No matter how you look at it, the Inubushi in the last scene is the personality of the original Inubushi Keiko. In that case, is the real Suzukage Hotori’s consciousness trapped on the mountain? Let’s look at some possibilities.
Was Hotori swallowed up in the avalanche?
On the 7th day of Satoru’s route, during the avalanche scene Inubushi still feels like Suzukage Hotori. At this point, she can talk. However, once she’s swallowed up by the avalanche, she falls into a daze. When Kokoro is asking her questions she’s silent, only responding by nodding or shaking her head. Doesn’t this seem like Hotori?
Her personality before and after the avalanche
Let’s think about what’s happening here. First of all, at 4:40 AM on January 17th, SPHIA is transported to Mt. Akakura. At this point, Inubushi and the others’ consciousnesses are left behind, and the personality switch occurs. As usual, Hotori’s consciousness — which is on Mt. Akakura — enters Inubushi’s body. Inubushi’s consciousness is in the white underground facility, which just got transported to Aosagi Island. However, there is no body for her to inhabit here as the twins are outside the circle along with Utsumi. Therefore, for these 33 minutes, Inubushi becomes nothing but a consciousness.
And then, Hotori and the others and Mt. Akakura get swallowed up by the avalanche. The fact that she is able to speak her is likely because she recovered from her aphasia. She only speaks three times during this scene so I can’t say for sure, but the way she talks feels a little different from Inubushi. Unfortunately, after the avalanche, the shock causes Hotori to lose her voice again…
During that period, several transfers occur, but since they are outside the circle, Hotori’s consciousness remains in Inubushi’s body. Inubushi’s consciousness is left at Aosagi Island with no body to inhabit. Then, Hotori returns to SPHIA, which is at Mt. Akakura. The next transfer takes SPHIA to Hotarubi. However, no one’s consciousness is left at Hotarubi. If Hotori’s consciousness stayed behind during this transfer, Inubushi’s body would be left empty. In order to prevent that possibility, it is conceivable that this time Hotori’s consciousness goes along with the body.
Satoru and Kokoro never actually see Inubushi’s body without a consciousness, but since Hotori was holed up in her room, they could have just missed it by chance. However, it’s likely that she was tending to the wounded Yomogi and Kokoro and followed Yomogi’s instructions to prevent frostbite during this time. It would be strange to think of her being in her room for 33 minutes.
Finally, SPHIA transfers to Aosagi Island. Let’s say that Hotori’s consciousness stays with her body at this time as well. If her consciousness stayed behind then it would have no body to reside in. At this point, you might think “But Inubushi’s consciousness already doesn’t have a body.” However, that was allowed to happen because Inubushi is a part of the player’s consciousness. Hotori is not directly connected to the player’s consciousness, so it would be unnatural for her consciousness to remain in the world without a body. Therefore, her body started moving together with Inubushi’s body.
Inubushi and Hotori
When SPHIA returned to Aosagi Island, Inubushi’s consciousness probably tried to return to her body. However, Hotori was already in her body. Even still, it needed to return. Inubushi, who had DID from the start, incorporated Hotori’s personality into her body.
After that point, no more transfers occurred. From then on, Inubushi’s original personality became mixed with Hotori’s, and she would probably switch between them like the typical symptoms of DID. Hotori may have lost her body, but her consciousness was able to survive.
Whether or not you believe this is up to you. After all, if there isn’t a logical explanation, wouldn’t you rather believe the most romantic option…?
Why is That Guy hated?
Sunglasses hates That Guy. That Guy is incredibly close to being the player’s will. So, why does he hate the player? Because he has no way of interacting with the player? According to TIPS 110, the death of Yukidoh Sayaka 11 years ago was what caused Sunglasses to put the YUKIDOH Plan into motion. Thinking about what happened 11 years ago may lead us to the answer.
The death of Yukidoh Sayaka
In this section I will be considering Sayaka’s “death” to be the death of a personality.
It’s clear from the conversation that occurs at the third transfer point, but Sunglasses hates That Guy (i.e. the player). Also, the death of Sayaka 11 years ago caused him to come up with and execute the YUKIDOH Plan. A logical conclusion from these two facts is that the player had something to do with Sayaka’s death. However, the player probably has no recollection of such an incident. But what if part of the player’s consciousness transferred into Sayaka’s personality? What if the player’s “shadow will” subconsciously took control of her personality? The person named Yukidoh Sayaka would probably die.
You may be wondering why I’m bringing this up all of a sudden, and the reason is because a scene where this happens actually exists in game. Yes, a scene where the player’s “shadow” consciousness possesses Sayaka… What scene is this? Think back to the flashback during the prologue. It’s the only part in the entire game where she appears. This is the scene where Kokoro is reading about the incident at Awazumi Municipal Hospital. Even though the flashback is to 11 years ago, a time difference like that is irrelevant to an entity like the player to whom the concept of time doesn’t apply.
Kokoro knows that the killer’s name was Inubushi Keiko, and that she had DID.
The player also knows that the killer’s name was Inubushi Keiko, and that she had DID.
Cue the flashback, and what do you see? A young girl who’s afraid of herself. When the player sees this scene, they probably think something along these lines:
“If she’s afraid of herself, does that mean she has DID? Then that must be the killer, Inubushi Keiko. This scene is probably showing her when she was younger.”
As I’ve shown in previous parts, the player’s will can change the world. Furthermore, neither Kokoro nor Satoru are a part of this flashback; only the player sees it. During sections where it’s Kokoro’s point of view, the border of the text box is red. During sections where it’s Satoru’s point of view, the border of the text box is blue. But during the flashback the border of the text box is colorless, showing that it belongs to neither of them. At the end of that scene, Sayaka’s personality changes. She gets taken over by the player’s shadow consciousness. At that point, the personality you saw during the rest of the flashback dies — in its place the shadow consciousness is born from the player. She would then go on to commit the murders at Awazumi Municipal Hospital on January 14th, 2009, a fact decided by the player.
I brought up the concept of the shadow consciousness rather suddenly, but there are other sections of the story that support this.
The shadow of Inubushi that [ORE] felt
First, let’s look at the third day of Satoru’s route. Inubushi (Hotori) retains her cruel personality even after committing her atrocity so many years ago. Yet, Satoru says he can’t abandon her. The reason he gives is this: “I somehow feel the shadow of an existence very similar to my own within the girl called Hotori.” Is this not referring to the player’s shadow consciousness? I can’t deny the possibility that he was talking about ω (the fetus), but it fits together more nicely if it’s the player’s shadow.
The second piece of evidence for this claim is this text that appears during the opening movie:
“The one who holds everything. The one who is everything and is nothing. The Trinity. Neither a god nor a demon.”
“Where is…That Guy?”
This quote mentions That Guy — the entity that is almost equivalent to the player. The word I would like to emphasize here is “Trinity”. Is this not referring to how the three consciousnesses [WATASHI], [ORE], and Shadow are all part of the player? A similar notion is brought up in TIPS 88 (That Guy): “Three seas that overlapped” [Translator’s note: In the English patch, this was translated as “three concepts that overlap”]. Here, “sea” is being used as a metaphor for a consciousness. Therefore, we can interpret “three seas” as meaning “three consciousnesses”.
Inubushi and Hotori’s lingering consciousnesses
The third part of the story that supports the idea of the shadow consciousness comes from my theory that the reason why Kokoro and Satoru’s consciousnesses stay behind during the transfer is due to the player’s interference. If the player’s will had nothing to do with Inubushi and Hotori’s consciousnesses, then there’s no way to explain why they stay behind. It would be strange to think that only the fetus ω is causing that. But if you accept the idea of the player’s shadow consciousness, then that solves the problem. The involvement of the player causes their consciousnesses to get left behind. The same applies to the fetuses ω and α.
Furthermore, Hotori — whose consciousness is barely functioning on the snowy mountain — describes her condition to Kokoro in the following words:
“Cold” and “alone” make sense. But what do “dark” and “closed in” mean? During the transfer just before this one, it should have been sunny on Mount Akakura. However, this can be explained if you consider that Hotori was probably covered and snow and couldn’t see anything. Her description of “dark and closed in” is also similar to the intangible entity that is the player. That is why her consciousness stays behind.
Accepting the idea of the Shadow allows us to explain why Inubushi and Hotori’s consciousnesses stayed behind during the transfer.
Where is Self?
Based on the reasoning in the previous sections, we have established the existence of the player’s shadow consciousness. This will allow us to explain several of Inubushi’s odd actions.
First, there’s the line the male patient utters during the prologue: “The shadow…has come…” One could interpret this line to mean that he just knew about Inubushi and was calling her “the shadow”; however, the man may have been involved with Leiblich. If the flashback scene in the prologue was an experiment carried out by Leiblich, then they may have assigned the name “shadow” to the personality that appeared during the experiment.
Next, there’s Inubushi’s line, “Where is Self?” To the shadow consciousness, “self” is the player themselves. The shadow consciousness may have been searching for the player that did not yet exist at that point. Perhaps the fact that the other blade of the scissors was never found indicates how the player’s consciousness can never be found no matter how hard one looks.
Finally, there’s Inubushi’s Kagome song. Inubushi interpreted this song to be about the player; the one standing “behind” Satoru and Kokoro is the player, after all. However, in the song, the player’s consciousness slips and falls. In other words, this symbolizes the loop. It may have been the fact that she is a part of the player that caused her to interpret the song like this.