To the Moon Play-Along: Act 3
Welcome to the third week of the ‘To the Moon’ play-along. Again, a huge thank-you to everyone who is participating! I’ve added links to other participants posts right here and I will do so again for Act 3 posts. If I’ve missed yours, let me know and I’ll get it there ASAP! :) It’s also still not too late to join in if you’d like to, next week we’ll be looking at the two ‘minisodes’ that followed on from the ending of To the Moon. All the necessary details can be found at that link too.
Please note — if you have not yet played To the Moon that there will be spoilers in these posts. Specifically in this post — I will discuss the details up to and including the end of Act 3 (i.e., the end of the game)!
Feel free to turn away and perhaps return later if you intend to playthrough for yourself at some point and would rather not be spoiled.
With that out of the way — let’s get down to the questions!
Act 3 Questions
1. Johnny… Joey… Twins. It seems after the accident Johnny lost his identity to his mother, and became a replacement-Joey. Does it change how you feel about Johnny as compared to your Act 1 impressions?
Yeah… It did. On my first time through the game — like I mentioned back in Part 1 — I was fairly well against Johnny as a character. He seemed to be in it all for himself. It was difficult to reconcile this with the older-Johnny that seemed to truly love River, and when I couldn’t, I just thought the worst of him truth be told.
But can you imagine the damage it would do, to lose your twin? Before this occurred, Johnny already believed Joey to be their mother’s favourite. And judging on what followed — he might even have been right. His mother, started believing Johnny was Joey. She projected all Joey’s favourite things onto Johnny — pickled olives and Animorphs being two key examples.
Magi seemed pretty intent to believe that the devs mistakenly listed David’s Animorph as a Cobra. Rather I think this was an intentional error. In Act 3 we are shown that Animorphs was never Johnny’s favourite. He didn’t like them at all. Rather it was Joey’s favourite. That his memory was therefore hazy on the details shouldn’t be overly surprising.
In any case — yes. His desire to be something different, to be something unique — not caught up in his brother’s shadow becomes so much more understandable.
2. Eva and Neil have a verbal sparring match on their differing views of contract vs. what they now know (or think they know) about what would make Johnny happier. Outcome of Eva’s actions notwithstanding; do you sympathise with one view over the other here?
As an ideal — without a doubt, Neil’s perspective. He was ready to throw that contract out and rip it to shreds since after all he had seen, he knew how important River was to Johnny. He knew that having lost River was the driving force behind Johnny wanting to get to the moon in the first place, even when Johnny himself didn’t know that. Not consciously. Not in a way he could articulate.
From all this — Neil knew that to follow the letter of the contract would be to risk making Johnny’s life miserable.
But if I was actually in their position? With the weight of law against me? As a Doctor sworn to respect the stated wishes of my patients? … I don’t know. I think this might be similar to a patient with a DNR (Do No Resuscitate) order, who is crashing minutes out from their loved ones arriving to say goodbye. You could know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they would wish to be revived in this circumstance. But if the DNR stands…?
Plus… As it turns out, Eva had a plan. And I do think that her not explaining said plan was purely a plot device. One of the few obvious contrivances of the story that edges close to being a little frustrating.
3. Throughout that same exchange, Eva asks Neil to trust her. He clearly didn’t. Did you?
No. Not on my first time through at least. And despite my more balanced answer above — I can tell you I thought Eva had straight up flipped her shit and turned evil.
I felt really strongly that she needed to be stopped from taking River out of Johnny’s life. She became enemy #1. Hell, I felt downright betrayed on… God, I don’t even know whose behalf. Neil’s? Johnny’s?
4. “He can always find another ‘River’… But he’ll only have one brother.” Again, pretending for the moment you don’t know the outcome of Eva’s actions and what she (suspected) would happen… Do you agree? What about in this context of overwritten memories as opposed to life as it was?
…The first reveal comes. We see that in this new simulated life, Joey is alive and well.
And I’m torn.
I don’t have a twin — but I have a brother. (And a sister.) If I was at risk of losing either one of them, I’d do just about anything to get them back to safety. Yet… This still action struck me as wrong. I was not won back to team-Eva just yet.
I think because the loss of Joey is a past event. A thing that has already happened. A thing that was. And even though we’re assured that River isn’t actually being ‘harmed’ directly by being moved around the scenes it still felt a little too close to sacrificing someone for the benefit of another. Especially given that Johnny would die not remembering anything of his real life with River.
And damnit, this Joey was merely a simulation.
Of course, we eventually find out that it wasn’t Eva’s intent to sacrifice Johnny and River’s relationship at all. She had a belief that River would show up again in Johnny’s mental construct in time for them to be together.
But it was a huge gamble. And — contractual and perhaps Doctor’s oath questions not withstanding — not one I would ever feel comfortable making.
5. Anything you wish I’d asked you about that I haven’t, for this act or any of the others? Answer that question for this one. ;)
I got to ask all the questions for To the Moon (and next week’s Minisodes), so… No!
When we do Finding Paradise though — I’d absolutely love it if anyone else wanted to put their hands up to join in on the question asking side of things too!
We can cover this off more when we get there though. :)