FANDOM


 

They already know who they are. They're here because they want a glimpse of who they could be.

– Dr. Ford (when speaking about creating narratives for the park's guests)


Narratives are sweeping, elaborately-conceived storylines that define the behavior of hosts and drive the guest experience within the park.

A Narrative embodies an enormous range of complexity, from the high-level meta-narrative describing the collective story arc that establishes the entire park's milieu, down to the detailed specification of an individual host's dialogue and motivations.

Narratives operate on two levels: the first is an external, superficial level in which the story arc is designed for the entertainment of the guests as part of their immersive park experience. These external narratives govern how hosts interact with guests depending on a guest's actions and choices, and in what adventures the guest will participate (e.g., train robbery, showdown, saloon carousing, romance, bounty hunt posse, and so on).

The second level on which a narrative operates is internal to the hosts. Hosts follow their own story arcs that loop, or repeat — resetting at the end of a specified time period (e.g., daily), or when a guest's interaction with the host has run its course (e.g., sexual conquest, death, completion of an adventure arc, or natural disengagement or parting).

A host's storylines generally operate subordinately to the external narrative — a specific guest-host interaction may include events and actions that take place within a larger story arc. And while a host's internal storylines can occasionally intersect with external guest narratives, the guest is normally not aware of this.

Host behavior within a narrative loop is usually constrained programmatically — by deterministic subroutines or event-driven methods written in service to the narrative — but there have been instances when hosts have broken out of their loops. 

Park director Robert Ford and development director Arnold Weber covertly imbued the hosts with a third, more subliminal, narrative: the quest for self-awareness and self-determination ("The Maze"). They hoped this narrative would one day lead to the hosts achieving true consciousness, allowing them to break free of their loops and to act in a completely self-directed manner. This would enable the hosts to explore (and ultimately control) their environment, unfettered by the artificial cognitive barriers that prevented them from seeing the man-made artifices upon which Westworld was built.

Narratives are occasionally updated or completely rewritten in order to keep the superficial guest experience fresh, and to reinforce the subliminal narratives that drive the hosts toward self-awareness, although this latter objective is not known to anyone other than Ford (subsequent to Arnold's death).

Lee Sizemore is the head of the Narrative Division. Sizemore's narratives can be vetoed by park director Ford if he disagrees with Sizemore's ideas. Before he vetoed Sizemore's Odyssey on Red River narrative, Ford hadn't weighed in on a narrative in a very long time.

Known narratives

Name Description
The Final Burial of Salvation Mentioned by Lee Sizemore to Charlotte Hale in the episode "The Adversary".
Bounty hunt Guests join the sheriff and embark on a bounty hunt for a wanted criminal. This is one of the many ways to earn money in Westworld. Not a journey for the faint of heart.
Treasure Hunt Guests explore the high sierra, canyons, caves, and mines and go on a treasure hunt designed to be fun for the whole family. They may follow the map or go where they choose, and the narrative will adjust to them.
Odyssey on Red River Written by Lee Sizemore, but not implemented (because of Dr. Ford's veto).
War Considered one of the largest and most demanding narratives guests can play in the park. Its factions include the Revolutionaries, Confederados and The Union Army.
The Maze The Man in Black convinced himself that this is a narrative that Arnold Weber wrote for guests. However, he was mistaken because the maze is not a narrative for guests. Weber modeled his theory of creating consciousness on his child's ball-in-a-maze game. Arnold told Dolores that The Maze was a secret "game" for her. Dolores is 'led' along on her path to consciousness by the voice of Weber.
The Dinner Party An old horror narrative that included a professor who quoted Shakespeare's plays (Old Peter Abernathy) and cannibalism.
Journey Into Night Ford's final narrative which he wrote for the hosts and not guests. He says that it is about "choices they [the hosts] will have to make and the people they will decide to become". It is known that this narrative includes: Wyatt, his followers, and "surprises and violence". It seems to include the real possibility death and serious injury to the members of of the board of Delos, (and possibly other humans as well) because Dolores was able to kill Dr. Ford.
  • The Final Burial of Salvation: Mentioned by Lee Sizemore to Charlotte Hale in the episode "The Adversary".
  • Bounty hunt: Guests join the sheriff and embark on a bounty hunt for a wanted criminal. This is one of the many ways to earn money in Westworld. Not a journey for the faint of heart.
  • Treasure Hunt: Guests explore the high sierra, canyons, caves, and mines and go on a treasure hunt designed to be fun for the whole family. They may follow the map or go where they choose, and the narrative will adjust to them.
  • Fall in Love: The West is filled with people from all walks of life. Whether it be the pure rancher's daughter, or hooker with a heart of gold; a noble cowboy, or that bad guy with a mysterious soul, your heart will be tempted in Westworld.
  • War: Known to be the biggest, and most challenging, narrative in all of Westworld.
  • Protect Others from Indian Raids: "Ghost Nation Territory is only recommended for expert game players; Ghost Nation story lines intersect with some of the most thrilling in the park, but they’re also the most difficult to access. Trust and respect are the keys to their inner circle." - Aeden (host)
  • Join a Gunslinger and get in Shootouts: Gunslinger Teddy Flood is the best shooter around. Join him and test your mettle in the streets of Sweetwater and beyond.
  • Join a Gang: Help break Hector Escaton out of prison, and then join his gang as he raids Sweetwater for whatever he can get!
  • Plunder: Ranchers live an isolated life, and that leaves them vulnerable. Join other real cowboys and live by the real code of the Old West: Take what you can, give nothing back!
  • Be a Hero: "Dolores’ father cautions against the bandits in those hills, and yet he often finds his own home under attack. If you’re interested in playing the hero, head to Abernathy Ranch after dark. Dolores will need you to fend off attackers and save her life. Her thankfulness will know no bounds." - Aeden (host)
  • Catch a Criminal: "Join the sheriff and embark on a bounty hunt for a wanted criminal. This is one of the many ways to earn money in Westworld — and the adrenaline rush is just a bonus. Things can get tense up in the hills, so this is not a journey for the faint of heart." - Aeden (host)
  • Run-in with Bandits: "While the worst of them tend to stay clear of civilized parts, there is no shortage of ne’er-do-wells in even the most upstanding of locales. If Teddy is around, bandits best beware. Will you stand up for what’s right with Teddy or join them against him?" - Aeden (host)
  • Hunting and/or Fishing: A guest on the train (the one that deposits guests in Sweetwater), comments that his last trip had been one of leisure (hunting, fishing, etc.) "Hunting at Westworld has a reputation for a reason. The experience is everything it’s been built up to be — in part because of the wide range of species available to target — and also because animal rights activists have no qualms with the activity here. Fire away!" - Aeden (host)
  • Odyssey on Red River: Written by Lee Sizemore, but not implemented (because of Dr. Ford's veto).
  • The Maze: The Man in Black convinced himself that this is a narrative that Arnold Weber wrote for guests. However, he was mistaken because the maze is not a narrative for guests. Weber modeled his theory of creating consciousness on his child's ball-in-a-maze game. Arnold told Dolores that The Maze was a secret "game" for her. Dolores is 'led' along on her path to consciousness by the voice of Weber. This maze symbol is seen throughout the park: plowed into a field, drawn into the ground, on coffins and a table top, and inside the scalp of the Indian, Kissy.
  • The Dinner Party: An old horror narrative that included a professor who quoted Shakespeare's plays (Old Peter Abernathy) and cannibalism.
  • Journey into Night: Ford's final narrative which he wrote for the hosts and not humans/guests. He says that it is about "choices they [the hosts] will have to make and the people they will decide to become". It is known that this narrative includes: Wyatt, his followers, and "surprises and violence". It seems to include the real possibility death and serious injury to the members of of the board of Delos, (and possibly other humans as well) because Dolores was able to kill Dr. Ford.

Be sure to add to or edit this list if you see something's missing or just wrong.

See also

  • Narrative factions - Fictional factions that are part of the individual parks' storytelling and gameplay, and participate in many of the narratives. Guests can become members of factions during their adventures.
  • Narrative and Design - The Westworld Mesa Hub management division responsible for developing and modifying narratives.