Michael Hammond (Mike) is first referred to in Petscop 2 at 4:40, when the player interacts with a grey tombstone in the “Newmaker plane” with a face marked upon it. The tombstone reads:
Mike was a gift.The name “Michael Hammond” is written in a light pink hue. The time period specified suggests that Mike was either 6 or 7 years old, which our narrator reacts to after a few seconds with:
“That’s a dead kid.”
He then says “yep” a second later and proceeds to leave for the shed next to it.Mike is then referred to again in Petscop 3 at 6:34 when the player uses the face from the tombstone on the painting canvas in The Child Library. A message appears, stating:
Mike is not inside right now. He is dead.
You may visit his room.Interestingly, the name “Mike” in this message is not written in a pink hue, however this is consistent with the earlier use of the nickname “Mike”.
After a few minutes, the player enters Michael's Room.
Mike is later referenced in Petscop 6, when Paul reads the description of Toneth:
‘Funny stupid blob monster’ says Mike. That’s what it is.
Mike seems to be associated with the color pink (#c391ac).
As far as we have found, Michael Hammond does not refer to a real person. Candace apparently had a brother named Michael, but there is very little information about him. It’s possible her brother was adopted by a new family and given the last name Hammond. We know very little about Mike other than the information we could gather from his room, as well as the possible connection to his pink color. The message on his tombstone might be a reference to the Gift Plane.
Mike’s headstone appears to be shaped like a gift box. Combined with the fact that this is his tombstone, and that its inscription reads, “He was a gift,” Mike may now reside in the gift plane as a pet/ghost (provided we’ve not already captured him, of course).It’s interesting to note that the face that appears on this tombstone seems to change at multiple times. Here are the different iterations at the corresponding time of appearance: NOTE: the player stands at a consistent Depth (Y) here but changes his horizontal value (X) without moving the camera, so it’s possible this is another rendering error- but for information as valuable as the presence of eyebrows (a factor that can change the room outcome in the Child Library), it wouldn’t make sense from a game design standpoint to have this important information change so randomly. It’s possible that the eyebrows need to be removed from the painting to get an important outcome for our progression; the theme of eyebrows being removed is prominent with Care, alongside what appears to be a pair of tweezers that appear on the table in Mike’s Bedroom.
We know from his tombstone Mike is a child of only 6 or 7 years old. We can probably assume Toneth’s description was written by the developer of Petscop, so Mike may be the developer’s son. This might explain why Mike’s tombstone is in the game, as a memorial to his son that was lost during development. This might explain the sudden dark turn the game takes after the secret code is entered. It could also explain why the original game was never finished.