Digital Media Concepts/Inside (video game)

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Inside video game logo
Inside video game logo


Inside[edit | edit source]

The game Inside was released in 2016, by the video game developer Playdead. Inside is available on different video game consoles and software such as the App Store (iOS), Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Inside is an adventure game where the only character you can play as is a young boy, who has no identity throughout the game. The game is based on a dystopian world that is surrounded by emotions of terror and oppression. The game does not give any information about the young boy, the environment he is in, or the activities that take place during the game. As the player figures out the gameplay, they will slowly start to learn about the strange activities taking place and how to find the hidden messages to help him escape. Inside has also been compared to the game Limbo, which was also created by the same developer. Both games find similarity in which the main character is a young boy, and is in search of freedom or a solution.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The game immediately begins with the young boy running away from guards in a dark forest. The guards are chasing after the young boy with bright flashlights, either in an attempt to kill him or capture him. The player has to protect the young boy and keep him safe from the guards. Once the player is successful, the young boy will move to safety in an abandoned barn and will have to solve different puzzles in order to keep moving forward. The young boy soon enters the factory of mind-controlled people and will have to blend in by acting sluggish and slow. Although, there are normal humans and monitors in the factory making sure there are no frauds and will inspect the young boy if he acts suspicious. There are certain stages in the game where the young boy will be sniffed out by guard dogs and will have to run away to safety, by jumping or climbing.

As the player continues to explore, they will come upon the albinos, which can be mind-controlled by the young boy through a helmet attached to the ceiling. The albinos will appear in different stages in the game and the young boy can control the albinos to help solve different puzzles and machinery to help escape. The Long-haired creatures will make an appearance in the game, but only when the young boy enters flooded rooms or go completely underwater with a submarine. The Long-haired creatures stay away from any light source, so the young boy has to shine bright lights against them in order to escape from them. As the young boy continues to solve hidden puzzles and fight off different enemies, there is a scene where the long-haired creature captures and drowns the young boy. This part of the game is inevitable and the player is only allowed to observe. The long-haired creature attaches a device to the young boy which enables him to breathe underwater, and he can continue to explore the depths of the factory.

As the boy passes through different rooms and laboratories he will come upon the Huddle, which is a blob-like creature made up of different human body parts. The young boy and the Huddle are being observed by people through a large underwater tank, and eventually, the young boy will get absorbed into the blob and becomes apart of it.

There are several theories about how the game ends, but it is also up for interpretation from the player themselves. The most common ending to the game takes place after the young boy becomes part of the Huddle, the player then takes control of the Huddle and escapes the underwater tank. The player is able to attack and kill the scientists in the laboratory and rampage through other offices. One significant scene in the ending is when the Huddle comes into contact with the CEO of the factory, where the player crushes the CEO and kills him instantly. Afterward, the Huddle is finally able to escape the laboratory by breaking through a wooden barrier, rolling down a steep hill and ending up on a small grass field next to a body of water. The Huddle suddenly is unable to move and lays in the sunlight, in complete silence.[1]

The other ending could be unlocked by the player if they are able to collect different orbs throughout the game. If so, the young boy will be lead to an underground room filled with various mind-controlling helmets that were prominent in the game. If the player decides to unplug a certain socket in the room, the young boy will act slow and sluggish, unable to control himself and ultimately, becoming one of the albinos.

Characters[edit | edit source]

The young boy is the main character whose age and facial features are unknown to the player. Everything about the boy and his environment is in monochrome colors. Yet he is the only character wearing a brightly colored red shirt, which makes him easily distinguishable throughout the game. The young boy is quick when it comes to escaping or hiding from enemies, and is intelligent when it comes to solving hidden puzzles. The young boy has abilities that are useful throughout the game, he has good strength and endurance, and eventually, learns to control minds and breathe underwater as an advantage.[2]

The Albinos are humanoids whose ages and facial features are unknown to the player. The Albinos could only be distinguished by gender, and they are only dressed in white or gray clothing. There is a theory that these Albinos are normal humans that were used for experimentation, or made from mind tanks.[3] The albinos are perceived as zombies, they have no sense of knowledge and can be mind-controlled by the young boy. The Albinos are characters that are meant to help the boy pass through certain phases in the game or to unlock different traps. They have strength and stability in order to run, lift, and carry the young boy or objects in order to help him, they are able to endure immense pain and do not get injured, which comes as an advantage.[4]

The Huddle, also known as the Blob is a figure made up of human flesh, it is covered in human skin and has human body parts sticking out of it. The Huddle could be controlled by the player, it is very flexible and is able to run with its various legs, and throw or carry with its various arms. It also has the ability to feel pain, it can groan or mumble in discomfort whenever it is being hurt.[5] The Huddle is believed to be a combination of the albinos, and eventually the young boy as well. It is possibly the end result of a gruesome experiment in the laboratory, and it lives underwater during most of the game.

Long-haired creatures or Mermaids are the characters that live underwater and do not interact with the young boy until the player is reaching the end of the game. These long-haired creatures do not have any facial features, only distinguishable through their long black hair and their physique is very similar to the young boy.[6] They are the most vicious and defensive enemies that the young boy encounters, and it is unknown exactly what these creatures are, whether they could be a different type of albino or a failed experiment from the laboratory.

Art[edit | edit source]

The art style of the game is considered 2.5D, the player is only allowed to move the various characters from left to right, and up and down. The game is filled with more visuals rather than sound or even voices to help the player figure out the gameplay. The animation in the game is filled with eerie and mysterious settings, and the design of the game gives the player emotions of anxiousness and fear as they are constantly straying away from the light or finding comfort in the dark. [7] The color palette that the developers chose for the game was based on monochromatic colors, primarily involving a greyscale but incorporating various colors in the background or on objects. The abstract art style allowed the viewers to focus on how detailed and emphasized the setting was, compared to the characters who lacked their own characteristics in the game, which is what the artists intended for.[8]

Music[edit | edit source]

The soundtrack of the game was created by Martin Stig Andersen, who was also the same composer for the game Limbo. Martin wanted to create a soundtrack that would match the style of the video game. He used a different technique of creating sound and audio, by using a human skull.[9] Martin was curious about how he could create different types of audio from a human skull, as it was his first time working with it. He created audio both with and without the human skull to compare which sounded best. With the human skull, he was able to create vibrations that sounded very strange and mysterious.[10] Martin revealed that this was the first and last time he would ever use a human skull to create a soundtrack, not only due to the physical state of the skull but he believes it gave Inside the unique soundtrack that no other game could match up to.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. “Inside (Video Game).” Playdead's INSIDE Wikia. Accessed March 8, 2020.
  2. “The Protagonist.” Inside Wiki. Accessed March 6, 2020.
  3. “Albinos.” Inside Wiki. Accessed March 5, 2020.
  4. “Albinos.” Inside Wiki. Accessed March 6, 2020.
  5. “The Huddle.” Inside Wiki. Accessed March 6, 2020.
  6. “Long-Haired Creatures.” Inside Wiki. Accessed March 6, 2020.
  7. Sheehan, Jason. “Reading The Game: Inside.” NPR. NPR, December 31, 2017.
  8. Byrd, Christopher. “'Inside' Review: A Gaming Masterpiece.” The Washington Post. WP Company, July 6, 2016.
  9. Griffin, Andrew. “Composer Records Game Soundtrack Using a Human Skull.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, October 7, 2016.
  10. Webster, Andrew. “The Soundtrack for Inside Was Recorded Using a Human Skull.” The Verge. The Verge, October 6, 2016.
  11. Webster, Andrew. “The Soundtrack for Inside Was Recorded Using a Human Skull.” The Verge. The Verge, October 6, 2016.