The lights are on
What happens when you combine narration, gameplay, and a beautiful voice? You get one of the best levels in a phenomenal XBLA game.
You download a game called Bastion for your 360. You pick up your controller and play as the character The Kid. He is full of life. It’s funny because The Kid ain’t much for words, but The Narrator by the name of Rucks keeps the story moving without missing a beat. You enjoy the game, for it is rich and unique. Even the scumbags don’t seem to bother you as you explore a world filled with wonder. Then you come to a place called Prosper Bluff and suddenly life in the wasteland gets a little sweet.
Prosper Bluff use to be a beautiful destination to visit before the world fell apart, but what makes it special is everything you start hearing as you walk. As you make your way through the level taking out peckers and activating switches, Rucks explains what the once-peaceful vista was like. Out of the blue he begins to hear something he hasn’t heard in a long time; singing.
The singer hums along as you continue through the level. With a cue from Rucks, you are graced with a lovely melody as a decaying world rebuilds around you. It is a somber tune about the singer’s people who were shunned to the outskirts of the land and divided by a giant wall. As you grow closer, the song becomes more vivid and eventually it becomes clear the song is hinting at events that led to the great calamity.
At the end of what remains of Prosper Bluff you find a young maiden by the name of Zia, an Ura survivor with a voice of gold. When you first encounter her you stand quietly there for a few minutes soaking it all in before returning back to the Bastion.
You lean back into your couch and forget about the world outside. Even though you had things to do and places to go, time stands still. You feel the need to continue the game, or at least keep going to save your progress. In the end, it’s futile, for neither you nor The Kid can bring yourself to interrupt that girl. I guess the calamity has that effect on people. Too bad the world is still in ruins when you come back.
Just the song
Email the author O'Dell Harmon, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I still find myself humming this song while I write. There's nothing quite like suddenly embracing the serene beauty of the environment that just tried to kill you and nothing quite as disarming as a beautiful voice calling to you through the destruction of the Calamity.
Bastion was a fun game, but I don't really REMEMBER moments from it, except when the parts with the people who turned to dust, and the ending. And it never felt like it had replay value either. I don't regret playing it, but I guess I fall in the boat of "great but not super great". :P
I'm so glad this came to iPad. The touch controls really are a perfect fit.
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That melody was stuck in my head for days after playing through that part. It's so soothing, yet it seemed to haunt me in a way hearing it under those circumstances in the game. A fine moment indeed.
Talk about beautiful games. It's a great moment - you don't really understand what happened, but you hear this voice out of the destruction... and that song becomes so meaningful as you learn more and more.
I haven't forgot that song - but I sure am getting an itch to play this game again.
I hope GI keeps you on full time O'Dell, you've quickly became one of my favorite staff members here with stuff like this.
ah~ brings back memories.
This just reminded me that I still need to do that final dream challenge to reach 100% completion...
I'm getting nostalgia from 9 months ago.
well said. i absolutely love that song. bought on itunes and listen to it all the time. ha. loved this game too. very unique, tells a nice story in a nicer way
I remember this fondly.
I just palyed Bastion on my iPad and it was stunning. The music overall is phenomenal as is the narration. I've only gotten one ending but I'm playing through it again. Easily one of the best downloadable games ever.
I have that whole soundtrack on my ipod just because of that song. The mix between that and zulf's song that plays during the credits is great too.
I love everything about Bastion. More like Moments:Bastion. I agree that this is one of the best parts of the game.