Critical Bit #42: Written by
A Wish Fulfilled
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This time on Critical Bit, Ian joins the memory hacking pair, Eva and Neil of ‘‘To The Moon’’ and their patient Johnny gets a new happy ending.
Behind the Bit
If you yet to hear of it, To The Moon is an indie game from the mind of game designer Kan “Reives” Gao and his development team Freebird Games. It was released in 2011 to wide praise for it’s touching story, nostalgic graphics and musical score. The premise of the game is that you play as Doctors Eva Rosalene and Neil Watts, two technicians from Sigmund Corp – a company offers an unusual service. For a price they will come to your death bed and using specialized equipment, alter your memories to make you think your final wish has come true. The hitch is that to make a patient’s mind accept the new memories that have to somewhat rational and consistent with their own existing memories.
In the case of Eva and Neil, they arrive at the home of Johnny who’s dying wish to go to the moon, except he has no idea why other than he is overwhelmed with the urge to do so. Because they simply cannot just ram any old random set of event into Johnny’s mind Eva and Neil spend the majority of the game delving into Johnny’s past uncovering a mystery of sorts surrounding the death of his eccentric wife River.
Being the late comer to the indie game scene as I am, I’ve only recently played To The Moon under the counsel of Tim Latshaw. While I found it a enjoyable experience I have to admit that I found a lot of the story a little trite and difficult believe. That is where this week’s comic comes in. Ian’s reaction in frame 6 to finding out Johnny’s wish was exactly my own – utter disbelief. At face value I found his request ridiculously absurd and if I was able to I would have just ended the game by insert any random number of more satisfying activities into his brain. The narrative does a fair job of recovering but not entirely. By the same token I do not want to be too harsh, as I’d still recommended it as pleasant reprieve from our world of gory shooters and flashy action games.
But I’d much rather be playing Super Time Force.
Critical Bit is a web comic about video games written and drawn by Ian Yuan. New additions are published every Sunday. Social media savvy? Follow him at @i_yuan on Twitter for more Critical Bit fun and general silliness.