(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!)
Ghoul Pool (side mission)
With all of the quest giver missions accomplished, all that remains for me to do in Scorched Desert are about a few side missions and the main storyline. Let’s knock out those side missions, shall we?
I should have grabbed this at the hotel, but anyway it’s a nice excuse to go back for a quick firefight with the ghouls. And I do mean quick — my gear/QL/skills are apparently getting up there, at least on the upper end of the Scorched Desert range, so the fights are over in a flash. Nothing like swinging a chainsaw around in a pool of ghouls and seeing five drop at a time!
Aww… aren’t those ghouls practically adorable, in an ugly sort of way?
King of the Hill (side mission)
Now this… is one truly fun side quest. Tucked all the way at the top of the map, there’s a little pyramid structure that has this magical orb floating on top. The quest text cheekily describes it as a beautiful planet that you can hold in the palm of your hand, nodding to its status as a completely useless MacGuffin.
Anyway, the quest is to defend the orb from — of course — mummies. Many waves of mummies, some models more durable than others. Instead of using your standard weapons, you’re given various explosives for this task. Really, all you need are the frag grenades, but the rest of the arsenal is cool too.
It’s just wave after wave of blasting mummies with grenades, but if that’s not enough reason to get up in the morning and play a video game, I don’t know what is!
Touched by Fire (side mission)
I don’t think I’ve ever done this, because if I had I would definitely remember it. It’s a bit of an out-of-the-way area that’s populated by a congregation of fire cultists — you know, the guys and gals who are currently on fire yet somehow not (a) stop drop and rolling, (b) screaming, or (c) burning up. Must be a fun cult, all things considered.
By whacking five of them at once, I was able to summon their middle manager, Ted. Oh, he has some sort of demon name, but I like to emasculate supernatural foes by giving them nicknames. I can deal with a demon named Ted. And so I have.
Black Sun, Red Sand (main story, tiers 2 through 5)
That’s it! All Scorched Desert quests are done, so time to get a move on with the main story. I “procure” an Atenist outfit from an unwilling volunteer and then head into their secret headquarters underneath al-Merayah. As a bonus, you get to keep the outfit as one of your cosmetics, although it’s not really anything I’d ever wear.
Inside the secret temple, I eavesdrop on a conversation between Mr. Hatty and Mr. Beardy (which is becoming a regular thing by now). As usual, Hatty isn’t happy with Beardy’s progress, Beardy keeps yammering on about being an awesome prophet of Aten, and I wonder why I don’t just toss a grenade in the room with them two. Being immortal means that I don’t have to worry about dying myself, right? I’m the perfect assassin.
Following Hatty, I see him try to shake down Said in an alley for not signing up to transport a second Filth bomb. Lots of grandiose, “I’m such a bad guy” speeches, but Said — bless him — isn’t having any of it. Hard to scare a mummy, I guess. Said knows that I’ve been listening in and hints that I should get a move on to stop this madman and his machinations.
After a follow-up scuffle at the Marya camp, Khalid shows up to basically charge me with fixing all that’s gone wrong with the region. He says that the Atenists are “in the grips of the dreamers” and work for forces that want to extinguish all life everywhere. He also mentions the sixty-four again (I am intrigued!) and encourages me to find those to help me. This is why I like doing the story mission after wrapping up a zone instead of during it, because you’re in a much better position to understand what’s going on and the players involved, even if it messes with the chronology a little.
Our best friends tour continues with a trip to the Oxford archaeologists, who grouse about how the Orochi’s jackboots messed up everything and unearthed stuff that should’ve stayed buried. Story of my life, pal. They also say that all of the ruins in the Scorched Desert are just the forerunners of the real thing, a city hidden away inside the mountains and concealed from Google Earth. The conversation is halted when all of us hear eerie singing — singing that’s fading. That means something, they say. But what?
I go tomb raiding again and find a tablet with some answers. According to the Oxford duo, it mentions the seven sentinels watching over the valley with their song. But now that the song is fading, the evil guy and his boss, evil guy senior, will rise to power. And that, Monty says, is a very bad thing.
That’s it, I guess. Time to stop mucking about in this relatively nice area and head into the City of the Sun God. It’s a rather dour place, with dark skies, a giant black pyramid, and singing statues that are keeping the evil at bay. A white-haired man with suitcases — Ptahmose — shows up and waxes on about his children and their 3,000-year vigil over this valley. He says that, one way or the other, their watch will be over soon… and that it is time to fight. Me? I got pistols and a chainsaw. Bring on that creaky Egyptian god already!