Jump to content

Home

Why was Manny a reaper?


neon_git

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 171
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

EDIT: I'm very slow, so perhaps the following will be sort of inconvenient. Still, I want to post it and I will:). I'm really, really sorry - and really really slow.

 

 

VampireNaomi,

first of all, I may be completely wrong about everything, because I have to rely on playing the game five or six years ago. Around that, since I don't remember exactly; also, once I tried to replay, but was disgusted by the doubled sound - which is the second reason for being mistaken so often. Allah, I need a normal copy!

 

Ok.

1. DOD being a place for the terrible sinners doesn't make sense to me because:

-- a) it makes Manny, Eva, Copal - even Domino - really deeply horrible persons, while they aren't (Domino is questionable, of course:) );

-- b) it means the highly important (I can't help but think it is very important) job is left for, well, highly unreliable employees;

-- c) I personally don't have much faith in the human race and in my opinion, even such a huge establishment as DOD couldn't contain all terrible sinners at once.

As for all references about "stuck here at the DOD" - I've always understood that as "stuck here in the LotD", with mentioning the DOD only as an example.

...Damn. I'm really confused now. That dialogue with Domino could be viewed as a one big banter, and then it all means what I imagine it means; or it may actually contain a grain of truth - which makes your vision conceivable. The thing is - who knows what that was really about? Not me, definitely.

 

2. It has never occured to me that 'not able to leave the town' bit could be understood literally. Differences in perception are nice:). After all, Salvador had his secret tunnel and all. I thought It was just very risky and hard...

 

3. I thought Salvador told Manny that all his best clients (who were cheated and got nothing) qualified, not really 'all clients'. Besides, Domino did in fact get better cliens, he was helped in that by authorities (as in, Hector-->Copal-->Domino:) ). Manny himself told Celso that 'only few qualify' for a short trip. Feels to me like the truth: do you know many Saints around you?

 

4. People settling in placies on their way to the Underworld N9 - uhuh, that's the fact. I just think that there are quite a lot of sinners among them. Olivia, for instance - I can't imagine her getting a walking stick. And Nick. Er... Bogen. However... Damn-damn-damn, I'm more confused than before. That whole ocean of possibilities! :)

 

5. Carla and Manny = ? -??? What did they say that made you think that? I suppose that was another fault of dreadful double:(. I remember Carla being interested in Manny (just like the majority of the game's female population), but not vice-versa.

Besides, it is possible to love somebody and just... well... amuse yourself with somebody else - completely understandable situation, ...not that I thought Manny could do that having Meche. Even Lola abandoned all hopes, after all:). Is is me who'll go straight to Hell with such morals)).

 

*sigh* If I only could play it and check it all myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

counting_pine,

nothing was... er... as you so accurately put it, 'floccinaucinihilipilificated'. Uh, I'm not even trying to pronaunce it. I can see why you know this lingual horror now, with it being the longest non-technical word and all, but it's just not right for the normal languages to have such word-pythons. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or how did that go? ;) Though that one I love :).

 

maybe Celso genuinely did earn that walking stick, maybe that's the reward you get for a lifetime of being generally mediochre

Yep, that's basically my idea. Well, the stick is something - and four years when you're already dead isn't that much, so I figure you still have to be, well, second-rate good, to earn it.

 

whether you see it as Manny being cheated out of the best clients, or all the clients being cheated out of the best travel packages

The latter had never been even a possibility for me to consider, earlier. As I understood it, Hector and Co made sure Manny doesn't get any Saints at all (since Manny would immediately start to suspect a crooked game, as he did in Meche's case), though they still enabled a fool-proof on his computer, just in case. Perhaps Manny did accidentally get a few car-types, but not many, I think. Or he would end up the second Limones all too soon - and Hector and Co had learned their lesson.

In addition: Manny wasn't surprised at Celso's fate at all. Celso doesn't strike me as some amazingly altruistic person or whatever, as well.:)

 

 

As for the picture of Celso's wife: I'll keep that in mind, when I get the game. Definitely. Or maybe some kind soul would provide me with the screenshots, 'cause I'm very curious about these little details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I have to say before continuing this debate is that I can't even remember when I last time had this much fun at the forums. :)

 

Charie, the DOD being the place for the worst sinners makes sense to me because of the dialogues in the game. I can't give you exact quotes now because I've got the game on another computer, but let's see how well I remember some of them.

 

In the intro

 

Manny: Oh, you're going to have a great trip. Wish I was going.

 

Celso: Why don't you? You could give me a lift.

 

Manny: Oh, I can't leave here until I've worked off a little debt to the powers that be.

 

Celso: Community service, huh? Well, I guess there're folks worse off than me.

 

In my opinion this proves that working at the DOD is sort of a punishment for something you did wrong in life.

 

Talking to Domino

 

(my memory on this one isn't as good, so it's not an exact quote)

 

Manny: So what did you do to end up here?

 

Domino: You mean, what's the secret to my success?

 

Manny: No, I mean how did you screw up in life to get stuck here?

 

Domino: I could easily ask the same question of you.

 

Manny: I can't remember what I did (I know he doesn't say exactly that, but I cant' remember it better right now)

 

Domino: How convinient. Well, neither do I.

 

This conversation again proves that a job at the DOD is not voluntary nor a very good thing.

 

As for the points you raised, here are my speculations:

 

a) I always assumed that they were sinners. They may not seem like that now (with the exception of Domino and Copal) but who knows how long they've been there. They may have had time to soften a little. Well, to be honest, this is a point that has been confusing me as well because I firmly believe that DOD job is a punishment. ;)

 

b) We give community service jobs to sinners in our life as well. Besides, when your only options are working and remaining stuck forever, I think even the worst of the worst find the inspiration to move the scythe.

 

c) There are thousands of people dying all over the world as we speak, so I'm sure there are more Reapers than what we see. The DOD building is a huge skyscraper, it probably holds several hundred workers at least. And it's also possible that it's only one department. There may be more in other cities and areas since I doubt that every person who dies ends up in El Marrow. There just wouldn't be enough room. So in my eyes, enough job openings for the worst.

 

And now for the second part. Well, certainly there is no magical barrier or anything that stops Manny from leaving town, but the exchange with Celso shows me that there is at least some regulations about the fact.

 

Thirdy, If I remember right, Salvador told Manny that all of his clients qualified for something better. I don't have an exact quote with me right now, so shoot me if I'm wrong.

 

As for the fourth fact, that's one of the most interesting mysteries. Sinners like Nick and Olivia certainly deserved to be a Reaper more than Manny, at least in my opinion. Yet they aren't. If I knew the answer to this fact I'd be a lot happier and I don't think this thread would exist. :D I don't know how to explain this myself.

 

And then Carla and Manny. Well, it's been a while since I played that part, but it always seemed to me that they had something going on. Carla mentioned that Manny used to come and visit her on a regular basis, but then stopped. They didn't say that they had something going on, but the innuendo was there.

 

Phew, I wonder how many typos I managed to include in that one?

 

EDIT: Just remembered something. At the beginning of the game Manny's goal is to get his job back so that he can work off his debt. He says that himself to either Salvador or Eva or someone. If he wasn't stuck at the DOD, why should he do that? Why not just skip town and go somewhere else since he obviously had landed himself in trouble? Why bother getting back a job he obviously hated?

 

EDIT2: God, I've got an exam tomorrow morning and I should be asleep. If I fail it's all your fault. :D Anyway, I just remembered another thing. Not a fact, but more of an opinion. To me Grim Fandango was not only Manny's journey, but also Manny's Journey, if you know what I mean. In the beginning he's all for "Love is for the living and I only want my job back blah blah" but in the end he has fallen in love and done good deeds to help people because of selfless reasons. So, I always viewed GF as a character's journey to becoming a better person, as well as the crime and corruption thing. Having Manny not be a bad person in the beginning sort of cheapens that appeal of the story to me. But that's only me and not a fact. Just felt like adding it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice to see some well-deserved activity around here.

 

One thing I have to say before continuing this debate is that I can't even remember when I last time had this much fun at the forums.

 

That hurts, a bit.

-------------------

 

Okay, now where to begin. I think that all of the things debated are plot holes, not thought about by the writers*, but if you care about symbology (I do), then it is all worth discussing.

 

I think you are all taking the Land of the Dead as the concept of Heaven and Hell, which is a concept appearing in many religions, but not in all of them. Remember that it is based on Mayan mythology, where this issue is much more complex. Let me investigate a little, and reply later about this.

Keep the thing about the debt in mind, for it might be very relevant.

 

It would be a bit of a hipocresy and unfair to give people their NN Tickets and the like just based on how useful these people were. [EDITED].

 

To me Grim Fandango was not only Manny's journey, but also Manny's Journey, if you know what I mean

Perdón?...Was that on purpose?

But yeah, I know what you mean. It was basically the same with me.

 

Let me read all the thread, and then I'll give proper responses.

 

*Have I told you the anecdote about "The Big Sleep"? If I haven't, then read ahead (you are not forced to). "TBS" was a 1948 film noir movie based on the book of the same title by Raymond Chandler (It starred Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart). Anyway, the story is more than complicated, it is almost un-followable (?); so as nobody understood who the killer was (mainly beacuse everybody had an aliby, or was not present, etc.), Chandler was asked to explain, only to reply that he did not know either.

What's the point of this, you ask? well...the importance is not always on the story itself, but on the characters and their interactions.

 

EDIT: I removed a small paragraph, due to anti-religious content which might have seemed controversial.

Edited again, due to some typos.

Damn, I keep editing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@VampireNaomi, good luck with the exam, hope you're well prepared. No doubt you generally know better than to get sucked into a forum thread the night before an exam, but in any case, your next post had better be telling us how the exam went : )

 

@El Virus, so, your point is that we shouldn't worry about the minor details? That's probably true. But do you think Tim Schafer just ignored them, rather than have them all worked out somehow? I don't think I really want to believe that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@El Virus, so, your point is that we shouldn't worry about the minor details? That's probably true. But do you think Tim Schafer just ignored them, rather than have them all worked out somehow? I don't think I really want to believe that.

 

No, not at all. I said:

 

I think that all of the things debated are plot holes, not thought about by the writers, but if you care about symbology (I do), then it is all worth discussing.

 

I have no idea whether Mr. Schafer had them planned out or not; either way, they are very interesting. They are not extremely important things to the story itself, I wouldn't mind (or be surprised for that matter) if they hadn't planned them, after all these are the kind of things the player can think for himself.

 

Oh, and as counting_pine said, good luck to-morrow Naomi.

 

 

Once again, I'll read all the messages later; if you mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, let me apologize for bieng so unforgivably verbose. It's a bane of mine.

Second, I wish you all good luck with your exam, VampireNaomi, sorry I made you stay for so long at night.

Finally, help me Allah not to get lost in these posts :).

 

__________________________________________________

 

VampireNaomi,

I certainly don't remember the dialogues myself, so I check it all in the game script from GFN or NW. Now, about the dialogues you referred to:

In the intro - In my current and very unreliable opinion, it shows that working in the LotD 'is sort of a punishment for something you did wrong in life', as you said about the DOD.

By the way, what are those 'powers that be' Manny mentions? I was never certain.

Talking to Domino - the same as I wrote above. 'Here' for me was always the land, not the establishment.

However... I suppose I could accept the idea of sinners going to the DOD (since it would make supervising their success easier - for whoever bothers to supervise, which is the question in itself), if not for the great population of El Marrow. I simply can't imagine the majority of the El Marrow citizens working for the same foundation, however big it might be.

 

Also, I see the Land of the Dead as a relatively small place with a linear settlement layout, as in: the metropolis of El Marrow, where all the newlydead souls arrive and either get stuck or proceed --> Rubacava, a port town with the temporary attractions for those waiting for the cruise or for sailors --> Puerto Zapato - some place to get prepared for the last trial, so to speak (I wonder what Puerto Zapato is like...) - and that's it, basically. I figured only those with some relation to the mayan history and such go to the 8th Underworld (which fits into my supposition that all people go to where they believe they should go). After all, the majority of souls Manny meets are Mexican or close.

 

Next, the DOD seems to me to be the only institution of a kind in the LotD. It is certainly the center of all things related to the interaction with the LotL, although I still didn't come to any solid cunclusion regarding the existance of some huge Ministry in the LotD, with DOD, just as you've said, being only a department. Oh, well...

 

Er, my point was supposed to be this: I still think there's not enough place in the DOD for the worst kind. Why would so many other souls, not working at the DOD, stay in the LotD if they had the opportunity to go to the 9th Underworld? One would think they had gotten their share of dirt in the LotL.

__________________________________________________

 

~ You wrote 'we give community service jobs to sinners in our life as well'. First of all, we don't know for sure whether they are sinners or not; secondly, out Fates don't really depend on their decisions and accuracy.

 

~ About special difficulties leaving the town - I agree, though I fail to imagine what they might be.

 

~ Next, Salvador's and Manny's dialogue went like this:

Salvador: Have you ever wondered why your clients, even your BEST clients never seem to qualify for the packages you know they deserve?

Manny: Yes, my last client in particular... Meche.

Salvador: Well, they all DID qualify, Manuel. Especially her. But somehow, somebody with access to the files has stolen their just rewards, their sweet hereafters...

I understand this 'all' bit as a figurative talk, meaning, as I have said before, that Manny's best clients qualified, not literally 'all'. I would rather think that even Domino's clients weren't all Saints without exception - because Saints have to really be very rare.

 

~ On the Nick, Olivia and the others problem. The root of it lies, I suppose, in the whole idea of 'working off the time' which El Virus had threatened to explain:).

It has always confused me a bit that Manny seemed certain he had to sell enough NN tickets to be free to go to the LoER. I see it as a reference to the working agreement with the DOD.

In my opinion, sinners have to work off their time, maybe not exact amount of it but enough for it to provide a second chance. Hence there are common working agreements in the establishments of the LotD, and in Manny's case it was to work at the DOD the time enough to sell some stated amount of the best travel packages ('cause no one can be certain about the Saints' arrivals frequency) and then to be free to get out of the LotD.

So, if Manny lost his current job he would have to comply to some other agreement with some other firm in the LotD to work off his debt, and that would have been almost similar to starting everything all over again.

 

I suppose Olivia and the others, especially in Rubacava, didn't 'work off' anything at all due to the hopes to get a crooked ticket or just not believing in the LoER anymore. Perhaps constant watching masses of souls come and go, never returning to tell the tale, in the town of an easy income, bribes and casinos, can make you a bit sceptical.

 

~ On the Carla and Manny's question. I still don't see any innuendo there. After all, Manny could socialize with whomever he wanted, couldn't he? Carla-type women are made for such kind of interaction, when you need something they have or have a spare minute for an occasional idle (very idle) talk.

__________________________________________________

 

Finally, as an answer to your last paragraph (about Manny's journey being 'Manny's Journey').

I personally have never believed in Manny's "love is for the living and I only want my job back blah blah", as you put it, line. Uhuh, in reality the 'blah blah blah' is an emphasis here, I reckon)).

I've never thought Manny was a bad person in the beginning, and as well I didn't see him good in the end. To my mind, he had hardly changed at all, save for the revelations about himself. Commiting sins doesn't instantly make you a bad man, or so I believe. This symbolical meaning of the GF you imply is all new to me.

As I've always seen it, Manny (or whoever, for that matter) had already had a constant personality, sort of (here comes the question how I define 'personality', I realize, but I couldn't explain it even if I tried); he just made different decisions in different situations. I doubt one can show many virtues working in the dull management.

 

All in all, I think it was a Journey of remembering that he still was a good person, not becoming one. For me, Manny never was bad at all. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

El Virus,

Concerning the anecdote - I've heared the same story about something else as well. Besides, it actually happens all the time in my favourite genre of arts, surrealism. Maybe you're right and GF creator didn't produce some grand explanation of everything about the Grim Underworld. It even seems likely (and is much more interesting:) ).

 

You are right, of course, about at least me being too used to the Heaven and Hell concepts. I don't know a thing about the Mayan believes and am too lazy too explore. So I'm definitely looking forward to your explanation very much.

 

By the way, don't remove that intriguing 'controversial anti-religious content' next time, maybe? I'm curious now. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone who wished me luck to the exam. I guess I did alright.

 

That hurts, a bit.

 

Heh. Well, you've got to admit this is the first long debate we've had in a really long time. ;)

 

I don't think it was necessary to remove the anti-religious paragraph. Everyone has a right to their opinion and if someone is insulted by it, it's their problem.

 

Also, thanks for using TBS as an example. I've been about to see/read it for a long while and your comment made me certain that it'll be good.

 

First of all, let me apologize for bieng so unforgivably verbose. It's a bane of mine.

 

Eh, I don't think you've done anything wrong. This has been a very civil conversation from all sides.

 

I guess we're looking at the same source material from two different perspectives. Everyone has raised good points.

 

By the way, what are those 'powers that be' Manny mentions? I was never certain.

 

I've got no idea either. Yet another mystery. :D Perhaps some gods/spirits related to Mayas or Aztecs. Though I hope Tezcatlipoca isn't involved.

 

I figured only those with some relation to the mayan history and such go to the 8th Underworld (which fits into my supposition that all people go to where they believe they should go). After all, the majority of souls Manny meets are Mexican or close.

 

That makes sense and sort of clears your point about there not being enough room in the DOD for all the baddies. If only Mexican or so people go to the 8th Underworld, there's not that much bad people to worry about. But it still sounds a little much, like you said earlier. Hmm...

 

Why would so many other souls, not working at the DOD, stay in the LotD if they had the opportunity to go to the 9th Underworld? One would think they had gotten their share of dirt in the LotL.

 

Membrillo mentions this in Year 2. He says that many people have lost their hope and no longer believe in the 9th Underworld. I guess it's very similar to our world where many people have decided that religion offers them nothing and don't search for the kind of spiritual happiness that some religious people find important.

 

I understand this 'all' bit as a figurative talk, meaning, as I have said before, that Manny's best clients qualified, not literally 'all'. I would rather think that even Domino's clients weren't all Saints without exception - because Saints have to really be very rare.

 

Ah, you've got me there. I remembered the quote a little wrong. You were right about this point.

 

On the Carla and Manny's question. I still don't see any innuendo there. After all, Manny could socialize with whomever he wanted, couldn't he? Carla-type women are made for such kind of interaction, when you need something they have or have a spare minute for an occasional idle (very idle) talk.

 

I guess we just see the subtext in a different way. For all I know, you could be right. ;)

 

I've never thought Manny was a bad person in the beginning, and as well I didn't see him good in the end. To my mind, he had hardly changed at all, save for the revelations about himself. Commiting sins doesn't instantly make you a bad man, or so I believe. This symbolical meaning of the GF you imply is all new to me.

 

I guess this is another point on which we just have to agree to disagree since I think both are valid opinions. I think Manny was a little selfish in the beginning. He stole Domino's client, arranged an illegal modification to a company car to meet his own needs (though Domino was playing an equally crooked game by sending Manny's driver away), didn't really give a damn about the LSA and he probably spent quite a lot of energy on working on Calavera Café while he should have been looking for Meche. However, in Year 3 he's already trying to save a bunch of souls that he has never seen before.

 

But your point is just as valid. Also, your idea of sins not making one a bad person is definitely a point I hadn't considered before.

 

All in all, this has been a great discussion. I don't know what else to add since most of the things that we still haven't cleared are the kind that only Tim Schafer himself can probably give a definite answer to.

 

I hope I didn't forget to address some important point in anyone's posts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VampireNaomi,

May I inquire what was the subject of your exam? I'm curious what it was we've all here wished you good luck with :).

 

I hope Tezcatlipoca isn't involved.

What did Tezcatlipoca did to you you hate him so much:)? I've just looked him up in the Internet and he sounds like a great guy. However, I confess to not understanding a thing about South American Ancient Civilizations.

 

there's not that much bad people to worry about. But it still sounds a little much, like you said earlier. Hmm...

"There's not much, though there's much" and "hmm" are my thought exactly).

 

<Membrillo> says that many people have lost their hope and no longer believe in the 9th Underworld. I guess it's very similar to our world where many people have decided that religion offers them nothing and don't search for the kind of spiritual happiness that some religious people find important.

That's true for some of working-offs, but doesn't seem likely for those who had to go on foot - they are offered something. Here, in the LotL, we don't have the opportunity they undoubtedly have there, the opportunity one would hardly refuse, I gather. It's not about some vague 'spiritual happiness', though, I think the Eternal Rest is what appeals to the majority of souls most. I would certainly like that, anyway.

 

This remindes me. In the Calavera Cafe, El Virus had mentioned a movie - 'Stalker' by Andrei Tarkovsky, I don't know if you've seen it. I'd define the genre of it as a parable of sorts. The plot goes basically like this: in the middle of an overly dangerous and restricted area there's a Room which fulfils your deepest heart's desire. In the end, when the characters of the movie finally reach the Room, they don't know anymore if they really want to enter.

It seems a bit reminiscent of the LotD and the Portal to the 9th Underworld to me. I just tried to imagine what it may feel like to enter something as mysterious and unpredictable as the Ninth Underworld after all hardship you'd endured on the way. I wonder if I'd choose to stay for a while in a solid and already well known LotD before proceeding, I'm not really what you'd call brave. Maybe some of the souls don't have the guts to step through the Portal as well?

...Sorry, this was probably inane.

 

we just have to agree to disagree

*shakes hands with you* :)

 

I think Manny was a little selfish in the beginning. He stole Domino's client, arranged an illegal modification to a company car to meet his own needs <...>, didn't really give a damn about the LSA and he probably spent quite a lot of energy on working on Calavera Café while he should have been looking for Meche.

You call stealing a client and upgrading a car selfish? I'd call that's accommodative, 't's all :).

As for the supposedly misplaced efforts, I just figured he didn't have much hope in successfully combing the Petrified Forest for Meche. The Forest seems to be really big and labyrinthine, perhaps he'd have gotten lost himself should he search for Meche there. I gather you agree he honestly wanted to find her (for whatever reasons), don't you?

I guess the Calavera Cafe served Manny as both a business to occupy him while waiting (that would be only natural for such a competitive person) and a really huge road sign: 'Meche, I'm here!'

 

Also, your idea of sins not making one a bad person is definitely a point I hadn't considered before.

Uhuh, that's exactly what all sinners believe in :giggle1: .

 

 

And to conclude, once again about Carla: I've seen quite a lot of the same kind of dealing with the same kind of women, so that's probably why I think there was nothing but flirtatious implications going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I inquire what was the subject of your exam? I'm curious what it was we've all here wished you good luck with .

 

German, the most beautiful language I've ever heard. I hope to be fluent one day.

 

What did Tezcatlipoca did to you you hate him so much? I've just looked him up in the Internet and he sounds like a great guy. However, I confess to not understanding a thing about South American Ancient Civilizations.

 

I'm no expert either and have done no research. However, he was portrayed as an evil god whose coming would mean world destruction in Broken Sword II, a decent adventure game. I guess I just believed that the game was based on facts. :D

 

Your point about the movie 'Stalker' and it's similarity to Land of the Dead vs. Eternal Rest makes perfect sense. Thanks for bringing that up. I don't think I ever considered it from that point of view before. And it wasn't inane at all. I have similar views about the afterlife Christianity teaches about. Somehow Heaven just sounds really boring and I don't think I'm the only one having slight doubts about it.

 

And to conclude, once again about Carla: I've seen quite a lot of the same kind of dealing with the same kind of women, so that's probably why I think there was nothing but flirtatious implications going on.

 

Entirely possible. Also, I think my opinion may have been tainted by the fact that I like the idea of them together, even for a short relationship. When I was writing one of my fanfics I tried pairing Manny with her and I guess the idea has been stuck in my head ever since. In conclusion, I'm ready to admit that your opinion is probably a little more valid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From hereby onwards, you are warned that this is going to be long.

 

Forgive my time to reply, but I had to work, then I got stuck on a traffic jam, and had to do other things.

---------------

 

Carla’s relation with Manny is there. Just as in the Maltese Falcon, where one can notice a sort of attraction between Spade and his secretary (this is on a lesser degree).

 

Heh. Well, you've got to admit this is the first long debate we've had in a really long time.

 

True, at least on the Land of the Dead. It's nice every once in a while.

 

By the way, don't remove that intriguing 'controversial anti-religious content' next time, maybe? I'm curious now.

 

I don't think it was necessary to remove the anti-religious paragraph. Everyone has a right to their opinion and if someone is insulted by it, it's their problem.

Yeah, but it was a bit off topic; I’ll remember this for the next time, however.

 

Also, thanks for using TBS as an example. I've been about to see/read it for a long while and your comment made me certain that it'll be good.

 

I’m not a big Chandler fan myself, but the movie is quite good, especially due to the performers.

 

I confess to not understanding a thing about South American Ancient Civilizations.

 

Feel free to ask, for I live amongst the modern ones.

 

The Mayan saw the cosmos as a structure that consisted of three levels or parts. On the first one, the top, the blue sphere that was sustained by the Bacabs, where the astronomical phenomena occurred, particularly the daily movement of the Sun. On the mid level, one could find the world of the man, in which all the aspects of their life took place (the Earth was seen as a big squared surface, whose edges pointed to the cardinal points [like the North, which was seen as a cold and dark place, etc.] where the Pauhtunes where). The last level (located under the water), the inferior one, was occupied by the underworld or Xibalba (it would translate “place of fear”, for you to have an idea of the Mayan view towards it). In this frightening place, there was a constant struggle between the Sun, after its daily movement, and the infernal deities & beings; the latter were usually beaten, and the Sun began its course again. It is still unknown whether the Xibalbans where dead human beings, or special people. There were six places, which served as tests for the newcomers; these were, the dark house. The cold house, the jaguar house, the hot house, the razor house, and last but not least, the bat house (each of them filled with their respective threat). There were also other tests, like blood-rivers and several routes to take. Xibalba was lead by Hun-Came (One Death) and Vucum-Came (Seven-Death), the rest of the 12 rulers were demons; they could decide to bring pain and suffering to the person they wanted. These gods were finally beaten by two brothers, known as the Hero Twins, who cheated them into their victory, and thus freed the world from the sorrow of the underworld.

 

No matter how many things I read about this, there is no explanation of their after-life beliefs; what makes me think that the creators of GF took the freedom to alter it (not that there is a problem, it is even better like this), or that they went for Aztec culture instead (which does not have a clear explanation either).

 

Of course, Mayan belief is much more extensive, and it is probably more complex than any other culture (at least what remains of it). The problem with it is the many versions one may find of it, none of those complete. What is so fascinating about this civilization is the way in which they disappeared, still without a clear cause.

 

The walking stick is a very interesting symbol. Think about it; you have just died, and you arrived to a place which you had no idea existed. You are confused, yet anxious. A man who presents himself as a “travel agent” tells you that you are not good enough to deserve a decent redemption (in other words, that you wasted your whole life). He hands you over a simple stick, which has nothing but a compass in the handle; is that all fate has to give you?, all you can aspire for? . But the worst still awaits; you now have to endure a four-year walk, throughout a land which not only do you not know, but which is plagued by dangers that might end your ‘death’. Yet, you keep on walking, with a bitter-sweet feeling, scared and angry at the same time, but over all, you are at a new place such as when you were born. But you do not have your parents or relatives to help you, just a walking stick.

 

Sure, it is easy to take a boat trip along the Land of the Dead, or drive through it, or better still, take the Number Nine “which only employs four minutes instead of four years”. But, what about walking your way? I think those with the walking stick are the kind of people which society should be thanking, but instead we forget. Warriors; brave people. Those who stayed at El Marrow are the ones who are just too scared to go on, and so have lost hope in the Ninth heaven.

 

The kind of moral values and strength you need to have to accomplish that four year walk is incredible; I cannot picture myself doing it, yet I can picture myself qualifying for the stick.

 

To shorten it up, we shouldn’t see people like Celso as losers, but as heroes. The man was ripped-off twice, yet he found his wife and he might even have even finished the trip (he wanted to cheat and give up, however). He just kept on going.

 

You can see the Number Nine as a reward; or you might see it as I do, a simple solution, almost equivalent to suicide. One might argue that those who accept rewards are people who only acted to get them; after all, I have heard (and know) about many people who did the most heroic things imaginable, and yet got no reward, in some cases they were not even thanked.

 

Now, talking about train tickets; if these were given based on how many things a person achieved, and leaving sticks to those who didn’t get much, the LotD would be no paradise (it would be more unfair than life, on a way). For instance, think about poor John Smith, who died poor and alone; he might have had a low paying job, yet he gave half of his wage to others who needed it more, but since he had no money he couldn’t buy a big house, get a nice car or get the education he needed to have a career or a family, he achieved nothing, but he was a kind-hearted person. And now, let’s think about Mr. Knight, per say; he has a high paying job (around $2,000,000 a year), he is the owner of a well-known international shoe factory, he has a nice car and he is probably married; oh, but he is no saint, he used to exploit workers in Indonesia, pay millions to celebrities for the sake of publicity and over-price his shoes. To your judgement, who deserves the train, and who deserves the walking stick (for this matter, being thrown from the railway in flames)? The mediocre poor feller or the bastard of the executive?

 

 

About suicide, might Mr. Calavera have killed himself, thus making the DOD force him to pay a debt for the years he must have kept living? This comes together with the “attitude he had towards life” comment of mine.

 

By the way, who rules the Land of the Dead? Or who is the deity behind it all?

 

I have answered many of the things in the thread amongst these paragraphs, just look for it. If I have left anything aside, I’ll take care of it tomorrow, I have an acute headache right now.

Now, meditate around my greatness stupidity.

 

Thank you for your time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*claps* El Virus, you're brilliant! That post of yours had to be the best thing I've ever read on these forums. I adore the way you analyzed the justification of what people get, and what the walking stick means. It brought a lot more light to the entire matter. That should be printed out and framed. :D

 

And suicide is definitely a worthy option. How come nobody thought of it before?

 

Also, thanks for your info on Mayan beliefs. It was very interesting and useful to read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to apologize, this will be too long as well. I am just not able to express my opinion shortly:( :(.

 

VampireNaomi

You are the first person I've met who thinks German is the most beautiful language of all, you know. Wierd. Though I agree it sounds great when sung.

 

Somehow Heaven just sounds really boring and I don't think I'm the only one having slight doubts about it.

I suppose the Christian afterlife 'sounds boring', as you said, because the myth of it isn't detaited and complicated enough. Or at least I've never heared of any developed structure of the Christian afterlife. There's always Dante Alighieri and, perhaps, some others, but if I'm not mistaken it's considered a fiction, not an officially accepted concept.

Besides, an intricate idea of the Thirteen Skies and the Nine Underworlds sounds quite romantic and exotic for us practical earthly people.

 

I think my opinion may have been tainted by the fact that I like the idea of them together, even for a short relationship

I see:). On my part, I've never liked Carla, I think she's really boring. The question is, how did Manny see her: as you do or as I? For me, the answer to this is obvious)).

 

 

El Virus

Carla’s relation with Manny is there. Just as in the Maltese Falcon

I haven't seen the Maltese Falcon, so I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please explain, maybe?

 

There's no doubt the creators of GF altered whatever sources of ideas they had, that's why it is called a creative work and not some scientific exploration (or else they would end up with a Mayan Encyclopedia, not that it would be unwelcome). It's just that uncovering those sources is... enlightening, in the least.

What you said about the disappearing of the Mayan Civilization still remaining an unsolved enigma sounds very tempting. I'm starting to feel that possessing all these books on SA Antient Civilizations and being too lazy to at least skim through them is a real shame.

 

Now, regarding the other points you explained...

 

 

Additional thoughts on the trial of a walking stick.

First of all, while I agree that the unfortunate walking-stick type souls are compelled to begin their journey in an entirely new wold alone and confused, 'like babies', I'd like to add that the society in the LotD is very similar to that one in the LotL, plus, the newlydead souls are mostly fully grown people with quite an experience and capacity, to some extent or the other, at least. This means they have a good chance to accommodate rather quickly.

 

Secondly, on my theory, there have to be quite a lot of walking-stick types: people of average virtues, people with the contradictory character traits, 'no commision low-life cases', and, as I see it, those souls who had worked off their time in the LotD without any great achievements but still earned a trip. These souls are all very different, with their own reasons, merits and demerits; hence they all have different motivations to go on a trip: some, like Celso, calmly accept what Fate has in stock for them and proceed to the best of their ability, others, perhaps, are driven by curiousity or boredom, somebody may fervently want to get their Eternal Rest at any cost.

 

Hmmm... This was, just as I have said, an addition. The idea of some people being too cowardly to even start the journey makes a perfect sense. Thus, we may consider getting a walking stick the first trial of a walking stick, right?

Those a bit more courageous or a bit more stupid than average wouldn't even notice it, I suppose.

 

 

The heroism of one Celso Flores.

Celso Flores, in my opinion, is a kind of guy one would describe, er, 'good'. And then forget about him. Yes, he certainly is not a coward and sometimes can go out of his way - when something he holds most dear is concerned. Yet, I imagine, he wouldn't worry too much about the fates of the others around him or the, well, Fates of the World, so to speak. Mostly, his course of living* is submitting to what he's given, making the best he can of that or gladly accepting something easier - if offered.

 

Is he what you may call a hero? Here we encounter the controversial question as to what does the term 'hero' really mean. Being brave and being a hero aren't the same. I would suppose that heroes are actively brave people, those who are prepared to make a sacrifice if the circumstances require and a right decision in a dangerous situation. Celso is brave - on a personal level, but what he seems to be is a man in search of an as quiet life as possible.

 

Certainly, all the aforesaid might be entirely wrong. In the game, we are able to wacth closely very small number of the souls who have taken their journey seriously. In fact, Celso Flores is the only one of the kind, with a scant mentioning of his wife walking on foot as well. Who knows what implicit qualities we couldn't observe in the game may Celso's soul possess?

 

 

The Suicide Number Nine.

I don't agree with a view on the Number Nine train as 'a simple solution, almost equivalent to suicide', as you described it.

 

Firstly, suicide is not simple, and secondly, it is not a solution at all. Not simple since it causes much harm to all people who care about you; not a solution because it is an escape, escape from difficulties. And the main point here is that as a result of suicide you stop living (I'm not taking into consideration mythological afterlife here).

 

The Number Nine doesn't have to do anything with the life/death issues at all (since in the 8th Underworld you already know for fact that your life is sort of eternal). Hence it has nothing to do with suicide. I'd rather partially compare the NN train to the plain earthly trains we have here in reality. If you are altruistic and generous, you can go to Zimbabwe by train, if you are greedy and egoistic - you go on foot. How does that sound? :) It's good we don't have such a system here, or I'd never see other countries :).

 

However... The idea of NN trains equivalent to suicide becomes fully conceivable with regard to the Mayan believes. If I got it right (and I might not), the ancient Mayans viewed a suicide, if properly* commited, of a person who led a decent live as a straight and easy passage to some land of Eternal Rest. There even was a relatively high-ranked Godess of suicide, Ix Tab, who fetched such souls, among the souls of those who died of childbirth, religious sacrifice or in battle(?), to the Mayan substitute for Heaven.

Or so I've heard; El Virus has a full right to tell me I understand nothing.

 

 

Who Deserves a Number Nine?

This is exactly what has puzzled me all the time, though there may be some explanation to the following which I simply don't remember from the time I played the game or I didn't catch it due to... well, just didn't catch it.

 

In the introduction, Manny says exactly this:

<The four-year journey of the soul> could be very, very dangerous… unless you were to take that money you were buried with and buy a better travel package from us! I mean, wouldn't you rather cross the Land of the Dead in your own sports car, maybe try a luxury ocean cruise, or if you led a very good life you may even be eligible for a ticket on the Number Nine itself. <...> It shoots straight to the Ninth Underworld, the land of eternal rest, in four minutes instead of four years. But very few people qualify.

 

Doesn't the above speech mean that only Saints - 'very few people [who] qualify' - may go to the 9th Underworld? As it seems, the answer is 'yes', and it isn't about the money either: just remember penniless Mercedes Colomar, or that nun Calabaza (by the way, I wonder, what did happen to her Double-N ticket?).

Then, there's another fact which seems to support this idea of true Justice in the LotD: as you accurately noted, El Virus, very rich people are usually sinners, and they are obviously compelled to stay in the LotD instead of given an opporunity to buy their lucky tickets right away (for instance, LeMans, Hurley, Virago, Maximino most probably weren't paupers while alive).

 

And jet Manny mentions some mysterious 'money you were buried with'. Perhaps it may be some traditional reference to the ritual of burying a deadman's possessions with him in his grave(?). Judging by the Flores couple's example, I gather it is safe to assume the money you bring to the LotD are the savings you had at the time you died (Celso's wife had all his money, apparently, as an inheritance). But this assumption doesn't clear out the confusing paradox:

1) if you are wealthy but not Saint enough, your money won't help you;

2) if you are Saint, you don't need money to get the ticket;

3) it is claimed that the Reapers sell the tickets.

I would be really glad to find a logical solution to this seemingly unsolvable headache.

 

Besides, there are two less benefitial than the NN travel packages, which are also somewhat inexplicable: how are you supposed to cross the Sea of Lament in the car, and doesn't actually an 'ocean cruise' imply the existence of a straight water-way from El Marrow to the Portal?

However, this may have some natural explanation we aren't privy to in the course of the game.

 

=================================================

=================================================

About suicide, might Mr. Calavera have killed himself, thus making the DOD force him to pay a debt for the years he must have kept living? This comes together with the “attitude he had towards life” comment of mine.

Oops, seems I don't get it again. What was your 'attitude he had towards life' comment? I've tried to find it on this page but didn't succeed.

As for Manny being suicidal - that's preposterous, if you'd ask me. It's not that the 'debt' they talk about all the time couldn't be a suicide, it's Manny's character himself. Sorry, but this particular type of a man is an eel who'll find a way in every situation possible and impossible as well. And not a samurai to perform a noble harakiri, too :).

 

By the way, who rules the Land of the Dead? Or who is the deity behind it all?

That was supposed to be a question for you, since you claim to know most about Mayans. :) My answer is simple: I have no idea. That Ah Puch guy and his bunch?..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That should be printed out and framed.

 

The whole thread should be printed and framed, but thanks for the kind words.

 

-I think my opinion may have been tainted by the fact that I like the idea of them together, even for a short relationship

 

-I see. On my part, I've never liked Carla, I think she's really boring. The question is, how did Manny see her: as you do or as I? For me, the answer to this is obvious)).

 

I enjoyed Carla's character. I think I spent about forty minutes making chit-chat with her, during the metal detector episode, until both finally had nothing more to say.

 

In the Matlese Falcon (I haven't seen the movie in a while, so I'm talking about the book by Dashiell Hammet), there is some tension between the main character, Sam Spade (who basically is a playboy to put it simple) and his secretary, which in my opinion is some hint of an attraction. I might be mistaken, though.

 

--------------------

 

Additional thoughts on the trial of a walking stick.

It's true, a grown man is more likly to survive alone than a baby. But he would be on a place he is unfamiliar with, and does not even know what to find. It's as if someone blindfolded you and left you in a new territory, Cambodia for example.

 

The heroism of one Celso Flores.

Oh, he was no hero. He disappointed me in the end, when he wanted to get those tickets from Le Mans (if my memory serves me). I would describe him as naive.

Chepito, I think was brave enough. He got to the train station and beyond.

 

The Suicide Number Nine.

I exaggerated there. But suicide may or may not be viewed as a simple solution, depending on you beliefs and culture.

Mayans, as you said, had a goddess devoted to people who ended their lives; and they viewed it as a honorary way of dying. Buddhists, I think, treat it on a similar way.

 

I wouldn't mind walking to Zimbabwe, except for the huge ocean separating me from Africa and the fact that I would have no reason to go there. Whilst I would have to got to the Ninth Heaven.

 

Who Deserves a Number Nine?

This is a complex thing, which I am bascially clueless about.

 

'I would be really glad to find a logical solution to this seemingly unsolvable headache'

 

Plot Hole?, but I am a cynical guy, don't pay attention to me.

 

As for Mercedes Colomar, I think it is very interesting how she was claimed to be a saint, yet she actually seemed the opposite to me. The way in which she evolved, is a good example of how people change in the underworld.

 

And you are right about Manny committing suicide, he seems like a cheerful person willing to go on. I give up on trying to guess the reason for his forced work.

 

And about the ruler of the Land of the Dead, I had in mind something like an elected person.

 

Here are some links to some forum threads:

 

The 'attitude towards life' comment.

 

A whole discussion about the underworlds

 

Bonus:

There is a passage on the Mayan calendar at a certain point.

 

If there is one thing I am certain about, is that the LotD was no utopia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have much to add to this right now, but this caught my interest:

 

Oh, he was no hero. He disappointed me in the end, when he wanted to get those tickets from Le Mans (if my memory serves me). I would describe him as naive.

 

Am I completely wrong if I got the impression that it was Celso's wife who was more interested in the tickets? Sure, she doesn't say anything, but Hector's words to Celso after the decision to accept the offer imply that Celso was being reluctant (perhaps because he didn't want to spend so much money) but his wife might have been intrigued.

 

Naive is indeed probably a good way to describe him. Then again, who could resist Manny's sales speech?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Now I feel really silly about the abnormal length of my previous post. Overkill is my second name; besides, I sometimes enjoy various insipid systems and thoughts. If I were I a bit nicer I'd be Lupe in GF.

 

El Virus

It's as if someone blindfolded you and left you in a new territory, Cambodia for example.

Why blindfolded? You are free to look around and to talk with everybody.

 

I would describe <Celso> as naive. Chepito, I think was brave enough.

Hm, naive sounds like a correct epithet, now that I think about it.

I can't say anything about Chepito, though, cause I didn't understand anything at all about him in the game. He and Carla were the worst doubled voices, and without much sense in their words (I didn't like Carla much because of that, too).

 

I wouldn't mind walking to Zimbabwe, except for the huge ocean separating me from Africa and the fact that I would have no reason to go there.

Oh. Right. Though crossing some tropical jungle and desserts alone, on foot, wouldn't be high on my list of priorities. I suppose.

 

Plot Hole?, but I am a cynical guy, don't pay attention to me.

I'm cinical too (those times when I'm not romantic), so I'm tempted to agree.

 

As for Mercedes Colomar, I think it is very interesting how she was claimed to be a saint, yet she actually seemed the opposite to me.

Well, she certainly had to change a bit, dealing with Domino, but it seems strange to me to question her saintliness. Being a Saint doesn't sound to me equivalent to being flawless and far from the real life. Quite the contrary, even: you can't be detached to be Saint... For me Saints are more like, you know, diamonds in the dust. :rolleyes:

 

Here are some links to some forum threads

Oh, I've read those from the LotD forum before. Now I'll go skim through the Future post as well.

 

VampireNaomi

Yeah, Celso's wife seemed to be a very pragmatical person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why blindfolded? You are free to look around and to talk with everybody.

It came out wrong, it was supposed to be 'blindfolded, for you not to know where you had been taken, and then left alone with your sight un-obstructed'

And you would probably need to know Khmer (or whatever they speak) to talk to Cambodians; but such as with the Zimbabwe example, they cannot be compared to the Land of the Dead.

 

--------------------------

 

Oh, I have started to re-play the game, and came across some interesting dialogues.

 

-Around the end of the beginning cutscene, Manny says that he is tired of clients who can't afford a decent package, and that he needs a dead rich saint.

 

-When talking to Eva, at the first part of the game, she says:

 

"If you sell enough premium packages you will be able to leave the Land of the Dead; until then, our hero and I are trapped in this place"

 

Also,

Manny:"Why do some people have the right to better packages?"

Eva:"Because they lead better lifes"

M: "How do you define a better life?"

E: "Better than yours and mine"

 

She also says that they are restricted from saying what sin they commited to end in the department.

 

-On the second year, at the Calavera Café, Chowchilla Charlie says:

 

"We are all citizens of the same nation, and our king rides a pale horse"

 

What that is supposed to mean, I don't know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"We are all citizens of the same nation, and our king rides a pale horse"

 

I never thought that this meant anything specific. I think Charlie was just underlining the part that they're all dead.

 

EDIT: Hey, wait a minute. Just thought of another paradox.

 

-Around the end of the beginning cutscene, Manny says that he is tired of clients who can't afford a decent package, and that he needs a dead rich saint.

 

This implies that not only do you have to be really good to qualify for a NN ticket, you also have to have a lot of money. So, why exactly does Meche get a ticket? She told Manny that she never earned enough to pay taxes, so she must have been really poor.

 

EDIT2: I was reading some older comments and noticed the Eva/red hair confusion I had earlier. I don't know how I've been able to see her wrong all this time, but somehow I always saw her as wearing a wig. I was really confused as to why she got rid of it when she changed into her LSA costume. :D Lame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

El Virus

You know, maybe I'm just not stubborn enough, but I give up. My brain wilts from this discussion.

 

Apart from that Eva's 'What I did back in the fat days is none of your business. You know the rules' line, which, I suppose, one may understand figuratively (I wonder, though, why it is me who always understands everything figuratively?), those quotes you cited, I'm sorry to admit, puzzle me completely.

'A rich dead Saint' one, especially. My mom used to say this all the time: you can't become really, very rich unless you stain you hands (or unless you create Microsoft, but that happens kind of rarely). If Saints really had to buy their tickets, I think the NN train would have fallen apart from corrosion a long time ago.

 

Maybe this riddle is exactly what it seems to be - a plot mistake? ...Although it seems too big to be so easily missed by creators of GF.

*desperately* Any suggestions?

 

On the second year, at the Calavera Café, Chowchilla Charlie says: "We are all citizens of the same nation, and our king rides a pale horse".

That's from the Book of Revelation. The fourth horseman of Apocalypse is Death, and he is supposed to ride a pale green horse.

 

==================================

Oops, while I typed the above answer there appeared another post.

==================================

 

VampireNaomi

So, why exactly does Meche get a ticket? She told Manny that she never earned enough to pay taxes, so she must have been really poor.

Ditto, mademoiselle. This is an unsolvable mystery, or so it appears to be.

 

I don't know how I've been able to see her wrong all this time, but somehow I always saw her as wearing a wig.

I still don't understand what's that red thing on her pretty skull. Could it be a very strange hat, maybe?..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess we're dealing with a plot hole here. The creators might have missed it because in order to see it, you have to pay attention to certain dialogue lines and be struck with the idea. I didn't see anything wrong with the "sains and money" problem until now.

 

As for the thing on Eva's head, I have no idea. If it's not a wig, then... uh... We're such nerds with analyzing these things and all. :D

 

Damn, my vote still goes for a strange wig. Just see here.

 

That's from the Book of Revelation. The fourth horseman of Apocalypse is Death, and he is supposed to ride a pale green horse.

 

Really? Is there a reason the horse is green? What I always associated with Charlie's comment was those medieval pictures of death riding a skeletal horse. On the other hand, that's also the symbol of the plague so it doesn't work very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VampireNaomi

I guess we're dealing with a plot hole here.

Worse: a plot mistake, as I've said earlier.

 

As for the thing on Eva's head, I have no idea.

It looks a bit like a headscarf, but I've never seen headscarves (or hair) sticking up like that)). It must be some speacial Underworld High Fashion :).

 

Is there a reason the horse is green? What I always associated with Charlie's comment was those medieval pictures of death riding a skeletal horse.

That's just it. Pale green symbolizes pestilence, decay and all those attributes of death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


×
×
  • Create New...