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Topics - Findswoman

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OK, this game made a significant impression on me, and I've been meaning to write this post for a while now; it's just been a matter of (a) letting all the awesome intricacies fully sink in, (b) collecting my thoughts, and (c) getting the time to sit down and write a proper post. In a nutshell, I consider it one of the most exquisitely beautiful, intellectually rich, and thought-provoking computer games I've ever had the pleasure to play, and it's left me with an overflow of thoughts and questions that I would love to discuss further.

First--without meaning to start a big sticky religious discussion--I loved the fact that the main character has religious convictions that were not simply dismissed as being fanatical, illogical, or just plain silly. Rather I very much got the impression that Horatio's desire to build, rebuild, and help the lost stemmed in large part from his belief in Man. And it's interesting to see that Horatio's deep respect for those who build even goes back to his career as the airship Horus. (The log sequence was one of my favorite parts of the game--makes me choke up a little, even.)

Second (and I've chatted with Mark a bit about this already), given Horatio's faith, it seems rather funny--perhaps ironic--that the only Primordial Steward he doesn't get to meet in the course of the game is Steeple--though admittedly the ones he does get to meet are all either inactive or dead except for MetroMind. I was left with quite a bit of curiosity about Steeple--are we supposed to consider him "one o' the good ones," or not? Whose side was he really on?

Lots of thoughts and questions on the endings, because there are so many of them and they are all so interesting:

On endings, part 1: In the "use Thanatos on the radio tower" ending, what exactly is being "thanatosed"? The city of Metropol? All of the Earth? And what is the significance of showing the candles and lamps at that moment (other than, of course, the fact that it's yet another exquisite piece of artwork by Victor P. ;) )? I guess those are the same ones sitting up on the high shelf in the UNNIIC/Horus?

On endings, part 2: When you use Thanatos on Scraper, is it only shutting down Scraper, or is it shutting down MetroMind, too? It's hard to tell, because on one hand she screams out "What have you done?!" and her screen goes blank, but on the other hand Horatio's comment "Find your darkest tunnel and hide" suggests that he thinks MM is still alive, just beaten into submission.

On endings, part 3: Anyone else get the impression that there's a sort of Minority Report-like thing at work with the endings where you just say "yes" or "no" to MM's offer to merge? Much is made in the commentary track of MetroMind's ambiguous moral status in the final scenes of the game, but one of the things that really made up my mind about her was finding from both of these outcomes what she was capable of doing: either (a) assimilating me Borg-fashion or (b) killing me.

Many thanks once again, and much kudos!
... Findswoman

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Primordia / Help with cryptic kiosk
« on: August 03, 2013, 08:56:26 AM »
I wonder if someone might give me just a tiny little nudge in solving the puzzle of Memorious's cryptic info kiosk? Here's what I have done so far:

I typed "Memorious," then "Oblique," then "Redlien," but I can't seem to get past the cryptic haiku that pops up; I tried typing in every word in the poem, including trying some words with some mixed-up letters, but no success so far. I'm guessing the misspelling of "Redline" is helping establish some kind of pattern that couldn't be formed if the word were spelled correctly? Crispin's not being very helpful on this one.

This has all the signs of being a very interesting, unique, and rewarding puzzle, which is why I would like only a tiny nudge/hint so I can figure it out mostly by myself; there seem to be nothing but walkthroughs on the Internet these days!

(Incidentally... if anyone ever gets around to making a UHS Hints file for Primordia, that would be wonderful... see www.uhs-hints.com. It's the best system I know of for those of us who prefer small hints to a full walkthrough!)

Thanks so much,
Findswoman


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Chit Chat! / Trouble Opening Games with Wine on Mac
« on: July 30, 2013, 09:01:25 PM »
Hi everyone,

I wonder if any other Mac users have had trouble getting Wadjet Eye games to run under the Wine Windows emulator? I downloaded The Shivah* and the Blackwell bundle because I thought I might be able to run them on my MacBook Pro (under Mac OS 10.7.5), but they simply won't launch—the icon in the dock just bounces a bit and then disappears.

The same thing happened when I downloaded the GOG version of Primordia, which (as I found out from Mark Y.) was made with an embedded version of Wine. At first the icon would open in the dock with the "running" light below and with a "Primordia" menu at the top of the screen, but nothing else would happen; then at one point I got some kind of X11 display options menu, but after that it won't even stay open anymore. I tried submitting an technical support query on GOG.com, but technical difficulties with their submission form kept me from doing so. Mark kindly provided me with the name of one of their guys to e-mail directly, but he just so happens to be on vacation right now! Just my luck.

So now I'm here, just in case anyone else has had similar trouble trying to run Wadjet Eye offerings (or anything else) under Mac OS and Wine. Am I using the wrong version of something? Is there some step I'm leaving out? (I'm rather a n00b at this sort of thing, so that wouldn't surprise me.) Any advice would be most welcome, because I just can't wait to delve further into your games!

Thanks so much,
Findswoman

* Incidentally, I'm very excited to hear that you're working on porting this one to iOS!

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Gemini Rue / Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« on: May 20, 2013, 07:35:11 AM »
Hello all,

I'm about to finish my second successive playthrough of Gemini Rue. What an impressive game, and what fine work by both Josh N. and Wadjet Eye! Besides its riveting story and exquisitely crafted atmosphere, Gemini Rue also easily one of the most intellectually rich and thought-provoking adventure games I've played, raising many interesting questions and addressing some pretty hefty issues of memory and human nature. (And ultimately--despite the gritty, dystopian atmosphere--coming out pretty optimistic, I think).

So, in no particular order, here are some of the questions that came up for me while playing, in case anyone here who's completed the game would be interested in discussing them further. Feel free to address any, all, or none (heavy spoilers ahead in yellow text--highlight to read):
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1. The sympathetic Center 7 worker: Whatever becomes of that one Center 7 worker who pleads on Delta-Six's behalf in the very first cut scene and who leaves Delta-Six in his cell with the promise that he'll help get his memory back? Is he the source of the mysterious notes in D6's cell? It seems we never hear from him again.

2. Voice actors in multiple roles: Given the game's general M. O. of using the same voice actor for the Center 7 and non-Center 7 versions of the same characters, are we meant to understand that the crazy fellow in the next cell who talks to Delta-Six in the middle of the night--voiced by Daryl Lathon--later becomes the Boryokudan fellow Azriel talks to at 4388 Brookview who is also voiced by Daryl Lathon and who very significantly insists that he's NOT rehabilitated?

3. Shirt color in Center 7: It seems blue-shirted inmates (deltas) are trained in guns and yellow shirts (epsilons) are trained as computer hackers. What about red shirts (betas) like Giselle and Balder, though? We know Balder is used as a "memory figure" in the fake pasts of rehabilitated inmates--is that what all the red shirts do? But then Balder asks how to get to the green exam room, not the red... confusing.

4. Balder and his grudge against Delta-Six: Balder claims Charlie/Delta-Six "humiliated' him at one point, and that Epsilon-Five had to do with it somehow. But we never really find out what this humiliation was, nor do we find out about the "bad things [that] happened because of her" (as Balder claims) after Delta-Six tried to escape the first time. Any guesses? Any hints to this in the game that I might be missing?

5. The Director: Who is the Director, anyway, and what are his true motivations? This is something I wish had been addressed more, but I also understand wanting to keep the atmosphere mysterious. Somehow his deformed face seems significant, as if he has been through one too many "rehabilitations" himself...

6. Azriel and Sayuri: So much to discuss about the dynamic between these two! Azriel's whole register of expression changes when he meets Sayuri--he's extremely insistent about talking to her in a way that he isn't with most of the other NPCs (the player has to go through just about all the dialogue options before she answers). She's also one of the NPCs for whom he says, "I'm not that kind of person" if the player tries to attack her with the "hand" or "foot." Now that I know the central plot twist, I wonder if this is meant as yet another instance of that intuition that the memory wipe can't erase--he has the intuition that she's someone important to his quest? Or that she's someone he's come across before? Of course, she is the only conscious person around, too! But the way he insists on asking her name, and then repeats it once she tells him, seems important.

7. Memory wipe no. 2: Are we meant to understand that Azriel's memory wipe at Center 7 is somehow not complete? He says to Kane that he "remember... things," and the Director says, "I'm not done with him." In any case, he certainly doesn't seem to have yet undergone the "deconstruction of the conscience" that the Director was contemplating... right?

8. Foreshadowing of game's main themes: The endgame scenes are of course where the game's main themes are revealed most prominently, but we do get hints earlier, too. Examples: when Azriel says "He's trying to change himself, something I could never do" (which is actually true, though not in the way it sounds); when the Director scolds Giselle for being "just like [she was] before [her] rehabilitation"; the story of D6's repeated escape attempts; Sayuri's surprising familiarity with Azriel's name and mission ("do you know me or something?"); and possibly the Boryokudan fellow's claim that he's not rehabilitated (see no. 2 above). Any others?

9. "Rue": I guess this applies mainly to Azriel's feelings of regret about having been an assassin and having lost his (nonexistent) brother? This seems to be what Sayuri means when she says, "He doesn't need to live a life of rue anymore."  Any other ways this term/concept might fit in?

10. Finally: anyone else think it's rather cool that the conscience or soul or intuition--whatever we we choose to call that part of human consciousness that can't be erased by a memory wipe--seems to be embodied by the human player controlling Azriel and Delta-Six? It seems maybe that the infamous (!) gunfight sequences tie into this, too: the first time in the game that I had to gunfight as Azriel, my first reaction was, "Hey, wait a minute! This is a Charlie mechanic! Why the hey is it suddenly an Azriel mechanic? Hmmm..."
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One final disclaimer: it's not my intention for this discussion to go too deep into the slippery realms of philosophy, religion, politics, etc. I'm just curious to see what people think of these issues in the context of this particular game.

Thanks so much, and kudos galore! Keep up the fantastic work!
Findswoman

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