New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
…So all the missions that Ardaic sent them on were an attempt to kill them off for good. The one with Harki was just the one that worked. Until they found a way around it.
I guess it makes sense, as the developers, they ARE the ones setting up all those situations to begin with.
So, wait, is Best really a player character like we’re assuming? Because leaving one of them still alive doesn’t seem to count as “every precaution”.
They did seem to try pretty hard to kill Best. A lot of us thought he was done for, for sure.
Actually, yes. It does sound like Best went through quite a lot of shit between the time he got kicked off the team (which saved his life) and the time he helped bring them back.
Unfortunately, Payet is apparently the…Best at what he does.
Excuse me for a minute while I hit myself for making that pun.
but why? I mean, he’s clearly the Best around!
Better than all the rest?
and nothing’s ever gonna keep him down
They had 4 of 5 dead. They could focus on the last one. I’m assuming that they figured turning off their interaction with the game would make it easier/safer to get them out.
Of course, now they are all back and it’s probable that wont work at all.
If only bandit was there… ;_;
Yeah, the bottom line is always “on”. The middle line spikes first, then the other 3. So Best could well be the bottom line.
Best is all the way on the right, and Gravedust is in the middle tube, so that seems likely.
By Bandit, do you mean the PC of the guy who was trying to kill them all?
Notice one of the lines of cerebral activity has no jump.
Yes, that’s Best.
… or Bandit…
not every precaution, but despite every of their precautions.
Who would have thought creating a universe would be so much trouble.
I’m really curious about the whole running out of time thing… are the players going to die or something if they are in there too long?
Release dates are looming, of course
Kingdoms of Arkerra was already a successful game when the experiment began.
Yes, but not the new, fully immersive version.
I think I get the situation that they are in, they probably need to “die” in game for the world their minds form to end and for them to leave, otherwise they may suffer some sort of brain damage or even death. This setup reminds me of a book I read back in junior High titles “Heir Apparent”. The difference being that the person trapped in the virtual world had to complete the game in order to exit safely.
The direction they seem to be pointed in, is one of effectively ending the entire game by creating an age of peace and inter-racial harmony. One notes that this would damage the corporate bottom-line considerably.
That was a great book and I love you for knowing it.
Love how informal Carol is. She’s both an employee and a friend weird as that may sound. And still her face (eyes rather) eludes us, even when we’re staring directly at it.
I’m curious about the black & white + coloured arm symmetry in panels 1 and 3. Just two sides of the tank row?
Adds to the theory of her being Bandit’s player rather then H.P.
Yeah, it’s a camera shot between frigg’s and Gravedust’s players’ tubes.
It’s not that it’s black & white, but that Frigg’s is a more lavender-blue-grey tone.
I simply don’t have much to say about these “real world” sequences. Other than this comment.
I simply don’t have a response to this comment. Other than that I have nothing to say.
In fact, it would be fair to say that I have nothing to say.
Nothing at all.
Nada. Zip. Bupkiss… Niente.
ah, yes, a comment from the passive-aggressive school.
If I had something negative to say, I’d say it. But I don’t. So I won’t.
If you don’t have something [nice] to say, don’t say anything at all.
Commenting is too addicting.
Negative comment concerning your lack of opinion. Complaints about the plot’s development. Umpolite remark about some of the readers, quoting any previous post in complete nonsensical way. Inqueries of the whereabouts of missing comic characters. INSULTS! Quotation of Simpsons episodes and extense explanation about previous released content. WoW joke. Emoticon.
Arbitrarily dispensed token of praise.
Obligatory latch-on comment to a notable commenter.
Comment deploring the predictable course of the ironically standardized comments.
Contentless ejaculation of amusement.
Immature response to ejaculation.
Generic troll of entire thread, including hyperlink to Rick Astley’s ‘Never gonna give you up’.
I complicatedly have quite a lot to say about these sequences. Except for this comment.
I have come, not to praise Caesar, but to bury him.
Certain aspects of this virtual world remind me of the one contained in Tad Williams’ [b]Otherland[/b] and its sequels.
Anyone else think those stories provided inspiration for the tale we’re watching unfold here?
Heh…HTML fail on multiple levels. Ah, well.
It’s a bit like Otherland, but a lot more like Dennis L. McKiernan’s novel Caverns of Socrates, possibly with a dash of Matthew Woodring Stover’s Heroes Die if Arkerra has an independent existence outside of a server farm.
I thought it was all based on that one episode of “Gilligan’s Island”, where Mr. Howell accidently eats one of the Professor’s exploding coconuts.
I can see now I was wrong.
More like the 1977 sci-fi/western “Welcome to Blood City”, starring Jack Palance. I saw it long ago, and had to look up the name. Apparently you can watch it free online, if anyone cares.
Huh. Now I’m wondering if those doodles in the dirt Byron was making weren’t some sort of magical code.
I can’t help but feel that the players were put there as a test of sorts to see if they could. But now they’re trying to get them out not so much because they care about the people, but because they’re trying to get a good war going because it’ll make for great PvP which’ll help make their new “game” take the step it needs to reach legend status.
Crap I hate timed missions.
Best game ever? A timed escort mission with heavy stealth elements.
Huh. I wonder if this means KoA is a perma-kill game–once your character is killed, time to roll up a new one.
If not, you would think that the party would have observed people known to be dead, now stumbling around several days later, no?
What is possible is that — in order to keep their gameplay “clean” — the five players were put on a special server alone, with no other PCs. Every other person in their incarnation of the game is an NPC.
That would explain the lack of shenanigans and modern talk that one would expect from players. No one suddenly going “AFK – BRB” and freezing in place.
Or maybe they’re in an RP server.
No one has tried to solicit Best’s Bawkbawk for ERP. Your theory is invalid.
I don’t know, I’m sure there was a lot going on off-panel in that post orgy scene.
An earlier page showed that they’re just the first beta-testers. There are no other players on their server because there are no other players at all.
At least Arkerra’s PvE is good.
I don’t think the game is actually open yet. It’s still in alpha/beta, if I’m understanding this right.
No, the indication was the game was live for several years before the bubbles were introduced.
I was under the impression that they were beta testing the expansion
KoA has been online for seven years as of present day in Sepia world:
KoA was ALREADY up and running (and presumably very massive/popular) before everyone went into the bubbles:
The next few pages basically indicate that the gang was beta-testing a new interface for the game, and things went wonky. There’s no indication of how long they’ve been under, but since no one has gone after Carol/H.R./Hurricane for kidnapping I presume it’s still within a reasonable amount of time. . . or none of the gang had any family/friends that would come looking for them.
Those are some huge freakin’ candles. Seriously, where would you buy those things? Do they come free with over-sized arcane texts, or, as I’m going to call that tome, The Great Big Book of Everything?
People feel the need to over compensate that much?
discarded by understimulated lava beasts.
Where’s the adult content flag in this thing anyway?
YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH. YOUR MOM IS ADULT CONTENT.
HAXX! Seriously though… Gravedust wasn’t supposed to be able to do a mass rez spell? How did he pull it off then? Are the Mystics more than what we think they are?
Theory stated ad nauseum: H. R. Powerstache did not “create” a game universe, he used aranomancy to tap into an existing one (the bastard).
In this instance, the PC Gravedust has learned new skills in-game, and used those to invent what could be an entirely new field of mystical/magical endevour. So none of those annoying “you can’t do that” type of message here! In Arkerra, you can be as versatile as your imagination allows. I would play!
Perhaps the spike in cerebral activity is due to Best & Frigg’s hatefuck and the others’ reaction to it. Note that Byron is dead inside and therefore flatlining.
In Sepia-World reality, “Community” was bumped up to 7:00, so he’s already missed it.
Something to note: Gravedust’s mental chart shows a small amount of activity BEFORE returning from the dead. More than the rest, at least.
Guiding Best/being told he sucked for being the last mystic?
Nah. If Gravy is line three, as I assume he is, it’s all correct. He was resurrected before the others, then had to set up the ritual, which accounts for the lag in spiky goodness.
No, I mean, even before he was brought back. Everyone else was nearly flatlining, but his has sharper rises and falls.
You can attribute it to artistic choice or astral projection. Whatever floats your boat.
Seems to me that a “true” flatline would be, well, flat. Kinda ———————— ish. Given artistic license and such, as well as the difficulty in drawing truly flat lines, I can understand the “slightly wavy flatlines.” But yes, it does appear that Tombdirt’s pre-spike line is less flat than the others.
What say we go with both of your choices and call it “astral artistics?”
Flatlines are only truly flat in films (when talking about brains). It takes at least an hour for brain death to occur, even after the heart and other systems are long gone and the life support has been turned off. Since we were already told that they were only mostly dead (in Sepia World), they would still have base level brain activity.
Ah, yes! I see what you mean. Missed that.
In the second panel, is the graph paper torn off on the left side? If so, shouldn’t the paper on the left side of the tear show the other side of the folded paper? Instead of the one with lines on it? At least according to the folds on the right side?
Picking the nits! Picking the nits!
(For a brief time I didn’t notice the tear and thought that the lines on the left side of the tear were from before the died. Which wasn’t the case, since it’s really just lines since they were resurrected.)
As a cost saving measure, they use the back side of old tapes, hence the fact that you can see lines on the “wrong” side of the fold.
The lines on the back side are the readings from the five people they have had sealed in tubes since the late 1980′s, and linked to an early attempt at virtual “Donkey Kong”.
H.R Daedelus …. We’re done here.
I was going to make a Portal 2 reference, but you beat me to it. Well played.
I like that the spell book’s pages give off a faint glow. :3
Oh, hey, these characters again. Yay.
Gee, I hope they pontificate in the Tube room all week.
“It’s just a game…OR IS IT?!”
Let’s let the protagonists do something other than sit in the dirt before we check back in with the bacta factory, or the greenery, or the Matrix, or whatever the tube room is.
Nothing interesting has happened there yet, and here’s how you can tell: Re-read Chapter nine–pretending you know nothing about Best, Frigg, Byron, and the rest. See if you aren’t bored to tears. Better yet, get someone who has never read the strip and point them at that chapter–see if they finish it. It’s dreary and boring and nothing happens. The Meta-textural context of “sepia-world” is the only thing making it significant. The less time we spend there, the better.
The art is still very good, incidentally. If the story started moving a little, it would be nice. This story’s progressing at Dresden Codak pace, updating three times a week. Which is preternaturally slow.
You’re not supposed to read random sections of the comic out of context and GA is the fastest updating comic I know. Admittedly I don’t follow that many but most comics seem to update like once a week or whenever the author feels like it.
Yeah, MWF is not that fastest update schedule in comics. Some strips update 7/week, 365/year. (Dontcha hate strips that post some single panel holiday doodle instead of an actual strip at every opportunity?)
However, given the quality of art and the panel count, GA updates at a very respectable clip. The only comic that does better, IMO, is Girl Genius, just because of the wealth of detail Mr. Foglio crams in.
I can’t give gold stars, but have a golden trilobyte ;)
Oh, I know the comic updates very regularly–It’s the fastest-updating webcomic I read, bar none. I’m saying that despite it’s rapid update status, the comic’s actual storyline is plodding along. The protagonists haven’t done anything other than be dead and sit in the dirt for months. Let them do something before we check back in with the Tube-and-candle room.
A single chapter by itself isn’t exactly a ‘random section’ of a narrative. I didn’t suggest reading every eighth page of the comic, or something similar. There should be elements of the ongoing story in every chapter.
If the story stops dead for a chapter while hitherto unknown characters pontificate in front of candles for weeks on end, and when all is said and done the protagonists have not changed at the end of that chapter, then it was a waste of time. The characters (and wacky guest stars hoo boy they broke into the janitor’s closet!) that get the spotlight in Chapter nine are so boring that people are fixated on one’s mustache, and the other’s apparent lack of eyes. Give them the Plinkett test–without mentioning his appearance or his occupation, what what is Daedelus like? Is he concerned? Angry? Pleased? Cocky? Is he a jokey guy? Does he enjoy his wealth, or is he a miser? No one knows. He’s a complete cipher. It’s like he was designed to be as boring as possible, and when they wanna punish the reader, we have to stare at his blank face for a week.
I forgive you for everything because you mentioned the Plinkett test.
Is that now part of the lexicon now, or is it still a geeky reference?
Well, you got it, so it must be part of a lexicon.
I can only hope it becomes the benchmark for creating interesting characters in any medium.
I feel what you’re saying, but give it some time.
Repeated sequences this important but maddeningly cryptic can frustrate a reader who cares about the comic as it used to be, or make him feel like he’s being intentionally strung along haphazardly just for the sake of keeping you reading. The transitions seem jarring and the art itself is desaturated and the setting is comparatively dull. I get all that.
Still you gotta understand they can’t resolve everything in a single page. It’s updating just as fast as it did before.
Here’s what I did: I stopped trying to over-analyze these pages. Info from them is controlled tightly enough that they’re not going to give too much away. Wild speculation or trying to evaluate each page’s context in the whole story is only going to exhaust you, as it it almost did to me. Just relax and wait till these questions resolve themselves. You’ll enjoy the comic much more.
I am getting a little tired of this “its the worlds most immersive MMORPG” shtick., it makes so much characterization and pathos invalid. Remember Syr’Nj difficult relationship with her father? It’s gone from being a very defining charachter moment to a delusion. How about Gravedusts efforts to find restitution for his people, instead of a deep and meaningful struggle, within and without, to . . .role play. Why Author, why?
Hey, now. Just because the giant purple bunny is a delusion does not mean it cannot undergo character growth. The schizophrenia can develop in new and complex ways (as per so many films about madness/etc. especially Harvey). Currently, they are not aware of Sepia reality, which means that the only characters they have are the ones in game. Therefore, to them, the in-game characters are real. Because of that, any impact on the in-game character impacts on them. Thus Syn’Nj having problems with her father is still a defining character moment because there is nothing save the delusion. There’s a whole lot of post-modern/post-structuralist/anti-structuralist/relativist socially psychological philosophy that explains this, but it takes at least four hundred pages to say the same thing, only with a better accent.
I never get this feeling simply because I still perceive Arkerra as real. I don’t know what this arcanometry business is but I am quite certain that Arkerra is real one way or another and not “just a game”. I think H.R. has a few holes in his arcanometry lore and doesn’t fully realize what he’s dealing with.
Sepia world doesn’t invalidate Best & Co.’s adventures and actions for me and for what ever reason the transition between worlds doesn’t faze me. It’s almost as if they were two parallel stories independent of each other.
I see,but let’s just pretend arkerra really is real and a game at the same time with actual player’s in it (not beta-tester) that would bring up a lot of new questions,like:
When the world is still moving on when a player logs off,wouldn’t all the “family” members grow older than the player character over time? even younger siblings?
And wouldn’T players share all there knowledge about the world with other players off-game online (in forum’s and chat i mean,like “Hey guys there is a big army on the way to destroy your city or ambush you in the canyon,so better be prepared.”)
I think that are the kinbd of problem You CAN’t fix in a beta and probatly never will.
Oh yeah and about the actual comic: /saracasm-on
wooooooo another very cryptic comic in Sepia world.
oh yeah i have really waited eagerly to see another comic without the main chars and any plot development. /sarcasm-off
At least it make’s for some interesting discussion but i still wish that whole real world comics would have never happen.
To the first bit – when you’re playing the game, you don’t remember that the real world exists. As in a dream, where you never remember how you got there, and (save for lucid dreaming) it doesn’t matter, your mind just goes with it because you think it’s real. When you get out, sure you remember it all (though this is as yet unconfirmed speculation), but while you’re in, there is nothing but the game-world. It’s like the Matrix before Morpheus tricks you into taking his pills.
At least in the Matrix, whoever raised you was another human being ,you still had a relationship with them that was real, if in a simulated enviroment.
But with this, Syr’Nj ‘father’ is an NPC, The trials of Gravedusts people? Backstory. I know from reading the TV Tropes page a lot of people have raised similar points, but it still feels like a kick in the guts.
I want to assume the MMORPG world is real, but its getting harder and harder.
Why do you assume Syr’Nj’s father is an NPC?
Syr’Nj left her father to have adventures. The player of Syr’Nj, who seemed to me to be fairly young, has left behind friends and family to take part in an experiment in which she is fully immersed in an MMORPG.
It seems to me that the player of Syr’Nj is writing a letter to her father, expressing her real feelings, through the medium of the game.
Best & Co. is best in show
It makes me sad that people underestimate the importance of roleplaying. Roleplaying is fundamental to being human. Consciousness is continuously roleplaying yourself in your head. Empathy is roleplaying someone else in your head.
I’ve always understood “roleplaying game” to be a matter of two dialectically opposed concepts, with the game giving context and grounding to the roleplaying. A player character solving a puzzle to open a door is as real as my writing a shell script to back up a server.
More importantly, the relationships between player characters are relationships between the players, and are real relationships. In-game weddings and the like are often mocked, but I’ve known more than one couple that met through online roleplaying games, and whose roleplayed romance became a real long-term relationship, and those relationships have been as solid as relationships initiated in other contexts.
Do you think Byron isn’t really experiencing emotional pain? Or that Syr’Nj isn’t really feeling empathy for Byron? Or that Frigg and Best aren’t really taking pleasure in each other’s company?
If it helps, imagine that there’s a close correspondence between what’s happened to the players in the “real world” and what’s happening to them in Kingdoms of Arkerra. I strongly suspect that we’ll find that’s the case.
I like the whole sepia-world aspect. Without it, it would be just another sword and sorcery rpg-based comic (albeit a well written one), of which there seems to be an awful lot. Sepia world adds a dimension I find refreshing.
No, wait…what am I thinking? I was wrong. It sucks. I demand that the writers not only stop writing sepia world sequences, but delete all pages that deal with it from the backlog. If they do not remove these elements that I now feel are ruining this comic, I will most definitely think about starting to consider the possibility of maybe not reading this sucky comic, which I hate, anymore, and will be forced to find some other comic’s message board to clog with whiny comments about how much it sucks.
Man. I went all day without reading the comic due to eye problems. Now, late at night, finally the eye feels better…and it’s Sepia World.
Running out of time for what, H.R.? Why so mysterious?
So, when is H.R. going to break into a mad rant about lemons?
Probably when he begins feeling the squeeze.
Although he’s a bit of a sour-puss, ranting doesn’t a-peel to him.
Has anyone else read A Maze of Death, by Philip K. Dick?
If you haven’t, I recommend it strongly. Avoid reading spoilers at all costs, though.
Hehe, you said “dick”.
New theory: The candles and book come from the Real World, where people are bigger than they are in Sepia World.
Also, Dedalus is this guy’s nephew: http://threepanelsoul.com/2009/11/30/on-gym-visits/
omg you like community too? i keep trying to convince my friends to watch it, and their all “no, i want to finish watching all the seasons of friends first” and then supernatural, and then how i met your mother, how i met your mother is nice, but community is freaking brilliant
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