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AG Community Playthrough #51: Return of the Obra Dinn

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Timovieman, after reading our exchange again it finally dawned on me that from your point of view it really was not much of a spoiler. And you didn’t know who I was talking about. Cross-purposes and my tunnel vision. I’m sorry I got mad at you. All the more so because this morning I started playing where I left off the last time on the Orlop Deck. Within 10 seconds I’d met the surgeon… yeah, I could hear the devil laughing

Don’t worry people. This really is my last post in the thread.

     

I will kill every last one of you monsters!  Return of the Obra Dinn

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Karlok - 05 March 2019 07:05 AM

Timovieman, after reading our exchange again it finally dawned on me that from your point of view it really was not much of a spoiler. And you didn’t know who I was talking about. Cross-purposes and my tunnel vision. I’m sorry I got mad at you.

Water under the bridge. Don’t worry about it.


And I should have mentioned that just because we know the fate of Dr. Henry Evans, it doesn’t mean that we know what he looks like. All our dealings with him are through correspondence…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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I finally got around to start playing last weekend. What an excellent game! Catching up proved to be easy, since I quickly got so engrossed that I just had to keep playing. That is not meant to imply that the difficulty is too low though. I found deducing fates to be challenging while still fair, and very rewarding.

When reaching the current goal of 45 fates solved, I was unable to stop myself. Instead I ended up with 58 solved fates just as TimovieMan. I am still on the ship though, so I can go back and revisit any memory before leaving.

TimovieMan - 13 February 2019 03:46 AM

Anyone notice the speck of light in the distance on the portside of the ship (near the stern)?
My spidey sense says that’ll become important later on. Tongue

I thought it would already have been revealed. But I guess it will be in the remaining chapter.

TimovieMan - 16 February 2019 06:30 PM

I’d wager the remaining chapters aren’t suddenly going to open all at once either. Seems pretty linear to me…

The order of the fates you solve is totally up to you, so that part is non-linear. The fates become available to you in a predetermined order, which is not chronologically linear. It is also possible to run through them all without paying any attention before starting to solve anything.

TimovieMan - 02 March 2019 05:41 PM

Savegame says I’m at 8 hours 45 minutes at the moment.

This point took me 12 hours to reach. I went through each chapter chronologically multiple times and lingered in every memory absorbing the atmosphere while searching for details. This is not a game I want to end soon.

     
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Well, then, are we ready?

Task for this week:

-Finish the game

With so many of us close to the end, I don’t think this will take long.

     
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I am ready - and have now finished the game.

Playing through the final chapter was much quicker than I had expected. I thought there would be a tough puzzle there somehow. The conclusion of the story was still very satisfying though.

Regarding that speck of light in the distance, I assume it is the shell worn by the siren that was rescued. Seeing the Obra Dinn home was part of the bargain after all. I do not think we see any other sign of her accepting this agreement though.

I loved playing this game. Next time I decide to join a community playthrough, I will make sure to have some time for playing each week.

     
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Ok, so I finished The Return of the Obra Dinn. What a marvelous game.  I found the retro graphics to be very charming. Good news about the game is I will replay the game soon. There is so much more to be discovered.

Thanks for doing this CPT, it is a great game that deserved all its awards.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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Finished.
Last bit only took half an hour. And most of that was probably spent reading the insurance report.

What a brilliantly disturbed way to get inside the last room. Makes one wonder if Henry Evans kept that monkey around solely for that exact purpose.

Great game, very unique, very hard to let go while unraveling the Obra Dinn’s mystery.


One of my favourite memories is this one, because I can’t resist pure badassery. Cool

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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I wrote this in the “What game have you just finished?”-thread:

TimovieMan - 09 March 2019 07:44 PM

Return of the Obra Dinn - 4/5

One of the most unique games of all time, Return of the Obra Dinn shows what the true meaning of “retro graphics” is in modern times. Despite the 1-bit graphics, the game looks as current as can be, breathes atmosphere and provides a compelling mystery to solve. This turns it in an experience that’s very hard to put down and is above all unforgettable.
That doesn’t mean it’s without its flaws. Getting to revisit memories from the book would have been a huge time-saver, several characters deserve a bit more background (and motivation for their actions), there are a few moments where you’re essentially going from new memory to new memory without a chance to catch your breath, and - although this is very nitpicky - the gameplay remains the same from beginning to end without extra layers getting added to increase the challenge or conversely, to make the learning curve more gradual.
Having said that, the game presents one big puzzle that is very satisfying to solve (even if you’re sometimes just making educated guesses), and wraps that in a highly remarkable and creatively fresh package. Quite the feat for what’s essentially a one-man game. Hats off to Lucas Pope!

I can’t find the quote now, but Karlok asked me who I was referring to with the “several characters deserve a bit more background (and motivation for their actions).

I’m going to answer that here. For those that haven’t finished, be warned: lots of story theories and spoilers!


The person whose motivation for his actions I’d like to know most about is Second Mate Edward Nichols. He knocks down the Formosan bodyguard in an attempt to steal the shells, and stabs Nunzio Pasqua to avoid being found out (and to frame the bodyguard so he can get away with it all). The thing is: to frame the Formosan bodyguard, he needed help from his Chinese co-conspirator so he could get a mistranslated “confession”. So did he already assemble the mutineers he leaves with before this, or was that only organized after his failed attempt to steal the treasure? Was stealing the treasure (and/or holding the Formosan royalty captive) always part of his plan, or was that a spur-of-the-moment action? And why did he do it? He’s a Second Mate, so he’s already one of the most important and well-paid people on the boat, and he’s undoubtedly had years of access to valuable cargo in this position, so why this theft now? Did he know about the shells or not?

I’m assuming that the mermaids attacking the row boats were just trying to reclaim the shells, that he spider-crab things were just trying to free the captive mermaids, and that the Kraken was summoned for this same purpose (or as vengeance for the deaths of the spider-crab things).
I think the creatures are not as malevolent as the game would have you believe, precisely because the mermaids hold their end of the bargain: stopping the attack and returning the ship back home. They also didn’t attack the rowboat with Henry Evans in it (which wasn’t even part of their bargain).

For me that raises this question: what exactly are those shells? If it’s treasure that originally belonged to the mermaids, why does it have the capacity to stun mermaids when activated, as seen on the rowboats? And why didn’t the same happen in the Lazarette when the Captain’s Steward took out the shell there? Shouldn’t that have stunned/incapacitated the remaining Mermaid too?
Why did the opening of the treasure chest in Chapter III NOT burn off someone’s (Edward Nichols’) arm?


I’m also a bit puzzled by the Captain’s Steward Filip Dahl’s decision to cut off someone’s leg. What was he trying to accomplish? Or was “insanity” his only plea at that point?

And I wonder why First Mate William Hoscut, the Captain’s best friend and brother-in-law, and the man that cared for dying Midshipman Thomas Lanke DURING an attempted mutiny, suddenly turned into a mutineer himself AFTER the Kraken’s attack had long ended and there was no real reason to suspect the Captain of anything. Yet in Chapter X, he seemed to be leading the mutineers (possibly due to his rank, but still). I don’t get how he made what seems like a 180° turn between Chapters IX and X.

I fully understand that the premise of the game means that we don’t get all the information and must fill in the gaps ourselves, but for the elements I mentioned above, I’d really have liked to have found out just a tad more…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Oops! I said I would not post in this thread again. Sorry.

[original post deleted]

     

I will kill every last one of you monsters!  Return of the Obra Dinn

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First off, I loved this game and really enjoyed the most when you were trying to figure out the identity of the more difficult crew members. That being said, I took maybe 4 or 5 guesses, but I know if I stared a lot more at the scenes, I would have eventually figured them out. I believe this game was designed so you don’t need to make guesses and all the characters’ identities can be determined by the clues given. A few scenes in particular - the sickness scene, the execution scene, and the topmen scene - contain troves of information. This is one of the few games were you truly feel like a detective. Unlike other games that handhold you or make you combine some random stuff, the investigation here is all based on deductive and logical reasoning.

The graphics were pretty amazing and stylized for what is basically 2 colors. The fact Pope got so much details in 3D using only 2 colors is pretty darn impressive. You appreciate it most when the scene pauses, and you can view the murder in 360 degrees.

As far as the story goes, I agree with Tim that there are so many gaps that I wish were explained better. I was hoping when we finish chapter 8, everything will click in place, but the game still left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

Overall rating is 5/5

     

Ignorance + Poverty = Crime, Ignorance + Wealth = Corruption, Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos, Ignorance + Authority = Tyranny, Ignorance + Religion = Terrorism
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The game was actually pretty scary for me. Almost a horror game. I am hoping that when I play the game again some of the gaps in the story will fill in. Sure, I have questions and the end came too soon for me, but this is yet another indie masterpiece.

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I am disappointed rtrooney did not participate since he looks like a character from the game Smile

     
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I am kind of wishing that I had played the game as well. But the AG Review description of the game’s mechanics, or specifically the game’s puzzle mechanics, didn’t appeal to me at all.

The way it was described was similar to the old five column/five row logic puzzle where you are give descriptions such as “Bob sits to the left of Jeff”. Or “Angus is eating oatmeal”. And the objective is to put everything in the proper place in the 25-square grid. I hate those puzzles.

So, if the reviewer’s description was inaccurate, I apparently missed out on a really good game. If it was accurate, I’m OK with being unable to play it.

     

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rtrooney - 14 March 2019 11:36 AM

So, if the reviewer’s description was inaccurate, I apparently missed out on a really good game. If it was accurate, I’m OK with being unable to play it.

The 5x5 grid description sounds wildly inaccurate. Why don’t you check out the first fifteen minutes of the game in a Youtube Let’s Play? It’ll give you an idea of how the game works.
(Stop after the Captain’s suicide. You may not want to spoil the next in-game memory)

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Other Tim: This is the opening quote from the review in question:

I was one of the smartest kids in my elementary school. This did not continue into middle or high school, and definitely not into college, where I was spectacularly average, but for a couple of years I was on top of the world because I was a “gifted” child, which meant that once a week I was sent to a special class with the other gifted kids where we would work through logic grid puzzles handed out by our teacher.

These puzzles, if you’re not familiar, tasked the solver with identifying a group of people based on a series of written clues. Who was who at the birthday party? “Joe wore red and was seated next to the girl in green.” “Nancy wore purple and doesn’t eat meat.” “Annie would never be caught dead in green.” By filling a grid with X’s and O’s to track people’s possible identities and attributes, you’d eventually arrive at a full picture of the scenario. Who wore what? Who ate what? Who brought which gift?

Now take that birthday party puzzle and replace it with a ghost ship full of gruesome deaths and you’ve got the basic idea behind Return of the Obra Dinn, the newest game from Lucas Pope.

If you don’t think that exactly describes the type of puzzle I hate, as described in my immediate prior post, then you and I are talking a different language. (Which we are of course. You speak excellent English as a second language. And I speak no Dutch. The last time I spoke a reasonably fluent second language it was French and I was a junior in college. And that was in 1968.)

So, yes I think the AG Review gave me an accurate, by his standards, explanation of what the puzzles would be like. And I declined to participate. You say the explanation was/is inaccurate. I’ll buy that, and I will certainly take a look at the YouTube you suggested. If I like it I may still not play. After all, most of the fun in playing these games is playing them with other people. Ergo: AGCPT.

Last question: If the review was so “off” in the description of the puzzle mechanics, why didn’t anyone catch the mistake

     

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