I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kaptar-vated

***Attention***
This post contains spoilers for Obduction.  If you do not wish to be spoiled, move along, please.
Also, if you are looking for unbelievably quality images, don’t.  Because you won’t find them here.  My modest laptop dates to spring 2013, so I am running Obduction only on medium quality graphics.

If I thought Hunrath was overwhelmingly huge, Kaptar was just impossible to think about, let alone roam around in.  And I haven’t even gone through the membrane nor seen everything yet.  However, after spending a lot of time looking around in all the same places, I think I’ve got the hang of everywhere I have found so far.  Kaptar is in some ways the love child of Spire and Angor Wat, absolutely stunning and intimidating.  The architecture, which as we are to understand was a gift from an outsider people, is monumental, integrating sculpture in its support elements.  A little cute/scary fishlike creature is the subject of choice, as you will see below.  Also, I have not wanted the Uru-style spacebar more than in this world.  Let me please jump!

By the way, I am using Fraps to take screenshots, and then uploading these images into this blog they will fit only at size large.  So this probably interferes with the quality of the images.  Sometimes I do switch to “epic” graphics in order to view things much better, but for the most part I operate in medium.  Alas, no wallpaper-worthy images for you!  Tough toenails, as my mother says

I felt that Hunrath was a breeze, and I was feeling pretty smart…working toward my PhD interpreting the intricacies of Egyptian art and theology might be paying off, getting me through the worlds of Cyan.  But then I traveled to Kaptar and it shot that all to hell.  Back to moron-ville.  It stings all the more when I think about the guy who posted on the Facebook fan page saying that he finished the game in 16 hours.  Dude, seriously?  I spent 16 hours exploring the town in Hunrath!  Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but really.  Anyway, what’s the hurry?

For me there is no hurrying in Kaptar.  Another tangent: I am really happy not to have encountered any ladders.  You see, I have a fear of climbing ladders.  I’m not terrified of heights, just the method of getting there and back again.  At our dig house, for example, we have a decades-old wobbly wooden ladder that leads to the roof.  The bars are nearly two feet apart, also.  The prospect from the roof is breathtaking, particularly at sunset when the clouds are on fire over the dunes.  But getting there, for me, is a harrowing journey.  I usually need to have one of my friends climb up first, then hold the already secure ladder and then act as my cheerleader.  It takes me about two minutes to get up there.  I was just thinking about this when I realized I hadn’t encountered any ladders in this game, and I’m sure I'd have a heart attack—another reason why I’d probably die if I played this in VR.

Wall art
Anyway, onward and upward.  As in Hunrath, moving on from the starting point was pretty straightforward.  I admired some wall art on my way to the bridge.  The bridge was fairly obvious.  I turned on the spinny bit with that wheel on the side of the bridge central hub, and then pulled the lever inside the central hub, moving the bridge on to the other side. 



There was a metal beam of some kind with a red handle which, when pushed down, allows the bridge to move to the left as opposed to the right.  However, there was no moving the bridge back in the other direction.  I walked across again and found that the bridge now was positioned against the membrane wall.  Entrance #1, noted.


I returned to the other side and began my long descent around the impressive tower of rock.  I didn’t bother taking too many screenshots of the stairs because it would probably not be very simple to know exactly where I am or where I am going, but hopefully that won’t be a problem for anyone.  One thing I noticed everywhere were formidable hooks, sometimes even grappling hooks, which we will see later.  I’m sure there will be much pulling and lifting here.  (I am trying very hard not to use the word Age, since that is inaccurate for this game, but I am sure you understand.)

This could hook a very big fish
At last, I came to the first truly essential level where the monumental architecture rears its beautiful head.  Purple banners made with shimmering scales hung from above, but they were tattered and worn.  The buildings weren’t in very good shape either.  Why not?  I suppose the Arai beetle creatures weren’t capable of managing these structures themselves, so naturally they would fall to ruin.  I’m getting a bit of a Minas Tirith vibe from this.  Disturbing the serenity of this place is the red laser beam which I would have to disengage somehow.  I doubt I would find any BMWs here (looking at this now after knowing what I've written in my next post is making me facepalm hard).  Perhaps, though, these funny blue and yellow glowing rocks (Arai eggs/barnacles?) will be useful there.


Off to the left I spotted a gear with some stairs leading up to it, but the stairs are sadly inaccessible.  See what I mean about the jump feature I so desperately want?  But we put our dreams away.  How do I get there?  Do I need to get there?

Do I need you?
I am truly admiring the animal sculptures.  What are they, and why are they integrated into the architecture?  They look a touch like wahrks/wharks (Gehn and Catherine can’t seem to agree on the spelling if you remember), but this can’t possibly be a nod to Riven.


Just before my little friend on the left was a staircase leading down which brought me to a large grappling hook.  What on earth would I be doing with this thing?  It’s a bit scary.  I hope I won’t impale anything with it.  Yikes!  Attached to it was an enormous chain leading out into the fog somewhere.  Perhaps it ran through the membrane.  This was a dead end, so I returned to my marine friend.


I climbed the temple(?) stairs a bit more and found another path, difficult to see, leading down to the left.  To my surprise I found a little broken sphere much like the one I found in that small house in Hunrath ,as well as where I'd found the seed pod that brought me here.  Also, happily enough, I found a map on the wall.  Placed here, it had a “You are here” feeling to it, since I could locate exactly where I was at that very moment.  I was quite amused.  I was also able to see the source of the red laser.  Will this take me to Maray?  Seems impossible, being that it is too easy to find so early into this world.  On the map, you will notice that this sphere is indicated by an orange circle.  The same is true for the first transport location.  There are a total of four similar orange circles (two are faded) and one large orange circle (also faded).  Are there four or five swap seeds in this world?  Where do they go if not just to Kaptar and Maray?

Source of red laser
You are here
I returned again to the wondrous architectural area, now ready to wander inside.  I came upon the upper level of the grappling hook.  There were two staircases, but thus far only one was accessible.  Of course.  Ugh!  The tree was there, too, also inaccessible.  Of course.  The tree, which is my ultimate goal here, could only be attained at the end of my journey through this world.  A tall staircase led up and up, giving me a view of all the glorious places I couldn’t visit yet.

How do I get to you, stairs?

To the right of this building I found more stairs leading up and up, giving me a view of still more places I couldn't visit yet.  Such as this gear device.  Wait, I haven’t been there already, have I?  I am pretty sure that is not one of the areas I’ve been able to reach, but I get a bit turned around here.


At the top of this staircase is a second grappling hook device.  Its chain appears to run perpendicular to the one below.  I wandered down the stairs to get a look at this hook.  The second staircase wasn’t fully extended.  Would it need to be?  There’s no lever or button or crank to extend it, at least not in this area.  There was, however, a bridge leading to the giant gear connected to the enormous chain.  There must be a control panel up there.  What’s it pulling?  Certainly not the hook, which wasn’t even attached to anything.  Was it in the way?  Would it need to be moved?  I took a moment to admire the graphics here, with the sunlight effect.  Just stunning.  To the left of the machine was another staircase pointing up.  This would need to be lowered, and I am guessing I would have to move a mountain to do it.

Extraordinary sunlight rendering
What do I need to do to reach you?
A mammoth room stretched out behind this gear vehicle, and I remember sighing heavily when I saw the stairs and catwalks and chains zooming hither and yon.  This place just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I’m not complaining, just overwhelmed by the scale of the game.  With each frame I am astounded by Cyan’s achievement.

Panic!  I'm going to curl up in a corner and rock myself and die a little

Hidden off to the right, a passage led to a bridge swinging out over the vastness below.  To the left was a verdant landscape, but I have come to understand this is to Kaptar what the purply landscape is to Hunrath.  The alien world I won’t be seeing.  Maybe.  Yet another thing we will see.  I ventured to the end of the bridge and pulled the lever, but it didn’t move.  Clearly, in the room just behind powers this device as well as the hook device.  But now I have membrane access #2.


I returned to the room to start exploring the metal staircases and where they led.  Just before descending the grand staircase I had a look at the do-dad right in front of it.  It seemed that maybe this would be one of those pressure devices one finds in Gahreesen, for example, or Laki’ahn.  Ish.  Time will tell.  The grand staircase led down to a couple of gear controls.  One, in the back, lowered a gear pinion to align with others, while the one in the front connected two hydraulic features.  The one in front did not lock--yet--probably because it needs power from my next project, the control panel.


And now we come to what would likely be the bane of my existence, the machine that would rival the spider chair of Spire and the fire marble puzzle of Riven.  It’s like an excessively convoluted breaker box with Russian letters, Latin letters, numbers, and Lord knows what else.  Switches turn to the right and left, a million buttons, lights, switches to flip up or down, dials with green dots, and display windows showing I don’t know what.  Anything that can be put on a control panel has been installed on this one.  And where the hell are my clues?  Naturally I checked the back of the machine where I found a clue full of jumbled letters and numbers.  Ought I enter all of these on the panel?  And press a bunch of buttons and turn a bunch of dials to see what happens next?  The only trouble is the majority of the symbols did not appear in my button selections. What about all these letters?  Should I use that dial-phone code system?  If I had emojis I would use all of them right now.  By the way…guess what this connects to?  The freaking staircase.  Move a mountain.  Told you so.

Dafuq is this s***?!
Russian?
I became quite agitated and anxious.  Right, so the little beetles could not possibly do anything with this.  There were other creatures that had come and shared with them their superior technology.  I thought maybe I might find clues in Maray then, the Villein world, because the Villein were supposed to be so tech savvy.  This was probably why that swap pod was found so early in this world!  I returned to the swap pod and bedazzled myself with its spores.

And then…I don’t believe it.  Mind.  Blown.  Another “Whaaaaaaat?” moment for me!  This seed pod sent me back to Hunrath!  And not just anywhere in Hunrath, but that little house where before I had found nothing important except the broken sphere that blocked the track.  Except that the sphere was gone!  The track was clear, and there was a tunnel behind blocked by rock fall, though I could see a shovel in there.  Yeah, I don’t think you’ll get anywhere with that dinky little shovel…

How did you get here, and in place of the original sphere?!
What was once an innocuous little house was now a very interesting place.  Another map of Kaptar was on the wall, also.  How strange.  What’s that doing there?  And why did it send me here?  What was in Hunrath?  Did I miss something?  I rummaged through Farley’s stuff again, but I just couldn’t guess what to find or where to find it.  I had another look at her “worlds map” project, but nothing really stood out to me in relation to the Kaptar control panel.  It’s too much.  I will set this aside for now, lest I pass out, and go to Maray next time (via the swap pop here in Hunrath).  For now, I think I will go watch Zootopia so I can find my happy place.

The journey in Maray continues in the next post…

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