It’s a beautiful day in the cult. My benevolence of followers is worshiping at my shrine, their hearts full of faith after witnessing my beautiful marriage to a pig named Pano, just days after my first marriage to a donkey, also named Pano. They smile as they toil away, chopping wood and consecrating it into wooden boards. It is time for me to make the rounds, blessing my followers and extorting them for tithes.
In Cult of the Lamb, I play as an adorable lamb given a second lease on life. A dark god rescued me from the clutches of death. In exchange, I will build a cult in their honor. I set to work dungeon crawling to gather recourses and recruit cult members — all of whom are humanoid animals, just like me. I build facilities, hold sermons and rituals, and grow their loyalty through individual interactions. I approach Thormermer the fox as he prays, and select “extort tithes.” But when I talk to Hugrear the dog, I notice I have the option to “pet dog,” so of course I do.
It’s a cute little Easter egg that’s popular in video games. There’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to the pressing question of whether you can pet dogs in various titles. But Cult of the Lamb’s version is a little different, as all of your followers are animals of similar shape and attitude, and you can’t pet any of those. Sucks for them, I guess.
It also fits into the game’s weird, devilish sense of humor that often pairs incredibly fucked-up things — like ritual sacrifice and cannibalism — with intensely adorable features like frog acolytes, cute chats, and a dedicated “baa” button. (Yes, you can hit a button and baa anytime, just like Stray’s meow button.) I’ll be sure to pet the dog in between making my spouse shit sandwiches.