First of all - a warning.
I am confident in this theory. Very confident. I have no guarantee it is correct but the evidence stacks up. Read at your own risk and discretion, if you do not know the truth already. This theory contains definite Episode 3 Spoilers and potentially full series spoilers.
Always be skeptical of others ideas, though, this could all still be wrong.
Hey there! Have you been watching the YouTube series @MagusVerborum and I have been doing? Well you should be.
As a part of that, today I come to the fine people of Rokkenjima with a gift. To thank you all for the support you’ve shown us, we are releasing an early video of my theory on the Epitaph, which I made in the week between two recording sessions, having just seen the first appearance of EVA-Beatrice.
I’d been told before I made this that the epitaph was extremely difficult to solve for anyone without an understanding of the Japanese language. Fortunately for me, I have literally no understanding of Japanese, so I didn’t even understand the warning.
Here is a write-up of the theory, in PDF form. Spoiler warning of course. The document is linked internally so I recommend you download it for the best ease-of-use. It may be 21 pages long but much of that is my Discord chat with @MagusVerborum, simply for context, so don’t feel too intimidated.
We also made a video talking about the theory, which we are releasing early to you fine folk for the aforementioned support! I would recommend opening a copy of the PDF and reading along with the video, for your first time looking at it.
Summary of the Theory - EP3 Spoilers, Potential Full Series Spoilers - Click to Expand
The progression to the theory is shown in the document and video, which you should read, but the conclusion is this:
- The “sweetfish river” is the Tamsui train line in Taiwan, and thus the Key is the name ‘Qilian’, of a train station in Taiwan. Whilst I have no proof as of yet in my playthrough, evidence leads me to believe this is the ‘beloved hometown’ Kinzo wrote of.
- The Key is used to decode a puzzle on a sign above the Chapel, which reads ‘This door is opened only at probability of one in a quadrillion’, or something to this effect. We are vaguely shown this sign through character dialogue in EP2.
- Removing letters from the sign by some mechanism (buttons, pulling the letters off the sign) is how the “sacrifice” is undertaken, making ‘quadrillion’ in to ‘-u-dr–l-o-’
- Moving two of the remaining letters is how you “tear apart the two who are close”, making ‘-u-dr–l-o-’ in to ‘-u-d-r-l-o-’
- Rearranging the letters to form “Lord U(shiromiya)” is how the third twilight is undertaken. The mechanism to do so is also unclear
- The “gouge” twilights represent manipulating the remaining five letters in some fashion. Current theories are twisting them on the sign or pushing them in like buttons
- The ninth twilight means all the letters have been used, thus “none are left alive”. The witch reviving refers to the unveiling of the gold, since its unveiling would seem to confirm the truth of the legend
- The tenth twilight signifies that the puzzle portion of the epitaph is over, there is nothing left to solve; the following parts tell you what you should see to confirm you did it correctly
- The four gifts are what is found in the bunker below the island which we see Eva enter in Ep3
- The gold is the gold. Nothing more or less.
- The witch shall rest for all time means the truth of the legend will be revealed, and how it was done by humans
- The souls of the dead remains confusing though theories posed are corpses below the island in the bunker, left over from the war
- Lost love remains confusing though theories posed are it will reunite the family and those who have left it, eg. Battler, Rosa’s husband and potentially others
- This took a long time to do.
The reason we created this, on top of just thanking you all, was to demonstrate that it is possible (I believe), this early, to solve the main puzzle component of the epitaph with no understanding of Japanese. For those of you who are dissuaded in doing these things, this is your call to arms; it is possible!
My knowledge has expanded a bit since this; we just recorded Episode 4 Chapter 3, so I can talk about things up to there.