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Author Topic: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 5)  (Read 1268 times)


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Re: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 4)
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2015, 05:47:17 am »

Seeing as we seem to be running out of meaningful contributions and observances on both the game as it went (with new insight) and our responses and observances, I'm going to guess this won't be lasting very long either. It does leave me a little disappointed, but I doubt we can change that sufficiently to allow it to remain interesting for all parties.
Well, he could skip or condense some of the more mundane/samey stuff and get straight to the more interesting, meaningful, or novel bits. Ep 4 was fairly short, for instance, because there just wasn't a whole lot to talk about. Skipping it entirely or rolling it up with some other episodes might have maintained a better effort:discussion ratio.

I remember it being said he alread finished the first twenty though, so, those could just be posted even if there's no interest in editing them to make a bit more sense.
Something like that sounds familiar, but I suspect it wasn't that he prewrote all of these and has them sitting there with images and all ready to go.
just covered in human skeletons with no explanation


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Re: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 4)
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2015, 11:50:56 pm »

I'm still interested to see this concluded even if I can only echo sentiments from Irony and Sparksol.


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Re: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 4)
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2015, 12:38:49 am »

it is also possible that our power was increasing the awareness of the NPCs around us instead, especially since we were treating the world as more real, it may have been becoming more "real" by our apparent wish that it was so.

Sort of. Remember that the game is a hyperdimensional structure existing across many universes, and that those "instances" of itself in each universe were routinely interacting with each other just like you/Michael were the same entity also interacting with other-universe instances of itself.

 * In the universe that was Morrowind on my PC, "the PC" being (played by me/ directed by you) was the point of greatest intelligence and awareness. The game npcs were automatons. "Michael" was intelligently directed.

 * In the universe that was Marooned in Morrowind being played on the bay12 web forum, the capability of "npcs" to act with self direction was bottlenecked by you/our focus on them. Prior to coming into contact with any given npc, their basically existed in an uncollapsed waevform. Once they were interacted with...well, as an observer from this universe, it's difficult for me to know whether they had existence outside my observation of them. For example, it wasn't until somebody noticed/observed (forgive me if I don't track down the post) that it was odd that npcs stood aroun and did nothing until you walked up, that they gained the ability to "act" outside of your interactions with them. And in general they only did after your interaction with them. For example, the guy in Seyda Neen who left Morrowind after you bought his ring. Or Draren. Even major npcs like Yagrum and Divayth by all indicators sat around not doing anything until you met them. Were they acting autonomously apart from your interaction with them? Again, from the point of view of this universe, I can't know. But they certainly appeared to not be doing anything until an interaction with Michael. Look at Cinia. She had an extensive backstory of how she got to Tel yr and why she was there, and yet nevertheless she "just happened" to be in exactly the place that she's found in game at the time Michael first encountered her? I suggest that she as existing as a quantum superposition until she was observed, and only after that that exchange did she begin galivanting across the world.

 * In the universe where Morrowind was a spell that had grown self aware, being played in Equestria, "reality" is difficult to convey via this medium, but in general: like the hyperentity that is you/Michael/etc "your" collective awareness of your unified self was incomplete. Similarly, the "entire spell" that is (Morrowind, the spell cast by Celestia) was not completely self aware of its entirety. "The Michael" was more or less the focal point, but "Michael" was not the spell, and the spell was not "Michael." What you perceived as an interaction between two separate and distinct entities, like Michael and an NPC, in that universe that interaction was the spell being aware of itself. Michael/spell was the observer. Npc/spell was the observed. And in the act of observation, observer and observed became a single phenomenon known as an event.

" a state that exists beyond mortal death in which one can break free of all known laws and corruptions of the gods. It allows for the user to...manipulate the Aurbis how they please"

" normally recognized by a "Crowned Tower that threatens to break apart at the slightest break in concentration"

"...can only be achieved by viewing the Tower, which encompasses the universe, yet keeping your own individuality in its presence"

Where the spell observed itself, it was able to act, free of the deterministic limitations of the gamecode/spell. Where it stopped observing itself, those unobserved portions ceased to act free of determinism. In all universes, the degree of awareness of all entities, "npc" or not, was a function of the degree to which awareness was being experienced by them.

Remember Clover's surprise that Michael was able to do the simple thing of following Awesomicus back to Pelagiad? To their experience, that wasn't a behavior the npcs of their spell exhibited. The "PC gamey aura" wasn't an effect local to the "PCs." It was the default nature of all not-conscious parts of the spell acting deterministically according to its "spell programming." Just like the not-conscious npcs in the universe of the game being played on my computer.

It would have been very interesting had there been any meaningful interactions with three parties: a pony, Michael and an "other" that you would consider an npc. Clover might have been very surprised to see what "npcs" in the presence of Michael were capable of.

So we did what we always did, which was two or three things at once poorly for something like eight different reasons. The crossover did have some advantages, but I still feel like picking one or the other likely would have had better results. I just have no idea which of those was the right path to pick and stay on, though.

Like you said a couple days ago, probably any path would have been ok if you'd simply stuck with it. If you're a farmer planting crops, it doesn't matter all that much whether you plant corn or potatoes, so long as you pick one and stick with it. You guys had an unfortunate tendency to plant corn, then dig it up and plant potatoes, then dig those up and plant something else. Very few of your actions were given enough time and attention to come to fruition.

On the game side of the issue, I'm not entirely sold on the completely open world thing. I feel like the utterly scatterbrained approach we had was somewhat predictable for a pure democracy thing, and that some GM forethought and guidance might have resulted in a better product. Admittedly, that would have more or less ruined the premise and run the risk of turning the game into Legion Quest or something instead, but I suspect there may have been some middle ground in there somewhere.

Admittedly, it's been a problem in some of my previous games, perhaps more than once, that I've given players too long a rope. Give people a choice of A, B or C, and they can usually pick one. Say "anything is possible! Do what you will!" and some people stumble on that. Which is unfortunate, because I strongly prefer that sort of game myself, and Morrowind is exactly that sort of game. And the very premise here, growing self awareness and enlightenment...yeah, making you choose from canned potions was contrary to the spirit of what this was about. "Literally, anything" was possible as a fundamental premise of the game. Coralling you into specific choices just didn't fit very well with that.

Maybe I misjudged how cohesive you guys could realistically be. But you did so well in the beginning. Skipping ahead to Vivec was a stroke of genius I hadn't expected, and it completely worked out for you. I didn't know how you were going to convince him to open the door, and you figured that out very easily.

If you collectively could simply have continue with the same level of cohesion and insight that you demonstrated early on, this game would have ended like two years ago. BUt from my point o view, it seemed like after Vivec, collectively you guys just fell apart.

What happened?


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Re: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 4)
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2015, 01:36:14 am »

elder scrolls wikia's pretty bad

...but all the stuff you quoted AFAIK is pasted straight from Vehk's Teachings, so whatever


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Re: Marooned in Morrowind, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Ep. 4)
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2015, 02:55:31 am »

MST3K Episode 5
Episode 5: The plot thickens

It opens, and a female Dunmer steps out brandishing a knife.

: "Woot! Introducing Luna!"

: "Silence, thou knave! We can introduce Ourselves."


"We now introduce Ourselves, the Princess of the Night, Princess Luna of Equestria, known to thee as HotFlank!"

: "..."

: "Thou mayest continue."

Fun fact #1

: "In the actual save file I used to create the screenshots, Luna's character name was HotFlank. But eventually I decided that was too obvious and changed her character name in the forum version of the game to SexyWithersXOXOXO."

: "WHAT?!!?!?"

: "I thought that was still kind of obvious, but apparently nobody knew what withers are. Incidentally, this was one of many...MANY things in the game that would have given you guys major clues if you' simply taken 10 seconds to google it:"

"The withers is the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged mammal. In many species it is the tallest point of the body, and in horses and dogs it is the standard place to measure the animal's height"

: "Or to put it another way, it's the part of female horse that a male horse is more or less looking at-"

: "-once he has mounted her! Hast no truly no respect for Our Royal Personage? We agree that HotFlank was perhaps a touch racy, but SexyWithers? 'Tis risque to the point of impropriety!"

: "Not in this universe, it isn't. Amazing how long it took anyone to notice the 'withers' connection. I really thought I was handing you guys that one. Another cookie for IronyOwl for being the one to finally notice."

Fun fact #2

: "There was no way for you guys to know this at the time it happened, but Luna actually killed you right here. She saw you, started dialogue, but you didn't say anything very interesting, didn't issue any quests or anything so she flat out killed you. Because sociopathic PC."

: "Twas a most disappointing encounter. We received not one single point of experience from it."

: "But, and this is HUGELY significant: Because Celestia recognized the growing sentience of her spell, she marked its avatar, the later-to-become-Michael, as a plot critical PC to protect him."

: "As did I, place my mark upon you in the universe I watched over"

: "And so did I. All three of us did. You guys of course remember this from MUCH later in the game. You were marked as plot critical, just like Divayth, Yagrum and a few others. And so after killing you, Luna in her universe saw a great big one of these:

: "So Luna, seeing that, restored the game to her previous save and when she ran into you again, simply ignored you and kept going. This is why from your point of view:"

...she brushes right past you and takes off through the town running and jumping with every step.

: "Hey!"

She ignores you and keeps run/jumping.

: "Of COURSE, 'Luna' didn't just run past the interesting, out-of-place person wearing a Rainbow Dash 20% cooler t-shirt that she obviously recognized. You simply have no memory of that conversation because the game was restored to a previous save. And Michael was, at that time as we'll explain in a moment, not entirely 'with it' yet. Notice that every time he died, what happened was different, and each time he had a little bit more memory and control than the last. Not because him dying helped him, but simply because as time progressed the 'you' entity, and sentient-spellform in particular, was learning more, growing, and becoming increasingly self aware. Michael's death...'personally' was actually not a huge inconvenience. The spellform itself was aware, you the players were aware, other-universe-instances of the you, were aware and still functioning and learning and growing and interacting with each other. 'You' were not the avatar. Neither was Michael. "

"But, nevertheless, early on, that awareness was extremely limited. As again, we'll address in more detail in a  moment. Point here, is that if you read over the deaths in game, you'll see a trend of increasing conscoiusness and awareness during those death events. Butthat trend actually began with so little awareness that you, the players here, actually didn't notice the first time it happened at all."

"Truly, I am not making this up after the fact. Luna 'killed' you, but you hadn't yet grown to the point where you could remember it. And that's why from your point of view she ran past the super-interesting person wearing a Rainbow Dash t-shirt. From her point of view, she had a long conversation with you, killed you and saw the 'don't kill important npcs game over' screen and restore to a previous save, then simply ran past you the second time rather than waste her time talking to somebody who didn't have anything interesting to say."

: "Indeed. Twas a dull affair."

: "As an aside, your death by Luna and subsequent restoration via 'spell/game restore' was referenced much later during the third dream:"

You lay down and fall asleep.

You are walking through a town, with wooden and stone buildings all around you but no people besides yourself. In the distance you see a massive set of scales in the shape of a woman dressed in white, with outstretched arms hanging from the sky and a bright yellow and orange sun on one side and a white, pockmarked crescent moon on the other. Curious, you approach. For several minutes you walk in the direction of the celestial scales, but they don't appear to be getting any closer.

Suddenly the crescent moon bounds from its side of the scale and towards you, causing the side with the sun not to fall down, but to rise up into the sky where it blazes with blinding light. You hold a hand over your face to keep from being blinded but the light passes through your hand as easily as through the air, and you see that your hand is made of the same light as that passes through it. The moon, never stopping, bounces towards you and pierces your chest with the pointy end of its crescent, passing cleanly through your body and leaving a gaping hole.

You then watch as light from the sun fills the hole in your chest and restores the flesh as if you'd never been injured at all. You anticipate a sense of deja vu, but it never comes.

You are walking through a town, with wooden and stone buildings all around you but no people besides yourself. In the distance you see-

: "You guys attempted a fair amount of dream interpretation, but for some reason you usually favored interpreting dreams as things that would happen later, or things that you were supposed to do in the future. But that's not usually how dreams in Morrowind work. The vast majority of the time Morrowind in-game reams are about things that have already happened. Contract vampirism? You dream about it after you contract it, not before. The ashlander woman who dreams of the white guar? She dreams about seeing it where it is / where it's been, not about seeing you encounter it in the future. There are a couple of cases where dreams are about things happening  'right now,' but these all seem to be 'real time' conversations from another entity talking to you in that dream. Like Hircine after becoming a werewolf. Most of the time, Morrowind dreams are prompted by an about things that have already happened. I kept with that. So the dreams in Marooned in Morrowind, just like in the game, were generally about things that have already happened, not me trying to advise you for what to do in the future. Although I believe Celestia did speak to you in real time during one of the dreams. We'll get to that eventually."

Fun fact #3

: "This was actually a hugely significant event in terms of the Tomato in the Mirror Mindscrew, because from a LINEAR TIME point of view, as of this moment in the narrative, 'originally,' Michael was not yet a self aware entity".

"It wasn't until Michael's conversation with Vivec that Michael became self aware. An event that was simultaneous with your collective realization that he was aware of you. You and Michael are the same entity. You became aware of your other selves in the same instant, and that event created forward and backwards ripples in causality. So much changed with that conversation, and in fact, what really, actually happened...was described very nicely in this post by Nivim:

The potential of this writing style has completely flown over your heads; getting all caught up in meta or trying to dismiss it. :]

Not just that; also breaking the arbitrary divisions of identity or 'Self', space, and time. Considering the sword lesson it looks like our brony does not actually understand CHIM very well yet, and he probably can't really use it until he both finishes his thoughts on free agency, and figures out what Vivec was trying to help him understand about the ultimate continuity and division of spacetime. Maybe the intuition corresponding to calculus would've helped.

>Now I hear there are a few things that have disconcerted you, brony;
1. You lack a name.
2. You lack a past worth of memories.
3. You lack a lot preferences and skills normally gained from those memories.
 But just as this is a lack, it is also an opportunity, because just as you can expand freely forward in time, you may also expand freely back in time. Every time you learn something new, go somewhere new, think something new, or decide something different, you can remember something new, too. You already invoked this power when you remembered how you played those games, so long ago, by seeing a being related to them now. Invoke it again now to remember your name, even a name you wouldn't expect a parent to ever name their child, and from that remember your parents, and then as you adventure, your entire life will fall together.

: "Nivim totally understood what was going here, and it's really unfortunate that he left the game. That stuff he said about the backwards time travel? Totally nailed it. This was a huge gamble that I took when I started this whole thing, started with an unnamed protagonist...I completely intended for Michael to, during the game, become self aware, and for that event to ripple backwards in time."

"Because of the "event" of Michael becoming self aware during his conversation with Vivec, he retroactively influenced both past and future from that point. He was not "remembering" that his name was Michael. He was at time T, CAUSING his name at time T-1 to have been Michael, as well as all other points. All of that stuff from Vivec about the sword, and discussion of his nature of self? All of that was driving home the N-dimensional nature of reality this game intended to work with. This is exactly the kind of thing I intended this game to bring out, an I was thrilled and delighted that it played out the way it did. Congrats, Nivum. You totally got it. Great big cookie for you."

"Unfortunately, as it eventually became clear, a lot of what was going on here went way over some of your heads. Some of you even pointed it out:

This was already going wa-a-ay over my head. Now its going wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ay over my head.

: "...and that's ok. We ended up having a good, fun (and surprisingly long) game because of it. Though I might have liked to have spent more time than we did on the philosophy and a bit less than we did running in circles in the Legion. But yeah. This game was absolutely intended from its inception to be a massive Tomato in the Mirror mindscrew, playing games with non-linear time and n-dimensional hyperentities existing over multiple universes. You were obviously going to meet up with Luna, and so much save/load "time travel" shenanigans might have ensued. This isn't the first game I've run where players have used time travel as an in-game gimmick. Alas, it was not to be, and a couple reverts was all we saw here."

You step through the next door, wishing, hoping, praying both to Celestia and Azura that there's a dagger and lockpick waiting for you.

: "Michael did this from time to time. And yet still people were shocked that ponies might be involved somehow..."


: " if that wasn't enough."

"Damn it. She looted everything."

: "So, yeah. Luna looted everything. As of this point in the game, Awesomicus and Clover hadn't even been conceived of, you and Luna were the only 'players' involved, and it was supposed to evolve into a psuedo-contest between the two of you, racing for artifacts and competing with each other for things. But for some reason that didn't all. After she left Seya Neen...

She's crossing the bridge by the time you collapse in the middle of the roadway from exhaustion, and you watch her make a right in the direction of the stilt strider.

: "...she headed straight to Balmora. I completely expected that you'd follow and head to Balmora too. I mean, that's kind of where EVERY Morrowind player goes first after leaving Seya Neen. I completely expected that you'd meet up with her pretty much right away, talk to her, discover the discrepancy between her memory of your first encounter and your own, maybe not quite figure out what was going on, but running off of the 'she's a PC' theory I figured you'd end up either teaming up, or competing, or trying to keep her in the dark about yourselves and manipulate her, or something. Anything."

"It never occurred to me when I started this that you would ignore that lead and go off an do something totally else."

"And, I mean...that's ok. I said 'no railroading' and I meant it. WOW did I mean it. But yeah, I handed you guys a MASSIVE 'something is going on here' and you completely ignored it and went somewhere else. To Vivec. And that did turn out very well, granted. In fact, out of everything you did the entire game, deciding to talk to Vivec was probably the best, most productive action you ever took. And you took ownership of it. You decided to do a thing, and you did it. Splendidly."

"But it was completely NOT what I expected. I expected that you'd go meet up with Luna, pretty much first thing."

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