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<  The Path - discussion  ~  'The Horror' in The Path?

Jen
Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:10 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Mar 2007 Posts: 3304 Location: Canada
To be completely honest I have never played a horror game before (I know, huge shock!). I am interested in, to those who have already played it or who have begun to play, what is the horror like in The Path? Is it monsters and things that go bump in the night, or is it more psychological? I am very wimpy when it comes to being scared, so I'm really curious to know if I'm going to be scared out of my pants when I try to play!

Don't give me any spoilers! Wink


Last edited by Jen on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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path to home
Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:22 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Apr 2008 Posts: 886 Location: At your request
I have played zombie games and demos like F.E.A.R. so I think I can give a little bit of information.

The thing that makes most horror games scary is them just popping things out at you. Take doom for example, the same thing happened in every room.
1. you walk into a perfectly nice room.
2. large explosion and all the lights go out.
3. monster cracks your skull from behind

I guess that's "scary" but its more of a cheap scare.
Eternal darkness from the gamecube was an amazing game because it didn't use cheap shots to scare you. they made immersion a very large part of the game and used it to their advantage.

The path is more like eternal darkness as it also doesn't jump anything out at you for a cheap yelp of fear. The atmosphere itself makes it a bit unnerving and all the random little extras in the forest makes it feel like something is out to get you.

Sure, I don't think this will give you nightmares or even make you nervous outside of the game, but it also doesn't resort to making things just startle you.
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REDfan
Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:31 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Mar 2009 Posts: 64 Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Some scary games I've played (or tried to... I'm a chicken too) include Doom, Silent Hill 2, 3, 4, 5, Left 4 Dead, RE, and some others.

I would say The Path is most similar to Silent Hill. Combat is not a main feature in SH, and not a feature at all in The Path. It's more about atmosphere and exploration.

I like to think of it sort of as a mystery, where you're trying to get the character you're playing as to reveal as much about herself and her situation as possible. You do this by exploring the forest and coming across objects and areas of interest.

Most of what scares you in The Path has to do with audio, effects and a little cryptic and ambiguous story telling. You know the girls will die, but depending on how you've played, you may only know part of their story by the end.

It all comes down to how you interpret it yourself in the end. But on a scariness scale I'd say it's not too high up there.
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Lewis[Resolution]
Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2009 Posts: 83
The atmosphere is like Silent Hill would have been if there was no immediate element of threat.

It's that same sense of choking agorophobia as Silent Hill 2's main street, for example.

Nothing will make you jump. Nothing will make you particularly "scared" while playing it (your own imagination may do that afterwards). But it's quite "panicky," for want of a better word. It does 'getting lost' better than any other game I know.
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Viking
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Mar 2009 Posts: 163 Location: UK
Silent Hill is most compareable to it, especially in certain end sequences. Also with some graphical effects, like the grainy snow on screen, the blurring of characters going out of focus.
Sounds, as in both games, play a regular part in the unnerving feeling.
I will be honest and say it's not actually scary, mostly unnerving. The semi-lack of a map (or the fact that one is essentially useless) does make you feel trapped and somewhat isolated.
I'd also compare Penumbra to it as well, although that has more action/violence due to the way it can sometimes play tricks on your mind as you wander about.
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Jen
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:24 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Mar 2007 Posts: 3304 Location: Canada
I'm quite pleased to hear nothing will be jumping out at me. I swear ever since I saw that video of that car driving down a winding road and that scary face popping out, I've never quite recovered! The 'creepy' audio is quite intriguing actually, I'm looking forward to it now that I'm not so terrified!
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Emriss
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:56 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 Posts: 612
Ever since I learned that there would be no cheap and-then-a-skeleton-popped-out horror in The Path, I just can't resist posting in every thread mentioning the same thing to sing like a canary about it.

It's all messing-with-yo-mind horror! No startling things! I played it last night, and I wasn't remotely scared to turn off the lights afterwards! It's a masterpeice for sorta scaring you without using cheap and easy tactics. Very Happy
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Jen
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:01 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Mar 2007 Posts: 3304 Location: Canada
Emriss, that is what I like to hear! I like the messing with your mind without being scared out of your pants. Very Happy
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naardejood
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:39 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Mar 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Redwood City, C.A.
The "horror" in The Path is the kind that can VERY seldom be achieved, and it's done incredibly well. It doesn't rely on surprise or the threat of pain or physical "damage". It's what I think of as "pure horror", the kind that appeals to your emotions and your soul as opposed to your physical self. In a lot of horror games (Resident Evil, F.E.A.R., etc.) the fear comes from the threat of physical death to your character. In The Path, the fear comes from the threat of emotionally experiencing something unsettling. It's almost like brushing up against insanity, in a way; straddling the line between the beautiful and familiar, and the hideous and unknown as the two blend together.

Fear is a physical reaction to a physical threat. Horror is an emotional reaction to a moral threat. Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to say. >_<
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Lewis[Resolution]
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:46 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2009 Posts: 83
Yeah, it's certainly not "horror" in any usual sense of the word. It's a game that is much more evocative than almost anything else I've played, but that's in a number of different ways. It made me very happy, incredibly sad, somewhat disturbed slightly angry, at different points during the experience - and even that's all dependent on how you interpret a given situation.

It is tense, though. I don't think many would argue with that.
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Kyuu_Hana
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 01 Jan 2009 Posts: 207 Location: In a tree, singing a sad song.
Good to know ^_^ I was a little worried about it myself, Now I will Deffinetally play, excuse my poor spelling...
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Morrigan
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Mar 2009 Posts: 9
Silent hill and project zero come close but the path is no where near as menacing.

While it has similar mind tricks there are no blood coated walls or creatures with huge swords tormenting you emotionally. or ghosts that pop through walls and have a go at you while your practically helpless.

i mean, in silent hill the town hates you and you know it. the paths forest is more like it tries to tell you something.


The paths experience somewhat reminded me of the Korean movie, a tale of 2 sisters. not exactly scary but very unsettling.
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mondehre
Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:43 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 22 Mar 2009 Posts: 3
So, what exactly is the horror-element in The Path? I dont find The Path very scary or horror-like. And its definitely not the cheap "Boooh"-horror, like the one in games like FEAR and DOOM.
I have only played 3 girls until now, so I havent finished the game yet. But I caught myself thinking about this question - what exactly is the horror in this game? Maybe there is more horror to come, when I play the other girls, but until now I dont find it very scary. I am very interested in this question and would like to know what other people here on the forum think about it!

To me playing this game feels more like remembering a dream or looking on a surrealistic painting. Maybe this is what people perceive as unsettling - the encounter with something strange from deep within your mind. But I wouldn't necessarily call this "horror".

My own thoughts about horror in The Path: Maybe it is called a "horror-game" because the game somewhat presents a kind of pessimistic outlook on life: Some forces which are bigger than ourselves will in the end break and spoil us.
I had first played Carmen and after I finished playing her, I thought about my experience with her. I had a thought like this: Playing Carmen was like looking back on some people I knew from childhood (and also on some aspects in myself).
We start out very innocent, having many possibilities. Life (the forest) is full of opportunities and treasures. But as life goes on ... the once innocent want to pursue the promises of life. We make some decisions which changes our life very siginificantly, we loose possibilities, we get aquainted with new people, who influence us. Sometimes we meet the wrong people.
*SPOILERS ON* When thinking about the path of Carmen I came to remember a long forgotten friend from childhood. One day we got alienated from each other, because she came together with the wrong people, getting drunk every day, taking drugs, ... this usual puberty stuff ... In most peoples life its just an episode, but some people end up with this. At the beginning, she perceived her new life as a liberation from a very conservative background, but then she never grew out of it and ended with an illegitimate child, a drug addiction and an abusive relationship. Her possibilities are now very limited. I think everyone knows cases like this *SPOILERS OFF*
So we have no other choice than to live our own life, but then we get spoiled by our own decisions.

So, maybe it is this pessimistic element which could make out the horror in The Path - as life could also change to the better and people, although losing their innocence can get something worthwhile in return and grow ... but not in The Path! In the end the life of these girls will get spoiled, they get broken by their individual path and the wolf they encounter while pursuing it. So I think its more like a tragedy, because the game "rewards" you for not following the "secure" path - you have no other choice than exploring the woods. But this pursuing-your-own-way lets end you up with the wolf, you have to give up something, you get spoiled ... and you have no other choice than to do so.

Thats my theory about the horror in The Path. But is this really "horror"? Maybe its more like tragedy... But maybe calling a computer-game a "tragedy" is somewhat anachronistic these days ... and wont attract many buyers. What do you think?

(BTW: Thanks to the devs - I like the game very much! Its really amazing what one can express with this medium!! Keep up the good work!)
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Mr. Underhill
Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 01 Apr 2009 Posts: 18
mondehre wrote:

Thats my theory about the horror in The Path. But is this really "horror"? Maybe its more like tragedy... But maybe calling a computer-game a "tragedy" is somewhat anachronistic these days ... and wont attract many buyers. What do you think?
I would be glad, if ghosts and zombies were the only horror in my life, and I think I am not the only one feeling like this.
The Path's idea of "horror" is, I guess, rather a more subtle one, giving an insight on what is our forest within.
But what else are child murders, rapists or drowned girls if not horror?
To me, the "Grandmother's House" sequences were more disturbing than any chainsaw massacre in all its explicity.
My concept of horror is rather a "Don't look now" one than the horror of, well, let's say, "Scream".

Oh, and by the way: To you it might be just some average teenage drama. But you could as well try to imagine what life was like if you were the one ending up as the tragic hero.
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djkid
Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 Apr 2009 Posts: 13
For me, I first thought the woods were terrifying because I knew how the story was going to end. However, once you get out there I came to view the forest as very calming and peaceful. It wasn't dangerous at all, and very surreal. The part that scares me in The Path, is the end scene as you "push" the girl to her final resting place. Try as you might, you cannot redirect from her course. You can do nothing but press forward and, in the end, die.

Terrifying I think, as it's all we can do in real life. Press on forward, and die.
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