Ooh, actually, if Zoe is still dreaming, that could kinda work... Like Zoe's seb-conscious going 'right, I need to do something extreme so that she wakes up now?'
Given how often the words "Wake up" come up in Book Two (even more often than in Book One), that kind of escalation was to be expected.
The interesting thing about this topic is what I learned about me. When I realised she is planning an assault I tried to run away as fast as slow motion took me to a "savespot" (an entrance around the corner with walls to the center of the explosion) to be save from the explosion.
It seems you and I are the only people here who ran the frakk away. :-/ I don't know about your experiences with suicide bombers, guys, but mine tells me that if you see one and you have time to run for cover, DO THAT. When the cutscene then showed Zoe running headlong into the blast, I was really disappointed. For a game that is usually so clever with choices, it really didn't foresee the possibility of the players doing the sane thing in such a situation? I mean, I get it that it's totally in-character for Zoe to attempt to stop a friend from killing herself, potentially after just losing another. And making that scene interactive was supposed to help us feel her anguish and helplessness. But what's the point of making it interactive if we can't really leave the rails, anyway? Could have just as well made it a cutscene.
In Dreamfall when Zoë was in Marcuria she was physically there - but not quite fully, as the White Dragon implied. Maybe now Zoë is capable of doing the exact same thing also in Stark? The events in Europolis probably are real (like the events in Marcuria), but Zoë is dreaming herself there. That's what a "Dreamer" (not meaning the Dreamachine) means in the series - the ability to dream yourself physically to another world.
I gotta agree with that theory. The money question is, however, where IS Zoe's old physical body? As you've correctly pointed out, she has only been able to go to Arcadia and Winter in DF, implying that that's because her real body slept in Stark. If she can now project her dream presence into Stark, as well, it means that either we got her powers wrong, they evolved between games, or her body is no longer in Stark.
If you chose the Baruti-data path, then those two events one after the other are enough to send anyone into shock.
Nope. I was actually quite unfazed by it. I already expected shit to go down bad when I saw all those patrols in Propast in Book Two, so I entered a Total Zoe Preservation Mode: where I am ready to sacrifice any NPC if that means boosting Zoe's chances of surviving that mess (which is part of the reason I am bitter about that cutscene override with Nela). I already lost a female lead on my watch. Not one more.