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Return of the Obra Dinn


TheSlugFormerlyKnownAsNap
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Sooooooooo close. 56 fates down, 13h20 on the clock. Now to work out where my logic fell down. Plus there’s one guy who was

 

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Sent to the brig after attacking another sailor. All I can see in there is an open trapdoor to the bilges. So his death is unseen so far.

 

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Got it! I had one wrong cause of death - a crush instead of a drown. I have now done all I can on the Obra Dinn! All currently solvable fates down (58, I think). The last four get solved in pairs, so you can brute force them a little.

 

Time for that last chapter.

 

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The guy in the brig, and the person who took him there, it looks like.

 

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And we're done. 60 down. Not too shabby a completion time, 14h.

 

Although I was a little surprised at:

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the insurance report. I had the Bosun's mate accidentally shooting someone on the other side of the walkway, but his estate was penalised for murder. So there must be some leeway there.

 

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Yeah, my last three fates were the seamen who I simply could not identify before the end. And I only sorted the Chinese topmen out just before that, using a really bloody obscure clue. I kicked myself when I got it.
 

Did you find 

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Tattoo guy? He doesn't appear in many memories, so he's hard to track down.

 

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1 minute ago, smac said:

Yeah, my last three fates were the seamen who I simply could not identify before the end. And I only sorted the Chinese topmen out just before that, using a really bloody obscure clue. I kicked myself when I got it.
 

Did you find 

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Tattoo guy? He doesn't appear in many memories, so he's hard to track down.

 


not yet. I abandoned him for a bit and will go back tomorrow 

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When I'm not playing about this game, I'm thinking about it.  I don't know how he did it, but in my head these characters are alive.  I can hear their voices and see them move.  During the diorama scenes, finding out what's going on... going back and finding out a piece of the story that I missed.  From a purely static view.  The capture of the moment before death and what's going on around it it just amazing.

 

I doesn't seem to be his style to make another game with the same idea - but it's just such a rewarding way to build up a film in your head.

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15 down, now. It's incredible. I think it might be the best detective game ever made. It might be the best game ever made. It feels like someone looked at Myst and Monkey Island and thought, "what if I actually made a good version of those?"

 

It's annoying that it wasn't discounted on PS4, but this game is worth it at full price. At £8, it's an absolute steal.

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What struck me after finishing it

Spoiler

was the clinical bureacracy of what I'd been doing in contrast to the situations I'd witnessed. It's a brilliant continuation of the theme from Papers, Please in that sense - showing how faceless bureacracy can be as much part of capitalist efficiency as of totalitarianism. You find yourself carefully examining a scene and trying to decide whether to record a death as getting crushed by a monster or drowned in the sea, completely desensitised to the horror. And it's so easy to get caught up in making logical decisions that you close yourself off to the panic and stress the crew were under. Without any sense of malice you can accuse someone of murder when their actions led to a death purely by accident - just by doing your job exactly as you're supposed to. That's why the visual presentation is so important too - seeing everything in black and white stills helps sustain the sense of detachment.

 

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2 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

What struck me after finishing it

  Reveal hidden contents

was the clinical bureacracy of what I'd been doing in contrast to the situations I'd witnessed. It's a brilliant continuation of the theme from Papers, Please in that sense - showing how faceless bureacracy can be as much part of capitalist efficiency as of totalitarianism. You find yourself carefully examining a scene and trying to decide whether to record a death as getting crushed by a monster or drowned in the sea, completely desensitised to the horror. And it's so easy to get caught up in making logical decisions that you close yourself off to the panic and stress the crew were under. Without any sense of malice you can accuse someone of murder when they're actions led to a death purely by accident - just by doing your job exactly as you're supposed to. That's why the visual presentation is so important too - seeing everything in black and white stills helps sustain the sense of detachment.

 

You have hit the nail on the head with this post. It's an absolute masterpiece this game. 

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I just wish there were more games where the gameplay was just parsing information. 

 

It's hard to articulate this but it's nice where the gameplay is kinda outside of the game itself, it's in your mind or, if playing with someone else, it's in the discussion.

 

The closest game to this I think is Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, which is a board game (not even quite that). I just don't know of anything else quite like either in terms of "where" the gameplay is. 

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I think I’ve done 27 now.

 

Does the game expect you to use the confirmations to figure stuff out? For example, sometimes you know it’s one of two individuals and it seems to me that the only way to determine it for sure is to try both and see if it confirms. I’m not sure if this is cheating or if the game wants you to do this.

 

Anyway, I’ve got all the chapters except for 8 (which it seems you can’t get until you finish the game?), so have no idea how I’m going to get the next 31. There’s certainly more I can be doing with what I’ve already got, but I think it’s going to be extremely tough going.

 

I love how I’m starting to notice the little things though - how people are standing, who they’re standing with, what they’re wearing, etc.

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I'm a little at a loss now I've finished it.

 

It's such in intense experience. In a way, you feel the action so much more because, paradoxically, the game was just frozen moments in time.

 

That you experienced in so much greater depth as a result; you see each fate in intimate detail, over and over, from all angles.

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For folks who liked this game, I'd direct your attention to the recently released Paradise Killer (on Switch and PC). It's a very fine detective game where although the premise is as different as you can imagine, the deductive reasoning you need to piece together the complex murder mystery really reminded me of Obra Dinn. You hunt down clues and testimonies but at no point does it outright tell you the answers, you need to do the brainwork yourself. Another cool thing about Paradise Killer is that you decide when to take the case to trial when you think you have the truth figured out. By the end of the game I had a few pages of notes connected by a jumble of connected lines to get my head around the case, just like I did by the end of Obra Dinn. I'd definitely recommend Paradise Killer if you like this style of deductive reasoning, its a very different game but at its core is a very rewarding mystery where you feel like a true detective by the end. 

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What I liked about Obra Dinn is that I didn't need many notes. I made 6 notes for the entire game, all from the same scene. You can probably guess which chapter.

 

The rest I did via the UI; this is a very well-designed game.

 

But I like the look of Paradise Killer; it's just moved up my list.

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Yeah, the book is initially a bit overwhelming, but once you get used to it, it's excellent. Being able to see all the memories people are in, and even have their positions marked out on a map, so you can see where they started and where they ended up, is excellent.

 

I think tonight will be about really figuring out who the extra people in The Calling are, and what happened to them. I've got the main characters down, but there's still about four I haven't.

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I got two of the seamen in that chapter through different means, correctly surmising their general identities from an earlier chapter which then passed that information into The Calling where I was able to firmly place them:

 

Spoiler

Two of the unknown seamen are in the first chapter of A Bitter Cold, on the table playing cards. Given you can hear Russian dialogue, I gathered that the three playing cards were the 3 Russian crew members, something that can be further verified looking at the Under Way drawing in the book. Of course, this doesn't tell you who they *specifically* are, but it does help to narrow down the field, and I returned to The Calling once I had resolved a few other Fates, confident in myself that at least I could eliminate at least two of the Russians from later chapters.

 

What an unbelievable game. I'm still mulling some general thoughts around but it has immediately launched itself into my list of all-time favourites. Just an incredible experience, and one that I want to introduce friends to purely so I can see how they work out events, what they notice etc.

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Also the OST makes an amazing soundtrack to Zoom meetings where I don't have to unmute myself! Yeah, I've fallen hard for this game.

Spoiler

The first 4 corpses were amazing but since the fifth corpse I've thought of little else.

There are few games I'm happier I went in blind.

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Just finished this as well and I can only echo everyone else's sentiments about how good the game is and how hooked it got me. Thank god I was off work this week so I could dedicate time to keep going back to it over the last two days, I honestly could think of nothing else while I was trying to get to sleep last night going over where I might have been going wrong. I did get through some of it without working out the full logic behind who was who, so making 'educated guesses', and it's been interesting going back through the thread reading people's thoughts and processes as well as some other sources to plug in the gaps. 

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Got another 6 down.

 

Very pleased with a few of them as it was relatively minor details which led me to get them.

 

33 done, now.

 

The guy from New Guinea, Maba, felt like a bit of a cheat, though:

 

Spoiler

I initially thought he was the Bosun's mate, as they said he got torn apart, but in the end just decided those tattoos were so weird that he had to be from somewhere unique.

 

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