Shamus Plays: Champions Online, Part 5


If you remember from last time, I’m here to rescue survivors from this crash.


My job is to free people from debris. If you can survive a plane crash, end up trapped by massive bits of former airplane, and sit in the snow for hours on end while being menaced by ice demons, then you are obviously a superhero. I shouldn’t be rescuing them, I should be helping them design costumes for themselves. (My advice: You can’t go wrong with some sort of star-based iconography.)

What’s interesting about this quest is that the goal isn’t what the quest log says it is. The quest log says to free people from the airplane debris. But if I lift up a chunk of plane and the person trapped underneath runs off, I don’t actually get credit for freeing them until I destroy the debris I’m holding. So the real goal of the quest is to destroy debris. You can, in fact, hurl objects at a bit of passenger-trapping debris until it’s destroyed and then dash off, leaving the passenger alone and injured in the frozen wastes and surrounded by ice demons. Doesn’t matter. As long as they aren’t pinned, my job is done.


Ah! There is my goal! A piece of debris to destroy. I only get credit for ones on top of survivors, though.

As I fly around, bashing debris and pummeling ice demons, I occasionally pass civilians who are injured and helpless in the snow. Guys like this one:


He makes eye contact. Oh geeze.

Look, I’m sorry buddy. I just can’t help you. Well, I mean… I could. There’s a gurney right over there. You’d be way better off if you were on that thing. And some medical gear. You’d have a much better chance if I could hand you that. And a box of supplies. Man, there could even be a blanket in there. Heck, it would be effortless for me to shuttle you back to base. I could do that with one hand, actually. But Cryptic entertainment didn’t put any buttons on the interface for doing any of those things. If you’re not trapped under debris or attacked by ice demons, I can’t help you.

What do I suggest? I don’t know. Maybe yell a bit? The demons are bound to notice you sooner or later.

Would it be okay if I covered you with snow? No offense, but watching you die is really making me feel like less of a superhero.

If it helps at all, I guess you should know that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM!

Really Cryptic… Are you familiar with the concept behind superheroes? Why would you plonk down people and deny us the ability to help them, when their need is so dire and so easily fulfilled? You wouldn’t even need superpowers to save this guy’s life. You’d need hands.

I fulfill my debris-smashing quota, as well as my demon-suckerpunching quota. Now back to base.

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Hello ma’am. The fact that you’re rooted in place and have an icon over your head tells me you’re the local NPC vending machine. I mean shopkeeper. Or whatever. Look, I’m having just as much trouble mapping MMO conventions to comic book archetypes as you are.

Back at base, I meet someone who wants me to craft…

Here is our introduction to the crafting system. As with Hellgate: London, the entire crafting system is a lot of busywork for no meaningful benefit. I am not a fan.

…a cold shield to protect me from the extreme cold I’ll be facing ahead during a particular boss fight.

Fine. Done.

I also have to save a few more people from a different plane crash on the other side of the base. These people have been frozen in blocks of ice, and I must use some doohickey to thaw them out, after which they jog away. Occasionally in the direction of safety.


Han? Is that you?

Again, I can’t help but admire the tremendous badassery of the average civilian. David Blaine attempted a trick where he was frozen in a block of ice and it kicked his ass. And note that he was doing the easy version of the trick where you don’t have to survive a plane crash first.

Now that we’re done saving civilians, it’s time we got down to putting a stop to the Snowpocalypse. This means pummeling some more ice demons…


….so that we can gather the little voodoo knicknacks they carry and perform a voodoo ritual to summon their boss…


…and give him a beat down so I can take his inter-dimensional scroll, and take that back to…


…Ravenspeaker. Ugh.

For the last time man, I ALREADY KNOW that THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORM.”

You know, I would feel better if the person leading us against the axis of snow owned pants. But he seems to know what he’s talking about. Apparently the scroll I acquired will let someone enter the portal and face the demon-god kigga-something-or-other. Ravenspeaker is using his hoodoo powers to hold the storm at bay, so he can’t go through. So the job falls to me.

I jump through the portal. I have to activate that item I crafted to keep from freezing my tuckus off.

It seems I have entered a world of weird…


Floating asteroid-esque things. That’s… odd.


This is what? I don’t even… this doesn’t make any…



Looks like we’re not in Canada anymore, Dorothy.

I have to fight some zombies. I’ve been occasionally encountering zombies since I arrived in Canada.


Note to game designers: Zombies are mindless undead. I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of cannibals.

These are no doubt most talkative undead in history. Their banter is infantile and un-funny, but I guess it’s hard to come up with witty material when your brains have rotted out.

Which I guess is a big problem at Cryptic Entertainment.


On the upside, not one of them tells me how bad or out-of-the-ordinary the weather is.

Anyway, there’s a dude in a suit trying to awaken the demon-god Kigawhatsit and make it TOTALLY SNOW, LIKE SUPER-MUCH all over our base in the frozen wastes of Canada.


Dude, I can understand the temptation to appeal to the Blizzard-god in order to make the Cataclysm come now, but I’m pretty sure this won’t help. I mean, they don’t even have a release date yet…

Hey! This guy has pants! How come our leader doesn’t have pants?

He’s doing some sort of ceremony to awaken Kigawhozit, who looks like a fifty foot astral projection.

I figure if I hit Mr. Pants enough he’ll probably stop. I do. He does. Yay good guys!


“Excuse me sir, but your dark suit would be more menacing if you weren’t using pink energy blades. And if your face didn’t have a crater in the shape of MY FIST!”

This is the first real boss fight in the game. Tutorial boss Black Talon is a pushover, but this guy can give you a beating if you’re a little low in level or your character build is flawed.

Boss defeated, I return to the land of Canada. Looks like the storm has ended…



Next time: Canada, the undiscovered country!

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