Sinking City: EOD The Social Dilemma and the License Dilemma
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After 5 years I'm finally playing The Sinking City and I've been loving it. There's a lot of problems with the open world action part of the game but I'm glad they decided to cut corners in those parts of the game in order to not compromise the detective mode of the game.

Sadly I think the whole license part of the game (The one that cause that problem that kept me from playing the game in the first place) plays against of what decisions you take most of the cases since, when you know who are the good guys and the bad guys of the story it's barely a moral choice.

But they really really tries tho.

Following your big investigation of what's happening in the town of Oakmont you are tasked with finding the lost professor Harriet Dough, who was captured by Innsmouthers carrying some symbols, one that has been seen on an organization on the fish market.

A picture of Anna, the representative of the EOD saying 'Well, we are a non-profit charitable organization. Actually, it's better to say that we are a gathering of volunteers. We're not an official charity yet'

Once you get there you meet Anna, the EOD representative, an organization that's been giving fish for free to all the poor people affected by the flood of the town for change that they do different jobs for them to help the community between them patrolling the harbor for monsters and reconstructing houses as the lower districts of town has been forgotten in midst of the flood.

In good old adventure game fashion in order to meet her leaders you have to do some detective job for her and figure out who is trying to steal the fish they give away. Turns out someone wasn't trying to steal the fish but to poison it with ricin, a poison that can be acquire in only a few place, which takes you to the university to find out one of the professors there stole from the med department, Professor Cavendish.

The reason as to why he tried to poison half of the town with a powerful poison is to show the people that EOD is an evil organization cult that is deceiving people into doing their deeds and they have enough power to buy the policeman… or so he says. The real reason is far more personal, as Anna is his ex-wife, who left him after her meddling with EOD broke his family as he discover the child she had was not his but a blessing of the sea.

Here you have 2 options, follow the order from Anna and kill Cavendish, exposing the poisoning of the fish to the press and gaining her trust. Or joining Cavendish and finish poisoning the fish to sabotage EOD efforts to recruit more people.

The problem in this dilemma? This is a Lovecraftian story.

Reed looking at a Cthulhu statue inside an excavation Once you know our friendly old god neighbour is there is hard to miss it

Of course you are gonna side with the guy that's against the weird fish loving cult that you already know is worshiping Dagon cuz we all know the story. It's hard to get into a character of a really well established franchise without thinking you are in a story of said franchise. Sure, Reed doesn't know about Dagon and the deep ones but then again we do. When you have information of the future the solution is clear.

Thing is, I don't blame the game for this. Most adventure games like Coronel bequest rely on you knowing information of the future by getting all the death scenes to understand what is happening at the mansion at all times. But where the Roberta Williams adventure game excels is that all the information inside the game is new to the player.

A eye sided view of 2 people talking and a text box of Laura Bow saying Gertie isn't deserving of any of Henri's money! Why, she's not even a blood relative Several playthroughs were needed to know all the secrets and being able to beat The Coronel's Bequest

Another example of this problem is the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane. Where the main conflic of the movie is if theres really a germs/alien/terrorist invasion outside keeping them in that bunker of if its just that John Goodman character is crazy and just keeping everyone else from going outside due to his paranoia. This movie works wonders right until the end except for one problem. The license.

We already know that a giant monster attack the city, that their mini monster started infecting people so we are just watching people being paranoid at each other due to a problem that the spectator already solved before watching the movie.

It's sad cuz the problem presented in The Sinking City is a real one.

Change the cult to Dagon with one of the many branches of Christianity, theres no deep one, no weird out of this world shennanigans, just a religious group giving food to the poor and homeless. Maybe this religious group comes with also some weird right wing believes like transphobia and misogyny. Is the right thing to do just to poison their food so they don't change people to their believes?

The only Innsmouther you meet from the organization is actually a really nice guy that builds wooden toys for the orphanage using his religion as a force of purpose and movement for this. So maybe this religion group giving him a reason to be good and also ways to not starve is good.

A wooden boat toy with the text Nice work. When I was a kid I would have gone nuts for this. Well, if it was finished, that is. Toys for those in need

In my life I've met religious groups that go out of their way to find groups in the poorest districs of the town. A place full of people coming out of jail, drugs, abusive relationship finding refuge in religion and a support group full of people that just want to be nice to each other and help. All of them lead by a guy with an Ipad and a giant HUV saying how they are smarter than everyone else and the new woke propaganda is trying to take god away from the children.

As an outsider theres not a simple answer to this. Do you take this hope and support outta people that are in horrible situations without it? And also poison their food? Or do you let it slide, knowing that the rhetoric told there are not only obsolete but a way for the priest to obtain money from the people going to communion?

The game decides to compromise, not of this choices matter. If you kill Cavendish, his crimes will be exposed in the morning papers, Anna will tell you how to find the leaders of EOD while not showing a shred of pain over his ex husband death. This is a trap, she sent up some innsmouthers to kill you as she disappears and you met one person of the cult that wants to help you in exchange of some detective help.

If you decide to help Cavendish in poisoning the fish, you will do so while also telling the only nice EOD person you've met to skip town for their own good. Then Cavendish will give you a contact inside of EOD that might help you in your original task.

No matter what you choose the plot advances.

I think the truly end of this dilemma comes after you inform Throgmorton, the head of the biggest family in Oakmont, and the nearest thing to a governor the town has as the game instead of putting the blame on people who act as a matter of circumstance, decides to blame the powers that be around the town.

You can choose to blame him and hist prejudice against the innsmouthers who seeked refuge after their town was burned to the ground. A situation that got them into a position where they could do nothing else but to take the only helping hand that was given in order to survive even if it comes at the cost of joining an old god cult.

You even tell him that using the death of his son as an excuse is just cowardice move as his actions where the ones that got his son into that situation anyway. The town he so call his is rotting and rusting under the constants rains and flood and he's having a party eating cake in the shape of his death son.

3 People at Throgmorton's hall eating what it seems to be a cake in the shape of his dead son Rich people are weird

Still, I'm enjoying the game writing so far as it is one of the best frogware has put out. I'm glad I waited until the publishing lawsuit was resolved.