The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

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How did The Vanishing of Ethan Carter effect you? **Warning: Spoilers**
Has anyone else walked away from this story, deeply moved and changed because of it?

I became so invested emotionally in the story, and I could relate with Ethan so well. He even has the same first name and initials, as my son, which is kind of serendipitous.

I wanted to save Ethan. After the credits rolled, I realised I couldn't, and in some ways, I now grieve from the loss, even though that sounds strange, since its only fiction. I find myself wishing that there is some hidden clue to his fate, but everything I've looked into indicates he doesn't survive.

This game will stay with me for a long time to come.

I had a similar experience after finishing Alan Wake, but not such a big feeling of loss and despair.

What are your thoughts?

I'm really looking forward to any prequels or sequels or similarly told stories from the Astronauts. They have excelled as story tellers, I take my hat off to them. Well done!
Last edited by Transcend2030; Oct 2, 2014 @ 5:40am
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Showing 1-15 of 17 comments
creep84 Oct 2, 2014 @ 6:09am 
This is the first game when I cried at the end.
Transcend2030 Oct 2, 2014 @ 7:13am 
I didn't cry, but I felt like it and I still do when thinking back about Ethan's fate and how he was treated by his family. I have a feeling his death destroyed them, like he portrays in the game where they kill each other off. And like in the teaser trailer where his grandfather burns Ethans clothes and toys, indicates to me, the burden they now carry is too much, so they try to remove any trace of his existence, hence the "Vanishing" of Ethan Carter. Such a sad story, I would hate to think that anything like it has actually happened to some other little boy in the world, who is neglected and whos creativity is not appreciated and encouraged.
donmiguelangel Oct 2, 2014 @ 7:28am 
I cry when I try to save the game, and then I scream and remember all the Olimpus mount Gods!
Transcend2030 Oct 2, 2014 @ 7:36am 
I didn't have any issues with the lack of a save feature, although it would be nice. I found the puzzles simple enough not to require the need to save, until after the crime scene/puzzle was solved.
curio Oct 2, 2014 @ 10:49am 
Those cherishing shedding a tear or two at the end and haven't might consider playing „Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons“…
Transcend2030 Oct 2, 2014 @ 10:25pm 
I have Brothers: a Tale of two sons. Haven't finished it yet, just started. Will have to get back into it.
Transcend2030 Oct 2, 2014 @ 10:28pm 
After some more digging, and a blog post by the Astronauts, I've come to the conclusion that everything may actually be another story by Ethan. Each story is about a family member, and the larger story, the one the player is involved in, is the one that brings all the characters from each sub-story together and unites them.

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.
Curteous Oct 3, 2014 @ 7:24pm 
I honestly didn't like the end, so I went away with a sense of being unfufilled more than anything. Still not sure what Paul meant when he said there will be ''another story'' to Ethan and about him being made real by Ethan... or something along them lines. Is there some weird super-natural happenings going on there, I'm not sure... considering that the rest of the game was heavily supernaturally focused untill we learnt that it was seemingly all a figure of his imagination.
Bloodymir Oct 7, 2014 @ 7:56am 
I see that a lot of people are frustrated and feel unfulfilled about game ending.
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. ;)
Father Christmas Oct 7, 2014 @ 8:19am 
Didn't affect me at all, I mean he was just an imaginary kid made up who cares if he di....<breaks down into racking sobs> EEEEEEEEEEETTTHHHHHHAN
Gotta Ramble Oct 11, 2014 @ 2:05pm 
It was just an artsy conclusion that served only to render everything you just did meaningless, so no, not really.
Transcend2030 Oct 12, 2014 @ 11:01pm 
Hardly meaningless, there is a deeper story which you can't get at from taking the ending at face value. Check out

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.
LilSwampKing Nov 4, 2014 @ 3:37am 
In all honesty, even Bioshock Infinite's ambiguous ending was more enjoyable than this game's. If the intention was to get the player to think and interpret the story on their own terms, then it did it completely in the sloppiest of ways, barely giving clues at all. To really appreciate the entire story and its underlying messages, you'd have to play the whole game in one sitting (or at least one or two days). But for those like me who gave it a rest for a couple weeks and went back, the hidden aspects of the plot are just pure lazy.

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.
Skybird Nov 29, 2014 @ 5:51pm 
I applaude The Astronauts for the narrative imagination, and the courage to have a highly original - though tragic - ending like this to explain the story. The script's author is a poet, no doubt.

Highly impressed I am.
Last edited by Skybird; Nov 29, 2014 @ 5:52pm
kdodds Nov 30, 2014 @ 9:42pm 
I have to disagree on the story being at all "ambiguous". We are given hints, throughout, through correlation between the real people in Ethan's life and their counterparts in Ethan's fiction. We are also given multiple hints about the ultimate ending, even at the very beginning. In hindsight, my initial feeling about who, I, as Prospero, was, as I first started walking out of the tunnel, proved ultimately correct. If there's any question as to what actually happened, perhaps this is just wishful thinking for a happier ending or just simply "not getting it".
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