Blackthorne

Blackthorne is a pretty fun game with an insidious agenda to make you think that Ayn Rand was right.

(Spoiler: she wasn’t.)

The first level is a horrible, depressing mine where everyone is sad pretty much all the time.

:(
😦

You really get the sense that this is a shared pathos, a common fugue, which hangs over all these oppressed sprites.

The guy standing behind me in the upper left corner is saying this, not the dead orc in the middle.  He's dead.  When he's alive he most says "urgh" and "huh huh huh."
The guy standing behind me in the upper left corner is saying this, not the dead orc in the middle. He's dead. When he's alive he most says "urgh" and "huh huh huh."

All of these poor souls are wandering aimlessly, or being whipped by big purple monsters, or dangling helplessly from their shackles, or firing some kind of mining laser at the floor, or dead.

Now, the first thing that occurs to me upon moving through this level is that there are way more Androthi humanoid prisoners than orc guards, and a lot of them are just wandering around.  A good number of them have mining lasers, which are presumably effective at mining flesh as well as stone.  On top of this, a number of grateful Androthi give me grenades or bombs as I speak to them – how they got a hold of these, I don’t know, but they had them.

So why are the prisoners – more numerous and heavily armed than their guards, who rarely have any heavy explosives at all – why are the prisoners still prisoners?

Obviously they lack the moral drive and self-worth to take what they want for themselves, because they are mindless peons who are slaves to the ideological apparatus which surrounds them. And so, a noble hero arrives – to save them?  No.  He is an objectivist.  These feeble automatons do not deserve salvation at my hand; selfishness is the only virtue, and I have only my own interests in mind.  The game seems to encourage this mindset, as I cannot even give them food or free them from their chains. Of course, bleating sheep as they are, they cannot help but gaze up at me in desperate admiration.

Instead of being driven to solve all the world’s problems and bring justice to the land, though, I  go mad with power.

YOU BEST KEEP POLISHING THEM BOOTS, BOY, 'CAUSE IMMA SEE YOUR FACE IN THEM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
Yeah, you BEST keep polishing them boots, boy, 'cause I'm gonna see your face in them one way or another.
Yeah.  Yeah.  You love the chosen one, don't you.  My messiah all up in your desert.  Yeah.  I can last 40 days and 40 nights if you can.  Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. You love the chosen one, don't you. My messiah all up in your desert. Yeah. I can last 40 days and 40 nights if you can. Yeah.

After extorting oral sex from shackled prisoners who worshiped me as their saviour, I felt that I was rapidly accelerating along the trajectory of ultimate evil.  Had I continued to play the game, not even the (admittedly badass) last boss would have rivaled my villainy.

My leg hair would be hairier and my horns would be hornier.  Yeah that's right.
My leg hair would be hairier and my horns would be hornier. Yeah that's right.
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2 thoughts on “Blackthorne

  1. What always struck me as odd about this game is the fact that you can brutally murder every last one of the Androthi prisoners with zero repercussions. You can shotgun a chained prisoner in the face and the guy shackled next to him still looks upon you as a messiah.

    The most awesome thing, however, was using those floating bombs that you could remote detonate. If you used one of those on a shackled guy, his lower half got obliterated while the top half of him still hung there from the chains.

    I always thought this was an underrated game, and if they ported it to the DS I’d go buy it right now.

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