Here is the third and final part of my Tell Me Why review. As I mentioned in the previous two parts, this was a challenging piece to work on as I was very much out of my comfort zone with the way I wrote about each chapter. However, I’m proud of how it all came together in the end and I’m happy to finally have the last part for everyone to read.
Note: This review contains spoilers relating to the storyline of the game.
Chapter Three: Inheritance
After an emotional end to Chapter Two, I was ready for what the final chapter of Tell Me Why had in store for me. Similarly to how the last segment opened, I was greeted with the Ronan twins telling a story from the Book of Goblins. There seemed to be a much darker theme to the story that was starting to become more apparent while the twins introduced me to Chapter Three.
I was curious to see how my experience with Tell Me Why would end but at the same time and at this point, I didn’t want it to end. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
Fading away from the Book of Goblins, Alyson appeared on screen. I knew almost instantly that this was Alyson living some kind of nightmare. Reliving the past thoughts over and over again in her mind while she was sleeping. I could feel just how scared and upset Alyson was while she tried to fight her way out of the nightmare. However, was this nightmare trying to confuse Alyson and distort what she knows really happened?
With Alyson now awake and trying to figure out why these flashbacks were happening, it was clear just how significant the argument with Tyler the previous night had on her. While trying to not let the flashbacks and anxiety take over, I joined Alyson on collecting some documents from around Eddy’s house and making a quick gift to take to Dee at the police station. I still had a few unanswered questions from Chapter Two and after only just starting Chapter Three, I was already coming up with more questions.
The next thing I knew Tom and Michael was at the door checking in on Alyson. Even though I knew Tom was a close family friend and also Alyson’s boss, I couldn’t help but feel suspicious about him and his motives. I’ve felt this way about Tom’s character for a while, but I couldn’t figure out why.
Now that Tom had left, Alyson was able to talk to Michael about how she had been feeling. The feeling of overwhelming anxiety about moving to Juneau, selling the house, and the argument with Tyler but, also the flashbacks too. Michael was incredibly understanding, reassuring, and offered Alyson advice. The pair talked a little more and Alyson asked if Michael would be able to go and visit Tyler and just talk with him to make sure he was also okay.
One thing that I’ve always loved to see throughout the game is the relationship between Alyson and Michael. They’ve known each other for many years, and it was nice to see how that friendship has developed to where it is today.
Now that Michael was off to see Tyler, Alyson set about her day as she originally planned despite how she felt. Lunch with Dee seemed like it would be the perfect escape and also a time to catch up, sadly, things did not go to plan, and lunch was cancelled. I guess you could say these things happen every now and then.
Suddenly the mood shifts. There’s a big sense of panic and worry as you witness Alyson have a panic attack. While she admits she has suffered from them in the past, they had recently started again and this seemed to be one of the worst ones. At this moment I really wanted to give Alyson a hug myself and tell her everything was okay. After using the breathing app installed on her phone, she confided in Eddy who found her sitting outside the police station. This moment hit hard with me and I could really relate to how Alyson was feeling at this time. I felt scared and upset for her as she was trying to fight all these emotions and thoughts. Seeing Eddy come and help her was reassuring however I wasn’t ready for what would happen next.
Sitting in Eddy’s office Alyson was presented with two choices. Either tell Eddy the truth or not talk about it. I chose for Alyson to come clean. I was nervous at this point as I didn’t know what to expect next or if my decision would be a major plot twist in the story. During the conversation, the topic of Sam being the Twin’s father came up. Eddy denied that it was him however both Alyson and I were still suspicious and decided to go and confront Sam in person.
Was I about to uncover another major turning point within the story or was I just going to get the answer I expected when confronting Sam? I guess you could say it was the latter. While I was disappointed, I was also somewhat relieved. Sam’s character was incredibly close to Mary-Ann, but there was always something that didn’t sit right with me about their relationship, but I guess now that was the least of my worries as Sam had shed light on something neither Twin knew about the Barn. That happened to be the secret loft that had long been forgotten about.
Before I had a chance to find out more about this secret loft in the barn the game took me over to play as Tyler. Tyler was sitting on the dock reflecting on what had happened. I felt sorry for both Tyler and Alyson, but something told me that they would be okay in the end. Michael had of course been asked to go and check on Tyler to make sure everything was alright. One thing I was hoping to see was how Tyler and Michael’s relationship would develop. After their interactions in the previous chapter, I was optimistic to see that they would become closer, and I wasn’t wrong. It was lovely to see Tyler happy amongst everything that was going on.
After coming to terms with the fact that he had maybe pushed Alyson too far the previous night, suddenly both twins were back together and Alyson broke the news to Tyler about the secret loft. I was intrigued to discover what Mary-Ann had hiding in the loft and I honestly had no idea what it could be. I really wasn’t expecting what was up there though. It was the Book of Goblins but full of puzzles. I couldn’t help but think that there was something else hidden amongst the puzzles especially after I found the locked chest. Confused by what could happen next, I set about trying to figure out each of the puzzles, the meaning behind them, how it linked in with the Book of Goblins, and what this all meant. Needless to say, I was somewhat shocked when I found out what was contained in the chest. I was sad for both the twins and Mary-Ann but also relieved at the same time. Naturally, this threw more questions at me. Knowing I was getting closer to the end of the game I knew time was running out to find these answers.
Who was the man at the dock the night Mary-Ann died? Who tried to set fire to the barn? Who was the twin’s father? All these questions and yet something inside me was telling me that I already knew who this person was. I just needed a sign to confirm that my suspicion was right.
Needless to say, I didn’t have to wait long. After leaving the barn the Twin’s called upon Tom to come to the house, so they could talk. With my questions finally answered I felt an odd sense of relief, but I was also angry that Tom (and Tessa) had acted the way they did towards the Ronan’s for all this time. What I wasn’t expecting was for Tom to reveal that he saw Alyson kill Mary-Ann on that dreadful night. I felt that with this new information that this would change the ending altogether. I knew that the next move was for Tyler and Alyson to talk and go back to the dock one last time.
I was faced with one last big decision in the game. Was I to choose to believe the twins’ memory or Tom’s memory from that night? I spent a few moments deciding who to go with. Do I follow my heart or go against that? I settled with Alyson’s memory as I felt that was the memory that accurately reflected the events of that night and that was portrayed throughout the story.
With the decision made the game took me forward six months and Tyler was packing up the last few things from the house and heading to Juneau to see Alyson and Michael. I felt happy for the twins for overcoming the challenges they faced and excited for them in this new chapter of their lives.
I know that the game came with multiple endings and I feel that the one I experienced was an accurate and true reflection of my time with the game. While chapter 3 did answer many of my questions it did give me a couple more. How did life in Juneau turn out for the Ronan twins, and why did Mary-Ann keep Leo a secret from them for all this time?
Tell Me Why has been an incredible game to play through and experience. I felt I could really connect with the characters through various aspects of the story as well as emotionally throughout the game. I felt the game was paced well, and it was easy to pick up and carry on from where you last left off. The chapters flowed perfectly into one another and there wasn’t a moment where the game was confusing due to the decisions I made in-game.
What really stood out to me was how DONTNOD ensured that two main aspects of the game were thoroughly researched and represented in a respectful manner. The teams worked alongside various organizations to ensure that the game accurately and respectfully represented several communities. Firstly DONTNOD worked with GLADD for Tyler’s character and the Huna Heritage Foundation to ensure the representation of the indigenous communities in rural Alaska. The fact DONTNOD has been very open about the research they undertook to ensure the game was created in the right way also drew me into playing Tell Me Why.
Overall Tell Me Why has been a fascinating and wonderful game to play through, and I would highly recommend anyone who has been unsure about playing it to take the time to check it out.
Could more adventures await Tyler and Alyson in the future?