Author Topic: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?  (Read 36656 times)

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felipepepe

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<spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« on: January 03, 2012, 01:39:04 PM »
So, I finished TtM this weekend and gotta say I was really loving it on the start. The humour is stupid and sometimes get in the way of the story, but that didn't bother me much. I was enjoying the couple's life, a nice mix of good & bad momments, that as the scientist said, "should be lived one momment at a time".

But them it gets ugly...The whole "going to the moon" was supposed to be a metaphor IMHO, a way for Johnny to remeber who he really is and be again the boy that understood River. I can picture a scene of her showing him the bunny and him saying that he see's the Moon, just like when they were little. That would be subtle and beatifull, would have made me cry.

I simply cannot understand why the autor decided to ruin the game by LITERALLY going to the Moon! A couple that loves each other would try to remain together at all cost, so why sacrificing YEARS of relationship just to literaly fullfill a metaphor? And why ressurect his brother? Instead of going for a deep & mature ending, it's just "magical science saves the day"!

I got seriously pissed off by this! I don't want a refund or nothing like that, just to understand why the author decided to do this...

Just Lance

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 02:07:23 PM »
I'll also answer you IMHO ;) Don't worry it's not a waterfall of insults. :)
Well that's a good point but you're looking at it for the point of human. The machine doesn't have that kind of "imagination" to create a possibility like this. Yes Eva and Neil could modify it but that would take time and time is exactly what they lack in this kind of "business".
Also maybe they did sacrificed the years of his real life, but they created a whole new life where was John and River who end up together so they spend all those years in relationship anyway.
But that's my personal opinion as that one above is yours.
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"God, it's so hard to be a smartass nowadays." Dr. Neil Watts (To the Moon)

SenorKaffee

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 02:12:39 PM »
If you have a look at this thread, there is someone that has similar problems with the finale as you do.
http://freebirdgames.com/forum/index.php?topic=3671.0

felipepepe

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 02:43:51 PM »
Well that's a good point but you're looking at it for the point of human. The machine doesn't have that kind of "imagination" to create a possibility like this. Yes Eva and Neil could modify it but that would take time and time is exactly what they lack in this kind of "business".
Sorry, but I can't see how 'technical limitation' can be an issue when they raised a dead brother from the grave and created a whole new life where they literally go to the Moon...

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Also maybe they did sacrificed the years of his real life, but they created a whole new life where was John and River who end up together so they spend all those years in relationship anyway.
And that makes the whole previous life seems "wrong". It was a beatifull but hard life, filled with good & bad momment, and the author erases all that so they can literally go to the Moon.

I know that they lived a whole life after that, but it feels forced, fake. That why I said that instead of a mature and metaphorical ending, we got and weak 'dreams come true' end...it seems such a waste of potential.

Reives

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 02:53:04 PM »
Hm, interesting take. I personally didn't think them literally going to the moon (though in reality, they never did -- which makes it more of a tragedy the happier it seems) had any effect on the underlying meaning.

Even throughout Johnny's endeavor to go to the moon, never at any point was his real motivation a matter of planting a flag on the lunar surface -- all along, it was a matter of fulfilling the pact between him and River about reuniting on the moon if one were to get lost from the other. River got "lost" after she died, so in Johnny's subconscious and naive mind, she was waiting for him on the moon, which just happened to be the place they stated.

And that was where he aimed to go; not because of the moon, but because of her. In the process, it ended up with them going there together, because she was still alive in this realm and wanted the same thing, at least in his own mind.

I remember having a discussion about this in the private beta board back then too, actually. I think had the last scene been one where they were actually on the moon, then it would've rather demeaning in that manner. But in the last scene, the machine-construct flickered, and Johnny possibly realized that this wasn't real -- and as River held out her hand, he realized that it didn't really matter, because all he wanted was to hold her hand and see her one last time, even if it's like a mere dream. The moon merely makes a brief glimpse right before the game ends, as a nod to their naive childhood promise about to be fulfilled.


Man, that's probably the cheesiest and forwardest I've written about this so far, hahah. But aye, that was my own take on it; hopefully it helps a bit.

felipepepe

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 03:16:23 PM »
Thanks for replying here and on the other thread, and I see your point, but maybe is a matter "who was lost".

As I played and found out about Johnny's past, to me he was clearly the lost one. That's why he could not understand Rivers bunnys and why she snapped when she learned that when he invited her to the movies, he didn't remember they where together as kids.

To see him returning to who he was and recalling about everything would have made River come back to him too. As I write this now, I realize that to me, River was the person that was suffering the most and I wanted to see happy again, not Johnny. I wanted to finish the game to see River happy, beign understood by her husband. To see her vanish and be replaced by a "new" River that hardly says a line was very frustrating.

Perhaps this is where personal experiences comes to the interpretation...the point where the autor can't control its creation impact on people.
 

Reives

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 03:23:57 PM »
Yeah, it's really frustrating indeed. And I agree that Johnny was the one lost, and this whole thing was more of a tragedy for River as opposed to Johnny -- and perhaps it's her who deserved the comfort more.

But one important fact: River's already dead.

The real patient here is Johnny. It's a situation where they had to choose between perhaps a discomforting option and one that's even worse. They can't bring the real River back and give her that peace, but they could at least make Johnny die happy. And I think at this point, had they revealed to Johnny what he had missed with River, he would be far from happy. And even more than that -- he would've been helpless to do anything about it now.

So instead, it was like a mere a shot of morphine for Johnny; except on some level, at least, it fulfilled something between him and River from what he missed.

Merlandese

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 03:34:47 PM »
To see her vanish and be replaced by a "new" River that hardly says a line was very frustrating.

You say "new" River, but the River construction in Johnny's head was and always had been Johnny's mental version of her. His memories, like all of ours, had room for error and opinion. We can't be sure how much River was actually like that, so even if the "old" River was erased, it was never the "real" River. Like Reives said, that River's dead.

Furthermore, the "new" River was constructed only using Johnny's mind--the same palette used for that "old" River. In other words, Johnny got to make and live with River twice--both being interpretations of his own making--and through what felt to him like two entire lifetimes. Again: almost literally the girl of his dreams held his hand through two lifetimes. Johnny may not have remembered one of those lifetimes in the moment of his passing, but that guy was lucky.

felipepepe

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 03:47:57 PM »
But one important fact: River's already dead.
Yeah, I guess that's unchangeable and the reason for many storytelling choices. It's just hard too be aware of that limitation while playing.

In the end, even thought didn't ended up with a positive view of the overall game, I got deeply connected to River and her life with Johnny, so I guess that's something for a game writer to be proud. :)

Thanks for replying and good luck on your next game.

ryan-d

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 10:34:58 PM »
I simply cannot understand why the autor decided to ruin the game by LITERALLY going to the Moon! A couple that loves each other would try to remain together at all cost, so why sacrificing YEARS of relationship just to literaly fullfill a metaphor? And why ressurect his brother? Instead of going for a deep & mature ending, it's just "magical science saves the day"!
As I played and found out about Johnny's past, to me he was clearly the lost one. That's why he could not understand Rivers bunnys and why she snapped when she learned that when he invited her to the movies, he didn't remember they where together as kids.

To see him returning to who he was and recalling about everything would have made River come back to him too. As I write this now, I realize that to me, River was the person that was suffering the most and I wanted to see happy again, not Johnny. I wanted to finish the game to see River happy, beign understood by her husband. To see her vanish and be replaced by a "new" River that hardly says a line was very frustrating.

Hello, first-time poster (literally finished the game minutes ago), and this is exactly how I felt. The first 90% of the game blew me away. It was filled with so much poignancy and honesty. Which made the lack of catharsis in the ending was all the more frustrating.

The real patient here is Johnny. It's a situation where they had to choose between perhaps a discomforting option and one that's even worse. They can't bring the real River back and give her that peace, but they could at least make Johnny die happy. And I think at this point, had they revealed to Johnny what he had missed with River, he would be far from happy. And even more than that -- he would've been helpless to do anything about it now.

I understand this, but the ending didn't really give me the impression that Johnny was happy. I guess the first two acts built River up as central to Johnny's life - she was what made him happy. Going to the moon was cake decoration. The conflict in this story is a broken relationship - why is the resolution a shuttle launch? I feel I would have liked the ending better if it had dealt more substantively with Johnny's "new" relationship with River.

As an aside, I don't understand why Dr Rosalene had to move/remove River. Couldn't she have just prevented Joey's death, and created a less messed-up Johnny who remembers River and grows up to give her the kind of happiness he wanted her to have? He might have still applied for NASA and gone to the moon (fulfilling the doctors' legal obligations). Johnny would still have died happy, but the happiness in this case would stem from River, not from going to the moon.

Please don't take any of this to mean that I didn't enjoy the game. On the contrary, TtM had one of the best stories I've ever played through in a game. It was an amazing story about love and loss and selfishness and being human (also loved the quirky humour; the mini-games were a cute touch). I'm just frustrated because it had so much potential to be perfect.

Merlandese

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 10:54:25 PM »
The conflict in this story is a broken relationship - why is the resolution a shuttle launch? I feel I would have liked the ending better if it had dealt more substantively with Johnny's "new" relationship with River.

The shuttle launch is Johnny's "new" relationship with River.

The first poster was disappointed that the shuttle launch (or going to the moon) was heavily symbolic for the need to fix the relationship, but was then turned literal. But the act of going to the moon retains that symbolism throughout the whole game, not just prior to the ending. The shuttle launch does represent that relationship. By showing Johnny and River in the manner you both seem to desire, that would be taking the theme and making it literal.

As an aside, I don't understand why Dr Rosalene had to move/remove River. Couldn't she have just prevented Joey's death, and created a less messed-up Johnny who remembers River and grows up to give her the kind of happiness he wanted her to have? He might have still applied for NASA and gone to the moon (fulfilling the doctors' legal obligations). Johnny would still have died happy, but the happiness in this case would stem from River, not from going to the moon.

You say he might still have applied for NASA, but that's not true. There was an entire scene where they tried to manipulate him into joining NASA, but he wouldn't. As long as River was there in High School for him to fall in love with, he wouldn't have the urge to meet up with her (go to the moon). So they had to get rid of her. With her gone, Johnny's psyche acted up (much like it did when she really died two years prior) urging him to visit the moon--albeit without conscience explanation. She had to be removed, otherwise he wouldn't miss her, and thus wouldn't try to meet up with her, and thus wouldn't want to go to the moon.

And awesome input, guys! Thanks for being so forward. We Freebirdians love talking/debating about the game (or at least some of us... whoops :p).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 10:56:58 PM by Merlandese »

Judedeath

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 12:05:27 AM »

But one important fact: River's already dead.


Old River was as dead as a doornail, this must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am about to relate.(Yes I have watched too much Christmas Carol)
Old River was as dead as a doornail, this must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am about to relate.

Merlandese

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 12:29:13 AM »
I often wish I could be as succinct as you, Jude.

Crusism

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 12:43:19 AM »
Remember, Johnny taken a heavy overdose of beta blockers which interfere the function of certain neurotransmitters in the brain; leaving a permanent scar. Due to this, he suffered heavy memory loss.

The machine cannot stop this from ever happening. It's a medical problem.

The same goes for River's illness with the lack of funds and what she wishes for. It's a finance problem which couldn't be avoided due to Johnny's profession.

The reason why Joey could've been saved is because Dr. Eva Rosalene emitted the scene without Joey being the victim; preventing his death in Johnny's memories.

For this scene, Eva couldn't use River for any purpose to push John to his dream as she would be a distraction. Therefore, she was just merely brought to another place. A place where she could continue accordingly to Johnny's memory to pursue her aim to go to the moon to be reunited with John as promised to meet each other during an earlier memory.

Joey would be with John to walk him through his dream to go to the moon so he wouldn't be alone and perchance give up midway. And the beta blockers still had an impact on John and even though his mother didn't go crazy and his brother didn't die in his new memories. So John could not remember the promise, but he felt the need to go to the moon. Since Joey survived the earlier memory, he was able to remind and encourage John.

That's how they both end up going to NASA because they were both away from each other and were focused on getting to the moon whether concious or not about meeting each other.

It's true, River is dead and it's sad that all the real memories with River that could have or not have any sense of hardships were removed in the process; saying "not have" because it's a possibility and sometimes shown that John didn't try hard enough to care in if which he did, he could've either saved River or giving him no need to regret or feel lost bringing the need of him going to the moon in the first place.

But realistically, he's only human to feel the need to relive a different ending. The protagonists, mostly Eva's part, did successfully give him the cake whether real or not, and that we have no right to say if he deserves or not. In the end, John is happy whether he realises it's real or not, and that's all that matters.

Lastly, we all - if not, most - sympathised River and wished or hoped at least that a fragment of those real memories with her were kept or probably some cheesy 'win everything' ending; though is would be wrong of us to wish for due to the true factuality of life and the fact that if it did end like that, it would've felt like a retarded slap to the back and I would've disliked this to a great extent. And technically, River did die happy knowing that John kept his promise to give company to Anya with the house built there as well as taking care of River as she went off; possibly even knowing that John realised to go to the moon if he was to ever lose her.

This is a great and beautiful story not because it had the perfect ending but a believable and valuable ending. An ending which is real and can be learned from. An ending that felt complete. And an ending which was best from all possibilities.

I've honestly been trying to find and express what was this game was to me. I probably can't describe it any better but here it is,


In life, we do things. Some, we wish we had never done and some we wish we could replay a million times. They make us who we are and, in the end, they shape and detail us. If we were to reserve them, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So, just live. Make mistakes and have wonderful memories. But, never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and, most importantly, where you’re going.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 12:58:13 AM by Crusism »

"In life, we do things. Some, we wish we had never done and some we wish we could replay a million times. They make us who we are and, in the end, they shape and detail us. If we were to reserve them, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So, just live. Make mistakes and have wonderful memories. But, never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and, most importantly, where you’re going."

Mav

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Re: <spoiler> Please, why ruin the metaphor?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 04:54:01 AM »
I think You missed something.

1. Whole game is a metaphor for our lives ;)
2. Our doctors had to "deliver" Johnny to the Moon, LITERALLY,  because of contract they signed. And they are professionals, aren't they?