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Tides of Memory

Picking our own image in Torment: Tides of Numenera.

You’re falling, like in a dream. Like a nightmare. You struggle to find a way out, but the only thing waiting is the ground.

Your eyes open.

Who are you? It’s dark. Wisps of light play across your vision. Familiar, yet alien. Most mornings, for me.

The concepts of memory and self-knowledge have stuck with me ever since I sustained a head injury. I forget, and sometimes I wake with nothing in my mind but the light from the hallway. Torment: Tides of Numenera captures this feeling better than anything: the blank mind, the hazy memories.

Insomnia is a major RPG trope, used in order to place the player in the shoes of the protagonist. In this case, the sudden fall and subsequent loss of memory feels like waking in the middle of the night, unsure of what or who you are. You then push together the haze of your memories, adding your own actions and free will to the memories that just brush against the edge of your consciousness. This is who you are, who you decide you are, and what you want to be.

It hints at the search for self-knowledge, and whether we know anything about ourselves or if it’s just a construct like outside perception. Am I who I think I am, or am I who others remember? The thought roils around in my head during late nights and early mornings, but the answers aren’t clear.

You finish this section by picking out your reflection in the mirror. You decide which image is your’s, just as we all have to at some point in our lives. The memories may be hazy and the fear of forgetting may still linger, but there is peace in picking your own image.

I am who I am. I am who I want to be.

By John Patterson

John writes predominantly about horror films, but loves to play and write about games whenever he gets the chance. From RPGs to fighting games, if something is interesting or fun; then it’s worth the time. You can find him on Twitter @AstroSlop.

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