Dear Esther Wiki

Alcohol (ethanol, CH3CH2-OH) seen in the lighthouse at the beginning of Dear Esther.

Bridge Molecule

A mug of Paul's that has an organic molecule that can act as fluorescent dye with variable "R" fragments that can change the color and properties of the dye.


An image of the chemical "Dopamine" that is seen throughout the game.

Chemicalsymbols (2)

An unknown chemical diagram, with the chemical symbols replaced with the Hebrew letters Aleph Kaph. In Hebrew, this can mean the number 21, a recurring theme throughout the game.

Chemistry is a frequent theme in the game Dear Esther. The very name of Esther is pronounced identically to the chemical group "Ester " which is found throughout biology and organic chemistry.

The character Paul works at a pharmaceutical company and has a mug with a chemical symbol on it. This chemical shows an organic molecule (known as perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic acid diimide) that has "R" groups that can be altered to set the fluorescent properties of the dye. This molecular set-up is known as a molecular bridge as the set-up of the carbon rings lets charges transfer across the molecule.

Additionally, the chemical diagram of "Ranitidine" appears in several places throughout the game with atom symbols replaced with Hebrew numbers.  The complete diagram with the actual atom symbols appears near the end of the game when the player ascends the final mountain with the aerial, in the small building in the room overlooking the cliff.  Ranitidine is an anti-acid medication used to treat peptic ulcers and acid reflux, possibly a reference to the antacid yogurt sold by Paul.

There are chemical compounds throughout the game. Some are interwoven with neuron-type images written in luminescent paint. The first instance exists in the light house (shown at left). The presence of alcohol symbols—particularly juxtaposed with neuron

Ranitidine at overlook

The complete diagram for Ranitidine, as seen in the room overlooking the cliff in the building on the final ascent to the aerial. The diagram appears in other parts of the game with Hebrew letters replacing some of the atoms.

images—alludes to the drunk driving that may have led to the death of Esther. Throughout the game, Lewis diagrams of alcohol (ethanol) and dopamine are seen—both of these chemicals affect the brain.

Another possibility is that the carvings of neurons are relating to the syphilis infection of Donnelly, the cartographer of the island, mentioned by the narrator.

Later in the game, the increasingly-delirious narrator mentions mixing phosphorescent paint and ashes and painting symbols on the rocks. It has been suggested that it was Esther's ashes that were mixed into the paint, as it was previously implied that she had been cremated.