I have returned to the godforsaken wasteland that is “three Assassin’s Creeds ago”. Originally, I was only going to write the one piece out of spite, but I needed a break from Dead by Daylight’s multiplayer murder extravaganza and it was the only single player game I had installed. So, I guess we’re keeping this train on the rails…by…going…off the rails? The phrase “beautiful disaster”, I suppose, applies here. Even now, I cringe as snaggle toothed NPCs waltz together through Arno’s still virtual body. In this game, AFC stands for Absolute Fucking Chagrin. I regret everything I’ve ever done to get here. In fact, I dropped my controller while typing and Arno crouched. It took me far longer than I’m proud to admit to make him stop doing it. Left trigger, yes, where all games put their crouch toggle! I was a fool to assume otherwise. For change of pace though. Today I plan to walk through the game as if I weren’t playing it. This should help me find good things. Happier things that will make me not want to play through a game so difficult and edgy that I scream for sake of a palette cleanser. Let’s begin.
This, is where my journey to become one with France began. As I mentioned earlier, the people of Paris must have been informed ahead of my arrival that I was, in actuality, a human doormat. I shook them off and began my stroll. One compliment I will always pay Ubisoft: their game feels alive. People wander the streets purposeless, like we humans do on the regular, but unlike attendees at your local Walmart, their eyes dart, their necks crane. These people are looking for something. The little answers to complicated questions. “Why am I, French beadmaker Marie LaMotte here, in this seemingly accurate presentation of life as a construct. What is my purpose? Is it only making beads? Why is that twenty-something climbing the side of that building. Damn these French millennials climbing delicate architecture! What color beads should I buy from the man with the lifeless eyes today?” Marie is an intricate AI being, with thoughts and feelings in the form of seven different variations of “What is that? No. That over there.” I feel inhuman myself staring into the face of a being so lifelike. What color beads will I buy from the man with the lifeless eyes today? Only time will tell.
Leaves also fall from the trees in the cool Paris breeze. How many leaves, you ask? All of them. A new wave of leaves fall every 1-2 minutes. The trees have a regenerative power unbeknownst to me. We need to put the screws to Ubisoft so we can reveal the secrets of their ageless tree technology. This would revolutionize the tree industry. The paper industry will have to live, however, with newfound guilt at the thought of cutting down and processing something that cannot truly die.
I have just committed, as any historian would note, the greatest crime a Parisian could have committed in this era of history: a light jog. I began a run to distance myself from the terror of undying foliage when the above man’s head alit with a yellow marker. As we humans know well, a yellow marker over the heads of our friends and family means that they are displeased. You see the marker and know immediately that you should have moved out years ago despite your lack of income. This man, began to make Jersey Shore noises at me, while pounding his chest. I have been told that this means he is an “alpha male”.
I walked up to the man to apologize for my hurry and he responded in an entirely proportional and rational manner.
I have been returned to my shady purgatory, where now, the sun is slightly lower in the sky. Am I a tree as well? Undying against the shedding of my many leaves? I will have to test the theory later. I will try walking in the opposite direction of our alpha male friend as, while I am immortal in my tree-like mannerisms, the experience of being stabbed in the chest cavity seemed unpleasant, and I want to be a benevolent god when Arno notices his actions are not his own. At best, he will complain about standing still while I type. Then again, no one stabs a man who’s standing still. Right?
I have chosen a man dressed like Huckleberry Finn to follow. I want to see where he goes, what he does, what he whispers to the trees. I sense great struggle within him. He bites at his hands, and holds his arms tightly around his body in sadness. I want to know what this man did.
He stopped to talk to a woman, who placed her hand on his chest and face. She seems kind, as she curtsies to him.
Holy shit. Has this writer found their OTP in a Ubisoft game? Surely it isn’t so. I must follow deeper in. Where there are no trees and words are spoken aloud, without fear of overzealous alpha male stabbing attacks.
It was fun while it lasted. They did the thing. You know the thing. Where you’re holding hand with someone in a cartoon, but there’s a pole to play hand-chicken with? They lost to the pole and went their separate ways. The man in the hat has seemingly fused with this young woman in an act that I cannot believe I am witnessing in a public street. Paris is wild, man.
I became bored. In an act of fear (of being stabbed) and desperation (of ending this article so I can play Dead by Daylight again) I assaulted this man the second he shoved me. Retaliatory action…it turns out it does wonders sometimes!
Naturally, I was worried for the man Arno had stabbed, and so, I made sure to check him for bleeding. After having decided that 18th century medicine could not save him, I took his wallet to bring back to his wife. Yeah…that’s why…his wife.
Maybe we’ll be better people next time.