Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Psychonauts

Go To

Time passes slower in minds than in real life.
This would explain how you can do so much in the course of one day and one night: most of your time is spent in minds, and like dreams in Inception, what feels like hours in the mind could be only a few minutes in real life.
Thorney Towers was an asylum for unstable psychics.
It's not exactly feasible for it to be twisted into those rather disturbing shapes simply because of old age, now is it? It would also explain those weird faces in the sky: the psychic resonance of all those crazy psychics seeped into the place, causing an overly negative perception of the local area.
  • As well, some of the inmates have psychic skills "in their heads", albeit buried away somewhere like a fridge or corner of the city. Being able to see what everyone thought of you without being able to control it would definitely turn you into a paranoid conspiracy freak, and we've seen what effects confusion bombs have on wrestlers. And while it doesn't make sense for Fred to be driven mad by something as mild as losing a board game, it's quite possible that Crispen's own psychic abilities drained his sanity somehow. Gloria, of course, was probably one of the normal patients there to cover up the fact that it was mostly for containing psychics.
    • Fred seems to confirm this if you try to use pyrokenesis on the assorted toys he pushes around. He says something to the effect of "Don't bother, everything here is fireproof. We had alot of firestarters back in the old days."
      • Actually, they could have just housed pyromaniacs.
  • The in-game timeline in the parking lot states that the asylum was built to house the people from the original mining town who went crazy as a result of living too close to the psitanium deposit. Eventually, everyone in the town had either moved away or gone crazy, leaving the area abandoned, save for the asylum, which gradually faded into disuse. The psitanium also warped the local flora and fauna.
    • Yes, but how did it warp that fauna? By giving them psychic powers! It's fully possible that some of the in-mates were psychic.
      • Or, more likely, became psychic because of the Psytanium. It could be that what everyone in the old town percieved as madness was a symptom of non-psychic people developing psychic powers, which they couldn't control or understand. That would explain why some of them were able to "teach" you psychic powers. This is supported by the fact that, when Raz asks Nils to teach him Clairvoyance earlier in the game, he says that he would have to find a Clairvoyance master to teach him. As it's unlikely that Boyd was clairvoyant from the start (as he would've found learned about Oleander's plans from the start otherwise), which suggests that his power was a result to the Psytanium exposure, furthering his paranoia.

Ford is a Time Lord.
Ford is supposed to have once been the best psychonaut with astounding psychic powers. Time Lord!
  • And on that note, his many different incarnations are actually his regenerations!

That psitanium deposit isn't natural.
So we know that Ford's mind isn't what it used to be, and he needs exposure to a massive amount of psitanium to function. What if there wasn't actually a sufficiently large deposit of psitanium anywhere in the world? That big solid lump Ford's sanctuary is built over doesn't look anything like an natural mineral deposit, after all.

So if there's no natural deposit, he needs an alternative. Well, there are two: first, there's a place where a large amount of psitanium arrow heads were buried for whatever reason, but they aren't concentrated enough to do the job, hence when Ford's just wandering around the grounds he's off with the fairies. Second, people with psychic abilities can enter other people's minds and break down things like censors into raw psychic energy, and absorb that psychic energy in the form of psitanium (or mental health, or aggression).

Thus Ford starts up a camp for psychic kids, and in that camp he has a store — run by himself — where he accepts psitanium as currency. The kids are encouraged to gather arrow heads, or to create psitanium out of psychic energy in the course of their training, and then give the psitanium to Ford in exchange for handy psychic gadgets. Presumably once a large enough yield of psitanium has collected in the cash register, it allows Ford just enough clarity to take it down and add it to the giant slab he's got down in his sanctuary.


Fortunately the camp is good for the kids as well, so this doesn't fall under the description of "evil scheme".

  • Where would all those Psitanium arrowheads have come from if there hadn't originally been a Psitanium deposit around to dig the original material up from?
    • Ford tells you in the game that the Psitanium load came from a meteorite that crashed there long ago.
    • Breakdown from a Precursors Spaceship that crashed and dissipated in the region long, long ago. Psitanium built up in the local animals, though, and were used by Native Americans for arrow heads. When it was revealed this accelerated the process and the animals got more magic powers if they survived the shot, they buried them.

The Psitanium deposit is the reason there are lungfish in Lake Oblongata
Today, lungfish are only found in South America, Africa, and Australia. Fossils of lungfish have been found elsewhere, including parts of North America, suggesting that lungfish went extinct in those regions.

The Psitanium deposit may have given the lungfish of the Oblongata region some extra mental stamina and even a few psychic powers that helped them survive while all other lungfish in that area died off. For instance, we see that Linda is able to create "bubbles" of breathable air underwater, meaning she does not have to surface for air as often.

The entire scenario was staged to recruit stable psychic recruits.
The key word being "stable." The pamphlet describing the camp even stated that they were looking to recruit. In a rare case of Genre Savvy, though, if campers didn't reveal that they were able to take the heat; they were taught enough to keep their sanity and just given the equivalent of basket-weaving skills. But...if someone with promise shows up, then the "Oleander scenario" is provided. Which is why Coach Oleander was so easily forgiven, he was in on it. When Sasha and Milla are "called away" they were really going to Raz's father to get his help in stabilizing Raz, hence his convenient Deus ex Machina in the end.
  • Evidence pointing to this, if Raz look through Ford's eyes through telepathy, he views Raz as a Psychonaut already.
    • But what about Loboto? A man died for recruitment purposes? And there's the disturbed inmates to consider. The Milkman was hypnotised by Oleander after all. Violation of human rights doesn't exactly weigh up to hiring recruits.
  • Ford could have caught Loboto? Perhaps Loboto was an imate and so the Pschonauts kept him in the loop as it were. Ford maybe taught Loboto the de/rebraining process and Sheegor is Sasha's assistant, keeping an eye on him. I'll admit the Lungfish scenario was cruel and I have no way of justifying that. So yeah. Oh also- memories can be planted, modified and perceived differently. Milla's good at reading people- so Sasha shows emotion in her memories; Fred's arms are ginormous in his memories, etc. Since the Milkman Conspiracy provided a new psychic power, (as did Black Velvetopia) one could assume the 'inmates' are Psychonauts (let's ignore Gloria- she's actually crazy).
  • "Don't bother, the whole place is fireproof, we had a lot of firestarters back in the day" Hang on a minute- didn't the asylum get set on fire with exploding milk? Unless the entire thing was staged and only parts of it fall off when needed to. Heck if the entire scenario was staged how difficult would it be to write "Oh yeah the white settlers all went crazy so we built the asylum. It's definitely not an obstacle course. Ha ha. Yeah" on a history log?
    • The asylum caught on fire because Edgar broke a gas line, spilled turpentine and acentone nearby, and Gloria reactivated the gas before Boyd threw his milk bomb. It was a rapid-fire (heh) bunch of coincidences.

Sasha isn't The Stoic—he's just quiet, shy, and a bit of a Cloud Cuckoolander.
It occured to this troper that Sasha—at first glance The Stoic, and humorless as Germans stereotypically are—isn't actually as emotionless as one would think. Looking at the cutscenes, he actually smiles and seems happy quite a few times—he really seems to like training Raz, and during the Brain Tumbler Experiment, he actually makes a few comments that could be regarded as jokes. But if his obvious actions don't seem to have that emotional flavor, check out Milla's second memory real, in which he features prominently. In one of the slides, he's dressed up in a goofy outfit at a party, and while he and Milla are obviously undercover, the way he's sipping a fruity drink and the way he appears to be dancing suggest he's actually having fun being silly. Plus, in the last slide, he is quite obviously very pleased about the way Milla Fell Into His Arms. He's blushing shyly. The average The Stoic doesn't even know the meaning of the word "embarrassed."

All this makes this troper think that perhaps Sasha isn't as much of The Stoic as we've been lead to believe. He's very obviously an intellectual, based both on the fact that he has a lab and the fact that both the game itself and concept art depict him as working hard on lots of experiments. Plus, he's a lot more disorganized in his lab than you'd expect from someone with such a proper, tidy personality. Intellectuals tend to have a reputation for being somewhat out of it, possibly since many of them may or may not have Asperger's. Perhaps Sasha, like many who've come before him, isn't so much unwilling to express his emotions as he is just painfully shy. Milla's memory reels seem to indicate that he's more willing to open up around her, which would make sense—he gets along with her, and even shy people will open up to people if they get to know them and get comfortable around them. But around people he doesn't know, he clams right up. The scenes in Sasha's mind seem to show him opening up to Raz. And since he was really in control of what was happening the whole time, I doubt he would have even let see his private memories unless he was starting to trust the kid... or if he were even half as stoic as he seems.

Not to mention, all the Ship Teaseing that goes on between him and Milla would be a little weird otherwise. Opposites Attract aside, what would they see in each other? Sasha hates over-bright, "tacky" things, and Milla needs someone she can party and go crazy with. But if Milla's memories are to be believed, Sasha does like having fun, which would suggest a softer core for him. And it's implied that Milla is very good at understanding emotions, and that she loves making people feel comfortable—and for the chronically shy, that kind of person you can open up to is a godsend.

To top it all off... He works at a summer camp full of children. It seems like the sheer chaos kids generate would drive him batty.

  • The Devil's Advocate in me would like to point out that we didn't see any of Sasha's memories with Milla in Sasha's head, and it's easy enough for a person to alter the facts to what they'd rather see... so Milla's memories might just be her view of things. Sasha may just be working at the camp because Ford 'drafted' Milla and Sasha, and whether or not he's happy with it Sasha would follow Ford's orders because he still seems to respect the senior agent. And judging by the way that he's happy to experiment on the campers, Sasha doesn't exactly seem to have a soft spot for kids. However, the Sasha x Milla shipper in me refuses to give up hope, so I'm going to pretend your theory is canon.
    • Then again, other than in Oleander's mind, we're not given evidence that anyone doctors their memory reels or that they're unfaithful to the truth, or even tinted with either rose or Jade-Colored Glasses. The only other tampering we've seen was "The World Shall Taste My Eggs!," but given how messed up that was...
    • There is one other set of memory reels that shows they can be tinted by an idealized version of the truth; check out Fred's arms in his.
    • I think that was Oleander's fantasy and he just left it in a convinent place so that you could find it and he could pretend it was true. As for Sasha I think your right, he's painfully shy, however I think he is "trying" to be a stotic as a defense mechinism against pain and suffering.
    • Also, don't forget, 1. According to this WMG he's shy, and 2. We don't see everyone's memories of everything, or we'd be swamped with memory vaults.
    • I'll just leave this here.
  • Chalk it up to symbolism, as well. There's also a popular theory that Sasha is supposed to represent the left side of the brain (logic), and Milla is supposed to represent the right (creativity). They literally need each other to function.

Milla is not in control of her emotional problems like she claims, she's repressing it
For one if you see Raz through her eyes, he's a baby and she most likley sees all of the kids that way. Look at what her nighmare creatures are like, They are always calling out to her, reminding her of her pain. she tells Raz they are under control, but anyone can tell they are just trapped behind a thin cage, and there are so many of them. You also find them in a toybox, in a hidden room, in a tiny corner, she tells Raz to get out of it, and it's filled to the brim with children stuff.....the poor girl is a psychic powder keg of repressed emotions. For all we know she could of had another stage in a sequel dealing with this factor.
  • Jossed. The wiki says that this isn't bottling up the nightmares but containing them to prevent them from causing problems, and that this is what every mentally healthy person does to deal with these issues.
    • Furthermore, if the memories actually were repressed, the door to said room would be boarded over/camouflaged to look like the wall at the very least, instead of just out-of-the-way but open for access. Also, note that Censors/Personal Demons don't show up in that room, implying that the nightmares are under control.
  • This presumably going to be the case at one point in development, which was the reason for the two nightmare battles in the Milkman Conspiracy, but was Dummied Out.

Coach Oleander is one of those vulnerable to the psychosis-inducing effects of Psitanium, which is why he went crazy.

AFAIK, nowhere does it say that psychics only get boosted from Psitanium and only normals go crazy from it. It just says that "weak minds" are vulnerable to it. Coach Oldeander had a rough life, both with his daddy issues and the fact that he got kicked out of every branch of the military. One would venture a guess that his mind might be slightly... vulnerable.

Normally, he could safeguard his mind well enough for Psychonauts business. However, when he took the job at Whispering Rock, he was surrounded by large quantities of Psitanium. The other counselors also had troubled pasts, but they already had safeguards: Ford's mind was so broken that Psitanium actually healed him, Milla was already a master at repressing her Nightmares and other instabilities, and Sasha was so mentally together that upsetting him would take more Psitanium than God. Oleander was a bit more weak, so being around all that Psitanium got to him. It amplified his Freudian Excuse in his mind and upset him, leading to him coming up with such a crazy plan as "steal children's brains to build death tanks." It lead him to believe that taking over the world would "cure" him.

This would explain why he was Easily Forgiven—it wasn't really "him" trying to take over the world, it was the Psitanium acting. While Raz's foray into his mind couldn't cure his issues with Psitanium, he did help "bury" his Freudian Excuse deeper, making it more difficult for the Psitanium to get to it and bring the crazy to the surface.

Doctor Loboto is actually Houston Thorney, the Asylum's founder.
I've been having this headcannon inside me for years after I first finished Psychonauts, and I think it was worth posting it here to have it be analyzed properly by someone smarter than me. Now, the story of the game goes that Thorney built the asylum due to the increasing amounts of lunacy in Shaky Clam when it was still in its boom years, most likely because the normal residents were being driven mad by the Psitanium. When there were more people in the Asylum rather than the town, Thorney committed suicide by jumping off the highest tower, and after 5 more years, the asylum closed and the city was flooded to make Lake Oblongata.

Here's what I think: the city was flooded by orders of the government, who also paid the asylum residents at the time to relocate to probably another mental institution. Houston Thorney's body was most likely found by the government as well and taken to be experimented on, because he was the asylum founder and, most likely, capable of other medical practices that could be useful in the future. So they rebuild his body with cybernetic implants (whatever was advanced enough at the time) and place him in dentistry with an implant in his brain. But the Houston personality is already severely damaged by his own exposure to Psitanium and he goes insane, so the government abandons him in the deserted island and he takes over when it tries to be reactivated, coercing Sheegor into working for him and trapping other residents in the premises to later experiment with their own forms of dementia.

Oleander then comes in and gives Loboto his current name and a new objective, to make the death tanks and help him extract the brains of children using his knowledge of the brain (hence the sneezing powder). I dunno, to me it could work, not to mention how Loboto dies: falling off the highest tower. I might be wrong, but, why does HE die like that? Couldn't it be an ironic echo?

Loboto is Bobby's father.
This has been brought up before on pretty much every Psychonauts forum ever, so why not list it here? Their skintones and bodytypes are very similar, and they both have high, creaking voices.

When Bobby was little, watching his father go slowly insane scarred and warped him into the aggressive child he is today. When the doctor was carted off to the asylum, his family crumbled financially without his dental career to support them. Bobby's mother changed their names from Loboto back to Zilch, her maiden name, so they wouldn't be associated with a sadistic lunatic.

  • Assuming that Loboto is even his real last name.
  • That would explain Bobby's terrible teeth.

  • If Fred's Genetic Memory of Napoleon Bonaparte lines up with the reality of the game's universe, his Great-Great-Great (etc.) Grandfather had dark blue skin, and his is a realistic Caucasian tone. But we don't know for sure, as we don't see Sasha's father in color, and we don't see Benny, Dean, or Edgar's parents at all, we only know skin color is disassociated with race and ethnicity. But if Bobby's father tried to extract his brain, wouldn't Bobby mention it, or at least be visibly pissed off (or at least, moreso than usual)?
  • Bobby could also be frightened of his father and keeps it a secret. Loboto could have caused Bobby's horrible teeth by experimenting on him as a child during his budding insanity, also causing Bobby to become aggressive and hateful. Bobby is probably terrified of Loboto, and he would not want anyone else knowing he is his father in fear of rejection or being mocked. We also don't know how Bobby reacted to seeing Loboto when his brain was taken out.

Psychic powers accelerate puberty.
Explains all the ToyShipping going on.
  • Alternatively, it's more of a memetic thing. All it takes is one Kid-anova (in this case, Nils Lutefisk) in a camp full of mind-readers and before long everyone is thinking about making out.

Ford Cruller is a Goon.
  • He loves bacon. Goons love bacon.
    • There's a flaw in this theory — everybody loves bacon. Does that mean Ford Cruller is everybody?
      • Well... yes. He is. Not literally everybody, but he is the entire camp staff. That's more people than most people are.

The meaty plants didn't come from Oleander's mind; they came from Ford's.
Ford loves bacon. He's the only person who professes a love of meat. The whole meat motif that Raz saw in his mind could have been Ford's invention, not Oleander's; Ford had already infiltrated Raz's mind during the Tutorial introduction. The only person who told Raz that Oleander's father was a butcher was Ford, and nothing else is seen outside the dream world to establish that fact. Oleander's memories of his father could have been altered by Ford, certainly an easy feat for "the greatest Psychonaut ever".

Dr. Loboto has something akin to Science-Related Memetic Disorder
Look at at his lab. He's a dentist. Even if he were naturally intelligent enough to build and concoct the things he does, he wouldn't have the knowhow. The Psitanium gave him a mild, uncontrollable form of telepathy and a penchant for inventing when it drove him insane. When you give an already sadistic, unstable doctor a mind exploding with ideas that came out of nowhere, it's a recipe for disaster. Notice how he doesn't seem to care about the psychic apocalypse as much as Oleander. He's just along for the ride. As long as someone is giving him money and test subjects, it's all good. If people are getting hurt, well, that's an added bonus.

The whole game takes place inside someone's mind
Look at the sun. It's smiling. That's a meteorological impossibility. The obvious answer is that the whole camp is inside someone's mind. The only question is whose.
  • An instructor seems like the most obvious choice After all, why take the time to try to maintain a camp and grow trees into shapes that would allow an unusually acrobatic ten year old use them as braces when you can just do the whole thing in someone's head.
  • Raz himself is a candidate too. The whole thing could be planned to not only let him come to control his psychic powers but also resolve the personal issues making him a chancy operative.
  • This is practically confirmed by game mechanics. If you die inside a mind, you lose an "astral projection layer", since you're not infiltrating the mind as deeply, or something. But you still lose astral projection layers if you die in Whispering Rock. So you must be astrally projected into Whispering Rock.
  • Pfft. I thought it was obvious. We are inside Tim Schafer's mind!
    • He DOES believe in games as "wish-fulfillments"...
    • There's something to this - the tagline of the game is "A psychic adventure from the mind of Tim Schafer.

Whether or not a camper earns their Basic Braining merit badge doesn't matter; what the counselors really care about is what they do during the class period.
Although Cruller claims that nobody is allowed to leave the cabin area without their Basic Braining badge, it's clear that this isn't actually the case since Phoebe and Quentin make a point of not going and are allowed to go to the lodge once the class period is over. It doesn't even block them from taking other classes, since they both took Milla's.

Also notice how Oleander only kicked kids out of his mind when they freeze up or give up. Elton asks to back out immediately, and is blown up straight out the gate. Benny freaks out when he notices Bobby isn't close by, gets kicked out. Crystal and Clem give up on the punching game, and are kicked out when somebody else finishes it for them. Dogan, on the other hand, got to stay even though he couldn't get through the mine field on his own, because he kept trying even though it meant being blown up over and over.

So, I think the Basic Braining class has very little to do with whether or not a camper can make it to the end and get their badge, and everything to do with whether they go in to begin with in spite of the horror stories about what the Coach does in there, how long they stick it out without giving up, whether or not they can push back the part of their mind that tries to keep them from doing things that would injure them if they were in their physical bodies and keep the shock of it from jolting them out on their own (I'm willing to bet that J.T,, Elka, and Chops would have been allowed to keep going on if they'd just chosen to let go of the trapeze to keep moving instead of clinging until their hands slipped; Raz certainly doesn't suffer any negative effects from doing so), and not only if they can keep going on but whether they have the patience to hold back when needed (see the rolling tunnel, where trying to run straight through will lead to Raz falling off when you reach a part that's too slanted for him to keep his footing on).

Campers who shine across the board get focused on as potential future Psychonauts regardless of whether or not they actually make it all the way to the end of the course or need to be helped out by the Coach because they just aren't yet skilled enough to make it on their own even thought they keep trying (the "good men" he mentions needing to go back for at the end of class), while the others get to go to the fun classes, like levitation, and get what training they need to control their powers, but that's it.

Of course, those who fail at it miserably can make up for it later once they've gained more confidence by either making another run of it for extra credit and managing better, or by coming back the next year and having a fresh shot at it. Nobody's going to be counted out completely on their very first day, it's just weeding out who's already mentally capable of dealing with situations that cause more strain than dance parties.

Most of the residents of Thorney Towers are actually sane.

Early on in the game, Sasha explains that all sane people have censors to keep peoples' brains in order. In the minds of most of the residents, you will run into censors. If they were truly insane, there would be no censors!

  • They have them, but that doesn't mean they work all that well, or that there's enough of them to provide a healthy amount of support. Perhaps being insane is a bit like being immunodeficient - people with weak immune systems still have antibodies, they're just not working at full capacity.
    • Or maybe it's like being autoimmune: the censors start attacking the psyche instead of protecting it.
  • While Sasha said that all sane people have censors, he never said insane people didn't have them.
    • Sasha theorizes that Raz could have been attacked by what they think are his own censors because Raz could be insane — but they'll test for that later. So insane people still have censors, they're just not working properly.

This takes place in the same universe as MOTHER

Psitanium is from another planet.PSI is exclusive to Giygas' planet. This game clearly takes place somewhere between Earthbound and MOTHER 3, as there are plenty of psychics running around. Furthermore, Mother 1 had items that recharged PP called "PSI stones". Sound familiar? In addition,psychic abilities can be inherited in both series, so Augustus could be Ninten, Ness or a relative of one of them.

What Raz thinks is The Hand of Galochio trying to drown him is actually psychic protection placed on him by a family member.

That's why it deposits him safely back on shore without doing any harm after grabbing him. He thinks it's pulling him under to kill him, but it's actually getting him back out of the water ASAP, even if he wasn't in any danger to start with. Underwater when the hands look like they're creepily hovering right at the edge of the bubble to grab him if he goes through it, they're actually positioned to shove him back into it if he accidentally falls out, and apparently do so.

The only thing that doesn't fit is when it beckons him into the water the first time we see it, but the fact that Elton didn't see it could have been a sign that it was just a figment of Raz's imagination that time, and doesn't actually show up if he's not getting dunked.

  • I would like to note one thing: according to the manual, only Raz and his family can see The Hand of Galochio. Plus, if The Hand is suppose to help Raz, then why does it try to grab him when he tries to use Levitation on the water in Milla's Dance Party?
  • Perhaps Raz's Censors damaged it? After all, if it was put in place by a foreign mind, wouldn't it come under fire from Censors?

The curse of the Hand of Galochio is actually a psychic attack.

The family that cursed the Aguatos were also psychics and the curse is more paranormal than supernatural. They used their powers to instill a psychic command in Raz's family that makes their telekinesis go haywire near water.

Most of the characters minds are susceptible to Alternate Character Interpretation.
I mean, think about it. Most of the time, the people who are depicted as "Wronging" the mind of another character are evil. In Raz and Morceau's mind, this is shown with Augustus Aquato being evil in Raz's interpretation, but he's really an okay guy. Meaning that characters like the Butcher may not be all that bad, they're just bad because of how the characters view them.
  • Augustus didn't seem evil in Raz's memories, just disapproving and strict. Which fits in with what we know about him.
    • But why would the real one threaten the life of Raz? Other then for training purposes, if he was training Raz like that (with water), he wouldn't be able to save Raz, he's cursed too, if he used water, chances are Raz would have fallen in at least once, and that most likely would have killed him, and Augustus, since he's- You get it.
      • The real Augustus never threatened Razputin's life. He only believed his father hated him, because he was always strict and trained him hard in acrobatics. Add that he disapproved of his psychical abilities without explaining why, an impressionable child like Razputin would build up the fear that Augustus hated him to the point of wishing to kill him - simply to have an explanation why his father was so distant and didn't seem to care for him. That assumption tinted all of Razputin's perception of his father. That assumption is what is trying to kill him inside his mind by letting him drown.
  • This is very likely for the butcher. A WMG point somewhere below elaborates that Mr. Oleander was just a normal butcher who killed Mr. Bun for business, not the horrible monster we see in the Meat Circus. Mr. Oleander might have explained the rabbits were bred to be butchered and sold for their income, but little Oly was too young to understand. It's likely he wasn't aware he had traumatized his son, so he went about their life as if nothing had happened - because to his eyes, nothing out of the norm had. Maybe he even wondered why Morceau was acting strange and due further misunderstandings, little Oly came to believe he had to 'man up' so he could prove himself to his father.
  • It's quite possible that the real Dean La Grante wasn't really as much of a Jerkass as the matador character he became in Edgar's mental world.

The Bulldog in Edgar's mind deliberately got "stuck" in that nook in his mind to keep the conflict with the bull from reaching its inevitable end.
Based on the guess in Just Bugs Me that the fight has played out in his mind time after time in the past but without Raz's assistance it always ended in Bull-Edgar's death: the latter art dogs that Raz meets seem to represent some of the most stable portions of Edgar's mind, that know full well what the true story behind Edgar's issues are but can't do anything to fix them.

But the Bulldog eventually realized that there was one thing that it could do to at least keep Edgar from harming his mind yet again; the bullfight would not begin until he painted an ad for it outside of Diego's window, so as long as he manifested in a place where he couldn't possibly reach the spot he was meant to paint at, the cycle couldn't continue. Once Raz showed up and stopped the bull, the Bulldog couldn't fight the compulsion to do that job he was created to perform, but by that point, they might have suspected that Raz would be able to break the cycle completely anyway.

The cast of Psychonauts isn't actually as physically deformed as it looks. It's all in Raz's head.
Throughout the game, Clairvoyance allows Raz to see how other people view him. For example, Crystal and Clem see him as a football player and Ford sees him as a Psychonaut. The way we see the campers and other characters is as if we were using Clairvoyance on Raz. Hence, they aren't actually as multi-colored or strangely shaped as they appear to be. It's just Raz's view of them. (Most of the characters having overly large heads, Sasha's head being shaped like a square, Lili having only four fingers on each hand...)
  • If you use Clairvoyance on an NPC to view another NPC, they look EXACTLY the same as they do through Raz's eyes, so we can't be seeing them as only Raz sees them.

The game takes place far into the future of Golden Sun.
Similar to the earlier Mother example, really. Psynergy stones are purple rocks that restore mental power, and either a) mutate/drive insane or b) give said mental power to what/who they may come into contact with (who isn't already in possession of the aforementioned power).
In Golden Sun (and/or The Lost Age) the following are demonstrated:
  • Pyrokinesis (flare, pyroclasm, etc)
  • Telepathy (mind read)
  • Telekinesis (most psynergy, but move and lash are easy examples)
  • Invisibility (cloak)
  • Levitation (hover)
  • Blasts in general (force, slash, etc)
  • An odd variation of clairvoyance (reveal).
  • There are also hints of shielding used by the elemental djinn (Granite, related djinni; there was also an unused move called "Reflect", but since there isn't any information on what it would do, we can only speculate. The name itself is telling, though) and, in an odd, rather immature way, a vague type of confusion (the Venus djinni, Mold, and I quote: "(Monster name), stop hitting yourself!" (also worth a mention are: anything that inflicts the "delude" effect, and Baffle Card; these only affect physical attacks, though))
    The aforementioned purple rocks came from Mt. Aleph, when it erupted early in the original Golden Sun, and, in The Lost Age, said mountain sunk into the ground. It could be that Whispering Rock is located on top of it, and that Ford found the original source of the psitanium/psyenergy stones. This would explain some ground-related questions, but create entirely new ones (like, oh, say, geography)
On a side note, being an adept/psychic is usually inherited. During the Golden Sun era, a person is usually associated with an element, but there are examples of psyenergy without one (like force), and, arguably, some of the psychics are tied to some element or another, anyway. (Elton and water, Lily and plant life, etc)

Morry's father was not, in fact, a Jerkass.
He was simply a butcher, and the rabbits were his. That is to say, "Mr. Bun" wasn't technically Oleander's pet; he and his fellows were in fact rabbits raised to have tender, delicious meat — a specialty for which Mr. Oleander was locally famous, which enabled him to sell the rabbit meat at relatively exorbitant prices, which went a long way towards keeping food on his family's table.

He never said that the rabbits were only good for their meat, but that they were bred and raised specifically to be butchered and sold, in that order. Little Oly was simply too young to understand this, however, and his psychic powers granted him a much higher level of empathy towards the rabbits than even the average middle class child in an industrialized nation (which is, to say, a heckuva lot), which would only make the reality of their inevitable slaughter seem all the more horrible to the impressionable young Morry.

So, while what Mr. Oleander did might seem reprehensible at first glance, from his perspective it would have been no worse than a farmer sending a cow to the slaughter. It might have been a tad callous, since Little Oly almost certainly would have shown fairly obvious signs of emotional attachment to Mr. Bun and his ilk, but no one has ever said that sensitivity and sentimentality were character traits conducive to being a good butcher. My point here is that, ultimately, Mr. Oleander was just providing for his family in the only way he knew how — by cutting up animals for their precious fat and proteins, which he could then sell to the masses at a modest profit.

  • This actually makes a great deal of sense. There's no evidence of other abuse in the relationship with his father, and based on the other half of the Meat Circus, it's clear that it's all too easy for a young, impressionable psychic to make dangerous assumptions.
    • While I see this as perfectly valid, and given the nature of the game there's no way to tell for sure, I have a counterargument. I'm going to assume that Oleander's father lived with him throughout his entire childhood, instead of dying or something like that along the way, so even this theory isn't impenetrable. Anyway, I can completely understand Lil' Oly not understanding why his father was killing his precious bunnies when he was, say, five, but Mr. Bun couldn't have been the last animal that his father killed. He most likely continued his profession as a butcher as Oleander grew up, which should have given him time to learn and process the concept. By the time he was, say, Raz's age, the fact that his father killed animals to keep food on the table should have been able to properly sink in, assuming his father continued to properly explain it to him. And the fact that this is clearly not the case seems to indicate otherwise. Obviously, he's not the cannibalistic monster that his son sees him to be, but following this logic shows that he did a very crummy job of explaining sensitive concepts to him. Also, on a side note, we still know for a fact that he butchered Mr. Bun right in front of his son. Regardless of whether or not the bunny had sentimental significance, that is not something a small child should be exposed to.
      • This would also arguably make him a sort of counterpart to Razputin's dad as well, since if this WMG had any bit of truth in it, both Little Oly's Dad and Augustus would be well-intended but unintentionally emotionally distant and negligent parents. The key difference is that Oly internalized his fears much worse than Raz did, due to a combination of being much more impressionable from his youth, AND on top of being subjecting to something MUCH more traumatizing by comparison (because let's be frank; having living animals butchered in front of you, by accident or not, is a HELL of a lot more horrifying than having an overly strict dad who appeared to overwork you too much, even if the latter is still traumatizing in it's own way.)

Whispering Rock is Lovecraft Country in a really mild way
Whispering Rock may not have corrupt hicks who worship nightmarish beings of unfathomable power, but given the presence of the mind-breaking Psitanium in the area, one could have nasty hallucinations while being there. The first people who explored the place called the eponymous Psitanium "Whispering Rock", which means having this weird mineral nearby for a prolonged time makes you hear voices. This also explains Boyd's worsening insanity, hearing moaning and crying deep inside the asylum tower and the clouds and sun apparently having faces on them. Oh, and have I mentioned those weird glowing walls with weird patterns you find at the bottom of the lake?

Raz's goggles have a reason
When you go into a mind, imagine it as sort of like a lucid dream. Now, Raz is still a young Psycadet, so he needs a reminder that he's in there as to not lose control of his own mind. The red lenses are why he has the goggles; if they were clear, they would be no use. The other Psychonauts have been doing this for years, so they're in complete control.
  • No one else needs them, though. They're probably just to look cool (and not to mention to stop Den Mothers from plucking out his eyes).
    • Raz has the least issues of all of the cadets (assuming that the ones we know less about are just undocumentedly troubled), so maybe the goggles *are* good for him.
    • Granted, he is the only cadet to have visited a mind that isn't being monitored by one of the counselors. Oleander booted kids out when they got in over their heads (like Elka, JT and Chops on the trapeze), Sasha was picky about who he would start teaching, and Milla was more focused on having fun with the campers, steering them away when they got into trouble (as evidenced by the Nightmare room). The minds of Linda, Boyd, Gloria, Edgar and — of course — the Meat Circus wouldn't be quite that safe, and may have put a mental visitor at risk in this way.
  • Alternatively, it might serve as a means for Raz to focus his psychic powers better by providing a specific point for him to channel his energies into.

Dogen is actually evil
Everyone acts like he's stupid because his hat keeps him from using his brain at all, he even says that he couldn't kill EVERYONE, implying that he may very well desire to kill most of them for treating him that way. According to the Psycho-pedia, Elka has precognitive powers, and may have foreseen her death when she asked Dogen why he didn't remove his hat and kill her, he doesn't know why he doesn't, implying it's likely he may desire doing so, just because he's annoyed by her.
  • Gee, thanks, I really needed that. I don't want to know what that implies about his friendship with Raz, then, since using clairvoyance on good ol' Mr. Boole shows that he sees him as his hat... Maybe a fellow megalomaniac in the making... in the best case scenario.
    • Dogen is probably jealous because he knows that hat doesn't limit powers. Also, you're welcome.
    • The reason for Dogen seeing Raz as his hat could be because of their friendship: much like how the hat restrains his powers, he subconsciously trusts Raz to keep him from doing something potentially awful should the need arise.

One of the G Men is actually Truman Zanotto.
Look at the facts. He says, "Gross, I totally wouldn't let you date my daughter" to Raz. Proof right there.
  • But they all say that when you show them the plunger. Hang on, they're all inside Boyd's mind ... he must be Truman Zanotto in disguise!

Oleander's evil plan had nothing to do with his childhood trauma
And everything to do with being kicked out of the military because he was too short. Congrats, the whole solving his childhood trauma thing? IT DID NOTHING TO MAKE HIM GIVE UP HIS EVIL AMBITIONS.
  • Dealing with his childhood trauma may have at least reminded him what it was like to be a little kid who felt bad when things died, hence why he was so apologetic at the end of the game. (Of course, that still doesn't mean he isn't working on an evil plan that involves less violence and more taking over.)
    • Not to mention, he is a high-ranking international secret agent. He may have been upset about being rejected from the military proper, but it was probably nowhere near as bad as his relationship with his father.

Raz and his family are Cursed with Awesome.
Raz is destined to die in water. That may seem like a bad thing, but it also means Raz can't be killed by other means — such as by heights, or tanks, or psychic grizzly bears.
  • Though if the wording of the curse is actually "dying in water" but they assume it just means drowning (like it seems Raz might), they could end up in a No Man of Woman Born situation where they assume they're safe any time there's no water around deep enough to drown in but rain/fire sprinklers/anything along those lines would actually leave them vulnerable to any dangers in the area.

Darts will be a part of the sequel, be it a large role or cameo
They can probably render his hat nowadays.

The Gold Watch from the scavenger hunt is the same seen in "Boyd: Hired again!"
The watch is the only scavenger hunt item that isn't within camp boundaries — it would make sense if, originally, it was somewhere in Whispering Rock, since Thorny Towers is 'off limits' or whatnot. It only 'migrated' because Oleander used it to hypnotize Boyd. The placement makes sense, since it wouldn't be needed after it had done its job — maybe it was just carelessly tossed over a shoulder and happened to land in the fountain. If campers like Nils and Elton are anything to go by, it certainly wouldn't be missed back at Whispering Rock, so there was no incentive to bring it back. Maybe I'm reading too far into this, and it's just a way to keep players from reaching an absurd rank before Lungfishopolis, but these are people who plan for the bizarre.
  • Just looked the watch up on Psychopedia and saw this exact theory... I feel really stupid, now...

Quentin has cryokinetic powers.
Yes, he's got levitation, but he also talks about being "chill" and wears a scarf (and sees Raz as dressed in warm clothes). Makes sense for him to be paired up with Phoebe.

Psychonauts is set in the 60s.
Playing the game again, I'm getting a real 60s vibe. One teacher is a hippie, another is a government G-man, and the third is a screaming war buff. To top it off, everything is really colorful and the main story involves learning to control psychic powers. And when was the last time you saw a traveling circus with a gypsy? There are even more hints like that, if you look.
  • I'm sorry... which one is a hippie? Milla certainly isn't. She's a Go-Go chick, certainly, but she's anything but a hippie.
    • "First question: what do you think the queen is drinking right now? Second question: what was your favourite sci-fi miniseries from the 80's?". Now a psychic could look into the future I suppose, but using your powers to watch tomorrow's TV is just silly.
  • Maloof mentions that the staff hasn't put campers in the GPC since "the fifties", while the tree cutting in the parking lot claims the camp is less than a decade old. Since it would make more sense for Maloof to say "for a few years" if it was something that happened in the recent past, it seems like the game is just deliberately trying to obfuscate exactly when it takes place by throwing around contradictory information.
    • Not necessarily. People wouldn't generally bat an eyelid if someone said "back in the 90's" to refer to something that happened in the recent past. It could be the same here.
  • Don't be silly, we know when it's set: Octember!
  • Bonita also mentions selling old mementos on the internet, and the telephone operator G-Man acknowledges that mobile phones will one day make his job obsolete, which further confuses things.
    • Boyd's mind is a Fifties style suburbia. Boyd knows cell phones exist, but in his mindscape they don't.
  • Considering the Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin trailer making a lot of very obvious nods to 60s spy movies, particularly with the song, it seems like this is quite true. At least an alternate version of the 60s. It definitely seems intentional. The 60s art deco style aesthetic is very apparent in concept art for the first game, and even more obvious now in Ro R now that tech has advanced far enough for the art style to be rendered with so much more detail and thus possible to do more justice.

This story has a combination of power born of madness and personality power.
3/4 of the teachers have a serious mental problem. You get most of your power by stealing it from other peoples mental problems. Furthermore, you get combat powers from somebody who's suppressing a-lot. You learn Shield from a terrified fish. You learn Clairvoyance from a paranoid person who appears not to be psychic. You learn confusion from a mental and confused painter. It appears that all power in this game comes from insanity and you can only hope to be using someone else's insanity. Psitanium both makes people unstable and gives them powers. It must be metal insanity.
  • Actually, Boyd showed signs of being psychic— he lit the Molotov Milk Bottles without any ignition source, after all, and did spout lines that were relevant to the plot, which means that he might be clairvoyant, himself. Edgar was obsessive compulsive— he knew exactly what he was doing, but nothing he did ever met his expectations. Sasha made a point of explaining that mental focus was important, and didn't seem to be suppressing anything. And, while Psitanium can drive people insane, it's more of an amplifier— it makes psychics stronger and exacerbates any mental issues already present. It even helps Ford stay sane.

Raz on some level knows his father is not as bad as he thinks.
Removing Raz's mental image of his father would make the butcher impossible to defeat the second time and quite frankly, even ignoring the necessity of the bombs, they are as likely to give you health as take it away if you're levitating or dodging the bombs. If you consider the knife thrower to also be a translation of your dad, there is another example. Raz's own mind is set up so his father is the solution to the worst problems presented. Given the nature of the level, I'm allowed to read too far into this, and say this reflects Raz's beliefs as well as any mental vault. The mental image father's help actually represents Raz's own knowledge that his father is there to help him even if it doesn't always seem that way.

D'art is a member of the Galochio family.
Just because.
  • The fic writing potion of the fandom has already pounced upon this.

Sasha Nein's character design was inspired by Cesare from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Go here and look in particular at the picture near the bottom. I can't find a very clear picture, but on the picture of Cesare at the carnival, the similarity is very apparent (including the exaggerated hair part). Also, the film and Nein are both German.

Oleander and Loboto are the same person
Loboto is just Oleander wearing a disguise. Loboto wears a huge, loose smock to disguise the fact that his legs are stilts, and his eyes look so blank because his head is a puppet. His claw "prosthetic" simply fits over Oleander's hand. Oleander created this alternative persona both to avoid being witnessed in the evil plan, as well as to psychologically distance himself from his more reprehensible acts. He's more comfortable with his alter ego doing the morally wrong things such as actively removing the kids' brains; Oleander never believes himself to actually be Loboto, he just takes on that role, like an actor fulfilling a temporary purpose. This is why, upon entering Oleander's mind, Raz sees Loboto removing Dogen's brain in real time; Raz is simply witnessing what Oleander is doing at that moment. Later, when Loboto falls from the tower, we never see him hit the bottom because (being a competent psychic coach) he uses levitation before impact. This also explains why Oleander somehow instantly knows he needs to stop Raz, Sasha, Milla, and Lili ASAP. Lastly, this explains why the two characters have the same voice actor.
  • We only see Oleander and Loboto together in Linda's flashback; seeing as Linda is just a fish, she could easily be simplifying separate events into a single memory and remembering both of Oleander's personae at once, despite only seeing separately in reality.
  • As of Rhombus of Ruin, this is jossed.

Psychonauts is set in the same universe as Metal Gear Solid.
The two games are set in the same universe and Psycho Mantis from MGS went through similar training as the kids in Psychonauts (either in the USA or in his home country) before entering special forces. If the game is set in the 60's (see earlier WMG), the Russian kid could be from the same camp/training facility and know Mantis.

Everyone wears gloves for a reason.
Psychic energy and projection seems to largely involve the use of one's hands: Raz uses his fists to throw astral punches and cast PSI blasts, not to mention the classic Psychonaut pose of one-hand-to-head, other-hand-outstretched-to-control-psychic-powers.

My guess is that psychics use their bodies along with their minds to work their brand of magic, using skin and fingers to release psychic energy. In the case of powerful psychics (like Sasha, Milla, Oleander, and Raz), energy can be released or transferred accidentally through skin, especially hands: a mind may be read unwillingly or a stranger may fall victim to a confusion grenade, just from a handshake or a brush of shoulders. For this reason, Psychics tend to avoid human contact unless necessary (i.e, undercover in situations where gloves would draw attention), and wear gloves and long-sleeved shirts despite the summer heat.

As for Ford? He's so experienced he's learned to control it.

Boyd burned down the orphanage and Milla's nightmares are the result of a subconscious desire for revenge
It's completely possible that Boyd wasn't caught directly after burning down his previous workplace. My guess is that he went on an arson spree, culminating in the fire at Milla's orphanage. It's also mentioned that psitanium is responsible for greater instability, accounting for the existence of her nightmares outside of their personal cage, and allowing them to leak into Boyd's psyche through the collective unconscious and driving him into a greater state of instability.
  • This also explains how Oleander found him. When he needed an insane person who could burn down the asylum on a whim, he found out from Milla what happened to the arsonist who burned down her orphanage, either through asking her or sneaking into her mind while she was asleep.
  • And it would explain why out of every level in Psychonauts, the only minds where Nightmares show up are Milla's and Boyd's: It's hinting that their pasts are more linked than either of them realize! That and Boyd's insanity might be covering up the guilt that he feels when he realizes what he did to the orphanage.

The Asylum Inmates weren't originally at Thorny Towers
As pointed out on the headscratchers page, the Inmates all seem far too young to have been in the asylum for the decades since it was abandoned. So my theory is that Oleander brought them there From a different (perhaps Psychonaut Run) institution, under the guise of a "special treatment program" for various reasons. Loboto was brought there to Assist Oleander with his plan for world domination, Crispin and Sheegor were dragged along to be his Assistants. Crispin brought Fred along to amuse himself, and Boyd was there to be the guard/failsafe after being mentally programed by Oleander. and as for Gloria and Edgar, thier all that remains of a series of poor souls who were brought to Loboto so he could experiment on thier brains.

Sasha is celibate or in some other way opposed to sex.
In Sasha's memories, he's traumatized at a young age by his father's memories of his mother (namely, his father remembering his mother during sex). In one of Milla's reels, the pair jump out of an exploding building and Milla lands face down on Sasha, who looks very very uncomfortable while she looks at the least happy about it.

There never was a tiffany lamp in Sasha's mother's room when she died.
Sasha just hates them so much, he involuntarily remembers them in places that also hold painful memories for him.

The G-Men in the Milkman Conspiracy are all part of a Flock of Wolves
When you use Clairvoyance on them, they see each other as regular people they're supposed to be disguised as (notably, as most of the time the only person that looks different when using it is Raz himself). It follows that all of them think they're lone agents hiding amongst the populace, gathering information about the Milkman, when in fact the entire populace is made up of undercover agents. This is why they keep spouting non-sequiturs about their disguises when you aren't nearby - they're trying (successfully) to convince each other that they're genuine people. This idiocy is the reason Raz can fool them with the same trick.

Lili is a Florakinetic.
Power over plants isn't an uncommon superpower, psychic or otherwise. For example, Poison Ivy or Marluxia. It'd also explain her affinity for flowers.

Sheegor is related to Dogen in some way.
She's his mother or aunt or older sister or cousin or something.

Bonita is female, she's just a heavy smoker.
She's just like Doctor Mrs. The Monarch!
  • Alternatively, she could be a trans woman. Older trans women often have voices like that- hormones do nothing for raising voice pitch, so sometimes women have surgery to tighten their vocal chords. Perhaps one of Gloria's teachers was a trans woman, and also one of the people there who was genuinely positive to be around and helped Gloria find genuine joy in her acting- to the point where her inner muse took on her old teacher's voice.

When Indians fashioned arrowheads out of the psitanium, many of them became the powerful psychic Vell-Os of Escape Velocity: Nova that left Earth
The Vell-Os in that game were once psychic Indians that had left Earth in Circa 980 AD using psychic abilities. It's not unlikely their power came from the Psitanium motherlode.

Ford recycles the arrowheads.
After every session of summer camp, he randomly reburies the arrowheads so they can be claimed by the next bunch of campers. This way, the campgrounds never run out of arrowheads to be found.

Mr. Bun was killed for being too small
A small bunny won't make a big enough steak, so when the Butcher saw that he wasn't up to snuff, he killed him so the rabbit food he ate wouldn't go to waste. Consider that the dawn of Oleander's Napoleon Complex.

Dogen's hat is an inverse Magic Feather.

Psitanium will eventually overrun the world.
  • It won't be for a long time, but as long Psychics continue producing the stuff in their mind, and taking it outside, it will continue accumulating. As more psychics are born and trained, this process will accelerate, either slowly driving the rest of the population insane, or alternately, it'll happen slowly enough for the rest to develop pyschic powers. Eventually the world be covered in Psitanium, either warping reality into a Nightmarish Dream World, or allowing everybody to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.

Boyd really IS the Milkman
  • The only job he was ever good at was delivering milk. Problem is, milkmen don't really exist anymore. After being laid off, he kept trying and failing at getting a new job.

The summer camp had a planned event at the insane asylum
Basically, they wanted to be able to show their trainees the mind of an insane person and how to survive within. So, they bought up the old insane asylum, brought in a few relatively harmless patients. They're usually kept at a different facility, only staying at the dilapidated tower for a few days. The camp kids would have visited the facility the day after the game took place (explaining the PSI cards and scavenger hunt item), but then the whole Oleander mess went down, and their learning areas were cured by Raz, so that didn't go through.

Lili will be playable as in a tag-team with Raz
To step up from the first game, and probably to in more ways than one make up for Lili being a D.I.D, along with fleshing out more story to their new relationship, Lili with join Raz in his newest, craziest and possibly most complicated adventure yet, which will include facing the source of his family curse. In Psychonauts 2, we'll get to see Raz and Lili tag-team to face various problems and challenges, which will require them and the player to fully utilize their respective abilities, while also covering for their respective shortcomings.

The events of Psychonauts to Psychonauts 2 are connected
Doesn't it seem like the events of Psychonauts, Rhombus of Ruin and 2 are happening in a sort of rapid succession. Oleander's insanity-induced plot, Trueman's kidnapping, Loboto being hired to try and steal Raz's Brain by an unknown individual, the Psychonauts' Dragon making drastic and amoral changes in the organization's direction, also "Raz soon uncovers sinister things at work in the shadows of Psychonauts headquarters, including double agents and evils of the past. Raz's own family history plays a pivotal part in the story, and Raz must confront the roots of the curse placed on his family once and for all. And also deal with this whole 'girlfriend' term and what it really means. :)" With his family involved, maybe certain people besides the Psychonauts are keeping an eye on him and them for whatever reason, but it may also include Raz' family having many enemies and Raz' psychic talents. What if the plots of Psychonauts and Ro R were just distractions for a much bigger plot in 2? Something this big he's going to need Lili's help for 1. she's a highly trained PSI-cadet with skills to back Raz up in various problems and challenges are case like this are sure to bring 2. since as a cadet, she isn't compromised or slowed down by the system, and her knowledge and connection with the Psychonauts is sure to help Raz do the same, and so on.

Example of: