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Old 2013-08-13, 08:33   Link #32761
Renall
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
What it contributes to is, for me, not simply mystery fiction, but a discourse on writing vs. knowing in general. I don't want to say that Ryukishi reached any new philosophical ground, because this has all been said and done by the 90s. But he presented it in an entertaining and engaging way, especially because he didn't give a set answer, even if he decided on it. That would be the point, he knows it, he is the God of his world and can decide how much he imparts on us, but everything else is for us to work with the clues we have.
You're giving him way too much credit. He isn't even remotely that ideologically consistent and the narrative wears those supposed themes more as window dressing and armchair philosophy. He's honestly not narratively consistent, and I'm not going to give your argument a pass and try to twist my brain in knots believing that was somehow the point. I'm almost positive he only vaguely understands what "anti-mystery" and "anti-fantasy" (and also probably "mystery") even mean in the context of his own story and in greater relation to each other (and I'm also fairly confident in describing both as pretentious mental wankery for the modern uncommitted, but that's practically all this thread is for, so...).

Ignore all that nonsense for a moment and look at the Battler/Beatrice contest simply as a relationship between human beings (or witchly beings, whatever): Beatrice has a particular purpose for which she has engaged Battler. To act in a way that is fundamentally inconsistent with this purpose would not benefit her. The people advancing this notion that she can arbitrarily employ red to pare down the reality and that it isn't set until she says it is essentially suggest that there is no ideal reality for each story in her mind. But if that were so, there would be no truth until such time as it is created, meaning Beatrice either never really had one (which would make her a hypocrite, demanding of Battler a realization she herself does not even have for him to find) or that she is fine with whatever truth is collectively constructed by their battle (and she isn't, not even a little bit; see ep4 and ep5). The point I'm trying to make here is that even if such a way of going about things is possible, it's something Beatrice would not have done, as otherwise it ruins her character. And I had about enough of her character being assassinated in Chiru, thanks.

Now, perhaps the argument is that these are reflecting deeper themes about the uncertainty of truth beyond the grade school level realization that it's impossible to know all information. Perhaps the point is that there is a conflict between Battler and Beatrice who believe in the importance of a full Truth versus people like Erika and Bernkastel who just want to know facts and draw whatever conclusion sounds easiest from them. But if these supposed nuances were important to the story, then they should have actually been developed as important aspects of the story. Perhaps the story was building to that originally, but it certainly never got there. The conflict I described could have been the conflict of Twilight, but it really wasn't. For it to have been, it needed a lot more depth than it got. Was that the fault of rushing ep8? Will the manga establish that better? I have no idea, but I know the text as presented and it wasn't that.

I agree that what we got was entertaining, but philosophically it's laughable; it's essentially on par with the guy on a pot binge who suddenly realizes that, like, there's no reason anything has to be true at all, maaaaan. It makes no claim to any meaningful understanding of Truth beyond what it speaks of on a surface level (and perhaps it never meant to, in which case it isn't the author's fault). It can essentially be summed up as "Did you know it's hard to know facts, and that Truth isn't just an aggregation of facts?" Certainly a valid point, but not necessarily a deep one.

If indeed we're arguing it's anything more than that, it fails to support itself. Making a point one refuses to back up or defend is intellectual cowardice. On the other hand, if Ryukishi's purpose was merely to take some ideas he'd heard about and write what he considered to be a fun story blending genres that he enjoyed and hoped others would as well, then I'm not going to lay that charge at his feet. But if that's so (and I suspect that's exactly what it is), we shouldn't take his themes too much deeper than he himself did, as it's questionable whether he knew, cared, or even thought about those themes beyond what he actually advanced. That entire essay about Anti-Mystery and Anti-Fantasy always struck me as about the same level of reflection as a book report. It's a neat idea he didn't entirely grasp but wanted to use as a vague basis for a story about witches battling over truth with truth.

And that's a cool concept! I don't mind so much if that's all it was meant to be. But there's a number of philosophical issues the story merely raised and never actually followed through on. It would certainly have been interesting to see more development of the idea of deception as a moral good, and whether that's actually justifiable (Beatrice seemed to think it was, Battler initially seemed to think it wasn't; then the changed his mind, why?).
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Old 2013-08-13, 16:40   Link #32762
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I've been thinking lately 07 was reading about various fallacies and thought paradoxes that aren't commonly known when he came up with Umineko - tho I'm not suggesting he did an insightful work on them.

The so called "homonculus fallacy" in particular sounds like it rang a bell in 07 about the rules playing themselves, the multiplication of observers constantly creating new meta-levels, behavior vs rules and the endless created by infinite recess.
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Old 2013-08-14, 05:30   Link #32763
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
The problem there is you seem to be saying that Kanon also has a body and/or is a person in ep1-4, then suddenly isn't, because that's how the math works out:
  • EP1-3: X, where X <= 18.
  • EP4: X - Kinzo, where X <= 17.
  • EP5: Y + Erika, where Y = X+1.
  • EP6: 16 + Erika.
Per your theory, X = 17 in the first four games, because for Erika to only increase the person count by one and the number of people to be the same as before with Kanon among them, Erika has to increase that value to 18. But I think you'd agree Kanon didn't have an independent physical body in ep1-4, or at least no evidence exists for this. Otherwise what you seem to be saying is the final red of ep6 eliminated Kanon's body... except it would appear Kanon never actually had one, what with Battler never seeing it after his "deaths."

But if Kanon is a bodiless person, then he still counts regardless (based on what you've said). So he counts in ep6 without respect to whether he has a body or not, just as he did in every previous episode. Plus, Kanon kinda has to exist, because red describes his actions in that episode. Yet if Kanon and Shannon counted separately, then Erika is right and she is the 18th person. And she apparently isn't.

It just seems cleaner to say there were always only 16 "people," and that "people" count in the normal expected sense, but that "characters" can be spoken of in red without violating that number. Thus, Kinzo and Kanon actually are completely identical: Nonexistent persons being spoken of in red but not actually part of the person count. The difference is Kanon is being portrayed by a (usually) living person, so he can actually take actions while alive. Beatrice can describe "the person who is Shannon/Kanon/Beatrice" (who is just one person) as either of Shannon or Kanon at will. Granted, I never liked this tomfoolery, but it is cleaner.
/shrug

I can't really argue with the math, and your argument is sound. But, "Kanon was hiding behind Godha" is just so ... flat on it's face dumb, and contrary to everything about how the scene is presented I just can't go along with it. I also don't feel good eliminating both Shannon and Kanon's individual personhoods, and referring to them as "just characters". Doesn't sit well with me thematically, I mean.

I would rather keep abiding that Kanon had a body in EP5 alone, and any discrepancy in the biody count, before or after, is just Ryukishi stumbling, yet again, over his own somewhat mastubatory narrative contrivances on the matter. So I guess I agree to disagree.

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But if that were so, there would be no truth until such time as it is created, meaning Beatrice either never really had one (which would make her a hypocrite, demanding of Battler a realization she herself does not even have for him to find) or that she is fine with whatever truth is collectively constructed by their battle (and she isn't, not even a little bit; see ep4 and ep5). The point I'm trying to make here is that even if such a way of going about things is possible, it's something Beatrice would not have done, as otherwise it ruins her character. And I had about enough of her character being assassinated in Chiru, thanks.
I don't think anybody's arguing that Beatrice ever engaged in Later Queen solutions. At most, maybe she teased that she would, but as you say, she clearly, clearly had an intended puzzle/narrative layout, and stuck to it. EP6 is more or less Ryukishi trying to directly comment on the idea of what that would mean for a writer or a reader, in his way. Featherine is, after all, pretty much Ryu in a nice dress, and that's the EP where she gives most of her "being a writer is such a toughie sometimes" schtick.

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And that's a cool concept! I don't mind so much if that's all it was meant to be. But there's a number of philosophical issues the story merely raised and never actually followed through on. It would certainly have been interesting to see more development of the idea of deception as a moral good, and whether that's actually justifiable (Beatrice seemed to think it was, Battler initially seemed to think it wasn't; then the changed his mind, why?).
Welp, a lot of the themes in Umineko seemed to be him reflecting on the experience of writing Higurashi. There's a new WTC confirmed for when RGD is finished, so ... maybe later he'll have a better handle on these things.
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Old 2013-08-14, 07:01   Link #32764
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And that's a cool concept! I don't mind so much if that's all it was meant to be. But there's a number of philosophical issues the story merely raised and never actually followed through on. It would certainly have been interesting to see more development of the idea of deception as a moral good, and whether that's actually justifiable (Beatrice seemed to think it was, Battler initially seemed to think it wasn't; then the changed his mind, why?).
Well, we did kind of get a little coverage of this, but it was certainly undeveloped. I can definitely see that Ryukishi was at least trying to show Battler starting to change his understanding of this issue throughout EP5. The first part where Battler starts to seriously question whether 'magic' is inherently evil is the scene where Bern destroys Natsuhi's illusion, and then the later talk with Dlanor about magic gives him further reason to question his view of the issue. But I would agree that the limited development he gets isn't really sufficient to justify the radical change in EP8. (It doesn't help that we never really get to fully understand exactly what kind of understanding Battler did reach from the 'And then...I...knew' scene.) That might be justifiable if BATTLER in EP8 is supposed to represent some part of Ange rather than BATTLER himself, though, which would make a lot of sense.

I feel like EP8 is really disconnected from the rest of the series as a whole, and a lot of that can be put down to how the whole thing seems to describe an internal struggle of Ange's that doesn't really have any connection to the meta-narrative of the rest of the series, yet still uses characters from that same meta-narrative to display its points. I do think that was really kind of awkwardly done, and it does bug me how the tone of EP8 is such a departure from everything before it. Part of me would honestly have been happy if the series had ended after the main part of EP7, since its final chapter really is a beautiful scene to end on. I do like a lot of EP8 though, especially the parts with Tohya (even though that whole thing deserved to be covered in a lot more detail than it was).

I mean, it isn't just BATTLER in EP8 who seems to be strangely disconnected from his previous portrayal; Beatrice being there is also weird since she was supposed to have been put to rest at the start of EP7. And Dlanor's viewpoint seems to have undergone a radical change for no particular reason as well. In EP5, she said "Magic that hides the result in darkness is EVIL. I will not permit IT. However, magic that governs the process is not necessarily EVIL." But in EP8 she seems to be fighting on the side that wants to 'hide the result in darkness' without any problem, and also seems to suddenly completely hate Erika even though they seemed to have reached some sort of an understanding at the end of EP6. Renall has already gone into how Erika herself seems to have reversed all her EP6 development in EP8 too, and we've talked lots of times about Ange seeming to have lost all her EP4 development. So yeah, I really do find it hard to connect EP8 to the rest of the series properly. I sort of like it as a stand-alone, but it just doesn't seem to fit somehow.
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Old 2013-08-14, 08:13   Link #32765
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Originally Posted by Kealym View Post
I can't really argue with the math, and your argument is sound. But, "Kanon was hiding behind Godha" is just so ... flat on it's face dumb, and contrary to everything about how the scene is presented I just can't go along with it. I also don't feel good eliminating both Shannon and Kanon's individual personhoods, and referring to them as "just characters". Doesn't sit well with me thematically, I mean.
Well, they are just characters; that's why they can only be human in the Golden Land where there is no such distinction (although there's it's more that everyone is like them than that they are human). Honestly the Golden Land is kind of disturbing to me on many levels...
  • What does everybody do when they get bored of having self-congratulatory parties?
  • How does George fulfill his ambition to have a family with Shannon if they're eternally the same age? What if Kanon and Jessica break up after actually getting to spend some time together?
  • Can anyone have more kids? Can Rosa get laid? With whom?
  • Can Maria grow up? What if Rosa doesn't want her to?
  • What if the happiness one person wants is different from what somebody else wants?
  • Does Gohda have to spend eternity at his job? Does he never want any time off?
  • Will Ange go there when she dies or will she have her own Heaven-esque thing considering that was only a small part of her life and she established a bunch of other bonds with people over hers? This is actually something of a non-joke question because the answer is kind of thematically important.
  • Does Battler go there but Tohya goes to his wife/kidnapper/witch dominatrix/writing partner's eternal sex dungeon when he dies?
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I would rather keep abiding that Kanon had a body in EP5 alone, and any discrepancy in the biody count, before or after, is just Ryukishi stumbling, yet again, over his own somewhat mastubatory narrative contrivances on the matter. So I guess I agree to disagree.
Couldn't we also argue that Kanon being there is just a giant boneheaded contrivance or mistake? Yes, the manga still also shows it, but that doesn't make it not a mistake, just a non-corrected mistake.

The other possibility is that Ryukishi earnestly believes that if there's no reliable/detective perspective, literally anything can be shown and it's not unfair to Erika, hence why she can have Kanon in the room in front of her piece's eyes and not complain about this later, or why she can separate everyone into two rooms in ep6 and somehow not notice Kanon isn't where she intended him to be.
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Old 2013-08-14, 08:30   Link #32766
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On reread, Ep 1 manga realllllyyyyy spells out how suicidal getting to the golden land is for Beatrice "rest in eternal sleep" and all.

Also, Beatrice was a soft author, because she essentially always had the power in red to proclaim that "Beatrice did X". Apart from the fact that Beatrice was definitively non-human, she was constructed in much the same way as Shannon or Kanon. As Ronove said, it would break the game, but you could easily have said. "Beatrice killed Dr Nanjo" in red.




Plus, I think all those points you raise about the Golden Land are points I've always wondered about heaven in general. The conclusion to draw is that if a state of eternal happiness exists, it can't be that concrete. It would just have to be eternal happiness, otherwise what happens if you die and 30 years later your wife dies? Same issues.

Also note: Someone needs to always be on the outside door of the golden land, because if you don't stay alive to tell people that everyone in it is happy, the golden land doesn't exist. Proof for Battler/Yasu surviving maybe?
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Old 2013-08-14, 08:53   Link #32767
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Also, after reading the ep 5 trial again, I have noted two things.

1. Considering Ryu initially intended there to be an affair between Natsuhi and Ghoda, he must have felt funny writing that sequence

2. Lambda tells Battler after using the Gold Truth that to speak more would be dangerous, and that the "thing" he is thinking does not contradict reds in THIS TRIAL. Based on that, I wonder if he was guaranteeing Kinzos corpse with the idea that he killed Kinzo himself (though this would not require a gold truth and would somewhat reduce the special that goes along with its vague nature). It would however fit with Lamda saying in white that only the gamemaster can use gold, which is untrue and just said (unless Ryu just later backpeddled) to allow him to reverse the verdict of the trial...

Here's hoping ep 8 provides some clarity
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Old 2013-08-14, 10:04   Link #32768
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Also, Beatrice was a soft author, because she essentially always had the power in red to proclaim that "Beatrice did X". Apart from the fact that Beatrice was definitively non-human, she was constructed in much the same way as Shannon or Kanon. As Ronove said, it would break the game, but you could easily have said. "Beatrice killed Dr Nanjo" in red.
She could have, but that's basically mate for her; at that point Battler just has to say by Eva-BEATRICE's admission, Beatrice is a human and not a witch and then she's kinda stuck, because Eva-B said a human, with their feet on the ground, held up a weapon and killed with it!.
Quote:
Plus, I think all those points you raise about the Golden Land are points I've always wondered about heaven in general. The conclusion to draw is that if a state of eternal happiness exists, it can't be that concrete. It would just have to be eternal happiness, otherwise what happens if you die and 30 years later your wife dies? Same issues.

Also note: Someone needs to always be on the outside door of the golden land, because if you don't stay alive to tell people that everyone in it is happy, the golden land doesn't exist. Proof for Battler/Yasu surviving maybe?
Battler didn't survive though. At least per the story, he didn't "survive" to a point that he couldn't be declared dead. Tohya isn't Battler to sufficient satisfaction to probably constitute being him, even if he is somewhat aware of Battler's memories. To him, Battler's family is basically someone else's family, just a family he knows fairly well. His family is the crazy lady he works with who he is totally banging, because seriously now.

Anyway I don't think we're meant to read too closely into how the Golden Land actually functions, but damn it, I have to. We'll just pretend it's that thing from Star Trek: Generations or something. It doesn't make a lot of sense as an existing meta-construct, especially since Forgeries still can or do happen and presumably everybody has to reprise their roles in all those Fragments. Or is that a different them? Battler and Erika acted like it both was and wasn't them who would meet again, and the story says they didn't even though they surely will in Forgeries. It's confusing.
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Old 2013-08-14, 13:47   Link #32769
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Beatrice has said the Golden Land was eternal. Just to metaphysical fanwank, I'd suggest observers in eternity and the physical world view the passage of their own time as constant, observers in eternity view the passage of time in the physical world as fixed, and to those in physical time the passage of eternity is too instantaneous to observe. Sea of Fragments would have to have at least these temporal properties in order to exist.

So Battler and anyone else entering the Golden Land don't have to survive in order to live forever.
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Old 2013-08-14, 15:37   Link #32770
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About "only the GM can use golden truth":

Lambda was most likely just saying that, while saying something in gold is possible for anyone, only the GM's golden truth is valid in a logic battle on the gameboard.
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Old 2013-08-14, 16:12   Link #32771
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Honestly I'm not sure we know. I'm not sure Ryukishi knew. I'm not sure how this particular gold conforms to the way gold is later used in the story and how it's discussed (although in the ep6 discussion between Erika and Dlanor, neither of them appears to know how it works).

I mean, what is Battler saying exactly and how does it win the argument? Is he saying he believes the body is Kinzo's? Is he saying people agree the body is Kinzo's? How do either of those things defeat Erika's theory in a way saying Natsuhi didn't do it or Kinzo is dead in red don't? Because he can't say "Kinzo is dead" (which is essentially what the gold is end-running around in this case, proving Erika's theory false by making Kinzo incapable of doing what she proposed he did). He isn't allowed to. So how exactly does "well, I can get everybody to agree that he's dead" any better as an argument? And isn't Erika entitled to know what gold truth actually is before everybody just declares it effective and Battler the winner?

I hate to say this after she sleazed her way to that point, but I think Erika got shafted there. The ep6 discussion makes clear she has no idea why she lost, which seems completely unfair to her... to say nothing of completely unfair to the audience, because we don't exactly know why she lost either.
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Old 2013-08-14, 16:20   Link #32772
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Honestly I'm not sure we know. I'm not sure Ryukishi knew. I'm not sure how this particular gold conforms to the way gold is later used in the story and how it's discussed (although in the ep6 discussion between Erika and Dlanor, neither of them appears to know how it works).

I mean, what is Battler saying exactly and how does it win the argument? Is he saying he believes the body is Kinzo's? Is he saying people agree the body is Kinzo's? How do either of those things defeat Erika's theory in a way saying Natsuhi didn't do it or Kinzo is dead in red don't? Because he can't say "Kinzo is dead" (which is essentially what the gold is end-running around in this case, proving Erika's theory false by making Kinzo incapable of doing what she proposed he did). He isn't allowed to. So how exactly does "well, I can get everybody to agree that he's dead" any better as an argument? And isn't Erika entitled to know what gold truth actually is before everybody just declares it effective and Battler the winner?

I hate to say this after she sleazed her way to that point, but I think Erika got shafted there. The ep6 discussion makes clear she has no idea why she lost, which seems completely unfair to her... to say nothing of completely unfair to the audience, because we don't exactly know why she lost either.
In this case though, you should ask: Why can Dlanor refuse Battler's red about Kinzo being dead?.
All of a sudden the game master has to give proof. Battler said the exact same thing when red truth was introduced in EP2 but there it was handwaved by Beato as "I don't need proof! Red is simply truth!"... but now for some reason that does not work anymore?
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Old 2013-08-14, 19:57   Link #32773
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It was because of Knox's 2nd. Unlike gold, red is "witch truth" therefore it's of supernatural origin.
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:36   Link #32774
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It was because of Knox's 2nd. Unlike gold, red is "witch truth" therefore it's of supernatural origin.
You could use that argument for ANYTHING. There is absolutely no reason why for this one specific case "witches truth" is invilid, but for other cases it is valid.
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:46   Link #32775
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You could use that argument for ANYTHING. There is absolutely no reason why for this one specific case "witches truth" is invilid, but for other cases it is valid.
At that point in the game, he hadn't yet shown that he qualified as a witch. Human players can't use red without the GM's permission.
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:50   Link #32776
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At that point in the game, he hadn't yet shown that he qualified as a witch. Human players can't use red without the GM's permission.
He was aknowledged as the game master by Lambdadelta, also why was specifically Kinzo's body targeted by Dlanor and not, say, the red about the cousins' "corpses" not being moved?

And if I remember correctly, when Lambda aknowledged Battler, Erika got very angry that he could use red truth now.

Also Dlanors comment "for this case alone I cannot aknowledge the red", or something like that. Why?
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:52   Link #32777
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It was because at that point he was making a human-side argument, just one that was different to Erika's. He still used a human culprit without magic after all, he didn't switch to witch side fully until game 6.

Oh Erika definitely got shafted, Lambda basically orchestrated the thing, she recommended Battler so that he could appeal, and claimed the gold made him automatic GM, and THEN told him to basically shut up so she could quickly declare the retrial in his favour. That bit I quoted before makes it quite clear they are basically rushing things so that Erika doesn't pick up on what Battler is doing, just like Battler initially did to Eva when she first started.
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:55   Link #32778
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The bodies not being moved wasn't an important point to his argument, it stood without that fact potentially. He was just doing it to abuse Erika.
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Old 2013-08-14, 20:56   Link #32779
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It was because at that point he was making a human-side argument, just one that was different to Erika's. He still used a human culprit without magic after all, he didn't switch to witch side fully until game 6.

Oh Erika definitely got shafted, Lambda basically orchestrated the thing, she recommended Battler so that he could appeal, and claimed the gold made him automatic GM, and THEN told him to basically shut up so she could quickly declare the retrial in his favour. That bit I quoted before makes it quite clear they are basically rushing things so that Erika doesn't pick up on what Battler is doing, just like Battler initially did to Eva when she first started.
Kinzo being dead had nothing to do with Battler's theory though. It was about denying Erika's theory with Kinzo carrying the corpses.
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Old 2013-08-14, 21:18   Link #32780
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Good point, the only (somewhat desperate) answer I have to that is that he was throwing a human side move into her theory. The way Erika treated it was basically that he was trying to force her detective skills to make a deduction, like showing her piece the corpse in-game and trying to force her to acknowledge it. The only reason he can't just throw the red at her (since he can now make them), is I suppose because he is still trying to force a human solution, even if he has reds now.

It is also just possible that Ryu needed a reason to wheel out the gold...
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