[X] No choice but to hit the books, you can't do it now as you are.
You're not going to have any choice but to get to work if you want to succeed, though you wonder if you have enough books already to get any real progress. You look down at the book in front of you. This is the 'basic' knowledge, so you need to be able read this at the very least.
"If I'm going to do this then, I'm going to need some books to help me along. I don't think I have enough at home." you say to Patchouli, how slowly hovers out of her chair. Koakuma floats seemingly out of nowhere with two books and places them on the table in front of you. You wonder if Patchouli and Koakuma have some sort of telepathic connection. Koakuma flies off again as Patchouli coasts over to a nearby pile of books, rummages through them for a few seconds, then pulls out a book, returning to the table just in time for Koakuma to return with another book, adding the two to the stack in front of you now.
"These should be enough to get you up to the basics," Patchouli says. "Rather than give you a series of books with a slow increase of ability, you should only be able to read most of one of these books. Finishing one is the key to unlocking the secrets of another. It's a bit harder, but it's also easier, especially since it would be difficult for you to carry so many books home by yourself without aid."
You flip open the top book. Seems you can already read this one, but as you flip through the pages, it rapidly shifts into the indecipherable characters. You begin to pick up the books to leave, but then stop yourself. You look at Patchouli, her face buried in her book, surrounded by a ruined library.
"What are you going to do about the library?" you ask.
"Nothing," came the immediate reply. "Koakuma has already begun reshelving the books, and I've already told Sakuya about the issue. Once she's done with her current task, she'll come help with the library."
That's right, there was a particularly dangerous little girl on the loose in the main house. If Sakuya's still taking care of that, you're a bit concerned about leaving while bogged down with books. You realize that you hadn't seen Marisa or Meiling, and after a short check, you spot another open window across the library. Well, figures. Actually you could leave through the window too, should be safer than actually leaving the library.
You decide you'd rather not risk leaving. You haven't felt the house shake in a few minutes, so you're a bit worried that the event has been taken outside. On the other hand, the books themselves are pretty large and even though they feel like they weigh nothing, they'd still be hard to carry, especially while flying. You wouldn't want to ruin Patchouli's books either, they all look hand written. You start to pull out a chair when Patchouli looks up at you, a curious expression on her face.
"You're staying? That's rare." she says, returning her attention to her book. You proceed to take the top book, the one you could understand part of, and open it. Before you can begin though, Koakuma floats over the table and drops off a sheaf of papers and an inkwell, complete with pen. Something odd comes to mind at the sight of this. Koakuma is, apparently, some kind of devil or demon. She's likely bound to Patchouli by a summoning contract, but she seems to act more like one of your dolls, moving by Patchouli's command, fulfilling her unspoken requests, even though she's a living creature. In fact, she seems to be a living example of what you're currently striving to achieve, and you begin to wonder if you could possibly take a shortcut and get your own demon assistant to fill the same needs as an autonomous doll.
You break your train of thought, looking to Patchouli. After a few seconds she seems to notice you looking at her.
"Hmm? What's wrong?"
 "What kind of contract did you make with Koakuma?"  "I've been thinking about getting my own demon servant."  "Ah, nothing."  "What's that book you're reading anyway?"
[X] "What kind of contract did you make with Koakuma?"
Patchouli tilts her head slightly, as if she didn't quite get what you had said.
"Nothing really spectacular, it was a simple summoning procedure actually. She serves my needs when I need her to, and otherwise she gets to spend her free time how she wishes. It would happen that she enjoys books as well, so she's right at home here in the library. The only thing she asks in return is a small amount of life force periodically to sustain her." Patchouli says.
"She requires life force? Isn't that a bit dangerous?" you ask in return. Patchouli shakes her head.
"Not really. For a human, it might be dangerous since they can't easily recover, but for a youkai like you or me, we can recover the loss with some rest." she says. Guess that makes sense, though her words strike you a little strange. Youkai she said, you've heard that a few times since you've been here, but even Alice's memories don't help. All the information you get from her memories are 'I am a youkai', but with no specific memory of what that word means, or what it means for you. From the sound of it, you're not a human by the standard definition of the word, even if you do look like one. You decide to figure that out more later if you can.
"Does it hurt when she takes some life force?" you ask, since you can't imagine it being too comfortable. Patchouli shakes her head again.
"Koakuma is a succubus, so she can make up for the discomfort." Patchouli replies in a rather straightforward manner. You might not be a master of the occult, but you know what a succubus is, and now you can't get the image of Patchouli and Koakuma together out of your head. Patchouli probably knows exactly what you're thinking. "Please stop thinking embarrassing things about me, Alice..." Patchouli says, her cheeks a little red.
You try to put the thought aside for now, but you're sure it'll come back to you later being that it's not entirely unpleasant to imagine.
"All together it's a rather simple process, with no real downside. Come to think of it, it would serve as a good alternative to an autonomous doll, if even temporarily." Patchouli says, setting her book down. "Were you thinking about making a contract?"
 "Yeah, actually."  "Maybe a temporary one, just for some extra help."  "It might be interesting to learn, even if I don't use it."  "Not really, just curious."
[X] "It might be interesting to learn, even if I don't use it." [X] "Perhaps I can think of a variant that will help a bit."
"Hmm, give me a moment." Patchouli says, floating away from the table. You watch as she floats away from the table and vanishes over a bookcase. After a few seconds, you decide to spend your time waiting by starting on the first book you were given. It's a book written by Patchouli, detailing the theory and manipulation of magical elements. The book is divided into elemental chapters, all of which you checka nd find you can read. Where the text starts getting hazy as it progresses into illegible seems to be the beginning of a chapter describing the combination of elemental magic and uses of elements in attacking.
After a few minutes, Patchouli returns holding a rather large book. She sets it down on the table as she lands.
"Why didn't you get Koakuma to get that?" you ask, since Koakuma seemed to do everything else.
"I keep certain sections of the library warded out of safety concerns. Despite her devotion to me, she would be attracted to certain books I have due to the demonic presence they have. While I'm sure I could trust her not to do anything dangerous, there's still the risk she could accidentally mishandle a powerful book or become enthralled by some of the darker books due to similar nature." Patchouli explains. You're a bit worried, if there's books that powerful in the library what would happen if some people were to learn of it? What if Marisa got her hands on one? You remember the bizarre book you saw at Marisa's house, how it has a warning wrapped around it. Well, even if she had some dangerous books she'd probably know enough to keep them from being a problem, but still.
"This book is rather straightforward in the processes of studying, summoning and binding various demons and forces. Incidentially, I wrote an additional chapter that specifically details contracts with vampires, due to conditions here."
You look at the book as Patchouli opens it. Just at a glance, you realize you can read it, and flipping through the back of the book, it doesn't seem that it progresses into the codified script, so the book is within your abilities. Patchouli turns to a section, getting straight to the page she was looking for.
"This section is the kind of contract I made with Koakuma, if you'd like to start here." Patchouli says, returning to her seat and picking up her book again. You look back to the large book, and then to the one on elemental magic you had been reading.
 You'll read about elements later.  You'll be here for a while, you can get to the summoning book later.
To be fair, in /th/ even if nothing else is running there's just so many that people can say "I don't want to get caught up in ANOTHER one of those..."
It seems like everything goes pretty slow except the particularly big ones, too. All it means is that you can take it easy, spend more time doing...something else! Or considering plot points and the like. While it's certainly not going to be fully planned, being a CYOA, it can't hurt to get some ideas floating around.
Well, that and the few people that really look forward to new posts have to wait longer. At least one knew what he was getting into.
Depends on how synched you got with the person for meeting them again. The more synched you were before you jumped bodies, they'll have different reactions mostly regardless of who you are.
For jumping into someone you met, there's really no issue there aside from the fact you'll have a leg up on playing the part. Not that people don't know how certain characters are in the first place, but from a character point of view. I will admit that getting to know another character fairly well, then choosing to force a jump or choosing them whenever the next jump occurs through selections or at the end of a day, will affect the kind of options you will get with said character.
Also, I'm thinking I should start each thread from now on with some kind of hint or riddle pertaining to possible outcomes of choice sequences, because there have been times when options would lead to more exciting or interesting events without seeming all that much different from the other choices.
Opposite case for me, I've hardly even checked /th/ the last week or so because out of all the multitudes of stories supposedly based here, a grand total of none of them actually update regularly. Keep writing and we will come.
[x] You'll be here for a while, you can get to the summoning book later.
The summoning book is within your ability, so it's no challenge to read it. You decide to get back to it later on after glancing over a few pages. You'd rather focus on increasing your own ability for now, since it's more important than something you wanted to know solely out of curiosity. You return to the elemental magic book in front of you and pick up where you left off, the beginning of the Wood chapter.
As you read, you start making notes. At first, taking down point form, basic ideas about the element itself as sort of a quick reference, and picking specific instances of uses mentioned in the book. What strikes you as particularly interesting is Wood's focus on life and awakening. There are many nature centric spells and minor incantations, but there are a few spells for animating simple objects and a few spells with a more healing use, restoring conciousness to sleepers, or comatose people. You even recognize a bare bones version of a spell with a similar use to the Attack Doll spell you devised, and you can't help but smile at seeing it. This piques your interest more, and you decide to change your current goal from reading each chapter in order to doing a quick scan of the various element's attributes.
You read through the book, scanning each section for information, examples and theory, and after what you estimate to be forty minutes, you've created a rough estimate of each element's abilities. Wood, invoking life and awakening; Fire, which creates change and movement; Earth, for foundation and constancy; Metal, slighty ambiguous in differing between the meanings for 'wealth' and 'abundance'; Water, which focuses on silence and purification; Sun, detailing active or ability altering effects and offensive spells, and Moon, for passive effects and defensive spells.
The first things to catch you eye, naturally, are Fire's 'movement', Earth's 'constancy', Wood's 'awakening' and Moon's 'passive' attributes. Naturally, the movement is significant for obvious purposes, but with the combination of Earth, Wood and Moon, you hypothesize it might be possible to create a permanent effect of awakening for mimicing a mind, though the act of actually awakening a mind would require one to exist, a step which still eludes you. A brief headache pains you, and you rub your forehead idly. Maybe if you could create some kind of artificial brain, some kind of focus point to center the spells on, you could enchant it with the ability to react to stimuli as well much like the work in progress already does, but add in some basic routine commands.
You cut off your own train of thought out of surprise. Why hadn't this occured to you before? You look down at the book in front of you, and an odd feeling comes over you. You flip to the second half of the book, and are greeted by the same neatly written text of the rest of the book. There's no way you could have improved from just that little bit of reading, and you start to wonder why this would happen when it occurs to you that you've been sidetracked thinking about a new doll dress pattern. You've gained more access to Alice's memories it seems, and somewhere along the way you received a boost to your ability to comprehend magic. You take a quick look at the other books, curious as to how much more power you have, but are slightly disappointed to find that only one other book has anything you can read before it transforms into the cyptic symbols, but it's an improvement at least.
"You feeling okay?" Patchouli asks, her voice making you jump a bit. You had almost forgotten she was there you were so wrapped up in your thoughts.
 "Yeah, just got a little sidetracked is all."  "I had some amazing clarity there for a moment." [Explain Wood, Earth, Moon theory]  "I had an idea, think you could help me work it out?" [Explain routine commands overlapping with stimulous reponse]
Well, if you've seen the character select options, attempting to be cryptic is something I can half-ass pretty well. Some options don't always lead to something, other than an alternate way of doing the same task that leads to a slightly different, for better or worse, result. Some of the more interesting or exciting/potentially fatal options are pretty clear, like Flandre being loose, while some aren't as clear, such as in a past thread a particular option would have had you run into Ran and Chen.
Patchouli listens to you as you explain your theory about the elemental combination, how you think it would be possible to create a spell to awaken a mind of sorts, providing one could be made.
"Hmm, that theory is actually quite plausible and likely what you'll need to effectively make use of an artificial mind, but the problem is still, as always, the difficulty of creating a working brain from nothing. Creating a set of instructions to be followed with requirements and exceptions is one thing, but adding all the difficult extras like mood, discretion, free will, independant thought... That's going to be the hard part. Creating a doll that follows orders would be entirely possible for you to do as you are, so long as you use that combination spell, though what you're after is a doll that thinks and moves on it's own, right?"
You think for a moment. You could create a doll that followed a routine set of commands and operated on autopilot, but is that what Alice is after?
 "I think I'd be fine with a doll that moves and follows orders on it's own."  "Right, I want it to be able to do what I ask it in it's own way."
[x] "Right, I want it to be able to do what I ask it in it's own way."
"Then you're going to need to practice and study until you can create the basic effects needed. You're after some very powerful magic, and honestly I wouldn't expect it to be possible without some genius stroke of luck or an existing sample of a living doll to study."
You look back at the book for the 'basics'. Just to understand that you're going to need to go through several books, and there's still more beyond it, including creating the spell itself, and you have no idea who you'll wake up to being one day. It all seem's like so much to take in, it's starting to get to you. You feel like you should take a bit of a break.
 Check out the summoning book  Talk to Patchouli  Find something else to read  Study anyway
"Hey, Patchouli." you say, looking across the table at her. She looks up from her book.
You find yourself at a loss for words. You didn't really think of anything to say, and you're not entirely sure of what you can say or ask without looking weird. Aside from the apparent knowledge that Patchouli has been here for at least a hundred years and she's a magician youkai, you don't seem to know too much more.
"I've decided to take a short break from studying for now, and I was kind of curious about a few things related to you." you say. Patchouli seems a little surprised, but she nods anyway.
 "Why do you live in the Scarlet Devil Mansion?"  "Why did you summon Koakuma?"  "Are there any books in this library you can't read?"  "What is that book you're reading?"
So, someone said something about walls, so have some walls. Impending original backstory.
[x] "Why do you live in the Scarlet Devil Mansion?" [x] "Why did you summon Koakuma?" [x] "Are there any books in this library you can't read?"
Patchouli reclines in her seat, as if thinking. Koakuma swoops by with some tea, pouring cups for the both of you.
"From what I understand, Remilia met my mother long ago, when she was a girl living on the streets. At the time, Remilia had decided to take the girl as a meal, though when she attempted to attack, she was surprised to find that despite her young age she could cast magic." Patchouli said, taking a sip of her tea. "Remilia has always had a fascination with power, and she offered the girl a life in her mansion, to keep her as something of a pet. It was a rather whimsical act that no one would even notice, a homeless girl vanishes from the street in the night, and all she had to her name was a tattered book no one could read. No one but her at least."
Patchouli looks down at the book sitting in front of her as if recalling something. She idly runs her fingers along the edges of the pages for a second.
"She was given a rather exquisite life, able to roam the house as she pleased, eat all the fantastic meals made by the butler at the time, a very peculiar man. She was given a room in the far corner of the mansion," Patchouli continues, looking around at the library. As if in response, you start looking around as well, expecting to see something when it occurs to you that this library is in a far corner. You look back at Patchouli, who is smiling. "This was my mothers room. Once it was little more than just a small room, no more than a walk in closet. During the day she would sit in her room and read her book, over and over, and at night she would go outside and play with Remilia. Well, one day," Patchouli stops for a moment, pulling a small slip of paper out of seemingly nowhere and sliding it into the book as a marker, she closes it. "She asked for a pen and some paper. She didn't go outside that night, or the next night. Remilia was wondering why her pet human was being so quiet, and when she went to check, she found her, stained with ink and beaming over a pile of papers, each written in the same strange language as the book she read. It was the first magic book she wrote."
Patchouli takes another break to drink some tea. She takes a few seconds to get back to her story as she spends a few moments seeming to piece together the words in her mind.
"Every once in a while, she would ask for more ink and more paper, and a few days later she would have a new ink-stained stack of papers, written in the same language, each of them bound with string. After several months, Remilia has become a little annoyed by the constant requests, and went to her pet's room, only to find it packed nearly wall to wall with crudely fashioned books. They were magic books, as she explained to Remilia. They were nothing like the books in here now, filled with detailed theory and ritual procedures, they were the scattered thoughts of a girl's wild imagination for the impossible. To keep her pet happy, Remilia rebuilt the room, so it was a proper sized bedroom." Patchouli takes another moment with her tea. You decide to take a sip of yours as well, rather enjoying the taste. It has a very peculiar metallic taste to it, but it's faint enough that you almost can't notice it.
"The years pressed on, and Remilia eventually lost interest in her pet, but never asked her to leave the house. Instead, she would visit from time to time, finding her buried in a pile of paper, or asleep on a half written stack. She would occasionally leave the house, having grown up enough to manage the trip to the nearby town on her own, carrying stacks of her crude books and returning with a pouch full of coins. Remilia found this particularly interesting, and followed her one day to find her selling the papers to a bookstore. Every once in a while, the girl would leave with new books or incense rather than money. Eventually, she started returning more with books then money, and her room had to be rebuilt once again. Despite the hassle, Remilia allowed it out of curiosity. It wasn't too long later that the girl grew into a woman, and with her age came her new power, having fully become a magician and no longer being a human. She celebrated this occasion with Remilia, who had finally become curious enough as to take a look at the books her former pet had been writing."
Another brief tea break occurs, with Koakuma dropping by the table with a small plate of some kind of pastry. You're somewhat curious as to where she keeps bringing things from, though you decide it's not that important.
"My mother shared her books with Remilia, even though she couldn't read any but one. SHe offered to teach Remilia, though she declined, stating that she was just curious and would be able to figure it out on her own. In the long run, she did, even though she had to flat out lie about why she kept getting caught sneaking into the room to take another book. My mother would mention magic while talking with Remilia, and find ways to slip bits of knowledge into casual conversation, teaching her small tricks as if it was part of normal conversation. Whether or not Remilia caught on, I don't know, but she didn't question it either. During all this time, the room kept being rebuilt, due to an increasing number of books being written and purchased. She had become rather proficient in binding her own books, even going so far as to find a regular publisher, which was rare at the time. Several decades passed, and the room had become a library at that point, with my mother located in the center of it all, constantly reading new books or writing more."
"It was several more decades later that the publisher stopped accepting books written by my mother, as they were coming under attack for involvement in magic. There was an increasing awareness of the subject, and more and more people were becoming afraid. People who were accused of being magicians were being attacked more and more, so my mother stayed inside every day, reading and writing more books. Despite the danger, she would still leave the house on occasion, though Remilia never paid it much mind until my mother returned on day, hand in hand with the son of the publishing company's owner. He had been buying her books in secret and publishing them through the company under false pretenses, and in the process they fell for each other, even though he was a human and she was a magician. The original intent was for my mother to leave Remilia's estate and settle in another country, and they lived in peace for several years, even after I was born. The peace lasted until they were smoked out by devious hunters, magic users captured and forced to find and kill other magic users. My father was killed, and my mother went into hiding with me."
Patchouli takes another break, refilling her cup of tea and taking one of the pastries from the plate.
"That's when the incident that gave Remilia her title occured. The strange deaths in the area attributed to vampires, and the hunters that went searching for the devilish monster turning up dead and mutilated. Every once in a while someone would vanish, only to appear back in town on the edge of death, ranting and raving about a scarlet devil, a winged girl red with blood of her meals, who lived in a huge red mansion. There were plans to attack the mansion, and many captured magicians were to be used to try to fight the mistress, Remilia. My mother, worried for her friend, returned to the house to warn her, but she was followed by the hunters, and in the battle that ensued Remilia treated my mother as a traitor and fought against her and the hunters. They had no chance at all, Remilia wasn't the only vampire in the mansion, and Flandre's fearsome power was known for the first time as she wiped out legions of men and women with her terrible strength, with Remilia at her side. In the process, my mother was fatally wounded when a defense spell she had cast improperly failed to ward off a magical attack intended for Remilia and pierced her spell. It wasn't until the battle was over that Remilia realized that she had been mistaken, and it was too late for her power to change her friends fate. As my mother died, her only request was to make sure I was properly taken care of. Being a natural born magician, raised on magic books, I was given the old library here, named in honour of my mothers dedication to her art. So here I am, a hundred more years later, continuing to add to the library."
Patchouli stops once again to drink her tea, and looks around the library once more.
"Koakuma's summoning was rather selfish. I had wanted help with the library, due to the large amount of work that needed to be done, but I also intended to use her as a guide of sorts, as I was dabbling in magic to move between worlds. I had first intended to try to travel between the realms of the dead to find my mother, and hoped that by summoning a demon it would make exploration of Hell easier, but despite the ease involved in summoning her, casting a spell to travel across myself proved more than I could handle. When I finally did manage to cast the spell, the gate collapsed almost immediately, and every attempt afterwards failed similarly. Koakuma was at a loss for an explanation, and I've never been able to figure out the flaw with the spell, so the original intent has gone unfulfilled, though now she's become a rather essential part of the library out of her own love for books."
Patchouli looks down at the book on the table in front of her, running her hand across the cover.
"There are many books here in the library, many of which I wrote, many written by my mother or by others. There are still many books here I haven't read, and there are still a few I have yet to learn to read, including some of the books written by my own mother. However, I haven't seen very many books in the last ten or so years that push the limits of my skill, and I've little less than a thousand books left in this library to read, so I'm not sure if there are any books here that could prove to be the key to these secrets. I would love to find one though, as the very last book my mother ever wrote is beyond me, and I would really love to read her final book of magic." Patchouli says, stopping to think for a moment, then getting a rather curious expression.
"Thinking of powerful magic books reminds me that i've never gotten to read the grimoire you carry. I'd like to take a look at it some time if you don't mind." she says. Come to think of it, you don't remember much about the book either. Even with the recently recovered memories, you have no information other than the fact it's a powerful magic book. Doesn't help you much that it's lying on a table back at Alice's house. You suddenly remember the hole you put in the window as well. Damn it. Whether it was subconscious reflex, you find yourself looking out a nearby window. It looks to be past noon already. Has it been that long? You stretch a bit in your seat, having gotten a little stiff from sitting still listening to Patchouli.
"That's quite a remarkable story," you say. "I'll bring my grimoire the next time I have to come by to return your books."
Patchouli replies with a nod, flipping the book in front of her back open to the marker and returning to her reading. You feel a bit better now that you've had a bit of a rest, though you still don't quite feel like going back to studying.
 This spell isn't going to make itself.  Pack up the books and head home.  Let's take a look at that summoning book.
>[ ] This spell isn't going to make itself. >[ ] Take a look at the summoning book. DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! GRIMOIRE IS NOT IN CURRENT POSSESSION! MARISA IS NO LONGER BUSY WITH FLAN! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! ROUTE FAILURE EMINENT!
Furthermore that we haven't been carrying the grimoire or using Shanghai, is a kind of an obvious sign something is wrong with us.
[x] Pack up the books and head home. [x] "You're so kind to me." Peck Patchouli on the cheek again before you go.
We'd need a contract with the autonomous doll, at least temporarily, so it doesn't run away or try to kill us until we've become sure it. We have to some way of actually create it first, though, so archive that idea.
Tons of plenty of leads now.
Thinking as Alice:
>What strikes you as particularly interesting is Wood's focus on life and awakening. There are many nature centric spells and minor incantations, but there are a few spells for animating simple objects and a few spells with a more healing use, restoring consciousness to sleepers, or comatose people. You even recognize a bare bones version of a spell with a similar use to the Attack Doll spell you devised, and you can't help but smile at seeing it.
Focus on wood elements, because they seem to be most relevant to creating life ex nihilo. If we could carve the doll our of some rare or mystical wood, all the better. Or use warp wood spells for finer details.
Other than that, ransack Marisa's apartment, looking for any materials that may be relevant.
>existing sample of a living doll to study
Find Medicine. She was chatting with Alice at the SSiB party scene. Maybe she said where she lived.
More interestingly, Shanghai. Objects used frequently over time and are well cared for, can develop a spirit (check PMiSS). Shanghai has been around Alice & her magic for so long, she may already have autonomous capability, but with too little to detect or will reason to use it. We should give her own internal magic reservoir, and try one of those awakening Plant spells to snap her into livelihood once we take the ring off. Or with the ring on, get her to perform an action the other dolls would require more specific instructions. Honestly, if there's any doll that deserves autonomy, it's Shanghai.
Remember to bring a donation. Yeah, sure she's on to us, and will probably come after us if we cause an incident by letting Marisa use the grimoire, but otherwise she likely won't do anything bad to us. We need to know if there's divine magic that creates life from nothing. We can also maybe after some drinks (BYOB) clear up some past issues regarding Shinki and the Makai attack. Remember to bring a donation. Marisa is more likely to be there than her house at this time of the day.
Thinking as the Outsider spirit, not Alice:
>Maybe if you could create some kind of artificial brain, some kind of focus point to center the spells on
Need computer parts. Where would computer parts be? Does Alice know what a computer is? Probably not. But would she know where we could go to find Outsider paraphernalia? Definitely Kourindou, possibly the Kappa. Also, ball-bearing joints. Titanium endoskeleton. Prosthetic skin. The list is likely endless.
Here, Eientei deserves special mention because there's probably Lunarian tech that could aid us if we brought it up as AI. We could probably drop our cover a little there too, because those two know what it's like to be hunted.
Finally, if we're going to create a "learning" AI doll, we need it be able to rewrite its own "brain" to some degree. We need it to be able to change its own code, and write new code, based on new information or a failure. Replace "change code" with "cast magic (self)" and you'll understand. So first thing to do when we get it perceive and store memory, have it memorize our spells.
Assuming a CPU is the active thinking part, we need something to store the data (in addition to the CPU cache), RAM for short term and solid-state memory for long term: A long-term electrical power source, which we can try to use magic & a battery back-up for.
Hey EZMode, would it possible to transfer into Shanghai or another doll if she's autonomous?
Is it possible to bind the doll with a contract with the autonomous doll (assuming it's not Shanghai) to seek our spirit, even if in a different body?
I don't think we want the doll to follow us. First off, we're trying to make it autonomous, second is that it would make it that much easier to track us down: once Komachi figures out that the doll follows us, she'd be trailing it all the time.
[X] Pack up the books and head home. [X] "You've been so kind to me." Pause and fiddle with a few strands of Patchouli's hair.
That action is a little more intimate than just a peck on the cheek, but still something that we could possibly pass off as a friendly gesture. It's a good way to subtly convey our interest in her again. Ideally, we should do it as close to her face as possible, without actually touching her skin.
> Furthermore that we haven't been carrying the grimoire or using Shanghai, is a kind of an obvious sign something is wrong with us.
More like they suffer from 'Wizard's Familiar'. They don't exist until you need them. I keep forgetting the minor details due to the fact that Alice is pretty much the only person in Gensokyo that carries around an army of dolls and a book.
> Objects used frequently over time and are well cared for, can develop a spirit
*cough* Huh? I didn't hear that...
> Find Medicine. She was chatting with Alice at the SSiB party scene.
Shit, now I need to read SSiB to make sure I'm not walking into any more traps when I think there's no way a character should know of another.
> Hey EZMode, would it possible to transfer into Shanghai or another doll if she's autonomous?
You could transfer into any doll, autonomous or not, you'd effectively animate it.
>Definitely Kourindou, possibly the Kappa. Also, ball-bearing joints. Titanium endoskeleton. Prosthetic skin. The list is likely endless.
Trying to build a Shangainator here? There are some interesting leads indeed, and there are alternatives that are easy but have drawbacks, and even some alternatives that haven't been brought up yet. There's on thing though that I've been keeping on my mind, and unless it's another miscalculation on my part, it's pretty funny. Well it'd be funny either way, but I don't really want to state it and ruin it, since it is such a source of amusement.
I'm thinking tomorrow I'll be likely having write-ins only for some parts, because I pretty much agree with a lot in >>41462 as far as leads go, and I want to see the kinds of things Anon can come up with. Admittedly, the various options are only really there to distract you from focusing on studying to break up the long periods of finding new ways to write 'You read a book and write stuff down'. On the other hand, there's been some pretty good progress, and I'm actually surprised that there's been little need for trial and error or having to go back and redo something. With a high sync and so much progress done in Alice's route, all you have really in front of you is the monumental hurdle of achieving something that should be impossible, and you have the means to achieve it, it all comes down to the correct choices.
Also, I have a hint for progressing towards the 'best' path. If this is too obvious, feel free to laugh and abuse the knowledge easily gained to make the unmakable, cast the uncastable, row row fight the power.
Hint: Illusions in a mirror, how many similarities are there? A reporter, a ghost, a demon of the night. The key is in my reflection.
>*cough* Huh? I didn't hear that... Marisa's broom is a good example, there, though magic accelerated the process.
It's part of the Shinto beliefs. Basically, everything has a spirit, some greater than others. This being the case, those which are given more attention (i.e. believed in/used by more people) are stronger and more developed. Even inanimate objects can become alive and animate, given enough time and reverence from humans.
This being Gensokyo, belief is EVERYTHING. Humans' fear of the dark, and things that would eat them lurking in it, created Rumia. So, if enough people strongly believe that Shanghai is alive and not just a doll, it becomes the truth.
I know a bit about youkai from looking up information previously, I spent some time researching Japanese mythology since it's part of my overall interest in folklore, something I've had an interest in long before Touhou, so the Scarlet sisters' mythology based items/attacks kind of threw me off a bit when I first heard of them.
It's just that I'd rather try to avoid some of the more obvious answers. Not to say that all the 'obvious' answers would be avoided. Clever application of metaknowledge to direct towards in character knowledge and then applying particular special abilities would be an alternate path towards success, but would count as an alternative solution and would have some slight drawbacks. There is one goal, but a lot of roads that lead there. Only a few of them have no consequences of note.
Hint: Illusions in a mirror, how many similarities are there? A reporter, a ghost, a demon of the night. The key is in my reflection.
Reporter: Aya, I can't think of any other meaning. The key... A camera? You 'reflect' what has happened in a previous scene in life on film.
Ghost: Yuyuko or Youmu, or... us? Key, well, the only thing I can think of right now refers back to the camera, the superstition of ghosts appearing in pictures, and the superstition of cameras taking one's soul.
Demon of the night: Remilia or Rumia. Though, Remilia has a closer connection to the key in a sense. Vampires don't have a reflection in a mirror.
Hey, the camera idea was a nice one, but I ended up focusing more on the Aspect of the Ghost Vs the Vampire. One Is a Soul, and therefore has a reflection, but the other Doesn't have a soul and no reflection. Both are able to act and think autonomously (And Aya probably could, too, if she bothered to think)
>>41704 No, but the statement is true all the same. Gods die without faith, youkai can spawn - ex nihilo - from concepts given enough belief, and belief in the Hakurei Border is one of the main things keeping it up (according to the Mountain of Faith prologue). The evidence is there.
And Gensokyo does bear some strange similarities to Sigil, in some ways. This should be explored.
>The key is in my reflection. I see Nitori looking in a mirror.
>>41705 In during Yukari as the lady of pain. Found it on /tg/ once.
Anyway I was thinking, maybe build our self a body? Like a full human sized doll that looks as real as possible that we can use as our own body?
We can posses it when we want to move around as an individual, it's not fair to be Alice for all eternity, yet we'll still be able to jump out of it and posses others if we want. We can make them protect the doll when we're not using it.
There are no gains to be made from this, since we can jump directly into others' heads immediately once a night. As an individual with no resources, abilities, or history, we'd be left extremely vulnerable.
Remember: Our prerogative is to bring the long term goals of whomever we are inhabiting closer to reality, that's what our moral justification is, that's what improves our synch ratio, and that's what improves our karma for when we (likely) get judged in the end game.
Creating our own body would aid no one. It's a waste of Alice's time & resources and would only result in bad karma. When we've done everything we can for Alice, we should simply move to possess another Touhou.
Secondly, Komachi likely can't see our spirit because it's hidden amongst Alice's (probably has something to due with synch). To possess an object would make us readily apparent to Komachi that we're the escapee.
Anyway if we're going to possess and animate an object, it would be easiest to do so to one of the dolls Alice has already made (Shanghai, Hourai, etc.). That way we can explain who we are, what we did to her, and why in a less-than-threatening manner. If she's grateful, she can help us somehow (giving Komachi & Reimu misinformation, pretending she was never possessed, aiding our next host, tutoring us, etc.) instead of reporting to others once she realizes what has happened.
Part of me hopes my hint isn't so obscure or cryptic that no one could figure it out, but part of me also doesn't want to get it figured out. Then again, it's perfectly fine for a hint towards a best end to be hard.
Also, going with [X] Pack up the books and head home. [X] "You've been so kind to me." Pause and fiddle with a few strands of Patchouli's hair.
Because even though it wasn't the first choice won, this surpassed it in votes.
Well, there are plenty of things that can become obvious signs of trouble. The question is how good you can get at hiding them or explaining them away. At the very least, building yourself a body for some OC roaming action would be safer for you than wandering as just a soul OC. At least for now.
>>41724 Well I dunno, you could have Alice build a body then stash it somewhere safe. From the body you can make jumps after hiding it away again and use your new character to provide it with some new protection or power, how about a body that's had augmentation from Marisa and Patchy as well? We could be pretty powerful, maybe even bound into the doll enough to stop anyone from forcing us out easily.
>Illusions in a mirror, how many similarities are there? >A reporter, a ghost, a demon of the night. >The key is in my reflection.
First line: Sounds like any one of a million puzzle games. 'find the difference between these two pictures'
Reporter: I think everyone agrees that it's aya, though it could be a differnt kind of reporter. Maybe a 'reporter' of the presence of spring?
A Ghost: Yuyko, Mima, Youmu. Each has interesting ideas why you might need to work with them. Then again, it may be a 'ghost' of a different type. 'ghost' of a season passed mayhaps?
Demon of the Night: Yeah, obvious thing here would be Reimila, possibly with her manipulation of fate. However, It could easily be another 'demon' of the night, given the phase of the moon.
'The key is in my reflection' Sounds like something from Harry Potter, the stone being hidden in the mirror's reflection, or any one of a dozen of other word plays where the 'key' is hidden exactly where it says in the rhyme/riddle but seems to be an impossible location. It could also be a different kind of reflection, specifically inner reflection.
>>41748 If you don't mind letting go another hint, are they more to do with Japanese mythology? You've mentioned your interest so I'm wondering if they aren't direct allusions to Touhou characters but rather the creatures of folklore?
It has no connection to mythology, but rather related to a work of fiction. It has a few similarities to Touhou, and shares the named elements. Understanding the illusion in the mirror, Alice's reflection is the key.
I may be subverting my own hints by doing this, but meh. On a related note to mythology though, my variations of characters have some basis in true legend, as evidenced by the character select options. I've been working on some rather interesting ways of obscuring character selections in the future though. My past efforts have seemed to cause a bit of confusion for some, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I can utterly confound everyone to the point they choose blindly.
EZMode, your Alice and Raymoo inspired this fluff. I hope you're going to take responsibility.
"You've been acting differently Alice. Is there a reason for that?" The miko says flatly while glancing at you.
"Have I been doing something wrong?" You turn to her and ask, with a concerned face.
"Not wrong, just... different." Still impassive, she takes another sip from her tea and glances at you again.
"Well after procrastinating for so long on it, I have become possessed--yes, that is the word--possessed with this undertaking on doll autonomy." You are amazed you can manage to keep a straight face while saying this.
"...Is that so?" Reimu narrows her eyes when you say "possessed" and turns her head toward you with that piercing stare.
"Yeah, it feels immensely liberating to be actively pursuing goals after procrastinating so long for fear of failure." You allow yourself a faint smile as you say this. Reimu says nothing but angles her face slightly, while maintaining her tense posture. You continue: "I feel like an entirely new person. Even if this feeling is only temporary, I can only hope the future will be brighter because of what I have accomplished for myself during this time." Reimu's eyes search your face rapidly for a moment before she relaxes her muscles and her expression returns to her normal impassive gaze.
"I hope so too..." She turns her face from you back to staring at the shrine grounds, "...Alice." You watch her for a few seconds as she closes her eyes and starts sipping at her tea again. You turn to gaze at the sky blue and sunny sky and allow yourself a slight grin.
When you finish your tea, you hand the cup & saucer to Shanghai, whom you manipulate to successfully place the items in the miko's kitchen sink. You realize that Reimu must have brought out Western style tea cups specially for Alice, and your grin broadens.
Shanghai back at your side, thinking it may be best to leave, you clutch the grimoire against your chest tightly with both arms and stand up from your sitting position on the shrine porch. Unable to find the right parting words, you end up pursing your lips and regarding the silent, unmoving miko with a quizzical expression. You close your eyes attempting to recall from Alice's mind exactly what her relationship is with the shrine maiden.
Many images run through your head: flashes of the mother figure's warm smile, of the desperate, pitched fight against a younger Reimu, of horrified screams as the mother figure crumples in front of the miko, of the grimoire and rancor and that girl's determined face as she weaves inexorably through wave after wave of bullets and lasers toward you, of looking up at that same face as you're carried away from a collapsing reality towards--mental block.
"Dammit. Probably a lack of sync; I'll have to improve on that later," you think to yourself. The next accessible memories regarding the shrine maiden skip a few years toward the more recent: of losing battle after battle until that long night where you and Marisa teamed up against her. Of the shrine, parties, of her incredible tolerance to alcohol. Of her brutal honesty, her fearlessness and tirelessness when it counts, her temper and stinging wit. Of occasional smirks, rare giggles, and eyes that sometimes betray the emotions she tries to hide behind her face. "Wait," you think. "Emotions hidden behind the eyes?" You review all those prior flashbulb images of the miko while concentrating on the eyes instead of the face as a whole. And then you realize those eyes have been trying to say something. A single word.
The miko is still sitting there, her empty tea cup in her hands, when you break out of reverie. The only change in her position is that her eyes are open and she's staring lower at the ground now. You move to stand in front of her, blocking out the sun and casting a shadow over the hunched shrine maiden, who only closes her eyes as in expectation. You allow yourself a grin broader than Alice would ever make and think, "Are you expecting I'm going to confess to the possession just like that? Oh no, silly miko, we have other confessions to make."
With that grin plastered across your face, you bend down towards her until she can feel your breath on her right ear. You see her tense, and you can see from Shanghai's position that her eyes open wide. Not wasting a moment, you whisper in a lower pitch than Alice would normally use but still softly: "She forgives you."
She immediately looks up to you, but her dilated pupils take in only the blinding sun, causing her to flinch: You've already taken off toward the forest at full speed. Moving as if to shield her eyes, Reimu frowns as she notices the two pieces of china in her hands are clattering, so she places the tea cup & saucer down on the shrine porch next to her gohei. You know this because you left Shanghai there at her side. Reimu quickly notices the doll moving into her field of vision and reaches for her gohei reflexively, but her movement stops when she sees what Shanghai is cradling. It's the Reimu doll you were hiding under the grimoire. There is a note attached that reads "donation".
Leaving the other doll in Reimu's lap, Shanghai bows and turns away just as Reimu trembles and covers her mouth, and you hear through Shanghai what must be the miko's suppressed sobbing. Shanghai recedes from the Shrine towards the forested spot you've been waiting at, but the sounds do not stop; rather, as the sound from the shrine passes out of Shanghai's hearing range, it is complemented by the increasing sound your own ears register. The gesture seems to have overwhelmed the Alice in you, and you yourself having no reason to fight these cathartic tears, let them out.