Lotus Prince Let’s Play: Never Alone – Part 4

In this installment we reach a sort of end, and a new beginning. Prepare for a major change.

About Lotus Prince

I enjoy playing video games, and I particularly favor survival horror games.

2 comments

  1. It’s a pity you never watched the video about King’s Island that gives context to the buildings on stilts here, I thought it was a really cool video.

    The good about this area: The magnificent mood. From the very start where a starstudded sky draws your attention, and everything is quiet save the howling wind, to the first time you see (and hear, man does all the creaking make you feel as if no platform is safe and anything could fall apart at any time) the abandoned, rickety buildings and the spooky aurora children, this stage really has your attention. It’s saying something when the appearance of bright green spectral wraiths actually manages to be a soothing influence rather than a spooky one, due to them bringing some music into the stage- something to distract you from all the creaking.

    The bad about this area: It has some rather weird and forced moments. Though it is only a one-time occurence, I don’t really get why the girl lets go of the box-swing when you change from her to the fox, just feels like a rather unnatural way to add tension in a rather arbitrary way (and was it the AI that took over control when the fox jumped off the swing, or was that you?). Also- when you’re at the final stretch with the fox, you can at one point jump down to the girl… only to phase through the spirit she’s standing on, which doesn’t happen in ANY OTHER PART OF THE GAME. Like, if you necessarily had to have him walk the upper path, why give him a hole to jump down in the first place? Just make a long, solid stretch of roof to wander. No need to break immersion by suddenly not letting us stand on spirits which has not happened yet in game and never will happen again.

    The Aurora children are probably the most memorable aspect of this stage, and a pretty cool way to make an interesting “enemy” from folklore. Though I must admit they had me sorta stumped until I figured out that the only harmful part of them are the arms. I thought ALL of that green smoke was harmful at first because why shouldn’t I, only to gradually realize through an encounter with a spirit whose body always filled the screen that I COULD jump straight through them.

    The third most memorable moment- definitely the careening house. Sure, the stop is pretty abrupt and I too died at the first time because I jumped too late (problem that returns in the final part with the walking tree), but it’s still a really cool moment and you restart right at the start of the houses descent (and I did think it was cool when you showed me that the fox walking over the weak boards doesn’t destroy them, didn’t realize that).

    Second most memorable moment though? Can’t be anything but the ending, awkwardly railroaded though it may be. I actually laughed a little at your perfectly timed “haha what do you think about tha-“*NECKSNAP* moment. Black comedic timing at it’s finest. And speaking of death, I ran into a funny glitch in this stage- At one point in the house of the balance-boards, the fox somehow got onboard the lowest platform where you eventually push the box to tip it up. I pushed the box down there, and it landed on the fox… and killed it. And it was partially amusing because it was such an unexpected breath of realistic physics in the game that I just didn’t expect, and then the fox model just FLIPPED OUT. It started stretching and expanding all over the screen, flipping and tumbling and bouncing before it’s death animation was played out and the model reverted to normal.

    Then we have the “bad ending”. Up until I saw her bury the fox I really thought this was some elaborate bad end cutscene, but around that part I realized they were lingering on this sequence for way too long. And lo and behold… our reward- Immediate resurrection! Of course, as they explain it it’s more like the fox’s spirit leaving it’s physical form and becoming… well, more of a spirit or ghost helper, almost. I must admit it felt a bit hard to swallow at first since I thought of it as a resurrection, rather than an “ascension” or “change”, and easy resurrections so quick after a dramatic death scene is something one has been taught to think of as cheap or bad for a very long time. It pretty much demands you’re onboard with “fairy tale”logic rather than “classic drama” logic, but if you are it eventually works. Also, we’re airswimming now. Neat.

    This section has really only two minor negatives that I can think of. First is that foxboy isn’t “anchored” to the object he’s pulling meaning he can fly so far away from something it stops being pulled, and if he does so the spirit usually deactivates because he’s so sluggish with turning back that he can’t go back in time.

    The second is that here, and in the next stage as well, wind jumps take place between smaller platforms. It’s now possible to overshoot the target platforms if you jump at the edge of a platform, so you have to jump slightly before the edge when the wind is blowing which wasn’t done before and over all makes it a little trickier to really judge distance and nail the jumps.

    It shall be conceded however that this is a beautiful stage. Not only in how it’s manages to replicate the look of sunlight through a cloudy sky during winter, that very particular hazy look that is quite hard to recreate and get it right, but also how the trees and backgrounds manages to create depth. Even if the background is just a gray fog and not a starry sky, it feels like there’s always something big hiding in the daze, some greater mystery we just see hints of. Climbing up into the trees, the little rabbit family that jumps away from you on the bottom floor, and of course the trees that somehow come off as friendly and inviting despite their beady little eyes. It all creates a really wonderful mood that for some reason gives me Donkey Kong Country flashbacks. Even if the stage itself is practically just one long circle, it’s a circle with a real nice mood to it. Not half bad in my book.

Leave a Reply