To preface, at the time this happened I was extremely tired and therefore particularly susceptible to emotions.
So I was playing the first scenario. It was 5 in the morning, I'd been telling myself that I'd do just one more thing before bed for five straight hours and the final storm was upon me. I had coal stockpiled and automatons operating my three steam coal mines, houses were built and upgraded, everything was in place.
The music was pounding; the storm was growing in intensity; the temperature was ticking inexorably downwards. The foreman comes to me; a problem with the coal mines. The hydraulic supports are failing. I tell him we'll monitor the situation. The storm worsens; more coal flows into the generator to fight the overwhelming cold. Another message: the mines are on the verge of collapse, we need to send in volunteers. I do it; almost all of them die but the mines stay open. I go back to managing my generator with increasing anxiety. A THIRD message: the previous efforts haven't been enough, more volunteers must go in to stabilize the mines! I looked at my coal reserves and thought they could just about last. Nobody else has to die, I thought to myself. I abandoned the lower mines.
I then looked in shock as my coal reserves began to evaporate. I'd fu*ked up. The last city on Earth would die to my error, and humanity with it. Then, a fourth note: "We're going to fix the mines. The city must survive so that our children can grow up in it. Don't try and stop us."* My vision blurred. I rested my head in my hands and stared at the screen through the tears as the coal began flowing in. You fu*kers, I thought to myself. You didn't have to do it. Thirty volunteers went into the mines. None of them came out. But with the coal supply restored, the last city had the fuel and heat necessary to weather the storm. Thanks to thirty nameless faceless citizens who in any other game would have been mere numbers on the board, but in Frostpunk, such was my immersion that their sacrifice struck me like a blow. My hat's off to you, 11-Bit Studios!
*I don't actually remember the exact wording of the note, if anyone recalls it please tell me!
© Post "This game made me cry. A bloody city building game made me cry. (SPOILER)" for game Frostpunk.
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