With the first cold steel game releasing on PS4, and with II&III following later this year in English I thought I’d share my little theory before I find some side dialogue in the last two Erebonia games when they come out in English that’ll completely destroy it. I’ve never actually written a full theory before so bear with me. This theory involves Rean’s memories before he was adopted along with the possibility of them being relevant in the future, with spoilers from all four Erebonia games.
To begin we should start with what we know about Rean’s past, Prior to being adopted into the Schwarzer family he was the son of Giliath Osborne and his wife Kasia. Judging by the few flashbacks of them we get it seems like they were a normal happy family. This happiness lasted until their home was attacked late one night, killing Kasia and leaving Rean mortally wounded. With the help of Ishmelga, Giliath was able to save Rean’s life. Sometime during the three months following this Giliath contacted Teo Schwarzer and left a memoryless Rean in his care.
Now I doubt there’s anything special to Rean’s memory loss, it’s probably just from the trauma of everything that happened. Especially since there are a few instances where Rean seems to remember something on some level, even if he doesn’t realize it. Maybe there is even more that I’ll find when I get the chance to play III&IV.
One of these occurs all the way back in the first Cold Steel game during the Bareahard field study. While in the underground waterway Rean, Jusis, Emma, and Fie reach the doors to the guardhouse where Machias is being kept. Fie decides to use “Portable high-powered explosives” to get them in. While she’s setting them up Rean remarks on how he “knows this smell”, then says nothing about that again. Since Fie says the explosives are good for espionage missions, I’d say they were probably used on the attack on the Osborne house.
Then in cold steel IV we get a small moment during Emma’s second heart event, where Rean can almost recall Kasia just slightly. The last one isn’t really tied to some possible memory, but it’s worth a mention anyway. At the end of IV during Rean and Osborne’s final talk, Rean’s able to speak to him more casually, most of it is likely from Rean seeing some memories after defeating Rose but it doesn’t quite explain the feeling the scene gives entirely.
Now normally you could write this off as just nice stuff knowing that Rean on some level can recall his past, but then you get this scene near the end of IV that really catches everyone’s attention.
If you didn’t do a specific side quest in IV you can’t get the true ending, instead of being completely locked out of the true end there’s a portal that shows up after the normal end. When you use the portal, you hear a voice and get to do the side quest, after it ends you return to where you were with Rean saying the voice is nostalgic. Assuming there’s no time shenanigans that would suggest Rean met the owner of the voice at some point. If he has then that could be a good tie in for Rean appearing in the future, since knowing the owner of the voice in some way is likely to be important.
It’s possible that in the future Rean may start to recall things on his own, eventually shedding light on the voice in the process.
This is about all I have for this theory at this time, there’s another point I’m musing on if Jaegers and fire might cause some reactions from Rean, but I want to see the last two games for myself before I go too far into that. I’m hoping that after III&IV are localized I can revisit this and maybe add some more to it.