Author Topic: (Valley 2) Question about the lore (re: Dying after oblivion crystal. Spoilers)  (Read 2274 times)

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Okay, so... when you die, you drain the life energy of your friends, aye? But, you've only had the oblivion crystal's power for a short time. Why is it that you're able to do this, and the henchmen can't when they're killed? Does it have to do with the henchmen not having any friends to steal life force from? I'm kind of imagining it does, because that explains why Lilith can't die until Demonaica is dead.... but the henchmen and the crystal are so intriguing that I must know for sure.

Offline x4000

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(obviously spoilers)

Lilith and Demonaica were lovers back when he was actually human, and in a lot of ways she was about as powerful as him -- they were a team.  Then he went and made a deal with the underworld, basically Elder and his fellow lords.  That gave Demonaica the power of what he thought was true immortality, but it wasn't really -- Elder and the other lords are truly immortal, but the power they gave to Demonaica only works as long as the crystals they gave him are safe.

The thing is, Demonaica and Lilith had already created this way of staving off death when mortally wounded by sucking the life force out of other beings that are loyal to you.  Demonaica is able to use this to a certain extent when you meet him at the end of the game, but he has a problem: his henchmen aren't really loyal to him, except Lilith, and he's still a certain amount hung up on her.  Enough not to suck all the life out of her, anyhow.

When you keep killing him at the end of the game, he pulls some life out of her, but when it comes right down to it at the end he can't bring himself to pull so much that she would die, and thus he dies despite not thinking he's going to.  Vorgga hates him and so is no use, and both Fanzara and Wordrak are loyal to the power he wields if anything.  Elder is of course not remotely loyal, nor is he mortal.

So that's what does in Demonaica.  Demonaica is also still loyal to Lilith, enough that she can pull on his life energy to keep herself alive.  Since he's turned into a Demon he also became mildly self-regenerative, so that's helpful to Lilith in terms of her sustaining herself healing indefinitely so long as he lives.  Same as him not having to pull quite as much life force out of Lilith as he otherwise would, for that matter, so she's not super weakened when you meet her the final time.

At any rate, Lilith and Demonaica are the only ones truly loyal to each other, and so they're the only two actually binding themselves to this world with their life energy once the crystals are gone.  Perhaps surprisingly, Demonaica is the weaker link in that chain rather than Lilith.  So it's him you have to kill first, and then the whole thing collapses for both of them.  Lilith is further weakened after that by her grief, which doesn't help either.
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Ahh, okay, so it was more or less what I thought. So, they really do conform to the same rules that you do, and the game mechanics and story are tied together really nicely in that respect. Cool stuff. So, this must mean that the henchmen aren't huge fans of each other, then, as well. They're more fond of the power rather than loyalty to one another or Demonaica's little empire?

Offline x4000

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Vorgga tried to be a spy like you, but was too righteous and so was put under Lilith's power.  He has always hated Demonaica, and wants nothing to do with power either, but he's lost all control of his body and is basically a passive slave who prays for death.

Wordrak is basically a power-hungry necromancer, yeah.  And Fanzara is power-hungry and evil, too.  They don't have much to do with one another, and don't have any special fondness for Lilith either.  Fanzara was supposed to be a plant like you, but was too evil for it to work.

Anyhow, yeah, all tied up in a nice Gordian knot. :)
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Yep, I had a better idea of those guys, but I just never really knew how they felt about each other. I've tangled with them enough that they've spilt what they're about. I guess the lack of mention of one another means that they don't really care about each other. I quite like Vorgga actually, he's particularly interesting as a character to me.

Offline x4000

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Yeah, I really like how tragic Vorgga is also. The others mostly don't mention each other because Lilith and Demonaica keep them segregated and off on different missions, by the way. There are very few team meetings. :)
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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No team meetings, eh? Imagine if those four immortal people actually actively cooperated. We'd be flat-out doomed between that and all of the world map monsters and all that.
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Offline x4000

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Pretty much. But if those four evil people cooperated against Lilith and Demonaica that would be really bad for them. So you can see their trying to hedge. Working with untrustworthy evil people who would love to supplant you is maybe the root cause of the issue. :)
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Haha, absolutely.
This is really cool, again, I'm not really used to seeing this kind of thing in games, where a lot of what's happening actually makes quite a bit of sense. The bad guys don't just box in all of their lieutenants and right click on your face because they actually aren't cooperative. They all have at very least multidimensional personalities, as well... lives and histories of their own. Pretty cool, and a massive step up from Valley 1.

Offline x4000

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Expect to see lots more of that sort of thing from Arcen this year!  Including with Shattered Haven soonest of all. :)
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Yep, I'm looking forward to that game as well. It's an interesting new direction, seems to be more of a story based sort of experience. And, depending on a couple of factors, it might be one of those games I try replaying just to redo levels in different ways.

Offline x4000

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It has a new game+ that will definitely encourage replays.  You'll also miss at least 20+ levels on your first playthrough no matter how thorough you are, because the path branches majorly at one point.  So there's a lot of new stuff to find even if you are super completionist the first playthrough (and more likely than not, you'll miss 40-50 levels the first playthrough).
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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That sounds pretty nifty, branching story stuff. For some reason, in my mind, it seemed like a straight-up linear game. At no point did I realize "Wait, this is Arcen making this. Since when do they go that way?"
One of the things Mark of the Ninja did that made me replay it like 4 or 5 times was the fact that so many different tactics are viable. You can go all full on sneaky, kill everybody, or hide in the shadows and play the psychological horror ninja and freak out all the guards. What I do know is the game's got a wide variety of tricks and traps and tools for you to go scavenge around for in a level, so... my hope is that it'll end up being a similar way; the levels are open enough that you can really try anything you want. And, if you execute it right, odds are it'll probably work. Although, this is mostly because the game also has built in support for classes that each are good at a particular sort of thing.

um... oh right, Shattered Haven has also got a story focus. Jeez. Now I have to get it.  You're pulling all the stops now aren't you?

Offline keith.lamothe

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At no point did I realize "Wait, this is Arcen making this. Since when do they go that way?"
I think we've done a wide enough variety of stuff by now that there's not much you can do to predict what we will or won't do on a particular new project's design ;)
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Offline x4000

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Levels are definitely that way, although it depends on the level.  Usually there are multiple solutions, at least on the more complex levels.  There is also a difference between "winning" and "winning well."  Just winning the level means you've killed all the grays.  Winning it well involves meeting secondary objectives and thus getting a gold completion marker in return.  Even simplistic early levels get a lot harder with the gold completion marker goals, which makes them almost like two levels in some respects -- in things you have to do or not do in order to win, the flow is vastly different even though the level itself never changed.  And even once you have a gold completion, sometimes it is possible to further optimize your play of a level to get an even higher score on that level.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Keith.  And yeah, that's all true as well.
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