‘Stray’’s Post-Apocalyptic World Evokes the Walled City of Kowloon

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In Deviated, you play like a cat. For many, this is a microphone worthy of an instant purchase, and Blue Twelve Studio, the former Ubisoft employees responsible for the game, know this clearly from the beginning, Deviated shamelessly touches the traverses memories of Gat.

Where do I start? Press O to meow. Hammer L and R to scratch trees (and furniture). You purr from the corners and rest in the corners. The interludes see you waltzing with a keyboard, doing somersaults on the pianos, and terrifying board games. And while DeviatedThe ginger cat is just a ginger tabby, not as long or genetically mutated or struggling to breathe as the most famous internet cats will, just like Untitled goose gameThe goose before her, still provides rich fodder for memes. Thanks to a partnership with Travel Cat, there is even one Deviated-Thematic collection of harnesses and backpacks capable of carrying “25 pounds of cat in its sturdy, well-ventilated chassis.”

There has been a lot of talk about the cat and by the way, here is the star of the show. But I will focus on something else: that is, the seemingly limitless influence of the now-lost walled city of Kowloon.

Deviated it is set after the apocalypse. Humans are gone, but cats are as hardy as cockroaches. (Jonathan Franzen cried.) The game opens on four skin balls that prevent rain in a concrete building wrapped in vines. In your day-to-day life traversing the ruins of industrial civilization, you slide down a crevice, into the darkness, landing hard on a molding sewer. After looking at a lab, you discover a flying drone called B12. This drone will act like the Navi on your dumb link, living in a backpack that closely resembles the one I just mentioned, which allows you, eh, the cat, to perform tasks that require opposable thumbs, such as using flashlights and keys. and a language concept, such as translating Robot into American English.

The scene is strangely familiar. In 1993, William Gibson visited Singapore and retreated in the face of the dystopia he encountered there. As he decompressed on his flight back home, he revealed a vain hope: to see a second vision of an ongoing obsession “before the future arrives to bring it down.” This obsession was the walled city of Kowloon. He wrote: “Dream donkey. Those mismatched and uncalculated windows. How they seemed to absorb all the frantic activity of Kai Tak Airport, absorbing energy like a black hole. I was ready for something like that. “

The walled city, when still standing, stood on the edge of the city of Kowloon, then part of British Hong Kong. Controlled by China as a de jure enclave, it became a political pinball: the British governors of Hong Kong hated it; China would not overthrow him. It was led by five triad gangs, James Crawford explains in an article for Atlas Obscura. There were no “taxes, no corporate regulation, no health systems or planning, no police presence. People could come to Kowloon and, in official terms, disappear. ”Remarkable productivity: Residents produced enough fish balls to supply Hong Kong’s wealthy upper classes, mixed with gambling, prostitution and drugs. all rats, Crawford writes, writhed with heroin addiction.

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