I saw a patch had added some new stuff and changed a few things so i decided to check some of them out. After seeing the new stuff I decided to clean up the loose ends on the terminal. After doing that I wanted to see if the ending was different since i had technically seen everything... its not :(
But I think i have a new favorite moment,
Waiting for Ash Twin to pour out initially seemed like a poor design choice but a necessary one because of the game mechanics but I think its more to build anticipation for the moment you go into the core of the planet and see the ATP for the first time, well not the first time, but now you understand those masks you kept seeing in the projection pools.
You read all the text and mission statement, you check all the projection stones and then you come to the lever to open the case and grab the core. The visceral action of ripping out the core, your only means of survival to this point, had a very real effect on me. You know the implications of what your doing and what you have to do now.
The core is removed, the lights dim. For the first time the game has given you a goal without shoving it in your face, but in that same moment, took away what had gotten you this far in the first place.
The walk back to the ship isnt very long but you now have a new look on the whole game. By this time I had gotten used to just killing myself to finish the loop and start again but now you are literally holding the thing that let you do that. Suddenly all the fear I had forgotten due to my immortality came FLOODING back.
Then you get in your ship and point it towards the Bramble... and "that song" comes on.
It wasnt really one of the Holy Shit moments like eariler in the game. By this time in game you should have seen most of the really cool stuff by now. Its really more like you finally put all the puzzle pieces together and all thats left is to flip it over and see the picture revealed but in the same moment you put the piece down, one of the table legs broke and your finished puzzle is sitting precariously on the edge about to fall and shatter into hundreds of pieces.
I really cant think of a time where I had such a reaction to a moment in a video game. Where it felt like there actual consequences if i messed this up. I know that me, Duke, is in no real danger but my Hatchling might actual die this time!