Most Logical: Kickstarted Pathologic Remake On The Cards

By Alec Meer on November 27th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

This makes almost too much sense. Yet I almost don’t want it to happen. Mysterious, infamous survival game Pathologic’s power stems more from its legend (a game of existential brutality that reached for the very stars) than its reality (broken, arduous, appallingly translated); to bring it onto a more conventional plane of reality by remaking it, and in turn by having lots of people play it, could upset its mythology.

On the other hand, Pathologic. It matters.

This might not ultimately happen anyway, and there certainly isn’t any hint of a date by which it would all happen, but devs Ice Pick Lodge have declared their plans for a Pathologic ‘resuscitation’ on VK (a sort of Russian Facebook equivalent), and appear to be in the process of making a pitch video.

Here’s what’s been written, via the wondrous mangling of Google Translate. Mora, crucially, is a mistranslation of ‘Mopa’, a short-form of the Russian title for Pathologic.

Friends. We initiate resuscitation Mora. Make this game will be very difficult. Magnitude of the task to which we swung far exceed our resources. Therefore, we will refer to your help whenever possible. first task that faces us – Kick training [this appears to be a mistranslation of 'Kickstarter']. We will need to shoot a few commercials for-page application.

- 1 – For the first of them, we need to remove the massive short scene: a large room ( former workshop), lie on the floor in rows people sheltered sheets. Need 40-50 people. Each requires a white sheet (with no patterns, no stripes, no flowers!), Preferably not new, it is possible with holes. Need to wear clothes not very good: we’ll have 10 minutes to lie down on the floor is not very clean, the mattress will not. If does not reach 20 people, shooting cancel.

- 2 – For the second movie, we need to select some of the most outstanding (including from your point of view) examples of fan art: art, cosplay, video. This fan art (distinguished by the level of performance!) To gather in one place (here, http://vk.com/album-33165854_183058885 ) and in good quality. Much of what once came across our network, in this group there but much work is presented here in a depressingly low resolution. Nikita, maybe you have some ideas – it is better to collect?

- 3 – Besides this we need people with fluent spoken English, ready to talk about the game at the camera: it is good to those accumulated at least ten, but better – more. We look forward to you!

That’s basically where we stand – there’ll be a shoot on Saturday, if enough people turn up. If you’re going to be in Moscow that day and own a white sheet, get yourself to ‘Tverskaya street, 7 (Central Telegraph)’ at 9am. Good luck, brave sheet-wearing people.

There’s also this teaser image, origin unknown but relevance entirely clear:

This won’t be Ice Pick’s first attempt at Kickstarter, from which Knock Knock turned out rather well, but this is surely an extremely ambitious and expensive undertaking. WE WILL BE WATCHING.

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50 Comments »

  1. darkChozo says:

    This post is perhaps the #1 contender ever for the Staring Eyes tag.

  2. K900 says:

    I tried to do a translation that makes more sense. Here goes:

    Friends.

    We’re starting the ressurection of Pathologic.

    Making this game will be very difficult. The goals we’re aiming for exceed our resources by a whole lot. That’s why we’re going to ask you to help out whenever possible.

    Our first goal is preparing for Kickstarter.

    We’ll need some videos for the project page.

    - 1 -

    For the first video, we need a short crowd scene: a large hall (former workshop), with rows of bodies on the floor covered by sheets. We need about 40-50 people. Everyone will need a white bed sheet (no decorations, no stripes, no flowers!), preferably not new, can have holes. Don’t wear your best clothes: you’ll have to lie on the not-so-clean floor for about 10 minutes, we don’t have mattresses.

    Location: Moscow, Tverskaya street, 7 (Central Telegraph office). We’ll announce the time later: probably this weekend, but our schedule is flexible. Please post in the comments, and mention when exactly you’ll be able to attend (please by precise!). If we don’t get 20 people, we’ll cancel the filming.

    - 2 -

    For the second video we need to select some outstanding (from your point of view too) examples of fan art: pictures, cosplay, videos. The fan art will need to be collected in one place (at http://vk.com/album-33165854_183058885 ) in good quality. Lots of things we saw on the net before aren’t posted in this group, and many things are in low resolution.

    Nikita, maybe you have some ideas about how to collect that?

    - 3 -

    We also need people with good spoken English, who are ready to talk about the game on camera: preferably at least ten, but the more, the better. We ask those people not to write comments, but to email Nikolai at nord@ice-pick.com

    We’re counting on you!

  3. Wther says:

    …and in turn by having lots of people play it, could upset its mythology.

    Absolutely my feelings, yet it’s simultaneously the best news I’ve read all week. I’m in the middle of a re-playthrough at the moment and, adding to a list containing other innovative/broken, gorgeous/ugly games like Call of Cthulhu: DCotE and Outcast, I’m getting more and more fond of it, partially for being an impenetrable tangle of language and partly for the ever-Autumnal, muddy visuals and sound design.

    Regardless of the outcome of the remake, the original will always be a favourite.

  4. Kitsunin says:

    All I really want is a good translation. All the technical flaws I would be willing to at least attempt to overlook, and possibly-maybe succeed, but if even the story is butchered by poor english I’m just not willing to go quite that far.

    • golem09 says:

      Yes, this. Just kickstart a new translation, that is enough.
      I really really wanted to play this game, But I stopped after a “quests” where one party asked me to kill someone, and the other to not kill him. Because of the bad translation I couldn’t even understand WHICH PARTY ASKED WHICH. So i decided to stop and wait for a mircale.

      And oh, here it happens.

    • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

      Wasn’t there a community translation?

      Either way, you could always just learn Russian. Cкавурска!

      • Kitsunin says:

        Fairly certain it’s been on unplanned hiatus with no news for three years now. Sadly i can’t see myself ever learning Russian, I’ve already been living in a Chinese speaking country for going on four years and I’m still pretty much so-so with mandarin. Studying foreign languages just kinda sorta makes me want to kill myself .-.

        • Gauth says:

          I actually took part in this translation project and, sadly as it was, even then it felt as if it wasn’t going to succeed. It was organized in waaay too complicated a manner to get anywhere. Every file with a little bit of text had to be translated from Russian into English, then sent to a native English speaker to eliminate un-English constructions and poor wording, then sent back to translator to see if everything was alright.
          Naturally, when your co-translator was taking his time, you had to wait, and when you had other things to do, your co-translator had to wait, and argh.
          The project went by fits and starts for some time, died and reanimated a couple of times and finally quietly died in its sleep.
          Sure hope this one will go better.

          • Kitsunin says:

            That certainly doesn’t sound like a very good way to do it. The translations I’ve seen succeed were translated into english and then put up publicly for proofreaders to check. Once it had been read over a few times the translator could check to make sure it hadn’t been messed up, or if everything was finished and they didn’t have time, that step would be skipped (Hopefully the proofreaders are asking before changing anything that might be important, so I think it’s a safe bet that part is unnecessary). Or, the recent Rance translations which have been coming at a pretty rapid rate seem to have been done almost entirely by single people, and hey, they read pretty well.

  5. Chaz says:

    Being able to hold shift to run would make all the difference to the game. Well that and just having a clue of what the hell is going on.

    • Pan Vidla says:

      Well, I know the walking from one side of the town to the other is rather tedious, however it adds two important things into the game, in my opinion. First, while slowly walking through the streets, you have quite a lot of time to think about the story, because, let’s face it, it’s quite a tough nut to crack. And second, it kind of brings in this “can’t be everywhere, should plan ahead” type of thing that adds to the tension.

      • C0llic says:

        I agree with this. The fact you can only plod along adds to the sense of dread and helplessness. Have you correctly identified where you need to go? Will you manage to do everything you need to today, before things get even worse?

        Pathologic is a strange one. It’s unclear how many of the game mechanics intentionally make it such a strange, gruelling expereince, and how much of it is a happy accident. The flaws and bizarreness do add to it. I wonder what the game would feel like if it wasn’t mostly written in moon speak. I’m still excited to see a revival in any form though.

  6. kyrieee says:

    I installed it but never got around to playing it. Some day…

  7. Ian says:

    I’ve still never played the copy of Pathologic I couldn’t resist buying when Quinns did those articles about it.

    Fuck you, Quinns!

  8. SuicideKing says:

    WHAT IS THAT

    WHY IT STARE

  9. Hicks233 says:

    Pleasepleaseplease let this happen. Backed them for Knock-knock and got a second copy of Pathologic when it was released on gog as well as getting it for a friend also. Would back an improved and more polished Pathologic Kickstarter as soon as I possibly could.

  10. Keirley says:

    I’m definitely interested in this, but I guess I’m one of the few people that don’t think the original translation made the game worse, or more difficult to play. There was an odd, cryptic poetry to the way people spoke, but I never felt that the poor translation prevented me from understanding how to play/what to do. I think that it – like The Void and Knock-Knock – was difficult and confusing (mostly in a wonderful way, I think) purely because of the way it’s designed.

    A better translation and a new lick of paint would be great, and it’s Ice-Pick Lodge so I’d fund this in a heartbeat, but I don’t think they’ll fundamentally change much about the game. And I think I’ll always have a soft spot for the cryptic poetry of the original translation.

  11. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’d give them any money to do anything they want, even remaking a game i’ve already played.

    • dare says:

      This. I already played through Pathologic (only once though), and now consider it my duty to finance any game the Ice-Pick Lodge ever decides to make. I don’t care if I’m ever going to play any of them, I figure I owe them a stipend.

      I don’t really need a better Pathologic, but I’m all for more people experiencing it. Because, holy shit, that game.

    • Don Reba says:

      Especially after Knock Knock, I have high confidence they can be trusted.

  12. Don Reba says:

    (broken, arduous, appallingly translated)

    Badly translated — yes, but calling it broken seems unduly harsh. I don’t think I ever encountered a bug. Although, I had the good fortune of playing it in Russian. Maybe, the localized version is more problematic.

    VK (a sort of Russian Facebook equivalent)

    Just for the record, VK started out as an exact Facebook replica. As time went by, they diverged a bit, but it is the Russian Facebook equivalent — no “sort-of” about it.

  13. Zanchito says:

    I love Ice Pick Lodge (russians are just generally awesome and they are a good example) and their games, obscure and arcane as they are, so this is awesome news. I’m still hoping for a collaboration between ACE Team (Zeno clash) and Ice Pick Lodge. Oh, boy, that just makes me giddy and shivery in an not all that chaste way.

  14. DrScuttles says:

    Ice-Pick Lodge, I love you. Even though I felt terrible playing Pathologic. Terrible.
    Part of the charm(?) of Pathologic was the barrier between the game and the player, like some horrible disease-powered Brechtian alienation gone insane and infecting my hard drive, my fingers, my head, but at the same time I’m all for making it a little easier going on people. And especially if this produces a translation I don’t need to read three times over.

  15. Shooop says:

    Make this happen. I want this to happen.

  16. Paul says:

    I really, really really want this to happen and end well. I always wanted to play it, but the bad translation turned me off.

    • Pan Vidla says:

      If you’re the same Paul as I think you are, you should really play it in Czech. It’s translated directly from Russian and makes the game perfectly understandable. Well, as far as use of language goes. The meaning is a different matter entirely and I think it was a little cryptic even in the original version.

  17. The Random One says:

    Google Translated Russian makes anyone sound like a broken dieselpunk robot. I think it’s the lack of articles.

  18. ziusudra says:

    This must happen.

  19. Gira says:

    Starting to think most of the people who describe Pathologic as “broken” have never actually played it, and those who have probably quicksaved just before being hit by a throwing knife and decided then and there that the game was on the fritz. The only real “broken” aspect of it is the terrible hostile AI. It’s actually a really brilliant, amazing game and if you don’t like it I will kill you through the internet.

    • Chiller says:

      This is how I felt about it as well. The only part that was broken was the English translation in some parts of Klara’s playthrough, which made it hard sometimes to figure out what you were supposed to do. The other two didn’t have this problem at all, even though the translation was obviously not the best.

    • Pan Vidla says:

      Yes, yes, I love you! It wasn’t broken at all! Sure, the graphics are ugly and outdated and it looks even uglier on a wide screen, but except for that it’s working perfectly well, both in the terms of game mechanics and buglessness. Especially if you speak any other language than English which, paradoxically, seemed to get the worst translation. German translation, for instance, turned out fine.

  20. Gap Gen says:

    Quinns should totally do a video in this vein, even if he just reads out his three-part series on Pathologic. His board game reviews are incredibly compelling even though I rarely play them, and he clearly has love for this game.

  21. Angel Dust says:

    TAKE ALL OF MY MONEY!

  22. Agnol117 says:

    I, for one, am pumped for the possibility of a version of Pathologic that I can reasonably make run on my computer without busting my ass to find and install seven year old video card drivers. Played the game before, loved it, and I’ve been wanting a remake for a while.

  23. Bahoxu says:

    Pathologic. One of the truly great games of our time and for those who can endure it one of the most mindblowing experiences gaming has to offer.

    But i have already finished pathologic three times, once as each character. Its done. It was great, but its done.

    Those of us who love pathologic have already played it. If the ice-pick lodge guys have the inspiration for it i would prefer an entirely new game from ice-pick lodge. So far everything they have done (except cargo) has been incredible.

  24. optimus_ed says:

    Actually, in Russia the game is not called “Mopa”. It’s called “Мор. Утопия.” (or just “Мор”), which means “More. Utopia.”, as in Thomas More. “Мора” is just a different declension.

    • default_name says:

      “Thomas More”? What?
      Russian “Мор” (which is rather an archaic word today) means mass deaths of people or animals, usually from a disease. So the title can be translated as something like “Murrain. Utopia”.

      • optimus_ed says:

        Yes, I was wrong. Thanks for correcting me.

      • Don Reba says:

        You are both right. Thomas More famously wrote the book Utopia, coining the term. And the game came out of Nikolai Dybovski’s thoughts on utopian societies. “Mor” also means “plague” in Russian — it’s a play on words and you can’t translate it directly without losing meaning.

      • Veldzhes says:

        Actually, in russian, there is a wordplay which could be hard to properly translate. While the word Mor (“Мор” in Russian) could be translated as pestilence, blight, epidemy and, considering additional meanings, as murrain indeed, its spelling is also identical with Thomas More surname the way it is spelled in russian (so he is Tomas Mor – “Томас Мор”), the famous author of Utopia.
        Meanwhile, the Utopia thingy itself is added to the title because historically speaking the whole concept of the game has started as a pen-and-paper RPG with central theme of “is it possible to create an ideal society?” and the idea to act it out in the theatre later on, as Dybowsky stated in his numerous video interviews and podcasts (in Russian. I would actually like to see them translated or subtitled in english: his ideas deserve to be shared with the rest of the world – a lot of intresting and thoughtprovoking stuff.) So, in the beginning, long before Pathologic-videogame was born, it was like this: There was a king in some abstract country and his rule was nearly perfect, everyone seemed to be happy, pleased and so on; the country was prospering. But one day the rumor reached the king that in some distant town there is a revolt. The king is shocked: he was so busy creating ideal conditions and quite succeded in that so why on earth one would uprise when everything is so great? What could possibly go wrong, and more importantly, why? And so he sends a bunch of different (playable) characters to investigate the matter. You can imagine what would they face there. Thats how it all was in the beginning.
        The brackets in the title sould be preserved if one is about to make a word-to-word translation, because according to Dybowsky the Utopia subtitle was meant to indicate a genre of the game(!), and hence the use of the brackets. And so the whole title goes Мор (Утопия) –> Pestilence/Thomas-More-Allusion (Utopia), or Pestilence (Utopia) for short.

  25. Shazbut says:

    Oh God yes. And it should be a complete remake and not just a translation because a work of utter majesty is hiding in that creaky shell.

  26. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Yes please IPL.

  27. Lambchops says:

    I would back this.

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