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The Ending Explained!
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HallucinogenX Offline
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Post: #1
The Ending Explained!

There has been a lot of confusion about the ending and i personally was very confused when the game finished but when i think about it there are only a few possibilities.I have copied some of the stuff from the walkthrough on neoseeker.com which beautifully explains the game.


Why is the game called Penumbra?


A 'penumbra' is the name given to one of the three parts of a shadow,particularly those cast from celestial objects, like the sun or moon.A penumbra is the partially concealed part of the shadow, where a section
of the light source is obscured.

Given the mysterious nature of Black Plague, the penumbra would seem symbolic for the hidden truths that Philip is searching for. It represents the uncertainty in Philip's mind, and indicates the dark atmosphere of the
game - both visually and thematically.



What do we know about Philip?



Not too much is revealed about our protagonist, even over two whole games.From the first episode, Overture, it seems that Philip is English, probably living in, or close to, London (Mayfair, where Philip retrives his father's deposit box, is in the Westminster area of London). Philip is voiced by an English actor in Overture, although this changes to a North American voice actor for Black Plague. Presumably this was down to contractual reasons,rather than some kind of elaborate disguise by the character.


Philip's surname is given as Buchanon in Overture, yet according to Black Plague, his father's name is Howard LeFresque. We also know that Howard left Philip before he was born - this would suggest that either Philip's parents were never married, or they had divorced before his birth. Either way,Philip wasn't brought up in ideal family circumstances.

Perhaps this also explains why Philip seems to tell no one about his trip certainly the tone of the email he sends at the end of Black Plague suggests that the recipient is the first and only person that Philip confides in.
This would also indicate he has no family to speak of, and no incentive to stay in his former life. Loneliness seems to be a recurring theme in the series - not once does Philip come face-to-face with another recognizable
person, for example. The corridors in Overture also serve to dwarf Philip in size, perhaps underlining the perceived insignificance of his existence.


What did the ending mean?

The final words of the game are relayed by Philip in an email to an unknown recipient. In it, he speaks of the request made by the Tuurngait to him - to destroy the facility and bury the alien virus. Philip, however, reveals
the location of the mine in the email and asks this unknown person to "kill them all". Why he would do this raises some interesting questions.


Philip (and the Tuurngait previously) speaks of humanity being dangerous as a group, yet intelligent as individuals. The Archaic, as a group, sought to control and use the Tuurngait - whereas Howard and Philip, as individuals,are chosen to protect it.



Howard asked his son to burn all the evidence in the first game.He did this so that the last link to anyone finding this dangerous place is erased and so that this secret is left buried in the snow.This way the Tuurngait would not be disturbed and wouldn't be angry and live in peace and no human would be harmed too.But As Philip says in the email "Human nature sealed my downfall".This means that his curiosity got the better of him and he started investigating eventually reaching Greenland.The reason he did this was not because he was just curious but because this was the last thread that linked him to his father.He had never heard from him and now he sends him a mysterious letter from beyond the grave,obviously he was going to investigate.

Tuurngati is an ancient entity that came to Earth millions of years ago; it once co-existed peacefully alongside the native Inuit, using "Infected" host bodies to pass its ancient knowledge to mankind. However, in time mankind began to grow and expand, and the Tuurngait burrowed underground to separate itself from the human world. When the Archaic came, they disturbed the Tuurngait's ancient slumber and attempted to exploit it, and it fought back against them in self-defense. The Tuurngait explains that mankind is intelligent and compassionate as individuals, but selfish, petty, and destructive as a whole. However, it believes that Philip is different from most of mankind. The Tuurngait puts itself at Philip's mercy, asking him to send a message to someone above ground, for them to destroy all information regarding the Archaic's research facility so that the Tuurngait may rest in peace. This is the same request the Tuurngait made of Philip's father Howard, however Philip thwarted it by coming to investigate instead of following his father's instructions.

So Howard did what was required of him and then he died.But as Philip said,hewould not make the same mistake his father did.This means that he would not follow the Tuurngait's order and that he would do the opposite.The main suspense is WHY?.Why did Philip choose to do this?There are two theories for this :



The most likely theory according to me is that Phillip had witnessed a lot because of the Tuurngait and the virus.He had watched his loved ones die.His father Howard died because of it.He was forced to burn his only friend,Red who helped him survive and he was lead into killing Amabel too.This had greatly affected him and Clarence was just a summation of all his negative thoughts.This does not mean that Phillip was never possessed,he was but Clarence was just bringing out his most negative feelings.Philip may also be angry about how he was made to pass tests by the Tuurngait like a lab rat.The turngait are like the reverse of humanity.Humanity is peaceful and intelligent as individuals but dangerous as a whole but the Tuurngait is dangerous as individual but peaceful as a whole.Maybe Philip does not agree with the Tuurngait's views.And maybe he wants revenge.The experience over the games transformed him.He himself said that he is much more like Clarence.So he wants revenge by killing the Tuurngait.



Another theory might be that the motive for sending the message out would be to purposely expose more humans to the virus. Howard displays great remorse and shock in his Final Words note, when he learns that the Tuurngait was simply defending itself, and it seems reasonable to suggest Philip would have a similar reaction when he is told the truth. Perhaps the anger towards the Archaic group, and humanity in general, would cause Philip to justify a desire to bring humanity and the Tuurngait crashing together. The 'kill them all' could be, in fact, a misleading instruction - it's humanity he wants destroyed,not the Tuurngait.I don't think this is very likely.Phillip lost had formed many bonds with various humans like Red and Amabel over the game and so i don't think he would start hating humanity rather than hating the Tuurngait who were responsible for these deaths.

If you have some other theories or ideas please feel free to share them Smile
(This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 08:35 PM by HallucinogenX.)
05-04-2012 08:29 PM
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Cranky Old Man Offline
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Post: #2
RE: The Ending Explained!

First of all, humans are petty enough to seek revenge is somebody killed their parents. The protagonist wasn't a kindhearted person after all - he was an "unreliable narrator".

However, for all the beautiful words that the Tuurngait uses to describe itself in its deceptive, mindcontrolled halucinations, it is a hivemind controlled zombie invasion waiting to happen. In Star Trek terminology, it is The Borg. Granted, it has no intentions on invading right now, but in the self-interest of humanity, can we as a spieces gamble our existence on it staying that way forever? What if we manage to piss it off, or a government manages to extract its powers to control the populous for its own "peace"?

Noob scripting tutorial: From Noob to Pro

05-04-2012 08:51 PM
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RawkBandMan Offline
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RE: The Ending Explained!

tl;dr

Just kiddin', I like this thread. It actually has some very valid points, and I found it interesting to back more in-depth of a game I really love!

I've come to learn to not fear the living, nor the dead... But the monsters that hide in closets.
05-05-2012 06:45 PM
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Bek Offline
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Post: #4
RE: The Ending Explained!

(05-04-2012 08:29 PM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  and he was lead into killing Amabel too.
This isn't my theory, someone else came up with it, but there's very good reason to believe the following:

The trick Clarence pulled wasn't that you saw a tuurngait in place of a woman, but that you saw a woman's body in place of a tuurngaits. IE, Amabel never was on your side at all.

Reasoning's for this: Firstly, it's a badass idea. Sounds just like Clarence. Secondly, you can die during the attack. How could you be hurt by an illusion? And before you say aha, Clarence can alter my mind, he can't seem to make you feel things, only hallucinate. Otherwise why wouldn't he hurt you when you're being chased to slow you down, or when you're in any dangerous situation? Finally, there is no evidence she was human all along. Dr. Eminess (sp?) sounded human, but clearly wasn't.

tl;dr Clarence ftw
05-06-2012 09:23 AM
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Cranky Old Man Offline
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RE: The Ending Explained!

To be honest, though, I think we're just making excuses for a story that FG didn't actually think through more than a few seconds. The ending works only because it's such a big twist, but it doesn't really make sense. Would it be a large, big budget company studio, I wouldn't forgive them.

Noob scripting tutorial: From Noob to Pro

05-06-2012 09:34 AM
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HallucinogenX Offline
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Post: #6
RE: The Ending Explained!

(05-06-2012 09:23 AM)Bek Wrote:  
(05-04-2012 08:29 PM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  and he was lead into killing Amabel too.
This isn't my theory, someone else came up with it, but there's very good reason to believe the following:

The trick Clarence pulled wasn't that you saw a tuurngait in place of a woman, but that you saw a woman's body in place of a tuurngaits. IE, Amabel never was on your side at all.

Reasoning's for this: Firstly, it's a badass idea. Sounds just like Clarence. Secondly, you can die during the attack. How could you be hurt by an illusion? And before you say aha, Clarence can alter my mind, he can't seem to make you feel things, only hallucinate. Otherwise why wouldn't he hurt you when you're being chased to slow you down, or when you're in any dangerous situation? Finally, there is no evidence she was human all along. Dr. Eminess (sp?) sounded human, but clearly wasn't.

tl;dr Clarence ftw
I'm sorry but i think this is a stupid idea.There is very little evidence to back up this claim.Amabel was very much a real person.It was she who helped us through many levels.Unless you suggest that it was Clarence all along.Why would Clarence help Phillip?Clarence wants to play with Phillip's mind so much that he becomes insane and then he can take over completely.Killing Amabel could have made this happen.Also you suggested that Amabel was never on our side?Do you mean that she did exist but did not want to help Phillip?Well if she did exist and the person whom we killed was actually an infected,then where was Amabel?She said she would be in the Research Room but we explored the whole room and she wasn't there.

There is no use in making up theories in your mind because there is no evidence.I could make up a theory that Phillip actually dies of the cold in the first level of Overture and that the rest of the two games is his mind in some sort of purgatory.Because think about it,the story seems crazy!Secret government facility in friggin Greenland,Ancient Spirits,Aliens,Government Conspiracy.Seems to weird to be true.

(05-06-2012 09:34 AM)Cranky Old Man Wrote:  To be honest, though, I think we're just making excuses for a story that FG didn't actually think through more than a few seconds. The ending works only because it's such a big twist, but it doesn't really make sense. Would it be a large, big budget company studio, I wouldn't forgive them.
I agree with you.I think the ending and the whole story in general was just okay,nothing great or mind blowing.What i loved about the first game was that there was no distinction between science and magic.At first i assumed that the mines were haunted by some spirits and then when i found some documents i said,oh no there is actually some chemical in the mines which affect's the workers minds and probably leads them into some sort of Schizophrenia.But Black Plague made it pretty clear that there are indeed spirits called Tuurngait.I did not like that.The game would have been perfect if the writers never implied that the activity caused in the mines was definitely because of a spirit.I wish that they left it to our imagination so that we could interpret the events as something supernatural or as some scientific mystery.
(This post was last modified: 05-06-2012 11:52 AM by HallucinogenX.)
05-06-2012 11:46 AM
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spukrian Away
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Post: #7
RE: The Ending Explained!

(05-04-2012 08:29 PM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  What do we know about Philip?

Philip's surname is given as Buchanon in Overture, yet according to Black Plague, his father's name is Howard LeFresque. We also know that Howard left Philip before he was born - this would suggest that either Philip's parents were never married, or they had divorced before his birth. Either way,Philip wasn't brought up in ideal family circumstances.

Perhaps this also explains why Philip seems to tell no one about his trip certainly the tone of the email he sends at the end of Black Plague suggests that the recipient is the first and only person that Philip confides in.
This would also indicate he has no family to speak of, and no incentive to stay in his former life. Loneliness seems to be a recurring theme in the series - not once does Philip come face-to-face with another recognizable
person, for example. The corridors in Overture also serve to dwarf Philip in size, perhaps underlining the perceived insignificance of his existence.

Well, in the beginning of Overture we find out that Howard was declared legally dead since just about the same time as he left Phillip. So his mother probably reverted to her maiden name. Also, Phillip says his father left 30 years before sending the letter, so when he got the letter he's at least 30 years old and would be about 31 when going to Greenland.

Now, I have a personal theory about who he writes the email to. In the beginning of Overture Phillip finds a book written in an unknown language. He takes this and shows it to a linguist - I believe he sent the email to that linguist. Of course, there is no way to tell who he sent it from what is in the game.

(05-04-2012 08:29 PM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  The turngait are like the reverse of humanity.Humanity is peaceful and intelligent as individuals but dangerous as a whole but the Tuurngait is dangerous as individual but peaceful as a whole.

The point of the Tuurngait is that it is a hivemind - there is just one. The Tuurngait don't have any individuals. Furthermore, animals infected by the Tuurngait don't become part of this hivemind, they just become large and hungry, not peaceful.


(05-06-2012 09:34 AM)Cranky Old Man Wrote:  To be honest, though, I think we're just making excuses for a story that FG didn't actually think through more than a few seconds. The ending works only because it's such a big twist, but it doesn't really make sense.
I think the story is good. The ending seems weak because there is no resolution, only despair... as such, some people are going to be disappointed and feel that perhaps it was pointless to play the game.

(05-06-2012 09:34 AM)Cranky Old Man Wrote:  Would it be a large, big budget company studio, I wouldn't forgive them.
Large, big budget companies make crappy stories all the time, most people buy their games anyway. Sad

However, you should check out the massive butthurt among the fans of Mass Effect because of the ending of Mass Effect 3 didn't make any sense and had no resolution whatsoever.

(05-06-2012 11:46 AM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  I'm sorry but i think this is a stupid idea.There is very little evidence to back up this claim.Amabel was very much a real person.

I think you are misunderstanding his post. What he means is that Amabel was infected and in the process of turning into a Tuurngait, just like Dr Eminiss. Basically, she only helped because she was stuck and needed to get out, again just like Dr Eminiss. The theory has merit but I personally don't believe in it.

(05-06-2012 11:46 AM)HallucinogenX Wrote:  But Black Plague made it pretty clear that there are indeed spirits called Tuurngait.I did not like that.The game would have been perfect if the writers never implied that the activity caused in the mines was definitely because of a spirit.I wish that they left it to our imagination so that we could interpret the events as something supernatural or as some scientific mystery.

I think it's pretty clear that the Tuurngait is an alien virus... the Inuit only called them spirits because they couldn't understand them.
05-06-2012 01:05 PM
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Bek Offline
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RE: The Ending Explained!

(05-06-2012 01:05 PM)spukrian Wrote:  I think you are misunderstanding his post. What he means is that Amabel was infected and in the process of turning into a Tuurngait, just like Dr Eminiss. Basically, she only helped because she was stuck and needed to get out, again just like Dr Eminiss. The theory has merit but I personally don't believe in it.
Correct, this is what I meant. Not that Amabel was a completely imaginative person.

You use the reason that "Clarence wants to play with Phillip's mind so much that he becomes
insane and then he can take over completely.Killing Amabel could have
made this happen." Well, so would what I think happened. You, phillip, have just fought a turnngait. Clarence makes you believe you've just killed a woman, the only person in this place. Who was trying to help you. This makes you feel pretty bad. But it's ok, because if you think about it it never happened, only clarence WANTS you to think you've killed her. You can't say my version doesn't achieve the same guilt.

Also you didn't address the fact that you can DIE during this encounter, which is strong evidence that it is a real tuurngait. How can you explain that if you're hallucinating that she's a tuurngait?

Also spare me the 'make up theories in your mind' and 'no evidence' lines HallucinogenX..
05-06-2012 02:05 PM
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