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I'm in my 2nd play through now. I'll re-read each story Ethan leaves throughout Red Creek Valley and think some more about it.
They complain that game they play is not "supernatural" but just a dream of a dying boy.
This IS a supernatural story.
A beautiful and touching story about one sad boy which others do not understand.
And like every good fictional art, this one too is not determined by number of fantastical elements it contains.
All stories are made from artist imagination and exist only in creator head.
Just like in this game, imagination is something that some people have and some people dont have.
Some can even put it out of their heads onto the paper, so others can read and enjoy them.
ALL ART is imagination, no matter if it is created by painter, director, writter, game developer or Ethan, of course.
Eathan IS artist that let you, player, interactively enjoy his piece of art.
He is dreamer that lets you imagine and dream with him.
If that is not enough supernatural to you,you can always grab that sniper rifle from lake. ;)
I think the true story is hidden, and can be gotten to with some digging, to those who want to put in the effort.
One thing I notice is that in final cut scene, ethan has constructed the sleepers room, placed all the drawings on the wall of those sacrificed to the sleeper before he goes to sleep, so either its a story in a story, or Ethan fortold the story and self-prophesized his own role in the story as the sleeper.
If deep enigmatic stories aren't your thing, preferring quick and simple endings with clear conclusions, then this story and game isn't for you.
I don't believe for a moment the developer intended for the ending to be so open, they just wanted to create controversy and make the player create their own interpretation of the ending. To actually interpret any kind of decent story from this game, more information HAS to be given, not simply be immensely ambiguous right at the end.
People are looking for meaning far too much and placing their own values into a game which needs more concrete information to start with. It's like ripping out every tenth page of a book and expecting the reader to understand the story.
Highly impressed I am.