“Premortems Lost”

Photo credit: Barret Biggers

Last month, Fumito Ueda, who was director, writer and designer on ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, released the third and likely final work in said unofficial series with The Last Guardian. November 29th, about a week prior, Final Fantasy XV released. Both games had endured abyssal developments since announce—The Last Guardian’s being seven years in duration and XV’s, incredibly, a decade—wherein ‘abyssal developments’, official and unnoficial alike, were almost as common as none at all.

Had these titles not arrested public imagination as promptly and starkly as they did, it’s doubtful either would have been finished; in Trico’s case, we know this as a matter of certainty. And if there was anything more exhausting than reminding the publishers in question that we hadn’t forgotten about these projects, it was being reminded ourselves. Perhaps this is why my Premortems planned for each became such fraught productions: I’d become chronically averse to my own investment in them; I was tired.

Even before experiencing “Episode Duscae”, the first occasion Final Fantasy XV was playable to the public outside of trade shows, I was certain the game would disappoint—the reasons behind which I will detail in my not-Premortem and which, if you followed the project’s development, will be in no sense mysterious. The Last Guardian, though, is legitimate enigma, as is Ueda; I suspect it will remain this, speaking personally, even after the credits have poured away—however vindicated or not my conjectures—simply because conjecture is no longer possible. The landing will be stuck or will not, the scores tallied, the next contestant waiting.

As I do not yet own the platform (I demoed “Duscae” at a friend’s) on which Noctis and Trico have finally landed after endless airtime, but hardly zero gravity, their reviews aren’t exactly imminent. “Premortems Lost”, however, are. And as in XV’s case, which is the case of all things written, these will not be quite as once intended. Yet they will be something, which one hopes is better than less.