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THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF GRIM FANDANGO

18 March 2006

Just yesterday I installed Grim Fandango again. This is worth discussing because I hadn't played it in almost EIGHT years, since it came out in 1998.

After I finished it for the first time back then, I decided that Grim was too good to play again immediately as was my desire, and I wanted to let it rest until I had forgotten all the puzzles. So I could play it again without knowing everything about it. And I waited, and waited, but for a long time I could remember almost everything. Such is the burden of good games of course, you remember them. Years passed and I played other games, and still I remembered Grim. Then, about three years ago, it kind of went away, and though I always remembered that I wanted to play it, something else had happened: It had become too big and precious to just casually play it.

For a great deal of time after that I didn't get back to Grim because in my head it had become so important that I wanted to play it at the PERFECT time. Which, of course, is never. And so more years passed, even though I was ready to play it again. But there was always something going on: either I couldn't find enough time to play it, or I wouldn't be able to give it the proper respect. In other words; it didn't happen. And time was ticking! What if I'd die in an accident all of a sudden, or if the world would come to an unexpected end? I would have only played Grim ONCE in my life! Completely unacceptable!

Yesterday was no special day. I didn't have a lot of time for gaming, Mon was here and it was late. But I just felt like it. I had successfully rejected the notion that I had to warp my whole life around it and decided I would just play it, or else it'd never happen. And so, Grim Fandango stands proudly on my hard drive again. It had some difficulty running on Windows XP, but some patches and easily found pointers on the interweb made it run smoothly again. For a while I was also afraid that the game would disappoint because of my sterling memories of it, but fortunately it still holds its ground beautifully. It's still every bit as haunting and awesome (not to mention hilarious) as it was back in 1998. And the writing, Tim's witty and outrageous writing, is still as superb as I remembered it. I don't know if I'll have a lot of time for it now, but I'm glad I'm playing it again. Because not playing Grim was a situation I couldn't cope with anymore. This is truly one of my favourite games ever.

And also: the Captain August forums!. You know, just in case you missed it before.

Roderick.