The Marcy Case
Griping and MAJOR SPOILERS
We played the second TIME Stories scenario today, The Marcy Case. And I’m feeling really, really salty about it. So I’m gonna talk about it here.
I’ll do my level best to avoid spoilers while also explaining myself in such a way that, hopefully, folks who have been through this scenario can understand what I’m talking about. The safe bet though is to just skip this thread if you intend to ever go through this thing.
This is the spoiler space.
This is the end of the spoiler space. You’ve been warned.
I’m not kidding.
Okay, so the scenario comes down to deciding which of several victims to save from a major catastrophe. We worked out all the possible victims and fully explored the map in three runs, taking a couple hours to do so. On the fourth run, we had a perfect execution of where to go, what all we could bring with us and what all we could ignore, and so on. We knew about everything except the final location, which you can only unlock with a very specific set of clues and shit. Standard TIME Stories stuff.
Well, so, the ultimate twist — AGAIN THIS IS SPOILER ZONE HERE — is that you have to deliver the correct victim, and you only get one shot. Confirming that you’ve delivered the correct victim relies on matching two visual cues on the cards. The cues are quite obvious once you’ve seen the “correct” half.
We chose the wrong character (we brought all the victims, which, you know… maybe we could be even more efficient if we knew exactly who to bring), and we failed the mission. But we also got to look at the visual cue, which meant we got to “solve” the mission without working out the logic.
And to be honest, it felt like cheating. It also felt like the game compelled/tricked me/us into cheating. Now I have to say, I’m resenting the experience.
This could have been designed in some other way, because honestly matching up the visual cues is just cheesy. You don’t actually have to work out the logic — the puzzle pieces are all there if you slow down long enough to look — and it feels like a huge rip-off. We didn’t even bother going through the loop again, because we knew it was purely procedural. The solution we stumbled into felt like it betrayed the rest of the fiction. I hate that.
I think what led me to this is that the Asylum scenario also relies on a visual cue, rather than working through a deduction/logic/elimination puzzle like The Marcy Case is built around. So I was keyed into the visuals much more than the actual clues.
If they had just built the final test in a different way, I’m certain we’d have stuck it out once more and worked through the long list of clues.
I feel ripped off. I feel like the game tricked me into ripping myself off. Blargh, I hate this feeling.