Immortality, the third game based on Sam Barlow’s FMV (Her Story, Telling Lies) is the developer’s most ambitious game to date. But being so ambitious it can also get quite confusing as you match up three different movies set in three different decades to try and figure out what happened in the movies why none of them are ever out and – most importantly – what happened to their main star, Marissa Marcel.
The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, so there’s a good chance that even if you complete the game, you won’t have seen the over 200 clips in it. Additionally, rewinding some clips shifts the scene into an alternate reality (which we’ll call “the subverse”), there are countless chilling clips depicting an androgynous-looking blonde woman and man (credited as “The one‘ and ‘The other,’ respectively). These two elements are essential to the plot, and here we will also explain what they are.
Piecing together the story of Immortality is a bit complicated, as there are not only the events that take place on camera or are directly referenced, but also the backstory and the supernatural happenings that are enigmatically revealed by the One and the Other in the secret clips. .
So let’s get started.
Who are the scary blond man and woman?
The two creepy blonde people who appear in the subversive scenes are The One and The Other One. They can be thought of as demons, entities, or muses, and have been around for thousands of years, if not forever. They are parasitic – able to “devour” the hosts they become. that exist beyond human perception. The One is fascinated by humanity and wants to explore its extremities like sex, violence and art; it turns out that being Marissa and performing in the movie business becomes the perfect way for her to do that. Even though she and The Other One are parasitic, The One develops a certain affinity with humanity, which might explain why she so often oscillates between being teary-eyed and creepy during her scenes.
The Other, on the other hand, is apathetic – even dismissive – towards humanity, and simply wishes to use human vessels to continue existing. Even though the One and the Other are very intimate with each other and clearly a unit, their divergence on this point leads to critical conflict later on.
Throughout the game, One and The Other “devour” two people each: One devours Marissa and John Durick (the DoP on Ambrosiusand later the director of Minsky and two of everything). The Other devours Carl Greenwood (the actor who plays the detective in Minsky) and Amy Archer (the black-haired woman in Two of Everything).
The Muse Theory
Whatever their species, we know there were “many more” of both genders, but by the time mankind arrived there were only a few left. – or even just both. This gave rise to the theory that these two are the last remaining muses of Greek tradition, there were nine in total.
This would certainly fit with the fact that Marissa is very clearly a muse to John, and also why they are so drawn to film, given the mythological association of Muses with poetry, theater and other art forms (you you can bet that if cinema existed in ancient Greece, they would have too!). The One even mentions at one point that she was Jesus when he was crucified, and orchestrated the crucifixion as some kind of grand work of art.
Pretty extreme, but you have to admit that all the imagery of Jesus on the cross has caught on pretty well).
Immortality Plot Synopsis
Marissa Marcel is a young French woman. As a girl during The Second World War, she was left for dead and possibly sexually abused by German soldiers (this is alluded to by The One, which is about discovering Marissa as a little girl, as well as a rehearsal scene for Two of Everything , in which the sound of German soldiers is heard as Marissa’s character is sexually assaulted). When The one “rescues” Marissa, she essentially becomes her, using her body as a vessel through which to integrate into the human world.
The One is drawn to the extremities of human expression – art, sex, violence, which is why she/Marissa are drawn to the kind of films they end up in.
Marissa’s feature debut is Ambrosius – a bloody and deliciously sacrilegious Giallo-style film about a Catholic priest who abuses his position to indulge his lowest desires. It turns out that he is being manipulated by a woman posing as another monk, who has made a pact with Satan.
During filming, the director of photography John Durick and Marissa/The One become romantically involved. The film was never released, and we learn from The One that it was because the film’s director, John Fisher, stole the negatives.
Marissa’s next shot at film stardom was the 1970 film Minsky, a sex neo-noir film starring Marissa as Franny – a former lover of a renowned artist who is discovered dead with his penis severed. A super New York detective, played by an actor Carl Greenwoodis tasked with solving the mystery, which leads him through a sexually liberated, drug-fueled underground art scene and into a romantic relationship with Franny.
While filming Minsky, Franny and John are apparently “grooming” the relatively traditional Carl Greenwood (who is also the Other) for the role, blowing him on alcohol and drugs. While filming Minsky, The Other One begins to play Marissa against John, saying that John does not appreciate her contribution to the film (which she is co-writing this time). It seems The Other One is jealous of The One’s connection to John.
During filming, Carl Greenwood dies in an “accident” when a prop gun goes off and kills him. While in the real world it was a tragedy, the tension between The One and Other One in the subverse makes it clear that The One killed The Other One/Carl. Later, the actress Amy Archer (who will star in Marissa’s latest film, Two of Everything) gets his hands on the footage of Carl/The Other One dying, looks at it, and in doing so becomes host to The Other One’s return.
Due to Carl’s death on set and Marissa’s disappearance, filming is halted on Minsky.
Another key event that happened during the filming of Minsky is Marissa/The One revealing his true identity to John, who isn’t so positively accepting of the idea that he’s frolicking with some sort of parasitic demon. Afterwards, The One strangles and devours John, becoming him and causing Marissa to disappear. Solid proof of this can be found in the talk show interview with John Durick shortly after Minsky, when the subversive version of the scene shows The One in his place.
We then hear nothing from Marissa for 30 years, which is explained by the fact that she does not exist meanwhile, as his existence depends on The One. When Marissa returns to star in Immortality’s latest film, Two of Everything, it’s because The One is doing something her genre doesn’t normally do, which is being two people – Marissa and John – at the same time. This, as we learn, will cause problems for The One.
Two of Everything is a typically shlocky ’90s thriller about a lookalike for a famous pop star, Maria, (both played by Marissa) who seeks revenge after discovering that Maria has been murdered. Notably, the film also stars Amy Archer, who is romantically involved with John Durick at this point, which is no doubt influenced by the fact that Amy and John are The Other One and The One at this point.
Throughout the film, it becomes clear that something is wrong with Marissa/The One. She seems distracted and even suffers from nosebleeds. In the subversive scenes, The One is heard complaining that “it’s too much”. She seems unable to handle the burden of being two people at once, and in a particularly disturbing bar scene at the end of the film, Marissa begins bleeding profusely from her head and passes out. We are literally witnessing the breakup of The One host. At this point, someone off-screen yells “Where’s John?” suggesting that John may have disappeared at this time as The One was unable to retain both hosts. As Marissa bleeds, Amy calmly holds her back, which is very likely to allow the Other (who resides within Amy) to figure out what’s going on.
It appears that at this point, Marissa is either dead or in some sort of vegetative state. There’s only one more scene that features her, and in this scene she’s completely still, suggesting that she may have “expired.”
The End of Immortality Explained
Once you’ve watched enough clips, you’ll eventually experience what can be called the final scene. With The One no longer able to live through Marissa, and with John gone, she expresses a desire to become ‘immortalized’ by dying on screen as The Other One has done before. Amy/The Other One douses Marissa (now vegetative) in gasoline, then sets her on fire. Watching the few different subversive layers in this clip will lead to the endgame.
After this scene, the menu from which you navigate clips is slowly taken over by The One’s face. Once she fills your screen, she simply says “I’m part of you now”, implying that she’s now using you, the player, as a host!
Pretty cool, huh?
What about all the other stuff?
There are various subversive scenes that depict things that don’t quite make sense. For example, at one point we see The One kill Ambrosio, and in another rather hilarious subversive scene we see everyone naked during a reading session for Ambrosio while The One is having sex with Robert Jones (who plays Ambrosio) on the table.
These scenes probably don’t exist in our reality, but rather a parallel scene in which The One places himself more directly in the scenes. This parallel reality could be born out of his fantasies of integrating with humans through sex and violence (those beautiful human traits), and is mostly tangential to the main plot.
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