Plot Synopsis: Journey

Every time I read gaming forums I’m constantly shocked at the number of people who are willing to play through a game to the very end, make sure they collect all the trophies…and have no idea what the story was. Especially when playing art games. What’s the point of playing an art game if you don’t care about story?

Well I don’t play too many games but when I do, they’re usually indie or art games. I’ll just leave these little plot summaries for them whenever I get a chance, for posterity. What really needs to be said about Journey that hasn’t been already? It really is as good as everyone says it is, and you should also check out That Game Company’s earlier hotnesses like Flower and Flow.

The Story of Journey
(as transcribed from the “picture panels”)

In the beginning there was nothing. Then the great volcano of light spewed souls into the sky which they rained down onto the earth, creating the birds and the trees and the people.

The people discovered yet another form of life: raw souls themselves, made manifest in the form of cloth.

These cloth-forms had odd properties: Single souls are tiny fluttering sheets, but they can combine into larger and larger sheets. The largest sheets can consolidate into marine-like creatures

The people learned they could harness these cloth-souls as a form of energy by entrapping them, using them as a form of wind power. The people channeled the wind power across vast, far-reaching aqueducts, enabling them to build large cities that touched the skies

As an ever-expanding civilization with a seemingly limitless source of energy, trees were razed and land swallowed up, built over with ever-taller skyscrapers.

Alas: it turned out the souls were not in limitless supply. Thus, as resources waned the cities began to flicker out of power. The people fought over the remaining wind creatures and waged terrible war upon each other: they re-tooled their technologies and diverted their remaining wind creatures to inhabit and power monstrous flying war machines, razing cities to the ground and killing thousands.

In the end, everyone died. The environment, ruined and devoid of all life, desertified. Sand blew and buried the scorched cities. As it became clear neither side could win the war, two groups of the remaining people hatched their last-hope plans: one group sacrificed their very souls to build a temple, the other attempted to return their souls to the volcano from whence they all came.