Act 3 of To the Moon answered a lot of the questions that has been in my mind since the start of the game. It also hit really hard in the feels to the point of almost making me cry. And I am not the type who easily cries with fiction!
Anyway, in case you just stumbled on this post, this is part of a Play-Along projected hosted by Naithin of Time to Loot. It is like Book Club but with games. You can find more details about it as well as links to all the participants over here.
Down below you can find my answers about Act 3.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for To The Moon! Proceed ahead at your own risk!
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?
It didn’t change much, to be honest. I felt bad for the guy as I felt a lot of his own personality and life experiences end up being overwritten by that tragedy. But the core of the story, Johnny’s love for River and his desire to go to the moon, was his own and genuine.
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?
I sympathize with Neil on this. River was a huge part of Johnny’s life, she was someone who helped him grow as a person. To change that it would be like tampering or even erasing all that growth.
And what if he never got new memories of meeting River? Of marrying with her? Of spending the rest of their lives together? It just would feel like you were erasing a important part of someone’s life while at the same time saying the other person’s life didn’t matter or even existed.
3. Throughout that same exchange, Eva asks Neil to trust her. He clearly didn’t. Did you?
Not really, no. I was all in with Neil during that part. But I admit I was very immersed at that section and wasn’t thinking very rationally. If I thought more rationally about it all I’d have figured everything would end up well because it is a video-game and they can come up with all the contrivances necessary to get the end the developers want.
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?
Hell, no! I get that Joey was a very important person to Johnny, what with him being his twin bother. But so was River. I don’t think you can just substitute River by any other constructed woman in his memories and say “In the end it was all the same!”. No, it wouldn’t be the same. There was only one River and she was the one that was Johny’s companion for many happy years.
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. 😉
Yes, what do you think is going on with Neil at the post-credits where the screen flashes red for a bit and we see him taking a pill?
Again, if this was any other video-game I’d be going all conspiracy theorist here. As this is a more grounded, relatively mundane one, I am guessing Neil might actually have some kind of medical condition that he is trying to hide and taking the painkillers to be able to function.
I just don’t have any idea of what this condition is. It is also possible that Eva’s doubt earlier was right, that Neil is indeed an addict and the red flash was just to show that he was starting to go into withdrawal.
From what I’ve seem of the discussion of the game in the other blogs participating on this project there might be more information about what is going on with Neil either in the minisodes or maybe in the sequel. Whatever that information is I am really curious to find more about!