Jonas Tarestad about the story of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes

Vagueness and ambiguity was a big part of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. In that sense, it’s a continuation of ideas from The Sailor’s Dream.

The first thing that differs with Lorelei and the Laser Eyes compared to earlier Simogo titles is the size of it all. The amount of text in Lorelei pretty much matches a typical novel. And that’s the text that actually made it into the game. There are so many discarded ideas, that haunt my mind. But unlike a novel, Lorelei consists of hundreds of texts that all form a larger narrative. The games I previously worked on for Simogo were roughly in production for about a year each. I was involved in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes off and on for four years.

Stylistically, there is no clear-cut inspiration for the prose, as the texts are made to look like they were made by many different people. Narratively, we might have taken some cues from Paul Auster and John Fowles; The Magus in particular.

I think a lot of the texts in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes are a natural development of me and Simon sending pastiche texts to each other for fun for more than two decades. These could be fake folk song lyrics, synopses for 70’s action movies, user reviews, political manifestos and general silliness. It’s nice that endless wasted hours were finally put to good use. I think we trained ourselves in mimicking many kinds of texts over several years. This was first put to use in the Year Walk Companion but on a much smaller scale.

Vagueness and ambiguity of storytelling were also used in The Sailor’s Dream, but we took it further in Lorelei. I think Simon and I have been a bit distraught over how pre-chewed a lot of popular culture is today. This frustration definitely manifests itself in the game.