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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
Notes left: 11064
Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
This is a collation of various ideas I have, and I have heard from others. It's been bouncing around in my head for awhile.

I believe the Maria ending has a bad reputation it does not necessarily deserve. Most fans seem to be in consensus that if this game has a truly negative ending, this is the one. I used to think so, myself, but lately I've come to believe that it may not be any better or worse than the others, and that it may not be anywhere near as damning an indictment of James' character as people seem to think.

A lot of what gives people an unfavorable impression of this ending is Mary's reaction near the end of the game. She is bitter and angry at James, and becomes the monster in the same way Maria does in all other versions of this same scenario. Naturally, James is forced to kill her (again, as the case happens to be). Given what the other scenarios teach us, this alone is enough to paint 'douchebag' on James with broad strokes of the brush. The implication is that he really did want Mary dead and feels little, if any, remorse for having brought about that result with his own two hands and a little help from a pillow pet. The reason James favors Maria is because he views Maria as a better alternative, perhaps because of that good ol' Silent Hill fan standby: she's a more willing and adventurous boner receptacle and that's all he really wants in life.

I do not intend to suggest that this James is a completely nice guy who has done nothing to earn his bad reputation. I think he has, potentially, done wrong to earn this scenario. I also happen to believe that it is not a wrong for which he deserves the blame he gets.

The primary factor in determining whether or not you achieve the Maria ending is your interactions with her. The more attentive you are, the likelier you are to end up with it. This seems to be misconstrued as James focusing on Maria when he should be paying attention to finding Mary. Really, though, how fair is that attitude? Maria plays upon James' emotions like an instrument. She resembles Mary, and though she has a tendency to twist him in knots at times, she's not doing this with malicious intent--she's merely programmed to act this way. What we're doing, as fans, is punishing James for acting in a way most of us would act in his shoes: we encounter a woman who appears to be lonely, frightened and helpless. It is a completely acceptable reaction to become protective of her, since we have the means to do so. Compared to the scant few other people James encounters, Maria comes across as more enigmatic, but less crazy and unpleasant. She does bear a resemblance to Mary, though she does initially deny any connection. She is afraid to be alone and wants James to protect her.

So, why is he a bad guy for doing it?

Even if this is the path down which James travels, he never seems to behave in such a fashion that should give people the impression that he's doing it simply because she looks like an easy lay. Even if he protects her, he reacts to her flirting and cajoling no differently than if he outright ignores her for the sake of the mission. It clearly makes him uncomfortable, and he does not sound even slightly eager to cash in on her implied promise of sexual favors when she offers them. Clearly, to me, he's not thinking with the wrong head when he decides to be her bodyguard.

I think there are a combination of reasons he might choose to protect Maria, and primary among them is a sense of guilt that he did so little to comfort Mary when she needed him the most. By staying close to Maria and keeping her from being harmed, he is attempting to redeem himself for having been negligent and selfish regarding his terminally-ill wife. It is, perhaps, too little, too late, but that does not, in itself, color the effort in negative shades. One might construe it as selfishness, since he may be doing it primarily for his own sake, but that would not account for the honest anguish he feels when he ultimately fails to keep her alive. I think the reality of this situation is that there is altruism mixed with self-interest.

I also think that this James is a man who has not been able to completely shake himself of the negative impressions he has formed of his wife as her ability to control her own emotions began to break down. This leads a lot of people to assume that he hates his wife, as he claims to have done, but I don't think it was ever anything like real hatred. Closer to the truth, I think, is that he was truly hurt by her outbursts, and that his crime was being unable to understand that she did not truly mean what she said and consequently, he could not forgive her for saying them. I think this is why, at the end of this scenario, the 'demon' appears to him truly in Mary's form and attacks him--it is a manifestation of this impression he has been unable to shake. In a sense, this is his way of shaking it, but since he seems unable to do this by separating his perception from the reality of her situation. This does not make him hateful or wicked, just very flawed.

Quote:
MARIA: You killed Mary again?

JAMES: That wasn't Mary. Mary's gone. That was just something I...Maria?...Maria?


In other words, it was something he had to put behind him.

So, we end up with a man for whom life offers nothing, but neither is he willing to die. Perhaps under normal circumstances, he might have chosen one option or the other--a miserable life which would probably lead to him never being able to move on and probably losing his mind in the end, or a quick death to make it all not matter anymore. However, Silent Hill and the Otherworld has been offering him a third option all along, and the Maria ending is James choosing that third option: a replacement for Mary. Not only does he not have to face life alone (or forfeit it altogether), he has what might be, to his way of thinking, an idealized form of Mary, as she herself indicates in other scenarios (I'll never make you feel bad, I'll always be here for you, etc.).

There are two implications left at the end of this scene. One is that they actually leave town together. This, I do no believe actually happens. I believe that they remain in the Otherworld for the duration of whatever their future happens to be. Perhaps it changes, to James' perspective, to simulate something closer to the real world for him--it is now a place in which he can be happy (similar to how the patient described in the Doctor's Journal is submerged in the Otherworld and finds happiness there). There is also the implication that his happiness may be short-lived, revealed by way of her Cough of Impending Death. This leads to speculation that he might have to do it all over again. Whether or not this is true is speculation for another day.

To sum, the Maria ending is the the conclusion of a story in which James is a flawed man who did still love his wife, but never managed to reconcile that love with the resentment he felt towards her abusive outbursts. Perhaps, and perhaps not, some of that resentment is the unfair "this situation ruined everything, FML", but though he does acknowledge this, even in this ending, it's never really spoken as though it was of overriding importance. I think, if there was resentment there, it was the kind he was able to identify and quell, because it was beyond her ability to control. Her anger and hot words, on the other hand, were things he could not so easily forgive. Like with the other endings, I think the Maria ending offers an intertwined promise and peril in that the outcome can be positive or negative, and we're left to wonder (and assume) which ends up being the case. Most, of course, assume that the outcome will not ultimately be happy. I think there's a chance it could be so, if for no reason than that he has had the opportunity to see what he did wrong, and behave differently if the situation arose again. Who knows? The Otherworld does allow for strange things, after all.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 21 May 2010
Notes left: 1241
Amazing post....and i agree with you when you put it in this context....the only aspect of this for me that kinda kills this theory a bit, is that in the maria ending as you stated, maria begins to cough...indicating that she is going to go thru the same scenario as mary....i think if you even listen closely to james in that last clip...i think he says..."you better take care of that"....the thing is, he states it in a tone like he's about to be aggrivated with the situation all over again.

Again i do agree that any of us would have attended maria in the way that james did, and he didn't do it in a way as to where he was dissrespecting mary, but that ending with maria, leaves very little to the imagination...could they possibly change their future instead of duplicating the past?....it's possible, but the game at that point is leading you to believe that jame's decision to leave with her is a negative one...


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Yea, I never sat right with the apparent attitude of "You took care of a person in need? YOU DOUCHEBAG."

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2010
Notes left: 2249
Last seen at: The Rabbit Hole
I kinda wanted to say what clips said.
I don't think James actually resolves anything in the Maria ending.
He kills Mary all over again, which might be a way of leaving her behind once and for all, maybe.
But if he had the intention of moving on with a normal life, then he wouldn't need Maria anymore. He would be able to let go of Mary/Maria and possibly turn himself in for Mary's murder. He may have gone into hiding in fear, but that's neither here nor there.
Even if he and Maria lived a brief future in the otherworld together, it's still not reality. It's like the limbo from the end of the first movie in a way. He's still showing no desire to live a life in reality.

Idk about you guys, but I always thought Rebirth was the "worst" ending. He's in an even further state of insanity there. I always thought that even if Mary could be resurrected, that would be a limbo life too.

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viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21367&p=674128#p674128


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Brookhaven Receptionist
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 13 Jun 2007
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Last seen at: Brazil
Wrong, IN WATER IZ TEH CANNON! Actually I always liked the Maria ending, I find it pretty ironic that he almost literally goes to hell to find the truth about Mary only to reject it again in the end after he remembers everything.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 23 Dec 2010
Notes left: 40
I didn't see the Maria ending as completely negative. It's not the best ending IMO, but also not the worst. It was simply the illusion that James chose for himself (or we choose for him). It's set up like the "history repeats itself" ending, when really that honor goes to the Rebirth ending.

Maria claims that she can be anything James wants her to be. Since she is his delusion maybe she is right.

It's kind of the same for Angela. Despite her background, Angela has surprising moments of clarity, ("This town...there's something wrong with it.") yet she goes to town anyway.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 20 Jun 2010
Notes left: 1627
alone in the town wrote:
I believe the Maria ending has a bad reputation it does not necessarily deserve. Most fans seem to be in consensus that if this game has a truly negative ending, this is the one. I used to think so, myself, but lately I've come to believe that it may not be any better or worse than the others, and that it may not be anywhere near as damning an indictment of James' character as people seem to think.

I've always thought of In Water to be the worst ending one could get. Sure, he accepts what he's done, but in the end he's nothing more than fish food. Like someone said in another thread, it's just a glorified game over (sorry, I don't recall who said it, otherwise I'd give credit). At least with the Maria ending James still has a chance at redemption should Maria really fall ill, just like Mary. I like to think of the Maria ending as a hint to a second chance rather than just a bad or bad+ ending.

alone in the town wrote:
She is afraid to be alone and wants James to protect her.

So, why is he a bad guy for doing it?

He's not. There's no evidence to suggest this, but perhaps he simply feels guilty for wanting to protect Maria instead of single-mindedly focusing on finding Mary? And, because of that guilt, he can't help but think of Mary when she had her outbursts, as though she would be scolding him in his mind. The Mary boss seems to be the embodiment of his negative memories of her, so James focusing on the bad memories of Mary could have given birth to the Mary boss.

alone in the town wrote:

I also think that this James is a man who has not been able to completely shake himself of the negative impressions he has formed of his wife as her ability to control her own emotions began to break down. This leads a lot of people to assume that he hates his wife, as he claims to have done, but I don't think it was ever anything like real hatred. Closer to the truth, I think, is that he was truly hurt by her outbursts, and that his crime was being unable to understand that she did not truly mean what she said and consequently, he could not forgive her for saying them. I think this is why, at the end of this scenario, the 'demon' appears to him truly in Mary's form and attacks him--it is a manifestation of this impression he has been unable to shake. In a sense, this is his way of shaking it, but since he seems unable to do this by separating his perception from the reality of her situation. This does not make him hateful or wicked, just very flawed.

I've always thought that the Mary boss wasn't really Mary. It makes sense that "she" would simply be a manifestation of the negative memories James has of her. After all, almost everything else seems to be manifestations from his unconscious mind (PH, Maria, the monsters...).

alone in the town wrote:
There are two implications left at the end of this scene. One is that they actually leave town together. This, I do no believe actually happens. I believe that they remain in the Otherworld for the duration of whatever their future happens to be. Perhaps it changes, to James' perspective, to simulate something closer to the real world for him--it is now a place in which he can be happy (similar to how the patient described in the Doctor's Journal is submerged in the Otherworld and finds happiness there).

Another possibility after the Maria ending (besides the second chance and the delusional happily ever after) is that James could probably end up in an asylum like the patient mentioned in the Doctor's Journal; happy in his delusion and not willing to be brought back to reality, but still existing in the real world. Hell, one could even argue that the Journal could be a foreshadowing of what might happen. :P


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 28 Dec 2010
Notes left: 136
This could be needed to look bad as the Silent Hill Shattered Memories "Drunk (Bad) Daddy" ending adds to the story nicely

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 30 Jan 2011
Notes left: 84
I don't like James at all, for what he did, and I have post in various threads the reasons why I think "In water" is the more likely ending, although I know the 4 endings are equally valid but I realy expect the Maria ending not being the right, because, if I have a bad inmpression for James, if the Maria ending was the real my hate for James would explode, because camon, it is not because he tries to protect Maria, that is normal, it is not killing Mary a second time (maybe it isn't Mary after all, like he himself says), it's the fact that he knows he have killed Mary, and he don't care, he just want go dirty with Maria.
I believe this is the WORST ending with difference, and if he would endind doing so, like the psycopath he would have become (killing a "loved" person in order to "be free" again, and it pleasing him, and don't caring about it) he would deserve the eternal hell that is reviving the events over and over again.
I think not even James, would do such a thing like we see in Maria's ending.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Or, to try and put the ending in a better light, he's trying to see events as him finally coming to terms with accepting his sin, and getting a chance to start over with a "reborn Mary" (Maria).

The guy's clearly still in some kind of denial.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 30 Jan 2011
Notes left: 84
If I recall properly, Maria says : "Have you killed your wife again?" And he says: "That wasn't my wife, my wife died long ago. (not true) It doens't matter anymore, I have you". He have turned into a psycopath (I know what I say, I have a degree in psycology), the persons aren't different to him from an object from now on, he use them, and then he get them out of his way. He doesn't feel remorse of any kind, and replace a person for another, like one normal person would threw away a semi broken glass in order to take a new one. In Maria ending James become a psycopath.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 20 Jun 2010
Notes left: 1627
flipain wrote:
If I recall properly, Maria says : "Have you killed your wife again?" And he says: "That wasn't my wife, my wife died long ago. (not true) It doens't matter anymore, I have you". He have turned into a psycopath (I know what I say, I have a degree in psycology), the persons aren't different to him from an object from now on, he use them, and then he get them out of his way. He doesn't feel remorse of any kind, and replace a person for another, like one normal person would threw away a semi broken glass in order to take a new one. In Maria ending James become a psycopath.

I don't mean to offend you, and I definitely don't mean to be antagonistic, but I honestly doubt you have qualifications in Psychology. If you did then you would surely realize that James wasn't simply a cold blooded murderer, that there was a lot more going on for him than simply wanting Mary out of the way. You've also described James' actions as a "psychotic break" in one post, even though you seem to think his actions were cold and calculated. I don't claim to know much, if anything, about Psychology myself, but I don't think a trained professional would throw around such terms unless they believed it actually applied to the individual (even if the individual in question is a fictional character). If you really did have a Degree in Psychology then one wouldn't expect some of the more subtle aspects of James and his story to be...well, lost on you.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Jul 2004
Notes left: 2099
Last seen at: Australia
1. Psychopathy is largely considered to be congenital. It is characterised by a lack of emotions like empathy, amorality, a lack of social skills, as well as things like manipulative or calculating behavior and narcissism. Only about 10% of people who fall under the 'psychopathic' classification are convicted criminals. You do not become a psychopath because of traumatic experiences or because you had a breakdown. However, a non-violent psychopath might escalate to violence and crime if they are abused or otherwise traumatised - their inherent lack of empathy and lack of morals and boundaries make it easier for them to hurt others.

2. Psychosis is characterised by a loss of ones sense of reality. People who suffer from psychosis might have aural and/or visual hallucinations, think they're someone or something that they're not, they may suffer from paranoid delusions. A 'psychotic break' is a psychiatric term that refers to an acute episode of these behaviours. If you say James is 'calculating', then he cannot possibly be suffering from a psychotic break. A person suffering from an acute episode of psychosis cannot control their thought process.

It seems to me that you're confusing 'psychosis' with 'psychopathy'. They're not the same thing, they're not even related. Any person who has done any reading on psychopathy knows that you don't 'become' one suddenly. A person who loses their empathy or sense of morality isn't a true psychopath.

As I said, traumatic events and stress can certainly lead a person who is a 'textbook psychopath' (i.e. they have a lack of empathy, morals, lack of interest in others and so forth) but haven't acted out to act out, and because of their inherent lack of emotions they tend to act out violently and without remorse. That's not what you were suggesting, though.

There's no way James is a psychopath. He gets hurt and angry from Mary's lack of love and interest. He mourns her death. He feels guilty. He loved her. He displays concern for Maria and Mary and very little for himself. A psychopath would never have come looking. A psychopath never would have felt guilty. A psychopath would have shrugged off her lack of interest and affection.


I'm sorry, but I sincerely doubt your credentials.


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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Aug 2010
Notes left: 362
The ending made me feel sorry for James that he is doomed to commit the same act all over again with Maria. The incident with Mary already messed him up. Imagine what it would do to him if it happened again. I'd like to think that maybe he'll do something different.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
Notes left: 11064
Last seen at: In the anals of forum history
I think it's perfectly plausible to believe he may do things differently, just as I believe that he can achieve the Leave ending and the end result leaves him miserable and lonely.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
"Mary died long ago" refers to Maria Ending!James coming to the conclusion that Mary "died" three years ago and became the sick, angry creature that ruined both their lives. It's the reason he deludes that Mary died three years ago. Maria Ending is the ending where he's still delusional.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 10 May 2006
Notes left: 4658
Last seen at: My Slinky! My cuddly little pet Slinky! *sobs*
flipain wrote:
If I recall properly, Maria says : "Have you killed your wife again?" And he says: "That wasn't my wife, my wife died long ago. (not true) It doens't matter anymore, I have you". He have turned into a psycopath (I know what I say, I have a degree in psycology), the persons aren't different to him from an object from now on, he use them, and then he get them out of his way. He doesn't feel remorse of any kind, and replace a person for another, like one normal person would threw away a semi broken glass in order to take a new one. In Maria ending James become a psycopath.


I DO have a degree in psychology. I got my BA in psychology at the University of Maryland. I am applying to GW to earn my PsyD. I attend lectures at the Washington School of Psychology. I am lucky enough to be studying under one of the biggest up-and-comers in the practice of ISTDP. Hell, I was fucking RAISED by two psychologists.

You, sir, do NOT have a degree in psychology. That explanation lacked psychological insight and completely ignored any sense of the subtleties of emotion, affect, motivation, defenses or interaction just within the scene. WORSE, it showed a total lack of understanding of the DSM, pathology of psychopathy, PTSD and abnormal psychology in general. These are things that are simply required to be a good therapist- without them, you risk causing further damage to your patients' already fragile egos.

You seem to like psych vocabulary. I've given you a whole good list. If you're wiki-ing any of them, get out of my field, because I fear for your patients.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 30 Jan 2011
Notes left: 84
You all can think of me being a liar all you want, it means nothing.

Back to topic, when I said James had a psycothic break, I expressed myself wrong, and I have said so in the thread where I said this, but seems like "Souless Shadow" only read, or understand what he wants.

To my fellow SOULESS SHADOW:
When I say James killed Mary in coold blood, I mean he did it on purpouse, and despite the fact she didn't wanted to die, and that she was yelling in agony for her life.

And, I'm not a trained proffesional, I have a degree in psycology, Industrial Psycology exactly, Psycology aplicated to laboral world, business, companies, etc, the ones who form Human Resources in companies, you know. BUT I have studied clinical psycology during the whole university course, specially the first three years, although, I'm not specialiced in that, of course.

I said, right after I failed using the term "psycothic break", that I have been expresing myself wrong, that I used the term as a form of speaking (even we the psicologies are human, or do you think we obtein superpowers and we can't be wrong any more after completing the university course?), and I used it because I didn't thought the people were going to search internet searching the exact meaning of the words.

And I also said that is impossible to James being under a psycothic break, nor a temporary insanity, because if it was the case, he wouldn't have felt guilt (he wouldn't have know he had killed his own wife), and when he watches the tape at the hotel, he would had thought the tape to be some type of trick played by the haunted town, because he wouldn't had recall nothing. Plus, in the case of psycothic break, PH would have never existed, becasue James would'nt had felt guilt deep inside, but he felt guilt, because he knew deep inside himself what he had done. Plus, again, if he would have really lost control over himself, aka, temporary insanity, aka psicothic break, he would have said so to Mary in the end, like "I really don't know what I did", or "I lost control, I don't remember anything", but he dind't says nothing like that, because he remember perfectly what he did, and accept all the responsability. People who commit a crime under a psycothic break/temporary insanity aren't directly responsibles, thus, they aren't jailed in a regular cell, but bringed to a Mental Sanitarium.

To my loved and fellow GOODNIGHT:
I haven't said James IS a psycopath, you are right, he isn't, he don't have the personality traits to be one, what I said, is that in the "Maria" ending, he BECOME a psycopath, in fact, I had forgoten about the psycopaths having innate traits, so, I correct myself, James, in the Maria ending, becomes something similar to a psycopath, because he lose entirely the guilt for killing Mary (a normal person wouldn't), and replace her inmediately, without mourning (the mourning don't last ten minutes you know, it takes years), as if she was an object that can be replaced.
And I'm not confusing psychosis with psycopathy, thanks.
By the way, James DO have temporary psichosis/a psycothic break when he starts imagining ablout the letter.

To AURA TWILIGHT:
I know that, I was refering he just had killed Mary, again, in the final boss form, and it well could be the actual Mary (her soul), and James just don't mind.

to the VIRTUOUS LAIN OF THE WIRED:
Don't worry my friend, as I have said before, I'm not a clinic psycology, but an Industrial Psycology, and thus I have no patients, nor I'm a therapist, plus I don't even work as Industrial psycology/Human Resources, because I'm trying to become a graphic designer, I attended the psycology university course in order to have an "normal" degree, just in case I couldn't work as graphic designer, and I selected psycology, becaouse of all the possible degrees was the one I liked more, you know, learn things about the human mind and behavior. In fact, I selected Industrial psycoloy/human resources over clinical psicology/therapist because I think that in order to actually try to help someone as a therapist you have to want to become a psycology wholeheartedly, and that weren't my case.

Ok people, thank for your insults, and for have given me the oportunity of explaining myself before you started calling me a liar. That's all.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11387
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Quote:
I know that, I was refering he just had killed Mary, again, in the final boss form, and it well could be the actual Mary (her soul), and James just don't mind.


Lost Memories says that the Mary he fought in the Maria Ending is not the real Mary, but a construct he created.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: In Defense of the Maria Ending

Missing since: 30 Jan 2011
Notes left: 84
Ok, but James don't know so. Or even, if he know so, he have lost all of his guilt for killing the real Mary, instantly. He hadn't regrets for her murder in that end, he just change a Mary for another.


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