Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mystic Ark, Part 9 - Darkova

Next up is the Dark World. This is the shortest world in the game by a longshot. It's basically a haunted house. When I first heard "Dark World" I had all kinds of crazy ideas bouncing around, so this is a little bit disappointing.

This world is filled with "child's diary" items, and they contain some very creepy writing. Seems like a little kid was trapped here and grew increasingly insane as time went on.

This place is filled with riddles. Matter of fact, the entire place is one big puzzle-fest. Very few battles to speak of.

In what appears to be the child's room, Remeer finds some porn. So basically, the kid was trapped here with porn? This game has gotten dark fast.

Occasionally, you're forced into a tough one-on-one fight with a wraith. These things can heal themselves, amd whether or not they do that determines how much trouble they give you. These fights occur at set points, and there are only five or six of them in this world.

What the hell? A television? Seems a little anachronistic for this sword-and-sorcery game.

Remeer SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE SHAKEs portraits to make new images appear. Mendioza! Mendioza!

There's also a lot of box-opening, sometimes to get keys to open other boxes. One thing that bugs me about this world is that you frequently have to enter the same command twice to make something happen. The first time, nothing will happen, leading you to move on and try other stuff. The entire game, up to this point, has trained you that you only need to use the right command once to trigger an event, now all of a sudden you have to do certain things twice.

The basement is especially creepy. Is that some kind of seashell?

I don't know, but it has a spiderweb over it and the world's angriest spider lurking within. At this point Remeer needs to blow on the web - twice, mind you - to free the trapped butterfly and open a nearby door. Bizarre stuff.

The creep-fest continues, as Remeer finds a wobbling egg. WHAT'S IN THE EGG?

Cranking up the heat in the room causes the egg to hatch. Emerging from within is...

...what the hell? A baby?

"I am free!" he says before scampering off.

...no, it's just a small lizard. After this, its tail falls off and the rest of it scurries off. What the hell?

Feeding the lizard tail to a nearby bird opens another door. Remeer also has to rummage around in pots. I half expect something within to bite off his hand.

The creepy diary pages continue to pop up. Seems the child imprisoned here went completely insane. I wonder if we'll meet this child, and if they're grown up yet.

At this point I have to methodically set up a drink and consume it. That's... new, at least.

This, somehow, unlocks a nearby door.

The final puzzle in this world involves shutting the eyes of a bunch of goat statues. Now the game is just being creepy for the sake of creepy.

Seems that if Remeer takes the Ark away from this world, the world itself will cease to exist. Wow. That wasn't the case in the other worlds...

Either way, I'm happy to be out of here. Sixth Ark acquired.

This one doesn't have a use like the others. Well, you can equip it on armor, but I can't tell if it actually does anything. Maybe there's a defense boost of some sort.

Upon returning to the shrine, a voice cuts in. It's the mysterious bad guy from the Machine World.

Turns out he was the imprisoned child from the Dark World. Locked up there, he lost his mind. And transformed into some kind of weird demon. Or maybe he was always a demon. He does look like Wilme from The 7th Saga, so maybe he's of the same race.

The entrance to the seventh and final Ark world is through the talking fireplace that has been giving me directions for the whole game. It asks Remeer to douse it. Is this like an assisted suicide?

Those options could be for the world's worst Girl-Pleasuring Minigame.

In any case, using the Water Ark on an empty bottle nearby causes it to fill with water.

That allows you to douse the fireplace, opening the hallway to the final part of the shrine.

On this hidden island, a small hut contains the entrance to the Fairytale World.

Fittingly enough, the entrance is a book. This world is all about fables and fairytales, and is quite possibly the most interesting of the seven worlds. Actually, I'd say it wins that title with very little competition.


The demon appears. It seems his name is Darkness. That's... disappointing. I was hoping he'd have some otherworldly, badass name.

He tells Remeer to enjoy the Fairytale World, since Remeer is going to die soon. It seems the showdown is looming, and Darkness plans to take the seven Arks for himself.

The Fairytale World has a castle, complete with a king. This is MUCH more like your standard Dragon Quest/Warrior fare.

The king... is naked. That's right, it's The Emperor's New Clothes. If you aren't familiar with it, it's the tale of a naked king who believed that he was wearing clothes that were only visible to the wise; no one in the kingdom pointed out that he was naked because no one wanted to look like they were the unwise one who couldn't see the magical clothes.

He issues the first big challenge of the final world: Slay the Big Bad Wolf. I bet the reward is a striptease.

Townspeople think that Remeer might be the Big Bad Wolf, and refuse to let him into their homes. Well, that's one way to avoid having to render building interiors. That sly Enix!

An eerily black river cuts through the Fairytale World, but Remeer seems to have a pocket boat. This river doesn't go anywhere...yet.

Geppetto, huh? Oh, and the town is named Tinkle. That's right, a town named after peeing.

This concludes a relatively short update, as another world is in the bag. More to come in the very near future, as this game meanders towards a hopefully epic finale.


  1. Zelda 3 set the standard for Dark Worlds.
    "Seems like a little kid was trapped here and grew increasingly insane as time went on." Like in the new classic "Room".
    "This game has gotten dark fast." I'll say. Was this world made by a different team altogether? What if the whole thing had been like this? This seems like "Myst".
    "shutting the eyes of a bunch of goat statues." ....whoa.
    "Wow. That wasn't the case in the other worlds..." This was definitely made by a different team. That's probably why you have to enter commands twice, too..the teams weren't communicating with each other all that much.
    Then you just leave without resolving the scenario? Ballsy move, game.
    This villain-origin story makes more sense than almost any other I've heard from an emotional standpoint, even if they can't explain it from a logistical one. Though there ARE people who get locked up in rooms forever...
    What is the fire? If it's a person, is this a reference to the burning bush?
    I'm glad the worlds got better for you at the end here. This last one looks like it'll have a lot of fun riffs off of themes we're all familiar with. I bet the world 6 and 7 creators were buds, even if they weren't the same people. You're right the setting got a lot more..er..enchanting here.
    Great update; gave me a good deal to think about.

  2. Is this Mystic Ark or Shadowgate?

  3. Too bad you can't just use the Water Ark on wraith-like enemies.