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Spoilers for Life is Strange, episode 3, and (extremely vaguely) for the Witcher 3 expansion Blood and Wine

Butch:

We’re no longer playing the same game.

Played about 45 minutes of episode three. Got to where Chloe opened the door to Blackwell.

The whole time, I mean the WHOLE time, was Max waxing eloquent about how everyone thinks she’s a hero, people being nice to Kate, etc. Lots of “I’m so glad she’s alive! You saved her!” And max coming to grips with having something to be proud of.

What on EARTH was it in your game? I mean, every fucking line of dialogue I had was about Kate being alive.

Feminina:

Well, I had lots of lines about how sad and shocking it was that Kate was dead, and Max feeling bad that she couldn’t save her. Sort of “what good are these powers anyway?” Not really blaming herself, because she tried, but being traumatized that Kate jumped right in front of her, and sorry she couldn’t help.

The door is blocked off in the building where Kate jumped, and there’s one of those pop-up memorials where people leave flowers and candles and pictures of her, like people do for tragic deaths. It was rather moving.

Max had the option to sit on a bench nearby and think. But no need to come to grips with being a hero, that’s for sure. I mean, she got some “good for you for trying” comments, but her general sense was of loss and failure.

So yeah, different game there. I think probably once you get to poking around in the school with Chloe it will go back to being the same story, though. They can’t spend ALL their time talking about Kate.

Butch:

Yeah, has to. I’m already surprised at how different it is. Usually, you make a choice, four or five lines of dialog change, and you’re back on the same path. 45 damn minutes? Impressive.

I’m enjoying this. And I’m glad it is episodic (though I’m playing it at once). Having these episode breaks, redoing the title sequence, give it more narrative definition than just quests ending it long cutscenes or chapter headings in uncharted. It works. Even if you binge watch. Play. Whatever.

Feminina:

I’m intrigued now…this suggests that there could be some significant differences later on based on our other choices, like telling on Nathan or not, taking Frank’s gun or not, etc.

I look forward to hearing more of your adventures and how they are unlike my adventures.

Also, I played some more Witcher. Had a fling with that dark-haired lady I screencapped for you, who is…oh, you’re not going to play it anyway, so let’s just say she’s the duchess’ conniving, exiled sister and the former lover of the murderous high vampire who’s a good friend of my good friend the somewhat less murderous high vampire.

She deceived the murderous vampire and he’s gone all extra-murdery and I have to fight him, which is where I left off. I suppose I knew I’d have to fight him eventually. If there’s a murderous high vampire on the mantelpiece in the first act, and all that.

There’s theme! All about whether or not people (including high vampires) are just naturally bad, or whether they’re bad because other people treat them badly and/or treat them as if they are bad. Is the sister truly evil? If so, was she always, or did being shunned, called evil, mistreated and exiled make her that way?

Does having committed all those murders make the vampire bad, when he was doing it to save his beloved, and when (it turns out) the victims weren’t entirely blameless characters? (Obviously, people totally deserve to be brutally murdered by vampires if they aren’t ENTIRELY blameless. It’s harsh, but fair.)

Butch:

God DAMN it why does the excellent expansion I’ll never have time to play have to be so excellent?

Also, pretty awesome of cdpr to end Geralt’s story exploring those themes on such a personal level. Sure, these games have talked about good and evil on grand political scales, but each of these games got more and more about people. A theme arc that spans three games and two expansions us pretty damn amazing.

Told you you’d love some witcher.

I would’ve stuck with my PC ex had CDPR avoided consoles.

Feminina:

If it helps, the ‘romance’ was pretty tacked on. At least they were honest about it, though. It was basically “OK, do you want a sex scene, or not?” (Well…yeah…I mean, if you did all that animation already and everything…)

Probably so your happily partnered Geralt would either not be tempted, or would be able to rationalize it as “not REALLY cheating, I mean, we’re still in a book of fairy tales so it’s not like it actually COUNTS…”

My tragically unpartnered Geralt was more “yeah, OK, what have I got to lose? NOTHING.”

Butch:

Now how would Mr. O’ take it if he knew you were still clinging to the age old “I was in a fairy tale” excuse?

Feminina:

Eye-rolling. Lots of eye-rolling. Or so I assume.

(It WAS a fairy tale! She was wearing Red Riding Hood’s cape, for heaven’s sake!)

Butch:

Hey man, if that’s your thing. Not judging

Wait…… Red riding hood? Doing the white WOLF?

CDPR you so silly.

Feminina:

Well, she’s not actually Red Riding Hood, she was just wearing the cape. Which needn’t make that much difference to your point…CDPR can be a bit consciously clever that way.

It’s actually kind of interesting, how this “book of fairy tales” reflects on the witcher’s actual world. Because, I mean, we MET a version of Red Riding Hood in the main game, and she was a werewolf, and it was a twist on the classic tale, and all that. Right?

At the time I was thinking of it as a twist on OUR classic tale, not a twist on GERALT’S classic tale, but apparently that story is also classic in witcher-world, which makes the twist…I’m not sure what. Intentional on the part of ‘Red’ the werewolf? Coincidental? Life imitating art because of some sort of fairy-tale magic that works on that world?

I mean, I read it as a kind of “here’s the reality behind the Red Riding Hood story” thing when we met the gang of werewolves, but if the story in that world is classic and therefore older than the gang of werewolves…

I don’t know, but it’s a little confusing. I guess we probably just have to go with “it was intentional because Red thought it was funny,” but what about the other fairy tale references in the game? (I can’t think of them right now, but I swear we stumbled across a few more…and there were a LOT of them in the book of short stories I read.)

What is the relationship of the witcher’s story to other stories!? I must puzzle it out!!!

Ouch, now my brain is tired. You go play something and talk about it.

Butch:

Ok, I did! Hooray for the days Baby McP goes to nana’s!

Swam with Chloe. Kissed Chloe. Because one does.

This episode sure is about them, isn’t it? In a good way. They change, here. Sure they’re trying to save others, but they’re really saving themselves. The pool scene was great. They wrote the hell out of this game, especially considering the extent to which its non linear.

Caught the catcher reference. Saw the red hat. “Only a total loser would wear a hat like that”.

Self aware game is self aware.

Also: Damn.

So I took a whole mess of compressed air and shit it into the air intakes of the ps4. Turned it back on, fired up lis, fan so quiet I had to put my ear right next to it cuz I was worried it wasn’t on.

Is that how yours “sounds?” Like, practically silent?

Feminina:

Yes! It makes a whirring noise when it’s loading a disk, but otherwise you really wouldn’t even know it was on.

Nice! You fixed it! I guess now you don’t need a Pro…hahahahaha.

I really liked the swimming pool bit. Character development, friendship development, and also some good spookiness. Hiding in the locker rooms trying not to get caught was really suspenseful!

Of course you kissed Chloe. Of course I also kissed Chloe. I mean…we don’t NOT kiss people. That would be a difference no one could expect.

I don’t remember Catcher’s red hat…self aware game is more aware than I am. I only read that book a couple of years ago, too, but then, I read a couple of books a week, so they naturally start to blur after a while.

Butch:

Show off. Literate show off.

I don’t need a pro

I WANT a pro.

But probably what that means was a dirty heat sink. Which means it’s only fixed until it gets dirty again. Unless I dust. Which I’m unlikely to do.

Feminina:

Hey, I’m showing off one thing (my extensive reading) while also confessing to another thing (my inability to recall details of my extensive reading).

So it evens out to be totally neutral, I think is how that works.

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