|A working car? Hmmmm. Nope. Can’t think of how that could be useful. Oh well.|
(Also: Travis has quite a collection of tire irons tucked away in whatever dimensional pocket he keeps his inventory. The hospital and the sanitarium each had a rather perplexing number of them laying about. Strangely, there isn’t a tire iron in the trunk of this car.)
The town has been seasoned with a dash of new monsters. The carrion from the sanitarium are now milling about. I try starting another parade like the last time I hiked across town, but these things are having none of it. A couple of trips to Game Over Land convince me that these monsters just aren’t the playful sort of otherworldly abomination. Phooey. I’m still not going to fight them, though. Not for all the Pocky in Japan, where this game very obviously didn’t come from.
|Travis is bringing us along on his ouroboros mystery: We’re coming here to find out why we came here. Sigh. You weren’t “led” here, you ball-cap wearing doofus. You found some litter.|
I was knocked unconscious at this point when my forehead struck my desk, but once I’d woken back up I realized the game had at last revealed his long-secret motivation. And now I wish I could go back to thinking he didn’t have one.
So this is how his mind works. Someone mentions a sanitarium, and so he goes in and endures a gauntlet of fear and misery just to see what’s inside. He finds a movie ticket and concludes that someone is “leading” him to the (no doubt deeply haunted) movie theater. He has no idea what he’ll find or who sent him, but he’s willing to go through all this just to find out. Travis, the things that are wrong with you are beyond the ability of me and my PS2 controller to fix.
What’s this? It looks like someone tossed this McDonald’s bag by the side of the road. Clearly this is a sign that I should go to the abandoned and thrice-cursed meat packing plant on the edge of town. Oh look! It’s a crushed soda can. This means I must travel to the boarded up chemical plant where all those people died. And here’s a cigarette butt. I’ll make a note to stop by the cancer ward in the condemned hospital.
In previous games, Harry Mason was trying to rescue his daughter. Henry Townshend was trying to escape his haunted apartment. Heather was the victim of a complex curse. (To put it mildly.) James Sunderland was deeply neurotic and looking for his dead wife. But Travis’ fatal flaw is that he’s just a great big silly.
|Pardon ma’am, but I’m afraid I just don’t take a shine to you. You’re easy enough on the eyes and all, but you’re crazier than a jackknifed load of football bats. And to tell the God’s honest, I’m already crazy enough for the both of us.|
Travis runs into Lisa the nurse again. She acts disturbingly nutty. Travis counters with some of his more potent Dumb Look Techniques until she runs off. The game rides the line between strange and ridiculous again, but manages to stay just on this side of it.
|When Travis goes through a door the camera is aimed at him and his flashlight is aimed at stuff that’s out of view. You have to move him around a bit before you can work the camera into place so you can actually look at where you are. Bonus points for the rooms where a monster ganks you as soon as you enter, before you can even see what you’re doing.|
Travis does the puzzles, fights the monsters, and runs around in the pitch dark until I get a headache from my eyes straining. Eventually he gets to the boss and does what videogame protagonists do to videogame bosses.
|When the little girl shows up again Travis waves his new pyramid piece at her, “You need these, don’t you?” Yeah, I should hope so Travis. You sure as hell don’t have any use for them, even though you’ve been killing yourself collecting them. So I hope someone in this gameworld wants these MacGuffins.|
Before he leaves the theater, he finds some keys for the motel. He has a flash of recollection and realizes he’s been there before… as a boy. Once again it seems like Travis is stumbling around, doing things at random, and by chance he’s running into fragments of his past. I keep pointing out his lack of brains, but I guess I can’t argue with results.
The next post will wrap this series up.
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