Now, I know what you're thinking. That one person who is literally always shit-posting is now trying to sell you on a crazy, probably far fetched theory she randomly came out of nowhere with. I know what this looks like, but hear me out please! This is gonna be a long one, so I will definitely put a tl:dr at the end.
Zen Garden is one of the most beautiful places in D:BH. It's full of vibrant colors, dynamic lighting, the seasons cycle (and Amanda's clothing colors change with the seasons), and most importantly, hidden details.
The emergency exit is one cool detail, I believe the first time Connor (you) touches it, it's surprising or shocking to him, judging by the flash of the red LED. The times after that, Connor has more of a thoughtful or indifferent expression, his LED is yellow sometimes. (I hope I'm not the only one who kept touching it for no reason at every opportunity they got, even before we knew what it was.) Maybe he's wondering what it is or why it's there? He eventually learns what it's for so… Yay?
The RK800 graveyard is an intriguing addition as well. The serial numbers and date of death appears on it, probably more info as well but my memory fails me as I only saw the graveyard once. (I'm so sorry I did this to you precious child Connor… But mama needed trophies rip)
Another very interesting aspect of the Zen Garden is the seasons, and more specifically, Connor's response to whichever season he's in.
I will be focusing on the "good, deviant version" of Connor with this post, and I admittedly haven't played in quite some time, so I may have forgotten key
biocomponents or have certain details out of order, but I was having a discussion with another redditor and the reply became so long I just decided to make a post about it.
Here we go:
The first time we see Zen Garden, is after the interrogation with Carlos' android. Connor had just successfully located the deviant, got the confession, and saved it from self-destructing in that room. He's doing really good at the moment…. And the season reflects it. It's a bright, sunny Summer day. Clear skies, full bloomed flowers, and Amanda is quite pleased with him.
The next time we see Zen Garden, is after the chase with Rupert. Connor almost had this deviant, but he chose Hank's well-being, even though he had an 89% chance of survival, over the pursuit of the deviant. He has just messed up, but Hank is "grateful" to him, so… Was this really a mistake? He's just failed an objective and is now feeling conflicted… Zen Garden is now a rainy day, (rain often leads to ponder upon decisions) and although Amanda greets him kindly, she is not as pleased with him as before.
The next time we see Zen Garden, is after Eden Club. Oh boy… Not only did he fail to capture these deviants, he literally watched them escape without pulling the trigger. However, Hank is glad he didn't, even says it's better this way. After that and the bridge scene, Connor is now left with more inner conflict, more questions, more software instability. And guess what? Zen Garden is now in Fall time. You can look at this two ways: Everything are FALLing apart. The leaves are missing, some places don't even have color. Things are crumbling, Connor is failing more. Or… Everything is changing. The seasons are shifting, just like Connor's thoughts, interpretations, and outlook on his purpose qnd mission. Just because a beautiful summer garden, lush green trees are now changing colors and dying, does this make them any less beautiful? Just because deviants are machines, does that mean they are any less alive? It doesn't matter what he thinks, because Amanda is in control here, and right now she is NOT happy with the way Connor is acting. She even brings up replacing him. Yikes.
When we find Connor in Zen Garden again, he has just been through the Kamski Test, and this has had the biggest effect on him. He has just failed to advance more towards his mission because he couldn't shoot that
poor girl android. Hank is very happy with Connor at this point, considering Stratford Tower and his decision to spare Chloe. Kamski has accused him of being a deviant and this leads to even more inner conflict, questions, and software instability. Also learned that Amanda, real Amanda, is dead. There is so much going on, and Zen Garden…. Zen Garden is now in winter. No more lush trees, no more flowers, no more nice Amanda. The waters that were there are frozen over, and this is the first time we see Connor react to the season. He hesitates to step upon the water, almost like he's afraid it won't support him. This most likely means he's nervous androids don't feel but he masks it well when he confronts Amanda. And Amanda, is ultimately disappointed in him at this point.
The last and final time we see Zen Garden is when Amanda attempt to resume control of Connor's program. Connor is now a deviant. He ** W O K E** now. Zen Garden is still a frozen wasteland, but it's now a snowy blizzard. More importantly, Connor is responding to this. He's cold… He's shivering and freezing, and basically freezing to "death" if he doesn't locate the emergency exit. But this shows he is alive at this time.
I guess the point of this post is that Zen Garden was so cleverly designed every to the littlest detail. Connor's conflict and emotions are reflected in the change of the seasons. I dunno if this is intentionally done or if I'm just reading too much into things.
And by the way, it's important to note that when Connor deviates but is killed by Markus in the church, the new Connor that is sent, a "non-deviant" Connor, has no reaction to the winter weather there at all. It really solidifies that machines don't feel anything but the deviants do.
TL:DR– I believe Zen Garden responds to Connor's outlook and view of his current state if mind/being as he visits. Whether is was intentional or not, it's damn brilliant! What do you think about this? Do you feel the same?
Okay, this is all. Thank you for your time!
Back to shitposting for me ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
© Post "An Observation about Zen Garden" for game Detroit: Become Human.
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