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Let’s Play: Paradise aka Last King of Africa   ***SPOILERS***

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This part of the game I really liked. For me, actually worth the wait.

 

     

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

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And one of them is the little bugger that stole the key card.
I can’t do anything about it while there is a whole pack of them though.

A small TV studio. This is probably where Rodan gives his speeches to the people.
Since the monkeys are glued to the TV screen, we can use this to give them a little lesson.

Fortunately I also picked up a scary mask.

And all but one is scared away, hopefully the one that stayed is the one with the key card.

A good thing I took the opportunity to fill my pockets with emeralds while I was in Zamarat Tongue
He accepts the exchange so now we just need to find the door that the key card works on.

The galley.

I’m feeling a little peckish, so lets do some cooking.

Apparently the monkeys like my cooking, and I have just lured them away from some area where they were blocking the path. Don’t know where that is yet, but nevertheless the path is now open to me.

My favourite view on this deck, I should have taken this path more often.

A dead end, but I’m fairly certain we will need to come back here later.

Yep - This is where the monkeys came from.

A door with both a key card reader and a code lock, we already have the key card so now we just need the code.

Some documents and a note.

I bet that is the code for the door.
Seriously who keeps their code on a post-it right next to the door that it opens?

Some documents.

And a map.

Hah! The drummers are Frog Boxers that box at the drums every time a frog passes by - Ingenious!

Should be easy enough to shut down, so that Siri’s men can storm the ship.

Looks like we have found the bridge.

More documents.

So Willy basically blames Malkia’s mother for everything that has gone wrong, I’m sure there is a bit more to it then that, but…

My thoughts exactly, but I have to admit the further and further into this game I get, the more I have also come to believe her amnesia story. But now that he brings it up, I of course start to doubt again. *Sigh* This confuses me, and I don’t know if I will ever agree with myself, as to how much Malkia can actually remember.

So we finally get the full leopard story. I had already deduced most of it, but it is always nice to hear the actual story.

So we better hurry.

     

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

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Oh, finally that kitchen, Iznogood! Laughing

     
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DarkEye - 17 March 2015 08:08 AM

Oh, finally that kitchen, Iznogood! Laughing

He he, I had almost forgotten about that.

Mikekelly - 17 March 2015 07:24 AM

This part of the game I really liked. For me, actually worth the wait.

Yeah - This is where everything comes together and the slow build-up reaches its climax.
Did I mention that I actually can’t remember what happens next?

     

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

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While we are waiting to see our father, lets have a look at the many documents that we found.

I personally find the first one the most interesting.

So the king’s spies talked to the prince before we did. I guess it wasn’t just because of his good will that he let us go, but also because he had been ordered to do so. I wonder what he would have done if that hadn’t been the case, used us somehow in his own political agenda perhaps? I never did fully trust him.

Still giving us the leopard was entirely his own doing, and like Vandenard he of course also knew Malkia from when she was a small child.

BTW notice the black leopard in the ministry logo.

The king’s spies also gave us some help in getting out of Madargane, thought it is not entirely clear how they actually helped us, or for that matter who the spies were.

So Vandenard is also the Interior Minister, which means that that spies that helped us, were working directly under his command.

Oh and I like how that last letter is a direct response to one of the articles, we read in the newspaper in the first chapter of the game.

     

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

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*BANG*

Vandenard has shot himself!
He knew that the rebels would most likely execute him .. or worse, so it is hardly surprising that he opted to kill himself instead, but still .. something like this is always a bit shocking.

Pick up his gun.

And it is time we confront our father.

Malkia .. Malkia

*whispers* dad

Malkia .. It’s you?

No
I’m happy you’re here princess

I’m not your princess!
I .. My name is Ann Smith

Yes, of course .. come.. NO! ..hug your father

No, I don’t think .. My name is Ann Smith!

It’s good to have you back Malkia. When your mother took you .. nothing feels the same .. she come to hate this country, probably she never loved it .. after .. Why have you come back princess?

My name’s Ann Smith!

I take you to see the animals along the river, do you remember Malkia? We’d leave the boat, you climbed on my back, and off we went the two of us. And how you loved the little brown gazelles, always on their guard.
no
They seem to dance along the river

NOO! MY NAME IS ANN SMITH!

I HAVE COME HOME TO KILL YOU FATHER!

I prefer that it is you .. Hug your father

*BANG*

     

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

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I just love the ending - I’ve played the game a couple of times and the ending gets me everytime.

 

 

     

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

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No epilogue?

I’d have loved to see her walk off into the jungle with the leopard…

Maybe this’ll add to your confusion, Izno, but I get the impression from her insistence on being called ‘Ann Smith’ here that she remembers *everything* and simply refuses to have anything to do with her birth name…

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5

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I actually like the ending just the way it is. It has shock value this way. Thanks for the playthrough I really enjoyed playing this game again.

     

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

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Iznogood, thanks a lot for posting this Let’s Play. I haven’t replayed the game since I had to play it 3 times in a row when writing that stupid review almost a decade ago, and I’m not sure I’m ready to replay it just yet, but I really enjoyed reading your posts about it.

I remember that the ending left me completely speechless. It was shocking and abrupt but brilliant. I remember just sitting in shock for 5 minutes, staring at my computer monitor, after finishing the game for the first time, and then needing to immediately write about it. (My incoherent post must still be somewhere in the archives of the staff forums; I’d be curious to see it again.)

I think Malkia remembered more than she let on, but desperately wanted to forget and move on—even if killing her father was ultimately necessary for that to happen. In the graphic novels, a lot of stuff about her background is revealed early on, but in the game it’s all kept for the conversation with Bob Denard Vandenard, and then the game ends almost immediately, which makes the revelations all the more shocking. However, it makes Ann a complete mystery for most of the game, which definitely feels uncomfortable at times.

Speaking of the graphic novels, they also feature an extended ending, which I’m sure would have been in the game if not for time/budget reasons. Still, the game-ending works as its own thing—but it gives the game a much bleaker final tone than in the graphic novels.

(Another notable difference between the two versions is that, in the graphic novels, engineer Dada was driven mad by Rodon raping her, instead of getting “emerald fever”. It’s pretty typical of the stylistic differences between the two versions: the graphic novels tend to be “grittier”, whilst the game has that touch of magical realism that Sokal’s other games have.)

Anyway, thanks again for this thread. It has been a great read!

     
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Mikekelly - 18 March 2015 07:21 PM

I just love the ending - I’ve played the game a couple of times and the ending gets me everytime.

I agree, the game has one of the strongest endings ever in a game!
Not necessarily the best ending, but the strongest. I mean ending the game by having an 18 year old girl, and the protagonist nonetheless, shoot her own father, that is just so .. cruel and shockingly.

Especially since he by all account, was nothing but a loving and caring father towards her, and her motive for killing him is not personal, not because of what he has done to her, but instead political, because she believes that he is a monster that needs to be killed.

If we compare the very first scene in the game to the ending, then we start with a father anxiously awaiting the return of a daughter he hasn’t seen since she was 6 years old, afraid that she has forgotten about him, and that she doesn’t love him any more. Then cut to the ending, where she is screaming into his face that she is not his daughter, and then pulls out a gun and shoots him.
That is some strong shit!

And not only does she end up shooting him, but we also learn that the very reason that she came to Maurania was to assassinate her own father .. Or was it?
All we really know is her last words “I have come home to kill you father”, and the fact that she talked about and helped Siri plan the revolution back in Geneva, but we have to remember that she is not some stonecold assassin or a professional hitman. Regardless of what her initial plans were, then I still believe that the whole journey that she made through the country would have or should have changed her somehow. As I said before, it is one thing to read books and have an opinion about things going on in a far away land, but to actually witness the things first hand is something entirely different. So it is possible that she came to Maurania with a different agenda, and the plan to kill her father, was a thought that slowly grew in her mind during her journey. It is of course equally possibly that killing him was her plan right from the start, and we can never know for sure which is correct. 

TimovieMan - 18 March 2015 07:26 PM

Maybe this’ll add to your confusion, Izno, but I get the impression from her insistence on being called ‘Ann Smith’ here that she remembers *everything* and simply refuses to have anything to do with her birth name…

My thoughts exactly.

If she was really planning to assassinate her father right from the start, then it of course gives extra credibility to my “she is faking her amnesia” theory. The main reason I abandoned that theory, was because she kept insisting on it long after it really made sense. But if she had more to hide that simply who she is, and if she was lying just as much to herself as she was to others, then it suddenly all makes sense again.

Regardless of whether or not she actually had amnesia in the beginning, then I think it is pretty obvious that “Ann Smith” became a sort of alter ego for her. That it became a way for her to distance or dissociate herself from the fact that she is the daughter of a brutal dictator. Malkia Rodan-Crown is the daughter of King Rodan, princess of Maurania and heir to the throne, Ann Smith on the other hand is a rebel fighting for freedom and justice, and the women that killed King Rodan.

TimovieMan - 18 March 2015 07:26 PM

No epilogue?

I’d have loved to see her walk off into the jungle with the leopard…

That was also my initial thought.

Did I mention that I actually couldn’t remember how it all ended? I of course remembered that she had a big confrontation with her father, and I also knew that Rodan died, but I couldn’t remember that she actually shot him, nor could I remember that it ended so abruptly after this scene.

Having given it some thought I however agree with Mikekelly, that it is best that the game ends right here after that big shocking scene. It is also the reason why I waited 24 hours to post my final thoughts, I needed a bit of time to process it and let it sink in before writing about it.

It of course leaves a lot of questions unanswered, what happens to Malkia after the end of the game, does she goes back to Europa, join the rebels and become a figure in the new government, does she walks into the jungle with the leopard and simply disappears or does she end up taking over the throne as Queen of Maurania?

And of course the biggest unanswered question of them all, why was it so important that she took the black leopard with her? I expected that it would play some major role at the end saving her life or something, but it really didn’t! That however doesn’t mean that it hasn’t got some role to fulfil after the end of the game.

But all of this is left to our own imagination, and I like that. I like games or stories that gives us an open ended ending, where not everything is bend in neon and we have to use our own imagination.

     

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Kurufinwe - 19 March 2015 11:27 AM

I haven’t replayed the game since I had to play it 3 times in a row when writing that stupid review almost a decade ago

No need to call it stupid, I think that it is an excellent review and it is one of the reasons why I bought the game in the first place.

Kurufinwe - 19 March 2015 11:27 AM

I remember that the ending left me completely speechless. It was shocking and abrupt but brilliant. I remember just sitting in shock for 5 minutes, staring at my computer monitor, after finishing the game for the first time, and then needing to immediately write about it. (My incoherent post must still be somewhere in the archives of the staff forums; I’d be curious to see it again.)

The funny thing is that I couldn’t write about it immediately after finishing the game, I had to give it time to sink in, before I was sure what I actually felt about it and what I should write.

Kurufinwe - 19 March 2015 11:27 AM

However, it makes Ann a complete mystery for most of the game, which definitely feels uncomfortable at times.

Yeah, making her this kind of enigma is certainly a brave thing, and it might have put many players off the game. I can’t remember how I felt about it originally, like most players it probably annoyed me, but now I think that it is actually one of the strengths of the game, it made me want to learn more about her, to solve the mystery.

Kurufinwe - 19 March 2015 11:27 AM

Speaking of the graphic novels, they also feature an extended ending, which I’m sure would have been in the game if not for time/budget reasons. Still, the game-ending works as its own thing—but it gives the game a much bleaker final tone than in the graphic novels.

Thanks, I had most likely read that when you posted it, but like I had forgotten the exact ending of the game, I had also forgotten about this extended ending. Like you I’m not quite sure which ending I like the most. I kind of like the open ended ending of the game, but the extended ending has one huge advantage, and that is that it gives us a conclusion to the leopard story, and more important, a reason or more reasons for why the leopard was in the game to begin with.

I think this extended ending is why I expected that the leopard would save Malkia’s life at some point. Even if I didn’t outright remember it, then it was still lurking somewhere in the back of my mind.

Kurufinwe - 19 March 2015 11:27 AM

Anyway, thanks again for this thread. It has been a great read!

Mikekelly - 19 March 2015 07:13 AM

Thanks for the playthrough I really enjoyed playing this game again.

Thanks - It has been a pleasure to share my playthrough of the game with you all in this way, though also more work than I had anticipated, and I’m glad that people has been reading and enjoying it.

Benoît Sokal is one of my favourite game designers. I love how his stories are told more visually than most, and how things are never bend in neon or spoon-fed to the player, but that you have to connect the dots and read between the lines yourself in order to get the full story. And I believe Paradise is in many ways the best game that he has made, though also a very underrated game, so I had good reasons for choosing exactly this game for my first attempt at this type of Let’s Play, but who knows, perhaps I will try this again sometime in the future.


And remember even though the actual Let’s Play is now finished, fell free to leave any comments that you might have.

     

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What?! Finished??!! OMG! I’ve been avoiding this thread because Paradise is high on my priority list, but I’ll enjoy consulting the thread once I get actually around to play it.

Way to go, Iznogood, I know how tough this sort of playthrough is! But I’m disappoint - I expected it to last at least a year or two! Grin Grin

(now go and join the Toonstruck playthrough Tongue )

     

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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And I believe Paradise is in many ways the best game that he has made, though also a very underrated game, so I had good reasons for choosing exactly this game for my first attempt at this type of Let’s Play

I have an unplayed game from him (Sinking Island) that I must play soon. Once I play it I could then decide which of his games is my favorite.

However, “Last King of Africa” on the DS was an amazing journey I enjoyed.

 

     

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Iznogood - 19 March 2015 02:02 PM

Benoît Sokal is one of my favourite game designers. I love how his stories are told more visually than most, and how things are never bend in neon or spoon-fed to the player, but that you have to connect the dots and read between the lines yourself in order to get the full story. And I believe Paradise is in many ways the best game that he has made, though also a very underrated game, so I had good reasons for choosing exactly this game for my first attempt at this type of Let’s Play, but who knows, perhaps I will try this again sometime in the future.

I agree 100% with you, Iznogood. I have and played all games that Sokal made. He really knows how to write a good story. And I never really understood why Paradise got so many bad reviews. Maybe because I never had any bugs playing it? Laughing

Anyways, congratulations on the Let’s Play! I enjoyed very much.

     

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