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LONG BLOG

Sable | Part 4 - Trouble in Paradise

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All this climbing makes me tired...

Table of Contents


To Eccria We Go, But First...

Gathering of people in the center of town. Person stands on a pedestal in the foreground speaking to the others.

Did someone say Dark Souls?

Last week we left off with two directions to head to. Either we go to the Bridge of Betrayal, or we head to the city of Eccria. I elected to head to Eccria first since I figured there might be essential resources I could buy there, and at the same time, I still have those beetle husks I need to deliver anyways. I hop on my hoverbike and hit the desert sands, well metaphorically since my bike hovers above the sand, soooo...The thing I enjoy about this game, which is also what I enjoyed about Breath of the Wild, is its exploration. As you roam the world, you'll come across interesting locations, abandoned ships. Little remnants of stories of the desert and culture of the world you're inhabiting. Riding through the desert, I came across a tower with a giant balloon at its peak.

When you see these balloons, it means a Cartographer is at the top waiting to sell you a map of the local area. While exploring the base of this tower, though, I noticed another Face door like the one from Part 1. To open this door, I had to solve a puzzle that involved three plates that needed 3 sculptures placed on top of them to open. I found the first inside a small building, the second across a section of land that had collapsed into a sinkhole with water at the bottom. The third, I had to climb the tower because it was sitting on top of a roof. The reward was a new piece of clothing, a ceremonial top. Nice!

Character encapsulated in a forcefield, floating high above towards a platform

Although it wasn't something that drove the narrative forward, I still enjoyed the puzzle and reward. That's the thing about the game. It's got what I would describe as a "hands-off" approach to the game design. It doesn't really tell you much. It drops you into the world, introduces some characters, and then tells you to go out and find your way.

I know the Dark Souls series is a very different game than this, but it has the same energy, so to speak. Granted, my first time playing that game, I was absolutely lost, but when the game finally clicked for me, going in blind the first time is always so fun. Those games really don't give you much other than the starting cut scene to set the mood, and then your thrust into the world. But the design is deliberate; it guides you through this vaguely explained world that unfolds into a masterpiece of game design. Maybe it's apparent what I appreciate in games now, narrative told not by cinematics but by environmental world design.

Character sitting in the foreground looking out to a desert oasis scenery, with trees and stone structures among the landscape.

 

Alright, rant over. Got a new top, made it to the cartographer and got a new map. Now what? Well, while climbing the tower, I happened to see a crashed ship off in the distance, so that's where I went next. I climbed in through the bottom and made my way inside to a huge bay with a ladder. I had to find a battery to open the door to the flight deck of the ship. This was relatively easy to do and involved a sweet moving platform mechanic that shoots you up into the air to get the battery to where you need it to go.

Character climbing cargo netting into a circular hatch leading inside a spaceship

Inside I found an AI named Sarin. He tells me he had created a new account for me and plays back a recording of the last minute before the ship crashed. No other data is available, but Sarin says that I need to find more of his data core's to recover the lost data.

Hologram floats in the back ground, textbook reads

With nothing else to find inside the ship, I jumped out and made my way to Eccria. I expected things to be...working? When I got to the city, the villagers all talked of the power outage, and all seemed unsure of when the power would come back. By this point, it's gotten so bad that people have already left for other places because it's affected the local economy so severely. As I walk into the middle of the city square, I'm approached by a guard who explains the power outage situation. Apparently, someone is sabotaging the city's main battery, but he doesn't know who yet. Given that he's a guard, he doesn't expect people to be so forthcoming with information, so he's been waiting for someone that can help with his mission. That someone is us, we're on our Gliding, he says, meaning we are tied to no clan and are thus impartial and the perfect person for the job. I agree to the task, and I leave him. Unfortunately, this too is where I left the game, and so the adventure continues next week! Stay tuned!

Character riding a hover bike in the foreground. In the distant background a city reveals itself among the desert landscape

Bonus Material

Here's a really cool piano video I found while stumbling around youtube.

- Be like water, my friends.


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About Alivad The Impalaone of us since 9:24 PM on 10.16.2021

I love playing and watching indie games and movies. Experiencing the design choices of these mediums is always fascinating to me. Although I'm new to blogging and writing, I do enjoy the medium and hope to hone my skills with each post. Let me know your thoughts!

Currently Playing

Sable - PC

Demons Souls - PS5