Why do some of the characters like Lili have four fingers while others such as Raz have five fingers?
Why do the Censors fight alongside the Personal Demons? You'd think their job would entail destroying them, unless they are used as some kind of suicide-attack-captured-animal thing.
Perhaps they view Raz, a totally alien thing, as a worse threat then the Personal Demons. Better the devil you know than the one you don't. Once you leave, they probably go back to beating up on the Personal Demons or vice versa.
They don't fight each other when you use invisibility. Maybe Personal Demons are as necessary as the Censors to a healthy psyche, something that the person must address properly and move forward on rather than just suppress?
They might also be tiny "chunks" of larger issues, which tend to break off and float free. The bigger demons from which they come are the ones that have to be "stopped" to break off the smaller ones.
The Personal Demons use suicide attacks, so maybe they just figure that they'll blow themselves up anyway. It wouldn't be worth it to waste energy on them.
This troper always thought it was because censors were there to get rid of foreign thoughts—that is things not created by the psyche of the person they were in. Raz is an foreign object. Personal demons are issues of the mind itself.
Confirmed in the game. Censors' job is to suppress thoughts and things that don't belong to a person's mind. For example, Rainbow Squirts don't belong to Boyd's head. So when they find where they are, a huge army of Censors appear to "remove" them. OF course, Milkman fucks EVERYONE up.
What is a brain operated laser doing inside Doctor Loboto's lab? It's painfully clear that a psychic can lob their own brain using telekinesis, and even if he was using the thing to test potential brain tank drivers, why would he have it so close to the man who removes the brains? I'd have a grudge if something like that happened to me.
Eh. He was crazy. It doesn't have to make sense.
Also, remember that, when you go inside Milla and Sasha's minds after they've been debrained, they aren't aware of what's been happening and that they've been debrained. It's probable that Loboto's Sneezing Powder Dispensor also included some sort of sedative to prevent the psychic brains from bothering him or doing this exact thing. Of course, the powder that Sheegor used on Mr. Pokeylope, Ford used on Oleander and the tanks spat at Raz didn't have this sedative, so the brains were still active and able to act (in as much as they could anyway). Of course, keeping the laser there because the brains were probably dormant still isn't a good idea, but can be attributed to hubris, rather than stupidity.
It's also possible that the fluid in the jar is the sedative and that shock of suddenly being outside of the body gives the doctor a few seconds to shove it in a jar or psychic death tank.
The Brain Tank final battle. The Brain Tank worked in the Blueprint and was jarringly difficult; it worked for Mr Pokeylope disposing of a Big Bad; it even works in the cutscene before its climactic battle. But come the battle, it just... sits there. It can't be that Coach Oleander doesn't have a strong enough mind to operate the Tank because he used it very destructively in isolating Raz from the others only moments earlier.
Well, maybe it's just not finished. It may have worked well on blueprints, but many things do. In the real world it's shown no capability beyond shooting straight forward and telekinesis.
Exactly, they were blueprints, how he wanted it to work, in his head. It can all be chalked up to "A work in progress".
And don't forget that the earlier tank battle was a dream, not an actual blueprint. It makes sense that a dream version would be greatly superior to anything cooked up in real life.
How do the elevators work? Crispin acts like he and Loboto usually go up together. Loboto is already in the lab, so why is Crispin still downstairs? Did he take the outside elevator up? If he did, why is it there and not drawn up to the lab? Why is there an elevator in the courtyard, anyway? Does Loboto like to go up and play with the rats from time to time?
Keep in mind the asylum was around well before Loboto used it for a hideout. They're working it as the best defenses while still letting in people. First keep in mind they have to get the children that Linda's kidnapping upstairs somehow. Having Crispin stand watch and go up and alert the "doctor" may be the best safety measure. Having the quick access elevator always up is best so no one can sneak in fast, while the slower middle ground elevator "politely" deters more peaceful intruders and aggressively stops hostile intruders with the platforming and exploding rats.
Really, what exactly would have happened if bull!Edgar had been killed by the matador? It sounds implied that he would've dropped dead outside his mind, yet that would just be really... out of place, since he seemed to just be carrying on with whatever he was doing while Raz was in there. With no sign of property damage or anything to imply that some reflection of what was going on inside was taking place.
You can let this happen. It doesn't kill him, it just shatters his dreamstate or whatever the terminology, which has the function of taking away one of your mental projections (read: lives).
Presumably that means that it's a scenario that plays out all the time, and without Raz's intervention, bull-Edgar just dies — but it's just a mental metaphor, so in the real world it just means he's trapped in an asylum.
Maybe, but you can also presume that without Raz's intervention, Edgar never finds the Queens, can't complete the tower (not to mention El Odio plowing through it regularly), and the endgame of that scenario never plays out. Huh. When I put it like that, Raz sure seems to break a lot in other people's minds before he cleans (most of) it up...
Hey, at least Edgar is now free. Raz may have screwed it up temporarily, but there didn't seem to be much other choice in the matter.
I know it is really minor, but the inconsistent pronunciation within Milla Vodello's name has always gotten to me. The first double L is pronounced as it ought to be considering her Brazilian heritage, but the second one is pronounced with the L sound. One or the other, kids.
It's not just you! This drives me up the wall as well. Maybe Milla's of mixed heritage? Her father wasn't Brazillian, he was... something-else-an, and so they preserved his way of pronouncing her last name. But not with her first name. ...Best I can come up with.
They're kids. I can imagine they might have a bit of a harder time pronouncing foreign names than most.
Because "Vodeyo" sounds kind of awkward.
I know more than a few families that have anglicised their surnames' pronunciations but still use traditional names and pronunciations for some given names in the family. It's not a stretch to assume similar for Milla.
This is more related to the fandom than the actual game, but... why are there so many girls crossplaying as Raz?
Maybe it's easier for female fans to find the costume parts? From experience, too, some female cosplayers actually despise wearing "sexy" costumes or dresses/skirts and almost exclusively crossplay.
The fact that he's really popular with the fangirls probably helps too.
A lot of the characters are wearing jackets and sweaters. Isn't the game set at a summer camp?
They never explicitly say where Whispering Rocks is, aside from somewhere where Native Americans used to live. It could be in an area with mild summers.
this troper is from Louisiana and when she was thirteen she went to a summer camp in Colorado she had to wear a sweater a sweat shirt and a coat along with two pairs of socks and sweat pants to feel warm. so its possible they are in an area where summers are colder than the area's they live in.
If Cruller has been driven insane without Psitanium nearby, why can't anyone just go inside his mind and fix it up like Raz did with the asylum patients?
It's not that he's been driven insane, it's that his psyche had been shattered after his psychic duel. He has trouble getting his mind to work without the concentration of Psitanium. It's also possible, him being a renowned Psychonaut, that he has great mental barriers that are stuck in place due to his battle. Another possibility is that people can't manifest in a shattered psychic's mind thus no fixing.
More then likely, his psyche probably looks like the End of The World from Kingdom Hearts. All that remains is tiny little shards...
Besides, notice that he yells "Get that thing away from me!" when you try to do just that. He's probably had someone try it before, and it likely didn't end well, hence him not wanting to even risk trying it again.
Quite likely, as one of the most powerful psychics ever, his mind is considerably more dangerous than those of random people in an asylum. Hey, maybe it'll be something for Raz to do once he gets more experience!
Maybe they were saving it for the sequel?
Why does the story seem to set itself up for a Luke, I Am Your Father ending? (It doesn't actually have one.) It would seem Cliche but during Milla's stage, I got the sneaking suspicion that Raz may have lived in Milla's orphanage and survived it burning down. Of course, that never happened.
It might have been possible at one point. However, Raz makes repeated references to his father over time and living at the circus. One cutscene during the brain tumbler experiment even says he was born in a gypsy caravan he sees. This implies he was never at an orphanage. Also it's implied that all of the children in the orphanage die in the fire which is why it haunts Milla as much as it does. It would have been nice for her to have found one child surviving by using psychic abilities but it's not part of her tragic past then.
Why are half the campers so interested in making out? Aren't they all ten-year-olds (and therefore prepubescent)?
They're also psychics. As one says "Excuse me? I've watched R-rated movies so I think I know a little bit more about this than you do." There's the idea that a few have mind reading capabilities and it's possible they get the gist of it from others, but I think the main idea is that psychics mature a little faster than normal children. And as said in the main article under fetish fuel trope, from what I assume a true story: making out is what all kids think about at summer camp. I know when I was at summer camp in 4th grade, all the guys did was plot how to sneak over to the girls cabin after dark.
Plus there is a reason there are so many entries in the Toy Ship trope. Kids aren't totally oblivious to romance.
So, is it possible to complete the marksman practice without turning the dial Up to Eleven but simply by earning a thousand frags?
Short answer: No. Long answer: It sets a limit on how many you can kill in a day regardless of what you set it to. So after killing a certain amount of censors no more will come out until you turn it Up to Eleven. It's what Sasha expects you to do anyway.
The whole story takes place over the course of just a day and a night. Raz manages to learn all his skills and become a Psychonaut in this short amount of time. At ten. Umm....doesn't that seem a bit...well, you know... This bothers me because I really don't wanna see Raz that way.
That's just the thing. He doesn't. Sasha and Milla say that he doesn't have the strength to go against Oleander even when Raz disagrees. He defeats him in brain tank form but that wasn't up to the full power it should have been (only having telekinesis). This leads me to believe he was accepted into the Psychonauts as a rookie/recruit and still has a long way to go. After all Milla and Sasha are shown levitating without a psi-ball and there have to be a lot more aspects of psychic vs psychic battles that we don't get to see.
It's outright stated that Raz's brain is "one in a million". So it's really no surprise that he can bypass the normal training period.
From what I saw (considering I watch playthroughs...), most of the skills he learned looked incredibly basic and not all that hard to use, meaning that these may not be advanced techniques, but only the basics, but, that's just me guessing.
I would agree, especially since there's a few instances shown where other children had better control over some skills than what Raz ever develops, such as the ability to understand animals that Dogen and Elton have, and Milka's self-taught ability to stay invisible for 3 days straight (compared to Raz's ability to stay invisible for less than 10 seconds). Agent Sasha even considers Raz's inability to levitate to be a sign that he's a remedial student.
Not to mention that the camp was bound to see at least one advanced psychic wonderkid come along at some point. You just happen to play the very one that does.
Speaking of the course of just a day, doesn't Raz and Lili's relationship seem... rushed?
Psychics who can read minds probably adapt well plus the fact that they didn't take it much more than a few kisses. Also keep in mind the emotions they're going through: realizing their love, being kidnapped, saving the day, etc. can make even the most casual of romances speed up significantly.
You can tell that Lili liked Raz from the very beginning. From the moment he dropped into camp and introduced himself, you could see that Lili wanted his... um... goggles.
Additionally most of the children seem to be trying to learn control, something that Raz has from years of hiding it from his father. So Raz is learning to blow things up with his mind while Dogan is learning how to NOT blow things up with his mind which is another skill altogether.
The way I understand it, Raz isn't allowed to become a Psychonaut because of how fast he learned his abilities - which are indeed pretty basic compared to the abilities more advanced agents have - but because of what he was able to do with those basic abilities. Even with all their fancy advanced powers, none of the official Psychonauts (not even Ford Cruller himself, once he pulled himself together) were able to do anything against Oleander's plot until Raz came in to save the day, after not only dealing with Loboto, but also fixing the brains of four seriously disturbed mental patients. And even after that, they still couldn't finish the job properly. There's a reason why Raz asks "Where's his brain?" when Oleander's de-brained body appears after the showdown in the lab: he realizes how dangerous it would be to leave lying about, something none of the others even think about.
Not to complain about a thoroughly awesome game, but it felt a tad anticlimactic. Are we supposed to assume everything between Raz and his dad was just a gigantic misunderstanding? He seems too smart a kid to think someone hates psychics when they don't.. and all that was controlling Oleander was "personal demons"? Really?
Raz's father wasn't telling him everything and was working him like a dog to be an acrobat. When we finally meet the father, he's come to save his son who ran away from home to get away from him. It's entirely possible that his more friendly and fatherly demeanor was a result of him choosing to lighten up. As for Oleander, these weren't simple personal demons but serious, crippling insanity.
That's what I'm sayin'! But Oleander seems to claim otherwise and people aren't exactly making a big deal about it at the end.
Oleander is a surprisingly complicated case. The seed of his insanity is the trauma he experienced in his father's butcher shop. Everyone has a point in their childhood where they lose their innocence, so it's not uncommon or worrying to see that in someone's mind, not even if they're a teacher. Milla and Sasha have similar moments with the orphanage and reading his father's mind respectively, but unlike Oleander they moved on with their lives to have successful careers and meaningful relationships. Agent Nein and Vodello's trauma made them stronger, where Oleander's trauma just compounded as he continually fell short of his life goals. Again, all pretty standard stuff and nothing anyone should lose their mind over, but then you add psitanium to the mix and the results get less predictable. It's invaluable because it channels psychic ability, but it also makes the insane even less sane. The papercut on Oleander's mind was poked and prodded until it festered into full-blown psychosis. So yeah, it was all just personal demons, they were just big demons that got blown even further out of proportion. And the reason they forgive him so willingly at the end is presumably just because psychics have really good methods of screening for that kind of stuff.
Well, the group of psychics would probably give that more credence than you or I, because they've actually been in other people's heads and seen how big and nasty those demons can get. I guess.
At some point or another I recall someone mentioning that Raz' dad wasn't trying to kill him OR distract him with all the exercise (it was either during a cutscene, or Word of God somewhere); his actual motivation was somewhere between teaching him control (which may be why he has such a unique mind) and giving him some physical skills to fall back on in situations where being psychic is no help. The reason he's so much less of a hardass when the player finally meets him is that Raz running away makes him realize that he was so intent on preparing his son for everything life was going to throw at him, he didn't notice that he was alienating his son at the same time.
Raz's father outright says, when he manages to get into the Meat Circus, that all the training was to prepare Raz, because the family 'has many enemies.' It doesn't seem to have been actual abuse, which is why none of the counselors/agents get involved, and it's possible that Raz's resentment and perceived rejection painted his dad as worse than he was, hence the difference between what Raz describes and the guy we meet. He was probably also a lot more open because his son had run away, they have ancestral foes who might have struck at him, and Raz was very clearly in a dangerous situation: A parent would, at that point, be more worried about their kid than anything.
So, according to Maloof, the staff haven't used the GPC on kids since the 50s, but when you show Bobby the button, he reacts as if he's intimately familiar with it, and Oleander made a remark about how Bobby goes in and out of confinement all the time. Maybe they don't advertise it? Heh.
Bobby is one of the kids who've been to the camp in the past. Maybe when he was littler he was bullied by being shoved in there himself by someone who doesn't go to the camp anymore. Or maybe Sasha choose him for "advanced training" at some point and it left him freaked out; Sasha does imply that he deliberately scares cadets off once he thinks his experiments have gotten too intense for them.
That would make sense if it were a joke — like saying "See you next century!" the day before the first one of the new century — rather than an indication that it hasn't been used in a long time. I'd chalk it up to Maloof either lying or believing someone else's lie or assumption.
Maybe it just missed my sight in subtitles when playing the game, but Ford's appearance into the battle against Oleander crossed all the logic of his Split Personality problem He can only, and only, be himself when near that large Psitanium rock or he'd succumb instantly. How on Earth did he come all the way to the Asylum and pull off the battle without losing control? Well, Rule of Cool alright, but still.
You missed the large rock of Psitanium attached to his back when he appeared (re-watch the cutscene). During the ending cutscene it wears off and he falls back into the way he was without it. It's implied that it's a temporary remedy and he only did it as a last resort.
If Raz's family can't get close to water, how do they bathe?
They use showers?
If you jump into every puddle you can find, it looks like he can get into water that's around knee to waist high before the curse kicks in.
They are cursed to drown in water. Thus, only location where curse kicks in is a place where Raz can't keep his head up without swimming.
After reading through the official wiki, is this troper the only one just a little squicked out by the thought of children as young as seven making out? Or am I just a naïf?
This is similar to the "Why are half the campers so interested in making out?" question above. It can be answered similarly. Some are squicked and some think it's romantic.
My brother was first caught making out with someone when he was in preschool. That is, they were both age 4. A bit squicky, perhaps, but a bit of childlike innocence and that being the furthest extent of things does drive it hard towards cuteness instead.
Does clairvoyance literally show you what others see as they look at you or just give you a visual analogue to how they think of you? Do Elka, Kitty, and Franke really see you as a horrible humanoid fly-thing or just regard you as an annoying pest? Does Milla think you're an actual infant or just someone vulnerable who needs to be protected? I can totally buy clairvoyance working literally for the truly insane, the censors, and the denizens of the mental worlds (it's completely plausible that schizophrenic Boyd sees you as a milk bottle with your head), but for the saner characters like Lilli, Sasha, and Milla it doesn't make much sense for it to work that way. Yeah, Ruleof Funny, but still. (On a side note, why does Sasha see/regard you as a Psychonaut yet refuse to acknowledge you as one until the end of the game?)
I always considered it something Raz hasn't mastered yet and saw only a literal interpretation of what people think of him. I figured once he mastered it he'd see things a bit more clearer but it wouldn't be possible to happen in game due to time constraints. For Sasha I think he regards you as a Psychonaut in-training and sees hope of you being a great one, but doesn't think you're quite ready for the real deal.
Sasha doesn't see you as a generic psychonaut, he sees you as a younger version of himself. Note the glasses and the hairstyle. FORD sees you as a psychonaut.
Why did it bomb? Because it wasn't some dark shooter, RPG or Nintendo game?
It looked like a children's game. It was marketed as a children's game (they ran ads on Cartoon Network). It also came out after a glut of Mario 64-style platformers, and looked at first glance like more of the same.
If Oleander was the one to give Raz the Whispering Rock pamphlet before the game started, then why does he make observations or guesses that he should already know about/know the answer to? Sure, he could be acting, and the "My name-"/"Starts with a 'D'!" bit can be argued as Rule of Funny, but you'd think he'd know enough not to be surprised by the "Armored like a tank" bit, if he really did seek Raz out as "One in a million".
It's never stated he gave the pamphlet to Raz only that he wrote the pamphlet. It's never stated who gave it to Raz and the person in his memory is fogged out so it's not clear if the person is supposed to remain anonymous or have been revealed in subsequent games.
It is implied that it's the coach in the memory reel. It's the mustache, squashed down nose, and what we can see of the shape of his head. The mustache is more stylized than it is in real life (though there is one bit of art where it's curly like that), but that along with the height could be part of Raz reworking him in his mind to make him the dark and mysterious stranger he'd expect to just suddenly appear to pass on important information then vanish again.
Possibly Obfuscating Stupidity as well. If he acted like he knew too much, it might get Sasha and Milla suspicious. In addition, if he acted like he couldn't get into Raz's mind because it was so special, it would lend credence to his argument to keep him around.
Alternatively he's just brain damaged from years of mental trauma combining with Psitanium exposure. He did give the pamphlet to Raz he just doesn't have a memory of it or didn't bother to learn it because all he cares about is that amazing brain.
Cruller says at the start of the game that the challenge markers are placed around camp by the staff to test the campers. So why are there challenge markers in the abandoned asylum?
I believe it's mentioned at the same time he says some of them have been damaged that some have also been blown away by storms. Other than that it's mainly Story And Gameplay Segregation.
How exactly did Boyd get fired? From what I saw in the Mental Vault, he was just smiling and doing his job.
A lot of people feel like they did nothing wrong prior to being fired; Boyd probably felt the same way. There are other alternatives though, like layoffs or just him being crazy and distorting the memory like Oleander.
Remember that the Mental Vaults don't show the actual truth: They just show only the character's perspective of the story and what they think or want to believe. (For example the obvious Sasha/Milla undertones in Milla's vault, when there's no such messages in Sasha's mind, and Oleander's first mem. reel) It's possible that Boyd did screw up something, but it isn't seen on the reel because he thought that he did nothing wrong and therefore was fired without a reason.
In fact, it would make more sense if Boyd did nothing wrong to lose his job. Let's assume he was just an average Joe that got selected for layoffs, like the boss had to drop somebody so he drew names from a hat. Thus, when Boyd loses his job for no apparent reason from his perspective his mind snaps, starting the whole paranoia schizophrenia conspiracy theory thing. Hence the major plot gimmick in his level where everyone is out to get him, manifested by himself as The Milkman in the center of the Milkman Conspiracy.
In fact, he was probably falsely accused of something and was axed for being a liability: he occasionally says "You know my house is clean, right? Right, boss?"
If Cruller forgets who he is every time he goes up above, how does he keep getting back to his sanctuary? Does he just so happen to keep falling down those hollowed out tree stumps? and on top of that how does he keep getting around the camp so quickly? At first I thought he was teleporting, but he can't do that if he doesn't know he's psychic.
My theory is that he's got a psychic imprint implanted in him (either by himself or his subordinates) that influences him to go where he needs to be, even if it's not strong enough for him to know why he's there.
I always assumed that all of his personalities remember the transport system, and when they're done with whatever job they're working on they head to it to move onto a different area (or get back to wherever they think they live) and once they're down there it puts him close enough to the psitanium deposit to pull himself together.
This is supported by the Transport AI when you decide to go to the lake. The AI starts referring to you as Admiral instead of Agent, implying that all of Cruller's personalities know about the transport system.
Why did they build a children's summer camp on top of a deposit of dangerous psitanium, anyway?
Who said it was dangerous to psychics? We only know it's dangerous to non-psychics and gradually drove people insane, however it seems to be beneficial to psychics such as Agent Cruller. Makes the perfect training ground for a psychic children by keeping Muggles away.
The real question is who's bright idea was it to build the insane asylum on a psitanium deposit? This could be put down to the Muggles not knowing about it, but who builds a summer camp full of kids that can read minds on the same lake as a mental institution?
According to the timeline in the parking lot, the asylum was built when the miners who settled the area started to go insane, and was abandoned decades before the camp's founding.
We don't know whether or not the insanity only affects non-psychics, but we have to assume it's either harmless or a reasonable risk, or there's not really any excuse for keeping campers near a motherlode of something known to encourage insanity and suicide. If psitanium does aggravate mental illness, it would be especially dangerous for people like Crystal and Clem.
The only thing that honestly bugs me is, if Loboto's in the tower, then why doesn't Crispin realize you're an imposter?? Did he just conveniently forget he took up the doctor already and never brought him down??
There's more than one elevator. He could have taken the fast one down from the top of the tower. Also Crispin is supposed to be in a mental institution for a reason.
Why does everyone here treat Oleander being the bad guy like it's some huge spoiler? You find out pretty much right after the opening tutorial, and none of the characters even react with surprise. He's not some secret "man behind the man." He's just "the man" right from the get-go.
Speaking of which, what's up with the lack of screen-time for the villains? Oleander only appears at the very beginning and the very end, and Loboto only has slightly more presence than that. It just bugs me how little antagonistic force is in this game. Makes the whole thing feel a bit aimless.
It's a spoiler because it's not revealed until you complete the brain tumbler, which is four levels into the game. That's a bit after the opening. After that you find and fight a construct of him in Lungfishopolis and from then on the aim is to rescue Lili. Oleander's entire 'antagonistic force' is his plan to take over the world and kidnapping the kids (and Sasha and Milla).
Were you looking at entries referring to Oleander himself or his motivations? If someone was talking about why Oleander's the antagonist then it's justified, since we don't find much out about it until the Meat Circus which is the end.
What bothers me is another thing: why is Raz's father being a psychic considered a spoiler? Raz himself says it outright: "And the weird thing is, I'm pretty sure he was psychic himself".
I never had the perception that the cutscene was supposed to be a spoiler; all Raz's father really said was that he used his psychic powers to track Raz down, and whether you didn't know or had suspicions about it before doesn't really matter at that point.
Is the summer camp seriously staffed entirely by Ford Cruller in his alternate personalities? Are they reliable enough to get all the required services done, or are these services not really needed and Ford just thinks he's working when he's in an alternate personality? (Note that he never seems to do anything as an admiral or forest ranger, and he never finishes cooking those burgers, either.)
Whose brain is Loboto poking when you reach the top of Thorny Towers? By that point, you're able to collect all but...one or two of the campers' brains, and Sasha's and Milla's are right there... So yeah...
There are only three inmates in the asylum (not including Crispin). You figure it out...
As an avid reader, I've figured out several of the Meaningful Names and Bilingual Bonuses in the characters' names. Sasha Nein is obvious, and Morceau (French for "morsel", as in "small") Oleander (a type of poisonous flower) makes sense, but what's up with Ford Cruller? Maybe I've got the wrong definition or something, but isn't a cruller a doughnut? I haven't seen or heard anything from the source material that connects Ford to pastries... bacon, yes, and arguably burgers... but... I'm lost. Any ideas?
Pretty sure it's just Rule of Funny. "Boole" and "Doom" are also funny last names, and "Cruller" is comical while also connoting an old Crusty Caretaker.
Okay, so let me get this straight. Fred is a psychiatrist or something, and he was trying to help the asylum's patients. So, he brought a board game based on the battle of Waterloo, and played it with the near-catatonic Crispin. Crispin won, which bothered Fred, so they played again, and Crispin kept winning. As he won, he recovered from being catatonic, while Fred, slowly losing it from losing repeatedly, had his Genetic Memory take over, giving him split personality (I don't know the technical name, to be honest). The memory of Napoleon tried to make him someone who loved to win in a mental game of Waterloo-o. But that doesn't make any sense! He logically loves winning if he goes insane from losing. I guess Napoleon wants him to become a great conqueror or something, but still.
It makes sense if you think about Napoleon and Fred's relationship as a "Well Done, Son!" Guy relationship. Fred kept losing and eventually gave up but Napoleon wouldn't let him quit. Alternatively, Napoleon assumes that Fred can't win because he doesn't want it enough.
The Napoleon memory also would logically attempt to make Fred into someone who is capable of winning, rather than just one who wants to win.
Fred is almost completely apathetic by the time you meet him, and Napoleon is clearly fed up with it. Genetic memory or not, it could have been triggered by the competitive part of Fred's mind that hadn't been completely buried under the apathy of his repeated losses: Napoleon wasn't trying to make Fred love winning, he was trying to make Fred start trying again, instead of just assuming he'd lose and never trying.
What was the point of Lilli's friendship bracelet? I just completed the game, and unlike every other item, I never had to use it. Did I miss something?
Yes, you did. After you learn clairvoyance but before you get all the items to ascend the tower you get a scene of Lili's situation in custody by using clairvoyance on it.
This troper can confirm that the scene is optional, if not outright meant to be hidden. It's a very clever connection to make, if not for the detail becoming common knowledge; if it's ignored, Lili is absent from the game for the entire Lake Oblongata sequence.
Where did the world's smallest pony go? Between Raz's excape and arrival at Whispering Rock, it disappeared.
Raz could've ditched it halfway, or somehow given it instructions to return to the gypsy camp; it's implied that the place Raz escaped from and Whispering Rock are not too far apart, seeing how a ride on that pony was all it took for Raz to reach the latter, and his dad later caught up to him in less than a day (and that's counting the trip to the asylum, albeit he probably had help from Linda with that last bit).
Raz didn't just ride the pony there, he rode the pony away from the circus then hitched a ride on a lumber truck. You see him leaving it in the last slide from that memory reel.
Not 100% canon, but Psychopedia suggests that the pony found its own way home. On a more believable note, Augustus might have found him/her on his way to Whispering Rock since he would have taken a similar route to Raz's.
Perhaps he traded it to the trucker in exchange for a ride once the going got too tough?
Let me get this straight... Coach Oleander became an insane military-obsessed megalomaniac all because his father butchered his beloved bunnies? But he obviously wasn't insane SINCE this childhood trauma, as he later refers to it as a "temporary insanity" and his Psychonauts colleagues treat him as if he's back to his old self. I don't really see the connection. Compared to the rest of the personal demons, this one seems a little forced and not as thought out. Sasha's coldness makes sense due to his mother's death and what he saw in his father's head, Milla's protectiveness is natural with her experience with the orphans, Edgar's heartbreak in high school causes him to construct a fantasy where he literally imprisons his ex and her lover in his mind, Gloria's inner critic comes from a lifetime of being belittled by her mother for her own success to the point of being guilt-tripped by her suicide. But with Oleander, scary daddy + bunnies = world domination. Also, in most of the other cases, Raz visibly HELPS the inmates to sort out their mental issues (piecing together scenes from Gloria's life, showing Edgar what losers Dingo and Lana are, showing Fred his battle can be won) and bring them to peace with their inner demons, whereas his cure of Oleander resorts to little more than "Kill the big dad boss". I loved Meat Circus, but in this respect it was lacking.
If you look at Oleander's other memories, it's clear that the biggest reason he became a military-obsessed megalomaniac is because he was never admitted to any branch of the actual military due to his height. This fed on his deep feelings of inadequacy that had originated from his traumatic relationship with his dad, and it caused him to snap. Essentially, he became a "Well Done, Son!" Guy who wanted to show his dad/the military (these two have become intermingled in his head) that he can be a tough guy who can conquer the world. In order to cure him from this militaristic megalomania, Rasputin has to find Oleander's deep hidden peaceful and loving side, represented by kid Oleander, that's been strongly repressed by the image of the demon dad, which represents the ideal of a "tough guy" that Oleander thinks he should measure up to. In order to free kid Oleander, and show him he can live without the urge to kill and conquer, Raz has to destroy the image of the demon dad.
Also, Sasha says that if you attempt to completely suppress your negative thoughts and feelings, they'll boil over; that's probably what happened with Oleander, his childhood trauma combining with a life-long Napoleon complex. It might be notable that the bunny from Oleander's memory was the smallest in the hutch: The memory (accurate or otherwise) of his giant father picking out and killing the smallest rabbit likely sparked or aggravated Oleander's issues about his height, so "changing the ending" by defeating the mental construct of his father might have undone the worst of the damage.
The psitanium definitely plays a part here. When Ford introduces the concept he says is makes psychics more psychic but it also makes the unstable less stable. It might also be worth mentioning that because these are his deepest, most primal, and repressed feelings the manifestation of his relationship with his father might be a little more exaggerated and on-the-nose than the other minds. We aren't given a lot of reasons why his father was the scariest thing in his life, but he definitely was and it shows.
So, how exactly does one play Waterloo-o? From what is shown, one can surmise that there are two sides (French and non-French), one of which has a stronghold (in Fred's mind it's French, but in the 'Fred vs. Crispin' memory vault Crispin, who controls the French side, is seen invading one), and the other side must eliminate all their infantry with their own and invade the stronghold with a Hearty Knight piece in order to win. But what would the side WITH the stronghold have to do in order to win? In Fred's mind, Napoleon's (French stronghold-holder) troops attempt to keep Fred away by destroying bridges on the way to the stronghold, so do all they have to do is remain uninvaded for a certain amount of time/number of turns? From what else we see in Fred's mind, however, it looks like the non-stronghold side only has to make a few moves in order to win, so what else could the other side do in order to prevent this? And even if this was because Napoleon had beaten Fred so many times he decided to play with a setup so that all Fred had to do in order to win was try, how did Fred end up losing to Crispin so many times?
I've been assuming it's a game where you can use different pieces and set up the board's hexagons in different ways (and make different sized playing fields) depending on how deep of a game you want to play, and Fred's mind has just given up to the point where it's made an incredibly simplistic scenario to try and get him to do at least that much. As support of this, if you sit around listening to Fred talk long enough in the Asylum he'll mention a piece you never see in the round you play; the spy.
Okay, so. The asylum closed down decades ago, hence why it's in a state of decay and why there's only three patients left, but... why are there three patients left? It can be presumed, since Loboto's set Edgar on "art therapy" and Crispin is constantly taunting Fred, that they're basically having fun at the inmates' expense; and I'm not counting Boyd, since he (as guard/arsonist) serves an actual tangible purpose for Oleander's goals. But who's been feeding them? And have they really been stuck in that dilapidated old asylum, completely nuts, for decades straight? Or did Oleander and Loboto haul them in for... no particular reason?
Furthermore, if they have... why do they look so young? Boyd and Gloria look legitimately like age is wearing on them, but Edgar and Fred look in their mid-thirties at the most... yet it's been decades, and if Fred was an orderly, presumably he was at least in his twenties when he went nuts... does Psitanium just have a rejuvenating effect or something?
Biological realism was never high on this game's priority list. Remember, this is a game centered around an evil plot involving people literally sneezing their brains out.
Probably part of the coaches plan. All of these people had some kind of psychic potential even if it only manifested in a few people, assuming there are certain traits that can indicate certain powers such as paranoia indicating a disposition to clairvoyance it wouldn't be hard to grab a few people and lock them up right near a source of Psitanium to try and encourage there powers to manifest or drive them insane.
Why is Gloria the only person not featured in any way in their own mind? And what's with the actors being flowers? Is there some sort of connection with her and flowers?
Well, Gloria's bipolar disorder means she essentially has two "herselves": The cheerful, nostalgic one and the depressed and easily-angered one, and those twoaspects are most certainly represented.
W/r/t your second question, Gloria can be found in the asylum's greenhouse, and her "audience" are plant pots with faces drawn on them.
It's also a play on the fact that all of the "actors" are terrible, and are playing the stereotypical bad theatre actor roles of inanimate objects.
Once at Hagitha's (possibly her first appearance on stage) Gloria played a flower, so it works on several levels.
Why are there summer camp badges inside the patient's heads? They have no affiliation with the camp.
I think the idea is that you don't actually receive a physical badge inside the mind, you simply learn the power and then demonstrate it to Ford or someone else later in order to get the actual merit badge. The badge is just a representation of your new ability.
Why does Fred have such stubby arms after he is freed from his straight jacket? In the flashback, he is clearly shown with average, lanky arms while playing against Crispin, so why does he suddenly have tiny, T-Rex arms after he is freed? Is this a horrifying world where straight jackets shrink your arms after extended use?
I'd say it's likely muscle atrophy as a result of being in that straightjacket for so long.
It's also possible that Fred never had normal-sized arms to begin with, since we do see that Mental Vaults can be influenced by their owners' memories and bias, subconsciously or otherwise; the normal-sized arms might have just been a metaphor of the time that Fred was normal (that is, not crazy), or even just his self-image, as opposed to how he literally appeared prior to the straitjacket.
It's the punchline to a joke. When Crispin realizes Fred is free, he says "Why are you-" before Fred's stubby arms come into view and he says "Armed?"
Why does Raz kiss the brains when he finds them? Just... why?
Heroes sometimes do that when they finally get something they fought hard for. You can see Indiana Jones kissing a piece treasure after spending many difficult days looking for it, can't you? Granted, that would be a lot less gross than doing it to a human brain, but ... it's a weird game, I guess?
Did the inmates die in the explosion?
No, you see them leaving the asylum before Raz confronts Oleander.
In the end Sasha, Milla, and Oleander leave the camp with Raz and Lili to save Lili's father. So... who's running the camp again? Sure, Cruller can keep the kids fed, but that's about it until he comes back to his senses.
The way Lili and Raz talk in the credits the camp seems to be over. So either a time skip happened and the regularly scheduled camp is done or it was canceled early due the brain snatching. Presumably, everyone is being picked up by parents or guardians.
How can the Critic be the Phantom in Glorias mind? He's right there when the Phantom attacks the play.
Maybe he has a puppet or a double agent? This is a Mental World, anyways.
Jasper, being Gloria's inner critic, must have existed in her mind before her stage fright and feelings of guilt came along to sabotage her. Since they were conceptualized at different times and are considered separate entities in the context in Gloria's mind, it's entirely possible they manifested as two completely separate beings until Raz came along and started working through her problems.
If you look closely at the scene, Jasper's balcony isn't shown a single time while the Phantom strikes. We don't get to see the balcony, but we could, we'd likely just see empty space. Besides, the Phantom moves pretty quickly.
What happened to the Psycho-Pedia? Did Double Fine just take it down with no explanation? Does somebody have some sort of copy of it anywhere?
So... What happens to a person's mental world when they die?
It dies along with the person. After all, it's in the brain, and brain stops working when you die.
If it's possible to confirm a person's mental health with a CT Scan (among other things), why did no-one catch on to Coach Oleander's insanity earlier? Shouldn't there be screening for this sort of thing?
If Boyd was supposed to burn down the asylum after Oleander released the Milkman, and then Raz accidentally set that in motion, then why did he stand there for so long holding the flaming milk bottle before Fred came along and encouraged him to proceed? Was something holding him back?
The thing is, the Milkman seems like he wasn't supposed to spring awake BEFORE Oleander told him so. Oleander must have put him here so that he gets into Molotov-throwing when he hears some kind of password (that Fred must have said accidentally), so that when it's pronounced before regular Boyd, the Milkman wakes up just long enough to set fire to everything and then disappears. When Raz makes the Milkman take control of Boyd, he still needs the password before he can accomplish his mission.