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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for What Remains of Edith Finch

Butch:

Well, we wanted something different after RDR2. This is certainly different.

Very certainly different.

In a good way! I’m into it! It certainly will lead to bloggage.

But, with the whole non linearness of it, we’ll have to be extra careful regarding spoilers. And by we I mean you, as you are likely way ahead of me, as, while I played, I didn’t play that much.

Specifically, I got to the house, explored the downstairs, explored the upstairs in terms of peering into peepholes, did NOT go up the stairs to the third floor, but did go into Molly’s room and did her story.

While I’m pretty certain you’ve done at least that, I’ll hold off for confirmation before discussing.

I will say that I have a feeling that I’ll be glad (well, more glad than usual, as blogging is fun) that I’m playing this with you, as there are going to be things I miss (and that you miss) and it’ll be interesting (and helpful) to fill in each other’s blanks. I already have a feeling that I’ve missed stuff, and I’m, what, 45 minutes in or so. I’m certainly curious if this is going to be one of those games where it’ll be a very different story if you find some things and not others. Remember in Gone Home when I found stuff that implied the old owner of the house was a terrible person and you didn’t? And how that changed the “exorcism” they were doing at the end?

This game feels like one of those deals, that if you find these things the story is/means something different than if you found those things.

We shall see.

Feminina:

Yes! Very much different! In a very interesting way. I quite enjoyed it. A lot of cool visuals and design choices.

I also went into Molly’s room. That was very interesting. I kind of loved the way the monster moved, that tentacle reaching out and then you could zip towards it: it gave a really effective sense of being something sort of squishy and gelatinous, poking around. And the Christmas music playing while you hunted the unsuspecting sailors, that was a faintly unsettling choice.

Being a variety of animals hunting for food was a different sort of take on the usual murder sequences. No combat, no treasure, no fancy goals, I’m just hungry!

I’m kind of surprised we never (visibly) ate the gerbil. Or was it a hamster? Anyway, we saw Molly eat its food, but I never saw the creature itself. I was almost certain we’d eat it once we came back to her room as the monster, but I couldn’t find it. (Which is an admission that I kind of looked. Maybe I secretly WANTED to eat the poor gerbil.)

Also, speaking of design, I thought the use of letters was pretty cool. It’s like…here are subtitles in case you missed what the voiceover was saying, or can’t listen for whatever reason, but also, we’re going to work the subtitles (and the voiceover) into the scene. The way that you trigger the words by going to certain parts of the room, and the way the words drift away when you go to move on–I thought that was a cool mechanic.

Interesting stuff here. Well worth the free download.

Butch:

Wait wait wait….enjoyed? Past tense? As in you’re DONE?

Very odd. Whole thing. And a good deal of creepy. “And it will come for me….and I will be delicious…..” Especially since we know, like, everyone died young. Except grandma Edie, who was old.

I am very curious.

But, that said, I haven’t figured out any themes yet. I figure it’s gonna be an anthology, like, a story for each room or something, and it’s hard to figure a consistent thread from just one of those.

I am very curious.

Very cool use of text. It also messes with your sense of time. When the whole thing starts with her opening a book, and having the story already there (did you notice that the next paragraph in the book was the very next thing she said/thought/whatever in the game?

That also has me wondering if all of this is even real. Maybe the whole thing is something that that person on the boat (who may or may well not be Edith Finch, Edith Finch may just be the main character in her/his? book) wrote. We’re living in a novel. Maybe.

Well worth it so far. Are you fucking DONE?

Feminina:

Yes, I’m done, but dude–it was only about two and a half or three hours long. You’ll be done soon, too. Don’t fret. It’s kind of like an interactive movie: just set aside that kind of time, and you’re good.

And you’re right…is it even real? Edith’s voiceover even asks that about Molly’s story, when she says/writes “I’m not sure I believe that” or whatever. And if she’s not sure about Molly’s story, can we be sure about Edith’s story?

Is there even a truth here? Hm.

Butch:

For real? Did you google to see if you missed, like, most of the game? You don’t go into every room or something? They raised a lot of questions….why are they all dying? Why did they all run away so fast they left all the dishes? Why do they have so much STUFF? Why seal the rooms? Do we get into every room? DO WE?

Google. I bet you missed half the damn game.

Don’t start AC:O without me. I haven’t even ordered it!

I’ll go order it.

And what’s with all the food imagery? The million cookbooks, the kitchen cluttered, the salmon (and being sick of the salmon), Molly’s whole thing…..

WHAT????

You missed half the damn game. Must’ve.

Feminina:

I don’t think so, man. howlongtobeat.com says 2 1/2 to 3 hours. It’s just a short game.

Or else you’ll discover 15 hidden rooms neither I nor the howlongtobeat people ever saw, in which case, I’ll totally play it again. But yeah, I got into a room for all the people in the direct line of descent on her tree there in her journal.

They’re just not all super long stories, is all.

There certainly were a lot of cookbooks. A lot of the same cookbook over and over, and one wonders how much of that is not wanting to make up 300 unique titles, and how much is an intentional suggestion that maybe people didn’t actually do that much cooking? Maybe they liked the IDEA of cooking, and kept buying cookbooks, but never actually used them, and so they sometimes bought the same one over and over without noticing? Because as you say, the salmon, and then the mention that there was only one restaurant that delivered so they ate Chinese a lot.

That implies that they ate canned salmon or ordered out all the time instead of using any of those cookbooks.

Hm.

Butch:

Well then. At least it’ll pad out the “games I’ve played this year” list. Which is surprisingly short.

Have you started AC:O? I guess I should order that.

She explicitly says “After [so and so, I forget, the brother who died] got the job at the cannery, we all got sick of eating salmon” or something. So yeah, they didn’t cook much.

And the repetition, yes. But that’s not just the books, so I think it’s an intentional choice. There’s WAY too many chairs, sofas, plates, everything to have for the people that lived there. They keep having multiples of everything.

I’m gonna keep my eyes out for more food imagery. Too much already for it not to be a thing. Brother made food, mother was obsessed with cookbooks, Chinese menu was the first thing they found, there’s a dragon with his mouth open in the yard, the whole Molly thing was eating and being eaten (I will be delicious was creepy as fuck), and the last thing they did in the house was eat (she says that they left in such a hurry).

Speaking of outside the house, I didn’t go up to the front door, did you? I thought I was being all smart like “I’m gonna go around the side of the house before I go in to make sure I don’t miss anything,” and, next think I know, I’m inside and can’t go back out to go up the front steps so I missed shit. What did I miss?

Feminina:

If you go around the front, you can look down into the pond and see pieces of a sort of dragon-shaped water slide, and Edith says something like “Grandma Edie said her husband was killed by that dragon.”

Then you go up to the front door and try the key, and it doesn’t work, and she says something along the lines of “it was really too much to expect that the key she left me would actually open the front door”. Then I went around to the side and crawled through the door, like you. So not much. But I definitely get the fear of missing something. I took the path through the woods to get to the house, and then went back up and walked along the road too, just in case there was anything else there.

We know games. Gotta poke into every corner, all the time. You can’t fool us. Except when it turns out we spent 20 minutes poking into corners with nothing in them.

Butch:

I did the same! Got the “Took both paths to the house” trophy.

Cuz ya gotta.

I did not get the “let the sailor finish his song” trophy (I looked at the trophies) so now I’m paranoid that he would’ve been all “Er-lie in the morn-in. And now let me explain what Micah was doing in RDR2…..”

Feminina:

I didn’t get that either. I didn’t get ANY other trophies until the very end, so I’m confident I failed to look at plenty of things, or failed to look at them for the right amount of time, or whatever. I could go back and play it again and try to get them all, since it’s no big time commitment, but…enh…I don’t know. I’m not really that interested in playing games just to trophy-hunt.

I have not started ACO yet, though, so…maybe.

Butch:

I don’t even HAVE AC:O yet. That’s next, right? I should go buy that, like, now?

And I’m using the damn colon.

As an aside, as I sit here going through my mail:

Me: Hey, charity. Here’s some money so you can go work to save nature.
Charity: Thanks! Now let us cut down twelve rain forests trying to get you to give us more!
Me: I don’t think you’re saving nature correctly…….

Feminina:

All right, fine, colon. And yeah, I think that’s a logical next step. I mean, there’s nothing else we’re particularly excited about right now, and I do already own it. And it was supposed to be decent.

And you could own it in a matter of days with free Amazon shipping.

Ha! Yes. I have also had this thought about charities.

“Maybe you could just email me, and save a few trees? I mean, I don’t want to tell you your business…”

Probably they’re using recycled paper, at least. But still, they could save the energy needed to recycle that paper.

Although I do like the post office and want to support them, so maybe carrying charity pleas is what it takes.

Butch:

On it! Knives for everyone!

And romance!

And better than decent! Straight up good!

Feminina:

Man, I really hope there are knives for everyone. And crossbows! Except I don’t think they actually had crossbows in ancient Greece. But knives, knives we can definitely do.

Butch:

They also didn’t have aliens, secret societies, and female warriors with FANTASTIC hair who seem to be able to take far more whacks with swords than whole armies of people named Kevin.

We can hope for crossbows.

Today, the charity doubled down on their rather misguided environmental efforts by sending me a guilt gift (The, “Hey, look, we gave you stuff, can you please pay for it?” thing) that was…..

Wrapping paper.

Seriously.

Even more ironic than note pads.

Feminina:

All these things are true! We can hope for crossbows. And secret societies! And even aliens.

But definitely knives. I mean, I don’t specifically recall any from the couple of minutes I watched over Mr. O’s shoulder, but if there are NOT knives, I will be astounded.

Oh, the guilt gifts. I always take them (because they, they’re in my house now) and then don’t give them any money (because hey, I’ll give them money eventually if I was going to anyway–no need to go out of my way right this minute).

Butch:

Oh I keep them. I could live to be 103, mail fifty seven letters a day the whole time, never move, and not run out of return address labels just based on what is in my junk drawer right now. And yet, I will keep the next batch, too.

Did Mr. O ever go back to AC:O?

Whoa, boom! 35 bucks off at amazon! Got it for a mere 25 bucks.

Lucky day. And one day shipping! Give me a day or three to finish Edith Finch, and back to open world mayhem.

In the meantime, I played the cute cooks game for the kids, and it’s fun in a “cute fun thing you play with kids” sort of way.

Feminina:

Boom! Nice! Now I feel like a sucker for paying full price 6 months ago.

Ah well.

Mr. O’ never did go back to it. He had a lot of work stuff going on for a while and said he would be better off not getting sucked into a giant game right then, and so, in an amazing display of control, he did not play anything. He hasn’t even started up RDR2 again, even now that I’m done and won’t delete his save (probably).

But this all goes to say even more that I definitely need to play it, so someone will get some value out of the disc I paid full price for like a sucker.

It’s on.

Butch:

It is on! After I finish this game. Be patient.

Though this sounds like even I can get it done rather quickly.

Poor Mr. O. He keeps this up, he’s gonna forget how to play video games. I don’t know how he stays away. I mean, besides the fact that he has a job and other hobbies and doesn’t really need it to keep his sanity.

Feminina:

And yet he spends all day with high school kids. He SHOULD need a sanity break.

But he watches a lot of TV shows he can put on in the background while he works on image files or whatever. Maybe that helps.

Butch:

Ah, yes. I often forget that some adults use the television to watch shows. I suppose there’s all sorts of stuff on the TV besides games, hockey and Let’s Go Luna.

But all of that shall remain a mystery to me.

Feminina:

To me as well, since all I use the television for is playing video games. I understand TV has some good shows! “Golden age of television” and all that!

I shall never know.

Butch:

I’ve watched a couple of shows on the treadmill, and, mostly, I just find holes in the narrative and get pissed off. It’s no fun finding holes in narratives without being able to blog about it.

Plus, I have yet to find a TV show that doesn’t have shitty controls and inventory management.

Feminina:

It’s always terrible!

WHERE DO I STASH MY LOOT, television? You have got to make this easier.

Butch:

Really, it makes perfect sense to avoid it.

But I don’t have the coordination to play games while on the treadmill, and you gotta do something.

Feminina:

See, I just play Pokemon Go while walking. There’s a slightly elevated risk of walking directly into a tree compared to the treadmill, but way more Pokemon.

And the inventory management is pretty straightforward, although I do regularly run out of room in my storage. Because this is my lot in life.

Butch:

Which is odd because you are not really a collector of stuff in real life. Virtually? Yes. But shit, I bet I have more address labels than you do.

Feminina:

Oh, dude. I’ve got address labels. You probably have more, but only because you’ve lived at your address for longer than I’ve lived at mine. I SAVE the address labels. I have many lovely charitable options from which to choose each time I seal an envelope.

For a while I was using them whenever I wrote a check, because my checks had my old address and so I’d stick one on them, but then I ran out of checks with the old address. Not that I write very many checks anyway…there are no Amazon points involved, so it’s kind of a waste of reward potential.

But I have the address labels. And the little notepads. We stick them to the refrigerator and use them for grocery lists.

You’re right, though, aside from “any free junk” I don’t really collect much in real life. It’s because the virtual collecting is so much more compact! No dusting, no having to find shelf (or cage) space, no feeding a huge menagerie of weird animals, no worrying about the kids breaking one (or being eaten by one). Virtual collecting is the only way to go, man.

Butch:

It is. It very much is.

I’ve been trying to explain this to Junior. This weekend, we tried to help him clean out/organize his room. Conversations such as this were had:

Me: C’mon, man, get this organized.
Him: It is.
Me: Dude, what’s all this in this file cabinet?
Him: That’s all my school stuff from before.
Me: What do you mean before?
Him: Like, third, fourth, fifth grade.
Me: Well can we get rid of all that, considering you are now in sixth grade?
Him: No. I want to keep it.
Me: Why on earth do you want to keep school work you did in third grade?
Him: I don’t know. I just do.

I’m sure, somewhere, he has a drawer filled with noting but oregano and wild carrots.

Feminina:

He does! Undoubtedly!

He’s just waiting for Roach to show up. Or for himself to get inspired to cook something that needs just the perfect seasoning.

If you find his cocaine gum, let me know. I could use a bit of an energy boost this afternoon.

Butch:

I’ll let you know. But if I find his gin, I’m keeping it.

We can split up all the silver belt buckles.

Feminina:

Deal. I COULD really use a nice silver belt buckle. They never go out of style.

Butch:

Here’s what you DON’T need:

An 18 inch table top prize wheel. It looks like wheel of fortune. And it’s my hotmail side ad, and I have no idea why.

Hotmail…..seriously.

Feminina:

Mine was just showing me a Monster ad for an engineering job in Leominister. Because…I don’t know why.

Ooh, but earlier today it was Miller High Life! Maybe it was hoping I’d buy some for you? Because it thinks you like it? Who the hell knows, man.

Butch:

Well, at least we know that, if it is spying on us, it’s not very good at it.

Feminina:

This is a comforting truth. For now.