IMMORTALITY

I basically shat myself with excitement the first time I found Weird Shit. I was looking for weird shit in the game, but I wasn’t looking for or expecting what I found. Wonderful surprise!

Phenomenal execution on this stuff—the audio and background music being reactive to your tactile control over the playback speed etc makes the experience even better. Been playing this for hours just aimlessly wandering and I love it already.

My one suggestion is to play this with a controller. I am playing it on the Steam Deck and it’s a great experience so far. Spoiler for those who have dug deep already without using a controller: the weird shit makes the controller vibrate which makes it easier to find!

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I was absolutely delighted when I discovered weird shit in the very first clip

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I missed that one but I was delighted when I realized that every instance of weirdness is a whole clip you can tap into if you get the dial right. Immediately went back and found a whole clip behind every “blip” I’d marked in the collection. A lot of them are easy but some are very tough and there are a few Zoe clips where the feminine immortal being is silent with her scene partner that I haven’t been able to figure out yet. I might just not be sensitive enough with my fiddling yet though.

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Forgot this was the FROM THE WRITER OF LOST HIGHWAY AND WILD AT HEART game

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Re: my discovery

Because it’s conspicuously not film (a tape with the tracking messing up) I fiddled around with the stick at the end of the clip and almost burst into tears of joy at the layers it revealed in just that one clip. The interface telling you it’s a Moviola and then giving you that off the bat is just weird enough to set off the obstinate playtester in me.

Re: your question

I’m not 100% on the ones you’re referring to but some of the ones that aren’t the high-key black and white clips require continuing to scrub in one direction until it “pops” into an alternate version of the same scene with The One, et al. The droning sound effect will keep going as long as you’re doing it.

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Just did this one and you have to hold the slightest angle to the left on the analog stick when she says “Maria, I can’t do that” until it fades entirely to black.

The controls for this game have been a delight and I’m morbidly curious how it plays with a mouse or touchscreen. They’re definitely pushing the limit for accessibility with some things but the kinesthetics of simulating film reel scrubbing are fantastic.

The whole thing takes me back to building prints or test reels of old trailers, putting little cue stickers to trigger the house lights, etc. but it’s software with good sound design and input tuning most people can touch.

According to Xbox achievements I’m at 44%, 56%, and 64% complete for each film in order of release.

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the match cut thing sounds really cool, no thought on the reviews besides liking how the kotaku one celebrates a movie for having a positive “attitude toward girlfriends”. i agree and think that attitude toward girlfriends (are they good? why/why not?) should be a recurring review element alongside fun factor, auteur factor, pet the dog factor and terrifying labour abuse factor. for example, in Passage, GFs stop you from retrieving treasures, but in Final Fantasy 8, they’re key to mastery of the junction system. in my opinion attitude toward girlfriends should be represented through the scientific gamepro measuring schema to help people know in advance where a game stands on this divisive issue.

image

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The stuff people are saying here about the audiovisual response to the way you navigate interface is making me wanna try this out.

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I got credits to roll and I love it.

I haven’t been systematically going through the match cuts either, just following the clips loosely and piecing it together in my head.

I have minor annoyances with the UI after eight hours: a view history would be nice to have in-game and I wish the hidden clips would be stored somewhere and no longer appear in other clips so you don’t trigger the same one twice.

I’m torn between putting this down content that I have the full picture and continuing to compulsively pick at it. In other words, highly effective piece of media they’ve got here.

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Loving this game so far, I think the game is doing some neat stuff vis-a-vis the construction of narrative from database + the construction of narrative from our own flawed, incomplete memories (esp regarding the Immortal and the Other One, both of whom are absolutely unreliable narrators given their acknowledgment that memories have been lost in the retelling)

no thoughts beyond that, have no idea how much game is left. Lynchian surface affect but going in very non-lynchian directions.

One thing I don’t like: the wigs are horrible and I can’t stop staring at them whenever they’re on screen.

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If they only wore them while shooting I’d like them

this is almost certainly why they don’t give you a history function and I love having to remember how I got “there”

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general non-ending spoilers

The match cut mechanic is both misdirecting focus from rewinding and priming you to take its matches authoritatively. Apple for apple, like for like, until it doesn’t.

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Starting with Shadow of Destiny, I’ve always liked this sort of story where you discover a plot event when you discover it and you might or might not yet have the full context. So each player has a customized sequence of revelations.

More recently, of course, there are 13 Sentinels and Obra Dinn.

Although more linear, Shattered Memories did something like this better than a lot of people realized, I think, with the unfortunate motion controls that turned players away and the understandable assumption that it was just a mediocre supermarket store brand Silent Hill. Though in that case it was more about alternate versions of events and characters than piecing together a single narrative.

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The key to the appeal for me is the total lack of visible structure. I’m sure there’s a system that determines which clips you’re served up and some pools of clips are gated behind specific others but there’s no prescribed order or context.

All that’s exposed to the player are two sorting options and the hypertext system that also obfuscates the terms a bit. (I didn’t reference the image page ever in eight hours but now I see they’re labelled.)

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Yeah I had the mechanics down but just wasn’t being sensitive enough on some of these inputs. Was able to unlock the ones I’d been baffled by and one of them, the scene from movie two where Carl is shot, delightfully led me to a deep chain (4 clips deep?) of zooms into the masculine immortal’s eye, until he is reincarnated in the body of Amy?? Or something?? Incredible. Was feeling absolutely rapturous about that moment. It’s a pretty obvious trick when you think about the mechanical possibilities here, but I’m glad they saved it for such an important moment.

I have the exact same annoyance. Feels like a key tool here. It’s so obvious that I am sure they considered it, so they must have chosen to not include it for some reason? I can’t say I would agree with any reason they might be able to offer, though.

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I love this trick because it is sometimes more truthful than the image is. Like when you cut from the immortals’ faces directly to the faces of the humans they are inhabiting! At first I thought “is the link here just that the situations are similar?” but then I realized what was up :slight_smile:

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i think all of this is true, but i also think that the fact that essentially every modern human from the time they’re born is now deeply enveloped in an interactive fictional world on a daily basis has really blurred the line between art and life and thereby debilitates people’s perceptions - all things are didactic because all things are of equal reality. media and stories are actions/potential violence brought upon people, which means they’re decayed down to being purely about escapist entertainment.

also i think the language around criticizing elements of media and culture that was used within an academic bubble for decades finally spilling out into the mainstream vernacular has not helped people reconcile what to do with this information, especially if we’re talking about kids hearing these things from strangers on the internet. and i realize the writer of the article is not a kid but like they probably were not too long ago.

anyway i just seem to encounter more people now who are deeply offended by the idea of a piece of media making them feel bad

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the author of the kotaku article being under the age of 25 explains a lot and I hope she grows out of these habits in writing

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I thank her for making me consider that I too may have attitude towards girlfriends

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Well, I got one credits roll but I’m not stopping there, have a pretty good idea of the story of the game

the most baffling part of the kotaku review is this paragraph

Barlow never gives Marissa any sense of agency. Everything happens to Marissa—the events of the game, her movies being delayed, even the action of the player finding her. Marissa is never allowed to find herself, to share her art the way she would have envisioned or wanted it. Because of this, Barlow turns into another black hole director, stealing his actress’ spotlight when he hoped to shine it only on her.

which just screams that the reviewer did not even understand the surface level plot. This review, having now gotten far enough to get to a credits sequence, reads like someone watched a trailer for the game and filled in all the details after the fact based on what she assumed the game would be.

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