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Umineko Visual Novels : the Live But Delayed Blogination

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WilliamJamison (edited by: WilliamJamison)

Are you going to try and blogginate EP 7 when it's out?
arbane (edited by: arbane)
Yep. (Although I'll try and put out the last installment for EP 6 before that.)

Actually, there's already a partial patch of EP 7 out, but I've yet to try it out. Maybe sometimes this week ? However, my schedule's probably going to get very busy during the holidays, so I dunno when I'll really start.

Maria also died early on in Episode 3, don't forget.
Oh, yeah, that too.

Although my reasoning back then was that Episode 3 didn't really count because the plot was obviously derailed by Eva's interference — a bit the same way that EP 5 & 6 were derailed by Erika.

It's actually a lot of fun for me to re-read those summaries of Episode 5 with the knowledge that Battler isn't a reliable witness here anymore, and the stuff from EP 6 that makes clear that some of the scenes here are complete bullshit.

Actually, The Reveal in EP 6 is such a game changer that I'll probably write up a post about how it impacts everything in the other 5 episodes before diving into EP 7, just to clear my thoughts up on the subject.
Jhiday (edited by: Jhiday)
Yeah, the Witch Hunt have released their full patch for EP 7 !

Okay, so here's the plan :
  • Sometime over the holiday period, I'm gonna finally finish my commentary of EP 6 AND post a comprehensive WMG entry taking into account the huge reveal in there and how it impacts all the previous episodes. I want to make my ideas clears about that before delving into EP 7.
  • Then, from the beginning of January onwards, I'll try and do a proper liveblog for EP 7. I've managed to stay nearly entirely unspoiled (apart from the existence of new members of the Ushiromiya family that I've got no information whatsoever about), so this should be fun.

I'd love to get this back on track faster, but the next fortnight looks very busy for me, and moreover I'll be away from my regular computer for most of it. So I'm trying to be realistic here.
Good to see you continue this "live"blog. This entry was particularly useful for me, as I've forgot one of these apparently meaningless flashbacks. It become somewhat important in EP7.

Anyway, nice bit of blogging. I wonder if it can be called "live" after all this time. ^^; I hope the epilogue come soon.

Also, thanks for remember me of the existence of Birth of a new witch. I can never get tired of hearing Umineko's song.
Yeah, the "live but delayed" title really took a new meaning here, eh.

I'll take issue with the "apparently meaningless flashbacks". Even without knowing anything about EP 7, I'd argue that they're tremendously important here already. They hold tons of answers about some major lingering questions.

As said in a previous comment, I plan to make a summary of my thoughts so far over the next few days (I don't need the VN on hand to do that). It's interesting how coy EP 6 is about its big reveal (although it does wield the symbolism pointing to it like a sledgehammer). That's why I haven't spelt it out in the actual summary, but the WMG instalment should lay it all out. And those flashbacks will be at the center of it.
By "apparently meaningless" I meant in the resolution of the games. I know they have some meaning, if only to convey feelings, but there is one of them (that I had forgot) that surprised me as it is a small hint (a very small and not all that useful if you don't understand the solution but a hint anyway).

Mind you, I was not talking about all flashbacks. I can see an obvious meaning in Shannon and Battler flashback. But Kanon flashback with Gohda is not so meaningful, for example (except, again, to convey feeling).

I am anxious for your thought summary. Depending of the way you interpret EP6, EP7 has not a so big foundation shaking reveal, so your theories should be enough to me check with my owns.

Also, in your theories making, do not forget the motive. EP7 makes clear the Whydunit is as important as the Whodunit and Howdunit and that people should not forget it while trying to solve Umineko.
Nice to have you back at this!

One nitpick of your summary: Erika's "Hello, I'm the 18th person!" speech was in red, IIRC.

I've noticed some pages have an 'analysis' sub-page. Should Umineko get one?
arbane (edited by: arbane)
Umineko already have one.
@ Arbane : I know, but I only use color (even on direct quotes) when I think it'd help the flow of the liveblog. There are tons of others instances where I ommitted blue or red text. ;)

@ Heatth : you worry me : of all the flashbacks I ommitted, the Gohda one was the only one I can't ascribe any deeper meaning to. (I DO have things to say about the Natsuhi and the Jessica ones.)
Jhiday (edited by: Jhiday)
Oh, lol. You posted the epilogue while I was reading the previous bit.

Anyway, this is an interesting epilogue as it takes the Happy Ending and trow it into the grounds is a new, much more sinister, Sequel Hook. The implication Amakuza killed Ange is not fun either.

Well, thanks for (finally) finishing EP6, I enjoyed much reading it. Hope you get on EP7 soon.

Btw, you said EP7 would start early next month. Just to know, have you already started/finished reading it, thus making it 'delayed' again, or you plan to blog as you read this time?
Heatth (edited by: Heatth)
I haven't even installed EP 7 yet. [tongue]

I do intend to liveblog it properly, but you never know in advance how it's going to pan out.
Cool. The coolest part of a Umineko livebloging is you can check people opinion while they are still reading (most of time people just post in the Internet the final conclusion), so I was worried you might have already read EP7 (I know I wouldn't be able to wait just so I could do a proper blogging =P). Hopefully you can stick to your plan.

BTW, I just read your previous commentary, saying you would post a WMG using EP6 reveals to rethink all previous episode. Are you going to post it here or in the Umineko WMG page?
I think I know what went wrong with EP 6's "liveblogging" : I had too much time (thanks to holidays), and so went at it too fast. I don't have anytime for it during these holidays, and hopefully my working in January should allow me to break things up a bit.

(On the other hand, expect more of the "lots of short updates" style of EP 5 than the more condensed and coherent instalments of EP 1-4 and 6, where I had a lot more hindsight.)

The WMG should be posted in this thread, as it's basically a summation of everything I think I know so far, and thus a natural continuation of this liveblog. (And the Umineko WMG page is too full already anyway.)
Jhiday (edited by: Jhiday)
Cool I will be waiting. For both the WMG and EP7, I mean. I like the "lots of shorts updates" style better, anyway so this is a plus to me. It gives you more time to deliberate at each scene so, while each update is shorter, there is more updates, making it bigger in text (at last was that way for EP5 and EP6, I think.
(Arbane here - I can't log in on this computer.)

Very nice analysis! And it matches up pretty well with my own wild guesses so far.

One nitpick about EP 2, though. I'm reasonably sure that Shannon really was dead when Battler & Co. found her - he mentions that after the Stake fell out, he could see the inside of her skull, which would be hard to fake...
Darn. I really wanted Beato to still be alive at the end of EP 2, but I can't think of a good loophole around this. Sigh.
Jeremy Kopczynski from RPG.Net here.

Thank you so very much for finishing this. Your analysis seems spot on.

My only real comment is that before Battler confronts Beatrice in EP 4 he only sees the body of George. All of the other deaths could have been by a depressed and enraged Beatrice who then killed herself to match the fake story. George might have been killed because he violently rejected the plan and its implied Battler/Shkannontrice pairing. He did say in his test he would kill anyone who got in the way of Shannon and him after all.
One thought on Episode 4: From Episode 2, we know that someone found the hidden gold, and Beatrice red-texts that Everyone acknowledged Kinzo at the family meeting!. My guess is that Shkanon announced their finding the gold to everyone gathered, announced that they were taking Kinzo's place as the new head, and then Stuff Happened.
arbane (edited by: arbane)
Awesome. As I expected (by seeing your general remarks), your main theory is very similar to mine, yet it is quite different in the details. So, please allow me compare our theories a bit and present a bit of nit picks. I naturally do have some foreknowledge regarding EP7, of course, but I promise avoid the topics realized in this Episode as much as I can, to avoid letting some spoiler slip.

First, I am obviously in accord that Shannon = Kanon = Beato (and yes, there are people who still denies this). I originally thought this was something I had to swallow, but that were unbelievable, since Krauss family does obviously not know. But, I guess, if Genji and Kumasawa helps, it could be explained. I would add that Kanon 'birth' must happen after Kinzo's death, otherwise he would also have to be in the secret, witch is unlikely, I think.

I will then propose a small backup theory (that mostly fits yours): EP1 and EP2 are what Beatrice, i.e.Shannon, was planning to do, while the rest are scenarios where something goes wrong. This is based on the Message Bottles and, more important, in the 'Forgeries' we learn of in EP6. The message bottles were written by 'Beatrice', and are scenaries she imagined for her plans. The rest is Hachijo playing 'what if'.

That being said, lets go Episode by Episode:

Episode 1: I frankly never even considered Eva helping the murder here. Personally, of the 4 siblings, she, Krauss and their spouses are the ones I find less likely to commit cold blood murder. You theory is plausible, of course, but if we think through, Evan and Hideyoshi involvement are not needed. Outside the first twilight, Shannon can pull it alone. Even the first can be done without help, if she has guns or used poison.

Also, there must consider why would Eva agree. One must remember that, with 3 siblings dead, the last one will be the one more likely to be considered culprit. We know the police cleared Eva in Ange future, but could Eva (or anyone) predict that far?

Episode 2: As Arbane said, Shannon was pretty much unmistakably dead. Her stake is the only one not firm, which is explained if it was suicide (something like Rika in Meakashi I suppose).

Another thing to note, is that this time I agree Rosa have, at some level collaborate. That would explain the Capel lock (it was never locked) and why we saw her with Beatrice. Naturally, despite helping a bit, she is not found of helping a murder, which is why she is so aggressive against the servants (who she knew were on it). What is not so easy to explain is why Rosa suddenly decided to run away with Maria in the end.

Episode 3: The one I disagree the most. I don't think Kyrie and Rudolf were on it. In fact, I will stick with the old "Eva did it" theory.

What goes 'wrong' here, by my theory, is Eva (and Rosa) actually solved the Epitaph.

We agree as far the First Twilight goes. After that, Eva solves the Epitaph, becomes "Beatrice" and as a result, made the "real" Beatrice give up the murdering (yes, I am assuming she will actually follow her letter). Unfortunately, Eva accidentally killed Rosa (they struggle and Rosa slipped on the rain) and, in panic "silenced" Maria (note Eva starts to get really disturbed after that).

Rudolf and Kyrie called Hideyoshi out for the reason Battler and Virgilia exposed originally, to interrogate him about the fake alibi. They end up killing themselves in the hotblood of the discussion. The stakes are placed by either Nanjo (who was not be aware the plans changed) or Shannon (to... make things interesting?).

Krauss and Natsuhi are killed by Eva, who see no solution other then finish them after the 3 new deaths. Nanjo is killed by either Hideyoshi or Kyrie on their last breath (he staked them or, at last, lied on his autopsy). Eva kills Battler after he accuses her. I agree about George, though.

I have no much reason for that other then I believe Beatrice has no much reason to lie in the letter. However, this is also to support my theory about the letters and the forgeries.

Episode 4: I am very sad you have no clue here, because I don't either. ^^; What I can suppose is that the "what gone wrong" is the cause for the early murders. All Episodes have the murdering happening after the first day, so it is safe to assume this is the culprit original goal. My guess is Shannon was discovered early here, so she had to take hostages.

Episode 5:

I am really impressed here, because I wouldn't be able to reason that far. Your conclusions about the midnight conference and Shannon are very interesting.

However, there is a gap in your theory. I believe it was said in red the 6 of the first twilight have, in fact, died (the time of the dead, is, of course, hidden). This goes against my own theory as well, but I can't think anyone other then Shannon to be able, or have reason, to do the killings.

Anyway, I loved your theories. While I prefer mine, thanks to you I will have to rethink my own conclusions about EP1 and EP3. Your theory about EP5 is quite telling as well.

Sorry for the massiveness of my comment. And also sorry if such thing was uncalled for. If you find it annoying I may edit it out (I think I overdid a bit by stating my own theories as well).

There is something I have to say: you do realize the TIPS menu after each Episode (the one you access in the main menu) may contain some Easter Eggs? I am not talking about the extra tips, but the 'extras' you can find in the character profiles. You know, you can change the normal sprites for the alternatives ones (like Shannon and George in EP2) and even find hidden profiles like Sista556 in EP4 onward (you can revive her as well). More important, you can 'execute' Erika in EP6(but not EP5), both profiles actually. There is a hint there one can not ignore.
@Heatth - Yes, we do get told that the 6 people 'killed' in the first twilight of Episode 5 really did die... but only at the 24:00 point in the game, when everyone is usually already dead anyway. We were also told that "After (victim) died, their body was never moved!" for all the 6 victims, which tells us that they weren't dead until AFTER they disappeared.

Edit to add: It occurs to me that there's now a good explanation for one relatively minor mystery in Episode 1: The bloody handprints on Natsuhi's door could be just due to Shkannon trying to freak out Natsuhi, even without knowing about the scorpion charm.
arbane (edited by: arbane)
Really? That would make things simpler. However, we still have Krauss death. He was killed just after the phone call. That I am pretty sure of.
@ Heatth : we disagree less than you think. I was mostly concerned with the effects of the Shkanon retcon, so I left alone all the events she wasn't involved in, like Rosa's chapel door trick in EP 2, or Eva's rampage in EP 3 (do note that the only murder I have Beato commit after Eva finding the gold is Dr Nanjo, and even this can be ascribed to — for example — preventing him from killing Jessica).

I don't get your point regarding Kanon and Grampa. First, we have concrete evidence to the contrary : I'm pretty sure Kanon was stated as starting working in Rokkenjima "three years ago" (as opposed to Grampa's death a bit more than a year ago), and he has to been there longer than Gohda (two years there) for him to be trusted by Natsuhi into the "Grampa's still alive" mascarade. Anyway, what does it matter if Grampa knows (and I don't think so, as he was already a recluse and Natsuhi's the one in charge of the household matters ; SHE is the one who should be hard to fool) ? He's dead...

I did notice that some TIPS were unlocked on completion, but I have to admit I didn't think to re-check them since my first completion of EP 6 months ago. I'll give them a look next week when I come back home.
I see. I suppose we agree a lot then. I still don't quite buy the Beatrice allying with one couple each time, but I can't deny it is a clever theory. Even better if you consider that, by that theory, the only adults Shannon did not allied herself to is Natsuhi and Krauss, which make sense if you believe she just dislike the woman.

My point is Kinzo is the one giving the right to bestow the One Winged Eagle. I just don't like the idea of him being fooled to give such honor to a non existent guy. I believe Kanon is there for 2 years, not 3. But I haven't considered Gohda, so I guess I will just accept Kinzo is being fooled too for now.

Please, recheck the TIPS. Not the 'TIPS' itself, but the characters. Specifically, 'execute' Erika (both 'human' and 'magical'). I don't think it is such a big thing, but it definitively worth a mention. Since you haven't commented, I can only suppose you missed it.

Happy Christmas (eve). =)
@Jhiday : Just gonna clear up some details regarding EP 3 and what the hells happened in EP 4.

Prepare yourselves for a Wall Of Text.

The details of EP 3’s closed room chain are a bit confusing, but here I go: The order in which the adults found the corpses is: Shannon, Kumasawa, Gohda, Genji, Kinzo and Kanon. We know that they are all 'dead' and that there is no one hiding in the room, but the order in which they searched the rooms is key: they first check on Shannon, and Nanjo confirms that she is dead, but he could have easily been conspiring with her. They take her master key, close the room, check on all the corpses up until Kinzo, find the key to the chapel… and during this time, Shannon/Beato goes to the chapel (which was presumably open), dresses as Kanon, closed the door of the chapel from the inside (it probably has a manual lock) and plays dead. She took Kanon’s master key and the key to the parlor (which she had used to open and close the room after the adults closed it), and left it there for the adults to find. Nanjo of course covers for her again. That should be enough to clear the details on that one. It’s worth noting that if they had decided to force open another room first, like say the second floor’s guestroom, the whole thing would have been blown apart.

As for EP 4… well, it’s a hell of a complicated theory, and potentially contains SPOILERS for the Howdunnit and Whydunnit. However, I would like to say that everything below could have been reasoned out from the first 4 Episodes.

We already know that Shannon is Kanon. We already know that she (or he) is also Beatrice. Episode 5 confirmed to us via red text that Beatrice was in possession of the gold, but you could have guessed from the first 4 Episodes that she already had it. Maria and a whole bunch of people say it, and Maria turned out to be right about a lot of things, including the fact that Beatrice ‘exists’. We also know via Ange in EP 4 that some if not all of the remaining family members received money from ‘Beatrice’, and that the cards with PIN numbers came in letters meant to arrive after the whole Rokkenjima Incident (because they were sent one day before the incident). If anything, this can only mean that Beatrice was planning on using her gold to coerce the servants into helping her kill everybody and that the money she promised to each of them (100 million yen IIRC) would arrive after the whole incident was over.

What proof is there that she actually did this? Aside from having little difficulty to convince the servants into helping her, Rudolf said in EP 1 that he expected to be killed. I think that Rudolf may have had second thoughts about Beatrice’s whole plan, and upon informing to Beatrice that he refused to do things for , he expected her to kill him as well. He simply didn’t have the nerve to tell Battler and Kyrie as well (Speaking of those two, Beatrice paying Rudolf money to force him to reveal that Asumu is not Battler’s mother could work its way into this theory, and it would explain how she knew about it, and was able to say it in red.).

Where am I going with all this? If you have ten fricking tons of gold, it wouldn’t be hard to convince a lot of people to do things that would normally be against their nature. How do I know that she convinced a lot of people? Gohda and Kumasawa informed the cousins in the guesthouse that Kinzo had gone mad and had started killing everyone, but we already know that Kinzo is dead and that Gohda isn’t even supposed to know he’s dead. The whole thing was Beatrice convincing people to do and say stuff that has already been scripted in advance (and that she herself eventually fulfilled to make it look true).

I don’t know how she killed Gohda and Kumasawa. That seems like the hardest part of the Howdunnit. It might be possible if you could shoot Gohda and Kumasawa from the shutter to the storeroom, but I don’t remember the details on its structure.

However, I know what happened near the end. Beatrice talks to Battler and tells him to atone for his sin from 6 years ago. We are told that Battler’s sin is forgetting something. We know that this sin isn’t against Beatrice. And we also know that Shannon and Kanon are Beatrice. We also know that Battler notes that Beato’s eyes seem to be saying that it’s a sin against her, even though that was just denied by the red. Therefore, the sin is against Shannon.

What could he have possibly done against her? EP 3. Before any of the murders, Jessica asks Shannon if she remembers anything embarrassing that Battler might have said. “Let's see. ......I'm sure that he said something like this when he left. 'I'll be back, <see you again>. I'll come to greet you riding on a white horse.'" “Without love, it cannot be seen”… the truth, and the motive. Shannon loved Battler, and Battler himself admitted in an internal monologue that he did used to have a crush on Shannon.

And we already know that he didn’t come back because he had a fight with Rudolf. In the six years before he returned, things happened and she hatched a plan to kill everyone on Rokkenjima.

(A bit of a side-note here, related to the Whydunnit. George loves Shannon. Jessica has a crush on Kanon. Maria is treated by Beatrice as a very dear (maybe her only) friend. Meta-Battler and Meta-Beatrice developed feelings for each other, and in fact started flirting with one another from the moment they met. In other words, s/he was the source of affection of all 4 cousins. This plays very heavily into the Whydunnit.)

So when Battler says that he doesn't remember his promise, she is heartbroken, and most likely, asks Maria to die with her, in peace. I guess you could call it a double-suicide pact. Shannon’s corpse was found near the well which leads to the Kuwadorian, and her death is explained via suicide: she shot herself in the forehead while leaving a stake lying around, and after shooting, the gun falls thorugh the bars of the well.

Maria was killed by poison. Maybe Beatrice convinced her that drinking it was a way to go to the Golden Land, or maybe she chose to kill herself as part of the test.

Battler waits for a whole day, but nothing more happens. At midnight on the second day, he is killed. And that’s where it ends.

Wall Of Text ends here.

My guess is that Shkanon announced their finding the gold to everyone gathered , announced that they were taking Kinzo's place as the new head

I figured it was something like Shkanon said "screw this" wheeled out Kinzo's corpse, said she's in charge now, and they'd better play along if they want any gold.
Heh. I hadn't thought of THAT possibility. And all the red text says is that everyone "Acknowledged the existence of Kinzo."

Jeremy here

Thank you so much for continuing this. My only other comment is: are you *sure* Lion is female?
Lion's gender is Lion.
Well, fuck you. I hadn't noticed it, but the narrative is indeed taking great pains to keep Lion's gender ambiguous. Fuck.
Jhiday (edited by: Jhiday)

I am sorry. I did not mean to upset you. I just remembered debates about Lion's gender and hoped for more information.
Oh, I don't mind too much. But... well, you'll see in the next instalment.

I prefer to think of Lion as female as well.

The implied incest in Kinzo's backstory is something I wished I did not learn.
Well, so far they have yet to actually confirm it explicitly, however strongly it is suggested.

On the other hand, considering everything we already know about 1967, it's only a matter of time until Lion's real parentage comes out into the open.

It is weird how the Ushiromiya's never seem to check under beds or look in closets. Of course the servants might actually have been in on it. Kumasawa, Genji, Shannon and Kannon all encourage belief in the witch. That is three servents right, there.
It's a bit more complex then that.

Now you're getting into the meat of the chapter, good luck!
@Jeremy : I find it slightly bizarre that the two servants telling Jessica about the "2am appearances" are Shannon and... Gohda, the one servant who is explicitly not in on the Beatrice Masquarade. This is quite an interesting choice...
Like I said, this is the meat of the Episode.

Anyways, fairly sure Clair is basically a sound board so that Beatrice can tell her story without forcing who she "really is" be revealed so readily.
I think the name "Yasu" is an in-joke. There was an old Japanese mystery video game that the culprit turned out to be Yasu. 'Yasu is the culprit' is a meme over there.

Also, I am weirded out that she is the aunt of all three of her potential romantic partners.
She's their aunt and cousin, at the same time.

It just makes the entire Rokkenjima incident even more messed up then before hand.
Beatrice as we know it isn't born yet.

Anyways, the trick Yasu played on Berune is easy to figure out. She took the key off her own keyring, placed it in Berune's locker, and then switched the two keyrings when nobody was looking.
My favorite part of the Episode comes right after Clair's story is finished. Partly because it's well written, but I think it's mostly because it doesn't directly tell you the answer. You have to reason it our yourself.

That way, the complete truth doesn't have to be told. Those who cannot understand Clair's heart won't figure it out, and those who do will. No other words are necessary, just understanding over what Clair went through.

Hah. Even then, if you have any doubts, I'll try to answer them as best as I can. It's a bit mean of the author if he doesn't make everything clear, but he makes up for it because all the clues are there.

The internal psychology of Yasu is hurting my head.

Perhaps the reason is the Love Trial? If Battler returned later, Yasu would be already happily married and if earlier the other relationships would be weak and easy to break. 1986 Yasu might be an emotional timebomb waiting to be set off from the conflicting desires.

Wait. Battler's broken promise was conditional? It seems unfair to me to blame a 12 year old boy for not keeping a conditional promise if she didn't keep her part first.
Battler promises here that he'd be back the next year to hear her answer. But he wasn't, due to all the Asumu stuff. I'd understand her being a bit angry. (And her narration here does express regret at not accepting there and then.)

What baffles me in those flashbacks is the bizarre insistence that Yasu and Shannon are different people, despite not making a lick of sense internally (even discounting everything we already know about Shannon, we get a gradual transfer of Yasu's background onto Shannon... and this was already happening before the "retcon").
Ah, Battler did make an actual promise that he then broke. Sorry, I did not understand. He really should have at least written a letter explaining what happened and why he did not come back.

Oh, that also explains why the not remembering was the main part of the sin. It comes off as him not caring and maybe never caring about her at all.

The Yasu Shannon relationship is the head hurting element. Beatrice was Gaap and then Yasu took the name and title. This somehow left Shannon behind. Though, Beatrice does seem to believe that Shannon and Kannon are seperate people. It still makes my head hurt.
George totally hid the letter.
Battler totally just forgot.
How exactly does it fail in explaining it? In how Kanon arrives at the island or why he is there?
I think he means how come no one notices that Shannon and Kannon are the same person or why Yasu has him actually on the island instead of just another 'friend' like Gaap. The logistics of his existence are difficult to justify with the information given. Unless Krauss, Natsuhi and Jessica are all dumber than previously presented.

I think the "Quadrillion" inscription on the chapel was mentioned back in Episode 2.
The tale gives a very detailed (if slightly obtuse) description of the logistics of the Shannon/Beatrice double life. How and why Genji arranged it, why the various other accomplices (Kumasawa, Dr Nanjo, Maria) acknowledged it, and we can even see how the two personalities blend together when she's not purposefully playing either of them up.

No such thing for Kanon, who only gets a 'very slight psychological explanation from Beato's point of view. There's absolutely no explanation of how and why Genji went with it, despite the logistics involved being far more cumbersome than for Beatrice (who interacts with far less people on a daily basis).

At this point, Kanon remains a plot device for the murder mystery. And that's exactly what I'd want this EP to deal with.
Ironically, that's exactly how Kanon feels: furniture. Nothing more than a tool to serve its master, and nothing less than a servant. I agree that how and why Genji would go along with it isn't explained, but Kanon clearly is Shannon/Beatrice's cynical side: Where Shannon feels nervous and shy, Kanon is stoic and calm.

Kanon serves as a way for Shannon/Beatrice (from now on referred as Yasu 'cause its shorter) to let off steam and deal with stress. Kanon demonstrates his disdain of Krauss, Natsuhi and Gohda on a great number of situations, and this reaches its peak in Ep 6, where he and Shannon have a mental sort of battle, which he loses precisely because he doesn't have much of a personality himself.

On the whole, Ryukushi could have explained it better, but I don't really mind how it turned out. Also, my favorite part of this episode immediately follows this one.
The Chapel was first discribed in EP 2, and in EP 4 the line "You will be blessed only at a probability of a quadrillion to one" is blatently shown and said in EP 4 during Ange's investigation. During the scene where she's talking with Kumasawa's son, it's in a picture taken on Rokenjima.

Taiwan was, indeed never stated. But a HUGE hint was the whole Atlas thing in EP 3. It's probably the hardest part of the riddle to solve, requires knowledge of Japanese history that most westerners just wouldn't have.

Though, the Epipath was actually solved by some people as far back as when EP 3 WAS out, in fact. Getting the word "Quadrillion" from the hidden mansion Kuradowain
Taiwan was hinted at during, of all things, Natsuhi's and Krauss's romantic vacation scene. Krauss revealed that Kinzo had a habit of chewing areca nuts, which was something he had picked up in his youth, and apparently that's a custom that happens in Taiwan...

I was completely thrown by that because I thought it referred to a custom in Indonesia... bleh.
I've been re-reading the episodes with this information in mind, I've done up to 3, so let's copy-past that info so far, here's my final statements on how they were done, I'll add in EP 4's once I finish that one.

First game, first twilight. Six corpses in the gardening shed. Illusions to illusions. The corpse that cannot return to earth returns to illusions. There are only five corpses. The fifth, "Shannon's" corpse, is a fake, either Hideyoshi is lying or he is mistaken.

First game, second twilight. Two corpses are close together in a closed room protected by a chain. Illusions to illusions. A chain of illusions can only hold back illusions. The room was never locked in the first place. Kanon cut the chain and claimed it was a closed room. Genji and Kumasawa collaborated.

First game, foruth twilight. The old Head from the closed room study, confined in a schorching furnace. Illusions to illusions. Let the man of illusions go to where he belongs. Kinzo has been dead for over a year. To create the illusion that he was murdered, his corpse had a stake driven through it, and his body burned.

First game, fifth twilight. The last moments of the sacrificed boy with a stake in his chest. Illusions to illusions. The witch and stake of illusions can pierce naught but illusions. Kanon was never murdered, the corpse was either fake or pretending to be dead. The blood was fake, it was all fake.

First game, sixth, seventh, and eighth twilights. Three corpses lying in the closed room of the singing girl. Illusions to illusions. Illusions are the blind girl's song. Illusion of a closed room. Yasu had the keys. She unlocked the door, and told Maria to sing as she sacrificed the three. There's a chance the corpses are fake, after all, the three are her accomplices.

Second game, first twilight. Six with their stomachs split in a closed room chapel. Illusions to illusions. The gold truth locks the lock of illusions The door was never locked in the first place.

Second game, second twilight. The corpses of the two who are close are not close. Illusions to illusions. Illusions who have fulfilled their role do not leave a corpse. Kanon died yet he leaves no corpse, because Yasu has no need for him anymore. She left Jessica behind and locked the door.

Second game, fourth, fifth, and sixth twilights. In Natsuhi's closed room, none are left alive. Earth to Earth. No one would dispute that a coffin is a closed room. The final stage, the game has ended, Shannon died, Yasu killed George and Gohda, and pretended to be dead. She left once the others had.

Second game, seventh and eighth twilights. The two sliced to death by the red-eyed phantom. Earth to Earth. Illusions to illusions. No Illusion can create a corpse. They were not killed in the servants room, they were killed later, but before George and Gohda died. They were made to look like the final sacrifices.

Third game, first twilight. Six corpses connected by the linked closed rooms. Illusions to illusions. In a closed room ring, the end and the beginning overlap. Yasu faked her death as Shannon, when the adults checked up on her and moved on, she ran over to the chapel as Kanon, and faked her death there.

Third game, second twilight. The corpses of mother and child lay togetheri in the rose garden. Earth to Earth. No falsehoods in their final moments told. Rosa and Eva have an argument about the gold, it gets heated, and Eva kills Rosa by accident. In her panic, she kills Maria as well.

Thrid game, fourth fifth and sixth twilights. Three corpses lying in the mansion. Earth to Earth. No falsehoods in their final moments told. Eva panicked and shot Kyrie and Rudolf, and Hideyoshi died accidentally.

Third game, seventh and eighth twilights. The corpses of husband and wife lay exposed under the arbor. Earth to Earth. The obvious culprit wields a mutable blade. Eva strangled them.

PataHikari (edited by: Filip)
Oh yeah, and the non twilight mysteries.'

Episode 1:

Letter delivered to the study: One of the servants put it there, just as Natsuhi suspected

Natsuhi getting shot: Yasu shot her, took the unfired gun, and left her own to make it look like she had been shot with her own gun.

Episode 2:

The letter in the parlor: Rosa is an accomplice, she put it there and blamed Battler.

Episode 3:

George dying in Shannon's arms: Yasu "brought back" Shannon, to confess everything to George. Eva tried to kill her to silence her, but accidentally hit George. Yasu faked her death again. She put the number on the door to catch Battler's attention.

Dr. Nanjo's murder: He had been bought by Eva by this point, and Jessica was in danger. Yasu killed him to protect her, and led her to a safe place as "Kanon".
Two notes on that :

  • We never see Kanon's corpse in the first game (or any of the others, for that matter)
  • We already discussed Shannon's corpse in the second game earlier : there's no way this could have been faked, and it's disingenuous to interpret the coffin line here as anything but confirming her death. I'd really have liked her to survive so that Battler didn't see Beatrice in a drunken hallucination too, but it's been conclusively disproved.
Pretty grim, huh? For some reason, this reminded me of a Tarantino movie.

My one hope that Bernkastel is lying about that being the Real Truth is that there was no explanation for 'Beatrice's mysterious payoff to Ange's family back in Episode 4. It's not much, though.

And there's still one more Episode to go. How can this end?
Poor Ange, again! Bernkastel really seems to have it in for her.

If Battler survived then he has alot of explaining to do. On the other hand it would make Ange's life better...if she survives Rokenjima in 98'.
You left out that Bernkastel said "This is the truth-" in red. However, it could have meant something else. IIRC, if you add a kanji at the end of that line, it could mean the opposite, like saying ""This is the truth...NOT!"

Also, the last flashback kinda suggests that Yasu's reproductive organs may have been damaged in the fall, thus giving him/her gender confusion. It's only a possibility, but that's probably one of the reasons she created Kanon, aside from the other reasons I ranted about a couple pages back.
It's like Bern needed to make up the vague niceness in the main episode with extra special evil.

And remember, at the end of EP 6, Featherine said she'd give Ange a "suitable reward" for being her Miko. This is her "reward."
It looks like Bern went out of her way to find dirt on Ange's parents : even discounting their actions in these Fragments, we learn that :
  • This is not the first time Kyrie smashes a woman's face into pulp (and this reminds me that we still don't know anything about Asumu's death).
  • Rudolf and Kyrie's business practices paint them as, at best, con artists.

Does anyone know *why* Bern has it out for Ange so much. Yeah, she is a cruel jerk to everyone but it seems she went out of her way to show Ange that play.
It's because she loves to hurt people and Ange is just her current toy.
I believe the fall caused mental problems and being born from incest cause sterility
Now comes the wait and the theorizing for Episode 8.

This was a great write-up. I just finished replaying 1-7, and although I've been doing my best to avoid spoilers about 8, am really looking forward to getting my own perspective around it, and perhaps hearing your thoughts on it later. But seriously. Your perspective helped me... Solidify mine? Something like that.