SAT-01 Daemon Ex Machina (Abnormal)

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eddi
Posts: 23
Joined: July 5th, 2011, 2:41 pm
Name: Adrienne Mueller

SAT-01 Daemon Ex Machina (Abnormal)

Post by eddi » July 1st, 2013, 11:10 am

Plot:
Nicholas Orrem is a young successful game artist in an unhappy relationship. One night his hands start bleeding without visible wounds. Some sort of skin sensitivity perhaps. Later he sees blood coming from the eyes of his colleagues and strange halos manifest around their heads. A migraine perhaps. He keeps seeing the blood, keeps seeing the halos. There is a creature that he never created spinning glitichly on his screen and it is both beautiful and monstrous. A figment of his imagination, created in his sleep, perhaps. The blood starts coming from... other places on his body. Some sort of blood disorder, or cancer, perhaps. He hears voices... He thinks perhaps, perhaps, something is changing him and he should try and fight it. But the creature is too beautiful. He wants this. He succumbs.

Game:
- Great! Very disturbing. Very enjoyable.
- I really like the Stage progression and how the protagonist's connections eventually get put at risk. I also like that the chance for Salvation/Saving is present but slim.
- This is only the second two-player* game I think I've ever played. And, like Mars Colony, you're obliged to be 'on' a lot with such a focused story and few people. Not a bad thing.
- If I am reporting this correctly, the Witness player describes the actions of the protagonist and the Horror player describes the intrusion of something Other onto their body/senses/world. So, there is some shared authority here. I was sometimes concerned I was taking liberties when explaining Nicholas' reactions to the horror, but we had fluid play, so I think that worked out fine.
- Responding to the horror was also challenging because it's difficult to imagine how a character will respond to something so unusual. Revulsion and terror seem natural. So does rationalization, which is the road I took with Nicholas. Despite Joe's assurances to the contrary, it was hard not to feel that I wasn't under-cutting the fear and suspense that the Horror was trying to provide. It is a legitimate response, but it might not be the best response to fully explore the themes of shame and uncertainty? (control?) that the game is trying to emphasize.

Thanks for teaching us the game, Joe, and providing such evocative horror. It was a unique and excellent experience for me.

*Though the game can be played with either 1, 2 or 3.

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