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Old 2010-08-29, 15:39   Link #16781
Jan-Poo
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I have a completely different idea on the matter.

Meta-Battler can't be the detective, only Battler can.
The detective cannot use supernatural agencies as a way of investigation, therefore having a metaworld POV and a metaworld knowledge is a blatant infringement of that rule.
Plus the detective must be a character inside a story not a metaentity that looks over it from a different plane of existence.
Finally Meta-Battler sees fake scenes all the time. The only one that never sees fake scenes is Battler not Meta-Battler.

Sure Meta-Battler is the one that has more chances to find a solution, but he's on the same level of a reader. To say that Meta-Battler is the real detective is the same as to say that the real detective of a mystery novel is the one who reads it.
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Old 2010-08-29, 15:48   Link #16782
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Sure Meta-Battler is the one that has more chances to find a solution, but he's on the same level of a reader. To say that Meta-Battler is the real detective is the same as to say that the real detective of a mystery novel is the one who reads it.
Unfortunately that could be exactly ryukishi's point, if he feels like making it.

I don't think seeing fake scenes is any big deal, as that's a deception played on the eyes of the detective. The red etc. are arguably not supernatural investigative methods, but rules firmly established and thus "natural" for the investigative portion of the narrative.

It's a bit out there, and I don't think that he's going with that (because if he did, for instance, Battler could be helping a culprit or somesuch), but I think he could. It's not hard to read Knox and Dine in a fashion which makes the meta-detective entirely permissible, and in fact, it makes his information-gathering easier for the reader to grasp.

Battler-the-piece can't be the detective if all episodes in aggregate constitute "the mystery." It may be arguable to make him the detective for prior episodes, but I think it would make more sense that the one persistent intellect acting on the role of the human side player - BATTLER - is the detective for ep1-4.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:03   Link #16783
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I'm wondering if the initial letters asking for the group to solve the epitaph might actually be written by Natsuhi as part of her attempt to prevent the problems caused by Kinzo's death and Krauss's embezzlement. After all:
-We know from episode five that Natsuhi refers to Beatrice as an "alchemy counselor" for the Ushiromiya family or Kinzo. No one else has been seen referring to Beatrice and alchemy. The initial letter in episodes one and two refer to Beatrice as an "alchemist" for the family.
-The letters are sealed with Kinzo's seal. While it's possible that it could be forged, the siblings seem immediately convinced that it's real. Someone living in the main house could easily take possession of Kinzo's ring for the sake of a letter.
-The initial letters do not refer to murder. The siblings interpret them as being a threat to the inheritance immediately. What if this is exactly how they're supposed to think about it?
-Krauss brings up the possibility of money from solving the epitaph in the family conference. The other siblings think that he's joking about it. However, if the gold WAS found, his deal benefits him very nicely, doesn't it? And it's good for him if they agree to how it'd be split beforehand, and when the other siblings don't even believe the gold exists, isn't it?

This would mean that Natsuhi and Krauss have a plot about the epitaph running, someone else (I suspect Kyrie) has a fake murder plot running, and a third party knows about both (Nanjo is in a good position for this, given he knows Kinzo is dead but lies about it at the conference anyway and also is needed for the fake murder plot to go off), hijacks them, and uses them as noise to prevent discovery.
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Old 2010-08-29, 16:46   Link #16784
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Spoiler for Ep6:

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Old 2010-08-29, 18:20   Link #16785
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
Battler-the-piece can't be the detective if all episodes in aggregate constitute "the mystery." It may be arguable to make him the detective for prior episodes, but I think it would make more sense that the one persistent intellect acting on the role of the human side player - BATTLER - is the detective for ep1-4.
This would actually be completely natural, if it did not leave us with no rule to tell which scene is altered and which isn't, that is, with no concept of reliable perspective at all. Red is not really sufficient information to understand what's going on.

I'd say 'accept everything as truth until it's contradicted', but well, pretty much everything ends up contradicted. Maybe, if we could pinpoint a specific writer for every episode, we could tell what are they inclined to lie about...

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Originally Posted by kaitwospirit View Post
I'm wondering if the initial letters asking for the group to solve the epitaph might actually be written by Natsuhi as part of her attempt to prevent the problems caused by Kinzo's death and Krauss's embezzlement. After all:
I wouldn't immediately point a finger at Natsuhi, but so far nobody offered any arguments beside "it doesn't mean anything" against this chain of thought:
  1. The First Letter is always identical.
  2. It refers to Kinzo as "Kinzo-sama" and only Virgilia and Ronove ever do that.
  3. Virgilia is officially a "Predecessor-Beatrice", and if that means anything, it implies that Kumasawa has every right to sign the letter with "Beatrice" at a certain point in the past.
The letters, at least the first one, could well be written and sealed under Kinzo's own orders back when he put up the portrait and the epitaph, to be used if nobody solves it while he is alive and force the resolution of this mess. If his death were to be publicly announced, an emergency conference would be inevitable and it would be a perfect "intellectual night" -- but since it wasn't, the entire plan got delayed.

It is likewise reasonable that Natsuhi in particular might be responsible for firing that plan off since she can't conceal Kinzo's death any longer.
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:52   Link #16786
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Personally, I think it is rather clear the detective is Piece Battler and not Meta Battler.
Meta Battler's case about him not being the detective in EP5 was that Piece Battler had seen things that were not supposed to be there. Meta Battler has been seeing supernatural things from day 1, yet it isn't until Piece Battler starts seeing them that he's no longer the detective.
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Old 2010-08-29, 18:56   Link #16787
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Originally Posted by Used Can View Post
Meta Battler's case about him not being the detective in EP5 was that Piece Battler had seen things that were not supposed to be there. Meta Battler has been seeing supernatural things from day 1, yet it isn't until Piece Battler starts seeing them that he's no longer the detective.
Um... Piece Battler has been seeing things arguably supernatural from day 2, so that argument isn't nearly as good as you'd think. See the end of Ep1 and notice that the final scene starts before the clock chime.

Also... If Shkanon, then Piece-Battler is seeing supernaturally effective disguise.
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Old 2010-08-29, 19:18   Link #16788
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Originally Posted by Witch of Uncertainty View Post
Spoiler for Ep6:
That matter is still debated, no one knows how to explain it for sure.
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Old 2010-08-29, 19:28   Link #16789
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Also... If Shkanon, then Piece-Battler is seeing supernaturally effective disguise.
Ah come on. You don't need supernatural for that.


Quote:
Battler-the-piece can't be the detective if all episodes in aggregate constitute "the mystery." It may be arguable to make him the detective for prior episodes, but I think it would make more sense that the one persistent intellect acting on the role of the human side player - BATTLER - is the detective for ep1-4.
I think you are using a definition of "detective" that isn't the one intended by knox rules. The detective is simply the character inside the story that takes the role of the one who tries to solve the mystery and look for clues.

Piece-Battler is the detective in each of the first four Beatrice's games, considering each game as a detective novel per se.
As for the biggest story, the one we are reading, it isn't even a murder mystery novel.
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Old 2010-08-29, 19:28   Link #16790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
  1. The First Letter is always identical.
  2. It refers to Kinzo as "Kinzo-sama" and only Virgilia and Ronove ever do that.
  3. Virgilia is officially a "Predecessor-Beatrice", and if that means anything, it implies that Kumasawa has every right to sign the letter with "Beatrice" at a certain point in the past.
The letters, at least the first one, could well be written and sealed under Kinzo's own orders back when he put up the portrait and the epitaph, to be used if nobody solves it while he is alive and force the resolution of this mess. If his death were to be publicly announced, an emergency conference would be inevitable and it would be a perfect "intellectual night" -- but since it wasn't, the entire plan got delayed.
The letter states that "on this day, Kinzo-sama has announced the final suspension of that contract." That language implies that Kinzo is supposed to be alive when the letter is read. After all, why not say that "the contract has been terminated upon Kinzo's death" or something like that if it's meant to be delivered upon his death?

While I can't offer any particular argument against your last point, in Japanese, anyone writing about Kinzo in a formal manner would use "-sama." It would be even more formal to use Ushiromiya-sama I suppose, but that would lose a lot of clarity as to who's being talked about.

Looking through the TIPS for episodes one and two, however, it seems pretty evident that the later letters are written in a slightly different style and a tone than the first. The second letter-writer in episode one seems to be trying to mimic the style of the initial letter most of the time. The second letter-writer in episode two... doesn't seem to be trying at all. I'm not sure if it indicates different people or simply different circumstances, but to me it's very evident, thinking about it, that the purpose of the initial letter is completely different from the others.

On another note: I seem to remember that the initial letter in episode four was supposed to have been given to Maria by Kinzo. Is that right? (I recently had to move to a different computer, so I can't readily go through episode four.) If so, did they mention who exactly the letter was supposed to be from?
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Old 2010-08-29, 19:32   Link #16791
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In episode 4 it is said that Maria admitted that Kinzo gave her the letter. However this is very doubtful. And I mean it's doubtful that Maria admitted that, because as for her having received the letter from Kinzo it's impossible.
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Old 2010-08-29, 19:56   Link #16792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
[*]It refers to Kinzo as "Kinzo-sama" and only Virgilia and Ronove ever do that.[*]Virgilia is officially a "Predecessor-Beatrice", and if that means anything, it implies that Kumasawa has every right to sign the letter with "Beatrice" at a certain point in the past.[/list]
While I agree that the formulation of the 1st letter does not at all seem like the Beatrice we know from the Meta-World, I think it is far more likely what you implied later on, that it was a device constructed beforehand everytime and would have been used everytime. Maybe it was even written as a colaboration between all servants after Kinzo died but the illusion was already created.
It is even said by Beatrice in Episode 2, that it's a surprise that it's Rosa who would meet her in the garden, but in the end it wouldn't matter who would be the one to deliver her letter.

And while Virgilia is implied to be the former Beatrice, she cannot have had this role anywhere on the island. That is unless you assume that the prankster Gaap we witness in EP7 is actually Kumasawa and she was only changed later into Virgilia.

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Um... Piece Battler has been seeing things arguably supernatural from day 2, so that argument isn't nearly as good as you'd think. See the end of Ep1 and notice that the final scene starts before the clock chime.

Also... If Shkanon, then Piece-Battler is seeing supernaturally effective disguise.
I actually wondered wether Battler ever saw something supernatural or if we were just led to believe that Battler saw something supernatural.
Let's resume what Battler actually did and did not see in each of the first 4 Episodes. I'm not talking about BATTLER who is like us, getting the story read out to him, but piece Battler in each individual story.

Episode 1:
In this one Battler is not present in any scene where supposedly magical things happen. He also never meets both Shannon and Kanon at the same time. He meets Kanon out in the rose garden, then Shannon in the guesthouse, then I think Kanon brings them to the mansion, then Shannon serves tea and brings them back to the mansion. After that Shannon is unaccounted for and Battler never sees her corpse and he also does not see Kanon actually die.
Also, during the final confrontation in front of the portrait nothing at all magical happens. They are in panic, Maria runs over to a person he cannot see properly due to the shadows and then it's game over.

Episode 2:
Again Battler does not witness any magic involved in the killings, he did not even once see that mysterious guest who is supposed to reside in the honoured guestroom. And again he never witnessed both Kanon and Shannon at the same time, on day 1 because of practically the same events as Episode 1 and on day 2 because Kanon and Jessica immediatly ran off after the discovery of the 1st twilight and Kanon was never seen again by him.
While everyone was dying around him, he was tailing Rosa because she seemed to be the most suspicious to him.
When he gave up he began drinking, which could account for some of the rather impressive sights he has at the end of the game. But what did he actually witness?! Genji invited him up to the study on an order from お館様 (the master of this mansion) and in the study he met a woman who introduced herself as Beatrice and a Kinzo who was astonishingly silent. Remember that Kinzo has not been burnt that Episode and we have to assume that the culprit knows about the whereabouts of his corpse, so placing him in a chair is no big problem.
Everything that happened during the ceremony of the opening to the Golden Land can be madness accounted to whatever that Beatrice told him. Battler, Kinzo and Genji being 'torn apart by the demons, when the door to the Golden Land opened at the strike of midnight' is even a nice representation of them being torn apart by the explosion.

Episode 3: Battler is in the guesthouse most of the time. Kanon and Shannon again fail to appear before him as a duo during day 1 and after the 1st twilight he never goes to check upon Kanon's corpse in the chapel, yet we can assume that he actually saw Shannon's corpse/body in the parlour.
The first time on the 2nd day when he leaves the parlour is, I think I remember correctly, when they go to the mansion to check up on Kyrie, Rudolph and Hideyoshi missing. Only later when only Nanjo, Jessica, Eva and he himself are left does he leave the guesthouse again. The only thing he witnesses are Natsuhi and Krauss strangled in the rosegarden, probably George and Shannon in the parlour and Jessica getting shot in the eye during her struggle with Eva. From then on until the end he is with Eva up to the point when she (out of random change of heart as it seems then) shoots him.

Episode 4: Battler is again in the guesthouse, this time it seems he never even went to the mansion for dinner, because Kinzo appeared during dinner. Kanon and Shannon are never even once at their place from that point on (as we see them both being trapped in the dungeons), everything he knows about the events at the mansion he knows from Kumasawa and Gohda.
He has contact with people over the phone who tell him there are demons and witches, but he never witnesses them. And around midnight of the first day he and Maria receive a call from a woman who calls herself Beatrice and who says she is with Kinzo.
He goes to the mansion and meets a woman on top of the balcony of the study, who treats him to a little mindgame and when he refuses goes back inside and leaves him to his fate. When he does his round the next day, he finds every person he knew on the island dead, the only corpse he cannot find (following Kyrie's description) is Kanon's corpse, because the way seems to be sealed shut.
At the end of the 2nd day, being totally devestated, he goes to the rosegarden, where he is completely alone and yet will be killed by Beatrice.

Now where exactly did Battler ever encounter any magical phenomena?!
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Old 2010-08-29, 20:04   Link #16793
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Ah come on. You don't need supernatural for that.
We've been through that before. Supernatural -- or reader blindness -- is better for Shkanon in the long run.

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Originally Posted by kaitwospirit View Post
The letter states that "on this day, Kinzo-sama has announced the final suspension of that contract." That language implies that Kinzo is supposed to be alive when the letter is read. After all, why not say that "the contract has been terminated upon Kinzo's death" or something like that if it's meant to be delivered upon his death?
Considering that he previously referred to this contract as a "deal with the devil", and everybody in the family knew that, if they were reading it in the knowledge he is dead, they would assume he just meant what he said and the writer of the letter is just being exceedingly polite about it. That is, that they're dealing with someone who can seize all their property, but is going to be civil.

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Originally Posted by kaitwospirit View Post
While I can't offer any particular argument against your last point, in Japanese, anyone writing about Kinzo in a formal manner would use "-sama." It would be even more formal to use Ushiromiya-sama I suppose, but that would lose a lot of clarity as to who's being talked about.
Point is, nobody else actually uses this particular kind of formal in the entire story. Servants all say "Master", family says "Father", (otousama) or "Grandfather" or even "old geezer", most meta-characters say "Kinzo" with no honorifics. Captain Kawabata, who is actually an outside contractor, uses "Kinzo-san" in his testimony, and so does Nanjo. In general, Virgilia's speech style matches the letter text closer than any other, if you ask me.

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I'm not sure if it indicates different people or simply different circumstances, but to me it's very evident, thinking about it, that the purpose of the initial letter is completely different from the others.
Also notice that in Ep3, Beatrice receives the ring from Ronove immediately after she just gave Maria the sealed letter. She somehow doesn't ask for the letter back so that she can seal it.

I also suspect that the letter that says "Praise my name" is part of the First Letter plan, and the "discord" magic circle is really an extra epitaph hint, to be used if everyone's particularly stuck -- it is just misunderstood like the first one.
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Old 2010-08-29, 20:21   Link #16794
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And while Virgilia is implied to be the former Beatrice, she cannot have had this role anywhere on the island. That is unless you assume that the prankster Gaap we witness in EP7 is actually Kumasawa and she was only changed later into Virgilia.
What exactly is the meaning of Virgilia being a "Beatrice" then? It's a significant plot point, without it the duel between Virgilia and Beatrice makes no sense.

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Remember that Kinzo has not been burnt that Episode and we have to assume that the culprit knows about the whereabouts of his corpse, so placing him in a chair is no big problem.
Um. If you believe Ep7, he's been dead for at least 10 months, at most one year and ten months, and in general at least a year is stipulated by Ep5. Are you sure you aren't going to notice if a 10-22 month old corpse is sitting next to you? Just how drunk do you need to be?

You're better off saying that he drank himself to sleep earlier and Genji never actually came for him in this particular case.

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Now where exactly did Battler ever encounter any magical phenomena?!
Supernaturally effective Shannon/Kanon dichotomy. He observes them very close up and never even suspects anything could possibly be wrong.
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Old 2010-08-29, 20:50   Link #16795
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Considering that he previously referred to this contract as a "deal with the devil", and everybody in the family knew that, if they were reading it in the knowledge he is dead, they would assume he just meant what he said and the writer of the letter is just being exceedingly polite about it. That is, that they're dealing with someone who can seize all their property, but is going to be civil.
I don't understand what's more polite about saying that Kinzo terminated the contract that day, using active language, than saying that the contract was to be terminated upon Kinzo's death. There's nothing uncivil about saying that someone's dead. The flowery half-legalese of the letter would easily allow for it.

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Point is, nobody else actually uses this particular kind of formal in the entire story. Servants all say "Master", family says "Father", (otousama) or "Grandfather" or even "old geezer", most meta-characters say "Kinzo" with no honorifics. Captain Kawabata, who is actually an outside contractor, uses "Kinzo-san" in his testimony, and so does Nanjo. In general, Virgilia's speech style matches the letter text closer than any other, if you ask me.
My point is that people speak differently in a formal letter than they do in everyday speech, or even in semi-formal speech. If you were talking to your mother about your father, you might say "Dad." To your friends you might use even more casual language. In a corporate boardroom you might say "Father" or "Mr. Smith." But someone who seeks to posture themself outside of the family who is writing a letter like Beatrice's would of course use a top honorific. The purpose of the letter makes it inevitable. Use of honorifics isn't just a matter of preference, it's also a matter of situation. Virgilia's use of "Kinzo-sama" rather than any other term is a matter of preference. Her entire style of speech is. It comes to the same term whether it's preference or situational in that case. I wouldn't say it's not significant, but I wouldn't be so eager to take it as a clue, either.

I do think that if Natsuhi was going to write a letter like this, she'd want Kumasawa's help writing it, if she thought that she could trust her.

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I also suspect that the letter that says "Praise my name" is part of the First Letter plan, and the "discord" magic circle is really an extra epitaph hint, to be used if everyone's particularly stuck -- it is just misunderstood like the first one.
Possible, I suppose, though it seems odd that if helping to solve the epitaph was intended to be the purpose of those letters that they'd keep being used after people started dying. I guess that if they were being used as "noise" over the killings it would make more sense, but it's still kind of strange to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver
What exactly is the meaning of Virgilia being a "Beatrice" then? It's a significant plot point, without it the duel between Virgilia and Beatrice makes no sense.
It could be anything from Kumasawa inspiring the use of the name "Beatrice," to her simply being a mentor/mother figure to the servants from Fukuin House, to Kumasawa using "Beatrice" to pull some kind of pranks once upon a time, to Virgilia having a similar love story in her past to the current Beatrice, to the most direct interpretation of Virgilia directly handing the title of Beatrice down to our current Beatrice. I do think that the last one is the most likely, but I don't like to disregard other possibilities.
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Old 2010-08-29, 21:00   Link #16796
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Um... Piece Battler has been seeing things arguably supernatural from day 2, so that argument isn't nearly as good as you'd think. See the end of Ep1 and notice that the final scene starts before the clock chime.
Hmmm...? What did he see? A person posing as Beatrice?

The only case you could make about Piece-Battler seeing supernatural things (in EPs 1-4, of course) would be the end of EP2. But by that point Meta-Battler had already given up, and Piece-Battler was drunk.

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Also... If Shkanon, then Piece-Battler is seeing supernaturally effective disguise.
Yeah, I've also said that Shkanon is just too convenient of a device. However, you do not really need supernatural abilities for that.
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Old 2010-08-29, 21:08   Link #16797
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Ep4 is also sortof confusing, since Piece-Battler and Meta-Battler sortof seem to overlap. He saw someone dressed as Beatrice the first time around though... right?
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Old 2010-08-29, 21:26   Link #16798
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I think you are using a definition of "detective" that isn't the one intended by knox rules. The detective is simply the character inside the story that takes the role of the one who tries to solve the mystery and look for clues.
By that very definition, BATTLER is the detective in ep2 and ep3 at least, as Battler himself barely looks for any clues or tries to solve things, but BATTLER does. In ep4 it's BATTLER but Battler does do some investigation in the Tea Party.
Quote:
Piece-Battler is the detective in each of the first four Beatrice's games, considering each game as a detective novel per se.
As for the biggest story, the one we are reading, it isn't even a murder mystery novel.
Yes, arguing each individual episode is a mystery permits Battler to be the detective. However, in the work on the whole, he isn't and can't be even if we accept that he is for 1-4 in aggregate (though I'd argue he can't be), since ep5-6 exist.

And I would argue that while every episode is solvable independently, if there is indeed only one solution it cannot be found by looking at any single episode in the first four games. If it could be, then the game wouldn't have been declared solvable only at ep4.
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Old 2010-08-29, 22:02   Link #16799
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
What exactly is the meaning of Virgilia being a "Beatrice" then? It's a significant plot point, without it the duel between Virgilia and Beatrice makes no sense.
Like somebody before already explained, it could also imply that Virgilia holds the position as a teacher. If we consider what we learned in EP7, Kumasawa did not only teach her about the myths of Rokkenjima, but also about mystery fiction AND she started to adapt her stories towards the character of Beatrice, once she noticed that Yasu took an interest in them.
She is everything you can see in a teacher or mentor, thus she was later constructed (with Maria's help) as the former Beatrice, because in Yasu's concept only a witch could teach another witch.

We can also see the duel as Kumasawa trying to talk sense into Yasu and stopping her from whatever she is doing. But Yasu has by now lost all respect towards her and kills her despite everything.

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Um. If you believe Ep7, he's been dead for at least 10 months, at most one year and ten months, and in general at least a year is stipulated by Ep5. Are you sure you aren't going to notice if a 10-22 month old corpse is sitting next to you? Just how drunk do you need to be?

You're better off saying that he drank himself to sleep earlier and Genji never actually came for him in this particular case.
You actually believe that they would leave Kinzo unprepared in some way or another, when they keep the corpse somewhere within the mansion's boundaries?! Normally you're the one whose trying to approach everything from a hyperrealistic angle, but when they stored Kinzo somewhere they better made sure that his corpse did not smell. The best way for that is any kind of preservation or mummification.

Actually, wouldn't it be a much better reason to burn Kinzo if his corpse had been tampered with, than if it was just left to rot?!

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Supernaturally effective Shannon/Kanon dichotomy. He observes them very close up and never even suspects anything could possibly be wrong.
Obviously you have never had a perceived double as a best friend in your life.
My best friend is about 3inch taller than me, has much smaller shoulders, a different facial construct alltogether, yet even people in the university, who see us almost on a daily basis, manage to confuse us on every occasion and some even forget that there are two of us altogether. Once I spend almost an entire semester, convincing a professor of my existence.

Believe me, it is entirely possible to pose as two people without much difficulty if one wants to.

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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
And I would argue that while every episode is solvable independently, if there is indeed only one solution it cannot be found by looking at any single episode in the first four games. If it could be, then the game wouldn't have been declared solvable only at ep4.
No, but you have to distinguish between those two things.
Every Episode is a mystery on it's own, but the overarching truth only becomes solvable with at least 1-4. It's like a key to test of your reasoning is actually correct, as long as it withstands the events presented by another Episode.
Battler is the detective figure of each independent Episode and BATTLER is an overarching detective figure looking for the truth beyond a momentary solution.
I don't know why both can't exist at the same time for you.
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Old 2010-08-29, 22:09   Link #16800
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Well, is there "a" detective or just detectives? How many are there at once?
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This murder was a "copycat" crime inspired by our tales of 1986.
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