Poll

Ending - Happy or Sad?

Happy
23 (45.1%)
Sad
28 (54.9%)

Total Members Voted: 50

Author Topic: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)  (Read 18400 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Sho

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • I'll ask you to fly away with me
  • Current Mood: happy happy
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2013, 03:43:49 PM »
I didn't vote because it was neither happy nor sad, but more bittersweet. There was so much more depth to the storyline than I expected it really threw me for a loop. It was sweet because River ended up with John, albeit in an unconventional way. But it was bitter because you're reminded it was all basically a dream, it was fabricated. River still died before her time but was (hopefully) happy because John did what she wanted (build the house and look after the lighthouse). John lived out the last of his days alone, without the love of his life, unable to reconnect with River due to his blocked memories.


So it was only a 'happy ending' in a dream while reality still ran it's course. It's a story inception, re-writing someone's "story" within a story, I guess you could say.. which is clever in it's own way, though it raises ethical questions if some sort of service like that should be allowed to exist. And it raises other questions, like what's the meaning of life? Or more specifically; What is life? Is it just an culmination of memories & experiences? Is one person's reality completely subjective and exclusive from everyone else?


This game brings up so many things to think about, maybe that's one of the reasons I liked it so much.
"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

"If you truly love someone, then the only thing you want for them is to be happy."

Question Mark

  • 疑問符の人
  • Mod-Suspect
  • Tier 7
  • *
  • Posts: 1492
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2013, 01:46:00 AM »
I didn't vote because it was neither happy nor sad, but more bittersweet
/highfive

the_alone

  • Tier 1
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2013, 07:16:51 AM »
I found that the end was at the same times happy and sad. (spoiler)
Johnny died just before his arrival on the moon, but he was happy.

But to the moon is the most beautiful game i've ever played, I want an another opus!


kgptzac

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Gender: Male
    • LeMU.Waterbottle
  • Current Mood: blank blank
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2013, 04:19:34 AM »
Wow. I didn't anticipate more people would vote for sad than happy.

While I think the entire tale is a bittersweet one, imo, the ending is a solid, happy one.  The doctors cannot change reality, obviously.  But they did the next best thing (which also they are paid to do and supposed to do): create a beautiful, memory where John went to the moon.  Of course, the doctors learned that the wish is not to be taken literally, and River is an integral part of it, hence she is in it.  Kudos to Rosalene for reviving Joey in the memory, too, since technically she didn't have to.  She could just completely remove Joey in John's memory and it wouldn't change John's desire to become an astronaut.

John died of old age; he died a happier man where compassion, love, and pursuit of happiness fruited in his (however fictional) life.  So, imo, there can't really be a happier ending than this one that is still within the logical framework of the story. 

Oink

  • Tier 3
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 01:25:03 AM »
Gee I don't know which of them I pitied more: John or River. I mean, River never did manage to make John recall her from before the accident. Nevertheless, I guess it won't have made much difference whether John did remembered. River would still have died, but pehaps John won't have this unexplanable urge to go to the moon. The saddest part I felt here is that instead of leaving things as they are, Eva just continued to try to accomplish their core mission.

Lesson to self: Dun trust no robot doktorz to carry out ur dying wishes...

divStar

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2013, 05:12:59 AM »
Even though I believe I voted for "sad", I am not entirely sure what to think of it.

The thing is, that not all of his new memories are fake - just as not all of his old memories are erased. The only thing, that Niel and Eva did, was "adjust" certain events. They prevent his brother from dying and removed River from one place and put her into another. I think (or perhaps I just want to think), that the rest of the memories are "generated" by Johnny on his own based on his knowledge/his memories of things, meaning, that only parts of his new memories are not real. The rest is "generated" by a chain of events by him and while some of them are more believable than others, I tend to say, that not all of his (new) memories are fake.

It doesn't change the fact, that they are memories of things, that didn't actually happen. But at least he managed to remember why he wanted to go to the moon so desperately.

Foolishness

  • Tier 1
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
  • Current Mood: happy happy
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2013, 04:20:26 AM »
I registered to answer in depth. I'll vote Sad. Mostly because lets be real, the new memories he was brought to was a lie. As nice as it was for him to be happy there at the end.

now onto the other discussion. I personally don't think technology should ever be used to alter a persons memories, its just wrong. A memories are what make a person, for good or for bad.

In my humble opinion, the worst use of "technology" wasn't even the scientists machine. It was the beta blockers. His mom never should have used those on him. Don't get me wrong, its sad for a kid to lose his brother. But its even more sad for someone to ruin another's life by blocking the very essence of what makes them a human being and what shapes them as individuals, their experiences and memories.

Furthermore on that subject, who's to say that due to the loss of his brother, it wouldn't have just made river that more of a friend, as he would have remember the rabbit thing and befriended her naturally.

Long story short... people should NEVER with another's memories. IT is just the ultimate wrong in my opinion.
I wish they had touched more upon it, but I think the story does raise the question of whether or not technology should be used to alter someone's memories. This is most apparent when Eva first starts to change Johnny's memories and Niel does not want to, at one point saying "we know what's best for Johnny, and what you're doing isn't it". It goes so far to the point where Niel is not willing to fulfill their contract. The doubt of the doctors' actions makes us "question our existence" in a way: should the doctors really be messing with someone's memories, even if they are on the brink of death? There are some ethical debates to be had here.

I think these events also makes Niel a more likable character in some sense than Eva. Eva is just blindly doing everything because it's their job to do so (and she even says so many times). It's Niel who is questioning the ethics of what they are doing and whether they should tampering with someone's memories. Even if he is a sarcastic ass, it seems that he has more of a heart when it comes to the value of memories.

I hope they touch upon this subject in later episodes. Based on the above and the existence of beta-blockers, I would wager that the overall message on this would be, technology should never be used to alter someone's memories.

On topic though, I voted sad.

Ponderer

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2013, 06:02:19 AM »
Personally, I find the ending to be a bitter sadness.

There is Johnny, the one who paid for this.  She mattered to him more than anything else, that's what was most important to him.  It's the reason he thought he wanted to go to the moon, because that's where he would meet with her if he got separated, even though he didn't remember that's why he wanted to go.  It's also why nothing changed until she was removed from the equation...because once he saw her, she became what he truly wanted.

And when she was removed, he put her back in, because the mind seeks what the heart wants.  And, when they were almost to the moon, she reached for his hand.  A simple, clear, nonverbal cue.  A way of expressing affection.  He lived, suffering in quiet uncertainty because he had to take on faith that she cared about him as much as he cared for her.  He could never be completely certain because she simply couldn't communicate it to him.  But in those final moments she did, because this wasn't the real River, it was 99.9% River I'm sure since he knew her like no other.  Yet, in that final moment, she acted in a way the real River couldn't, the way he always wished she was able.

When he held her hand in return, he had nothing more holding himself back.  He didn't live just in time to see the moon.  He held on until he could feel that perfect closeness, with a girl who saw no difference between watching a movie in a theatre on opposite ends or right next to each other.  When he felt that connection, that catharsis of certainty, there was no more reason for him to hold onto life.  He was complete.  He deserved a happy ending and he got it, however bittersweet.

But to look at it, for me this only amplified the depths of the tragedy.  When we turn to River, her focal fixation was a specific type of lighthouse.  Notably a type of lighthouse that wasn't quite old enough to be considered historic.  When the last one was about to be demolished, she couldn't handle that.  In fact she had this lighthouse fixation since she was very young, without it ever shifting like can happen especially with the fixations in the youth of an asperger sufferer.  I don't know how rare that is, but I do know the result.  When the last lighthouse was about to be destroyed, she had to stop it, somehow.  It was too important to her, for reasons she could never explain.  And so, more than anything, she had to save it.  Even if it meant sacrificing her own life like a mother might lay down her life for a child.  She even named the lighthouse.

But then, there was Johnny.  River died, making rabbits again and again.  She was trying so desperately to get him to understand, to get him to remember what was so precious to her.   To make him remember that night on the log creating the rabbit constellation.  A moment so strong to her - she thought a moment so strong to the both of them - that she kept the toy that culminated that meeting for all of her life.  What do you see, Johnny, what else Johnny.  Wanting him so hopelessly to please finally notice and understand.   Yet he could not remember to say he sees a million lighthouses in that little paper rabbit.  It would not dawn on him to say I see the moon in that final rabbit she must have painstakingly made with two different kinds of paper to give it a white belly, all in a last ditch effort to remind him.

She died, rebuked by a frustrated man that didn't want to talk about paper rabbits anymore.  She became even more a victim of her condition as she lay dying than she was in life.  Desperate, alone, trying to get him to feel that one more time, and she failed.  She never got him to understand, and was denied that sense of closeness at her darkest point.  Worst of all, most tragic of all... she never would have known anything was wrong if he hadn't told her what he THOUGHT was the truth about what he mistakenly believed was the first time they met.  She suffered to her final moments all because he wanted to be honest with her.

Others may feel differently, and I welcome that, this is only my opinion.  But in my heart, the ending is a thing of deep, despairing dolor.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 07:13:58 PM by Ponderer »

hopefully

  • Tier 1
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2013, 02:44:31 PM »
I think it was sad simply because it was a happy end that never happened.

Unimaginative Username

  • Guest
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2013, 05:51:33 PM »
I think it was sad simply because it was a happy end that never happened.

PARADOX!!! Please have mercy upon us :'(

Oink

  • Tier 3
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2013, 12:03:17 PM »
I think it was sad simply because it was a happy end that never happened.

It happened! John got his wish and went to the moon! Met his wife on the spaceship too!

I think it was sad simply because it was a happy end that never happened.

PARADOX!!! Please have mercy upon us :'(

It ain't really a paradox. Its something like what you get when you look at a Picasso painting... a matter of perception. See, John got his happy ending - died thinking that he actually achieved all the stuff induced by the machine. Neil and Eva got theirs - contract fulfilled, made old man happy before he passed on. Everyone else that still breathed was happy. River - well, she didn't really count, because all we knew of her was from John's memories, plus she got her dying wish of having a house built next to Anja the lighthouse (buried next to it even, so I guess she's more or less "happy").

Its actually the rest of us that had to suffer, wondering whether the ending was really happy or sad. An allegory I'd give is to ask whether the lunatic in the asylum playing with chimpanzee poop is happier than any of us looking at him. We may feel some kind of pity for the madman's antiques and lack of concern for his surroundings, but none of our burdens would affect his emotions or state of mind. Now if we'd just leave the poor man to his chimpanzee poop instead of debating whether he's "really" happy.

Tobi

  • Tier 1
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2013, 02:18:55 AM »
First post. Wow, what a tale indeed. Certainly moving and yeah, probably more sad than happy.

I mean the simple fact is, the "real" River died long ago. Her last thoughts were of the lighthouse, not really knowing why it was so important to her, but that it was. Johnny was utterly clueless (thanks to his brother's death) and could never remember what she was trying so hard to tell him.

Erasing Johnny's memories was of course a necessity, since telling him the truth would probably have caused him grief in his final moments (there may have been the possibility he would have found comfort in that River never forgot, but probably wouldn't have been enough to cope with what little time he had left), which is certainly not what the doctor's were contracted out to do.

But of course, there's the choice that the doctor's were divided on. Neil no doubt wanted to rewrite his history so that Johnny would have truly remembered River at some point in their life together. But of course, that would have negated the contract to get him to the moon. Eva was on the "practical" side of things, ensuring that the contract was abided by while altering things in a way that Johnny and River would meet again and remember each other.

The sad thing is of course, no matter which version won, the end result would be a "false" River and a false life, since she was gone, and it was noted that her dreams, aspirations and so forth were never recorded for an "independent" algorithm of hers to be constructed. So any version of her after a rewrite would be taken from Johnny's fantasies, and not be authentic.

I suppose it comes down to what you choose to believe is best. Since this isn't time-travel, Johnny's life could only have ended a few ways. Do nothing, and die a man of some regrets, but with his memories of River "semi-pure" (obviously their very first encounter being the exception). Tell him the truth, and die a man full of regrets and guilt, but with the "truth" of a pure memory. Or finally, to give himself a new and better life in his final moments, but live a lie. Obviously he chose the latter, knowing full well I assume that his memories would have been altered entirely. Granted, Neil was the one arguing that Johnny's wish was not what he really wanted, but again, nothing they could give him would have been the truth while honoring his contract.

To sum up, Johnny's last thoughts were happy instead of sad. So to him, it's a happy ending and he got his wish, not knowing the wiser that it's a fabrication. To the us viewers who know the truth (and the doctors) probably not at all.

Ponderer

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2013, 09:01:26 PM »
River - well, she didn't really count, because all we knew of her was from John's memories, plus she got her dying wish of having a house built next to Anja the lighthouse (buried next to it even, so I guess she's more or less "happy").

Really?  I disagree there, I think River was a lead character.  The plot revolved around her struggles and desires.  I think she mattered most of all, she mattered most in terms of them doing their job, and she mattered most to Johnny.  Almost all the most meaningful memories in the game revolved around her in some way or another.

What I disagree most, however, with is that she got her dying wish.  She was fixated on lighthouses and couldn't let the last one go, she had to protect that, but that was a duty.  Something she just had to do.  Her desire, what she most wanted, was evidenced by her behavior.  Cutting her hair to its appearance when she first met him, asking him to throw the hackey sack, making those rabbits again and again.  What she wanted most was to feel a connection with her husband again.

Its actually the rest of us that had to suffer, wondering whether the ending was really happy or sad. An allegory I'd give is to ask whether the lunatic in the asylum playing with chimpanzee poop is happier than any of us looking at him. We may feel some kind of pity for the madman's antiques and lack of concern for his surroundings, but none of our burdens would affect his emotions or state of mind. Now if we'd just leave the poor man to his chimpanzee poop instead of debating whether he's "really" happy.

Though I'd be the first to side with that argument if we were talking about schizoid personality disorder, someone who has absolutely no interest in human contact that worries everyone even though the one with SPD seems quite content... The difference here is that the mental patients fecal fixation may be bringing him pleasure, his behavior indicates as much.  River's behavior indicates deep internal mental unrest.  Johnny, however, got his moment of joy.  I still think Johnny's ending was bittersweet because even though it was not 'true', perception is the minds reality, he desperately needed to have a certain moment where he was absolutely clear that River loved him.

It may have sad elements around that, but that was what he wanted.  His was a bitter-sweet ending.

Oink

  • Tier 3
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2013, 09:22:35 AM »
Lol, I agree that River's a lead character, but she's long dead, and John's memories of her are not complete. If we are to judge the ending by River's entire life - yeah, its a total sob story - lived an entire life misunderstood... (pardon the expression, but sometimes, you just have to be snide to get a response.) But the ending was not about River at all. Its about John.

We can't judge whether River did have a happy ending because we never did get to see her last moments, and to say that River died unhappy just because she could not connect to John would be a little overboard, because they did have their happy moments. Sure, there're the paper bunnies, the hackey sack, hair and lots of other things, but those things did not indicate that River had a sad end. Those are, in fact, evidences that River still believed that she could clue John into their promise. And she succeeded; John had this unexplainable urge to go to the moon after she died. You can call that sad that he should only feel that way after she died, but look at the context; no matter how John remembered things, River would still have died because she refused treatment so that they have enough $$$ to build the house next to Anja, and this "dying wish" would be fulfilled whether or not John remembered. So, my take was that she did get her "dying wish" - at least, the last one that we know of.

Though I'd be the first to side with that argument if we were talking about schizoid personality disorder, someone who has absolutely no interest in human contact that worries everyone even though the one with SPD seems quite content... The difference here is that the mental patients fecal fixation may be bringing him pleasure, his behavior indicates as much.  River's behavior indicates deep internal mental unrest.  Johnny, however, got his moment of joy.  I still think Johnny's ending was bittersweet because even though it was not 'true', perception is the minds reality, he desperately needed to have a certain moment where he was absolutely clear that River loved him.

Lol, my comparison was not with River, but with John. You see, River's dead even before the story began, so there are certainly some sad elements there. Our major concern as followers of this story, (the people looking at the lunatic), is not about whether River died happy, but whether John would die without remembering River. I mean, we already know that John would die in a few hours, and we aren't really concerned about whether John would even get to the moon ultimately - because, if I may say so bluntly, nobody would bother about a wish unless they understand the reasons behind it. So when we are finally presented with the finale of John imagining himself going to the Moon with his long-dead wife (i.e. the lunatic playing with chimpanzee poop), it is not John that is unhappy, but its we the viewers around him that feel some form emotion.

If we are adamant that one can only be "truly happy if one is fed the truth", then, yeah, its a crapsack world. If we think that "damn da truth - gimme my morphine" is the right way, then its happy. If we think that "well, this ain't really the best solution, but it'd have to make do", then of course its bittersweet. No matter how you look at it, there's no black or white here. Some may even go so far as to say that John would meet River on the moon in afterlife - yay, happy end for both John and River. One might even say that if River factored in so much in the ending, the effect of her successful insertion by Eva would equate a happy end. If one's to say that "but its not real, dammit, its all just make-believe!!!", again its sad. For the record, I'd rather be playing with chimpanzee poop than to argue whether the ending's happy or sad - you guys can discuss my case.

Ponderer

  • Tier 2
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Ending - Happy or Sad? (SPOILERS)
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2013, 07:18:02 PM »
Lol, I agree that River's a lead character, but she's long dead, and John's memories of her are not complete. If we are to judge the ending by River's entire life - yeah, its a total sob story -

That wasn't my take, my take was on River's end, and what it meant for the ending of the game.  You said before that River doesn't matter...

River - well, she didn't really count, because all we knew of her was from John's memories, plus she got her dying wish of having a house built next to Anja the lighthouse (buried next to it even, so I guess she's more or less "happy").

My rebuttal was that her sacrifice wasn't something she really wanted most in life, to die for a lighthouse, it's the thing she felt she had to do because they didn't have enough money to save her and the lighthouse.  I.e. what you call her dying wish - I call her final sacrifice, and I think her dying wish was to share that moment of understanding and trust with her husband again, that's why I find it such a tragedy, that never happened for her.  Moreover if you agree she's important to the story, it's hard to reconcile that - in my case- with her not counting with regards to the ending.

We can't judge whether River did have a happy ending because we never did get to see her last moments, and to say that River died unhappy just because she could not connect to John would be a little overboard, because they did have their happy moments.

Personally, I disagree there because this change in her behavior around his confession is such a focus of the story, and something that clearly bothered Johnny as well as her.  He knew something was very wrong he just didn't know what.  For me, her compulsive behavior is a clear sign of distress, and that is probably why you and I see things so differently.  You think she might not have been unhappy, whereas I see her as having been trying desperately and with futility to reclaim a sense of closeness that went missing because he couldn't remember something so important to their lives, and she didn't know why.

Sure, there're the paper bunnies, the hackey sack, hair and lots of other things, but those things did not indicate that River had a sad end. Those are, in fact, evidences that River still believed that she could clue John into their promise. And she succeeded; John had this unexplainable urge to go to the moon after she died. You can call that sad that he should only feel that way after she died, but look at the context; no matter how John remembered things, River would still have died because she refused treatment

I disagree here because a friend of mine was in the boy scouts, his grandfather got sick, his grandfather was a boy scout when he was young, it was a family tradition.  He made eagle scout very young, and he was incredibly sad.  Why?  Because his grandfather talked about wanting to see him become an eagle scout a lot before he got sick, and his grandfather died before he became eagle scout.  You can say it's just as happy because he still became an eagle scout, but that moment wasn't something they could share together.  That's sad.  That's why I find this argument less compelling:

Lol, my comparison was not with River, but with John. You see, River's dead even before the story began

My comparison was with both, because I find them both in equal measure to be an integral part of the ending.  I know you concluded that if you ignore the argument of truth people would see things more your way, but for me the story wasn't about truth or lies, perception or reality.

It was about that true feeling of togetherness, the certainty of belonging.   It was something he finally got to enjoy in his last moments, something she was denied in hers.

But, with all that said, it really is a subjective thing, I'm just adding this here because I want my position to be clear, not because I think someone else is 'wrong' for feeling it's happy!  I can see it, too, I just don't fall on that particular side of the fence!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 01:14:12 AM by Ponderer »