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Trying for intelligent conversation? The Path

posted by Plunder_Bunny on - last edited - Viewed by 1.1K 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
  • I may have downloaded the Graveyard, but I did not buy it. The demo was um... interesting... enough for me.

  • PS. One of my favorite indie games is Auditorium. It is very pretty, has great puzzles that often drive me nuts in a good way, (I bought the whole thing and am still stuck on one of them) and is in my opinion a good example of an artistic game. (not the same kind as The Path but you get the picture)

    I suggest everyone at least try the demo, it has 3 acts.

  • I have NOT played the game. Instead, I watched a series of Let's Plays. Yeah yeah, I'm chicken, shut up.

    Anyway, I think all the sisters represent different moments in life where one loses innocence. All of these sisters are stories told by the grandmother about her own experiences in the woods, when she left the path, to the granddaughter to always stay in the path. Because outside the path, there is a wolf waiting to prey on her innocence.

    Robin's the youngest. Her wolf is a standard wolf who didn't need a disguise to trick her because she's still young. This is the first time she felt the dangers of life, and what death really is. (she didn't see anything bad about death and compared it with flowers before that.)

    Rose is the second youngest. She has an affinity for nature (at least, that's what I read in Wikipedia), so her wolf disguised himself as the beauty of nature. She probably drowned afterward, being 'betrayed' by nature.

    Ginger is the third, I don't really know what her wolf is. Maybe it's puberty, like what PecanBlue said.

    Ruby is the fourth, her wolf obviously represents her first cigarette.

    Carmen is the fifth, or second oldest. Her wolf represents losing virginity.

    Scarlett is the oldest. I don't know what her wolf represents. Maybe it represents her discovery of passion?

    Then the last girl, the girl in white, is the actual granddaughter, told by the grandmother to stay in the path, which she did (in the play-through I watched, at least. Yeah, I'm a coward, shut up)

    So all these sisters are actually the grandmother during several different points in her life. The moral is just like the original Little Red Riding Hood story; to never lie, or the villagers won't come when you actually tell the truth.

    I like analyzing things. I think I'll analyze the symbolic meaning of The Pokemon anime next.

    Pikachu is actually Jesus...

  • Tredlow: It sounds like you agree with most people's interpretation of the Path. I guess I'm the only one who likes to think that the girl in white is the wolf, creating these illusions for the girls to test their temptations... I must have missed something in Carmon's story line. I got the drunk and party bit, but how is a bad sexual experience. I may not have been paying attention...

    As for loving to analyze random stuff, my sisters and I still often ponder if Guybrush and LeChuck are actually brothers, or it was just a bad Star Wars joke? The last part of MI2 was REALLY surreal. Yes, I have no life.

    A really good horror game that is FREE, yes free, is the White Chamber. It is messed up, and short, but I thought it was really well done!

  • @Plunder_Bunny said: I must have missed something in Carmon's story line. I got the drunk and party bit, but how is a bad sexual experience. I may not have been paying attention...

    Well, because most people tend to see, by word of god, that all the girls' wolves represent a sort of temptation relating to each of their personalities. Since one of the major premises of the game is that you must get to know the girls, we see it as if learning about their personality also helps us to understand what will break them/be the death of them. Carmen just sort of is the flirty, sexy one, giving off vibes of inexperience and ignorance of her own actions regarding men, so of course what would be able to break this is a bad sexual experience, (possibly her first) a sexual experience in general where she regretted her actions, or just any sort of sexual encounter where she would realize the consequences or parading around wildly for men's attentions. (Possibly another look into gender conformity?) Because of her interest in beer and alcohol, we can also see it as a hint that she experienced an intoxication to further send her into a spiral of bad consequences.

    There's some other hints toward this result in the game too, such as her interactions with objects in the forest. If you sit on a bench she says "the man who would save us is the destroyer, but the tenderness of giving in can defeat any power."

    "The man who would save us" kind of sounds like the lumberjack of the story, no? But are lumberjacks really saviors? I mean they cut down and destroy trees, and they have axes; they could be really dangerous. "The tenderness of giving in can defeat any power" just generally sounds like the dangers of not being able to identify the consequences when you're involved in a sexual encounter.

    Her wolf doesn't need to be a literal man, nor does the campsite need to be a literal area she visits. It could all just be one big metaphor of the wilderness. A party would be a good example of a wild place to be. I'm not sure what's up with the girl in white though. Perhaps if she represents purity or innocence, we could see it as if her constant entering and exiting of the small red tent is symbolizing Carmen's struggle of giving in to sexual temptation, and when girl in white finally leaves into the forest and disappears we could see it as Carmen finally giving in.

    Also, I see grandmother's house as a travel through memories, but the memories suddenly become very sinister upon a wolf encounter. Because of this, I see it as if our travel through grandmother's house after Carmen's wolf encounter is a sort of look at what she feels and sees after or during this bad experience. There is fire in several places... A feeling of intense heat is common in bad sexual experiences. I must say that I really have no idea what's going on in the first room, but if you take a good listen when she's going up the wooden passage, there is some um... Questionable noises. Someone dug around the game files and found that the sound file for it does in fact have a sexual name. So because of this it's kind of hard to not come to the conclusion that her experience had to do with sex.

  • Ok. I'll buy that theory. Carmon was one of the last girls I played. I don't know why, but she didn't have as big an impact on me as the other girls. Go figure. So could it be argued that the walk of shame to Grandma's house and the bizarness of the inside is like a nightmare about the bad experience? And why do they always die when they get to Grandma's room?

  • @Plunder_Bunny said: So could it be argued that the walk of shame to Grandma's house and the bizarness of the inside is like a nightmare about the bad experience? And why do they always die when they get to Grandma's room?

    Sure, everyone can see it their own way. I think the house in general just seems to have a specific psychological torture for the player depending on the girl's experience so that they could at least artificially feel as the girls were feeling when they experienced what they did.

    I don't think all the stuff in the house relates to the MOMENT of the bad experience though. Take Ruby, for example. You can collect all her memories just fine and get to grandma's house, and the strange locker hallway and school gymnasium etc. will still be present, but they won't have an air of malice with them. Meet her wolf, walk through the same places, and they will. One bigger noticeable difference is the bird cage. Go to grandma's house without meeting the wolf and Ruby will simply walk into the bird cage and it will lower her down to the gym floor, but when she gets in it post wolf encounter it gets swung around until it falls to the ground and breaks her out instead of gently lowering her down. (there's also a smoking car on the gymnasium floor)

    I see it as if meeting the wolf also suddenly changes the perspective of their ordinary life around them before they finally break/come to acceptance. (reach grandma's room where the wolf is waiting) Ruby walks down a school hallway casually and with no problem as if it were ordinary in the safe house, but meet the wolf and it's like that hallway is suddenly very dangerous and unpleasant to walk through for her. Same with Robin, being born and birthday parties seem great when you're in the safe house, but not when you meet the wolf. You suddenly don't want to be in that room with the birthday cake, in fact, you want to turn around and walk right out of that house, but you have no choice but to move forward as is life.

    Notice how each girl has a different mood to their house. Ruby certainly has that air of paranoia and danger when walking through her house, Ginger's just seems to be melancholy, Rose's was just confusing, (maybe it's meant to make you feel that way, confused and lost) Scarlet's was just very neutral and mysterious, etc.

    In the story sense, I see it as when you meet your wolf, it will race and get to grandma's house before the girl does, so everything in the house is the result of the wolf coming by there. (Robin's is more literal, with everything knocked down and ripped as if a wolf would do) Then the wolf takes care of grandma, (hence why she isn't present) and waits for the girl to come in the room.

  • @Chyron8472 said: It reminds me of taking Humanities class in college, where we were shown various sculptures, paintings and architecture, and explained what it is the artist is trying to convey by using certain brush strokes or angles or some crap like that.

    I get the rest of your post, but I don't understand this comparison. I mean they asked you to do that because that is part of studying humanities. Art is a very good look into the human psyche, which is part of a grand reason for why Picasso's abstractions are a lot more popular and well-known than his more realistic work. Rorschach tests also relate to this kind of look into the human mind. (Thanks Watchmen for allowing me to spell rorschach correctly without looking it up!)

    Though I agree to disagree with Tale of Tales' method of expressing art. If they want to express it through a game, they should actually use the "gaming" part to its full effect. A game takes a way too different of an approach to being constructed and presented than a painting or sculpture does which tends to show its mechanical aspects more, and I think this should be kept it mind when making the game. (Kinetic sculpting is an art but you can't expect your work to not move and still have the same effect!) Of course, Tale of Tales is apparently aware of this. They just don't, you know, agree. :| So I guess they're not really interested in making their "games" actual games.

  • @PecanBlue said: I get the rest of your post, but I don't understand this comparison.

    What I meant is that I don't think that it's so important what "point the artist is trying to convey" than what feelings or thoughts are evoked by the individual spectator as a result of examining it. I compare it to the game because I think that they were trying to use art for art's own sake to make a point about something... basically, I think it's a better use of art as a tool in telling a story rather than telling a story in an effort to convey art.

    @PecanBlue said: Though I agree to disagree with Tale of Tales' method of expressing art. If they want to express it through a game, they should actually use the "gaming" part to its full effect. A game takes a way too different of an approach to being constructed and presented than a painting or sculpture does which tends to show its mechanical aspects more, and I think this should be kept it mind when making the game.

    This, I think is the point I intended to make, though you worded it better.

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