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Headscratchers: ReBoot
  • What's with the whole "nullifying" aspect of the games? I don't recall a single computer program that vaporizes a large chunk of your mainframe whenever you play "Minesweeper".
    • DUDE! Be careful with just linking to something like that. At least put a disclaimer on the link, like "THIS GAME WILL DELETE FILES FROM YOUR HARDDRIVE AS YOU PLAY IT" or something like that.
    • Sounds like a fun way to wipe a hard drive clean.
    • Prophesying the rise of DRM in commercial game releases in later years?
    • They needed a threat other than the viruses to work against? Another possibility is they did it to appease Moral Guardians — they could point at it and say "Look, we're teaching kids that if you play computer games, you'll be hurting the poor computer sprites! Video Games are Bad, so go outside to play, kiddies!" Of course, it'd all be tongue in cheek, but the moral guardians wouldn't need to know that...
    • I've noticed that some games take running memory, so much that my computer can't run tasks. I'd imagine that's what the games do. The eat up memory, leaving fragmented chunks. Since time runs super fast in the computer a couple of games would eat up large amounts of memory, for the sprites their world is being destroyed, but for the user, they've played a game. Eventually their memory would become to fragmented and force a reboot, (or they'd just reboot anyways), exactly what happened before. Though I know little of computers and this probably isn't true for modern computers at least.
    • It sounds like mainframe is an old computer system without proper memory protection and a faulty memory allocator. When a new program comes in the operating system mistakenly sets the game to run in memory that is still being used by another program. It is common practice to free up any memory used by the program when it finishes, this may be what nullifies the sector. As for why the user losing the game prevents this happening, if they win they shut the program down normally, freeing the memory, if they lose then they close it abnormally, Alt-F4 as opposed to the quit button on the menu. This would bypass the freeing.
      • A problem with this is that freeing the memory isn't the same as nullifying it. When you free memory you just tell the memory allocator that the memory is available for use again, it's usually the case that you initialize the memory before you use it as you don't know what value it is. Though you could take the view that the programs assume memory is initially nullified and for this assumption to be correct memory is nullified at startup and when a program finishes it has to return the memory to the state it was in to start with, which you could infer to be null, however the faulty allocator prevents this.
    • The only reason for the nullification thing is drama. If there were no consequences for losing the games would just be inconvenient holodecks. The writers needed a penalty for losing and mass destruction fit the bill.
  • If Bob and company reboot as NPCs in games whose objective it is to stop the User from winning why do they have to face the same threats the User does? In several of the games they have to fight against other game characters whose objective it is to presumably stop the user from winning.
    • Maybe the game sprites hate Cheating Bastards?
    • Rewatch the episode AndrAIa, Bob explains the behavioural patterns of game sprites and mentions that some just attack anything that moves. Think of it as game AI slowly increasing. First everything was against the player character, then the games became capable of having different factions that could be turned against each other, and finally we get game sprites like AndrAIa, who observe their situations and act accordingly to what they've learned.
  • Why is the time difference in games exactly the wrong way around? Nanoseconds are analogous to seconds, and seconds to days. The games must run at human timescales as they are an interactive program so for a sprite to compete with the user the sprites have to slow down, so time actually runs faster outside the game cube.
    • The games have to run in real time so they are given a higher processing priority by the process scheduler, so the game program gets more time slices than the city program, so for the same amount of real time the game time has more of its time processed so more game time happens per real time than the corresponding city time.
      • You seem to misunderstand. Say I'm playing Mass Effect. I gun down one group of enemies, then spend one second to readjust my aim. To the billion times faster people, 31 years would pass between gun bursts. To put it in the other side: say a Game lasts 2 hours to the perception of the Sprites. If they live at one billion times our speed, then 0.0000072 seconds would pass for the User. How does the User interact?
      • Actually the factor would probably not be as high as a billion times. It would probably be restricted to the framerate of the game (e.g. something around 25 times / second) I think most games only "think" during their refresh cycle. Still a large factor though.
      • Sure, but nanosecond is one billionth of a second which sets a clear time scale difference between mainframe and the real world (and nanosecond seems to be analogus to a minute).
  • Why don't any of the games return to either the beginning of the scenario in question or a save point once the user loses? Also, why don't we ever see any campaign-type games, with multiple scenarios or missions (think the Command & Conquer Series, any Transformers or Star Wars PC game, or 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game), recurring throughout the series?
    • Maybe the User just gives up after one would explain why s/he always loses.
    • They do! Remember in S3 when Matrix and co are travelling from system to system using the games? Each time a game is won or lost it leaves the system and restarts in another, seemingly at random. The User likely IS using continues or restarting the games, they're just not happening in Mainframe. As for campaign type games, how would you tell? They enter a game, reboot, figure out the objective and simply do that. They could be playing the same game repeatedly and we just can't tell because the User made different choices.
    • There is at least one instance of Bob recognizing a game from before. Whether that game was played on Mainframe or not is the question.
    • And the game from the first episode was seen again at the beginning of the episode that brought in AndrAIa. The objective was different, but it wasn't infected by Megabyte that time either.
    • I've always assumed that there was more than one user sharing the computer in which Mainframe resides. Given the state of Mainframe it's probably either a school or library public computer that people are just dicking around with or a slightly outdated family computer that only one person knows how to use properly. Everyone else is just using it for games, surfing the web unprotected and generally screwing things up.
  • What are multiplayer (online or "hot seat") games like for the sprites?
    • Just wait for the new movie(s?) to come out...
  • Did anyone ever explain how SCSI and Cyrus got though the firewall?
    • They found a place that let them go through/under. The firewall seemed to be limited by the senders and where they were placed so there were likely a few gaps.
  • "FREE! For only NINETY NINE NINETY NINE NINETY NINE!!!!!!!! Ninety nine WHAT? What is their form of currency, since no one seems to pay for energy shakes and the like?
  • Why is Hexadecimal's sprite form shaped like the Statue of Liberty?
    • Really? The only resemblance I can see is that they both wear crowns. Hexadecimal has a crown because she's the Queen of Chaos.
      • It's the spacing in sprite form, and if Liberty weren't wearing a toga.
  • If undefined energy is the in universe equivalent of water (energy shakes are a drink, energy slide is a water slide), why do the characters die when they fall in the energy seas?
    • The same way that a person dies when they are in an actual sea- by drowning.
      • I wouldn't call vaporizing on contact "drowning".
    • The energy sea represents the computer's power supply, energy drinks and the energy park are filtered from the sea. Imagine the energy sea is the ocean (not hard considering its size), can you drink water straight from the ocean?
      • Then it's exactly the same as for humans: too much electricity will kill us, same for the inhabitants of the computers. It's energy overload.
  • Wait, I thought a lack of an Icon caused bad things when you went into games. How did Codemaster Lens not get swept away, or Megabyte for that matter? Is it simply because the two are so powerful that they can effectively ground themselves to the system through sheer force of will?
    • Their formats are different than sprites or binomes, maybe that affects it?
    • The only person that had a problem with Games was AndrAIa, which makes sense since she's not supposed to leave games. Mouse was said to have the same problem, but we never saw her enter games even after AndrAIa tested the corrections to her icon. The matter of getting stuck in games wasn't even brought up until well after Lens was in a game, and Megabyte was shown to have no problems with games in the first episode. The Spectrals couldn't reboot, but that was because they lacked a "solid" form to reboot with.
    • Being a virus likely lets Megabyte ignore that problem, if it was that easy to get rid of viruses they wouldn't be anywhere near as big a threat as they are. The codemaster may be similarly shielded or was just too different to be incorporated into the Game's program and got left behind.
    • It's worth noting that the only two who are said to have a problem are AndrAIa and Mouse - and both have icons, just different from the standard ones.
  • So what would modern games be like to the binomes and the like, considering the fact that the only games seen played are of the no save, play in one go variety by User(s) who sucks balls at said games?
    • Sounds like a good idea for a new series. A...ReBoot reboot? (Sorry.)
  • If Hex had the entire power of the core, why wasn't mainframe destroyed or depowered when Hex fragmented herself?
    • Was it stated that she had the power of the entire core? In "Bad Bob", Megabyte was carrying nearly all of the Core's energy in a giant transformer, which was causing the game and system to horribly distort. If Hex was carrying the Core's full power, the system would probably have shut down already. Also, the Core itself isn't the actual source of energy, it merely stores Mainframe's energy supply which it converts from the Energy Sea.
      • Yes, she says "I have the entire power of the core coursing through me, nothing can hurt me or you now Bob"
    • And in Bad Bob Megabyte stole the power of the Core and Mainframe still had power, it was just fluctuating. I'd say the city draws power from the energy sea and channels it through the Core to regulate it so it's not raw and dangerous.
  • How do Matrix and AndrAIa get to other systems in season 3? Matrix is in despair because some systems don't have ports to the Net. Yet he can still get to other computer systems by playing games.
    • The Games themselves were moving between systems at random. Matrix and AndrAIa were just hitching a ride on them, and had no control over which system they entered next. The despair was due to the Games apparently denying them access to a system that had ports to the Net.
    • Maybe if a certain system is online, the game communicates with the company's servers for software updates and whatnot, and they're somehow able to travel by homing in on the same code in another system, i.e., another online computer playing the same game.
  • In the Season 4 movies, how exactly did Herr Doktor and Igor return? Hexidecimal turned them into biscuits at the end of Season 3, and had they been restored along with the city, they should have been turned back into normal binomes by the virus scan. So why is it that they are not only there, but still viral even before Megabyte's return?
    • "Costume upgrades" or paint?
    • They never converted. They are genuinely loyal to Megabyte.
    • Hex turned them into biscuits but they were never actually eaten so they may have been reverted at some point. Wouldn't be the first time Hex turned someone into an object and was restored later.
    • System Restore ran between those two scenes
  • So Matrix is about to plant a trident in Megabyte's face, but then at the last moment decides "You're not worth it." Not worth what exactly? Cause by this point Matrix has already murdered a bunch of viruses in cold blood. For example, the Mantis virus from Icons who had a gun pressed against his head and was begging or his life. Matrix still killed him anywway. Matrix sounded like he didn't want to cross some kind of line, but he'd already passed it a long time ago.
    • The soul-searching dream in Number 7 probably had a lot to do with that. It was the slap in the face that made him realize just how far past that line he'd gone. Finally killing Megabyte like that wasn't worth becoming him, because he'd lose everything else.
      • How is killing a being whose purpose is to infect, conquer and destroy crossing a Moral Event Horizon? Despite some moral ambiguity, guardians, who kill many virus throughout their lives, are not evil.
      • Also, Matrix's soul searching in Number 7 didn't make sense to me. We don't see Matrix do much could have been considered villainous. Killing those two viruses? One was trying the kill that young sprite, and the other was willing to crash a whole system. Matrix said something along the lines of, "The search for Bob begins." That's a nice thought, but the problem that was pointed out is that Matrix and AndrAIa have no control on where the games take them. So what then, they'll try extra hard or something?
      • It was his attitude about the situation that was the problem. He'd become a loose cannon, anything that annoyed him to any degree was threatened with deletion. And it wasn't an idle bluff either, Matrix was edging closer and closer to becoming an outright villain as his anger and frustration took control of him more and more. He went to systems, took what he wanted and was ready to delete anything that got in the way or he just decided he didn't like, like he said, he was starting to act exactly like a virus.
  • Why was Mouse infected by Daemon if she's a hacker? Aren't hackers supposed to be a form of user?
    • She's more a hacker program.
    • Hacker is her job title. She's just a sprite, talented and deadly, but ultimately no different than Dot or Matrix.
  • What would happen if a User, when setting up his/her computer split the hard drive, made one part of the split totally for games, and the other for all the more important stuff? Would the Game Cubes still matter? An idea to ponder.
    • The world of reboot as you see it, it's not dependent on the hardrives only, what makes it move it's the RAM+CPU combo so it wouldn't really matter it would be the same, IMO.
    • While a dream, the system that Matrix "starts in" in Number 7 seems to be set up exactly this way.
    • I always assumed that before the twin city was destroyed, Mainframe was a computer with a partitioned hard drive.
  • Near the end of season three, Bob (who was then merged with Glitch) has to enter the core to shut down damaged parts of Mainframe manually, as the controls in the command room were damaged beyond anyone's ability to repair in time. Dot says that no one can survive prolonged exposure to the Core, although due to his unusual circumstances (being a guardian and/or having merged with his keytool), Bob can survive it. This raises the question of why the manual controls were placed inside the core in the first place, if just about anyone going in there would be deleted simply by being in the core.
    • I'm going to assume they normally have radiation suits, but any Bob could wear were all damaged in Megabyte's attack and conquest of the Principal Office.
    • With a system like that you always want a manual off button, even if you have to sacrifice a sprite or two to do it. It's also likely that the core controls would have allowed them to power it down so it would be less dangerous to physically enter. Enzo ended up in the core when Mouse hijacked his body for Megabyte and came out fine after only brief exposure, and Hexadecimal came out fine, though her case si probably much different, so it seems that brief exposure is okay, but what Bob needed to do was shut down the ENTIRE city which nobody could survive long enough to do. Also, didn't Matrix go and get Bob?
      • It also should be noted that there were other ways of shutting them off but they'd been damaged in the process. That makes this the last ditch emergency backup which you put not where it's most convenient but where it is least likely to fail.
  • After inducing the System Restore in Season 3, why didn't it restore the Twin City and all the other Sprites?
    • Because it only restored to the last point they made a system back up, which would have been shortly after Painted Windows. The twin city was long gone by then.
      • Well, based on the restored Enzo, the system back up would have been made and on file sometime after the flashbacks in season four, but before "Talent Night," when Enzo upgraded from 01 to 10. The point still stands, though.
    • The Twin City, though part of Mainframe, is another system directly networked to the city. Both systems can survive on their own providing their Principal Offices are intact. However, its Principal Office was destroyed when the gateway command overloaded, so there's nothing left to restore.
  • What's up with Cyrus' eye? If you don't get what I'm talking about, you know about how One binomes have a perfectly circular "areola" around their eye? Well, look at Cyrus'. For some reason, its lower section is longer and square-ish, which really weirds me out. What's up with it?
  • Why is Matrix's hatred mainly centered on Megabyte during season 3? Going from the events that transpired that season and at the end of the previous one, he should hate Hex as much, if not more. For starters, Bob got thrown into the web by both Megabyte and Hex, who were conspiring against Bob. Then at the beginning of season 3, they're both attacking Mainframe, but Hex intended to destroy it while Megabyte had different plans, and in fact tried to prevent her from doing it, giving reason to hate Hex the most. Then the Viral Wars that decimated Mainframe were a result of the confrontation between the two viruses, meaning that both of them were equally responsible for the system's destruction. So based on all that, it seems odd that Matrix doesn't hate both viruses about the same.
    • Matrix does hate her, since she's a virus, but Hexadecimal is merely chaotic. She's a pain in the ass and dangerous but she was never that much of a threat, in the grand scheme, since she only acts when she's bored, and never seems to really hold a grudge. Plus last he saw she was strapped to a table with a torture collar as Megabyte's slave, no real reason to want to punish her as she's already being punished.
    • It had also been more personal between Matrix and Megabyte from the beginning. On top of Megabyte being the threat more often than not, Megabyte was the one who sent Bob into the Web. Matrix doesn't particularly care for any virus at all, but to him, Megabyte is at the top of the list because he was so consistently a threat through his childhood before he was lost in the games, and, had he not taken the actions he had, Matrix wouldn't have been in the position he was. Hex could be a problem, sure, but never as constantly and not as directly to him as Megabyte.
    • Megabyte was the giant bully who made the weak little boy feel terrified and worthless as he tried to do what was right. Watch Firewall again - particularly the scene right after the opening. He, more than the user, is the embodiment of why Enzo failed and what drove Enzo to develop into the near-psychopath he is - someone who can defeat Megabyte - can go toe-to-toe with Megabyte and win.
  • If rebooting makes you visible to the User, why do characters always reboot? Yes, doing it gives you appropriate equipment for the game, but surely being invisible to the User might be a bigger advantage in some situations? Moreover, sometimes you actually lose some of your equipment upon rebooting, as is the case when Matrix reboots and loses access to his gun. So why don't characters assess the situation and decide whether they're better off rebooted or unrebooted, rather than rebooting as soon as they enter a game? And even worse, why do binomes who were caught up in games reboot? Usually, they're just innocent bystanders who couldn't run away when the game cube fell in the area. So you would think that they would be much better off not rebooting, which would keep them invisible to the User and thus safer.
    • Rebooting gives not only equipment but skills, and in some cases not Rebooting could be fatal (such as in the underwater game) and a degree of knowledge of the area. It also may be impossible to interact with the game world without Rebooting (and Gun doesn't always disappear, Matrix keeps in in the golf game for example) so if you don't Reboot you can't help and are just left leaving things to chance and hoping for the best..
      • High Code shows that unrebooted people can still interact with the game environment and even take out the User.
  • Why is Mainframe only damaged when the User wins a game? Wouldn't merely installing the game causes problems for the system?
  • At what point in the past was Enzo rebooted from? It's not his earliest appearance, but he doesn't remember everything.
    • The last system backup was mentioned to be in Painted Windows, which incidentally is right before all the events that little Enzo doesn't remember, everything that made Matrix into Matrix.
  • The episode AndrAIa. So why do Bob and Dot reboot into more fishy merpeople where AndrAIa is a more human merperson?
    • For the same reason they didn't reboot as characters driving submarines like Enzo did, it's simply the game characters they were assigned.
  • In "Gigabyte," Bob didn't recognize Gigabyte. Hell, he didn't even know that Hex and Megabyte were siblings. And yet, he was there when Gigabyte was born, and arrived in Mainframe immediately after Gigabyte was split. How could he POSSIBLY not know these things?
    • Bob was unconscious when Kilobyte upgraded into Gigabyte, and missed the part where Dixon reported that he was skipping a generation into Gigabyte. So when he arrives in Mainframe, he learns of Megabyte and assumes that's the virus he's after, with Hexadecimal being an unrelated virus.
  • How does time work for the characters? They tend to refer to nanoseconds in situations where a human would refer to seconds, suggesting a 1:1 equivalency. However, that would mean that a full second to them would be equivalent to nearly 32 years for us. Given the fact that Enzo appears to be roughly ten years old (our time) after only one year (their time), this is clearly not the case.
    • I think there was a shift during the series, nanosecond went from their equivalent of seconds, to their equivalent of minutes. Also, Sprites don't age the same way we do, they upgrade into different forms so their appearance likely jumps several years at the appropriate times.
  • Why did Mouse stay in mainframe during seasons 3 and 4? I always thought she was meant to be like a mercenary, working for everyone who can pay her, not bound to any system in particular.
    • Because she's not a sociopath? She went to Mainframe at the end of season two since she was working for the Guardians as they looked into the web creature situation. As a direct result of her actions Mainframe was invaded by the Web, Bob was lost to the Web and the viruses were running rampant. Mouse, for all her faults, is a decent person who doesn't like getting innocent people hurt or being betrayed so she stuck around to help them fight off Megabyte. By the time they fought off Megabyte they'd learned about Daemon, which let her know nowhere else in the Net was safe. Once the villains are dealt with and Mainframe was safe she took off with Surfer and only came back for the wedding, and she would have left again if they hadn't found out about Megabyte tricking them. The people of Mainframe are her friends and she won't leave them to die.
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