A man is dying and his last wish is to travel to the moon. The job sounds like routine for Sigmund Corp. It should be easy to transplant this memory and make it possible to experience it in his mind. But what at first sounds like an astronaut’s dream is in reality, one of the most beautiful stories about love you can imagine. Even if it seems strange, the lonely, cold, distant moon can of course become a meeting place for lovers. All it takes is a little imagination.
For me, Japan is that special place. When I find a person likeable, but I’m not sure we’ll meet again, I like to say goodbye with a curious, initially off-putting sentence: “We’ll definitely meet again – maybe not here, maybe in Japan.” The country is synonymous with all the strange places that exist in the world. If our encounter was really special, chance will bring us together there again, I romantically imagine. For the childlike John in To the Moon, this was much the same.
As a place for such a reunion with my favourite human being, I would have much rather bet on Japan. In fact, it became a place that was even more unlikely and strange – a bit like the moon. But it was his place. Three years earlier he was in my place, which he didn’t know and never visited again. Both encounters were a bit like travelling to an alien planet. We visited our peculiar worlds. We sniffed each other. It also fits that although both of our mother tongues are German, strictly speaking we still speak two entirely different languages – and are still learning them from each other after many years.
It is the part of To the Moon that touched me deeply. I was struck by how much emotion can go into a bunch of simple pixels. The graphics are hardly impressive. It’s also not a typical game and there are no special game mechanics. This title lives solely on its excellent told story and the emotions that burst out between the lines. It is a wholly unexpected journey to the moon and at the arrival my eyes were filled with tears.
Sometimes it seems that we really do all live on our own planets. And if we don’t live on them already, we at least wish we did. In any case, the distance between two people can be quite insurmountable. Sometimes, however, we meet people with whom it is not quite so terrible. We can stand it with to be them. There are people who literally shine at us. And they are welcome to come along where no one else is – we let them into our hearts.
To The Moon was released in 2011 for the PC – built with the “RPG Maker XP” engine and full concentration on the story. It is now also available for Mac, iOS, Android and Switch. The inspiration was the serious illness of the grandfather and the question of what one regrets shortly before death.
This post is also available in: German