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Haunting story about the sacrifices made in service of art, October 21, 2020
Night Guard / Morning Star explores art, sacrifice, and the difficulties of living in the shadow of a self-centered parent. These themes are beautifully rendered through scenes where paintings come to life in ways that illuminate the protagonistís past, revealing and developing the characters through off-kilter, scattered memories.
Itís a wonderful example of interactive structure serving the story, as the physical layout of the gallery, the description cards for all the paintings, and the ability to enter paintings in order to explore a scene from the past, all fit tightly and satisfyingly with the dark and vivid story being told.
The aunt and the Morning Star are vividly rendered and memorable as their images become embodied in different ways while they beckon and cajole the protagonist into action. And the relationship between the protagonist and her mother is deliciously fraught: the protagonist is able to see conflicting perspectives she and her mother had on different moments in the past, and this, along with their occasional clashes during the course of the story, lead to real character development and multiple endings that each feel like a unique resolution of the protagonistís journey toward empowerment, as well as an exorcism of the ties and memories that have haunted her for a long time.