NOTE: This article talks about the Desperate Times quest. While there are spoilers, I will try to limit them. Nevertheless, I advise you do the quest first.
But what do I know? For all you know, I don't even exist, and you are reading an AI-generated string of sentences that was randomize until something remotely close to the topic appeared. ... I'm serious, these things exist. Look it up.
Anyways, it starts off it wonderfully epic fashion. Seren herself calls a meeting and invites a HUGE cast of familiar, influential figures from all the different factions and races of Gielinor. Even Zanik arrives as a representative of the dead (because forget Xenia and [insert dead Void series person here], right?).
Seren reveals the whole issue that arose from Sliske's Endgame (whose final battle was absolutely wrecked by the Marvel version). The Elder Gods are waking up, and we have to prove to them that we, something that they see as mere insects, deserve to live and thrive. Otherwise they'll eat us or something, I dunno.
It starts off actually on a very interesting note. To appease Bik (who we believe exists as the island of Entrana), an Elder God of Nature, she proposes we built a great garden and prove that we are at least somewhat capable of influencing nature. You, the player, are tasked with figuring out where to do it, who will do it, and how to do it.
Right away, I thought; oh my gosh, the desert! We can totally terraform the desert and restore it back to its former glory and the monkey colony can finally... you know, not have to live in a desert! But I couldn't find a workforce that wanted to work there. Even Moia, who offered to summon an undead army (ideal desert workers), refused to do it because of the existence of one Citherade Abbey.
Then I thought about Morytania. That place has been a putrid swamp long enough; let's make it thrive again. But again, nobody wanted to work there, and by turning it into a great garden (yes, the vampyre queen herself actually gave the thumbs up for that), we can... we can...
... after three combination submissions, what I had expected came to pass. This was never going to happen. No way we would be doing something so dynamic as changing an entire ecosystem in the game. Besides, the quest picture told us everything.
Kerapac appeared, and somehow didn't immediately get lynched by Armadyl. Yes, he himself appeared because we simply don't have any familiar aviansie friends that could represent him... save for Kree'Arra... and Zilyana was already there... wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, dragonkin.
Kerapac appears with a new lick of paint (lookin' good, buddy!) and tells us through his own experience with the Elder Gods (and we know how that turned out) that they simply cannot be appeased no matter what we do. He suggests that we instead screw with the anima flow with the Needle and lock them back into permanent sleep. Like taking germinating seeds out of the ground and putting them in ziplock bags. This would immediately resolve the entire plot that had been building up ever since the Stone of "J**" was first referenced.
Everyone agrees except for Seren. And me. We were trading an impossible solution for a ridiculously simple one. This wasn't going to work, and I personally knew it. But, they told me to go accompany Kerapac because suddenly he's a good friend of ours now that the stone's no longer causing him pain.
Also Thok came along, showing off his own new updated graphics. I seriously seriously hoped he was going to headbutt the Needle to pieces. Spoiler alert; he doesn't, but he does win a staring contest with it.
So Kerapac goes to work trying to get the Needle to do stuff, and the Needle is all "nah, dude", and so Kerapac decides he needs some equipment. And who better than to create this equipment than, to our delightful surprise, Charos! That's right, You Are It being a quest requirement wasn't just a fluke; we are really going to finally meet the guy!
Naturally, he throws some delightfully mind-bending puzzles at us to unlock his necklace, and seek him out. I'll not say where he is because that is a surprise in itself, but you meet him, and man, he's got a personality just as colorful as his outfit. He'll greet you with a hug rather than a handshake and a tooth-filled smile. Great guy, you'll love him.
At least, up until the point he sends you to get runite stone spirits. Yeah, I lucked out getting some from a Seren spirit before starting the quest.
Deliver some stuff, and you get a device made that you never see, and then return to the Needle and prepare for a fun battle.
Gail finally appears and tries to stop Kerapac, and the dragonkin tells you to rechannel the anima from Gail to himself so he can take control.
... yeah, I know what you're thinking. We just did a quest where we saved Gail's life. Now we are joining up with practically the leader of the dragonkin, a hyperviolent murderous race, to take her down and give him access to an elder artifact.
... nothing to look into there. Let's learn some fun lore!
You hear the conversation that Guthix had with Sliske before the end of the fifth age. You hear an interaction between Sliske and Kerapac regarding the rising concept of the God slaying game. Guthix has another little chat with you, and you bear witness to a discussion between Kerapac and his son.
Between this, you get to enjoy one more fun set of puzzles where you redirect anima from Gail to Kerapac.
And finally, you are successful!
Kerapac takes hold of the Needle, uses it to redirect the flow of anima, the Elder Gods get drained and returned to sleep, and everyone lives happily ever after. You become Slayer buds with Kerapac and Thok finally teaches you his headbutt special attack. Overall, a happy ending to a long, arduous series.
... yeah, that doesn't happen. Not even close. Kerapac becomes a time God, reveals his plan to destroy the Elder Gods outright by blowing up the entire planet, takes the Needle itself, and flies off. Charos is royally cheesed off, and Thok shakes his head, having had known all along what would have happened.
You return to Seren and say that you just spent a good chunk of time making the situation a lot more dire. You made no progress whatsoever to appease the Elder Gods, and now there's another thing threatening to end everybody.
Great job, World Guardian. Fantastic work.
Fortunately, there's a silver lining. The almighty Charos is now a solid ally of yours, and Primrose, no longer bound to the Needle, finally got to return to her mum and now has the potential to become Gypsy Aris' assistant.
So. What do I think?
Personally, while I enjoyed the twists and puzzles of this quest, I am a little worried. A lot of loose ends have been getting tied up lately as quest lines and mysteries see conclusions and finishes. However, when there are a lot to go through, it gets a bit rushed.
There is a flow to in-game stories and quests; the characters cannot speak an immensely long time, or the player will either get bored or, horrors, accidentally log out and have to begin the conversation anew. Puzzles and fights have to be inserted to keep the story interesting, and those take a lot of time to create.
Ergo, if there is too much content in a story, it is rushed. Simplified. Just pushed on the player to keep the flow going.
Same goes with this. If we have to deal with Kerapac now alongside the Elder Gods, how would it play out? Would defeating Kerapac make the Elder Gods deem us worthy? Would we appease the Elder Gods enough that they destroy Kerapac for us? Or would it become an entirely separate storyline and take another age to be released?
Personally, I would rather wait. Keep up the story telling. Just please don't rush anything. It would kill the glorious payoff.
Until next time,