Perdition


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Rating: 3.6/5 (61 votes)
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Perdition

DoraWarning: Flashing screens.

Carrill Munning's dark science-fiction platform adventure Perdition is about as mystifying as it is unsettling, and it's pretty darned unsettling. At the start of the game you awaken, a voiceless robotic girl with a mop of purple hair, in a dark and decaying place. As you search for a way out, you find yourself mocked by a voice that seems to know far more about what happened to you than you do, and when you finally reach the outside world, you discover a place perhaps even harsher and more disturbing than the one you left. Use the [arrow] keys to move and [X] to jump, and if you die, you'll be reassembled at checkpoints scattered throughout each level... they look like shattered scientific tubes, so keep an eye out for them. Throughout the game you'll receive instructions from two voices who seem to hate each other, but whether you obey them is up to you. There's always another option, but going your own way might be even harder than whatever fate the voices have in store for you.

PerditionIf you've played Loved, Perdition might remind you of it despite the stark differences in style and design, largely due to the way you're repeatedly challenged by a voice that seems to want nothing more than to keep you under its thumb, berating you when you disobey. The contempt dripping from the tone of the writing coupled with the grimy environmental art and unnerving character designs, makes Perdition one oppressive experience. If you disobey the orders you're given, the alternative path is more difficult, though it does wind up feeling at times as if that extra difficulty comes from the fact that the movement isn't quite fast enough to react on the fly to threats. This means that you're going to find yourself booted back to the scarce checkpoints frequently if you're a split second too late, or too fast, in a jump.

That tiny control delay is something you might notice even more once combat makes an appearance later on, though enemies at least flash in warning before becoming dangerous... but do you really need to fight? Perdition keeps you guessing as to who you can really trust, and even what you're willing to do to make the experience easier for yourself. It's not a moral choice system in the traditional sense, largely because not every choice is obvious as such, but it does make you question what you're doing and why, and whether there might have been another way. Whether you're willing to push through the sometimes clunky and admittedly somewhat repetitive gameplay to find out what's going on largely depends on how interested you are in finding out if Perdition can carry off the heavier narrative themes it's going for. Still, Perdition has style and presence like few others, and if you have the patience and a penchant for both the surreal and the dark, it's more than worth your time, and with four different endings, it has a lot of replay value under its belt to boot.

Play Perdition

32 Comments

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnrLT_DgOiK7Leoj0eRHY69GNEFT33XtTU Author Profile Page June 15, 2014 5:18 PM

Kinda glitchy. A lot of the jumps are pixel perfect.

I got pretty far, got a gun for a 2nd time, was supposedly going to kill/attack something when the game just hung on me and I had to close my browser.

And don't bother trying the "remember" option afterwards either. It glitches the keyboard, it wouldn't let me jump. At all.

Maybe play-test this fully before putting it online again next time?

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shjack180 Author Profile Page June 15, 2014 9:53 PM

.......

I don't get it. After beating the game by disobeying both voices to extent that I found possible, I still don't quite understand the story. However, it was enough to get me through what was otherwise a highly frustrating experience of gameplay due to laggy controls.

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It froze twice for me. After the second time, choosing "remember" sent me back to the checkpoint before the first crash, wiping out most of my progress. I like the atmosphere, but I can't play it like this.

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I also had it freeze on me, and I lost a ton of progress when going back with remember

the story and atmosphere were good, but the gameplay wasn't that thrilling, and somewhat frustrating, which didn't really make me want to try it again. I suspect there are at least 3 endings, but the it seems like work to get them, rather than an extension of the gameplay. Having multiple ways to go through sections helps, but the base gameplay isn't that interesting.

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srdjan.nevenkic89 Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 12:34 AM

I played it and I had no problems.
It didn't crash nor freeze, and the remember option worked fine.
Although, if you want to get all the ending and medals, it's better to start over than to use the remember option.
I would recommend the game.

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I definitely hit the freezing-up bug: a few times, actually, through the first time or two it happened, I was able to wait until it passed. No luck the last time, and that happened near the end of the game (or what looked like it might be near the end). The comments above have made me feel somewhat disinclined to start over, though if I'm in the mood, I might still do so.

I hope the ending is worthwhile, though. We've seen an awful lot of games with an unseen narrator insulting and/or ordering around the protagonist, and I found myself disobeying the desires of both of them in this game not because I'm tired of authority, but because I'm a little tired of the trope.

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That looked like it was going to be an interesting game, but something wasn't quite working right. My computer, the game, user error, who knows.

But barely even being able to move fast enough to dodge then get past the guys with the guns was easily frustrating. I'm bad enough at games without "lag", or whatever people playing CoD blame for their losing.

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I had no gameplay or control issues, everything seemed smooth and responsive for me.

As far as plot goes, I agree that this kind of story is getting tired. Also:

Generic dualistic Christian symbolism is boring. The lower god was "Natas?" Really? As soon as I saw that I checked the upper god's name, Gomadi, which of course is an anagram of "I am God."

The art in this game was great. I just wish it had a more imaginative story to go along with it.

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shjack180 Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 9:34 AM replied to Mantus

Christianity is not a dualistic religion. The Christian God is believed to be all-powerful, having already conquered Satan and sin and death through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. That being said, I do agree with you that this game had a dualistic theme. I was reminded of Taoism and their concept of two conflicting powers, one "good" one "bad," that are necessary to create balance in the world, hence the yin yang symbol. However, in this game, both gods are portrayed as evil, so the theory that this game had a dualistic theme might be wrong. It did strike me as very dualistic though

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 3:33 PM

Taoism dualistic is not good and evil. Its roughly simplified "male" and "female". Not saying more about it as this is not a religious discussion.

Game froze on me the first time, firefox seems to run better than the flash that is included in chrome.

The game itself, is okayish, not going to play again to discover different endings. I'd like to see more of an open world instead of a pipe-shooter with a set of either-or decisions.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 4:16 PM

Thinking about it a little more, no, a religious discussion is okay for this game. It _is_ religious - christian.

Aside from a "cellar being" and "ceiling being".

Of all things you get a halo when you appeal to ceiling being, a halo? Well thats coincidence! And cellar being constantly wants to take it away from you. Bringing the halo to cellar being spoils it. cellar being wants to tempt you, ceiling being wants sacrifices.

What the intended symbol about ceiling being is, s/he wants you to kill others i leave to others. Also cellar being calls itself the softer half?

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shjack180 Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 4:53 PM replied to fuzzyface

If this game is supposed to be Christian in theme or meaning, then it does a bad job as it does not adhere to the true Christian worldview/set of beliefs. Unless, of course, you mean it is targeting the Christian God or beliefs, portraying Him and/or them as evil. Although I saw a more dualistic theme, I can see the latter explanation as a valid interpretation of the game's theme.

This game seems to be quite open for various interpretations. I would love to read others' theories as well. I didn't much enjoy the gameplay, but I did like the atmosphere and its apparent symbolism that could lead to several theories of interpretation.

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Well, this certainly was a time-waster (in a good way, not in a "Well, there are # minutes of my life I'll never get back" way).
Played through twice, with no issue (most up-to-date Flash, Windows 7, Opera 12.17), getting each of the "pure" endings Wasn't wholly DIFFICULT overall, though I haven't yet gone through the third path implied in the initial review, but it was rather tedious (but again, that may have mainly been due to playing through twice). Might try for that one tomorrow; definitely enjoyed it overall.

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I've gotten 4 endings so far, not sure if there are more. I can see maybe 1 more option being available, but I'm not sure.

The game is very nice if you have a computer that can power through the lag. I think it would run much more smoothly and as a result be more enjoyable if the graphics were toned down just a little bit (maybe get rid of the lightning?).

The story was definitely the gem here, despite being a fairly straightforward Christian narrative.

The main character's Eve, who Natas (devil, fallen one, whatever) gives the 'gift' of knowledge. Throughout the game he gives you other 'gifts': knowledge on how to wage war, and technology with which to do it successfully.

The way he hung the other androids who had been given knowledge, seen at the end, is reminiscent of original sin (eating from the tree of knowledge) being enough to condemn you to hell. If this line of thinking is followed Eve could also represent Jesus, since she ends this knowledge->hell cycle.

Gomadi offers you safety and peace, so long as you give him your unquestioning obedience.

The ability to defy Natas at the end also suggests the halo keeps you from temptation, corruption.

His asking you to strike down the other androids with knowledge could be seen as a flood/inquisition narrative

There's some ambiguity as to whom the enemies belong to, the enforcers and the skitters (never formally named, you know the ones), though it is hinted that they were created by both of them in the early days to put down the androids, evidenced by the possession of both a halo and a weapon.

This seems to follow the vengeful god narrative of the old testament, the lord above wishing for his subjects to do right, but fully willing to smite them when they do wrong, which they will, because they are evil (he believes). So you Christians can relax, this isn't actually claiming God is evil, which you'll see if you get the 'good' ending. He asks you to do some questionable stuff, yes, but so did the old testament God.
If you're looking for the ever-loving, forgiving god of the new testament, it'd probably be in the creators, whom we never see.

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shjack180 Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 9:10 PM replied to xdrngy

Pretty good game analysis there. Mad props to you for playing through the game so many times. And "skitters" is a good name for those things. I kept calling them spiders, but skitters sounds so much better. :p

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xdrngy Author Profile Page June 16, 2014 9:32 PM replied to fuzzyface

Know what, I was just wondering about the male/female duality in the androids, and the Taoism thing could explain it (though I admittedly don't know much about Taoism, and so could some other things..). It's interesting how the game pretty blatantly sets up female as preferable. I'd like to hear more about this.

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Up until the very end, I really enjoyed this game.
The whole

chaos or order

thing was a nice change from the usual good/evil paths you get, I only have one complaint.
White told me "Leave this Place"
My response?
"GLADLY."
And then it/she? got mad at me for not leaving while I was still trying to find the ding dong danged exit! Well I'm sorry lady but not all of us are excellent pathfinders. I was furious because I WANTED to listen and leave right then and there, but I couldn't figure out HOW.
And then I got a stupid ending I didn't like, probably because it was against the choices I WANTED to make!
So now I'm really frustrated and disappointed. The game's a touch too long and finicky for me to play it through again, but I really hated the ending I got when I feel I was helpless to get anything else just because I got lost. The only exit I could think of was through a locked door I'd found earlier, so I thought I needed the other lever, but couldn't find my way over to it.
That ruined the game a little for me, I'm sad to say, but it was interesting and somewhat unique, so, mad as I am, I'd probably still recommend it... With a good amount of whining, but still.

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leftysrevenge Author Profile Page June 17, 2014 12:06 AM

Interesting concept. I love the idea of not-so-black-and-white good vs evil. You don't know who is helping and who is hurting. Still trying to follow the gameplay/story, but my first trip underground, after meeting TANAS, I fell outside the map and had to quit.

Glitchy. Keep trying.

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Not bad, wish it wasn't pixel art style (hand drawn art would be nice!), but it did its job, along with the music. I do agree the gameplay's kinda boring, but the platforming was fine; none of it was hard, but a lot of it was slow.

As for the theme, it was pretty good, aside from the anagrams. I know what you're trying to get at, and you handled it pretty well, if a bit too transparently.

All in all, good game; don't know if I'll play through the ending again to see the other endings, but you got me to play through the entire game! Not sure what kinds of glitches others are talking about, I'm running it just fine in Chrome with Flash installed from the Adobe website, with Integrated Graphics 4000 (not that the last part matters in flash gaming).

Good job! For a one man job, well polished! Looking forward to seeing more games that handle touchy subject matters better!

Answer me this though:

Do the choices up to the end really matter? By the end I mean after you beat the game and hit remember.

Also, where does the quote come from? If you made it up, +1 for you! Have a cookie.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnrLT_DgOiK7Leoj0eRHY69GNEFT33XtTU Author Profile Page June 17, 2014 3:01 PM

Just tried to replay.

Game is VERY badly screwed.

It took about fifty keypresses to go down to REMEMBER and it wouldn't acknowledge me pressing X at all.

Seriously, test this on Firefox.

At least yesterday when it crashed and I reloaded the game it let me start again. This is like my keyboard wasn't even connected!

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I've played this game twice, once on my PC with FF31.0 and once on my Mac FF31.0 and I've never had any issues, little to no lag, key strokes registered properly, I managed my way through three endings (after beating it once on my mac, I used 'remember' and got my way through a second ending via the same 'path') with very minimal issues.

All in all, it's a good game, though yes, I have to say that some of the jumps are a bit pixel-perfect.

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Christianity is a dualistic religion. It's just eschatologically dualistic instead of dialectically dualistic. Eschatological dualism predicts or recalls a victor (usually the good guys), while dialectical dualism (Taoism, Kabbalic Judaism) envisions a balance between two forces of equal power.

Neither side necessarily needs to be good or evil. Regardless, we tend to get Order/Chaos, Male/Female in dialectical systems, but Good/Evil in eschatological systems.

To clarify my earlier post, I wasn't trying to say that this game was Christian. On the contrary, we see a conflict between Evil Order and Evil Chaos, liberally seasoned with Christian symbolism. Since the "good ending" requires you to kill both sides and make your own world, this game is probably humanist.

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Mystify Author Profile Page June 18, 2014 2:10 AM

oh, I remembered something else that annoyed me

The white voice would often say "don't do X" when I am about to do X, and I literally don't have time to stop, so I do X despite intending to follow his advice.

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shipoopie Author Profile Page June 19, 2014 6:42 PM

It froze on me one time but the remember feature worked and then I kept playing and got to the end. I'm not going to go back and replay it to try to get any more endings. One ending is enough for any game. I didn't feel like any jumps were pixel perfect at all. You had to get to near the edge on some jumps but so what.

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Svarta Svansen Author Profile Page June 19, 2014 10:33 PM

I'm curious... Is there any way up the left side of the tower, or is that just a red herring? I was just now trying to find a way up there, because

I figured it might be the way to the fourth ending. So far I got

the "meld with me" ending, the "begone with you" ending, and the vegetable ending.

But then again, perhaps

refusing to arm myself when I visited Tanas again might end up making a difference when I

pay Gomadi a visit after killing Tanas.

I think I'll try that now.

...Haha, what started out as a question turned into just me thinking out loud. :P

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Well what a lovely game this. Signed up just to comment on how well done the story and atmosphere is.

Also, the endings I found. Named them appropriately.

Temptation

Approach Natas without a halo.

You succumb to Natas' embrace like so many others.

Obedience

Approach Natas with a halo, then return to ground level and leave the tower directly to the right.

You become blinded, lose your hair and hunch, becoming another mindless servant.

Punishment

Having killed at least one android; approach Natas with a halo then climb the tower to Gomadi.

Gomadi smites you, you are left to your perdition, killing your kin in your madness.

Defiance

Having killed not a single android, approach Natas with a halo then climb the tower to Gomadi.

You herald a new age free from Natas and Gomadi, and teach those of your surviving kin your new way.

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joannakumarai Author Profile Page October 16, 2014 10:06 AM

Got the four different endings, I really like this game
It show us, how our descisions make our future

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