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A small theory: Whenever 'They' are referred to, are they referring to the player-base and the devs?


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I was initially under the impression that whenever the characters referred to the shadows as 'Them', they meant a shadow force unseen to the Player Characters and the players themselves. However, I also came up with the theory that 'Them' could just refer to us, the player-base and the team of developers who work on Don't Starve and DST. We, as players, have an immense amount of control over what we do in the world that the characters inhabit, and we can also introduce new characters and mods whenever we please. We see the characters and we can decide what happens to them in a world that we craft and generate for them.

Whenever a game of Don't Starve is started, we can decide how we want the world to be shaped. We can make it easier for the characters to survive in a playground that we had a part in creating in, and we can also make it impossibly hard for them to survive. I'd argue that there are parts of the player-base that are amused when the characters are killed off in a manner that they would like to see them die in. When I saw the EXP Bar that is filled whenever the world is changed or when the player character dies, I'd argue that it is a reflection of how we would like to play with something new. We treat the characters as nothing more than playthings and when one character has lived long enough, we decide to introduce a new character because the old character has started to bore us. We desire a new plaything and we would like to see how a new character would react to the world around them. Webber is still a character I can't explain, though. I also find it strange that Maxwell is one of the few characters to sometimes break the fourth wall through their dialogue.

The devs also decide what new challenges and monsters the characters can get introduced into the world. They also decided when the characters could enter the caves, when they visit the Ruins, and when the new seasons were introduced, when they brought about new challenges associated with them. You could say that they're somewhat akin to Gods in the world that they have created, seeing as how they can introduce new mobs whenever they see fit. Players can also do this, though through the use of modding.

In DST, one of the games' associated puzzles was the Cyclum puzzles. In it, a panel is shown where Wolfgang, Wes, and Wendy are shown walking out of the recently created portal. Perhaps this could be referring to how there are many players who play Don't Starve, and that there are multiple versions of the Constant, referring to save files and characters that we decide to play with in the save file in the original game? I'd also argue that as players, we are beings not yet known to the characters, and we can always keep an eye on them, but they can never see or refer to us directly. We also decide if a character is allowed to co-exist with multiple version of themselves without the fabric of the reality that the devs have created tearing itself apart like a cheap dishrag.

Were there other threads that might have theorized the same thing? I wasn't able to find any. I'd love to read your thoughts to this. It was something I came up with when I was bored.

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An author of the story has complete power and authority on how the story goes but it doesn't mean an omnipresent force with unimaginable power such as "Them" equate to Klei Entertainment. As well of the case of the cast of playable characters in Don't Starve and us  who play Don't Starve and Together who are surviving.

This is not a theory but is a distinct border between lore and game play. 

In lore, you cannot equate like say Wilson to the player like @Aeschwutz. The same principle as of game play that @Aeschwutz playing as Wilson. Because we players (game play) are different along with the Don't Starve characters (lore). The characteristics and personalities have a huge difference. The reference of "Them" which equates to Klei Entertainment and the Don't Starve players would be how the lore doesn't explain the entirety of the story of Don't Starve and Together. By means that the "Author" of the story of Don't Starve makes up open ended stories and I mean huge gaps in terms of the actual Don't Starve story.

 

 

Edit: Concept of what I'm talking about

Wilson doesn't play Don't Starve and Together while sitting on chair with some water and meatballs.

@Aeschwutz hasn't been talking to some radio box and the radio box tells the recipe to make  a portal that never let's you come back. Heck even living in the forest where experiments are conducted.

 

Edit:

There's only one Wilson in the Don't Starve Universe not like three or more WIlsons.

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Oh boy, this theory is as old as time.

20 minutes ago, Aeschwutz said:

An author of the story has complete power and authority on how the story goes but it doesn't mean an omnipresent force with unimaginable power such as "Them" equate to Klei Entertainment. As well of the case of the cast of playable characters in Don't Starve and us  who play Don't Starve and Together who are surviving.

This is not a theory but is a distinct border between lore and game play. 

In lore, you cannot equate like say Wilson to the player like @Aeschwutz. The same principle as of game play that @Aeschwutz playing as Wilson. Because we players (game play) are different along with the Don't Starve characters (lore). The characteristics and personalities have a huge difference. The reference of "Them" which equates to Klei Entertainment and the Don't Starve players would be how the lore doesn't explain the entirety of the story of Don't Starve and Together. By means that the "Author" of the story of Don't Starve makes up open ended stories and I mean huge gaps in terms of the actual Don't Starve story.

While I'm not super fond of the theory myself, a easy counterpoint to your argument would be games like Underale or Doki Doki Literature Club which incorporate the player as an element of "lore" in the game. So I don't think this point holds up.

!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!

My own personal counter argument would have to be:

1 - It's been established as lore that a lot of the changes to the world through new content are done by the one on the nightmare throne. So "They" =/= Devs.

2 - "They" go as far back as the ancients. Stuff we haven't seen. Stuff we don't know about. So They =/= us the players.

3 - The Ancient Fuelweaver says "They are coming. They cannot be stopped." Implying "They" are not already here—sure you can argue we're not physically here, but then what about the whole coming part? inb4 Nome character, true final boss. It wouldn't make sense in either context, at least with how things are being laid out currently.

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55 minutes ago, Zeklo said:

My own personal counter argument would have to be:

1 - It's been established as lore that a lot of the changes to the world through new content are done by the one on the nightmare throne. So "They" =/= Devs.

2 - "They" go as far back as the ancients. Stuff we haven't seen. Stuff we don't know about. So They =/= us the players.

3 - The Ancient Fuelweaver says "They are coming. They cannot be stopped." Implying "They" are not already here—sure you can argue we're not physically here, but then what about the whole coming part? inb4 Nome character, true final boss. It wouldn't make sense in either context, at least with how things are being laid out currently.

Dang, that's a good counter argument. I liked this theory, but you make some excellent points there.

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7 hours ago, Zeklo said:

3 - The Ancient Fuelweaver says "They are coming. They cannot be stopped." Implying "They" are not already here—sure you can argue we're not physically here, but then what about the whole coming part? inb4 Nome character, true final boss. It wouldn't make sense in either context, at least with how things are being laid out currently.

If they haven't arrived yet, I'm stoked to see their reveal if they do have a particular presence.

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Personally, I think that the concept of Them, like the pigs (according to RWP 164 or 167, the devs didn't intend for them to have such a big role at first), has evolved from its origins into something bigger. I think that originally, "Them" was just Maxwell's particular way of referring to shadow creatures (For example, there's his quote for the Lantern - "I hope this keeps Them away." Right now, I don't think a light source like that can do much against shadow creatures beyond keeping the occasional Charlie attack at bay.)

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Eh no the lore isn’t that embedded into the gameplay. If this theory was true. Wilson would be unplayable after you beat adventure mode in DS. Until DST was launched, and he wasn’t  SW would have a vague actual reason for the story to exist or had existed. If you believe this theory then you can’t really think for yourself. It’s easy to believe things that seem plausible but that doesn’t make them true

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I concur. It probably refers to the evil forces keeping the person sitting on the shadow throne chained in place and dictating what's happening in the world in broad terms. Maxwell gained power to influence the world and shadow creates to some degree while sitting on the throne, and tricked Wilson into being summoned, but in the end Maxwell doesn't seem to have been more than a puppet of those sinister forces (which he realized in the end, being driven into madness and melancholy). "Them" probably doesn't  refer to the shadow creatures but something intimately connected. "Them" might lie beyond the comprehension of our earthly senses, which would explain why they are referred to in such an mystical manner, being unable to be heard, seen or touched.

Interestingly enough, the agenda of this evil and powerful influence seemed to have been deception, malice and instigating madness (Maxwell got tricked, and Wilson indirectly through Maxell), but when Charlie claimed (or was claimed by) the throne, the evil forces seemed to have been pacified to some degree - as if in harmony with Charlie.

Both Maxwell and Wilson sought power and/or knowledge, while Charlie sought..... something else? Or nothing, judging from the oldest William Carter comic strips.

Something, something, something, very plausible theory, much speculation, hungry, yes, grabbing a sandwich.

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17 minutes ago, Captain_Rage said:

Interestingly enough, the agenda of this evil and powerful influence seemed to have been deception, malice and instigating madness

I've always seen a Faustian deal sort of vibe with the series. There's always a deal and twist to the agreement the victim suffers for.

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12 hours ago, Zeklo said:

Oh boy, this theory is as old as time.

While I'm not super fond of the theory myself, a easy counterpoint to your argument would be games like Underale or Doki Doki Literature Club which incorporate the player as an element of "lore" in the game. So I don't think this point holds up.

YESSS.

Precisely the exact comparisons I was trying very hard not to make myself for (oblique) spoiler reasons.  EXACTLY.  Both of them.

All I'll say to the original theory idea in this thread is that while I don't actually agree...it _is_ intriguing, and oddly enough would play into my semi-joking "if the characters were duplicants" idea (not my own, but the following is my take on it) which is that they're avatars of real people in whatever futuristic world ONI takes place in, playing through their characters (and betting on them), and perhaps whoever makes it onto the nightmare throne has more power over the _virtual_ world because they won power over others in REAL life somehow. 

Not at all the same thing as the original post, but it does also kind of blend the player and character together a bit, which is why I thought I'd mention it.  (shrug)  I can very easily see how the Don't Starve characters (and most video game characters in general, actually*) WOULD start hating and fearing us if they _did_ know about us...but according to all the actually-existing and hinted by Klei themselves lore...They are still the shadows.

...Notorious

About the only characters of mine I can see LIKING or at least tolerating me as an All-Powerful Goddess would be my Sims; because I let them have tons of free will and often "rescue" characters from other franchises where they had tragic stories, to live more happy and normal lives in my Sim-worlds.  All the others, though...

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