Oh hello there, I’m back! After a week of keeping my mouth shut and patiently waiting I’ve returned to creating these lovely and lengthy blogs! If you were wondering, I hadn’t created a blog post last week because I, like many others, was patiently waiting for the release of ODAD: A Bajillion Questions! I didn’t want to spoil the excitement of the release with speculation about it, or just write a meaningless and boring filler post. Anyway, this will be a critique, in a way, as well as a blog to fuel the ever speeding hype train that has become the ODAD sub-fandom.
Now, just to put this out there, I adore the main menu with a fiery passion. It gives a sort of serious yet playful vibe that pretty much describes Dreamt. Then once you start the game you’re absolutely thrown into Pho’s position. We’ve all felt like her at least once, running from terrible evils, separated from our friends, pretty much a typical day during the war. And then I just love how Aaron immediately starts his name-play. The Café, instead of being named the Brooklynn is now the Manhatten.
Well played Aaron. Well played.
Anyway we then go through some cute antics between Pho and Christina, who is only referred to as the Barista in this. I’m hoping her and the rest of the Cafeteers get bigger roles in the main game. Wouldn’t it be hilarious to see Emmet up in Lingz’s face declaring he’s a zebra?
Now we encounter the people in the corner booth which are Hatchet, Soi and Yuki. I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to meet Lingz yet. We also learn why our wiki’s cursor is a star. In ODAD Lingz and their group call themselves the Six Stars and their emblem is a six pointed star. I don’t know if there will end up being a bigger meaning behind the six pointed star or if it just is. Also again with the damn word play with their motto, “Death to the flowers”. If you don’t know, Necifera is part of the scientific name of a lotus flower. Still, that motto is extremely badass.
And time for the game’s title to begin to show itself. I thoroughly enjoyed questioning the characters into annoyance. And well, some of their answers did stick out to me. Firstly, Hatchet attempts to come off as an extremely two dimensional character saying that she only wants to defeat Necifera because she is ‘a bitch’ and she is only driven by ‘her rage’. Then, when you inquire about plans Hatchet ends up giving you quite a deep response as to why she doesn’t like having plans. Obviously she’s hiding something and I highly doubt she’s as two dimensional as she wants everyone to believe. Also, I’m curious as to why Yuki responded ‘Half fate, half my choice’ when asked why he was with the Six Stars. He makes it seem almost like he didn’t fully intend to join them. Also, Pho semi-breaks the fourth wall and says “Oh, well maybe Yuki will turn into Mal knowing me” in regards to how the Uterus Collector was nicknamed Yuki. Yuki then proceeds to act uncomfortable. I’m wondering if others are aware that he’s Satan, if he even is Hell royalty in this game. Soi did make a comment when Yuki said ‘we don’t bite’. She told him to stop lying. So perhaps people do know that he’s a demon, but they don’t know how powerful he is. He didn’t bring up anything regarding Hell in the interviews or in the remainder of the game so this is kind of up in the air still.
After a brief quiz we move onto the bathroom scene! It’s creepier than you think. I honestly thought something peculiar would happen, but instead we’re faced with the choice of taking a ring we find under the sink or leaving it. I took the ring, because in videogames its best to take everything.
After that everyone heads out to find Erzabet who took K and Lingz to Energy City and is supposed to return to take the remainder of the group too. I found it cute how Aaron hid references even in the directions everyone went. Yuki went west (Obvious reasons) Soi went east (Most likely because the East has a better environment than us) Pho goes south (again obvious reasons) and Hatchet was the one who went North. I feel she went north because, like the North, we don’t know much about her at first, but I feel like she’ll become one of THE deepest characters in the game. Much like how the North is emotionally deep in the fact that they’re a country of experiments.
When Pho is traveling south she comes across an abandoned building covered in posters. One poster promotes ‘Saving the Earth Elementals’ which means this might be around the time that Lotus wiped out the Emerald district. Another poster promotes Noemi’s army, and another promotes Hell’s army. This proves Hell has the same relationship with the surface world as it does now. Then we get a creepy poster which reads “Our Fair Lady. Forever watching.” I will admit this game focuses heavily on the dystopia, broken-world aspect of DD.
Now, the question we all ask ourselves. Go into the building, or don’t? I went into the building screaming ‘COME AT ME FLOWER QUEEN’ and was instead asked to play cards by Lady Red. She isn’t actually named in the game, but I’m getting the feeling she plays an important role in the main one. She asks you to play Memoria and her intent is to have you actually remember things as you play. This isn’t what happens, though. I have a feeling she’s going to attempt to help Lingz remember things but I’m not sure if it will actually work or not. Lady Red also gives you a ring identical to the one you found in the bathroom. Now, why on earth does she have this ring? Why on earth is she giving it to you? These questions are semi-answered later on.
You go out to the bus stop, sit down, get your pants wet, get lost looking for the café, and then-
OH HOLY AARON WE’RE GETTING SHOT AT.
Pho gets terribly injured and falls off a cliff. This then triggers a very emotional moment where she contemplates life and remembers who those people on Lady Red’s cards are. She says they were resistance but indicated that two of them weren’t like the rest. Now using logic I’m going to say it’s Douglas and that brunette girl. I’m guessing Douglas may follow a similar path in the game, first working for Necifera then deciding ‘Flug da Police’ and joining the resistance. I also think he may have been the shooter but there is absolutely no evidence for this since Pho was a smart protagonist and didn’t turn around to look at her pursuer. As for the brunette I have no clue who she is. She doesn’t look like Andrea or Amarie or young Dreyus and currently I can’t think of any other brunettes. (I’m sorry, my mind is all over the place right now) Honestly, she doesn’t look like anyone we know. So who is she? She might be another game exclusive character Aaron hasn’t announced. Or maybe she’s someone only Aaron knew at one point.
Once our life flashes before our eyes we’re saved by Erzabet. Currently I’m pretty sure Terri is Erzabet, and if that’s true that means Terri is Scottish. Everything about Erzabet screams Terri, from the sweet voice to being much stronger than she appears. In the game she is known as the ‘Keeper of the Gates’. I have no idea what this actually is since it doesn’t hold any parallels to DD.
We then have a nice conversation and Erzabet offers to get us healed and then head out with us and the others to Energy City. Then, Pho offers her one of the rings as compensation. Erzabet is said to look at the ring sadly before accepting and saying ‘She’ll treasure it with her dying breaths’.
If that isn’t foreshadowing I don’t know what is.
This leads to the end of the game and then a cut-scene where the Indigo Commander tells one of her advisors or soldiers or somebody to go find the Six Stars and bring them to the Capitol.
Overall this demo really built atmosphere. It went from awkward to funny, to creepy, to heart stopping, to emotional, to light hearted, to badass. I really did enjoy it and I really want to see the story from the beginning.
Now time for theories!
I think the rings belong to Terri and Fox and that Fox is either dead or Lady Red has more connections than we think. Firstly, Erzabet being sad when looking at the ring and the first ring’s location are enough to tell me that one does belong to Erzabet. She might’ve dropped the ring in the bathroom when picking up K and Lingz before Pho’s arrival. Now, as to how Lady Red has the second one… We get the impression that the Lady Red in the game is sort of cut off from society. She’s haunting what can be assumed to be her old Casino which was probably wrecked when Necifera passed through the City. So, if she obtained Fox’s ring he may be dead, or perhaps Lady Red isn’t as cut off as she appears to be. I’m wondering if she still has a connection to the Indigo Commander. This may be where Noctre is. He did fight in a war briefly when he was alive, so he may be helping the Commander with fighting since in this terrible dystopia she’s struggling and needs every person she can get. Obviously Noctre wouldn’t want Lady Red to get hurt so he tells her to go somewhere safe. The one ‘safe’ place she can think of is the Casino which is pretty much a creepy building and no one reasonable would go there. Now, between the time of her going to the Casino she may have run into Fox who may have known who she was. That or he too lost his ring and she found it.
I also have a weaker theory where Fox went to the Casino before it was wrecked but that one is grasping at straws. Though in my mind it looks pretty cool.
My other theories are also a bit of grasping at straws at the moment so I’ll keep them to myself. Anyway comment below and theorise to your heart’s content! And may ODAD come faster than we expect!