The Council: Finale

Earlier in the month, developer Big Bad Wolf released its final episode of The Council. “Checkmate” picks up where the prior one left off, in which you had found out that you yourself were related to Lord Mortimer, and as a result, a Daemon too. Definitely an interesting turn of events, and in this final showing things go from interesting to downright weird.

As the episodes before it, the series has continued with the narrative adventure style game play. You’ll run about the island and solve puzzles while having confrontations with various guests. As a “choices matter” style of game, it’s clear that there are multiple endings and various things that occur throughout the episodes might be different for you than they were for me. For instance, I never had an issue with one of the puzzles in an earlier episode, so I retained both of my hands, but watching some other videos of the game made it clear that you could indeed lose your hand if you had guessed wrong. There was also a bit where you had to choose a spear during a puzzle, and it was revealed that I had chosen correctly. Various people can die, and in my case, there were a handful of them that did. The result most likely changes only minor details, but the ending was most assuredly altered on my path.

I failed one of the confrontations during this episode, and if memory serves me, I hadn’t failed one prior to this. The Cardinal proved to be a worthy adversary, but it did little to effect the rest of the episode. I was sent to go ahead and try to convince anyone who was going to vote against Mortimer (thereby stopping the Louisiana purchase by America) to change their minds, and he was the only one who resisted. There were some annoying puzzles this time around as well, and a trip into “the Ether” which took the game from a normal political romp into a supernatural realm that I didn’t capture here in screen shots. Once all was said and done though, we killed off Mortimer’s brother (Sir Holm) and then Mortimer turned on me as well. You can see my results of each chapter below:

I didn’t see that coming. Being Lord Mortimer’s son and gaining some supernatural powers seemed pretty awesome, and though Holm said with his dying breath that Mortimer was mad and that I would turn out just like him, I didn’t realize what he meant until after the conference. It turns out being just like him was more like being him. He told me about how I was his chosen one and that I was one of the best children he had ever had, but this also meant that he had chosen me to be his new body, as he says he only changes bodies via his own children. This didn’t really mean that I lost anything though, as the game simply ended and I was presented with a little epilogue about the remaining surviving members of the Council:

It doesn’t seem that much detail was put into this section, we’re just told that each person goes back to their home countries and does things that would be fairly historically accurate. The only entirely fictional character is Mortimer himself, and we just learn that nothing is heard from him again, but in my case that means that he took over my body and that would explain why no one knows what happened to him. Whatever the case it was an enjoyable romp through historical events, and I rather enjoyed it. It set itself apart from series that TellTale have made, and I hope to see them create something else in the future. I’d take a second season where you can see what happened to you (Mortimer) and where your choices in this season affected the next. I’d also take a whole new game series. Since we know that TellTale is defunct, I need someone else to give me this style of game as I do enjoy them. They’re relaxing and don’t require twitch skills to run through. I also enjoy the episodic nature where you get to play a game like this throughout the year a little bit at a time.

Anyway, I’d recommend it if these sorts of games are up your alley. I’m sure the complete edition will be around soon and likely will go on sale during Winter events so keep an eye out for that.

The Council: Episode 4

The other narrative adventure game that I’ve been playing for the last few months is The Council. Episode four of this five part series released last week and I played through it a few days ago. With this particular title, there is no such thing as action, just a bunch of running around this island manor and discussing things or solving puzzles. It’s more about the political intrigue than anything else, or at least it was up until this episode. Before I go any further, this post will be spoiler heavy so avoid it if you’re still playing through.

You’ve found your mother and she has discovered that the spear that pierced Christ’s side by a Roman soldier hidden in the catacombs below the manor. You had opened this new section during the last puzzle of episode three, the same puzzle that cut off your mother’s hand. She also reveals to you that Mortimer is a Daemon. This Council of men is actually headed by a Daemon who is trying to sway humanity’s fate. An interesting twist, and a new take on history and the supernatural. Something that is almost believable given the current political climate of my country. But I digress.

Your mother sends you on the mission to figure out which spearhead is the correct one, and there are an assortment of clues you’ll need to find around the island. I’m unsure if you have to be correct with this choice, or if it will only allow you to pick the correct one. I cheated a little because I knew I would be annoyed with the running around for these clues, so I looked up the answer and picked what the general consensus was online. As such, it shows that I failed to find them all in that chapter’s summary which you’ll see below. People in the comments on one post I was reading were saying that the story takes a turn after this, and some people even quit when they got to the twist. Having finished the episode myself, I can say that picking the spear I chose didn’t affect anything in this episode, but I also believe that it won’t make a difference until the finale. So are you ready for the big twist?

You’re a Daemon too! Mortimer is your father, and Sarah isn’t really your mother. She’s technically your sister, as she is also Mortimer’s daughter. Obviously you’re a little taken aback by this. The other face painted gentleman is also his brother, your uncle. Mortimer reveals that Daemons have been around for centuries, and that there are several families that still exist, but yours is the most powerful, hence this whole council thing. He wants to sway the countries of the world towards democracy, yet your Uncle believes monarchies are easier to control. However, Daemons aren’t supposed to outright control humans, yet Mortimer teaches you how to read thoughts and later how to possess bodies, which they call “envelopes.”

I’m skipping over much of the plot here, but that was enough to make me much more intrigued by the whole thing. You have various confrontations with the cardinal (including possessing him to forge a letter), Napoleon (he believes you’ve stolen something — it’s the spearhead) and Emily/Sarah (turns out I got the real Emily shot and her sister wanted to kill Sarah — I also got pissed at Sarah for hiding so many truths from me and somehow made a selection where I killed her). Here are my results from the chapters:

It appears that the story will conclude in episode five but I have no idea where its going to go now. I look forward to finding out.