Posted By Robert G. about 9 months, 3 weeks ago
Note: The following contains spoilers. You have been warned.
As we saw last time, Lost Odyssey is a game all about loss. This theme is expressed in simple tropes such as immortals suffering from amnesia, to the more complex, such as the lost memories that characters like Kaim suffer from. Kaim also becomes emblematic of this theme as he goes on a quest to regain his losses, despite how apathetic he thinks he feels.
But to really understand the motivations behind Kaim, it is important to look at his wife, Sarah Sisulart, and his two grandchildren, Mack and Cooke. Kaim, of course, is the main character of the game, but what drives him forward is not just a sense of justice and his sub-conscious desire to find meaning in his life, but also his connections to his family, no matter how much he struggles to remember them.
Sarah is a pivotal part of this. An immortal like Kaim, Sarah and he were once married and had a child, Lirum. As we saw last time, Lirum seemingly committed suicide in front of her parents by jumping off a cliff, although we learn later that the immortal Gongora was responsible for orchestrating this moment. Devastated, Sarah disappears from Kaim’s side, and begins to reside full time in their former home for years, donning a disguise as an “Old Sorceress.”
Like Kaim and the other immortals, Sarah has no recollection of her memories, suffering from amnesia. She does, however, keep her memories in some respects. She writes down important facets from her life in a journal, and, being a spell caster, she is more attuned to the spirits and to deep emotions. Because of this, Sarah reads her journal regarding Lirum and, overcome with grief and despair, spirals out of control into a deep depression.
When the Old Sorceress is confronted, a boss battle between the party and Sarah ensues. Unlike the other bosses in the game though, this one is a fight to prevent Sarah from essentially committing suicide. Yes, that’s right–an immortal is attempting to commit suicide.
While the leap in logic here is a bit hard to ignore, the symbolism behind this is what should be focused on. Sarah, succumbing to despair, decides to act upon that strong emotion through “death.” It is implied that the death Sarah will receive is one that will just erase her memories again. The boss battle has you destroy four crystals that protect Sarah, as she does damage to herself. The crystals are named “Bodies of Thought,” which imply that they are her lost memories that are causing her pain.
So in effect, the suicide here is just a symbolic gesture to purge her memories. Sarah can’t cope with what she lost, and decides to act on it through the most extreme method. Even after eliminating the bodies of thought, Sarah is still unruly, only snapping out of her depression when her grandchildren recall a more happy memory, one in the form of a lullaby she sang to her daughter. It causes her despair to dissipate, and allows Kaim and Sarah a moment of tenderness despite the loss of memories they both have.
This dynamic becomes important for all four party members. United by blood, Kaim, Sarah, Mack, and Cooke become a family again, one that is now united by a common goal. In many ways this relationship between these characters is what drives them to fight Gongora, both for personal reasons and to, of course, save the world. More motivation comes from the true nature of what Gongora is actually planning, but we learn all about that around disc three of the game….
Essentially, the rest of the game follows a subplot of creating new memories for Sarah to make with Kaim, coming full circle from dwelling in the past to living for the present. We see Sarah and Kaim rekindle their relationship, and vow to each other to take care of Mack and Cooke in place of their daughter. For Sarah, her loss is more positively resolved when compared to Kaim, who constantly finds moments that allow him to remember his past, both tragically and triumphantly. What Sarah lost was her drive to really “live” with what she forgot, but through the love of her daughter and the joy of her grandchildren, Sarah shows multiple dimensions that make her a strong character with character.
However, the story arcs that both Kaim and Sarah endure are the most emotional points of Lost Odyssey. The other two immortals in the party have a more light-hearted affair in coping with their comparative losses, especially when romance is involved….
Please Insert Disk 3