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Old 06-01-2015, 08:28 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2015
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My fully fledged interpretation of the story

I posted this in another thread, but wanted it to have its own thread as the other one is pretty dead. 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.

Bonus trivia:
The circuits are allegedly related to the brakes of the car. This is likely an excuse that Paul clings to in order to deny his drunk driving being the cause.

One of the Morse codes in the game spells out the name of one of the destinations related to the crash.

The number 21 appears often in the game, and is famously used as the "number of tragedy" in literature.

"Chemicals" are mentioned in various parts of the game and certain chemistry related diagrams are shown as well. Some of these are related to "brain synapses" (source: other forum thread) and a lot of them to ethanol/alcohol. It's very likely that Paul is a chemist, as the narrator describes meeting Paul and him being a chemist, which once again supports that the narrator is Paul as he sees these chemistry symbols on his imaginary trip to the island.

Last edited by Brutalinax: 06-01-2015 at 08:43 AM.
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