The Infinite Ocean


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Rating: 4.6/5 (250 votes)
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BradThe Infinite OceanIt's possible you might be familiar with Jonas Kyratzes' philosophical point-and-click, The Infinite Ocean, as it was originally released back in 2003. Not entirely satisfied with the finished product, Kyratzes has revisited the game and re-released this new version with changes to the writing, programming and music.

You'll navigate The Infinite Ocean with the mouse. Click on an object to pick it up, click a door to open it, and move your mouse to the edges of the game window to reveal arrows that allow you to change the direction you face. In addition to (and a departure from) this familiar navigation system, a password control system exists through notes and journals that you find. Click 'scan' in the top right corner to scan the notes for passwords. If present, the scanner will pull it out, but then you must click on it. Sometimes it will be the entire password, other times it's just a fragment. To make password fragments whole, open up the password matching screen in your inventory and match up the fragments.

The Infinite Ocean contains an amazing story that's revealed slowly as you progress. All you know to begin with is that you're in a grey room. Even clicking on an object that does nothing still offers you a glimpse of where you are via masterfully composed descriptions that create more suspense, atmosphere and intrigue than other games in the genre. Being told that a drink is "still warm" while knowing nothing is unsettling, and this unsettling feeling grows even as you learn more and more. It would be wrong to tell you... well, anything about the plot. The mystery that surrounds you when you first start the game is incredible and even simple details such as where the game takes place should be found out on your own.

Analysis: While the particulars of the story, ideas and questions The Infinite Ocean puts forth aren't new territory, the journals you'll find throughout at least broach them in the best way possible. You will get different sides of the story, including one you don't usually hear from (at least not in such a candid way). What is especially nice about the journals is that while they provide the back story you need, you will still have questions that will motivate you to learn even more.

The Infinite Ocean is great as an interactive narrative, but is somewhat lacking as a game. The puzzles aren't very plentiful or difficult. In fact, you'll probably have more trouble finding some of the objects than using them to complete a puzzle. The greys of The Infinite Ocean complement the mood and the themes of the game, but they can make finding a few of the smaller objects more difficult. The biggest problem is the navigation. Although the doors can be told apart by what's on the walls around each one, you may still find yourself going through the wrong door frequently if you aren't careful. Also, passwords are not automatically saved unless you click on them. And while this is a minor annoyance, if you're not careful you can end up leaving it behind, which can cause some confusion.

Gameplay issues aside, the real stars in this game are the story elements. The real puzzles, the important ones, aren't the ones you'll be solving with collected items. The real puzzles are the ones concerning your situation and those that are enlightened within the journal entries. The navigation issues can break up the momentum the game builds, but the frustration comes from the momentary denial of more of the story. You'll get so wrapped up in finding answers that you'll barely notice how few and far between the puzzles are. This is an incredible feat when you consider that the bulk of the game is text.

If you don't enjoy reading or are looking for a more traditional point-and-click adventure, you might be tempted to pass on The Infinite Ocean. However, if you do you'll be doing yourself a disservice. The Infinite Ocean sets up a mystery that persists even after you get some answers. It has a thick layer of philosophy and it invites a lot of discussion regarding both the plot and the issues raised. As mentioned before, it's not new territory, but it is compellingly implemented into a game. Now, go. Explore The Infinite Ocean.

Play The Infinite Ocean

Walkthrough Guide


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The Infinite Ocean - Walkthrough

Typewriter Room

  1. Go right. On top of the cardboard box is an ID card; grab it.

  2. Go right again. Click on the data pad on the floor.

  3. Read entry 10, scan it, and grab the password. Exit the journal screen.

  4. Go right again. Grab the circuit board leaning against the cardboard box.

  5. Go right one screen, use the ID card on the door, click the door.

Porthole Room

  1. Grab the screwdriver under the vent right in front of you.

  2. Go right one screen. Click the terminal on the left.

  3. Read the entry named PW_List. Scan it to get two passwords. Exit out of the terminal.

  4. Go right one screen, click on the door.

  5. Go left one screen, use the ID card on the door, click the door.

Three-Things Room

  1. Read the piece of paper that's farthest too the left to get another password.

  2. Go right one screen.

  3. Use the screwdriver on the small square below the terminal's monitor.

  4. Use the circuit board on the square.

  5. Access the terminal.

  6. The password is the only one you currently have: 3E14.

  7. Read the entry marked REPAIR, exit out of the terminal.

  8. Go one screen to the right and click the door. From there, go one screen to the right and click that door. Now click the door directly in front of you.

Bridge Room

  1. Go one screen to the left. Click the graffiti (AXON) to get a new password.

  2. Go one screen to the left and click the terminal.

  3. Use the password AXON.

  4. Click the entry named CONNECT. Exit out of the terminal.

  5. Go left or right two screens and click the door.

Endtable Room

  1. Go right one screen.

  2. Use the screwdriver on the square next to the monitor, then click it to grab the cable.

  3. Click the monitor, read the entry MAIL/JERRY and scan to get a new password. Exit out of the monitor.

  4. Go one screen to the right.

  5. Click the paper on the bulletin board to get a new password.

  6. Click on the data pad on the floor.

  7. Read the entry marked RET02 and scan it to get a password.

  8. Go one screen to the right and click the paper on the ground to get a new password.

  9. Go one screen to the right, click the door.

Trapezoid Terminal Room

  1. Grab the cable from your inventory. Click the square under the monitor right in front of you. Click the monitor.

  2. Enter the password ORIENO.

  3. Click on the entry marked ACCESS. Exit out of the monitor.

  4. Go two screens to the left or right. Click the monitor on the right side of the door.

  5. Read the entry marked SGDS_56 and scan to get a new password. Exit the monitor.

  6. Go one screen to the right, click the door.

Mystery Door Room

  1. Go left or right two screens. Click the data pad on the floor to the right of the door.

  2. Enter the only password you have: ABCDEF.

  3. Read the entry marked FILES. Scan it to get two new passwords.

  4. Go to your inventory and select pattern matching.

  5. Combine 1C1 and C1317, by overlapping the C1 sections of both passwords.

  6. Also combine 1757XNM with XNM1418 with the XNMs overlapping.

  7. Next, combine MA593 and 93HY3H with the 93s overlapping.

  8. Finally, combine the two password fragments with the 17 at the beginning and end so that the 17s are overlapping. Exit out of the screen.

  9. Go through the door in front of you, then take a right, go straight through the next three doors until you're facing the door with the clock next to it.

Porthole Room

  1. Go one screen to the left, click the terminal on the right.

  2. Enter the password 1C1317.

  3. Select the entry marked ACCESS. Exit the screen.

  4. Go one screen to the left, go forward through two doors.

  5. Go one screen to the left, click the door.

Many Terminals Room

  1. Go one screen to the left. Click the terminal on the left.

  2. Read the entry named JT_80. Scan it to get a new password, then exit the terminal.

  3. Go to the pattern matching screen in your inventory. Combine the two fragments that begin or end with 18, so that the 18s overlap.

  4. Go one screen to the left and access the terminal.

  5. Select eject.

  6. Go one screen to the left and access the terminal.

  7. Read the entry named URGENT, scan to get a new password, and exit the terminal.

  8. Go back to the pattern matching screen. Combine 4H53 and 538B so the 53s overlap, then exit this screen.

  9. Go two screens either to the left or right, click on the terminal on the right.

  10. Enter the 4H538B password.

  11. Click the entry marked Deactivate, then exit the terminal screen.

  12. Go one screen to the left, click the door, go one more screen to the left, click the door, then go one screen to the right and click the door.

Power Room

  1. Go one screen to the right, select the disk from your inventory, use it on the terminal.

  2. Click the terminal. Select the password starting with MA59.

  3. Select the entry named Set to Auto. Exit the screen.

  4. Go one screen to the right, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door, then go one screen to the right and click the door.

Finale

  1. Click the terminal directly in front of you.

  2. Use your last remaining password.

  3. Click Deactivate.

  4. Go two screens to the left or right, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door.

  5. Click the light.

Thanks to Brad for the walkthrough!

54 Comments

Amazing game.

If anyone cares, the binary reads

this is a dream

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I feel like there may be some sort of issue with the way my game is loading here... I've checked my progress against the video walkthrough you get linked to when you click the "Hint" button, and even though I don't seem to be missing any steps or inventory objects, I can't open the 2nd door in the typewriter room. Can anyone explain what's going on?

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Stunning. Just Stunning.

I'm very glad this got an overhaul -- for various complicated technical reasons, I was unable to play it in its original incarnation.

If you missed this the first time, like me, it's very solidly written, very playable, and features an interesting and memorable cast of characters.

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MmeTurbulence Author Profile Page November 19, 2010 7:34 PM

Alas, I didn't click the right thing in the very last computer you can access, and now I can't even open the screen on that computer to click the thing and end the game. Hmph. I want to see the ending, but not badly enough to replay!

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Wow...

Never before, in game history, the journals you need to plough through actually made sense beyond the game's context.

7 stars!

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I must confess that I'm confused. I get the plot.
Who is your character? The walls speaking - is that the AI?

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Holy crap, that was...that was incredible. The music REALLY helped set up the atmosphere.

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Absolutely stunning. The sheer complexity of thought in this game is amazing. And thank you, Blahp, for the binary translation. I was wondering about that.

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For those of you who didn't get the ending

When you turn off emergency mode, SDGS destroys all the world's weapon systems to bring about peace. The computer became sentient and, rather then due the standard evil computer takes over world, instead, wages peace.

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Awesome game. Very meditative, especially with the music. I loved reading the journal entries, which is a first.

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Anon: It's really late so I might be missing something, but

in order to shut off all the weapon systems, SDGS must have had shut itself off, right? There were many hints about it.

I think that really made the ending much stronger. I loved it.

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Wow, I loved this game. The puzzles were simple and intuitive, which was perfect for a game driven by its riveting story. Normally, I skip past the details to get to the end, but the details in The Infinite Ocean are really what make the whole introversive experience so powerful.

SkylerF:

You are playing as the AI, SDGS. The talking walls are messages from the people who want to use you as a tool/weapon. They mean to coerce you into obeying your programmed orders.

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I thought this was an amazing game. I figured out the "mystery" just a couple of minutes in, but I was still glued to the screen by the images and symbols the author chose, and the way it unfolded. That's quality storytelling, there.

Similarly, the game element was pretty thin, but it didn't seem extraneous.

The unsettling, haunted environment and the conflicting messages gave it an atmosphere that a hundred extra pages of text couldn't have. Even the low contrast, the seemingly pointless "scan" mechanic, and the poor navigability of the environment seemed to work in its favor, once I realized that they weren't just bad design. They gave a sense of drifting and confusion that I think must mirror the protagonist's disorientation.

M:

No, I don't think so. The email said that

SGDS had rigged the system so that shutting the computer down would also shut down the weapons systems, not that shutting it down would _destroy_ the weapons, or that shutting it down was the only way to do it.

In any case, I don't think I agree with you that the game was pointing toward SGDS annihilating itself. When you defy the voices in the walls, it's by choosing to live for your ideals, not to die for them. I mean, I understand the role self-sacrifice could play in a story like this, I just didn't see it here. I'm interested to know what evidence you saw for that interpretation.

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Hmmm.... I'm fully aware what I'm going to say will make me appear to be a troll or a hater, but... I got bored halfway through (actually I dunno if i was half way since i didnt finish it, right?)... This might be a fantastic plot for a novel or interactive fiction - but not a pointnclicker in my opinion. A game where the main task is to wonder through identical doors and read long and unoriginal thoughts from identical computers, where the biggest challange is not to get lost by entering the wrong doors is... not my idea of a good point-n-clicker. Sorry. The "puzzles" are not otivating either... The dull grey, dark praphics, though I know is integral part of creating the atmosphere, won't help the case either...

I appreciate all the work and thoughts put into this one, so I'll give it a high mark, since it's not that it's a bad game at all - it's just that it's not my cup of tea (that's still warm :D)

And I'm really not a troll or a hater :)

bio

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I agree with bioLarzen. The saying "show, don't tell" is generally a good one to follow when it comes to games, because otherwise the player isn't actually involved in any way; they're just a passive observer, which defeats the point of making it a game at all as opposed to an epistolary novel.

Also, as for the plot:

I was under the impression that you were playing Jerry, and you turned SDGS back on so it could destroy the weapons systems after the government had disabled it. Maybe I missed something, though.

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My interpretations:

The most evil thing is the sin. The sin is actually the lust for abuse and hatred
War is a product of animal nature and The sin. But war in humans is mostly caused by The sin.
The sin is something that even evil itself want it dead as it'll threaten EVERY SINGLE EXISTENCE AND NON EXISTENCE.
More and more people realise the true terror of war, as revealed by Science American, cause they think the world should reduce science investments in military
Maybe "The Infinite Ocean" is cooming, or may be not..

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I love Kyratzes' games. What a storyteller! He is also the creator of The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge. Although its cartoonish backdrop is a stylistic departure from Infinite Ocean and his other games, it nonetheless brought me to tears.

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LoveTheMusic November 20, 2010 11:16 AM

I've clicked onto the game just to hear 'Lord, Have Mercy'.......superb piece, just superb.

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Trinn
But you play a mobile "person."

The e-mails said that the AI's conscious part, the part that was really aware had been "sent to sleep" so that it would not interfere with the weapons. They wanted a machine that followed orders to wage war.
Also, the AI could not move itself around. You must have played a person.

M, this applies to you as well. Read all the e-mails and data files. Did you stay and watch the ending? The end text matches up with some quotes from the data files.

Particularly "I AM." That was the first thing SDGS ever said. Obviously it lives on.

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Skyler,

You play as the SDGS while it's dreaming. Look back at the first post.

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secret,
dude, I'm starting to see why I didn't like the game... You say:

The sin is something that even evil itself want it dead as it'll threaten EVERY SINGLE EXISTENCE AND NON EXISTENCE.

Man... I guess I'll never grasp that... How can something

threaten non-existence?

I'm truly curious.

bio

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Yet another plot interpretation:

The notes about prophecy were interesting, as well as the final words at the end of the game. There was also the note that SGDS remembered having a dream, and that the scientists suspected it was memories from the computer being turned partially on during the initial programming. Your character in the game is SGDS in the dream, before it is turned on completely. The SGDS is somehow able to see the future, possibly through the sheer thinking capacity Jerry noticed. As SGDS is not all the way on, many notes are corrupt and unclear. The walls are the military's reprogramming, and the notes are from the scientists. The travel through the game is representative of SGDS becoming self aware.

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inhumandecency: I got that idea from

various messages/journals through the game, especially the ones that talked about dying and leaving the world behind, and how it went on despite one not existing anymore. There was also a mention of Jesus and his sacrifice. Those things stood out to me for some reason.

On the other hand, I like the idea that

it's dreaming until the end. This might be supported by the slightly odd atmosphere (especially those paintings/photographs on one of the rooms)and the uncertain beggining.

As for SkylerF's interpretation, I don't think it's possible because, well, humans don't have a "scan" function (I'm half-joking)

What I really like about this game is that it promotes this kind of discussion, which really adds to the game itself.

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Very nice game indeed, I'm glad I played this updated version without having been frustraded by earlier bugs.

While I'd agree that the "just game" aspects are indeed light, I must say that we have here a really well-done way of presenting a narrative, or at least a slice of a very complex world. I believe it's a way that can only (or best) be done in videogame format. So honestly all my congratulations to the author.

Regarding who is the player,

I felt we play as SGDS too. But how then do we pick up things, or walk from place to place? Two elements work as a hint to me: the digital clock is stuck, and there is always that last grain of sand in the hourglass. Time is not really passing as we play, or it is passing VERY slowly. Consider how many operations per second SGDS can do - bringing this back to human pace would practically freeze time.

I interpret it like this: we play SGDS scanning its own memory/memories, during the milliseconds it takes to decide stopping everything. Our movements are an illusion, and/or a simple way, for SDGS itself, to mentally represent scanning an image or switching from one camera view to another.

Anyway, I could just go on writing about it. Really loved this game.

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naka_witch November 20, 2010 1:20 PM

I had a bit of trouble with the combining passwords feature, so I thought I'd post a hint (for anyone else who might be attempting to play a pre-coffee escape game this morning)

one or two of the letters will be the same, overlap them and try to combine.

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The clock is the doomsday clock. It's hands are moved in relation to how close the world is to all out war, made during the cold war.
2 minutes to midnight meant we were on the brink of total nuclear war.

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Preachy tone, long winded, slow and unmemorable. Monotonous. Nothing here I haven't seen better examples of elsewhere, and the presentation lacks any sort of uniqueness or originality to mix up the tedium. There wasn't really a whole lot of interactivity to speak of. Unless you count struggling with the navigation and layout, or hitting the scan button every 3 seconds. On a more personal note, I am irritated that I had to play with my brightness and gamma settings to be able to even see enough to move past the first room, and that the in game volume options are either deafening or mute.

I'd like to give it a higher rating... but I can't justify it. 2/5.

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I Need Help with this game!!!! PLEASE!!!!
The only thing that i like is the music but beside the id card and the screwdriver this nothinh left for me.
Help!!! Walkthrough Please!!!!!
Thank you! :)

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The Infinite Ocean - Walkthrough

Typewriter Room

  1. Go right. On top of the cardboard box is an ID card; grab it.

  2. Go right again. Click on the data pad on the floor.

  3. Read entry 10, scan it, and grab the password. Exit the journal screen.

  4. Go right again. Grab the circuit board leaning against the cardboard box.

  5. Go right one screen, use the ID card on the door, click the door.

Porthole Room

  1. Grab the screwdriver under the vent right in front of you.

  2. Go right one screen. Click the terminal on the left.

  3. Read the entry named PW_List. Scan it to get two passwords. Exit out of the terminal.

  4. Go right one screen, click on the door.

  5. Go left one screen, use the ID card on the door, click the door.

Three-Things Room

  1. Read the piece of paper that's farthest too the left to get another password.

  2. Go right one screen.

  3. Use the screwdriver on the small square below the terminal's monitor.

  4. Use the circuit board on the square.

  5. Access the terminal.

  6. The password is the only one you currently have: 3E14.

  7. Read the entry marked REPAIR, exit out of the terminal.

  8. Go one screen to the right and click the door. From there, go one screen to the right and click that door. Now click the door directly in front of you.

Bridge Room

  1. Go one screen to the left. Click the graffiti (AXON) to get a new password.

  2. Go one screen to the left and click the terminal.

  3. Use the password AXON.

  4. Click the entry named CONNECT. Exit out of the terminal.

  5. Go left or right two screens and click the door.

Endtable Room

  1. Go right one screen.

  2. Use the screwdriver on the square next to the monitor, then click it to grab the cable.

  3. Click the monitor, read the entry MAIL/JERRY and scan to get a new password. Exit out of the monitor.

  4. Go one screen to the right.

  5. Click the paper on the bulletin board to get a new password.

  6. Click on the data pad on the floor.

  7. Read the entry marked RET02 and scan it to get a password.

  8. Go one screen to the right and click the paper on the ground to get a new password.

  9. Go one screen to the right, click the door.

Trapezoid Terminal Room

  1. Grab the cable from your inventory. Click the square under the monitor right in front of you. Click the monitor.

  2. Enter the password ORIENO.

  3. Click on the entry marked ACCESS. Exit out of the monitor.

  4. Go two screens to the left or right. Click the monitor on the right side of the door.

  5. Read the entry marked SGDS_56 and scan to get a new password. Exit the monitor.

  6. Go one screen to the right, click the door.

Mystery Door Room

  1. Go left or right two screens. Click the data pad on the floor to the right of the door.

  2. Enter the only password you have: ABCDEF.

  3. Read the entry marked FILES. Scan it to get two new passwords.

  4. Go to your inventory and select pattern matching.

  5. Combine 1C1 and C1317, by overlapping the C1 sections of both passwords.

  6. Also combine 1757XNM with XNM1418 with the XNMs overlapping.

  7. Next, combine MA593 and 93HY3H with the 93s overlapping.

  8. Finally, combine the two password fragments with the 17 at the beginning and end so that the 17s are overlapping. Exit out of the screen.

  9. Go through the door in front of you, then take a right, go straight through the next three doors until you're facing the door with the clock next to it.

Porthole Room

  1. Go one screen to the left, click the terminal on the right.

  2. Enter the password 1C1317.

  3. Select the entry marked ACCESS. Exit the screen.

  4. Go one screen to the left, go forward through two doors.

  5. Go one screen to the left, click the door.

Many Terminals Room

  1. Go one screen to the left. Click the terminal on the left.

  2. Read the entry named JT_80. Scan it to get a new password, then exit the terminal.

  3. Go to the pattern matching screen in your inventory. Combine the two fragments that begin or end with 18, so that the 18s overlap.

  4. Go one screen to the left and access the terminal.

  5. Select eject.

  6. Go one screen to the left and access the terminal.

  7. Read the entry named URGENT, scan to get a new password, and exit the terminal.

  8. Go back to the pattern matching screen. Combine 4H53 and 538B so the 53s overlap, then exit this screen.

  9. Go two screens either to the left or right, click on the terminal on the right.

  10. Enter the 4H538B password.

  11. Click the entry marked Deactivate, then exit the terminal screen.

  12. Go one screen to the left, click the door, go one more screen to the left, click the door, then go one screen to the right and click the door.

Power Room

  1. Go one screen to the right, select the disk from your inventory, use it on the terminal.

  2. Click the terminal. Select the password starting with MA59.

  3. Select the entry named Set to Auto. Exit the screen.

  4. Go one screen to the right, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door, then go one screen to the right and click the door.

Finale

  1. Click the terminal directly in front of you.

  2. Use your last remaining password.

  3. Click Deactivate.

  4. Go two screens to the left or right, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door, go one screen to the left, click the door.

  5. Click the light.

Thanks to Brad for the walkthrough!

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Hmmm. Well, the nuts-and-bolts play challenged me enough to complete it and get out. And thanks to naka_witch for the password hint. But I'm with some others here. I didn't find it very compelling. It's okay, I suppose. But that's all.

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Kittymaverick Author Profile Page November 20, 2010 8:01 PM

Given that Isaac Asimov was the main inspiration source for this game, those who have read his stories would probably find the game more intriguing... Being an Asimovian myself, I suppose I find the story to be great. (And of course, being the Olivaw fangirl that I am, squee in happiness in the mention of him in the afterword.)

In terms of interpreting how SGDS can seem to walk around and interact with the environment, I don't think we necessarily have to think that this environment is actually physical. It's like how you interact with objects in your sleep, but subconsciously they represent an abstract concept you have encountered in life. As dreams are based on memories, SGDS's "dream" could be based on the laboratory it is housed in. Though whether the "dream" is the same in the sense of a human dreaming is debatable (The whole "do androids dream of electric sheep debate").

I like to think of the physical environment as the physical representation of the programs installed to restrain SGDS. Rather like how you have a folder for different files and such, with passwords on them. Alas, the scientist that created SGDS left things here and there to help him break out of the prison the military has confined him in. And somehow, in his restrained state (kinda like putting a person in a medically induced coma), SGDS ends up "dreaming" of the digital environment in a "physical" form.

Also, has anyone noticed the mention of SGDS's predecessor, FIELD?From what I've read, it sounded like the AI self terminated after the military attempted to use it.

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Awesome game. Not really casual as such - it makes you think too much, and as the review makes clear, it's about the text more than the actual gameplay.

Spoiler for those getting lost:

Get a pen and paper out and make a map.

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How to download music ?

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Ender Wiggin November 21, 2010 8:57 AM

My interpretation was that:

The military sent the SGDS to sleep, so the game is SGDS trying to wake itself up in time to stop the weapons. In the dream, the although there is just a couple of minutes left SGDS's massive computational power enables it to overcome its limitations in time to wake up and destroy the weapons. The I AM at the end is a repeat of what happened the first time it/he/she was woken.

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I'm with MmeTurbulence, I also had an issue with the ending. However, I did go around again to see it...

I really don't understand why the final control panel is ever made inaccessible, either before or after you have the password for it. The "I don't know how I know, but it won't work" bit is possibly meant to imply deeper knowledge or intuition on the part of the player, but it just comes across as "steering" to compensate for a weak narrative.

Except that the narrative isn't weak! It's awesome!

If that panel were always accessible (but didn't always work, of course), then this steering weirdness would be gone, and it wouldn't be fatal to decline the [DEACTIVATE] action and poke around some more.

Of course it's possible I'm just missing something else that ties it all together.

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Hello, developer here.

The bug at the end is idiotic and stupid and basically the result of a tiny misclick on my part. I've already corrected it and sent the new version to ArmorGames - I hope it will be up soon (i.e. in the next 24 hours). I apologize for the inconvenience. Neither I nor any of the testers caught it.

The "I don't know how I know" thing is indeed meant to imply deeper knowledge/intuition.

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Can someone offer some help here? I cannot read all of the text in the game. The game seems to be too big for the screen. May not have described that well, but hopefully you understand what I mean. I can't play the game when I can't read the instructions at the bottom of the screen. Thanks!

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Update: Seems if you play this in Firefox, you get the cutoff on the screen. If you play in IE (yuck!) you can see all of the game.

[Make sure your browser is not zoomed. That's usually the cause, and we've seen this kind of thing reported somewhat more frequently lately. Here's how to reset the zoom to 100% in Firefox. -Jay]

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Awesome game.

Simply awesome.

I soooo hope this game is eligible for the Best of 2010: I will be voting for it.

The Company of Myself for this year, IMHO.

Oh, and

I wasn't really sure who I was meant to be in the game: this actually fitted with the narrative! Though after reading other peoples' interpretations, I now think I was/am the SGDS. Again, it's awesome how this fitted with the theme of self-understanding.

Pe-ads

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PURE AWESOME.

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Oh, wow. WOW. I am not usually a fan of the sorta artsy moral-emotional games. They usually feel contrived, trite. And while I love point and click games, the storytelling is... not always the greatest. My expectations for this were not high, and as a result got totally blown out of the water. I loved this game/story. The atmosphere, the slow emergence of broken bits of storyline from multiple perspectives, the music, the wandering (though I caved partway through and made a map for myself), the password pattern mechanic, the scanning, the "bugs" - they all combined with a very well-done well-paced and genuinely interesting story to make a really great experience. Gameplay elements were "light", yeah, but not tacked-on or overwrought; they made sense, and I think supported the story well.

I loved that the game conveyed confusion, questioning, conflict, and a whole host of emotions without being overtly patronising or moralising. The huge number of interpretations that are cropping up here alone are testament to this piece's ability to evoke, rather than lecture, and the, ah, intensity of some of the exchanges of interpretation also give evidence of this piece's ability to really hit home - with all sorts of players having all sorts of understandings of what's happened.

An absolute gem in the point-and-click and narrative worlds. I want to give it about fifteen stars.

I struggled with only two things - ok, two and a half: one, finding the inventory/help/etc bar, since I didn't mouse over the margins right off the bat; two, the pattern matcher and I disagreeing on which patterns were significant, once or twice; and a half, getting hopelessly lost, which I solved by taking notes on the landmarks. Minor complaints. Otherwise excellent, absolutely excellent. So many kudos to Jonas.

And since it seems to be the thing: another interpretation, or version of existing ones (with how & why I ended up at it, for the curious):

I got the impression that I/the player was SGDS. I didn't really worry about understanding who I was or what was happening early in the game, and just waited to see how things played out. My initial assumption was of being one of the human scientists, but that seemed to lose plausibility as things went on, and by the ending sequences/diary entires I was certain of being SGDS, who was looking for a way to "wake up" from the sleep the military had imposed, and act on the morality/personality it had derived for itself.

Given some of the texts discussing consciousness, problem-solving, and dreams, I think this was SGDS having a dream (while "asleep"), and using that dream to solve the problem into which it had been placed. That explains the timeflow details SrPilha noted, and the moving-and-touching-things that Kittymaverick pointed out (though I think such a computer AI might well find ways to physically manipulate its environment). It would also explain the fractured nature of the database entires and its ability to find the passwords to them - just SGDS making sense of its own conscious, subconscious, unconscious, & memories. It also explains the "writing on the walls" and the notes - various emotional states/reactions - and knowing things "without knowing how".

Once it understood what was happening (who it was, that it was asleep, what had happened) it was able to wake up - much as I know I have, of a morning, if I am still just barely asleep, and dreaming. Once I realise I'm asleep and dreaming, the dream starts to fade. I am awake and can take conscious action.

The music is still playing in my background (I haven't closed the game tab) and I *still* like it. ...and I liked the poetry, and the quotes, and the diaries, and, okay, I just liked everything about the content and production. [/gushing!]

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My god, I absolutely loved the game - every detail of it was perfect with its underlying symbolism. The confusing/sparse nature of everything that some reviewers complained about I personally found to be lovely - after all, aren't our thoughts like that?

I however had a completely different interpretation of the game from everyone else here:

I thought I was playing as the programmer Julianne! Firstly, when you enter the room that the walls say to NOT ENTER, there's a data pad there that says 'Welcome Julianne' or something of that nature. None of the other data pads we pick up during the game welcome you that way. Also, the one of the central themes of the game is overcoming what society tells you to mindlessly do (the walls) and realizing that you are your own, sentient being. By entering this room, you have shown that you have overcome the words in the walls, and have according realized who you truly are - Julianne, and not just a mindless gear in the machine. Not to mention, SGDS mentioned a few times that it related/connected the most to Julianne. Maybe that's why she's still here in the prison - she's perhaps a proxy partially controlled by SGDS? The computer needs a physical being to pick up physical objects you know.

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Lemon Nemesis Author Profile Page November 22, 2010 1:05 AM

I'm quite impressed with this game, though what I liked the most were its mysterious ambience and the interesting captions on each object like the lights; there's always a different thought associated to each of them.

One thing that intrigues me though, is that little netbook looking computer on the table in the room with the stopped clock. I wish I knew what was in it.

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Good story, bad wrapper.

The UI is really just a beast to use. I got lost constantly trying to figure out where I was and how I got there (and how to get back). The environment is so dark that it's hard to interact with it: good thing 80% of your tasks are via terminal. It's just a matter of finding the RIGHT terminal.

The controls aren't intuitive. I took me a long time to figure out the combination UI. And just as long to find the scan functionality. And probably longer to figure out that sometimes you're executing a command and other times you're reading a log.

Didn't do it for me.

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Well, since the computer I'm on refused to show any complete passwords or anything in the 'pattern matching' function, I could only enter passwords by reading the walkthrough.

And since the walkthrough finishes by telling you to use your 'last password' - what is that password? :-) I have no idea.

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Acidifiers Author Profile Page November 23, 2010 7:50 AM

Was slapped in the face with the message and slashed with the gameplay, but it's deep enough to accredit a quite a few shrooms. A lot of the story elements irked me, but it was very well polished and overridden by every other aspect of the game.

I'm sure the ending was deliberated to be an exposition that would leave you throughly amazed with the game, the final unveiling.

I support Ender's explanation, based on the ending and the way the inventory was set up.

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I think it is clear that you play SGDS dreaming after the military sent it back to sleep. SGDS is waking itself up and using clues it set about inside its own memory to help it to do so.

This, to me, is the same as any claptrap film with an overly preachy anti-war message. I found it disappointing and the music got irritating after a while. The plot was not only not amazing, it was tired and has been done many, many thousands of times before and many times better.

Poetic fluff is poetic fluff even if you have to click through it.

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Yes, the game was *quite* preachy... Not awesome but I did enjoy it.

For those that *don't* believe this game is about the SGDS dreaming, note that the second room in the game has a computer screen that says "011101000110100001101001011100110010000001101001011100110010000001100001001000000110010001110010011001010110000101101101" -- this is ascii in binary form, and translates to "this is a dream".

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I'm obviously not smart enough to even fathom the awesomeness of this game... cause all of these raves are completely lost on me.. I didn't get it! :(

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I remember playing the original on pc, and I've always believed that you were actually,

The AI, you are the machine, working in a created enviroment, to understand what you are doing or not doing, coming to understand your exsistance

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Not fond of platform games in general, but decided to try this one anyway because it won the 2010 competition. Now I remember again why I hate them. Most of the ridges were impossible for me to access, even with the

chute, boots and gloves

. I tried the

teleporting stones

a couple of times, only to be

dropped right back in an area I had already visited

and having to get through the same annoying routine again. This got very old very fast and I didn't finish it therefore.

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Someguy June 26, 2011 9:27 AM

A brilliant, beautiful, mind-reveresing game, but one thing that bugs me is that,

SGDS never hasn't the slightest concern on mental disorder. He speaks of things like souls and imagination as if he could encompass all of each thing with his limitless mind. He gets confused over how logical war is, as if he'd never even heard of a mental disorder?

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This game deserves infinite mushrooms.

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I like how the warm cups of tea go missing

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