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Some spoilers for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Butch:

Well, that took a sinister turn, didn’t it?

Played up to the thing on the bridge, so not much. Here’s what I saw:

The CREEPYASSED scene with the crying woman and “Neil took the kids upstairs” and the bloody tissues and the drawing for Mommy. Fuck that. I hate creepy kid drawings. We were just talking about that sort of thing. Fuck that.

But no bodies. Hmm.

Explored the pub. Did you notice that there was a cigarette still burning? That was interesting. Does that mean people just poofed away? Does that mean that the bleeding people were bad and the poof people were good? What about us, then?

Heard the priest tell Collins to come to church. Heard her say she wouldn’t fit in.

Got to the general store. Saw the pattern the paint made, and how “It’s manifesting everywhere!” Weird.

Then the bridge bit, then stopped.

Damn sinister. I must admit, I was not expecting damn sinister.

Feminina:

Yes, creepy and damn sinister does enter into it.

And in such a lovely setting! It’s quite effective.

I agree, the bit with Neil taking the kids upstairs, “and none of them have come back down,” or whatever…shiver. We were just talking about kids! And I appreciate that they acknowledge the existence of kids, there would be kids in a village so they should be accounted for, but it’s hard to deal with bad things happening to them.

Although at least they might have been Raptured instead of dying? Maybe they’re in heaven now, with all the choirs of angels? Let’s keep telling ourselves that. Even if it’s looking like Heaven is more creepy and sinister than we thought.

This game is good, though. I’m into it. It’s creepy, and melancholy, and…OK, I’ve said before that usually I like to read documents instead of listen to them, because I’m impatient and I read faster than people talk, but in this case, I’m glad I can’t just read it. The voice acting really does good work here. (As it must since we can’t see any faces.) There are some bits later on, the expression in peoples’ voices…man. They really get across the confusion and worry and fear of…whatever this is.

It’s interesting that radios are so prominently featured in the game as a means of giving you information, and that the heavy reliance on voice acting almost makes the story a radio drama. You’re just walking around finding the pieces of an old-time radio serial!

Voices and light. Those are key here.

Butch:

Yes, we were just talking about kids! And this didn’t look good. I mean, the bloody tissue next to the drawing? And she talked of headaches. That doesn’t sound pleasant at all.

But well, again, no bodies. Isn’t that how the rapture is supposed to work? Like, you don’t die and your soul goes away, it’s you just disappear. I think. Like, one day we’re all “Where’s Mike Pence?” and that’s that.

So maybe they’re ok…..

The worry and fear of whatever, indeed. I can’t even figure out if these barriers are designed to keep things out or in. On one hand, “quarantine” and the packed bags and Amanda telling Niel that they tried to go but the roads were blocked suggests they want out and can’t get out. However, the general store thing “It’s coming over the phone lines! It’s manifesting everywhere!” might imply that the threat is from away, coming IN. Over the phone lines suggests from far away. Which also adds to the confusion. Usually, in end of the world games, there’s a bad place to be (out in the wild with the virus/mutants/bombs/whatever) and a good place to be (vault, safe zone, etc.). Here, even THAT’S not clear.

Voice acting can make or break a game. This one they’re getting right.

It is kind of a radio serial. Even when there’s “people.” They’re vague enough that you have to really picture what they’re doing/expressing, like a radio drama.

On that….I think it’s kinda cool that every time that happens there’s a sense of disorientation in you can’t always tell where the “people” are. Sometimes, they’re all around you. I can’t tell if, sometimes, the ghostly image appears exactly where you’re standing, as if it IS you.

Voices and light, indeed. Which is going to be metaphor.

Feminina:

That IS the Rapture for you. The saved drawn bodily to Heaven, the damned left languishing on Earth to endure the Tribulation. The saved presumably includes children as innocents, although this obviously depends on theology…a sterner faith says we’re all born sinners, predestination, etc., so plenty of children would also languish. Although apparently not in this valley.

And there’s a rub, you know…EVERYBODY’s gone to the Rapture here, which makes you think maybe it’s not actually the Rapture, at least not as commonly conceived. Because surely not everybody would have been saved, right? As popularly imagined, the Rapture takes a select few, and leaves the rest of us to loot their stuff. (At least, that’s my game plan.) Either everyone in this valley was especially good (possibly everyone except us), or…there’s something else going on here.

I also note that in many popular depictions the Raptured don’t even take their clothes with them, but we don’t see any piles of empty clothes here.

Not that this couldn’t be the Rapture but it turns out it doesn’t entirely match the popular expectations, because many and many a good story includes a twist on an old idea, but still…makes one wonder.

Yes!–to the disorientation when you first come across a light/memory. I frequently have to look around to see where the ‘speaker’ is. And yeah, sometimes they could actually be in the same place I’m standing–and it’s entirely possible I AM one of those people, so is that meaningful? Or coincidence? Or intentional but only to make me wonder?

Butch:

I tell ya, I looked at the bus station map, and there’s a church in this area. I want to get to the church. I think there’s something in the church.

The people who will be saved won’t have much good loot. Except shotgun shells. They might come in handy. (Maybe we shouldn’t blog that).

What? Really? Raptured without clothes? That would be awkward, wouldn’t it?

How do you know so much about this?

I’m still wondering. It’s effective, though. Puts you right in the middle of the action. Literally.

“Memory” huh? You’re going down that road? If these are memories, whose? Ours? Are we dead? If you know, don’t spoil.

Feminina:

I don’t know, dude, I just…heard some things…about the Rapture…totally not staking out my most godly neighbors with the plan of raiding their house as soon as they vanish…

I think a movie review of Left Behind mentioned that the clothes are left? A detail that sticks in the mind, I guess.

If video games teach us anything, it’s that EVERYONE has a lot of ammunition that you can loot after an apocalyptic event. I’m pretty sure I must have some in my house without even knowing it. The ammo-gnomes sneak in and hide it in file cabinets and stuff when you’re not looking. Along with sandwiches and Fancy Lad snack cakes.

Maybe ‘recordings’ is a better word than ‘memories,’ because you’re right: whose memories would they be? Us as the PC who happened to actually observe all these moments and we’re now having our memory jogged by revisiting the sites where we overheard them? Feels like a stretch.

I think I used ‘memory’ because I was going with a sort of “memories held forever in the mind of god” idea, but since I’m also doubting that this is actually the Rapture, that’s kind of self-contradictory.

In any case, it’s purely speculation at this point, not anything I’ve had confirmed. Speculate away on your alternative theories! I have a theory right now that is a bit spoilery, but remind me when you get to…a tractor…

Butch:

A tractor. Check.

You read a review of that movie? You have too much free time.

Ammo gnome is now a thing. I love the ammo gnome.

Also explains why I have so many mugs.

Feminina:

Yes! The ammo gnome also brings mugs! Lots and lots of mugs. Sometimes we keep ammo in our mugs.

I read a lot of movie reviews back in the day. Back when I saw movies. I mean, I was never planning to see that one, but I used to enjoy reading reviews just in general, to see what movies exist and what people think about them.

Long ago, I had that kind of time.

Butch:

Long ago, before video games.

And kids. Them, too.

And wine. And pie.

Feminina:

The time before wine and pie hardly bears mentioning. Anything I did in those dark years is better forgotten.

But before kids and video games, yes, indeed that was a golden age for movie-watching.

My grandmother watches a lot of movies. Maybe when I’m 89, I’ll have time again. In between video games, of course.

Butch:

Wine. I need wine. This is a wine day. Or a scotch day. But I’m low on scotch, and if I drink it, then I’ll need more scotch, which will add to my to do list, which will make me want more scotch.

Feminina:

Wine it is, then! I’m glad there’s a good answer to this problem.

Wine is often a good answer to a problem.

Not the problem of “why am I not playing a video game right now,” or “what the heck is going on in this video game I’m playing,” but many other problems.

Butch:

I want to be playing a video game right now.

Instead I am on hold because of a billing issue, which is perhaps the opposite of playing a game.

I’m liking this game, I am, but some days you just want to blow motherfuckers up with grenade arrows. This is one of those days. And this game lacks the ability to blow motherfuckers up with grenade arrows.

Even the ammo gnome seems to have skipped town.

Feminina:

It’s true!

The ONE postapocalyptic game where you don’t find ammunition squirreled away in every other desk drawer, and you had to be playing it today.

Bad luck, man.

Butch:

In defense of the gnome (what a wonderful phrase), we can’t open a lot of drawers and cabinets. There’s probably boxes and boxes of shells and grenades up in there. Just….out….of…..reach……

Feminina:

Good point. The gnome probably stocked all the usual places just fine, it’s just that the game won’t let us loot.

Yes. That is the problem. Lack of loot.

I mean, I was just saying earlier that I TOTALLY am not stalking the godly in hopes of looting their possessions (whether or not this includes the clothes they were wearing when Raptured), but if I WERE, this games goes and throws a wrench in the whole plan by implying that there will be no looting in the afterlife. Or the afterRapture, since I guess if we’re still here after the Rapture we’re presumably not dead.

Unless we are and we’re a ghost. I don’t know! There’s no way to know!

Butch:

Trust the gnome.

T SHIRT!

“Yes. That is the problem. Lack of loot.”

Another T SHIRT! Twofer!

I think that’s just a gameplay element, though. I’m sure the real rapture will be played in an engine with destructible environments.

This not knowing who we are is bothering you, isn’t it?

Feminina:

Vote Gnome.

Hmm…I don’t know if it’s BOTHERING me, exactly, but it’s certainly ENGAGING me. It seems like one of the primary mysteries of the thing, so I keep turning it around and around.

Are we dead? Are we alive and part of a Post-Rapture Investigative Team collecting evidence for the eventual 10,000-page governmental report that will be produced to explain everything? Are we one of those people whose voices we keep hearing?

Inquiring minds.

If only I could be playing it right now so I could be closer to finding out.

Butch:

“Vote gnome” is the best shirt we’ve created to date.

Too bad we thought of it eight months too late.

Feminina:

Let us all bow our heads in silent contemplation of our approaching doom.

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