The Reconstruction Part 24 (Guest Review)

Last time, Stockholm syndrome and LOL women be crazy. This time,

 photo 2013-12-2410_08_58-TheReconstruction.png

…Wait a minute, did Dehl ever learn her name? I don’t think he did. Last chapter she was just an “old woman” and never properly introduced herself. Bit of an oversight, that.

 photo 2013-12-2410_09_06-TheReconstruction.png

Dehl recognizes her as the speaker of the telepathic message. Wait a minute, augments can allow telepathy? Why do we not see any of that in IMTS?! I wanna see Ros tele-chatting with her buddies! (Ros is hardcoded as “female” in my brain because that’s what I chose for my first runthrough and also because otherwise the cast lineup is a sausagefest.)

Anyway. Fell says some more weird stuff.

Fell: “Dehl, has anyone ever mentioned time to you? That it flows as a river does?”
Dehl: “I am familiar with the notion, yes.”
Fell: “It is a lie! Time is motionless. Stagnant. With bounds, and ends, as a sheet of paper. It is you who is in motion! Drawing your quill of fate towards the edge of the page…”

Okay that sounds impressive but I have no idea where she’s getting it from. Why does she think this? Because time is cyclical for her? Is this how the other Watchers describe time and she’s just riffing off that? Or is some of the stuff she says just legitimately nonsense? That could actually be pretty clever if it’s the latter. RPG players will automatically assume that everything the plot dispensers say is important no matter how insane it sounds, but Fell really is going nuts.

Dehl asks what she wants from him.

Fell: “Yes, yes! Time shall not be wasted! Nothing may hinder your guild’s progress further! It is time you uncover another truth! For better or for worse, and thus for all people.”
Dehl: “That sounds excellent. Your guidance before may have saved all of Wadassia, after all.”

:(

Just look at this. Look at how desperately hopeful he is. He must know it can’t always work out but he wants so badly to believe because he believes that’s the only thing that can give his life purpose. He’s just like Hilbert from Last Scenrio. The mysterious plot lady is telling him exactly what he wants to hear – no, not even. He’s interpreting everything she says in the way he wants to hear them, because he’s just that desperate.

Fell: “Mmm. A truth, AND a lesson about truth, to be granted together for your guild.”

And of course, Fell uses it to play him like a fiddle. She could hint that something bad’s going to happen, deflate his optimism beforehand, anything, but she only gives him more vague nonsense. She knows what’s coming will break him, and she doesn’t care. I don’t think she’s even amused by the irony – it’s just business as usual for her.

Although I have to wonder why this specific task is part of the procedure? How does it benefit the experiment for the test subjects to see the wires? Unless that’s part of being “chosen” – they have to see the artificiality before they can rise above it, perhaps?

Fell gives her instructions: tomorrow, the guild must help a woman of local garb and foreign stride. What…does that even mean? Is she supposed to be Wadassian, or at least upper-class? Why is she wearing Nalian clothes in that case? Fell’s dialogue is so weird.

Dehl: “Well, I’ve no choice but to trust your judgment again.”

Oh, Dehl. :(

I’m back in quest mode. A new NPC has appeared.

 photo 2013-12-2410_10_29-TheReconstruction.png

I get an “are you ready for this” prompt, just in case it wasn’t already obvious that this was the final quest.

 photo 2013-12-2410_10_34-TheReconstruction.png

The three awkwardly wonder if this is the right person, and finally decide to walk forward.

The woman asks why they’re staring at her. Dehl says she looks troubled and upset. She says she hasn’t slept in months. What, literally? That’s physically impossible, she would be dead by now. Probably she means she’s only slept fitfully and hasn’t been getting full sleep cycles.

Qualstio: “Yeah, I bet it’s hard to get a decent night of sleep in a place like this.”

Wow, Qualstio’s a dick.

Desperate Woman: “It’s my husband. He’s a wreck! He’s been obsessed with ‘getting away’, he says.”
Qualstio: “So go on a vacation! Ever been to Wadassia?”

And wow he just keeps going.

Desperate Woman: “He means getting away from…everything. It’s terrible. He’s been talking in his sleep.”

Fortunately Dehl speaks up before Qualstio can make a snide comment again. He delicately asks if she means he’s suicidal, but she says no – “He wishes to escape the world itself.” That, uh, still sounds pretty suicidal to me. But she means literally, the known world.

The guild members are confused as to why he’s so concerned with this – Santes even asserts that “There’s nothing else out there!” Dehl asks if they can speak to him directly, and the woman directs them to a park he stays at. “He’s been staying longer and longer recently. Sometimes beyond nightfall.” Isn’t that…really dangerous in a place like Nal? Has he been mugged before? That’s probably why she’s so worried.

Dehl: “Lead us to him. We shall speak at once.”
Desperate Woman: “Yes… yours is a soothing voice.”

o_O

 photo 2013-12-2410_11_47-TheReconstruction.png

She leads them towards the park. On the way there, though, there’s an interruption:

 photo 2013-12-2410_11_56-TheReconstruction.png

 photo 2013-12-2410_12_03-TheReconstruction.png
Nal-Guard: “You can’t have them, Officer! We’ll lose that new outpost to the bandits if we delay!”
Nalian Officer: “That is your own damn fault. Whose contract will boast the bigger pay, hmmm?”

Dehl and Ques just look at each other and keep walking. Seems pretty flippant for Dehl, but I guess they are busy with something else.

 photo 2013-12-2410_12_33-TheReconstruction.png

 photo 2013-12-2410_12_39-TheReconstruction.png

He gets a portrait but his wife doesn’t. Disappointing.

Fain tells him they’re a guild, and they want to talk with him.

Desmon: “Gawkers? Now you’re bringing complete strangers to laugh at me too? Is that it?”

???

Dehl says he wants to help. Desmon just says he wants escape, “From everything.” He hastily amends, “It’s not like that! I’m not crazy. I know how it sounds, so let me show you…”

He brings up the map.

 photo 2013-12-2410_13_25-TheReconstruction.png

Desmon says he wants to look at the whole world.

 photo 2013-12-2410_13_36-TheReconstruction.png

YES, the full map! Translated, too! I’m pretty sure this is the only time in the game when it appears. I couldn’t get a screenshot without the text box, unfortunately.

Desmon says that the world is stagnant. There hasn’t been any expansion in centuries, and people are starting to feel the pressure of overpopulation. I’m…not really sure how feasible that last part is? The population was just devastated a decade ago, I don’t think they’d repopulate that fast.

Desmon: “Everyone’s feeling the squeeze nowadays. Especially Humans. But, there is little we can do. To put it simply, we have run out of room in this world!”

Except they haven’t. Just a few quests ago I saw an empty housing district that’s going unused because the plague killed so many people. I get the impression that he’s talking about this because overpopulation is an issue in our world, but it doesn’t make sense for it to be one in his, at least not at this point in time. I suppose it could be a hint that he really is crazy, but the characters never bring this up. Their only counterargument is that there’s plenty of room – all that unexplored ocean.

Desmon: “Is there? Look closer.”

 photo 2013-12-2410_14_21-TheReconstruction.png

Desmon reveals that, though they pass between Wadassia and Berylbrine, they can’t actually pass through to the west. Dehl reveals why: “There is a coral reef between the islands. It is too shallow for ships to pass through.”

Desmon: “Very good, Shra! How did you know this?”
Dehl: “I… have seen it once before.”

??? That pause feels significant but it isn’t as far as I can tell. When would he have seen it, anyway? Did he take a marine guard patrol? Or was the Sikohlon island close to the reef and he could see it from there? Like so many things, this feels like foreshadowing for something that was planned but never came up again.

…You know, that’s actually more evidence for my escaped slave theory. The slaver ships pass between Berylbrine and Wadassia, so it’s possible one could have sailed close to the reef while he was on it.

Santes says well okay but what about the northwest? Desmon says that’s not an option either. “Unfortunately, the sea itself begins to freeze beyond here. There are large shelves of ice.” Uh, really? Even on the southern edge? The lowlands are tropical!

“A few slaver ships have been lost attempting to traverse this passage in the last century.”

I wonder if this is an oblique reference to the Northwest Passage.

The same roadblock applies to the northeast. A few decades ago, some Fortian scientists set up an outpost and tried to break through the ice using heated boats, but they failed.

Dehl: “Could they not establish a port on the coast at the far side of this mountain?”

 photo 2013-12-2410_15_49-TheReconstruction.png

Ah, finally someone’s thinking outside the box. Why didn’t anyone bring this up when they were discussing the west, though? It should be possible to make a port on the western edge of the lowlands, on the other side of the reef, unless it extends past the shra lowlands as well. I guess it’s not an option because the Indigo Swamp hasn’t been fully explored at this point, but still, people should at least mention the possibility. No one wonders if they can go over the north pole either, though in fairness if they believe that’s the top of the world they may not think there’s anything beyond it.

But anyway, setting sail from Fortifel is a no-go. Qualstio explains that the whole island is surrounded by sheer cliffs – they have very few ports, and none on the eastern side. The Bridge of Foyonder (southeast) isn’t an option either: Desmon explains that it’s built on a shallow shelf that used to be passable on foot. The shelf flooded, but the water is still too shallow for ships.

Qualstio: “Yeah, I see. Huh. Never thought about it before, but I’ll be damned…”
[pause]
Qualstio: “This is it, huh? This is everything we’ll ever see. We really are trapped.”

Desmon says all is not yet lost, though. Dehl, ever on the ball, realizes what he’s talking about: the southern mountain range.

 photo 2013-12-2410_16_43-TheReconstruction.png

The mountains have long been impassable, but with the Nal-guard’s trailblazing efforts, it may finally be possible to cross the summit. This is Desmon’s master plan: he wants the guild to help him reach the summit so he can see what lies beyond. This causes freakouts.

Qualstio: “Wait wait, you want us to climb that mountain range for you? You crazy? It’s called ‘No Man’s Range’ for a reason you know! No one’s ever crossed it before!”
Desmon: “You would forego this opportunity? To preserve the future of Humankind?”

Someone’s a speciesist. Although I suppose the fih’jik probably wouldn’t be too interested.

Dehl: “Desmon, you must understand, it would surely end in tragedy for us all.”

Oh Dehl, if only you knew…

Why are they so certain that it’s a bad idea, though? I guess it’s just really treacherous and everyone who’s ever tried to pass it has died horribly?

Desmon starts piling on the crazy, vowing to go alone if he has to, regardless of the dangers.

Desmon: “I must see the wonders that lie over that mountain! There must be a wondrous expanse of undisturbed land! A world for my children!”
Fain: “Desmon, you are working yourself up again. Please calm yourself! You’re frightening me.”

Poor Fain. She’s really such a depressing character. And, naturally, Desmon steamrollers over her: “Alone or not, I’m going.”

Somehow, this finally convinces Qualstio to hitch his horse to the crazy wagon. Dehl is boggled.

Qualstio: “It could be big for us! We might be the first people to found a new land. A new city!”

And of course it’s for selfish reasons. Darn it, Qualstio.

Dehl: “Qualstio, we would be acting for Desmon’s sake, not for ours.”

Thank you, Dehl. Qualstio relents with a grudging “Yeah, I guess.”

It must be so awful for Fain to have to watch this. She begged these people to talk sense into her husband, and instead they’re going along with him and just making everything worse.

Fain: “Desmon, please…”
Desmon: “Not every man can claim his life had purpose. This act shall justify my very being!”
Fain: “…”

She turns to the guild.

Fain: “Please…please look after him. Keep watch over him. Aid him. Guide him. Cure him.”

Sorry Fain, I can’t. Railroad plot. You know how it is.

Dehl: “Of course, Fain. We were hired to serve you, and we shall abide by your wishes.”

Dehl is the best character and deserves to be in better company.

Desmon says he knows a trail that’ll lead them most of the way there, but it ends before it reaches the summit. He plans to camp at the end of the trail and make the final push in the morning.

 photo 2013-12-2410_18_32-TheReconstruction.png

This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll cut it here and do the quest itself next time.

PREVIOUSNEXT

16 Comments

  1. Luigi Llave says:
    You have a very different interpretation of the plot from what I kind of anticipated. I mean, yes, Fell says some stuff that could be interpreted as crazy talk, but the notion to actually view it in such a context has never entered my mind. I just kind of assumed that Fell knew what she was talking about (maybe time as a paper was sort of a metaphor for save data, yes, it’s a stretch) and not consider the fact that she was going loopy from the bajillion cycles she went through.

    I mean, her sons turned out relatively okay, and she still has enough sense to continue performing what she was meant to do without any hitches (from her perspective anyway).

    But I must admit that you helped shed new light on some stuff that slipped past me, like Zargos’ casual racism and such, and I agree on Dehl being the best character. He’s just a breath of fresh air in a surprisingly depressing world and brimming with optimism in spite of what he went through.

    1. Guest Reviewer says:
      maybe time as a paper was sort of a metaphor for save data, yes, it’s a stretch

      Oh, I never thought of that! It does make some sense, considering she can break the fourth wall. I do have to wonder how much of this is intended and how much is us seeing stuff that isn’t there. Maybe Space Lizard can tell us when he comes back from vacation.

      I just kind of assumed that Fell knew what she was talking about

      So did I at first! I’m not like Farla; I’m actually not terribly critical or speculative of a reader. I tend to just go along with things and wait patiently for the resolution. It’s only because I’m replaying (so I know some of her talk never goes anywhere and feels out of place) and being purposefully hypercritical that I notice this stuff.

      I mean, her sons turned out relatively okay

      Did they, though? I mean Nath has no character and Donz never speaks, but I wouldn’t say that Kott turned out “relatively okay”. He’s incredibly bitter, jaded, and hopeless. He’s given up on his life’s purpose, but he can’t do anything else. That’s gotta mess you up.

      And Dehl really is the best character! I’ll talk more about this after I’m finished with the let’s play, but I think he provides an interesting contrast with IMTS, in terms of writing style at least. I feel like the characters in The Reconstruction are much weaker and shallower overall than the ones in IMTS except for Dehl, who is more complex and interesting than anyone in IMTS. It’s like all the characterization talent was concentrated to a singularity in Dehl (with not a lot left over for everyone else), whereas in IMTS it was more spread out, creating a more well-rounded cast at the cost of being unable to recapture that lightning-in-a-bottle. With How Far‘s reduced cast size, maybe we’ll get the best of both worlds next time!

      1. Luigi Llave says:
        Oh, I never thought of that! It does make some sense, considering she can break the fourth wall. I do have to wonder how much of this is intended and how much is us seeing stuff that isn’t there. Maybe Space Lizard can tell us when he comes back from vacation.

        It’s possible we might be seeing too much. The save data metaphor only occurred to me because during my run, I was feeling frustrated in one of my several attempts at one of the brick wall, and I decided to give up and check out the game over screen.

        It was notable to me because it portrays a book that we never see anywhere in the game (let alone hinted at), and a quote from presumably Fell. So it’s implied that she’s been keeping track of whatever happened in each cycle and trying to learn from her mistakes, almost as if she was a gamer to an extent. That’s my two cents anyway.

        So did I at first! I’m not like Farla; I’m actually not terribly critical or speculative of a reader. I tend to just go along with things and wait patiently for the resolution. It’s only because I’m replaying (so I know some of her talk never goes anywhere and feels out of place) and being purposefully hypercritical that I notice this stuff.

        I guess that’s one of the good things of not doing a blind run and having hindsight to flesh out the commentary.

        Did they, though? I mean Nath has no character and Donz never speaks, but I wouldn’t say that Kott turned out “relatively okay”. He’s incredibly bitter, jaded, and hopeless. He’s given up on his life’s purpose, but he can’t do anything else. That’s gotta mess you up.

        Okay, you bring up a good point, but at least they aren’t actively plotting to do harm to all the people below in some form or manner. I think Dehl’s optimism is rubbing off me.

        And Dehl really is the best character! I’ll talk more about this after I’m finished with the let’s play, but I think he provides an interesting contrast with IMTS, in terms of writing style at least. I feel like the characters in The Reconstruction are much weaker and shallower overall than the ones in IMTS except for Dehl, who is more complex and interesting than anyone in IMTS. It’s like all the characterization talent was concentrated to a singularity in Dehl (with not a lot left over for everyone else), whereas in IMTS it was more spread out, creating a more well-rounded cast at the cost of being unable to recapture that lightning-in-a-bottle. With How Far’s reduced cast size, maybe we’ll get the best of both worlds next time!

        I’m hoping for that as well! And I also believe that the portrayal of Dehl’s character development is kind of unique in a memento kind of way, where we keep going all over the place chronologically and watching where Dehl is going and where he has been. His whole life has just been one massive rollercoaster that it’s a miracle that he manages to be so polite and decent and sensible compared to everyone else for so long, and you’re not sure whether he’ll turn out okay or not in the end.

      2. Nerem says:
        So what is ‘How Far’? You mention it a lot but I can’t find any info on it anywhere.
        1. It was the planned final entry in the series that promised to explain everything. It went up in smoke like so many indie games do.

          1. Neren says:
            Shame that he’s still making games but pretending How Far never existed.
            1. Is he? I thought his current game was supposed to be a remake of the entire trilogy.

              Reply
            2. Nerem says:
              The only thing I see that’s being/been worked on is the Tenth Line which seems like it goes to the well of the same universe at least in terms of mechanics and tropes like lizardpeople, does not seem to have anything to do with the Reconstruction Saga.
              Reply
            3. Huh. What happened to that Kickstarter project of his, Eden’s Last Sunrise? Did it fall through?

              Reply
            4. Nerem says:
              I can only find previews about the demo. The only mention on the website is that it’s mentioned in trademarks, but it’s not on the site anywhere otherwise.
              Reply
            5. Nerem says:
              So I sent an email and apparently it’s still being worked on but they’ve just had nothing public to show the past two years.

               

              Apparently it went through a big overhaul in that time and only recently has he settled on a finalized design.

              Reply
            6. That’s better than the alternative, I guess?

              If it ever gets finished, try it and report back to me on if it’s an improvement.

              Reply
  2. ludeshka says:
    You know, that “you have such a soothing voice” was one of the bits of “evidence” for my “Dehl is female!!!” tinhat theory.
    (I asked SpaceLizard and nope, Dehl is not female, but I’m still fond of the idea :P…)
    1. Guest Reviewer says:
      Huh, really? What seeded that theory? The Wadassia registrar mistaking him for female?

      It’d be an interesting twist (and somewhat alleviate the sausagefest problem), but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given the reveal regarding female shra later on. I suppose it’s possible someone could have disguised a baby shra as a boy and let them out…somehow, but I’m not sure what the purpose of that would be.

      1. ludeshka says:
        Well, first off, I thought of it on my first playthrough, and second, the creator firmly jossed it, so it’s nonsense anyway.
        Now, if you’re still interested…
        You see, Dehl has a soothing voice, a physical feature that’s rather rare (three horns) and I’d say it’s established that humans can’t really tell if a Shra is male or female, right?
        Then Dehl is DESPERATELY lawful. Part of it is because that’s just Dehl, Dehl+Law =OTP.
        And part of it is because he probably feels very guilty about the whole *spoiler* deal in his past.
        Dehl + guilt = also OTP
        (it’s a threesome!)
        But also, in my completely debunked theory, it’s because if Dehl is firmly on the side of Wadassian law, then she can’t be sold into slavery, where sooner or later the slaves will notice she’s female, and then, BAM, breeding factory for the rest of her life. So yeah, Law, Guilt, and Self-preservation!

        Also, wtf is wrong with this game and female shra.

        Anyway, female or male, Dehl remains one of my favourite main characters ever. :)

        Sorry for taking your time with all this nonsense. :P

        1. Guest Reviewer says:
          Also, wtf is wrong with this game and female shra.

          Yeeeaah it’s pretty awful. I will have some words to say about it when we get to that point (eventually). I kind of wonder how Space Lizard’s going to get his foot out of his mouth in How Far (given that it’s practically assured we’ll see the shra capital and have to see how everything actually works) or if he’s just not even going to bother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar