The Path Plot/Character Analysis/FAQ Author: nur_ein_tier version 1.7 7/25/2009 homepage: ======================================================================== Contents --------------- 1. Notes 2. Gameplay/Controls -Controls -Unlockables and maps -Collectible items -Rankings 3. Little Red Riding Hood 4. Ruby -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Ruby's Ravaging 5. Robin -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Robin's Ravaging 6. Ginger -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Ginger's Ravaging 7. Carmen -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Carmen's Ravaging 8. Scarlet -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Scarlet's Ravaging 9. Rose -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House -Rose's Ravaging 10. Forest Girl -Items -Dialogues -Wolf & Grandmother's House 11. Analysis of story 12. Grandmother's House 13. Miscellaneous 14. FAQs ======================================================================== ======================================================================== ############################# 1. NOTES ############################# ----------------------------- Version 1.7 7/25/09 Added to the Ruby, Carmen, virginity, and forest girl sections. Version 1.6: 7/23/09 I added to the Ruby, Rose, and Ginger parts, I am meaning to add more to the Forest Girl and grandmother sections soon as well. I have gone through and played again and noticed a lot more things, I just need to try to put it all together in a more coherent way. Version 1.5: 4/13/09 I added to the controls section and to the analyses sections, also added some FAQs to the bottom and notes on where some of the items can be found. ----------------------------- Version 1.4: 4/12/09 I basically redid everything to make the interpretations of the ravagings less literal, especially with Carmen and Scarlet, and I added to several other sections. ----------------------------- Version 1.3: 4/10/09 I finally got all items and therefore have added a complete listing of them. Added more info to the gameplay section and tried to organize things better. Added to the Little Red Riding Hood part. I don't think there is a correct answer to the question "What happened to each girl?" I think it is supposed to be open-ended. ----------------------------- Version 1.2: 4/8/09 Added more on the layout of grandmother's house and more of the dialogues, more discussiong of endings, and added to the gameplay section with unlockables, etc. ----------------------------- Version 1.1: 4/7/09 Added more of the comments that the girls make about their surroundings, added a bunch of stuff to the Forest Girl section (which I added to the main section with the other girls) and some stuff to most of the endings sections. I am still missing some items. If anyone can help me out with any of the missing dialogues or the ones I have only partially quoted, I would greatly appreciate it. I've been screencapping every time I get one, but sometimes it's just hard to read the text due to the colors. I also added a section for my interpretation of each girl's "Ravaging" to organize things a bit better, hopefully. Also added a misc. section and a separate section for grandmother's house. Currently working on discussions of things like the imagery in the grandmother's house and those weird visions each girl gets when they interact with certain items in the forest. Hopefully in the future the whole will come together in a more coherent way. ----------------------------- Version 1.0: 4/6/09 I think I have collected most of the dialogues that the girls say when they pick up certain objects or enter certain areas, but I'm not completely sure yet and will go through again. I have played through about 3 times completely as of now, and I suggest that you don't read any further if you haven't at least gotten the success endings once for each girl. You will be able to keep the items you collected in future playthroughs, so it's not a problem if you don't get all the items and areas in your first playthrough anyway. Most importantly: I think this game leaves A LOT to personal interpretation, so don't take anything I say as my presenting this as the gospel truth. I readily admit that I could be mistaken in my analyses, I can only say that I have analysed things as well as I could. If you have other ideas or suggestions, feel free to email me. Some things may change as I play the game a few more times through, and I will probably add some more details to the items sections, as there are a few I haven't gotten yet. And moreover, I don't think there is or should be one "correct" interpretation of this game. This differs from a lot of guides because I don't think it's possible to write an actual walkthrough. The maps seem to randomize a bit, and the onscreen map thing is almost totally worthless. The only help it ever gave me was if I was accidentally going around in circles. ############################# 2. GAMEPLAY/CONTROLS ############################# Objective: "Go to Grandmother's house. Don't stray from the path!" There is one rule and you must break it by straying from the path, though it is possible to go directly to Grandmother's house. This will get you a failure ending. Controls are pretty straightforward. You can use the keyboard or a controller. Since it's mostly a lot of walking forward, I prefer using a USB controller. The only other key you will need to use a lot is the "action" key, which on the keyboard is "enter." Space will bring up your items and ESC will give you the menu, which explains the keys and give you other options for the display. ------------------- UNLOCKABLES & MAPS ------------------- Those symbols on the screen: The white squiggly lines indicate the direction of the Forest Girl, who usually hangs around items or locations you want to go to, so if you are lost or looking for items, try following her. Likewise, sometimes tiny items appear on the screen for short periods of time, and if you follow the direction of these (as if they were the point of a compass, just turn toward it and run that way) you will go toward that item. Wolf footprints on the screen mean you're heading toward the wolf area. Unlockables: For each girl, there are three unlockable rooms inside of grandmother's house which will give you more insight into that girl. You have to visit certain places or collect certain items to get these. After you play through with all girls and start over, it unlocks a map screen with the control button or one of the gamepad top buttons. If you can still see the path, all it shows is the start and grandmother's house; if you are in the woods it shows you where some of the things are. Important: the map tiles forever. IF you go off the map, and then check it again, you will notice that if you went off the bottom of the map, you will now start over at the top of the map, for example. This is why it's so easy to get lost: the forest goes on forever in all directions and areas repeat. Comparing the map screens for different girls, I noticed that areas are in different places for each girl, so it's not possible to make a general game map for this, and also it is not really possible to say where each item is, except by relation to other items/areas. I also noticed after I played through once, the rainy walk to grand- mother's house in the success endings would change slightly: once I walked the girl to the gate, the game would take over and she would walk by herself to the house. This is nice because that long walk is excruciating and this lets you take a bathroom break, take out the garbage, go shopping, etc. and when you come back, the ending will have loaded... Also, after you collect all the items, the girls walk on their own, without you hitting the forward button, and you don't need to steer them at all on the excruciating walk up to the fence and to grandmother's house. This is interesting, because while many games give you "unlockables," this one actually takes control away from the player after you've unlocked things. Sort of. It's nice to not have to do that walk though. It is also worth noting that if you start another game with the same save, you will keep your items and flowers (the flower don't seem to do much though) so that you can continue trying to collect everything. More Coming soon. [For problems getting it to run right, scroll down to the FAQs section at the end.] ----------------------------------------------- All collectible items: ----------------------------------------------- Row 1: bread, wine, knife, bullet, feather, mask Row 2: dead bird, treasure, hypodermic needle, bear, boot, record Row 3: Flower, balloon, piano, playground tower, wall, grave Row 4: grave (open), swing, shopping cart, crow, skull, well Row 5: fence, tree, shed, wheelchair, pumpkin head, car Row 6: Fire, beer, bathtub, spiderweb, TV, clothesline Which items can each girl get? I tried to make a list but it seems to be different sometimes, I know that some are available to more than one girl, like Ruby and Carmen can both get the record. Go to your basket screen and the ones you can get will have a shaded background, then compare this with the list above. The number of items changes also. The bread and wine are with you from the beginning, and there is some overlap in who can collect which of the other items. Many of the items are just sort of lying around in the forest and in a different place for each girl, so you have to just hunt for them. The easiest way to find an item is to follow the white cloud thing on the edges of the screen as though it were the point of a compass, keep turning and changing direction until it is at the top center of the screen, then keep going until you find the Forest Girl, who usually hovers around items you need. Some items are always in the same place, but can only be picked up by certain girls: Bullet: at the building facade. Mask: on the theater stage Piano: on theater stage Dead Bird: graveyard Bear: on playground carousel Playground tower, swing: in playground. Graves: in graveyard Tree: in graveyard Shed, fire, beer: campsite Pumpkin head: the head of the scarecrow in the flower field Live bird: on/near the edge of the path at beginning ----------------------------------------------- Rankings: ----------------------------------------------- The ranking system is a farce. There has been much discussion of this game as a nongame or parody of games, with all the pointless collecting and so on, but nowhere is this more evident than in the ranking system. You have to collect all the shaded items for each girl and get her special items to unock the rooms in grandmother's house, but some items aren't available, or you collected them with another girl and can't collect them again, etc., so you will pretty much always get a bad score at the end. The best I've gotten was a "B." ####################################################################### 3. LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD ####################################################################### Clearly this is based on the fairy tale, but which version and to what extent? On the website it is said to be based on earlier versions, which means probably the versions of Perrault and various others. Some of the others involved the girl finding a wolf and it suggests a race to grandmother's house, asking her if she will choose the path of needles or the path of pins. This story involves not only the wolf killing and impersonating the grandmother, but he also sets out what's left of her as food and drink for the girl. The girl comes in, cannibalizes the grand- mother, then is told to remove her clothing, piece by piece, and toss it into the fire. Then she gets into bed with the wolf, remarking that he's rather hairy and has big teeth. She saves herself by saying she has to go relieve herself outside. Apparently in some areas of France, girls were sent to spend time with the local seamstress when they reached puberty, as a sort of rite of passage, after which they were allowed to see boys and go dancing, etc. and were considered young women rather than girls, so the needles/pins bit probably refers to the passage into adulthood. The girl escapes, aided by laundresses who stretch a sheet over a river, and then cause the wolf to drown. In these versions, the girl escapes, though certainly she would've been changed. It is a story of rebirth. The sexual implications of the undressing in front of the wolf and then climbing into bed are also undeniable. Presumably, the girl is now a young woman and is more careful around strangers. Charles Perrault's moral at the end of his version: "From this story one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers, And it is not an unheard thing if the Wolf is thereby provided with his dinner. I say Wolf, for all wolves are not of the same sort; there is one kind with an amenable disposition — neither noisy, nor hateful, nor angry, but tame, obliging and gentle, following the young maids in the streets, even into their homes. Alas! Who does not know that these gentle wolves are of all such creatures the most dangerous! " ----------------------- In "Der Wolf und die sieben Geisslein [the Wolf and the 7 (Goat)Kids]," there is the similarity of the number of children and baby goats/kids, seven and six, but the point being in many versions of Red Riding Hood, there is only girl. The goats are home alone, and they see through the wolf's initial disguise when he knocks, because of his voice and the color of his paws. He disguises these by eating chalk and puts flour on his paws. This time it works, and they let him in. He eats all but one (who hid in the clock). The mother returns, cutting the wolf open and replacing her children with large stones, which later cause the wolf to drown at the well. ----------------------- How does this all figure into the story? I think that what actually happens to each girl is open to interpretation, but that the game generally just represents their passage into adulthood. Something traumatic happens to each, and from that point on they are changed. ############################# 4. RUBY ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -Teddy Bear with 2 Heads - found in the playground -bullet - near building facade -money - in a treasure chest -record - near phonograph -pumpkin head (on scarecrow) -car -knife - in a stump -playground tower ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "Engines. And friends. Turn them on. Turn them off. Life. Death. Are they so different?" [while checking the car] "The world is a stage. Nothing is what it seems. Except for nothing itself." [in the theater area] "Don't come close if you want something from me. Whatever it is, I probably don't have it. Just leave me alone." [while sitting on the couch] "There's such beauty in decay. Rust is lovelier than paint. I doubt old age will happen to me." [in the playground area] "Two heads on one bear. Makes sense to me." [after picking up bear in playground] "A scarecrow. And no birds. Efficient! Wish I had one to keep the idiots away." "If you give me your head, you will please me so much more. From a silver platter, I shall eat you!" [after taking scarecrow's head] "Flowers like these only last a short while after they are picked." "Cigarettes. I can't believe I have never smoked. They say it makes your life shorter. I should." "Guns are just boring. Wish people still fought with swords and spears." [building facade] "I prefer my music engraved in black." [after picking up record] "What's the point in wanting anything if you can't have everything?" [after picking up money] "I must be getting old. It's about time!" "Men are like motorcycles. You just drive them where you want to be and then let somebody else take care of them." "Sitting on wheels. Paralyzed soul. Nowhere to go. Fast." [wheelchair] --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- On the official website, the blurb about Ruby talks about her being stereotyped as a goth, but all the characters are more or less stereotypes. I don't mean that in a negative way, but it seems that each character is not so much a person as a sort of archetype of a young girl in more modern times. Judging from the comments she makes about things and the website, she probably doesn't fit in well at school and perhaps has a desire to find people who accept her. Her teddy bear has two heads, which again seems to show a sort of oddness. She professes a love of rust and decay and an obsession with death. Her wolf is a blond man she meets in the playground, and the juxtaposition of the older guy giving her a cigarette (earlier she had already mentioned wanting to start smoking because it shortens your life), smoking being a more adult pastime which she associates with death, the man representing both peer pressure and relationships, and the fact that this takes place in a play- ground all show the contrast between youth/innocence/childhood and death/adulthood/sexuality. ------------------------- Ruby's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Wall painting: on wall. -Fridge: closed. -Table: has knife on it -Extra rooms: a school gymnasium with a smoking red car in the corner. You get into an empty birdcage and it crashes to the ground. Then there is a hall full of lockers and a room with a tire and some barrels leaking green stuff. The long hall has some sort of machinery on the walls. -End room: bed rotating on carousel ----------------------------- RUBY'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- Ruby was the first character I played through the game with, and after reading so many reviews saying everyone in the game is raped and then murdered, that was my first thought, too. We see her on a bench in a remote area with a creepy stranger, then she is unconscious in the middle of the road. It is easy to come to the conclusion of rape. I don't think it's that simple though, and the more I think about it, the less I think any one specific thing happened to her, but rather, several possibilities. There is a lot of car imagery, but then, that goes along with a lot of the things she comments on also, about men being like motorcycles and friends being turned on and off like engines, so I'm not sure if the cars themselves are to be taken literally. In her grandmother's house, there is a gymnasium with a car that has smoke coming out from under the hood in the corner. You enter a bird cage and it crashes to the ground. jarring the player. There is motor-like imagery in the long hallway, and a hall full of school lockers, perhaps denoting Ruby's attitude toward school. She seems withdrawn and not very social ("just leave me alone..."), yet perhaps still wanting to fit in and unable to resist peer pressure from what appears to be an older guy. The scene with him dragging the rug is confusing, but it could just be to raise a red flag in the player's mind that this guy could be trouble. He looks sort of creepy, and offers her a cigarette before the scene fades out. I think in Ruby's case, it was not so much one thing or one experience with this guy as it is with her taking chances that may lead to her death. The smoking (crashed?) car, the cigarettes, the strange man in the playground who may or may not have been dragging a dead body in that rolled up rug. All the themes of decay and rust and so on are noteworthy, along with the leg brace. Ruby is a pretty young girl, and yet she is damaged: physically, because of the leg, and psychologically/emotionally, because she sees decay everywhere. The dynamic with the wolf is interesting as well, she does seem to have a rebellious side, and there is a seemingly older guy with a cigarette, a common stereotypical rebellious situation. Who is he? Doe he represent her rebellious side? Is he a guy she is smitten with, perhaps from school, or someone she has never met before? The dragging of the rug shows us that he is not just some guy with a pack of smokes; he is actually dangerous or represents danger. dc hewitt suggests that while she may be pretty and young, she is unlikely to see anything positive about herself. She rebels and associates herself with people like her wolf. ############################# 5. ROBIN ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -Gravestones - the open grave and one of the others, you see a cross when you get near them. -Shopping Cart -hypodermic needle -dead bird - in graveyard, near tree -money - in treasure chest -boot ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "I want to play with a big and cuddly thing." "Ladies and gentlemen! Children and pets! Come and see the wonderful circus of Robin the Great!" [theater area] "Wild games are the best! Running and jumping! And best of all, riding!" [theater area] "People die. It's hard to imagine for a kid like me. They die and we put them in the ground. Like flowers." [graveyard] "A young dead bird. Not me." [graveyard] "Dear Lord, please make Heaven a fun place." [graveyard] "Is this the balloon that I lost on my birthday?" [after picking up balloon] "I see a cloud howling at the moon!" [at misty lake] "I'll have to be very careful with this and not run anymore." [after picking up hypodermic needle] "I see-a-saw. Slide the hide. Go round the merry. And swing-along." [playground] "Tickles in my belly. Cuddles in the wind." "Wolves are just dogs. But werewolves are like people." [whenever she sits on bench or chair] "I'm a kid, I'm a kid. And I play and I play, in my little way! Buy me now at discount prices!" [shopping cart] "Digging in the dirt. Getty dirty nails. Scratching in the grave. Dirty dirty dirt." "Yum! Candy!" ----------------------------- Robin's dialogue is the most straightforwardly foreshadowing of all, and shows how innocent and trusting she is. She has no fear of death, she happily plays in the dirt in the graveyard. There is an emphasis on animals, too: wanting to play with a big cuddly thing, and she mentions pets also should come to see Robin the Great's circus and she likes "riding." She likens burial to planting flowers, further emphasizing the contrast between these in the player's mind. She mentions the dead bird, saying it is not her, referring to her being named after a bird. --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- Robin's wolf is an actual wolf, or more probably, a werewolf, judging by the humanoid movement and size. This fits well since Robin looks the most like the Red Riding Hood illustrated in most children's books. Young and wearing a red hooded cape. While the her wolf is a werewolf, it's likely that this isn't to be taken completely literally either. The website says wolves are her favorite animals, she talks about wanting to play with a big and cuddly thing, and it is likely that her wolf is some kind of bad experience with animals. She clearly doesn't fear animals, and this also implies that she doesn't even have a realistic fear of animals. Liking animals is one thing, but she is not aware that she must be careful around them because they are capable of hurting her. ------------------------- Robin's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Wall painting: damaged and fallen down. -Fridge: closed. -Table: overturned -Doors: claw marks Extra rooms: a baby bed which is lit by a spotlight in an attic (A-frame ceiling), another room past that which has a rocking chair on top of the room, in the room there are chairs, presents, balloons, and a cake. -End room: Full moon, window, bloody bed. Empty grave. ----------------------------- ROBIN'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- Her "ravaging" was turning from a naive and trusting little girl into a girl who knows that wolves aren't "cuddly things" and that death is a real danger. She becomes jaded and untrusting rather than sweet and innocent. Despite her being the youngest, I think some of the imagery in her grandmother's house most strongly correlates with the theme of growing up: there is the room with the baby bed, followed by a room with presents and a birthday cake. Outside the window is a full moon. What is the bloody bed? One could say that in LRRH, the hunter cut the wolf's belly open to free the girl, but I don't think that's what's necessarily happening here. Again, if this is a "game about growing up," and all the characters you play as are girls, maybe it represents sexual maturity. Maybe not in the sense of Robin, because she is so young, but in the sense of all the girls in the game. The blood could also represent childbirth (in the sense of being a possibility of sexual maturation/adulthood; I'm not suggesting Robin is pregnant). First we see a baby bed, then a bed covered in blood next to a grave. There is a theme of babies, of getting older, and of death. Birth and death. See also the discussions of the color red, menstruation, and virginity below in the Story Analysis section. ############################# 6. GINGER ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -Tree on the hill in the graveyard (she climbs it) -Aerosol can (she paints some grafitti) -Feather (on a tree trunk) -bullet - at building facade -shed ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "Ok. Stuff. In the shack. Let's get it! And light that fire, comrades! We're staying the night!" [campsite] "There is always a door. And a door can be either open or shut. The difference is small." [campsite] "I bet I can make this explode somehow." [building facade, while picking up bullets] "A feather for my collection!" [tree trunk with feathers on it] "Tree on hill? Check!" [graveyard] "Small things move fast. Now you see me. Now you don't." [graveyard] "Another masterpiece. Signed Ginger." [after using spraypaint to make some graffiti] "If I get rid of the flowers, nobody can hide here anymore. My all-seeing eye will see from very far away." [field of flowers] "I can probably fake some crop circles just by running around as fast as I can." [field of flowers] ----------------------------- Ginger is the tomboy of the family, evidenced by her interest in things like fire and bullets and wanting to "get rid of" all the flowers. She's more interested in making crop circles. --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- Ginger's Wolf is interesting because she resembles the Forest Girl. The Red Girl has a red dress, boots, pale skin, and pigtails. The Forest Girl has a white dress that otherwise is exactly the same, backless with crisscrossing straps, boots, short hair, and dark skin (which may be to further differentiate the two). Both are noteworthy for their apparent playful demeanor, prancing around in the field or in the forest; though their roles in the game are quite different. Ginger seems to just want a playmate; someone to help her fake some crop circles. After romping around the field a bit, we see them lying on the grass talking, then the screen fades to black. ------------------------- Ginger's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Wall painting: on wall. Another painting in living room. -Fridge: open (cans inside, and maybe a turkey?) -Table: has knife on it -Doors: are made of fencing Extra rooms: 2 beds, toys on floor. -End room: blue feathers, metal and barbed wire ----------------------------- GINGER'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- Some have suggested that nothing bad even happens to her, but I can't bring myself to believe this because I think all the endings are traumatic to the girls in some way, or they wouldn't be their wolf endings. It is noteworthy that Ginger, the tomboy of the family, has a wolf that is very feminine looking. The website says she is reluctant to grow up. Some have even suggested that her wolf experience is actually menstruation, which I initially balked at but now I can almost accept that possibility, when I consider her age (13), her reluctance to grow up and accept womanhood, the stereotypical boy-toys under her bed and on her floor (dinosaurs, army men, etc.), even the color of her wolf's dress: red. How does any of this fit in with the barbed wire imagery? I don't know, unless perhaps the Wolf in the Red Dress with the barbed wire is only symbolically cutting her with it. If we accept her traumatic experience as womanhood itself, then the Wolf is menstruation and the cutting isn't actual cutting, but rather, symbolically associated with blood, and the toys in her room represent the childhood that she clings to. Suggestion from Anthony: That due to the toys and so on, her ravinging could be betrayal by friends. ############################# 7. CARMEN ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -Beer can [campsite] -crates -hat -record -bathtub -fire ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "Let's get the party started! I have the music. Where's the beer?" [after picking up record] "A little bit of soap. And a lot of warm and wet. Never alone anymore." [in bathtub] "The tent is closed. The shack is closed. Yet the beer seems fresh. And the fire is still warm." [campsite] "Fresh and warm in. Spinning head and bubbling blood." [campsite] "The warm glow caresses my skin. Peels me layer by layer. Until I am pure. For you." [at fire] "Ah, finally, the sun! If I were a plant, I think I would have been a flower. Except there would be only one." [near field] --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- According the website, Carmen is 17 years old and very much enjoys all the attention she now gets from men. She especially is interested in older men, whose strength "borders on violence." It also notes that she gives them a flip of the hip or a wink, and "nothing more," suggesting that she is not sexually experienced; she just likes to flirt. Like the other girls, she doesn't realize any inherent dangers in her actions. When we first arrive at the campsite, we see a guy with an axe. This is normal enough, sure, maybe he needs some firewood or something; but in the context of the game we worry that this guy could be dangerous, and there is also the fact that this campsite is in the middle of the woods and no one is around for miles. Carmen, on the other hand, has no such such qualms. She flirts with the guy by stealing his hat. The player is surprised that he looks older; he is balding and has bags under his eyes. The guy seems to more or less ignore her. Carmen then sits on the crates next to the fire and he sits down next to her. Though there is no dialogue, she appears to ask him for a beer. He gives her one, and she drinks it. The scene fades out. ------------------------- Carmen's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Ceiling fan: has been replaced with circular saw blade -Living room table: has 6 urns (?) on it, tv off -Wall painting: on wall. -Fridge: open (cans inside, and maybe a turkey?) -Table: has knife on it -Doors: Xs on them -Unlocked rooms: light colored room with 5 mattresses and a chair on top of it, middle of room is a dropoff and has 5 chairs like the ones in the kitchen and a tree stump. All of this is underwater, it's like a pool in the center of the room, but it's hard to notice that at first until you see water dripping onto the surface of the pool. Then there are a lot of hallways with wooden walls and Xs like on the tree the man was cutting down. Some of the hallways have branched/leaves in them, obscuring your view a lot. Another room has a sideways chair and maybe another tree stump and stairs, but it went through that one quickly and back into more hallways. The hall ends in a dropoff, but first you see two sets of crosses hachets and a mounted deer head with glowing eyes. Then an empty room, another sawblade, and the long hallway. The floor is made of burning logs. -End room: Bed with a colorful quilt, impaled by a large tree. -The last bit shows the man with 2 axes, a weird picture of Carmen lying on the ground with her legs twisted oddly, another of her mouth with blood coming out, a picture of her from above, looking up, and the man chopping with the axe. ----------------------------- CARMEN'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- What happened? Since the website emphasizes her newfound sexuality so much, and because she is flirting with an older man in the middle of the woods, the most obvious possibility is sex. Somewhere in the files there are a couple of files called something like "CampsiteSexMoan" or similar, so that points to the creators' intent here also. Again, I don't think there is necessarily one answer and despite the sexual imagery and the phallic symbolism in the grandmother's house (tree impaling the bed), there is also the fact that one of the still photos is of Campsite Guy with two bloody hatchets, so I have to at least consider the possibility of him being an axe murderer, though now I think it's more symbolic of the violent types of men she is attracted to. Viewing the ending for the first time I figured she was killed in a drunken accident involving a fallen tree, there is so much woodsy imagery in the grandmother's house and all those sawblades, but again, these could just indicate violence/danger. As with Ginger, the blood and the red Xs could symbolise her coming of age and reaching sexual maturity. Ginger's entering into adulthood was traumatic because she still clung to her childhood and didn't want to be a woman; Carmen's is traumatic because she does want to be a woman but is not yet emotionally mature and is not ready for relationships with older men. She is also unrealistic in the types of men she is attacted to and takes chances like drinking with strangers in the woods. I think her Wolf is some kind of traumatic experience with sexual relationships. ############################# 8. SCARLET ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -mask -piano ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "Art is where the nobility of humanity is expressed I could not live in a world without it." [at theater] "The panic that consumes you is the fear of order." "Cold air. Hot water? Is this mist or is it steam?" [at the misty lake] "Chaos awaits order like you await me. Let me silence this madness and sing for thee." "Get dirty to be clean. No light without darkness. A tear and a smile." --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- Scarlet's dialogue has a lot of contrasting ideas, light and darkness, clean and dirty, etc. and both her wolf scene and the objects she interact with revolve around the contrast with art and the mundane world. She interacts with a spiderweb, tearing it down like she might do while cleaning a room. She interacts with a clothesline, which further shows her role in the family as the one who does chores and is responsible, a role she seems to resent, even if she doesn't always express her resentment. She is expected to act grown-up and to be responsible, but she seems to long for other things. This is further show by the grandmother's house rooms, where we see a room full of musical instruments, then another which appears to be a library, but the books are all stacked on the floor and the shelves are empty. Her wolf appears as she is playing the piano. The living room echoes her comment about a world without art: the paintings, television, and furniture are all covered with sheets. Upstairs there are dozens of cups on the floor arranged in rows, and maybe this represents her chores and motherly, grown up role in the house, doing dishes rather than reading books or playing the piano. The cups are arranged in an orderly fashion, unlike the musical instruments, which are chaotic: floating in the air. Cobalt suggests another possibility: that her failure as a musician caused her to take her own life. It does explain the strings and hanging imagery, perhaps, though I'm loathe to interpret too many things here as a literal death. ------------------------- Scarlet's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Wall painting: on wall -living room: urns on table, tv on -Fridge: open -Table: knife on it -Doors: plain wooden doors top of stairs: bird cage with peacock Extra rooms: a library where all the books are stacked on the floor and the shelves are empty. -End room: Fail: -long hall with many mounted deer heads in fail version -wolf on right in grandmother's room -Scarlet sits on edge of bed, looking at camera ----------------------------- SCARLET'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- Hyphz on the gamefaqs board posted the possibility of her having her dreams crushed by being a failed musician, and I like the idea and it fits better than anything else. Scarlet values art and beauty above all, and her comment that she could not live in a world without it foreshadows her "success" ending: This time, grandmother's house has everything covered by sheets and the painting in the kithen is completely missing. She is in a world without art. Even the television is covered; all the statues, the birdcage. The failed musician idea is a possibility, but I think it may also be that she is unable to indulge in her creative impulses due to the demands of everyday life, and she does not find fulfilment in life because she is too busy with things like chores and taking care of her sisters. ############################# 9. ROSE ############################# ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- Wine: "I hope grandmother doesn't drink too much." Knife: "Better take this knife before anyone gets hurt." Bullet: "One less bullet means one less death." Feather: "The poor thing. What evil powers tormented this creature?" Mask: "For Halloween I always dress up as an endangered species." Dead Bird: "The little thing fell out of the nest. Was it trying to fly? If I had wings, I'd probably try that too." Treasure: "I'll take this to give to those in need." Needle: "Somebody is sick. Where are they now? Perhaps they need their medicine." Bear: "People love animals so much they make ones just to cuddle." Boot: "I hope the person who lost this show does not have blisters on his foot now." Record: "Spinning around and around and around. Dizzy high up in the air." Flower: "Grandmother will love these flowers." Balloon: "If this balloon did not have a string, it would simply float away." Skull: "Black dress and bitter voice. All you need is a little care. And you'll feel better." ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- "The cycle of life and death knows no beginning and no end." [cemetery] "The dead go on in the dirt while their souls fly to the sky." [cemetery] "Hello clouds. Welcome on earth!" [Lake] "Deep inside everybody is a dream." [well] "A piano on a stage. People used to come here and see concerts. Or theater. I wish I could play for them." "I am a little bird. Making sweet forest music. Floating on the waves of sound." [piano] --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- The Cloudman is sort of wacky, but I'm just going to take that along with all the water imagery to mean that she just drowned in the lake. She goes to the well, a bathtub, it's raining, she's in a boat in the middle of the lake. When she gets to grandmother's house, it's raining inside, and one of the unlocked rooms is a very long bathroom. Also, when she buries the skull, she sees a bathtub. It's all cloud, water, and lightning. I can't think of any real alternative to she got stuck in the water in a storm or fell out of the boat and drowned. I also am not sure about the poltergeist-type floating furniture, but maybe it IS floating. Like in water. DC Hewitt suggests her experience may be religious in nature, and I've discussed it with others who have suggested a prolonged illness. It is apparent that she has a preoccupation with death and sickness, these themes just keep coming up. But her preoccupation is not like Ruby's, Rose is not really dark in any way, she just gravitates toward spiritual things, perhaps. ------------------------- Rose's Grandmother's house: ------------------------- SUCCESS ENDING: -Wall painting: on wall -living room: urns on table, ceiling fan lower, TV off -raining indoors -Fridge: open -Table: knife on it -Doors: plain, wooden top of stairs: bird cage with peacock -extra rooms: bathroom at top of stairs. Tub, many sinks and bathroom stalls, like a school bathroom. Another room with desk, chair, empty birdcage. Another room which is floded and has many doors, one with a table on the wall with a crow perched on the edge. Another room like a greenhouse, with hanging lights and many tables with plants on them. -End room: furniture floating in the air. Hazy. Fail: -long hall with many mounted deer heads in fail version -wolf on right in grandmother's room -Rose sits on edge of bed, looking at camera ----------------------------- ROSE'S RAVAGING ----------------------------- Fear of water? More likely the knowledge that there are dangers inherent in doing a lot of things, such as taking a boat out alone in the middle of the woods when you are a little girl. I doubt the Cloudman exists, it is probably some sort of hallucination or vision she had or just symbolic of the things that could happen to a little girl by herself in the middle of the forest. ############################# 10. FOREST GIRL ############################# The Forest Girl is like the Catcher in the Rye, though instead of keeping children in the rye from falling off a cliff, she attempts to lead the girls to the safety of the path. She is the only person in the forest who seems to bear no ill will toward the girls; she helps them to find objects (by hovering near them) and can lead the girls back to the path (though otherwise the path disappears as soon as you leave it). Her white dress and playful demeanor (she plays pat-a-cake with Robin) seem to cast her as a likeable and well-intentioned character. Also, in the book The Catcher in the Rye, this whole fantasy relates to loss of innocence. Holden sees the children playing tag as innocent, a sort of vision of perfection in his eyes; the cliff represent loss of innocence by way of becoming an adult, which Holden sees as depressing, so the catcher "saves" the children by not allowing them to grow up. They remain in this idealized child state forever. Whatever happens to the girls in The Path, be it rape, death, or just disappointment, it is a disillusionment with their innocent world. The children the Catcher catches are completely unaware of the dangers of the cliff and don't fear adulthood, they probably don't think about it at all, in fact. The 6 girls seem completely unaware of the dangers that await them in the forest, though the Forest Girl seems to try to lead them back to the path and therefore to keep them being children. However, the game calls this failure. Failure to become an adult? For the parallel to work one has to assume the wolf encounters are largely metaphorical, and rather than being ravaged and/or dead, it is the girls' innocence that has been killed or ravaged. I'm not sure if I believe this or not, but when I played through, I couldn't help but make the comparison. Maybe the relation between the Girl and the Catcher is a bit tenuous, but the girls in the Path and the children playing tag in TCitR are pretty close. ----------------------------- Who is Forest Girl really? ----------------------------- But who is she, really? Why do you play as her in the epilogue? Thinking more on it, she doesn't exactly lead you into or out of danger most of the time, she simply leads you to interesting things, be it an area of interest, an item to pick up, the path, or a wolf. What's her motivation? Does she even exist? She seems to have an aversion to Ruby, also, and I would venture to say it might be because Ruby seems the least naive of the six. --Forest Girl as the granddaughter? I have to examine this possibility, even though the girls never mention her and someone would probably mention having a seventh sister than lives in the woods, because not only do you play as her in the epilogue, but she gets the same ending as the other girls in their failure endings, in which she is cast in the role of granddaughter. Photo on the wall, sitting next to the bed, etc. But she doesn't have a room or a wolf. Maybe she's already grown up and doesn't need a wolf, or maybe she's an eternal child and doesn't need a wolf. In any case, she doesn't quite fit in with the six girls, so either she is the only grand- daughter or she is not a granddaughter at all. It has been speculated that the six girls don't exist and are actually all incarnations of the granddmother in her youth, but I doubt this, unless the grandmother had a severe case of multiple personality disorder. --Forest Girl as the Hunter I mean Hunter in the sense of playing the same role as the hunter in the original LRRH story. It's possible that she could be there to save them, but the more I play, the less likely I find this. --Forest Girl as the Wolf In a larger metaphorical sense, could the Forest Girl be The Wolf? It would somewhat explain the presence of her evil twin, Ginger's wolf. Perhaps the Forest Girl just represents the forces at work in the forest, whatever those might be. Sure, she looks innocent, but in the story of Red Riding Hood, you will recall that the wolf disguised itself as the grandmother, so it's not inconceivable that we might have a "wolf in sheep's clothing," even to the point of wearing a white dress, bringing to mind innocence and purity, making the player want to like and trust her. She is neither all good nor all bad: she can lead you back to the path, but she can also lead you to the wolf. Must the Wolf be evil all the time, or is it possible that the Wolf might just play with you a while for its own amusement? --Forest Girl is the grandmother: It's been suggested, but I just am not seeing this. I can see the girls as the grandmother in the sense of maybe the grandmother wasted her life (we don't know that, of course, but maybe) and is living through the girls, or the girls represent certain paths one's life might take, the dangers that face a young girl who is growing up. --Why is Forest Girl covered in blood at the end? That's a tough question. It could be that she is the same as the hunter in the story: the girls were eaten by the wolf and she had to cut them out of its belly. That would make for a lot of blood, certainly, but I'm not sure that anyone is actually inside the belly of a wolf. Did she kill grandmother? That's another possibility, and leads me back to thinking maybe Forest Girl is the real wolf. Or it could go back to Ginger's Wolf, who resembles the Forest Girl, and represent womanhood. --Forest Girl as not being a real character at all More and more, I am wanting to believe she doesn't exist or that she is some kind of representation of forces in the woods or a ghost or something, but not a person at all. This would explain the absence of a wolf and the troubling fact of playing as her and her being cast as the grand- daughter, when nothing before that point suggests that she could be another granddaughter. She also has no dialogue, and it is raining when you play as her. There is a strange stone thing with a cross inside to the side of the path when you play as her, also, and I'm not sure what that is all about. --Why does Forest Girl have a tent in the campsite? I have no idea, though it's interesting that it is a red tent, just like Ginger's Wolf has a red dress. I don't think the color red is used without reason, and it could even be a sort of birth imagery, with her crawling out of the red tent. ----------------------------- ITEMS ----------------------------- -It is noteworthy that she's one of the only ones that can pick the regular flowers in the flower field (where the scarecrow is), and puts them in her basket. -Otherwise, she can go through and pick up the stuff you missed without having to worry about wolves. ----------------------------- DIALOGUES ----------------------------- -none. --------------------------------------- WOLF & GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE --------------------------------------- -She has no wolf -Since she has no wolf, there is only one possible ending with her, in which you go through all the other girls' rooms and then to the grandmother's room. At this point, it looks like the failure endings of the other girls. Her photo is on the wall above the bed. She kneels next to the bed. Grandma just lies there like a dead thing. Stuffed wolf is next to the wall. ########################################## 11. ANALYSIS ########################################## THE PATH: Life. There is an emphasis on death here, and several times the girls commenton dying or dying young, but I think the whole game is metaphorical so I don't think you're seeing the whole life within the time you play the game. The largest question is probably "Why do you fail if you leave the path?" Little Red Riding Hood was tempted off the path by the wolf; the girls here leave of their own volition (if they leave it). My initial thought on this, though I can't back it up much, is that, like in the story, the grandmother is also a wolf. The Wolf disguised himself as the grandmother in the original, why not here? That would be one explanation why finding her equals failure, but my only evidence is the story it's based upon and the fact that the game isn't optimistic in general. It is more likely that staying on the path,i.e., following all the rules, represents a wasted life and a lack of experience. Going back to my Catcher in the Rye analogy, if the girl doesn't leave the path and lose her innocence, she never becomes an adult, and the game website says this is "a game about growing up." How can your character grow up if she follows all the rules and runs right to grandmother's house? This is another reason why I think it's likely that all the implied violence/ murder is completely metaphorical and what really happens in this game is the girls grow up. Moreover, the whole process of growing up is presented in a negative way as loss of innocence. GRANDMOTHER: Since I've already suggested she may be the Wolf above, I will assume here that she's not, just for the sake of argument. When you get the Failure ending, you will notice a photo of your character (and only your character) above the grandmother's bed, suggesting maybe this character was the "favorite" or was at least quite close to grandmother. While there's nothing wrong with that, it also suggests maybe she spent more time there than doing other things, for example, growing up. Grandmother is sick, but she still represents a nurturing sort of character. Grandmother could represent old age or at least adulthood. She is older, and her house is at the end of the path (life), so the house could represent death. I prefer to think of the whole house vision part as a nightmare and symbolic of the transition into adulthood, though there are many possible interpretations. PEACOCKS: They are everywhere! And I have no explanation for this. Maybe grandmother just likes them, I don't know, but they are on the wallpaper, there is a painting or two, one (stuffed?) in a cage, when certain girls pick up certain items, they get visions of peacocks in cages or on walls. Ginger wears feathers in her hair and her ending has blue feathers everywhere. RAIN: The rain in Rose's ending is probably just more water imagery to go with the lake, but rain is used a lot in other parts as well, especially after each girl wakes up from her "ravaging" in the middle of the road. It is raining and she walks slowly to grandmother's house. When you get into the forest while playing as the Forest Girl, it is also raining. I believe this is largely to contrast with the opening of each part: it is a beautiful sunny day with clear skies. Bright colors everywhere, sunshine, etc., so long as you stay on the path. It is more to show the contrast between the happiness and innocence of the girls as they begin the game with the disappointment/ disillusionent of "growing up" in whatever way. As for the Forest Girl, it may also be to differentiate her from the other girls. She isn't one of the sisters, she has no wolf, etc., so her experience in the forest is also different. RED: The color has been used symbolically to denote a lot of things, many of which could be relevant here, namely: sexuality, blood, menstruation. Red was not a color little girls would wear in the time the original story was written. MENSTRUATION: Yeah, I gotta consider this too, as it is a coming of age tale about girls. There is a lot of imagery that could be interpreted this way, but I'm not sure about it. There are full moons, red is the color of blood, there is a bloody bed, the Forest Girl is covered in blood after you play as her. If you're going to talk about the transition from girlhood to womanhood, menstruation needs to be mentioned. Going back to the LRRH stories, there is also a lot of blood, and apparently needles were worn in the sleeves of prostitutes and therefore were associated with sexuality in France at some point. Then there is the thing with young girls spending time with the seamstress, which goes back to the path of needles and the path of pins in older versions of the story. The needles and pins represents sexuality and/or coming of age as a woman. The full moon has long been associated with the menstrual cycle, as well as with werewolves, of course, and we see full moons all through Robin's ending (even though she is only 9). VIRGINITY: Continuing on with the discussion of the older versions of the story, red was associated with prostituion/sex/etc, and not a color a young girl would normally wear. Did this lead the wolf to her? There is a strong sexual theme in the story, in which the wolf asks her to take off each piece of her clothing and get into bed with him. Virginity was expected of girls when they got married in the past, and there was the tradition of displaying bloodstained sheets after the first night of marriage to prove the woman's virginal status. Ending up in bed with the Wolf would have ruined the girl's status in society in the old days; set in modern times, ending up in bed with the wrong person could still have a lot of consequences. Two of the girls' (Ruby and Carmen) wolves are men who also happen to be older and perhaps more experienced, and while I'm loathe to say anyone was raped in the literal sense, there is definitely a theme of sexuality and coming of age and discovering sex. Carmen flirts with the older guy at the campsite and has a beer. Even if consentual sex took place, it's likely that she experienced it as traumatic or disappointing in some way, judging from her ending. As an observer, we are concerned because of the seclusion and possibility of danger: we first see him with an axe and he gives beer to an underage girl. There is also a lot of phallic imagery in Carmen's ending. With Ruby, we know that she is disillusioned and rebellious, and she is also drawn to the possibility of danger and rebellious types. The theme of danger is also present here, when we see he blonde man dragging a rolled up rug, and also from the seclusion of the area: anything could happen out there, no one is around for miles at least. Again, while rape is a possibility, I think it more likely she was just drawn to this guy, perhaps trusted him, and was used (sexually or not) by him and ends up emotionally devastated. BEDS: There has been much discussion of beds also, and for good reason: there are a bunch of them in the game. Sex is definitely one possibility for all the bed imagery, and I've discussed the bloody bed as perhaps representing things such as birth or first sexual experience (by way of the old custom of presenting "proof of virginity"), as well as the wolf in the story appearing in bed and then being cut open by the hunter (which itself is almost a skewed sort of birth imagery). The Wolf in LRRH has the girl strip and get into bed with him after she unknowingly cannibalises her grandmother. It is probable that Carmen's and Ruby's wolf encounters involved sex, which goes toward the sexual maturity theme. Also when one reaches sexual maturity, beds now have more than one purpose, they aren't just for sleeping anymore. The bed can also represent an end: it's where you go at the end of your day, so it's fitting that they show up at the end of each girl's segment, representing the end of their childhood. Robin's ending has both a baby bed and a bloody bed next to a grave (the grave perhaps being analogous to a bed for a dead person), so it represents birth, maturation, and death all in one ending, driving it home with the birthday cake and presents to represent growing up/getting older. ############################# 12. GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE ############################# GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE: It appears as a vision of hell custom-designed for each girl, but what is it really? If you get a Success ending, there is also no grandmother there; not only is the girl in her own personal hell, she is alone there. It has been suggested that this is hell and the girls are dead. This appears fine at first, but I still think the death is metaphorical. The girl is dead, but the disillusioned young woman she has grown into perhaps lives still in the real world, despite the visions of hell, which do in fact resemble nightmares. There is the fact that the locked rooms and sometimes other rooms have beds in them. Many have concluded that this refers to rape. That could well be, but it could just as easily refer to nightmares. If the characters were literally raped, it likely did not happen in a bed in the grandmother's house anyway; it would've happened in the playground or in a tent at the campsite; probably not at grandmother's house. It's possible they crawled back there to die, but I can't bring myself to believe that either. I think the visions of hell are nightmares. The nightmares take place in grandmother's house because that was the destination from the outset, and maybe the girls now feel guilty for not going there straightaway. It is clearly not happening in reality, and the layout of the house bears no resemblance to the actual house as viewed from outside. The Rail Shooter type of movement in this part is also remniscient of a nightmare. In general, I think the house represents the end of each girl's childhood, rather than death. When I have discussed it as a nightmare above, I mean in the sense that it looks nightmarish, and that it is that way because of traumatic events that happened to the girls. ############################# 13. MISCELLANEOUS ############################# ------------------- Ages of girls ------------------- Scarlet:19 Carmen: 17 Ruby: 15 Ginger: 13 Rose: 11 Robin: 9 ############################# 14. FAQS ############################# Q: "I can't get out of 3rd-person view!" A: There are two possibilities: some sort of installation error or incompatibility issue, or you have a pirated version of the game, in which case you should reinstall or buy a copy if you haven't. ------------------------- Q. "My game lags! Help!" A: I had that problem too, even though I never have problems with lagging on this computer. I switched from full-screen to windowed mode and it solved the problem. Try this or try changing some of the other display options like shadows and resolution until you find something that gives you a decent framerate. I'm guessing it has something to do with the visual filters eating up too much RAM. ------------------------- Qs on the still pics on the endings: A;If you don't want to go through the hassle of getting the ending again and capturing the video and going through frame by frame to see the still pics, go to my homepage (listed at the top), click "image gallery" and go to page 2 until you see the gallery for The Path. I have screencaps of most or all of the endings there. Q: "I'm lost!" A: If you don't have the maps unlocked yet, the best way to find things is probably to either follow the white stuff on the edge of the screen to the Forest Girl, or to choose a direction and run in that direction, since the forest repeats in all directions, you are bound to find what you're looking for eventually. ------------------------- Qs on not being able to get the wolf scene to start: Ruby: You need to sit on the bench with the guy and wait. Ginger: Usually just standing there will make her interact with the Girl, but otherwise follow her around and press action until you get the scene. Carmen: First the guy will be at the tree, get his hat, then go over to the fire. Eventually he will come over in this area, then sit on the crate, and he should sit down after a while. Wait. Robin: Wait until the wolf sort of kneels down and get close and press action. Scarlet: Press action at the piano and the wolf should show up shortly after. Rose: Find the boat on the lake, go to it and press action, then a cutscene will take over.