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DISCLAIMER - Pathologic is a dense text, one that is not originally written in English. The nature of translation, especially for something like this, is that you lose a lot of the nuance and context of the original. I'm not a Russian speaker, so everything I'm writing here is coming from my understanding of the English translation. Also, while this page is pretty tame, Pathologic is a pretty M-rated game with M-rated content.

Pathologic is an indie survival-horror game by Ice-Pick Lodge. There are two games; one is the original Pathologic, released in 2005 (and then re-released in 2015 as Pathologic Classic HD) and the second is Pathologic 2, released in 2019. Both games follow a similar story; Pathologic 2 is a sort of remake/remaster/sequel/alternate retelling of the original. There is also another entry to the series; not quite a full game, but more than just a simple demo - The Marble Nest. Pathologic takes place in a remote town that becomes wracked by a deadly plague. The story follows three healers - Bachelor Daniil Dankovsky, Haruspex Artemy Burakh, and The Changeling, Clara - and their efforts to fight off the plague. Each healer has their own philosophies, goals, and ideas on how to solve the issue at hand. The games are famous for being less like video games, and more like literature with survival mechanics. For the past almost 20 years, Pathologic has been pretty niche and obscure, due in part to an extremely botched English translation upon release. (GO ONION!!!) In recent years, the game has recieved renewed interest thanks to a couple of factors - the re-release and re-translation of Pathologic Classic in 2015, the release of Pathologic 2 in 2019, and online creators directing more attention towards both of these games. Many people experience the game solely through playthroughs and video essays. It's by no means an invalid way of experiencing the story, it's how I got into it, but if you have the time and ability, I highly encourage playing the game(s) for yourself.

Pathologic Classic
Pathologic Classic is my personal favorite of the two games. Because of the presence of all three routes, (currently) it feels more complete. I'm also very fond of the atmosphere and even the graphics, not in spite of how dated they are but because of it. I think Classic gets a bit of a bad rap because of the aforementioned graphics, as well its infamy for being incredibly difficult. I think this isn't quite fair; while yes, the Pathologic experience is purposely slow, tedious, and painful, I don't think Classic is as deserving of the "the best game you should never play" label it's been given over the years.

Pathologic 2
Though Classic is my favorite, make no mistake, Pathologic 2 still has its worth. People online love to say that Pathologic 2 is easier and more fun than Pathologic Classic. They are lying. It's more punishing. All that aside - Pathologic 2 makes many changes to the original, some good, some bad. The graphics are more modern, and genuinely very impressive and often hauntingly beautiful. It takes a lot of ideas and story elements from the original and presents alternative versions of the original story. I look forward to this game being completed with the routes of the other two healers.

I'm currently playing through Pathologic Classic. I got to Day 3 or 4 of Pathologic 2 before having to drop it. (I was borrowing someone else's copy and PlayStation LOL.) I haven't had the opportunity to play The Marble Nest, but I've heard very good things. Gameplay and graphic-wise, it's very close to Pathologic 2, but has its own small self-contained story centering around Daniil Dankovsky.

The narrative of Pathologic as a whole is a fascinating and often soul-crushing one. The task of discussing it in detail is way too big for a small webpage like this - there's a reason people have written, and continue to write, essays about the story. As stated before, it follows three healers in a town wracked by a deadly plague over the course of 12 days. The game is full of fascinating characters and interesting stories. What's most appealing for me is the characters, both the healers and the other characters you meet while playing as them. Each of them has an identity, a life, a story, and a painful journey they go on throughout the story. I genuinely think it's a great, interesting game with a lot to unpack, which is maybe a little bit silly for me to say on a page where I'm definitely not doing that. Pathologic is extremely dense and this is a page that can be boiled down to 'I like this game it's cool." It's deserving of in-depth analysis, praise, and criticism alike. Analyzing texts and writing my findings is not my strong suit - so here are some sites and people who have done that in ways I really enjoy. Please check them out.

The Gorkhon Archives
This is a fantastic site chock-full of Pathologic info and fan works.