Okay, this is another attempt at something, I guess…
In this thread there are a few essays, which make a detailed focus on a few aspects of the mainline MT story, and on some things that have been featured in the light novels. The discussion in this thread isn’t nearly as long as the discussion that was in the previous thread. Some of this discussion does expand a bit off of the previous discussion.
If any portion of all this happens to be correct, perhaps it would be appropriate to state that there are a number of things in this discussion that are being DIRECTLY STATED.
And so, Respectfully submitted…
: "The console is a conduit for the soul. The controller is your gateway. Live thru it. Feel thru it. You must be one with your game pad. The only way to destroy your opponent is to pour your very life and soul into it."
(There are also some related statements in comic .)
Exactly how would all of that work?
What could the actual mechanics of that be?
The following is an attempt at trying to explain some of that, as well as a discussion of some related subjects:
Have you ever gotten wrapped up in an enthralling book? So wrapped up in it that you really did not want to stop reading?
The thing about reading a book is that the act of reading a book takes essentially all of your concentration. So, usually a person chooses to be sitting down or laying down while they are reading a book. It is possible for a person to successfully do a few things while they are reading a book (e.g. walk on a treadmill, eat an already prepared lunch), but, it is effectively impossible for a person to do most kinds of activities and to read a book at the same time, assuming that the person is putting adequate effort into reading the book.
Let us now think of a situation where, instead of reading a book, you happen to be in a state where you are heavily wrapped up in your thoughts.
Well, such a thing takes concentration, as well. You could be thinking deeply about something, or trying hard to figure something out, or you could just be daydreaming. Regardless, in order for you to really think heavily about something, it requires pretty well your full concentration. So, just as it is when you are reading a book, if you are concentrating and deeply wrapped up in your own thoughts, you basically cannot do anything else during that time. If circumstances should require that you have to do something else, then you have to abandon your thoughts and devote your concentration to the other activity.
Whether you are spending time deep in thought or you are instead doing some physical task in the real world, the way that things feel to you isn’t really that different. Both activities can be engaging. For both types of activity, your consciousness is there in the same way. As far as how things feel with respect to your consciousness, both activities feel equally “real” to you.
Similarly, when you are asleep and dreaming and you are currently in the middle of a dream, your consciousness is there as well, and so things feel essentially the same to you in that situation, as well. (Well, that’s the way it has been for me in the dreams that I can remember, at least…)
Since you can’t do much while you are deeply wrapped up in your thoughts, then you basically cannot be both in your thoughts and in the real world at the same time. Even if you are at a particular location, you can’t really fully “be” at that location if you are heavily wrapped up in your thoughts, and so the world of one’s thoughts is in a sense a completely separate place.
The world of one’s thoughts is the world of the intellect, of ideas, of the imagination. When you are in the world of your thoughts, you are in a place that is unconstrained by reality, and so it is possible for you to think about things that are real, things that are not real but could be, and things that essentially cannot be real.
You can get into the world of ideas and the imagination by means of your thoughts. You can also get into that world in other ways. For instance, you can get into that world by the means of reading a book. (Of course, in the case of a book, the “imagination” in question is the author’s imagination, rather than your imagination – but, still, a book allows you to get into the world of imagination.)
Let’s say that you quietly enter a room and you see another person who is laying down on a bed, with their eyes closed. There’s nothing wrong with them – You can clearly tell that they are fine, and that they are just lying there. But – What is really going on with them? Are they deep in thought? Are they asleep and dreaming? And, beyond that, what exactly are they experiencing? “Where” are they? That is something that there is absolutely no way for you to know just by looking at the person.
If you see someone sitting in a chair, concentrating on reading a book, you can see that person, but you cannot see what they are currently “seeing”, because what they are seeing is the fantasy world of the book, projected into their own individual imagination.
So, essentially, the world of thoughts and ideas is an unseen world.
Human beings have a physical body. The body of a human being physically exists in the real world. But let us assume that there is something more to a human being than their physical body. Let us assume that there is a part of a human being that is not material. Specifically, a human being’s consciousness (or soul?) is not a material thing. Therefore, a human being’s consciousness has affinity to the world of ideas – the unseen and immaterial world.
It was speculated before that the world of one’s thoughts could be considered a “place” of its own, which is a different “place” from any location in the real world.
If we consider that to be a “place”, then, it would be possible that, within the general scope of the world of ideas and imagination, there could be plenty of “places” of various types.
Thinking… reading… dreaming… and so forth… it is possible for the human consciousness to “go” to a number of places that are not in the physical world. Let us say that, basically, where a person “is” at any given time is determined by where their concentration is focused (where their consciousness is?) at that particular time.
(Another thing that a person has to be in their thoughts to do – and which takes their full concentration – is activities such as prayer or meditation. These activities can provide a window into the divine – and we can say that the divine is another part of the unseen world.)
This next discussion focuses on the “UnMod” omake. There is one aspect of that omake that would seem to be particularly significant.
In the “UnMod” omake, of course, two police operatives are attempting to take down a criminal gang that is involved in the kidnapping and trafficking of “fetish-modded young girls”. And the “fetish mods”, of course, are unnatural features that these girls have had installed into their bodies.
Comic  is very significant here. This comic tells us that basically all of the “fetish mods” have built in functionality that enables actually making adjustments to the behavior and personality of the person into which the fetish mod is installed.
Slavers and criminals being what they are, the trafficking gang isn’t kidnapping girls and then actually spending the money necessary in order to have fetish-mods installed into the girls. Instead, the gang is kidnapping girls that have already had fetish mods installed. After kidnapping one of these girls, the gang uses the personality-modification functionality that is provided by the fetish mod to change the girl’s personality in such a way that the girl’s free will is essentially neutralized. The girl is turned into a completely and “voluntarily” obedient slave.
So, it would seem to be the case that a girl who has one of these fetish mods installed is making herself extremely vulnerable. It is likely, however, that it never even occurs to her that she is putting herself in significant danger.
Presumably, a girl who gets one of these fetish mods installed actually wants to try to live an exciting fantasy life, like the life of a character in a fantasy story. It is certainly a significant step toward this goal if a person goes so far as to have unnatural features installed into her body (and to make significant changes to her personality as well, if she desires).
If someone makes the choice to try to actually, literally live an exciting fantasy life, then that choice will probably end up weakening them, in a variety of ways.
Fantasy stuff is fun - and fun is something that you enjoy doing and which benefits you. That means, however, that you care about those fantasy things a lot, but as far as other people are concerned, most people have different tastes than you, and so most other people do not care that much about the particular fantasy things that you care about. (Those other people, of course, care primarily about the things that they are interested in or which benefit them.) So if you are spending time on fantasy things, you are spending time on things that a lot of people do not care that much about.
If you spend too much time on fantasy things and do not properly do what it takes to maintain your life, then the things that you have neglected to do will eventually pile up and cause you significant problems - and that will weaken you somewhat.
But, really, what is being discussed here is the effect of “excessive” fantasy – of taking fantasy things too far in one’s life.
If a person actually wants to live an exciting fantasy life, then it is necessary for that person to try to avoid taking on responsibilities. Because spending time fulfilling responsibilities is not a fun thing to do, and fulfilling responsibilities can take a lot of time – time that could be spent on having fun instead. Presumably it could be said that if a person is spending a significant majority of their time on work, chores, or other responsibilities, that person is certainly NOT living an exciting fantasy life.
There are times in pretty well everyone’s life when they run into problems. And sometimes a person ends up having a problem that they absolutely cannot handle on their own – they need help from someone else.
Who is going to help out a person who has gotten into significant trouble? Generally the only type of person who is likely to help is someone who already has a strong relationship with the person who is in trouble.
If a person is to have a strong relationship with someone else, it is basically required that the person must put in some time and effort (related to the relationship) and must even sometimes do difficult things. Generally someone will only put in significant effort (or take risks) on your behalf if their relationship with you is such that they know that you sincerely care about them as a person, and that they can absolutely trust you, and that you will be there for them if they should get sick or run into trouble.
And so, in order for you to have a strong relationship with someone else, it is necessary for you yourself to make some sacrifices. You have to take responsibility. You have to do things that are absolutely not fun, like staying with a person at a time when they are ill. Sometimes you might even need to come to their aid in a conflict, which could be risky or even dangerous.
Since a person who wants to live an exciting fantasy life wants to spend their time having fun, then, in order to do that, they have to avoid performing certain types of activities - and some of the types of activities that they must avoid are the types of activities that must be performed in order for a person to form strong relationships with people. A person who makes the choice to not participate in activities of that type will likely end up becoming "weak", in the sense that if the person should get very sick, or if someone should significantly "attack" them in some fashion, then there will probably not be too many people who are willing to come to their aid. A person who does not bother to help others is unlikely to receive help themselves.
In a truly civilized world where everyone acted the way that they should act, there would never be any need for a physical confrontation. But, unfortunately, in this world it is the case that people do not always act the way that they should. Some people are aggressive and uncivilized, and can choose to use violence to do evil things. Furthermore, there are also some “uncivilized” people who would deviously attack a person not physically, but psychologically, in order to accomplish their evil aims. Regardless, however, if there is ever a situation where a person needs to “fight”, physically or otherwise, and that person does not know how to fight, then in such a situation that person will be in trouble. Therefore, it likely makes sense for a person to do some training, in order to be prepared to fight. There are plenty of methods of physical training that people are familiar with. Also, there are forms of “training” that a person would need to perform if they wished to be prepared for “mental” battles. This kind of “training” would include such things as character development, and developing mental discipline and self-control, in order that a person will become able to always keep their rational mind in control of their actions, and in order that the person will not have a tendency to give in to their passions. Various types of education help make it possible for a person to be able to tell what is real and what is not. These are only a couple of examples of such “training”.
Now, let us think about the “on-line” or “electronic” world. What can be said about this world? It is a world of text, sounds, and images, and of ideas. You cannot reach through your computer screen to get there. So, you can’t physically touch that world. But you can certainly “go there” by means of your mind. You can devote your full concentration to some little corner of the electronic world, and so you can certainly “go there” in that sense. You can pick up all sorts of knowledge and ideas by means of the electronic world, and you can choose to be influenced by them (or you can be influenced by them anyway without choosing to). You can choose to become obsessed with something in the electronic world. The electronic world has no physical existence, but we can say that it is a part of the world of ideas and imagination.
One type of thing that is part of the electronic world, and which we have seen show up a number of times in the MT story, is the Technical Fighting Game (or whatever it is that genre is actually called). These games include titles such as those that have previously appeared in the MT story – “Mortal Kombat”, “Dead or Alive”, and “Punished Pinion”. (It would appear that the last title on the list can only be found in the MT world.) These are games with precise controls and lots of complex fighting moves. These games are small virtual worlds centered around fighting and the locations where the fighting occurs. Obviously, if a person is playing against someone else in a video game, and they are strenuously competing, then that person has to essentially give their whole concentration to the game, just like if they were reading a book, for instance. Since they can give their full concentration to the video game, that means that it is basically possible for them to “go there”, in the sense that has previously been discussed. The video game controls become a way by which the person can assert their will on the game world, and of course it is the person’s nervous system which allows them to assert their will on the controls. A technical fighting game is made only for fighting. The game is a contest of wills – basically, there is only winning and losing, nothing else. Since the game world is a world centered on fighting, there is not much empathy in that world. A person who is playing in such a game needs to be able to give the game their full concentration. If something distracts that person, then they will be at a significant disadvantage. Assuming that there are no distractions, however, the video game is a competition whose outcome is determined by the players’ will, skill/dexterity, and a few other factors such as mental strength.
It has been previously theorized that a human being has a part that is material (and which exists in the real world), and a part that is immaterial.
If that is the case, then let us assume that it is accurate to state the following: The brain is a physical organ, but the brain acts as the place where the immaterial part of a person intersects with the plane of reality.
In a person’s physical body, all of the cells are physically connected to a network of sorts – the blood stream, the circulatory system. But the body also has another system that is a type of connective network – the nervous system. The nervous system transmits sensory information to the brain, and it also transmits commands from the brain to the muscles. So, the nervous system is the means by which a person commands their physical body to obey their will. And, of course, the nervous system basically transmits information by means of electrical impulses.
So, it would seem to be the case that it could be said that the world of ideas and imagination is an electric world.
Ideas… theories… fantasies… stories in books… video games… dreams… this is a list of some things that can have significantly differing aspects, but let us say that they are all part of the same realm – a very diverse realm, but the same realm nonetheless. The world of ideas and imagination, basically. Many things in this realm have no physical form, and many things in this realm are unseen. Not everything in this realm is a fantasy (one can think of things that are real, for instance), but there are very many types of “fantasy” things that are part of this realm.
In a previous thread it was speculated that, due to the effects of parallel dimensions or “higher” dimensions, there is basically another world that exists alongside what we call “reality”, occupying the same physical space. This other world usually cannot be perceived from the frame of reference of “reality”. Things are very different in this other world – the laws of physics could be significantly different, for instance. It has been previously speculated that we can refer to this other world by the name “fantasy”.
It has also been previously speculated that certain areas of the real world can start being shifted somewhat into the “fantasy” world if the people who dwell in those areas start putting significant emphasis in their lives on fantasy.
Video games, as well as lots of areas of the on-line world, could be said to be other types of “fantasy worlds” as well, though of course those fantasy worlds aren’t locations in the real world.
However, I suppose that it could be said that the video game console (large or small) is the location of the video game’s fantasy world.
As was stated before, when playing a video game, a person uses the joystick (or other controller) to impose their will on the video game world. And, the person’s brain imposes their will on their body by means of the nervous system.
Let us assume that it is accurate to state that if some sort of “battle” should occur in a “fantasy” world (or “fantasy space”), then that “battle” is fundamentally a battle of the mind.
Let us imagine a scenario in which a person somehow ends up in a place of “pure” fantasy. A place of “pure” fantasy would be some place that is essentially not in “reality” at all. So, presumably, in a place of “pure” fantasy there is nothing that has a real physical form.
Let me now make a major assumption: If there is an area/space/world of “pure” fantasy and a person is somehow there, then it would be possible for the person to significantly influence, change, and shape that area according to their desires, simply by means of their mind and will.
If we assume that to be the case, then let us also assume the following: If a person is situated at least partially in “reality”, the greater degree that the place that they “are” is influenced or dominated by fantasy, the greater the degree will be in which they are able to influence or change the world around them to suit their whim simply by means of their desire and their will.
Since “cyberspace” battles occur in a digital world – then they are occurring in a type of fantasy world, a world that does not really exist. So, therefore, if the competitors in the battle are very strong-willed, it could be the case that you would see reality start to bend a bit toward their will, just a bit beyond the “normal” effects that would ordinarily be produced by the competitors through their use of a joystick or keyboard. Let us consider a couple of the earlier “cyberspace” battles (that have occurred in the MT story) in the light of this and the other things that have been discussed previously.
In Chapter 4 we see an on-line battle between Largo and the (apparently un-named) person who is serving as the hacker and the mission coordinator for the Hayasaka Erika Fan Club. The conflict is between two skilled and strong-willed hackers. Most of what we see is what we would expect to see as a result of two skilled hackers going at it by means of their keyboards. But… at the times when one competitor or the other lets down their guard… we also see that electrical surges are somehow ending up getting thrown around.
In Chapter 1 we see the battle between Largo and Ping that occurs on the “Mosh Mosh Revolution” game machine. This game doesn’t occur fully in the digital world, but it is an electronic video game machine and there is a “game” world involved. Both players seem to be putting their entire will into their competitive effort – “Neither one has missed a move!!” Apparently the two players were causing a lot of energy to circulate around inside the game world. And, then, in a freak occurrence, circumstances caused both of the players to be rendered unconscious at the exact same time. Apparently the sudden collapse of their wills (and the collapse of the energy that they had been circulating around) caused some type of significant disruption, and that disruption somehow rippled throughout the surrounding electrical grid, causing the power in the arcade building to go out.
I assume that one of the main temptations of the fantasy world is “power”. For instance, in a dating sim / visual novel, it is the player that makes the choices, and so he has the power. The heroine of the story has to do what the story makes her do, and the only person who gets to make choices is the player. In the real world, however, the “player” is of course not able to unilaterally tell a girl what to do. A person usually has much less power and influence in the real world then they do in a fantasy world.
A fantasy world is supposed to be fun. But, presumably, the more deep into fantasy that you get, the more selfish and isolated you get (for the reason that was explained earlier). So, presumably in a world that was significantly influenced by fantasy, people would end up abandoning empathy and the norms of civilization and it could end up being a pretty savage place.
If a battle occurred in an area of “pure” fantasy (or perhaps just in an area that was heavily influenced by fantasy), what could such a battle be like?
Extrapolating from what has just been stated, perhaps we could speculate that a “battle” that occurs in a “pure” fantasy area would tend to be an empathy-free serious struggle. Those who were dominant over the fantasy area would likely not be benevolent beings. These beings might likely be very power-hungry, having a desire to dominate and control people.
A battle that occurred in a “pure” fantasy world would be a contest of will – but there would be more than that involved. To win such a battle, a person would have to be very mentally strong in a number of ways. Your opponent could literally try to change who and what YOU are with their thoughts, and so you would have to be able to resist against that by using your thoughts. Also, a strong opponent would try to get past your guard using tricks that would play on your emotions (such as fear), illusions that would fool you, or other psychological tricks. Presumably if you allowed yourself to be fooled, or to become dominated by your fear, you would lose. If you lost a battle in this world, and you lost to the wrong person (being?), the result might be that you would lose your free will and would be trapped as a dominated slave.
“Fantasy” things would tend to be easier than any activities in the “real” world that were roughly equivalent. Since fantasy is “easy”, then a lot of the people who would be heavily drawn toward fantasy would likely tend to be mentally lazy people. But mentally lazy people would have essentially no chance to win a mental battle that should occur in an area that was heavily influenced by fantasy. Therefore, such people would tend to end up becoming dominated in some way (whether they were aware of the fact that they were dominated or not).
I’m not sure what the situation with Dom and Ed would be, but, not counting them, presumably the only people in the main cast who would currently be prepared to “fight” a “pure fantasy” type of battle would be Largo, and perhaps Junpei.
This next discussion draws some from events that occur in The Great Underground Empire light novel (and so if you haven’t read novel that this discussion may give a bit away, I guess)…
In a past discussion it was mentioned that light helps keep us safe in a number of ways. In the city, keeping lights on in a store at night can help prevent theft, and, similarly, at night streetlights can help reduce various types of crime. There are a good number of people who would do bad things if they could, but they are less likely to do bad things in the light (where their actions could be seen) then they are to do bad things in the darkness.
In The Great Underground Empire novel, there is a significant incident that occurs, in which the presence or absence of light is literally the difference between life and death.
As has been stated before, basically the general concept here seems to be that the light keeps the darkness at bay. If the light were to go out, then evil people (or beings) would quickly rush in and attack.
In a situation where light is being created by means of a fire, the light of course will eventually go out unless there continues to be fuel to sustain the fire. And the most common fuels for fire are… wood, charcoal, heating oil, kerosene, and so forth. All of these represent stored energy that came from the sun at one time or another.
If you should be deep underground in a place that has not seen sunlight for centuries, it would be logical that you would have a hard time finding anything that could be used to fuel a fire.
A fundamental artifact of civilization is artificial light, and by far the most common type of artificial light is light that is produced by using electricity. And, it is the case that the production of electricity (which is needed to sustain that light) requires fuel as well. The most common types of fuel for this are coal, natural gas, and maybe petroleum. Again, these things represent stored energy that came from the sun.
Thinking of “light” in a more metaphorical manner, let us say that there is a metaphorical type of “light in the darkness”, which is something that keeps civilization alive and which protects civilization from evil. If all of the “lights” of this type were to go out, then evil would quickly rush in, and civilization would quickly be overwhelmed by violence, oppression, and darkness.
So, what would be this “light in the darkness” that protects civilization from evil?
I guess that fundamentally the “light” would be… courage.
If the “light” is courage, though… would there then be something that would serve as the “fuel” for courage?
In essence, I guess that we could say that the thing that would be the “fuel” for courage is basically… love.
If you are selfish and care about nothing but yourself, then why would you take the risk of standing up to evil? If that was the case, then you would go along with the evil, or you would try to run away, or something. You would only actually try to stand and fight if that was the only alternative that you had left.
Standing up to evil is dangerous and risky. And so, doing that takes courage. But people will only have courage if they care about someone or something more than they care about themselves. Some types of evil can only be resisted by people who are willing to risk (or give) their lives for that cause. Such a thing requires love.
In order to have love, you have to have a relationship with one or more others. If you are completely isolated and don’t really have a connection to anyone else, then it is pretty hard to love anyone else.
Another implication of all of this seems to be, those who become separated and isolated are likely to become vulnerable to being consumed by the darkness.
If you are isolated and have no one else who will assist you, then you are a more vulnerable target for anyone who should want to victimize you. If, on the other hand, you have strong bonds with others, then you have allies that can help you if needed, and therefore you are significantly stronger.
Now, thinking of the Great Underground Empire as a whole…
Apparently the underground space that is the empire must have been a fine place to live for the elves, in its heyday.
At that time, the elves must have treated each other fairly decently, because they apparently had no need to lock their doors against each other.
But, in the later time period that is described in the light novel, what had the Great Underground Empire become?
It had become a basically empty place, made primarily of stone. An unchanging, basically sterile place, lit only by artificial light.
Who were the main groups that populated this place? The “spidulls”, who were probably not even sentient. The miserable grues. A solitary dragon. And the fearsome Azegbom, who had apparently lived completely alone for centuries.
These “groups” were basically all in mortal opposition to each other.
It would seem that there is even a serious question about whether or not it was possible for the grues to trust one another.
So, we have an empty, sterile, lonely place, where the residents cannot trust each other and where they sometimes fight each other…
That is a vision of… hell.
In contrast to that, however… For the members of Alpha Team, who treated each other well and could trust one another, The Great Underground Empire wasn’t really such a bad place to be. It was sometimes a place that was scary and dangerous and it was not a place where they could have survived for a long time… But, while they were there, there were even times when they were able to enjoy themselves…
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