SOMA EP4: Deputy Unweld

By Shamus
on Mar 30, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I just played through this bit of the game a couple of days ago, and I ran into the same problem I had on my first trip through the game: The normal guidance markers don’t provide enough guidance. The common thing for players is to walk toward the nearest light. But here, doing so can send you into the loop. I found I had to leave the circuit of lights and wander off into the darkness at just the right point to find the next marker on the otherwise invisible trail.

I still don’t have a clear map in my head, but from watching this episode it looks like you need to go towards a RED LIGHT, after the game has taught you that red lights = danger.

As promised, here is a link to TRAINS WITH A ZEE.

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201838 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yup,got lost here as well.And only here.Went in circles for at least 15 minutes.

    Wait…no it wasnt this one,it was the next one….I think….One of the underwater areas.

    • Echo Tango says:

      For me, I think I about doubled the time underwater, from backtracking. Like, if a scene would have been finished by me walking without getting lost in 5 minutes, I spent 10. The really annoying part, was that there were killer monster robots that you had to avoid, instead of being allowed to wander around and comfortably map out the place in your head. Like, the dry sections with monsters before this were easy to navigate, so the monsters didn’t add frustration, but these underwater sections… :S

  2. guy says:

    Freedom of movement is always such a balancing act, and to make matters worse no one agrees where the balance lies. I personally like games best when I can always see the path I’m supposed to take but can wander away from it whenever I want and then get back on it.

    Valve’s gotten pretty good at it, but I kept referencing the walkthrough in Route Kanal and sometimes misjudge which way isn’t a dead end in L4D while a million zombies are after me

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Its not just a common scifi thing,its an oooooold philosophy problem.Basically,if you have a boat that you are constantly repairing,you change a plank here,a plank there,replace the oars one by one,etc,and you do it for a year or so until every single thing on the boat is replaced,is it still the same boat?And what if the boat burns down and you rebuild it to be identical,using the same materials as you would in the previous example.Is it the same boat then?

    • McNutcase says:

      I actually did that with a bicycle once. Started with one bicycle, and over about ten years I bought a succession of similar bicycles for spare parts, and replaced parts one by one. At the end of that time, every single component had been replaced at least once, but at every point in the process, I’d had the same bicycle. If I hadn’t junked the components I had to replace, I could have reconstructed the original bicycle. The technical philosophical nomenclature is the “Ship of Theseus”.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      The application of Ship of Theseus to the actual human mind/body is relatively new and dependent on sci-fi technology, though.

      • Supah Ewok says:

        I mean, isn’t that just an extension of tranhumanism from DE:HR? It’s not exactly a newly born trope, it goes back to the 80’s at least.

        • guy says:

          It’s at least as old as Ghost In The Shell, where the titular Ghost is supposed to be the thing that makes you you, and even that’s questionable.

        • silver Harloe says:

          80s? Philip K Dick was writing about this stuff in the 60s. and it’s probably older than that.
          Whenever I think some science fiction author has done something new, I usually discover some dude in the 40s wrote it as a short story back when magazines were the main distribution of science fiction.

          And if you explained to me how some ancient 2000 year old myth touched on the issue but substituting acts of gods for machinery, I would register zero surprise.

      • Lachlan the Mad says:

        When I said “relatively recent”, I mean “recent as compared to the original problem”. I mean, the original problem is about 2500 years old, the problem as applied to the human body is less than 100 years old.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        It may be new in regards to the body(due to understanding of biology more than sf),but the questions of soul and where we go when we sleep are as old as dirt.

      • hochom says:

        If you really felt like it, you could argue that the human body is constantly replacing its metaphorical decks and rigging and that no part of your body is the same as it was, say, ten years ago. Or if you wanted to be really difficult, you could try to argue that all the new ideas you learned and opinions you changed in the last decade were your mind’s sails and oars. No technology required.

  4. guy says:

    I think the scramble-screen motif is meant to imply the technology has broken down or the message is corrupted. Whether that would manifest in this exact manner on this future-tech tablet is a completely unanswerable question, but it’s an established motif for it.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I can get behind the glitchy images and videos in the game. Videos right now, actually look pretty similar to the types of glitches shown in the game, when they’re corrupted. If your key-frames are damaged, you’ll have crap images that slowly get better as the rest of the frames fill in almost-working data. Similarly, if the non-key-frames are junk, then you get good images that slowly degrade until the next intact key-frame. I can get behind the static images being scrambled too; If you’ve ever had a video card die slowly over the course of several weeks / days, you’ll see some weird shit. :)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Personally,Id rather have the video be pristine,but the screen have a nasty crack on it.

      Or we could say that this video was recorded via skype.That would explain why its so crappy.

    • Hermocrates says:

      The weird thing though is the scanlines. I really hope CRTs are a thing of the past by the 2100s, and judging by the thickness of that tablet they are.

  5. lethal_guitar says:

    Speaking of Doom 3: To me, many of the indoor areas look very similar to Doom 3. Can’t say what exactly it is, I guess the lighting/general brightness/darkness level, but also the style of the environments

  6. Gruhunchously says:

    “I’ve got a lot of little complaints but most of them are pretty minor”

    Oh boy, have we heard that one before. Wonder what they’ll be saying by the end of this season?

  7. garrrrrrrrrrrettttttttttt says:

    The tram at the beginning of hl1 worked pretty good.

    • ehlijen says:

      Apart from dumping you in Black Mesa. Minor issue, but ultimately catastropic…

      More seriously, the vertibird rides in FO4 are essentially tram rides, too. They neither fade to black and cut to arrival, nor do they go horribly wrong.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      It compensated by having you crash a train later on.Though you get to ride it for quite a while before that,especially on your first go when you dont know the layout.

  8. silver Harloe says:

    If writing and voice acting weren’t so darn expensive, I’d think the correct thing would be to have Simon ask different questions based on what he’s read in optional things.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its not really that they are expensive(once you get a voice actor to do lines for you,theres little difference between them doing 100 and 150 of them),but they are complicated.In order to do branching with voice acting youd have to wait until the whole game is complete before even starting the recording of voice overs.

  9. Hermocrates says:

    Trains with a Zed is also one of my favourite one-off Spoiler Warnings.

  10. I’m curious, Shamus, did I incidentally clue you into the Wuss Mode mod in the last episode post or did you come across it yourself? I honestly thought it was something your crew knew about already. Either way I hope you like it. It’s made the whole experience a treat, personally.

  11. MadTinkerer says:

    Regarding Shamus being let go after 265 Experienced Points articles… Is it bad to wish that he had been let go ten articles earlier? 255 would just have been so much more appropriate…

  12. Simon, around 30 million miles, squared. Or 106,400,000 km^2 since you’re Canadian and use km.

    Or in other words, REALLY FRACKING HUGE.

    Perhaps a better question would be that it can’t be that far away since you can walk to it?

    Edited to add, because I’m curious… I know many of us may have strong feelings about miles vs km or fahrenheit vs celsius, but does anyone actually care about metric vs imperial as far as liquids go? I’ve lived in the USA my whole life, I know I learned how the imperial system works re liquids, but man, liters are so much easier. (and yes, the same arguments can be made for miles and fahrenheit but I’ve internalized those in a way I haven’t gallons)

    • Well….. I like my beer to come in pints. :) I’m British but have lived in Germany, Japan and Australia, and it took some time to get used to ordering a drink as a half-litre or a schooner or whatever. When it comes to anything scientific (I’m a chemist), I cannot believe that anyone would use anything other than metric for EVERYthing so it’s litres all the way. However, when I cook I very often use Imperial measurements of lb, oz, pints, etc. because that’s what I learned as a child and I find the ingredients easier to visualise in those units. I don’t know if that makes me odd, though.

      EDIT 1: Also, the book quote at the beginning of this post: http://alessandrorossini.org/2014/11/30/we-can-put-an-end-to-imperial-units/ is mostly my perception of Imperial units applied to anything other than making pastry. ;)

      EDIT 2: I will also confess to using inches and feet in patchwork, but that’s less a choice thing and more down to the fact that the bulk of quilting books, tools and patterns are from the US. It’s possible to find metric tools, but in much less variety and constantly converting if you wanted to use an Imperial pattern would be a total PITA. And if you ever wanted to sell patterns, you’d be foolish to choose metric and risk alienating your largest market.

      • Beer coming in pints was the one thing I could think of that I’d care about changing (as it totally should come in pints but a yard is also acceptable if you want the cool huge glass).
        As a fellow crafter, I feel your pain on the pattern thing. I have a similar problem with knitting needles. The metric sizes allow for more granularity at the smaller end but most patterns use the US system so I end up looking up the conversions for the 50 thousandth time (neither 2.5mm nor 3.0mm exists as a US size, they both fall in between).

        Also, that is an awesome quote and I do agree. I don’t even know what the imperial version of a newton or (attempts to remember another unit from physics, fails to think of anything except electric ones which everyone uses or joule, which I do know). I loved being able to check my answers by breaking down the units, it was really cool.

        • Yes! The elegance of being able to connect quantities through the units used is just…. it puts me in the Happy Place. :) As does knowing that, if I wanted, I could theoretically order a yard of beer. (Actually drinking it all… maybe?)

          Alas, I cannot into knitting to save my life (I have huge respect for people who can do it), but my best friend’s mum created knitting patterns for a living and I understand that the link between yarn and needle size is not casual, so a disconnect between metric/imperial dimensions would be even more frustrating. For my friend’s part, he’s very into machine tools and engineering and gets profoundly annoyed by differences between metric and imperial screw threads – apparently you can get metric and imperial threads that to all intents and purposes look identical, but will mutually fuck each other up because the pitches are different. :/

  13. Nate A.M. says:

    I only comment on youtube because I don’t generally consider myself worthy enough to post here, but I would highly recommend reading the SEP articles on identity, and specifically relative identity, functionalism, and probably the multiple realizability thesis. Others too, but that’s what seems most relevant off the top of my head. A game like Soma is very good material for doin’ philosomancy, and acquaintance with contemporary theory of mind beyond what filters down by way of popular sources is useful if you want to engage with Soma as more than a badass intuition pump. Which is valid too.

    Anyway, back to youtube comment purgatory =P

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