MASSIVE SPOILERS. Read it only after completing the game.
Warning: Minor typos are most likely to occur.
This article should help if you didn’t understand the story or some part of it. It serves as an bonus feature and reading it is not a requirement.
This is the first time you hear the Narrator, but you get the chance to enter his own world later in the game. If you will try really hard to look for secrets while playing the game, you will eventually find one of the four portals to enter Secret World. You can also just choose it from Chapter Select menu, because it’s 2015 and there aren’t any people looking for secrets in games now.
Trivia: Narrator says “The Last Disbeliever” since it’s the original title of the game, later it was changed to “The Last Dogma”. It can’t be re-recorded.
Self-explanatory. Sebastian Arise tells you about the in-game world. If you really know a lot about current political and society events in the real world, you’ll understand it better. It covers everything from Cold War and Yugoslav Wars to UK immigration policies, US cultural impact on Africa and ecological situation in China.
Trivia 0: Based on real events.
Trivia 1: Russians are very known for illiteracy and simply not knowing the basic rules of their own language. 90% can’t write a sentence without screwing it up. There are countless grammar mistakes everywhere, on billboards, on federal TV channels, even in the Book of Constitution (!!!).
Drinking piss is actually a very popular thing in Russia among adepts of “non-traditional medicine”. The thing is that it’s a large part of the country and there are at least two TV shows about the matter being shown on the main federal channel, at the prime time. And yes, there they promote such methods of “medicine” and share new “receipts” with the public.
Trivia 2: It’s simply impossible to breathe in Chinese cities like Bejing. They even started to buy fresh air from Canada.
Trivia 3: The game was made before “EU Immigration crisis”.
Comic – The Beginning & ATF
The beginning of the comic book scenes. Everything is already over, which means that everything that happens in the game is a huge flashback.
Sebastian got a mission to follow Carlo Estacado, Spanish arms dealer and junkie. The dealer stole guns from US military, and military wants to know who is the buyer so they keep him on the leash until he delivers the package. The buyer is Holy Intentions, ancient Christian cannibalistic cult which also sees itself as an underground corporation (not officially registered anywhere).
At the deal place someone’s trying to kill Arise while he’s following Estacado. These are the cultists from the village and they obviously don’t need strangers to snoop around. They fail to kill him because they get distracted by a horn sound. This is an emergency signal, meaning that something is happening at the underground base. So they don’t even bother with the agent, leaving everything behind and run as fast as they can.
Trivia: Trespassing of cult territory and horn sound are the references to events of movie Red State.
Why the cult is not just Christian, but also cannibalistic? For the most part, it’s a metaphor. Man eat man society. But the main thing is that cultists need something eat and there are lots of sacrifices are being made to “call the god”. They don’t hunt and they don’t get any supplies from the outside. So it leaves them only one option – cannibalism. Jacob says they drink their own pee, it’s truth, but not entirely – they also drink blood water from the sewers.
Sebastian wakes up, looks around and sees his burning car. Moving down the hill he meets hobo named Jacob and founds out that he was one of the cultists in the past. Jacob tells him why he is allowed to live nearby the village and gives Arise a lot of information about the cult, its members and where he could find the key to enter the underground base. He also mentions that village is probably almost empty now because of an emergency. As of 1.3b update, you will meet only one guard and he will attack you immediately. There are few cultists left who don’t care about your presence at all. These are the most “peaceful” ones, the killing kind ran to the underground base.
Sebastian enters through a broken fence (there are at least two ways to go behind it) and goes on the second floor of the main building. There he finds the key and moves to the cabin in the end of the village.
The village itself is not as small as it appears to be. It’s divided in sectors, actually, and Arise enters the main one. You can see some houses behind the fences during your walk through the village.
Anyway, he finds the cabin. The Spanish butcher Jacob was talking about is sleeping and you can hear him snoring. Nothing will wake him up though, he’s just too hardcore for that. Arise finds the trap door in the other room and opens it with a key.
His motivation to go there is simple – Jacob mentioned money from cult kidnappings – Sebastian tells him about his low wage and decides that it’s a good opportunity to get some money.
Trivia: Most people don’t even know about Nokia 3310, but if you kept it in your hands just once, you would understand the joke. That phone is pretty legendary at Eastern Europe and really can be used as a weapon.
Just like Jacob said, the sewer system is pretty unusual and instead of water, pee and feces you will see blood. There are several doorways and if you know where are you going, you can enter the base from there.
A strange voice out of nowhere tells Sebastian to enter the strange anomaly up his way, telling that it was waiting for someone who wouldn’t be a member a cult and who would be able to think.
He moves towards it. It appears to be a portal which teleports him into a space-like dimension.
So this is the first of three god-like demons you meet in the game. None of them have any real names, but they have numbers. This one is “Positive” and uses a charming girl voice (calling itself “Goody-Goody” and calling two others “Neutreus” and “Troublemaker”). Later in the game you’ll find out that it was using you all the time for its own need – to destroy Troublemaker (“Negative” demon). But at the time Sebastian doesn’t know that and follows her orders, not even questioning them (this whole thing is a “silent protagonist marionette” reference and a just another way to show that most people are very easy to control).
It tells him a bit about itself and its plans. Apparently, it wants to get rid of “Negative” demon and lies to Sebastian in order to get him on its side. It tells that Troublemaker needs to be stopped or it’ll destroy the whole world and Sebastian himself, when in reality Troublemaker doesn’t care about such things at all. Being “Negative” demon doesn’t make it a cliched stupid villain which wants to take over the world, but Sebastian Arise believes that.
Trivia: Goody uses a woman voice/character and makes up its own names for Neutral and Troublemaker demons. It also refers to them as if they were males. Everything to make Sebastian feel comfortable.
So all these names for demons (including “Troublemaker”) are coming from the “Positive” demon, in game reality they don’t have any names, they’re just Source #1, Source #2, Source# 3. You can also see a splash screen later in the game which indicates this.
Comic – Back to Sewers
Goody-Goody teleports Sebastian back to his dimension. Not just teleporting him, but also transmissing a part of itself into his head, making him listen to its words all the time. After wandering in the sewers for some time, Sebastian finally founds a door to the underground base.
Sebastian sees what was the emergency – everyone at the base is dead…well, except just one cultist who is sitting with PS3 and watches Shadowsgate Island gameplay. Being a good 4th wall breaker, he tells you a hint about secret portal on the level.
Goody also explains some thing about the base and what happened. It tells Sebastian to find an elevator and press the lowermost button. Sebastian walks around until he finds it.
Trivia: This location is filled with small things . There are gas canisters on the desks in the Classroom and stacks of bucks ready to be burned (every desk also has a box of matches). That’s because they don’t really teach anything here, they mostly teach to destroy the knowledge, to burn the books which contradict with their religious propaganda. It may look like an obvious reference, but I don’t like “Fahrenheit 451″.
Shadowsgate Island is the game I worked for months before it was canceled. I figured it deserves to be mentioned in The Last Dogma. There was a joke about gameplay video commentaries is there to make a bit of fun of YouTubbers who would play the game (removed in 1.4).
There’s even a mirror in the toilet which could capture the feed from your WebCam and project it on yourself (removed in later versions, probably even in the first Steam release build).
Comic – Elevator
Pressing the lowermost button (using Goody’s advice) brings him into a…
The Red Desert
…an endless red desert. This is the place where the cult was founded centuries ago and the base was built above it. Here you immediately get attention from the Troublemaker, “Negative” demon. It’s not an absolute EVIL, it’s just busy with its work and doesn’t like when someone snoops around and tries to prevent it from doing its work.
Troublemaker makes a warning and tells Sebastian to leave the place, also sending its tornadoes if Arise doesn’t understand his warning (they kill you immediately when they touch you).
But of course, Goody-Goody tells Sebastian not to worry and orders him to find an entrance to Neutreus dimension (home of “Neutral” demon). It can be accessed only through one particular place – The Red Desert. It’s a completely abandoned place where even cultists won’t go – they always get lost there or get killed by Troublemaker.
This time, however, it’s illuminated by the shining bricks, which were taken from an ancient cult temple and dropped across the desert (just like bread crumbs in Hansel and Gretel). The reason for these “crumbs” is that Neutreus is just looking for someone to play chess with him and he’s very, very bored. He thinks someone would find a way to his home that way and would finally play a chess party with him.
Sebastian follows the trail of bricks, finds the portal and enters it.
Neutreus knows about everything, but still hopes that Sebastian would play a chess party with him. But Arise can’t answer because he’s a SILENT protagonist.
Understating that and also being very sad about it, Neutreus agrees to help Goody, not really approving it. It opens a portal for Sebastian to go back to 1366 year, a particular day when the most powerful ally of Troublemaker can be killed.
Note that everything is black-and-white here because it’s a neutral source of power. The scenery is also about neutrality – post-apocalyptic ruins flooded with ocean. Very calm, no sounds, absolute neutrality and relaxation.
Trivia: There’s one voice actor for both Narrator and Neutreus. It doesn’t mean anything – Neutreus has just a few words and I decided not to look for another actor in this case and asked Ryan to change his voice for that role.
Year 1366, Cold Castle
Sebastian leaves his body in 1999 and his consciousness is now transferred to a body of an ancient rebel. This rebel is a part of Anti-Christian insurgent group, which is being hunted by the Inquisition. He’s lurking around looking for supplies when Sebastian enters his body, which is infected by the Black Death. His fellows still see him as he is, not knowing that their friend is “possessed” by Arise. The group had stopped in the small temple to rest. Inquisition is lurking around looking for them, so they’ll attack you as soon as they’ll see you. One of the rebels was killed by a rockfall after they entered the valley. It’s a reference to cult’s attempt to kill Sebastian in the beginning of the game.
Goody-Goody tells Arise lots of things about the place, what to do and where is Sebastian’s own body. It asks him to complete the mission – enter the Cold Castle and kill the Harvester (the ally of Troublemaker). It’s an immortal being, but apparently it needs to heal its wounds, becoming mortal for a limited time. This night it’s very vulnerable and can be killed.
You can walk around the valley before you enter the castle. You can find Treff (dead rebel) under the rocks, blood lake around the castle, an Inquisition boat, temple with rebels, a small village which was burned by the Inquisition, graveyard with a note-reminder about people who were killed by Christians. As for the horse…it’s a Danish horse.
Comic – Cold Castle + Dungeons
Cold Castle itself has a huge mythology behind it and was born from one of my early songs. There’s no one on the surface, except ghosts. If you go below, you’ll find hundreds of hags that live there.
They just live there, walking around and shaking like psychopaths, but some of them can also attack you (it’s random). You can’t attack them anyhow, because the body you got is dying (hence the blurred vision and changed character controls).
Sebastian walks through the hallways and meets the Harvester.
Comic – Harvester
Harvester looks at Sebastian and is very amused about his appearance. He can’t believe that such a weak creature was sent to kill him. He literally dies of laughter. Yeah. Anyway, mission is complete and the portal is opened, Goody-Goody kept its promise.
Troublemaker manages to capture Sebastian consciousness before it goes to his body, to his own dimension (Goody is also there, since it’s a part of his conciousness). His dimension was slightly influenced by the Waiting Room (Twin Peaks).
It says that he is not pleased with the death of his ally (obviously) and tells Sebastian that he’s a stupid idiot and that he was a Goody’s puppet all the time.
But it’s still very busy and doesn’t have the time to punish Arise at the moment. Also, he’s not really angry because he reveals that there are HUNDREDS of other Cold Castles and HUNDREDS of other allies. It’s shock news to Goody, because all that time it thought that killing the Harvester would damage the Troublemaker pretty much. The demons are not perfect, they can also can be misinformed.
Troublemaker sends them both to dimension of Goody and promises to Sebastian to punish him later.
Goody-Goody’s Dimension (Again)
It tells that it’s very sorry about using Sebastian. It was enjoying how obedient Sebastian was and got attached to him because of that. It’s sad about shocking Cold Castles reveal and that its plans to destory Troublemaker were all in vain. Still, it sends Sebastian to his own body, back in his time (1999).
Before that it also mentions a very important thing which had happened during the 1366 mission – Neutreus was so sad that the only person he met in centuries didn’t want to play a chess with him, that he changed Earth rotation just of boredom. It’s just yet another alternate dimension for him, so he doesn’t really care about it.
Another important thing – Sebastian is the only one who wasn’t affected because he met a Neutreus “in person” and got a part of his power, some sort of immunity to the madness (absolute neutrality in emotions).
Comic – Arrival + Bench Park (Back in 1999)
Sebastian is now in his own body again and he’s really shocked about him being such a foolish puppet. In fact, if he would walk away and wouldn’t enter the cabin, none of this would happen.
He calls ATF and his boss tells him that Yugoslavia is being invaded by Russian Fascist Forces and the world as the whole is going insane because of changed Earth rotation. He also tells him that a helicopter will be waiting for Sebastian at a specific point to evacuate him.
Sebastian is now at Bench Park – a place in Belgrade he knows and loves. The park itself is quite small and was barely touched by Russians. This particular region is almost empty, because Russian barbarians are moving like a snowfall – going in one way direction and leaving burning ruins behind. One of their fascist soldiers is there and ready to kill you.
Sebastian walks through the ruins and finds the bus.
Trivia: These dead cultists around the fountain is a reference to Sanal Edamaruku case. You can read about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/23/india-blasphemy-jesus-tears
Russian terrorists do not come alone, they always bring terrorists from other countries with them. One of them tries to kill Arise while he’s driving the bus, but Sebastian manages to jump and then kills him. The bus has exploded, so agent is back again on his foot.
He walks into a closed construction base, where he finds yet another terrorist who tries to kill him. Sebastian leaves him dead and walks further…then Troublemaker appears and tells that he finally found a time to punish the agent. Arise runs away from the tornado and finds a motorcycle.
Comic – Motorcycle + Motorcycle Scene
He drives out of Belgrade trying to escape from tornado, but there are barriers on the road left by Troublemaker just for Sebastian. He manages to get past them, but later discovers that the road ahead is blocked by the burning cars. He stops the motorcycle and enters a church which stands nearby.
Church + Troublemaker Tricks + Troublemaker Dimension (Again)
It’s safe here…is it, really? After some time church disappears and Sebastian falls into a strange place created by Troublemaker.
You need to survive there for about 40 seconds (it’s very easy), until Troublemaker decides that he had enough fun with Sebastian and teleports Arise to his own dimension just to say a few more words so Sebastian would never ever try to screw with Troublemaker. Then demon sends the agent back to Belgrade outskirts.
Comic – The Forest
Sebastian finds that the helicopter that was supposed to evacuate him was destroyed by Troublemaker (as a part of revenge / “teaching” lesson). Having nothing else to do, Arise just goes away with no particular place in his mind.
Meanwhile, people on Earth get mad until they kill each other. The reasons are the same, but the primary one is religion. People create hundreds new religions and dogmas to live with. The last dogma they create forces the left survivors to kill themselves, leaving Sebastian the only human on Earth (almost like Vincent Price character in The Last Man on Earth, but not really).
During the game you see a lot of things which tell you that everything in the game is not real. Find one of four portals and find out the truth. The most easiest to reach portal is available right above the place where you start – just climb on the hill until you see it. Another easy way early in the game is to walk through the door of “Mind Control” room (Undeground Base). There’s a camera over it and lots of notes around, you can’t miss it.
The gameplay of this campaign actually wasn’t influenced by The Stanley Parable and I started to work on it before I played TSP. But the voice itself was influenced by TSP indeed, I wanted a similar British voice. The interesting thing that the actor for this role found me by himself, stumbling upon the game on IndieDB.