I’m sorry Tale of Tales, its not my fault.
I am apologising because a while ago the humble bundle gave me Trauma on the top of a bundle and my fiancée was drawn in by its strangeness and photography as a replacement for graphics, mixing the real and the unreal. She had no experience with adventure games, but this game handled more like Google maps street view than anything Lucas Arts ever put out. The feeling we both came away from this was that it was ultimately a horror game, just one with no monster closets. She asked me what we had like this, I had to think.
The Path, it was the perfect mix of casual game play and dark themes. Tale of tales, I didn’t know what would happen, we had this problem before but I figured we had managed to move on, we didn’t talk about it any more.
I should have seen it coming, Tale of Tales, you didn’t deserve to be subjected to her hunger. When I first got my DS phat I put New Super Mario Bros. in and passed it to my fiancée (then girlfriend) but something was wrong, we discovered her coin hunger, she couldn’t finish the first few levels, she *had* to get all of the coins. For a hardened Mario player this is certainly plausible but the frustration posed to a novice by those coins she couldn’t quite wall jump to reach was too much, she ended up despising the game for teasing her with coins which she couldn’t have. Coins she NEEDED.
But that wasn’t going to happen again, so Tale of Tales, you need to know my shock when your art caused it, but also that I am sorry.
Just one more
It started innocently enough flowers were scattered around, “Do they matter” she asked me, “No, it’s just to draw you off the path” I assured her, things grew muddled when I looked at the paths manual which suggested path finding aids for flower collection. I started pointing them out to her, “Go from left to right and you can hoover these all up” I suggested. We found a few wolves, even went to Grandmas safely once but then the sisters dwindled and many flowers remained, but we conceded that the game was nearly over and as the game’s epilogue chapter rolled into place I remembered the ‘Prologue Demo’ I didn’t realise what was happening, I am ashamed.
The game the path has 144 flowers to find but they were sparse, each girl having only about 24 in her world and the other attractions competed for you mind-share but the demo was an abomination. We didn’t know but with one girl, 144 flowers and nothing else to do but talk to a crow the demo was a far inferior experience and fed the hunger. The path taken map that flashed up every hundred metres walked no longer served as a nudge in the direction of a missed area but an indication of which square yard of land had not been scoured of flowers, she had reached 100 flowers finding nothing else to do before my internet archaeology taught us that the demo had “no point”, my fiancée was not concerned, she had found one. Or rather coin hunger had found her, for every flower she found each subsequent flower was harder to find so like any addict she was spiralling.
We might go back to The Path one day to experience a few of the memories we missed, but the prologue demo is long since deleted, we don’t talk about it any more.