Ruts vs. Battlespire CH11: Arach That Won’t Quit

By Rutskarn Posted Wednesday Jun 8, 2016

Filed under: Lets Play 51 comments

I learned some useful lessons from the last labyrinthine expanse of killpits and misery-chasms I was purposelessly trapped in. Firstly, a mechanic that shows you where you’re going to jump doesn’t make sense in a game with lots of jumping puzzles unless that mechanic turns out not to work, in which case it makes the worst kind of sense. Secondly, I should start checking my map more often.

The red stuff is lava, which is why the last level's map was just a cherry-red smear.
The red stuff is lava, which is why the last level's map was just a cherry-red smear.

Without as many elevation changes and overlapping tunnels, this level’s map approaches usable. The trick is to point yourself like a torpedo at any suspiciously blank parts and once you arrive, aggressively frisk every piece of scenery and lootbag there until a hidden door skulks open or a teleporter kicks in or a candlestick asks a riddle or some other whimsical dungeon bullshit.

Speaking of which:

I should have enrolled in thief college.
I should have enrolled in thief college.

That hopscotch thunderdome is what stands between me and the latest stretch of frontier. At this point, my standing jump can reach clear from stone to stone, which is a good thing, because this game’s running jumps require:

  • Waiting for the icon to spool out some…
    • …which is a slow, tedious, and not thoroughly precise process.
  • Running…
    • …at which point the icon completely changes to represent a different level of progress, so you’ll need a couple seconds lead-in run time to get your bearings, except by that point it’ll be somewhere different or it will have reached its limit and reset for some reason.
  • Releasing WHILE RUNNING…
    • …because if you stop even for an instant all momentum is chucked down the memory hole. Fortunately, it does not matter in which direction you are running–it’s all added to forward momentum. Much of the time I’m forced to boogie in circles on a small platform to get my yardage correct.
  • Praying…
    • …because if the game takes a giddy frame of mind, you’ll cant a few degrees off or a foot short and bounce on some magma.

But I don’t have to worry about all that right now. I step to the edge, measure out a series of standing hops, and before long find myself safe and sound stuck in the wall.

Luckily, this guy comes along to help me get off. Once he gets inside my swing I can't look down far enough to hit him, but he's willing to fight hard enough for both of us.
Luckily, this guy comes along to help me get off. Once he gets inside my swing I can't look down far enough to hit him, but he's willing to fight hard enough for both of us.

There’s a lot of those floating-sigil-of-buggroff thingies I ran into back in CH1 blocking off archways with monsters and treasure on the other side. Attempting to enter without the right daedric fetishes or shibboleths or whatever means sucking down a semilethal dose of magical energy. Annoyingly enough, even approaching the archways has the same effect–in one very important junction of this level, the one you’ll wear holes in once you get lost, there’s an archway just a few feet to the left of one of the regular and safe and very common entrances. So whenever you come there, if you’re a half-step too far to the left of the very middle of the doorway, you get thrown like a horseshoe and lose three-quarters of your health. Or die.

I want to say this ceiling looks too bad to be an art asset instead of a glitch, but I'd believe anything at this point.
I want to say this ceiling looks too bad to be an art asset instead of a glitch, but I'd believe anything at this point.

The new spider daedra are actually pretty thick on the ground out here. They’re faster than the vermai and less prone to bombing themselves to bits than my friends the dremora, which I guess makes them my number one adversary–certainly my number one source of trips to the loading screen. Considering how badly I outclass everything else, I sort of wonder how I’d fare against these guys if I was a mortal instead of a mutant steak.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one having basic movement troubles.


Picture that gif with the occasional point-black dremora nuking and you’re beginning to see how I hold my own in here. Say what you want about this game, but the awful broken griefing nonsense is matched equally by awful broken benisons.

Speaking of benisons…

Or some other 'b' word that currently escapes me.
Or some other 'b' word that currently escapes me.

If you’re wondering if the game’s babealicious softcore female avatar was a misguided stab at nonsexual nudity, you shouldn’t. You should never assume that about 90s Bethesda. This is the era of Daggerfall, where an illuminati of naked squatting women ran the taverns, swimwear was formal wear, and you could tell a rogue by the hood she wore over her bra and loincloth. And this, apparently, is how they like their female daedra: recognizably human, stacked, tanned, hips cocked, busting out of a barely-laced swooping fetish vest and handsbreadth loincloth (which also seems to be laced, for some compellingly confusing reason) paired with thigh-high club boots. It’s full-blast pandering as usual, which I’d normally just find somewhat obnoxious, but…uh…

Boy, I’m not looking forward to this. We’ll get into it next chapter.

Hey, look what I found! A spider daedra with a proper name. It’s hidden in a side room and actually wants to talk to me, which is a welcome change of pace. I like to pick the nonviolent options with daedra whenever possible to see if it goes anywhere, which so far it really hasn’t–it’s a choice between learning something you already figured out or getting into a fight, which you might as well do anyway. Maybe this guy will be different. Let’s settle in for another Spireside Chat.

I admit to being more preoccupied with the puzzle that got me into this room. Not because it was hard, but because it was easy and yet for some reason super hard. I realize that’s confusing, so let me clarify: I’d solved it long before I actually solved it.

'I enjoy a good challenge, and a good workout, but more stimulating exertions might satisfy us both.'
'I enjoy a good challenge, and a good workout, but more stimulating exertions might satisfy us both.'

The “puzzle” is that there’s an obvious secret door. You open it by pressing a button on the other side of a coffin. You move the coffin by hitting the “use” key. I figured that out pretty much as soon as I walked into the hallway–so then I tried that. Didn’t work. Which meant I moved on and was lost and confused for like half an hour before I thought to, I dunno, try moving that weird coffin again.

Sooner or later I’m really going to have to get into how the use key in this game is a broken, buggy pile of…


Wait, what’s he talking about? What did I just…

I just fucked a spider daedra.



From The Archives:

51 thoughts on “Ruts vs. Battlespire CH11: Arach That Won’t Quit

  1. Hal says:

    That really explains the expression on your avatar’s face. That is the face of a man who knows that he has daedric spider sex in his future.

  2. BestectacledGentleman says:

    Goddammit, Rutskarn.

  3. James says:

    Goddammit Rutskarn I’m at work. That cotton eye joe bit almost killed me.

  4. Bloodsquirrel says:

    Nice demon-arachnid-shaming, Rutskarn.

    1. BenD says:

      It’s just that she’s not leggy enough for him.

      1. Jakale says:

        She? I see no female arachnid folk.

        1. Humanoid says:

          ZZ Top wrote a song about this.

        2. Bloodsquirrel says:

          Did you check its tumblr page before gendering it? Huh? How do you know how that thing identifies?

          1. Rutskarn says:

            The main thing with misgendering somebody, once the person says, “Uh, actually, I prefer [x]”–which especially if they’re doing so in person, takes quite a bit of courage–is to just take it in smoothly. Try to use the right pronoun from then on, and if you screw up, try to correct yourself quickly or just apologize.

            Using a preferred pronoun isn’t magically different from every other human social convention–pronouncing a foreign name, acknowledging a name change due to marriage or the course of therapy, not staring at a wart. It’s natural and sometimes even inevitable to make mistakes, but simple decency dictates you make an effort.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              not staring at a wart.

              Warts are easy.Its moles that are the bane of existence.

  5. Deadpool says:

    This game is amazing…

  6. Abnaxis says:


    1: That daedra looks decidedly male (both the spider bits as well as the human bits), so who really did the fucking?

    2: Assuming the daedra IS male, I wonder if he would be open to you cannibalizing him post-coitus?

    1. King Marth says:

      If you think it’s embarrassing to get sidetracked with a puzzle story and forget about the sex you just had, just imagine how silly you look if you snap back in halfway through gnawing your way through your partner’s lungs.

      “I don’t remember signing up for this, but to be honest it’s the kind of thing I always expected would happen someday.”

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Luckily, this guy comes along to help me get off.

    Whoa there!When did this turn into a hentai game?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Oh, in about five minutes?

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Picture that gif with the occasional point-black dremora nuking

    They are chucking shadow balls?

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hold on…Your male character fucked a male spider-demon?Are you telling me that a game from the 90s,a BETHESDA game from the 90s,was so trivially open about homosexuality?!?!Bethesda is the company that broke the inclusion barrier?In a game where every female is naked and with boobs the size of pluto,they had casual gay sex?BESTIALITY gay sex?

    Please tell me that that was just some unfortunate accidental innuendo,because otherwise Id have to accept that I live in a world where BETHESDA is the most progressive video game publisher.

    1. guy says:

      No, I’m pretty sure that is the world in which we live.

    2. Grey Cap says:

      Does accidental progressiveness count?

    3. MetaDidact says:

      Not due to any progressive mindset or moral stance though. It’s just that they don’t care and it allows them to get away with coding fewer checks of the player character’s gender.

      Bethesda: “Our laziness is often mistaken for progressiveness”

      1. Tohron says:

        Sort of like the polyamorous relationships in Fallout 4.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        On the one hand,it is kind of lazy.On the other hand,not even considering that your players will care whether the npc they encounter is straight or not is kind of enlightened.

    4. Rutskarn says:

      You’re not even wrong. In 2002, when same-sex relationships were still scantily presented even by the Black Isle/Bioware axis, Morrowind featured a prominent questgiver who harassed you, demeaned you, and forced you to disrobe for him whether you were male or female.

      Bethesda: breaking new ground in intensely creepy but equal-opportunity sexual encounters that, coincidentally, allowed for fewer lines of code.

      1. Mokap says:

        Don’t forget he wrote a book about how he wants to fuck lizardpeople, using the power of awkward innuendo and euphemisms.

        1. Munkkidoesen says:

          Also don’t forget the hymns of Vivec (or was it the apocrypha?), and the lovely chat you can have with the corprus researcher about his attendants.

          Come to think of it, there’s quite a bit of genuinely weird stuff buried in Bethesda’s games. It’s got more discreet (i.e. not directly involved in the second act of the main quest and onwards anymore) as time’s gone on and they’ve attracted a wider audience and a bigger spot in the public eye, but – yeah. I always assumed it was just because they had to fill all that open world space with something, but after Rutskarn’s character’s adventure with the amazing spider man here I’m not so sure.

          1. Tom says:

            I wonder if slipping that stuff under the radar is the sub-writers (or whatever they call the literary equivalent of code monkeys, the people who have to flesh out the details, make up extra side-quests to boost the game’s playtime, and write all those damn textboxes) passive-aggressive way of rebelling against the weak, predictable and sometimes just plain incoherent main quest plotlines for which Bethesda is justly infamous.

      2. Ninety-Three says:

        Actually, Bethesda was beaten to the punch by a game from the 80s which featured not just gay sex, but gay marriage. The name eludes me, but it was some “Rescue kidnapped royalty” generic adventure, only late in development they added the option to play a female character, without either remembering or bothering to change the ending cutscene where you marry the princess.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Whats a gypsy?

          1. DGM says:

            I’m not entirely sure.

          2. MadHiro says:

            What’s a Paladin?

        2. DGM says:

          That’s nothing. If you have Sherry the mouse in your party you can get HER to sleep with the gypsies.

      3. That’s exactly why I never join House Hlaalu anymore…

        That and House Telvanni is already hard enough to get respect from.

        1. Munkkidoesen says:

          Even if – no, especially if you sign on with them.
          Though I will say in their defense that none of the other houses recognised my character’s potential for keeping perishables at a constant level of humidity.

      4. Sarachim says:

        In fairness to Black Isle, Arcanum (a game from 2001) actually had a fairly prominent gay romance option with one NPC.

        1. Supah Ewok says:

          Arcanum was Troika.

          1. Humanoid says:

            Well you’d include them in Ruts’ theoretical Bioware-Black Isle axis I suppose.

      5. Da Mage says:

        Not to mention the Daggerfall version of “The Real Barenziah” has a quite detailed Dark Elf – Khajiit sex scene in it. Obviously that section of the book was removed in future games, but when Daggerfall was made Bethesda must have had a weird person doing part of their lore.

      6. Humanoid says:

        Ultima 7 also had some possible same-sex encounters. But the Avatar can claim it doesn’t count, because travelling through the moongate from Earth to Britannia apparently restores one’s virginity.

    5. ehlijen says:

      I’m not so sure this should be counted as being inclusive rather than vilifying?

      So far in this game, same sex attraction is literally being attributed to monster demons (the only other opportunity for equal treatment were the character portraits and monster designs, ie opportunities not taken).

    6. Taellosse says:

      I think if its capable of speech, and therefore of expressing its own wishes, it wouldn’t be correct to call sex with it “bestiality.” Inter-species sex, certainly, but I think “bestiality” is reserved for animals – i.e. life forms incapable of offering consent.

      By that definition, it really shouldn’t be any more objectionable than sex between a human and an elf, or a human and an orc – both of which have long precedent within tropey fantasy, given the prevalence of “half-elves” and “half-orcs” (though I suppose the latter might be the product of rape slightly more often than average).

      1. Nick Pitino says:

        Give it the ole’ Harkness Test:

    7. Adrian Burt says:

      I don’t think this was meant to be inclusive or progressive. Imagine the kind of people who made the rest of this game. Battlespire is supposed to capture the feel of one of their tabletop games. This is a joke. They’re reaction to this would be “haha you’re gay. You fucked a gay spider cuz you’re gay. Roll to save against spider AIDS.”

  10. Mersadeon says:

    That last gif might as well be the banner for the serious. It’s a great summary of events.

    1. krellen says:

      I assume you mean “banner for the series”.

  11. Locke says:

    Geddan yureru mawaru fureru setsunai kimochi!

    Futari de issho ni nemuru wintalan!

  12. baseless_research says:

    Rip and tear, until it is done.

    Wait, wrong bethesda. Oh god so very wrong context.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I have seen the gates of Oblivion…

      nope, still wrong Bethesda, but I think I’m onto something.

  13. ehlijen says:

    I think the protagonist always knew it would come to this. Something in his eyes just gave that vibe…

  14. Sunshine says:

    That female daedra lives in a dungeon. How is she tanned? Does she lie by the lava?

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.