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Wiping character memories

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I just had an idea about a new way to use the old memory loss plotline, having been watching Men In Black where they "neuralise" people to make them forget what they have just seen. I reckon it would be interesting to have a game where every time the character gets to the end of the level their memory is wiped. This could also fit in with a time-looping scenario like Groundhog Day. Or being captured by aliens, each time you get "killed" they tranquilise you and then wipe your memory before sticking you at the start of the level again. Likewise, short term memory loss would help to explain other AI characters not remembering you or being too good with details. Any thoughts?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ever played Legend of Zelda : Majora's Mask? I think this is where you'll be getting at after a while. :D

You had a 3 days loop to save the world. The memory loss part is when you play the ocarina to get back to the beginning of the loop. (But you keep your important items, though) The neat part was when you got to know the flow of events, you could "foresee" the future and help people at the right moment. The downside is that you always come back in the same environment. :-P

Any other literature examples?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think there was a movie a few years agout with the word Piano in it that was told backwards because the main character had shorterm memory problems.

I personally never saw it so I don't know how well done it was.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I think there was a movie a few years agout with the word Piano in it that was told backwards because the main character had shorterm memory problems.

I personally never saw it so I don't know how well done it was.


Was called "Memento." It was quite the interesting movie.

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Memory Loss is only good as a plot device, because, in terms of gameplay, you can't wipe the relevant memory, aka the player's memory. The solution to a puzzle is remembered once they finish it.

Now, as a plot device, its uses are limited and approaching cliche.
* Amnesia as a result of a traumatic past.
* Amnesia as a result of a bump on the head.
* Amnesia as a complete lack of any memory to begin with.

Personally, I'm a bit tired of amnesia. Disinformation is where its at. All the character knows is lies and begins disassembling them to get to the truth. Now, that plopt device has a good set of uses.

* Brainwashing. Artificial implanted memories.
* Conditioning. Altering of memories to eliminate pain and trauma (the subject of the movie Memento)
* Propoganda. Wide-spread and organized coverup of whats real.

I'd like to hear what other people have to say on this.

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Memory loss can be made relevant in gameplay as well - what's needed is a way of abstracting character memory away from player memory. One possibility is to have dynamically generated content and only keep what the character remembers - generating everything else from scratch each time. Depending on interface details, it could also be possible for the character to know things the player doesn't, and act on that knowledge - or convey the information to the player somehow to let the player react.

Another example where character knowledge is more iportant than player knowledge comes up in some of the boss fights in the Metroid Prime games - in order to lock onto the bosses' weak points, you need to scan the boss first so Samus can identify its weaknesses.

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