Episode 1: To the Moon > To the Moon - Discussions

The Red Flash (spoiler alert)

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Crusism:
Haha, good point. I forgot about the 'leak' excuse. Thanks.

Alistair:
I'm not buying the "just a sign for pain" explanation one bit. If it is indeed true, it would be a really poor design decision. Similar effects have been used throughout the game in connection with the (mal-)functionings of the computer within the simultion but they have never been used before that scene in connection to anything outside the simulation/computer, so it would be weird to change this just for this one scene.

But there are other reasons why I think the final scene is within a simulation, too.

Most importantly, I guess, the space shuttle scene when Neil, Eva, Lily and the doctor watch it take off. How is that scene even possible if it's only inside Johnny's fake memory? Does he, while in the shuttle and all his attention focused on River and the journey ahead, remember how his shuttle looks from the outside, from far away on some bridge with spectators and all? No, he doesn't.

In previous scenes, there were even holes in the environments due to damaged memories. I don't see how a memory he never had and never created, namely watching the space shuttle with himself inside fro the outside, could exist for the "quests" to walk in. If I remember correctly, doesn't Neil or Eva say something about getting two extra helmets for them to watch the finale? This indicates they would only be able to be within the memory if they would be with Johnny in the shuttle, in the memory he actually has created for himself.

So there's something fishy about it ...

I also had the strong feeling that Neil's & Eva's decision regarding what to do about Johnny's wish didn't really fit their characters presented so far. Neil was the one who was respectless towards the patient, didn't really care, didn't take things seriously and so on. Eva was the one who was tactful, took the situations seriously, seemed to be really into the whole "story" and so on.

So if anything, Neil would've been the "let's just do our job, that's it" guy and Eva the "this isn't right, we should not fulfill our contract this time" gal. But it was the other way around.

Same about when they are in danger of getting stuck in Johnny''s mind. Eva is totally determined to stay and help Johnny, but so is Neil. We are led to believe (so I think) that he wants to stay because of Eva, but really, do you see him, as the person he is being presented as, staying and risking his life/sanity/whatever just for this job he doesn't take too seriously anyways? I don't. Unless ...

Then there's the fact that a few times, Neil definitely tries to hide something from Eva and his unexplained and surprising lack of power when Eva decides to get Johnny to the moon. Even then, he didn't really act serious, it seemed like a game to him. Could Eva really just stop him from using his commands ect like that? Or did he not really try to stop her?

My interpretation of all of this:

It's all in Eva's head. In reality, when they were to decide about what to do about Johnny, they decided to not send him to the moon. For some reason maybe revealed in a later episode, Eva deeply regrets this and it doesn't let go of her. Neil wants to help her and thus wants to alter her memory of what they did.

This would explain why she wants to send Johnny to the moon that strongly, I thought she was behaving even a little bit extreme, not thinking twice for a second and so on. Neil already implanted the wish to send Johnny to the moon inside her earlier memories. This also explains his rather unprofessional and goofy behaviour - he doesn't take the job seriously because he knows how it will end, he knows what is going to happen and that Eva will help Johnny. So he doesn't need to bother and also doesn't really try to stop Eva later. It's what he wants her to do.

This also fits to Neil being ahead of Eva so often. Especially towards the beginning, he already has found the mementos, he already moves ahead to the earlier memory ect. He did it all before, he remembers. It's also weird that whenever they find out something, he let's Eva draw the conclusions with the exception being the information about the beta blockers, something she couldn't have found out herself, so he does it like she remembers it: he gets it via phone call. As the story goes on and thus, Eva's new, fake memory starts to evolve, his behaviour changes somewhat in that regard, because things start to change from how it really went and so he knows less about what will happen and how.

This doesn't necessarily mean Eva is about to die as a lot of people seem to automatically conclude. The memory machine is used on dying people by the corporation, but that doesn't mean it cannot be used on other people as well.

The problem would be that if someone lives on after his memory has been altered, he will know he contracted the corporation, he will know or find out that his memories have been altered. The altered memory would most likely also be something important, so he would stumble upon contradictions between his memory and the real world. That's why it only really makes sense to be done to people who have no "afterwards". (For instance, if you wish you would not remember that your child died early but that it lived and had a happy life, as soon as you wake up your new memory of it will make you go crazy because the child doesn't really exist any longer, but you remember that it lives.)

In Eva's case, however, what would be altered would be something that is fictious anyways, so she would not likely find out by contradictions to the real world, especially not when they originally lied about what really happened in Johnny's mind. He is dead, no one else knows, so if she is led to believe she sent Johnny to the moon within his memories, she will never find out the truth. Also, since she works for the corporation and is around the equipment all the time, Neil could use the machine on her without her knowing it and without anyone finding out. For instance, he might have given her a sleeping drug or maybe she's unconscious for some other reason.

Tumbles:
That's an interesting theory, and definitely a good read. :seraismile:

However, I still like to think that the flash was just Neil's pain. I mean, he took a pill directly after the flash. If he were in a memory, there'd be no need for a painkiller at all. :vikonsmile: Also, the red flash was used throughout the game to show Johnny's pain, as well as computer malfunctions. I can't see why it can't be used for Neil's pain.

Also, the red flash was used in Quintessence to show pain, if I remember correctly. :)

I just really hope there's not a whole Inception thing going on. The story doesn't need it, and I think it would ruin it. Besides, it's nowhere near as deep and meta as people are making it out to be. What's wrong with simplicity? It's what makes the game great. :seraismile:

Merlandese:

--- Quote from: Alistair on July 25, 2012, 07:04:46 AM ---Most importantly, I guess, the space shuttle scene when Neil, Eva, Lily and the doctor watch it take off. How is that scene even possible if it's only inside Johnny's fake memory? Does he, while in the shuttle and all his attention focused on River and the journey ahead, remember how his shuttle looks from the outside, from far away on some bridge with spectators and all? No, he doesn't.

--- End quote ---

This is easy to argue. We know from the premise of the game that the doctors have the ability to manipulate memories. This is the only way the entire recreation of his mind is possible--by changing key events. (However, redesigning his entire life would take their entire lives, so that's why they only change a few things and rely on the domino effect.)

Knowing that they can alter memories--and the computer inputs--they very likely created that spot in his mind just for the purpose of watching that one bit of his memory. Like a flood, the rest of his memories were simultaneously occurring, but, as doctors who cared for their patient, they wanted to see one exact moment. So they did. It's not an issue at all considering their powers, especially if you consider the massive manipulation Eva did in the Zombieva scene with the shifting/looping corridors and booby traps.

Alistair:
Yeah, that can make sense.

On a sidenote, I found it a bit weird they would watch it like that.

They said in the beginning they would respect Johnny's privacy as much as possible. Now I can understand that after all of what they witnessed, they would want to watch how it ends and they probably also have to in order to make sure they succeeded, but then they go ahead and invite his housekeeper and his doctor into his mind, too.

That felt a bit out of place.

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