SOMA EP6: Under The Sea

By Shamus
on Apr 1, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I’m really curious about the Catherine Edit of SOMA. I watched a few YouTube videos. Near the end of the game you find yourself in an installation where she inhabits the PA system while you run errands. There are a few other points like the one in this episode, where Simon leaves her running while he does a fetch quest. It’s possible she’s awake for a quarter of the game’s five-hour runtime.

Below are a few more comments on surgery, continuing the discussion from the show:

Josh and Rutskarn both refer to incidents where they were sedated and awoke with the sensation that no time had passed. I didn’t even realize that was possible. That’s actually kind of creepy.

I’ve actually been under general anesthetic five times in my life:

  1. Once as a small child, to have my Adenoids removed / reduced. It’s one of my earliest memories, and it’s mostly a collection of emotions and words. The only image I have is when I woke up in the recovery room and the first thing I saw was a radiator. I wonder if that’s why I have such a negative feeling associated with them, and why I enjoyed pulverizing people with them in Half-Life 2. Probably not. I think everyone enjoyed doing that.
  2. When I was 19, and had turbinate reduction surgery. I wonder if these two surgeries are why my voice has such a strange, muted quality, like my head is packed with wet cotton. I’ve been told my dad had a rich radio voice when he was young. Then again, I sound a lot like my younger brother Patrick, so maybe the surgeries didn’t have any impact on my voice at all.
  3. As mentioned on the show, when I was 20 I was sedated for gastrointestinal endoscopyThat’s just fancy doctor talk for “Stick a camera down your throat”. and woke up during the procedure.
  4. Another “camera looking at innards” procedure.
  5. There was that one time they took my gallbladder, but I already wrote about that.

My point is, I’ve never had the abrupt cut to post-surgery that Josh described. For me it’s always like waking up after a long sleep.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] That’s just fancy doctor talk for “Stick a camera down your throat”.


202020209There are now 89 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. Jabrwock says:

    When I was a kid I had surgery, and the last thing I remember was counting backwards from 10. Got to about 4. Sudden jump to a different room, dead quiet to loud noise settling down to room-level volume, and I was so disoriented I tried to get out of bed, which caused the nurse to panic for some reason and come running over, telling me to lie back down. Maybe she just didn’t want me to get out of bed because I had an IV, but I was still foggy. I went back to sleep and woke up later in a different room, less groggy.

    Perhaps it depends on the anesthetic used, whether you drift off to sleep, or abruptly pass out.

    • Nobody actually knows WHY anesthetics even work the way they do. Being an anesthesiologist is like being some kind of modern voodoo priest. Everyone has a slightly different reaction to them as well.

      Really kinda freaky.

      • Also, I’ve never been sedated for surgery. The stories thereof have not given me any desire ever to do so.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          Beats being awake for surgery ;p

          • Zaxares says:

            Just pray that you aren’t in the small percentage of people every year who wake up halfway during surgery (because the dose wasn’t strong enough, or perhaps your physiology just proved more resistant to the drug than they thought). The worst one is if they’re using two types of drugs, one that knocks you out and one that paralyzes your muscles, and the former wears off while the latter is still in effect. You end up feeling every single cut the surgeon makes, yet you’re totally paralyzed and unable to scream or let them know you can feel everything.

            One silver lining is that the anesthetic a lot of surgeries use (I forget the name) also has the side effect of messing with your short-term memory, so a lot of people don’t remember anything afterwards, even if they did wake up half-way through.

            • Moonlup says:

              If they’re properly monitoring your vitals, the whole awake for surgery but still paralyzed thing shouldn’t happen. I could be wrong but I would really hope that human nurses are able to do what I do regularly for animals undergoing surgery.

            • Peter H. Coffin says:

              And then there’s brain surgery. For which you get a local anesthetic and a twilight drug for the cutting part and then they wake you up. With your skull still open. So they can poke parts until they find the right one.

        • Loonyyy says:

          Some surgery can be undergone with merely local anaesthetic, I had one to remove a tooth that unfortunately did not have an adult tooth behind it, to allow my teeth more time to adjust to the space as a child. Unfortunately, the procedure, and the refusal of the wound to stop bleeding for most of the following day left me with a visceral phobia of blood. I can’t deal with the smell of blood without feeling nauseous.

          On the balance, I’d prefer to have been knocked out like my brothers.

    • Echo Tango says:

      My experience with anesthesia was like Josh’s and Rutskarn’s…which is to say, like yours but without the panic. Part-way through the countdown I’m waking up after the procedure. Thinking back on it, it kind of reminds me of the mind-bendy stuff in the end of Metro 2033, where you’re constantly switching back and forth between reality and illusion.

    • Will says:

      I was anesthetized to have my wisdom teeth removed, and I’m missing a twenty-four hour period. I went to bed at home the night before and woke up at home late in the afternoon after with no recollection of the procedure or multiple hours during the day during which I was ostensibly conscious (though apparently kind of loopy).

      • Trix2000 says:

        This is a lot like what my wisdom teeth removal was like. One moment I’m on a table talking to the doctor, then a small dip (like I was blinking) and I’m suddenly in another bed in a dark room (notable considering I’d just been in a bright one seconds ago from my perspective). Oh, and my mouth felt really empty all of the sudden.

        I didn’t have any other lapses of consciousness or memory that day that I know of, but then I ended up just going home and then sleeping for a while so perhaps I just missed out on the possibility. Either way, that missing period while I was out was one of the weirdest experiences of my life.

        • Jakale says:

          Similar here for my wisdom teeth. I was in the chair, they had hooked me up and was starting the countdown or whatever and then I was sit-sleeping on the couch at home. I think I went back to sleep, but after I got up and asked how I’d gotten back and found that I’d walked under my own power I was weirded out that a chunk of time that I was awake for was completely gone from my head.
          The year after that my little brother got his wisdom teeth out at the same doctor, so he got home and was walking and conversing normally, meaning you wouldn’t know he’d been drugged if you didn’t already know, and then went to sleep and I asked him if he remembered anything after he woke up and he said no.
          So I kinda now sympathize a little more with the characters in plots where they black out and later learn they did something in an altered state because of how unnerving that is when you aren’t being hunted or punished for whatever you don’t remember.

      • I was not completely under general to have mine come out (deep sedation? I forget what it was called) and for several years I had memories of bits of the surgery, like them breaking out to get it out. Didn’t hurt, just felt weird. Wasn’t scared or anything, just kinda went so that’s what that feels like.

        Now all I have are memories of the memories.

      • Aanok says:

        Is it very common in the US to go under general anaesthesia for wisdom teeth extraction? I had mine taken out a few years ago, but it was always local. And the first one at least took about an hour of surgery.

        • Not full general, but certainly more than just lidocaine and nitrous. I believe they call it putting you in twilight? I had to go to a dental surgeon rather than my normal dentist to have them out as they were cut out early.

          Lidocaine and the gas are for cavities, or at least that’s what my dentist does, but they do ask about the gas (except for me because I’ve gone there forever and they know I want it).

    • Richard says:

      Similar experience here. Was 19 and had gotten into a car accident. Was sent into surgery to have the pieces of the passenger side window removed from my face. They put the mask on and told me to count backwards from 100.

      “100, 99” and suddenly I was in regular hospital room. I was really looking forward to having some sort of vivid drug-induced dream like I saw in so many TV shows and movies, too.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You wouldnt want your robot to simulate all the bad hormonal stuff,like irrational fear.HOWEVER,simons brain was scanned with the precise purpose to simulate how he would react to various treatments in reality.So it makes sense that his simulation would simulate all of the stuff that his body does to his brain as well.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      It’s a very fine line between irrational and rational fear, to the point that I’m not sure you could get rid of one without losing the other, and fear itself is a very healthy survival mechanism.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Fear and pain are useful,true,but they arent that well designed.They both warn you about danger,yet so often negate your higher thought processes,the very thing you need to deal with said danger.Not to mention that they can so often flip out,and seriously injure you or cause you to die.

        • This is because the parts of your brain that create fear and pain are older than the part that does the thinkins. SUBSTANTIALLY older.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            When you say “the parts of your brain that create fear and pain are older than the part that does the thinking” I imagine something like “Inside Out” by way of Lovecraft.

            Also, can I just say that whenever we get into this kind of talk I can’t help but be weirded out in the most amazing way? It’s kind of freaky but awesome how we have all these systems in our brains (and to an extent in the rest of the body) that work together and at the same time against each other and not only do we manage to get through the day but we actually maintain (or claim to/have an illusion of maintaining) a sense of self… We think too big, we think our self is one whole thing/And we claim that this collection has a name and is a being…

            • Benjamin Hilton says:

              It gets even crazier when you get into the mental yoga your brain does called Kinesthetic Projection. This is a mental trick whereby your brain expands it’s mental image of itself to encompass any tools you may be using at the time. The easiest way to think of this is when driving a car. If you are driving and have a near miss you think “That guy almost hit me” not “That guy almost hit the car I am in.” This is because when you are driving, your brain changes its perception of self to be the entire vehicle. Crazy stuff.

              For a better yet still simple explanation, Extra Credits did a video on this and how it relates to games a few years ago.

              EDIT: This is also why hearing someone in fiction say something along the lines of “He trained with the sword until it became an extension of his body.” isn’t actually that weird. As far as your brain is concerned, once you pick up a sword it is already an extension of your body.

              • McNutcase says:

                This is why I used to hate driving my wife’s car. It was shorter, wider, and lower than mine, and had me in a different spot within the car. She’s since changed cars, and the new one is almost exactly the same length, width, etc as mine, and I’m far less uncomfortable driving it.

                I still dislike that hers is front-wheel-drive, not rear-wheel-drive like mine, but that’s not a huge deal like it being the wrong size was.

            • Richard says:

              The really, really crazy thing is that your “self” is at least half a second behind reality.

              Several studies have been done that indicate it takes that half second to assemble your conscious perception of the world.

              All the things you do that are faster than that are done by the unconscious, semi-autonomous parts of your brain. Your conscious mind then assembles a story about what happened…

        • Matt Downie says:

          Fear shuts down the higher brain functions, which is exactly what you need for certain types of dangerous situation. A hungry hyena? You need to size up the situation immediately and hit it with a club, run away, or freeze and hope it doesn’t notice you. The parts of your brain that tell you how to construct coherent sentences would be a mere distraction.

          The problem is, those instincts are pretty useless in modern life. Fear of public speaking does not merit the same response, but it takes a lot of work to persuade your brain to shut down the fear and let your conscious mind handle the situation.

    • guy says:

      I’d be inclined to design in the capacity for everything if possible but also install a way to switch some things off if the robot decides to

      But also I’d ask what the goal here is: do you want a robot that is a duplicate of a person or do you want a robot to do a job? Because for the first you want everything possible except things voluntarily trimmed or suppressed, while for the second you want to cut everything that doesn’t make the robot better at that job.

      • nerdpride says:

        What if the robots aren’t actually a good scan of the people? What if Catherine adds a bunch of weird stuff intended only for the computer fantasy land? I remember in some Star Trek movie, I think Generations, Kirk wanted to feel fear. It seems like the main point of the brain scanning is that the robot chip does everything possible to think its fully human, no other goal as important. It was weird when Simon’s arms changed to the diving suit arms and it shows perception gets processed somehow.

        I get the impression a lot of things aren’t working the intended way and that the ARK project or whatever it was was sort of taboo before the apocalypse thing happened.

  3. Zoe M. says:

    Personally I’ve had it both ways, as far as waking up is concerned.
    The most significant was after an hours-long body-correction procedure I am *very glad* I didn’t wake up in the middle of. I remember drifting off (I think I tried to thank my surgeons multiple times) and woke up – very gently. It took me a few moments to be aware of what had happened, or that everything was now over. It was what I’d describe as a blissful awakening. (Followed by weeks of pain, but that’s another story!)

    The most recent other way was after my own adenoidectomy – a much more hurried affair where I was put under (a standard breathe-into-this-mask affair) and when I woke up I had gauze in my nose, and it was like no time at all had passed.

    I can’t for the life of me tell you why one or the other happens though.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      I’ve had it both ways even with normal sleep. Most of the time I can feel myself slowly drifting off then slowly waking up. However I also have vivid memories of sleep where as far as my perception goes I would swear that I literally blinked my eyes once, and upon opening them the sun had suddenly come up.

      Also as an aside being ripped directly out of REM sleep by a loud noise is one of the most heart pounding and disorienting feelings of my life.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I had a time skip sleep once when I was around 12.I woke up,looked at the clock and saw that it was 7 am or so in the morning.There was no school,so I decided to close my eyes and count myself to sleep.1..2..3..4..5..6.Then I decided to open my eyes,and it was past 1pm.That was the weirdest sleep I ever had.

        • Benjamin Hilton says:

          Hmm, I was also very young when it happened. I wonder if it’s possible it’s age related.

        • Lachlan the Mad says:

          I also had something like that at around the same age. I was on a road trip with my family, and I was super tired. I remember lying down on my bed in the motel, closing my eyes, and opening them to find my dad shaking me awake and saying that it was nearly check-out time and I needed to pack my stuff.

          • nerdpride says:

            I had one like this too, when I was young. It was the last day of school before summer. I was a typical youngster hating grade school, so very excited to be done with it. Somehow I fell asleep while the teacher was talking and suddenly she shook me awake and said to go home. I must have been so bewildered but I don’t remember much after that.

            My favorite sleep at night is the “time travel to breakfast” kind. But it doesn’t always work out like that.

    • Hermocrates says:

      I can’t for the life of me tell you why one or the other happens though.

      Chances are, no doctor could either. Don’t let this scare you from surgery, but anaesthetics are one of the least understood medical procedures, even by medical scientists.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I was under once,and I had the same experience as Josh.Im in the room where they are prepping me,they tell me to count down,my vision suddenly freezes,and Im suddenly in a completely different place.Not something I would like to experience 5 times in under an hour.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah the reactor.That one not only annoyed me,because of the confusing layout you have to navigate while being chased,but also pushed my inner nerd to the breaking point.How do you overheat a nuclear reactor submerged into frigid water?In fact,how did this reactor even function down there?

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      The nuclear reactor is probably a sealed system, and the temperature wouldn’t make much of a difference so long as the coolant is still liquid. What you sabotage is probably the coolant flow pump, or maybe the turbine (or both? My knowledge of nuclear power plants is limited). Without adequate flow of coolant the system should shut down (assuming the failsafes are still working). Mind you, I would have thought the seawater would have corroded a lot of the equipment down there, so you’d assume that the power would be off.

  6. Warclam says:

    I’ve been under general anesthetic twice, and both times I had a jump discontinuity. This includes the time when I woke up, for which I have no memory at all. I clearly remember staring at the anesthesiologist and wondering when it would start working (I’m partially resistant) and then she turned it up and I was being wheeled out to the recovery room.

    I also feel perfectly lucid as soon as I wake up, but that’s clearly false. The first time I was playing cards with my sister, using both hands to hold them, and it took me like 20 minutes to notice I had an IV. The second time, after I went home, a bird hit the window right in front of my face and I barely noticed.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ugh,wisdom teeth.I had them removed with local anesthesia.All four of them(two on one day,the other two a month or so later).It was horrible.Even though there was no pain(save for the needle going in to administer the drugs),sitting in that chair for an hour*,feeling the vibration of the saw in my skull,smelling the burning of bone being cut,and then repeating it all after a half hour break was just awful.

    *All four of my wisdom teeth were growing horizontally,which is why I had to have them removed.Plus,my teeth are somewhat tougher than normal.And its genetic.My dad still has all four vertical wisdom teeth in his jaw.Which have caused a bunch of his other teeth to fall out before he hit 40.

  8. tzeneth says:

    I’ve had general anesthesia, I believe about 6 times. Four of those involved Wisdom teeth removal. 1 the doctor didn’t like my breathing and didn’t continue with the surgery, 1 for the top 2 wisdom teeth with anesthesiologist present, and then individual surgeries for the other bottom 2. I also had some nasal surgery to help with the breathing and one stick a scope to look inside my body. For me, every time always felt like I was waking up from a regular bout of sleep with the general tiredness that follows. The fun part is that after the teeth surgeries I had spotty memory afterward which is a side effect of the specific chemical they used for anesthesia.

  9. Mephane says:

    Not gonna talk about any specifics of the procedures I have had in my life, but I have both experienced several full general anesthetics (through inhalation) and local anesthetics, and both are weird in their own kind.

    I still distinctly remember effects of the general anesthetics, which are quite comparable to how some people would describe doing mind-altering drugs. The smell of the gas, how the world begins to spin, the sounds become distant and get a strange, deep, reverbing character while all the voices melt into a single stream of incomprehensible pulsating sound, while my mind fade away in a rhythmic back and forth ever closer to unconsciousness. “The walls are melting” is a bit like I would describe it, except more like “everything is melting”.
    When I awoke, it was always like from a deep dreamless sleep, so I have not experienced any kind of sudden “no time has passed” moment.

    Local anesthetics is equally weird, in its own kind. I got to experience what I suppose was something fairly modern, where you get a two or three local injections and then the area becomes completely numb in a few minutes. Well, that’s not the weird part. The weird part is that area being worked on while you feel what is happening only through tension and vibration propagating through tissue and bone to neighbouring areas that are not numb, a bit like being pressed against an inanimate object that is being worked on (with quite some mechanical pressure in one case, more gently in the other case), except I know that inanimate thing is still me, just deactivated.

    In my case the latter was a rather limited, local affair, but I do know that they can do something similar through the spine, where they basically shut down your entire body below the location where they inject, and then can do some really heavy stuff while the patient is awake the whole time. It’s common procedure for all kinds of artificial joint implants, for example, but I shudder at the thought of being awake through that kind of long procedure.

  10. I had a GA aged 10 for an eye operation. I don’t remember what it was like going out, but I remember waking up, trying to open my eyes (yes, agony) and then throwing up copiously. No sense of a time jump that I recall. I’ve also had two gastrointestinal endoscopies. The first was under sedation and they gave me enough to flatten me when I started to wriggle. I woke in a different room, but it was just like waking up from a sleep during which some bastard had sandpapered your throat. The other endoscopy was without any sedation at all. Trust me, you WANT sedation. :s

  11. INH5 says:

    When I got my wisdom teeth removed, they put me under using an IV. Like Josh and Rutskarn, I woke up feeling like no time had passed, but the weird thing is that while I remember them inserting the IV and telling me that I would be out in a few minutes, I have no memory of actually falling asleep/passing out. I assume that is because whatever drugs they gave me interfered with short term -> long term memory conversion the same way that large doses of alcohol sometimes do.

    • Daniel England says:

      I had a similar thing happen towards to me when I got my Wisdom teeth removed. They put me to sleep with an IV and then I “woke up” towards the end, though I couldn’t feel anything, but I could hear the doctor and nurse chatting and using equipment. But I don’t actually remember falling asleep and I had no idea any time had passed when I became conscious. So I was rather surprised when the procedure ended, like, 5 minutes later.

  12. Cinebeast says:

    I also remember a similar experience when I was put under to have my wisdom teeth removed. I think it’s the same even when the sedation is organic, though. A couple of weeks ago I passed out while I was on the toilet and busted up my nose. The weird thing was, from my perspective it was like no time went by at all — one second I was just sitting there, the next my face hurt like hell.

    It wouldn’t have even occurred to me that I’d passed out if I hadn’t looked in the mirror and seen the injury on my nose.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I think that depends on how long you are passed out.I fell from a balcony when I was a kid once,and hit my head on a concrete edge.Then I was having “an outer body experience”(basically I was dreaming what my senses picked up but the brain couldnt consciously process).Then I woke up,and my head hurt like hell.But it was at least 4,5 hours that I was out cold.

    • guy says:

      That may be a seizure; they aren’t always dramatic thrashing and can often be completely unnoticable, blanking out in place for a few seconds.

      • Soylent Dave says:

        “Blanking out in place for a few seconds” would be a petit mal or ‘absence’ seizure; it’s generally not combined with loss of muscle control, and even when it is, it would only very rarely be enough to cause the person seizing to fall over.

        The opposite of that would be an atonic or ‘drop’ seizure, which results in the individual falling down – but only very, very rarely is that associated with any loss of consciousness (the muscles just ‘switch off’ for a few seconds, then switch back on again…)

        Fainting / passing out is normally just fainting (syncope), and can have loads of – almost always benign – causes (low blood pressure is the most common one).

  13. Soylent Dave says:

    When I last had surgery (under General Anaesthesia), I closed my eyes while the anaesthetist was counting, then re-opened them in the post-op room (I think, there were people in masks telling me it was over), then blinked and I was on the ward with my partner.

    I’m not entirely sure how aware I was that time had passed, if I’m honest. I distinctly remember that *blink*, but I was also in a fair bit of pain so that’s the bit I remember more clearly.

  14. SlothfulCobra says:

    There’s a thing that happens to some people where if they wake up in a hospital being manhandled by strangers and having all sorts of weird equipment around and being hooked up to them, they go a little crazy. I’ve heard it called ICU psychosis. It sure as hell doesn’t help if they were undergoing trauma when they lost consciousness in the first place.

    I was told the last time I had to go through a hospital adventure that I bit one of the nurses, which I fully believe, even though I have no memory of anything that went on between passing out and waking up in a bed.

  15. Mersadeon says:

    I have quite a few problems with sleep, and that leads to sleep sometimes feeling either like a smashcut or time being twisted. It feels very discomforting to wake up after what feels a single second, only to see your room in the daylight when you just saw it in the dark.

    And to the anaesthetics thing: I was once put under when I very young (I can’t remember it). I’m told that I finished a sentence when I woke up that I had begun when they put me under (and it wasn’t friendly).

    • Mersadeon says:

      Eh, damnit, can’t edit anymore. Well, I just wanted to add that I also had my experiences with too large amounts of alcohol, and that can lead to really scary occasions where you don’t have the feeling that time has passed, yet something has clearly happened due to a change in surroundings.

  16. Lachlan the Mad says:

    I’ve been under general anesthetic three times; twice as part of an ongoing spinal operation, and once to have my wisdom teeth out. I have two funny stories and one depressing one from these operations:

    1. I wake up in recovery, feeling happy but super-duper hungry. As soon as the nurse walked past, I asked him for something to eat. He said the kitchen was closed. I said, “oh, okay, can I have something to eat?” This repeated several times until he promised to go off and find something. He brought back an awesome-looking plate of spag bol, which I ate about three bites of before I felt full.

    2. That was the biggest operation, so everything felt really bloody painful. Nothing funny there, really, just loads of pain.

    3. I wake up in recovery, and whenever someone walked past, I would mumble “Teeth all gone?”, because that was the best way I could think of to articulate the question.

  17. Quent says:

    In the chase scene there are some red lights that show the way to the escape shutle

    • Trix2000 says:

      I was going to say… they’re kind-of subtle, but I noticed them pretty quickly just from the video.

      I don’t think I can blame anyone for missing them, though. They’re not exactly bright (the lights I mean, not people :P).

      • Echo Tango says:

        They also seem to not be in a simple, continuous line along where you need to go. Like, they’ll be lighting your hallway, but continue for a meter or so past the left-turn you’re supposed to take. Then they don’t start up again for like, half a meter on the new hallway you’re supposed to be running down. Given those two things, I can see how people could easily get lost in this sequence. (I still haven’t made it to this part of the game. Too spooky, and too many annoying robots. ^^; )

  18. Ledel says:

    I’ve been under general anesthesia a few times. For me almost every time it felt like I was falling asleep for a power nap; where it felt like I was asleep for only 5-20 min, but I was actually out for several hours each time. A couple of the times I woke up after, had conversations/other activities, then went back to sleep and I have no recollection of any of it.

    There was one occasion where I apparently stayed “awake” for several minutes after being given the anesthesia, but that time was also lost to me from memory. It’s a weird feeling having people tell you that you went straight from nervous joking to lighthearted joking, but having no memory of any of it even if it was only a few hours ago.

  19. silver Harloe says:

    You do realize you’ve got that song stuck in my head now? The sad part is: I don’t remember anything from the song *other than* the basic melody and the crab singing “under the sea”… so there’s a lot of “under the sea, under the sea, doo da doo dee” on repeat. argh.
    You bastach.

  20. Somniorum says:

    Those don’t-look monsters… I’ve never played this game, and it would probably get kind of annoying, but I kind of like the idea. Watching Josh walk around looking at the floor – it’s a very childish thing, you know? I’m not calling Josh childish, I just mean, the monster taps into a sort of child-logic of “it can’t hurt you if you can’t see it.”

    When I was a kid and I woke up at night from a nightmare or whatever, and crept into my parents’ room, every time I was *certain* I saw a hazy green apparition of a dog a short distance in their room. I’m sure it was just my imagination or something, but I was very confident it was there, and even though it wasn’t *mean* or anything, I was scared of it. So, walking into their room, I would *carefully* look down at the floor and away kinda, and creep by where it showed up.

    These monsters, it reminds me of that. That’s kinda neat. : )

  21. Neko says:

    That’s your solution to everything, go live under the sea.

  22. topazwolf says:

    Oh yes, getting wisdom teeth out. I had the joy of having six wisdom teeth (two of which were impacted in my skull) taken out under sedation. I woke up later to full consciousness but it wasn’t like teleportation. I had snatches of sounds, smells, and colors indicating that time had passed and a general lack of details. This left a kind of notable void in my memory. I know time had passed and things had happened, I was just unable to remember what. Very disconcerting since I have a photographic memory. I kind of think I would prefer the awakening by teleport instead of walking around for several days feeling like I forgot something.

    • The number of stories here relating to wisdom teeth make me cringe in sympathy and also feel profoundly glad that mine were never any trouble. I may not have lots going for me, but good teeth is not something to take for granted! :o (Seriously, I’m nearly 36 and I have the sum total of 1 filling – and I got that only about 6 years ago.)

      • guy says:

        I’ve had my wisdom teeth grow in fine too.

        On the other hand, the first ever time I visited the dentist they told me I had a bunch of cavities that needed filling. Then they gave me a root canal and told me I was awfully whiny for a routine filling.

        • The rule of thumb for wisdom teeth is that they can tell if they’re going to be a problem by the time you’re 15 or so and if they are, GET THEM OUT ASAP.

          Had mine out at 15, other than vague memories (mentioned in another comment), no issues at all. My mom had to wait till she was 25, and they almost had to break her jaw getting them out. I kinda look at it like having a lithotripsy vs passing a kidney stone. If there’s a good chance the sucker’s going to be an issue, the surgery/procedure is less pain than the sucker’s going to cause. (Note: a lithotripsy is this cool procedure where they put you under a local + valium and use ultrasound + x-ray to break up one or more kidney stones into gravel in your body. Never passed a stone, never want to, hear it’s awful, had the lithotripsy instead)
          edited to correct spelling

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Except getting them out asap works only if they are properly aligned in the first place.If they are completely horizontal,like mine were,cutting them out is your only option.Also,you have to pray to god that you arent one of the “lucky” few who get 3 sets of teeth in their lifetime.

            • Oh, mine were cut out. Not enough room in the jaw, likely to turn around and start growing back in like my mom’s did, ect. Ate mostly cheese grits for an entire spring break. Just the sooner you can get them cut out, the less time they have to start doing bad stuff. Mine hadn’t even started to come in, really.

  23. Zantaros says:

    I don’t know for certain if I’ve had any instantaneous sleep-awake jumps, but I seem to remember something like that from when I was a child.

    I was laying in my bed looking at the window, and it was pitch black outside. Then, suddenly, sunlight came through the window while I was still looking at it. My mom then came into my room to put something in my closet, and told me it was morning. I remember confusedly swearing that it was nighttime literally one second prior, then concluding that I fell asleep with my eyes open and instantly jumped to waking up in the same position.

    Granted, I had dreams at that age that were life-like enough that my brain filed them down as actual memories, so this may have never happened at all.

  24. Kelhim says:

    Shamus, after six episodes I finally realise that you’ve made the ending theme yourself. Not having read the full ending credits before, I thought it was a piece of Kevin MacLeod again. Nice!

  25. As a person who generally takes at least an hour to go to sleep (if I manage it at all, damn insomnia), I hate all you insta-sleepers. Even going under general after two nights of no sleep wasn’t instantaneous. Gradual drift-off, gradual come-back to fuckowwww.

    I suspect part of it’s my overactive brain, part of it’s the redhead genes that make some drugs not work so well (I need 25% more opiate than normal, for example, according to my genome which my PCP had analyzed to see what drugs we should try first and what we should avoid), and um, the rest is a mystery. And of course, your genes are only one part of how well you handle a medicine. My genes say percocet is fine, my digestive system says “STRIKE!”, I say “not allergic, but stops digestive system causing more pain than it kills, can I have something else please?”

  26. Had to go under for the first time when I was 10, right in that sweet spot of youth to be both completely terrified of doctors and complacent of their authority. When they popped the mask over my mouth and told me to do the deep breaths and count backwards, I just focused on how I felt to distract from what they were going to do to me (they were going to be operating…in a place I would rather they not operate…). I got to zero and was quite awake, but my legs felt numb. Someone grabbed the mask and put it over my head again, and I pushed it away again and tried to speak…and about 5 – 10 seconds of pure terror followed.

    A hand grabbed mine, slammed it to the table and then a pile of hands gripped every extremity I had and held them in place while the mask was pressed down so hard, the green paper-pillow my head was put on popped out from under me and my noggin dinged against the metal table. There was another few seconds of blurry screaming from me and I got a leg and arm free to grab the mask.

    Then I woke up and had about a half hour to feel confused before the drugs began to wear off and I had to endure what I can say without any hesitation the worst physical pain I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. That lasted a couple days.

    Worst. Christmas. Ever.

  27. Okay, thoughts throughout the episode…
    I doubt he’s feeling as we do, more likely using sensors in the suit that are giving his simulated brain the same signals as we’d get from our nerves. (note, not entirely sure what Simon is other than some sort of robot as I haven’t played the game)
    And as far as not simulating fear, there would be a couple drawbacks. First, you’d expect it. I’d be kinda freaked out if I wasn’t afraid when I should be. Second, fear concentrates the mind on survival wonderfully. Not so useful when you need to go make a speech, damn useful when dealing with monster fish. It’d be more useful to simply put better controls on “the fear protocol” so that it only activates when there’s a chance of significant damage to host or human.

    Okay, if the entire surface of the Earth burned, how is anything still alive close to the surface of the ocean? Isn’t the top ecosystem of the ocean based on phytoplankton that wouldn’t be getting solar energy with that much smoke in the atmosphere? So seaweed and barnacles how? I’d expect the ecosystems based around thermal vents to be fine, but anything based off solar energy should be, well, boned.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Fear works wonderfully when it is working properly.But when you freeze in front of a speeding car,freak out while the lifeguard is trying to save you from drowning,freak out when you see that you are bleeding,panic and flail around when your car drops in a body of water,….then fear is a pretty stupid instinct.And thats not even going into silly phobia stuff,like hyperventilating when you get in a small closed space,or getting dizzy/fainting when you climb up something.

      The main problem with fear(and basically our whole unconscious brain)is that it didnt evolve much,and is pretty shitty at learning.

      • Hence a) wanting it to only happen in the proper circumstances, and b) I’d probably run a bunch of tests to make sure the fear impulse wasn’t counterproductive in that particular brainscan if possible. If it is counterproductive, disable the fear impulse and hope the scan can cope with no fear.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Okay, if the entire surface of the Earth burned, how is anything still alive close to the surface of the ocean? Isn’t the top ecosystem of the ocean based on phytoplankton that wouldn’t be getting solar energy with that much smoke in the atmosphere? So seaweed and barnacles how? I’d expect the ecosystems based around thermal vents to be fine, but anything based off solar energy should be, well, boned.

      Did you just “What do they eat?” Soma? Well done.

      You’d likely have more problems with dust than smoke, but yeah, the whole solar foodchain should be gone. And given that it’s a year after impact (no, not enough time for dust to settle and the solar foodchain to somehow repopulate) even the deep sea ecosystem would end up drastically rearranged as a result of the upper ecosystem dying and no longer sending its products to the deep sea.

      • Yes, yes I did. Of course, you could make the argument that Simon’s seeing what he expects to see underwater, which would be seaweed and stuffs, and might also explain that really badly drawn rib cage (if he’d only seen rib cages in games), but I kept thinking, “wait, firestorm, basic nuclear winter scenario, right? Dust blocks sun, no photosynthesis, plants die, and the Lisbon sank while this was happening so those plants shouldn’t have grown.” I was willing to give the scenes around Pathos the benefit of the doubt since I have no idea what dead seaweed in place looks like (maybe it’s still green, I dunno, I haven’t had any coastal bio classes since 9th grade and that was on the ecosystem of the GA coast), but the Lisbon just broke it.

      • Tom says:

        The game does make some effort to acknowledge this. It can be missed, but charts and logs in the research labs indicate a sudden dying off of underwater organisms coinciding with the event. That is, until the WAU steps in and starts “helping”… then suddenly there’s a rapid rise in population levels again.

  28. Tom says:

    Some people say Catherine has the easier ride throughout the game. I’m not so certain. Given the particular experiences Simon has during the game, particularly when he has to swap diving suits, is it not possible, if not quite likely, that we are actually killing Catherine every single time we take that damn omnitool out of its receptacle, and creating a new instance of her when we plug it in at the next terminal we come to?

  29. Zagzag says:

    Is there any chance you could put the credits music you made for this season on your Soundcloud, Shamus? I don’t see it there already.

  30. Sunshine says:

    I think the real question Simon should be asking about the WAU is “How does an AI manifest itself in black tentacles and pulsating sphincters? And why, just why?”

  31. Ryan says:

    I’ve been under general anesthesia a handful of times for corrective surgery on a deformed ear I was born with.

    Each time I’ve had that same, “Counting down from 10 to around 4, jump-cut to a recovery room feeling perfectly fine” experience.

    Unfortunately, in my case the “feeling perfectly fine” portion only ever lasts until I first try standing up. Notably, it’s always when I first try standing, I can sit up, wave my arms around, etc… with no problem. As soon as I stand up though, I immediately feel horribly nauseous, collapse (hopefully back onto my bed, because I grew to expect this), and then spend a couple hours doing my best to puke out everything I’ve ever eaten… which is also somewhat impressive considering I was always required to go hungry for a day or so beforehand.

    A couple hours later though I’d be right as rain!

  32. Jsor says:

    I have to wonder if they use different types of general anaesthetic for different purposes. For my Wisdom Teeth I had Ruts’ experience where it was like an awkward smash cut to walking out after, then suddenly home. When I had a throat cam like Shamus, I had the “thousand year sleep” reaction.

    I can’t remember what it was like when I got a tube in my ear.

    Some of it may have to do with the setting afterwards. After getting your Wisdom teeth removed they kind of just send you out with whoever drove you there as soon as you’re awake enough to limp out. After you get a throat scope they let you wake up in the hospital bed and chat with you about the results after you’re lucid.

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