Photoset

"Young Vlad knows a place
Where I might brew in peace, not
Get my head kicked in.”


"My father’s old lab
Is just the place to hide, and
Try to find a cure.”

"At the factories
I find the hidden lab, and
Young Vlad, holy shit.”

"A rustic burrow,
Home to strange apparatus,
And two blood-stained urns?”

"Bed made out of crates
I think I lived in this place
Back during college.”

"Okay, back to game
Time to test out one of my
Father’s recipes.”

Photoset

"Ospina lives in
A dark and derelict house
Starting to have doubts.”

"Creepy Ospina
Self-professed evil spirit
What is with the dolls?!”

"She calls me Menkhu
Those who know the body’s lines
The Hierophant’s son.”

"She’s glad to see me
Her Order will be as well
At least someone is.”

"She gives me a box
My heritage: herbs and twyre
And an odd-shaped brand.”

"But most valuable
Are my father’s recipes
For brewing twyre.”

Only a Menkhu
Would be glad for such a thing
Could be cure for plague?”

"Off to Dankovskiy’s.
Eve’s fear gives me chance to show
Famous Burakh charm.”

Daniel keen to see
What the recipes might brew
Need apparatus.”

Photoset

"I speak with his wife
Catherina’s prophecy
Is awash with death.”

"She bitterly says
I shall feed the earth with blood
Don’t tempt me, lady.”

"Talk of sacrifice
Vague and nonsensical words
Lay off the morphine.”

"Her husband is worse
He believes in her visions
What an ugly glare.”

"Alex flatly states
He’d shoot me like a dog if
Not for Dankovskiy.”

"The Doctor believes
I am an innocent man
In your face, comrade.”

"Saburov warns me
Not to try and leave the town
What a charming man.”

"But he hands over
The key to my heritage
Held by Ospina?”

"Who is Ospina?
And what is in the box that
Is locked by this key?”

Photoset

"Day Two has arrived
I am still alive and well
But bread costs how much?!”

"Fat Vlad has good news
My heritage is at hand
But the bad news is…”

"The key is held by
Alexander Saburov
Who would like me dead.”

"His wife has foretold
I will paint the town with blood
For the love of god.”

"Fat Vlad suggests I
Seek a hidden place to work
Not a bad idea.”

"Off to Saburov’s
Hope I don’t wind up in chains
Please avenge my death.”

Text

End of Day One

I think I did my first run of this game about two years ago. I remember getting through Day One and cautiously thinking to myself, ‘well, I guess that wasn’t so bad.’ From what I’d heard the Haruspex is the most difficult of the three characters to tackle. Yet I’d made it through the first twenty-four hours without getting too badly shanked. I had some money, I had food, my reputation was on its way to being restored… that was a good sign, right?

Ahhhahaha how wrong I was. If I were to sum up Pathologic in three words, they would be ‘IT GETS WORSE.’

Since then, I’ve played through all three character storylines. Currently I’m going through the Haruspex scenario for a second time. I love this game. My neurotic tendency to level grind and packrat ever item I come across has finally paid off big time. As the Haruspex, I don’t start off healthy or well-equipped or living in a half-naked woman’s house, but dammit, at least I can put aside the Burakh pride and rummage through garbage bins for empty bottles and needles and discarded razors.

Because kids love that shit in Pathologic, and they will trade you the drugs (!) and ammunition (!!) you need to stay alive if you fork it over. If I were to offer some advice to players who are just starting out, it would be this: start scrounging on Day One, and don’t stop until the credits roll. I laughed at around Day Six or so when I caught myself using a lockpick to bust into a random house just to find children to trade with. I had this great mental image of bloodstained Artemiy Burakh stomping inside and yelling, ‘I’m not going to rob you - I’m just here to get antibiotics and shotgun ammo from your ten year old daughter.’

PATHOLOGIC!

Oh, another bit of advice: buy food on Day One. Even if it leaves you penniless at the end of the day, for the love of god get yourself a reasonable stash of food. Prices are not going to get any cheaper than they are right now. Bread and dried meat are the best. Hell, want some free chow? Go nick it off the statue of the Mistress up in Horns. How about a free shotgun? Who doesn’t want a free shotgun. Some bandits are lurking at the train station, seeking to ambush Burakh a second time. I remember feeling pretty uneasy with the thought of cutting out their organs the first time I played through. But Pathologic will offer you no mercy over the next twelve days, and chances are you will do a lot worse just to stay alive.

I am rambling! This game is great. Would I recommend it to anyone? Aeeeggghhh no, despite how much I’d love to. It is a very difficult, very frustrating game, and many will tell you it’s not fun at all to play. A lot of people give up after the first few hours. Others make it through the Bachelor’s scenario and quit without playing either of the other two characters, citing exhaustion. Which is kind of a shame, because speaking for myself I found the Haruspex’s storyline the most fascinating, not to mention the best translated. I love the lore of this game, and he wades right into it.

In the end, despite the difficulty level, I guess all I can say is that Pathologic is a powerful, draining experience, intensely atmospheric and beautifully written, and I will solidly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind hours of desperate scrounging and knifing rats in the face. The story is amazing. It’s well worth it.

Tags: pathologic
Photoset

"With the assurance
My good name shall be restored
I go into town.”

"Buy a ton of food
And raid every garbage bin
Good name won’t pay rent.”

"Things are looking up
Then I get a strange letter
Oh, son of a bitch.”

Photoset

"It’s time to confront
This Daniel Dankovskiy
Better not get shot.”

"He lives in the house
Of the beautiful Eve Yahn
Wait a minute here.”

"I get shanked and cursed
While he is her cherished guest?
That son of a bitch!”

"But to my surprise
He greets me civilly and
Advocates friendship.”

"Better yet, he knows
I did not kill Simon Kain
Who was slain by plague.”

Photoset

"Some sleuthing reveals
Laska too saw my father
The night he was killed.”

"In despair, he walked
Back from the Steppe, burnt his clothes
And saw Simon Kain.”

"Mishka says the same
Poor orphan lives on the rails
‘Got wet and faded.’”

"But she can confirm
I arrived after his death
Thank god for orphans!”

Photoset

"Off to father’s house
Patrol guard denies entry
Shotgun solves that snag.”

"House is full of rats
A haunted home, reeks of plague
Bloody room greets me.”

"So does this Spichka
He hid in a wardrobe while
My father was killed.”

Photoset

"Meanwhile, Notkin warns
Dankovskiy is on my trail
And carries a gun.”

"Gryph has seen him too
Dankovskiy seeks to kill me
This man is a doctor?!”

(When I got word of this in-game, I thought it was funny that the Bachelor, of all people, was angry enough to come after me armed. Granted, Notkin seemed like a boy who is given to youthful exaggeration, but Gryph is a reliable enough informant. So I quickly hopped on my iPhone and sent a few texts to my friend, who was playing as the Bachelor at the time:)

"Daniel’s got a gun
His whole world has come undone
Ahh ha ha ha.”

"Wait, that’s not funny
Are you coming to kill me?
You son of a bitch!”