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Author Topic: Final Choices (Endgame Spoilers)  (Read 3933 times)

Offline crimsoncantata

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Final Choices (Endgame Spoilers)
« on: March 13, 2016, 01:42:19 AM »
Soothslayer

       Does sparing or stabbing the soothsayer affect anything beyond your own peace of mind? Even if you let Tiberius live, it doesn't seem to make his rule any more/less delusional, and nobody else brings it up though (admittedly, the narrative does move quickly on).

Free Will Ending

       I really couldn't believe Amy Wellard was even capable of murdering Danton like that. Just a few minutes before it was only Danton's blade between Amy and another bayonet through the ribs. It's only Danton's bravery and willingness to risk the lives of her own people on Amy's word that's gotten Amy in this far in the first place. When Amy's face was posted on every wall in the city, Danton offered her a safe a place to hide. Even from the beginning, when Amy first falls in with the Resistance, does Danton order her to steal, assassinate, or sabotage? No, she says 'these people are hurting- help them.'

       Perhaps what kills me most is, as their mission begins, Amy and Danton trust each other enough to exchange last wishes. But even after cutting down her erstwhile companion in cold blood, Amy can't even be bothered to honor that last request, and pickup Danton's bloodstained hat.

       Pragmatically, of course, there's also the issue of how the Resistance is going to react to Amy's "Hey guys, thanks for laying down your lives for me, you should know that I just killed the leader who kept you safe and effective for years and years, but the good news is that I'm in charge now!" but it's the character thing that hits me the most. Well that, and the way the game strongly implies that this treachery is the most moral choice you can make.

       I just keeping thinking back to Danton's final moments- plenty of time to run Amy through as she reloads, draws, and aims the crossbow, but Danton doesn't, because it's simply unthinkable that Amy Wellard, who she's trusted with her life, would do a thing like that.

But, hey now, doesn't Danton become a bloody mass murderer if you DON'T kill her?

       Apparently, but I have to admit that doesn't really ring true to me. I know it's supposed to echo the Reign of Terror, but none of the events of the game leading up this moment make it seem likely, or even particularly plausible. But even if Amy does somehow detect this hidden potential for tyranny in her companion, it seems she might have spent at least a minute or two trying to talk things out. If Amy's response to people who disagree with her policy views is 'instant execution,' it's hard to see how her rule will be less bloody than Danton's or Julian's.

       I, er, still really liked the game, but this bit just stuck in my craw. Memories of Bioshock:Infinite, where Comstock and Fitzroy are made out to be morally indistinguishable.

Offline Grundislav

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Re: Final Choices (Endgame Spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 04:08:09 AM »
The Soothsayer living or dying has no effect on the narrative, it's just a choice you can make for your own peace of mind.

As far as Danton, yes she helped Amy out, but the intent was to show her true colors during the raid sequence. The fact that Amy is shocked by her brutality at decapitating a guard and her "stab first ask questions later" attitude that she's experienced first hand is meant to place those seeds of doubt with regards to her actual intentions. The final straw which justifies Amy's decision to kill her (if you as the player so choose) is her admitting that she's going to assume the identity of Tiberius, which, while it sounds good in theory, is more likely to lead to her just becoming the same enemy she was fighting. Power corrupts and all that.

(I originally wanted Danton's true intentions to be that she only wanted to oust Tiberius so she could have his power, but that made it very difficult to justify choosing the Danton lives ending)

Danton mentions in her ending that she intends to "find out who is loyal to our cause, and cut down all who oppose us." She wouldn't hesitate to kill Amy if she didn't side with her. After all, it wouldn't be the first time she drew her sword on her. Amy shooting her isn't so much "instant execution for people who disagree with her" as much as it is self-preservation.

And for the record, the reason Danton didn't run Amy through as she was reloading wasn't because she couldn't believe Amy was doing the unthinkable, but because her sword was out of reach :)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 04:14:59 AM by Grundislav »

Offline crimsoncantata

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Re: Final Choices (Endgame Spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 02:18:55 PM »
      I really appreciate the response- it's always fascinating to get a glimpse of how these things come to be. Still, we might be destined to disagree here. Danton's line about cutting down all opposition is clearly the most damning evidence against her, but it doesn't come until after the final choice has been made.

       Before that- well, the decapitation is just a little bit outré, but Amy has to know that part of storming the tower is going to involve killing guards. After all, Danton only beheads the guy after Amy's shot him- I don't know that the one form of execution is really more monstrous than the other. Both are probably less painful then having your body crushed beneath an HVAC unit, which Amy spends little time regretting. Indeed, as they make their way up the tower, Amy seems to rack up at least as high a kill count as Danton. Nor is Danton so bloodthirsty as to immediately slay noncombatants (she only does that if you tell her to).

     Danton's plans to replace Tiberius are a little weird, but on the other hand, she is saying these things while fighting for her life, so she might not be thinking as clearly as normal. In similar straits, for instance, Amy face-stabbed a man to death, gouging out his eyes with a needle. Danton might also just be trying to demoralize Tiberius*, but even in this when T asks her how much blood she plans to spill, the answer isn't 'As much as it takes!' or 'Enough to wipe the Aristocracy from the Earth!', but 'Less than you.'  Perhaps her grim tone is cause for concern, but I still think it calls more for some persuasive conversation and perhaps a few of Nelson's books on political history or ethics, than death. Clearly I can't speak for anyone else, but that's just how the story struck me. In particular, during the ending conversation if you allow Danton to live, Aquino's grim chidings about all the violence that will be done didn't strike me as 'This is indeed a rough path I have chosen,' but more 'Where are you getting this from?"

       Things that might have put me in the proper frame of mind (and again, I'm only speaking for me) would have been some rumours of the Resistance's bloodier past (eg Danton assumed control by killing the previous leadership, or Gus doesn't sell to the Aristocracy because he'sscared of crossing the Resistance- the last family to do so just... disappeared) and even more of Danton's callous side being revealed during the tower ascent. Like in dealing with the Soothsayer, if Amy chooses to spare him-

      DANTON: Bad answer, Wellard [stabs Soothsayer]. All enemies of the people will have to be put down Amy. I'm beginning to wonder if you really understand what that means.



Anyway, that's my take- clearly I wouldn't have spent so much time thinking about it if I didn't care about the characters & story, and I hope my thoughts provide a bit of illumination or interest.

Notes: You're completely right about the sword, of course. I didn't see it get knocked from her hand initially, and mistook the scabbard for the sword itself.

*It would make sense that this is a ploy. After all, the first think Danton does is nail Tiberius' head to a wall for all to see- this would make tricky to then seamlessly replace him.