What will we find behind the door? Will it be... a shocking revelation? Or fifty? COME FIND OUT!
IT WAS LEDER!!
Thus explaining why that guy said our leader was back here, haha. Though man that must suck for Leder, just forced to stand here all day with nothing to do. Well I guess he has some books to read.
HOW COULD YOU
Or as another translation put it, "I've been ringing the bell in the Crossroad, all this time keeping in my heart something I couldn't tell anyone."
Oh man this is gonna be bad, isn't it.
NOT REALLY FILLING ME WITH A LOT OF CONFIDENCE HERE
actually i'm just gonna take off
left something in the oven
leder just SO BORED
I HAVE TO TALK TO SOMEONE
I'M SO LONELY
Lucas pulls out his Gameboy
So all that talk of stinkbugs finally pays off! As one would expect from Mother, stinky things have great versatility.
I mean if you could even call it that, tchuh, am I right
Leder breaks up his speech into pieces I guess just to make sure you're paying attention. OH YEAH I almost forgot, when Leder's talking, a song starts playing.
It's called Leder's Gymnopedie, even though it is almost exactly Eric Satie's Gymnopedie 1. This was sort of a weird moment for me because I've been a fan of Satie's music for a long time, in particular Gymnopedie 1, so when that song suddenly started playing I was like WHAAAAAATTTT
I dunno if anyone else had that reaction to the song, haha. But it was sort of an odd moment anyway.
BACK ON TOPIC, what kind of enormous world exactly is Leder talking about? CAN WE GET SOME MORE DETAILS?
No surprise there.
WE TRIED TO WARN EACH OTHER BUT NO ONE LISTENED
It's pretty complicated, it's true.
Or a "white boat" as one of the other translations put it, which sort of puts a different spin on it. It's hard to explain.
A few things to take from this part:
-There were plans to escape the "world", since everyone suspected it might come to an end, and the White Ship was made for that purpose
-However, everyone in Tazmily was from that ship, which means, unless a huge portion of people died upon landing, only a handful of people actually made it to the Ship in the first place. Only some, let's say, 30-40 people actually survived the end of the world, if that. Which seems to imply a rather sudden apocalyptic type end to the "world".
-Presumably, the inhabitants of the "world" KNEW that the islands would survive whatever ended their world, thus set the Ship to travel there.
-The Nowhere Islands are still a part of the "world".
Though what exactly was the White Ship? This one artist has an interesting interpretation of it... and you may recall that odd mural in the chimera lab with the rocket crashed into a mountain. Was the white ship in fact a spaceship?
The Dark Dragon! As we've heard so much about before.
We never do find out why. Makes you wonder.
As one translation put it, "But all of a sudden, humans were no longer able to live together with the dragon.", which implies there was some event that caused the rift.
Maybe they couldn't co-exist because people kept abusing the dragon's power? WHO CAN SAY
Most of this covered from before by talking with the Magypsies, so none of this should be hugely surprising, except that the Nowhere Islands are the last place where humans can live, and that continued survival relies on the dragon itself.
Or as another translation put it, "The people who came to these islands on the 'white boat' were more than anything afraid of the 'world' ending again."
Alright, let's unpack this a little.
Presumably, they were already on the islands when they decided on this plan, though I've seen stuff where they're still on the ship, could go either way. But basically, everyone in Tazmily sat down and talked about the lives they should have lived, and everyone made the decision to erase their memories. More than that though, everyone decided on the roles they were going to play. Everyone had to know their part, and everyone else's parts, for the story to stick together, right?
So it was decided that Pusher would be the mayor, or Bronson would be the blacksmith, or Thomas would be the guy who runs around with an alarm all the time. In the story that replaced everyone's real memories, these roles would be implicitly understood by everyone, backed up by years of false memories. They were always those things.
Which incidentally perfectly explains why Duster and Wes were known as the town thieves despite never actually stealing anything. That was their role in the story and in the false memories of the people in town. Everyone inherently understands that about them and knows that they're thieves, even if they never actually steal.
This also explains why no one in town knew what money was, for those wondering. Presumably that was one of the things they feared would lead to another apocalypse like the one they'd just left.
This can also explain why the villagers seem so shaken by death and despair, and why they mostly just let Flint spiral into self-destructive behavior and have no idea how to help him. They don't understand how to deal with anything like that anymore since they wiped all knowledge of that kind of thing. That line at the end of chapter one that went something like "It's possible the villagers had never known sadness before now" could be entirely literal. Although I do have some doubts about this that I'll bring up in a bit.
FINALLY, AFTER ALL THIS TIME
This sort of makes you wonder a bit, or at least it makes me wonder about a few things. What exactly did Wes do in the old "world"? Was he a thief there, or was there a different name for what he did? Either way, you can guess that his skillset was what ended up getting him assigned the role. Was he the one that suggested that there be a backup plan if something should happen? Did he volunteer to retrieve the egg if something went wrong? Was that decided for him? Did he decide to be a thief in the new world, or was it put to a vote?
I mostly lean towards Wes deciding his own role since that seems to fit with his attitude most of the time. He kept his thief skills, so he might think he was the most suited for the job, particularly since he set up all the traps on the way to the egg as well. He set up ways to protect it and made sure that he (or Duster) was the only one who could get it, if he had to.
This can also explain a little why Duster and Wes are sort of outsiders to an extent, since they retained faint knowledge of the egg (that it was important, at least) and that they had a greater responsibility, while everyone else completely forgot everything. I'll get into where Duster fits into this in a bit though.
HIS BELLRINGING WAS A PLOTPOINT
BET YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING
Which seems really obvious to me yet I've seen some dopes calling him "ledder" until this point and it's like come on, really?
Then again, one translation I used called him Lida (and I could read his name in kata as ri-da) so maybe I had an unfair advantage.
I'd say tallness pays off but this kind of sucks, really.
CAN THIS GET HEAVIER?
And a few more pieces of the puzzle come into focus. Not just that Kumatora was raised by the Magypsies (which explains a lot, eh), but we actually have a timetable now.
Tazmily has only existed for as long as Kumatora's been alive.
How old is Kumatora anyway? I usually estimate her around her early twenties myself, possibly because twenty is a nice round number, haha. But it's really up for interpretation. Between the time when you first see her in chapter two and when she shows up again in chapter four, she grows a pixel in height. So she's not entirely an adult between them, you can guess. I've seen her range anywhere from 14-17, 17-20, 20-23, who knows, right?
But the entire thing has only been around as long as Kumatora's been alive. Why is this significant?
Mostly because of the other children in town.
Do you remember way back when when someone said that for some reason, none of the families in town look alike? That's because the families in town are probably all fabricated. The people of Tazmily probably aren't related at all for the most part - they became related to fill in the gaps of the story they created. Alec might not be Hinawa's real father, for example, which might explain his odd behavior when she died though we did see him mourning later. Thomas and Mike could have been strangers. Who can say for sure? However, there are some relationships in town that we know for sure are real. And those are the couples that had children.
Fuel, Angie, Nichol and Richie, Alle, they're all too young to have been on the White Ship. They were actually born in Tazmily, so one can assume their parents met and fell in love for real. What's the point, you ask? Mostly, I bring this up because something occurred to me about Fuel.
Fuel's too young to have been on the White Ship, so he had to have been born in Tazmily. However, his mom is nowhere to be seen, while practically everyone else's mom is accounted for. What happened to her? Did she die? Nippolyte seems to have some experience digging graves, after all... did she die in childbirth, of other causes? Did the villagers actually know death before Hinawa died?
Or did Fuelmom just leave Lighter for whatever reason? Did they separate? Caroline in town has no husband and only has Angie as her daughter, as a counterpoint to Lighter being alone with his son. COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION?
If you estimate that Tazmily's been around for some twenty years, then that'd leave, let's say, ten years before most of the children were born. Presumably the couples in town came together naturally over that period of time.
The other hint here is that Duster was alive and on the White Ship, since both he and Wes were decided to be Kumatora's retainers. So Duster's lost his memory not once but twice, haha. But how old is Duster, anyway? Using Kumatora as a basis, he's twenty plus however many years. But how many? How old was he when they arrived? This is really up to you.
I actually might as well take this opportunity to go on a few tangents about this entire thing here, since this is probably the best place to fit them. Mostly Duster focused durrhurr no surprise BUT this opens up a whole of lot of possibilities for them.
You may recall some of Wes's stories from before in Duster's chapter, and how he was fairly unsure about a lot of them. And as it turned out, most of them turned out to be false.
So, what really happened to Duster's leg?
You can believe Wes if you like and go with the theory that he crunched Duster's leg one way or another when they lived in Tazmily, if you want. There's nothing disproving that theory. But with this revelation, a whole new array of possibilities opens up, each with their own set of unique problems.
One theory I saw on a Japanese site that I thought was pretty cute was that Duster heard Kumatora crying in a building during the end of the world and went in to rescue her, though he hurt his leg in the process. Then when they were on the white ship, he wanted to keep protecting her, so he volunteered to be her retainer in the new world, even if he couldn't remember her. Entirely possible!
Another theory is that Duster hurt his leg before he got on the white ship, or was even born with his limp. This adds another interesting wrinkle to his relationship with Wes though because regardless of how the injury could have happened, it was still decided that the both of them would remember it being Wes's fault. That false memory was a decision. Would Wes decide to take responsibility for an in-born limp? Would Duster want to shift responsibility to someone else?
And in the end, even if he did get his limp in some other way, does it make a difference? For the majority of Duster's life and a good chunk of Wes's life, he's believed that Wes was responsible. It was the first thing he saw on Tanehineri. Does it matter if it wasn't actually true? The damage has already been done. The scar's already there.
Also what happened to Duster's mom? Did she die in the apocalypse, on the trip, when they arrived? In a bit of scrapped beta dialogue, Duster says he can't remember anything about her, to the extent that he doesn't even know what having a mom is like. Did he lose her before or during the trip on the ship, then ask to have his memories of her erased because that'd make things easier? What a sad thought.
(Even worse, if Wes decided for them both to have both their memories of her erased, and Duster didn't get a choice)
Come to think of it, my other tangent might work in a second, so I'll put it off for now.
Only the Magypsies have real historyyyy
It does make you wonder why they were in such a rush though.
Uh huh Lucas says as he reads a book
There are a few things that make me wonder here.
Even when you erase everyone's memories and erase the trappings of society, humans still tend to return to a familiar equilibrium. There are still unhappy people in Tazmily, dissatisfied people, there's still death and a gravedigger. You can start with the best intentions, but eventually human nature will assert itself again. After all, who knows if there was a vetting process on the white ship to begin with? Everything seemed to happen in such a hurry, and so few people made it. You end up with an assortment of survivors, and being a survivor doesn't automatically make you a good person.
So you end up with people like Pusher or Elmore, Dona who wanted to move on to better things, Brenda who's sort of mean to everyone. And then there's Duster.
It's possible that Duster and Wes aren't even actually related. Personally I've always thought they were, if only because they seem to resemble each other somewhat, and in that bit of scrapped beta dialogue I keep mentioning Duster says that he thinks Wes is his real dad, even though he doesn't know for sure. But they could just be strangers. It would explain why Wes is so old compared to him (depending on how old you think Duster is, anyway). It could be that Wes was a stranger who saved Duster during the end of the world and brought him on the ship and he felt indebted to him. Wes could even be another member of his family that just got shifted around for simplicity's sake - he could be his uncle, his grandfather, a friend of his family, anything.
But let's spin a few scenarios here where Duster is fairly young on the White Ship, let's say somewhere from 8-10. That'd put him in his 30s or so when the game starts taking place. There could be other children around his age on the ship as well, like Dona or Biff or Tessie or Bateau or Nana, who knows. But everyone is sitting together and deciding what kind of lives they want to live. Everyone has to play a part, everyone has to decide what their role in their new life would be.
Could Wes have decided for the both of them that they were going to be thieves? Decided that Duster would have to be his back-up, would follow in his footsteps? Did Duster just quietly go along with it, already used to not saying anything?
Or did Duster volunteer to become a thief, to become Wes's apprentice? Did he think that was the best job for him, the best way to stay close to Kumatora, the coolest thing he could do, a way to repay Wes for saving him, any number of things? Was it his choice? Did they then decide to play at being father and son to make things simpler? Did he know back then how harsh Wes could be?
There are so many options here. But I'm relatively sure that Duster didn't anticipate back then what his life would eventually become. As people in town tend to point out, Duster looks pretty miserable a lot of the time and he may or may not have ended up permanently disabled at Wes's hands. If he volunteered to become a thief in hopes of leading a happy life, it probably didn't turn out the way he expected.
And that can easily apply to everyone in Tazmily. I'm sure that everyone believed at the time that their intended role would satisfy them, and for some of them I'm sure it did. For others though, things didn't turn out the way they wanted it to.
But that's life, isn't it? That's how things work in the real world. And that's where you get inhabitants like Dona or Brenda or Pusher who feel dissatisfied or angry, where you have people like Duster who get treated terribly in what should have been an ideal utopia.
To me I get the feeling more like Tazmily started as a fairy tale, but slowly matured into an actual real town with real people, who have real feelings and emotions that are complicated, who feel sad or angry or disappointed or hurt each other sometimes. It's human nature, really. It's what makes something real, even though it's not perfect. And even in the earlier chapters, you could see hints of that in places.
I'm not saying Tazmily was a TERRIBLE PLACE or something, haha. I'm sure Leder's right, for the most part everyone lived peacefully and things were pretty chill. It was a nice little town, definitely. But I guess the point is that there's always sadness, somewhere. You can try and try to run from it or erase it or drive it out, but it's human nature.
Interestingly, another translation made the line a bit more subjective with Leder going, "I thought we lived peacefully and amiably with each other."
OF COURSE IT WAS POKEY
pokey ruins everything
Or a Phase Distorter in EarthBound! You may recall finding a broken Phase Distorter along with a kidnapped Mr. Saturn back near the end of EarthBound, which one can assume was Pokey's doing.
hahaha POKEY YOU ARE BANNED
YOU ARE PERMANENTLY BANNED
JUST GET OUT
So THAT'S where all those people outside Tazmily came from!
You may recall back in Chapter 4 me mentioning how the game was starting to become more EarthBoundish in a way that was meant to alienate you. This is why. SEE, IT ALL COMES TOGETHER
This also explains how Andonuts got here, though not where Jeff is. Tho I think I was talking with Moro or Del about it, and it would be pretty easy for Pokey to just use Jeff as a bargaining chip over Andonuts. Make me some chimeras or I'll kidnap your son and drop him in the stone age, things like that. JUST LIKE WITH SO MANY THINGS, ANDONUTS DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE
SEE THERE'S THAT POWERLESS THEME AGAIN aw yeah
Remember that journal we found way back in chapter one about making all the animals on the island "cooler"?
Someday, Pokey! SOMEDAY
Not entirely clear when Locria joined up with Pokey, but there's not much mention of the egg. Though come to think of it, the pigmasks WERE swarming over the castle near the end of chapter two, so they WERE after it at one point. Then I guess they or Pokey lost interest and told them to do something else, presumably build Thunder Tower so he could zap people like a kid with a magnifying glass.
The weird thing is there's a three year gap between Pokey showing up/going after the egg and Pokey finding out about the needles, or deciding to pull the needles anyway. Did Locria hold out for that long? What made them decide to tell Pokey? Or was Pokey waiting for something else before he decided to go for the needles?
A snag in the plan!
It's interesting that the Magypsies put the needles there, but can't take them out again. They can sense people coming near or around their needles, or what's happening to the other Magypsy's needles, and they can sense the heart of whoever pulled the needle... how connected are they to the dragon itself?
I'll get into it more later, maybe.
BUT WHO? Was that why Pokey waited three years to do it? HMM
WE ALREADY LOST THE WORLD ONCE, LOSING IT TWICE WOULD JUST MAKE US LOOK STUPID
With how the game's gone so far, I'm not entirely optimistic.
So don't screw this up, we're serious about this.
Lucas just like DDDD:
Ionia said that too! We must be on the same wavelength~
START PUNCHING PEOPLE, GOT IT
Man I hope so cause you look SUPER bored in there
Haha I have never once used this.
BUT HERE'S PROBABLY THE BEST SUMMARY OF THIS ENTIRE SEQUENCE
This'll come in real handy in a second.
TOO MANY MOLDYMEN, BLUGH
I assume voluntarily, but who knows.
WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT
jesus christ fassad wtf happened to you
When I was first playing this, I was pretty annoyed by Fassad as you'd expect, but at this point I started to feel a little bad for him since he doesn't even look human anymore.
Also I forget which form did this, but his original name was Yokuba, and one of his forms was called New Yokuba, which I assumed was a joke on New York, haha. I don't know why I remember that so clearly, whatever.
Anyway Fassad can be a real pain if you're not prepared for him (and considering he pops out of nowhere, who would be?). For the first phase just knock down his shield and pump your defense/offense and lower his.
bwap bwap ow
UGH PK FLASH
Darn it, another memento down.
LET'S SEE WHAT STARSTORM IS LIKE
Aww yeah, now we're talking
Ha, sucker. My crococap is the best.
At this point you'll want to throw up the PSI shield.
ha 13 combo STILL GOT IT
Once you pull down any shields of his GO TO TOWN WITH ALL YOUR HARDEST ATTACKS
DO IT DO IT
Pff whatever I was just going to use my PK power anyway.
drag this out why don't you
Tho if you see him doing this, you're close to the end so keep going!
YES 16 HITS HAHAHA
I AM THE CHAMP
in your face
A little behind, but not by much!
TELL ME ABOUT IT
Man I dunno if I wanted to kill the guy. I feel kinda bad now.
NO COME BACK
Boney immediately starts chasing him around
Could be all the sewer water, hmm
Avocados are delicious! I could totally go for an avocado burger.
That could be a typo but I assume it's intentional, haha.
WHY IS EVERYONE SO INTO HOOKING ME UP IN THIS GAME
Okay now let's go.
YOU SAID IT BUDDY
People in New Pork suddenly got weird.
LIGHTER NOT YOU TOO
At least he was tricked into it, though it makes me wonder how that happened. Also aww he's still worried about Flint. AT LEAST SOMEONE IN THIS TOWN CARES ABOUT HIM
Where IS he anyway?
Sounds about right.
They call came to hear Leder's exciting story.
I hear there are some empty apartments in the sewers.
Yup, sounds about right.
MAN I DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULD DOMESTICATE A CHIMERA
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
OH MAN THE DCMC IS HERE TOO? YESSSSS
Can't it be all those things?
WEREN'T YOU LISTENING
your eyes... who can resist them?
Least some people are having fun, haha.
Heartfelt dramas in two words.
HELP WE CAN'T MOVE
Can't get enough of that guy's sobbing.
What great timing!
Even the pigmasks are zonked out.
HI REGGIE yeah that's pretty typical for me
I guess they just toss em off the side.
Fun trivia: I went flipping through some old Japanese caps, and Nippolyte calls Wes "Wes-jii-sama", while everyone else in town calls him "Wes-jii-san", which is interesting. I guess Nippolyte respects Wes a lot? He just calls Duster son-of-Wes though, haha.
(Kumatora just called Wes "Jii" or "Wes-jii" if I recall)
Hey, aren't you from Dalaam?
I JUST WANTED TO COVER ALL THE BASES, ROPE SNAKE
pay no attention to the odd snake honey
Anyway I'm running out of space so you'll have to stay tuned next time to see where I go next! WILL IT BE TERRIBLE? YOU'LL HAVE TO FIND OUT!