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Fridge Brilliance

  • In all controlled segments of the game, the player never gets a chance to run. This is because the characters are still cautious of their environment, so running around like morons would just end up getting them killed. This becomes more apparent when the Wendigos take over, since stopping to a halt is easier when walking, rather than running.
  • Why did Hannah go through the effort of digging a grave for Beth despite expecting to be rescued, with Beth's body eventually put in a proper cemetery? Same reason people started burying bodies in the first place. Not because she felt Beth needed to be buried immediately out of respect. Bodies eventually start to stink. Even with cold, Beth would still start decomposing eventually.
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  • Mike promises inside the cabin that "no bear or anything else is gonna open that cabin door". He could hardly expect that something will come THROUGH that cabin door.
  • When Josh sends Mike and Jessica over to the smaller, private cabin, they arrive to find the fuses have blown. There's also a hardcover copy of the Kama Sutra left out and a framed picture of Hannah, neither of which seem like things that would have been casually left lying around; in fact, the picture of Hannah is the only picture in the cabin. It's never explained in-game, but Josh might have intended to hit them with a scare later on. Similarly, Josh's homebrew surveillance network may have overloaded the wiring, and that's why the fuses are blown.
  • The lack of voiced lines from the person the player controls in the therapy sessions seems like it's just to keep them anonymous, but even after the person is confirmed to be Josh, he still doesn't speak when the player chooses dialogue options. Makes sense - do you really need to talk out loud to have a conversation with someone who's in your head?
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  • Dr Hill's line in the first session, "You see no one can change what happened last year. The past is beyond our control." On the surface this is his attempt to comfort Josh, but on a meta level he is explaining the game, in particular the introduction - Beth and Hannah always die as part of the plot, none of the introductory choices can change that. Dr Hill's line tells the player that from now on your choices will actually matter. The way the game saves immediately after every choice also means "the past is beyond [your] control" - no reverting to previous save files for you!
  • The Hand Machine in the Sanatorium makes much more sense during a second playthrough. Not the handiwork of a deranged killer, just wendigo bait that a human happened to blunder into.
  • The Lodge's name: Blackwood. At first it just sounds like an ominous name for the setting of a Horror game, but then you do some research on the wendigoes. One of the most notable stories about them is written by Algernon Blackwood.
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  • Ashley's assumption that Emily will turn into a wendigo due to her bite is generally chalked up to her panicking and being one of the more skittish members of the group to begin with, but her bio states that she's bookish and imaginative, and traditional wendigo lore states that wendigo bites do turn people. Maybe she's read stories about wendigo before (or anything that involves werewolves/vampires/zombies, adding to the confusion), and just didn't say anything during the Stranger's exposition because the reality of what they were up against was still catching up with her. In fact, the Stranger's own journal had to debunk the theory, meaning he had considered the possibility before getting bitten himself and realizing it first-hand.
  • The Stranger mentions how the procedure of dying by a Wendigo is being immobilized, getting the skin torn off, and then eaten while alive and conscious, yet he and whoever dies to the Wendigo will find themselves under completely different circumstances and also the fight between the Wendigos at the end seems to not follow the rules. That might at first seem like the information is either wrong or like the developers forgot it themselves. But once someone realizes that Hannah is a very young Wendigo, it can make sense since she either hasn't learned about it yet or does hunt more effectively.
    • This could also help to explain why the Stranger dies so easily despite being an extremely experienced wendigo hunter: Hannah behaves irrationally for a wendigo, killing her marks outright instead of keeping them alive for later. The Stranger had been expecting her to try to keep him and Chris alive, so he wouldn't think to guard himself from fatal attacks.
  • The difference between Hannah and the miner wendigos becomes even more apparent during the second visit to the asylum. Just take a good look at the black wolf and how he was hung to a metal grate (rendered immobile) and eaten inside out.
  • Take a good look at the bodies of the other characters in the chamber where Sam and Mike find Josh. Although damaged and mutilated, none were eaten at all. Even Beth's head, which has been in her lair for more than ten months, is still relatively intact. For whatever reason, the Hannah Wendigo treats the bodies of her victims like trophies, not food. Maybe because a part of her still recognizes them? That could be the same reason why she goes out of her way to keep Josh alive instead of crushing his head.
    • Another example is how she refrains from killing Mike on two occasions (at the Cabin where she grabbed Jessica, and in the pool where she dragged him underwater) even though she could have slaughtered him with impunity in both cases. She will even spare him a third time if she catches him in the climax by merely throwing him aside, whereas any other character she's caught has been reduced to mincemeat ere now. It's plausible that her former (or perhaps current) crush on him is compelling her to show him mercy.
  • Hannah's fighting with the other Wendigos in the main lodge is odd until you take into account how she seems to treat her victims more like trophies and hasn't touched them at all, despite Wendigos infamously craving human flesh. The other Wendigos want to eat their prey, while Hannah wants to collect them instead.
  • For a Wendigo who infamously is supposed to crave human flesh, "Hannah" makes no effort to eat her prey, and instead stockpiles their remains in her lair. She also seems to favor decapitation as a preferred method of killing (Chris/Ashley/The Stranger) and will even sever the head off a corpse after her victim is dead (Jess/Matt). Given how this seems to have started even as early as collecting Beth's head, Hannah might collect her prey as a way of keeping her friends near in some strange twisted way, fitting with how she doesn't kill Josh if he recognizes her and how she doesn't behead Emily, whom she'd have the most reason to despise. It would certainly fit her black butterfly motif.
  • Samson was a biblical warrior who destroyed a building in order to kill his enemies. What does Sam do in the final moments of the game? That could be how the Devs decided on her name.
  • If Matt decides to be on friendly terms with Mike, Emily will mockingly ask if they're ready to make out. When Mike sarcastically responds that they totally will, he may actually be serious; that comment could be directed toward Emily, not Matt.
  • When Sam and Mike find Josh hallucinating in the mines, he's saying "You can't tell me what to do" over and over at his hallucinations of his sisters/the Wendigo spirit. However, he changes to "Okay, I trust you" just before the player is able to control Josh's movement for the first time in the game. He doesn't actually do anything regarding the hallucinations, though. It's possible that Josh is aware of the player, thinking they're just another one of his hallucinations, and is finally willing to let them control him outside of his "therapy sessions"
  • When you find out that Josh is the Psycho, remembering the scene where he taunts Sam in the video room becomes a kind of sad brilliance. He asks her, when he shows her the tape of herself in the bathroom, if those were the last happy moments of her life. Later, Ashley and Chris find videotape of Hannah during the prank — as in, the last moments she was happy, thinking Mike was showing interest in her for the first time. Josh did the same thing, but with Sam.
  • Sam's character stats in the beginning of the game show that she is equally close to almost all the friends, but Jessica and Mike start off slightly below the others in her regard. That makes sense, as Sam, as Hannah's best friend, would likely hold some bitter feelings against Jessica and Mike for the prank on Hannah, as Jessica was the one who orchestrated it and Mike was the one who acted it out. This would also explain why Sam's relationship with Jessica drops further if Jessica tells her and Chris that she and Mike — both of these people Sam has most reason to resent for Hannah and Beth's disappearances — are actually together now, especially taking into account Sam was most likely aware of Hannah's feelings for Mike and how Jessica — again, the one who planned the humiliating prank on Hannah using Hannah's feelings for Mike — being the one who gets with Mike later might have rubbed salt in the wound. While Sam is trying to move on and forgive everyone, she would naturally find it hardest with these two.
  • Josh's targets:
    • Josh only takes an interest in two people for the full brunt of the pranks: Chris and Sam (Ashley was only secondary, Chris was making the choices). Two very unusual choices, considering that they were the only two not involved, as Sam tried to warn Hannah against participating, and Chris was passed-out drunk at the time. One could see it as those two were his closest friends, so he feels hurt by them more. However, scenes with Dr. Hill keep telling us that the past can't be changed, and the hallucinations near the end of Hannah and Beth, and their strange zombie faces show us that Josh really blames himself for not doing anything to help, even though he was physically unable. It is very easy to conclude that this self-loathing is being projected onto Chris and Sam, because they did not help either.
    • Another possibility is that (keeping in mind that Josh is mentally unstable and honestly seems to think of what he's doing as a relatively harmless, potentially even benign prank) he was following on what he told Sam earlier, which she assumed to be just a joke: it'd take some serious trauma for Chris and Ashley to admit their feelings towards each other. Josh wanted to take revenge on everyone else, but he didn't see that as an act of vindictiveness, he saw it as "healing". Why wouldn't he design his prank so that, on the way to healing his friends, he could also be extra-good towards them and help his best friend hook up?
    • Additionally, note the roles Chris and Sam were given, they're both cast as the heroes of their respective scenarios. Chris is given choices, and the chance to save Ashley and show her he's die for her, while Ashley is left a terrified, helpless victim. Likewise Sam is cast as the heroine being chased by a madman, no accusations and no consequences for getting caught. The whole thing has been set up like a horror movie and Chris and Sam were supposed to be the leads while everyone else was the victims.
    • A final option is that Josh chose them because he was passed out at the time. That means that he didn't know who participated in the prank. Thus, he chooses his friends because he thought that they participated in the prank, despite being his best friends, which is an even deeper betrayal than with the others.
  • Josh seeing a wendigo in his hallucinations doesn't initially make sense. He is never present during any other moment when the monsters are present, so he shouldn't even know what they look like. Except Mike just recently blew up the sanitarium, killing some of the six wendigos trapped there by the Stranger and releasing their spirits. One of those monsters had sensed Josh's weak, addled mind and picked him as its next host, attempting to wear him down by hiding inside his hallucinations. It also goes a long way to explaining why he almost immediately grabbed the Stranger's head and started chowing down after Hannah tucked him away in her lair: insane and possessed, the old man's corpse registered as little more than food to Josh.
  • Playing off the characters being Horror Movie Tropes Incarnate, check out a website that reveals the most popular names. In 1994, which is the first year in the window that all of the cast was born in (1994-1996-ish), all of the main casts' names appear as the top four girls' and boys' names respectively (and even paired up accordingly via present time couples and Ship Teasing: Michael and Jessica were first of the male and female names respectively, then Christopher and Ashley, followed by Matthew and Emily, with Joshua and Samantha being 4th). They're all named the most common/generic names of the year they would have been born in.
  • Some may be confused by how Hannah as a wendigo would only recognize Josh if he does so first. Well, since all wendigo are mostly blind, it's likely only because he addressed her by name that she was able to tell who her current would-be victim was before she went for a killing blow.
  • When you read The Stranger's Journal, you'll find a passage saying that the Cree people never hunted on the mountain as they believe it to be sacred, and therefore they believed bringing harm to animals on the mountain would bring bad fortune. As evidenced by the game's choices and results where you harm animals, this turns out to be true. It's possible that Wendigo!Hannah attacking the deer Mike and Jess find on the way to the cabin and Josh bringing the pigs to the mountain and killing them there is what causes the two characters to be doomed to their death(s) (or potential possession in Josh's case).
  • Ashley's words during the Chris vs. Ashley trap, should Chris try to sacrifice himself first, is easy to misinterpret. She shouts to him "Let me choose to save you!", which many may have assumed that Ashley was giving Chris her permission to sacrifice her in his place. And should Chris decide to shoot her afterwards, the event with Ashley not opening the door for Chris still plays out as if Chris had tried to sacrifice Ashley from the beginning, thus making Ashley appear very deceitful and scheming. However, her words are "Let me choose to save you". She wanted to make the choice to sacrifice herself for Chris' sake with the gun in hand, except that the story still plays out with Chris not giving Ashley the gun and still being opted to make a choice between himself and Ashley. From her point of view, not only is Ashley's final words being denied by her crush, she is also forced to watch him not honor her last wishes and instead choose to sacrifice her in his place. Ashley would have perceived this as a large betrayal on Chris' part, hence why she is hesitant to open the door for him when he is chased by the Wendigo.
  • Why does Emily act so unbearably? As the doctor will point out if you choose her as your least liked person Emily's bitchy behaviour is most likely her attempt to cover up her insecurities. Now look at her situation: she's back in the place where Hannah and Beth died, which is largely her fault (not entirely but she was one of the major players), on the anniversary of their disappearance, surrounded by everyone who was involved plus their brother, his best friend and Hannah's best friend and to top it off she's dealing with her former best friend who also stole her boyfriend. Not surprising that she'd be feeling more insecure than normal.
  • If Matt is such a Nice Guy, why would he take part in such a cruel prank on Hannah, one of his friends - and even film it? Two explanations - Matt is a pushover and while it's unknown what his relationship with Mike was like back then, in the present Matt is close friends with Jessica and Ashley and he was probably also close to future girlfriend Emily in the Prologue (if he didn't already have feelings for her). It would've been easier for him to go along with the prank and convince himself it wasn't a big deal with so many close friends going with it. Alternately, it's possible him being such a Nice Guy in the game proper is Character Development we only see after it's already happened. He might've been more of a Jerk Jock before the Time Skip and only became more considerate after living with the guilt of the twins' disappearances and the grief he would've seen it cause their friends, their families, and their community. Guilt over his participation in the prank could also be influencing his Extreme Doormat behavior, leading him to be less assertive than he might've been in the past because he blames himself for his role in Hannah's prank and the twins' disappearances, which would tie in nicely with his Guilt Complex for not being "good enough" to save Emily from the fire tower in the ending credits.
  • The With Friends Like These... examples in the Prologue: Jessica, Mike, Emily, Matt, and Ashley viciously humiliating their friend Hannah, and Hannah trying to hook up with Mike when he's already in a relationship with her friend Emily. We see that Chris and Josh drank so much they blacked out, and Beth comments on him "outdoing us all." While it wouldn't excuse anyone's behavior, Jessica, Mike, Emily, Hannah, Matt, and Ashley were most likely also drinking that night, acting under the influence and not thinking through the consequences of their actions. Sam and Beth seem like the most responsible ones of the group and might've drank less or not at all.
  • The answering machine message in the Main Lodge ( Chapter 2). If you listen closely; The "Detective" is actually Josh disguising his voice, setting up part of his prank.
  • Black totems warn of death, giving prophetic visions of a possible death of the character who looks at the totem, and according to the game the indigenous people of the mountain believed butterflies brought these prophecies, referencing the butterfly effect that is one of the main ideas behind the game. The black totems and butterfly effect come together in the form of Hannah's black butterfly tattoo, foreshadowing that she is the killer who can cause the other characters' deaths as a result of the player's actions, making Hannah a walking, talking (maybe not so much after her transformation) black totem of potential deaths. It is also ironic for Hannah herself because unlike most other characters, her fate can't be changed and she cannot be saved from her eventual death. Really gives the impression that it might've gone better for everyone if Hannah happened to pick yellow or white for her tattoo instead.

Fridge Horror

  • Since famine has all but disappeared in Canada and the United States, (save for in aboriginal communities, which is another Fridge Horror), the benefits and temptation to indulge in cannibalism have likewise all but vanished. The Wendigos probably go for years if not decades without any viable hosts to infest. But what do predators do when prey is scarce? They expand their territory, preferably into regions with abundant prey. The Wendigos in the game seem content to remain on that one mountain, but as that region will likely be abandoned after the events of the game, with not even the Stranger to keep them locked up, there's nothing to say some of them won't migrate somewhere else, if it's possible for them to. Like, say, a densely populated city...
  • It's worth noting that Wendigos are featured in the folklore of tribes spread across the entire northern continent; they were not an isolated local legend, but served as Nightmare Fuel for entire cultures. That means one of two things; either the Wendigos were all somehow concentrated and contained at Blackwood, or there are many, many more places infested with the damn things.
  • So after the Stranger gets killed, Mike is adamant about finding Josh to get the cable car key back so they can all escape. But given how easily a wendigo is able to cut the cable holding up the fire tower, it's very likely that if Mike had succeeded, it would have resulted in the wendigos sending them plummeting to their deaths.
  • Matt was filming the prank on Hannah. Later, we find out that Josh was taping the game's events and was planning on uploading them online. If Josh's prank is meant to parallel the one pulled on Hannah to some degree, it means that Hannah's so-called friends might have been planning to upload the video of her taking her top off online. Filming it at all is bad enough, of course, but that would be a pretty cruel "joke".
  • Chris's throwaway line to Jess right at the start of the game about eating his own leg if he got stuck in the cable car takes on a horrible new light once you've finished the game. Any human flesh can turn you into a wendigo, even your own.
  • A small example, but on Jessica's profile, it mentions that she wants to be a model, and if Mike makes the wrong choices in the game, she can reveal that she is actually really insecure. Should she survive the events of the game, she is the most physically scarred of the survivors, with deep scars on her face and chest.
  • Being caught and butchered by a Wendigo is a nasty way to die, but actually transforming into one could be a great deal worse. At best, the infection outright kills the host and the spirit takes over. Yet while it is never outright stated, there are subtle implications that their hosts are still alive, trapped within a body they have no control over, maybe even merging with the Wendigo's spirit over time, losing their individuality in the process. As Hannah's old personality could be influencing the Wendigo she became (as speculated above), the latter possibility is all too real.
  • Ashley has the option to stab the Psycho in the shoulder at one point in self-defense. The Psycho is later revealed to be Josh. It becomes Fridge Horror when one considers what could have happened if Ashley had tried to put the Psycho down for good, say stabbing him with the scissors in the throat or eye instead, as a character like Mike, Sam, or Emily might if put in the same situation; Josh's prank could have gotten him killed or at least seriously wounded, and Ashley would've been racked with guilt.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.


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