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Pages: (2) [1] 2  ( Go to first unread post )

 #773: Seeing the Forest for the Hedges
aturtledoesbite
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 04:20 AM


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Oh good. I was starting to wonder if they still hated each other.

Though, hmm. What was Ryan? about to say there? "I have no" what?
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Cyrus
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 04:34 AM


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I'd guess "I have no choice" or "I have no other options" or sommat like that.

Or "no" might be part of "nothing" or the like.


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aturtledoesbite
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 04:54 AM


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Alright, now the next question. Why cut it off? Why did he stop himself there?
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Cyrus
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 04:58 AM


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That's... that's actually a very good point.

I'm guessing that, whatever he was going to say, it wasn't that it was something Alex doesn't know; it's that it was something he's ashamed of.


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Red Silvers
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 08:09 AM


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So I guess a scene change is coming, then...


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"Speaking of being terrible at games, Red fumbling with the blocks in Magnet Man's level has to be seen to be believed. If the definition of insanity has to do with expecting different results upon trying the same thing, then he must be one of the most insane people I've ever known." - Brickroad

The Guardian Legend - By Red Silvers (VLP): Our Red Silvers continues to find the weirdest worksafe pictures of the game's protagonist, a plane that transforms into a waifu.

Super Metroid - By Red Silvers (VLP): I think it's safe to say at this point, that Samus ain't leaving her suit once Red Silvers finally gets around the finishing this game.

Fantastic Dizzy - By Red Silvers (VLP): Fresh off his recent run of Super Metroid, Red Silvers tackles yet another, err... classic? (Egg-scuse me for being confused about Red Silvers' next choice.)
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Cyrus
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 09:27 AM


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Oh yeah, if there's not a scene change away from FF6 at this point, I would be very surprised.


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The Huse
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 01:59 PM


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I think there's a typo in the second last panel, shouldn't it be 'regularly scheduled snarkfest?' without the full stop?

Anyway I'm liking the tension, my guess is Ryan was going to say 'I have nothing to be ashamed of.' then realized he'd be lying.


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deathsbuddy
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 03:25 PM


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The last panel is actually pretty heartrending.
I don't think Alex is looking forward to confronting Ryan at all.


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jaimehlers
Posted: Apr 30 2012, 01:23 PM


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I get the feeling that Alex is trying to get through to Ryan and so make a confrontation necessary. And undermining him for when it happens.


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Yamato-san
Posted: May 3 2012, 08:54 PM


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QUOTE (Cyrus @ Apr 29 2012, 09:27 AM)
Oh yeah, if there's not a scene change away from FF6 at this point, I would be very surprised.

same here. In fact, I'm rather disappointed that Jay had to announce a delay in updates right before we see whose storyline we're gonna shift into next... then again, if he did end it afterwards, we'd be left wanting to see more of that scenario, so I guess a case of damned if he do, damned if he don't. T_T

This post has been edited by Yamato-san on May 3 2012, 08:55 PM
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Dojji
Posted: May 4 2012, 01:33 PM


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QUOTE (jaimehlers @ Apr 30 2012, 01:23 PM)
I get the feeling that Alex is trying to get through to Ryan and so make a confrontation necessary.  And undermining him for when it happens.

Not gonna say you're wrong, but it doesn't mesh with what Alex has established throughout the arc. He is a good liar, but the impression he's giving off right now is that while Ryan isn't his favorite person, Alex would like to avoid the confrontation that Ryan's actions have made all but inevitable under Videoland rules.

Now he might play the angle a bit just in case Ryan, the cat and TPTB make the confrontation absolutely necessary, since that is a lot of impetus stacked against whatever he can pull to try to derail this mess, but I think Alex's best case scenario involves finding a suitably climactic Videoland-satisfying way they can all get out of this mess alive and sane.

This post has been edited by Dojji on May 4 2012, 01:35 PM
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jaimehlers
Posted: May 4 2012, 05:52 PM


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QUOTE (Dojji @ May 4 2012, 08:33 AM)
Not gonna say you're wrong, but it doesn't mesh with what Alex has established throughout the arc. He is a good liar, but the impression he's giving off right now is that while Ryan isn't his favorite person, Alex would like to avoid the confrontation that Ryan's actions have made all but inevitable under Videoland rules.

Now he might play the angle a bit just in case Ryan, the cat and TPTB make the confrontation absolutely necessary, since that is a lot of impetus stacked against whatever he can pull to try to derail this mess, but I think Alex's best case scenario involves finding a suitably climactic Videoland-satisfying way they can all get out of this mess alive and sane.

That's basically what I said. Alex doesn't want the confrontation to happen, but he also understands that it's almost inevitable. So he's trying to get through to Ryan about what he learned so that Ryan might change his mind, but it's also undermining Ryan's certainty that his actions were and are correct, which will reduce his effectiveness when the confrontation happens.


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Dojji
Posted: May 5 2012, 02:55 AM


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QUOTE (jaimehlers @ May 4 2012, 05:52 PM)
QUOTE (Dojji @ May 4 2012, 08:33 AM)
Not gonna say you're wrong, but it doesn't mesh with what Alex has established throughout the arc.  He is a good liar, but the impression he's giving off right now is that while Ryan isn't his favorite person, Alex would like to avoid the confrontation that Ryan's actions have made all but inevitable under Videoland rules.

Now he might play the angle a bit just in case Ryan, the cat and TPTB make the confrontation absolutely necessary, since that is a lot of impetus stacked against whatever he can pull to try to derail this mess, but I think Alex's best case scenario involves finding a suitably climactic Videoland-satisfying way they can all get out of this mess alive and sane.

That's basically what I said. Alex doesn't want the confrontation to happen, but he also understands that it's almost inevitable. So he's trying to get through to Ryan about what he learned so that Ryan might change his mind, but it's also undermining Ryan's certainty that his actions were and are correct, which will reduce his effectiveness when the confrontation happens.

Mm. Thing is, that kind of psychological intimidation... we've seen it tried at least seventeen different times in various flashbacks during the interrogation, and it failed every. Single. Time. Either because the intended victim saw through it, or because things came together to render the bluff irrelevant.

The closest psych tactics have ever come to working was when Alex got derailed by his own cynicism.

Point being, if we've noticed it, you can count on Alex to have picked up on that too. Minds just don't work in videoland the same way they might here, and Videoland considers psychological paralysis a pretty ****-poor resolution of a conflict, and so it maneuvers things around until that gambit fails and the hero and villain have to sort things out another way. Alex might waste some effort on a low chance gamble just in case, but he's not going to make it his primary or secondary gambit.

Nah, if he can't talk Ryan out of this outright, his next strategy involves a play for time, perhaps even an elaborate one like when he was up against the Sinistrals. Practically speaking, based on what we've seen about Videoland rules, the more chances Alex can give Ryan to back down, the better this is going to go for him. Possibly for both of them.

Even if he wants to permanently solve the problem of Ryan, as things stand he's not going to be able to finish it once and for all. Not until, like the Sinistrals, like Mother Brain, Ryan has gone completely and irretrievably past the point of redemption. At the moment Ryan is just a Well Intentioned Extremist by all appearances, that merits a boss fight smackdown followed by Go To Your Room And Think About What You've Done. That's not going to be something where Videoland is going to allow Alex to kill Ryan over. Ryan needs to go further. Maybe not a lot further, but further. But if that's what Videoland has in mind, Alex is in a fight against the odds to stop that line from being crossed.

And perhaps all Alex is trying to do here is stopping Ryan from going that little bit further so that when the inevitable duel occurs, Ryan is still around at the end of it. Broken and humiliated perhaps, Beaten soundly against all odds most likely, but at least alive. It's the sort of thing this world would do to Alex -- trick him, imprison him, possibly torture him, force him to endure a nearly endless interrogation, and the whole time give him the objective of trying against the odds to save his jailer from himself.

This post has been edited by Dojji on May 5 2012, 03:04 AM
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jaimehlers
Posted: May 5 2012, 04:25 AM


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What makes you think I was suggesting Alex was trying to put Ryan into some kind of psychological paralysis? No, I think he's trying to undermine Ryan's confidence, so that Ryan is easier to defeat. Which, you know, reduces the likelihood of either one of them killing the other.


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Dojji
Posted: May 5 2012, 01:00 PM


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QUOTE (jaimehlers @ May 5 2012, 04:25 AM)
What makes you think I was suggesting Alex was trying to put Ryan into some kind of psychological paralysis? No, I think he's trying to undermine Ryan's confidence, so that Ryan is easier to defeat. Which, you know, reduces the likelihood of either one of them killing the other.

Ehh, that might just be all me. Perception is not my strong suit.

Personally though, my opinion, Ryan's death or lack thereof won't come from anything Alex does. It'll flow out of how the battle is set up, which at the moment is realistically beyond their control, and well within Videoland's. If Ryan goes far enough that he passes the moral event horizon, then he winds up going away for good. If he's redeemable, then the most likely scenario is tied between capture and "Disney death."

So Alex's stalling isn't about preventing the battle, or even about helping him win per se. In my mind, and probably in his, the fact of the battle and its rough outcome are already scripted, so this is about two things

1: The shape the battle takes

2: Whether or not Ryan dies

In both cases, the metric to predict the outcome is measured not in psychological levers pulled, but in realistic chances of redemption, surrender, or conflict avoidance, offered by Alex, refused by Ryan. The more of those that take place, the more Ryan goes from 'Well intentioned extremist" to someone who's consciously spurned redemption and will probably be allowed to die.
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random_guy
Posted: May 5 2012, 05:53 PM


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QUOTE (Cyrus @ Apr 29 2012, 04:58 AM)
That's... that's actually a very good point.

I'm guessing that, whatever he was going to say, it wasn't that it was something Alex doesn't know; it's that it was something he's ashamed of.

I think he cut himself off because admitting that he had no choice would imply he was somehow being controlled. I think Ryan may be immune to being touched, but his actions are currently helping to further the Sovereign's goals. With the recent conversation about the Shadow King and Kefka, Ryan might see himself as too similar to those two, and he is ashamed of this. He hates to admit that while he cannot be controlled directly, he can still be manipulated into working for her indirectly.

This speculation operates under the assumption the Sovereign is still around. I think that one of the previous conversations between Alex and Ryan implied that the Sovereign was defeated but not completely defeated.

This post has been edited by random_guy on May 5 2012, 05:53 PM
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Dojji
Posted: May 5 2012, 07:43 PM


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QUOTE (Cyrus @ Apr 29 2012, 04:58 AM)


I think he cut himself off because admitting that he had no choice would imply he was somehow being controlled. I think Ryan may be immune to being touched, but his actions are currently helping to further the Sovereign's goals.


I think it's been more or less established that the Sovereign is presumed dead at that point. Or at least neutralized. That said, there's been some heavy hinting it was not a "clean kill" and possibly an open debate over whether such a being could even BE killed, so there is that to consider.

QUOTE
With the recent conversation about the Shadow King and Kefka, Ryan might see himself as too similar to those two, and he is ashamed of this. He hates to admit that while he cannot be controlled directly, he can still be manipulated into working for her indirectly.


Did you pack a lunch? Not saying you're wrong, but you're going pretty far for that one.

More likely, we're just hearing him refine his justification to himself, of his own actions, in order to allow him to continue to accuse Alex in his own mind. That's a road we've seen Ryan travel down before.

I'll leave the door open for a behind the scenes manipulator, obviously. but without more insight into who and what Ryan is, it's just an unsubstantiated guess. I suspect we'll get into that eventually of course, but we don't know enough now to make even an educated guess as to who, or what, drove Ryan to do what he did. The closest we have is "Because she cho..." a couple chapters back. Ryan nearly blurted something out there, and it's going to wind up being important, but it's not enough info yet to speculate on.
.

This post has been edited by Dojji on May 5 2012, 07:44 PM
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deathsbuddy
Posted: May 5 2012, 11:06 PM


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I figured it was going to be something like "because she chose you!"


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Dojji
Posted: May 5 2012, 11:11 PM


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QUOTE (deathsbuddy @ May 5 2012, 11:06 PM)
I figured it was going to be something like "because she chose you!"

That's the mos obvious possibility, and thus if you're going to make an assumption at all, that's what you should assume. But by itself, it's insufficient to establish a motive. We'd need to at least have some idea of what the choosing meant, or who "she" was. (Zelda? Princess Hope? The Sovereign? Someone else?)

This post has been edited by Dojji on May 5 2012, 11:12 PM
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Sir Donald
Posted: May 6 2012, 06:33 AM


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QUOTE (random_guy @ May 5 2012, 01:53 PM)
QUOTE (Cyrus @ Apr 29 2012, 04:58 AM)
That's... that's actually a very good point.

I'm guessing that, whatever he was going to say, it wasn't that it was something Alex doesn't know; it's that it was something he's ashamed of.

I think he cut himself off because admitting that he had no choice would imply he was somehow being controlled. I think Ryan may be immune to being touched, but his actions are currently helping to further the Sovereign's goals. With the recent conversation about the Shadow King and Kefka, Ryan might see himself as too similar to those two, and he is ashamed of this. He hates to admit that while he cannot be controlled directly, he can still be manipulated into working for her indirectly.

This speculation operates under the assumption the Sovereign is still around. I think that one of the previous conversations between Alex and Ryan implied that the Sovereign was defeated but not completely defeated.

This one is the one I believe you're referring to... and it contains a classic "hedge" on Alex's part. Still, this one does imply that she has somehow been neutralized.

I would doubt, though, that, if there is "Being behind Ryan" that it would be the Sovereign. If it was, he would not have said the things he did in those two strips.

Anyway, in revealing that he is withholding information, it seems to me that Alex is walking a fine line himself, especially if it's his goal that he and Ryan both survive. Withhold or obfuscate too much, and he risks entering a "Not So Different" scenario. Granted, Alex always claims to not be a hero, but there is a fine line between being an Anti-Hero in a place like Videoland and "seeing yourself become the villain". Too many psychological levers "pulled", and Alex crosses that line. Especially if you're of the mindset that all Alex is trying to do is "even the odds". Heroes don't "even" odds, they fight through them!


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