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Old 2010-04-08, 23:45   Link #7801
Oliver
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Originally Posted by DaBackpack View Post
Battler is more intelligent than me, so maybe I'm missing something here.
I wouldn't count on it. After all, it has been said in red that Battler is incompetent!

While it is plainly obvious the mystery is intended to be solvable, and the scene in Ep5 is meant to show to us the moment when Battler himself does, it does not necessarily mean that the author correctly judged his audience and actually did make the mystery solvable. After all, the state of 'solvability' is not only intellect-dependent but also culturally-dependent, we may simply not possess the information the author takes for granted because he comes from a given culture, or, he may simply assume that all of his readers know or consider obvious something that is actually obvious only to him. Or he may have assumed as obvious something that is actually wrong according to everyone else's experience!

There is basically no way to know for sure unless we stumble on something that looks like The Answer™ that does allow us to unravel the rest of the scarf. What everyone is mostly doing is looking for suitable locations to cut the thread at, not pulling at ones that stick out, figuratively speaking -- miles of discussions on the proper interpretation of red and semantic trickery may lead to it but are definitely not 'it'.

Seeing as how the Japanese fanbase have not arrived at anything that looks like a consensus yet either, (or we'd know by now) whatever it is may not actually be culturally dependent, but as a proverb goes, "Searching for a black cat in a dark room is very hard, especially if the cat isn't there." What we know is that the author wanted the cat to be there.

The bloody thing could have ran away.

The entire body of author commentary gives us a way to define certain characteristics The Answer™ so we know what we should actually look for:
  • The Answer™ is a theory that has predictive power. In particular, given the list of the first twilight victims, it should allow us to correctly call the order of subsequent murders, if not their particular methods. I.e. it does not just explain how any given episode happened, but defines how all episodes should happen given certain starting conditions.
  • Knowing The Answer™ gives Battler the power of the Game Master -- he now has enough information to say what happens next, which is what allows him to run the game by guiding the Detective with red statements. Mind you, we may not have quite as much information as Battler does, but knowing The Answer™, we should have enough to follow his major actions, i.e. murder order, or know enough to construct a set of starting conditions that will prevent murders altogether.
  • We've been mostly led to believe that these starting conditions are what happens before the midnight on the first day, i.e. before first twilight murders occur. Erika's appearance in Ep5 is a random factor that still should affect the theory in a predictable way or not a factor at all. This is why Ep5 and Ep6 never ran to completion on the game board.
  • The whole thing is in some way connected to "Battler's Sin", whatever that really is.

Not really that much to go on by itself, but here's my take on the characteristics of The Answer™ that I think follow from those:

It has been long suggested that there are at least two, possibly more, factions, which commit different murders, and I suppose this is correct, but in the 'possibly more' kind of way. Someone kicks it off as soon as the starting trigger condition occurs, and the ball starts rolling, one murder excuses further murders as everyone starts snapping. I very much suspect that in the end, there is no single 'culprit' at all, nor a single 'mastermind', and Battler is literally the only character who doesn't have any blood on his hands directly. As compensation, he is the one who is responsible for all of it by somehow creating the situation where the entire chain of murders is inevitable. This much has even been said in red.

The real question is how something that a 12-year old kid could possibly do could cause a cascade like this in six years. Text seems to hint at a broken promise, especially heavily leaning towards a broken promise to Shannon in particular, however, the obvious interpretation of this results in Shannon becoming a singular mastermind or similar, which I think is not the case -- not because she couldn't kill anyone, but because she couldn't kill everyone, no matter the help, posthumous or not. Assuming that murders after the First Twilight occur 'in response' to the first batch doesn't work very well either, in my opinion -- it appears to me that they occur because once the first mass murder happened, they are now permitted. Why must one person be responsible for killing 13 people if they can all share the workload.

There's also some things I don't see discussed much which I suspect may be related:
  • In the beginning of Ep2, Genji says to Kinzo: "I guess these six years went by in a blink of an eye to you since you began immersing yourself in your research in this room..." -- could this be meant to say that the 'six years ago' moment is actually also the time when Kinzo immersed himself in research completely?
  • Assuming that there really were 20 boxes of cash in the bank vault, it is unlikely that the source of them is the hidden gold. Not only that would constitute 10% or more of all the gold, (I don't think it was counted in Ep5, but I believe it was mentioned it was all there.) the problem is that this gold would weigh a metric ton. It'd be tricky to transport more than one or two 10kg gold bars secretly, which would require at least 50 trips to the gold hiding place and then off the island. The only character who makes those daily is Jessica, and still it would involve a high chance of getting discovered. Any accomplices would mean revealing the secret of the gold's hiding place. Whoever sent the keys either has an independent source of money, or spent something like a year preparing that delivery suffering constant risk.
  • Incidentally, in Ep2, Rudolf says, "If the witch would treat us with 10% of those ten tons..." Rosa also mentions 10%: "Well, if I get even 10%, that'd be as much as I could handle."
  • In Ep4, when Battler challenges Beatrice to repeat in red that if he had not come back, the murders would not have occurred, she refuses and leaves him hanging. However, in Ep5, he says 'At that time, I'm sure she even went so far as to say that the crime wouldn't have occurred if I hadn't come.' So which is it?

Mind you, I have nothing even close to a coherent or partial theory. I'm just pretty sure that nothing I have read to date in the thread is The Answer™, though many of the things look plausible, amusing or interesting.

P.S. If you ask me, the most suspicious character is Maria, particularly because she can't actually execute almost any of the murdering, staking, or corpse-dragging activities herself. At the same time, the entire metaphorical side of the story, the 'magic world', is so tightly connected to Maria's worldview and 'psychic reality', so to speak, that it's as if like hers is the reliable perspective and everyone else's is only her deduction.
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Old 2010-04-09, 00:20   Link #7802
chronotrig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judoh View Post
The murders don't stop after the epitaph is solved. In fact Ryukishi said if you know "the answer" you should be able to figure out what happens after Hideyoshi dies. In other words the murders still happen.
However, the pattern of the murders changes drastically when the epitaph is solved, and they stop following the epitaph as closely. Especially in EP5, where the killer seems to have ignored the epitaph entirely (assuming that the fake murders were planned by Battler).

Also, Ryuukishi never said that people will start dying one by one again after Hideyoshi's death. That might or might not be the case.
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Old 2010-04-09, 00:38   Link #7803
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He said you could figure out what happens, not necessarily that anyone would be killed, how, whether it would follow the epitaph, or whether you'd be able to correctly guess the exact order in which people are murdered. Those details may not be as important as we think they are to figuring out "what happens."

And he could just be referring to the midnight incident. At this point, I think just about everyone would agree that something happens to kill those who remain at that time, so if ryukishi were to say we could all guess that the event would happen at the end of ep5, I don't think he'd be at all wrong, as most everyone does think that.

Also ep3 follows the epitaph pretty closely, even though it was solved. We still have the gougings in their proper places. The MO of the killings changes entirely, but the stakings remain consistent. And in ep5, if you believe Hideyoshi was really murdered, then what of the stake that was allegedly used on him? Sounds like somebody was trying to follow the epitaph, even though the stakes are technically optional for the Second Twilight. I doubt a stake would be the only weapon a killer would have available to take out Hideyoshi, given other episodes.
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Old 2010-04-09, 00:50   Link #7804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Mind you, I have nothing even close to a coherent or partial theory. I'm just pretty sure that nothing I have read to date in the thread is The Answer™, though many of the things look plausible, amusing or interesting.
I haven't as well. Most of the theories here, mine included, seem to be incomplete or nearly one-culprit based. Kyrie, George, Shannon, Shkannon, etc. It feels like I'm watching the A or B endings to Clue when we all kinda are guessing it's the C ending we should be looking for. 8) (Not that Clue was a solvable murder mystery...)

I'm guessing a multi-culprit theory is very hard to put together... Especially now that in EP5 we've been shown that not all schemers are commiting murders (Natsuhi, Kumasawa, Genji, Nanjo, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
P.S. If you ask me, the most suspicious character is Maria, particularly because she can't actually execute almost any of the murdering, staking, or corpse-dragging activities herself. At the same time, the entire metaphorical side of the story, the 'magic world', is so tightly connected to Maria's worldview and 'psychic reality', so to speak, that it's as if like hers is the reliable perspective and everyone else's is only her deduction.
Actually, I was compiling a list of liars noting just how many people lied so far and something Lyrical or Judoh said made me give pause on putting Maria down as a liar. In the technical sense, yes she is lying about seeing magic but there exists the possibility that she believes she is telling the truth. In other words when she is seeing magic, someone right beside her is manipulating the events to make it appear so. For example in EP6 when she claims she put the candy in the cup with magic, Erika accuses her of using a sleight-of-hand trick. What if she really didn't, but it wasn't magic? If that's the case then someone else did it for her. George or Jessica comes to mind.

So if this theory is true then Maria is like the opposite to Battler. Her perspective will always show who is producing the 'magic' for her to see. In that way she is like the Black King to Battler's White King...

So I'm hoping someone will add some more details on what Maria has seen through EP1-6 and to see if some suspicious person appears... 8)
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:01   Link #7805
ijriims
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I wondered if Kanon's full name is Yoshiya Kinzo, while Shannon's full name is Sayo Kinzo.

--------------------------------

Single-culprit, or one-mastermind theory Kylon99 you were saying?

I never saw a single-culprit theory so far...

I guessed it was obvously that killings were not done by one single person, some murders may be done because some initially innocent people wrongly believed that some other people were responsible for the murders and took revenge (like EP3). But the staking, letters-in-the-bottle, money-in-the-safe were hints to a killing intent behind Umineko.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:07   Link #7806
Marion
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
And in ep5, if you believe Hideyoshi was really murdered, then what of the stake that was allegedly used on him? Sounds like somebody was trying to follow the epitaph, even though the stakes are technically optional for the Second Twilight. I doubt a stake would be the only weapon a killer would have available to take out Hideyoshi, given other episodes.
According to the trial, Lucifer said that she staked Hideyoshi on the 2nd twilight.

Which of course completely breaks the patter of using Beelzebub on him.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:07   Link #7807
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
So if this theory is true then Maria is like the opposite to Battler. Her perspective will always show who is producing the 'magic' for her to see. In that way she is like the Black King to Battler's White King...
Well, it's definitely not a Queen's crown on her head:

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Old 2010-04-09, 01:12   Link #7808
ijriims
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Ryu07 said that for someone who would never think of revenging for a family member, a fiction using it as a motive would be incomprehensible to that person.

I believe the killing motive behind Umineko is a judgment over Ushiromiya family, which will be incomprehensible to certain people.
-----------

Obvously, Maria is the black queen and Beatrice as black queen or sometimes black pawn, black knight, black bishop. Battler is the white king. But who is white queen?
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:19   Link #7809
LyricalAura
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Originally Posted by ijriims View Post
I wondered if Kanon's full name is Yoshiya Kinzo, while Shannon's full name is Sayo Kinzo.
This would probably be difficult to justify, since there's been no hint that "Kinzo" is anything other than a given name. However, "Ushiromiya Sayo" and "Ushiromiya Kinzo" would be possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ijriims
Single-culprit, or one-mastermind theory Kylon99 you were saying?

I never saw a single-culprit theory so far...

I guessed it was obvously that killings were not done by one single person, some murders may be done because some initially innocent people wrongly believed that some other people were responsible for the murders and took revenge (like EP3). But the staking, letters-in-the-bottle, money-in-the-safe were hint to a killing intent behind Umineko.
I'm really not sure about the stakings at all. One of the interesting things about them is that since we've seen several of them be fully pulled out of corpses and Battler has handled some of them, we can be relatively sure that they are solid metal and don't have any tricks. So when we see a stake jammed into a corpse, it's like somebody's saying "Don't worry, this person really is dead. They're not faking it."

So I've been wondering lately if someone had this sort of thought process: "We had a plan to fake some deaths, and then people really did get murdered. The murderer might try to take advantage of our plan to fake his own death, so we should make sure all the corpses we find really are corpses. That way we won't have to suspect them."
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:20   Link #7810
Oliver
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Originally Posted by ijriims View Post
Obvously, Maria is the black queen and Beatrice as black queen or sometimes black pawn, black knight, black bishop. Battler is the white king. But who is white queen?
Not quite so 'obviously', you see. The image I posted above is the standard print symbol for a black king.

And it's curve for curve on Maria's head for some reason.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:20   Link #7811
Marion
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Originally Posted by ijriims View Post
Obvously, Maria is the black queen and Beatrice as black queen or sometimes black pawn, black knight, black bishop. Battler is the white king. But who is white queen?
For some reason I'm inclined to think it's Kyrie. But that's probably just because of the creepy cross on her tie - only her, Battler and Maria have one after all.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:30   Link #7812
ijriims
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Not quite so 'obviously', you see. The image I posted above is the standard print symbol for a black king.

And it's curve for curve on Maria's head for some reason.
It is obvous in the sense that king is to be protected, and the most powerless (at least before the endgame phrase)

Maria was probably protected by all fantasy characters, but she have the potential to be a very powerful witch when she grows up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
For some reason I'm inclined to think it's Kyrie. But that's probably just because of the creepy cross on her tie - only her, Battler and Maria have one after all.
Don't forget Amakusa.

----------------------------------------------

One thing I want to raise:

I believe it is possible for anyone (female or not) to give the letter to Maria, as long as they claimed to be Beatrice (possessed) and behave according to how Maria thought she had to behave.

Because in Ep3, when Eva-Beatrice came out and said she was Beatrice, Maria just happily said that it was Beatrice and urged Rosa to see her. Of course after being tortured by this "Beatrice", she realized it was not the Beatrice she knew.

Therefore, it was possible even for Nanjo, Kanon to give the letter to Maria, as long as they knew how Beatrice was to imposed.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:32   Link #7813
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Originally Posted by ijriims View Post
Single-culprit, or one-mastermind theory Kylon99 you were saying?

I never saw a single-culprit theory so far...

I guessed it was obvously that killings were not done by one single person, some murders may be done because some initially innocent people wrongly believed that some other people were responsible for the murders and took revenge (like EP3). But the staking, letters-in-the-bottle, money-in-the-safe were hints to a killing intent behind Umineko.
Just incomplete single-culprit theories, assuming that they didn't have more ideas which they might have. As for the mastermind, it would most likely be one or two people responsible and from then on there are multiple killings for or against the plan, I guess. EP3 shows us that Eva IS willing to kill Battler at least even if we doubt that she's responsible for all the other murders.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:40   Link #7814
Oliver
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Originally Posted by ijriims View Post
Maria was probably protected by all fantasy characters, but she have the potential to be a very powerful witch when she grows up.
Unfortunately, if the metaphor is followed in this manner, it does not hold for very long:

Piece-Battler's role is the representative of the human side, which is why he dies last, why he doesn't do much other than observe and cry, and why we normally think of him as the white king. With his defeat the game ends.

If Maria is the black king, she is similarly the viewport for the witch side player, who doesn't do much, because her role is to observe, cry (Uuu!) and provide a magical viewpoint. So why doesn't the game end when she dies?

Oh, and there's more than one Beatrice in the first place. Meta-Beatrice is the player for the witch side, and as such is off the board. Piece-Beatrice would have to be the black queen, whichever character ends up being one.
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Old 2010-04-09, 01:46   Link #7815
Marion
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Well the interesting thing is that as soon as the epitaph is solved then Maria dies. So if Maria is the black king then solving the epitaph could be the equivalent of a checkmate.

Although two out of the three times she wasn't actually dead when discovered.
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Old 2010-04-09, 02:35   Link #7816
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If the epitaph is revealed to be a "childish" puzzle leading to hidden gold, as Eva insinuates when she finally solves it, then it is clearly not a magical murder ritual, and everyone would know this.

So in the sense that the epitaph is the weapon of the witch side, solving it and proving it's not magical at all is essentially checkmate against black.

The killings just happen not to stop. Guess one of the killers isn't playing chess...
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Old 2010-04-09, 02:40   Link #7817
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If the epitaph is revealed to be a "childish" puzzle leading to hidden gold, as Eva insinuates when she finally solves it, then it is clearly not a magical murder ritual, and everyone would know this.

So in the sense that the epitaph is the weapon of the witch side, solving it and proving it's not magical at all is essentially checkmate against black.

The killings just happen not to stop. Guess one of the killers isn't playing chess...
This, the first twilight fakery, trying to scare Battler and so on, leads me to believe that the Beatrice faction (essentially the servants, most likely headed by Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo) was betrayed by a murderer in their midst... leading to things like getting Kanon to fake his death so that he can 'hunt the murderer down.'

By the way, if that is true, he probably concluded Nanjo was the murderer and killed him in EP2. But that was yet another mistake, like how Eva believed Battler was dangerous since he was the only one left or something... Unless his orders were to silence Nanjo since he knew too much... aughh.. it's tough to decide who is being malicious and who is being honest (but still killing people...)


The real culprit or mastermind probably set his/her plan in motion and didn't really need to kill very many more than maybe the first twilight 6 to get everyone into killing sprees then... geez.
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Old 2010-04-09, 09:06   Link #7818
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
This, the first twilight fakery, trying to scare Battler and so on, leads me to believe that the Beatrice faction (essentially the servants, most likely headed by Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo) was betrayed by a murderer in their midst... leading to things like getting Kanon to fake his death so that he can 'hunt the murderer down.'
It just occurred to me:

The first "Beatrice letter" promises that "Everything will be returned including the part already collected." upon solving the epitaph. That is only possible if the first twilight victims are not supposed to actually be dead in the first place and Beatrice keeps her promises and should at least set up to keep this one.

But it does not make sense if the adult parents (as the usual victims) are playing the dead willingly, i.e. are bribed or coerced, as they are the most actively discussing the letter, looking for Beatrice's real identity, and otherwise disbelieving. Perfect exemplary victims for a showoff 'murder' - very bad supporters for the illusion which is so important that it must not be broken.

Therefore, to play dead for extended periods of time, they all have to be sedated or otherwise knocked out chemically, and it's not like it hasn't been hinted at with Rosa looking at her empty bottle of child sedatives like it was supposed to be full. It is definitely not optional, since otherwise, "Magic-Beatrice" takes on an unacceptable amount of risk by relying on the acting abilities of unwilling participants.
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Old 2010-04-09, 14:27   Link #7819
DaBackpack
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Ah yes, I see.

Perhaps the term "culprit" I used was not the best choice of words.

I'm guessing "mastermind" is better.

After all,
Spoiler for Higurashi:


Now, I'm just throwing something out there (I really don't know if this is the case or not, but it's a scenario I've never seen anyone talk about):

What if Kinzo is the mastermind?

Even though he is dead, we cannot remove him from suspicion.

Perhaps Kinzo told his servants to commit the murders.

Maybe not even his servants; what if he told Eva or Rosa that they could become the next family head if certain people died?

Or maybe it's something we don't know about?

We know that our Battler (not the REAL one, as described in Episode 4) had some strange circumstances regarding his birth.

Although it is not stated in the Red, it is said that the second Battler was used... as part of of a conspiracy to steal the inheritance.

We also know that Battler did was not Asumu's son, but he is still Kinzo's grandson.

We also know that Battler has a sin.

For these reasons, I think that Battler is a key part of why everything happens.

So, maybe either Battler or Kinzo is responsible for the deaths.

Now, I realize that there is no evidence to support these theories.

However, as described in the novel itself, it is harmful to think the same way the entire time.

Since we do not have access to the world of Rokkenjima like Battler does, all we can do is theorize.

By making tons and tons of theories, though, we can come closer to our final answer.

So instead of thinking in terms of "what happens to change the outcome," it might be a good idea to think of "what already happened to cause the situation in the first place."

That might get us somewhere, I think.
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Old 2010-04-09, 14:30   Link #7820
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There are actually tons of hints for your theory. The servants only master is Kinzo, but they still have to follow the orders of anyone who wears the one winged eagle. Any of the family members besides Kinzo can order the servants when he is not there and they can order them to do anything they want.

I also have an assumption that the head can order the family members because of his rank.
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