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ResettePlayer

[Story/Writing] Was there any followup to Kalandra's invention?

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ResettePlayer    6182

In Grout Bog, if you report to Kalandra first thing, she tells you at the bar that Fellemo stole an invention from her and she was justifiably pissed. It gave her more of a personal motivation to get at Fellemo and crush the Barons on top of her life having always sucked as a non-Baron, and how they executed her parents. That's enough motivation already, but that extra layer was nice too.

I swear it never comes up again after Day 1 though. Day 2 is mostly Rook Doin' Stuff and by Day 3 everybody is distracted by the Bogger's Cache. I think there is an ending slide that has Fellemo surrendering all his stuff and disappearing if you spare him on a Rise run but... that doesn't really do it for me. By the time I got there I completely forgot about Kalandra's invention, and it wasn't alluded to strongly enough for my dumb brain to make that connection.

Maybe it's the contrast to Sal's very polished, complete-feeling writing that Rook's seems to peter off as the run goes on. Rook's story is much more complex with a lot of decisions that can be made to throw things for a loop, so I can only imagine the headaches involved in trying to make every outcome satisfying. At the moment, however, the reason I like Grout Bog has little to do with the story: it's the horror, the robots, the rebels and their tendency to blow things up, the Spark Barons and their cool outfits and terrible behaviour. The worldbuilding of Grout Bog is great, no lie.

Anyway, anyone have any insight?

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warlepidoptera    202

Yeah I also wondered about that too at some point. It doesn’t come back in the story at all as far as I know. I think the main point of that dialogue was to show the systemic discrimination in the Baron’s ranks, that the workers are kept under heel and not promoted if it is perceive that they can challenge the system in any way (too real klei). So I’m not sure the invention is supposed to matter that much at the end, but I agree, I would love to see more interactions between Kalandra and Fellemo before the big end fight (maybe Kalandra calling him out about it or something like that) 

And yeah, I also love Grout Bog. The designs of the robots and the sparks barons are extremely great and the power dynamics are really interesting. I would love to see more of it and maybe also some Rook dreams, similar to the ones in Sal’s route. It doesn’t very need to be concise or anything (because he’s supposed to be a mystery and all) but maybe something about him being part of the Bread fields revolts (I think that’s implied a few times but correct me if I’m wrong)

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Maniafig    185

I think this is just a dropped plot point. Every time I replay Rook's story and that bit comes up I'm reminded that it never gets resolved. It feels clunky and I'm hoping they'll either resolve it or not establish the point in the first place. 

Unlike Nadan and Oolo, Kalandra and Fellomo do actually meet face to face, but they barely get to address each other in every outcome. I really wish there would be more dialogue during that scene, being able to ask some questions to the leader you betrayed and then spared, or the leader you sided with if you pass the distrust negotiation.

(EDIT: I realize that Oolo does actually meet Nadan if you bring him in. You know what happens afterwards? You can talk to her about it! Let us do the same with Kalandra and Fellomo! Talking is good!)

Rook's day 4 in general as-is is such a combat/negotiation gauntlet, I'm really missing that Griftlands narrative flavour. Everybody is constantly rushing you through the Bog, and you don't get to talk with Glorfiam either once you make it to the heart of the Bog. The two faction lieutenants don't get much payoff either, just a passing mention. 

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Prismaux    305

That also really bothered me! Does anyone know what the device that Took gets at the end of the story is? It's never mentioned previously and it seems to be one of Rook's primary goals. It's also featured prominently in the trailers.

I love Rook's campaign but some aspects of the story really didn't click for me.

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Scrumch    273

I think that you fight Kalandra/Fellemo directly before you fight the Grout Monster means you can't really have extra story content about the two interacting - unless the two decided to stop in the middle of the Bog and have a half an hour conversation about worker's rights. 

And yeah, I would like some more fleshing out of Rook's overall story, but I partly feel that the sudden shift from those two to the boggers' cache is deliberately to show how Rook only follows the orders at his dead drops and no one else. Being a direct contrast to how clear most of Sal's lore is.

(It could also just be something that'll get expanding upon later in development, like Rook's pistols)

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4 hours ago, ZeppMan217 said:

Arint/Flekfis being dead meat is probably the most upsetting thing, along with the lack of a bogger side to join.

It def struck me as a bit off the narration you get saying "This death will not likely go unnoticed" and then like...... nothing else is said about it? It also strikes me as off when after you kill Flekfis if you change sides at the end Kelandra still is like "Flek would scold me for not believing in you!" Like..... Kal..... I murdered him in cold blood last night????

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RageLeague    1451
2 hours ago, WildmanOfBorneo said:

It def struck me as a bit off the narration you get saying "This death will not likely go unnoticed" and then like...... nothing else is said about it? It also strikes me as off when after you kill Flekfis if you change sides at the end Kelandra still is like "Flek would scold me for not believing in you!" Like..... Kal..... I murdered him in cold blood last night????

i think the confrontation dialog was bugged. if the lieutenant died, the handler should comment on their death. that will explain why you have to explain to the handler the lieutenant's death.

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ZeppMan217    363

So, I couldn't stop thinking about the whole Day 4 Rook campaign and had some ideas.

Day 4 could start with you being able to go to Spark Baron/Rise HQ as usual BUT, the HQ of the faction whose lieutenant you had to fight at the end of Day 3 would be deserted. When talking to the leader of the faction you supported they'll note that the opposing side had gone to the ground, after which you'll be tasked with doing a couple of random quests, as usual.

Upon completion of both random quests you'll be told to meet up with Arint/Flekfis (depending on your supported faction) and hunt down the opposing faction's top agent. The agent in question would either be an injured lieutenant if you spared em at the end of Day 3, or a high ranking generic goon (Spark Baron Professional/Rise Rebel). You'll have to go through a series of negotiations and combats, aided by the lieutenant. Half way through the quest chain you'll have to fight the alternative Day 2 boss, meaning that if you faced Flead Queen on Day 2 you'll have to fight Bossbit and vice versa.

The end of the quest chain would lead you to a bog clearing where the opposing faction's top agent is hiding. If you face an injured lieutenant: Arint would start with 25% less HP and 2 Impair/Wound, Flekfis would start with 50% less HP and 2 Impiar/Wound; if you face a high ranking generic goon they'd start with full HP and no debuffs. The twist? The fight starts with an assortment of bog burrs on each side, and random burrs replace the dead ones at the start of each turn. The only bog burr that cannot spawn is the loot and money one, meaning that it's always a Mine, Spike, Rejuvenation, or a Temp. Power one.

The fight would have multiple branching outcomes, too.

  • You can fight the opposing faction's top agent with the aid of the allied lieutenant OR, you can betray your ally and join the opposing side.
  • If the allied lieutenant/goon survives and the opposing lieutenant/goon dies in combat, you earn the ally's Love and the enemy's death loot.
    • You would then be given 2 options: report to HQ and complete the mission OR, fight the ally, which instantly earns you their Hate.
    • Killing the betrayed ally in combat would earn you their death loot. You'll have to explain the death of your allied faction's lieutenant via a very difficult negotiation: winning it would allow you to preserve your Relationship level with the faction's leader, failing it would cause your Relationship level to fall to Disliked.
  • If you spare the enemy in combat you would then be given 3 options:
    • Finish them off: earns you ally's Love and the enemy's death loot.
    • Let them go: you'll have to convince your ally via a negotiation, the spared enemy's opinion of you would change from Hate to Neutral.
    • Sacrifice them to the bog: doing so would cause your ally's Relationship with you to be set to Neutral, you will gain "One With The Bog" combat Toolbox card (0 cost, pick one out of four cards, each option has 1 charge: summon a Mine Burr on opponent's side, summon a Spike Burr on your side, summon a Rejuvenation Burr on opponent's side, summon a Temp. Power Burr on opponent's side; the burrs summoned via the toolbox do not have an expiration timer). If you sacrifice both the enemy AND the ally to the bog, the amount of Toolbox' charges is doubled.

That's my idea for Rook's campaign Day 4. For the most, it reuses the already existing content with most of the new stuff being text, meaning implementing it would be a lot faster than creating new bosses while still being engaging and varied.

Thank you for coming to my GriftTalk.

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ResettePlayer    6182

This really took off while I was at work, eh.

On 8/31/2020 at 3:34 PM, PriscaMitica said:

That also really bothered me! Does anyone know what the device that Took gets at the end of the story is? It's never mentioned previously and it seems to be one of Rook's primary goals. It's also featured prominently in the trailers.

This puzzles me as well. "Candidate device located" alright cool is it that big ol' cylinder thing in the Monster---ah nope that got smashed and now Rook is carrying an object that a) looks way more modern, and b) is powered by lumin, not spark. Like okay it doesn't have to be the thing in the Monster but this doesn't really line up.

 

On 8/31/2020 at 3:38 PM, Scrumch said:

I think that you fight Kalandra/Fellemo directly before you fight the Grout Monster means you can't really have extra story content about the two interacting - unless the two decided to stop in the middle of the Bog and have a half an hour conversation about worker's rights. 

This is a valid point. They do exchange some words, but what I'm more bothered by is that after they move along into the final boss area, both Fellemo and Kalandra have the exact same lines. Granted, they are generic "Be careful Rook" and that sort of thing, but their differences were emphasised so strongly leading up to that moment just for it to *really not matter* who you stuck with is disappointing.

This spurs a few more thoughts: whoever Rook's true employers are do not have a concrete goal other than "obtain the unspecified thing", and yet the ending slides imply that either the Rise winning or the Barons retaining their power was also ~all part of the plan~ somehow. Whatever their unknown goal is is decided retroactively depending on who you chose to side with. Personally I think I would prefer that detail to be dropped, and they were literally just after the McGuffin and whatever Rook decided to do--assist the rebellion or maintain order--was up to him (you). Maybe that would make it feel like your decisions mattered a little more.

On 8/31/2020 at 3:38 PM, Scrumch said:

And yeah, I would like some more fleshing out of Rook's overall story, but I partly feel that the sudden shift from those two to the boggers' cache is deliberately to show how Rook only follows the orders at his dead drops and no one else. Being a direct contrast to how clear most of Sal's lore is.

Only now has it occurred to me that Rook just brings in this whole detailed report to his employers and they do not question where it came from. Unless I forgot a line of dialogue or something where Rook was like "I stole this report from [opposing faction]". Like, it's not as if this guy has the time to research and write his own reports over the course of two days while working two+ jobs.

 

On 8/31/2020 at 1:54 PM, warlepidoptera said:

Rook dreams

I disagree. Dreams are cool and all, but I think those little morning thoughts are a much more subtle way to allude to Rook's baggage. His is a bit more nebulous and intangible than Sal's trauma, since his whole deal seems to be a constant struggle of identity. Maybe a teensy bit more fleshing out of how he's basically a puppet of an invisible master... hmm. Maybe there is some merit in dreams if they're abstract and metaphorical enough.

 

On 8/31/2020 at 2:43 PM, Maniafig said:

you don't get to talk with Glorfiam either once you make it to the heart of the Bog.

This also reminds me of how the Boggers were handled. If you don't get any random encounters with Boggers before Day 3, they have no presence until you're half way through already and your employers are like "Oh yeah those guys". Oh yeah it turns out those guys are important, never woulda known, huh.

Maybe a not-so-random encounter could occur on Day 1 or 2, kind of like the parasite incident, but with some Bogger stuff, so the player can have a taste before it's required by the plot.

 

Want to state with absolute clarity that Day 1 in Grout Bog is very good. It's still fun and interesting to play through even when all the twists are known. It feels good in a way that's difficult to articulate. 

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TaschDraws    703

Yo on the subject of Rook's ending, can I just throw out there....

....if you could ditch both factions and become a Bog Monster that would be so rad.

Spoiler

(Maybe you'd have to get your parasite leveled up a certain amount to unlock the option -- but like right now as far as I know the parasite isn't really resolved as a plot point either? I don't know though I'm bad and haven't done a Rook run where I fully leveled the parasite yet LOL)

Imagine rolling up to Glofriam like "BRO. I crave the embrace of the BOG." 

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ZeppMan217    363

Aren't there 3 sides to the bog: Bog Monster, Rook's parasites, and the bog at large (aka Grout Burr Country)? Why throw your lot with an Energizer powered blob when you've got a pair of sleek hombres swimming in your noggin already.

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7 hours ago, ZeppMan217 said:

Aren't there 3 sides to the bog: Bog Monster, Rook's parasites, and the bog at large (aka Grout Burr Country)? Why throw your lot with an Energizer powered blob when you've got a pair of sleek hombres swimming in your noggin already.

The boggers have random events where they talk about the parasites, though, such as saying you're not worthy of them and demanding to remove them. You can also get extra parasites from some events like the free graft that's dirty.

This seems to suggest that the parasites are not unique, nor are they opposed with the boggers. The Bog Symbiosis and Bog Thought parasites reinforce this, as one essentially makes all parts of the bog good for you, and the other's a bogger argument.

Seems pretty clear there's only one bog faction, espicially as boggers often fight with erchins at their sides and the high priest/monster can summon the burrs at will.

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ResettePlayer    6182

Highjacking my own threads because I'm bored and also Having Thoughts

What I'm about to bring up is obviously a bit silly as Griftlands is Not Done Yet, but has anyone been thinking about themes and/or subtext?

For Sal's story, there is a lot of layers and stuff, but one thing that sticks out to me is the idea of family, especially the non-blood kind. Fssh is the Bar Mom, that goes without saying, and I think Oolo says something after you defeat Kashio. Can't remember how it goes exactly, but Sal says she would have forgiven Kashio, Oolo says something about family, and Sal is like "Kashio is not family". Kinda makes me feel like she was, back in Sal's childhood, basically part of the "family" and by her betrayal that status has been emphatically revoked. Had Kashio never become a Spark Baron and had never sold Sal, she probably would have been another parental-type figure to Sal.

The only people you see who are actually related to each other by blood, Oolo and Foolo, don't seem to care about one another at all. "Oh no she's dead! Crap, I guess." Sal and Nadan become closer pals in just a few days by comparison, maybe not Sibling Level but comparatively close. This is to say that the bonds you choose are stronger than the bonds imposed upon you from birth.

 

Now in Rook's story: also layers. There is the more superficial symbols of greed and capital and consumerism and all that--Grout Bog is nasty AF, but we still wallow around in the mud, convinced there is a big score just ahead and because we know nothing else. We even have people worshipping the ever-consuming nature of the place, eager to succumb to it as they are blind to anything alternative. Parasites ruining your life but you put up with them because the alternative means you'll likely die much sooner. My Big Leftoid Disease is really starting to show...

But I have another curse: seeing ~Gender Stuff~ everywhere. Particularly if we look more at Rook than the setting. His entire existence is a performance, the nature of which changes depending on who he's currently working for. He questions his own identity a lot; often his first major thought of the day relates to that: "at least the new day doesn't come with a new name" "tastes blood in his mouth and doesn't know whose it is". At the end, you have all these conflicting expectations put on you and you HAVE to choose, and you have to fight to prove it.

Fellemo is almost cartoonishly a Toxic Masculinity Man, what with all of his glorifying of war and violence, and his criticism when he thinks Rook is being too "soft". The only person Fellemo seems to like is Arint, who, uh, is a cannon basically. She has a major body modification which is useful only for violence.

These may be stretching things a bit. This isn't to say that Rook is queer and murders anyone who finds out, but that things can be abstract symbols. Metaphors and all that.

 

Now Smith is all speculation and conjecture, but a friend of mine once pointed out that Smith is essentially a child still. He has never needed to grow up and perhaps his story will follow him as he does. This is part of why I'm really hoping he is forced to witness a lot of the dark sides of societal things he kinda just took for granted--the same sort of ongoing maturation that we all go through.

 

Y'all got theories and stuff? There is no correct "theme", as we all view this game through a unique lens influenced by our own experiences. What reading do you get?

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4 hours ago, ResettePlayer said:

These may be stretching things a bit. This isn't to say that Rook is queer and murders anyone who finds out, but that things can be abstract symbols. Metaphors and all that.

Honestly mood every time someone mentions The Old Me XD I stan trans Rook hardcore and you'll have to pry this headcanon from my cold dead hands

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ResettePlayer    6182

Finally had the epiphany I've been waiting for: the holistic theme of Griftlands that's been at the tip of my brain for a while and yet just out of reach. Somehow eating a sandwich revealed it to me... or not. Correlation does not equal causation.

It's really obvious too!

Anyway, there's a parallel between the cards/gameplay and the people of this world. They may be useful in specific situations, but just about everyone is treated as something disposable. Heck, you can draw a parallel between trading cards and how labour contracts are bought and sold. The writing does not treat this as okay; Griftlands is sure to continually stress how this is terrible and a result of the economics and politics of Havaria. It is also purposeful in having shots of flavour from our own capitalist existence in there as well, even if it's not a perfectly accurate reconstruction. You ever feel like a number? A disposable unit living in the hands of the rich and powerful?

Relationships are treated as commodities as well; you get someone to love you because it benefits you. They are just another tool in your belt. And yet the game does not typically demonise you/the character you are playing as. They do these things because they have to, because it's a matter of survival. You have to build a good deck or else you are the disposable one.

Not long ago I was pondering how bothered I was by fourth wall breaking instances in the game. Plundak is there for gameplay purposes, alright cool. That one quest where that clerk started a cult around being in a video game? Kind of humourous, kind of a little nod to the player, no biggie. It was mainly one of Sal's rerun slides that described a wave of deja vu washing over her as she entered the Grog n' Dog that got me grumbling. I had thought that the world and experience of Griftlands was deep and nuanced enough without adding another layer, particularly one that seems to devalue the amount of work that went into making this place believable to some extent, but I think I get it now. I'd hate to call Griftlands "disposable", but is it not a thing we play with, only to eventually close the window forever? Even the main characters and villains are ultimately tools within this little machine, pawns on a board constructed solely for the enjoyment of the player.

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Szczuku    15634
On 9/6/2020 at 10:40 PM, ResettePlayer said:

Fellemo is almost cartoonishly a Toxic Masculinity Man, what with all of his glorifying of war and violence, and his criticism when he thinks Rook is being too "soft".

I suppose it's sort of personal for everyone.

I, for one, see Fellemo as a scumbag who only cares about profit and believes that voilence is the best tool for 'fixing' problems, cuz it's fast and he likes when problems are fixed fast. That's why most of the baron quests can be summed up as 'It's hurting our profits/ I don't like paperwork'. A middle-aged man that's ruining hundreds of lives cuz he needs more money in his pocket.

When you help Fellemo it doesn't really have an impact. 'Wow look at that, your friend will be remembered as a Baron that has made the most profit in years'. Crazy stuff.

When you help Kalandra even the Cutscene Lady says something along the lines of 'You'll see the effects of it throughout Havaria'. You've actually made a difference

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pacovf    914

I'm not even sure Fellemo cares about profits that much. He just doesn't want to deal with his job more than strictly necessary, it's whoever his superiors are that really care about the profits and tech they extract from the Bog. He enjoys the benefits from the job, so he doesn't want to lose it, but he would prefer doing something else for a living (drinking and beating people up, most likely... he's a bully).

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ZeppMan217    363
1 hour ago, Szczuku said:

When you help Kalandra even the Cutscene Lady says something along the lines of 'You'll see the effects of it throughout Havaria'. You've actually made a difference

That's cause by siding with Fellemo you help...Fellemo. He was military, like Rook, but unlike Rook he did not choose to stay in "the game". Fellemo wants a cushy retirement, that's all this is about, that's what he tells Kallandra at the end if you spare her.

On the other hand, by siding with Kalandra you help her cause, the Rise, and all the other Baron oppressed entities.

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On 9/1/2020 at 8:39 PM, TaschDraws said:

Imagine rolling up to Glofriam like "BRO. I crave the embrace of the BOG.

That would be a rad path yeah, I would imagine an ending where all of the diggin equipment, the buildings and camps, all of it just being overtaken by the bog as the Barons, Rise, and laborers all leave the Grout Bog to go find a life somewhere else.  (Also yah I too crave the embrace of the bog) 

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ResettePlayer    6182

Heck it, if we're doing Bog Talk again, what if: Rook becomes the bog. That's why he's tells Gloroform he doesn't know what the bog wants! Think of it: Rook has like a bazillion cybernetics, a robot leg, and parasites! So like, he's robot bits and bog bits just like the entire bog! You still have the same final boss, a very similar path to it, but, uh, the parasites take over and yeah, Rook's the new monster in town, but he's cooler 'cos he's got guns. He drives out the Barons and Rise, resurrects a feral robot army, and eats his worshippers sometimes.

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ResettePlayer    6182
33 minutes ago, RageLeague said:

Did Rook really choose to leave the Admiralty?

  Hide contents

Of course not, because he's dishonorably discharged.

  Hide contents

Because he helped the rise during the bread field uprising.

 

 

Suppose I should never make a confident statement without exploring every nook and cranny of the game, memorising every bit of dialogue and flavourtext. Where even is this information? What clues have been construed? Rook's backstory had contradictions and ambiguity galore, which I'm sure is intentional and I'd love to hear more folks talk about their theories, abstract or literal.
But hey, going against orders is an implicit rejection of the Admiralty and what it stands for. Even if he did not leave on his own terms, he had already left the ideology.

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RageLeague    1451

I got that information from datamining, but it is possible to get it from the game.

Specifically, you need to side with Fellemo on the final expedition, choose convince Fellemo to trust you, and deliberately fail that negotiation. Then Fellemo will go over his findings about Rook and explain why he can't trust Rook.

You might throw a run, but you get that sweet lore. Or you can just be like me and look through the game files, that works too.

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pacovf    914
43 minutes ago, RageLeague said:

I got that information from datamining, but it is possible to get it from the game.

Specifically, you need to side with Fellemo on the final expedition, choose convince Fellemo to trust you, and deliberately fail that negotiation. Then Fellemo will go over his findings about Rook and explain why he can't trust Rook.

You might throw a run, but you get that sweet lore. Or you can just be like me and look through the game files, that works too.

...

Yeah that's hard to find without datamining.

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