Pentiment: 10 Best Side Characters In The Game
What would Pentiment even be without its excellent cast of characters? If you want to journey through the village of Tassing, you better get ready to talk to people. Constantly. You could even say that talking to people is the name of the game.
Calling any character that graces our screens in Pentiment a side character is doing them a disservice. Each person you meet can shed valuable light on the crimes you're determined to solve. Still, some shine a little brighter than others.
Endris is a constant, dependable presence in Tassing. As the local blacksmith, you can find him working his forge in the commons, living in a state of continual creation. Yet, while he values his work and is clearly proud of his place in the community, his greatest ambition is to settle down and start a family.
Since voice-acting is not a factor in Pentiment, you have no idea what Endris would sound like, but he gives the impression of being soft-spoken and quiet. You can help him realize his dreams if you so choose.
9/10 "Ill" Peter
Few people in Tassing know the old ways anymore – they've been assimilated into their larger Christian mythologies about saints and martyrs, or they've been shunned altogether. "Ill" Peter, or grandpa Peter, if you will, still remembers, though. And he's happy to tell you about it if you ask.
You may think Peter seems curt and uncooperative at first glance, and you wouldn't be wrong. Outside, in the field of the Gertner's farm, you can usually find him hunched over, always two seconds away from a complaint. Still, he reveals the rich history of Tassing and some of its true pagan roots, which gives you a broader understanding of both Tassing and the world around you. He remembers what others have forgotten. Talking to him is never a waste of time.
Babbling and stumbling on her unsteady legs when you first meet her, Ursula is Clara and Peter's daughter. Throughout the decades of the game, you will watch as Ursula grows up and begins to form her own beliefs. Other than Ill Peter, her grandfather, she is one of the few people who know snippets of Tassing's pagan history.
Failing to discourage Ursula from pursuing pagan history through a speech check in the second act leads to the now-adult Ursula being a vital source of information in the third act. Besides, her curiosity persisting in an atmosphere where heresy can get you executed shows her iron will. To her, knowledge is more important than the potential consequences.
7/10 Brother Piero
Our mentor, and our favorite murder suspect, Brother Piero works in the scriptorium alongside us. He offers artistic guidance and support to Andreas. He's a kindly, elderly monk whose hands have begun to shake with overuse and age, and whose work is still beautiful, yet too slow to keep pace with the younger workers and the printing press's advent.
Saving Piero from execution is one of Andreas' primary goals in the first act of Pentiment. You will share in the pressure Andreas is buckling beneath. Piero isn't capable of murder, in mind or body – you and Andreas know this. Accepting his fate might be easy for Piero, but it isn't for us.
A hardworking carpenter, Otto has ideas about the future that are impossible to resist. In the first act, Otto is an acquaintance – he's clearly sweet on Peter's daughter, Eva, and has a bit of a rebellious side. He's a well-liked and friendly presence during your investigation.
In Pentiment's second act, however, you find a slightly different Otto in the streets of Tassing. He was never happy with the Abbot or with the ridiculous cost of mere existence, and he's resolved to do something about it. The older, wiser Otto is rallying the peasants and townsfolk, hoping that strength in numbers will allow them to contest and change the tax laws that leave them hungry.
5/10 Sister Illuminata
While all the characters of Pentiment are stylized, Sister Illuminata stands out. She is all curls and swirls, her soft edges betraying her solid core. Illuminata is one of the first characters you have an in-depth conversation with on the nature of sin and knowledge.
While she is happy in her vocation, Illuminata gives Andreas much to think about – he asks if she chose her life. She bluntly states that there are not many opportunities for women. Andreas came from privilege, both in terms of class and societal expectations. Hence, the revelation that a woman so devoted to her work may not have chosen it confuses him.
4/10 Claus Drucker
You may be an illuminator, but the advent of the printing press is catching up to you with reckless speed. Claus is a printer working to make books accessible to all classes of people. With his wife as the illustrator, Claus feels nothing but pride for his work. Of all the people in town, he is the closest to Andreas in terms of artistic ambitions and personality.
Calling Claus a side character is a little unfair, as his relationship with the central character defines them. He can always be counted on for advice or village context. Open-minded, stern but kind, and wise, Claus is a character that you will never regret spending your few, dwindling hours with.
3/10 Sister Gertrude
There are hidden depths to Sister Gertrude, one of the nuns at the convent. She seems unassuming at first glance – a slight smile is perpetually plastered on her face, and her disposition is cheery and kind. As the convent's resident expert in herbs, Gertrude is often found in the garden, if not in the forest. You may think she is just making tinctures and salves, but Gertrude is far more cunning than that.
If you accept and reciprocate Sister Zelna's kiss in the first act, she will reveal upon your return in the second that Gertrude, through her knowledge of herbs, helped her deal with a consequence of your affair. They never say so outright, but it wouldn't be a shock if this was a service Gertrude provided to the women of Tassing, should they require it. A small, hidden detail shows Gertrude's devotion to the women who surround her, even if it may conflict with her place as a nun.
In the forest, you can find Smokey, a charcoal burner, and Vacslav, his guest. Vacslav is a Romani travelling worker specializing in fixing things. Reacting with surprise if you choose to befriend him, Vacslav resides on the outskirts with Smokey primarily due to the pervasive anti-Romani sentiment he is, unfortunately, accustomed to.
Vacslav is a quiet man who disapproves of Smokey's mealtime gossip and tries to keep to himself. However, if you prod him a bit, he will tell you about his well-thought-out ideas on faith and the Eurachrist, taking a Gnostic view on religion. Unfortunately, Vacslav isn't present for the second act, but his return in the third gives you something to be excited about.
With his wife, Grete, Ulrich runs Tassing's bakery in the town center. Compared to his wife, who has all the energy of the sweetest pastry maker you have ever met, Ulrich seems almost unsuited to his career. Yet, there he is, baking bread every day. More than that, you can discover that he has been giving bread away to the peasants – between taxes and the miller's skyrocketing prices, people are starving.
Ulrich is one of the few townspeople to stand at the peasants' side during the second act's conflict. He never wavers. The other tradespeople may express sympathy, but they think the peasants' plight has nothing to do with them. In contrast, Ulrich sees the hungry, thinning bodies of the farmers around him and decides to support them – whether by giving away bread or standing with Otto.
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