“You’ve reached Cabalco’s top-secret High Temple. We’re not here at the moment, but please feel free to give blood, preferably human or goat, at the door. If this is an emergency, please light 69 white candles, scratch a large pentagram into the concrete floor with your fingernails, and dance, skyclad within it, after painting yourself with the blood of your torn and stumpy fingers while chanting to our dark god. An insidious servant of the Underworld will be with you shortly. Thank you for your patience!”
Level names like this make me glad I’m small-time enough that YouTube in general doesn’t notice me. The way things have been going lately, soon as I get really noticed they’re going to bring the hammer down on this video just because of the name and/or tags.
This update also neatly coincides with the one-year anniversary of me getting into Final Fantasy XIV, which I’m choosing to celebrate by resubscribing, so don’t be surprised if more updates end up being delayed by several minutes from me getting too focused on that game and forgetting what time it is.
The last of the Chosen to be reunited with Caleb - appropriate, thematically or some other fancy word, given she was Caleb’s lover in the past. Interestingly, Ishmael’s dialogue indicated that she was actually the first to come back. Next to Caleb her pre-Cabal life has the most info about it, which, in terms of a Doom clone that saw the sort of innovation GoldenEye brought to the table and eschewed a lot of that out of spite, isn’t a whole lot. Her accent gives the impression she’s descended from English roots, though it’s unknown whether her parents moved then had her, or if she was born there then moved to America. She is also the only member of the Chosen known to have been legally married, though again whether she joined the Cabal then married another cultist or married someone who then dragged her into the Cabal is unknown (the expansion suggests the former, but, well… there are issues taking that at face value, is all I’ll say for now). Beyond that it’s known that she eventually had a child with him, but not very long after that child’s birth, her husband attempted to rescind his membership in the Cabal. They, naturally, didn’t take kindly to this, torching their homestead, an event which left Ophelia’s husband and child dead and her a gibbering wreck - which is where Caleb comes into the story. As mentioned before, she eventually returned to the Cult after Caleb took her in, dragging him along with her, the two becoming lovers as well as members of Tchernobog’s elite Chosen. And, like the others, she was killed on the fateful day their dark god’s plan for power started, kidnapped and killed by the gargoyle lord Cheogh, her corpse left on display to taunt Caleb following his return.
In gameplay terms, Ophelia is the closest to an attempt at being balanced. Her strength is dropped to 2 out of 5, but in return her intelligence is bumped up to 4 - neither as useless with magic weapons as Caleb and Ophelia nor as weak or with as little ammo as Ishmael. This leaves her as, probably, the most fun to play as in later portions of the game, since while she loses a significant amount of ammo capacity, it’s still twice as much as Ishmael gets for only a minor reduction in the amount of Focus, letting her play around more with the magic weapons without completely handicapping herself from using the much more varied and common firearms, and also not being quite as ridiculously easy to ventilate before she can get her hands on a weapon she’s good with. When idle, she will randomly recite verses from Oscar Wilde’s “The Dole of the King’s Daughter” or Anne Sexton’s “The Truth the Dead Know”.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing new to say about Ophelia’s voice - Lani Minella pulls double duty, as she was wont to do in the late '90s, voicing Ophelia as well as Gabriella.
Another returning magical weapon, the Life Leech is a staff with a skull on one end that fires off highly-damaging magical energy. It’s both better and worse in this game; it doesn’t deal quite as much damage as it used to, the projectiles curve in odd ways past close range, and they have splash damage so you can easily hurt yourself, but it now uses regenerating Focus instead of trapped souls or your own health, meaning you’re not playing a delicate balancing act between the health used to power it versus the health drained from your target for 85% of the time you’ve got one because the devs forgot to put more than one non-secret ammo pickup per episode. Primary fire launches a stream of magical energy which deals decent damage and absorbs health from the target at a rate of around 1 health per Focus point. Secondary uses up all of the player’s Focus to trigger a damaging shockwave that sends enemies flying, though knowing this game probably doesn’t actually damage them all that much. Uses Focus.
Ophelia’s version of the knife: a long and thin stiletto-type blade.