This post covers parts 4 to 7 of the ongoing Villnoire playthrough, so don’t read if you actually want to watch those. Also hey, spoilers for the ending of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I guess. I’ve also finally put together a playlist, which wasn’t hard at all, so I don’t know why I kept putting it off, so there it is for easy listening.
So, Villnoire continues to be a pretty alright game with regards to simple RPG gameplay. The story? Hmmmmmmmmmm….
After having played Villnoire for several hours, I can say that the game is really well-balanced. So far, I’ve never felt the need to grind and it falls in a nice sweet spot with regards to difficulty. I can’t buy all the new equipment when it’s available, yet fights are still surmountable without them. It also helps that the game provides a way to make money without needing to fight a whole bunch of monsters via blackja- er, Revolution, though it’s very reliant on luck.
There are a few dungeons with gimmicks to differentiate them, but I think they work because they don’t overstay their welcome. The ice sliding puzzles in the ice level are simple with the harder ones only reserved for getting extra treasure, the survival mechanic in the desert is not a big deal because they frequently throw in points to refill that bar, etc. It’s nice simple change ups to keep things fresh while not being annoying.
In general, playing through the game feels like a chill ride. There are a few bumps in the road, but it’s all pleasant.
The story, on the other hand, has me doing the thinking face emoji. Playing through Villnoire is a bit funny to me because it looks I hit some similar ideas with my game, Slimes. The difference though is that our games follow different ideologies with regards to those ideas.
As mentioned in the previous post, Villnoire has a pretty liberal ideology. Vivian and now Brice is going in with a wholehearted belief that killing Vorian the Genocidal Leader is not the best choice. They firmly believe in trying to find an alternate way to stop him, and I dunno, I’m pretty sure you can’t talk down someone that’s eagerly trying to wipe out a race of people and has spread racist propaganda about them.
Now, we talk about Zach. In video 7, we get the reason why this weirdo’s sticking around with the group: assassinating Brice in vengeance for a druid village that housed him that was wiped out of existence. We’re also given the reason for why Lukas ate shit in a cave in the beginning of the game, and it’s that Zach turned on him after Lukas reveals that he was actually the one that led the genocide.
On one hand, Zach’s cool now, that rules. However, the game does paint him as a crazy extremist. In fact, I’m kinda wondering if he was intentionally written as an annoying MCU character to help portray him as unreasonable.
Going further, we have Reyson. He wants to assassinate the Vanhearts, but he’s also portrayed as somewhat dogmatic. His dedication to his goal alienates him from his family and his efforts puts his health at risk, with him ultimately falling to an illness in part 6. Gosh, if only he connected to his adopted daughter and listened to her plan to end things peacefully – he wouldn’t have harmed himself otherwise :0 .
At the moment of this writing, huge protests are going on in Minnesota about yet another police killing of a black man. However, as if exacerbated by past incidents and the current state of the country, the protests have grown to the point that police stations are burning down and the president is openly threatening to send in armed troops. And in the midst of all this, prosecutors refuse to prosecute the cop that started it all, in spite of clear video evidence.
Some problems can’t be solved by peace. It would be ideal, but it’s naive to think that way. There’s no such thing as a cycle of violence, because one side will always perpetuate violence regardless of how the other side answers. So you heard it here first: Indie Hell Zone says violence is good, actually.
That said, at least within the realm of fictional conflicts, there are ways a peaceful resolution against a genocidal monster works. Let’s consider the resurgence of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series ends with Aang confronting the Fire Lord and instead of killing him, he instead seals his powers away. I remember the Discourse(TM) about this, claiming that Aang should have killed him, but Aang’s peaceful approach works for two reasons:
One, as the last known survivor of his people, his non-violent means of defeating the Fire Lord upholds the ideals of his people, representing a symbolic victory of the Air Nomads over the current head of the force that committed genocide against them. Two, because the Fire Lord based the superiority of the Fire Nation on their firebending, Aang taking away those powers is a karmic punishment.
As it stands though, I see no such meaningful takeaway from a peaceful resolution with Inchor’s top brass. As for Lukas, he does feel accountable for his actions and is ultimately not that mad that Zach eviscerated him for that very reason. As the end of the 7th video points out, the massacre would have happened even if he didn’t make himself the fall guy, but I agree with him in that he needs to atone for those sins anyway by getting the shit kicked out of him.
Also, I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t believe that Lukas has a wife. His wife Kyra hasn’t been shown onscreen so far (if I remember right), with the only exposure to her being Lukas talking her up. Like, either he’s lying or the creator’s kinda done a bad job at shooting down any other possible ship. With Lukas’ undying loyalty to Brice, it makes me think of things like Sora Kingdom and Riku Hearts having far more screentime together and chemistry than the actual intended heterosexual romance.
Villnoire is still a pretty good RPG, though its politics really bug me, especially in a time where its beliefs are hopelessly naive at best. Like, if Villnoire ends with Vorian going “oh I’m not racist anymore :)” I’m going to flip.