Every time my Viking hero Eivor dies Assassin’s Creed ValhallaShe returns to life drunk. This is a well-known bug that the developers seem to have been preparing for patches, but when I tried to just put up with it last night I somehow made it worse. In this case, “worse” also means “better”. And now I am at odds over whether I want this to be fixed.
Here’s how the glitch originally played out Valhalla a few weeks ago. I would upload the backup file to my Xbox and see a loading screen. Then part of 9th century England would show up along with Eivor shaking. The graphics would become blurry and then sharper. Then Eivor would wobble even more.
That was strange, but bearable. The drunkenness quickly wears off. In addition, the developers of the game at Ubisoft had pointed out Valhallaofficial support page that this was an unintended side effect of Valhalla’s new one Christmas party, a party that Ubisoft added to the game’s central Viking settlement in mid-December.
“Drunk status effect during and after loading the screen?
Workaround: Meditating or sleeping in your bed should remove the status effect. (or you can just walk away ..) ”
The celebration adds a tall tree, horde of revelers, an archery challenge, and an option for drunken brawls. Somehow all this drink-based game code has been bugged, but I thought it would come off when the celebration ends on January 7th. At least I hoped so.
That perpetual light drunkenness seemed, if not a good thing, at least an interesting, fleeting inconvenience that resembled a passing storm. It’s also an example of the type of glitch that can turn out to be more common as more and more games work with a calendar of updates: the seasonal malfunction.
And that’s where I went last night after writing a draft for this post to share with him Kotaku Reader an amusing, harmless glitch. I intended to publish the article in the morning and that would be it.
But last night, after finishing my work and putting the kids to bed, I invited Valhalla to back up. I decided to explore the Hamtunscire region, which is tailored for level 340 players. My Eivor was only 170 years old, but I thought it would be interesting to explore.
I found an enemy camp on the outskirts to raid and spent half an hour dismantling it. Indeed, the enemies were much more cordial than my usual opponents. You killed me. Eivor came back temporarily drunk but eventually cleared out the base. I shot all my arrows and didn’t fill them up. (This will be important).
I ventured deeper into Hamtunscire and discovered a marker for a side quest. It involved Eivor drinking something other than the drink being poisoned, and suddenly I got the heaviest drunk effect I’d seen in the game. My screen didn’t just go blurry. It turned black and white. When this happened, an enemy attacked. It was too high for me, but I drew my bow and aimed at a weak spot, except … no arrows.
I ran. The black and white poison drunkenness persisted. I kept running. The normal drunk effect would have faded by now. That didn’t. I jumped on my horse and galloped towards the town of Wincestre. The effect eventually ended. The blurring stopped. The colors returned.
I approached some of the Wincestre guards. They didn’t like my face and they killed me.
Eivor came back to life, but she wasn’t all drunk. She was – oh no! – poison drunk. Everything was black and white and shaky.
That wasn’t so funny. And it didn’t fade. At least not fast enough.
I had read that sleeping makes normal drunkenness go away, so I teleported Eivor back to her settlement and let her go to sleep. She woke up sober, the colors restored.
I quickly traveled back to Wincestre, told myself to play carefully, and climbed a tall building to look out over the city.
Then I jumped off and hoped to end up in the haystack, but was misjudged and died.
Eivor came back to life on the tall building and she was poison-drunk again.
That was annoying, but I had an idea. Perhaps the game remembered my last state of drunkenness. If I got drunk (without poison) I might at least be shaky, but without the world being bleached with color. But it did not work. She repeatedly recovered from subsequent deaths while intoxicated with poison.
I could drive to the settlement quickly after each death to lose an eye, but that would be too cumbersome. I could try to die less? I probably should have stopped playing in such a treacherous region, but what’s the fun of it? No, I had to find a way to quickly cure myself from poison drunkenness while persistently playing more quests that I wasn’t ready for.
I let Eivor meditate. But that didn’t work.
Then I agreed to listen to a man talk about Jesus. That worked!
While I was doing all of this, I noticed something unexpected. Whenever I’ve been drunk with poison Valhalla achieved a severe beauty. The game generally looks great, but by removing the colors, the light can more sharply define the protagonist and the scenery around her.
I started taking more screenshots.
I take a lot of screenshots of Valhallaand this usually in the game’s photo mode. I like to use this tool in-game to pause the action, redesign a scene, maybe zoom in or out, although I’ve never used any of its filters, including a black and white filter. Instead, I just walked around with the whole game world in this poison-drunk black and white state and then stopped to switch to photo mode. As I set up one of my recordings, I discovered how the wizards who made the game did this black and white trick.
The poison drunkenness effect was an illusion. The game world wasn’t black and white. The developers had just placed a filter between my character and the camera. And in photo mode, I could see exactly how they pulled this rabbit out of the hat.
I could have fun with it. This filter could play along in my screenshots.
It could make for some cool / interesting GIFs too:
Suddenly I was having too much fun. I realized I was going to miss that. I wouldn’t miss the game wobbling, but I would miss seeing it through this filter. I would miss playing with an unexpected visual trick and I would miss the feeling of having stepped into the code of the game and found something nice in a glitch.
I want Eivor to come back to life without the whole world becoming blurred. So bring this patch with you.