Today’s Xbox Series X presentation showed off Dontnod’s Tell Me Why, a mystery starring a pair of siblings trying to uncover the secrets of their troubled childhood. Tyler and Alyson Ronan are dealing with some kind of supernatural ability, combined with questions about their mother. Making things a little more complex, Tyler is a trans man, and the story will explore his transition throughout childhood.
While most developers shy away from spoilers, Dontnod has a full FAQ on its official website. Most of these questions are marked with big, prominent SPOILERS tags, and some of them even discuss the ending of the game.
For instance, at one point in the trailer, the twins question the behavior of their mother, Mary-Ann Ronan. This seems to be a big central mystery. Some fans might be concerned if the mystery has to do with Tyler’s gender. Was Mary-Ann opposed to Tyler’s transition?
Well, no, and you can find that out from the FAQ, which reads, “No. Tyler’s mother, Mary-Ann Ronan, was not transphobic. In Chapter 1, Tyler and Alyson discover that their mother had been taking steps to learn how to support her transgender child.”
There are further questions like, “Tell Me Why will feature multiple endings. Is it possible for Tyler to have a ‘bad’ ending in Tell Me Why? (SPOILERS)”
This is a clever, if risky, response to promoting a game with a trans protagonist. The Last of Us Part 2, for instance, had heavy speculation after the first trailers that love interest Dina was doomed, and the story would rely on the “Bury Your Gays” trope. For some players, spoiling the game allowed them to go in without any worries about the story. They were able to meet the narrative on their own terms.
It looks as though Dontnod is taking a similar strategy. If players are curious about whether Tyler will experience transphobia, or even a tragic ending, they can check out the Dontnod FAQ.
Tell Me Why’s first chapter will launch Aug. 27 on Xbox One and Windows.