The Let's Play Archive

Blade Runner

by Scorchy

Part 34: Act V - Memory, Hither Come

Act V - Memory, Hither Come

The beginning of the each of the five acts has its own elaborate little cinematic to go along with it. This stuff looks pretty decent now, but back in the day it was state of the art, and very impressive considering that Westwood was known more for its campy live action mission briefings in Command and Conquer than 3D stuff like this. I guess what really helped was a) a big budget, and b) a lot of motion capture work, which helped smooth out the animations.

Anyway, this time we're back at the Tyrell Corp. building/temple.

Unlike Rachael, who appears for like 2 seconds in a cinematic, Eldon Tyrell has a more extended cameo in this game. They got the original actor to come back, scan his face, and VA all the lines for him. It turned out quite well actually.

The movie shed a lot of stuff in the transition from book to film; it got streamlined into a human drama type story, and along the way it lost the religion and politics of the book (and the game).

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? talked about a religious movement called Mercerism, which never really translated into either the film or the game, because frankly it was quite . The religion revolved around a pre-war Messianic figure called Wilbur Mercer. He supposedly had the ability to resurrect dead animals, and was subsequently persecuted for it. The religious faithful had the ability to 'connect' to Mercerism via something called an Empathy Box, which was kind of like a hive-mind for your senses. Users would just need to grip the handles of the device, and they would join their consciousness with anything else using the device at the time around the world; the box allowed them to share and feel the experiences of Mercer as he struggles to climb a hill, assailed by rocks thrown by his enemies above. As he reaches the top, the cycle would begin again. It was kind of a weird fusion of Jesus as portrayed by Sisyphus, mixed in with a healthy dose of empathy worship, plus a dash of Philip K. Dick mindfuckery.

The game, maybe thankfully, eschews all that religion stuff. It tackles a bit of politics and ethics instead, fleshing out the police department a bit, having more blade runners around to talk to, and introducing this governor character.

I liked how they retained the same Tyrell characteristics from the film, being inhumanly calm and unflappable.

Eldon Tyrell's story arc of course has the whole Frankenstein vibe to it, with the monster (Clovis/Roy Batty) coming back to haunt the creator (Tyrell). Mary Shelley's original novel was written in the early 19th century as an allegory, cautioning against the dangers of unchecked human knowledge during the early Industrial Revolution. Thematically it rings a bell with Blade Runner's plot.

There's also another interesting parallel - the original full title of Shelley's book was Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. If you go back to last update, Clovis drops a big fat Prometheus reference in his phone call to McCoy. In the Latin version of the Prometheus myth, he didn't just bring fire to mankind, but he actually created man out of clay and tears, and was punished for it. So really, Tyrell is the Prometheus figure, not Clovis.

The poem is Memory, Hither Come, written by (who else?) William Blake. And I was just starting to miss the random poetry spouting from Clovis.

I have no idea on the significance of it, other than the title, which sounds like a joke about Replicant memories.

Well that was kinda pointless .

The problem with trying to mesh this game's plotline with the film was that they couldn't change some significant events and characters. For example, they couldn't have Tyrell die here, since he was meant for another fate. By the same token, any of the returning characters from the movie had to have minor appearances in the game; anything more significant and the plotlines would have started coming apart at the seams.

The timing of the whole cutscene actually seemed out of place - Ray already went to the Tyrell Building get the DNA data (which was conveniently sitting unguarded on the table here), so there wasn't any reason for Clovis to go there afterwards.

Oh well. Who cares? Another Tyrell cameo, lots of gunfire, and Clovis shoots a guy then jumps out a window! Life is good.

McNally posted:

I heard somewhere that if you check the Moonbus photo when Ray isn't a rep, there's a missing reflection or something like that. I don't know if it's true, 'cause I've never known where to look. Could be bull, could be true - I'm playing again to see if I can find it.

Ah yes, the random Moonbus panel. I didn't mention it because I didn't know what the heck it was suppose to signify. If you guys can figure out what it means, you've got a leg up on me.

It's over on the far right of the photo here, near Ray.

The camera swivels around to indicate it's a legitimate clue, but all Ray says is, "That's strange."

Now, what the hell is that and why is it important?