Huh- definitely didn't do that one right.
Let's try it again.
Get ready for a mini theory.
Though if I'm being honest, this is less a theory and more wild over-reaching speculation with just a light amount of evidence.
A game hypothesis- if you will- a personal head cannon, that to me, makes Stress Level Zero's metaverse of killer dogs and inception style universe hopping significantly more compelling.
And it's exactly what I alluded to last episode.
That David, this little blond kid from Duck Season the one whose Blockbuster rental weekend becomes a desperate fight for survival that ~he~ grows up to become Arthur Ford, our secret double agent pro-barring aficionado in Boneworks.
It's a high tech 2020's version of Sans' Ness, except this time I think there's a slim, super slim, itty-bitty chance that it might be right.
So let's just get the formality out of the way and just talk about it.
Hello Internet and welcome to Game Theory, let's begin.
What first got me going down this insane rabbit hole was this scene in the early game of Boneworks.
As you're walking down the streets filled with turret-bots and headcrabs, you're suddenly back in a Monogon office lunchroom and you see this, a small replica of a suburban home.
Not only did the out of nowhere, inclusion of a tiny house in the middle of an, otherwise sterile office setting, set off my theorists tingles.
It got a lot of viewers at home to tingle too.
Howler Burchfield says it's the house from Duck Season.
Oh, is it? Is it the house from Duck Season? That's a good question.
We did do a demonic ritual in a tree house of some form.
I believe this to be a replica of David's house from Duck Season.
Now admittedly, it's not perfect There are some windows that are out of place, a sliding door is missing, and the fence is a different style, but the essential elements are there.
Namely this dog house and this outdoor play set in the backyard.
Very intentionally put there by the developers to show us the parallels between these two houses.
Plus, in the “Best Men” ending of Duck Season, we watch as the dog sprints around the outside of the house before being taken down in the backyard with the appropriate amount of force.
The news coverage of this low-speed chase shows us the outside of David's house, and it proves that it does, indeed, have a railed-in front landing just like we see in the model, again, it's not exact, but it's certainly close enough to suggest that these two houses are meant to be one in the same.
But why would a replica of David's house be in Monogon's break room? But we see attached to the house a series of oversized pipes, all leading up to a giant black box with the Monogon logo.
Could this be a Monogon server? Or an actual Monogon office, based on the small door that we see at the base of the structure, it makes it look like it's an actual building.
And as we approach the end game of Boneworks, we see these sorts of pipes making a reappearance at the base of the time tower before our big battle to restart the system.
The pipes are here, along the left wall, in a room full of, wouldn't you know it, Duck Season displays.
In the center, we have, what can be assumed to be, a magical void rock.
Presumably one of the first discoveries that allowed Monogon to tap into the mysterious powers of the void.
And, over here on the right, we see our infamous cat cryptid 9, the one we talked about a lot in the last episode, alongside the Gamin Kingbit gaming console and a bunch of clocks.
We know from Duck Season and Duck Season PC, that these are all objects and characters that are able to cross into and out of the void space So it appears that Monogon secured 'em and studied them, in order to understand how they could tap into and utilize the void in building their myth OS city.
Meaning that the material flowing through those pipes is presumably the void-energy that's powering the whole operation.
So what does any of this have to do with David's house? Well, the events of Duck Season were pretty clearly the first instance of a void-based creature coming out into the real world.
The secret message from 9 the cat, we covered last video, confirms this.
It's been 30 years since the void was last opened, so that's a pretty big deal.
In short, David's house becomes the nexus point, this gateway into another dimension.
Plus, it's easy to forget that Duck Season has a canon ending explicitly labeled as The Canon Ending.
You don't do that unless you plan to do something with that story later on; and in the canon ending we watch as David successfully destroys the killer dog and leaves his house.
But, look again, there's an important detail here.
Notice that when the dog explodes, you see his particles erupt everywhere, but they don't disappear.
They don't fade away.
David also smashes the haunted cartridge, but leaves it and his Kingbit gaming system back at his house before burying his mother and running away into the distance.
It seems clear to me that Monogon learned of David's story, researched the house, and tapped into the remnant void-energy that was found there.
Between the dog particles, the cursed cartridge, and the game system, the house is like a hotspot of void.
And by building their office near that hot spot, and tapping into it using their pipes, Monogon has been able to use the void energy to build their business and their VR city.
And already, you can start to see how David might be playing a bigger role in the story.
He's the only one who truly knows what happened inside his house.
That some being lept out of a TV to attack him and his family.
He's also got a very personal stake in all of this.
In Duck Season, David loses a lot to the void, his mother is killed by a void creature, and he's forced to leave home and never return.
In fact, it's likely he's held responsible for his mother's death.
The police aren't gonna believe that some otherworldly creature popped out of a TV and killed her.
It would mean that he's practically a criminal on the run.
It also means that he would probably have to change his name, away from David into something different, maybe something like Arthur.
I mean if I were him and had to go through all that; I'd want to make sure to either seek revenge on all other void based cryptids or ensure that the void is closed forever or make sure that I'm the one exploiting the void for my own good.
And, as I said before, in the canon ending of Duck Season, David is still out there.
He's on the road.
His story continues on.
So we've connected his childhood house to Myth OS and we've established that David definitely has the motivation to come back and interrupt Monogon's void activities, but there's more.
Something I've pointed out in the previous two theories is that, when Arthur is near the end of his journey in Boneworks, after resetting the myth system and preparing to enter the bone works layer of the system, he's led through a door by a void being.
But there's some really particular details about that door.
First, the knob is made of David's old baseball, one presumably given to him by his father, who was, himself, a professional baseball player.
We can assume this, since we know that David's dad played for a team with a dog mascot, and a dog character has clearly signed the ball.
Now, why would that ball be there, of all places, on the boundary between myth OS and the void? It makes zero sense.
In the canon ending, David just leaves his house.
He doesn't enter the void, he doesn't transition any objects into it.
So it implies that either someone, in game, programmed that detail in as an easter egg to his original house thereby commemorating the thing that made void technology possible to begin with, or that this whole sequence is somehow a product of Arthur's mind.
In which case he would have to have been aware of the ball and it would presumably be meaningful to him, in some way.
So that's all well and good, but the kicker for me, quite honestly the strongest bit of evidence for this game hypothesis, is the other strange detail of the store.
The void is literally welcoming Arthur back.
Is it because time is repeating and we've been through this door before? Maybe? As we've established, the void does seem to exist beyond time.
But this, plus the baseball on the same door, means that the two clues need to be taken together.
Which reads much more clearly as a person coming full circle or Arthur coming back to where it all began.
He's home again.
But he wasn't around for when it all began.
Or was he? If Arthur and David are truly one in the same these two little details of the baseball and the text welcoming him home would make a lot of sense.
Arthur's journey would have started when he was attacked by a killer dog in a video game, and he's dedicated his life since to getting his revenge.
And at this juncture in Boneworks, he is truly, finally home.
He's back to where his journey first started.
He's now ready to face the creatures of the void one more time.
Welcome home could also mean something else, when you go through the door, the game suddenly changes drastically.
We go from a portal-esque future world with sterile visuals and modern aesthetics, to a dark dungeon lit by torches The final level of the game is a literal fantasy world with ye oldie colosseum, ye oldie dungeons, and yon castle thither.
It is a jarring switch for the gameplay, but if you've been paying attention, it does make some level of sense.
You see, it seems that we've been dropped into Fantasy land, a game that's been hinted at throughout various posters and binders in Boneworks, a game that we're told is being produced by Stress Level Zero Studios.
Yup, in the lore of the game Stress Level Zero is itself a character and canonical entity that works just like it does in the real world, producing games, just again, like in FNAF VR where Scott Coffin kinda, sorta, almost, maybe, inserts himself into the lore.
Oh wait, no it's a different indie developer, but still very closely parallels to his own personal story.
I'm not looking for reasons to draw parallels between these two.
Now, why would I bring that detail up? One is the “welcome home” could be implying that Arthur once worked at Stress Level Zero, so he's coming home to an old, and presumably, long-forgotten project.
Alternatively, and more excitingly, consider this, last episode I showcased one of the secret Easter eggs from Duck Season that had you unlocking a Stress Level Zero showcase booth.
Like the type of installation you'd see at an industry event like E3, or at least E3 back when people cared about it, and not E3 now, where literally no company wants to attend.
This year it's just gonna be me there holding a Mad Catz controller and oversized novelty bag full of sadness.
Anyway, that showcase room has two very clear and deliberate sides.
One inside the booth itself and one outside where, randomly, we see mom working on her computer.
Could it be that she works at Stress Level Zero Studios? Producing early games for them, that Fantasy land was one of her earliest projects, and so, David being welcomed home, is him returning back to the unfinished game that his mother once worked on at her old company.
An early, early prototype that was trying to build a VR experience off the power of the void.
It could be, and here is where everything starts to come together.
You see, I don't just think that David is Arthur.
I think that David is Arthur Ford and is also the dog.
We've established time and time again that the void exists beyond time.
So an older version of David coming back to send a message to his younger version absolutely makes sense.
We know that David's father was in a baseball team with a dog mascot, so future David could choose to disguise himself in that way.
There's also the mystery of the final “it's me” tape from Duck Season.
Where the dog sends a message to David.
I thought that, that was a father sending a loving message to his son, “you're my baby”, back in my very first theory on Duck Season, but, knowing that the dog isn't the father, what does this message mean? Well, it could translate to you or me as a child.
We also, also know that in one of the games other endings, the dog is sympathetic towards David when he gets trapped inside the void.
He's not a killer all the time.
But why? Why would a future David dress as a dog to revisit his earlier self to kill his mother and potentially himself? Well, it's to prevent an apocalypse.
Last episode, we talked a lot about how the next game in the Stress Level Zero metaverse is gonna be about a machine uprising, where monsters from the void wipe humanity out, or something like that.
And we just talked about how David's mom, working at Stress Level Zero Studios, could be working on some of the earliest tests of a void-based game.
To me, this all reads as future David going back to where the void first opens in an attempt to stop her.
To stop it all from happening.
To stop people from accessing the void and thereby releasing these monsters out into the real world He's closing the loop, except it doesn't work.
Young David kills his older self and Monogon is able to steal the technology for themselves.
Anyway, like I said, wild speculation.
But the clues, and definitely the storytelling, are certainly there.
Anyway, going back to the slightly less aggressive theory of David being Arthur, we know that Duck Season takes place in the summer of 1988.
It's in the steam description for the game It's also made clear, based on the calendar Mom has posted on the kitchen refrigerator.
According to the game's wiki, David is 11 years old, moving over to Boneworks, we know that Arthur Ford's attack on Monogon is happening in 1997, shortly before myth OS City opens to the public.
This would make David roughly 20, still young, but certainly old enough to look like this and be holding down a full-time job.
This is especially true when you compare his look to his coworkers Elora and Hayes who themselves, also look to be on the younger side.
Now, there is one big elephant in the room.
David's looks versus Arthur's looks.
You might immediately point out that David is super blonde as a kid and Arthur Ford is decidedly not.
And, yeah I get that, that is huge evidence against the theory, and one of the reasons I started the whole episode out by calling this wild speculation with just a pinch of evidence sprinkled in.
Then again, it is a fact that children's hair color can, and often does, change naturally when they go through puberty.
With blond, towheaded children, seeing their hair darken to brown as the amount of u-melanin in the hair increases when they mature.
I was one such kid.
A blonde bombshell back in the day, and now just, you know, I got a mop of muddy poop brown on my head.
Well barely even that anymore because I shaved it all off for charity.
So that could explain away the difference in hair.
The difference in eye color on the other hand though, is a lot harder to get away with.
Sure, like hair color, eye color can change with age.
It happens to 10 to 15 percent of the Caucasian population, but there's one big catch with that.
It only tends to happen to children under the age of 1, then again there is one other explanation here, and one that I alluded to a bit earlier.
You know what changes both a person's hair color and their eye color? Dyes and contacts.
People on the run in witness protection, someone looking to change their identity like, I don't know, someone who might be held accountable for the murder of his mom, just saying, and so there it is.
My rationale for why David from Duck Season and Arthur from Boneworks are one and the same as well as my further rationale and wild speculation as to why both of them are probably also the dog from Duck Season.
I still personally think there's plenty of evidence to link all three of them.
David has the motivation, he's the right age, his house is directly connected to Monogon, and the Boneworks literally welcomes him back to the void.
The character design differences, sure, that is a blow to this theory, but we also came up with an explanation for that too.
Plus, you know what, in video games, characters' looks evolve.
I mean Kirby used to look like this , and Mario used to look like this, and Sonic this, so, you know, it could change.
Anyway, that's what I got.
Didn't turn out to be much of a minitheory considering I'm on page 5 right now, but you know what, they never do.
Speaking of small things though, are you looking for some new earbuds? I was, because, I'm being honest.
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That isn't Boneworks because I Started this thing and it was gonna be a one off theory and now it's a three parter So anyway until next time remember, that's just a theory a mini theory But not really.
Thanks for watching.