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Sebastian - ilomilo's Secret Gem
In ilomilo, Sebastian is a support character within the XBLA indie puzzle-platformer’s well constructed world. Throughout ilomilo, Sebastian serves as a tutorial giving intermediary, riding his pet beetle and talking almost quizzical nonsense to both ilo & milo. Explaining the nuances of each new game mechanic, players will encounter him, initially, when stepping on blocks with a lamp-like structure protruding from them.
When these blocks have been stepped upon, Sebastian bursts forth to the sound of a squealing trumpet, spewing lines of dialogue and tutorial at the players. This article looks further into the character of Sebastien -- ilomilo’s tertiary support actor -- and pontificates on the meaning behind his existence. As espoused above, in ilomilo, Sebastian serves as a means of guiding players through newly introduced mechanics. However, to understand the impact of his character on the game world and the implicit contextual nature of his existence, we need to carve out or derive some meaning from the rest of the game’s setting & themes.
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ilomilo - Sebastian Character Profile
In the broadest sense, ilomilo revolves around three separate planes of reality, each interlacing together in the minds of both ilo & milo. The first is the physical reality which coincides with the storybook cutscenes and the 4th wall breaking self -- as you’re playing ilomilo. Sebastian serves as an intermediary force between this and the second plane of reality, the dream or memory state. In this state of memories & dreams, players find the fragmented puzzling that forms the gameplay of ilomilo.
This second reality is purely fabricated from memories or recall, therefore it isn’t entirely tangible and the layouts could be interpreted as mental constructs of the overarching characters Ilona and Milton. The letters between these two exist within the real world or physical reality, as both ilo and milo are facsimiles for the erstwhile lovers Ilona and Milton within the dream state. One is a painter and the other a writer, almost allowing for the creatively designed landscapes their dreams have thought up, contextually reinforcing the game’s level design.
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ilomilo - Sebastian's Importance
Now, this is where Sebastian enters the fray. His own story -- which is played out in the bonus levels of the game -- is known as The Huntsman & The Fox. In it, he recites a fable of sorts, revolving around a huntsman’s quest to kill a fox in order to adorn his fiance with the trophy of his success. This story, while related to the player in the dream state of Ilona and Milton, could have an impact on the physical reality also. For instance, through the fragmented letters found in the game, we learn that the two real life characters meet each other at parks or other locations ilo & milo wander around in the dream reality.
This could mean that Sebastian is recanting his tale to them in the real world, or at the very least, some approximation of him exists in Ilona and Milton’s reality. Further still, the story Sebastian relays could indeed run parallel or completely apart from the two established realities, thus defining a third tangent for the developers to explore. It would be suitable to assume that Sebastian is a guide for the dream reality as well as a fundamental piece of both Ilona & Milton’s physical existence. Further information on these relationships can only be guessed at but one thing is for certain, in ilomilo, Sebastian is one of the most intriguing and purposeful characters.