The Journey for The End


Photograph courtesy of Giang Nguyen

Often times we read books, play video games, or watch movies because it drags us into the plot. We are presented with conflict and search for answers and hope to see the protagonist succeed in their quest. But sometimes we are presented with a story that has no conflict.

The story is vague and we are given only a glimpse of conflict. A deity or unknown voice tells us to go, so we go. We are put in an unknown land and are told to go out into the world to find out the story for ourselves. It is rare that we find media that presents this type of story to us; often times, they focus more on the journey rather than conflict.

One of the most famous of these stories is Shadow of the Colossus. The story tells us nothing other than the fact that some type of voice is telling us to go out and kill giant monsters in order to bring back a woman from the dead. The world is large, there are no enemies or people besides the monsters you fight. Your only companion is your horse, and the only guide you have is a sword. You and I wander aimlessly through this land in search for our prey, and killing them without remorse is the only way to bring back this girl. Why do we comply? Is it because we are told to and have nothing else to do? Or is it because it is mystery that compels us to understand what it is that we are doing? We never learn the true meaning behind all of what we are doing in the game. What story we have is vague, and we are given more questions than answers.

Most find that it is the journey which makes up the story the game wants to tell. It lets us experience this vast mysterious world and somehow put ourselves in the shoes of this character. It is a similar story for Rime, The Last Guardian, and Ico. Unfortunately, there are very few stories that are like this but those that do exist often allow us to gain a new perspective. It is a different type of storytelling which many people should experience more of.

This new take allows us to experience the story on our own time and understand its world the way we want to encounter it.