As much as writers and video game developers try to close off every potential plot hole or inconsistency in their product, the inevitably truth is that some are going to slip through the cracks no matter how much effort is put into preventing this. This is also the case in Bloober Team’s latest title, The Medium.
While the entire game centers around the player discovering various aspects of what happened in Marianne’s past and the cause of the Niwa Massacre, many events that come up in the story don’t make as much sense on a second pass as the game would like them to, resulting in some headscratchers that persist well after the game has ended.
10 Maw Consuming Lilianne’s Spirits
Shortly after meeting Maw for the first time, Sadness reveals that the reason she is the only spirit left in Niwa is that Maw has been devouring them and that they are coming after Marianne and Sadness next. This all somewhat makes sense, right up until it is revealed that both Maw and Sadness are fragments of Lilianne’s spirit and that the majority of spirits Sadness referred to were also fragments of Lilianne. Although Maw and Lilianne are separate entities, there is a clear link between the two by the end of the game that raises the question as to what Maw gets out of devouring what are bascially aspects of itself.
9 Maw Knowing So Much About Jack
After fleeing from Maw for the umpteenth time, Marianne is presented with an image of Jack, who she follows right into the hands of Maw shortly afterward. Maw also taunts Marianne about Jack’s death and the fact that they, apparently, were able to devour Jack at some point. There is the theory that Maw was able to present a fake image of Jack to Marianne, which he never did before and never does again, but the fact that they know so much about someone they should never have met raises more questions than it answers.
8 Jack’s Tie Ending Up In Niwa
Maw knowing so much about Jack isn’t the only thing that doesn’t make sense about this sequence. Not only does Jack appear despite Marianne having put his spirit to rest at the beginning of the game, but his tie physically appears in Niwa just after he also appears to Marianne.
Even if this was another illusion by Maw, it served no purpose to their cause and all it did was raise the question of whether or not Maw is actually bound to Niwa at all, since they know far more than they should and the tie was supposedly buried with Jack.
7 The Spinning Top
After Sadness decides to help Marianne discover more about the children that lived at Niwa, there are several toys that you can interact with that hold Echoes of the past to be listened to. One of these toys is a large, red spinning top that was supposedly the toy of one of the boys who stayed there. However, this exact same top is later seen in a sequence inside Henry’s mind, as it is apparently a toy of his son. This could mean that Henry is actually on a quest for revenge if his son was a victim of the Niwa Massacre, but he makes it clear that he is only there on business, leaving the reason behind this toy existing in both places up for debate.
6 The Bunker
After Maw is set loose to save Lilianne and Marianne from a house fire started by Henry, Thomas realizes just how dangerous the creature is, though not in time to prevent the Niwa Massacre from occurring. After sending Marianne away, he imprisons both Lilianne and Maw inside a bunker, though what the bunker was used for before this is never explained. Niwa used to hold significance during World War II, so it is possible that it was used for some military purpose, but the fact that he knew it was there at all when it is so far removed from the main resort doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
5 The Boundaries That Hold Maw In Niwa
At the end of the game, it is revealed that Maw can’t de destroyed until their host, Lilianne, is also destroyed. Until this happens, they are bound to the immediate area of the Niwa Resort and aren’t able to leave without a strong enough host, which is why they are so hell-bent on possessing Marianne. This boundary is touched upon in the bunker, as Thomas used salt and other old wives’ tales to trap Maw inside the bunker, but there is no such barrier on the outside, drawing into question what exactly is holding Maw back from simply walking off.
4 Maw Being Unable To Die
One of the more confusing aspects that comes in the final revelations of the game is that Maw, as well as every other monster that has split from their host, can’t be destroyed without their host dying first. This seems to only be a way to make the final conflict happen, as there are several holes as to why this shouldn’t be the truth.
For one, Maw had devoured and destroyed several of Lilianne’s other spirit selves despite the fact that she was still alive, alongside the fact that Thomas was able to sever spirits from living people, forcing them to move on to the afterlife even if their body hadn’t died yet. Maw is, in essence, the same kind of being as every other spirit, even if they are a little more monstrous, so this limit doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
3 Childeater And Hound’s Survival
In the final moments of the game, Marianne isn’t able to destroy Maw herself, though she is able to make one of two choices that will end in Maw starving to death at some point. As a monster like Hound and Childeater, this raises the question of how those two monsters could survive without eating like Maw at all, as they, apparently, haven’t’ been engaging in the same murderous outbursts as Maw while also being trapped in Niwa. There may be something inherently different about Maw, but that is never explained in the game and it just makes trying to determine what these monsters actually are even harder.
2 Spirit Thomas
Like Marianne, Thomas’s appearance changes when he is in the spirit world or inside someone’s inner spirit world. However, unlike Marianne, Thomas and his spirit half are two separate entities, with the former apparently not trusting his spirit counterpart when you first meet him. Spirit Thomas also appears to be similar to Sadness in design, though he is lacking the distinct porcelain mask that all other spirits have, despite the fact that it is implied that Thomas died a long time ago. In the end, it isn’t clear just what Spirit Thomas actually is and whether or not he is a fragment of Thomas’ spirit like Maw is to Lilianne or if he is something else entirely.
1 Marianne’s Powers
Both of Marianne’s living blood relatives, Lilianne and Thomas, have similar kinds of medium powers as her, though their powers manifest in different ways. Thomas is able to send his spirit half into people’s minds and sever their souls from their bodies as well as having some of the same powers as Marianne, while Lilianne is able to sever aspects of her spirit at will, with the rest of her powers being undefined. This power to split a spirit is something that apparently didn’t pass down to Marianne and the reason why Lilianne has similar powers to Thomas but Marianne doesn’t is never explained.
Next: The Medium: 10 Crazy Facts You Didn’t Know About The Main Characters
Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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