Shop More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconcheshirecatgrin: More from CheshireCatGrin


Featured in Collections

Literature by Nerdiboy




Details

Submitted on
October 6, 2008
File Size
9.1 KB
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,573
Favourites
17 (who?)
Comments
22
×


Boyd Cooper: The Milkman Conspiracy</b>

“That doesn’t fit in!  That doesn’t fit in at all!  Maybe I’ve got this all wrong!”

-Boyd Cooper, Psychonauts
~-~-~-~*~-~-~-~
From the moment Raz meets Boyd and is thusly greeted with a startled cry of “Who are you working for?” there are obvious signs about how paranoid the poor guard is.  The scribbles behind him on the wall in chalk are webs of seemingly unrelated events and people, all interrelated according to Boyd.  You can even listen to him mutter under his breath by standing near him.  When you ask him to let you in, he responds “Sorry, the Milkman has the key.  I am not the Milkman.  I’m the Guard.”

However, the extent of his affliction is only truly obvious when you enter his mental world, aptly named The Milkman Conspiracy.  The mental world takes on the shape of a seemingly innocent suburban neighborhood, perhaps from the old family-oriented sitcoms.  Except for the fact that the road twists, turns, and warps in a way that resembles a picture by M.C. Escher.  Gravity is relative in this stage, always pulling you towards the ground no matter where you go.  But, stray off the edges of the flat strip of ground you are provided with and you will fall into infinity.  Raz start off in Boyd’s “house”, where he has the walls covered in webs of thought similar to those he drew in chalk in the real world.  When Raz leaves the house, Boyd warns him “Be careful.  They’re watching.  All the time.”

Once you get outside, you find that Boyd wasn’t kidding.  Bushes, lawn flamingos, trashcans, squirrels, and even fire hydrants will randomly pop open to reveal a camera, which takes a quick shot and then disappears back into the item.  Mailboxes will follow Raz when he has his back turned, beady eyes peering out of the slots.  And everywhere are strange blue-green skinned men with bright red eyes, wearing khaki trench coats and hats and nondescript black pants.  These G-Men (as they are aptly called) are always surrounded by dotted yellow lines, and are pretending rather badly to be normal everyday people.  They each hold an object that determines what they are pretending to be.  The ones holding red signs are road crew workers, those with hedge clippers are trimming the hedges, watering cans are the watering crew, plungers are sewer workers, flowers are grieving widows, phones are phone crew, fake sniper rifles are assassins, helicopter helmets are pilots, and one with a rolling pin is even a housewife.  In order to avoid being arrested once he crosses the yellow dotted lines, Raz must collect one of each item as a disguise.

Raz, upon hearing that the Milkman is dead, is directed to the cemetery by Boyd, where he will dig up something that is “neither man nor milk”.  After making his way through countless obstacles, both G-Man and not, Raz finally returns to Boyd with a book that uncovers the entire conspiracy; at least to Boyd.  He directs Raz to go to the Book Depository and gives him a fake sniper rifle, sending him off with the warning “Beware the cows!  Not all milk is enriched!”  When Raz reaches the Depository he must dodge a sniper, who is actually one of the Girl Scout-like Rainbow Squirts that are wandering around the mental world selling cookies.  She blows herself up with a bomb-cookie-box, taking out several of the Assassin G- Men.

Now you can find Boyd’s Memory Vaults, revealing that he used to work as a security guard at a department store but was laid off (apparently not the first time he'd been fired from a job).  He came back later with a group of Molotov Cocktail milk bottles and burned the store down, leading to his incarceration in the asylum.  The second vault shows that at some point in time he was approached by Oleander and hypnotized into being the guard.  It is implied that the Milkman was implanted or programmed into Boyd’s mind by his line later stating: “My employer has commissioned me to deliver this milk, to whitewash what went on here. I cannot rest until I have made my final delivery.”

At the top of the Book Depository, Raz finds a helicopter helmet.  Using Clairvoyance on it will reveal, through a G-Man’s infrared X-ray eyes, a small house set apart from the rest of the suburbs that has a strange structure beneath it, complete with a suspicious looking chamber holding a man surrounded by milk bottles.  Once he reaches the house and infiltrates it, he finds himself among a whole troupe of Rainbow Squirts and their Den Mother.  Unfortunately, G-Men and Censors followed him and an all-out war between them and the Rainbow Squirts begins.  The Den Mother escapes to the underground structure, telling you “Do not follow!  The milk is not ready and you are not ready for the milk!”  When Raz follows, she immediately says that he must die because: “That is the way of the Rainbow Squirts!”

After a battle against the Den Mother, the Milkman awakens.  Following aboveground again, Raz watches him launch exploding milk bottle after exploding milk bottle at the Rainbow Squirts and G-Men.  Eventually Raz is knocked out of Boyd’s mind.  Boyd looks panicky for a second before starting and then slowly smiling and very eerie smile.  The Milkman influence is now dominant.  He picks up a pack of Molotov cocktail milk bottles and heads to the front of the asylum, unlocking the gate on the way, where he freezes with a bottle in hand ready to throw.

Now, let us turn our attention to Paranoid-type Schizophrenia, the malady that Boyd suffers from.  Paranoid-type is one of 4 sub-types of schizophrenia, along with Catatonic-type, Disorganized-type, and Undifferentiated-type.  Paranoid Schizophrenia is characterized by delusions (both of persecution and grandeur), paranoia, and hallucinations, but the other symptoms of thought disorder, disorganized behavior, and affective flattening are absent.  Paranoid-type is the most common form of schizophrenia.

Although the prime ages of onset for males of schizophrenia is between the ages of 20-28, there are instances of middle-age onset schizophrenia.  Things that trigger the onset of schizophrenia are many and varied.  Boyd’s trigger was most likely social adversity, specifically being fired from his job, which he obviously enjoyed very much and took great pride in.  Studies have also shown that just living in an urban environment can increase the chances of triggering schizophrenia by about 68%-77%, so this may have had some effect on his mentality.  Schizophrenia has been found to decrease the average life expectancy to about 80%-85% of that of the general population, however they still have a better life expectancy than substance abuse, personality disorders, heart attack, or stroke.  Some of the contributing factors for the lowering of the life expectancy are smoking (Boyd smokes, it seems, if the large number of filled ash-trays in his mental house are anything to go by), poor diet, lack of exercise, and the fact that schizophrenics have a higher suicide rate than the general population.

Now, the paranoia and delusions are quite obvious from Boyd’s behavior and mind.  Paranoia is defined as baseless or excessive mistrust of the motives of others.  Boyd’s fearful demand of “Who do you work for!?” upon first meeting Raz, shows how suspicious of others he has become.  The G-Men in his mind, all taking the places of normal everyday people, and even the seemingly innocent Rainbow Squirts show how little he has come to trust strangers and their motives.  To ‘persecute’ is to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment.  Between the cameras and the mailboxes that follow Raz, there is always the feeling of being watched in this level.  Delusions of grandeur are false beliefs that one is more important than one is.  Subconsciously, by making the Milkman resemble himself, Boyd placed himself in a very high position of seemingly near-God-like powers inside his own conspiracy.

~-~-~-~*~-~-~-~

Boyd: “I am the Milkman.  My milk is delicious.”

Raz: “Hey.  Is that milk the regular kind or the exploding dream kind?”

Boyd: “It’s fortified with what the world wants.  What the world deserves.”
- Boyd Cooper and Razputin, Psychonauts
Part Two!

Introduction:cheshirecatgrin.deviantart.com…
Boyd Cooper: Here!
Gloria VonGouten: cheshirecatgrin.deviantart.com…
Fred Bonaparte: cheshirecatgrin.deviantart.com…
Edgar Teglee: cheshirecatgrin.deviantart.com…
Crispin Whytehead: Coming Soon
Caligosto Loboto: Coming Soon
Morceau Oleander: Coming Soon

I had fun analyzing Boyd. He's one of the more interesting characters, I think. Version with pictures is here: cheshirecgrin.livejournal.com/…

Also, does anyone out there watch Heroes? (stupid question, but I mean anyone who is reading this) I swear to the gods that Parkman reminds me so frickin' much of Boyd. It's 'cause he was a cop I think...but if there were a live-action version of Psychonauts ever, Boyd would so be played by Greg Grunberg (Parkman). He's even a telepath! Sucks Parkman's not a pyrokinetic, like Claire's mom. That would just make it perfect.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconflurrin:
Flurrin Featured By Owner May 7, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very interesting! I mean, I knew the game was put together with a lot of thought and time, but it's cool to see that they really knew what they were doing. xD
Reply
:iconvioleta960:
Violeta960 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your essays are awesome. They remind me of this one though [link] It's amazing how such a childish-looking videogame can make such a great job at capturing the essence od the different types of insanity (along with some types of sanity, i.e Milla and Sasha) in an artistic way. :love:
Reply
:iconthe-kapt:
The-Kapt Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
Argh, I'm so late in commenting on this. It's been like, half-a-year since you put it up!

Regardless, I just had to say what a great job you did with this. I've been mulling over Boyd's psyche for some time, and still you brought things to light that I hadn't even really thought about!
Reply
:iconcheshirecatgrin:
CheshireCatGrin Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Ah don't worry about commenting on this late XD

Well that's always nice to hear! 8D Glad I brought up new thoughts. It's always interesting how much one can read into things if one tries, and how much in the details that one can miss.
Reply
:iconthe-kapt:
The-Kapt Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
Oh, I know! It's absolutely fascinating. And it's probably the main reason I love this game so much: their attention to character development and details is just deliciousssss. C8

Though, if I may say I was a tad surprised that the Den Mother wasn't mentioned more. I thought she was a fairly good hint at mother issues Boyd might've had, which in turn could've been another cause for his mental problems. But, then again, I suppose that's really just a theory.
Reply
:iconcheshirecatgrin:
CheshireCatGrin Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
To me, the whole "Den Mother = Boyd has mother issues" thing has never made sense. Honestly, there's really nothing else in his mind to explain mother issues.

I honestly think that Boyd just needed someone to focus on as the leader of the conspiracy to hide the Milkman and, in Boyd's twisted mind, since that group is made up of evil girl-scouts, who would be better to be their leader than a Den Mother?
Reply
:iconthe-kapt:
The-Kapt Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
Ah, you do have a point there.

Personally, it's hard for me to decipher which parts of what you saw in Boyd's mind was originally there and which parts could've been "planted", I suppose you could say, via Oleander's hypnotism. The Den Mother seemed to stand out, both protecting Boyd (as the Milkman) and yet working against Boyd (as his mental self) at the same time.

Then again, maybe I just liked the idea. : P You're right, though. There's not really any other evidence linking them--just speculation.
Reply
:iconcheshirecatgrin:
CheshireCatGrin Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
It is an interesting speculation, though. Just one that I, personally, do not see.

And you're right, it is hard to decipher what was originally there and what was "planted".
Reply
:iconthe-kapt:
The-Kapt Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
S'cool. I m'self like the idea. xD Not sure how to answer as to "why", though.

It all makes me wish we could've seen more, as no doubt "The Milkman Conspiracy" was just scratching the surface. But, ah well.

Anyway, again, you did a great job with this. Outlining the characteristics of paranoid schizophrenia, doing the research, and then seeing where Boyd fit. And concerning the Den Mother, I suppose it's actually a good thing, now that I think about it, that she wasn't mentioned that much. Focusing on the stuff that was made clear, rather than the speculations. All that. Good. Yes.

This little conversation was rather enlightening as well...

And uh, I think I'm starting to ramble now. xD So, uhm. Yeah. Nice work!
Reply
:iconcheshirecatgrin:
CheshireCatGrin Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Rambling is no problem ^__^ Thank you.
Reply
Add a Comment: