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1[[foldercontrol]][[folder: FridgeBrilliance]]* Notwithstanding the Ancient relic that Roberto passed on to Michael (which had its own metaphysical properties anyway), how did Michael retrieve the ruby and sapphire statuettes? Firstly, Roberto had crawled his way to the outer edge of the Pillar of Flesh before he died, and he had the statuettes on him. Secondly, the explosion that sent Michael and the bodies of his firefighting crew into the Forbidden City also blasted away a section of the Pillar of Flesh (possibly the side that held Roberto's body, and the statuettes that he carried). As for why the statuettes weren't destroyed in the blast, ruby and sapphire are both forms of corundum, which is second only to diamond in hardness.* Of the three Roivases, Edward's got the most magick, Max has the most health, and Alex has the most sanity. However, this is ironic, because the circumstances of their "defeat" are done in ''reverse'' the pattern of the Ancients, though Alex has it a bit differently.** Max has the most health, and thus the most ''power'', but was driven mad. Chattur'gha represents power and normally beats Xel'lotath, because he ''can't'' be driven mad. He also has the lowest sanity out of the three Roivases.** Edward was the smartest of the three, and had the most ''knowledge'', but he was eliminated by the ''power'' of another Ancient. Ulyaoth, who represents knowledge, beats Chattur'gha (power) in the normal pattern. He's also tied for the smallest LifeMeter in the game.** Alex is the most stable and level-headed of the three, but she [[spoiler:has a HeroicBSOD]] because of the ''knowledge'' that [[spoiler:she just released another EldritchAbomination on the world]], reversing how Xel'lotath normally wins. She "lost" to the ''knowledge'' that [[spoiler:she [[NiceJobBreakingItHero released something just as bad as the other ancient]]]]. Her sanity-meter gets lower with every chapter, the more she ''gains'' in knowledge, the more loose her sanity.* Out of all the characters in the game, the ones with the lowest sanity are Peter Jacob and Michael Edwards. Why? Peter is struggling through UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, while Michael Edwards is experiencing Gulf War Syndrome.* A certain Sanity-effect has the head of a character explode, and if picked up it recites Hamlets famous "To be or not to be"-scene, in which he thinks about suicide. This enforces the theme of the game itself. The player can either go through the game the easy way and stop or go on and finish it with all the problems that have to come, including the sanity-effect.* Each Ancient, near the end of the game, reveals a vision they have of them beating the Ancient they're strong against. However, that never comes to pass, at least on that playthrough. [[spoiler:They were seeing into an alternate timeline where Pious was aligned with the disadvantaged Ancient and ''Alex'' summoned the other Ancient to defeat it. All three of the Ancients saw these misleading visions apparently because of Mantorok's manipulations.]]** In Xel'lotath's version of that scene, she accuses Pious of being a traitor, to which he reacts with confusion. [[spoiler:Xel'lotath saw the timeline where Pious was aligned with Ulyaoth, and didn't see the timeline where he was aligned with Chattur'gha]].* To advance in the tutorial level, Pious must at one point destroy a statue of himself - this serves to teach the player how to target specific body parts on enemies. When later characters go to the mausoleum to claim the Tome, his desecrated statue appears among all the others, which are intact. The others are all the heroes who have claimed the Tome and their place in its history, sacrificing themselves to ultimately destroy that timeline's Ancient. Pious' destruction of his own statue is symbolic of his fall from grace, as he then goes on to become the Liche, the Ancient's champion.** And yet, we see that statue in the chamber that holds the Tome of Eternal Darkness along with all the other heroes; it's destroyed by his own hand, but it's still quite present. Why? Because [[spoiler: his servitude to the other Ancients]] was part of the plan all along. * If we go by [[ColourCodedforYourConvenience color coding]], then the yellow, fifth Ancient is the one who teleported Pious to the Ancients' temple in the first place and was used to turn Anthony into a zombie. And there is also the fact that dead enemies are yellow where they are disintegrating. [[EpilepticTrees Maybe the yellow Ancient is humanity itself, and that's how the characters are able to kill off the zombies for real.]]** WordOfGod confirmed that the yellow color was for a fifth Ancient that was cut from the final game. They just repurposed his/her color as a generic, non-aligned color.** Going further with the color coding, the Ancients (Chattur'gha, Ulyaoth, Xel'lotath, and Mantorok) mix with the colors of another bunch of people - [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda the hylian Goddesses (Din, Nayru, and Farore).]] At first, this doesn't fit regarding both Xel'lotath and Farore, who are beings of Sanity and Courage, respectively. That is, unless you regard the fact of that both are similar within their meanings. Even more, Majora doesn't have the Temporal capability like what Mantorok had...but more rather the fact that they were both within a nearly dead state and caused plenty of issues towards both the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask the Skull Kid]] and Alexandra. As for his Temporal power and benevolence, it fits alongside [[VideoGame/HyruleWarriors Cia]], who alongside Majora, is purple.** Strangely enough, both Ganondorf and Alexandra fit rather than Link and Alexandra. While the latter two are heroes, for the former it's due to the [[BookEnds contrast and comparison that the two have]], with Ganondorf usually causing the problems while Alexandra fixes them and how they both write the histories of others, with [[spoiler:them both]] causing 3 timelines due to their actions. Meanwhile, Link mixes with Pious due to the fact that their fates were already written, [[YouCantFightFate and how they are doomed to repeat it]] [[spoiler:within the 3 timelines.]]* When when monsters look at you they drain your sanity, and when monsters are killed they fade away (as opposed to humans who slowly decompose). Both of these help the AncientConspiracy remain secret.* Peter Jacobs, Michael Edwards, and Edwin Lindsey are all Tome bearers, but their statues aren't seen in the Screaming Chapel. The only one of them who is even likely to be alive is Lindsey, who has a dangerous career anyway: why don't they have statues? They passed the Tome on to someone else before they died, unlike the others, who died either carrying the Tome themselves, or left it secreted away someplace where only they knew where to find it.** You'll also note they are the three Chosen who give Edward Roivas the three Ancients' essences. If Michael's last words in the game are anything to go by, people who handle these things in open defiance of an Ancient's guardians don't last long. Peter Jacobs would be the exception, but c'mon, he defeated the Black Guardian, they wouldn't want to go near him.*** They are also the three most badass characters and the only ones who actually survive everything Pious sends against them (Max and Edward also survive their chapters, but are defeated by the Ancient's minions not long after), thus proving that they are suited to safeguard the Essences until they can be delivered to Edward.** It's possible Edwards is still alive, despite his comment suggesting otherwise, and in fact even probable - some random delivery boy wouldn't spook and book it from a mansion as quickly as the person delivering the third essence and possibly the Gladius did without prior knowledge of all the crazy things that happen there. * The first time Pious encounters a zombie, you can see that he's going for his sword ''before'' it rises. Between that, the fact he heard the ancients calling him and the lack of a sanity bar, it can be assumed that this wasn't his first time as a character in a CosmicHorrorStory.** Pious is a Roman soldier, and as such hails from a time of myths and legends where people told tales about dangerous and fantastic things all the time and often believed them to be true. He might not be afraid of the eldritch horrors because he doesn't initially see the situation as an alien and unknowable horror but as a trial from the gods, since that's the kind of thing that happens in a number of Greek and Roman myths.* Mantorok is the Corpse God; in his temple, there's a huge mural depicting some human tribe worshiping him, and the description describes him as a god of fertility and the earth. Well, naturally he would be: as a god with powers of death and decay, naturally ''fertilizer'' falls neatly under his realm of influence. [[spoiler: It also serves as foreshadowing: Mantorok is easily the most benevolent of the Ancients. Its relationship with humanity is, and has ''always been'', a symbiotic one.]]** Further brilliance: why else would the other three Ancients even bother with Earth in the first place? In all the dark future visions that Alex has of each Ancient's rising, humanity is enslaved on some level. Driven insane, used as conduits for magick energy, eaten as breedable livestock and torture victims, the other dimensions don't seem to actually ''have'' any sapient creatures beyond the monsters they summon/create themselves. Of ''course'' they covet Mantorok's world, he's got an entire planet full of humans to worship him! Humanity is a willing servant to Mantorok anyway, because what is humanity but a Great Race (we're six billion strong!) who are already slaves to death and time. To the outside observer who knows Mantorok's spheres of influence, humanity itself looks like a bunch of mindless servitors who calmly accept the fact that we're born, live, age, and die and don't give him any guff about it. ** Mantorok's status as an ally of mankind is actually pretty obvious if you think about it. The game implies at first that Mantorok doesn't have many enemies milling around because being bound has weakened him, but over time, it seems clear that the reason he's the weakest of the Ancients isn't a lack of power, ''it's restraint''. His zombies are small and weak, but Max's autopsies don't imply that they're anything but walking corpses: Chattur'gha's are consumed by hate and anger for the living, Xel'lotath's are "coerced" into their unlife, and Ulyaoth's are in constant physical pain.. Mantorok's are just hungry, you know how zombies do. So, yeah, he's an Ancient and isn't any less horrifying than the others, but there's a really good chance that the bodies he animates (few in number, very weak, mostly in his own temple and without any driving motive beyond a basic, defining urge) are either just normal corpses or people who willingly gave their corpses to their Corpse God. Not to mention his gently-whispered magic. Mantorok's about as much of a bro as a mass of eyes and mouths and rotting death can be.* As mentioned in the FlashForward trope on the main page, Michael Edwards, the second to last of the Tome bearers, has knowledge of Edward Roivas's death, but does nothing to warn him. This makes perfect sense - Edward's death was instrumental in bringing Alex, the only person able to wield the enchanted Gladius and ultimately stop Pious, to investigate the mansion and learn the truth about the Eternal Darkness. Presumably, Michael acquired knowledge of his ultimate plan the moment he picked up the Tome, and was simply helping him carry it out.** Alternatively, Michael didn't have enough context to know Edward would be killed at that moment; the flash of memory just shows Edward reading by his fireplace, and considering his own circumstances, Michael is in no position to idly sit and ''read'' through Edward's chapter the way Alex is doing in the modern day. When he arrives in Rhode Island to deliver the essence, he believes that ''he'' is still the target of Pious and his minions and putting Edward in danger, so he books it.* In a Xel'lotath-aligned playthrough, she instructs Pious to "make sure [Charlemagne] is dead. Or insane... or perhaps one, then the other?" in her version of the cutscene before Chapter 3. Given what actually ''happens'' in Chapter 3, apparently Pious [[InThatOrder takes it directly to heart]].* The order of the Forbidden City characters: Pious is meant to guard the essences but [[StartOfDarkness fails horribly]], a job Karim does for almost 900 years so that Roberto gets both the Essence [[spoiler:and buried on the Pillar of Flesh, perhaps protecting it from the Ancients]]. However, his architecture skills let him know the weaknesses of the temple's structure, so by 1991, while some soldiers managed to enter the City, Michael Edwards became the Tome bearer because he knew how to handle explosives for massive damage, and [[spoiler: ends up destroying the Forbidden City and surviving ''two'' kinds of war]]. Also, [[spoiler: it's another proof that Mantorok can manipulate time: it was engineering the whole time the right people who could destroy the City for good]].* The [[spoiler: True ending]] always confused me. What difference does it make? No matter which Ancient you choose in the beginning, by the end, there's still two of them left. The world is saved, but how does that [[spoiler: defeat all three Ancients across the three timelines?]] But then I realized: [[spoiler: Mantorok is the only one of the Ancients that exists physically in our universe: Ulyaoth even says that the universe is "a yawning chasm" and has to enter it like climbing down into a valley. For humanity there's only one universe, but the Ancients exist in multiple realities. It means that Mantorok, with his control over time, has made it so that any time one of the Ancients crosses over into the realm where humanity lives, Mantorok chooses to make it the one in which they are defeated.]]** Actually, I thought it was the opposite: there is only 1 version of each Ancient across realities, but 3 versions of humans. Let's say, in world-1 Pious serves Chattur'gha, in world-2 - Xel'lotath, in world-3 - Ulyaoth. But if we look at it from Ancients' point of view, [[spoiler: Chattur'gha, for example, is first summoned by Alex-2 into world-2 to defeat Xel'lotath, and ''then'' he is summonned by Pious-1 into world-1 where he is killed by Ulyaoth. Likewise, Ulyaoth is firstly summoned by Alex-1 to defeat Chattur'gha, and then by Pious-3 into world-3 where Xel'lotath kills him. Xel'lotath kills Ulyaoth in world-3 and then gets summoned by Pious-2 into world-2 where she is subsequently defeated, completing the circle. It also means that the visions each of the Ancients had about defeating the others were ''accurate'', they just didn't look far enough to see what happens ''next''.]]* It takes Michael a while to get the Tome of Eternal Darkness, much longer than any of the other characters. Furthermore, his character was originally envisioned as being a Gulf War soldier, whose gear eventually is taken by the Michael we know. This could be taken to mean that Mantorok ''did'' plan for the soldier to be his Chosen for that chapter, but he was killed before the Tome and the Ancients' essences could be passed on to him, and Mantorok assumed Michael would soon succumb to the monsters within the Forbidden City. But Roberto gave Edwards the essences out of desperation, and he pressed on... and kept pressing on... and by the time he completed the Staff of Ra puzzle, he had shown himself to be resourceful enough to be entrusted with the mission to stop the Ancients, thereby being warped to the Tome's hallway.* In Max's voiceover for Ulyaoth Bonethieves, he says "Those creatures inhabit the bodies of men and women... exorcising the human soul and replacing it with their own putrid spirits," but for Xel'lotath Bonethieves, he says that they "[Secret] madness inside our very heads, while our souls are pushed into the corners of our skulls... watching as our hands do tasks that we have no control over!" This makes sense, as Ulyaoth Bonethieves have no need for the persons former soul, but being aware while possessed can drive you insane, perfect for Xel'lotath (presumably Chattur'gha Bonethieves discard the soul like Ulyaoth's do). But it makes sense in another way to: Unlike the other two varieties, Xel'lotath Bonethieves don't have heads, meaning that the head, and therefore the brain, of the victim does not get replaced.** Speaking of, Max's voiceovers tend to be distinctly tinged with different tones based on whichever alignment the monster belongs to. Chattur'gha monsters, he sounds angry and disgusted with them for existing in defiance of conventional logic and science. With Ulayoth monsters, he remains mostly cold and measured as he describes their anatomical impossibilities with only brief lapses into contempt. And with Xel'lotath monsters, he's terrified of them and the implications they have for the fragility of man.* In Peter's chapter, the guard stationed at the organ says that he is determined that the organ remain undamaged so long as he is alive. After the lights go out and the monsters attack, there is a rifle on the alter "probably discarded by a fleeing guard." Of the four guards you see before this point, one is called away and two lie dead by their stations, but the one by the organ is nowhere to be seen, implying he is the one that fled. Guess he wasn't willing to protect the organ with his life after all.* Depending on which Ancient Pious is serving, the characters acquire the Ancients' runes in different orders. Specifically, Anthony, the one who introduces magick, gets the rune of the Ancient who is weak to Pious' lord. Karim, the next character, then gets the actual Ancient's rune. Finally, Maximillian concludes with the Ancient who can defeat Pious' lord. This also ends up affecting the difficulty of the game, since Xel'lotath's minions are comparatively weak compared to the other two's, but because you have to wait longer to get Chattur'gha's rune, they can more easily wear you down and force you to preserve any limited healing charges you get, whereas Chattur'gha's and Ulyaoth's minions are tougher overall, but you can even the odds sooner thanks to more recovery options.* As the main work page points out, "Augustus" is an honorific for an emperor, not a relatively lowly centurion, so how did Pious end up with it? He gave it to himself. As the Dragon to the being that he believes will take over the world, he feels he's as close to an emperor as a human can get. He has the name earlier in the narrative because the player is "reading" his story, as accounted by him, in the Tome of Eternal Darkness.[[/folder]][[folder: FridgeHorror]]* Detective Legrasse, who greets Alex at the beginning of the game? He is almost certainly a bonethief.** If he was, wouldn't he have stayed to try and kill her?*** Unless he was a [[FridgeBrilliance bonethief of]] ''[[MagnificentBastard Mantorok]]''.** Alex vs Bonethief!Legrasse was [[WordOfGod apparently a boss fight that was cut from the game.]]* In Paul's chapter, he observes that the door to the crypt looks as if it's used often. One of the jewels needed to open it is found [[spoiler: lodged in Anthony's eye socket]]... Is that where it's ''[[KickTheDog usually]]'' kept?** Edward Roivas can save his house staff from the vampire, which is awesome, but they still get ''attacked'' by a thing from beyond the veil. There's no way in Hell anyone wouldn't know the story of Crazy Max Roivas if they worked or lived in that house; for the ones that saw it? They ''know'' the story is true, which not only means they fully understand whatever ghostly presence they sense as Max traipses around the place as a spirit, but also that the corroboration that Max needed ''was'' there, just decades and decades out of reach.* When the enemies see you, they take your sanity, which is shown by their eyes glowing green. The Xel'lotath Guardian is a mangled pile of headless torsos, and when it takes your sanity, the holes where the heads should be glow green at you. ''It can see you with its neck stumps.''** [[FridgeBrilliance Maybe that's what's so maddening about it.]] It drives you insane because you can feel its gaze on you even though it has no eyes to see you with. * In Peter's chapter you come across a room with an unfinished letter that hasn't been touched in a long time "as though its user suddenly turned away and never returned." One could guess the writer was another victim of the Black Guardian, but in all appearances, it seems they left on their own accord without bothering to finish the letter first. It's likely a Bonethief snuck up on the letter writer and possessed them, then, not caring about its host's letter, simply got up and abandoned it.[[/folder]][[folder: FridgeLogic]]* It is heavily implied that at least one of Max's servants was possessed by a bonethief, due to the game calling attention to four beds (and four victims in the flashback) but only three sets of remains. That's all well and good, since it means bodies of bonethief hosts disappearing/exploding into LudicrousGibs isn't just an AcceptableBreakFromReality like in most games...but isn't revealing the body of a bonethief victim a plot point in Anthony's chapter?** GameplayAndStorySegregation, probably, but since Pious and company know what happens to bonethief victims when the bonethieves burst out (ie, exploding into gobbets), it may be that that particular bonethief was very weak or the victim was very strong. They don't normally take the time to hide or bury their victims, but that one got a coffin; they may have been saving him for later examination once the business with Charlemagne was over.** The Bonethief possessing the monk at the end of Anthony's chapter also burst out of that monk's chest, and the wound in the monk's chest looked pretty similar to that of the body in the casket. Maybe the body is only destroyed if the Bonethief is removed from it particularly violently.[[/folder]]


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