The original Raincoat Killer was mercy killing
Zach lived in Greenvale when his parents diedIt looks like Zach's mother is dead in George's basement, and it also shows why Kaysen was there and how he got his mother implanted with the seeds. It never come's to York's mind because he wasn't from Greenvale
Zach and George are brothers, and his father is HarryIt explains why Harry lectured York the exact same way Zach's father did. Harry went through a complete name change and survived the gunshot to the head, which is why he has life support all around him. He also generally looks like Zach's father. It also explains why Zach's mother (or seemingly so) is in George's basement. George might have been sided with Kaysen for a long time, and creepily kept his mothers body as revenge after she beat him.
York isn't really an FBI agent, he's just that crazySeriously, if you view York as a crazy nut it could make since that he's not even a real agent. There's only one time in the game where the story makes any connections from York to the FBI and that could have been faked easy.
Everyone in Greenvale already knew "York" as "Zach"Every time we hear Zach referred to as York, it's from York's perspective. But from the perspective of everyone else, he was just Special Agent Francis Zach Morgan. Zach/York's mind just switched the names. It would explain why everyone starts calling him Zach after the reveal, and why they all saw the real scar long before that.
Willie is immortalKaysen says he's owned Willie as long as he can remember — given Kaysen is immortal, that's a long time. Because he's always traveling with Kaysen, he has easy access to red seeds. (George's story about the deer confirms that the red seeds work on animals). Willie acts very intelligent — for the Thomas boss fight, he tracks York all the way across town, removes his blindfold, chews through the ropes holding him to his chair, and even operates the doorknob on the door. Willie's unusual inthis could be explained by him having lived long enough to learn way more than an ordinary dog could.
Legendary Tabatha has eaten the red seedsJim says that Legendary Tabatha has lived far longer than the normal 7 year life-span of a fish of her species; it is known from the graveyard deer that eating red seeds renders animals immortal. Jim also calls Legendary Tabatha a warning for mankind from nature. If she ate the seeds, then her appearance is a warning: a warning of the presence of the red seeds and their corruptive power in Greenvale. If this WMG is correct, then it transforms "Legendary Tabatha" from what it currently is (an irrelevant sidequest to catch a big fish to earn a better fishing rod) into something plot-relevant (a shining example of devilishly brilliant subtle foreshadowing for people who complete the "Legendary Tabatha" sidequest before being directly informed of the red seeds' effect on the deer in the main storyline). Kaysen made the mistake of taking on someone who could exist in both worlds, by having a personality exist in each. He couldn't possess York/Zack because he's already occupied.
The Woodmans are particular suspectable to the red seeds.Harry's dad didn't just go insane like the rest, he turned into a virtually invunerable killing machine yet kept enough sanity to attempt to track down the man responsible. Harry himself wears a gas mask at all times, likely so he's not effected by the trace amounts in the soil. And George... well.
Harry is the first Raincoat Killer.
York is...An Angel, or similar good spirit. He takes the girls off to the forest at the end, he is totally unfazed by the supernatural (he seems more unsettled by normal people than by monsters), he’s firmly Lawful Good and Zack first met him in the White Room. Dale Cooper. Displaced from his body by Bob, he merged with Zack in order to hunt down similar eldritch abominations. What? It certainly would explain a lot... Some special property in Zack. Either simple Heroic Willpower, or some special supernatural defense mechanism. An Otherself. His replacing Zach is very similar to how Strength and Yuu switched places. York is better at manifesting than Strength was. An entity of the White Room, as Kaysen and Willie are entities of the Red World. The presence of Kaysen and the red tree sprouting from Zach's mother allowed him to intercept Zach when Kaysen tried to send him to the Red Room. Because he is really a nonhuman, supernatural entity inhabiting Zach's body, a sort of low-level precognition comes through in things like messages in his coffee and seeming leaps of illogic like the incident with the mug leading them to the waterfall. This is why he is able to converse with the real Zach and depart with Emily and the Goddesses at the end, which he wouldn't be able to do if he was an alternate personality.
Possible answers to the Mind Screw entries on the main page:
Forrest Kaysen is related to, or might even be the same species as Pennywise/IT
The relationship between the Purple Gas and the Red Seeds, and why the military released the Purple GasIt's made clear in the story that both have similar effects on the human psyche; it's also made clear that Forrest was responsible for spreading both the seeds, and the gas. The probable relationship between them is that the Red Seeds contain the unidentified neurotoxin and source of superpowers, the purple gas being a processed form of them— possibly weaker, but far easier to spread. As for the release of the purple gas by the military (assuming the military actually was involved), they were obviously testing it as a chemical weapon, with the obvious use of dropping it on a hostile area, waiting for everyone to kill each other, shooting the last couple survivors, and then pretending like the whole thing never happened and moving on to the next target.
York and Zach......are two different real people who have a psychic connection. Which means that elsewhere there is a guy named Zach (who is possibly also an FBI Agent) who talks to an "imaginary friend" named York who helps him through his experiences as well. At some point toward the end of the game, the two will meet each other in person and their connection will be explained. Well, obviously that's not how it actually is in the game, but this was a theory my brother came up with before seeing the ending, and I thought it was interesting enough to mention here.
Willie is the Genius Loci of GreenvaleConsidering that Greenvale is shaped to look like Willie on the map as well as the fact that he's also a being of the Red World, Willie might be more important to Greenvale than anyone thought.
The Red World was not pleased with the Hate Plague.This is the reason Willie was only seen afterwards. Kaysen's actions drew way too much attention, even with the coverup, and so Willie was sent to keep him from doing anything stupid.
The Slender Man is also from the Red World, or in some other way connected to Kaysen/his dimensionJust an idea I got since some parts of the Slender Man Mythos also make heavy use of tree imagery.
Kaysen Is just a Mook, and the worst has yet to comeThis is something that I came up with after reading an interview with SWERY. When he was asked what Kaysen really was, his response was "An Agent of the Red Tree, Nothing more", he also mentioned that he wasn't the only one and that there are other agents with other similar jobs. This could mean that Kaysen is really just a minor agent of sorts (he did say he was a Messenger) and that the other agents (whom ever they may be) are of higher level. They could also have their own handlers (like Willie was with Kaysen) who relay orders to them from the Red World that they come from.
Possible explanation for the fat men dolls on the map in the Red RoomThe map in question is one of the observable objects in the Red Room in the Prologue chapter. It's a map of the United States with little upside-down peace symbols (The Mark of The Red Tree) stuck into it across various states. There's also a bunch of Kaysen dolls placed on the map, each wearing different clothing; although one of them is wearing the yellow plaid and overalls the player encounters him in later. Observing the map yields the following text:
Ideas for a possible sequelSince SWERY did say he wanted to do a sequel....
Forrest Kaysenhas been around far longer than everyone knows of. His music starts out with drums, sounding similar to tribal music.
There are "White Seeds" from the Woods of the Goddesses that have opposite effects from the Red Seeds.The Red Trees and Kaysen are both from the Red World, and the Red World stands in opposition to the Woods of the Goddesses. Some theories and interpretations make York out to be an angel or agent of the Woods/the White Room in the same way Kaysen is an agent of the Red World, so perhaps the Woods of the Goddesses also produce an analogue of the Red Seeds. Like the Red Seeds, they have effects when consumed, but unlike the Red Seeds, the effects of the White Seeds are benign. Since Red Seeds make people insane, White Seeds grant increased mental clarity, and whereas Red Seeds make people physically powerful, White Seeds make them psychically powerful. And while Red Trees grow from abdomens in a symbolic Fetus Terrible way, White Seeds will grant unique abilities to unborn children if a woman eats them while pregnant.
York and Zach will never be fully separate.Although Zach indicates that he's all alone in the "real world" now, such as when he's driving around and in his "status update" messages, York still appears to him when he goes to sleep in the hotel, and he of course appears in the White Room in the Special menu. We know that Francis Morgan (the "overbody," as it were) is a naturally psychically sensitive person, since he can see the Other World, the two Rooms, and the Goddesses (sometimes, such as the during Becky's death). It seems there are two things that help him "break the veil," as it were: Coffee (yes, that's official) and sleep. So although York and Zach no longer share a body and aren't in communication 100% of the time, they are still brought close to one another and can communicate when Zach is asleep, or, possibly, through coffee.
The Shadow Sequences are much more than simply late edition combat levels to an awesome adventure game.SWERY has said in interviews the original Rainy Woods did not have combat being a straight up investigation game which is why the no one else seems to notice the Shadows coming out after midnight etc. It seemed to me, however that they were the spirits of the victims of Kaysen's purple gas conscripted to fight against the one Human who could truly stop Kaysen. York and Zach working from both their prospective worlds. York doesn't tell anyone about the Shadows because he knows what they as he exists on their level. While Zach has been wandering Greenvale investigating the murders, York has been defending the town against the encroachment of the Red World's forces. When you die during the combat levels, only York would die while Zach would continue on. But without York's guidance(i.e. connection to other worlds, including ours that allow us to play the game) Zach would ultimately be crushed by George or Kaysen.
Possible alternate endings in the Director's Cut
Theories on the identity of the little girl in the Director's Cut, and the person telling her the story...
The Red Room, White Room and Forest represent the Id, Superego and Ego, respectively.The New Raincoat Killer and Kaysen both have MOs clearly themed around depravity and vice, and particularly in Kaysen's case, are very good at masquerading as innocent and blending in with society around them. Contrast York, who first meets Zach in the White Room, and Harry, who's seen in there without his mask; both are the primary opposition to the villains, and both distance themselves from society rather than hiding themselves in it (Harry deliberately, York as a consequence of his odd behavior). For bonus points, Harry has an apparent obsession with penance. The people caught in the middle - such as the Raincoat Killer's victims, and Thomas, who has feelings for both George and York and is simultaneously a perpetrator and a victim - end up in The Forest.
Polly Oliver is the killerThis game's ending is so cliched, and it really makes no sense and does not match the given evidence. Polly is short, thin and hunchbacked like the killer; George Woodman and Forrest Kaysen are tall, fat and have good posture. Polly is the friend of Kaysen, she knows the mental problems of all the guys who are supposedly involved in the killings and can manipulate them. Polly was a former model whose looks were ravaged by age, thus she was jealous of the young, pretty girls who died, which was her motive. She was the owner, caretaker and customer service worker for a hotel, thus she probably knew a lot about things like engineering, restructuring and psychology, all of which were used by the killer. Her hearing was shitty, thus Francis was able to hide from her simply by covering his mouth. She was in tune with ghosts because she was virtually a ghost herself. She lied and manipulated Francis throughout the game: She only revealed her past after he did her a favor; she never mentioned her friendship with Kaysen;] she acted like a decrepit, weak old bag but proved to be strong and fast when necessary. She was alive when [[spoiler: The military unleashed the fog.
Original Rain Coat Killer's name is Sergeant Timothy Woodman.When York first meets The General Lysander in the Town Hall meeting chapter he tells him to come by the junkyard and he will tell York all about the Raincoat Killer. However, as anyone who has completed all his sidequests know, he rambles on about a "Crybaby" Sergeant Timothy who caused problems for the rest of his men but ultimately saved his life. York takes this as solving the mystery of why Lysander claims to be a General yet wears the patch of a Sergeant. But this troper believes that is just how Lysander CHOOSES to remember Timothy, as Lysander and Timothy were probably with the military doing the purple gas experiment. Timothy tried to stop the military before they started, but probably got beat down and his gas mask torn off, leaving him somewhere in town. The last time Lysander sees Timothy, he is hulked out on Purple Gas cutting down anyone between him and the military at the clock tower. While the Raincoat killer failed to stop Kaysen(in fact its most likely Kaysen is the only thing that COULD stop The Raincoat Killer), he may have managed to butcher the soldiers present, sparing Lysander just as Harry claims the Raincoat Killer spared him. Harry knew about this but didn't tell York, leading York to assume something was wrong with the story.
Red seeds grow into red trees if planted into someone the planter loves.George loved his mother (though in a love/hate kind of way), Zach/York's father was the one who planted the red seed in his wife, and George loved Emily. George's other murders were failures because he planted the seeds in the bodies of people that he thought might count but weren't loved enough by him (which is why they're called "substitutes").
The wall-crawling female enemies are all Kaysen's previous victims.The sexual connotation explains their nudity, plus this would make sense as to why they're all female compared to the mix of men and women among the regular enemies.