ImmorTall

ImmorTall

http://armorgames.com/play/5355/immortall

In this short game, the player controls an alien that has crash-landed on Earth. You quickly befriend a young girl playing near your crash site, and her entire family. The game then takes a turn for the worst, as the military begins to attack you. The family you have befriended also falls under the military fire, and it is your job to protect them by blocking the soldiers’ attacks. At first the alien appears to be immortal, and the player is able to protect the family by standing in the way of the bullets. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that you are being hurt by the onslaught, and eventually you die. After this, the family mourns over your body, and then leaves unharmed. At the end of the game a message is displayed “Live (forever immortal).”

I tried playing the game again, this time not protecting the family, and instead trying to dodge the onslaught. The family quickly died, but the military continued to attack until I finally died and received the same message “Live (forever immortal).”

To me, this game has two central messages. The first is about society’s fear of the unknown, and militaristic tendencies towards that which is different. The alien means no harm to the people, and even protects the family (if you choose to do so), but there is no way to signal this to the military, which simply attacks without end.

The second message is an interesting take on death for a video game: simply living is not enough, you must do something good or important with your life. If you choose to save yourself instead of the family you eventually die alone. However, if you choose to protect the family, they mourn over you when you die and the attack stops. Since you cannot actually survive the onslaught, your options are to sacrifice yourself to save the family, or allow everyone (including yourself) to die. It is thus your deeds that are important, and not your life, in ImmorTall. You win the game not by surviving, but by making an impact with your actions.

-Wes

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2 comments
  1. aishamalek said:

    First and foremost, I’d just like to say that this is possibly one of the most depressing games I’ve played. There was an overwhelming sense of melancholy in the gameplay, as well as the art. In addition to everything being a shade of gray, the only glimpses of any color in the game were the small green, red, and blue circles of gunfire, blood, and tears, respectively. The sense of desolation that this evoked foreshadowed the impossibility of a happy ending to this game.

    I agree with what you said about succeeding in this game by making a positive impact with your actions. To me, this is what the text of “Live (forever immortal)” signifies at the end of the game. I think that the creators of this game are trying to show that when death is inevitable, our actions and moral choices bear tremendous importance. It extends past the story of the alien and the family in this game. For any of us to attempt to cheat death to achieve immortality would be pointless. However, the creators of this game seem to be saying that in altruistic deeds lies the ability to leave immortal legacies.

  2. lpsmit said:

    While I agree with Wes’ interpretation of what the main point or goal of the game is, I also believe that the game makers may have another way of looking at the game. The message of ImmorTall seemed lie in the message displayed at the end of the game, “Live (forever immortal).” This message, to me, displays how many people would like to view life, as something that will never end. I think that the point of the whole game is to show that death is inescapable. No one can live forever because we are not immortal. And while doing good deeds for others (i.e. saving their life or protecting them) is important to many people, those things will not keep us from “death’s grip.” We, too, will all pass on at some point or another.

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