pathfinder


Ice and sleet fall upon you, like apocalyptic ashes warning you of something to come. They seem ominous.

How could you not love a game that opens with such subtle foreshadowing? As backhanded compliments go, "so bad it's funny" is wildly overused -- most often, bad things are just bad. Until now, the only IF game deserving of the commendation has been the truly risible Cattus Atrox, but I think it has finally found a companion in Pathfinder. Reading this painfully earnest tale of human tragedy, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

The slum scene in particular is a classic. The PC is driven there in a black sedan and ushered out by a mysterious stranger:

Frowning, you emerge in reluctance and he returns to the car, driving off into that good night.
Which good night he drives off into is not confirmed. In any case, this information is contradicted a few sentences later by an inspired simile:
The black sedan waits here, silent like the storm.

In the slum is a storm drain:

Melting ice and snow flow into the storm drain here, where they are lost forever. The metaphor reminds you of Steve...lost forever in the storm drain of life.
"What metaphor? Steve who?" you may think, but all is clarified later. But not before the PC takes a moment to puke all over the surroundings:
Taking one look at this lonely place causes the sadness and the emptiness in your gut to surface,
Steve, it turns out, is a guy at work the PC kind of fancies, or rather admires in a manly way. But those hoping for some hot boy-on-boy action will be disappointed. After an implausible confrontation between the two of them which truly has to be read to be believed, the PC must kill Steve, and the harrowing scenes that followed provoked real tears of laughter.

That said, I wasn't enjoying myself so much that when I got stuck shortly afterwards (the police kept arresting me as I was throwing the evidence down the storm drain), I felt particularly compelled to continue. No doubt I'll save the pleasure of finishing Pathfinder for another day.

Rating: 2


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