Wilde In the Country: Fatale Released

The Path’s creators, Tale of Tales return with a new game/vignette/thing. There’s no demo yet, but you can buy it directly from them for a mere seven dollars. It is – to quote the press release – “FATALE is an interactive vignette in realtime 3D inspired by the story of Salome, the biblical princess and protagonist in Oscar Wilde’s stage play, first performed in England 78 years ago today”. There’s an audio-only trailer below, which features the heady mix of Jarboe and Wilde dialogue, which will give you a taste of its vibe. More, I suspect, when we’ve got a copy and examined with our eyes.


  1. Heliocentric says:

    Thats some odd marketing there.

  2. skizelo says:

    It’s a sick saint murder request simulator, you should all be ashamed.
    That is Salome right, I’ve not read up on my Bible recently

    • Dominic White says:

      I know you’re half joking there, but there’s folks who are still absolutely convinced that The Path is actually a hardcore child-rape simulator. I even know of a couple of who tried to get it pulled from Steam because of this.

      The funniest thing is that even the developers themselves seemed mystified by some of the conclusions people were reaching about it. It seems that some people always leap to the worst possible explanation for anything.

    • Sparvy says:

      I dont know man, from what I have seen of it (didn’t play it mind) it was a pretty uninteresting art game that only got a reaction by hinting at rape.

      Though I might have been listening to the some pretty negative people.

    • Lewis says:

      Y’know, I still can’t get behind any of the rape arguments. It hints at murder twice, and since the situation is a male adult possibly killing a female child on both occasions, I guess it’s extrapolated to sexual abuse. The rest is just abstract. I also can’t get behind people suggesting it’s not interesting, as I don’t think I know a single person who’s played it and not had a lot to say, be it positive or negative.

    • Dracko says:

      Sato went from Silent Hill 2 to this and Hilton Employee Trainer. :(

  3. biscotti says:

    The Path hinted at a lot of things but never explicitly said anything. I found it provocative but the sense of unease throughout stems from the complete lack of any real explanation. The game being about rape is no more or less true than it being about space cocks from Jupiter. I actually didn’t enjoy The Path that much directly because of the fact that it never had any rape in it offered a deeper understanding of what was going on.

    An interesting experiment but I wouldn’t pay money for Tale of Tales’ work again unless specifically advised to because one of their productions was a work of absolute genius.

    • Bhazor says:

      I kind of agree about it not telling enough about the characters. But I do think it had at least one superb moment which for me was the playground with the unnamed girl which , I thought, was very tastefully done and genuinely sweet. Then the aftermath of that scene where the girl limps home with intense shame and self loathing was heartbreaking.

      But maybe I’m just a big weepy soft lady-boy.

    • Dracko says:

      Did it ever hint at being a good game?

  4. MD says:

    Worst game ever. No stars.

  5. Lewis says:

    My review code of this came through this morning, though I’ve not played it yet. I expect I shall report back at some point. Probably in utterly moronic length, if my past obsession with ToT’s work is anything to go by.

  6. TheBlackBandit says:

    This is a very, very good idea on paper. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

  7. blaine says:

    first dante’s inferno, now this

    can’t wait for Song of Songs videogame adaptation

    “press X to compare breasts to grapes”

  8. Okami says:

    You reall have to watch this trailer in HD, it’s lacking so much in standard definition.

  9. ZomBuster says:

    If you make an Audio only trailer with headphone requirements I expect some fancy binaural stuff.
    Not boring talking and random sound effects.

    • Pod says:

      Glad I’m not the only one to expect this. The first second I thought it might be… but then very dissapointed. They didn’t even branch out to panned stereo. Just crappy mono.

  10. Lewis says:

    Just finished Fatale. Hmm.

  11. Persus-9 says:

    Well I’ve just played it a couple of times and well, I’ve got very mixed feelings about it. It’s quite interesting but I’m not sure there’s that much behind it. After my first time through I was ready to rage against it as utter rubbish but that was because I missed something about it. Then on the second time through I noticed what I missed and now I’m just not sure.

    The bit I initially missed doesn’t add much but it at least makes it slightly interesting. The big problem is I don’t feel any of it really says anything. It’s just the story of Salome told in an obtuse fashion so you wouldn’t know what’s going on if you didn’t already know the story with no real commentary or added insight that I can make out that wasn’t a bloody obvious subtext in the biblical version (I’ve not read the Wilde version). It’s stylistically interesting and it makes use of some interesting techniques but it still feels rather hollow.

    I guess the elephant in the room is Dear Esther. If this had been made a year and a half before Dear Esther then I’d say it was a must play in spite of it ultimately feeling rather hollow. But it wasn’t, it was made a year and a half after Dear Esther so it’s most interesting features now look rather derivative.

    What does that leave you with, well style I guess, not to be too unkind but style over substance. I’m okay with style over substance at times, it has it’s place, so I’m roughly okay with this. However I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed just because Tale of Tales set it up in such a way that I hope for a lot more than that and ultimately I don’t think it delivers. Maybe I’m just not getting it or maybe I’m getting it rather too easily but either way it falls short of my expectations.

    Most worryingly I can’t help but feel the trailer is actually slightly better than the final product.

    • Persus-9 says:

      Oh yeah it does include the love subplot between Salome and JtB is from the Wilde version so there is stuff there that isn’t in the biblical version but that doesn’t change the fact it doesn’t seem to be adding any insight into the story.

  12. Paul says:

    I know this is ‘cheapening’ such a game to ask for help, but I’m becoming rather frustrated. I’m not sure what to do in the second portion. I guess I have to lit the cursor, get a flame/ but I can’t work what arbitrary things I have to do (I got the smoke).

    • Dracko says:

      What’s “cheapening” an art game is making its puzzle frustrating and a chore.

    • Persus-9 says:

      If you press escape and there are instructions so I wouldn’t worry about spoiling it. You actually have to put them out, click on them until you get the black blob and then just leave it over the light until it goes out.

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Persus. That was the obvious thing to do, and I tried it a few times, but I guess I was at a bad angle or didn’t hold it long enough… Lighting the candles and blowing them out was idiotic, it should have been a much flowing mechanically (like Flower) and, dare I say it, more illuminating on the themes, and details of the game.

      While I’m not very impressed with the game, I am surprised as to how negative the comments here are. I don’t know what people were expecting after their last two. Yes, it feels like a chore, but there are fairly interesting aspects to it. Fatale is not nearly as affecting as Dear Esther, and is, AMAZINGLY, much more drawn out, but it’s a much more slicker, well made affair, and the visuals (and collaborations) should be applauded. However, they REALLY need to stop, or at least cut down on, on all the whispering, “spooky” dialogue which only detracts, instead giving the player more to chew on.

      Ps: I already had “cheapening” in finger quotes. ;-)

  13. Cutman says:

    Pretension at its greatest

  14. The Unbelievable Guy says:

    I have high hopes for this game.
    As in, I really hope, one day, everyone will get over the friggin Path. I think this game, uneven as it is, will finally put it in the ground for good.

  15. A-Scale says:

    Sorry, but I’m interested more in what my games look like than sound like.

  16. TeeJay says:

    Is it actually a “game” that you “play”, or is it ‘interactive software’ (art/drama) that you ‘experience’ (watch)?

    • Lewis says:

      It’s probably more game-like than anything ToT have done before, actually, though still in an extremely slow, meandering way.

    • mandaya says:

      Bought it and … well, “played” it doesn’t seem to be the right expression. Sorry, Lewis, but compared to Fatale “The Path” was a regular coin-op arcade, play-wise.
      This is probably most related to modern theatre, especially plays with ambulatory audiences (you know, where the audience wander from scene to scene). Fatale IS strikingly beautiful, although the technology is terrible; how come my rig that stomachs Crysis and the like without a complaint visually tears and stutters through this one?
      In short, anyone looking for a “game” will be sorely disappointed. As an artsy installation it succeeds, although it’s “interactivity” part is actually quite a drag. The last act was the best, IMHO, and no, that’s not only because it features a nude dancer. Okay, well, I guess that may have played a part.

    • Lewis says:

      I think The Path is more ostensably gamey than Fatale, but then The Path removed all semblence of ordinary interaction apart from the arbitrary flower-collection stuff. Part 2 of Fatale is essentially a mini-game, and the first part’s control schematics (and its final little bit) are hugely FPS-like).

      My review will be up on Resolution shortly. Just giving it the final once-over.

  17. malkav11 says:

    I may investigate at some point. The Path was certainly an interesting experience, but I don’t know if I can rely on every game from them offering similar charms. In fact, I suspect I can rely on them not doing so.

  18. Kast says:

    I’ve already spoken my thoughts on this game in some depth at my blog, but essentially I agree with those describing it along the lines of an art installation piece. It has far more in common with The Graveyard than The Path.

    I can’t believe Dear Esther hadn’t come to mind before reading Perseus-9’s comment. That does seem to be the most closely related experience, the main difference being DE simply doesn’t explain its story while Fatale almost seems to actively obscure it with incongruous distractions (those who’ve played it will know what I mean).

    • Lewis says:

      That obscuration is one of the things that irked me about Fatale. It strays between simply retelling the story, without providing further insight, and hinting at that but obscuring it to a bizarre degree.

      Am I allowed to link? Just makes sense, rather than writing another fifteen hundred words. Here’s what I thought.

  19. PetitPiteux says:

    I went through it and loved it. This being said, I’ll add one comment that I haven’t seen much: its very much related to traditional paintings.

    Through out the developing process, the ToT blog went through a lot of rendering of the salome story by painters (link to tale-of-tales.com). And each light to go through usually comes with an interesting viewpoint, as running through an exhaustive listing of possible paintings pertaining to salome, along with how to light them…

    All in all, maybe I ended up rather like I am after viewing a paintings exhibition: trying to make sense of all the images I’ve just seen, together with the emotion and thought that came while viewing them…