Roundup

Sep. 8th, 2013 01:52 pm
cordyceps: (Default)
[personal profile] computationalsphinx , [personal profile] mistytpednaem , [personal profile] lilaclegionnaire , [personal profile] tiferet : who wants to talk HOMESTUCK? I'm in desperate need of some nice, thoughtful homestuck theorizing and discussion that's isolated from tumblr culture.

[personal profile] dragonspyre17  : Is it just me, or does Unwound Future have more in common with the prequel games at times than with the first two games?

[personal profile] computationalsphinx , [personal profile] cunief0rm : can we please just...talk about thing. story ideas, our favorite japanese animes, whatever the shit. We can't all be on FB at the same time and tumblr is a shit medium for private-y text talkin

cordyceps: (Default)
There was a single lonely Layton prompt on a free-for-all meta request meme. I had to fill it.

Read more... )

But man, I could talk about this stuff all day. Like how Misthallery plays with the general purity and corruption motifs - a lush rural town, but its clear and sparkling water is unsafe to drink, its politics full of greed and lies and manipulation, black markets and class strife. How Hershel's choice at the end of Curious Village retroactively contrasts with the choices of Bill Hawks and Duke Herzen in their respective games, and then the same money/death connection appearing in Miracle Mask. How there is no "Eternal Life" in Eternal Diva, only finite live repeatedly stolen, and the true form of immortality actually being dead but remembered by the living. Dahlia being tormented by her own original purpose as a replacement for a dead woman within in her subconscious, even long after being memory-wiped, reset, reprogrammed into a different person with the same face. Layton canon is kind of fascinating if you set aside its inherent goofiness and take it seriously for a few seconds. (Though of course I wouldn't love it so much if it weren't goofy.)
cordyceps: (Default)
Long time no use. :P

Maybe I should start brainstorming that PL fic idea I had ages ago. I know it will take place post-PL3 in North America and that I'll be drawing a lot from HP Lovecraft, but the particulars of the plot elude me a little. There will be what are essentially laytonized knock-off versions of Deep Ones*, but that's more a minor sideplot than the main action, and other than that I don't want to directly rip off any of Lovecraft's bestiary. Especially not Cthulhu. God, Cthulhu is so overused, he's not even all that scary anymore.

I want to mould lovecraftian elements out of the fabric of the Layton universe, and use a storyline inspired by the structure of Lovecraft and the writers who inspired him, without adhering to Lovecraft-pastiche cliches like "ZOMG TENTACLES!!!" I liked how the Azran are very clearly inspired by Atlantis, but have aspects to their culture and ruins that are clearly created whole cloth from combining "Ancient Advanced Civilization" + "puzzle-obsessed universe" rather than being drawn from stock Atlantis-related tropes; that's kind of my touchstone for this.

...I also want to include that weird statue thing that was in the abandoned house in London Life (that thing was creepy! and the fact that they never explained it is the worst part! Uuugh stupid LL!Layton, you are a lying ass concerning the not-realness of fairies), but I can't remember what it looked like or find any blasted screenshots of it. >:[ I mean, London Life's not canon to the main series, but it'd still be fun to incorporate.


*The reason for this is bad puns*. Bad puns is why.
**
Computationalsphinx, don't tell Dragonspyre17 what the bad pun is. I want her to figure it out herself. ;)

cordyceps: (Default)

 I get a strong vibe that between Unwound/Lost Future and the prequel trilogy…there's sort of, I don’t know how to put it, two separate storylines running parallel to one another, and connected themes. Past and future.  Ugh, this is going to sound pretentious and dumb. I am sorry for being pretentious and dumb, y’all.

Layton’s “arc”, if you can really call it that, is one of reconciling with his past. Let’s look at the sequence of events. Losing people he loved and not being able to know what really happened to them, his declaration that “someday I will solve that great puzzle meant only for me” in Specter, reunion with people he’d lost, and finally him looking peacefully relaxed while not wearing his hat* in the cutscene after the credits in Future. Hershel Layton’s story is a story about closure, and itself has a strong sense of closure to it. It would feel awkward and unfair to try to force him back into the front-and-center.

* Layton taking off his hat both here and in the cutscene prior to it is pretty significant, character-wise. Hershel has a tendency to deal with grief by tethering himself to the desires of the dead - devoting himself to puzzles and archeology after losing Randall, devoting himself to becoming the very picture of a gentleman after losing Claire - and his hat is perfectly symbolic of this tendency. He’s unsure of it when Claire first gives it to him, but after she dies he never takes it off, not even in situations where any other person would. Taking it off while relaxing in his office represents a move out of neurosis into a healthier relationship with his past, accepting it as part of him without letting it rule him.

Meanwhile, Luke’s story is one of a boy who feels stifled and alone in his hometown (note his lack of friends his age, how he expresses dissatisfaction with Misthallery and desire to be in the big city of London), but then gains a mentor and confidant in Hershel Layton. He leaves his parents to act as a traveling apprentice to his mentor, learns from said mentor while accomplishing feats of heroism alongside him, and at the end is forced to part from his mentor. It’s a simple coming of age story, although Luke feels he’s not ready for it to end - “I’m not a gentleman yet!” Luke’s story begs for continuation, for the player/reader of the “text” to get to watch and experience his continued growth from a a boy into a (gentle)man.

Also, Luke, by the time that he’s settled into his new residence and decides to send a letter to Layton, has his own logo based on the Professor’s. If that isn’t symbolic of him beginning to come into his own as a true successor to his mentor, I don’t know what is.

And that is why I believe that Aang can save the world that if Level-5 decides to continue the series, it will be via a change of protagonist from Layton to Luke. Because it thematically kind of makes sense?

cordyceps: (Default)
Hershel's obsession with being a True Gentleman(tm) is pretty clearly (in retrospect) a response to Claire's death. Between that and his desire to become a full-blown professional archeologist being triggered by Randall's apparent death, I'm sensing a pattern in how the professor handles grief - he obsessively reshapes himself into the person his dead loved ones wanted him to be when they were alive, seemingly out of a sense of obligation, and possibly guilt for not yielding utterly to them before their deaths. The sad thing is, Hershel probably has the healthiest coping mechanisms of anyone in the entire series.
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I'd long suspected than Descole had some motivations other than "because supervillian megalomania," though at the time I had linked the Golden Garden and Ambrosia together and assumed that Descole was looking to heal himself or someone else from some kind of illness. Plus the more tragic sounding part of the song started playing when he resorted to trying to destroy Ambrosia with the castle-mecha, as if to highlight that there was a desperation behind his actions. He seems to fit a pattern of troubled bishounen antagonists that started with Anton, then was elaborated on with Clive, and was codified with Randall.
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The early games' maps tend to be a lot more bare-bones, which may be in part indicative of the series' gradual shift from being "brain age, but with a plot to keep you interested in the puzzles" to being more like a visual novel or adventure game that also happens to be chock full of brainteasers. There's more investment in immersiveness as the series moves forward. I imagine Unwound Future was probably in part an experiment and test run for elements that would later show up in the prequels, and thus the larger and more disjointed map reflects an early attempt to improve upon St. Mystere and Folsense. Especially since they later incorporate the metro-ride system into Misthallery and Monte d'Or, but without turning each stop (excluding the Reunion Inn) into an inescapable map-island.

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