When I walked into the attic, and all the lights were red, all I could think was I was going to find a suicided Sam and I was so nervous I started to sweat. I was ready to cry my eyes out in sadness, but ended up doing so in joy. I can't remember being so nervous while playing a game in a long, long time.
I think the designers expected you to get a suicide vibe at one point in the game, hence the red splashes on the tub before you realize "OH, its just hair-dye". They definitely played my emotions really well a couple times. So, not in the specific instance of entering the attic (maybe because of how much stuff I'd found at that point I no longer had the impression she was that depressed anymore), but at some point, yes, I thought she or Lonnie may have committed suicide.
I do think that is what happened to Oscar though. Not sure if that's blatantly obvious or not, but it seemed to me he was gay before it was socially acceptable and took his own life, hence the dark reputation the house holds, the note in the basement safe, etc. Probably also why Sam found his plight so relatable. I mean, she found a box of his stuff at some point, right? Seemed to me you are led to a secret passage thinking Oscar's stuff will be there but Sam has been there before you and you instead find something about one of the shows she went to. May be mis-remembering already. Anyway, hell of a game.
I absolutely thought that it would be a Romeo & Juliet story, or just a depressed team suicide over a lost love as I went up the stairs, but it wasn't the only possibility. The relief actually made the ending more emotional than it might have otherwise been.
I had absolutely the same reaction, and the masterful way they pull off that subversion of you expectations made for an incredibly powerful emotional payoff. Way too many games and films play off your emotions by having a shocking ending. This is one of the few times I can remember shedding tears from a game or film because the ending was happy.
That thought did cross my mind. And I may have cried a bit from happiness a bit at the end, but I'm not 100% sure, because those tears would have blended in with the waterworks that started after the journal entry dialogue lines "I just wanted to make you happy, Sam." "I don't think you can, any more, Lonnie." hit far too close for comfort.
My heart was pounding when I went up into the attic from fear/anticipation of what might be up there. The wave of relief I felt upon finding the truth was almost overwhelming. I can't think of a game that made me so emotional, and specifically happy, than that. What a game.
Oh god. Yeah. When I found the last map that said "this is where we'll do it"(even though taking in everything else that didn't make any sense) I was just like "oh shit" and booked it to that spot. Then was super nervous going up to the attic. So happy it wasn't that.