[IFComp 2012] Eurydice

Eurydice, by anonymous, is a game about death and for those of us left behind. Celine has committed suicide, I think, and I am left behind. One screen mentions that she participated in ECT – electric convulsive therapy, which is often recommended for severe depression, mania, and catatonia. The game deals a bit with bereavement and the oddity and difficulty of sharing (or not sharing) your grief with tohers, and then goes into the greek myth portion of the game. [Eurydice, in greek mythology, is the wife of Orpheus. After her death, Orpheus mourned so much that the gods told him to get Eurydice back from Hades. Orpheus travels to the Underworld, gets the girl, but fails to obey don’t-turn-back-rule and loses Eurydice back to Hades.]

I liked this one quite a bit at the beginning. The narrator is believable, and I love the language the narrator uses to create the setting and the other characters.

>l at patterns
The carpet is the colour of sand, as though the room has become a tideline, washed clean of its cockleshell memories and mermaid-hair dreams.

>look at things
It’s just stuff, the accumulated detritus of a life lived heedlessly.

I found a minor spelling errors scattered throughout the game  (i.e., the painting renders two mistakes: obscence and artisic) and some grammatical errors (most common: lacking question marks and periods in the necessary places). I really wish that these minor errors had been corrected before this game was published.

There are some other minor issues and more details that could have been fleshed out. In the living room, for example, you can neither look at the bottle of port, or the game of go. Or in the kitchen, with the counter tops, tiling, onion skins, ETC. In the last scene with Celine, almost nothing in the description is “look-able.”  Showing things to people gives a standard “unimpressed” response. I think I’m nitpicking the details, the spelling, and the grammar because this really could have been a great game with corrections.

Regardless, the author did do a great job, and I do truly love the language. Here is another pretty piece, from when I first played the lyre and had a reaction:

A sudden surety takes possession of your fingers and they dance seemingly of their accord across the lyre strings as if they find them familiar.  Music floats across the still evening air, honey-sweet and sad.  You play to the neglected grass and the uncharted sky, to the inconstant breeze and the fading light.  Even the snake lifts its head, and sways entranced.

There are some differing opinions about this game. Some love/hate the mythology piece, and then hate/love the reality piece. I loved speaking to the others in the house and found this to be a very real, very relate-able scenario. I also quite enjoy the greek myths, and the combination of the two lent the game, in my opinion, a quite lovely way to cross a fine line between worlds.

I found the Flowers ending first (Celine is left behind in the underworld but I know it was all real). Then Friendship ending (telling Charon, the ferryman of the River Styx, that you do not wish to cross it for Celine), and then the Failure and Fable. Of my favorites, by far, the first ending (Flowers) finished first. It is true to the story of Orpheus, and I liked crossing that fine line back into reality and grief, but not all the way. Beautiful. I did also enjoy Charon in the ending Friendship. Thinking of Charon smiling at an action of Orpheus (of my own) was quite charming and lent that specific character more thought than I think I’ve encountered in other renditions of modern mythologies.

Overall, where this game maybe lacks the refinement I mentioned, it more than makes up points with the finely crafted story. This was quite a beautiful little game, and one that I had fun exploring to read more about my character’s story, Celine’s story, and how our lives somehow, sadly, fell apart.

7/10.

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