Well… That was quite a ride. I’m not going to lie, that episode was probably the best VN experience I’ve had to date.
Before I get into the mysteries can I just say something about this chapter. I freaking love everything about it. The character development is amazing. The music is amazing. The plot is amazing. The multiple layers of story are amazing. The twists and turns are amazing. The mystery is amazing. I just can’t help but sit her and laugh to myself about how freaking cool this whole thing was. My only regret is that Genji didn’t get to be the badass, knife thrower that I know and love (and that the seagulls didn’t do it. Curse you EVA-Beatrice).
Ok, to start off I guess I should post my notes as per usual. I don’t know if these help anyone or if anyone even bothers to read them (I don’t even read them over fully most of the time) but I guess it’ll be a place to start. Here you go. Also, here’s the red truths for this episode, sorted by what they relate to (in my head at least).
With that out of the way we should get on with some of the solving now. Lets start with a low ball: Episode 1. More specifically, what happened to Natsuhi at the end of episode 1. There are multiple guns so the killer just made use of one of them. There we go, there’s that problem out of the way. Also, I guess we could chalk the people being beaten in the face to someone using their gun as a club, though that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Though now we have a bit of a dilemma, how many guns are there? Four? Why? I don’t really remember the story specifying and regardless it is a Devil’s Proof that there aren’t more guns on the island. There could be X many and we wouldn’t know. Let’s disregard this for now though, since it is sufficient to know that there exists more than one gun.
Cool, while we’re on the subject of episode 1, may I point out something that was said in that episode? None of the doors to the courtyard lock. Just a little something that Battler mentions and then forgets in trying to break open the closed rooms of the first twilight in this episode. We know that the boiler room is connected to the courtyard already, we know that the doors to the courtyard don’t lock, we also know that Beatrice does not confirm that the boiler (nor the chapel may I remind you) are closed rooms according to her definition. In other words, the detective side assumes that the room is closed without checking it. I propose, instead of the whole, ‘accidental death’ theory that Battler goes with, which Beatrice seems ready to deny in red anyway (“An accidental death among the six people was,” Darn you Ronove) that the rooms were never closed since the boiler room literally cannot be a closed room. Granted, this doesn’t exactly account for why Beatrice seems to be so against saying “The six were all killed by other people” as Battler wants her to. We know that none of the people committed suicide (as per the red), so what can have happened? Well, how about this: Kinzo died from his disease. In other words, he did not die because of another person but also did not commit suicide. His death was entirely natural (as much as a disease can be) and so Beatrice couldn’t say that he was killed by another person but was also willing to say, before being stopped, that Kinzo didn’t die by ‘accident’. I think this might explain that particular issue.
Moving on, lets look at the backstory a little bit more. Trying to establish some kind of timeline for past events may give us a little bit more ground for further speculation and I feel like the story is finally permitting that with Rosa’s story and Beatrice’s own remembrances. First of all I’d like to start in around 1923. We know from what Battler says in Episode 1 that Kinzo was a part of the branch family and the main family was wiped out in the earthquake. In the wake of that tragedy Kinzo was chosen as the next head because he had a lot of toes (or something). Kinzo acquires a large amount of capital and is able to rebuild the Ushiromiya fortune. He makes friends with the occupying forces and sells them stuff during the Korean war (1950). Let us assume that he purchases Rokkenjima at close to this time, perhaps a little before or a little after 1950 since his stated purpose was to use it as a supplying ground for the US. He, at the earliest, could have bought Rokkenjima in 1945 or so. Ok, wild theory time (which actually contains the numbers, whooooo random numbers are the best!): So, Japan had a bit of a thing happen in the early 1940s. There was this war that went on and stuff, probably not really a big deal or anything though. Anyway, during wars things tend to get stolen from conquered countries. Think nazi painting stealing level. National treasures and the like used to finance the war effort. Well, Japan has it’s own legends surrounding some of this. Take a look at this one: Yamashita’s gold. Now at first glance you may go, yeah so what? Obviously you think that these are the same thing but why? Let’s look a little closer:
“According to various accounts, the loot was initially concentrated in Singapore, and later transported to the Philippines. The Japanese hoped to ship the treasure from the Philippines to the Japanese Home Islands after the war ended. As the War in the Pacific progressed, U.S. Navy submarines and Allied warplanes inflicted increasingly heavy sinkings of Japanese merchant shipping. Some of the ships carrying the war booty back to Japan were sunk in combat.”
So in other words the gold probably lies at the bottom of the ocean somewhere near the Philippines. Bear with me on this because it is a long shot, 07151129 is the co-ordinates for the gold in latitude and longitude. Try 07° 15’ lat and 112° 9’ long and you’ll see that it’ll put you near a bunch of reefs west of the Philippines. Feel free to disagree because it was a bit of a guess but it would explain, also, why Eva looked at an atlas and who might have written the letters (Hideyoshi anyone?).
Let’s look at a reasonable objection to this theory. It seems that Kinzo acquires a pretty large amount of capital before the war as well, meaning that it would be a pretty good guess that he would have had to find the gold earlier than WWII. This gold would have only been something find-able post WWII or possibly during. Also, would the head of a house like Ushiromiya just be allowed to go off on a treasure hunt in the seas west of the Philippines? How does Beatrice factor into all of this anyway? Does she know the location of the gold and give that information to Kinzo? Is she a treasure hunter?
To be honest, I don’t know. The timeline for when Kinzo got all the capital is very vague. It would appear that he got it before the war but that doesn’t mean it has to be then. Also, it seems to me that Kinzo could have covered up a treasure hunt by saying that he was going to make a business trip and going to the location he had been told. It’s a little thin but we have to start somewhere and I figure this is as good a place as any. 10 tons of gold doesn’t just disappear from a legitimate source so a buried treasure is not a bad theory in my opinion. The numbers fitting is just gravy.
So going back a bit. Suppose that Kinzo and Beatrice had known each other sometime around 1930. They were young and in love. She is a treasure hunter from the west, come to explore the mysterious east (note: this is all wild conjecture, just imagine that they meet somehow and fall in love). Now suppose that Kinzo gets thrust into the Ushiromiya headship and can no longer marry his love because of political reasons. However, he continues to carry on with her. Eventually, he gets wealthy enough to buy an island and hide his love away in a secret mansion. Beatrice gets pregnant with Kinzo’s child and dies in childbirth. Heartbroken, Kinzo names this child Beatrice as well and she lives in the mansion attended by servants, one of which is a younger Kumasawa. Remember how Kumasawa is thought of a really lazy and will disappear? What if she is actually going to the other mansion to attend to chores there? There is also a gardener. We know this because Beatrice asks Rosa when she stumbles across this other mansion if Rosa is the new gardener. What happened to the old one? Who knows but we might want to keep this mystery gardener in mind as we progress in our theories. Regardless, this second Beatrice meets Rosa after having grown up in her mansion-prison. She runs away and the events of Rosa’s encounter happen. How much we can trust Rosa’s story is debatable so we must come back to this in later theories perhaps. For now let us assume that she died. Kinzo discovers that she is gone and goes kind of crazy. 20 years (or so) later we are at the events of 1986 Oct 4.
Edit 3: Let’s think about what we know about Kinzo for a little bit. Kinzo has always been a bit strange, right. Not necessarily occult strange but he’s always had a hair-trigger temper and some seriously strange Western obsession. Ok, let’s assume that he wasn’t just born as a anglophile, why would he be so interested in having a western mansion built out in the middle of an island for his exclusive use? Why his collection of western occult books? Why his naming of his kids with difficult names? The last one particularly interests me. All the others could just be some kind of strange fairytale that Kinzo had in his mind. However, naming your kids as he did is seriously weird. There’s some reason why he is so into western stuff. Did he perhaps live in Europe or America when he was younger? I can’t help but wonder if that might not be what Eva is searching the atlas for if it wasn’t the co-ordinates (which looks fairly unlikely to be sure) and what all the siblings were talking about when they were saying that Kinzo only loved one place in particular in his youth.
Now, we can speculate freely about what any of this backstory has to do with anything. However, let’s try and establish something: there is something more than just murder going on on Rokkenjima. There is a larger story happening behind the scenes that is moving in tandem with the murders of Rokkenjima. The murders are just one layer of the story and we have to peel it back. How? Let’s look at the various reoccurring events and see if we can’t weed some of the false ones out and flesh out the real ones.
- Maria’s Rose: Probably one of the most notable ones. I feel like I knew as soon as it happened in episode 1 (as I’m sure all of you did too) that this was going to be a thing that I should pay attention to. This is also one of the more frustrating ones to deal with. Who cares? Isn’t it just a rose? Who cares if it disappears? Couldn’t one of the servants have gotten rid of it (I did think this might be possible) or it just blew off in the wind? Well, admittedly, yes it is possible that the rose has no significance and it could just be a red herring. But I would be really hesitant to dismiss this as just a red herring before exploring it. Consider this possibility: Kinzo is being poisoned. Kinzo is, very slowly, through the alcohol that he loves so much, being poisoned by someone. However, for one reason or another the killer does not want to kill him just yet. The killer brings him to the edge of death (Nanjo said the same thing about Kinzo’s condition last year as in 1986) and then leaves him there; ready for when the moment is right. What does this have to do with the rose? The rose is a test subject. The rose is dying because it is being poisoned to test the dosages. The rose is disposed of to get rid of the evidence of the poisoning. Weird, yes but again, we have to start somewhere in our theories. I guess I might as well be the crazy one.
- The Shrine & Torii: We never see this in this episode, at least not technically. What do I mean by that? Easy, the gold is hidden under the shrine somehow. Why do I think that? Mostly it’s just a guess. However, think about the path to the beach as being the sweetfish river that goes down to the sea. The two mentioned in the poem are the two pillars of the torii. The village is the shrine itself and the key is inside of the shrine (probably not an actual key but somehow it helps you to access the gold). So I guess what I should say is not that the gold is under the shrine, but more that the key is hidden in the shrine. So why the destruction of the shrine? Probably, I guess, to hide the key. Either it was not destroyed this time or the evidence of the key is never really gone.
- George’s proposal: Well, we see this happen again. What we do with the information is a little beyond me right now. Does it catalyze anything? Does it affect the story at all other than make George sad? It may or it may not. If anyone has ideas on this one I’m just as curious to know them as anyone else.
- The Lone Ushiromiya with the Gun: Well we see it twisted here but we definitely see that there ends up being a lone Ushiromiya with a gun by the end. The gun/s take a much more prominent spot in this episode so we may want to think about who is getting guns for the past couple of episodes.
- Beatrice’s Letter of Challenge: This time, it is again read aloud to the family at the dinner table by Maria who again claims to have had Beatrice give it to her. Hmmmm… again? It’s a little different this time since we see Beatrice give the letter and umbrella to Maria this time but I guess we can somewhat discount the fact that we ‘saw’ Beatrice do it.
Ok so, what’s going on behind the scenes … ummmmm… That is a very good question… I don’t really know right now. Give me some time to process and I might have a little bit more in the way of theories. Right now I guess we can start with the idea that Kinzo might be being poisoned and that the shrine might have the key to the gold. Combining this together with the backstory of Beatrice; perhaps a former servant, or somehow relative, of Beatrice is back for revenge against the Ushiromiyas and has somehow put themselves in the midst of the family conference. Meh, not very elegant but again, we have to get working on this now.
Edit 6: Let us consider a 19th person (I will justify why I think a 19th person could exist later) and their role, since that seems like a likely place to start. Suppose, as an alternative to the ‘Beatrice has a child’ theory, we go with Kinzo took someone from Fukuin House who looked a lot like Beatrice. What if the original Beatrice was a person somehow connected with the orphanage and so Kinzo has supported it ever since. When she died, Kinzo adopted a girl from Fukuin that looked like Beatrice and brought her to the island as well. Eventually she meets Rosa and dies which leads Kinzo to believe that Fuwadorian is no longer safe to hold his prisoner. In other words, he needs his next Beatrice to be closer and to leave her no way to escape his cage. He creates a room, wherein he keeps Beatrice and the gold. This is the room that Eva discovers. It is the place that Beatrice has been living in, apparently shut away from others. She does figure out a way of escape eventually. Through this she is able to talk with Shannon and Kanon as well as Maria. Since she only started talking with Kanon, Shanon and Maria recently, it is possible that Shannon smashing the mirror in the shrine really did let Beatrice out. So, rather than her finding a way of escape, Beatrice managed (through some unknown means) to convince Shannon to let her escape which may or may not have involved breaking the mirror in the shrine.
Being now able to walk around, she creates some of the mayhem that we see in the story. Suppose that she really does give Maria the letter and that she really does go and live in the VIP room on that conference day. She may even truly believe that she is the witch Beatrice. What other roles does she play? I’m not sure of that yet, I merely wanted to give an explanation on a possibility for how a 19th person could function on the island undetected by anybody else. Plus it was bothering me as to why there was a bedroom attached to the room of gold.
Alright on to the twilights. Well I guess Battler solved most of the twilights proper right? I mean, Eva did it right? I don’t really have any objections, and neither does the witch’s side apparently. Eva seems to have been the one who did it. How did she do the first twilight? That is another good question. It seems like she has an alibi there but I’m a little unsure of that. She doesn’t really seem to have any reason to kill the servants from what I can tell. I can see why she might kill all the other ones that she apparently does kill but why the servants? Is there a second murderer on the island who kills the servants and decides to stop? There’s something suspicious about that. We need to fit the first twilight to the grand scheme of things. Eva doesn’t necessarily have to do it but there is a reason that all of the servant’s (plus probably Kinzo) died. If not Eva then who and why?
As for Nanjo’s death I’m thinking @pictoshark has the right idea about that. Someone killed Nanjo and then died somehow before EVA-Beatrice announces them dead. I’m going to give this one a bit more thought though. It seems to me that there is a more elegant answer to this since it is kind of super built up. I kind of want there to be a really cool trick to this.
Edit 1 (of several I’m sure): Another idea I had was that someone has switched places with a character. In other words, a character is dead but was killed before getting to the island and replaced by another character. This character, therefore, is not ‘affected’ by the red truth that a particular character is dead but is nonetheless a human who is one of the 18. Note: I’m not a fan of this theory but I wanted to get it out there. There is no reason, really, to believe that there is an impostor this time around. However, there isn’t really any evidence that I can see right now why one of the ones we think is dead, is actually alive. (Hideyoshi’s tip is suspicious maybe but hardly good evidence).
Edit 2: Here’s another solution that I thought of. What if there were 19 people on the island and one of the bodies had been moved off the island. For instance, one of the bodies could have been tossed out to sea and so there would only be 18 people ‘on the island’ fulfilling that particular red truth and the person would be truly dead. Then the question becomes, why would someone do that? Does someone get thrown off the island every time? What if ‘off the island’ doesn’t necessarily mean into the sea? This one requires some motive.
Edit 5: I’m not entirely sure where to put this into the post, so I guess here works. I’d like to examine some of the red truths to explore some possible interpretations. First, lets look at some of the red truths that occur during Rosa’s story: It’s definitely dead and There are no more than 18 people on this Rokkenjima. Let’s all agree that the first red truth is very suspicious. The fact that Beato doesn’t say, ‘The human Beatrice is definitely dead’ would indicate that there is the possibility that the dead thing is not Beatrice. However, I would like to point something out; she is talking about someone’s account of past events and using the red truth about it. Here we face a bit of a dilemma, how does the red truth apply to this? To give an example of what I mean suppose I am describing the plot of The Lord of the Rings and I want you to know that Boromir dies. Could I say in red Boromir dies? It is a fictional account after all, something that didn’t happen in real life. Boromir never lived to begin with so obviously he didn’t really die. We know that Beatrice lived, true, but how much can we say about the red truth applying to an account. Does it only say that something is true in the account or is what is said in red actually truth in the world of the game board? Basically what I am asking is does this red truth mean that ‘it’ died in the story of the account only and not in real life (in other words, nobody died and Rosa is making it up, but ‘it’ died for real in the story)? This particular mechanic of the red is a little ambiguous. I feel like I haven’t explained it very clearly but I hope you understand what I mean.
The second red truth is, to me, more interesting before it is said, Battler asks two different things: ‘On this island, there are no more than 18 people’ and '‘There are at least 19 people on this island’. Both of these are not repeated by Beatrice right away. And when Beatrice eventually does say her truth it comes out There are no more than 18 people on this Rokkenjima, which is not quite the same. The phrase ‘this Rokkenjima’ is a little weird. There are a few ways to interpret it. However, I would like to suggest one that might be considerably irritating but also somewhat liberating. The ‘this Rokkenjima’ that is referred to in the red is not the Rokkenjima of 1986 but rather the Rokkenjima of 1967. Beatrice is saying that there are ‘at least’ 18 people on the island at that time, which would be reasonable considering who would be on the island. For a rough count lets consider who might be on the island in 1967. Kinzo and his wife, Krauss, Eva, Rudolf, Rosa, Kumasawa, Genji, Beatrice and perhaps a handful more servants? Even assuming that there are 5 extra servants (a pretty liberal number) and even if Krauss was married at the time (which we don’t know) that would only bring the total up to 15 which is definitely ‘no more than 18’. In short, Beatrice is saying that if n is the number of people on the island in 1967 then n <= 18. This truth would then be a “vacuous truth” (credit to @NotKyon for putting me on this train of thought) meaning that it doesn’t tell us any information while seeming like it does. The reason that Beato didn’t want to say the truth when Battler wanted her too before was because then it would have to apply to the world of the gameboard in 1986 and so would tell us too much. The only thing that changes between when Battler asks her to ‘repeat’ and when she gives the truth is that Rosa is telling her story when Beato gives the truth. Beato evidently couldn’t do it before but now can by saying ‘this Rokkenjima’ and letting us think that she means the current gameboard rather than the past Rokkenjima. All that to say there are reasons to think that there are 19 people on the island.
Another little quirk in the red is when Battler and Beatrice fight over the first twilight. Battler asks her to repeat ‘The six victims are all dead’. Instead she says 6 people: Kinzo, Genji, Shannon, Kanon, Gohda, and Kumasawa are dead! This is clearly not what Battler asks. Battler asks for the ‘victims’. By leaving out the word victims, Beato seems to say that perhaps not everyone was a ‘victim’. This feeds into the whole trouble with repeating another line that Battler wants her to say: ‘The six were all killed by other people’. This one seems particularly devastating to the witch’s side. I’ve already given a possible interpretation of that whole section about accidental death but this just adds to the evidence.
So, just as a kind of extra thing, we have a lot of information now about a lot of things that we haven’t really worked into any kind of theory or overarching story. I’m just going to try and throw in some stuff off the top of my head and I’m sure that more will come later. Nanjo says that he has a sick grandson, Kyrie says that she was also pregnant and due the same time as Asumu was due with Battler, Shannon has a really good memory, Kanon still doesn’t have a name, Maria is still really weird, Nanjo doesn’t really ‘fit’ anywhere in the story (as in, he doesn’t really have any kind of background, no history, even one that is hinted at aside from the sick grandson which is kind of debatable anyway), the letters that randomly appear in other episodes did not do so in this one, Maria and Rosa did not get staked as people did in previous second twilights, what happened to Jessica after she escapes the servant’s room? There are just so many things that need some kind of explanation. I feel like we should be able to form a cohesive story now. Lets do this thing guys! Lets beat this witch!