Just when I thought Kentucky Route Zero couldn’t get any better…
ACT III, SCENE I - IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING
For context, KR0 has been a part of my life since late 2011. I purchased the game on Steam in early January 2016. Ever since then, like many of you, I’ve been waiting on new acts. I like the game so much I told myself: I’ll replay it from start to finish every time a new act is released.
Until 2 days ago, I hadn’t gotten around to doing that.
After finishing ACT III, I can say KR0 is one of those things that I can find myself in.
Have you found your favorite game yet? It’s an indescribable feeling when you find your favorite something. To realize you can watch a movie forever, eat the same cake every day, never get tired of looking at a particular beach or painting or, even, hear what a certain someone has to say.
KR0 is likely my favorite game alongside The Curse of Monkey Island, and for completely opposite reasons: The Curse of Monkey Island is the funny uncle that makes deceivingly kid-friendly jokes at the family Christmas dinner; KR0 is your depressed cousin with suicidal tendencies who chugs eggnog when the kids and their parents are too busy unwrapping gifts.
But, you know, they’re family. Maybe that means something.
In KR0, “family” is interwoven in the narrative, whether you like it or not. A kid who lost his family, an old man with a blurry past, a woman who can’t understand the very friend she grew up with.
I guess that’s why KR0 is considered magical realism: we’ve all wished we were the parentless kid at some point, and yet we’ve also found ourselves in very similar situations when we didn’t want to. It’s magical to think that, with a snap of a finger, we’d be free of the rules and the duties, and horribly real to realize we’re now old enough inflict our own rules in ourselves and those around us.
In any case, Kentucky Route Zero is broad and deep enough that you can have your own take of it – something that perhaps has nothing to do with anything I just said.
Maybe in the end this game is just about an old man and his old hound doing a delivery to an address he can’t quite find. And maybe all the weird things are just lack of sleep. And maybe the ghosts and the shadows and the visions and the miners and the museums and the empty driveways and the computers and the TVs are all a metaphor to steer us away from insomnia and sleeping pills…
Or maybe it’s all real. Somewhere in Kentucky…
At some point my brain got the best of me and this turned into a review haha oops this isn’t even the proper thread for this but here we are.