Thoughts on Lone Survivor's Ending(s)

#1 Posted by MikeLemmer (447 posts) -

Of course, this will be spoileriffic. I'd suggest you play through the game first. It's on Steam, go buy it, finish it in a couple hours, and come back. Ready?

The protagonist's girlfriend was killed, and the endings were him choosing between killing himself to stay with her, or moving on afterwards. Nothing unexpected there. What's interesting is the circumstances surrounding it: the bombed-out bus, the newspaper clippings about the war, the strange buildings and desert city contrasted with the bright green hills & tree. The kicker for me is that in the green ending, the protagonist looks like he has the tanned skin and black hair of an Arab or Indian.

That's when I realized I made the unconscious assumption this was all taking place in the U.S. Once I moved that to the Middle East, it all became clear:

He met her, or they grew up together, in a foreign land symbolized by the green hills and tree. Later, she returned to her homeland for some unknown reason and is fatally wounded in a bus bombing. The protagonist learns this and rushes to her side, only for her to die as he watches. This drives him insane and he spends several days in psychiatric care, regressed into his own mind, trying to decide whether to kill himself or move on.

Not only is it a psychological twist ending, but it plays off our expectations to make the story seem strange even in retrospect, forcing us to adjust our view to make sense of it.

The more I think about it, the more impressed I am. Small twist makes big difference.

#2 Posted by seannao (223 posts) -

Thoroughly enjoyed this game! Eventually I'll try to explore the other endings and some of the things I had missed to begin with.

#3 Posted by Atwa (564 posts) -

Where did you find this information? I played through it the first time but I didn't get out anywhere as much as you seem to have from it..

Did I forget to do something? I got the Blue Ending.. Gonna replay it for the Green soon.

#4 Edited by Sayishere (1838 posts) -

I got the blue ending, and what you said, kinda makes sense. Its kinda tragic actually

This game is really good actually, this is what a survival horror game should be. Lack of supplies, fighting for your life, not knowing where to go, in darkness!

#5 Posted by BBAlpert (1259 posts) -

What sorts of things impact what ending you get? I know that there are at least 2 points where you make dialog choices, but is there anything else significant besides that?

#6 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1021 posts) -

Hmm I got the blue ending, the ending stats said i made one wrong decision while in the blue room. And I had one cross and one star on my rating? not sure.

Not sure how you came to the conclusion that she died in a bus bombing though and why does the director say he misses her too?

#7 Edited by JoeBigfoot (105 posts) -

Someone posted this on the wiki an I like it as an explanation: 
  

Great game though.
#8 Edited by BisonHero (5661 posts) -

@JoeBigfoot said:

Someone posted this on the wiki an I like it as an explanation:

He was in the party, drank, next crash car (with bus) with Her and his friends. Friends died at once, and some passenger in bus (bus driver?The Director), Her survive but not long. She died in hospital, You return to home after coma and try make life normal with Yours cat friend (green ending - shame Box on head) or You are still in coma in hospital and died (blue ending - You dont simply kill yourself eg by pistol, You dont want live so died in sleep). Blue ending is tragic, but truthful.
Great game though.
the boss after the bus is called mother

If you'll allow me to necro this old thread, I don't buy that theory you found on the wiki:

There are a couple indications it is more than a drunk driving fatality. There are newspaper articles within the apartment complex that mention a war going on, and specifically mention a bomb blast involving a bus. Additionally, as you get near the bus, there is a bunch of rubble, and collapsed buildings, but the protagonist muses that they were caused by the survivors, not the monsters. And in the green ending, the girl asks the protagonist to leave the city "when things get back to normal"; it's unlikely the zombie infection is real, and she is more likely referring to the fact that their city is involved in some sort of armed conflict. If it was "party + drunk driving accident", then literally none of those cues have any relevance to anything. The details of who the protagonist is and where he was at the time of the bus incident are vague, but it seems to be STRONGLY implied that the girl was on a bus that was caught in a bomb blast, and the protagonist was at the girl's side shortly before she died of her wounds.

  • I think the red ending is the only one that implies the protagonist commits suicide or dies, since the protagonist and the blue man bleed when the blue man is shot.
  • The blue (and red) ending implies that the protagonist lashes out at the illusionary world he's been living in instead of overcoming it; the blue man bleeds briefly when shot, then it's suddenly as if he was never shot at all, showing that the protagonist's efforts to overcome the delusion are in vain. He reunites with the girl (in a hollow sort of way) only because he has given up on escaping the fantasy/nightmare he has found himself in. This carries on the idea that the memory of the girl is imprisoned in his own mind, as you see earlier in the game when she is trapped behind bars. The general assumption with the red or blue ending is that the protagonist is confined to some sort of institution and is possibly heavily medicated and never recovers from the loss of the girl.
  • In the green ending, he stops repressing that she is dead; the man wearing the cardboard box has some dialogue that implies the box is used to hide from something, and that something could be taken to mean reality or the truth, so the symbolism of taking the green pill is that he's admitting he has been hiding from the truth. The protagonist acknowledges the final moments he spent with the girl, and later is able to return to the spot on the hill where the girl was supposed to be after their hide and seek games. He knows she is gone, and is able to get back to living in the real world.

Additionally, I think @MikeLemmer is spot on about the setting of the game being fairly important to the interpretation of the story.

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