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Tutankhgeek

Alternate Character Interpretations

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I was browsing the Psychonauts Wild Mass Guessing page on TV Tropes when I saw someone had posted this gem:

Morry's father was not, in fact, a complete monster.

He was simply a butcher, and the rabbits were his. That is to say, "Mr. Bun" wasn't technically Oleander's pet; he and his fellows were in fact rabbits raised to have tender, delicious meat — a specialty for which Mr. Oleander was locally famous, which enabled him to sell the rabbit meat at relatively exorbitant prices, which went a long way towards keeping food on his family's table.

He never said that the rabbits were only good for their meat, but that they were bred and raised specifically to be butchered and sold, in that order. Little Oly was simply too young to understand this, however, and his psychic powers granted him a much higher level of empathy towards the rabbits than even the average middle class child in an industrialized nation (which is, to say, a heckuva lot), which would only make the reality of their inevitable slaughter seem all the more horrible to the impressionable young Morry.

So, while what Mr. Oleander did might seem reprehensible at first glance, from his perspective it would have been no worse than a farmer sending a cow to the slaughter. It might have been a tad callous, since Little Oly almost certainly would have shown fairly obvious signs of emotional attachment to Mr. Bun and his ilk, but no one has ever said that sensitivity and sentimentality were character traits conducive to being a good butcher. My point here is that, ultimately, Mr. Oleander was just providing for his family in the only way he knew how — by cutting up animals for their precious fat and proteins, which he could then sell to the masses at a modest profit.

I find this fascinating. It just makes so much sense. But then it got me thinking, what other characters might be different on closer inspection? Is Bobby actually a great guy? Is Raz, in point of fact, not awesome at all? Is Sasha, upon close examination, really a wacky sex maniac?

Why not make a game of it then? Take a character from your game of choice who would seem to be one thing, and then, using simple, clear logic, provide an alternate interpretation. (Or failing that just make sh*t up.)

(P.S. I was going to put this in the Psychonauts forum but really it could apply to any game you like.)

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I don't know, I don't ever remember thinking that the game was particulartly symbolic. And I'm not sure believing in the 'Sasha is only pretending to be stoic and serious' theory really counts...

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Personally I think Ophelia and Drowned Ophelia are completely different beings, and that in theory both could exist at the same time-- Drowned Ophelia pretty much being the personification of Ophs' anger and heartbreak. The way I see it the only reason the real Ophs isn't around at the same time as DDOphs is because she's physically trapped under all that water. Er, tears.

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