Here's something you don't get to do every day.
The climax of Loom was clearly approaching, but recent events had made it pretty difficult to figure out what was going to occur there. My last post ended with me floating “outside” the pattern, which looked like space with patches of locations trying to break through. I floated towards the first of these locations, noting that it looked like the volcanic region the Guild of Blacksmiths occupied. That turned out to be correct, and clicking on it caused me to re-enter the pattern at the place of Rusty’s death. His bones were still lying on the ground, and I immediately wondered whether I might be able to weave a Healing draft on them. As I walked towards them, his none-too-happy spirit appeared and understandably got stuck into me. “I’m lying here, minding my own business, when this strange new kid shows up and decides he wants to switch clothes with me. The kid forgets to mention that he has a FORTY-FOOT DRAGON out to get him. And what happens when that very same dragon sees me lying here? Looking JUST LIKE YOU?” Bobbin apologised to Rusty for causing something so awful, but Rusty hadn’t finished relaying his hardships. “So I go Outside to wait for doomsday like a good little ghost. And what do you suppose happens then? Some idiot rips the universe apart and hails us all back Inside!” Well at least I couldn’t be blamed for that!
Do I sense a tinge of sarcasm?
Um...you become an insane, evil mofo?
OK, you can't blame me for that one!
Once Rusty and I had made our way back to his bones, I finally had the opportunity to try out Healing him. It worked, and Rusty now stood in front of me in full health! He was astonished that I could actually bring people back from the dead, but Bobbin’s response was simply “You were hurt. I healed you. That’s all.” Rusty then left to go find his family, and since the game informed me that I shouldn’t wander off too far, I re-entered Outside. I floated away from the Guild of Blacksmith region and entered the Guild of Shepherds. Appearing on a hill behind Fleece’s home, things didn’t look good! Her house was on fire, and there were animals and shepherds lying dead in the field. I thought I’d try Healing them too, and once again this turned out to be the solution (or at least A solution). The shepherds were extremely grateful: “Shepherds have long memories, wizard. I shall not forget your kindness.” Since I wasn’t able to leave the hill, the only thing to do was to re-enter Outside again and see where else my powers could be of use. Just as I’d expected, the next location was the Guild of Glassmakers, and once again they’d been attacked by the Dead. Master Goodmold lay on the floor with blood surrounding him, clearly close to death. Solving everything through the use of Healing was becoming a bit repetitive, but it once again seemed like the most obvious solution. I was almost grateful when it didn’t work!
Well, I wouldn't use the plural just yet.
The Sand Person roared with victory as another shepherd went down!
Actually, my powers are unlimited. Now stop being a martyr and let me help you!
“Save your magic for the Dead Ones, Weaver boy.” Like me, Bobbin wondered why the glassmakers hadn’t used the Great Scythe they’d been preparing, and Goodmold used his final breaths to explain the reason. “We never doubted that the Scythe could save us. Even the Dead would have fallen in the wake of its wrath! But to unleash such merciless evil would make us as cowardly as they. We wished not to become like our enemy. And so we stayed our hand. We knew the price. Tell the world we fought with courage, and chose death with clarity.” I’m not going to get too stuck into Loom for this, but this plot outcome is tough to pull off. I’ve read so many books and seen so many films where someone spends ages preparing to do something specific, only to decide against it at the very moment they’d been working towards. When done well, it’s very powerful (think Darth Vader saving Luke Skywalker), but can feel manipulative and unbelievable if done poorly. In this instance I didn’t buy that the guild would allow the Dead Ones to destroy everything when they had the power to stop it, but as I say, I’m not going to get picky on what is a minor plot point. Goodmold’s body disappeared when he finally passed away in front of my eyes, so I left Crystalgard and journeyed back Outside.
But we thought it would be more fun to watch the living be slaughtered by the Dead.
I guess he had to disappear, otherwise I would have Healed him anyway.
The next location I floated into was one I was unfamiliar with. There I discovered shining trees overhanging a cosmic pond, within which a ballet of swans congregated. One of them spoke to me: “We’ve been expecting you, Bobbin. Welcome!” Bobbin asked where he was, and the swan explained that this place was Outside the Pattern. It described it as “Home of the Dead, and of those Transcended.” Bobbin then recognised it as the Shore of Wonder, and the swan confirmed that was true. “Yes, Bobbin! And you are the first to behold it with mortal eyes.” I’d already assumed that this swan was likely to be my mother Cygna, and our conversation soon confirmed this also. “The Elders forbade me to set foot on Loom island. But they said nothing about flying over it! Once a year, I managed to gain enough strength to pass Inside for a few brief moments. Those are the times that you saw me. In life, I was Lady Cygna Threadbare. Banished by the Elders for drawing an unforeseen infant out of the Loom. Seventeen long years ago. I’ve missed you... my son.” I knew this to be true, having listened to the audio tape that accompanied the game, but Bobbin was not so sure. Cygna explained that Dame Hetchel had no doubt hidden the truth from Bobbin to protect him, just as she was still trying to protect him even now.
OK, you simply must be a villain! No sane person says that!
While I didn't tear up, this scene was quite moving.
Bobbin put his disbelief aside momentarily, suddenly concerned for the safety of the woman that had raised him. Cygna’s response would not have put him at ease. “She has set off for the island, and the Loom Sanctuary. The Dead Ones are right behind her! Their leader knows of the Loom’s power. If he learns its secrets, the Pattern itself will be his to manipulate. Who knows what havoc he might wreak? Hetchel hopes to reach the Loom before him. She intends to destroy it! If Chaos doesn’t consume her first.” Distressed, Bobbin set off to save Hetchel, but Cygna told him not to be too hasty. “The Dead Ones move between the holes your Bishop friend made in the Pattern. If you repair those holes, it will make it harder for them to follow you.” Cygna gave me no instructions for “repairing” the holes, yet since Healing had been so successful of late, I set out to try weaving it on each of the rips in the Pattern. It worked, with each of the holes closing up as I weaved the draft on them. I was rewarded for this work with the note B beneath my distaff. This didn’t put any previously unavailable drafts at my disposal, since I knew of none that contained the B thread, but it did bring me just one step away from being able to weave a Transcendence draft! With all the holes patched up, I returned to the Shore of Wonder and beyond the pond, as suggested by Cygna.
My Healing draft was seriously overused by now. Was I just ignoring the alternatives?
"...it's over now, the music of the night..."
Just past the pond I found another rip in the pattern, and this one took me to the cemetery where I’d scared the rabbit way back in session one. When I left the screen I was shown the anvil shaped storm front, now very close to the island of Loom. The Dead Ones were arriving! Suddenly I was inside the guild hall, standing in front of the Loom. When I clicked on it, the Transcendence draft was played, and then Dame Hetchel (still in swan form) flew into the room. Chaos was right behind her, and chased her around, swinging the Great Scythe over and over. “Bobbin! Get your distaff ready! There’s not a moment to lose! You must unmake the Loom. NOW, Bobbin. Before the Dead Ones take control!” I didn’t know how I was supposed to “unmake” the loom, and neither did Bobbin. When he said as much, Chaos spoke: “It is just as well, young Weaver. Birds and children have no business wielding such power. My informants told me that all of the Weavers had fled. I see they were mistaken. Destiny has been kind, my young friend. You will live to pass on your Guild’s secrets to others more worthy of the knowledge. In return, you will be allowed to serve my new empire as advisor. Naturally, I expect your full cooperation in this historic exchange of goodwill. Anything less will risk harm to our relationship.”
Yep! We're all screwed now!
What exactly do you want me to do to this guy? Actually, this would have been a good time to reverse the Sharpening draft...
The close-ups of Chaos were both horrifying and awe-inspiring! The first thing that came to mind was Maleficent, the witch from The Sleeping Beauty, which isn’t surprising given the game designers' love of the movie. Hetchel began to tell me the threads required to unmake the Loom, but just as she was about to begin, Chaos weaved a Silence draft on her. The little black swan continued to talk to me, but I couldn’t hear anything she said. I paused to open the Book of Patterns: “Silence was hailed as a welcome relief for first-time parents and dwellers in college dormitories. Unfortunately, our Guildmembers are too often hired to spin these threads in situations of doubtful appropriateness. The worst offender is the Guild of Conductors whose members frequently impose a draft of Silence over their audience before a concert.” While Chaos instructed me to teach him how to use the Loom, I tried to figure out how to give Hetchel back her voice. I realised that I should be able to reverse the Silence draft, but I’d not recorded the threads as Chaos had weaved them! Then I remembered that the Loom records the last draft weaved, so clicking on it repeated the draft. I selected Hetchel and reversed it, giving her back her voice! She immediately demanded I unmake the Loom quickly, but still wouldn’t tell me the threads I needed to do so. Chaos spoke: “Ducks are meant to be eaten. Not heard.” He weaved another draft, and Hetchel was seemingly cooked on the spot.
It would take a brave man to mess with this dude!
I'm so going to use this at work tomorrow!
I couldn't find a KFC draft anywhere in the Book of Patterns.
I’m not actually certain which draft this was. Nothing in the Book of Patterns stands out as a likely candidate. Regardless, I once again reversed Chaos’ draft, and successfully turned Hetchel back into a swan. She then spoke to Chaos: “Begone from this chamber, Evil one. The Loom shall never be yours! This boy holds the power to destroy it!” When Bobbin expressed his doubt, Hetchel told him to be quiet. “Ssh! Close your eyes now, little Bobbin. But keep your ears open!” What did that mean? I found out soon enough. Chaos had finally had enough of the little bird and weaved a draft that appeared to destroy her utterly. All that was left was a single feather, which drifted slowly to the floor. All of this matched the visions I’d seen earlier in the game, with a swan, followed by a cooked bird, followed by a single feather, so I knew this had always been destined to occur. Had Hetchel sacrificed herself so that Chaos would weave the Unmaking draft? I looked up the draft to see what the Book of Patterns had to say. “Novices are often impatient to acquire the undeniably dramatic ability to Unmake physical objects. Luckily, these volatile threads lie well beyond the grasp of all but the most mature spellweavers. Entire armies can and have been disembodied by the transawesome power of Unmaking. Let us hope we are never again called upon to demonstrate our craft in this manner.”
Oh crap! This is like that scene in The Exorcist where she floats off the bed!
Clearly I had been, and it was now time to utilise my transawesome power to Unmake the Loom. I did so, ripping the pattern apart in the process! My mother Cygna flew Inside, proclaiming my victory. “Bobbin! Bobbin, you did it! The Loom is unmade, beyond Evil’s reach!” Chaos was none too happy of course, going on a lengthy rant: “Ignorant fools! What have you done? None of us can pass across this rift your Weaver mischief has so blindly created! Your pious meddling has foiled my dream of an eternal empire, bound together under One Rule... Mine!” Cygna affirmed that those on the Outside will always remain trapped there now that the pattern had been torn in half. This both saddened her and filled her with hope, as there was now a chance to begin a new Pattern. One that has been cleansed of wickedness! She asked me to take my place among them, and I noticed that I now had the final note that I needed to weave Transcendence. I stepped out into the void, and once on the other side, I did what I’d assumed would need to be done. I cast Transcendence on myself, and was transformed into a swan. Chaos called out as I flew away: “Fly away while you can, Weaver boy. One day we will meet again!” The game closed with my mother, the Elders and I flying away from Loom, seemingly carrying the beginnings of the new pattern with us. My feelings about all this!? I’ll let you know in the Final Rating post.
This was so transawesome, you could see it from space!
I'm always a sucker for good symmetry, and this game is full of it. Beautiful!
Game 37: Complete!
Session Time: 0 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes