If Memory Serves: To The Moon

By John Walker on August 9th, 2011 at 12:39 pm.

See, I want to be there.

Here’s what I’d like to see/hear. An adventure game whose music doesn’t begin with a long strained note on a violin. Seriously, every single one does it now. Nothing wrong with it – I’d just like some variation. Joining their numbers is To The Moon – a sort of RPG adventure thing that attracted me by its excellent name, and then – as it happens – that the violiny music is from Laura Shigihara, she of the Plants Vs. Zombies theme.

From Freebird Games, it’s a top-down 2D thingie that resembles Nintendo games of the 90s. Its plot sounds rather interesting:

“Imagine a world where doctors can rework your memory in order to grant your greatest wish… but there’s just one catch: It will be the last thing you’ll ever remember.”

Huh?

“Join Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts as they enter a patient named Johnny’s mind on his death bed to grant his final request. Watch, interact, and change the past as Johnny’s life unfolds before you and takes you on a magical journey inside one’s head that asks the greatest question of all: “What if…?”"

Ahhh!

Yes, it looks super-cute and schmaltzy. But you know what? GOOD! I don’t care! Everyone’s setting everything on fire and the economy’s about to implode. I want something cute and schmaltzy right now!

The game is due out in the Autumn, and I don’t care what you think of me, I think it looks lovely.

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39 Comments »

  1. BobsLawnService says:

    That does look pleasant.

  2. Tokjos says:

    Woah, this looks deep and pretentious.

    I can’t wait to try it.

    • Groove says:

      You know what this shares a lot of similarities with? Chrono Trigger

      Travelling to the past, character, story, emotional involvement, sprites, a scene in a fairground, space.

      It’s not fair to say that this game will be anything like Chrono Trigger from this trailer, but given only the trailer I’d be more inclined to suspect a giant frog than pretense at this point.

    • Jimmeh says:

      I got the same impression. Will definitely give this a whirl, so please keep us posted on release dates :)

    • shoptroll says:

      The trailer panning shot of the house interior looks a lot like Chrono Trigger for some reason. The background sprites and two-tile tall characters are what gives it that style.

    • Wulf says:

      I got a huge Crono Trigger vibe from this, too. Possibly because of how the buildings are handled, visually, which borrows a lot from it. Especially how the light pouring in through the windows is done, that’s very CT! But that’s not at all a bad thing. CT is a truly wonderful thing to evoke memories of. I loved that era… CT, Shining Force, Phantasy Star, Landstalker, et cetera. Good times.

      But yeah, it definitely shares an art style with CT. And I couldn’t be happier.

  3. Ringwraith says:

    I’m just drawn in the by art style, yay sprites!
    It’s like going back to look like an old, old JRPG title actually, which is by no means a bad thing.

  4. Bhazor says:

    Really gorgeous sprite art in there and a pretty sweet idea.
    Unfortunately the music from about 2:00 really reminds me of “We Are Sailing”. Which is distracting.
    http://shigi.wordpress.com/
    Here’s Laura’s blog including downloads for the PvZ theme (including even cuter Japanese version) and news of her own indie RPG Melolune.

    • Wulf says:

      Oooh! Melolune looks like something very special, too.

      After Dreamscape and Cthulhu Saves the World I’m certainly interested in poking more indie RPGs.

  5. Inigo says:

    Join Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts as they enter a patient named Johnny’s mind on his death bed to grant his final request.

    Didn’t this happen in an Eisenhorn novel? And didn’t it result in the body exploding into a giant writhing mass of tentacles and teeth?

  6. BooleanBob says:

    One of these days, Alice…

  7. Jumwa says:

    I like it. Sounds so touching and sweet. The little shadow of the couple dancing in the lighthouse did it for me, I think. Games that actually touch on romance nab me. So rare.

    • UK_John says:

      The lighthouse did it for me too- I’m supposed to be a man god-damnit!

    • Wulf says:

      The lighthouse wasn’t what did it for me but one of the many elements of what added to it! I’m definitely a romantic at heart, so this… yes. I do wan this. How could I not? This will make my inner romantic very happy, and not just romance in relation to love, either.

  8. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    The voices in my head tell me to clean my guns. The voices outside my head tell me to burn things. Decisions Decisions. Might play this though, between the shooting and burning and looting.

  9. wodin says:

    Like it…my daughter will love it

  10. faelnor says:

    [silly comment, deleted]

  11. Axess Denyd says:

    The first screenshot looks like the opening of Loom.

    Or is that just me?

    • Hanban says:

      No, definitely not. Was the first thought that sprung to my head.

      Then I almost started crying from the trailer, and became confused if it would be a game or more like a story where run you around and talk to people and don’t really play very much.

      Might turn out good!

    • BooleanBob says:

      This is the best description of Loom, ever.

      Edit: …and it’s an even better description of Lure of the Temptress, which is the game I was thinking of.

    • Wulf says:

      Wot, puzzles can’t be a form of play? I’m certain that there will be puzzles and things.

      And Loom, to this day, is still one of my favourite games. Yay starswans.

  12. Garret says:

    “Imagine a world where doctors can rework your memory in order to grant your greatest wish… but there’s just one catch: It will be the last thing you’ll ever remember.”

    Sounds like something petermolydeux would write.

  13. shoptroll says:

    It’s like the SNES never died! Looking forward to trying this :)

  14. Wulf says:

    This does look lovely. And to be honest, I’m completely in with the notion of ethical and consensual memory hacking, and any game centred around the idea. Sort of like a less gun-laden version of Inception, but not, if you get my meaning. It’s the kind of question that should be asked, and it’s very in line with transhuanism in general.

    This has definitely caught my interest in ways nothing else barring perhaps Owlboy has today, because it’s a genuinely fascinating premise, and it doesn’t use a fantasy setting to do it. I’m a huge fan of fantasy settings, yes, and whilst I do like dreamwalker scenarios in them (Gann of Dreams being the most magnificent dreamwalker of them all), I am mildly more interested by the underused transhumanist theme. Sort of a near future thing where this can be done.

    Allowing people to die happy because a lifetime of misery has been supplanted by a lifetime of having exactly what they want – things that reality isn’t currently in a state to provide. It would be the best gift you could give to someone on their deathbed, really, the most profound, the most moving, and perhaps the most compassionately human, showing the best side of us all, by supplanting suffering with joy and making the world of one person an eminently better place.

    I really wish there was more of this. Can we have more of this, please? I often feel that games are centred around such dull scenarios that even if we break from those scenarios a little–such as adding swordfighting to a more futuristic scenario–then the minds of less creative people will be broken. It just shows how generally unchallenged gamers are when that sort of thing happens. Don’t you feel that’s the case? We don’t need to be completely absurd to challenge the imagination of the average gamer, either, you just need a setting which draws upon the inner child, and the sense of wonder that we all have.

    The lovely graphics which remind me of so many hours poured into beautiful, beautiful old console RPGs help, too, because that’s a sort of almost hand-drawn beauty that I think is sorely lacking in games, too. It’s something that the Japanese are so very, very good at, but it’s so lacking in the West. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve been fapping over Guild Wars 2. I like art where I can actually be witness to the love the artist has poured into it. Is that so bad?

    I got that from Drawn – Dark Flgiht, too. I’m kind of glad John liked that, I would’ve been so disappointed if he hadn’t, but I suppose I could see how some might not.

    I digress. As I do.

    But this is an almost ethereal concept, and that does interesting things to my head, because there are so few games these days that just beg my sense of wonder to come out to play. And that perhaps will always be the most important part of games, to me; Escapism, that is, where one can immerse themselves in the ideas and other realities that exist in the minds of others. Hopefully without having to wave a mansword or phallic tool of destruction in the face of things.

    I prefer to experience rather than destroy. I’m an odd lad, yes, I know.

    even their bloody studio name

    I want this. Yes.

  15. JFS says:

    Good Lord, this is sweet. It makes you want to cry! I hope the game can keep up the promises this trailer makes. And I hope no one catches me playing it, that’d be embarassing!

    • Wulf says:

      Indeed!

      The best games are the ones with enough wonder as to have an emotional impact; To make you laugh, and then cry, and then laugh again, but for all the right reasons. I’m an emotional wuss and even Disney films get me, so I expect this’ll get me a good few times. I can name other games that have, too.

      I just hope there’s a good ending because… well, frankly, with a game like this there could be an amazing ending. You could live a life, well lived, and have achieved all your dreams, and that’s what you remember before dying. The pain omitted, the regret nullified, and the desires fulfilled. The ultimate reality in which you can shape the nature of reality around you, to experience your own bliss, to know the happiness you’ve always sought after. All so that you can die feeling you’ve had a life well lived. A good life.

      This is one hell of a concept. I think it will live up to it. And I think it’ll have me sobbing more than once. Either because I’m sad, or better, because I’m happy. I look forward to it.

  16. Wulf says:

    And it’s funny… I wouldn’t give £130 to Bethesda, but I would to the sorts of people who’re making games like this and Owlboy if I felt that it would help them make more games like this. That trailer… oh my gosh.

  17. jp0249107 says:

    *wipes away tear*

    ….no of course I’m not crying…

    on a more serious note this game is now a must buy.

  18. lowprices says:

    Short of a death in the family (or at least the side of my family that I like), this looks set to take the top spot of the “things that be will be making me blub like a baby girl in 2011″ charts.

  19. Grape says:

    Urrrrrgh.

    That scene in particular where they were riding on horseback in slow-motion just made me cringe.

    I can just not understand you people who are almost bragging about how you’re going to cry from this.

    • Wulf says:

      This is something that engages your inner child and sense of wonder. Perhaps you’ve blocked both off?

      I don’t know what to tell you, really. But I don’t know what to think of people who enjoy playing most characters in games that look like rabid, frothing, and pathologically insane murderers who probably enjoy a little rape on the side in their free time. And then try to justify their actions with the most ludicrously fallacious arguments possible. I’m not a fan of that.

      I get a lot of stick for not liking that.

      Different strokes, I suppose.

    • JFS says:

      Well, horse-riding, maybe it’s a little overblown. The rest, however? The concept itself is gorgeous, and it seems they’re able to take full advantage of that – which doesn’t mean everyone is going to like it, though. That’s okay.

  20. zapatapon says:

    For the impatient:
    Freebird’s site offers for free download another short game (or maybe rather an interactive story), the mirror lied, in the same old school SNES top-down RPG artstyle.
    http://www.freebirdgames.com/mirrorlied.html

    The story is somewhat bizarre (in the beginning you expect some horror game but it is nothing of the sort, although ultimately a little “uh?”), but the artwork and atmosphere are quite the thing.

  21. pupsikaso says:

    This looks lovely is a momentous under exaggeration! About time another game came out that wasn’t about shooting people in the face or solving puzzles.

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