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Author Topic: Analysis of other themes in The Path  (Read 4033 times)

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March 17, 2014, 02:21:15 am
Hey everyone!

I've not played many Tale of Tales games, maybe about three including The Path, but The Path has been the one to really stick with me. I played it years ago and I still think about it at random times, particularly when discussions of psychological horror in media come up. It's difficult to find players of The Path though, and I'm really interested in the analysation of it, even years later. Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself a bit before starting this topic.

Besides the central themes of the girls, the wolves, Grandmother's house, Girl in White and so on, has anyone really thought about the other common themes in the game and what they might mean? I'll list a few as examples to start things off.

Spoilers ahead by the way! not sure if that matters anymore, but just in case.

Red and White The two most featured colors in the game, might they hold some significance? It's easy to see why red would constantly be a theme in the game, considering what the game is based on, but what about white? It's difficult to tell if The Path intends to treat red and white as direct opposites of each other or just simply as two colors that mean something different but aren't necessarily opposites. Or perhaps it is just merely a palette choice. Regardless, do you wonder what it must mean when certain things appear to be pure white? The items the girls interact with in the beginning are all as such, Carmen's white chair even shows up in grandmother's house later, among the chaos, still white. The Girl in White and Girl in Red are seemingly related but behave differently, and it might seem as if their different choices of color relate. Also note how much white is involved in Scarlet's path, even on her final flashing images when before, all the girls had dark backgrounds on theirs. In my own view white can mean a number of things, such as purity, safety, guidance, or idealization, all which can relate and potentially fit Girl in White, and might then help me understand the intention of Scarlet's wolf. Red is considered a dangerous color, and at most times, people would choose to trust white more than red, but that does not exclude white from being dangerous, just merely better at hiding it. What do you think it means then when Girl in White is hiding within a red tent? I am also not sure about the white items in the room of red near the start, but an interesting theory I read once was that they represent momentary distractions from reality and existential horror as material objects are supposed to do, and as such they are white because they are "safe" and "idealized", and each girl has an item that appeals to them personally, of course. They are like safety blankets, basically. However, note how the girls let them go when they need to venture outside and then come back to them if they do not encounter their wolf.

Crows These birds are of course, an important part of Ginger's fate, but you also see them on the path of the other girls as well, three (four...!) of which can try to interact with them. They primarily live in the forest but are happy to hang around the path, though they'll quickly enter the forest again shortly, suspiciously seeming like they're trying to lure you in. I always thought it interesting how totally different the reactions to the crows are, and in my own theory, how the three girls interact with them is very telling of how they might interact with the real world and people in general. Robin is quick to try and catch the bird, she's curious and playful, as a young girl should be, but probably doesn't stop to think about how the crow might peck her. Rose attempts to be nurturing with the bird and attempts to befriend it, she's a bit naive in thinking a crow will climb upon her arm just because she offers it. Ruby of course, just shoos the thing away from the path, probably how she also treats people that try to get involved in her life, she seems very distrusting compared to the three younger sisters who have all encountered them without hostility. What do you think, then, is their purpose of crowding around Ginger and the Girl in the Red on the fields? What could crows mean or represent? Remember how Girl in White attempts to catch a crow by surprise? That seems like suspiciously familiar behavior not unlike a certain twin. ;)

Man Admittedly it's always kind of stumped me how every wolf besides the Girl in Red is a man. Girl in Red might be the exception because what she represents is possibly an internalized feminine issue, and as such her appearing as a girl is possibly fitting. What about the rest though? With someone like Woodsman or Charming Wolf it is probably clear-cut why they appear as men, but I was honestly wondering why Werewolf was a werewolf and not just an actual wolf, or why Cloud Wolf is anatomically male and not just mist or ambiguous form, and Fey Wolf, who for a long time I thought was purposefully left with ambiguous gender, was apparently designed to be a man as per word of god. These thoughts might require discussion on the topic of each individual girl, but still I wonder about the intention behind the common form. Is the game leaning more toward exploration of feminist themes by making the main threat be a man? Is making most of the wolves male just a visual design choice to express the general idea that in the modern world, most of the danger towards women are in the form of man? Thoughts? :)