Monika’s Pen, or: how DDLC turned the fourth wall into a Shakespearean tragedy.
You remember the ending to ‘What’s Opera Doc?’
The short itself is a classic and considered by critics to be the best of the looney tunes short. But the ending features Elmer Fudd coming across the body of Bugs, as carries him away in tears he sadly says to himself: ‘What have I done? I killed the wabbit.’ while the music swells, Bugs comes to, turns to the audience, and for the first time in the short, speaks without a tune: ‘Well what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending?’
Now if you went up to me and asked what that was, I’d tell you that it’s just a fourth wall break.
Since most everyone knows what the fourth wall is, I won’t explain it here, just wanted to give a quick example, is all. But the thing about the phrase, braking the fourth wall, is that it’s always been seen as a form of comedy, nothing but a clever wink and nod to the audience meant to get a rise out of you.
Lately though, story tellers have been using the fourth wall in a different way. The Dark Tower novels used the idea of creations meeting creators to bring up some fun ideas, and while I haven’t seen it yet, I’ve heard Wes Craven’s new Nightmare has fun with creators being chased by creations. But where those were just something the writers no doubt were playing around with and testing out, another format of stories have begun using the fourth wall to tell rather disturbing, thought provoking tales.
Underneath the keep reading tab is my thoughts on what this all means for the future of story telling. But it does contain spoilers for both Doki Doki Literature Club and Undertale, two games that you REALLY should go into as blind as possible, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And please keep in mind that this is just my opinion, I’m just telling you the realization I had after playing both these games.