This game plows your mind. Etches through it.
I don’t care if I spoil it for you. The game is from 2016 so there was plenty of time to familiarise yourself with it. If not, close your eyes, move and learn some new life skill. It works for me.
We are the hacker from the outside world who gained access to the secret micro-country called „Metamorphosis”. We help a 12 year old girl called Hope who is scheduled for „re-calibiration” (total memory wipe or even death). There is also Cooper - a Prizrak (police force of Metamorphosis) charged with CCTV maintenance who is also helping the girl. Together with him we help her escape to a normal outter world. Without us, she’ś completely helpless.
Heavy distopia, overwhelming sense of danger and anxiety, struggling with evil authorities, wacky narration, snippets of story burried in audio logs, e-mail etc., stealth game and a huge amount of references to the current world makes it fantastic game with a plot and deep meaning between the lines. After you finish the game take your time to reflect on it, all that was said and all that happened. Data collection is what is happening now. And it’ś frightening. It’ś good I pulled myself out from most of „social” media a while ago. What is the next step our protective governments want to make? Probably human cloning and altering DNA… and I’ll tell you what: that must never come to pass. Never ever. To think scientist can „take” few grams of human DNA and inscribe it with entire world’s data is unthinkable. It makes me squeeze inside when I think about it.
The game has it’s inconsitencies though.
The girl belongs to the class of „pre-cals”. „Pre-calibirated” to elaborate this, meaning a group of people that are YET to be calibirated. Then there are „Mirrors” - clones without embedded DNA code (they're like tabula rasa, clean, empty), mentioned before „Pre-Cals” - already with altered DNA - DNA that stores digital data (imagine bits of computer data in your cell nucleus… Jesus…) and as I suspect „Cals”? The Calibirated. What that would mean then? Treglazov at the end shouted Hope „will sink down” with all that data inside her. That it’ll crush her. So that’s what „calibiration” is meant for? To prevent it?
Treglazov is the ultimate tyrant bent on collecting world’s all data. Like collecting everything there is out there in one big server called „Terminus” and making backups in human clones… But to what end? It cannot be merely for anticipating another terrorist attack in USA or merely for control of the world’s populace (even though he admitted he plans on living forever - but that was more like a joke).
Hope (390-H) is the eight clone (H is the eight letter), but at the end when we hack into Earth’s sattelites when can deduce her previous versions (like A, B, C, D etc.) lived normal lives (one even had a husband) in different parts of the world. Were those versions of her „calibirated”? If so then why later more „letters” where added (latter clones)?
I realize that is a lot of questions, but perhaps there is somebody who delved on this topic before me?
Nonetheless I have more. Namely perhaps somebody versed in American nomencalture can help me decipher these terms:
1) what is Bluffdale?
2) what is Seattle Space Needle from 2014?
3) lastly, what is a „Haystack” (not the grain)?
I’m not sure whether Treglazov was leading American government by the nose or was simply laying down some bold ideas and working with them (I assume he was American after all). The gov’t didn’t know about cloning and DNA experiments that’ś for sure, hence Vice Admiral Matthews honest intention to help Hope. Ultimately I chose Zager & Mireille, because they were the people from the inside and knew how to help the girl. They could probably even adopt her… Sadly whatever „our” choice is, 390-H is making her own choice. I said sadly, but it’s probably the best outcome. Who knows what would happen later? Even if she escaped with Zager she’d probably be hunted for the rest of her life. Terminus got destroyed and so all „the backups” must have shared the same fate. The ending strongly calls to mind the end from one of my favourite films called „Le Grand Bleu” - after Enzo’s death - Jacques - his best friend, commits suicide - leaves the mundane world for his own. Both works, the film and the game leaves me in tears. Other movies the game is similar with are: „Island” from 2005 (starring Ewan McGregor) and „The Giver” from 2014.
So, the Hope choses death, because you know, hope is the last thing to die. It resonates with me like hell.
If there was a book written prior to the production of this game, I’d devour it in the matter of hours.
Last thing, the game is designed to look like Hope or anyone else using the cellphone to see you. Your face. A hacker from the outside world. I cherrished moments when she smiled at you when able to see YOU on her phone. After she leaves she lets go of the cellphone and because it’s underwater the device quickly dies and your role is finished. You’re no longer part of the story.
Ironic is in the last scene Treglazov cries out her name like she was his only hope. She was. For his ultimate world tyranny she was. „His” hope dies. Even more ironic is he calls the place „Republic” and even admires Plato, while clearly what we are dealing with is a melange between technocracy and severe autocracy.
I was immensely glad I could help her ┏༼ ◉╭╮◉༽┓
I give this game a personal recommendation 📜✔️ This is the type of electronic entertainment I pursue. Call me sentimental, but there ought to be a segment of games for the people like me.
P.S. Did you know that „prizrak” is the real word and it refers to the actual forces of a separatist republic of Ługańsk in Ukraine’s Donbas (aka Prizrak Brigade - Ghost Brigade)? Jesus…why this game have to be so actual…
P.S.S. Preparing for the second play.