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Full Version: [SPOILERS] Simon's Dream
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So, towards the end of Theta, we have a "scripted death" where Simon gets KO'd by one of the Proxies.

He seems to awaken in his apartment, dreaming about Ashley. She speaks cryptically, but there doesn't really seem to be any connection to the rest of the game. Simon doesn't get some large revelation, there's no real foreshadowing, ect.

Now, I understand that the game originally had a different plot, where dreams like this would have been more wide-spread, and I know Ashley has a model where her face is just a mass of maggots and such from this older version. But, the scene itself must have been left in for some reason.

So, what I want to take a moment to point out is that Simon seems to DREAM. This is in contrast to a discussion with Catherine, where she explains that when she goes offline, there isn't any sort of dreaming. She just loses that time when she was offline.

So, by that logic, Simon shouldn't dream either. And he awakens stuck in structure gel.

Was this a ploy by the WAU? Was Ashley simply its manifestation in his mind? Is this how all the monsters we encounter see the world?
Given that when you wake up from that scene you are in the process of being absorbed by the black gel structure by the WAU, I'm pretty sure that's what's happening to all those mumbling people we stumble upon during our explorations.

My guess is that the devs remade the scene so as to add ambiguity to the game.

Originally, I imagine that scene was probably going to be about that when humans are absorbed by the WAU, it's like forever being trapped inside a nightmare (what with maggot-face Ashley and all), but probably midway they changed it into a "happier" episode. If being assimilated by this AI could mean ending up forever living out your sweetest fantasies... would that make it a bad existence, or quite the contrary...?

If I remember correctly, Simon during that dream asks Ashley "What happened?", to which she replies "We fell in love". If you recall from SOMA's intro, Simon is having a dream about the crash and by the end he says something about "never having enough time" (to explain to her he loves her, probably). So when Simon (v2) dreams for the first time in 100 years - or actually just a couple of hours - he goes to his most recent dream and recreates it.

Maybe it's the WAU baiting him, only to slap Simon in seconds onto the pilot seat of a walking abomination...or worse, a mundane speaker, like the one we find next to the first WAU flower.

Or maybe it's how it's really been keeping humanity alive, after what seemed like a couple of failed experiments.

If we take into account log entries, Aker's scribbles, and the fact you can hear some absorbed humans whispering if you go near them, then the lucid-dream scenario seems to be true. It would also mean that the WAU is as much capable of creating killer robots and abominations, as of trapping a few (lucky?) souls forever in blissful lucid dreaming.

The question remains as to for how long do these dreams go on; there could be a chance of them turning into the most terrible nightmares, or ending altogether. Is this a fair existence? Or would it eventually end up feeling fake, and what's worse, inescapable? That last part is a truly terrifying thought... and maybe what's been motivating Ross.

It really makes you think twice about pulling the plug on the WAU, which I suspect is what the devs wanted from the beginning when they set out to make the game: make the player question what could be considered as a true/good existence, or if risking oblivion is actually better. Besides, it's the only thing that explains why that final confrontation was left in the game, so that the player would ask him or herself whether it's good thing they're doing...

You see, sending the ARK into space isn't really all that different from what the WAU is doing. Sentient beings were sacrificed to reach both objectives, and in the end the two products are a false, limited existence. Humanity as we know it is dead, and something new has been created, which really doesn't seem to have any sort of free will whatsoever.

In all honesty, the Simon that remains trapped in the black abyss of Phi is much more human than the one that gets sent off into space, who only gets to live inside a fake perfect world that will probably bore the hell out of everyone inside it in just a few couple of years or less.

I'll close by adding on to that final comment: would you rather live a blissful lie, or the abysmal truth? Answer that question, and you shall know which Simon was the one to win the coin toss...