Light into Darkness
La Petite Mort
This game was difficult for me to deduct a point from because of how much I loved it. I loved the writing, the surreal feeling to it all, I felt the characters had a lot of emotion to them, I loved the plot (most of it, here is where it loses a point for me), I loved the weird time loops that were going on, and the first window scene was rather chilling, it was done very delicately but still gave me the goosebumps. I say delicately because of the combination of viewing it from a pseudo 3rd person (viewing yourself in the past tense while standing in the present) perspective on top of how the mother’s emotions were screaming out through the text. It was gory, but the end result is empathy instead of disgust, and it is delicate because that is a difficult and fragile position for an author to achieve, and I feel this author achieved it there.
Where I deducted the point is in this line when you examine the book at the end:
“Its leather binding smells old. It tells of a woman who was forced to kill her daughter after she made a pact with unspeakable powers. The woman spent the rest of her life fighting to eradicate evil.”
As well as the reveal that you are fighting evil on a loop as shown in the fight with the little demon child at the end.
The problem with this is that in a traditional Faustian tragedy, there is a line that you shouldn’t cross, and when that line is crossed: the protagonist is doomed to eternal suffering. There is no redemption, no forgiveness, there is only endless pain and torment. Two major themes to take away from this is you need to make your decisions carefully because certain actions can never be taken back, and to always be mindful of your own humanity so that the fire that drives your passions in life does not also become the fire that consumes you. These eternal lessons will never lose their value. This was kind of represented in the story, but the problem is entirely in the fighting evil loop. This could just merely be an evil trick to fool the protagonist into believing salvation could one day be at hand for her, but the problem is that even that, even if it is nothing more than the personal gratification of trying to make amends, or having the gratification of purpose, even if it is just some brain in a vat in hell, even these minuscule concessions are too much to give. No matter how much the protagonist regrets her decisions, there can be no redemption and only suffering. Now, I do not want to sound all doom and gloom here. There is a lot of value in personal redemption stories. But in this story, the protagonist made a pact with dark powers and the end result is that she had to murder her own daughter, there is no taking that act back, there is no redemption, an act such as that will change a person irrevocably , and the fires that consume them will be of their own making. Later editions of the classical Faustian story implement various methods of redemption, but I’ve always thought those additions were pretty hack and defeat the whole purpose of the story in the first place.
The fact that I only deducted one point for this massive blunder (in my opinion) should reflect how much I loved this game.[/spoiler]