rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-06-25 10:14 am

The Past Is Beyond Our Control.

Ginger's playthrough of Until Dawn continues! We're now at the start of chapter eight. Some good decisions, some very bad ones.

I swore to myself that I wouldn't try to influence Ginger's playthrough of Until Dawn. Whatever decisions Ginger made, they would be their own decisions. I wasn't saying a thing.

And then Ginger kicked the wolf. They found the bone and went back in an attempt to find the wolf, but couldn't, and seemed about to move on, and... look, I don't have a heart of stone. I couldn't let Mike live the rest of his possibly-to-be-truncated life without ever petting a wolf. I just couldn't.

(Ginger was delighted and fussed over the wolf six times in a row before moving on with the game. 'Until Dawn is now a wolf petting simulator,' they announced happily, stroking the wolf yet again.)

Some notes on the experience so far:

- I actually paid attention to how long Sam is in the bath for. She goes up to have her bath at the end of the second hour, and emerges at the beginning of the fifth. So Sam is apparently in the bath for over two hours. Maybe it took the water a while to heat up after they fired up the generator.

- Ginger's character preferences, according to the quiz at the end of Chapter 3: Sam over Josh, Matt over Emily, Ashley over Chris, Mike over Jess, Josh over Emily, Chris over Jess, dislike Jess.

- The choices I'd make, incidentally, with my full-game knowledge: Sam over Josh, Emily over Matt, Ashley over Chris, Mike over Jess, Matt over Josh, Jess over Chris, dislike Josh. Trying to rank the characters is a bit weird, because I end up with a combination of characters I genuinely like (Sam, Mike) and characters I just find interesting (Ashley, Emily; I'd sooner hang out with Matt than with Emily, but Emily's more fun as a character). I don't know why Josh doesn't particularly interest me. He definitely does interesting things, and I usually love watching characters struggle with their perception of reality, but somehow he just doesn't work for me. I love characters who make terrible decisions, too! But everyone else in Until Dawn also makes terrible decisions, so perhaps I'm just spoilt for choice.

- The sequence where Mike was chasing after Jess was incredibly tense, because I had absolutely no idea whether she'd be alive or dead when he reached her! Whether Jess is alive depends on how quickly you get to her. Ginger chose two fast paths and two slow paths, and missed two QTEs. If Ginger had chosen four slow paths, or had chosen three and missed any QTEs, I'd have gone, 'Yep, Jess is screwed.' With that particular balance, though, I had no idea!

- She was dead. I was pretty sad. As mentioned, though, she was Ginger's least favourite character, so Ginger wasn't too torn up about it.

- Ginger's playstyle: picks things up on the way, but doesn't read long documents in full or look around very thoroughly. Misses a lot of totems. (Josh is probably doomed.) This is interesting, because it means Ginger is absolutely making their own decisions, rather than basing those decisions on totem advice.

- Ginger also has trouble remembering that 'do nothing' is a valid choice, and didn't see the totem warning that Matt could fall to his death. So Matt attacked the deer and was driven over the edge of the cliff! That's a very rare choice! (Ginger felt very bad about axing the deer as soon as they realised it wasn't compulsory.) I thought Matt was done for, but Ginger actually managed to get him back to safety by completing a sequence of tricky one-slipup-means-death QTEs.

- ...and then, having performed this miraculous recovery, lost him to the meat hook ten minutes later. I knew there wasn't much hope for Matt. Ginger never found the flare gun (Matt would have just fired it off anyway), and they've been choosing the compassionate option whenever possible (unless, as mentioned, the compassionate option is 'do nothing'), so of course Matt was going to try to save Emily.

- On the plus side, Matt and Emily had a good relationship! At least Emily will remember him fondly. I hope that's some consolation, Matt.

- Side note: I suppose, to some extent, Emily is written as unlikeable in order to make it more likely that you'll get Matt out alive. Some players go, 'Well, I like Matt more than Emily, so I'll make him jump to safety rather than risk his life trying to save her.' The flare gun safeguard also only works if you disagreed with Emily earlier. If Sam were the one dangling from that tower, Matt would almost always be killed.

- Ginger chose to sacrifice Josh and later Chris rather than Ashley with absolutely no hesitation. They also unhesitatingly cut off Mike's fingers when he got them caught in the bear trap. ('I'm embarrassed by how many times I've watched Mike get his fingers caught in a bear trap,' I said. 'Riona, I don't need to know what porn you watch to get off,' Ginger replied.)

- Ginger almost got Sam away from the psycho, and then had a sense-of-direction failure and tried to flee through the door Sam had just locked the psycho behind. WHOOPS.

- Rei punched the air at the Josh reveal. 'I knew it! I knew it from when he was talking about making memories they'd never forget!'

So, yes, we're now at the start of chapter eight, and Jess and Matt - both of the two characters who can actually die by this point - have been killed. I, er, I do hope someone makes it through this. My predictions:

- Josh, as mentioned, is screwed; you can only keep him alive through thorough exploration. Not that he's ever really unscrewed. Death for Josh might be the best option available.

- Ginger struggles a bit with the weird controls and doesn't always hit QTEs, so there's a chance Emily will die in the mine chase sequence. If she makes it through that, I think she'll probably make it to the lodge showdown at the end. Ginger's not going to shoot her.

- Chris didn't shoot Ashley, so he's not a dead man walking, but there's a fair chance he's going to get wendigot during the running-to-the-lodge sequence; the quick aiming and shooting looks tricky. If he makes it, I think he'll survive the game. Ginger's unlikely to leave him behind, and if you don't leave him behind he's a guaranteed survivor.

- Ashley will probably make it to the lodge showdown. Jess is dead, so Ginger's not going to think the mysterious voice is hers. The one risk is if Ginger thinks Hannah is the one calling for help; they've picked up on the signs that Hannah survived the fall. (I mean, I suppose Ginger would technically be correct to think Hannah's the one calling, but...)

- If at least one of Chris, Emily and Ashley makes it to the final showdown, you're guaranteed at least one survivor. So I do think someone's going to survive. Ginger's probably not going to lose all three of them before the finale.

- In the end, the survivor count comes to two things: whether Ginger can hold steady on long Don't Move sequences, and whether Ginger pre-emptively runs for the switch. If Ginger passes the first Don't Move at the end, the survival of either Sam or Mike is almost guaranteed, and it's possible (but not easy) for both of them to escape. If the first Don't Move is failed, they could both die. If Ginger runs for the switch early, everyone inside the lodge will die, but Sam will survive. THIS IS SO TENSE.

- Tentative prediction: two survivors, possibly three. Some combination of Sam, Mike, Emily and Ashley; yes, Chris is guaranteed to escape the lodge confrontation, but I don't think he'll make it that far. If Sam survives, Mike doesn't, and vice versa. It's possible, but not hugely likely, that we'll end up with Ashley as sole survivor.

This is so interesting to watch! The playthrough that introduced me to this game, by the Scary Games Squad, had the controller in the hands of someone who was extremely good at QTEs, so it hadn't really hit me that decision-making isn't the only danger in Until Dawn; most people don't hit every QTE effortlessly, and it's easy to lose someone to a mechanical slipup as well.

Post a comment in response:

Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of people who comment anonymously.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.