That's A Morey: Criticisms, Comments, Concerns ("Moreytown")

So. Moreytown. A noir mystery with humanoid animals. Here are my impressions. Keep in mind that I’ve only played the freely available chapters (because I’m an utter tightwad) and, accordingly, take my impressions with a game of salt.

Pro:

-The concept. I’m not going to lie, I enjoy playing as an ursine humanoid with animalistic strength. Sue me.

I’m a bit miffed that I wasn’t able to play as a gigantic rat (I mean, I’d enjoy being able to inspire both fear and revulsion, rather than just one of each), but it’s not a big issue for me.

-The writing and atmosphere. Cults, gangs, and journalism, oh my! But seriously, the story is very well-crafted. It draws you in.

-The main characters, from what I’ve seen of them, are fairly likable. Even the cultists, who are willing to risk pissing off a bear in an attempt to spread their message. Even Kris, who’s willing to face down an angry mob with perfect calm.

-The reference to The Island Of Doctor Moreau is much appreciated.

Cons:

-The moreaus call the humans “pinks.” However, many humans (such as myself) are not pink, or at least don’t have any more pink on them than a pink-pawed rat. This has some unfortunate implications. Are there no people of color in the universe of “Moreytown”? I’m told the author lampshades it a bit later in the story, but it’s still an odd choice to make.

-Similar to the issue above. It seems likely, at least to me, that the game is supposed to be a satire on issues of race relations. A large social group shunted into low-income housing, two different social groups that have shorthand slurs (“moreys” and “pinks”) for each other when they’re feeling non-PC, policemen who make wrongful arrests and insult your ancestry and wonder if you’re capable of speaking English–golly gee willikers, what do you think that sounds like?

Now, if my interpretation is correct, it raises some really unfortunate implications if the moreaus are supposed to represent minorities. It’s made very clear that the moreaus have some animalistic urges and habits (you can choose to hunt fr your food, and one of the stats is an opposing pair between ‘pink’ and ‘feral’). I don’t think the author meant anything by it, but it still makes the story a more uncomfortable read.

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P.S. Anyone who gets the incredibly lame pun in this thread title gets a cookie.

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(Quietly offers input in hopes of the promised cookie…)

Did I get it?

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You got it! :cookie:

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Damn you! I was about to post that!!! Cookie thief!!!

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Don’t worry. You can have one because…well, heck, have a cookie for being your lovable, rather terrifying self.:cookie:

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The issue of “pinks”, the role of the morey and the railroading, truncation and character customization are all discussed in the release thread:

Welcome to Moreytown thread

It should set your mind at ease that one of the main characters you deal with is African-American with regard to the “pink” issue.

In the thread I posted, post 13 by @Lycoris, explains one theory of the use and post 32 by @Lys explains another - one that I subscribe to: [quote=“Lys, post:32, topic:26372”]
the use of Pink may also have come from a passage in the Island of Dr. Moreau,
[/quote]

My critique of this fascinating yet controversial world is located on post 34:

[quote] I am almost there with you - I agree that the customization of the MC in this story was top-notch and there was a lot of time given to the development of this part of the story.

Where we disagree is that “too much time was pent on that.” What I feel is that just as much time as was spent on this excellent and above industry par aspect should have been spent on the latter part of the story.

Lately, the official CoG titles have been exhibiting a dual-quality. The quality of the writing, the world-building and the overall story-telling are as top-notch as they have been or better. However, they all share the quality of feeling rushed and truncated in their endings.

Welcome to Moreytown is a window into a fascinating if controversial world. The story presents to the reader a great sampling of that world through the opening customization. The issue is that as the story progresses, the railroading and lack of actual agency is accentuated by the rushed finish.

One ending feels the same to me as another - no matter the faction I am allied with, who I am romancing, or who is my enemy.

This is something CoG needs to break out of before their publishing reputation is further harmed by this. [/quote]

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I bought the game today and I really liked it. Played the full story about 6 or 7 times today and was very pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t disguised awareness propaganda like Redemption Season. The two ROs I pursued were very likeable (Alpha the sexy she-wolf and Kris the courageous pink reporter) and the story overall was very enjoyable for me (I still wish Mary the fox was an RO though). But I have to agree with Eiwynn regarding the railroading and the endings feeling the same.

Aww, now I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I might not even kill anyone tonight :relieved:

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I’m aware. I just thought I’d start a separate thread devoted to comments and concerns.

I was also aware of this, thanks to the release thread.

But while I’m glad that there are some people of color in the Moreytown universe, the term “pinks” still seems like an unsettling artistic choice.I’m not convinced that it’s related to The Island Of Dr. Moreau. In my own copy of Wells, chapter 9 describes the beast-men as being “of a dull pinkish drab colour, such as I had seen in no savages before…never before had I seen such bestial-looking creatures.” If Wells associated being pink with being bestial, I don’t see how that can translate into “Moreytown” using ‘pinks’ as a slur for humans. Unless it’s meant to be ironic somehow?

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On a less serious note, I was a tad unhappy about the lack of species variety. Obviously there has to be a limit to the number of animals you can be, but it would’ve been fun to play a reptile or a bovine or something, instead of sticking to a few options. A few extra choices might not have made the writing much more involved, since your size seems to be more important than your species (affecting fighting capability, intimidation, speed, etc.).

This wasn’t a huge issue, for me, though. The only things that really bothered me were the issues I’ve mentioned already.

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This was my view; I’m far from the best at figuring complicated issues out, so you maybe entirely correct in your view - the controversy of this story’s world-building and storyverse is something I am surprised CoG has not addressed at (or prior to) release of this title - the interview that popped up a few days prior would have been a perfect place to address this but instead we just got a fluff piece full of softball questions.

My biggest issue still remains the railroading combined with the truncated endings making the whole story feel rushed, incomplete and not given enough time to be properly written.

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I was disappointed I couldn’t be a lizard person to appease my love of lizards. They’re adorable. Understandable why not, we had enough customizations as is in my opinion, but I would’ve liked it. At least I could be a house cat moreau. I’m content with that.

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Random fun fact: I’m not sure about the demo, but in the full game you can play as a Capybara :smiley:

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It’s in the demo, too. Wonder if it’s possible to intimidate Mr. Frank as a capybara. That thing looks too cute.

Addendum: You can, in fact, intimidate Mr. Frank as a capybara.

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I know I sounded a little harsh on this CoG as well, but overall I did enjoy it…but I’ve posted elsewhere where I think things could have been better.

That said, I’m also glad to see CoG trying to do a variety of different stories/settings.

And I admit, I loved the inclusion of the Capybara…then again, I remember a scene form an old Tick cartoon where he was proudly washing his mascot/pet capybara spot.

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True. I didn’t mean to rain brimstone on this; it’s a nice piece of work aside from the unsettling racial overtones.

I thought I’d throw my two cents in here and say that I don’t think the moreys are supposed to represent real-life minorities (racial or otherwise). They are oppressed, but actually I feel like even that is glossed over a lot in the full story (other than people just generally being a dick to the main character and moreys being put in designated slums). I honestly didn’t feel that it had racial overtones and got over the uncomfortable use of the word “Pink” after a while, especially after the MC explicitly ruminates on the silliness of the moniker. (I agree though, it could have been avoided entirely in favor of something else… Baldy, maybe? XD)

What did feel somewhat odd to me was that, since this is set in the near future of this reality, human race and gender and sex issues are never really commented on, being eclipsed by morey problems of segregation. It just felt weird that by the end of the 21st century, moreys would be the sole “problem” on the cultural horizon and all other human social problems just vanished. But hey, you can only fit so much into one story. I think that is the problem with writing such a drastically different “near-future” story. There has to be enough of the present real-world in the story to make it believable, and there isn’t much of that here.

(As an unrelated side-plug: I think Jonathan Lethem’s Gun, With Occasional Music portrayed this kind of society more successfully because it was an alternate history of the detective noir era, with eugenics experimentation giving rise to morey-like talking animals that served as “second-class citizens” of that society. It does, however, also briefly discuss the implications this has on the status of racial minorities, which is… bleak. If anyone was hunting for a book that involves detective noir with animal hybrids, that’s a good one to look into!)

One thing I also felt was interesting was that some of the marketing for this story mentioned “Frankensteins” (humans who were genetically-modified) as being a part of this oppressed society, too, but they don’t show up in the actual game. Or am I remembering wrong?

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Guys just thought I’d put my two cents in. I think the pinks thing has probably been taken out of an unclear context and I doubt it was intended as such by the author. A lot of people are getting upset about it being racist, but even caucasians are more white than pink overall. My first reaction to that term when I read the book demo (I haven’t read the cog version) is that it is referring to “pinkies” ie pink, hairless baby rodents and compared the mammal hybrid, humans are going to have less hair.

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As I said in the original post, I don’t think any of this was intentional on the author’s part.

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I know but it still seems to be upsetting people including yourself, and many people without a biology or rat keeping background might not realise the origin of the word which is probably relating to hairlessness and possibly helplessness (ie no sharp teeth, tough claws etc) rather than skin colour. If there’s an explanation for it, maybe you can enjoy the story without being worried about if the author had any other motivations and it being uncomfortable.

I’ll also add the definition of “feral” is an animal that has become un-domesticated. ie an animal that was once kept by humans that has gone wild. The moreys were originally engineered by humans to do tasks for them. It’s probably why the stat is between “humans” and “wildness”, not anything to do with racism.

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