cobra dinn is not a real country

just played enough obra dinn to get my first set of 3 (like half an hour?)

not yet sure how I feel about it although the music is wonderful

it’s definitely designed along the lines of a fullbright game

the production is interesting

The first set is misleading, it’s set up as a tutorial and doesn’t quite give you the same freedom of order as you have later when the game becomes more freeform.

I finished it tonight, took 8 hours and 20 minutes and it was great. It’s not often that I get to play a true investigation game, and here it’s all about investigating and extrapolating. It’s awesome.


Up to 15 correct out of 15 fates entered after 3 hours. So far I think I got one wrong and had to pick the other guy with the same name as was in the clue.

It seems kind of easy so far but probably because the obvious fates are the ones you work out first? Can’t wait to work out the name of the crewman who’s murdered like 5 people so far

edit: also the game is kind of macabre??

yeah honestly my first hour was both too easy and too dire

I dare say it won’t get any less dire. You really get a feel for how little a human life meant on the ship. People die for horrible or stupid reasons alike.

I found some later cases to be much harder, even discounting the tutorial bit on the top deck, mostly due to a lack of information and context, but the game also pulls a couple mechanical tricks on you. At times you will clearly understand how someone dies but be unable to put a name on the killer, at times you’ll be having trouble establishing a cause of death because of the lack of body, in some cases you’ll have to work on other fates first just to whittle down the number of permutations to something you can intuit or brute force.

But one of the more interesting things is there are some rather subtle mysteries on the ship that basically have no bearing on the whole fate thing or even the whole narrative as far as I can tell (I’m missing two achievements but they may be for ending the game in a less complete state than I did as I solved all fates on the first go) yet are clearly not just red herrings due to the way they’re integrated into the whole. I was sure a specific one would be a setup for a late game twist, and instead the late game only added to my questions regarding that thing.

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Are there unlock thresholds for accessing more corpses? I’m currently at 18 fates and running low on evidence to clear the rest (24 is absolute max I could get right now if I Sherlock or brute force the rest). Will something happen when I reach 20 fates, or did I fail to find a key corpse I already have access to?

I’ve noticed some doors or staircases have opened at times already, but I’m not sure what the triggers were.

Right now my most obvious problem is I can’t reach the bottom floor, and there are also a few X’ed out doors remaining on the cannon floor. I have no blank pages on Cold, Doom, Escape and End chapters, and no partial completion at all on any other chapter.

The game does deliver on the “insurance adventure” spirit here. You don’t ever get to know these crew members and they remain mostly names, ranks and cause of death – cells on a spreadsheet, in other words. To the extent I learn about them as people, it’s mostly in terms of how they fit into the collective – where are they precisely in the hierarchy and the social cliques?

Every past game in the walking-simulator-with-memories genre has followed a novel/cinema based individualist narrative spirit, where people’s individual life stories, beliefs and feelings matter. In Obra Dinn that kind of stuff is largely beside the point. It’s set at a particular time in history where premodern mutualism started to interact with modern accounting methods, but Jane Austen hadn’t written her first novel yet.

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I’m not certain about thresholds. I think there’s one at the beginning for the tutorial with the first 3 cases but I don’t think there are others, plus it seems 18 should definitely be more than enough compared to where I was at. Given what you’re telling me a missing body is the likely culprit, especially since some bodies are definitely intentionally hard to notice outside of the main sequence the game has you follow. However, if you go look at some bodies you already know the locations of (and I don’t mean go into flashbacks, I really just mean look at them) you may pick up on something that may help you find the ones you’re still searching for.

Also yeah, there’s something very Papers Please-esque about the disconnect between the human stories you’re getting a glimpse of and the cold hard facts of the insurance assessment that’s your purpose during the game.

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How the h*ck did you complete the Escape without the clue from the bad ending (which is one of your missing achievements)?

There were a couple of fates that I resorted to guessing when I had two other 100% certain guesses (the last two seamen, those bloody Chinese topmen), but for the most part it was easy to work out everyone’s identity by looking at uniforms, watching who paired with whom (for mates etc.), and looking up the number on their hammocks

I missed a body or two, but found them by looking at the ship’s plan, finding a gap in a chapter’s chain, and searching the later end of the break

Well, obviously since I haven’t gotten that ending I’m not sure what clue that should be but is it about guessing where the four survivors escaped to? I based that on the surgeon’s letter at the beginning of the book, which mentions the return address.

oh, duh. That explains the monkey business

the bad ending is, instead of the package, you get a letter saying ‘thanks for trying, we are alive in <location>’

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I see! You may want to spoiler that tough.

You can see their names in the global achievement stats, one of them gives a pretty obvious clue of how to get it

I finished the full ending a few hours ago.

I devoured this game. I need more of this sort of thing at all times and it is agonizing how infrequently games like this come out.

I can say that there IS enough information to work out the identities and fates of everyone on the ship without brute force or trial and error. The only real trouble spot is determining how the journal wants you to interpret someone’s cause of death. (Was this guy ‘shot’ or ‘exploded’? Was this one ‘clawed’ or ‘strangled’? etc.)

Some tips:

  • For the sake of the ledger, nobody parts ways after leaving in a lifeboat. If you see a group leave, they all have the same fate.
  • Pay very close attention to the gun deck on early-morning scenes. Very, VERY close scrutiny on the scenery will help you out a significant amount.
  • The map of the ship is important. Paying attention to who is in what rooms when is where you get some identity info.
  • Sometimes the scene of someone’s death doesn’t give you the information you need. Sometimes you’ll need to leave the scene of one occurrence to get more detail on another thing happening in a completely different area.

I think the other hidden achievement might be an extra bad ending for people who blast through the content without solving anything past the tutorial? See Not sure what else it could be

It’s putting down the cause of death as being murdered by the captain for all fates



Something that just dawned on me (but includes best ending spoilers): I only now realize that that glint you can see far away behind the ship and to the side, which struck me as odd in the early hours but I then kinda forgot, must be from the mermaids who brought the Obra Dinn back to england and must’ve been carrying a shell.

While I’m at it, that’s something I noticed early on in the escape chapter but the Memento Mortem pocketwatch was already in the surgeon’s possession during the trip. The case was under his operating table and he took it with him when he left. Obviously he knew how it works all along, too, since he deliberately sacrificed his monkey to create a flashback link in a room he couldn’t physically enter. I wonder if it’s possible to find more clues regarding the story behind it.


Lucas please

Obra Dinn 2 on a space ship

you can even use the same engine

I need this to be whole again

This was very enjoyable but maybe not as perfect as I was expecting?

The last hidden chapter Bargain is a bit anticlimatic as nothing truly surprising or meaningful happens beyond the monkey’s paw… which isn’t great because it point at the artificiality of the game’s setup

The beginning is not great either because it’s hard to do anything meaningful the first time you see a scene, as the game disables options like being able to hear pre-death dialogue another time, gives you limited time to walk around, and immediately yanks you to the next scene when it’s over. There was a long earlygame period when I felt like an idiot because I was just entering causes of deaths in the journal and couldn’t identify anyone; the game would not slow down to make me think a little

The game really started to shine once I had seen every scene and was on my own to start paying attention to hats, ethnicities, ranks, etc