Hadean Lands: Failed Marriage

A comment on my last post got me unstuck, at least for a little while. The key was performing as much of the Great Marriage as I could, even though I couldn’t complete it. Actually, I had already inadvertently tried this. I often start rituals and only notice halfway through that I’m missing a key formula. But in this specific case, I also failed to notice that I had done the doable part incorrectly. Sometimes it’s easy to skip a step: a recipe will throw in a phrase like “in an orderly environment”, and if you’re not paying adequate attention, you can just pass over it like it’s mere descriptive text rather than a specific instruction to prepare your ritual bound with an object symbolizing order. So I failed to get the effect I should have from the partial ritual, and once I realized I couldn’t complete it, I had little reason to try it again.

Doing it right had a number of strange and mysterious effects, and led immediately to repairing one of the dragons — but only one. I still haven’t managed to make a Dragon Fulcrum, which (if I understand its purpose correctly) would let me shift the repair around from dragon to dragon. I still need to find or make a ritual bound of metallic quicksilver for that. I thought before that it was going to be one of the two bounds marked on the map that I hadn’t visited yet, but I’ve visited them both by now, and no such luck. The repair does, however, persist across resets, which is kind of strange. In the process of poking around at dragons, I discovered that viewing them with a resonant oculus (a device for revealing occult connections, providing essential clues through much of the game) basically tells you what puzzles you’ll solve by repairing them. Surely I had tried this before? Probably, weeks ago, when I had more on my plate and the information was less meaningful, relatively speaking. I didn’t learn much from this — my guesses from my last post about the obstacles removed by Syndesis, Baros, and Pneuma were broadly correct. But I had no idea about the fourth dragon, Aistheta, and now I do.

Of the strange and mysterious effects, one was particularly mysterious to me. The four frozen-in-time NPCs that I had seen earlier were all in new locations, in different poses — I figure I’ve jumped ahead in time relative to them, or possibly backward. (Maybe I didn’t so much repair Baros as go back to before it broke!) In other locations there were “shadows” of the same NPCs, with descriptions like “You see a faint trailing shadow where Captain Hart was standing.” The strange part is that the shadows actually weren’t where I had seen the characters before. Captain Hart, for example, had started off behind a fracture in the corridor by the officers’ quarters, but her shadow was in the Scaphe Arcade. A bug? I doubted it, considering the care taken with the game generally. It turns out that I had simply missed the characters in their intermediary positions. The characters change position when you perform the (partial) Great Marriage, and change position again when you repair a dragon, and the game assumes that the player spends some time wandering around and solving puzzles between those two events. I, on the other hand, took so long to get to that point that I didn’t have much of anything left to do but take my brand new “homunculus” — which, like “dragon”, doesn’t mean what it sounds like — and try it out on a dragon just to see what happens. I wonder how many players have had the same experience?

1 Comment so far

  1. David Simon on 30 Jan 2015

    Glad I was able to help :-)

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