So I’ve getting back into the groove on Warframe and had to get caught up on story missions. I was several behind due to the starmap update that happened a while back that changed how quests were obtained.
I finally bit the bullet jump and got it done. I have generally tried to avoid any sort of spoilers, and I don’t intend to discuss them at the beginning of the post. I’ll put them at the end with a warning.
I did complete all but one quest, which is on the final step, and all the junctions as well. Yay completionism?
In other news, my warframe part collection is well underway. I’ve acquire 15 new parts since the last time I brought it up. This includes several whole frames that I need to level up, Vauban and Rhino already built. Umbra Excalibur which comes mastered. Octavia, which requires more resources to build, and a smattering of other random parts here an there. This brings me up to about 47% complete.
Okay, time to talk about some quests. So, um, spoiler time, I reckon. If you care, I would suggest not reading further. I feel rather strongly that these types of story reveals are best in context.
I had three main story quests that needed to be done. The War Within, Chains of Harrow, and The Sacrifice.
The War Within was somewhat emotionally strong. It has us tailing an individual against their will only to learn at the last second that they were luring us into a trap set by the Grineer Queens. They use a scepter to break our link with the Warframe. The result of this is that the Transference Station used to link our operator to the frame is burned out and we are unable to repair it.
The first big blow is that our ship AI, Ordis, says that without the power of transference we’re no longer the operator and we’re promptly purged from the ship. Thrown out onto a snow covered mountain in only a flight suit.
This is probably most brutal for longtime players like myself. Ordis is actually mildly annoying at first, but after a while he started to grow on me right? It was a constant, a fixed point that’s been with you since the beginning of the game, much like our guide The Lotus.
Eventually we come across a series of trials in the mountain that allow us to unlock the innate void powers within our operator, including transference. In addition to these trials there are several bits of repressed memory showing up, and choices you make that control the flow of the dialogue. I personally stuck mostly to the light/mid path.
After that you pretty much use your newfound powers to hand the queens their head, including a couple of final choices regarding their fate and the fate of the scepter.
Chains of Harrow is a more stand-alone type of mission, but one that had a very distinct sort of horror vibe to it. It saw us running away from a dark image that we can’t damage, but can certainly damage us.
It mainly boils down to a fellow Tenno named Rell that was cast out of group due to void sickness and went on to teach some humans and form a sort of religion. Being aware of his mortality he transferred his consciousness into the warframe permanently but this wasn’t enough to stave off the madness and he was ultimately bound in a derelict ship.
It’s made rather eerie by the fact that all the missions are done in the dark. Messages are occasionally written on the floor or walls in blood. Alot of Rell’s dialogue is of a young voice studying emotion flashcards with his mother. The whole thing just has a slightly creepy vibe to it.
The Sacrifice is what’s bothering me though. In the prelude we walk through a ship listening to dialogue of two Orokin individuals, Ballas and Margulis. We learned previously that Margulis was caretaker of the original orphaned children exposed to the void aboard the ship Zeriman Ten-Zero. They had incredibly powers due to void exposure, but were extremely dangerous. It’s been implied that Rell was one of them, as was our operator.
The Orokin wished to destroy them, while Margulis wanted to cure them via transference. Allow their powers to be channeled in a controlled way via an outside vessel. These vessels would eventually become the Warframes. For her defiance, Margulis was executed, her last words being “My daughters, my sons… I want you to know… my last thoughts are of you.” I personally assume this refers to the Zariman children.
At the end of the mission we see Ballas free the Lotus from her… seat. She says she isn’t who he believes her to be, he says she’s bound, just like Margulis was. That he won’t abandon her a second time. She removes the helmet and they leave.
This has the immediate effect of no longer having our guide that we’ve had up till this point, The Lotus. She is replaced by a holographic recreation provided by Ordis in an attempt to comfort the operator.
The quest line itself has us reliving a series of events that transpired to a war hero. We find an orokin artifact that contains plans for a new warframe called Umbra Excalibur. When we attempt to use it, it forces us out and in the struggle to break free we witness a memory of the hero from his perspective. Restrained on a hospital bed, with two people in the room, Ballas and an individual revealed to be the hero’s son.
Ultimately it draws these little clips out over several missions and reveals many odd bits. Ballas, one of the people involved in developing the Warframes to fight against the Sentients, created them using a modified strain of the infestation. This strain is intentionally given to the war hero in the guise of treatment. These warframes were designed to be drones commanded by the Orokin, but ultimately proved uncontrollable. It’s ultimately revealed that the Zariman children could see inside these hybrids and were able to dull their pain.
The final cutscene is when the infection has run it’s course, and Ballas orders the hero to kill his own son. At this point we sort of befriend this semi-independent warframe and it allows us to control is via transference and we set out to kill Ballas. This proves quite difficult, as Ballas still retains control of Umbra, though transference allows us to override his control somewhat and stab him.
At this point I assumed Ballas was dead. The Lotus shows up, as a rather large sentient creature instead of the lotus we know. She says that this is what she is and picks up Ballas saying “Mother… I am coming home.” Umbra saves of from summary execution by sentient and then it’s over.
The whole experience left me somewhat stunned and confused. I can barely put this together on a good day, much less articulate it in an orderly fashion. It took two hours to write the quest synopsys with videos and wiki pages helping me piece the bits together and recount what happened where and in what order.
The big debate at the moment is how the Sentient Natah(Lotus) relates to Margulis. I dunno, I still don’t know how I feel about all of it. Dazed and confused much like I imagine the operator would feel as well. I don’t like the hologram. I’d almost rather have Ordis during my missions instead.
Sorry for the wall of text. I think I needed this though. The effort of writing it has been a great help in my own understanding of these events and how they fit into the greater whole of the Warframe universe.
“Great choice of weapons operator, please return-COVERED IN BLOOD-safe and sound.” – Ordis