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"The Gift" Analysis


RadZakpak

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Before diving into this, if you haven't already, go ahead and read through my "Shockwave" Analysis. To get this interpretation you should be familiar with the Shockwave too since it uses a lot of the same language, and I think Shockwave is more transparent in its meaning. Also consider that Shockwave is the song Kevin must have wrote next after The Gift, making it more likely they are related. It will also help to check out my video essay on Richtofen's self-loathing, as that is a major theme here. Without further ado, let's dive in.

 

Preface: My interpretation of "The Gift" is from the point of view of Primis Richtofen as he realizes the true nature of the cycle, and he laments the fact he was so blind and selfish. I think this song heavily foreshadows both Blood of the Dead and Classified.

 

Up in the sky

down wind another 

light goes dim

And I know its him 

Reigning like a storm again

deep inside of me 

[In "Shockwave", Ultimis Richtofen describes the chaos he brings like so:

"I’m always here

I bring the storm

just like a

... Shockwave"

Up in the sky, downwind, in another iteration of the cycle, Ultimis Richtofen has entered the MPD and “peeked his head” into the Aether. His “light” goes dim in that he is corrupted. Richtofen knows it is him, because it has happened countless times before, and Ultimis Richtofen's evil nature will always be deep inside of him.]

Light of my life

find my shadow 

wandering in my mind

[Again he references his “Shadow”, also explained in "Shockwave", and the darkness of his alter ego now clouds his mind.]

Now all the threads will 

unwind 

When all the stars are 

aligned

and I need 

Time to break 

all the mirrors

[After The Great War is fought once again, Richtofen realizes he has inadvertently continued the cycle. Samantha describes the four souls as “strings” or threads which bind the Aether together in Tag der Toten. Richtofen now knows these threads must unwind, and “the stars must align”, meaning the cycle must be broken by the Weasel and he must be prepared at the right time. He needs more time to create this scenario and actually break the cycle. This may be his plan in to freeze himself in Blood of the Dead.]

But my mind is in pieces 

and not ready to make 

it clearer

[He’s blinded not only by his ego but by the literal fact his memory is fleeting, his soul having been removed, and traits from all over the multiverse bleed in.]

Upon a time 

down in a little room 

made just for me

I heard them 

whispering my name 

And taking you away

[I think these lyrics misled people to believe this song was from Sam's POV, which is understandable. But with the other language suggesting it is Richtofen, one interpretation is that it is Eddie's despair as Sam is taken away and cleansed by Monty, but his soul doesn't arrive until after that so it shouldn't be it. Another possibility is this is from his perspective as his parents died. They could have been murdered in his own home.]

 

Pain isn't the only 

gift I'll give you slowly

but I'll give it wholly and solely 

To you

[This is where it gets a bit sad. One might wonder why Richtofen might wish death upon himself, and why he would describe it as a gift, something positive, while making it slow and painful. Richtofen has consistently been shown as having disdain for other versions of himself. In both The Giant and Blood of the Dead, he looks on his other self with contempt, and in Blood’s case, he leaves him to die slowly instead of finishing him off. I believe these lines in particular are towards his Blood self, his past self in a sense. Richtofen now regrets his own selfish actions that perpetuated the cycle. Consider also that Primis Richtofen is not one to kill other people frivolously, only killing the Reporter out of self defense. Obviously he did kill trillions indirectly, but intentionally, he’s only really killed himself, at least three times (Ultimis, 2210, and eventually Blood). 2210 was an innocent, and this only adds to how wrong it was for Edward to follow the Kronorium's word. Even before the cycle is broken, he seems to want to put himself above his Ultimis self, and wants nothing to do with him. These lyrics also cannot be directed at Monty, because in Tag, Pablo explains that Richtofen did not blame Monty for his actions: "By forcing us into this cycle, our story will never end. While also, his universe and his existence will be guaranteed." "I can't blame him", he says, "Doctor Monty is much like you and me. He just wants to survive."]

 

I've come to find 

mind and matter 

wandering without time

[While most things seem to reset once the cycle begins anew, certain things are constant, things of mind and matter that do not adhere to the rules of time. Things like souls, memories from past cycles, the Summoning Key, Kronorium, the Aether itself. This may be key in resolving the paradox.]

Then all the flowers 

combined

With all the souls that went 

blind 

to see again

Time to make 

it all clearer

[With all this in mind that is constant, perhaps there is a way to make “our blind eyes” (From Shockwave) see again. This is seemingly his plan in regards to freezing himself at Blood of the Dead. "All the flowers" may be a reference to Dead Flowers, a song about all the dead versions of Primis left behind with each iteration of the cycle, and "The souls that went blind" are Ultimis, all of them corrupted and blind to the reality of the chaos they bring. They need to be combined to make everything clearer. Resolve the duality.]

And if time never ceases 

I'll be ready to break 

the mirror

[As long as the cycle remains in place, Richtofen’s plan to wait in Alcatraz until it is broken may work, and the “cracked mirror”, i.e. the multiverse can finally be completely broken, as is done in Tag. This might also be imagery as Ultimis and Primis are "mirrors" of one another, and by breaking the barrier between them, the mirror itself, they can come together.]

Drawn in a line 

sharp edges in the dark 

made just for me

I hear them 

waking the profane

And slithering in pain and 

withering away

[I have two interpretations. 1: This describes Richtofen’s journey from the beginning of the cycle. He’s drawn in a line made just for him, as in he is following his destiny as shown in the Kronorium and “cutting himself” or corrupting himself along the way, and he hears humanity freeing the Apothicons once again, before withering away as the Earth is destroyed. 2: It’s his journey following the Kronorium, but it is Primis arriving in Alcatraz that awakens the undead waiting for them, which traps them like in Blood of the Dead, where they suffer horrible deaths until finally their Richtofen withers away.]

 

Death isn't the only 

gift I've given slowly

but I'll give it solely and only 

To you

[Again, he’s given death to other Richtofens before. He sees it as a “gift” because in his own mind it is for the best, and he is bettering himself. He is admitting here that he, and only he, is responsible for all the madness. He blames himself entirely. He just wants to see the past version of himself, the coward, suffer for what he did.]

 

I glow in moonlight 

You fall like rain 

(you fall like rain)

We’ll take the ever-after 

And turn it into pain

[Similar concept to “Shockwave”, Richtofen is in a constant repeating cycle between versions of himself. Shockwave even specifically mentions Richtofen floating up into the moonlight.  He will become better, while his past self falls. This “ever-after”, as heard in I Am The Well, is the unending cycle, and Richtofen feels the pain in the end of all his past selves. He's going to put all the pain onto the version of himself that played into Monty's plan.]

 

Your pain is the one thing 

that I feel inside me

That I have been hiding 

inside me for you

[Richtofen once again feels the pain of his other selves, but he still blames them, and wants to inflict that pain back upon them for what they’ve done.]

Your death is the singing 

I hear when I'm dreaming

And the bell I'll be ringing 

when I sing for you

[So he hears the singing of his own death in his dreams, and he will also sing when that death comes. It’s possibly the voices in his own head taunting him, reminding him of the inevitability of his demise, or it’s his own inner voice, his conscience eating away at him, celebrating the idea of his death. This “bell” being rung may be related to the bell sound from Mob of the Dead on the Golden Gate Bridge, and when the cycle breaks there, his own death is imminent. It may also be referring to Church Bells which ring at a funeral; For Whom The Bell Tolls and all that.]

 

Pain isn't the only 

gift I’ll give you slowly

but I'll give it wholly and solely to 

You

 

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I love these, big brains to you. Shit, breakdowns like this really make the story more emotionally to me. 

On 8/22/2020 at 6:49 PM, RadZakpak said:

In both The Giant and Blood of the Dead, he looks on his other self with contempt

I'd also like to add that one moment in the comics in which he encounters his zombified self. I hate it to see myself like this. Shivers went down my spine when I realized we only see Richtofen killing himself intentionally and with emotion. I recently saw the movie Apocalypse Now and at the end of the plot, it is made clear that there is a difference between people killing without emotion, without judging (killing the Reporter as self defence) and killing with emotion (killing his other selves, without any real reason). For Richtofen, the latter, the killing out of hate, only seems to be applyable for himself.

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Great analysis! I always thought it was from Sam's POV, and this is somewhat the "apology", but never went deep into analyzing it.

On 8/22/2020 at 7:49 PM, RadZakpak said:

 

Upon a time

down in a little room 

made just for me

I heard them 

whispering my name 

And taking you away

[I think these lyrics misled people to believe this song was from Sam's POV, which is understandable. But with the other language suggesting it is Richtofen, one interpretation is that it is Eddie's despair as Sam is taken away and cleansed by Monty, but his soul doesn't arrive until after that so it shouldn't be it. Another possibility is this is from his perspective as his parents died. They could have been murdered in his own home.]

As for this section, don't you think it would be more fitting if it was something like PTSD from when he killed/teleported Sam?

Right now, in his little room (his brain), he hears the voices inside him, tormenting him about what the Ultimis Richtofen did?

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1 minute ago, Lioss10 said:

 

As for this section, don't you think it would be more fitting if it was something like PTSD from when he killed/teleported Sam?

Right now, in his little room (his brain), he hears the voices inside him, tormenting him about what the Ultimis Richtofen did?

Ooh never considered that. The little room could even represent the teleporter. In The Giant when Richtofen teleports Sam and Maxis away, then teleports Primis Richtofen in, there are voices whispering in the background.

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