12 October, 2009

Pathologic - The Final Decision

*Endgame Spoilers*

An eerie calm descended upon the town on the final day. The infection seemed to have receded, with the mishmash of infected and purified zones all neutralized (although that doesn't necessarily mean the infection has been beaten). It was a lot like my first day in town, except without any people. Nobody came out of their house all day long, and 95% of the soldiers occupying the town vanished. Nothing actually happened, but I guess the town was preparing for The End.

The Council was to be held at 7pm in the Cathedral. I spent the day visiting my surviving adherents to have one last talk with each of them before the end. Andrei speaks as though Petr is still alive, but he is nowhere to be found. I got a message each from the Haruspicus and the Devotress, and paid them both a visit. They each wanted me to help them accomplish their goals. I like them both (the Haruspicus has been nothing but decent to me, and while the Devotress is suspicious, I feel like I can trust her), but I felt like helping either one of them out would be giving up on my own goal. So I had to decline. Besides, helping them would mean having to ensure the survival of *their* adherents. And I've kind of put all my effort into assuring the survival of *my* adherents all this time, so going around making sure theirs are all alive, and healing the infected ones might be impossible (as the number of cures I hold is rather limited - despite my stocking up).

So when it came time to join the Council, I walked in on a deadlock. The Inquisitor and the General refused to come to a consensus. The Inquisitor's desire was to shoot down the Polyhedron. The official reason being that it was the cause of the plague, and as long as it stands, it threatens the town. But if I am to believe the Devotress, the real reason is that she wants to spite the Kains, for whom the Polyhedron is their salvation. Interestingly, from talking to the Haruspicus earlier, his goal aligns with the Inquisitor's, though more for the scientific reason (although the fact that Kapella, who was in competition for ascendency as the Mistress, which Maria Kain accomplished, is a supporter of the Haruspicus might suspect that there is some personal grievance against the Kains involved). The Devotress earlier assured me that she knew of a way that both the town and the Polyhedron could be spared (making it all the harder for me to decline helping her).

The facts do indeed indicate that despite its majesty, the presence of the Polyhedron does pose a plague-related threat. And I don't *really* believe all the superstition surrounding the building, strange though it is. However, one fact steered me towards the decision I ultimately made, and that is the fact that of the various agendas, the one supported by my adherents was the protection of the Polyhedron at all costs. The Stamatin brothers (the architects) designed and built it, for the Kains to inhabit and use to create some kind of Utopia. And at least to some extent, the town seems to be in line with that ultimate goal. And so, I had to back my adherents up, and I told the General to fire on the town, leaving the Polyhedron intact.

Following the decision, at midnight there was a cut scene, depicting exactly what I described, and that was the end of the game. If anything, kind of anticlimactic, and I sort of wonder if I truly made the right decision or not, but the lack of exposition at the very end seems to mirror the lack of any kind of detailed introduction at the beginning. At any rate, I went back and chose the only other option that seemed to be available to me at the Council, which was to abstain from making a decision and just let the chips fall where they may. Without a command, the General's hands were tied, so the town and the Polyhedron both remained intact, and the ending cut scene depicted a gruesome spread of the plague, throughout the town, if not further than that.

I think I'm gonna play the day over and see if I can't make some kind of deal with the Haruspicus and/or the Devotress to see if that leads to some different end scenarios (for better or worse).

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