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Theories and Speculation

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Over the [in retrospect] short amount of time OFF has been known to its now most vocal audience, many fan-theories and speculative comparisons have arisen. Please note that these theories are all completely non-canon and subject to change. This article also contains major spoilers for the entire game, beginning to end. Do not read this article if you have not completely finished OFF.

The Coma TheoryEdit

THE THEORY...

This is that arguably still has the most debate as to whether it is true or not. Of course, no theory is completely true, but that should go without saying. This theory states, to make a [very] long theory [very] short, the coma theory has two major sides to it. The first [and most accepted among theorists who support this] is that Hugo is in a coma and the whole game is his psyche dying, his imagination running wild with no holds barred. Some say that the Guardians and monsters represent people from Hugo's life and experiences respectively, although who/what they represent is unofficial among theorists. The second camp of supporters of this theory state that The Batter is the one in the coma and all the other evidence [for the most part] applies here as well. This side, however, has much less supporting evidence, as it is stated very clearly that Hugo created The Batter.

OTHER DETAILS...

Some other speculation is that the four zones [[[Locations|Zone One, Zone Two, Zone Three, and The Room]]] represent the four main sections of the human brain.

With the Hugo Coma theory, most people interpret The Batter and Queen to be his own versions of his mother and father, despite the fact that Mortis Ghost has confirmed them to have no familial relation [however, Mortis has also contradicted himself in the past, such as when he said The Batter had no emotions].

COUNTER-CLAIMS...

As mentioned above, Mortis has contradicted himself in and outside of the game, so many of these claims in the Theory could be false.

The Wizard of Oz TheoryEdit

THE THEORY...

This theory is very simple. This theory states that, basically, OFF is one big re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz, the popular book and movie.

OTHER DETAILS...

Many details exist to support this theory. Some of them I will not list here such as certain similarities in characters between The Wizard of Oz and OFF. However, certain very obvious symbols exist such as the representation of the working class (Zone 1), civilians (Zone 2) and industrialism (Zone 3) all being shown also in The Wizard of Oz. There are also more obvious comparisons such as the credits theme of OFF being Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." 

This theory can also be used so support most theories associated with The Wizard of Oz like social commentary and even the Coma theory is OFF's case.

The Split Father TheoryEdit

Starting with the assumption that Off is an allegory for real-life events, Off could be the tale of a man's struggle with his wife. Their child, Hugo, suffers from a grave illness. Shown by the messages left behind in the early chapters of The Room, Hugo is never allowed to go outside and must take pills administered by his parents.

This medication, while saving Hugo's life, may also be making his life a miserable existence. Specifically, Hugo may have suffered from severe epileptic seizures. Without medication, his life would be in danger. But with medications, he would be severely drugged and mentally impaired.

Both parents loved Hugo, but didn't want to see him suffer. The father wished to ease Hugo's pain by giving him the medication, but his mother couldn't stand to see him in his constant drugged state. She kept him from taking his medication and instead, created him a world of drawings and toys, warped by Hugo's seizure-destroyed mind. Evidence of this drawn world even becomes explicitly stated near the end of The Room, where The Batter must walk through Hugo's drawings.

Meanwhile, as Hugo's reality breaks down, he personifies his mother and father as two different characters. His mother is The Queen, the master of his crayon-sketched world. His father is The Batter, an antagonist influenced by a villian from a comic Hugo read, Ballman. And while the mother and father have family ties, the characters he creates do not.

Finally, Hugo's father has had enough. Not wanting to see Hugo suffer any longer, he becomes determined to kill his child. And here, his personality splits and the story of Off begins.

The father's will is personified by The Batter, while his conscience is represented by The Judge. Throughout the entire story, The Batter pursues his goal with unflinching determination. He never hesitates for an instant, even after seeing all he's destroyed. The Judge, on the other hand, begins to argue with The Batter after he kills Hugo and the Queen. This may be the father arguing with himself, wondering whether ending his child's misery was the best thing to do.

And in the climax of the story after Hugo's death, The Player is put into the shoes of the father. After seeing The Batter and The Judge debate The Batter's actions, The Player has two choices acting as the father.

In the "Official Ending", The Player takes the route of suicide. The Father, as his final act, defeats his conscience. He then takes his own life, effectively, shutting it Off.

In the "Special Ending", the father's guilt destroys his willpower. He realizes the monster he has become (evidenced by The Batter's crocodilian form) and his will is destroyed. Left with only his guilt, The Father wanders the world for the rest of his days, devoid of the happiness his wife and child brought him.

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