[dropcap size=big]C[/dropcap]ontradiction, sometimes known as Contradiction – Spot the Liar!, is one hell of a video game. It places you in the shoes of inspector Jenks, a man on a mission to discover the truth behind the death of a young woman. Players must dig up clues and point out contradictions in conversations with suspects (the tiny town is full of them!). While this might sound a bit like Phoenix Wright, it ups the hammy ante with full motion video graphics. It’s a lovely, sometimes wacky experience, and totally worth a playthrough.
If you’re curious to know more then check out my review. However, if you’ve beaten the game and were left feeling unsatisfied, then you weren’t alone. After all, Contradiction leaves so many seeds of subplots that simply aren’t resolved. Why? It doesn’t appear they were simply red herrings. Just go look at the Contradiction Kickstarter page and you’ll see that whole thing was funded with a little over $6,000 from backers (although Tim Follin and company pitched in as well). It’s very apparent that the ending was wrapped up in such a sudden fashion because they didn’t have the money to truly create the “perfect” experience. Even so, it’s still pretty awesome.
Since we don’t know how things “really” could have ended, folks have begun to come up with their own beliefs surrounding the townsfolk in Contradiction. Even I have spent more time than may be healthy considering all the tiny nuances of the game. If you’d like to hear a variety of fan theories then read on. If you thought Contradiction was strange before then you’re going to find it even stranger after considering all the loose ends. It goes without saying that all the following text will be spoiler heavy so please don’t read it until completing the game yourself first.
What’s the deal with scrying mirrors?
It seems like almost everyone in town has something to say about scrying mirrors. Those black-tinted personal mirrors apparently have nothing to do with Kate Vine’s murder so why are they brought up so darn much? It seems that there was something more planned for the storyline that we only get a taste of in the current rendition of Contradiction. Just look at the evidence!
We know that at some point before Kate died, she purchased herself a scrying mirror. Not only that, but Emma was even forced to try out the mirror herself at some point by her dearly departed buddy. All of the mirrors in question, by the way, were created by none other than resident druggy James. Given all he “knew,” it seems even he played more into everything than it appears.
But speaking of Emma, do you recall that scene where Jenks hands her a mirror and she demonstrates how it is used? What was it that caused her to actually zone out while looking at it? What was it that she was apparently seeing or expecting to see when gazing into its blackness? There’s no doubt this scene was meant to suggest something but the question remains what exactly that is. All we know is that those mirrors appear to have way more power than Jenks believes.
Was there something more to Lisa?
Poor Lisa Blint, this gal just happened to let the Rand family into her life and ruin it forever. There’s no doubt that for the five minutes we see her in the game (before she disappears entirely) she has some demons to deal with. Yet, all of this was triggered only after being in direct contact with the Atlas Corporation/Third Eye. Something about that course screwed up her sense of reality and, even if she were already unstable, a regular old business class she signed up to of her own volition shouldn’t have been a big issue.
Of course, we know that Paul and Ryan Rand’s techniques have crafted a very unique, and disturbing sort of system. It’s important to note that the symptoms Lisa faces deal directly with mirrors. She cannot look into the mirrors in the dark because she will see the demon which has apparently lodged itself in her soul. Darkened mirrors — hey, doesn’t that sound something like a scrying mirror? James did say that you don’t even need a mirror to scry, just the right mindset and a reflective surface. Lisa appears to be stuck in a perpetual state of scrying instigated by the Rand’s and their ways.
Is it possible that Emma may also be suffering the same effects? We know she only went to one Atlas course, but she did spend some time indulged in Third Eye. She was involved enough to get to the stage of saying something cruel to Liam. Perhaps the scrying mirror reaction was just meant as a throwaway segment, but Lisa definitely has more going on. She may have even had more to say but unfortunately we were never given another chance to interact with her.
What happened to Liam anyway?
Liam was another unfortunate student of the Rand system when it was known as Third Eye. One year ago his death was ruled a suicide, but even so, Third Eye still find it best to change their name and outward image to that of Atlas. But is that really all there is to the story? It seems so weird that the Chief set this up to be something more than coincidence to never have it pay off. Sure, you utilize Liam’s clues to reveal Emma’s contradictions, but that’s all.
Apparently, Liam was a happy fellow but also potentially an alcoholic while spending time with the Rands. Oh, and so was Kate. That’s a bit too similar for my tastes. But, it certainly is unlikely that what happened to Kate also happened to Liam. After all, that would have to mean that Rebecca also suspected Liam of sleeping with her husband. While probable, it seems much more like that was a one-time crime of passion on Rebecca’s part.
So what the hell actually happened with Liam? I personally hope that his untimely death had to do with Third Eye. Not necessarily in the conspiratorial way that James described it, with Liam and him discovering the truth behind the company, but that Third Eye is certainly some sort of cult. Do you recall the incredibly odd scene near the climax of the game which Jenks stumbles onto in the forest? Ryan may have called this just an exercise, but it looked much more like a ritualistic killing to me. This is the biggest leap of all, but could it be possible that Liam was killed as part of the secretive, cultish side of Third Eye?
If there is a sequel to Contradiction it may or may not continue the storyline of the original game. Personally, I would love to see them be able to truly create the game as they had intended with some expansion on the more creepy aspects of the game. The cult/corporation concept is a great deal of fun and has the potential to go in so many directions. All of this speculation presented could be entirely wrong, but that’s part of the fun!
Have you played Contradiction? What are your thoughts about the game?