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Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



She's clearly got an aptitude for this kind of situation, so that'd be a fair reason to give her good odds. But I do suspect an unknown crime family link is why she's here in the first place.

This sort of thing is probably why they can't buy their own profiles.

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Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Toalpaz posted:

It's a tree...............

Also lol, this smacks of Sou stirring up poo poo. I wonder how he's actually going to be the good guy in the end before he dies.

I'm getting a strong multiple-personalities vibe. Like, there's two of him and one wakes up when the other sleeps or falls unconscious. Of course, the "good side" could just be an act.

On a similar note, I'm getting the feeling that Reko has been replaced by a doll that thinks she's the real Reko. I'm sure this will end well.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Goon Boots posted:

I believe you're right on the part about them being diegetic. I think I was attempting to question their existence from more of a meta-textual (is that the right word?) perspective, both in terms of the actual video game and the game the characters are playing. Usually in these types of narrative based games, things aren't placed by accident, so the question then becomes "what is the purpose of these attractions in the game?" Indeed, we can ask the same question of the puzzle rooms from the previous level.

Are they included as entertainment for whoever is watching and a way for the characters to compete against each other, or do they go beyond that? Perhaps they serve as an actual test of skill in addition to competition. Is there a reason beyond conflict to have the attractions need two people? I guess my thoughts aren't really developed on this.

Also, it's really cool that you are posting screenshots of the attractions, HydroSphere. I'm guessing it's a bit of extra work to go through them and get the interesting parts. Thank you.

Games like this would help foster alliances and divisions between the players. Consider the russian roulette game from the first part - how it helped the four involved bond but also scared some of the others who could only hear the gunfire. Not to mention it lets the organisers hide in stuff like whatever has happened with Reko.

Since unlike games like Mafia or scenarios like Danganronpa the players here aren't trying to nail specific people, it behooves them to compete with each other not just for trust but also for just being liked enough to protect.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Blaze Dragon posted:

I have a lot of doubts about that video. For all Keiji's been shady, every time he's talked about himself, it felt genuine, especially now. And it would not be the first time wrong information appears in the game and causes mistrust. It's either completely fake or willingly cutting important information, but right now, I'm more willing to trust Keiji than it.

Yeah this is exactly the sort of stuff that's cut to make someone look untrustworthy before you reveal the real context. Like Kai's emails before.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



So the cards there are missing Joe, Nao, Sou, Kai, and Kanna's sister (do we know her name? At least no one has the same surname as Kanna).

And the name "Shin" didn't appear in the bar in the first chapter.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



The original Reko is still alive somewhere. If we spare this one, will we have two Rekos running around later?

I suspect that whichever way it goes they're going to kill her just to keep things tidy.

I'd say I think it's fairer to let her make the decision, but this doll Reko probably won't do the right thing. We've seen so far that the Reko of three years ago wasn't quite as kind as she later grew to be.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Well, I guess that puts to bed the idea that the main characters are dolls. At least dolls in the same form that the established dolls are.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Considering that "Q-taro can save them both" and "the Rekos will not be permitted to both live" were figured out in the thread before we made the decision, it's hard to say this was an arbitrary outcome. It's certainly a frustrating outcome, as the person you intended to sacrifice survived and the person you intended to save died, but not one that you couldn't see coming.
I suspect the inverse will be true for the other choice. Did Rio actually say that solving the "left" puzzle would turn off the machine? This sort of misdirection is hardly out of character.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Interesting that the four backgrounds we get to see are the four characters that could conceivably die in this scales scenario.

I wonder what to read into the fact that we don't get to see Nao's AI. If we're metagaming, I'd say that means she must survive this chapter, so they can use whatever twist that's about later (since it probably won't come up during the Main Game).

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Goon Boots posted:

If Nao wasn't intended to be in the game, wouldn't that make the number of participants victims odd?

Could have been the same situation for Joe - he was only really there because Kai got Sara worried.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Man, why would you even want to buy the victim videos, in-character? I wonder if these three got paired up with anyone, or if they had some sort of solo task. None of them were interacting with another person.

Looking at the list of participants, the characters who died in the first trial are:
Naomichi Kurumada - Boxer
Shunsuke Hayanaka - Office Worker
Anzu Kinashi - High-school student
Mai Tsurugi - Baker
Ranmaru Kageyama - High-school student
Megumi Sasahara - Detective
Hinako Mishumu - Middle school student
Shin Tsukimi - Self-employed
Kugie Kizuchi - High-school student


Shin is probably the real name of one of the surviving characters, Kugie is Kanna's sister and Megumi is probably Keiji's partner?

If the girl in the first video was indeed a middle-schooler that would make her Hinako, and judging by the build of the guy in the second video he might be the boxer. I don't know enough about Japanese names to guess what their various genders might be, though.
Obviously we have no real clue about the third girl's identity, besides her being suicidal and... wearing socks, I suppose. Or tights.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



In both cases Sara doesn't actually do anything - it's other characters that take action to save Gin, either Nao or Q-taro. Perhaps this is poor scenario design, since the decision you make is immediately irrelevant; you just chose which leg of the trousers of time you incidentally go down.

I feel like the not-push path is more of a direct consequence, since the Rekos squaring off against each other is a predictable outcome of letting the doll live. Alice being distressed enough by the sight of the doll dying to fall for a trap is less so, since the trap goes against the rest of the game's setup of "cruel, but technically fair". I don't think it would feel like bad writing if it wasn't tied to a choice, though.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Goon Boots posted:

Assuming things don't go off the rails here, and we have the main game outcome with 2 people dying, 6 people would be an awfully small cast going forward right? That is unless there's some trick with the role swapping so the sacrifice or sage doesn't come into play normally.

Considering role swapping, I am wondering how it addresses the sage and keymaster. If a someone becomes the new sage, will they know only who is currently the keymaster when the change occurred, or everyone who had the keymaster role at some point? Will be interesting to see.

Also, I wonder if the game is going to follow a pattern of 1 pre-game death and 2 main game deaths every round, assuming things stay the same going forward.

Well, this is chapter 2 of a 3-chapter game, so it doesn't need to go that much further forward than this.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



That shredder room is familiar!




Sou is quite the mystery. But if there's one thing we can draw from that weird fever dream, he is legitimately scared of Sara.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



We're still only assuming the percentages are their chances of winning.

They could just as easily be, say, their likelihood of murdering someone.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



When it comes to the percentages as survival chances, the fact that they add up to 100% is probably a point against it - particularly, Nao is not on the cards, so is in the group that is implicitly 0%. But Mishima is at 3%, meaning they have concocted some scenarios where he outlives her - but everything we've seen has him throwing himself in harm's way to protect her. He's managed to die for her twice! There's no way he'd have a higher chance of survival than her.

Unless it does have to do with the AIs, as above, anyway.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Regallion posted:

it's possible the 3% is in situations where Nao doesn't even make it past the very first trial, so he has no reason to sacrifice himself quite so easily.

They're paired together in the first trial!

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



I liked his caption changing to Uncle Crabstache for a few lines.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



I suspect his main motivation here is to protect Sara. He's recognised that she's still their best chance of getting out of there.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Keeping up our ID parade, this is probably Shunsuke Hayanaka, the office worker, judging by his outfit.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Well, since I've been tracking these so far, might as well finish it out! We've put faces to almost all of the dead characters' names now.

Naomichi Kurumada - Boxer
Shunsuke Hayanaka - Office Worker
Anzu Kinashi - High-school student
Mai Tsurugi - Baker
Ranmaru Kageyama - High-school student
Megumi Sasahara - Detective
Hinako Mishumu - Middle school student
Kugie Kizuchi - High-school student
Shin Tsukimi - Self-employed

Shin being almost certainly the person we know as Sou, by some route or other.
Anzu is still a bit speculative since all we see there is feet, but since everyone else is identified that seems pretty solid to me.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Frankly I'd be surprised if Sara's teeth parted even once through that entire exchange.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Lord_Magmar posted:

Sou absolutely just gave Sara the sacrifice card right?

It's either him or Nao, since Gin doesn't have enough coins.

If it is Sou, I must wonder why pick that moment to do it.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Junpei posted:

Considering Sou was surprised by the fact that Nao grabbed it and ran, I actually don't think he's behind the Mishima AI.

I doubt he'd have the tools or the know-how to fake something like that anyway.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Did Sou just save Sara?

I'm increasingly starting to think Sue Miley is the only one actually on the side of whoever is running the game. And even for her I'm not convinced.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



PlasticAutomaton posted:

Get loving destroyed, Sou. Watching the little poo poo's plans all go to hell after he's already burned his bridges with Kanna is beautiful. :allears:

At least we have confirmation that Sou was 100% aiming to get rid of Sara, and this is personal. But there's still a bunch of gaps, the biggest part being "who the hell took Sara and Reko's tokens." (Nao is 100% the real sacrifice though, rip.)

I'm not convinced that Sou isn't still the sacrifice, and playing along with the trap to try to convince people he's safe to vote for. Including things like throwing his main ally under the bus, who is also a child.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Veryslightlymad posted:

What if trade five was Gashu taking the sacrifice away, and that's the infraction Miley was talking about?

There were nine votes, meaning the Sacrifice's double-vote was in play.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



PlasticAutomaton posted:

Ah, okay. The Broken Tablet. He swapped Sara's sacrifice to Reko, like people were suspecting Sou of doing earlier.

Alternatively, he swapped it with Sou.

Sou, who Alice killed years ago, not Shin who is playing the game here and now.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Vote for Shin.

Kanna is stronger than she realises, especially after pulling a play like this. Even on terms of saving the most helpful, that is still going to be her.
And it seems cruel to Shin to make him live with sacrificing a child for his sake.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



wologar posted:

Nao is the real answer here. Just get out of this miserable death game. Shame it's not an option.

By the sounds of it it is, but it's a game-over and Hydro will be showing it off anyway?

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Goon Boots posted:

So what was the point of Gashu's transgression and why did he kill himself? Are candidates that important? Why does he care if he is also a captive?


We still don't know exactly what the purpose of this whole game is, though we have theories about choosing a successor to rule the underworld. We don't know what the survivor(s) will win in the end, but it seems important that one of the original sixteen candidates gets it; the other four were accidental tag-alongs that aren't part of the system and can't be allowed to win.
To that end, Gashu rigged a trade to give the Sacrifice to Nao, the last survivor of the tag-alongs, so that she doesn't survive this round and potentially mess up the final result.

The consequences of a floor master subverting the game rules like that are either a do-over of the round, or the floor master responsible must die. Gashu didn't want to waste this round, so he killed himself. We still don't know what he wanted out of all this, but apparently it was worth his own life.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Jeez Nao, she saved your life, she didn't propose!

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Rith posted:

It's possible it was something like Joe and Sara's First Trial. Both Joe and Sara were strapped to the murder beds at first, but Joe found the key in his pocket. Keiji might have been in danger, freed himself and then been in a position to help Megumi, just as Joe found himself in a position to help Sara.

Speaking of, isn't the setup of the first trial for Sara and Joe kind of weird? Joe was a tagalong. Of the four tagalongs we're familiar with, three had the same trial, but while Kugie and Nao were the ones that needed to be saved by the actual candidate (who was in little danger), Sara was left at the mercy of Joe being able to solve the puzzle.
Despite the fact that Sara is ostensibly the most important participant, and Joe is a relative unknown? Why risk it?

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



We definitely made the right choice.

But man, chapter 3 is going to be interesting. There's got to be pretty much two plot lines from here, right? With some variation on Reko/Alice each way, too.

I notice Papa Chidouin is wearing a collar too.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Falconer posted:

Based on the update Sou would act in Kanna's place (so he'd be an option to light the monster on fire) just like Reko would act in Alice's place. Also, based on what Hinako said in that same update the only candidates for puppets would be people who didn't know any of the survivors of the First Trial (Mishima, Nao, Sara, Joe, Shin, Kanna, Keiji, Kai, Q-taro, Gin, Alice, Reko).

So, Kanna's sister is out because she knew Kanna and I guess Megumi was the one who used to be Keiji's boss so she's out as well.

Strictly speaking, Hinako just said "survivors", which might disqualify Kanna and might let Kugie turn up. But then there'd be unbalanced numbers, so it probably wouldn't happen.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



I'm glad for the recap, I needed the catch-up on what had happened so far.

I'll still probably have to reread to remind myself of all the mystery breadcrumbs that got dropped though.

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Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Blaze Dragon posted:

Also I really like Hinako in this update. She's fully aware that she's throwing Mai to the wolves...and desperately pleads with Sara to prove her wrong. She doesn't want to believe it, but she can't hide what she's thinking either.

I don't think even she really believes Mai is a bad guy either, but she's following the straightforward logic to its brutal conclusion and hoping the conflict can worm out the truth. She's definitely one of the smarter ones here.

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