This was actually one that I think I might have an answer to. From what I can tell, everybody is accounted for outside of Eva and Hideyoshi’s room. Kanon is with Genji when they go to the locked and chained room. Kanon then goes to get Kumasawa with Genji. When they get to the kitchen there is Nanjo and Kumasawa. Kumasawa goes with Kanon to get the cutters and Nanjo and Genji go to get Natsuhi. As far as I can tell there is no way that anybody had any time to paint the magic circle on the door since Natsuhi was with the four cousins. Thus I think that one of the people who is supposed to be dead is not actually dead (shock and surprise right?) and was the one who killed them. Here’s how I think they did it. First, since Eva and Hideyoshi’s room has a bathroom it would be possible to get to the room before they went back to it and hide inside of it and wait. After a time it would be possible to kill both of them with the stakes. After killing both of them the killer can wait in the room until someone comes to investigate. After someone comes and has to leave to get cutters the killer can then exit the room briefly and paint the circle on the door. They they re-enter the room and hide again. People come back and see the dead bodies. They seal the room back up to preserve the scene and the killer can walk away from the room easily I think this theory makes the most sense and is the simplest one I could think of.
As to who the killer is, I have a pretty weak theory that is only kind of circumstantial but I might as well discuss it since that’s the point of this thread. Bear in mind I don’t know the answers to a lot of the other questions so I’ll probably flip-flop between different theories. During the first murder we see everyone in the mansion die except for Kinzo (well, to be fair this one is a bit iffy since we don’t really know when he dies) and Natsuhi. Everybody else dies. Now, supposing that the killer wants to make it look like a witch has done it they need to make sure to kill six people as per the epitaph. The six people in the dinning hall work great until Eva and Hideyoshi leave. Well now they have to kill the four that are left and two more. Natsuhi is the obvious next choice but she has that darn amulet on her doorknob which the killer must have seen upon trying to enter the room. If you want to make it look like a witch you can’t kill her. Since Kinzo is barricaded in his room it would be hard to kill him (this is again assuming that the killer hasn’t killed him somehow already). This leaves Ghoda and Shannon. So these are the people who must die. Now, as to who the killer is, I believe it is Shannon. There are a couple reasons for this. The main clue I’m relying on here is the amulet. Only Shannon and the cousins know the significance of the amulet. Granted someone else may have as well but they wouldn’t have recognized the amulet in the dark like Shannon might have been able to do. Shannon also fits the profile of our killer in a number of ways. She is a servant so she has access to keys and knows which key will open the shed. If the people in the mansion on the first night were poisoned Shannon would have the easiest time poisoning them all. This also fits in well with my other theory on who can have killed Eva and Hideyoshi as one of the people who is supposed to be dead on the first night would have to kill them. It may be incidental but Shannon also mentions during the Tea Party that her death didn’t hurt. So that’s my vague theory for what it’s worth. I hope that this was an ok first contribution. I’m looking forward to the rest of the thread and getting some clues that I didn’t consider.
Very interesting! But there’s something I can’t ignore. Shannon was shown to have been killed in the first twilight, specifically her head was split in two. That way there’s no chance she would’ve survived. Doesn’t that contradict your theory?
Indeed! I feel like this is something that I’m going to have to look for in future chapters. I think it may be possible for there to be some kind of double. Though, like Battler, I’m just kind of spraying and praying with my theories. As I said, it’s a weak theory but I just wanted to put it out there. Some of the pieces fit and some didn’t but might be explained in later chapters.
You are correct in presuming that I don’t have a definitive answer.
Like I said, Episode 1 gave me absolutely no solid proof that the murders were either the work of magic or human hands. It’s impossible to guess exactly what’s the truth and what should be discarded, so it’s hard to trust what anyone says, even Bern (who I assume is impartial to what happens, but still could be lying through her teeth to further confuse me as the reader). Until further episodes prove my current lazy theory wrong, I have no stance.
Fair enough. I’m definitely still trying to think about how things could be done but knowing Ryukishi there are definitely a lot of things that we simply haven’t been told yet. We need to, as Bern said, figure out the rules, the board and the pieces before we can beat Beato. That’s pretty much impossible to do after only seeing one game.
But you have a good point. We should try and solve as much as we can for right now. I’ll keep thinking and post again if I come up with anything.
Oh, one thing that I did think of, though perhaps it’s not pertinent to the mystery, is Maria’s rose. A theory I have for that is that Ghoda when he went to pick roses from the garden to use in his dessert must have seen the dying rose and gotten rid of it. It may not be that and it may have no importance but I just remembered that and thought I could toss that out there.
Before we accept the work of a witch, can we eliminate the possibility of human agency through the events shown to us alone for any one situation? Seraphitic already came up with an idea for the Second Twilight that, whether or not it is true, is physically possible for an ordinary human without the assistance of magic. So we can say that a witch is not “necessary” for that situation, even if we don’t know whether or how a human may have done it.
Basically, should we even entertain the idea of a witch unless we can point to at least one event that could not have been accomplished without supernatural agency? After all, if there’s a witch but they just kill everyone with methods any person could use then there’s really no point in worrying about whether they’re a witch at all. It’s only if they actually use some magic to do a thing that is outright impossible that we can throw up our hands and say “Well, a non-witch cannot have done this one.”
Well that sure was an ending. “And they all died happily ever after. The end~”
For the record, I am a first-time reader. My prior knowledge included: “There is a character named Battler. There is a character named Beatrice. There are a bunch of people trapped on an island. Mystery ensues, most likely with murder. Witches, witches and more witches.”
I have yet to read the Tea Party, and I dont plan to really share my full thoughts until I do. However, I wanted to write down my immediate reaction for posterity:
…what an…anitclimactic ending! Seriously though, after all the tension built up by the “leaving Kinzo’s study” scene, it really just let you down softly. It felt like there should have been some sense of terror as “the witch won”. The autoscroll “epilogue” thing was interesting, but after so many twists and turns thought most of the chapter, the very end felt kind of lackluster.
I guess it could be a case of “my expectations got the better of me”, because I was definitely expecting something kinda dramatic after the ending of Higurashi Ch. 1. I am hoping the Tea Party will instill the desire, the greed to need to read the next Episode, because, right now, if I didnt already know that there were still 7 chapters left, Im not sure I would feel any pull to read Episode 2.
Post-Tea Party EDIT:
OK, that feels more like a Ryukushi ending. I kinda wish it would have transitioned into the Tea Party/Purgatorio segment immediately after and didnt present it as a separate thing, because, again I was expecting a more Higurashi-ish thing. Really gonna have to stop doing that, heh. Unfortunately, I wasnt “surprised” by the fact that Beatrice “exists”, since I already knew she had a sprite and stuff. Honestly though, this all just makes my head hurt, so I think I need to take a little break before thinking about it again.
Ohhhhhhhhhkay now Im starting to get interested. Although, at the same time, ??? just makes everything all the more confusing. I really need to rethink everything that has been shown to us so far, and then I think I’ll have a better grasp on it. Definitely still need to take that break first though, heh.
What I can tell, as of this very moment, is that this is definitely going to become something that I think increasingly highly of as I think back on it all more and more.
And I’m back once again with some stuff that I hope will prove to be useful. This time it’s all the notes that I took during my reading of Umineko. Now bear in mind these are only the things that stood out to me. I have never read this series before so I don’t exactly know what to look for. I only wrote down what I think might be helpful. There are some comments in there sometimes from me but for the most part it is just putting down what was said in the vn. If anyone else has notes to compare I would love to see them too. Here’s the link to the pastebin: http://pastebin.com/WvGYvgiT
To try and add just a little bit more to the discussion I’ve been doing some thinking about Kanon. There are a few things that bother me about him. First of all, why did he not notice that Shannon was missing? Supposedly both of them were on duty in the guest house on the first night. Why did he not notice that she didn’t come back? Did he fall asleep? Did he not expect her to come back? Surely there is some explanation of this. Another thing that sort of bothered me is that Kanon did not use the phone between the guest house and the mansion? Supposedly it was working and if it wasn’t then how did he know and why didn’t he tell anybody? Did he just feel like a refreshing stroll in the midst of a typhoon? I’m not saying he’s the killer but there is something going on that could use some explaining.
As sort of a final note for this post I’m wondering about the gun. We learn through the final tips menu that you see from the title screen that the gun was a Winchester M1894, a lever action rifle. A quick wikipedia check later we can find out that this gun ejected cartridges out of the gun from the top and over the user’s shoulder. We are told by Kumasawa that Kinzo was interested in the part that ejected the cartridges more than the gun. The whole thing is pretty much swept under the rug at that point until the end when you can look up information on the gun from the tips menu. This is just my theory but I think that the same mechanical stuff that ejects the cartridges for that gun also is used at some point in the series. It could be a red herring and I’m chasing after nothing here but it seems like a worthwhile lead to chase up. If anybody knows more about this or can think of a way that it could be used I’d love to hear about this as well. At the moment I’m thinking that it might have been used to get the letter into the room but I’m not sure how. It may be that it has no implications for this chapter but it could be used for a trick in another chapter and we need to keep it in mind.
How many times is the Winchester fired? Would the killer or killers have made any use of it? Why would it end up in Natsuhi’s hands if the killer were killing people with it? So long as she’s got it, it can’t be used to murder anyone, as Battler is pretty much watching her for most of the rest of the story.
It’s the most prominent weapon mentioned in the episode, enough to get its own TIP. If not the rifle, then what could be used to kill? Besides magic, of course.
As far as I can remember the Winchester is only fired once (that we know of) at the very end of the chapter, presumably by Natsuhi when she duels the witch. I doubt anybody was murdered with the Winchester since Natsuhi has it the entire time and it’s not exactly a quiet kind of gun. It would seem like the other people were killed by some other means. Battler himself says that there are things in the storage shed which could be used to kill. Kanon himself finds that hatchet in the boiler room which could have been used.
I have several different theories that I think could work, so I guess I’ll go through them all?
Maria did it; Kinzo did it; Natsuhi did it; everyone did it; Beatrice did it. I could have technically been most of the first 8 who died too, since I dont trust Nanjo, and the scenes were not really inspected at all.
Since I doubt there was DNA testing at that point, we could assume that all the bodies were completely mangled by the murderer afterward, and the police could only “identify” based on the right number of bodies being there, minus the children. As was stated in-game, there is the possibility of a body double for pretty much any of the dead.
No one! In all of my theories, this is the only thing I can come up with. Obviously if Maria did it, this one wouldnt need solving (although Im not sure I like saying Maria did it, since that seems too obvious… but maybe its reverse psychology).
However, if Maria didnt do it, then here’s what I think happened: Maria never says "A person walked up to me and gave me these, and that person’s name is Beatrice, does she? IIRC, she only ever says “Beatrice gave them to me.” So I propose that Maria simply found them in her bag (as Battler originally thought had happened, heh), probably with a note saying “Open this letter after dinner -Beatrice”. Since Maria was already so convinced that Beatrice existed, and she didnt remember putting them in her bag, she would never even question the “fact” that Beatrice must have put them there. Of course this means that the real culprit snuck them in there at some point, which could have happened at almost any time.
If you’re asking “with what weapon”, I honestly dont know; it could be anything since the living didnt really investigate the bodies.
Anyway, I think anyone could have gotten into the storehouse easily enough, especially since Gouda was killed. As for how they took down six people… I bet the six people split up. Shannon was by herself, and distracted by thinking she saw butterflies. Gouda was by himself, and we saw that he wasnt being too diligent. I think its plausable to say that after Eva left, the other 4 decided to take a break/go to sleep. So they probably split up too, all distracted by the heated conversation they had just been having.
This was my favorite one to solve, although my theory is pretty close to what @Seraphitic already said, although I thought it out a bit differently. Obviously if Eva and/or Hideyoshi were the killers, this one would be solved easily: one/both of them faked their death(s) (and killed the other), make sure the door’s locked, no one inspects them very well, bingo.
Havent thought this one out for Maria, but I guess its possible that no one noticed she was missing? For just a bit… this one is honestly the most unlikely for Maria to have committed, and could be the deal breaker on that.
If it was Natsuhi, since she prepared the room, she could have conceivablly set some kind of traps.
If it were Kinzo or anyone else, it could have either been basically as Seraphitic said, or instead of being in the room before Eva/Hideyoshi, the two had only locked the handle and not used the chain. The murderer came into the room after them (obviously, as established in-game, they have some master (set of) key), kills them, then relocks the door with the chain to make it seem like a closed room, and hides. Just like with Kinzo’s closed room, no one really inspects the scene all that thoroughly.
Wooo this was the hardest one. It could be Kumasawa… but I dont like her for the Eva/Hideyoshi murders since she was in the kitchen with Genji, Kanon and Nanjo. My theory is: he killed himself. Kanon obviously knew about the Demon’s roulette, as he was talking about it. I say that his “act of rebellion” against the witch who he believed was in front of him was to take his life into his own hands instead of letting her kill him. After all his promise he made to himself was that he’d “sacrifice this life of mine and bring this roulette of yours to ruin!” The roulette wouldnt be killing at random if he killed himself, and he would be potentially saving someone else from being killed.
I propose that what he picked up off the shelf was not the axe, but the demon spear. After all, although we read that he dropped the axe while no one else was in the room, once everyone else comes in, the axe is never mentioned, as if it wasnt actually there.
Could have easily been Maria. Also could have been Natsuhi, since no one was accusing her for obvious reasons. It could have been on the bottom of a food can and thus someone outside the room could have snuck it in, but I dont have any specifics for that.
It also could have been Kinzo. Of all the bodies, I think Kinzo’s most easily could have been the double. The only way he was identified was through his double polydactyly, which I think either could have been replicated onto the double, or it was one of the earlier bodies, who could have also had polydactyly, since it is supposedly common in the Ushiromiya family. And the key that Genji found, also could have been fake (or Kinzo had more than one) and it was put on the body to make them think they would be safe in the study.
Kinzo could have already been back in the study. When Battler started screaming about the epitaph, everyone did look up. The four who are accused are only accused by Natsuhi; it is never said whether or not they actually didnt come over to the portrait too. If Kinzo were hiding in his study, he could have slipped it there while they were distracted. Of course, this also requires him having a good enough hiding space that no one found him the whole time, even after the first four left.
Ok I change my mind, this one is the hardest. It could have easily been Maria, but as I already said, Maria just doesnt seem like the killer to me. This is the one that kills the Natsuhi suspicion for me, since she was obviously with the other kids the whole time…
Kinzo could have done it. Not sure how he would have convinced Maria to say the right thing again, but I guess it could have been another note. Especially if he included magic circle stuff, a simple not could probably be very convincing to her.
Three guesses. 1) She is the culprit, she faked her death. 2) The note said something along the lines of “kill yourself, and your daughter will be spared.” 3) The gunshot wasnt hers. @Seraphitic brought up how the cartridges of the gun seemed more important than the gun itself. No cartridges were mentioned when the kids found her, so maybe it wasnt her gun? (This doesnt necessarily mean that there for sure was no cartridge there though, since they could have just not noticed, or Battler didnt think it was an important thing to mention in his narration amongst everything else going on.)
Oh wait, I forgot about the “everyone did it”. Okay, this is definitely a stretch, but my theories about Kanon and Natsuhi killing themselves made me think of something ridiculous: what if everyone committed suicide. You know, what if they all slowly started believing in the witch, and decided, like Kinzo, that they should all try to revive her? I dont know, it is probably the most improbable theory out there, but is it really impossible? I guess it wouldnt explain the children missing at the end though, heh.
OK. DONE. That took WAAAAAY too long, haha. It was fun to think about tho. I dont think I came to any specific conclusions, but hey, its only chapter 1. Now, go ahead and confuse me by pointing out all my errors and pointing me in the wrong directions!
I’ll probably want to talk about the Tea Party and ??? later too, but that should definitely be saved for another day.
@Yerian, you’ve noted a number of times that people often didn’t get good looks at the bodies. However, that wasn’t always the case, right? In a few cases somebody did; who was it and when? How often was it Battler? Did Battler have any particular comments on what he saw, and how reliable is his take? How long did he usually have to look?
Suppose Maria were somehow responsible. Is it possible that she could’ve done everything she would’ve had to have done all by herself? Placing letters might be something she can do, as you mentioned people don’t always pay attention to her. But what about committing murders against full-size adults, or painting magic circles? Eva is a master of various martial arts forms and three times Maria’s size, how could Maria have dispatched her?
If Maria knows all about these magic circles, where’d she learn them? “Beatrice” seems like the obvious answer, but if so then Maria thinks someone is “Beatrice.” Which is more likely: That she has met the being she thinks is “Beatrice” face to face, or that she hasn’t? If she hasn’t, she must have seen something that convinced her of Beatrice’s existence in spite of that; if she has, then obviously she believes Beatrice is real because she’s met them (in some fashion).
Also regarding cartridges: A lever-action doesn’t eject its cartridge until the lever is worked, which ejects the current cartridge and cycles in the next one. Even if Natsuhi did shoot herself or shoot at someone else, if she was then instantly hit she would not necessarily have had time to work the action, and the cartridge from the shot would still be in the gun. The fact that there wasn’t a casing nearby does admittedly suggest that there probably weren’t two shots fired, but since everybody only heard one it seems rather unlikely that happened anyway unless there was a simultaneous shot (but if so, what made the other shot?).
Interesting theories from @Yerian and a good point from @Renall about the cartridge not being ejected. However, it should be noted that the letter that Natsuhi was reading was missing so the witch may have also picked up a cartridge as well as the letter. It should be noted that Battler never sees this last letter and we are only told about it from Maria. We are told that Natsuhi has it when we see the story from her perspective but can we really trust that? I somehow doubt it.
One thing that I was considering today was the fact that we are, in fact, told that there are more servants that work in the house. Two are even named, Manon and Renon. It is a possibility that another servant was killed before any of this took place in order to provide an extra body to be disguised as someone else. This would give the killer the ability to fake their own death and provide a body for the rest to find. It may seem like kind of a stretch but it’s not a huge one. If someone did fake their death they would still need a body to put in their place and the question of where that body would come from is one that is pretty hard to answer without this.
Here’s another theory dealing with faking your death. What if someone re-used a body? It wouldn’t be that hard to get back into the shed and take one of the bodies of someone already dead to make it seem like another person had been killed when, in fact, only one had. If you can’t even tell the gender of a person, such as on the charred corpse, then how are you going to tell if they had their face smashed or not? It’s a definite possibility. Sure the shed was padlocked but we all know that those can be broken and nobody goes back to the shed to know if this is the case or not. This all would seem to implicate Kinzo but other possibilities do exist. You could also re-use one of the bodies from the first night in the last killing and simply give it different clothes.
As for the letter, perhaps Maria was given three letters (I’m assuming two things here: first that the last letter exists, second that she did not place the second letter) in the rose garden. The first she read at the dinner table. The second one she put in the study when nobody was looking and the last she put in the parlor. Now admittedly she did not have to place the last one and it’s existence can even be disputed but the other ones make some degree of sense. We already know that she was given one letter by ‘Beatrice’ so why not two? The problem with this is that ‘Beatrice’ would have to know a few things in advance that they couldn’t possibly know. It’s not a pretty theory but it at least explains where the letter came from in a very crude manner.
I very much wish that Battler would inspect the rooms/bodies a little more carefully or at least look for the murder weapon. It’s very annoying how they are just like, “No, we have to seal up this place that is probably full of clues and never go in here again.” I get why but it frustrates me that there is just no way to know some details because nobody bothered to search the room a little more thoroughly (like with my theory about Eva and Hideyoshi; how great would it be if the killer was hiding in there and somebody looked under the bed and found them or something? Just the thought of that makes me smile.)
@Renall very good points! I havent gone back to check, but I remember Battler almost never getting a good look at the bodies, if ever. He was always either being emotional (understandably) or distracted by other things such as Maria singing, etc.
Maria being… well, Maria is of course the weakest link in any Maria theories. I’ll admit, I havent put much thought into how anyone would have committed all the murders without fail, let alone someone as small and inexperienced as Maria. Although, I dont see why her knowledge of magic circles is something to be questioned. I was just fine with accepting that it was just her little obsession and she had been learning about them for awhile.
The gun info is useful as well, thanks. I often am find mysteries hard to solve because of the need of outside knowledge of how things work to solve them, so its really nice to be able to combine our group knowledge like this (even if I can never be sure if half of you are purposefully trying to confuse me ;P)
@Seraphitic great practicals! Its nice to say stuff like “they must have faked their death”, but its even better if you can explain with details like youve proposed.
Great work guys, loving to see you working together through these, very impressive work by @Seraphitic and @Yerian. Feel free to continue, but I’m going to introduce another topic of interest.
What did everyone think of the game result roll at the end? Share anything that comes to mind.
Um…it was stylish-looking. It was something I haven’t seen Ryukishi do before. Let’s see, what else…?
The fact that no one came out alive was disappointing. I really wanted at least some of these characters to survive whether by solving the portrait’s epitaph or out of sheer luck. The letter written by Maria at the end reminded me a lot of (Higurashi Ep. 1 spoilers) Onikakushi’s ending, when Keiichi wrote a letter confessing everything he knew, which was found by the police sometime after he was killed. Classic Ryukishi.
What does that mean in the endscroll anyway, saying people were missing? How is that possible? It’s not like they could go anywhere; the island is isolated and there’s nowhere to go. Even if “none shall be left alive” and “there are no survivors,” how could anyone not know what became of everyone?
Why was it so important that people believe in Beatrice? Maria seemed insistent that people who didn’t believe wouldn’t be invited to the Golden Land, but if it isn’t a witch then what benefit is there to believing… and what’s wrong with Battler not believing? Set aside the witch’s challenge at the end of the Tea Party; looking just at the text of Legend, what do people get out of talking up the witch and trying to get people to believe?