Touché!: Inventory

And I’m stuck again. I’m accumulating a nice big collection of inventory items, though. That’s the one thing I’m consistently capable of doing. I’m imagining a point in the future when the rest of the game consists of just using up all the junk I’ve been carting around, one item after another, pouring it out and transforming it into plot.

The inventory interface in this game is a little peculiar: it’s divided into two pieces. You have Geoffroi’s inventory, which is normally displayed at the bottom of the screen, and you have that of his manservant Henri, which replaces Geoffroi’s when you ask for it by speaking to Henri. Henri doesn’t normally pick up objects on his own, but there are a few special cases, like when Geoffroi pole-vaults into a window and Henri, staying behind, retrieves the pole. You can, however, hand objects back and forth between the two freely, provided that they’re in the same room.

The very first thing Henri obtains is William de Peuple’s corpse. Geoffroi objects that you can’t just leave him lying in the street, but doesn’t want to touch him, so Henri picks him up instead. The stated idea is that you just need to get him to a priest for burial, but, despite an abundance of places of worship, I haven’t yet found one that will take him. So Henri is just carrying a corpse around everywhere we go. The first few times I opened his inventory, it was a bit of a shock to be reminded of this.

I can imagine ways that the game could exploit the division, forcing you to divide useful items between the two while they’re separated or whatever, but it hasn’t really done that. And I frankly don’t see much point to giving things to Henri when it’s not necessary for a puzzle. I’ve contemplated using him as a sort of trash bin, carrying around items that I’ve already used in a puzzle and don’t expect to need again, or alternately items that I haven’t used yet but think I know the use of, thus clearing Geoffroi’s inventory for things I can productively contemplate. But I don’t really have enough confidence to do this.

One other notable thing: Money is not part of your inventory. Your current amount of money is simply a stat, listed to the left of the inventory in the UI. And it’s a stat that’s almost always 0. At the very start of the game, you have 25 francs, but they’re stolen in the introductory chapter. Since then, I’ve found exactly 1 franc, which I’ve already spent on the only thing I’ve seen that costs 1 franc: a plaster replica of the cathedral at Rouen, which I haven’t yet found a use for (although I have suspicions). This all seems to be a big joke, really. As I’ve noted before, you don’t need cash on hand for your basic expenses, but there are quite a few shops and stalls where everything costs at least 2 francs, putting it completely out of your reach unless you can barter for it. At this point, I honestly don’t expect to see any more money; the presence of that “0” in the UI is just a reminder of Geoffroi’s situation. The big punch line: When you’re accosted by a highwayman, he robs Henri of the 100 francs that he’s had on his person all along, but which you didn’t know about because it wasn’t part of his inventory.

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