Almighty Video Game Designer

Chapter 273 - Deep and Meaningful

Chapter 273: Deep and Meaningful

Zhao Lei looked at the time and discovered that it only took him ten minutes to complete the game.

This included him running around in circles, as well as some meaningless clicking around.

Moreover, the controls were incredibly simple. There wasn’t any combat or monsters. The whole game was just walking around and clicking.

Considering the various choices the player had to make, the game was clearly a puzzle game.

Meaning that the game was probably about exploring different paths to reach different endings.

After figuring that out, Zhao Lei felt that he knew what he should do next.

He should try out different options.

The game started for the second time.

According to the hints, Stanley should exit his office to look for his colleagues in the meeting room. But Zhao Lei got an idea, what if he doesn’t go out? What if he closes the door??

They clicked on the door of his office, and the door closed with it.

“But Stanley simply couldn’t handle the pressure. What if he had to make a decision? What if a crucial outcome fell under his responsibility? He had never been trained for that! No, this couldn’t go any way except badly.

“The right thing to do now, Stanley thought to himself, is to wait. Nothing will hurt me. Nothing will break me. In here, I can be happy, forever. I will be happy.”

Zhao Lei was incredibly confused.

Am I locked in here?

He walked around then clicked on the door to try to leave, but it was all in vain. HE also discovered something incredibly interesting. The clock on the wall that previously didn’t move started moving, as though reminding Stanley that time was passing.

“But the one thing he knew, for sure, beyond any doubt, was that if he waited long enough, the answers would come. Eventually, some day, they would arrive. Soon…

“Very soon now, this will end. He will be spoken to. He will be told what to do. Now it’s just a little bit closer. Now it’s even closer. Here it comes..

The narration ended abruptly and his screen went black. Zhao Lei couldn’t guess what had happened to Stanley.

The game ended, turns out that was another ending.

Zhao Lei realised that the endings he got were quite simple, but were quite meaningful.

It was just like the name of the game described, The Stanley Parable. Parables are succinct, didactic stories, in prose or verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles.

Evidently, it would only take a few minutes to reach a seemingly perfect ‘freedom ending’ if they followed the narrator. But Zhao Lei felt that this ‘freedom ending’ may as well be called ‘deception ending’ as Stanley followed what the narrator said without exploring anything else in the world.

What did the two endings represent?

Perish in silence because of shutting oneself in because of a lack of courage?

Or, following instructions to complete a journey, to tell a lie to themselves?

Zhao Lei thought that the game was quite interesting and started exploring different paths that were presented to him.

The game started once again.

This time, Zhao Lei thought of the button in the facility power room.

There were two buttons in front of them when he powered off the mind control facility, one was labeled ‘off’, the other ‘on’. What would happen if he pressed ‘on’?

As Zhao Lei was familiar with the game already, he quickly followed the narration to reach the facility power room.

“And as the cold reality of his past began to sink in, Stanley decided that this machinery would never again exert it’s terrible power over another human life. For he would dismantle the controls once and for all.

Even though the narration was hinting strongly that he should turn off the machine, Zhao Lei hit the ‘on’ button.

“Oh Stanley, you didn’t just activate the controls, did you? After they kept you enslaved all these years you go and you try to take control of the machine for yourself, is that what you wanted? Control?”

The huge screen in front of him turned red with the words ‘LOADING MIND CONTROL SYSTEM’ on it. The background music also turned intense.

“Oh…Stanley. *sigh* I applaud your effort, I really do, but you need to understand; there’s only so much that machine can do. You were supposed to let it go, turn the controls off, and leave. If you want to throw my story off track, you’re going to have to do much better than that.

“I’m afraid you don’t have nearly the power you think you do; for example, and I believe you’ll find this pertinent:

“Stanley suddenly realized that he had just initiated the network’s emergency detonation system. In the event that this machine is activated without proper DNA identification, nuclear detonators are set to explode, eliminating the entire complex.

“How long until detonation, then? Hmm…let’s say, um…two minutes.

“Ah, now this is making things a little more fun, isn’t it, Stanley? It’s your time to shine! You are the star! It’s your story now; shape it to your heart’s desires.

“Ooh, this is much better than what I had in mind! What a shame we have so little time left to enjoy it.”

Zhao Lei was confused, feeling as though he had been played by the narrator.

Zhao Lei had stanley explored the building. There were many buttons around the facility, pressing any that he came across. But alas, none of them did anything to stop the countdown.

He even went to a door that he could escape from, but the door was closed shut.

If it was a normal game, there would most certainly be a way to beat the game. But Zhao Lei suspected that although there were many buttons and switches in the room, nothing would stop the bomb from going off; everything was in vain.

The narration continued.

“What’s that? You’d like to know where your co-workers are? A moment of solace before you’re obliterated? Alright. I’m in a good mood, and you’re going to die anyway. I’ll tell you exactly what happened to them:

” I erased them. I turned off the machine; I set you free. Of course, that was merely in this instance of the story. Sometimes when I tell it, I simply let you sit there in your office forever, pushing buttons endlessly and then dying alone.

“Other times, I let the office sink into the ground, swallowing everyone inside; or I let it burn to a crisp.

Zhao Lei didn’t pay any attention to the narration as he continued to wander around the building in search for a button that would diffuse the situation.

But the next lines took Zhao Lei by surprise.

“Oh, dear me, what’s the matter, Stanley? Is it that you have no idea where you are going or what you’re supposed to be doing right now? Or did you just assume when you saw that timer that something in this room is capable of turning it off?

“I mean, look at you, running from button to button, screen to screen, clicking on every little thing in this room! These numbered buttons! No! These colored ones! Or maybe this big, red button! Or this door! Everything! Anything! Something here will save me!

“Why would you think that, Stanley? That this video game can be beaten, won, solved? Do you have any idea what your purpose in this place is?

“You’re only still playing instead of watching a cutscene because I want to watch you for every moment that you’re powerless, to see you made humble.”

The timer ended.

The silence following the huge explosion was deafening.

Zhao Lei was shocked. Obviously it was another ending, but this ending was more shocking than the previous ones.

The narration was particularly interesting, as though they were mocking the player, like they were speaking to the player through the screen.

Obviously this was all designed by Chen Mo beforehand, but Zhao Lei still felt that there was some interaction between him and the narration.

Moreover, the narration hinted at some truth. The narrator had absolute control over the game. He could freely change the story and chose if Stanley lives or dies, it all depended on his mood.

Realising that, Zhao Lei gained immense interest in the game as he couldn’t wait to explore more endings for the game.