Part 43: Short Asides - Bacter's write-upMan, listen to all of you.
Brain cancer? Infanticide/fratricide/sorocide/matricide? Comas? ABORTIONS? Forget THAT business!
No, I think it's high time: Friends,
So let's briefly review. This is an unrelenting creepout depression-fest. Now, that's a pretty good atmosphere for causing depressions and general -iness.
UNLESS, the universe is created by some sort of unreliable narrator. Then we don't have to feel bad at all! And I mean let's be honest here. This the INTERNET. Not every time you hear a sob story do you sympathize with the teller.
There are all kinds of unreliable narrators! There are people who lie about having problems to get sympathy, people with twisted perceptions of the world, men's rights activists.
Augh this is a real guy are you kidding me
Ha ha those men's rights guys, right? They sure make mountains out of molehills. You can just picture them boiling away with rage at totally mundane situations, thinking they are oppressed, and that some glorious age of reckoning is coming. Thinking that in the far-distance future, some male revolution is going to... purify things.
Uh oh: yeah. This WHOLE GAME is the fever dream of a men's rights activist!
Author's note: I will use MRP to mean men's rights people
Alright, so if this is going to be the fever dream of a men's rights guy, we're going to want the hero to be something pretty unambiguously culturally male. The problem for these guys is that women are getting recognized in more and more areas (darn them!). There are women CEOs, firefighters, astronauts, soccer, football, and basketball players. (I know a lady who plays for the WNFL and it is TERRIFYING how bone-crunching it is!)
No, none of those will work. We'll need a figure with one foot in the past, when dames knew their place. A figure drenched in manly sweat, chewing tobacco, cigar smoke, and grandstand beer. A figure who devoted his entire life to hitting things very hard with a handy stick.
The batter (also the boxer, for whom all this still applies to) is that figure. I would argue that when you say "baseball player" to most Americans and Frenchmen today, the image conjured up is of a male. That'll do.
Note also that the batter displays the characteristics that men's rights people seem to think are the hallmarks of a true strong person: stoic to the point of uncaring, focused on work, physically strong. Men's rights people tend to emphasize how "truly" strong men are kept down with social/sexual ties. The Batter is fully liberated from caring about any of those things. He just wants to "purify".
As far as his other team members go, the batter stands alone. He doesn't have anybody with him, just "add-ons". REAL MEN don't rely on anybody, and the batter shows that. Also, MRP harken back to the manly days of yore, ancient Greece included, so having them be named after Greek letters makes SENSE.
The party classes are "Father" "Son" "Holy Spirit" "Savior". SOMEBODY things pretty highly of this character. So the male-est possible team they could possibly imagine, this socially stunted, murder-frenzied, emotionless, job-obsessed baseball player is THE LORD YOUR GOD. Well, that clears that up!
"Sup, only female in the game!"
Yes, the only female is the villain. She's given the title of ultimate female authority "queen", and your final (or uh, canonically penultimate) job is to topple her. She's responsible for making this world what it is. She bears the responsibility in this dystopia. She PROFESSES nothing but love for you, but nevertheless she attacks you with her words. Those words can hurt you, put you to sleep, poison you, or make you furious.
This sounds exactly like what a creepy guy who has bad interaction with women would describe interactions with them like. Confusing, painful, enraging. All she does is TALK, too.
But since this is PURIFICATION TIME, her rule is coming to an end. What did she rule over?
THE OPPRESSION OF MEN
It's never enough for MRP to just want to have the freedom to be awful. They've always got to be the only ones who are aware of the world plummeting into free-fall. The women are taking over, and that is going to spell DOOM FOR US ALL. OHH NOOO.
In short, if those blasted women get their way, the future is going to be populated entirely by castrated, fearful, repressed, beaten-down men who have lost all their masculine vigor:
Just look at these men. Trembling, fearful to the point of panic about breaking rules, upsetting things, suddenly ceasing to exist.
Some of them are just kept fearful, but others are literally kept in line by something that drives them wild for desire of it: sugar. What's another name for physical affection? "Come on baby, give me some _______"?
Exactly. The elsens are kept in line both by matriarchal heckling (painful words) and by withholding of physical pleasure (they need their sugar).
The whole world under the Queen's rule is deeply unnatural. Water is PLASTIC, air is SMOKE, earth is METAL, meat is still MEAT. This unnatural state of being isn't good for anybody, and must be stopped!
So if the end result is all that is man (batter) destroying all that is female (queen), what stands in the way? Why don't men currently take their rightful place on top of the social order? Well, a few reasons!
First off, you've got men who have sided with women
These scum love their privileged positions, which women ALLOW them to have. They are the worst kind of traitor.
Dedan represents this: he has a position given to him by the queen. All his muscles (symbolizing manliness) have withered away, leaving him a skeletal figure. He still wears his coat, though, with its epaulets a symbol of his authority.
Instead of manly stoicism, he's harsh and violent, probably insecure because he knows how tenuous his position is (and who could be happy with a WOMAN in charge of them!).
Second off, there are the false arguments that feminists use
The second boss represents this: he guards the LIBRARY, which is supposedly where knowledge is found (but there is precious little actual information in this library - it needs purified). It masquerades as a cat, the symbol of wisdom in this game, but when its arguments are attacked, it reveals its true form: a monstrous bird. Bird, of course, is old-fashioned slang for "woman". As in, "nah, no guys here, just a couple of birds and a kid!".
Third off, you have the unfair and negative stereotypes of masculinity the media purveys
Have you ever noticed how every female in the media is smart, pretty, and competent, while every male is bumbling, oafish, out of shame, kind of dumb, and defeated in the end? MRP certainly do!
Enoch is a physical embodiment of all these negative characteristics - he's defeated when he tries to exercise, for crying out loud! But the batter defeats him by being strong, showing what a true man is like. He'll fall, just like all the others.
THE FINAL OBSTACLE
So, having toppled the woman sympathizers, the false feminist arguments, and the negative male stereotypes in the media, what's left? What can possibly be holding men down?
That's right. Family. Children are the final ploy those dastardly women use to ensnare men.
Goons, this is me, Bacter, talking for a second. I went on the men's rights subforum of reddit to look for material for this post. I'll not post or like like 90% of what I saw because of how awful and vile it was, but rest assured, there are men APLENTY out there who think that men will only be free when we are finally freed from having to pay for or take part in the raising of children.
Re-visiting our earnest young man from before:
This is what's known as the "game over" screen for fathers. You lose, pal.
And once we've freed ourselves from our false conceptions, they might say, that final battle will be easy. We'll realize that nothing was truly holding us back. Hugo can't even fight us!
And then? The world will be pure. Men will finally, finally, be free.
THE TAKEAWAY MESSAGE
So if this game is supposed to be the grand revolution that finally frees men from the tyrrany of women, why is it so horrifying? Why do we feel awful when we're done?
The reason is simple. Men's rights people are horrible. They are saying hateful nonsense, and a small part of their brain knows it. This whole game is a MRP coming up with his ideal future, and it's so horrifying that anybody not deeply in denial could spot it with the most cursory of glances.
I mean, we end with killing a kid! Come ON!
So anyway, yeah, that's the true symbolism. Hope that helps!