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Spoilers for the “Navajo” chapter in Beyond: Two Souls

Butch:

I got absolutely nothing. I’m tired. Day chock full of camp stuff, chores, gardening, rearranging furniture, all that stuff.

I REALLY want to play. Like REEEEEEALLY.

But I haven’t.

Sigh.

Try not to play three or four games I want to play.

I liked being ahead of you better.

Feminina:

You complained constantly about being ahead of me!

But I know what the real problem is: the real problem is, you’re not playing. Ahead or behind, as long as we’re playing we have stuff to talk about and don’t go (more) insane.

I probably won’t finish three or four games, but I make no promises about not playing the Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit or whatever it’s called, that we were talking about.

Because free. Plus, the Life is Strange universe or whatever. And also, free.

Butch:

I know I complained! But I was wrong! I take it all back!

You’re finished, aren’t you?

If you are, am I anywhere near close?

Feminina:

You’re…halfway-ish? Yeah. That feels about right. But remember, many of the chapters are short.

You’re gonna love it, as soon as you get a chance to play.

Butch:

Fuck it. I just put my foot down. Everyone’s done their hobbies today but me. I sent Mrs. McP out to garden with Meatball. I’m gonna play.

Feminina:

That’s the spirit! You need your hobby too!

Just refer them to our increasingly insane non-playing posts to convince them.

Butch:

Short chapters my ass.

Played an hour and a half, STILL didn’t finish Navajo.

You fucked it all up and missed 63% of it, didn’t you?

You finished this cuz you played 12% of it.

I’m playing! I am!

Feminina:

I said SOME of them are short! Navajo is not one of them. It’s pretty interesting, though, right? Genuine creepiness in there. And there’s this sort of inevitability that is very interesting, that first night when I was all “no, I’m totally going to do as my generous, weird hosts advise and stay in my room during this creepiness,” but I couldn’t. You have to go explore! Or at least, once you leave the room you can’t get back in, and have to go explore, right? I guess maybe if you never left at all, enough time would eventually pass that it became morning, and then you’d just leave, and then you’d get 18 undiscovered paths.

I didn’t do that, though. I got up and poked around, even though it was obviously a bad idea (except, was it? because Jodie IS uniquely placed to investigate this weirdness).

Anyway, some interesting stuff there. You’ll love it once you finish the chapter.

Also, it’s not MY fault you obsessively follow every path that leads to murdering and destruction of property, while I efficiently get caught and take the shorter, less deadly way to the end of the chapter.

Am I forcing you to succeed at those QTEs? I am not.

Butch:

Huh? I couldn’t get out the first night. I went to bed. Then I did all the farm helping and stuff, and then back to bed and then shit happened. ALL that shit happened.

And then there was horseback riding, and tracking down all the stuff in the story, and relics, and ritual, and bumping into the “crown” dude, and partial nudity (twice), and all that. And sending the thing back from whence it came. And now I’m after that.

Why? What did you get?

This didn’t seem to need QTE success! I got my butt kicked a couple of times! I think I missed a whole burning teepee dream sequence!

Feminina:

Oooh, NOW who’s leaving paths undiscovered?! Ha.

That’s funny, I don’t know what I did the first night that was different. Maybe I didn’t go to bed at all? I heard weird noises, and I sent Aiden poking around the nearby bedrooms, and then I think he unlocked the door for me and I wandered out. And then it seemed like I couldn’t get back into my room, so I figured that was just the way the story went. I went and knocked on the other bedroom doors, and they all yelled “go back to bed you idiot!” (more or less), but I went and opened the front door instead (like an idiot), and saw an eerie, ghostly figure in a mask.

Then the dad came running out and slammed the door and said “no, seriously, go the hell back to bed” (more or less) and so I did. And had an eerie dream sequence about the masked figure.

Did you not do that? That was pretty much it…then I woke up, did the work, etc.

I liked the way the masked figure seems sinister at first, but then turns out to be a helpful spirit rather than a harmful one. Because man, he (I think it was a he) was creepy at first. Opening the door on him in the middle of the night after skulking around in that house where everyone else was hiding, and my every nerve was saying “this is such a bad idea!” was SPOOKY. Nicely done scene.

And then eventually we learn that he’s trying to right this ancient wrong (although I was also pretty sympathetic to the reasons the ancient wrong got started).

I did kind of feel there was a fair bit of ‘white savior’ there with the whole “now I, a white stranger who knows nothing of this place or your culture, will come along and solve your problems,” but I think it could have been worse…at least she had a good reason to be able to help. “Oh, your problem is a ghost, I know ghosts in a way that most people do not” works better given her entire previous history of being the one person we see dealing with ghosts, and I felt that the story did try to be respectful of the native characters and culture (though someone actually of that culture might feel differently, I don’t know).

I did like that you needed Aiden to be the fifth ‘person’ in the ceremony. It was kind of cool to have him involved that way.

Did you save the dad? I didn’t save the dad. It was one of those urgent-feeling moments when I thought “I have to do this ceremony NOW NOW NOW I’ll save him later!!!!” and then after the fact I thought “great, he’s dead and I’m sure nothing would have happened if I’d paused to heal him.” This game does artificial urgency well.

Thinking it over, I bet maybe you just got all the same stuff I did, only I got some the first night and you didn’t get it until the second night?

Butch:

I poked around, too! I tried to possess people! I couldn’t figure out how to open my door! I guess I didn’t notice the blue dot. Ah, well. So I went to bed (after changing. Good to know that even homeless people have nice bras) and did a QTE to pull a pillow over my head.

Shit.

Damn. Missed the dream. Sigh.

I got a lot the second night.

Though thinking on it, I think I must’ve gotten the same dream. I DID have a weird dream that first night, which is where I first met the weird masked dude.

Though did you get more of the burning teepee thing? Cuz I started, he was all “crown,” and then a horse came and I blew a QTE and it ended. Did you make the QTE?

Yeah, that was a nice twist with the spirit. I saw him in the shower, which was also rather startling. Did you channel the dead sheep? Cuz that was creepy, too.

Well, an ancient very serious problem. An ancient fuck up.

I never asked “Navajo?” cuz I didn’t want to pry. But yeah, really, when you know ghosts, does it really matter if you’re white?

I didn’t feel the “white savior” but I did feel the trope of “If you want some really mystical shit, do the Native American thing. Preferably with an older, deep voiced dude, a mute, or both.” Hang up some dreamcatchers, have a deep voiced guy with a grey pony tail, boom. Mystical shit.

Kinda cliche. Especially when there’s no Native Americans in the story to that point. Just “We need mystical shit….uh…she’s all of the sudden in the desert! So…Navajos! Yeah….”

Yeah. “We need another SOUL….hint hint…..”

Nope. Blew it saving the dad. Didn’t save grandma, either. Did you? Could you?

Feminina:

I don’t think you could save grandma, but I’m pretty sure we could have saved the dad. But it really felt like there wasn’t time, didn’t it? The game does urgency well.

Mystical deep voiced dude with a gray ponytail! So true. So tropey. Although I had less of a problem with it in this case because she’s been running into spirits her entire life, so it felt more like “let’s do a different TAKE on the spirits,” than “hey, we need some mystical spirits!” She’s been encountering spirits in the lab setting, so to speak, and running loose on the streets, but maybe it’s time to meet them in another environment. I was basically OK with it.

It was also interesting that these traditional shamans were able to accomplish, via rituals and amulets or whatever, this portal to the infraworld that it’s taken science until now (or whenever this takes place–there was a recent year mentioned in there somewhere, so we could count backwards, but I can’t be bothered) to figure out the same thing. It emphasizes the importance of individual talent/aptitude and helps explain why Jodie is so important…a person can either do this or they can’t, it seems (with some genetic trait involved, since the grandmother was a descendent of one of the shamans), and Jodie is unusually good at it.

It does kind of go back to the ‘mystic natives’ thing you mentioned, that this is where she learns about other people who had some connection to the other world. Hm.

An interesting chapter, all in all.

Butch:

It does do urgency well. And showing you the wood and the gas can and all. Like “There it is! Get it! Get it now!” Makes me wonder what I missed just riding the horse directly to the next thing.

Yeah, I guess it was OK, but it was so random. I saw “Navajo” as a chapter, and thought it would be a code name or something but no. Just “and now we’ve left winter and somehow gotten to the desert cuz we need some grey haired ponytailed Native Americans cuz mystical.” If the game took place in New Mexico, ok. But it doesn’t. Or didn’t.

As for the family line, well, grandma was a baby, so, what, 80, 90 years ago this happened?

But that, too, is a bit of a trope. (cue old Native American voice): “They didn’t respect our ways. Thought we were simple people. But we knew. Let me show you….” ***sprinkles weird dust*** Chants something that sounds like “Hi…hi ya…a Heee ya…..” Dream sequence. You wake up. “The white man….they never took the time to understand.” Everyone nods sagely.

Etc.

It was an interesting chapter. Not done, though. I’m holding a blanket. There’s something to channel. Almost done.

By the way, it bears noting re: Native Americans that David Cage, the director and main creative mind of this game (he is VERY controlling) is French, not American, so maybe the subtleties of Native culture are lost on him, and we can excuse some tropeyness.

Maybe.

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