And, since you're saying that the piston room is also a part of her alternate world, then we should be seeing flames there as well.
Well? Where is it?
The flames, which everyone seems to believe are that of Angela's mind, may actually be that of James.
Again, this is disenfranchising Angela as a character. Why even have her in the game at all if we can't learn anything about her that we can't separate from James?
Another thing to think about is the fact that the further we go in the game, the deeper we get into people's delusions/constructions/what have you. The reason why we don't see Angela's constructions in the piston room is because we're not at the point where they've developed fully. They are developed fully by the time we meet her in the hotel.
I'm not so sure about that. Even James sees the corpse around town as himself or someone dressed like himself. We can only go so far in applying the insanity factor to answer our questions every time.
I'll concede that we can't say that Angela was necessarily insane to have seen her father when James was seeing the monster. After all, at this point James could only see a limited amount of her constructions. I think there's a certain amount of overlap and such going on when each of the characters encounters each other- but the overlap reduces a lot as James gets deeper in the Labyrinth, allowing only the other two's world to be shown.
As for whether James knows about Angela's father's death or not... I wouldn't say for sure that James has absolutely no idea. Her first meeting with James happened in a graveyard where she announced that she was looking for her father and brother there.
I'll concede the point that the newspaper fragment doesn't necessarily have to be a construct of Angela's mind. It could be something that the town provided, in the same way it provided the sirens. I'd argue, given how deep we are in the game, and how we're beginning to have hints of the other characters' otherworld overlapping on James's, that it's more likely that it's something provided by the town, but bears influence from Angela.
I don't believe cross-overs into other worlds happen randomly.
Neither do I. I think they follow a progression that dictates that crossovers happen more as the game goes on. I'll grant that the pistons may not be something manufactured solely from Angela's mind.
I'd say there has to be some rule regarding who sees what how- otherwise, it's incredibly confusing trying to piece out what means what to whom. So 1.) Either all the characters see what we the player sees, just interprets them differently; or 2.) everything is subjective to each character. If the latter is true, then there's no way that, even when we have corresponding testimony, that we'll actually ever have insight into the other character. In that case, why even have other characters? It's too much effort to throw them in there and then divest them of the ability to assert their personalities. It seems unlikely.
If we take the first rule, we have to modify it according to the overlap rule- characters will most likely be seeing the same thing, with some perceptual differences. Example: both James and Eddie see bodies that Eddie shot up in the cafeteria- James sees himself, and while it's possible that Eddie does too (meaning his sanity's frayed to the point where it doesn't freak him out that he just killed a small army of Jameses) or he sees something aside for James.
Let's apply the overlap rule to the first rule: that we're at a point in the game where there is an amount of overlap because the town lends significance to a certain place (the prison) for each of the characters for different reasons. However, each characters have cues from each of their minds, because at this point, neither of the characters has reached the end of the path. By the time we reach Eddie's freezer, and Angela's stairway, these worlds have no cues from James. James has not reached resolution, while the other two have. Each time we see these people, they are at the end of the rope- to my understanding, when we meet them, they are at the equivalent to where James beats the end boss. So this allow for no perceptual differences- James sees what they see. Earlier in the game, like in the cafeteria with Eddie, or the piston room with Angela, it is possible these rooms/world are taking different cues according to the town or character, or are seen differently by each character.
If we take the idea of perception and overlap in each of the problem areas with Angela, we can explain them to some degree. Graveyard scene: she's not actually looking for her father and brother in the graveyard because the town is supplying most of the constructions here; there is little perceptual difference because the neither of the character's mindsets are really influencing the world around them. Here, Angela is mostly sane, and if we understand her to have recently killed her father, there's no reason for her to be sane and looking for her father in a graveyard.
Piston room: here, we are in the middling stages of the labyrinth. Here, each character is beginning to understand themselves and their actions to a deeper degree, but they have not yet actually understood them or decided what to do fully. They can each add elements of their own mind to this place, but the town has influence by choosing how to manifest what. Here, Angela at reacts extremely negatively to James, despite him having saved her. Here we understand that Angela's division between her delusions and the rest of the world is fading.
Fiery stairwell: here Angela is around the bend, so to speak. She fully believes that James is her mother for a few seconds, before recovering. Here, her delusions/constructions manifest fully, the only overlap being stairs, but ones that do not belong in the hotel, and have taken on the appearance of her house. The flames that she feels are also felt by James. We have the least overlap- none from James, little from the town, making this a setting constructed almost solely by Angela. Her resolution is far stronger then James's, and she has made her decision on how to proceed. This manifests in how much of her perception affects James's- he sees what she sees.
That isn't to say that there are no perceptual or constructive overlaps in the beginning of the game- they just seem to be more generic, and don't borrow heavily from the mind of either character. Example- the mirror room with Angela. I really doubt that the Oroscos had a room with a full length mirror in it- I doubt the Sunderlands did either, or the people in the apartment. The relevance to the mirror is taken from a more generic source: reflection. In the beginning of the game, perception seems to be more fluid, given the differences in monsters. By the end, perception overlaps to the point where James can see how the others see things, but construction skews heavily to one character.