(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment. You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Yesterday I was thinking about how lamentable it is that the graphical limitations of Planescape means that I’m not able to see the main characters up close and personal. True, the writing, descriptions, and dialogue are superb, and there are little face icons, but there’s something missing when you’re approaching it from a 2013-era perspective. I connect with these characters, but I think I’d do so a lot more if I could get in their faces. Constantly hovering 40 feet above them creates distance in more ways than one.
I’ll also admit that I’m starting to get ready to finish this game. I know this series has been going on for a LONG time (thanks for putting up with my whimsy!) and there are so many other games I want to get to. The end is starting to appear on the horizon, but I’m not quite there yet.
Anyway. So I need to assemble a key to get some information as to the whereabouts of a deva — who in turn has information as to the location of my mortality. Getting the key involves a series of tasks: Rescuing a girl from slave traders, solve a dispute between two brothers, protect an old man from thugs, settle a political dispute, and, y’know, free a demon. It sounds a little tedious and I suppose it is, but there are amusing bits to this chain and I can’t complain about the incredibly generous XP rewards. My entire party levels up at least once and in some cases twice.
With the key in hand, I return to the barkeep and he sends me on a one-way trip to the Curst underground-prison complex. Immediately upon zoning in, I’m under attack by all manner of nasty brutes.
Curst underground isn’t anything special — just a bunch of tunnels with the occasional drab steampunk gadget lying around. I do find a hermit who’s willing to guard me while we rest, which is invaluable since I want my healer’s skills to be replenished (oh, the frustrating days of D&D where you only get to use a spell so many times before rest!).
We quickly descend to the prison proper. We’re back to a standard dungeon crawl, so lots of fighting, cautious advances, and looting. Again, the combat is not my favorite part of the game. It’s not very interactive apart from micro-managing heals, and since there’s no automatic regeneration (apart from your main character), I have to backtrack a lot to the hermit for rest.
Finally, I fight my way to a cell where the angel-slash-diva is being held. I got to say that his prison cell looks all dramatic and everything, but it lacks any comfort or sensibility. Where’s his bed? The commode? The TV that allows him to watch daytime soaps?
Trias isn’t that happy to see me, but he is a font of information. He says that his kind are the generals of the Blood War, keeping the fiends attacking each other instead of turning their attention onto paradise. Guess that’s an elegant if bloody solution.
While he’s willing to help me with my mortality issue, Trias can’t remember clearly until I bust him out. That will require getting his awesome sword of awesomeness back, so a-dungeon-trudging I will go!
I fight my way to the inner circle of cells, where a fat Jabba the Hutt-type guy is waiting for me. He’s got the sword and will give it up if I challenge him to a duel. Instead of fighting (I have gotten sick of fighting in this area, believe you me), I choose wits. It’s a series of riddles, made completely easy by the fact that my character’s intelligence shows me the right answer every time. It’s too dangerous to go alone, take this sword!
I also kill Ignus, one of my party members, after provoking him into fighting. Why? Well, Ignus is pure evil and that will not help me in the long run. Plus, I’m about to pick up a new member and need the party slot.
Since the sword was powering the prison, taking it unleashes a huge jailbreak. It’s a pain, because now I have to fight my way back to the charred angel, but I make do. I free him and he tells me that my princess is in another castle. Er, the knowledge of my mortality is in the Outlands (not WoW) with a fiend. Thanks!
A portal to the Outlands is nearby, but behind it is the party member I want to get: Vhailor. He’s a walking suit of armor that doesn’t quite know he’s dead, but since he’s willing to slice and dice for me, I’m all for bringing him on board.
I wave goodbye to Curst and step through the portal to regions unknown…