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#1 | Back to Top03-27-2013 12:50:15 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031
Website

The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

At least one other person has indicated to me that if I started a thread about this game, they would be interested in posting about it or discussing it. That's enough for me!

The Path is an experimental horror "game" made by Tale of Tales. All credits here to Frosty, who introduced me to the game. It's loosely based on Red Riding Hood; you have six characters, and you are directed to "go to Grandmother's house, and stay on the path." It's heavily atmospheric, intensely analytical, and definitely worthwhile for any player who likes to involve themselves emotionally with the games they play.

Featuring a discordant and often disturbing soundtrack by Jarboe and Kris Force, the game itself is a little simplistic, but at the same time, every detail featured is one that has been perfected to the utmost ability of the makers. Body language, symbolism, music, and direction-- all of it has been carefully considered for effect.

The reason I put "game" in quote marks is because although it has some of the trappings of a regular game (fetch quest(s), collection bonuses), it is not meant to be played like a traditional game. Rather, it is an experience, an emotional journey, and if you're not willing to fall in love with a bunch of pixels on a screen, you shouldn't be playing this "game".

From here on in, this is a spoiler-filled zone. If you don't want spoilers, don't read the thread-- and I cannot encourage you strongly enough to play unspoilered! Trust me, I regretted the few spoilers I found!

http://ohtori.nu/forumstuff/path/ThePath-boxart.jpg



All right. Now that all of the people who haven't played yet are gone, let's talk. First of all, we know the creators have said it's a game about growing up. My question is, how do the Wolves work as experiences that force the girls to grow up?

I'm going to focus on Ruby, since she was the one I identified with most. Ruby, to me, is someone who is fascinated by, and somewhat despairing of, the tendency toward decay. Although she professes to enjoy the idea, her enjoyment is something I recognize as a part of the way I deal with the inevitable-- convince yourself that you enjoy it, because there's no way you can stop it.

Ruby's Wolf is the man in the playground. I remember someone on another forum pointing out two things I hadn't noticed on my first playthrough-- that the Wolf dragged a rolled up carpet through the woods at the beginning of his scene, and that he had dirty hands. Ruby sits down on the bench with her Wolf. He offers her a cigarette, and she takes it, although it's clear by her body language that she doesn't smoke and this is her first time trying it.

From there, we're treated to her ending scene. I'd have to replay or rewatch on youtube to see the exact specifics, but the main thrust of what I gathered from it was the car crash. I'm not going to assume, as others have done, that she's killed in a car crash-- for my own reasons, I prefer to believe that she survives. It's about growing up, not dying. I believe that Ruby's Wolf symbolizes the choice to go along with others-- cars are, as in SKU, a symbol of perceived adulthood. One is adult when they can drive a car, even if they crash it. Ruby wants to gain adulthood for herself, and so goes with her Charming Wolf (the soundtrack name for his track) in an effort to do so, and comes to grief in the process. Perhaps her choice was the wrong choice. Actually, that's almost unnecessary to say, as the entire idea of the Wolves seems to be one of bad choices that nevertheless make you learn and grow. Her choice was the wrong one-- her car crashed, symbolically speaking, and her choice to go along with her Charming Wolf was "wrong". But for her, it was a necessary choice.

But why was that? Why was her choice necessary or "wrong" at all?

I believe the key lies in acting older than you are, and trusting others around you to determine what maturity is. Ruby made one bad choice with her Wolf (smoking) and was later led into other bad choices, on the assumption that being grown up would somehow stop the decay of the world around her from bothering her and entrancing her so much. (I'm projecting here, of course. That's the point.) Everything dies. Being indifferent to your own death is only sensible. That's what maturity must mean, right? Being content with the idea that you might die at any time, and that others will hurt and mourn for you. If you think this way too long, you come to believe it's desirable, and lose your sense of caution.

I believe Ruby experienced something that stripped away her indifference to death, and that is what her Wolf represented-- the tearing away of the belief that decay is all we can aspire to.

Who was your favorite character? Who caught your heart? How did you feel when you had to let her go to her Wolf, if you knew what would happen? What do you think happened to her, and why?


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#2 | Back to Top03-27-2013 02:14:21 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

In a game based on Little Red Riding Hood, it's easy to want to read violence and death and rape symbolism into everything.  But I think you're right that the red girls don't die.  They aren't even all injured.  They all survive a tragedy.  But tragedies are diverse.  They aren't even always experienced as tragedies.  Sometimes a tragedy is just when you realize you don't believe something that you used to believe.  On which more later.  There is a better word for what I'm talking about than "tragedy," but I can't remember what it is.  Not exactly catharsis, not exactly denouement, not exactly epiphany.  Sort of in the Venn intersection of all four of those words.  The idea that this is a game about growing up, which I think is true, invites us to put a word like "maturation" in that intersection.

I've only played the game once, and I have nothing to offer except the sort of guided intuition that this game encourages.  I feel like I don't know anything at all about Scarlet -- the first girl I chose, before I understood how the game worked.  Most of what I found out about Scarlet is what's true of everyone: if you don't find the wolf, you fail.  The object of the game is to grow up, which involves tragedy.  So you have to go looking for tragedy.  I loved what I was told when I saw that Failure screen: "You know where the wolf is."  Of course I do.  The wolf is in the woods.  The time I failed was the emotional high point of the game for me.  Now that I think of it, maybe that's absolutely appropriate; the emotional high point for each girl comes at the moment when she learns something important by doing "the wrong thing," so why shouldn't the same be true for the player?

Trying hard not to read violent symbolism into everything for no good reason, the only girls who I think had brushes with death are Ruby and Robin.  I think they were injured badly enough to bleed.  Carmen may have bled for a different reason, and Ginger bled for yet another reason.  I don't think Rose bled, though I think she probably felt more pain than most of the others.  I don't know about Scarlet.  And the white girl is a mystery to me.  I don't think she belongs.  We don't get a name.  I suggest Blanche.

I liked the game quite a lot, but oddly, I didn't strongly connect with any of the red girls.  I think I liked Blanche better than any of them.  I was going to say we know the least about Blanche, but I don't think that's true.  We actually get a lot about Blanche.  She is at home in the forest.  She does cartwheels and hangs around dangerous places with impunity.  (At least I think so.  I'm almost certain I ran into her more often in interesting places than in blank forest.)  She will play with some of the red girls -- definitely Robin and Ginger -- but she doesn't seem to like others -- Ruby.  And sometimes, if you are patient, she will walk you back to the path.  This only happened to me as Rose.  But she, or someone who looks identical to her but with red clothes, is Ginger's wolf.  And at the end she is presented to us as a granddaughter like the red girls.  Only she doesn't have a wolf, and she can see all the bedrooms, and her last bedroom is the one that's a failure for anyone else, but it's not a failure for her.

So what is she?  Is she a wolf?  (Or the Wolf?)  Is she a benevolent or malevolent Peter Pan creature who tries to keep the red girls from growing up by leading them back to the path?  Is she Grandmother?  Or some kind of shrine girl charged with administering the rites of passage?  I would say she might be something different for each red girl, but because she becomes a player character, she must be something on her own terms as well.  It seems incongruous with the cartwheels, but something about her seems very hard to me, almost to the point of malice.  The expression on her face, I think.  She knows what's going to happen.  My gut feeling is that she is the one whose job it is to clean up after the red girls' deflorescence.  She is the part of the red girls that is responsible for letting them move on.  She is the huntsman, and she cuts them roughly out of the wolf's belly so that they can keep living after tragedy.  She is hard because she has to be; a huntsman is kind of like a midwife, and she has to be inured to suffering.  And her dress is stained red at the end because she killed the wolf in Grandma's room -- the room where the player fails -- in order to let the player move on.

If I'm right, then Blanche herself never had a wolf, because she isn't a person; she's a part of people.  For some reason that's the most important thing about Blanche to me: whether she has already faced her wolf, whether it's not time for her to face her wolf yet, whether she never had a wolf, or whether Grandmother's house is itself her wolf.  I think she never had one.  She faces a lot of wolves, but none of them are hers.

Another time I'll write about one of the red girls.  That's actually what I had planned to do when I started writing this post.  But Blanche is what needed to come out.

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#3 | Back to Top03-27-2013 02:18:38 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

The word I was looking for was catastrophe.  (Merriam-Webster: "the final event of a dramatic action esp. of a tragedy.")

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#4 | Back to Top03-27-2013 07:56:23 AM

Kexx
Miki Molester
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 03-01-2013
Posts: 33
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Hey, I've had an interest in this game, but I've seen it compared to Dear Esther, which was a game I really didn't like. Have you played DE, and if so would you say it and The Path are similar?

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#5 | Back to Top03-27-2013 11:53:50 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I haven't played Dear Esther, so I couldn't say. emot-frown

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#6 | Back to Top03-29-2013 12:03:31 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I replayed Scarlet to see if I could understand her better.  I kind of do.  I still don't know exactly what her deal is, but at least now I suspect what kind of person she is, what her internal tension is.  She's interesting.  I like her.  Anyone who has only played the game once should go back and replay the first girl they chose.  It's a little tough because you've already picked most of the gold flowers, but with what you've learned about how to play and what the game is about, you'll understand her differently than you did the first time.  Blanche, by the way, doesn't exactly go looking for Scarlet, but if you hang around her long enough she'll still lead you back to the path.

But I thought I would talk about Rose, who I think I like best of the red girls.  I mentioned that none of the red girls really hits on all cylinders for me, and Rose is no exception; I can't quite bury myself in Rose like Yasha can in Ruby.  The thing about Rose is that she's got an interesting relationship with innocence.  She's not innocent like Robin is innocent.  She knows that death is a thing that exists and will happen to her; in fact, she thinks about it a lot.  But unlike Ruby, she seems to have no trouble keeping it in perspective -- quite the opposite.  "The cycle of life and death knows no beginning and no end."  Nor does she stop there; she personalizes the world, talking to clouds, imagining herself as a bird in the woods.  She's in love with everything around her, a real eleven-year-old hippie.  And it's important again here to distinguish her from Robin.  Robin is in love with the world too, but unreflectively; her innocence is located in being mostly oblivious to abstract ideas, like the idea of danger.  Rose, by contrast, is alive to the world -- its possibilities, its permutations -- and she has concluded that it is mostly a comforting place.  Or that she can twist away whatever bits of it are not comforting by focusing on a different perspective.  In this way, Rose is actually quite a lot like Ruby, only exactly the opposite.

But there is a boundary to Rose's ability to make the world shiny, and that boundary is the ground.  She loves talking about the air, but she twists away from talking about what is underground or buried, resorting to magical thinking rather than see this part of reality.  Her key locations are a bathtub, a well, a grave, and a lake.  I think this speaks to a deep terror of death that her rosy attitude belies.  She can't deny that death exists, and she has elegant poetic ways to explain why the idea of death is beautiful -- but when she finds a skull by a grave, she buries it.  She doesn't want to look at it.  The fact of death is very different from the idea of death.

That's where her wolf comes in.  The scene at the lake is where something latent in Rose comes out: a deep-seated escapism.  She finds this lake shrouded in fog, like clouds come down to earth.  She fantasizes that she can float back up with them, escape the ground, get far far away from the part of the world she doesn't want to look at.  She rows a canoe to the part of the lake where the fog is thickest and tries so so hard to float away.  It doesn't work.

That alone might be her catastrophe.  It might be enough that she finds out that she can't get away, that she's trapped on earth, that she's not actually an unbound spirit who can be anything, can be eternal.  She wouldn't fully understand why she feels so devastated, she wouldn't understand that it's related to death, but I can see her crouching in that canoe crying for hours because she can't be part of the fog.

I say that might be all there is.  But there is another possibility.  It's raining at the lake.  There is a lot of water in Rose's story; even part of Grandmother's house is flooded, and she swims through underwater rooms.  It may be that, far from floating away with the fog, Rose capsizes her canoe -- maybe, carried away, she tries to leap into the fog -- and winds up in the cold, dark lake.  There is a poignant irony in what must happen next: terrified, she has to dog-paddle through the rain and fog back to shore, to the earth that she was trying to escape from in the first place.  Getting back to shore must be so bitter, spitting up water, desperately clutching that fathomless dark ground with its secrets.

Either way -- whether she actually came close to death or not -- Rose's catastrophe is disillusionment.  She can fidget with permutations and perspectives, she can imagine a beautiful universe, but she can't escape the fact of the world.  Philip K. Dick wrote, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."  In that sense, Rose discovers that there is such a thing as reality.  This is maybe the most awful catastrophe I can imagine, which is why I wrote in my last post that I think she is hurt more than most of the other red girls.

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#7 | Back to Top04-01-2013 03:59:00 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I think yours is the most sensible interpretation of Rose that I've ever seen. I have seen, however, other theories including a very well-thought-out interpretation of Rose's circumstances and her Wolf as sickness, perhaps a mortal sickness, and her catastrophe being her confrontation of her own fading mortality. I choose to believe that Rose lives, but nevertheless, I did like this other interpretation as well.

I figured you'd like her best out of the red girls. She's gentle, and it reminded me of you emot-smile


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#8 | Back to Top04-01-2013 04:07:02 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Yasha wrote:

I think yours is the most sensible interpretation of Rose that I've ever seen. I have seen, however, other theories including a very well-thought-out interpretation of Rose's circumstances and her Wolf as sickness, perhaps a mortal sickness, and her catastrophe being her confrontation of her own fading mortality. I choose to believe that Rose lives, but nevertheless, I did like this other interpretation as well.

This is the same as what I said. emot-smile  The only difference is how imminent Rose's death might be, which is a very small difference.

Last edited by satyreyes (04-01-2013 04:08:15 PM)

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#9 | Back to Top04-02-2013 08:34:29 PM

HonorableShadow
Thorn of Death
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 487

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I liked Ginger's storyline best, though Ruby was my favorite girl overall (mostly because she ran the fastest, which was refreshing! I thought her comments were amusing too.) While I was playing, I thought Ginger's wolf was opening her eyes to her own sexuality, and that she might have a preference for girls. She plays with the girl in red (a seductive color vs the usual white the girl wears) in the field and there's a bit of innocent flirting going on - the girl covers her eyes playfully (or maybe creepily, depending on how you view it), then they run around, and the girl trips and pulls Ginger down with her and then they just lay there together. Ginger seems kind of ashamed when she's walking to Grandma's house, maybe ashamed of what she and society would say? 

Well, I read some other interpretations online and needless to say some people had vastly different thoughts on it than mine. emot-tongue But I think I'll stick with my interpretation, I liked it.

Last edited by HonorableShadow (04-02-2013 08:36:37 PM)


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#10 | Back to Top04-02-2013 10:10:21 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I think Ginger definitely has some kind of sexual awakening, but I read it as menstruation.  She's the right age, and I don't know how much more clearly they could say "menstruation" than by having her dance with a girl in red in a field. emot-biggrin

I liked Ginger a lot, right after Rose and Scarlet.  I see her as a tomboy who is in absolutely no hurry to grow up and have to fit into society.  (She may even have some social phobia.)  Menstruation is traumatic for her as a symbol: she has to become an adult, and specifically she has to become a woman, with all the social baggage that entails, and she didn't ask for any of this.  But of course what I really like is that the girl in red is Blanche wearing a different set of clothes.  It's like Blanche is what parts of your mind look like when they're made manifest.  The white dress is for pulling you out of the wolf's belly, and the red dress is for being the wolf inside you.  They could just as easily have built another character to be Ginger's wolf, but they didn't, and I thought that was a nice grace note. emot-smile

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#11 | Back to Top04-03-2013 12:37:23 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

satyreyes wrote:

This is the same as what I said. emot-smile  The only difference is how imminent Rose's death might be, which is a very small difference.

It's my bad wording, to be honest. I wanted to post but at the same time I've been fighting with my damn meds again so everything comes out a little different from how I mean it. Stupid sleeping pills.

The difference is that the other theory hinged on Rose having an actual disease; not just that she was aware of mortality, but that she was in recovery after a bout of terminal illness that was probably going to kill her (and the supposition about her boat ride was that she drowned herself rather than die of her illness, or succumbed to her illness while boating on the lake). They even brought up symbolism and "literary" (are video games literature?) analysis to support the theory-- things like the structure of her wolf containing musculature/veins when there was no real reason to do so if this is a purely spiritual experience for Rose.

Shamelessly stolen screenies-- linked for huge, because I don't want you to miss what (little) detail there is:

http://ohtori.nu/forumstuff/path/rose_wolf2.jpg
http://ohtori.nu/forumstuff/path/rose_wolf3.jpg

As for Ginger, I kind of had a different take on it which, although it's gender-biased, I think might also be solid. I don't know. But I'm sure as hell gonna throw it out there! emot-keke To me, Ginger's Wolf seemed like betrayal, or fear of it. Not only the betrayal of her body changing and becoming feminine, but the betrayal of a friend due to the attitudes and social pressures that young girls often fall victim to. The pressure that girls are under to be what is societally considered to be feminine-- which, very sadly, in our younger years tends to translate into backstabbing, lying, and social manipulation. Almost any group of girls that age is absolutely filled with subtle verbal dominance games, betrayals of the "oops I told your crush you liked him and now he hates you I'M SO SORRY (lulz)" sort, and verbal and nonverbal "fights" to determine social rank.

When Ginger has to accept the world of the feminine, she has to accept that shark pit as a part of her life as well. Regardless of her wants, it's a world she has to have contact with, and though the friend she makes might be a kindred spirit in that sense, embracing contact with others means it is inevitable that she will meet with, and be hurt by, the horrible things young girls do to each other.

(Side note: Fortunately, many of those girls grow out of it... but where boys are encouraged to have their social rank contests more physically, girls aren't encouraged to haul off and hit each other to establish dominance. In fact, that would be an instant loss in the social game. Also, I know this is biased, but it's the world I grew up in emot-keke I'm so glad things like that are slowly changing.)

I also found another instance of analytical fodder! The Forest Theme, found here, has lyrics! (I strongly urge everyone to buy the soundtrack! It's fantastic!)

Don't let the wolf into your bed
He'll take your soul then eat your head
Inside the honey hollow space
Licking his fingertips of cake

He brings the whirling deep in your heart
Then sings as twirling demons of dark
To take you down beneath the ridge
To where is found his silent bridge

Still is the water green and thick
He'll drag you under with his stick
See flaxen gold floats there through the mist
He killed someone's daughter with his wick
An arm with grey skin bobs slowly in the pit

No don't let the wolf creep in your door
He'll take you in sleep to his chamber of horror
Are you dreaming?
No use pleading
Are you dreaming?
He'll soon be feeding


(Wolf's Voice)

AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
AND I WILL EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!
EAT YOU!


Gonna keep my thoughts to myself private for the moment, as they're not past the gestational stage.

To change the subject YET AGAIN... just gotta share this one review. I've never seen anyone miss the point this badly in my entire life. Well, maybe I have, but... man.

Each girl has three specific locations they can visit within the forest. It will take a lot of time to find them. In one of these three locations the “wolf” will be waiting for you. I should point out that in only one of the six cases is there an actual wolf. The others are all sexual predators in one form or another that rape and beat the girl.

For example, one girl’s wolf is triggered by interacting with a rowboat. Here you get on the boat and row around. Then a cloud comes down from the sky, takes on a humanoid form and plays with the girl, whisking her into the sky with a twirl and a flair of artsy farsty-ness.

Then the screen goes black and when it comes back on, the girl is lying in the rain, beaten and injured and obviously raped.

I think I'm just glad he didn't interpret Robin's Wolf as a rape too. emot-rolleyes

Need a good fanwork to take that image out of my head... clickie for biggie emot-keke

http://ohtori.nu/forumstuff/path/path_fanart_thumb.jpg


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#12 | Back to Top04-03-2013 01:05:02 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Yasha wrote:

satyreyes wrote:

This is the same as what I said. emot-smile  The only difference is how imminent Rose's death might be, which is a very small difference.

The difference is that the other theory hinged on Rose having an actual disease; not just that she was aware of mortality, but that she was in recovery after a bout of terminal illness that was probably going to kill her (and the supposition about her boat ride was that she drowned herself rather than die of her illness, or succumbed to her illness while boating on the lake).

So it's about how she came to such an acute awareness of death, I guess.  I think you were very smart to suggest originally that most of what we're doing is projection, because without that I don't think we know much of anything about Rose.  There might be better and worse interpretations -- her ending is probably the most opaque of the six, which is what lets the critic below misinterpret it so badly -- but whether she has a terminal illness that precipitated this episode I don't know.  That said, I don't buy at all that she died.  I don't think any of them died.  I could buy that she attempted suicide and failed, but not that she succeeded.  For her to die would be too easy.  She wouldn't have to grow up to do it.  What takes courage is living while accepting death.

Offhand, the forest song feels like a non sequitur to me.  It evokes the canonical Red Riding Hood, not the one we have in front of us.  Certainly its narrator is not the narrator who tells us that not finding the wolf is a failure.

Then the screen goes black and when it comes back on, the girl is lying in the rain, beaten and injured and obviously raped.

I want to make fun of this critic, but I had to suppress my own impulse to interpret everything as violence and rape too.  It's what you go in expecting to see, because it's a Red Riding Hood story and everyone knows that Red Riding Hood is about violence and rape, and in a game that requires projection the way this one does, it's easy to see what you expect to see.  I think there are compelling reasons to think that's not what this game is about -- for example, if all the red girls are hurt the same way, why are there six of them? -- but it's not like we're working from a whole lot of text here.  Scarlet is happy to find the phonograph record in the forest because, and I quote, "I like this interpretation."  I think that's what it comes down to.   emot-smile

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#13 | Back to Top04-03-2013 06:11:36 AM

HonorableShadow
Thorn of Death
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 487

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

As for Ginger, I kind of had a different take on it which, although it's gender-biased, I think might also be solid. I don't know. But I'm sure as hell gonna throw it out there!  To me, Ginger's Wolf seemed like betrayal, or fear of it. Not only the betrayal of her body changing and becoming feminine, but the betrayal of a friend due to the attitudes and social pressures that young girls often fall victim to. The pressure that girls are under to be what is societally considered to be feminine-- which, very sadly, in our younger years tends to translate into backstabbing, lying, and social manipulation. Almost any group of girls that age is absolutely filled with subtle verbal dominance games, betrayals of the "oops I told your crush you liked him and now he hates you I'M SO SORRY (lulz)" sort, and verbal and nonverbal "fights" to determine social rank.

When Ginger has to accept the world of the feminine, she has to accept that shark pit as a part of her life as well. Regardless of her wants, it's a world she has to have contact with, and though the friend she makes might be a kindred spirit in that sense, embracing contact with others means it is inevitable that she will meet with, and be hurt by, the horrible things young girls do to each other.

I like that interpretation.  emot-smile Makes sense, with the other girl acting like she wanted help up and then pulling her down.  Ginger likes playing games with toys, but she's a pretty straight forward person when it comes to other people, so she doesn't like playing societal games.  In one of the rooms in Grandma's house, she shrank down until she was the size of the toy soldiers under the bed so it's possible she felt like she was being played with by someone else.

I read the menstruation interpretation, and maybe that's what the creators were going for, but to me it kind of felt like an odd fit when compared to the rest of the girls' wolves.  The rest of the girls met their wolves as a result of straying off the path, but in Ginger's case, she would have met her "wolf" whether she had strayed off the path or not, given time. So to me, that explanation alone didn't fit as well.

Last edited by HonorableShadow (04-03-2013 06:12:36 AM)


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#14 | Back to Top05-09-2013 11:59:45 PM

purplepolecat
Atlantean Singer
From: Vancouver, B.C.
Registered: 03-26-2007
Posts: 570

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Just "finished" my first run through. I enjoyed reading the analysis in this thread. Here are my thoughts:

The visuals, music and characterizations were amazing, and really drew me in; however when I finished I felt I was missing the sensation of prevailing over adversity that I usually get from a game. "Game" isn't really an accurate description of what The Path is anyway.

I want to know more about the rolled-up carpet that Ruby's wolf dropped. You can't interact with it. What is its relevance? Was he dumping a body or just an unwanted rug? Both are illegal, so why would he hang around smoking with teenage girls afterwards?

I had the hardest time seducing the lumberjack. Admittedly it's not really my area of expertise. I found it funny that near the lake, Carmen fantasizes about going swimming and being spied on by a handsome woodsman. Her reality - "I'm going to drink this bald guy's beer, steal his hat, and then screw him. Once he's done with his trees." Everyone needs to have flexible standards.

I think Ruby's car wreck is in her past, and might be the reason she has the leg brace.

Yes it occurred to me that after the meeting with the wolf, all the girls look like they may have been raped. Then I thought, "Great, I'm playing a game where you take little girls into the woods to get raped". I'm glad that this is not the only accepted interpretation.

Piano teachers are ALL perverts.


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#15 | Back to Top05-14-2013 11:53:09 PM

Yasha
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From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Yeah, that rolled up carpet is super weird. I think you're supposed to assume there's a body in it, whether that makes sense or not. I was actually reminded of an acquaintance's story about finding someone who had OD'ed and rolling them up in a rug and hauling them to a dumpster because she didn't want the cops to know she had been there... oh highschool. emot-keke

Anyway, because of that I never thought of the rug as containing anything but a body. I heard Carmen could actually interact with it though I don't know what she says about it.

I actually had never thought of rape, because the first girl I had picked was Robin, and hers was the actual wolf. So when she showed up, I was all like "dude mauled by a bear emot-gonk"

The next one that I did was Carmen... and that one is definitely not rape. The noises in that ending sequence are definitely consensual noises. So I guess that had me thinking it wasn't anything so crude as rape, but rather something that violated the girls' sense of self.



Ruby's ending is the Akio ending. TRUE STORY!


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#16 | Back to Top05-15-2013 12:19:50 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Yasha wrote:

I actually had never thought of rape, because the first girl I had picked was Robin, and hers was the actual wolf. So when she showed up, I was all like "dude mauled by a bear emot-gonk"

I liked that about Robin's ending.  I think it actually is as straightforward as "Robin learns that not all animals like to play."  Age-appropriate life education across the board in this game.

Ruby's ending is the Akio ending. TRUE STORY!

"You hold an ocean in your heart, don't you?"
"Yes.  But its waters are too bitter to sustain life."
"And yet you are admirably comfortable there."
"Totally.  Fish are posers."

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#17 | Back to Top10-19-2013 07:35:06 PM

Like_Autumn
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Registered: 07-18-2007
Posts: 639
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Um, hey guys. I got two of the remastered Utena DVD sets so I decided to visit again.

Anyway, I LOVE The Path. All of the girls are interesting to analyze, and the game draws me in when I play with its atmosphere. It's so hard to pick favorites. I think Rose, Ginger, and Scarlet, but I like Ruby and Carmen too. The character designs are interesting. I actually really enjoy playing as the girls. I was able to see them as characters and not just symbols (though they have a strong symbolic value too). Their body language and thoughts make them so emotionally resonant. I didn't want to lead Rose to her wolf for the longest time. I kept putting it off because I wanted her to be innocent forever. I must have spent the longest time with her. I played the girls in order of youngest to oldest. My favorite interpretation with Rose is that she is dealing with a terminal illness or suffers from cystic fibrosis. I think Scarlet had dreams of being a musician but had to give them up because of her family responsibilities.

I can see why some people look at animations during the rain scenes and think it's about rape. However, one of the developers is female and designed the game to be about the experience of being a woman at different stages of life. Of course, the game has many interpretations beyond that. She would not make a game that is nothing more than a rape of girls. It's a very shallow interpretation.

I used to spend a lot of time on the Tale of Tales forum discussing interpretations with other players. I love how we're given just enough that we can fill in the blanks with our own interpretation.


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#18 | Back to Top10-19-2013 08:29:59 PM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

You know, I've been waiting for an excuse to post in this thread again, because a couple things blipped on my 'The Path' radar. First,
http://s10.postimg.org/5nrxfot4l/red.jpg

a lovely fanart, sent to me by the lovely lady who introduced me to the game, Frosty.

And second, Gio and I watched the movie Innocence last night, and we really couldn't stop comparing it to The Path. I suppose it's because both of the works are very strongly related to innocence and the loss of it-- in The Path, it seems like every Wolf you meet is another loss of innocence. And in Innocence... well, it explores more about what that innocence is and how it's lost. I highly recommend that movie to anyone who liked The Path.

Just gonna say again, my favorites were Rose and Ruby. Ruby most of all... I can very much identify with feeling that death is inevitable and trying to see it as beautiful.

I did very much like the interpretation of Rose as being ill. So many things in her "story" seemed to point to that. Her fascination with death was quite different from Ruby's, but it was still there.

As for Scarlet... I honestly hated her when I first played through. It was only after thinking about it that I realized the parts of her that I hated were the parts that seemed the most to me like the things you say to yourself to stop yourself from dreaming of the future.


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#19 | Back to Top12-17-2013 10:13:14 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Gods forgive me.

Blood and Roses

“I'm here, Grandma!”  Rose pulled the door of the old house shut behind her and scurried eagerly down the hall and into the bedroom, and there was Grandma.  She was sitting propped up against her pillows.  She held out her arms and Rose ran and hopped onto her bed.

Grandma was very old and Rose thought she was very beautiful, with her silvery hair and dark eyes, and the wrinkles around her mouth that made her lips pucker a little, even when she wasn't about to kiss you.  But Grandma did kiss Rose.  “I've missed you so much, my dear,” said Grandma, as Rose squirmed into a comfortable sit next to her.  “Now, tell me, did you stay on the path the whole way here?”

“Yes, Grandma,” said Rose.

“Really?  You didn't leave it even once?” asked Grandma.  She was teasing, Rose could tell.  Even though they hadn't played this game for almost a whole year, Rose remembered her part exactly.

“Okay, we stopped at Pizza Hut,” admitted Rose with feigned reluctance.

“Pizza Hut?  That sounds like a dangerous place for a little girl!  Were there any wolves at Pizza Hut?”

“I didn't see any, Grandma,” said Rose, stifling a giggle.

“But while you and Daddy were at Pizza Hut, a wolf could have come into my house and gobbled me up!  How do you know I'm not a wolf in disguise?”

“Well, you don't have big eyes,” said Rose, and she ticked it off on her fingers.  “You don't have big ears, you don't have big teeth...”

“And most importantly?”

“Wolves –” and Rose fell apart into laughter.  It was a long time before she could gasp out, “Wolves can't talk!”  And Grandma's crackling laughter joined Rose's own.

“Very right, dear,” Grandma said at last.  “Wolves can't talk.  And a wolf couldn't ask you if you'd please go to the kitchen and bring out two big mugs of tea!”

The tea was there, in Grandma's pretty china teapot under the tea cozy.  Rose poured out two cups very carefully and put in a little sugar from the bowl.  The tea was a little cold.  Rose wasn't sure if she was allowed to use Grandma's microwave, so she brought it out that way, and if Grandma minded then she didn't complain.  It was still delicious tea.

“Thank you so much, dear,” said Grandma.

That reminded Rose.  “Thank you for letting me visit, Grandma.  Dad says thanks too.”

“It's a pleasure to see you, sweetheart.  I'm glad you came.  You know your dad has to work twice as hard now.”

“My dad was thinking of you.  He said he thought you might be feeling lonely.”

“Is that what he said?”  Grandma took another delicate sip of tea.  “He always was a nice boy.  I always said so.”

“Dad isn't a boy,” Rose pointed out.  “Dad is a man.”

“What do you think the difference is?” asked Grandma.

“There are a lot of differences,” said Rose.

“Name one.”

Rose thought about it.  “Well, for one thing, I don't think he plays Red Riding Hood with his grandma anymore.”

Grandma smiled, and even her teeth looked wrinkled.  “That's probably part of it.  I don't think your dad even has a grandma anymore, and I think that's part of it too.”

Rose took a long sip of lukewarm tea and held it in her mouth for a while.  It tasted more bitter the longer she held it there, until finally she swallowed.  “Did you know there are birds that live in family groups forever?” she asked eventually.

“Crows,” said Grandma.

“Some woodpeckers do, too,” said Rose.  “Some of the young stay at the nest with their parents, to help raise their brothers and sisters.”

“Do they really?  That's amazing!” said Grandma.  “You know a lot about birds, Rose!”

“I read it on the Internet,” said Rose proudly.  “I look up birds on Google all the time.”

Grandma pointed to a bookshelf across the room.  It was an old-fashioned wooden bookshelf with spiral carvings on the corners.  “Would you bring me a book, Rose?  It's on the top shelf... yes, use the stool, dear, and be careful... it's a red book called the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to Birds.”

Rose wasn't sure how to spell Audubon.  It sounded like a kind of car.  “Is this it?” she asked.

“I can't see it very well,” said Grandma.  “Bring it over here... ah, yes, that's the one.  Open it up right to the middle.”

Rose opened the book.  There was a dusty smell, the same as the smell at the school library, where Rose sometimes went by herself after classes.  Inside the book were glossy pictures of birds – three on each page.  They seemed to shine under the light from the lamp on the bedside table.  “They're beautiful,” marveled Rose, running her finger over the page to find the names.  “This one especially.  That's a goldfinch.  I saw one at the park.”

“I want you to have the book,” said Grandma.  “It's a present.  You can check the birds off when you find them.”

“Thank you,” said Rose.  “I will.”  She meant it, too.  She would put the book at the top of the stack by her bed.  On an impulse, she added, “People have given me a lot of books lately.”

“Ahh,” said Grandma.  She set her tea on the table, and Rose saw that the mug was only half empty.  Half full, she corrected herself.  Her own mug was not full at all.

“I think it's because of Mom,” Rose continued.  “It's very kind of people to want to help, but I'm okay.”

“You looked scared at the funeral last September,” said Grandma.

The funeral.  “She shall obtain joy and gladness,” the pastor had said, “and sorrow and sighing shall fly away.”  But they had put the urn into the ground.

“It's okay to be scared,” said Grandma.  “I'm scared too.”

“I'm not scared,” said Rose, keeping her voice steady.  “It's beautiful when you think about it.  Her soul is in Heaven now.”

Then Grandma looked straight at Rose.  “Why is that beautiful?” she asked.

Suddenly Rose did feel afraid, just a little, in her stomach.  “Grandma, I don't think you're supposed to say things like that.”

“I'm serious.  Why is it beautiful if her soul is in Heaven?”  Grandma's lips curled back in what might have been a smile.  “Wouldn't it be better if her soul were still here, so she could love the people she cared about?”

“It has to be beautiful,” said Rose.  “Because it's forever.”

“Woodpeckers don't last forever,” said Grandma.  “They die even more quickly than people do.  Do you think that makes them less beautiful?”

“But their families last a long time!” said Rose, much more loudly than she had meant to.  She realized she was clutching her empty mug very tightly, but she didn't set it down.

Grandma nodded.  Her lips puckered.  “You're right,” she said.  “The way the members of their family go on caring for each other, even after someone dies, that's beautiful.  All those brothers and sisters pitching in... just like when I was your age.  Of course, you're an only child, but you have your father.  It's just like how you and your father are taking care of each other now.”

“But Mom – if she isn't in Heaven, then she's just underground!  She's not just ashes in an urn!  She worked so hard – I loved her so much –” Rose trembled all over.  “You're going to die too, you know!  How would you like it if I said you were just ashes in an urn?”

Grandma reached out.  Her hand cradled Rose's hand, which was white-knuckled and still cradling the mug.  “My sweetheart,” she said, and there were tears in her eyes –

And Rose was crying into her shoulder.  Grandma was crying too.  A few drops of tea spilled from Rose's mug onto Grandma's pillow.

“I need you to remember this, Rose,” said Grandma, one hand resting against the back of Rose's head.  “Never say death is beautiful, because it's not true.  People die who we love, and it's terrible.  But the world keeps spinning.  Woodpeckers survive other woodpeckers.  When one rose dies, there's another rose to replace it.  Death isn't beautiful.  Life is beautiful.  I'm so happy I get to be alive, with you, for now.  I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Grandma,” wept Rose, muffled, into the red cotton bathrobe.

They lay that way for a long time.  Grandma's cup of tea was still on the nightstand, half empty, half full.

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#20 | Back to Top12-22-2013 04:01:41 PM

Calamity
High Tripper
Registered: 06-13-2010
Posts: 244

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

I know I've been gone for some time but it definitely makes me happy to come back and see a topic based on the Path. etc-love Over the years I've seen a lot of folks jump so quick to calling the game a rape simulator and I guess I never really got that impression myself. Sure, after the wolf encounters each girl is a bit worse for wear but I took it as a sort of metaphor for what life can do when it comes to those hard lessons. I still haven't beat it myself and thus haven't seen Grandma's house for each girl but Carmen's most definitely stuck with me (*love* the music). She was also my first chosen girl though, so fantastic first impressions.

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#21 | Back to Top12-31-2013 10:37:39 AM

Yasha
Bitch Queen
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 6031
Website

Re: The Path - a game by Tale of Tales

Satyr, that was gorgeous. etc-love


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