Mother 3

Made by HAL Laboratory/Brownie Brown, released in 2006

Red Green Yellow Yellow



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2013! I left my write-up mostly unchanged. Some disturbing imagery in this one!




ALRIGHT HERE WE GO

LET'S DO THIS

For those of you who played EarthBound, or at least read my screencaps for it (and again if you haven't done either of those please do one of them because you can't fully appreciate what Mother 3 does at some points without EarthBound as context and also EarthBound is amazing and totally worth it), this segment is probably the closest equivalent to Moonside in the game. Although, in true Mother 3 fashion, it is much much more upsetting.

In an interview that I'll link you to later when we've finished the game, Itoi said something like 50% of Mother 3 is the game itself, and the other 50% is what the player brings to the game. Mother 3 is sort of a personal experience, and what someone gets out of it can reflect on them as a person (another reason why you should play it yourself - you can download it here with the patch and everything even!). There are enough unanswered questions and ambiguity in this game that how any one player decides to fill in those spaces, consciously or not, can tell you a lot about them. Leaving room for the player to project into the game, in a way become part of it, is one way to really get someone emotionally invested. Itoi was always really good at this.

I can't predict what lines in this sequence will have the most impact for any of you or why. That's up to you. All I can do is talk about which ones left an impression on me the first time through. As I've mentioned before, I first played Mother 3 in Japanese with the help of two different English walkthroughs. I haven't gotten too much into the differences between those early translations and the final Starmen.net fanpatch version because mostly, it's not really that significant. At least not that I can remember.

However, this sequence was one that really stuck with me, and it was one that I spent a lot of time thinking and theorizing about and rereading, and as such the differences in translation for this stick in my head much more clearly. So I'll be doing a bit more of that this time around as well.

I've actually wanted to do something like this with this sequence for a long time, haha. I finally have caps of everything so I can go through things one by one and keep my thoughts organized, and all of you have context for the rest of the game up to this point too, so it's not just totally random.

LET'S EAT SOME MUSHROOMS

Boney however doesn't feel up for it and just sits and whines.

Oh phew

uh oh UH OH

Kumatora up first again

LOOKING GOOD

The music here now Red Green Yellow Yellow which is all weird and trippy, as one might expect.

BACK TO FULL HEALTH WOOHOO NO DRAWBACK

weirdly so is Boney despite the fact Boney didn't eat any. OH WELL

HI FROG IN A SNAKE I SEE YOU ARE NOW AN UMBRELLA, HAHA

WELL NO PROBLEM HERE

Nonsense, it looks delicious

Flint??? How or when did you get here

I've done this before and that colors my reactions a bit, so I wonder what it might be like for any of you who don't know anything about this sequence to suddenly see Flint here. How do you feel? What's your first reaction?

There are so many small details to pay attention to during this whole sequence. Notably - Lucas AND Duster both react to Flint with !s. Kumatora doesn't, which makes sense since she probably never met him come to think of it. Boney, the only one who didn't eat any mushrooms, hangs back instead and growls and barks. COULD SOMETHING BE WRONG? HMMMM

Are we talking metaphorically or physically or mentally

Actually the answer's probably the same for all of them

BATTLE?!

Or the more restrained "It's okay to be lost" from one of the other translations.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!!

Hey wait a minute

HA, POISONED YOU GOOD, SUCKER

Aha, your true form revealed!

Flint stares at you a bit longer

Then disappears.

You might have an idea of what's going on by now, but let's take a second.

In the game, you get an explanation of what's going on at the end of this sequence, so you then have to think back on everything you saw and rethink it in the new context. You might be able to guess, but the official explanation is at the end.

However, I want to spend some time massively overanalyzing everything here, and that involves knowing what exactly is going on to begin with. I don't want to have to wait for the reveal, then go back and talk about everything all at once. It's much easier to do each situation as it appears.

So what I'm going to do is compromise a little. I'm going to put the explanation of what's going on and rambling about it under a ~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~ header. That way, if you want to experience this section like you would in the game, you can skip to the next screencap and keep reading until you get to the end, then go back and read the other parts. Or don't if you think I'm boring and overinvested! However, if you are interested and DO want to go through this knowing right from the beginning, then you can just read the spoiler/marked spots as we go.

So first! What exactly is going on?


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

As you've guessed by now, the mushrooms cause hallucinations. However, the nature of these hallucinations is somewhat unique. This is one of the things that differs between the older translations and the fanpatch, but each translation of the line adds a bit of nuance to what's going on.

The fanpatch says that the mushrooms cause you to see terrible and powerful hallucinations that "tear at your weaknesses and the scars in your heart". The other translation said "the weak parts of your self, or the things that have wounded you are all exposed", or as I generally remembered it, "places where you've been wounded, places where you're weak".

What exactly this means is up for interpretation. It's not as simple as the hallucinations simply being nightmares or things you're afraid of, or at least, that's not how I see it. A weakness, a wound, a scar. Those can be caused by many different things. As such, the hallucinations you see here reflect very deep, hidden parts of each person's psyche, which is why I want to spend so much time overanalyzing all of them, haha.

This might be as good at time as any to do a bit of a diversion, a bit of set-up for what's to come. You may recall back at the end of chapter two when I talked about the nature of the silent protagonist, and how that affects your view of that character. The player steps into the character's shoes and to an extent replaces them, as they no longer have a voice of their own.

When that happens, the player relies on what other characters tell you about your own to define who you are. Duster for example couldn't speak for himself, so when Wes told you who Duster was (an idiot), you may have felt inclined to believe him. Along those some lines, we have Lucas. He had a few lines before you took control of him in chapter four, but not many. And like Duster, Lucas is told many things about himself by the people around him. People tell him he's brave, that he's gallant, that he doesn't cry anymore, that he's a good strong boy that hasn't been damaged by what's happened to him, that has grown strong enough to rise above it. People tell you that about Lucas, they tell Lucas that about himself. And many times, you don't think to question it because in most games, it's assumed that what people tell you is true. There aren't many other ways to impart that information with a silent protagonist, so you trust the NPCs to be honest with you. It's implicit.

People tell you, they tell Lucas he's strong and capable and he doesn't cry anymore. Maybe it's because that's what they want to believe about him. They want to believe that a boy could rise out of such terrible trauma and become strong and healthy, they want to believe that Lucas is okay. And to an extent, maybe you, the player, also wants to believe that. That's what you want to hear - you want Lucas to be okay, you want to think he's strong, you want to believe that he's over it. People tell you things that you want to hear, that they want to believe.

But is any of it true? Lucas can't speak for himself after all, so how can we know?

Now, through these hallucinations, for the first time Lucas can speak for himself. For the first time, we can get an idea of how he feels.

And I think finding out how deep his damage really runs is part of why this sequence is so upsetting for many people, or at least for me.


OH and since I got that out of the way, I might as well talk about Flint a little up there.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Interesting tidbit - you can actually walk right past Flint and not even fight him if you want. He only attacks you if you talk to him.

What I mostly get from this Flint is just a sense of anxiety and worry from Lucas about what he's doing or where he's going. It's the first vision that you see, so it reflects confusion about what's going on. And "it's okay to be lost" seems to be an attempt to reassure him that's okay, although he attacks you right afterwards. But this Flint was always kind of odd to me, what he says isn't quite as... well, quite like what some of the other ones say. He's sort of an introduction, I guess, like a warm-up.

What's interesting though is that Duster reacts to seeing him as well. One question that comes up a lot for this sequence is whether or not everyone is sharing the same visions, or if each person is hallucinating on their own and you're just getting a cross-section. When you run into a vision and your party reacts, the reacting people tend to be related to the vision itself. Does that mean that those people are seeing the same one, or at least a similar vision? Or just that each person is seeing SOMEthing? Who can say.

Duster DOES know Flint from before though when he helped him out in chapter one, although come to think of it, Duster wouldn't have seen Flint ever since he disappeared, would he? I mean, Lucas barely even sees him, there's like no chance Duster would have caught Flint at any point, with or without his amnesia. That'd make for some awkward "so how's flint doing" conversations.


Dread, apprehension, fear, confusion? HOW DO YOU FEEL

As a note, Wes tracks you across the screen as you move. Just staring at you.

Duster AND Lucas react as Boney starts barking again.

Or as the other translation put it, "That limp in your left leg is all my fault."

If you didn't say no to Wes at the beginning of chapter two, this might be the first time you even hear about this. I knew coming in since the first two walkthroughs covered it, but I wonder how startling this line would be if you had no idea Wes was responsible (or that Duster thinks he is). Suddenly just have to rethink their whole relationship.

If you believe him anyway.

Or as the other translations put it,

"Don't go anywhere, anymore. Come home with me." or "Don't go anywhere else. Come home with me."

That's not what I was expecting, that's for sure.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This vision is particularly unique among all the ones that we're going to see on the island for a few reasons, but one of the ones I think is most fascinating is because this Wes does not actually attack you. When you answer him, he says something (we'll get to it in a second), but then he just disappears. He is the ONLY vision you can talk to that does that.

Which is interesting in and of itself, but if you think about it, everything else you see on the island is a misinterpretation of something you're actually seeing. For example, the save frog turned into an umbrella, the zombieshroom turned into Flint, the other visions are actually enemies. They exist, but you're seeing them wrong.

Which means that this particular Wes isn't a distorted vision of reality like the other visions, this Wes is literally conjured up out of nothing. Duster's the only one who felt so strongly about this to completely hallucinate something that doesn't have a real counterpart, and it's one of the first things you see after Flint. Which hints that this is a pretty big deal to him. So keep that in mind.

Let's get down to brass tacks. You can theorize endlessly about the whys and hows of it exactly (which I will also do!) but all of it comes down to the same basic thing.

These visions reflect where someone has been wounded, where someone is weak, where they bear scars on their heart. And as you'll see with some of the upcoming visions, these can get really, really messed up. What is Duster's wound, his weakness, his scar?

It's his father apologizing for hurting him. And it's his father asking him to come home and stay with him.

There are so many ways to intepret what this means but that's the heart of it. That's the bare bones of what he sees, and gd if that isn't unbearably sad no matter how you look at it.

So let's start, though it's hard to decide where to begin.

My first interpretation of this when I was first playing was that this was a weakness in that this was something that Duster really wanted. If you check how he phrases it in the second chapter, Wes doesn't actually apologize for Duster's leg, he just says that he was responsible. He tells Duster he can hate him all he wants for it (like THAT'S an apology somehow), but he doesn't apologize. It's not hard to guess why Duster would actually want him to say he's sorry for doing it, but more than that, why Duster would want Wes to actually feel sorry for doing it.

And it dovetails easily into the rest of his plea for Duster to come home with him - he just wants Wes to openly care about him for once, to want to be with him.

That he's hallucinating this gives you the impression that it's something that never actually happened. Wes may never have have apologized for doing it, since it was all in service of the greater good - to get him ready to get the egg.

But why would this be a weakness? There are a lot of ways you could go.

---Duster doesn't dwell on his leg when he tells Flint about it; he just briefly explains that he has a limp and moves on. He doesn't really discuss it with anyone, it's just something that he has to live with. He might want to just be over it, to not care about it, to just have moved on. Still, there's some part of him that isn't over it, that still blames Wes and wants an apology. He doesn't want to want an apology but somewhere he still does.

---On a somewhat darker and more general level, it could be about more than just his leg. In this case, despite how badly Wes treated him, he still wants somewhere to stay with him.
And furthering this, even though Duster promised Lucas he'd stay with him and help him through this to the very end, this could reflect Duster's fear that if Wes asked him to abandon everything and come home, he might be tempted. That he might even do it. In spite of everything that happened, everything he suffered through, everything he has to do, there's a chance that if Wes asked, he'd leave everything behind and go back home with him.

---And on a related and simpler note, if you look at their relationship as abusive, it could just be that Duster just wants the abuse to stop. He loves him but he wants Wes to stop hurting him.

But these are mostly going off of one interpretation. Who's to say that this vision is something that Duster secretly wants? Some of the upcoming visions we'll see definitely aren't things that they secretly want. They're things that they're afraid of, what they believe others might be thinking, expressions of self-doubt and guilt and self-loathing. And that's a good point! This vision could be any one of those things, though none of them make it any less depressing.

Duster being afraid of his father expressing affection, contriteness, a desire for him to come home, is really messed up just to begin with. What would make him afraid of something like that? Like I outlined above, it could be because he's afraid he might abandon their quest just to go home with Wes. It could be because he's so used to Wes being harsh to him that Wes showing any kind of love towards him just feels inherently wrong. It could be because Wes apologizing or showing concern for him usually preceded a violent outburst. It could be because he's distanced himself emotionally from Wes so he could get through his training, thinks of him as a teacher instead of a father, and Wes being kind to him throws his entire world out of whack. It could be because he knows if Wes asked him, he wouldn't be able to say no and he'd come home and end up being treated badly again, going right back to an abusive relationship (if you see it that way) even though he knows better. It could be because of a whole lot of things.

If Duster really doesn't want this, if he really is afraid of this, then it could be it's because he feels deep down that he doesn't deserve it. That an apology from Wes is wrong, that Wes wanting to be with him and asking him to come home is wrong. It's not for him, he doesn't get apologies. Self-loathing and doubt both combined into one.

How could this particular vision reflect his guilt? There are a few different sources for it - guilt for blaming Wes, for wanting an apology when Wes was always just pushing him to be better, when Wes just wanted him to be ready, when surely Wes did care about him and didn't mean to hurt him and it was probably his fault anyway. Who is he to want an apology? It was probably his fault for screwing up. Who is he to want his dad to love him? He did his best, didn't he? The training worked, didn't it? How could he be so ungrateful?

To add some more wrinkles to this, let's consider some extra context for this vision. If you didn't get either of the optional conversations with Wes previously, then Duster and Wes haven't seen or spoken to each other in over three years. Duster had amnesia for three of them, so it wouldn't have occurred to him at that point to wonder about Wes, and Wes was busy trying to stave off the change in Tazmily without success, so he couldn't leave the town to go look for him himself.

Duster has no real friends in town and no other family. His entire life is mostly dominated by Wes up until the game starts. When he gets his memory back, it seems fairly safe to assume that he'd start thinking about Wes. And Duster doesn't know about Fassad or the town or anything that Wes was trying to do to protect Tazmily.

And Duster might wonder why Wes didn't try to find him or look for him for three years. Lucas and Kumatora might tell him about how Wes sent them to find him, but he still hasn't actually seen Wes himself. In that light, hallucinating Wes asking him to come home makes sense - he could be hurt that Wes just let him go for those three years. Even though Wes treated him badly, it could still hurt to feel abandoned by him.

And after seeing what happened to the town, to Tazmily and its people, his house, to Wes and to everyone, wanting to go home with him again could also be a way of wanting to return to the way things used to be before everything fell apart.

I feel like I'm only scratching the surface here of all the things this particular hallucination could mean. And I'm sure that other people out there could pull a dozen of their own theories about what this hallucination means that could be entirely different from my own, or all the other theories I throw out here. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT WITH THIS SEQUENCE

and we're actually not even done with it just yet

let's say no to Wes and see what happens

And then Wes just disappears. No battle, no nothing. He's just gone.

I always picture Duster sort of bluescreening after that line, just so hurt he completely zones out and the others have to shake him out of it. THOUGH I THINK THAT IS THE REACTION TO MANY OF THE THINGS YET TO COME AS WELL

Just something that I imagine hits him very deep down.

But let's try it the other way.

And then he's gone again.

This line is interesting because the other translation I used had something entirely different for it, which changed the whole feel completely.

"I see. So you're going to go off with Princess Kumatora. I hope you go to some dark place far away."

I trust the fanpatch's translation more, but I still can't quite shake this one. To me, it sounded like Wes was jealous that Duster would choose Kumatora over him. There have been little ambiguous hints here and there so far (Kumatora getting right up in his face when they first met, demanding that he specifically be her escort, defending him to Wes and Butch, sticking around Club Titiboo to keep an eye on him, saying that he looked good in the Pigmask disguise, saying he was coming with them whether he wanted to or not in Saturn Valley), but to me this was the most obvious hint that maybe something was going on here, from Duster towards Kumatora if nothing else. Then of course it turns out this line was probably just mistranslated, haha. But still, it's an interesting spin on things.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

It's sort of a shame that the other translation isn't correct because it'd be an interesting little insight into Duster's feelings for both Kumatora and Wes. That he'd feel like he was betraying Wes by being interested in Kumatora, or that he believes that if he ever did show interest in someone else, Wes would hate him for it. I guess some more evidence of Wes being controlling, or Duster just being very anxious and concerned about what Wes thinks. Just assuming that Wes will be angry at him for it (not a bad assumption since it seems like Wes gets angry at him for a lot of things, even when he's not doing anything wrong).

Though this actually brings me to another tangent which might be a little lighter, haha. It's sort of strange that Wes and Kumatora seem to know each other really well and recognize each other immediately when they meet again in the castle, but Kumatora doesn't recognize Duster at all. She has to be introduced to him and actually asks Wes if Duster is his son, like she's never seen him before in her life. Which seems really weird to me. That means that Wes probably deliberately decided to never tell Kumatora about Duster or let the two of them ever meet.

Wes obviously really cares about Kumatora - he's super excited to see her again, he frets and worries over her, he's generally openly affectionate and protective of her. And Kumatora knows him and recognizes him so you can assume that the two of them hung out before and know each other, maybe even that Wes took care of her briefly or watched her or whatever. They KNOW each other for sure, but Wes never told her that he had a son, and never told Duster about her. Why would he do that? Did it just slip his mind? It's possible, tho that's a big thing to forget. It's not like he had a babysitter he could pawn Duster off on whenever he was wandering around Osohe. It's possible that he only really knew Kumatora as a baby and then lost track of her for years, thus why she wouldn't remember Duster, though why would she remember Wes then?

Wes seems to take his unofficial job as the royal family's thief pretty seriously, and the general job of being a thief even more seriously from how hard he pushed Duster. It could be that he was wary of the two of them getting too close, or Duster getting distracted or doing something stupid, or Duster making him look bad by not doing things correctly, and he just decided they didn't need to know about each other. Sees lights going on and off at Osohe, tells Duster to stay home while he's out. MANY QUESTIONS HERE


Wandering around and

PROBABLY SHOULDN'T EAT THAT

I do love that the text for finding stuff in trashcans is reminiscent of the WHOOOOAAAHHHH in EarthBound. MORE CALLBACKS

Sure, what's the worst that could happen? It's just a mailbox after all!

Lot of mail on Tanehineri it seems!

Thanks for that, Mother 3.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Lucas obviously has problems with mailboxes for some reason, which is interesting. There are mailboxes in Tazmily before it modernizes, but no one ever seems to use them (the text is "This hasn't been used, for whatever reason" from Chapter 1). Why would Lucas have so many problems with them? What happened to him that he has these weird phobias associated with them? Makes you wonder.

Anyway, this one is fairly straightforward, or at least that's how it seems to me. Lucas just consumed with self-hatred and doubt and guilt about what he's doing, his actions. And these are postcards too, so presumably they're accompanied with pictures.

Crying at a grave, crying at Hinawa's grave, like he was doing when Claus left to fight the Drago instead of going with him or telling anyone.

Loitering in the forest with Boney, for the three years he spent while Tazmily modernized and he didn't do anything to stop it.

Getting into trouble in the mountains is interesting, because I first think of Claus going after the Drago as opposed to Lucas, and since they are twins that's not too far of a stretch. But this one seems a bit more vague than the others.

Stealing nuts, or rather, picking up the nuts you usually see lying around. Or maybe at some point Lucas did steal nuts from someone's garden, maybe Claus convinced him to. More guilt.

Bullying animals is also pretty obvious. It's easy to forget this but the chimeras you fight are real living creatures. Sure, they're the ones that attack you first most of the time and you have to defend yourself, but you're still killing animals. If you're grinding for levels or certain items, you're killing animals for no reason, even. If you chase down enemies that are running from you, you're doing it on purpose. The player might not think much about this, but killing so many living things weighs on Lucas's conscience, obviously. He never had to before. This is one of those splits between the player and Lucas that might come as an unpleasant shock. You replace Lucas, you don't care about killing chimeras because hey they're just enemies to you, you assume Lucas feels the same. Lucas finally speaks for himself, and he's consumed with painful guilt.

Learned some bad magic, meaning his PSI of course. Easily relates back to the killing animals thing above, although you can also relate this to how only his personal power, PK Love, allows him to be able to pull the needles that might end the world as he knows it. That might be a bit of a stretch but hey. Lucas might also be kind of frightened of his own power. He's still pretty young and his PK Power can be really devastating. It could be scary to see you vaporize some Slitherhen with just the power of your mind, to know that you have that ability.

Of course, Lucas also learns a lot of healing and support magic, which is what I usually use him for, but I wonder if that factors in here at all. Why would he consider shields, offense/up down, healing to be bad magic? WHO KNOWS

The repetition of his name I feel like relates to him being a twin, just a reminder that it's not Claus or him and his brother as a unit or anyone else, it's him. It's only him. Something like that. The scream I dunno, could be there to startle you, could even be Hinawa's scream, who knows.


oh s---

Can you imagine Lucas's reaction to seeing him? Seeing Claus all grown up just standing there? After all those years wondering where he is, wondering if he's okay, feeling like he's half-complete, and suddenly Claus is just THERE?

And Duster reacts again too, interestingly.

So casual while Lucas is in incoherent tears.

CLAUS NO


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Why wouldn't he? It's hard to see this as Lucas's decision and not the player's. Afraid that he's dreaming, that he's seeing things, that he's not there? That Claus could get hurt and he couldn't take that again? That he knows this isn't real and he can't risk it? That he knows that only he can do this?


Just moonwalk back there

It's actually hard to tell but Claus actually shoots to the back of your party, that's what he meant.

When you try to move. Can you picture it, the four of them setting off, and from behind him a singsong type of voice just repeating his name, Claus just staring at him with a smile.

Everyone turns around. Lucas I think actually would still be facing forward if I hadn't looped around like a doof SO presumably he would also turn around.

Another translation phrased it just slightly differently as "The Claus that Lucas doesn't see."

BACK ATTACK NO

Just picture this in your head if you like, the singsong voice and smile I mentioned before from behind them, and they all slowly turn around in time to see Claus throw himself at Lucas, his shape changing into one of the Eerie Smile things.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Can you imagine how horrifying this would be for Lucas? Jesus.

You don't have to theorize about why Lucas would see Claus, or why Lucas would want Claus to join him. That seems pretty obvious to me. So let's think a little about what this particular Claus says. The Claus that Lucas doesn't see - the Claus that's still alive? The Claus that's grown up, like himself? The Claus that never left, the Claus from some version of his family that's still intact?

The Claus you don't see that attacks you from behind. The Claus that joins and waits until your back is turned. Is this Claus as a person, or Claus as a manifestation of Lucas's feelings of self-hatred? The darker, angrier, more aggressive, more rambunctious aspect of himself? The other side of his mirror given form? Is it really meant to be Claus, or just Lucas's distorted reflection? The two of them being twins makes this a sort of grey area, although this Claus does repeat that he's Claus, he's Claus. Is the enemy hidden behind the smile what makes Claus attack you, or is that part of it? Is Lucas afraid of Claus attacking him, jumping him, hurting him while he's not watching? That Claus had a darker side he refused to acknowledge?

The Claus you don't see, the spirit of him hovering over Lucas while he accomplishes all these things without him. Can I come with you, he asks, when he's already been with you the whole time. You just can't see him. Something something something.


ARGH NOOO

Finally revealed! Not as threatening as you'd guess.

Moro actually brought this up, but everytime you fight one of these visions, after the battle is over, it brings you back to the field and you see it as the vision form again before it disappears. Which could mean that the Eerie Smile/enemy turns BACK into the vision before disappearing. Which means that you might have beat the Eerie Smile to a pulp, only to see it turn back into your twin brother before disappearing. Can you imagine how messed up Lucas might feel at this point? He just beat something that looked like his dead brother to death.

A lot of breaks taken during this trek for all of them to just regroup and get it back together again to keep going, I imagine.

oh god they're EVERYWHERE

JESUS


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is vague enough that it really could have come from any of them. Who wouldn't be freaked out by a mailbox screaming at them when you look inside? The first mailbox you see is addressed to Lucas, but it's possible they could be for any of them.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Again, could be anyone. All of them have been alone in the dark before I'm sure, although come to think of it, Duster spends a lot of time alone at night. Endless darkness for his nocturnal lifestyle? That seems like a bit of a stretch though.

Obviously I was recently playing Mother 3.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Again, it could be anyone if you made the effort. Signs point to Lucas of course, being a crybaby and all. Trying to get away from that part of himself, but still it follows him? Wounds, weaknesses, scars, how his constant crying let people around him get hurt to his mind. It adds up! But it's not hard to think of how this could be upsetting for the others as well, Kumatora perhaps just viewing the act of crying as weakness, and who's to say the crying doesn't sound just like Duster when his leg got mangled? Unpleasantness all around, if you look.


These mailboxes weren't translated by either walkthrough I used originally, which drove me crazy as you can imagine because I was INSANELY curious about this. I wanted to know what EVERYTHING said, but there wasn't anything I could do until the patch came out.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Who could this be for? Who among them would be afraid of nothing? Would have a wound, a weakness, a scar manifest as nothing? Maybe a symbolic nothing, as in what Lucas feels like he did to save his family or his town? A nothing in terms of what Duster stole from the villagers? A nothing for Kumatora's family, home, past? This could really be anything, which I guess is appropriate for it actually being nothing, haha.


Note how there are no reactions to this lady! Only some of the people you see here cause those ! bubbles. Try and think of why!

NO WAIT


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

I can't really pin down the significance of which vision gets a reaction or not, it's just something I didn't notice until I took the caps this time around. But anyway, again, this lady is a little vague and so she could have come from any one of them. My personal interpretation for this was that she came from Kumatora though. The lady represents her feminine side - while Kumatora's generally brash and loud and acts like she doesn't care about what anyone thinks, there are indications through this sequence that she's not as confident or as sure of herself as she acts. Deeply hidden insecurity, an easy weakness to expose.

But it doesn't have to be that. I remember seeing a theory on a Japanese site that this lady might actually have been Duster's mother, just buried way deep down so he doesn't think about her anymore. IT'S UP TO YOU I GUESS.


AAAGH

And she disappears after returning to her human form, like all the visions do.

Looks like it's Kumatora's turn this time.

BUT FIRST

...huh


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This one is always kind of puzzling. It's the only pleasant thing you see on the entire island, or at least, it seems pleasant. What damage is this reflecting? What could this be hiding?

All I can think of is how Ionia first taught you how to use PSI in a magic butterfly colony. Lots of pretty butterflies there, after all, and that other mailbox seemed to hint that Lucas felt kind of conflicted about his powers.


And this time it's Duster and Kumatora who react. Makes sense.

Sounds good! I didn't catch it but Violet attacks you and vanishes just like the others.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

The first thing that comes to mind that since this is Violet, this must be for Kumatora, but actually the explanation that comes most clearly to me is for Duster. Sort of a reflection of how he couldn't decide whether to stay with his band or go with you in chapter four. Why not just stay at Club Titiboo and just play music and be happy with Violet and the DCMC? Why not just give up and let it go and just have fun forever? Just the temptation to give up and go to sleep and just stop trying.

Although you can rework that slightly and still have it work for Kumatora. OR, if you want to relate it sort of to the ongoing conflict between masculine and feminine, this again could represent Kumatora's feminine side to an extent.

OR could just be the specter of death in general, the idea of not existing anymore, of just stopping and giving up, and that I can see Kumatora being pretty freaked out by. Just hearing herself say something like that, the idea of not existing. Coming from a version of herself that she doesn't like and wanted to escape, that'd all be pretty upsetting.

And after talking about it with Moro, I think I can explain this one a bit more clearly!

It's interesting that you don't see Lucky but you do see Violet here, which indicates that while being Lucky didn't hurt Duster too much, being Violet for so long messed Kumatora up pretty bad. But why exactly? Me and Moro think it's because Violet is so completely the opposite of who she is, everything about her going against her every instinct (and possibly even how she was raised). You add the difficulty of playing a part that's the opposite of who you are and which seems to actively disgust you to the fact that you're constantly under scrutiny at every turn by hostile enemies that might discover and turn on you at any second. Meaning you lose the egg and the world is doomed. EVERYTHING depends on you keeping up this horrible persona, and you do that for YEARS without any idea of when it will end, IF it will end, and it's going to mess you up big time. And Kumatora being Kumatora, she wouldn't want to admit that that scared her, thus it gets buried deep down.

To add even more to this, they say that all the waitresses at the club are required to giggle at the end of everything they say, which implies that Kumatora was never allowed to be anything but pleasant and vaguely flirtatious with everyone, no matter what. She was not allowed to be angry. Add this to how SO many guys in the club drooled over her, flirted with her, possibly harrassed or got handsy with her, and add a complete inability to do anything about it without jeopardizing the fate of the entire world, and it absolutely makes total sense that Kumatora would see Violet here.

So I pictured Kumatora sneaking up into the attic after work to sit above Duster's room and listen to him play his bass and zone out, and then thought that maybe she'd envy how happy he seems to be as Lucky, maybe she'd wish she had amnesia too, and BAM IT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS VISION


Just pick the coffee filters off it, it's fine!

AGH

WHERE DID YOU COME FROM

AND I'LL START


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

There are no reaction bubbles for this but I can only assume that the Claus hallucinations are meant for Lucas, much like Wes is for Duster, that sort of thing. It's not a hard rule or anything but that makes the most sense.

It's really not hard to see where this wound came from. All you need to do is think about how everyone in Tazmily treated Lucas in chapter four when things modernized, in particular people like Jackie, who asked Lucas to stop coming by his hotel, and Pusher's family who outright stated they hate him. People keep pressuring Lucas to be happy, they keep calling his family weird and backwards, the people that still care about him or his dad are few and far between. In the first chapter, the whole town pulled together to find him and his brother, they talked about how fond they were of him and how glad they were that he and Claus were okay. By chapter four, almost all of them have turned their backs on him.

Even his father turned his back on him when he needed him the most.

Fearing that everyone he loves, even his new friends Duster and Kumatora, are going to do the same, only makes sense. A scar on his heart.


Which sets everyone on fire for some reason aaaaghhh

And Lucas beats another facsimile of his dead twin brother to death.

Aww yeah, now Boney's going to be a world-class super spy. TOTALLY WORTH THE MENTAL TRAUMA

I DON'T WANT TO

AND YET I'M COMPELLED

this gives me the shudders every single time. uuuuuuuuughhhhhh


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Like a lot of the mailboxes, this is also pretty vague and I can't think of who it could have come from. I wonder if the mailboxes just represent basic nightmare like fears, while the people themselves are more specific? But that one with the postcards seemed pretty focused on Lucas. It's hard to say.

If any one of them ever hid somewhere to try and avoid something, that could be a source of it. Oh dang the image just occurred to me of Lucas and Claus trying to escape the Mecha-Drago and trying to hide, Claus getting the hiding place first, and Lucas looking inside and seeing himself looking back out, what with them being twins. Or even just them playing hide and seek in general. Man that totally fits, haha.

But there are ways it could apply to the others as well. It doesn't say anything about the age of the version of yourself in the mailbox - it could be a younger version of Duster hiding from Wes, or a younger Kumatora hiding with the ghosts, or whatever. IT'S FLEXIBLE I GUESS


NooooOOOOOOOoo

AAAAARRRGHHH

Oh it's one of YOU guys, figures

YOU DON'T SAY

He's hard to see, but Wes is up there in the treeline. What are you doing up there buddy

...Huh.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

I generally assume that Wes visions are for Duster, that makes the most sense. But what's weird is that Duster's visions tend to be... I guess a bit more sedate than Lucas's, you could say. Most of Lucas's tend to be horrific and sad, kind of aggressive in a way. Kumatora's are also pretty straightforwardly cruel. They state their intentions pretty clearly. Duster's visions of Wes though seem more... abstract? Subtle? It's hard to say. I guess it fits in that Duster doesn't really seem to have too hard a time of it until you start really thinking about exactly what he's going through.

This might seem like an innocuous thing for someone to say, or even just a nightmarish repetition of a normal phrase in an increasingly strange tone of voice (wow what a creepy image), or something like that. But because it's fun and I'm biased, let's get speculative.

You may recall flipping through chapter 2 that people tend to ask about whether Duster has been eating a lot. A few people even give him food. His sprite is also pretty thin compared to Wes, tho it might not be as obvious if you didn't spend as much time as I did editing it for that dancing gif, haha. Could Duster have problems with food? I don't see Wes deliberately starving him or withholding food or anything like that, since that wouldn't make sense if he needed to be strong for his thief training. It could be just that Duster always felt a little hungry but never said anything about it, or that he never really feels hungry but feels pressured to eat anyway. Or wow, I just got a really depressing idea of Duster deliberately not eating to try and get out of training since he'd be too weak to do it, that'd be really messed up, jesus. Thanks for that, brain. But you could probably come up with any number of specific situations that could explain why Wes would say something like that and Duster would bear a scar from it. Off the top of my head, heck, maybe after he hurt his leg and he was bedbound, Wes didn't know what to say to him because he doesn't know how to apologize or he felt really bad about doing it or whatever, so all he asked about was making sure Duster ate the food he brought him and Duster felt like he really didn't care, even if he did and was just too tsundere to actually show it. You could go all sorts of ways with this.

Or this might not specifically be about Wes, it could just be generalized anxiety or pressure from people asking about his health that manifests itself through the form of Wes. I mean, who else would represent that kind of thing for Duster? So you could see this not as something that Wes specifically said, but a conglomeration of the townspeople constantly asking him, are you eating, are you eating, Duster are you okay, Duster are you alright, Duster is everything okay at home, Duster are you eating, you look so tired, you look so gloomy, are you okay, were you training again, are you hungry

An unpleasant reminder that his life isn't normal, that his relationship with Wes isn't very pleasant most of the time? Or a reminder that despite them asking about him, none of the villagers ever followed up on it? This could be so many things. It's interesting also because the only way Duster can heal himself is through eating food, since he doesn't have PSI, but that might be getting too much into the game mechanic side of things.

ALSO this just occurred to me, but if any of them are actually replying back to these hallucinations, then the repetition could be because Duster is trying to respond or answer the question, but Wes isn't listening.

However, this doesn't necessarily have to be for Duster. This could be for Kumatora, since she also knows Wes. Something from when she was little, a baby perhaps, and Wes was keeping an eye on her or something, although why that'd show up here as a wound/weakness/scar isn't as clear. BUT HEY, IT COULD BE POSSIBLE


And Duster beats a facsimile of his father to death. HOW IS EVERYONE HOLDING UP GUYS

It's easy to picture the others in the party covering and protecting the one who's seeing things, since they'd be having a mental breakdown/be too afraid or unable to attack someone they love.

HOW DO THESE KEEP GETTING WORSE


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

A twin thing, this again is an example of Lucas's intense survivor's guilt. The things you see here, the smaller hints in earlier chapters, seem to hint that Lucas feels like he should have taken Claus's place. That Claus should have been the one that survived. If that was the case, maybe Flint wouldn't have fallen apart, maybe Tazmily wouldn't have changed, maybe everything would be better.

Let's switch places, Lucas thinks, let me die and you survive. You're more, you're more, you're more weak, you're more useless.


nightmares

Let's switch places, let's switch places as Lucas beats another Claus to death.

A BRIEF BREAK FROM THE HORRORS AROUND US

Wes seems really into the trees here.

Wes what is your deal


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

More weird dream repetition. Does Duster have issues with Wes repeating things? Always repeating himself in increasingly annoyed tones of voice when Duster doesn't respond like Duster's an idiot, Duster too worried about saying something wrong to say anything. It's not too hard to think of a reason why.

Why this specifically though? Again I thought that this might be just general nightmare weirdness, but then I thought hey, what if this is about the Scary Mask? Did Wes sneak up on Duster when he was little in the middle of the night and scare him half to death to show off what it could do?

Though he does say that Duster's the one that's too scary. Could this again be generalized anxiety manifesting itself through Wes? The townspeople don't ever really seem scared of Duster, they just seem a little confused to see him. No one seems that alarmed when Duster goes walking around in their houses or seems to find him threatening at all.

Why would being called scary leave a scar on Duster's heart? A wound that never healed? Was it Wes that said it, or someone else? Did he have to train with the Scary Mask along with his other thief tools, practice scaring people? Did it leave him with a constant feeling of guilt despite no one really holding it against him or caring when he's not wearing it? So many questions.


Another Wes down.

The Flints up here are a little unusual in that they'll run right towards you. A few of the Clauses do this as well, but most of the others will just wander around and wait for you to talk to them. But Flint will run directly for you, and the creepy thing is that he's not super fast about it, he's running but he's still moving kind of menacingly slowly.

Oh Flint.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

A few things here that can tell you quite a bit about Lucas and Flint and their relationship. Flint here for a moment blames Lucas for Hinawa's death. I'm sure Flint would only have to say or insinuate this once for that to be burned right into Lucas's heart. But the thing is, he wouldn't even have to say it though - Lucas might think that Flint blames him for it anyway even if he never said anything like that. After all, why else would Flint have abandoned him to look for his brother? It's Lucas's fault, it's all his fault. A self-inflicted wound.

The other fascinating bit in here is that, if you assume the pauses are for the character speaking, Lucas actually says, to Flint's face, that Flint did it. For a moment, he blames Flint for Hinawa's death, which is really striking given what we know and have seen of Lucas so far. It's the first hint that Lucas might resent Flint for what happened, for how he's treated him, that he's capable of directing his self-hatred outwards. And that feeling, or knowing that he feels that way, could upset him so badly that he feels intensely guilty over it, thus making it manifest here.

There's also Flint's general confusion over who Lucas is, which seems to be a running theme with him, being a twin and all. People mistake him for Claus all the time. Identity issues combined with survivor's guilt and self-hatred can leave a lot of scars.


Cmon be something good

UGH GROSS

And Flint runs slowly towards you.

Or as the original translation I used put it,

"I'm gonna hit you, boy. Your father's gonna give you a beating."

Which I actually find way more effective personally.

I can't really speak for any of you guys, but for me, this was one of the worst lines in this entire sequence. I was absolutely not prepared for Flint to say something like this and to say it so matter-of-factly. It's very... it's such a raw and brutal thing to say, if that makes sense. It's not something I ever expected to read in a Mother game. It still hits incredibly hard for me each time, just as I imagine it'd hit hard for Lucas as well.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

I absolutely do not believe that Flint ever hit Lucas. I don't believe for a second that that ever happened.

But that doesn't mean that Lucas might not be afraid that it could happen. But what could make him afraid of his father lashing out and hurting him?

Back in the second part of chapter one, during Flint's breakdown, I said that he was going to scar his children for life. I actually wasn't joking.

That's where I think this comes from. If Tazmily is really the utopia it was before the pigmasks came, if their family was whole and content and Flint is strong and gentle and caring and the pillar of the community, then you can imagine how traumatizing it would be for Lucas to see someone he trusts, someone he never thought would ever hurt anyone, suddenly snap and begin attacking people. I can't imagine Flint would ever have any reason to flip out like that before. Lucas was like eight, just watched his mother die, and for the first time he sees his normally calm father go into an uncontrollable berserker rage, hurting people he knows and cares about until he has to be violently subdued himself.

And even if it never happened again, if Flint never lost control like that again, the damage had been done.

Night of the funeral of Lucas's childhood is more like it.


And so Lucas beats his father to death. Or I assume Duster and Kumatora do while Lucas lies catatonic on the ground with Boney licking his face.

THIS IS A REALLY FUN SEQUENCE

WELL THIS CAN'T BE AS TERRIBLE AS ANYTHING ELSE I'M SEEING, LET'S GO

A BRIGHT LIGHT, FINALLY

Aaaahhhh what a lovely hot spring, although Boney doesn't want to come in for some reason! How weird. Well Boney's been acting weird and barking at things this whole time, it's probably nothing.

This is really handy for this part since you don't have any items, besides those in the trash cans.

Oh those.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

All the chimeras Lucas has killed, I think.


Eyes going every which way, it's great.

What


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is sort of hard to pin down as well. Since it's Alec, you'd generally assume it's for Lucas, though this is a weird thing to say. Possibly confusing him for Claus? A feeling that he shouldn't have made it this far, only Claus could have come this far, so who is he really? It's hard to say.

This could also be for Kumatora maybe, MAYBE, but that relies on something someone else says, so I'll wait until we get to that point.


Eerie Smiles gotta eat right. Lucas kills another member of his family, woo!

Dang I should have set this up a bit better, but before this point, Salsa and his girlfriend never say anything when you talk to them, they just make monkey noises. Which is sort of odd, considering pretty much every other animal and even some inanimate objects can talk. But Salsa only makes monkey noises. The closest you get with him is the third person dialogue when you're controlling him (I'm thinking of how if you look in a mirror as Salsa, it says something like "What does a smile look like again?" and christ).

So this is a bit unusual.

For some reason a while ago when I was working on a flash video I'll link you to later, I totally misremembered this line and thought Salsa blamed Kumatora for what happened to him, I'm not sure where that came from. OH WELL, WHATEVER.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is particularly sad because Lucas seriously has no reason to blame himself for anything that happened to Salsa except that he feels responsible for everyone's suffering and sadness. He actually helped free Salsa TWICE and Salsa was never anything but kind to him. And still Lucas feels like Salsa blames him for it anyway, like he caused more suffering somehow.

It's just like jesus Lucas this isn't your fault, seriously. I guess this is sort of a clearer example of how his self-loathing manifests out of even his acts of heroism, twisting around the good things he's done into ways he's hurt people.


And they beat a monkey to death. I bet Kumatora had a lot of trouble doing that.

Mosquitos around here are terrible.

Oh god they're BOTH here

Flint's the first one to speak, and Lucas and Duster both react to it, as before with the first Flint.

Flint you're not listening.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Most of the Flints here seem somewhat incoherent and have trouble understanding what you're saying. It could be general Tanehineri weirdness, or it could reflect Flint's current mental state. We've seen so little of him in the present - all we really know is that he's obsessed with finding Claus and visiting Hinawa's grave. You could extrapolate from this that Flint's just not all there mentally in general anymore. Permanently broken.

So it could be that even when Lucas can pin down Flint somewhere to try and talk to him, Flint isn't listening. Flint doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand what he's talking about. Flint doesn't care about what Lucas has to do anymore, or the fate of the world, or anything except his endless self-destructive loops. Lucas can't talk to him about anything, even things that are important, because he just doesn't understand. That could be where this comes from. Otherwise I'm not so sure, I can't really think of many other reasons off the top of my head.


Or as the other translation put it,

"Lucas, we finally meet. It's me, Claus. Feel my heart. It's beating fast. Lucas, you don't have to worry about anything anymore. It's me, Claus."

which I think is a little more eerie without the exclamation points, but it could just be me.

Can you picture this in your head? I can and it's creepy as get out. You can imagine the state Lucas is in at this point, he's terrified and emotionally exhausted and not sure what's real anymore. Claus appears, he looks fine, he's alive, he's smiling, maybe this one's real. He comes close to Lucas, picks up his hand and holds it against his chest. Everything's fine, trust me, I'm real this time, it's okay.

Then he attacks.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Just that image alone is pretty creepy for me. But it's not hard to extrapolate a little from it. Afraid, drained, emotionally wrecked, Lucas still wishes Claus could be with him. Still feels like if Claus is there, things will be alright. In spite of everything the Claus visions here have done. He can just pass off everything to Claus, let him take care of it, let him fix everything. He just wants him back.


agh two at once nooooo

And so he kills the rest of his family.

Finally one specifically for Kumatora and wow Alec, don't hold back or anything. Although actually, the original translation I read for this went,

"Princess Kumatora is no princess. She's a broken woman not loved by anyone."

which I think has a little more punch to it. Could be me again though.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is really very straightforward, which I guess fits with Kumatora in general. What I was always confused about was, why Alec? Why would Alec say something like this? Did the two of them ever even meet?

And here's the connection I briefly touched on earlier, and I have to spoil something about Kumatora, so if you're being super cautious just skip ahead.

But as you find out later, Kumatora was raised by the Magypsies.

And as he said in chapter one, Alec is good friends with the Magypsies.

There's the connection. And once you have that, it's not hard to imagine how this situation could come up, how it'd burn a scar in her heart. Alec isn't mean but he does have a tendency to be a bit blunt as he was with Lucas, and also has a really weird sense of humor. Did he make jokes about Kumatora never getting married? Never finding a boyfriend? Did he joke about how she dressed, how she did her hair? Did he ask her about whether or not she ever wanted a boyfriend, and hint that she might want to change how she acts for that to happen? I really don't see this as overtly malicious, but one of those situations where Alec just wouldn't be aware of how much of an effect saying something like that might have on her.


Heh, even in battle screens.

Uh


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This lady is like the mailboxes in that she's pretty vague, and she could just be weird, unsettling nightmare residue, not particularly tied to any one person or any deeper meaning.

But hey, if I'm going to say everything here means something, I might as well be consistent, right? And it's really not that hard to come up with ways for this lady to mean something to any one of them.

For Lucas, he's still pretty young and wow, I just realized he might not have even gone through puberty yet, jesus. In that case, anxiety, confusion, odd feelings, or even one of the new adults in Tazmily just making some inappropriate comments towards him that just sort of worked their way deep down and never left.

For Kumatora, this could be related to sexuality again. It could be that Kumatora has had girls hit on her before, or has even thought about it herself, but never actually really dealt with it or figured it out. The whole thing really confusing and a little frightening and she doesn't really have anyone she can talk to about it, or any resources on it at all probably, so she just shoves it down and ignores it but still somewhere it lingers, and so it manifests.

For Duster, this could be a groupie for the DCMC or just a girl hitting on him in general. What with his life mostly dominated by Wes and his thief training and not really spending any time at all with the villagers, he didn't exactly have a lot of chances to learn about flirting or dating or any of that kind of thing himself. Someone flirting with him could be foreign and confusing and frightening, make him anxious in a way not entirely dissimilar to Lucas. If Wes was strict enough to tell him that any kind of romance was a distraction and should be avoided, that could also add onto any potential issues he could have with it.

All total speculation, but that's what makes this all so interesting, haha.


PINK DEATHMOBILE


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This might seem like a throwaway, but it's actually really easy to tie it to Lucas. There never were cars in Tazmily before the modernization and the systematic destruction of everything he loves. And if you've never seen a car before or even if you have, they can be pretty scary things.


Uh thanks Pusher.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is sort of unusual in that I don't necessarily think this is a manifestation of a mental wound, but a distortion of something in reality. Like how the sleeping umbrella at the beginning wasn't anything specific, just a misinterpretation. So while this might reflect generalized worry about their quest and the needles in general, I don't think it means anything really deep. But that could just be me.


Couldn't even turn around to say that to me, sniff.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This isn't specifically addressed to anyone, so it could really apply to any of them, but mostly I'm thinking about Lucas and Kumatora. For Lucas, if you remember my intro up there, people tell him he's brave and strong all the time but internally as you've seen he's a gd trainwreck. In that way, it's not hard to imagine why he would feel like an enormous lie to everyone. And from what the earlier Alec says, Kumatora feels insecure and self-conscious, like no one really cares for her, but puts on a brave front to hide that. More lies. And Alec knows them both.

Duster actually doesn't fit this time to me - he's doesn't really seem to lie to himself that much, at least consciously, and he doesn't know Alec at all. But that's just how I see it.

It could be though that this is a reference to how they're the real ones in a world of hallucinations. They are truth, and truth are lies, and they are lies. Something like that. If the hallucinations are revealing things they've hidden about themselves, then the hallucinations are the truth, and the facades they present are the lies. It could just be a general statement for all of them too, not specifically tied to one person.


Hello again, magic butterfrog!

This ad campaign is going places.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

This is sort of like Pusher in that this isn't a personal hallucination but more of a distortion of something real, so I usually don't read too much into it. Although why Lucas (and I assume it's Lucas) would distort it to telling him he's weak isn't hard to guess.


MIXOLYDIA PLEASE HELP ME

THIS IS TERRIBLE

Actually before we go in, a few more unconnected thoughts about Tanehineri.


~*~*~TL;DR AHEAD~*~*~

Think about the amount of hallucinations and who they were directed towards. Kumatora just had the one, while Duster had a handful, and Lucas had a ton. It could be because Lucas is the player character, and as such your experience is mostly his. It could be because it reflects how psychologically damaged all of them are, and Kumatora happens to be most well-adjusted. Or it could be that what you're getting is just a cross section, and every hallucination you saw was different for each party member. So while Lucas saw Flint threatening to hit him, Duster and Kumatora might have seen something totally different. It's hard to say.

The same spoiler I mentioned above for Kumatora here, skip to the next cap if you're worried.

Also, think about who we didn't see here. There are no hallucinations of Hinawa, or Ionia or any of the Magypsies, or the DCMC. It would be all too easy to conjure up deeply painful visions of them - Hinawa saying she never loved Lucas, Ionia saying she hates Kumatora, the DCMC saying Duster was a terrible friend and bass player who dragged their band down. These are easy, almost obvious, and they would hurt like crazy. But that's not what you see.

It's not just people you love hurting you. It's people you love that you believe would hurt you. What they say are reflections of reality distorted, what they say could be possible, and I think that's what makes them so upsetting for everyone.

-I'm not going to say anything either way, but I don't think it's unreasonable to guess that Lucas might suspect that the Masked Man is Claus, regardless of whether he is or not. And Lucas runs into the Masked Man pretty close to before you come to Tanehineri and has that weird psychic flash/... moment with him. Suspecting that Claus might be alive but working for the Pigmasks for some bizarre reason probably would play a huge part in all the visions of Claus Lucas saw on Tanehineri. And along the same lines, with Claus on his mind, Flint probably wouldn't be far behind since I'd assume he associates the two together. After all, Flint spends all his time obsessively searching for Claus. So Lucas being confused and hurt and betrayed and worried that the Masked Man might be Claus could explain a lot about the strange threatening behavior of the Clauses on the island. Again, regardless of whether the Masked Man is actually Claus or not.

-Usually when characters are subjected to a trip through someone's psyche and inner demons, it's for the purpose of conquering those demons. There is a concrete goal at the end, some kind of boss or item you need to get, and then that character has vanquished their insecurities and become stronger, and they learn a new power or unlock their potential or something. Ness's Magicant for example does this, Kain from FF4 does this, Link sort of does it with Shadow Link, Zidane sort of does this in FF9 during his You're Not Alone sequence, and I think one of the Persona games does as well though I never played those. But basically these demons are conquerable, one time enemies that earn you something upon defeating them. It's a simple, logical process with a satisfying ending.

However Tanehineri isn't like that. There is no final boss, no sense of closure, no new ability, no new strength, no new identity. Not unlike how there is no single boss for you to beat that can save Tazmily from modernization, there is no single boss to beat that can save the characters from their own psychological damage. There is no sense of closure or accomplishment that comes from killing each vision you see, only a growing sense of horror and dread. Mixolydia doesn't tell you you look stronger now, or that you've accomplished something, or that it'll never happen again because now you've beat it for good. Mixolydia just saves you before it gets unbearable and your characters possibly go insane or kill themselves. You don't get a new power or boost or anything from being saved, the horror just stops.

The mushroom trip doesn't let the characters conquer their demons, it just exposes and exaggerates them. In fact, it's possible that the mushrooms only made their damage worse. Can you imagine the nightmares they'd have after that kind of experience? All of the trauma piled onto already existing weaknesses? The whole thing might have just taken their existing scars and torn them open again, while adding a whole new slew of wounds that may never heal. The point isn't that the party faces and conquers their demons and grows as people, the point is to show you, the player, that your party is really messed up emotionally/mentally and there's nothing you can do about it.

You don't get any sense of closure or accomplishment from going through the entire thing, they don't vanquish their demons forever, they don't get over old trauma, the only thing the characters do is survive. Which in a way fits with the general feel of Mother 3. Sometimes when you've been scarred by a terrible life experience, you don't get to fight a boss and forget about it. You don't get special powers from it, you don't ever get closure, you don't ever forget it, you don't ever get better. You just learn how to deal with it. You learn how to live with your scars. Sometimes that's all you can do.


You look like a handsome gent.

BUT FIRST

Doing the twist I see

Aw yeah, nailed it.

For the longest time I thought Mixolydia meant that the mushrooms smelled bad, which never made a lot of sense to me, and it turns out I was just being a moron and it's because of something you'll see in a bit.

all of them just weeping emotional wrecks I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE

WHY IS MY LIFE

hehehe

Alright let's do it right

AHA, THE BIG REVEAL!!

Some of you might have gathered as much by this point, but now if you like you can go back and reread the tl;dr marked bits for way too much rambling about what everything here means. And I already mentioned it before, but I might as well do so again, that another translation I used phrased this as,

"The weak parts of your self, or the things that have wounded you are all exposed."

Which adds a little bit more nuance to what we've seen I think. A weakness, a wound, a scar.

Bap! Hey wait, Boney wasn't even hallucinating. At least that we know of.

Heh, caught the swish this time.

THANK GOD

NOW THERE'S A MAGYPSY

Let's see if I have a Mixolydia gif.

You look a little nervous, honey.

I wonder how Mixolydia knows about the mushrooms? I don't think she would have eaten them herself, or if they'd have the same effect on a Magypsy, but from what she says here, it's possible that she's seen other people do it, and more scarily, this seems to imply that those other people might not have made it. Driven to suicide, or perhaps so lost in their nightmares that they couldn't keep going? Who can say.

If it's more of those mushrooms I swear to god.

YES ALL MY TRIVIA CARDS

You look more handsome everytime I see you.

darn it THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS

And so now we can walk around the island and see things as they really are! And here's the Pusher who asked to take your needle. It all makes sense now, haha.

uh oh

Noooooooooooooooo

And this is why Mixolydia thinks you stink I assume, haha.

OH NO TOO LATE

Not a mirror anymore, eh?

Ah there we go. All of them just D: and frantically trying to scrub the filth off each other.

And some of the enemies as they actually appear! The dragonflies are pretty cute, teehee.

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OF THESE THINGS

Monkalrus eh

WE DIDN'T MAKE THE WATER FILTHY WHAT

And our horrifying acid trip is at an end! What could possibly follow a sequence like that? I GUESS YOU'LL HAVE TO FIND OUT NEXT TIME!

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