In a hospital room in 2219 Stark, a young woman named Zoe Castillo is lying in bed, unconscious, while her father Gabriel Castillo watches over her. In voiceover Zoe says that every story has a beginning and an end; sometimes they can be one and the same. She introduces herself, apologises for her pallor, which is due to her coma, and says that she is trying to reach out. Everyone who knows the truth is missing or dead, but if she can get through to anyone, maybe "something can be done".
Zoe begins telling her story, and the narrative jumps two weeks into the past.
Casablanca, Zoe is watching her Screen, which is running a news article about the Static, a phenomenon which has recently started affecting electronic systems. As she watches, the programme suddenly changes to a strange winter landscape with a black house. A little girl whispers Zoe's name, and says "Find her... save her..." before the screen goes back to normal. Zoe thinks it is some sort of viral ad, but is distracted by her ringing mobile. She's late for her martial arts lesson at the gym. After checking her schedule with her Watilla, Wonkers, Zoe goes downstairs and meets her father in the kitchen, who is getting ready to leave on a business trip to Bombay. From their conversation, we learn that Zoe has recently dropped out of a bioneering degree at Cape Town University and moved back home, having suddenly lost both faith in herself and her direction in life. Zoe tells her father she's planning a small 'soiree' once he's gone. Gabriel teases that she's never needed his permission before.
Zoe heads to the gym, but runs into her hacker friend Olivia DeMarco on the way, who has a cool mobile cloaking program to show her. After a lesson with her trainer Jama Mbaye - who laments Zoe's lack of commitment to her martial arts - Zoe lets her download it onto her mobile, but confesses to Liv that she is starting to get concerned about this 'viral ad' that seems to be appearing on every Screen she looks at... even Screens that weren't turned on. Now the little girl is whispering "Find April... save April..." but Liv puts it down to too much Screen time on Zoe's part.
Happily, Zoe soon has something to distract her - a phone call from her journalist ex-boyfriend, Reza Temiz, who asks to meet her at Moca Loco. When Zoe arrives, he is just getting off the phone with someone named 'Rio'. He apologises for being unable to make the party Zoe has planned because he's swamped with work. In fact, that's what he wanted to see her about. He asks if Zoe can go to the Seshadri Building, to the offices of a company called JIVA, and pick up a package from a 'Helena Chang'. It's part of a big story he's working on. Zoe agrees, and calls a cab to take her downtown.receptionist... or so she thinks. The woman seems distracted and keeps telling Zoe to come back later. Suddenly the Screen behind her comes to life and - unnoticed by the 'receptionist', Sela - shows an Asian woman locked behind glass, banging on it and apparently yelling for help. Zoe can either fight Sela or trick her into a storeroom and lock her in, then uses the console to get into JIVA's corridors. She sees the Asian woman locked in a lab airlock, and a man, Kano, fiddling with the controls. He runs past Zoe, who rushes to free the victim via manual release before the gas in the lab leaks through to her.
Outside, the woman introduces herself as Helena Chang, and thanks Zoe for her help - though she does seem surprised by Zoe's surname. After some convincing, she hands over Reza's package, but leaves before Zoe can ask any other questions. Fuming, Zoe heads back to find Reza and get some answers. Zoe can open the package if she wants - there is a small data cube inside.
When she arrives at Reza's apartment, Zoe is alarmed to see that the door is open, and... a mysterious tabby cat is wandering around. Inside, she discovers the body of a woman, about Zoe's age, with a strange device next to her head. As she backs off, Reza's Screen comes to life, with the little girl whispering to Zoe again. The image then changes to show EYE commandos entering the building. Before she can escape, the commandos find Zoe in Reza's living room, and use their weapons to 'boom' her, knocking her out.
Themes & References Edit
Ragnar has confessed that the idea of opening the game with a shot of Zoe in her undies was taken from the film Lost In Translation (one of his favourite movies). It is also a callback to The Longest Journey, where the first scene with April has her dressed only in her underwear.
When we see out of the window, we see that Zoe's hospital room is not in central Casablanca but somewhere on the coast; there's a sunny beach and palm trees outside.
In Zoe's opening monologue, Zoe says that she doesn't have any siblings, though at this point she has discovered this might not necessarily be true. However, she was speaking in the context of her father being alone once she was gone, and at this point her statement is essentially true.
A copy of Prophet Without Honour, the Anarchy Online novel, and even copies of TLJ can be seen in Zoe's bedroom.
|Chapters in Dreamfall|
|Prologue: Tainted | One | Lost | 201 | Winter | Alchera | Morpheus | Destiny | Convergence | All That We See or Seem... | Crossroads | Faith | Reversal | The Longest Journey | Epilogue: Dreamfall|