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Old 07-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #31
landomatic
 
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Chill out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightseifer View Post
You see the shadow of a bird, but no reflection.
You find 3 eggs, but 4 dead gulls. Titleing this *SPOLERS* The ending explained Makes you an . It can be your thoughts, but it is not necessarily the ending. or even an accurate conclusion.

But, if you haven't completed your playthrough, this would be a spoiler post. In fact, revealing anything in a title, be it a movie, game, book, etc., if they haven't been completed by your audience is "spoiling" some aspect of it for them. Also, as this is an "interpretive," ambiguous game, explaining the ending could merely be describing the events as they occur, not necessarily deciphering them. It intrigues me that the title of this post forces such a reaction to call some an , in lieu of this type of "game" and those that may be attracted to it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #32
landomatic
 
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Originally Posted by Hermanaki View Post
maybe she was pregnant? and he is "writing" letters to the baby?
As the game is entitled Dear Esther it's likely Esther is either the narrator's child, signifigant other, or unrelated victim in the crash. Part of grief relief, as has been explained by grief counselors is often writing letters to the departed to help bring closure for the loss. As there are at least 2 ultrasound pictures in presumably the "Bothy" or 2nd house you find it seems to suggest Esther was pregnant at the time of the car crash. Also, if you die in the game and are told to "come back" (respawn) the pulsing sound you hear is a rapid heartbeat sound from a fetal doppler stethoscope, used snyomously with Ultrasound imaging.

Also, as the game is the Steam Engine, I found in the console that your savegame files are entitled "Paul." So, is it possible that you're Paul Jakobsen, writing to whomever you may have caused the loss for? At one point a different older man's voice narrates carrying paul on his back as well.

Last edited by landomatic: 07-17-2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:32 AM   #33
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what if most of it isnt really a metaphor, what if his wife died and he got a job in the sea to forget about it, meanwhile the boat crashed in an island, with time he started to write letters to his wife to try and be closer to her, the loneliness started to make him crazy and depressed and we play as his last time alive, he starts to see people, maybe his crew mate or an old friend or even some other survivor that ended his life before, the bird at the end is a symbol of freedom, finally he was free from that lonely island.
i didnt finish the game yet by my own so i am probably missing many things :P
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:49 AM   #34
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oh and i realized he talks about the number 21 sometimes, from what i know 21 is the number of tragedy, maybe it helps some of you to solve this a little more
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piliwili2 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeydubbs View Post
You clearly see a bird shadow at the end. I don't think the entire tale is literal. But, to me, it's pretty clear the player avatar turns into bird.

I don't get what happened.

Spoiler:
I think the narrator killed those two while drunk driving. In his drunk/medicated head after the crash, he learns all of this and manifests it as an island. The island is a metaphor of the pain hes going through. I'm assuming Ester was related to him, possibly his child, through all the 2nd person references to him/her. Then the bits about Paul Jacobson being a shepard, that throws me off.


I'm fairly confused.
DUDE I HAD THE SAME IDEA!!!

He's full of regret because he and paul drinked together.

They died in a car crash. That's why the main character sounds so sarcastic and angry near the end: OLD PAUL WITh a drink in his hand. I think Esther is his wife or sister because it seems weird he talks that way to his child.

I thought the same thing too. The narrator also mentioned his "addiction" is "the cheap fermentation of yeast", so he could well have been an alcoholic.

Last edited by schwepterbrowse: 08-12-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #36
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So I played it through a second time. If I'm reading this right, the narrator and Paul were in one car on their way home from something in Exeter, where they had both been drinking, and they collided with Esther's car. Esther was killed upon impact (possibly along with her unborn child). Paul nearly died at the scene, but he was revived. He did, however, suffer a closed head injury which left him with brain damage (the "dented bonnet").

But that wouldn't explain how the narrator and Esther knew each other. It seems like all three of them were acquaintances, and it's very likely that Esther was his wife or child. At one point he mentions how he chose to have her cremated rather than buried, because her body was so horribly mangled by the crash. That wouldn't be his decision to make unless he were her husband or father.

I think Esther was the narrator's daughter, and she and Paul were either married, or engaged to be married. In the end, when he refers to them as Esther Donnelly and Paul Jakobson, it's a reference to the anthropologist Donnelly coming to the island to find the hermit Jakobson, so Esther and Paul must have had a relationship with each other. Maybe they were heading back from Paul's bachelor party?

I don't understand the significance of the number twenty-one, though (it took 21 minutes for the medics to arrive at the crash scene, it took 21 zaps from a defibrillator to restart Paul's heart, the narrator made 21 paper boats out of his letters to Esther, which he then filled with her ashes). My best guess is that Esther was 21 years old, and it's his guilt over being responsible for her death at such a young age.

I don't think the island is a metaphor for anything. The player is an actual person on the actual island. The proof of this is when you enter the caves. You fall in the hole, landing with a very audible thud. You can hear yourself breathing heavily as you come to, and you see your broken flashlight on the ground where you fell. Whether or not the player is the narrator is another story.

I wonder if the person you are playing as is Paul. Left crippled and alone by the accident, you decide to end your life the same way the narrator did, so you retrace his steps.

Last edited by SanchoKobe: 08-10-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #37
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I was just listening to the Dear Esther soundtrack and there are 4 variations of the 'Remember' track: 'Remember (Donnelly)', 'Remember (Paul)', 'Remember (Jakobson)' and 'Remember (Esther)'.

If Esther is Esther Donnelly and Paul is Paul Jakobson, why would the names have separate and differing tracks?
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:05 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanchoKobe View Post
...He did, however, suffer a closed head injury which left him with brain damage (the "dented bonnet")....
"bonnet" is an English term for the hood of a car.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanchoKobe View Post
I wonder if the person you are playing as is Paul. Left crippled and alone by the accident, you decide to end your life the same way the narrator did, so you retrace his steps.
This the feeling I got from it about halfway through. Whenever the narrator states some event happening you find the evidence of it shortly after usually. But likewise he states the events as a journey to the aerial. I thought I was the narrator at first as well but I later felt I was following the narrator.

Specific events I remember are

Breaking the leg the first time after you jump down the hole.
-You the player sees no signs of this injury.

He mentions stitching up his leg in order to continue his journey.
-Right after this you can find a cave with the medical supplies he used.

He mentions making the boat letters and sailing them off which you then find.

He starts babbling more and more while talking about his substance addictions, pain pills and alcohol.
-As this progresses we see the words on the wall increase in frequency and in the last chapter you find the paint can and brushes used to do this as if we have found the tools our predecessor used.

You could say that these things manifest as he thinks about them walking through the purgatory of his mind but it seemed more to me like following and then joining our belated narrator.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:58 AM   #40
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Now, first, lets get one thing clear, there is no correct interpretation, as the story was written with the purpose of not adding up, however, if we assume that the author made this happen by combining multiple storylines, then we can approximate them and judge for ourselves which is the most viable one. I find that this one answers absolutely every question. Hope you enjoy.

Here's my interpretation:
The narrator is actually Paul, and you play as Paul in the game.

There's only 2 characters in this game. Paul Jakobson and Esther Donelli. These are revealed to be their full names, and the song on the soundtrack "Remember" has 4 variants which are named each of these 4 first and last names.

Paul Jakobson was engaged to Esther Donelli (you can find an engagement ring in one of the houses), which is why they do not have the same last name yet, despite obviously being lovers. Paul Jakobson crashed the car that both of them was in while drunk driving. The narrator and the player are both Paul Jakobson. We know this because the narrator alludes to himself being an alcoholic when he mentions his addiction to "the cheap fermentation of yeast", while it was made fairly obvious that Paul Jakobson drunk driving was the reason behind the car crash. It is also worth noting that the writer says that the story is about "redemption", which makes a lot of sense as the player is Paul. Another pointer towards this is that the save-files in the game are named "Paul", in other words the player is definitely Paul. As the player has access to thoughts of the narrator that could not possibly have been carried over to anyone else, it's safe to assume that Paul is indeed the narrator. (Narrator=Paul=Player).

This is the story of the crash, anyway, where things add up fairly nicely. However, this story was purposefully written to be ambiguous and not add up, as the author stated in an interview. This is why the island itself has many possible interpretations.One thing is certain though, the player is not walking on that island in the game. Personally I believe the following to be the one that has the most merit:
Paul is in a coma after the accident. The narrator mentions that Paul was found frozen dead to the nerves or something along those lines, and that he was dead for 7 months but not decomposing (not possible). This is a very obvious way of describing a coma. At one point a metaphor for a broken skull can be found as well (A dented bonnet). Pauls comatose state is almost explicitly confirmed near the end when the narrator describes Paul as "A useless bloody gull on the side of the road", while also getting somewhat defensive towards Paul saying that the crash was fated (adding even more credit to the narrator being Paul). The pain medication referred to is being administered to him in the hospital that he is at. The hospital bed found on the road is where Paul realizes that he is currently laying, but as the road is the last place he saw it's the only surroundings that he can match with the bed. When you dive into the water for too long, you hear a voice saying "Come back". Which is someone begging the player to be revived as Paul's heart stops. The narrator also makes a reference to being revived at some point but I forgot the exact words used. The broken leg is a metaphor for him not being able to move (this is particularly likely if we interpret the "I have become a broken leg" quote as less of a poetic metaphor and more of a fairly accurate description of reality), the infection is a metaphor for him slowly dying, and the kidney stones is a metaphor for constant unbearable pain (possibly emotional as well as physical, but likely also a reference to a spine injury in the lower back, if we assume that the part in which he talks of a kidney stone operation is in fact when he was revived after the car crash and slipped into a coma). At the end of the game, Paul finally dies, after being in coma for several months, and goes off to join his fiancée Esther in death, the flight of the bird being a metaphor for his soul being set free. This is made pretty clear as you can hear a "flatline" beep followed by another "come back" at the end, possibly meaning that the player died in the hospital. Everything else in the story, specifically the story of the island and the people going there, including the narrator, is actually a reference to a book that Esther Donelli researched and wrote about the legendary hermit and the place itself (Donelli was the name of the author, so it's either Esther or a relative, but most likely her due to relevance). It is likely that they actually visited it together, and he recalls it, even though they never found the caves that they looked for, which are in the game (He mentioned Donelli never finding the caves despite looking for a long time). This whole theory becomes incredibly solid when looking at the following narrator quote: "He still maintains he wasn't drunk but tired. I can't make the judgment or the distinction anymore. I was drunk when I landed here, and tired too." "He" refers to the person responsible for the crash (Well established to be Paul) But then the narrator goes on to say that he was both tired and drunk when he got to the island as well. In other words, he was driving while drunk and tired before crashing, and then found himself on an island feeling drunk and tired... comatose purgatory island anyone? Also, if anyone finds it weird that the narrator refers to both characters as people besides himself "I will fly with Esther Donelli on my left and Paul Jakobson on my right.", then remember that the story is written to confuse you, the narrator is a false character created for this very purpose, but is in fact Paul talking about himself in third person. Therefore everything that Paul tells happened after the car crash is his own imagination, including cremating his wife and everything related to his final trip to the island to slowly die, as the caves on the island most likely didn't even exist but was merely folklore from the hermit legend.

PS. Horrible bonus theory: Esther may have been pregnant when she died, as implied by the 3 eggs found in the nest.

PPS. Alternative theory: Esther is actually alive and well. The voice asking to "come back" is actually her beside him, and the female ghost throughout the game is actually a manifestation of her. "Come back" is very distinctive from "Come here", as one would expect someone speaking from the afterlife to say, meaning that the person asking this is certainly wishing for Paul to come back to life rather than die, which once again is reinforced by the fact that near-drowning triggers the "come back", as it is a metaphor for almost dying. This is a viable theory as he mentions briefly regaining consciousness after being "revived" and says that everything appeared blurred, and isn't certain if "you" were among the people he saw. If we assume that "you" is Esther (who else would it be?), then we can assume that Esther may very well have survived the crash. After all, if Paul went into a coma straight away, how would he know what happened to Esther? In extension to this theory, it is possible that the ending is actually him waking up from his coma, after accepting the fact that he may or may not have caused the death of his future wife. But he may still have died as well.

Last edited by Brutalinax: 06-01-2015 at 08:24 AM.
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