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Completed Sepulchre: A Gothic Train Ride

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Crane, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The Adventure Game Studio software has been the backbone of some fantastic games (Ex. Gemini Rue), and some terrible games (Ex. Mourir en Mer). This one lies somewhere in-between...

    [​IMG]

    Sepulchre is a short game made in AGS from some collective called Owl Cave, which hasn't really done much else aside from some other game called Richard & Alice. It’s a game featuring horror, trains, and huge bags, all wrapped up in a gothic theme. It's heavy on allegory and symbolism, so please don't hesitate to get into those literary mindsets and analyse the game. There isn't much else to say, so let's just jump right in...

    [​IMG]

    Chapter I : Beneath this Silent World...
    Chapter II : The Salt of the Earth
    Chapter III : A Steel Coffin
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  2. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    [​IMG]

    Chapter I : Beneath this Silent World... (open)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] They stir. Beneath this silent world of saints and sinners, 'twixt the living and the dead...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Train's still going. I can't have slept long. We left... we left... when did we leave? Where did we leave?

    [​IMG] Goddamn, it's unnervingly quiet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Maybe I should fetch some water. The restaurant should be open now.


    [​IMG]

    After that brief opening, we're given control. Odd that our main character seems to have a habit of waking up by spouting gothic prose, but there you go. A small problem with Sepulchre is that there's not any text indicating what items can be interacted with and which cannot. But there are a few things to interact with in this room. The first is that book.

    [​IMG]

    We can't take the book with us. There's a bag on the floor...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We take a wallet and ID from the bag.

    > examine ID

    [​IMG] Doctor Harold Lang.
    Krenwick-On-Thames Museum, Badge ID: CCPN1318.


    > examine wallet

    [​IMG]

    There's a five pound note and a credit card inside of the wallet, which has now disappeared into the adventure game aether.

    Note that the window in the room has a shutter over it which we can't lift. That's all of interest in here, so let's head out and go see what else is in the train.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Okay, I am Doctor Harold Lang. My destination is Augur Peak Island. I'm on this train to...

    [​IMG] *cough* *cough* *cough*

    [​IMG] I'm going to evaluate some finds. They called me to...


    [​IMG]

    Harold is having some memory problems, in addition to a cough that won't quit. Oh well, what's this painting on the left?

    [​IMG]

    We can get two different bits of dialogue by left clicking instead of right clicking on some items. The other dialogue is:

    [​IMG] A painting of an old train. Is it this one? No, it looks too old. Maybe an ancestor. Heh.

    Harold here mentioned a ticket inspector, and it turns out that he's waiting just off-screen to the left.

    [​IMG]

    > examine ticket inspector

    [​IMG] A friendly-looking fellow. Makes a change for public transport.

    Let's talk to him. Harold needs something to drink, maybe the ticket inspector can point the way.

    [​IMG] Good evening, my friend. I was wondering if you could...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Heh, something like that. Could do with a stiff drink about now.

    [​IMG] Right you are, then.


    [​IMG]

    On occasion, we get a dialogue window like this. It's actually pretty rare.

    > Painting
    Leave

    [​IMG] That painting on the wall...

    [​IMG] Isn't she a beaut? Runs like clockwork, she does.

    [​IMG] It's... this train? Isn't it a little old?

    [​IMG] Hmph. You kids today got no appreciation of machinery.


    [​IMG]

    Sepulchre has no subtlety. There's no slow decent into madness for Harold, he just comes pre-packaged with it.

    [​IMG] Practically grew up on 'er, I did. Ain't nothing about old Gloria that I don't know.

    Whatever. The inspector doesn't have any info for us, so we'll just have to explore to find a drink for Harold. To the right is the exit to another car.

    [​IMG]

    But it's locked! That's a little odd. Maybe the inspector knows what's going on.

    [​IMG]

    > Keyhole
    Leave

    [​IMG] The door to the next carriage appears to be locked. Is that normal? Nothing's wrong, is it?

    [​IMG] Haha. You city folk always jump to conclusions. Ain't nothing wrong. Just how we do things when our guests are asleep. Prevents prying eyes and swift fingers.

    [​IMG] Isn't that a bit of a fire harzard?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Sheesh. Could you possibly unlock the door? I could really use a drink.

    [​IMG] Don't reckon I can, no. Ha! I can give you the key, though. On one condition...

    [​IMG] Please don't tell me he's going to ask me to solve some ridiculous conundrum of his...

    [​IMG] Bring me back a shot of whisky when you get back. Old Floyd'll hook you up. Just tell him it's for Don.

    [​IMG] Phew. No problem, my friend. Thank you.


    He gives us the key, and we use it on the door to the next car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first thing of note here is that there's another painting on the wall.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] A solemn-looking young woman. She's seated on a chair. Her eyes are staring off at something just outside the picture's edge. It's a little unnerving. I feel like I've seen a photograph like this before. If this wasn't up in a train carriage...

    Hmm... At any rate, we've got to get that drink. This is another passenger carriage, so the restaurant must be in another car further to the right. There's a small problem with that, however...

    [​IMG]

    Can we use the key on it?

    [​IMG] No good... I can't even get the key in. Must be locked from the other side.

    As opposed to being locked from where else? Don, the ticket collector, has been pretty helpful so far. He might be able to help us again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Ah, Floyd must be getting things ready, Just take your time, boy. Let him do his thing. He'll unlock it when he's good and ready. Ain't no rush, is there?

    Is there?

    Is there?

    Recommended Reading:
    The Conqueror Worm - Edgar Allan Poe
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  3. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    Looks good, keep 'em coming.
     
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  4. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
    Joined:
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    1,117
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Thank you, my only reader. I know that not much happened in the first part, but we're already 1/3rd though the game. When I said that the game is short, I meant it: it's only around 30 minutes in length.
     
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  5. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Two readers!
     
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  6. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Reader number 3 here. In only ten minutes, your readership has tripled. Incredible!
     
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  7. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
    Joined:
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    7,124
    Location:
    Neverwhere
    Make it four.
     
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  8. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    10,362
    We are legion
     
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  9. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Welcome back to the ride, my numerous readers.

    [​IMG]

    Chapter II : The Salt of the Earth (open)

    We've got some time to kill before the restaurant opens, so let's rudely explore other passenger's rooms. It turns out there's only one that Harold will bother with:

    [​IMG]

    He does anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Emperor Palpatine sits across from a big black bag.

    > examine bag

    [​IMG] A huge black holdall... looks very heavy. God knows what's inside.

    There's also something on the table.

    > examine box

    [​IMG] A beautifully polished wooden box. It has a red, teardrop-shaped gem set into the top.

    Now to the man.

    > examine man

    [​IMG] He doesn't look very well. That's if it's even a 'he'. He looks positively sick, in fact.

    > talk to man

    [​IMG] Hello there. I'm sorry for the intrusion, I...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] He's muttering something... I can't make it out. I'm sorry, what was that?

    [​IMG] ...hutthhhaaahahtha...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Maybe I should be going. Sorry to have bothered you.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] ...hTHTHATHATHHHHHHHHHHathaaa...

    [​IMG] He doesn't seem to be able to open his mouth properly. I think I'd better leave. Maybe I should mention this to that ticket inspector.


    Maybe we should...

    [​IMG]

    > Grub
    Leave

    [​IMG] There's a man in one of the rooms in the next carriage... I don't think he's at all well.

    [​IMG] Ha! We get some right crazies on the train, I'm tellin' ya. Ya learn to leave 'em be after a while.

    [​IMG] The wretched man can barely speak.

    [​IMG] Aye, and I'd be the same way after the amount of booze most of these lads 'ave 'ad. Is Floyd still not operatin', then?

    [​IMG] Not as far as I'm aware.

    [​IMG] Ah well, give the boy time. 'Ey, I saw one of yer fellow passengers pop their head out the room at the end of the corridor. Maybe you'd get better conversation out of her. Pretty little thing.

    [​IMG] Thanks... are you sure that she w...

    [​IMG] *Snores*


    Better conversation would be great right about now. 1-C is the room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Well, this was the right room... Hello?

    Nobody's here, if that wasn't obvious. But there are two more bag.

    [​IMG] More large bags.

    There's also something scattered on the table.

    [​IMG] A pile of paper dogs. They're not very well made.

    Why not take one.

    [​IMG] Heh. as a child, I used to make origami like this. Where's the girl that ticket collector claims to have seen? Um... hmm... Ah, I'm sure she won't miss just one...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Could she be...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Nothing... but that sounded awfully like a door unlocking in the next carriage. Is Floyd open for business?


    [​IMG]

    Indeed he is.

    [​IMG]

    Dinner's on the table.

    [​IMG] Food's getting cold... I haven't heard any sort of dinner bell. Are we supposed to just know when it's dinner time? Are any of these places for me, I wonder?

    [​IMG]

    Maybe this guy knows. He must be Floyd.

    > examine Floyd

    [​IMG] He doesn't look too happy. I wouldn't either, if none of my dinner guests had shown up.

    > talk to Floyd

    [​IMG] Good evening... Floyd, is it?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] It's Doctor Lang, actually. But who needs formalities in a place like this? Haha.


    Then why bring it up?

    [​IMG] Quite. I suppose you're here on business?

    [​IMG] Business? I, er...?

    [​IMG] A drink, Mr. Lang. That is what you're after, is it not?

    [​IMG] Perhaps a bite to eat, first?

    [​IMG] Unfortunately all our meals are reserved. By all means have a drink, though. Pull up a stool.

    [​IMG] I'd better not stay. Your ticket collector, Don I think it was, has tasked me with procuring him a glass of whisky.

    [​IMG] Ah yes, he did leave his hip flask here, thinking about it. It's right there on the bar. This one's on the house, Mr. Lang.


    It's to the left of him.

    [​IMG]

    > take flask

    [​IMG] Huh, it's empty.

    We better fix that.

    > use flask on Floyd

    [​IMG] Flask's empty, Floyd. Better give me a shot of whisky.

    [​IMG] No more freebies I'm afraid, Mr. Lang. That'll be five pounds.


    Huh. We didn't get any in the first place.

    [​IMG] Five pounds? You're burying me alive here.

    [​IMG]

    > use £5 note on Floyd

    [​IMG] Here you go, my good man.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Better hit me with another.


    Uh...

    [​IMG] Excess is the path to ruin, Mr. Lang. We wouldn't want you to go before your time, would we?

    [​IMG] I think I can manage just one more drink.

    [​IMG] That's what they all say isn't it. Mr. Lang. Just one more for the road, I can handle it. Never had difficulty driving before. And what about your liver, Mr. Lang? Can that handle just one more drink?

    [​IMG] Goddamn, Floyd, you always were a preachy son of a bitch, weren't you?

    [​IMG] I think you're quite mistaken, Mr. Lang. We've never met, you and I. I just don't want you to do yourself an injury.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] That's right, Mr. Lang, let it all out. There's a good little puppy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] What the hell... what did... shit.


    Harry here is a bit of a lightweight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Aren't you forgetting your promise, Mr. Lang?

    [​IMG] Whiskey. For Don.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] May I suggest you simply take the bottle back to your room? Whether you decide to give it to Don or not is your call.


    > take bottle

    [​IMG] Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] How much?

    [​IMG] It's not cheap, I'm afraid. Forty pounds should do it.

    [​IMG] I don't have that much money on me.

    [​IMG] I'm sure you'll find a way, Mr. Lang. You always do.


    We do have a way.

    [​IMG]

    > use credit card on Floyd

    [​IMG] Okay, here goes. Goodbye, bank balance.

    [​IMG] If you'd just enter your PIN...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Hmm, now what was my PIN? I remember setting a number I can identify easily. I'm no good with memorising numbers.


    We've actually already seen the hint:

    The code is 1318.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Thank you, Floyd.

    [​IMG] No, thank YOU, Mr. Lang.


    [​IMG]

    On our way out, something happens!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Oh, Mr Lang? That pale man you met... I think he just wants a best friend. Perhaps you're not quite what he's looking for? You are, after all, blind drunk...

    Wasted after one shot. Harold is a college freshman.

    On to more serious matters, the advice that Floyd gave us might be useful. Note that Harold never told Floyd that he met him. At any rate, we're heading back there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] ... hgrrthhhaah!

    [​IMG] I think Floyd was right... he doesn't seem to be warming to me, though.


    That paper dog might help...

    [​IMG]

    > use paper dog on Emperor Palpatine

    [​IMG] Worth a try, I suppose. Hey, sir, this isn't quite man's best friend, but...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] ... oooheeheheh!!!

    [​IMG] That seems to have done the trick!


    [​IMG]

    > examine box

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] There's an engraving here... 'He whose blood the Earth's dark thirst doth quench, ascends unto the Heavens from her womb'. Interesting.

    The box is locked. But:

    > examine ruby

    [​IMG] A beautiful, teardrop-shaped ruby. I'm no gemologist but I'd wager it's real.

    > use ruby

    [​IMG] It's firmly attached. But hey, I think I can move it...

    [​IMG]

    We move it towards him, and...

    > use box

    [​IMG]

    :what:

    What the fuck?

    Recommended Reading:
    St. Irvyne - Percy Bysshe Shelley
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  10. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    3,784
    What the fuck, indeed.

    I got a little Lloyd the bartender from The Shining vibe from Floyd the bartender, though I checked and their dialogue doesn't have any real similarities.
     
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  11. Thor Kaufman Arcane Zionist Agent

    Thor Kaufman
    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    11,713
    You've always been the caretaker, Mr. Lang.
     
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  12. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,117
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Last stop...

    [​IMG]

    Chapter III : A Steel Coffin (open)

    We last left off with a box of earth and worms.

    [​IMG]

    But that weird passenger has nothing to say about it. We should bring that flask to Don, the ticket inspector.

    [​IMG]

    > use flask on Don

    [​IMG] Well, well. You really came through for an old man, boyo.

    [​IMG] Talk about dramatising it. You can't be any older than thirty-five.


    [​IMG]

    Pictured: Awkward Pause

    [​IMG] Glad to make the night pass by just that little bit easier. That reminds me, I never did find that girl in this carriage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] But you said...

    [​IMG] Now, it's not nice to go messin' with ol' Don's head, just cos he's had a sniff of whisky. But y'know, I like you, Lang. You got spirit.

    [​IMG] Well, thanks, but that girl... you honestly told me you saw her.

    [​IMG] Reckon I didn't. An' you know what? It's the craziest damn thing. You're just about the only soul I've seen on this train tonight. Not normally like that. Even Floyd's usually around. Must be his night off.

    [​IMG] Floyd IS around. I got the whiskey from him, remember? And what about the sick passenger in the next car?

    [​IMG] No' seen anybody around, son. You know what I need on a night like this? A good book. Cannae beat a good novel and a drink.

    [​IMG] A good book, hey?


    [​IMG]

    > Louis Cassell
    Leave

    [​IMG] Have you ever read the works of Louis Cassell?

    [​IMG] Cannae say I've heard of him.

    [​IMG] He's a horror writer. In fact, he lives on Augur Peak Island.

    [​IMG] Augur Peak Island? Never heard of it.

    [​IMG] Isn't that where we're going? Well, ahem, I have one of his novels somewhere.

    [​IMG] That'd be just the ticket. Haha! Gettit?


    Louis Cassell - Harold had one of his novels in his room.

    Let's go get it.

    [​IMG]

    And head back to Don.

    [​IMG]

    > use book on Don

    [​IMG] *Snores*

    [​IMG] Huh. Guess he won't be wanting the novel after al. Best leave him be.


    Notice that there are two items near Don's feet. One is the flask, which Harold won't take. The other is...

    [​IMG]

    > take key

    [​IMG] Well, why not? The key to Two A. Maybe I'll find this mysterious girl.

    2-A here we come.

    [​IMG]

    > use key on door

    [​IMG]

    Hmm... There's another one of those bag on the seat.

    [​IMG] Another large bag. This is starting to get very, very unpleasant.

    He won't look inside, however.

    [​IMG] I want to have a look inside... but this is somebody's bag.

    More important are the pictures on the table.

    [​IMG] More photos of that girl from the picture in the corridor. She's sitting in different seats around a house. What is it about these pictures...

    [​IMG]

    He takes the pictures, for some reason:

    [​IMG]

    This is getting stranger by the minute. Let's head back to Don.

    [​IMG]

    > use bag

    [​IMG] I don't want to. I don't want to see. Oh God, get me out of this place. What have I done?

    Well, now seems like a good time to visit the sick passenger, right?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] It's... moving... it's twitching... please, God, don't make me look...

    [​IMG] I can't do this any more. I want to wake up.


    The window:

    [​IMG] Shuttered and sealed, just like in my room.

    Let's take a look at that box on the table again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] A toy train, stuck in the dirt. This wasn't in the box before.

    > take toy train

    [​IMG] This can't be here for no reason.

    [​IMG]

    Thin crack? I think we know what to do with that.

    [​IMG]

    > use ID on toy train

    [​IMG]

    This is getting scary. Maybe Floyd can comfort us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    > examine food

    [​IMG] Rotten. It's all rotten... this looks years old. How is this even possible? I think I'm going to be sick.

    And Floyd...

    [​IMG]

    ... he's gone.

    > look at shelf

    [​IMG] Destroyed. All destroyed. I can't even smell the booze... it's like this happened years ago. What the hell could have done this?

    What to do? Well, we have that key, but what do we use it on?

    Well, when Don disappeared, something became revealed to us that he was previously standing in front of:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] A control panel of some sort. It's locked. I don't know what it does.

    > use key on control panel

    [​IMG]

    > use control panel

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] The train's picking up speed...

    Nothing to do but head back to our room, now.

    [​IMG]

    > use window

    [​IMG] I'll just slide it open...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] No... no... dear God, what is this...


    The window, it's full of...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I can't breathe... there's no air... *cough* *cough* *cough*...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [. . .]

    [​IMG]


    Sepulchre, everybody. Someone want to try and explain the story? What's the meaning of the bags? Why set the game in seemingly Victorian times, while Harold is from the modern age? What's with that reference to 'Katarina', a character that was never referred to beforehand?

    Recommended Reading:
    St. Leon - William Godwin
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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  13. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    16,297
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    This feels like something which is planned to have a sequel.

    But: the train is a cemetery. The cabins (or bags maybe, the ticket man is in a funny place to be a grave) are individual graves. There is no exit (even a locked one) so it's not a mausoleum, and besides, it's under the earth. Bags are bodies. Flynn is not there, so he's not dead, being probably a spirit of some kind. The girl is unknown, but probably the most relevant clue would be to read the book, if it exists. If she is really from victorian times is unlikely, the author just needed the victorian corpse photo trope. The cracked train with a key inside symbolizing the key to the 'grave' is strange. Maybe they really did die on a train accident, but this is very strange considering how some of them seems to have spent more time there (emperor palpatine strikes me as degenerate enough to be older, but maybe that is how they seem to others). Or maybe it's just terrible foreshadow - or more charitably 'dream logic' - to the train == grave idea.
    The main character is a bad drunk and probably beat katerine, who ever she is. The ticket man doing a 180º on the girl is suspicious. I don't know what the fuck is the symbol on the shutters of the restaurant cabin, but it looks suspicious, worms maybe?

    Alternate more likely theorization:
    Its possible all of the dead see what they want to see. So it only looks like a train to him, flynn is actually someone he knew but isn't actually there, etc. Good job breaking it MC, now you know. As a alternative, it really looks like a train because it is a victorian-age cemetery.
    In this theory, the pictures might just be older occupants of the graves, before they were dug up and burnt to be replaced (policy on most cemeteries, even late-medieval ones, where they were sent to ossariums instead).
    I have no theory why the 'train' would 'pick up speed' when the 'shutters' were opened though.

    A satisfactory explanation will need to go over the inconsistencies of the other characters, like why the ticket man suddenly denies having a previous conversation, or why Flynn denies knowing the MC and leaves no bag. Or if the girl is katerine, or a older but still vibrant echo of an older corpse soul, or figment of his guilt or whatever, but there is simply not enough information to speculate. Notice however, how emperor palpatine seems in a bad way communication wise and no dead person aware of it moves - in fact, both of them only seem alive until they get what they want - it would seem kinda lame if she were just another dead. Maybe it's a person visiting the cemetery.

    The first hits i can see about Louis Cassell refer to facebook, or to treasure island edited by Cassell or to long dead people, so no sure conclusion from there.
     
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  14. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    TL; DR: No Mr. Lang, you are the dead. And then Lang was dead. And so was everyone else.

    Not bad, the game was a bit too short, but still interesting. I give you a score of :3/5:.
     
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  15. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :bro:

    The game suffers from being a little too ambiguous, so nothing's for sure, but I enjoyed reading your speculation.

    About Louis Cassell, I'm not sure that he's a real writer. I can't find anything by searching for him or his supposed novel 'The Charnel House Burial'.

    Oh, and does anyone know if I have to PM a moderator to get the thread tag changed to 'Completed'?
     
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  16. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    The protagonist opening the box seems to trigger the timeskip from 'spiritual time', let's say, possibly the past, when all the folk are alive, to 'normal time', let's say, when everyone is dead and buried; with the train conductor's amnesia part of the gradual collapse of spiritual time (as well as a device to give some foreshadowing instead of OMG suddenly everyone bag).

    Of interest:
    • The girl is only a reference, without confirmed corporeal existence, even in spiritual time; she haunts even the haunting, as if the protagonist's denial of or inability to remember her death is what sustains the whole phantasmal experience. When her status shifts from uncertain to dead, it all stops...
    • The bags are graves, but as the zombie-man owning a bag when 'alive' shows, there's a connection here between the bag as a grave of men and the traveler's bag as that in which one stores one's life, one's memories, temporarily files away one's self during the intermission to living that is a train ride. In that sense it is also notable that the protagonist remembers nothing (is nothing) without having a bag of his own, and his one possession, the Cassell novel, is an embarrassing indulgence, a morbid side that he usually denies. Even at the end, he has no bag/grave...
    • I'm unsure how to interpret the various 'quotes' - 'He whose blood the Earth's dark thirst doth quench, ascends unto the Heavens from her womb', for example - but of course the symbolism of Earth, worms, devouring, etc. is quite clear, as is the final moment when the train, a symbol of movement but also of flight, transition, a departure from oneself, a removal from the world, is laid low by being literally buried underneath the earth.
    • The incessant coughing is of course another part of the general symbolism; what 'ails' the protagonist is already inside him, has already done its work, is already done.
    Combined, my reading would be that the protagonist himself is already dead, and that if he did not kill the girl, then he was related to her in some other way and her death had to be repressed and denied, sublimated into a morbid fascination with literature like Cassell; his denial of her expresses itself in a phantasm where it is he himself that has no identity, no real existence, and is reduced to seeking after her at every turn. The protagonist is already 'finished' in a number of ways, but hangs on to novels, trains, alcohol - the three modes by which he might literally escape himself.

    I'm puzzled as to what sequence of actual events the story might describe, but that's the kind of impressions that arises from the LP.
     
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  17. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    He does have a bag? Check the ending after the blackout but before the credits.

    Fuck, my 'photos are older psychic impression of older dead' is kinda torpedoed, they're apparently all of the same girl. Lame.
     
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  18. Thor Kaufman Arcane Zionist Agent

    Thor Kaufman
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    Mr. Lang is God obv
     
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  19. Jester Arbiter

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    Prefer to think that guy is currently buried alive in coffin slowly running out of air that why all that cought, using imagination and madness to ease his suffering by escaping in only possible way from inescapable prison. Ending part him starting to realize this (surrounded by dirt behind window, opening window for soil to enter his imaginary space breaking starting plausibility of his denial and sudently going back to real life in blackout part to die by suffocating symbolized by "His" bag).
    Either way He is in trying to run away from death by loosing himself into his own delusions taking into consideration the rest of Floyd conversation, dead photos, refusal of checking the bags with he knows what are in reality and ending.


    What else person on painting is Katarina he mention in ending.

    1) Protagonist killed her and is in denial about it, guessing that driving under influence of alcohol was part of it. It can be that she is person he is abounding by dieing because of liver relited problem from alcohol over usage on other hand.
    2) Train in box is actually protagonist grasping the conspectus of whats going on. He by using information who he is "id" crack open "train" giving him the "key" to shattering illusion completely "shuters and windows".
     
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  20. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I'm persuaded by the buried alive in coffin idea.

    I think the strong Victorian overtones and the presentation of the girl cries out for a more complex story about her and the protagonist, but that bit is kind of impossible to figure out from the game.
     
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  21. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Still at the same time illusiveness of this story is probably best point of it for me. Sometimes such way can make for interesting player driven story.

    Lets see what we can get from it:
    'He whose blood the Earth's dark thirst doth quench, ascends unto the Heavens from her womb'
    This part i assume is related to death of hero. Sound like there could be something more behind that, but don't have idea.

    "Excess is the path to ruin, Mr. Lang. We wouldn't want you to go before your time, would we?"
    This part is very interesting 'excess is path to ruin' lead to serious problem and that second part. Could be related to losing job due to said problem.

    "Aren't you forgetting your promise, Mr. Lang?"What promise? Of course it could be that Don thing, but i dont think that. I will stop drinking? Everything will be like before?

    "I'm sure you'll find a way, Mr. Lang. You always do."
    Sound bad in context i given it, but...

    And there are parts we didnt Discuss.

    "Heh. as a child, I used to make origami like this. Where's the girl that ticket collector claims to have seen? Um... hmm... Ah, I'm sure she won't miss just one..."
    This room is interesting paper dogs related to hero gives it personal meaning. Will speak about it later.

    "Oh, Mr Lang? That pale man you met... I think he just wants a best friend. Perhaps you're not quite what he's looking for? You are, after all, blind drunk..."
    The pale man who is he? Same here.

    Ok time for another theory ...
    Paper dog getting part:
    There is very important clue here when dog fall down and he pick it up speaking about owner immediately dining room doors opens. Why is it so closely related? I think that it is so because the occurrence related to this room is the reason of his drinking problems.

    And i started to ask myself about that second bag, indicating there were 2 people corpses there.

    Pale man:
    Lonely man who is he?

    Mby key to solution isn't just scenes but how they were presented.

    Ok so my story look like:
    There were hero his wife and daughter.

    Hero had lost his family, (dunno why) thats how his memory of childhood activity is related to room. He pick up "dog", stoping right before his mind say certain thing, followed by bar. He tried to drown his sorrows, followed by pale man. Next assumption is that pale man is actually hero after tragedy wrecked him (alcohol, pain, survivor guilt, loneliness), wishing for "dog" friend, warmth, connection, something with will ease his pain. He is always with bag next to him (his wife? personification of loss?). Followed by remembering what "bags" in family room contains. Shattering of illusion.

    Course mby the book hero got contains tips to uncover more story.
     
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  22. ALchymist Educated Patron

    ALchymist
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    Codex 2013 Codex USB, 2014
    My turn!

    The protagonist is called Harold Lang. There have been a couple of actors with that name, but the British one played in a number of horror films. Might be some hints there

    The guard calls the train Gloria. Possibly a reference Gloria Mundi, as in the phrase "sic transit gloria mundi", "Thus passes the glory of the world"

    I believe this story is his whole life.

    The hero
    - cannot remember the beginning of the journey (birth)
    - he is travelling to Augur Peak (wants to know what the future holds)
    - he meets an older man who gives him advice (father?)
    - he is unable to get to the restaurant (adult life) until he has the paper dog (childhood games and imagination)
    - when he gets to the bar the food is getting cold and he speculates if people have to know when to turn up (adult responsibility)
    - after he has drunk whisky and spent all his money (wasted life)
    - he gives up the dog and receives grave dirt in exchange (he gives up his dreams and is just waiting for death)
    - everyone around him vanishes (his family dying first or just abandoning him?)
    - eventually he ends up buried (death)

    There are also things like the old picture of the train being the same train which shows that the protagonist has changed over the years

    Give me a crowbar and a hammer and I'm sure that I can get some of the other ideas squeezed into my theory.
     
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  23. Yes. Arcane Patron

    Yes.
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    That line is even better since I started Planescape Torment recently.
     
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  24. ALchymist Educated Patron

    ALchymist
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    Codex 2013 Codex USB, 2014
    I may have played that game one or two (dozen) times too
     
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  25. Nigel Barely Literate

    Nigel
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    I don't have any fantastic theories regarding the game (I'm a bit confused myself), but I did notice two things that haven't been brought up that might help you guys:

    1) Floyd IS dead; more precisely, he has a bag. I'm not entirely sure where you have to click to get it, but you'll notice the bag behind the counter, compare it to Don's, and say something along the lines of "What have I done!?" or "I'm sorry!" Either seems to imply that it's his fault, somehow?

    2) Examining the flask leads you to notice the initials "KD" on it. I'll have to play the game again to make sure (I had to wait a few hours to get registered here ^_^), but I remember being a bit put off (Don isn't a last name, I don't think)... and this may have a relation to the name shouted at the end.

    As for what other people have been saying? Well, I agree with the "buried alive" theory, at least to a point. I buy the theory that he died (possibly killing others) in a car accident involving being way to drunk.

    The coughing may be that there is no air in the train, which he's reacting to even though he doesn't notice it at first.

    Lastly, there's a ton of "dog" symbolism, as a different comment/review pointed out: the paper dogs, the painting in that room that sort of looks like a dog, the "a good little puppy" (said by Floyd), possibly the main character calling Floyd a bitch, etc. Stew on that, I guess.
     
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