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Comics Discussion => Flipside Discussion => Topic started by: bulmabriefs144 on July 28, 2015, 07:27:15 pm

Title: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on July 28, 2015, 07:27:15 pm
First post!  ;D I'm not sure if Brion always starts these threads, in which case, sorry.

Well, two comics now, so may as well get started. When last we saw May she'd pretty much given up on the Dark Cell. It's not clear whether time has passed or whether we're rewinding to that point (the problem of split perspective).

So yea, she doesn't seem to have much motivation. Probably because she wants to go back and perform at something she's good at versus "oh hey why not  walk through this impossible dark chamber while you're preoccupied with your own stuff." Seriously, they have horrible timing, given that she was in the middle of performance.

I have a beef with them wiping her memories. First off, who does that? That's straight out of MIB spooks stuff. Second, he's all like "I don't like forcing anyone to do anything" as he said in an earlier chapter, ummm the thing is, other people's memories aren't yours to take! That's precisely the definition of a manipulator, they either view people  as useful to them or get rid of them. People have inherent worth, whether or not they do anything dramatic with their life.

Third, and this is important, it's her memory so it's not a given that she'd be happier without these memories, even if he managed to deliver her back in time for the performance (which btw if you've made her miss, she'd have happy memories of the event then be broke and without options, which is kinda... cruel I guess), there is a difference between knowing the truth and doing the mundane and not knowing anything and the same. It's like Jupiter Ascending, after the adventure she had a brush with greatness, and so rather than her crappy janitor job being a personal hell where "I hate my life" it was just part of things and she could do it with enthusiasm. Or to put it traditionally, there's a story about a monk who before enlightenment chopped wood and carried water. What did he do after? He chopped wood and carried water. The difference however was him, and how he viewed life. Erasing her memories is taking that away from her.

That's my thoughts. Other observations?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on August 02, 2015, 10:32:29 am
It's cool, thanks for starting a new thread.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on August 10, 2015, 04:44:48 am
Is it weird that nobody is posting? Sure, I said enough for everyone, but still.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on August 10, 2015, 10:29:29 am
Sometimes it's just slow.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on August 14, 2015, 11:40:51 pm
Hmmm... interesting.

I'm actually more interested in figuring Maytag out herself... is she a 'functional' sociopath?  'Functional' meaning she is not inspired to murder people for some nebulous reason that is completely unrealatable to by sane people. 

Not saying that Maytag is insane.. just curious is she kinda like Dexter, just without the murderous hunter predilection for hunting and murdering serial killers?  I mean, as far as I know~ a sociopath does not understand or relate to people in the normal fashion of emotional or moral responses that non-sociopaths do as they simply do not understand or comprehend the emotional or moral significance or attachment sane people have to their actions. 

A Sociopath doesn't see any difference from petting a puppy that has injured its leg to comfort it... with bashing a child's head in with a hammer cause she spilled her juice cup on the floor as punishment~ no correlation or emotional response to either action as good or bad registers with a sociopath.  I don't "think" Maytag is dangerous.. but she is certainly .. not emotionally in the same starting point as 'sane' people... whatever "sane" means...

I'd like to like Maytag.. and hope she is not a danger to those around her... but she is creepy.  My heart wants to think she can be 'helped' by her relationship with Bern... but that might be hubris or just plain sophistry... to think she needs 'fixing'.  She seems sweet enough... but is Maytag... like Dexter.. just Very good at fooling people into not seeing her for what she Really is?

That's scary.  People like that you have no idea what would cause them to snap.. and suddenly be very dangerous.  But I really, REALLY, R.E.A.L.L.Y. ... want to like Maytag and not be afraid of and for her!  She seems stable enough... let's hope that continues...
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on August 15, 2015, 10:19:05 am
That's scary.  People like that you have no idea what would cause them to snap.. and suddenly be very dangerous.  But I really, REALLY, R.E.A.L.L.Y. ... want to like Maytag and not be afraid of and for her!  She seems stable enough... let's hope that continues...

Given the chapter cover page, I wonder about that.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on August 15, 2015, 04:00:10 pm
Hmmm... interesting.

I'm actually more interested in figuring Maytag out herself... is she a 'functional' sociopath?  'Functional' meaning she is not inspired to murder people for some nebulous reason that is completely unrealatable to by sane people.

(Never seen Dexter)

She seems sweet enough... but is Maytag... like Dexter.. just Very good at fooling people into not seeing her for what she Really is?

That's scary.  People like that you have no idea what would cause them to snap...

Given my research on this subject online (yes, I actually do research the comic content, I'm a geek  ;D) and watching several shows and movies (Heroes, the K-Drama I Remember You, & The Girl Who Sees Smells for shows; Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber (comedic, but it provides insight into the mentality of a sociopath) and A Werewolf Boy (notthe main character, the guy "paying their rent") and especially The Lovely Bones), I have discovered that there is a difference between an emotionally cold person (which May is), and a sociopath.

There are at least three states that have emotional disconnect that have nothing to do with sociopathy:

http://albertellis.org/personality-disorders/

Narcissism, schizoid, and ASPD (psychopath) all have lack of empathy as a symptom, but they are wildly different disorders. Bottom line, there are alot of reasons people "snap" and there are alot of reasons people are emotionally cold. Psychopathy should never be assumed to be at the top of the list, unless you see stuff like tormenting animals.
 
A person who is a genuine sociopath has several common characteristics, aside from coldness.
 

That said, Maytag has some definite crazy. But it's good crazy. She definitely has the ability to feel remorse, and seems at least annoyed when things go her way. Being scary doesn't mean you necessarily can't be a hero.

Key point. She worries that she is that type of person. Using simple logic, a person who worries about something like that, usually isn't. Because such a person by their nature doesn't care if they hurt others. If she was trying to convince others, I'd say so. But this is her own internal reasoning. She is afraid what is behind the mask. This implies that it is something different from what she thinks it is.

I am not a therapist, btw. I have researched this because I have had emotional coldness when I thought I should feel something, and was worried. So I looked it up.

Or to put it more briefly... Ummm, guys look Word of God.

Quote from: BrionFoulke
As for Maytag being a psychopath, she is not.  She has real feelings for other people, and always has.  She is just very different from other people.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on August 17, 2015, 05:00:12 pm
Really cool post, thanks Bulma.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: AnonTheMouse on August 19, 2015, 04:23:11 am
Psychopathy should never be assumed to be at the top of the list, unless you see stuff like tormenting animals.

Remember the time she cut herself up while calmly explaining how fucking ice-cold and dangerous she was? Or the other time she did basically the same thing?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on August 20, 2015, 04:47:29 am
Masochism is about the opposite of psychopathy. The whole dangerous thing was just a pose.

In reality, psycho types tend to be sadists not masochists. The people who mutilate their own bodies? Suicidals, borderlines, autists, and schizophrenic. The first two due to emotional depression, and the last two because they are out of touch. A psycho only hurts themselves if they can frame other peoole (I think there was a movie called Fear where this guy beat himself up to make it look like the other guy did it).
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on August 22, 2015, 04:28:21 pm
Awww, poor Maytag. And here Bern's about to cheat on her. Talk about trust....  :P
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on August 22, 2015, 08:41:12 pm
Yeah, that's what sucks about all of this. Hopefully Polly and her can figure something else out.

In other news, I recognize those steps. Maytag is at the stairs near the Dark Cell. Which means things may get interesting soon. Assuming she can figure out what to do about her fear.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on August 26, 2015, 04:55:27 pm
Hmmm.. fear.  I don't think I have ever been so afraid that I was in a panic.  As a child I use to be afraid of the dark.. but I confronted that and defeated in as far as I am not paralyzed by walking into darkness.

I keep hearing "Fear is the mindkiller, I will face my fear"... lol.  But I guess you really can't say how you would react to blind unreasoning fear unless you had faced it before.

I like to think... like in the series of Novels - 'The Chtorr War", by David Gerrold... the "Mode Training".. that I would be able to recognize that fear is a choice to feel and that in the case of entering the Dark Cell it was not a useful emotional state to run on my biological Computer..that being my brain.. and I would be able to decide to not run that 'Mode of thought' and could act as I choose.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+chtorrr+war&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Would be nice if human mentality could be trained to work that way... but perhaps its for the best it's not.  THAT would be a scary world in my opinion... where emotions could be coldly  and dispassionately changed and not felt.  {shrug}.. Would seem to me that no emotional reaction would genuine if that were the case... and I just don't believe that. 

LOVE is real.  It is not so simple as a coldly decided "choice".

I believe in Love.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on August 26, 2015, 08:46:06 pm
I think I once tried to memorize that passage (I was a weird kid too). Hmmmm...

I must not  fear
Fear is the mindkiller
Fear is the little (forgot this part)
I will face my fear
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
When fear is gone there is nothing
Only I will remain.

There's like a Tibetan parable about this guy getting locked in a dark room after you die. You get exposed to monsters in this room, which you can face or flee, up to the number of days in the month you died. They get progressively weaker as each one is faced. If you run away from all of them, you'll reincarnate badly. If you face the first one, you ascend to the next level of consciousness and won't need to reincarnate any more (it was in a psych book under exposure theory).

I wonder if May is actually ready. She did some soul-searching, but was it enough?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on September 01, 2015, 01:32:42 am
Hmm, does anyone else wonder if the whole feet up in the last panel, combinded with May's I wonder in the first means we may be seeing the Real Maytag next page. I certainly hope so. :3
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 01, 2015, 09:30:27 pm
You can argue that while this is a mask, this doesn't mean that it's "fake" Maytag. Think about it this way. Suppose you like to read at home. You also like to go out with your friends and do stuff. We could say that one of these is a fake you. Or we can simply decide that these are different sides of you. Since most people don't show everything about themselves, even to close friends.

In May's case, this is a little different. She has a layered personality. Rather than different sides of her, it's more like a series of concentric circles.

(1) May's true self, something that none of us have likely seen (which would probably turn out to be a scared and/or emotional mess)
(2) May's deadpan self
(3) May's dual persona

While you could say #3 is a false personality, this doesn't add up. She had to build this personality from somewhere. If her true self were also deadpan, there would be no reason for #2 (it would be redundant). This means that #1 has emotions, but possibly needs the mask as a defense mechanism for dealing with pain, or because her real self was suppressed early on because it was odd/unruly/damaged/etc. Since neither #3 (not in character with either Jester personality, or the shy Maytag) nor #2 (not deadpan enough) would have said that loud "SHUT UP!" to the creepy maid girl, I think we got a peek at the Maytag behind the masks.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on September 02, 2015, 03:59:24 am
You can argue that while this is a mask, this doesn't mean that it's "fake" Maytag. Think about it this way. Suppose you like to read at home. You also like to go out with your friends and do stuff. We could say that one of these is a fake you. Or we can simply decide that these are different sides of you. Since most people don't show everything about themselves, even to close friends.

In May's case, this is a little different. She has a layered personality. Rather than different sides of her, it's more like a series of concentric circles.

(1) May's true self, something that none of us have likely seen (which would probably turn out to be a scared and/or emotional mess)
(2) May's deadpan self
(3) May's dual persona

While you could say #3 is a false personality, this doesn't add up. She had to build this personality from somewhere. If her true self were also deadpan, there would be no reason for #2 (it would be redundant). This means that #1 has emotions, but possibly needs the mask as a defense mechanism for dealing with pain, or because her real self was suppressed early on because it was odd/unruly/damaged/etc. Since neither #3 (not in character with either Jester personality, or the shy Maytag) nor #2 (not deadpan enough) would have said that loud "SHUT UP!" to the creepy maid girl, I think we got a peek at the Maytag behind the masks.
I dunno about Scared. Emotional Mess maybe, but if that is who we're gonna be seeing next page, the whole feet up, ankles crossed posture kinda nixes out the possibility of Scared. You aren't usually so relaxed when filled with fear.

Unless you meant scared as in Scar and not Scare. I can never tell with that one.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 02, 2015, 05:03:28 am
Oh?

http://flipside.keenspot.com/comic.php?i=2183

She looks perfectly calm, relaxed even, here. And yet she's petrified with fear.

By scared I mean... well you know when you were a kid and you ran to mom? Or were all clingy? I suspect before Maytag even developed her memories, her mom (and dad?) basically made her feel guilty for needing others. Sort of "go away, my daughter wouldn't behave in such a manner." Probably other stuff too, like impulse control, crying, or tantrums. So she formed a mask, even from herself, which basically blocked out all emotion. By analysis, you can kinda see that her mask is built around avoiding fear, need, intimacy, and emotion. Logically, this means there is a natural store of all such things.

But it's probably stuck at that childhood level, because while she's built her persona outward, the actual personality hasn't developed much.

http://flipside.keenspot.com/comic.php?i=2609

So back to the opening picture. It's not an evil grin. It's a smirk. She's getting a natural rush from feeling pain. Normally, she does this acceptance trick, and has layers and layers of emotional walls. But we are assuming the walls are down here, and she legitimately has some masochistic tendencies.

Pfffft, this is a nice way of setting this up. Rather than the chore of wading through ten comics before she gets through, she just outright finishes, and the next comic will be like "prove it." Kinda explains the whole relaxed legs crossed deal too.

Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: monimoni on September 05, 2015, 02:26:57 am
So what is this "dark cell" exactly?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 05, 2015, 11:39:06 am
From what I understand, it is some sort of metaphor for a sort of struggle going on within the mind.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on September 07, 2015, 03:57:56 pm
I actually wonder somewhat if maytag has some degree of high functioning autism.  She certainly displayed some (exaggerated) traits in the earlier comics of her childhood. 

As articles state, many people with HFA want to interact with others, but just don't know how as it doesn't come to them naturally.  She has said herself that she learnt how to interact with others, studied how they react and built her personalities around those facts to appeal to as many areas as possible.  And like all things those acts formed habits which formed a more natural personality for her. 

Just a theory mind you. 

What I'm wondering right now is (spoiler) what the hell her body type could have to do with dark cell. 

For a while I thought that her sudden epiphany about phase 1 was to do with meditation, she had all this emotional baggage in her mind that rhodes and marcie kept poking with a stick, bringing it to the foreground.  Once that emotional baggage was out the way dark cell wouldn't have anything to feed on to increase her fear.  Which is also why I thought she'd sat down when she walked in there, so she could meditate on her thoughts while feeling that fear, and monitor whether the fear subsided as she resolved those issues.

But seriously, that body type thing, what on earth could that have to do with it?  Does dark cell affect short people more than tall people? 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 07, 2015, 05:39:32 pm
Schizoid.

The section about "the purpose of a mask is that it can be thrown away" makes it super-clear.

Autism and schizoid have similar inability to relate to others. I should know, I was once (mis)diagnosed as autistic.

Autism, even high functioning autism, is marked by a lack of social skill. It is also marked by a number of social oddities that May simply does not have. May is actually very socially smooth. Her problem is that she doesn't seem to care on the surface about people, and while she's social, has an issue with close relationships (almost like she pulls away if stuff gets too personal). SHe also lacks many of the obsessive compulsive "nonfunctional routines" that autism manifests.

Schizoid often uses "masks" and "walls" as metaphors for the condition. Think about it, the only time she really gets off sexually is wearing her headgear. 

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c8/3f/d2/c83fd27e0e2bb53b9e575faf122b4657.jpg)

Short form: schizoids make very good poker players (constant poker face). Autistics make very bad ones (bad at reading body language).

Of course, There Are No Shrinks in Flipside universe, so she's unlikely to be diagnosed as such. Also, keep in mind, this is a spectrum. She may be in-between somewhere. But she's more deadpan and aloof than eccentric.

I was wondering about the body type too. I have no clue what this is about. Looks like we'll get an explanation soon.

...Ohhhh, wait. I know what they mean about body type (I think). There was some ski-jumping manga I was reading (Nononono) where is was talking about how many women had a disadvantage ski-jumping because men can use their weight and body muscle to shrug off some of the force during a heavy wind. I think in addition to intense fear, it has a tendency to exert some sort of wind pressure type deal on the person passing, so it's difficult to "break through." 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on September 08, 2015, 10:37:49 am
Ah, so maybe it's actually a two pronged attack.  The primary one that everyone notices is the fear, which is also what they kept trying to keep her focused on by emphasising the masks, and the emotional coldness.  But at the same time as well as the crippling fear (which may very well be voided through meditation) there's also a physical pressure too.

I imagine it might actually be endurance sapping or something.  The first time may went in she was paralyzed by the fear, then she made it in 6 steps, and then it kept going down each time. 

All she was doing during that time was lying in bed / sitting down, and then going in to that room once, then going back to her room to rest. 

By spending that time walking around aimlessly she was actually building up her endurance slightly, so when she went back to the room she bypassed the fear and had enough endurance to make it past without collapsing. 

So rather than the fear making her collapse, it was actually her stamina being drained away, and the fear was just a mask covering it.

I actually wonder, they said she passed the first two phases of dark cell.  I'm wondering if, rather than being a case of as you go further in, you encounter a new barrier, its that as you go in, one drops and the others intensify.

Phase one would be the endurance sapping, phase two would be fear.  The reason they were distracting her with the masks etc was to make her look inwards and come to an understanding of her fears, so they were distracting her from phase one to focus on phase two.

She made it past phase 1, and by that point she'd already come to terms with her fears so was no longer effected by phase 2 either.  Which only leaves phase 3. 

Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 09, 2015, 12:37:51 pm
Sorta like a car that you're afraid to drive because it shakes and drags, but after you get past the actual fear, you see that the car just shakes because the wheels need work or something.

It's kinda just sort of a gravity issue. Force pushing either down  or towards the person, so they can't seem to get past. They think it's just fear, but actually it's more to do with pressure. Maytag is able to shrug it off because she normally doesn't feel fear, and noticed the pressure. From the storyline of the other girl, and how May did the second one on the first try, it seems like the 2nd zone is cake.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on September 09, 2015, 03:21:54 pm
Well from the latest chapter the fear can't be ignored at all, although the stamina sapping was sort of accurate.  Thing is looking back at it I should have clicked sooner.

Fear is a fight of flight response, a deer in the headlights isn't afraid, it's shocked, two similar but different emotions.  The fact that may couldn't respond with either fight or flight, and just collapsed should have been the indicator that something else was wrong.

I suppose it's a bit like when you get emotionally exerted, you lose a fair amount of your strength.

The entire test though seems to be about deception, and tricks.  The recruitment test was seeing if she could resist magic, she was able to resist the bath in danzigs castle, and she was able to resist the fear generated by bloody mary.

She was able to get past the bath with sheer force of will, likewise with bloody mary she got past her blood puke with willpower and the acceptance technique, and if it weren't for her willpower she wouldn't have gotten past the fear enough to notice the endurance sapping. 

But as for phase 2, there's been no indication of what it could possibly be.  If phase 1 was seeing past the magical fear, and noticing the endurance sapping, I wonder if phase 2 is some other deception. 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 10, 2015, 06:01:14 pm
I'm not sure they are all deceptions. I mean, probably they are. But I think the bigger part of these is that they are barriers to progress.

What other barriers are there besides fear?

Well, pain. Pain can pretty much keep people from advancing. I'm thinking the third is pain, based on the title picture.

Apathy. That's what I'm thinking. While the fear one had a sort of pressure to go with it, this barrier would be sort of the exact opposite of this. It is so mellow that it lulls the person into staying there and not moving ahead.  If someone numbs themselves to the pressure of the first, the temptation is to rest there for awhile.

Past the third, what do you think? Theories?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: monimoni on September 11, 2015, 01:27:35 pm
You were spot-on about May. And yup most likely the third phase is pain, however i wonder if it's gonna be just the sensation of pain, and not actual harm. I'm also wondering how May is able to come back after advancing past first and second phase.. I get that the lady is taking her out, but would the person inside be able to communicate somehow that they're ok?
This chapter is very intriguing, looking forward to finding out what's with this black hole in this guy's house. Let's see what he proposes next..
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on September 13, 2015, 10:18:38 am
Could you all stop calling my bride a sociopath?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on September 13, 2015, 07:19:00 pm
Could you all stop calling my bride a sociopath?

Sure thing. We'll knock it off.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on September 14, 2015, 10:49:06 am
I'm wondering now if each phase is a different set of stats

Phase 1 was endurance and willpower.
Phase 2 might be intelligence and dexterity considering how easily may managed to get through.

Those are what I'd consider Mays primary stats, (if this were D&D) and I imagine that each phase of the cell may challenge two different aspects of a persons physical and mental traits. 

So perhaps some kind of illusions (which we know may is very apt at overcoming) and some kind of dexterity involvement, perhaps in this case the rolls are reversed, the physical challenge is the obvious one, and the mental challenge is the subtle aspect.  As an example an axe swinging down towards you, a normal person would jump to the side to dodge, whilst May might notice in the split second that there's no sound from it, or the reflections aren't right and deduce it's an illusion.  The person who deduces the illusion can pass on, whilst the one who dodges is forced out of phase 2.

Of course there would have to be real obstacles also which would also explain why each phase gets progressively more dangerous.

If this is true (and it probably isn't, I'm guessing here) I'd say phase 3 is strength and charisma, although how the hell you test charisma I don't know, and I doubt very much May will be able to pass a strength test, but who knows.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 14, 2015, 02:21:19 pm
Pffft.

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/0d/e1/71/0de171bf2fe043c6f9909d26e2a58bb0.jpg)

I'm thinking either this, or possibly some false relax deal, where suddenly the pressure is off, and the temptation is to rest, but instead she has to break into a dead run, and figure this fact out quick, or get flushed out. 

At this point, it's tricky to extrapolate a pattern, since we've only seen one.

Quote
You were spot-on about May. And yup most likely the third phase is pain, however i wonder if it's gonna be just the sensation of pain, and not actual harm. I'm also wondering how May is able to come back after advancing past first and second phase.. I get that the lady is taking her out, but would the person inside be able to communicate somehow that they're ok?

I think the challenges are as real (or fake) as the person entering makes them. As in, feeling the fear makes it drain you, believing in the phase 2 illusion makes that affect you, and phase 3 can cause actual damage (possibly reversible) if you take it too seriously.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: dekutree64 on September 18, 2015, 02:46:12 pm
Hmm, Corona's description actually does make sense for the first one to conquer phase 2. There's no way to know for sure whether the injuries are purely illusory, or if they're real but get magically reversed if you run away. It could be that the fear of the first phase was legitimate, because if you go in there, you'll get sliced to pieces until you die.

Maytag, on the other hand, knows that Corona has reached the end of phase 2 and lived to tell the tale. So it's pretty obvious that it's all an illusion, and therefore only a test of pain tolerance, which is no problem for her.

I can't wait to hear what phase 3 is. The first two, all you have to do is keep walking and nothing bad really happens. Corona attempts phase 3 every day, so it must not be anything that causes actual damage. Maybe it causes extreme tiredness? But I'm thinking it will be less straightforward than the first two. Maybe it causes memory loss, so you forget why it is that you're in there to begin with, and run away from all the bad stuff. Or it could just be a maze. That would explain Corona going in every day, gradually charting it.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 18, 2015, 03:23:18 pm
Now that we know (somewhat) the pattern of these phases, I can extrapolate to some degree.

These are based on human sensation, as in fear/pain/pleasure, etc. While there a ton of emotions, there are only a few sensations. I'm crossing the ones that have been done.


It's like they say in business, you can work hard, or you can work smart. Corona is a hard worker, and just goes at something with a plow-through mentality. Maytag understands phase 2 rather than simply overcoming pain. Which leads me to think that phase 3 is something that you can't get through just by moving forward. Something where you have to stop and think about it first. ...Possibly confusion. "Four" is "death" in Asian cultures so I can imagine that one having progressive numbness until you effectively feel dead (if you accept this one, you probably die, but there's probably a way to bypass this).
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: TheCollector on September 21, 2015, 04:48:16 am
Welp, if anyone had any doubts still, I think it's pretty clear after that first panel that May definitely has some masochistic tendencies. 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: IronSoul on September 22, 2015, 10:42:07 pm
One crazy thought I haven't seen anyone voice. Someone suggested that these tests could take place in the mind...but if that's true, is it possible that perhaps crazed individuals like Suspria are those that were also talked or coerced into going into the dark cell, and went insane as a result? I'm probably wrong and it's probably more than that, but it was something that occurred to me.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 23, 2015, 08:15:06 am
Possible, but unlikely. I think these tests are mainly to figure out exactly what these qualia are doing. That said, it does appear to be a largely mental journey.

He wanted Bloody Mary to test various biological effects, and especially to figure out how healing works.

He used Suspiria to test how the magical awakening process worked.

And now he's using Maytag to find out what exactly is behind the Dark Cell.

I'm sure there were previous experiments too.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on September 24, 2015, 11:55:01 am
Sounds to me like you're the one screwed up,  honey, not Maytag. She's dealing with her issues...
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 25, 2015, 04:08:08 am
Now, the popular sequel to the online game DepressionQuest you've been waiting for! Check out PsychosisQuest. Muddle through your insanity or let it eat you alive. Your choice! Only $10.99.

Pffft. Depression Quest is a real game. The other is not, but I thought I'd make a faux ad.

Something tells me she's an experiment. Either in producing insanity or suppressing it. Possibly to understand the phase 1 they got someone who can adjust their emotions.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on September 25, 2015, 07:03:36 pm
Honestly looking at this, I can see why May did so well in the second phase. 

First phase was fear which can't be ignored because it's magical fear, the acceptance technique would never work because it's magically induced as she said, and the fatigue was a bi-product of that fear.

The second phase being pain however, even if magically induced, can be ignored with the acceptance technique, and more on point, because May realised instantly that the harm wasn't permanent she could use it to experiment, feel degrees of pain whilst knowing that no real harm will come to her.  It's not about facing your mortalitiy because you know you aren't going to die, after that it's acknowledging what pain feels like and accepting that pain.

I actually wonder if this is some kind of warrior training.  Phase one forces you to face a fear that cannot be faced, whilst pushing you to a physical limit.  The second phase builds on that fear with physical pain, but no actual harm comes to you so it's learning to fight on in spite of the pain, or in maytags case become accustomed to it.

It's not something somebody who's emotionally dead can deal with, but somebody who has near perfect control of their emotions could.

I wonder if stage 3 will be something akin to a full psychological assault.  Phase 1 is artificial fear, phase 2 is artificial pain.  What if phase 3 is more real than that, showing you what you truely fear the most, causing pain in ways that affect you not only physically but psychologically.

While May can ignore the pain happening to herself, what if phase three were to be something along the lines of visions of Bernadette being raped and tortured, even if she knows it isn't real, I don't think May would be able to ignore it. 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on September 28, 2015, 11:44:00 am
I wonder if stage 3 will be something akin to a full psychological assault.  Phase 1 is artificial fear, phase 2 is artificial pain.  What if phase 3 is more real than that, showing you what you truely fear the most, causing pain in ways that affect you not only physically but psychologically.

While May can ignore the pain happening to herself, what if phase three were to be something along the lines of visions of Bernadette being raped and tortured, even if she knows it isn't real, I don't think May would be able to ignore it.

You're not too far off, but I'd imagine despair (as has now been revealed) would be like seeing Bern being raped or brutally killed and knowing there's absolutely nothing she can do to prevent it.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on September 28, 2015, 12:59:20 pm
Uhm... I'm not so sure seeing Bern hurt would be as painful as ...

Bern abandoning her... despising her opened heart... and rejecting her love. 

Despair is not about  immediate pain... its not about immediate fear.  Those things can be endured and/or fought with willpower or courage... cause you know they will eventually end. 

Despair is about KNOWING there is no point in the future when you will ever feel anything BUT fear or pain...  its is the end of all hope of love or happiness or anything else that makes life worth living.  Despair is acid of the spirit, turning all that one loves into ashe... until one begs for death just to end the suffering.  It cannot be fought and enduring it is pointless why bother it will never end?

THAT is despair.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: dekutree64 on September 28, 2015, 01:36:45 pm
Hmm, I hope we actually get to see what phase 3 is like. Sure, despair is awful, but how does dark cell get you to feel it when you know it's all fake? Unless, like my theory before, it causes memory loss. Though in this case it would have to be selective, so you don't remember how you got there or that it's not real, but do still remember the people that it's showing you.

But even then it's not impossible. It's just a matter of figuring out a way to remind yourself what's going on. Like writing a message on your hand, or training yourself to do some sort of check anytime things seem weird, like the checks you can do to figure out if you're dreaming or awake.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on September 28, 2015, 06:07:26 pm
I think I understand why she says that it's impossible.

The Fear phase is just an illusion, the actual problem is fatigue.

The Pain phase causes actual pain, but the fact is that pain is not actually the same as injury.

The Despair phase is about despair. What does that entail?


The point of despair is that it seems to have no end. That things don't appear to get better no matter how hard you try, or how long you live. Other people may see progress, but you see no change. This is what Maytag means by it being impossible, that there is no hope or way out, by definition.

I think I have the answer to that however. These emotions are not truth.

http://www.peaceandhealing.com/psychology/despair/

This was a good article.

Hmmmm... Replaces your history with one of despair. So it's not really a memory removal (i.e. you can learn from it) so much as a past replacement. I remember a point in my life where it simply went nowhere. I was able to fish myself out with the help of a dear friend. But until that happened, career, happiness, and life was kinda in a dead-end for almost 7 years. It was a mess. Even if your life was only boring, not unhappy, this would be pretty hard.

I think May either needs a completely ripple-proof memory or to be able to not give a damn whether the thing shows her depressing memories, and just keep walking on.

I just had a ton of dreams where I suddenly remembered I had super powers. It's sorta like waking up, and realizing humans can't do such things.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on October 05, 2015, 08:05:06 pm
Dude looks a little freaky.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on October 06, 2015, 09:40:55 am
Dat finger. I have an Objection to it.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on October 10, 2015, 04:39:30 pm
Although Corona hasn't managed Phase 3 in seven years and May hasn't done so in the past few days, she appears to have an idea on they may be able to get through that phase. Perhaps instead of individuals going solo, they try going in as a group, with a mutual support system going to remind each other it's just like a dream and nothing bad is going on externally.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on October 10, 2015, 08:38:36 pm
I would try writing down a message to myself or practicing lucid dreaming. I assume you can't pass just by sending more people in there at once.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on October 11, 2015, 04:31:45 am
I was thinking the message to self, and lucid dreaming is definitely a way to remember, though I'm not sure whether these guys know about it.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on October 12, 2015, 12:34:19 am
May certainly likes keeping Lehm on his toes... :)
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: 9_6 on October 12, 2015, 09:11:06 am
I guess she wants to ensure her horrible murdery end once she outlived her usefulness.
It's unlikely she'll actually walk out there with 20 million to begin with. Haggling is just a deathwish.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on October 12, 2015, 04:26:31 pm
She's betting.

She wants to see if he'll raise. As in, just how much this is worth it to him. If he refuses, he obviously isn't really there for the right reason, so to speak.

He'll probably tell her "Only if you go all the way."
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: wowfood on October 15, 2015, 06:10:45 pm
It looks like she's trying to weigh up exactly how much this whole shebang is worth to Lehm.  He offered 20, she raises to 50 and he'll make the deal.  If she then makes it to the middle and finds the answer Lehm is looking for, I wonder if she won't try to raise the stakes even higher. 

As for how she'll get there.  There's any number of possibilities.  We already know she's unique in that she can effectively shut off emotions if she's prepared to.  I don't the the acceptance technique is the only card up her sleeve.  I think she can go back to her childhood mask if she needs to.  Go to land of despair, limit emotional output and keep on walking.

Another alternative would possibly be lucid dreaming.  They've all described this as a dream, where the dream becomes your reality.  If may is able to lucid dream at will, and considering her pyschology it really wouldn't surprise me, she may be able to remember she's in the dream and keep on walking.

Or the third alternative, which is cheating the system, doing something to herself such that she's forced to keep on walking, maybe self hypnosis, maybe a thumbtack in the front of her shoe, who knows. 

But in all likelyhood it's none of the above.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: 9_6 on October 15, 2015, 09:10:57 pm
I don't know.

It seems more like a sign that she'll actually never walk out of there if he readily accepts more and more ridiculous prices.
All of those guys are probably pretty badass and could turn her inside-out by just thinking about it and if the info is really that valuable to lehm, why would they let her walk out into the wide world with it?
She already knows too much and erasing memories probably won't be good enough for those guys.

The real problem seems to be how joe shmoe can safely get out of a deal with dr manhattan and the only answer is probably that she never will.
Her only chance is to become of invaluable importance to them and maintain that position kinda like a programmer who incorporates their style of coding that is hard for newcomers to get behind into a vital piece of software so the company will think twice about firing them.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on October 16, 2015, 05:24:26 am
Speaking of programming and stuff, someone mentioned this as warriors training. I disagreed because Bern is more the warrior.
I do however think the key to being useful, is to find a way to gain abilities from this. Either being able to communicate with Qualia or a sort of antimagic. Or Lucy-like reality powers.

At the very least, if she gets past this, he can't erase her memories because she would know how to keep them.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on November 04, 2015, 07:04:16 pm
"And that brings us to the second problem...

... you'll misunderstand the message and think your arm isn't real."

And then suddenly, Mannequin 3.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 05, 2015, 01:12:14 pm
 :P

The second problem being that we associate pain with being real, hence the whole "pinching yourself" deal.

You need someone else there to simply tell you this is not real. Maytag, you're in a webcomic.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: mittfh on November 07, 2015, 07:59:25 am
So they've confirmed that visual stimuli to remind yourself it's not real don't work. It wouldn't surprise me if they've tried taking aural messages in with them (e.g. recording stones) and those have also failed. I wonder if they have tried taking others in with them?

I wonder how Bloody Mary would cope if she could be tracked down and brought into the facility?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 08, 2015, 02:09:39 pm
I'm pretty sure the only way past this is to fight this version of reality with her own. Not so much trying to remember, as trying to kinda be like "I know how Bern is, she would never do this!" or something. They've tried all sorts of remembering techniques, but I think this is it, she simply has to be tougher than the forces trying to get her to forget.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on November 09, 2015, 03:58:28 pm
So much for the going as a group idea.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 09, 2015, 06:10:57 pm
Well, it's a good theory. But it's much like having an interesting experience (let's say the results of a vision quest) and trying to convince a room full of people who are completely unsuperstitious. Their experiences basically are a filter here, and they see only what they see, so you can't convince them and they can't convince you of anything.

You and your twin could probably share enough experiences that this would work, but otherwise...
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on November 11, 2015, 07:32:27 pm
And the triggering idea didn't work because they weren't university students.

Sorry for going topical there.  :P
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Desiree on November 15, 2015, 03:41:43 pm
I've been wondering about Bloody Mary as related to the Dark Cell.

The Thin Man said that he needed Mary for regeneration experiments, and that she was the ideal candidate because she would volunteer for the procedure.

He also said that he created Melter to try to get past the first phase (because Melter didn't feel emotions) but it backfired.

Well, what if Bloody Mary was an attempt to make a real person who knew fear (because she was afraid of death and pain) physically stronger and unafraid?  Bloody Mary's upgraded were designed to overcome fear and pain, meaning that, in theory, that should make her better suited to getting through the first two phases of the Dark Cell.  Since her new body is physically stronger and she's used to being afraid, she should have been able to overcome the first phase fairly quickly, and her new body could have also resisted the pain from the second phase, leaving only the third.

Of course, her need to eat human flesh probably screwed things up.  Since her memory was erased, we don't know if she tried to access the Dark Cell or not.  My point is only that I think that the Thin Man intended to create someone who could pass the first two phases and Mary was the result.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 16, 2015, 06:59:16 pm
I don't think that's it. The Dark Cell is only part of things, not the whole.

The Thin Man was curious about the source of magic, so he asked about it.

Brush told him about Qualia.

Discovering that magic was in fact not from supernatural cause, he recruited people who were willing to be studied, and experimented on them with the seed of power. This was to understand what exactly was going on when supposedly these people were unlocking seals.

Next he was curious about regeneration. Why? Because he wanted to see how healing worked. He also experimented on effects that could simulate fear and unhealable wounds, all effects that seemed strictly supernatural.  He found out these were mostly biological effects (fear demon is a mucous that releases pheromones, and the "curse" is simply a chemical that breaks down bonds to prevent closure of wounds).

I imagine there were a few other "monsters", experiments to understand various magical effects.

So then, he asks "if these things are have a framework that isn't magic, then why is it that people cannot see them as such?"

The brush showed him the Dark Cell.   
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Desiree on November 17, 2015, 09:17:36 am
Next he was curious about regeneration. Why? Because he wanted to see how healing worked. He also experimented on effects that could simulate fear and unhealable wounds, all effects that seemed strictly supernatural.  He found out these were mostly biological effects (fear demon is a mucous that releases pheromones, and the "curse" is simply a chemical that breaks down bonds to prevent closure of wounds).

I imagine there were a few other "monsters", experiments to understand various magical effects.

So then, he asks "if these things are have a framework that isn't magic, then why is it that people cannot see them as such?"

The brush showed him the Dark Cell.

Except that he has been researching the Dark Cell for more than 2 years, but Bloody Mary hasn't been active that long - a few months at most.  So clearly he didn't learn about the Dark Cell after creating Bloody Mary - he knew about the Dark Cell before recruiting/modifying her.  Moreover, he specifically said he created Melter to enter the Dark Cell, and Melter is the one who recruited Bloody Mary before she was bloody, so again, he knew about the Dark Cell first.

Now, that doesn't mean that your supposition about his experiments was incorrect either - just your conclusion that the Bloody Mary experiments led him to the Dark Cell.

It is, in fact, possible that he wanted to do regeneration experiments for both reasons - to see the limits of healing AND to create someone who could enter the Dark Cell.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 18, 2015, 03:58:35 am
She hasn't been active that long. When you study someone, you don't just meet them and ditch. We have. We have a healing test that may have at first seemed okay. She heal wounds, she had incurable wounds, fear demon. No problem. But that new candidate? They're not still there. While some may have been memory erased if they weren't useful, suppose some got eaten. At first, they go unnoticed, but then it's like "Mary!" Om nom nom, "hmmm?" "We're going to release you for our safety, mkay?"

We don't know the timeframe of events, including whether she went unnoticed outside for awhile too. We do know that he made a number of experiments leading up to the conclusion that the dark cell was at the core of whatever truth there is, and the sequence of events may be different than we think.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: UmberIsSexy on November 18, 2015, 10:22:57 am
Great stuff Brion!
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 18, 2015, 11:32:31 am
They're wrong.

It's not impossible. Yes, it is impossible to do this through lucid dreaming.

But I have a feeling she's going to do something even weirder.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on November 18, 2015, 05:29:07 pm
Great stuff Brion!

Here here
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on November 18, 2015, 07:44:48 pm
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on November 18, 2015, 07:49:06 pm
PS: If darkcell foils the batteringram, catapult ftw
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on November 18, 2015, 08:18:11 pm
I considered physically forcing people to "pass", but I consider the same level and kind of cheese that just shoving more people in is (after all, you could just shove city after city of people in there until someone passes by virtue of there being no other physical option), so I assume that it is not a valid solution. If it is then I guess the people in the story have a mental block regarding this rather than the story having the "mental block". It would be nice if it was covered, but I'm used to stories skipping dull, technical options that almost never actually work in stories, so I won't really hold it against the story if it doesn't come up.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 18, 2015, 09:46:08 pm
Wouldn't work.

It is entirely psychological. But the nature of this effect means that the physical reality is negated.
This third one is an existential replacement.

Let me give an example of the effect:

Suppose I had a girlfriend (I don't, too shy). We are joined at the hip, finishing other's sentences, and cuddling every day. So ummm, one day, I decide I don't deserve her, and I treat her like crap. She leaves forever. This is an example of negative reality displacement, where one's current situation is displaced by one's outlook.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Suppose, I, as a shy person, have lived my whole life alone. Growing tired of this, I tell myself that I deserve a partner too. I find a sweet girl that I deeply admire, and even though she is currently seeing someone, I give her some reason to see that I'm a good person to be with. This is an example of positive reality displacement.

They are trying too hard to remember that this isn't real. Right, it isn't. But you don't concentrate on that fact, since your mind knows this but your body convinces you otherwise. You instead think of how to work to steadily improve your reality, and not fall further into despair.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Brion Foulke on November 18, 2015, 11:03:15 pm
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?

I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat. 

I considered physically forcing people to "pass", but I consider the same level and kind of cheese that just shoving more people in is (after all, you could just shove city after city of people in there until someone passes by virtue of there being no other physical option), so I assume that it is not a valid solution. If it is then I guess the people in the story have a mental block regarding this rather than the story having the "mental block". It would be nice if it was covered, but I'm used to stories skipping dull, technical options that almost never actually work in stories, so I won't really hold it against the story if it doesn't come up.

Interesting, I hadn't thought of this idea.  But there's a couple problems with it.  First of all, you'd need a ridiculous amount of people, several hundred at least.  Finding several hundred volunteers who are all capable of getting through the first 2 phases, and willing to put such a plan in action would be nearly impossible.  So you'd have to force people in.  That means they wouldn't be practiced at getting through stage 1, which means that it's going to be very difficult to force them in.  And stage 2 won't be any easier.  That means every single person you try to "force" in will be kicking and screaming to push the other way.

The problem is that in order for that plan to work, you need people who are trying to walk forward.  Otherwise you're just going to have a "traffic jam."  A better idea is a conga line of willing participants all pushing each other forward.  It's still extremely difficult to get enough people who can pass phase 2, seeing as how there is a small number of people who have ever done that.  But supposing you had enough people... there's still the point that phase 3 can change the illusion to account for outside things you bring in.  So, hypothetically, the illusion could be something that would make the person at the front of the conga line decide to immediately push back.  Now, a single person might be pushed forward by a conga line of 12 people, but once more of the conga line enters phase 3, the force pushing back will be stronger, and the force pushing forward will be weaker.  That means you're going to end up having a traffic jam anyway.

But still, the conga line is a good idea that I hadn't thought of until just now, so I might have to mention that at some point.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: dekutree64 on November 19, 2015, 04:20:06 am
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat.
If I were Lehm, I'd be too afraid to try breaking the walls because it might damage the whole thing to where the secret becomes permanently inaccessible. Or maybe the qualia would just teleport it somewhere else and he'd have to go searching the world for it. The current situation is pretty good, having it accessible all the time for thorough study, with nobody bothering them.

As for the battering ram idea, why not just tie the person to a cart and roll them through phase 3? That should fit through the door, or at worst could be assembled inside. I suppose it would be risky since you could end up trapped in there, so don't tie them so tight that they can't wriggle free in time, and put a timed release mechanism for added safety. But there could also be issues with the floor not being good to roll on the whole way. Large diameter wheels and rocket propulsion might help :P But there could also be bottomless pits to avoid, or walls to climb, or corners to turn...

For the conga line, I'd think the biggest issue would be preventing everyone from running sideways. I suppose it depends on the geometry of the whole thing. Is it a narrow corridor, or an infinitely wide open space, or just a fairly large room that could be filled given a large enough number of people who can pass phase 2? Regardless, it seems impractical to find enough people.

And on the lucid dream approach, it can't be replacing your reality entirely because it's basing the constructed reality upon your memories of loved ones. So there's still more study to be done, analyzing its algorithm for how it chooses which memories to use. Perhaps it would be possible to plant "trick memories" that it will attempt to use against you but will actually cause you to walk forward. Though it's probably smart enough to see that and try something else if you don't go the way it wants you to.

Oh, and how about having Corona and Maytag tie Melter up and haul him through phase 1 and 2, and then release him to attempt phase 3 without emotions?

And have they tested the effects of a blindfold and earplugs on the illusions?

Certainly is a fun challenge to ponder on :) I can't wait to see what the real solution turns out to be... if there is one.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 19, 2015, 03:15:00 pm
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with why Maytag is a candidate.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on November 19, 2015, 04:13:44 pm
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.

On the other hand if the walls *were* breakable, this is possible.  But in that case, there are actually easier ways to cheat. 
Just have a sufficient supply of interlocking ram pieces and you're good, right? ;p Surely there are ways to engineer something.

Interesting, I hadn't thought of this idea.  But there's a couple problems with it.  First of all, you'd need a ridiculous amount of people, several hundred at least.  Finding several hundred volunteers who are all capable of getting through the first 2 phases, and willing to put such a plan in action would be nearly impossible.  So you'd have to force people in.  That means they wouldn't be practiced at getting through stage 1, which means that it's going to be very difficult to force them in.  And stage 2 won't be any easier.  That means every single person you try to "force" in will be kicking and screaming to push the other way.

The problem is that in order for that plan to work, you need people who are trying to walk forward.  Otherwise you're just going to have a "traffic jam."  A better idea is a conga line of willing participants all pushing each other forward.  It's still extremely difficult to get enough people who can pass phase 2, seeing as how there is a small number of people who have ever done that.  But supposing you had enough people... there's still the point that phase 3 can change the illusion to account for outside things you bring in.  So, hypothetically, the illusion could be something that would make the person at the front of the conga line decide to immediately push back.  Now, a single person might be pushed forward by a conga line of 12 people, but once more of the conga line enters phase 3, the force pushing back will be stronger, and the force pushing forward will be weaker.  That means you're going to end up having a traffic jam anyway.

But still, the conga line is a good idea that I hadn't thought of until just now, so I might have to mention that at some point.

I guess your idea is that the world doesn't have many people that can pass the first two phases, regardless of Lehm's effectively infinite ability to pay them? Anyway, you could do various things to aid or "encourage" people to move forwards instead of backwards. The basic idea is just flooding the area on the basis of it being a fixed area that can be filled. I assumed this wouldn't work because it's cheesy and is generally not considered an option in scenarios like this in stories. I think if you engineer something or can communicate from outside phase one (and there is a limited area with no limit to the number of entities (human or not) you can send in) you can force things...in some extreme example you could simply start flooding the room with acid once you can't push any more people in...if they can perceive this they will run forward, right?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Desiree on November 19, 2015, 09:42:44 pm
I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door? 

Easy!  Warp Box.  Put a portal door up parallel to the Dark cell.  The portal door connects to a large, mostly empty warp box where you've stored a large battering ram (or other long object with which to move the Subject).  You open the portal and have people in the warp box move the object (battering ram, etc) forward into the hallway, where you attach the subject.  Or just attach the Subject in the Warp Box to save time.  Either way, the object with the subject is moved forward with a series of rungs by strong people on the outside (in the Warp Box, to give them plenty of room).  Meanwhile, you have Corona enter with the Subject to guide the Object forward and make sure it doesn't hit the "edges" or the doorway or whatever.  Maytag could help too.  Then, when they get near the end of Phase 2, Corona (and Maytag) stop moving forward and use the handholds on the Object to keep it going forward, make sure things remain steady, and to observe what happens without crossing over into the Third Phase.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 20, 2015, 09:26:07 am
Tying a person to a cart would have them trying to get free. At complete amnesia/brain adjustment, they would immediately decide that someone was kidnapping them, and adrenaline would have them wriggling out and running backwards through the phases.

Even if you chained them, they would either dig in their feet (getting crushed) or get through, only to be chained up. Or they have a key to the chains which they use immediately.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: monimoni on November 24, 2015, 05:56:47 am
"That man"? What is Maytag talking about?

Also, excellent comic.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on November 24, 2015, 02:37:32 pm
It MIGHT be the person to Corona's right that she's blushing and looking away from in panel seven, whom she calls master. ;p
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on November 24, 2015, 07:07:56 pm
ok... maytag, I'm still going to marry you, but we're overlooking the obvious here

Dark Cell is entirely psychological.

Tie yourself to the tip of a battering ram measuring approximately 16m (50ft)

Have thinman and corona hold the ends of the battering ram and run forward.

You will not be distracted by stage three. You will be propelled into stage 4 like it or not. Why prolong the suffering?

I'm trying to imagine how the logistics of that would work.  First of all, how would you get the 50 foot battering ram inside the door?  Let's assume that the walls are not breakable.  In that case, you couldn't possibly manuever such a huge battering ram into that corridor.  And that's not even getting into how people would be able to hold up the weight while walking through the first 2 phases.


a) Yes... someone suggested a battering ram with detachable segments. Good!

b) Cart + ramp.
b1) Build a large ramp outside (and by large, I mean steep, not large)
b2) Grease darkcell by pouring gallons of animal fat down the ramp
b3) Tie yourself to a cart such that there is no way for you to get off or flip the cart over or in anyway prevent your forward momentum
b4) Roll to the end of darkcell. Say hi to level 4 because you're about to get there. And if not, you'll be tied to a cart in level 3 wishing you could get off

c) catapult... well let's cross this off as infeasible

d) Tell Bloody Mary there's fresh meat at the end. I bet she's immune to the fear

e) bow & arrow with rope
e1) place a generous dab of super glue on the end of the arrow
e2) provided you have half decent aim (read better than mine) shoot blindly into darkcell in the hopes the arrow will become glued to whoever or whatever is back there

f) if (e) fails to pull anything out but the rope is firmly attached, a clever inventor could make a wind up pulley and use the rope to pull himself in
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 24, 2015, 07:30:16 pm
It MIGHT be the person to Corona's right that she's blushing and looking away from in panel seven, whom she calls master. ;p

Heh.  :-*
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on November 25, 2015, 07:22:48 pm
As I see it.. there is one way to pass the third phase... perhaps it is too simple a solution.

Apathy.

The third phase puts you in a reality that re-writes ALL that you know.. that being the case.. I don't see how any 'physical' means of forcing someone through would work as Reality itself is being rewritten.  As physical reminders and written notes have no effect as if part of a dream.. or worse they are re-imaged to enforce the new imposed reality!

The only answer I can see it to just simply not care what reality is presented to you.  As the imposed reality plays upon your hopes desires and dreams...

As the Riddler of Gotham, put it quite succinctly... "A man who loves nothing in the world cannot be bargained with.  He cannot be betrayed.  He is answerable to no one but himself.  He is free."

Simply not caring what imposed reality is presented to you... only knowing that you must continue on regardless of what you see... feeling nothing for the reality presented.. might be the answer.

Its possible, May can do this.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on November 25, 2015, 07:37:11 pm

The only answer I can see it to just simply not care what reality is presented to you...

As the Riddler of Gotham, put it quite succinctly... "A man who loves nothing in the world cannot be bargained with.  He cannot be betrayed.  He is answerable to no one but himself.  He is free."

Simply not caring what imposed reality is presented to you...

Hmm Maytag cares very much because a some outcomes influence her radioshow / life dream.

Also, that level of uncaring, you might not care enough to complete the task. I mean, I don't care for ice cream (lactose intolerant). If faced with a difficult task to win ice cream, I would readily give up.

Now... a giant slide covered in bacon grease... that just says oh, yes!
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on November 26, 2015, 03:32:57 pm
There are two types of apathy. Being apathetic about life in general. Or apathy about an event.

The latter allows her to move, but not the former. If she can shrug what the dark cell shows her but care about moving ahead, this might work.

Another option is to have an Erudite mind, and just be able to say "this isn't real." Even without a reminder.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Desiree on December 02, 2015, 06:25:42 pm
Ha!  Well played, Brion!

... although there are ways to modify the plan to overcome an incline (a wheelchair can be pushed up inclines and up steps with enough force).  But still, well played.  And thanks for hanging a lantern on that.  At least we know they tried.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on December 04, 2015, 11:37:46 am
Flood it and give the fellow water wings. (Life preserver.)
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on December 04, 2015, 02:20:16 pm
I can think of some more. Bringing in magical items. We know they won't work outside, but we don't know what happens inside.

And what about a person being blindfolded in? Or ignoring what they see.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on December 04, 2015, 06:47:57 pm
On panel one here (http://flipside.keenspot.com/comic.php?i=2723) it looks like the top of the entrance to phase one is higher than the bottom of the exit to phase three. In that case it seems that one could just put a beam between those two points (probably slightly outside of the latter point if not both) and connect someone to a roller or similar connected to the beam such that they simply are pulled past phase three by gravity. Personally I would have it be that anyone that cheated was simply teleported back to before the start of phase one.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Desiree on December 04, 2015, 07:16:44 pm
All this discussion of cheating just has me thinking of more hilarious ways to try to cheat.

New idea: Slingshot.

Step 1)
Have Corona and Maytag head into Phase 2 with ends of a giant slingshot and a bucket of adhesive (non-magical).  Glue the ends of the slingshot to the walls of Phase 2 (near the end, right by the steps).

Step 2)
Have Corona, Maytag, and anyone else who can get through Phase 1 help pull the slingshot back.  In addition, strong people outside phase 1 pull back with a rope.  A heavy metal bar strong is laid across the door to the Dark Cell to create an anchor point.  Once the slingshot is drawn back to the entrance to Phase 1, it is tied in place on the metal bar via a short length of rope.

Step 3)
Melter (or some other small, light individual) is covered with pillows and equipped with a padded helmet.

Step 4)
Corona carries Melter into Phase 1 enough to get him into the slingshot "seat".  Melter will be paralyzed with fear and unable to resist (or could be drugged if that doesn't work).

Step 5)
Once Melter is in position, Corona moves behind the slingshot and cuts the rope with her sword.  Thus released, the slingshot fires Melter into the Dark Cell, carrying Melter into Phase 3 or beyond.  The padding (hopefully) prevents injury upon impact.

The ingenious part of this is we have no idea how Melter would react to Phase 2 or 3 (having never gotten that far).  His makeup makes it impossible for him to beat phase 1, but he might be better suited to the other two phases.  Even if the slingshot didn't fully work, it would at least get him beyond Phase 1.

....

This is fun.  ^^ 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: monimoni on December 06, 2015, 05:52:35 am
I guess the person has to be conscious to pass phase 3. Physically forcing someone through phases 1& 2 would probably cause them to pass out, or maybe even die, because of the shock, and sending somebody in already passed out (ie drugged) would probably defeat the purpose. Anyways these discussions kind of kill the story, imo.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on December 06, 2015, 08:11:59 pm
I guess the person has to be conscious to pass phase 3. Physically forcing someone through phases 1& 2 would probably cause them to pass out, or maybe even die, because of the shock, and sending somebody in already passed out (ie drugged) would probably defeat the purpose. Anyways these discussions kind of kill the story, imo.

I imagine you never wondered why they didn't have legolas tie the ring to an arrow and shoot it into the volcano
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Stargoat on December 06, 2015, 08:18:54 pm
I guess the person has to be conscious to pass phase 3. Physically forcing someone through phases 1& 2 would probably cause them to pass out, or maybe even die, because of the shock, and sending somebody in already passed out (ie drugged) would probably defeat the purpose. Anyways these discussions kind of kill the story, imo.

I imagine you never wondered why they didn't have legolas tie the ring to an arrow and shoot it into the volcano

Why Monkey King didn't carry the monk to the West. Half an hour, tops.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 08, 2015, 03:07:46 am
I guess the person has to be conscious to pass phase 3. Physically forcing someone through phases 1& 2 would probably cause them to pass out, or maybe even die, because of the shock, and sending somebody in already passed out (ie drugged) would probably defeat the purpose. Anyways these discussions kind of kill the story, imo.

I imagine you never wondered why they didn't have legolas tie the ring to an arrow and shoot it into the volcano

Why Monkey King didn't carry the monk to the West. Half an hour, tops.

Why didn't Gandalf just snag up Frodo with him and hop a ride on a Giant eagle to Mount Doom and punt the little pest into the Volcano... ?

How it should have ended...

Elrond Remembering - "I was there when the Strength of Men failed... !"

~~~

{In Mount Doom at the forge of Sauron}

Elrond - "The Ring Isildor!  Throw it into the volcano for all our sakes!"

Isildor - "No. I claim The Ring of Power as my own!"

Elrond - {Shove!} "opps!"
... ... ...

~~~

Elrond Remembering - "...its a tragedy that in his greatest moment of triumph.. Isildor ..er 'slipped' and fell into the volcano... alas... perhaps the Dexterity of Men is at fault?"

[THE END]

:)
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: SAGG on December 09, 2015, 03:10:56 pm
Okay, I have no idea myself, but what do any of you think is the lie Maytag's talking about?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on December 09, 2015, 05:33:20 pm
There's a few possible options. Some of which are other lies not relevant to the one May is thinking of.

(1) There's one right off the bat. Supposedly Thin Man only uses magic for learning the truth. Only it's obvious that in order to find this portal, he needed to do some warp magic. Among other things.
(2) That these people just "happen" to become monsters. It is obvious that simple experimentation would not produce the wide array of side effects Bloody Mary has. Extreme regeneration might indeed create the vampiric state of Bloody Mary, but not the fear demon. Likewise, Suspiria has no reason to create horny extensions from her hair for an effect that just awakens her powers.
(3) That Thin Man might actually know what is in the deepest layers of the the Dark Cell.
(4) Even more disturbing, the reason the paintbrush might not work is because the Thin Man designed it. Along with the Dark Cell. As some kind of test to farm people for some kind of experiment.
(5) Most likely, he's lying about even giving the reward. Candidates in all odds get memory wiped after they outlast their usefulness. Unless she can erase-proof her memory.
(6) "...And that's all the cheating we've done." Sure it is.

Hold up. How does the thin man know that 10 steps is the limit of the third phase? Seems like #3 is the case.
 
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: 9_6 on December 10, 2015, 02:12:43 am
I still have no idea why exactly she thinks she can trust those guys but okay, I guess we're in full "how to solve this mystery" mode now. I sure hope the plot twist here isn't "oh noes, the thin man guy wasn't trustworthy after all" and there's cthullhu waiting to twist the canidates nipples at the end od that dark cell thing or something because maytag is supposed to be a smart character who sees things like that coming.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 10, 2015, 05:20:52 am
Well... I'm not sure, what May believes the thin man is lying about... I think it might be closer to the truth that the thin man does more with magic than just seek information.

Think about Bloody Mary's crazy regeneration ability.. clearly a great adaptation for phase two... until you realize its not actual harm your being subjected to.  Melter might be immune to the paralyzing fear of phase one.. but perhaps phase two was too much for him?  Perhaps the inspiring Suspiria to advance to BEYOND the 'most powerful level of magic achievable on record' was meant to test the theory of someone having the will to accomplish such a feat might be enough to ignore the reality warping ability of phase three?  Not sure how the thin man was hoping to coral someone that powerful to his cause though, assuming Thin man was behind her power awakening at at~ which I'm still not sure he was at this point.  Though clearly Melter had something to do with it... perhaps Melter is playing his own game?

Then we come to the why of getting into the Dark Cell at all? Thin man says its for knowledge to understand the greatest mystery of the world.  I'm not entirely sold on that kind of altruism...
If one finds the source of magic.. and can learn to manipulate it even control it.. could not someone warp reality to their whims? Remake the world in their image?  That would be  A LOT of temptation to do so even IF that was not their expressed reason for seeking the source of magic in the first place!

"Some things... its best left unknown."

The REAL question is if magic is artificial.. constructed by very smart individuals why did they do it and how did they ever expect for it to not eventually be abused?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on December 10, 2015, 12:06:27 pm
This is a very good point (and probably also true), but I think I have a good idea of what Maytag knows is the lie.

I'm not gonna tell you guys (I'm gonna ask Brion by PM so as not to give it away), but I'll give you a hint. If I'm right, the lie has to do with the first test Maytag was subjected to when she met the Thin Man.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Abstract Vagabond on December 11, 2015, 12:03:20 pm
I think this last page may be a fair hint as to what that lie is. How much control does Marce have over the Thin Man?
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on December 11, 2015, 01:02:15 pm
I think the last part is hint on what Marce is. She's not just a crazy girl. She's probably not human at all, in fact.

In fact, I would venture to say that she and the Dark Cell have a great deal in common. A great deal.

Though this doesn't count as a lie, since he never spoke about this.

Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: sunphoenix on December 11, 2015, 01:16:21 pm
WELL NOW!~  That puts a lot of things into perspective!

I had always wondered why I got an incongruous feeling about how Lehm behaved with Maytag and his followers... and the results of the 'Experiments' ostensibly attributed to "His" efforts... the experiments were NOT his deeds at all!

Lehm always seemed... too sane and level-headed to do something that would erratically cause someone else so much pain and suffering.. not only to themselves but those around them.  I had assumed he was just a total amoral sociopath who could be charming pensive yes even polite in your face...while he was planning to flay the skin from your bones later preferably with you still alive and screaming so he could closely record ever nuance of his subject's reaction!  That seemed the only way such a level of polite duplicity could be maintained with how he has spoken and treated Maytag; compared to the horrific results of his many experiments!  It made me VERY Fearful of what he would eventually do to Maytag... cause it seemed it would come suddenly and without warning and be UTTERLY HORRIFIC~ monstrous... the only way it would make sense. 

BUT Now it becomes clear why Lehm seemed so out of character for a 'mad-scientist' kind of personality... it was not him performing the experiments at all!  Now I kinda do believe Lehm may indeed be as altruistic as he seems in his simple desire to understand the great mystery of magic...
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: bulmabriefs144 on December 12, 2015, 09:24:30 am
I wonder if Marce is actually behind all this stuff (as in, Qualia, magic, everything), and Lehm is actually working with her for a chance to stop her?

I have a feeling the 3rd phase isn't as bad as all that, and by "done with her", this implies that the 4th phase has a tendency to mindwipe or kill off candidates (which Marce uses to make blank slate monsters).
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: dekutree64 on December 23, 2015, 06:56:59 am
omg this dog just solved Dark Cell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6lEotpqaXo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6lEotpqaXo)
All you gotta do is walk backward :P
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Keneto on December 31, 2015, 04:55:54 pm
I must say, I loved the curve balls that they at least tried some of the "cheats" as they called it. But they missed one. Ceiling is slanted in the direction of the target. You need only put on a floatation device and fill the room with water. Because of the ceiling, you are 100% guaranteed to reach the end.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: Daisuki-chan on December 31, 2015, 05:42:48 pm
Well, you might have a bit of a problem once you take off the flotation device (if the third phase even lets you know you have it on) and have to swim downwards in the process of tackling phase three (or possibly phase four). Also, once you get through you are underwater. You would have a communication method for draining the water after finishing phase three, but maybe you'd have drowned by then.
Title: Re: Chapter 44: Discussion
Post by: weirdguy on January 11, 2016, 11:01:46 pm
if they can measure the volume of the room (perhaps by running some tests of flooding the room first), they could easily determine how to do so down to the exact amount of water, preventing most of the accidents that would be caused by initial error. this is, of course, assuming that the room does not automatically drain faster than they can fill it or some other anticheat trickery. there is also the issue that the illusion would easily be able to manipulate such a complex setup to kill the user with slight obfuscation.

note that the person going in would also need a hose to allow the air pocket caused by this arrangement to escape, since otherwise the water would stop rising the moment the entrance becomes completely submerged