Probably, the most profound and sensitive depiction of the internal struggle of mental patient the video-game world has seen till this day. A person of unknown identity loses control of his memories and sensual abilities and falls into a deep comatose where the memories of his childhood 90s action movies take on a whole new role. The epileptic imagery in the intro might suggest a series of seizures within the temporal lobes of the brain or even the visual cortex over exiting his visual senses making him “see” a combination of memories and hallucinations instead of detecting what surrounds him like with. It is also possible the disturbed visions and colorful memories are the results of the growth of a highly invasive and malignant tumor in the temporal lobes. The case could be similar to Dr. Oliver Sacks’ case of “the passage to India”, where a young girl could vividly see long lost memories of the India of her past after a malignant tumor had grown inside her brain. However the cause of the brain damage to the temporal lobes causing the memories to reemerge are not important, what is to be noted is that these distorted visions of the past brings a certain comfort to the patient. The minds tend to like to compensate for lacks with other things. So the patient while not remembering the exact names of his childhood heroes, his brain renamed them in a way that would sound soothing to him. The struggle lies between recognizing that the visions are mere hallucinations and to face a cold reality of pain or indulge in the fantasy dream world his mind created for him to make him feel happy, like a child again. The visions intermingled with the dreams of a possible comatose has somewhat of a Jungian feel to it. The many characters and objects of his past somehow symbolize many of the figures in his life that he enjoyed the presence of. The characters ad objects are in some way his Jungian dream archetypes. Hailey is the archetype of the child representing his innocence, Thelma his desire to become a hero and achieve glory like his role models, Lance as the father figure he always wished for, Shur foo as the sage etc. Being among his dream archetypes and experiencing a sense a control and belonging pulls him constantly further into his comatose. Eventually, just like Alexander Luria’s “man with a shattered world” , he couldn’t distinguish memories and hallucination and the dreams would repeat themselves over and over again with the same characters his mind created.
The brilliance in this game lies in the fact that it can make us feel the torment of the patient, how such a playful and funny and conforting game could seem more interesting than reality but details such as the Jungian archetypes and the visual and auditif seizures remind us that what can be seen is but a stew illusions. And at that time we can feel the pain the patient feels to be forever stuck in this looping fantasy world and that he will probably never see the “real” world ever again. The pain, the feels.