Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer belts out Dolly Parton tribute to the ‘Ultimate’ Pillars of Eternity 2 player

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In 2019, Obsidian added a “Final God Challenge” to its then-year-old RPG Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, called The Ultimate, that made the game more difficult to complete—so hard, in fact, that The studio promised to engrave. The names of the first 12 people to complete it on plaques hanging in its offices. As is often the case, players began hitting the nearly impossible challenge in short order, and by early 2021, 11 of the 12 slots on the plaque were filled.

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All 11 players on the plaque complete the challenge using one or both of the Priest of Scion or Blood Mage subclasses, each of which offered a powerful survival advantage within the challenging rigor of The Ultimate. So in 2011, design director Josh Sawyer stepped up the ante: he promised to dedicate a performance of Dolly Parton’s great I’ll Always Love You in person to claiming last place if he did any of those subsections. Did this without using .

Once again, dedicated players exceeded expectations, and it took just one month for someone to claim mission completion: Sawyer issued the challenge on February 2, and a submission was made on March 2. Confirmation that the task had indeed been achieved came a few weeks later.


And now, finally, we have the promised performance.

The YouTube listing states, “This tribute is in honor of Ricardo “Pale Shelter” Novello, the twelfth person to complete Deadfire’s The Ultimate Challenge, and the unprecedented multi-class of Troubadour chanter/Saiyan cipher to do so. To do that with build.” Thanks to our Deadfire community. You are all the best community we could have asked for.”

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I don’t know why it took so long to record and share the video, but damn, it’s not bad, is it? It’s not up to the queen of the country herself, but it’s far from a flaming train wreck. Sawyer acquits himself admirably, and he totally rocks those thick blonde hair, too.

It turns out that this isn’t actually Josh Sawyer’s first crack at crooning: He also has several performance credits on the Fallout: New Vegas soundtrack. “My first choice was to sing songs for use in New Vegas,” she Explained in 2019, “We just had an emergency where the resolution of the talent pool [a Fallout: New Vegas quest] Songs were needed and we had little choice. I expected very few people to ever listen to them.

“Since the talent pool is a long quest and you have to return to the top at a specific time of day after completing the quest to hear the songs, most people didn’t know they existed. That changed when Bethesda launched the talent pool Made it to. Ultimate Edition Trailer Music. And then put all the songs on Spotify at some point.”

I think it’s good too.

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