I have just finished the game, and its already landed as my game of the year so far in 2013. It was brutal, upsetting and absolutely hilarious in equal measure, and affected me to the point I had to write some sort of analysis to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing (a quick google search thrown up a negative, hence more an incentive to write this account). Before I 'intellectually' throw down completely on the games themes, I will have to explain a bit about myself in order to have a little context how I pieced all of this account together. I am a 22 year old performer, and I am rather grandiose in my own delusional world. Onstage it doesn't matter, but the for the performing artist, its difficult to stop performing away from the job. "the pay is poop, but the hours are good" comes to mind, my mind constantly whirs and never lets up, its very hard to let go and be myself, whoever he may be. I've also done a hefty amount of psychedelics and become an acid casualty as of the last year, leaving me with many bad trips around my friends, and I never really came down to reality - I went back to my university course and ended up having the mother of all breakdowns with a hint of a messiah complex and delusional grandeur. Since, my friendships have gone a bit honeyhole-loveed as my friends try their best to pull me out of my guilt ridden abyss of what happened back in uni. OOOOH, THE DRAMA!! Basically, I liken myself very much to the catatonic depressive state of Hatty Hatington, as well as the theatrical voyeurism of the cats. and though Il try my best not to put my own experiences from now on, It will picture my thoughts I have been holding back for a long time, that only got pieced together playing the game - "It all makes sense now!". Also, be aware that I'm a paranoid wreck, possibly bipolar nut, and my musings could just be paranoid conspiracy piecing, and I'm liable to go off on different tangents, but I'l try my best to be honest about the dishonesty and be concise as I can. I hope it will be an interesting, vastly different read anyway. Firstly, Hatty seems to be the greatest friend on the S.S friendship, all is well and friendly before the storm appears. The friend group is massive and Hatty is bests friends to them all, always seeking adventure and new opportunity, be it the scary ghost ship or an island entirely made of candy. Whatever they would find, it would of been an experience. I liken the following storm to a bad self centered paranoid trip that comes and goes. He mentions "I don't know what Id do if I lost any of you" because he is completely emotionally dependent to his friends, but the storm comes back and forces everyone out of the S.S friendship, no matter how bad Hatty tries nicely to calm things down, and lands them all on this theatrical island run by cats to face themselves and each other for survival. Its as if Hattys overly attached friendship was always doomed to fail, and as he gained the trust of his friends, they are now all prisoners of confusion since the poop hit the fan. Hatty was always super nice, why would he possibly "stab us in the back and twist the blade?". They deny his callous betrayal on the island and blame it on the hat he has started to wear. They then try thier best to delve further into hell for him, even though he sits catatonic, surrounded by gems weeping. The hat for me represents madness (like alice in wonderlands mad hatter), where the storm may correlate to a breakdown of sorts. The hats power makes him trade his soul for wealth and desire - and it lands him on the throne. Its immediately apparent to him what he has done and dwells on it constantly, weeping. the is a split on what people would do in this situation. On one hand, you could try to bring him out of this mess by going through life or death theatre challenges (a metaphor for unraveling Hattys performance of his life to uncover whats made him mad in the first place) to rescue him. Hattys over attatched friendship goes both ways, and its forces his friends as prisoners to his downfall (how would you feel if your best friend become catatonicly depressed as Hatty?). Or on the other hand, you could watch it from a distance like the cats, who would rather keep the mad one at a distance, as entertainment. You either try to go deep and rescue Hattys humanity, or keep him as a performing monkey as long as he makes the effort, just be cool and pretend he is too. There is another thing that interests me, and that is the shape of everyone's heads. Hatty losing his soul to the hat means he has lost his personality, and I think the shapes of his friends heads show that everyone is different, and everyone is unique the way they are. Thats the best way at looking at the friends or 'fellow prisoners', because as they make their way through the trails, they show what kind of person they really are, better or worse, they still have their soul and they have the courage to go deep and recognize their individuality. The shapes have Dellinger psycho-geometric psychological connotations too, such as cirlces (sociable and friendly), squares (little sense of humour, hard workers), triangles (power hierarchy, does what it can to get to the top), and rectangles (undergoing a state of change). Cats on the other hand don't go deep and fend for themselves trying to be cool and impress, being hipsters basicly. Their true colours never really show (the later cut-scene where the narrator imitates talking to a cat was particularly funny for me). The theatres founder furbottom is a good example, too busy enjoying the shows to be constipated enough to poop himself to death, and then being lovingly thrown out to sea by his cats and eaten by sharks. The cut-scene explaining the hats origins is quite interesting. The voodoo curses I think of hallucinogenics, like the two sided heaven and hell thing, love and fear, the wolf you feed sort of thing. Or finding the hat upon a giant skull ruby implies a rare occurrence when massive desire and contentment collide. But the third explanation is most impacting, saying its as if the hat was haunted by the dreams and failures of its predecessors. Its often talked about the mental illnesses are inherited from your parents, and love you up with it - their failures and dreams and discontent pass on to you whether you like it or not as they are your parental figures, the only way to stop it is to break the chain completely, and abandoning your depressed family to start the chain completely fresh is a very bold thing to do indeed as it comes at a massive self sacrifice for the benefit of your offspring. Or you could just put it down to a family curse or something. At any rate, he who has the hat calls the shots for others to be loved for nothing, so therefore, the mad one has do find balance, and find the traits described in the cut-scene (brave, charitable, polite etc) or everyone will suffer for it (dramatically, the world blowing up, unless everyone is fine with pizza. and who isn't? PLOT TWIST, just accept your lazy!!). Hatty at this point hasn't found balance and let everything slide for his own catatonic downward spiral, and proves it harder and harder for the friends to get through to him. The cats always want more, AND MORE, never content with what they already have, so the pressure gets bigger and bigger for Hatty to do something, anything to find the balance of appeasing both the friends and the cats or everything crumbles. Unfortunately, Hatty has already accepted the worst, no matter how hard his friends try. When they finally break him out, it seems they are willing to let everything slide with a good hot chocolate and hugs, but Hatty is still a catatonic vegetable. the ballad following is really sad as cheesy as it was, every lyric I personally related to. But after his farewell eulogy, hes tossed off the ship their friends have (quite rightfully) had enough and would rather party it up - the "buckle your pants" mantra reminding me 'get busy living or get busy dying', you don't want to be caught with your trousers down. One last thing to add, the lightning beam from Hattys hat on the sea floor? Its green, implying the good side of the voodoo curse, but in the end, it smashes through a space bear with starry nipples. I can only put this wildly random ending down to the source of his fears that have kept him performing to cover it up. Bears are scary, starry nipples are sexually oriented, space is infinite. put the three together, and you have maybe abuse, trauma, uncomfortable with sexuality etc. The cats are still cats, the friends are stronger through the greatest story of them all, and Hatty is defeated alone on the bottom of the sea bed (reminiscent of Cuthulus sunken city) revealing what ruined his life. OH IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! Of course if you were Hatty, you wouldn't be playing this with your friends explaining all of this with them, you'd just be making dumb remarks like the narrator does all the time, especially the ending line if they arnt cottoned on to the bigger picture, otherwise, its an easy sarcastic thing to say to a game that should appear to make any sense at all, you'd have to be mad to understand it, obviously.