It’s funny how things are connected. I was going over the Wikipedia list for Source mods (most of which are brilliant), and found one that didn’t look like much of a mod. It didn’t have dinosaurs, RTS components, a game-changing setting; no gimmicks whatsoever. In the sparse Wikipedia description, I noticed mention of ‘award’ and ‘winning.’ I also noticed some inter-smurf mention a “haunting” soundtrack. So, I had to find out more. At the end of the day, I:
1. Taunted myself by watching a kickass game that I may or may not be able to play in a month (To demonstrate the raw quality these guys put in the game,they made two separate maps containing all the props they used, and posted the videos on ModDB). To further emphasize the point, it’s like Counter-Strike, but better. Oh, and free (I even know how to get .SDK for free, from Steam. Feel free to ask.).
2. Discovered, and downloaded a fairly kick-ass album (it’s an optionally free download) from Ed Harrison (seems like a nice guy). It’s got the Ghost in the Shell atmosphere to it (a primary inspiration for the game), which is to say it has menace, a wide range of instruments (percussion features heavily, thank you Ed), and a sort of electronica base. The songs coupled with ‘GSDF’ are long, and most of the songs are long and fairly complex. It has a resemblance to prog, but it simply isn’t. It’s all too easy to tell that these songs were designed by a single person. Some simply aren’t complex enough for their length; they lose out on repeat listenings. More than that though, they’re all very good, especially on first impact, so these songs deserve a little love. (They’d almost all make brilliant movie dressing)
3. Found Lucky Day Forever, a very entertaining art film, with nudity and profanity, and black Polish people, and a soul-crushing end-message. Watch it. It’s not that deep or anything; it has a very simple set of ideas. Repeat viewings have allowed me to spot extra details, and a couple easter eggs, but isn’t necessary for basic understanding. In that way, it’s a bit like a Leonard Cohen song; simple but powerful, with a bit of hidden depth to it.
So, I think I’ll elaborate here on my insights. Go ahead, watch it; I’m in no rush. Done? Okay, watch it again. See if you can spot things that I didn’t and make yourself look like a badass. Okay.
The biggest thing, and this is fairly obvious when remembered, is the white woman who 514 ‘sees’ next to him. This might be a reference to a later scene, implying that the action seen is a faulty memory, which may enhance the story a bit. The next thing I noticed came in two pieces.
There seems to be a very objective process in selecting the lottery winners. The ‘woman’ in the first scene is B13. 514 later becomes B14, and replaces her on the same billboard (I just want to say, I don’t want to live next to sign featuring a guy in a speedo with an excess of sexual energy). On top of this, during the explanation of the lottery, we hear the announcer saying “Keep buying until you win! And you will win, trust me.” This implies that they’re selected one by one, probably by ‘suitability’ or some other characteristic.
Some other things that may have been missed: a giant bubble surrounds the inner city; the white city is deliberately white and gloomy, except for the signs on the walls, and the ‘people’ without their clothes; all the damned detail in this movie, it’s beautiful; in the chase scene, glasses can be found with an odd design; boobs; there seems to be a hierarchy based on the letters that start the whites; the black people are speaking Polish, in case you didn’t read the description; stuff.