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Kentucky Route Zero - an unofficial community play-through

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This thread is intended to be a community play-through of Kentucky Route Zero.

Anyone is welcome to join the discussion. The ‘PC Edition’ for Windows, Linux and macOS can be bought on GOG.com, itch.io, Humble Store and Steam. The ‘TV Edition’ is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

I’m going completely blind into this game, so I’m not suitable as a play-through leader in the usual sense. I can however try to organize the thread if the participants prefer having a host. If anyone with experience of the game is interested in taking on the role as leader, that would be perfectly fine with me.

According to HowLongToBeat, each act of the game takes about 1-3 hours to finish. I suggest we use the end of each act as a stopping point for discussions.

If accepted by the rest of you, I would like to keep a high pace in the play-through. One reason for this is that I’ve planned a vacation abroad during the whole of April. It seems COVID-19 might cancel this plan - but that’s not decided yet. I propose we get five days per act starting now:

• Act I: finished by March 9
• Act II: finished by March 14
• Act III: finished by March 19
• Act IV: finished by March 24
• Act V: finished by March 29

Anyone wanting to join the play-through could start by answering these questions:

1. Have you played any part of the game before?

2. What’s your view on leadership for this play-through?

3. Is my suggested schedule viable for you?

(Note: The links to GOG.com and Humble Store are affiliate links, giving Adventure Gamers a small commission if a purchase is made.)

     
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People usually named it an “unofficial” community playthrough, especially because there’s a community playthrough taking place at the same time.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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diego - 04 March 2020 01:08 PM

People usually named it an “unofficial” community playthrough, especially because there’s a community playthrough taking place at the same time.

Sure, I’ve edited the topic.

     
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Hi Pegbiter, I played the whole lot of KR0 just a couple of weeks ago for the first time after the release of the last episode after buying the season pass years ago .

Despite that there’s no way I could have set-up this thread any better than you having done some research yourself Thumbs Up
The game is very intriguing & worthy of more than one playthrough as I’m sure I missed some alternatives in each episode along with story details.

I don’t want to play the game again in entirety just yet but if I did, just to be helpful, I would surely take notes about the people I’ve met & their situation in case they turn up later.  Smile

     
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Ah yes, the famous equus head at the beginning of the game. One of the things you never forget. That dog too. I’d love to have the poster of the truck and the head in the sunset on my wall. I remember I was drawn in by the magical atmosphere and the beautiful art style, not so much by the conversations at first.

I’ve played the first three episodes and your schedule is fine with me. I’ll be busy the next few days though. I prefer minimal leadership.

     

I can take care of myself. I’ve been doing it for centuries. - Snow, The Wolf Among Us

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chrissie - 04 March 2020 02:56 PM

I played the whole lot of KR0 just a couple of weeks ago for the first time after the release of the last episode after buying the season pass years ago

I also bought the season pass years ago, already then planning to wait with playing it until the rest of the episodes were released.

chrissie - 04 March 2020 02:56 PM

I would surely take notes about the people I’ve met & their situation in case they turn up later.

Thanks for the tip! I’ll make sure to take notes then. Normally, I would only do so while playing interactive fiction with too many rooms to remember.

Karlok - 04 March 2020 07:15 PM

I’ve played the first three episodes and your schedule is fine with me. I’ll be busy the next few days though. I prefer minimal leadership.

Then let’s skip the leadership part and just discuss the game, now that we’ve agreed on a schedule. I think I might play most of the first act tonight.

Does anyone know why the PC Edition is called Rainbow Road on the official website? The TV Edition is still named Kentucky Route Zero.

     
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Hi! I’d love to join that unofficial CPT as well. I haven’t play any of the game but I’ve been looking forward to it for a while (for such a format, I generally prefer to wait untill all episodes are out before starting to play).

In terms of leadership, since the game is so neatly split into acts, I wouldn’t mind a minimalist approach, although a few suggested questions to spark the discussion at the beggining of a new chapter are always appreciated.

The schedule works for me, I might fall behind during Act III (ski trip Grin) but I’ll catch up the week after if that’s alright.

     
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NickyLarson - 05 March 2020 01:23 PM

Hi! I’d love to join that unofficial CPT as well.

Welcome! No worries about falling behind for a while.

So, I’ve finished the first act. What strikes me most so far is how gorgeous it looks. I tried finding every hotspot along the roads. At first I was a bit disappointed to find that most of them are just barely interactive text descriptions. After a while though, I found them to be good flavoring.

I look forward to playing the next chapter - and have no idea of what to expect next.

     
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Hello!

So I have never heard anything about this game, and I don’t know that I’ve ever played a game quite like it.  (Kind of reminds me of art style of limbo/inside, or oxenfree, or even that dragon cancer)  Personally would have loved a voice acting like oxenfree though.

I played through act 1, and I really love the map navigation in this game.  Driving the car is simple, and maintains atmosphere, while serving it’s purpose of navigation with a scale element.

The sound design of this game is silly good!  The car sounds bring strong visuals to mind, and even the quiet ambiance of the countryside and underground is just beautifully done.  I couldn’t hear much in terms of soundtrack though…

I’m kind of a annoyed at how slow I walk, and it’s even worse later in the chapter.  Gives me plenty of time to enjoy the art, but because of the simplified art style with strong silhouettes, It’s not like I really want to stare at them for long periods of time.  I made some weird decisions not to help people early on in the game because they were giving me the creeps, and I don’t know if it had some consequence, or if the act I always plays out the same. (Do you know?)

I tried playing with the turntable for the mine cart, but I didn’t really see that it did much for me.  I wanted to investigate one area on my own, but that girl went back on her own instead and saw the helmets.  Her allusion to losing someone in the mines makes sense, but it’s not clear why she went back alone when we were just there, and there was even one of the routes I didn’t explore.

What’s the deal with the DND players?  They couldn’t see me?  Hear me?  But there’s all these weird messages about staying in the dark…  And then they were just gone.  Does it matter if I find the dice, or give it to them or keep it?

And then the end of the chapter has me very curious where this story is headed.  I talked about that barn with the girl, but now it’s gone?  If I had agreed to fix the TV, could I have made it to the Zero without the help of shannon? 

My god do I have questions.  Let’s see what’s coming for Act II.

     

Can we be friends please?

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Celebreon - 10 March 2020 03:48 AM

I made some weird decisions not to help people early on in the game because they were giving me the creeps, and I don’t know if it had some consequence, or if the act I always plays out the same. (Do you know?)

It seems you’re slightly affecting later acts with your choices. Here’s what developer Jake Elliott said in an interview with PC Gamer:

One of the things I noticed while playing was that often all the options would have the same eventual outcome but altered the story slightly just in terms of Conway’s character. Is that fair or will the differences lead to more concrete payoffs later in the series?

It’s a bit of both - there are choices the player makes in act one that do have fairly dramatic impacts on the plot later in the game (this is what you mean by “concrete”, right?), but they’re not really framed that way. We’re less interested in giving the player ethical or strategic choices, and more interested in giving them poetic or performative choices.

Many of the decisions the player makes in the game are like when an actor in a play can choose how to inflect a line of dialogue, how and when to pause, or what kind of backstory to draw on for the character they’re playing in order to perform with honesty and authenticity.

Celebreon - 10 March 2020 03:48 AM

I tried playing with the turntable for the mine cart, but I didn’t really see that it did much for me.  I wanted to investigate one area on my own, but that girl went back on her own instead and saw the helmets.  Her allusion to losing someone in the mines makes sense, but it’s not clear why she went back alone when we were just there, and there was even one of the routes I didn’t explore.

I think the turntable is only used to let you visit the six currently available shafts of the mine. My impression was that she went there alone since the mine cart couldn’t go further and Conway was restricted because of his injured leg.

Celebreon - 10 March 2020 03:48 AM

What’s the deal with the DND players?  They couldn’t see me?  Hear me?  But there’s all these weird messages about staying in the dark…  And then they were just gone.  Does it matter if I find the dice, or give it to them or keep it?

You can see lots of silhouettes in the mine in a similar way if you turn off the lantern. I suspect that we will get to know more further on.

Celebreon - 10 March 2020 03:48 AM

And then the end of the chapter has me very curious where this story is headed.  I talked about that barn with the girl, but now it’s gone?  If I had agreed to fix the TV, could I have made it to the Zero without the help of shannon? 

I have no idea!

     
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Wheels slide loose
it’s late
the lights whine

I’d expected to feel differently about the first Act of KR0, mainly because 7 years is a long time. But I didn’t. It’s still the beauty of the game that grabs me, the art style, the wonderful way the game uses zooming (those horses!), the ambient sounds, the atmosphere, the old dog. Poetry in motion.  And still not so much the conversations. I know we will learn a lot about Conway and his companions in later Acts and I did like that aspect too: ordinary people and their troubles. But somehow I wish the first Act was more silent, for instance without the weird chatterbox at the farm. I decided to choose the most business-like dialogue options to keep other characters at a distance for now and enjoy the mystery of the game.

     

I can take care of myself. I’ve been doing it for centuries. - Snow, The Wolf Among Us

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Celebreon - 10 March 2020 03:48 AM

And then the end of the chapter has me very curious where this story is headed.

I hope you won’t be disappointed in this marvelous game, but I’d better warn you. You’ll meet many people who will tell you about their life, so lots of background story. But I see KR0 more as a kind of journey.

     

I can take care of myself. I’ve been doing it for centuries. - Snow, The Wolf Among Us

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I finished Act 1 yesterday, as well as the short interlude right after (I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to play it or not - and thought I might as well stop just before the opening of the next part). I had no idea what to expect, and to a certain extent I still don’t - and I like that! I appreciate the mood of the game, its pacing, the fact that it seems to be mostly about catching glimpses of memories, shards of personal experience recollected through stories or places or gestures, never woven together but by the very act of your own playing. So far, so good Thumbs Up

     
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Pegbiter:  In chapter 1 there is a clear learning moment where the lights are turned off to find the d20 for the DND players.  And the game is doing a good job of teaching you, this turning off the lights mechanic, and the implication that it will come back.  I tried it when I was in the mine near the turn table but I got too scared, because it’s not like kind of dark, no it’s totally black down there!  I’ve been to several caves in real life, innerspace, carlsbad, etc, and that part is definitely scary how absolute dark it is down there!

Karlok: I’m glad you reminded me of the dog.  I freaking love this dog.  He reminds me of my late friend Ginger.  She never barked and was quite old.  I would say weird stuff to her in real life just like in this game!  Is it just me or do you guys talk to this dog every time you arrive somewhere, every time we’re ready to leave again.  He’s like a silent protagonist in my game <3 I also love his hat.

     

Can we be friends please?

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Oh yes, I talk to the dog too every time the game lets me. I gave him (I chose the name Homer) Joseph’s jerky, asked him how he was doing, told him I’d try to find him more treats, etc. The dog is important, don’t ask me why. Smile

     

I can take care of myself. I’ve been doing it for centuries. - Snow, The Wolf Among Us

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So I’ve been long overdue to play this and now that the episodes are out and i have some time, iv played the first two episodes and the interlude “the entertainment.” Its… certainly “lynchian.” Im enjoying it.. its got enough real world and strange combined with some exploration to keep me interested. That said, the puzzle/interaction is definitely…. lite. It can be unnervingly slow sometimes (like in the entertainment) But i appreciate what theyr doing, and fingers crossed that it ultimately lands in a place where it feels like a satisfying experience.

     

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