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Episode 1: To the Moon => To the Moon - Discussions => Topic started by: Volcanon on July 15, 2012, 02:48:26 PM

Title: An alternate take on the story (and also why the ending was amazing.) [Spoilers]
Post by: Volcanon on July 15, 2012, 02:48:26 PM
First of all, thank you.

After a second playthrough of "To the Moon", I started to see the story differently than the first time I played it. I am not suggesting that this is correct, but just a possible alternative to the story of the twins.

What if the patient was not Johnny, but instead it was actually Joey? I don't mean that Johnny was the one that died in the car accident, but instead what if "Johnny" ever existed. Perhaps Joey was an only child, and Johnny was fabricated to fill the void of his missing father, who seemingly was not part of his life. When Joey was hit by the car, maybe he didn't actually die. "Johnny" had ran up to Joey's body, but as he was questioning his mom, she never responded to him because he was just in Joey's head. Joey could have still been given the beta blockers because this was a traumatic experience for him, but they inadvertently caused the "Johnny" persona to become a part of him.

This would mean that it was Joey that was stargazing at the faire, but he could have been pretending to be Johnny since he would have been shy around River (though he opened up more as the conversation progressed). His mom had called out for Johnny, but that could have been because when he stormed away he was behaving like "Johnny" would. After hearing River say how she liked his name, perhaps this persisted through the beta blockers and contributed to him going by the name "Johnny" (though he would have known his name was really Joey).

Johnny then grew up. He remembered meeting River at the faire, but the conversation was lost (primarily about the rabbit and the moon). River never forgot that moment, and when John threw the hacky sack over the cliff, she considered him "lost". That boy she met that night at the faire was gone and she wanted him back. He was like the emperor in her favorite book, and she wanted to help him see that he was lying to himself as he bacome more of an adult. She started constructing the rabbits to remind him, and even made him one with the yellow color of the moon as its belly, but he simply didn't remember.

Once Johnny grew old and River had passed away, he brought a box of paper up to the top of the lighthouse and made paper rabbits like River would have done (the box of paper was there in the present time, though in the previous memory - after River had passed away - it was not). The multi-colored rabbit that River had made perhaps had finally clicked with him, and he wanted to go to the moon; even if he didn't understand why. There were a few scenes during the distorted memory at the school that stood out to me, and the one that stood out the most was when she told Johnny that there was no time or date for them to meet. It was a reference to their first date, but it could have also been a reference to their first meeting as well. If he ever got lost, they would regroup on the moon; no matter how much time had passed.

The reconfiguration of his memories couldn't actually alter time, but it would allow him to go back and fulfill the promise he had made to River (at least to himself). The machine that would generate the memories would have to keep it grounded in reality, so they both ended up training to become astronauts for NASA so they could get to the moon. He would have lost the memory of asking her out (though he felt guilty about that anyway), so the first time they met up again (and remembered one another) was when they had regrouped to the moon. After that, all of the memories he had from before happened again, only this time they were happy versions and the two of them lived out their lives together in happiness.

Some examples to support this alternate story: The Doctors were puzzled when they first met Lily and she said the patients name, since she said the patient wanted to be called Johnny (though if they knew he was named Joey, they probably would have remembered that when the mom called him Joey..); the official that married River and Johnny never referenced Johnny by name (as it is a legal ceremony, he would have probably had to have called him Joey if he mentioned his name); Johnny couldn't remember details about the Animorphs, but he knew he read them as a kid; Johnny loved pickled olives; Johnny had a bunk bed, but it looked like only one of the beds actually had bed sheets; only one of the twins got presents at the holidays; the memories that Eva created would have created a brother instead of saving one; his reveal to River could have been that he wasn't honest about who he really was when they first met, since he introduced himself as Johnny; Eva could have misinterpreted everything, showing why it is dangerous for someone else to choose what someone would want to remember in their own memories; and..I think that's good.

Regardless, when I finished the game the second time, it had a lot more heart (no matter which version you go with). He just wanted to go to the moon and regroup with River. The last memory Johnny had before he passed away was a fake memory, but it represented what mattered most to him in the world. He was moments away from death and he was scared, but River extended her hand to him and he was no longer lost.

Again, thank you.

[EDIT]: Or I have it backwards, and Joey was the imaginary friend. Which makes more sense since he would have been the one that "died" that day. I'd need to figure out a way to justify his mom calling him Joey though.. Perhaps to try to help him remember that carefree kid he once was.. :P

[EDIT 2]: I cleaned up my original post a little bit (ok a lot..). I tend to go all over the place, so maybe it now makes a bit more sense.
Title: Re: My take on the story, and why the ending was...amazing. (Spoilers)
Post by: Vasha on July 15, 2012, 04:36:47 PM
I didn't exactly understand everything you just said, but what would reason would his mom have to give him beta blockers if the person that "died" was just an imaginary friend?
Title: Re: My take on the story, and why the ending was...amazing. (Spoilers)
Post by: Volcanon on July 15, 2012, 06:58:36 PM
I didn't exactly understand everything you just said, but what would reason would his mom have to give him beta blockers if the person that "died" was just an imaginary friend?


My lack of understanding of beta blockers may unravel my interpretation of the story, but I figured they were administered after he was hit by the car. If Johnny and Joey were the same person, then this memory would have just been a traumatic experience for him because he was hit by a car, and not because he lost a brother (which would have been much more traumatic).

I probably want it to be like this because I was feeling like Neil was when Eva decided to fulfill the contract even though John's desire to go to the moon was a metaphor. I felt like she was making choices for John when she decided to give him his brother back over River. It was as if she misunderstood the situation thinking he had a brother, and created a new set of memories where that brother existed - though in the end everything worked out, thankfully.

Ooo, if you guys know the answer to some questions I had about the game, I had a few:
1. Why did the question marks appear over the heads of the birds as they chirped when interacting with some of the trees during the present time?
2. What happened to the beach ball? I saw where it was hidden, but later it was gone :(
3. Why did John not remember the paintings when he was looking at them after River passed away? They were blank in his memory.