To the Moon is one of those games that are commonly considered to be works of art. And true – if art is called primarily to cause strong emotions, to find a mental response from the viewer or the reader, the creation of the studio Freebird Games coped with its task of two hundred percent.
This small game, outwardly reminiscent of the usual indie made on the RPG Maker, made thousands of people spill the tears of the teeth – so strong, emotional was the story of how employees of the Zigmund Corporation create artificial memories in the minds of their dying patients and give them one more chance. to live life by fulfilling his last desire. Three years later a small prequel A Bird Story came out, but a full-fledged continuation came only now, six years later. And it turned out that it was both similar and unlike the original.
Man on the Moon
In fact, when you talk about a touching and tear-free story in To the Moon, I personally find it hard to hold on and not to say – it was such a conscious manipulation of the feelings of the players. Two doctors from Sigmund try to realize the last dream of a dying Johnny – to fly to the moon to see there with his long-dead wife, because once, even in childhood, they agreed to meet exactly where they lose each other. Agree, even a simple description of the plot causes a sizzling urge. http://www.real-games.info
Kan Gao, author of To the Moon, almost immediately torpeded sensitive players to the deaths of close Johnny, with personal drama and tragedy. But to name this manipulation is not cheap in any way – there was a competently built intrigue with the cessation of catharsis, melancholic music, a lot of interesting details and even excellent humor. Well, how to resist this!
Remember and change
But Finding Paradise is a bit more complicated. The game does not try to immediately and immediately cause tears in you, but raises more serious questions about what is happiness and what makes a person happy, about the regrets we experience in our lives, about whether it is worth something to change, about the difference between reality and expectations, about loneliness and so on.
Eva Rosalin and Neil Watts, the very doctors from Sigmund, have a new client – Dean (and in fact in a coma) Colin, who could be seen in A Bird Story by a boy who is launching paper airplanes. So, Colin, unlike Johnny from the first part, lived a long and happy life – and what is his last desire, he does not really know himself.
He speaks to Eve and Neul about this personally, when they, with the help of their super-technology, plunge into his head and into his memories. It seems all came true – he was a musician, then a pilot, married a beloved woman who gave birth to his son. And yet, Kolin is worried about something, does not let go calmly, so our doctors must, having carefully studied the memories, change them so that they can help the client.
In the process it turns out that in his life there was another girl with whom Colin was familiar with his early childhood. In this, of course, lies the main nerve of the narrative Finding Paradise. The gun, which the entire first act hangs on the wall, draws attention, but does not shoot, in the second and third barbachates in such a way that it almost does not seem – with the ability to intrigue and surprise Kana Gao is still everything in order.
In the circle of memories
Another thing is that before this culmination and decoupling it is still necessary, conditionally speaking, to sit in the hall. It is clear that the fans of the creativity of Freebird Games are endearing in any case, and the very opportunity to get up and go is taken for an act of blasphemy. But here’s the beginners, those who come here, having not experienced the pre-magic To the Moon, may have problems and questions.
The fact is that the first chapter is very tight. Where in the past game almost immediately there were death, tears and drama, in the Finding Paradise, the first four hours (or even five), we observe quite banal things. Heroes travel by Colin’s recollections, see what he was, how he met his neighbor, who for many years became a best friend, how he studied music, how he became a pilot, how he got acquainted with his wife, how she made her offer, how they flew to the wedding journey …
During these 4-5 hours you can watch a couple of films by Tarkovsky or Andrey Zvyagintsev, reading Virginia Woolf’s Waves, or even starting the Joyce Ulysses – that’s really a real art where the same questions , which rise in the Finding Paradise, are said to be much more interesting, more complicated and more informal.
So, in any case, it seems that when you once again collect the key pieces of Colin’s memory and activate it in the mini-game (now these variations on the topic “three in a row”), important nodal memories, to go further. Yes, it’s diluted with arcade inserts in the QTE style and excellent humor (one parody of “Credential Father” at the airport is worth it!), But nevertheless, the feeling of being too long does not leave.
In addition, it begins to seem that you have already captured the main intrigue of this story. Indeed, in the Finding Paradise we move according to the patient’s memories not in a strict chronological sequence that corresponds to different periods of his life, but interspersed, jumping from, for example, from early childhood to old age or maturity and vice versa. So we immediately see a more complete picture of the life of Colin and roughly understand what everything seems to be.
Laughter and drama
However, the gun, which shoots in the second act, turns everything upside down. You begin to realize that without a long first chapter, the effect would not have turned out to be so strong.
And it’s already ceasing to be so banal. Especially since further fantasy Kahn Gao opens on a new one – here and horror, and some kind of parody arcade inserts in the spirit of Japanese RPG, fighting games and scrollers. Humor in Finding Paradise is generally more times than in To the Moon. Plus, some kind of pure Gikov joke, the reference to the “Creepy Father”, then the superhero comics with the breakthrough of the “fourth wall”.
All this, which is called, dilutes the suspense, makes history, on the one hand, less focused on tears and drama, and on the other – more diverse. But in any case, the final still causes a shock – perhaps not so powerful, turning out the soul inside out, as in To the Moon, but more conscious, subtle and adult in nature.
I repeat – in the cinematography and literature there are works of art, which tell about the same things more interesting and unpublished, than the author of Finding Paradise does. But within the framework of gameplay itself, that is, a more comprehensible and accessible language, it is definitely a genius – few in this industry can write such rich, deep and emotional stories. Yes, someone will say that, following the variety and scale, having made the area more spacious, adding more humor, parodies and arcade inserts, he came up with a less emotional and intense storyline. But in fact, the story here is simply another – more complex and adult, making much of a thought during and after passing.