Author Topic: Ending Plothole  (Read 10981 times)

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billbaggins

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Ending Plothole
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:14:35 PM »
I just finished TTM yesterday and of course cried for a good duration of it.

Today, I was thinking about the story and came to realize something.

If Eva went back and saved Joey, why did Johnny never go back to the carnival to see River?

Since there was no traumatic death of Joey, Johnny would never have been given beta blockers to lose his memories.  Yet it seems as though he was given them;  He never went back for River at the carnival the next year, he has no recollection of River in school,  and only seems to want to go to the moon for his own sake and not to see River.  Unless I'm misunderstanding everything, it seems plotholeish.

I don't see how the Beta blockers are supposed to have affected the new memories Johnny remakes when Joey is saved.

q

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 12:24:42 PM »
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He never went back for River at the carnival the next year
We don't know why. Maybe he was grounded, maybe Joey didn't want to go, maybe he went and they missed each other, maybe he was ill... or maybe he even went, but River didn't show up. That's no plothole.

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he has no recollection of River in school
Why do you think that?

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and only seems to want to go to the moon for his own sake and not to see River.
No, he wants to go to meet River again :)

Merlandese

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 01:38:04 PM »
He didn't go back to see River because he still never remembered the carnival. His memories were changed after a certain point, but everything before the beta blockers was still locked. The game makes it seem like it's a story about time travle, but you have to remember that it's not. There is still "damage" done to Johnny's brain by the blockers, and they can't undo that. So when he lived his "second life," he never went back to the carnival because he didn't physically remember that that's what he needed to do.

It's not a plot hole, it's just a bit tough to understand, especially when looked at like some sort of time travel plot, which it's not. :)

Sun

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 02:19:50 PM »
To add to Merlandese's post, he still wants to go to the moon for the same reason as at the beginning: The memory of making that promise to River is still inside him, just not consciously accessible.
To Johnny in the new memory, it may feel like he just really, really wants to go to the moon, but the subconscious motivation is wanting to be with the girl he met at the carnival/his wife.

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 07:00:45 PM »
I expect that since the doctors used the machine to get into the "blocked" memories and the reconstruction is made partially of the old memories with the  necessary desires to achieve, you can presume that the machine does take a log of these past memories - since the doctors were able to get to the carnival memories you can assume that the machine can archive them too as they weren't blocked at the time of viewing.

However, it is not only the desire to go to the moon that was added - the past was changed so that Joey did not die - and since remembering the carnival would make John's trip to the moon pointless you can also assume that the past was altered so that he either forgot the carnival, or an event happened so he could not return to it again (maybe there were too many gypsies and their crusty jugglers). That way Joey can survive and John still vaguely remembers the meeting at the carnival making him want to go to the moon.

I think that makes more sense than him forgetting his childhood again, I don't believe beta blockers in the past life would affect the second if the memories have already been accessed and saved by the machine - I expect that is what other people have issues with too, and understandably so.


I guess this part can be fairly open to interpretation though.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 07:03:09 PM by The-PurpleOrange »

GamingPoint

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 11:10:34 AM »
Been a long time since I played the game, but didn't they remove river or something?
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billbaggins

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 01:46:08 PM »
We don't know why. Maybe he was grounded, maybe Joey didn't want to go, maybe he went and they missed each other, maybe he was ill... or maybe he even went, but River didn't show up. That's no plothole.

It's a unexplained event in the story.  Every suggestion you made was not mentioned by the game so I can't accept them.  Wouldn't he want to go back to see her?  There is no resolution to it and if it's not a plothole then it's at least a loose end.

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Why do you think that?

After thinking about that more, that isn't an issue.  The scene in the school where River disappears takes place before Joey is saved. 

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No, he wants to go to meet River again :)

I'm pretty sure it's all subconscious still, which is my point.  They never mention he knew her and I'm pretty sure the "Aha, I remember you" moment comes at the point right before Johnny dies, which is what made it such a beautiful ending.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:07:39 PM by billbaggins »

billbaggins

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 01:50:29 PM »
I expect that since the doctors used the machine to get into the "blocked" memories and the reconstruction is made partially of the old memories with the  necessary desires to achieve, you can presume that the machine does take a log of these past memories - since the doctors were able to get to the carnival memories you can assume that the machine can archive them too as they weren't blocked at the time of viewing.

However, it is not only the desire to go to the moon that was added - the past was changed so that Joey did not die - and since remembering the carnival would make John's trip to the moon pointless you can also assume that the past was altered so that he either forgot the carnival, or an event happened so he could not return to it again (maybe there were too many gypsies and their crusty jugglers). That way Joey can survive and John still vaguely remembers the meeting at the carnival making him want to go to the moon.

I think that makes more sense than him forgetting his childhood again, I don't believe beta blockers in the past life would affect the second if the memories have already been accessed and saved by the machine - I expect that is what other people have issues with too, and understandably so.


I guess this part can be fairly open to interpretation though.

Exactly.  My problem though is that I can't accept the lack of explanation for forgetting River and the Carnival.

billbaggins

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 02:04:23 PM »
BTW sorry if I might be going against rules here and triple posting but I'm unsure about how the quote system here works.

He didn't go back to see River because he still never remembered the carnival. His memories were changed after a certain point, but everything before the beta blockers was still locked. The game makes it seem like it's a story about time travle, but you have to remember that it's not. There is still "damage" done to Johnny's brain by the blockers, and they can't undo that. So when he lived his "second life," he never went back to the carnival because he didn't physically remember that that's what he needed to do.

It's not a plot hole, it's just a bit tough to understand, especially when looked at like some sort of time travel plot, which it's not. :)

Here's the problem I see with the Beta Blockers.

Eva and Watt aren't rewriting his old memories, they're creating a new series of them.  Wouldn't new memories take place in new neurons / locations in the brain than the old ones, untouched by the "Beta Block"? 

Been a long time since I played the game, but didn't they remove river or something?

Yes, but they don't remove her until after the Carnival meeting; they remove her at the school before Johnny asks her out.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:06:36 PM by billbaggins »

Reives

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 04:25:36 PM »
Hey Bill. The issue that's causing the issue you're having is stemmed from that last assumption you posted, though I don't blame you as that's what the game visually showed at one point. I'm on a plane at the moment (10 hour ride, ahhh), but I'll try to elaborate when I settle down later this weekend :)

Sun

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 05:49:13 PM »
Here's the problem I see with the Beta Blockers.

Eva and Watt aren't rewriting his old memories, they're creating a new series of them.  Wouldn't new memories take place in new neurons / locations in the brain than the old ones, untouched by the "Beta Block"? 

Let's ask the question a bit differently. Where do John's new memories come from?
It's not clearly said in the game, so we can only deduce and speculate.

a) They don't come from anywhere: John imagines everything from scratch
What I think: No. If that were the case, why do a lot of the same things as before happen? How likely is it that he can just imagine the same things even though he hasn't seen them "yet" in this new memory? He meets River, Nicolas and Isabel again (how does he know what they will look like in the future - they look the same as in real life; also, he had not met Izzy yet when he was a child), they build the same house in the same place again, they meet in the same pub again, only this time with his brother. If he generated everything himself from scratch, wouldn't it be more likely that he'd have a wildly different life where e.g. he moves to the big city and gets to know different people? And how would he know that River is called River when she had not told him her name at that point?

b) They are entirely generated in the machine.
What I think: No again. Neil already told old Johnny that what they do is only to implant a "registered desire" in his early memories. From that, I conclude that they cannot alter his memory directly. Also, if they could, there would be no plot: They could just generate his moon trip directly.

c) They are both imagined by Johnny (from scratch) and drawn from his original memories
What I think: To me, that seems the most likely way it works. If everything came just from his memories, nothing new could be in there. He could not go to NASA and to the moon because in real life, he's never been there. And if everything were entirely from scratch, it would most likely be entirely different from his real life - see above. And like I said, I don't think the machine can just put new things into his head at will - also see above. Though there is some interaction with the machine as it supplies him with some data for places he hasn't seen yet (what Neil and Eva mention in regard to whether NASA looks like it would in real life), it's not entirely clear how far it goes.
So, if parts of his new memory are drawn from his old memory, where would he take the memory of the carnival meeting from? He would have to draw it from his own brain. And in his own brain, that memory has been unlinked ever since he took the betablockers, so it's not accessible to him. That's why even in the new memory, he cannot just make the effects of the betablockers disappear.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 06:30:59 AM by Sun »

adroit9

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2014, 10:14:33 PM »
There is no plot hole.

Why does John want to go the moon in the first place?  River died, AKA she left him, AKA they were to meet up on the moon.  But John doesn't remember exactly why.  If he did, do you think he would actually want to physically go to the moon?  Thinking rationally, no one would think going to the moon would bring back one's dead wife, nor would it help you get the girl you met that one time when you were kids.  It's a subconscious desire manifesting as John's dying wish.

So, how do Eva and Neil go about making John will himself to the moon, and yet still end up with River, AND save Joey?  They can't have John go back to the carnival, for starters.  If he did, why would he become an astronaut and go to the moon?  Remember, it's not rational to think that that would work to get River back.  This has to be a subconscious desire.  And the only way to do that is to keep the carnival memory blocked.  That's why John never goes back, and that's why he doesn't remember her at school.  At least, not right away.

I like to think everything clicks for John right at the end, that he remembers all of it and sees the big picture, like we do.  It's a beautiful story.

Teddy

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 04:53:20 AM »
We know from Neil's words that the memory machine can't implant completely fabricated memories, because the mind of the patient will reject them. It can only nudge the memories along through subtle changes, such as transfering a desire from old age to childhood, or change small but fundamental aspects such as a few students dragging River away with them, or the car somehow not being run over by the car. The rest is done by the mind of the patient, which, aided by a extensive wiki, uses his or her imagination to build new memories.

My hypothesis for why the same characters and places reoccur in the reconstructed memories even when much of the rest changes is that the patient is still the very same person as before, with but a slight change to her or his personality (if any), and the memories are still there, so instead of creating new memories from scratch to remember events which already happened, the patient rather changes his or her old memories of these enemies to account for the change. After all, the only people that can be brought into new memories are those the patient remembers or which are in the public domain, everyone else will just be a grey shade.

As a piece of evidence for this, we've got the fact that River still cuts her hair in her old age, despite having no reason to any longer, because Johnny remember her cutting her hair for unknown reasons, and these reasons weren't resolved to him, so he has no reason to remember otherwise now.

Furthermore, I believe what others have said about the beta-blockers still fuzzily unlinking the earliest childhood memories to be true. Johnny still won't remember anything before the beta-blockers even after Eva saves Joey, because those memories are still purely subconscious (the machine can only nudge, not move or transplant memories), but his subconscious will remember Joey as not dead, which affects Johnny's conscious memories, and therefore Joey can follow him throughout life, while Johnny still won't remember any of their childhood.

See it this way: the memories are hidden by the beta-blockers, not by the memory of the beta-blockers, so even if Johnny's subconscious won't remember the beta-blockers any longer, the memories will still be hidden, because the beta-blockers were still there in the physical reality.

sakaki

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2014, 03:54:13 PM »
Hey Bill. The issue that's causing the issue you're having is stemmed from that last assumption you posted, though I don't blame you as that's what the game visually showed at one point. I'm on a plane at the moment (10 hour ride, ahhh), but I'll try to elaborate when I settle down later this weekend :)

Thank you, I hope you can clarify this some soon.  It's the only issue I can't seem to figure out yet.  It seems as if the new memories do not have the initial meeting occur since there's no indication that River remembers John at all.

Ponderer

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Re: Ending Plothole
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2014, 09:12:45 PM »
I just want to add my two cents on an old question:
(Spoilers)

I'm surprised this is a question without a clear answer yet - unless I missed it.

If Eva went back and saved Joey, why did Johnny never go back to the carnival to see River?

I would like to first offer that EVA saving Johnny can happen in many ways, not the least of which is a simple rewrite in which she simply removed the events surrounding the beta blocked memories so as to help restructure her patients' memories without any further breakdown.  If this happened, the meeting with River could have been changed, removed, or irreparably damaged as well. 

It is demonstrated that the doctors have an ability to alter memories entirely by her very actions in this scene.  I see no reason to assume that this could not have a wider array of consequences.  Of course, there is a more direct explanation for this...

Since there was no traumatic death of Joey, Johnny would never have been given beta blockers to lose his memories.  Yet it seems as though he was given them;  He never went back for River at the carnival the next year, he has no recollection of River in school,  and only seems to want to go to the moon for his own sake and not to see River.  Unless I'm misunderstanding everything, it seems plotholeish.

I want to remind you, it is quite explicitly stated that Eva used her abilities to move River.  Specifically to move River to his subconscious.  In other words, he has no conscious memory of River.  We see her being moved from the school in his memories, first.  He didn't go back for River because Eva ensured that he had no direct recollection of her.  Neil called that removing her, but as we saw in the story it was not quite as absolute as that.

Regardless, this isn't about imaginary beta blockers, it's a direct result of the process Eva used to ensure her client was motivated to fulfill his wish!  I hope that makes sense to you.