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What are your WHF theories?

I was just wondering if you guys have any theories on the game they can be weird and wacky and completely wrong.

is Foggy Jack and Uncle Jack the same person?

Why do the Downers only get re-runs of Uncle Jack's show?

Why do the people of Garden District worship a floating Yam?

Can there be too much JOY?
  • I actually questioned a few things about the children. Some are....

    Where they send to the war at a certain age?

    Did they get taken away because of the war?

    Does taking too much joy cause some kind of infertility?

    Where the children taken to the parade district to become bobbys ?

    I know some of these are probably a bit much
  • It could be that everyone we see is someone who was traumatized by the war and Joy was made in a attempt to help those people who without Joy would be Downers and the Bobbies are really around to make sure the ones who use Joy live comfortably
  • fromthewoodsfromthewoods Member, Moderator
    I dont have any theories yet. I do believe Uncle Jack is dead tho. All the shows are re-runs. I believe we play in a moment where everything is changing, i think Uncle Jack just died very recently.

    Would love to know more about Foggy Jack, im a fan already. Where's the thiefs guild?!
  • I'm thinking that Uncle Jack isn't real, based on a few pieces of evidence. He's played by a human actor, which makes it unlikely that we'll run into a computer model of him in-game. On the other hand, we'll probably run into him eventually, so it'll probably be that we run up to his layer and find out he was a computer-generated image the whole time!

    Or, as FromTheWoods points out, he might be dead.
  • I have a theory that Uncle Jack is not taking joy. He knows so much about things others don't including the outside world.
  • Whatever the case is for Uncle Jack recently dead alive whatever he has been around for a long time likely older then anyone currently in the game because when you talk to other Downers you can say "I knew Uncle Jack before he was happy." and other Downers will reply with "Who was Uncle Jack before he was happy?"

    One question I have is who are the Bobbies (the Guard guys) because instead of the face paint most people on Joy have they wear masks over their face. it could be that they are not on Joy. They are at least in charge of keeping the people on Joy(really need a name for people on Joy like the Joyous) and The Downers trapped on there islands and why are they doing that is the question.
  • While I do agree with many people here saying Uncle Jack is dead, I also think that it would be possible to meet him in the flesh. If I'm not mistaking, some other games did the mix of FMV and 3D for the same character, like "Alan Wake", where the bad guy(?) was a real actor in promos and cutscenes, and computer-generated model during gameplay. But then again, WHF is much more stylized than "Alan Wake", so I'm not sure how that'd work...

    Anyway, also I think that Uncle Jack isn't the Big Bad, but rather a talking head, with as much agency of his own, as a regular Wellie, being told what to say and how to act by the men behind the curtain, whoever they may be.
  • @GutsytheCoward: The Bobbies are Wellies in charge of enforcing Wellie law-in practice, mostly keeping people on Joy. They likely have access to some sort of combat training other Wellies do not, and are more deadly for it. From a gameplay perspective, their purpose is to encourage strategies other than violence. In general, I think special wellies are designed primarily to encourage a player to vary their strategies by discouraging one strategy (Old Ladies make stealth difficult, Docs make pretending to be on Joy difficult, Bobbies make fighting difficult).

    I do believe they take Joy. I haven't tested this myself, but I think Joy-detectors give them the clear.
  • The children aspect was partially covered in that news story from 1952 during the "Breeder" riots.. It wasn't expounded on, but I hope it does, later on. It would seem like there were issues in the late 40s/early 50s concerning men and women. I would imagine that, maybe, the Germans were drafting/forcing men to fight the Soviets, leading to fewer and fewer men available for procreation, as they were fighting the war. Something kind of similar to this arguably happened in the War of the Triple Alliance in 1860 in Paraguay, as 60-80% of military-aged men died during the war. Alternatively, in WW2 when the Germans lost the Eastern Front, you saw the mass rape of German women (arguably) because there were no men around to protect them.. Many were dead or dying on the Eastern Front.

    I do hope they go into this lore more, as the storyline is pretty neat. I do wonder why they mention the Germans are the "Imperial Germans" rather than any other naming convention, because that would convey that they weren't Nazis or a derivative of them, as an Imperial German moniker would harken back to the Weimar Republic, more, IMO.
  • gnostalgiagnostalgia Member
    edited August 2016
    I'm pretty sure the Germans took the children and conscripted them into the war as child soldiers. The ingame letters you can find plus the articles during the prologue imply that there was a draft going on that was aimed at the children specifically, and that leaked Uncle Jack episode that was posted a while back has him expand on that by saying he had to hide his daughter so she wouldn't be taken. This seems to suggest that they were either a) forcibly taken from their parents as the result of some new policy passed by German forces during the occupancy, b) willingly given up in exchange for goods or the promise of a shortened occupancy as hinted by Uncle Jack with his Pied Piper story, or c) both. If any of them are still alive, they're probably in Germany, like some of the ingame letters you can find mention.

    Anyway, other assorted theories:

    - V-meat is people. Pretty obvious. Strange Meat may or may not also be human, but I think it's just as likely that it could be some kind of small animal like dogs or cats.

    - Wellington Wells is in the middle of a severe famine and it's pretty much a certainty by this point that their society is going to completely implode because everyone is too high on Joy to make any effort on its upkeep. Again, the final (?) Uncle Jack episode highlights this — people are already starting to catch on about the lack of food and the government is trying to keep it hushed up. "We've come to the end of our time" is turning into an arc phrase for a good reason.

    - The mysterious person mentioned in the Executive Letter found in Faraday's lab might be referring to the unnamed third playable character, the woman in white.

    - Faraday will definitely play an important role in the story's endgame. She actually made a portal device, there's no way that isn't going to come back as a pivotal plot point.

    - Uncle Jack is most definitely dead by the end of the episode about his daughter. I really doubt he'll turn up as an actual NPC, and I don't think he was some sort of high ranking government figurehead or the leader or anything. He was just a funny dude whose celebrity status was taken advantage of by the government (probably the Executive Committee Faraday mentions) and used to pacify the rest of the population.

    - The other two characters' play styles will focus on the use of craftables that affect gameplay similar to Arthur's suits. Ollie, the soldier, will probably be a combat-heavy character who can craft special weapons that the other two can't. The woman in white might have stealth-based craftables just going by her design, which suggests that she might be a spy, but I feel like that would be a bit redundant since Arthur seems to be the stealth character because his suits play such a big part with the conformity mechanic. At this point it's anyone's guess.
  • Is there a current main theory thread?
  • @gnostalgia I thought the same thing about the Executive Letter, but it's actually just referring to Faraday (it mentions giving her a couple of bachelors around, referring to Roger and James). I'd also argue that Arthur is more based on conformity, just based on his personality. The suits and his thoughts (which you can read in the journal section) are a big indicator to this.
    @kinseyblaine Not that I know of, however, @secretextract has started a theory thread on the three main downers (and I've put up one for Miss Thigh Highs).
    I can't help but wonder if Uncle Jack is dead either. I don't know why, but I feel like he either is or he will be. As to whether or not he's taking Joy, that's a good question. Even if he is, he clearly knows more about the past than anyone else in the game so far.
    My own theory to throw in here (which I've stated in secretextract's and my threads) is that Miss Thigh Highs is one of Arthur's friends from the past, Sally. If you read the journals, thoughts, etc. he talks quite a bit about her. Like how she wasn't like other girls, got the two of them into crazy adventures, and made up stories about the two of them being spies (like the old TV show The Avengers). Based on the journal entries for the Mrs. Chaney and Nick Lightbearer quests, Sally seems to be a clever, smart-dressing chemist who can concoct all kinds of drugs. I don't know what the extent of her relationship with Arthur was, but it seems like they were pretty close before, as Arthur says, they left things off on a bad note.
  • Thanks I just wondered as I love theorising and the other day I really paid attention to Mary's emotional speech when she's carried during the Terrible LIfe quest and started to think more and more about the missing children/end of our time theories.

    I think that's a great idea about Sally, it was already stated that the three main characters have some form of connection so that would make total sense!

    As for Jack, I've been desperately trying to find footage of the episode where he talks about his daughter and I was wondering if anyone has a link to this, or even a transcript? I think there's a general perception of Jack as an antagonist and someone controlling Wellington Wells and of course in one sense that's true but I also see him as quite a tragic figure who feels compelled to fulfil that role for one reason or another. I don't think he's on Joy or at least not towards the final episodes when he starts to remember and reflect. I don't know if he's already dead but I think you're right that he could be or at least I don't think we'll ever actually see him....I kinda like the idea that the very end of the game might be one final sign-off episode from Jack though!
  • ArtzDeevaArtzDeeva Member
    edited April 2017
    @kinseyblaine I've tried looking in the past too, I can't find anything. Either something was leaked and it got taken off, or the mention is very obscure. However, I did find a newspaper clipping that mentions her! It can be found when you're censoring articles in the offices during the prologue (although since everything is procedurally generated, you might not always come across it all the time-also there's a version of the same article with the name Sally Boyle, likely the prospective lady Downer, instead of Margaret, so I don't know which one has been scrapped). Here's the important bit:
    Margaret Worthing Will Open Battle of Flowers (Tuesday July 1946) Miss Margaret Worthing has been crowned the Junior Field Commander of the 1946 Battle of the Flowers, which takes place this Sunday. She will lead the annual Flower Parade, accompanied by her father, JACK WORTHING, former lead actor of the Will Kemp Traveling Players."
    Already that gives a lot to chew over. The year it happened is also very interesting. After listening to Arthur and the NPCs as well as reading the thoughts, the people started taking Joy only a year later (it was also a year later that the child registration act and "train incident" happened).
  • SamNietSamNiet Member
    edited April 2017
    @gnostalgia I agree with pretty much everything you said, However, I think that the play styles of the characters will be a little different, for example, I agree that Ollie will be more of a combat-heavy character, and will specialze on weaponry, and Arthur is "stealthier" BUT! I believe that Miss thight highs (or Sally) will be specialized on chemicals, I believe this because of the briefcase that she carries and, of course, the syringe. It would make sence that she will be more of a... chemist?
    About Uncle Jack, I do believe that he is actually dead, mostly because when Wastrels started complaining about "Uncle Jack's reruns", I think.... that even the Downers are listening to reruns... they just haven't noticed because the joy makes them forgetful... so the feel like it's a new one everytime, but when the joy starts making them go mad and become wastrels, they notice for the first time. I don't remember if somebody already mentioned this, but this is what I believe personally.

    And speaking of Uncle Jack, now that we are on the subject, in the videos, I think that either he's becoming inmune to joy and that's why he remembers things from time to time, or he doesn't take them that often and plays dumb in order to stay alive, I mean, we know what happens to downer right?
    Maybe that's even the reason why he might be dead.
  • @SamNiet I feel like you're onto something with Uncle Jack. I think somehow, whether or not he's taking Joy, he's aware of the past and remembers everything. It would be interesting if he were immune to Joy (wonder if that's possible). He could be playing dumb (perhaps sneaking the past through inconspicuously through the fairy tales). I think even if he is taking Joy and he's still on the side of the Wellies that he's not the main villain, of course. The government is clearly behind this (the doctors are heavily involved as well-which is why I'm really curious about the mentions of Doctor Verloc and Haworth Labs throughout the letters).
  • With Uncle Jack and Joy:

    Assuming he exists at all, I'd imagine he actually does take some amount of Joy, since there doesn't seem to be a foolproof way to fake Joyfulness (and IIRC he also cries at dolls in a way that's similar to a person being snapped out of Joy-trance).

    It's possible he takes a lower dosage than most wellies, however. He seems to be a bit more 'with-it' than other wellies, but that might just be the fact that he has an actor, and isn't animated. It also makes sense that, whoever does run Wellington Welles would actually use Joy less or not at all. After all, Joy impairs judgement, so it'd be very wise for their society to keep a few "Designated Drivers" around.

    Alternatively, another explanation for him knowing so much about the past is that he's allowed to. After all, most wellies are encouraged (and 'encouraged') to forget everything about the past. Uncle Jack, however, probably has WW's version of a top secret clearance and is allowed (and perhaps encouraged) to know anything he wants to.
  • I think Jack definitely exists, and the newspaper article @Artzdeeva mentions would seem to confirm this, and I also definitely don't think he's a villain at all. That doesn't mean what he's doing is necessarily good, obviously his shows are constantly subliminally influencing and helping to control the Wellies , but I think either he's doing it under duress (presumably chosen for his acting abilities) or because he is/was essentially a Downer who managed to stay sane and avoid becoming a Wastrel but realised the grief and guilt he experienced regarding his daughter was so traumatic he became a genuine advocate for Joy and saving people from their own memories. I get the impression he probably wishes he could forget everything and can't and performing the Uncle Jack role helps him escape as much as it does his audience. Of course he could be dead now and all of the shows could be repeats from the past but the case would be the same. Perhaps he performed the role until the point where he could no longer escape his own memories and loss :/ I just get the impression there's a lot of story behind Jack. The fact they got a great actor to play him and the fact Jack himself is an actor in the game seem to be significant points.

    I think the villains are definitely the doctors and the mysterious Verloc in particular. I wonder if there's a significance beyond sheer gameplay to the fact that doctors are the only ones who can tell when you're off your Joy without even speaking to you? How do you think this works? I would imagine they would have to not be on Joy, or on some kind of modified form of it in order to have that level of perception since even the Bobbies take a minute or so to clock if you're a Downer.

    Also I saw an encounter yesterday that I'd forgotten about where the child/train incident is much more explicitly revealed in the game, basically a woman stating really clearly that she gave her daughter away/let her be taken and put her on a train so at this point I guess the only things we don't know are the details and consequences.
  • ArtzDeevaArtzDeeva Member
    edited April 2017
    @kinseyblaine Any one of those theories you have about Uncle Jack could be right. I almost feel like the "genuine advocate of Joy" thing might actually make sense. And I agree, I think the doctors (as well as the government, as some wastrel's mutterings seem to imply) are the villains. If you pick up the Madame's diary in the House of Curious Behaviors, she has nothing good to say about Verloc. "That one hasn't got a scrap of guilt in him, as far as I can tell....and good thing he only wanted to receive, and not to give [punishment]. He'd shock someone to death without blinking, just for the sensation." Definitely got a psychopath on our hands. Another interesting thing she also mentions is that people incorrectly think Verloc was the one who invented Joy. She struggles to remember who did, saying, "It's the name of the lab, isn't it." That would be Haworth Labs, of course (it's the address that Verloc writes from to his patients), so it must be a Dr. Haworth. I'm guessing Haworth Labs is somewhere in the Parade District. I feel like something bad's going to happen there. At the very least, that could be where we confront Verloc in the finished game.
    [Fun fact: when you're in the House of Curious Behaviors, go behind the desk to look at the "Gold Members List". Verloc is on there (they say not to call him something, but I can't make out the name). But they don't allow admittance to Nick Lightbearer (suspended for cause) or Uncle Jack (very behind on dues). They do say Miss Boyle, our possible third Downer, is always welcome even though she's stopped paying her dues.]
    The train incident is really bugging me as well. What exactly happened? I've looked back to the Child Registration article several times for answers, but nothing quite makes sense. It registered all children who will be under the age of thirteen by July 22 1947 (the year they started taking Joy) had to be registered with the authority. I can't quite figure out what happened to the registered and unregistered children. Arthur wasn't quite yet thirteen (Aug. 12th), so he would've been registered. We don't know Percy's age, but it's assumed he's older than Arthur. But then if it's Arthur who stays in Wellington Wells and Percy who got sent off to, as Arthur says, either Germany or Russia, then I'm confused as to what happened to the registered children. Unless something even more horrible happened in the train incident that would explain everything.
  • ZhuzhaZhuzha Member
    they say not to call him something, but I can't make out the name

    Here's the note, by the way:
  • I'm concerned that I am playing a delusional character who believes it's the 60's and there has been a war. Trying a friendlier way to deal quests is a big challenge ... well until they are chasing you down the street with cricket bats.
  • JckingJcking Member
    edited September 2017
    Mine is on the the outside world. In the old soldiers quest, there is a map which is Europe of 1938. This copy has been modified what is interesting is that the US took control of Ireland. In addition, although, Germany is said to have won the war in this universe, arrows that most likely show territorial expansion not by Germany, but from what appears to be the Soviet Union. the timeline of conquest is listed below.

    from 1943-1945, the USSR controls half of Poland along with parts of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and all of Romania.

    from 1945-1947, the USSR controls half of the Czech republic, along with all of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Croatia, and Most of Italy.

    Here is where it gets interesting, From 1947-1949, the USSR now controls all of Europe, with the only nations not under USSR control are England (unknown governor), and Ireland (US, unknown time of acquisition).

    It is possible that Germany and the USSR were allied, as in the real world for a time they both had a temporary alliance (that soon ended). picture is down below
  • So my theory is that Foggy Jack & Incle Kack are the same person. Foggy Jack is him as a downer; & one with no qualms bursting people's bubbles, a revolutionary. Uncle Jack is the same man but after he was apprehended by the Joyous & made to publically conform & squash any hope of things getting better. He's been Uncle Jack for a long time though, which is why most people don't remember.
    i think the strange meat is either the children or all the dogs in the world.
    The strangest thing that no one is mentioning in this thread is the walkabout quest. ARTHUR HINTS HE HAS GONE OFF HIS JOY BEFORE. Anyone else catch that?
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