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*SPOILER* the ending of ep2 - fairly disappointed
skaff Offline
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*SPOILER* the ending of ep2 - fairly disappointed

Firstly i should say both of these games were amazing and I enjoyed every moment of playing them. In fact I abandoned every other game to immerse myself in these episodes when I first discovered them, and both the sense of isolation and the scripting had me sometimes too fearful to open a door or leave an area I knew was safe Smile

But I felt really let down by the ending of the second episode.

Spoiler below!
Aside from the rather rushed design of the ending which gave no sense of fear after all the preceding buttock clenching, heart racing moments before, it was this thing about some benign alien being and the invasivness of humanity being responsible for the alien protecting itself and causing the events in the game.

As soon as I heard this I thought, "oh God, here comes the lecture." It seems to be an unavoidable plot twist in games these days for a bit of self abuse about our effect on the planet. I say twist, but it really isn't anymore.

As a huge fan of H.P.Lovecraft, I think the best horror doesn't try and draw some sort moral lesson out at the end. Basically its a case of shit happens, and sometimes humans are in the way. The whole game before this was about self preservation, or occasionally some unreachable companion, and then five minutes from the end it was about the human collective and how our bad ways are the root cause of everything. This just didn't make sense in the context of the rest of the game.

In a way it suggests that, in fact this sort of horror is still safe because it will go away if we just mend our ways. HPL didn't give any such comfort. The horror was there - either deal with it or try and ignore it, but it is as careless of you either way. The result of Penumbra:Black Plague's ending was to make me feel cheated. I had a lot of investment in escaping the environment and when I eventually did I felt I was, at the end, being told off like a naughty child.

It also made me think of The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. For anyone who has read this they will know it is a story about how two intelligent species could never inhabit the same planet as they would always come into conflict over resources.

JW doesn't make a judgement in the story about who is right or wrong (although he does take the side of humanity in the war because that is the perspective of the book's characters). This neutrality from the point of the author had no discernable effect on the story.
05-31-2008, 09:11 PM

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*SPOILER* the ending of ep2 - fairly disappointed - by skaff - 05-31-2008, 09:11 PM

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