Welcome back to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly, formerly Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. This month, Melissa, Zora, and Maddi play Bastion, Supergiant Games’ debut in which the (dubiously named) Kid explores the fractured world of Caelondia after an apocalyptic event called The Calamity.
- Bastion spoilers throughout
Pieces we mentioned:
- The Political and Ethical Force of Bastion, or, Gameplay and the Love of Fate by Liam Mitchell (PDF Download)
- The Secret To The Success Of Bastion, Pyre, And Hades: No Forced Crunch, Yes Forced Vacations by Nathan Grayson
Theme music is Bass Thee by Alexander Nakarada, used under Creative Commons 0.
Melissa Brinks: It was really like—I was reading about it afterwards, especially after I finished it because I stared at that final choice for like 10 minutes. It’s not even I don’t know what to choose because the decision is difficult. I don’t know what to choose because I have no idea what’s going on.
Zora Gilbert: Right.
Melissa: So I went and read a bunch of posts on the Bastion wiki. I’m like, “Wow, I feel like I missed 50% of the game.” Which was disappointing because it sounds really good. It sounds—like, it sounds good.
Zora: If it helps, this is also how I felt the first time I played it, when I was playing on my keyboard, which I hated, during finals of my freshman year of college.
Melissa: Oh god.
Zora: Not a great environment to play a game in.
Zora: When I got to the final choice, I had no idea what the fuck was going on, at all. And so even though I had enjoyed the game, I felt like I’d missed everything… because I had.
Melissa: Yeah, it seems like a game that really rewards, like you said, that deep play and revisiting it. Unfortunately, the experience for me was not—I feel like “fun” is the wrong word, because I think a game can be enjoyable without being fun. But I was not enjoying the experience. And I wouldn’t even say I was particularly engaged with it. I was just kind of like “This is a task I need to complete.” And that’s not the ideal way to approach a game.
Zora: Yeah. Thank you for completing your homework, Missy.
Melissa: No problem. I do love to complete my homework.
Zora: The endorphins given from successfully completing a homework is worth many things. Which is fucked up. We’ve all been damaged by the American school system.
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Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.