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Finished Broken Age? Discuss here! (Including Spoilers)

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The one thing that bothers me though, and this may sound slightly odd, is that Broken Age didn't feel like it fit in the same universe (for lack of a better word), as the old Lucas Arts adventure games it was inspired by.

I always felt that Monkey Island, DotT, Throttle, Grim, Sam n Max etc, existed in the same sort of universe (again, for lack of a better word), in the same sort of way Marvel has a huge universe.

thats the weirdest thing to think.

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Hi Tim and Reds Team!

I just finished the game (with no guides or hints!) and it was absolutely great. It's a truly great game and you guys did a fantastic job.

My favorite characters (dialogue):

--Hipster lumberjack! He was revived as fan service but turned out to be one of the most fun characters in the game to talk to. One of those characters who could not possibly have enough dialogue.

--The dialogue tree! The tree jokes were endless! Yet another character who was absolutely awesome to talk to each and every time. There are very few other game companies that can pack so much joy into a game's minor characters.

--Dutch The Knife! Can he just have his own entire game? Maybe like a Dutch The Knife / Fruit Ninja crossover or something? I need more Dutch in my life.

Favorite Puzzles:

--The puzzle where you had to translate the pitch pipe notes into stitches. That was such an amazing lateral thinking puzzle. One of those examples of a puzzle where I get to go, "I wonder if... no, that would be too crazy.... or would it? I guess it couldn't hurt to.... HOLY SH** THAT WORKED!!! HA!!!"

--The wiring puzzles (

, Cheese!). I thought these were absolutely great. I've been saying since the project began that some of my all-time favorite adventure games were the Myst games, and I'm sad that there aren't really games quite like Myst anymore. But the wiring puzzles were a VERY Myst sort of puzzle. Not just in the sense of having to experiment with some strange, foreign gadget until you figure out how to get it to work, but also the way the instructions are kinda encrypted and left around for the player to find but not realize right away WHAT they had found. That whole setup is super duper Myst-esque and I love it. It did get a liiiiiittle old having to repeatedly rewire the hexipals as you tried to work out the final puzzle, but that was a repetition/reset issue. The wiring puzzles themselves were great!

--Any puzzle that involved talking to the dialogue tree because DIALOGUE TREE <3

--Doing the wave with Vella. Haha! Who would have thought! I liked how the unraveling yarn pal was simultaneously, like, this terrible gruesome death sequence but also really adorable and funny. That was so Mr. Bill of you!

--The ph balance puzzle, because it added a jolt of science to Shay's family's science fiction theme. Thanks for not making this part a Spacechem puzzle, because those are really really hard and I'm too stupid to solve them.

Favorite Sneaky Fan Service

--REDBOT!!!! (Thank you, Oliver and art team!)

Favorite moment of Tim doing the LOST thing where he listens to fan theories and then puts jokes about their theories in the writing:

"Are you... me from the future?!"

Oh, Tim!

http://gifsec.com/wp-content/uploads/GIF/2014/03/Oh-You-GIF-5.gif

Re: "areas didn't always seem well-connected" and "shay's parents don't make sense" and "the villains are too sudden/expository"

On one hand I can see why the people making these criticisms are making them, but from my point of view, while there is a kind of validity to them, I mostly find them kinda nitpicky and not really that important.

To me, Broken Age is mostly just a fun little romp of an adventure. None of these things raised any flags for me. On one hand, there is a more serious side to the story, and there are serious issues/themes hiding in there, but on the other hand, it's also a very fun and silly game, so I feel like getting super nitpicky about this stuff is also like getting super nitpicky about an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Don't worry about it! Just go with it and have fun!

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Any puzzle that involved talking to the dialogue tree because DIALOGUE TREE <3

The dialogue tree! He definitely doesn't get enough love. The joke puzzle reminded me so much of insult swordfighting in Monkey Island. Trying to come up with the right combination and failing miserably was way too much fun. I was disappointed when I finally clicked the right solution, because I knew I hadn't used all the punchlines yet. Something to look forward to on a replay!

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Any puzzle that involved talking to the dialogue tree because DIALOGUE TREE <3

The dialogue tree! He definitely doesn't get enough love. The joke puzzle reminded me so much of insult swordfighting in Monkey Island. Trying to come up with the right combination and failing miserably was way too much fun. I was disappointed when I finally clicked the right solution, because I knew I hadn't used all the punchlines yet. Something to look forward to on a replay!

It was totally like insult sword fighting!

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So... The game suggests that both Alex and Shay were born on their respective ships. Alex tells us outright that he was born on his, and Hope says that she was selected for the "honor" and "sacrifice" of the Operation Dandelion mission when she was still Shay's age. So either the mothers of Operation Dandelion become pregnant at a very young age, or the parents are chosen for the mission before it is known whether they will end up having sons. If the latter is the case, what happens if the parents in a Mog ship end up having a daughter?

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I've maybe posted in the forums once before, but I felt the need to voice my love for this game. Truly a rare experience. The progression from Act1 to Act2 was brilliant. And Hexipals man, those guys kill me. I hope it gets a big audience outside of the backers, and I'll certainly do my part to promote it. Just want to again say thank you to the DF for all the hard work, and I can't wait to back/buy your next game! I hope you guys know how much your work is appreciated. You all rock. Favorite game of 2014/2015

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It didn't feel consistent with the world, it was not required in Act I and then suddenly I have to look at a combination in Vella's space ship so I know how to wire the Hexpal as Shay? That came out of nowhere and felt like a way to force players to switch back and forth.

That was my biggest problem playing the game.

I didn't "learned" from the game that i am forced to switch characters.

I had also trouble getting the tree to laugh. (Maybe the german translation?)

Act 1 was great but in Act 2 some elements were not that great.

Some of these elements felt that they are present to stretch the game unnecessarily.

About the Story in Act 2, it is ok i guess.

But I really liked the Art, the sounds and the english voices. (The german ones i didn't like that much)

My Conclusion is.

Broken Age is ok. But after Act 1, Act 2 was a little bit disappointing.

Remember, this is my opinion. You can have your own

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I loved the game. It was moving and magical, and that ending moment felt perfect. I know it's almost blasphemy to say this around here, but I think this is the first time I've actually enjoyed twisty, convoluted adventure game puzzles. Thanks so much to all that worked on it!

Regarding the explanation being unsatisfying, I felt like it was almost a mistake to explain as much as they did. The story always feels like it works on a fairytale/metaphorical level rather than a logical one, and I feel like trying to infodump so much exposition really bogs the story beats down in a way that it didn't need to. And then you run the risk of the explanation being unsatisfying/disappointing as opposed to just vague and mysterious.

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I I know it's almost blasphemy to say this around here, but I think this is the first time I've actually enjoyed twisty, convoluted adventure game puzzles.

That's not blasphemy at all! =D

Regarding the explanation being unsatisfying, I felt like it was almost a mistake to explain as much as they did. The story always feels like it works on a fairytale/metaphorical level rather than a logical one, and I feel like trying to infodump so much exposition really bogs the story beats down in a way that it didn't need to. And then you run the risk of the explanation being unsatisfying/disappointing as opposed to just vague and mysterious.

I agree with you in that I generally like stories to leave a certain amount unexplained and mysterious as well, but this is a very specific type of camp to be in. Some people really intensely crave all of that lore and the specific details of the people and their history and how their technology works. Similarly, some people want every loose end to get explained and tied, but others don't really mind so much as long as the protagonist(s) are seen through to the end.

I thought the ending was great. There were a couple of things that were not explained or tied up, but I don't think it is a strict requirement that a story has to tie up every last thing. What DID happen to those maidens? Did they die? Did they escape? Isn't it funny to think about either way?

Some people have complained that the ending is anti-climactic, but I think that fails to appreciate the art of understatement.

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I thought the ending sentiment itself was fine. I just really felt that Shay's role was poorly explained and that the reveals about his parents seemed so abrupt and implausible that it almost felt like a retcon

I'm certainly not in the everything must be explained to the last detail camp, rather it's the explanations themselves I found wanting. But not enough to majorly detract from my over all enjoyment of the Act. Just a little bit.

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I just finished this game and I don't know what I thought of it.

I loved the visuals and the characters and the subtle animation touches. The character writing and humour was enjoyable and I liked spending time in the world.

But the plot after the first one left me with so many questions. It feels like there could be another act's worth of content to fill in exactly what the villains were doing, why it required such an arbitrary setup to perform, and how it tied into the overarching themes of growing up. I feel like we were left with a lot of answers, but few real explanations.

How did the idea of eugenicists stealing genes for heroism and courage from teenage girls relate to Shay or Vella's coming of age themes? Why was Shay calling his dad "pops" when he thought his dad was a computer until now? Since when did he want a closer relationship with his parents, whom he saw as his jailers his whole life? If Vella's grandma was a turncoat, why did that never come up outside the one conversation?

I was confused from a design standpoint too. The first game never required you to telepathically know information from the other character's areas, so I spent huge amounts of time running around wondering if I'd missed anything even after realising that was a possibility. It was never indicated when or where I might need telepathic hints. I only stumbled across it by basically giving up in frustration. I didn't even understand why I was doing anything in the final puzzle.

Then I won?

So yeah, I don't know how to feel about that. I don't think I achieved victory through being clever, I'm not even sure what I achieved was victory. Surely the coming of age story isn't over until both characters have grown up, right? I'm not sure either did.

Even though I was left with so many questions I didn't hate it. I'd play another act if there was one, I guess I just felt like the story was going somewhere else after the first game.

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I just finished this game and I don't know what I thought of it.

I loved the visuals and the characters and the subtle animation touches. The character writing and humour was enjoyable and I liked spending time in the world.

But the plot after the first one left me with so many questions. It feels like there could be another act's worth of content to fill in exactly what the villains were doing, why it required such an arbitrary setup to perform, and how it tied into the overarching themes of growing up. I feel like we were left with a lot of answers, but few real explanations.

How did the idea of eugenicists stealing genes for heroism and courage from teenage girls relate to Shay or Vella's coming of age themes? Why was Shay calling his dad "pops" when he thought his dad was a computer until now? Since when did he want a closer relationship with his parents, whom he saw as his jailers his whole life? If Vella's grandma was a turncoat, why did that never come up outside the one conversation?

I was confused from a design standpoint too. The first game never required you to telepathically know information from the other character's areas, so I spent huge amounts of time running around wondering if I'd missed anything even after realising that was a possibility. It was never indicated when or where I might need telepathic hints. I only stumbled across it by basically giving up in frustration. I didn't even understand why I was doing anything in the final puzzle.

Then I won?

So yeah, I don't know how to feel about that. I don't think I achieved victory through being clever, I'm not even sure what I achieved was victory. Surely the coming of age story isn't over until both characters have grown up, right? I'm not sure either did.

Even though I was left with so many questions I didn't hate it. I'd play another act if there was one, I guess I just felt like the story was going somewhere else after the first game.

Well one thing is that she isn't grandma. She's just some sort of village elder.

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I think this game's story would have taken at least three acts to explain properly.

Instead of Act II ending, Act III could have been the part where they try to take down the system and see the rebellion that could happen when the people learn who are responsible of killing their young. Eluna would have been an excellent location for another act.

As it's now, we see in the end credits that the two vastly different civilizations come together but not what leads to it. I doubt that Marekai's boss would just quietly give up his position of power, not to mention rest of the supporters. Also according to those shadowy silhouettes, that Levina was just forgiven after spending decades of deceiving the people.

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Well one thing is that she isn't grandma. She's just some sort of village elder.

Huh. I replayed the first half before doing part 2, but I guess I skipped over that detail.

EDIT: Wait, why didn't Shay just eat the frosting off his own cupcake? I didn't try using it on him, but he could just scrape it off if he didn't want more sugar.

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Let's see what I think about Act 2:

On the story: Story wise, I felt like the game ended with a whimper instead of a boom. Up to that point, I really liked it, though I feel like more could have been done with Shay. (Edit: Oh, I just thought of one more: In act 1, it felt like Vella's world was very low on tech and that she had no tech knowledge. The level of tech savvyness on her and her world's part in Act 2 actually felt a bit jarring at first.)

On Puzzles: I prefer my adventure games to give me pause. Act 1 was too easy, there wasn't a single puzzle that you had to actually stop to think about. Act 2 did a splendid job of actually getting you stuck for a while (This is a GOOD thing!) so that you actually had to look at the problem, try to take its parts and figure out the universal three questions of adventure games:

- Do I have the tools and knowledge to solve this on me/unlocked?

- Do I need to find more objects or environment interactions for solving this?

- Could some external help come from an NPC in some way? Who and where?

I also say that the wiring puzzles were perfect. The whole idea behind adventure games is to take notes and keep your knowledge available for when you need it elsewhere. I feel like those complaining about the wiring puzzles didn't, and so they couldn't easily just take a pattern they had jotted down in one place and transfer it to the other place.

No, the one puzzle I feel was badly designed was the knots puzzle, because the puzzle didn't really indicate at any point that you needed external help. So instead of figuring that you needed help from Carol (who was the obvious NPC to go to as soon as you had made that realisation) you could spend way too much time trying every combination on every knot.

On the art: Whether music or graphics, the game is just beautiful. Though I will say, I noticed some cases where it was showed pixellation, for example when zooming in on Vella in the ship control room. Other than that, atmosphere was really well built, characters and environments were gorgeous looking, voice acting was very well done (as it should be considering the quality of the cast), locations were well designed, interactive objects were obvious, there was zero pixel hunting, and it generally felt really polished.

On interface: There were more than a few things that bugged me in the interface. Generally, this is the main part of the game I would say wasn't polished enough. One is the obvious lack of look at/interact distinction. One is that you were dropped out of dialogue with F'ther with the knot problem between each try, and I think I had something similar for the tree joke puzzle as well, though I don't recall exactly what at the moment. One is that for the scrolling scenes, the zip move action was broken, and you actually had to walk until the edge was scrolled in view before you could zip through. For the computer controls, there was a scene where the left navigation button was hard to see because of the environment it overlaid. I really thought that there should be some interaction with the mayor? in shellmound that made it obvious that simply doing the Heimlich maneuver on him isn't an option. And lastly, I would like to have a keyboard equivalent of the game pad controls, so that you could play it entirely mouse free. (I favour keyboard over mouse for most controls on PC.)

In general though, I loved the game. There were small irritations but a big enjoyment about it!

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Well one thing is that she isn't grandma. She's just some sort of village elder.

Huh. I replayed the first half before doing part 2, but I guess I skipped over that detail.

EDIT: Wait, why didn't Shay just eat the frosting off his own cupcake? I didn't try using it on him, but he could just scrape it off if he didn't want more sugar.

The same reason he didn't just climb the tree to get the fish, or simply dodge the snake, or give Marshall Dune the heimlich. Because video games can't include the full infinite range of reality's logical possibilities and all of its parameters. So instead you get defined parameters and the isolated possibilities they contain.

It's like if I gave you the old riddle, "There are two guards, one stands at the door to paradise, one stands at the door to torment, one of them always tells the truth, one of them always lies, you only get to ask one question to one guard to determine which door is paradise, what do you ask?"

And then you were like, "Why can't I just beat them up until they tell me? Or use a truth serum?"

Well, because those aren't the parameters of the game.

.

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I'm not a fan of "ugly villains", but everything else was perfect. Cloud shoes, the knot puzzle, the snake puzzle, making a tree laugh, the cult... wow... I still can't believe it.

Congratulations! Looking forward to the phisical release including the documentary bluray.

PS: Would definitely contribute to future DF Kickstarters. Actually, I think I'll buy the PS4/VITA version right meow.

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Loved it. The difficulty level was perfect for me. Everything seemed logical and clever. I had a lot of fun with the wire puzzles. And everything involving the cutlery was hilarious. I thought Shay and Vella were both great characters, and I really cared about their fates by the end. I found the villains boring and one-dimensional, and their motivations for using Shay nonsensical.

As for Vella’s world seeming inconsistent: I’m guessing Act 1 is meant to portray Vella’s world as low-tech and old, to contrast with Shay’s futuristic world. Act 2 is meant to shatter all the assumptions the player makes about the two world’s being separated by time and space, and that’s why we’re introduced to the more “modern” elements of Vella’s world in Act 2. Or maybe Tim just wanted an excuse to make some video game jokes.

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Finished last night and very much enjoyed the game. Act 2 was tougher and had a nice variety of puzzles. I rather liked the wiring puzzles, because the game gave me an opportunity to use the understanding I developed previously. Thought the knot puzzle was well done, too. I liked that instead of everything being cut and dry, I had to try and fail a couple times at different puzzles to better understand them. The difficulty curve felt appropriate and fair.

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There is a lot of work involved nobody sees in all the documentaries. The story,

the meta-level of the story, the environments with all their meaningful

inventory items and dialogues, getting it balanced to progress further at the right

time (so you won't forget the story), not having to roam the screens

for long distances to solve a puzzle, the music, the art, every line of code.

It is a great, meaningful story, brought to our homes in an entertaining form.

All the talk beforehand has been proven wrong now. They delivered a game in a world where there are also tough times in the entertainment industry. And why shouldn't there be any problems as well like in every part of our world.

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I had just finished the game, and got the adventure game, that I wanted. The visual is 10/10, puzzles is hard (needed hints), only little percent is annoying (got Carols hints, but none of the dialogs work...). Thank you Tim Schafer, Double Fine and backers!!!

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Honestly, I was pretty disappointed with act 2. Mainly with Shay's part and the ending. Some of the puzzles were annoyingly difficult and incredibly tedious, such as the space chart one. Had a lot of fun with Vella and the hexapal puzzles but act 2 just left a bad taste in my mouth after the great promise that was shown in act 1. I don't know if it was because of the long delay between act 1 and act 2 but the story felt disconnected a bit. It would be like if in Grim Fandango you beat the game after Manny rescues Meche and the kids and beats Domino. Hopefully that paints a better picture of the shortcomings I feel Broken age has.

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I very rarely write on forums, but I’d like to give the double fine team some feedback and encouragement here. I enjoyed both the documentary and the game. Beyond all the jokes and gags, I appreciated the more serious undertones in the story and the unusual depth in the writing and I’d be glad to see more of that in future projects. Together with the simple beauty of the game it succeeded in creating an interesting and memorable experience for me. I’m looking forward to backing you on more projects, be it adventure games or something else that traditional editors wouldn’t consider fundable.

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I thought the ending sentiment itself was fine. I just really felt that Shay's role was poorly explained and that the reveals about his parents seemed so abrupt and implausible that it almost felt like a retcon

I'm certainly not in the everything must be explained to the last detail camp, rather it's the explanations themselves I found wanting. But not enough to majorly detract from my over all enjoyment of the Act. Just a little bit.

This is kind of what I was getting at when I say that it might have worked better unexplained. It's like a magic trick, you know? You don't want to draw attention to the wrong hand.

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The same reason he didn't just climb the tree to get the fish, or simply dodge the snake, or give Marshall Dune the heimlich. Because video games can't include the full infinite range of reality's logical possibilities and all of its parameters. So instead you get defined parameters and the isolated possibilities they contain.

You realise the situations you're listing all require you to do things that would never usually be valid, logical solutions to those scenarios?

It's fine to get me to solve something in an unconventional way, so long as the clues point in that direction and the writing adequately explains why the straightforward option is not in fact on the table. I'm just saying this didn't appear to be the case.

In any case, I don't really want to get hung up on this one thing.

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Why was Shay calling his dad "pops" when he thought his dad was a computer until now? Since when did he want a closer relationship with his parents, whom he saw as his jailers his whole life?
Shay didn't think his parents were computers. That's an assumption we, the player, are meant to make, but in fact it's just Shay distancing himself from his parents and only talking to them through the ship's communication screens. He addresses this at one point and says "Sorry for treating you like a computer lately."

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The same reason he didn't just climb the tree to get the fish, or simply dodge the snake, or give Marshall Dune the heimlich. Because video games can't include the full infinite range of reality's logical possibilities and all of its parameters. So instead you get defined parameters and the isolated possibilities they contain.

You realise the situations you're listing all require you to do things that would never usually be valid, logical solutions to those scenarios?

It's fine to get me to solve something in an unconventional way, so long as the clues point in that direction and the writing adequately explains why the straightforward option is not in fact on the table. I'm just saying this didn't appear to be the case.

In any case, I don't really want to get hung up on this one thing.

I guess I fail to see why Shay having the option to lick the cupcake is any more of a "valid logical solution" than Shay being able to climb the tree. Don't really see where you're coming from, but I guess it doesn't really matter.

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Shay didn't think his parents were computers. That's an assumption we, the player, are meant to make, but in fact it's just Shay distancing himself from his parents and only talking to them through the ship's communication screens. He addresses this at one point and says "Sorry for treating you like a computer lately."

I actually hate this. Both that explanation, but also the entire twist. Because it's not a twist - the game was just lying to us for the entire first half.

Which maybe would be OK if the game wanted to make a point about not just accepting the way things had always been, and doing things differently in the second half, but there was never a suggestion that that was the goal.

I can't even begin to list the number of things in the first half that don't make sense unless Shay's parents were computers. There's no reason or way that we could have guessed that they weren't, because both they, he, and the entire setting behaved as if they were.

Double Fine have done the "main character is largely making up/misinterpreting his parents' apparently abusive behaviour" twist before in Psychonauts, but that was an important moment of emotional development for both of them. It was also in a game entirely about seeing how people's worldviews and psychological issues affect their perceptions and behaviour. That wasn't one of the major themes here.

I guess it just feels weirdly disrespectful of the players' time investment when all the clues and plot threads you thought would pay off in the second half are revealed to have been red herrings, and the actual explanation is totally different.

I don't think DF intentionally did that - I know how much time and effort they put into the game. I just get the feeling their response to the critcism of the first half being easy and/or obvious was to go "Oh yeah? Well if you're so smart then why didn't you guess this?"

I guess I fail to see why Shay having the option to lick the cupcake is any more of a "valid logical solution" than Shay being able to climb the tree. Don't really see where you're coming from, but I guess it doesn't really matter.

Sorry, I mean in the game. The situations in the game require you to do nonsense actions. You're listing the sensible alternatives here.

What I'm saying is part 2 runs on moon logic, and I feel like it's OK to ask why it's more important for that to be the case than for the characters' actions and personalities to make sense.

I don't think it's impossible to do a comedy adventure game where at least the main characters are rational actors, especially considering the conceit of this game is that the two protagonists are the only sensible ones in their messed up worlds.

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2. Looking for 2 other

pieces of wire to fix Vella's bot (the wire you find looks too

small!)

THIS. I spent a messload of time wandering around the ship trying to find 2 other pieces of wire. Then I just decided "hey let me try to connect more than one terminal," and BAM! Part of the puzzle solved.

As it's now, we see in the end credits that the two vastly different civilizations come together but not what leads to it. I doubt that Marekai's boss would just quietly give up his position of power, not to mention rest of the supporters. Also according to those shadowy silhouettes, that Levina was just forgiven after spending decades of deceiving the people.

YES. I had been trying to write my thoughts down about this half of the game, but you captured it perfectly. I felt that there was no real closure in Act 2 -- it ended abruptly and, as someone else said, seemed like it left a lot more questions than it answered. I was totally expecting the whole "ship collision" thing to end relatively quickly and for us to infiltrate the city and start doing some damage, so I was quite disappointed when the game ended the way it did.

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