Author Topic: Question about Colin and Faye  (Read 3811 times)

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Duodecim

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Question about Colin and Faye
« on: January 17, 2018, 09:20:01 AM »
Just finished playing the game, and, well, once again Reives has succeeded in making me feel things that I didn't know it was possible for me to feel.

I do have a specific question, which is, why couldn't Colin bring Faye back on his own, without SigCorp? They had promised to meet again at the end of his life, and he was going to tell her about what had happened. But why didn't he?

Tumbles

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 11:31:13 PM »
Faye wasn't something under his control. Even if his conscious mind wanted to bring her back, his subconscious mind didn't and possibly couldn't.

She promised to come back, but he possibly lost the ability to communicate with her seriously as he aged and matured.

Spoiler: show


                                         

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Duodecim

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 05:55:10 AM »
Hmm, so after thinking over this feverishly for a day, I think I understand now. Colin did have the ability to talk to Faye again. But, his promise with her was that at the end, they'd talk about the life he'd lived, and if I remember correctly, she had told him that he would have a fulfilling life. And if he hadn't known about SigCorp, that's exactly what he would have done, as he would've believed that he did have a fulfilling life.

But knowing about SigCorp changed things. Probably due to his innate tendency (and astonishing ability) to imagine a different world, he started to think about the regrets that he had, the things that he would fix if he could, which made him start to question whether he truly lived a fulfilling life or not. And that doubt kept him from bringing Faye back, because he really wanted to know that he had no regrets before he talked to her again.

That eventually brought him to SigCorp, to make sure that he did feel that way when he had that conversation, and it was why he didn't actually want to change any of his experiences (he never even asked for his regrets to be fixed). I think deep down he still knew that he didn't want a different life; he just wanted to feel differently about the life he lived and to be able to tell Faye that yes, he'd lived the life he wanted.

Now, conjecture time. We know that Colin wouldn't have signed the SigCorp contract without Sofia's agreement. What if Sofia had never agreed? Would Colin have brought Faye back eventually on his own anyway? I think there's a good chance that he would have, because even in the world where he didn't know about SigCorp, he still didn't bring her back until close to the end, at a point corresponding to the last accessible memory - in the real world, he didn't, because at that point he had already signed the contract and he would've expected to see her again post-operation. But if he hadn't signed the contract... maybe he would have, even if he knew about SigCorp, though that last conversation with Faye might have gone differently due to him having more doubts.

Leave Me Alone

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 12:21:12 PM »
I didn't think that much of it. Even after 5 or so playthroughs I didn't get the inkling that the story in this FP was that complicated. It's one of the things that bugs me about this game. Ultimately I thought the prescence of the doctors and operation was entirely unnecessary, and that they being there changed nothing. This isn't Johnny who can't remember. Colin still remembers Faye, remembers their farewell, and remembers their promise. I didn't see anything that would suggest that Colin wasn't able to summon Faye back on his own. Which left the impression that if the doctors hadn't shown up at all, nothing would've changed. It makes the mission feel pointless.

I wouldn't say that Colin is overly imaginative. We don't know for sure because there is no comparison. In the game it is stated that the machine has some sort of stabiliser that checks the patients' memories against a public wiki of data, and then corrects the scene of the memory using what is factually known. This stabiliser was operational during Johnny's story, so we as the doctors didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Neil disabled it during Colin's op, which is what allowed him to mold the memory scenes and eventually led to Faye wracking havoc. @Dragon Mage, this is why Neil's overarching story must be present for the FP story to work, even if it detracts (although it probably could've been handled better). The FP story wouldn't have been possible without Neil's meddling.

And I disagree that Faye is out of Colin's control. He's not schizophrenic. He created her, he knows he created her, and he controls what she does. If he wants her to kneel she will. Because if she doesn't, he's schizophrenic.

Reives

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 09:10:49 AM »
Duo's last post actually hit quite on point.

It's likely my fault for not conveying it as clearly as in To the Moon (although FP's themes were more difficult than TtM), but from what I've seen so far, some of the core aspects of the story are often missed. Although Colin certainly wanted to see Faye again (part of the reason for the apartment and etc.), it was never his last wish. His last wish really was to be content, and be satisfied with his life. And as the doctors even concluded after the scene where Faye "left", not seeing Faye again isn't the "cause", but the "effect" of Colin's unhappiness -- after all, Faye was "expecting" Colin to have had a fulfilling life when she came to meet him, and he didn't have the face to "summon" her had he not.

Which is why that had the doctors not have come here, Colin wouldn't have come to the fulfilling sense about his life, and wouldn't have seen Faye again at the end. This might be one of the things about the story that might've been a bit tricky, but it was meant to convey that our sense of self doesn't exist in a vacuum. Although it's a bit of a simplification, "Happiness = Reality - Expectation" is fairly true in its core. As many studies show, we generally tend to be happiest when we're young, the least happy during the years of making lives for ourselves, and then happiest again during old age, no matter the condition and what we've done then. A part of the reason for it is the naturally process of coming to terms with ourselves once our ability to make further improvement is gone -- and it makes sense, as once we couldn't, there's no sense in having that drive and be driven mad with regrets.

However, the existence of Sigmund broke that natural process -- because with the knowledge of its existence and all the possibilities it offers, people are no longer having their ends tied in a bow by our cognitive mechanisms. When our expectation can be infinite, it doesn't matter much what our actual reality was. This might be mitigated to some extent by some folks, as the "reality" it creates isn't truly reality itself; but for a particular patient like Colin, who's already had the struggle between his actual reality and the "reality" that he created, the phenomenon came into full effect -- which was the underlying jump-starter of the story of Finding Paradise.

To Colin, Faye was a lesser and localized version of what Sigmund was in that regards, and eventually he/they realized that she had to leave. And when Sigmund came into existence and stepped into his mind, although Colin's conscious mind was too overwhelmed by the sense of regret that was the effect of Sigmund's existence to realize, his subconsciousness, and perhaps, Faye, eventually realized that it was something rather familiar. And like Faye, Sigmund had to leave -- and because it was an external existence, Colin's knowledge of it had to as well.

Duodecim

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 11:00:03 PM »
Thanks for the clarifying post, Reives. I actually thought thought it was made pretty clear that Colin's unhappiness was due to his knowledge about Sigmund, and that the way to "fix" him was to let his life run its natural course without it and not be forced to compare his imperfect life with an imagined perfect one; Neil practically spells it out at some point, so I don't know if there really was a way to make it even more obvious without infantilizing the audience.

In terms of Colin's wish and other events close to the ending, I can think of two reasons for people missing them. First, TtM's big reveal about Johnny's wish "primed" people to expect a similar thing, for Faye to be what Colin's wish centered around. It's to FP's credit that this was not the case, and the game makes a subtle hint about this fairly on with Neil making the bet, but the sheer emotional impact TtM had on people probably made that expectation difficult to dislodge and caused more confusion than if there were no preconceptions.

I think the other reason is that the thematic core of the story (which is related to Colin's wish) is not as tightly coupled with the story's emotional core as TtM's was. Thematically, the story is about coming to terms with reality and letting go of one's fantasies, even though that would mean being forced to live with and remembering the imperfections inherent to the real world. However, emotionally the most powerful resonance in the story is the friendship between Faye and Colin. To be sure, it turned out to only be a simulacrum of a relationship in Colin's imagination, but because of how well realized Faye was to Colin, that simulacrum might as well have been real to us, the audience. When Faye had to leave, it didn't feel like Colin was letting go of an illusion - it felt like he had to say a heartbreaking goodbye to a real friend, brought home by the ridiculously tearjerking Faye's Theme in that scene. Even though we know he's going to live a perfectly fine life afterwards, the sheer sadness of that scene made it feel like he really did lose something there.

With hindsight, and reviewing the entire story, it's pretty obvious how the two layers operate in tandem; Colin may have lost Faye, but he gained the ability to focus on what's important in reality - Sofia, his job, and eventually Aster - and it was the right choice to let Faye go. But right after the emotional punch of Faye leaving, it's natural to take the next step and think that Colin's real, unstated wish was to somehow see Faye again, especially since the critical comment from the doctors about cause versus effect comes right at a point where a lot of players would be trying to staunch literal waterfalls coming out of their eyes - certainly I was.

I don't think this makes FP a lesser piece of work than TtM, though. It makes the story multifaceted, and require more thinking to really appreciate, and I personally found it really enjoyable to examine the complex, sometimes messy thematic strands there.

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. Thanks for giving us this story, Reives. I don't know if it's just due to my own life experiences, but your stories and characters seem to resonate with me at a level that is hard to convey with words, and in a way that I've never found anywhere else.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 12:10:32 PM by Duodecim »

Nyerguds

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 03:56:02 AM »
However, the existence of Sigmund broke that natural process -- because with the knowledge of its existence and all the possibilities it offers, people are no longer having their ends tied in a bow by our cognitive mechanisms.
You have to wonder about the ethics of Sigmund Corp charging people to solve a problem they caused themselves by their very existence  :salbrow:

Especially in this case, where they left Faye did all the real work in the end.

Duodecim

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 07:19:52 AM »
You have to wonder about the ethics of Sigmund Corp charging people to solve a problem they caused themselves by their very existence  :salbrow:

Especially in this case, where they left Faye did all the real work in the end.

It does seem that the post-TtM Sigmund content (the minisodes and FP) are showing the actual effects of Sigmund's existence in the world more, after being mostly a framing device in TtM. In the context of TtM, I hadn't thought that the protests in minisode 1 were justified, but after FP it's pretty clear that whatever the benefits to their patients in their last moments, Sigmund's presence comes at a significant cost to the people who are still living.

Nyerguds

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Re: Question about Colin and Faye
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 05:25:51 PM »
Yes, if you think about it, the whole thing sounds a lot like robbing a bunch of descendants of a nice chunk of inheritance money.