Today I would like to talk about something relatively specific. I would like to talk around the idea that we don’t actually know what waits for us after we die, and how some media has attempted to make a story about what might happen. Grim Fandango just happens to be one of these, with the idea that after we die, our soul travels through the land of the dead for an average of about four years before reaching the land of eternal rest. Your personal worth also plays a factor of how much help you get in your travels on the other side, whether it is being a saint or a hard worker. The idea that you have a last chance to redeem yourself after you die is also a factor, as you always have a choice to “work off your time” as they put it in the game. Finally there are ways of accepting punishment for your sins in life, such as being trapped in a foam packed coffin for four years with nothing to preoccupy yourself but a mug. The ideas in this games world do sound very different from what many religions of our world believe, but they do hold the same morals that nearly all of them do too. Being a selfless person, or someone who does tasks for others is considered a productive member of society and therefore gets rewarded in the afterlife. Being selfish or greedy instead has you punished or offers one last chance at redemption. The reasons I am saying this is that what we know can be changed to make interesting stories, and help us better understand why these morals exist. Grim fandango is about a journey, one which we make after death. We don’t know if this journey exists, or if there even is an afterlife. But the quote at the end of the game truly does say it all. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen at the end of the line, so we might as well enjoy the trip.”
This is dedicated to my Aunt, who passed away last week. I hope her golden ticket is waiting for her on the other side.