The Ghost Stag, a thank you


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...I steadied my rifle, as much as I could, fighting the figure 8 sway in the muzzle and waiting for the front and rear sites to align.


I haven't been onto the site for a long while, and I've been meaning to post my experience of the topic for just as long or longer still. So here I am, finally. This post is mostly a tribute/love letter to Hinterland in creating an amazing game that strives to create emotion in it's player base. While for me this mostly means I am acutely aware of the musical strings and visual presentation attempt to make me feel certain things, I have never had my actions completely altered until this moment.


My trek around Pleasant Valley had started out as anything but. Fortunately it didn't take terribly long to get my feet under me with some much needed medical attention, supplies/food, and warmer clothing. The side quest style, using the idea of "myths" and local folk tales, to engage the player into setting forth to various remote locations was great and incredibly rewarding in both loot and lore. Most of the locations weren't completely out of the way for my wonderings save for one, a fable of a ghostly stag. My mind sifted through various thoughts of the kind of loot it might bring or how it might expand upon the background of the Pleasant Valley biome and finally with all other story options exhausted, save for the main quest line, I headed out that way. Skirting around the edge of a map I finally made it to the edge of a clearing, but no legendary stag, only option seemed to be to bed down in the provided snow shelter and wait. Shortly after my character awakens, to the site of an all white stag in the meadow. It is close, dangerously close for its safety. I steadied my rifle, as much as I could, fighting the figure 8 sway in the muzzle and waiting for the front and rear sites to align. But, at that final moment, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Dozens of deer have felled to my aim in the name of of survival during my playthroughs of this game, however, there was something different with this one. Something unexplainable within my wanted to let this digital creature go. So, I holstered my rifle and sat there for a minute or two, enjoying the site of this one off animal enjoying it's existence. Eventually I retreated from the snow shelter and walked away, but not without one final look back.


And here we are, the end of what is to me, my favored moment in the entirety of this game. Through all the hours playing it, this is the one that stands out the most for me. I apologize of the details aren't exact to what actually happens in the game, I played episode 3 when it first came out so my memory most likely isn't perfect and certain things.


Thank you, Hinterland, for creating a game that can make me have such wonderful memories in ways I wouldn't anticipate.

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