Harry managed to get himself sent to Kurt’s farm where he has been building a balloon to try and escape. Kurt, on learning his son was killed by Barret in front of Harry has left to hunt Barret down and seeks revenge. Harry leaves in his balloon, and hopes to catch up to Kurt before he is killed. And I finally finish one more game in my Steam Library.
Harry finds himself flying over Belgium. His first time seeing the war from above makes him realise the sense of scale.
Meanwhile Kurt is climbing a mountain to find Barret. The soldiers here ignore him for the most part, telling him he’s already lost.
When he reaches the cabin at the top we learn that Barret has a new cameraman working for him.
We listen in on him, and see he is mourning the loss of life during the war. Kurt understands none of this, of course.
We descend into the basement before we switch back to Harry.
Harry is questioning whether Kurt is worth saving, if he is still a friend. Friends trust each other, and Kurt no longer trusts Harry.
We go back to Kurt and sneak around Miller, the new wine-fetcher, and manage to get up to the attic.
When we drop down into the room, we find it empty.
We look around and get close to the front door when Barret kicks it open, knocking Kurt down.
The major ties him up and begins questioning Kurt about the photos he possesses.
We have a brief cutscene where Harry talks about choosing between saving Kurt, or going home to Julia, and becoming a famous photographer.
We are back with Kurt now, who is being interrogated by Barret. He asks how he knows Harry, if he killed him or not. Their frustration with each other grows as they can’t understand each other. We are given several dialogue options and eventually Kurt tells Barret why he is really here.
Meanwhile Harry has to make a choice. This part confused me a little – I couldn’t figure out how to actually choose. But I made the choice I wanted. We would go and save Kurt.
We jump a little between Kurt and Harry here. Barret asks about the photo of him holding a gun to Max’s head.
Harry thinks about Katrin and Lucie, how they need a husband and father.
We cut to Kurt who is tied up and about to be executed by Barret. Barret decides to take a picture of the moment. While he leaves to get a camera, Kurt breaks free of his bonds.
Kurt runs away and Barret starts shooting at him. Meanwhile, Harry decides to release his pigeon. He’s found Kurt once before, maybe he can do it again.
Then Harry realises he doesn’t know how to land this thing.
We see a countdown appear. We have 5 minutes until peace.
Harry picks up Kurt’s rifle and runs toward the gunfire he heard.
Barret catches up to Kurt and starts to monologue.
Kurt manages to grab a rock. He knocks Barret to the ground and takes his gun.
This is the moment Harry reaches them.
What follows is a fast paced conversation where we choose our dialogue based on quick time events. It’s hard to follow and you have to choose what to say in a split second. I don’t say this as a criticism – it actually helps emphasis how chaotic, angry, and confusing this conversation is.
I press Barret to tell us if he killed that prisoner or not. Barret dismisses the questions, saying that we have all lost someone in the war.
Eventually more Allied soldiers show up, and our last choice is to have Harry lower his gun. No one is killed. We countdown the last few seconds until peace.
Our characters fates are now revealed. Harry is shunned when he returns home. He is seen as a traitor. even by his love, Julia.
Kurt is imprisoned. He regrets not killing Barret, knowing that he will never get justice for Max. His only solace is that he can return to Katrin and Lucie soon.
Barret is decorated as a war hero. He will never face any consequences for his actions during the war.
So that’s another game finished now. Or is it?
An achievement popped up after I finished the game: “Peace Ending Unlocked”. This is a game with multiple endings, so it is worth replaying to see how else this can play out. There are also several collectibles that I missed, so there is reason to go back and explore earlier chapters. I really enjoyed this game, and I think I will actually go back and do these things.
The ending I got is an interesting one. Peace was achieved. Harry, Kurt, and Barret all survived. Yet, only Barret got what he wanted. The recognition he arguably didn’t deserve.
Kurt never found his son. He couldn’t even get justice or revenge for his death. The game makes it clear that Barret murdered Kurt’s son – Max was a POW at the time, tied and bound. While many of the rules of engagement were different in World War I, by modern standards it is definitely a war crime. So at the very least, justice should have come for him.
Harry lost everything. He joined the war to impress Julia. And to become a great war photographer. Instead he is shunned and seen as a monster by everyone.
Harry talks about how people back home would have seen Kurt at one point in the game. He says they would just see him as another German monster, a murderer. He experiences this hate first hand when he ends up in a German village. He may not understand the language, but he still sees their hate as they tell him he is a murderer. Even Kurt accuses him of murder after seeing the last picture of his son alive.
The irony is that neither of these characters kill anyone. Kurt is a radio engineer, Harry a photographer. Until the final scene neither of them even picks up a gun. They are perhaps the most innocent a soldier can be during an all out war. Yet that is not how they are perceived, even after the war.
Harry is shunned by society. Kurt is locked up as a criminal. They have lost everything. They are both casualties of war in a way. And these are just two of the many millions who suffered and/or died for the war.
The world is at peace after the Great War. Will it be worth the cost?