Daggers for Daggers


and More Bears

First a little catch-up on what I’ve been up to as Alexios the mercenary. First, we set sail from the island of Achillies after having attempted a conquest battle and failed it about a bajillion (the official number) times. I fight for Sparta; I die. I fight for Athens; I die. Also, there is another mercenary after me, I realize on my one time making it halfway through the battle. You can tell because not only is the red hat meter in the bottom corner, but they appear in the middle of battle screaming at you to come and fight them. Then they chase you around until you are dead, and since everybody else is also trying to get you during a battle, it’s best to just pay your bounty or find the other mercenary ahead of time and dispatch them one on one.

Charge!

None of this matters because I am leaving this battle for another day and heading to another rando island to avoid my main quest some more. Here I come upon not one, but two animal caves. My least favorite locations to complete, because, yes, I do want a platinum trophy, thanks, but I don’t really like fighting animals unless I have to. I’d rather just let the other guys fight them, or avoid them. OH, well. Now this island contains not one, but two big old white alpha creatures to defeat. A bear and a boar! The boar is slightly easier, because it is alone, and as we learned before, for some reason bears roam in packs in this game.

He’s gonna get me

Today I learned, just now as I am writing this, that a pack of bears is actually called a Sloth or a Sleuth (as in slow, not as in bears are good at being detectives.) Now, if group of bears is a Sloth, then what is a group of sloths?? (A bed or a slumber is the answer. Bless you, internet.)

Bear asides aside, I decide to go do one of those daily quests that get you some of that rare ore to buy stuff in the store which I’m probably never going to do. Legendary gear? Meh. I pick up a bounty for 5 sharks. I wonder where to find some sharks and just go swim the hell out into the ocean. I find a shark, but it keeps swimming away. Then I go to bed, because I’m tried.

Flailing in the Deep

 The next day there’s still time on the shark timer and I find three at a shipwreck which I dispatch handily, but I run out of time before I can locate more sharks, so it is all for naught. Alas. However, I find a secret tomb on the far side of the island while I’m looking for killer fish. Neat!

In the Tomb looking out

After tomb raiding, I go back into town to defeat the leader and attempt to trigger a battle. I haven’t managed to get Athens’s power down far enough for that yet, but I did initiate a quest, because I don’t want to leave the island with an exclamation point.

So, here’s the story, there’s a group called the dagger that I have to defeat. This guy, whose name I forgot and I can’t find on the ‘nets, but I luckily screen capped his dialog at some point; His name is Agapios—Well, he’s a slave working with the magister (magistrate?) to uncover this dagger dude. I pillage the gang’s hideout on the dock and we find out that the dagger’s leader is called the “Kingfisher” and he is this dude’s brother! *gasp*

Agapios does not believe this shit. Literally. He want’s me to prove that his bro is really dead and not a bad guy, but I actually prove the opposite of that. He’s totally the Kingfisher, leader of the Dagger. I have a thought that he is one of the cultist leaders I’m looking for, so I’m getting amped for this quest. This does not last long, because there comes a time in the gamer’s life where they stumble upon a quest and learn the hard way that they really should have made a manual save before they jumped in and made all the wrong choices. This is that time.  I mean aside from that time I doomed my home island to a plague death that is.

In the sidequest to the sidequest I meet a couple that runs a theatre, also they take care of orphans. Clearly these people must live, because they do not suck unlike half the people I meet. They are getting the shakedown, so I have to go take care of the dagger agent who is in charge of this.

I managed to talk to dagger dude. He was just extorting the theatre people for his family.  I guess some other higher up dagger is putting the screws to this guy too, so I don’t want to kill him, but there’s nothing I can do to convince him to leave the theatre couple alone. I tried to just punch him unconscious and recruit him for myself, but he never wakes up. He’s alive…but won’t get up. Restart.

Next time I approach him, he just attacks me. Apparently, I was lucky to get the talk prompt on my first try.  Anyway,  I must do what I must to advance the quest. We won’t mention that if you do it while at his house, his wife and kid come back home and it is tragic. I get back to the theatre and trigger a cut scene. Another dagger thug is now is holding the theatre couple hostage. Everything I do leads to them being dead. The thug is making me choose which one lives with malicious glee. Like, he is literally squealing with laughter about this horror.

It’s not funny, you maniac!

Whether I choose one or the other or neither…both end up dead. (Because the NPCs won’t stay out of the fight! Seriously, why does the AI have them punching geared up agents of evil with their bare hands when they could be running and hiding under a bush or something?) Several restarts later, I decide to cheat and see if it’s even possible to save everyone. It is. I can snipe the baddies with arrows! Good news.

The bad news is, I have overwritten every autosave with my attempts to figure this out for myself. Woe! I have to leave it with the orphans now double orphaned, because my closest manual save is two entire levels ago when I decided I wasn’t going to do the conquest battle, and I really don’t want to undo all my progress so far. Alas. At least the couple told me where to find Kingfisher before they were gone. 

Before I forget, the cherry on the top of this fail sundae is that even chickens are attacking me now.

But first, I feel like I must finish all my side-sidequests. I have to go visit Agapios’s contact up on a hill. She wants me to get a treasure from a shipwreck before the Dagger gets it. Turns out the treasure is a Dagger meant for sacrifices to Apollo. The Contact thinks this is the most hilarious thing. (The dagger wanted a dagger? Hahah!) I manage to defend her from more thugs that magically spawn, and now I’m off to face the Kingfisher!

So, the big reveal, which I mentioned earlier, is that yes, the big bad is my Agapios’s not dead bro. When I break the news, he just runs away, presumably to go save this bro. Some bystander guard wants to go stop him, because—slavery, but the magister (magistrate?) is just like, nah. He’s free now, let’s go fish for some Kingfisher. We make it to Apollo’s temple and face down the head of the Dagger. I choose to tell my now free friend that his bro is beyond saving, and the fight is on!

I also choose this point to fall asleep again, because I am le tired, and it is late! Next time I will find out for sure if this dude was a cultist. I’m guessing no, because that is my luck. There is also a really, extra shiny glowing question mark on the map of this particular island that I must check out! Tune in next time when I find out that it is actually just a bear jamboree and nothing to do with the finding these cultists I’m supposed to be finding!

I Fought the Bears, and the Bears Won


So Many Bears

So, here we are, post night at the Doctor’s abode.  I feel like clearing some more ??? instead of doing any relevant questing, so I head for the nearest one.  All is fine and dandy until I reach the ? and find–a Bear cave.  Full of bears.  Also, a soldier is chasing me, so I feel it is prudent to leave this area as soon as possible.  For now the Bears have won.

Having Flashbacks to the Hinterlands

I shall revisit this area later, but with my luck all these bears will probably just level up with me.  Cool.  The next ? is just a soldier camp, but they get me too.  As a bonus, I find a really nice scenic vista as I’m running far away.

It’s a sunset whilst in retreat

OK.  Enough doing nothing.  I’m to meet Herotudus at a statue on the shore at Thermopylae for questing things, so I’ll go do that.  We meet in front of this lion and he gets my spear, which I suppose I didn’t realize was Leonidas’s spear.  I (The player on my rocking chair me, not the player character, Alexios, me) realize that now because as soon as Herotudus touches it we get a flashback to the battle.

Time for a magical vision!

   I had a momentary thought the Leonidas might be my secret dad, but that notion is put to bed once we are back at sea, because we’re chatting about my mom and he’s her dad, ergo my grandpa.  This is a known fact, and not a mystery.  So, I’m still on track to be a demi god, eh?

So, we’re actually on a quest, sailing to some island to find a huge door.  Herotudus is insistent on this, so I figure I might as well even though there are lingering ?s on the map.  Did I mention that naval combat is back in this game?  It was 100% my favorite part of the pirate one, so yay!

Row, Row, Row the Boat

I make it to the door and it turns out that it is ancient/future tech.  My piece of the cult pyramid and also my spear fits neatly into this device and my spear is upgraded!  Nice.  Back outside where I forgot to take a screen cap, Kassandra appears to kick my ass.  We have a talk that is basically me being happy to see her and trying to convince her to come with me and be a good guy.  She, on the other hand, is convince she saw me throw her off the cliff in the flashback and she is just super into this cult, and believes she is a demi-god…so the cult thinks I also am a demi-god.  I guess I have something in common with the cult after all.  Kassandra thinks not though, and I somehow don’t have to actually fight her right now.  I can’t imagine we aren’t ever going to fight though.  Not looking forward to that.  I run away back to my boat guy, Barnabas (He has a name!)  We go fight pirates and clear off all the side quest on Achilles island!

  There is a break where we travel back to our present day counterparts in the machine.  I think we stole this tech or something and I learn about some previous missions through small talk with the crew and reading a bunch of sad emails.  Probably they are just Easter eggs from previous games?  Anyway, these present day peeps are trying to find the spear before the company they took the tech from, because it can control time itself is what I gather, but enough of this depressing warehouse.  Time to get back in the memory machine for the next quest.

SECRETS, CULTS, AND BOARS


Catching Up With Assassin’s Creed

Well, I’ve never done a write up of my gaming nonsense, but I might as well start somewhere.  Got to get those writer fingers a-writing again.  As always, Spoilers abound.

Sparkles!

We start off in modern times, the two — archaeologist? women whose names I don’t remember are stepping into the portable maguffin machine that lets us travel back in time to see the memories of the olden times, as is the main conceit of Assassin’s Creed.  There’s a spear with two blood types on it and I get to choose which character I’m going to play.  I chose Alexios.  The other option is sister Kassandra.

So, stepping into the machine sends me to Greece and I awaken a mercenary, I guess, on this little island called Kefalonia or something.   It’s a place that everybody wants to get away from including me.  The first person I meet that is not trying to immediately kill me, if I remember is Phoebe, a fellow orphan who wants Zeus to bestow an eagle upon her just like my own eagle pal.  I want this too.  Make it happen, Z-man!   Obviously, since she seems attached to me, I am worried immediately for her continued safety.

Punching Sharks for Profit

  My other cohort is the dude who must have raised me, Markos.  He’s kind of a grifter type guy.  Like, he has big ideas and borrows money from shifty one eyed loan sharks called ‘Cyclops’, and the less said about the Cyclops’s eye, the better.   Let’s just say, I have a lot of goat pelts now.   

I spend the tutorial solving Markos’s Cyclops problem (which includes the amazingly terrible idea of stealing his fake eye) and punching sharks and priests who want to murder people because they maybe, might have the plague.  Whether this priest decision leads to Kefalonia’s viral downfall has yet to be seen.  During the course of all this, I meet a guy named Elpenor who I absolutely 100% do not trust right off the bat.  (He knows my name and is totally cool with me killing his own crew.)

I also meet Odessa, who is cool so far, but I choose not to flirt with her because she’s way too into being like her namesake and supposed relative Odysseus.  I recruit her to my ship later on after I help her dad though.  

Anyway, the game leads me to work for this Elpinor character, and he wants me to kill the Wolf of Sparta and bring him his head.  I don’t want to do this, because I do not trust this tool, but I guess I must.  

I rescue a boat guy whose name I can’t remember from the Cyclops and we sail off to other, non-sucky, islands.  I can now recruit people to my boat crew by knocking them unconscious.  (Some you can recruit via questing.  I did not KO Odessa for the record.  I also recruited a pirate woman whose crew got eaten by sharks in this manner.)

Revelations!

So, we learn in flashback form that the Wolf of Sparta (whose name I don’t remember) is my dad.  He used to teach me how to be a real Spartan.  I have a baby sister whom an Oracle told dear old Wolf Dad to throw off a cliff.  No!   My poor mom is crying and some dudes are holding us back, but I break free, try to save her, and in the process we are both thrown off the cliff.  And this is how I came to wash up on nowhere island to be cared for by Markos of the terrible ideas.

So maybe I will go after Wolf dad after all.

When I get to where the Spartans are warring with the Athenians I am met with —  my brother????   Okay, he’s the son that Wolf dad must have adopted after he threw all his kids off a cliff.  Bro doesn’t believe I’m Alexios because I should be dead, but I can go see the wolf if I help him defeat the Athenians and gain control of wherever the heck territory I’m on now.

I do that.

When I confront Wolfdad, I decide I’m not going to murder his ass & bring his head to Elpinor after all.  Like, I always end up trying to be as nice as a mercenary can be.   He also reveals that he is not my real dad and I have to ask my mom about it wherever she is.  I have to find her, but I am going to just assume I am a demi-god for now.

So, my two options are to go see the oracle at Delphi, or to meet up with Elpenor.  Obviously, I’m not down with Oracles after one’s vision got me cliffed.  My boat guy is down with it, though, and I just hate Elpinor more every passing moment.  I figure the Oracle can maybe give me some insight into this.

  That is how I failed a quest.  Elpinor doesn’t get his head, and the Oracle reveals that she is making shit up at the behest of a murder cult whose murder objective is my family in particular.  I can sneak into their lair if I steal the robes from a certain member–  Do you want to guess who it is?

  Yeah, it’s Elpinor.  I feel super vindicated!  Now we have reached the place where I started last night, more or less.

Ridin’ the Snake

I handily dispatch Elpinor, so now I don’t have to worry about his duplicitous ass anymore.  I forgot about Herodetos, my boat guy introduced me to him and told him way too many of my secrets for a stranger.  Him, I trust though.  We shall see how that turns out.  He goes with me to scope out this murder cult under Apollo’s temple.

I learn there that they are worshiping some kind of futuristic pyramid thing, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t recall.  I now have a bunch of cultists to end, and in my searching of their cult cave I find they are torturing the poor Oracle.  I can do nothing to save her though.  That is not sitting right with me, because I convinced her to talk to me about the murder cult.  Alas. 

When I return to the pyramid I am met face to face with my totally alive Sister.  She is now the cult’s main muscle and she knows there’s a traitor in the midst.  We all have to touch the pyramid now.  She sees our mingled memories when it is my turn.  I presume she knows I’m the thing that doesn’t belong, but she lets me go and kills some other dude instead.

Now that was something.  I decided to try and defeat the giant mega boar again to take my mind off this reveal, which doesn’t work at all.  I thought I might get to flirt with Daphnae, who gave me this pain in the butt quest, but alas.  We will never know, because this pig is not going down any time soon.

It is as tall as Alexios.  It will not die.

Now, since I lack the boar hunting gene, I decide to find some quests and level up.  There can’t possibly be any more world shattering reveals under this innocuous looking exclamation point in this little town.  I’m just going to have to fetch a thing, get some easy, peasy, xp–easies?  Let’s check it out.

What?  It’s a cute doctor!  Even better!

Just as expected, he sends me on a quest for some herbs.  Unexpectedly, I get to flirt with him.   Later, after fighting a pack of wolves for these stupid herbs, Lykaon (that is his name) suspiciously holds back some for his grandma and sends me on another quest to deliver the medicines to his patients.

All of whom tell me about how cute and single he is.  Okay, I get it town’s people.  Twist my arm.

Now, we learn about Lykaon’s dear grandma.  He wants to murder her because she is a former lying oracle that ruined lives by her lying.  I might just happen to be down with this plan if she’s the lady that told my Wolf dad to throw my sis off a cliff.  What do you think the odds are?  Unfortunately she’s been captured and must be rescued before we get to her.   I manage do this pretty easily and we find out that, yes, she is the one.

And she was lying to my Wolfdad about it, so nobody had to go over the cliff?  This snake cult has fully infiltrated Greece since way back then?  What is their game??  Why do they want to snuff out my fam?   I guess I will find out.

   Right now I am going to convince Lykaon to not kill his repentant grandma.  I know she did wrong in general and to my family specifically, but…   I can’t do it.   I don’t let him do it either.  We let grandma run away for now and instead make out under the stars and fade to black. 

How far will I travel next session?  Will I kill the boar?  Will I find my mom and find out Zeus visited her in the form of a ferret or something?  Will I dispatch some cultists?   Who knows.  Until next time!