What Happened To B12 And The Cat?

A cat prepares to jump between two pipes in Stray.

Screenshot: Annapurna / Kotaku

Stray, a post-apocalyptic journey sport a couple of cat, is generally glorious. Two of us at Kotaku not too long ago powered by way of its puzzlesdevouring it dense, mysteriously post-apocalyptic environments and customarily having fun with dwelling out the power-fantasy of role-playing a cat. Then we hit the credit. Obviously, we needed to speak.


Ari Notice: John, we have each completed Stray. Tell me: Did the ending land for you? Or did it…stray from what made the remainder of the sport so nice?

John Walker: I knew we had been however a whisker away from a pun. No, I might say my expertise of Stray was a straight diagonal line, beginning excessive, after which getting decrease and decrease till its completely horrible ending.

Ari: I’m not fairly the identical—extra of a very excessive plateau that fell precipitously off a cliff on the finish—however I completely agree, that ending is terrible. I really needed to warn folks IRL: It’s so freakin’ unhappy!

John: And but, I’ve had so many individuals so furiously inform me off for suggesting the ending completely forgets THE ENTIRE REASON I WAS PLAYING THE GAME. But I do suppose lots of that is an unwillingness to confess that the gorgeous cat sim had already lengthy turn into one more grey third-person robotic sport, so defenses versus actuality are already very excessive.

Spoilers observe for Stray.

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Ari: Ah, yeah, that weblog kinda rubbed some folks’s fur backwards, did not it? But yeah, the entire purpose to play Stray is fairly easy: You wish to reunite the cat along with his buddies. And you undergo all this adventuring—together with these robotic shooty sections, whose deserves we disagree on however in a manner that I completely respect your opinion for—solely to not even get an inkling that he sees his buddies once more. It’s a really odd ending for a sport that is in any other case so preoccupied with hope.

John: They’re not even simply buddies, are they? They’re siblings who love one another. They’re an deserted litter of kittens, survivors of an apocalypse, after which one in all their quantity falls. That units up a sport that’s, in fact, uniquely centered on returning to your brothers and sisters. And as an alternative it is like they simply completely forgot. They tangled themselves up in some utterly meaningless ignoble sacrifice.

B-12 speaks while hovering over a computer in Stray.

Screenshot: Annapurna / Kotaku

Ari: Yep! For a sport a couple of cat, it obtained too caught up within the drama round a human. Do you purchase that B-12 is basically the final dwelling human? And extra importantly, did you purchase that he’d immediately flip tail (sorry, sorry, I am unable to assist it) and determine, within the span of some minutes, that each one traces of humanity is not price persevering with?

John: Well, he is a human consciousness trapped in a machine. This is one small metropolis district, so for all we all know there may be tens of millions of people dwelling fortunately elsewhere in China, or in Sweden, or Bangladesh, or Australia. And none of this explains the rationale behind his obvious “sacrifice.” He clearly uploads his consciousness to the pc, so there isn’t any sacrifice anyway, however past that, what was his function? To launch a cat, a creature that has little interest in something aside from itself, again exterior, for what? What’s the objective? If it had been the top of humanity, as the sport needs to indicate, he did that so he may…let the cat out?

Ari: Aw, man, no manner, the cat positively has advanced previous pure self-interest! (My personal cats ought to take word.) In the jail scene, as an example, he is escaping with Clementine, after which he is like, “Meow, meow meow meow, meow,” which interprets, I imagine, to, “We cannot depart but. We should stage a dangerous operation and rescue my good friend B12, who’s trapped on this cage guarded by lasers and laser-shooting robots.”

John: I used to be very confused all through by whether or not I used to be supposed to purchase into the cat understanding what B-12 was saying, or as with my very own cats, simply watching the place the noise comes from, after which hoping there’s meals on the best way. I performed it as a sport by which an uninterested cat by chance retains occurring to flip the appropriate switches, or stumble upon the appropriate particular person.

But all this apart, I’d have forgiven any quantity of dreadful indulgent faux-sacrifice nonsense if, on the finish, my cat had emerged into the brilliant sunshine to listen to, from simply off digicam, a stunned, “Mew?!” That’s it. That’s all I wanted. I did not have to see a reunion, to look at them tumble over one another. I simply wanted to realize it was about to occur.

Ari: Exactly! And I kinda get what they had been going for, leaving an open-ended finale in order to not neatly tie up the story for the viewers. But it simply wanted the tiniest suggestion {that a} joyful ending may occur—which is what slightly “meow” off-screen would have completed.

John: What’s even weirder is that they DID do such a “Maybe!” ending. Except it was in regards to the bloody human! We obtained that laptop gentle switching on, which I can solely assume was suggesting B-12 was nonetheless alive.

Ari: So what’s that imply for the sequel? All robot-shooty components, no cute cat stuff?

John: I clearly hope they do not make a sequel. They’re a gifted bunch, however Stray revealed they’d completely no thought what to do with the concept they’d had. I both wish to see their subsequent contemporary thought, or simply give attention to making the cat sim everybody actually needed within the first place. God, these microscopic observations they confirmed close to the start. And the joyful second when the cat first places on the ridiculous saddle. We needed to put one in all our kittens in a protecting sock after she was spayed, and he or she did precisely the identical, simply collapsing like a constructing was on high of her. To see these particulars realized so neatly, it was joyful. Which makes an ending about some boring robo-bloke perhaps not having killed himself for the stupidest purpose ever one thing of a disappointment.

Ari: Poor kitty! Please inform me you’ve got images of that.

John:

A cat wearing a jacket rolls around on a carpet.

Photo: Kotaku

Ari: Awwww. But yeah Stray completely nails the sensation of being a cat, proper right down to waltzing over a keyboard and fucking up folks’s chess video games and such. And I do suppose it carries that feeling principally by way of to the top. (Even the capturing segmentswhich glided by in a flash in my thoughts—I really discovered myself wishing for an additional chapter or two.) But not like an actual cat, the sport didn’t land on all 4 legs.

John: Before we wrap up, and also you’re mistaken in regards to the capturing sections some extra, let me let you know how the ending went down in our home: Toby, my 7-year-old, had some buddies over, as I used to be ending the sport on the lounge TV. Toby had completely misplaced curiosity within the sport as soon as it stopped being about being a cat, however needed to be there for the reunion. As it was clear the sport was about to let me exterior, I mentioned to him, “Toby, what do you suppose’s about to occur?” He sat up, “The kittens!” And so all of us watched for the inevitable, wonderful second… And there was simply nothing. And we checked out one another in shock. It was simply so flagrantly terrible. And Toby continued to lament this oversight for days after. And when a 7-year-old is criticizing your story construction, you realize one thing’s mistaken.

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