Interesting, that must have passed me by the first time but I'll watch out for that!
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So I'm on my second playthrough now (still amazing yay!) and I noticed that the first time Asterion uses the metaphor he explains it a bit, which sort of makes it make more sense in its repetition, but I will see if I keep noticing it coming up in shorter sessions rather than over a weekend.
On my first playthrough I called my PC Joseph, and it turned out that the first 'just' master of the Hotel was an early Christian called Joseph, who helped set the the path away from the torture chamber Labyrinth to the Hotel as it stands.
At first I thought this random coincidence was part of the game, and whatever player name you chose ended up being that guy's name, creating historical symmetry if you chose the kind path, or irony if you chose the Ruthless path. Some of the reforms you can make during the game seem to be as significant as the original changes made by Joseph 1st.
Obviously this didn't pay off at all during the game and I realised there was no way the devs would change the backstory to include whatever random name the player chose i.e 'Nooblord7000', but I thought it might be interesting as an Easter egg if there are certain names Asterion reacts to during the opening chapter of the game after he meets the player.
We are told that he knows the name of the new master as soon as the PC takes the deed to the hotel because this is part of the magic of the contract, so perhaps he would have had some time to stew over it. It's not clear how much about the master Asterion knows other than the name though.
Some like Joseph could have a positive or curious reaction given the history of the name, and others that belonged to less kind masters could elicit an initial concerned reaction, for example Clément. Asterion did say he worried that one of Clément's relatives would take over the hotel. I wouldn't see the need to react to silly names other than maybe in the speedrunner playthrough?
It doesn't need to impact the game beyond a small Easter egg IMO as the PC seems free (so far) to choose his own actions according to the whim of the player so whether his name has meaning becomes irrelevant as soon as he shows his real colours.
No worries, I'm glad to be helpful!
There is a second thing actually, it's not really a question of overuse but a possibly confusing repeating line.
Asterion feels an iron ring in his neck during his darker periods, and then can eventually overcome this feeling. The first reference I recall is when he arrived in the Underworld for his trial after his original death.
The thing I found a bit confusing is I'm almost certain Asterion was beheaded by Theseus, and that is stated in the game at some point.
I wasn't sure to start with if the iron ring was the pain memory of the severance, a Frankenstein like feature holding his head on, or simply a feeling of constriction in his throat due to his anxiety and fears. There are some actual magical rings in the game so if it's only a feeling it could be stated differently for clarity of this issue?
Could just be me over thinking everything to the nth degree though.
One little nitpick I have with the writing is that when Asterion, P or Storm (IIRC) are anxious they're often feeling "Hummingbirds" pecking on their neck or spine.
I started to notice this metaphor crop up again and again until it became almost a personal meme, which made me feel that some of the instances could be replaced with something else.
If there is any thematic significance to the hummingbirds I didn't notice it, it's not something someone would say where I am from (butterflies in the stomach?) but that may be because there are no native species of hummingbirds here :)
Because there are anthro characters in this world any animal metaphor does also run the risk of being taken literally, could there be a sinister hummingbird mythical plotting their demise?
In all seriousness it's a cute metaphor but I would personally reduce how often it crops up, or make it so only one character experiences anxiety in this way, unless the purpose was to show their parallel journeys?
That's an interesting point. As the game went on I felt the dress up mechanic became more abstract 'gamefied' in my head and separate from the MC telling Asterion what to wear, to the point where I didn't feel it was the MC telling him what to wear.
There a few moments where Asterion is going out at night on his own without the MC where he's presumably dressing himself but still has the option to choose outfits.
I do like the idea of him having more agency with it though. It would be cool if some of the new outfits were introduced as ideas Asterion had on his own, and he's simply anxiously asking the MC for fashion advice. It could co-inside with him using the internet for the first time.
No worries, thank you for the response! I'll learn to love him how he is. I can't remember if we saw his largest form in the flashbacks before or after he was fully healed. It might have helped if I knew how he was going to turn out from the start if we saw more of that earlier in the game, but it's really a minor thing.
Three things I would like if possible:
1) More choice of general contemporary clothing. I felt there was only the illusion of choice through most of the game, the wardrobe system seemed to have only 1 or 2 items available for each slot which made it seem a bit superfluous (I appreciate more can be unlocked). I want to be able to mix and match and experiment, which you couldn't really do with 2 main outfits. I felt it was either the 40s outfit or T-shirt/Jeans combo for most of the game.
2) Old Fashioned style hotel uniforms: See Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel for inspiration!
*** Mild Spoilers ***
I didn't really see any other clear avenue to say thanks, so here goes!
I wasn't quite sure what I was expecting when I downloaded this game at the weekend, mainly to satisfy my increasing obsession with Minotaurs over the past few years, but I was hooked to the point of having to play with my phone charger plugged in.
All I can say is bravo, what a journey. I could give a superfluous review but I will just say thank you for a few things.
Thank you for your dedication to your craft. Lots of writers turn to the classics in urban fantasy settings as a substitute for imagination and depth, but you clearly know your stuff beyond a superficial Hollywood level. Any elements you've changed or re-invented are surely more enjoyable than the original myths. I almost wanted to clap when Asterion's brother unleashed his oratory during the trial. There's something very comforting about Hades being the most benevolent of the 12.
Thank you for the humour, the mental image of Luke possibly fighting [NaziFurs?!?!] during WW2, the opportunity to RP as English with the wry Francophobia towards Jean (Asterion's reaction was priceless!), and the general sense of restraint in keeping things from getting too wacky.
Thank you for the new experience of a Latin American story without drug king pins and American-centric view, though I must confess it took me a few Hinterlands acts before I worked out it was meant to be Brazil, I assumed initially it was a sort of nowheresville wasteland that could exist in many countries, but that just reflects my own ignorance really.
Thank you for making Asterion someone you want to hug and protect for ever and not a digital sex toy.
Most importantly I want to say thank you for your depiction of male friendship and male love, which is something that's definitely lacking in general fiction I've read. The whole thing was very eye opening in some respects and has filled some voids I didn't really know were there.
While I need some time to recover before I play again I'm really excited for the future of the game. Thank you so much!