IF Comp ’14 – Lynnea Glasser’s Creatures Such As We!October 5, 2014
Note From the Future: This game takes place on the moon and you should play it. That is all.
[spoilers begin here]
This game gets points for having “Fuck you, ghost” as an option. It’s a ChoiceScript joint, about a video game that you are playing on the moon, and I already like it a hell of a lot because the final boss calls you out on your slaughtering video-game-protagonist ways, says she knows you’re still human on the inside. Then she tries to kill you anyway, which is kind of a bummer.
And back to my real life, where I am a tour guide on the moon.
The woman finally finds her ID. “Sorry,” she grins sheepishly, “I was just… thinking about what sorts of ghosts might be found in a place like this, and got a bit lost in it all.” Her accent is distinctly Midwestern. You check off Diana Thorn -Head Writer- from the list.
Diana Thorn -Head Writer- and me are gonna be pals. I can tell.
I might not have much to say about this game because it’s really compelling and well-written, and I’m just enjoying showing my favorite video game designers around the moon.
“There are people who care about me and need me to keep going, and it matters to them, how I’m doing. And it matters to me, how they’re doing. I can’t help the whole world, I can’t help the whole universe, but I can help the people nearby, and so I do. And that makes the world a better place. So I focus on that.”
“Thank goodness you’re alright. Listen, we need to get out of here, and I need your help. You’re going to have to rip apart my body, and then allow it to reconstruct itself.”
Please let this be the last time anyone ever says that to me.
You check the mirror really quickly: as good-looking as ever.
They really seem to be getting into the spirit of moon fun.
MOON FUN IS BEST FUN
…until you have to push the big gray We’re All Fucked button.
I really enjoyed that and I’m giving it a ten, because fuck you, ghost, you are not the boss of me and my numbers.
Edited to add: This game raises the question of whether or not a non-canon ending made up by the player is satisfying, and feels like a “real ending.” I was reminded of a Ren’Py game in which the player is urged by the primary NPC/love interest to edit the game files and make up their own “winning ending,” because the game did not intend to supply one. This bothered me in ways I still can’t really justify.
My opinion, and this is completely subjective and debatable and also sounds batshit insane: Stories have a correctness to them. They don’t come entirely from the author, and they don’t come entirely from outside (hopefully y’all know what I mean by outside, that not-particularly-fathomable place where stories come from); they’re a collaboration. The author can try to make the characters do anything she wants them to do, but if they’re not feeling whatever it is, they will fight. The story isn’t handed down detail by detail, but it won’t let itself be twisted, and if the author forces it into a configuration that is just wrong everyone can feel it. (Han shot first.)
I don’t want the responsibility of finishing other people’s stories, because they weren’t given to me. I don’t have their characters running through my brain the way the author does. However, I feel like it’s probably okay to declare your own canon to correct a massive injustice done to the story by an author who fucked it up, specifically Joss Whedon. Joss Whedon is terrible and Serenity never happened. I’m not budging on this so go ahead and bring it.
Leaf in the wind. Fuck you. Choke on my dick, Joss Whedon.