Hmph. Not nearly bone-cancer-y enough.
@Boreas I totally get where you’re coming from, as I bait-and-switched with some choices that you actually could change about Arcy … but the others are right – you’re playing as Arcy, but she’s not defined by your choices. She’s meant to be a fleshed-out character that exists in the world regardless of whether the main character gets around to meeting her.
There’s more than just her relationship with Harriet (and especially the fact that she lies to you about it) that doesn’t change. There’s a tonne of stuff that you probably didn’t notice at first (likely because of the focus on romance). She always rejects her family’s legacy, she always stays in the tower, and of course she always pursues necromancy as a solution to her problems. And, what should have really given it away to you, is that the first thing that happens is she decides on her own to go to the witch doctor to cure her acne. The very first thing she does in that chapter isn’t your choice at all.
The witch doctor, weirdly enough, seems to be aware of this and in fact vaguely comments on it pretty early on. Which is meant to signify that even though you’re playing as Arcy, nothing you choose can actually change her life because this is just a memory.
I debated whether or not to allow the player more choice in Arcy’s backstory. I was originally going to have the player take way more control over her, but I scrapped that and instead decided to strike a compromise: the major stuff I mentioned is unchangeable, but little things like the way she reacts, dialogue trees, and inconsequential decisions (like which suitor to ignore) are still up to the player. Those are there because the game is written using choice script and having largely inconsequential decisions is more interesting, in my opinion, than twenty page breaks in a row.
Is there a way to prevent the apocalypse and save the world without having to break up with your chosen romance option?
Yes, but limited. If the first omen triggers while you’re in a relationship with Arcy, you do have the option to go off on a wild goose chase and try to save the world, leaving her behind. I think there might still be some bugs in the dashingdon version that I’ve cleaned up in my home version, however, so I wouldn’t rely on that option to do exactly what you want it to do right now. I can’t remember what I’ve fixed up.
In any case I’ve modified the code a bit to make the whole process of saving the world a little bit more available (but actually harder to pull off!), which will get released when I update it with a new RO sometime this week or the next.
The trade-off between saving the world and staying with your One True Pairing will always be there, however. You have to leave them (physically, location speaking) to fight the gods or turn back time but if you haven’t actually broken up with them, there might be some ways to save them at the end. I’m still working on the coding. I’ve got individual variables for each RO on whether you’ve met them, whether you’re currently pursuing them, and whether you even have the option to pursue them at all (which goes away if you kill them or break up … in most but not all cases!), and I’m not really keen on adding even more to the equation, so we’ll see if I can work with what we’ve got.
@Shoelip (just browsing through some earlier comments! )
Bethesda finally got a good writer.
What I mean is, sure the game is “Nonlinear” but how that plays out is the choice of whether to do something now or do it later.
As an example, you mentioned that you can’t convince Arcy to murder criminals instead of children … which you can do! Or at least attempt to. If you let the little girl get stabbed and disemboweled, the game doesn’t give you the option to debate Arcy because it’s already pretty clear which side of the debate you’re on. But if you save the girl instead, Arcy actually does debate you, which was something I stealthily added within the last few days. Unfortunately the decision I made is that Arcy’s worldview is entrenched.