• Log In | Sign Up

  • News
  • Reviews
  • Games Database
  • Game Discovery
  • Search
  • New Releases
  • Forums

Adventure Gamers - Forums

Welcome to Adventure Gamers. Please Sign In or Join Now to post.

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread


   

Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Monday 13 May 2013

Avatar

Total Posts: 2573

Joined 2005-08-12

PM


Kurufinwe’s Top-10 Endings
#7 – Syberia


“Are you coming on the train too, Kate Walker?”
— Hans Voralberg

If you’ve been reading my ending-themed posts these past few days, you’ve probably realized that I have a thing for structure. And Syberia is one of the most carefully structured games ever. Four locations, from west to east, chart four chapters in three parallel stories: Hans’, Kate’s and 20th-century-Europe’s. And the ending brings a conclusion to those three threads, both catching up with the present and reaching the point when Kate decides to change her life.

What makes the ending so memorable is that the game is carefully constructed not just structurally but also thematically. All the way from its introduction (a funeral), the game is all about death and decay. Every location feels like a mausoleum, a memento of a glorious past now dead and empty. It mirrors Europe’s trajectory through the 20th century, a long story of self-destruction and tumble down to irrelevance.

But contrasting with all this is Hans’ dream: Syberia and the mammoths. It’s not really hope; it’s not a project to fix things. It’s just one last adventure, one last touch of beauty and magic, before death swallows all. Syberia’s ending is about Kate giving in to that dream, choosing to leave behind the grey, dying world and go look for one last bit of colour. It’s hopeless and irrational and defiant – and beautiful.

Of course, that’s the end of the story. What matters is sharing in the dream, not actually finding the mammoths, and Syberia’s unnecessary sequel struggled with trying to find something more to say than “let’s go from A to B with some arbitrary obstacles (evil monks!) along the way”. It did give Oscar an interesting arc. But that’s not much, and to me the real ending will always be Kate deciding to run after the train.

     

Currently playing:
Recently finished: Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse (R) (4/5) | Detective Di (3.5/5) | Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (R) (4.5/5) | Heaven’s Vault (3/5) | Ace Attorney: Justice For All (R) (3.5/5) | Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (R) (4.5/5) | Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space (R) (4.5/5) | The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker (abandoned) (2/5) | Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (3.5/5) | The Sexy Brutale (R) (4/5)

Avatar

Total Posts: 8998

Joined 2004-01-05

PM

Kurufinwe - 13 May 2013 11:59 AM

[

Of course, that’s the end of the story. What matters is sharing in the dream, not actually finding the mammoths, and Syberia’s unnecessary sequel struggled with trying to find something more to say than “let’s go from A to B with some arbitrary obstacles (evil monks!) along the way”.

YES! Great, I’m not the alone in thinking the sequel was unnecessary!  Laughing

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 1368

Joined 2012-09-28

PM

Agree totally, Syberia is Microids’ masterpiece and is one classy game. Interesting point about the symbolism of the decay. I think it was also meant to reflect the state of Kate’s inner life, how she felt about her life and her work, with the funeral at the start heralding the beginning of a possible rebirth or a journey towards one. I loved the whole concept of Syberia and really need to play it again.

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 3933

Joined 2011-03-14

PM

Kurufinwe - 13 May 2013 11:59 AM

... and to me the real ending will always be Kate deciding to run after the train.

I agree, that decision to either go back or follow some undefined dream, is what the game is all about, and it is one of the best endings in AG.

In fact i agree with most of what you wrote, though i see the whole game as more of a journey of self-discovery, then a allegory of Europe’s trajectory through the 20th century.

I wont go as far as saying that Syberia II didn’t add anything to the story, but as far as i’m concerned, they could just as well had ended the whole story here.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

Avatar

Total Posts: 4580

Joined 2012-03-24

PM

I just loved the ending of Syberia & thought it was perfect - Kate got involved & chose to pursue someone’s dream rather than go back to her normal life & the ending shot just encapsulates that - it’s wonderful! But I was left wanting more so I did think Syberia 2 needed to be made!!!

     
Avatar

Total Posts: 2573

Joined 2005-08-12

PM

Iznogood - 13 May 2013 12:35 PM

In fact i agree with most of what you wrote, though i see the whole game as more of a journey of self-discovery, then a allegory of Europe’s trajectory through the 20th century.

Kate’s personal journey is definitely an important theme, but there’s also a strong historical thread. Hans was born in a family that became rich with the rise of industrial capitalism. He spent a few years in Germany during the rise of Nazism. He worked in a factory in Russia during the Soviet era. And he ended up by the Aral Sea at a time when mankind started realizing it was destroying the planet. Those are no coincidences; Sokal definitely wanted to add a historical dimension to Hans’ and Kate’s journey, which is also a journey through time.

     

Currently playing:
Recently finished: Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse (R) (4/5) | Detective Di (3.5/5) | Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (R) (4.5/5) | Heaven’s Vault (3/5) | Ace Attorney: Justice For All (R) (3.5/5) | Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (R) (4.5/5) | Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space (R) (4.5/5) | The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker (abandoned) (2/5) | Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (3.5/5) | The Sexy Brutale (R) (4/5)

Avatar

Total Posts: 3933

Joined 2011-03-14

PM

There is definitely a lot of layers and a lot of symbolism in this game, and probably also many ways that it can be interpreted. I don’t as such disagree with you, I have just always seen Kate’s journey as the most important aspect of the game. Especially the whole feeling of isolation and emptiness you get when playing the game, even though there actually is quite a few NPC to interact with, is something i have always seen as relating to Kate.

But there is definitely also a historic theme.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

Avatar

Total Posts: 1310

Joined 2005-12-06

PM

I agree that the ending was wonderful and didn’t really need a sequel but I was also quite happy with Syberia II.

     

Currently playing: Stasis
Recently finished: Detective Grimoire, Portal, Tormentum: Dark Sorrow, Emerald City Confidential (CPT)
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

Avatar

Total Posts: 3955

Joined 2004-07-12

PM

S2

millenia - 14 May 2013 04:49 PM

I agree that the ending was wonderful and didn’t really need a sequel but I was also quite happy with Syberia II.

S2 did not add much to the original story, but it didn’t detract from it either. You have to believe that Sokol had an S3 in mind. (Until Microids destructed.)

Kurf - I really like this “endings” series you’re doing.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

You are here: HomeForum Home → Gaming → Adventure → Thread

Welcome to the Adventure Gamers forums!