Following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago
How my Fathers bled
I think I see a valley
Covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older
Been asking after you
Hear the past a’ calling
From Armageddon’s side
When everyone’s talking and no one
How can we decide?
Do we find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground?
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down.
Imagine that you’re trapped in someone else’s ambition. Pursuing a dream you never dreamed, taking the path well traveled because that’s where the road goes, leading to a destination that’ll chew you up, spit you out and pat you on the back as it sends you on your way. And you want to be on your way, but you turn around anyway and head back inside that city, that town, that house, because it’s closer now and the journey back feels like a million miles, far longer than it ever was when you walked here, and it’s a desert out there you know. And your protestations are drowned out by the cacophony of your peers, voices calling native and tongue, the tap tap click click rhythm of a cross-section generation raised on the same sugary desensitisation as you were. When every word bleeds through the copy book and every verse is a suicide note to the you that once was or once should have been, each day they fade fast in your memory, a polaroid of the ghost of a future never lived.
Back home, across the desert, across best laid plans, a box of correspondence lies buried in the earth beneath the tree you sat in to escape. Letters, they carried such weight back then. The careful calligraphy etched in concentration and fascination and pencil. Letters to nobody in particular, to young love, young friends, young self, each carrying the weight of a thousand worlds beneath a thousand stars. Ten, maybe twelve treasures folded and interred, and each word remains with you, you know them by heart like a creed. Then your mind drifts to the words you wrote yesterday, the day before, the day before that, and there’s nothing, or maybe there used to be but you don’t remember them any more and they can’t have been that important anyway. Script and dialogue constructed by voices soliloquising in the presence of one another, speaking of their perception of right in the hope that other voices are silent long enough for their right to be heard.
One day you hear a voice speaking and you will it to quieten, it’s drowning out your own, then you realise it is your own, only talking in a language you yourself have never learned nor spoken. So you draw upon those memories from that box beneath the ground, you recite the words that once meant so much, the sum of all your childhood fears, your adolescent angst, of love shared and mourned, heartbreak and hormone. You recite, you share, this is your mantra, this is who you are and if people stopped talking for one moment, if they really listened, they’d understand that you’re not a drone, you didn’t mean to end up here. This defines you, this is you, this past is unique.
Your words echo; countless voices joined in a chorus of the same stories, the same pasts, each of you is a mirror held up to the others. As one, you remember the dream left so far behind, because the well-worn path was easier to walk, offered more guidance, more companions. As one, you turn to the horizon where that dream used to be, a glittering emerald city filled with everything you ever promised yourself as a child. And as one you feel a strange sensation. The city is no longer there, you’ve come too far or perhaps it just turned to dust or perhaps this is the city, maybe you’re already here and if so there’s nowhere left to travel, no more courses to plot, no goals to aim for any more. That sensation, that apathetic, pulsing rush, is relief. Everyone’s very tired after all, and you have so much in common, it’s like you’ve reached an understanding now, at least until tomorrow when it all begins again. But tonight, you realise, there’s only one thing left you can do.
Go back to sleep.
This is all Dan Lipscombe’s fault. Starred games are ones I’ve started but not finished. By ‘unfinished’ I mean I’ve never seen the ending/completed a career/finished with playing, there are plenty of games I haven’t included which I’ve not 100%ed and would go back to, but have ‘finished’.
It’s pretty fucking crazy.
Katarina Darling: It isn’t the birds. It was never the birds. We need to get out of here. And Lang, Lang was… Lang was there. I saw him.
Louis Cassell: I’m not leaving, dear girl. I can’t leave. Not now. Are you quite mad?
Katarina Darling: You don’t understand. You haven’t seen what they’re doing. You don’t know what this place really is.
Louis Cassell: No, my dear, it’s you who does not understand. We, as a species, are in freefall towards the mass grave of our civilisation. No matter how often we swoop and soar around the sun, we’re still down there pecking at the earth as night falls, feasting on the worms. And our old masters, those nameless terrors who wait beneath the surface, are poised with gaping maws, just waiting for us to dig down too deep.
Katarina Darling: Mr. Cassell, your pulp horror melodrama is really starting to fuck me off.
Okay, here be spoilers. Big, game-ruining ending spoilers. Seriously, don’t read on after the jump if you haven’t finished it. I’ve warned you. SPOILERS. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.
Also, I won’t even pretend that this post is properly coherent or literate. It’s just a collection of thoughts I shared with Chris Schilling, copy/pasted into a blog entry. If I had more investment in Alan Wake’s mythos I might collate them into something a little more solid, but at the moment I don’t, I’m just a little bemused at it.
In the fading light, the man sat there slapping the keyboard with an open palm, each blow channeling the fury he felt towards Simon Parkin, that hack critic who dared to score a Rockstar game an 8. Moreover, the man thought, how absolutely disgusting and unprofessional of Eurogamer not to review the multiplayer content. Even if it wasn’t provided, they should have found a way.
Each strike to the keyboard brought out a new violent tick; a twitching eyebrow here, a slack jaw there. The Energizer batteries on the commenter’s desk cast a dark shadow over the screen. He pounded harder. The letter Y refused to appear. The writer paused, furious. Even my own tools are turning against me. He picked up the phone.
“Barry? It’s Alan. Some cunt just gave Red Dead Redemption eight out of ten.”
Barry’s tone reflected Alan’s thoughts. “Eight? As in, one less than a nine? TWO less than a ten?”
“The very same,” Alan replied, his voice calmer now. His heartbeat began to return to its normal pace. “Disgusting, isn’t it?”
“You’re telling me,” the agent said. “Reads more like a fourteen. Still, better than Ala-”
“What was that? What were you going to say?”
“Nothing,” Barry answered quickly. “Nothing at all, Al.”
“Oh, right,” Alan said. “Listen, anyway, Barry I gotta go. Darkness Made Flesh is coming over, and I think he’s armed with a lawsuit from the King estate.”
The writer hung up the phone. “Oh well, might as well check out Edge in the meantime.”
As the jogger hurried past the white picket fence of the Wake residence, a shrill cry of anguish rang out from inside. Birds flew forth, cawing and squawking in terror. The voice inside screamed again.
“A SIX? A FUCKING SIX??????”
With a shiver the jogger pulled her coat tighter around her small frame and ran off, into the slowly descending mist.
Anyone with twitter should follow @tyme2waste aka Blake Teller.
She’s telling her story, in real time, and from the way it’s unfolding it’s a story worth listening to. Over the last day or so she’s been on a road trip with her mother, father and brother(?) Eric, in contact with only a couple of friends via Twitter. It’s riveting stuff. However, tonight things took a turn for the interesting:
We are driving up to something called The Circus of the Dead. The ticket guy looks really REALLY sick. Not funny sick. SICK sick.
Sores around his mouth and few teeth and I can smell him. He’s got a pet rat. His pet rat dived in his pocket and came out with the tickets.
No it wasn’t cute. None of us want to touch the tickets.
As I write this, Blake and her family are about to enter the circus. Hopefully nothing untoward will happen.
If you do follow, it’s worth reading her tweets from the start. There aren’t many. Think of it as a short story.
(Originally brought to my attention in one of Joe Hill’s tweets, whom you all should read.)
*Edit* So this didn’t pan out how I thought it would. I was expecting it to be a clever use of Twitter in which a story is told via the medium, in 140 character bursts. Instead, I have to confess I felt a little bit let down by the jarring ‘BUY THIS BOOK TO READ THE REST’ finale, even though the marketing was a nice idea. Could’ve been something really interesting though. However! The book does look very good.
By now, few gamers will be unaware of the dreaded 8001050F; dubbed ‘The ApocalyPS3’ by the gaming press, this error seems to be caused by a glitch in the PS3’s internal clock. Some say it’s the work of the Origami Killer, but others still understand that while one part of the PS3 is on the level, the other is mistakenly reporting the date as February 29th, which of course it is not. So what does this mean for PS3 owners? If you own a Slim, nothing. A very few Fat models are unaffected also. But for those unlucky thousands hit by the bug…
- Any unsynced trophies may be gone forever.
- Saved games? Who knows.
- Games with trophies are currently unplayable.
- PSN is inaccessible.
- You’ll never find Shaun in time now.
Sony’s official response was baffling: ‘Have you tried turning it off then on again?’ they asked gaming journalist Lauren Wainwright, who in 2008 caused controversy by stating Guns of the Patriots was ‘too solid to enjoy’. She, along with many others, had tried this hotfix to no avail. It soon became clear to the technology giant that something had to be done. In an unprecedented move, it can now be revealed that Sony have petitioned the world’s governments into changing 2010 into a leap year. This will, they say, resolve the issue entirely as today’s date will become February 29th. As of the time of writing, it appears as if the date-changing will be getting the go-ahead. Johnny Cullen of VG247 earlier posted this statement from Swedish science boffins CERN:
“CERN are happy to announce that the proposed time adjustment probably won’t cause serious, long-term damage to the population of Europe.”
Last week, CERN drew criticism from the gaming press by replacing sections of the Large Hadron Collider with Xbox 360 hard drives.
Been doing some decent gaming this weekend, playing two games which have both been pleasant surprises. White Knight Chronicles which, despite having a rather generic storyline and setting, has mechs and an awesome online component. I did some quests with Tiarny, and we S-ranked the first proper mission after taking down two trolls with mere minutes to spare. Nice.
The other, and perhaps more surprising game, is Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing. I didn’t enjoy the 360 demo of this that much… I mean it was good enough, but not for me. Then I gave the PS3 version a spin which contained a different course, and got into it a bit more. It seemed somewhat unbalanced and difficult though on Advanced, and not being the best racing game player in the world, if I could only manage Beginner difficulty then that wouldn’t exactly offer a great experience.
I took the risk anyway, and it massively paid off. Good lord. I haven’t played a karting game this fun since MK64. The single player is perfectly balanced, my issues from the demo are totally gone. Not even had a chance to try the multiplayer yet, but I can imagine it’ll be fantastic. It’s retailing at just £34.99 in most places too (even cheaper in supermarkets) so well worth a try for anyone fancying a HD Mario Kart with a more reasonable single player mode. The best game featuring Sonic in absolutely years, too.