Dear Esther > General Discussions > Topic Details
Freddy Feb 3, 2013 @ 2:41am
the moral of the game *spoilers waring*
***WARING THIS POST CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS OF THE END***

Dont get me wrong.
I loved the game. I saw it like a dark tone, sundayevening walk.
But I after the finish I thought its wrong to give young gamers the thought that comitting suicide is an answer to a broken heart problem. Expacialy if its done in a way that jumping from a tower wont hurt you and you start to fly like a bird...
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sreamer17ydr Feb 3, 2013 @ 4:47am 
Well, to me, I think the ending is like just a creative way to say he finally got to sore with the birds. In the end, when he jumps, before he hits the ground, he turns into a bird (you can see the bird shadow form) and so he flys across. I don't think this game is literally taken as he is jumping off the radio tower, it is just a metaphore.
heretic.pilgrim Feb 3, 2013 @ 12:17pm 
When I played through the game it felt more like the whole island was a labrynth that the narrator walked through in his head trying to sort his thoughts out. The ending chapter was him growing to be at peace and finally being redeemed. His jumping off the tower was killing his guilt and moving on with his life.
Strugackij Feb 5, 2013 @ 7:11am 
Originally posted by heretic.pilgrim:
When I played through the game it felt more like the whole island was a labrynth that the narrator walked through in his head trying to sort his thoughts out. The ending chapter was him growing to be at peace and finally being redeemed. His jumping off the tower was killing his guilt and moving on with his life.
Yeh that is also my point of view. I do not think he made suicide, but he sorted out his problems and his point of view and finally escaped from island which was allegory of his guilt or thoughts on his dead wife and probably son or friend.
It´s good on this game, everyone can have different point of view on it´s journey and story. Good relaxing/drama-like movie game
Grim_667 Feb 7, 2013 @ 12:12am 
Originally posted by heretic.pilgrim:
When I played through the game it felt more like the whole island was a labrynth that the narrator walked through in his head trying to sort his thoughts out. The ending chapter was him growing to be at peace and finally being redeemed. His jumping off the tower was killing his guilt and moving on with his life.

Yea same on my part I just played through again and it seems to be he was imprisoned on the island for his guilt and he is in his mind. Hence the shadows you see from tme to time ghosts of the past. More of a metafore than literal.
Spooky Apples Feb 8, 2013 @ 7:10am 
This game can be viewed all sorts of different ways. Pinning one meaning to it will get you no where. The main character leaping from the tower can be equated as much to suicide as it can be casting his angst and ill will away.
Starshayd Feb 9, 2013 @ 8:12am 
I wish I could agree, but sadly I cannot.
The white lines that were carved in the cliffs were carved by others who had earlier inhabitted the island, caught the disease, and wanted to warn others from landing on the island too before they ended their own misery. The narrator states he carves his own lines, clearly indicating early on his intentions.
The island is both literal and metaphorical: it epitomizes the solitude his grief has created and emphasizes the hopelessness of finding a way out of the cancerous state with which he has smited himself.
The actual gameplay is also a metaphor of the story. Just as the narrator is searching his past over and over, trying to find a little detail to piece together a substantial meaning to the tragedy in his life by revisiting his memories time and again, so too the player searches for the answers to piece together what he has seen. Both entities cannot interact with what they observe but can only stop and look around, observing the tiniest of details such as the number of gulls or the miles or micrometers. Having not found all the answers to finish the puzzle, both narrator and player subject themselves to the memories in hope to find another answer. This ends up captivating the member, keeping them trapped on the island, scanning the coasts and walls for clues.
As the narrator reaches "Damascus" (a clear Biblical reference of opening blinded eyes), he has indeed decided to let go of his constant searching. But sadly, at this point, he realizes his kidney stones and his infected leg have hopelessly sealed his fate here on the island. These, too, are metaphors of the painful memories he continually endures, yet also tries to numb the pain with the painkillers. It creates a throbbing, a continual pounding of the grief that haunts him. He throws away the pills (thus opening his blindness so he can see it all clearly) and decides to make "peace" with it all.
Through deciding to end the narrator's constant search by throwing him off the cliffs and freeing him from his self-torment, the game-creators attempt to symbolically show the dangers of letting one's self become consumed by grief and regret, showing that letting go is the only hope of freedom but if one stays on their island for too long there might be a price to that liberty. The game is their way of "carving white lines" to warn others from doing the same.
mrmusicallion Feb 9, 2013 @ 11:18am 
I think you might want to revise your theories slightly ^_^ See how long you can stay underwater in the caves. What does that imply?
Last edited by mrmusicallion; Feb 9, 2013 @ 11:30am
Starshayd Feb 9, 2013 @ 11:48am 
Originally posted by mrmusicallion:
I think you might want to revise your theories slightly ^_^ See how long you can stay underwater in the caves. What does that imply?
It implies for the purpose of the gameplay you are observing. Nothing you do will affect you or your environment. Just as you can jump down the hole but be dropped back on top; the gameplay itself is a metaphor of the narrator's observation and therefore will not change the outcome of anything that happens to him or the world (memories) he oberserves.
The island itself seems to be at least to some degree literal seeing there were previous inhabitants; the things he sees on it are obviously metaphors (the tires, chemical figures, etc.).
mrmusicallion Feb 9, 2013 @ 12:24pm 
What I was implying, is the fact that either your character is a construct of someones imagination, or you are dead and you are a wandering spirit. The gameplay itself is most certaintly a metaphor, too.

My post also wasn't aimed directly at you, in case you thought it was. I was trying more to make the others realize that the character most likely didn't commit suicide in any sense whatsoever, and rather, was already dead or non-existent as it was.

Also, something to take notice of: When the Hermit travels from place to place, in the game, he turns into a Gull. He's always one step ahead of you, wherever you go, flying ahead of you at all times. So it's quite interesting to me, the way that you, yourself, turn into a gull at the end. Or do you? Is it just that somebody is flying beside you, who is a gull, and that you have no form whatsoever? Hmm...
Last edited by mrmusicallion; Feb 9, 2013 @ 12:25pm
Harvey Feb 10, 2013 @ 1:34pm 
A very interesting thread. And incredible that Dear Esther can generate such discussion. I played Dear Esther last year and it reinvigorated my desire to play and explore videogame worlds again.

In regard to the ending, I too thought that it was more an act born out of freedom rather than suicide.
heretic.pilgrim Feb 10, 2013 @ 7:08pm 
No matter which way you interpret the ending to Dear Esther I believe that this suicide, literal or metaphorical, was not him giving up. The entire time he walks through the island he remembers the time that he spent with Esther and the events that led to her death. He sought to see his journey until the end when he could have given in and died many times though the journey.

If you believe it was a literal suicide you could hear from how he spoke and what he spoke on that there was nothing left in this world for him, that he arrived to this island on his own and planned to leave it on his own.

If you, like me, believe it was a step towards redemption, it was his final step to release himself of the burden he had carried since her death. She was the only thing he thought of while he pondered what to do with his life. He eventually came to realize that as much as he loved her he had to let himself go. He was destroying himself over her, repeatedly visiting the spot of her death, visiting Paul knowing he would gain no answers to the questions he no longer had. His time on the island showed his feelings clearly, it was as though he had a broken leg, always throbbing and the only way to get through the pain was to heavily drug himself, slowly watching himself fall into the belief that there was now way out. However before the end he managed to come to terms with some of it. The entire 4th chapter shows the lucidity that he felt in contrast to the drugs in the 3rd chapter. In the end he knows that he would spend the rest of his life missing her but he has managed to come to terms and allow her to go free from his imprisoning mind. (edited to fix a spelling mistake)
Last edited by heretic.pilgrim; Feb 10, 2013 @ 7:10pm
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Date Posted: Feb 3, 2013 @ 2:41am
Posts: 11