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Episode 1: To the Moon => To the Moon - Discussions => Topic started by: Just Amber on January 27, 2017, 02:00:07 PM

Title: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: Just Amber on January 27, 2017, 02:00:07 PM
 I'm not really sure how to write about this, since I'm a new forum user and all; but I felt really motivated to write about this here after re-watching the ending of the game To The Moon and possibly discovering some suggested plot in the game; From of which, I have composed this mini-theory about the workings of the algorithms:

The evidence can be obtained from this video, of which I do not own in the slightest (except from owning TTM, the game it's from, of course  :seraismile: ): (

The theory is that the algorithm of River is aware of Johnny's state of dying due to how the mood metaphorically shifts from happy to kinda sad (I think), indicated by the leitmotif playing (to represent the memories of them wanting to go "To The Moon" and major to kinda minor with less dynamics and texture (timbre of piano also being related to Johnny's past) to represent sadness of that), when we see the launch go from Johnny's view to River's and how although Johnny sees the town (possibly his hometown) as they're leaving into space, River instead sees and remembers Anya and the true memories of her and Johnny. Another thing, is how Johnny seems aware, confused and concerned when the simulation in the ship seems to begin malfunctioning, River seems unfazed by it (although this may just be because she's a part of the simulation itself), how the heart-beat monitor can now be heard (possibly also from River's "point of view") and how at the last moment, when Johnny's wish is fulfilled and they're at the moon, River closes her eyes, not in the happy way that Johnny does it like "^_^" but more like "u-u", of which usually resembles sadness or peace, when Johnny isn't aware of her doing it and shortly after then, Johnny dies.

My theory is that River's algorithm is sentient (due to all of that information, although I am rather bad at expressing things despite my sometimes formal and complex vocabulary), and that during those moments, although Johnny's sentience had forgotten and was unaware of his true, dying state, River was and was helping him to "hold on" until he was finally happy and they were both at the moon together, finally at peace.

I'm sorry for my lack of expression and explanation skills. I really want to know what you guys think about this. Please inform me of what you think and feel free to continue discussing, asking about and rephrasing my statement of this theory (if it needs to be, my skills of this are rather terrible.  :reivsweat: ). I hope to hear more about this soon, until then, goodbye and farewell, everyone.
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: OrigamiRabbit on January 27, 2017, 11:09:42 PM
Hey that's a nice theory, although I'd say there's no way (that we know of) that a person in a memory (in this case, the memory of River inside John's mind) can become sentient. I do agree though that something/someone must have helped John hold on to life a little bit longer so that he could fulfill his wish in his mind.

Now, the following is just what I want to believe happened: the spirit of the real River helped John stay alive until his wish was fulfilled. I got this idea from this fan art: ( I know this is not cannon and perhaps not probable at all (we would need to decide if there's an afterlife in the TtM universe or not, a topic for another day), but I think it's a beautiful/romantic way of explaining how John was able to hold on to life for a while longer.
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: Just Amber on January 28, 2017, 04:07:48 AM
Indeed, the functions of the algorithms seem ambiguous at the moment, I think it'd be really cool to see it developed upon in the later portions of the series (especially due to all of the things that don't seem quite typical shown by them, even if only due to the operations of the subconscious mind of the patient) as it could be developed into many possibilities to advance plot, characters and etc.
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: Mobbstar on January 28, 2017, 05:39:09 PM
If the virtual River truly became sentient, wouldn't something similiar occur with other patients if a person is important enough to them?
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: Just Amber on January 29, 2017, 06:12:57 AM
That also seems rather ambiguous at the moment, since we have not seen it occur with any other patients yet, however, it does seem possible.
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: EatingToastYay on January 29, 2017, 03:03:28 PM
I do recall the explanation that Neil gave about the algorithms that dictate the behavior of people in memories. He said they had enough information to resemble the real person and act like them, but they are supposedly too incomplete to have real sentience. I guess it's like a chat-bot you might find on the internet, except more complex; they seem intelligent to a point, but are limited to the specific purpose they were created for/the memory they are in.
The thing that might support your hypothesis is that when the memory John asks if he is really nothing more than a program, Neil refuses to answer. Maybe he believes that there is something more to the programs, or he just didn't want to make John feel bad, even though he isn't even real. A bit puzzling either way...
Title: Re: The Algorithm Of River At The End Of The Game:
Post by: Noammac on December 08, 2017, 11:36:01 AM
Sorry to bring back a dead thread, but I believe Neil and Eva explain this (a bit) when they talk about River after Eva relocated her in the asking-out memory. If I remember correctly, Eva confirms that River's personality and actions from the turning point onwards will be based on John's memories and impressions of her (perhaps with some of his subconscious wishes). If that is true, wouldn't it mean that she is an algorithm, in a sense? If her actions are influenced by John, that would explain her offering her hand and making a sad, resigned face. She would act as a bit of Johnny's subconscious that's aware he's going to die, but also that he needs to keep on longer to let the SigCorp. crew finish his memory-rewrite. In that case, she would be kind of like an algorithm, a very complicated one at that.