It's been a week since the Resident Evil 7 demo was loosed upon the public, and many fans are convinced there's more secrets to uncover. That the demo is hiding more than meets the (terrifying, bloodshot) eyes.
We've rounded up some of the most prominent and strangest theories from across the interweb and gathered them here for your scrutiny. Who makes sense and who's off their rocker? Here are some clues pointed out by the various armchair detectives working to crack the case:
"So, I don't know how important this is, but my girlfriend has been taking a recent interest in RE and was looking into the RE7 demo stuff. She's mentioned to me that the 'Aunt Rhody' song in the trailer is backmasked and decompiling it and pulling it apart, it has a lot of secrets in it. She has a history in music, and mentioned the song has unnatural pitch tones and what sounds like messages split apart, reversed, and put to different pitches to mask them," writes NeoGAF user Dusk Golem.
"She showed me some progress, and she's right. There's some that just sounds like screams, but she so far has put together part of the pieces, and it sounds perfectly put together like, 'in the woods'. I don't know if this is related to anything, but she's been looking into it as interested, and as she tells me, there is definitely hidden messages backmasked, fragmented, and pitched in the Resident Evil 7 Aunt Rhody song cover."
Whether or not the song from the trailer is hiding any significant clues or Easter eggs (hey, Doom's soundtrack has a freaking pentagram hidden in it), I think we can all agree it's a creepy little tune.
The VHS tape's coordinates
The Resident Evil 7 takes place during two time periods: the present, where you creep through a decrepit old house, and the past, where you creep through a decrepit old house as a cameraman. When your present-day character watches the VHS tape left behind by the cameraman from the past, it jutters and skips, displaying what appear to be random words and numbers.
Over on , user Golgabesh has noticed that numbers which flash onscreen for approximately half a second correlate with coordinates in Louisiana. The swampy outdoors seen in the demo and the "ghosts sighted in bayou" headline that pops up on a newspaper shown in the game's E3 trailer seem to confirm that the full game will indeed take place in Louisiana.
As for what lies in wait at those specific coordinates, user Xambia decided to take a little road trip and see what was out there. They also noticed that, while they don't line up perfectly, the coordinates are pretty close to a town called Transylvania. Not a bad place to set a horror game, right?
While Xambia didn't find anything particularly noteworthy in either location, they at least left a little gift for anyone else who follows in their footsteps:
The phone and the photo
There are two main endings to the Resident Evil 7 demo: one which ends on the ground floor and one which ends upstairs after picking up a ringing telephone. The phone call leaves three ominous messages: "Memories hold the truth. Don't let appearances mislead you," "You have the power to choose. But the outcome of that choice may not be what you expect," and "You will have to say goodbye eventually. But will you be ready?"
The prevailing theory is that these messages correspond to the various ways you can play through the demo. The first message seems to implore players to go back and watch the VHS tape more closely and play through that section more carefully, the second statement suggesting that you can choose your fate (end the demo upstairs or downstairs), and the third basically translating to "That's it! Nothing more to see here, go home!"
But next to the phone there's a picture of a helicopter with the Umbrella Corp. logo on the side. This could also be the memory referenced in the first message, as could any of the numerous paintings and photos plastered throughout the house. Players are using the clues to uncover hidden items like a lockpick and an axe, but so far nothing has resulted in a third ending.
The ghost girl
As you may have heard, the Resident Evil 7 demo is actually a continuation (at least spiritually, if not plotwise) of the Kitchen demo that Capcom showed when PlayStation VR was still known as "Project Morpheus." That experience centered around a creepy house that seemed to be haunted by a young girl, and the Resident Evil 7 demo likewise has a ghostly figure appear in several places.
Seven places, to be exact. That's quite the coincidental number, and players wonder whether that's just a surface level thematic inclusion or if there's something more significant at play here. Players are also searching for a way to purposefully trigger her appearances and whether or not they impact the ending to the demo.
So far, no one has a conclusive answer.
This. This freakin' thing. This little finger has given players more grief than any other part of the RE7 demo. Nobody can seem to find a use for it, though many players suspect that it functions as a key of some sort. There are burn marks on the tip and the material it's made from is flammable, so one of the most popular theories is that it needs to be melted down somehow. Yet nothing that could conceivably heat the finger up can be used.
So could the finger be a decoy? Something that exists just to mess with players but otherwise serves no purpose? Maximilian Dood, a prominent personality in the fighting game community, tweeted that a Capcom rep informed him otherwise. "Said the axe doesn't have much use, but the dummy finger has a purpose," he wrote.
Kinseb over on Reddit links the finger to an old film called The Club of the Laid Off, listing all the similarities between the movie and the demo. Finger-pointing aside, it's neat how in-depth these theories go. But really, I think I like YouTube user Dreamboum's answer the most:
Another thread, this one by PlatypusFeet, has collected pretty much every theory and detail that the community has come up with. Turning the date on your PS4 back, ghost girl sightings, comments from German community managers, it's all here.
Meanwhile, back on , Futaba has perhaps the most thorough dissection I've seen yet, laying out the various methods and tricks they've tried in order to trigger new cutscenes or events. It's more than 3,800 words long with plenty of links and analysis, so if you want a real deep dive, check it out. If you want the short summary, Futaba is pretty sure everything to uncover has been uncovered.
Well, like the creepy phone call said: Maybe we just need to say goodbye eventually.
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