I realise now that attempting to put into words what’s happening in Cradle’s trailer is impossible. It doesn’t allow for easy interpretation. The developers, Flying Cafe for Semianimals, are making a game with the sort of internal logic that defies simple analysis, raising unanswerable questions, in a Myst or Witness vibe, although Cradle does seem more connected to our world than either of those. There are some facts: it’s a first-person adventure game where you and a broken mechanical girl are left in an isolated yurt (tent thing) in the Mongolian hills. You’re putting her back together, hunting her body parts in the ruins of a nearby amusement park.
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Posts Tagged ‘mystery’
Who fancies a mystery? Valve prepared what must have been an incredibly expensive video for the VGAs’ best character category, starring Wheatley, complete with Stephen Merchant’s voice, floating in space and begging for help getting home. So, that’s nice and fun, if lacking in the big laughs. (He didn’t win.) But of course Valve being Valve, they’ve filled it with more details. Not many, but there’s Russian text, star constellations in the background and weird numbers, which of course means those with a mind for such things are tearing it to pieces. Of course, it might have just been filler to make the image more interesting. But Valve MUST know by now that anything they add is going to be analysed to pieces, and they’re clearly the sorts to troll their community in every imaginable way. What do you make of it?
Anyone want to take a guess what those pranksters at Good Old Games are up to now? They’ve clearly managed to sign up another game they’re proud of, and as such have created a rather peculiar version of their site. Police tape blocking off access to an ASCII rendition of the regular front page. Are there clues hidden in the text? Apparently more will appear over the weekend. And the official announcement looks set for the 18th of this month. My suggestion: the Police Quest series? They already have King’s Quest and Space Quest, so it would make sense.
My earlier post about story reminds me of a piece I wrote for PC Gamer a few years back, looking at The Longest Journey, and its lasting effect on me. There was never room for my full thoughts then, and the full length ‘director’s cut’ version has sat on my hard drive since. Clearly Dreamfall has been released since, telling us more about April Ryan, and another retrospective is due for that. Meanwhile, here’s the full-length version of the original piece.
“Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where.”
The Longest Journey almost vanished away unnoticed, another obscurity ranted about by a few, but never reaching any acclaim. In the mire of pre-millennial adventure gaming, it could so easily have been drowned by the density of its peers, ignored by pessimism, never given the chance it so strongly deserved. How it was joyously liberated from this fate is mysterious. And in mystery, there is magic. In The Longest Journey, there is magic.
As a point and click adventure, The Longest Journey already defied conventions, ignoring the genre’s desperately floundering attempts at “catching up”. Developer and writer Ragnar Tørnquist and his team at Funcom understood that “catching up” was meaningless – they had a story to tell, and a world in which it needed to be told, and so this was the game they made. The natural instinct to say how it recaptured the adventure’s previous glory is strong, but this just simply isn’t true. Adventure gaming had never been as glorious as The Longest Journey – it hadn’t ever even come close.