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This is a dialogue-heavy puzzle game about people and their habits. It might not be for everyone. Explore strange locales, meet strange people, solve strange puzzles.
OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT
If you would, please entertain a theory of mine: Jack didn’t kill Kathryn. Instead, I believe that Jack was a victim of unfortunate coincidence and Kathryn was the victim of a vindictive and controlling ex-boyfriend. Thomas, alone and angry that Kathryn took Penelope away from him, attacked her in her now-empty apartment – knowing that, with both Penny’s father-figure and best friend dead, Penny’s distraught mindset would make her return to him. Manipulated by his lies and her self-confidence comforted by his false compliments, Penny would undoubtedly believe Thomas’ whispers of “Maybe it was that strange guy. The ugly, stuttering, self-medicated guy who did it.” With an accusation like that melded together with Jack’s frequent daily amnesia, there would be no alibi for him to deny these statements.
In TCoM, it was revealed that Kathryn was discovered in a green box. She was discovered, not seen while being murdered. Who discovered her? In this world, I see two options: Penelope or Jack. If Jack was, indeed, the one who found her – that would be a major blow to his already unstable psyche, perhaps one large enough to literally break his mind. His memory of finding her dead in a green box, along with a subconscious tug of a forgotten memory that “If I hadn’t left her that day, she would still be alive,” in his cracked state may have had him indirectly blaming himself for her death. Similar things have happened in real life, where an unstable individual, stricken with confusion, grief and all the other range of emotions that would be felt in that situation, have admitted to crimes that they did not really commit.
In his memory (TCoM), he pushed the button. He believes he killed her. In Fixation, the story about the real events that occurred prior to Kathryn's death, she opens the gate and says goodbye.
We experienced the entirety of Fixation, up to and including their parting, through Kathryn's eyes using her game mechanics. The inclusion of the final "puzzle" in TCoM being the final "puzzle" of Fixation pays credence to how much impact that forgotten memory had on his guilt - it wasn't him killing her, it was simply the last time he would ever see her alive. In the end, all we saw was Kathryn and Jack parting ways. Now, I know that the story is supposed to go a certain way – one with the fact that Jack killed her – but I find it interesting to entertain the thought that there is still a chance that Jack didn’t really murder the woman that he loved.
BTW, if it wasn't already noticeable by my lengthy review, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. 5/5
Man that was depressing... Especially since I played "In company of myself".
Comparing the two, this game has a better gameplay in my opinion.
I love everything about this game, even its brutal difficulty. I did play it when it first came out, but I gave up somewhere along the line and never finished. I decided to go at it once more and actually finished the game...total shock at the final scene. I recognized it from TCoM.
However, there is something troubling me (Spoilers!)
In the 3rd to last level, where they talk about the backyard, it reminds me of how in TCoM, they found Kathryn buried in a green package under their backyard. So I couldn't help but wonder when she started commenting on the state of the backyard (which was neglected) and stating they could PLANT trees or something. Did she indirectly gave Jack a motive to kill her, especially since he was on drugs?
Also, I know that it is stated, or at least heavily implied, that Jack did kill Kathryn. But I cannot help but wonder: how? In the end scene there is no blood on his shirt, no sign of struggle, etc. I don't know why, but I have a terrible itch to know HOW he killed her. The reason for it, well I already said, IMO of course.
Anyways, I digress. A beautiful, dark and melancholic prequel to a beautiful, dark and melancholic game.
My opinion? Pretty much everything positive already said by others. Seriously, awesome game. Also, level 37 where Jack says "HUZZAH!" is my favorite part. Absolutely made my day when it had previously been comparable to the mood of the swamp levels. Well done. :-)
This is video game storytelling done right, without sacrificing the "game" part of it.
Fixation is truly beautiful; the story by itself might not be that captivating, but it takes a completely new dimension once you put it inside the game and use the mechanics (and the world around) to tell it.
And even better, the game itself was creative and the puzzles were all quite well done.
Excellent job on this, and kudos to the composer too!
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