Planescape: Torment Journal - Day 2

Friday, November 27, 2009 at 11:03 PM
Many apologies about the wait. Doing a playthrough of a time consuming game like Torment on Thanksgiving and Black Friday (on which I had to build a computer for my brother) was not the best of ideas.    

But enough of that. Let's take a look at the OPENING MOVIE (Audience: Ooooooo).

 

Opening Movie

 

 

Here is how we begin the game – dead. For a second. But it still a fascinating way to begin the game. How many times can you say that the main character begins the story as a corpse? It tells us one thing, in a beautiful way – Torment is not your average RPG. It is something unique, cool, and as ungeneric as you can get.

 

 

Hey, its Morte! That’s pronounced MORT, not MORTEE. I just realized that today when Qwinn’s Unfinished Business mod revealed a voiced dialogue where Mort said his name.

Speaking of Unfinished Business, you see that 3rd line? That wasn’t there in vanilla Torment. There is also a crap load of new dialogue tree options in this new dialogue with Morte.

We learn a little about our situation. Most predominantly, this!

 

 

Notice the references to mythology? Basically, it is like this. Torment takes place in a big place called the Multiverse.

The Multiverse is essentially every single setting imaginable connected to each other. Real world mythologies count as well. The river Styx is a galactical river that essentially spans between different planes.

Oh, and by planes, I mean stuff like the elemental planes, and moral planes. There is a plane for each of D&D’s moral alignments. I might as well describe them…

 

Lawful Good: Also nicknamed Lawful Boring. Think boy scouts, or God (maybe). It is essentially being a good individual who is very much devoted to oaths, laws, etc.

Lawful Neutral: They pretty much believe in a personal code, and maybe laws, but they don’t feel the need to adhere to either the good or bad of the concept of laws. I guess James Bond might be a good example.

Lawful Evil: I like to call it Lawful Awesome. Pretty much, think corrupt politicians. They know laws, and they have morals, but they are also willing to use them for their own self interest. I think Doom would be a great example here. He won’t hurt the Fantastic Four… but that does not mean he won’t send his minions to do it for him.

Neutral Good: Characters that can see the benefit of laws but see no reason to adhere to them. They just do what their morals tell them is the right thing to do.

True Neutral: So, how can you describe a character that is neither a good nor evil, and does not believe either laws or personal conscience is the best way to do what is best? Me neither.

Neutral Evil: A guy that is after his own self-interest. He just does whatever he sees as being more beneficial to him. He has no honor to abide by, and he is not mindlessly violent.

Chaotic Good: The Robin Hood variation. Also the smarter variation of good. They don’t believe in laws or codes – because they are stupid and get in the way of getting things done. They just allow their personal conscience to direct them.

Chaotic Neutral: Someone who is between downright murder crazy (Chaotic Evil) and someone who does good without following tradition (Chaotic Good). They just try to live their lives their way, damning what society thinks of them.

Chaotic Evil: The Joker alignment. Also called Chaotic Stupid by a many D&D players because most players think this means their characters should not do anything logical. Like killing a mayor of a city just because. In truth, there is a sense of logic to Chaotic Evil. They just want to spread chaos, anarchy – freedom, bestial logic – to the world. No need for order when there is none in the world.

 

Now that we got to know D&D and the Multiverse a little bit more, let’s learn a little bit about TNO and Morte.

 

Interesting how TNO’s bio is so much shorter when compared to Morte’s. I can presume that I because TNO’s will expand as we reach major plot points in the game. Also, I can understand why they had bio’s in Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, where character development and conversation as kept to a bare minimum. But why in Torment where conversation is every and in large quantities do we need a bio when it will just be revealed to us by the characters themselves?

Maybe it was a “nudge” from the suits at Interplay to make it more like Baldur’s Gate?

So anyways, we quickly realize TNO’s first objective – find Pharod. The “book on his back” told him to do so.

But we seem to have a dilemma – the door is locked. TNO’s journey has just begun and already he is trapped.

Lovely.

But luckily for us, we have no sense of moral dilemma about killing mindless zombies for a key with a rusty, well used scalpel.

One (temporarily) dead zombie later, we opened the door. I quickly realized something. The zombies are not attacking me. They are just wandering mindlessly.

This is the second time in 5 minutes the game developers have told us that Torment is not Uncle’s RPG. This is going to be a weird gaming experience, unlike any you have seen before.

Also, another thing. None of the zombies share the same opening conversation text. Here are some examples:

 

 

I really do love it. Some of the zombies have items we can liberate from them. Awesome! The little things really does expand on the believability of the world.

Oh, and we got our first journal update.

 

“UPDATED MY JOURNAL”

 

Greater words have never been spoken.

Shortly after, we run into an old Dustman – the guys who run this Morgue, and one of the dozen factions in the Multiverse – named Dhall.

He is old, nearing his end, and knows TNO all too well. TNO appears to have died many times, and each time his corpse comes to the morgue, only to eventually leave

Dhall assures TNO that his secret is safe with him. He will not tell the other Dustmen of his curse. If the others found out, they would surely throw him into the fires to permanently correct the problem.

If you question Dhall about his kindness, he responds with thus:

 

The highlighted dialogue really resonates with me for some reason. I am a somewhat religious individual, but it seems to me that all around I see nothing but arrogance and ignorance from my fellows. I see so much condemnation on others without any attempt to understand them, or even simply sympathize with them, it makes me sick.

I wish more of any faith were more like Dhall. It’s not right for anyone to be have someone else’s beliefs forced on him. They need to come into it on their own, if at all. If the only way for a religion to survive is through force, then it is not worth surviving at all.

Anyways that’s all for this update. Later.