5/15

Cortica River—Today I got a salvage request for the Medieval Staff, and what do you know, it’s been located within that unexplored region of the Cortica River. Now I’ve got the perfect excuse to recruit an Amazon River dolphin and take a peak at the new world. We go immediately to the river, but as usual in this game, there are some conditions that must be met. First, I have to bring a female dolphin partner with me. I’d been randomly assigning male or female names to my dolphins without considering the gender (monstrous parenting, that), but helpfully Jean-Eric reminds me that Pinky Tuscadero is indeed a female and can accompany me. Now that I’ve got Pinky, we head up King Amaru’s canal into the courtyard of the Twilight Temple, where I see a pink dolphin standing out from the rest. Jean-Eric informs me that I’ve got to approach the dolphin on Pinky’s back. I look for my Pinky, but my wingman’s nowhere to be found. I have to retreat back down the canal to find her lollygagging at the entrance. Meanwhile, J-E is yelling in my head that I need my partner, need my partner! Alright, I’ve got my partner and ride her into the courtyard, now what? We have to chase the river dolphin while she and Pinky get acquainted. Basically, I have to keep her in my line of sight, but if we lose her, J-E helpfully tells us when we’re getting closer. This goes on for several head-spinning minutes until Pinky and the dolphin are completely simpatico, after which I’m introduced as a really cool friend.  We dance, and without much thought, I name her Dora.

Dora, the Explorer

Now that she’s on the team, it’s time to enlist her help clearing that dam. After we clear it, I take a reflective moment before breaching the threshold. 

This is it—weeks of waiting and hard work have led to this day, and I’m finally going to see this final, completely new region of the Endless Ocean. I wonder, did Cortez feel this way, gaining at last the peak in Darien from which his eyes would behold the limitless Pacific for the first time? Resolutely, I press through, the gap widening around me to reveal…

Queen Lake

Eh, not much. Queen Lake, so it’s called, is basically a murky brown watering hole. Its sole inhabitants are some indolent manatees mindlessly grazing on hydrilla near the surface. Aside from the Medieval Staff, there is no limitless treasure, no sunken ruins. As I leave, I notice a few tambaqui that weren’t there before, so there’s that. Maybe by removing an obstacle, Dora and I have invited in a new community of fish. This at least will make it worth visiting in the future. Until then, I guess you can call me disappointed.  

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