You have your demons, and I
certainly have mine. The Lady is a part of Michael Patrick Rogers – the
MPR in the production house – dealing with his.
I don’t know Mr Rogers, and all
that I know about him comes from the interweb. All of that came about as
a result of my googling after having experienced The Lady. Not finished
or played, but played around with and wondered what it was all about.
I am glad I did. It didn’t make
The Lady better or worse, but it made it different. And I appreciate
having been able to dance with her.
The game is, frankly, disturbing
visually, and grating aurally. The Lady herself looks like no other game
character. As a game, it is best described as bewildering. What am I
doing, what is going on here, what do I have to do, how do I do it. You
can say that about many adventure games, but not usually about something
so minimalist and contained. The interaction is limited to moving the
eponymous lady left and right across a short side scrolling screen,
avoiding or “defeating” a number of environmental elements, until you do
what is necessary to trigger the way to the next level.
In the first level, you avoid
falling shards of glass, which you can destroy if you can’t avoid,
observed through a broken glass window, against an aural canvass
slightly akin to scraping your nails on a chalk board. In the next, you
can’t avoid the strands of barb wire, and simply have to walk through
them, causing bloody damage but not such to end the game. And so on.
You can’t save. At all. Either
you finish or you start again. Sustain too much damage and you will get
thrown back at least a level, if not to the start. I have gotten as far
as needing to avoid falling scissors, but not to the end. I have spent a
lot longer in play time than in the point to point time it can take to
get to that part.
In an interview I found, Mr
Rogers says this about The Lady:
“The game is really like a
stream of conscious, or a simulation of what it’s like to experience a
panic attack from beginning to end”.
On the MPR Art Hallucinations
Facebook page he describes the sequel in production as follows:
“It's another game about
myself, except this time it doesn't explore anxiety, it will explore
deep paralyzing depression”.
As a game, I doubt The Lady will
be for many GB players. But it is clear it is personal, and part of
something that was, at the very least, cathartic for the maker. I would
not presume to say whether it in any way simulates what Mr Roger’s says
about it, only because, as he also says “You never know what someone
is going through; everyone is in their own reality”. I agree, and
therefore your perception and your experience of those things won’t be
his, and they won’t be mine, but all of them will be real.
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon
HD 7800 2048MB
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