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Last Stop - The Open Spoilers Thread (just play it, it’s on Game Pass and will only take four-six hours)


footle
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Last Stop,  by Variable State, is a game that would be painful to describe in spoilers and PM maybe isn’t inclusive.

 

(note. More of a visual novel, with mild interactivity and some nice scene framing).


Accordingly, here is an open spoilers thread.

 

You. Have. Been. Warned. In both this post and the thread title.

 

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@Gabe 

The ending completed crapped the bed for me and ruined what had been, up until that last chapter, a really intriguing story. Honestly, it's taken much of the shine off of what came before, because it had done enough right for me to not play anything else since last night when I started it.

 

I'm left feeling really disappointed and have unanswered questions (plus there's a massive plot hole no characters care to even mention, let alone comprehend). A real pity.


 

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@footle 

You see I found the ending fine. The final choices were fine too, as long as you’d been deliberately roleplaying the characters so that the choice they’d take was obvious. And you could roleplay the characters so that one of each choice was valid (I’m less sure about each choice being as valid in a single playthrough, but that’s ok).

 

I had one unanswered question, but I’m not sure it’s a question that necessarily needs an answer in the context of the world they’ve set up, and it certainly doesn’t need an answer in the genre they’re writing the story in.

 

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From this point on there are spoilers.
 

Expanding then…

 

Endings: Each character has a selfish and unselfish ending, but two of them have very much been set up to be one or the other (John goes into the void to rescue Jack and is introduced as caring for his daughter, Meena is a female James Bond wannabe having an affair and being quite happy to threaten/kill to get her way), whereas the third is selfish, but not necessarily spiteful.

 

John gets the opportunity to think about keeping the body during the final chapter, but either ending kind of works (if you play both through); Meena, in my game, had been getting more and more fucked off with the ongoing manipulation, so the “go to jail, do not pass go” ending worked for me - and closed her arc; Donna chose family - and closed her arc. 
(but both Meena and Donna’s arcs also closed with the other options - Meena’s selfishness breaks up the family unit, Donna retains her independence and grows as a person)

 

Unanswered questions:

and this is where the magical realism setting comes in.

 

* There’s no need in the genre of Donna’s story to understand why The Stranger is wiping people, how they’re wiping people, why they’re interested in Donna (though her photo of him is part of it), why he wants her soul: he’s presented as a fallen angel of sorts, and an unknowable threat. He pretty much remains so.

(see also - why do the creatures from the upside down keep invading in Stranger Things, why does Satan (anything), any Outside Context Problem)

 

* There’s no need to really understand why people are touristing across the galaxy. It’s just a thing they do. How is Frank paying for it? Who knows?

Is that important for the three main characters? (No)

 

* You could argue that it would be nice to know why Frank was waiting by that door at the end of the prologue, and who he was intending to usher through if transit is so expensive, but it’s incidental to all but Meena’s story, and then only as setup, and then explicitly made irrelevant by Sam - and ties into her final decision.

 

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I agree with all that. I was quite happy for it to end with unanswered questions.

 

I chose what to me seemed the “right” choices but for Donna in particular I’m now wondering whether I was actually being selfish! I chose John: swap back, Meena: go to jail, Donna: refuse the Stranger’s deal. Which meant Donna didn’t get her family back, but the alternative to me seemed like giving in to blackmail!

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I did, obviously, then restart that last bit and look at the other options. There’s only really one completely bleak one, and you can probably guess what it is.

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1 hour ago, Darren said:

I agree with all that. I was quite happy for it to end with unanswered questions.

 

I chose what to me seemed the “right” choices but for Donna in particular I’m now wondering whether I was actually being selfish! I chose John: swap back, Meena: go to jail, Donna: refuse the Stranger’s deal. Which meant Donna didn’t get her family back, but the alternative to me seemed like giving in to blackmail!

I did the same. I would say though that I wasn't particularly invested in the endings either way, despite enjoying the stories for the most part. The alien world finale was an entertaining way to bring it together, but also sucked a lot of the drama out that had been building before.

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I posted some further comments in the 'What games did you complete' thread:

 

Quote

Donna's story doesn't even make sense within the context of superpower man; what was his motivation? He wanted a kid to keep forever for...sexytime? A concubine? Regular chess player? We don't know. Why does he also erase complete randoms? When asked by Donna, he says they got in the way, but that doesn't explain all the women Viv talks about seeing. And, of course, how does Donna even exist when her mum has been erased? I mean I know Back to the Future isn't a documentary, but even so it understands erasing parents wouldn't work out well for poor Marty.

Now I agree that the Handsome Man stuff isn't key to the story, but then it exists purely to get Donna to the alien world, and seems to do so in the most contrived way. And, yeah, the whole 'how do you exist' isn't addressed. As I said in the Game Pass thread, where the whole purpose of the game is the story, it makes it harder for it to hide when I feel there's a misstep.

 

For Meena, well, none of her story actually matters except to set up a rather forced end-state choice (though I felt that was a simple one to make - to prison it is). Again, there's a lot of stuff that doesn't really go anywhere. As for John & Jack, theirs at least felt a bit more thought-out and seemed to have a proper start, middle and end. Again, the end state choice was a no-brainer for anyone that isn't a sociopath (;)).

 

Incidentally, for Donna I refused the deal. I thought that accepting the unknown of what the Handsome Man was offering wasn't right for her character, because she hadn't given much thought for her family at any point (even when she finds out her mum is in really bad shape, the only answers you can give are all about how *she* feels, not about Emma or how she can help her mum).

 

I know I may seem really down on this - and the last chapter really did disappoint me - but I'd still love more games just like this, because it was wonderfully relaxing to play through.

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I loved it, every minute of it, all the way through. I like magical realism as a genre though (Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell are favourites of mine) and Last Stop in its glorious janky Britishness often felt like several eras of Doctor Who all entertainingly jammed together.


The final chapter was brilliantly batshit: I had no problem with it and it existed to inform those final choices for the characters.

 

Almost everyone seems to have made the same choices for John and Meena. The only choice I struggled with a bit was Donna's, but refusing the Handsome Man's offer after all he'd done seemed like the right thing to do, and the ending scene was hopeful.

 

Donna's story was, I thought, the weakest of the three but it really had its moments even so and the portrayal of the Handsome Man as this terrifyingly unknowable power was perfect, I think: more exposition would have spoiled it.

 

I hated Virginia but this was a triumph. Brave to Game Pass for yet another superb game that would otherwise have pased me by

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1 hour ago, Garwoofoo said:

Donna's story was, I thought, the weakest of the three but it really had its moments even so and the portrayal of the Handsome Man as this terrifyingly unknowable power was perfect, I think: more exposition would have spoiled it.


The great thing about Donna’s story was its spot on portrayal of teenage life. Petty arguments with the family, hanging around bored on street corners, jealousy and rivalry between friends, awkward romance.

 

It was the same with the others, really - they all seemed like realistic characters thrown into bizarre circumstances because their day to day lives were so ordinary and well observed. Even Meena who was the least ordinary in terms of her career still had a terrible work life balance, disintegrating marriage, poor relationship with her son, office politics and so on.

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This was alright I thought. Chose Meena to swallow her pride because I wanted her to get a bad ending, the narcissistic sociopath. Would have enjoyed playing her more if a) I could have learnt into her sociopathy more, and b) if there were consequences to her actions

 

I did feel disappointed that no actions had any consequences. Even the "last time" recaps ignored your choices.

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Thought this was alright. Budget for making it seemed to run out around Chapter 4.

 

Meena: jail

John: swapped back

Donna: refused deal

 

I don't agree with the BttF criticism. The stranger wasn't going back in time and changing things, he was erasing them from existence and memory now. They're fundamentally different things at a story level. 

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Hmm. I don't know how I feel about this. I finished it, which suggests I found it compelling (and it's the first and only game I've actually finished this year), but by the end I just wanted it over, to be honest.

 

The stories felt too disjointed until what felt like a finale from a totally different game. The whole last chapter felt poor.

 

Donna

Donna refused the deal. Her mom was on death's door, she didn't like her sister, she wasn't really friends with Becky and Viv was a twat anyway, so it made the most sense. 

 

John

I swapped bodies back. John was in a wheelchair and trying to find a job. He was still friends with Jack and agreed to see him down the pub later that week as they walked home with his daughter.

 

Meena

Meena agreed to Pete's blackmail and went to work in a cubicle. It seemed the most fitting ending for her horrible character, to take the coward's way out yet again. The ending showed her miserable working in a cubicle and walking her son home but stopping at the end of the path. She gave him a hug and he ran to the front door where his dad welcome him in, nodded at Meena, and closed the door. She walked away down the street.

 

And then I went back and tried the alternative endings...

 

Donna

Agreed to the deal, her hand was marked. She woke up the next morning to find her mom, sister, her sister's fiancee and Viv all in the kitchen drinking tea and being happy. She looked down at her hand, saw the mark appear again, but then looked up, smiling.

 

John

Decided to stay in Jack's body. Jack was sent home to recover and eventually graduated from his uni course and could walk. A photo was taken of them all at his graduation. There was something about legal guardianship of the daughter but it cut away from it too quickly to see.

 

Meena

Quit and went to jail for the murders. Her son and husband visited her. Her son ran to give her a hug. Once they'd sat down, her husband put out his hand and she took it, indicating their relationship was on the mend, all things considered.

 

So the 'right' choice for each character seemed to lead to a miserable ending, and the 'wrong' choice (at least from my point of view) led to a more upbeat ending for everyone...

 

So yeah, overall the game was more interesting early on and the ending shit the bed.

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Oh, and I genuinely think it would have been far better without all the other worldly shit at all. Just have John and Jack’s story be a silly freaky Friday situation, have Donna’s be about kids over their heads when they smack a dude out cold and tie him up and watch their relationships break down and have Meena’s just be a solid little conspiracy spy story. Remove all supernatural or alien shit completely, it was by far the least interesting part anyway. 

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46 minutes ago, Doctor Shark said:

John

Decided to stay in Jack's body. Jack was sent home to recover and eventually graduated from his uni course and could walk. A photo was taken of them all at his graduation. There was something about legal guardianship of the daughter but it cut away from it too quickly to see.

I paused as I watched the other endings on YouTube and they are letters saying (I'm paraphrasing) 'Now you are out of hospital we need to visit you to make sure you can look after your daughter' - John was hiding them because, obviously, Jack he was bed-ridden at that point.

 

And yes, I thought the other world stuff was rubbish (as I've posted above) but whilst your alternatives are interesting, there's nothing there to tie the characters all together, which was one of the selling points of the whole thing.

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Well they did come up with a reason for them to come together but it was just rubbish and considering it was contrived situations and macguffin central, that's saying something. 

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Just played though the first couple of chapters, don’t really want to read too much of the thread for fear of spoilers but I want to bump it for visibility.  Really really loving the vibe, the representation of London is absolutely fantastic too.  🥰

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Finished this tonight.  
 

Ended up with:  Meena swallowing her pride. 
                           John swapping back

                           Donna accepting the deal

 

As has already been said I think the earlier game was far more intriguing, but even with that ending I enjoyed myself enough to want to check out the alternate endings another time.  So all in all a Game Pass win.👍


 

 

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6 hours ago, Waggo said:

Finished this tonight.  
 

Ended up with:  Meena swallowing her pride. 
                           John swapping back

                           Donna accepting the deal

 

As has already been said I think the earlier game was far more intriguing, but even with that ending I enjoyed myself enough to want to check out the alternate endings another time.  So all in all a Game Pass win.👍


 

 


I also finished this last night, and made the same choices. Was thinking I’d be the only one reading some of the earlier responses!

 

My thinking….

 

For John, it was straightforward. He’s a honest guy and couldn’t see him screwing over Jack by taking his body. Plus it made it easier for him to look after his daughter. 
 

For Meena, I thought the ‘swallowing pride to protect family’ would signify her de-prioritising her work and putting her family first. Taking a boring, lesser role would mean less time at work out of hours and more time with her family. Disappointing to see that she was still made to move out but the hug from her son makes me thing it was the right choice (she gets more time with him that she would do if she was in prison)

 

For Donna, she’s saving her friends and family. Yes, she seems to be a classic teenager but can’t imagine how she’d live with her choice in future as she got older knowing she had a chance to save them all and she didn’t take it. This was she gets to live a full life, as do her friends/family. God know what she’ll have to go through after but it was a selfless act (and she still has hope that she can find a way out of her deal in the future I guess). 
 

I found Donna’s the hardest choice though, primarily because the mystery remains of what the stranger wanted her for (and I’m fine with the mystery remaining - we don’t need answers to everything). 
 

All in all, I really enjoyed this, and it’s another game I’d have been unlikely to play were it not for game pass. 
 

One thing I am curious about though is the different play times I’m seeing when I look it up on my Xbox friends list. I was four hours something to complete it, but a couple of people are 7 hours. How can it be so different for such a linear game? I guess it could be people going back to get all the achievements maybe?

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I didn't think I had Meena really swallowing her pride when I selected the option.  She was just playing a long game in avoiding jail. Another bit of spycraft.  Didn't play out that way but it was fine. 

 

Went for body swap with John as felt that was truer to the preceding bit of story. Didn't feel like he'd chicken out of that.

 

With Donna, I just couldn't select the  slavery/soul selling option. That seemed like a truly grim ending.

 

I didn't think the 'other side of the galaxy' was visually interesting compared to the brilliant London they'd created.  Maybe it would have been too clichéd, but I'd maybe have preferred it look like an alternative London.  As it was, Coldharbour didn't feel like a real city. Appreciate that's a hard production problem, especially for game that was clearly on a budget.  You could argue it's true to its domestic sci-fi/fantasy series influences.

 

Definately not a game I'd have picked up without Gamepass and I really enjoyed playing through it.  

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I didn't feel Meena's decision was to swallow her pride at all, I think that's a strange take on it - it was to save her skin from prison and not for any ethical or moral reasons. 

 

And Donna taking the deal wasn't a selfless act because she would definitely benefit. And her mum was still going to die that night, so she wouldn't be coming back.

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38 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I didn't feel Meena's decision was to swallow her pride at all, I think that's a strange take on it - it was to save her skin from prison and not for any ethical or moral reasons. 

 

And Donna taking the deal wasn't a selfless act because she would definitely benefit. And her mum was still going to die that night, so she wouldn't be coming back.


It suggested her mum pulled through as she was sat at the table with all the others during the ending cut scene if you chose to take the deal. 
 

I still think it was selfless overall though - she’s sacrificing her long term happiness (for god knows what) to give 5 other people their lives back. That feels pretty selfless to me (although yes, agree that she gets something out of it too in the short term). 

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42 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I didn't feel Meena's decision was to swallow her pride at all, I think that's a strange take on it - it was to save her skin from prison and not for any ethical or moral reasons. 

 

And Donna taking the deal wasn't a selfless act because she would definitely benefit. And her mum was still going to die that night, so she wouldn't be coming back.


I don’t disagree, but the option was literally “swallow pride” so that’s what they were clearly going for but, like many things in the game, they didn’t land it. 

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4 minutes ago, Bushtopher said:


It suggested her mum pulled through as she was sat at the table with all the others during the ending cut scene if you chose to take the deal. 
 

I still think it was selfless overall though - she’s sacrificing her long term happiness (for god knows what) to give 5 other people their lives back. That feels pretty selfless to me (although yes, agree that she gets something out of it too in the short term). 

I forgot her mum was at the table, but she was still dying, there's nothing suggesting she's been cured of whatever she had. But regardless, by definition it's hardly a selfless act - Donna would benefit from her sister and friends being around for a long time, not just the short term.

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I would never normally purchase a game like this, but loved every minute of it, nice relaxing game/story. This is what i love about GamePass, you unearth some real gems.

 

I also loved the scene when john and Jack are playing the piano in the pub....great tune 

 

 

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Finished and really loved it.   Interesting to see where people went with their endings, for me it was all about the journey but I went with: 

 

John: swapped bodies back.  To me this seemed like the most obvious "right" answer to do, if he wasn't a dad then maybe I'd have just disappeared with the new body and started a new life somewhere else but I can't see how he could have abandoned his daughter just so he could have a six pack for ten years.  I thought she was awesome btw, arguably the best character in the game.  

 

Donna: did not take the deal.  Her story really lost it's way towards the end, it felt like a first draft of a decent premise  but needed a bit of tightening up. I liked her as a character and I loved the whole scenario at the start where they played the bored teenagers fucking around dynamic perfectly. Her sister was incredibly one dimensional and her mom was practically non existent.  The deal sucked though, she's gonna have a rough time getting through school without her family but her mom's days seem numbered anyway and she's drifting apart from her sister.  Literally selling your soul to get that back seems like a shit deal. 

 

Meena: Stayed with the company.  She just made me laugh.  Maggie Thatcher haircut and the Terminator vision were hilarious.  Like John though, I figured protecting the family was most important.  The relationship with her husband may or may not be salvageable but 30 years inside for a double murder she didn't commit so she can get visited once a week at best? That's gonna suck for everybody. 

 

 

I played on Game Pass and it's really generous with achievements isn't it?  I think I got 32/35 on the first play though.  Is there a level select after you've completed it so you can see the other endings and mop up achievements? I'm not an achievement junkie at by any stretch but the 1000 on this seems so easy to get I'll totally go back in. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

Donna: did not take the deal.  Her story really lost it's way towards the end, it felt like a first draft of a decent premise  but needed a bit of tightening up. I liked her as a character and I loved the whole scenario at the start where they played the bored teenagers fucking around dynamic perfectly. Her sister was incredibly one dimensional and her mom was practically non existent.  The deal sucked though, she's gonna have a rough time getting through school without her family but her mom's days seem numbered anyway and she's drifting apart from her sister.  Literally selling your soul to get that back seems like a shit deal.


Everyone seems to ignore the fact that it wasn’t just her family, but her two closest friends too. Whilst I can see what you mean about her family (although I still don’t think her behaviour means she doesn’t care), her friends are arguably the more important part of the deal here for her, and why I think she’d take the it. 

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10 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

Meena: Stayed with the company.  She just made me laugh.  Maggie Thatcher haircut and the Terminator vision were hilarious.  Like John though, I figured protecting the family was most important.  The relationship with her husband may or may not be salvageable but 30 years inside for a double murder she didn't commit so she can get visited once a week at best? That's gonna suck for everybody.

There's no suggestion she was being framed for the shootings I don't think, more manslaughter (I guess?) for doing nothing to help Amy? Whilst he showed pictures, the implication I took was that there was CCTV footage that showed she didn't try to help and as we know, didn't report being there.

 

And that ending shows that she parted with her husband anyway because she always put the job first - something she is now locked into doing forevermore because she didn't take responsibility for her actions.

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Loved this game.  
I really thought The Stranger was going to turn out to be her dad. Just the way that she starts to adapt and remember people he’s erasing towards the end suggests she might be more like him than straight out human. 

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I really liked this a lot, it felt a lot like good Doctor Who. In some respects I almost wish this wasn't a game but a TV series instead. This team is great at camera angles, jump cuts and shot framing, the writing is good and the voice acting and soundtrack really makes it above and beyond what I thought it would be to start with.

 

I'm interested in the reasons behind the choices you've all made at the end. They seem to be the only real choices in the game (the rest being variations of "the magician's choice"). For me I thought I'd just chose what seemed right but after reading through these I think my choices may well have been informed by my upbringing (Catholicism as well as my mother's philosophy that the right choice is often the hardest and unlike TV will mostly lead to poor outcomes. "Do the right thing but don't expect thanks or accolades."

 

My choices then.

 

John Swapped back. To not do so would have been theft of the worst sort (and arguably manslaughter.) Also it seemed the least complicated way to raise Molly if it did work out. Easy choice.

 

Donna Took the deal. Here's the thing. Initially I thought he was pulling them out of existence. But the descent into the portal seemed to suggest some awful half conscious purgatory. Freeing them (and her friends and I assume everyone else stuck in that pit)? It's one persons welfare over many others. I didn't feel great about it, it was obvious early on they were dangerous, but near the end they were outwardly abusive and into gaslighting. This felt like the bleakest ending for one person at least.

 

Meena Stayed with the company. 

 

15 hours ago, Gabe said:

And that ending shows that she parted with her husband anyway because she always put the job first - something she is now locked into doing forevermore because she didn't take responsibility for her actions.

 

Very much this. I felt that this end was perfect. I felt that by the end she had redeemed herself and that in reality rather than being rewarded that usually leads to one having to walk the hard yards knowing that you did the right thing for others even if they might never know or even care. And there's a certain irony in this fate.

 

I had no problem with the magical realism and wasn't disappointed by the final chapter. I kind of love that it made a hard left turn from a normal grounded London landscape to something that looked like John Carter...only to find that the girl who fell through a portal decades ago was now a pub landlady who didn't need rescuing. That might seem anti climatic but it reminded me a lot of The Longest Journey and some of the quieter Dr Who episodes.

 

Took five hours for me. I'm a sucker for recaps but I mostly followed the critical path.

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