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Dec 10, 1932 ~ 6 min read

This is the choice of Steins;Gate

#Steins;Gate #theory #video game

Steins;Gates also known as シュタインズ・ゲートい is a visual novel launched in 2009 in Japan.

The story revolve around a group of friend which involve:

A image of Daru
Darue, a fat dude who pass his time playing video games and takes amusement hacking top world administration if he's not
A image of Mayuri
Mayuri, a young girl who seems totally out of it constantly
and a pseudo-complotist-mad scientist creating wild non-working invention, Okabe.

And one day, this phoney-scientist have the brillant idea to put a banana in one of his altered device; a microwave.

With this more than questionable experiment, he, in fact, unveiled one of the upmost blackbox known to mankind; the first time machine is born.

Yet, this strinking creation falling into the hands of a nobody don’t please everyone. The SERN’s agents (not a typo here) will track our protagonists to stop them meddling with time.

The story indulges the many hardships our heroes will be going through to escape the SERN’s shenaningans. However, a chase through time implies serious consenquences.

That summarizes the story in a nutshell.

Nobody knows what the future holds, that’s why its potential is infinite.

Time travelling is not one of the most recurrent tropes in fiction for peanuts. This allow the authors to explore as many scenarii as they feel and as many themes they want; it brings a lot of possibilities.

What’s adding charm to this trope is its inclusiveness (in a way.)

If you are someone like me who can’t really understand the math notions behind time and those worringly look like millenium problems, that’s ok. It’s even better as you can entertain phantasm only limited by your imagination. Everyone once yearned to turn back into time, that for a bad grade, missed opportunities or to see the wolrd in another fashion like uchronia.

Dear traveller, let me ask you a question off topic; Why or for what would you turn back into time? The comment section awaits you.

To hop back into the topic at hand, even if time travel is certainly an amazing concept, it cames with downsides. It unlocks pretty much any theme for the scenarist to dive in, but as a result, there is something that take a toll; coherence and world building.

To not fall in fallacy, one’s story-teller must be tactful and experienced with this subject. Otherwise, we fall into paradoxes or even worse, retcons. The thing a good story wants to avoid at all costs is to lost what we call the suspension of disbelief from it’s reader. Once lost, the story can’t regain its impact.

And that’s what makes Steins;Gate truly formidable. The way it deals building a time travel-focused world, but stays coherent from beginning to end, is a feat of strenght for a text-narrated game of 45 hours.

This is the story of those who fought against God’s final warning — an epigraph of their obsession.

As I said earlier, Steins;Gates use time travel as a narrative tool but also reflects on it. This illustration became especially noticable through the journey of two key characters:

Okabe, the main character, will start off as a childlish but witty auto-proclaimed mad scientist. However, as he begins to realize the magnitude of his discovery and the consequences that came with it, the need to mature and grow a backbone become necessary.

A nobody is given god’s power and will face concept such as determinism and fatality.

The dilemmas the game cover are the following:Why should I care about the consequences of my actions if I can jump through time and redo everything ? Shall a mere human given this much power? If I can change everything, will the outcome be worthy? Can destiny be challenged? Isn’t inaction ultimately the best choice?

To help him stay on track, and to unbalence Okabe’s goofiness, the game introduce a new character named Kurisu. As a scientist prodigy, she’ll be the one explainig how time travel works in this universe.

Much of it is derived from real theories from eminent world scientist (you can have a glance at it with this gif)

A screen record of the game disaplying the different theories
The different theories in Steins;Gate

Yet, even if those theories are given for those who could be interessed, the intention of the game is less understanding how it works than study what the impact would be. What would the ethic and physic ones be? We could go on a tangent about the butterfly effect which a game - Life is Strange that I can warmly recommend - treats really well and the nightmare it can be.

With its blazing crowd of character and its well thought out writing, this game stand among the best title of the time travelling genre.

I leave the parting words to a comment I found pretty spot-on describing what makes Steins;Gate so great.

I wish you a good day dear traveller, and stay curious!

It was the first VN I played. The time travel mechanics are the best in fiction that I have ever encountered. S;G has basically fixed time travel. You could make a model that matches up to it, but I find it hard to believe you could make one better. That’s not to say its flawless; there are a few time travel related plot holes, but they seem to be more of an oversight/shortcut on the writers behalf rather than a flaw in the model they use. Time travel is also used to deal with a very relevant theme, that of “fate” and “destiny” and what it means to try to change those things. It can get quite haunting at times and you can feel the sanity of the main character fraying against insurmountable odds. Time travel mechanics aside, wonderful characters. Every single one. - some dood on reddit which I agree with.

And if you wanna have one quick peak to next week’s entry, I let you read what Kurisu has to say about it.

A screen record of the game where a character named Kurisu talk about paradoxes
A speech by Kurisu

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Hi, I'm Bunbun. Howdy there. As well as my peers, I'm a student at Polytech Nantes. My primary interests revolve around video games-I'm-quickly-obsessed-with, nuggies, overcramming, and Reddit4thememz.