The Cave Diary: Seven Archetypes, Seven Dark Secrets
Double Fine assembles an interesting cast of characters for its adventure game
There’s a recent movie called Seven Psychopaths that came highly recommended, directed by the same person who created the superb In Bruges and using a cast of very good cult actors.I have watched it waiting to be surprised and enchanted by the seven psychopaths mentioned in the name and their adventures, but the movie turned out to be a cheat that actually only offered five real-world psychos, with one of them puling double duty and another one only appearing as a phantasy.
It has severely limited my enjoyment of the movie and has made me wary of any entertainment product that uses big character counts as a sales advantage.
The Cave is a video game created by a team of Double Fine developers led by Tim Schafer, he of Psychonauts (coincidence?) fame, and by Ron Gilbert, the creator of Monkey Island.
It stars seven main characters and certainly understands how to use such a big cast to drive a point home and pique the curiosity of players.
My team I want to tackle The Cave with is made up of the Knight, chosen for being so out of place in this story, the Hillbilly, because I want to see how he fits into the world, and The Adventure, because after all, this is the name of the genre I am playing.
There were four other characters I left at the entrance, all of them beautifully animated in their own way, ranging from the Scientist to the Twins and with an attached description that manages to be, at the same time, both laconic and exciting.
I wished that Double Fine gave me a way to sub them in or out easily and quickly but the developers chose to lock the team down for one playthrough, which probably makes sense for narrative integrity, but probably means that most gamers will only see one trio in action.