hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The wrong thing: You pointless Samurai: Agent of Chaos

7:00 PM on 11.12.2009 // Tubatic

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

During my 48 hour binge of Way of the Samurai 3, I ended up with only a few "roll credits" endings, against several "You suck at games/don't we have a cool death screen?" endings. My best involved self sacrifice and followed a specific stream of decisions and compromise through the branching storyline. A little sad, a little unfortunate, and the result of playing as a hero and a lifesaver within the context of the fictional world. I was told throughout that I was unique for a samurai, but I was also a good person for making the decisions that I had. Though there are several ways to reach a reasoned and rewarding ending, its clear to me that I played by the rules and gained exaltation among at least some of the people of Amana.

Then there was my last playthrough.

While I had started with every intention to be an obedient soldier of the ruling faction, something in me snapped. I didn't want this run around life. Delivering secret messages and quelling reasonable uprising of the disgruntled villagers. No sir. Not this time. The Ouka Clan had sent their portly leader to receive a secret message. Are you really risking the life of your leader to accept a clandestine letter from a shadowy sub figure of the ruling govern. With no guards? 

Be honest, you want to bash his stupid face in too!

The worst of it was, this was no brazen villainy. I had worked for these guys in another life: The Ouka Clan is destined to fall under the weight of their own hedonism. Fueled by drink and excess, this was pure witlessness. If you, the head of a rebellious and dying clan, think that you're untouchable enough to walk the streets, unassuming of danger or betrayal, you deserve whatever brave attack falls upon you. I killed him, stole his massive sword and assumed the rule of his charges. A pawn of the Fujimori Clan had just become the king of his opposition.

Gaining a tribute for my crapulence (through the clan mission vendor) was nice, but I was king of the losing team. Further still, I still had free allowance to roam about the Fujimori grounds. And that smug Shuzen Fujimori does nothing. "Come at me, vile dogs!", I thought, but they never recognized my station. Something about the absurdity of the situation hoisted my disbelief onto the saddle of a blazing demon horse, from which it would raze the landscape of Amana and spill the blood of innocents and defilers alike. I snapped, and slaughter ensued.

Not pictured: The person actually talking to you. How rude!

Its been said before, in terms of game design, that the player herself is an agent of chaos. No matter how finely crafted a world is, its limited by the extent to which the player is willing to work within your rules. Considering narrative, one can have as many HUD-less first person visages and heartfelt line readings from the finest actors in the most gorgeous of scenes, but, given the freedom, a user can just as easily walk off to a nearby NPC and try to shoot it in the face. To account for villainy, or at its extremist insanity, would be impossible without wresting control away from the player and forcing them to watch your story. For better or worse, of course. And so, we find game design working feverishly to wrangle this chaos. At bare minimum, good design keeps you from breaking the game entirely. At best, the game is able to respond to the chaos when it arises.

Way of the Samurai 3
seemed to ignore my bloodlust. I killed the Fujimori. I killed the Ouka. I killed the village leaders and frightened its children. I even killed the Save Game minstrels. I spared only the children and that old man with the hoe.

That dude looked ornery.

Not a blade to be trifled with

With all the major players dead, and with ruler Shuzen Fujimori locked away in his tower (I killed his doorman), I searched for a way to force an endgame. What does WotS3 do now, when all is chaos and you have no more actors for the final act? All you have are unkillable children, and that's where we find our ending. A single child in the main village has a few final cutscenes with you, calling you out on being a man without reason. Threaten that child as you may, the game has already calculated your final score.

The ending? You're described as a pointless man, and made to look foolish. The epilogue background panel suggests a strange man that, in his insane stupor, tiptoes quietly among daylight butterflies, leaving Amana in disarray without rhyme or reason. "What was the point of that?", the game asks in the context of a story ending. In more words than that, the player is chastised for trolling the game. If you're not going to establish a reasonable agenda and play largely within the context of the setting, then what are you doing here?

Then there's demerits for villainy, wherein your total "Samurai Points" are diminished for killing beyond a reasonable explanation within the samurai code of honor. Killing the innocent, the unarmed, the surrendered, or the unjustifiably provoked is simply not classy for even a masterless samurai, and the game makes sure that you feel a tiny sting for it. Ultimately, the Samurai Points are a method of unlocking features and many different ways to legitimately freak out the game world, without incurring a penalty for anachronistic cosmic behavior. You can be a semi-invisible cat-person-demon if you like, but you still can't stab women for no good reason without a garnering a slap on the wrist.

What do you mean you can't justify my thug?

Way of the Samurai 3
provides a unique, if janky, approach to a player's ability to exist in villainy. Rather than to coddle and bend to the player's penchant for anarchy, the game throws up its hands and allows the user to thrash around the world, like a bratty child, until the user tires of the play. While you could just as easily walk out of the world at anytime, via the road out of town, the game presents a "Cool Story, Bro." ending for those players still seeking narrative validation from their tirade. If I can't have calculation of infinite scenarios, I think I can settle for a condescending "I see what you did there ... " from my code based game master.

What about you Dtoid? Have you ever been patronized for your in-game chicanery? Is a virtual pat on the head a decent substitute for a response to every possible detailed situation?

 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Looks like my copy of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash won't be here till Tuesday. What do I pay for Amazon Prime for again? I think I might have to stream me playing it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I have just heard someone say Uncharted was a "role playing game."
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The glitched walking animation people carrying crates in Novigrad do is hilarious.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Undecided what to do with my weekend now my fiancée is away. One part of me says I should work my ass off, another says I should go watch The Martian while the last part tells me to be a slob, play games and masturbate to Highschool DXD.. Such a hard lif
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Dear Namco, give me a proper localizer Super Robot Wars title. I need it in my viens, especially this
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
I just wanna get drunk and listen to J-pop
extatix avatarextatix
Spiel was mightily expensive. Holy shit... Good thing I didn't bring more money with me, too. Saw enough stuff I'd love to own.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -