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BlackWolf

Speculation, speculation, speculation!

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Lovely day for it! Where on earth do I begin? My sister showed me the trailer for this game a few days ago, and I am so excited and I wish this game could be released tomorrow. I've always been a big fan of dystopian fiction, no matter what the format. I am so excited to explore Wellington Wells and its history. I plan to contribute to the Kickstarter project as soon as I get paid.

 

In gaming, I've always been a story-driven player. I always have to know what happens next in a game's plot. The whole idea of WHF is so tantalizing, and I'm champing at the bit to find out all the story elements and secrets of Wellington Wells. Alas, I understand that those points are still in debate, even amongst the game's creators! So while we wait, any other fans want to discuss these plot points as time goes on? Let's discuss and speculate!

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Speculation indeed! Speculating plot you don't know is always fun. Although at this point I think a lot of it is wild guessing from possible references, ideas, and snippits given. Which is super fun to see what people come up with.

 

I have an idea... although it's wild and off of whim and design choices and all that: What if Mr Sideburns (the starter protag) is on a search for his son? Which may or may not lead into an idea about children being used to make the joy drug.

 

 

 

 

 

Possible Dad Protag

 

Sideburns probably being a dad- to me- mainly comes down to his design. I've had an extreme love for that generic-dad type of character for a long time and so I've seen a lot of that sort of character. The main aspects you see in these fatherly figures are:

 

• tall figures ☑

• long faces ☑

• huge noses ☑

• glasses ☑

• the dadly hair swishfloop ☑ (the extreme fringe, which I noticed was nerfed a tiny bit in the newer design)

• some sort of smart outfit ☑ (although they all wear this sort of thing since it's the 60s)

• The age ☑ (I used to think he looked a little too young for it, but in the newer design there's something that seems more mature in his face)

 

They're often clean-shaven, smart, quite dorky looking, and they have that air about them that he definitely has. Also there's another aspect to it that I'm not allowed to say that sets off the 'hi, i'm a british generic dad' alarm bells. Like- even if he turns out not to be a fatherly figure, that's a perfect dad design right there.

 

But there's also something in the one cutscene we've seen: He's searching for someone. I can't tell if 'Percy' is the other protag in the scene or whether Percy is the name of the person he's looking for (the way he says it could be taken in both ways honestly). Either way, the response of the Scotsman rang something into mind: 'The Germans aren't animals you know.' That's not a response you'd get for adults- people don't care enough about adults, and this is the opposite team in a war that killed god knows how many of their people- that's a response reserved for those who hurt baby animals and children. Hurting a child is considered barbaric.

 

So I'm lead to believe he's looking for a kid.

 

 

 

 

 

Kids = Joy?

 

This one's a lot more of a wild guess, but interesting none-the-less: my housemate Ghoulkiss brought up the idea- an idea I had considered in the past, thanks to the Torchwood series 'Children of Earth' (which is 'Doctor Who', aka the dustbins totally aren't daleks and that was a casual police box in 'Contrast' shh- the chances of inspiration coming from something DW based doesn't seem too far-fetched)- however I hadn't considered a special factor that she brought up: The Joy 'Factories'. We don't know much about these things, so their meaning may be entirely unrelated like a walkway or a different bridge design or something, but they're a thing and they're not in game yet. I'm suspecting they're just glorified joy detectors honestly, but it's still something in mind.

 

Mainly though, what do we associate kids with? being little shits being joyful. Where are the kids? nowhere to be seen. I quote 'They just wanted to make sure we stay quiet, and we did'. Keeping kids quiet isn't as easy as adults, and children under a certain age can't have/don't respond to drugs in the same way. And there definitely used to be kids, because there are play-parks.

 

 

 

So the idea that you're running through a town trying to save your son? Sounds like a possible plotline to me.

 

I did consider it to be a brother or a romantic partner or a friend, however it doesn't give that storyline ~zing~ as it were in my opinion? Especially not in conjunction to general storytelling (when was the last time you saw a protag rescuing a brother or a cousin?). Often there needs to be some big emotional thing to make you want to rescue them, and son or little brother or some sort of child seems like the most likely to hit the feelings (because children and the natural protective urges most of us have to them). Not to mention there was a worry in his voice that made it seem like this person is really important to him and he's really upset that they're missing.

 

Then again I could be completely wrong and Sideburns was just based on the Beatles and the kids are just victory meat.

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Wow, where on earth did you find that, MudLark? That is delightfully creepy.

 

The first protagonist in WHF does seem pretty young to me, but you never know. I'm wondering if perhaps WW2 was more drawn out and ended later than 1945 because it can take a while to oust invaders. The war might have ended much later, allowing the protagonist to have a young son without messing up the timeline.

 

The idea of deriving Joy from children makes a disturbing amount of sense. Children are rather cheerful, and have a great sense of wonder. I visited the forums again because Compulsion just released a new video of Uncle Jack telling the tale of the Pied Piper, and I practically blew a gasket. The Germans-as-rats wasn't surprising at all, but Churchill as the Piper? That turns all my assumptions on their heads. I thought that the Germans made the people of Wellington Wells do the Very Bad Thing. What if it was actually the British government, in return for driving away the Germans? Did the government take the kids, and are giving the townsfolk Joy to make them complacent? What on earth did they do with the kids?

 

Oh man, I can't wait for next week when they release the second part of the video!

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Haha Scarfolk stuff. ♥ So good.

 

@Blackwolf

I have a feeling it might have yeah. There are still posters in game that say stuff like 'we'll win the war' etc. Also with the most recent humour hour and the stuff I've seen elsewhere, they are still thoroughly against the Germans.

 

As soon as it said the story of the Pied Piper, I literally verbally went 'you're bloody kidding me'. The kids are going to play such an important part in it, I just know it. And then when I listened to it I also got that exact Churchill VS the Germans kind of thing going on. Then again I have to wonder if that has a double-meaning to it...

 

A part of me is still laying on the sidelines about the English being the bad-guys though, or even Uncle Jack. They're taking joy to forget something horrible, most of them are being forced to take the joy even if they don't want to... and I don't know if you've ever been depressed, but everything feels like a darkness swallowing you in and you think of awful, awful things; morals go out of the window and sometimes you just want to forget everything. If they did something so bad that it made them feel that bad, I don't think I could blame them. And having been on both an anti-depressant and a medically induced (legal, to clarify) high, there's something so amazing and airy and you just don't feel sad anymore... and you want it to last forever. It's like an improved version of you, but the side effects and worries about it still mean you can't take it forever... unless society sees fit. Wellington Wells does, a place where if you overdose and die then that's one less mouth to feed. Overdosing is just a sad accident, really, where as in life it'd be a massive case.

 

There are so many emotions behind taking a drug to make you feel better, but taking that drug doesn't make them a bad person. Not facing their regret is the bad thing here, but there's a chance they might not be bad, just sad. I'm not going to blame even a whole society for that.

 

I think Pied Piper Pt 2 is going to give more insight on who's to blame, but for now I'm very half and half on the matter of who the major antagonist may be

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Okay, I actually had this post on a thread in Pre Alpha Feedback last night, but that's because @GBH kinda wandered off topic. *cough* Anyway, sticking here.

 

Since AirRaid helpfully reminded us of the

, I was looking at it again and there seems to be an interesting conversation between Glasses Bloke and Ginger Army Man.

 

"You came back from the station...the only one. ...The Germans aren't animals, you know. They just wanted to make sure we stayed quiet. And we did."

 

So if nothing else, I'm guessing Glasses is the equivalent of the lame child who couldn't follow the rest. I would suspect Percy is his brother.

 

As for the deal, it sounds as if surrendering the children was meant to be a form of leverage to ensure the citizens didn't make trouble. The deal may have been brokered by Churchill or his equivalent to have the Nazis withdraw from the country (which would have taxed the citizens' resources and possibly resulted in various abuses, as the story indicates).

 

The thing I'm sticking on is what "bad thing" the Wellies could have done. Surrendering the children to keep the town safe is pretty cold, but it feels like something more. The element of trying to cheat the piper seems important. To go way out on a limb here, I almost wonder if they didn't try to offer other peoples' children in lieu of their own -- orphans and other undesirables, children who may have been sent out of London due to the Blitz (like the premise to the Chronicles of Narnia). Maybe even by killing their neighbors and passing off their kids as their own while hiding their own children. The bunkers you start in look to be maintenance tunnels, but maybe they served another purpose once. Especially since there are often several mattresses. If this was the case, it looks like they were found out -- and that their children were taken anyway.

 

I'll grant you that this is pretty wild speculation, but stealing someone else's children is the only explanation I could think of that would be classified as "horrible" rather than "citizens resisting invaders". I'm sure we'll get more clues as the lore is added, but for now it's fun to speculate.

 

(Incidentally, there's a nice collection of various Pied Piper stories here.)

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For some reason I hadn't seen that video... and I still haven't found that guy. People are talking (complaining?) about "beating the game already", but I don't see how that's possible when the game isn't even finished. I haven't found anything beyond survival yet- other than the meat shop. I looted all of that and didn't get much info other than that the freezer is empty.

 

I'm still on that v-meat is people. It has to be. "You never see them burying them", I mean, c'mon, lol. Though it could be pets, one wastrel says "You shouldn't have to eat your own dog". There are no kids *or* pets, which is odd as pets make people happy and relieve stress. At first I thought she said "You shouldn't have to eat your own..." without finishing ,implying children. The one Wastrel pretends her kids come home and wants to make them tea. Then of course the couple in the rafters of the house with multiple beds. They must have been harboring the last few kids.

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@ceruleanspiral People have made it to the exit hatch, I think, but the devs said elsewhere that the actual storylines are going to be withheld until the game is done or nearly done. As I understand it there will be 3 playable characters (guessing Glasses Bloke, Stiletto Chick, and Ginger Army Man from the concept art). We only have the one right now, and no context for how they might tie together other than the cameo of Ginger Army Man in the Kickstarter vid, presumably talking to Glasses. And the Kickstarter vid is also more a general concept thing, I think, so that scene may not end up happening at all.

 

I'm not sure about all the kids being eaten, but I definitely wouldn't be surprised if there was cannibalism at some point. The Pied Piper story told by Uncle Jack indicates that even before the suspiciously-German rats invaded there was violence and scarcity, probably tied to the war. It is possible that the kids were given away and recycled into V meat or possibly even Joy, as someone else suggested.

 

However, to me the more deranged wastrels' behavior seems more like . . . waiting. Waiting for their children to come home. The hanged couple in the house kind of echo the blacksmith in the Uncle Jack story, who waited and waited and then finally killed himself.

 

(And funny you should mention the lack of pets - I've seen a very cheerful petshop with the windows being painted boards with cartoonish animals rather than the real thing.)

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Ok so I have a few ideas that I'd love to throw into the mix: I feel like the society of Wellington Wells has become a communist society (now let me explain!) My main reason for thinking this is those posters about fighting communism in the garden area, and the fact that property is seemingly public. People will literally just walk into and out of houses at a whim and unless you're a downer you're basically aloud anything. Obviously they are doing this in some weird way to rebel against the former nazi folk who were around.

 

The other thing i'm assuming is that lots of starvation went on: at some point they may have been forced to eat some... things... Or people.... that they wouldn't have done in any other situation. I figure this because there is a line from the wastrels that says "YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO EAT YOUR DOG!"

 

There's something everybody wants to forget, but damn I wish I could know what it was !!!!

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On the food thing, there's already proof in various Uncle Jack lines (Happy Hours, Twitter takeover) and on the kickstarter that they're going through a food shortage. Sawdust makes good substitute for bread, though, you have to admit.~

 

I've been calling that the V meat is kids from day one, and I'm starting to think the 'ew, that's dark!' reaction was staged. ;)

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@Otherbuttons I've been thinking about the "before everything comes crashing down" line from the Kickstarter vid and the time limit to escape the world, and I'm guessing this may be tied to the food shortage -- or rather, what it represents (collapsing infrastructure). No one seems to be laboring to produce anything, and if the populace is tripping balls 24/7 they'd also lack the sense of urgency to fix things. Joy probably also aids in denying that this type of lifestyle is unsustainable.

 

Although man - can you imagine being in Wellington Wells when the Joy supply ran out? I'd get the hell out of there, too.

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@SyAlmans

You say that last part, but I'd personally feel sorry for them. When you're so accustomed to a life-style and to have that yanked from underneath you would be awful. What they're doing is pretty bad and unhealthy, sure, but it's a coping method. I can only imagine that after the urgent anger, once the down begins... it would be a really, really sad site.

 

The morals- at least at the moment- with the Wellies are so debatable and understandable from both sides, it makes them really tragic. To be honest, from what's shown already (with the hanging scene in the attic), it's alllll gonna be tragic.

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@Otherbuttons

They are definitely pitiable, but given their reaction to the protagonist when he's off his Joy once a mass shortage hits there would be carnage -- people beating neighbors to death because they've unwillingly become downers, fights over the remaining Joy as they try to stave off the inevitable, suicides like we saw with the wastrels, etc. It'd be an entire society suddenly going cold turkey. I'm entertaining the idea mostly because I was trying to puzzle out why the game had a time-limit to escape. It seems to make more sense than something like "the islands are going to be bombed" or "the city's going to fall into the sea," partly because the Glasses looks like some kind of inspector and so may have some knowledge of an impending shortage.

 

The fact the wastrels seem so sad, and the Wellies in such denial, does still bother me. In Bioshock it makes sense to go around murdering splicers since they're insane and often shown killing those few inhabitants of Rapture who weren't crazy. It's one thing when you're being beaten with a lead pipe for being in the wrong house, but quite another to perform a silent takedown just so you can loot a wastrel's emaciated body as she mutters about the children that will never come home. On the one hand a bodycount is just a consequence of survival-oriented gameplay, but on the other it does sometimes make me feel like a dick. I do have a suspicion that there will eventually be some lore or character aspects that will put this in a little more context, though. If not, you're basically walking around killing the cripplingly bereaved.

 

(BTW, I think you mentioned in another thread that you had an AMD card? Try the 6.2 build they just pushed live, because it helped the performance on mine a LOT.)

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@Otherbuttons I wanna say I feel bad for the folks in Wellington but they sort of choose to live the way they do, clearly your character can survive in the world without being horribly addicted to Joy. (Though you can take it and not be... Huh...) I feel worse for the normal people trapped in the middle of all of this. Those folks who aren't super addicted to joy, but not a wastrel: your average Joe if you will. It's those folks who probably want to move on ahead but they have to take joy just to make sure they don't get brained by people.

 

Also I wonder if wellington wells has access to fire arms, people mostly seem to use house supplies or sticks to beat you to death. What if after the war there was sort of a big old "farewell to arms" business and now people are focused on a pseudo peaceful life. But through all the joy and mob mentality it's hard for them to see that they are actually hurting people, they are doing things just as bad despite not having traditional killing tools.

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@Sirpimsywinkle

I feel 'They choose' is going to be down to just how much choice they actually had in the 'Really Bad Thing' before that can be determined. For all we know, the 'Really Bad Thing' wasn't everyone's choice or may have been the only way they could survive, or even if it were their choice it sounds like- from the Wastrels- that it caused extreme depression. Depression is definitely not a choice and medication is an extremely helpful thing for it, and I don't think a person should ever be blamed on their 'choice' to be happy. Hell, I've suffered- and still occasionally do- from depression and let me tell you I'd probably sell my cat to eternally escape that disgusting feeling, and I love that cat.

 

The only problem that really seemed to arise with what we currently know is that it spread, became a societal mandatory thing, and became violent. When a person's choice on how they want to deal with a situation is taken from them, it becomes a lack of human rights. You call out the 'normal' (which is a really bad term in relation to those on meds, even further so when in Wellington Wells 'normal' is taking the drugs and actually redundant) people as those to feel sorry for, but actually everyone had that ideology stripped from them, not just the Downers. No matter how it works, until the real antagonist and plot is revealed, I personally find it hard to blame anyone in Wellington Wells.

 

I mean hell, the Wellies just wanted to 'move ahead'. Really, what's wrong with striving for happiness in a world- especially for them- that's falling apart around you?

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It's still a bit up in the air as to how culpable the Wellies really are. They do aggro pretty hard when they suspect a downer, but there's the mob mentality ("If I don't react they'll think I'm a downer, too") and the fact Joy is literally a mind-altering drug. It was explicitly created to blot out memories. It may leave them highly suggestible, too. Who knows how long it's been before any of the Wellies had the opportunity to think for themselves, or even the thought that maybe they should try, especially since all their food and water is contaminated?

 

 

As an aside, research on an unrelated issue lead me to the policy of the Nazis kidnapping and fostering children from countries they invaded, particularly Poland, to be raised as Germans and preserve desirable genetic traits. If that's what happened to the children it not only gives a better alternative than "turned into V Meat", but echoes the real Pied Piper theory that the missing children were actually settled elsewhere.

 

(While this isn't necessarily proof of anything, based on the vibe of Contrast - and the fact the alternatives are all freakishly dark - I'm currently inclined to favor this interpretation.)

 

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Really it's hard to actually determine what the awful thing they had to do was, maybe the awful thing they had to do was stop taking joy for a day. It'll be interesting to see more and more tidbits of lore show themselves so we can all piece together this lore puzzle.

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Once you're addicted to a drug for a long , regular period of time, it hurts so bad to be off of it. Your body is used to it, so whatever that pill cured? It's coming back twice or three times worse for a while.

 

If the Really Bad Thing is enough of a Really Bad Thing, I imagine a one day reform may be enough for suicide to be an option by the end of it? Or at least that depressive lack of care once you realize you can't get your fix for certain. I mean, the Wastrels get suicidal and they've not felt the drug for ages it seems, so imagine that amplified mentally along with your body having physical sweats, possible convulsions, hell with how that drug is I imagine fever hallucinations aren't off the books at all.

 

Having to stop at the stage they're at would probably kill the weaker ones.

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Even Uncle Jack had his moment of forlorn emotion on camera about his dog, then quickly 'corrected' himself with a Joy pill.

 

It seems they may have made food from the animals, at the least, but I don't think it's the Very Bad Thing, but fallout from it.

 

The gas maze is eerie and surprising. I found myself wondering why the Wellies allowed the Wastrels to live at all, since they're seemingly resistant to the Joy effects. One Wastrel sobs about someone taking the vanilla (a flavor in the booth) when whomever it was knew the vanilla didn't work for him or her. I'm guessing that Wastrel wasn't spared, but why not, when others were?

 

Since the "capable" Wastrels are kept quarantined, are there plans for them to be some sort of experiment? Are they already? Is this why they were spared, and only those who breach the walls are killed?

 

The Wastrels are indeed envious if you're on enough Joy for them to notice. They'll kill a Downer, too, if they spot one. Perhaps the Wastrels are awaiting a cure so they can rejoin society as they knew it, in all its ignorant bliss.

 

I believe the children were killed. The level of grief is without any hope. A missing child might be alive, and you'd think they'd cling to the slightest bare thread of hope in that case. These folks seem to be beyond hope when facing their own unmedicated memories. The chalk drawing of the children at gunpoint by a militant figure seems poignant to the idea of witnessing death, or surety of it to come.

 

It's all very twisted! Very well done, too. I eagerly await more tidbits to come, though it likely won't be fully known 'til next summer.

 

I feel sad for the Wastrels and the Wellies. Joy is the enemy here. At times, I feel I'm euthenizing more than killing, unless they attack me first and I've no escape; then it's simply survival.

 

Lots of rambles, sorry!

 

I think they passively or actively participated in killing the children. I hope some managed to stow theirs to safety. We know, kind of, what the Wellies think, and what the Wastrels think. What we do not know is what the Downers think.

 

Much fun in speculations!

 

 

 

 

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@Zenaxa There's a lot of upsetting imagery -- one of the bits of graffiti (usually in black charcoal, I think) is a building on fire with a women leading the children away. I think the scrawl of the Nazis holding people at gunpoint is of soldiers, though; the male children are usually depicted in short pants. I think that one represents the Nazi occupation.

 

As for the "no hope" thing, it's also been about 20 years. That may be why you have some who still seem to be holding out hope (the woman talking about preparing supper, the rooms full of toys) and those who've given up (the couple that's hanged themselves). Scrawl like "WHY DID WE BELIEVE THEM?" indicates that they were promised the children would be returned. Of course they weren't.

 

You make a good point about the quarantine of wastrels in the Garden district, though. I'm guessing that they're pitied as no longer being able to benefit from Joy, but that pity doesn't extend to being allowed to live in the same areas. Seeing them only reminds you of what you lost. Since one of the Garden districts usually houses a train station (presumably where the children were last seen) I wonder if the Gardens are areas that were deemed "too sad" to rehab. That would mean the wastrels just ended up in areas the Wellies wanted to ignore entirely.

 

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Because of this game, I've now watched several hours of "Hitler's Britain" and have learned about the Auxiliaries that Chamberlain set in place. Pretty amazing stuff.

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My thoughts and I am a straight to the point person so sorry for the lack of details:

 

Kids are either dead or taken away. I think that the Germans implemented the joy drug and setup the town with fake shop fronts, Uncle Jack, and the Bobbies to keep people quiet (referencing the clip from kick starter video) and to stay on Joy.

 

Thus, the town is a cover up...for something... If it is, and depending on how much is reviled, this game could very well be setup for a sequel.

 

Random thinking: if you watched the pre-alpha demo video by one of the developers, he wants to say something about the blue stuff on the ground. I am wondering if that is Anti-Joy aka the cure for Joy. Maybe something to do with the girl downer. I'm figuring she's a spy or something.

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@stewi0001

I can't remember where it was said (It might have been the kickstarter Compulsion stream) but apparently that stuff is the fuel for all this retro-futuristic tech. Still a chance though.

 

I'm getting spy vibes from the girl too, especially since in the recent cut-off concept art she's casually hanging out with a ton of Wellies (you can see the bottom of her at the top). Either she was one of them, or she's a spy.

f24224cfa6.jpg

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@Otherbuttons

I'm definitely going with spy, based on character concept art and the fact that she was intentionally cut off when they posted the recent image.

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