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My mom died two years ago. I'm finding the anniversary tough. We were close.

There are a number of games that deal with mortality (in a serious way, I mean), but What Remains of Edith Finch is the one I keep coming back to. It actually helps me with perspective a little bit. The game's vignettes depict the deaths of the various members of the Finch family, who, in the game's story, have believed themselves cursed for hundreds of years such that only one Finch from each generation survives to reproduce another generation. This, ironically, causes the player to focus on the details of their lives instead, as the titular Edith has tasked herself with discovering the truth behind the legend of the family curse. That focus cultivates a sense of empathy for each one that in turn builds a cumulatively powerful sense of loss and temporality.

One can't help but come to love the game's characters. Lewis's death vignette is...wow. Some of it I relate to in the sense of being a perpetual menial laborer myself who kind of hates my life and spends the bulk of any given day daydreaming, although psychosis hasn't been a struggle of mine. I love how the game conveys its progression like how video games have evolved over the decades. I also really liked Barbara's backstory and how that was told in a comic book style inspired by Tales From the Crypt. It's really for anyone who feels used. Her life is one gigantic abusive relationship with most people.

My favorite of the backstories though is always Molly's, which is the first one you discover. Molly's tale about her own impending doom is just the funniest, with her morphing into various animals every time she finds herself in a predicament and concluding that she's delicious. That always makes me smile. I used to be pretty carefree and Molly's story reminds me of that time. It's bittersweet because, like how it inevitably concludes with Molly's death way back in 1947, similarly my own carefree days feel like a very distant, but very fond, memory.

Dawn is a lot like my mom was: genuinely loving while also being strict and a bit secretive and mysterious, but you understood why once you got to know her. My dad taught me to hunt too, much as my mom's dad had taught her as well. I think she would have appreciated this game actually. Mom was never much of a gamer despite my best attempts to interest her in games. We rarely played video games together when I was growing up, though after I left I noticed on my return visits that she'd started playing simple computer games as a hobby. She was easily frustrated by the types of challenges that games typically offer. Besides her casual puzzle and simulation games (we're talking Candy Crush and FarmVille) and the familiar board game style of the Mario Party franchise though, she liked games like Gone Home and Beyond: Two Souls when I introduced her to them, as they didn't revolve around tough, traditional gamey type challenges. I think she'd have liked this game too. There's a lot I find relatable about many of this game's characters. I think it's supposed to be that way.

The bottom line of the game is that life is, by nature, a fleeting miracle, and that one should do their best to appreciate the miraculous nature of it while there is time to. The way the game communicates that idea is effective for me. I'm not very good at letting go or at not worrying about the future all the time these days. I don't really think I have one. Sometimes I just need a game that understands that and is there to to help put the whole nature of life back in a better perspective than I naturally have.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 21 July 2019

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I'm sorry about your mom. I can't imagine how tough it must be to lose a parent at a young age.

I really like Edith Finch as well. Also The Unfinished Swan, Firewatch, and The Witness. They all have a sense of loss, temporality, or being alone but at the same time a positive outlook.



Glad it was able to help you, even if only a little.

Personally, I loved the game. I like "walking simulators" when they are done right. They usually have a really good narrative and some interesting ways to tell the story. I think the only one that disappointed me was Gone Home. It was okay, but the pay off wasn't that great.



First, I'm sorry for the loss of your mom.

It's great when someone can rebounce back though ! Seems like this game helped you do it and I can empathize since I played this game 2 weeks ago and it was definitely a strange but yet great melancholic ride while I played it. I particulary loved the different ways these stories were told and the varying tone they came with :)



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thismeintiel said:
Glad it was able to help you, even if only a little.

Personally, I loved the game. I like "walking simulators" when they are done right. They usually have a really good narrative and some interesting ways to tell the story. I think the only one that disappointed me was Gone Home. It was okay, but the pay off wasn't that great.

Really? Gone Home's conclusion was its best aspect, I thought! (Well, aside from the menstrual cycle novella anyway. And the fictitious Super NES cartridges like Adventurous the Cat that I DEMAND now be made into real, Super NES-type games because I WANT to play them!) I mean when I played it for the first time, I was freaked after hearing the diary entry you find in the hidden room behind the stairs. Sam's tone sounded suicidal to me. I thought maybe I was going to find her corpse in the attic! (Being as she's a lesbian character and this was merely the Year of Our Lord 2013, I wouldn't have been shocked if this whoooole thing had turned out to be some warped cautionary tale about the dangers involved with homosexuality or something stupid like that.)

I really liked that she got to be with Lonnie after all instead of this all going the route that so many other narrative games about teenagers go. Most seem to basically just recycle the themes from Catcher in the Rye about how learning to let go is an important aspect of maturing into adulthood. Games like Life is Strange would portray Sam's decision to run away with Lonnie as selfish, short-sighted, and irresponsible (which I suppose it kind of is). I really liked that Gone Home instead isn't preachy that way, but instead is just understanding of the feeling behind that and chooses to simply prize and celebrate love. It's obviously a romantic conclusion, but it's one that even now still separates it from other, similar types of games.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 21 July 2019

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Replicant said:

I'm sorry about your mom. I can't imagine how tough it must be to lose a parent at a young age.

I really like Edith Finch as well. Also The Unfinished Swan, Firewatch, and The Witness. They all have a sense of loss, temporality, or being alone but at the same time a positive outlook.

Thank you.

I guess 35 was young. I don't feel young.

I still haven't played The Unfinished Swan, but probably will soon down the way, if only because I know it was a previous title by this same developer. I did like Firewatch too though for sure. The Witness was...jeez, that was difficult! I thought the conclusions of that game were pretty good and poignant for sure though.



Mar1217 said:
First, I'm sorry for the loss of your mom.

It's great when someone can rebounce back though ! Seems like this game helped you do it and I can empathize since I played this game 2 weeks ago and it was definitely a strange but yet great melancholic ride while I played it. I particulary loved the different ways these stories were told and the varying tone they came with :)

Thank you.

Bouncing back might be a bit of a stretch. The game helps me with perspective. That's what I would say.

Also, I obviously agree with you about the vignettes that tell the character's death stories. Speaking of which, what did you think of Calvin's? I mean have we not ALL thought about trying something that before?? I remember swinging dangerously high when I was a kid and thought about the possibility of looping. I got a little scared though when I got high enough that I started to feel the whole swing set shift in the ground and gave up.



Jaicee said:
thismeintiel said:
Glad it was able to help you, even if only a little.

Personally, I loved the game. I like "walking simulators" when they are done right. They usually have a really good narrative and some interesting ways to tell the story. I think the only one that disappointed me was Gone Home. It was okay, but the pay off wasn't that great.

Really? Gone Home's conclusion was its best aspect, I thought! (Well, aside from the menstrual cycle novella anyway. And the fictitious Super NES cartridges like Adventurous the Cat that I DEMAND now be made into real, Super NES-type games because I WANT to play them!) I mean when I played it for the first time, I was freaked after hearing the diary entry you find in the hidden room behind the stairs. Sam's tone sounded suicidal to me. I thought maybe I was going to find her corpse in the attic! (Being as she's a lesbian character and this was merely the Year of Our Lord 2013, I wouldn't have been shocked if this whoooole thing had turned out to be some warped cautionary tale about the dangers involved with homosexuality or something stupid like that.)

I really liked that she got to be with Lonnie after all instead of this all going the route that so many other narrative games about teenagers go. Most seem to basically just recycle the themes from Catcher in the Rye about how learning to let go is an important aspect of maturing into adulthood. Games like Life is Strange would portray Sam's decision to run away with Lonnie as selfish, short-sighted, and irresponsible (which I suppose it kind of is). I really liked that Gone Home instead isn't preachy that way, but instead is just understanding of the feeling behind that and chooses to simply prize and celebrate love. It's obviously a romantic conclusion, but it's one that even now still separates it from other, similar types of games.

Well, the fact that the house is deserted and a note telling you to not investigate what happened just leads me to believe there was something bigger happening in the story.  Like if your character found out what happened, they could have the same thing happen or be in danger somehow. And there was the hinting that the house could be haunted.

Instead it just turns out that the character was gay and ran away from home and the parents went on "vacation."  Which is also strange, since you think they would want to be there when their older daughter arrived and/or be there to supervise their daughter if they didn't like her being with Lonnie.  It's at least a trip you think they would have told their older daughter about.  Instead, they didn't just for the sake of making the game more mysterious.



Jaicee said:
Mar1217 said:
First, I'm sorry for the loss of your mom.

It's great when someone can rebounce back though ! Seems like this game helped you do it and I can empathize since I played this game 2 weeks ago and it was definitely a strange but yet great melancholic ride while I played it. I particulary loved the different ways these stories were told and the varying tone they came with :)

Thank you.

Bouncing back might be a bit of a stretch. The game helps me with perspective. That's what I would say.

Also, I obviously agree with you about the vignettes that tell the character's death stories. Speaking of which, what did you think of Calvin's? I mean have we not ALL thought about trying something that before?? I remember swinging dangerously high when I was a kid and thought about the possibility of looping. I got a little scared though when I got high enough that I started to feel the whole swing set shift in the ground and gave up.

Spoiler!
I felt a pletra of emotions. Mesmerized,dread and sadness cuz I mean he still died, but I'd say that it's ironically one of the sweetest story in the bunch (Sort of like Molly's who I think might have died from food poisoning. (You don't eat decorations,mate !)


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thismeintiel said:

Well, the fact that the house is deserted and a note telling you to not investigate what happened just leads me to believe there was something bigger happening in the story.  Like if your character found out what happened, they could have the same thing happen or be in danger somehow. And there was the hinting that the house could be haunted.

Instead it just turns out that the character was gay and ran away from home and the parents went on "vacation."  Which is also strange, since you think they would want to be there when their older daughter arrived and/or be there to supervise their daughter if they didn't like her being with Lonnie.  It's at least a trip you think they would have told their older daughter about.  Instead, they didn't just for the sake of making the game more mysterious.

I thought it was nice that someone decided to, for once, make an adventure game that didn't involve being in danger. I thought the note on the door was a nice lure, but you get the sense by the time you get through the first hallway that you're not actually in danger, as there's a piece of paper in the study explaining why the lights flicker and such. I appreciated that because I didn't want to feel like I needed to rush through this game. Instead, I got to take my time and fully absorb the details and the story of this family largely on my own terms. The sense of worry briefly returned toward the end of the game though when I got the "In the Attic" note, but only to end the same way, with a sense of relief.

I have anxiety. Sometimes I could use a pleasant, relaxing game where I don't have to do gamey challenges like besting enemies and collecting stuff and whatnot.

As to the whole situation with Lonnie, my impression of it was that Terry and Janice simply don't take their daughter's sexuality seriously; that they don't believe lesbians are for real. That's pretty common in real life. In the case of a gay boy, society typically reacts more fiercely and negatively, but only because they instinctively trust him because he's male. Lesbianism has traditionally been taken less seriously because of the distrust factor toward girls. The developers were obviously going for realism in that connection. They're also strict parents, but not super-strict like Lonnie's mom. They're not against Sam and Lonnie being friends, they just don't want the two getting into trouble or 'becoming confused', you know? And if you look at the work schedule that Sam is slated for over the week, you'll notice that she's also supposed to working a lot of those last days. I don't think her parents were counting on her ditching to spend the time with Lonnie instead, as you can tell she did by the name tag in the trash.