This is taken from a quote from the game The Path, from the indie company Tale of Tales, and the full quote reads as “Cut my veins and make me bleed. A valley or an ocean, desire or need?”
Now I’m not about to go out and cut myself, but as several of my posts over the last couple of weeks have actually mentioned, this is a game that is often in my thoughts. And the interesting thing is, I’ve never played it. I don’t have a way to play this game, and thus I have only watched walkthroughs on the internet and bought the soundtrack.
It’s not a scary game as games go, but it can be very creepy and ominous to those who are more susceptible to horror materials. I’m talking about the people who scream at jump scares in even comedy movies because they are startling and unexpected, because I’m one of them. I do not like horror media when it’s represented in any medium other than books, because it tends to haunt my imagination and dreams until I’m afraid I’ll go mad from it all. And usually I don’t have a pull to them, I don’t feel like I need to keep trying to watch them and listen to them to break the fear that makes it so I can’t do anything.
And yet…The Path has done that. I discovered it back in October of last year, surfing TV Tropes pages, read all of the spoilers and stuff on the pages, and assumed that would be it. Then I discovered it again two months later, and looking over it again, I decided that I wanted to look at it to see what it was like. So I looked it up on Youtube, and I found a of the whole game played by a man who knew how to find everything and who could interact with what, for the most part anyway. And I was entranced. I was unable to watch more than two or three minutes of it without having to take a break to pause and calm myself down, but I kept dogging away at it and got through it in a day.
After that, the pull died down again for a bit and I was able to go about without thinking about it a lot. Which was nice, since the music was haunting the darker hours, and since it was December, there were a lot of hours without sunlight. But then in March, I broke my ankle and all of the sudden I was no longer spending all of my time with basset hounds and upstairs in a very small amount of rooms. I was confined to the downstairs sitting room, where I spent most of my days lying on the couch and feeling rather sorry for myself, and the game came up again as something I could watch while I was incapacitated.
And that’s how I discovered Rose Erifnosi’s of it, where she had never played the game before, knew almost nothing of it, and was just as scared of horror games as I was. And it was very funny to listen to her talking about wondering how the game was going to make her leave the path, never straying as she went to Grandmother’s house, and then abruptly discovering that she did it quite wrong as she got a failure for having never actually reached the goals of the game.
And thus, I was hooked. I spent hours every day watching the videos of both Vexxus5 and RoseErifnosi as they played the same game and yet came up with some very different conclusions sometimes, and very similar other times. And I realized that the game is not just a game about the characters within, it is a game that looks back at you and shows you who you are as you play it.
I’m still scared of it, I still haven’t played it. And I have still never even seen Grandmother’s house outside of stills in a slideshow, but it is a game that I can’t get away from. I listen to the soundtrack every day, and while there are some songs that make me shake and quiver so much that I end up pulling my headphones off while I listen to them, I need it kind of.
Because I’ve come to realize that even more than my writing or my blogs or my tastes in music, it can reflect who I am inside very intensely. It’s a mirror to the sides of myself that I didn’t know I had. And because I sometimes feel very very lost and alone and like there is nothing I have that gives me meaning, I need it. I really do. And so someday I’ll buy it. And whenever I feel like I’m going to go mad in my skin, I’ll play it and I’ll reinvent the parts of me that need the horror and the darkness and the mirror to feel whole. And I’ll be okay.
So beware, viewer, because it is undoubtedly going to be a part of my blog for a long, long time.