OK, so you’re travelling on a boat with your sister. The boat is huge. Your sister has a terminal illness. Like, seriously, Titanic-sized boat. And dealing with the stress of your terminally ill sister is sort of freaking you out, so you have cabin fever.
You tell her, “I’m not going to leave”. She begs you to stay. You stay until she falls asleep and then you get out of that room. You can’t be around her. She’s hardly the person you grew up with anymore… she’s more like a sick aunt or something?
You head in some direction. You don’t really care where you’re going, you just want to be as far from her as possible. As far from the truth as possible.
You meet up with some blowhard in a smoking jacket. He asks you to play shuffleboard even though there’s a storm coming. “Be a good chap.”
THEN THE FUCKING BOAT FLIPS OVER AND THERE ARE BODIES EVERYWHERE.
So you traverse the still-barely-afloat wreckage of the great ship looking for your sister or any other survivors. The boat is currently upside down. People call to you from a stairwell. They’re telling you it’s pointless and that you’re as fucked as they are. You carry on. You find a waiter who sort of knows his way but is almost mute with fear. You have to find your sister and get off the boat.
The boat rotates in the waves… you’re pitched down a ledge… you’ll have to wait until it rotates again to get through the huge dining hall.
You… you maybe don’t make it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever played a game with the immediate drama and emotion of SOS. And I only played one of three stories that feature a lone character trying to get people off a sinking ship. As the ship rotates in the tumbling waves, so too does the labyrinth of mangled stairwells and rooms. You can leave without helping anyone. It’s tempting because you have to constantly call them to you and they’re slow, but when you make it to the hull of the capsized ship without them you feel like a monster for leaving those lives behind.
THIS HAPPENED ON A SUPER NINTENDO.