Monthly Archives: May 2014

WHODUNNIT? The Big Bad Wolf: The Wolf Among Us

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Say what?

Hear me out: I’m not saying Bigby did it – the existence and continuation of the Fables series (as focalized, initially, around him) is enough to clear him of our suspicion. What I’m saying is Telltale is setting us up for another frame-job.

“What’d I say? You want the Big Bad Wolf to take you away?” Toad threatens his son.

So far the game has been built around the idea that people are afraid of Bigby, afraid because they don’t know how much he has been tamed. Even our closest ally, Snow, is uncertain about who we are at our most basic element.

In “The Crooked Mile,” Snow asks Bigby if he enjoys it “when things go wrong” – other characters such as Gren or Holly have mirrored that same question. I doubt the developers have put this in as simple window dressing. The inclusion, particularly, of Snow’s questioning in Episode 3 and, soon after, the opportunity to kill Tweedle Dum have more significance that the overall theme of mistrust between Fabletown residents. The developers are building the narrative toward a plausible moment where someone like Snow, Beast, Holly or Beauty could believe that Bigby did killed those women, and they are doing it by showing people having doubts about his ‘goodness.’ The overwhelming narrative is that, despite a player’s choices, Bigby is violent and ‘out of control.’ This has to come back and bite him in the butt.

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WHODUNNIT? Icky-Ichabod Crane: The Wolf Among Us

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Oh, Ichabod. Can we all agree that it isn’t him?

Let’s be honest: a man who runs, screaming in terror, from a horseman with less than optimal (optical?) eyesight is not exactly a man of brave constitution. Killing and butchering bodies takes a certain physical, as well as stomach, strength. While ~magic~ might solve the first, it doesn’t solve the second. For all his nastiness, I doubt Crane can stand the gore.

Also, this revelation happens in the second episode. Plot-wise, it’s crazy to reveal the killer less than half way through the story when the point of the game is to solve the mystery. (This might work for something like True Detective, down the road, but I think Telltale’s sticking to the beaten path here.)

Crane’s relative innocence is also reflected in key characters’ opinions: Snow intuits that Crane is not the killer and Bloody Mary laughs in his face.

“Bigby, I don’t think he did it.” Snow says. “Look at him. Do you really think this man murdered these women? He’s not… he wouldn’t be brave enough. Not to put his stamp on the world like that.”

She’s not correct about everything, but I agree with her on this. Crane can be a bully when he’s comfortable enough, but killing someone involves a level of risk he can’t stomach.

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Hi Guys!  I have another WHODUNNIT? post which should be out tomorrow, but I just wanted to let you know: my computer has been at DEFCON 1 for the past week. It might have lowered to DEFCON 3 now, but the blue screen of death lingers beneath the safe haven of hibernation. I wanted to give you a heads up in case you don’t hear from me for awhile. It’s probably because my computer gave up on life.



Why Dead Space is so F-ing Scary

Major spoilers for the Dead Space series. If you didn’t watch/play, what are you doing here?isaacclarke copy

This post is dedicated to all of the people out there who don’t exactly get what’s so freaky about Dead Space. You brilliant bastards are above such trifling things as jump scares – and frankly, you just don’t get why anyone else would find a game like this frightening. Well, when I was eleven I spent two months unable to go near a sink after watching fifteen minutes It. I’m a chicken.

And even a seasoned horror junkie might quake in his boots when he plays Dead Space. But somewhere out there, there are these mythical creatures – these purported humans – who endure that game and go: I don’t get it. Was that supposed to scare me? Roughly 76% of these people are lying through their teeth, but that remaining 24%* really doesn’t get it.

To that twenty-four percent: this is how Dead Space scares the shit out of people, and this is why you might have terrible survival instincts.

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