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Aika theories and symbolisms. MASSIVE SPOILERS

#1NessEggmanPosted 6/24/2013 11:28:33 PM
OK, I marked the topic title with "MASSIVE SPOILERS" so we don't have to all blackout the spoilers and make people bother highlighting all the text in this thread to read... because most of it will be spoilers. So if you have not visited Aika Village, and don't want spoilers of what you'll see there, don't read this thread at all.

If you want to know what Aika Village is or how to get there, just search "aika" in the topic search... you will find plenty of topics that have info on how to get there. This thread is for people who have been and are intrigued by its story.

Today I went for the first time, and ended up going through 3 times. All I knew was it was called Aika Village and was creepy. I had no idea what to expect outside of that.

Anyway, the meat of this thread: Let's discuss theories over what the story is telling and what various parts mean. I've seen a lot of theories now, and been talking about theories with my friend on Skype, and I feel like a lot of fan theories don't fit everything found in the town.

This is my personal theory:

The story is that of an inner struggle. The first and last houses represent what appears to be and what really is. In the first, little Aika seems to have a happy loving family, and loves her mother dearly, and everyone gets along. But there's something hidden from us -- a room we can't see. As we travel through the town, we see the struggle within Aika's mind, and finally find out what is truly going on by looking in the last house.

Aika's mother is not the lovely mother she seems. She seeks perfection out of her child, as if Aika were a flawless doll. Aika tries so hard to communicate to her mother that she loves her, in hope that her mother loves her back. But it's never good enough. Her mother is never happy with her. The more Aika's mother hates her, the more Aika grows obsessed with winning her mother's love. She wants to break away from the feelings of isolation, from feeling like an object. This is what the axe in front of the doll represents to me, and all the toys always looking away from the player/front of the house/etc.

Eventually, Aika starts to lose touch with reality and becomes so obsessed with her imperfections that she decides to end her life.

I don't feel like there was any kind of possessed doll at all. I never got that feeling through any of my trips, and then read fan theories and was kind of surprised at that. Though I think it could easily be that was the intention, it's just not the feeling I got while playing through it.

Honestly during my first walk through, before seeing everything, I was thinking maybe the mom died and the dad was trying to resurrect her through alchemy and was killing dogs to do it, trying to make Aika happy again, but he failed so many times that he went crazy and ended up killing Aika to bring the mom back or something >_> But of course by the time I finished, I didn't think that anymore!

Anyway, I feel no matter what theory I come across, and including my own, there are symbols and things in the town that contradict what has been said, or are simply not explained at all.

For example, the egg/piano room. And the dolly feast room. I don't understand those at all, especially in the context of my theory.

Also, some random symbolism that people seem to miss often:

Red shoes by beach -- Strongly indicative of Aika's suicide.
If you've never turned the camera 180 degrees in the back room of the 2nd house... do it.
The flowers are carnations, which you receive on mother's/father's day.
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"Earth is a silly place. Half the world has no clean water. And the other half has so much, they poo in it."
#2RayKnightPosted 6/24/2013 11:31:41 PM
NessEggMan from the Azure Dreams board!?
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I didn't kill him. He seemed like a pretty decent guy.
But I did shoot him in the testicles.
- enjoi_number8 on AF, RDR
#3NessEggman(Topic Creator)Posted 6/24/2013 11:50:03 PM
Some imagery that led me to my theory:

Genesis room: Shows a real male statue, but a fake female statue. Also depicts the story of original sin, in which a woman -- and the world's first mother -- is the root of all sin/evil.

Final room: The "true" or flawed Aika and the "perfect dolly" Aika that she wants to break away from, and the axe she wants to use to break free, are trapped under the intense and ever-watching glare of her mother. Even with the axe, she can't break free of the iron bars that keep her caged.

Much like the caged bird, who can't even sing freely -- it's given sheet music. (Thanks to my friend for this one :) )

Doghouse graves: Perhaps as a punishment, Aika's mother would buy Aika a new puppy, only to torture and kill it in front of her as a form of torturing Aika herself, perhaps even leading Aika to try to shed her human feelings and become more doll-like. Or perhaps she only did this once, but the death weighs on Aika so much it feels like many deaths.

Ruined town: This represents not a town in shambles, but Aika's changing view of the world, or a symbol of the harshness of reality, or even just a symbol for death itself.

Running room: The exit signs and running signs represent escape -- however, how easy is it to escape this room? It's actually quite a struggle to navigate. No matter how much she tries to escape, and break the true Aika free from within, after all of her struggle, what is Aika faced with isolation. She cannot find happiness.

Also note that the running room is located sandwiched between the genesis and dolly feast room. The perfect little dolly fantasy, and the sins of her mother, are what she is running from in her mind.

Room with mom stuff everywhere/Okaasan daisuki: Aika is obsessed with pleasing her mother. It is all she knows. Her life revolves around her mother. The longer it goes on though, the more broken down this becomes. Her obsession grows to where pictures of her mother appear on EVERYTHING. In the obsession room, she watches nothing on television. It is through thinking of absolutely nothing that she is able to escape the pressure of her mother.

Outline on bed/bird in cage room: I don't see this as a chalk outline, but rather the place where the real Aika used to be. She is so engulfed in living the life of the dolly that the true Aika is fading away. Around the bed are symbols of the dolly's life: studying, living like a doll, a bird in a cage... all in a room that looks like her mother's. She is her mother's possession, no longer an individual.

Death: The only clear signs of a death are the doghouses, shoes at the beach (clearly Aika's), and the gravesite you have to swim to. There is only one person buried here (one skeleton), but also the Dolly and a time capsule. Through her own death, Aika was able to get rid of the dolly persona once and for all, and it is now history. The offerings at the grave are Aika's favorite sweets.

Pitfalls/hedge maze: Aika's mental struggle. No matter where she went, she fell in holes, losing the things she loved as she lost her ability to connect with happiness.

Some things I don't understand:

eggs/piano
eggs in bookshelf maze
bookshelf maze
megaphone in front of retail
beehives in police station
beehive in bookshelf maze
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"Earth is a silly place. Half the world has no clean water. And the other half has so much, they poo in it."
#4NessEggman(Topic Creator)Posted 6/24/2013 11:51:21 PM
RayKnight posted...
NessEggMan from the Azure Dreams board!?


Yup that's me :D Azure Dreams is still the first board on my watched boards list... but I'll admit I never click on it anymore. I only really click on UNLIMITED:Saga and Pokemon X, and recently this board. Even though I have like 40 watched boards or something lol. Hows the AD board going? It seems like it's still active (I notice the date of last post stays fairly current) to some extent.
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"Earth is a silly place. Half the world has no clean water. And the other half has so much, they poo in it."
#5CmaBoyPosted 6/25/2013 2:20:31 AM(edited)
This...actually makes a lot of sense. When I saw how much text there was, I was expecting some serious reaching (like some of the other theories out there for this town), but it actually would explain a lot of the more strange and seemingly random symbols.

Also, some ideas (which are probably grasping at straws because I really don't understand them either, but eh):

eggs/piano
Piano lessons? As part of the mom's obsession with making Aika the perfect little child (a.k.a. "dolly"), she had her take private lessons for "ladylike" things like music. But when she sits down to play, she has to deal with the constant pressure of her mom/instructor(s) watching and judging every little detail, like she's "walking on eggshells" and has to hide any little flaw that could set them off. I'm not sure if there's a similar idiom in Japanese culture for "walking on eggshells", but the delicate eggs set right behind the piano (where the mom/instructor would be) might symbolize this.

eggs in bookshelf maze
bookshelf maze
I was thinking maybe this room could symbolize school or Aika's academic life in general: a cramped, confusing mess of studying and strict discipline. If I remember correctly, there's only a few eggs here, sparsely scattered about--maybe representing her teachers, who while not as threatening or severe as her mother, are still figures Aika feels she needs to impress and maintain her perfect image around. I'm not sure what the hidden theremin represents though, but the rising pitch and volume as you move back through the room could suggest a rising level of anxiety or stress Aika feels as she gets closer to something/someone.

megaphone in front of retail
No clue on this, as I don't even remember where it was from my visit. I'll have to recheck, but the fact that it's near a flea market might imply the mom's obsession with showing off her "perfect little girl" in public; pageants and such come to mind.

beehives in police station
beehive in bookshelf maze
What are beehives? Nests full of angry, scary things that will sting you; things to avoid and leave alone. Maybe Aika's been so conditioned by her mother, that she sees figures like her teachers and especially the police as this. She wants to reach out for help and tell someone outside the family about everything that's going on at home, but she feels threatened by how her mom (or even those people) might react, so she's forced to keep it all to herself. And this may be coincidence, but I also find it interesting that the police station happens to be the classic one with Booker, the more apathetic and incompetent of the police dogs. Even if she did reach out to the police, they might not help...or care.


Edit: Also, I wonder if the doghouse graveyard even implies any actual dogs. Probably a stretch, but all the "puppy graves" could be a symbol of Aika's innocence or childhood dying. As the emotional weight piles up, she becomes more disillusioned with her life and life itself in general, leading up to her finally deciding just to break free from it all.

Geez, never would have expected this kind of depressing stuff from an Animal Crossing town, lol.
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Brasparo: 4167-4596-2791
Guru of weapons gilded, golden, and great.
#6RayKnightPosted 6/25/2013 2:29:04 AM
NessEggman posted...
RayKnight posted...
NessEggMan from the Azure Dreams board!?


Yup that's me :D Azure Dreams is still the first board on my watched boards list... but I'll admit I never click on it anymore. I only really click on UNLIMITED:Saga and Pokemon X, and recently this board. Even though I have like 40 watched boards or something lol. Hows the AD board going? It seems like it's still active (I notice the date of last post stays fairly current) to some extent.


You are one of the more prominent posters because unlike many here or there, there just aren't many intelligent and sensible posters. I PMed you a few years back. AD and US are good games that people cannot appreciate. In fact, my town is named Wakatu.

AD board is more or less dead, wish they would consider remaking a new AD.

I will post my theory on the Aika Village soon.
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I didn't kill him. He seemed like a pretty decent guy.
But I did shoot him in the testicles.
- enjoi_number8 on AF, RDR
#7LirishaePosted 6/25/2013 4:00:34 AM(edited)
Very nice work here. You've obviously put plenty of thought into this, and it makes the most sense of every theory I've heard ^_^ It also explains why Aika's picture was painted over in the second version of the family portrait. There are also some versions of the family portrait where Aika has a red shadow behind her--not sure what those mean.

As for the egg symbolism, the first thing that comes to mind is their fragility. This could be representative of Aika's mental state-feeling as if just the least bit more pressure will shatter her.

The beehives strike me as pieces of evidence in an investigation--perhaps they were involved in the deaths of the dogs, given the station's proximity to the graves.

Edit: I...think perhaps the beehives are evidence in how Aika's mother died. The beehive in the bookshelf maze is placed just below a picture of just Aika and her mother...and Aika has a red shadow behind her. So the chalk outline would be where Aika's mother died.

The megaphone strikes me as something that was meant to be used, not as symbolism. Going to go revisit the village and play around with it to see if I can figure out anything.
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"Little scratches on people's hearts will be gone if they pat them from behind, but the humans don't know that." -Li'l Cactus
3DS FC: 0619-3174-3155
#8LirishaePosted 6/25/2013 3:52:47 AM
CmaBoy posted...


eggs in bookshelf maze
bookshelf maze
I was thinking maybe this room could symbolize school or Aika's academic life in general: a cramped, confusing mess of studying and strict discipline. If I remember correctly, there's only a few eggs here, sparsely scattered about--maybe representing her teachers, who while not as threatening or severe as her mother, are still figures Aika feels she needs to impress and maintain her perfect image around. I'm not sure what the hidden theremin represents though, but the rising pitch and volume as you move back through the room could suggest a rising level of anxiety or stress Aika feels as she gets closer to something/someone.


The "thing" is a version of the family portrait where Aika has a red shadow behind her. The pitch and volume are highest when you stand right in front of it.
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"Little scratches on people's hearts will be gone if they pat them from behind, but the humans don't know that." -Li'l Cactus
3DS FC: 0619-3174-3155
#9shottytPosted 6/25/2013 5:21:53 AM
I just saw a messy town that was a pain to navigate through ....

I don't care about symbolism and hidden messages.. I'm pretty straight forward.
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3DS FC- 0189 - 8710 - 4574
www.thundershot.net - My Animal Crossing New Leaf Adventures
#10personn5Posted 6/25/2013 6:21:13 AM
CmaBoy posted...
And this may be coincidence, but I also find it interesting that the police station happens to be the classic one with Booker, the more apathetic and incompetent of the police dogs.


I just went and looked through it; in mine at least, it had the modern police station with Cooper.