Nobody likes goodbyes, whether it be saying goodbye to the characters in your favorite video game in the credits or saying goodbye to two of the three voices that make up this incarnation of the Split screen Podcast so damn special. Bring handkerchiefs, children.
The handkerchiefs are not for you. You can use them if you need to, but they’re mostly for the guy who spent much of this week’s episode sobbing thick, heavy tears as the soon-to-leave Ashley Parrish me and Nathan Grayson, who is leaving today comforted sat stoically like the heartless robot he is. We all process grief differently, so it’s okay for Nathan to be a monster.
This week’s extra-long, very special episode begins with the sad news of Nathan’s and Ash’s departure before a smooth (ish) transition to a discussion of some of our favorite video game goodbyes. At one point we started talking about the earliest presidents we can remember (mine was Carter), probably because one or both of my co-hosts called me old.
Then, in the middle of a conversation about how Nathan, Ash, and I have changed with our time Kotaku, I’m losing it completely. I refuse to listen to this, but those who have listened tend to hug me, which I happily accept.
Grab the MP3 here to hear the whole ugly thing. Here’s a tear-free excerpt where Ash manages to bring up her beloved BioWare games one last time.
Nathan: I think this is maybe one of the best , at least in terms of feeling like all sorts of things are like that Undertale. The end of Undertale, at least the good ending. The bad less, although I suspect the bad ending is a form of parting since you killed everyone. But the good ending is very similar, you know, you reunited a lot of characters, you help them overcome their various physical and emotional tests. And they all move to a new place together. And you see a montage of people living their lives. And it’s just very, it’s very beautiful. It just feels like it’s in step with the kind of story the game is telling. It was about a lot of characters getting separated, in part due to different challenges they had in coming to terms with and accepting themselves. And they do and they can support each other and have a nice little life and you love to see it.
Ash: It all reminds me of the endings of the last two BioWare games that got anyone interested in what was Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. And both games had DLC codas …
Nathan: Yes, citadel and intruder.
Ash: … that wrapped up people’s storylines and allowed you to say goodbye before you could jump back into the main game and finish the mission or whatever. A BioWare game is usually all about its characters and your interactions with those characters. There were missions to do and quests and things to shoot or stab Dragon time‘s case. But more centrally focused, kind of like what Nathan was talking to him about [The Witcher III] Blood and wine Expansion, just hung out with your pals.
Like all the imagination of citadel is, yes, there is a strange shepherd clone. But we also have this really cool penthouse in the citadel. We’re all going to sit here and hang out and watch movies and shit before the world ends. And within that little narrative structure, you can say goodbye to characters who passed away because of that memorial wall, for example, or you can go on a date using your romance option. All those little vignettes that you can do to embody each of these characters and their iconic paths while realizing that this is the way we say goodbye.
And in Dragon timeIn this case, they go a step further because they operate purely on wish-fulfillment by letting you marry a few of your love interests, depending on who they are. You can marry Dorian and you can marry Cullen, which I have done more than once. And at the end of this game, it was also a very nice ending for your character as the Inquisitor. This story is being completed while the next story is being prepared for Dragon Age 4, whenever that happens. They end up having different codas for those characters too, depending on the choices you make. For example, if you don’t romanticize Cullen and get her to do something else, he’ll either be that cool guy hanging out with his dog or an excited drug addict who dies on the street, which is kind of tragic actually.
Nathan: Yeah, not kidding.
Ash: Certain people disappear and are never seen again, or once they join you can say goodbye to them together. Dorian and the Iron Bull, if you don’t love either one, meet up and have this secret romance that is actually pretty cute. BioWare was in their pocket when they did this shit. I guess they thought they weren’t going to make these games anymore, or at least with these characters. So time to say goodbye and send nice.
Fahey: I can’t believe this is the last damn podcast with you two and we’re talking about the damn Cullen again.
Ash: Hey, if nothing else, I’m consistent.
Nathan: Yes very.
Fahey: I wanted to bring back another character that we talked about before to say goodbye. You don’t actually have to say goodbye to say goodbye. It can be just like how the game sends out a character. Lirum off Lost Odyssey. That whole funeral sequence where you light the candles and send them away. My god, talking about a character I didn’t know much about who suddenly died and I think okay. It was bad enough that she died. But now I’m saying goodbye to her and I feel so mixed up about it and it’s so strange to say goodbye to her.
Nathan: You just reminded me of one of the worst video game goodbyes.
Fahey: Oh boy.
Nathan: We’re talking about funerals. Press X to show respect.
Fahey: Oh no. Kevin Spacey’s son.
Nathan: I think this is a particularly low watermark.
Fahey: It was a very nicely designed funeral. It looked great. Kevin Spacey was there. I mean this is no longer good. Oh no. But back then it was a plus that Kevin Spacey was at your funeral I think. Unless you were a younger actor.
Ash: Lower Austria. Nooooooooo. No.
Nathan: It wouldn’t be an episode of this iteration of Split screen if it weren’t for at least one weird Fahey joke.
For all of that and more, check out the episode. New episodes usually appear every Friday, so don’t forget to like and subscribe Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or stapler. If you feel like doing so, leave a review too, and you can always email us at [email protected] with any questions or suggestion of a topic. If you want to yell at us directly, you can reach us on Twitter: Ash is @adashtra, Fahey is @OnkelFahey, and Nathan is @ Vahn16. Come see us in a few weeks after we figure out which dolls to replace Nathan and Ash with.