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Recordkeeping: Bastion COMPLETE - The Forbidden Codex of The Pink Beyond - A Sqrl's Journal

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June 26th, 2017

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06:31 pm - Recordkeeping: Bastion COMPLETE
Everybody I know tells the same story about Bastion. It's a great game, but they never beat it. They got stuck on a Proving Ground challenge room and gave up.

Hell, the last time I tried to play Bastion (in 2012 according to the Steam achievements) I got stuck on a Proving Ground challenge and gave up. This time around I decided, fuck the challenge rooms I'm gonna just play through the story. This... didn't actually take too long, although I feel the game goes on about three missions longer than it actually needs to.

(Not sequentially. I would remove those three missions from somewhere in the middle. But it FEELS like there was a clump of raw dough right in the middle of the loaf. Maybe that's pacing. I dunno.)

Uhm... well, this was the Indie Darling of 2011, Proof that Indie Games Can Be Good. Y'know, it's STILL pretty darn good. Maybe the movement speed felt kinda slow coming off of Ys, maybe the art doesn't hold up quite as well as it used to (until I realized that Ruck's definition of "Kid" involves, like, ages 20-30 I thought I was playing as Old Kid from Invader Zim or something) but it's still a legit good game, moreso if you don't screw around trying to break 40 pots with three bow and arrow shots or whatever.

Also uh. Man. Our insular society is building a wall to keep out the Asian-coded Foreign People we just can't get along with while also working on weapons of mass destruction while our decaying society destroys itself from the inside out.

Subtle, y'all.

Zia in particular interests me. She's a locally-born girl who gets treated like crap by her father (who is a post-war refugee scientist) and is victimized and used by everyone she trusts right up 'til the end of the world. This is a running theme in a way, everyone in the story who survived the end of the world has a backstory that's essentially "Life crapped all over them until now", except maybe Ruck and he gets off okay in spite of co-designing at least two doomsday weapons and a time machine. It's just particularly noticeable with Zia because she has to point out that the best times in her life were all AFTER the world ended, when she's stuck on a rock with three survivors.

I kind of wish the game explored her view more. That song about the walls and holes, how much of that does she MEAN? In the end, she's the only one NOT rooting to go back and try to repeat the cycle for a different outcome, but her song is all about the loop of war that brought society down in the first place. I don't know how to feel about that.

Not that I'm blaming her. The Kid took a five-year tour of duty as a militiaman on the walls, then signed up for a second run when he found there was nothing else worthwhile in his life. Zulf was a goodwill ambassador until he learned that his new Caelondian culture wanted to nuke his old society off the planet. I can't blame him for that either.

I dunno. I brought him back to the Bastion and went with "Let's live with our mistakes", because nothing good ever happens from making a second trip around the time wheel. Not in settings like this, where you lose if you do and someone loses for you if you don't.


Just beat the game.
It's good.

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