Cinema and mystery are at the forefront of Immortality, the new game from interactive film purveyor Sam Barlow. Barlow, established in the form of alternative storytelling as demonstrated in his earlier work, once again presents you with an assortment of filmed clips and challenges you to find them all. However, if you think completing this task is the key to unlocking a coherent story , you couldn’t be further from the truth.
The plot initially sets up a classic thriller mystery. The lead actor of three unreleased films has disappeared, and the answers to her vanishing lie in the film clips themselves. But after scouring hundreds of clips with a fine tooth comb, many questions still remain regarding the story being told.
10 Who Are The One And The Other One?
A sizable amount of normal footage can be rewound and manipulated to find concealed subverted footage. These clips come in two forms: scenes that play out in an otherworldly black and white space or a slightly altered version of the normal footage with the actors being replaced by characters credited as the One and the Other One. And these characters are steeped in mystery.
These strange individuals are not human and are responsible for much of the game’s larger mysteries. They appear to be entities that have mimicked the appearance of humans for years, but the scope of these beings’ power is shrouded in darkness. Are they good, bad, or just creatures of habit?
The aforementioned subverted footage plays havoc in trying to digest the overall story. These clips belong to the One and the Other One respectively. So, when we’re treated to them, just where does this subverted footage sit in the overall reality of the mystery?
The One and The Other One cement their omnipotence in these clips and often address you, the player, directly, spouting cryptic meta-narrative that surrounds themes of human frailty and art indulgence. Yet where is this strange otherworld, and how can it be better interpreted to reveal the identity and intent of the ominous pair?
8th What Exactly Happened To Marissa’s Original Body?
One of the most popular theories surrounding Marissa, the missing lead actress of all three films, is that she became a meat puppet for the One, who wields the power of possession. This is why Marissa doesn’t age in the slightest when it comes to starring in the three films which span years apart. So how did this happen originally?
The final clip in the game reveals Marissa’s physical body being burned by Amy Archer. This is the end point of Marrisa, but how did the One get to her in the first place? The attraction to cinema seems to point at the motive here, but the origins of Marrisa’s fate is still a question that begs an answer.
The whole theory behind the One’s ability to manipulate hosts relies heavily on the art of filmmaking. The One idolizes film making, probably because it involves a camera capturing them, immortalizing them in print until they need to move onto another host. So when discussing the black and white scenes, how are we, the player, seeing these?
Watching the film reels themselves makes sense because an actual crew captured that footage using, presumably, cameras. So what is being used to capture the subverted footage? This footage seems to exist in its own reality that we happen to stumble upon. One where the rules are as loose as your own interpretations of the story.
6 Why Does The One Eat Flesh?
During several subverted clips, you can witness the one doing all sorts of weird stuff. Dancing across the screen, having unbridled amounts of sex and… eating the flesh of people. Especially if there’s a scene where the One appears to be killing someone.
She’ll take big chunks out of the victim’s flesh, and it’s nowhere near clear as to why she does this. Is this a means to survive? Or is human flesh a craving for these entities, giving them more of a creature persona? This is definitely one of the creepier enigmas left to the imagination.
It can be argued that the One’s possession ability is heavily linked to the art of cinema. More specifically, if you witness the death of someone being manipulated by the One, you become the next body host. This is supposedly how Amy becomes possessed after witnessing the death of Carl Goodson, but how did she get that footage?
Enough scrubbing of the death scene in question will reveal Amy Archer sitting in a modern cinema room watching it all play out. She then addressed us directly — the Other One has taken over. What were the events leading to Amy getting this reel? What she doing what we are doing in the game before us?
4 What Happened To Ambrosio?
One of the game’s best perks is that the films themselves have fascinating plots to discover. In Ambrosio, a film about a monk who is led astray by a satanic temptress, Marissa shares her screen with Ambrosio, the lead actor. And something happens to him that’s never explained.
During an alternative version of a scene, the One, dressed as the Virgin Mary, violently kills the actor playing Ambrosio. Watching it unfold is disturbing and begs the question of what happened to him. Was his demise responsible for the non-release of the film, or did his death even happen?
3 What Did Marissa Do During Her Twenty-Year Hiatus?
After work was completed on Minsky, the second film in the unreleased trilogy, Marissa wouldn’t return to filming until twenty years later. The game explains that she became somewhat of a recluse, but what exactly was she doing during her absence?
Knowing what we know about the One and its manipulation over Marissa’s body, was the One still in control during her hiatus, or did the actual Marissa resume control over herself? Since she never aged, the former explanation seems to fit, but it would be interesting to know what happened during these years.
2 How Do None Of The Actors Or Crew Suspect Anything?
Since Marissa is portrayed as this non-aging actress who gets cast three times in three lead roles, one of the biggest questions that remains is how no one seems to wonder why the actor hasn’t aged. Or, more specifically in the third film, why is she bleeding from time to time?
You’d think someone would question the unexplainable youthfulness and random bloodletting of Marissa. It’s eerily hinted at in the third film’s clips that the crew is cautiously aware that something isn’t quite right. But Marissa is never visually challenged. Could the One be manipulating the crew as well?
1 Are We Possessed Now?
In the end, the vessel that was housing the One’s form for all these years finally gets turned to ash. Then, all the clips start to vanish, and the one is left peering at us, the player. Are we the next victim?
This question brings up the possibility that there were others before us who were trying to rearrange these clips and succumbed to a similar fate. This could be the true reason for how the One has stayed active for so long. A creepy end that leaves even creepier questions behind.
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