I’ve seen a few people complain about how, at the end of the game, it seems like Robin Ayou just throws her whole past life away to run off into the unknown with a person she recently met.
This is a valid concern; she clearly has a job, at least one friend who was willing to risk pissing off Alterra to help her, and – assuming he’s still alive – her dead sister’s cat. It wouldn’t be right to pretend all that doesn’t matter just because she spent a few weeks playing build-a-buddy, especially given that she promised Cal she’d find her way back.
But there are several pieces of lore and dialogue that make me think flying away with Al-An is both the most sensible and the most in-character thing for Robin to do – IF she first says goodbye to her friends and retrieves her cat.
1. Getting yeeted into the unknown is normal for her.
In the voicelog “Minerals galore”, Robin says, “I didn't want another situation like Byzantos-5. When XenoWorx dropped me off, there were barely any resources. I survived off the land for three months with just a knife, my lucky PDA, and some rope. I am still kind of proud of that, though.”
XenoWorx also promises that Alterra buying a controlling stake will give them “More equipment. More research. More risk. More experimentation.” The fact that “more risk” is listed as a selling point says a lot about the type of people who sign up there. And speaking of said buyout…
2. Robin has some damn good reasons NOT to go back.
Robin never trusted Alterra. She knew they’d clip her wings, and she expressed concern that they’d “Alterrorize” her sister. After what she learned during her exploration of 4546B – an exploration that would probably get her in deep, expensive trouble if Alterra found out – she has even more reason to believe that if they get the chance, they’ll clip her wings, misuse her work, or both – or worse.
And now that they own a controlling stake in XenoWorx, they have that chance.
It’s implied that Alterra has already killed her enjoyment of working with XenoWorx. Consider the following bit of dialogue:
Al-An: Do all humans like work?
Robin: The lucky ones do.
Al-An: Are you lucky?
Robin: I used to think I was.
Before Alterra got involved, her leaving her old life behind would’ve seemed off. Now, it seems more like sensible self-preservation.
3. Even if she DOES ultimately go home, it makes sense for her to leave with Al-An.
For one thing, her friend is potentially about to face either the loss or the wrath of their entire species, and she wants to support them through that painful period.
And for another, as she explicitly states, she doesn’t have another ride. She was probably originally planning to leave via the same shuttlecraft she came on, but then the meteor she was using to hide from Alterra split and ended that ship’s whole career.
So it is quite possible that she’ll go home and resume her old life, but personally, I much prefer the idea that she’ll do what she said she was ready to do, and leave the past behind.
Collect Potato, say goodbye to her friends (or, even better, find a way to stay in touch), and then leave Alterra in the dust to go do what she loves most: explore the universe (or at LEAST, the Architect homeworld) and discover cool lifeforms, this time with a sapient space-faring alien at her side.
What do you think? Do you want to see Robin Ayou return to her old life, or do you prefer the scenario where she leaves the past behind?