CGDC #7 – Matthew Lindquist’s Into the Open Sky!

February 14, 2010

The open sky’s not a bad thing to be into, really, although personally I kinda groove on clouds.

Hmm.  RSS buffer.  Valentine’s Day RSS buffer.  What the hell; I’m lazy; let’s have some ASCII art.

             We wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

               __        __        __        __
 .*.         /~ .~\    /~  ~\    /~ .~\    /~  ~\
 ***        '      `\/'      *  '      `\/'      *
  V        (                .*)(               . *)
/\|/\       \     Name   . *./  \     Name   . *./
  |          `\ .      . .*/'    `\ .      . .*/'       .*.
  |            `\ * .*. */' _    _ `\ * .*. */'         ***
                 `\ * */'  ( `\/'*)  `\ * */'          /\V
                   `\/'     \   */'    `\/'              |/\
                             `\/'                        |
                            Name Here

     --+++==##<<{{    Put Names Here          }}>>##==++--

[spoilers begin here]

Wow, it’s very Star Wars up in here.  Very Hero’s Journey.

“Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there existed a great Empire among the stars ruled always by an Empress in the Palace of Mirrors.  Thirteen great ships protected the Empire for a thousand years and more.[“…]
It was the kind of winter that killed your mother while she gave birth to you.  […]
“And you Darien, you were named for one of the great captains of old.  Perhaps it too is your destiny to go to the stars..”
“Stop filling his head with nonsense Kathy…the empire is long gone.  Darien is a farmer and he’ll always be a farmer.[“]
Whaddaya wanna bet the rest of this game is about me being a farmer for the rest of my life?  Yeah, me neither.

Oh, yup, since then I have journeyed hundreds of miles through the ruins of ancient cities, met a talking sword, battled pirates, and rallied a city into rebellion, the game tells me, all to save a woman I barely know, who is now missing and requires some rescuing, because she’s a woman and, lord love ’em, that’s what they do.  (Y’know, sometimes I wonder if, as a woman, I ought to require rescuing more often.  I do require a fair bit of jar-opening, but that’s not nearly the same thing.)

My talking sword is named Night?  Is that short for something?

Oh, in addition to being my talking sword, Night is also the mind of the ship we’re on.  I suspect this will be a game where things like this keep happening and you just have to let them wash over you while you revel in their goofiness.

Lot of nice visual description here.  It’s genuinely exciting to explore this ship that’s been left dormant for five hundred years with all plants and crap growing in it.  I’m kind of worried about all these complicated-looking controls, though.

Oh, neat, there’s a narratively-justified auto-undo feature!  I like these.  You’re just going to undo if you die anyway, so you might as well stay in character while you’re doing it.

Ah, it’s short for Nightingale.  Carry on.

Nice retelling of the Bluebeard story.  There is a lot of frigging text in this game.

Oh, huh, I’m controlling a droid now.  I’m enjoying this game, but gosh is it large.  Crap, I’ve forgotten what command to use to set these charges and blow shit up.  Oh, good, it says on the charges.  This game is very good about telling you what syntax it wants.

Oh, man, and now a freeform bit where I defeat some intruders.  I am kind of terrible at these.  Wait, never mind, I just had to cut off their air supply.  Hopefully these dudes were actual bad mans, and not, like, my friends throwing me a surprise knife party.  I go through more friends that way.

Wait, “quit” when ready?  That’s it?  We’re not actually going to save Marialla?

Well, I liked what there was of that (namely a lot of exposition) and would play the shit out of a complete version.  It’s goofy space opera, yes, but it’s well-done goofy space opera.


One comment

  1. Picking Night back up and getting all stabby also works as a way of defeating the intruders. (Like, too well. It’s a cut scene. I didn’t do that on purpose.)

    Actually I think it’s impressive how big this game seems, because in a way it’s not that big — at least in the main part of the game there are no more rooms than there are in, say, Containment, and the puzzles seem mostly to be pretty simple “The game suggests you need objects X and Y, so go find the room they’re in” thingies. But you still get the sense of an expansive world. And I really liked the “You win, now I’ve unlocked a bunch of stuff for you to explore free-form” coda.

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