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AG Community Playthrough #59 - Tormentum: Dark Sorrow

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I decided to go the description route this time rather than post screenshots.  In a linear game like this, there are things you should discover for yourself. 

I’m replaying this section after playing it about a week ago, and last night I found myself wondering what I needed to do next.  I knew that getting some sleep was the answer, so I went to bed.

     

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Lady Kestrel - 24 May 2020 03:02 PM

I decided to go the description route this time rather than post screenshots.  In a linear game like this, there are things you should discover for yourself. 

I’m replaying this section after playing it about a week ago, and last night I found myself wondering what I needed to do next.  I knew that getting some sleep was the answer.

I thought the description route worked excellently Thumbs Up

Get some sleep!  Heart

     
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Thanks, Chrissie.  Regarding sleep, check my edit above and my avatar. Smile

     

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I know your Avatar’s always sleeping…..

     
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Finished the second chapter. The game is still easy and not scary, so I find the excessive use of words like “torture”, “sin”, “pain” a bit overdramatised. I enjoyed the second chapter more though, it has more story (even some books to read in the tower) and more open world, there are at least two nice intelligent guys for a change and some surprises.

1. I doubt that a hooded guy who easily murders both friendly and unfriendly creatures he meets along the way was wrongly accused. And from this chapter we learn that the dog-rat-like creature which he met on the way to the castle is not all that sympathetic and was arrested for a reason. If my theory is correct, the protagonist is a serious criminal who deserves this punishment.

2. As for the choices, I rarely play as a bad guy even in complex RPGs - I just don’t feel good about harming even virtual creatures. And since it is easy to predict the choices in this game, I play as a good guy all along (well, I guess, because of some surprises as I mentioned). This means I saved the witch, the knight, the dog-rat, the man tortured by the dog-rat and so on.

3. The puzzles so far weren’t all that original or memorable. I guess I enjoyed the one where you have to create a venom from three colors, I was a bit stuck on it experimenting with the palette before I realised you just have to follow a sketch which was a bit disappointing and felt like a lost opportunity. I also liked the one in the second chapter where you have to match opposite pictures inside the tomb, it was a nice variation of the old memory game. The were also a couple of variations of the pipe puzzle and Tetris which were nice for a change.

     

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Doom - 24 May 2020 07:47 PM

Finished the second chapter. The game is still easy and not scary, so I find the excessive use of words like “torture”, “sin”, “pain” a bit overdramatised.

From what Celebreon said, it sounds like there might be a bit more going on the game than your standard horror game. So scary might not be the intention.

Celebreon - 23 May 2020 01:07 AM

1. Okay well I think it’s interesting that the torturers and inhabitants of the castle heavily refer again and again to “cleansing” of “sin” or some kind of penance inflicted upon the prisoners.  I think most of us could agree that no matter what crime was actually committed or accused that no one would be deserving of such a cruel punishments.  But the use of the word sin is interesting to me because not only does it imply some insult or wrongdoing in the face of god, but also, and innate and natural trait that all people are doomed to.  (often it is thought in christian faith for example, that all people sin, that it is inevitable)  At first this is a thought the player has, but it’s later supported by the door and wall brothers.  I forget what the notes said, but they make reference that being transformed into part of the prison was their punishment.

What do you guys think about the “imprisoned becoming the prison” in the case of the door and wall brothers?

I think we don’t necessarily need to interpret this in religious terms. Sin is a concept going back to ancient times, but it has been subject to re-interpretation in a lot of modern spiritualities. The idea of being punished for what we do in life, if we take it as just an idea, combined with the increasingly popular notion that we create our own reality, makes it interesting that the thought of the player appears first, then the prison later. So the prison could be an imaginary construct created by the guilt of the player and the feeling of needing to be punished, as penance.

I haven’t got around to playing the game yet, but is it possible this is what the developers had in mind?

     
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Luhr28 - 24 May 2020 09:45 PM

From what Celebreon said, it sounds like there might be a bit more going on the game than your standard horror game. So scary might not be the intention.

Well, this is how I see it from the start: the world around is a purgatory where the protagonist’s soul is trapped for his crimes, a very overused plot in fiction. It is probably meant to be torture for him, he faces his sins, fears, victims and so on. Only it doesn’t feel like punishment: instead of painful decisions and impossible puzzles he travel through abstract worlds populated by comic creatures, easily overcoming every obstacle. And since nothing is revealed about the past and he doesn’t express emotions or even shows his face, it is really hard to connect with him. It might as well turn to be some horror themed amusement park ride.

     

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1. I was so excited to see the rat in his house until I went into the basement.  The cozy cottage feeling with the music, and family photo, and the cauldron, and the kid playing, paint a way different picture of them!  I let the man in the basement loose..
Is rat-friend…

Is he evil?
Is he doing what he must to survive?
Was he guilty of crime?

2.  I did not trust that ugly bird things, the icari.  After the ordeal with the rat people, I’m less ready to trust anyone.  But I brought the crown to the lizard thief, which I think the rat scolded me for, and then I gave the storm egg to the tree thing instead of the icari.  That icari thing looks awful.  Like the worst.
I honestly didn’t want to talk to it, and mostly didn’t help it because that book warned me against them, and also things in this world are never what they seem.  He’s probably some sort of evil predator bird that looks pathetic and helpless, and then catches and eats you when you try to help him.

3.  It was pretty satisfying to defeat the monsters. Stupid fucking snake monster.  Stupid mine monster.

4.The choices in this section seem to primarily revolve around choosing which person to help or deliver the quest to.  For example when the I delivered the crown to the lizard thief, the rat scolded me.  Maybe the rat asked me to deliver the crown, and finding the basement scared me so much that I forgot.

5. Seeing the train and the old conductor brought back some memories of Syberia with Kate and Oskar.  Except surprisingly this game asks you to do WAY less to start the f*ckin train than Syberia.  Well, I don’t want to speak too soon.  Might run out of wind-up juice in this game too.

6. I understand that stealing the storm egg was a puzzle in and of itself, but it felt weird to me because I had just ransacked the rat’s house and got no push back on it whatsoever.  Not a problem, just inconsistent logic.

7.  What’s with the list of names with the drawing of the hangman?  They weren’t weird names, they were like human, normal people names.

8.  I’ve tried to take pity on everything I’ve come across and like help people and do good things when I can, but this level drives home the point that that kind of logic may not hold up in this world

9.  I appreciate that the game put some more notes in this level to provide more context and backstory for the settings.  The note that I found in the rock vault thing where the train parts are hidden, it seemed to imply that he hoped hiding the train parts would prevent the construction of the castle, but I’m assuming that’s when they moved to using the mines just outside.  It’s not clear to me who left the note with the train parts. Do you think it’s someone we’ve met, perhaps the protagonist, or perhaps the train conductor?

10.  I stopped where the train arrives in frozen tears.

Luhr28 - 24 May 2020 09:45 PM

I think we don’t necessarily need to interpret this in religious terms. Sin is a concept going back to ancient times, but it has been subject to re-interpretation in a lot of modern spiritualities. The idea of being punished for what we do in life, if we take it as just an idea, combined with the increasingly popular notion that we create our own reality, makes it interesting that the thought of the player appears first, then the prison later. So the prison could be an imaginary construct created by the guilt of the player and the feeling of needing to be punished, as penance.

I haven’t got around to playing the game yet, but is it possible this is what the developers had in mind?

Well I mostly had this idea because of the presence of the baby that you have to bring the three golden coins.

And also the fact that you start the game captured and imprisoned, similar to how people are born with original sin, but then you are usually given the choice who you can take pity on or punish depending on what you choose.  It’s reminiscent of the idea that while all people are born of sin, they can all choose salvation.

BTW I’m not a religious guy at all, and don’t care really, these are just the things that the game brings to mind for me.

Doom - 24 May 2020 07:47 PM

Finished the second chapter. The game is still easy and not scary, so I find the excessive use of words like “torture”, “sin”, “pain” a bit overdramatised.

I mean I agree with you to some extent doom, as I’m mostly afraid of like heights, and diseases, and dying of exposure, y’know real stuff?  But this is a good effort.  I don’t know who the writer is, but it feels like the puzzle game part and art style took the lead, and then the writing had to fill in the gaps.  I didn’t look it up but this feels like a small game by a small studio, and considering everything about this game seems to err on the side of safety (puzzles too easy instead of too hard, atmosphere too heavy-handed instead of too obscure), I don’t mind the way they went with it.

     

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Oh Noo Studio is a three-person indie team.  Their other game is Amelia and Terror of the Night, and they also worked on Tsioque with animator Alek Wasilewski.

The names on the tomb are probably people who tested the game or who are meaningful to the developers in some other way.

     

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Doom - 25 May 2020 06:42 AM
Luhr28 - 24 May 2020 09:45 PM

From what Celebreon said, it sounds like there might be a bit more going on the game than your standard horror game. So scary might not be the intention.

Well, this is how I see it from the start: the world around is a purgatory where the protagonist’s soul is trapped for his crimes, a very overused plot in fiction. It is probably meant to be torture for him, he faces his sins, fears, victims and so on. Only it doesn’t feel like punishment: instead of painful decisions and impossible puzzles he travel through abstract worlds populated by comic creatures, easily overcoming every obstacle. And since nothing is revealed about the past and he doesn’t express emotions or even shows his face, it is really hard to connect with him. It might as well turn to be some horror themed amusement park ride.

Oh, ok. That’s disappointing then. ‘Trapped in purgatory’ games are a dime a dozen, and I hoped there was more to it.

     
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OK, I have reached the stopping point for part 2.

Lady Kestrel - 22 May 2020 01:02 PM

1.  We’ve known since the beginning that our character has been accused of a crime.  Do you think this is a mistake and that he has been wrongfully imprisoned or is it just that he can’t remember what happened that brought him to this place?  What could his crime be?

Our player character is about as ambiguous as he could be I suppose this far into a game. Indeed, it has been hard to judge the motives or personalities of pretty much anything/anyone we have come across. He could be completely innocent or appallingly guilty. Neither would come as any particular surprise at this point, but my money would be on guilty of some pretty serious stuff. We hear about a statue with arms raised aloft which is again ambiguous, but somehow it puts me in mind of some evil, whether on our character’s part or otherwise.

2.  In this first section, you were given some either/or choices to make.  What were they, and what did you decide to do?

Not sure if I can remember all from first section but I
* Freed the rat
* Didn’t kill the ‘witch’
* Didn’t kill one or two of the guards - I think, not sure what happened with that spider.

3.  I’ve always liked puzzles in a game, and I like the way the designers made them part of the environment.  Do you have any favorites in this section?  Are there any you wish weren’t there?

In the first section I honestly don’t know if any of them stuck out as really good or really bad. Most were pretty simple but there was enough variation to keep things interesting and I was pretty happy with most of them.

     

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Luhr28 - 24 May 2020 09:45 PM

I think we don’t necessarily need to interpret this in religious terms. Sin is a concept going back to ancient times, but it has been subject to re-interpretation in a lot of modern spiritualities…

So interesting to get different views on this. I wasn’t aware there was any usage of the word ‘sin’ outside a religious context/background. The only meaning I am aware of is that it is acting against God, effectively putting yourself in God’s place by choosing your own path in the face of his.

Celebreon - 25 May 2020 03:13 PM

5. Seeing the train and the old conductor brought back some memories of Syberia with Kate and Oskar.  Except surprisingly this game asks you to do WAY less to start the f*ckin train than Syberia.  Well, I don’t want to speak too soon.  Might run out of wind-up juice in this game too.

Yeah me too! Definitely got those Syberia vibes and was expecting Oscar to turn up and moan. Maybe the protagonist is really Kate Walker in a funky cloak and hood!  Tongue

     

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Now that I am much further into the game, it is definitely a horror game with a fair bit of violence in it. It is very puzzle heavy - but the puzzles are pretty logical. So, I am liking the game the more I play it, the artwork I see now as creepy good.

Heart

     

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Grin @ IntenseDegree! 

Since almost everyone has made it to the second stopping point, let’s take our protagonist to the end of the story. 

The mine in the second section made me think about the environmental and health problems that certain kinds of mining has caused.  I don’t know if the developers intended to put this into the game as a reminder or warning or if it just allowed a puzzle to be presented and solved.  Is there any other theme in the game so far that you think could be a message the developers may have included purposely?

     

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I actually made it through this game. One tough timed puzzle and moving around the game can be at best called a chore but got to the ending. It had a nice plot twist at the end that explains everything.

For an indie, it’s a good adventure game. I didn’t pay too much for it so I am quite happy with it. The game has a nice style to the graphics, similar to dark seed.

Like Fran Bow, the game didn’t really need any voice acting to be a great experience. I’ll do a replay in the future to try to get a different ending.

Thanks so much Lady Kestrel for leading this playthrough, the game was actually very good, an excellent horror adventure game.

I believe that’s my 6th horror adventure game this year, which is pretty amazing.


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