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Plunge the knife or pull the trigger, it was doomed from the start., May 22, 2023
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.