"The Company of Myself"
|Score(As of 26 September, 2010):||4.46/5.00|
|Hey everyone, here's a game for you. It's a moody little puzzle game about a hermit that expands on the mechanic seen in games like Cursor*10 and Chronotron.
Bonus points go to Luka Marcetic, who handled the art, and David Carney, who wrote the music.
Don't forget: If you mess up, push R to reset the level. P or Escape to pause-Volume controls are in pause menu.
|Note||This information only refers to the official release on the Flash Portal.|
The Company of Myself is a flash game by FreeAsANerd. It is an artistic take on the puzzle platforming genre.
At this point, the tone becomes more frantic, as he asks his audience to not leave him. The game then ends with an epilogue movie. Apparently, the hermit's name is Jack, and he's been visited by a psycho analyst for eight years. However, he doesn't remember any of it. During that time, he's been in solitary confinement in a hospital. The reason that he feels like he betrayed Kathryn is because he murdered her and buried her in a green box. The epilogue concludes by stating that Jack will probably never recover from his mental illness or be capable of living a normal life.
However, when "The End" appears after the epilogue, and when the "Special Thanks" list of people end, a small message appears, supposedly by Jack. Jack says that he notices the psychoanalyst leave, and he says he suddenly has no one to tell his story to anymore. That means, unkown to the psychoanalyst, Jack does remember his visits, but is too paralyzed by what has happened, that he can't help but to tell it over and over again.
My attention is stolen by a green square on the other end of the room. I want to be its friend more than anything I've ever wanted. The square does not react to my approach. Does it not notice me? Or is it only pretending not to notice me? I feel confused. And a bit tingly. But mostly just confusedI briefly think of something worthwhile to think. Nothing emerges. I haven't talked to anyone lately, but at least I can solve my own problems. Staring at this worthlessly large staircase, I reflect on my own past struggles. I search for reasons why I don't desire companionship. I settle on avoidance of the issue. I can clearly get by without others, anyway. I find myself unable to leave the question alone. Why can I not be with people?
I think back to the first day that Kathryn and I met. Our paths converged, and suddenly we were a team. This was before I was as reclusive as I have become today, so I had not learned to truly multitask yet. That talent grew out of simple necessity. Her approach was quiet, as was my response. The connection was instant and unmistakeable. A team. Mutual. Perfect. I wasn't ready to let it go. When we faced a problem, we would solve it together. Today, I find myself solving the same problems alone. I was under appreciative. Plain and simple. Didn't understand just how much I needed her. How much she needed me. It was perfect. Everything. It was all perfect. I helped her, and she helped me. Mutual. I never suspected the end to come so quickly. I found myself crushed by guilt. I didn't leave the house for days. But she was gone. And now I find myself alone. I can't handle talking to people anymore. I grudgingly consider how the ability to start over from a different perspective would have been helpful earlier in life. Maybe I could have let Kathryn not meet me in the first place..
And like this, I continue. What? Don't leave yet. I have more to say. I really do. Are you really leaving?
I've been tasked with psychoanalyzing Jack after his mental breakdown. In general, he recalls his life very accurately -- The things he says line up with all of the records. The first problem is that he doesn't seem to remember any of my visits. I've talked with him once a week for the past eight years, and he always tells me the same things as if we've never met before. He describes himself as a loner, and this makes a whole lot of sense, as he has been kept in solitary confinement for the duration of his stay at the hospital. He always briefly talks about his life, and eventually gets into the story of how he lost his loved one, Kathryn. He understands that she has died, and he certainly feels at least somewhat responsible, but he doesn't recall that he murdered her. She was found buried in their backyard in a green package. Evidently, it was the only box large enough for use as a coffin that Jack could find. Also of note were there two flowers that he planted next to the makeshift grave. He considers her death to be the reason that he can't talk to people anymore. I suppose that in a way, he is correct. This will be my final report on Jack. I don't find any reason to believe that he will recover from his current state of severe mental illness, and he is far too dangerous to himself and others to allow his release.
The shrink leaves, and suddenly I don't even have a person to tell my story to anymore.
The Company of Myself is an entirely linear game. After the intro is a set of twenty levels, which must be played in order. The goal of each level is to reach the green box, the meaning of which is described in the final cutscene. Afterwards, there is an epilogue movie.
The Company of Myself uses fairly standard controls for a 2D platformer. The arrow keys are used to control movement and the A key interacts with the environment. The spacebar is used to spawn at the start of a level, allowing shadows of oneself to move in their predetermined paths. The R key restarts the level entirely, and the Escape and P keys can be used to pause the game and adjust the volume.
Presentationluka, the artist for The Company of Myself, uses fairly simple graphics for a 2009 Flash game. Platforms look largely identical, and a single background is used. Shadows are shown as black outlines of the playable character. There are no sound effects, but a musical score by David Carney is included.
The Company of Myself has been a critical hit on Newgrounds. As of September 2010, it has just under half a million views and an average review of 9.7/10, in addition to its Daily Feature and Weekly 2nd Awards. It is also featured in the Flash Portal History collection.