Empyrea Part 2's Ending: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Empyrea Part 2 has been out in Wizard101 now for awhile, so I think it's safe to talk about the story and the ending, as well as other aspects of this third arc conclusion. If you haven't yet completed Empyrea Part 2, here's your warning - there are spoilers ahead! Let's talk about what worked and what didn't.

Empyrea Part 2 Overview

After defeating Medulla is Empyrea Part 1, our wizards now need to protect the remaining two paradox chains to prevent Grandfather Spider and Grandmother Raven from reaching the Chaos Heart. A substantial number of cabal agents are on the ground trying to make sure that doesn't happen. Despite our best efforts, the Death & Life chain is broken by Admiral Dynt, and we're left with only the Storm & Myth chain. I'm going to pick up from the time we enter "the Husk" to the very end of the story.

The Husk and the First World

Okay, let's dig right in. The different islands of the Husk are okay, but I expected a unique sky box and some more interesting design features for being the final location in the third arc. I'd also expect some more evidence of the First World. Here's one of the confusing things for me - the big purple vortex that's seen from the Arcanum and also used as a "Void Elemental" enemy - we've been wondering what that is. Well, if you look at the full Empyrea map, it looks like that's the center of the Spiral where Spider's heart is kept... so why is it in the sky? It's pretty to be sure. I just don't understand the relevance. I wish the location weren't an "access one area, move on to the next" type of location. I want more interactivity. That said, the location does look pretty cool. Seeing Bartleby's mobility within other trees was a great creative choice.

The Storm Titan

I'll only touch on the Storm Titan briefly, as I've discussed the difficulty of this and other bosses at length before. I also predicted that the titan would show up in Empyrea, even though it seems like a little bit of a curve-ball there at the end. I think the choice to include the Storm Titan was fine, but I think that it should have been the actual final boss. Don't get me wrong, the battle with the Aethyr Titan is cool, but the Storm Titan is the more recognizable figure and formidable foe. More on that later.

Spider & Raven Confrontation

Now into the "meat" of the ending. With the Storm Titan banished and the final paradox chain broken, we finally get our showdown between Grandfather Spider and Grandmother Raven... or do we? Take a look at the cutscene for yourself if you haven't seen it.

This was a bit of a disappointment to me. Here are the two "big bad guys" that need to be stopped - Spider and Raven - and we've only sort of fought one of them at the end of Mirage. It has been said that our wizards would never be powerful enough to stand up against a First World being, but it seemed to work okay as the Divine Paradox against the Aethyr Titan. Couldn't we have at least battled them to hold them off or delay Spider reclaiming his heart? You're telling me that an eternity of being locked away for no good reason and bottled-up hatred is solved by four minutes of Husk therapy and some heart proximity? I don't think so. No duel, no fancy display... just talking.

The Aethyr Titan

One big surprise in the finale is the introduction of the Aethyr Titan. Have you ever read a good story or watched a good movie where they introduced the villain at the end and then that villain got defeated five minutes after showing up? Yeah, not so fond of that. But there's no denying - the Aethyr Titan looks awesome. If Spider and Raven aren't going to fight (at least a little), I suppose I'll take an Aethyr Titan.

The "real" final battle in Empyrea Part 2 is with the Aethyr Titan, and it's awesome. Although I'm not sure that you can lose, I don't mind the fact that it isn't a full-on fight. Having it be more of a puzzle might have been cool, but it's a fun fight for sure... especially at such a large scale! It's a definitely a highlight of the ending and I hope we have more encounters like this that are story-based without necessarily needing to be an ultra-difficult boss.

Saying Goodbye

After defeating the Aethyr Titan, we have a little make-up session during which Mellori and Bat oddly say "skip me" when it comes to the emotional stuff and Grandmother Raven makes things a little more corny with an "I love you all!" line. For someone so old, introspective, and wise, I was hoping for a bit more thought behind her final lines. This was all an incredibly quick and action-less makeup session.

I had much higher hopes for the final battle. I believe it was the final battle with Morganthe that first introduced the idea of something or someone from outside the battle jumping in to interact. This was used again in the Simon the Sayer battle. The final battles of Empyrea seemed like a great opportunity for this. Instead of Bat and Mellori giving us a stat, they could actually fight along us in battle without taking up a space (just like Daniel in the Simon the Sayer fight). We might also have seen a solo encounter in which we side with one First World being and have a battle where Spider and Raven periodically jump in using their full forms (another thing we missed out on in the ending).

Sybil & the Cliffhanger

After Raven and Spider lock themselves away in the Primordial Forest, we return to the Arcanum. The Arcanum contains a couple of mysteries not yet resolved in the third arc, including the locked Cabal room and the mysterious tree. Well, the ending gives some insight into one of the two things.

Sybil is the name of the Arcanum tree, and Sybil awakes to provide some thoughts on our current wizarding status, encouraging us to remain sufficiently afraid. Sybil says we have "Nothing" to fear. While Wizard101 is extremely overzealous in personifying different elements of the game, many speculate that "Nothing" is a new enemy in the fourth arc.

On one hand, I'm a little disappointed. The writer for Wizard101 said not long ago that we'd probably be dialing it back a little from here on out. And it might be interesting to handle some issues closer to home or minor bosses. Wizard101 can only get so big... and we've been fighting with First World beings that are apparently too powerful to even do battle with. Can there really be a greater enemy out there that we have any chance of stopping? And where do we go from there? Do we keep inventing bigger, badder bad guys?

On the other hand, I do find this concept a little bit exciting. It's nice to look forward to something. (Though I wish it wasn't "ushering in something much, much worse.") Speculation as to what that could be is another topic for another day.

What did you think of the ending?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

No comments

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.