In another one of their "Reinstall" retrospective pieces, the editors at PC Gamer have treated us to another journey back to the City of Doors by reminiscing about Black Isle Studios' Planescape: Torment in a public and welcomed manner. It's time to update your journal:
I could, but instead, let me share the moment Planescape really clicked for me. To be honest, up to this point, I wasn't enjoying it much. I was lost, frustrated, and had no idea what the hell I was meant to be doing. Then I met Mebbeth.
Mebbeth is a witch, willing to share what (little) she knows of the Art.but only if you agree to help her with some quick chores. The first is to get some seeds from the market. Unfortunately, the seed merchant doesn't have the ones you need, so you need to find another character who can will the original tree back into existence for you.
O-kay. Time for magic?
No. Not yet. Returning, Mebbeth remembers there was something else she needed from the market her laundry. Unfortunately, the merchant who does her washing has had her sheets for years, and has washed and rewashed them so many times that they feel like cardboard. Luckily, Mebbeth doesn't mind. She just sends you back to the market, this time to retrieve ink.
Tedious, time-wasting nonsense? In most games, it would be. But this is Planescape: Torment the smartest RPG of all time. When you get back this time, Mebbeth asks what you learned. And it clicks. Your first errand was a direct demonstration of the power of belief in the Planescape universe. The second is a more in-character warning against ritual without purpose. The third, in context, is about seeing the world through another person's eyes.