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Did anyone else survive?
Sure enough, he finds another. He finds me." -- The Stranger
He is a survivor of the Calamity.
On December 9th, 2011, Supergiant Games announced the release of The Stranger's DLC, which will include a new Who Knows Where Sequence that reveals more of Rucks' character lore and Caelondian history.
Role in Bastion
The Kid meets "the Stranger" for the first time when he arrives at the Bastion. After the Calamity, the cores powering the Bastion are inexplicably rendered inert, leading the Stranger to send The Kid to scavenge for more in ruins of Caelondia. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of all mementos and discoveries the Kid makes. His name is not revealed until The Kid brings Zulf back to the Bastion, whereupon Rucks introduces himself as a courtesy.
Well-informed of the true cause of the Calamity, Rucks believes that repairing the Bastion is the best way to atone for its terrible consequences, even if it means stealing cores (and later, shards) from other living survivors.
While the Bastion is widely publicized to Caelondians as an emergency sanctuary, the true form of the Bastion includes the ability to "resurrect" the world. By accessing the memories of the cores, the Bastion could theoretically alter time and return the world to a point before the Calamity.
A secondary function does exist; an Evacuation protocol that would instead send the survivors to a new world.
While Rucks appears ambivalent, his role in the ending is to encourage the player to Resurrect the World, opposing Zia.
- Rucks alludes to being involved with the Mancers in the construction of the Bastion. It is likely that Rucks is a Mancer himself. Rucks' intimate knowledge of the Calamity, as well as the creation of the Calamity Cannon could support this.
- Rucks may also be a Mason, as he remarks that "there are only two of us left" when The Mason vigil is completed. He also states that he carried a Cael Hammer, signature implement of the Masons, back when he was a "fightin' man."
- When The Triggers' Achievement is completed, Rucks remarks "The Triggers, my brothers. Bravest men I ever knew." He often refers to a fondness for the Army Carbine as well, since he most likely carried one as a Trigger himself. If the kid equips Cael Hammer and Army Carbine Rucks comments that those are the weapons that he used when he was in the army.
- Rucks seems to speak some Ura, enough to translate a few words from the Hidebound Journal.
- Some fans argue that Rucks is The Kid from a different timeline. This stems mainly from their shared hair (white) and eye color (brown). Others believe that these are just the genetic traits of the Caels (This is unlikely, as during Kid's Who Knows Where, Rucks says his white hair "did him no favors" in Caelondia. However this could also be because he had "his mama's hair"). Neither view can be conclusively proven, because Rucks and The Kid are the only Caelondian survivors in the game.
- Alternatively, Rucks' hair could be white due simply to the fact that he's old.
- In the Restoration ending, Zulf's fiancee, a Caeldonian, has blonde hair. This could provide evidence against white hair being a genetic trait of the Caelondians, or could be simply seen as a variation on pale hair shared between the three known Caelondians.
- It's subtle, but The Kid has a bandage on the right side of his face, while a close up of Rucks' face reveals what could be a faded scar in the same spot. However it could also be a wrinkle.
- Additionally, Rucks has the head of a Cael Hammer strapped to his waist, and a cog similar to The Kids hanging from his waist. This could be because of his time spent in the army, or hint at Rucks being The Kid from a different future.
- Both The Kid and Rucks wear red bandanas around their necks.
- Some argue that Rucks's detailed narration and awareness of The Kid supports the timeline theory; however his narration is deliberately vague during the final level. The Kid is "too far away", therefore Rucks spends the time swapping stories to Zia instead.
- Rucks states that he invented both the Bastion and the Rippling Walls himself. In order to have done either, in an alternate timeline, neither the Bastion or the Rippling Walls would exist. Therefore, The Kid would have to have had invented Time Travel to go back and invent either.
- Yet another possibility is that Rucks is The Kid's unknown father. This would explain the physical similarities, and Rucks' secretive nature, and involvement with multiple guilds and top-secret projects would explain his disappearance. The fact that he doesn't introduce himself to the Kid at first, and his comment on The Kid reminding him of his young days could be hints to this. Though this is very unlikely as Rucks states throughout that he "doesn't even know The Kid's name"; this could just as well mean that he was unaware of the Kid's parentage as there are some instances where parents never meet their children until later on in life.