And more pieces that don’t make sense unless you’ve read everything up to this point.
While a great deal no naku koro ni related, and as intriguing as they are, I don’t particularly want it to be seen as only that, but a series of commentaries. What one takes away from stories. The key word is general. I find that to be more meaningful than focusing on a single story. It is also mentioned that everything written is extensively long and is best understood for anyone is familiar or who has read these stories and the commentary here over the years otherwise they’ll make little sense. For those who don’t, these entries are not addressed to you, for those who do carry on.
By now I’d like to think that after years of writing theories and for this general game board the reader is more than familiar with this author. In actuality, at heart, even theoretically, without being directly explained, understands what this has been and is about. My wish to write theories for these years has met several problems as well as positive surprises. From the start to the end this was a tremendous long journey never lacking information to consider and with plenty of opportunities to expand the already vast world of hypothesizing.
Having reached the final end of it it’s best to document all the journey of a theorist through these years into four extensive pieces. Though the contents of what is written here are never expected to be agreeable (like the very concept of theory is) I wish you find these final pieces most delectable.
If we are to start from point zero then it must be mentioned that my history started years ago when I became a big follower of the Higurashi series in 2006 finding grippingly mindboggling, however due to a lack of a full translation I didn’t read the original novel. I’ll also mention that I was barely aware of its VN and visual novels in general back then. 2006 was a great year for many, especially for me as the No Naku Koro Ni series just started. As one can imagine, Umineko came years later bringing a new game. Quite different from Higurashi but at the same time one could tell it was written by the same powerful imaginative mind. But we will leave Higurashi for later.
For me it wasn’t always interesting. Like many I’ll say that it wasn’t. Unlike Higurashi which pulled me in immediately, The story took it slow, putting things in perspective, setting the stage, if you will. I was expecting something different the first time I read it, something like Higurashi. From EP1 one couldn’t possibly know what was waiting for the readers. It was different. Not necessarily something negative – different. The final scenes of EP1 only shed a bit of light of what was to come as cackles filled the stage. I confess that my interest for the project wasn’t that piqued and as I was under the impression that there wasn’t a full translation for the later EPs at that time so I stopped and moved on to other projects without knowing I was, without a doubt, to come back to Rokkenjima. To that western mansion, to those long corridors, and to those locked-rooms.
If one is to be terribly honest then it is worth mentioning that it was when the adaptation appeared that I was reminded of the series. Surely, I was interested (how couldn’t I?) and had already read the first EP but there was something missing. While watching the adaptation I found inconsistencies and found it unnecessarily hard to understand. As a result I picked up it up again and continued the story. The other EPs were so different from the last time. Engrossing. Inviting. There was potential. Enough to put aside other projects at that time.
I admit that writing is fundamental to me as well as reading is. Without it nothing can be delivered to the audience, without it nothing can be understood no matter how well it is thought out in the author’s head. To me a written piece needs to be thought-provoking and intriguing. Theories were not that difficult to craft as they were created as I followed the story. The problem was in writing in a straightforward, easy to read way. This was more complicated.
Whoever Writes These Entries
Many say who they are in a couple of words such as mentioning their name and formalities such general information. To me this actually says very little about someone and I’ll explain why. A name doesn’t tell me anything I want to know and age only indicates the years they have been living. Not much of the rest of the information one could give to another person is a strong evidence of who they are. These are generalities, after all and because one doesn’t know them for real they all carry little weight. I rather put piece by piece all new information and learn who someone is, such as it was a process. So I often won’t ask any questions of anyone unless necessary or they voluntarily provide them.
I suppose there is some speculation because of the lack of direct information on that matter. So this is partly also my story, told in small bits. After these long discourses the reader will have little questions about that matter. At least, have a more concrete idea. Unlike other writers who like to bear everything for all to see, I never saw much of the point. It is no surprise then that I am not particularly interested in talking about myself. However, this will be an exception and I’ll do something similar – I’ll write at length what I am about instead.
For as Long as I Remember. Long before Gameboards Existed
I have always found learning how anything works, putting pieces in an order and reworking a problem to be highly interesting. That is something ingrained that have never changed. If we are to discuss my problem-solving and construction history I mention my experiences with building blocks as the first one, which is basically the act of constructing something out of random pieces almost creating something out of originally little. Then moved to puzzles and word problems then it became an ever expanding field – as much information and books as there are nowadays. Creating, putting things together giving them form is as natural and customary as anything. As one can imagine, the series called Umineko caught my attention right away as a title vast with theories which years later would bear even more.
If in my initial history fond of constructing forms and ideas, mysteries had not been mentioned as they might be expected is because mysteries, formal term, came later on as I was more interested in problem solving in general without the restrictions of formal procedures and what came with it.
The idea of working on a difficult problem has always fascinated me but it was a broad interest unlike actual mysteries. Mysteries, as in book form, weren’t something I had time to spend on so I didn’t despite being aware of its existence. No, I believe it’s impossible to not have heard of its most famous icons, thus anyone knows “there’s such a thing as mysteries out there”. This does not mean one becomes instantly interested in the genre.
While on this topic I confess one of the main reasons for staying away from them was due to finding them to be often represented as an outdated play of magnifying glasses, long coats, pipe smoking, and exaggerated villainous assailants – an exaggerated play of sorts. It was years later that following shows on television searching for something to watch I found police shows where crime solving stories and figuring out the culprits’ identity and reason out the method were common (ending up with a full confession every so often) that I started to take some interest. There was also other media with similar themes such as games and the like. Plainly put, mysteries in a simpler and more accessible manner. And so while many may not be familiar with those in written form, many may be already well familiar with the latter.
I found new elements that I didn’t catch before so and so on, to learn the process and consequently found answers and continued like that for years, however, rarely shared any of them. The question is, why now and not before? I’ve been tackling and solving the idea of problems for a good while, but mostly kept the process to myself. The answer is a difficult question to answer. If I had to explain it it would be that there was no reason to in the first place. Like not finding a compelling motive to do so, as a result it wasn’t necessary. Like explaining what it didn’t require to be explained, like a mechanical problem that is solved automatically. It’s difficult to explain. Ultimately in any case it can always be attributed to personal idiosyncrasies, same as unexplained actions that can be attributed to personal preferences.
Years later I would create a place to publicly write things down then a bit later I would get more serious, slowly, slowly but surely. This appeared like a good opportunity to “share”, more openly than in any form it was done before, for the first time with the world. And that marked the beginning of multiple entries on 07th’s Expansion latest mystery. “Hey, this is actually kind of fun, isn’t it?” – that type of response. I thought, “this is probably why people write in the first place, huh?”
To answer the question related to one’s personal writing in general I admit that I wouldn’t compare what this place currently is to what currently was. Before it was like writing drafts that needed serious revision so when you read what you wrote years ago you question why you wrote like that or often find that the approach is off. Now the process is more organized and carries more of a personal style. I like my writing more now. But don’t most writers feel that way when they looked back on their first works? This place is now is more of the final version.
The Beginning of a Series of Investigations
Back when I started I was surprised there weren’t others individually trying to solve Umineko’s mysteries despite its popularity. There are always big circles for every topic but sole individuals with that goal were not many. Be that because it seems impractical or because bigger groups are preferred, individual 07th Expansion readers with that objective in mind seemed a rarity at that time. In truth, they still are. Therefore, this place would officially enter the world of witches, magic, and mysteries as a result.
* I don’t think that 07th fans are rare to find. What was (and still is) is to find individuals who also write in a broader view, going beyond the standard practices, going beyond doing reviews and writing impressions, this I found. To look for something more than “thoughts on the game as a visual novel form” but “thoughts on the story as an evolving medium, a problem to be solved.” This was incredibly rare to find.
Don’t you sometimes want to read something different? I also wanted to read something different so I wrote all of this approaching it in a different way. One that was rare. One that was unique. That is also the reason why there are entries that seem out there every now and then in this place. That’s me trying to write about something different and in a different way.
Because that is what I wanted to find. That is what I wanted to read. That is what I wrote as a result. Fundamentally why this game board called Just as Planned was made in the first place.
Why Theories are Possibilities
I admire individual thinkers because I don’t expect the writer to comply with anything I may verbally or internally request. It is my simple wish to retain my individually. I wrote for myself as a way to give theories a more tangible form then decided to release them to anyone who may read them for them to analyze. In the same manner I wrote not to appeal or cater to anyone in particular. I’ll ask then not to commit the mistake of thinking everyone writes thinking of the audience, for views, or momentarily fame. If this was the case then this place would aim for more general topics rather than remaining niche.
But this in turn in happens to be a good thing for the reader because I also remind the reader that you’d actually be given a severe disservice if theories were crafted with the intent of agreeing rather than with thought behind it. Theories are not meant to please but to show alternative possible truths and solutions out of hundreds.
The process ends here for the theorist. Whether one agrees, denies, or ignores them – is longer up to the theorist, but “for the audience to decide.”
Having said that, I mention that when I theorized extensively part of me did wish that someone out there would also enjoy these long discourses. Perhaps it is because it is my practical nature that would see it as a like a waste if I kept it to myself. Perhaps it is because it is the idea of knowing there are others who enjoyed them as much as I did when I composed them. Perhaps it is a bit of both. I am appreciative of everyone who has read them over the years and had took their time to provide feedback and alternatives for some theories. This made the journey even more enjoyable than I initially imagined it to be.
This now begins the section of handling some of the many different Umineko mysteries through the years. Some were easy to figure, other challenging, others madding to fully decipher. I’m sure you are already well familiar with them.
Recurring Problems, Challenges, and Deductions
“There are problems then there are ‘problems’ and then there are theoretical problems”
We emphatically engage in the latter one. The story describes multiple times many characters who see what they interpret as magic. It happens multiple times that the readers question what they are reading every time. Is it real? Are the characters lying by playing along with a farce? Or is it magic because they believe it because it cannot be anything else? One thing that is known is the world at that moment “changes”. The story branches out into alternate paths and truths but with the same result – the result that is given by the story of the event. Testimonies, hearsay, the unreliable narrator. Problems with unknown results.
For example, some the Ushiromiya valiantly fight the stakes of Purgatory back at the mansion but are defeated one by one on the second floor. The magic sequence involves multiple gunshots, running around, and struggles. In addition to the usual display use of magic, when the human side finds the bodies all they find are two bodies laying on the floor with one fatal shotgun wound and visible signs of being staked.
But the scenario, like many others, poses inconsistencies. Out of this the theorist notes and questions them. This is the process that repeats every time a mystery appears. Where are the other remains of gunshots on the walls? Where are the stains of blood? Where are the signs of struggle all over the mansion that ought to be visible? There are no signs of moved chairs, broken glass, or books on the floor. The scene hardly shows any changes as it was before.
Then what do we figure from this?
There was not such as big struggle as shown. Possibly there were arguments, one from this group got separated, and the others went to briefly look for this one but were killed in the process. The fate of the one who got separated from the group is unknown until much later.
“Is the one who got separated the culprit?” is another recurring common question. The answer is not easy despite apparently being limited to a “yes” or “no” as one would imagine. And if so then is this our culprit for all episodes that follow this same premise? Such reasoning may be valid for one EP then not valid for the next one. For all we know the reasoning is sound where that character was the culprit all along because *at the point* it has enough motive. For another EP the victim’s corpse was merely hidden so the actual culprit could cast suspicion on that character following the premise of – since “A is gone that means A is either dead or the culprit.”
How does one figure the answer to that? It depends on the rest of the story and also what preceded this event. This illusion that propels the reader to believe that whoever else is missing is likely considered dead but more than that, an emphasis that person is the culprit.
Recall how husband with financial problems whose destination is unknown for a while. Recall how family head who is thought to be the culprit in some games because only a few actually know he is long dead. Recall also the quiet servant who also disappears in thin air. Though a different case, the premise of “either culprit or dead” holds as a result.
Recall also how easily we were fooled by this same principle of “as a result”, making these quantum leaps in thinking, so often when the victim came back from the dead, which in actuality meant they never died in the first place. How we learned the hard way that regardless of how thoroughly examined and confirmed by the red, the validity of whether they were dead or alive was an illusion which we chose to believe or refute.
The magic vs. reality sequences.. In my opinion, how the scene plays out was based on what was found in reality compared to what happened in the magic sequence. For instance, the struggle is interpreted as basically that, a “struggle” yet struggle is a broad enough word to mean anything from arguments to getting physical, isn’t it?
Regardless of what in truth happened the result is that they’ve been killed. That is the end result, assuming the “premise” is truthful. What the magic sequences depict is only a fragment of what really happens. Hardly, and often not recommended to be taken literally if the reader is to logically tackle the problem. They were far from literal, however, they did provide powerful insights into what really happened.
Yet, it is not like overnight one immediately realized the implications of all the events or the reasons behind them. No one did. It took weeks, months, for some even years to zero in these elements, to form one’s notion, the interpretations for each section of the mystery. This is what has been all about – this procedure. A hard, constant, and evolving thinking process.
To solve a problem one uses all ideas and techniques known to reach a solution. The thinking process varies from person to person, it is impossible to pinpoint one single formula that everyone used to solve a problem. It was here to everyone was on their own. It was here that everybody’s potential and individuality was put to the test. Would you go with a classic approach or will you approach it in your own way? Which was it? Everyone’s reasoning is different. The train of thought then differs from one another so is the conclusion they reach. In the same way you used yours and I used mine.
Concerning Other Theorists and Why Theories are not Stagnant
Comments months even over years after they were written regarding counters and “new theories”, first surprised me then after a while they were something of a concern because there was something really off about them.
One wouldn’t comment on news from months ago about a topic. The event has passed. New information comes out and what was written was only based on the findings up to that date. In other words, when new information comes out it may confirm or deny what was previous written, but that is only because new information that was not previously available has appeared. As one can see, the two have no connection because both of them appeared “at very different times”.
What one has to understand is that theories are “ideas that evolve” and not stagnant or never changing in any way. They change until a, the, final true theory is reached. By that one means that normally a theory goes through multiple changes depending on the new information found. Think of it as “a break in the case” in investigations to provide an example. You find new clues, new suspects, and new leads. The initial theory is replaced by a new one. That new one is replaced by an even “newer” one so and so on.
It is in the nature of theories in general to be refuted and modified years later from when they were initially crafted by the creators themselves or others. That is process, the process of theories. Hypothesis that repeat themselves as in a time-loop until the problem is solved.
Similarly, the reason why Chess Moves and Assumptions are very much Time-Limited
So we turn our attention to other methods, theoretical moves, if you will, to analyze the problem at hand thus *Chess Moves*. Chess Moves were designed to cover enormous parts of the mystery in the least numbers of possible moves. In here I also introduced the concept of “winning in the least number of moves possible” as implied by the chess analogy. Seeing this was a game versus the writer (other player) it seemed appropriate to set up such system.
Unlike written pieces that mainly discuss the story, Chess Moves differed far from the standard approach. They were designed to cover the mystery – as in conducting investigations – part of the story.
The procedures were conducted with all the information “available up to the moment” each Move was written following this strict rule. This way no additional, not-yet-disclosed, no Japanese release, information was included, no additional editing was made after these entries were posted either. In other words, what was written would only cover and concern the information up to that point – all new thoughts and new theories with new Episodes that appeared later were not part of them.
This was intentional as they were pieces written based on the concept and information at that time purely despite one could without effort spoil oneself with new information. However, that would not be fair in a real game and would destroy the whole point of it. As far as I’m concerned, there is little point in solving problems you already know the answers to, you see. Additionally, updating these entries would create confusion with past and new events being introduced. This I wanted to avoid the most as inconsistencies that confuse reasoning are discouraged.
Not to mention, you can’t modify a move after it has been made. You can only make a new move. So we made our moves.
Concerning Weapon of choice, Theoretical Maps, and Distances Traveled
It is my belief that the crime weapon is one the strongest clues a mystery problem can offer. They don’t only serve to learn the victim’s cause of death but also shed light to the culprit’s thought process and nature. Knowing and finding the crime weapon is indispensable as knowing the exact cause of death. Following this criteria the following was written.
One of the moves thoroughly explored the weapons and objects used for the crimes for instance. It went from kitchen knives to winchesters to stakes, discussing how they were used and under what circumstances they were. Why didn’t the culprit use kitchen knives instead of firearms? How come the culprit was such good shot? To which its answer is that he has training or that all the victims were at close range. How was the culprit able to move the bodies with apparent ease? Speaking of which, were all the bodies left untouched until the moment they were found? To which its answer could be that blankets were used or accomplices helped in these cases. This was all mentioned and discussed before before the story got to that part.
Then there were deliberations regarding the places in Rokkenjima’s island which was found in one of the entries. There it was discussed a curious element for the first time in any of these entries which was the – time traveled. Not the time in-between crimes which refers to a “time-frame” but the necessary time to cover distances between points. Considering how big the mansion is and the size of the island it appeared pertinent to at least mention such method that considered travel distances. Granted, it was a quite “experimental” as one can imagine.
In this my true intention was to attempt to create something of a “map” of the island’s most relevant parts, events, and places where the crimes occur by mentioning these locations. Both reminding the reader the possible movements of everyone in the Rokkenjima and constructing a more palpable image of the island. All of these originated from the lack of an official map of the island which made us base our thinking on rough estimates of where everything was in the story – photographic images all included.
It was then that I mentioned a place, a room, such as the mansion’s VIP room being a perfect place to hide anything imaginable because hardly anyone would come to check it, which in reality it turned out to be the underground VIP room where all the action was. Similarly, places such as the beach and the time it takes to reach the guesthouse from the mansion were addressed. I believed these two to be especially important, specifically culprit-wise.
Although the map never took off completely because of the mystery only provided us with the time sporadically and because of factors such as urgency, speed, and unknown elements for each game. Still do think it was an interesting innovative concept to play with. Because of this I did hope when I wrote it that there might be someone out there who could take these concepts and work them into something better constructed.
Irrational Crimes and Whether or not there were any in the First Place
Frequently I also contemplated the idea of mass hysteria as a reason behind some of the deaths in some EPs. The idea behind it was simple. After the deaths started the survivors become extremely paranoid and often violent as a result. This led to disastrous results. They miscalculated, acted irrational, and did things they wouldn’t normally do. In essence, “they were not themselves”. Becoming then involved in a crime becomes possibility depending on the circumstances.
A premeditated murder is one when the culprit plans in advance the method of how to carry out the crime in addition of avoiding being caught. The culprit knows what he is doing is wrong but continues and wishes to get away with it. Premeditated murder involves thinking of committing a crime from the start therefore making the culprit be fully aware of his or her actions. That person is guilty without a doubt. We usually thought of the culprit to fit this profile because of the nature of the crimes. They certainly seemed utterly planned.
Still, a scenario where involuntary homicide could exist was possible. There’s self-defense and the like which could have explained some of the deaths. This theory was prominent in EP4 when two of the cousins fought to the death both killing each other. Note that normally anyone would defend if he or she was in mortal danger. It wouldn’t be far-fetched if such scenario actually took place in one of the many games. That is the reason why I could not proclaim that, “all the murders are premeditated” and that is the reason why a chess move regarding that topic was written. That is also why in Requiem I had already expected an accident to occur – and an accident occurred. Twilight of the Golden Witch delved deeper into that possibility as we all read.
Theoretical Moves and Other Train of Thoughts
One creates solutions, even with clues that not openly introduced, to explain unanswered questions. The mind questions why no one heard the gunshots. Was it because something like home-made suppressor like a pillow was used? The mind seeks solutions like going through cabinets.. to find one solution that fits the conditions and bypasses the restrictions posed. Was it because it was outside and because of the pouring rain that drowned the noises? Was it because the survivors were too far away to hear it? No? Then was it because whoever heard the noises ignored them as they were accomplices? Because it was the culprit then, the mind concludes. To which there are no solid answers.
What is amazing about the process of problem solving is also the alternative solutions born from the problem themselves.
Such was the case when I opened the possibility of the existence of additional firearms in the mystery like a standard handgun. Looking at it, it seemed more practical and easier to conceal than Winchesters. In a way they make more sense looking at it realistically of course, however, we were not entirely free to imagine as we wished as restrictions did apply to our thinking process. Handguns don’t exist in that 1986 Rokkenjima because they were never introduced or even hinted at as an element, therefore they don’t exist, therefore they are not considered in the mystery because the readers do not know about them. A surprise which might seem redundant but details like these needed to be stated to avoid confusions when thinking outside the box has its limitations.
In a simpler but stronger vein than ever the players’ culpability and innocence, like in any mystery, was challenged not one twice but repeatedly. The Ushiromiya and the servants Chess Moves proved to be tremendously challenging. The guiltier they seemed the more possible it was they could be innocent.. and so one reaches the point where one’s reasoning conjectured that based on the way the crimes were committed required accomplices. And not one but multiples. Like a merry party that welcomes more guests.
How contradictory it was. Like a mystery that doesn’t wish to be revealed. Know that that notion was always present. As a war cannot be won by oneself alone but with a strong large group, no matter how great the chess master is, he needs pieces to execute his plans. May a culprit be in need of accomplices the more audacious and intricate the plan is, after all.
It ceases being a mere idea – becoming something close to fact. Our thinking coming to the inevitable conclusion the servants being involved, one way or another when one deduces some crimes are impossible without the cooperation of one of the servants. This ‘cooperation’ may have been against their way or not or accidental but “involvement” was as difficult to ignore as the blood or red graffiti, for they were always there, masterfully hidden via a trick or blatantly ignored by who found them. And also if there was a dysfunctional family, the Ushiromiya was it, putting to shame to any other before them. The siblings had the clearest motives which were palpably stated by the writing such as financial problems and old grudges. Aren’t their motives almost too obvious, one thinks. Yes, they are. No, they aren’t – another thinks. Two different theorists sharing different hypothesis class repetitively trying to best the other one.
Would that clear suspects from being culprits? The eternal question everyone asked themselves while crafting any “the siblings are the culprits” theory. One analyzes, stops, one admits they have strong motives based on the promise of a better future, based on their history. One admits that given the opportunity some of them would take their chances knowing this could be their last one because, for many it was. This was in few words what the move made was about. That was and still is my opinion.
Concerning the Point of Chess Moves and Other Conclusions
Were these Moves practical or were they not at all? When I crafted them I was starting to get more into the finer details of the mystery so I wanted to give form to these thoughts and certain points which I wished to emphasize because I was sure one would come back to them like the culprit who returns to the scene of the crime because he forgot something. Because theorizing without immediate solutions about the same problems is much like going circles returning to the same point, the same unanswered unsolved problem.
I hope it is a tangible that I did not want to use the same standard methods to approach a problem. I wanted to do something different. Nothing like I did before, or it was done before, so what I did was put together ideas that I had as I read into these pieces, each closer to an actual checkmate. It’s all about innovate approaches, I say. One could always use the classic standard methods to tackle problems but in addition to them I believed that readers trying to solve the problem would also appreciate additional methods they haven’t considered before. I am of the opinion that everyone has their own deductive process and methods after all, so this was mine.
Maybe they had their own ideas but they didn’t see the problem *that* way. Maybe they were thinking something similar but had difficulty putting all these abstract thoughts together to form a more conclusive theory. In case they didn’t, then they had something new to think about, should they hit a wall at some point. It was the same for me every time someone brought and presented their take on one of the mysteries. That is how these moves were created and the reason behind them.
While on this subject I apologize for not mentioning all details originally written in these long moves as one can imagine, I have written too many pieces over the years, both officially and unpublished drafts so it might be difficult to recall all details to perfection. Please do go over them again sometime in the future when you find it suitable to revisit what at some point was theorized from these intricate mysteries.
What I am here to do is to also remind everyone through all this writing is that this was all a long process.
Mostly Importantly Why Theories are a Constant Process
A weather forecast can tell you how the week is going to be but it can’t tell you exactly how the weather is going to be for the next months. That result is also uncertainty. There is a limit. You can only predict the next moves so much before the calculations contains errors eventually becoming not calculation but simple rough guesses.
Each Episode only showed *a* part of the puzzle so at that point only a certain information, and only certain information that could be known, was known. Without the introduction of further clues the rest becomes harder to imagine. That is similar to expecting to know how a story would end before the introduction of the needed pieces are presented. It is not doable.
So we looked forward to more EPs, so we learned more about the story, more about the characters and where the story was *really* going, because when the first Episode appeared who really knew where the story would eventually take us. Even far deep into the story still many didn’t. But the story also changed. Its rhythm, direction, and elements changed. It introduced new ones while it also kept some of the old ones. It appears almost like a different game, so it confuses you, tricks you – challenges you. And properly so. Without a doubt, I am sure the author is perfectly aware that changing the pace and direction can steer the readers away from the answer until the time is right. In general, the magic sequences had a powerful way of doing this if one wasn’t prepared.
This is also a confessions final piece so let us be honest and admit that handling over 50+ hrs of information is a herculean task, isn’t it? I wouldn’t blame anyone for forgetting certain conversations or events for past EPs because there are so many of them. In more than one occasion I confess I mixed up the order of some events myself. And the red. The hardest part of attacking the problems was trying to not go against the red and create a plausible theory while doing so, which became the main feature of most later entries – posing possible ways to bypass the red. The thing is that every single EP requires the reader’s full attention to solve it or even attempt it. As someone trying to solve the mystery, one wouldn’t get far unless one gave it the best effort.
Therefore one takes notes and therefore I did. I took plenty of notes. Notes before posting anything, notes while reading each EP.. notes of notes. That character did or said that. That other character reacted that way, or that character wasn’t present at that time. So it was possible for that character. How come no one mentioned that? That scene seemed really important.
And so on.