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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Michelle and Lisa
     
         
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
I've already stated this in several threads, but since everything is all asplodey right now, it's hard to keep track of everything. However, this keeps coming up, so I figured I'd start a thread for it.

Firstly, let's get something important out of the way. This should be fairly common sense, but the video tapes that play right before the credits roll are real. These aren't hallucinations - these are home videos of the Mason family back before the accident.

Secondly, something that I think most, if not all of us agree on - all the tapes are canonical. Each tape shows us a slightly different time in their family history, but they are all real, all part of their pasts. They probably fit together as follows - Dahlia abuses Harry for being a bum, Harry gets drunk and cheats, they divorce. Or perhaps, Harry cheats on Dahlia, Dahlia finds out and gets angry, Harry gets drunk, and they divorce. Regardless, all are snippets of the family's past. If this is the point of disagreement, it's a whole 'nother can o' worms.

Now, this hinges on the Sleaze and Sirens ending. In this ending, we see Harry making a home video with Lisa and Michelle. Not facsimiles of them - them. These are, in fact, the real Lisa and Michelle.

How does this invalidate Michelle and Lisa being real people in SHSM? It's simple: eighteen years have passed since Harry died. Michelle called herself a "prom queen" in the video, perhaps even as tongue in cheek, but she was obviously at least in high school. The Michelle that meets Ideal Harry claims to be younger than Cheryl. This is impossible, because Cheryl was seven at the time her father died. Though there's no concrete age or anything for Lisa, the fact that she hasn't aged makes it obvious that it's the same case with her as for Michelle.

You could argue that the Lisa and Michelle Ideal Harry meets are simply people who happen to have the same name, but not only are the coincidences frankly too much, consider this - if all Cheryl knew of them was from the video tape, how would she portray them? All she knew of Lisa was that she claimed to be a nurse, and that's all that we see of Lisa in the game; everything else about her personality was variable. Same for Michelle - all Cheryl knows about her is tied to her having been a student at Midwich High. That's why there had to be a reunion at such a strange time (four and a half years past graduation, or something to that effect) - all Cheryl could think of when it came to Michelle was tied with Midwich. (Sidenote: As for why not simply a high school student, it might be because that would strike too close to how Cheryl herself had relations with older men at that age.)

As for Cybil, I'm inclined to think she's a delusion, too - perhaps the cop that broke the news to the seven year old Cheryl. Considering that everyone else that freezes is a delusion, and that Cybil freezes, it's hard not to see her as a mental construct as well.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 16 Sep 2009
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The question is, what is their purpose? The manifestation of Harry is there to free Cheryl from her inner turmoil, but what do Lisa and Michelle do? They're clearly not antagonists, they don't really aid in Harry finding the truth, so why are they there if they aren't real? Also why would Cheryl bother giving them any depth? Michelle clearly had her own life, why would Cheryl give such backstory to some random woman she didn't even know who slept with her dad, especially having one where she's a classmate of Cheryl's? That's why I stick to the idea that all the characters aside from Young Dahlia, and possibly Lisa, are real people. They're just too complex to be a bunch of manifestations thought up by Cheryl of people she really didn't know.

Personally, the thing I like most about the game is there are no right or wrong answer or true canon, you take what you personally want from the game's narrative, the game does focus on the individual in many ways after all.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
Why manifest them at all? Because they're probably one of the few things associated with her father that she has left in a physical capacity. Look at her box of mementos. She was seven when her father died; she knew very little about him, and probably remembers even less. Lisa and Michelle were in a video tape - they were concrete and undeniable.

As for why they would have realistic lives? Cheryl spends the entire game more or less trying to convince herself that her father was alive. She needs the fantasy to be realistic if she wants to convince herself of its truth, given that she, on some level, obviously knows that her father is dead.

There's interpretation, and there's just flat out ignoring inconsistencies. There's no getting around the fact that the Michelle Ideal Harry meets in Midwich High is the Michelle from the video tape, and no getting around the fact that that can't be possible unless she's not real.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 16 Sep 2009
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That's only if you believe that all the events of the different endings actually took place. There's really nothing to prove or deny that all of them actually happened, instead of just one. In that ending you could safely say that they're fake, but the other endings give you no indication, leaving open if they are real are not.


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My Bestsellers Clerk
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Missing since: 28 Aug 2009
Notes left: 379
Last seen at: Blue Creek Apartments
Is there a video for the sleaze and the siren ending? I can't find it on youtube. How do you get that ending?


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
Like I said, that's a different argument, but seriously? Not taking them all to be linked leaves you with more holes in Cheryl's psyche than is necessary. When all the endings fit together well, why separate them? Not to mention, why ignore the explanation that's being offered to you by the game itself?
Jecht wrote:
Is there a video for the sleaze and the siren ending? I can't find it on youtube. How do you get that ending?

It's here. It comes from being a sleazy jerk.

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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11963
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Do NOT post explicit spoilers in your thread titles. See the Sticky in this section. Thank you.

Posting explicit spoilers in the topic titles can spoil someone if they even so much as glance into this section.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 16 Sep 2009
Notes left: 274
PrescitedEntity wrote:
Like I said, that's a different argument, but seriously? Not taking them all to be linked leaves you with more holes in Cheryl's psyche than is necessary. When all the endings fit together well, why separate them? Not to mention, why ignore the explanation that's being offered to you by the game itself?
You know what, when I think about its more about my own personal preference more than anything. I just enjoy the ending more with Harry having been a mostly good man and father instead of a druken pervert and him mostly interacting with real people, feels more like an old ghost story, which I like. So I concede, I'm both wrong and biased, a horrible combination. :D


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 1134
Last seen at: New Jersey
Apocali wrote:
The question is, what is their purpose? The manifestation of Harry is there to free Cheryl from her inner turmoil, but what do Lisa and Michelle do? They're clearly not antagonists, they don't really aid in Harry finding the truth


But they do.

I'll quote myself from another thread,

"...Michelle represented Cheryl's idea of being intimate with her father (i.e. She talks about how she goes for guys that look like her dad). Also, she loved the idea of John, but not the actual person. Her imagination, like Heather/Cheryl got a hold of her, creating a false and strong emotion, ala the delusion that leads to a therapy session, if you will.

Whereas Lisa is the more rational person, the nurse who has a "certain" view on life (or whatever the line was). Interestingly enough, if Harry is in Cheryl's head, then obviously Michelle and Lisa are as well. It wouldn't surprise me one bit that..maybe the therapy was working, but once Lisa died, her irrational Elektra Complex took over."

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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11963
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Ah, but LISA in my playthrough talked about going for guys like her dad, not Michelle.

Michelle also loved John in my playthrough. It was John who wanted to leave her. She wanted to stay with him.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 16 Sep 2009
Notes left: 274
Droo wrote:
Ah, but LISA in my playthrough talked about going for guys like her dad, not Michelle.

Michelle also loved John in my playthrough. It was John who wanted to leave her. She wanted to stay with him.
Same thing happened with me too.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 1134
Last seen at: New Jersey
Droo wrote:
Ah, but LISA in my playthrough talked about going for guys like her dad, not Michelle.

Michelle also loved John in my playthrough. It was John who wanted to leave her. She wanted to stay with him.


Oh? That's interesting, I didn't think they'd change that contrast. That's what I got out of my playthrough at least and it makes sense. My Michelle also wanted to stay with him, regardless, Michelle was delusional thinking John was something he wasn't. But having Lisa be the more rational, so to speak, made sense and to not have that in all of them does seem to screw my theory lol

Hmm....

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Last edited by Varg6 on 13 Dec 2009, edited 1 time in total.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
Droo wrote:
Do NOT post explicit spoilers in your thread titles. See the Sticky in this section. Thank you.

Posting explicit spoilers in the topic titles can spoil someone if they even so much as glance into this section.

Ah, sorry! I forgot all about that. =( Won't happen again, I promise.
Quote:
You know what, when I think about its more about my own personal preference more than anything. I just enjoy the ending more with Harry having been a mostly good man and father instead of a druken pervert and him mostly interacting with real people, feels more like an old ghost story, which I like.

You have no idea how much I can relate to that feeling. I'd always related to Cheryl and related the character of Harry Mason to my dad. I did NOT want to see him as a perverted sleazeball, that's for sure. However, it just makes more logical sense this way. I said this earlier in a different thread:

"As a side note, I find it amusing that despite the fact that I want to try to reconcile all these versions of Harry, a part of me really wants to keep Ideal Harry as an ideal... it's natural, I guess, and it makes how Cheryl went about idealizing him more understandable."

I still feel that way. That said, given that his wife treated him the way she did in one of the other endings... that'll drive a lot of people to the drink. It becomes harder to fault him for that. Not that his actions are condoned, but it's more understandable and sad than just disgusting.
Quote:
Ah, but LISA in my playthrough talked about going for guys like her dad, not Michelle.

Michelle also loved John in my playthrough. It was John who wanted to leave her. She wanted to stay with him.

Same point stands, really. Lisa represents a desire for guys like a girl's father, and Michelle represents not wanting a romantic figure to leave. Given Cheryl's, er, odd attachment to her father, these are both aspects of her - she wants a guy like her father, as demonstrated in her having relations with older men, and she doesn't want her dad to leave.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 1134
Last seen at: New Jersey
^Same point stands, really. Lisa represents a desire for guys like a girl's father, and Michelle represents not wanting a romantic figure to leave. Given Cheryl's, er, odd attachment to her father, these are both aspects of her.

Yes but Michelle (in my playthrough) says that she would like a guy older and also someone who reminded her of her father.

Lisa did not.

I guess these variables change based on who is playing the game, hence the psych profiling system.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
If you're right, it only supports the idea that they're not real. They'd have variable personalities depending on which one Cheryl relates to.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 1134
Last seen at: New Jersey
PrescitedEntity wrote:
If you're right, it only supports the idea that they're not real. They'd have variable personalities depending on which one Cheryl relates to.


I'm not saying they are/aren't real. I'm simply suggesting what those characters represented because I don't think they are just there.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 29 Oct 2008
Notes left: 775
And I'm not saying that you do or don't. I'm just using your experience to buffer my idea. I mean, you put it out there, so...

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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11963
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Why couldn't they just be there?

Cybil says in the police car when Harry asks where everyone is that no one is out in the storm. The entire city is essentially in lockdown.

Lisa and Michelle aren't the only ones who appear to Harry. Cybil and Old Dahlia, as well as the couple on Levin Street, the barmaid, John. Harry also has a phone conversation with the bridge operator.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 Apr 2006
Notes left: 1134
Last seen at: New Jersey
Damn internet makes everything read as angry. I certainly didn't mean to come off as me arguing with you lol

I hear you...

Well, if you think of it like this: Silent Hill and the monsters...Silent Hill is certainly a real place, but the monsters aren't. Dahlia is real, but maybe Lisa and Michelle aren't, just figments of her delusion. I don't know, it's definitely an interesting conversation.

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Moderator
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11963
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Young Dahlia is fake. This much I thought we all agreed on.

Why would Lisa and Michelle, two out of four (five?) other characters who appear be fake unless they're ALL fake?

_________________
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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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