Let’s Play Along: “To the Moon” Act II

The fabulous Nathain at Time to Loot is hosting a play-along of To The Moon, a game that follows two doctors as they try to grant a dying man’s wish to go to the moon (roll credits), although they aren’t quite able to discern why he wants to go to the moon.

There are unmarked spoilers below for the second act of To the Moon, so proceed at your own risk! Check out our spoiler-filled responses for Act I here!


I’m woefully behind with these posts, but let’s start with the questions posted concerning Act II.

  1. When Eva was sitting, thinking about the reasons nothing at all changed in Johnny’s simulated memories — what conclusions do you think she reached? What conclusion did you reach?

Eva is a pretty smart individual – at least she is portrayed that way so far – and seems to be very perceptive to the details of Johnny’s life and romance arc. I think she concluded that the lack of change didn’t have anything to do with a lack of exposure or opportunities to explore the astronaut path. Perhaps she thought that there was something else – or someone else – that was stymieing his desire or ability to go to the moon. Considering what we saw in the last act regarding Johnny’s interest in and handling of River’s diagnosis, my thoughts went immediately to River being the “problem” keeping Johnny from achieving his dream to go to the moon.

  1. The block on the youngest memories and the use of beta blockers… What do you think this will be all about?

Beta blockers are used in the physical world as a pharmacological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) because, simply, they can reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety and can, perhaps, reduce the “strength” of the long term memory. This of accessing memories like driving down a highway. Beta blockers could chop up the road so getting to the memory is harder.

Please note that this is an off-label use of beta blockers. Also please do not use this blog for medical advice. If you are have stress-related symptoms, or any medical symptoms that are distressing to you, contact your doctor.

Back to the game. I think if beta blockers were being used on a child, it would mean that the child, in this case Johnny, must have gone through some sort of traumatic event. Since altering every other memory didn’t change the “outcome” of Johnny’s life, I’m thinking that whatever is behind the beta-blocker curtain is going to be the memory that changes the game, so to speak. I can’t imagine any trauma involving River, so I’m thinking something must have happened to Johnny.

  1. What about Neil taking off for a moment while Eva returned with the… ahem… Contained dead squirrel odour? What could have been so important to him?

I thought about this a lot. At first I thought that maybe he remembered something he had to tell Eva, but he didn’t tell her anything that seemed particularly urgent, so whatever is going on is something that is only his issue. I thought maybe he had another job going on that Eva didn’t know about…

There is a part of me that wonders of Neil is another patient, because Eva refers to him as a child, and at the beginning of the game they talk about not wanting to work with dying children, to which Eva, if I remember correctly, appears uncomfortable talking about. If that’s the case, maybe he had to exit the simulation to have a doctor’s visit or take medicine or something.

OR maybe Eva’s a patient, although for some reason I think that’s less likely. Eva doesn’t seem like the kind of person whose dying wish would be to manipulate peoples’ memories, but I could see Neil wanting to be a scientist of some sort, and thinking that this line of work was sci-fi-sounding enough to sound cool and fun.

  1. We still have the third act to come. What do you think it will focus on?

Whatever is behind the beta-blocker curtain, so I think we’re getting to the inciting incident of Johnny’s desire to go to the moon, and discover whatever stopped him.

I’m looking forward to the finale in Act III! Have you played To the Moon? What did you think of the big reveals from Act II? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

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  1. You know, I didn’t even notice this until just now — but these are the Act 3 questions! xD From your answers, it sounds like you’d made it through Act 3, but still mentioned looking forward to Act 3 in the end!

    I’ll move link to this post into the Act 3 section to avoid inadvertently giving anyone clicking through a spoiler. Hehe.

    Otherwise though: Yay for someone else taking Neil’s side on that exchange! Like you, I had zero chill during that section. Just… None at all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah! All good. Moved the link back to the Act 2 section. 🙂

        Now, with these questions — main thing that I’m curious about is what about Johnny’s handling of River’s diagnosis in particular lead you to think River was the blocker?

        Was it that perhaps despite not wanting to know more about it, he felt obligated to stay?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Haha thanks and sorry for the confusion!

          In a strange twist, I thought the block came from Johnny just being so invested in River that he didn’t want to invest his time anywhere else (either because he loves her and doesn’t want to leave her, or because he feels responsible for her, depending on how optimistic one feels about their relationship).

          To say it another way, I think I just figured that River was such a main part of Johnny’s life that *she* would play a part in the reason he didn’t go to the moon. He gave up his dream, for the sake of his true love (aw).

          …also, I figured that kind of story development would cause the most conflict and drama for Johnny and the scientists 😛

          Liked by 2 people

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