Author Topic: My thoughts on the Minisodes  (Read 4068 times)

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KeterLordFR

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My thoughts on the Minisodes
« on: October 05, 2016, 06:12:50 PM »
Hi there,

Before I start this and before you ask : Yes, I've just played the minisodes for the first time. I recorded a let's play on both like, an hour ago, and it was completely blind. I never played them before because I only managed to get them a few months ago, and managed to launch them (Thanks to you guys) a few days ago. also, pleas keep in mind that I haven't played A Bird Story yet.

I'm gonna write here my thoughts on them, while it's still fresh in my mind.

Minisode 1 :

From what I understood, this is mainly to show us Eva and Neil's workplace and environment. Sigmund Corp. is having a bad time with people that don't like what they do, and the employees are trying their best not to pay attention to them. We also see that Eva and Neil can sometimes have doubts about their job, wondering if it's really worth it and if they should continue doing it. And what struck me the most in this : We can see that the employees, rather than just forgetting about a case after taking care of it, still remember the clients (Like Roxanne Winters talking about her last client, and Neil remembering a lot about Johnny and River's life). For me, this Minisode is more of a filler, giving us some background so that we understand the characters a bit more, and also setting things up for us to grow attached to them, giving us the wish to see another game with them. A great idea in my opinion, and also a good way to introduce the second Minisode.

Minisode 2 :

Speaking about this one, that minisode got me really confused, in a lot of ways. First off, we learn that Eva has a sister, and that she likes to spend Christmas with her and her family. We also learn that Sigmund Corp. isn't the only one on this "Market", and that they got concurrence from a company called Hermann Corp. Well, concurrence is a big word, since apparently they help each other out when needed, by taking over cases so that the employees can rest for a bit. We see Roxanne being concerned about having to "take care of" former colleagues (Like the McMillan). We also learn a bit about Neil's family, and the fact that he doesn't want to talk to his parents. By the way, seeing Tommy, Sarah and Lily again was really cheerful.
And now to the most important part of this Minisode (I'm gonna try to wrap in a good way) :
From what I've understood, Neil has been trying to secretely use one of the machines used for memories re-writting. I'm guessing he's trying to record his own memories as data on the machine. And, by some means, Eva got access to it. What makes me think that? The little scene after the credits. We can clearly see Eva using one of the machines, and extrapolating from the rest of the minisode, I can only assume that we're in Neil's memories, but it's Eva going through them (Which can't be good news). Now, here's what's confusing me : We first see Eva seeing herself in front of her car, before disappearing. It's probably the Eva from the memories seeing the Eva that is exploring as she forgot to turn-off visibility. Then, there's a power outtage and Neil goes to activate the generator. He then notices something strange. Now, I have two theories : Either he saw his name on this, saying that either another version of him shot the generator down, or the second Eva used his identity ; or, he noticed Eva's name and decided to cover her, thinking that she might get in trouble if someone saw that she shot down the generator. Either way, he understood that something was strange, and decided to see if there was someone else. He then ran into Eva (and hit her with a broom). But what I'm asking now is : Which Eva is it?
We could just say : "Yeah, that's the Eva that was leaving the building, but she came back because her sister wanted to", I'm okay with that explanation. But why, when the screen glitches between the memories and the reality, does the Eva using the machine looks like she's controlling the one talking to Traci? What if the Eva that had dinner with everyone was actually the one exploring the memories? For all we know, she could have frozen her past-self and taken her place. But then what was she trying to do? And now, another guess : In reality, Neil left the party and got back to his home. But part of his wish implied that he spends time with people (and perhaps one person in particular), so Eva decided to interfere, and managed to convince him to stay, altering his memories (Which could explain the glitches at the end : the machine was re-writting the data).

Well, this took me 40 minutes to write. Basically, this is what I understood about those Minisodes. If you guys have any way to contradict me which does not imply a spoiler on A Bird Story, feel free to share it :D

Also, :plat:

EatingToastYay

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 05:19:43 PM »
*rises from grave* PEOPLE ARE HEERE
I've some things to say about the second one, I think! (in other words I have an entire page that took me the whole school day to write  XD )
First, just some random stuff because I've played the Minisode more than once:
  • Lisa Vazquez was the one who expressed concern over the McMillans, also the McMillans are still working, so technically they aren't former colleagues. Like I said, this is pretty minor!
  • If you leave Eva's diary out when she leaves, you can read it as Neil in both minisodes. The first one is just funny, but the second one is a bit more serious. I'll leave it to you to read it though.
  • You can go to the basement and check the power supply as Eva when she leaves the lounge to look for him. That should answer some of your questions...but raise up even more, I suppose...
Kay, now for theories/hypotheses!
     We probably won't learn much more until Finding Paradise about what is going on, but that won't stop me I guess! We have seen some trippy screenshots and animations from previews, but without context it's hard to tell whether it is more connected to them or the patient. I wonder if maybe those should have been withheld from public view though, cause now we know something like that will happen and it's not really a surprise anymore. But I guess I should just leave Kan and the team to it; I'm sure they'll find a way to pull it off interestingly.
     The machine Neil uses seems to be a separate one from the normal one used professionally within the company. It was in his room along with the one we saw in To The Moon. The display and appearance of the one he uses is smaller, with a slightly different design. My guess is that he either stole it or is trying to construct it on his own. He's definitely not using it for its prescribed purpose, though, as it has to be reprogrammed/programmed(if he did it himself) to do something other than read and alter memories of another person. It's been unsuccessful up to the point of the second Minisode. We don't know if the machine actually worked on that night or not, due to the power outage. (For Eva to even use the machine, he would need to complete the program, and from the way she reacts to him asking to configure the machine in To The Moon if you choose him to explore, I don't think she's the best as CS and wouldn't be able to complete it herself. If they really are some form of his memories, that would also mean he had to put them in ahead of time, as Neil is nowhere to be found in the last scene.)
     One of the biggest questions, though, is: What exactly was Eva - or Neil - doing, and why? Maybe a timeline of events could help find some sort of explanation. Keep in mind that we are still missing the full story, and it is highly unlikely that whatever conclusion we reach is the complete truth.
  • Minisode opens; Eva and Neil are together after a Christmas party. (presumably the year after the first minisode.) Eva gifts the sound maker to Neil. She prepares to leave for her sister's house.
  • After Eva leaves the room, Neil calls someone - possibly a parent.
  • Eva is met by Neil in the lobby after seeing the McMillans. Roxanne and Rob pass them. Neil says he wants to stay over at the office for the night. Eva almost invites him over, but doesn't. She leaves.
  • Neil heads to his office. He takes out his machine from behind the shelves.
  • Eva sees his lights in the window as she passes by in what appears to be the company car. She is talking to her sister, who suggests that she invite Neil. Eva refuses, saying he isn't one to come over anyhow.
  • Traci agrees, and Eva starts driving, but stops when what seems to be her walks across the middle of the street. This Eva stops to stare at her before disappearing.
  • Traci questions if Eva is alright. Eva shakes off the apparition and affirms. She repeats part of the conversation she had with her before, as does Traci.
  • Neil attempts to activate the machine. It almost turns on, but the power is shut off. It is unknown whether the machine would have worked or not. He goes to the lobby via the elevator.
  • Neil notices something strange when he resets the power. He hears footsteps and goes up to investigate, with a broom as a weapon.
  • There are many sets of snowy footprints by the door. The elevator is coming down. Neil attacks the person who comes out, but it is actually Eva, who was looking for him. She gets hit in the face with the broom.
  • Neil spends some time talking to the people at the dinner (other than Eva, who is recovering with Traci), then leaves, but encounters Roxanne, Lily, and her children on his way to the elevator.
  • After getting up and talking to some people, Eva leaves to look for Neil. She encounters something strange when checking the power source in the basement.
  • Neil is outside, calling someone (parents, most likely) and Eva walks...in on him? She came outside though. He claims that it's not their fault when she asks if it's something they did. He then walks away, but Eva makes him stop for a minute.
  • She tells him that everyone came out to the office for him, asking the last time he even ate with other people. However, she heads back inside almost immediately, saying that she's not just going to stand around tossing words at him, but there's a chair upstairs for him whether he's coming or not.
  • Neil ends up going back inside. He talks and plays with the kids. The sound maker records the background noise.
  • At the end, Eva talks with Traci. She asks if she could get a ride home with them, since Neil says he needs the company car tonight.(despite the fact that he originally said he would stay at the office.)
  • This is when the scene flashes to Eva using the machine alone. It switches back after about a second.

And that is what happens. Also wall of text, but that's my specialty.

     So, back to what I think. What is actually going on? There's a few possibilities, since it's hard to rule out or confirm anything with Neil's weird state of affairs. (We don't know the reason Neil is taking painkillers yet.) For one, it could be Eva altering data in the machine. Of course, that would raise several questions, like: How did she get the machine? Did Neil give it to her? Did she take it from him? Did something happen to him, and she discovered it somehow while investigating? But that will come to us eventually. Let's just assume this is the case for now. After the Eva in the memories leaves the office, the "real" Eva walks towards the building, but forgot to turn visibility off, perhaps because Neil usually does it when they are in memories. She runs into herself by accident and "disappears" then. Since the Eva from the memories isn't real, she just reverts back to what she had been saying before. The real Eva goes down to the basement, and shuts off the power using Neil's keycard, probably fabricated. Let's also say that the Eva from the memories had already decided to go to the office without interference from the real Eva. Then at the end, the flash back to reality was not from the Eva we saw. It was just from one scene to another.
     This has got major holes, obviously. For example, if these really are Neil's memories, why can we see what Eva is doing too? The only explanation I can come up with at the moment is that the machine is able to take memories and juxtapose them together, so that with Eva's memories, the story would be more complete. This doesn't explain what it would do with inconsistencies, though.
     So what if the real Eva had taken the other Eva's place? It's possible; they are the same person. No way Neil would have been able to suspect anything. But something that makes me doubt that is actually the scene where she gets hit by the broom. Eva had no reason to do that on purpose; it seems very organic. She also wouldn't want to embarrass herself in front of Neil. She could have just stopped the memory, gone to the lobby, and have been waiting for him to come back up from the basement. She also wouldn't have had to take the elevator in "real" time, or even go looking for him at all. In addition, the Eva who stop him as he's about to walk off seems very upset. She's confused and frustrated over why Neil has been acting strangely. The Eva viewing/interfering with the memories wouldn't have acted that way; she would have already known what happened to make him behave in this manner. Once Eva figures things out, she's usually good at pulling off her plans. If she hadn't sat there after being hit with the broom and had instead talked with him the entire time before dinner, he likely wouldn't have left at all, fearing her suspicion.
     KLFR, you put up the possibility of Neil's memory alteration, which is possible. It's very strange that Eva has the machine at all. However, I do point out that the machine only has one helmet, and in the last scene Eva is alone. In addition, the memory alteration for wishes is automatic. She wouldn't have needed to fulfill his wish manually if it was what he really wanted - his will. They also wouldn't need a separate machine for that. A normal Sigmund machine probably would have been better. And less, y'know, illegal. Another issue is that I don't believe that in reality, the party would have even happened at all. The shutting down of the power seems to have been something that was messed with, for whatever reason. If it hadn't have happened, the machine might have worked, and when Eva comes back, he would be within the machine. Maybe something happened on that night that changed their lives - something goes wrong with Neil in the machine, or he gets caught with it (though that would mean they have to have broken into his office, as the door was locked.) If it hadn't worked, the party would have happened similarly to what went on in the memories, sans the broom incident. But if that is the case, then we come back to the question again, of why did Eva have to shut down the machine herself? It would already been have changed if a wish were being fulfilled, and if it weren't, there was really no point to it at all... was there? Eva wouldn't really alter her own memories; she strikes me as someone who would prefer the truth.
     HMMMMMMMM. Maybe then we should be asking, where is the real Neil in all of this? But we don't know that!!!
I guess that just puts us all at a dead end then (no morbid pun intended...). Here's to waiting for Finding Paradise, I guess  :facepalm: didn't really get anywhere.
     
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 05:21:24 PM by EatingToastYay »

KeterLordFR

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 06:07:43 PM »

  • You can go to the basement and check the power supply as Eva when she leaves the lounge to look for him. That should answer some of your questions...but raise up even more, I suppose...

I did that, but it's not clear whether it's what was originally recorded, or if Neil decided to change it when he left the party.
Also, :plat:

EatingToastYay

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 10:23:18 AM »
I believe that is what was originally recorded. After all, a commercial machine like a power supply probably wouldn't allow for tampering. (Also, Neil isn't that good at hacking lol!) I believe when he saw it, he said something along the lines of "I don't understand... This can't be right...There must be a glitch in the system..." (and many ellipsis also). That would suggest that he really did see his own name on the record; if it had said it was Eva he would either have panicked and left the office entirely, or he would try to find her and question why she hadn't left.

Dragon Mage

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 08:10:00 PM »
Yeah. Idk why he would change the name if Eva's name had shown up :/
PLS FIX OUR FORUM PROFILES!! :'(

KeterLordFR

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 10:24:30 AM »
Yeah. Idk why he would change the name if Eva's name had shown up :/

Because shipping reasons I don't know, he could've thought that she would get scold by the direction if they saw that she turned off the power when she wasn't even supposed to work. But I guess I just have the habit of thinking too much :/
Also, :plat:

EatingToastYay

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2016, 08:57:10 AM »
I feel like Neil would probably try to save his own butt from being discovered doing whatever it is he's doing. He's just that kind of person  :P and he knows that Eva can find a way out of trouble, but he can't really and then she'd have to save him from getting fired :reivsweat:

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Re: My thoughts on the Minisodes
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 04:38:58 PM »
Yeah it's Eva who saves Neil from getting fired. She says In To the Moon "And for more times than I'd like, for yours. To save your sorry ass from getting fired"

Besides, jokingly or not, he's not nice enough to do a thing like that :P
PLS FIX OUR FORUM PROFILES!! :'(