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Unmarked spoilers of both TLJ and Dreamfall ahead!
April's nature and fate
April is not only a Shifter, she is also a DreamerIn the very beginning of the game, April dreams of Arcadia and then "falls" into it and can interact with physical (tree, egg) objects there, just like Zoe's "dream presence" in Dreamfall. This is the only instance in the game that April physically travels to Arcadia without (visibly) passing through a Shift. E.g. in a later chapter, she similarly opens a Shift in her sleep, but still has to wake up and step through it to actually use it. Indeed, her first encounter with the White Dragon (and it was real, since when April revisits the same location via regular Shifting late in the game, you can still see the traces of her previous visit) took place even before April's first definitive Shift with Cortez's help. Unlike Zoe, April apparently doesn't need Morpheus and the Dreamer consoles, either because she is just that freaking badass (dragon blood and all) or because the Divide was much easier to cross that way with the Guardian absent.
April is not in Arcadia in Dreamfall (ties in with the above)She is in Stark, dreaming of Arcadia. The Darker and Edgier "April" is actually her dream presence, while her body is hooked on life-support in the Vanguard labs, who brainwashed her to prevent her from realizing the truth and waking up. This is also why she cannot Shift to Stark. Thus, she both died and didn't in the rebel camp scene: her avatar was destroyed but her real body has awakened in Stark, which is just what Zoe was supposed to do to "save April". And she will be a playable character in Chapters, of course.
Kian will turn on his captors and rescue AprilZoe's "saving" of April consisted of facilitating her meeting with Kian near Friar's Keep (when she was captured as a witch). At that meeting, Kian met April under non-hostile terms and she managed to pull him over to her side. Also, Na'ane will redeem herself by coming to his aid and patching up April's wound.
April unconsciously opened a Shift to Stark in the last momentAnd will be nursed to health by Emma and Charlie in Chapters.
April needed to be "saved" from losing faithThus, Zoe saved her either by helping her regain faith in her destiny (either as a consequence of a Near Death Experience, or through the believer Kian's influence), or by leading her to her death, preventing from losing faith completely.
April was actually Killed Off for RealBecause she lost faith in her higher purpose and powers.
April has been killed but will be reborn like the White DragonBased on some tidbits on the Kickstarter page.
April's Shifter abilities are now tied to CrowIn TLJ, Cortez says that nobody but the Shifter herself can cross the Divide via her Shift. However, in the endgame, April summons Crow through her Shift from Arcadia. In Dreamfall, the White Kin explains that April cannot shift on her own—and that she needs Crow to do so. In other words, something happened to her Shifting ability in the Guardian's Realm that made Crow a catalyst for it, meaning that she "lost" it after ditching Crow eight years ago. This may also have something to do with the fact that April left Crow in the Guardian's Realm in the end of TLJ, but apparently came back for him later, since they spent two more years together in Arcadia after that.
April actually could have been the Guardian of the Balance.The impression I got from Tobias was that the Vanguard was taking any children strong in the Balance in hopes of trying to control them - because there is not just one person who can become the Guardian, but a multitude of different candidates. However, it operates purely on one basis: Age. Because Gordon was older than April, he was the one to be the next Guardian, and if someone older than April had been in the Guardian's Realm (but not Gordon himself) then they would have been the Guardian.Had Gordon not been there or if he had died, then April would have been the Guardian instead. The reason that Cortez told April that she was the final Guardian was because he thought that Gordon would either die or not make it to the Guardian's Realm.
Zoe's background and fate
Helena Chang is Zoe's motherHelena "knew a Castillo once". She and her company "created" Faith, according to Jeanine Park. The "white lady" said that Faith and Zoe are sisters, and Faith believed her. Helena may have been Gabriel's wife but they divorsed shortly before the Collapse and he claimed she was dead. The Collapse helped a lot, destroying most reliable records and discredeting the rest.
Zoe's mom is really dead...but Chang knew her and Gabriel and used her stolen genetic code to clone Faith.
Zoe's Dreamer talents created a Recursive RealityBy telling the Vagabond her story in the end, she created a world where she fell into the coma and told her story to the Vagabond in the end.
Rescuing Zoe from coma will be a big quest in ChaptersShe was promised to return.
The Undreaming is a living creatureIt devours people's dreams, thus it facilitated the creation of the dreamer consoles to put humanity into the state of perpetual dreaming. The living Dreamers like Zoe are like a poison to it because their dreams are particularly strong and hard to devour.
The Undreaming is a force of natureKinda like a personification of Ragnarok, it is out to destroy the Balance and the Twin World. Judging by its name, it is the Evil Counterpart to the Dreaming in Aboriginal Australian Myths. This is further supported by prolific allusions to other parts of Aboriginal mythology (Alchera, Eingana, etc.).
The Undreaming is Nothing from The Neverending StoryBoth phenomena start destroying reality when people start losing faith in their dreams. Also, the symbolism of towers.
Brian Westhouse is an avatar of the UndreamingThe Undreaming corrupted and took control of his body in the 300 years he was trapped between the worlds, then spit him out into Arcadia. He is also likely to be the one hunting the Kin and is the real identity of the Azadi Prophet.
Brian Westhouse resisted the UndreamingSo it just dumped him into Arcadia, leaving him exhausted and devoid of dreams and inspirations, so he turned into a regular drunk. He got over it by the time of Dreamfall.
The monks sent Westhouse to the Undreaming on purposeIf you sneak up on them in the prologue, you'll overhear them talking about it. The only question is whether Chavez/Cortez knew about it, too, or not. If he did, he may have been also possessed by it or hoped that Westhouse somehow keeps it in check.
The "Collapse" was a Cosmic Retcon by the new GuardianImmediately after April left the Tower in TLJ, Guardian Gordon started fixing the bugs and glitches in the Balance that slipped in during Adrian's "overtime". Those included the removal of magical "technologies" (Anti Gravity, Faster-Than-Light Travel, neural interfaces; all according to the fluff booklet) from Stark and technological "magic" from Arcadia.
The Collapse was orchestrated by secretly-evil GordonGordon is STILL working for the Vanguard and aimed to weaken the Twin Worlds to facilitate their future reunification by deliberately pumping too much magic into Stark. Likewise, technology was pumped into Arcadia, giving rise to the Steam Punk Azadi Empire.
The Guardian's Tower fell because Gordon is the last oneThe Tower was only necessary for the Changing of the Guard ritual. Since Gordon is the last, the Tower was no longer needed. Alternatively, Gordon is the last because the Tower couldn't last much longer and no new Guardians can be inducted in the future.
The Guardian's Tower fell because Gordon is evilEither it fell to expose his corruption, or he destroyed it on purpose. Most likely, he still secretly works for the Vanguard.
Gordon is moonlightingAdrian told April that the Guardian loses all sense of self for a thousand years, becoming a conduit for scientific and magical energies. Gordon, on the other hand, could disconnect from the tower and converse with April.
Gordon is doing a sloppy jobThe Azadi have guns and Schizo Tech in Arcadia, while the Wati have neural interfaces on their dreamer consoles, which is said to have stopped working after the Collapse.
The Azadi Agenda
The "heating" steam machines actually collect dreamsThey are the Arcadian counterpart to the dreamer consoles and collect dreams to send it to the central storage (the Azadi Tower, which is the counterpart to the Starkian Eingana).
The Chamber of Dreams is a remote storage of dreams for EinganaA Wati scientist mentions that Eingana seems to store more dream information that it is physically possible. In fact, Eingana is connected with the Azadi Tower and transfers a part of its stored dreams directly to Arcadia. Also, if you recall, the major Eingana malfunction that Zoe witnessed conincided in time with the violent energy eruption that April saw in the Arcadian cave.
The White Mother was the Goddess of the AzadiShe managed to kept their expansionist policies in check until her death, that's why nobody heard of them before her death.
The Azadi Prophet
The Prophet is Brian Westhouse in disguiseWesthouse has some unexplained relationship with the Undreaming. He disappears right before April spies on the Prophet and reappears when the Prophet vanishes. Also, if you take a screenshot of the blink-and-you-miss-it shot of the Prophet looking in the camera and adjust contrast and brightness, you'll notice that he looks a lot like Westhouse.
The Prophet is the Guardian GordonHe is still working for the Vanguard.
The Prophet is the Blue KinThe White Kin says that she cannot feel the Blue, so he may be in hiding. His apathy in the first game was because he was gathering power and strength for the upcoming reunification of the Twin Worlds, which he now facilitates as the Prophet.
The Prophet is Gabriel CastilloHe is actually the mastermind behind Project Alchera and the Azadi Tower, that's why he played the Disappeared Dad throughout most of the story (as the project entered a critical phase). Like his daughter, he is a Dreamer and can manifest himself in Arcadia as the Prophet. This is also the reason why neither the EYE commandos, nor the WatiCorp security actually harmed Zoe at any point. The only one who truly wanted her dead was Helena Chang, who may be Gabriel's ex-wife and enemy.
Kian is the son of the White MotherAnd thus, April's brother. "Alvane" is their real surname. Officially, Kian is Conveniently an Orphan but Commander Vamon noted that he rose through the ranks way too fast for an ordinary "motherless boy" in Sadir. Maybe his mom covertly pulled a few strings for him?
Kian will save April and marry her laterThey are obviously set up as a couple and what's better than a classical Rescue Romance to kick-start a relationship?
Kian is Cortez, in the same way the White Kin is the White MotherBefore dying in The Longest Journey, Cortez made sure there was an egg with his child laid somewhere. After he died, his soul reincarnated in the child, who was Kian. Proofs: at some point Kian makes a comment that April is strangely familiar, as if he has seen her before. He and Cortez look a bit similar. Their relationship with April starts similar to that of Cortez and April: April has no reason to trust him or even bother talking to him, but for some reason does, as if she's inexplicably drawn to him. Vamon lampshades that Kian was surprisingly successful for an ordinary kid with no lineage to speak of - probably some powers that come with Kin's blood. Also, don't "Kin" and "Kian" sound a bit similar? Besides, Kian is a militant follower of a religion that has reincarnation as one of its beliefs. It's almost as if he's trying to tell us something.
Attack on the White Kin
The White Kin was attacked by WesthouseHe is the avatar of the Undreaming. She is the young but only remaining protector of the Twin Worlds. The rest is Self Explanatory. Also, she was afraid of him upon their first meeting and the Kin recognized her attacker shortly before he made his move.
The White Kin was attacked by the Dark captain who delivered April to herThe captain didn't recognize April as a Wave, yet another Dark person later says that all Dark People form a single Hive Mind, so the captain had to recognize her. He may be either disconnected from the rest (corrupted by the Undreaming?) or an impostor. Either way, it's enough to make him a suspect.
The White Kin was attacked by Guardian GordonEither because he is evil, or because he thus restored the Balance (since either Red, or Green, or both were killed in Stark, creating disbalance in favor of Arcadia).
The White Kin was attacked by the Blue KinThe Blue Kin decided it's finally time to go home and decided to take his relative with him.
The White Kin was attacked by CrowHe was corrupted by the Undreaming in the eight years after April dumped him. And you can clearly hear wings flapping in that scene.
Whoever attacked the White Kin already killed the Blue KinThat's why she was hiding after sensing his death.
The white lady
The white lady resides either in Arcadia or between the WorldsFaith, a resident of Winter, is her only link to Zoe and the rest of the "real world". She has very vague idea what what's happening to both April and Zoe, since all she can say is "go find April, save April".
The white lady is the White KinBoth are white. The White Kin would want to protect her sister and had a chance of knowing about danger to April.
The white lady is Helena ChangShe knew Faith and wears a labcoat. She was also the only one who could reasonably reveal to her that she and Zoe are sisters.
The white lady is Lady AlvaneShe is gray-haired and a "lady". She already helped April once.
The white lady is the Anthropomorphic Personification of EinganaEingana had developed her own identity and became a Robot Girl. She had unrestricted access to Faith, ports in Arcadia, and would probably have her own agenda.
Reza was caught and brainwashed using the dreamer consoleReza's last trace is the bloody handprint at the backdoor of Victory Hotel. That's when he was captured. Then Alvin Peats "ate his dreams".
Reza was killed and replaced by cloneThat's why "it's not him" in the end.
Reza was a mole from day oneHe had everything set up too conveniently: a hidden laptop, a pre-programmed Watilla, etc.
That's not Reza... That's PEATSReza was found to have been close to that girl whom Peats could not see. So as a result, Peats used the dream console to pull a Grand Theft Me somehow with Reza, forcing him to be placed in Peats's body. When "Peats" was killed at the end, that was really Reza, who was crying about how he couldn't see in that body, and was wanting to warn ZoŽ that someone had taken his body.
The Sentinel Temple serves as a beacon to those crossing the DivideWhen April first arrived to Arcadia, she appeared inside the Sentinel Temple. When Zoe traveled there, she ended up in the caverns underneath the Azadi Tower, which was built on the spot where the Sentinel Temple stood.
Grubbers from the Marcurian caves are related to BandasBoth live underground use songs for Earth Bending. Na'ane even suggests it in-game.
Grubbers are afraid of AprilThe only Grubber who would fight her is the Super Grubber in the Necropolis. Normal Grubbers just run away from her, though they would attack Zoe on the spot.
Damien was a Manchurian Agent for WatiThat's why he left Zoe helplessly sleeping in his flat with Wati security hot on his trail.
Vamon's gun was a jokeOne of the character designers decided to make a Visual Pun on Chekhov's Gun.
Brynn was the real mole in April's groupAfter yet another gesture of mistrust from April (during her first meeting with Zoe), he played Judas and ran off to Azadi to rat her out. Zoe "saved April" by keeping Brynn and Chawan inside that shack and preventing him from finishing April off. His battle cry "For Raven!" may have been a codeword for Azadi to recognize him. Or he realized that for Azadi grunts, he is just a rebel and decided to go down fighting.
The static was caused by Faith overloading EinganaDue to Faith's presence inside it, Eingana couldn't handle all the data it was fed and dumped some of it to the Chamber of Dreams in Arcadia and some, simply onto the Wire, creating "static". Also, Faith herself crawled out of Eingana several times to communicate with Zoe, creating additional disruption.
Faith's death led to the Eingana malfunction that got Peats killedPeats could only perceive the outside world through Eingana. When he lost it, he was removed from picture.
The Vagabond is GodBecause he works In Mysterious Ways.
The Vagabond is the fifth Draic KinSo that they have the space between the Worlds covered, too.
The released version of the dreamer consoles is harmlessAssuming that Eingana was actually destroyed in DF.
Peats is related to Burns FlipperBecause why the not?