A word. Theories with no information/evidence to back it up will be purified.
- The reason why Zacharie doesn't show up in Zone 0 for most of the game is because he's busy doing business in the other zones and the warehouse is empty, anyway.
- Zone 0 is one of the last zones standing after the other guardians have fallen.
- Both Zacharie and Judge appear to frequent Zone 0, and the two appear to friends, or, at least, Zacharie recognizes Judge enough to notice when he leaves to mourn the death of his brother in the remains of Zone 2.
- Not to mention how him and Sugar know each other as well, at least enough for him to mourn her death.
- Jossed. According to Word of God The Judge is the guardian of Zone 0.
- Furthermore, remember what the Judge does at the beginning: He gives you a card that will send you to the first area. Only zone guardians have these cards.
- Alternatively, the Batter is just the emissary of this deity. You, the player, are the angel guiding his steps, and the deity itself is the one who "assigns" you to the Batter. Mortis Ghost, maybe?
- Delusion (most common schizophrenia symptom): The Batter is dressed like a baseball player with the idea that he is meant to purify the world. His 'sacred duty' is the reason why he killed his wife and child.
- Hallucination: The existence of the surrealistic Zones and The Room, including how he sees The Queen (his wife), Hugo (his child), and the three Guardians (the stressors/burdens he carries with him), including hearing voices once 'Not Safe' begins all suggest hallucinations. Perhaps this is the reason for the note at the beginning that says "Keep your volume on to get the full experience".
- Other symptoms Batter has, related to schizophrenia, are as follows: lack of emotion (obvious visual representation) and social withdrawal (in terms of his family, particularly his son, as read in the notes)
- The names for Judge's competences (Aneurysm/Sclerosis) are based on trauma to the brain and could possibly be associated with schizophrenia; there is obviously a connection with this to Batter's condition. Judge COULD be the personification of his disease.
- Alternatively, the whole thing is Hugo's coma dream and the zones dying off are parts of his brain gradually shutting down. In the Batter's ending, Hugo dies, while in the Judge ending he survives but is doomed to forever be a "vegetable" in a coma, since his entire mind has shut down, including what made him aware of his own existance.
- Another alternative; each zone is The Batter overcoming an obstacle (local and/or national laws, the mother's agreement/consent, the doctor's agreement to do so, etc.) in being able to turn the life support off so that he can let his son die in peace. In the Batter's ending, he succeeds. In the Judge's ending, he fails.
- On a less serious note, all the Guardians have a quirk to them. Dedan's is pedalos, Japhet's is books, Enoch's is cake. The Batter's would probably be roller coasters.
- Which would explain why Enoch looks so similar to Hugo.
- That could possibly explain why the Elsen can't reproduce. Hugo is a child, so he wouldn't know how it works.
- Perhaps this is why the Elsen are so easily fooled by The Batter wearing a necktie - they actually see him as resembling them, at least until he starts fighting the spectres.
- Possibly Jossed. Mortis Ghost has stated that the Batter's form changes depending on who's viewing him. Burnt Elsen are Elsen in a state of extreme stress.
- Alternate possibility: the Elsen (who are human—although the Batter is not) are nonetheless subject to the same laws of subjective battle sprite appearance as the Batter. Just as the Batter never "transformed", the Burnt forms do not actually indicate a transformation; rather, they are how the Batter sees them during the battles. As far as anyone else is concerned, he's beating ordinary (if stressed) humans to death with a baseball bat.
- Perhaps monkeys from beyond the stars?
Ness grew up to be stoic, and chose to solemnly DESPISE everything corrupt on planet earth. He believed any and ALL evil in the world must be wiped out completely. Never again, did he want something as putrid as Giygas to pervade his home. In the event of a world shattering cataclysm, however, he vowed that he would take on the responsibility of being the world's savior and purifying the world with his PSI powers.
Although Ness was perpetually solemn and viewed the majority of mortal existence as disgusting, there were a few things in life that made him genuinely happy. While his childhood friends eventually became nigh irreversibly distant, Paula was only a town away. She was one of the few things in his world that remained pure, the only friend who understood him. And of course, Ness never forgot his love of baseball.
Paula and Ness followed one another into adulthood, and eventually got married. The day their little boy was born was supposed to be a happy one...
...Until the end of the world happened, via a nuclear fallout. A really, REALLY big one.
Ness' world previously had its fair share of sentinent animals and creatures, but that was drastically reduced. And there were even fewer humans left. Most of those that were were mutated including Ness and Paula.
Paula had gained enough prestige as a psychic prophetess of sorts, and was unanimously selected by the remaining populous to be Queen. Likewise, Ness was widely respected as the Chosen One, and chosen to be king.
After a couple years, Hugo grew more and more ill. Yet, he was showing signs of PSI/PK at an alarmingly early age. Ness was unable to aid, as he had lost much of his PSI/PK abilities in the mutation; Paula (now known as the Queen) managed to keep her powers, and even changed them a bit.
Ness could never relearn PSI Healing, which is why he didn't revive any of the world's populous, or heal the remaining populous of their mutations and infirmities. He felt useless to the world, and to his family.
The Queen did her best to care for her sickly child, and help him channel his powers through her own, but all they could do to keep him under control was imprison him.
Ness, on the other hand, chose to depart for a few years, for various reasons. The idea of his only son being forced to live that way was unbearable to watch, he wanted to know if anyone else in the world had survived, and he wanted to find a way to fix the world. Maybe he could even regain his powers.Although much had happened, Ness still remembered his vow to help the world if a global catastrophe ever happened.
After wandering for years in vain, he gets further and further out of touch with the last remnants of his humanity. No longer did Ness remember the love of his family only that they existed. He felt little to nothing for them, as his mind couldn't supply the will to make such connections. Eventually, the world sinks into more hopeless ruin, and Ness is consumed by one idea: Purify the world... no matter the cost.
Possibly in a last ditch effort by his subconscious to retain his humanity, he recalled a profound love for baseball. Ness rechristened himself as the Batter. Soon, he met up with the Judge.
The sheer amount of concentrated will behind the Batter's ideology was so strong, that it was enough to make his powers return gradually. On his journey, he had been enlightened concerning some matters, such as the nature of Players and Puppeteers, and the role they played in controlling his world. So, he struck a deal with the Player/Puppeteer. By the power of hypnosis, mind control, manipulation of will — whatever you wish to call it we agreed to help him with his unholy crusade. We had to know how it would all end, didn't we?
(Hey, you knew it was coming. Ness often uses baseball bats to attack, and regularly wears baseball caps. Paula seems respected enough in the EarthBound universe to be promoted to queenly status after a nuclear fallout wipes out the rest of humanity. It would explain why Hugo was born with psychic powers, anyway. Plus, EarthBound seems to know it's a video game, as evidenced by how it asks for the Player's name and asks the player for help in the final battle. Kind of makes a chilling amount of sense, when you think about it.)
Those who have seen the ending know about the off switch and the space monkeys. Well, it's actually a nightmare Hugo is having. Each major character is based off of people Hugo knows in real life. Dedan is based off of his father's friend from work. This is why he's seen as crass and crude, but in the room he can be seen speaking in a friendly manner when addressing Hugo/The batter directly. His father probably invited Dedan over from work, and Hugo heard some of his crude language. Also Hugo's father probably works in the farming business, raising cattle, which is where he got some of the strange ideas for elements. It is presumably because of his father's more honest nature that Hugo is no longer allowed to see him, because his father probably told him he was at risk of dying.
The bird and the two cats are actually animals he liked to play with. Given that the bird is very indistinct before Valerie is killed by him, it was probably a common bird that Hugo gave a personality to. The whole of Zone 2 is full of Elsens that are even more neurotic than usual, because people probably always freaked out when they saw him playing with strays and trying to pet wild birds. Given that the bird had no personality to speak of, Hugo believed Beauty Equals Goodness and that the bird was the kindest and most giving of the three. The FaceHeel Turn would most likely be Hugo's fear that the doctors, I.E. the ones who are letting him live, might grow tired of his constant illness and one day wish to stop helping him.
The final guardian was the boss of his mother. He's very kind when speaking, and although he can be blunt, he always explains himself and makes sure he's understood, but otherwise very nice. He was most likely always aware of little Hugo when he was around and tried not to confuse him with adult business, unlike Dedan. This is why he's the kindest of the three and the only one who didn't go mad. Hugo doesn't know what job his mother works, so he doesn't associate anything with the boss aside from a nice man. Instead he sees his job as the scary thing. Sugar, I.e addictions and cravings that people buy.
His mother is the Queen, who's always busy in order to afford Hugo's treatments. The Batter is his dad, who most likely is represented as a stoic version of the bad guy from the comic because he talked more freely about death around Hugo. The argument near the end of the game is something he overheard his parents yelling about. The "you haven't done anything" and "you forgot who the party was for" was his father telling his mother that she was working so much she never even got to see him anymore, despite paying for him to live. She snaps back by telling him he's frightening and saddening Hugo about the very real possibility of death.
The ending of the game was if he feels his old life has gone forever of if he can still keep a part of it. Being a child, Hugo doesn't understand it, but Zacharie does. the official ending is that everything is in the past, and Hugo is no longer living the way he used to be, while the Judge ending is him holding on to three people who are still there: Pablo (the stray cat), Zach (his attendant), and a lone Elsen (The people at the hospital are still there, even if he doesn't see them as much.) As Hugo doesn't understand the metaphor, Zach instead tells him a new story the next day. a story about space monkeys fighting flying brains, building on the cleared out remains of his old story.
- Jossed, the whole whispering is in French.
Without anything to be afraid of, the Elsen had the choice to reject or embrace their genetic disposition towards fear. To preserve their sanity, they embraced fear. Every shadow is a spectre, every sound is a slasher, and nothing is safe. And all in the name of being just like humans.
So, after the Space Apes take over the purified world, we skip ahead a few years. Every zone has now been replaced with a giant robot factory, churning out more and more fighter drones every day to combat the flying brains.
The Player takes control of a random drone, wresting it away from its mission on the day of a decisive battle. The robot armies fall, and the flying brains invade. After successfully hiding from the invading warships, you are left to fight through a roboticized version of the first game to find and defeat the flying brains and restore the Space Apes to glory.
- Jossed. Mortis Ghost has confirmed he will not be making a sequel.
- However, this troper would LOVE to play a fangame like that.
There are no metaphors. What happens in the game is literally what happens.
Hugo is sick, and Sugar either couldn't deal with this, or Hugo's sickness started after Sugar's problems, but Sugar is addicted to her namesake (maybe her name isn't even Sugar, but she has gone so far it might as well be). and is absent, she can't take care of Hugo.
Zacharie, faced with his son's illness and his wife's addiction, Zacharie takes more and more risks to support both of them.
The Batter (and, by extension, the player), are a symptom of Zacharie's attempts to salvage what is left is his family actually destroying everything - The Judge believes them to be phantoms at first, but welcomes them - no price is too high.The purification of the first zone symbolizes Zacharie's loss of grip on reality, as the first zone produces the things that make up the world.
The purification of the second zone symbolizes Zacharie losing his job (director of an amusement park - a place where everything should be perfect and fun; also loss of the illusion of perfection), his absence implies that he neglected his job in favour of back-alley dealings to provide for his son's medication and his wife's drugs, and also the loss of friends and family without him noticing it - Japhet taking over Valerie without the Judge realizing it, and the Batter killing Japhet/Valerie.
The purification of the third zone is the loss of the source. Sugar is made from corpses - Zacharie is literally going over corpses to fuel Sugar's addiction.
If the Batter kills Sugar, Zacharie responds with "... I suppose it's better this way", even though Zacharie and Sugar are implied to be at least close friends in the game, Zacharie should be distraught and attack the Batter, but instead he is resigned, as if he'd seen it coming.
His continued support of the Batter via items for purchase (which cost more and more, because Zacharie has only this source of income any more and still tries to support his family) might hint that even if he couldn't save his wife, he will continue trying to save his son.
The Queen, as an imagined entity, can't replace the real world / affection Hugo needs, and as such, the world she creates is incomplete and can't sustain itself in the long run.
The game is literally Zacharie losing everything - if the Batter dies (Zacharie forces himself to stop), all that will be left over will be a world empty save for him and the Judge, and maybe Sugar, whom he can't support any longer, the Batter succeeding is Zacharie self-destructing after his son has died because of his own shortcomings.
This is also why the only solution to winning this game is not to play it: Because the only way not to lose down that road is not to follow it.
You have to admit, it makes a lot of sense considering Undertale's Genocide/No Mercy ending. Afterwards, Chara moved on to other video game worlds to destroy with the help of willing players.
- Except not only do the games take place in entirely separate continuities, but barely anything is known about The Fallen Child/Chara so there's no evidence to prove it besides they both destroy their respective worlds. Which, if that's your evidence, then Giygas must be a reincarnation of Cthulhu because they're both Eldritch Abominations with the goal to spread madness throughout the world.
- Additionally, The Judge has some odd similarities with Sans, right down to being the one to (possibly) stop the end of the world.
- Possibly jossed as OFF was released before Undertale.
While there are trains from Zone 1 there's currently only one working at the time (Train #2 is stated to have not worked very much), and it's shown that not only are Elsen capable of going out onto the plastic sea but they've even managed to make underwater motors (as shown in the amusement park in Zone 2). So maybe there's one, or several, ships with Elsen on them that are carrying things like meat, plastic, and metal still out there. At least, during the Special ending.
The guardians weren't destroyed, they simply returned to the Queen after they were "purified". They act as a final defense keeping the Batter out with an impossible task of getting them to let him through. However, because of the Batter's uncanny resemblance to Hugo, they allow him through after a few easy errands to prove he's their "friend". Had they not let him through, they could've returned to the zones and eventually restored the world again.
From there, the Queen tries desperately to stop the Batter by changing the path over and over and sending him back to the start again and again. After losing the fight, her last ditch attempt to stop the Batter is to throw Hugo in his way. All to stop him from turning everything OFF.
Plus, Word of God has stated that he wouldn't make it out of Valerie's actual face, as they were very good friends.
Everyone we meet in the world of OFF is based on someone Batter knew. Pablo and Valerie were a pair of twins who acted like cats. Japhet was Valeries boyfriend, at least he was before he snapped and tried to kill the Batter, Valerie, and Pablo one night (nearly succeeding with the last). Zacharie was the boy who made the Batter realize he didn't quite want to die yet; you see, Batter was in love with him. He thought about him all the time, hence why Zacharie seems to be everywhere.The Elsen are based off this boy he used to know who was very anxious and studious. Sugar was an odd, erratic girl. Hugo is depicted as nearly an infant because he hadn't been born yet when Batter fell comatose. The Queen was, of course, based off his abusive girlfriend and all her competences are things she's said to him (example, saying He loves you not to him after they've broken up and knowing the Batter wishes to persue a romantic relationship with Zacharie. The Batter's mission, however, can work one of two ways: First, it could symbolize him still wishing for death, his ending being him dying peacefully in his coma while in the Judge's he stays alive, but he doesn't wake. Second, his ending could be turning off the illusion of this world he'd created and waking up to the happy faces of Zacharie and his friends. This would make the Judge's ending symbolize Batter being too afraid or too depressed to face the outside world again, surrendering his form in the imaginary world in order to stay in his coma, as he feels everyone wishes he'd do.
Vader Eloha and the Batter may be Hugo's guardian angels. The biblical references in the Batter and his add-on's classes (Savior, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), along with Vader Eloha's name (Father God) and Word of God stating that they aren't human the same way Hugo and the Elsen's are, it may be that, rather than being purely things of Hugo's imagination, The Batter and The Queen are beings "born" when Hugo was born, angels trusted to protect him and given shape and manifestation based on Hugo's interpretation of what they are to him. They protect him like parents, so they're analogs to Hugo's birth parents.
Supporting this is the dichotomy between The Queen and The Batter. While the Queen and the Guardians build the world as Hugo envisions, The Batter is capable of destroying all of it. The Guardians heavily imply that the creative powers they have come from The Queen. While the Queen could be seen a representation of God, with Batter being a representation of Satan or the abyss, this theory proposes that, instead, they are angels of creation and destruction respectively.
The Queen's purpose is to create a world for Hugo, and she has the guardians manage it for her. The Batter is the angel of death, tasked with ending things that need to be ended. Take this to the literal extreme. The Queen is the only entity in the world of OFF capable of creating life (she is a motherly figure after all and the only female entity other than Sugar.) This may be why the Queen needs to be away from Hugo so often. The Queen is the only person who can make and replenish life in the zones, since the Elsens, according to Word of God, cannot reproduce. The Batter, then, would be the opposite, the only entity capable of killing guardians, purifying zones, and undoing everything. While the Elsens are shown to be able to kill or at least damage specters, the specters don't stop spawning until The Batter cleanses the area. Death and life may not need The Batter or The Queen to exist, but both entities have a clear connection with their respective sphere.
However, rather than creating a balance, the Queen and Batter were corrupted. Rather than creating life, Vader Eloha either neglected her duties or was unable to manage them and let everything spiral out of control, resulting in the corruptions of life such as the Burnt Elsens and the Specters, both of which are somewhere between dead and alive. Similarly, the Batter's purpose was corrupted to the point where, rather than just waiting for everything to be "ready" to die, the Batter took initiative to "purify" everything, whether it was time to or not. This is reinforced if we believe the world really is an unsalvageable crapsack world. In that case, The Batter is simply doing what he thinks is right. If the world is doomed to die, he might as well just destroy it all now, rather than let it slowly rot away, or at least that's what he thinks. This may also be why the Judge lets the Batter do whatever he wants. The Batter is not an invader. He's supposed to be there, he belongs to the world of OFF, cleaning up the impure. The problem with the Batter is that he either cannot or will not distinguish between what's actually hurting the world (the specters), what isn't perfect but could be saved (burnt Elsens), and what's necessary but broken (the guardians.) To the Batter, everything that isn't "perfect" is impure. And nothing in the world of OFF is perfect.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the Batter's add-ons look like halos, and Vader Eloha's add-ons look like wings. Sugar also describes the Batter as a "ducky" so perhaps, if we believe the Batter looks different depending on who views him, he may not just appear to her as the Bad Batter we see if we side with the Judge. He may, in fact, look to be a corrupt angel, something that the isolated Sugar might only be able to describe as a terrifying ducky. Considering that angels in biblical canon have many forms, and not all of them pleasant or human, this could mean that Batter's different forms for us and the Judge are similar to biblical angels' different forms: a tame and human-like form to show to normal humans (hence why the tie as a disguise fools the Elsens in Zone 2), and a beastly incomprehensible form only seen by prophets and other angels.
If they are indeed Guardian Angels, both of them have failed Hugo. Vader Eloha and the Zone Guardians have not been able to create a peaceful utopia like they wanted. The Batter has not weeded out corruption, he just destroyed the whole "garden," purified not just corrupt entities but the whole world. And worst of all, neither of them has spent any time with Hugo, the child they were created by and for. If they are his guardian angels, that should have been the most important duty of all, hence why they blame each other for what's been happening.