Today is National Lighthouse Day, go play To the Moon

Everything’s Alright

We have a lot of silly “holidays” in the United States, when we don’t actually take off work but instead just take a few minutes to think about a thing we maybe don’t often think about. Today is National Lighthouse Day, so let’s talk about lighthouses for a bit.

One time in college I bought a calendar with lighthouses on it as a joke. I mean, I needed a calendar. I didn’t need lighthouses. But I liked the juxtaposition of having four twenty-year-old guys living together, eaten ramen cooked in a barebones kitchen whose only decoration was a lighthouse calendar. Maybe you had to have been there.

Turning to video games, my first thought was the BioShock series, since lighthouses play an important role. “There’s always a lighthouse. There’s always a man. There’s always a city.” Indeed, the beginning of BioShock Infinite was trippy, since it begins the same as the original title did, but quickly takes an upward turn when the lighthouse turns out to be a rocket and it launches Booker up to Columbia.

But everybody knows BioShock. Instead, I’d rather turn your attention to the lesser-known indie title To the Moon. A lighthouse also plays a key role in the story about an old man who wants to go to the moon but doesn’t know why. It unfolds in a sort of reverse chronological order over his life as a couple of scientists uncover the reasons he can’t even summon. It’s equal parts goofy and heartwrenching, and it’s a story that will stay with me for years, even though it only runs a few hours.

And that song! My gosh, that song. Anybody who hears it can tell it’s an emotional piece, but those who played will have an even stronger connection. I know it gets me teary-eyed every time I hear it.

So yeah, go play To the Moon if you haven’t already. Or if you want to celebrate some more video game lighthouses, there’s a whole Tumblr set up for it (though it doesn’t have too many entries).

Darren Nakamura
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.