strayIt is a post-apocalyptic cat-themed adventure game that is mostly excellent. the two of us in Kotaku newly Powered by puzzlesdevour her Dense and mysterious post-apocalyptic environments And enjoy living outside the home in general The power fantasy of playing the cat. Then we hit the credits. Obviously, we had to talk.
Ari Notis: John, we’re done stray. Tell me: is the final land yours? Or is it… getting away from what made the rest of the game so great?
John Walker: I knew we were just my height away from a word game. No, I would like to say my experience stray It was a straight diagonal line, starting high, then going down and down all the way to its absolutely terrible end.
I see: I’m not quite the same – more than a really high plateau that fell quickly off a cliff at the end – but I totally agree, that finish is horrible. I actually had to warn people IRL: It’s so sad!
John: However, I had a lot of people who told me very badly about it Which indicates that the ending is completely forgotten The whole reason I was playing the game. But I think a lot of this is an unwillingness to admit that the cute cat game has long since become another gray robot game from a third person perspective, so the defenses against reality are already very high.
Spoilers follow to stray.
I see: Ah, yeah, that blogger did rub some people’s fur backwards, right? But yeah, the whole reason to play stray It’s pretty straightforward: you want to reunite the cat with its friends. And you’re going through all this adventure – including the bot sections we disagree on but in a way I totally respect your opinion – just so you don’t get the idea that he’s seeing his friends again. It’s a very strange ending to a match that was preoccupied with hope.
John: They aren’t just friends, are they? They are siblings who love each other. They are abandoned litter of kittens, survivors of the apocalypse, and then one of them falls. This sets up a game that is uniquely focused on getting back to your brothers and sisters. Instead, it is as if they have completely forgotten. They intertwined in some despicable sacrifice that made absolutely no sense.
I see: yes! As for the game revolving around a cat, I got very involved in the drama revolving around a human being. Are you buying that B-12 is really the last human alive? More importantly, did you buy that it would suddenly turn (sorry, sorry, I can’t help it) and decided, within a few minutes, that every trace of humanity was not worth continuing?
John: Well, it’s human consciousness trapped in a machine. This is a small city area, so for all we know there may be millions of people living happily elsewhere in China, or in Sweden, or Bangladesh, or Australia. None of this explains the rationale behind his apparent “sacrifice”. He’s obviously uploading his consciousness to the computer, so there’s no sacrifice anyway, but then, what’s his point? To release a cat, a creature that doesn’t care about anything other than itself, back out, for what? what is the point? If this is the end of humanity, as the game wants it to imply, he did it so he could… let the cat out?
I see: Oh, man, no way, the cat has definitely evolved after pure self-interest! (You should notice my own cats.) In the prison scene, for example, he’s running away with Clementine, and then he’s like, “Meow meow meow meow, meow,” which translates, I think, to, “We can’t leave yet. We have to go through a risky operation and rescue my B12 friend, who’s trapped in This laser-guarded cage and laser shooting robots.”
John: I was very confused the whole time as to whether to buy to the cat to understand what B-12 was saying, or as with my own cat, just stare at the source of the noise and then hope there was food on the way. I played this game as a game in which an uninterested cat keeps accidentally flipping the correct keys, or bumping into the right one.
But regardless of all of this, I would have forgiven any amount of horrific false sacrifice nonsense if my cat eventually showed up in the bright sunlight to hear, off-camera, surprised, “Mew?!” This is it. That’s all I need. I didn’t need to see the reunion, to watch them stumble on top of each other. I just wanted to know it was about to happen.
I see: exactly! And I get what they want, leaving an open epilogue so as not to accurately relate the story to the audience. But it only needed the tiniest suggestion that a happy ending could happen – which a little off-screen “meow” could have accomplished.
John: Even stranger, they did such a “maybe!” the end. Except that it was about a human stained with blood! We turned on the computer light, which I can only assume indicated that B-12 was still alive.
I see: So what does this mean for the sequel? All parts of a robot, what’s cute for cats?
John: Obviously I hope they don’t make a sequel. They’re a talented group, but stray They revealed that they had absolutely no idea what to do with the idea they had. I either want to see their next new idea, or just focus on making the cat Sim that everyone really wants in the first place. Oh God, those microscopic observations they showed near the beginning. And the exhilarating moment when the cat puts on the funny saddle for the first time. We had to put one of our kittens in a protective sock after being spayed, and she did exactly the same, collapsing just like a building on top of her. To see those details come true, it was fun. Which brings an end to some boring robots who may not have killed themselves for the most stupid reason ever which is disappointing.
I see: Never poor! Please tell me that you have pictures of it.
I see: Awwww. but yes, stray It totally captures the feeling of being a cat, right down to the anticipation on the keyboard and people playing chess games etc. And I think he carries that feeling to the end. (Even shooting clipswhich passed in a flash in my mind—I actually found myself wanting an extra chapter or two.) But unlike a real cat, the game didn’t land on all four legs.
John: Before we wrap up, and you’re more wrong about the shooting sections, let me tell you how the ending ended in our house: Toby, my 7-year-old, had some friends, while I was finishing the game on the living room TV. Toby had completely lost interest in the game once he stopped being a cat, but he wanted to be there for the reunion. As the game was clearly about to let me out, I said to him, “Toby, what do you think that’s going to happen?” He sat down, “Cats!” And so we all watched the inevitable glorious moment…and there was none. We looked at each other in shock. It was so terrible. Toby continued to lament this omission for days afterwards. And when a 7-year-old criticizes the structure of your story, you know something is wrong.