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I hadn’t dared to hope that anyone would hear the signal, for how briefly I set it free…

The Prisoner was an inhabitant of the Stranger who is locked in the Sealed Vault.

History[]

The Prisoner deactivating the Eye signal blocker

Like the other inhabitants of the Stranger, the Prisoner lived on their home moon, a terrestrial world that orbited a gas giant. At some point, they received the signal from the Eye of the Universe and built a massive artificial ring world to reach it. They traveled to the Eye of the Universe and after analyzing it, they found out that interacting with it would lead to the death of the universe and all life. Determined to prevent this, the Stranger's inhabitants built a spacecraft designed to block the Eye's signal. With the Eye's signal no longer being able to broadcast out into the universe, the Stranger's inhabitants went to sleep in a simulated reality of their homeworld.

The other inhabitants imprisoning the Prisoner

However, the Prisoner woke up from the simulation after some time. They went to the signal blocker's controls and deactivated it, freeing the Eye's signal. Shortly after doing this, the other inhabitants caught them and locked them into a sealed vault, along with an artifact that allows entrance to the simulation. They then built a structure around the vault and submerged it in the Reservoir. This led to the Prisoner's eternal confinement in a separate part of the simulation. As time went on, the Prisoner and all others of their kind died, but their minds were still alive in the simulation, unable to wake up.

Aftermath of actions[]

The Prisoner's scratched out portrait

The Prisoner's actions had far-reaching consequences. Immediately following their imprisonment, the other inhabitants uploaded all their slide reels into the simulation. They then burned most of the slide reels in the real world, apart from a select few reels of which they only burned specific slides. A portrait depicting the Prisoner in a house in the Cinder Isles was scratched out. Lastly, the Prisoner's house in the simulation in Starlit Cove was burned down.

The Prisoner's burned down house in the simulation

The Stranger's inhabitants also re-enabled the Eye signal blocker after locking the Prisoner up. They destroyed the control mechanism for the blocker to prevent anyone else from using it. This broke the connection between the Stranger and the blocker, meaning it could no longer be disabled. Nevertheless, for the brief amount of time that the Eye was able to send its signal, the Nomai of Escall's clan were able to receive it. This eventually led to them constructing the Ash Twin Project.

Interactions with the Protagonist[]

The Prisoner's final vision

After learning the three glitches in the simulation from all Forbidden Archives, the Protagonist can extinguish the seals on the Sealed Vault in the simulation. This opens the vault, which the Protagonist can enter to encounter the Prisoner. The Prisoner is initially surprised upon seeing them. They subsequently use a Vision Torch to show the Protagonist the actions they took that led to their imprisonment.

When they have shown this, the Prisoner gives the Torch to the Protagonist. The Protagonist can use the Vision Torch to show the Prisoner what happened after their imprisonment. The visions that can be shown depend on the Ship Log's completion. The Prisoner lets out a howl after seeing the visions, upon which they take the Vision Torch and bow to the Protagonist. They use the elevator to exit the Sealed Vault. If the Protagonist follows them up, they can find the Prisoner's Torch near the water, with one final vision showing the Protagonist and the Prisoner getting on a raft and heading towards the horizon.

Finale[]

The Prisoner playing their instrument

If the Protagonist has tried to talk to the Prisoner on the Stranger, they can find the Prisoner during the finale after they have entered the wormhole on the Eye of the Universe. When gathering the rest of the travelers, the Prisoner can be heard playing an instrument that sounds like a theremin. They initially stand a distance away from the campfire, where they ask the Protagonist if they are allowed to join at the campfire. If given permission, they join the rest of the group at the campfire and play the main theme. This conjures endless possibilities from the smoke of the fire, which are observed and then collapsed by the Protagonist into a single reality.

Dialogue[]

Sealed Vault[]

  • >Who are you?
    • "..."
  • >Where are we?
    • "..."

Ending[]

Before finding all travelers

  • "When my kind found the Eye and realized what it was capable of, they were terrified. It was too difficult a truth. Like a light too bright to look upon directly, it burned them.
    What they could not unlearn was hidden away in darkness — obfuscated, then lost. They did not want to see their story end.
    My kind weren’t always like this. We weren’t always so afraid. I did what I could to set things right, yet I am still of my kind, and you know now what they did. I cannot promise our fear won’t stain your mind.
    And so, a choice: Are you certain you want to remember me?"
    • >Join us. Let’s see what happens.
      • "I don’t want to repeat my kind’s mistakes. But if you’re willing to take the risk, then so am I."
    • >Your journey is over now. You did well.
      • "My role in this ended long ago, and now I’ve learned my efforts weren’t in vain. Thank you for facing what was hidden in the dark."
    • >I’m not ready to decide.
      • "Every decision is made in darkness. Only by making a choice can we learn whether it was right or not.
        I will wait until you are ready."

At campfire

  • "This fire… what a warm and beautiful light it makes.
    Go, find the others. What comes next cannot be done alone."

After finding all travelers

  • "I hadn’t dared to hope that anyone would hear the signal, for how briefly I set it free… Yet, here we are. Are you ready for the final step?"
    • >Yes.
      • "Then it’s time! Time to send our spark out into the darkness."
    • >Not yet.
      • "I have awaited this moment for a long time. For so long. It is no trouble to wait a little longer."

After campfire song

  • "...How beautiful. It’s different than I’d envisioned.
    Whatever happens next, I do not think it is to be feared."

Trivia[]

The Prisoner's physical body

  • The Prisoner is named Kaepora in the game's files. This name seems to be a reference to Kaepora Gaebora, an owl character in the Legend of Zelda series.
  • The Prisoner's physical body exists inside the Sealed Vault in the real world, but it can only be accessed by using mods to no clip through the walls.
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