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Author Topic: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion  (Read 10105 times)

Offline Findswoman

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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

Offline Findswoman

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 06:09:32 PM »
Aww, anyone? Even if it's just, "Yeah, I've always wondered about no. X, too"?
... Findswoman

Offline JanG

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 04:11:58 PM »
Sorry, I have been super busy with a new baby! Only just got round to reading forums. Most of these ideas are very interesting, but only Josh knows if they are true or not! You have obviously thought a lot about this!

However, to spoil your theory most of the doubled up minor roles are because it's not really worth an actor's time to come over to our place to just record 2-3 lines, so Dave tends to give them several small roles. Only the major roles doubled up were meant to be hints.

As for the worker who offers to help D6, I've always wondered what happened to him. I presume he is the one that leaves the notes?

I think "Rue" refers to both regret and the street that most of the game takes place on, but I am not sure.

Here's Josh's website if you want to get the real info on this from the game author, I just ported the game to iOS :)

http://cargocollective.com/thejburger

Offline Findswoman

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 01:54:36 PM »
Hi Jan,

Thanks for your post. Totally understandable about the new baby, of course--whom I think I might have seen in a photo posted by Dave on Facebook!* They do have a way of occupying every spare moment at that age. Hope everything's going well in that department. (I have a three-year-old son, and so far things have only gotten better year by year!)

Thanks for the link to Josh N.'s website. Looks like it's mostly got just a quick overview of the game, a list of the awards it's won, and lots of screenshots, sprite sheets, etc.--I didn't really find anything going into depth on major story points and such. But that would be hard to do without spoilers, of course, and it's understandable that he'd want to avoid spoilers on a website of that kind.

I know I've seen him post here on this forum, though... I know it's been a few years since GR was first released and he thus probably hasn't been here as much as when the game was newer, but it would certainly be fantastic to hear his thoughts if he chooses to weigh in! His e-mail address was right there in the commentary track, so maybe I'll e-mail him at some point.

And neat idea about "rue" as "street"... that didn't cross my mind before!

Thanks!
Findswoman

* Incidentally, you guys should totally make more of those Wadjet Eye onesies!

Offline JanG

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 04:05:34 PM »
His e-mail address was right there in the commentary track, so maybe I'll e-mail him at some point.

You are right that his website is a bit bare bones, but I'm sure he would love to hear your thoughts on the game!

And neat idea about "rue" as "street"... that didn't cross my mind before!

The original title of the game was "Boryokudan Rue" which makes it a bit more obvious that it was probably referring also to the street in Barracus that the game is set on. Dave & I thought that such a hard title to spell would harm sales as people would find it hard to Google. So I suggested the title "Gemini Rain" which Josh met halfway with "Gemini Rue" :) I liked to have the word "Gemini" in the name to refer both to the Gemini System and the dualistic plot of the game (which is a little recursive in itself.)

* Incidentally, you guys should totally make more of those Wadjet Eye onesies!

:) I think they have limited appeal! We got it from Zazzle.

Offline Findswoman

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 02:25:17 PM »
Yes, I remember reading in some online article or other about the game's name change, and I even came across a trailer for the original incarnation as Boryokudan Rue (with a much more blue-collar-looking Azriel). The name change was definitely a smart move, given how hard it is both to pronounce and to spell "Boryokudan." (As I recall, at least one blooper reel track features a voice actor stumbling over the word!)

I'll see if I can e-mail Josh sometime soon--I'd love to get the lowdown right "from the horse's mouth"! Whatever the original reason for it was, the doubling of voice actors certainly sets up a situation that can be interpreted in light of the game's story. (Mainly, I just like the idea of the Boryokudan office fellow being rehabilitated even when he claims he's not, because that would serve him right! :) )

Offline DaveGilbert

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 09:00:32 AM »
(Mainly, I just like the idea of the Boryokudan office fellow being rehabilitated even when he claims he's not, because that would serve him right! :) )

Heh. I kind of like that idea as well. :) Although the same voice actor played the hotel desk clerk, which would make the theory an interesting one to say the least!

Offline Findswoman

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Re: Kudos, Questions, and Points for Discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 09:09:32 AM »
(Mainly, I just like the idea of the Boryokudan office fellow being rehabilitated even when he claims he's not, because that would serve him right! :) )

Heh. I kind of like that idea as well. :) Although the same voice actor played the hotel desk clerk, which would make the theory an interesting one to say the least!

The mean desk clerk or the nice desk clerk? And of course, who's to say he's not rehabilitated as well? :)

... Findswoman