Saving Catiua

screenshot ps vita tactics ogre catiua suicide
Catiua Suicide
Catiua’s suicide.

I’m still slogging through Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. I’ve finally reached a point in the game that I remember reaching the first time I played it and abandoned it. I know I am nearing the end. Or, at least, I think I am nearing the end. When I played originally, I followed the Law route (which means you know what I did at Balmamusa). I eventually got to the part where Catiua kills herself in front of you. It was pretty heavy stuff for the fifteen-year-old me. Shortly thereafter, I stopped playing.

The other day, I finally rescued Catiua only to see her kill herself again. The game let me save just before the dialogue and I was presented with a couple of choices on what to say, which hinted at alternate outcomes. I took a deep breath, and before I continued with the game, I decided to reset it and see what would happen if I chose a different dialogue option.

Given the two options of dialogue, I chose the “other” one, which kept the conversation going a little longer opening up a second pair of dialogue options. I chose the option that I thought was most natural, and she killed herself a second time.

I reloaded again, a lá All You Need Is Kill / Edge of Tomorrow and went through the dialogue again, choosing the “other” option again, which resulted in Catiua collapsing and apologizing, and most importantly, not committing suicide.

A new cut-scene appeared and Catiua joined the party. I saved the game and went to lunch.

There, I started to regret resetting the game (twice!) in order to make sure Catiua joined. One of the things I love about Tactics Ogre (and Mass Effect) is how your in-game decisions have lasting effects. The in-game dialogue options hinted to me that there may have been a way to save Catiua – whom I assumed always killed herself on the Law route from my first playthrough over ten years ago. As I finished my lunch, I felt guilty for having made the wrong decision that led Catiua to kill herself and not accepting that fate and replaying it for a more favorable outcome.

The game, now, feels a bit skewed. I’ll finish it out, and once complete, there is an option to go back and make different decisions to “see what happens” and fully explore the game. That’ll be the first thing I do. But I feel a bit like an impostor.

The whole episode is similar to the death/saving of Shadow in Final Fantasy VI, which gets a great write-up over at the A.V. Club. In the era of GameFAQs, it is getting harder and harder to be surprised in video games anymore. Perma-death and game-changing decisions are still too easy to avoid or double-back over. Despite resetting the game to get the result I wanted, I know I would have enjoyed this part more if I would have accepted the consequences of my initial decision, which is why I did what I did at Balamusa, by the way. It’s also why I will forever “Tell them I held the line…

It’s all a bit complicated. I thought it interesting and I wanted to get it down here before I forgot about it. There’s so much to say about Tactics Ogre – a very adult game, way before it’s time.

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Full Metal Bitch

rita vrataski battle scene
Full Metal Bitch

Week ending June 22, 2014

I posted “Women in the Infantry: Full Metal Bitch” while I was still reading All You Need Is Kill, the book that the movie Edge of Tomorrow is based on. It’s a good book and a fun movie, I recommend both.

I’ve enjoyed reading about how the movie has been performing. Despite generally positive reviews, it didn’t do that well at the North American box office. Overseas, however, it’s kicking ass. It gets released in Japan on July 4, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it performs there (All You Need Is Kill is a Japanese young adult novel).

Anyway, “Full Metal Bitch” is a neat moniker for a famous, nearly flawless female soldier, especially one with the attitude that Rita Vrataski has. While I think Emily Blunt captured it well in the film, FMB is in full effect in the book – books don’t owe the audience happy endings.

Interestingly, I’m reminded of another strong female soldier in a futuristic war, where humans face an alien scourge using mechanized suits of armor: ExoSquad.

SGT Rita Torres

P.S. I haven’t done a ‘top search of the week’s post for a few months. Most of the searches were the usual suspects, so there really wasn’t much to write about. 

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