Appreciating the Beauty That Remains

When she shines.

In Transistor, you’re granted one final tour through the crumbling city of Cloudbank, a digital metropolis somewhere in the ether. It’s being turned into a blank slate by the Process, but fragments of what’s been lost still remain.

Red stares at a wall adorned with posters of her, obscured by her own shadow. The man in the transistor begs you to walk away while lamenting the loss of your stolen voice. But, you stay, and as the camera pans, the poster is illuminated and Red’s singing fills the air. A memory of a performance long past.

Transistor is filled with memories of what once was. As you journey through the city the transistor narrates and terminals teach you about the history of each district. The world is beginning to empty, but it’s still beautiful. Your mind can fill in the blanks.

As you double back on yourself, you see Cloudbank stripped of all that once made it magnificent. All that remains are pale white blocks. The memory of what it was will have to suffice.

Throughout it all though, you’re allowed an echo of the city’s greatest wonder: Red’s voice. With the press of a button, a spotlight shines down and she sways while humming. It’s haunting, and leaves you yearning to hear her in full, but you’re still grateful for what remains of her talent.

‘She Shines’, a song released with the Switch port, perfectly encapsulates this theme of appreciating what’s left. Red’s voice is distant, reverberated. It’s as if this is the song she was singing when it was stolen. The lyrics are an ode to the city, of its inhabitants, of everything it once was that you’ll never quite be able to see. It’s beautiful.

By Issy van der Velde

Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. You can find him on Twitter @veedztweets

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