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Old 2010-04-10, 08:17   Link #7861
Oliver
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Possibly. It's just this:

The island is volcanic rock, right? That means that digging the foundation may legitimately involve explosives...
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Old 2010-04-10, 08:27   Link #7862
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All Izu islands are volcanic so Rokkenjima should be no different. But as for digging foundations with explosives... that's something I've never heard off, maybe? Is it something you speculate or you know it is done?

Anyway explosives are often used to make tunnels, and we know tunnels exist in Rokkenjima. The question is why there should still be some explosive left? And how they determined it was a mere incident considering so many people died?
Usually when a bomb sets off by chance it doesn't kill the whole population of an island, it's definitely suspicious, unless it's a very huge explosion. But for that you'd need to have a lot of explosive.
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Old 2010-04-10, 09:34   Link #7863
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
All Izu islands are volcanic so Rokkenjima should be no different. But as for digging foundations with explosives... that's something I've never heard off, maybe? Is it something you speculate or you know it is done?
I do speculate, but googling around suggests this method does indeed exist and is "necessary in all but the weakest rocks such as weathered mudstones, chalk and shales". Whether the method is permitted in this particular case can only be determined with certainty if we look up the Japanese construction codes for the period, which is not easy.

The foundation does need to be rather deep though, because it's a quake area, and so base-isolating foundations would have to be used.

When possible, I expect jackhammers would be used for solid rock instead, but on a small island there may well be issues with doing that.

P.S. That's merely the most recent time any explosives at all could have ended up at Rokkenjima for a legitimate reason of any kind. I'm not sure how it could be reconciled with the fact that we know all the buildings apart from Kuwadorian were destroyed, because yes, a bomb would need to wipe all those out to fit the other constraints.

But this construction work is otherwise fishy - it's also the perfect moment to calculate a potential landslide, which would need far less explosives, that could be secreted away or even installed during the construction. Also, didn't Krauss plan to turn the island into a resort? That involves clearing out a lot more land and digging more foundations, for which explosives could well have been stocked and abandoned when the guesthouse construction was completed because Krauss postponed further development due to lack of funds. Then, the supply blowing up could be an 'accident'.

Last edited by Oliver; 2010-04-10 at 09:47.
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Old 2010-04-10, 10:58   Link #7864
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Lots of fresh points here.
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
That's the biggest hole in this scenario. The easiest way to plug it is that if the bomb is a boiler explosion, it may need to simmer for quite a while before it can blow up at all. Alternatively, if the 'accident' is a landslide, preparing it may take most of the first day before the first twilight murders occur. (And then it just isn't that easy to stop.)
We could also fall back on the possibility that it was set for an unrelated reason and only becomes a killing event because of the storm. Remember, everyone was supposed to leave the island the morning of the 5th. In theory, nobody should have remained in the mansion but Krauss's family and the servants on duty.

We also have to consider the whole idea of the game board and its discrete start and end times. We know the game ends at the midnight event; so clearly, this is a bookend after which the game is over. But what about the start? What event, unchanging, opens the scenario where things can change in the game itself? We're only really told the board starts on the 4th at some point, but when? The mornings on the 4th we see are slightly different, so it's not just the storm.

Could the setup of the midnight event, whatever its purpose, be the "leading" bookend event to the "trailing" event that is the destruction (explosion or fire or whatever it is)?
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Actually, about that. Just how sure we really are all the adults have financial problems? Sure, the scene is repeated multiple times, but every time it's subtly or radically different, and they're always discussing without a reliable perspective present. Kyrie is supposed to both be unaware of Rudolf's problems and the originator of the anti-Krauss plot at the same time, which is impossible.
The evidence we have is:

1) In the various pre-island scenes, the adults discuss being in trouble.

2) Krauss is aware that the other adults are in trouble, which is how he turns the blackmailing on them. If they weren't really in trouble, they'd have to be able to fool Krauss about it. Granted, it's not provable that this happened either, but...

3) Everyone seems very eager to see that Kinzo is dead, as it would mean an inheritance.

4) Rosa's murder in ep3 is very suspicious if Eva's perspective is reliable. Could be a red herring though.

5) In 1998, Ange and the narration observe that Eva sought revenge against the various companies that ruined her husband's business, buying them out. If they weren't really in trouble (and Eva knew this, anyway), why would she be concerned?

So let's pretend they aren't in trouble. Who could get away with it?

Kyrie and Rudolf faking their financial problem is possible, and they have it the least bad of all the others in theory (they're afraid of a judgment in an American court, but presumably they still have money right now). If Kyrie retains any ties at all to her family, they have a reserve of financial support that others might not be expecting they do.

Hideyoshi and Eva are mostly concerned with Hideyoshi losing control over his company. Financially, this isn't really that bad; a buyout would mean Hideyoshi has money, but no company and no job. That's not that bad. It happens to CEOs and owners of public companies all the time. If you want to posit a Hideyoshi/George No Eva Involvement conspiracy, they could have certainly convinced her that they were in trouble, which would explain Eva's actions alongside the way Hideyoshi and George don't seem to care as much.

Rosa has a loan which her co-signatory defaulted on and a failing company. At least we're told it's failing. She has the most "realistic" financial problem as she has no means of support other than her inheritance, yet she is also the most reluctant to engage in the blackmail. Sure, she's a bit timid around her siblings, but we know she isn't a timid person. If this is her only option, why isn't she jumping on it?

I don't doubt Krauss's problems of course, because I consider Natsuhi reliable in ep5, at least enough to believe she's right that his financial sense is poor.
Quote:
What if there are other reasons for the Kinzo phantom conspiracy than financial pressure?
This, however, is far more intriguing. Let's imagine Krauss really isn't in financial trouble. And let's imagine he isn't really embezzling. For the sake of argument, why else would he want to pretend Kinzo is still alive? What possible reason could he (or anyone) have?

EDIT: Oh and regarding construction... bear in mind there is apparently a system of tunnels running under the island. If you were building a new structure, wouldn't you want to be aware of it? Did Kinzo assent to the construction of the guesthouse possibly because he wanted to take a hand in it and make sure his tunnels weren't discovered? He must have engaged in some secret construction over the years, with the tunnels and Kuwadorian (both of which may predate the construction of the mansion).
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Old 2010-04-10, 11:08   Link #7865
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O-M-G did Krauss blow up THE SHRINE!? That bastard!
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Old 2010-04-10, 11:13   Link #7866
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
EDIT: Oh and regarding construction... bear in mind there is apparently a system of tunnels running under the island. If you were building a new structure, wouldn't you want to be aware of it? Did Kinzo assent to the construction of the guesthouse possibly because he wanted to take a hand in it and make sure his tunnels weren't discovered? He must have engaged in some secret construction over the years, with the tunnels and Kuwadorian (both of which may predate the construction of the mansion).
Well, the only evidence we have for the series of tunnels is based on hearsay from Kyrie, and when making his investigation, Battler more or less proves that that particular hearsay wasn't true (if there is a tunnel, it probably doesn't come out of the well). I don't see why a tunnel would really be so necessary. It's not like traveling by foot would be that much slower, especially if there was some kind of well-hidden path. We have the second harbor to move anything large into Kuwadorian, so the tunnels seem a bit superfluous.
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Old 2010-04-10, 11:22   Link #7867
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Is it also possible that they could use explosives to get rock to use as a foundation for the guesthouse? Like maybe limestone or quartz? Actually knowing Kinzo maybe he picked the island because of the unique rocks it had. Amethyst, moonstone and quartz are said to contain supernatural effects.
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Old 2010-04-10, 11:32   Link #7868
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Originally Posted by chronotrig View Post
Well, the only evidence we have for the series of tunnels is based on hearsay from Kyrie, and when making his investigation, Battler more or less proves that that particular hearsay wasn't true (if there is a tunnel, it probably doesn't come out of the well). I don't see why a tunnel would really be so necessary. It's not like traveling by foot would be that much slower, especially if there was some kind of well-hidden path. We have the second harbor to move anything large into Kuwadorian, so the tunnels seem a bit superfluous.
There is evidence of at least one tunnel to the gold. We are very explicitly never shown how far the tunnels go or in what direction. This means the possibility that some of what Kyrie said is true, even if she only heard it secondhand from, say, Nanjo, and that she never actually saw it herself. While I somewhat doubt there is a jail at Kuwadorian, the prospect of tunnels which lead there is supported in the text. The terrain is rough, Kinzo would seem to just "disappear" no matter where he went (possibly suggesting multiple entrances), and a tunnel would allow him to completely fence off Kuwadorian other than its harbor, making it impossible to escape unless, like Rosa, you found a place in the fence you could get through.
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Old 2010-04-10, 13:54   Link #7869
Oliver
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This, however, is far more intriguing. Let's imagine Krauss really isn't in financial trouble. And let's imagine he isn't really embezzling. For the sake of argument, why else would he want to pretend Kinzo is still alive? What possible reason could he (or anyone) have?
And it just hit me. A really good reason to postpone the death of Kinzo for as long as possible regardless of all other considerations exists -- if one is treating a single document as genuinely 'true', reflecting true intent of a real person if not reality. That document is the first Beatrice Letter!

"I, Beatrice, did lend a vast amount of gold to Kinzo-sama, under certain terms. Those terms are, that by the termination of the contract, all the gold will be returned to me. And also, that I am entitled to receive everything of the Ushiromiya family as interest."

The legend of the witch normally indicates that Kinzo's contract is a 'deal with the devil' that, as per the lore, terminates upon his biological death. If that is correct, that is when the extra 'interest' clause triggers. Normally, one would consider it a joke, and during the game, only the manner in which the letter is presented results in it being treated in any way seriously, and even then it is not believed to be a threat until the first dead bodies show up.

But if anyone "of the Ushiromiya family" honestly believed that there exists a human who poses as a 'witch', who will take this contract to the letter the moment she gets wind of Kinzo's death, postponing said death by any means possible would be a very rational first step to finding out who the lady in question is and whether she can be dissuaded from this activity. You need to have serious basis other than the letter to believe that the author of the letter is really this dangerous -- but if you do...
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Old 2010-04-10, 14:05   Link #7870
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Another possible reason: Kinzo has a written will, and that will is valid. Krauss wants to delay the execution of the will or outright prevent it if possible, but he can't just tear it up (the servants are witnesses and he isn't going to just murder them). However, it's suggested in ep5 that covering the death was Natsuhi's idea, so the better question is why she might do it, especially if she isn't aware of any will.
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Old 2010-04-10, 14:22   Link #7871
Oliver
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However, it's suggested in ep5 that covering the death was Natsuhi's idea, so the better question is why she might do it, especially if she isn't aware of any will.
She is the best candidate to be the aforementioned person aware of the Beatrice contract and it's post-termination terms, and she is quite protective of the family as a whole as Ep5 constantly affirms.

P.S.: On further reflection, while I can easily see the reason why the servants support Natsuhi's plan in Ep5 (they're out of a job otherwise at least) what reason is there to do so by Nanjo? He is by no means a dependent of Ushiromiyas. But him knowing that the contract exists and that it may actually have some reality behind it sounds like it could happen.

Last edited by Oliver; 2010-04-10 at 15:46.
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Old 2010-04-10, 16:58   Link #7872
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I've been wondering about Nanjo too. I know that he's there to help cover it up, but if Natsuhi feels like he's not good at keeping secrets why not just let him stay on Niijima? I think there is something keeping him there begrudgingly at least. He seems to be waiting the whole meeting out. I get the feeling he doesn't really want to be there to cover up his friend's death, but that Natsuhi or somebody insisted on him being there.
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Old 2010-04-10, 17:17   Link #7873
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I've been wondering about Nanjo too. I know that he's there to help cover it up, but if Natsuhi feels like he's not good at keeping secrets why not just let him stay on Niijima? I think there is something keeping him there begrudgingly at least. He seems to be waiting the whole meeting out. I get the feeling he doesn't really want to be there to cover up his friend's death, but that Natsuhi or somebody insisted on him being there.
Nanjo is a very important part of the plan. He has to be there to certify that Kinzo was actually alive and capable of running off into the forest if he is to "disappear". Also, it's essential to have Nanjo at the conference anyways so he can discuss "Kinzo's short remaining life span". If he didn't show up for some reason, that would seem more than a little suspicious to the other relatives. So, I imagine Natsuhi would have done anything she could to keep him there, even if he isn't the best actor.

Still, it's hard to tell why exactly Nanjo was willing to do this. Of course, he has one obvious and very good motive: he doesn't want his old friend's name and family reputation to be tarnished. This motive is sufficient to explain why he would protect the secret of Kinzo's death, but we don't know if it's his real motive.
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Old 2010-04-10, 19:48   Link #7874
Oliver
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Still, it's hard to tell why exactly Nanjo was willing to do this. Of course, he has one obvious and very good motive: he doesn't want his old friend's name and family reputation to be tarnished. This motive is sufficient to explain why he would protect the secret of Kinzo's death, but we don't know if it's his real motive.
The problem with that particular motive is that it's been a year, and if my reading of the scenes from Kinzo's study is correct, the body of his friend is now in there, marinating in some preservative substance. Which smells. "The inside of the sealed room, where dense dust danced, stagnated, steeped in the suspicious stench of smelly medicine." And he apparently goes into the study at times and remains in there for extended periods completely alone, pretending to play chess. (What is he really doing in there anyway? Could he be digging in Kinzo's notes? I sure would start after a while, just to take my mind off the corpse nearby.)

I expect this would get quite grating after a year of doing that with any kind of regularity, and to maintain the illusion he probably has to.
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Old 2010-04-10, 19:56   Link #7875
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The problem with that particular motive is that it's been a year, and if my reading of the scenes from Kinzo's study is correct, the body of his friend is now in there, marinating in some preservative substance. Which smells. "The inside of the sealed room, where dense dust danced, stagnated, steeped in the suspicious stench of smelly medicine." And he apparently goes into the study at times and remains in there for extended periods completely alone, pretending to play chess. (What is he really doing in there anyway? Could he be digging in Kinzo's notes? I sure would start after a while, just to take my mind off the corpse nearby.)

I expect this would get quite grating after a year of doing that with any kind of regularity, and to maintain the illusion he probably has to.
Well, as far as we know, Nanjo isn't even on the island most of the time, except when he comes to supposedly examine Kinzo. Except for the family conferences and a few visits, the only people on the island who don't know about Kinzo's death are Jessica and Gohda, neither of which are likely to go anywhere near the study unless they need to. Nanjo only has to stay inside the room during the final conference, as far as we know.
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Old 2010-04-10, 20:06   Link #7876
Oliver
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Well, as far as we know, Nanjo isn't even on the island most of the time, except when he comes to supposedly examine Kinzo.
Yes. I would expect it to happen monthly. Which would, to preserve appearances before all other witnesses, involve going in there and staying for an hour or more.

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Except for the family conferences and a few visits, the only people on the island who don't know about Kinzo's death are Jessica and Gohda, neither of which are likely to go anywhere near the study unless they need to. Nanjo only has to stay inside the room during the final conference, as far as we know.
Not quite correct. The text clearly states that during this particular conference, only a bare minimum of servants remained on duty, everyone else was given leave. We're never told how many of those 'everyone else' were ever there. At least two extra -on servants are mentioned by name, if my memory serves me right, and possibly more may exist. Ep5 also mentions various business advisors, partners and other temporary visitors.

If it were just Jessica and Gohda, turning them into willing conspirators could have been far easier and safer than the alternatives.

P.S.: Oh, and Jessica refers to Grandfather "stinking up the house" like it happens often. I expect whatever liquid they're keeping him in needs to be refreshed, if it is a liquid, which would produce the smell while it's fresh...
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Old 2010-04-10, 20:13   Link #7877
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Not quite correct. The text clearly states that during this particular conference, only a bare minimum of servants remained on duty, everyone else was given leave. We're never told how many of those 'everyone else' were ever there. At least two extra -on servants are mentioned by name, if my memory serves me right, and possibly more may exist. Ep5 also mentions various business advisors, partners and other temporary visitors.

If it were just Jessica and Gohda, turning them into willing conspirators could have been far easier and safer than the alternatives.
Well, as far as we know, the servants other than Gohda were first appointed by Kinzo himself. It's also very likely that the other -on servants shared the One-Winged Eagle. If so it would be impossible to hide Kinzo's death from them, since we hear that they spent much of their time meeting with Kinzo personally. So, Natsuhi and the others would either be forced to take them off the work schedule or tell them the truth.

We also hear that only about 2 or 3 servants are on duty most of the time, so it wouldn't be hard for Natsuhi and Genji to fill most of the schedule with those servants who already knew the truth.

Oh, and I'm not sure it'd be at all easy to turn Jessica into a willing conspirator. For one thing, Krauss would hate to let his daughter find out about his failure, unless he felt he had no other choice. Also, I'm not sure Jessica would even be willing to do it. You can see how much she hates her parents' squabbling and scheming against Krauss's sibblings (there's no proof that she actually feels this way, but she'd need a reason to fake it).

Temporary visitors would be very unlikely to question Kinzo unless Krauss and Natsuhi told them that Kinzo wanted to speak with them. Just keep the study locked and you have a perfect disguise already
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Old 2010-04-10, 20:16   Link #7878
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Oh, and I'm not sure it'd be at all easy to turn Jessica into a willing conspirator. For one thing, Krauss would hate to let his daughter find out about his failure, unless he felt he had no other choice. Also, I'm not sure Jessica would even be willing to do it. You can see how much she hates her parents' squabbling (there's no proof that she actually feels this way, but she'd need a reason to fake it).
Jessica knows. Look at her statements regarding Kinzo from Ep1 and tell me she doesn't know.
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Old 2010-04-10, 20:23   Link #7879
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Jessica knows. Look at her statements regarding Kinzo from Ep1 and tell me she doesn't know.
Krauss and Natsuhi could have just told her to say that to everyone, saying that Kinzo doesn't want to be disturbed. Or Natsuhi might have just told her that offhand and she's repeating it.
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Old 2010-04-10, 20:28   Link #7880
Oliver
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Well, as far as we know, the servants other than Gohda were first appointed by Kinzo himself. It's also very likely that the other -on servants shared the One-Winged Eagle. If so it would be impossible to hide Kinzo's death from them, since we hear that they spent much of their time meeting with Kinzo personally. So, Natsuhi and the others would either be forced to take them off the work schedule or tell them the truth.
That's rather a lot of truth, and precisely what made a dead Kinzo so unlikely to the readers before it was declared in red. There has to be a conspiracy size limit, and I expect this time, it stops at what has been listed in Ep5.

You see, the core of the illusion is not that nobody saw a dead Kinzo. Wouldn't be much of an illusion then. It's that everyone hears random daily eyewitness reports and observes physical evidence of a living one, who continues doing things he was always doing -- taking walks, arguing with family through the door when a bad mood rolls in, eating meals in his room, playing chess with his doctor and butler, and any decrease in the frequency or length of these activities is due to his slowly failing health rather than any abrupt change in it. Closing the door forever and pretending Kinzo is alive in there is only going to work for a couple of weeks tops if none of this happens.

If it's only done for the sake of jessica and Gohda, it's easier to get Jessica an apartment by the school (she'd be ecstatic) and send Gohda off to serve her, if there are any doubts they can be brought in on the plan.
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