IronRinn's forum posts

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#1 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

@bjorndadwarf said:

@ironrinn said:

@bjorndadwarf:

Honestly, there is nothing to refute your idea of adventure, other than to point out that it is entirely subjective. What we can infer about Katie is hobbled by how little we get to know her. She could be "a total, boring, straightedge" as you call her but, again, she seems to be perfectly content to be so. Perhaps, knowing the way her parents react to things, she simply chooses to filter what information they had access to. The contrast with her younger sister (who, it should be noted, wasn't really doing anything crazy and adventurous until she had the good fortune to meet Lonnie) strikes me as another unfortunate instance where Katie exists merely to shed more light on Sam. We never even find a letter directly from Katie to Sam. Their relationship, one that is impressed upon us as being particularly close, is the one, glaring example where the game chooses to tell instead of show. Which is fine as this is, on the face of it, Sam's story. It's just awkwardly lopsided, especially considering how it's the top-layer narrative, leading to a lot of less than satisfying conjecture.

I know this is a game/story where it's really easy to read too much into the pieces that are given, but I suspect that Sam was always the more adventurous sibling, even before Lonnie. My key piece of evidence is her incredible short story when answering the sex ed question. The kind of 9th grader who writes that is a natural troublemaker of the best variety. The second piece of evidence is that it's her who chases after Lonnie initially. She identifies Lonnie as someone she wants to know, observes her habits, develops a plan to get to know her, and then executes that plan. The parents blame Lonnie for Sam's troubles that year, but Sam was already on a path to become a troublemaker. They even used the classic parent line, "You never had these problems before her", which is often just parents trying to outsource a problem rather than take a sober and honest look at who their kid is. Lonnie and her fueled each other's mischievousness, rather than it being a case of one influencing the other more.

Again, adventurousness being subjective. I think at this point we may be arguing our own internalization of the story, in which case we are doomed to chase each other in circles with no end game in sight!

#2 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

@bjorndadwarf:

Honestly, there is nothing to refute your idea of adventure, other than to point out that it is entirely subjective. What we can infer about Katie is hobbled by how little we get to know her. She could be "a total, boring, straightedge" as you call her but, again, she seems to be perfectly content to be so. Perhaps, knowing the way her parents react to things, she simply chooses to filter what information they had access to. The contrast with her younger sister (who, it should be noted, wasn't really doing anything crazy and adventurous until she had the good fortune to meet Lonnie) strikes me as another unfortunate instance where Katie exists merely to shed more light on Sam. We never even find a letter directly from Katie to Sam. Their relationship, one that is impressed upon us as being particularly close, is the one, glaring example where the game chooses to tell instead of show. Which is fine as this is, on the face of it, Sam's story. It's just awkwardly lopsided, especially considering how it's the top-layer narrative, leading to a lot of less than satisfying conjecture.

#3 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

@bjorndadwarf said:

Oh, and some people may have missed, or not appreciated, some of the content about Katie.

Katie is a total, boring, straightedge. Give her an assignment, and she will complete exactly as the instructions tell her to (as shown in the contrast between her and her sister's sex ed assignments). A year in Europe should be an adventure, a true coming-of-age experience that will change you forever. It probably wasn't for Katie. She was very passive. The most exciting thing was going in the Chunnel. She went here, and saw this. Then she went there, and saw that. Then she came home. Sam acknowledges that sometimes you have to lie to your parents. Katie has never imagined lying to them, because she's never had anything to lie about. If she had any interesting adventures in Europe, there would have been a private letter to Sam about them.

Sam on the other hand, has an intense adventure just getting through her Junior year! And is likely starting on a much hairier adventure at the end of the game.

I think it's one of the hidden morals of the story. Adventure is who you are, not where you go.

I think this is a fine interpretation. An even better example is when you find Katie's version of the Sex Ed. homework assignment in the basement (3 years older and they haven't changed a thing in the meantime!) and contrast that with Sam's WWII narrative. (Edit: I am an idiot, you already mentioned this!) I will say, however, that while this is a fine interpretation it still seems like an interpretation of one of the game's biggest flaws. It really treats Katie as a camera. You get some glimpses of her through the postcards, the aforementioned homework, and her refusal to read her sister's racy note in the basement any further (which, as annoying as that was to me as the player, was really the strongest asserts herself as a person in the entire game) but she is really given short shrift compared to everyone else. I'm honestly not sure how I would have balanced the need for Katie to be a character in and of herself as well as serve as the lens for the player but it's regrettable that we didn't get to know her just a bit better.

Edit 2: I would like to add, this:

I think it's one of the hidden morals of the story. Adventure is who you are, not where you go.

...is mighty presumptuous, don't you think? Katie sounds perfectly happy to simply go to Europe and see the sights. Adventure is how you define it for yourself, not how interesting it is to other people.

#4 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

@nmckee503 said:

I have to say, although I enjoyed what I've played, I feel like I sort of ruined this game for myself, here's why (not sure if I need spoiler tags in this thread, but everyone else seems to be doing it):

I found the secret passage for the key to the attic too quickly, upon entering the house, then went into the attic as soon as I found it. Now I have (at least) two locked doors to explore with no sense of mystery left, or really any sense of the ominous atmosphere I was enjoying.

Did this happen to anyone else?

I didn't have quite the same experience but my first time through I got most of the journal entries out of order simply because I decided to head straight, up the stairs instead of going to the left and exploring the downstairs first. My second play-through I made sure to explore the downstairs first.

#5 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

You know, I feel like the Terry/Jan/Rick and Terry/Oscar stuff is a better argument for the storytelling in this game than the main, Sam/Lonnie plot which is really just a matter of collecting audio-logs.

Edit: Unrelated: Can we just dispense with the spoiler bars? It's clearly labeled a spoiler thread after all.

#6 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -
@vertrucio said:

Wow incredible story.

How many journal entries did you guys have at the end? I have 23, and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss any.

It looks like there is space for 24? I only found 20. Think I'm going to load my near-end save and hunt for the last few.

#7 Edited by IronRinn (146 posts) -

Where did all the VHS player go?!

If you notice, all of the expensive, smaller electronic equipment is gone. I assumed that Sam took all of it when she left so she and Lonnie could sell it.

#8 Posted by IronRinn (146 posts) -

I cannot believe this. Still in total fucking shock an hour later. RIP Mr. Davis, you will be missed.

#9 Posted by IronRinn (146 posts) -

Another great column Alex, and one that mirrors my own thoughts almost perfectly. I feel exactly like how you describe in your opening paragraph.

#10 Posted by IronRinn (146 posts) -

I was never never a big fan of GTA before IV and, from the looks of this, that game may simply be the exception that proves the rule. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I found San Andreas to be a bloated, boring mess of a game with way too many thing to do, few of them interesting. I enjoyed the underlying seriousness of IV, even if it led to some cognitive dissonance between Niko and the player. Oh well, I'll just have to wait and see but, thus far, not really keen on what they've shown.

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