The Dark Pictures Wiki
Advertisement
The Dark Pictures Wiki


I do hope she's OK.
 
— Comment about Angela status

The Curator of Stories (or only The Curator) is an omniscient voyeur of the player's progress, choices and a recorder of events throughout The Dark Pictures Anthology.

First appearing in Man of Medan, The Curator introduces each individual story and occasionally converses with the player in a mysterious and strange place, which he calls the Repository. While the player tells the story to him, the Curator also provides hints on the best decisions to make.

The Curator was voiced and motion captured by actor Pip Torrens. His in game model based on british actor and model Tony Pankhurst and made by character artist Andor Kollar. There is also short documentary with developers about him, available in Man of Medan's Special Feature #3, named Creating the Curator.

Appearance

The Curator's debut outfit.

The Curator has fair and wrinkled skin (as he's a middle-aged man) and icy eyes. His greying brown hair is long on the top of the head and shaved on the sides. He seems to use hair gel to hold it back.

His attire consists of a green three-piece suit (with octagonal details in the back), a white collared shirt with dark sleeve garters with a green patterned tie and dark brown leather shoes. The watch and the chain connected to it can be seen hiding in one of his vest pockets, the Moral Compass is also in the left pocket.

Above those pieces of clothes, The Curator also wears a brown and long trench coat, a green patterned scarf, a grey bowler hat and brown leather gloves during the intro sequence of the Dark Pictures Anthology's entries and his background presence.

Personality

The Curator is timeless, recording stories of life and death in his own small section of a vast repository containing every story ever told. He’s been doing it for thousands of years, he supposes, but he can’t remember when he started, or whether there was ever a beginning to what he does.
 

The Curator possesses a calm demeanor and is sophisticated in his speech. When speaking to the player about the prospect of death, he argues that while one should not fear it, wishing to avoid a premature end is not unnatural by any means.

During the game the Curator likes to make sarcastic and witty comments about various events and player's actions, caustically mocking his decisions and talks about the plot and protagonists in ambigious and vague manner, thereby confusing the player.

While he claims that it is not his place to interfere in the player's story, The Curator indicates that he favors a careful, observant approach to the coming situations, and proposes to assist the player if he is satisfied with their progress.

In Little Hope, the Curator subtly implies that he would prefer to have a larger advisory role to the player, but is unable to do so, as he unsatifyingly states that it is "not his place" to do so.

Chapter Appearances

Man of Medan

Theatrical Cut

You see, we each make decisions according to our own moral compass, and we have to live with those decisions, or die by them.
 
— The Curator on the decisions taken by the player

After the opening credits, the Curator introduces himself to the player and welcomes them to his repository. As the keeper of all stories, he explains that the story in question is incomplete, requiring the player's input to be finished. The Curator also explains that the decisions taken by the player will have important consequences in the story. He then informs the player about the pictures mechanic and that he will be monitoring their progress. He bids farewell with the promise they will speak again soon.

Shortly after Alex and Julia return from their dive, the Curator meets the player again where he summarizes the main characters and opines on the player's choices up to that moment. Depending on what has happened up until that point, the Curator will congratulate the player for performing well or warn them that some of their choices may be something to regret later.

The Curator converses with the player again once the SS Ourang Medan is discovered. Depending on the choices made, he will either mention Conrad's possible death or praise the player for keeping everyone alive. Before sending them back to the story, the Curator will offer the player a "small piece of advice". Should the player accept his offer, he will cite a passage from The Merchant of Venice, alluding to the true nature of the Manchurian Gold, and state that “not everything is at it seems”. After sipping from a metal flask, he will claim that he should not have said that.

The fourth encounter with the Curator occurs once the group reunites on the Ourang Medan. He will acknowledge the supernatural occurrences on the ship and mention the deaths (if any) of the characters since the last encounter. He will offer the player another tip, suggesting that a more scientific or political explanation may be behind the mysterious happenings on board.

The final encounter with the Curator takes place after the game ends. The Curator closes the "Man of Medan" and comment on the ending achieved by the player, praising them should one finish the story with all main characters alive or outright laughing if everyone is dead while questioning whether it was done on purpose. If the fight happened between characters in Olson, the Curator uses a metaphor saying that when the "curtain falls", we can be ready or not. If Alex during Matters of the Heart manages to stay calm and does not stab the hallucination, the Curator congratulates him and the player. If the distributor cap was broken, the Curator comments on how unfortunate that is. He then informs the player that they will inevitably meet again, in Little Hope or "somewhere else".

Curator's Cut

You see, a story can change a great deal when told from a... different perspective.
 
— The Curator discussing the Curator's Cut mode

After the opening credits, the Curator has a conversation with the player about the new mode. He explains that there has been an "adjustment" to the story and new possibilities have been made available. He encourages the player to take risks in this mode, as one's choices can lead to different outcomes than before.

The other encounters with the Curator occur exactly as they do in the Theatrical Cut.

Little Hope

Theatrical Cut

Disconcerting. No? I’m sure there's nothing to worry about.
 
— The Curator, as he holds the "Little Hope" book

After the intro sequence, the Curator welcomes the player, briefly wondering, if they have already met before, and informing them that they have a story to tell him. The Curator retrieves the "Little Hope" book from a shelf and after sarcastically remarking on the name, he informs the player that the fire was unavoidable and that one should "look to the future". The Curator then informs the player about the importance of their choices through the game, culminating in advising them to be true to their choices regardless. He then states somewhat begrudgingly that it is not his job to help the player, but merely to record their story, claiming it is not his place to do so, though he says that he is allowed to cite passages from literary works when he feels such would be appropriate. The Curator introduces the pictures mechanic, informing the player that they can be used to help them in their story. Finally, he bids the player farewell, informing them that they have a funeral to attend to, before remarking that he enjoys "a good funeral".

The second time the player meets the Curator occurs after Andrew and Angela encounter Mary. The Curator speaks broadly about the survivor’s situation, culminating with the questioning of whether Mary is in trouble or whether she is trouble to them. Similarly to Man of Medan, the Curator then summarizes the main characters and opines on the player’s choices thus far. After mentioning the stranger's rudeness at the bar and that the characters might be in danger, the Curator dismisses the player, urging them to find the bus driver.

The third encounter with the Curator happens after Andrew, Angela and John are pursued by a creature emerging from the river. Firstly, he will comment on whether the player succeeded in saving Angela or not, mentioning her possible fate to be "worse than death", though he states that there is nothing wrong with death itself. He then tallies the main characters' deaths so far, congratulating the player should all still be alive. The Curator then speaks about the revolver Andrew can find, saying that it could be useful and/or dangerous had the player decided to keep it, or bafflingly questioning them on their motives, should the gun have been discarded. The Curator then mentions that the "boys" have interesting theories regarding their fate, singling out Daniel's theory that they are all dead. He then quotes William Shakespeare’s Richard III, alluding to the idea behind said theory, before mentioning that finding the bus driver might be useful in understanding what is truly happening. After claiming that the situation might be confusing for the player, the Curator informs them that he has been granted permission to give them a single hint. Should the player accept, the Curator quotes Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale, alluding to the true source of the horrors seen thus far, but not before claiming to have met the author once, as the Curator claims he does with everyone. Finally, the Curator sends the player back to the game.

The Curator speaks with the player again after Taylor and Daniel leave the museum. He begins by asking the player whether things are becoming clearer for them. Should Angela still be alive, the Curator will mention the creature that pursues her, as well as comment on whether she succeeded in evading it or not. Retrieving a letter opener from his desk, the Curator will then comment on whether Daniel or Taylor have armed themselves with the knife found at the museum, congratulating the player should they have chosen to take it along. The Curator then offers a second hint to the player and, should the player accept it, he explains that everyone has their own "demons" and that such are often born from regret. Before sending the player back to the game, the Curator indirectly asks the player to consider Mary’s fault at the events that are happening by quoting an excerpt from Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance before telling them that "she’s just a child".

The fifth encounter with the Curator takes place after the characters reunite in the woods after being ambushed by the creatures. He quotes Buddha, stating that the conquest of oneself is a victory that cannot be taken from you. The Curator questions whether the player has already begun to understand what truly has been happening, claiming that "everything and everyone may not be quite what they appear to be". Simultaneously, he makes this point clearer by removing distinct playing cards from a small poker chest on his desk (representing the amount of characters that are still alive), placing them face down on his desk and then flipping them back to show all cards to be the same, the King of Hearts, another hint to the true source of the supernatural events happening. If Andrew killed Angela by mistake, The Curator will scold the player for being its worse enemy and for being careless with the gun. The Curator will then speak of the creatures that are following the group, mentioning the deaths of the characters up to that moment, if any. The Curator briefly asks the player if they have any thoughts on what might be happening next, informing them that something "wicked" is soon to come, and sends them once again back into the game.

The sixth and final encounter with the Curator happens right at the end of the game. The Curator closes the "Little Hope" book and informs the player that it is "game over", though he informs them that they can always try again and see if they can get a "different result". The Curator will then comment on the ending achieved, clapping and congratulating the player should all characters survive, as well as commenting on the missing bus driver, and if said character successfully made peace with his past. The Curator then proceeds to leave his repository, bidding the player farewell until they meet again, whether it is in the South Pacific, the Arabian Desert or "somewhere else". Before leaving, the Curator assures the player that they will inevitably meet, at the very least once again.

Curator's Cut

A chance to walk in different shoes. Make fresh choices. Discover new things.
 
— The Curator, introducing the Curator's Cut mode in Little Hope

After the opening credits, the Curator recognizes the player and welcomes them again. He then quotes William Shakespeare’s King John, stating that a tale that is told for a second time carries few surprises. However, the Curator says that such is only true if the tale has been finished, claiming that the story the player has started in this mode is not fixed in the same parameters as before. The Curator then says that a story can be very different when told from a different perspective, implying that there are new possibilities for the player to explore.

The rest of this interaction, as well as the others throughout the game, play out exactly as they do in the Theatrical Cut.

Hidden Appearances

In addition to meeting the player between chapters, the Curator secretly appears in chapters and observes characters who may die, though none of them acknowledge his presence.

Man of Medan

  • In Chinese Market, when Joe and Charlie see a dead soldier behind the locked door, the Curator watches them at the end of long corridor.
    • This is a signal to their inevitable deaths.
  • In Intrusion, the Curator can be seen through the door right behind Junior when this one close the door after returning Julia to the cabin with Alex and Conrad.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Conrad if he decides to take the speedboat and is shot.
  • In Echo/Finding Friends, when Brad sees a hanged skeleton turn his head towards him and tries to escape by jumping towards a giant sack of corpses, the Curator can be seen observing him in the balcony, just where he was minutes before.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Fliss or Brad if they hallucinate and attack each other.
  • In Ritual, when Fliss turns to see the fallen balcony (the one where Brad falls), the Curator watches from the far wall behind her, near the piano/military car.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Fliss or Brad if they hallucinate and attack each other.
  • In Pressure, the Curator can be seen watching them as Fliss and Brad look down the hatch later on.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Fliss or Brad when one of them goes down the hatch and gets trapped in a flooding room.
  • In Glamor Girl, while Fliss and/or Brad are trying to contact a disturbed Conrad, the Curator observes the last one right in the attached room.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Conrad, Fliss or Brad if they fall or have their throat slit.
  • In Revenge, the Curator can be seen replacing Olson's appearance in the background, just before Alex and Julia decide which way to go between "run" or "jump".
    • This is a signal to the possible death of Alex or Julia by getting killed by Olson.
  • In Junior, as whoever went down the hole and end up in the lower deck is confronting by Junior, the Curator stands behind him in the misty hold.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of whoever encounters Junior, as they can get shot in the head by him.
  • In Matters of the Heart, whoever jumps down the hole (one floor above the Lower Deck) to help Alex after seeing dangerous, hallucinating Olson with a big hammer, the Curator can be seen at the end of the corridor behind them.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of whoever accompanied Alex, or of Alex himself.
  • In Flooded, when the camera pans from whoever is in the lever booth to the open cargo door, the Curator can be seen right across the cargo door.
    • This is a signal to the possible death of whoever is confronting Olson below the cargo door.
      • The Curator will make a reference about it during the credits: "I suppose when... "the curtain falls" you're either ready for it, or you're not.". This is a clear reference to the hallucination of the ballroom that Fliss sees during Ritual, since the Door 2 takes form of curtain.
  • In The End, the Curator can appear in different situations.
    • If the surviving characters are stranded on the SS Ourang Medan, the Curator can be seen watching from around the corner.
    • (After credits) If the surviving characters are saved by coastguard, the Curator watches them behind the door on the boat.
    • (After credits) If the surviving characters are succesfully escaped on the Duke, the Curator watches after them, standing on the stairs. He can't be normally seen due to camera angle, although his model appears for a short time.
      • This is a signal to Julia's death by decompression sickness.
    • (After credits) If the surviving characters are stranded on the SS Ourang Medan, but the military got coordinates and name of the ship is revealed, the Curator can be seen watching them as they wave their hands to the military helicopter.
      • This is a signal to their inevitable deaths.

Little Hope

  • The Curator can be seen observing Andrew during Full Circle, if Mary was blamed and the other four protagonists are dead.
    • This is because Anthony's possible suicide is the only "real" death of the game.

Trivia

  • The Curator is the only character that appears in all of the The Dark Pictures Anthology's games.
  • During the intro sequence of the Dark Pictures Anthology's entries, The Curator uses a compass to find the entrance to his repository, hinting at the game's Moral Compass.
  • There are many subtle hints which suggest that he is the personification of death.
    • The background music running alongside the scenes with The Curator is various parts of Mozart's Requiem.
    • The Curator is seen observing the characters in the background of any scene, in which a playable character is able to die.
    • During the intro with the song "Conversation with Death" by Khemmis, he looks straight to the camera at "Well, I am Death".
    • In Little Hope, when Angela first escaped from her demon, the Curator says: "She was almost lost to a fate worst than death." Then he smiles and adds: "Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with death." Assuming he is the personification of death, this sentence makes a lot of sense.
    • He claims to have met centuries-old deceased authors, such as William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. Further to this, he claims to have met Oscar Wilde in Paris, which is where the playwright died.
    • He claims to meet everyone at least "once".
    • He refers to human characters as "souls" and "mortals" implying that he is not human himself.

Quotes

Man of Medan

  • "But you shouldn't fear death. It is after all... inevitable. It is the tax one pays for having lived, and it comes, eventually, to everybody. Still...none of us want for it to come too soon, do we?"
  • "The Merchant of Venice. Act 2, Scene 7. The Prince of Morocco pulls a scroll from the eye of a skull and reads... 'All that glisters is not gold; often have you heard that told'." — Curator's first hint
  • "But here's a thing - everything may not be entirely as it seems... probably shouldn't have said that."
  • "You're going it alone. Independent. Admirable. Possibly foolish. We'll learn soon enough."
  • "There may be forces at play here that are more... scientific, and even that are more... political, you know? Less... supernatural?" — Curator's second hint
  • "That's it. Game over. You're done...for now, at least. You could always try again. See if you can't do better next time around."
  • "Not a very happy ending... or maybe it is? Depends what makes you happy, really?"
  • "I suppose when... the curtain falls you're either ready for it, or you're not."
  • "Things became a little intense, but Alex kept his nerve. Well done Alex. Well done you!"
  • "It's all about decisions, isn't it? Decisions made in a hurry, in a panic. Made with the heart instead of the head... or vice-versa. Sometimes those decisions take a long time to have repercussions. But there are repercussions. There are always repercussions."
  • "Till we meet again. Maybe in Little Hope. Maybe somewhere else. But be certain, we will meet again. It’s...inevitable."

Little Hope

  • "What's happened has happened. Or has it? Anyway, look to the future, I say. Life's but a walking shadow, eh?"
  • "There are an infinite number of directions in which one could travel. We seldom have all of the information that we'd like, but we have to choose our path nonetheless... and hope that we get the clarity, and the outcomes, that we want."
  • "So. Much. Death."
  • "What are you? Rational? Emotional? Do you trust your head... or your heart? There is no right answer. Sometimes one is best... and sometimes... the other. My advice, for what it's worth, is... 'To thine own self be true'." — Quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet, act 1, scene 3
  • "I do enjoy a good funeral."
  • "Everything that one does, or doesn't do, in one's life will catch up with one eventually."
  • "We sometimes congratulate ourselves on waking from a troubled dream. It may be so the moment after death." — Hawthorne quote from The American Notebooks
  • "All things are fine in moderation, unless... 'Lord, what fools these mortals be'." — Quote from Shakespeare's A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, act 3, scene 2
  • "She was almost lost to a fate worst than death. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with death."
  • "...My dream was lengthened after life. / O, then began the tempest to my soul. / I passed, methought, the melahcholy flood, / With that sour ferryman... which poets write of, / Unto the kingdom of perpetual night..." — Quote from Shakespeare's Richard III, act 1, scene 4
  • "I met him once, you know? I meet everybody 'once'."
  • "Act 5, scene 1. Where Cleomenes begs Leontes to forgive himself for causing the death of Hermione. 'Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil. With them, forgive yourself'." — Curator's first hint from The Winter's Tale
  • "We each have our own demons. They are ours and ours alone, and they are often born out of regret." — Curator's second hint
  • "Never judge anyone shortly... Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." — Quote from Wilde's A Woman of No Importance
  • "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot taken from you... not by angels or by demons... Heaven or Hell." — Bad translation of Buddha quote from Dhammapada's verses 103, 104 and 105
  • "Something wicked this way comes." — Quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth, act 4, scene 1
  • "That's the problem with demons. If you don't lay them to rest they will haunt you forever."
  • "... and you... eventually... found him. The Bus Driver... maybe he can now put the past behind him."
  • "Till we meet again... maybe in the South Pacific ... Or the Arabian Desert ... Or... somewhere else... But we will meet again. At least one more time."

House of Ashes

  • "An ancient horror has awoken from its slumber and hungry for blood. Shall we see how many have fallen into shadow?"
  • "To descend into the unknown alone is extremely brave... or extremely foolish. 'Brothers in arms'? Or will it be a case of, 'Each man for himself'?"
  • "You teeter on the edge of an abyss... your survival depends on the choices you make. They will be as a compass, guiding you through the unknown."
  • "What nightmares have these luckless souls fallen into? One by one, their lights will be snuffed out. Unless you can find the means to save them. Trapped beneath the earth, swallowed... by the void. Will you find the path to salvation? Or be lost in the darkness? Forever."

Gallery

Click to view the gallery for The Curator.


Videos

Navigation

Protagonists AlexBradConradFlissJulia
Supporting Characters The CuratorHallucinationsMinor CharactersCharlieDannyJoeJuniorOlson
Protagonists AndrewAngelaDanielJohnTaylor
Supporting Characters The CuratorAncestorsDemonsMinor CharactersVince
Protagonists EricJasonNickRachelSalim
Supporting Characters The CuratorUnderworld CreaturesMinor CharactersClariceJoseMerwinNaram-Sin