During the first lockdown, I bought myself a Nintendo Switch to keep myself busy and entertained. I got it mostly for the Fit game, which allows you to exercise at home. But I also purchased some normal games, including RiME. Before going into it, let’s look at the trailer:
RiME is an adventure puzzle game, developed by Tequila Works, released in 2017. In it, you play a young boy who has been stranded on an empty, mysterious island. The goal is to figure out what has happened, with a fox spirit as your guide, playing through five large levels.
The game in and of itself is beautiful, with gorgeous surroundings and a calming music in the background. At first, you don’t really know what to do, besides explore the beautiful island. Along the way, it will become clear what you have to do: solve puzzles and do things in the right order to progress. But the most beautiful thing about it, happens in the last 5 minutes of the game. At this point, it is revealed what was really going on and a beautiful story unfolds.
In the game, you are playing as a young boy, trying to figure out what happened and chasing after a mysterious shadow. You see flashes of a man in a red cape, scenes of you in a boat on stormy seas, the mysterious man falling overboard, … But in the end, you fall through the sky and wake up inside a small fishing hut. And then, you are not the boy, but the man. The man from the visions, and as it turns out, the father of the young boy. And you realise that you were not playing as the boy, but as the father.
What happened is that the father and his son were sailing in stormy waters and the son was overboard. The 5 levels of the game are the 5 stages of grief that the father is going through at having lost his son. In the end, you see him letting go of the red piece of fabric that was the boy’s cape in the game. For a full explanation of how the makers crafted it, read this interview.