Pathologic 2 Discussion (SPOILER HECK ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK)

at least for me the bull seemed like a good purchase bc the sales pitch comes right after the one guy tries to sell you a gun for 3 g's

@“yeso”#p89162 I would say Ice Pick Lodge do as much as is possible, even on the margins of good taste, to communicate the importance of >!my real and strong friend Noukher!<

I played this!

Went in very blind - I watched hbomb's video when it came out, but I didn't recall any story details. Didn't even know only the Haruspex was playable at the moment lol

Here's how it went: I stayed on intended difficulty, a lot of people died, I died quite a few times (a lot of shanking in the night) but thankfully my Good Friend Death offered a deal I couldn't refuse. From what I can tell this was a very bad move. I accepted something bad happening, didn't realize it would be _this_ kind of bad.
On one hand, I respect the game going this far, few do!
Outer Wilds big spoilers: ||For example, I wish dying with the Ash Twin Project disabled deleted your save file... but maybe everyone would hate that||
On the other hand, knowing that was punished when playing "organically" (no looking up anything, no reloads, intended difficulty) and would not have been if I instead messed with hunger sliders or whatever feels like a stumble.

I was extremely into the first 2/3 of the game, the difficulty was just right, often having me panicking but making it out alive and all the different characters were intriguing. By the end I was kind of going through the motions. I knew (mostly) how to survive and there were less characters to talk to and the plague making it a pain to move around.

The biggest #content I think I missed aside from the ending was never going to the abattoir or meeting anyone on the polyhedron even though I climbed it twice (the second time there even was a circle saying children are gathered here. not sure if bug or that the night became day as I was climbing or too many dead kids by that point)
I wish I went more deep with the elites and the other playable characters. For example trying to escape with the Inquisitor was one of the most memorable parts and I wonder how many more similar things are there to find.

I rate this game fish/10. Filling, but causes thirst for another playthrough. Depending on when the Bachelor drops, I could see myself doing one. Any recommendations on things to do the second time around? And what about Marble Nest?

Marble Nest is interesting. It’s sort of a distillation/proof of concept that was originally a kickstarter alpha that has since become dlc. I doubt the Bachelor route will wind up being much like Marble Nest since IPL is supposedly using some of these smaller games they’re releasing to work out gameplay ideas.

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@“Snowdecahedron”#p92785 I wish I went more deep with the elites

That angle, and the other true purpose of The Polyhedron are more of a Bachelor Route thing. At least they were in the original _Pathologic_

As for what to do next: definitely go for the Nocturnal Ending. Because you never made it to The Abattoir, I’m not sure how much you uncovered in terms of plot and theme. Might have missed some big stuff

Alternately, if you want more Ice-Pick quality, but maybe lower stress, take a look at _Know By Heart_

Alternately alternately if you want more Ice-Pick quality but want to get more weird, give _The Void_ a try

I enjoyed reading your impressions, Snowdec - fish out of 10 (a Jesus fish imo) is a fair score

@“Snowdecahedron”#p92785 I didn't know it was possible to finish the game without going through the abattoir. I must insist you not miss it next time. Did you get to pick an ending??

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@“Snowdecahedron”#p92785 trying to escape with the Inquisitor was one of the most memorable parts

...meanwhile it sounds like I missed some things too!

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@“captain”#p92802 I didn’t know it was possible to finish the game without going through the abattoir. I must insist you not miss it next time. Did you get to pick an ending??

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@“Snowdecahedron”#p92785 my Good Friend Death offered a deal I couldn’t refuse. From what I can tell this was a very bad move. I accepted something bad happening, didn’t realize it would be this kind of bad.

> On one hand, I respect the game going this far, few do!

Since you've finished the game, it's not really a spoiler to know [just how far the game is willing to go](https://www.neoseeker.com/pathologic-2/walkthrough/The_Deal) if you accept that offer.

@“captain”#p92802 I got to pick, even watched the polyhedron fall but then I was forced to the theater. It was like when the plague starts with reflections pointing to the destination.

as you mentioned, it‘s sort of a ruthless game no so much for the survival/difficulty (according to IPL, they’re moving away from the survival stuff for The Bachelor Route), but because you can play through to the end without discovering what's “really” going on or situate the events thematically

I think it's much more player-challenging in that respect than _Disco Elysium_ or _Obra Dinn_ which embed similarly important info in gameplay steps. In _Pathologic 2_, it's really up to the player to think through what's going on, what people are saying, and what their motives might be. Maybe that's not "good" game design but who gives a dang hoot

@Snowdecahedron I'm curious what of the following you encountered during your playthrough:

  • * who killed Isador Burakh
  • * who are "The Powers That Be"
  • * what was The Bachelor doing in the Capitol, and why is he in the Town
  • * what is below the well?
  • * why does Anna Angel want to rescue infants?
  • * did you meet both Clara and "Clara"
  • * what happens to Nara?
  • * what is the Udurgh
  • * how did the plague start?
  • @“yeso”#p92892

    Anything not answered means I know nothing.

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    who are “The Powers That Be”

    Either the inquisitor or the general said they were sent by them, assumed a faceless government.

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    what was The Bachelor doing in the Capitol, and why is he in the Town

    He told me at Lara's house where the courier was. Researching immortality and he knew/found out that the polyhedron was important in this way.

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    why does Anna Angel want to rescue infants?

    I don't know anything about her, she was the first to die!

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    did you meet both Clara and “Clara”

    I remember noticing a distinction between different versions of her, but no clue really.

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    what is the Udurgh

    If there's like a Canon answer I don't know, but I got the impression that it's the town itself, an alive thing.

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    how did the plague start?

    The polyhedron piercing the Udurgh? Maybe? If it does represent immortality it perhaps wouldn't vibe with such an earthly thing. Not sure why it emerges when it does or if the timeline even lines up with the first outbreak 5 years ago. Isidor dying must play a part.

    Calm down you've been playing this for like 2 hours

    it’s true there is blood and disease, and diseased blood :drop_of_blood: in Pathologic 2

    Just found out that my friend owns a mysteriously autographed Art of Pathologic 2 book, and I thought I’d share it here.




    how much they want for it?

    reflections on replaying Pathologic 2 again.

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    this is my first run through the game in which I was “good” at it to the point that lots of the survival stuff was sanded down a bit (not trivialized by any means though). The toughest sledding being getting infected early, which makes you not only have to manage hunger/thirst/immunity, but add Health to that mix. The effect here was having to burn time and money/bartering items (most often water, because that's what the alcoholics who have bandages and tourniquets want) getting health items. Really put a strain on my ambition to keep not only the 7 on the list alive, but the characters I liked in general too.

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    from a narrative standpoint, being able to play through the game with foreknowledge of what was once totally mystifying plot events gave me more headspace to think the whole thing through, rather than having to be confused/reactive the whole time. TBH, I liked being confused and reactive more. But "nothing gold can stay" I suppose. A credit to the game that it took several runs through to exhaust that. Of course that's not actually true since we have The Bachelor Route on the horizon and then finger crossed The Changeling after that

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    Strikes me that it's heartening to have a video game that trades on and succeeds on the strength of its plot/setting/writing/themes/etc from a birds eye view down to the sentence level. I suppose the seams show a bit regarding the setup basically being walking to talk to a person and from that person to another person, and in-between is game stuff. But idk, I think it works exceptionally well because the talking to person part is so good, and also because the game stuff is as direct as it is: it's the water you're swimming in. And this isnt a novel observation, it's been remarked on wrt to the original _Pathologic_ but that the writing is as good and as it, and the mysteries are as dense as they are, the walking from place to place is critical to the player's cogitating and imagining. I just really appreciate that using your brain and imagination is part of the "gameplay" rather than having to be distracted into dumb little chores all the time like let's face it 95% of games.

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    Details seen for the first time:

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    You can climb up the spiral staircase in the cathedral and save on the huge clock gears. Makes sense, it's the same thing as all the save clocks only bigger

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    Aglaya speeds up said cathedral clock, which is what makes the game move faster/days shorter lol

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    the fan community wants Artemy and Daniil to be in a gay relationship it seems. But idk I think the text goes Artemy - Stakh pretty clearly depending on decisionmaking. fan communities what can you do

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    mentioned in the regular what are you playing thread, but I noticed Aglaya only shifts to the Blood layer if you try to run away with her. That story thread makes me sad :(

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    @“captain”#p58076 also some kids outside your lair even flat out ask you to destroy it because it acts as a kind of Neverland for them, a place where they can hide from Real Life and never grow up, which didn’t sound great to me.

    hey why not address this 2 years later? These particular kids, who you see at a few points throughout the game, arent in fact, normal human kids

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    @“captain”#p58150 I was at first resistant when told by the Termitary Kin that they wanted Artemy to be their leader—not ready or willing to accept my role as a necessary component of this community body, not wanting to become its operational head—but on the other hand when Saburov or the Kains or the Stamatins or the Olgimskys explained their grand plans for maintaining control or even for what they thought would be helpful to the Town, I just thought, nah dude, let me do the thinking here. You’re lost. (no idea how much sense I’m making here if any, sorry)

    this is a fantastic observation and something I noticed on my new playthrough. I was equivocating more about the situation in the Termitary with the workers and yeah you have to wonder why reflexively you're more comfortable with other authorities, even if you get in a few burns making fun of Big Vlad to his face or whatever: that's not really resisting is it

    @“yeso”#p157973 I know as much now, although I don‘t know when/how I discovered who they were… probably when I read your post here @“yeso”#p92892 and realized I didn’t know the answer to 50% of the questions, I guess I looked up the answer to that one and put the rest in the “when I replay” basket. Very interested in this narrative thread you and others mention re: trying to escape with the inquisitor. Did I do this and forget about it?? I recall at least discussing the idea with her. Is that a whole other ending?

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    @“yeso”#p157969 the walking from place to place is critical to the player’s cogitating and imagining

    Exactly, and the walking and experience of "the architecture" is as important to the game as the writing. "Walking to talk to a person and from that person to another person" is not novel, and imo "walking while managing meters" sounds even worse, but operating on the backbone of the level design and the chaos of unpredictable character behavior and world events makes it work where your average critically acclaimed RPG feels more like the perfunctory running from person to person.

    More importantly: what happened with Stakh????

    Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat remembering that @Snowdecahedron finished the game without entering the abattoir

    I vow to go there as Daniil!!!

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    @“captain”#p158482 More importantly: what happened with Stakh???

    He attempts strongly taboo medical experiments in response to the outbreak. Takes a lot of convincing to get the Kin not to lynch him in response. You eventually find him holed up in an abandoned warehouse where he’s working on…something hidden behind a bloody curtain. Whatever he’s doing amounts to a total failure. Exhausted from working day and night, he sleeps for an entire day. At this point you can reconcile with him. On day 10/11 while you’re out running down the couriers, you can find him in the army camp at the railyard. He’s trying to enlist and half hopes he’ll die at the front. You can talk him out of it, or not.

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    @“captain”#p158482 trying to escape with the inquisitor. Did I do this and forget about it??

    You probably didn’t do it. If you did, you would have experienced an extended sequence in which you actually escape the town and the results of that escape

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    @“captain”#p158482 Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat remembering that @Snowdecahedron finished the game without entering the abattoir

    I know! I feel bad you didn’t see critically important things, Snowdec. The hazards of ruthless game design I suppose