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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Time for a Journey!!!!!!!

I had to make the joke in the title. "Journey Time" would be too bland. Anyway this post is about a beautiful work of art that is the video game Journey!!!!!!! That's right. The title of the game is Journey.


Anyway there is not a whole lot of story. Or dialogue. Pretty much all the story details come SOLELY from paintings and hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics is lettering used by ancient civilizations (like Egypt, for example).

Anyway, In Journey you play as a mysterious creature. Your "Traveler" as we will call it for the purpose of this blog post has a cape. And a scarf. Just wanted to mention it. Anyway it is pretty obvious that your Traveler need-wants to go to a massive mountain that is constantly beckoning you to come closer. "Need-Wants" is a reference to Matau from Bionicle. Because Matau would say things like that (he also says stuff like "track-find", "sorry-bad", "happy-cheer", "quick-speed" and finally "wind-fly").

This game has pretty graphics. I just need to point it out.

Two Travelers!!!!!

Anyway, this game has a lot of walking in it. But your Traveler possesses the power of flight.


But you can only stay airborne for a few seconds. Why? Because the scarf around a Traveler's neck determines how powerful flying becomes . The Longer the scarf, the longer/further/higher you wind-fly (another Matau reference)

But your Journey (title pun!) will not be a safe one. There are killer part whale, part robot, part dragon creatures I will refer to as Guardians because the paintings depict them as a last line of defense in a series of wars. These Guardians are extremely aggressive and will attack anything that enters their field of vision. Which admittedly, is actually easy to stay out of considering they have a pair of searchlights on their heads and they can only see what the searchlights light up. In other words, stay OUT of the spotlight!!!!!!

Guardians (big round spot = field of vision)!!!!!!!

What happens when you get hit? The Guardians will steal (and eat) your scarf and your scarf gives you the power of flight.

Also, there is a sand theme for the first three or so levels. The sand behaves surprisingly accurate, and walking over it leaves behind footprints. It's a small thing but it just shows that thatgamecompany (the guys that made this game) puts in small details that make the game even prettier.

Chilly-cold mountains!!!!!

BUT by the time you reach the final level (above) there is not a single bit of sand left. It is replaced with snow. And the snow behaves even more accurately than the sand!!! Your Traveler's robes will even start to freeze up and turn blue when exposed to such cold temperatures.

And something interesting happens. When your Traveler is almost to the summit of the mountain He will move slowly. As if the cold climate has suddenly zapped his energy mid climb. After a few minutes of bravely (albeit foolishly) marching through a blizzard (you can only go through it), your Traveler will black out from exhaustion. Your Traveler then has a vision of it's ancestors, and the ancestors themselves give your Traveler infinite flight, which your Traveler uses to fly almost all the way to the peak. It (the Traveler) then walks into a glowing cave and the game ends from there. BOOM.

This game has a few Easter eggs. For people that have no idea what on earth they are doing in a video game Easter Eggs are secrets hidden in several levels within a single game. The first Easter egg is probably the easiest to a find. Every time you beat the game, a row of hieroglyphics is added to your Travelers robes. But if you beat the game five or so times the robes are completely covered with hieroglyphics.

Look closely at the Traveler furthest from the center and you
will see the hieroglyphics I spoke of.

The next secret is a useful one for future Journeys (another pun!). White Robes!!! White Robes, unlike the default Red Robes recharges flight energy automatically (you have to recharge your scarf manually with the Red Robes). So You can fly whenever you want.

And finally there are several references to thatgamecompany's previous master pieces, Flower and Flow (stylized as FLOw). The first reference is that a flower from Flower (hence the title) appears in the desert. The second reference is that when your Traveler is in the temple/shrine/city-like structure the Mysterious Snake Creature from Flow is in the bottom floor.

Now because the whole story is told SOLELY with hieroglyphics, this means there are different opinions on said story. My research shows the most popular theory is that the Travelers' ancestors found a way to turn scarfs into energy but two rival cities got greedy with said energy and a war broke out. Now here is all the proof of said theory.

Hundreds of tombstones (pictured) and thousands more (off-screen)
litter the game (only a war can cause that many casualties).

And something I do not think a picture can clarify is that the the fact that when your scarf has enough energy to let you wind-fly (yet another Matau reference!) the scarf will glow a faint pale blue color but so faint that it is difficult to see in a stand still screen shot. Considering that hints that the scarf can at least store energy or at most generate said energy altogether. Two points of evidence of the "energy war" theory.

And finally here is something I would like to point out. If you are playing online (signed into PlayStation Network) there is roughly 90% of a chance you will meet another player. But you will never learn you that person is, and same way the other way around. In fact the only form of communication is a simple phrase your Traveler will speak will a push of a button. The Phrase is a simple Chirp that will always match the music (the game has the best music I ever heard in interactive entertainment! That and legend of Zelda.).

For more info please go to Journey Wiki as they will cover how to get PlayStation Trophies (awards earned for doing things inside a game. Compatible with only PlayStation Games) and have videos.

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