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Zoe saving April - interpretations and theories


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#1 kla622

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 00:56

It appears that the fact that Saga is a reincarnation of April is pretty much confirmed throughout the game, and we are lead to believe that April in some way is saved through this reincarnation (I prefer this term instead of saying "reborn", as Saga is definitely not just an April 2.0). I know that there are a lot of differing options on this resolution of April's story, personally, I like the concept in itself, and I think Saga's scenes were done beautifully, but some aspects are still bothering me. (They are actually bothering me much more now, that I had some time after completing Chapters to reflect on the whole story, initially upon finishing it, I felt more satisfied in that regard.) I basically have two large issues, one plot- and one character-related:

 

1. After all the attention it got in Dreamfall - it was basically the #2 main motivation for Zoe besides finding Reza - what the heck did Zoe actually do/achieve/contribute to save April Ryan, i.e. to lead to reincarnation of April as Saga? I think we are meant to "feel" this, there are many plotpoints in DFC that are not spelled out explicitly but can be "grasped", but it's much less clear with this particular side of the story...

2. In TLJ games, when they are at their best, the magical and supernatural journeys the characters go through reinforce and parallel their inner journeys, and I think most of us would agree that this plays quite a large role in the way many of us have a strong emotional resonance with these games. There is a lot that can be "taken" from the core stories of April, Zoe and Kian that is relevant to the everyday life. But my issue is, what is the "message" of April being saved through death? (no offense to those whose religion it is a part of, but reincarnation can hardly be applied to the everyday player's life) It's not that Dreamfall should be a "how to live your life"-guide of course, neither do I think that April's abrupt death was a bad storytelling decision. It certainly avoids a trope, and it could have led to some great investigation about the inevitability and acceptance of death, about feeling aimless in life, or whether death can truly mean being saved in some cases - but we didn't really get any of that. April being saved through dying, even with all the sadness the characters express multiple times about their loss, is presented almost as a clear success - and frankly, that is a bit disturbing.

 

I would be glad to hear your thoughts about these, this forum has helped me a lot with getting my thoughts sorted out with the ending. :) (and they are positive overall, by the way) For a start, I tried to think of the possible theories (some more prevalent, some not so much) about Zoe's role in saving April, but unfortunately, none of them seem very convincing to me.

 

Zoe influences events so that they lead to April's death:

This might be the most convenient theory, but I just can't buy it. Zoe played hardly an influencing role in the events that led to April's death in the swamp. If Zoe hadn't been there, everything would have played out almost exactly the same, with the exception of maybe Kian meeting Zoe (see below), it's very hard to argue that Zoe was the "nudge" that was needed. Also, April was suicidal anyway already, she was chastised by her friends (especially Benrime, if I remember correctly), for behaving carelessly on dangerous missions, so it doesn't make any sense to me to organize a plot involving Zoe just to get her killed sooner... Also, what I mentioned above concerning the implications of this storyline being a bit disturbing, I feel is the most apparent in this case.

 

Zoe somehow used her dreaming powers to save her:

This would definitely be cool, and it might be supported by the fact that the White Dragon sent to Zoe specifically to the swamp, to witness April's death. She didn't actually do there anything at all, but maybe just being there passively enabled April's/Saga's rebirth. It might also be supported by the "white lady" comment of Faith. Unfortunately though, it is never implied at all that Zoe would possess such powers, or that her Dreaming/Storytime-related abilities would have a connection with the White Dragon's hard-to-grasp reincarnation stuff. Whenever she uses her powers, she does so actively, and since her abilities got quite a lot of development in DFC, it probably would have come up if she had such reincarnating abilities.

 

The reincarnation was not a given, April had to have the will to "stay alive", and Zoe convinced her:

If I had to choose one to believe, I would pick this one. Maybe, the reincarnation did not happen "automatically", but it was important that April, deep down, despite her deathwish and lack of direction, still had some urge in herself to continue. And maybe, it was Zoe's attempts to shake up April that led to this in a subconscious way. This still doesn't explain why Zoe had to be present at the swamp, and there isn't anything that states that this reincarnation depends on the thoughts of the person dying (though there isn't anything to the contrary either) but it is, I think, relatable on a character level. April's death and reincarnation could be interpreted as a spiritual death and rebirth in that way, which is in line with the spirit of these games, and personally, I would be content with it.  But there isn't really evidence. (which doesn't stop me from making this my headcanon  :)  )

 

Zoe's involmement led to Kian meeting April, which led to Kian becoming the kind of person he became at the end of DFC, which led to Saga becoming a better person overall:

I only included this because it seems that Kian and April's meeting was the only direct and obvious consequence of Zoe's involvement. But it's hard to make a connenction from that to Saga and the reincarnation, and Saga seemed like she was already "whole" before meeting Kian. So,  I think this is pretty far-fetched.

 

These are what I could come up with, feel free to expand!


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#2 DarkPerson

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 06:43

 I always wanted to believe that, if Kian had killed April, a different outcome would have happened. So Zoe saved April by helping her meet Kian I think.


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#3 Pawlo_86

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 06:58

All what was said in DFC is that Zoe and Kian freed April and lead to her reborn. We still don't know why April was reborn as Saga in HoAW. It can be releated to her connection to Kin.

#4 the red of the kin

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 07:58

1. (...) what the heck did Zoe actually do/achieve/contribute to save April Ryan, i.e. to lead to reincarnation of April as Saga? I think we are meant to "feel" this, there are many plotpoints in DFC that are not spelled out explicitly but can be "grasped", but it's much less clear with this particular side of the story...


I don't think we were meant to "feel" anything. Our brain is wired to make sense of such situations. We were given an objective and filled in the blanks when we didn't get a solution.
 

2. (...) what is the "message" of April being saved through death? (...) it could have led to some great investigation about the inevitability and acceptance of death, about feeling aimless in life, or whether death can truly mean being saved in some cases (...)


I think in this paragraph you gave yourself the answer. The message of the game was that through death one leaves behind a life of misery and is reborn, purified and all that jazz.
I obviously don't dig this much ;)
 

Zoe influences events so that they lead to April's death:
This might be the most convenient theory, but I just can't buy it.


I think you could connect this theory to the last one. I think this is partially what happens. Zoe gets April curious about stuff and April meets Kian. Does that mean she saved her? no: it doesn't.
 

Zoe somehow used her dreaming powers to save her:
This would definitely be cool, and it might be supported by the fact that the White Dragon sent to Zoe specifically to the swamp, to witness April's death. She didn't actually do there anything at all, but maybe just being there passively enabled April's/Saga's rebirth.


It would indeed be cool. But it didn't happen. I remember back when book 4 ended I speculated Zoe would truly wake up from the coma and she would be this awesome being with supernatural powers and since she witnessed April's death she would have her memory and could revive her through her new found powers.
Of course I was wrong. So no: this doesn't save April either.
 

The reincarnation was not a given, April had to have the will to "stay alive", and Zoe convinced her:
If I had to choose one to believe, I would pick this one. Maybe, the reincarnation did not happen "automatically", but it was important that April, deep down, despite her deathwish and lack of direction, still had some urge in herself to continue. And maybe, it was Zoe's attempts to shake up April that led to this in a subconscious way.


Well April never had a will to die. She gets killed by a soldier (...they didn't have to kill her: she had no escape...).
I don't think April needed any more will to go on. She wasn't the Aril of TLJ: she had lost hope of being crucial to the balance and all she cared about were her friends in Arcadia and stopping the Azadi...but it's not like she was "done".
So no: even here there was no saving.
 

Zoe's involmement led to Kian meeting April, which led to Kian becoming the kind of person he became at the end of DFC, which led to Saga becoming a better person overall:
I only included this because it seems that Kian and April's meeting was the only direct and obvious consequence of Zoe's involvement.


Saga reminds me a bit of the "Mary Sue" we've been hearing about over youtube when the new Star Wars came out. She does everything right, she knows exactly how things have to go, She tells people what to do. I didn't feel at any moment she needed Kian to become a better person...it felt the opposite: like she had complete control over their relationship (telling him she will "explain later" all Kian needs to know to accept her).
Saga is a lovely character too but I don't think she was "saved" by Zoe (except in...outfit-choosing? hehe ;) )

While months ago I believed I could grasp how April was saved by Zoe, I today believe it was a red herring of sort.
 

But since I love speculating I'm going to write my own conclusion

 

Zoe saves the dream (Lux) and meets April in Storytime, which is dreamt by Lux (and Zoe, at this point). So the real April (not Saga) is actually still alive in dreamtime.
Do I like this? No I don't..but it's a sort of explanation that sort of makes sense to me  :lol: 
 


IF YOU'RE A GHOST.......JUST LEAVE ME BE!


#5 Lee-m

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:16

 We still don't know why April was reborn as Saga in HoAW. It can be releated to her connection to Kin.

I think it is all related to the death of the White. April was what the balance(all of them) needed when the White was alive. After her 'death' Saga is required. DFC starts showing you just that.
Thats why she spoke to Faith and explains most of the conversation ghost White has with Baby saga in book 1.

Its Zoe that starts the whole thing off, but her direct influence on Aprils death (being saved) isn't really apparent.


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#6 Ramsay Snow

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 12:16

It's an aborted plotline. Sorry, there's no way around it. The Lost syndrome is real.


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#7 Lee-m

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 12:35

It's an aborted plotline. Sorry, there's no way around it. The Lost syndrome is real.

I actually just have it down as piss poor story telling personally. By the end of the game, this whole discussion shouldn't even exist anymore. Sorry, but thats the way I feel about this whole issue. It wasn't an aborted plotline however, since it came up again at the end. It was just total BS.


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#8 Pawlo_86

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:11

It's an aborted plotline. Sorry, there's no way around it. The Lost syndrome is real.


It isn't aborted plotline because Zoe asked April about "find her, save her" case in Chapters but it was left unexplained. After all Ragnar said that "Zoe saved April" would became a clear(er) in DFC.

#9 Sarah_Stark

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 17:41

Given how things turned out, I'm actually trying to work out exactly why Zoe needed to save April, ​as much as the how of it.

 

​I guess it's possible that she did 'something' that allowed April to be reborn, but at the end of the day, April is dead. Saga is Saga.

I just can't see how her dying is saving her when she only returns for a tiny moment within a dreamstate. I honestly thought Zoe would 'save' her by having witnessed her death and because her powers allow her to 'dream things true' that she'd be able to undo April's death. The witnessing made it a fact in her mind, and so she could rewrite that. The fact the game then went down a pre-written path with the narrative put and end to such things, of course.


I could of course be very wrong.


#10 ChrisR

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 13:33

This open question is only one of way too many problems I have with DFC unfortunately.

#11 the red of the kin

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 18:04

This open question is only one of way too many problems I have with DFC unfortunately.

 

I won't try to persuade you to change your mind, but maybe our combined efforts could help you with at least some of those problems?
Care to share which are these? :)


IF YOU'RE A GHOST.......JUST LEAVE ME BE!


#12 Hellegennes

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 00:23

I think that this is the most failed aspect of DFC. We expected to be able to make sense of the whole "save April Ryan" and nothing came out of it. It still makes zero sense, no matter how you look at it. Zoe did nothing to influence the events that led to April's death, April credits both Zoe and Kian for saving her, even though Kian did also nothing special. If anything, April should have thanked Naane, because she was the only person who helped her die.

 

Also not making sense: April speaking to Kian post-death as April, despite the fact that her reincarnated self is Saga, who is a completely different character.


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#13 Lee-m

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 12:53

Also not making sense: April speaking to Kian post-death as April, despite the fact that her reincarnated self is Saga, who is a completely different character.

April (as in what is left of the real one) ends up in the story time after death. I take it that was the place, and how she spoke to Kian and Zoe.



#14 the red of the kin

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 19:13

I think that this is the most failed aspect of DFC. We expected to be able to make sense of the whole "save April Ryan" and nothing came out of it. It still makes zero sense, no matter how you look at it. Zoe did nothing to influence the events that led to April's death, April credits both Zoe and Kian for saving her, even though Kian did also nothing special. If anything, April should have thanked Naane, because she was the only person who helped her die.

Also not making sense: April speaking to Kian post-death as April, despite the fact that her reincarnated self is Saga, who is a completely different character.


true. I think the fact is you sort of have to be into this kind of stuff..like reincarnation...transfiguration of souls...and so on.

I see it this way: the point was not so much to explain the "how" but to be in awe to how a spirit can carry on (Dream Theater docet). My take is it'still a bit of a narration issue...it'seems just not very...accessible to all

IF YOU'RE A GHOST.......JUST LEAVE ME BE!


#15 Hellegennes

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 19:47

I am not thrilled about the reincarnation stuff, but it's not this that bothers me. It's rather the fact that Kian and Zoe seemed to have nothing to do with April's reincarnation.



#16 Pawlo_86

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 16:53

Both April and Crow touched Dream Vortex. After their death they were trapped inside Dream Quantum in Storytime. In Dreamfall Chapters Zoe found them and they were released for their long journey ahead. April was reborn as Saga and Crow was also reborn. This is i think how Zoe saved April.

#17 Lee-m

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 21:20

Both April and Crow touched Dream Vortex. After their death they were trapped inside Dream Quantum in Storytime. In Dreamfall Chapters Zoe found them and they were released for their long journey ahead. April was reborn as Saga and Crow was also reborn. This is i think how Zoe saved April.

Except the first Dreamfall game says Zoe saved April before she did any of that. Its broken.
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#18 Pawlo_86

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 22:19

Except the first Dreamfall game says Zoe saved April before she did any of that. Its broken.


Not really :P Faith said that Zoe saved April but Winter was a part of Storytime. In the Storytime, like in House Of All Worlds, time doesn't matter.

#19 Lee-m

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 23:14

Not really :P Faith said that Zoe saved April but Winter was a part of Storytime. In the Storytime, like in House Of All Worlds, time doesn't matter.

The Winter was perfectly synchronous with the main story. It's broken.

#20 Pawlo_86

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 09:16

In Dreamfall Zoe didn't save April. April died but it was important that Zoe saw her death. Zoe saved April in Chapters when she found her and Crow, reunited them and released from Dream Quantum, and they were reborn. April as Lady Alvane. Crow as crow again. April and Crow are like phoenix. In HoAW, on the wall in fireplace room you can see pictures of castle and Phoenix. It is another hint that Zoe really saved April.




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