Electron Dance
22Apr/11Off

Resistance Is Futile II

Dear Emperor Palpatine,

I am eager to add more to my previous letter.

Remember when you demonstrated that the clone troopers would obey orders without question? We all gave you a standing ovation when you issued Order 15, make tea. An entire army kettling a kettle was a sight to behold. We were, as always, in awe of your fine intellect, and fearful of your Force lightning.

We laughed and laughed when you issued Order 66 and cast the Jedi down from their ivory tower into, well, an early ivory grave. Well done, that man. And when they were done, we all wanted a cup of tea to celebrate. Perhaps we were too eager to issue Order 15 again before the clone army had taken out every Jedi. Ah well, losing the odd Jedi here and there is not exactly going to bring down an empire now, is it?

But this is insignificant compared to your recent deviousness. I thought nothing of Order 79 and seeing our imperial forces compelled to buy Portal 2 was, how should I put it, perplexing. Was this an attempt to push the great Empire into an economic recovery? Quantitative easing had not worked and neither had the admirable move of destroying Alderaan, reducing planetary supply to support the dwindling habitat market.

And then it was so obvious. My, my. Order 80 hit the imperial army comms.

Every trooper flooded onto the internet, blogging and tweeting about how wonderful and perfect Portal 2 was. A flood of spoiler-heavy material began to spew forth and those who had not played Portal 2 would know, instantly, that they had mere hours left in which to play the game unspoiled.

I, myself, have fallen victim to this. After months of avoiding Valve marketing, I now find myself wading through a dark sea of tweets and blogs poisoned with toxic spoilerage. The internet is now a threatening place.

There are no secrets when something is this popular. Many other titles have been mauled in such a way, with spoiler hubris, shall we say. I have never played Knights of the Old Republic about the old days, but I know very well the twist in its tale. There's been a recent release which apparently has an unreliable narrator, well, I guess I won't need to work that one out for myself now.

I enjoy smaller games which no one talks about, because their secrets are not so important to the masses. But some games are simply inevitable, games that are nothing less than destiny. Death, taxes, Portal 2. And thus, to save the experience from drowning beneath a torrent of revelations, I resigned myself to buying Portal 2 immediately.

Order 80. That's some evil shit, right there.

Yours sincerely,
Harbour Master (Dr.)

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  1. Ooh! Ooh! Did you get to the part with the MMPH! MMMMRPH!

    Trying so hard not to spoil. It’s difficult! Even spoiler threads on forums haven’t worked it out of my system.

  2. I had absolutely no intention to buy Portal 2. None at all. But I could see a goddamn mile-high dam of spoilexcitement ready to burst. So here I am, playing a game desperately, working it like a ruddy job.

  3. While I really enjoyed Portal 2, and am glad that I avoided details about the game like the plague, I’m a bit surprised that people are guarding the story beats so closely. Outside of the very ending, I felt that most of the spoiler-worthy moments in the story were telegraphed from miles away. It seems strange to me that so much fuss is being made about avoiding story info when the game’s many, many mechanical spoilers seem to be open for discussion.

  4. Switchbreak, you just need to get a little creative with it:
    -“Have you ever been called upon to resolve a conflict among coworkers?”
    -“What is your favorite example of spud-based humor from the past decade?”
    -“Have you ever seen two robots collide headfirst in midair and thought it was adorable?”

    By the way, HM, you may consider all of those questions to be directed at you.

  5. @Prettiest Boy: Thus far – and I’m into the “second section” of the game – I’m not exactly picking up anything exciting story-wise, either. I was avoiding all sorts of spoilers because I didn’t even want to know what extra gizmos or puzzle-elements there might be. Sadly, I was unable to avoid all that.

    @Veret: I’ve noticed your presence on Steam all of a sudden. Portal 2 even wakes *you* from your slumber.

  6. I hear you HM. I’m awaiting my PS3 copy in the post (I get the PC version free with it) so I’m sort of on a internet blackout until then. I did post up a teaser trailer of the two coop robots on Tap some time ago but apart from that there’s little else I know about it. Which is great. I know of the Tag paint thing but then again I’d already played that.

    Say, you wouldn’t be interested in playing the coop mode with me? If you’re pre-booked then not to worry!

  7. Oh and I have a friend who still hasn’t seen The Sixth Sense and somehow doesn’t know the twist. Yeah, well done THAT man.

  8. @Gregg – I’m certainly up for that, once I’ve got through the single player. Uh, and you have too.

  9. I’ll break down and get it at some point. Probably after Crysis 2, but before Witcher 2.

  10. I admire your strength, HM. No one can ignore General Orders from the Emperor. You did what you had to do to survive.

    Have you gotten to.. you know… the place? Where the thing happens? OH MY GOD I was so surprised! ; )

  11. @Jordan: Well, as you could tell, I broke down pretty much immediately. This has had the side effect of inverting the hype, warping my experience into unrequited expectations. I think I’ll enjoy Portal 2 more on a second run than the first. Maybe I should’ve had the thing spoiled for me.

    @Steerpike: Yeah, totally!! And after than bit then the whole thing with the — wait, wut?

  12. Oh and I’m still not finished, I’m afraid, progress is slow. I actually fell asleep in the middle of a puzzle last night. Been tied up organising a slew of interviews the past few days.

  13. I would watch a playthrough of Portal 2 to get all the story (since there’s just no way I’ll actually get to play it soon), but the game’s much longer than the first, meaning that watching it the whole way through will never be a better idea than working on the multitude of end-of-semester projects in my queue.

    The previous sentence was long. This sentence isn’t.

  14. @BeamSplashX, I’m not sure watching a playthrough for the story is worth it… then again I’m probably only halfway through. Portal 2 did make me laugh in the first few minutes: there was a damn clever joke in there.

  15. Right, so now I am the only one who isn’t playing Portal 2?

    No wonder I can’t get a good multiplayer game going in Mindjack

  16. BC, I think that is pretty much the case, yes. However, I have in fact finished Portal 2 and am back on much more noble pursuits such as finishing Cryostasis, for example.


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