Tuesday, 15 November 2016
So I have been playing ... (100). Kholat - first session.
I set out as soon as I heard about the incident...
Actually, I'd kept my eye out for "Kholat" for a while, and was full of momentum to play it right after getting it. (Mid-play I even developed the ambition to complete the game in one sitting, but decided in favor of a night's sleep because my senses were dulling beyond meaningful interaction, and I'd fumble too much to push on.) In the end I spent two days playing it with gusto. Right off the start menu, I embraced the slow pacing, and on top of that spent my merry time twiddling with the the surroundings and navigation aids, double checking and double-backing a lot, postponing obvious objectives, compiling lists of coordinates. Most of all that I also captured.
In the first bit I mosey about the railway, get drawn into a space-time wedgie, and practice using the map.
In the second bit I probe the shores of the northern lakes, and follow a skull-studded uphill path.
In the third bit I learn that sometimes there are dangerous things nearby, and that falling from heights is not recommended.
In the fourth bit I trample on some hallowed ground, and running from the consequence, unlock the path that I'd been looking for.
In the fifth bit, I try to pick the next general direction of discovery, and decide to go with the cave system north-east.-ish.
In the sixth bit I go deeper into the caves, and find some orange glowy dudes ambushing me ahead - so I turn around and explore another passage first.
Since the very first "special waypoint" that I'd interacted with brought ... special consequences to said interaction, I quickly developed a bit of paranoia towards the note-collecting locations. As a result I'd often try to get to know the area before I dared touching anything (leading to further detours).
In the seventh bit I manage to find more clues in the caves, and speculate about the benefits of natural light.
In the eighth bit I (slowly!) browse the paths south of the caves, and make wild speculations regarding folklore and Soviet sci-fi.
In the ninth bit I super-triple-double check the northeast cave system to make sure I've covered all exits. I then follow the eastern path down the map's edge, and glimpse an anomalous tree.
Between these episodes I took a break, and upon returning, didn't check that the headset's mic is in working position (that happens). So the commentary to episodes 10-13 is rather quiet, and plenty of smartassery is lost in the wind.
In the tenth bit I double-check the vicinity of the big tree, somehow completely bypassing the mist-event in the area.
In the eleventh bit I keep combing through the east-side woods&shrubs, paranoid that I've heard something. In the end I return to familiar grounds.
In the twelfth bit I begin exploring new grounds, and catch a glimpse of the old church for the very first time.
In the thirteenth bit I keep poking at the west-side paths, and eventually crash the game.
After a while I corrected the microphone mishap; this also marks the point in the game where I'm getting more bold in my explorations, and actively try to breach new areas instead of just tiptoeing around them.
In the fourteenth bit I get my regular audio back, and make the first attempt to approach the church. It doesn't go so well.
In the fifteenth bit I circle towards the burning forest, and muse about the practices of "kindred nations".
In the sixteenth bit I reach the conclusion that not all the paths are mapped, and express my distrust towards the compass. I also examine the south-west gullies *very* thoroughly.