Playing PISS

Yes, PISS.  I spotted this over on RPS, and thought it just some clever title for an article.. but it turns out to be a rather interesting point and click adventure game called PISS, created by Ben Chandler and the Falling Skywards team as part of the Summerbatch collection.  It’s not on sale at the moment, though a download link was made available for RPS.

PISS is the story of a mercenary called Moira, who suffers from nightmares and drinks to forget.

PISS - Moira

Moira’s latest client has died without paying her, taking it with him to pay the Ferryman for passage across the River Styx, so she sets off to the Mortuary to take back the coins.. Nobody can enter the Mortuary without buying a ticket.. so first we have to earn the admission fee by running around talking to people and doing odd jobs, discovering things about them and the city.  There are a few locations to look around, but I wished for more.  The art is beautiful, with lots of little details everywhere making it feel like there’s a much larger world to see.

Once in the mortuary, it turns out that Jerhal found a way of taking the money with him to the other side!  The attendant asks why anyone would just die when they could purchase a resurrection spell, and Moira comes up with the idea that she could buy a spell from the priests, kill herself, chase down Jerhal and retrieve her money, then use the resurrection spell to come back to life.  A crazy and desperate plan, but Moira only cares about getting her money so she can get her next drink!

There’s also a mysterious lady who appears in the mortuary after Moira leaves, having heard the plan.. I liked this little touch of mystery..

PISS - Ixele

The priests are in the Temple District, but Moira needs to buy yet another pass before she can enter.  It’s just as well there are plenty of little jobs to do around the city!

This time, I talked to Nox, an NPC I’d chosen to ignore at first as his initial response was basically to call me a disgusting whore.  Selecting the most smarmy, overly-reasonable responses and needling him back seemed to be the way to go, and it turns out that he’s a student, and he’s “studying” people by seeing what they do when he insults them.  Apparently if they don’t find it funny they just don’t have a sense of humour.. I think he should have had a troll face! 😉

Just outside the Temple, Moira meets up with Astis.. if you talk to her, the conversation ends with a rather unexpected sex scene, with Moira warring with her emotions and trying to deny them..

PISS - Astis

On to the Temple.. the resurrection spell costs another 5 coppers, which you will have if you’ve explored thoroughly.  After buying the spell and leaving, the Goddess Ixele appears again, to talk to the priest.  She wants Moira to come to her domain, but as the Gods are sworn against interfering, she needs Moira to want to come to her domain.  Asking the priest about Ixele only reveals that she is the Goddess of Truth.. though what truth, and what she wants, is still a mystery!

Resurrection spell in hand, Moira brews poison tea and drinks it..

Rather than arrive as expected on the banks of the River Styx, Moira ends up in Limbo, wandering through other people’s memories and helping them out.. finding treasure, translating documents, and even helping a pair to fall in love.  As Moira moves between memories, ghosts follow her steps, wondering if she is “the one”.. I imagined these to be the ghosts of victims of her mercenary life..

PISS - Styx

I loved this location.. glowing lamps and animated water.. 🙂

Moira confronts Jerhal, and the player is given the choice of whether to let him keep the money or demand he give it back.  Jerhal is full of regrets for his past behaviour and all the lies he’s told.. Moira still can’t remember of course.  The ghosts appear in force now, and try to capture Moira.. but she still has the resurrection spell, and escapes!

Rather than returning to life as she expected, Moira finds herself back in Limbo.  Fortunately, she meets a sorcerer who can return her to the living world, but she must sacrifice a memory.  Unfortunately, she can’t sacrifice the dream that’s been haunting her, and must choose another.  I selected Jerhal as he was the least positive memory for her.. Moira might be a mercenary and a drunk, but I can’t help feel a bit sorry for her.

Her trials aren’t over yet, though, as she returns to life in her room as a gloopy mess!  It seems Ixele found a way of making Moira want to come and see her after all!

PISS - Realm of Ixele

There was another set of puzzles here, and then Ixele appeared to talk to Moira..  I would have liked the story to continue, but it did end in a nice place for Moira 🙂

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