koola's little side of the internetkoola's little side of the internet

Posted on Oct 30th 2023 at 08:48:26 PM by (koola6)
Posted under Hypnospace Outlaw, Hypnospace Outlaw, the internet, 90s

Hypnospace Outlaw is a wonderful, splendid video game.

It is quite possibly the most human-feeling game, in my opinion, that I have ever played. The only game that I have beat that has gotten close is Persona 5 Royal, and that's a huge-budget game made by one of the most respected companies in the video game industry.

As the developers put it, Hypnospace Outlaw is a "90s internet simulator". In my words, Hypnospace Outlaw is a masterfully-crafted story told through the medium of various 90s Internet pages.

The game starts with you signing up to be a rules enforcer for a forum that you can browse while you sleep. Named "Hypnospace", it has several different zones assigned to its "residents", as they are called, who each have their own, very 90s, personal pages.  Your goal is to track down and remove all content that violates the rules of Hypnospace.

Each of the residents feel very distinct. I wasn't around in the 90s, but a lot of people I have listened to and watched attest to the accurateness of the pages. Stuff like rudimentary page design, obnoxious music, relentless typos, and more litters the pages: things that people look back on and think of as the golden age of the internet.

The beauty shines in the humanity of these residents. They aren't just meaningless characters who are only there to fill a role; each and every one of them has their own struggles and faults. They respond to actions of you and your company with their own genuine reasons and, like us, will get upset if you as an enforcer do something that they deem unjust. They each have their own likes and dislikes, which some of them make evident and others you have to search for, and just like our internet, there are hidden pages, leaks of companies, and people making joke pages just to show off their programming ability.

A good example of this humanity that I keep coming back to is the first case: you are assigned to take down copyright violations of a fictional old cartoon character, and after doing some digging you find they are just kids' drawings that their teacher posted. The teacher, thinking that she did nothing wrong, starts to lash out about it and eventually gets her whole zone to start a revolt against these "unfair policies". This is something I could genuinely see happening in the real world.


Without diving into spoiler territory as I admittedly often do, the story goes into places you would not expect. I came out of it feeling confused at first, but the more I think about it, the more the ending makes sense for where the character development goes.

Overall, Hypnospace Outlaw has one of my favorite stories of any game, and I highly recommend you check it out.

I've been koola, and I apologize for the long wait time and short article. There's been a lot of games that I've been starting, but the only one that I have finished was this one, and I didn't want to dive into spoiler territory.

(I wanna see a real life Trennis game. That sounds like a fun idea, honestly.)


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Comments
 
Nice write-up.  On my list to play, especially after your positive reception.  Thanks for posting!

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