756 Playhouse.

The other night, while playing Mass Effect, I was wandering around some science lab where some kind of aliens were loose. At one point I found some survivors and started wandering around their base. I found a door that was encrypted but it was easy so I just opened it and all Hell broke loose. Suddenly the whole base was attacking me. I’m not sure how I missed that I wasn’t supposed to mess with the door, but apparently it was a BIG no no. I had intended to save these people. Up to that point I had lived with any decision I made, but this crossed a line I wasn’t willing to live with. There have been several moments where the potential outcome of a situation was morally ambiguous. Situations turn sour really fast in this game, and a lot of them have taken me by surprise. Plus sometimes it’s hard to tell what will happen when you choose certain responses. Or a choice that was available at the start of a conversation may disappear if you explore certain subjects. I ended up backtracking, and ALMOST started over. Partly because of some of the “bad” outcomes and partly because I understand the leveling system better now. I decided to stick with it in the end, since I think you can take an old character into a new game. I may play through a second time and see what other options make themselves available if I have some foreknowledge of situations.

I get a really strong feeling of deja vu with this game. I mean it’s very similar in structure to KOTOR, but it’s not just that. Things that I know I’ve never encountered give it to me sometimes, like encountering a Thresher Maw for the first time, or finding Liara. To the point where I wonder if I saw video of the game years ago on youtube, or something. I get a similar feeling just from looking at the box for Mass Effect 2. It bothers me. As I’ve said before I’ve gotten feelings like this since I was very little.

What really strikes me as strange is that I don’t get these feelings from Mario Galaxy much at all. A game that uses THE EXACT SAME BOSSES AS GALAXY 2 from time to time. I mean it all seems similar, but I don’t get a feeling like I’ve done it before, but in some cases I ACTUALLY HAVE. Almost every boss in the first Galaxy are in the sequel, but I don’t get the deja vu when I face them. I mean, there’s one fight where the stage is EXACTLY the same as it is in 2. Like they just lifted it out and stuck it in the sequel as an afterthought. The boss even uses the same attack patterns. Hell, they all do. Or at least as similar as makes no odds, but it doesn’t make me feel like I’ve done it all before in the same way.

The mind is very complex, and often annoying. Sometimes making us feel apart from it while still being a part of it. Like there is a base you that exists and the mind just messes with the code from time to time. At least that’s how it feels to me sometimes.

Do any of you get this kind of feeling? How do you react to it?


If you don’t talk to everyone carefully you do sometimes open a door and turn allies into enemies, I just learned to talk to everyone in a bioware game back when they were still making pc games under the TSR license. As for deja vu, much of the best moments in mass effect aren’t unique to the game, yet the way they are done, the elegance of execution, I think hits harder than the exact same bit in another game. Might be the source of some of your deja vu.

No joke, same thing happened to me. Same base, same door.

Maybe the maw reminds you of a classic sci-fi movie(tremors come to mind…was it called tremors?) It’s not a super original thing to happen in a sci-fi setting. Still fun tho.

I think mass effect borrows from the genre(which is not a bad thing….at least to me) captain kirk made love to blue women all the time(so I’m told)

Mario games don’t half ass the product, they are not gonna give you the same you already had…otherwise you are gonna my a used copy of the last game for $30 instead of paying $60 for the new hotness.

That’s my opinion anyway…

Mass Effect borrows from just about every major science fiction trope used over the course of the last fifty years (apart from certain Frankenstein/Pinocchio themes examining the nature of life/consciousness and the creation of new life forms…..) No, I take it back, there are more than a few areas that borrow from those as well, even if you discount almost every bio-engineering story being a link back to Shelley’s work.

And Mario 2 (the real one, not Doki doki paradise with the mario family of characters in it) was almost the exact same as the first. Also they re-release the exact same game onto the handheld platforms (admittedly with non-super mario bundled in most of the time), maybe with a couple nice new features added in. Mario Galaxy 2 was not the exact same game, but it was close enough for all basic intents and purposes.

I’ve actually had this happen to me on several occasions. It’s always odd, because the feeling that I’ve done this or something like it before feels so very real, but I know that I never have.

Obviously, these feelings and false recollections don’t stay with me long, as I can’t remember a specific example, but something I like to do in the moment that it happens is to make a memory. Think of something you may have done, something you might have seen, heard of, or experienced that makes it valid. You know that it never really happened, but to pretend, just for a little while, that something prompted this, that something in your past is coming back up, particularly when it’s something great, is just a wonderful, warm feeling. Even if you’re certain that it was never real.

On a less serious tone, I’m avoiding all future contact with Mass Effect 2 until I have the money to buy the last couple of DLCs that I haven’t gotten yet, just in case. I like the way my Shepard has developed and I don’t wanna mess with him. I want to see the ending of his story. Then maybe I’ll work on making another.

I had a half-finished game of ME1 and then lost access to the files while moving things to a replacement computer after a system failure. I restarted, but then picked up ME2 on sale and my curiosity got the better of me. So I’m now playing a vanilla ME2 with the default John Shepard character, but also started a new game of ME1 with intent to finish it and import that one to ME2 later.

The situation you encountered with the secure room. Was that in the Peak15 facility, perhaps? Or somewhere else? Or would that be too spoilerish?

Yeah, It’s the Peak 15 thing. I didn’t get too specific because i wasn’t sure how many people would be familiar with the game.

I do get that unsettling sense of protracted almost-deja-vu every now and again.

I usually just drown it out with a large amount of alcohol if it goes on too long.

Noveria, right? Peak 15? If you enter the Hotlabs before exploring the rest of the complex, then yes, everyone else turns hostile and either fights you or disappears. Also, don’t go into the restricted access area, there’s another way around. Do it right and you’ll get a couple fetch quests and a timing puzzle to solve; it’s nothing Bioware hasn’t put in a game before but it’s only in MA once. There’s also some nice, dramatic dialogue with a volus and another asari calls you a “dull stone”.

I sunk like 8 complete playthroughs in the game, DLC included. Tons of fun. I have to admit, though, when playing as a female Shepard and pursuing a relationship with Kaiden Alenko, I couldn’t help but picture Carth Onasi from time to time. Also, the way a female Shepard closes conversations with Ashley Williams makes me think there was another love interest in there that was, at some point, removed.

Interestingly enough, did you know unfamiliar occurrences of Deja Vu are a mild symptom (Condition/ side effect?) of seizures. I seriously doubt that is what you are experiencing, but I thought it was an interesting fact. Its also not a super serious thing to worry about by itself, but always worth looking into.

I occasionally get moments of Deja Vu out of no where, during things I know I have never experienced. But I also have seizures in my sleep, like, once a year or so.

Not really related, I know. Just thought I would chime in on the Deja Vu.

First of all: Yes, more of this from Jo and this will be another great arc.

Second: Yeah, Mass Effect 1 does share some similarities to KOTOR and actually if you played all the way through KOTOR then there are a few scenes that are parallels. But then again, I do love ME more, I mean ME does a lot of things better and has a universe that feels just as lush as that of Star Wars. ME2 is amazing as well and the story is great, though I will say some of the changes to gameplay are only debatibly positive.

I’ve definitely gotten the odd sense of deja vu now and then. I tend to chalk it up to dreams. I think that in some way, because we experience so many dreams each night, many of which we never have any conscious memory of, in a way our mind has exposed itself to nearly every combination of stimuli possible, thus most situations have already been in us before, so when we come to them, sometimes we recognize this. My most vivid experience of this was when I was playing soccer with two of my brothers. I had my shirt off, because it was hot out, and one of them kicked the ball real hard to me, and I deflected it with my chest. It went flying way off, so I was jogging over to grab it. Just then it hit me that all of those feelings, the sting in my chest, the remembered presence of my brothers, and the goal of the soccer ball, had all presented themselves in a dream weeks before. Your reflections on the mind and the odd tricks it plays on us are fun to read, man. I don’t want you to ever give up on writing these journals.

Jo is developing quite nicely, like she is a diferent person. Me like.

I played ME2 first and completed it twice (difened choises for endings). I liked it so much that i went on ebay and bought ME1 and completed that 5 times for 5 diferent playthroughs (romances, decisions (3 female roles 2 male)). Then went to play ME2 again. So now i have 8 diferent ending all waiting for ME3.

PS: The downloadable content misions are all worth the money and very recomended.

You have a very odd way of rthinng Crave but yes that deja vu feeling i gettit alot when i ride in a car not so much when i play a game but onthe subject of Mass Effect ounce you finish 1 your can import your baddass shapard into ME2 and later this year around chirstmas time you’ll be able to import from ME2 to ME3 which should be quite fun i have yet to aquire the first ME cuz i wanna save the racni queen cuz i hear tell somthing intersting happens in ME2 if you spare it , any ways i love every time Jo speaks its pure gold


First thing I noticed is that you’re multiframing Jo again, just like back in Panel 2 of 740 Everything’s Cool. That’s getting to be one of your better FX.

Now, we know Our Miss Brooks has a tendency to fortify herself with Movie-Reel Machismo when the going gets a little rough, but I have no freakin’ clue where this one came from.


That effect is kind of a product of wanting this all to be animated and have the cast actually act.

The line doesn’t come from anything. Not as far as I know. It’s sort of inspired by a joke from Todd Barry though.

Well, it’s not an exact quote from the chorus:

Throw the crib door wide let the people crawl inside
Someone in this town is trying to burn the playhouse down
They want to stop the ones who want a rock to wind a string around
But everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around

But it immediately leapt into me head when I read her line – I’d bet a very small amount of money that’s where it’s from, but I’m quite used to being wrong. J.W. could clear this up

It’s a good guess, but not correct per se. Phrases about doing something destructive to a playhouse, in the vein of “bringing down the house” are common. What brought it to mind while I was writing this was a joke by Todd Barry about pumped up health care workers. It’s on one of his CDs. I own that album though. I might just as easily have heard it there and ended up at the same end. Really I just wanted something that more or less fit the structure of what she was saying so that it gave it an almost rhyming poetic feel.

Well it’s a good thing nobody took that bet or I’d be 12 internet cents the poorer. Sorry that you had to correct me three times in the comments here…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.