End of game plot question [Spoilers]

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#1 Posted by SharkCopter (110 posts) -

So at the end of the game we find out that Director Trench had been corrupted by the Hiss and let them in to the facility using the projector. If this is the case, then why did he lock down the facility? I didn't find any audio record/case file/collectible that would have indicated he was fighting against the influence of the Hiss, and one of his final messages indicates he thinks everyone else has been corrupted by Hedron.

On top of that, why does he shoot himself at the beginning? The cut scene we see where it alternates between Jesse and Dylan sort of implies (?) that the Hiss caused him to do it. It seems like a Hiss controlled director could have furthered their cause a lot easier than a dead one.

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#2 Posted by briarpack (354 posts) -

The lockdown could've been an effort to impede the Bureau agents from interfering.
The only way killing Trench makes sense to me is if he wasn't good enough for the Hiss.
The Hiss had control over Trench and the Slide Projector was active, so shouldn't they have been able to attack the Board right then and there? Maybe they needed a stronger parautilitarian to force themselves through to the Astral Plane?
If that's the case, then replacing Trench with Dylan would make sense. And it would make sense that they were able to attack the Board after possessing Jesse momentarily.

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#3 Posted by JigglePhysx (30 posts) -

I just finished the game and could be completely off base here but I kind of got the impression that Dylan may have had some level of control or influence over the Hiss.

When its flashing between the characters it lingers on the shot of Dylan holding his hand (shaped like a gun) to his temple, then it cuts to shots with Trench and Jesse holding the actual Service Weapon to their own temple. When Dylan "fires" it then cuts to Trench and Jesse on the floor, dead.

I think it makes sense in a sequel, it feels like they left the ending open enough for this to be a possibility, it would be Jesse facing off against her brother (and the Hiss)... and/or more likely trying to redeem/save him.

I don't really have any solid ideas about the lockdown. Does it explicitly say that the Director enabled it? I only thing I recall is that they can disable it. Its possible the Oldest House has its own security protocols in place to put itself in lockdown for emergencies.

I haven't gone through most of the collectibles/case files just yet so these and a lot of the other theories I am trying to formulate in my head at the moment are possibly already disproved. I plan on going through it all tomorrow night but look forward to discussing everyone's thoughts as people get to the end!

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#4 Edited by SharkCopter (110 posts) -
@briarpack said:

The lockdown could've been an effort to impede the Bureau agents from interfering.

The only way killing Trench makes sense to me is if he wasn't good enough for the Hiss.

The Hiss had control over Trench and the Slide Projector was active, so shouldn't they have been able to attack the Board right then and there? Maybe they needed a stronger parautilitarian to force themselves through to the Astral Plane?

If that's the case, then replacing Trench with Dylan would make sense. And it would make sense that they were able to attack the Board after possessing Jesse momentarily.

Hmm, interfering how? And interfere with what? We're repeatedly shown that the control agents are basically powerless. All the named officers/executives either get corrupted by the Hiss or are ineffective on their own. Jesse says (multiple times I think) that if the Hiss get outside then it's over. The lockdown actively prevents the Hiss from escaping. It doesn't appear that there's a limit to the number of people the Hiss can posses, so I don't think there would be a reason they couldn't control *both* Trench and Dylan. In other words, Trench wouldn't have needed to be replaced. I was down with the idea that possessing Jesse was what got them an "in" with the board, but if that was the case, they should have been able to do that with Trench since he also had a connection with the board as the previous director.

@jigglephysx said:

I don't really have any solid ideas about the lockdown. Does it explicitly say that the Director enabled it? I only thing I recall is that they can disable it. Its possible the Oldest House has its own security protocols in place to put itself in lockdown for emergencies.

I thought there was an audio log from Trench that said he wanted to be the single point of failure. In any case, since the Director can disable it, Trench could have just lifted it even if the Oldest House automatically put some protection in place. Along those same lines, since none of the npcs you talk to have any hint that Trench was being controlled by the Hiss a live director would still have been able to do more for the Hiss than a dead one. In fact, in what I'm sure is intentional misdirection for the player, the npcs suspect Dr. Darling of being up to something more than Trench.

I'm actually kind of hoping that I missed something important, but since it's not obvious it seems like it might just be a plot hole/questionable twist to make the guy you were sort of trusting into the bad guy. I don't think there was a "what have I done" moment for Trench which might (?) have explained it.

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#5 Edited by briarpack (354 posts) -

@sharkcopter said:

Hmm, interfering how? And interfere with what? We're repeatedly shown that the control agents are basically powerless. All the named officers/executives either get corrupted by the Hiss or are ineffective on their own. Jesse says (multiple times I think) that if the Hiss get outside then it's over. The lockdown actively prevents the Hiss from escaping.

There are still multiple groups of people with HRAs, including a decent security force and Marshall's Rangers, and they can fight the Hiss or at least slow the down, although they're not as effective as Jesse. A sector lockdown would probably also stop those groups from communicating with each other.

There's two different lockdowns, as explained in the Correspondence "Marshall: Lockdown Distinctions".
One separates the sectors from each other and can be lifted with the Directorial Override and the other locks down the building and is triggered by a "code red containment breach".
Trench would have control over the sector lockdown, but not the external lockdown, which requires the threat to be neutralized.

@sharkcopter said:

It doesn't appear that there's a limit to the number of people the Hiss can posses, so I don't think there would be a reason they couldn't control *both* Trench and Dylan. In other words, Trench wouldn't have needed to be replaced. I was down with the idea that possessing Jesse was what got them an "in" with the board, but if that was the case, they should have been able to do that with Trench since he also had a connection with the board as the previous director.

That's what I'm saying, the Hiss must've killed Trench because he wasn't enough to get them to the Board or corrupt it, otherwise they could've attacked them long before Jesse got to the Bureau.

As for replacing him with Dylan, it's unclear what the procedure for passing on a Directorship is. Northmoor is technically still "alive", but we don't know about the previous Directors and we don't know if the Board needs to accept a "resignation". I mean, the simplest explanation for "the Board" is "Board of Directors", a group of previous and deceased Directors.

So the scenario could've been this: Trench wasn't a powerful enough parautilitarian for the Hiss, so they needed to replace him with Dylan to get to the Board. But the Board was refusing to let go of Trench, since keeping him as Director and in possession of the Service Weapon was maintaining the status quo of Hiss being essentially stuck. So the Hiss needed to make Trench blow his brains out to free up the Director's seat.

Or: the Hiss got cocky and instead of just passing the Service Weapon from Trench to Dylan, they decided to get rid of dead weight prematurely (or maybe he could've been a threat to the Hiss down the line).
Or a new idea: The Hiss was always just trying to get rid of the Director and they didn't need a connection to the Board, the sector lockdown couldn't have been lifted without a Director, after all. Though this doesn't really explain what changed between the beginning and end of the game and what allowed them to attack the Board when they previously couldn't.

I wonder if there's an established timeline of events somewhere in the lore. The sector lockdown would benefit the Hiss, but assuming that they needed Dylan, it could potentially stop him from getting from Containment to Trench. So it would be interesting to know when exactly Dylan broke out, was it before the lockdown or after and where was he by the time Jesse got to the Bureau?

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#6 Posted by Humanity (19041 posts) -

@briarpack: Just FYI I found this collectible today and it explains the lockdown quite well

No Caption Provided

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#7 Posted by SgtSphynx (2625 posts) -

I don't really have an idea of the events regarding Trench and why he was still director prior to Jesse arriving and her becoming director, but I think Trench shooting himself right when Jesse gets to his office hints at some manipulation by the Board through the service weapon.

Right when Jesse picks up the service weapon, and shortly after, we get some background info about it and how it decides whether the user is "worthy." This seems to me that the Board is the arbiter of who is worthy and decides, through the tests in the Astral Plane, who can use it. Also, it seems pretty clear to me that the containment breach that lead to the lock down is the projector being used to allow the Hiss through. Dylan and the Altered Items are secondary breaches.

So, I see it one of two ways.

Trench is still director when Jesse arrives at the FBC because there were no "good" candidates for director available until Jesse arrived. The Board would probably be somehow aware of this. It's possible that the Board felt having any director is better than no director and kept him until the situation presented itself where they could replace him. Jesse appears and Trench kills himself with the service weapon. Jesse becomes the director and the rest of the game follows.

The other way I can see it is that Trench was at the end of his usefulness to the Hiss and they saw a potential to accomplish their aims using a new, inexperienced director, Jesse. They do try to take over Jesse shortly after she picks up the service weapon but they fail. It's unclear to me whether or not Dylan has escaped before Jesse arrives at the bureau or if he is still contained and escapes at some point prior to Jesse arriving at Containment. It's also unclear how long the lock down has been in effect prior to Jess arriving at the bureau. Anyway, it seems Dylan has some control over the Hiss and isn't like the mindless enemies you fight throughout the game. The Hiss probably feel they can manipulate Jesse through the use of Dylan and that is why he surrenders when he does.

Personally, I don't mind that it is unclear what the exact situation is. Kinda fits in with the background themes of the game. I don't care whether or not that was intentional.

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#8 Posted by Humanity (19041 posts) -

@sgtsphynx: I kind of saw it as Trenchs growing paranoia. His mind was infected by the Hiss so he viewed Polaris as the threat and the Hiss as the only logical way out. He lets the Hiss out but he continues thinking people are out there to get him. I just assumed before Jesse gets there he finally can't see a way out so he takes his own life. It is interesting to see him as Director succumb to some sort of breakdown. Northmoor, the Director before him, apparently exhibited incredibly pyrokinetic abilities and they had to hunt him down - then he agreed to be contained within the generator that powers the entire facility (Northmoor Sarcophagus Container). Trenchs line of dialog stating that it's every directors job to "keep the lights on" is especially great. But this sort of sets up a precedent for directors to become unstable over time.

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#9 Posted by SgtSphynx (2625 posts) -

@humanity: I never put that together about Northmoor, but that makes so much sense now

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#10 Posted by Humanity (19041 posts) -

@sgtsphynx: Yah it's pretty cool, you can walk around the power station and see a bunch of monitors with thermal images of what appears to be a man hanging by his arms. So much for a "humane" way to contain the guy. For the entire game I was convinced this was going to be a boss fight - maybe in the DLC?

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#11 Posted by SgtSphynx (2625 posts) -

@humanity: Just curious, I thought I got all the documents, where does it mention the pyrokinesis?

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#12 Posted by Humanity (19041 posts) -

@sgtsphynx: Hmm I actually went into the game to look over all of my own documents, and yah I guess it never says pyro specifically. I suppose I was subconsciously parroting what I saw written somewhere online, and part of it is that the NSC description states that they siphon off excess energy and use cooling to keep everything in check, and the monitors do show thermal readouts of his body being the hottest thing in the sarcophagus. The most straight forward answer is that it's fire he is producing, but I suppose Control is anything but straight forward so it really could be any sort of power. There is also a report by Pope that he was the most powerful parautilitarian they've ever met - but that would simply imply he was able to use Objects of Power with greater potency than anyone else.

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#13 Posted by SgtSphynx (2625 posts) -

Still, given the particulars, that is an easy conclusion to come to. Only other option I could see is that he became radioactive.

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#14 Posted by TheRealTurk (595 posts) -

I don't really have an idea of the events regarding Trench and why he was still director prior to Jesse arriving and her becoming director, but I think Trench shooting himself right when Jesse gets to his office hints at some manipulation by the Board through the service weapon.

. . .

Trench is still director when Jesse arrives at the FBC because there were no "good" candidates for director available until Jesse arrived. The Board would probably be somehow aware of this. It's possible that the Board felt having any director is better than no director and kept him until the situation presented itself where they could replace him. Jesse appears and Trench kills himself with the service weapon. Jesse becomes the director and the rest of the game follows.

^ I think more or less this.

We know the Service Weapon kills people who aren't deemed "worthy" of using the weapon, and given that the Board seems to decide who becomes Director or not, I viewed Trench's suicide as the Board essentially "firing" him.

As for why it happened when it did, I think that's where Ahti gets involved. My running theory is that the Board doesn't necessarily omnisciently know what goes on in the Material Plane, but instead needs a representative or "boots on the ground" to see what's going on and report back. I think the game hints pretty strongly at points that that person is Ahti, who is at a minimum closely linked with the Board if not an outright member of the Board himself. I base this on the following:

1. He initially tells Jesse that she'll be working for him, and keeps treating her like an employee even after she has acquired the Service Weapon, which is a bit odd because everyone else immediately recognizes that holding the Service Weapon makes her the Director (who should be really far above a janitor in the organization). However, if Ahti is a representative of the Board, him treating Jesse as an employee actually makes perfect sense, since she then does literally work for him.

2. Right away in the game, you see a portrait of Ahti hanging on the wall. In other parts of the Oldest House, the portraits represent important people in the Bureau hierarchy like Trench or Darling and update automatically when the position changes. It's a bit strange to have a portrait of a mere janitor unless he or she was someone way more important. The fact that his back is turned in the picture and the caption is "A Bureau member hard at work" is in keeping with the Board largely operating in the background.

3. He says at one point that "they take turns visiting" which leads me to believe that "they" refers to various members of the Board who rotate in and out of the Oldest House on a regular basis to "keep an eye on things" for the Board. I bet when that happens the portrait of the janitor would update accordingly.

4. Less strongly, Ahti is a character in the Finnish epic The Kalevala, where he is also known by the title "Hero of the Islands." This ties in with the music Ahti listens to, which is entitled the "Hero's Tango" in the game. Given the Finnish developer and the game dealing heavily with the collective unconscious, it's very possible he's a deliberate reference to folklore.

So I think it was probably Ahti who told the Board that Trench was corrupted and probably also told them to hold off firing him until a replacement could be procured. To do otherwise would risk the Hiss coming into contact with the weapon. Even if they couldn't use it themselves, it's possible they could prevent other people from reaching it and therefore prevent another Director from being appointed.

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#15 Posted by briarpack (354 posts) -

The Board being behind Trench's suicide is the first conclusion you draw at the beginning of the game, which is why I think that ain't it. Also they really hit you over the head with the imagery of Dylan killing Trench.

4. Less strongly, Ahti is a character in the Finnish epic The Kalevala, where he is also known by the title "Hero of the Islands." This ties in with the music Ahti listens to, which is entitled the "Hero's Tango" in the game. Given the Finnish developer and the game dealing heavily with the collective unconscious, it's very possible he's a deliberate reference to folklore.

The song itself is about Alan Wake and Quantum Break, one of the verses could be about Max Payne, but the references aren't as obvious. So the protagonists of those games would probably be the heroes in this case.

So it might be that Ahti has been pulling strings behind the scenes and outside The Oldest House for a while. Unless we're to assume that Ahti is Alan Wake and Jack Joyce come together into a single being.

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#16 Posted by haneybd87 (434 posts) -

On a side note, in the last chapter of the game, when you’re doing the inane tasks and it goes into cutscenes whenever you deliver the directors mail was there supposed to be sound during those cutscenes? Every time it cut to those scenes my game went silent and I’m worried I missed some important stuff being said there. This was on XB1X.

Anyways as for Ahti it seems to me that he must be some kind of god that’s responsible for the oldest house. Also did anyone notice that carving in the foundation by the control point of the tree and its roots? Is this alluding to the Oldest House being Yggdrasil or something?