I was inspired by Massively OP’s MJ’s piece on how The Secret World adds a bit extra for folks who take the time to explore the world while dead (anima form). It’s something that I’ve pointed out from time to time, but I can’t recall ever simply roaming around an entire zone in that form to see if there are any easter eggs that I hadn’t seen before. So why not now?
With a quick and painless suicide /reset, I took my Templar back to Kingsmouth and started prowling the spirit realm. I didn’t find any really new revelations, but after a half-hour of nothing but anima tourism, I did make a few observations about this alternate reality.
1. Living persons, zombies, creatures, and even most spirits are missing in the anima world.
You’ll see evidence of them, like campfires and blood, but unless a person or zombie has become a corpse, they’re invisible to you (and vice-versa). Really thought there’d be more ghosts, especially in this town.
2. However, you can see birds everywhere.
Birds (maybe just ravens?) are present in the anima world. I guess they can cross over? In Kingsmouth, there are the helpful birds (white ravens) and the evil birds (the black ravens or crows that become the revenants). I got a bit of a chill when I saw a trio of black birds perched above Norma’s house, looking down at her bonfire.
3. There is one person you can find.
The only human-like person in the anima world in this zone is the guy in the prison cell, who looks surprisingly normal, like he’s alive. Just, y’know, hanging out in the spirit world and staring into a corner like he’s from the Blair Witch Project.
4. It makes for great photographs.
The black-and-white filter, the grainy overlay, and the absence of atmospheric interference make for some terrific screenshot opportunities, especially if you want to get cross-town shots.
5. There is some color.
If you get really close to objects, they go from black-and-white to color. Try the Bingo cola machines and you’ll see.
6. There isn’t a lot of non-quest-related easter eggs to be found.
I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t find more than the well-known anima bits from certain quests and the bridge.
7. The covered bridge is still super-creepy.
I think it’s that one spirit who just prowls around underneath the hanging corpses that does it. And I can’t figure out why the corpses only show in anima form — they’re dead and gone, so are they hanging spirits? I guess so.
8. You can move super-fast in anima form.
It’s a great way to quickly scout a zone without any interference from the local mobs. You can see lore pick-ups very clearly, too.
9. What’s up with Madame Roget’s raven?
Is it a bad bird or a good one or completely neutral? Just kind of off-putting how it’s hanging out between both worlds right above her head.
10. Go first-person or go home.
If you do this kind of tour, do yourself a favor and zoom in so that you’re looking at things through first-person perspective and then turn off the UI. It’s calm and eerie and free from distractions. Kind of like getting to fly through a zone with developer cheat codes.