History Main / AmbiguousSituation

22nd Nov '17 9:36:36 AM Unicorndance
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* In ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'', it's revealed that Miss Honey's father, Magnus, is dead and that the police think he killed himself but that he never seemed suicidal. Matilda speculates that Miss Trunchbull killed him and made it look like suicide. While Miss Trunchbull certainly is evil, and she ran away at the message "I will get you like you got me", anyone would be shocked if a chalk wrote on the board on its own, much less using your name, claiming to be a dead person, and threatening you, so it's still unrevealed how Magnus Honey died.
* In the kids' book ''A Terrible Thing Happened'', a boy named Sherman gets advice from his teacher after "something terrible" happens. He and his sister have InvisibleParents, and all of the conversations are unrevealed, so we never find out what the terrible thing is, or [[NothingIsScarier even if the parents are all right.]]


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* At the end of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' episode "The Chips Are Down", D.W. and Binky make friends and Binky admits to his friends that he likes ballet (which he'd been keeping a secret). Buster, who's a bit of a CloudCuckooLander and likes sci-fi, suggests that aliens brought them together, and at the end, aliens can be seen, saying, "Don't blame us; we just like ballet." Do they mean, "Yes, we brought them together, but don't blame us, we just did it because we like ballet", or are they saying, "Just because we like ballet doesn't mean we're responsible"?
20th Nov '17 4:59:21 PM FRizer
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The art of playing mutually exclusive tropes at the same time, by ''making the situation itself ambiguous'' so the viewers/readers can't know for sure what's going on. While this trope can come into play unintentionally, for example as a side effect of FauxSymbolism, it's normally intentionally played by the authors. This can be done to make the story more interesting in general, as a way of GettingCrapPastTheRadar, or simply to appeal to several audiences at the same time--each of them likely to interpret the situation in whatever way they are most familiar with.

A trope is being played. But ''what'' trope, that depends on a premise that we cannot know for sure: Either some vital piece of information is missing, or we are left with contradicting information and no definite verification about what is correct and what is not.

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The art of playing mutually exclusive tropes at the same time, by ''making the A certain situation itself ambiguous'' is so ambiguous that the viewers/readers can't know for sure what's going on. While this trope can come into play unintentionally, for example as a side effect of FauxSymbolism, it's normally intentionally played by the authors. This can be done to make the story more interesting in general, as a way of GettingCrapPastTheRadar, or simply to appeal to several audiences at the same time--each of them likely to interpret the situation in whatever way they are most familiar with.

A trope is being played. But ''what'' trope, that depends on a premise that we cannot know for sure:
with. Either some vital piece of information is missing, or we are left with contradicting information and no definite verification about what is correct and what is not.



When adding examples, list the alternatives--both what the unknown factor is, and what tropes the different alternatives result in.



Supertrope to AmbiguouslyGay, AmbiguouslyEvil, AmbiguouslyHuman, and AmbiguouslyJewish. If the ambiguity concerns whether a character lived or died, you're probably looking at UncertainDoom or one of its subtropes. Compare MaybeMagicMaybeMundane and AlternateCharacterInterpretation for other kinds of uncertainty. Contrast EpilepticTrees, which are conclusions that viewers draw when they don't limit themselves to information objectively present within the work. Also see CrypticConversation, ImpliedTrope, ThroughTheEyesOfMadness.

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Supertrope to AmbiguouslyGay, AmbiguouslyEvil, AmbiguouslyHuman, and AmbiguouslyJewish. May be a RiddleOfTheAges. {{Superdickery}} If the ambiguity concerns whether a character lived or died, you're probably looking at UncertainDoom or one of its subtropes. Compare MaybeMagicMaybeMundane and AlternateCharacterInterpretation for other kinds of uncertainty. Contrast EpilepticTrees, which are conclusions that viewers draw when they don't limit themselves to information objectively present within the work. Also see CrypticConversation, ImpliedTrope, ThroughTheEyesOfMadness.
18th Nov '17 8:09:44 AM kazokuhouou
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* ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica'': ''does'' John Ambrose Fauntroy V have black ancestry or not? The only answer given is that the test results proved 'negative', but what negative means in this context-whether negative black ancestry or negative pure white ancestry-is never answered.

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* ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica'': ''does'' John Ambrose Fauntroy V have black ancestry or not? The only answer given is that the test results proved 'negative', but what negative means in this context-whether negative black ancestry or negative pure white ancestry-is never answered. [[spoiler:Fauntroy ends up killing himself (after losing the presidential election because of the scandal but before the test results came out), so draw your own conclusions.]]
16th Nov '17 12:40:37 PM Unicorndance
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** The episode "Flight to the Finish" confirms that Scootaloo is behind most pegasi kids when it comes to flying. The question of whether or not Scootaloo ever ''will'' fly is raised, but left unanswered as Scootaloo is given a BeYourself aesop to put her mind at ease. WordOfGod was that [[spoiler: she is disabled,]] but the person that said this (Lauren Faust) is no longer executive producer and at the time of writing has limited influence on the show, so this idea may or may not have been dropped.

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** The episode "Flight to the Finish" confirms that Scootaloo is behind most pegasi kids when it comes to flying. The question of whether or not Scootaloo ever ''will'' fly is raised, but left unanswered as Scootaloo is given a BeYourself aesop [[AnAesop aesop]] to put her mind at ease. WordOfGod was that [[spoiler: she is disabled,]] but the person that said this (Lauren Faust) is no longer executive producer and at the time of writing has limited influence on the show, so this idea may or may not have been dropped.


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* ''WesternAnimation/MarthaSpeaks'': In the episode "Martha Takes the Cake", [[TalkingAnimal Martha]] the dog is suspected of eating a bite and a candle off of [[TheKlutz Alice]] [[LovableJock Boxwood]]'s birthday cake because there were cake crumbs next to her. Eventually, Nelson the cat is revealed to be the real perp after he throws up due to the candle having disagreed with him, but this doesn't solve the mystery of why there were crumbs next to Martha. [[CloudCuckoolander T.D.]] suggests that Nelson is a genius cat and made a machine to frame Martha, but the thing is, Nelson can't have built it because he doesn't have thumbs so we still don't know how the cake crumbs ended up next to Martha.
15th Nov '17 10:00:19 PM Unicorndance
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* In the children's book ''Tilly's Big Problem'', a little girl named Tilly is in a very gloomy mood and not even jokes can cheer her up, so she and her friend Ned test to see which adult will help solve Tilly's "big problem" and therefore cheer her up. They find one, and he talks to her (the actual conversation is not revealed) and she cheers up. What's ambiguous is ''why Tilly's sad''. It's referred to as a "big problem" but what sort of big problem is left unsaid.
15th Nov '17 4:25:25 PM kazokuhouou
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* ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica'': ''does'' John Ambrose Fauntroy V have black ancestry or not? The only answer given is that the test results proved 'negative', but what negative means in this context-whether negative black ancestry or negative pure white ancestry-is never answered.
12th Nov '17 10:14:44 AM kazokuhouou
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* In the second installment of ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' miniseries (parts "Mutiny" and "Retribution"), it's never fully resolved what happened when the Captain Sawyer fell in the hatchway. It's possible Lieutenant Hornblower, Lieutenant Kennedy, or Midshipman Wellard pushed him, or that the disoriented and paranoid Captain simply tripped and fell on his own. The scene is shot so as to be intentionally vague, and by the end of the miniseries, [[spoiler: Kennedy, Wellard, and Sawyer are all dead]]. For his part, Hornblower doesn't talk about it. The book that these films were based on, ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', was written from Lieutenant Bush's point of view and was similarly unclear.

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* In the second installment of ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' miniseries (parts "Mutiny" and "Retribution"), it's never fully resolved what happened when the Captain Sawyer fell in the hatchway. It's possible Lieutenant Hornblower, Lieutenant Kennedy, or Midshipman Wellard pushed him, or that the disoriented and paranoid Captain simply tripped and fell on his own. The scene is shot so as to be intentionally vague, and by the end of the miniseries, [[spoiler: Kennedy, Wellard, and Sawyer are all dead]]. For his part, Hornblower doesn't talk about it. The book that these films were based on, ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', was written from Lieutenant Bush's point of view and was similarly unclear. For the record, [[spoiler:Kennedy took the blame to save Horatio's career, as he was dying anyway.]]
25th Oct '17 3:17:56 PM mkmlp
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* ''VideoGame/Fallout''

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* ''VideoGame/Fallout''''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''


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** What happened to the [[VideoGame/Fallout3 Capital Wasteland]], after the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel abandoned Elder Lyons more progressive and altruistic ideals, [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor to return to their]] more [[LawfulNeutral morally gray customs]], under Elder Maxum. About as much as we get, is a terminal entry that implies that they (probably forcibly) took Rivet City's nuclear reactor to power the Prydwen and we could infer that the Brotherhood would likely confiscate any and all weapons more advanced than traditional guns and that [[FantasticRacism peaceful mutant communities like Underworld, would likely be driven out, if not killed on sight]]. But, we are never given a clear answer to what has happened since the Capital Wasteland's protectors, reverted back to their old ways.
25th Oct '17 3:03:43 PM mkmlp
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* In ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', the only clear part of the plot is that Wander is trying to revive Mono by unsealing Dormin, and Lord Emon wants to stop this. This leaves us with a whole boatload of varying interpretations - for a small sample, is Wander a VillainProtagonist or a [[TheWoobie Woobie]]? Is Dormin displaying DarkIsEvil or DarkIsNotEvil? Is Emon a HeroAntagonist or a KnightTemplar? Indeed, director Fumito Ueda is on the record as wanting each player to form their own story, and boy has the fandom taken him up on that.
* Used to skirt around the issues of violence, death and sexuality in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'', where most characters are young children. Especially whether Mr. Hoffman sexually abused Clara and Diana. An infamous scenario features Hoffman summoning sad, reluctant Clara to his room, and you can witness through a keyhole how he...makes her scrub the floor, though in a very innuendo-laden position.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' actually builds the entire crux of the plot around this, with the nature, outcome and even symbolism of the plot dependent on both the player's actions and interpretations.
* [[PosthumousCharacter Brian Johnson]]'s death in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas''. Even though is one of the many driving forces of the plot, you're not really told if his death was caused by CJ's negligence or Brian's recklessness.

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* In ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', the only clear part of the plot The ending to ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'': is that Wander is trying to revive Mono by unsealing Dormin, and Lord Emon wants to stop this. This leaves us with a whole boatload of varying interpretations - for a small sample, is Wander a VillainProtagonist or a [[TheWoobie Woobie]]? Is Dormin displaying DarkIsEvil or DarkIsNotEvil? Is Emon a HeroAntagonist or a KnightTemplar? Indeed, director Fumito Ueda is on the record as wanting each player to form their own story, and boy has the fandom taken him up on that.
* Used to skirt around the issues of violence, death and sexuality in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'', where most characters are young children. Especially whether Mr. Hoffman sexually abused Clara and Diana. An infamous scenario features Hoffman summoning sad, reluctant Clara to his room, and you can witness through a keyhole how he...makes her scrub the floor, though in a very innuendo-laden position.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' actually builds the entire crux of the plot around this, with the nature, outcome and even symbolism of the plot dependent on both the player's actions and interpretations.
* [[PosthumousCharacter Brian Johnson]]'s death in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas''. Even though is one of the many driving forces of the plot, you're not
Jin really told if his death that dumb or had she snapped and was caused by CJ's negligence or Brian's recklessness.attempting SuicideByCop? Cut content including her diary where she thinks the outbreak is god's punishment and everyone can burn suggests the latter.



* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'': Both the villains, Khalid al-Asad and Imran Zakhaev, blame the west for their two countries' problems. While their actions are morally reprehensible, whether they're [[PresidentEvil power-mad dictators]] [[AmericaSavesTheDay America is trying to save the world from]] or [[KnightTemplar Knight Templars]] [[IDidWhatIHadToDo doing what they genuinely think they have to do to stop American imperialism]] is open to interpretation. Very much TruthInTelevision. The ambiguity even extends to the nuclear detonation -- it's never confirmed [[{{Revision}} in the first game]] who set it off: Zakhaev, al-Asad, a suicidal {{Mook}}, the NEST team trying to diffuse it....
* Much to the {{fandom}}'s [[EndingAversion chagrin]], ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' ended with this trope. Beyond the presence of a GainaxEnding, there is the apparent [[spoiler: explosion of the mass relays in every ending except Control, which would doom the entire galaxy, given that an exploding mass relay has shown to release energy on the scale of supernova]], in addition to the enormous amount of FridgeHorror in the endings (see InferredHolocaust). In fact, even in [[spoiler: the control ending, the Catalyst's dialogue seems to imply that controlling the reapers will eventually lead to AndThenJohnWasAZombie, causing the reapers to return to destroy the galaxy and renew the cycle.]] Apparently, this was the desired effect of the endings, as the lead writer Mac Walters (allegedly) wrote, in [[NoIndoorVoice ALL CAPS]] on a piece of note paper regarding the endings "'''[[MemeticMutation LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE]]'''." Clarified a bit in the [[UpdatedRerelease DLC endings]], which are far less ambiguous (and the exploding relays were removed entirely).



* Fans of Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos can easily figure out what vaguely happened in the game it inspired, ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'', but the details are unknown, and if you aren't familiar with the mythos, you really have no idea.
%%* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'', the entire game.
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', it's never confirmed whether [[spoiler:Gundam Tanaka]] killed [[spoiler:Nekomaru Nidai]] using [[spoiler:his hamsters to hit his "Good Night" button]] or if [[spoiler:he simply fought him on even terms]]. The killer insists that it was the latter method, but the former is simpler and slightly more believable. Both are plausible, however.
** Additionally, it's never made explicitly clear in-game who [[spoiler:killed Satou/E-ko during their time at Hope's Peak Academy prior to their arriving on the island]] - it could've been [[spoiler:Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu or Peko Pekoyama (acting under orders from Kuzuryuu)]]. Official supplementary materials, however, confirm that it was [[spoiler:Kuzuryuu]].
* The ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', namely, [[spoiler: whether the revived Fon Fabre is Luke, Asch, or a personality mix of the two.]]
* Similarly, [[spoiler: Judas's]] eventual fate in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2''. [[spoiler: He was supposed to be erased from time, but his mask still exists, and Kyle seems to have memories of him in the end.]]
* The ending to ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'': is Jin really that dumb or had she snapped and was attempting SuicideByCop? Cut content including her diary where she thinks the outbreak is god's punishment and everyone can burn suggests the latter.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', you meet a couple of Alik'r warriors who are hunting a Redguard woman in Whiterun. The woman, Saadia, insists that her real name is Iman and that they're hunting her for speaking out against the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]]. The head of the Redguard warriors, Kematu, says that her real name is Iman... and that she's really wanted for selling out a city to the Aldmeri Dominion. It's up to the player to decide who's telling the truth, but neither side is completely straightforward.
** In Saadia's favor: [[spoiler:The Alik'r hang out in a cave with bandits, and did ''something'' to piss off the Whiterun guards (and land one of their numbers in jail). They, and Kematu in particular, only tell you the truth once you've killed a bunch of bandits (i.e., proven you could be a danger)--if you ask them why they're hunting Saadia before this, they brush you off with 'You don't need to know that'.]]
** In Kematu's favor: [[spoiler:Saadia's first action when you confront her is to pull you aside into a quiet corner and then draw a dagger on you. Her story doesn't mesh with the lore given about Hammerfell, who opposed the Aldmeri Dominion and eventually threw them out. And, notably, when you hand Saadia over to Kematu he paralyzes her instead of killing her outright--for all her insistence that she was going to be assassinated. He even gets upset if you kill her, complaining about "all that hard work".]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', between the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', Nirn's [[WeirdMoon twin moons]], Masser and Secunda, disappear from the sky for unknown reasons (known as the "Void Nights"). [[CatFolk Khajiit]] culture has great reverence for the moons, and the phases of the moons dictate which of 17 different sub-species a Khajiit cub will grow up to be depending on which phase it was born under. Understandably, the Void Nights were said to have caused significant unrest and panic among the Khajiit. However, nothing has been said in regards to exactly how the Void Nights affected Khajiiti reproduction, leading to much WildMassGuessing and causing a few EpilepticTrees to take root. (The moons would return after two years with no explanation given as to where they went, but the [[AntiHumanAlliance Aldmeri Dominion]] claimed credit for restoring them, bringing them the Khajiit as a client race.)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', there's the true fate of the [[TheAlliance Commonwealth Provisional Government]]. An important part of the game's backstory, the [=CPG=] was an alliance of the representatives of the [[CrapsackWorld Commonwealth's]] largest settlements, with the goal of creating the foundation for a new regional government. [[TheConspiracy The Institute]] sent their ''own'' representative in the form of a [[ArtificialHumans Synth]]. The Synth then apparently [[KickTheDog killed the other members of the CPG]], causing the organization to fall apart [[ShaggyDogStory and the Commonwealth to stay divided & weak]]. Most Watelanders use "the [=CPG=] Massacre" as a justification for their hatred of the Institute and [[FantasticRacism resultant racism towards Synths]]. However, records from within the Institute itself [[AnotherSideAnotherStory tell a different tale]]: [[spoiler: Apparently, the Institute actually ''[[NotMeThisTime orchestrated]]'' the [=CPG's=] formation, as they [[PetTheDog wanted to share their advanced tech with the surface]], but [[WellIntentionedExtremist as a new society]] [[VisionaryVillain that wouldn't repeat the faults of the Old World]]. The records then go on to claim that the surface representatives [[RealityEnsues never came to a consensus]] and [[KillEmAll killed each other]], leaving the Institute's Synth representative the [[SoleSurvivor Sole Survivor]]. The Institute was then [[PoorCommunicationKills promptly blamed by the rest of the Commonwealth]] for the fall of the [=CPG=], and this served as the Institute's [[StartOfDarkness Start of Darkness]].]] Complicating matters is the fact that the Institute's records on the matter are [[WrittenByTheWinners likely doctored to some extent]], and the Commonwealth's opinions of events are corrupted by the over-reliance on [[OralTradition word of mouth]]. Due to too many [[UnreliableNarrator Unreliable Narrators]], no one knows which side is right anymore.

to:

* Fans of Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos can easily figure out what vaguely happened in the game it inspired, ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'', but the details are unknown, and if you aren't familiar with the mythos, you really have no idea.
%%* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'', the entire game.
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', it's never confirmed whether [[spoiler:Gundam Tanaka]] killed [[spoiler:Nekomaru Nidai]] using [[spoiler:his hamsters to hit his "Good Night" button]] or if [[spoiler:he simply fought him on even terms]]. The killer insists that it was the latter method, but the former is simpler and slightly more believable. Both are plausible, however.
''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** Additionally, it's never made explicitly clear in-game who [[spoiler:killed Satou/E-ko during their time at Hope's Peak Academy prior to their arriving on the island]] - it could've been [[spoiler:Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu or Peko Pekoyama (acting under orders from Kuzuryuu)]]. Official supplementary materials, however, confirm that it was [[spoiler:Kuzuryuu]].
* The ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', namely, [[spoiler: whether the revived Fon Fabre is Luke, Asch, or a personality mix of the two.]]
* Similarly, [[spoiler: Judas's]] eventual fate in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2''. [[spoiler: He was supposed to be erased from time, but his mask still exists, and Kyle seems to have memories of him in the end.]]
* The ending to ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'': is Jin really that dumb or had she snapped and was attempting SuicideByCop? Cut content including her diary where she thinks the outbreak is god's punishment and everyone can burn suggests the latter.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', you meet a couple of Alik'r warriors who are hunting a Redguard woman in Whiterun. The woman, Saadia, insists that her real name is Iman and that they're hunting her for speaking out against the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]]. The head of the Redguard warriors, Kematu, says that her real name is Iman... and that she's really wanted for selling out a city to the Aldmeri Dominion. It's up to the player to decide who's telling the truth, but neither side is completely straightforward.
** In Saadia's favor: [[spoiler:The Alik'r hang out in a cave with bandits, and did ''something'' to piss off the Whiterun guards (and land one of their numbers in jail). They, and Kematu in particular, only tell you the truth once you've killed a bunch of bandits (i.e., proven you could be a danger)--if you ask them why they're hunting Saadia before this, they brush you off with 'You don't need to know that'.]]
** In Kematu's favor: [[spoiler:Saadia's first action when you confront her is to pull you aside into a quiet corner and then draw a dagger on you. Her story doesn't mesh with the lore given about Hammerfell, who opposed the Aldmeri Dominion and eventually threw them out. And, notably, when you hand Saadia over to Kematu he paralyzes her instead of killing her outright--for all her insistence that she was going to be assassinated. He even gets upset if you kill her, complaining about "all that hard work".]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'', between
Between the events of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', Nirn's [[WeirdMoon twin moons]], Masser and Secunda, disappear from the sky for unknown reasons (known as the "Void Nights"). [[CatFolk Khajiit]] culture has great reverence for the moons, and the phases of the moons dictate which of 17 different sub-species a Khajiit cub will grow up to be depending on which phase it was born under. Understandably, the Void Nights were said to have caused significant unrest and panic among the Khajiit. However, nothing has been said in regards to exactly how the Void Nights affected Khajiiti reproduction, leading to much WildMassGuessing and causing a few EpilepticTrees to take root. (The moons would return after two years with no explanation given as to where they went, but the [[AntiHumanAlliance Aldmeri Dominion]] claimed credit for restoring them, bringing them the Khajiit as a client race.)
* ** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', there's ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', you meet a couple of Alik'r warriors who are hunting a Redguard woman in Whiterun. The woman, Saadia, insists that her real name is Iman and that they're hunting her for speaking out against the true fate [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]]. The head of the [[TheAlliance Commonwealth Provisional Government]]. An important part of Redguard warriors, Kematu, says that her real name is Iman... and that she's really wanted for selling out a city to the game's backstory, Aldmeri Dominion. It's up to the [=CPG=] was an alliance of player to decide who's telling the representatives of truth, but neither side is completely straightforward.
*** In Saadia's favor: [[spoiler:The Alik'r hang out in a cave with bandits, and did ''something'' to piss off
the [[CrapsackWorld Commonwealth's]] largest settlements, Whiterun guards (and land one of their numbers in jail). They, and Kematu in particular, only tell you the truth once you've killed a bunch of bandits (i.e., proven you could be a danger)--if you ask them why they're hunting Saadia before this, they brush you off with 'You don't need to know that'.]]
*** In Kematu's favor: [[spoiler:Saadia's first action when you confront her is to pull you aside into a quiet corner and then draw a dagger on you. Her story doesn't mesh
with the goal of creating lore given about Hammerfell, who opposed the foundation for a new regional government. [[TheConspiracy The Institute]] sent their ''own'' representative in the form of a [[ArtificialHumans Synth]]. The Synth then apparently [[KickTheDog killed the other members of the CPG]], causing the organization to fall apart [[ShaggyDogStory Aldmeri Dominion and the Commonwealth eventually threw them out. And, notably, when you hand Saadia over to stay divided & weak]]. Most Watelanders use "the [=CPG=] Massacre" as a justification for their hatred Kematu he paralyzes her instead of the Institute and [[FantasticRacism resultant racism towards Synths]]. However, records from within the Institute itself [[AnotherSideAnotherStory tell a different tale]]: [[spoiler: Apparently, the Institute actually ''[[NotMeThisTime orchestrated]]'' the [=CPG's=] formation, as they [[PetTheDog wanted to share their advanced tech with the surface]], but [[WellIntentionedExtremist as a new society]] [[VisionaryVillain killing her outright--for all her insistence that wouldn't repeat the faults of the Old World]]. The records then go on she was going to claim be assassinated. He even gets upset if you kill her, complaining about "all that the surface representatives [[RealityEnsues never came to a consensus]] and [[KillEmAll killed each other]], leaving the Institute's Synth representative the [[SoleSurvivor Sole Survivor]]. The Institute was then [[PoorCommunicationKills promptly blamed by the rest of the Commonwealth]] for the fall of the [=CPG=], and this served as the Institute's [[StartOfDarkness Start of Darkness]].]] Complicating matters is the fact that the Institute's records on the matter are [[WrittenByTheWinners likely doctored to some extent]], and the Commonwealth's opinions of events are corrupted by the over-reliance on [[OralTradition word of mouth]]. Due to too many [[UnreliableNarrator Unreliable Narrators]], no one knows which side is right anymore.hard work".]]



* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has this for the entire land of Termina. Theories abound about what its story is. Is it some sort of afterlife? A hallucination? An alternate universe? A representation of Link's mental state/the five stages of grief/depression? Just a regular land? All the player knows is that Link goes though an incredibly trippy sequence to get there. The people all look the same as the ones from Hyrule, but that was done to make sure the game was finished sooner and it's never acknowledged in-universe. The implied backstory throws a lot more into the mix, with interesting carvings at Stone Tower that have lead to speculation that Termina may have been cursed by the goddesses for blasphemy.
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' leaves it ambiguous what happens with the traitor, after they were last seen. After fighting and losing to the protagonist, the traitor is confronted by a Shadow doppelgänger of themselves and tells the party to go on. Nothing is mentioned beyond a minor note of one of your party member's not feeling their presence any longer.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' features a sub-quest involving a MysteriousStranger, who gives John two minor quests to test his morality, before [[spoiler: meeting him a finale time at the spot ''[[TheAtoner John's future grave will be]]'', remarking that it is a good spot to die]], at which point he refuses to answer John's questions, leading to the latter firing three of what may or may not be warning shots, none of which faze the stranger. The only hint of who he may be, is John commenting that he looks familiar and he himself has a good memory, to which the stranger mentions a woman that was killed during John's criminal days, that John doesn't remember and says "If you don't remember her, why would you remember me." and that '''every''' man must face his past said at another point. And though he gives a couple missions to test John's morality, he doesn't seem to react strongly to either decision. [[WildMassGuessing Fan theories have come up with]], everything from him being anything from TheGrimReaper, {{God}}, TheDevil, John's long lost father, a GuardianAngel, to the spirit of a innocent bystander who was killed in the crossfire of one of John's criminal escapades. Further complicating things is the fact, after [[spoiler: [[RedemptionEqualsDeath John's]] HeroicSacrifice and the player is left to roam around as his son, the stranger disappears from the game, making his quest line the only side quest that can ''only'' be completed by John.]]

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* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has this for ''VideoGame/Fallout''
** ''Who'' fired
the entire land of Termina. Theories abound about what its story is. Is it some sort of afterlife? A hallucination? An alternate universe? A representation of Link's mental state/the five stages of grief/depression? Just a regular land? All nukes to begin with? What little information the player knows is that Link goes though an incredibly trippy sequence to get there. The people all look can find about the same as the ones from Hyrule, but that was done to make sure the game was finished sooner moments just before, during, and it's never acknowledged in-universe. The implied backstory throws a lot more into the mix, with interesting carvings at Stone Tower that have lead to speculation that Termina may have been cursed by the goddesses for blasphemy.
* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' leaves it ambiguous what happens with the traitor,
just after they were last seen. After fighting and losing to the protagonist, the traitor is confronted by a Shadow doppelgänger of themselves and tells the party to go on. Nothing is mentioned beyond a minor note of one of your party member's not feeling their presence any longer.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' features a sub-quest involving a MysteriousStranger, who gives John two minor quests to test his morality, before [[spoiler: meeting him a finale time at the spot ''[[TheAtoner John's future grave will be]]'', remarking that it is a good spot to die]], at which point he refuses to answer John's questions, leading to the latter firing three of what may or may not be warning shots, none of which faze the stranger. The only hint of who he may be, is John commenting that he looks familiar and he himself has a good memory, to which the stranger mentions a woman that was killed during John's criminal days, that John doesn't remember and says "If you don't remember her, why would you remember me." and that '''every''' man must face his past said at another point. And though he gives a couple missions to test John's morality, he doesn't
bombs hit seem to react strongly to either decision. [[WildMassGuessing Fan theories have come up with]], everything from him being anything from TheGrimReaper, {{God}}, TheDevil, John's long lost father, a GuardianAngel, to the spirit of a innocent bystander who was killed in the crossfire of one of John's criminal escapades. imply that China launched theirs first, but it is never explicitly made clear, that America didn't shoot first. Further complicating things is things, an EasterEgg in the fact, after [[BizzaroEpisode Mother Ship Zeta]] DLC, proposes that ''aliens'' might have triggered the nuclear war, either ForScience or ForTheEvulz, and the rough-draft of the canceled Fallout movie proposed the idea that [[Main/EvilInc Vault Tech]] may have caused the war. Though the continuity Mothership Zeta is debatable and as the Fallout movie was never made, it is unlikely anything planned in it carries over to the games.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', there's the true fate of the [[TheAlliance Commonwealth Provisional Government]]. An important part of the game's backstory, the [=CPG=] was an alliance of the representatives of the [[CrapsackWorld Commonwealth's]] largest settlements, with the goal of creating the foundation for a new regional government. [[TheConspiracy The Institute]] sent their ''own'' representative in the form of a [[ArtificialHumans Synth]]. The Synth then apparently [[KickTheDog killed the other members of the CPG]], causing the organization to fall apart [[ShaggyDogStory and the Commonwealth to stay divided & weak]]. Most Watelanders use "the [=CPG=] Massacre" as a justification for their hatred of the Institute and [[FantasticRacism resultant racism towards Synths]]. However, records from within the Institute itself [[AnotherSideAnotherStory tell a different tale]]:
[[spoiler: [[RedemptionEqualsDeath John's]] HeroicSacrifice Apparently, the Institute actually ''[[NotMeThisTime orchestrated]]'' the [=CPG's=] formation, as they [[PetTheDog wanted to share their advanced tech with the surface]], but [[WellIntentionedExtremist as a new society]] [[VisionaryVillain that wouldn't repeat the faults of the Old World]]. The records then go on to claim that the surface representatives [[RealityEnsues never came to a consensus]] and [[KillEmAll killed each other]], leaving the Institute's Synth representative the [[SoleSurvivor Sole Survivor]]. The Institute was then [[PoorCommunicationKills promptly blamed by the rest of the Commonwealth]] for the fall of the [=CPG=], and this served as the Institute's [[StartOfDarkness Start of Darkness]].]] Complicating matters is the fact that the Institute's records on the matter are [[WrittenByTheWinners likely doctored to some extent]], and the player is left to roam around as his son, Commonwealth's opinions of events are corrupted by the stranger disappears from the game, making his quest line the only over-reliance on [[OralTradition word of mouth]]. Due to too many [[UnreliableNarrator Unreliable Narrators]], no one knows which side quest that can ''only'' be completed by John.]] is right anymore.


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* [[PosthumousCharacter Brian Johnson]]'s death in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas''. Even though is one of the many driving forces of the plot, you're not really told if his death was caused by CJ's negligence or Brian's recklessness.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has this for the entire land of Termina. Theories abound about what its story is. Is it some sort of afterlife? A hallucination? An alternate universe? A representation of Link's mental state/the five stages of grief/depression? Just a regular land? All the player knows is that Link goes though an incredibly trippy sequence to get there. The people all look the same as the ones from Hyrule, but that was done to make sure the game was finished sooner and it's never acknowledged in-universe. The implied backstory throws a lot more into the mix, with interesting carvings at Stone Tower that have lead to speculation that Termina may have been cursed by the goddesses for blasphemy.
* Much to the {{fandom}}'s [[EndingAversion chagrin]], ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' ended with this trope. Beyond the presence of a GainaxEnding, there is the apparent [[spoiler: explosion of the mass relays in every ending except Control, which would doom the entire galaxy, given that an exploding mass relay has shown to release energy on the scale of supernova]], in addition to the enormous amount of FridgeHorror in the endings (see InferredHolocaust). In fact, even in [[spoiler: the control ending, the Catalyst's dialogue seems to imply that controlling the reapers will eventually lead to AndThenJohnWasAZombie, causing the reapers to return to destroy the galaxy and renew the cycle.]] Apparently, this was the desired effect of the endings, as the lead writer Mac Walters (allegedly) wrote, in [[NoIndoorVoice ALL CAPS]] on a piece of note paper regarding the endings "'''[[MemeticMutation LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE]]'''." Clarified a bit in the [[UpdatedRerelease DLC endings]], which are far less ambiguous (and the exploding relays were removed entirely).
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'': Both the villains, Khalid al-Asad and Imran Zakhaev, blame the west for their two countries' problems. While their actions are morally reprehensible, whether they're [[PresidentEvil power-mad dictators]] [[AmericaSavesTheDay America is trying to save the world from]] or [[KnightTemplar Knight Templars]] [[IDidWhatIHadToDo doing what they genuinely think they have to do to stop American imperialism]] is open to interpretation. Very much TruthInTelevision. The ambiguity even extends to the nuclear detonation -- it's never confirmed [[{{Revision}} in the first game]] who set it off: Zakhaev, al-Asad, a suicidal {{Mook}}, the NEST team trying to diffuse it....


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* ''VideoGame/Persona5'' leaves it ambiguous what happens with the traitor, after they were last seen. After fighting and losing to the protagonist, the traitor is confronted by a Shadow doppelgänger of themselves and tells the party to go on. Nothing is mentioned beyond a minor note of one of your party member's not feeling their presence any longer.
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' features a sub-quest involving a MysteriousStranger, who gives John two minor quests to test his morality, before [[spoiler: meeting him a finale time at the spot ''[[TheAtoner John's future grave will be]]'', remarking that it is a good spot to die]], at which point he refuses to answer John's questions, leading to the latter firing three of what may or may not be warning shots, none of which faze the stranger. The only hint of who he may be, is John commenting that he looks familiar and he himself has a good memory, to which the stranger mentions a woman that was killed during John's criminal days, that John doesn't remember and says "If you don't remember her, why would you remember me." and that '''every''' man must face his past said at another point. And though he gives a couple missions to test John's morality, he doesn't seem to react strongly to either decision. [[WildMassGuessing Fan theories have come up with]], everything from him being anything from TheGrimReaper, {{God}}, TheDevil, John's long lost father, a GuardianAngel, to the spirit of a innocent bystander who was killed in the crossfire of one of John's criminal escapades. Further complicating things is the fact, after [[spoiler: [[RedemptionEqualsDeath John's]] HeroicSacrifice and the player is left to roam around as his son, the stranger disappears from the game, making his quest line the only side quest that can ''only'' be completed by John.]]
* Used to skirt around the issues of violence, death and sexuality in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'', where most characters are young children. Especially whether Mr. Hoffman sexually abused Clara and Diana. An infamous scenario features Hoffman summoning sad, reluctant Clara to his room, and you can witness through a keyhole how he...makes her scrub the floor, though in a very innuendo-laden position.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', the only clear part of the plot is that Wander is trying to revive Mono by unsealing Dormin, and Lord Emon wants to stop this. This leaves us with a whole boatload of varying interpretations - for a small sample, is Wander a VillainProtagonist or a [[TheWoobie Woobie]]? Is Dormin displaying DarkIsEvil or DarkIsNotEvil? Is Emon a HeroAntagonist or a KnightTemplar? Indeed, director Fumito Ueda is on the record as wanting each player to form their own story, and boy has the fandom taken him up on that.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' actually builds the entire crux of the plot around this, with the nature, outcome and even symbolism of the plot dependent on both the player's actions and interpretations.
* Fans of Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos can easily figure out what vaguely happened in the game it inspired, ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'', but the details are unknown, and if you aren't familiar with the mythos, you really have no idea.
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', it's never confirmed whether [[spoiler:Gundam Tanaka]] killed [[spoiler:Nekomaru Nidai]] using [[spoiler:his hamsters to hit his "Good Night" button]] or if [[spoiler:he simply fought him on even terms]]. The killer insists that it was the latter method, but the former is simpler and slightly more believable. Both are plausible, however.
** Additionally, it's never made explicitly clear in-game who [[spoiler:killed Satou/E-ko during their time at Hope's Peak Academy prior to their arriving on the island]] - it could've been [[spoiler:Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu or Peko Pekoyama (acting under orders from Kuzuryuu)]]. Official supplementary materials, however, confirm that it was [[spoiler:Kuzuryuu]].
* The ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', namely, [[spoiler: whether the revived Fon Fabre is Luke, Asch, or a personality mix of the two.]]
* Similarly, [[spoiler: Judas's]] eventual fate in ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2''. [[spoiler: He was supposed to be erased from time, but his mask still exists, and Kyle seems to have memories of him in the end.]]
%%* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'', the entire game.
14th Oct '17 2:30:48 PM kazokuhouou
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* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower Lieutenant Hornblower'' is the only book of the ''Hornblower'' series written from the POV of a character other than Hornblower (in this case, newly-assigned Lieutenant Bush). The Captain falls down a hatchway and is put in a coma. Through the course of the book, it's unclear if he fell on accident or if he was pushed by either a much-abused midshipman or Hornblower himself. Things are not made more clear by Hornblower appointing himself head of the investigation in the confusion caused by the power vacuum, nor by his insistence that they press on a planned attack on a Spanish fort, keeping everyone too occupied to look into things too closely. By the end of the book, the Captain is killed in a Spanish attack on the ship, the authorities refuse to probe into the matter for the sake of Sawyer's reputation, and the Midshipman is mentioned in the denouement as being lost in a storm a few months later during the Peace of Amiens, meaning only Hornblower may know the truth, and is keeping it to himself.

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* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower Lieutenant Hornblower'' is the only book of the ''Hornblower'' series written from the POV of a character other than Hornblower (in this case, newly-assigned Lieutenant Bush). The Captain falls down a hatchway and is put in a coma. Through the course of the book, it's unclear if he fell on accident or if he was pushed by either a much-abused midshipman or Hornblower himself. Things are not made more clear by Hornblower appointing himself head of the investigation in the confusion caused by the power vacuum, nor by his insistence that they press on a planned attack on a Spanish fort, keeping everyone too occupied to look into things too closely. By the end of the book, the Captain is killed in a Spanish attack on the ship, the authorities refuse to probe into the matter for the sake of Sawyer's reputation, reputation (it should be noted that he had started to go mad), and the Midshipman is mentioned in the denouement as being lost in a storm a few months later during the Peace of Amiens, meaning only Hornblower may know the truth, and is keeping it to himself.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AmbiguousSituation