Most of the important characters (Ex. Zacharie, The Judge, and The Batter) can hear the Player (AKA, you) speaking if you are whilst playing, they can hear only your voice and listen as you ramble about another topic or about the game. The Batter finds it interesting while The Judge just doesn’t quite understand, Zacharie however tends to speak back even though he isn’t sure if you can hear him reply.
The Batter has the ability to shapeshift, but only part of this ability is under his control.
The Batter is actually whatever entity the Queen is. However, using this ability, he changed his appearance to appear more human so that his Player would trust him more, since he is aware that his Player is a human. This is part of his ability that he can control.
The part that he can’t control is his BadBatter form. He appears in this form towards people who view him as a threat or as an enemy. That’s why the Player does not see this form until he/she chooses to side with The Judge. By doing so, they view the Batter as an enemy and his appearance changes to look like BadBatter. Sucre also sees him in this form because she felt threatened when he broke into her basement, that’s why she called him a ‘ducky’. This form acts as a defensive mechanism that allows him to appear more powerful and more terrifying to his enemies.
Should the Player choose to side with The Judge and fight Batter, Batter actually hesitated during that ending’s fight. He didn’t want to hurt the Player even though they betrayed him in the end. His hesitation ultimately leads to his defeat.
Sugar is Zone 0’s Gaurdian. The reason why no one else is in Zone 0 is because she ate them all (the Elsen are made of sugar, and sugar is addicting…). When word reached the Queen, the Queen had her locked up where surely no one would find her. This is the reason why Zacharie said “It’s better this way,” after Batter kills her. She would surely not be able to eat any others if she were dead.
The Toad King was the Guardian of Zone 0. He was corrupted and mean-spirited though, and treated his ‘subjects’, the inhabitants, badly. In the end, the was slain by Zacharie for it, with some help from Sugar/Sucre. Zacharie then made the Toad mask out of the Toad King’s remains, and Sugar/Sucre became the new guardian of Zone 0.
Zacharie was the only character who understood that OFF was just a game. That’s why he was so calm during his last conversation with the player-he knew that even after the Batter completed his mission, nothing bad would really happen. Unlike Zacharie, the Elsen were afraid of death and purification. Though the Judge broke the fourth wall, he didn’t share Zacharie’s blind faith and didn’t believe that nothing bad would happen once the Batter finished his work.
The game is a metaphor for Hugo’s undergoing chemotherapy, as personified by the Batter. More specifically, the game is how Hugo understands the process of chemotherapy to work in terms of how he understands his body (hence why everything is so body-centered/bizarre, since he’s young and probably not that knowledgeable of anatomy or physiology), and what the player sees is his attempt to cope with the fact that he is in danger of dying.
To elaborate: the spectres represent the cancer, which the chemo/Batter is supposed to kill, but because chemo also destroys your immune system entirely, it means that the Batter also kills Elsen/white blood cells indiscriminately—because that’s his job. The guardians represent parts of Hugo’s physiology that fail throughout the game. The Secretaries are the personification of the parts of Hugo’s body that were adversely affected by the chemo, thus leading to genetic mutation, or that succumbed to cancer in spite of the chemo’s/Batter’s efforts. Hugo only dies if the Batter pulls the switch; otherwise, he falls into a coma from which he never awakens.
When confronting Japhet on the roof of the library The Judge says “Come with me to zone 0. I have built a cellar where we can forget our sorrows…”. Since Zacharie is close by at this point he overheard this and once Japhet had been killed, decides to disguise himself as Valarie (Hence the strikingly similar cat mask) and use this cellar for his own to house Sugar.