Ever participated in a Group-Reading-Event? Me neither! But Naithin borrowed the idea and planned out this Play-Along event so I thought I’d participate and also discover a cute new game… and this time around it’s To The Moon!
So, during last Tuesday’s stream, we started off playing through the first Arc of To The Moon and will continue to play through the next Arc on next Tuesday’s stream, and after each session, I will prepare a blog post with questions and answer regarding the game, which will come out on the following Friday. :) I hope that the rules are somewhat understandable, so uh… yeah. Next up, I’d try to summarise the game as well as possible without spoiling the game before eventually getting to the questions that Naithin prepared for us… so uh, there will be spoilers. Duh.
What’s To The Moon about?
Essentially we are scientists that manipulate the memories of dying people to grant them their last wishes. During To The Moon we’re trying to get into the head of John H. “Johnny” Wyles and get through a few hurdles to essentially convince him as a Child in his memories that he’ll become an astronaut so that his subsequent memories will be about him going to the Moon and stuff. During that time we find out about River, his wife, that died of a condition and we also learn some stuff about other things in Johnny’s past, resulting in a rather sad story with its comedic moments here and there as well as some weirder creepy moments.
Let’s start with the big guns — at the completion of Act 1 — how do you now feel about the very concept of granting someone’s dying wish by overwriting their memories with new ones?
Short answer: Bullshit.
Long answer: Your life consists (from what I know so far) of bad moments and good moments. “The pain I feel now is the happiness I felt before”, and vice versa, right? After every down comes an up and another down. That’s just how things go. If you’ve hit rock-bottom at one point, you can’t get any lower, right?
Overwriting all of that crap at the end of your life would make your life itself meaningless and ultimately destroy the satisfaction you felt at the happy moments in your life. If all of your life went well, you can’t be truly satisfied after all.
Another angle at this would be a very long paragraph about how a wild pig would be better off than a pig in a pigsty. That long paragraph would actually have been longer than everything I’ve written up until now, in this post, so I’ve deleted it and uh… essentially: I’d rather suffer in the wild than die in a pigsty. I’d rather be satisfied after a lot of suffering than to die after having been only happy. Happiness and Satisfaction are two different things.
Naturally, all the people that you loved or that treated you well would be gone in your mind as well. All the people that died along the ride and that suffered with you would be gone. All the people that you disliked are gone as well. All the people that made you “you” are away as well. In the end, your memories would make all of those experiences, good and bad, be meaningless as they just get erased and as you die in some stupid dream while forgetting about your family, your friends, your dreams and your experiences, your wife and your kids, or whatever else you had good-experience-wise.
What did you think of River’s choice to put her treatment behind that of Anya?
You may think that this one’s an obvious one as I made it somewhat clear in the earlier question but I’d rather die in the end than prolong my inevitable death even more. River could have gotten treated and then could have died in a horrible fire on the very next day. “Anya” will persist.
“Anya” is love, “Anya” is life.
But I guess, I’d rather have the funds for some expensive treatment that might now work go to something that will persist forever than prolong my life when I’m old and when I might kick the bucket in the next five years anyways. If I ever get to only live because of some stupid machine, then I’d rather have you cut the cord. (Or rather unplug it since the cord might be useful to someone else)
In response to Neil commenting that it was like watching a train-wreck unfold, Eva says, “The ending isn’t any more important than the moments leading up to it.” Do you agree?
Yes, absolutely. Again, “the pain I feel now is the happiness I felt before”. Everything comes to an end eventually, so you might as well enjoy the ride up to that point.
A close friend of mine ended up with not wanting relationships for quite some time after her last break-up but then actually got to know someone who she was thinking of dating. I told her to go for it. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong. But if you don’t go for it, you’ll always end up with the “What if” and won’t even get the chance to get to those good moments.
“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take!”
In the end, it didn’t go well, since he was a dick but they wouldn’t have made the experience if they didn’t try. And they would not have experienced any of the good experiences if they never got together.
What did you make of Johnny’s decision not to read the book offered by Dr Lee?
Screw Johnny! If he cared about River he would’ve educated himself and tried to understand how she feels and what she’s going through. Instead of that, he decided not to read it, showing no interest at all but acting as if he does care later on when he’s with friends.
And later on, you find out that Johnny is a moron, to begin with since he got together with River, not out of love or anything like that, but for a reason that is a lot worse and a lot creepier than that. Honestly, just screw him!
Uh, but I guess that’s not what this question about:
“The Less I Know The Better”, right? So, I guess he didn’t want to know about it, trying to pretend that it doesn’t exist or that it will go away eventually. He tried to not read about it and not educate to not face the truth that the condition may get worse or that it may even kill River at some point.
In the end: He’s still a douche but I guess that was his reasoning behind it.
How do you feel about Johnny as a person now, particularly after he reveals why he (at least initially?) was interested in River?
Again, fuck Joey! Fuck him! Screw that guy. Joey is such a fucking weirdo.
I guess it’s understandable that you need to find someone interesting first before you can approach and get to know them. You won’t get to know someone if they are not on your radar. So, she got onto his radar since he’s weird… but uh… not like that.
Johnny aka “Joey” is just weird. Screw him!
We saw River’s obsession with origami rabbits very early in the piece — and some of the events that tracked back as a possible origin along the way. After Johnny told her about his initial motivations, it all kicked off. Neil thought it might’ve been River holding onto a grudge. What do you think?
Doubt it. I don’t think that you put on an “act” to fuck with someone and worry them sick if you love them. Even if Johnny is a weirdo and a creep and a jerk and a.. uh… where was I?
She probably still loved him and hence I doubt that it’s a grudge. In the next few arcs, there is probably some sort of revelation that she got traumatised by something and that Johnny did something worse than just that.
He’s a weirdo and a jerk after all… He’s a jerko! He must have done something wrong at one point and screwed her up that way… and maybe he just got traumatised by that as well and it got rid of it in his memories, too? Or there has been an accident in the past that lead to all of this later. After all, Nicolas also was alluding to something like that.
Either way, I hope you enjoy this post about my answers to these questions and my experience with To The Moon. I don’t usually play Point n Click games and I found the settings quite painful to set up… especially since you need to use Alt+Enter to get into Fullscreen and since there are no other video-settings… but the story is rather interesting so far and while it certainly is sad, it does have it’s comedic moments here and there, so that’s cool.
And mostly, I’m just excited to play a game again that I know nothing about. When I started playing Monster Hunter World, I already have seen a bunch of Monsters and currently, I’m a bit burned out with Iceborne since I know all the monsters right now… but since I have no clue about anything past the Fulgur Anjanath, I’m rather excited about that again. Having a true “blind” experience with certain games is just the best, in my opinion. Knowing what’s coming makes the game not necessarily less fun but it certainly loses a lot of its initial pull, so that’s a bit of a bummer, I’d say.
Anyways, I hope that y’all are having a great day! Have a nice one!
Going to love seeing how your opinions on Johnny do (or don’t) change as you play through further. :)
On, “but I’d rather die in the end than prolong my inevitable death even more.” in particular — it was made fairly clear in the story that River’s treatment would’ve been a cure. It wasn’t mere palliative care or for a chance — it would’ve been (barring any other complications) a second chance at a normal life span.
Sure… They’re old-ish when this happens which might feed into your next paragraph of this answer, but even so, I really struggled with this decision and for whatever else I may’ve come to think about Johnny through the remainder of this chapter — I really couldn’t blame him too harshly for wanting to lie to preserve River’s life.
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Yeah, judging from the other comments stuff happens, so this is going to be interesting. My opinions are a bit strong maybe… or maybe I phrased them too strong… but in a way, Johnny really is a creep…
Sure, while it would have been a cure, she still could’ve died afterwards in a horrible fire or a horrible car crash. I understand her decision of wanting something that is going to last for a lot longer… but then again, that’s just my point of view. My parents would have said that “if God wants us to die, he’ll kill us no matter what” – but I don’t want to get too religious here or too philosophical about my views on determinism and all of that, so I couldn’t really mention that. The post would have hit the 4k word mark if I had started to ramble about how I kind of am a fan of stoicism and the story of Hiob and determinism and all of that… although I’m not completely married to the idea that “it can always get worse” and that we’ve got no free will at all. But in the end, we’ll all die, right? Maybe I’m just a tad radical there or maybe I’ll just need to rethink it… but then again, I’m young and my opinion changes as well… and everyone should be able to change their opinion no matter the topic! :D
Uh, yeah, I guess it IS understandable but I have mixed feelings about white lies, too, so I may get into that topic in another Stray Sheep, eventually. :)
My brother gifted me this game awhile back and it did throw me for a loop, but I love the old feel of the game, and the story, in general, was amazing. There was a lot of sensitive information that indicated a few things about River that I felt was well done, but I felt, at the end of the game that what Johnny was trying to do was lovely and the same goes for the characters who help him out to grant his wish.
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I’ll have to see if my opinions on him and everything change over the course of the game… but right now I hate Johnny a lot…
Regarding the Old-Game-Feel, that’s something I love about a ton of older RPGs and RPG-Maker/Game-Maker games on Steam! They really are satisfying that particular itch that you feel sometimes.
I can really recommend some other similar games… but I can’t remember most of their titles, so I’ll have to do some research. :) Apart from that, if you wanna go down Nostalgia-lane: Recettear! Great game! Similar to Moonlighter (or rather the other way around) with a lovely story as well :)
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Wow, you have some harsh feelings towards poor old Johnny! I’m interested to see your thoughts on the game as we continue. Interesting comment about the settings–I don’t remember fiddling with any settings when I setup the game, I just clicked play and started going. The gameplay area is smaller than my monitor but that doesn’t really bother me. I was more annoyed by the tinkling music. Maybe I should see if I can turn that off.
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Oh, I would have loved to turn off some of that music… or Johnny’s creepiness. Really… I mean he wants to fucking collect weird people for his weird fetishes… And I’m not kink-shaming… I’m just creep-shaming here.
When I first heard about the “weird room” in the basement… I was both disappointed and surprised… it was weirder than I thought… but he may also have some weird sex dungeon in there where he collects other weird people in cryo-caskets. Who knows?! :D
Glad to see that you (hopefully) liked the post and that you’re interested in my views :D Nowadays, I’m an emotional mess, so my views on Johnny may have been influenced by that.
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I did like the post! Having the room filled with origami rabbits is definitely more unusual! More interesting than a kink basement, I think.
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It’s a kink basement of sorts, too, if you keep it around for that long — jk.
Glad to hear!
Origami rabbits aren’t really my thing, but who knows who’s out there?
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Johnny probably has done all kinds of other things, while collecting people for his human zoo and whatever.