A Top Game that Came out 10 Years Ago!
So it comes to that time of year where we are forced to look back on our lives and reflect on all the choices we have made throughout the year. Or you could just skip all that bollocks, stick a game on and relax for until the drudgeries of the workday life return. Wanting to be as professional as possible, for we at Subliminal Realm do try to be from time to time (I will admit not particularly frequently but we try), I decided to buck the trend where people talk about their top games so without further ado I present to you: A top game that came out 10 years ago! I may have got the wording wrong but no matter.
1995, what a time to be alive. Admittedly for the vast majority of the year I was not around for it as I was only born in November but I am reliably informed that it was a cracking year. The games industry thrived in the pre-millennial days with DOS and the advent of the PlayStation One. Nintendo were making leaps and bounds with the SNES. Squaresoft still existed and were making some splendid RPGs and Sega were not being complete arses.
In the early part of the year we saw the creation of ‘Star Wars: Dark Forces’, the game which could be the reason why we have Star Wars: Battlefront all these years later. Then came ‘Chrono Trigger’ which allowed you to playout the creation of the universe in the guise of pineapple headed youth and a sentient frog. The cult classic ‘Earthbound’ sequel to ‘Mother’ (now dubbed ‘Earthbound: Beginnings on the WiiU E-store) was a game. Finally, ‘Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness’ was released by Blizzard entertainment which went onto to pave the way for StarCraft and World of Warcraft.
The game I primarily wish to blather on about is a little known title named ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’ which I must confess I have not played. I have, however, read the book by Harlan Ellison which is bloody brilliant and I highly recommend reading. Although not for the faint of heart the game appears to be a valid and reliable representation of the book, including many of the same plot elements just with varying endings.
In short, the plot surrounds the all-powerful, sentient computer known as AM who is keeping five members of the human race alive for the purposes of entertainment based brain fuckery. The actual plot is much deeper and has more words involved but I do not wish to spoil much of it. The game features four different endings which have some relevance to the book with only one being the true one which is rather grim. Enjoyment aside the game is similar to modern day games by Telltale such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and The Wolf among Us only substantially weirder.
The characters in ‘I Have No Mouth’ are the same as in the book with a few alterations due to time constraints. Ted, the narrator of the book, is a paranoid conman played in a medieval castle where he must save someone whilst others feed him false information, leaving it to the player on who to trust. Gorrister, the only man who knows how AM came to be, is dying and is given the opportunity to kill himself but is constantly denied. Benny, a homosexual scientist morphed into a Neanderthal like creature with the mental capacity of a child. His story focuses on the restoration of his mind but at the loss of his body whilst trying to manage a tribe of cave people. Ellen, the sole female character, is locked in a pyramid filled with what is apparently AM’s central parts but they are coloured yellow which Ellen has a phobia of for dark, dark reasons. Finally we have Nimdok, an ex-Nazi doctor who is set a task by AM but cannot complete it due to his mind deteriorating.
A few astute readers among you might recognise some of the characters here. AM is very much the GLaDOS of the 90’s, Ted’s narrative is the old style Walking Dead morality system and Gorrister is how I play Battlefield 3. Old games have shaped the modern ones although they are now a bit more politically correct and lack the whole mind fuckery aspect. So as we march swiftly and with gay abandon into 2016 we have to ask ourselves – the past: is it guff? The answer may be coming soon. But still, here is to 2015, a year of lame fuck arounds. May 2016 bring yet more just with excess mirth and nostalgia.
And with that –
Happy New Year from Subliminal Realm.