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The Villains of Dreamfall Chapters


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#1 WorldsReunited

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 15:17

Now that we’ve finished Dreamfall Chapters I think it might be worth taking a look at the quote, unquote villains of the game because there is quite a lot going on and quite a few patterns. Random rambling below.

 

First off all… all politicians are evil. Onor Hileriss obviously, as well as Dieter Gross, Konstantin Wolf and Lea Uminska. The Marxists are fine though, they just get framed for stuff and they actually can't make a difference anyway. I guess yhis is line with the TLJ’s all corporations are evil. Now in this one the focus seemed to be mostly on WATI and the EYE as the evil corporations until it was eventually revealed that Helena Chang and JIVA were the real threat.

 

Speaking of which… Shaya and Vamon weren’t the real threat, but Mother Utana was. The Yaga wasn’t threatening the world, the Undreaming was. Roper Klacks wasn’t the Prophet, but Brian Westhouse was. There were lots of character who weren't as important as they believed they were. And in the end it got a bit confusing to me and it become hard to figure out who actually wanted to do what. Samantha Gillmore and the Twins didn't even return this time around. Shaya and Vamon barely made any impact. Klacks was just a lackey and the Yaga didn't have such bad intentions after all. Yaga and Undreaming were seperate entities, but basically went through the exact same storyline of 'everything has to be in balance'. 

 

So let me see if I got this right...

 

- Gillmore and WATI just wanted to sell toys and got to play with Eigana I for a little while.

- The EYE / Political groups wanted control.

- JIVA and Chang wanted to reshape reality using Eigana II. Fooled WATI into making them seem relevant. 

- There is also the White Lady who talked to Faith. Could that be Chang? Doesn't really line up. 

- Hileriss wanted to get elected in the City Watch and become a prominant politcal figure. Also killing magicals.

- Shaya wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Vamon and take control. Shaya also believed they were doing the work of the Godess.

- Vamon wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Shaya and take control. 

- Klacks wanted power as promised to him by the Prophet.

- Utana wanted... I'm not really sure what Utana wanted in the end. She seemed confused about the whole killing magicals thing.

- Brian wanted reunification and eridicate magicals.

- The Yaga wanted to be known and feared, they turned out to be an unncessary evil.

- The Undreaming had ambitions and wanted to destroy, but then was shown by Zoe/Lux that balance was necessary.

- Then there is... the Goddess as well, I think. Was she the ghost in the machine that talked to Crow? 

 

It's eh... kinda messy and not all of it makes sense to me yet. For example: why would it be important for WATI to coincide with the completion of the Tower? The completion of the Tower also seemed to have been moved ahead from 3 months after Dreamfall to 1.5 years. 

 

All the things... 

 


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#2 Barentity

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 22:10

There seem to be at least three different fundamental oppositions / binaries in the TLJ cosmology, with Balance between all of them:

  • Magic versus science / Chaos versus order
  • Light versus darkness / Lux versus Nox(Yaga) / Light versus Shadow / Dream versus Nightmare
  • Dream versus Undream / Creation versus Destruction / Life versus Death

None of them are evil or good in themselves, rather the Balance between each opposition is good and imbalance is bad.

 

Brian's motivation is a little bit unclear to me, since near the end he says he'll be able to go home finally, as if that's what he really wanted. Although Chang says roughly how she wants to reshape reality, Brian doesn't mention that. This links into Cortez's motivation. It sounded like Cortez and the monks knew what they were doing. But I'm not entirely sure what they wanted to achieve.

 

Probably best not to worry about the precise timing of the project completion. It's just to show us that the two projects are connected I think.


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#3 wedfvbghy

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 03:51

First off all… all politicians are evil. 

Some are not evil, but those seem to be ineffectual. Not only Marxists, but also The Six appear like that. Unfortunately, that just looks all too life-like...

 

 

Speaking of which… Shaya and Vamon weren’t the real threat, but Mother Utana was.  

They're all parts of a single conspiracy in Azadi ruling elite created by Prophet to further his own goals. We can call them the Kill-Magic Party. All of them (that we know of) were quite a threat throughout the story.

And even by themselves, seemingly without direct help or explicit commands from Utana, Sahya and Vamon killed and sent to concentration camps enough people. That includes April Ryan. When our PCs have to hide in Marcuria, it's usually from troops responding to those two. They also were preparing their own coup within Azadi empire separately from Kill-Magic Party; that was most likely to turn out bloody, with more violence and death of innocents. They weren't the smartest or most effective of villains, and they didn't survive their own folly. But why weren't they a real threat?

 

 

Roper Klacks wasn’t the Prophet, but Brian Westhouse was.

That was kinda obvious from the very prologue of the Dreamfall TLJ, and further supported by White Dragon death scene. So little surprise here. It would made less sense for the Prophet to be Klacks.

 

 

There were lots of character who weren't as important as they believed they were.

From the very beginning Dreamfall was a story of the 3 PCs fighting against the Dream Thief. The plot was long and convoluted, as befits TLJ games. Twists and red herrings came and went in abundance. But the basic 

structure remained the same all the time, and it's always been noticeable. And since one side threatens to remake or destroy the world, and the other is a bunch of Chosen Ones that save it, everybody else have to be the support cast.

Some, like Sahya and Vamon, preferred to think that they are the Chosen Ones. Well, no such luck. Even if you share the point of view by Cortez that you must choose yourself for heroic deeds, thinking so obviously isn't enough. And again, that shouldn't be much of a surprise for us, when we know all powers and personalities involved.

 

Samantha Gillmore and the Twins didn't even return this time around.

That really was a pity. But it somehow makes sense that conspiracies to destroy/remake two worlds are above her competence...

 

 

Shaya and Vamon barely made any impact.

So much work of driving the plot, so little recognition...  :) Not everyone can be the Big Bad Boss! Not everyone is content to be a mere mook!
Seriously, though, they just got a little too big cutscenes of their own in Chapters. In Dreamfall TLJ, they don't even look that important.

 

 

So let me see if I got this right...

 

- Gillmore and WATI just wanted to sell toys and got to play with Eigana I for a little while.

In Dreamfall TLJ, wasn't it shown that they also wanted to control minds of all the Stark population for fun and profit? Profit includes stuff like advertising programmed into the subconscious. Fun includes penetrating and eating people minds from inside.

 

 

- The EYE / Political groups wanted control.

Hardly. I remember only 2 political groups really striving for control: Kill-Magic Party and the sect from the original TLJ. The parties from Europolis didn't look for actual control over anything, they looked for better deal to sell themselves to EvilMegaCorps. The EYE, just like the Azadi guards, didn't decide anything, they're just mooks, the pawns of the real villains.

 

 

- JIVA and Chang wanted to reshape reality using Eigana II. Fooled WATI into making them seem relevant. 

Kinda yes.
But in the times of Alvin Peats, the situation appeared to be reversed. Back then, EYEs and blackops were a threat to Helena Chang, not the other way around. It's Samantha Gilmore who lost all the initiative.

 

 

- There is also the White Lady who talked to Faith. Could that be Chang? Doesn't really line up. 

What does that have to do with villains? It's much more likely to be the White Dragon Junior. Or her ghost.

Or maybe April's ghost, the one we meet in book 5... Kinda white-looking too...

 

 

- Hileriss wanted to get elected in the City Watch and become a prominant politcal figure. Also killing magicals.

Seems so. But killing magicals was the first priority.

 

 

- Shaya wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Vamon and take control. Shaya also believed they were doing the work of the Godess.

- Vamon wanted to overthrow the Prophet with Shaya and take control. 

They were the middle management of the Kill-Magic Party. They thought that they did all the hard work while the higher-ups sat in Sadir enjoying all the benefits. So they also planned to overthrow the higher-ups. Shaya did all that because it's right and proper and the will of the Goddess, and she wanted to either rule or perish with Vamon. Vamon did all that because it's macho and politically proficient, and he wanted to rule, optionally with Sahya.

 

 

- Klacks wanted power as promised to him by the Prophet.

He did. All his reform from Dreamfall TLJ was a lie.

 

 

- Utana wanted... I'm not really sure what Utana wanted in the end. She seemed confused about the whole killing magicals thing.

She seems to be the nominal head of the Kill-Magic Party. Or at least one of its Azadi leaders back in Sadir. So she's on board with all they did because For the Greater Good. Since she survives, so does the Kill-Magic Party; in the end, she wants to continue doing the same horrible stuff and use her political influence to ensure it done. Otherwise, who will bring the Greater Good to Azadi people? When Kian leaves to Sadir accompanied by Saga, it seems that she will be their new opponent, but I'm not sure. Sequel material!  :lol: But we don't expect any sequel  :( At least the life goes on in Arcadia.

 

 

- Brian wanted reunification and eridicate magicals.

It seems that hosting Undreaming for prolonged periods drives humans insane, damages their rational thinking and induces paranoia (both known hosts talk and behave like that). Westhouse said that he wanted all that things. He worked towards all that. But were any of that really needed? Did he really need to go to Stark? Why reunification was the only way, when Saga-level shifter could do the job, and the Undreaming could be safely stashed in a crystal? Also, eradicating magicals is definitely only a means to an end for him. The only thing I'm sure he wanted was to end his own suffering. By destroying things that he thought made him suffer.

 

 

- The Yaga wanted to be known and feared, they turned out to be an unncessary evil.

- The Undreaming had ambitions and wanted to destroy, but then was shown by Zoe/Lux that balance was necessary.

Those two are more like inevitable forces of nature than dedicated conscious evil powers. Yaga, for instance, is the manifestation of human ability to abuse power (in Arcadia - the magical power, since it's the most important there). Try to get rid of that, ha. So you don't destroy them, you adapt to them.

 

Undreaming turns out to be mostly like Saga, I think  :D I didn't see it to show any evil ambition by itself, it all came out of the hosts that didn't look sane. It only wanted to get out of the boring Storytime where Lux and Vagabond, who just didn't understand him, kept him locked. To walk around the real worlds, have fun, do what it does best! Unlike Saga, it turned out that for it the real worlds sucked, all the people who he could play with became boring kind of crazy, and if it did its best (break realities, so easy), it no more had realities to play in. So it let Lux to talk it into going back into Storytime. At least there will be juicy unused past dreams to chew on.

 

- Then there is... the Goddess as well, I think. Was she the ghost in the machine that talked to Crow? 

Again, is she even evil? Many evil is commited by zealots in her name, but she is also the reason why Kian and Hami both outright reject the sadistic concentration camp experiments.

As for who talked to Crow, that's magic and so will remain a mystery. Many candidates come to mind, April and White Dragon again being most likely.

 

 

It's eh... kinda messy and not all of it makes sense to me yet. For example: why would it be important for WATI to coincide with the completion of the Tower? The completion of the Tower also seemed to have been moved ahead from 3 months after Dreamfall to 1.5 years.

Both computers had to operate simultaneously in both worlds, because the merge had to alter both worlds. And Westhouse insisted that he has to merge the twin worlds. The most likely reason, I think, is paranoia.
About the 3 month mark form Dreamfall TLJ... Well... at such scale, retcons can happen. It's hardly very important. But we can also think that it wasn't a full launch, just some test of the Engine. After all, the dream vortex was in place even in the time of April visit, which is even earlier, and why there would be a vortex without the Engine working? It shuts down in book 5 when the Engine is no more.
The test launch could be needed to check the quality of the groundwork prepared by Grubbers, so Grubbers could be exterminated after that, lowering the overall magic background level.

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#4 Pawlo_86

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 07:07

I think that Cortez was true mastermind behind Eingana II and Tower. Helena and Brian worked for him. He wanted to unification Stark and Arcadia via dreams and bring his vision of Age Of Dragons.

#5 wedfvbghy

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:46

I think that Cortez was true mastermind behind Eingana II and Tower. Helena and Brian worked for him. He wanted to unification Stark and Arcadia via dreams and bring his vision of Age Of Dragons.

 

But Cortez was against that Age of Dragons thing! He fought McAllen, who was pro-Draic supremacy, and (maybe) died to prevent it!

 

So what would be his motive to do all that we see Brian doing?


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#6 Pawlo_86

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:47

But Cortez was against that Age of Dragons thing! He fought McAllen, who was pro-Draic supremacy, and (maybe) died to prevent it!
 
So what would be his motive to do all that we see Brian doing?


The answer is in TLJ:

Cortez to McAllen: Our time will come eventually. But not by your doing!
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#7 Vainamoinen

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:53

- Gillmore and WATI just wanted to sell toys and got to play with Eigana I for a little while.
- The EYE / Political groups wanted control.


WATI forged the plan to control all of Europolis – mind control through the dreamachine, control of all political parties with the exception of the Marxists, direct control of the population by setting up a military police state.

 

The EYE/Syndicate are executive bodies and belong to the corporations, spearheaded and eventually controlled by WATI.


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#8 DarkPerson

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:55

I think that the ghost in the machine lady was just a throw away line. Similar to the end of the back to the future. "It's your kids Marty"



#9 Sarah_Stark

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:56

Honestly, I feel like MacAllen and Cortez could have come to some accord. Their motives and so on seemed compatible. Cortez had already set things in motion before TLJ as it is, and so had he just, y'know' clued the Green in on this, the whole mess wouldn't have happened.

 

Which to me means one thing: Cortez deliberately obscured his plots and motives even from MacAllen, allowing every event within TLJ to happen just so his plan would go ahead unimpeded. Or rather he tried to. MacAllen seemed to become aware that Cortez was up to something by the end. He manipulated April, Brian, possibly even MacAllen (I actually think it's rather lame how little the events around the Guardian are referenced after the first game) - maybe even the White proper. He directly - or indirectly - leads to the deaths of so many.


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I could of course be very wrong.


#10 ShardofTruth

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:02

But shouldn't the real unification not lead back the the old earth, where both magic and science co-exited? What Brian wanted is something different altogether.



#11 DarkPerson

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:04

But shouldn't the real unification not lead back the the old earth, where both magic and science co-exited? What Brian wanted is something different altogether.

 

 I might be mistaken, but didn't he want the destruction of everything at some point?



#12 MisterMetropolis

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:04

I think what Cortez wanted, and what eventually happened, was a proper reunification when the worlds were ready. Not just a similar Stark. What Lady Alvane called "New Earth".


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#13 Pawlo_86

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:06

But shouldn't the real unification not lead back the the old earth, where both magic and science co-exited? What Brian wanted is something different altogether.


Break of balance between magic and science lead to apocalypse, Divide and creation of twin worlds.

#14 Sarah_Stark

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:13

I don't think Cortez ever planned for Brian to be successful. I think he set in motion events that lead exactly where they ended up. In that sense he's not a villain, because he's also responsible for Zoe's journey that leads to the reunification of Dreaming and Undreaming. However, he's also responsible for all the genocide and everything else. I suspect that he even put into action some of the plan that lead to Eingana and the tower.

 

It's possible he may have had more short-term idea, but it seems very unlikely. Cortez was always shown as patient, and it's perhaps telling that the only time he seems otherwise is in fighting MacAllen. And I only think he does that to yet futher manipulate April into moving on. In her eyes, he died a hero, and heroes are to be trusted, right? They can't possibly manipulate you.


I could of course be very wrong.


#15 ShardofTruth

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:21

Break of balance between magic and science lead to apocalypse, Divide and creation of twin worlds.

But that's okay because time is a circle ...eh.. spiral!



#16 Tamahome

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 11:19

I really don't see where people are seeing this Cortez = evil link. I thought it was pretty clear that the Undreaming was not evil, it was not the villain, it is simply a primordial force of destruction that has to exist in order for the force of creation to exist. Brian was evil, he hated his choice to travel to Arcadia, hated the magicals, hated what he brought upon himself, and there was no way back for him so he decided to destroy the divide while at the same time destroying magic, the thing that caused him so much pain. Cortez did what he had to do, the undreaming and dreaming were brought together and balance was restored, two halves of the same coin. There clearly was a greater reason for this, but isn't it what Draic Kin do anyway? Watch over the Balance, which isn't just related to chaos and logic or magic and science, it's in everything. Cortez did want reunification, but not the sort Brian was envisioning, and this whole conflict was a side effect rather than the main goal, the main goal was to save Lux and reunite it with it's counterpart the Undreaming. This is the twist, Brian was evil. I am guessing Cortez didn't let him in on the plan because I doubt he would agree to it.

 

I do have some gripes with the way most of the villains were treated in the end. There were so many questions and seemingly complex connections that all boiled down to one answer: they were all idiots that got duped by Brian and Helena (who herself got duped by Brian).

 

WATI: Typical evil corp, had absolutely no clue what the hell was happening and just wanted to make the sweet sweet $$$.

 

Azadi: Duped by a dude gone crazy, I guess it helps that his ambitions fell into their dogma, although we have the Masked Council there, and seems like they are a lot more complex than even the Prophet. I have this strange feeling that they are The Vanguard, they are the Plan B in case Gordon fails to deliver a reunification, as it is painfully clear they are aware of the twin worlds, something that the Azadi don't seem to believe in. They used Brian like they tried to use Gordon, it would also explain how Brian and Helena coordinated the operations between the worlds, as we know Vanguard is more than capable of that. Also explains how Brian even managed to convince the Azadi he was a prophet, The Vanguard was probably aware that this was the man Cortez sent to release the undreaming.

 

Shaya and Vamon: Power hungry idiots, 1000% duped. But they did drive the plot forward.

 

Klacks: Actually instrumental to the plot, although I don't see how he envisioned going back to his glory days after destroying all magic, perhaps some other power.

 


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#17 wedfvbghy

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 12:00

I really don't see where people are seeing this Cortez = evil link.

100% agree. Why Cortez must be evil? He doesn't influence Brian's bad choices in flashbacks. And even if those are predictable, saving him still isn't evil by itself. And could be justified by lots of various circumstances.

 

For example, if Brian died in the mountains, the Undreaming could roam around free and unchained. And it could pick some other host. Eventually it could be Zoe or some sister of hers (even before they learn anything about themselves). The resulting monster would be much more powerful than Brian Westhouse; she would irreparably unravel the surrounding reality and then possibly jump to Storytime to continue there.

 

Or let's suppose that April had to touch the Well of Dreams to acquire knowledge and Storytime connection that she will need later, in the wars to come. She's no Dreamer and can't defend herself from Undreaming that wants to come along and play; if Undreaming would be nearby at the time, she'd get infected. The Undreaming drives the hosts insane. Just imagine what April would do with Saga's knowledge, Brian's insanity and her own ingenuity that we love so much. Poor Brian maybe took a bullet for her!

 

The answer is in TLJ:

Cortez to McAllen: Our time will come eventually. But not by your doing!

That's doesn't really motivate Cortez to unleash the Prophet on the unsuspecting arcadians. It doesn't mean that DragonAge will come by Cortez doing, either. There's no evidence that reunification is even needed for DragonAge, it's just McAllen way of doing things.


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#18 Barentity

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 12:16

I don't understand how Brian and Helena could have collaborated, but it seems they must have done, since Helena recognises him and says he betrayed her.


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#19 Pawlo_86

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 12:21

I don't understand how Brian and Helena could have collaborated, but it seems they must have done, since Helena recognises him and says he betrayed her.


Cortez can be missing link. It was cool when Brian saiid "You were only tool Helena".

#20 Barentity

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 12:22

Cortez can be missing link. It was cool when Brian saiid "You were only tool Helena".

 

True, but even Cortez could only communicate with Brian across the Divide via a pocket watch. Brian is from the 20th century, so there's no way he could have met Chang before he crossed the Divide.






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