Following last Friday’s post, we’re back with part three of the To The Moon play-along. Everyone is invited to join this community event hosted by Naithin from Time to Loot: simply play the game and then participate in conversations based around several questions after each section.
Whereas the last three weeks have been about To The Moon itself, this time we’re talking about the downloadable content (DLC): Sigmund Minisode 1 and 2. This is a bit of a treat for me because I’ve never gotten around to playing them despite Freebird Games’ project being one of the video games which define me. I now consider myself fully prepared to replay sequel Finding Paradise followed by third instalment Imposter Factory when it’s released later this year – and answer Naithin’s final questions too.
If you haven’t yet played To The Moon and intend to do so, I’d recommend navigating away from this post now and coming back later. There are major spoilers in the following paragraphs which may mar your enjoyment of the game.
Many of us weren’t entirely comfortable with the concept of what Sigmund Corp does. What did you think about getting a look behind the curtain as it were, and seeing some of the responses of the employees?
As mentioned in my first post for the play-along, I remember being unnerved by the thought of changing someone’s memories when I first played To The Moon back in March 2013. It didn’t feel entirely appropriate to overwrite their recollections with ones which weren’t real regardless of how genuine they believed them to be. Progressing through the story and finally understanding why Johnny Wyles wanted to travel to the moon may have made me asses my initial opinion, but it’s a concept which has always sat slightly uncomfortably.
I can understand why people would pay for their services if Sigmund Corp were a real business; being able to make their customers believe they’d achieved their ultimate goal in life would receive a lot of interest and be worth an awful lot of money. I can also see why employees would want to work for them. Several times throughout the main game, doctors Eva Rosalene and Neil Watts express how they want to make their clients happy and it’s clear their colleagues feel the same when you see them gathered in the minisodes.
Does that make it right though? Earlier this month I said that I’m not sure this question has a definitive answer and I still think that’s the case. On one hand, Sigmund Corp is granting wishes and making their customers’ final moments the happiest they could be; but on the other, how would it make their loved-ones feel to know they’d changed their history together? And is the person we are as a result of our experiences have no meaning if they’re all wiped away? Who knows, maybe we’ll find out in Imposter Factory.
What do you think is happening at the end of Sigmund Minisode 2? Speculate wildly!
About halfway through the minisode, Eva returns to the office and speaks to Traci on her mobile from the company car. Just as she says she’s on her way to her house, the doctor suddenly sees a copy of herself in front of the vehicle and is startled. Meanwhile inside the building, Neil is conducting some sort of strange experiment with one of the headsets used to get inside patients’ memories and causes a power outage. We then see Eva exit the elevator to meet Neil (and his mop) before the group of characters is shown together in the lounge.
My theory is that this isn’t actually happening. It’s a memory and not only that: it’s a changed memory. The second Eva is the one who’s pictured at the end of the DLC wearing a headset in what looks like a living-room. She travelled into this recollection to appear on the road and make original Eva go back inside the office to find Neil. If this hadn’t happened, she would have left her partner to spend Christmas alone while she went on to her sister’s place and wouldn’t have seen that he’d had turned the power off and on in the basement.
This could be significant as it’s a clue for future Eva that Neil was secretly working on something he didn’t want anyone else to know about. Perhaps she discovers the technology he creates later on in the series and it helps her in some way. There’s also the fact that with her partner now attending the gathering in the lounge, he brought the ambient sound maker with him and recorded the sounds there – just what someone would need to remind them of that night, kind of similar to how the roadkill smell worked on Johnny in To The Moon even though he was unconscious.
So who’s memories is it that Eva is digging into? It must be Neil’s. Consider the painkillers he hid in the car in the first episode and the fact that a small portion of his health was gone during the squirrel battle scene. There’s also the calls he tries to make to his parents where he’s unable to speak. I won’t say anything here about what happens in Finding Paradise but there are a lot of clues pointing to something damaging Neil’s health – I do have some ideas about this, but you’ll have to wait for the next play-along!
Thanks so much to Naithin from Time to Loot for hosting this event and to Freebird Games for creating such a great title. To The Moon remains one of my favourite video games and having the opportunity to discuss it in more detail, with people who both love the series already and have just discovered it, has been wonderful. I can’t wait for Imposter Factory to be released the end of this year so we can find out what happens to the doctor duo and finally see what all these cliffhangers mean.
To quote Eva: ‘The ending isn’t any more important than any of the moments leading to it.’