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Small Details You Missed In The Medium

The Medium launched in January 2021 and immediately took the new year in a more chilling direction. The game was created by developer Bloober Team, and served as the latest entry in the studio's long line of horror titles. As the name implies, the game focuses on a medium by the name of Marianne — a woman who can communicate with the deceased, and can sometimes split her vision between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. Marianne is able to explore these two dimensions simultaneously, which means The Medium essentially takes place in two different worlds at the same time.

With two separate realities in play at once, you could be forgiven for missing some of the finer details in The Medium. If you hear a strange noise or notice a silhouette off in the distance, it's understandable you'd perhaps skip out on exploring every nook and cranny. Below, you'll be clued in on some of the things that might fly by you as you're playing this video game take on the psychological thriller. Some are truly deep and some are more shallow, but all are worth knowing about.

The use of death masks

The other characters you encounter in The Medium wear masks. Of course, because Marianne can make contact with the spirit world, these other characters are dead people. You may think the masks serve to make the game more frightening, and indeed, they do that. There is something unsettling about seeing the ghost of a small child made expressionless by the mask she wears. But these coverings sometimes hold a special kind of significance — one that dates back millennia.

According to Biography, Egyptians were certain that burying someone with a death mask "would allow the person's spirit to find his/her body in the afterlife." While navigating the spirit world in The Medium, Marianne happens upon bodies of the dead who have been separated from their spirits, and thus are stuck in a sort of purgatory. In order to release these characters from the spirit world and send them on their way, Marianne must help them reunite with their masks. While it is unclear whether or not this connection to history was truly intended, the way the masks are used certainly fits that narrative.

The voice of The Maw

The Maw is the chief antagonist in The Medium, and is already destined to go down as one of video game's most terrifying villains. This creature, which Marianne first encounters in the spirit world, is actually able to make itself present in both dimensions. It is essentially the monster from Jeepers Creepers, in that it apparently flays its victims for their skin. Equally as frightening as seeing The Maw, though, is hearing it tell Marianne how nicely her skin will fit. But you may be surprised at who is actually voicing this beast.

Games like The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite are how voice actor Troy Baker typically puts his talents to use. In The Medium, however, Baker really shows off his range by transforming into something else entirely. He is the man behind The Maw — it is his voice that delivers all of those demonic, otherworldly sounding threats as the creature stalks Marianne. If you weren't paying attention to news about The Medium prior to its release, Baker's different-than-usual role may come as a surprise. Once you play The Medium, you may never look at him the same way again.

The setting does double duty

The Medium uses contrast heavily to tell its story. For example, Marianne is capable of traversing two separate dimensions — the real world and the spirit world — at the exact same time. Much of the game takes place inside an abandoned vacation resort in Poland, though given all the creepy things happening, that location might as well be a long-forgotten asylum or some other horror game trope. Dig a bit deeper, however, and you'll find the game's setting is actually more than just an interchangeable scary place.

In an interview with Stevivor, developer Bloober Team talked about why The Medium is set in Poland, and specifically, why it takes place at the Niwa worker's resort. According to the team, the location incorporates "two points of view – the communist era and the post-communist era." Marianne is present in the latter period, just years after communism fell in Poland. The very existence of Niwa, however, and the history Marianne discovers while exploring the space harkens back to the country's communist past.

President George Clinton?

One of the more bizarre player discoveries in The Medium is actually one of the more lighthearted ones. In a game where you're essentially hunted by a creature who wants to wear your outer layers like a Snuggie, those moments are few and far between. The game is full of world-building lore, such as guestbooks you can peruse and newspapers you can take a glance at. In one of the papers found in The Medium, the U.S. either looked a lot different in the '90s, or someone at Bloober Team was very confused.

As Redditor EazyTiger666 found, one viewable publication in the game includes a story discussing NATO's next moves after the end of the Cold War. The article makes reference to "The US President, George Clinton," which would certainly come as a surprise to anyone who's ever lived in the United States. Perhaps The Medium plays with some alternate history here, choosing to believe the U.S. went in a more funky direction when electing the leader of the free world. Either that, or Bloober Team accidentally combined "George Bush" and "Bill Clinton" into one name.

The soundtrack Easter egg

Toward the end of The Medium, listening to music may not be very high on your to-do list. Simply surviving the experience — and helping Marianne find whatever she's looking for along the way — will likely be your priority. With that said, there is one song you might want to pause for as you make your way through the latter parts of the game. It could be easy to miss and may not seem that important. But it's a neat Easter egg for those willing to find it.

In a bunker area you'll eventually visit in The Medium, there sits a rather old-looking radio on top of a counter. When you turn the radio on, you'll be treated to a song from The Medium's original soundtrack. The tune is called "Fade," and is duet by singer Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Troy Baker, who voices The Maw in the game. Hearing this track won't give you more insight into The Medium or help you uncover any other secrets in the game, but it is a nice extra.