Until Dawn EP8: Clowning Around

By Shamus
on Nov 24, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

So Jess gets pulled out through the window. I can’t wait to find out the killer is a six and a half foot tall bodybuilder that can bash through this window and dead-lift an uncooperative and physically fit subject through the ragged opening without slicing his own arms to shreds. I guess he’s also psychic, since he knew she was going to stop just inside the door to make this move possible.

Yeah, yeah. People keep telling me “it’s all explained later”. Okay fine. The problem is that the story hasn’t given me any reason to believe that any of this is possible. I’ve basically stopped believing in the world at this point.

I think our format is working against me here. I’m watching all of the episodes twice: Once when we record and again when we post. But it’s a week between new episodes for me. This is a lot of scrutiny on a story that’s probably not designed for it, and it’s taking a long time to reach the justifications. Objections that might normally be after-the-fact bits of fridge logic end up nagging me during the experience.

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2020242 comments. (Insert played-out "meaning of life, the universe and everything" joke here.)

From the Archives:

  1. Warclam says:

    Well, an explanation is given. I would hesitate to say that all is explained.

    I’ve only read about the ending though, not played the game. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic. But probably not. It really does seem like the game hasn’t even heard of tone, and if asked about it would say “no thanks”.

  2. el_b says:

    i have a feeling seamus is going to love this game by the end.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    – Can you light the fire?Its freezing in here
    – Durrr,do I have to?Is it really important to you to be in a place with above 0 temperature?
    – Can you close the shutters?Im obviously nervous.
    – Durrr,do I have to?Is it really important to you to be relaxed?
    – What was that loud noise outside?!We are in the middle of the woods,where there could be wolves and bears!What if one of them knocked down something out there?!Can you go out and check?
    – No need to ask me twice!Im half way out already!!Idiot awayy!!!

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Welp,shes dead.And now youll find her with her head cracked open and her brains fingerbanged eaten.

  5. Theminimanx says:

    4:44 Okay, no. Fires are not lit that easily. At least add some old newspapers or something.

    …and Josh says the exact same thing 10 seconds later. Remember kids, never comment before watching the whole video.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Also,even when lit,that stove will not warm that cabin for quite a while.

    • Philadelphus says:

      I spent my teens in a house where 99% of the heating in the winter came from a similar wood stove, and having started many hundreds of fires in my life (in said stove, for clarity), I can say that it is a point of genuine pride for me to be able to start a fire with only a single match, and it only happens after at least 10 minutes of carefully arranging kindling and wood of various sizes in a very specific pattern honed over many years of practice, carefully blowing on the flame to nurture it along without blowing it out, and often a bit of poking and prodding to concentrate heat in the right places to get the logs really burning.

      The way that wood bursts into flames it would have to be soaked in gasoline or kerosene, and while that makes an impressive burst of flame, it usually won’t start an enduring fire on logs that size; it burns up too quickly to heat them up enough to really get going (hence the need for smaller stuff that can burn more easily and also provide more heat to get the big logs going).

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    As someone who has lived with a therapist for a big chunk of my life,and knows quite a few of them,let me assure you:

    Its not a trope.They are all crazy.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,keep in mind that red vision is usually reserved for animals(or extra terrestrials,I guess),so whatever did that thing is most likely not human.Also,keep in mind that these stories are happening at the same time,so whoever knocked out the two in the house is most likely not whoever hunted the two in the cabin.But if they were,they most likely arent human,despite the humanoid appearance.

  8. Grudgeal says:

    Wait, so they’ve been chased through the forest by God-knows-what, met a mutilated deer, the power isn’t on despite the generator, Jess’ trousers are soaked and she may be suffering from hypothermia and yet somehow, their priorities are on cell phones and having sexytimes? Are these people terminally stupid or are my brains somehow differently wired than the rest of humanity? Because my priority at this point would be a) bolt the door and the windows, and stay away from them, b) get a fire going, c) find and prepare defenses, d) change of clothing, e) find food and water, e) hunker down in a defensible room and f) plan for a return to the main cottage during next daybreak.

  9. Awetugiw says:

    It keeps annoying me that these people seem to have very poor peripheral vision. Their field of view should be way larger than then camera’s, but they get surprised by anything that is not onscreen.

    See for example Chris getting surprised by the clown, and also Jess scaring Mike last episode.

  10. Chaotic says:

    I think the problem with this game is that it sells itself as a horror game, when in reality it’s more like a mystery game. In a horror story the objective would be to feel horror, or fear for the characters, but this game is more interested in making the audience puzzle what is going on and try to figure out what’s going to happen next. The problem being that the first genre is more emotional, and the second is more cerebral.

    It’s like if you think you’re watching Candyman, but it turns out you were watching an episode of Scooby-Doo.

  11. Robbert Ambrose B. Stopple says:

    Without going into spoilers here. it’s fascinating to see how much all of you guys hate Chris. I played through the entire game and I liked him overall very much. I guess it’s still a bit to early to fully judge the characters. But one thing I will note is for me the characters turned out to a lot more well-rounded and less jerky than as appear to some you guys.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      You’ve got a valid point there, I definitely felt it was too early to have the like/dislike bit with Peter Stormare too. Since we’ve only had a very limited interaction with the characters, and only some were player-controlled, it does skew your perspective on the characters (I don’t know how much of that is intentional though).

  12. Narida says:

    Is there a download link for “Groove until Dawn”? I really like it.

    Also, everyone preferred Mike over Chris although Mike’s cruel prank indirectly led to the sisters’ deaths at the beginning?

  13. Mersadeon says:

    Yeah, I agree, I think having to wait a week really makes any small question feel big. Normally, you’d see all these and then relatively quickly get an answer (or at least the start of an explanation), like it would be in a movie, but having to wait an entire week AND seeing the scenes in question twice is pretty harsh on that story format.

  14. Christopher says:

    So how would y’all in the comments rank the teens according to how much you like them? No spoilers, naturally. From best to worst, here’s my list:
    1. Mike
    2. Sam
    3. Chris
    4. Emily
    5. Josh
    6. Jessica
    7. Matt
    8. Ashley

    For clarification, I don’t personally hate any of them. It’s a mix of who entertains me the most and who I think is the most decent person.

    I’m also completely in agreement with Jin that Rutskarn is most like Chris. There isn’t a lot of competition there, though. The guy has glasses, which makes him the default nerd. And he jokes all the time. I’m not sure there’s even one person in the spoiler warning cast that isn’t more like him than any of the other teens.

    • Henson says:

      I don’t know who I hate the most, but I think I like Josh the best. He’s just very sincere, if a little dopey, and you can really see him trying to get through a tough emotional situation whenever he talks about his sisters. He means well.

      Sam might become a contender for best, but I don’t think I know her very well yet.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      My list would go from: Famous people I recognise -> other people. With Peter Stormare as #1.

    • Grudgeal says:

      I’ve barely seen any of them for more than five minutes, and some of them only in situations that brought out the worst in them. Like the crew said, I think it’s still too early for a value judgement of any of them, apart from the fact that none of them seem to have any survival instinct (or genre savvy) at all.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      For me, Sam, Ashley and Matt would make the top three — mostly because they haven’t behaved terribly towards others yet. Yes, Matt said some stupid things, but that’s actually mainly because the player made him do it, and he did have reason to be upset. I’ll be upset if these three don’t survive.

      1,2: Ashley and Sam
      3: Matt (really, why does everyone in the cast hate Matt so much?)

      Josh is not in the top 3 because of the way he spoke to Chris about Ashley. That was … pretty close to someone I actually knew who sincerely believed that everything the female gender was good for was exchange of bodily fluids.
      He later makes good in a few ways, so I think he should survive too. Although it wouldn’t be terrible if he did not.

      Chris is the uneasy nerd, so he gets bonus points from me, although I’m not particularly fond of this particular nerd. Then again, most of the stuff he’s done was reasonably stupid, although not in contempt. He probably thought he was just funny.

      4, 5: Josh and Chris

      Mike is just … he’s a superficial dick. Even after the “bear” chase, all he can think of is sex in an unheated dark cottage, while his girlfriend’s clothes are soaked with ice water. In his defense, the game does not seem to acknowledge the effect that would have on a real person but so far he has not shown an ability to think about anything else but sex, so no respect for him. Try to get Jess laid with minimum amount of actual concern for her as a person.

      Jess is actually a good fit for Mike. When she shouted out the door, those were the first words that sounded genuinely heartfelt to me. That would put her ahead of Mike, just a little bit, but then she’s been telling him what to do quite a lot. And only half the time because he wouldn’t get basic decency otherwise. The other half is just because she knows she can get him to do stuff because she’s got what he wants.

      6, 7: Jess and Mike

      All Emily has done so far is to boss Matt around and pick a fight with Jess. She has not shown any charitable thoughts towards anyone else in the group so far, especially not for her own boyfriend.

      8: Emily

  15. Somniorum says:

    Never played the game before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve solved who the killer is. They already foreshadowed it.

    Jessica said that if she lost her phone again, her parents would kill her.

    The clown is her parents.

  16. Christopher says:

    Yeah, yeah. People keep telling me “it’s all explained later”. Okay fine. The problem is that the story hasn’t given me any reason to believe that any of this is possible. I’ve basically stopped believing in the world at this point.

    I don’t think I understand what you mean. For the world to be believeable, did they have to have an intro where whatever is terrorizing them was introduced so you knew what it basically was and could do? I’m not a fan of the genre, but I thought the idea was that something terrible happens and then you spend the whole rest of the movie figuring out what, how, why and how to deal with it(or die trying).

    Example: The walls are suddenly bleeding and you cut yourself on every surface area of your home.You escape from your predicament and read about the house in old newspaper articles, figuring out someone died there messily. You read about ghosts and maybe get some help from another person who was also harassed by a ghost. You and that person go and manage to exorcise the ghost through some personal artifact the dead person cared about. The end.

    I don’t think they have gone particularly out of their way of that setup. It’s just that this is a video game, so the “Bleeding walls part” is stretched out over two hours and the walls aren’t even particularly wet yet. And it could be anything from a ghost to an alien to an unusually spiteful landlord behind that wall.

    • “s stretched out over two hours and the walls aren’t even particularly wet yet”

      Possibly partly due to it being a game rather than a movie. And being interactive rather than passive. (the pacing is a odd mix of freeplay and cutscene).

      Members of the cast of the game expressed interest in doing a movie version of the game.
      All the actors could pull it off (unless they wait too many years), their likeness is used and they did the mocap and their bodies look pretty close.

      A movie would be more like a playthrough of the game, there probably would be a few flashbacks to fill the gap of not having those totems (collecting them let you see a narrated video clip).

      Medium spoiler (do not read unless “the stranger” has done his info dump:
      The narrated video clip almost sounds like it’s a cut cutscene, possible with the stranger standing in the cabin and telling them what he says in that clip.

      A movie (lets say 2hr 30ish?) would have a better pacing as there would be no looking around or walking and no quicktime events so music and sound cues would fit better.

      I really hope they make a movie. (and storywise there is room for both a sequel and a prequel).

    • Pyrrhic Gades says:

      So~, what you’re saying is that Scooby Doo is the pinacle of the horror genre?

      • Christopher says:

        It hardly gets much better than Scooby-Doo: The Movie(uuughrrhrh arrrghhhh bleeeh).

        “s stretched out over two hours and the walls aren’t even particularly wet yet”

        Possibly partly due to it being a game rather than a movie.

        Yeah, that’s what I said in the same sentence. : I

        It’s just that this is a video game, so the “Bleeding walls part” is stretched out over two hours and the walls aren’t even particularly wet yet.

        I would probably not be interested in watching a movie of the game, personally. I think you can totally do it. It’s easier than Warcraft or Assassin’s Creed and most anything else video game related that got movies. But while it’s cool to have a very believable looking point & click adventure horror game with some choice that actually affects the plot, a movie version could be just another teen slasher.

  17. “People keep telling me “it’s all explained later””

    Minor spoiler:
    Well, you can kinda see that something’s not entirely “normal” about whomever pulled Jess out through the window.

    Medium spoiler (don’t view unless you’ve seen the “unmasking scene”):
    It’s at this point the devs set it up so you clearly know that the person that took Jess and the killer aren’t the same person, that way you can yell at the screen during the “shed scene” and say stuff like “Damnit morons, listen to him”.

  18. It’s interesting how they did the consuequences of your dialog and actions affect hoe Jess acts with Mike.

    Mild spoiler:
    How much Jess likes Mike and whether she got wet in the stream or not will affect her state of dress in the small cabin when on the couch.

    I like that, it’s a nice little touch. It does not affect the story overall but it does add spice to the narration the player is creating by erm playing.

  19. Anyone else think that some of the mocap in this game is just awesome?
    Jess’ angry walk from the bedroom to the cabin door looks so natural/believable.

    Higher framerates makes for better animation/motion, at times the 30FPS of the game does have a few issues. Mike’s head/neck movement in the cabin sometimes looked odd, a higher framerate should have concealed that better (I’m guessing the animators had to tweak the mocap for some reason there).

  20. Galad says:

    I’m still confused how to feel about most of these teenagers. I don’t have a good reason to neither hate, nor like most of them.

  21. Duoae says:

    Maybe I’m mis-remembering but I think I had a cockroach crawl over the screen instead of a spider. Is that influenced by the choices with the psychologist?

  22. djshire says:

    Graphical mistake: when Ashley opens the grate to see down into the basement, the candle’s flame remains upright, even though the candle is down at an angle.

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