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A poor ugly boy sick to death has a dream: He wants to contemplate the sea once before his last breath... but his cruel father has kept him in the attic since his wife's death, wich turned him crazy. This game is in French & in English.
~ from the AGS website

Trigger Warning: This game contains scenes of child abuse and suicide.

Mourir en Mer is a small point and click game developed in Adventure Game Studio by someone under the name of Dorcan. Not much is known about the person, as they're quite elusive. Mourir is also a very obscure homebrew game that’s over 20 years old now, so finding any information on the game or its developer is slim to none.

Mourir centers around an unnamed, deformed and sickly fellow that spends his days locked away in a small attic. None of his time is spent in joy, as he spends every waking moment slowly dying and on edge as his abusive father makes rounds to check on him. He cannot leave, or his dad will beat him. You must take it upon yourself to figure out an escape plan, as the main character wants a moment of peace before he passes.

At a glance, your surroundings don't seem like they'd be of much use to your getaway. Digging around through the few objects in the room will be your best bet. As you're doing so, you'll start to see onomatopoeia like *criic*, *clic*, or *clac!* appear on the screen. This indicates that Father is on the move and coming to make sure you haven't gotten free.

The verb icons are in order; walk, look, take/use, tale, inventory and options (left).
Considering the size of the game, the simple yet functional inventory will never get cluttered (right).

This is where the game presents its interesting gameplay dynamics. For starters, you have zero sound to work with here. This creates an extremely unique tension that isn't found in other games, let alone point and clicks. Seeing those little words pop up to represent the father's steps provokes an interesting type of dread I've never experienced. Whether or not the lack of sound was intentional or a budget constraint, I'll never know. It really worked out in its favor though.

The other unique aspect of the point and click style of this game is how it requires you to retrace your actions. Any action you make or any item you pick up, you must make sure there is no evidence of it by the time Father returns. Did you pick up some nails or lay a sheet on something? Is Father coming? Put them back IMMEDIATELY. Father will not only check to make sure you haven't left, he'll also check every nook and cranny of the attic to make sure you aren't planning to do so. Any little piece of the room that is out of place, he'll notice. This will result in him beating you, most likely, to death. A game over naturally follows.

As the main character finally escapes from his home, you'll start to notice how being cramped up in that attic has affected him. Interactions with others are strange, as he doesn't really know how to be social with other humans (not to mention he's unfortunately unsightly looking). He sometimes speaks poor English too, but this could also be due to the fact that the game was originally French and tentatively translated into English. It's another shortcoming that actually works in the game's favor.

You will get a warning whenever Father will climb the stairs to check on you (left).
Make sure you've put everything back where you found it or else he'll get angry (right).

You have every reason to feel bad for this character at this point, as he has nothing positive in his life. The only thing he wants is to pass in a peaceful environment. Mourir en Me; to die at sea. A wish inspired by Moby Dick, a book that is his one respite when confined in the attic, which describes a wide open expanse he can only dream of. This presents you with your final task: get him to the beach. You'll find a burger shop and a train station to pick apart in order to get him oceanside.

After speaking to the eerily few amount of people in these areas, the main character will finally find his way to beach. What comes after is something rather odd, and I genuinely didn't expect this....Rather than a wholesome and rewarding ending, you're greeted with an unnerving final image. A vignette clouds around this dark, water-engulfed image of his lifeless body floating in the ocean. I wasn't sure what the intention was here, but it didn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings. He just wanted to pass in peace, and it felt like I was looking at something I shouldn't be seeing. Seeing his corpse was almost like I was intruding on his slumber. And again, the lack of audio here is just plain unsettling with this.

Overall, Mourir is a short but unique point and click experience that I think you should try. It doesn't do anything astounding, it lacks basic things like audio, and it's very short. But it proves that a game doesn't need a big budget to accomplish an emotional experience with a distinctive atmosphere.

To download the PC game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses dgVoodoo to run on modern systems. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 3.20 Mb.  Install Size: 4.56 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Mourir en Mer is © Digital Mind Studios
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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1 comment:

  1. Great review. I'm not really sure I want to play the game, since, well, it all seems rather heavy. But I'm glad to have read about it.