At first I was confused and annoyed. Then, ambition got the better of me and now I am really glad I did not post this last week, when I first finished The Council‘s Episode Five: Checkmate.
(Also, sorry for not having posted in such a long time! I had to move and internet access was on the bottom of my list…)
Last week, I would have condemned the studio again for lazy writing. But, fortunately, I decided I did not want to go with the horrible ending my actions led me to after my first playthrough.
So I replayed Episode Four: Burning Bridges, and was rewarded with some really nice twists. Beware of SPOILERS for Episode Five: Checkmate as well as Episode Four: Burning Bridges.
A game of two
So, by now we know the infamous council is nothing more than a spat between siblings, namely Lord Mortimer and Sir Holm. Both are, as the last episode revealed, demons and brothers at that, which means they belong to the same family. A family Louis de Richet also belongs to – among a few other of the guests – and in this case family is sacred.
Though I started playing all thee classes, Diplomat, Detective and Occultist, I stuck with the Diplomat for the past two episodes after I decided the game was not worth that much of my time. So this playthrough, as well as the last two, are played as Diplomat.
During the last episode and my playthrough of Episode Four: Burning Bridges, Louis lost his mother, who is not his mother, killed Emma, who apparently is unkillable since she is a demon, too, and embraced his demonic nature, deciding to join his father, Lord Mortimer, in his cause to uncover the true nature of their race.
In the face-off between Mortimer and Holm, only Louis and Napoleon stuck with Mortimer. So the first thing Louis gets tasked with in the last episode is persuading the rest of the guests, Washington, von Wöllner, Piaggi and Godoy (Mortimer allowed Perú to leave the island after Louis foiled his assassination attempt on his father), to vote in favor of Mortimer once the final vote is cast on the fate of Louisiana.
During my first playthrough I managed to convince Godoy and Washington, but not Piaggi. Since von Wöllner had attempted to kill Louis in the previous episode he was urged to leave the island by – wait for it – his own father, Sir Gregory Holm, as attacking another member of the family (Louis) is considered not only bad taste, but a crime. And, yes, that begged the question of who exactly is human on that island? Most of the guests seem to be demons.
Turns out Mortimer trapped his brother, rendering him impotent. But since Louis promised his help, Sir Gregory reached out to him and bid him help find his soul in the Ether, where Mortimer had banished him to.
While Louis succeeded, Mortimer was a step ahead of him and since I also picked the wrong lance in the previous episode, he died, along with Holm.
End of story.
There is always another way
I was, admittedly, incredibly furious. See, I met Sarah de Richet in the Ether and Louis addressed her as his sister, a subject that never came up during the previous episode. Sure, Mortimer mentioned a sister then, but that was after Emma had revealed her origins, so I assumed he was referring to her. It was only during my second playthrough that Sarah’s true relation to Louis was revealed. In the first one Louis could not have known! But he did. And here I was, wracking my brain as to why she, being a demon herself, would want to destroy her father? Also, lazy writing, which means I was getting really annoyed again.
So I decided to replay the previous episode.
I spoke with Piaggi, who told me the lance was covered in blood, remembered that Mortimer kept it close, so I found it, the leaf-shaped lance closest to Mortimer’s sarcophagus, and incidentally covered in blood, and took it with me. The way I played the end, it did not matter whether or not it was the real one.
Also, as Piaggi, I persuaded von Wöllner to spare Louis’ live and later, as Godoy, persuaded him to vote in Mortimer’s favor during the final vote, of which I am particularly proud, him being Holm’s son. Daddy dearest Mortimer certainly was impressed.
I won the confrontation with Napoleon, reminding him of what was at stake. I also convinced Emma to let Sarah live. The old gal then confessed to being Mortimer’s daughter, Louis’ sister, and I let her leave the island unharmed (Since I knew killing a family member is frowned upon). I also learned that the Al-Azif was being prepared for its journey to the main land. I found and recovered the book on the wharf later on.
Now, Al -Azif was also supposedly the last guest to arrive, remember? Well, if you explored the catacombs beyond the secret door closely, you found Elizabeth Adams, possessed by the Father of Demons. During my first playthrough I alienated him, the second time I made a deal: I would allow him to possess me, in order for him to punish Mortimer.
But, let’s rewind a bit. Once Holm is incapacitated, he asks for Louis’ help. You will have to traverse some paintings (Dishonored 2, anyone?) to get into the mind jail Mortimer fashioned for his brother. There you first have to arrange all the demonic guests in a specific order. From right to left, or left to right, the order is as follows:
- von Wöllner
Then, you have to identify a specific set of your uncle’s memories in the correct order.
- Emily and Emma are sisters
- Holm was allowed to bring Emily
- Louis arrives
- Emma vanished
- Mortimer feeds Louis, his own son
- And Holm drinks the tea
That’s the sequence. Once established, Louis reaches the heart of the mind jail and confronts Mortimer. During my first playthrough, both Holm and Louis died.
Make you choice
Now, during my second playthrough and armed with the power of the demon patriarch, I admittedly did not manage to save Holm – what a shame – but defeated Mortimer.
Well. You still have to confront your grandpa and win the confrontation to actually achieve all you goals. I did not manage on the first try. Because, thanks, developers, the game cheats. You are forced to lie during the first part of the confrontation, even though you know that won’t please at all. You simply cannot select any of the other choice answers. Bad form, that.
So I lost the first step of the confrontation, then told the truth, failed again, and recovered my graces by suggesting burying Mortimer alive as the perfect punishment.
Checkmate, the family’s won.
I like episodic adventures. But I hate lazy writing. So I have mixed feeling about this game. On the one hand, the last episode won me over again, but on the other, I had to force myself to play the last two before that. I was not motivated enough to try out the other two classes and see where that would lead me. Which was a shame, since the ending – the second one – was so much more satisfying than I had anticipated.
Long story short: The studio has got potential. But they have to do better.
What’s you take on the game? Let me know!
Next on my To Play-list is HITMAN 2. Expect a review or more on that game shortly.
Until then, keep on playing!
(Congrats to myself on post 100!)