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Trying for intelligent conversation? The Path

posted by Plunder_Bunny on - last edited - Viewed by 827 users

Hello all my Tell Tale forum friends, enemies, and people who otherwise don't care. I was hoping to have an analytical conversation about the Path, a game by Tale of Tales, which is a bizarre little game basically about Little Red Ridding Hood. If you haven't played it, you can buy and download it for 10 bucks on the Tale of Tales website. It is definitely worth a play.

To start off the conversation, I have a burning question to ask of you all:
Do you think the Grandmother is dead from the beginning of the game? (Yes this game is dark and goth)

64 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @PecanBlue said: Do you mean you are now encouraged to play this game from that post? (D:) Or do you mean you don't want to make a joke anymore due to insensitivity?


    Both. The joke was that that post made me want to play the game. But the real joke was that I decided said joke was inappropriate...and then posted it anyway. Humor is so much funnier when you explain it. Not that it was very funny to begin with.

  • @Juicius Maximus said: Both. The joke was that that post made me want to play the game.

    I was actually thinking of making the same joke myself, but this is a family-friendly forum :p.

  • Wow! You guys had fun while I was away!

    First off, PecanBlue, excellent points on the game play mechanics. As far as play goes, everything that you said is true. I really hated the running camera issue, and those randomized map objects issue. I can't tell you how annoyed I was when I was looking for that damn playground with some of the other girls! As far as being a game, it does not have great gameplay, but I think that it is the start of something that could be better. It just kinda makes me want to figure out how I could make a better game using the same themes... I love doing that.

    The reason that I bought and played the path was not for the gameplay. My sister did her MFA Dissertation on the many different retellings of Little Red Ridding Hood, and I had to suffer through much of her research (don't watch The Company of Wolves unless you plan to fast forward... a lot!) so I in turn became interested in how Red is portrayed in games. I give Tale of Tales full credit for doing their research. Not a whole lot of people know the original tale, The Tale of the Grandmother, and I respect there desire to make the concept artistic. From a literary stand point, The Path was a great success in leaving the game open for interpretation. Whether someone wants to believe it is a rape allegory as the original tale is meant to be interpreted, a story about losing innocence as we age, or my pet theory, the little girl in white is the Wolf trying to keep the girls on her path to avoid being tempted by the girls.

    I still think that Grandma is dead throughout the entire game...

  • Ganny blinks? Maybe it's because my computer is crappy and I had to make the graphics lower quality, but I never saw her blink. Part of the reason I think that Granny might be dead is because most versions on Little Red Ridding Hood, grandma get's eaten by the wolf. However, if Granny blinks, then I admit that I am wrong about that. But she never moves... was that Tale of Tales being lazy? I would think when the girls come in for the "failure" endings she would at least turn her head in some sort of greeting.

    Ah, my little pet theory, the girl in white. First off, you mentioned that the stuffed wolf in Grandma's room is white, and the little girl is also wearing white. While white is symbolic of innocence, it also connects the girl with the wolf. Due to the odd nature of the little girl in white, if she is the wolf, who is to say that she can't fabricate other people? After all, the woods are pretty messed up as it is... I don't know about you, but I don't often find my living room furniture strewn around the forest. And since the "endings" for each girl are so metaphorical, it isn't too far a stretch the the little girl can create visions.

    Once the girls find the "Wolf", the girl in white no longer tries to take them back to the path. It could be saying, "I tried to tell you to be a good girl, but hey, if you don't want to listen, here is your punishment."

    I think Ginger's "wolf" proves my point the most. Ginger is so far into her imaginary world, that the girl in white doesn't have to pretend to be innocent anymore, which is why she is in red. This is the one girl that she doesn't have to hide who she is, and I think that they are supposed to be the same age.

    What really made me think the girl in white is the wolf is the prologue and the epilogue. I don't know if you downloaded the prologue. Basically, it is the girl in white running around the forest, and instead of the usual land marks, the places are reduced to ash and smoke. *spoiler!* In the Epilogue, it is raining, as it always is as the red girls finally make their way to Grandma's house after encountering the wolf. She comes into grandma's house and sits next the bed in a pouncing position. After it fades, the girl in white is standing in the starting room with blood smeared on her dress. She appears that way almost as if to say "fooled you!"

    On that note, did you notice that as the girls get older, the wolf a) becomes more humanoid and b) get's older? Also, have you ever read the original story? It's called Tale of the Grandmother if you are not familiar with it.

    It's fun debating with you!

  • (I'm too lazy to spoiler mark everything and it will get in the way of this discussion so people who want to play the game DON'T READ AHEAD FOR THERE ARE SPOILERS)

    Grandmother doesn't really blink, but she shoots her eyes open in every ending. (with the exception of the wolf endings of course, where she is missing entirely) You can check it out on youtube if you like. This is why I think she's just "dying" rather than already dead, there's pills beside her bed, and there's an object to collect in the forest that triggers a memory of pills for some reason. I forget which it is, but I know it's there.

    I don't really think the girl in white is a wolf herself, but understanding her goes a long way to understanding the whole game, (as well as understanding Ginger's wolf) which I think is impossible to do. I see each red girl as a different metaphorical phase of youth (naivete, innocence, dependency, juvenility, rebellion, sexual inexperience, passiveness, possibly femininity or gender conformity etc.) that one by one are killed by a certain experience in life. (which each wolf represents) Because of this, I think it's significant that you are able to control the girl in white and get to grandmother's house without any trouble at all, but only when all girls are dead. It almost seems as if the girl in white can represent neutrality, or acceptance or something similar to that, which is a very important part of full maturity. You can go anywhere you want in the forest, but there is no longer any temptation for the bad, and you know exactly where the path is.

    The creator himself has mentioned that he sees the girl in white in the end as if she has killed the wolf and cut the girls out of its stomach, hence the blood-stained dress and why the girls gradually come back into the room safely. This is why I see the girl in white as the woodsman. You can even see it as the grandmother being the wolf by the end, because the wolf has already taken care of the red girls and posed as the grandmother, waiting for the last girl to arrive, like in the original story. It's like if grandmother is girl in white's wolf, (IE. she herself is her own wolf) but by that point in time, girl in white knows just what to do. The girls coming back into the room is kind of like they're being allowed to start over, like "you can't get rid of them, they'll always be there in life, but do what you must with them and let them go as they please."

    I don't really see the stuffed wolf's color as being significant to the girl in white. After all, there are other white things to be pondered about in the game. Like how each red girl's item in the start room is white for some reason.

    And yeah, I did read the original story.

    I'll talk about the girl in white more later. She has a lot to be talked about, but I gotta go to a birthday party soon, so it'll take a while if I keep going!

  • Well PecanBlue, it looks like it this discussion is just you and me.

    Ah, Ginger's wolf. This is my initial reaction to Ginger's ending, barring my theory of the girl in white. I didn't come up with that theory until I finished the game. Ginger's "sin" if you will is that she doesn't want to grow up and take responsibility. She just wants to play and be mischievous and fight her coming of age. That is why her wolf is in a field of flowers with mother nature. The girl in red could symbolize her period coming which signifies the end of childhood, and the idea devastates her. That is what I think any way...

    Now a few things about the other girls baffle me, which is mostly what other people have said. One theory people have is that Rose tried or actually drown herself in the bath tub. I didn't think of Rose as suicidal. I can understand that she has a fascination with water, and perhaps she may have almost or actually drowned, but as far as I could tell, only Ruby was suicidal.

    Another theory out there is for Cameron. People seem to believe that she was raped by the woodsman, or married to him and became disillusioned... I thought that she was just a party animal and it got her into trouble. Besides, isn't she awfully young to be married?

    And then there is Scarlet. Ok, I agree that she may have given up her passion for music to take care of her sister, but after she encounters the wolf, a red curtain comes down. I am much more willing to believe that she had a bad experience with a music instructor in one way or another which caused her to think of Music as a forbidden fruit. This is of course all analysis before they take an incredibly LONG time walking to Grandma's in the rain.

    I suppose that leads us back to the girl in white. I guess I can buy the woodcutter theory, but the game seems to sinister for that... it also could be that never really like that the Brothers Grimm added him so that a "man" could save poor helpless Red. The Tale of Tales site made such a big deal out of showing you the two oldest versions of Red Riding Hood, I don't really feel that the Grimm's version plays that much into it. This girl is definitely a mystery.

  • @PecanBlue said:
    There's also the stupid flower collecting, which was put there mostly to mock the gamer who decides to collect them all. Because if you go through the tedious process of finding them all, NOTHING HAPPENS. It's been confirmed this was done to mock players who feel the need to collect everything within a game. Yes, god forbid I want to appreciate the way a game was made by trying to experience everything it has to offer, but thank you for mocking me for trying, game!

    What, really? You know, I think I just lost all interest in ever playing this. There's a big difference between "artistic" and "snobby".

  • @wefeelgroove said: What, really? You know, I think I just lost all interest in ever playing this. There's a big difference between "artistic" and "snobby".

    And you my friend have pinpointed the problem with most art schools. They fail to see the difference between the two.

  • @wefeelgroove
    Yes, just take a look at this this thread. "MichaelSamyn" is the creator of the game, and the way he responds to complaints just sickens me. This paragraph he wrote should say more than enough:

    "I'm surprised -and intrigued- by the level of entitlement that gamers feel. It's fascinating to see this desire to be entertained and the outrage that follows when that desire isn't being satisfied. I can understand being put off by a work of art when you don't agree with its content. But I guess videogames are different. Since, through the few decades of their history, their sole function has become amusement, we take offense when a game suddenly doesn't instantly please us. The passion with which a gamer expresses 'I'm not having fun' is fascinating."

    "Let me just shake off critiques for why my choosing this medium to express art isn't exactly working as talking to gamers like if they had the mental capacity of neanderthals." Is basically what he's saying. This totally makes paying 10 bucks for this seem so appealing!

    Anyway more talking about the game:

    @Plunder_Bunny said: Ah, Ginger's wolf. This is my initial reaction to Ginger's ending, barring my theory of the girl in white. I didn't come up with that theory until I finished the game. Ginger's "sin" if you will is that she doesn't want to grow up and take responsibility. She just wants to play and be mischievous and fight her coming of age. That is why her wolf is in a field of flowers with mother nature. The girl in red could symbolize her period coming which signifies the end of childhood, and the idea devastates her. That is what I think any way...

    Heh, my friend and I called Ginger's wolf "Aunt Flo."

    I saw her wolf as general womanhood or puberty, but yes, her experiencing her period is what I thought happened to her. One of her death images seems to signify as such, with barbed wire in between an image of two legs kind of in a flow. (there's even two skull-like shapes in the image of barbed wire where the ovaries would be) Ginger's wolf is the only wolf to ravage the girl against their will, the others are triggered by the girls themselves, so that also seems to point to it. The wolf even "sneaks up" on Ginger. There also seems to be a lot of emphasis on butterflies, a universal symbol for maturing.

    Actually, one of my friends saw Ginger's wolf as being sexual curiosity and experimentation. Now, I don't think that's such a far-fetched theory since I believe lots of girls go through such a phase until they come to an understanding of themselves when they mature, and 13 is definitely not an uncommon age to start questioning your sexuality. But I guess I just don't see Ginger as being interested in any kind of relationships so I'm leaning more toward the puberty belief, but my friend's theory does hold some water.

    Rose is still pretty confusing for me. I actually think her death is represented by dropping from a great height after levitating and not drowning. At first I saw it as her death being a realization that people are cruel and you have to look out for yourself from time to time instead of always focusing on others. But I don't think that explains all the spinning and the weird masculine wolf.

    It also might of been like I said, gender conformity. She's this very lady-like girl with the belief that she could be stronger. (as said when trying to climb in the playground) So maybe her wolf was an awakening into masculinity; some realization that she doesn't know who exactly she is trying to please by being the way she is.

    Like I said though, there's a lot of things in Rose's story that I just can't find an explanation for. Her wolf is weird enough, but there's also a lot of emphasis on spinning in general, the rain that goes through grandmother's house, and there's also a lot of focus on her boots for some reason. (one of her final images is that of the lace end of her skirt and even her wallpaper at the website is just of her boots, and her design page hints that there was a secondary reason for putting lace on her dress)

    My friend saw her death as her sexual awakening. If your graphics card sucks like my friend's did, you can see Rose's wolf perfectly behind the mist, and he kind of looks like an anatomical figure. My friend has the belief that Rose must have learned about the birds and the bees, maybe at school or from a parent, and is suddenly starting to have "impure thoughts" since we are told Rose loves the mist and that she usually has her head in the clouds, and now suddenly there is something impure in the mist. It's like her attention has now turned to other matters rather than animals and innocent things, hence the death of innocence.

    But who knows. Since I have no idea what happened to Rose myself, I am open to any theories at this point.

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