Is Donner alive?


Ghurcb
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Is Donner alive?  

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Judging by matthis reactions after the explosion I'd say no... But some of that is born from wishful thinking, I wouldn't like episode 5 to just be him chasing Will around great bear.

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Posted (edited)

Here's what I think.

In episode 4 Donner was set up to be this BIG BAD. "Oh no! We can't let him escape! There will be so much destruction!". He's this terrifying figure, more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. And then he dies off-screen in an explosion that was mostly an accident.

Seriously, for the duration of episode 4, I've been thinking "How bad can Donner be? He's just a human on a frozen island. Stop telling me that he's evil and dangerous, SHOW IT." And there it is... the last chapter of episode 4. "DONNER". Now we'll see what it was all about. Get ready, kids, HERE HE COMES- oh, wait, he's dead apparently.

If he really died, we will never find out if our efforts were forth it. It's a whole other story if he survived, though. For one, we will finally see that Donner is actually "biblical bad" that he's described as. And for two, this "biblical bad" now has a score to settle with Mackenzie and Jace.

Edited by Ghurcb
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Realisticly speaking: Donner is a tough guy. The detonators blew too early is what we know. It's unlikely that Donner really got killed by this accident. He may die due to the smoke, but he has a realistic chance of survival in principal. Very likely he still got hurt bad (either by the explosion or by smoke).

But the better question for stuff like this is "What would the author want to do with their characters?" So we have to ask, which story does Raph wanna tell us.

I just wanna bring some argumentation against the 2 points "Show it" and "we wouldn't know if our efforts are worth it, if he died". They both bring the point of 'good storytelling'. Showing something is often better than just talking about it. And now we have Donner being described as really bad, but we don't have prove of it. Still I think, in this case, it's not a deciding argument, meaning, I wouldn't want Donner in ep5 BECAUSE of this argument (or something like it). There is so much bad stuff talked about and never shown. For example the school fire in ep1. They only told us about it, they didn't show anything. Is this bad? I don't think so. Still we know, these are really bad people and have a clear understanding of what happened. When we see Mathis first in ep2, we experience the presence of evil persons again. Now not only a half dead prisoner on the bench telling stories, but a fully capable one. And just for fun he janks a hatchet through our face. In ep4 this goes on. We don't need to see Donner, to understand what evil means or what evil persons do. The 'show it' part is done by Mathis and in my opinion it makes everything told believable enough. So we don't need to see Donner for him to prove how bad he is. Btw, not knowing something is a feeling very adequate for a apocalypse survival setting.

So back on track: Would Raph want Donner in ep5? There is no need for him to be there, since every role he would play in the story could also be hold by Mathis. For the story he is not necessary. His role in all the story is just the reason for Mathis to go to Blackrock. He is just like a MacGuffing and that's it. He doesn't need to be more, so I think he won't be in ep5. If he is, it doesn't have much meaning, since Mathis is there.

I wouln't like to see Donner. There are so many ways, it could influence the story in a bad way or just be meaningless. If Donner doesn't come up to the promises made, he becomes just laughable. If he does come up to the promises, it would probably overshadow the whole story. The fifth episode would just be Donner chasing Mackenzie as defeating him early would make him laughable again. Since ep5 is the last one, there must be a resolution and I don't feel like there's place for Donner.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/31/2022 at 6:25 PM, Razum said:

Realisticly speaking: Donner is a tough guy. The detonators blew too early is what we know. It's unlikely that Donner really got killed by this accident. He may die due to the smoke, but he has a realistic chance of survival in principal. Very likely he still got hurt bad (either by the explosion or by smoke).

But the better question for stuff like this is "What would the author want to do with their characters?" So we have to ask, which story does Raph wanna tell us.

I just wanna bring some argumentation against the 2 points "Show it" and "we wouldn't know if our efforts are worth it, if he died". They both bring the point of 'good storytelling'. Showing something is often better than just talking about it. And now we have Donner being described as really bad, but we don't have prove of it. Still I think, in this case, it's not a deciding argument, meaning, I wouldn't want Donner in ep5 BECAUSE of this argument (or something like it). There is so much bad stuff talked about and never shown. For example the school fire in ep1. They only told us about it, they didn't show anything. Is this bad? I don't think so. Still we know, these are really bad people and have a clear understanding of what happened. When we see Mathis first in ep2, we experience the presence of evil persons again. Now not only a half dead prisoner on the bench telling stories, but a fully capable one. And just for fun he janks a hatchet through our face. In ep4 this goes on. We don't need to see Donner, to understand what evil means or what evil persons do. The 'show it' part is done by Mathis and in my opinion it makes everything told believable enough. So we don't need to see Donner for him to prove how bad he is. Btw, not knowing something is a feeling very adequate for a apocalypse survival setting.

So back on track: Would Raph want Donner in ep5? There is no need for him to be there, since every role he would play in the story could also be hold by Mathis. For the story he is not necessary. His role in all the story is just the reason for Mathis to go to Blackrock. He is just like a MacGuffing and that's it. He doesn't need to be more, so I think he won't be in ep5. If he is, it doesn't have much meaning, since Mathis is there.

I wouln't like to see Donner. There are so many ways, it could influence the story in a bad way or just be meaningless. If Donner doesn't come up to the promises made, he becomes just laughable. If he does come up to the promises, it would probably overshadow the whole story. The fifth episode would just be Donner chasing Mackenzie as defeating him early would make him laughable again. Since ep5 is the last one, there must be a resolution and I don't feel like there's place for Donner.

I get it. The story of Mathis doesn't feel complete yet, and it would probably be better to have an established character as the "final boss" of Wintermute. When Jace said about Mathis "he will never stop" it felt like a solid prediction.

On the other hand, we never even got to SEE Donner. Honestly, if he doesn't return, all this talk about the destruction he can bring sounds like empty promises. Show don't tell, right? Every (one) time Mackenzie sabotaged his mission, he did it to keep Donner in solitary. But if we never find out how BAD he is, It's almost like we did it for no reason at all. The warden and Jace were teasing all of us with Donner for the whole episode, but when I heard that he's dying somewhere far away off-screen, I wasn't relieved. I was disappointed. And surely, I wasn't alone. 

For now, Donner is left as merely a macguffin. Not a character. And that's sad. 

If only episode 5 had enough time for both Mathis and Donner... It truly feels like the game would benefit from episode 6, as there are too many loose ends.

Edited by Ghurcb
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Donner's only purpose was to serve as motivation for Mathis to truly have it out for Mackenzie. Anger management is a problem of his, so in Episode 5 he would've been a villain based on that alone. But in order for any sort of direct, personal attacks on Mackenzie (or Astrid) to make sense, he needs a reason to hate Will specifically.

So paint Donner as this evil psychopath to motivate the player to want to keep him locked up, and provide a reason for anyone from the outside world risking contacting and helping anyone inside the prison. Because let's face it, I don't know of a whole lot of people under these circumstances who would take that risk for any reason. Even law enforcement. Hell, ESPECIALLY law enforcement, considering what they did to the prison staff.

Anyway Donner served his purpose and is probably dead, and I think Mathis is going to be the penultimate big bad. Like you need to get to such and such location before time runs out, and just as you're nearly there, boom. Mathis. Introducing Donner as an antagonist would honestly come off forced, unless he were critical to the plot for some other reason. Like being patient zero for some kind of evil alien virus or something.

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I suspect that there would be a fair possibility of Donner surviving the events of Episode 4 to become a dilemma in Episode 5. 

I think that the last confrontation in the power plant established that Donner had been very badly injured although to what extent was unknown other than the fact that other members of Mathis' gang thought he might die while Mathis was confronting Will and Jace.  

This would seem to set up a situation where Astrid, as a medical doctor, might be called upon to operate on Donner and have to decide whether to 1) do it or not, and 2) if doing it whether to try to save his life or end it.  As probably the only medical doctor on hand, it probably would not be too hard for her to deliberately make a wrong cut during the operation and have Donner die on the operating table. 

Probably the main confrontation with Mathis and his gang would have been adjudicated by then, so the issue would be whether to expend the effort to try to save Donner.  

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I hope he is alive because even though I sincerely hope we're through with this entire Mathis-subplot at the same time. It's complicated, you know.

I mean it's not a secret I wasn't a big fan of EP4, but if Donner is dead he actually was the most propped up and at the same time "baddest" and also "worst" plot device to ever see the light of day - or actually not see it. It would be a bit like Star Wars, but you never get to meet the Emperor, but only Darth telling Luke over the phone:

"You see, there was this old dude, and he was really scary. He could shoot lightnings, and not just from his hands, if you get what I'm saying. Really bad. Evil. Weapons grade Unobtanium level evil. Aaand... because I am your father and stuff - I told you that, right? - I kinda.... threw him down a conveniently placed pit that was directly leading to the core of our new death star. Yes, our "new" death star... which... uh... you've never seen because it got kinda destroyed throwing that old dude into... the core, you know. Hell of a show. Man. Would have made a great movie. Really, such a waste. I mean, who knows, maybe he survived. You know, the dark side of the force is, uh, a path or something to doing stuff that many would consider.... really freezing weird."

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