Views 346  l   Votes 0  l   2017.04.04 12:00

S2 getting more "horror" influenced with time? [mild spoilers for recent eps]   [8]

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    I've noticed that there have been much more blatant "horror" moments in the last two episodes. The biggest examples:

    1) the ending sequence of Lead Heart. I understand this needing to be impactful due to the shock of Eunhwa's death, but the way it was treated still bugs me, particularly the recurring shot of Eunhwa's body (which I'll get back to later).
    2) the missing organs of the elk in Missing Cargo. I'm sure the meaning of this will be revealed in the future, but again it's the treatment. Jae goes out of his way to tell us how freaked out he is; he didn't do that about most things in S1, especially the dead marmots which are comparable.
    3) the shot of Captain Na at the end of Missing Cargo. Just like the shot of Eunhwa's body, this is definitely meant for cinematic purposes of evoking horror. Compare it to the depictions of Kim Seo in S1 - he's a serial killer but wasn't shown in such a purposely strange manner.

    After playing Missing Cargo, I'm getting the impression that S2 is going in a tonal direction I might not enjoy. One of my favorite aspects of S1 was how it maintained a steady POV by showing events through characters' eyes, right down to Jihoon's coming to wrong conclusions. There were of course moments of scenery shown from different POVs, but as a whole I felt as if I was within the story. Here in S2, the presentation has become more cinematic (how exactly could Jae see down to Na's face like that otherwise?); there is also the growing emphasis on "horror" moments. I'm a wimp! I don't like horror movies at all, and because of this I adored the "thriller" aspects of S1. Rather than trying to scare with visuals, S1 relied on untold information and mystery. There were occasional heavier moments, but they were presented as realistic shocks rather than emphasized and exaggerated (take for example the shot of Daehan's body compared to Eunhwa's, or the way Kim Seo was shown in the confrontation on the docks as a menacing figure towering over the fallen Jae compared to the way Na was purposely placed in an odd camera angle and given an odd expression to make her creepy to the player). It felt like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, while S2 is beginning to take on characteristics of a horror anime.

    So that is my problem. If S2 continues to go for the "horror" angle, I may stop playing. S1 is still an incredible experience that I absolutely love. S2 started promisingly but has begun to lose me a bit. (I also feel like Fortune Seeker's goals and the information surrounding their work have become more clouded with time, but that's a topic for another post!)

    Anyway, I'm mainly posting to express my concerns, and to compare things so that my criticism can possibly be taken constructively. I'm sure that I'm in a minority, since a lot of people enjoy horror, but I wanted to explain my problem nonetheless.

    To finish up, I'm curious - is this tonal shift being done on purpose? I know the developers take feedback from fans, so were there a lot of requests for creepier or more intense moments?

    Thanks for reading! :)
    • Whotisthis 2017.04.05 02:42
      I have noticed a similar shift myself!

      To name a few differences between S1 and S2:

      - the artwork has improved tremendously. Playing the prologue of S1 and the most recent episodes back to back really shows how much better it looks. Love it!

      - there's a smaller emphasis on... dare I say "traditional" puzzles? As opposed to logical story-driven puzzles. Take for example the bookcase puzzle in S1 versus... any "puzzle" we've seen in S2. If anyone else has a better word for it, feel free to chime in. I feel like there are also less puzzles to solve in S2 episodes compared to S1 episodes... but I could be just imagining things. I'll have to replay the game to make sure... but yeah.

      - and the horror aspect. I'm actually pleased with what they did in Lead Heart? In S1, the jumpscare in the prologue was one of the things that made me intrigued in playing this game (along with the promise of horror and mystery). Sadly that was toned down until the bodies started showing up (And even then, they made the blood look like mud for some reason, so for the longest time I kept thinking they were decaying rather than bleeding oops).

      I don't know, I guess I liked that they became more daring with the horror, cuz that's what was promised. So long as it's suspenseful and not cheap, I'm okay with it.

      As for your specific concerns, yeah... not everyone can stomach horror and that sucks. :( Hopefully the team won't escalate it too much so that you'll be able to keep playing? Cuz while I do like the direction they're heading in, there's a difference between tasteful horror and ....well... cheap gory gimmicks.

      The angle is an interesting point. One of the things I imagined happening was that Na may be hunched over the pole she used to kill the guy. The thing with these spherical angles is that they're pretty exaggerated... for the specific effect of disturbing the viewer. It's often used in comics/manga/manwha for that effect. Idk, maybe that's what's going on.

      It'd be interesting to hear what other people are saying about this!
    • syju 2017.04.07 13:02

      Hey, sorry to take a while to reply! I wanted to make sure I addressed everything in your post so I had to type this up on my computer first :P

      1) I definitely agree the art has improved. In general things have become much more sophisticated, which is really awesome to see. I've always enjoyed how things feel sort of like a "living story" (which does give my phone a break, since it's not very powerful), but I'm always up for any animations that might give environments a greater sense of realism.

      2) Agreed on the puzzles as well! Lately I see almost constant emphasis on combining and/or utilizing items within the course of the story, as opposed to a puzzle setup that's just sort of there. That did make sense in certain portions of S1, but I can't say I miss the stuff like the circuit board in the floor of the community center. I also did replay S1 recently to take notes on the storyline and gather information, and I can confirm there are fewer puzzles in S2 so far for sure. I think a good way to describe the difference is that in S1 there was more emphasis put on those "traditional" puzzles and also on a lot of navigation, in order to lengthen the game experience; now, the emphasis has slightly shifted towards the item utilization and also more towards dialogue. It's certainly something I like either way.

      3) Hmm...when it comes to Lead Heart, I did understand why everything was done the way it was. Though it freaked me out, I even came to appreciate it eventually because it didn't feel gratuitous, if that makes sense. That's, I think, why the stuff with Captain Na made me go "wait, hold on," because if that stuff is going to happen more often, it might start actually feeling gratuitous. It's kind of a fine line to walk, I think. But I could also be misunderstanding the ultimate tone of the story as a whole, since I originally thought it was a mystery thriller rather than a horror mystery.

      I was confused by the darker bodies/blood myself actually! I always thought it was done to avoid an M rating, though it could be related to Korean law or something. Admittedly I was a little relieved about it, though. XD I'm an overly imaginative person, so having silhouettes of bodies and seeing the horrified reactions of the characters is more than enough for me personally.

      I'm glad that you like the direction things are going yourself! Like I said, I knew I'd be in a minority on this, so it's good to know people are enjoying everything. I certainly can't say that I don't like S2 so far, particularly with all the insight we're getting into Fortune Seeker and where all the characters have ended up with time. (I was so happy to see Sunny in Missing Cargo, you don't even know! She was one of my favorites from S1 and I was wondering when she'd show up!)

      Oh, and lastly - I definitely do recognize the angle Na was shown at from different anime and manga. I guess it's a successful thing in the end, since it definitely serves to freak me out, but I didn't think of that possibility you cited! It's pretty unrelated to the topic, but I wonder if Na and Kim Seo will meet soon, since they seem to be very similar individuals. (Admittedly Kim Seo became one of my favorite characters through S1, so maybe the same will happen with Na over time...who knows!)

      Anyway, thanks for replying! This app is literally the only regularly updated thing I play, so it's really exciting to discuss it with someone. :D

       

      Edit: I just discovered how to access the forums on my computer, so that's going to make it a lot easier to discuss stuff! I didn't even know this was possible, omg. Love the banner at the top too <3

    • Whotisthis 2017.04.10 04:33
      Haha, same here! There are a lot of things to cover, which is why I need to find the time to organize my thoughts enough to type it all out.

      - I completely agree with what you said about "traditional" puzzles vs item utilization when comparing the two seasons. While S1 felt more like a traditional point-and-click game with dialogue, puzzles, and a lot of head-scratching, S2 felt more like a visual novel. There's more focus on the characters, the dialogue, the story. The puzzles became more integrated into the story. To be honest, this kind of shift was already happening near the end of S1, if I remember correctly. It's definitely not a shift I'm against, that's for sure. I personally love a game that puts emphasis on its story and characters rather than gameplay, so this works for me!

      - Don't get me wrong. I'm a total wuss. Lead heart and Missing Cargo freaked me out. The prologue of both seasons freaked me out (S1 for that jumpscare at the very end, S2 for the dark silhouettes, etc). But as you said, they didn't feel overdone. They horror elements feel more spaced out and not overcrowded. And I don't think you misunderstood the tone of the story as a whole because.... it's all jumbled up together? It's not just a thriller. It's not just a mystery. It's DEFINITELY not just a horror. To me, it's a thriller with mystery and horror elements added wherever they're needed.

      S1 had equal amounts of thriller and mystery included due to account for the complete question-mark that was the Island and the unknown killer. The horror elements popped up with the bodies and the murders, etc. S2 is still a thriller... the mystery is downplayed because the big questions from S1 are kind of answered. There are still many things unaccounted for, but they're not at the forefront quite yet, because we're currently diving into the terrible experiments FS is doing (hence the horror elements). Will all of S2 be like this? Probably not. But let's hope the writers keep all these elements balanced for the player's sake, yes? + 7 +

      I am so happy to be seeing the gang again. It's great to know what they've been up to all this time and what's changed. (my heart ACHES to know how the Jina/Seo Hyun reunion went!! WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT I HAVE A MIGHTY NEED).

      I have a feeling we'll know more about Na as time goes on. The promo picture for episode 7 shows a young girl that....looks....like....her? Idk, they have similar hairstyles, maybe I'm imagining things? In any case, a showdown between her and Kim Seo, holy crap. That would be swell! Or her and Jina. Two hyper-strong women against the other, should be promising!

      No problem! I love discussing this game with people. Not many people seem to respond to the Season 2 discussion thread so this is was a nice change!
    • syju 2017.04.11 13:28
      1) Ooh, yes, visual novel is the perfect way to describe it! I actually have to say that things changed very seamlessly. I've had some adventure game experience in the past, which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with the game as a whole because it felt so similar to what I'm used to; but on the other hand, the gameplay now is just as engrossing to me as it was before if not more so. I still find myself regularly puzzled by what to do next even if I'm not faced with a single difficult puzzle (that whole thing with how to get the seed out of the truck, I was stuck on that for a whole night! Good thing there was no time limit and Jae didn't get blown up thanks to my confusion XD) And I agree about the story and characters as well. I can play and enjoy other games that put more emphasis on action-packed experiences, but the lack of a plot always affects those games' memorability for sure.

      2) Man, you know I hadn't even thought of things the way you're putting it! That entirely puts into words another reason why the experience of playing the game has been so memorable for me. I think it's definitely still similar to a Hitchcock movie - like how North by Northwest has moments of comedy, tension, fear, and action all wrapped up in the same story. And hey, Hitch also made Psycho, so I guess we can compare the horror moments to his movies as well. XD Very good point about a lot of the mysteries being wrapped up too! I think there's still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Fortune Seeker's real motives (the impression I got from S1 is that they wanted to essentially gain power by using the White Terror virus to drastically cull the population while keeping certain people safe with the vaccine, but it seems their motives are actually much more complicated and I am really really itching to find out the whole truth), but despite that, there's definitely more emphasis on the details of what they're doing as opposed to the general reasons why. I find it interesting how, even though Sunny and Minjung were born immune to the virus, there was less of the "body horror" element with them than what we're getting now with Jina and Na (and even Jihoon, arguably. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of S2 was catching up with him; I can totally imagine his dialogue about the experiments done on him being verbatim in a movie version of this story).

      Oh jeez, I'd almost forgotten about Jina and Seohyun. I would almost wonder if Jina tried to kill her, but I feel like after all this time of poor Jihoon being obsessed with her, she's not just gonna up and die. We've gotta get a reunion of them somehow! Jihoon has been probably the most tragic character of the lot so consistently (I think Sunny is close, but she at least had that memory drug used on her so she wouldn't recall Minjung...Jihoon is over here not even knowing the full story and still suffering so greatly and probably unable to even die, so things are most likely just gonna get even worse for him, ugh) that to me, he deserves this at least.

      omg I didn't even think that could be young Na in the promo picture! I did find it odd how the popup before the main menu shows the girl while the preview image in the S2 menu shows the old man...that would be amazing, if we got some flashbacks to Na's past already. Or even if that isn't her, I'd like some flashbacks someday at least! Long Long Night + The Enemy Of My Enemy are some of my favorite parts of S1; I don't like Hide and Seek + Flower and Humming as much, but I do appreciate all the backstory they filled in. Getting more of that would be so great. (And man, Na vs Jina...I feel like they'd tear each other apart forever and never get anywhere. That would be quite the battle XD)

      Yeah, I don't see too much discussion here myself. To be honest, there's so much stuff that I want to talk about that this thread will probably end up way off topic after a while. :P
    • Whotisthis 2017.04.17 12:32
      1) I've always had a soft spot for visual novels and point-and-click games. I love story and character-driven games so much, it's not even funny. This game does a good job of building up their characters throughout the story, in that none of them are what they seem. There's always more to them than just first impressions or tropes. And much like you, sometimes I get stumped on the next course of action too! Which is great because if it was too easy, the episodes would feel a lot shorter (though I won't say no to more challenging puzzles ahehehe)

      2) Stories that can seamlessly weave together different tones into a nice cohesive experience are gem. This game has a lot of things that I enjoy: mystery, thriller, horror, even humour (99% of which Jina provided in the beginning of S1, now not so much for obvious reasons). And I love that we're discovering more about Fortune Seeker's motives layer by layer. Like you said, I thought FS' motives were about finding a cure (albeit through questionable means, as seen by Sunny and Minjung's treatment in the labs). The further in we get, the more we find: there might be a man-made virus outbreak in the works (implying that the research for the cure, as you said, would only be used for certain populations). Is this a form of purge then?

      What about the emergence of people like Jina, Na, and Hyuntae, with almost superhuman strength and regenerative healing abilities? Eugene (forgot her real name oops) made strong implications about their organs being good for saving lives and helping people live longer. They could also be used as human weapons. It's so interesting to see where they fit into the picture! There's many other questions to answer that aren't directly related to FS and the virus: like the Mad Hatter. Who is she? What's her involvement in all this? Will we find out why/how Shade killed Seo Hyun's mom? So many questions! Can't wait!

      Oh god and don't even get me started on Jihoon. That poor man. Oh god.... o<--< He's gone through hell and back and yet he's still completely devoted to Seo Hyun. And vice versa. Those two are just.... too much. I really hope they find happiness again... q n q )

      I hope everyone from the old gang finds happiness again, tbh! They've all suffered (some more than others) and I just....want them all to survive ok?! kjdgsjkds I personally fell in love with Counterattack, the last episode of S1. We were for the first time playing as an unknown character seemingly trying to survive from attacks instigated by (SURPRISE SURPRISE) Jae and Sae Hyun! That was wild for me, cuz I knew I was clearly playing against the "good" guys, and yet... I was rooting for Ash too? I genuinely found myself wanting to survive as Ash. And of course, the big reveal as to her identity just....cemented this as the greatest WI experience for me. I hope we get to play as her again. :)

      Oh, believe me, I could go on for ages. Hopefully the S2/S1 discussion threads get revived? Until then, I guess I'll just gush over WI over here, haha. + 7 + );
    • syju 2017.05.20 14:05
      Well I sure did a good job of replying to this promptly XD Sorry to take so long!

      1) Absolutely agreed on all of this! When I first started playing S1, I honestly didn't know what to expect, particularly from Jina and Jae; they struck me as being total cliches, but my mind was totally blown as I continued, especially when I started playing from Jae's POV. Even characters like Minhyeok and Daehan turned out to be favorites. (Though Jang didn't quite get to do much, poor guy.) When it comes to the complexity factor, I actually really prefer being stumped on what to do next, compared with being faced by a particularly difficult puzzle. Puzzles like those always feel more like arbitrary "road blockers" to me (kind of like the small bushes in Pokemon games that need to be cut down), whereas working one's way around what appears to be a dead end using nothing but your own wits and whatever items you can find...that's a lot more of a fun concept. More difficult to implement, sure, but I think more rewarding in the end too!

      2) I was definitely thinking the same thing about Fortune Seeker's plans. If I had to make a guess right now, though, I'd probably say that they're working towards creating some sort of "superhumans" like Jina and the others you mentioned; maybe the original virus will transform a certain amount of people into said superhumans while wiping out the majority of people exposed to it? I certainly don't trust Eugene (I think her name was Kyungah Park? but it's been a while since I replayed those eps) but I do think there could be a grain of truth in what she told Hyuntae. The Mad Hatter is so mysterious, though! I think a lot of that stuff with the "black box" from Director Ahn is going to come back around soon, and be explained this time too (at least I hope so).

      Also I totally feel the same about Counterattack! That was one of the more mysterious parts of S1 for sure (which is saying a lot XD) and I found myself getting attached to Ash and Hammer very quickly as well. That episode actually has one of my favorite interactions, when Ash and Hammer go into the secret facility and talk about Ash's being rescued in the past; Ash asks "Do I look normal?" and Hammer just says "Sometimes." That says so much about their relationship and characters in so few words, I just love it :D
    • Marcien 2017.05.30 19:20
      i actually started playing white island because i was looking for a horror game. I like both the neutral storytelling in S1 and the sfx, coloured text and jump scares in S2. i think i can appreciate the aesthetic changes in S2. although, there might be a little too many switches in PoVs/characters and time skips. sometimes i wonder: when is this again?! who is that woman now?
    • MadotsukiD 2017.07.01 16:46
      Hi i just came here after finishing ep5 and I totally agree with u.
      I couldn't read all the comments since i'm trying to avoid spoilers but thank you for warning me about next shocking scenes. ... I mean I love White Island, since the very first day, love the mystery, the suspense, the investigation, characters and story, I love everything, although S1 was kind of "soft" from what I was expecting by a claimed horror game, but I loved it anyways and got used to it, even more on S2 since it seemed to be so much softer and then BAM now I wont be able to sleep for weeks, thank you Kyung ah!
      Actually I think they did an amazing job to transmit to the player the awful despair the protagonist was getting through, I'm still shocked and I'll still be cause I wasn't expecting that and I swear it freaked me out , mostly because the scene would go on by itself instead on letting me process the content and prevent a possible heart attack lol. (im overreacting but maybe they should put a warning at the beggining of the episode?)

      Please let me know if there are more upcoming scenes like this one so I'll be careful since im sensitive to these things but I just cant stop playing this game I'm in love with.

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