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Dr Pepper
Feb 4, 2012

Don't like it? well...



I mean I've never even looked at DR2. I was commenting on the concept in the abstract

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dmboogie
Oct 4, 2013



lmao cmon man...

Julias
Jun 24, 2012



dmboogie posted:

lmao cmon man...
/

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010





My gnosia review is that its good, but you have to be really into werewolf

Its kinda the opposite side of the raging loop coin, raging loop is a visual novel with a werewolf theme, gnosia is a werewolf game with a visual novel theme.

Also i accidentally overwrote my 28 loop save

psychoJ
Feb 24, 2011

Everything comes from a regional processing and distribution center in outer space


Namtab posted:

My gnosia review is that its good, but you have to be really into werewolf

Its kinda the opposite side of the raging loop coin, raging loop is a visual novel with a werewolf theme, gnosia is a werewolf game with a visual novel theme.

Also i accidentally overwrote my 28 loop save

yeah i'm enjoying it, i just wish there was more dialogue variation in the trials. also i love shigimichi but he keeps voting for me!! that son of a bitch!!!

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Yeah, I also don't like How if you search for events, it will give you really unfun loadouts, like an 11 person game with 4 Gnosia, with you being one.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


It should be noted that the SDR2 chapter 3 murder was even unplanned by the writers. Fuyuhiko was intended to die originally and Hiyoko was going to live. But at some point things changed around

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013


I commute by bike!

MonsterEnvy posted:

It should be noted that the SDR2 chapter 3 murder was even unplanned by the writers. Fuyuhiko was intended to die originally and Hiyoko was going to live. But at some point things changed around

the thing is that i don't think either decision would have been good

if they proceeded with the original decision maybe saionji would have gotten a bit more writing but interesting avenues of exploration would still be cut off. i guess you could have her be guilty about the way she treated fuyuhiko and lead that towards her treating other people better? but like it's not like they ended up exploring fuyuhiko's regret over being unable to patch things up with her after causing mahiru's death that deeply, so. ultimately dr2's fixation on shock value really uh, devalues its own writing

The Colonel fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Mar 5, 2021

Irony Be My Shield
Jul 29, 2012

PRETTY SURE THAT ONE'S SARCASM, BOSS



Killing characters off is the whole point of Dangan Ronpa, but you can do it in better ways where it contributes to the story. Maybe the character achieved something before they died, or they died for a personal reason that related to their character, or their absence after their death is keenly felt and leads to development for other characters. I do think Case 3 of DR2 is particularly bad and fails to meet any of these criteria - it mostly just takes out 3 pretty random characters for a completely arbitrary reason.

I think this is something V3 does far better than either of the other games.

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013


I commute by bike!

The Colonel fucked around with this message at 02:23 on Mar 7, 2021

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"



LMAO. What is that from? (also, use timg lol)

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013


I commute by bike!

curse of kudan

it's from the writer of flowers, for anyone else who is into flowers

The Colonel fucked around with this message at 02:25 on Mar 7, 2021

Ibram Gaunt
Jul 22, 2009

Remember, children... You brought this upon yourselves!


Gnosia is badass.

Irony Be My Shield
Jul 29, 2012

PRETTY SURE THAT ONE'S SARCASM, BOSS



Very cool game. Going down an endless rabbit hole of trying to identify NPC-specific quirks and tells.

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


I've been meh on it, but I guess I haven't been paying enough attention to tells. The only thing I have noticed so far is (spoiler of a tell) that Gina will always strongly hint that she is gnosia if you visit her before sleep. There are certainly personality traits of picked up on, but not any real tells.

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013


I commute by bike!

curse of kudan's fun but i really wish the game had more of a budget for character sprites. the one thing it's really lacking compared to flowers is that it doesn't really have a ton of side characters, which is really hosed up cause it's really clear there are lots of points where the game like, wants to have more, like with sakuya's sisters who are given very clearly defined personalities and even a couple gags, or the side characters who tie very directly into the different mysteries, but none of them can actually appear on screen very much cause they didn't have resources to draw sprites for all of them. it's kinda sad since flowers got lots of mileage out of its huge cast for group scenes and kudan's more open setting means it feels a bit more awkward to have things feel so closed off character-wise

the main cast are pretty fun to make up for that, at least. i'm not huge on touko but sakuya's dynamic with koto is really funny

The Colonel fucked around with this message at 22:44 on Mar 7, 2021

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005

0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin.

Gnosia question that just came to mind and wasn't that clear from the in-game FAQ - do the "Agree/Defend/etc" follow-up dialogue options contribute to the hidden "players will get suspicious if you talk too much" metric? The FAQ mentions that they are safer and have lower impact, but it's not clear how much safer. Subjectively they don't seem to do much and other players usually only get on my case if I've directly spoken up 2+ times during a round.

Namtab posted:

My gnosia review is that its good, but you have to be really into werewolf

Its kinda the opposite side of the raging loop coin, raging loop is a visual novel with a werewolf theme, gnosia is a werewolf game with a visual novel theme.

Also i accidentally overwrote my 28 loop save

I'm enjoying it a lot as well. I'm at loop...15 or so and have been putting a lot of stat points into Intuition, since it's handy being able to 100% know that someone is either Gnosia, AC Follower, or the Bug (through detecting lies). I haven't really figured out any clear "tells" beyond maybe the mute girl almost always being unreliable when she supports or doubts characters and the Gina thing someone else mentioned (edit: I just remembered one other tell that I think is fairly reliable - mute girl seems to almost always defend her fellow Gnosia if she's Gnosia, as opposed to others characters who aren't so obvious about it). Also, for some reason Chipie really hates me. Almost every game he hates me.

I'm looking forward to getting more abilities. The ones that let you point out someone is a Definite Human/Gnosia sound really useful, since there have been a number of situations where there's obvious logical proof that someone is or isn't Gnosia and I can't tell other people.

One minor "pointer" that I noticed yesterday that other people might not have is that "killing the person your fellow Gnosia (when player is Gnosia) recommends killing" seems to lead to events/dialogue with them.

edit: I also enjoy the plot element of (extremely early minor spoiler) Setsu also going through the loops and treating it in the same sort of way the player does - they seem to have no problem with just telling the player what job they are, since they're also aware that there are no real stakes.

psychoJ posted:

yeah i'm enjoying it, i just wish there was more dialogue variation in the trials. also i love shigimichi but he keeps voting for me!! that son of a bitch!!!

Yeah, the dialogue can be a bit awkward when, during the same round, a character will repeat the exact same thing multiple times. I heard you the first time!

Ytlaya fucked around with this message at 00:49 on Mar 8, 2021

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Ytlaya posted:

Gnosia question that just came to mind and wasn't that clear from the in-game FAQ - do the "Agree/Defend/etc" follow-up dialogue options contribute to the hidden "players will get suspicious if you talk too much" metric? The FAQ mentions that they are safer and have lower impact, but it's not clear how much safer. Subjectively they don't seem to do much and other players usually only get on my case if I've directly spoken up 2+ times during a round.

Seems to me that so long as you don't speak up directly more than once, they probably won't get on your case about it. Also seems to be on a scale on their character opinions. No one will say anything if you are confirmed, and your allies won't care. So if you speak up like twice, maybe one or two people that hate you will note it, but it shouldn't be too bad with good charm

Also, its interesting to see how you value intuition, since that is my build's dump stat! My character relies on high stealth and charm to stay alive, then persuasion and logic to get people to be persuaded. I don't get any instant confirms (well, I did exactly once somehow with my 1 intuition LOL), but its something I can deal without. Besides, its not super useful as gnosia, especially since sometimes the event search will give you games without an AC or bug.

MegaZeroX fucked around with this message at 01:18 on Mar 8, 2021

Irony Be My Shield
Jul 29, 2012

PRETTY SURE THAT ONE'S SARCASM, BOSS



The Say You're Human skill is very powerful but yeah, other than that I think Intuition is fairly ignorable. Once you get a feel for how the game works you can usually work out who the gnosia are in time without the Lie indicator, so it's more a matter of making sure the right person gets voted off (Charisma, Logic) and that you don't get killed yourself (Stealth as Crew, Performance as Gnosia). Charm you also need some amount of to not get randomly dogpiled on quiet days, and it also lets you be more aggressive without getting yourself voted off.

psychoJ
Feb 24, 2011

Everything comes from a regional processing and distribution center in outer space


started playing Root Letter. all of your pen pal's friends having nick names like all of the kids in Hausu is very good tbh. "bitch" might be a bit messed up to call your friend all the time though

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005

0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin.

MegaZeroX posted:

Seems to me that so long as you don't speak up directly more than once, they probably won't get on your case about it. Also seems to be on a scale on their character opinions. No one will say anything if you are confirmed, and your allies won't care. So if you speak up like twice, maybe one or two people that hate you will note it, but it shouldn't be too bad with good charm

Also, its interesting to see how you value intuition, since that is my build's dump stat! My character relies on high stealth and charm to stay alive, then persuasion and logic to get people to be persuaded. I don't get any instant confirms (well, I did exactly once somehow with my 1 intuition LOL), but its something I can deal without. Besides, its not super useful as gnosia, especially since sometimes the event search will give you games without an AC or bug.

Yeah, with low charm it's usually a slippery slope where the instant someone starts complaining about you everyone else joins in (unless it's one of the characters that has a bad relationship with most of the other characters). When someone like crew Remnan (seemingly the dumbest guy who is slowest to distrust people) or crew Otome start suspecting you, something has gone wrong.

Irony Be My Shield posted:

The Say You're Human skill is very powerful but yeah, other than that I think Intuition is fairly ignorable. Once you get a feel for how the game works you can usually work out who the gnosia are in time without the Lie indicator, so it's more a matter of making sure the right person gets voted off (Charisma, Logic) and that you don't get killed yourself (Stealth as Crew, Performance as Gnosia). Charm you also need some amount of to not get randomly dogpiled on quiet days, and it also lets you be more aggressive without getting yourself voted off.

That skill owns as long as no one stops it (if they do stop it I'll usually thrown some suspicion their way). Intuition + that skill is a nice crutch for finding at least one non-crew person, and knowing about one enemy person often makes it easier to figure out the others (and will also often let you know who the real engineer/doctor is, if the person who lied was one of those).

I haven't really figured out how to detect gnosia (or other bad actors) without either detecting a lie (or having another character detect a lie and tell me) or having engineer/doctor reports.

Akarshi
Apr 23, 2011



Ytlaya posted:


I haven't really figured out how to detect gnosia (or other bad actors) without either detecting a lie (or having another character detect a lie and tell me) or having engineer/doctor reports.

Same here. It ends up with me in some bad situations sometimes, where the gnosia tell a logically consistent story and it's just a matter of which Engineer to trust. Trusted the wrong end of things twice now haha.

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Ytlaya posted:

I haven't really figured out how to detect gnosia (or other bad actors) without either detecting a lie (or having another character detect a lie and tell me) or having engineer/doctor reports.

I often figure things outside of logical stuff from (strategy spoilers I guess):
  • Noticing what cliques form, as gnosia tend to form cliques together (though there will be some noise in there of course)
  • Noticing if the super intuitive characters (ie: Comet and Chipie) seem to be onto something or not
  • Checking what the smarter characters in general are pushing. If Raqio, Setsu, Yuriko, and Otome are pushing the same person, chances are pretty high that they are right.

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005

0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin.

MegaZeroX posted:

I often figure things outside of logical stuff from (strategy spoilers I guess):
  • Noticing what cliques form, as gnosia tend to form cliques together (though there will be some noise in there of course)
  • Noticing if the super intuitive characters (ie: Comet and Chipie) seem to be onto something or not
  • Checking what the smarter characters in general are pushing. If Raqio, Setsu, Yuriko, and Otome are pushing the same person, chances are pretty high that they are right.


Yeah, this is actually one other thing I notice sometimes - cliques that wouldn't normally make sense are often Gnosia. Though you have some characters who aren't reliable allies to fellow Gnosia, like Raqio and sometimes SQ.

MegaZeroX posted:


[*]Noticing if the super intuitive characters (ie: Comet and Chipie) seem to be onto something or not


In my experience this isn't reliable unless they're specifically calling out lies. When it comes to suspecting people, Comet and other high-intuition characters seem very unreliable and prone to suspecting people they dislike; she's only reliable when she says "this character is lying," and it's hard to know if that's why she suspects a character otherwise.

MegaZeroX posted:


[*]Checking what the smarter characters in general are pushing. If Raqio, Setsu, Yuriko, and Otome are pushing the same person, chances are pretty high that they are right.


This is a good idea that I haven't thought of yet.

Nate RFB
Jan 17, 2005



Clapping Larry

I enjoyed going through Summer Pockets in the sense that it was the first Key VN i've read in about a decade but there's really not much to say about it, it's pretty obvious what kind of story it is going for out of the gate ant it does very little to stand out among other Key stories in any way.

Smoking Crow
Feb 13, 2012

*laughs at u*


https://twitter.com/spdcooler/status/1370588806454280193?s=20

The Colonel
Jun 8, 2013


I commute by bike!

i finished curse of kudan. i don't think it's as good as flowers 2 or 3, it's got a much shakier throughline and the main dynamics aren't quite as strong, and it suffers a lot from having a very tiny side cast. but, the dialog is really funny and there are lots of really great moments, and the ending is loving amazing. i was expecting it to go polyamory route but what i didn't expect was that sakuya literally defeats the kudan by shouting about how she loves her two girlfriends while they both hug her from behind. great yuri vn

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


crossposting from higurashi gou thread since it's not really on topic for that thread

Irony Be My Shield posted:

I think Umineko's theme is correct and you'd probably agree with it if you understood it properly. This conversation should be had in the VN thread though.

I don't think there's any ambiguity whatsoever re: Umineko's definition of what "magic" is or that the VN portrays it in a positive light, and at least one of those things would have to be wrong for what you're saying to be correct. But I'm listening if you want to elaborate.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Mar 19, 2021

Irony Be My Shield
Jul 29, 2012

PRETTY SURE THAT ONE'S SARCASM, BOSS



I'll try and write up a detailed response tomorrow. As a starter I'll ask you to reconsider what Erika represents, as that seems like the most obvious issue with your reading. In episode 5, is she interested in whether or not Natsuhi actually committed the crime? When she followed her boyfriend around for weeks collecting random circumstantial evidence, did she ever consider that her boyfriend may not have been cheating on her? When Ange is confronted with evidence that her parents were responsible to the massacre what was her reaction?

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Irony Be My Shield posted:

I'll try and write up a detailed response tomorrow. As a starter I'll ask you to reconsider what Erika represents, as that seems like the most obvious issue with your reading. In episode 5, is she interested in whether or not Natsuhi actually committed the crime? When she followed her boyfriend around for weeks collecting random circumstantial evidence, did she ever consider that her boyfriend may not have been cheating on her? When Ange is confronted with evidence that her parents were responsible to the massacre what was her reaction?

Erika's behavior is inconsistent with a pure drive to discover the truth, yes. But she isn't fully aware of this and, moreover, she's Bernkastel's piece. The former is important because the reasoning is basically "Erika is deeply insecure and craves validation of her intelligence/usefulness" -> "Erika became obsessed with ferreting out the truth" -> "faced with a situation where she can either prove her worth or pursue the pure truth, it doesn't take much of a push for Erika to do the former." She doesn't, by herself, stand for the proposition that seeking the truth is always wrong or dangerous, but she does stand for the proposition that your motives matter re: whether you should seek the truth or not.

She may not have considered that her boyfriend or Natsuhi were actually innocent, but (unlike Bernkastel, who is fully self-aware and consciously choosing to repay humiliation in kind) I don't think for a moment that she realizes she's settling for falsehoods. Even her "intellectual rapist" speech, as self-condemning as it is, still frames it as a thrill at outing the truth. Her final conversation with Ange in the library is getting pretty close, but she's had a lot of time to reflect by then.

Ange's reaction to evidence that her parents were responsible for the massacre is denial and then despair. Of the two despair is presented as the greatest danger.

To my mind, though, all of this is pretty peripheral. Much more important is the part where Ange predicts that, because Maria can lie to herself about her life with her mother being a happy one, she probably won't grow up to perpetuate Rosa's child abuse. This seems completely backwards to me; it's essential that you understand that what was done to you was wrong, if you want to avoid doing it to others.

And above all there's the incredibly long sequence in chapter 8 where a whitewashed, obviously fraudulent version of the Ushiromiyas is paraded in front of Ange. Ange's dissatisfaction with this obvious lie is presented as a moral failing. The "trick or magic" prompt is a simple question with an obvious correct answer: it's a trick. It's not a question of not investigating sufficiently as with Natsuhi. It's either swallow the lie whole or deny it, no other options. The actual "trick" ending has Ange acting with a willful disregard for the truth, yes, but she got there by choosing the true answer, and the scene has to be interpreted with that context in mind.

In other words, "the truth is unbearable, and you won't be able to sustain an uncompromising drive towards it without either drifting off the path and/or self-destructing anyways, so it's better to just lie to yourself from the start."

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 02:39 on Mar 19, 2021

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Tuxedo Catfish posted:

And above all there's the incredibly long sequence in chapter 8 where a whitewashed, obviously fraudulent version of the Ushiromiyas is paraded in front of Ange. Ange's dissatisfaction with this obvious lie is presented as a moral failing. The "trick or magic" prompt is a simple question with an obvious correct answer: it's a trick. It's not a question of not investigating sufficiently as with Natsuhi. It's either swallow the lie whole or deny it, no other options. The actual "trick" ending has Ange acting with a willful disregard for the truth, yes, but she got there by choosing the true answer, and the scene has to be interpreted with that context in mind.

In other words, "the truth is unbearable, and you won't be able to sustain an uncompromising drive towards it without either drifting off the path and/or self-destructing anyways, so it's better to just lie to yourself from the start."


First of all, I don't reay get what you mean by the fact that Angie acts with a disregard of the truth in the Trick ending. Amakusa was pretty much clearly stated to be doing exactly as Angie described in the ending, and the captain was a real possibility, and given a priority of survival, she acts in her self interest.

But also, the point I think that is made to be the moral failing is how it dominates her life. It isn't that she needs to accept some whitewashed image of her family, it is that she both holds a strongly negative view of them and the events of Rokkenjima while simultaneously making that the center of her life.

The whitewashed image is just a counter to it. Yes there were certainly many many problems with them, but there were also bright spots, forgotten in the years of agonizing.

The moral of the story I would say is to ask "why do you seek the truth" and honestly take a real clear look at how it is effecting your mental health and the rest of your life, which is something we often fail to consider when evaluating what we should do.

The Trick Ending is meant to be a reflection of the other answer. Angie doesn't want to forgive and ignore the (murderous) failing of those around her, and she shouldn't be required to. Instead, she (literally) charts her own way forward, with the facts that she has.

MegaZeroX fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Mar 19, 2021

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


MegaZeroX posted:

First of all, I don't reay get what you mean by the fact that Angie acts with a disregard of the truth in the Trick ending. Amakusa was pretty much clearly stated to be doing exactly as Angie described in the ending, and the captain was a real possibility, and given a priority of survival, she acts in her self interest.


When she kills the captain she says something like "I don't know if he betrayed me or not, but the simplest solution is to make the question moot by killing him." That's not what someone who cares about the truth would say. There's a disconnect in that both endings present someone who has given up on the truth, but one of them follows from choosing truth over lies; an interpretation that doesn't address that disconnect is incomplete imo.

MegaZeroX posted:

The moral of the story I would say is to ask "why do you seek the truth" and honestly take a real clear look at how it is effecting your mental health and the rest of your life, which is something we often fail to consider when evaluating what we should do.

The Trick Ending is meant to be a reflection of the other answer. Angie doesn't want to forgive and ignore the (murderous) failing of those around her, and she shouldn't be required to. Instead, she (literally) charts her own way forward, with the facts that she has.


"She shouldn't be required to" rings pretty hollow when the trick ending really explicitly compares her to a character whose entire role in the story is being gratuitously cruel to others and to herself. I think it's pretty clear that the Trick ending condemns Ange's actions.

e: Also, to be honest, I just categorically reject the notion that lying to yourself is a valid coping mechanism -- we're over here splitting hairs over how critical or hostile Umineko is to stubbornly persistent truth-seeking, and it's an interesting question, but it's not strictly relevant as long as the VN is saying it's sometimes okay to lie to yourself and I'm like "lol absolutely not, not ever."

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 03:49 on Mar 19, 2021

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Tuxedo Catfish posted:


e: Also, to be honest, I just categorically reject the notion that lying to yourself is a valid coping mechanism -- we're over here splitting hairs over how critical or hostile Umineko is to stubbornly persistent truth-seeking, and it's an interesting question, but it's not strictly relevant as long as the VN is saying it's sometimes okay to lie to yourself and I'm like "lol absolutely not, not ever."

I still feel like there is a disconnect here. Angie's story isn't about lying to yourself, it's about not digging deeper. It's letting sleeping dogs lie. She doesn't need to answer "magic" because she believes it is magic. She can answer that to let it end unanswered.

You could argue Maria's story does, but even then, it largely exists to be something to reflect the ultimate idea with Angie. Does she make herself miserable with an external it to get life or let it go.

And despite how media often frames it, avoidance through jogging, meditation, and other activities can be positive, as opposed to something like drug abuse or binge eating. And in the context of the magic ending, Angie largely focuses on pursuing a passion, which is a perfectly healthy form of avoidance.

MegaZeroX fucked around with this message at 04:46 on Mar 19, 2021

Nate RFB
Jan 17, 2005



Clapping Larry

At the end of the day Ange is someone who only knew her family for the first 6 years of her life, during which she was never to our knowledge treated in a untoward manner, and then proceeded to spend the next 12 years harrowed by the media attention of her family's affairs and dirty laundry, ultimately poisoning all of her personal and social interactions. For some people in the Ushiromiya family it absolutely would have warranted getting justice, getting to the bottom of either the direct or extenuating circumstances, but for Ange it's going out of her way to allow things outside of her control to dictate her livelihood and happiness. It benefits no one and ultimately serves no justice for her specifically to be the one that tears open the cat's guts.

rko
Jul 12, 2017


Tuxedo Catfish, you might consider checking out the manga for Episode 8. Many of the people I’ve known to be frustrated by the VN’s ending prefer it, as it adds a few scenes that contextualize things in a slightly more tied-together way and makes some of the subtext you’re missing into text. Notably, following Ange’s suicide in the City of Books, a full, first-person “confession” covering 1984-1986 from Yasu’s perspective appears, and when Ange reappears in the Golden Land, an extended sequence of the Ushiromiyas coming to terms with their sins is shown. There are also a number of scenes that are substitutes for the minigames in the original VN that give some character threads more closure.

I find it loses some of the VN’s elegance and restraint (which are funny words to use about EP8), but it certainly might help clear up some of your misconceptions. I don’t even know where to begin with the idea that Beato’s suicide in the Magic End is anything less than a perfect capstone to one of the most sublime tragedies in the postmodern canon, but the manga even adds in a small scene here that might help.

MegaZeroX posted:

And despite how media often frames it, avoidance through jogging, meditation, and other activities can be positive, as opposed to something like drug abuse or binge eating. And in the context of the magic ending, Angie largely focuses on pursuing a passion, which is a perfectly healthy form of avoidance.

Not just a passion, mind you, but actual magic that really ‘exists’ in the form of storytelling. Battler and Ange don’t avoid the past; if anything, EP8 makes it clear that both of them came to understand and be horrified by the truth of what happened on Rokkenjima. But instead of allowing themselves to be shackled to that truth, they take ownership of it, both symbolically in the meta story and in actual reality as notable authors in the epilogue.

Ange recognized Maria’s original conception of magic isn’t the power of lying to yourself—it’s the power of having agency over your own narrative. Umineko pretty thoroughly covers how abuse, immaturity, and catastrophe can make this can go wrong! But Episode 8 isn’t about lying to yourself, it’s about finding a healthy way to live with the past. Through understanding, forgiveness, and atonement—through grace, even if it looks like playing pretend witches—you can transcend trauma and suffering, and come to a place where salvation/self-actualization becomes possible.

These themes get lost in some of Ryukishi’s flights of anime fancy, and Tuxedo Catfish is hardly the first person I’ve seen have that knee-jerk reaction to the ending. But Umineko and all of WTC really reward close readings.


Which is all to say I think Umineko is actually quite good and I would like for Ryukishi to finish playing around with his child murder anime and get back to releasing Ciconia Phase 2 ASAP.

Irony Be My Shield
Jul 29, 2012

PRETTY SURE THAT ONE'S SARCASM, BOSS



Tuxedo Catfish posted:

Erika's behavior is inconsistent with a pure drive to discover the truth, yes. But she isn't fully aware of this and, moreover, she's Bernkastel's piece. The former is important because the reasoning is basically "Erika is deeply insecure and craves validation of her intelligence/usefulness" -> "Erika became obsessed with ferreting out the truth" -> "faced with a situation where she can either prove her worth or pursue the pure truth, it doesn't take much of a push for Erika to do the former." She doesn't, by herself, stand for the proposition that seeking the truth is always wrong or dangerous, but she does stand for the proposition that your motives matter re: whether you should seek the truth or not.

She may not have considered that her boyfriend or Natsuhi were actually innocent, but (unlike Bernkastel, who is fully self-aware and consciously choosing to repay humiliation in kind) I don't think for a moment that she realizes she's settling for falsehoods. Even her "intellectual rapist" speech, as self-condemning as it is, still frames it as a thrill at outing the truth. Her final conversation with Ange in the library is getting pretty close, but she's had a lot of time to reflect by then.

Ange's reaction to evidence that her parents were responsible for the massacre is denial and then despair. Of the two despair is presented as the greatest danger.

To my mind, though, all of this is pretty peripheral. Much more important is the part where Ange predicts that, because Maria can lie to herself about her life with her mother being a happy one, she probably won't grow up to perpetuate Rosa's child abuse. This seems completely backwards to me; it's essential that you understand that what was done to you was wrong, if you want to avoid doing it to others.

And above all there's the incredibly long sequence in chapter 8 where a whitewashed, obviously fraudulent version of the Ushiromiyas is paraded in front of Ange. Ange's dissatisfaction with this obvious lie is presented as a moral failing. The "trick or magic" prompt is a simple question with an obvious correct answer: it's a trick. It's not a question of not investigating sufficiently as with Natsuhi. It's either swallow the lie whole or deny it, no other options. The actual "trick" ending has Ange acting with a willful disregard for the truth, yes, but she got there by choosing the true answer, and the scene has to be interpreted with that context in mind.

In other words, "the truth is unbearable, and you won't be able to sustain an uncompromising drive towards it without either drifting off the path and/or self-destructing anyways, so it's better to just lie to yourself from the start."

What exactly is "the truth" as you understand it?

It is impossible for Ange to actually know what happened Rokkenjima. There is no evidence that could possibly exist which would definitively prove what happened and who was responsible. It's certainly possible that what Eva wrote in her diary is true, but she could equally be lying or deluded. In fact, we know from the gameboards that Eva could've done it given the right scenario, just as it's possible that Ange's parents could've. Pieces cannot move against their natures.

When Ange embarks to find "the truth" in Trick, what is she actually doing? She's trying to prove her parents innocent, in much the same way that Erika embarked on a (successful, I suppose) campaign to "prove" her boyfriend cheated on her. Her truth is that Eva was responsible. She wants to convince the world of that. Perhaps there's some kind of circumstantial evidence she can find that will make that the prevailing narrative in wider society. Or perhaps she can convince people she's right by killing herself. Public consensus is the only "truth" that could ever exist when it comes to the Rokkenjima Incident.

Accepting the truth is all very well and good, but what if it's unknowable and you will never receive true closure?

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


rko posted:

Tuxedo Catfish, you might consider checking out the manga for Episode 8. Many of the people I’ve known to be frustrated by the VN’s ending prefer it, as it adds a few scenes that contextualize things in a slightly more tied-together way and makes some of the subtext you’re missing into text. Notably, following Ange’s suicide in the City of Books, a full, first-person “confession” covering 1984-1986 from Yasu’s perspective appears, and when Ange reappears in the Golden Land, an extended sequence of the Ushiromiyas coming to terms with their sins is shown. There are also a number of scenes that are substitutes for the minigames in the original VN that give some character threads more closure.

I find it loses some of the VN’s elegance and restraint (which are funny words to use about EP8), but it certainly might help clear up some of your misconceptions. I don’t even know where to begin with the idea that Beato’s suicide in the Magic End is anything less than a perfect capstone to one of the most sublime tragedies in the postmodern canon, but the manga even adds in a small scene here that might help.

I'll check it out eventually; someone had actually told me in advance to read the manga versions of episodes 7 and 8, I just wasn't really feeling up to it immediately after, you know, an 80-hour VN whose ending I hated.

psychoJ
Feb 24, 2011

Everything comes from a regional processing and distribution center in outer space


just bought Root Film. looking forward to digging into it later

MegaZeroX
Dec 11, 2013

"I'm Jack Frost, ho! Nice to meet ya, hee ho!"


Let us know what you think of Root Film. All I know is that people generally didn't like Root Letter and that the current 2 ratings for Root Film give it a 7/10 while the average for Root Letter is 5.8/10 (which is particularly low for vndb).

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psychoJ
Feb 24, 2011

Everything comes from a regional processing and distribution center in outer space


I'm a couple hours into it now and it's cool so far. haven't seen an actual murder mystery but the way the game seems like it's going to set them up from seeing the first part is interesting. it's segmented into different "parts" that each have their own end credits, so it kinda has a tv show vibe to it. the two main characters, Yagumo and Magari, are very fun. just got to the other protagonist's, Riho's, part so i'll see how that is

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