View Full Version : Avoiding "Loopholes..."

2009-12-10, 01:38 PM
I like Persona 3's overall style more than Persona 4 (more horrific/dangerous as opposed to more mysterious), but I feel like it has more loopholes to it.

In Persona 3--I don't think this is spoiler: I'm just going to describe the dark hour--there are more than 24 hours in the "day." At midnight, everything stops and the 'dark hour' takes place. The dark hour doesn't necessarily last an hour, but it is a point in time where (again,) everything stops until it is over. Everyone 'transmogrifies' into coffins and is effectively 'unconscious' for the duration of the dark hour, and electronics do not work. Certain individuals do not transmogrify, and may be able to utilize the power of "persona"--they can use magic, effectively. Shadows prey on people who have not transmogrified, as the majority cannot use their personae.

I feel like there are quite a few paradoxes in this approach, what happens to things that were moving, such as monorails and cars? If they stop, do they immediately resume at the speed they were going? Sure, this would be the most unnoticeable approach, but people who are not transmogrified can move around. I don't really get the coffin thing, I imagine it's supposed to be creepy, but it creates proximity and position issues. If people are, for example hugging, are they pushed away from one another far enough to turn into non-"clipping" coffins? They move back together afterward? There are a few other ones that came up, but I have no problem willfully suspending disbelief--things just become more believable if you don't have to, naturally.

Persona 4 is a bit more subtle with its approach to 'the other world.' (I don't think you'll lose anything from playing the game by reading the below block, but you may.)

Persona 4 simply has the strange reality parallel, for the most part. There is an alternate world connected to our own by TVs. This plane is effectively a dreamscape. This is where the player explores things and "plays" the game.

The paralell, alternate reality leaves less loopholes because the world doesn't have to stop.

I like the idea of having a modern-day, 'no one will believe us' sort of mystery, where one can't provide concrete evidence of the mystical crimes because they are, effectively, fake to those not 'connected.'

What are some good ways to include a 'separate reality' with the least amount of loopholes? I think it's cooler when there is no barrier, and one can't choose when to enter it (I.E. You can't change when the dark hour happens).

2009-12-10, 04:06 PM
Well, it seems to me that the most common way to deal with it is to have some sort of macguffin to activate a crossing between realities. Or in the case of something more like the dark hour, where normal people are "coffinated", the macguffin would allow the person to be aware and act in it.

2009-12-10, 04:08 PM
I once ran a game that had an alternate reality. The PC's (and others) got sucked into the other world for 3d12 hours every time one of them saw their own reflection. When one person entered the other world everyone that had this ability were forced into it too and since the other world was a twisted nightmarish thing this wasn't pleasant for anyone.

The BBEG was someone that learned how to use stuff in the other reality to change stuff in our reality.

2009-12-10, 04:12 PM
Well, in my opinion, the methods used for each were supposed to sort of symbolize a message. One was more about living in one way or another with the time you have, so the medium was a time period. The other, it was looking at yourself in a new light and accepting or not accepting that, so they used a TV, where they could look at themselves or others from a sort of third person view.

Pick what sort of theme and message you want to get across, use that as the medium, then try and iron out why other people can't do it, or don't do it.

2009-12-10, 05:13 PM
I haven't played the game, but I always understood Persona as intentionally being a head-trip and reality distortion. That is, you're no longer in the real world - you're in some kind of twisted demon world that mimics the real world. Standard physics wouldn't apply, so things like airplanes hanging stationary in the air wouldn't be as unusual.

When everything is "fixed", the real world reasserts itself and things immediately go back to normal. Momentium is conserved, so a car that was in motion is still in motion, although people may have an "eerie feeling" from the event.

As for the classic "put everyone in town to sleep" plotline, it's normally assumed that anyone hit by the sleep-command has the time to subconciously pull to the side of the road before passing out. Or not, and you end up with sleeping bodies splattered across the road and fires spreading throughout the city.