Author Topic: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?  (Read 34878 times)

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Wulfsten

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2012, 12:29:56 AM »

  • Just because a story is internally consistent and has a logical progression doesn't mean it's a good story. A story should also be cathartic, or emotionally satisfying.
  • Emotional satisfaction doesn't necessarily imply a "cop-out" or "fan-service". Catharsis can result from a tragic ending as well - what's important is resolution. The conflict in the story needs to be resolved.
  • TtM's ending didn't make me feel that way because of its lack of focus on the relationship between John and River that had been the focus of the story prior to the ending.


Brilliant post, I pretty much agree with everything said here.

I, too, specifically didn't want to suggest an alternate ending, mostly because it wasn't my work of art and so it's not really my place to. I can only comment on where it left me and where I felt it didn't quite live up.


As the person who first started talking about deus ex machina, I feel I should try to defend my usage of the phrase here a little (although I agree about the broken record bit!). The ending of the game felt like a deus ex machina to me because it pretty much made a clean break with everything that we had learned about River up to that point, and started from scratch.

The hackey sack, the folded rabbits, River's condition and its toll on their relationship, as well as the brave (if flawed) ways Johnny tried to cope, all that was gone. None of it was necessary for the space story ending fantasy; River's actual life with Johnny could have been completely different and it wouldn't have had an overlarge impact on the content of the ending fantasy. This is what I mean when I say it was devoid of the vast majority of the game's context to that point (the only remaining part being Johnny's general affection for a person called River.)

It was also a deus ex machina in terms of how this plot event was introduced. Dr. Rosalene suddenly realises what she has to do, and quite apart from it being a dawning realisation that this was the logical or narrative inevitability of all events leading up to that point, we are as confused as Dr. Watts is as to why Dr. Rosalene is choosing to do this, and we are asked to simply trust her. Fair enough, but when later that trust is disappointed (as it was to "us lot" as Zombieva refers to us :P), it feels like a plot device more than a decision which fits into either the characters or the narrative in a satisfactory way.

It would have been perfectly possible to have an ending which wasn't deus ex machina. It would have needed to not only preserve the context and characterisation and narrative to that point, but resolve it in a satisfying or cathartic way. This might involve retaining most of Johnny's memories (since that forms the entirety of the plot before the ending), and resolving the various threads of tension and mystery presented to us throughout the game in some sort of revealing or satisfying (though not necessarily happy) way. This, to my mind, would feel a lot less like deus ex machina since the conclusion would be reliant on the content of the previous 4 hours of gameplay, as opposed to independent of it.

Another way it could have been more satisfying would be if the ending were kept identical (deus ex machina and all), but were cast in a tragic, or at least semi-tragic light. This would give the players the space to feel that the decisions made by Dr. Rosalene were, or might have been, terribly wrong (dishonouring River's memory, as  ryan-d says). As it stands, you're welcome to feel that the Doctors' decision was wrong (and I do), but the game clearly implies that you should be feeling really happy for him and generally consider this to be the best possible ending. This alienates the player from the game a little, which is a shame since it had done such a great job of being emotionally intimate to that point.

Apologies for a definitely tl;dr post.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 12:36:51 AM by Wulfsten »

Zombieva

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2012, 01:23:06 AM »
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The ending of the game felt like a deus ex machina to me because it pretty much made a clean break with everything that we had learned about River up to that point, and started from scratch. The hackey sack, the folded rabbits, River's condition and its toll on their relationship, as well as the brave (if flawed) ways Johnny tried to cope, all that was gone. None of it was necessary for the space story ending fantasy; River's actual life with Johnny could have been completely different and it wouldn't have had an overlarge impact on the content of the ending fantasy. This is what I mean when I say it was devoid of the vast majority of the game's context to that point (the only remaining part being Johnny's general affection for a person called River.)

The hackey sack, origami rabbits, and the ways John coped with the issues were gone -- that's something that can't be argued with. But they were only gone from his memories (oh, boy, now I really feel like a broken record), and the fact that his perception of the past changed did not change the past itself. They still lived through all of these struggles and hardships. I don't know why, but I always feel the need to stress that even when it's been mentioned a hundred times over.

On the other hand, though, a lot of evidence points to River still suffering from her condition. She still has problems with making eye contact, and her communication skills are still lacking. These could just be aspects of her personality, but the way I see it, she's still afflicted.
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It was also a deus ex machina in terms of how this plot event was introduced. Dr. Rosalene suddenly realises what she has to do, and quite apart from it being a dawning realisation that this was the logical or narrative inevitability of all events leading up to that point, we are as confused as Dr. Watts is as to why Dr. Rosalene is choosing to do this, and we are asked to simply trust her.

Pretty much. I can't imagine she would willingly tell Neil what she was up to, else he would reset the memory over and over to keep her from doing her job (proven by the fact that Neil tries and fails to reset the memory when River is dragged out of it).

I personally find that being left in the dark made that part of the game more [in]tense, considering the way you don't know the full details of her plan (though educated guesses can be made), though it's hinted that what Eva is up to is something to dread.

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That's not what makes it deus ex machina. It's the fact that the plot and characterisation to that point is rendered irrelevant by the ending. The original example of a titanic war which ends when god simply smites one side inevitably leads to the question "well what was the point of doing all that stuff in the first place, if you're just going to go ahead and do that!?".

The characterization probably would have been rendered utterly pointless with a lot of alternate life tangents, to be honest. River would need to be introduced later (thus nullifying the characterization) with almost all of them as well, considering John's wish and the requirements that needed to be met for the whole thing to come together and work.

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It would have been perfectly possible to have an ending which wasn't deus ex machina. It would have needed to not only preserve the context and characterisation and narrative to that point, but resolve it in a satisfying or cathartic way. This would probably involve retaining most of Johnny's memories (since that forms the entirety of the plot before the ending), and resolving the various threads of tension and mystery presented to us throughout the game in some sort of revealing or insightful light, or in some way making them unravel and settle in a pleasing (though not necessarily happy) way. This, to my mind, would feel a lot less like deus ex machina since the conclusion would be reliant on the content of the previous 4 hours of gameplay, as opposed to independent of it.

It would be difficult to execute that kind of ending without inadvertently making it a deus ex machina, because the entire conflict of the game is built upon the fact that John can't remember. There probably is an ending that would be "perfect", but at that point, I think the development required for it would add an extra four hours of gameplay.

I'm actually quite fond of the fact that the ending is the way it is, because it just shows how utterly selfish one can be -- to throw away an entire life with their significant other just to achieve their own life goal, I mean. I feel that those aspects of it are what make it more real and believable than any other alternate life tangents mentioned up until this point.

An ending like the one you lot guys seem to want would have seemed... I don't know, more fairytale-like than the real ending. To me, anyway. The in-game ending is more realistic, which is the one of the reasons I'm so fond of it.

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Another way it could have been more satisfying would be if the ending were kept identical (deus ex machina and all), but were cast in a tragic, or at least semi-tragic light. This would give the players the space to feel that the decisions made by Dr. Rosalene were, or might have been, terribly wrong (dishonouring River's memory, as  ryan-d says).

Lots of people think Rosalene's decision was terribly wrong without prompting from the game itself. :P

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As it stands, you're welcome to feel that the Doctors' decision was wrong (and I do), but the game clearly implies that you should be feeling really happy for him and generally consider this to be the best possible ending. This alienates the player from the game a little, which is a shame since it had done such a great job of being emotionally intimate to that point.

It's supposed to be considered one of the best endings because it fulfills John's wish. The entire premise of To the Moon seems sort of selfish, honestly, so it's only natural that it would focus on making John as happy as possible. After all, why wouldn't he be? It might not be the same life or the same River, but he's still with her again.

... come to think of it, though, doesn't going to the moon with River somewhat nullify the point of going there in the first place?

Well, my apologies for bringing about yet another redundant TL;DR post. These debates are just too fun.

Reives

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2012, 02:15:37 AM »
Okay, hang on guys, I think we got a gap in the point of the discussion here. :P

  • Just because a story is internally consistent and has a logical progression doesn't mean it's a good story. A story should also be cathartic, or emotionally satisfying.
  • Emotional satisfaction doesn't necessarily imply a "cop-out" or "fan-service". Catharsis can result from a tragic ending as well - what's important is resolution. The conflict in the story needs to be resolved.

I don't think anyone argued either of that -- stating that something was logically consistent doesn't mean that it necessarily translated to its effectiveness because of that. And I agree with the utmost importance of emotional resonance and catharsis in a story.

But I think we're talking about the wrong thing here: The problem here isn't a matter of logic vs. emotions; it's that what some found to be cathartic wasn't found as so by others, which is expected by the very nature of the subject.

The ending of the game felt like a deus ex machina to me because it pretty much made a clean break with everything that we had learned about River up to that point, and started from scratch.

The hackey sack, the folded rabbits, River's condition and its toll on their relationship, as well as the brave (if flawed) ways Johnny tried to cope, all that was gone. None of it was necessary for the space story ending fantasy; River's actual life with Johnny could have been completely different and it wouldn't have had an overlarge impact on the content of the ending fantasy. This is what I mean when I say it was devoid of the vast majority of the game's context to that point (the only remaining part being Johnny's general affection for a person called River.)

I think that's one of the major differing takes on the story between us. It seems like you felt that everything that was shown before then meant nothing because of the new memories. But for me, the new memories were built atop the existing ones. The whole journey backwards throughout Johnny's life was stating the reason for his simple, final wish.

In fact, if it were done such that they kept Johnny's life similarly and essentially just "edited" it by adding that Johnny remembered River, then that would've rendered his real memories more meaningless by implying that it was version 1.0 which got patched by version 1.1.

i.e.

Case 1:
Real life: original life
Second life: A fixed original life.

Case 2:
Real life: original life
Second life: second life

The difference being that the first case implied that the original life was put on a patch to overwrite the original, where as the second case used the second life to extend that of the first. It's a matter of a patched version of the original, vs. a continuation built on some foundations that were only established by the first -- which was the case, since the stepping stone to achieve what he did in the second life was only possible because of his first, which would mean that his first did have an utmost importance even after the insertion.

----------------------

Hahah, I'm not even sure if that made sense. But having written all that, it doesn't matter one bit. Because this is a matter of emotional response -- and that's something that discussions and debates wouldn't change. What you felt was what you felt, and what I felt was what I felt.

The most we could do with this is to communicate the basis on which we felt those things. But even then, no amount of reasoning could change either of our opinions -- my emotional response to the scenes is as alien as yours to mine; but that's okay. :) As long as we all realize that, it's a positive thing. And really, I think with that being said, there's not much we can do here other than repeating how we legitly felt about how things went from our own perspectives.

Reives

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2012, 02:24:11 AM »
Mm. . . Okay, since the story of this game's one that's rather personal to me, I thought I'd just add a final note, from my own, personal perspective as I wrote it:


When John held River's hand in the end, of course it wasn't the real River, in more ways than one.

But to John himself, in his mind, it was the River. The projection meant the River to him. And seeing her again meant seeing the River again to himself.

And in the end, that's all he asked for. He didn't want to fix all those things that could be fixed throughout their life, and he didn't want to "optimize" every outcome to provide the maximum amount of happiness to everyone.

He just wanted to hold her hand one last time before dying.

Raxus

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2012, 02:52:03 AM »
Woah... that's even more beautiful than anything I surmised. :'(

Zombieva

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2012, 03:03:08 AM »
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Woah... that's even more beautiful than anything I surmised. :'(

Agreed.  D':

Amarganth

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2012, 07:15:52 AM »
Mm. . . Okay, since the story of this game's one that's rather personal to me, I thought I'd just add a final note, from my own, personal perspective as I wrote it:


When John held River's hand in the end, of course it wasn't the real River, in more ways than one.

But to John himself, in his mind, it was the River. The projection meant the River to him. And seeing her again meant seeing the River again to himself.

And in the end, that's all he asked for. He didn't want to fix all those things that could be fixed throughout their life, and he didn't want to "optimize" every outcome to provide the maximum amount of happiness to everyone.

He just wanted to hold her hand one last time before dying.

Sounds beautiful...makes no sense.

If the memories were just a continuation of the already existing memories, and John indeed didn't meet River again in school but at NASA, then the fact remains that they got married and lived together AFTER going to the moon. Hence, John will not remember holding her hand and going to the moon as the last memory, which also makes it really questionable as to why it is the last thing the player sees. If one argues that it is the last thing John remembers before dying than one would pose the question how on earth could a fictional unexplained desire to go to the moon be his last memory? Surely if he loves River it would be their wedding, or something similar.

This all could have been made much more simple by not including the memory of going to the moon (still there's a lack of explanation), and simply: 1) doctors go inside his memories to find out WHY he wants to go to the moon 2) doctors realize he wants to be reunited with River again and either a) pull the plug (reunited in death), or b) really send him to the moon to die (making the player wonder if perhaps in some way he really will see River on the moon). This way neither John nor the player would be living/playing a lie, and there would be catharsis. Overcomplicating things is never good.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 07:19:10 AM by Amarganth »

Tumbles

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2012, 08:35:22 AM »
I'd say that Reives's answer makes perfect sense here.

The important point is that all Johnny asked for was to go to the moon. This was achieved no matter how you look at it, whether it be the metaphorical "meeting up with River again" or physically going to the moon. Both of these were achieved.

Another important point here is that Johnny's memories only truly change just before his death. So 99.99% of his life is spent with his real experiences, and he uses the remaining 0.01% to fulfill his lifelong dream, which he does with River at his side. He's not 'deleting' his previous life; just shifting it to his subconscious. He knows that in death, memories are useless, so he uses the little time he has left to live his dream alongside to person who means the most to him. That's all it is. I'd have to say there's far too much analysis going on here.

One more point for consideration, and I'm sure that Reives will give the old ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ treatment, but I believe that, for Johnny, going to the moon is a metaphor for death, after River dies at least. However, he's unaware of the promise they made when they were kids, so he only knows this subconsciously. That's why he hires the doctors, who give him an amazingly emotional experience before he truly meets River again.

Anyways, time for a snooze. It's been a big day :)

Spoiler: show


                                         

~

Amarganth

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2012, 09:32:11 AM »
I'd say that Reives's answer makes perfect sense here.

The important point is that all Johnny asked for was to go to the moon. This was achieved no matter how you look at it, whether it be the metaphorical "meeting up with River again" or physically going to the moon. Both of these were achieved.

Another important point here is that Johnny's memories only truly change just before his death. So 99.99% of his life is spent with his real experiences, and he uses the remaining 0.01% to fulfill his lifelong dream, which he does with River at his side. He's not 'deleting' his previous life; just shifting it to his subconscious. He knows that in death, memories are useless, so he uses the little time he has left to live his dream alongside to person who means the most to him. That's all it is. I'd have to say there's far too much analysis going on here.

One more point for consideration, and I'm sure that Reives will give the old ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ treatment, but I believe that, for Johnny, going to the moon is a metaphor for death, after River dies at least. However, he's unaware of the promise they made when they were kids, so he only knows this subconsciously. That's why he hires the doctors, who give him an amazingly emotional experience before he truly meets River again.

Anyways, time for a snooze. It's been a big day :)

If the doctors are going to send him to the moon in any case then I really don't see the point of revealing the meaning of the metaphor. Either the doctors are really dumb or just plain stubborn. I don't think John's wish was fulfilled in any case. And him seeing River once more is achieved anyway every day by him simply by thinking about her and reliving his memories in his head...whether they are in a shuttle going to the moon or sitting near the lighthouse...hence actually sending him to the moon makes absolutely no difference and doesn't prove a point whatsoever.

His lifelong dream was not to go to the moon or become an astronaut. He went to the moon in his new memories in order to see River. However, simply by making his brother alive in his memories would inevitably "send him to the moon" as there would be no beta blockers and he'd presumably make the connection between the rabbits and the moon (that is, if any living being would ever remember a really short encounter with a girl at a very young age, a girl who didn't even reveal her name). As a matter of fact, bypassing the beta blockers did the trick and there was no real need to mess with his memories at all since he finally remembered his youth, presumably also River (again, his desire to go to the moon despite the beta blockers makes no sense).

He's not living the time he has left, he's remembering. They're not changing his future, they're changing his memories. Hence, again I repeat, there's really no need to change his memories if he only desired to be with River again since he has soooo many memories of her. Indeed, the doctors didn't do anything at all, only messed up his entire brain. And really, his real life was far more beautiful than the new memories of going to the moon.

Exactly, he's unaware...so where on earth does his desire to go to the moon stem from? Other than that, reminding him of that promise would have been a much better ending...like for example bringing him back to the place where they first met. The traveling of the 2 doctors through his memories should have been a retrospective view of his life, putting us the players in the role of the doctors. And just as I wouldn't want to mess with his memories (no matter what kind of memories they are) so shouldn't the doctors have done. And if they really wanted to reunite him with River then...as I said "1) doctors go inside his memories to find out WHY he wants to go to the moon 2) doctors realize he wants to be reunited with River again and either a) pull the plug (reunited in death), or b) really send him to the moon to die (making the player wonder if perhaps in some way he really will see River on the moon)." Just changing his profession and how they met doesn't satisfy anyone. It would inevitably remind him of his youth...if it weren't new memories hence there being nothing to be reminded of since they imply him never forgetting anything...and why all the hassle? Removing the beta blocker barrier would have done the trick. Still, reminding him of his youth really wouldn't reunite him with River or make him understand River better. He loved her more than anything, he doesn't need to understand her better, he doesn't need to be reminded of his youth... And by all means, if only this was more like Lullaby...since all John needs is to be reunited with River so just end his life.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 09:36:42 AM by Amarganth »

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2012, 02:12:57 PM »
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If the doctors are going to send him to the moon in any case then I really don't see the point of revealing the meaning of the metaphor. Either the doctors are really dumb or just plain stubborn.

The doctors have a contract to fulfill - in words, not in spirit. They are professionals hired to do a specific job. They do it, they get paid. They mess it up, they loose their license and they may go to jail. It's as easy as that.

Also don't mix what Johnny knows consciously with the things that are in his subconcious and at which point in time who knows that.

Before loosing consciousness, Johnny felt the urge to go to the moon so he called the Sigmund Corporation to alter his memories on his deathbed. This solution doesn't solve anything, but it is a very human choice, most likely Johnny didn't even care.

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However, simply by making his brother alive in his memories would inevitably "send him to the moon" as there would be no beta blockers and he'd presumably make the connection between the rabbits and the moon

Johnny did not only forget not know that he has a brother - to make up for his loss and by pressure of his mother he partially BECAME his brother. The doctors had no idea that he had a brother.

And after they found out about him, making his brother alive again wouldn't help them to fulfill their contract. His brother doesn't have anything to do with his whish to go to the moon. And, as I've written above, that is their ONE and ONLY job. Everything else is just bonus.

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(that is, if any living being would ever remember a really short encounter with a girl at a very young age, a girl who didn't even reveal her name)

Just because you can't consciously access a memory it doesn't mean that it isn't encoded in your subconciousness. Ever had a blackout you painstakingly tried to recover by connecting the dots "by hand"? Every experienced a flashback? Our memory is a mysterious thing, it's sometimes outright scary what can hide there.

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He's not living the time he has left, he's remembering. They're not changing his future, they're changing his memories. Hence, again I repeat, there's really no need to change his memories if he only desired to be with River again since he has soooo many memories of her. Indeed, the doctors didn't do anything at all, only messed up his entire brain. And really, his real life was far more beautiful than the new memories of going to the moon.

The rules of that are a little vague in the game, yes. But once again you undererstimate the complexity of our "soul". I think the whole rewriting of the narrative of a whole life is to fool the "immune system" into accepting the new memories.

We don't know how the memories come to Johnny. I like to believe they come as a kind of mega-flashback with him rexperiencing his whole life in as he dies. That would make sense, Neil says he likes to see his clients die with a smile on their faces.

Because the patients die in the moment of the transfer, the fake memories only have to be accepted for a few minutes. If their clients wouldn't die, it could indeed seriously mess up their psyche.

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This all could have been made much more simple by not including the memory of going to the moon (still there's a lack of explanation)

Why do you want Eva and Neil loose their job? I kind of like them, they are good at what they are doing.

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and simply: 1) doctors go inside his memories to find out WHY he wants to go to the moon 2) doctors realize he wants to be reunited with River again and either a) pull the plug (reunited in death)

Not fulfilling their contract...

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or b) really send him to the moon to die (making the player wonder if perhaps in some way he really will see River on the moon)

...they are working for Sigmund, not NASA.

Zombieva

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2012, 02:43:41 PM »
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He went to the moon in his new memories in order to see River. However, simply by making his brother alive in his memories would inevitably "send him to the moon" as there would be no beta blockers and he'd presumably make the connection between the rabbits and the moon (that is, if any living being would ever remember a really short encounter with a girl at a very young age, a girl who didn't even reveal her name). As a matter of fact, bypassing the beta blockers did the trick and there was no real need to mess with his memories at all since he finally remembered his youth, presumably also River (again, his desire to go to the moon despite the beta blockers makes no sense).

No. The effects of beta blockers can't be wiped from existence like that. β-blockers are a drug that directly interfere with certain receptors of the brain and leave a permanent scar on one's memories. The “barrier” they leave can be surpassed by the doctors with effort, but changing his memories does not change the past. He still took the blockers – he's not going to be able to make the connection without difficulty.

His desire to go to the moon makes quite a bit of sense to me. He wants to go to the moon because of his meeting with River, but the effects of the beta blockers block most of the memory. Thus, all that's left is an inexplicable desire to go to the moon. He managed to remember that much, but only subconsciously.

I also feel the need to point out that failing to fulfill the desire would cost Neil and Eva their jobs and they would mostly likely be jailed, or at least thrown into several court hearings. They need to “mess with his memories” whether they want to or not.

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He's not living the time he has left, he's remembering. They're not changing his future, they're changing his memories. Hence, again I repeat, there's really no need to change his memories if he only desired to be with River again since he has soooo many memories of her. Indeed, the doctors didn't do anything at all, only messed up his entire brain. And really, his real life was far more beautiful than the new memories of going to the moon.

The purpose of changing his memories like that is supposed to be, in essence, a shot of happiness to ease a dying [wo]man's mind. And, once again, the doctors can't go against their contract, so they don't have a choice. John willingly called Sigmund in order to have the procedure done; it's not like the two just barge into random houses and alter people's memories for the hell of it.

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Exactly, he's unaware...so where on earth does his desire to go to the moon stem from? Other than that, reminding him of that promise would have been a much better ending...like for example bringing him back to the place where they first met. The traveling of the 2 doctors through his memories should have been a retrospective view of his life, putting us the players in the role of the doctors. And just as I wouldn't want to mess with his memories (no matter what kind of memories they are) so shouldn't the doctors have done.

Except that John agreed to have it done, so there's absolutely no problem whatsoever with the two venturing into his mind and changing his memories. Also, contract. I don't want this to be completely and utterly redundant, but the simple fact that you're constantly bringing up not changing his memories is making that difficult.

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And if they really wanted to reunite him with River then...as I said "1) doctors go inside his memories to find out WHY he wants to go to the moon 2) doctors realize he wants to be reunited with River again and either a) pull the plug (reunited in death), or b) really send him to the moon to die (making the player wonder if perhaps in some way he really will see River on the moon)."

The issue of pulling the plug has already been addressed, so I'm not even going to go into that. But as for the other point, Neil and Eva have no way of actually sending him to the moon. They do not work for NASA. They work for Sigmund. It isn't their job to send clients to space, it's their job to alter their memories to conform with their goals/desires.

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Just changing his profession and how they met doesn't satisfy anyone.

Aside from, y'know... John. It's supposed to satisfy the client, not the player.

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It would inevitably remind him of his youth...if it weren't new memories hence there being nothing to be reminded of since they imply him never forgetting anything...and why all the hassle? Removing the beta blocker barrier would have done the trick.

Except that the β-blocker barrier wasn't removed and never can be. It was only surpassed with a great deal of effort on Neil and Eva's part.

Quote
Still, reminding him of his youth really wouldn't reunite him with River or make him understand River better. He loved her more than anything, he doesn't need to understand her better, he doesn't need to be reminded of his youth... And by all means, if only this was more like Lullaby...since all John needs is to be reunited with River so just end his life.

That might be what he needs, but it certainly isn't what he asked for, so nothing can be done about it. The game definitely could have ending differently, but all of these endings would involve Watts and Rosalene losing their jobs and being thrown into prison somewhere.

And again: contracts. Tricky little things.

Amarganth

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2012, 04:55:46 PM »
Not to quote too much

@Zombieva and @SenorKaffee

No one goes to jail for failing to do their job. Other than that, who could prove they didn't do their job? Other than that, I really don't think their contract means being dumb...so if a patient wants to hit the sack I assume they won't be turning him into a k1 fighter or something.

John didn't care? I believe John cared, I believe he was clever enough to assume doctors dealing with such amazingly complex technology would also have the brains to understand metaphors...and primarily figure out why he wanted to go to the moon, rather then simply sending him to the moon. If John had enough money to pay for such advanced technology he would also have the money to pay for a real trip to the moon (though I've yet to see where he got the money from as it is clearly stated he lacks money for the medication to cure River). Why on earth John would want doctors to make him believe he once went to the moon (which changes nothing whatsoever in his relationship with River) is perplexing and an obvious plot hole.

I don't believe John became his brother, but whether he did is totally irrelevant to the point.
His brother has everything to do with his wish to go to the moon. His brother dying is the reason he doesn't know why he wants to go to the moon. Resurrect the brother and he knows why he wants to go...and suddenly there's no need for him to go since it's a metaphor...easy as pie.

There was no contract. He called them, he never signed anything. Other than that, I've never heard of people going to jail for not doing their job. Sure, they can get fired...but not go to jail. And even if they would go to jail...would you kill a man if it meant going to jail if you don't? But I digress...your argument has nothing to do with mine.

You're constantly bringing up a contract no one knows exists. Even if we did know...what is this, a documentary about signing contracts or a touching love story? Sheesh

Why is pulling the plug an issue? So ending someone's life an hour or two before it really ended is wrong but literally destroying his memories is alright?

If they have enough money to alter memories, and the technology for it...they can send you to the moon...with Megan Fox.

Their job isn't to do whatever the patient wants...that's quite literal and dumb. If the patient wants the memories of a serial rapist and killer? Give a bit of thought mate...

How do you know John is satisfied? All you've seen is him having altered memories. That's just your personal opinion. Mine differs.

Yes, it was surpassed...forever...how? By resurrecting his brother for example... There you go, brother resurrected, now you remember everything...wait, there's nothing to remember. Well, don't resurrect brother, simply bypass beta blockers...forever. Possible, how? Well because it's possible to resurrect his brother...

How do you know what John wanted? He said he wants to go to the moon...now where I come from, when a teenager says that, it doesn't necessarily mean he wants to become an astronaut...it means, in most cases, he wants to get high. Ambiguity...ahhhh

And again, there is no contract, they would not go to jail for not doing their job, and above everything else no one would ever know what they actually did to the guy since...well, he's dead.

IF he's not going to make the connection that easily and if the beta blockers can only be surpassed with great effort...how come they resurrected his brother so easily (someone he forgot existed) and integrated him into his life, altering his ENTIRE life, not only changing one single memory. Inconsistency? Hell yes! Plot hole? Unfortunately.

Yes, it makes a lot of sense to make a subconscious desire you never spoke of earlier in your life your dying wish...does it? Of course it doesn't.

Who on earth would know the docs didn't fulfill his desire? For all people know they could have turned the guy into a Pelican in his memories.

And...you people really want to jail someone...

Please stop mentioning a non existing thing as an argument for everything because

a) Prove there is a contract
b) Prove it states they would go to jail if they didn't oblige
c) Prove messing up someone's life is better than going to jail
d) Prove anyone would know if they turned the guy into a green gay penguin in his mind

PS

Yes I know the answers are tossed around...don't feel like quoting every sentence, sorry.

Merlandese

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2012, 05:11:44 PM »
This contract has about the same existence in the universe of the game as Dr. Who. We neither saw the contract, nor an episode of the Dr., but we know from brief character interactions that they exist in this universe. There's no need to prove the laws of gravity before applying it to the characters.

However, I think the "jail" segment has also been extreme. We may be able to surmise the contract and some of its basic implications, but assuming they go to jail would be based an actual reading of the elusive text. The only instance where contracts lead closely to jail in my experience is in the military. Maybe I need to be more familiar with civilian vocations, but jail seems a little harsh.

That addresses your points A through C, Amarganth. As for D, I would say there is no proof that we know of. I can make this assumption based on some minor truths:

01) The technology is complicated enough to recreate memories and interact with them.
02) Most complicated jobs, anywhere from science to psychology, have recorded sessions of data for quality control.
03) It isn't unreasonable to assume that this technology is capable of recording sessions or data to ensure quality use.

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Their job isn't to do whatever the patient wants...that's quite literal and dumb. If the patient wants the memories of a serial rapist and killer? Give a bit of thought mate...

I find this sentence disarmingly thoughtless. Give me an example of a corporation--you know, a business structure owned by stockholders and people worldwide, like Sigmund Corp.--that would go against popular opinion and agree to make a guy believe he was a rapist. That's bad media, and no corporation would do this unless there was a dramatic shift in the morality of our overall population. A guy in an alley might, but not a headless structure that exists solely because of the positive opinions and trust of the world. Think old ladies ranting about Grand Theft Auto was bad, wait until they hear about this.

In other words, both parties would have to agree to the procedure, not just the consumer. Most business transactions aren't like vending machines.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 05:13:48 PM by Merlandese »

Zombieva

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2012, 05:39:55 PM »
Quote
a) Prove there is a contract
b) Prove it states they would go to jail if they didn't oblige
c) Prove messing up someone's life is better than going to jail
d) Prove anyone would know if they turned the guy into a green gay penguin in his mind

Dialogue from To the Moon, right here for you:

"Look, our contract is to send him to the moon. And the only way for that to happen is if Johnny is motivated to do so."

"But if that means removing River, then what's the point? The reason why he even wants to go to the moon in the first place is because she died!"

"I know, but we are legally bound by the contract to specifically --"

"#@%& the contract! I didn't take this job to make him miserable, Eva. I don't know about you, but I signed up to help the freakin' geezers die happy."

"Me, too. And I like this job. But if we directly go against our legal obligations, we'd be in for court hearings."

"We'll appeal. We know that Johnny would be happier not to go the moon."

So, clearly, the contract exists, and considering the fact that they're discussing going to court for going against it, it's probably written. If they're found to be at fault for what they did, there are quite a few punishments out there, but there's a possibility they could be jailed. A possibility.

How, exactly, does one prove that messing up someone's life is better than going to prison? That's a matter of opinion. Mine just happens to be that, yes, screwing someone else over for your own personal gain is a good idea as long as it's somewhat justifiable. After all, not like it matters to a dead man.

As for your last point, I have to agree with Merlandese. It can't be proved, but it's logical to at least assume that the machine is capable of tracking what the doctors do. If it's so high-tech that it can allow them to access someone's memories, it's probably capable of saving their progress.

Amarganth

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2012, 05:51:18 PM »
This contract has about the same existence in the universe of the game as Dr. Who. We neither saw the contract, nor an episode of the Dr., but we know from brief character interactions that they exist in this universe. There's no need to prove the laws of gravity before applying it to the characters.

However, I think the "jail" segment has also been extreme. We may be able to surmise the contract and some of its basic implications, but assuming they go to jail would be based an actual reading of the elusive text. The only instance where contracts lead closely to jail in my experience is in the military. Maybe I need to be more familiar with civilian vocations, but jail seems a little harsh.

That addresses your points A through C, Amarganth. As for D, I would say there is no proof that we know of. I can make this assumption based on some minor truths:

01) The technology is complicated enough to recreate memories and interact with them.
02) Most complicated jobs, anywhere from science to psychology, have recorded sessions of data for quality control.
03) It isn't unreasonable to assume that this technology is capable of recording sessions or data to ensure quality use.

Quote
Their job isn't to do whatever the patient wants...that's quite literal and dumb. If the patient wants the memories of a serial rapist and killer? Give a bit of thought mate...

I find this sentence disarmingly thoughtless. Give me an example of a corporation--you know, a business structure owned by stockholders and people worldwide, like Sigmund Corp.--that would go against popular opinion and agree to make a guy believe he was a rapist. That's bad media, and no corporation would do this unless there was a dramatic shift in the morality of our overall population. A guy in an alley might, but not a headless structure that exists solely because of the positive opinions and trust of the world. Think old ladies ranting about Grand Theft Auto was bad, wait until they hear about this.

In other words, both parties would have to agree to the procedure, not just the consumer. Most business transactions aren't like vending machines.

Does it state how a person not able to talk has signed the contract?

True, it's safe to assume recording sessions is possible, like it's safe to assume both doctors are going to get fired either way then because they really did mess up his memories before "correcting them" and their fight inside his head really didn't help their case. Of course, they are such professionals that they could mask their work and deceive their employers. Fact is however, while turning him into a gay green penguin might cause problems IF sessions would be recorded and IF they didn't know how to mask their work, no one could ever prove they didn't do their jobs for understanding the metaphor. Nevertheless, remember the doctors don't know what John's desire is until they arrive at his deathbed, only then are they told by Lily (it was Lily right?) he wants to go to the moon. Hence, my point A B and C still stand, since I assume he'd name his desire in his contract because imagine the doctors coming to his house and no one but him knowing what his desire is...how would they fulfill it? Well, they would know because of the contract right? Again, this also proves no one will ever be able to prove they didn't fulfill his desire since no one but him and Lily knows his desire. They weren't obliged to let Lily inside the machine. Hence, they could tell their boss he desired to be a green gay penguin.

Exactly, so they aren't obliged to do whatever the patient wants them to do. You only proved my point. Imagine they come to his house and Lily tells them he wants to be a serial killer. They wouldn't oblige even if there were such a thing as a contract in which it states they have to fulfill his desire...and again I state no contract exists because as you've said no corporation such as Sigmund Corp would sign a contract without knowing what the desire is.

Quote
a) Prove there is a contract
b) Prove it states they would go to jail if they didn't oblige
c) Prove messing up someone's life is better than going to jail
d) Prove anyone would know if they turned the guy into a green gay penguin in his mind

Dialogue from To the Moon, right here for you:

"Look, our contract is to send him to the moon. And the only way for that to happen is if Johnny is motivated to do so."

"But if that means removing River, then what's the point? The reason why he even wants to go to the moon in the first place is because she died!"

"I know, but we are legally bound by the contract to specifically --"

"#@%& the contract! I didn't take this job to make him miserable, Eva. I don't know about you, but I signed up to help the freakin' geezers die happy."

"Me, too. And I like this job. But if we directly go against our legal obligations, we'd be in for court hearings."

"We'll appeal. We know that Johnny would be happier not to go the moon."

So, clearly, the contract exists, and considering the fact that they're discussing going to court for going against it, it's probably written. If they're found to be at fault for what they did, there are quite a few punishments out there, but there's a possibility they could be jailed. A possibility.

How, exactly, does one prove that messing up someone's life is better than going to prison? That's a matter of opinion. Mine just happens to be that, yes, screwing someone else over for your own personal gain is a good idea as long as it's somewhat justifiable. After all, not like it matters to a dead man.

As for your last point, I have to agree with Merlandese. It can't be proved, but it's logical to at least assume that the machine is capable of tracking what the doctors do. If it's so high-tech that it can allow them to access someone's memories, it's probably capable of saving their progress.


If their contract is to send him to the moon how come they don't know what his desire is until Lily tells them? Bad writing right there.

He wants to go to the moon because she died implies he knows what the moon means to him, which again is impossible because of the beta blockers. Bad writing right there.

As such, them not knowing his desire first and then stating there is a contract in which it is written, and even that they'd go to court for not obliging...is, well...bad writing.

Once again, you can't be jailed for not doing your job.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 05:54:42 PM by Amarganth »