Roamer wrote: ↑
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:38 pm
I suspect this fluidity within the Story is part of its powers, used to enhance the effectiveness of it on different people, or as protective camo for both Miho and the Story itself. Or both.
We might well suppose so, and I don't disagree, but we can really of course only guess. Plus as we know, we're only seeing the outward results, and it's all highly filtered even then.
More philosophically, we sometimes talk about 'what the story wants' etc, as if it's some kind of entity of its own. That is more a shortcut for ease of discussing, not that we know it's either deterministic or it's just happening to happen in one certain way verses another. "The Story" could "want this" but without outward guidance, being random. Is the story sentient, where it uses agents to get its work done, probably no. But is it a thing that flows from some sort of powers Analogues have or channel, is it some number of paths set in motion where one happens then other paths are set into motion depending on how that turns out, or is it all under a more direct control of something or someone? It's easy to just suggest the story thinks and acts, even if Analogues (another personification method perhaps) weave things they don't particularly have much direct control over. Unless perhaps they accidentally get locked into corporeal form? Which is more questioning the deeper aspects of things, and leads into:
You're approaching philosophy here; is Miho doomed to fail? Is is preordained, just because that's how it's always happened? What if the way forward for her it to find someone who can play with her to the good ending? And if that requires someone manipulating the metastory to allow for or create a good ending, isn't that kind of the ultimate expression of what Miho was trying to do in Endgames?
There are those who believe she's trapped, seeks an end, strives for escape. Some of what she says and does, does seems to lead that way, but some of what she says and does, doesn't seem to lead that way. We are limited, can usually only guess at intent, or if the situations are wanted or unwanted, and what aspects may be removable or not. So then many of those sorts of philosophical questions are less guessing and more pondering and imagining.
One might argue that good gods manipulate humanity for its betterment, and evil gods do the opposite. Not that Analogues are gods, necessarily, in this context. But the notion of some "Trolley Problem" that is on a scale where those deciding are not like and do not think like those being decided for. Not so much the one for the many, or on a scale of worldbuilder, but rather if the crops need to be dusted with insecticide. Or in a less limited direct sense, that a prey population is culled by a predator population on its own. The notion that somebody (with or without human emotion and morals and ability) is actually deciding these things, that's another sort of personification, of fate perhaps. Some idea there's intelligence and direction behind the operation of nature. A what if there was a place and a person that stories were from, traced back beyond what anything can be traced back to. In this case, we've seemingly been lead to believe something along the lines of eternal Celtic trickster muse goddess thing, who denies being ancient or particularly important but who doesn't like its situation and takes steps to exit it but perhaps sabotages itself. Or that fate works against. Maybe even instead they are just fine with how things work and aren't trying to do anything about it. More personification, primordial source of stories, plots, characters, new derived from old but not exactly. Personified, or existing in the imaginations of those who believe they're interacting with it. It's curious to wonder about it until we learn something of substance.
...maybe. The Ninja, as a group, seem resistant to manipulation. They may be a control mechanism, or a wildcard, or both.
Yes they do. So yes maybe also. Although we have seen Miho nullifying one with a powerful finishing move (inside joke or not), fighting one to a standstill at least (although in that case certainly he had other motivations and goals), perhaps getting one into jail to deliver bail (guessing wildly that like calling off the Zombies at Ikebukuro, Miho impacted that judge setting low bail and perhaps even getting it delivered, no ninja signs or not), all the way to potentially outclassing and manipulating Magical Girls known to be able to remove ninja masks. Aside from her easily dealing with all sorts of non-ninja and those not shown to be equal or more to her. Not sure if there's been anyone who's not fallen to Miho, depending on how you look at it all.
But if the real thing is able to impact everything else, how resistant anyone is doesn't likely matter unless the real thing wants it to seem it matters? Just like we have to guess if ninjagirl would have actually been able to, should she have decided to cut the seemingly willing to be cut Miho. Or the fully not really worried about what ninjagirl did, deciding to or not, or not even being able to decide as it was foretold to not happen. Well, at least not any more than we've seen the sub-second trick of vanishing, at least once, yet then are inclined to believe it didn't happen the next time (1000-1001 versus 1123-1124). Because in one we saw that nothing happened soon after. And in the other, a character thought something happened, and we didn't get clear confirmation of nothing, just a lack of something else, a fairly long while later at that. It's difficult to deal with a total lack of information to confirm what wasn't there or what didn't happen.
Agreed. We've no idea what our little Ninjagrrl is up to. Only that's she's perceptive, and quick.
Yes yes. And idk also seems somewhat like Meimi in a some ways. (Well that goes for like a lot of others and stuff too.)
I still think Dom knows way more than he's letting on.
Maybe he does, he's more tactical and strategic in a lot of ways, and given what he's done perhaps more competent than the other two. More insider, and with different company goals. But that whole thing was less about Dom and more about that there's a certain truth to saying "everyone" will hate some character at the end. Even if the original is real world, vaguely generic and more a joke about an unknown future that's not at all planned yet or is expected to not be reached.
Miho's monologue here is vitally important, but I don't think we know yet exactly what or who she's referring to. Is she talking about Piro and Largo? If so, why not refer to them by name? Or is this about someone else, at least in part? The way she's couching the lines, avoiding naming names, just shouts of hidden meanings. What was gained by walking into the killball's fields of fire? There's significance in this comic that we're not seeing yet.
Too it was almost all expressions of inner thoughts, with only a single spoken part. Which if those thoughts are fleeting, they might not mean much. At one point Ray suggested 1121/1122 was meant to be vague and open to interpretation and highly esoteric non-answerable unclarity. I tend to somewhat believe that, but also attribute more to it than that. I believe at the time we (us here in forum then) discussed that non-use of anyone's names, with the possibility Largo and Piro are reversed, or it's somebody else. Yet what seems to fit the first is Largo getting together with Erika. (Which IMO if
Miho was doing anything with that directly, it wasn't attempting to get Largo to lose. But whatever.) Which would the be Piro getting together with Kimiko as the correlative. How would one not win not lose there? Some things might be not making a decision at all, or deciding on nobody / somebody else. Who else? Part of that rests on if Miho is actually a choice or not. If the choice is not between Miho and Kimiko, but instead between letting go or not of his ideas about what happened. A past that is over and not returnable to regardless of how real it seemed or was, choosing that (which appears so far it's been rejected). Another part rests upon how powerful (immortal, prescient, clairvoyant, able to control things) Miho really is. If this whole magical goddess force of nature active muse thing is nothing but an illusion, or if Miho is only figurative, or if they're all playing some game, or or or or.... And it still doesn't answer if "a tie" was A what was going to happen no matter what B only if she did nothing C only if she worked for it D only if she worked against it E something that might or might not happen regardless of what she wanted or not.
Why walk into it, seems that was (if we sort of ignore the unfinished musings of 1121/1122 I suppose) to provide an end to a (or even the) story by providing a mechanism to retreat to the ASF with some applicable flowing-into mechanism. Not a sudden horde-drawing non-sequitur pull a rabbit out of the hat that would anger the fans and others. Ed providing the ending excuse. She has sets of couples at the end of Ikebukuro, talks about sad things, retreats into that pre-made ending. Meimi feels sad things, Ed is convinced, most everyone forgets about her. We're still not clear if it was meant to be permanent or not, just that there's an observable occurrence that it wasn't final.
If for no other reason than if Fred introduces any more levels to the story people's heads are going to explode trying to track it all.
Agreed, yet it seems that for some their heads exploded trying long before it ever got anywhere near current levels, and it still kept going anyway. At some point the thought was, is this clear and we're just not getting it. If that's true, it seems likely the author is not just masterful, but far beyond it. Either way, the layers are inspiring, to the point where the truth doesn't matter, it's how it makes you feel.
You might have something here. Maybe Seraphim is acting less inhibited here because of the prior bath scene. It would be useful to have a conscience limit its personal expression to areas that their person is familiar or comfortable with. Certainly the idea of her lounging around in a robe before the bath scene would be hard to imagine. And now she's just sorry she can't tease Asmodeus!
As time goes on, more and more her dressing and acting appropriate to the situation as he gains more confidence? Although last time, she appears to more and more side with Miho before insulting Piro (I guess, as in thinking one can just pick and choose fans is extreme Otaku Logic) and then leaving to not show up again for us to see until now. As far as teasing anyone, maybe there's some plan instead to create some conscience offspring, yet if those two are just aspects of Piro's mind that's an even weirder situation than anyone should ever have to contemplate.
Maybe the CEA agents are another control mechanism.
Seems a stability thing.
Does a conscience ever shut up
Not while alive for most beings we'd imagine. More so though that whatever happens short term, it doesn't block out any alternatives long-term. Necessarily doesn't, given that some paths are pretty one-way, and probably especially so for fond memories that aren't of something solid that actually happened and is understood.
That raises the question: If this is a game, who here is a player? How far down the rabbit hole can you go? If MT is a game, then it's likely to be a reflection of Endgames, and virtually everyone is a player - but not everyone is always playing their character. I hope this isn't the case, but it's an interesting concept. If it is, and everyone EXCEPT Miho is a player, that would explain much.
I've wondered if story source (one or more, particularly powerful or not) and Analogue and the real thing are all the same or equivalent. Ed looking her up on the datapad alarm seems to make him realize he'd dealing with something really real and excessively so, whatever that means. And as we've said he then becomes convinced of things that wouldn't seem possible if she's untouchable to story mechanisms as she might be according to some things. But there are other events and results that seem to suggest otherwise. Including the potential for her to be the only one that doesn't exist. And metawise, it's certainly not a game, nothing exists, there's only one audience, and everything is focused towards all of that, once the influences of the characters and their behaviors upon the author are removed from consideration. (Doubtless doing the last is so far more impossible than it first may have seemed to be.) And so the idea of the cast of one story being all actors and actresses who periodically put on plays inside that same reality, but not inside that same story, is interesting. Such things mightn't be any more applicable to the story than the characters breaking all the walls to comment on panel layout and artwork, guest stick-figures, fashion advice, book covers, or the creator putting in real world situations of events literal and figurative that happened to them personally. However things are, whatever way we think of them, currently there are quite a few sets of things to think and wonder about but not be able to answer with any certainty. Adding more is always welcome, but not necessarily any more compelling or true than the ones we already have, just newer and perhaps more exciting at times tho it be.
She's got everyone right where the game wants her.
The increasing importance of Endgames, and the games where Miho is one of the choices, are one of the main reasons why I'm thinking of her as a pawn of her power. Megatokyo seems to exist as a place, an experience, and a nexus of events. And possibly as a story itself. Or not.
Endgames, the Megatokyo Minigame!
Piro was paying to keep Pirogoeth around allegedly (which the character is still there operating either way apparently), Mugi is still playing, there's a smaller version of genetic about half of Moh (or depending on how the code works, perhaps even a copy of him), there was that content about his consciousness being around still(?), and recent other reveals. Such as what Largo says about 'not this again'. Before Piro gets so angry or frustrated that he performs one of the few acts of purposeful direct one-sided violence against another character we've seen. Apparently then yes way more to Endgames still. Including the question that might be the most important, in terms of answers; why was Miho there, what was she doing, why was she doing it.
Possibly, and if so, it's quite likely completely subconscious on her part. There's a scary idea for you.
Another question of how much control does she have or not, and if she's so powerful even she drags herself into the story where she (and everyone else) doesn't know the difference. One of the reasons I'm not so sure even the most powerful anyone or anything could ignore or counter the story, if even she, who knows best, and has the most power, can't escape it herself, what chance does anyone else have. Including other Analogues. Which would mean she's subject to being drawn into theirs too, and who else might be one. Plus not just other Analogues, she suggests Ping has gathered this ability as well. Certainly perhaps Miho is not under the control of anything, and it just seems that way sometimes. Or yes perhaps others have figured out how to counter/absorb/deflect/use that power. Which it would seem there would be some
sort of failsafe put into place if Miho is a creation of some other intelligent process. That idea (the real thing) might mean nothing more than she's not a creation of any other process, and so has no control, no failsafe, no backup, no limits. Or maybe instead she is the failsafe for the rest (example, Erika quitting) or a training mechanism (example, Meimi, Yuki) or an agent of chaos (or stability, as needed) or just what has seemed to be the case, where stories/plots/characters/situations somehow all derive from within MT.
The very way it ended up going is why I'm convinced it was the habits of manipulation that drove her to it. If she'd been planning to betray them all along they'd have had no chance at all. (Sudden thought) What if the betrayal was her endgames character, acting as her hidden stats demanded, while Miho herself wasn't playing? If the hidden stats are based on how you've acted as a person outside endgames, then they would reflect her normal demeanor - not the person she was playing within the Endgames universe. The person she was trying to become.
Getting pulled into her own hack, be that by changing code hax0r style or by using her powers to change or replace how things work. Does Endgames work, for her, in the same ways the fiction she provides some representation of or for, as Piro's interrogator says. In the ways we've seen in MT. In how she explains it variously to others. In some other unseen by us way. Work the same, or different, and how? Again too, things like that timeline when Endgames falls apart in or out of game. Does she get cyberinvolved with Piro "too closely", which forces her to claim she's a he tricking him (to protect him, or because fear, or whatever it was elsewise). Or does Piro expose her hacking, at which point she then retaliates by sending him pictures of Phil. Before or after the final battles. That's like asking to what percent Piro has currently convinced himself emotionally, that the illusion never really was that way, as he explained to Kimiko logically. Or if it matters what that percentage is to begin with.
If we're going with the above ideas, then clearly Mugi and Kenji are players. Still worshippers, but capable of some degree of self-determination.
Mugi seemed rather immune, at least to that horde chanting thing, if she was around, which ? But she also seemed far more practical and filled in than Kenji. He clearly was not immune at the CoE to the hording out, but he is always more talking and seeming to think metaphysically anyway. (Given his interactions with Miho at Ikebukuro, he seemed to know a lot and be largely unaffected, but that day Yuki shows up at the CoE he kind of loses it too.) Not all equal there, which probably the cleanup thing before Mugi starts to go to school and Miho calls her is a great example of.
And Waltah? The ever-faithful butler? Yeah, he's a control mechanism. Or just maybe he's the sysadmin, with root access to it all.
He was kind of only around mostly that day when Miho takes Kimiko out of the diner while she's rescuing herself, or whatever the heck that was for. But sysadmin that's an interesting idea... Hah, Miho convinces Piro she's actually a guy like her Endgames character, sends him Phil the Janitor images, but really she's not even there, it's some butler dude with root who is providing the illusion there's some Analogue female, and nobody exists but Waltah.
If everyone actually there is just being them though, and not game being hot seated, then things like unMod and Grand Theft Colo (or OSE, DPD, SGD, ETC) are an another universe sort of thing. Our insight, breaking the wall. That's all part of messing with the tropes and a big part of the fun. The whole using the characters from MT in another way, or putting other things into MT, as variations of entertainment, not a unified field of multi-purpose characters. Which isn't saying I don't think something like any of the other variations can't be true as to what's really going on, not necessarily easy not right or cheap one way or the other. Just that there seems less to support them as being so than most anything else. At least for now.