Cult of The Lamb’s first hour had me treading carefully around the harsh reality of being a cult leader. I was a good little lamb, eager to feed my followers and ensure they had a nice place to sleep when retiring from a day of their regular duties. Everyone was happy.
Turns out I don’t quite understand the appeal of a cult. These spaces are meant to be dark, oppressive, manipulative places where the vulnerable are pulled in by leaders capable of exerting full control over them. And here I was thinking of how to best construct my developing camp so all of my furry creatures were having a great time.
This passive approach didn’t last long. The necessities of remaining on top and keeping the faith meant I had to get nasty. I had to start sacrificing people to a higher being and resort to cannibalism to stop potential dissenters from mugging me off because I spent too long caring about myself. This must be how Republicans and Tories feel on the regular. All those beneath me are merely beings I need to tolerate as I work towards an ultimate goal, one that in the end will see me discard them altogether as I take this world and keep it all to myself.
Yep, that definitely sounds very Tory – except I’m cute, cuddly, and capable of summoning evil horrors from the great beyond to do my bidding. Certain members of the Conservative party are likely capable of that last one, but my humble little farm animal was so much more powerful, and it took me a while to embrace his position and how I needed to treat my villages as little more than cattle if I wanted to achieve success. Cult of the Lamb is so brilliant because it understands the cutesy appeal of games like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, but subverts their cuddly aesthetic into something wonderfully gruesome.
The first few hours make each indoctrination feel like an event. I can change the appearance of my new pawns, even give them names, so their lingering identity has meaning beyond the devotion I demand of them. I began by naming them after people I knew, or crude jokes and memes. But soon I stopped caring, knowing that anyone could be sacrificed if they dared speak up against me or became the object of a sudden quest.
All those welcomed into the fold of the ‘Catradora Cult’ are never considered permanent residents, but visitors abiding by the whims of a higher power that even I can’t predict. I put on a false smile as they rush towards me with glee, begging for me to accept a side mission or make their fellow cultists resort to cannibalism for a laugh. Cult of the Lamb gradually instils this indifference as the game becomes more complicated, its cutesy aesthetic fading away as I focus on becoming the most powerful cult leader in existence. My followers mean everything and nothing to me because I know how disposable they all are. I had become a monster, and I was loving it.
It is still early days on my satanic homestead though, and I can only imagine things will get so much worse as I become more powerful and thus need to demand more of my followers in order to keep the ball rolling. I have yet to develop facilities like prisons and toilets, while the act of gathering specific resources is still something I’m grappling with. But I already know that playing the bad guy is more than necessary if I want to have it all. I could run around the place trying to please everyone, yet being equally careless and forcing my followers to ignore their basic needs and instead devote themselves to absolute faith is the most effective way forward. Those that teeter on the verge of death can be sacrificed, or I can just discard their corpses into a mass grave before going about my business.
Mary had a little lamb, and it enlisted her gullible ass into a satanic cult before offering her up to the great beyond. Not since Hades has this genre managed to take hold of me so effectively, and it’s all because I’m able to indulge in a darker side I didn’t even know I had. The cult of Catradora is going strong, and I’m currently accepting new applications. We have sleeping bags made of leaves, mandatory labour, and daily prayer. What’s not to love?
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