THE FACE OF BOE(etia)

Riddle Me This

I have to talk to a man called Gorgias (who may be this Gorgias?) here in Boeotia. I’m just going to assume this is pronounced like gorgeous before I can hear anybody pronounce it! (Update: it’s not, but I’m still going with it.)

Hello, Gorgias!

After defeating a huntress camp, we find Gorgias in a weirdly modern looking ruin. In it is also the Sphynx. Apparently this quest has something to do with Pythagoras, so maybe it has to do with finding the relics I’m supposed to be finding. Who knew this was a main quest? I probably could have figured that out by looking at my menu, but who wants to do that?

Anyhows, I have an amulet that I am supposed to be finding the matching half of? Seriously, did I just doze off when I met Pythagoras? Because I remember none of this! Haha, anyway, Gorgias is worried about his Pibos, which is not a colourful euphemism, but the name of his missing apprentice. Pibos has the other half of the amulet, I guess. How ‘BFFs’ of them.

I find his body not far away. A creature killed him! Also, it ate the amulet. Why would it eat the amulet and not the guy? Maybe all that heavy metal gave it indigestion. I recover the goods from a lion’s belly in any case and head on back to give Gorgias the bad news. He’s going to be so sad. However, this amulet is the key to awakening the Sphyinx, so— I won’t feel so bad if the Sphyinx comes to life! It probably won’t though; I’m guessing it will trigger some kind of treasure door or doom puzzle or something.

Is this the Real Life?

 Okay, well—the statue of the Sphinx and Gorgias disappeared before I could even get there to test my theory. I try to insert the amulet anyway, but the game tells me to come back at night. Why are you giving away all your secrets, game? It would have taken me a thousand years to figure that out on my own! Anyway, I meditate for a while, come back at night and—

HOLY SHIT, the Sphynx did come to life! I am delighted and terrified. Is it reality, or is Alexios having some sort of fever dream? Let’s see what she has to say!

She has a challenge for me of some kind and is totally not here for my awe. Which, to be honest, Alexios probably shouldn’t be that awed. We already found like, three Cyclopses, one should be dead triangle dad, and Athena 4 Real. Literal Sphynx is just another day in life really.

Is This Just Fantasy?

Oh no. She has riddles. 

Well, they are all pretty easy, and when I solve them and touch some symbols on the wall she disintegrates and I capture a giant golden feather inside some kind of ancient Greek Pokeball. For my efforts, I get a Sphynx figurehead for my boat! 

 Sorry, snakes. She is way cooler!

Sibling? Rivalry!

Okay, Sphynx quest done and done, now time to see what I’m supposed to be doing to help out Sparta per King’s request. This cannot possibly be as fun or ridiculous as the Olympics, alas. I am only proven correct when I arrive and the general in charge is my step-bro??? or actual bro? TBH, I am confused about who exactly this dude is to Alexios, but I do know he thinks I killed dear old dad. Naturally, he punches me in the face on sight. Cool. 

OMG!

Well, we have some words, but he gives me a mission anyway and what I have to do is kill Boetian champions, so off we go!

The map tells me to head to Thebes for the one called Drakon, but I can’t find where there at is, so I go to the nearest big city which is actually Thebes! Good guess, self. Here I will be doing a bunch of quests and clearing out all the locations!

In the first spot I come away with a mace called Boetian Rhapsody. Worthy of note because, Heh. Whilst I’m in this pause screen checking out my gear, I also find a most terrifying mask. Where the hell did I get this thing???! Also, since I often talk about the cult family tree, here’s a screen shot of it. I’m just checking these guys off as I roam around. I should probably make a point of it after I finish this quest though, because I need to upgrade my spear so I can upgrade everything else with my unused points.

Cult Family Tree. Also, why does that dude on the top right branch look like the ghost from He Man?
NIPS

Next, I head towards the gym, because this is what the game is telling me I should do. Here I find Melanippos, who is worried about his one true love—Drakon. The dude I’ve been hired to assassin. On the scale of things I want to do, proving myself to my a-hole brother rates very much below reuniting these lovebirds. Let’s see if I get a choice in the matter.

Ok, so Nips over here wants to create a love potion and smear it all over the inside of Drakon’s armor so it gradually seeps into his skin, guaranteeing eternal love. Eternal poisoning is more like it. On the one hand he is wearing a Rod of Asclepius necklace, so maybe he won’t be accidentally coating the armor with hemlock or something. On the other hand, this is just a terrible idea. You can’t make people love you, bro. 

The Unintentional Saboteur

Of course, I agree to find the herbalist who has the ingredients for him. Alexios asks about how vulnerable Drakon’s going to be while he doesn’t have his armor, and the answer is, very.

 I see you, game, sussing out the tips on defeating Drakon. Here Nips is, giving away vital information directly to an assassin. 

We’ll see how it shakes out.

Here are some more clues:

 The herbs are red hot so Drakon’s affections will sizzle. Rowwwr!

How did he and Nips meet? Well, Nips wanted to become the best, so he wanted to train with the best. “But the only muscle he worked on was his heart.”

Please don’t make me kill this dude.

The last bit of info that I get is that Drakon might be at the training ground.

Okay, off to find this herbalist!

I am not surprised to find her farm surrounded by bandits. I get rid of them and talk to the herbalist. Apparently, Nips has been after this for a while. This is kind worrying. Also worrying is the singing he engages in when I get back. I get the feeling that maybe Drakon is not as into Nips as he is into Drakon. Like, did I just enable a stalker? In any case, Alexios double makes sure that Drakon will be without his armor for a time, but none of this helps in finding him.

Oh well. On to the next quest. 

HORSING AROUND & HIPPOKRATES

I’m going to help this merchant get his goods, and his horse back from some soldiers. This too leads back to Drakon, who will be mad if he can’t get his oil for his back. Also another clue: Drakon prefers the flammable oil. 

Dudes, you are making his defeat too easy. Loose lips sink ships after all.

Hippokrates’ Meds Bring All the Boys to the Yard

I get the horse back for the merchant and get another clue about the location of the training grounds. There is still one more quest that will presumably aid in my task. I have to go save and rescue a hunting party from a terrible beast for Hippokrates, who is here for some reason. I thought I left him to deal with the Plague back in Athens? 

Anyway, I find two bears fighting over this poor hunter with the rest of the party dead. I stun the bears until the brown bear goes down. The white bear on the other hand just runs away. Do I get to complete the quest if the mega bear is still on the loose? I guess we’ll find out. 

The answer is yes. I avoid mega bear whilst carrying the injured man back to bald ole ‘Krates. Incidentally, Alexios really hates these Thebans who sided with Xerxes. He keeps muttering at them for being cowards under his breath as part of the ambient dialog. I guess you can’t totally take the Spartan out of the mysthios. 

TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL…

It turns out Hippokrates is having a crisis of faith. The injured guy will survive if treated, but Hippokrates might not want to do that. You see, this fella is a slave trader who hurts and tortures people for a living, you see. Bro. Why did you send me out to save the dude? I could have just let the bears eat him!

Now I have to make choices instead!

I mean—Do no harm, right? I don’t want to be responsible for the Hippocratic Oath not being invented. Of course, this would be a really weird choice for a professional assassin to make. I’m out here stabbin’ all the time. I mean, Hippokrates could always just hire me to ease is conscience. 

LOL, on second thought, actually I don’t have a choice. 

Save him for the $$$, or save him because it’s the right thing to do are the actual choices now that I’m done ruminating on the pros and cons and actually re-read the text.

Save him for the right reasons, Hippokrates. Alexios offers to free the slaves at least and Hippokrates just runs with it. He wants to rehab the slave trader and show him the error of his ways. Well, good luck with that, pal. I have some people to free!

Swimming with the Puppies

So, they are located east of the river in the Malanippos’s camp. Nips has a camp??? Did he escape from there? I’m so confused. Let’s go there and see if we can’t figure things out. The good news is that I free the slaves and also find out Drakon is nearby so I don’t have to expend brain energy misreading the map. Also, one of the attack dogs fell into the water. So now there is an aquatic dog down there glitching, which is hilarious. Luckly, it doesn’t try to fight me underwater.

Anyway, I free the slaves and talk to their leader. I don’t remember anything she said now, but I return to Hippokrates and he is still really bummed out that the bad guy is going to live. This quest did not, however, give me any more clues on how to beat Drakon. 

I guess that means it’s time to defeat him now! Let’s get to it!

I see how it’s going to go though when I reach my destination. There’s no talking to him. I approach; he attacks. At least that’s going to ease my conscious about this task. Hopefully I will never have to see poor Nips again though.

With that finished, I am lost.

I have three other champions to defeat and the only clue the quest gives me is that I must defeat them.

Where are they? Are they all in Thebes? Would that be too easy?

TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL…part 2

Well, Hippokrates has another quest for me, so maybe if I help him out it might give me some clues.

It does not.

I arrive at some house and Hippokrates is fretting because the old man there wants his help to die. He’s old and in pain and wants his son to take over business before their rivals can take advantage of his frailty. Hippokrates, on the other hand, wants to study his disease in hopes of learning some more medicine that can help others.

I agree to help him take out the rivals and lo! I have already beaten them apparently. I love a quest that is finished before I even start it! The guy still wants Hippokrates help though, so I agree to speak on his behalf. I try to convince him to do the man this favor, but Hippokrates does not want to hear about morality form an assassin. Fair enough, my man. Fair enough.

Hippokrates and His Potential Lab Rat

Well, I guess that’s that for now. I will fetch the Hemlock that has been requested of me and see where it goes from there. Also, it’s worth noting, I suppose, that in game, Alexios knows that this is poison. Hippokrates thinks it will work great to ease the man’s pain in the correct dosage though. 

It’s taking a really long time for the cut scene to load which is a bit worrying. When it does, Hippokrates is giving me the power to decide how much Hemlock to add. This was a bad idea, dude. Why are you tasking me with this, you’re the doctor??? I guess he’s just going to have to be mad at me then.

Later, I choose not to lie to my friend and tell him that I did what he couldn’t do, and that it isn’t right to keep the poor guy alive and suffering just so he can be a lab rat… And Hippokrates agrees with me, but he still wanted to do it anyway. Instead, he just tells me of his plans to travel the world now and learn from other doctors around the lands. Will we ever meet again? Perhaps, I mean, I will be playing this game until my golden years, so who knows?

I have to leave this man’s house now though, because his family keeps coming in and gasping at my weaponry.

WHO’S THE CHAMPION NOW?

I manage to figure out that I had to select the specific champion I want to defeat in order to get instructions on how to find them, so I select the next one on the list. She is much harder than the first guy, because nobody is around to drop hints about how much she likes flammable oil and will be particularly vulnerable because some rando is rubbing love potion inside of her armor. Also, she has two companions raining down arrows on me.

I managed to defeat her once I get her alone, and come to find out she is a cultist! Two birds, one stone. Nice!

On to the next! 

Bears, Atop Tents, in the Moonlight

I go to find him and instead of getting to do the deed myself, I find that dear old Wolf dad has done it for me. I thought I told him to gtfo??? (PS. What happens if Alexios dumps dad off the cliff in the beginning? Does he survive anyway? Would I have to beat the third champion myself?? Would I have to fight my un-brother?) Oh, well, I tell him to go to my bro and give him leadership advice. Maybe this will get the dude off my back and he can stop punching me?

I guess I still have to finish the champion quest though, so let’s find the last one!

She is a hunter and has a bear. I stun the bear and then deal with her. I also find a tomb on my way back to my bro, so I complete that location too.

Back at Bro’s camp…his name is Stentor, so I can stop calling him that.

Stentor is predictably unhappy to see me. I mean, what did he expect? Alexios to die, obviously, but my job is the direct opposite of that. And I’m good at it, so sorry, not sorry, Stent. 

In any case, now I have to compete in one of those melee battles, which I am also very good at. I shall return triumphant…eventually. First I head to the armorer, because at least I’ve learned that lesson. I only have enough leather to upgrade my tunic though. Once I’m geared up, The battle still proves to be too much for me, so I decide to blow up some more grain silos and take out the leader of Thebes in hopes of weakening Athens a bit. Turns out this does not help. I do eventually win the day, and when I get back to Stentor, the dude is less than grateful.

Stentor Hasn’t the Time

In fact, he still wants to kill me, and I still don’t know if I’m related to him. We bicker like siblings anyway. Luckily, before we can cross swords and after I try to talk Stentor out of it, dear old dad decides to make an appearance. Took you long enough, dude.

Stentor still hates me, but at least I don’t have to kill him just yet. With that, Boetia is on Sparta’s side and I have to find a new quest. Dad warns me that there’s a ‘shadow over Sparta’, and I don’t want to deal with that until I have to. Let’s go hunting instead. I need to upgrade my snake bottoms. 

HOUSEKEEPING

We’re heading back to the arena for some cultists! I want to upgrade my spear already! Luckily, the cultist I have to defeat is only level 29 and I’m about 15 levels above that now, so nice. Skoura is there also, for sage wisdom about the arena and also to make me suspicious.

He has a daughter and she’s the reason he’s now just the gate guard. They lost touch…or she’s dead? I dunno, either way he looks very sad. We will perhaps get his entire story when I finish this quest, but alas, I am not equipped to fight the rest of the arena participants, so I’m off to find the final cultist I need to do the next spear upgrade! He’s off the coast of Andros, so it looks like we’re in for another naval battle.

Unluckily for me, there’s about four other pirate ships around this cultist’s boat. I try to just go for the cultist right off the bat, but his whole fleet just converges on me and sinks my ship about three times before I decide that this is definitely the wrong strategy. 

Instead, I pick off the smaller boats one by one and that does the trick. 

It is still not enough to upgrade my spear. I am frustrated looking for this information on my pause screen, so I just look it up online. I need nine shards to upgrade and I only have seven. I need two more guys, so I pick out the weakest ones, who are only one level below me at this point.

One is on a boat that I can’t find, and the other I have to face during a melee battle while fighting for Athens. I head towards this area, which hasn’t been uncovered on the map yet. Hopefully there will be some juicy quests over here, and maybe one of those statues I’m supposed to be looking for for my sculptor friend. You remember? The paranoid one I hooked back up with in Olympia, who thinks the cult is leaving him clues? 

HOW BOARING

After a few tries at this, I give up. Maybe if I weaken Sparta’s hold on the area that will help a bit, but I can’t find the leader. Instead of noodling around the area, I decided it would be a great time to take out that demon boar from earlier, since it’s just across the water from where I am.

This turns out to be a bad strategy also. How is the first legendary animal the most difficult??? I head back into town after dying a few times. I am absolutely determined to upgrade my bow at least. I do that, and also replace an inscription on one of my weapons to make me even more venomous. I promise, I did not set out in this game to transform into a snake.

I also go to the store to spend my special currency. I buy the phantom steed masthead because it looks pretty cool. 

With my poison bow in hand, I head back to the boar and finally defeat him! Like…this quest is one of those that’s slotted in one of the first areas of the game that you’re clearly supposed to leave open until later in the game after you’ve leveled up, right?? Or am I just that good at this game? Because I return to Daphnae and she gives me a legendary bow and some sweet ghostly arrows that do more damage. Imagine if I had those at the start of the game?

 I also get the option of heart dialogs with her, but I’m so annoyed that she gave me this quest, that I ignore them. I wasn’t going to when this whole thing started, but, well…being tossed around by a demon pig ad infinitum definitely is a mood killer. 

Also, She’s Kinda Rude–

It is time to head back to the melee for the cultist, but when I arrive, it is no longer available! I guess I will have to find the leader after all and burn stuff down after all!

So, I spend the majority of the next bit just wandering around trying to find the damn leader so I can trigger the battle again. I also upgrade my gear as much as possible. This time it takes me three tries to take out the cultist dude that appears on the battlefield. I don’t win the battle, but the guy doesn’t respawn after I lose it, so I will leave it and move on. 

I find the final cultist that I’ve identified on the map (There are more, I just haven’t unmasked them yet.) He’s a boat guy, so I even get to equip my new ghostly steed masthead! I am able to take him down pretty easily, but I don’t get to fight him or get the boat treasure because I sink it with my battering power.

I am all hyped up on success and my newly upgraded spear! I head on over the hill to that Cyclops lair! I have to say my confidence is completely unfounded, so Cyclops hunting is right back off the list of quests I want to tackle.

 There’s not a lot to do unless I go back to Brasidas and my mom to continue on with my main quest, so I just run around doing question marks. Me and Barny wax poetic about our home ports on the boat at one point, but he doesn’t want to tell me his own origin story.

ERRING ON THE SIDE OF GODS

Now we are on the isle of Kythera. Home of some ominous sounding purple thing. (It is dye… the ominous purple thing is dye.) There are a bunch of undiscovered locations and some new sidequest! yay! (I’m sure I will come to regret that ‘yay’ soon) 

I go to complete a fort and accidentally stumble upon my first quest: There is a guy named Empedokles yammering about how the guards stole his robe and that he is a God. I let him out so he will shut up, and this gives me a quest.

At Least He’s a Respectful God

I meet up with him later and he is stubbornly sticking to his story of Godliness. I tell him I believe him, just because I don’t want to risk it. I already met a ghost Sphynx. I am not taking any chances even though this dude seems bonkers. I agree to go meet his Godly siblings for a dinner date after I retrieve the key to his God house from the guards.

I think my instincts are good this time, because I go to select this quest in my menu and it’s a main quest. How??? Why??? I am curious now, let’s go meet this guy right away.

I go to the forgotten island to meet him and immediately fall into a sinkhole. Cool beans. This is going great already! I meet E where he’s ranting and raving at a crumbling door about hearing the gods inside. They sound more like a trapped bear that is going to eat me. Should I further indulge this guy’s ranting? 

I choose to indulge him. Alexios isn’t going to go as far as to actually believe him, but we know there’s some damn thing inside. Let’s see what it is!

 Awww, shit. It’s a cyclops. A cyclops which just straight up squishes E. Damn. I should have told him to wait outside. Well, now I’m stuck inside with this thing, so I have to fight it. The good news is that it’s much easier than the one on spear island. I do exhaust almost every one of my arrows. I do get a cool cyclops eye for my troubles though.

EWWWW

 I now wander around filling out more question marks. I find a legendary bear, which was way easier to defeat than I expected. Also, looking at the quest and there’s another boar? WHY? I head back to Aphrodite’s island for more quests and I what should I happen upon but a random Spartan soldier who thinks I killed Stentor.

Well. That’s a hell of a way to find out your brother is dead. What in the actual F, game? I know he was a douche, but— In any case, I am tasked to kill the actual mercenary who did the deed and it turns out that I already did that. Huh. You see, I’ve been trying to get my bounty up for that trophy, but I can’t seem to get it over 3 assassins no matter how many other mercenaries I take out. At one point I had all three of them and a chicken chasing after me.

Next Time: my chicken fears are coming back to haunt me!????

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