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Frogacuda

Tim, can you answer a few questions about the ending? *SPOILERS*

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SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Ok, first of all, I loved the experience, and it's a comedy adventure so I can forgive plot holes and the like, but the final act's exposition feels like it skipped over an awful lot.

1. What exactly is it that the Thrush need and why do they need Shay to select it?

2. It's said that only a boy like Shay, isolated for 14 years can make this selection, and yet it seems like he has nothing to do with how maidens are selected. The villages select the maidens. This seems reinforced by the reveal at the end that Vella's grandmother is a member of the Thrush (a reveal which begs quite a few questions as well). Shay is just grabbing as many as he can and doesn't seem to have much insight.

3. Why does everyone stop trying to kill them when the ships melt?

4. Did all those maidens just die in the Mog and why doesn't anyone care or acknowledge this?

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I know you asked Tim these but I can maybe them, but not as well as Tim ever did.

OBVIOUS SPOILERS AGAIN

1.) The Thrush are a "Nazi"-Borg like race... so they are about natural selection, but also like the "Nazis" or other super villians, they make plans that don't exactly all add up to make sense. It makes sense to them... but everyone else would be "You are aware 2 +2 = 4, not 5 correct?" and they would say "Hogwash, you are inferior, 2 +2 =5 and I will hear nothing more on this matter".

2.) She is not Vella's grandmother... she is a woman who many many many many many years ago (back when Grandpa Tartine was just a young soldier) who showed up in town and in disguise obviously started to make sure the maiden fest happened. This doesn't change the main question of... if the Maiden's are being selected by some other such person (and in the case of say... Cloud City, who was doing it there and where are all the other residents of Cloud City?!).... but I think some of that has to go with many narratives that to fully answer and explain that away would mean 5 more years of game development to actually deliver satisfying sequences to get past things that maybe don't need to be answered and just... accepted.

3.) My assumption is they didn't stop firing, but that only Mareki actually makes it out of the factory/city alive. The Thrush all die. That begs the question though... so that city couldn't been all Thrush, as Alex, Ray, etc. are also from Verona... so... THAT in itself could use exposition, but as I said above... then the game would come out in 2020. Maybe Tim has design notes on ALL this though. I wouldn't be surprised. Although I don't know if world creates while he designs and scripts. Making a game has to be totally different than a novel.

4.) Maybe I need to watch the ending again but I swear you see the Maidens escape and in the credits there's an image of them being up on Mareki and you see at least one of them in silhouette at the Annual Bridge Crossing event.

(sorry I'm not Tim... but I did find an actual story HOLE (which via phone on the burner hintline Tim confirmed but I'm not sure I should tell everyone about. Also I have a feeling the reveal of Mareki and the conversation between Vella and The Boss covers A LOT of ground that might be hard to wrap around the head and take a few listens/read throughs to grasp.

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Have to say I'm not a fan of characters that do things for no reason. I'm sure there was some reason for the way project dandelion was setup but it is either really unobvious or we simply are not given enough information to figure it out.

The maidens do survive, you see them over on the same side as Vella and Shay's mom after the ships melt. Well presumably all of them survive you don't see all of them.

Would be really interesting to see official answers to these questions.

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Maybe during the meltdown the ship went into emergency evacuation mode and opened all the doors? And then the Yarn Pals found them and led them off the ship?

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Also not Tim, but here's my thoughts on your questions.

1. What exactly is it that the Thrush need and why do they need Shay to select it?

- Basically, the Thrush need Vella's soul. Her inner strength, her desire to survive, her drive to destroy Mog Chothra... that's what the Thrush need. As for why they need Shay... well, see my answer to the next question.

2. It’s said that only a boy like Shay, isolated for 14 years can make this selection, and yet it seems like he has nothing to do with how maidens are selected. The villages select the maidens. This seems reinforced by the reveal at the end that Vella’s grandmother is a member of the Thrush (a reveal which begs quite a few questions as well). Shay is just grabbing as many as he can and doesn’t seem to have much insight.

- As someone else said, that wasn't Vella's grandmother - just the village elder, who's responsible for ensuring the Maiden's Feast goes ahead with the most promising candidates for the Thrush's needs (and presumably the other villages had similar 'moles' in similar roles). That said, they don't really know which of the girls is just right, which is where Shay comes in. Since he's been raised away from the Thrush he doesn't think the same way as them. Remember when the wolf told Shay to leave the last creature behind when he couldn't 'rescue' it, and Shay refused? The Thrush would have just left that last creature behind, and therefore missed out on the very thing they were after. THAT'S why they needed Shay.

3. Why does everyone stop trying to kill them when the ships melt?

- I'm going to quote someone else, and then elaborate on their response.

3.) My assumption is they didn’t stop firing, but that only Mareki actually makes it out of the factory/city alive. The Thrush all die. That begs the question though… so that city couldn’t been all Thrush, as Alex, Ray, etc. are also from Verona… so… THAT in itself could use exposition, but as I said above… then the game would come out in 2020. Maybe Tim has design notes on ALL this though. I wouldn’t be surprised. Although I don’t know if world creates while he designs and scripts. Making a game has to be totally different than a novel.

- I think (and this is just conjecture) that only the high-ranking members of the Thrush - who are IIRC stated to be like a political party - looked liked that, and they were the ones in the factory/city that blew up. The rest of the people in Loruna are normal people who hadn't undergone the constant genetic tinkering that the Thrush had.

4. Did all those maidens just die in the Mog and why doesn’t anyone care or acknowledge this?

- The maidens all escaped. There was a quick shot of them running out of the ship with the woolly robot things, they're part of the crowd that gathers on the 'bridge' and you can see a couple of them getting quite upset at Marekai in the credits.

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3. Why does everyone stop trying to kill them when the ships melt?

The leader of Thrush said that they became too delicate after hundreds of years of genetic engineering. They used lies and mogs to keep their own citizens and other settlements under control. Since their lies were exposed and mogs are gone there was nothing left to protect their conspiracy.

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One thing I do not get about the ending is why Vella and Shay think it may be a good idea to have a meltdown of both ships. Did I miss anything there? I think vella tells the bad guy it may be better to just build a bridge, which more or less happens in the end, but I would have expected an explosion and not just the ships actually melting.

Another question (not about the ending in this case): I was a bit shocked that vella just went into the room with the fusion orb, while in Act 1 Shay had to wear a protective suit. Was that also a fake danger? I mean, the orb itself obviously is dangerous, but is there actually any radiation? What about Alex' ship? The protective curtains or whatever it was the druids used for their robes sounded a bit fake as well.

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Hope explains that the Fusion Orb isn't actually radioactive, but it is dangerous and unstable. They made up the radioactive part to keep Shay from going anywhere near it.

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One thing I do not get about the ending is why Vella and Shay think it may be a good idea to have a meltdown of both ships. Did I miss anything there? I think vella tells the bad guy it may be better to just build a bridge, which more or less happens in the end, but I would have expected an explosion and not just the ships actually melting.

I don't think neither of them had any intentions of melting the Mogs together. I remember Shay wanted to try and get over to the other ship as in one cutscene his ship had extended a rather short bridge towards Vella's, he thought using Grabby Gary to make the ships hug would connect the bridge or at least close the gap. Vella on the other hand wanted to fire back at the people from Loruna with her death beam, but Alex wouldn't let it run wild for fear of overheating the ship. The Mogs melting is a happy accident resulted from their different intentions.

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(sorry I'm not Tim... but I did find an actual story HOLE (which via phone on the burner hintline Tim confirmed but I'm not sure I should tell everyone about.

Uhm, yeah, you absolutely should after teasing it like this.

Also, I don't think anybody in this thread provided a satisfactory answer to these questions yet.

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Oh, how did you find that?

I think it comes up if you show the completed bomb to Hope.

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I'm also not Tim. My thoughts and personal interpretations:

1. What exactly is it that the Thrush need and why do they need Shay to select it?

The Thrush started as humans (or whatever Shay and Vella are), but through a Eugenics process they've "purified" their blood-line. Although this has given them the cognitive abilities the Thrush value as a society, the lack of genetic diversity has threatened the overall health of their civilization, resulting in secondary mutations (their fragile bodies, translucent skin and weird head deformities).

In order to prevent any further mutation, the Thrush need to inject their population with extra diversity. But they no longer have the same sort of reproductive urges typical human beings do, so when they try to select people for this themselves, they do a poor job. Adolescent boys, on the other hand, have an almost debilitating (yet earnest) preoccupation with the opposite sex.

2. It’s said that only a boy like Shay, isolated for 14 years can make this selection, and yet it seems like he has nothing to do with how maidens are selected. The villages select the maidens. This seems reinforced by the reveal at the end that Vella’s grandmother is a member of the Thrush (a reveal which begs quite a few questions as well). Shay is just grabbing as many as he can and doesn’t seem to have much insight.

My guess is that originally, the mogs would come to villages and abduct folks willy-nilly. Over the course of generations, villages figured out there'd be less destruction and bloodshed if they pre-selected maidens and offered them up right in the mog's path. (I'm sure the "village elders" planted by the Thrush helped them along in this.)

I'd agree about Shay not having as much insight, except the method by which the Thrush integrate the maidens' "impurities" is vague enough that I can suspend my disbelief. It'd be one thing if he were choosing candidates for literal reproduction, but I think it makes sense if he's using "insight" to select the best "spirit," y'know?

3. Why does everyone stop trying to kill them when the ships melt?

I don't think they stop shooting because the ships melt, I think they stop shooting because Marek goes out to try to fight Vella directly (getting his butt kicked in the process). Marek seems kinda important to the Thrush (more Darth Vader than Storm Trooper), so I assume they'd want to avoid blowing him up.

4. Did all those maidens just die in the Mog and why doesn’t anyone care or acknowledge this?

Just before the scene where Shay's trapped on the bridge, and you can see the maidens (and a few hexapals) evacuating the ship (presumably in the same manner that the Tartines were able to evacuate from Alex's ship). The maidens are also visible behind Shay's mom in the final scene, so you know they made it out safely.

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(sorry I'm not Tim... but I did find an actual story HOLE (which via phone on the burner hintline Tim confirmed but I'm not sure I should tell everyone about.

Uhm, yeah, you absolutely should after teasing it like this.

Sigh... allright... I won't give away what Tim told me to explain it completely away while admitting that it was a hole that wasn't plot/writing wise properly fixed in game, but...

we never actually find out what Mom's surprise for Shay was. (and yes, she actually had a surprise for him.)

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Hope explains that the Fusion Orb isn't actually radioactive, but it is dangerous and unstable. They made up the radioactive part to keep Shay from going anywhere near it.

I missed that, and as a result asked Tim during the help line what the long term effects of Omicron radiation poisoning were.

He said, "Uh... You grow really tall? And gain a bulbous forehead?"

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Hi y'all!

Just noticed this thread! Great questions!

I'm traveling right now, but when I get back to office I will answer them all (at least I think I can) but I need access to my dialog database so I can use actual dialog from the game to explain things. In my mind, this is all explained in dialog (especially with Levina, Shays Mom, Marek, and the Thrushmaster). But writers always miss something, so we'll see.

Talk to you nxt week!

-Tim

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Hey Tim, when you get a chance to rummage through your notes, care to reveal some treats that didn't make the final cut?

Did you envision ending as such, or was there more?

Totally understand if this is asking too much :)

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Hi, Tim! Glad to see you're reading this!

I've got two questions too, if you don't mind. :-P

1) Shay seems to have forgotten that his parents are human. Is this part of the SPLARGH treatment? Is this part of the whole Thrush "therapy"?

2) In act 2 you're supposed to solve Shay's puzzles using the clues accessible by Vella, and vice versa. Is there a real mental connection between them? This is not clear and many gamers/reviewers think it's a just a cheap way to make the game harder. I'm sure there's a narrative reason, because you've deliberately used this approach several times, especially in the final puzzle.

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1) Shay seems to have forgotten that his parents are human. Is this part of the SPLARGH treatment? Is this part of the whole Thrush "therapy"?

This theory always sounded off to me but I have no hard facts to back this up.

2) In act 2 you're supposed to solve Shay's puzzles using the clues accessible by Vella, and vice versa. Is there a real mental connection between them? This is not clear and many gamers/reviewers think it's a just a cheap way to make the game harder. I'm sure there's a narrative reason, because you've deliberately used this approach several times, especially in the final puzzle.

The player is supposed to be an active force in the game universe, in this case acting as a kind of intuition for Vella and Shay. I think there was a post by Anna who clarified this.

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The player is supposed to be an active force in the game universe, in this case acting as a kind of intuition for Vella and Shay. I think there was a post by Anna who clarified this.

Anna did not clarify this, she just said she liked this explanation. If no clear answer is given, this is as good an explanation as any. ;-)

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The player is supposed to be an active force in the game universe, in this case acting as a kind of intuition for Vella and Shay. I think there was a post by Anna who clarified this.

Anna did not clarify this, she just said she liked this explanation. If no clear answer is given, this is as good an explanation as any. ;-)

Hm. I thought she said either on the forum or in a game club chat that this was sort of the idea.

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Well no, I think the post I at least had in mind was this one: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/16862/P25/#381698

Which indeed could be interpreted either way, as Diduz76 said.

By the way, I find interesting that we are looking for an explanation. I mean, I went through the whole Day of the Tentacle in this way, without even thinking that Bernard, Laverne and Hoagie weren't communicating their intentions to each other. And I could also mention Zak McKracken and its "yellow crayon" puzzles (although there's a strong idea of a "new-agey" mental connection among Zak, Annie, Melissa and Leslie).

IMO, we are questioning Shay and Vella's actions because we feel Broken Age is deeper than Day of the Tentacle, story-wise. The game is more serious and more meaningful than a (wonderful) straightforward funny romp. I don't think Broken Age is perfect, but it sure is mesmerizing. :-)

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By the way, I find interesting that we are looking for an explanation. I mean, I went through the whole Day of the Tentacle in this way, without even thinking that Bernard, Laverne e Hoagie weren't communicating their intentions to each other.

OTOH, for DOTT there were actual physical objects going back and forth all the time and therefore the player would be more used to the idea that the different stories interlock and it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that you could send notes the same way you could send actual in-game objects. I still think there was a "huh, how does she know this?" moment for me but it's been so long, maybe I'm imagining things.

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By the way, I find interesting that we are looking for an explanation. I mean, I went through the whole Day of the Tentacle in this way, without even thinking that Bernard, Laverne e Hoagie weren't communicating their intentions to each other.

OTOH, for DOTT there were actual physical objects going back and forth all the time and therefore the player would be more used to the idea that the different stories interlock and it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that you could send notes the same way you could send actual in-game objects. I still think there was a "huh, how does she know this?" moment for me but it's been so long, maybe I'm imagining things.

For me, yes, with DOTT the thing is that it's demonstrated that they can communicate. So I'm satisfied that this happens off screen. Considering you don't need to physically put the items in the John and get them out, it is a logical assumption that you miss the conversation leading up to the item transfer.

In other words I could make a film or a book of DOTT and explain exactly how they solved all the problems on screen/paper so that the viewer understands. But right now I feel like I could do that with BA without making some very heavy assumption about the nature of the connection between Shay and Vella

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For me, yes, with DOTT the thing is that it's demonstrated that they can communicate. So I'm satisfied that this happens off screen. Considering you don't need to physically put the items in the John and get them out, it is a logical assumption that you miss the conversation leading up to the item transfer.

You got a point. I don't think many of us thought about that at the time, though.

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For me, yes, with DOTT the thing is that it's demonstrated that they can communicate. So I'm satisfied that this happens off screen. Considering you don't need to physically put the items in the John and get them out, it is a logical assumption that you miss the conversation leading up to the item transfer.

You got a point. I don't think many of us thought about that at the time, though.

Not consciously, perhaps? But you are logically led to it through the progression of the story. So that the concept of flushing the battery plans is the first thing that's introduced, and the cutscene involves Dr. Fred shouting at Hoagie and telling him what to do (I'm going from memory which might be a little rusty) and so he knows what to do with them. Then from that point on you can pass items by click and drag. So it follows that that's what's happening from now on without having to have an on-screen conversation like:

"Hey, I'm looking for something that might send a horse to sleep?"

"Well I don't think I have anything like that, all I've got is this physics textbook--"

"PERFECT, send it over"

Whearas in Broken Age there are some super vague allusions to intuition in the game, but nothing that really adequately explains how on the basis of Shay hearing a melody, Vella would know what to knit into a navscarf, for example. If I was writing the book of that, I'm genuinely not sure what I'd write. I'd have to write around it, or make the plot point about intuition much stronger, or just implausibly say she got the right combo by chance.

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I think we do see a similar logic In DOTT. In DOTT, Laverne starts out stuck in a tree. The solution to free her is for Hoagie to get the tree cut down. As Laverne is stuck in the tree she could not have communicated her problem. So what motivates Hoagie to go through the trouble of cutting down the tree?

For me the wiring puzzles felt like old fashioned adventure game logic, so didn't bother me one bit. :)

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