Until Dawn EP17: Bad Cop / Dumb Cop

By Shamus
on Jan 19, 2017
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

The interrogation of Josh was pretty annoying because it kept asking you to choose between two things that said the same damn thing, and then Josh would reply with more crazy person nonsense instead of making his case. Josh could say something like, “Hey, remember your prank from last year that killed both of my sisters?” It doesn’t justify what he’s done, but it might give the other two something to think about.

Josh kept saying things that would enrage Mike. Mike was all bloodlust and no thought. Chris was constantly choosing between two things that don’t seem to matter. All of these things are justified, of course. Josh is crazy. Mike is a hothead. Chris is indecisive. They’re dumb teens and they’re acting according to their established character. This happens all the time in movies. Because of emotions, lack of information, immaturity, or character faults, characters often do things that are obviously counterproductive to those of us in the audience. In fact, that’s a big part of what drives this genre. “Oh no. Don’t go out in the dark alone. Just wait until morning.” Running against the wishes of the audience creates tension and suspense.

The problem is that this isn’t a movie. It’s a videogame. When you pop up a dialog choice like this, you’re getting the audience involved. The goals of the audience (stop people from being destructive) runs counter to the goals of the writer (smash characters into each other to create conflict) and it’s really hard to resolve that without situations like this, where the audience is frustrated with the offered choices.

I don’t know how I’d fix this scene. The choices are annoying. If you take them out you get a huge cutscene with no interactivity. If you make the choices better then they become false choices because the game won’t react to them. If you have the game react to them (perhaps Chris talks Mike into being gentler so they can properly interrogate Josh and discover he really wasn’t involved with Jess) then it would defuse this situation and avoid a lot of the chaos that follows.

Also, what’s the deal with The Stranger? Why is he trying to clean the monsters out of the mine? At night? Why not just seal it up? Or wait until daytime when they’re supposedly dormant?

Also also: Now that the big reveals have happened, I can say the writer has been cheating like crazy. In light of these revelations, the scene where Jess is kidnapped is total nonsense. Apparently Jess was grabbed by a monster. As we’ll see later, they can decapitate a human in one swipe. But instead the monster dragged her away while she struggled? And the Stranger was coincidentally nearby? He was close enough to the action that Mike thought he was involved, yet he didn’t hear the screaming or react? “Huh. There seems to be some sort of drama going on nearby. I guess I’ll make no effort to investigate. Instead I’ll just alternate between walking very slowly and then magically teleporting when nobody’s looking.”

I’m willing to allow for foolish characters, coincidences, movie physics, and characters that have trouble seeing things off-screen. But the writer still needs to obey the basic rules of time and space.

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202020203There are now 83 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. baseless_research says:

    wait what just … did we skip a part?

  2. Gm says:

    nah i think it´s the game that skipped to another character etc.

  3. Twisted_Ellipses says:

    So I’m going to forget to bring this up later – those creature point-of-view shots are cool but don’t make sense…
    As a game mechanic, Wendigos only see you if you move. But via their eyes, people appear as big white blobs distinct from the background. Do they have bad eyesight or heat vision – make your mind up…

    • Ilseroth says:

      I think it’s less that they can’t *see* you when you aren’t moving and more that they determine threats/find food by movement.

    • Mike Munroe says:

      Things only appear as bright blobs when they’re moving. There’s a Wendigo POV scene later on that show somebody holding still, and they just blend into the rest of the background. In other scenes, the shimmering effect distorts and becomes less distinct when the person in question is moving slowly with subdued movements.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Maybe they have something like the Lorenzini Ampullae of sharks. Sharks sense prey by detecting electric fields caused by muscle movement (to be specific, they sense the electric impulses of your nerve endings when they stimulate your muscles). Air doesn’t conduct electricity very well so it’s not exactly the same thing, but it may be some kind of vibration sense that detects rapid, non-natural air movement caused by prey moving. Alternatively it could be some kind of sonar and the ‘bright spots’ are just a metaphor for a sonar image of something that moves in a pattern they associate with prey.

  4. MichaelGC says:

    Wow, Emily is just unbreakable. She’s done so much unscathed plummeting by this point as to make Lara Croft look brittleboned.

  5. Jokerman says:

    Can’t watch yet, so apologies if i am repeating anything from the show.

    Josh seems to be picking on all the wrong targets… people involved mostly with the prank that led to the death of his sisters was Mike, the bait, Jess and Emily, who seemed to plan it, and Matt who filmed it.

    But he spent his whole time tormenting Chris, who had nothing to do with it, Ashley, who was part of it as far as being in the room, not sure how much she had to do with it but she always seems the most regretful about the entire thing and Sam, who knew about it, complained and seemed to be Josh’s main comfort after the fact.

    He totally left Mike, Jess, Emily and Matt alone…. bar a few cheap little jump scares.

    Very weird… then we had the cliched sane man suddenly can’t string a sentence together, all he can do is babble incoherently this is the same guy who set all this up and never once blew his own cover while with the group before his “death” I love this game… but meh, some things could’ve been done better.

    • MichaelGC says:

      There’s some complicated stuff going on with Chris and Ashley, though, I think. He’s closest to Chris as a friend, and when we’re unhappy we often torment those closest to us. Plus, some part of him is trying to act as matchmaker for the two of them.

      The change in his personality can perhaps be partially explained by how he’s been holding himself together whilst obsessively setting this all up, and now that his plans have come to fruition he’s finally able to release and unleash that sickness which has been bubbling inside him, driving him on, but unable to find outward expression until now.

      At least, that’s what I got from it! I wouldn’t insist on any of the above; it’s just my vague sense of the character rather than anything I can prove or demonstrate. (And not sure about Sam. I think it might be that he likes her, but I’ve even less evidence for that than for the rest of this…)

      • PlasmaPony says:

        They didn’t find the clue for it, but Josh was on a ton of really powerful anti-psychotics to help deal with the mental trauma the death of his sisters caused. The erratic behavior when you stop taking them cold turkey is stated in the clue as well. So he is acting nuts in part because he isn’t on his medications. He also stopped going to his psychiatrist. I believe you find text messages between the two where the psychiatrist is repeatedly texting Josh because he hasn’t seen him or heard from him in a while and is worried.

        As for him going after Chris, I believe that he is indeed trying to get him and Ashley together in his own deranged way. He said earlier that they probably needed some kind of kick into getting together, and to him this was it. And hey, it works.

        Unless Chris picked any option that went against her survival in Josh’s traps. Then she leaves him to die to a Wendigo by leaving him locked outside. Women are fickle like that I guess.

        • Tizzy says:

          To make things worse, people have noted that Josh was actually on anti-depressants, which suggest that his psychiatrists (he’s had more than one, starting before the prologue even) misdiagnosed him. So he’s stopped taking his meds but they probably weren’t helping that much anyway.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Considering Josh is crazy, it’s possible he didn’t think completely rationally about who he wanted to enact revenge on and just went with tormenting the people he felt strongest about in general (which would be Chris and Sam, apparently).

      Considering his line to Sam in the basement about how he was “especially glad she came”, it may be he’s simply mixed up events in his head, or connected his revenge to the people he knew best. Maybe he’s especially disappointed in them, the people he actually like, because he expected them to save his sisters or warn him or something like that.

  6. Sharnuo says:

    6:45 Blanks still can kill at close range anyway. Several actors have died messing around with blanks.

    • wswordsmen says:

      Blanks make the sound of a gun shot

      To make the sound of a gun shot you need to have gasses at high pressure leave the end of an open cylindrical container.

      The high pressure gas will be moving at high speeds to reduce its energy as fast as possible.

      The high speeds make it so the gas will force anything there out of its way until it is low enough pressure lose its energy.

      Therefore if you shoot yourself with blanks there is a high pressure area which anything inside will be pushed out of with chaotic consequences.

      This has been brought to you by overly-long, overly-simple, overly-demeaning explanations.

    • Jokerman says:

      But this games logic has told us you can hold it right to your face and not be hurt…

    • Grudgeal says:

      Yeah, it made me wonder about why Chris is so OK. I mean, he put a blank to his throat/base of the skull and fired. The gas would probably not have blown his brains out, but probably punctured his throat, possibly broken his neck and part of his skull.

      • NotSteve says:

        I file that in the same place as the fact that humans don’t actually go unconscious from a blow to the head unless it causes brain damage. And we’ve had people who’ve been knocked out multiple times this night, which means realistically they would have probably already died from that alone.

        It’s just another thing to ignore to enjoy a lot of media.

  7. Henson says:

    Well, if I were to guess, I’d say that the monster that took Jess is not the same kind as the monster in the mines; the mine monster looked thin and bony, whereas the one that grabbed Jess through the door looked much meatier, if I remember right. So it may have different methods of killing, or perhaps different goals entirely. But I guess a lot of that might be answered next episode, too.

  8. Steve C says:

    I noticed that fortune totem in the mines about Mike was actually out of order. It was saying that Mike was going to aim his gun then *not* pull the trigger at something (Josh). So the correct game choice earlier with Mike and Chris was for Chris to let the timer run out instead of hitting Mike. The problem is that the game screwed up the location and put the totem after the event.

  9. Tizzy says:

    I had to go back to EP9 to check something, and, sure enough, Shamus was already calling out the writer for cheating his ass off, way before this reveal.

    In that episode, the Stranger maintains a distance from Mike which is best described as “exactly what the writer needs”. And manages to be entirely oblivious of Mike and Jess the whole time.

    • Mike Munroe says:

      There’s not a readily available explanation, but there is a decent enough reason why The Stranger didn’t intervene with Mike and Jessica. When you read the guys journal later on, you learn that he’s managed to survive so long because he’s been very cautious and cagey, engaging the Wendigos on his own terms using bait, traps, and the element of surprise. If he had tried to save Jessica as she was being dragged away, he would have been pulled into a situation out of his control, allowing himself to be exposed with no guarentee that he would have been able to save her in the first place (he uses a flamethrower, not exactly a precision weapon). When he’s caught out in the open with Chris, he dies almost immediately.

  10. Bropocalypse says:

    I feel like this game is really more like a high-tech version of a choose-your-own-adventure book more than anything. And it’s narrated from third person perspective.

    • Christopher says:

      It’s a point & click adventure game in the modern sense, right? Like Life is Strange, Oxenfree or every Telltale game ever.

    • Kylroy says:

      These have more or less become their own genre in the past few years. (In western markets, anyway – think Visual Novels have been a thing in Japan for over a decade).

      • guy says:

        Visual Novels do have a long history in Japan, yeah. This is sorta a separate genre, since it’s got a lot of gameplay that doesn’t branch the story with the QTEs (and walking) but follows the general principle of mainly being a long-form story with some player control.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Also, what’s the deal with The Stranger? Why is he trying to clean the monsters out of the mine? At night? Why not just seal it up? Or wait until daytime when they’re supposedly dormant?

    Because a bunch of teens decided to wonder around that night.He had to do something.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      That’s what I assume, too. Although I question the wisdom of handing Em a few flares and telling her to “get out” without her actually having any idea of where the way out is. Staying right behind that guy’s back should have been the safest thing to do, not trying to “get out” on her own.

      The other thing I wondered about is why he didn’t just call out to her when she ran away the first time. But that could be explained in some way, and of course it was good for increasing tension, so that’s okay.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Staying right behind that guy’s back should have been the safest thing to do, not trying to “get out” on her own.

        Not necessarily.It seems that he knows he cannot fight the creatures in a frontal attack,so at best he hopes to provide distraction while she escapes.He may rely on escaping the other way,and the creatures chasing him instead of her.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mike is ok.He is clearly angry,yet all he does with his anger is punch josh just once,point a gun at him with no intention of shooting,and says stuff like “when the police gets here in the morning,youll get yours”.For a dumb jock,thats extremely admirable.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    While josh and his prank are a work of pure crazy,even if jess ended up dead because of it,these assholes would be hypocrites to call him out on it,seeing how their prank led to two people being dead.

    • Tizzy says:

      Well, one might see what transpired one year ago as a very good reason NOT to do any of that shit again, let alone crank it up to 11.

      Then again, the others have not taken the lesson on board either, seeing as they start pranking each other almost immediately.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      Hmm… that first prank did not have the intention of getting anyone into a dangerous situation, plus I’m sure they wouldn’t do it anymore, given what happened last time.

      Josh’s “Prank” on the other hand, was maybe a tiny little bit more dangerous?

      In fact, I wonder how Josh could have prepared the whole thing without noticing that there’s a whole lot of spooky around the place.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Josh’s prank involved a moving saw blade and knock out gas (which can EASILY kill people if you use it wrong). Also, it involved chasing a naked, panicking woman around a house. It was NOTHING like the mean spirited video prank. The latter is dickish and cruel, but not physically dangerous in any way.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        And yet it is their prank that led to two deaths,and his prank had nothing to do with whatever happened to jess(who is most likely still alive).

        My point isnt that josh is justified.He is a mad man who did mad things.He should be stopped,locked up and treated as a dangerous psychiatric patient.My point is that these sane people did a far worse thing while thinking that they were just messing around,than this crazy person when he thought he was just messing around.They are hypocrites for judging him.

        • Grudgeal says:

          Yeah, but that’s down to Moral Luck. The fact that their prank killed two people whereas Josh’s prank hasn’t (so far) is due to circumstances beyond their control and comprehension.

          Imagine if Emily and Matt had died when that tower fell. A tower they only went into because they had to call for help because Josh pranked them. That would put Josh and the others on equal footing consequence-wise even without taking Jessica’s death into account. Where you come down on the hypocrisy scale depends on your Moral Luck stance.

          Also, there’s Chris and Sam to consider. They were never involved in the first prank. In fact, Sam tried to stop it and Chris probably would have if he’d known. Aren’t they justified in condemning Josh?

        • Shoeboxjeddy says:

          The mean video prank didn’t “lead to two deaths”. It led to them being outside. Where the actions of the creatures and the Stranger led to the fatal accident. The girls had already stopped running away and would have headed back indoors if not for the creatures appearing.

          In the same way, Josh’s actions didn’t lead to Jess’ possible death. Inviting the gang up for a fun party, rather than a sinister trap could have caused a similar result. However, he is fully responsible for the trauma and wounding of Chris, Sam, Ash, Emily, and Matt. They are all reacting directly to what he’s doing and the creatures don’t even have to step in at first to put them in danger.

          In short, I don’t make either group responsible for the actions of the critters, but what Josh did is horribly, horribly worse in every way.

    • Actually, Jess did not die because of Josh. Josh had nothing to do with that. Josh sent Mike and Jess out of the way (it seems like sending them to the cabin was the plan from the start, by the looks of it they just went there earlier than excepted due to the argument between the guys and gals).

  14. Dormin111 says:

    Just found this on Reddit: http://i.imgur.com/oecO5Wd.png

    The names of the characters in Until Dawn are the 8 most popular baby names in 1994. Pretty damn awesome detail.

  15. CruelCow says:

    So the sisters’ bodies were never found but nobody ever thought of checking the mines?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Would you have gone down there?Its dark and spooky.

      • Christopher says:

        And they’ve been closed for decades because cave-ins killed a ton of miners, so it’s unsafe to search there.

        • Benjamin Hilton says:

          It’s unsafe to fly a helicopter into a storm at sea to rescue the crew of a sinking ship but people do it.
          That’s another conceit of the game going on here. Maybe you could argue that not allot of the message got through, but if the authorities received a message that a group of people were in serious and immediate trouble and at least one was already dead they certainly wouldn’t wait until dawn (roll credits) to send help.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            It’s unsafe to fly a helicopter into a storm at sea to rescue the crew of a sinking ship but people do it.

            They do it only when they have a very experienced crew at hand that thinks that it could be done.

          • guy says:

            That’s only a slight stretch; helicopter rescues in mountains during snowstorms are fantastically dangerous and it’s not exactly unheard of for mountain climbers to have to wait for a storm to subside before they can be evacuated by air. Mind, the storm here doesn’t seem all that bad and the terrain is relatively flat, so under the circumstances I’d expect them to send someone. Then again, it’s also at night, and their instruments would tell them how far above sea level they are, not ground level, much less tree level.

            • Benjamin Hilton says:

              I wasn’t specifically suggesting they send a helicopter to get the kids, I was just using that as an example of how rescuers will not necessarily wait for safer conditions when people are in danger. Not to mention the fact that as far as the game has shown us, very little snow is actually falling on the mountain.

              • guy says:

                The ranger they were talking to said they’d send a helicopter when the storm cleared, implying they couldn’t get there sooner by ground. It seems fairly isolated, so the roads are probably bad. As for the danger from the storm, that’s more from gusts of wind and bad visibilty than snowfall.

        • Tizzy says:

          Do these mines even make sense to begin with? Is that how the real world works?

          It seems to me like having tunnels that are that open to the elements is asking for trouble every time it rains a bit hard. no wonder they had cave ins.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      Not just that but Em walked out of there. And if it had not been for the monsters that would have been reasonably easy, even.

      In a decent S&R effort, they should at least have roped someone down into all the relevant cave-ins. Especially since the Sisters’ footprints should have been visible the next morning, leading to one of those… But then the game has not acknowledged the existence of footprints in snow so far, except when the active player leaves some.

      • Shoeboxjeddy says:

        When a later character goes through the mines, various wood walkways shatter under her feet and rockslides put her life at risk. It is a VERY not safe area. You’d still think they might have attempted to see if anyone was down there, but the search party missed the fallen cell phone and therefore didn’t even make the assumption that they COULD have fallen.

        • Christopher says:

          Hey.

          Why didn’t the Stranger go down there and get them out again?

          • Shoeboxjeddy says:

            The mines are the absolute worst, most dangerous place to go if you know anything about the critters.

            He assumed they died from the fall.
            And was half right.

            I would say it’s messed up that he refused to tip off the police… but he’s half crazy and already breaking various laws to hang out secretly up there. For the sake of his mission, I understand that he keeps the lowest possible profile.

    • The mines where closed. That the cliff led into a hole could be coincidence (perhaps a sinkhole had opened and this was not marked on any maps).

  16. Christopher says:

    I think that weird cut from Emily being chased to Emily at the cabin was a result of Josh doing well at the QTEs. In the playthrough I watched, I feel like there was definitely more to that scene, and Gollum chased her further.

    Anyway, this long part where you play Emily is a big part of the reason why I warmed up to her. If you want me to empathize with someone, literally having me walk a mile in their shoes works wonders. Because Mike and her get the big action segments, it helps even out the annoyances I have with their personalities when it comes to getting along with other people.

    MichalGC mentioned Lara Croft, and if you wanna compare QTE action movie-style “survivors”, I liked Mike and Emily a lot more than I liked the reboot Lara Croft.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      If you want me to empathize with someone, literally having me walk a mile in their shoes works wonders.

      Its not just that you get to control her,but that she can also do some competent stuff.Starting a fire behind her to slow down her pursuer while running away?Thats badass.

    • Tizzy says:

      in general, I think some of the weird cuts are just the unavoidable byproduct of how modular the scenes have to be. Especially when you start getting this late in the game: by now, Em could be outright dead, which makes some the last scenes entirely skippable. (So you’d have the knock on the door at the end, but I’m not quite sure what precedes it.) Later, how despondent some characters look make more sense if others are dead, etc.

    • Matt Downie says:

      Literally?

      What if her feet are smaller than yours?

  17. Zak McKracken says:

    This is the second time where Em has to hold still to not be noticed, while holding a torch/flare in her hand — how on earth is that supposed to work?

  18. “The writer still needs to obey the basic rules of time and space.” he does (mostly)
    BTW! If I recall correctly the writer/director (or one of them) is actually the actor that portrays the stranger.

    There are more details revealed until dawn. This is also one of those games where you really need to find all clues/totems etc. to fill in the blanks.

    I’ve seen enough let’s plays now that I know there are very few holes in the story. Lots of typical horror flick movie stupidity though.

  19. I’d like to point something out about Josh. As some has noted Josh wound up in psychiatric care and on meds after his sisters vanished.
    He then quit seeing the shrink and taking his meds, and spent almost a year planning his ultimate prank.

    Note! It seems like this group of friends tend to play some pranks on each other (and has so for many years probably), nothing big like this though which is why Josh manages to trick them.

    Josh’s plans is to get Chris and Ashley together (quote “Josh: I’m a healer”)

    Josh sent Mike and Jessica out of the way (the cabin plan was most likely the plan from the start and Mike and possibly Jessica knew they’d be going there at some time).

    I’m not sure what the plan was with Emily and Matt though. It’s possible that plans changed due to how certain things unfolded.

    As to what plans Josh had for Sam I got no clue. It seems that Sam likes Josh, but Josh is partly ignorant (he likes her but probably do not realize she likes him).

    Josh is not surprised when Mike and Sam show up to “Save” Chris and Ashley.

    I’m taking a wild guess that Chris and Ashley was the main focus and the rest where supposed to be “detectives” to figure out what is going on.

    I.e. Josh is dead, there is a killer. Then Chris and Ashley and Sam vanish. The rest try to find them. (Mike and Jessica return from the cabin) Sam goes all Lara Croft and escapes.
    Or something along those lines. I wonder if some of the clues around is partly Josh (sub-conscientiously) leaving clues or if he is a bit scatterbrained and forgot to hide those clues.

    I.e. Sam finding the doorknob and running into the closed down hotel basement/tunnel is not part of the plan for example.

    It’s difficult to see what is Josh’s plans and what is coincidence or him trying to adapt to changes. Like the lightbulb that blew in the basement when Chris went in the window. I have no idea is Josh rigged that or not.

    Now the Wolverine in the bathroom closet was put there by Josh I’m pretty sure. (Josh does suggest getting the can and using it as a mini-flamethrower).

    If we where to see everything from the point of view of Josh from the very start then we’d see everything he planned and set up, but the game is sneaky and gives us a curated 3rd observer view instead.

  20. @Shamus you say “perhaps Chris talks Mike into being gentler so they can properly interrogate Josh and discover he really wasn’t involved with Jess”

    Chris tries this (the “Skeptical: Something’s not right here” choice).
    But unfortunately Mike says “I saw him kill Jess”.
    In in light of the current events Chris has to decide if he’ll believe his best friend for life Josh or Mike. And Josh is acting very erratic and Chris is unsure. He has no reason to doubt Mike at this point “I saw him kill Jess” is a strong statement. Chris has no idea that Mike did not actually see who took Jess.

  21. I’d like to point out something regarding Josh and the weird stuff he says when getting tied up in the shed.

    Those are movie quotes (as Josh is a movie fan, partly due to his father).

    It starts with Chris going into the basement at the beginning “Josh: Godspeed pilgrim” is from a John Wayne movie.
    “You don’t have the guts to doe anything about it”
    “Can’t tie them up if they wriggle around”
    “Guaranteed for x hostages or your money back””
    Josh talks almost entirely in movie quotes (or paraphrasing quotes).

    Mike hitting him out cold and then later getting accused of killing Jess sends Josh spiraling (Josh feels guilty for not being able to protect his sisters a year earlier after all).

    Super mild spoiler won’t ruin/reveal any story stuff:
    Later Josh says Please don’t hit me after Mike hits him to get Josh back to his senses, I suspect that there is deeper meaning. I wonder if Josh’s dad was not that nice, in fact there is very little revealed about the parents.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I didn’t realise those (apart from maybe ‘Godspeed, pilgrim,’ which is delivered in a manner which suggests it’s from somewhere). I’m a big fan of all the little details they’ve stuffed into this game – so thanks for pointing out some more! :D

  22. Shoeboxjeddy says:

    Full answer to Shamus’s questions/comments, spoilers like crazy below…

    The interrogation scene:
    This is mostly just down to taste. In a Telltale style game like this one, I try to keep my head in character, rather than playing a perfect meta game. ESPECIALLY for a first playthrough of this game, I would recommend this method, as you’ll end up with a really effective horror story where probably lots of characters die in shocking/upsetting ways. So for this scene, I played Chris as angry/confused. He didn’t believe that Josh would have outright murdered Jess, but was also FURIOUS with Josh and was very willing to verbally gang up on him with Mike. The choice to hit him or not, I decided that since Josh was previously his best friend, he’d try to stop Mike rather than hurt Josh some more. Turns out, he didn’t need to do that and sheepishly got sent away.

    “Also, what’s the deal with The Stranger? Why is he trying to clean the monsters out of the mine? At night? Why not just seal it up? Or wait until daytime when they’re supposedly dormant?”
    He is a monster hunter from a line of monster hunters. They try to contain, rather than kill the Wendigos, apparently if you kill them it “releases the cursed spirit of the Wendigo” which is bad for a reason the game hasn’t explained to my satisfaction. He’s after them now because idiot kids are here and he wants to avoid the kids running into the Wendigos… which is too little too late as Jess has already had a very close encounter. It’s night because the kids are here at night, it’s not like Josh gave the guy an itinerary of when his stupid scheme would start. He can’t seal up the mine, there are several entrances that aren’t so easily closed up. If he waits… Until Dawn (dun dun dun), the kids will pretty much be dead. He just saved Emily’s life by acting now.

    As we’ll see later, they can decapitate a human in one swipe. But instead the monster dragged her away while she struggled? And the Stranger was coincidentally nearby? He was close enough to the action that Mike thought he was involved, yet he didn’t hear the screaming or react?
    The Wendigos like to eat fresh (TM). So it was taking her to its preferred feeding spot. The Stranger was nearby because he had noted the presence of the kids and was on the hunt. You see a flameburst during the Mike and Jess walk from the house to the cabin, and hear the screeching. Unfortunately, there’s more than one Wendigo, so his efforts didn’t protect Jess. With all the shouting Mike was doing, he headed for the way into the mine he knew of, but not as fast as Mike, since he knew about the Wendigo’s movement based hunting. When Mike finally sees him, the Stranger has likely deduced the same thing as Mike: that it’s too late for Jess. So he retreats to his hideout to prepare for the rest of the night.

    • Pretty on point except ”which is bad for a reason the game hasn’t explained to my satisfaction” this is explained, i forget where but the spirit if unleashed will look for someone engaging in cannibalism and the cycle starts anew. The Stranger is containing them and studying them until he finds a way to break the curse.

      If the game has a flaw it’s that it dumps the viewer into a fully fleshed out world with a complex backstory that is barely hinted at (the focus are on the teens after all). A prequel or a sequel could easily delve deep into the lore.

      Also note that the Video you can play under the totem collection menu is a narration by The Stranger. And to me it feels like that video would fit perfectly into the info dump that The Stranger does at the lodge in front of the fireplace.

      Hopefully Josh finds most/all of the totems so he can play that clip at near the end of the game.

  23. @Rutskarn You mentioned as if things where missing after Emily dropped down in the snow. It’s even more weird if you fuck up and end up killing her.

    If I recall correctly Sony did not believe the game would do well so they did not market it well and the budget was probably not big enough for what the game was trying to do.

    The interesting thing though is that the guy behind the game (who plays “The Stranger”) has been trying to tell a Wendigo story/film for a long time and he got the chance to do that (I think he said that in the behind the scenes stuff?!).

    I can only imagine how much they did and cut or was half finished or they wanted to make but didn’t get to do. A Directors Cut/Extended Cut of the game would be awesome (considering how well it’s done they should be able to afford to do that).

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