D2 Plot Guide

                                   by Syonyx

Version 1.0
Completed December 9, 2003.

1. Introduction
2. Characters
3. Story elements
4. Chronology
5. Closing

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1. INTRODUCTION
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* Note: Do NOT read this guide if you don't want to spoil the game, because it
consists of pretty much nothing but spoilers.

D2 is one freaky game, and if you're not paying close attention, you can miss a
lot of hints about what the hell is going on.  Writing a FAQ/Walkthrough and
game script gave me the opportunity to analyze the story and consider all of the
events in trying to understand the game.  I have therefore produced this guide
as a contribution to a dialogue about the events that make up D2.  I would love
to evolve this guide further, so if you have anything to add, or want to debate
any of the points I made, post in on the D2 message board at:
http://cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/gentopic.asp?board=25482
I will check there regularly for a while, anyway.  You can also e-mail me at
syonyx at yahoo.ca.

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2. CHARACTERS
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LAURA PARTON

A hybrid born of the ovum and womb of her human mother, Lucy Parton, and the
sperm of an ancient winged being found in the belly of a frozen mammoth from
over 60 million years ago.  Laura does not know of her parentage, or her
destiny, until she comes to Northern Canada.

Why is she there?
We can only assume that she is drawn there by the Great Mother.

KIMBERLY FOX

Female, Black, seemingly in her late 20s or early 30s.  As a child, she
experienced the death of her father, the subsequent repeated abuse of her mother
by loan sharks, her mother's suicide by firearm, and the killing of her mother's
abusers.  She grew up feeling overwhelmed by loneliness, which she characterized
as "darkness".  Turning to poetry as an outlet for her pain and as a form of
escape, most of her work reflected these themes of darkness and loneliness.  She
also turned to the drug, 'Linda', in an effort to escape.

Due to her regular use of Linda, Kim developed a submerged psychopathic
personality, of which she was unaware.  This personality surfaced at times, and
was in control when she killed the terrorist in the stone hut, the musician in
his room, and the priest.  There is good reason to believe that she genuinely
did not know that she did these things.  For one, she would have to be the
world's best actor.  She demonstrates genuine concern for Jannie, even when she
was the one who drove her into hiding in disc 3.  Second, there are documented
cases of Linda bringing out the worst in human aggression.

How do we know that she is not infected by the plants?
The people she killed were not especially mutilated.  When the monsters kill,
they generally use extreme methods, such as clone-Kim biting off the crazy guy's
head, or Parker impaling Kim with a tentacle.  But then, when Kim kills the
terrorist in the stone hut, he is lifted off the ground, and there is a strange
buzzing sound.  And yet, his cries didn't indicate that Kim blossomed.  It was
more of a "Stop, what are you doing?" variety.  He would have been familiar with
blossoming, having seen it in Larry and others.  Also, when the crazy man in
disc 2 accuses her of being a monster, he had never seen her blossom at that
point.  He saw her kill his father (or thought he did) as a human, though the
means were reportedly horrible.  The ultimate proof that Kim, the real Kim
anyway, was not infected, was that when Parker impales her, we see red blood
around the wound.

After Laura completes her mission and turns back time, Kim has built her life
based on the lessons she learned during the course of the game.  She now values
friendship and hope in life, based on what David says about her poetry.  Her
eventual wish to be herself again if she could do it all over was fulfilled.

PARKER JACKSON

Parker is a thoughtful person and open-minded.  He is willing to accept that
phenomena do not have to have scientific explanations, or rather, his idea of
science includes the mystic and divine.
We know why he was on the plane.  He was investigating a signal coming from
Death Mountain as part of his work with CETI (Center for Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence).
How did he become infected?  We don't know.  As far as we know, he was never in
direct contact with any of the monsters.  We don't even know for sure how the
infection process takes place.  Transmission could be airborne or radiation-
based, or even mystical in nature.

JANNIE

She was on the plane with her mother, going to visit her Grandpa.  There is
nothing really mysterious about her.  The first time she disappeared, she went
to look for her Grandpa and got trapped in the mines.  The second time, she went
into hiding because she witnessed Kim having a psychotic episode.  In the end,
she dies by the power of the sorceror/Shadow.  We know this because A) she glows
red, the same color as the mountain top, and B) as she is melting, she complains
that first she can't see, then she can't hear, the same as the Shadow tries to
do to Laura in the final fight.

DAVID BRENNER

He is the estranged son of the man who created Linda, and he is on the plane in
response to a letter from his father.  He manages to save Linda when the meteor
hits the plane, but is injured in the crash, dying sometime before the 8 days
that Laura has forgotten.  Laura stays with him all that time.  I don't think he
has any special mystical significance.  Rather, I think that Laura learned about
love through her time with him.  He would have been prompted somehow by the
Great Mother to find Laura and protect her, since his interest in her is so
strong, and he feels instinctively like he has to protect her.  This could just
be male presumption too.

JOHN BRENNER

He is the crazy man who ties up Kim and Laura, and is killed by the blossomed
Kim clone.  This is deduced by the fact that he appears in the vicinity of the
pharmaceutical storage facility, where he worked; the fact that he wears a lab
coat and talks about experiments, and we know that John is a scientist; and the
fact that he has super-potent Linda, which he would be able to produce as a
scientist working with the lichen that Linda comes from.

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3. STORY ELEMENTS
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INFECTION

What is the source of the infection, and how is it transmitted?

A couple of possibilities spring to mind:
1) The sorcerer started it, possibly beginning with infecting Larry through
tainted Linda.  The character walking in the snow, their blood turning from red
to green at the beginning of the opening movie seems to be Larry, meaning that
he may have been the first to carry the infection.

2) It comes from the meteor.  Since in crashed in a high location, it could
easily spread its effects over a large area from there, either through radiation
of some sort, or physical particles or pathogens carried on the winds.  This is
supported by the man in the observatory's statement about "a shower of
meteorites, touching off a pandemic of mutations".  This also implies that, were
it not for the shield made by Mother Earth, other impact sites would be seen,
making the infection a world-wide phenomenon.

The meteor also hit the plane, possibly leaving some of the infectious agent on
the wreckage, thus putting most of the passengers at risk.  We don't see many
live passengers.  Kim speculates at one point that someone must have given them
a burial, but we don't see any signs of that.  Of course, the snow could have
covered anything like that.  If the plane did carry a source of infection, the
passengers-turned-monsters would have spread out across the area, manifesting in
the random encounters Laura had.  Since there are so many monsters roaming
about, and the plane would be the only source of that many bodies.  This
supports both hypotheses above, since both would make the plane a source of
infection.

3) If comes from the Shadow, who is awakened by the meteor.

As for transmission, again, we don't really know, and maybe it really doesn't
matter, except in figuring out how Parker became infected.

KIMBERLY CLONES

Really, I have no idea.  We know that cloning technology was being researched at
Lucy Parton Laboratories.  But then, who was using it, and how and why was Kim's
DNA acquired without her knowing?  She doesn't seem too surprised that clones of
her exist, and speaks like she knows something about clones, stating that
they're mindless copies.  Perhaps in this world, cloning is more advanced than
in our world.

Another possibility is that the monsters created the clones.  At the start of
the game, when Larry blossomed and attacked the girls, he sticks something
coming the mouth of his tentacle down Kim's throat, before Parker shows up and
shoots him.  Maybe he extracted something from her and then produced infected
copies of her.  Maybe the monsters reproduce like this.

THE GREAT MOTHER

A primal force, and the source of all life on the planet Earth, at least in a
spiritual sense.  She cannot manifest physically, but has powers that can be
exerted in the real world, like teleportation, and creating a shield around the
earth.  It took her some time to find Laura' soul and establish a link with it,
but it isn't just Laura she is able to affect, since she teleported Jannie out
of the mines as well.  She has been in conflict with the Shadow for millions of
years.

THE SHADOW

A primal force, bent on the destruction of all life on the planet Earth.  He
either always existed, as a balance to the Great Mother, or he first arrived
with the meteors that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.  I prefer the
first explanation.  In our time, a meteor hit the earth and woke up the Shadow
from his slumber.  I see no reason to think that he arrived on a meteor, but
then took another meteor to bring him into action again.  Possibly, he has been
a force influencing the course of human history, partially responsible for the
horrors that we see in the series of visions.  This has probably been the only
way he has been able to act for most of human history, if at all, since once he
is "awakened", a faster course of destruction is started.  The question remains,
then, was it he who wiped out the dinosaurs, or was that a direct physical
effect of the meteors hitting the Earth?
I think that the Shadow, and consequently the Great Mother as well, are aspects
of universal forces, reflecting the cosmic struggle on the smaller scale of the
Earth.  This greater force that the Shadow is connected to sent the meteor,
which came a long way through space, in order to wake it and do its job on the
planet.

COMPACT AND FLOWER

I think Laura has some unconscious connection to power stemming from her
parentage.  The compact, as the only item she has to remind her of her mother,
becomes a focus for that power.  The Great Mother, connected to this power since
she created all life, including the winged man who is Laura's father, is able to
use the compact as a conduit.  She creates the vision in it that David sees,
prompting his to get Laura to safety just in time.
From there on, I think any power in the compact comes from Laura herself.  She
defeats the Shadow using the flower, kept in her compact, that David gave her
before she died.  There's no reason to think that flower was special in itself.
As David says, it's a Canadian flower.  How could that be special (I'm Canadian,
by the way).  I think that instead, it was able to hurt the Shadow because of
Laura's own power, which became focused into the flower as a symbol of her love,
for David, and for her mother, since it was inside the compact.

FLASHBACKS

Laura remembers the time she spent with David in sequence, as reminders pop up.
The first of these is when Kim tells her that her name is Laura.  She then
remembers David saying her name, and telling her his.  This continues until the
final fight, when she recalls the last gift that David gave her, bringing back
her memory and reminding her of the tool she has to fight the Shadow.

LIGHT

Probably the most pervasive theme in the game.  The Great Mother uses yellow
light, in shielding the planet and teleporting Laura to safety.  The Shadow
emanates red light, and it symbolizes his power.  Jannie glows red when he melts
her.  Light is a major theme in Kim's life.  She equates her loneliness with
darkness in her poetry, and associates the relationships she develops with Laura
and Parker with light.

LINDA

The drug is made from a lichen indigenous to the area that the game takes place
in.  Possibly, the presence of the sleeping Shadow in seen in the lichen, hence
Linda brings out extremes of human aggression, producing psychosis, driving
people to murder and cannibalism.

Linda links many characters in the game.  David's father invented it, and named
it after his wife, David's mother.  Kim uses it, and the sorcerer put the
terrorists on it.  John

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4. CHRONOLOGY
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65 million years ago: Dinosaurs ruled the earth, but a meteor struck and wiped
them out.
December 25, 1999: The plane is struck by another meteor.
December 25-January 2: Laura is with David, who slowly dies from his injuries.
Around January 2: After David's death, Laura runs into Jannie.  They are both
found by Kim.
January 4: Laura wakes up.  Disc 1 begins.

The rest of the events proceed pretty linearly, with Laura's flashbacks of David
mixed in.  In disc 3, however, there's a lot of running back and forth between
places while other characters are doing their own things, so I thought I'd try
to sort out when everything happened.

DISC 3:
--> Laura appears on Parker's truck.  They all go to the musician's house, where
the musician, driven mad by his mother and Linda, is upstairs.  Parker and Kim
have their little arguments, and Laura goes to sleep with Jannie in the bedroom.

--> Laura wakes up, leaving Jannie still sleeping.  Kim and Parker have a fight
over Linda, and Parker storms out.  Laura goes out to explore the area, and
speaks to the priest.  When she returns, Jannie is up, but everyone else is
gone, including the musician.  Kim finds the secret hall in his room.

--> Laura goes out again and goes to Martha's house.  While she's out, Kim goes
back to the house, and so has the musician.  Kim goes psychotic on him, kills
him and stuffs him in the secret panel in the hall in his room.  Jannie sees
some of this, and hides when Kim comes after her too.

--> Laura gets back to the house.  Kim's psychotic episode is over, and she has
no memory of it.  Kim thinks Jannie is now missing.  She leaves, but the
butterfly on her back makes Laura suspicious, so she checks the musician's room
again, and discovers his dead body.  Meanwhile, Parker has come back from the
bridge, and ran into Kim outside.  While he and Laura talk, Kim goes crazy again
and kills the priest, then heads out to the bridge.

--> Laura goes out and finds the priest murdered, getting the explosive device.
Why does a priest have this?  Maybe the prophecies prompted him to get it ready.
While Laura is out, Martha has gone over to the house, ran into Parker, and went
to her son's room.  She locked herself in.  She's been infected at some point.
[One flaw in this.  Parker knows there's a dead body upstairs, since he came up
when Laura screamed, but he seems to think nothing of it when Martha goes
upstairs.  He says that, "her little son seems to have wandered off."  Was it
not evident that the dead guy was the musician?  Or am I making a false
assumption?  Martha sure finds him dead up there, and comes after Laura for
revenge later.]

--> Laura finds Kim at the bridge.  They go back together, and Kim gets the bomb
and heads out.  Laura saves her, they go back, and Kim and Parker fight again.
The next morning, Kim tries to apologize, but Parker has been infected.  He
leaves, taking the other bomb, and tried to blow himself up with the bridge.
Kim stays out to mourn.

--> Back at the house, Jannie finally came out of hiding, and Martha,
blossoming, comes out of the room.  Laura kills her, and Jannie tells her what
Kim did.  Kim overhears from the doorway.  Between the Linda, losing Parker, and
this, she is extremely distraught, and leaves to look for Parker at the bridge,
who she thinks is still alive.  Jannie and Laura follow her, then Kim and Parker
kill each other while embracing.  Jannie and Laura cross the bridge.
END OF DISC 3

After Laura defeats the Sorcerer/Shadow in disc 4, she fuses with the power that
they were using, and goes on a greater spiritual journey, which we don't see,
during which she locates the life forces of the people she met.  She is able to
recreate the world to some extent and go back in time to a new reality where the
characters are transformed by what they learned during the game.  Kim has found
peace, and Laura meets David, though he doesn't know what she does about what
had happened during the game, so he is surprised when she calls his name, since
he never told her what it was.

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5. CLOSING
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As I said in the introduction, it would be nice if this were a work in progress.
However, given the age of the game and the oh-so sad fate of the Dreamcast, I
don't know if participation will be high.  I would love for you to prove me
wrong.  If you want to add to anything written here, or debate any of the points
I made, feel free to e-mail me at: syonyx at yahoo.ca
Alternately, you can post remarks on the Gamefaqs D2 message board at:
http://cgi.gamefaqs.com/boards/gentopic.asp?board=25482

LEGAL STUFF
This document is the original work of Marc Lalonde, a.k.a. Syonyx, and if
provided for free personal use only.  Any use of this guide or any part thereof
for profit or in the hopes of such profit is expressly forbidden.  This guide is
only authorized to be posted at gamefaqs.com.  Written permission must be
obtained in advance for any other public display or publication of this guide,
and indications of original authorship must always be displayed.

(c) Syonyx 2003.