I know the clubhouse ladder can be repaired to help Vin. However has anyone tried opening the clubhouse door to find that book about parallel worlds that Morris mentioned?
A likely reason is based around the emphasis of the Pen user needing specific flashbacks to alter specific events. In the case of the hideout, the only flashbacks of it are the exterior. Ethan can only play around with what's in front of him (like freeing Shiloh, fixing the broken step on the ladder, and putting out the firebomb). If Ethan stepped through the hole to grab that book, he would have been left out of time and became ineligible for the Hollow Pen. Sure, he didn't know it at the time, but there were way more pressing matters to him than just reading the book.
How and why did Irving steal Jack's entire identity and place in Ethan's life? And what was with that whole 'Irving has been superseded by the fake Jack' business?
Well, the first part is pretty simple, and was rather unsubtly implied — at some point in the past, Irving killed Jack and took his place in order to get closer to Ethan and exact his revenge. The second part, well, basically, the rules of time travel in the game are such that if you travel back into the past, you cease to exist at the moment you originally went into the past. They don't really elaborate on it much more.
But that still doesn't make sense. Jack!Irving explains the other Irving disappearance with the money analogy, which is an object loop ontological paradox. Simply put, if a duplicate is sent from the future to the The ONLY way you can avoid infinite decay in that case (or - in a human's case - going insane) is to send the original back when you catch up to the point of sending, not the duplicate (which should supersede the original after the point of sending). For example, if you receive a future version of a DVD you already own you have to send the one you owned previously back when the point of sending occurs, otherwise the future version will be weathered to infinity and break the loop. In the case of the two Irvings, the original, who had NOT gone back through time, should have gone back. This didn't happen (or else Jack!Irving wouldn't be able to use the pen, since he's out of time) hence the loop is broken.
Not following you. When someone goes back in time, their original — the one who went back in time in the first place — ceases to exist when the timeline reaches the point where they originally went back in time. They don't go back in time. They simply aren't there anymore — the reason provided is a bit confusing, but this is clearly what the game establishes. I'm not sure what's stopping the original Irving from going back in time, telling Jack!Irving what he needs to know and giving him the pen, then waiting out the time until he ceases to exist, under these rules. You're suggesting this is paradoxical... based on rules other than ones the game provides for its own time travel.
Where does the Hollow Pen come from? You receive it through a Hole at the beginning of the game, but at the end, you send it through the same Hole. So, where did it come from, or is this an ontological paradox? Also, why on Earth did Ethan send Sox through the Hole with the Pen? It seems an incredibly stupid thing to do - those traveling through a Hole are left outside the flow of time, after all. Is Sox now outside the flow of time?
Sox was already outside the flow of time before that — it's never established exactly when it happened, but it's cited as the source of some of his strange traits and abilities, such as his ability to find time sources. Ethan's Dad makes a reference to it, IIRC.
Hmm. "before that". Perhaps this is exactly when it did happen - Sox only finds chrons (time sources) after you receive the Pen, after all. This still leaves the question of where the actual Pen came from. Sox, too, come to think of it - Sox is sent back in time at this point, but you don't see two Soxes. Weird.
Yes, you do. If, on a second playthrough, you go to your room but choose to not open the hole to your past yet, you can follow Sox through town... and people there say he was there already while you were seeing here somewhere else completely different.
The problem with this being exactly when it happened is that if this was when, there's no reason Ethan's Dad should know that he's already outside the flow of time. In fact, I'm not sure there's even a way he could.
Leaving Sox outside the flow of time wouldn't be that problematic, considering that he's just a cat. If anything, it'd probably be quite nice not to have your cat die.
On the subject of the Pen, where is Ethan's other Hollow Pen? (Remember the one million => two million => one million question? Well, with that in mind, Ethan should still have a pen, but it seems to be implied that this isn't the case.)
He still does. In the scene after the credits he has one of it in his pocket. It is the opposite of what you're saying though, because according to Irv— Jack, the one that disappears is the one sent back from the future. The only answer I can think of is the New Game+ ending in which you follow your cat out before the intro movie and Ethan remembers your previous playthrough, since there he gets the pen from his father and does not send it to the past.
Couldn't Ethan have sent the stuffed Sox back in time and used it to cushion Kori's fall? Sure, it'd be a long shot, but it seems like it would be at least as effective as Derek.
It's big but it's not that big.
Couldn't they have bought a huge mattress or inflatable thingy and used that instead?
At the end of the game, Derek is sent back in time to save Kori. That works, suspension of disbelief and stuff. However, it's shown that if you go through a time portal, you exist "outside of time". Does this mean Derek will never, ever die naturally? Because that's a horrible thought any way you look at it...
He definitly died right after going through.
The moment Derek goes through the Hole to save Kori, he ceases to be. So, while he'll never age between the time he saved Kori to his going through the hole, he ceases to exist immediately after that. Basically, he's only in a very specific length of time from Point A to Point B, and nowhere else.
Don't you get a letter from the Uncle Derek you sent to the past, saying he's looking after his alternate self and Kori? Doesn't seem like he died to me.
The letter was probably sent shortly before his disappearance (which would have been shortly before you send him through the hole.)
The way I understood, those who are pulled from the past into the future are the only ones that live eternally. This is what happened to Kori - she has a Point A (going through the hole), but her Point B is that same moment - if she wanted to vanish, she would have to go back to the past. ...Those who are pulled from the future into the past, such as Derek, go from Point A to Point B (for example, Derek ceases to exist when he reaches the moment Tim and Ethan originally threw him out of the hole).