Sacrifice Bonus: Tutorial Missions

Sacrifice has three tutorial missions that are wholly separate from the campaign to tutor you on a lot of the basic mechanics. They tend to assume you don't know how to play video games at all, with a much lesser focus on explaining Sacrifice in specific. I'd normally ignore them for the purposes of these posts, but there's bits and pieces of not-wholly-tutorial dialogue in there, including that Persephone and Pyro even have some lines you'll only hear in the tutorial missions.

They're not particularly great as tutorials go, to be honest, but I've certainly seen worse.

Notably, they actually build on the notion that Shakti is about as new as Eldred is -you play as Shakti in the tutorials, and the framework is you're going through basic training as one of Persephone's Mystics.

First up is...

.... the really basic stuff.

You can honestly skip this one if you want. There's nearly no dialogue that isn't straight, bland tutorial. That said, it does cover some stuff like the 'cross menu' and formations, which I've neglected to talk about myself and hey maybe you'll appreciate the added context.

Next is...

... introducing the player to spellcasting, mostly.

Which gets into a good example of how the tutorial is Not Great: the game never touches on the cooldown mechanic on spells (Which I'm confident was a part of the initial release of the game, not patched in later), the game never properly explicates mana costs on spells, and notably at no point in these tutorials is it clarified that you can't generate mana by default. This is important since you start out having the game cheat you up more mana regularly, before the game is ready to introduce you to Manahoars and Manaliths and so on. It'd be easy for a new player to think a wizard has a baseline internal mana generation rate and that Manaliths and Manahoars are adding to that, and indeed that is what I thought for a good chunk of my initial play years ago.

But hey, we get some actually amusing dialogue, including Persephone and Pyro chipping in.

No justification for that bridge being destroyed, though, and I was a bit surprised to see it happen. The campaign never permanently messes around with terrain in this sort of way, and I didn't think the engine could properly support it.

Third and final is...

... a pretty bad introduction to the basics of Altars, primarily.

This is the final tutorial, and it's the heaviest on amusing dialogue and background lore stuff. You get some explanation of what's up with Sac Doctors, including to my surprise an explicit statement that melee is not the way to go with disrupting Desecrations (I'd honestly not realized the push effect was a deliberate part of gameplay), as well as some other background lore stuff, and there's some fairly funny moments in here.

Overall, though, I'd honestly rate most of the campaign's second missions as better introductions to the entire wizard-on-wizard system of the game.

I'm not entirely sure why Shakti is silent in all the tutorial missions. Having her speak could've made things a bit more interesting and been used as a device to better explain things to the player with leading questions and whatnot. Oh well.

Next time, we wrap up this series with a per-level comparison of the gods.


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