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Old 12-23-2003, 05:40 AM   #1
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Default Sanitarium: Plot questions.... ALL SPOILERS

I just beat the game and I wanted to discuss the plot, to see if I got what was going on and such...
Spoiler:
OK....
He crashes and enters a coma... And has amnesia, he dreams of an asylum, why, because the desease he was researching drove people mad? Or beacuse he had "things to solve" with in his mind? Im going for the second... Because he couldn't forgive himself for letting down his sister....

Is the angel representing the salvation of the kids with the disease or his wife?

The first "surreal" stage had children in it, was it a cry from him subconcious to remember that he must save the children with the cure he found, or did it also have to do with his sister?

Why were they deformed, was it his subsconcious telling him that his fellow doctor wasn't really helping them?

The circus level was there to deal with the hero guilt towards his sisters death, the mansion was "closure" (is that the right word), I think....

Then you get to see a room filled with experimented/mutilated people in it, the subconsous (meh, can't remember how to spell it) is telling him that his boss is not there to help him and he do anything to reach his goal, even if he makes others suffer...

The Grimwall/cyclops level.... I have no idea, maybe its his subconscious telling him that the doctor (entomologist) is betraying him?

The morgue level is telling him that the evil doctor is trying to kill him...

The aztec level is trying to tell him the cure...

The final level is just facing the truth, his fears, etc....

There are still things I don't get.... is his wife dead? The flashback show her with a skull, but in the ending we see him with a baby and his wife...
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:47 AM   #2
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It seems as you pretty much figured everything out. With the things like the angel, there's no need for us to be that specific - it can have a bunch of different meanings.
Spoiler:
The wife? Dead? Isn't she greeting him in the final scene? When exactly was there the flashback with a skull?
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:38 AM   #3
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Spoiler:
The Grimwall sequence is based on his favorite comic book as a kid. You see him reading it in one of the flashbacks. I think that it represents betrayal. Max is betrayed by an authority figure he trusted just as the cyclopses were betrayed by one of their leaders.
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BacardiJim
Spoiler:
The Grimwall sequence is based on his favorite comic book as a kid. You see him reading it in one of the flashbacks.
Spoiler:
Also, there is a Grimwall action figure in Max's room in the Mansion.
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:44 AM   #5
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Yup yup... I'd forgotten about that.
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Old 12-23-2003, 07:58 AM   #6
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Spoiler:
I don't remember exactly since it was ages since I last played Sanitarium, but didn't his friend do cruel experiments on children (or maybe it was the mentalpatients). That is why helpless children is a topic in many of the chapters. Wasn't it also his friend who fixed his car in an attempt to kill him because Max had found a cure and his friend wanted to make money on medicine that only slowed down the diseas.


This game is truly one of THE best. I must play it again.
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Old 12-23-2003, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
It seems as you pretty much figured everything out. With the things like the angel, there's no need for us to be that specific - it can have a bunch of different meanings.
Spoiler:
The wife? Dead? Isn't she greeting him in the final scene? When exactly was there the flashback with a skull?
Spoiler:
His memories come back slowly a bit everytime, each time he remembers more and more... Like when you talk to the plant kids you don't remember your name till the 3rd flashback....
Well I remember I saw a flashback of his wedding (called wedding part 1 in the cinematics menu) in the pumpking level I think, just before the memory fades away and you see the bride lift the veil, you can see a skull for a second.... But maybe it has something to do with the "to death do us part" thing? On the 2nd wedding flashback (in the circus, I think) you see her face.... Which reminds me, why on Earth is Max letting his subconcious get away with the fact his "wife" is going to go out with the strong man of the circus, he even encourages her! Maybe he wants her to be happy no matter what, beacuse he thinks he might not make it back?

I know Grimwall was Max's hero as a kid, but I wasn't sure what his level represnted, I tought it was betrayal and it seems I was right...
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Old 12-23-2003, 01:58 PM   #8
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Now I remember. Moreover, I think you might have incidentally solved it. I believe it's one of "red herings" throughout the story.
Spoiler:
"Till death do us part", right? So the first impression is that his wife had died. But actually, as we don't find out until very late, it's Max who's fighting against death (he even almost surrender - after he falls down the chimney into his "home"), hence the skull. So death really endangered their marriage, but in exactly opposite sense than it was initially suggested.
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
Now I remember. Moreover, I think you might have incidentally solved it. I believe it's one of "red herings" throughout the story.
Spoiler:
"Till death do us part", right? So the first impression is that his wife had died. But actually, as we don't find out until very late, it's Max who's fighting against death (he even almost surrender - after he falls down the chimney into his "home"), hence the skull. So death really endangered their marriage, but in exactly opposite sense than it was initially suggested.
I thought only items were red herrings?
Spoiler:
I still have no idea of what the Church/Chapel level meant... Maybe it was the subsconcious telling Max that the other doctor was doing strange and useless experiments?
Hmm, I think we "wrapped up" all the odds and ends except one...
Why is his face bandaged? Do the bandages represent that hidden truth underneath (his true face is under the bandages and the thruth is inside him...)? Or the deformed reality he is "living" in?
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:39 PM   #10
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There is really only one red herring in the game:
Spoiler:
In the Village of Lost Children there is a building that actually HAS A RED HERRING PAINTED ON THE ROOF! When Max wanders into it, he says something like, "Hmmm... I would have bet there was something important in here." hahahahahahahaha
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:07 PM   #11
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BTW, have you guys discovered the following easter egg:
Spoiler:
In "Circus of Fools" go to the fortune-teller for the second time. AND for the third time.
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Old 12-24-2003, 02:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
BTW, have you guys discovered the following easter egg:
Spoiler:
In "Circus of Fools" go to the fortune-teller for the second time. AND for the third time.
Ha, Ha!
Good thing I have a save on every chapter! Thanks!
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:17 PM   #13
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Oh. And don't have thise game anymore.
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Old 02-11-2004, 05:57 PM   #14
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I just beat this game, and I thought it was awesome as well.


Spoiler:
I really liked how the entire game is nothing but his struggle against death after the car accident, and nothing whatsoever is real, including the sanitarium parts. Really, really great.
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Old 02-16-2004, 01:35 AM   #15
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Great game, takes a bit of figuring out though. It was the game that got me back into adventure gaming quite recently. It makes an excellent initiation into adventure because the poor controls will be less noticed and because the puzzles are not difficult generally. I really enjoyed the game and finished it quite quickly as it was very engrossing. It's one of my favourites still, though The Longest Journey is now my number one adventure game.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:58 PM   #16
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On some emule server I saw Sanitarium with genre : Adventure/RPG
I just see those tomb Rider/ Diabolo fans playing Sanitarium
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:46 AM   #17
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Okay, after I finish playing a game, I always have to go online and look at other fans' theories about what happened in the game to get my own sense of what happened. So all of it, even the Sanitarium bits, were in his mind? That makes sense, I guess. I thought he ended up in the hospital because they strapped him down and injected him since he had seen too much. Man, dense moment.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:05 AM   #18
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That's the point, really -- what you're supposed to think. You begin by believing the sanitarium scenes are real and the freakier levels are hallucinations. Only at the end is it revealed that it's all unreal and part of Max's struggle toward life and sanity.

I actually began by thinking that it was all real, and he was somehow slipping in time and space, or between alternate realities. It wasn't until the end of the "children's village" level that I started thinking "real mental hospital and hallucinations".

My take on the bandages is that the hidden face is symbolic of his loss of identity -- or loss of memory of his identity, which amounts to the same thing.

My understanding of the Grimwall level is that it's a test of courage and strength of will. If you recall the very final action level with the black goo on the floor, the three main scenes/characters are linked to three different qualities of spirit. Can't be sure I remember now, but I think they were intelligence, compassion or love, and courage. Max had to prove all three qualities to make it through: intelligence to find the answer, compassion to care about the results, and courage to persevere -- as embodied in himself, his sister, and Grimwall respectively.

The level that baffled me most, from a plotline point of view, was the circus. Looking back from the end, this level is the test of compassion, and Max (as his sister) does show compassion, as in releasing the beast-man from the cage. But the various conversations with the people in the big top seemed to lead nowhere. It just introduced several people with personal problems, none of whom you can help. Or is this the point, to want to help and not be able to?
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