New Comics Every Weekday - Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn - Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
We’re going to get nuts-deep into the matrix :O
Backstabbing? I’m going to learn backstabbing?
All I see now is goblin, kobold, sharkman…
Nice! Too bad that I read a couple too many MMORPG themed mangas. So the ‘comatose players because their characters died’ idea is already old to me.
But really interested in how GA will handle this development :D
That’s… only .HACK. I can’t think of any other manga that have done this.
So long as they dont fuse to make some elemental five headed dragon for a childrens card game, Im good.
No they are obviously: earth, fire, wind, water, and heart. By their powers combined he is Captain Dedalus!
Captain Planet reference. Tv show from the early nineties. Nobody then got why that poor kid got stuck with “heart” either.
But… but… where’s Bandit? Can’t it be the 5 and a half?
Number 3 ate her.
Oh God Snowblind, I can’t stop laughing!!! That was way too funny and I don’t know why!!
Why assume Bandit’s the one excluded?
Because we can pretty much tell who they all are? Red is Byron, Green is Syrn’j, Orange/Brown is Gravedust, Blue is Frigg and Yellow is Payet. Bandit is not included.
H.R is Bandit. Remember his tie?
No, I do not recall the significance of his tie. It’s purple, sure. But I do not see the significance in that, and I rather like Moe Lane’s explanation, even if it’s intentionally derisive.
OK, then maybe she died for good and was already flushed into the drains.
I dunno if I’d call it *derisive*: I was kind of pleased that I was able to squeeze a pun and a movie reference into the same post. :)
are you sure that blue isn’t bandit and yellow isn’t frigg?
Nah, green and blue are full size and show the swell of breasts up top, whereas Yellow looks pretty flat and the hair is spikey. I think they did exclude poor Bandit.
Maybe her’s is under the desk.
See, now you’re assuming that they are playing as their assigned biological sex.
That’s assuming they’re playing. They may not be there willingly. Typically, the people in hidden tubes with aupicious titles like “The five” aren’t knowledgable participants.
But it is all assumptions. All we have to go on at this point =-)
I agree. Also, if you notice the tome of spells and the half-melted candles and other arcane references. I think Dedalus has been dabbling in a bit of irl sorcery. His plan seems to be:
1) Make a game.
2) Summon some heroes to the real world.
Why does Gravedust appeal to have breasts?
Clearly you have no experience with man boobs. You poor bastard.
No I think, That orange-brown is Frig. Blue is bandit, and between red and yellow one is Byron, the other is Gravedust. Payet Best isn’t included.
I am pretty sure those are enormous saggy boobs on the orange-brown one.
Then explain the beard. :P
I know it looks like Worst, but I doubt that’s him. I think only dead peeps are in the tanks, and he’s still alive. Maybe in our world, Bandit shows up as full size human, and Gravey as a rotund human height man.
My guess is Bandit’s excluded (i.e., living in the real world) and either complementary or identical to the “real villain” (H.R.). To wit:
alt text chap. 5: “The one where the real fifth member shows up.”
chap. 9: “The one where the real villain shows up.”
Woah… woahhh. Dude. Also Bandit was the only one who Gravedust couldn’t figure out!
“Ms. Keynes has gone… rogue, Mister Meirnon. The Ghost in the Machine.”
DUN DUN DUNNNNN.
Seriously, interesting development there. I definitely wasn’t expecting that.
MY MIND HAS BEEN BLOWN! Y U DO DIS?! I need my mind for work ;A;
What. What. What. What. What.
Seconding where is Bandit? Also trying to figure out whats going on with the middle one.
I’m guessing middle’s Gravedust. He’s not known for being…spindly. And rocks a beard.
Ooh, SF-type preservation tubes AND magical tools. I think I like where this is going.
You just wait till you see what’s in sub-basement 2.
The unholy union of Technology and SCIENCE! …and probably magic. It’s the Techronomicon!
Yes! Let’s combine several things “Man Was Not Meant To Know” into one tasty blend! Yay!
No, if you “combine several things “Man Was Not Meant To Know” into one tasty blend” it becomes the Nachonomicon.
BTW all the folks nay saying the plot and how we are becoming a reality comic, where is your reality now?
*kicks back with a manarita, snacks on chips and soulsa to watch the story*
Hurray for the Nacho-nomnomnom-icon. I’d like mine with a nice Jack cheese sauce.
Let me also echo the “where’s Bandit?!?!” of the rest of the commentators. Left to right, I see Byron, Syrn’j, Gravedust, Frigg and Payet. So is Bandit supposed to be an NPC or something?
Also, creepy snake-man? Sounds like it’s hinting at something to me.
going off the color of the tubes, you can match the major characters. Since bandit and payet are both “yellow” as a major color, it comes down to which gender the far right tube is.
which I can’t make up my mind about >.<
Well, tall and short hair probably ISN’T Bandit…
They all seem to be in the same range of heights — i.e., most likely they’re all human. I don’t think we have any particular reason to expect Bandit to be short.
remember…people dont need to play their gender when they play an online character. Bandit can be played by a guy as much as she could be played by a woman.
Ambiguous means Payet.
After Best left the party, Yellow became Bandit. Maybe?
You know, for the first time I’ve heard this theory, I’m sort of digging it. Inttteresting. And something that would never have occurred to me 20 strips ago.
…Okay, I completely wasn’t expecting THAT.
I might have made a lot of predictions, but this was one of them :)
Maybe grey is bandit? Frigg’s always manifested far more anachronistic genre breaking savvy.
In which it is demonstrated that H.R. is, indeed, the REAL villian.
WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE!? D:
But srsly, chill. Those guys are just beta testers.
Honestly, I think being stuck unconscious in a tube with nutrients being forced into your bloodstream and your subconscious mined for material is probably better than the life of the standard AAA gameplay tester.
PA agrees with you: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/1/25/
The correct phrase is “What hath science Wrought!” Jean-Luc. Its more dramatic.
Hmm, interesting. As for Bandit, it should be noted that out of all of them, she did not have a lengthy back story attached. She just showed up and got in with the group. So I would hazard a guess Bandit might be the one standing to H.R.’s right, with the tablet.
No, that’s the Infernal political/technical/financial officer assigned to HR to monitor Hell’s ROI and occultech transfers.
I mean: hates privilege AND honesty? Demon – and the worst kind of demon, that: one of the Old Rebels, with at least some lingering loyalty to Luciferian revolutionary theory. Probably has the old Non Serviam glyph branded on her shoulder, and she’ll be blessed before she has it removed, secret police or no.
Yeah, yeah: I’m reading a lot into some candles and a big book on the table.
I believe she’s being sarcastic, as has already been shown to us.
i’d say you might have something there… look at bandit before she got axed… eyelashes and button nose match that Carol girl…
Ok, my jaw literally dropped when I saw the last panel. The whole “pan out to a guy watching a computer screen” bit barely fazed me, but this? This has me excited.
Also seconding the cries of “Where’s Bandit?!” Not that I particularly want her suspended in a tank, mind you.
Damnnit, stupid html tagging taking away my shifty-eyed look….
which is why you do it as such
Those colors are the only ones we’ve seen apart from HR’s tie, and all of them represent the main colors of our beloved heros so… WAIT
I think HR is Bandit!!
To join in with the “Where’s Bandit?” comments, I’ll make a crazed nonsensical deduction that will stand up to no scrutiny: Bandit is some kind of watcher NPC or H.R. himself.
As others pointed out, Bandit has the vaguest background, and she has helped bring party members together on more than one occasion (for example, Gravedust and Syrn’j ( I misspelled that didn’t I) wouldn’t have met if not for Bandit stealing that hat).
And as others have pointed out, Bandit’s color is purple, not represented in the tanks.
Before others say it, others came to the same conclusion before me, for which I applaud them.
I’d say Bandit is the real-world enemy working against HR. Satan to his God, if you will.
Or according to some Gnostic texts, God to his Satan.
It does seem rather odd that Bandit is so undefined. Byron, Syr’nj, Gravedust, Frigg, and Payet Best each have strong characterization. We’ve had extended sequences about the backstories for Gravedust, Frigg, and Payet Best; we had an interlude with Syr’nj writing to her father, and frequent references to her intentions; and we’ve had a few ominous flashbacks that hint that Byron has been through some trauma that will prove important.
But there’s been nothing about Bandit. So far, she’s been a generic halfling rogue. She may as well be Lidda, the Third Edition D&D iconic rogue.
Bandit’s backstory is simple. She was so bad at chess she had to leave home and take up a vocational career.
Bandit/Whoever Bandit is may have escaped the others fate. Think about it, player groups in WoW (And presumably World of Akerra) are five people. Five is significant.
I’m pretty sure Bandit didn’t escape Byron cleaving her in half.
Just when I thought this couldn’t possibly get worse.
What the hell, Authors? Did you plan this all along? The Shark has been jumped with a rocket powered pogo-stick.
I would say its perhaps unfair to use the term ‘worse’.
To clarify, I meant the whole “game all along” reveal. Everything prior to the last page of chapter 8 was great.
So who had “It was all a dream” coupled with “it’s all an MMO” and “They’re in the Matrix” AT THE SAME TIME? We’re pretty close to paying out on that combination.
And to paying out on the authors too, boom tish!
Ooh, so I was a little pessimistic about the pace of the chapter. Nice! Hoping we get some information as to how exactly this setup is supposed to work; it’s pretty obviously supposed to be party, just need juicy, juicy details.
ahh. this makes up for it.
Pfff, bandit’s tank is there, it’s just being stored in a drawer… or something.
oh damn… that was funny!
Those 5…. and a half?
Wait…. Their big game is about a fantasy world…. and their newest project is about escaping a matrix/tron esque computer world….
Not to mention, the “real” world itself is a Weird Sort of Wash.
I read a book or novella or something somewhere…
The characters were in a military simulator (either Japanese or Chinese…?) and their actions determined in real-time the RL commands given to the army- think Ender’s Game but with an extra step between. I recall them having to level up again and earn shelter and food based on battle outcomes, there was some sort of massive penalty for restarting… plot details are fuzzy, I read this a decade ago.
But my point is this seems familiar. I like it, but it’s going to need to be orchestrated well. Are the people in the tubes there voluntarily?
Good call on the tie. That being said, it is well known that the rogue character in most fantasy stories is the one that comes and goes without causing to much party disruption. What the motives are behind the suspended animation/Matrix have yet to be seen. Though it all gives me a kind of odd Thomas Covenant/Landover feeling. (By all that’s holy, no white gold wielders please.)
I wonder if the game world was taken from their memories or something?
Man, that’d be totally tubular.
That’s what I thought.
My other thought was the HR looks a bit like Pornstache guy from way back in the mission briefing (allowing for transition between new and old art). Which brings up the possibility that he’s some kind of descendant, and this isn’t actually “our” world and is instead Gastonia, several hundred (or thousand) years onwards, after all the Savage Races have died out and it’s turned into a mirror of our own world.
As to why and how the party is still being kept alive, I’m still working on an implausible explanation for that.
I see what you did there…
You sneaky punster you.
This is the one I favor and hope for
D: <- yup, thats me right now.
I think that the woman with H.R. played Bandit for the party, as some kind of DMPC. She seems a lot like Bandit, what with the dislike of honesty.
Personally, I think all of the people in the tanks were raised in the game from birth. They’ve never encountered the outside world, judging by how realistically they experience the game world.
I’m happy with the direction the story is taking now. It seems like the better party members will be coming back.
First, wow. I wasn’t expecting THAT.
Second, all five of them appear to be human, and they look at least a bit like the party members. In particular, the middle one is an obese man with a beard, who looks like Gravedust, except that he is NOT a dwarf.
The different characters have had associated colors, which is an additional clue. I’m guessing, from left to right, it’s Byron, Syr’nj, Gravedust, Bandit, and Frigg.
I do have to admit that it looks like the one on the right, in yellow, could be Payet Best, but I still think it makes most sense to assume that Payet Best is a character in World of Arkerra controlled by Dedalus. Best, after all, left the party quite a while ago, while the main five have stayed together — and died together. We first met Dedalus, as he was closely watching Payet Best, separate from the others. And, I think Best’s personality resembles Dedalus’s.
Holy crap, he’s captured The Power Rangers!!!
Now that’s “Zord of the Rings” for you.
The Mighty Morphine Power Rangers?
I was going a little nuts to till I saw that big book (o-magik?) in the center of the table.
I’m going to guess “HR” is much like Walter o’Dim/Flagg from the Dark Tower books, which means where in deep ####!
Uh-oh. Are we about to rip off Otherland?
If so they’re already doing a better job than Tad Williams. Kinda had to force myself to finish reading that series. I will be honest though, I did feel a little otherland tingle when this chapter went up.
Phil, I got just one question.
When do we get to see Carol’s eyes?
They’re in Dedalus’ mouth. Good luck.
Dedalus = Blue Hooded figure (DM) he sent the Bard on a quest.
I’m really hoping that there’s more to this than meets the eye. I enjoyed Guilded Age when I first started reading, and was really into it by the end of the last chapter. A fun story that seemed like it was just getting into its swing, good characters who were being fleshed out and given backstories and stuff, an interesting world, and finally a dramatic cliffhanger that had me refreshing the page around update time! …and then the next chapter starts, and suddenly it seems that the world isn’t ‘real’, none of the previous story actually happened, the characters are in fact different characters, and the villain is a software company CEO. I liked the story up to now, I’m interested to see where it goes from here on, and I’m gonna keep reading, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’m mis-reading the new situation, or that there’s another twist coming.
Just realized that my previous post got cut off. I’m thinking that we’re going to see the party transported to the world of Cyberia for a little while, then back into our usual space.
the idea that these five are the ” beta Testers”… that has some weight to it.
Snake man impression?
OH DEAR GOD.
THEY ARE OUR REPTILIAN OVERLORDS.
TRUTHISM WAS RIGHT.
I SHOULD HAVE NEVER TRUSTED SONIC AND ITS CHEAP FAST FOOD.
Psssssh. What a predictable plot twist. I saw this coming from the first page. Totally.
I must say, all I can think of is this.
WHAT IS THAT YOU SAAAAAAAAAAAY?
“You didn’t do your crazy snake man impression at all.”
Huh. Depending on how this goes, it could be Best in the current yellow tube, being part of the first party, while the person who is Bandit is in a different tube, having to be plugged in to replace Best.
Dun dun DUUUUUNNNN!!!!
This is an unexpected turn of events…almost as shocking as seeing Adam Sessler in comic form! Does he know about this comic? I think he might get a kick out of how he was drawn…but yeah the five don’t include Bandit, and she’s set to be a favorite for certain. Her and Frigg are my two favorites.
Hoe. Whee. Cwap.
To the Authors: I salute you, and I’m sorry that I doubted.
To the “Where’s Bandit?” crowd, and adding my own speculation to the pile: I see “the five” as human, clearly in control of the party, (but who IN the party I wonder?) and special / magical in some way. My hypothesis is that the whole game was crafted for the express purpose of extracting their special magical essence for some unknown nefarious purpose.
I can’t in my heart think of Bandit as the bad guy, (and Best is this comic’s Achilles Heel IMO) so my grasping at straws is as follows (from left to right): Frigg, Syr’nj, Gravedust, Bandit and Byron. Yeah, it’s a real stretch, but I can’t stand that Best guy.
Also: I can’t wait to see the new incarnations of our heroes. (YAY, THEY’RE NOT REALLY DEAD, ONLY IMPRISONED IN ANOTHER DIMENSION . . . On reflection, I’m not sure that’s better . . .)
Sudden Inspiration leading to wild and ungainly speculation:
The next time we see the gang, they’ll be in that other game that HR mentioned on Monday. Yay for Tron homages!
I think we’re definitely going to be moving to a party viewpoint again, however where they are is the question :)
Holy cats man! What is going on? Is he turning them into cyberzombies…oh wait, wrong RPG. This is getting interesting!
You know, looking at Carol’s face in panel two…she kinda looks like Bandit.
Ok, I was not expecting this.
Good job guys. Now I need to go pick up the bits of brain and skull everywhere, as this twist blidsided me and blew my mind away.
Is he Bandit, then? If not, then I still have no idea what the significant of his purple tie from two pages back is…
it’s made of kangaroo feathers.
*Significance (Is there an ‘edit post’ option yet?)
Okay, so from right to left in the tanks, we have Rikk, Rumi, Tim, Shanna, and… whom? Can’t tell for sure. To skinny for Jared or Will.
Isn’t it Po, Dipsy, Gravedust, Tinky-WInky, Laa-laa?
Well, I was trying to stick to the pre-”new guys” cast there; otherwise the options would have been too many.
Why do you guys think Bandit is missing? For all we know, the guys in the tanks are human beings who control those characters. And considering H.R. was viewing Payet Best at the beginning of this act, I think it’s plausable that the five in the tanks are the other characters and that H.R. IS payet Best.
After all, wouldn’t you want to be the guy who completes all quests amazingly, gets involved in sexual orgies and told that you will save the world if you were the guy running the shots?
oh and for the record, I think that it’s actually:
Red = Byron
Green = Syr’nj
Brown = Frigg (looks like a fat kid who would speak l33t)
Blue = Bandit
Yellow = Gravedust
Oh good I am not the only one who saw the fat one as Frigg.
Except why would you need a spirit to tell you to complete a quest of salvation of all? If H.R. was Best, he wouldn’t need the spirit to tell him to do anything.
But who made sure Syr’nj and Gravedust met up in the city, seemingly incidentally? Bandit, strangely enough.
Who was watching the party prior to Best leaving? Bandit.
Who knew where Frigg was? Bandit, again.
Paranoia! Suspense! Waving my hands in a strobe light and going ‘OOOOOOHHHH!’ But in all honesty, I’m beginning to become reasonably sure that H.R. is Bandit. the only color in entire suit is purple, while Bandit’s jacket is also purple; we can even make educated guesses on who’s in what tank based on the color of the lighting in the last panel, each based around a character’s primary color(Byron’s red, etc).
Furthermore, look at the cover of Chapter 1:
Stylistic choice, due to the page size, or indicating something? After all, if Payet Best is H.R. wouldn’t it make sense for him to be outside the group, and not Bandit who’s off to the side?
Of course, this is all hypotheses, and I could easily be wrong. But it’s my paranoid fan hypotheses and I’m sticking to them.
*waves hands in front of strobe light*
Who didn’t know that she was gonna have two axes embedded through her shoulders when approaching Byron in beserk-mode?
I think she would have known the consequences of doing that beforehand if she really was as you say…
Who says death in Arkerra leads to death in sepia world? Why couldn’t HR have Bandit die? It keeps his cover intact quite nicely.
I think if they’re just people in tanks controlling characters in a simulation, that there’s a lot more candles and flasks than you’d need.
…Although I guess he could be an amateur chemist who goes through a lot of power cuts…
Going with the theory it is (based on colors and the drawn forms (only two have an hourglass shape)):
Red = Byron
Green = Syr’nj
Brown = Gravedust
Blue = Frigg
Yellow = Payet
You would indeed wonder where Bandit is… my theory (as others have stipulated):
Carol dislikes honesty and privilige. She will grin at it… the nose. I am going to side with the group that the secretary is Bandit. After all, these are charateristics Bandit has. Bandit is also seems in that way the pawn of some higher plan to bring the five together.
H.R. is the overlord watching the game, Carol would than be Bandit. That is my main theory at this moment.
Okay, I’m thinking the Carol and/or H. R. being Bandit theories are sound BUT the figure in the middle is the ONLY one that doesn’t match the actual character. Also, it looks like there’s a tuft of hair between the woman’s large breasts. . . this makes me think that Bandit and Gravedust may BOTH be in that middle tank, spliced together in a “Well, they were dying when we did whatever magical thing indicated by the stuff on the table and kinda pulled them together by accident. Whoops,” way.
Oh god, creepy. Like that dude in the Total Recall flick, with his brother still attached to him or whatever, under his shirt…
If you insist on referencing a film for the concept, try The Flay (1958, not the 1986 remake).
Flay = Fly.
“One day Gregor Samsa awoke to find himself transformed into an enormous MMORPG addict.”
Actually, now that I finally understand that tuft of hair is Gravedust’s beard, and that the middle figure isn’t an overweight woman. . . probably no splicing going on.
Still, I’m hoping that Bandit is at large somewhere rather than a PC controlled by H.R./Carol . . . the gang needs *someone* to bust them out of there.
I warned you guys. You let him near the 4th wall, and this is what happens. Your fun rollick through fantasy land slams straight into the brick wall of pretentious drivel and top heavy paxil-induced revelations.
Wake me when we’re back to stabbing orcs.
You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it does.
I WARNED YOU BRO
I WARNED ABOUT THE STAIRS!
IT KEEPS HAPPENING
fuck I’m falling through all these walls……………………..
You keep on using that word, “4th-wall”. I do not think it means what you think it means.
No, this is not the 4th wall. (That’s where we are shown, with horrible puns, the exact parallels between the comic and our world.) This the consequences of that. Shortly after that’s started, TC gets so far up his own ass, its like he’s doing his own colonoscopy; and if he sees his shadow when he comes out, we will have 6 more weeks of hamfisted pop culture word play.
I think this seems to be the logical conclusion of anything he touches. Have you not seen Faans?
Also, its the GREEN pill that lets you stab orcs. And the postage stamp is the one that makes the grateful dead awesome. Just FYI.
You’re right. I totally missed the plot arc where the story broke the fourth wall.
You do realize that T is not the only writer here?
And also that neither Penny and Aggie, Rip and Teri, Sketchies (also co-written with Phil) nor Divalicious have ever broken the fourth wall?
I never followed Rip, never wanted to follow Divalicious, and found PnA did SAN and INT damage when read. Regardless, Point proven. He can touch things that don’t implode under the weight of “Interaction with a reality oddly similar to the one the reader exists in”. I therefore retract my comment about this being the logical conclusion of anything he touches. The rest I stand by.
If this does have any baring on the larger plot, it will only be when the time comes to use it hamfist some kind of StarOcean type thing. Which is if this has any baring at all, beyond HR being a wizard exiled from the Payet-verse. In any case, (being it has no baring until it makes the comic suck) I’ll prefer to continue with the orc slaying in ignorance. So, wake me when we’re back to killing orcs.
I know what you’re thinking. “Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill.”
Erm, shouldn’t the phrase be “anything is nothing compared to the Five” instead of “nothing is anything”?
Whoops, I stand corrected, I read it wrong, my bad
yea… not to spoil anything, but the five people in the tubes are obviously players kept in a state of suspended animation while they play their characters with just their minds. or… did you think the lady in the middle with tig ol’ bitties was gravedust, perhaps?
Obviously. That’s what the big book and the candles are f… wait a minute!
It’d make sense to me if Carol was playing Bandit. That’s what the computer on the desk is for. All the medieval stuff is just there to enhance the atmosphere for Carol, since the modern setting and behind-the-scenes point of view can make her character blurt out things like I gotta nine in lockpickin’.
Well, maybe not, since the screen is off to one side. Then again, perhaps it’s mainly used to communicate with the outside world, and whatever interface they use for the game doesn’t require a screen? Obviously ‘the five’ use a very advanced interface, so perhaps there’s another advanced interface which focuses on being unobtrusive rather than providing total immersion?
“So H.R. We summonned five people from an alternative fantasy reality, then hooked them up to a computer and built a game world out of their memories, and trapped them inside it. What next?”
“We should summon people from an alternative story world where people are trapped in a computer simulation, but escape to defeat their creators!”
“…are you sure that’s wise sir? We could just do mario .”
Carol, get me 5 test tube babies with ATTITUDE
…and just like that, i am intrigued again. <3
oh super. they make a little matrix stunt and all the fanboys are suddenly all over the comic again.
Well i think that this make’s it worse. i like’d the whole fantasy ambience in the past 8 chapters.
if this is the so called “reward” for having faith and continue to read,you can keep it.
i will still continue reading chapter 9 for curious sake but
once we get back to the group (and-i-really-don’t-care-anymore-how ) i will try as hard as i can to forget chapter 9 existed if it doesn’t get better.
I’m the same way. Of course I’m gonna read it, because I want to know what happens, and because the previous 8 chapters were fantastic, but I’m not thrilled with the whole “It’s not really real!” twist. It’s interesting, but it felt like it came out of nowhere and it kinda ruins the whole fantasy feel. I’m not gonna stop reading it though.
Calling that Best in real life is really Dwayne Dibbly.
I would soil myself with laughter.
Hmm… If they are not only players, but also people who shape the world, that would handily explain inconsistencies – With the sensible Gravedust out cold, the art and action took a slight turn towards the cartoony and anime-influenced. The matters with ghosts were inventions of Gravedust-player, while the ‘godsdamn shark peeps’ are Frigg-player’s invention. When Best became the only active character, the world likewise shaped itself into his ideal munchkiny random quests and big rewards.
Haruhi-theory. I like it :)
If you’re going to read it despite hating it, can you perhaps be a big girl, get a tampon, and stop getting your PMS all over everything?
Naturally, this got linked to the wrong comment. x.X
Update has turned Caitlin into a babbling idiot. Please wait for reboot.
Rebooting . . .
(This may take until Friday.)
Seriously though, there’s something weird about the figure in the middle tank. In the “Where’s Bandit?” theories vein, anyone else getting the impression that the middle figure might be both Bandit AND Gravedust spliced together? Like “Magical Ritual Gone Wrong” spliced together?
If H.R. did magic and pulled them away from sudden death in Real Akerra (also a theory), those two were the “Most likely to have died before the hail of arrows.”
All of this is a series of ideas bouncing in my head, of course, probably none of which are correct.
If Bandit and Gravedust were spliced together that would be FREAKY WEIRD.
On the other hand, it would enable the new androgynous entity to find its own SRS faces hilarious.
Oh, I see it now! The middle figure isn’t a large woman with saggy boobs. It’s just Gravedust’s redonk facial hair!
God, glad I finally get that now.
I imagine he needs Bandit and Best to complete the collection.
This has gotten more interesting again, especially with all that pseudo magical stuff in his secret lab.
Where’s bootstrap boy?!!
Rabble rabble prophecy rabble rabble!
GASP! The prophec– GURK!
So wake up, Mr. Freeman.
Wake up and…smell the ashessss..
With these elevator buttons, they need TALL management.
I…I don’t…uh…*brain explodes*
You guys gave me eight great chapters, so I am going to continue trusting you, but I am going to need a neck brace from all this whiplash.
Does no one else see the nod to Planetary here?
Maybe it’s just the way they are shadowed, but it immediately made me go “OMG Planetary!!”
< . Syr’nj -> Frigg -> Bandit -> Gravedust
Unless the middle person is both Bandit and Gravedust for some horrible reason. Then, Yellow Ranger is Best.
this is another twist I was NOT expecting.
SOMEONE’S been reading “The Caverns of Socrates”, haven’t they?
Or at least they should.
WHAT HAVE YOU BASTARDS DONE TO SANTA?
HE HAD IT COMING!
Come on people, Think outside the box and TvTropes rather than screaming ‘MATRIX RIPOFF’ because you see computers and tubes. Use your imagination for once.
There’s lots of possibilities here. The game could just be a front for funding what’s really going on here, not the end all be all of the plot because it’s mentioned. The way H.R. seems so wooden about it’s success seems to say as much.
This makes me wonder if this is more about multiple dimensions and H.R. World’s is influencing Gastonia through technology and interaction. It would explain Iver’s words and why he killed the Mystics, who may be sensing said interference all along but thought they were communicating with the world of the dead.
Listen to Sentora, for he speaks wisdom. (*waves hi to fellow P&A fan*)
Next person to mention The Matrix (not counting me just now) should get a Coal Star. Make it so, Phil.
(Oops, sorry, Jean-Luc, I stole your catchphrase)
*waves back* Heyya Alice. ^_^ Thanks for talking about this the other day, made me curious enough to check it out.
I still say Arkerra is a real world that just so happens to have a game based on it in our world (like Tron). I will not accept the characters being imaginary. That’s no better than “just a dream”, and may very well be even worse.
On second check, i think that’s Gravedust in te middle tube with his beard tied together, posibbly in order to keep it from swinging freely in the liquid.
Plus, according to the speech box colors seen below, one can presume that 2nd one from right is Frigg and at the far right, is Payet.
Look back at the first chapter opening. Best is crowded with everyone else, Bandit’s off to the side. That could be pretty significant?
Just based on personality, I would think that if HR is any of the characters, it would be Gravedust. He’s got the same phlegmatic, weary sarcasm thing going (“I’m sure these things will start slipping my mind eventually.”). And Gravedust’s whole mystic shtick involves being in communication with otherworldly beings…
I think If HR was any of the characters, he’d be a douche :p
Is that the altar of old communication technology. Huge tome, candles, 80′s CRT…
I knew it! He’s rebooting power rangers!
I hate to admit it, but panel three briefly made me think of Aizen/Gin, what with Carol’s perpetually unwitnessable eyes. Also, I keep waiting for Carol to ‘merp’.
I like the setup on the table. Little magic and science. Though it was jarring at first, I should be able to enjoy both Syr’ making things go boom as well as H.R. being down with the arcane. Little anachronism never hurt anyone.
Off stage left is the medical droid waiting tyo make his entrance, where he places a spark plug to the wall of each tank, jolts them awake so they can swim out of the bacta tanks and then help the Rebellion fight the Imperial walkers.
No, wait, different story.
Also, interesting that everyone assumes the tanks are color coded for character reference. Usually the coloration is indicative of the sort of liquid the bodies (not bodies! Bodies means corpses! Another word, another word… ) “the figures” are immersed.
Things to consider:
H.R. Daedalus is could ACTUALLY be Daedalus from Greek mythology.
“The Daedalus Project” is also a name used for a social experiment done by Dr. Nick Yee between 2007 and 2008 involving the social interactions of over 40,000 MMORPG players.
Keynesian Economics is a macroeconomic theory that is used to this day by many world leaders.
and let’s not forget the Daedalus Maneuver from Robotech, that involved a supercarrier being punched by a giant battlestation mecha into a ship, then having several hundred missiles poured into it via Destroids
Wait how does that fit in?
Easy. They open a giant gate to the punch dimension with Gastonia to fuck everything over.
Bandit Keynesian Theory advocates the government sponsoring a group of heroes to fix things by whatever methods they deem effective and efficient, and to steal giant jewels and such along the way.
I gotta admit, ever since I saw Payet on a moniter screen I’ve been holding my breath. Most fantasy works that cross over with real world stuff doesnt hold my interest.. but, hell this is looking pretty damn good now. :D
(And stupendous art as ever.)
Very interesting twist. Some further speculation:
Are the Five a source of his inspiration for Arkerra, or something else? If they’re a source, then how long have they been in those tubes? (thought it said Arkerra had been running for like 7 years).
They don’t seem to have spent that much relative time in each other’s company – does that suggest they began their current ‘lives’/memories recently, or have they been living out their backstories for some time? If H.R. is the “DM” of this shared dream world they were just in, did he construct their backstories which they just accepted as fact? Maybe this cycle has gone on several times with basically a memory wipe/starting fresh from backstory each time, like a Choose Your Own Adventure? (see Syr’ng’s final comment)
I’m in support of the H.R. is the quest-giving apparition/npc Bandit theory. (Although the secretary loading in as Bandit is also a reasonable possibility) Did that leader of Gastonia who was sending them on errands have any purple on him?
It’s perhaps possible that the events leading up to this point were quite a bit in the past. Perhaps, when Bandit was killed she was killed forever? I don’t want to believe it, but maybe for some reason people can’t just get resurrected every time.
Number 4 is obviously both Frigg AND Bandit.
You’d think this was y’all’s first rodeo.
Dun dun DUNNN!
…I’m assuming Mark Hamill is in Sub-Basement 3?
behind the tubes with the people in them?
Report to the briefing room!
I’m sad. I liked the sword and sorcery comic. Finding out the setting was an MMO and now we have a sci-fi chamber? The whole tone has abruptly changed. I’m far more interested in fantasy than sci-fi. *sigh* Oh well, I’ll give it a little while longer to see where it goes but I’m not enthralled or even close.
IT HAS THINGS WITH BUTTONS AND WIRES! SURELY THE GENRE HAS SHIFTED DRAMATICALLY!
ooooooh! So you’re OK with a little science mixed in with your fantasy but not a little fantasy mixed in with your science…. you’re a scientist..ist.
So is the party people in the matrix, or the matrix becoming people?
Hating privilege and honesty sounds like something Bandit would say. H.R. looks a lot like Ardaic. We can make conspiracy theories till Friday! Yay!
I have to admit that the magic altar there makes me want to believe summoning spell gone wrong then exploited to build a video game.
Those aren’t clone tubes or anything like that. They’re really rare, unused props from a Star Wars movie. Dedalus just can’t WAIT to brag about them online. They cost him a near fotune.r
YES THIS COMIC IS FANTASTIC.
This is thrilling EXCLAMATION POINT, thank you!
Yeah, Bandit’s unfortunately not present, because she obviously escaped! You think being in some crazy tube of colored goo is gonna keep her from robbing all of US blind?
Stylistically, I think that the transition from fantasy setting to MMO CEO/Laboratory Manager works well with the change in the art styles. Not to discredit John’s amazing artwork, but I think the change of artist would work well in print form if Erica were to draw the pages of the previous chapter and John’s work started at the start of this chapter. Of course that would mean Erica finding time to re-illustrate nearly a whole chapter and paying her for her time, so it doesn’t seem viable, but it’s a nice thought.
Also, well played Guilded Age, well played.
“Carol. We still need a pink and a black tube to make the whole snooker set.”
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