Sunday, 13 November 2016

Tyranny Walkthrough Guide Review - Part I

Tyranny Walkthrough Guide Review - Part I

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII

[Glares Silently] ... Oh, sorry about that! I've been reading too much of Tyranny's dialogue. Hi there! And welcome to my walkthrough for Obsidian's Tyranny. The following posts will endeavor to cover the Tyranny campaign as I have played it: on Hard Difficulty with the Quickstart Scarlet Chorus Path. Build-wise, I'm rolling with Diplomat History, Finesse cranked for the accuracy & armor deflection boosts, skill-points dumped into support skills, and Primary & Secondary Expertise in Shortbow for the initial Hobble & Heart Shot talents; most likely branching into other trees on the proviso that I don't spread myself too thin and gimp my character. Hopefully the build will remain viable and I'll find a decent tank companion to hold back the aggro so that I'm mostly free to fire from safe distance, but I guess we'll see!

So yeah, please note that this walkthrough is written on my first run of Tyranny (i.e, a blind play) and that not all content offered in highly reactive campaigns such as this can possibly be covered in a single run. This walkthrough records my experiences and impressions as I play, offering tips along the way for people who might appreciate them. Tyranny has only just been released and I'm only starting to come to grips with its systems, so expect my posts to be revised in the light of my progression to ensure accurate and vigorous coverage that is in keeping with my other walkthroughs, such as the one I wrote for Siege of Dragonspear.

Feel free to post comments at the end of each post, preferably with some kind of identifier but posting anonymously is also welcome. Just don't expect me to get to know you easily as "Anonymous" or "Unknown", because there are lots of those. I welcome newbies, veterans and devs alike to chip in with any insights, additions and clarifications: this blog is moderated and comments are reviewed prior to their posting in order to ensure a friendly, mature environment. Trolls and bigots stand no chance here.

Affiliation: None. I am in no way affiliated with Obsidian Entertainment or Paradox Interactive. This is an independent effort by me, and me only.

Game Guide: Overview

• You may search the posts for keywords using Ctrl +F in your browser. You may also use my Looking for something? search bar (top-right) to search multiple posts; indeed, the whole blog.

• The posts include pics to illustrate coverage. They have been edited and upscaled to improve viewability on current gen displays. If your add-on/extension does not block the script, clicking a pic will enter Light Box mode, allowing you to mouse-wheel through them, at your leisure.

• The text is formatted in italics and bold, and color-coded for readability and clarity; for example, Disfavored faction, Scarlet Chorus faction, Vendrien Guard faction, Forge-Bound faction, Stonestalker Tribe, Bronze Brotherhood faction, Treasure, Scrolls (and standout item properties), locations, lootable receptacles & notable misc., talents & skills, crafting components, and mechanics & rules.

Abbreviations: GvA = Graven Ashe, VoN = The Voices of Nerat, Chorus = Scarlet Chorus faction.

My Options are set as follows:
Game: Show Reputation: On, Quest Notifications: On, Area loot radius: 0m (i.e, Auto-loot: Off).
Difficulty (Hard): Trial of Iron: Off, Expert Mode: Off, Death: On, AoE Highlighting: On, Show Unqualified Interactions: On, Show Qualifiers: On, Tool Tips: On, Auto-level companionsOff, Show Relative Defenses: On, Tutorials: Off.
Auto-Pause: On Enemy Spotted, Stop Party Movement.

Basic tech tips:
• Saved games are stored in C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\Tyranny. You can edit the XML files if you unzip them. You might like to occasionally clean the folder out, too.
• If Tyranny refuses to run update your display drivers.
• You can change a couple of basic settings by holding down the shift-key when you double-click the exe.
• Long loading time "fixes" are "get an SSD" and "disconnect/disable non-standard networks".

   F i r s t  &  F i n a l  S p o i l e r  W a r n i n g  

New players should not read on if they have any intention of later playing Tyranny!


For over 400 years the armies of Overlord Kyros have swept across the known world. All who stood against them fell before their might. Even the Archons, women and men of immense power, were forced to kneel, chained to the Overlord's will. 

Now Kyros' final conquest has come to our corner of the world. And two of the Overlord's armies compete for the honor of taking our lands: the elite Disfavored and the teeming horde of the Scarlet Chorus. 

The Voices of Narat, spymaster and Archon of Secrets, guides the fierce and undisciplined mass of the Scarlet Chorus. With each battle, the Scarlet Chorus grows stronger, as the defeated are given a simple choice: serve, or die.

Graven AsheArchon of War and the Overlord's most loyal general, leads the Disfavored. Though small in number, Kyros' iron-clad legion has never meet true defeat in open battle. 

Watching over the two generals is Tunon the AdjudicatorArchon of Justice, eldest of Kyros' minions. Tunon brings Kyros' laws to newly conquered lands, aided by the Fatebinders, judges and executioners of the Overlord's laws. You were among the youngest of the Court of Fatebinders when Kyros' armies came to our lands. How could we have known that the fate of thousands would rest in your hands.

From left to right: Tunon the Adjudicator: Archon of Justice, Graven Ashe: Archon of War, The Voices of Nerat: Archon of Secrets, & The Fatebinder (i.e, You).

Scarlet Chorus Path

This temple focuses on maximizing your relationship with the Scarlet Chorus faction. Over the three years of Kyros' Conquest, you traveled to the Bastard CityLethian's Crossing, and Azure.

At the Bastard City you fought beside the Scarlet Chorus at the Gates of Judgment, ordered that prisoners be conscripted to serve your allies, and helped the Chorus ignite the city into a fiery inferno.

Granted governorship of Lethian's Crossing, you helped the Archon of Song out of a tricky situation, affirmed the right of the Scarlet Chorus to recruit from the Forge-Bound, and granted control of the city to the Chorus.

In the final year of the Conquest you joined the Scarlet Chorus in their efforts to tame the land of Azure. You aided them in recruiting packs of Beastmen to their number. When the Archon of Stone betrayed the Overlord, you sent the Disfavored - rivals of the Scarlet Chorus - to die.

At Kyros' order, you read the Edict of Stone that destroyed Cairn.

Abilities: Searing Palm (cooldown: 24s, dmg: 8-15 Fire vs. Magic, Effects: Foe Target: Magefire Affliction for 9s, Range: 2m.)

The Situation at Hand

The year is 431, and Kyros' invasion has shattered all major opposition in the Tiers. The Younger Realms, the Bastard Tier, the Free Cities - all who defied Kyros lay broken by battle or bowed in surrender. The two armies of the Overlord - the Disfavored and the Scarlet Chorus - now control our lands.

But our will is not yet extinguished, not entirely. In the valley of Vendrien's Well, those of us unwilling to bow to Kyros have banded together in defiance. Violating an oath of surrender from two years prior, we have staged a bloody uprising - murdering the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus garrison in the mightnight assault.

With their main forces spread across the Tiers, the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus redeploy to Vendrien's Well to crush the resistance, but months pass with no definitive battle. 

As disagreement and discord paralyze the Archons, we bide our time and wait for our message of insurrection to spread across the Tiers.

The Overlord is not amused, and Kyros has one message for the Archons: crush the Oathbreakers or die. Kyros backs this threat with an Edict, a magical commandment that can slay all the valley should the order be ignored.

The honor of proclaiming this Edict fell to you. Sent across the mountains to Vendrien's Well, you carry the Overlord's Edict to read before the Archons.

As you finally make your way through the winding mountain passes into the valley, the ground trembles, and Kyros' magic seals the way behind you. You are trapped in Vendrien's Well with Kyros' armies and the Oathbreakers. The only way to survive is to fulfill the terms of the Overlord's Edict, in any way you can...

Edgering Ruins
Outskirts of Vendrien's Well

• Upon your entry to the ruins Kyros' magic will cause a rockslide to block the pass behind you, sealing the valley off so that neither friend nor foe may escape from it. Such is the Overlord's reach and power.

• As a result of Kyros' Conquest blood cascades from the eye sockets of the ancient Weeping Mother statue that towers above the ruins.

PRIMARY QUEST: THE CONQUEROR'S WILL. Your orders are to deliver Kyros' Edict of Execution to the Archons of the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus factions: they are to put down the troublesome Vendrien Guard rebellion (aka "The Oathbreakers"); otherwise, every living thing in the valley is going to die - friend and foe, alike. So yeah, DEATH SENTENCE. You must proceed southeast through Edgering Fort and from there travel to the Disfavored Camp where the Archons are meeting to discuss their strategy.

Aurora. First up, speak with Crescent Runner Aurora of the Disfavored faction, who waves you down and salutes you. Inform her that you bear an Edict of Kyros leveled against everyone in the valley, and she will realize the gravity of the situation and smarten up.
Dialogue skill checks. Now, you may notice that a couple of your skills are being checked in dialogue; in this case, Lore & Subterfuge:
[Lore20] Can you hear that hum in the air — that glow around the rocks? The avalanche is Kyros' magic — the Overlord has sealed the valley.
[Subterfuge: 20] Your first instinct is to blame the Scarlet Chorus... no wonder Kyros resorts to an Edict to enforce order.
The qualifier for both checks is 20, meaning you need to have at least 20 ranks in those skills to receive those options to choose as responses. My ranks were 38 & 36. So yeah, no problems. All weapon skills & support skills - with the notable exception of spell buffs - increase when they are used; for example, my character received +18 Lore and +9 Subterfuge experience towards the next ranks by choosing the two options. In addition, the gains are dependent on how many ranks you already have in the skill: on a specific check, a character skilled in Lore will gain fewer experience than one who is unskilled (assuming the latter qualifies, of course — which isn't likely). Anyway, from my limited testing it seems that you want solid investment in Lore, Subterfuge Athletics in order to regularly qualify and maximize your enjoyment of the Tyranny campaign.

• Speaking of lore, I like how seamless its immersion is thanks to the UI's "hypertext" feature: simply mouse-over and "right-click" the green orange keywords in dialogue to get more info on the characters and locations in Terratus, the world in which Tyranny is set. This is better than an NPC burdening you with an unsolicited lore-dump.

Quest: Welcome to Ruin. The Vendrien rebels have broken through the fort's defenses and are making their way through the ruins in an attempt to flee the valley. You need to head them off and assist the Disfavored in dispatching them. Ok, your first combat scenario. Well, this one is pretty straightforward: just one schlub to fight? Well, it's better than rats in a basement... Now, assist Aurora in taking out the Vendrien Honor Guard who is attempting to flee up into the mountains to deliver a message (not knowing that the valley has been sealed off). I just hung back and let loose a few arrows as Aurora got in his face. EZPeeZ. Loot his corpse for Whetstone, Potion of Protection and five copper rings. Note how quickly weapon skills increase when you use them in combat, in comparison to the above-mentioned support skills. It doesn't take long to get up to speed if you start low with the former, which is why one probably shouldn't bother raising them in chargen.

Below Left: I line up the Heart Shot from behind Aurora.
Below Right: It hits its mark!

• Remember to regularly tap-hold the Tab-key in order to display the spyglass (inspection indicator) and hand icons (interaction indicator) at points of interest on the playing field. These can occasionally offer flavorsome lore and even material and experience rewards.

Non-essential exploration. Backtrack to your starting position and proceed south a bit to spy a length of rope leading down to the ledge below. Behold, your first Interaction check. The panel that pops up gives you two options: Climb Down or Jump Down (and incur a wound) (Athletics14, +26 exp).

A note on wounds. It might sound blatantly obvious, but you really DON'T want to get wounded because it reduces your health pool and penalizes all of your skills. And let me tell you, that is fucked. So don't just stand there taking hits until you are wounded: DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Either quaff a healing potion before your health drops too much or change your tactics. Because wounds in the early game can only be healed by resting and leveling up. Potion of Revival are rare and only heal one wound per potion. Not only that, but a character will die permanently if they incur too many wounds (10, I think. And assuming you are playing with Death set to On, which I am).

• Once safely down on the ledge "left-click" on the Abandoned Memorial for your second Interaction check. I recognized the torc in the memorial as "a relic of Tiersman folklore" (Lore: 35) and took the Battle-Worn Torc (Form+1 Vitality). Note its high value in comparison to most of the rubbish you will find in the early game! Don't forget to loot the two crates beside the tent for random treasure.

• Ok, climb back up the rope and rejoin Aurora who is crouched down behind a rockslide; on the other side of which a single Disfavored is up against a trio of Vendriens.
• Interaction check: Squeeze through the gap, or - better yet - I just pushed the boulder (Athletics: 30, +45 exp) so that it rolled over and squished one of the Vendrien Sun Soldiers. Eew, talk about bone-crunching overkill. She really didn't deserve that, but maximizing the fun dictates it. Take out the other Sun Soldier and Honor Guard whom the Stone Shield is tanking, and loot their corpses for the Sun Soldier's Javelin and Waking Death, respectively.

Companion: Scarlet Fury Verse. Proceed eastward just in time to witness a Scarlet Fury fall to three Sun Soldiers, who then focus their aggro on Verse, a feisty, fiery second level Duelist & Skirmisher of the Chorus faction, who auto-joins as your first companion when you come into her proximity. I gained Average Loyalty with Verse by remarking on her ability to handle herself in a fight.
• Note the per-encounter "companion combo" that allows you to act in concert with Verse: Blood Soaks Stone (See image). What happens is, Verse leg sweeps to knock the target prone, and you follow up with an armor-penetrating downward strike that also inflicts a bleeding wound. Sweet. Oh, and I'm liking the blood and gibs that fly about when Verse's twin-blades are arcing back and forth. Very, very cool.
• At battle's end each party member gains +33 experience, divided among their skills. I agreed to continue fighting alongside Verse, but you certainly don't have to. I also agreed with her that looting the corpses of the fallen is "practical", resulting in an Average Loyalty gain. The corpses are holding Scarlet Fury Helm, Lesser Healing Potion, Scroll: Lesser Sigil of Reaching Grasp (Accent)Hide, Vendrien Guard Heavy Bronze Gauntlets, Broken Helmet (x2).

• In regard to companion control: my preference is to toggle Party AI to "off" and micro-manage each party member. It's just a habit I got into starting with the Infinity Engine RPGs.
• At this point you might like to switch on Auto-Pause on "Enemy Spotted", too. It can be a life-saver if you are slow to hit the spacebar. Fast & Slow game-play modes are toggled with +/- on the NumPad. The reason this is a great lil' feature will become evident as you play.
• Ok, the object now is to defeat the remaining rebels. Proceed down to the encampment where Vendrien Guards, five-strong in number and led by Captain Tarkis Demos, will stand against you. On cue, Blood Chanter Mocking Blaze will arrive at the gate and lead the Chorus Hordes into the camp to run them down. The difficulty steps up a gear for this encounter, but I still found it a cakewalk by making sure Verse and I were using our talents. Focus all aggro on Tarkis, mop up the others, and loot their corpses for Broken Armor and Lesser Healing Potion. The nearby crate is holding Grain and Headwrap. Criticism: I don't like how scripted encounters break the party's stealth. I have two stealthy characters in my party and it just seems wrong that they have to square up to face off against these brutes. The many D&D titles I have played in the past are superior in this respect because they allow you the freedom to scope the place out and find a good vantage point from which to mount an attack. Here's hoping the scripted stuff is few and far between as the campaign wears on...

• Post-battle, a Crescent Runner will hurry over to report that the Disfavored commander has been captured at the cliffside in the west. Loot the barrel and Vendrien corpse en route for Skycap (+10 Lore, +10 all magical skills, +4 wits: 120 secs), Vendrien Guard Heavy Bronze Greaves and Agate.
• You will arrive at the cliff's edge to find Vendrien Pelox Tyrel holding a blade to the throat of Drastus, a commander in the Disfavored. I was able to wrest the blade from Pelox (Athletics: 30, +52 Athletics exp, +67 XP) to save Drastus' life and gain Minor Favor with both the Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus factions. Pelox was then slain by Disfavored soldiers, leaving behind Honor Guard's Bronze FalxQuickfinger Bangles (Haste: +1 Quickness), Grain, Scroll: Sigil of Distant Impact (Expression). Again, note the high value of the Bangles in comparison to most of the rubbish you will find in the early game!
Ok, the rebels here have been defeated and Commander Drastus has been saved! Quest: Welcome to Ruin (Complete): Each party member gains +67 experience, divided among their skills. Speak with Aurora for an update on current events. I took sides with neither Aurora nor Verse (Lore: 30, +26 Lore exp, Verse: Gain Average Loyalty,  Disfavored: Gain Average Favor).
• Climb up the rope to the crumbling Edgering Fort (Athletics: 35, +46 Athletics Exp) and procure the Potion of Invisibility lodged under a loose stone.

Merchant/Vendor. Now that you have defeated the Vendrien Guard at the fort, Kosma the merchant is no longer cowering in the corner - she's open for business. I gained Minor Favor: Chorus and 50 copper rings by first being a busy-body in requesting proof of her Stewardship, then lying about the validity of her scripts, and then blowing off the rules and telling her not to worry. How awful a person am I? But you can do worse to her than that, if you are so inclined... Anyway, Kosma offers a range of wares for sale; namely: Bronze Greatsword, Bronze Warmace, Lesser Staff of Atrophy, Lesser Staff of Boreal Frost, Lesser Staff of Titans, Shortbow, Bronze Axe, Bronze Dagger, Bronze Hammer, Bronze Javelin, Bronze Spear, Bronze Sword, Leather Buckler, Lesser Healing Potion x4, Scroll: Lesser Sigil of Limitless Boundaries (Accent), Scroll: Lesser Sigil of Timeless Form (Accent), Scroll: Sigil of Lightning (Core), Camping Supplies x5.

• Return to the camp to find Mocking Blaze and Drastus (or Aurora) standing on either side of the wounded Vendrien CaptainTarkos Demos, debating whether to let him live or not. I gained Major Favor with the Chorus when Mocking Blaze pointed me out as a Governor (of Lethian's Crossing: Quickstart Chorus Path); then, Average Favor when I took his side concerning the fate of the rival Captain (he will be taken to VoN and conscripted, rather than executed).
• To wrap up, exit the fort's gates and proceed west along the outside of its walls to find a climbable section (Athletics: 30, +4 exp) that leads to a chest holding Light Leather Gauntlets and Scroll: Sigil of Proximate Action (Expression) (Subterfuge: 39).

• Ok, that's it for the introductory Edgering Ruins segment! The transition point to the world map lies outside of the gates and to the southeast. Gather your party and venture forth on the three hour hike to our next area — the Disfavored Camp!

Continued in Part II..


  1. Awesome Lilura, I was waiting for this game! I've got it but I've still to start, so I think I'll read the walkthrough after playing once, but I've a question about characters:

    Do you think that a hybrid warrior/mage build is viable? The specialization possibility choice seem to suggest so, but I'm not sure (being a new system) and I don't want to start the game building a sub-par character.
    The choice of taking the same spec two times (as you did) seems a solid choice, maybe a specialized character is better, anyway I don't know which kind of companions will be found or the magic system complexity, so I'm still not sure about which character I should play for the first run.

    Any suggestion?

    1. I can only comment on my fledgling RANGE tree build at this stage, but I can see myself investing in other trees in order to make my opening volley more devastating; for example, AGILITY for Sneak Attack and MAGIC for Enfeeblement. So yeah, it seems that, far from weakening a build, investment in other trees can actually strengthen its core combat role.

      Anyway, stealth is quite effective despite it being broken by scripted dialogue. I'm reporting on my tactics as I go through the walkthrough, but it's still only early days...

    2. I noticed that mixing the trees could be really interesting: I've started a two handed warrior, but I see that finesse could be really useful, and some abilities (like Flurry of Blows, earned choosing the Two Weapon specialization) can be used with any weapon style.
      I did that to focus on Might and Finesse (and avoiding having to spend points on Wits too), but I'm still at the beginning.

      I'm not a big fan of stealth characters (I've never been able to play them efficiently, I prefer using mage or fighter types)but I absolutely agree with the Scarlet Chorus choice... so far I prefer them!

      A last (technical) question, regarding what you wrote about the pictures: what programs do you use to improve and upscale them? They look very good, sure, Tyranny has already good graphics, but probably you did the same with NwN ones too, so I was curious.

    3. Let me know how you fare with Two-Handed Weapons! I have Barik wielding sword & board, so I haven't really seen them in action. I also haven't done much experimentation in builds or reactivity at this stage.. I barely have enough time to report on the campaign as I have played it. But yeah, I'm quite enjoying the Quickstart Chorus path and I don't see myself regretting that decision.

      Images are cropped, upscaled, and spliced together using GIMP, which is fairly EZ to use and free to download. It's not as feature-packed as Photoshop, and is has a couple of annoying quirks, but it does everything I need it to do and doesn't eat up all my resources (My laptop could just barely be called a "gaming laptop", so it doesn't have all that much grunt).

      And yeah, I do like Tyranny's graphics and animations. They are a solid evolution on the Infinity Engine visuals. The UI is great, too. All the info is there and it's pretty EZ to gain access to your stats, and the interesting lore.

    4. Well I've just started the game but I can say that it's quite powerful and slow, so it's probably better using light armor (or even no armor). The nice thing is that some abilities found in other trees synergizes well with Two Handed, like Flurry of Blows or Riposte. I've read somewhere that a dodge/deflect tank with a 2h weapon is really powerful.

      Oh ok, I'm using Corel Photopaint but I'm not an expert when there's to resize/upscale images, so I was interested. (my pc isn't a grat machine too, that's why I play old games, I could barely run Fallout 4 with ultra low settings!)

      The UI is great, I especially like how do you manage the inventory (seeing the inventory of everyone all at once is really helpful), the dialogues (never liked the "dialogue wheel" of some other modern titles) and some mechanics like how armor weight is handled and the combo abilities.

      For me it's also an improvement on Pillars of Eternity, both for story and gameplay.

    5. I'm just wearing cloth to avoid Recovery time, too. Verse and I are pretty mobile and otherwise hang back to fire bows behind Barik, who draws the aggro, so there doesn't seem to be a need for armor at this point.

    6. Well so far Barik has been quite useless to me, despite using light armor I could dispatch enemies rather quickly without needing a tank, and usually I take only minor damage. Verse is really useful thanks to her ranged attacks, anyway I noticed that scripted events preventing sneak attacks that you mentioned... pity

      Oh and now I've a full party but everyone here says that Sirin is the best companion... we'll see if this is true.

    7. Yeah, it's not really a traditional RPG in the sense that you need a conventional tank, because there are so many other ways to inflict crowd control.

    8. Funny thing is that you can create a great riposte-tank main character with two handed parry deflection that kills enemies without even attacking.

      Well Barik can become a good tank if his armor is upgraded, but it would drain resources as a black hole!
      But yes, that's not necessary.

  2. Lilura,
    Long time lurker, one-time commenter (that I can remember anyway).

    I finished Tyranny a little over a month ago. Good game, IMO, and I particularly enjoyed running through as an ally of the Disfavored. That led me to asking the next question. Is a Pillars of Eternity walkthrough on your agenda for the future? I apologize if I've missed previous commentary or potential answers on that subject.

    Thanks, again, for your work in keeping these types of games alive. By far, your Aielund write-up has been the one I've most referenced. I'm replaying that series again, and the walkthrough has proved fun to review, in companion with the blog re-read through.


    1. Hi Wayne,

      I'm glad you found my Aielund Saga walkthrough useful; it was fun to write and get lots of feedback from people, as I wrote it.

      I might cover PoE oneday, but I already have several incomplete walkthroughs sitting in my draft section, and they have become a burden to me. :P So yeah, not in the foreseeable future.

      But cheers, and thanks for de-lurking and following my blog!

    2. My pleasure. Thanks for writing for us!


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