From the way Bastion handles saves, I could actually go and deconstruct the UI of the Armory, but I think that would interfere with my gameplay experience in a linear sense. Instead, I’m going to hop out into the Great Unknown.
I go to the skyway, which, from the fact that it’s the only way off the Bastion, I assume is the way to the Great Unknown. I press E to interact and go flying upwards and, to be honest, I expected some shiny teleport particles or something. After a short fade to black and load, which, by the way, was awesome for not breaking engagement (writing about the game is terrible for not breaking engagement) the boy is floating above an overworld map. The overworld map fits into the game world perfectly. Stylized clouds (with that familiar swirled flair) laze over a landscape (mapscape) labeled by familiar runic characters. There’s four icons. One’s immediately recognizable as the Bastion. It and two other icons are blue. Affordances derived of their contrast to the darkened out, x-crossed icon (they had little flashing particles, even) in the corner of the square formed by the icons led me to examine the two other icons first. (And game crash, yay. I should totally type this up on my iPad…) One icon was described by the paper nailed to the piece of wood in the upper-right corner as the Workmen Ward, which announced in bright blue text “Core Detected!” Another was a Proving grounds for Breakers, the makers of the bow The Boy ended up wielding. Before deciding to wander off to the challenge that obviously involved my ranged abilities, I checked out the greyed-out Starred-out icon in the upper left. Oh! It’s the area I just came from, the Wharf district. I apparently can’t go back, since I seem to have sunk it by removing the Core there. (Bastion said, in a little context message, the last time it crashed, that I should switch to my iPad. Not really, but this is it’s second crash today and it’s obvious it’s liking being alt-tabbed less and less as I go on.)
What I thought was going to be a challenge map appears to be a mini-game. I’m challenged to break the most targets in the fewest shots with the Breaker bow, which pierces targets. The targets have too much health for a normal shot to destroy in one go. As I shoot, the game introduces me to the “power shot” mechanic. Drawing the bow back, the boy and the cursor flashes white which I am informed is the indicaction of a moments-ready power shot which does much more damage. After my performance I’m told that 5 shots or less is what I need to collect the items reward item. These rewards are also part of, apparently, an upgrade system. As I’m prompted to press tab, it shows the items The Boy picked up. Each one is linked to a different weapon. I’m under the impression that this is a mechanic linked to the Armory which I haven’t bought. I decide to get a high score on the Breaker’s challenge and move on to the next core. I’m rewarded with a new special ability, a Breaker Volley, though I’m unsure as to how it works. I assume I just completed content meant for someone who picked the Armory first, but I think a new structure build spot is on the way.