It all begins here, on Loom
My journey has begun, and I already know that I am really going to enjoy it! I've played just over an hour of the game, but I will likely only get through half of that in this first gameplay post. The first section is very dialogue heavy (it's basically one long introduction), so I'll try to summarise conversations without diminishing the power of what is one of the game’s most cherished aspects. After much deliberation, I decided to play the game in Standard mode. This had more to do with me wanting to play the way the majority of first time players would, rather than any performance anxiety on my part. Now that I’ve played part of the game, I’d like to think I could give Expert mode a pretty good shot, and perhaps I will another time. The game begins as the audio prologue finished, with Bobbin (that’s me) sleeping atop a small mountain on the island Loom, which he’d climbed with the purpose of seeing the lonely swan that passes by on his birthday every year. His rest was interrupted by a “messenger nymph” (a shining light that moves around and talks), which Bobbin believes must have been woven by one of the Elders down in the village.
The manhunter awoke, happy to find a messenger nymph rather than a giant eyeball staring back at him for once
I wonder if we'll ever see what a Weaver really looks like!
Clicking on things once shows a close-up of it. Clicking on it again interacts with it.
The colours used are very reminiscent of Monkey Island. Loom came first though I should add!
I'll just see what's inside this tiny little tent. Can't be much...right?
In fact, there was clearly some magic involved here, as the “tent” turned out to be a huge hallway with tapestries and stained glass windows decorating the walls. I wandered along, investigating the tapestries, which I discovered were all sections of “the Long Tapestry”. I was told that the first green section described “the creation of the world and the passage of the Two Shadows.” The second blue section showed “the rise of the Guilds, and the story of the Weaver’s founding.” The last pink section illustrated “the decline of the Guilds, and the gathering of a Third Shadow.” Interestingly, there was a portion of this last tapestry that had been forcibly torn off, so I assumed I would come across it at some point later in the game. The end of the hallway opened up into a large room, where the Elders were congregated (Elder Clothos in green, Elder Atropos in blue, and Elder Lachesis in yellow). The all important Loom was next to them, lit up by impressive waves of colourful light! Rather than waltzing in and interrupting, Bobbin waited at the end of the hallway, and listened to the remainder of their conversation. It quickly became apparent that the three Elders were not at all happy with Dame Hetchel, whom I knew from the prologue as the servant woman that had raised me since Cygna had been turned into a swan. She was given the opportunity to defend her actions, yet she refused. “I have no defense or excuses, Elder Atropos. My actions speak for themselves.”
Holy crap! This tent is like the TARDIS!
Sorry guys! I just got here. Would you mind running through those findings again?
The Elders were stunned with Hetchel’s defiance, and demanded to know why she now broke the Rules of Membership when she had always followed them to the letter. Her response was clear: “The boy must be told the truth about his birth, Elder Clothos. His talent awakens! Soon he will wield the power of Weaving, whether we choose to guide him or not. We dare not desert Bobbin now.” As I’d expected, the Elders were enraged that Dame Hetchel had disobeyed their order that I never be shown the ways of weaving, and I now wondered what would become of her. Elder Atropos answered that question immediately. “It grieves me to see your many years of faithful service end in this disgrace. But the wisdom of the Elders may not be questioned. That is the final Rule of Membership. Another one of your students, Lady Cygna, learned the terrible price of defiance in this very chamber seventeen years ago. Better that you had heeded that lesson. Gaze once more upon the Great Loom if you would know your destiny. For behold! That destiny is upon you.” Just as they had done to Cygna all those years ago, the Elders weaved a draft to turn Dame Hetchel into a swan, and that would banish her from the pattern. Only this time, it didn’t work precisely as they’d planned. The older servant was now inside an egg, sitting on the floor in front of the loom.
Don't take it personally. I have problems with authority in general.
Utinni! (Yes, I stole your thunder Canageek)
Oh! I thought the final rule of Membership was "There is no Membership"! My bad!
I think you're losing your mojo Elder Atropos!
Before the Elders could ponder on this strange turn of events, a cry was heard from outside the Guild. A swan, clearly Cygna, swooped down and crashed through the stained glass window, immediately weaving threads. The threads were represented by four lights on the loom coinciding with four differing audible notes. To the Elders’ great horror, Cygna was weaving the same draft they had, subsequently turning all three of them into swans the way they had her all those years ago. Just prior to the last of the three elders being transformed, Elder Atropos cried out: “Cursed forever be the name of Cygna’s son, the Loom-Child ... Bobbin Threadbare!” I was then witness to all the swans departing the island and flying through some sort of portal, presumably leaving the pattern as they went. I was left alone in the Guild Hall. “Oh, wonderful. Everyone’s flown away! No explanations. No goodbyes. Why do they always leave me behind?” Loom’s extended introduction was nearing it's completion, and I now temporarily had control of Bobbin. The first thing I did was take a look at the egg that likely contained Dame Hetchel in swan form. I was told that the egg was “trying to open!”, which reminded me that there were two prefilled drafts in the Book of Patterns. The first one, which was called Opening, and the last one, which was called Transcendence.
Now that's what I call an entrance!
There were more than four swans leaving the island, which suggested the whole village was transformed
It's tough being the chosen one!
I knew from reading the manual that the exact threads of the drafts changed from game to game (a kind copy protection), but it appeared Opening and Transcendence never changed. “Opening: This fundamental draft is traditionally the first one taught to novice spellweavers. Once mastered, it may be spun into tarpaulins, theatre curtains, or any covering that must be whisked aside on command.” Dame Hetchel had taught Bobbin the Opening draft towards the end of the prologue, so it made sense that it was prefilled in the book, but what about Transcendence? “Transcendence: Few indeed are the Weavers who successfully spun this, the most subtle and mysterious expression of our art. Transcendence dissolves the ties that bind our threads into the Pattern, elevating mind and body to an undefined state of existence. Transcended beings are said to assume the form of birds, constellations, or even sunspots. Because corporal punishment is forbidden in our Guild, Transendence is occasionally used as a means of humane banishment, but only for the most unforgivable infractions of the Rules.” Aha! So the Elders had weaved the Transcendence draft on both Cygna and now Dame Hetchel! I’d seen them do it, so that’s why it was also prefilled in the Book of Patterns! I was very keen to try out the Opening draft on the egg, but there was something I was going to need to make that happen. I walked over to the distaff that Elder Atropos had left behind, and picked it up.
Enchantment: Remove any three creature cards under your control and put three 6/6 Death Swans of Loom tokens in their place
When it comes to music, the heavier the better!
An image of the distaff appeared at the bottom of the screen, along with a representation of sheet music (please excuse my musical ignorance during these posts). While there were a total of eight separate notes shown, only three of them were “lit up” with colour. I wasn’t completely sure why at this point, but I quickly realised that the notes required for the Opening draft were all amongst them. I positioned myself in front of the egg and selected it so it appeared down the bottom right. I then clicked on E, C, E, and then D. As I did this, the section on the distaff directly above those notes lit up, and the note could be audibly heard. Lights appeared on the loom behind me too, suggesting whatever I was doing was gaining power from the loom itself. Once the draft was complete, blue sparkles enveloped the egg, and then it opened! A small black swan stepped out and began speaking to me! “Thank goodness you’re still here.” It was Dame Hetchel! I asked her what was going on, and why the whole village had flown away, to which she replied: “I’d hoped the swan might come to save you. But I never expected her to weave as much mischief as this!” She then told me that the Elders planned to turn me into a swan too, as they believed my unnatural birth was the cause of chaos spreading “across the Pattern in the Loom”. Now that the Elders themselves had been banished, Hetchel believed that the pattern was failing on its own accord, and that “a third Shadow is nigh”!
Could you string any more weaving related words into your material?
I asked the black swan how we could stop the chaos, but she didn’t think it was possible. “We can embrace it. Or... escape! We must find out where our flock has flown, and join them if we can! As long as the distaff remains in your hands, I’ll know you are safe. If you ever lose it, take heart! I’ll come to help you if I can.” This last comment seemed important, hinting that this wouldn’t be the last time I would see Dame Hetchel in the game. Our conversation concluded with her telling me to “Leave this island, Loom-Child. It’s too small for you now. Your destiny lies beyond the sea!” With that, she took her leave and followed the swans out of the pattern through a portal of sorts. I really was alone now, but excited to set out and explore the rest of the island. Before I left, I took a closer look at the loom, finding that the four threads of the Transcendence draft were “still echoing” there. I already knew them from the Book of Patterns, but it was nice to have my understanding of events so far confirmed (the notes matched those found in the book). I left the tent, and made my way east until I arrived at another one. I entered, and found a pile of gold glistening at the edge of a darkened room. As promising as this find was, clicking on it only resulted in the following message: “People ought to clean up after themselves.”
Mulligrub me, Mulligrub you...
So it didn’t look like money was going to play a role in Loom. I walked into the darkness, and noticed that an image of my eyes appeared in the bottom right corner. I wasn’t able to see anything in the room, but thought I might be able to with the right draft. With nothing else to do, I left the tent and continued east, finding one last tent that I could enter. Now this room seemed to have a lot on offer! There were bits of material around the place, a boiling pot over a fire, and a table containing various bits and pieces. I began to systematically check out each item, starting with the green wool hanging above the stove. “Grassy green. Hate that color.” Well that seemed unfortunate, given most things in the room had the same emerald green tone. I clicked on the boiling pot, and found that it contained dye. Not only that, the notes of a draft (C,D,C,D) were played as the words “It’s bubbling” appeared on the screen. I skimmed through the Book of Patterns, eventually coming across a draft called Dyeing. "This draft was perfected by the dye of the Woonsocket Chapter, who slaved for hours over steaming pits to satisfy the Cleric’s appetite for colourful vestures. Originally woven into all types of fabric, the applicability of the Dyeing draft has diminished over the course of centuries. Now it works only on wool.”
With this much power, nothing can stop me! Why I can even change this useless heap of wool into something beautiful and precious!
Just next to the stove were two piles of wool that still needed dyeing, so I tried out my new draft. It worked, turning the wool bright green. It still didn’t seem useful, so I moved onto the large bottle sitting on the table. Clicking it caused it to fall over and start dripping green liquid onto the floor. At the same time as this happened though, the notes of another draft appeared (G,E,E,D.). I once again looked through the Book of Patterns, quickly finding a likely one called Emptying. “The contents of almost any filled container may be instantly unravelled with this handy draft. Before its development c. 4200, the streams of Woonsocket ran green with discarded dyes of the chemists. Avoid the temptation to spin Emptying upon lakes or clouds; its range is deliberately limited to prevent catastrophes such as the Double Deluge of 4202 (for which the Guild admits no responsibility).” I looked around the room, but couldn’t find anything that I might want to empty. I therefore checked out the last remaining item in the room, which was a large red book on the table. “This is the Book of Patterns that Hetchel lets me read sometimes. Better take it with me.” I wasn’t sure whether it played a role in the game itself, or whether it was simply there to compliment the one that came in the box (in the real world), but I now had it in both fiction and reality. Well, this post has gone on long enough now, despite not having covered all that much ground. That’s usually the case for these first up gameplay posts though, so no doubt we’ll move at a more rapid pace from here on in. Join me in a couple of days...
Session Time: 0 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 0 hours 30 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!