Night in the Woods - Análisis
Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
The Beatles wrote this in 1967 two-handed between Lennon and McCartney, the latter looking at memories of his youth for his fragments. These four verses perfectly sum up the game structure of Night in the Woods and Mae Borowski's life in Possum Springs ... or would if Mae had somewhere to be late sometime.
Night in the Woods speaks directly to each and every one of us. The moment we sit down in front of Holowka's proposal we fit in with one or another facet of the polyhedral title. Mae returns to her hometown after dropping out of college. We do not know the reasons and but we know perfectly well the anxiety that this can cause because, at some point in our lives, we have all thought about abandoning something and going home. Will I have disappointed my family? Will I have disappointed my friends? Will I serve for something in the future? These questions would surely cross Mae's mind on the bus ride from her university to the small town where she grew up. The first contact you have upon arrival is with a strange concierge who is apparently repairing a door that was not actually broken. It is not trivial that crossing that first door is the first step of Mae towards her new life leaving behind the first ghost of the game: what could be and was not.
What is Night in the Woods? I wouldn't know exactly what to say, nor do I think it's really interesting. Infinite Fall has created a small regionalist portrait of the United States, a town of the USA perfectly recognizable worldwide and that can be transferred without too many problems to a small town in Andalusia, Navarra or northern Normandy because Possum Springs is any of the small family towns that we have all had. Mae returns to the municipality where she was born and grew up and is reunited with her friends, family and acquaintances but, and this is the important thing, she is reunited with the ghosts of her young self. Ghosts that, both metaphorically and literally, will accompany us throughout the game.
Because Night in the Woods, without knowing exactly what it is, is a ghost story . It is a ghost story that could well be a Stephen King novel and Possum Springs could well be set in his beloved Maine. The American author, who is already close to a certain age, has spent several years reviewing his youth in his literature and transferring, always to the terrain of terror, his own ghosts of the past. Revival led us to delve a little deeper into his past as a music lover and guitar player as well as a former drug addict. Shortly afterwards Joyland , who could well be a summery spin-off of Night in the Woods, tells us about a young man who spends his last summer before university working in an amusement park to save: we know his friends, his sexual doubts and the fear of an adult life ... all seasoned with a ghost story.
Because the ghosts in Night in the Woods, as in Stephen King, are not just a possible paranormal response to a mystery in Possum Springs but a justification for some narrative regionalism. Like Paul McCartney, we wake up every day like Mae , go down to the kitchen, talk to our mother, and go outside. Possum Springs is nothing more than a long straight line that we must travel in different directions while talking to its inhabitants . The first conversations can be rare and we accompany Mae in an attempt to remember who was who and how the terrible act she committed in the past could affect each of her neighbors and that will always remain one of the multiple ghosts of the game. However, the third or perhaps fourth time we get out of bed we do so with the intention of talking to our neighbors . Because Possum Springs is alive and its citizens have a little story to tell if we are willing to stop and chat with them. We will want to know, for example, what new poem Selmers has written, and the reasons why he devotes so much to poetry, or what they are going to build in the premises of the old pizzeria that we liked so much.
Stephen King recreates complex interpersonal relationships whenever he can, even going so far as to recreate almost a small town like Chester's Mills in La Cúpula . Always with a supernatural curtain, or at least apparently, the author focuses his narrative on the relationships and the past of each of the characters. That is Night in the Woods . Mae has to deal with them and her own future by meeting her friends Gregg again , his boyfriend, Angus , and Bea . The anxiety of looking like a foreigner during the first days and trying to fit in will be the first steps of our adventure in Mae's skin. Retaking a lost relationship is never easy and it is in our hands to build the bridges to our friends again.
It is our adventure , as well as that of Mae and so many others, for the certain freedom when talking that the game gives us. We will constantly have to choose what memories we have of Possum Springs without ever knowing why the conversation will go. It is our adventure because as we pick up old friends and avoid certain problems (why did we drop out of college, what did we do so badly before we left, what goes through our heads every morning ...) we add our own ghosts of the past to the equation . Little by little we will build our relationship with Bea, Gregg and Angus (we cannot forget the strange Germ ) not only through Mae's experiences but through our own memories. Everyone who is currently living away from home knows perfectly well what it means to return for a long season: to go back to sleep under the same roof as your family, to go out with friends with whom you haven't spoken for months, and even to find all kinds of closed or changed premises. Night in the Woods is our own memory.
We continue to shed Night in the Woods on the next page.