January 27, 2012

Adventures in Oblivion - The End of Ilend

[...Posted by Ted H]

Oblivion pissed me off in a huge way recently...I'll talk about it more when I get to that point in my playthrough...
I'm not gonna recount every last quest...mainly because I dont really remember them, but I'll touch upon the important ones.


[Adventures in Oblivion - The End of Ilend]

With my babysitting duties fulfilled and no longer interested in the central plot, I decide now would be a good time to tie up the loose end that Kvatch has become. Sure enough, when I return, everyone is just standing around waiting for me. I can’t decide if these soldiers are just useless or smart. Useless that they still haven’t done shit to liberate Kvatch from demonic control…Smart because they know that without me they would surely fail.

I take point and charge out the gates with the pack of expendable idiots behind me as we rush the demons eager to intercept up. Little effort is needed to dispatch them as we now set our sights on the castle. Liberate that and we’ve saved what’s left of Kvatch. As we approach however, we find the gate is down and it can only be opened from the other side. The captain tells me there is a way to get to the other side and open the gates, but it requires me to go all the way back to the church and through an underground tunnel. There’s a man with the needed key back in the church waiting.

Alone, I return to the church to find the key master is another soldier. I’m sorry, were you not looking when the rest of us charged out the doors to fight the demons? What were you doing in the meantime? Guarding the civilians? Oh wait, they all evacuated. So what, guarding the empty church? My hero. Just give me the fucking key so I can save the city.

But no, the soldier gets an attitude when I demand the key, saying he’ll go with me to open the door for me. Again, my hero. Then three imperial guards walk in and say they’re here to assist me. I’d normally turn away offered help like this, but these guys look like they’ll drop some decent loot when they inevitably bite it. So off the five of us go into the tunnels under the church so we can open a door to a castle.

Now, three people die between now and when I inevitably open the gates and I’m not one of them, but you can reasonably guess that outside of plot armor, there is no fucking way the town guard would outlast three imperial guards….and yet, somehow he makes it. But when we finally make it to the door he has the key to open, he then hands me the key and runs away…WHY?!!? Why not just hand me the key back in the church?

Anyway, gates open and now I rejoin the original group of idiots as we charge the castle. A scamp manages to get off one fireball that I sidestep before we clear the path to Castle Kvatch and file our way in. The purging of Kvatch is complete and the guards all thank me…except one. I find this odd and not entirely too surprising, but where the hell did Ilend go off to? I search all through the castle but can’t for the life of me find that lovable oaf. I knew he was still alive when I originally left him to open the castle gates and-
-oh shit.

I remember one of his more memorable demises while in Oblivion, when I side stepped a fireball and he took it head on…I then remember the lone fireball a scamp launched right as we stormed the castle just minutes ago.

I rush out into the rain, all the way back to the castle gates and see a lone Kvatch guard dead at the entrance. By the time I’m close enough to loot it, I already know who it is. Ilend is dead. I quickly consider my last save spot. What harm would there be in reloading one more time, playing the entire castle bit over again? I check online quick to determine that yes, it is possible for Ilend to survive the Kvatch ordeal…but ultimately I decide otherwise.

I’ve “resurrected” Ilend before, why not now? Because I took a look around. Kvatch was in ruins, doomed to perpetually burn until the end game. Always raining, never repairing. The surviving guards would wander their ruined castle forever while the surviving townsfolk would stand aimlessly in the dark, and it will never stop change, not here.

Ilend, for all his faults, was the only person in all of Kvatch who took immediate action. He was, for lack of myself, the protagonist . How many games do you play where you alone charge into unknown danger for the sake of others. I met Ilend because he was the only Kvatch guard with the stones to charge into the unknown. Sure, he may have been a little more Forrest Gump than Marcus Phoenix, but he was the only thing keeping me from thinking of myself as a Mary Sue.

Had he lived, Ilend would be doomed along with the rest of his brethren to stand around with his thumb up his ass in a ruined, leaking castle while I ran off saving the world. No, that’s not the Ilend I knew. To be fair though, there was no way in hell I would be able to put up with Ilend if he accompanied me on my quest, so it’s better that he dies here and now, while he’s still a hero but before he irritates me too much.

Better to die the hero, than to live to see yourself as just another useless NPC.

So I pull Ilend off to the side, so that no one would have to walk over his corpse. I arrange him as best I could and resist to urge to nick all his stuff. All I take are his pants because I had armor for everywhere else on my body, but these blacksmith pants weren’t useful for shit. I attempted to arrange his weapon and shield like what was done for Boromir in LotR, but the physics in this game are utter shit and not as tight as Fallout…so I just laid everything out at his sides. I left a bow over him as well, not that he used one but I didn’t need it anymore and I figured it was fitting since he wouldn’t have made it even this far if I wasn’t watching over him the entire time.

Last I checked, Ilend’s body remains where it is. I managed to stop by and pay my respects from time to time. One time I even left some flowers. I know it’s a little much but few characters in this game appealed to me as much as Ilend, and all those others were more plot relevant.

After this day, I will henceforth be known as the Hero of Kvatch…All I can think to that is they’ve got the wrong guy…

Next time: I fought the law and logic lost...

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