Author Topic: Neil & Eva (and their banter)  (Read 11057 times)

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Reives

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Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« on: November 09, 2011, 02:59:49 PM »
I've been sneakily stalking blog & review comments lately, and one aspect of the game that people seem to be divided on is the portrayal of the doctors. I thought it might be a good idea to dedicate a thread to the discussion of this. :)

First of all, one thing's certain: things could definitely always be improved -- and I hope to do that for the next episode. That being said, their role in the game, at least for the first half, is almost "sacrificial". I wrote up a bit about it, but I then read it and I was actually put off by what I wrote (even though it's true), hahah, so I think I'm going to halt on that for now.

In the mean time, I think something that would really help is: if you disliked the mood-breaking banter between them (and I know there are many), could you list a few that were particularly bothersome?

I think for future projects, it could be worked out so we'd have the cake and eat it too.  :fezesarecool:

Thunderbird

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 03:41:30 PM »
I have to say I probably wouldn't even like the game, if they weren't in there.

If I had to name one part that wasn't my cup of tea, I think it was the puns at the the wedding party with corny and cheesy or soemthing like that.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 03:45:44 PM by Thunderbird »
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tuffalobuffalo

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 03:55:38 PM »
I had posted my thoughts here

Here they are again:

Quote from: tuffalobuffalo
The immaturity of the doctors does a number of things that enhance the game's story.

1. It breaks up the very mature, serious, and complex themes in the game.  Doing this gives the player time to contemplate the heavy events that occur throughout the story.  If you didn't have those breaks, the story has the potential to quickly get heavy handed and predictable. 

2. The immaturity enhances the character development of the two doctors.  For example, we see a flippant Neil grow to earnestly care about what happens to the patient by the end of the story. We also see Eva take serious risks at the end of the game in order to help John die at peace. 

3. The immature dialogue is a way to develop the relationship between Eva and Neil without getting in the way of the very mature and complex relationship between John and River.  In the end, the story is about John and River, and not about Eva and Neil.  However, developing some sort of relationship between Eva and Neil must be done to keep the story from getting boring.

4. Extending thought number one, it's a way to add some comedy into the game and make the player smile. 

This type of story telling device seems to be used much more in anime than in other media.  I suspect those who have watched a lot of the mature, complex anime didn't think twice about the dialogue between the doctors being strange, immature, or awkward.


I would love to hear some criticism of the doctors that is more constructive than "they were annoying" and the like.

I'm sure there is room for improvement, and I'll have to think on what could be improved.

Justice

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 05:59:17 PM »
I personally enjoyed it to a certain extent (I was cracking up on the "Hulk Smash" part and when Dr. Watts drinks the pickled olive juice), but it did feel like it was a bit overdone at times and almost forced.  I felt that Dr. Rosaline was done pretty well as a character, but throughout most of the game Dr. Watts seems to be there largely just for comic relief (towards the end I feel that some of the events did help to humanize him though, for example when he stays up making phone calls to find out about Johnny's past.)  While I do think that the doctors were portrayed really well, if anything could be improved upon I personally think it would be for the "funny" parts to be more directly related to what is happening story-wise (ex.: pickled olive juice, NASA recruitment attempts), rather than thrown in for the sole purpose of adding more humor (ex.: wedding puns, riding backwards on the horse).  This is just my personal opinion, overall I felt like it was an extremely well-polished game, playing it was certainly an incredibly unique and rewarding experience!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 06:01:06 PM by Justice »

SenorKaffee

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2011, 04:16:36 AM »
I can only repeat what tuffalobuffalo said. It's very important to deliver their arch in this story.
And it's also important to give some comic relief to what is deep down a grim, existential tale of loss and identity.

Cef

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2011, 04:45:35 AM »
While I agree with most of what tuffalobuffalo said, truthfully, it seemed to me that for the most part their 'immaturity' comes from the fact that they're working in a medium that is almost completely closed off from other people once they start working. Ever notice that you and your friends are more rowdy when there aren't any other people watching? That's what I thought about Eva and Niel. It didn't help that I had proof of this the next day when my friends came over just after my parents left. It also seems to stem from the very nature of their work; the modification of memories in one's death bed. Doctors, police and the like are known to have strange, sometimes even grim senses of humor to cope with their jobs. While this job of theirs is a bit happier than those other jobs, there's also the fact that nearly every day they're sent to deal with dying people and that they see and at certain cases, interact with the person in various points of their life. It's bound to take a toll on them, so their antics are probably how they cope. The little prologue chapter thing that Reives wrote before the release (I can't find it anymore ;A;) seemed to reinforce that observation.

I've replayed it a few times, and it seems that Niel interacts slightly differently with the others in the 'real world'. He's still funny, yes, but there's something about how he talks to other people that's different from how he does with Eva. It;s also there with Eva, but it's harder to catch. I actually based my statements on those observations.

BRB replaying. I HAVE to get proof of my crazy ranting >XD
And furthermore...

HATS! :hatsale!: :mimihat:

Spoiler: show

AlmostSwedish

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2011, 01:10:17 PM »
While I do think that the doctors were portrayed really well, if anything could be improved upon I personally think it would be for the "funny" parts to be more directly related to what is happening story-wise (ex.: pickled olive juice, NASA recruitment attempts), rather than thrown in for the sole purpose of adding more humor (ex.: wedding puns, riding backwards on the horse).
I agree with this. There was a little to much "fourth-walliness" going on.  For example, I didn't mind the scene were Neil faked that he was from NASA. It worked excellently in the context of the situation.

While I agree with most of what tuffalobuffalo said, truthfully, it seemed to me that for the most part their 'immaturity' comes from the fact that they're working in a medium that is almost completely closed off from other people once they start working. Ever notice that you and your friends are more rowdy when there aren't any other people watching? That's what I thought about Eva and Niel.
Wow, that is an excellent point. I think that might be a good angle for the next episode. I can't remember of the top of my head if they were as silly while in the real world.

Legacyblade

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 01:52:56 PM »
True, they weren't nearly as silly in the real world. Especially Eva.

However, I never felt like anything was forced. I did find the horse riding segment rather pointless. But it didn't detract from the story. I think NOT including their off the wall humor would greatly harm the story. Without them cracking jokes, To the Moon would feel preachy and pretentious. (the kind of story that thinks it's saying a lot more than it is. For an example of that kind of story, watch the Nostalgia Critic's review of "The Cell" http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/33139-the-cell)

Not only does it make sense that they'd be like that dealing with dying patients who didn't fulfill their life wish on a regular basis (if you've ever talked to an old guy who doesn't like how his life turned out, it's really depressing), but their inclusion makes the drama aspects seem far more dramatic due to the contrast. They never interrupt dramatic parts, they just add a little bit of "pallet clenser" between dramatic portions.

For example, my favorite part of the game is when Watts says "I feel like I should say some clever here." and Eva says "You feel wrong." It's adding a depth to their humor. That Watts is doing it on purpose rather than just because he's comic relief. It makes them seem more human. I've had similar moments to that in real life where I wonder if it'd be too insensitive to make a joke at the moment. For example, my friend had just been kicked out of the house and was crying about it. When something bad or that could inspire murderous rage happens in our group, we play the song from the infamous ending scene of school days (if you've seen it, you know what I mean). I was debating playing that all day, then I finally did. It lightened the mood, but he was a bit bothered by it.

I think that particular line graduated them from comic relief to humans trying to make the best of a grim situation.

tuffalobuffalo

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 02:02:43 PM »
That was a really good point about the doctors mainly being silly when not in the real world, Cef.

Discoveria

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 05:00:27 PM »
I have two points to make.

I did feel that the immaturity of Dr Watts and to a lesser extent Eva Rosalene was necessary to contrast the heavy elements of the plot. I thought that this actually made the game slightly less realistic (what semi-medical agency would allow their agents to behave so outrageously?) but the characters' function in the game far outweighed this concern, IMO.

The second point is that the above was masterfully executed at the moment when it mattered most.
Spoiler: show
I forget the exact words, but Dr Watts is asked, essentially, why everything happened as it did in the game, and his reply is that it was all a bunch of cheese that got worked out. I think in doing so, he managed to cynically and powerfully undercut the heaviness of the plot and force the player to actually think about how people are motivated by such silly things as feelings, because he could not be more wrong or more dismissive of feelings at that point. At least, I found it profound. :)

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 07:01:24 PM »
I liked the bantering. It allowed me the time to wipe away the manly tears that were shed.

Kirroha

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 08:05:05 PM »
I love it too. It's amazingly played because despite the large amounts of hilarious banter, it didn't actually detract from the dramatic parts at all.

Cef

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 08:26:07 PM »
I liked the bantering. It allowed me the time to wipe away the manly tears that were shed.

... This is so true.

What legacyblade said just sort of reinforced my observation about humor in dire situations. It's a known coping mechanism after all, and with a job like theirs they'd need all the laughs they can because any job that involves dying people, their memories and their dying wishes is pretty dang depressing. I think I already said something to that point in my previous post, but legacy just sorta made it make more sense =D
And furthermore...

HATS! :hatsale!: :mimihat:

Spoiler: show

Alistair

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 12:15:08 PM »
Hope it's okay to reply to this old topic, but wanted to give my 2 cents.

The banter was very good in itself and I also thought the humor was well timed and placed. For instance the RPG scene happened at the beginning before things get too serious - later in the game, it would've been irritating and too out of place.

What bothered me a little, however, was that Neil and Eva hardly, if at all, do anything else than banter when communicating. There should've been more serious conversations between them, also to reveal more about the two, but I figure that was supposed to be saved for later episodes. However, that's why I felt the jokes were a bit too much a few times, not because there shouldn't have beed humour, but because, the "other" two main characters, Neil and Eva, don't get much else unless it's directly about their task with Johnny.

Just Lance

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Re: Neil & Eva (and their banter)
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 01:54:24 PM »
I don't know if I could be drawn into the story without them being there. I also like their comments because I found myself doing something similar... sometimes.
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