Reviews by manonamora

goncharov

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1-9 of 9


70 New Works in (Goncharov 1973), by ksixjs

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Gaslight, Gatekeep, Goncharov, September 3, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov


70NW is essentially a one page game emulating the (in)famous fanfiction website Archive of Our Own, listing Goncharov fanfics - texts unavailable to you aside from their tags and blurb. You can click on different elements to filter the 70 fics into smaller groups.

While you can’t technically read each of those fanfics - ironic, considering you can’t really watch the movie either - the elements of each fic may give enough to infer what they could be about. From the title, to the blurb, or the tags including different characters, themes, content warnings, or story structure. Many will refer to specific scenes or motif of the “movie”, or a specific ship. Some fill the gaps the movie didn’t cover, some deep dive into non-canon territory. Some take the alternate universe approach, others have crossovers (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Turnabout Clocktower)

The “game” both makes fun of the meme itself with the deranged theories that sparked during the craze and of fanfic websites like AO3 with its as deranged tags and fanfics (honestly). Even though I never really frequented these fanfic sites, the game does a pretty good job at takes their likeness (a more yellow-ish coffee stain background might have been too on the nose…), as well as the representing the deluge of fanfics submitted to those websites soon after the meme took over Tumblr (there are over 300 of them right now on AO3).

Out of all 70 non-fic, The fruit vendor didn’t deserve this?? was my favourite. When is the crossover with the Cabbage man of ATLA planned?

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GONCHAROV 2073, by sweetfish

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
If Paul Verhoeven was in on the meme…, September 3, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov


Goncharov 2073 is a fairly short stylistic linear piece with one small choice, set in a not-so-far and not-so-implausible future, in which Goncharov is a movie written by an AI, rather than the illusive and very human Matteo JWHJ0715. At the movie premiere, you and a group of activists will try to derail the event as a protest. Will you truly succeed?

Following Kon - not their real name - you oversea the smooth running of a project started months prior. Due to the significance of the event, the first ever screening of an AI generated movie, it is of the upmost importance things go the way they should. One small mistake and it will mean the end of the team. Things often go haywire on sabotage missions, and it is never when you think it might…

While the entry might seem to follow tropes of sabotage missions, delivering the tension at every turn, having the blasé handler, or things not going quite as planned, it is not much of the story or the meme that is most noteworthy, but the messages behind it. It should not be this surprising, with the author’s other games often having quite a bit to say or critique about the state of things.

In the past years, there have been increasing talk about Artificial Intelligence and its use in different industry. Recently (as of this review), it has been found that Entertainment Companies have been looking into rendering the likeness of background actors and using AIs to render them in the final project (without needing them on set). The use of AI software to render text or visuals is becoming more common, even going as a replacement for employees. It feels a bit hard to remove this topical aspect from the story of this game: an AI has written this movie, an AI is controlling the likeness of a (probably) dead Martin Scorcese…

The onus is not really put on the AI here - it is just a tool (and not a reliable or great one at that, if the comments about the movie are to be trusted*). The game takes a hit at the companies behind it, the ones using the tool, the ones actually profiting in this endeavour. *or that could just be making fun of the meme, whose lore is often contradictory.

In-game, the rules around AI use regarding using the likeness of someone cannot be done without their consent, a fair system… if it wasn’t an op-out one. The rules don’t seem to apply to people who died before the system was put in place - ruling impending - which explains the presence of a holographic Martin Scorcese at the premiere. Still, you have a sense that regardless of the legality of the tool, those company would try to find a way to use it anyway…

The criticism goes even clearer with the reveal of the activists’ manifesto: the technological advancement is not the problem, capital endeavours are - butchering, making almost a mockery of creativity with their generated “work”.

On the other hand, the game does not shy away from critiquing the actions of the activist group, showing that the sabotage of the premiere would not only shed more light on the movie, but ensuring its popularity at the box office - people who might not have cared about would come in flock out of spite. Activism is hard: there is no one way of doing things, actions can backfire, and you could be going against organism so large your actions might not even make waves or get you quite a bit of retaliation. Replaying the game to see the different option of that choice may hammer on this aspect…

With its title reminiscing of the Blade Runner sequel title, or its dark and gritty UI (a bit à-la Metal Gear Solid - very very cool), and the messages above, the game gave me vibes of Paul Verhoeven movies.

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Goncharov, by Stanwixbuster

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Did we watch the correct movie?, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Goncharov is a fairly short stylised kinetic piece, presenting itself as an adaptation of the “original” movie, through snippets of different critical scenes, as defined in the meme lore. Though, you could play the scenes chaotically, by doing a random order for examples, the story is best enjoyed when followed chronologically.

Above a usually animated background, dialog boxes pop up on the screen, typing out descriptions of the scene or the dialogue between characters. Locations, time and present actors are visualised through small screenshots - the character sprites do not change from scene to scenes, so it is easy to recognise who is who.
Depending on your setup, the animated background and text may lag.

A few scenes in, you get the sense that something is not quite right. Maybe it is because each scenes have very few words, or because they lack connection between each other. Their succession from the listed menu makes sense, but it is clear there are gaps between each scene. Or it could simply be the game trying to send you off track, like any good intrigue movie: nothing is truly as it seems.

While the end scene is quite something, the truly interesting part of the game, in my opinion, is when the credits roll. We sort of leave the realm of the movie and the canon, to have a more… meta discussion. Some criticism mentioned above, as well as potential failings of both the game itself and the meme at large, are discussed through two viewers of the movie you just experienced through the scenes. These criticism, from the lack of coherence to the missing actions, are linked to discourse that happened around the meme (though in-game, the discourse is about the movie).

You could take this final conversation at face-value: two friends watching a movie and discussing it when it ends. Or you could look at is as a discussion of the strange phenomenon that was Goncharov - the meme. Taking the internet by storm, it spread without rhyme or reason, with many users contradicting each other with sequencing, lore, or details, as they made up their version of the fake movie. As a collective, we all made the “movie” happen, each adding a scene or lore, trying to make our voice heard through the sea of creators participating. Maybe we were all Matteo, in a way, directors of Goncharov.

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Goncharov: Coda, by Lapin Lunaire Games

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Make. Meaningful(?). Choices!, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov


Like other entries in the jam, Goncharov: Coda takes the movie-making approach to the Goncharov mythos, where you play as an actor in a “contemporary remake of the film”. Playing as either Andrej or Sofia, the story will take you through the re-enactment of relevant scenes, where you can showcase your wits and line delivery. After all, you are here to honour an unprecedented legacy…

The game starts with the first table read of the screenplay, introducing the team working on the remake - many of the characters having funny pun-y names (especially the director’s name). It is at this point you get to choose which path to act (Sofia or Andrei, supporting roles), and where the first scene sets off.

Though you have two distinct paths, the game is built around bottlenecks. Both paths will share scenes (first and last, disregarding some variation), and out-of-character beats (in-between shooting scenes). The central part, however, is highly dependent on the path chosen, as each is set in a different location, follows a different group of characters, and focuses on different themes (or take on the theme).

The played scenes follow the “canonical” sequence of the “movie”. Starting with the Goncharov’s imminent arrival in Naples, the play indicates the start of new relationships (namely between Sofia and Katya), hints at a change in relationships (Goncharov and Katya), and questions other relationships (Goncharov and Andrei). The middle scenes will continue with this theme of relationships, focusing on how these relationship can also change a person (important especially for Goncharov and Katya), as well as hinting at the culminating fight up ahead. It all ends with the infamous bridge scene, the showdown to end all showdown - I did find that scene confusing, I think there are some flashforwards(?), it’s pretty chaotic.

Another important theme hammered on from the start is the one of choices, or lack thereof. The director of the movie makes a point to remind the player to “Make. Meaningful. Choices” at the start, when improvising certain lines. The middle scenes interactions between Katya and Sofia or between Andrei and Goncharov also emphasise on the choices we make, where they lead us, and the consequences of those choices. Sofia reminds us that choices can set us free, while Andrei will show that other factors, like loyalty, will force our choices to entrap us. It is interesting to see that our choices can be both meaningful and inconsequential to the story.

While it seems like the game is a very serious and maybe dark affair, the game is nothing but. I already mentioned the pun-y names at the start, but the humour doesn’t stop there. It also appears in lines to choose from, with funny one-liners; sarcastic descriptions of locations, reminding you that you are totes still filming the thing; or the almost deranged behaviour of some characters, the director especially had Dean Pelton (Community) vibe. Even the final passage, which is a bit sad when you think about it, was quite funny. I was chuckling throughout the game.

A final point should be spent on the care spent on the UI of the game. Looking like a movie script sitting on a table, with the Do Not Distribute warning at the top, the UI will use screenplay formatting to distinguish between reality and the played scenes. It even goes further as highlighting the actions and lines of the character you are playing (like with a real screenplay) - it must have been a pain to handle all those indents… The UI is pretty smooth to use, especially in fullscreen.

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Someone Else's Story, by Emery Joyce

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
How good of a honeypot will you be?, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov


Told from the point-of-view of Sofia, Someone Else’s Story takes a look at the start of the relationship between two side characters: Sofia and Katya, two women linked to big characters whose actions will drive the “story”'s plot. Spanning a conversation, you were tasked to extract information from the lovely newcomer. Will you managed without her noticing?

Someone Else’s Story is a fairly short game mixing choices, to drive the conversation forward, and hypertext*, to provide additional contextual information to the scene or about Sofia’s state of mind. Each choice provide variation in the next screen, with some even adding an option to the choice-list. The combination of all choices made throughout the game will determine how the conversation between you and Katya ends.

To get information from Katya, you must ask the right questions, in the correct manner. Though you have multiple choice available to you, from flirty to pushy, the type of questions asked may tick Katya that something is up, or may just confuse her. She will comment on the matter, before ending the conversation and leaving for the night. You do not learn, however, whether how successful you were at your task. Though, as Katya warns, when one is this expendable, does it truly matter?
(kinda yes… i always want to know how well i did.)

The game raises an interesting point, hinted by its title. Though you are the main character of this game, this short story, Katya may tell you that you are just a pawn in someone else’s story. You may drive the plot in this beat, but someone - your boss - is pushing you to this point in time, requesting things from you to further his story. You may down the line have a relationship with Katya (not in-game), but it will still be framed around other more important players - your struggles being a continuation of theirs.

Still, the illusion of agency still hods, even after replays. You may not be a major player, but the game makes you feel like your actions actually matter in this story, that they actually may change the course of the night. Even if, ultimately, it won’t - Katya will always try to change the subject, or look at her watch, signalling the end of the conversation. Your efforts don’t feel in vain.

While the game will mention a few important characters to the main lore or themes, the strongest one emanating from this entry is the concept of time. You are limited in time to find information for your boss about Goncharov before he potentially makes a move, to extract information from Katya during the party, before time inevitably cuts your effort short - when the watch strikes “twelve”. But there is maybe a more ominous limitation from Katya’s final remark: the time left before you will get hurt (if you continue snooping, that is).

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GONCHAROV - THE MAFIA HIGHSCHOOL DATING SIMULATOR, by Monday
Parody on parody, in an alternate universe, September 1, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov


I think this line summarises the game best: Your name is Goncharov. You are fifteen years old, and today is your first day of mafia school. G-TMHDS is a very short datim-sim game, dabbling with the Goncharov “lore”. Dipped in humour and sarcasm, the game gives the player a short introduction of the main players of the “movie” and their relationship to one another… if this was a Highschool AU.

Due to its short length, the game feels more of an introduction to a larger dating-sim, rather than a fully rounded story. You wake up, get ready for school, meet up with a friend (Joe), and try to talk to your crush (Katya) and be jealous of her friend (Sofia), before the game ends with a hint of a dark attraction (Andrej). There are a few choices throughout the story, each giving some humourous variation (try ditching school).

From the start, it is clear the game is not to be taken seriously. It will treat your not-so-smart question with disdain, and your doubt with deprecation - an attitude many would have towards teenagers or very naive individuals. The narrator is not afraid to call you out for stupid decisions (or as-stupid thoughts about doing something). [SPOILER]“Teresa Maria, Goncharov, don’t be such a square.”[/SPOILER] had me wheezing.

Honestly, I still haven’t decided whether this was meant as a parody of the meme or of the highschool dating-sim genre. It makes fun of both mafia tropes and of those dating-sim (as much as it can with the limited passages), juggling between the two without missing a beat. While reading through it, it reminded me of that KFC dating sim game from a few years back - I Love You, Colonel Sanders! - it is of the same tone: frivolous, humourous, and plain stupid (the hahaha this is so dumb kind). It just hits all the right notes.

I think this game might work even better in a VN form…

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VESPERTINE, by Sophia de Augustine

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Plunge the knife or pull the trigger, it was doomed from the start., August 11, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Though based in the (unreal) mythos of the Goncharov phenomenon, Verspertine is still a piece about love being both transient, forbidden, never-ending, and bound by time.

Like Sophia's previous title (Origin of Love), Verspetine continues on the linear retelling of a romance doomed from the start (infidelity + clock theme from Goncharov), with the use of annotated links revealing either a side note on a certain point (button) or a different perspective (numbers). The prose even resembles the poetry of Origin of Love in its descriptions.

While there is no clear timeline or setting of scene throughout the game, as Andrey jumps from his recollection of past events to his feelings for Goncharov, I've chosen to believe Andrey is waiting for his lover to awaken, admiring his sleepy self and contemplating on his situation in the meantime.

I read the piece multiple times, because I wanted to experience the story as it was, before diving into the annotation. While the main text and the button annotations are written in the third person (from Andrey's perspective and memories), the numbered links sends you into a darker screen, where the prose is shown in the first person, in a more personal and stronger voice.
I was confused at first whose voice it was between the two men at first, but the last screens made it clear Goncharov was the one.

You are told from the get go that the romance is doomed from the start: Goncharov is married and their work interfere with one another (?? the Goncharov mythos is unclear on whether the two are partners or rivals). The relationship is bound to end, time will not let them escape (sidenote: loved the references to the clock and time). Yet you can't help but feel for the two men who obviously yearn for each other's presence (and body, mind and soul). You want them to find a way to keep them embraced.

And in this pain, there is beauty. Beauty in the way the two describe each other, in the way the harshness of their lives is offset by the little moments they find each other, in the way they kiss, in the way they touch... Beauty prevails. Love, somehow, prevails.

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Creating Goncharov, by Albie

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A deep dive into Goncharov lore., June 26, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Following the Goncharov (1973) meme storm taking over Tumblr during November 2022, Creating Goncharov takes an alternative reality approach where this fake movie existed - though, you do not remember ever seeing it. Set to create a pitch for a remake, the game takes a deep dive into the lore and the many theories regarding this shitpost. More than that, Creating Goncharov is about finding passion in your work and creating relationships.

[Spoiling the story below]

(Spoiler - click to show)At the beginning, all is dull and irritating. The path to your place of work is slippery from the snow, your desk is in a cubicle nowhere close to natural light, and you expect today to be as boring as every other day you've had so far. 'Tis the life of an office drone. Except...

...you find an interesting proposition from your boss in your inbox - one you cannot refuse* - you are tasked to create a pitch for a remake of Goncharov and 1973 totally real and acclaimed movie, coined as the 'best mafia movie ever created'. Which is great, since you've been trying to get that kind of opportunity. But... you cannot for the life of you remember ever watching that movie.
* hahaha like in mafia movies

You are also forced to work with Al*, a co-worker you look down on - even though they are your superior - because you don't believe they deserve their job. Through exchanges with Al, it is not really clear whether they have seen that movie either, or whether they are competent at all (would they take your idea as pass it as theirs?). Still, they have readied some bare bone documentation to help you start.
*the author self-insert - do they believe the criticism/jabs they wrote about Al B? I hope not...

There is little time and not much to go on, but you still push through and ready a pitch for your boss by the meeting time. And...

...you fail. But, this was expected, considering your lack of knowledge about the original piece and of concrete information about the plot, themes, or scenes even. As if, you were meant to fail... who gives a remake of a well-loved movie to a newbie...

At this point, you can end... or, if you believe in this remake and your ideas, push through and proclaim you will make the movie by yourself if that's what it requires!

This is where strange things start to happen...

You go to work the next day, and things feel more... vibrant? The air is not as stale, the office is brighter, you even notice other people during your commute. More than that... your computer boots to the same day as before, showing the same unread email as when the game first started.

In some weird Grounghog Day scenario, you are given a second chance at putting your pitch together, retaining (partly) not only your previous found knowledge about the movie but also the (now-edited) documents Al had sent you the day/loop before. Speaking of Al, they are in this loop more forth coming with their view on the project, their knowledge of the movie, and their friendliness toward you.

While the first loop focused on the general overview, discussing the themes, or (re-)naming the characters, this loop gets into the nit and gritty of the plot. You and Al spend hours ironing out some details about the sequence of events and highlighting potential strong points. There is a lot there you can edit, and show off your creative liberties (with cycle links).

But again, this is not enough to sway the investors. You have not gone deep enough. You're still missing something important: you have not pitched the scenes!

And this is where the final loop comes in.

Yet again, the descriptions about your environment changes once more, and you notice how beautiful it is. It is also then that you notice the building's receptionist (and even remember her name and exchange some words!). The people in your mail box also change from jokey puns to actual names - they are not just nameless cogs but actual full human beings.

The exchanges between Al and you are also more developed and much more friendly. You even seem more passionate about the project than you ever were before! Even as you wait for your boss's email at the end of the day, you have the option to do something outside of work, even grow your relationship with Al.

Obviously, this time around, the pitch is a success (on my run at least, it is possible to fail a third time apparently). The movie is made, and wins tons of awards, setting you for a fulfilling career path.


With over 50 thousand words, the game covers most if not all of the "lore" created during this meme craze. In the many edits you can make, it manages to essentially give an overview of what had been discussed on Tumblr about this fake movie*. Depending on your choices, you may see quite a lot of change in variation down the line (inserting 'Marting Scorceses' as your name for example).
*with the plot document in the second loop especially, it felt a bit like those Archive documents the community created to keep track of all the lore.

The attention to details is both a major part of the gameplay, enabling you to "win" the game, and of the prose, through the subtle change in the environment/your behaviour outside of work. This is also a major point of the "movie", as recurrent details embodying time, religion, and change, were put in the forefront of the Goncharov discourse.

The change in tone in the interactions between Al and the player throughout the game feel believable, as you become acquainted with them and find a shared passion in the "movie". The exchanges of emails in the third loop is particularly lovely, and the scenes with them while waiting for that final email is quite sweet. Albie has a great command of their writing style in that area.

There were a few icks that made me tick a bit:
~ While the inclusion of a Martin Scorcese timeline (if you enter your name as MS) garners some fun responses and variation, it felt a bit out of place when other characters behave in the same way they would if the player has chosen any other name. It was funny that Mr. Scorcese failed the pitch, but the joke becomes a bit stale past the first loop.
[In the same vein, no one questioned me when I chose the same name as existing characters/employees]
~ Some formatting of the text made it sometimes hard to follow along. The fake shared GoogleDoc you edit in the second loop reloads multiple times but doesn't indicate clearly where you last left off (maybe a small translucent horizontal bar?). The email exchanges between Al B and the MC in the third loop could have distinguished better the bits between a description of a scene/dialogues and the emailers just discussing it (indentation, italics, change of font...). I didn't particularly liked the browser errors (a screen popup would have been a bit nicer and easier to close) or the lack of contrast when a popup was on screen (a slightly shaded overlay would have helped separate the elements).
~ The lack of discussion of the day restarting felt a bit like a missed opportunity. It might not have needed much, just the player getting a bit of anxiety or questioning their sanity from reliving the same day. Even if it can be brushed off because the player can have a do-over on their pitch, the fact that the player doesn't even flinch at the emails they receive is strange*. It could be interesting to have the player fail forever and only manage to break the loop if they give up on 'creating Goncharov (2023)' or it turns out their "win" was just a dream...
*there is just the words "Déjà vu" at the end of the second loop...
~ With the edits of the second loop being so extensive (building on the smaller edits of the first one), the gameplay of the final loop felt lacking. You essentially read through threads of emails between yourself and Al, discussing the scenes, but you have no choice in how they are described (they do have some variation depending on previous edits). I think it would have been nice (maybe for a future update?) if Al or the MC disagreed on some points (e.g: plot points contradict each other) and the MC had to make some choices. There is a bit of an unbalance in player input in the current version.
~ While time is of the essence, having to scramble to create a pitch in a few hours, the game doesn't "punish" you for taking all the time in the world (e.g. discussing every scene, even though Al presses you to wrap up).

Considering this game was made in less than 3 weeks (during finals!), includes this complexity in story, the high word count, a custom UI, and interactive elements further than simple choice lists, Creating Goncharov is very impressive. It is clear the author has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this project.

From essentially using every fan theory out there about the fake-movie, to creating full scenes based on fan-edit posts on Tumblr, using the motifs (the clock, the apple, etc...) reblogged by hundreds of users, or including music created for the meme, Ablie has done their research and dove deep into the lore of the meme. They seemed to have spared no (effort) expense in creating... Creating Goncharov.

Bravo!

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All or Nothing (1973), by Autumn Chen

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Give your All and get Nothing..., June 5, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: goncharov

Adding to the Goncharov craze of November 2022, All or Nothing (1973) takes on a meta commentary approach on internet trends, the cashing out on said trends*, and artistic creation. Set during an undefined present, we discover through snippets a group of four adults are putting together a trailer for a Kickstarter project to create a Goncharov movie, competing with other crowd-sourced project on the same idea.
*which, lol, considering the jam

The game starts as a rendition of a scene for a Goncharov movie*, being shot, formatted like a script and with a dark edited picture. You get to choose some options about where the scene goes until one of the characters yells CUT, following one of the actors fumbling his lines. The scene moves to real life (change in background and font), as the crew bickers about the production. The game will continue flipping between the dark setting while the scenes are shot and the brighter background of real life, announcing the transitions.
*which is not a real thing, just to be clear...

We are introduced to a four-member crew shooting materials for a Kickstarter campaign: Arash - playing Goncharov - the director of this whole enterprise and maybe a bit too obsessed with the project, Vivian - playing Katya - the scriptwriter who is disillusioned with making it in the industry, Tony - playing Andrey - looking for a paycheck, and Sofia - playing Sofia - also here mainly for a paycheck*.
*I think? It's not as explicit as Tony. Maybe some connection or support?

Like most of Autumn's games, All or Nothing (1973) takes a storylet approach to the storytelling of the downtime of the crew (about 2-3 scenes). You can follow two groups: Arash/Goncharov and Tody/Andrey, or Vivian/Katya and Sofia/Sofia. Each will discuss their view on the production, their worries and dreams, and what is happening in their lives.

(Spoiler - click to show) Arash's method acting is worrying some of them or getting on their nerves, but he only cares about making art and be remembered*
*this is an interesting conversation between Tony and Arash on the subject, where fame doesn't seem to interest Arash if behind it there is no creative output to show for...
Vivian is starting to resent telling Arash (her boyfriend) about the meme and letting him string her along the production, while she questions whether she still want to even pursue this.
Sofia lives in a shitty studio with a baby, Tony looks to get paid* (and maybe more?).
*Unlike the other three characters, it didn't feel like there was much to Tony. Maybe being paired with Arash made him more of a background character...

By the second storylet, lines between the characters in the real world and in scenes start to blur. Vivian and Sofia comment on events being similar to struggles the Goncharov characters suffer through, while Arash and Tony lean more and more into the method acting (with Arash being much more into it). Like their movie counterpart (according to lore), both couple have the option of potentially leaning into the sexual tension in the air (with Vivian/Arash cheating on the other*).
*Funny thing, in the lore it is unclear whether either party knows about the cheating, condones it, or resents the other for it. Still they don't see each other separating because of it.

The line fully disappears when the real world characters embodies their scene counterparts so much during the height of filming, that neither Arash, Vivian, nor Tony realise Sofia's cries to stop the scene (even her holding her child do not phase them). At this point, the background does not even return to "real-life" mode.
While Tony and Vivian do manage to come back to their senses, Arash still stays in character, ending the game with I am Goncharov...


I really enjoyed figuring out that the characters' lives mirrors the ones they portrayed (though the exact lore is unclear one the specifics), with Vivian and Arash being a couple and playing Katya and Goncharov who are canonically together, Katya's dalliance with Sofia, Goncharov and Andrey contrasting identities (light/dark, naive/serious, free/taken...)... as well as trying to find the Goncharov themes (the clock, the gun, the boat...).

A final note: the game references two works: All or Nothing (which is incidentally the name of the game, paired with the fictional release year of Goncharov) and Miss Officer and Mr Truffles, two crowdfunding campaigns which started from a meme post on Tumblr making the rounds on the website. Neither managed to deliver an end product (the second never reached its goal). A bit of a wink to A Paradox between worlds there... Is it also foreshadowing the future of this project?

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