Here are the basics of the Infinite Time Loops Fanfiction Project, or The Infinite Loops, as it is more often called. Every piece of published original fiction exists as it's own universe in the Multiverse contained within Yggdrasil, which has broken. Until it is fixed, everything is held in stasis via Time Loops to keep it from getting worse. Projected completion date for the repairs is Infinity. The Infinite Loops is the story of various characters from the universe caught up in the Time Loop, as they deal with the problems caused by having infinite time on their hands. Shenanigans ensue.
- One person in a Loop, often the main character, is an Anchor. They are the person who first starts time looping.
- The above is an ideal scenario. There are rare cases where deviations from this standard occur, but this is the common case.
- There is always at least one Anchor present in a given Time Loop snippet, though it may not be the local one.
- The standard pattern for a loop is that the Anchor (and whoever else is Looping there) come to awareness in a loop at a particular point in the story. From there, events will play out as influenced by the Loopers present, acting with the benefit of their foreknowledge, until either a predetermined end point is reached or all the Loopers have copped it.
- The exact reasoning for this is... difficult to explain. By broad consensus, it is assumed that said endpoint is where the loop began to destabilize within Yggdrasil (the parlance deems it as being the point where that "branch" of Yggdrasil "fell off".)
- To be Awake is to be aware of the time loops (that is, to have gone back in time this time.)
- In some situations, a being may be Aware of the time loops, but incapable of having any physical alterations occur to them (They cannot gain powers, and cannot form a subspace pocket). These beings are not proper loopers and are termed 'Dreamers'. Dreaming and Looping are not incompatible states though. A Dreamer can loop.
- Further, some beings (such as Q, from Star Trek), can deduce that time is repeating, without being Dreamers or Loopers. This is to be 'Loop Aware'.
- The Anchor is the only character guaranteed to be Awake. Even after others have started looping, it is mostly random as to whether they will be Awake this particular loop.
- Crossovers, fusions, and alternate pasts can also take place. It is perfectly possible, for example, to have the characters Awaken into a loop which conforms to a fanfic universe rather than reality.
- Loops do not have to be in chronological order, but it is strongly preferred that they not require a mutually contradictory order (where A must be before B and B must be before A.)
- Just about every Looper is very, very stir crazy.
- Administrator : Or Admin for short. Also known as 'Gods', these upper dimensional immortals are the ones responsible for the maintenance of the Loops and repairs to Yggdrasil.
- Anchor: The looper who holds down their reality and allows it to repeat in a time loop. At least one Anchor is needed to run a Loop iteration.
- Awake: The state of being aware that time has repeated, as well as retaining memories and skill from previous Loops.
- Baseline: Also known as the 'prime' Loop. Such Loops are effectively identical to 'canon' until Awake loopers change things.
- Branch: A section of Yggdrasil that contains a specific reality's baseline and all variants thereof. Also referred to as a 'Loop' at times.
- Co-Anchor: A being soul-bonded to an Anchor and brought along into the Loops with them for stability purposes.
- Co-Looper: A similar state to Co-Anchor, but without either party being an Anchor.
- Comatose: An extremely rare state where an individual is unable to ever start Looping be it due to glitches, Ai subsitution, an ultimatum to prevent a soulbonded individual from becoming an MLE or whatever other reasons might prevent someone from Looping. Coined by Sayaka Miki
- Dreaming: An equally rare state where an individual can partially or totally access memories from a Loop where they were not Awake. Often without actually being Awake themselves.
- Fused Loops: Iterations that contain elements of two or more distinct branches from the beginning. This can range from non-native loopers visiting the setting to a full merging of elements from all involved realities.
- Hub: The 'trunk' of Yggdrasil and our reality. The Hub is what the Anchors are connected to and in this way it Anchors the entire multiverse. It's also the primary backup data storage for the rest of Yggdrasil. This backup data causes Hub natives to write fiction about those realities.
- Joint Anchors: Two or more unbonded Anchors holding down a single section of their branch. An extremely rare configuration, and generally not done if other options are available.
- Jumpstart: A method of getting a non-Looping universe Looping by creating a Fused Loop involving an already Looping universe. A partially successful attempt to jumpstart the Mega Man universe was responsible for the Crash.
- Linked Loops: A branch that is not stable enough to be held down by a single Anchor. The branch is divided into sections, either along temporal or dimensional lines, each with their own Anchor. Linked Loops frequently run in tandem allowing some measure of shared continuity between them.
- Loop-Aware: Otherwise Unawake entities who are able to independently determine that the time loops are, in fact, happening. Local non-admin-level deities are the most common of these. (i.e. If it isn't real world mythology)
- Loop crash: Not to be confused with the Crash. A Loop terminates in a way that produces minor problems in the system that the local admin then has to deal with. Not a big issue, but it means paperwork. Local paradoxes, system glitches, and overly energetic premature terminations are the main causes. Often results in a Safe-Mode loop or a Hogwarts fused Loop.
- Looper: Any being who is Awake to the Loops, retaining memories and abilities from one to the next. This designation includes, but is not limited to, Anchors.
- Looping Artifact: A sentient object that is looping. Such artifacts are effectively impossible to duplicate in the Loops. While alternate versions can show up for specific iterations, they can't really be taken past the end of that iteration, even in a subspace pocket. Known looping artifacts are the Triforce and Caliburn (aka the One True Excalibur).
- Loops : The sections of time across the multiverse that repeat over and over again. They are a last ditch failsafe to keep reality from collapsing while repairs are made.
- Loop Iteration: A single instance of repeated time. Generally just called a Loop for short.
- Premature Termination: A Loop iteration ending prior to its designated end point. Often due to the death of the Anchor but not always.
- Quarantined: Areas of Yggdrasil that are, for whatever reason, flat out dangerous to the stability of visiting loopers or the multiverse at large. For whatever reason, they can't just be set to Read-Only. Uzumaki is one of the most infamous examples.
- Read-Only: The absolute last resort to keep a branch relatively stable. Used when setting the branch to looping either just doesn't work or is a bad idea.
- Replacement: A relatively common phenomenon where a looper, or even an Unawake being, takes the place of someone other than themselves either in their home Loop or in a different Loop. Sometimes the one they replace ends up replacing them as well, but not always. Unawake beings of course have no knowledge of a different life when this happens to them.
- Safe-Mode Server: A branch where looper powers are repressed and only abilities native to the iteration variant are allowed while it runs. They are effectively uncrashable. Some are well-liked and often booked in advance when a branch needs routine maintenance. Others, like the infamous Eiken, are generally disliked and are typically used as punishment Loops when loopers do something that causes their admin extra work. A specific iteration is generally referred to as a Safe-Mode loop.
- Sakura Syndrome: A rare state of mind where a looper is convinced that none of their actions will have any consequences past the current loop, including interactions with other loopers, combined with a general disregard for restrictions or laws (of morality or otherwise). This can lead to traumatic experiences for those interacting with them, especially the loopers who have to remember it. Difficult, but possible, to play for laughs. (Don't try it) Named for Sakura Haruno from Naruto, who is the biggest example of this state of mind.
- Setsuna Syndrome: Another thankfully rare state of mind where the individual is convinced that a specific sequence of events will 'cure' what is wrong with the universe and makes efforts to railroad those events into place. Effectively the opposite of Sakura Syndrome in a sense, and a mindset loopers tend to abandon once informed about the nature of the Loops by their local admin or another more experienced looper. As such, this condition is generally attributed to local Loop Aware entities with 'preservation of the timeline' on their agenda and a hefty dislike for the derailing shenanigans loopers often get up to. Named for Setsuna Meiou, aka Sailor Pluto, from Sailor Moon who is one of the earliest recurring examples of this mindset. Her looping self has abandoned it, but Unawake versions of her still display it to varying degrees from time to time.
- Stable Branch: A branch of Yggdrasil undamaged enough that it requires no native Anchor (though an Anchor is still needed to run an iteration of it). Several are used as Safe-Mode servers.
- Stealth Looper: Also known as a Phantom Looper or Ghost Looper, this refers to the practice of a looper not drawing attention to themselves and being mistaken for an Unawake version of themselves or simply not being noticed at all. Done with varying degrees of success, the practice is most noticable when the Anchor for an iteration manages to remain undiscovered before the end, leading to Loops that at first glance do not contain an Awake Anchor. The most famous of these are the Star Trek Anchors, as no one has managed to produce proof that they're looping at all.
- Subspace Pocket: A common ability for loopers and the only way to keep items that are not soul-bonded to you. Size varies between loopers. Some of the oldest loopers are purported to contain whole solar systems in theirs.
- Tandem Run: Two or more individual Loop iterations running 'side by side' or 'in sequence' in such a way that crossing from one to the other while the iteration is active is possible. The standard set-up for Linked Loops, but places that have baseline crossovers with other branches also do this on occasion.
- Traveling Looper : A looper who has a significantly higher than average number of Loops outside their home branch. The most well-known traveling looper is Jenny Everywhere, who has no known home Loop, having only looped into fused variants of other branches.
- Unawake: A general designation for all beings who do not retain memories from past Loops.
- Vacation Loop: a loop instance where one or more loopers declare a vacation from the baseline. Generally this involves the looper(s) taking time of to relieve stress or relax. Sometimes involves massive plot derailment, and little to no holding back on anything that gets in their way. Other times involves a complete refusal to play along with events by taking a literal vacation instead.
- Variant Loop: A Loop iteration that differs in some way from the baseline even before the actions of Awake loopers are taken into account. Some differences are more obvious than others.
- Yggdrasil: The divine supercomputer/tree that runs all of reality across the entire multiverse. It's been damaged in a mysterious event whose exact nature and cause is unknown.
Timeline (Under Construction)
- Probationary timeline is as follows:
It is generally agreed that this era is longer than all of the following eras combined so far (up to the Restoration era, at least), meaning it spans several quadrillion years at the very least, despite having much less fully canon material written for it than other periods.
Notable events include:
- The initialization of the DCnote and Marvelnote as the 8th and 9th loops in history, the first since the Original Seven.
- A heavy rise in branch initialization, fused loops, variant loops, and crossover loops.
- The initialization of Equestrianote , and it's designation as a sanctuary loop.
- The initialization of the Warhammer 40,000 branchnote with help from the above loop.
- The rise of MLE's: Malicious Looping Entities that sought the destruction or alteration of Yggdrasil, with one early example being Kyubey.
- The destruction of the Mitakihari branch, and it's Anchor, Madoka Kaname's subsequent ascension to Adminhood.
- Multiple failed attempts to initialize the Mega Man branch, which regretfully led to...
The Crash is considered one of the most dramatic and shocking moments in Loop history. Its origins can be traced to the Mega Man branch. One of the universes closest to whatever caused the Loops, the effective "Ground Zero", the branch was badly damaged, despite the efforts of its Admin, Hephaestus, losing its initial attempted Anchor, Rock Light, then its second, his sister-unit Roll, and then nearly placed into Read-Only status when the third set of attempts with Blues went disastrously wrong. The latter two were severely traumatized by the events experienced in their attempts. As a final attempt, the Mega Man branch was placed into a Fused Loop. It quickly became apparent that something had gone seriously wrong, with much the branch's usual adversaries simply not appearing for quite some time. And when they did, it was all to capture one otherwise unremarkable individual the Light siblings had otherwise ignored, the guest Anchor. Eventually, the individual, and the Lights, were captured after a prolonged series of battles with twisted versions of other beings from their Loop, and brought to the one responsible for their woes: a viral entity possessing many of the main villains of the Mega Man branch, somehow merged into one. The entity, having encounter Blues during some of his previous attempts was aware of the Loops, and wished to Ascend using the unidentified Anchor, and the Lights themselves as fuel. The attempt did not go unnoticed by Hephaestus, who quickly responded, attacking the entity with as much power as he could.
This resulted in the utter annihilation of the Anchor, his Loop, and entire Branch on a metaphysical level. Every Anchor across Yggdrasil felt the effect, many being badly injured. Several universes were damaged, with some activating new Loopers in response.
Regrettably, the entity responsible survived, and escaped within several inhabitants of the Mega Man branch.
A notable event was the 40 Krisis an event where, due to programmer error, the Dark Millennium of Warhammer 40k almost found itself with an entire species of MLE's in the form of the hivemind Tyranids. It was only through incredibly hard work by all involved and the personal intervention of the Admin Fenrir that the crisis was averted, and even then Fenrir suffered a heart attack from over exertion.
The Post-Crash Era marked another long return to ease as the hectic insanity incited by the Crash subsided somewhat. This period was marked with a subtle but noticeable rise in Glitches within Yggdrasil, such as the Squirrel Glitch. It was also a period of expansion for many loops, notably the Equestria loop, which underwent drastic expansion within the period. Similar to the Pre-Crash Era, the Post-Crash Era was a time for new loops and loopers to activate, and as such it is known to be a similar period of genesis for many loops, most notably the Doctor Who loops, which had until then been thought unloopable.
The most noteworthy events include:
- The initialization of the Doctor Who loops.
- Extensive Expansion for the Equestria loop.
- The Marriage of Spike and Rarity, from the same loops above.
- A serious Crash-Type event that had occurred inside of the Equestria loops, accidentally initializing, in a highly glitched manner, Vinyl Scratch (who kept forgetting she was looping), Derpy Hooves(who started dreaming and developing Infinite Cutie Marks), Lyra Heartstrings(Who developed literal multiple personality disorder), and Sunset Shimmer(who became a travelling looper).
- The proliferation of minor glitches, notably the Squirrel Glitch.
- A mysterious event known as the Death Note War, which involved Anakin Skywalker, Lelouch Britannia, and a handful of others in a race to claim several Death Notes that could be taken out of loop.
- The creation of the FusionFall variant fused loops for the Cartoon Network loops.
- An incident known as "Reverse the Loops" occurred when Thoth attempted to activate the Cardfight! Vanguard branch, not realizing that a virus had infected the Branch. As a result, the virus began copy-pasting the Link Joker phenomenon to every active Loop; Quetzalcoatl ended up having to fully Activate the Vanguard Loops to allow Aichi Sendou (one of the Anchors) to defeat the Void Agent and stop the virus.
Unlike previous Eras, which were categorized by events that were felt immediately (such as the sudden viability of thousands of new loops caused by the looping Marvel and DC loops, or the Crash), the event that began this Era occurred over several dozen loops, and the consensus is that it officially began when the entity responsible, Billy of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, was declared an MLE in official capacity. Billy, after his activation in the previous Era, was found to be so hilariously, nigh horrifically stupid, that he could kill dozens of loopers, crash safe-mode loops, and potentially initialize new loopers, including villainous ones. Following a rampage that left thousands of loops in turmoil, it was unanimously declared by the admins that Billy would be labeled an MLE, and treated as such.
Notable events include:
- The designation of Billy as an MLE, starting the Era.
- The activation of several new loopers, attributed to Billy.
- The activation of Gendo Ikari, of the Eva loops.
- Ares finally succeeding in getting I Wanna Be the Guy looping.
- The initialization of Homestuck as a loop.
This Era was marked by numerous events with long-term consequences, both in and out of their Branch of origin. As more, and greater issues within Yggdrasil were found and addressed it led to multiple instances of overt change and rapid response by both Loopers and Admins alike. Not all of these were negative however and the Era ended on a high note with the wedding of Nyx Sparkle and Leman Russ.
Notable events include:
- Naoki Kashima's Rampage
- The Edit
- Mega Man: Inside Out: In the Inside Out Loops, the main Anchor, Riley, attempts to manifest her Emotions into robot bodies with Mega Man's help, but Slenderman hacks into her headquarters in an attempt to break her psyche, with Ascension a possibility. Luckily, this fails.
- Weirdmageddon (Gravity Falls: Friendship is Magic): The Gravity Falls branch enters its Weirdmageddon expansion, during which several Lopers are forced to confront a Loop Aware Bill Cipher. Through his defeat, some minor degree of stability is brought to the Loops through his Tri-Net (Which allows him to gain his past selves' knowledge through others' minds without needing to be looping himself), which provides a framework for later repairs.
- The initialization of The Winx Club Loops
- The Wedding of Nyx and Leman Russ
Initiated by the Restoration of the previously destroyed Branch of Mitakihara by the concerted efforts of several Admins following the discovery of an Extension to the original Baseline of the Branch.
Notable Events include:
- Dio's road to Redemption (Currently in progress.)
- Arc-Nikos Wedding: The union of Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos of the RWBY branch, though after countless time spent together, it's more a formality than anything else. The ceremony and reception are attended by a number of Loopers from at least 7 different branches.
- Life of Miele: Flora, Anchor of the Winx Loops, carries a version of her non-looping sister, Miele, between iterations. When Miele eventually dies of old age, the Admin Fand, rather than setting her looping, converts her data into an AI. As tampering with soul data is forbidden, she is heavily punished, though Tyr and Skuld cover it up to save face.
- Tale of Two Sisters: As a result of long term mental manipulation, primarily by Slenderman, causing a split personality disorder, Cinder Fall, a Looper from the RWBY branch, attempts to Ascend, nearly erasing said branch as a result. The situation is eventually resolved by Ruby Rose, the branch's Anchor, though aftereffects, such as new Loopers, are still felt.
- The Initialization and Activation of the branch Doki Doki Literature Club!