A five year old’s take on Bastion

I love the game Bastion. It’s one of my top games from last year.  I’ve played through it multiple times, listen to the soundtrack (at least part of it) every day while working.  It’s just an amazing game.  Everything about it.  When I had to spend some time working on a basement remodel, I sat my five year old in front of the computer so he would stay out of my way while I was working.  I fired up Bastion, turned on no-sweat mode (the mode where you can’t really die), put the controller in his hand and left the room.

Hours later I returned to find him on the last level of the game.  Having finished my work for the day, I sat down next to him to watch him finish up this amazing experience.  Not being able to quite read completely yet (he’s almost there), I helped him understand what the 2 decisions were at the end of the game.  I never pushed him any one direction, even though he asked me to, but let him decide on his own what to do.  He ended up saving Zulf and flying away with everyone on the Bastion.

After he finished the game, I sat him down for a quick interview to see why he did what he did and what his favorite parts of the game were.  Here is the copy of that interview (word for word where I could).

What was your favorite weapon in Bastion?

The one where you shoot the bombs that blow up. (note: after some prodding I determined this was the Calamity Cannon)

Who was Rucks?

He’s the guy that has to look at stuff. (note: referring to when you take the items back to the characters and they talk about them)  He was the first Bastion guy.  He made the Bastion.

Who was Zia?

She had to look at stuff too.  She plays the harp and sings.

Who is Zulf?

I brought him home.  He was one of the bad guys, except for the bad guys were beating him up.  He had a best buddy that was a bad guy.

Why did you choose to save Zulf?

Because he was my buddy.  I wanted to fly away with him.

Why did you choose to fly away with your friends?

Because I love my friends so much.

What was your favorite song in the game?

Well. Every song was my favorite. (note: I can confirm that Spike in a Rail is his favorite song.  He loves it.)

What was your favorite part of Bastion?

When I got to fly away with my friends.

Anything else you want to say about the game?

There was lots of things I could buy and I liked buying stuff.  I liked the target practice ones.

//end interview

It really tells a lot about kids and the good nature that exists in them.  It’s a little sappy, but I couldn’t help but get a little teary eyed listening to him tell me about how much he loved his friends even though they were just a part of the game.  When I explained to him the choice between saving Zulf and leaving him there I told him that he’d have to leave his weapon behind and carry him out.  He didn’t think twice, dropped the weapon, and carried Zulf out.  It was an awesome thing to experience as a dad.

Some more background on my kid: he loves video games.  I suppose he gets this from his dad.  His current favorite game is Uncharted 3.  He’s played through Uncharted 2 and 3 and will eventually get to the first one I suppose.  He also loves the new Spiderman game.  He also loves camping, riding 4-wheelers and riding his bike.  Going into Kindergarten this year, I’m sure he’ll be one of the smartest in his class.  He loves books, learning and taking care of his baby sister.


8 Responses to “A five year old’s take on Bastion”

  1. kurt beckstrom says:

    Awesome…very well done. – KB

  2. roadkill says:

    Sappy? Hell I’m sappy too! And I’m almost 30. Sappy is not a bad thing. It’s awesome! Your kid is also awesome. Thank you for this! 🙂

  3. Laurens Mathot says:

    “It really tells a lot about kids and the good nature that exists in them.”
    That makes me wonder, how he reacted to having to kill so many other creatures. And to turning the human statues to dust.

    And if there is a difference in the reaction, or not, why that difference is there.

    Bastion is so full of moral ambiguity :D. I really like it for that. (And for the soundtrack… and for the… okay, nevermind, that’s a long list ;])

  4. LeGrande says:

    Good point Laurens. I didn’t think about that. It never came up in our conversations about the game.

    If I had to guess what’s going on in a 5 year old’s mind, I suppose he didn’t undestand what was going on with the statues turning to dust and probably saw the other creatures as bad because they were attacking him.

  5. Laurens Mathot says:

    Being attacked seems like a reasonable method of determining short term bad-ness ^^.

  6. Steph K says:

    Your kid is AWESOME!

    I’m playing no-sweat mode right now… because I’m a wimp like that. XD

  7. Bryon Norris says:

    It becomes apparent very early on in the game that whilst the Calamity might have destroyed much of the world there are still some people left alive. After you find them they’ll join you in the bastion and they’ll give you some insight into the various mementos that you find scattered throughout the world. They also bring with them challenges that you can complete for extra experience and cash to spend on upgrades whilst fleshing out the background story of one of the characters. The challenges are gauntlet style affairs and are a nice aside from the dungeon crawling that makes up the majority of Bastion.

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