Part 43: A buttload of analysis on the game by the threadWORDS BY THE THREAD (AND BY ME TOO SOMEWHERE IN THERE)
Here's some of the analysis on the characters and personal connections made to the game by the thread. It's a lot of spoilery words so you have been warned. If you don't wanna read all this, then I recommend you go straight to the end at least.
Before any of the endings:
While this may well be an exercise in futility or just plain thinking too hard on the subject, I am starting to wonder what kind of Christian camp this is, beyond 'disturbingly bad.'
I imagine this is based off a Protestant denomination thing, but Jupiter's wearing pants so it's not Mormon/Mennonite/Pentecostal related and the groups are co-ed which...actually seems almost odd. Admittedly, I went to 'Young Life' camps back in the day which were for the most part, taking kids to *fun* places up in the mountains with water slides or rope courses. They were overall designed to be a positive scene; for a week or two you spend the day with friends from church in a young adult's playground and during the evening there'd be Jesus talks more about how refreshing being nice to to one another can be opposed to SINNERS! REPENT THE SHIT OUT OF YOURSELVES!!! But even with positive organizations like YL, they'd have male leaders watching over the guys from a church group, and a woman would be in charge of the girls; they wouldn't co-mingle except for large team events like water balloon fights and so on. Even when I was part of a missionary thing, going into an inner-city area in Nashville to help at homeless shelters, they had chaperons and youth leaders of both genders, and more importantly, NOBODY would bring up the devil like they do here. In hindsight, for reasons which I'm sure are benign *and* also varied, none of the camps/church trips/ et. al would bring up The Devil or anything worse than making an example of some imagined 'prodigal child' type. "Oh no, I spent so much time rocking out and drinking booze, my life is an empty shell." That sort of thing. Without going into the merits of Christianity itself, or Christian camps as a practice, at least that scene was far more nurturing.
This place,has more of an oppressive cultish vibe going to it. Everyone gets a white Crucifix shirt to wear. Everything is way out in the sticks away from outside influences, cellphones excluded, but that's probably modern things worming its way into something I bet has been going on for some time. Captains sending off the impressionable youth to go fix and repair shit in the woods; it's making them work instead of taking their minds off whatever's waiting for them back home. I guess what I'm saying is, when you hold an example of evil over these campers' heads, the camp itself is *probably* going to provide some examples.....
Couple of things on Jupiter's wristband:
Yeah, I picked up on that too. For those who don't know (not a spoiler exactly since it's not addressed in-game as far as I've seen, but it does give significant new information about Jupiter): wearing elastic around your wrist and snapping it when you're under emotional stress is a common replacement behaviour for people who self-harm and want to stop.
Gutter Owl posted:
Elastic or rubber bands are also often used as a sort of misguided aversion therapy, particularly associated with a certain kind of Christian guilt.
She's punishing herself for having bad thoughts.
Specifically, gay thoughts.
After Jupiter's ending:
Even with all the supernatural elements, it really feels like it's centered around a kid breaking because of the stresses, of the pressures around her. The others had to leave her to it, on both her request and what was expected of them from the rest of society. Ultimately, there can only be so much one can bear before they break.
Edit: Also the point of the camp and the devil here is malicious. It seems purposed to ferret out the 'deviant', and any kids that are insecure in themselves will effectively rat themselves out. Here it looks like all 3 would break really, it's just that Jupiter broke first. And in doing so, she confirms the expected ritual, and the other two become secure in their own standing as per society.
That beyond anything else is what I find creepiest about the whole setup. It feels like the evils of the society sacrificing individual martyrs.
Given the setup, I'd speculate there's an ending centering each individual kid, then one for them all as a whole.
Also, I find it very appropriate that the trigger for Jupiter is her security item breaking.
I got we know the devil when it first came out and honestly I love the game, though I didn't get some of the stuff until I replayed it like twice. As someone who for most of his teenage life during the summer went to a camp like the summer scouts I relate to the main characters big time.
Camps like that tend to do a pretty damn good job of mentally fucking you up (esp if your closeted queer or questioning like I was) and the game fits the atmosphere of those camps to a tee. They weren't fun, they just were oppressive and made me miserable and anxious as shit. Because if you weren't how they wanted you to be then you were excluded.
I just really really like this game okay.
Oh god I'm thrilled--I was worried when I saw this thread that the LP would turn out to be complete already. As it turns out, this is the best possible time for me to show.
So, I finished this game like three days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. It's got me writing again because the creative energy and visceral emotion needs to go SOMEWHERE. I'm trying to get any and every soul I can to play it just so I can experience it vicariously through them--and also because it's fucking great and I am a gift to all who know me.
I'm particularly glad to show up at this moment. Something about Jupiter speaks to me. I know people have mentioned her issues with self-harm and stuff already, and it is clear she has problems with everyone/herself idealizing her and with being this Cool, Pure person that she feels is a lie. Personally, as someone who experienced something similar, something about Jupiter also makes me wonder if she has issues with consent violation and just generally...unpleasant...breaches of trust. I'm trying to tread lightly here because this is uncomfortable ground on an entirely different order here, but if you get where I'm coming from I'd be interested to know if someone else got the same vibes I did.
In particular, her disgust with wanting to touch/be touched at the same time that she desperately desires affection of the romantic kind really, really hits home. It's like wishing someone that is Good could love you and wipe the dirt and grime away from your past, but also feeling that that grime and past make you unworthy of that kind of affection. Her description of the Captain also felt like a kind of hyper-awareness of how he sees the scouts that nobody else, not even Neptune, seems to possess. And it gave him completely unique shades of disturbing to me.
Sorry to burst into this thread with heavy stuff like that, but to be honest I think that's what this game wants more than anything else--for people to work through the stuff they'd prefer not to think about through it. You could say it worked on me.
On a separate note, if anyone's interested in setting up an IRC/Skype chatroom for discussion about this game, I'd be interested in that, too. It's been a really long time since a game moved me like this and it really deserves a community to grow out of it past, like, tumblr tags or w.e, I feel.
EDIT: I am remiss to let this post go by without even mentioning that Neptune is the queen of the Earth and I love watching her reduce Group South to a puddle under her boots.
A bit on the 7 minutes in heaven scene with Venus and Jupiter:
Lurks With Wolves posted:
quote:I admit I'm a little confused on what just happened. Did Venus or Jupiter start choking Venus out of frustration, or did Jupiter accidentally summon her Stand and and it started choking him?
The latter, really. Everyone in this cabin is one good push away from being the Devil. Jupiter got fed up with Venus' shit, and so she sank low enough to get the hand for choking but not far enough to actually become the devil.
Although now that I'm thinking about it having bits of devil magic show up at really low points in your life is probably just something that happens in this society, since Venus brushed off getting choked by a ghost hand instead of freaking out like a normal person. Of course, this would also mean this society is even more repressed since dwelling on your actual problems would get you that much closer to letting the devil in and everyone knows that, but it's not like everyone wasn't desperately burying their personal issues anyway.
(Okay, technically she could have choked Venus normally, but you don't act surprised after physically choking someone with your physical hand.)
Well Jupiter's drunk, and emotionally vulnerable at this point too. With the writing as presented I really don't believe that Jupiter doesn't know what's up with 7 Minutes in Heaven, really. And the choice really is presented with Jupiter making the choice, and it being whether or not she lost her nerve to ask Neptune into the closet. She says it herself, Venus is safe. Like a puppy, something that doesn't have any desires attached to it.
Only Venus isn't safe, because she runs straight into his victim complex. She's already frustrated, since she definitely didn't go for what she wanted, and she's in a compromised state. So yeah I definitely think she just lost it and strangled him physically, especially since part of her wants to harm-touch as well.
And then Venus brushes it off like it's something he expects to happen, even from those he trusts.
Goddammit I hate the subtext in this game.
After Jupiter and Neptune's endings:
Gutter Owl posted:
WKTD isn't about discovering "secrets." Rather, it's about the things that drive our scared and lonely teens into being the Other.
Jupiter isn't the devil because she's gay. She's the devil because she's closeted and ashamed and terrified. She desperately wants intimacy and touch, but she's internalized the idea that here desire isn't just wrong, it's actively poisonous. She believes her desire can hurt people, or hurt herself.
♃: I'm gross.
And so she tries to drive the desire out, through her wristband-punishment and her obsessive goodness. But she can't drive it out. And the conclusion she comes to is, she must be inherently broken.
quote:♃: You shouldn't touch me.
♃: I wasn't born good.
Neptune, on the other hand, doesn't have a big capital-s Secret. Sure, she's also some variety of lowkey not-straight, but she's much more okay with it. Sure, her approach to the closet is a little messed up, and absolutely not the right thing to tell poor Jupiter--
quote:♃: Not that I'm saying it.
♆: ...you get it.
♆: The midwest is great. All you have to do is not say it out loud.
♆: It's like a spell. And you can be as obvious as you want about everything else.
♆: You can wait it out forever. As long as you don't say it.
--but it doesn't keep her up at night or anything. Instead, her struggle with the world is a lot more fundamental: She's a girl, and she has the utter audacity not to be meek and ashamed and quiet.
quote:♆: I'm an evil bad slut right? I'm a bitch and a flirt.
♆: I'm a bitch because I let people know when they walk over me.
♆: I'm a flirt because boys keep talking at me.
♆: And this is somehow my problem, because they can't get over themselves and leave me alone?
And where Jupiter is passive in her conflict with the world, Neptune is very, very aggressive. She lashes out. She spits bile (ha).
That said, Nep does have a her own small-s secret, which she tries not to let on. All her aggression? All the fantastically sick burns and pure teenage girl fury? It's not working. She can't hurt the world hard enough that it stops hurting her. It's not possible. But all she knows how to do is double down. Get madder. Hit harder. Keep going until your knuckles bleed. Keep going until you kill yourself fighting.
Worse though, is Jupiter and Neptune's passivity. She can see her own suffering mirrored in them, and she sees them just lie down and take it, and she can't bear it. She needs them to fight back, for the same reason she needs to fight back. And if she has to MAKE THEM fight back, then so fucking be it.
If that means literally drowning them in her own anger and black bile, so be it.
As for Venus, well. We'll get to Venus.
^^^i lov e this post so much im going to print it out and eat it, oh my god. Yes. Yes.
When Venus says that Neptune thinks being mean is more honest, but she's "Just as bad as them", this is what he was referring to.
Where Jupiter internalizes EVERYTHING and is incredibly toxic and cruel to herself, Neptune externalizes everything and is toxic and cruel to everything outside of her--even, unintentionally, the people she genuinely cares about.
But both approaches are equally futile. Neptune isn't any happier or satisfied through her externalization. She hasn't found any peace. And Venus can see that.
Venus seems to do a bit of both, wavering between not feeling good enough and being angry at the world. Like Gutter Owl said, though, we'll get to Venus in due time.
As per the other ending, I think I need to sit here and just let things settle for me.
At the same time, my immediate observation comes from the fight and defeat.
Neptune brings the water to purify, and as the devil she is the corrupted ichor, water, and what not.
Jupiter brings the storm to purify, and as the devil she is a storm of repressed desires.
Even the devil or not, they still hold the same root core of themselves.
I do find Neptune' permanence of effect a lot more interesting. With Jupiter, it seems to me that they're just smoking out the forest as per procedure, really. Here they have to cleanse the very real impact that Neptune had on the forest. For me it seems to match up their approach to life, really. Neptune wants to make a big ugly impact on the world. Jupiter just ultimately wants to be a good person, and internalized what is the wrong idea of what constitutes that.
After Venus's ending:
I've been lurk watching this from the start. Venus finally got me. I was Venus.
So my Dad was a pastor who lost his church and we started floating around the other churches in the area. You name a biblical youth activity I did it. Bible Camp. Bible Quiz. Christian Fellowship. 24 Hour Famine? I headed it on the youth side. Vacation Bible School? I was one of the main actors and took photos. In all this I wasn't seen. I was the pastor who lost his church's kid. I was good enough, but not great. Nothing I did impacted me. I could never be good enough. I could never be bad enough. I'm typing this up to throw another view besides transgender into the ring. I was involved in everything. I saw everything. I knew everyones dirty laundry. I knew how they got the praise they often got. Me? It didn't matter what I did. I was just there.
This is probably rambling, but man, this got me. Hard. I didn't expect that Flac.
I was never in any of the bible youth stuff - I just went to church every week with my grandma when I was real little - but I definitely feel this. Unless I was being made fun of I didn't matter, no matter what I was doing, I was just there until they wanted to pick up where they left off or I did something else that was worth a temporary laugh. And nobody really cared, either - teachers never noticed unless I had it with the other kids' shit and exploded at them so I was the only one who was ever punished, the few friends I managed to get started leaving me almost as soon as people started making fun of them too, and when I finally did end up seeing a guidance counselor it wasn't over any of the actual issues going on, but over some comics I started drawing in a notebook because my dad and step-mom didn't understand them (said counselor actually found them pretty funny). I ended up moving back to the first town I remember living in to live with my mom and finish high school somewhere else, and while the insults were much less ubiquitous, the constant sense that I didn't belong - that nobody wanted me to belong - was jacked up to more than make up for it.
It's actually still pretty spot-on, really. I'm still trying to involve myself in pretty much anything that interests me, and I'm still always failing - only really acknowledged when I'm being too annoying to ignore, and otherwise always having a sense that everybody already knows who they want in their clique and that I'm an unwelcome intruder.
It's kind of why I really love this place, because none of that bullshit happens to me here.
Sorry for the boring words, I just really need to finally get that out somewhere and a place where people will actually fucking read it instead of going "oh god not him again" one word in and retreating seemed the most helpful place. Thanks for the great LP, can hardly wait to see the true ending.
And I see a bit of myself in Venus too, I got lead to believe that crying, getting angry, telling on people who hurt me and bully me was useless and only made it worse - and I don't like making people upset, even if I had every right to rip them a new one. So I kept it bottled in and in and in until the valve pressure couldn't hold it in anymore and I'd explode.
[...]aside from it hitting too close to home, I also found it fascinating on a character-analysis basis. There's some interesting theming here, e.g. the "shone too bright and fell from heaven" similarity to the Lucifer character (in the Shin Megami Tensei sense), the covering in opened eyes, feathers in lungs and eyes to fly, all that. It's heavily connected to enlightenment, knowledge, and freedom, and it's no coincidence that those things are also correlated with being considered demonic in common American Christianity.
I really like how her ending and devil form was handled.
Probably out of all the endings it was Venus's that made me take a break from the game for awhile, because I empathized with her so damn much and not just as somebody who is also trans.
Like the church I went to as a kid was a mega church, you know one of the churches that has like starbucks and all sorts of shit in em. You were expected to act a certain way, esp if you were a girl cause they were super traditional about women's roles and bullshit. But since at the time I was heavily closeted as trans as well as a whole bunch of other issues, and because of that I didn't act in the way they expected me to act and was pretty much ostracized because of it and nobody did anything to help me. So I just kept it bottled in until one day during youth group, I just sorta...exploded. It was kinda of a clusterfuck and it then that my parents basically decided that I didn't need to go to church anymore so yeah.
I do want to add to the chorus of voices crying "Venus is ME!!". I related to Venus the most out of everyone (Though Jupiter also really spoke to me). I still kind of struggle with anger, because people I'm close to are generally angry at the world and all the bullshit and while I can definitely understand the sentiment I can't often muster the actual feeling of it? I guess my perspective on people naturally just breeds an understanding that stops it, but it's still frustrating because it doesn't mean anything is any less fucked.
And Venus' approach was so similar to mine in dealing with sexuality/gender/General Living. Just smile and be as nice as you can and fade into the backdrop until everyone forgets you're here. It seemed to me like Venus was reaching for transcendence, for something pure and real that can't exist in the confines of flesh and identity she's stuck with living in. But idk if that's an accurate reading of the character or just me projecting what my desires would have been.
"I want to undo the division of day and night" speaks volumes about gender and rules and how heavily they weigh on Venus, and it's such a beautifully esoteric way of putting things. God, i'm sorry, I'm gushing now
Poison Mushroom posted:
[...]on some level, [Jupiter and Neptune] know they're as complicit in Venus' issues as everyone else, and denial is easier than facing it. Denial that there's anything wrong is kind of the default state in WKTD, after all.
Acknowledging that you have unwittingly been causing your friend a great deal of pain is hard for anyone, much less a pair of teenagers who haven't even acknowledged their own issues.
I feel like the devils here are three different approaches to their upbringing.
Jupiter: I'm at fault, I'm wrong, please don't hate me and let me back in.
Neptune: So I'm bad? You hadn't seen bad yet, I can't be good, so I'll be as bad as possible.
Venus: No, you're wrong - what you're telling us is wrong and I'm going to show you why!
After the LP was complete:
Absolutely. It's an incredibly cathartic ending in a way that other games rarely manage to achieve. It's not as simple as "you defeated all the bad guys", because their conflicts weren't that simple. Games are so often individualistic power fantasies, but it's so rare that you get one where winning isn't about being the hero, but about being someone you can actually live with.
Even RPGs which are all about defining your character's role, their class and their skills tend to place you in a single heroic role from which you can't escape. You still define yourself in terms of what others want you to be.
Gutter Owl posted:
Now that I've watched this ending for the, iunno, fourth or fifth time, and had reason to write down my thoughts on each character, I think it's particularly interesting which of our girls discovers the devil in her first. Not brash, bitter Neptune, but shy and submissive Venus.
This is because Venus's otherness is based in sincerity and vulnerability. (I never really got to talk about Venus, the biggest cipher of the cast. But I think the final ending helps unlock her for us.)
Venus wants to be seen, in all the truth of who she is. She's not good at articulating what that IS, of course--she's still stuck in eggmode for much of the story, which entails a certain degree of not-knowing-why-it-hurts. (Speaking from experience, of course.) But she's not afraid to hurt visibly, even when people don't want to see her hurt, or even want to hurt her more. She's appallingly honest with her tenderness, where Jupiter and Neptune both hide behind defensive personas. So when the chance comes to throw away her body and Become the Devil, she doesn't hesitate. It's easy. She was already ready to bloom.
Whereas Neptune talks a good fight--her final scene before transformation is a chorus of hail Satans and all, but let's be real. She's not saying that out of love for the devil/herself. She's just being spiteful to the camp and to God. It's what she's always done, claw and scratch and bite. She doesn't see a way out of hurting. Hurting and being hurt is her life, and she has no reason to believe she's not going to suffer. It's only when Venus Becomes the Devil that Neptune can even conceive of another way out: apotheosis. But once she realizes this, she jumps at the chance.
And of course, Jupiter resists until the end. I'm pretty sure everyone saw that coming. Poor Jupiter, who wants so bad to be good. Who so deeply believes that goodness can only come from punishment and penitence and martyrdom. She's not even resisting the Devil because the Devil is bad. She says it herself: She wants to be the Devil. But what has her life even been besides denying herself the things she so desperately wants?
A lot of smart words being said in regards to the ending stuff. As it is, here are my two cents.
It's interesting to note that for all the much louder personalities of Jupiter and Neptune, Venus is important in that she's the only one capable of quiet acceptance, the quiet discovery. Jupiter denies her fears, denies her other-ness, and cannot accept easily. And I doubt Neptune can do anything 'quiet', at least in anything that matters to her in the least.
But then it doesn't take much here to start the ball rolling, and once the idea gains momentum, Jupiter ultimately cannot deny what is right.
As it is: some highlights for me.
- Neptune asking tenderly if she can remove Venus's other arm is sweet in its way, despite what would normally be a disquieting topic. Softly asking permission to help Venus/see more of how Venus truly is.
- Neptune knowing the importance of having Jupiter make the decision. In the end, forcing Jupiter to accept what she wants and make her own move to obtain it.
- I like how the sense of the final scene goes. This is a camp for 'troubled' kids, and therefore it doesn't take much for them to fall, especially in the combined force of the three. Also, the time that Group West had to accept the nature of the devil is important. In each of the individual scenes, there's a suddenness, and the other two are there immediately to stop the devil before she falls too far. But then in this case there's the distance of the other groups, and I'd also imagine they probably came separately in their own groups of 3. More vulnerable to.....corruption doesn't feel like the right word, but I can't think of a more appropriate one. Regardless, with time and unity, Group West had the opportunity to root themselves deeply as their devils and therefore spread their influence properly.
I like that there is a horror element, if you look at it from a different view. From the outside perspective, this certainly has the makings of horror story. The camp that first has the kids go missing, and no communication from within. The groups are ready for any adults that investigate, and the adults would probably start to go missing. And then the stories would start. From the outside, the view of their society, this would indeed be a horrific corruption, a miasma of the other. The devil reigns free here and they follow their own rules, which is probably more terrifying than anything.
Those last thoughts are probably quite tangential, but it is interesting to think of the wider world in the setting, and what impacts these events may have.
Arcade Rabbit posted:
The cool thing about this story is that the messages and characters are certainly subtle and have a lot of nuances, but it still gets the feeling across even to people who don't exactly share their situations. I, a gay Christian, played it with my straight nonchristian friend on his laptop one afternoon. He'd bought it but hadn't played it yet, and I was about halfway through the thread by then so I convinced him to pop it open and we blew through it in about two days. There were certainly a few moments where, for lack of a better term, I explained some of the symbolism or nuances behind certain liens and actions. But in the end, we were both able to enjoy it and come away with a deep understanding of the characters and situation. Even though neither of our situations are particularly similar to theirs, the writing and conveyed feelings were enough for us to feel satisfied with it and the ending. In my opinion, being able to convey such complex feelings and realizations to someone like my friend who had no grounding in the situation beforehand at all is the hallmark of a truly great story. I'd be very interested in seeing what, if anything, the creators of this game choose to do next.
I can't really say that I see myself in any of the characters, but I think that's a good thing. Just because this game isn't about someone like me doesn't mean that it isn't for someone like me. It's a chance to glimpse the perspective of some confused kids trying to deal with being crammed into a mold of what is 'good' and 'right' that doesn't fit them, and empathize with them.
Had a couple days without much internet so I put some thought into gods role in the game. In the LP I added a lot of background info relating to this, so maybe it'll help clarify that.
When god speaks about which one of Group West is the devil, its not so much to shed light on them, but him. I put up all that commentary on the dawn star and such not because Venus is actually a parallel to Nebuchadnezzar, but because thats the narrative god spins her into. In his narrative Venus, who gets bullied/finds trouble no matter what she does and wants to know the why of it all, has arrogant ambitions and deserves her downfall. Neptune, angry at how she and her friends are treated and wanting her feelings to be understood, just has some kind of old world hysteria and needs to be shut up. Jupiter, worried she is a naturally dishonest and disgusting person for what she wants, is outed as such.
God speaks as the voice of many, society in denial of itself. It's easier to blame the devil as something bad kids are destined to turn into rather than an effect of the whole game being rigged, just as Venus said, to cause perfectly good kids to break in order to weed out the other. The fact that god is every boy you are afraid of talking at once is also like Venus said, boys being in denial of what they are angry about, expressing violence outwardly rather than looking inward to find out whats really wrong.
I feel like, as teenagers, Group West can be pretty clever to how society works, but even as they exist on the fringes, they are still formed by society's rules and teachings. In the main three main endings, gods messages become the final psychological pressure on whoever is going to lose; as the all-powerful authority, god must be right, so then the anxiety takes hold, my desire will hurt others ("I wasn't born good")/my words are useless ("I'm trying to fuck up Venus for the rest of his entire life and you too if you let me")/my search for the truth is corruption ("I want to undo the division between day and night"). Their friends aren't happy to have to fight them, but rules is rules. God sees everything and everyone and was right after all. Except, with that amount of power, it feels more like nudging someone into the desired result for them.
And there's the form the devil takes. God calls Venus a light trying to outshine his light, and Venus becomes a creature of light. He says Jupiter's want to hurt is as certain as that planet's massive gravity, and she is surrounded by hands that pull and push. He says Neptune is suffering from an excess of black bile, and she is diseased. Their forms don't change in the true end, as they were brought up in god's world to be feared and hated. But because they no longer feel alone in their individual traumas, they can express themselves loudly and unashamedly as "the worst". The game knows that we can't leave god's world, no one can actually leave society, but it implies there is goodness in going against it, that there is power in learning to accept yourself in spite of the definitions it set for you.
God's allusions are there partly because Aevee Bee is interested in theological or mythological stuff and wanted to apply a little of that flavor to him, but in relation to everything that happens I think it's also to highlight how little god thinks of the three in Group West. To show his indirect, manipulative sort of hatred, in contrast to when the devil speaks in the true ending as more of a kind, loving God. I think what he says should not be too heavily applied to any of the three, he is just a shitty mean weatherman. There's also the bonfire captain as every terrible lying adult or Group South as kids don't know how well they're enforcing things by being angry in the wrong ways , but they're all extensions of the big man and the whole society.
On a same subject the Parables 1:1 bit might be Plato's cave allegory when I think about it? I'm not sure, trying to avoid "you're going too far into this" territory is hard when it's so fucking fun and I've probably gone past that point anyways
Poison Mushroom posted:
Oh my god.
"Monster of the week". It never really clicked for me before just now that the whole camp, the whole society, is built around causing people to fall, demonizing them, using them to affirm the Rightness of society, and lather-rinse-repeat.
The groups always being three makes perfect sense in that context. Because it's an odd number, someone will always be othered. The only way to avoid it is to become like Group South, perfectly homogenous to the point of having no individual identity. The message is clear. "Being an individual is dangerous. Having ideas is dangerous. Why not just become part of society? It's easier that way. Be a good girl."
^^^^It also fits with the concept of the Devil as the Adversary, essentially a force created by God to question and oppose him, and yet nonetheless hated despite being thrust into the role.
What strikes me about the Team West dynamic is that, beyond just being an odd number to force a loser, it seems to have been structured so that each member stands in opposition to the other two in some capacity -- Venus's open vulnerability compared to Jupiter and Neptune's rougher facades, Neptune's resistance to being "good" versus Venus and Jupiter's striving for it, and Jupiter's self-harming streak versus her team's survival instincts. It's a narrative conceit, of course, but it makes me wonder if the captain and whoever else is in charge of Summer Scouts is deliberately structuring the teams to work against themselves and produce a Devil. The concept that these kids might actually bond and become stronger together was obviously not considered and represents an apocalyptic scenario, which is pretty evocative of just how much marginalized people can be written off by a system deliberately sabotaging them.
Some good final words:
Gutter Owl posted:
Thank you for this LP, Flac. We Know the Devil was, and is, a deeply significant game for me. I played through it in an evening, but it hasn't left me for months. I will die with these kids in my heart. I'm so glad to see it reach more people.
We Know the Devil is a letter for all the terrified queer kids stranded in the middle of nowhere, and the old queer adults who inherited their wounds: It hurts to see you like this. But we see you. Trapped in a hurricane of your own conflicted needs; poisoned with a bitterness you never asked for; shining in your vulnerability. We see you. And there's no need for penitence, for forgiveness, for absolution. There is a better option, a better world, an apotheosis. There is room for all of you in our world.
We have a new apple. For everyone in the world.