One thing that pleased me about the "Black Velvetopia" section of Psychonauts was how all the different elements, each one bizarre on its own, added together — the paint, the cards, the luchadors, the toreador, the high school paraphernalia — to tell Edgar's story, piece by cryptic piece. Except there was one thing bugging me, even after completing the chapter: what's with the talking dogs? They didn't seem to have anything to do with anything. Then days later, once I'd finished dealing with Loboto, Pokeylope et al at the top of the tower, I was treated to a cutscene that showed Edgar finishing his masterpiece...dogs playing poker. Of course. - Whogus The Whatsler
Something that struck me when playing Psychonauts was the lack of Censors in the minds of the Lungfish and Boyd, something that we were told existed in every mind (the censors, not the others). It took me a little while to realize that this was not only intentional, but a very clever decision as the first had had their mind crushed under the dominion of Oleander and thus would have had all their censors repressed and/or destroyed and the second, thanks to his overly suspicious mind, always incorporated different aspects of the world into his conspiracy. In effect, there is no difference between "good" and "bad", so there are no censors, presumably destroyed when he finally cracked. - Kaiser6012
It's also noteworthy that many psychologists believe people with schizophrenia lack the ability to 'censor' their own mind and have trouble controlling their thoughts. Boyd's lack of censors is this idea made literal.
Though Boyd does have censors.
Although, it would go with that theory. They only show up after the squirts are found. Then they only try to attack the squirts. Remember that Boyd was hypnotized (from the looks of it, it may have been actual hypnosis as Boyd isn't right in the head), and it appears the milkman personality was Boyd's inner arsonist suppressed. It's likely that Boyd's lack of sensors were either because suppressed or just cooped up in the first place. After all, would somebody who has normal censors be able to pull up the kinds of ideas Boyd does?
Sasha's Exact Words were "any sane person's mind." The lack of censors in the minds of the asylum residents foreshadowed a bit here.
Also, Coach Oleander's Basic Braining Course didn't have any censors, though whether this was foreshadowing his insanity or a conscious act to keep the Psycadets in relative safety is unclear.
When you're in Boyd's house (in his mind) you can see ashtrays and cigarettes scattered about. A common trait among people with schizophrenia is nicotine addiction.
Lake Oblongata... Hey, wait a second! The medulla oblongata is a part of the brain.
Related: Of course Sasha and Milla are a team! Sasha represents the left side of the brain (mathematical, analytical, logical) and Milla represents the right side (creative, emotional, expressive). -Governor Explosion
Spoilers about in this one, so beware: I used to wonder why did Coach Oleander go nuts, when he was one of the most trusted Psychonauts in the U.S.? They put him in charge of children, for crying out loud, and the government usually doesn't put children in the charge of someone they suspect might go crazy around all that psytanium. One argument is that it was prolonged exposure, but I never bought that argument, after all, the camp is obviously frequented by other psychonauts. Sasha and Milla are probably there on a fairly regular basis as well. Then I realized, Sasha and Milla both learned to keep their minds under strict and careful control. Milla because of her nightmares brought on by her orphanage burning down and all of the kids dying, and Sasha because of the incident with reading his father's mind when he was young. Oleander, on the other hand, apparently never gained that sort of control, and in fact obviously had a chip on his shoulder for being rejected from every branch of the army for being too short. He may have repressed that chip fairly well, being both locked up and buried under cobwebs, but it was still there. So the psytanium never affected Sasha or Milla because their mental defenses were too strong, but Coach had cracks that the psytanium would eventually work around to drive him mad. Tim Schafer, you... are... a genius! -Cpt Sqweky
On Elton's facebook, it says that after his father died, he lived with his mother in a "special hotel for ladies only" and that "lots of sailors came to visit her". Remind you of anything?
Why is it that the only battle you get help in is the last one? Simple: no one else could overcome their personal demons and neuroses on their own... why should you be any better? They needed help... so do you.
Speaking of, given that it includes Raz's own demons, it's surprising that (even with the help of a much more powerful and experienced psychic) the Meat Circus ends with such an Anticlimax Boss. Except the main help isn't the psychic assistance, but what it represents: love, respect, and admiration from Raz's real father, a display of raw caring and emotion that easily disproves (and thus vanquishes) the false image.
The appearance of the Nightmares in Boyd's inner world seems to come out of nowhere. After all, they were manifestations of Milla's survivor's guilt after the orphanage she worked at burned down. What does Boyd have to do with guilt and... fire... oh, right, that whole "Milkman" thing!
A small one, but notable nonetheless. The Censors' rather appropriate catch phrase is spouting the word "no" over and over. Where do you first face off against them? Sasha Nein's brain, of course.
I finally understand the nature of Boyd's mind. This is gonna get a bit spoliery. Alright, so Boyd's mental world is a 50's suburbia filled to the brim with conspiracy, the goal of the level is to find and wake up the milkman so he'll unlock the gates in the real world. Well, I finally understood what the story was by looking a little deeper.
The important part is the question being asked. "Who is the milkman?" You would think an arsonist would remember any persona they took, even if they have gone mad, yet Boyd seems just as confused about the milkman as the players are, he just sees it as another conspiracy. Then I got the vault showing Oleander hypnotizing Boyd and it hit me. Boyd has no idea who the milkman is because he's a constructed part of Boyd's personality. Boyd would honestly have no idea who the milkman was because he wasn't a natural part of him, and on getting it, he wasn't aware. Instead, when said hypnotist worked on Boyd, he could most likely go inside his mind, see what the mindscape was like, and construct a way to hide that part of him until it was needed. Boyd accidentally hid it by coming with paranoia; asking about the milkman sounded like just another babbling theory from him, hiding it from anybody who would question him. Why were there no censors until the final battle of the mind? They were suppressed. Boyd's mind would still have defenses against outside influences, in the form of g-men, but the most omnipresent part of any mind would have been suppressed so they don't just teleport right into the milkman's chamber. Instead, the g-men were a kind of backup defense system that was made unique to Boyd's mind, but the rainbow squirts were also a more natural part of the mind, fitting in with the 50's suburbia concept, so the G-men, while they questioned them, they didn't see them as an outright alien entity.
Which brings us to the final part. What the hell was the milkman's mission? Well, pay attention. His mission is to remove all traces of the asylum after Oleander was done with it. His mission, which was hypnotized into him, was to clean up the asylum, which was holding the plans and evidence of Oleander's involvement with the brain snatching. Boyd was to stand ready to "clean up" the asylum after it was cleared of inmates. It would explain why the den mother, another part of the construction and why she was so hostile the second the guise was broken, was to wake up the milkman when everybody had left the grounds, allowing him to burn up the place without causing any deaths.
Except the sniper in the book depository is the official explanation.
The sniper is a girl scout. And if you've played the level, you know that the girl scouts are the only ones that are really dangerous. So EVEN MORE fridge brilliance.
The bull that pushes you back and forces you to redo parts of the level reflects the obsessive-compulsive nature of Edgar's mind.
If you watch the memory reels in Lungfishopolis, you'll see how Linda originally looked. That means that in her mind, you haven't actually increased in size at all, the citizens are just normal-sized, unmutated lungfish. Veers right back into fridge logic when you start wondering why, if this is the case, his personal gravity is still wonky.
The mental world is constructed with each little lungfish as the "normal" size. SO even though you're the same size, you're still to big for their world.
When playing the Milkman level, I was always annoyed by the strange, forced perspective that happens whenever you enter a house. It doesn't do this at any other point in the game, making it even weirder and more out of place. Until today, when I realized — you're looking down at Raz from ceiling height in a corner, exactly where you would place a security camera.
At first, I thought it was way too convenient for the plot that Lilli just so happened to have a headcold when she was kidnapped, thus preventing her from inhaling the sneeze powder. After a bit, though, it occurred to me: she arrived in that lab after spending who-knows-how-long in the belly of a giant lungfish. Now wonder she got sick.
Touched upon in Psychonauts' own Nightmare Fuel page, but once you get past the "OMG this is hilarious" part of The Milkman Conspiracy, and start thinking about it, things get pretty creepy pretty fast. Particularly if you listen to Boyd's monologue. Some of the lines that make you pause and go "What." include:
“Hi Mom! Look at me, I’m tangled in a web of deception! How’s Uncle G?”
“I scream, you scream, we all scream, we all scream…”
And (bearing in mind that the arson is Boyd's thing) “The fire will start in menswear”.
Given that the "milkman" appears to be a past version of Boyd, it can reasonably inferred that the rainbow squirt leader protecting him is or was his wife. Considering that those in charge of scouting activities tend to be parents of participants, this suggests that all of the rainbow squirts are modeled after his daughter. Despite the fact that they are swarming the place, the current Boyd does not understand their connection, meaning that this man cannot even remember his own wife and daughter.