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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Pathologic

Glad to see you're enjoying 'The Void'. There really is nothing comparable to it in gaming.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Pathologic

I was playing the Haruspex route yesterday. Herb collecting is largely optional - you'll need enough (12 or so) to make a certain kind of medicine and more (20?) if you want to finish a certain optional side quest. Since the herb needed to make any remotely effective mixture is so uncommon I didn't bother with distillation beyond that.

If you really can't abide hunting for them (herbs, best done at night as they glow slightly as do all interact-able objects) you can just trade them with the Worms for organs.

Quote Originally Posted by Spiral View Post
I have to gather the will to play this game. I'm sure it's something I'd love if I get into it (I played a bit of it). but it seems like it could be a bit stressful (from the information I've gathered about it) and I'm full of anxiety.
If it helps the HD version has got a quick save feature so it's easy to zero back to the last point without losing anything. The two really anxiety inducing scenes are both fairly on in the Bachelor's scenario (anyone else guess which ones I mean) and can actually be skipped/by-passed if need be.

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
The last point about the Polyhedron is very reminiscent of the idea of God being self-caused, whether in the manner of Aristotle's unmoved mover, or in the sense described by German Idealism, i.e., pure mediation. Even though I've only played an hour of the game, it's clear, based on your own description, that the Polyhedron has a divine status.
It may have just been coincidence but I like to think of that aspect of the game, that is the Kaines, the brothers Stamatin and the Polyhedron as being inspired by Russian Cosmism, a kind of Techno-Theosophy aimed at remaking the world and making men 'con-substantial with God'. After the Bolshevik Revolution the remaining Cosmists were exiled to far-flung towns in the far south and east of Russia. I saw a beautiful trilogy of films about this ideology at the Tate a few months ago - the atmosphere, locations and rhetoric reminded me a lot of Pathologic. Will post the trailers below if I can find them.

There are multiple metaphysical systems purposed throughout the game, and it's done very cleverly in such a way as they never go quite as far as overtly contradicting one another. There is a very important connection vis a vis the Polyhedron and Fate discussed later in the game but I won't spoil it!

(Technical note: in classic theology God, like all necessary beings e.g. Platonic Forms, caries His/Its own sufficient reason within Him/It but is not self-caused. Good call on the connection between the Polyhedron and German Idealism though - hadn't thought of that)

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: Pathologic

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
The last point about the Polyhedron is very reminiscent of the idea of God being self-caused, whether in the manner of Aristotle's unmoved mover, or in the sense described by German Idealism, i.e., pure mediation. Even though I've only played an hour of the game, it's clear, based on your own description, that the Polyhedron has a divine status.
I saw a beautiful trilogy of films about this ideology at the Tate a few months ago - the atmosphere, locations and rhetoric reminded me a lot of Pathologic. Will post the trailers below if I can find them.
If you can find them, then I would very much like to see them.

Edit - I can see the one you posted below now. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: Pathologic

Quote Originally Posted by In A Dark Light View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
The last point about the Polyhedron is very reminiscent of the idea of God being self-caused, whether in the manner of Aristotle's unmoved mover, or in the sense described by German Idealism, i.e., pure mediation. Even though I've only played an hour of the game, it's clear, based on your own description, that the Polyhedron has a divine status.
I saw a beautiful trilogy of films about this ideology at the Tate a few months ago - the atmosphere, locations and rhetoric reminded me a lot of Pathologic. Will post the trailers below if I can find them.
If you can find them, then I would very much like to see them.
Will take a further look. The trilogy is called Immortality for All by Anton Vidokle
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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Re: Pathologic

Another video taking a look at Ice Pick Lodge's 'The Void'. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, and as ToALonelyPeace has since discovered, 'The Void' is an incredibly unique game which is well worth investing the time required to play it.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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Re: Pathologic

I have wanted to play Pathologic ever since I first read about it, probably around 2007, maybe a bit latter, here at TLO, in an old videogames thread. Then, In 2010, I downloaded a freeware demo, but I could barely make it through with the control scheme, plus my laptop didn't do a good job at running it. I'm not a computers person, I know nothing about technical details such as graphic cards, RAM, processor speed, etc. It's all Greek to me, so I just buy/download the games I think I can run and hope to run them; it is a very naive and ignorant way to waste money, but that's how it is with this guy here.

Anyway, I hope I can play the update sometime in the future. If Icepick Lodge could port it to an ios tablet, that would be fantastic for me, but of course, that will never happen.

In any case, now that Russian Cosmism has been brought to the fore, I would like to mention a book, The Russian Cosmists: The essoteric futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his followers, by George M. Young, out in Oxford University Press. It is a very interesting, well researched book that explains both the mystical and scientific approaches of this philosophy. It explains its grounding in Traditional Slavic mysticism, Catholic Orthodoxy and a very peculiar form of imperial Russian exceptionalism. My copy is heavily annotated and I always find new material everytime I open it up. One grave mistake is, at first, to confuse Cosmism with a primitive form of Transhumanism, but a cursory study of it will reveal it for the rich philosophy that it was, compared to the vacuous fascination with technology represented by modern day acolytes of Transhumanism, like Kurzweil and company.

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Last edited by Karnos; 1 Week Ago at 09:07 AM..
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Re: Pathologic

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
I have wanted to play Pathologic ever since I first read about it, probably around 2007, maybe a bit latter, here at TLO, in an old videogames thread. Then, In 2010, I downloaded a freeware demo, but I could barely make it through with the control scheme, plus my laptop didn't do a good job at running it. I'm not a computers person, I know nothing about technical details such as graphic cards, RAM, processor speed, etc. It's all Greek to me, so I just buy/download the games I think I can run and hope to run them; it is a very naive and ignorant way to waste money, but that's how it is with this guy here.

Anyway, I hope I can play the update sometime in the future. If Icepick Lodge could port it to an ios tablet, that would be fantastic for me, but of course, that will never happen.

In any case, now that Russian Cosmism has been brought to the fore, I would like to mention a book, The Russian Cosmists: The essoteric futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his followers, by George M. Young, out in Oxford University Press. It is a very interesting, well researched book that explains both the mystical and scientific approaches of this philosophy. It explains its grounding in Traditional Slavic mysticism, Catholic Orthodoxy and a very peculiar form of imperial Russian exceptionalism. My copy is heavily annotated and I always find new material everytime I open it up. One grave mistake is, at first, to confuse Cosmism with a primitive form of Transhumanism, but a cursory study of it will reveal it for the rich philosophy that it was, compared to the vacuous fascination with technology represented by modern day acolytes of Transhumanism, like Kurzweil and company.
It works just fine on the $150 Lenovo laptap I use for writing. I wasn't sure it would run, but it was extremely cheap at the time. A lot of the classics such as Deus Ex and System Shock 2 ought to work just fine on most computers.

I'm only on Day 3, so my opinions are not as useful as Evans.' Honestly, I'm experiencing mixed feelings while playing the game. If you're looking for a game that falls under the conventional heading of "good," then don't bother installing it. It's obvious that the development team did not have the resources needed to fully actualize their unique vision, which explains why they're in the process of recreating the game. The game genuinely feels like an experiment in futility. While I appreciate how innovative it is, I just don't think most people will have the patience to complete it. Although they're different, games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne convey some of the same ideas as Pathologic, but they do it significantly better - in my opinion. But they were given a larger budget. The money just wasn't there for Pathologic. Assuming the talent is already present, more money means one can devote more time to perfecting one's vision.

If the remake can conform to even the most basic standards, then I can see myself absolutely loving the world of Pathologic. For now, however, it strikes me as a poorly designed game with an intriguing atmosphere as well as narrative. Some might argue that the game's design is consistent with its themes, that it serves as some sort of artistic statement. I usually don't buy such arguments. They're usually based on a retroactive defense regarding a game's shortcomings.

I'll keep playing a bit longer to see if my lowly opinion changes.

EDIT: There's definitely a Ligottian vibe to the game. The Sand Plague, the "villian" of Pathologic, has a sort of metaphysical presence insofar as every obstacle the player character encounters acts as a "symptom" of the disease itself, so you get the idea that your goal of eradicating the disease is doomed from the start - an idea which is Ligottian. You can't help but feel that the town, the setting of the game, is a manifestation of the Sand Plague, even though everyone behaves as if it's some foreign invader - yet another Ligottian concept.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"

Last edited by Mr. Veech; 1 Week Ago at 03:22 PM..
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Re: Pathologic

Semi-humerus aside: I wonder how much of the death tole each day was down to the patrolman's Darwin Award wining tactic of beating plague suffers to death with their bare hands (at least their fellows have a good guess of who the next plague suffer will be and thus who they will be beating to death with their bare hands).

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
I'm only on Day 3, so my opinions are not as useful as Evans.' Honestly, I'm experiencing mixed feelings while playing the game. If you're looking for a game that falls under the conventional heading of "good," then don't bother installing it. It's obvious that the development team did not have the resources needed to fully actualize their unique vision, which explains why they're in the process of recreating the game. The game genuinely feels like an experiment in futility. While I appreciate how innovative it is, I just don't think most people will have the patience to complete it. Although they're different, games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne convey some of the same ideas as Pathologic, but they do it significantly better - in my opinion. But they were given a larger budget. The money just wasn't there for Pathologic. Assuming the talent is already present, more money means one can devote more time to perfecting one's vision.

If the remake can conform to even the most basic standards, then I can see myself absolutely loving the world of Pathologic. For now, however, it strikes me as a poorly designed game with an intriguing atmosphere as well as narrative. Some might argue that the game's design is consistent with its themes, that it serves as some sort of artistic statement. I usually don't buy such arguments. They're usually based on a retroactive defense regarding a game's shortcomings.
I am curious: what aspects of the game play mechanics do you find so flawed and patience trying (the time based aspect?)? I'm not normally a gamer so I can't really give much in the way of comparison here. It's obviously an old game as one can tell from the graphics.

The main problems I had were:

1. Some NPCs lack dialogue or give a stock 'go away' dialogue if you're not approaching them on a task. This is boring. Likewise some of the peripheral characters like the Barber could have had their own unique avatars.

2. There is no motivation for the player to continue rather than restart if one's character catches the Plague. I like the implication regarding the re-make that the plague mechanics will be more 'interactive' - rather than just taking an antibiotic before sleeping maybe one has to go through a series of nightmarish fever dream sequences? Having the plague should make it harder but it should also add something to the gaming experience beyond camera jerks and another state bar to look after.

3. A sabre. It can be a godaweful weapon for all I care but damn it I want my Imperial Russian stuff!

Last edited by Evans; 1 Week Ago at 05:32 PM..
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Re: Pathologic

My main gripe with the game is that you have to know beforehand what to do in a day to complete that day's task. If on the first day you haven't stocked up on food, you'll have to restart. If you are not familiar with the town and don't know who will give the next task, running from person to person will lost precious time. I often have to redo a day many times to get where I think I can survive for the next 2-3 days. Sometimes little girls don't have powder to trade for several days even though I have nuts, pins, etc...so I restart days until they have powder in stock. Basically if I don't know the importance of powder and play without restart, whether I complete the game or not is completely up to chance.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Re: Pathologic

@ Evans

The time feature definitely hurts the game in its current form. I understand its presence, but it actually kills the immersive aspect of the game - at least for me.

I always place more importance on aesthetic presentation over graphics, yet Pathologic is lacking in both. I can see the potential for both, especially when it comes to artistic vision, but they didn't have the resources in 2005.

There's also the fetch-quest nature of the game which drives me bonkers because it conflicts with the time constraints. Fetch- quests are already tedious without said constraints.

Little things such as reused assets (NPCs and architecture) also destroy the immersion.

Regardless, the remake will be a day one purchase for me. This is a game I want to love, but I just can't in its original form.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

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