It’s strange how things keep happening that allow me to relate with the story of Exogenesis on a personal level. Almost two months ago, a person very dear to me passed away and, like Yu, I really want her back. Now, just a few hours ago, I got robbed and lost my phone. It’s a relatively old model (Samsung Galaxy S2), but I still paid good money for that back in the day and I tend to jot down many important notes on my phone (should the robber check its contents, most of Exogenesis would be spoiled for him) since my best ideas come while I’m taking walks. .
Crime is rampant in post-apocalyptic scenarios, and Exogenesis is no exception. There’s actually a scene in the first chapter based on a childhood experience of mine. Now I can say I have a fairly good idea how a direct victim of crime might feel in the game.
Oddly enough, I did not end up with as much anger and frustration as most people I know who get robbed. In fact, I somewhat enjoyed the rush. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still annoyed when I realize I’ve just lost contact numbers, special messages, account numbers I use to pay my bills, and even important photos including one I have with the legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu-san – but that exact moment when the robber boarded the public vehicle (you may have heard of these things called Philippine jeepneys) I was the only passenger of was actually rather exciting.
Until around three years ago, I’ve practiced martial arts, and I know how to disarm a knife even from a sitting position, so I thought of fighting the man with a rusty 6-inch blade in his hand. Unfortunately, he also had this piece of wood around four feet long, and he used it to keep me at bay. The criminal knew what he was doing – if I try to pull, push, or shove away the plank, he can react real quick by stabbing or cutting me. I could not get close enough to his knife to disarm it. With that realization, I started assessing in my mind instantaneously whether it was worth risking getting a knife wound in order to keep my phone, given its monetary value and the valuable data in it.
It was a decision between a potentially life-long injury (death did not cross my mind) and losing a couple years’ worth of files and memories that I can mostly recover even though it would be a pain in the ass, so I chose to concede. I handed over my phone, and the man got off the jeep with his long piece of wood and sizable knife in hand. Had I exposed him as he walked away, no one would dare apprehend the visibly armed culprit anyway, and he was on edge and ready to attack me should I make any sudden moves, leaving me with no other sensible option than to let him go.
I did see a nearby traffic officer across the street, but by the time I’ve hurriedly explained to him the situation and got on his bike so we can give chase, the robber was already able to run off to perhaps his usual escape route (probably a well-hidden one, since the people we asked didn’t see him).
Long story short, it was still a pretty interesting experience, losing the valuable stuff in my phone notwithstanding. I am not saying you should go and catch the thrill of being robbed for yourself; I just felt like sharing the story here because it’s so close to the heart of Exogenesis – it was a crime committed by someone who I believe is himself a victim of neccessity due to poverty. He was underweight, had a shrill voice, when he struck me with his plank it was not strong enough to inflict pain, he did not ask for my wallet (possibly to lessen the damage on me), and he could have easily stabbed me as soon as I first showed signs of resistance like other robbers do but didn’t.
Losing my phone might be a bigger setback than I realize now having just lost it, but I think this is one of those experiences I will look back to fondly, especially since it came at a timely manner – right when I can relate getting robbed to the game I’m pouring my heart and soul on.
Or maybe it’s just time for an upgrade.