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Headscratchers / Firewatch

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  • What was Ned's deal? Delilah does mention he has PTSD, so he could just be paranoid, but as she ALSO mentions, the forest is outdoors in a public place where people camp. If Ned hadn't acted like a lunatic, breaking into Two Forks tower and throwing Henry's typewriter out of the window, then Henry would have just dismissed the sighting after a day or two and Ned would be no worse off. By causing a scene in invading the tower of course Henry's first assumption would be the guy he saw shining a flashlight at him, so if his goal was to avoid being suspicious then he did a very poor job of it. Then he leaves papers with the fake notes in an open area seemingly just so he could ambush Henry, again causing them to get riled up and anxious, things he'd want to avoid.
    • And on a related note, if all the stuff we've seen was just set up by Ned then how did he get inside the research site? I suppose he could have just climbed the fence while we did it the hard way, but going into a restricted area makes him run the risk of getting caught.
      • Lastly, how did he know all this personal information that neither of them had shared? I mean, he broke into Henry's tower already,and knows that Henry frequently leaves his post to go exploring, so perhaps Henry had a journal where he talked about Julia. But once again, he'd never know how long Henry would be gone for, and it runs the risk of getting caught. It all just seems so illogical. If he had just left it alone Henry would just see it as a stray camper. Everything he does in trying to avoid detection just makes him take more risks of being detected, and all just because one day he shined a light at someone when it was getting dark and thought it was such a big deal he had to thoroughly investigate the new lookout and set them into a paranoid spin of being watched.
    • Ned is a former local ranger, so it only makes sense that he known about the research stations in the area, knows who is stationed there and when they are vacated. And truth be told, the entire necessity of getting an axe is a 'But Thou Must' situation, because Henry is a fit ranger (as evidenced by his ability to climb easily) and should have had zero problems with climbing over the simple chainlink fence.
  • One mystery that was not resolved. Who was Delilah talking to, when Henry accidentally intercepted her broadcast? And what was she talking about? Was she really talking about Henry? In the end everything was explained (teens not dead, just dumb; Ned being the "psycho"; Brian being dead), EXCEPT the conversation Delilah scolded you for listening. She really seemed up to something sinister, but... no explanation. Was she drunk at the time? Was it just her mumbling, caused by isolation? Did she just reported Henry's arrival to her supervisors? Was it about someone completely different and thus indeed a private call?
    • Delilah is the supervisor of several other lookouts. Henry isn't the only one she talks to, though she admits that Henry is special to her. It really was just a private conversation with another lookout.
    • There's a theory proposed by Captainsauce in this video That suggests that Delilah was aware/working with Ned the whole time. The intercepted conversation was between Ned and Delilah. The evidence for this includes:
      • 1. The Comm lines were still cut, so who could Delilah replay be talking to?
      • 2.Delilah can see Wapati Station from her tower and it is an established research site as indicated by the documents outside the tent. How then would she be unaware of its existence?
      • 3. How and why did Delilah deliver the 2nd Walkie to the cache when the shortest route there and back was 14ish miles and involved waling past Henry's tower twice?
      • 4. You can't "wiretap" a walkie talkie, you can still tune into the channel and eavesdrop, Delilah should be aware of this.
    • The problem with the idea of Delilah collaborating with Ned is that she seems to be authentically shocked after learning about Brian's death, so she definitely wasn't working with Ned to cover up this fact (there is nothing to suggest that she is as great at hiding the truth). Also, evidence in Ned's bunker suggests that he treats Delilah and Henry as potential hazards.
      • 5. If you visit the fence early, Delilah dismisses any questions asked like "stuff" or "IDK ¯\_(ツ)_/¯". When you have to visit the fence officially, Delilah sends you to a camp on the other side of the map to get "some help" from a camp she should know is already empty, giving Ned more time to set up the "evidence"
      • 6. If the conversation was with another Lookout, why is it so Cryptic and doesn't involve anything specific from the sarcastic and talkative Delilah? and why then does Delilah get so defensive and shuts off her radio when you confront her instead of mildly annoyed?
      • So basically, Delilah and Ned were working together to pin anything suspicious on the teenage girls, and when that didn't work, to try and pin it on the "scientists" at Wapiti.

  • Why did Ned leave the keys to the cave for Henry to find? There's no reason he'd want Henry to explore the cave (heck, he tries to trap Henry in there afterward), and the keys are the only reason Henry finds Brian's body.
    • Both of these are explained in the audio commentary: Delilah was having a completely mundane conversation with another lookout. And Ned didn't intend for anyone to find the backpack he had stashed, it was just bad luck that the tracking unit Henry grabbed picked up the the alarm Ned had attached to it.
    • What is more interesting, why he left keys to a place where the body of his son was located? Key is a small item Ned could have carried on his person at any time.
      • The obvious answer is that the keys had to be somewhere the player could get them to advance the plot. As for Watsonian reasons, maybe he was going through a particularly rough patch of grief and the keys were too painful to have around all the time. So he ditched them, intending to pick them up later when he was feeling less upset.
  • So, as far as Delilah knows, Ned and Brian simply left abruptly three years ago to go back home. Wouldn't their next of kin report them missing and ask the Forest Service about their whereabouts? Also, Ned couldn't possibly survive winter without burning wood to keep warm, which would result in smoke plumes rising to the sky at a time and place where that would be unexpected.
    • It's explained that Ned had no other family after his mother died. Presumably, Ned and Brian's neighbors, if they even noticed the absence, simple assumed the had moved.
  • How did the obnoxious teens get the fireworks out to the islet without getting them wet? If the water is shallow enough to wade, why did they leave their boombox on the shore instead of bringing it closer? Also, Delilah remarks that the water will be very cold due to being melt runoff, yet the girls apparently suffered no discomfort from it.
    • They may have had something on which to float the fireworks over, but adding the boombox would've been too much. As for the cold, some people just have a high tolerance for it.
      • They were drunk, which probably helped with their tolerance.
    • They probably were launching them from their camp, where Henry finds a bunch of unused fireworks. Please note that when Henry regains consciousness after his line breaks, it is a bit darker, suggesting that he was unconscious for at least some time. The girls most likely ended shooting fireworks and went swimming in the meantime.
  • Why don't Henry and Delilah ever meet up at the height of their paranoia? They literally think someone is out to get them — even kill them, for all they know - and they never hole up in one of their towers for some good old safety in numbers? Yeah, they had firewatching jobs to take care of, but if they think their lives are potentially in danger surely they'd risk it. Their towers aren't so far apart that this is an impossible strategy.
    • In a situation like this, being together can make them less safe. If they're apart, one of them can't be killed without the other one being able to report it. If they're together, a determined murderer-wannabe could off them both at once.

  • Seriously, how the hell are the outhouses in the game supposed to function? They're flush with the ground with no visible container for fecal matter that could be dug up and emptied. Have the makers of the game never used an outhouse?
    • ... Have you? Most outhouses are built over a hole in the ground, which gets filled in when full.

  • Why does Delilah refuse to respond to Henry if you ask about the old burnt cabin? She obviously can hear Henry because you can ask about an abandoned outhouse and an old cache which are both close-by and she will respond.
    • It's possible that she just happened to be away from her radio at that moment. There's likely more to her job than sitting around talking to Henry, after all.

  • After discovering Henry’s tower has been broken into and ransacked on the first day, Why doesn’t Delilah think to contact one of the other lookouts to warm them about a potentially dangerous person?
    • Its possible she did warn them and she asked them to keep an eye out for a lone male hiker in the area however she probably wasn’t taking it that seriously and probably assumed it’s nothing more than vandalism by the teenagers.