The Order: 1886 and Story Collapse – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1:

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The next day the Order convenes again to lament the death of Percival and bring Lafayette into the Order to take his place. An outraged Augustus scolds Galahad for going along with Percival’s plans without council approval. Suddenly the meeting is interrupted by a distant explosion which is revealed to be yet another rebel attempt to assassinate Lord Hastings, but this time the attack is launched on Hasting’s carriage on a bridge directly adjacent to the Order’s headquarters, because the rebels must be led by a tactical genius rivaled only by Napoleon.

After slaughtering a few dozen more rebels and rescuing Lord Hastings, Galahad is commanded to turn back and return to the Order’s chambers. Instead he catches a glimpse of an Indian woman he somehow deduces to be the rebel’s leader and pursues her while killing dozens of more rebels.

Galahad fails to capture the woman on the bridge, but later that night he returns to a pub he happened to walk through during his previous incursion into rebel territory, in an effort to find the woman. For some reason he isn’t shot on sight, but rather finds the woman, who is indeed the rebel leader, and also a dethroned Indian queen (really) named Lakshmi. After some gun pointing, Lakshmi tells Galahad that the United India Company is suuuuper evil, but she can’t actually tell him why, but she totally wants to show Galahad (who has murdered hundreds of her comrades over the last few days) some evidence so he can know the truth. I guess the United India Company’s evil is like the matrix, it can’t be explained, only shown.

Rather than haul this wanted terrorist leader’s ass back to the council for interrogation, Galahad agrees to follow this woman into the dark sewers beneath rebel territory (because that sounds perfectly safe) which lead to the United India Company’s docks. As they are leaving the bar, Lakshmi warns, “be prepared to meet resistance from the United India Guards,” to which Galahad replies, “until I say otherwise, we will not harm innocent men.” Perhaps he is haunted by his brutal slayings of numerous innocent Company guards yesterday. Lakshmi turns to Galahad, pauses, and states, “none of them are innocent.” Remember this moment.

Before setting off, Galahad removes his metal collar, which serves as a badge for the Order and strips down to casual clothes. He tells Lakshmi that he can’t be connected to the Order during his investigation and risk causing an incident. Which makes sense, except Galahad keeps his Order weapons and there are maybe twenty guys in the entire organization, nearly all of whom have been members for centuries and surely must be known and recognizable at this point, but whatever.

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Galahad and Lakshmi make their way through the tunnels and arrive at a gate surrounding the Company’s docks. Within moments, the two are spotted and Galahad is shot by a sniper. I get that Galahad isn’t exactly Solid Snake, but surely this elite, immortal agent for stability can do a better job of sneaking than that. Anyway, at this point, Galahad’s deep commitment to maintaining the sanctity of innocent life disappears and he proceeds to kill literally hundreds of Company guards as he makes his way farther into the compound with Lakshmi.

After slogging through what is undoubtedly the most tedious part of the game, the pair finally arrive at a random warehouse Lakshmi somehow differentiates from the others and opens up a crate to reveal… a vampire! No, the existence of vampires hadn’t been revealed to the player up until this point, and no there is no possible way for the player to immediately comprehend that lycans and vampires work together against the Order, so no, this reveal is nowhere near as impactful as the game thinks it is.

Lakshmi explains that Lord Hastings, the head of the largest company on earth, is a vampire and also literally Jack the Ripper. Working under the lycans’ protection, Hastings is using the United India Company to deliver vampires around the world to infect cities because… I don’t know, that’s just what vampires do. Also I have no idea why Hastings needs Lycan assistance with his scheme since he runs the most powerful company on earth which contains its own global shipping apparatus and a private army/fleet. If anything, it seems like the lycans would need Hastings’s help. Anyway, since Hastings does all of his Jack the Ripper murderings/feedings in the rebel-controlled parts of the city, Lakshmi and the rebels are aware of this whole scheme and are trying to stop the United India Company and Lord Hastings.

This is all almost incomprehensibly stupid. Nothing in the last paragraph makes an iota of sense given the story and setting. It’s hard to even know where to begin.

First of all, WHAT ARE THE REBELS? Are they a group of socialists fighting against the alleged problems caused by the industrial revolution or are they lycan/vampire fighters combating a conspiracy? I might suggest that they are both, but unless it is the rebellion’s supposition that vampires and lycans are naturally inclined to industrial commerce, fighting modernity and fighting magical creatures are two completely different thing. If the rebels are just socialists as suggested by their posters and pamphlets, then why are they spending all of their resources launching covert military operations against a single company instead of, say, protesting the capital or going on strike. If the rebels are anti-vampire/lycan fighters, then what’s with all the socialist propaganda?

Even more importantly, why don’t the rebels just TELL EVERYONE about the United India Company’s plans? I don’t expect the Order, the British government, or the general population to just take their word for it, but at the very least it would get people thinking, if not cause them to investigate the Company. Remember, this is a steam punk world with futuristic technology. There are plenty of ways to disseminate information. The idea that the rebels would refuse to reveal to the general public that they are trying to stop a universally reviled enemy and therefore should not be slaughtered in droves by the Order is just… idiotic.

(Come to think of it, an absurd number of conflicts within the game’s plot could be solved just by people talking to each other. Percival should have told the council he was trying to stop the rebel attack on the airship, either the council or Percival should have told Hastings the attack was coming, Lakshmi should have just told Galahad about the Company’s nature, the rebels should have told everyone about the Company’s nature, and there are two more examples coming up.)

And then there’s the question of just how far this conspiracy goes. Who within the United India Company actually knows that the corporation is working to spread vampirism throughout the world? Is it just Hastings and a small cadre of workers? Do the guards know? The shareholders? The dock workers? This may seem petty, but remember, Galahad has killed hundreds of Company guards so far, so this information is kind of pertinent to the matter of whether or not Galahad is a monstrous war criminal. Also, it kind of begs the question as to how many people in the world know about this supposedly top-secret conspiracy.

There are only two possible ways to answer the question of how big the conspiracy is, and both have incredibly stupid implications. The first possibility is that the vampire conspiracy was enacted by just Lord Hastings and a small cadre of supporters within the United India Company.

Remember, the United India Company is the largest corporation on earth in this story. It must have tens of thousands of employees around the world. If Lord Hastings acted with just a few supporters within the company, then all of those security guards killed by Galahad were just regular guys who thought working for the biggest company on earth might be a good idea. With this interpretation, apparently Galahad has unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror upon the innocent of London between his Company and rebel killings (and later British military soldiers) which reaches over a thousand deaths by the end of the game.

On top of all of that, the small conspiracy hypothesis begs the question as to how the hell no one found out before now. All the dock workers handling the cargo, all of the guards patrolling the docks, all of the shareholders monitoring the Company’s finances never spotted anything strange?

The second possibility is that everyone in the United India Company is on the conspiracy. This may sound more ridiculous, but remember, Lakshmi said that everyone who works for the Company is guilty.

In this case, at least Galahad is absolved from some of his wrongful killings, though he isn’t absolved from his recklessness, since he didn’t actually know any of the Company guys were guilty until he saw the vampire (and even at that point he doesn’t really know if everyone in the company is guilty). On the other hand, this possibility creates the absurd notion that the largest company on earth successfully went around recruiting thousands of soldiers, dock workers, and shareholders to support a vampiric plot to infect the world. And at that point, with the entire United India Company, the rebels, and all lycan and vampires aware of the plot, it seems like the Order is the only group which doesn’t know what the hell is going on.

I suppose you could try to come up with some middle ground explanation where only some portion of the largest company in the world is engaged in terrorist plots against humanity, but it hardly makes a difference. The point is, it makes no sense. Either the plot is smaller and there is no way they could keep it a secret and Galahad is a ridiculously horrible person, or the plot is larger and Britain is packed to the brim with evil conspirators and somehow knowledge of the plot was contained to hundreds of thousands of people, and Galahad is only a barely less ridiculously horrible person.

Moving on…

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Galahad and Lakshmi burn the vampire-filled warehouses and slaughter countless more possibly innocent, possibly implausibly guilty Company soldiers until they escape the docks. Galahad returns to the Order’s headquarters and brushes off Igraine’s attempts to figure out what’s going on and why she spotted Galahad taking off his uniform to galavant around with the rebel leader (I don’t know how she knows Lakshmi is the rebel leader). Instead Galahad goes to Augustus and Lucan to tell of his findings and demand a full investigation of the United India Company, which Augustus rebukes for literally no reason whatsoever. He just gets angry at Galahad, screams something about his suspicions being ridiculous, and leaves the room like a petulant child.

Galahad rants to Lucan that his father is an idiot and just needs to go to the Company’s docks to see the vampires. Lucan correctly points out that Galahad burned the vampires so there is no evidence left. Oops.

To find new evidence (since Galahad is apparently as stupid as he is murderous), Galahad proclaims that he will sneak into the United India Company’s headquarters and he wants Lucan’s assistance since his testimony will carry more weight with his father once evidence is found. Or, ya know, Galahad could just find physical documentation which doesn’t require testimony. Lucan agrees to help Galahad, but says they need some more help, so he suggests Lafayette and Igraine (his sister). Galahad replies that he cannot involve them in this matter until he gets more evidence. Instead, he figures he’ll bring Lakshmi along, though he doesn’t tell this to Lucan on the spot because she’s a rebel.

I have to spoil something here which isn’t revealed until a bit later to demonstrate how stupid Lucan’s suggestion and Galahad’s response are. It turns out that Lucan is a lycan (GET IT!!!!?) and has been supporting Lord Hastings from the start. He’s also not Augustus’s natural born son nor Igraine’s natural sister, but rather was discovered and adopted by Augustus as a baby lycan because Augustus couldn’t bear to kill an innocent (which is clearly not a sentiment shared by Galahad). Despite being raised by the head of the Order and acting as second in command of the whole operation, Lucan felt alienated from humanity and decided to assist his supernatural brethren in a campaign of murder and terror. In this particular instance, he tried to help the conspiracy by requesting more support to break into the Company’s headquarters because he wanted Galahad to bring Lakshmi along so he could set a trap and kill both.

I can’t really fathom why he suggested his sister and Lafayette as support first, since that would mean he would have to kill them too. It’s not like Galahad has any idea whatsoever of Lucan’s true loyalties, so there is no reason to use a smokescreen. Somehow Galahad’s refusal to bring Igraine and Lafayette along is actually even dumber. Why would a lack of evidence prevent Galahad from brining Igraine and Lafayette along, but not Lucan? One theory I’ve heard is that he doesn’t want to risk their lives in a dangerous operation, except he had already been through numerous extraordinarily dangerous gunfights with both of them over the last few days and they all possess an instant-heal medicine!

This stupid plot point ends up causing huge problems later in the game which could have all easily been resolved by characters simply talking to one another.

Part 1 and Part 3

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3 thoughts on “The Order: 1886 and Story Collapse – Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Order: 1866 and Story Collapse – Part 1 | Theory of Objective Video Game Aesthetics

  2. Pingback: The Order: 1886 and Story Collapse – Part 3 | Theory of Objective Video Game Aesthetics

  3. Pingback: Battlefield: Hardline – Single Player Analysis | Theory of Objective Video Game Aesthetics

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