whatever.
Also, I went ahead and bought a house in the noble quarter. No real reason not to pay 4500 gold pennies for something like that when you have 37,000 of them sitting in the bank.

- Now appropriately equipped, I track down Calia first.
I find her beating a straw dummy to death with her fists. I have never seen one humanoid that actually tries to punch people with bare knuckles except for that one crazy fight-picking drunk in the foreign quarter, but who am I to get in the way of stress relief?

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Oh yeah. I am that guy.
Well I’m sorry for getting in the way of her training, but at least Calia’s voice actress is getting in a good workout. Usually whoever they’ve got voicing her has two modes: stalwart determination and quiet ‘everything sucks but I don’t want to talk about it.’ But she’s got a vibrato going on that would do justice to some of Jespar’s best ‘I’m on the edge of tears but am too manly to not pretend I don’t care’ work.

- The content is pretty standard for her, just dialed up to 11. You know, ‘I don’t need your pity’ followed immediately by ‘I’m a monster!’
There’s this bit where she calls me caring about her the biggest joke since Starfall, and sure, it’s sad and all, empathy right, but all I can think is: What the heck is Starfall?
Is it when the Lightborn died?
Is it when Agnod crashed?
Or were there actual meteor showers at some point?

- I tune back in about the time she lets me know that the time I got cutscene-defeated in Old Dothulgrad she only barely kept herself from doing stuff to my paralyzed corpse.
I am allowed to ask ‘What were you going to do?’ but I decide not to do that. It seems pretty clear from context when she talks about what her ‘impulses’ were when she’s talking about the blood on my face and how helpless I was.
I dunno, maybe her demon was trying to convince her to hold me in her arms and never let me go, but I’m kind of doubting it.
Calia, channelling her inner undead teenager, also bursts out with ‘I never asked to be brought back from the dead!’ which, yeah, join the club.

- So there’s Calia, heartbroken, doubting herself, considering removing herself from all civilized company to keep people safe from herself. I kind of get the idea that her last quest is going to involve facing her demon and coming to terms with it.
And I’m probably going to have to hold her hand through it. Eesh.

- Since I’m already in the Sun Temple, I swing by and hand off the Black Stones to our favorite fop, Archmagister Lexil.
Pretty standard stuff here, too: flashes of light when the Black Stones are plugged into the machine, beams of light illuminating the gyroscope eternally spinning in the center, yadda yadda.
One interesting tidbit, the Prophetess just lies to Lexil’s face as a matter of course about Calia’s true involvement in events; Lexil has this line about ‘I wonder where that poor girl got off to’ or something like that.
High five, me.

- Lexil also uses the phrase, ‘half a chicken doesn’t make a cake.’ What.

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I mean, obviously from context it’s taken to mean the job is only half done, but… generally my cakes do not involve chicken at any point.
I’m not sure if this is a weird mistranslation from his Aeterna side of the family, or from the original German. Like, should it be pies maybe? Like a meat pie?
I have no idea.

- Oh, and I was somewhat worried by that black smoke coming off the machine there, but it turns out there’s a torch contraption on the other side of the platform giving off that smoke.
Whew.

- Anyway, time to track down Jespar. The first place is, of course, the Dancing Nomad tavern where I suspect he’s rented out a room long-term. I ask the bartender.

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Yes, that sounds like him, have you seen him?

- It turns out that not only was Jespar drowning his sorrows, he already left with the intention to do some bar hopping.
Time to check every bar in the city, including several I wasn’t even aware existed.

- On the way I actually bother to check South Ark in depth for the first time, since my minimap is pointing that way. It turns out to be a false lead and it’s actually leading me into the Undercity, but South Ark is pretty nice.
The museum.

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I learn that apparently these glowing crystals I've been noticing just grow around the ruins, even when the ruins are transported as a museum exhibit. That’s pretty rad.
Also there’s an exhibit talking about 'energy concentrators', artifacts of the highest order that turn memories and experiences into energy (I wonder if the crystals are a similar phenomenon?) but to draw it out you need some heretofore unknown gewgaw.
Assuming that’ll be important to our ancient relic beacon tower thing at some point, I go ahead and steal it preemptively.

- There’s also a very extensive art gallery (/house) whose owner gives me a sidequest for later to go check in on her mom in Dark Valley, which sounds just lovely this time of year.
And finally, a brewery that is way too attractively set up to merely house one unnamed laborer.

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- In any case, off to find Jespar. There’s a couple of misses, before I find my way to the deepest possible tavern in the underbelly of Undercity. Red curtains and lanterns abound, as do prostitutes with extremely unlikely perfectly sculpted (and oiled) abs for a place as poor as Undercity. There’s probably a better metaphor for Jespar literally hitting rock bottom than this place, but none immediately occur to me.
I do find Jespar here, and he looks right at home.

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Jespar has abs that won’t lose to any of these prostitutes that never miss gym day, that’s nice to know.
You can’t really tell from the picture, but Jespar’s foot is resting on a wine bottle and three shallow bowls of glimmerdust litter the ground.

- I kind of love that the prostitute calling herself ‘Leandra, Queen of the Desert’ actually laughs in response to one of Jespar’s jokes, and it’s subtitled as ‘(Artificial laughter).’

- So after I tell the prostitutes to take a hike, me and Jespar have it out.
If Calia was trying to convince herself to cut and run, then Jespar is trying to convince himself he doesn't care.
Because he's a bad man that betrays and runs away from all his commitments, right? He saw his sister withdrawing from the world into their father’s law books and didn't confront her, because it was easier. He left his first girlfriend to the mercy of bandits rather than try to save her, because he was afraid. He assures me that there are many more stories like those two, where he failed to live up to any kind of heroic self image.

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I really like the red lighting here, shining on Jespar’s face with his shadow cast like a hulking monster on the wall behind him. I wonder if I can score some red lanterns for my new house?
They’d be great for all my tortured, half-naked lounging needs.
Obviously I’m falling behind the curve on that.

- Jespar and Calia are both trying to convince me that they'll kill me one of these days, which is a little bit funny. I mean, we’re all dead men here.
You know, I don't think I've actually told anyone about my own lichdom. Kind of a dick move now that Calia and Jespar have joined me on the other side and could probably do with a little (in)human understanding, but I get it. The zombie apocalypse is not the best time to come out of the Lich closet.

- Jespar peaces out by way of teleport scroll (still half-naked; the Ark Marketplace is going to get a treat).
I steal his glimmerdust on the way out.
Filthy habit, he should thank me.


The Takeaway:
Whoever does the writing for Enderal knows their way around a leitmotif. Obviously I’m a silent rock who feels no pain or worry about being an undead monster clothed in the flesh of man! My MPD mind-buddy Axion was totally off-base when he claimed I was some kind of whinging coward out of my depth, naturally. But now I can point at my pals and go, ‘Wow, they are not handling this well at all.”
And these poor bastards have to save the world? Hopefully this is just the nadir that will build us back up into the world-saving badasses we always knew we could be, like this is the third act of a Disney film.
But I’m not holding my breath.
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That's ok on the wait, at least you didn't forget about us lonely souls here.
urst
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08.02.2018 03:21dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
- Lexil also uses the phrase, ‘half a chicken doesn’t make a cake.’ What.

I mean, obviously from context it’s taken to mean the job is only half done, but… generally my cakes do not involve chicken at any point.
I’m not sure if this is a weird mistranslation from his Aeterna side of the family, or from the original German. Like, should it be pies maybe? Like a meat pie?
I have no idea.
awesome episode, as always :D
Lexil does that in german too, they're apparently called malaphors (the more you know)
dyslexicfaser
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Well, time to go 3 for 3 on Black Stones! But first, some things I learned from loading screens today:

- The ‘Black Guardian’ lives in the deepest depths of the Undercity. I thought I’d gotten as deep in there as one could go, but apparently not! After all, everyone knows that ancient legends of dubious origin are as good as gold, especially if they come from the mouths of cloaked old men in taverns.
- The Starfall that Calia mentioned last time? Turns out it’s a meteorite impact that split the continent of ‘Pangora’ in year 0. So when she says she’s the biggest joke since Starfall? That’s all of recorded history. Just making sure we’re all on the same page regarding her level of self-loathing.
- I knew that the dead are incinerated in Enderal, but it appears that it’s a whole production. During the ‘Last Journey’, the deceased are taken to a special place in their lives to attend one last sunset there. The body is then cremated and its ashes spread over that location.
Wonderful world-building, although it makes you wonder… so like, the local church or midwife’s residence probably just have to deal with having their front stoop covered in ashes semi-regularly?
- “Beautiful and proud, the ruler of the Undercity. Her sinful womb bore fruit and horror grew along.” - Song of the Vatyr
I am pretty glad the tavern bards don’t sing that one.
So, allowing for artistic license… the Vatyr are mutants or something? Born from humans? Really puts a creepy spin on the Undercity orphanage being covered in Vatyr. Enderal is really just a deep, dark hole with no bottom, isn’t it?

- Okay, so the last Black Stone is in the possession of a noble’s bastard son, shipped away so that he wouldn’t shame the Dal’Geyss name. Naturally, my map marker is pointing to the very easternmost tip of the continent, across the mountains, at the end of the Powder Desert, well past Jespar’s family home.
Saddle up.

- There’s actually a fair amount of difficult side nonsense on the way.
There’s another ancient ruin, Old Askamahn. I feel like there was a quest about this place from the smuggler town in Powder Desert, something about a man heading off to steal the riches out from under the Order’s nose and inviting his friend to catch up? (I stole the key he left behind, natch).
I’ll swing back by and do this one if I remember, but right now it’s mostly noticeable for me being attacked outside it by two lions, two black panthers, and an actual gorilla called ‘Old Tyarge’ that knocks me off Whirlwind’s back with one swing. Considering that you can’t ride with summoned weapons, this puts me in the thick of it while unarmed, which is not a fun place to be.
That thief power that stops time is still the best thing that ever happened to me; it’s got a long cooldown but it’s basically (now that I’ve upgraded it twice) two or three free kills in any big fight.

- Beyond that is a place called the Powder Mine.
The fort topside is peopled by bandits and a lot of dead guards, which is always fun to see. I mean, not that I’m a sadist or anything, but I appreciate that some of these valuable mines weren’t taken without a fight, you know?
At first I thought what I was seeing was the Nehrimese taking over a mine only to then be murdered right back by bandits and wild mages, but the heraldry is wrong. Griffin standing upright, not phoenix.

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My second thought is, did I already come by here and murder everyone? But no, I'm definitely not the culprit here, because they still have all their clothes.
I’m not sure who these poor schlubs are; the only city in the Powder Desert is Duneville, guarded by those Watchdog guys in black leather.

- I figured it wouldn’t be too tough to poke my head in for a minute (I was wrong), mines are usually much smaller than those old ruins (also wrong).
The air is hazy and wavery, like heat mirages in the desert. Probably not terribly good for living people, but I appear to be fine.
Looks like this is where sulfur and whatnot is turned into blackpowder, which means that yes, the bandits also control the continent’s major source of blackpowder.
The bandits are at least half made up of mages, including an Oorbaya summoner and a couple of guys with fireball staffs. I dunno how staffs work exactly, but as far as I can tell there’s basically no wind-up casting with them. A mage with a fireball staff will simply explode you repeatedly until you are dead or his staff runs out of energy. The constant explosions serve as their own kind of smokescreen, which makes those guys a bitch to actually find and stab in the midst of all the fire.
There’s a box full of ‘confiscated scrolls’ of fireball which presumably are meant to be used at the big throw-down at the deepest levels (there’s an oily multi-colored substance all over the place that usually catches on fire when fire spells/arrows are used on it), but honestly I’m kind of afraid of blowing us all to kingdom come so I just wade in and stab people until I win.
On the way out, I notice that there’s a lot of people in nice robes called ‘Scientists’, bloody and dead at their desks.
It’s not like this is news by now, but it’s nice to see the Skyrim-like wordless storytelling tradition is alive and well. I do wish there was some writing explaining who these guys work for, though! I did spot one corpse wearing Order novitiate red, though, so probably affiliated with the Order somehow.

- The next setpiece appears to be a village of gorillas! Gorilla-like things called Tyargs, anyway.

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The buildings are of a unique adobe-like design, rounded and bright yellow stone.

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The gorillas appear to be willing to live and let live as I ride through, though, so what the hey. I ride on.
Immediately afterwards, however, control is taken away from me and the Prophetess decides she has had quite enough of riding and dismounts.
Things get wavy like it’s time for a Future Vision, but instead I just hit the floor like the tail end of a 6 hour marathon drinking session.

- The ground behind us has been the subject of a sudden and inexplicable rockfall.
There’s a ‘sudden, sharp pain’ if you try to use a teleport scroll.
All right, Enderal. Show me whatever weird-ass thing you’ve got up your sleeve.

- I actually meet a fellow human being, which is already promising. ‘The Guardian’ suggests that at night the Bonerippers (remember them? Man-sized lizardfolk? From all the way back in the Kor side-quest!) come out of their caves, and if I don’t want to meet them I should take shelter inside.
My character rightfully points out that, as a heavily-armed woman with a skull for a helmet (Skaragg armor being what it is), wielding two ghostly sabers and trailed by a lightning-wreathed elemental like a faithful hound, perhaps just letting me inside is a little careless?
Look, self, there’s no point in being self-aware now. Ark and Duneville let you in without a peep, and my night would not be improved any by having to fight off more bonerippers.
Anyway, the Guardian is of the opinion that “trust has to start somewhere”, and I applaud his determination to keep my bones inside where they belong.
As he throws the switch, he mentions they’re living very well after some boy found a silver vein. Now that sounds plot-relevant. How much do you want to bet that’s the one I’m here for?

- Silvergrove is looking very nice. It’s got its own little oasis biome, with watermills and ruins and things (most with locked doors).

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Several buildings in town are also locked. Not entirely sure if that’s to give the appearance of an expansive area without needing to work on the particulars, or if something else is going on.

- Okay, so tinfoil hat time.
First thing you run into when you get to town? You meet a little girl who says, unprompted, ‘Ryneus has the greatest father in the world! I’m really jealous!’
At the general store? The owner gossips, ‘Have you heard? Ryneus’s father patched up a weird sphere his boy found in the old ruin.’ and after a short conversation his girl pal concludes with, ‘By the righteous path, thank goodness I live here instead of that stinkhole of a city, Ark!’
At the tavern? The innkeeper tells the founding myth of Silvergrove: a rich family moved out to the end of the world, and were blessed with a brilliant young son, Sunaeri. You know how it is in myths, where the myth hero can talk at 6 months and wrestle bears by the time he’s 3 and all that? That’s this kid.
So due to a rockslide or something, the couple found themselves starving. When the parents were emaciated and dying, for they gave all their remaining food to their son Sunaeri, Sunaeri cried, begged the gods for help, and from his tears sprung flowers and greenery and the oasis as it is today. And with a smile on his lips, Sunaeri died.
The last data point: the innkeeper, when asked why her place is named the Silent Moon’s Inn? She can’t remember. Blurry, like a dream. She blames the brandy, of course.

- So. It occurs to me that, if Dal’Geyss ever told me his son’s name, I don’t remember it. But I wonder, if he’d told me before I left, would it be Ryneus… or Sunaeri?
This little town seems to revolve around this boy and his father. The little girl who tells everyone she meets how jealous she is about Ryneus’s father. The boy finding a silver lode and making the town rich as Croesus. The father being able to fix up a piece of Starling tech.
How special! How… main character of him. And what would a boy who is sent away as the shame of his noble father want, more than anything?
Fame. Money. Specialness. A father who makes all the little boys and girls jealous, instead of that cock Dal’Geyss.
One possibility.

- Consider the myth. The rockfall that cut them off from the world, just as the Prophetess has been cut off.
Dal’Geyss’s mistress died of sickness, emaciated and weary just like the parents in the story, managing to send him away with the Black Stone as a little bit of rebellion before she died. A boy who, lost, despairing, alone… wept an oasis into being. A lost child, what better time and place for the High Ones’ influence to creep in?

-The tavernkeeper who doesn’t remember her own history. If someone sprung fully-formed from a young boy’s tears to populate an old building named the Silent Moon’s Inn… she wouldn’t know where the name came from, would she?
The woman at the general store talking about 'that stinking hole, Ark' sure seemed deeply anti-Ark, which might be nothing... but it would also be just what some poor kid sent away from the capital to live in disgrace would think about the place he was forced out of. 'I didn't want to live in your shitty town anyway, dad!'

Guess I’ll find out next time.


The Takeaway:
Very promising start, and at this point I have full confidence SureAI is going to deliver something fun. The sidequests can be hit and miss, but Enderal really does shine best when the claws come out and it’s time once again to fuck with your head.
Ragnarok
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Thank you and keep the episodes coming!
I can't wait to read of your progress.

Oh and by the way:
26.02.2018 02:12dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
“Beautiful and proud, the ruler of the Undercity. Her sinful womb bore fruit and horror grew along.” - Song of the Vatyr
I am pretty glad the tavern bards don’t sing that one.
Oh yes they do! :thumbsup:

Also, one of the great aspects of Enderal is that the folk tales and songs do not necessarily tell the truth of what they are about... they tell a certain point of view.
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Glad to see you back!
26.02.2018 02:12dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
her level of self-loathing.
You're on the same page but as Zorg said, you can do something about that.
- I figured it wouldn’t be too tough to poke my head in for a minute (I was wrong), mines are usually much smaller than those old ruins (also wrong).
Hahahaha. Of all of the mines in all of Enderal, this was the ONE mine you cannot nor should not poke your head into. Man, this was a tough one for me on Iron Path.
One possibility.

- Consider the myth. The rockfall that cut them off from the world, just as the Prophetess has been cut off.
Dal’Geyss’s mistress died of sickness, emaciated and weary just like the parents in the story, managing to send him away with the Black Stone as a little bit of rebellion before she died. A boy who, lost, despairing, alone… wept an oasis into being. A lost child, what better time and place for the High Ones’ influence to creep in?

-The tavernkeeper who doesn’t remember her own history. If someone sprung fully-formed from a young boy’s tears to populate an old building named the Silent Moon’s Inn… she wouldn’t know where the name came from, would she?
The woman at the general store talking about 'that stinking hole, Ark' sure seemed deeply anti-Ark, which might be nothing... but it would also be just what some poor kid sent away from the capital to live in disgrace would think about the place he was forced out of. 'I didn't want to live in your shitty town anyway, dad!'
You got all of that out of just wandering around Silvergrove?!?!? I guess I really was too dumb to have followed clues to the story - was initially too busy trying to stay alive.
it’s time once again to fuck with your head.
This one does but remember what I said about having to deal with some minor, annoying little quests. Get through those and then...
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27.02.2018 01:52Buccaneer hat geschrieben:
Glad to see you back!
Glad to be back!
Hahahaha. Of all of the mines in all of Enderal, this was the ONE mine you cannot nor should not poke your head into. Man, this was a tough one for me on Iron Path.
It was fairly brutal, but I never actually died! If nothing else shows how far I have come in Enderal, it's surviving fights with multiple mages.
You got all of that out of just wandering around Silvergrove?!?!? I guess I really was too dumb to have followed clues to the story - was initially too busy trying to stay alive.
Well, I probably wouldn't have had my suspicious cap on if the other Black Stone quests hadn't been so strong and had such a theme of corruptive High One influence, but once I was looking at everything through the lens of 'something's up'...
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