So this game is really about incest right?

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SuchDogeMuchWow
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So this game is really about incest right?

Post by SuchDogeMuchWow » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:10 am

I wrote this in the Steam forums. Wanted to let you guys hear about how all the endings are tied together:

First of all you can tell that Thomas is adopted. In the family portrait, the mother, father, and Gabby all have black hair, which is a dominant phenotype (expressed gene, for all you people who failed biology). Since it is impossible for a blonde son to come from two black haired parents, he was obviously adopted. (NOTE: there are SOME genetic workarounds this, but require statistically improbable assumptions of mixed heritage)

Secondly a common image in the game is Gabby being "stabbed". The knife is obviously a phallus shaped instrument, and Thomas is shown "plunging" it into Gabby, a metaphor for sex. She bleeds in the very first scene we see this, signifying that she lost her virginity to Thomas. Further evidence of their relationship together is in the Final Descent ending where Thomas dreams that they even had a chance to be married. After some episodes of incest (not 100% incest I suppose, since Gabby and Thomas are not related by blood), Thomas's foster parents catch him in the act, and get him institutionalized at an asylum either by bribing the asylum to take him away (the family seems wealthy) or by construing Thomas's incest as some mental disorder.

While Thomas is in the asylum, Gabby kills herself. You can tell this occurred by the numerous "hallucinations" of Gabby's death in game: Falling to her death, death by hanging, ingesting herself (in the Final Descent path, you can find Gabby eating her own body -- destroying oneself, a metaphor for suicide). This is probably because she was truly in love with Thomas. Thomas receives news of this while in the asylum and ends his own life as well likely by finding a sharp instrument and cutting his wrists. You can find evidence of this in some cutscenes, where Thomas is splitting his arm open, thrusting his hand into a meat grinder while laughing (a sign he has gone insane from the loss of Gabby and welcomes his death) or in one of the hallucinatory "endings" where Thomas wakes up in a bed, but with bandages covering his arms. The game and the multiple endings are hallucinations as Thomas bleeds out from his suicide that hint at the true story.

EDIT: I've just considered that the hospital bed ending can in fact be the afterlife. Gabby has already committed suicide and is waiting for Thomas to pass from the world of the living to the afterlife by his bedside. The bandages on his arms indicate that he did indeed kill himself my slitting his wrists and as his life fades from our world, he wakes up in the next and can finally live a life together with Gabby.
Last edited by SuchDogeMuchWow on Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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matt
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by matt » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:40 am

That is definitely an interesting theory! It's not what I had in mind, but the story is open to interpretation, so all interpretations are valid. This is a very thoughtful interpretation that takes into account a lot of the content in the game. Thank you for sharing it.
First of all you can tell that Thomas is adopted. In the family portrait, the mother, father, and Gabby all have black hair, which is a dominant phenotype (expressed gene, for all you people who failed biology). Since it is impossible for a blonde son to come from two black haired parents, he was obviously adopted. (NOTE: there are SOME genetic workarounds this, but require statistically improbable assumptions of mixed heritage)
Whoops! This was actually a mistake on our part. I noticed that Thomas was the only one without black hair, but I didn't want to make the artist redraw the picture because I was hoping no one else would notice. Even if Thomas had black hair, he still could be adopted or it could still be about incest though. I figured I should at least fess up to the mistake.

Anyway, that was really interesting! I appreciate you sharing it on the forum. :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:11 pm

Aha, I always just assumed it was one of those things where kid's hair can sometimes be different colors than their parents. I want to say it has something to do with recessive genes, but I don't know if that actually applies to hair color.

Either way, I never made the connection myself, but one of the LPs I watched also had some incest theories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV0Ao7NH5w4

That adds some disturbing new elements to it for sure.

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gagaplex
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:28 am

Erm, actually, if both parents have one allele for dark hair and one for blonde hair each, then Thomas very well could be blonde; there'd be a 25% chance of that then.
"A" meaning dark hair, "a" meaning blonde hair:

Mother: Aa
Father: Aa

Possible Combinations: AA, Aa, aA, aa

Every combination with at least one A in it would result in a dark-haired Thomas, the last would result in a blonde one. 25% is not that improbable.

Anyway, I guess the incest/not-blood-related incest hypothesis might make sense in tying the different endings together, but I thought the endings weren't even supposed to be compatible to each other.

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SuchDogeMuchWow
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by SuchDogeMuchWow » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:56 am

gagaplex wrote:Every combination with at least one A in it would result in a dark-haired Thomas, the last would result in a blonde one. 25% is not that improbable. .
It's true that you can work with this with the assumption that both of the parents are heterozygous for black hair color, but you also have to think about how unlikely it would be for each parent to be heterozygous in the first place (each parent would need one blonde, and one black haired parent).
gagaplex wrote:Anyway, I guess the incest/not-blood-related incest hypothesis might make sense in tying the different endings together, but I thought the endings weren't even supposed to be compatible to each other.
I considered the same for a little while, but then it almost seemed to me like the endings were too disconnected. The game starts off with one thread that splits into different scenarios. If the endings of each of the paths that branched off the original thread were somewhat related you could interpret the original dream as more of a literal truth (EG: the actions you take in the dream represent reality. The different paths of the dream are all "could have beens" that are similar, yet different). Instead, you have completely different realities -- one where Thomas and Gabby are children, one where Gabby is not his sister, and one where Gabby is his sister, and they are young adults. It's impossible to interpret these endings literally because it's nonsense to think that one dream branches off into alternate universes.

Therefore instead of the dreams literally representing reality, they have to be figurative depictions of it. Any interpretation of this game worth its salt needs to find a way to encompass all of the endings in its explanation

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gagaplex
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:09 am

SuchDogeMuchWow wrote:(each parent would need one blonde, and one black haired parent).
No, that's just the sure way of ending up with an Aa-person because you start out with AA and aa. There are other combinations that would lead to an Aa-parent for Thomas.
EDIT: Actually, that's not even true, it's not a sure way of having an Aa-person as the child. The black-haired parent might be Aa, after all (there's no guarantee that they are AA), with the blonde one being aa (that one is certain), so in that case you'd only have a 50% chance for a dark-haired child (Aa) and 50% for blonde (aa).

So, talking about the parents rather than Thomas himself:
- As I showed above, the chances of a child of two parents with Aa (phenotypically black hair) to be Aa would be 50%, while there's 25% chance each for AA or aa.
- Even if only one parent is Aa and the other is AA, the chance of the child being Aa is still 50% because then it only depends on the first parent's alleles whether the child ends up AA or Aa.

So it's not that unlikely to have two Aa parents. We could start drawing family trees with Thomas' grandparents and so on to calculate the exact probability, I guess. :lol:
But really, I'm just saying: A child of two dark-haired parents having blonde hair is not that surprising.

Regarding the endings:
Eh, I didn't mean the worth of interpretations or whatever. I just think I remember matt saying at one point that the endings were unconnected/not compatible with each other and that he didn't have one particular overarching story he meant to impart. Unless I'm misrepresenting you now, matt, I'd say that means it's much more open how to interpret the game and the combined or separate ending interpretations aren't necessarily more or less right.

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SuchDogeMuchWow
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by SuchDogeMuchWow » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:30 am

gagaplex wrote:
SuchDogeMuchWow wrote:(each parent would need one blonde, and one black haired parent).
No, that's just the sure way of ending up with an Aa-person because you start out with AA and aa. There are other combinations that would lead to an Aa-parent for Thomas.

So, talking about the parents rather than Thomas himself:
- As I showed above, the chances of a child of two parents with Aa (phenotypically black hair) to be Aa would be 50%, while there's 25% chance each for AA or aa.
- Even if only one parent is Aa and the other is AA, the chance of the child being Aa is still 50% because then it only depends on the first parent's alleles whether the child ends up AA or Aa.
So it's not that unlikely to have two Aa parents. We could start drawing family trees with Thomas' grandparents and so on to calculate the exact probability, I guess. :lol:
But really, I'm just saying: A child of two dark-haired parents having blonde hair is not that surprising.
If we go with your scenario of 2 AA and 2 Aa grandparents, the odds of a grandchild being blonde is quite dire: 6.25%. (0.5 * 0.5 * 0.25).
gagaplex wrote:Regarding the endings:
Eh, I didn't mean the worth of interpretations or whatever. I just think I remember matt saying at one point that the endings were unconnected/not compatible with each other and that he didn't have one particular overarching story he meant to impart. Unless I'm misrepresenting you now, matt, I'd say that means it's much more open how to interpret the game and the combined or separate ending interpretations aren't necessarily more or less right.
It's true that he probably didn't intend for my interpretation of the game to be canon. However unless someone comes along with a very reasonable argument about how endings that branch from the same dream, yet turn out completely unrelated, can co-exist and be interpreted on their own, I have to stick with either my theory or another theory that unifies all the endings in a cohesive manner. The game wouldn't make sense to me otherwise.

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gagaplex
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:41 am

SuchDogeMuchWow wrote:If we go with your scenario of 2 AA and 2 Aa grandparents, the odds of a grandchild being blonde is quite dire: 6.25%. (0.5 * 0.5 * 0.25).
I really don't think that a chance of higher than one in twenty can be considered "quite dire". Plus, that way you are ignoring the other setups we mentioned (you yourself mentioned grandparents where one is blonde, for instance).
Even without those additional ones, though, it would fit several million people in my country alone (assuming we could calculate it like that rather than taking the actual allele frequencies in a given population into account).

More importantly, I don't think it justifies the leap to say that Thomas is "obviously adopted". But, frankly, now we're arguing semantics, because we seem to disagree on what would count as rare.
...I have to stick with either my theory or another theory that unifies all the endings in a cohesive manner. The game wouldn't make sense to me otherwise.
Sure.

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SuchDogeMuchWow
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by SuchDogeMuchWow » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 am

There's not much you can do with a sample size of 1. Regardless of what you call "rare", even with a hypothetical probability of 1*10^-100 for blondeness, Thomas could still be Gabby's biological brother. It doesn't disturb the crux of my theory however, which is that incest occurred that led to both Gabby's and Thomas' suicides.

Also since you don't seem to believe in an overarching story, I'd like to know how you can reconcile the 3 endings' differences when they all originated from the same thread.

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gagaplex
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Re: So this game is really about incest right?

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:02 am

I don't reconcile them. I interpret them at face value and individually.
One is about his daughter dying and his wife leaving and Thomas, rightly or wrongly, feeling responsible for his daughter's death (that's why he sees himself stabbing her). Also fits with the abortion-/miscarriage-imagery as Gabby was the mother of the girl who died.
The next is about a little boy who dreams of his responsibilities to his little sister and how those will continue even as they grow up. Yet he feels as if he has neglected her somehow, fears he has caused or will cause her harm and has a nightmare about his sister dying due to his actions or inactions. In the end, he checks up on her, notes she is fast asleep and goes back to his room.
The last one is a disjointed dream during a coma after an accident or surgery or similar, with his wife or girlfriend watching over him until he awakens. Unlike the other two dreams, Gabby has neither been hurt nor is there really a reason for Thomas to think she was hurt. Unless of course they were in an accident together, possibly caused by Thomas' making a mistake of some sort, and he dreams about causing Gabby harm.
The originating thread is extremely vague and doesn't in my mind necessitate reconciliation.
There's not much you can do with a sample size of 1. Regardless of what you call "rare", even with a hypothetical probability of 1*10^-100 for blondeness, Thomas could still be Gabby's biological brother. It doesn't disturb the crux of my theory however, which is that incest occurred that led to both Gabby's and Thomas' suicides.
Sure, and I'm not trying to "disprove" your interpretation or anything. On the contrary, I'm saying your interpretation is valid and so are countless others because there isn't one particular story that was intended to be imparted, but rather ideas, meanings, feelings of despair and helplessness and so on. I just took issue with you calling it "obvious" that he was adopted or "impossible" (even with that caveat you added) for dark-haired parents to have blonde children.

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