May 23, 2014

The Rat Less Traveled: If We Don't Succeed

Our pirates have made history since their arrival on Skull Island. We've thwarted invincible foes, achieved audience with the greatest Spiral powers, and have made quite the name for ourselves as pirates with hearts of gold looking for a city of it. One of the newer quests in the Spring Updates made me jump at the thought.

The quest starts off with one of Lasko's mates asking us to check in on an old captain left to his own doings...Our pirates quickly stumble upon an old pirate claiming that there's, well, something or another above him. Within its confines is quite the prize - a city of gold! Had our pirates reached the fated city so soon? It doesn't take much to fix the lift up. What we see is not aurum but a civilization of stone and rich history, but it's a softer-spoken element that adds an intriguing afterthought.

Do other elements in the three rats' quests reflect on negative storyline outcomes? Let's take a look.
Disclaimer: The game sets us up to succeed. Our pirates are the ones to come out on top and we know that. However, it's also good to set up alternative events just to think about so we can truly understand the situation our pirates are in. Enjoy the post!

The Scared

Captain Zadok, scared off by the sounds of the Aztecosaurs above, stands just a lift away from Xol Akmul, land of the Old Ones returning. In all the time between Manny not returning and the time we arrive, he remains within the cave found from an entrance in Traitor's Cave blocked by an old door that Manny himself was scared away from.

Zadok represents a possible outcome of our pirates; We could be unprepared when El Dorado or the key to thwarting the Armada is right above us, but going back to our petty thefts and ship raids would be impossible with how far we've gotten. Once we, a stronger force, get through his own challenge, he's left with the spoils he wants. In this sense, it's possible for us to clear the way for another to get the ultimate prize when we're rendered unable to ourselves. However, with the candidates for survivor in this Spiral war dwindling down, we likely won't be gifted that luxury in time. We've got to just do it ourselves.

The Survivor

In the adventure to relieve Moe's post-mortem grief, we happen to visit a man by the name of Jim Doyle, survivor of a shipwreck by the name of the Maria Celestia. He resides in a shack on Skull Island somewhat away from the others, visited by treasure-hunters looking for what he had such little contact with in his time on the Maria.

Doyle is a prime example of how our pirates wouldn't necessarily end up by their own choices, but through their own catastrophe forcing them to adopt a different lifestyle. Say we got sunk by the Armada in an ambush. If we survived that, we'd be helpless without our crew and ship. Eternally on the run, we'd stay in a small, isolated place for a little and then get going. It seems to nearly constitute the same life of Doyle. If we would find ourselves the survivors of a catastrophe large enough to set us back, then would that be where we'd end up?

The Brute

Jack sends us on a the first of the new three quests, beginning with a plunge into the water just behind his spectral form. We are greeted by Cutthroats and a frog and are thus sent on an adventure from there. However, Jack stays behind, bound to the cave and his grief. In fact, the analogy of what would become of us if we didn't succeed in our pursuit of fortune and clockwork smashing lies in the rat himself and through the head of the four, Lasko.

Let me set up the situation: Without the memory of our parents, we're left to the knowledge of one of our companions to aid us in our understanding of the situation. At one point, we'd end up quite dependent on them for information. It's very possible that we could end up just the brain of the brawn, knowing too little to be able to continue on. Like Jack, we end up tasking whoever else can to do what we left unfinished, unable to thwart the cause without an advantage (see disclaimer). Like Lasko, we'd be smart enough to support a cause, but unable to make any true progress due to some disability.
What does this say about our pirates? For starters, it says that we've theoretically got all these possibilities. However, the deeper meaning is what the obvious leaves out; It means that our pirates are one-of-a-kind; Any brute can dig up a treasure chest, but it takes a special kind of scalawag to do what we have and come out enlightened as we do. What will we learn next?


  1. Oh, Destiny, you have a way with words! I particularly enjoyed the ties in this post between the quests for the rats and the overarching story. Very effective.

    I'm not sure how intensely Blind Mew imagined the relationship between the two, but I'm sure he'd be intrigued. Should some of the fates and possibilities we see and experience in the new quests manifest themselves, it'll have to be more than coincidence. ;)

  2. A lot of insight here and I love it. Great graphic work too. You color me impressed as usual.


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