#1 Posted by armaan8014 (5328 posts) -

Ok, so from reading through other topics in the forums, I got that the real guy is actually Zach, and York was just an embodiment of what he wanted to be, or how he showed himself to the outside world. In other words, Zach was a person with normal human problems, (scared, unsure, etc) and he then tried to change his personality by hiding his weak traits, and this strong, better version of Zach was presented to the player as York. So when Zach, as a kid, witnessed the death of his parents, he caught hold of himself and tried to get out of the mental results of the situation by making himself stronger. And that is shown as him meeting York. He didn't transform or anything, it's just a way of representation (pretty mind boggling stuff) 
 
But still, I would like to confirm some things with your help. So when the people of Greenvale saw him/talked to him, what did they see him as? Zach? And when they were talking to him by calling him York, were they actually just saying Zach, and we took it as York as they only knew Zach as how he showed himself to be? (i.e York)
Also, when Emily (*sniff) said in the end "I finally know who Zach is", did she mean to say that she had finally seen the real Zach without his mask? That she had understood who he really was?
Also, when York and Emily unite in the end, is that supposed to make sense or is it just to give a happy end? Really, that completely confused me. Did Emily just die, and then Zach just imagined she and York getting together for no reason? If so, that would make more sense. Because, Zach saying "York always gets the girl" isn't really a meaningful thing to say, as York doesn't exist. Maybe he meant to say that he would always get a girl with his fake personality (York), but if he showed his real personality, no girl would go for him?
 
Discuss and explain!

#2 Posted by Legend (2649 posts) -

So when the people of Greenvale saw him/talked to him, what did they see him as? Zach? And when they were talking to him by calling him York, were they actually just saying Zach, and we took it as York as they only knew Zach as how he showed himself to be. 

Yes, I believe that's the case. His hair turned white when he witnessed his parents' death and it has always been that way. The scar on his face is more visible when we see Zach than what we see when we play as York. Everyone has been calling him Zach and seeing him as Zach.
 

Also, when York and Emily unite in the end, is that supposed to make sense or is it just to give a happy end? Really, that completely confused me. Did Emily just die, and then Zach just imagined she and York getting together for no reason? If so, that would make more sense. Because, Zach saying "York always gets the girl" isn't really a meaningful thing to say, as York doesn't exist. Maybe he meant to say that he would always get a girl with his fake personality (York), but if he showed his real personality, no girl would go for him? 

It's all in Zach's head. He even says that he will buy Emily a dress after she died. He's obviously mentally disturbed, but after his other persona "York" helped him to overcome his fear and mental problems he has taken the first step to recovery. 
 
BTW, I found these two drawings on deviantart. I like how they portray the relationship between Zach and York: 

 



 The second one is now my desktop background. :)
#3 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I thought it was weird that his alter ego simply changed the events of his parents dying into something more realistic but equally scarring instead of blocking it completely. And I also don't get how York blames his scar on a recent case when York has been around since Zach was a child and the scar was there then too. It would be one thing to lie to the other people but he lies to himself in the car, talking to Zach.

#4 Posted by Slax (894 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" I thought it was weird that his alter ego simply changed the events of his parents dying into something more realistic but equally scarring instead of blocking it completely. And I also don't get how York blames his scar on a recent case when York has been around since Zach was a child and the scar was there then too. It would be one thing to lie to the other people but he lies to himself in the car, talking to Zach. "
I think that was just York's way of protecting/reassuring Zach. But more importantly the story tellers way of introducing the dichotomy of Zach and York, and attempting to confusing the player.
#5 Posted by Rhaknar (5939 posts) -

they called him Zach, he just "heard" York. its Fight Club basically

#6 Posted by Kowbrainz (923 posts) -
Cheers for the topic; think it's helped me understand a few things a bit better now. :)
 
@Legend: first drawing is done by Peachifruit btw; just found it funny since she was the same person who did the hiimdaisy Persona 4 comic (that people showed to Jeff a little too early and ended up spoiling him with).
#7 Posted by Legend (2649 posts) -
@ryanwho: If you look carefully, you'll see he has two scars:

 
The one on his cheek is the recent scar he suffered during the case. If you notice, it's not that big of a scar which is why he was always amazed when townspeople talked about how big it is. They weren't talking about his small scar, but in fact the other one:
 
You see it's more visible when we see Zach which makes me believe that everyone has been seeing Zach all along.

I thought it was weird that his alter ego simply changed the events of his parents dying into something more realistic but equally scarring instead of blocking it completely.

York was trying to bring Zach back to reality which is why he kept all those disturbing memories to help Zach overcome them.
#8 Edited by Princess_Isabela (163 posts) -

Yes, they all see Zach, they refer to him as Zach. 
Player doesn't know that until chapters 25/26 are revealed (26th is the epilogue).

#9 Posted by natetodamax (19170 posts) -

Then why does Emily seem curious about Zach? Is Zach really saying stuff like "Would you agree, York?" instead of "Would you agree, Zach?" So weird man!

#10 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

 @armaan8014:  It's a reconciliation thingy. Zach shut himself away with York as his protector the moment his parents died fucked up deaths, only for Emily to trigger it all back again (mommy issues, Oedipus complex FTW). Zach gets over whatever it was that has troubled him all these years i.e. whatever it is that has been keeping him locked in the red/white room, and then rose to the occasion to shoot that hillbilly Stay-Puff asshole.
 
I don't get how it relates to Mr. Stewart, though, as he mentions the line "sometimes we must purge that should not exist from this world" (or whatever it is), which was the same line Zach's father says before shooting himself. Maybe VJ-38 will resolve everything.

 
@Legend: that second pic is pretty bitching!

#11 Posted by Urmean (599 posts) -

I'll offer an alternative theory. His hair only shocked to white after he came to terms with things in his mind.

#12 Posted by JeanLuc (3571 posts) -
@Urmean: Interesting idea, however your hair doesn't just suddenly turn white from shock. its the new hair that grows that becomes white.
#13 Posted by armaan8014 (5328 posts) -
@Legend said:
"It's all in Zach's head. He even says that he will buy Emily a dress after she died. He's obviously mentally disturbed, but after his other persona "York" helped him to overcome his fear and mental problems he has taken the first step to recovery. 
 

Yes, probably his parent's death caused all this, and York helped him out of all the difficult situations it produced. Super pics btw! I'll look for them :) 
Also, I'm sure you're completely right about the scars theory. That explains a lot.
 
@Kowbrainz: That's good! Writing it also cleared some stuff in my head as I wrote. Pretty confusing and great stuff. Good work Swery! :D
 
 
@dudeglove said:
"  Zach gets over whatever it was that has troubled him all these years i.e. whatever it is that has been keeping him locked in the red/white room, and then rose to the occasion to shoot that hillbilly Stay-Puff asshole.  

Yeah, I think he sorted out his personal issues with the York mask, and when he was completely fine he let go of his alter ego personality protection thing.
 
@dudeglove said:
"  I don't get how it relates to Mr. Stewart, though, as he mentions the line "sometimes we must purge that should not exist from this world" (or whatever it is), which was the same line Zach's father says before shooting himself. Maybe VJ-38 will resolve everything.


I'm confused about that too. Who was the old raincoat killer btw? But I still feel Mr. Stewart is related to Zach in some way. Maybe his grandfather? No idea!
 
@natetodamax said:
" Then why does Emily seem curious about Zach? Is Zach really saying stuff like "Would you agree, York?" instead of "Would you agree, Zach?" So weird man! "

Wait! You're confusing me too! I think when she said "I'd like to know Zach better" , she meant she'd like to know Zach as a person better. And yeah, I guess he WAS saying "Do you agree York" instead of Zach.
Hope the epilogue further explains stuff!
#14 Posted by clush (410 posts) -

Zach always thought his dad had killed his mum and himself. That he (Zach) couldn't deal with, so he in his own mind created a new persona for himself to use. The cool and levelheaded FBI agent York. Seeing Emily being used as soil by F.K. made Zach remember what really happened. Although that must've been pretty traumatizing as well, the notion that it wasn't his own dad who he loved but a psychopathic and evil stranger that killed his mother and made his dad kill himself was something that he could deal with. And thus, realizing this made him no longer need York anymore.

The hair could've always been white, although hair turning white in an instant is a pretty neat Twin Peaks reference. It's not really important, though it does mark the restoration of his own self and the departure of York.

I don't think people have been calling him Zach throughout the game. He has been very clear about what his name was and what people should call him. Even if people knew that in fact his real name was Zach, him telling everybody to call him York because that's what everyone calls him should be enough for anyone to call him York. And it's more likely people didn't even know his real name was Zach (except Kaysen) as he was new to town and it's only his second name. This is proven by the dialogue when Emily visits him at the hotel. The idea that they have been saying Zach, and York was all he heard and that on top of that he actually told people to call him Zach when he meant to say his name was York is an unnecessary complication that has fabrication written all over it.

#15 Edited by clush (410 posts) -

Another interesting question is whether or not he is a real FBI agent. I am tempted to say he is, because other than the question why the bureau would hire a nutter like him there's no real reason to assume otherwise.

And another thing I'd like to know is why the game is called Deadly Premonition, although I don't mean to hijack this thread.

#16 Posted by ChickenPants (934 posts) -
@clush said:
" Another interesting question is whether or not he is a real FBI agent. I am tempted to say he is, because other than the question why the bureau would hire a nutter like him there's no real reason to assume otherwise. "
Of course he's an agent.His York persona made an excellent agent; you saw how calm and level-headed he was in dealing with George.etc.
#17 Posted by jaklap (110 posts) -

This story just gets more and more confusing. 
 
Definitely one of the best stories in any video game, In my personal opinion. 

#18 Posted by Niche (87 posts) -
@clush said:
"I don't think people have been calling him Zach throughout the game. He has been very clear about what his name was and what people should call him. Even if people knew that in fact his real name was Zach, him telling everybody to call him York because that's what everyone calls him should be enough for anyone to call him York. And it's more likely people didn't even know his real name was Zach (except Kaysen) as he was new to town and it's only his second name. This is proven by the dialogue when Emily visits him at the hotel. The idea that they have been saying Zach, and York was all he heard and that on top of that he actually told people to call him Zach when he meant to say his name was York is an unnecessary complication that has fabrication written all over it. "
Then why does Emily start calling him Zach after he's had the flashback?
#19 Posted by armaan8014 (5328 posts) -
@clush said:
"

Another interesting question is whether or not he is a real FBI agent. I am tempted to say he is, because other than the question why the bureau would hire a nutter like him there's no real reason to assume otherwise.

And another thing I'd like to know is why the game is called Deadly Premonition, although I don't mean to hijack this thread.

"
True, it feels as if the FBI thing was also a result of him trying to give York a cool, level headed personality. But I'm pretty sure that he IS an agent, as that would just prove Zach to be too mentally affected.
I have no idea why the game is called that either. Red Seeds Profile (Japanese version's name) is obviously a better name
 
@jaklap said:
" This story just gets more and more confusing.  Definitely one of the best stories in any video game, In my personal opinion.  "

I agree! Great story.
#20 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

I'm having a very hard time deciding if he's actually called York or Zach by the other people in town. He starts out the game with presenting himself as York ("Call me York, everyone calls me that"). On the other hand, it could have been that his other persona "translated" his name into something else to make it less strange for York I guess.
 
It's a really confusing story but goddamn do I love it. Best one I've heard in a long, long time.

#21 Posted by imad81 (107 posts) -

one can safely presume that Swery has succeeded in boggling a lotta minds..including mine..and without any sort of explanation to all this there can only be more speculation..bring it on!!!

#22 Posted by august (3826 posts) -
@armaan8014: The old raincoat killer was Mr. Stewart's father. He tells York (Zach?) in one of their meetings about halfway through the game.
#23 Edited by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

Fuck this game.  I really enjoyed it's campiness and was very intrigued by the story but man did it not earn the ending it gave.  The story itself is interesting and I kinda wish a real game developer could come in (one that's established) and do a better job with the gameplay, pacing, and writing.  It's just a conflict if now they created a great framework for these characters but they just made unnecessary complications.  The way they blur the lines between real world, insanity, and the supernatural is plain bullshit.  The inconsistencies and poor execution make he hate it even more for choking down the actual great parts of the game (the story and characters).  The ending with a bit of modification would have been vastly better. 
 
But man is Kaysen a great villain.  I HATED him so much for what he did to such a good and interesting person and that is the sign of a great villain.  When you forget about everything else and treat it like its actually happening (thus feeling great rage and emotion towards Kaysen).  But that makes me hate the very end so much because the image of all the dead people and York doesn't fucking matter because they're all dead!  It's all in Zach's head and it might as well not be happening which it isn't so it's just a cheesy out showing York and Emily get together but without the context of the real world, it literally doesn't matter and pisses me off that the game thinks it does in some way.
 
If people called him York, everything makes sense.  That way he was Zach entering the town and Zach on his badge but he insisted people call him York.  We played from the perspective of Zach in the back seat of his own car with York at the wheel.  That moment of realization caused them to switch seats and now Zach is driving.  However if people called him Zach, then it devolves into an infinite loop of York referring to Zach which he was Zach so he was referring to York but he was York referring to Zach at the same time?  
 
Since York and Zach are different personalities, I say people called him York and everything happened the same way except he had white hair.  His other personality would refer to Zach (as Zach physically) but projected York unto himself thus creating all the York to Zach communication.  The only problem is people suddenly replacing all the times he would be called York with Zach.  If it weren't for that he would Zach referring to Zach as York and it would all make sense.  
 
The whole backstory fits this theory and it would be a more satisfying explanation with the addition of a flashback with Zach in his white hair showing people with a badge that says "Francis Zach Morgan" and telling people to call him York.  Then we would see Zach saying "Isn't that right, Zach" confirming that he was Zach acting like York to cope with his problems.

#24 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1232 posts) -
@Tuffgong said:
"But man is Kaysen a great villain.  I HATED him so much for what he did to such a good and interesting person and that is the sign of a great villain.  When you forget about everything else and treat it like its actually happening (thus feeling great rage and emotion towards Kaysen).  But that makes me hate the very end so much because the image of all the dead people and York doesn't fucking matter because they're all dead!  It's all in Zach's head and it might as well not be happening which it isn't so it's just a cheesy out showing York and Emily get together but without the context of the real world, it literally doesn't matter and pisses me off that the game thinks it does in some way.
I largely agree with what you said in the rest of the comment too but this is particularly true. I love the ridiculous shit in DP and in a way I do like the York/ Zach reveal, but it really detracts from the relationship with Emily in significant fucking manner! The story conclusion with Kaysens rape-"masterplan" was fine, the inane zombie-plot was fine - but all that combined in a really cheesy way made me uneasy in a bad way.
You can't take the plot serious because it's pretty much off the rails from the start but at the same time it has extremely disturbing sexual overtones and references a lot of real-life atrocities that didn't blend too well with DP's really videogamey world at all. The drama and the trashy humor didn't really mix in a comvincing shakespearean way, they fucking collided. Still a very original and interesting game with a lot of great ideas for a main protagonist!  
#25 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -
@Baal_Sagoth said:
" @Tuffgong said:
"But man is Kaysen a great villain.  I HATED him so much for what he did to such a good and interesting person and that is the sign of a great villain.  When you forget about everything else and treat it like its actually happening (thus feeling great rage and emotion towards Kaysen).  But that makes me hate the very end so much because the image of all the dead people and York doesn't fucking matter because they're all dead!  It's all in Zach's head and it might as well not be happening which it isn't so it's just a cheesy out showing York and Emily get together but without the context of the real world, it literally doesn't matter and pisses me off that the game thinks it does in some way.
I largely agree with what you said in the rest of the comment too but this is particularly true. I love the ridiculous shit in DP and in a way I do like the York/ Zach reveal, but it really detracts from the relationship with Emily in significant fucking manner! The story conclusion with Kaysens rape-"masterplan" was fine, the inane zombie-plot was fine - but all that combined in a really cheesy way made me uneasy in a bad way. You can't take the plot serious because it's pretty much off the rails from the start but at the same time it has extremely disturbing sexual overtones and references a lot of real-life atrocities that didn't blend too well with DP's really videogamey world at all. The drama and the trashy humor didn't really mix in a comvincing shakespearean way, they fucking collided. Still a very original and interesting game with a lot of great ideas for a main protagonist!   "
Totally agree that they mash in a horrible manner.  Not only that but right after the most gut-wrenching scene in the game with Emily's death, Kaysen turns into a fucking cartoon monster for fuck's sake.  How insulting is that?
 
Could have been great but it was really poorly drawn together.  Kinda wish I could just sit down and be asked to do it differently.
#26 Posted by Tsukiyomi (77 posts) -

All I'm gonna say is:
"Zach, I'll let you handle the introductions".
Make what you will of that quote.

#27 Edited by Mezmero (1789 posts) -

Zach is an entity of light that has fought the Forest Kaysen demon for centuries.  Stuart's father was awakened by Zach in the 50's so that he could find Kaysen and attempt to kill him.  Zach may have also taken over Xander Morgan at one point, but the impossible choice of killing his wife forced him to transfer bodies to combat the FK creature, the only one available being York.  
 
When York witnessed Kaysen's confrontation with his parents, Zach took over for a moment to try to fight him.  But a moment of hesitation allowed Kaysen to attack York, forcing Zach's consciousness into the white room so that the York mind would be unable to recognize or even fight against him in the future.  The red room was made by Kaysen to seal off York's mind from Zach and thus limiting control of York's body.  With his mind obfuscated by the room's vine-filled walls and the purple confusion fog within real world Greenvale, York was unable to fully recognize the true nature of the evil behind the scenes of his profiling.  The white room was created by Zach and acts as sort of a shield and sanctuary for his continued existence.  He created this as a last line of defense against Kaysen's attack on his newly inhabited, fragile child body.  It made it possible to eventually lead his host back to him for a final battle with the grown and highly trained body of an FBI agent.  Fortunately the Zach persona prevailed and although it had limited influence in York's body from the white forest, it managed to steer him towards the truth behind the investigation.  
 
Stuart's appearance in the white room represented his own defense against the confusion fog and red vine walls, which was the gas mask that he wore for all those years.  Seeing his form manifested there meant he knew the truth of the FK demon's plans as well and shared a common goal with Zach's reawakening.
 
So it was York the entire time in Greenvale with Zach's influence.  Emily already had a concept of Zach in her mind and the red seeds allowed her to immediately recognize Zach's appearance as the opposing force to the evil entity responsible for the seeds and fog.  She still fell in love with York but she knew that the power of good appeared to set things right.  At one point the purple fog infects all the town's inhabitants making them all crazy.  Once Zach defeated Kaysen the reality of Greenvale reset and the town's folk's minds came to recognize the man they've associated with as Zach.   Now that Zach has a corporeal form, Kaysen can't return to the human realm.  Although if his clothes ever get dirty, FK will be there to remind him.
 
So there you go, the ramblings of a mad man.  Seems to be the only thing this game is good for.

#28 Edited by armaan8014 (5328 posts) -
@imad81 said:
" one can safely presume that Swery has succeeded in boggling a lotta minds..including mine..and without any sort of explanation to all this there can only be more speculation..bring it on!!! "

I'm with you there bro! (in Keiths voice). Hats off to Swery!
@Tuffgong said:

"  But man is Kaysen a great villain.  I HATED him so much for what he did to such a good and interesting person and that is the sign of a great villain.  When you forget about everything else and treat it like its actually happening (thus feeling great rage and emotion towards Kaysen).  But that makes me hate the very end so much because the image of all the dead people and York doesn't fucking matter because they're all dead!

Yes! I too HATED Kaysen and wanted to go out there and kill him! He killed Emily, who was completely pure and a representation of goodness. And yes, York and Emily getting together didn't happen, and I told myself that he was just imagining this, and Emily was just dead (which made this even more tragic!) 
 
 
@Mezmero:
Wow! That was some original insight! But, I prefer the alter ego theory more, so i'll be sticking to that. :)
#29 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

On a more base note, thinking about it, maybe every time York scores a headshot, it's actually Zach saying "Great", "Amazing", etc...

#30 Posted by Damodar (1300 posts) -
@Mezmero:  That's a cool theory and it has enough similarities that can be drawn to Twin Peaks that it's possible that this was infact SWERY's intention. 
 
In regards to what people have said about the weird humour of the game clashing with some things like when York would go in to graphic detail about cases etc, didn't that just make Emily's death that more profoundly disturbing and disorienting amidst all that?
#31 Posted by UnlivedPhalanx (473 posts) -
@Legend said:
"

So when the people of Greenvale saw him/talked to him, what did they see him as? Zach? And when they were talking to him by calling him York, were they actually just saying Zach, and we took it as York as they only knew Zach as how he showed himself to be. 

Yes, I believe that's the case. His hair turned white when he witnessed his parents' death and it has always been that way. The scar on his face is more visible when we see Zach than what we see when we play as York. Everyone has been calling him Zach and seeing him as Zach.
 

Also, when York and Emily unite in the end, is that supposed to make sense or is it just to give a happy end? Really, that completely confused me. Did Emily just die, and then Zach just imagined she and York getting together for no reason? If so, that would make more sense. Because, Zach saying "York always gets the girl" isn't really a meaningful thing to say, as York doesn't exist. Maybe he meant to say that he would always get a girl with his fake personality (York), but if he showed his real personality, no girl would go for him? 

It's all in Zach's head. He even says that he will buy Emily a dress after she died. He's obviously mentally disturbed, but after his other persona "York" helped him to overcome his fear and mental problems he has taken the first step to recovery. 
 
BTW, I found these two drawings on deviantart. I like how they portray the relationship between Zach and York: 

 

 The second one is now my desktop background. :) "
I think "mentally disturbed" is wrong and/or inappropriate. I've seen this type of behavior associated commonly with grief/shock/loss in the denial phase. I think he's irreparably damaged by what he's seen in life, however, we notice he can function in the world... thus isn't unstable/disturbed.
#32 Posted by Toug (302 posts) -

 I'm pretty big on the idea that his badge (that he shows everyone he meets) says "Zack" on it, which is why he always instantly says "Call me York." Everyone is kind of just humoring him.
 
Check out his first meeting with Emily:
 
York: (Flashes Badge) "FBI Special Agent. Francis York Morgan. Please just call me York. That's what everyone calls me."
Emily: "... Agent ... York?"
York: "Good. That's good."  

Or George:
York: "Please just call me York. That's what everyone calls me."
George: *akward silence and glare*

Or Tomas:
Tomas: "Very well Agent... Agent York."

It wasn't akward writing! It was actually intentional!

That's why Emily wants to know about Zach. She's all "Tell me about Zach... you know... THE GUY YOU ARE?"


This is my favorite part of the game now.  

 

Online
#33 Posted by armaan8014 (5328 posts) -
@Toug: that's some interesting stuff you wrote!
#34 Posted by Ghostiet (5223 posts) -

Remember that "Zach, I'll let you handle the introductions" line near the beginning? Zach said York helped him get out by talking to him, that comment could be a baby-step attempt to take him out of the White Room early in the game.

@Toug: Interesting! And it fits my theory.

#35 Posted by Wayniemouse (2 posts) -

York is the better personality of Zach.

Zach wanted everyone to treat him with respect that York had.

York got the girl because he was the best personality.

York completed Zach.

Yes this whole time he was Zach and everyone knew that but he kept telling everyone to call him York until he accepted himself then he accepted that he was Zach and York.

He was confused of who he was.

He didnt know York was his other self.

In the begining he didnt know who little zach was and thought that was just a dream.

Until that flash that Fk told said Francis York Morgan and Francis Zach Morgan then it came back to him that he was the same person.

#36 Posted by Wayniemouse (2 posts) -

@wayniemouse: When Zach was driving to Greenville before the crash,he was infected by the purple fog that made him believe he was York,Zach's other personality gave him different color hair.

So when the fog made him forget who he was,his hair turned dark.

When he found out that he was Zach his hair turned white.

#37 Posted by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

@wayniemouse: When Zach was driving to Greenville before the crash,he was infected by the purple fog that made him believe he was York,Zach's other personality gave him different color hair.

So when the fog made him forget who he was,his hair turned dark.

When he found out that he was Zach his hair turned white.

I was with you so far, but now you're just grasping for straws, man.