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Introduction

DreadOut tells us the story is there but doesn't explain it to us, so you'll not understand the story even after you defeated the game - no matter how many times, you'll just scratch your head more and more. Intriguing isn't it? The whole idea of DreadOut and the story is so fascinating that people are craving for the answer - including you, evidenced by the fact that you even read this. Asking the developer themselves won't do any good, they'd just tell you to discuss it in the Steam community hub. So people jump into the bottomless abyss creating endless theories, including me.

The Three Rules

First, technically there're three endings but let's talk about the true ending kind of thing because it's more interesting than the other two - continuity wise.

Second, the foundation for theories is weak so I will try to not stretches too far as the main story where this theory is build upon is barely holding up. Otherwise this would sound too BS and too much for human brain to process.

Third, spoiler from the game and manga is imminent of course.

Well then... 

Story Theory

Short Yet Long Version

The story is about Ouroborous (notice the styled O in the tittle?). From the comic we know Linda's group is not the first one stumbled into the city and paid the price (interestingly, the place always looks inhabited from afar). The common theory from a few clues we have here and there is basically like this:

  • Ms Siska planned the whole thing from the beginning. Btw, in the comic there's a shopkeeper who looks like her giving direction to the protagonist's family to go to the same village in the game - said it's a shortcut and seemed to know that place "very well" at the end.
  • The Lady in Red appeared in Linda's dream (Act 1) giving her a premonition (Act 0) as a warning the moment Linda's group getting close to the village. Linda's eyes flashed red for a second foreshadowing the ending when she can fully controls her true power.
  • It's believed the 3 sisters imprisoned/sealed a Serpent Mistress there (notice a carving of 3 women holding chains to a snake woman at the school? There's also a painting of them with a snake at the mansion - Lady in Red's room) and she cursed the whole city because of it (or is it the other way around?). There's a painting of them being worshipped in that room btw. Just FYI, this creature (complete with the naming) is in a magazine contained clues related to the game given to the backers.
  • Ms Siska knows something about the Serpent and the 3 sisters and she wants something. Looking young forever/immortality? There's a painting of a girl with her reflection being an old woman in the mirror at the mansion (3 mirrors-3 chairs room) btw.
  • She knew about Linda's power and led the group there to distract the 3 sisters while she's doing whatever her plan is. The 3rd sister/Ira got in her way, so she "sent" Linda to confront her.
  • Ms Siska killed Donny, Shelly and Yayan either directly or indirectly. Used them as shields against ghosts or sacrifices for the resurrection of the Serpent or something? If Yayan suffers the same fate as in the bad ending, he'd be killed after escaping the toilet locked by Ms Siska. Or died in the toilet. The reason Ms Siska locked him is just for the lulz hahaha - just kidding.
  • Growing weaker (said by the 3rd sister and evidenced by her pale eyes throughout the game then finally became white along with her hair at the end) and knowing Linda has potential, the Lady in Red/1st Sister guides and tests her, then finally passes her job to Linda. You know, all that talk about unleashing Linda's power, Linda shall play her part etc and her cheering in Limbo.   
  • In the end, Ms Siska escaped with the reincarnated/resurrected Serpent. Maybe what the Lady in Red meant by "It's coming... the shadow" at the end is the ressurection of the Serpent - the one who brings the darkness. You know, Ouroborous thing.
  • The new keepers of the darkness are Linda, Ira and the 3rd sister (who possessed Ira). You'll see why it's not Ms Siska in the far far below right before extras section.

Imagine at the end Ms Siska whispered,

"Good kid, you did what your teacher told you to. As I thought, you were really useful, Linda fufufu".

This whole theory would add an impact to this.


  • Or they could add another twist: Ms Siska is just the Mistress's pawn, or she's being controlled (not possessed) by her since the seal/the sisters' power that hold her down is growing weaker
  • And we'll deal with the Serpent Mistress ft. Ms. Siska in the sequel yay :D Hopefully, if there's any... 

Long Ass Version

Ouroborous

The story is about Ouroborous(notice the styled O in the tittle?), an eternal cycle. From the comic we know Linda's group is not the first one stumbled into the city and paid the price (interestingly, the place always looks inhabited from afar). The common theory from a few clues we have here and there is basically like this:

The Lady in Red's Warning

The Lady in Red appeared in Linda's dream (Act 1) giving her a premonition (Act 0) as a warning the moment Linda's group getting close to the village. Linda's eyes flashed red for a second foreshadowing the ending when she can fully controls her true power.

The Three Sisters Sealed The Serpent Mistress

It's believed the 3 sisters imprisoned/sealed a Serpent Mistress there (notice a carving of 3 women holding chains to a snake woman at the school? There's also a painting of them with a snake at the mansion - Lady in Red's room) and she cursed the whole city because of it (or is it the other way around?). There's a painting of them being worshipped in that room btw. Just FYI, this creature (complete with the naming) is in a magazine contained clues related to the game given to the backers. Read some more.

  • Are these her?
The magazine cover: http://dreadout.com/images/Klenik_low.jpg
DreadOut Developer Diary 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx8YTyZmNeY#t=268

Ms. Siska the Mastermind

Ms Siska planned the whole thing from the beginning. Btw, in the comic there's a shopkeeper who looks like her giving direction to the protagonist's family to go to the same village in the game - said it's a shortcut and seemed to know that place "very well" at the end.

Ms. Siska's Hidden Ambition

Ms Siska knows something about the Serpent and the 3 sisters and she wants something. Looking young forever/immortality? There's a painting of a girl with her reflection being an old woman in the mirror at the mansion (3 mirrors-3 chairs room) btw. She knew about Linda's power and led the group there to distract the 3 sisters while she's doing whatever her plan is. The 3rd sister/Ira got in her way, so she "sent" Linda to confront her.

Ms. Siska Sacrificed Her Students

Ms Siska killed Donny, Shelly and Yayan either directly or indirectly. Used them as shields against ghosts or sacrifices for the resurrection of the Serpent or something? If Yayan suffers the same fate as in the bad ending, he'd be killed after escaping the toilet locked by Ms Siska. Or died in the toilet. The reason Ms Siska locked him is just for the lulz hahaha - just kidding.

Linda Break the Serpent Mistress's Seal

By taken a shot of a candle before the Serpent's skeleton, Linda unknowingly breaks her seal which result or at least a big help in the Serpent's resurrection as Ms. Siska planned all along. Just by taking a photo? Yes, like in Act 0 and Act 1 where you take a photo of candles to release/reveal something. This works very well with this., you know - Ouroborous.

  • The (other) door to the school is also the door to the place where the Serpent is imprisoned/sealed, maybe that's why there's that carving of three women holding chains to a serpent lady above the door. There is a writing in the wall inside the school, "SEKOLAH ATAU PENJARA?" which means "SCHOOL OR PRISON?". Interesting, isn't it? We can see the door and the path to the invisible maze which they seems to be connected without using a camera, that's another proof of a weakening Lady in Red. Because that place is supposed to be totally invisible.
  • And that abyss, still whirlpool thingy... There's also two painting of a sea which LIR on one of them in the place where you defeated the Second Sister. Floods is one of the disasters that befell that cursed town in the past (hinted in the manga and confirmed in a journal). Well, the Serpent Mistress in this game is definitely based on a famous Indonesian legend, Nyi Roro Kidul - Queen of the Southern Sea. Or Nyi Blorong, Nyi Roro Kidul's follower - another version of her. If you read their wiki, you may probably think of some other possible stories to this game like the LIR is Nyi Roro Kidul and the Serpent Mistress is Nyi Blorong - the LIR follower, the Serpent did something terrible that makes the LIR feel responsible and sealed her... for example. I won't go that far, though that sounds a bit similar to this theory..

The Lady in Red's Successor

Growing weaker (said by the 3rd sister and evidenced by her pale eyes throughout the game then finally became white along with her hair at the end) and knowing Linda has potential, the Lady in Red/1st Sister guides and tests her, then finally passes her job to Linda. You know, all that talk about unleashing Linda's power, Linda shall play her part etc and her cheering in Limbo.

  • The giant eye thingy that'll look wherever Linda is looking is kinda symbolizes the LIR is watching everything as in guarding (depicted as the teeth that could chow down trespassers like you) like she even gave Linda a "warning" when her group is approaching the village. When Linda showed her true power the eye disappeared, followed by the LIR and then the eye closed symbolizes the LIR's not watching anymore and the passing of LIR's job to Linda.
  • Or it could represents Linda's true power. Because you know, It'll look wherever Linda is looking. And it's red like Linda's eyes at the beginning and ending of the game. The dissapearance of the eye symbolizes the weakening of Linda/she is exhausted, that's why the LIR stopped Linda gently from pushing herself too hard when Linda was trying to give another shot at chain bending. Then when the LIR seems dissapeared into the former giant eye thingy, it means she has given up/trusted Linda's power.

The Whispering Ms. Siska

In the end, Ms Siska escaped with the reincarnated/resurrected Serpent after whispering something to Linda. Imagine at the end Ms Siska whispered,

"Good kid, you did what your teacher told you to. As I thought, you were really useful, Linda fufufu".

This whole theory would add an impact to this.

The New Keepers of the Darkness

Maybe what the Lady in Red meant by "It's coming... the shadow" at the end is the ressurection of the Serpent - the one who brings the darkness. You know, Ouroborous thing. The new keepers of the darkness are Linda, Ira and the 3rd sister (who possessed Ira). You'll see why it's not Ms Siska in the far far below right before extras section.

The Lady in Red Possessed Linda Theory

For some reason many people believed that the LIR possessed Linda after seeing Linda's red eyes at the end, just because the LIR is all red? Really? Linda's eyes already flashed red for a second at the beginning btw. Linda's face and eyes aren't pale either like Ira when she got possessed (Sure it can be justified with makeup and contact lens if Linda is possessed after the last cutscene before the credits I guess). Why go all the trouble to "guides" her if she want to possess her in the end? Because the LIR is weakening so she wanted a good host? Why don't she just "activates" Linda's true power from the inside? Baseless assumptions. We don't know how possession works in this game. As I said above I won't dig too far. So, no, Linda is not possessed in this theory. That'd contradict this theory anyway because then, Ira would mentioned 4 keepers of the darkness.

Suzie, the New Keeper of the Darkness Theory

Suzie the doll. I dunno if it actually possessed, but I'd like to bet it is because of all the mysterious dolls in Act 0, Act 1 and even the manga. While it's perfectly normal if the doll is not possessed -all the doll's actions in that conversation are 3rd Sister's doing, remember she's a kid who likes to play with her doll- possession of the doll is not out of the question either, because nothing against it especially in this game (reminds me of the youngest of the protagonist's two sisters who possessed her own doll in the manga). Yes, she said the doll is not an ordinary doll, but that's not really convincing at all to assume the doll is possessed because she is a kid! Like, even she evidently contradicts herself in that conversation for example (read down below. if you dunno what I mean). Anyway the 3rd Sister possessed Ira, not the doll. Therefore, Suzie is not one of the new Keepers of the Darkness. If the doll is possessed it'd by different entity, Suzie.

Another Twist

Or they could add another twist: Ms Siska is just the Mistress's pawn, or she's being controlled (not possessed) by her since the seal/the sisters' power that hold her down is growing weaker.  And we'll deal with the Serpent Mistress ft. Ms. Siska in the sequel yay :D Hopefully, if there's any... 

The Three Sisters are Good

Oh and yes, this theory suggests that the 3 sisters are actually good in an anti-hero kinda thing attitude or at least they're now, because there's no definite clues that point out they've been good for a long time. You know, they could just sealed the Serpent for their own gains or they did some pact/ritual with her for something but the city paid the price so the sisters feel responsible and sealed it along with the cursed city then dedicated their life guarding that place to redeem their sin. 

At least, they certainly don't look very nice at all. Remember the 3rd sister/Ira conversation with Linda? She said they don't care, it's just their job. She'd even kill Ira if you make her angry in that conversation after she said she'd never kill the living. Of course those could mean nothing, she's just a child after all. And just FYI, she should still live at that time, there's a moment when Ira gained her consciousness a bit and said Linda's name. The image of her looking like a corpse when you do nothing for a while is probably to suggest that she's being possessed or otherwise the 3rd sister'd at least try to suggest that she's dead when Linda asked her to release Ira. Or it could be a joke from the devs - Ira is dead waiting for your reply lol.  

Possessed Ms. Siska Theory

There are many variations of this theory and there is also another popular theory:  Ms Siska is possessed. Though that'd beg the question of who and why? And countless theories would follow. Like it's the treacherous 2nd sister, because the 3rd sister said the 2nd sister's crazy, because Ms Siska is the 3rd keeper of the darkness etc. Remember Donny and Ira's faces and eyes when they got possessed! Pale. Is it so for Ms Siska? Nope. You know if Ms Siska is the 3rd keeper, she doesn't need to have such attitude toward Linda at the end. They should get along. And why she leaves taking the new Serpent then? Bla bla bla. Fanfiction incoming. LOL. And btw nothing implies that you've to get possessed by the original sisters to be the new keeper you know.

Extras (Interesting Things)

  • There are some interesting things in the manga that could be integrated into the above theories, though the connection to the main storyline is too weak that I'm lazy to do it, at least for now.  These're interesting to think about though:
    • There're two stories, both in the same place with the game
    • The place always looks inhabited from afar, but not really when they get close, just like in the game
    • Origin of one of the mysterious three dolls at the school in Act 1
    • The three sisters appeared
    • The owner of the three medals from Act 1
    • That village already existed for a really long time like decades ago. Even back then the place is already cursed.
    • and that lady in the stall who point the way toward the village to the protagonist's family, said it's a shortcut. She seemed to know that place "very well" at the end. 
    • There's a reference to the turn that Linda's group should take that Yayan was talking about to Ms Siska at the beginning of Act 1.
    • The 1st story's protagonist (Bayu) is similar to Linda, both have power. Notice Linda's eyes are like bleeding with that red stain in the edges at Limbo fight? Bayu's eyes were bleeding to the point he became blinded at the end. He's implied to be dead at the end though. Not worthy to be the new keeper? Or is it not the time yet to choose a new one? Haha
  • Look at this: Linda's Necklace. It'd be one hell of a coincidence if it is. Or Linda actually has some sort of connection to the Serpent Mistress? the Three Sisters? Or the whole Keepers of the Darkness business? Intriguing isn't it.
  • What's the deal with Jurig Pengantin - a couple of Palasik practitioners? There's a photo of a newly weds to your left not far after entering the mansion, that's them isn't it? There's also some sort of wedding reception/ceremony in that mansion.. is that for them? They must have some sort of connection with the Three Sisters.
  • Before you enter the school to confront the LIR, your steps make a wet sounds. Something to do with the fact that the Serpent which is based on Queen of the Southern Sea is sealed there? Like because of the weakening LIR, the Serpent's power is leaking or something.

Ending

This section is not about the ending of the game :P

DreadOut is beautiful, yet this theory is dreadful. No matter how fuc*ed up is the grammar, images will be added later. Ok failed, anyway I'll keep this theory up to date :3

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