Anodyne > IMPORTANT STUFF > Topic Details
Psyches Apr 11, 2013 @ 8:51am
50th card ????
After getting the 49th card and crying of joy, I finnaly open the 49 card gate and.... ANOTHER GATE ! Yeah it says 50 cards. I read forums ans wikis, the card doesn't seen to even exist.

Will we see the card and what is behing this door someday?
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pre-sprays every corner Apr 12, 2013 @ 1:03am 
The dev mentioned he'd rather work on new projects than complete this game, that there wouldn't be any new content updates.

Hopefully he doesn't leave his next game incomplete to work on yet another newer game, which will also be incomplete...

It would be nice if the community could add/edit/mod the game and work in our own various endings for others in the community to download and enjoy.
seagaia  [developer] Apr 12, 2013 @ 1:35am 
I think you are confusing "incomplete" with "imperfections inherent to vagueness in Anodyne's narrative". This is our first big game, of course there will be mistakes made in conveying things through the narrative...funnily enough, we thought we were bordering on being *too* explicit. Anyways, going back in and explaining the plot via changing a bunch of stuff would probably result in a buggy trainwreck, so this is how it is, for better or worse.

The 50 card door is an ending to Young's story, at least within the game's narrative. It will never open. Interpretations will probably pop up in the future, some already have regarding the 50 card door, interpretations which parallel our ideas somewhat.

I haven't axed the idea of mod support. There will never be extensive cutscene support of any sort because the cutscenes are all awful hardcoding, but making your own levels might be possible in some bare-bones fashion. But I didn't really program the game with that stuff in mind so it might be a while.

Last edited by seagaia; Apr 12, 2013 @ 1:37am
pre-sprays every corner Apr 12, 2013 @ 1:45am 
Sorry to have been negative, seagaia. It is just such a neat game that we're left wanting more. Appreciate the elaborations.
Psyches Apr 12, 2013 @ 4:51am 
Thx for the response seagaia! I suggestion I may have would be that door to take us to the ending screen, with everyone at the end of the credit :) Well played seagaia, your game is awesome ! Can't wait to see the next one !
ethereal_intellect Apr 12, 2013 @ 4:52am 
Well, since the devs are here, I might as well post my own version of the ending and a review, my own 2 cents. HEAVY Spoilers ahead.

TL;DR, just change one number. 15 to 37.

Let me start by saying that this is an awesome game, and hats off to the devs. I really liked it, spent a lot of time in it (about 20 hours) right in the middle of exam week at the university. I first read reviews of it claiming it had an unsatisfying ending and braced for impact. And the game was ok, it was good, a good retro RPG with some meta stuff thrown in that a long time gamer would love (Great nods to the Engrish of old and even things like the rhyming Lorax. The Binding of Isaac dungeon was awesome to see). And then I got the swap, and the game got really epic.

And the thing is, the guy that reviewed the game didn't even notice. And it could not have been more foreshadowed. In the first level there was a rock that you could only get to by swapping (AN EXPLORER IS YOU, lol). There was that guy talking about how you could cut down trees for a living, making me wait for an axe and notice places to use it. And most of all, there was an (empty) location right before the briar marked on the map but inaccessible without swap. And of course, the twin towers. My jaw dropped when I swapped into the second one, and it became obvious the game was just beginning.

There was also a good progression of puzzles from the normal game (easy), 4th page of cards (medium), cubes (hard), and the 49th card representative as mastery of the game and all its quirks. This game managed to take "bugs" and meta references and bind it into gameplay so organically it never felt wrong. It never felt weird to "break" a level and brute force through all the rooms, or even take up graph paper and start sketching a map. As such, I just couldn't accept the current thought that the game is just supposed to end with me quitting it (as in, alt+f4), so I wrote in my own ending. (Hey, if mass effect 3 can have the indoctrination theory, I can have this)

I would like to direct your attention to the 2 rooms in the archives. I originally somehow warped into them from the suburbia levels, and I don't know if this was a bug. After I walked through the first one, which looked like a flat that someone had just recently moved in (small room, open boxes, a couch), I noticed the chest, but I still didn't have the swap to get it, so I walked into the second room. The screen dimmed, which was a bit weird, but awesomely eerie. And then I walked out, aaaand, nothing. I got booted out onto the main menu. And the time I dismissed this as a bug, just like I would dismiss a BSOD, which is part of why it's so awesome.

Afterwards I got there, and got the card. It was Young himself. As far as I could figure out, that meant that those two rooms were Young's apartment, as in full reality leaking through into the game. At least that's what they are to me, and suburbia and his house there are the house he grew up in. He is probably a college student just moved out on his own.

Now how does this tie into the end? The final terminal says:Hello Young! It seems that [...] fiftieth card [...] maybe you shouldn't [...] worth thinking about! Do you think you're ready? Wake up...
Fiftieth card didn't make any sense to me, that's the card with the dog. What about it? What's the point? So I changed it. To 37th card. Which one? Young's card, in his apartment.

Why did I feel so free to do this? I've seen the guys behind super meat boy quoted multiple times that they never thought that people would care so much. That anybody would bother to turn the game inside out this much. Devs are dumb that way. So maybe this was just unfinished from a time where the fifteenth card was something else.

Now, with this final connection, it makes perfect sense. You are left with one of the most epic choices I've ever had to make in gaming. You can stay inside the game, you can explore every nook an cranny, you can spend eons trying to find a way to do something that might very well be impossible. And the game already established that all bets are off when they asked you to bug into the 49th card, so anything goes. You can even go as far as to learn flash programming to hack into and decompile the game itself, and finally get closure on what's behind the final door. And yes, even that would be in compliance with the spirit of the game.

Or

You can turn around. And slowly and surely walk away from an impossible, large, dominating gate and leave it behind. Don't let the darkness win and consume you. Don't let OCD and completionism win, and just leave it behind, escaping the it forever. Walk away, back into your apartment, go into the lobby, and walk out into life.
Boom. The game booted you out into the menu. Alt+f4. Windows desktop.

Going out like this was honestly one of the most satisfying walks I have ever taken in a game, ever. It was one of the most unique endings I have ever seen devised. One of my great moments in gaming. No, Briar, we won't do the same thing over and over again. We broke the loop, and ended this hellish cycle. The game world has no reason to exist without me playing it anymore. Now I get to go you your apartment and ask you to go out for a sandwich, instead of the other way around :)

Interestingly enough, I haven't fired up any other game since, and even started studying a little harder.

One version of the text could read:
Hello Young! It seems that you've found the thirty-seventh card. Did you see where it was? Did you recognize the place? Maybe you shouldn't stay here anymore, chasing gate after gate, and go back to your apartment, to your life. That's something worth thinking about! Do you think you're ready? Wake up...

Would love to hear your opinion on this, even if it's just a Jonathan Blow-esque "Maybe".
Psyches Apr 12, 2013 @ 2:21pm 
Wow, nice man!
John Apr 12, 2013 @ 5:28pm 
Wow, ethereal_intellect! That's quite a cool take on the game! It just shows the subtle brilliance of the game to be interpreted and experienced in so many different ways.

Playing throught the first dungeon I can easily see someone saying "so what...?". But as you progress you notice things just aren't quite right. You keep waiting for that sword treasure to cut down some bushes. You keep waiting to get a hookshot-type weapon. I had my 'what the ♥♥♥♥ and where is this game taking me' moment when I entered the serpia world and then subsequently the hotel.

Reading some forums and noting the use of a swap weapon and exploring much further, I knew this game would open up. Those that stuck with are treated to a really cool post-game exploration. Never in any game has bugginess and glitching been a means of actually aquiring items (at least that I've played)
Toddimyre Apr 13, 2013 @ 10:47am 
@Mostly Harmless:

Heh. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (not the DX version) and Pokemon: Red/Blue and Gold/Silver used some bugginess and glitching for acquiring items.

In Zelda, you could teleport using the Select button, which could lead to other items and/or places that you weren't supposed to explore yet. You could also use this method to retrieve items and things before you were supposed to get them in-game. For example, you could get Crazy Tracy's potion the first time you enter the forest as well as a piece of heart that you would normally need the feather for.

In Pokemon: Red/Blue, you could duplicate items and catch infinite rare Pokemon with a 4x1 block (it may have been 5x1). For example, you could go into the Safari Zone (whichever area is fine), perform the glitch, and go to the mentioned block to snag unlimited Pokemon from the Safari Zone area you were in. And as an added bonus, your 6th item would get 256 copies of whatever item was there with a counter on it (Rare Candy, Potion, etc).

In Pokemon: Gold/Silver, you could clone creatures and whatever item they happened to be holding at the time. For example, you could obtain Lugia that a friend wants, place an item on Lugia, clone the Lugia, give it to your friend (with or without the item), and still keep your original. More practical uses are cloning Mewtwo and giving one back to Pokemon: Red/Blue, cloning Ho-oh on one copy of the game, trading to another copy, erasing the original copy, and transferring the Ho-oh back for boosted XP.

Unfortunately, most of these newer games will never know the magic of accidental in-game bugs that give the player an advantage. Excellent online handle, by the way.
seagaia  [developer] Apr 13, 2013 @ 10:04pm 
ethereal:

That is a reasonable interpretation!
CtrlAltDestroy Apr 15, 2013 @ 8:17pm 
That interpretation reminds me of the ending to BIT.TRIP FLUX: You can only win by putting down the Wii remote and letting go, otherwise the final level just goes on forever. (Though it eventually turns plain white so you can't see anything)

Though I'm tempted to say that leaving the 50 card door hanging like that is a cop-out, I respect the developer's decision to move on to new projects. Honestly, all that stuff is bonus post-game stuff anyway, so it's not like 95% of players will ever see it.

On the other hand, Braid had a very similar narrative, with Tim stuck in an endless loop trying to repair a mistake he made in the past. And like Anodyne, Braid had the hunt for the stars, which greatly resembled Anodyne’s hunt for the extra cards and items, requiring abuse of game quirks and real out-of-box thinking, so much so that most players would never even find a single star unless they read a FAQ. The difference is that Braid still manages to provide closure to the narrative by letting you blow up the princess once you have all the stars (and as time was running backwards in that level, it could be interpreted that blowing up the princess was actually an act of undoing the original mistake)

Whereas Anodyne’s bonus ending just seems like the storytelling just… gave up. You could try to justify it by thinking of interpretations, but honestly, it just leaves me sad when a game like this starts out so strong and awesome, but then it just so obviously stops caring about itself, and the ending is punctuated with nothing but the narrative just running out of steam. It’s something I see far too often in games, novels, and so many other things, and I always want to cry when I realize it is happening, because I can’t take my mind off of “What might have been”!

But yeah, I’ll get over it. I always do. Mostly. But I wish the developers good luck with their next project.

As a final note, I encourage the developers to one day divulge their creative process and their intended meanings behind the cryptic metaphors this game offers. I know artists like to say “It’s supposed to be open for interpretation and controversy,” and that’s fair, but after you pass a certain point in time, it’s just not fun anymore to not know the truth. I want to appreciate the game to its full extent, dammit! And I can’t do that if I only have fragmented pieces of the story.

For instance, Gaijin Games did something amazing with their BIT.TRIP series. They started by releasing 3 really cryptic, trippy games with seemingly nonsensical stories, then a few years later when they released the fourth and fifth games, they basically revealed the truth behind the narrative: it’s the story of an everyday human life, from conception to death. At that point, going through the first three games again, suddenly it became easy to see, understand, and appreciate all of the metaphors and symbols the game was packed with, and it made the games many times more fun to play through again repeatedly. After just revealing the answers, the series changed from confusing and pretentious to brilliant and timeless. I honestly think more artists should do things this way.

So that’s just a humble suggestion to keep in mind, for maybe five or ten years from now.
seagaia  [developer] Apr 16, 2013 @ 9:02am 
I'd like to explain what I think at some point in the future, because the 50 card gate wasn't really a cop out but more of what I see as closure to the entire process of Young's adventure, but yeah, only under a certain set of interpretations. and I didn't do much to help you figure out that interpretation. I assume we'll get better at doing this in future games.

But it would be no fun to explain now! Maybe in 2018.

If we're still around. o_o
Last edited by seagaia; Apr 16, 2013 @ 9:03am
Psyches Apr 18, 2013 @ 7:32pm 
So about 1800 days before the revelation. Hey not bad. At least in 2018 we will play Anodyne 3 ;)
John Apr 21, 2013 @ 6:55pm 
Originally posted by Toddimyre:
@Mostly Harmless:

Heh. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (not the DX version) and Pokemon: Red/Blue and Gold/Silver used some bugginess and glitching for acquiring items.
Interesting. Embarrassingly, as a huge Zelda fan I've never really gotten into Link's Awakening (I never had gameboy growing up...and recently just played on my PC but didn't go very far). Can't say I ever played Pokemon either. :-p

Excellent online handle, by the way.

Thanks. ;-] I loved the Douglas Adams books. I used this name when online gaming because it's pretty fitting: I'm mostly harmless.
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