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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some plot spoilers for King’s Quest and Day of the Tentacle; vague murmurs about The Witness

Butch:

Played some stuff. Started Episode 4 of King’s Quest, which, all of a sudden, got really uncute. Started with a sequence where you had to give your son a bottle, change him, then do a thing where you have to walk around a floor littered with toys during the course of a sweet lullaby. If you stumble on a toy, the baby cries. It’s very parental, and very sweet, and I was playing with my sons, who are all having birthdays soon, and getting old, and it brought a tear to my eye, it did.

Then one of the sons gets kidnapped in front of his parents and it’s harrowing and what the fuck.

Game makes you all huggy with your kid. Has a bit where you put your child to sleep and then that what the fuck.

Even little cartoony games are depressing! I do NOT NEED MORE DEPRESSING!

Thank God for Day of the Tentacle. Day of the Tentacle is not depressing. I got a trophy called “Isn’t that…like…cannibalism?” for having Hoagie eat a hoagie.

But even that is too topical. Purple tentacle, en route to world domination, runs for Vice President on the GOP ticket. Seriously.

Fuck the world.

How’s by you?

Feminina:

Played a bit. Still in the treetops. Got to the point where you can open a door from one tree and then try to sprint to get through it before it closes. Haven’t managed that sprint. Looking at this other tree nearby in case its puzzle bridge (I kind of like the way each screen unfolds into a section of the bridge, allowing you to proceed) might let me sprint more effectively.

That’s about it.

Thinking of how you commented that in Rapture you started thinking of the fireball as a companion, I noticed that even though there are really no characters in this game even to the extent that the fireball was a character, I’m still assigning personality to aspects of it…like, “OK, one star isn’t happy unless it’s with a square of the same color, but two stars want to be with each other and don’t mind squares of a different color.”

The way elements in some puzzles will helpfully flash red if you get the line wrong is what makes them seem almost possessed of consciousness, I think.

“Oh, sorry, you didn’t like that one. Let’s try…”

I don’t know if I’d be doing this if I had companions of a more traditional sort. Or even if I had a recognizable personality of my own as a PC.

Butch:

Ah, yes. That part. I remember that part. Which is near the burned place I never got to.

That’s interesting that you want characters. I felt the opposite, that the game was oppressive in forcing loneliness upon you. Maybe you feel the same and are trying to fill the void.

But then….there IS a reference to a person/character: the title. There’s much to ponder on the topic of who/what is The Witness. And, for that matter, what is the witness witnessing.

This is the second game in a row we’ve pondered that had a religious title (if we accept that one reading of witness is the holy rolling “Can I get a witness?” reading) that could be read a lot of ways.

Feminina:

Oh, I got into the burnt part. It was fantastic. It had a big sign that said “for all the answers you have been seeking, draw a straight line here.”

I didn’t bother. Seemed trite, somehow.

Ha, just kidding. I didn’t get to the burnt part.

I wouldn’t honestly describe it as me WANTING characters. I’m not conscious of a specific desire for them–I’m playing along in the game just fine without. It’s more that I find myself inventing sort of pseudo-characters without really even thinking about it.

Don’t judge me for how I cope with loneliness, man!

And yeah, “the witness” to what, indeed? We didn’t see whatever happened…so we’re just bearing witness to the aftermath? To whatever was left behind by…whatever? Or are we out gathering information to present later as a witness in some sort of vast, incomprehensible trial?

“Yes, your honor, I saw the little stone dog on the plush pillow. It was creepy.”

Butch:

I don’t judge. Much.

Ah, see, you jumped right to the conclusion that we, the player, are the witness. I’m not so sure that’s established. We’re certainly used to games focusing on nothing but the player. There was no doubt that we were The Witcher, say. But in a game like this, I’m not jumping to any conclusions.

The dog WAS creepy, man. Now who’s being judgy?

Feminina:

Hm…so the Witness might be some other entity in the game, and we’re just…puttering around? Maybe it’s whoever put up all these screens.

Or, I suppose, the entire game world could be the witness, in the sense of something that provides testimony–in its own weird way–about…something. Maybe we’re the one interrogating the witness, so to speak?

Butch:

You’re also going with the legal definition of witness. I still think it’s more of a “bear witness” deal. Funny, as I’m the lawyer.

See, I haven’t unlocked four of what I am assuming are six videos under the windmill. There might be some answer in there.

Speaking of which….that’s the only other place we’ve seen technology that actually works. The video room there is very functional, and the windmill is turning. It’s interesting the windmill is turning. Nothing else seems to work.

Or, I should say, nothing is working without our input. I guess there are some lifts and stuff that go when we hit a switch. Even the lasers need us to turn them on.

Or wait…. did we have to turn the windmill on? Maybe we did. Been a while.

Well….. hmm. You haven’t stumbled into a jungle yet, have you? Big bamboo forest?

Feminina:

Yeah, we had to turn the windmill on. I solved a puzzle to get one of the cables to light up that led up to the top of it.

Which is interesting given that the whole point of a windmill is kind of that it doesn’t run on internal power…but then, there isn’t much wind. The trees ripple a bit, like breeze in the leaves, but that’s about all. I suppose if you want it to turn, you have to give it another source of power. Now, WHY do you want it to turn? Decoration?

I cannot say.

I was kind of going with both senses of ‘witness.’ Like, the landscape has borne witness to whatever, and then we’re investigating to determine what that is.

Butch:

Hmm. I like.

I do like titles that lead to interpretation.

I was going to say logos, too, but….

But then, have you noticed that, if you go to the options screen (hit OPTIONS) it looks as if you’re closing your eyes? And the background looks like your eyes look if you close them and look at a dim light, but the shapes are in the pattern?

Jr. noticed that.

Feminina:

Interesting. I had not noticed that! (Because why would I go to the options screen? Are there options I should care about?)

I did notice that the different shapes gently appear and fade on the load screen, but that’s pretty obvious.

Butch:

No. Just some volume things. I kept hitting it because I’m still not used to just leaving games via the PS button. I instinctively “exit to main menu,” even when you don’t have to. Which is, like, always, right?

Feminina:

Pretty much. I have gotten into the opposite habit and almost always leave by hitting the PS button. And then if I’m playing Gone Home and didn’t save, I’m screwed.

Otherwise, doesn’t seem to matter much 99% of the time.

Butch:

It’s my ex, man. She still has her hooks in. Nothing gets to a PC gamer like protecting saves. Always. Check. The saves.

On another note, I leave you with this:

Some Fans Already Want To Bang Mass Effect: Andromeda’s New Alien

And by “Some fans” they mean you.

Feminina:

Awww…they care about me!

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