Pick on anything you like. We can discuss it, no problem. Disagreement, as always, welcome.
WORK IN PROGRESS
*sigh of relief* Good, they didn’t kill her. I haven’t played the entirety of Book 1 again since the download and bugatastrophe, but I guess they cut the whole “you’ll meet me [Vagabond] again before the end” stuff from the first chapter because that Vagabond was a sly liar. So I guess that’s what Ragnar meant in “rewriting the ending”. Was she meant to end up in Storytime forever? And I’m not sure where Zoë ended up eventually. Have her powers to alter reality just ceased?
I'm glad how all turned out for Kian in Chapters, especially his relationship to Likho. In retrospect, especially because Bip's rescue was eventually treated more or less off screen, his devotion to the young blue ball of chaos didn't turn out to be that credible. Much more credible was that his real future quest lies on Azadi territory – which is why fast forwarding it through Saga's revelations and the five years into the future cutscene didn't sit quite right with me.
Hami, much more than Kian, embodies Azadi culture. Yet there's something deeply wrong with that culture when the Prophet (a foreigner to boot) gets to harvest their racist ideas. Hami was part of the culture that brought Kian to murder Likho's father. The culture that taught Kian to hate the Dolmari. One good talk between men, one spark of magic in Hami's past, and bygones all? That was a little difficult to swallow.
*NEW* Gabriel Castillo *NEW*
See? I almost forgot him, even though I really liked him in Dreamfall and was looking forward to him in Dreamfall Chapters. Besides Olivia, he was Zoë's most understanding and helpful friend in the world. Well, Olivia was killed off screen, and Gabriel got to utter a few words of apology without getting his original voice actor back. At least an interactive dialog should have been in the cards. But interactivity was somehow something RTG veered away from over time.
Remember how that one ex-member came in here with his MRA crap telling us how all the caucasian men in Chapters are always bad guys and how the foreign looking women are basically good natured heroes? Yeah. One last time, fuck that guy. Mother Utana orchestrated the death camps… the death camps. Not sure how I feel about that, and about Crow not recognizing it even though he seemed to serve as her messenger.
Hamfisted, certainly, poetic justice, definitely, disproportionate cruelty, maybe. But it was great to see his arc and reign ending this way. It was, so to speak, an emotional reward gained through a lot of psychological pain in the Books before.
„Find her. Save her. Or get her killed – same thing”. What we’ve easily discarded as an explanation for ten years because it just sounded too darn bad was actually meant just like that. I find that very difficult to wrap my head around. Rebirth has saved April, but rebirth wasn’t Zoë’s doing. April had a spanking new character model, which I loved, but eventually only got three lines that Sarah probably recorded in early 2015. Or 2014 even. And seeing only just the Storytime echo of April and Crow wander off into adventures long in the past wasn't particularly satisfying. Deep sighs here.
Well, Saga really is something else. And that’s to be taken literally. What is she?! Saga isn’t really a Shifter, she’s a hardcore artist-singer-alchemist Girl Friday, and despite her assertions that she’s not a writer, she’s still a strange kind of hired author – acting out, constructing and retelling stories that seem to have been written long ago by an unknown authoritative voice. It will take me quite a while to decide whether that even works as a character. But she’s fucking kickass awesome anyway, and that character model is the best in the entire TLJ saga.
I think I stipulated – IN JEST – a theory once in which the bird seen in TLJ’s ending sequence was one of Crow’s offsprings. That… theory turned out to be true to a good solid degree, if I understood correctly. Killing off Crow was unfortunately rather cheap, rivalling the worst of Joss Whedon. How Saga got him back, we may never know, and if we do, that explanation is likely very unsatisfactory.
“She’s in Mumbai, but we won’t get to see her this episode anyway”. Hanna still doesn’t know where she’s coming from, and where she may go to. Her mentor has left with rocket speed. She doesn’t know she has sisters. It’s all pretty messy right now. An acknowledgement that Zoë would try to find her and have a good long talk would have been nice. Then again, the half sentence squeezed in mentions/acknowledgements just to tie loose ends up – they piled up considerably in that Book.
Okay, THAT was the mention I really wanted to see. Just an acknowledgement that she’s at peace, and Kian has come to appreciate her very much. Or, uhm, see her at all? Well, if she didn’t get killed, that is.
When Mira didn’t get to squeeze a word in because RTG couldn’t get the voice actor in the studio … uhhhm. A good bit of disappointment over here. It’s Mira! How could DFC end without her colorful commentary? Thankfully, we had Saga in that scene, so a sarcastic undertone was still there.
Yes, Emma. Whom you got to meet in her museum during Book 1 … or wait, you didn’t. I’m anxious as to what’s happening there right now. When RTG finally, eventually, one day, who knows, gets to implement the museum, will they invest in a voice actor for Emma and bring Zoë’s voice actress back so that injection will still feel like an organic part of the Propast setting? I really have my doubts there.
Poor Reza! He got the short end of the stick. The WATI brainwash arc still makes some sense, but the many conflicts with the character never got resolved. When he enters the hospital room and doesn't say a word, it eerily mirrors the end of Dreamfall. Is this "the real Reza" now? We'll never find out.
Well, we saw it all coming, so moaning won’t help. The Storytime sequence that showed him battling with these inner demons at least gave some credibility to the idea, while I still can't replay TLJ without thinking it wouldn't work. April was saving the Balance, Westhouse could at the very least misdirect her. Still, I would at least have wanted to see some acknowledgement and final words from him in DFC, to see that he’s still alive and back to his old self...?
I’m not sure Wonkers ever had an arc as such, and I’m undecided on using Abnaxus’ voice actor to give us “wrong Wonkers” as a substitute. Wonkers was the voice of unconditional love coming from a mere piece of technology, and that was a very important piece in the Starkadian jungle for me. There may have been more fitting endings for the character if only they’d gotten Jack Angel back.
Bip’s treatment in Book Four was a sad occurrence already, but in Book Five? It was all too painfully obvious that they reused samples recorded for Book 2 in 2015. For a fan favorite character, his last scene was disappointing. They didn’t even show his parents. I do understand the decision of course. There’s a budget, and limits to that budget.
Gordon “Blind Guardian” Halloway
I may be blatantly misunderstanding things, but Helena tried to create a world governed solely by science and logic right herself, and the Prophet tried to eradicate all magic from Arcadia by channelling technology into the world. And the Guardian, the only job of whom is keeping science and magic nicely separated, never knew! He’s all like “Go home April, this doesn’t concern the Balance. Stupid kid!”. God that impeachment should come quickly.
So the revelation of WATI’s wrongdoing was all that was needed to put down the totalitarian military dictatorship the Syndicate had already established? That’s a strange thought. Particularly in our present times, when we’ve all withnessed how exposing the total surveillance by governments does absolutely nothing to undo those governments. Credible, at least, is that WATI survives the whole ordeal. Easily, I might add. Forge plan to take over the entirety of Europe, get slapped on the hand and told "no-no".
Of course, we never hear about Samantha Gilmore or the Asian Twins ever again. We never hear about Alvin Peats again or in what way his plans deviated one ounce from Samantha Gilmore’s. It never became clear why Gilmore killed him, and it definitely never became relevant to the story. These central Dreamfall characters are just lost in the void of eight bloody years of development limbo. The fact remains, if I had to decide what characters and arcs to cut in order to continue the story after eight years for a largely new audience, I would probably have applied the very same cuts.