(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)
Signs and Symbols (side mission)
- I’m pushing hard to clean up the remainder of the quests in Blue Mountain so I can jump back into the main storyline and then head off to Egypt. Stick with me here!
- Near the Blue Mountain mine is a stone jutting out with strange Wabinaki symbols on it, and it’s not the only one. Time to go check them all out!
- Finding all of the symbols (not hard) leads me back — once again — to the Wabinaki settlement. Man this game must really, really want players to go there. A little light reading in the library here reveals that the symbols are signs of high-risk areas — not quite as powerful as Illuminati symbols, Geary dryly notes.
Treasure Hunt (side mission)
- We start out by seeing an Orochi soldier in his natural state: Stone-cold dead after having done something really stupid. In this case, going treasure hunting on a beach filled with zombies and creatures from the black lagoon.
- A developer got really carried away with this mission, because it’s pretty much Beeping: The Epic Quest. Yes, you have to use that radar/beeping mechanic, and yes, it goes on forever. I had to find 10 different objects all over the beach, and by the end my head was quite throbbing with a headache by all of those beeps.
- BEEP BEEP BEEPBEEPBEEP
- This is another one of what I’m going to term an “elevated side mission” — one that really should’ve been a main mission of a sort. It’s somewhat long and ends with a pretty cool battle with you and an earth golem fighting against the sea creatures.
- And that’s it! All done with the standard Blue Mountain quests, save for the Tyler Freeborn series (which I cannot do since it’s QL10). I’ll have to come back for those at a later date.
- To celebrate, I jetted off to London to buy myself a new outfit and drop off some of my inventory. Also — taco stocking! Can’t have enough tacos in TSW, no sirree.
Dawning of an Endless Night (tiers 12-18)
- Back to the Franklin Manor, where a painting, when touched, opens a secret door to Edward’s private study. It’s your typical “crazy man” den: lots of notes all of the walls, scrawled messages that refer to “honeyed ancestors,” and a ghost — Ed — who likes to hang out in here. Feeling bad for himself, no doubt.
- Ed’s notes are all about the Blue Ridge Mine, so I jog over and reaquaint myself with this lovely place. This time I’m using the elevator to go down into the deep shaft, presumably where they drilled where Man Was Not Meant To Tread.
- It’s really, really dark down here, so the mining helmet comes in useful once again (seriously, once you get this item never, ever ditch it!). Gradually I make my way through the inky corridors, past some nasty shades, and into a cavern where…
- …Loki/Beaumout is already waiting. With Excalibur. And a chip on his shoulder.
- Loki monologues a bit, but the important thing that he mentions is that we’re standing in the middle of an Engine — one of the devices that makes the world spin and does other amazing stuff. Then he stabs it and ushers in the start of the end of the world.
- The Filth takes over me, I black out, and then… I’m on the ridge above the mine (uh, how?) where Ami and her daughter are trying to revive me. Ami can feel the world unraveling but doesn’t know what to do — only Old Joe does, and that family rift between the two is going to keep either party from teaming up without some intervention.
- Me. I’m the intervention. Syp, professional family therapist and world-saver.
- Old Joe seems pretty open to reconciliation. He explains how the tribe split when some stood up to the mining corporation back in the 60s or 70s, how Ami grew up in the shadow of a broken family. He also said that the wards that both the Wabinaki and the Vikings put into place 1,000 years ago have been broken, that the tribe failed to maintain them, and that they must be repaired.
- Me. I’m the repairman. Syp, professional warder. Also, I do gutters.
- That means it’s fun trip time through all of the Solomon Island zones to find and activate the wards. At least this time the game gives me allies, as undead thanes pop up to help me fight off waves of draug.
- The only downside to doing the three wards is that the ensuing fights take freaking for…ever. There are multiple waves and way too much downtime between each wave.
- The wards are repaired but the main threat needs to be neutralized or else it’s all for naught. I meet back up with the Wabinaki in their secret club cave, where they’re patching up their relationships and filling the pool full of Ancestor Power(tm) for me to drink.
- Kyra ends the whole meeting with a hearty “Go team!” which cracked me up.
- The showdown with Beaumont went a lot more smoothly than the first time I got here. This encounter can kind of kick your butt if you don’t pay attention (and kill) the adds, but this time I whittled him down easily. I’m loving my pistol/elem build.
- Right as I’m about to claim Excalibur and presumably sit on the throne of Camelot, a portal sucks me away. Cassie shows up in the room afterward, strutting by Beaumont to take the sword for herself. “It’s not you, it’s me,” she says, kicking Beaumont in the face. Who or what Cassie is has always been a deep mystery to the game, and while there are many theories I’m not sure if one has been proven yet to be the definitive answer.
- Anyway, I wake up in the Dreaming Prison, which initially looks like a mountain expedition camp.
- Notes lying scattered around tell of the expedition, of which “Belmont” was a part, climbing the mountains and finding something called “Shambala.”
- The cavern is then littered with little “memories” — ghosts and buildings. A voice tells me that it wants to grant me a gift, and that some people have used that gift for wealth, language, or beauty. I can be so much more than that, of course.
- For the record, when the moment came to choose — one of the genuinely few branching choices in this game — I rejected the gift. The first time through I did mixed (accepted once, rejected twice). The voice wasn’t that happy with me and spat me back out into Blue Mountain.
- Geary called, a little upset that I went totally AWOL for a bit there, and tells me to get back to NYC.
The Uncertainty Principle (action mission)
- One last Solomon Island mission (for now). I double back to Moose and pick up the quest to get my first auxiliary weapon.
- Moose has been tinkering about with weapons (apparently his former life as a financial analyst helped him with this, numbers and all) but doesn’t quite know what to do with a “quantum core” that Edgar sent to him.
- At first I get to experiment with creating some of Moose’s weird weapons using Edgar’s quantum core. My favorite is the battery acid rocket launcher and why can’t I play the rest of the game using this weapon already?
- I like how the quest keeps telling you to kill 50 enemies with each weapon, which is way too many, but then each weapon ends up breaking down after the 4th or 5th fire. It’s a nice little psyche-out.
- The quest eventually leads to Edgar, who is shown being some sort of instinctive mechanical genius even as his mind isn’t quite all there. His ending rant, where he quotes schoolkids that made fun of him and calls himself a “retard” in order to rob the word of its sting, is one of the more poignant moments in the game. You can sense the sadness, the anger, and the vindication that lurks in this man.
- The mission concludes in a series of battles with super-charged golems and one inexplicable blue dude (Tobias Funke?) who keeps showing up. Who’s the blue dude? What’s his story? Pshaw, this game never feels like it owes you an explanation. If you’re lucky, maybe one day it’ll give you one.
- And after all that, I can’t equip the quantum bracer that I just won, as I need 10 quantum skill for it. Well, that’ll be a while. Into the bank you go!