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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 24 Nov 2011
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The games themselves (notably SH2 & 4) have hinted that Silent Hill and the surrounding region have always had some kind of mysterious power or presence of sorts with such mentions like the random plague that hit the town resulting in Brookhaven's construction, how the town was abandoned at one point in its history for unknown reasons, a certain tribe of Native Americans settling and performing various rituals for their own beliefs, and the Little Baroness's disappearance (which predates Alessa's birth by over fifty IIRC.)

The developers likely just made up a lot of stuff as they went along which is very common in the industry so there are going to be some unclear grey areas as a result.


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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Quote:
But something like, how is it that Travis' manifestations are realized? Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle states that it was only after the large-scale shift of the first game that the town acted as a large catalyst to manifest one's unconsciousness.


I'm going to be pedantic for a moment, because what the book says is different in an important way:

Quote:
Calling
Those who have guilt are summoned

Due to the appearance of the otherworld on a massive scale in the first game, the town has come to be a place that calls those who hold a profound darkness in their hearts. It seems that people with afflicted minds are easily drawn to the otherworld.


The way I interpret this, Alessa's machinations result in the town being able to exert some kind of supernatural magnetism which draws certain people to the place, but it pointedly says nothing about what can be manifested. The town may have always had the power to go through a person's mental baggage and by some means envelop that person in a sub-reality in which his unconscious can actually influence his or her perceptions within it, but Alessa made this power stronger and gave it the ability to exert itself at much greater distances. So, Origins is entirely consistent, as Travis came to town only because he was intending to pass through it as a shortcut to his destination and therefore we have a practical cause to discount the idea that he was 'called' in the same manner as James and his supporting cast.

Therefore, this isn't really a legitimate basis upon which one can dispute Origins as being canon, and to be honest, the fact that the game was so poorly-received is the major reason people even try.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Soulless Shadow wrote:
I'm quite happy to take notice of what some fans say. For example, The Adversary and Ryantology. They always put a lot of effort into their theories, and even link to their sources, etc.


I don't know if you read my entire post, but I said that it's quite all right to theorize with other fans because it allows you to adapt your own theories and ideas from the lore. Ryan and Tom are two of the best Silent Hill theorists in the entire fanbase (probably), and they make great theories and know a lot about the lore. However, if a Dev. tells me that their [Ryan and Tom] theory is wrong, then I'm no longer going to believe that theory because it was disputed by someone who clearly knows the franchise and its inner workings since they made it. I hope that comes off clear.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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The book explains two different effects of the large-scale shift. One being able to manifest what's in one's mind and the other "calling" people with darkness in their hearts. The book makes an effort to distinguish the two by providing separate points for each: Embody and Calling. I knew Calling could be overlooked for the same reason you brought up, but Embody cannot.

Ryantology wrote:
The town may have always had the power to go through a person's mental baggage and by some means envelop that person in a sub-reality in which his unconscious can actually influence his or her perceptions within it [...]

This wouldn't be possible because in the same paragraph, the book talks about the power of the town being distorted by certain events. The large-scale shift is one of those events. If the power to manifest what's in one's mind is an effect of the large-scale shift from the first game, then logically, the power of the town in Origins would be something else, something less "evil".

If Alessa was responsible for amplifying a certain power, manifestation of one's mind wouldn't be one of them.

Tom Waltz's Silent Hill: Past Life does not have this issue, by the way, even though it also takes place in the past relative to the first game.

Quote:
to be honest, the fact that the game was so poorly-received is the major reason people even try.

Admittingly, that wouldn't be a good reason for trying. Thankfully, I'm confident that the community is more diverse than that.

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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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I did indeed forget about the other mention. But, it too is described in interesting language.

Quote:
Furthermore, due to the large-scale shift to the otherworld that occurred in the first game, the town has become a great catalyst for the manifestation of peoples' unconscious minds. It appears to have become a place that beckons to those who hold darkness in their hearts.


Emphasis, mine.

It seems to suggest what I mentioned in my last post: Alessa took an existing power and turned the amplifier up to 11. She is not the reason that power exists nor is she responsible for it happening. The power to manifest the unconscious was there before Alessa did her thing, but before she did it was a local phenomenon and lacked the ability to beckon to outsiders who had dark spots in their hearts. What she did was make it stronger. Both portions mention it.

Moreover, by describing it as a 'great catalyst' now suggests that it was a minor catalyst beforehand, something perhaps of only minor importance compared to the ability of any person to enter the 'other side' while in a certain state of mind. It still quite leaves the door open, however, for manifestation to occur pre-Alessa, as long as it happens in town and does not involve people outside the town being drawn to it.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

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I see your point, and the source of the confusion. Allow me to explain.

I have a copy of the book in front of me, and the term it uses for "become" (in "become a great catalyst") is 変貌, pronounced [henbô]. If you push this into an English translator, it will say "transfigure." This is the same term the book uses to describe the Leonard monster. The term is only used when there's an extreme makeover, something that became unrecognizable. If it was a matter of capacity as you put an emphasis on "great", then this term would not have been used.

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So, it comes down to interpreting a turn of phrase in another language? If so, at worst it can't be right to blame a Western development team for not picking up on such an obscure subtlety.

It's all rather beside the point, though: the idea that Alessa caused any major difference to the town is of zero practical importance to the series' mythos, as the cause of the otherworld's manifesting power is quite irrelevant. The games never explore such broad concepts. Therefore, if that passage really means Alessa was the cause, disputing an entire game on the basis of violating that passage is nitpicking to the extreme. If it really is a retcon, it's a retcon of the smallest possible consequence.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

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Ryantology wrote:
So, it comes down to interpreting a turn of phrase in another language? If so, at worst it can't be right to blame a Western development team for not picking up on such an obscure subtlety.

Not quite. For Climax, my impression was that they were talking to the original creators. I mean, what's the point of having a western company create a Silent Hill game if there wasn't the least bit of authenticity to it?

Quote:
It's all rather beside the point, though: the idea that Alessa caused any major difference to the town is of zero practical importance to the series' mythos, as the cause of the otherworld's manifesting power is quite irrelevant.

I can't really agree with you there. Silent Hill 2 only happened because of the events of SH1, and well SH2 is arguably fans' favorite. I think it's so important that with the exception of Origins, all the other games takes place in modern day, post-SH1, sans Shattered Memories that they put outside the mainline universe.

And, if it was unimportant, why bother putting it in a guidebook? Because to buff up the page count?

But see, your view point is exactly why things get ugly. You have people in this very thread talking about taking creators' statements to the dot. Here, you're brushing it off as irrelevant. It's cherry-picking at its finest.

One of the first things that Western developers talk about is that there are certain guidelines laid down by Konami that they must adhere to. I'm not going to pretend to know what those guidelines are, but fans have nothing else to go by than old commentaries by the Japanese team members and these stupid guidebooks.

So, perhaps certain points can be considered irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. But, that does not change the fact that there are discrepancies based on material that's been made public to the community.

But what do I know. Maybe I'm just one of those kids living in mom's basement.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Aerith Gainsborough wrote:
^Your point pretty much became invalid because you used Wikipedia as a source. You could be completely correct, but nobody is going to listen to a site where it's edited by its own users. :\

I don't care what the 'fanbase' says. If the fanbase ruled what was canon then we would have a bunch of TP cultists running the whole Silent Hill freak show. I'm gonna take my chances on listening to the creators rather than 'fans.'


That's what I was going to say. Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. It would have been better if you used an academic source.

In any case, I'm not seeing it being less than canon. It's not a matter of who wants to believe what is and is not canon for them, it's a matter of if it is actually canon. It may not fit with so and so's theories, that's fine. It's not the point.

As for Japanese vs Western developers, even within the Japanese paragdim, there is still inconsisities. If we only go by the first 4 games, there's still loose ends, contradictions, and so forth. Really, compared to Resident Evil and MGS, Silent Hill is doing good in regards to plot and not having too many holes.

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Historical Society Historian
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Quote:
That's what I was going to say. Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. It would have been better if you used an academic source.


Good luck finding an academic source on an informal concept that only gets serious consideration in internet fandoms.

People in general who discredit an argument just because someone linked to Wikipedia are jackasses. Atleast criticize the actual argument.

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Burning Man wrote:
Not quite. For Climax, my impression was that they were talking to the original creators. I mean, what's the point of having a western company create a Silent Hill game if there wasn't the least bit of authenticity to it?


I would assume that if the original creators thought that this particular piece of information was of importance, they would have placed considerable emphasis on it and probably would have said something like "hey, you can't even make this game because we said none of this should even be possible".

Quote:
And, if it was unimportant, why bother putting it in a guidebook? Because to buff up the page count?


I don't think every single piece of information in the guidebook is of the same level of importance. Some things are of vital importance and others are mostly just beside the point. This is one of the latter, given that this passage in the guidebook is the only material (I know of) which even brings it up. If you say Alessa didn't make it start happening, what else in the entire series must be changed as a consequence? I can think of nothing.

Quote:
But see, your view point is exactly why things get ugly. You have people in this very thread talking about taking creators' statements to the dot. Here, you're brushing it off as irrelevant. It's cherry-picking at its finest.


Well, I would brush it off as irrelevant if I thought it said what some people in this thread seem to think it says. I don't think it implies that Alessa is the reason Silent Hill things happen. Even if you get technical with the meaning of words in another language, at best it only suggests that. People in this thread are insisting that is what it definitely means and that Origins cannot be canon because of that.

At worst, Origins stretches a few precepts of canon, but every new game in the series has done that, ever since there were enough games for canon to be a practical consideration.

On an unrelated note, ffs people. Citing Wikipedia means that you may not be able to accept information derived from it as absolute truth. It does not invalidate the entirety of what a person says. That is one of the most awful and infuriating counter-arguments that exist on the internet. If you find inconsistencies or errors in a post because a person used Wikipedia, point out those inconsistencies or errors specifically. If you assume a person is full of shit due simply to the source they used, you're being more intellectually lazy than they are.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Quote:
That's what I was going to say. Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. It would have been better if you used an academic source.


Good luck finding an academic source on an informal concept that only gets serious consideration in internet fandoms.

People in general who discredit an argument just because someone linked to Wikipedia are jackasses. Atleast criticize the actual argument.



Nope not at all. I read academia a lot and if you don't know what primary sources are, and accurate citations i.e. you don't question Wikipedia or any source, I would question your critical thinking skills. (Obviously, if you ever went to college you had to use citations and most colleges do not allow Wikipedia.) It's not like academia is hard to get. There's JSTOR for example.

Healthy skepticism =/= being a jackass.

In fact this post reminds me of how pagans say we should never question their religious experiences that they claim are 'facts'. Even if they contradict science and each other. :-/

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

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@Edea:
Did you bother looking at the article? If you had, you would have immediately noticed several citations to academic sources. I think premature skepticism is not very helpful, but I will listen to your advice.

Ryantology wrote:
I don't think every single piece of information in the guidebook is of the same level of importance. Some things are of vital importance and others are mostly just beside the point.

Nor do I, but I think this particular information is of vital importance. It's the only thing that explains why the town is the way that it is. It gives sort of a logic to the phenomena other than simply as a town where strange stuff happen.

Without information such as this one, it would be extremely difficult to come to any sort of agreement among the fanbase.

I'm simply taking the passage for what it says. There's no interpretation involved. You keep bringing up Alessa, but the large-scale shift says nothing about her involvement, specifically. So, it's just that. The large-scale shift in the original game transfigured Silent Hill into a great catalyst that manifests one's unconsious minds. Origins takes place before the event; therefore, this is before Silent Hill acquired this power, which makes Travis' manifestations a discrepancy.

Quote:
At worst, Origins stretches a few precepts of canon, but every new game in the series has done that, ever since there were enough games for canon to be a practical consideration.

But... Origins was the first and only game outside "made in Japan" at the time of its release...

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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Burning Man wrote:
Without information such as this one, it would be extremely difficult to come to any sort of agreement among the fanbase.


Seems to me the only reason this issue has ever been raised is to call the canonicity of Origins into question.

Quote:
I'm simply taking the passage for what it says. There's no interpretation involved. You keep bringing up Alessa, but the large-scale shift says nothing about her involvement, specifically. So, it's just that. The large-scale shift in the original game transfigured Silent Hill into a great catalyst that manifests one's unconsious minds. Origins takes place before the event; therefore, this is before Silent Hill acquired this power, which makes Travis' manifestations a discrepancy.


I bring up Alessa because it seems somewhat coincidental that she's doing important things at the same time it happens.

And yes, you are definitely interpreting things a certain way, an interpretation which is not one I share. If the passage was a clear statement, or any other evidence, anywhere, supported the idea that the manifestations definitely could not have ever occurred before the events of the first game, then I could understand why you'd interpret it that way.

If Climax was in communication with the original team, and the original team agreed with you on the meaning of that statement, I think the very concept of Silent Hill: Origins would have set off alarms, as the entire game would contradict their intentions. Obviously, that did not happen, so obviously, either that's not the meaning they intended, or they didn't consider it very important.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

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I'm going to take a step back and say this: I originally came into this thread to clarify on the meaning of canon. Unlike what many people perceive, "canon" does not mean the official stance of the creators. By definition, "canon" is what the fanbase accepts as being official. Canon doesn't mean that it's always correct, but it's still the best effort. No-one should confuse asserting theories for asserting canon. Canon is something that most of us agreed to be true.

I already acknowledged to you the possibility of certain concepts being less relevant in the grand scheme of things.

My position is that the creators take precendence unless there's a discrepancy between the creators. Then, unless the creators can somehow sort things out, we have to fall back on canon. The fanbase makes a universal effort to decide what's canon i.e. to be accepted as official.

This is not unique to Origins as you're suggesting. Like Edea says, it happens for the Japanese games, too. But it's through discussions that the fanbase decides on what to accept as official.

Whether we agree on the presence of the discrepancy is a non-issue, in my opinion, because that's simply the process of canonizing. We're arguing which side of the "discrepancy" we should drop. You're suggesting that the power of the town to manifest is irrelevant. I, on the other hand, see it as problematic that Travis sees a manifestation of his mind before the events of the original.

It's a matter of how you look at things, but we're both trying to drop an official stance from one of the creators.

If I happen to agree with you (which I don't), we would still be falling into the fallacy of taking a potential canon over an official stance.

As to answer your other question:
Ryantology wrote:
If the passage was a clear statement, or any other evidence, anywhere, supported the idea that the manifestations definitely could not have ever occurred before the events of the first game, then I could understand why you'd interpret it that way.

You know there's going to be no other evidence or support. Origins is not simply unique because it's the first game that a western developer made. It's unique because it's a prequel. The guidebook that we're quoting was written at the release of Silent Hill 3, when there was no other game that happened before the original.

When the guidebook talks about certain powers that are the cause of what we see in SH2 and 3 and explicitly state the large-scale shift as that cause, you'd really have to read into things to think that this power may also have existed at a smaller scale before the original even with terms like "distorted" and "transfigured" just so that Origins could be justified. There's nothing in Origins to even suggest that we're dealing with a smaller scale. It's every bit as menacing and aggressive as its predecessors.

Homecoming, whose developers were smart enough to place it post-SH1, doesn't have this issue. Although the guidebook says that Silent Hill is the only town with this power, the shifts and manifestation in Shepherd Glen is justified because the creators said that it was still due to the influence of Silent Hill when the pact was broken.

I've always had the impression that Homecoming is solely brought into question because it conflicts with itself (according to some fans anyway), and not because it went against an official stance.

Quote:
If Climax was in communication with the original team, and the original team agreed with you on the meaning of that statement, I think the very concept of Silent Hill: Origins would have set off alarms, as the entire game would contradict their intentions. Obviously, that did not happen, so obviously, either that's not the meaning they intended, or they didn't consider it very important.

Well, I'm not going to pretend to know what happened. Maybe you're right. But let's not kid ourselves here. Konami is not going to hold off on a release of a game simply because they think there might be some discrepancy that only nerds like us will care about.

My point is that a discrepancy is a discrepancy no matter how you sugarcoat or downplay it. In that case, "official trumps canon" doesn't make any sense.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Nope not at all. I read academia a lot and if you don't know what primary sources are, and accurate citations i.e. you don't question Wikipedia or any source, I would question your critical thinking skills. (Obviously, if you ever went to college you had to use citations and most colleges do not allow Wikipedia.) It's not like academia is hard to get. There's JSTOR for example.

Healthy skepticism =/= being a jackass.

In fact this post reminds me of how pagans say we should never question their religious experiences that they claim are 'facts'. Even if they contradict science and each other. :-/


Like Burning Man said, you clearly didn't look at the article whatsoever.

And the point I was making was that academia doesn't give much of a focus to canon-tiers in fictional media. I wasn't making any statements insinuating the inadequacies of academia itself, so stop acting like a pseudo-intellectual. It's incredibly tiresome.

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Historical Society Historian
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It may be helpful if I bring up a parallel example to go along with Burning Man's distinction between "canon" and "official."

Back in 2001, Bandai made a list generally describing all kinds of Gundam media and putting different types of productions into three categories: "Official," "Semi-Official," and "Non-Official." If I remember correctly, "Official" included animated works, "Semi-Official" included such things as model kit manuals and guidebooks or manga sanctioned by Sunrise/Bandai, while "Non-Official" covers everything else. Something along those lines.

This was because, for example, the One Year War had a ton of different interpretations. There was the original 1979-1980 television series, the compilation movie trilogy, the light novel trilogy (penned by series director Yoshiyuki Tomino), the manga by Yaz, various side-stories from various authors, the reimagining For the Barrel, and uncountable doujin.

Each of these versions depicts slightly to wildly different events for the One Year War, most of which conflicted with the others. That's just the One Year War. Other examples, such as Char's Counterattack, include the 1988 movie and two separate novelizations both penned by director Tomino (including such enormous differences as Amuro Ray piloting the Nu Gundam in the movie and Beltorchika's Children or the Hi-Nu Gundam in Hi-Streamer).

As you can imagine, even the rubric Bandai put out doesn't really solve the problem of conflicting versions of events. Both the original Gundam TV series and movie trilogy conflict on issues like, say, whether M'Quve lives or dies. The TV series and movie trilogy of Zeta Gundam conflict on the entire fucking ending (the latter of which wipes out any opportunity for TV series Gundam ZZ to even happen).

Mark Simmons, the ur-fan of Gundam in the West (to the extent he gets summoned by localizers for fact-checking... seriously, check the credits of Char's Counterattack), explained that "canon" is mostly a Western concept and that Bandai wasn't concerning itself with anything so rigid as that. Instead, it was merely dividing official works and non-official works. At the end of the day, that was the best it could do, and it's still up to individual fans to decide how they want their Universal Century to play out. Their own personal canon.

I'm not entirely sure if I got all the details right. You can check the whole discussion and see for yourselves.

(just from the terms thrown out in the linked topic, I think you can get a feeling for how convoluted the canon discussion in Gundam fandom has become; count your lucky stars, Silent Hill fans!)

Mark Simmons wrote:
As I suggested above, this might be the point where one would distinguish between "official" and "canon." The latter term, which implies authentic (divine) inspiration, might be better suited for those who place Tomino's works above the whims of Sunrise management. In a lot of other fandoms, the creator remains in control of the franchise and so both terms amount to the same thing. But if you imagine a scenario where George Lucas or J.K Rowling or Joss Whedon is running around writing "unofficial" novels and comics, while the corporation that holds the rights is making its own sequels without their involvement, you'd have a good approximation of the Gundam situation.

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Regarding the SH1's effect issue, I must somehow agree with Ryantology.

First of all, Travis' shortcut is a valid proof which indicates Travis was in Silent Hill when Alessa presented itself. The consequence of Alessa's Otherworld in SH1 fortified even more the mysterious power, buffering its grasp by updating the magnet capability. Therefore, the heart of darkness loadstone does not count in SHO, as Travis already was in Silent Hill. Moreover, if you look into it, Harry went to Silent Hill because Alessa invoked Cheryl (the beginning formation of such kind of power); James also states that something just called him there; Claudia endured a psychic vision of the events of SH1 that lead her to pursue Heather; Walter was probably still at Pleasant River, when he launched his plan due to Valtiel in his mind. My point is that almost every character in the series already got summoned or withdrawn to Silent Hill before it even got there. Travis didn't. His story started when he got to Silent Hill. He was not predisposed to end up there.

However, the thing that buggs me and always will bugg me is the enormous coincidence of the same mental baggage (Travis' and Alessa's). You must agree that it's almost perfectly equivalent. So, I'm 100% positive that 'the right place at the right time' factor is valid coincidence, while the addition of the 'same trauma' not that much. On the other hand, we are talking about an Origins prequel. Usually, beginnings of very long time and complex events are always coincidental. Batman didn't know he was going to fall in a well full of bats, Jigsaw didn't know he was going to lose a baby and survive a car accident... Therefore, it is possible that Travis really just ended up at the 'wrong place, wrong time and with the wrong mental baggage' .

Furthermore, a problem still remains when the Otherworld in SHO is so freaking powerful and aggressive as in any other game. We're all familiar with the traditional lullaby that states Alessa didn't yet endure the seven year torture. However, I can still assume that Origins was mostly Alessa, leaning on to Travis' Otherworld, as she didn't have yet the power to spread the nightmare all by herself.

To sum up, I don't believe that the developers would go publishing a game with such plot holes. I mean, I know it was a western company that had limited time to renovate a previous screw-up in a very short time. But I also don't think Konami would approve such “abomination“ for the fans if there was such an enormous black hole in the plot. I'm not saying it's perfect (I don't even wanna start the whole cellar-basement issue), but I also don't think it's such an awful oversight on the producers' chest. Therefore, I agree that the piece in the guidebook is not of extreme importance, as the true way the Otherworld manifests thoughts is rather irrelevant.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Feb 2010
Notes left: 135
Last seen at: Arizona Bay
AuraTwilight wrote:
And the point I was making was that academia doesn't give much of a focus to canon-tiers in fictional media. I wasn't making any statements insinuating the inadequacies of academia itself, so stop acting like a pseudo-intellectual. It's incredibly tiresome.



There is academia and consensus on art and literature, including canon. I'm not going to accept someone's information if it's only half-ok. I've actually seen the bias on Wiki first hand and I have tried to put correct information in. Wikipedia wants GOOD sources (Sometimes they do have them.) and than fails to do so, or opinions get in the way which are conflicting with consensus. This would include this page.

As for making myself look like "pseudo-intellectual" I don't post online for that reason and I do have skepticism. Burning Man can say it's not, but I think Jeremy and others made it clear it is canon.

@Burning Man, Your point is taken. I'll be investigating the sources in my spare time which I have little right now and I'll get back to you about what it says on the article or what the sources say. (etc)

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
Notes left: 2368
Edea wrote:
Burning Man can say it's not, but I think Jeremy and others made it clear it is canon.

@Burning Man, Your point is taken. I'll be investigating the sources in my spare time which I have little right now and I'll get back to you about what it says on the article or what the sources say. (etc)

I am not sure what that would achieve. I've only brought up a modern definition of the term as it's used today. And, if this means that you have to waste your time, then please don't bother.

I am confident that you missed my point in its entirety, even though I made several attempts to clarify what I was saying. Your stating that Jeremy can say what's canon is a clear indication of that. I only corrected his usage of the term. Had he used the term "official", that would have been ok.

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