So i played/red the game. It is good and interesting. Took me a while, because i really, really get too much into my characters in books and games. Way too much i think. So getting into a character whose friends get murdered and is kidnapped and held in a cellar, is not a very pleasant experience, to say the least…
After reading i was visibly shaken. not because it was scary or anything like tat, but because i really was in that cellar while reading it, even if i roleplayed a bunch of parts of my character as different than i am, to differentiate myself from getting into chraracter too much. I know it sound silly, but that is just how i experience books.
So now i would like to write a bit of my view of the characters, based of what i saw in the game. I know that their stories and personaliteis so far are just the tip of the iceberg, and everything i think about them at that moment, with the information i encountered in the game, may be completely false with later knowing more, or even with what already is in the game but i didnt saw in my playthroughs. Neverthells i found it interesting to write what i see so far. If not for comparing it with others, then atleast for getting back to it when i learn mroe in the future.
I dont really kow how much of it, if anything, i should put in spoiler (afterall we are disscussing the game in this topic…), so right now will keep most of it visible, if you ahve suggestons otherwise, please tell.
So far i am assuming that there is no supernatural content in the game. Any mentions of it can be very easy attributed to them being psychopaths. Sean even outwardly say so that all the 7 sins thing is just a means to an end (although we cant be sure its not just manipulation from his part to better slowly convince us to join them) but he does mention superpowers like he believe in those abilities (although again, we dont know how many of what he is saying he is actually thinking). The whole superpowers idea seems unplausible to being attributed to supernatural (a former marine that is strong? A person who toughen her immune system with exposure to many people is resistant to diseases? A psychology student that can judge what people think about you? Yeah… real “supernatural” powers… ) And , assuming that i’m right about it not being in any way supernatural, i think that this is a brilliant idea. They are attributing this things to themselves to eleviate them ahead of “normal” people. To think that others are less than they are. Psychopathic murderers do treat their victims often as non-humans, to dull their possible leftovers of their empathy to them, which makes killing their victims easier. And i think that the idea of the cult thinking they have superpowers fits that kind of narration perfectly.
So, Mcready is as clear as day completely nuts. He dont even need the “superpowers” thing, he just attributed all this to his pseudo-religious stance. I’m curious does actually any of the others believe in the 7 sins thing as he does. So far for others it just seem as a convenent set of rules. More like a game and an easier way to “blame” part of their personality for some things (an easier escape, than thinking that they need to change a bad part of themselves) than actual holy crusade like Mcready.
Sean is a sociopath. I don’t know much of the past of the group, but it almost look like he was the one who created it, or atleast shaped it from completely nuts religious cult (?) He wants to kill people. He doesnt feel remorse, and as he said himself, the group and it’s beliefs is a very convenient way for him to be a murderer; they help him, they cover his tracks. From his perspective, the cult is like winning a lottery.
Jack? He doesnt give a shit. He doesnt see murdering others as too bad. He said so himself. That is just another part of his life now. Like a chore he needs to do once a year so then others can leave him alone for the rest of the time. He doesnt like it, but he also doesnt hate it enough to do sth about it, like even escaping (and whith his wandering persona i think he would be perfectly able to do that, even if a bit risky) He joined because of Sonya and stayed with them because of that initially. Although i dont think that now he really is there because of that. He is obviously not completely over her, but i dont think that even him really thinks that there is any chance of them being together, and with his feelings for her now i dont think they would be sufficient enough for him being recruited. But if he already is here? He might aswell stay.
Sonya is rather perturbed person. I think, from what we know about her so far, she is in the group because she needs a place where she belongs. She needs someone who accept her. And that need is so strong that she is willing to dull her empathy to other innocent people. Like April said, Sonya needs it. She doesnt need the “murderous cult” part, she needs the “family” part. And that family accepted her with all her bad sides. With all her past. Again, accepting a bad side of herself was easier than actually seeing it as bad and fighting against it. Should we accept who we are to be happy, or should we change for the better to be happy? She chose the former, because she thought that is the best way.
But, i dont know if it is inconsistency of her character or a sign of psychosis of some kind, but the thing that doesnt entirely fit with what we know so far, is her empathy. Normally the fact that she can be so empathic toward some people, like her family, like even her friends and hookups, would conflict with being so little empathic towards their victims and their families and the suffering she causes. In her it may be a sign of a personality disorder.
April is there for Sonya. That’s mostly all really. She is just a child and “brainwashing” her sense of morality at that age was easy enough for her to not treat murders as an overly bad thing. She is there for her sister and i dont see any other desire from her to be actually part of the group (other than semblence of extended family). But she also doesnt feel any need that they should stop. That is just normal life for her. The life she feel accustomed to, the life she see her place in it and feel needed by others. She is exceptionally inteligent for her age, so probably she hadnt felt a lot of connection and acceptance from her peers, but she does have it here with Sonya and the cult.
For the game mechanics i do have to say that i’m not entirely onboard with that. I mean the limited choices. I know that having more choices to reflect more possible personalites and train of thoughts would be hard, but too often i saw my character forced to respond in certain way (either by lack of possible responses or by choosing the response for me), that i found it sometimes strange or out of character. For example the talk with Sonya (and my character having crush on her) when in the cellar she talks about what she did and her regret that i havent asked out her sooner. She keeps saying how it would mean that we could “fuck for a month already”, while i keep saying about loving her. It does fit her quite interestingly that she fails to distinct “love” from “sex”, but then it was strange that my character couldn’t respond to her with explaining that.
Or at the end (although i think that is just for a placeholder as those are just literally last pages of the gamebook) the lack of input to my character’s feel and personality after killing Gary and getting into the car. And the fact that in one playthrough i was completely mean to Sonya in the cellar and then after initiation she still hugged me and smiled at me in the car was rather funny. I do think it’s a placeholder for now, but it would also reaaaly show her personality disorder
Also the part where our character talk about family in the car, the part where we state that we wanted to be psychologist, to better avoid perturbed people in life, adds to how terrible the situation is. We want to escape from that and we ended only deeper into the rabbit hole.
So @buggygirl11 , a long time ago you asked me about what i think about Gary debacle in the context of any of them being redeemable (if i understood correctly ). So, he was one of them. Who knows how many innocent people he killed himself and how many he helped to kill. He is certainly not innocent himself with that, even with him feeling regrets. Even when he wanted out, he still did nothing to stop them and just wanted to keep helping them with renting the cabins. Part of it can be justifable by that he wanted to protect his wife first and didnt want to risk involving the police. But overall still you can see as he is the one in the best position to actually expose the cult and stop them.So, he did felt regreet, he did wanted out, he did wanted to protect his real family. Is it redeemable? I thik that partly yes. He certainly doesnt deserve to be murdered by the cult, but it also doesnt mean he should have avoided any punishment or justice whatsoever. He did murdered innocent people and helped a murdering cult (as we know so far).
As what kind of punishment it should be? That is impossible to determine knowing so little. And not all punishment is always a jail time. My earlier comment about all of them spending time in jail was more an silly attempt at a joke (and defense mechanism from thoughts of liking a murdering psychopaths ).
In real life we know that simple generalisation is never ever a good thing. Would have clarified that sooner, but i thought that i would play the game sooner and write all that at once
But still, they are murdering innocent people (as far as we know) and causing huge amount of suffering to them and their families and friends, so any possibilities of “redemption” would be extermely hard and their actions cant go unpunished in any way. From the point of view we have so far.
As fo what our characters do with Gary? Well, that i see in that way: Gary is dead. When they presented him before MC, from our point of view, he is already dead. The cult wont leave him be, from everything we know so far, that is certain. It isn’t really a choice “him or us” it is a choice “only him or us both”.We are blackmailed with death threat to kill him on the spot. Even in court you would be cleared of charges for that afaik. We are not the ones who are killing him, the cult does it, using our hand as an unwilling tool. I hope that in future iterations of the game it would be better reflected that kind of view.
So overall congratulations for @Shawn_Patrick_Reed. Very well written story and interesting view on the charcters in it.