The Last Campfire

GWJ Conference Call Episode 727

Crusader Kings 3 (PC), Wasteland 3 (PC), Board Game Arena (PC), Paradise Killer (Switch), Paper Mario (Switch), The Last Campfire (PC), Shipping in Video Games and Media, Your Emails, Announcements, and More!

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Amanda and Rich are joined by guests Lara and Karla to discuss shipping in video games and media.

To contact us, email call[email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about, or whatever else is on your mind.

Giveaway Codes for Crusader King's III are for are for Steam.

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00:01:25 Crusader Kings III
00:08:00 Wasteland 3
00:14:57 Board Game Arena
00:21:52 Paradise Killer
00:26:50 Paper Mario
00:33:29 The Last Campfire
00:40:47 Shipping Video Game Characters
01:15:16 Your Emails

Crusader Kings II: Have a horse become the Byzantine Emperor.

Crusader Kings III: Eat the pope.

Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines gave me a gut punch twice.

Spoilers?

Spoiler:

Gut punch 1 was Heather. You find her dying in the hospital and if you do any hacking in the hospital you find out that these are not great doctors. So I gave her my vampire blood to save her life. I was surprised when she showed up at my place asking to join me. I was conflicted but she seemed to want to join and my Malkavian lady could use a friend. Then it gets darker as she one day just shows up and gives you her college fund. Finally after you get enough time with her to like her and be used to having her around she is killed. I brought her into this dark world and her death is on my hands.

Gut punch 2 was the motel. At this point in the game you feel like a vampire. You are the apex predator of the night. The hotel starts out cute with lights breaking and flickers of the ghost. Then it tries to drop an elevator on you. Rooms like a kitchen start to get deadly with items being thrown at you with great force. By the time I saw the ghost lady running away from something I just noped out.

I went from Apex predator to cowering in the corner from the scary ax man.

Oh my gosh, this episode. I'm so in love with, I want to ask it to marry me even though I've sworn I'd never do that again. Please, please, please, PLEASE have Lara and Karla on more often, they're the best.
I'd been told about Paradise Killer a week or two ago (apologies, can't remember exactly whom, I think Pyxistyx, but I'm only 90% certain) and I'm sold, that looks right up my alley.

As for the topic. Oh gosh, I LIVE for shipping and for the fandoms. It's this deep, deep rabbit hole I've fallen into, this comfortable, warm, bubble of joy. It's actually the reason why I haven't been playing actual games anymore, just reading and writing and watching media of or adjacent to certain fandoms, because that's just what I need right now. And it brings more joy than any triple A game ever will.
Lara may have not come out and admitted it outright (though she fooled no one! ), but I've been writing fan fiction for nearly fifteen years (twenty if you count that Zork: Nemesis tidbit I actually wrote for lit class in middle school). I did write that 16k fan fiction about two characters desperately in love with each other (Elder Scrolls) and I'm OWNING it. I have a bazillion ships (they're all not super inventive ships, though, F/M because my kink is a loving relationship between a man and a woman that isn't abusive, fancy that). However, much like Karla, I'll ship anything and anyone if the art is lovely enough or the writing and characterizations are solid.

Speaking of mods, this has been going on as far back as the early 2000s, if I recall correctly. I was super involved with the modding scene for all the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale), and was part of a group dedicated to translating these mods from English to French. I singlehandedly translated Kulyok's Xan for BG2 mod which has nearly 60k lines and helped translate other mods. That one in particular took a small, somewhat anecdotal NPC of BG1 and just... ran with it. The grumpy elf now has a full romance route in BG1 & BG2, interjections, flirts, friendships. It's bananas. Kulyok has my unending admiration, and I adore and respect her.
That's just how powerful that kind of stuff is. It's a bigger, brighter sandbox than any Bethesda game will ever be.

Anyway, I've gone on long enough, but I just wanted to express how much I enjoyed this week's episode, and how I really felt seen and heard and represented just so, so much.
Although I really can't stay quiet about how y'all totally botched the pronunciation of Carcassonne, but that's okay, I still love you all.

Great panel, fun episode! Fascinating discussion of a topic I had no clue about ... well done all!

Rich is wrong about the smoochability of different Paradise Killer characters. It's more of a brief fade-to-black thing, but it is possible.

kazooka wrote:

Rich is wrong about the smoochability of different Paradise Killer characters. It's more of a brief fade-to-black thing, but it is possible.

Hell yes!

It is now a perfect game.

kazooka wrote:

Rich is wrong about... smoochability

This might become my new sig.

Thanks for making me google 'eating the pope.' Probably on another list now.

Such as fun episode! My contribution of a pairing in game would be Shepard with anyone. Anyone at all. What I mean would probably become clear as you read on.

As to gut punching moment: Have to give that to the Mass Effect Trilogy.

Spoiler:

Quick background: I played the original ME in college, and so therefore explored every corner and done all the side quests.

Fast forward *years* after ME3 was released I finally bought ME2 and 3. By that time I already had a family and a massive backlog on steam, so instead of doing the "100%" run I decided to role-play it, and by role-playing I mean that my fem Shep ran a time-restrained, this is urgent, no-nonsense professional ship. There was no time to just drop by random planets to mine minerals, very few moments to spend on character side quests (I had to justify that it was missions essential), and absolutely no time for relationships in the work place (the galaxy is in peril people! there's no time to flirt!).

As those who had played ME2 would know, my choices led to catastrophic consequences toward the end of ME2 that had changed the Lord of the Rings "we're going to see this through" expectation into a Saving Private Ryan "will anyone make it" experience. Being committed to role-playing I kept at it in ME3 (since this time the galaxy was really on fire), but I tried my best to foster the relationships with the comrades I had left. Alas, due to my ME2 choices the person who I wanted to pair Shep with did not make it (hint: Legion died in ME2).

By the time Shepard was giving the last grand speech before the final assault most of the "team" were just some random characters pulled in to fill the hole left by the reality of war, and by the time Shepard was asked to make the final choice, wounded and bleeding, she had already lost almost everyone she knew and cared about.

And so my heart dropped when I saw my last living friend frantically trying to outrun the inevitable, and when the Normandy spun out of control and the screen cut to black I literally yelled at the monitor.

And I was so relieved when I saw that he made it.

So no. My Shepard really didn't get a chance to romance in ME2 & 3. War is hell.

I mean... I wasn’t going to mention Mass Effect, but since Cladmir chimes in (and BLESS YOU for it!!! ^^).
Obvs, surprising absolutely no one, FemShep-Kaidan is my OTP (shopping slang, OTP is one true pairing, OTL is one true love), but I’ve seen the sweetest fan art of other ships, especially MaleShep-Kaidan.

About that playthrough, Cladmir... ooooof. That must’ve been so rough. I was in tears in ME3, I can’t even imagine what that must’ve been like. Though I did watch GameSpot’s Saddest Party on the Citadel, that must’ve come close.
Out of curiosity, did you ever go back and give it another, happier, playthrough?

I lol at the Saddest Party on the Citadel when I saw Shep's face.

I have not replayed the ME series, although every once in a while I do get the urge to replay it. There were just so many questions left unanswered, character plot lines that were never explored, lives Shepard thought she had time to get to know that were cut short, relationships that ended before it really began...

But the end result of all of that was somehow beautiful. What I experienced with Shep was the life of a soldier who gave it all and asked for nothing in return. She had many triumphs, experienced countless tragedies, and in the end and despite all odds she accomplished what she set out to do.

I am not sure if I ever will replay the series. While I did manage to have some closure by the miracle that is youtube, the ME series has a special place in my heart because of how it all went down, and as stupid as it sounds I don't want to risk ruining the memory of that bittersweet tale.

Spoiler:

BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE JUMP AFTER TALI, SHEPARD! GODDAMIT YOU SHOULD HAVE JUMPED AND TRIED TO SAVE HER!!!