Sunday, December 27, 2009

and loneliness is all around

Cylindrian Rutabaga needs your help. Now, it goes without saying (and frequently does on this blog) that there's an RL to match the SL, so Cylindrian in-world? Likely just fine. But we are tied to our typists, our fates intertwine, and Cylindrian's typist had her van--the only transport for her family--repossessed. She needs it back.

Like her voice and her music, or not, no one can discount the impact she's had on the grid. I personally love her voice and her style, but even if you don't, she's done more to keep SL music visible and vital for all of us than you may know. For that alone, if you can chip in for a CD, or even toss a few Lindens her way, it would be a boon to the community, and a help to her.

In the meantime, much of my time away from SL has been eaten by gaming. Oh, the usual, yes--Runes of Magic, and I finally g9t around to reinstalling Diablo, so now I romp around in that little world, but Hank and Alex Rucker decided, this year, to gift me with more games.

Because, y'know, I just didn't have enough ways to fritter away time.

One of them, something called The Path, is what I've been playing this morning.

Scarlet,The Path,computers,games

There's another site where trailers, images, and story bits are captured, but the most important thing to remember about The Path is...there's no 'win' involved.

Like Second Life--only much, much darker--your objective is...missing. The game opens on six girls that live in an apartment. One by one, their mother sends them to go to Grandmother's house, deep in the forest. Sometimes, they get there. (We learn quick, if we walk the girls straight to Grandmother's house...we lose.) Sometimes...they wander.

Each time, you're given thirteen secret items to find. You don't know what they are. You just have to walk the forest--generally off the path--and locate them. There are mini-games within the game as a whole--picking flowers, figuring out certain key elements as you go--but for the most part, it's just you. And your chosen girl. And the forest.

And breathless screaming. And the clinking of chains. And the snarling of the wolf.

It's not a game for everyone. It gets under your skin, in no small part due to the soundtrack, co-written by Kris Force (formerly, and perhaps currently, part of Amber Asylum) and Jarboe (formerly half of the Swans). They recorded something close to either six or eight hours of music, in small samples, that is then meshed together depending on how close each girl is to the path, and to major game events. Sound effects are then seamlessly overlaid, but it all comes together sounding extraordinarily designed, in terms of pacing. Even the moments where the music breaks off seem by design, the hush of the dark woods momentarily overwhelming even the soundtrack.

I haven't ventured that far into the game yet, though I have ventured far off the path. Two of my girls have died, in rather horrific ways. Two lived through to meet with Grandmother, though in both cases, I was unsettled by Grandmother's room in the dim and dark house. The two that lived came back to the apartment, when time came for Mother to send someone else off to the woods.

But after I lost two girls in a row, I came back, and...those two girls? Were missing. So there is some scattered memory function at work in the game.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Mother needs to choose another girl to stay on the path. Let's hope she chooses wisely.

Right now, I'm fascinated. This is not a game to shake off easily. I'm still seeing dark feathers float through the trees to the ground.


Alexandra Rucker said...

I've been getting addicted to Torchlight the last 24 hours.... it's like Diablo (so I won't get nauseated with motionsickness) but unlike it enough I can breeze through on a mindless munchkin killing spree on "normal" setting.

So that's what I did for 12 hours after I got the game. :)

Emilly Orr said...

Amusingly, that's what Fawkes told me last night, when we were crawling through the Canyon of the Magi in Diablo II. "It's like this," he said, "so if you like this, you'll like Torchlight."

Myself, I've been fascinated with The Path. So far, I've gotten three girls killed. This is viewed as success. It's very odd.

Alexandra Rucker said...

I predict I will probably lost my spare time to Torchlight this week. There's at least 100 levels in the game (I found the achivements list. Good gods!) so I figure that'll take me into next week. :)

The Alchemist is a good character. Supposedly not the easiest, but it's capabilities match my game strategies, so it's a cakewalk for me. Mmmm, munchkining... :)

Emilly Orr said...

Sounds fun.

Me, I'm currently wandering around behind Robin through the graveyard, watching the sole Wolf I've yet seen in this game. :)