Shards of Glim: The Pelican

The Sixth Captain was supposed to be the polar opposite of the previous incarnations, or maybe I should call them his ancestors. This time, I’ve chosen ‘wealth’ as the main ambition and decided to throw all that morality nonsense overboard, trying to finish the game without any inner constraints. Admittedly, it was the cursed Hindu doctor quest which made me tired of role-playing a paragon of virtue. However, old habits die hard and suddenly I’m finding myself saving my crew by literally feeding the ship engine with my own blood.

As a roguelike game, Sunless Sea has permadeath — unless the player is a pathetic weakling and switches to the Mercy Mode, which enables manual saving — and, which is typical for the roguelikes, it’s quite easy to die just by careless supply management. Although I do consider myself an experienced player after spending more than three months braving the Underzee, it still happens from time to time, usually due to my compulsive tendency to save every penny possible, preferring a risky journey back to London rather than buying overpriced fuel or food in a God-and-gods-forsaken harbour somewhere on the edge of the known void. Usually, I manage to cheat the fate, but occasionally my ship is left stranded without any fuel at all.

Fortunately, the game may be demanding, but certainly it isn’t cruel. Even in such tragic situations, there are a few emergency options, like turning food supplies into fuel or buying it from another skipper sailing by (of course, the Good Samaritan will always use the advantage to sell it for a ridiculous price). Recently, when the Sixth Captain ran out of fuel, the only options available were metaphysical in nature: either to sacrifice a few crew members to Salt or to convince Stone to be merciful… by an act of self-mutilation.

My hero, bravely treading the path beyond good and evil, should be able to choose the first option without a second of hestitation. The problem is that I’m not. As silly as it may sound, I couldn’t bring myself to do such a horrible thing to my faithful men, and telling myself ‘come on, it’s just a game, remember about IMMERSION’ didn’t help. Well, I guess I’m a poor Übermensch material.


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