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In A Space for the Unbound (big spoiler):

Atma drowns

At least every point after that, Atma is

just a creation of Raya/Nirmala

However, even after finishing the game the nature of Atma remains unclear to me. It is ambiguous if he is real at all. I believe Raya talks about "the real Atma" at some point, so I'm inclined to think he is real but I'm uncertain.

Is Atma real?

Did he drown as a result of Nirmala/Raya splitting herself? Or was he always imaginary?

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2 Answers 2

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I played the game twice and i can say: no, Atma was never real. Raya's best friend herself said in a moment, closer to the end of the game, when confronting Raya about this Atma that she searched about this boy and never found anything. No one, besides Raya, actually knew him. He was just the very first creation of Nirmala's imagination, the best friend/lover/cowriter she needed to endure her suffering. He was indeed special, because he was also the one to help her past through her traumas and keep on living her live the best she could, so he fullfilled his role, the role she created him for, so he wasn't necessary to exist any longer after that. Beautiful game.

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  • What about the drowning scene? Jan 27 at 15:39
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    The drowning happened, but with Raya. We can think that Atma was like a part of her soul/personality that was lost since that day, because after the drowning, Raya got even worse. We can think that she becamed even more traumatized, losing her Atma part that helped, believed and supported her.
    – Kaue David
    Jan 28 at 18:59
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There's one thing that I think is only possible if we assume that Atma is not real: At the very beginning, before the drowning scene happens, Atma uses the red book to space dive into Nirmala. These magical items are not supposed to work in the real world. Since this happened before Raya creates her own fantasy world, I think the only way that Atma can use magic in the real world is if he is part of Nirmala's imagination.

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