Puzzle Quest: Choices

It turns out that level 50 is indeed the highest attainable. I have attained it, and I am now spending my time doing the last remaining batches of side-quests, forging new items, and researching spells. I’m a little reluctant to pursue the main quest line, because it seems to be funneling me towards another potentially regrettable decision.

There have been several choice points in the game so far. The first one occurs when you’re told to recruit Syrus Darkhunter, famous slayer of undead. When you first meet Syrus, he asks for your help capturing a necromancer named Moarg and bringing him to a prison in a city where Syrus is unwilling to set foot. Why won’t he set foot there? He refuses to say. Moarg, on the other hand, is quite willing to give you information, provided you set him free. Now, as far as I’m concerned, Syrus has only himself to blame if I don’t trust him. I’ve had experiences in D&D with NPCs who were supposedly on my side but who put everyone’s safety in jeapordy by withholding plot-crucial information for no good reason, and this scenario reminded me of that a lot. (See also Yeesha vs. Esher.) So I accepted Moarg’s proposition, hoping that his intelligence would be more valuable than Syrus’ assistance. It turns out that it wasn’t particularly valuable, but to my surprise, I got Syrus’ assistance anyway, due to my character lying to him.

Only in Lord Bane’s realm, when we were fighting Moarg’s colleagues, were my unintentional lies exposed. And so Syrus left the party — not a great loss, since his “10 damage to undead at the start of battle” is a mere drop in the bucket at this point, but still, a loss. I suspect it might have been possible to keep him by temporarily disbanding him before fighting the necromancers, but I didn’t think of it at the time. Removing people from your party is something you don’t usually don’t have any reason to do in this game, sort of like closing doors behind you in an adventure game.

Another early choice involved a potential ally who wanted me to escort his daughter to another city, where she’d be forced into a loveless political marriage. Once more, I struck a blow for freedom and against keeping promises, gaining the princess as a party member and incurring some extra encounters later on when her father sent soldiers to get her back. In general, though, other choices have been less morally ambiguous — things like choosing whether to return a magic item to its rightful owner or keep it for yourself. (I’ve been forging my own magic items anyway, thank you very much.)

That choice about Moarg, though, apparently “started me down the dark path”, if the necros are to be believed, and there’s someting I can do with a sword Moarg gave me if I “want to know true power”. I kind of want to defeat Lord Bane and achieve my primary mission objectives for the whole game, but I’m also curious about what the bad guys are so eager to show me. So far, their one big claim to power is that when they die, Lord Bane just raises them from the dead again. And as the player, I have that power already.

1 Comment so far

  1. Merus on 8 May 2008

    The other side story gives the player a little quest where Syrus’ reticence becomes a little bit clearer – apparently he got his fiancée killed, and she’s tooling around as a boss up in the mountains. Not really the sort of thing you bring up to someone you just met.

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