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SaffronKit
May 29, 2013

I'm viable ladies.


My take on Expeditions was pretty straightforward: it shows off that the combat in the game is not designed to be scaled up MMO style. I too experienced the +100% enemy health modifier without any modifiers to aid Jesse in killing things. There is a real lack of good sustained DPS in the game, and that modifier right there really shoves it in your face how boring the combat can get when you have to shoot/Launch things at a single enemy for up to a minute or longer. Even then some of the challenges are just best solved by ignoring every enemy and just going for the objectives you have to do.

I got the outfit legit and it was literally just a matter of rolling an expedition to get some massive damage bonus on a good weapon or Launch, and not getting the enemy +% health mod. The combat is good when it is tightly tuned and encounters are designed for where you are in the story. It is not good when everything does shitloads of damage and takes for loving ever to kill. I can see where they were trying to go with Expeditions, but it really just didn't work imo.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Jesse: I'm the best qualified to handle this Altered Item!

The Altered Item in question:





Also, Foundation spoilers, I love this goofy motherfucker a lot

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


Jerusalem posted:

Also, Foundation spoilers, I love this goofy motherfucker a lot

panini

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


The one single "........ No." response during Jesse and Former's meeting on the Astral plane got a wonderful, unexpected laugh from me

itry
Aug 23, 2019






Man, that Maneki Neko shrine is trippy.

Jerusalem posted:

The one single "........ No." response during Jesse and Former's meeting on the Astral plane got a wonderful, unexpected laugh from me

Seems like a cool interdimensional eye/spotlight thing.
But why did he/she/it attack me twice before? Or was that a relative?

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


Today I finished the game and (with my stream chat's help) uncovered all the secrets I missed on my first time through. Thus, one more photo mode shot for the road:



Thank you Remedy for making such a fantastic video game. I already will buy anything they make on day one, and so Control is just the latest example of hopefully many to come.

Captain Hygiene
Sep 17, 2007

We'll make diamonds from their ashes. Take them into battle with us.

Craft a Diamond Dog diamond?
Nah.   Let's do it!




College Slice

I'm sad that every game doesn't let you put cat ears on serious characters at all times

CAPT. Rainbowbeard
Apr 5, 2012
My incredible shitposting will not transform the xbone into a good console


Lipstick Apathy

itry posted:

Man, that Maneki Neko shrine is trippy.


Seems like a cool interdimensional eye/spotlight thing.
But why did he/she/it attack me twice before? Or was that a relative?

Jesse was interfering with the Former by trying to take the Fridge and the Flamingo back. It was self defense.

CAPT. Rainbowbeard fucked around with this message at 18:36 on Sep 17, 2020

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


Huh....admittedly I picked a really awkward place to stop and take a break for like a week (literally the immediately very last point right before the Ashtray Maze) but I dunno if the game stuck the landing for me. Not that there aren't some standout parts to it, but it feels rushed and anticlimactic. The way you jump around via cutscenes a lot makes some of the seams show even worse.

I can't help but imagine a version of the game where either the finale was expanded a bit or condensed to have everything mesh together more effectively.


Also I'm a dumbass who has been mixing up expeditions with the actual Foundation stuff this entire time.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


Is there a comprehensive-ish list of all the hidden stuff like the furnace TVs somewhere. I kinda glossed over that stuff in my previous runs but I feel like collecting stuff this time

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


The TVs are actually the only real secret secret like that in the base game that I know of. I guess maybe the Luck and Probability puzzle counts too?

Everything else is just a generic Hidden Area. If you google for those you'll get the standard slate of sites with their own slightly different but equally accurate list.

SaffronKit
May 29, 2013

I'm viable ladies.


There is also the non-dlc Alan Wake reference in the panopticon.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005





Toilet Rascal

The only other one I can think of is seeing Northmoor in the reactor core, something I've never actually been able to do myself despite being told where to look more than once. The TVs and the probability room may be the only base game secrets that actually do anything, though. Unless you count the more out-of-the-way sidequests.

haveblue fucked around with this message at 05:58 on Sep 18, 2020

itry
Aug 23, 2019






CAPT. Rainbowbeard posted:

Jesse was interfering with the Former by trying to take the Fridge and the Flamingo back. It was self defense.

I guess Jesse stealing their beer is just cause. Mea culpa, lighthouse bug thing.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Finished up The Foundation, man I love this game and I can't wait for Jesse vs. The Board whenever they make a sequel.

Is there ever an explicit admission of what happened to Northmoor? I've found plenty of contextual stuff to make me figure I have a good sense of what happened, but the only time Jesse ever got to ask somebody directly about it they immediately clammed up. I'm assuming that he went so far all-in on binding objects/doing the Board's bidding that he essentially became a walking fusion reactor and they were just lucky enough that he was onboard with the idea (hell, he may have volunteered) of becoming part of The Oldest House as the power plant/sarcophagus - almost a Chernobyl parallel, in fact?

Also, I assume based on stuff I saw around The Oldest House that Ash's reputation survived his chilly relationship with Northmoor, since there's a quote by him enshrined on one of the walls in I think the Research Sector?

BisbyWorl
Jan 12, 2019

GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY PENIS



Jerusalem posted:

Finished up The Foundation, man I love this game and I can't wait for Jesse vs. The Board whenever they make a sequel.

Is there ever an explicit admission of what happened to Northmoor? I've found plenty of contextual stuff to make me figure I have a good sense of what happened, but the only time Jesse ever got to ask somebody directly about it they immediately clammed up. I'm assuming that he went so far all-in on binding objects/doing the Board's bidding that he essentially became a walking fusion reactor and they were just lucky enough that he was onboard with the idea (hell, he may have volunteered) of becoming part of The Oldest House as the power plant/sarcophagus - almost a Chernobyl parallel, in fact?

Also, I assume based on stuff I saw around The Oldest House that Ash's reputation survived his chilly relationship with Northmoor, since there's a quote by him enshrined on one of the walls in I think the Research Sector?

I think it was less 'volunteered' and more 'if he doesn't get in the box everything explodes'.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


Oh okay for some reason I thought more had been discovered. Nevermind then

And yeah

BisbyWorl posted:

I think it was less 'volunteered' and more 'if he doesn't get in the box everything explodes'.

i actually heard a conversation between two power plant guys tonight that I hadn't heard before and they apparently have to sedate northmoor if he starts to get twitchy in there and also there was that whole thing where the first reactor straight up disappeared so they have to strap him down in a black rock chamber now

site fucked around with this message at 06:42 on Sep 18, 2020

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


If you hang around Ahti for a while just after meeting him in Maintenance, he mumbles various things about Northmoor for a bit. Specifically he says Northmoor is starting to "climb on the walls in his bachelor pad". I'm assuming this means the Hiss is trying to take over him/his body and destabilizing the plant is how it plans to get in there and get at him. Which would be very, very bad of course.

Johnny Joestar
Oct 21, 2010

Don't shoot him?

...
...





oddly enough i'd never picked up on the northmoor thing even though all the pieces were right in front of me

Captain Hygiene
Sep 17, 2007

We'll make diamonds from their ashes. Take them into battle with us.

Craft a Diamond Dog diamond?
Nah.   Let's do it!




College Slice

I never even noticed any of the (special) TVs until this time, when I was wrapping up the garbage disposal mission and happened to glance over and think, wait, what the heck is *that* doing?

It's fun that I'm still finding completely new stuff in my third playthrough (although I guess the first one counts less since I was more focused on the main storyline).

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


This loving game





Also I found the note from Ash about meeting Ahti for the first time, it's somehow both charming and disconcerting.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010



haveblue posted:

The only other one I can think of is seeing Northmoor in the reactor core, something I've never actually been able to do myself despite being told where to look more than once. The TVs and the probability room may be the only base game secrets that actually do anything, though. Unless you count the more out-of-the-way sidequests.

That one is less “see him” and more Find the monitors which show a thermal image of a very hot man-shaped object inside the reactor with another monitor saying “movement detected inside reactor.”. The screens are on one of the upper catwalks of the Upper Power Plant.

acksplode
May 17, 2004





I love how Remedy leaves it up to you to piece together what the NSC is. It does so much to characterize the FBC that no one talks about it explicitly not because they're trying to hide it, but because it's so normalized and accepted that it's taken for granted everyone knows what it is. I have my gripes about the gameplay but the setting and scenario are inspired.

hobbesmaster
Jan 28, 2008



acksplode posted:

I love how Remedy leaves it up to you to piece together what the NSC is. It does so much to characterize the FBC that no one talks about it explicitly not because they're trying to hide it, but because it's so normalized and accepted that it's taken for granted everyone knows what it is. I have my gripes about the gameplay but the setting and scenario are inspired.

Actually a lot of people don't based on the conversation when you get the mission to fix the water pumps and stuff.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005





Toilet Rascal

acksplode posted:

I have my gripes about the gameplay but the setting and scenario are inspired.

control.txt

Space Gopher
Jul 31, 2006
BLITHERING IDIOT

hobbesmaster posted:

Actually a lot of people don't based on the conversation when you get the mission to fix the water pumps and stuff.

Broke: "Control evokes an office setting incredibly well because of the brutalist architecture and mid-century visual design."

Woke: "Control evokes an office setting incredibly well because the writers really get petty office politics and need-to-know bullshit."

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


I mean would YOU want to know the secret behind the power plant and then be responsible for carrying that secret with you for the entire rest of your life without being allowed to tell a single soul? Arish sums it up pretty well when you ask him about Ahti. "He's from where he's from. Some stones are just better left unturned, yknow?"

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


I mean if you're at the fbc your whole life is a secret anyways, what's one more if it means that info could some day be the difference between life and death

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


Well the Northmoor thing specifically seems to be kind of an open secret. I mean it is written in big boilerplate stencil text right on the power plant container itself behind a door anyone with even modest clearance could access. I think stuff like that is more of a "need to know" kind of thing. If you don't work in Maintenance and you didn't know Northmoor, you probably will never have any way to know because it's just not relevant to your job.

edit: See also Dr. Underhill's reaction to Darling's ultimate fate in the post-game dialogues: She expresses that she knew he was working on something big, but that he disappeared one day and his correspondence just stopped. Jesse glosses over what actually became of him but Underhill seems sad to have been left out of the loop, not just due to their implied fraternization but also because she probably never would have been told about Dimensional Research at all by Trench as it's not relevant to her job.

CJacobs fucked around with this message at 19:06 on Sep 18, 2020

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


Open secret sounds about right. The files are still redacted but it's kinda hard to imagine that "the director hosed something up and is literally turning into a nuclear reactor" wouldn't turn into office gossip pretty fast

site fucked around with this message at 19:16 on Sep 18, 2020

itry
Aug 23, 2019






"Don't tell anybody about my condition!" Northmoor writes to his doctor, while melting through his office chair.

Timespy
Jul 6, 2013

No bond but to do just ones



I wonder if it's just a coincidence that NSC is also the abbreviation for https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che...afe_Confinement

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


probably not, the sarcophagus was what they called the original shielding structure around chernobyl as well

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


The more I sit here digesting it the more frustrated I get with the endgame. I really do think that everything starting from the Hedron sequence onward was not the original plan. The natural momentum and buildup read to me more like Jesse was going to end up in the slide dimension one way or another. The rest of the plot beats could still happen more or less unchanged, but in a less disjointed fashion.

The entire wild goose chase element of oh, actually Trench took the projector back to Executive hours ago, it was down that weird inaccessible Hiss hallway you passsed by like 20 minutes into the game and the fact that said area doesn't actually exist on the map and continues not to even after you beat the game sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

It all retroactively robs the Ashtray Maze of its punch, IMO.


Anyway, I'm now doing the very silly thing of putting Control down for the moment.... So that I can replay Alan Wake and play American Nightmare for the first time, cuz I want maximum context and to refresh my memory before jumping into AWE.

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


Based on how they only show "Polaris Jesse" (that's what the subtitles call her) for about two lines of dialogue after you break the endgame illusion, I assume there was a much bigger plan for Hedron as a 'character' or entity. They just kinda brush over that whole revelation and warp you to the Nostalgia Department.

site
Apr 6, 2007

Trans pride, Worldwide
Bitch


CJacobs posted:

Based on how they only show "Polaris Jesse" (that's what the subtitles call her) for about two lines of dialogue after you break the endgame illusion, I assume there was a much bigger plan for Hedron as a 'character' or entity. They just kinda brush over that whole revelation and warp you to the Nostalgia Department.

Same with the finale, Jesse battles up to Dylan but the slide projector isn't even with him, but the cutscene that plays immediately after you reach him says that she shut it off somehow. I guess the assumption is that after reaching him in the astral plane they warped back to the nostalgia dept but they totally gloss over what happens and what Jesse actually did with the slide projector, just saying that's it's secure

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


CJacobs posted:

Based on how they only show "Polaris Jesse" (that's what the subtitles call her) for about two lines of dialogue after you break the endgame illusion, I assume there was a much bigger plan for Hedron as a 'character' or entity. They just kinda brush over that whole revelation and warp you to the Nostalgia Department.

It's especially telling how you immediately warp into the cutscene upon using the doorknob, rather than walk into an in-engine space. That's not the game's usual MO and it's jarring as hell.

Hedron is very puzzling because I *think* the idea is that Jesse believes that Hedron and Polaris are one in the same; that Hedron is what Jesse and Dylan encountered in the Ordinary AWE and that ever since she just assumes Polaris is broadcasting into her head from elsewhere? but meanwhile I had actually already thought that Polaris was inside Jesse's head the whole time, if not maybe even actually me the player, and not some shape locked in a room, especially since Jesse mentally talks to Polaris directly all the dang time and displays some pretty obvious powers that come directly from it. And even if I stitch all of that together*, it's still not clear why Polaris guides Jesse to Hedron in the first place; disconnecting the giant HRA is what allows the Hiss to attack it and then after you seemingly save it, it just crumbles to pieces anyway...which then fucks with Polaris' connection to Jesse and kicks off the dream sequence stuff. But did Polaris want to use Hedron to amplify the good resonance? Stop the Hiss from corrupting Hedron and using it as a signal booster in the same way Polaris did by "killing" it? Big time It just kinda ends up being a macguffin that is both introduced and then jettisoned over the course of 10 minutes.

*I think maybe they were trying to draw a parallel between Jesse coming to terms with her and Polaris being one in the same (in some fashion) and her and The Director of the FBC being one in the same which I guess works if you squint at it, but even that feels like a hastily cobbled together thematic tie rather than a true payoff to a character arc. Though looking back on it, there are an awful lot of instances of "two things are actually one thing" throughout the game. Which I guess is a vague concept and kind of comes with the territory, but includes Dylan's rambling about there only being one Faden, not siblings, the nature of The Board/Former, and oh right the entire gimmick of how the Board speaks.

John Murdoch fucked around with this message at 22:04 on Sep 18, 2020

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Keep on keeping on.


My interpretation of Hedron is that Hedron and Polaris were always the same thing. Polaris is a formless entity, and Hedron Resonance is the energy/frequency it gives off. Whether it does this intentionally as a way of guiding people/granting knowledge or just naturally by existing, I'm not sure. Either way it knew the Hiss was coming somehow, possibly because of its connection to the Slide Projector since it knows how the thing works according to Jesse and Dylan. The interviews from Dylan's childhood tell us that Polaris knows how to shut off the Slide Projector, but from within the containment chamber it probably couldn't get someone to do it or tell them how. It likely couldn't make new connections from within the chamber, only to Darling who was around it 24/7 near the end, so it leveraged the connections it already had. Dylan told it to gently caress off (verbatim) so it turned to Jesse for help.

Dylan says that Polaris is "using" Jesse during one of his rambles and I think he's actually kind of right. I mean would you be happy being cooped up in a literal echo chamber that just bounces you around back and forth forever while some nerd(s) poke at you to see what makes you tick? I don't think it was tricking Jesse into freeing it necessarily since it sticks around afterward to continue giving advice, but imo it definitely had an ulterior motive even if it was as simple as "free me from this stupid DnD dice block". In exchange, Jesse got reunited with her brother as promised and received answers to the mysteries that'd been plaguing her since the incident in Ordinary.

CJacobs fucked around with this message at 23:02 on Sep 18, 2020

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


John Murdoch posted:

Anyway, I'm now doing the very silly thing of putting Control down for the moment.... So that I can replay Alan Wake and play American Nightmare for the first time, cuz I want maximum context and to refresh my memory before jumping into AWE.

One thing that I always, always recommend with Alan Wake is that you play it episodically. At the end of each "episode" they'll play credits and I found leaving a day or more before going into the next episode really helped to keep the story beats strong but obfuscate that the gameplay is pretty samey.

The only issue is that the game had (or had, maybe they patched it) a weird auto-save thing where you had to exit out of the game far enough into the credits for it to have saved you completing the episode, but if you let the "Previously on Alan Wake..." segment start playing, it would make a new autosave at the very start of the next level whether you watched the full thing or not (and you really should watch the full thing).

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SaffronKit
May 29, 2013

I'm viable ladies.


Wow! That's actually vastly different than how I had interpreted the whole ending sequence. From what I remember, the dimension the Hiss came from was essentially a prison and Hedron/Polaris was the warden that kept it from spreading. When Jesse/Dylan visited it during the Ordinary AWE, perhaps Hedron/Polaris had already seen the writing on the wall and planted a seed of its own resonance inside of Jess/Dylan as a sort of fail safe. The resonance helped Jesse/Dylan develop a greater affinity for connecting with Altered Items and OoPs because they already had some 4th/5th dimensional predisposition due to having a seed of Polaris in them. Whether or not Dylan ever actually existed aside, fast forward to the end game and Jesse basically realizing as she tries to "rescue" Polaris from the containment unit only to find it empty was essentially her realization that wherever or whatever the original Polaris had come from, it was gone and she was now essentially, Polaris with the seed having grown. They were one in the same, and the Hiss trying to invade her was desperately trying to hide the fact that she was now the new warden/protector with the ability to drive it back. Jesse realizes this and drives it out, then goes to save Dylan, who is essentially the part of the Hiss trying to control the Projector at that point. I didn't think it was too jarring having the Projector getting cleansed handwaved in a fade to black scenario because at that point, it wasn't important. The whole build up and drive for Jesse in the story is finding/rescuing her brother, and the things she did along the way were all towards that goal. So when you've finally rescued him... who cares about some dumb projector?

Overall I too have gripes about the mechanics when it was stretched to its limits, but the setting?

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