- "We all share the same fate here. If you don't wanna die, you gotta climb."
- — Steve Delhomme, a sheep
Sheep play a large role in the mythology and environment of the game. From the literal form men in the Nightmares take, to the often-cited "herd" mentality that goes with living a life of Order instead of Chaos, references are everywhere.
Random Sheep on the Landings
They usually all follow the same mentality on each Landing: going from fear and uncertainty, to violent self-preservation, to hopefulness, to reverence of Vincent. There are always outliers in this, usually taking the form of the sheep with enlarged horns, who are always the most aggressive ones that revel in killing the others.
In 5-1, the aggressive sheep "evolves" into a larger Black Sheep with a giant hammer. In 7-2, it is a Red Sheep with flaming red fur and a giant axe. Astaroth explains these sheep have already lost their lives in the real world, and thus their minds.
There is also one Merchant Sheep, a numismatist that appears on most of the Landings who'll sell you useful items for the next stage. He falls off and dies in 7-3 due to the weight and encumbrance of his money, described as a "shooting star" by the sheep that tells you this as he fell with his riches.
Sheep were chosen as the vehicle for the narrative for a number of reasons, as it fits many common themes to the game:
- "Sheep" and their relation to "sleep," such as counting sheep in order to fall asleep.
- The idea of sheep going astray much as the characters do (hence the Stray Sheep).
- The thought that in order to live a normal life like others, you have to stay within the herd. Sheep mindlessly follow, and require a shepherd to guide them properly, or they'll follow each other off a cliff to their death, as one sheep on a Landing stated. It's easy to see the symbolism of that within humanity itself, especially when viewed through the eyes of the god that created this entire trial.
The fact that each victim on the Landing sees themselves as the only human in a crowd of sheep speaks volumes to human nature, and how we can fool ourselves into thinking we are independent and free-willed, but in reality are just another sheep in the herd. Or when viewed another way, it is only our own personhood that we readily acknowledge and only once we get to know others do we see them as human as us.
The following is a list of the named sheep in this iteration of the Great Trials - Vincent and each man that Vincent meets both in real life and as someone sentenced to the Great Trials alongside him. With the exception of Steve, each is a regular at the Stray Sheep and Vincent knows at least some already - especially Jonny and Orlando.
While you control Vincent's fate as the player, Jonny and Orlando pass the Great Trials while Steve does not regardless of what you do. The fate of the final five (increased to seven in Full Body), however, rests on Vincent and how he interacts with them. Saving each individually gives its own individual achievement and saving every possible savable sheep grants the achievement Everyday Hero.
|Name||Sheep Form (as seen by Vincent)|
|Vincent Brooks||Himself (with sheep horns)|
|Jonathan "Jonny" Ariga||Sheep who Smokes|
|Orlando Haddick||Sheep with Red Hat|
|Steve Delhomme||Sheep with a Tie|
|Justin Bailey||Sheep with Glasses|
|Todd Bozeman||Sheep with Regent Hair|
|Archibald "Archie" Wallace||Long-Haired Sheep|
|Daniel Kirsch||Sheep with Sunglasses|
|Morgan Cortez||Sheep with Police Hat|