How will the new timeline diverge from the old?

DanteSC3

[14] Master
I think you’re both being overcritical with your analysis of what I’m saying, if I’m being completely honest.

The original premise of “new timeline” that I am arguing against at this topic’s inception is “a timeline that does not end up back where we were in SoulCalibur V because SoulCalibur V is an unmitigated disaster and we should never return to that point in time no matter what, and starting from the beginning lets us retell that story without getting to that point again”, to put Nyte’s point of view in the most positive terms. That is the core of my disagreement, that I do not believe that is what we are doing.

As just seen a few posts back of mine here, I am not disputing that we have minor differences in place, ones that make the narrative more cohesive, with hindsight being 20/20, as I have said earlier in this thread, that SoulCalibur VI is the SoulCalibur that we would have gotten back on Dreamcast if they had Zasalamel’s ability to receive memories from the future. It was likely the best choice that they could have gone with, instead of trying to remake/rebuild SoulCalibur V, with the reputation that it had, being the most recent release.

Which is why I feel like we will get another breather game in SoulCalibur VII, covering the plots of SoulCalibur II-IV, before giving SoulCalibur V another go, this time without a natural disaster ruining the end result, hopefully, and done in a way, now that they should know what it would entail, that will not alienate old fans in haphazard decisions like dropping characters entirely or replacing them with inadequately explained next-generation folks.

I do, contrary to at least some of your thoughts, continue to believe that we are basically going to tell the same story albeit with new details added and with a better centralized canon. I am not yet convinced that we are getting a brand new story, and I won’t be until it happens. I am not nor will I deny a truly new story is “not good enough” to be a change, a true divergence, one that impacts the story at large. I do not acknowledge rearranged existing data as a divergence, nor does that in itself mean a “new timeline”.

My hangup with the term mostly stems from the idea that it implies that we aren’t repeating history, when we clearly are, at least for right now. The point that clinches an alternate history will be when Zasalamel and/or Cassandra takes an action that sets us on a new course, but not before this does it constitute a paradigm shift.

It does not have to be point-for-point identical to be a retelling of the same story in the same timeline. It’s why I hated the term before the game even came out, because it’s poorly thought out and isn’t accurately representing what we are doing, not until the point happens where we really do change history, if it comes to that.

You claim I have no objective that constitutes a new timeline and can constantly move the goalposts, but no, that’s not my position and it never was. I’ve even provided examples as to what would actually have been things they could have done to actually change history in a meaningful way.

Cassandra already missed her first opportunity, to either prevent Rothion and Sophitia from getting together and having Pyrrha, maybe stealing Rothion for herself, or by less catty means, offer to be a surrogate mother for Sophitia’s children, as if Pyrrha and Patroklos were born from Cassandra instead of Sophitia, it would resolve the dilemma pretty easily. But no, useless Cassandra just stood by and watched history repeat itself when she had the ability to intervene. I’m not sure what she plans to do or if she will just be too hesitant to take any risks until it’s too late.

Zasalamel has not necessarily had a chance yet, but I have supposed that he may interrupt the confrontation between Raphael and Siegfried come SoulCalibur II events. Should that happen, then Zasalamel attempts his new plan that actually makes for some real change in the world, also preventing Raphael and Amy from coming under Soul Edge’s influence, at the very least, that’s one possibility that may lead to a new chain of events. If that happens, the we’ll definitely be on a new course.

These are just two examples, things that we have based on what’s been given to us, but unfortunately for everyone else, their stories at present are only set up to go the exact same way that they went before. They don’t know we have done this once before, so they have no reason to do anything differently. We need one of our identified interlopers to actually do something in order to facilitate change.

It didn’t pan out, for whatever reason, but the Tomb Raider Anniversary series that could have been would be a fine example of a “reboot” that told the exact same story but slightly differently because we had new technology, greater means to tell a story with more detail, and some experience and hindsight to know what works and what doesn’t. It was the story of Tomb Raider 1 told very faithfully and yet expanded to give the characters more life and the world more facets and cohesiveness. It’s still a mistake in my eyes that they did that awful hard reboot that literally nobody asked for that ruined Lara Croft forever and I believe she’s just done at this point, will never return to her previous glory, and I would even hazard a guess that we might not actually see another Tomb Raider game.

But back on SoulCalibur, for that is what we are discussing, I don’t understand the purpose of foreshadowing events up to and including SoulCalibur V if they don’t plan on actually revisiting those events in the future. Otherwise, it’s just a form of trolling for folks like myself who do believe that SoulCalibur V deserves a second chance. If that truly was the goal, to never reach that “mistake” again, then there would be no references or allusions to it in the game. And yet there are. They could have not waited until SoulCalibur VII to make some real changes in the narrative, such as Kilik actually failing to maintain his dark side and becoming the new Nightmare, that could have been interesting. But no, we just rehashed SoulCalibur and set up SoulCalibur II. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to believe.

Let’s analyze the recent Soul Chronicles that apparently clinch our changing history for the future and I’ll explain why none of it is convincing to me:

Amy: Mirrors Raphael’s Soul Chronicle, offering Amy’s point of view on events we had already seen. Expanded upon Azwel’s epilogue in Raphael’s final chapter and confirmed it is Azwel that is responsible for Amy’s cursed future where she will lose herself and become Viola. Sets up Amy’s story for SoulCalibur II, going the same way it would have originally, her following Raphael to save him from himself when he confronts Soul Edge. New detail added in that she will have an as for now unknown identity male companion, who most likely is or has some connection to Z.W.E.I., to establish more SoulCalibur V lore. Otherwise, who else would he be?

Cassandra: Ostensibly nothing is amiss at first glance. Basic setup of Cassandra for SoulCalibur II with some more lore building around the Alexandra family with us seeing the bakery, meeting Lucius, and seeing the wedding of Sophitia and Rothion, and Sophitia is pregnant with Pyrrha. BUT WAIT, EPIC PLOT TWIST!! Before this story, Cassandra was visited by her future self, drifting through Astral Chaos, and somehow managed to find herself in the past. Future Cassandra did her best in her dilapidated state to convey her message, but ditzy Kid Cassandra is slow on the uptake, doesn’t even realize it’s herself from the future who is talking to her, finally maybe gets the message, but because this happened before the story we just saw, we know that Cassandra thus far is failing to actually take her future self’s advice, and her goal remains “Save Sophitia!” just as it normally was. Her having knowledge of the future means nothing if she does nothing with it, which she’s failing at thus far.

Hilde: It set up Hilde’s character, gave her backstory, associated her with Grøh and the Aval Organization, for whatever reason attempted to make us believe that Wilhelm might be Z.W.E.I., oh, and cousin marriage. Patroklos and Pyrrha aren’t the only incest in this franchise! Still, Hilde is as she was, nothing’s changed, she’ll still do what she did before, unless given external stimulus.

Feel free to point out whatever it is that I missed, but I don’t see it. Setsuka’s story will be her origin and set up her revenge plot. Hwang’s story will be like Amy’s was to Raphael’s and be the other side of Seong Mi-na’s story and hopefully give us a reason to keep Hwang around for the sequel. Neither of them have cause or ability to change history, as they are in that same camp of unaware the future even exists.

I would believe in the characters’ abilities to carve their own fates if they actually managed to do so. But no one did, not even Cassandra or Zasalamel, not yet anyway. SoulCalibur VII is free to change, it might, it might not. But SoulCalibur VI is determined not to change. That’s just how it’s been so far and there’s no reason to suspect anything in the rest of however many more characters we will get in the rest of SoulCalibur VI’s time that will be any real change. They’ll just be vague and/or keep setting up SoulCalibur II. And with all the setup for SoulCalibur II, it’s going to be rough if they pull out the rug and SoulCalibur VII doesn’t have SoulCalibur II in it.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I think you’re both being overcritical with your analysis of what I’m saying, if I’m being completely honest.

The original premise of “new timeline” that I am arguing against at this topic’s inception is “a timeline that does not end up back where we were in SoulCalibur V because SoulCalibur V is an unmitigated disaster and we should never return to that point in time no matter what, and starting from the beginning lets us retell that story without getting to that point again”, to put Nyte’s point of view in the most positive terms. That is the core of my disagreement, that I do not believe that is what we are doing.

Ehhh, I don't think we are; I think that (and this said with the respect of a friend) you're being too self-indulgent of your own preferred patois that you've developed for yourself here, even though it should be clear at this point that it is only increasing the confusion and amount of circular argument every time we talk about this pet theory of yours. I understood very early into the first couple of repeats of this debate (of which we've had quite a few now) the distinction that you were trying to make, but it's needlessly convoluted to speak in the alternative terms you have constructed and increasingly vexing for the rest of us to be be forced to do so--and all the more so because it really feels like you are trying to bootstrap your theory by using non-standard language, the only benefit of which is that it minimizes the changes you want to ignore.

Look, think of it like this. It's like we are engineers who are trying to reverse engineer some piece of technology, but for some reason, we are only able to correspond via email. Now there's one component on the logic board for this device which is clearly a square, and its being a square could have a pretty significant indication as to its function. But you've already come up with a theory about the device that would rule out the presence of the square components before we even got to the logic board--which was a surprise to all of us, because most all logic boards would in fact have square components. But we went with it until we cracked that sucker open and now we are looking at the exact same reference pictures of that board, which has multiple square components. And the conversation goes something like this:

All the rest of us, collectively: "Now about this square-shaped component in grid G8, I think..."
You: "What square? I don't see a square."
Us: "Wait, at G8, takes up about two-thirds of the region, it looks like it may be nikel-plated."
You: "Oh yeah, that. The teensy-weensy rectalabit-shaped thing."
Us: "The...what?"
You: "The teensy-weensy rectalabit-shaped component. That's how I've been describing the appearance of these objects."
Us: "Couldn't we just say 'square-shaped'."
You: "Oh, but it's just so very small...I don't think we can really call it a square."
Us: "That's not how squares work. Or geometry. It has the features that define a square, therefore it is a square at any size."
You: "Yes but a teensy-weensy rectalabit is just a very small square-like shape...but it happens to correspond to situations just such as this which rule-out the normal functions of square-shaped components. So, as you can see, this is actually supporting my previous conjecture that..."
Us: "Woah, hold up. 'Square-like' is just another way of saying square. Look, is it a regular quadrilateral composed of four sides, identical in length, meeting at four right angles?"
You: "Oh yes, I agree that it meets all of those criteria, without question, but I just don't understand why you all are pushing back against the teensy-weensy rectalabit so hard."
Us: "Well, because it's weird and confusing and needlessly time-consuming and its only advantage seems to be that it allows you to avoid saying the word 'square' in a context where you made the very-unlikely-to-bear-out prediction that there would be no squares. And it keeps us from just discussing our differences of opinion in terms where we might be able to get on the same page."
You: "So, anyway, concerning the teensy-weensy recatlabit..."
Me: "You know, sometimes I wish we lived in a universe where I could put a sword through someone's head without doing any real harm..."

Now, imagine that conversation, but each and every line actually constituted 8,000 word back-and-forths where we have to pedantically reconstruct the basic meaning of commonly-used terminology from the ground up just to try to land at useful shared vernacular. That's where we're at right now and why I don't think we're being too critical.

I do, contrary to at least some of your thoughts, continue to believe that we are basically going to tell the same story albeit with new details added and with a better centralized canon. I am not yet convinced that we are getting a brand new story, and I won’t be until it happens.
Well, I think if we could move past your jury-rigged notational system here, we would discover that we are all much closer to agreement than we might have been led to suspect because of the needlessly prolonged side-discussion, where we have to deconstruct standard English idioms and constantly reassert basic analytical paradigms.

The devil is in the details, which I think is where we need to focus if we ever expect this discussion to be fruitful. I mean, yeah, at the end of the day we are talking about the future of story of a video game (and one of the silliest video game stories at that), and one that will resolve itself on its own eventually, so "fruitful" is clearly a relative term, but you take my meaning. ;)

Anyway, I do think we are going to have many of the same plot beats, utilizing mostly all the same characters, but I do think we are set up for major changes to some characters which will of course have inevitable cascade effects into the stories of other characters; the fact that this is a fictional narrative means that those knock-on/domino reactions can be minimized somewhat, but only to a certain degree if the story is going to have the higher level of self-consistency that you predict and hope for.

It does not have to be point-for-point identical to be a retelling of the same story in the same timeline.
Yes, it does. It does not have to be point-for-point identical to be a "retelling of the same story", no. But, it does not have to be point-for-point identical to be "a retelling of the same story in the same timeline". At least as far as all of your fellow English speakers on planet earth are concerned, whether they are utilizing the term in a strictly formal context or even a casual discussion about a time travel story, that is a defining characteristic of the concept: it must be a strict, precise, exact, unaltered, invariable, definite, rigid, absolute, determinate, fixed, unequivocal, express, certain, locked, anchored, identical-down-to-the-lowest-level-of-examined-resolution chain of events, or else it is a different timeline.

That's what that word means. That's how it is defined. That is how pretty much everyone uses it and always has used it. It is how it has been expressly defined as a theoretical matter in physics (to the limited extent that this empirical field actually concerns itself with what is essentially an untestable and wishy-washy concept). It is how it has been used in literally every time travel story where the term has ever benefited from an express description. It is the loaded, implicit meaning your rhetorical partners in any discussion will perceive and imbue your usage with, as a semantic matter, whenever you invoke it.

But no, useless Cassandra just stood by and watched history repeat itself when she had the ability to intervene. I’m not sure what she plans to do or if she will just be too hesitant to take any risks until it’s too late.
Hey, hey, hey! Back off of Cassie! She's had a rough enough go of it as is!

But all joking aside, I do think maybe it does make sense as a story matter for Cassandra to be confused to the point of inaction by this. We all live in a world where the concept of time-travel is an established sci-fi trope. If we were ever confronted with our future selves...well, we'd still want to assume it was a hoax if we were smart, because actual time travel of that sort is probably a physical impossibility, no matter how advanced our technology gets, but the point is, we'd understand what that doppleganger was trying to tell us was happening. Would a person born in a relatively more primitive age and well in advance of Edward Mitchel or H.G. Wells really get the concept as intuitively?

And even once explained to them (and in not very clear terms by some-one whose mind is clearly unhinged), would they both believe in the scenario know what to do about the situation? We don't know how detailed her future self intel is, and she may be perfectly reasonable in feeling the best thing she can do is to try to stick like glue to Sophitia and assist her. For that matter, Cassie might actually be doing the right thing by heading out into the field sooner; for all we know, she's already shaken things up. In any event, I think you might be expecting a bit much from a 16th century baker's daughter with no apparent formal education. :)

It didn’t pan out, for whatever reason, but the Tomb Raider Anniversary series that could have been would be a fine example of a “reboot” that told the exact same story but slightly differently because we had new technology, greater means to tell a story with more detail, and some experience and hindsight to know what works and what doesn’t. It was the story of Tomb Raider 1 told very faithfully and yet expanded to give the characters more life and the world more facets and cohesiveness.
No, not "for whatever reason". It's pretty obvious why they didn't do that: nobody wants to laboriously retell a pop-adventure story that was just window-dressing to the actual entertaining parts of the original experience. That's booooooring. And tot he extent that there are people who actually care about the stories in those kinds of games, I doubt that a large percentage of them are clamouring for the same exact story again as you are.

It’s still a mistake in my eyes that they did that awful hard reboot that literally nobody asked for that ruined Lara Croft forever and I believe she’s just done at this point, will never return to her previous glory, and I would even hazard a guess that we might not actually see another Tomb Raider game.
Homie, what on earth are you talking about? Those games were blockbusters that massively outsold anything previously released in the franchise, in both absolute and market share terms, and were incredibly well-received critically. The first two reboot games are two of the best put-together and polished action-adventure games I've ever played (I've not yet played the third as I've been told it flounders a bit). There will definitely be more Tomb Raider games: its one of the hottest classic IPs to maintain its stock into the present day, and the reboot games have been incredibly profitable.

And not that I'd argue that the new stories are great, but they are certainly no more silly than the original story arcs (most of which I played through if you want the degree of my context) and certainly vastly better structured and presented. Yeah, they are still predicated in supernatural/fantasy mythology/faux historiography/conspiracy theory nonsense, but they at least have decent acting and non-awful dialogue, something the earlier games cannot boast of.

And as for Anniversary repeating the older plot lines, the clue is in the name there: it's not Tomb Raider IV, nor even a title like Tomb Raider: Underworld. It was clearly a one-off designed to appeal to nostalgia. It was never going to turn into a complete redux franchise, for precisely the market reasons discussed above. And the same is true of the factors that influence both creative and market decisions for any franchise, SoulCalibur most assuredly included.

But back on SoulCalibur, for that is what we are discussing, I don’t understand the purpose of foreshadowing events up to and including SoulCalibur V if they don’t plan on actually revisiting those events in the future. Otherwise, it’s just a form of trolling for folks like myself who do believe that SoulCalibur V deserves a second chance. If that truly was the goal, to never reach that “mistake” again, then there would be no references or allusions to it in the game. And yet there are.
No, nobody is "trolling" you. They just wanted to establish a new base situated in the familiar before moving forward. I mean, honestly, what choice did they have? The majority of their classic cast (which fans were quite vocal in making clear that they preferred over the new cast) were dead or geriatric by SCV's time frame. A soft reboot was a reasonable approach. But either out of a love of what came before, simple expediency or some combination thereof, they decided to reboot initially to the familiar. However, it does not mean they are locked into a carbon copy plot as a result, and I just don't think it could be anymore clear--from Zasalamel's express statements (which is as close to Word of God as you are going to get from inside the story itself), to time travel hijinks, to the timeline for Hilde's story no longer matching up to the original chronology--that the final chapters of certain Soul Chronicles and especially of the continuing support DLC content, are indicating that the story is now diverging from here-forth.

And there are other reasons not to expect a particularly identical story. Yes, you can always stretch your theory to suggest that the new characters "were always a part of the original story, but we didn't see them until now", but as a strictly thematic matter, it's hard to deny that they too indicate changes to the over-all narrative. I mean, it's pretty hard to account for the fact that know-it-all characters like Zasalamel and Edge Master were unaware of someone influencing events to the extent that Azwel and the Conduit do in this most recent game without ever having cause to interact with or reference them, even though characters in this franchise bounce of eachother with regularity that would make you think they were all locked a thirty meter by thirty meter room together.

And because I know that just by writing that last sentence that your brain is already frantically at work trying to assemble all of the lore pieces into an arrangement that technically allows for that, please let me spare you the trouble: that's not what I mean. I'm not talking about arranging dates and plot beats into an order that would be logically acceptable if we were to treat these like real events. I'm talking about thematics: what the creators are clearly indicating by the artistic and narrative choices they have made thus far. This is a new story. I know you're never going to be convinced until the next game comes out. And if I'm blunt myself, even once that occurs, I expect you will be arguing that the story is still the same story to the maximum amount that the events in that next game allow. But I think there's very little chance that the next game will not vary much more from SCII-SCIV than SCVI did from SCI. I think you've let the outcome you really hope to see to massively warp our interpretation about what this game is: a setup for a reboot, not the first chapter in a series of games that will attempt to replicate the first five games down to their smallest detail.

Let’s analyze the recent Soul Chronicles that apparently clinch our changing history for the future and I’ll explain why none of it is convincing to me:
Alright, let's do that.

Amy: Mirrors Raphael’s Soul Chronicle, offering Amy’s point of view on events we had already seen. Expanded upon Azwel’s epilogue in Raphael’s final chapter and confirmed it is Azwel that is responsible for Amy’s cursed future where she will lose herself and become Viola. Sets up Amy’s story for SoulCalibur II, going the same way it would have originally, her following Raphael to save him from himself when he confronts Soul Edge. New detail added in that she will have an as for now unknown identity male companion, who most likely is or has some connection to Z.W.E.I., to establish more SoulCalibur V lore. Otherwise, who else would he be?

I actually think it is pretty clear that we are going to see Amy's transformation into Viola much earlier than in the previous continuity: developers don't take the time to hint at these sorts of things three games ahead of when they are going to happen. And someone on that creative staff (or numerous someones) clearly likes that character. No way are they waiting ten years to do something with it. As to her traveling companion, why are you so convinced there must be a link to Zwei? It could be literally anyone and it would actually be pretty awkward as a storytelling matter if it was coincidentally the same person she later ends up traveling with as their amnesiac alter-egos. Anyway, this is clearly up in the air, and your guess doesn't have much to support it beyond the fact that you like that character and want to see him set up.

Cassandra: Ostensibly nothing is amiss at first glance. Basic setup of Cassandra for SoulCalibur II with some more lore building around the Alexandra family with us seeing the bakery, meeting Lucius, and seeing the wedding of Sophitia and Rothion, and Sophitia is pregnant with Pyrrha. BUT WAIT, EPIC PLOT TWIST!! Before this story, Cassandra was visited by her future self, drifting through Astral Chaos, and somehow managed to find herself in the past. Future Cassandra did her best in her dilapidated state to convey her message, but ditzy Kid Cassandra is slow on the uptake, doesn’t even realize it’s herself from the future who is talking to her, finally maybe gets the message, but because this happened before the story we just saw, we know that Cassandra thus far is failing to actually take her future self’s advice, and her goal remains “Save Sophitia!” just as it normally was. Her having knowledge of the future means nothing if she does nothing with it, which she’s failing at thus far.
Actually, there are a lot of plot beats in Cassandra's Soul Chronicle which do not map to anything we ever saw mentioned in a previous game. In fact, considering that we never even saw Cassie until the SCII timeframe in the original continuity, its possible that her entire journey from home here is 100% a result of the warning she received at the beginning (chronologically speaking) of her SCVI narrative and that she would not have otherwise left home to try to assist her sister until much later events otherwise. Actually, I think that's largely part of the explanation for why they included this detail--to justify her earlier introduction into the narrative as a combatant.

Hilde: It set up Hilde’s character, gave her backstory, associated her with Grøh and the Aval Organization, for whatever reason attempted to make us believe that Wilhelm might be Z.W.E.I., oh, and cousin marriage. Patroklos and Pyrrha aren’t the only incest in this franchise! Still, Hilde is as she was, nothing’s changed, she’ll still do what she did before, unless given external stimulus.
What you don't mention is that the timeframe for everything that Hilde does is clearly out-of-sync with the original continuity, which is in itself a substantial change.

I would believe in the characters’ abilities to carve their own fates if they actually managed to do so. But no one did, not even Cassandra or Zasalamel, not yet anyway.
I think Cassandra's entire story is probably new, but even if it isn't, it wouldn't exactly be a smoking gun as she is virtually a child who has been granted limited insight at best, and...yeah, ok I'll admit, she's not the sharpest tool in the shed if we examine how she has formulated her plans to "help" in the past. Zasalamel's story concludes with his revelation, so he never had a chance to change anything really. But he literally tells you, almost word for word, that he now has entirely different motivations as a character and that he expects big changes. What more could you expect from the authors of this story to indicate to you what is coming? It's almost straight-up them reaching through the fourth wall to address you and dismiss your theory expressly....

SoulCalibur VII is free to change, it might, it might not. But SoulCalibur VI is determined not to change.
SoulCalibur VI already has shaken up the original narrative. You just don't want to see it and are using rhetorical tricks to try to deny it. SCVII will diverge further, and SCVIII further still. It is inevitable, for numerous reasons.

That’s just how it’s been so far and there’s no reason to suspect anything in the rest of however many more characters we will get in the rest of SoulCalibur VI’s time that will be any real change. They’ll just be vague and/or keep setting up SoulCalibur II. And with all the setup for SoulCalibur II, it’s going to be rough if they pull out the rug and SoulCalibur VII doesn’t have SoulCalibur II in it.
No, don't get me wrong: there will still be plenty of SCII, SCIII, and SCIV's narrative woven into SCVII's story, no doubt. It might even represent the lion's share of the game's plot. But there are going to be some substantial divergences, including the acceleration of many events that didn't occur until much later in the original continuity, new characters, different outcomes for certain characters, ect.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
"You know, sometimes I wish we lived in a universe where I could put a sword through someone's head without doing any real harm..."
I know. :sc4amy1:

I think you might be expecting a bit much from a 16th century baker's daughter with no apparent formal education. :)
Very possible. But for someone who had the bravery stat to tell Soul Calibur to get bent and literally bent it herself until it broke, it seems like Cassandra would have been the type to act recklessly, and yet she didn’t. That’s what bugs me about her scenario.

I think you've let the outcome you really hope to see to massively warp our interpretation about what this game is: a setup for a reboot, not the first chapter in a series of games that will attempt to replicate the first five games down to their smallest detail.
I definitely do see it as the first chapter in a series of games that will attempt to replicate the first five games down to their smallest detail, except told as one narrative instead of so many convoluted what-if scenarios, even if those did have charm in their own way. It will be streamlined and changed to accommodate this structuring, but still be the same relative story. That’s my expectation.

I would say your interpretation that Viola is for sure happening sooner is just as much up in the air as anything else. If SoulCalibur VII is SoulCalibur II-IV as I expect then Viola works fine as a DLC character in the very next game, that’s not terribly too long a wait for foreshadowing.

As for her traveling companion, if they aren’t anyone of importance, then it raises the question why they need to exist at all. It would be a delicious bit of irony if pre-Z.W.E.I.-guy traveled with Amy and they both had their original identities lost and yet found each other again. It’s perfectly fitting with the sort of writing I would expect from this series, hence my prediction.

Cassandra
It makes about the same amount of difference, I think, Cassandra’s introduction to the divine arms of Hephaestus, sooner or later. It’s the same outcome, which is what I’ve been getting at, she took Sophitia’s weapons which allowed her to fight beyond her abilities, but the new element is actually having the elemental powers of Divine Force, which I still don’t really find suitable for her, but it is what it is. It makes a bit more sense where she got her confidence to take the SoulCalibur II journey if she already took the weapons out for a test drive once before. I’m hoping that because the weapons she steals for SoulCalibur II events are Sophitia’s SoulCalibur weapons instead of what she’s got here in SoulCalibur VI which are Sophitia’s SoulBlade weapons that there is some significance, but we’ll see what happens when it does.

I don’t see it, Hilde in SoulCalibur VI is clearly her younger and less experienced self as she grows closer to her SoulCalibur IV self, which is the same year as SoulCalibur II. It’s the trials she faced before SoulCalibur II that matures her, not anything that happens between SoulCalibur II and SoulCalibur IV. It seems pretty reasonably timed to me.

Zasalamel
Zasalamel is my number one contender to be the one who actually shakes things up and sets us on a different course. It’s because he doesn’t have a chance to do anything I SoulCalibur VI’s chunk of time why there’s no real change, but it’s gonna come down to whatever he does in SoulCalibur VII that directs us moving forward. That’s also why I said it doesn’t matter how many more characters we get, we’re still not going anywhere except setting up SoulCalibur II for the rest of SoulCalibur VI.

Tomb Raider stuff
I’ll freely admit it’s my own biases, but I’m not the only one who prefers the original games and even Legend-Anniversary-Underworld over the reboot trilogy. I haven’t played the third one either, but it has no hopes for me personally from what I’ve seen. Rise was already the same game almost literally scene for scene as the first one with a different setting and didn’t progress the story even a little bit, and instead of true dual pistols she got dual pickaxes, joy. Just what we wanted.

Shadow looks to have hopped board the Assassin’s Creed Origins/Odyssey train in adding interaction with townsfolk and trading with merchants, which is just odd and out of place for Tomb Raider. On top of the reboot trilogy already being a survival genre all of a sudden instead of being a supreme badass solving puzzles and taking names of anyone who gets in her way, as were the games up to that point. I’m not talking commercially, I just mean as a Tomb Raider fan, it’s a disservice to the legacy of what made the original games great. It’s hardly even recognizable as being the same franchise, to be a little hyperbolic

But they absolutely could have made Tomb Raider II Anniversary, Tomb Raider III Anniversary, and so on if they wanted to. It was nice to see the PS1-era stuff brought up to speed in Legend’s engine and it’s incredibly sad to me that the project was dropped. There is an incredibly slow progress fan project called Dagger of Xian that is a proof of concept for Tomb Raider II Anniversary, and the playable demo was very fun and enjoyable, I’d love to see it finished. Proper remakes are hard to come by, because everyone and their mother seems to feel like it needs to be rewritten and changed even though it was fine as it was.

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

In short, my perspective on the timeline is coming from a sense of scale that is the same general course of history that leads to the same end results. It’s a loose interpretation, but that’s all I’ve ever attempted to really claim.

Almost every contradiction from the previous telling’s events has an explanation in narrative focus or story and gameplay separation, apart from Cassandra and Zasalamel. The stories that we see for the first time on screen like Tira, Amy, and Hilde (as well will be the case for Setsuka) are not contradictions but expansions.

“New Timeline” has the connotation of being apart from the previous history, or what happened in Mortal Kombat X. I really don’t think that’s where SoulCalibur is headed. If it does, so be it. I’ll be along for the ride wherever it takes us.

But I take issue with the idea on a personal level that the term / state was put into law before the game even released, which in turn colored opinions before the game even started, which is how/why my interpreting it as an alternate take on the same timeline is seemingly regarded as strange. I really do have doubts that I’m the only person in the world who sees it the way that I do.

I really am not trying to make this difficult if it seems that way, and we do agree more than disagree on the bigger picture, it’s just that I’m not so keen on the terminology used and what it implies. It’s also not helped that the initial issue was sparked by Nyte, which is a part of what set me on my path of defiance, because his position irked me more than a little
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
;D

I would say your interpretation that Viola is for sure happening sooner is just as much up in the air as anything else.
Well, I wouldn't say for sure, just more likely than not in the next game, although...

If SoulCalibur VII is SoulCalibur II-IV as I expect then Viola works fine as a DLC character in the very next game, that’s not terribly too long a wait for foreshadowing.
...you're right, they could do it this way.

On top of the reboot trilogy already being a survival genre all of a sudden instead of being a supreme badass solving puzzles and taking names of anyone who gets in her way, as were the games up to that point.
I can certainly understand the existence of objections based in the shift in the action-to-puzzle ratio, especially in the first reboot game. Not that it was an issue for me personally, but I can understand why those objections exist. But I wouldn't call it a survival game really: it's still an action-adventure-shooter hybrid--and in fact way way better than any previous game in the franchise on that level. In fact, there's a lot to praise in Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider: they are that kind of big budget game that takes a survey of what a large number of succesful games are doing right at that moment in time, patch it all together and then give it the level of polish, balancing and integration necessary for that approach to work. In that respect, those two games remind me a lot of Horizon: Zero Dawn--though neither is nearly as good as that gem over-all.

But they absolutely could have made Tomb Raider II Anniversary, Tomb Raider III Anniversary, and so on if they wanted to.
They could have, but there's no way they would have sold more than a fraction of the number of units that the Eidos reboots did, nor get the same level of critical acclaim.

Proper remakes are hard to come by, because everyone and their mother seems to feel like it needs to be rewritten and changed even though it was fine as it was.
Well if its fine as it was, one can always keep the right hardware around and pop in an old copy. If a company is going to invest in a new entry, they have every reason to stretch themselves to do something new, especially when it is vital for attracting most gamers--who largely put a higher premium on new challenges relative to the nostalgia factor than you tend to.

But I take issue with the idea on a personal level that the term / state was put into law before the game even released, which in turn colored opinions before the game even started, which is how/why my interpreting it as an alternate take on the same timeline is seemingly regarded as strange.
Well if I had seen anyone arguing that the game's narrative took place in a new continuity before it was even released, I almost certainly would have objected to the idea that we could draw that conclusion at that point. In fact, even up until relatively recently, I still would have said it was premature. But once characters started having pow-wows with their future selves, the threshold was crossed where it is reasonable for people to say that we conclusively know that this is a variant on the original story (or in a sense you could say it's a continuation of the original story that just happens to wrap around to an earlier point in time).

I really do have doubts that I’m the only person in the world who sees it the way that I do.
Well maybe not literally the only person in the world but certainly discordant with the normal meaning of that term as most people interpret it in such an astronomical ratio that you are pretty much always going to be doing harm rather than benefit to your argument by insisting that other people are wrong to label the new arc as a new timeline. Yours is just too much the aberrant interpretation of the operative word for you to be able to insist that everyone else is wrong in using it without pretty much guaranteeing that you will alienate and annoy those you are debating with--some of whom might actually agree with you to a large extent if you phrased things just a tad differently. I think it's food for thought, anyway.

It’s also not helped that the initial issue was sparked by Nyte, which is a part of what set me on my path of defiance, because his position irked me more than a little.
Yeah, but the last thing you want to do is let that context paradoxically and ironically drive you to behave like him. The other day in the main SCVI thread when someone mentioned that they didn't know about his preoccupation with/behaviour towards you, I almost chimed in to say "Oh man, it was so over-the-line and inappropriate." I only didn't do so because you already had people defending you there and you know my "let's not speak his name obsessively and tempt him back" policy.

But had I said that, I was also going to add the caveat that I kind of understood how you two could have gotten stuck on a collusion course with one-another, because you do share one trait: you both have the ability/tendency to lock in on a certain interpretation to some question and then be very resistant to contrary perspectives or evidence. The difference between you two even in that context though is that 1) you are unfailing civil no matter how involved the discussion gets, whereas he tends to snap almost immediately and needlessly personalize matters and turn the discussion vitriolic, and 2) You at least recognize the need to formulate an argument that speaks to the objections leveled against your position. Sometimes though, those efforts can get to feel a little turtled-up and repetitive; for example, in the present case, objecting to a term that works perfectly well in the current context just because its original advocate used it far too early and too zealously a couple of years ago is an example of missing the forest for the trees, imo.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
(or in a sense you could say it's a continuation of the original story that just happens to wrap around to an earlier point in time)
That’s more or less why I can’t call it a new timeline truly, as it is the same continuity. The old stuff still happened and is still relevant, while a true reboot wouldn’t take the past into account and would just write a new history, much like Tomb Raider did. That’s a part of why I brought it up, if that seemed like a random tangent.

And I know I can get stuck in my reasoning, once I’ve logically deduced something out and my hypothesis becomes validated, I have a tendency to keep on with it, unless of course it is proven completely incorrect, which can and does happen. I am still in the belief that SoulCalibur VII can go either way, though.

Obviously they want to make a story that the fans will like, and I feel like the noncommittal one way or the other but placing threads to leave the possibility open was a safe testing of the waters, because the last time they just went all-in, it didn’t work out for them, though that still wasn’t completely the fault of the team or the vision, it was just an unfortunate culmination of events that led to it being a mess and weren’t given the opportunity to fix it.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
That’s more or less why I can’t call it a new timeline truly, as it is the same continuity. The old stuff still happened and is still relevant, while a true reboot wouldn’t take the past into account and would just write a new history, much like Tomb Raider did. That’s a part of why I brought it up, if that seemed like a random tangent.
Ahh, but see this is where the distinction between 'timeline' and 'continuity' becomes vital. 'Timeline' is a term that involves internal reference to the course of events. What I mean by this is that it is a in-universe distinction. Variable timelines are not always perceived by the characters, but they are something that they theoretically could know about or conjecture about, if the rules of the story allow them to have that knowledge or insight. A 'continuity' is something very different as a semantic matter: it is a term external to the story that we, as viewers of the media, use to define a series of narratively-linked events. It is meta commentary and not accessible to the characters within the story (of course some narratives, like say Deadpool for example, like to toy with the suggestion that characters can recognize this, colloquially known as "breaking the fourth wall", but of course they can't really, as they are just fictional characters).

So for example, here Soul Edge through SCVI are all one continuity: they involve a sequence of events that are linked for the story's viewer, and even after the jump back to the past (which from the perspective of a character like Astral Chaos Cassie is her present, not the past) you can call them one on-going story. However, at the same time, SCVI clearly constitutes a new timeline distinct from that of SE-SCV because characters have gone back to the past and begun to effect the course of events from there, which will therefore play out differently from here as a per se matter (per se meaning that no further qualifiers can change this fundamental fact--there is a new course of events, no matter how much it does or does not c end up cleaving to the original timeline). I think it's vital to conceptualize the distinction there: one concept is internal to the story, the other is meta commentary that is only accessible and relevant to us on the outside, in the real world.

Obviously they want to make a story that the fans will like, and I feel like the noncommittal one way or the other but placing threads to leave the possibility open was a safe testing of the waters, because the last time they just went all-in, it didn’t work out for them, though that still wasn’t completely the fault of the team or the vision, it was just an unfortunate culmination of events that led to it being a mess and weren’t given the opportunity to fix it.
Well, I think that the reboot was made so similar to the original narrative to provide the most stable possible platform to launch the new story and product from. I think you're absolutely right that they decided to approach this with an abundance of caution and deference to the complaints leveled at SCV. That is, I think they wanted to connect with series loyalists and make something that was as tonally the opposite of SCV as they could: a return to a point in time where they conceivably introduce almost any of the legacy characters without issue and present them in a fashion that would tap into their classic molds for those characters. I think we can probably agree that is evident in almost every aspect of the story and to only a slightly lesser degree, the art design.

But I don't think that approach signifies a particularly absolute attachment among the devs to leave the story, aesthetics, or design to stagnate in a carbon copy replication of the original games. I don't think it was ever intended to repeat the original narrative indefinitely as an aim in itself: I think it was (and is to the extent they will continue to mix the approach) just a means to stabilize the story into something more concrete and get fan loyalty back where it once was in the heyday of the franchise. I think the evidence for this is in that they decided to leave that little tidbit in the form of Zasalamel's connecting with his future self, right at the end of the narrative as presented in the base game. I think that fairly conclusively establishes that even before the DLC, the plan was for the carbon print SCI (but better/more detailed/more cohesive) to be the springboard into a new telling. Which future narrative will without question include many of the same plot beats and character relationships and narrative dynamics as the original telling, but not with the super-strong adherence to the original story that we see with how the base product of SCVI replicates SCI almost precisely.

I really do think that the DLC chapters are being constructed in such a way as to represent a slow but steady detachment of the events of this game (and those that will follow) from the original narrative: they are producing a controlled descent, if you will, that allows them to test the waters as regards what they are doing thematically, to keep the plot a little more anchored this time around and to make sure they do not alienate their consumer/fan base again by going to a more radical place than the old-schoolers are prepared to accept with regard to the story and (above all) the roster selection. So I think we are 90% on the same page in that analysis: the only difference is that I take the time travel story elements that are creeping in to be an indication that they never really wanted a complete repeat of the earlier franchise, and the strong degree to which this was done in the base product for this game was just a prudent decision for getting the series back on its feet and does not indicate a creative priority among the devs to be absolutely faithful to the original narrative indefinitely.

After-all, while the concerns they may have right now are born out of post-SCV damage control, a smart developer would know that there is a danger of over-correcting and creating something so boring and predictable that it could turn off just as many fans as SCV did. I think SCV is going to cast a long shadow over the series from here and that future Project Soul teams will act with an abundance of caution in straying too far from the series roots, but at the same time, we are talking about one of the industry's most outlandish properties, and they will be taking chances sooner or later with that story. I wouldn't be surprised to see some continued weak indicators of this in the DLC. Setsuka and Hwang's narratives are likely to play out fairly predictably with reference to their original narratives, if I had to guess, but I'd say that if there is Season 3, Aeon's design will probably borrow from across his SoulCalibur appearances--up to and including SCV. And I really expect the changes to start to accelerate in SCVII, with a plot that focuses mostly on (and fuses) the Zasalamel-centered story of SCIII and the Algol-centered plot of SCIV, but with the specifics starting to become a little more mix-and-match, if you follow my meaning.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
Oh, this thread was from two weeks ago, but I forgot to share it here, proof positive that Tira having a split personality in SoulCalibur VI is not a divergence, for any who remained unconvinced.
 

TresDias

[09] Warrior
I definitely do see it as the first chapter in a series of games that will attempt to replicate the first five games down to their smallest detail ...

Didn't you just acknowledge in these posts that this isn't the case, though?:

As just seen a few posts back of mine here, I am not disputing that we have minor differences in place ...

It’s still at least 90% if not 95% the same, though, despite the relatively minor changes that have been made in the interests of being more compelling. For now, the bigger picture hasn’t changed, which is the core of my argument. We can quibble about the details all day, and I’ve never really denied that they’ve made some adjustments to make things flow better or explained some mysteries with background and context, but we’re still on the same path to the same future, at least for right now.
----

In any case, the incompatibilities between Zasalamel's Soul Chronicle here in SCVI and his story mode intro in SCIV mean we're definitely working within a new timeline. Call it an alternate dimension if you find that terminology more palatable, but the genie came out of the bottle at that point and the bottle is broken. There's no going back now.

Zas's original motivations and decisions could reemerge without explanation before SCVII, and every event from here on out could even be a precise replication of the course of events from the old games -- up to and including Bandai Namco re-releasing SCV as it already exists (same roster, story mode, source code, image and sound files, etc.) with a literal "Soulcalibur VIII" sticker printed up for the occasion to be placed over the original logo at retail -- and this would still be a new timeline that ended up almost identical to the old-yet-nonetheless-separate one.

Oh, this thread was from two weeks ago, but I forgot to share it here, proof positive that Tira having a split personality in SoulCalibur VI is not a divergence, for any who remained unconvinced.

I think I addressed that way back in my first post on the forum. Jolly and Gloomy have always been with us.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
Didn't you just acknowledge in these posts that this isn't the case, though?
I did, but I was also just using RB’s words to speak in a more general manner. The differences that we will undoubtedly have existing for the point of cohesive narrative don’t change a thing if the key moments are still as they were before, as a matter of significant divergence. I’m not yet convinced we’ve broken the core narrative yet because they haven’t made the leap yet and they’re wushu-washy about if they will or won’t. Cassandra had the perfect opportunity to act but she didn’t, though RB’s points were valid as to why she didn’t. It still seems like she could or should have if they wanted to cement us into a changed narrative.

I think I addressed that way back in my first post on the forum. Jolly and Gloomy have always been with us.
You did, but I made that post for the ones still on the fence about it, for whatever reason, or who didn’t believe just based on what had been said, believing mechanics over everything else. This is proof that they wanted the mechanics to be in SoulCalibur III, but weren’t able to get them nailed down in time, so they saved it for SoulCalibur IV.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
So now that we know that Setsuka's story is proceeding on a different timetable, I can't help but wonder what this means about any other concrete implications for the new timeline.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
So now that we know that Setsuka's story is proceeding on a different timetable, I can't help but wonder what this means about any other concrete implications for the new timeline.
Not to be overly curt, but what? She’s just like Amy with regards to her story. This is what was written but never shown. We’re seeing it in game for the first time, as really any new character should be properly introduced, instead of having to read their bio information. I didn’t see anything in her trailer that indicated anything different from her original story.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
Not to be overly curt, but what? She’s just like Amy with regards to her story. This is what was written but never shown. We’re seeing it in game for the first time, as really any new character should be properly introduced, instead of having to read their bio information. I didn’t see anything in her trailer that indicated anything different from her original story.
Forgive me my friend, but I am just entertaining myself with a little good-natured trolling fun while we wait impatiently for her cherry blossomness. Take a close look at the period at the end of that sentence in my previous post. ;)
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
That’s far too obscure for a proper shitpost. Do you know how tiny a period is on an iPhone screen? At nearly 5 AM? There’s no way I would have seen that. I thought you got some insider Nyte information or something to substantiate such a claim.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
That’s far too obscure for a proper shitpost. Do you know how tiny a period is on an iPhone screen? At nearly 5 AM? There’s no way I would have seen that. I thought you got some insider Nyte information or something to substantiate such a claim.
Haha, yes, but the real give-away should have been that I was obviously saying something that was carefully constructed to tweak the particular views you are so invested in. The fish on the line was just there so that I could emphasize to you after the fact that I was just having a lark, and that I'm not actually interested in resurrecting your perennial debate with he who shall not be named. ;) But anyway, to borrow a charming little idiom they use here, you swallowed that like a big mouth bass! :D Sorry amiga: I guess I'm in a bit of a puckish mood.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
I believe I have to concede defeat as to my previous views. I said that I would admit that I was wrong when it was clearly proven that we are indeed on a new timeline, and, well, Setsuka's story has gone and done it. It's been a journey, to be sure, and this is an unexpected ending, for Setsuka, of all people, to be the first one to truly branch out and forge a new destiny, but... it is what it is. We'll see how the rest ends up. I'm excited to see what Hwang will bring us.

Her story ends in 1988, two years prior to SoulCalibur III, and not only did she flatly reject going for revenge on Mitsurugi, she's got an entirely new quest on her docket, which has nothing at all to do with her previous revenge / redemption plot. It's definitely more interesting than she was before, has a lot of potential to be interesting, and I hope she gets further developments on this story moving forward. Best of all, our mysterious entity at the end (Anju?) has ties to Soul Edge, clearly, so perhaps the Kokonoe clan will have a role to play in the future with regards to the swords as well.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I believe I have to concede defeat as to my previous views. I said that I would admit that I was wrong when it was clearly proven that we are indeed on a new timeline, and, well, Setsuka's story has gone and done it. It's been a journey, to be sure, and this is an unexpected ending, for Setsuka, of all people, to be the first one to truly branch out and forge a new destiny, but... it is what it is. We'll see how the rest ends up. I'm excited to see what Hwang will bring us.

Her story ends in 1988, two years prior to SoulCalibur III, and not only did she flatly reject going for revenge on Mitsurugi, she's got an entirely new quest on her docket, which has nothing at all to do with her previous revenge / redemption plot. It's definitely more interesting than she was before, has a lot of potential to be interesting, and I hope she gets further developments on this story moving forward. Best of all, our mysterious entity at the end (Anju?) has ties to Soul Edge, clearly, so perhaps the Kokonoe clan will have a role to play in the future with regards to the swords as well.
Oh, wow, my little joke turned prophetic?

So now that we've hit this watershed moment, it's probably fitting that we return to the nominal topic of the thread: assuming that the remaining DLC and especially future entries are going to tell a substantially retooled and divergent story, just how extreme can we expect it to get? Are the Alexandras due a better ride this time around? Is the main thrust of Zasalamel's orginal arc already voided? Is Algol likely to awaken on schedule? Will I be able to escape Zwei giving me eye chlamydia just by seeing him again? These are all interesting questions.

But honestly, more than anything, now that we can move beyond the resrvations created by the previous dogmatic debate, I'm most curious to know what people would -want- to happen? Whether completely new plot threads wildly discordant with the previous narrative, or just little details where one might have wanted a character to zag right where they zigged left, what would our particularly lore-focused community members like to see happen differently than in the first iteration?
 

Metroidwave

[04] Fighter
But honestly, more than anything, now that we can move beyond the resrvations created by the previous dogmatic debate, I'm most curious to know what people would -want- to happen? Whether completely new plot threads wildly discordant with the previous narrative, or just little details where one might have wanted a character to zag right where they zigged left, what would our particularly lore-focused community members like to see happen differently than in the first iteration?
Honestly, I'm personally most interested in Amy and Cassandra. Both have the potential to alter their paths compared to the old timeline and I really want to see them do so.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
I liked how they went into a bit of depth with the Kokonoe clan, to the point it made Taki’s Soul Chronicle dealing with the Fuma clan look skinny by comparison. Then there’s the ever mysterious Manji clan... Seeing these groups working for, against, and all the inbetweens each other and seeing how it all comes together could make for a neat storyline all on its own, with or without the involvement of those on the main stage with the soul swords. It makes me expect to some degree to see the same level of attention given to the workings of the Korean navy in Hwang’s upcoming Soul Chronicle, since the relations between the various groups does help the setting feel more alive.

I don’t think we’re going to be able to avoid the Grøh and Z.W.E.I. competition that’s on the horizon, though. That’s an inevitability that will send many into tears for several different reasons, but the real winner might actually be Wilhelm, assuming these three individuals do convene at some point. It will be a legendary event that will annex itself into our glorious future and really show us what the new timeline is made of.
 

Rusted Blade

[13] Hero
I liked how they went into a bit of depth with the Kokonoe clan, to the point it made Taki’s Soul Chronicle dealing with the Fuma clan look skinny by comparison. Then there’s the ever mysterious Manji clan... Seeing these groups working for, against, and all the inbetweens each other and seeing how it all comes together could make for a neat storyline all on its own, with or without the involvement of those on the main stage with the soul swords. It makes me expect to some degree to see the same level of attention given to the workings of the Korean navy in Hwang’s upcoming Soul Chronicle, since the relations between the various groups does help the setting feel more alive.

No, no--you're cheating Dante, trying to talk again about new elements that further flesh out the original (or now the new timeline) story. I'm inquiring, in line with the thread title, about divergences from the original narrative: what might you like to see go differently? We all know you were the last to give up the ghost on this being a flat-out repeat of the original story, but now that you acknowledge this is not the case (and let's save any caveats about how the story is still cleaving pretty close to the original for now, aside from elements of Amy, Cassie, Zas, and Setsuka's story--that's granted for the purposes of this discussion), surely you have a thought or two about something you'd like to see happen that could not have happened in the original story because of the course events took therein?

Edit: and of course it is ok to say that you wouldn't change a thing because you still wish they had just stuck with a completely faithful remake that didn't change the slightest element of the story beyond adding more. If that's how you feel, that's how you feel. I'm just clarifying that my inquiry is more about changes, not additions. And I'd like to think that you have enough imagination that, even given your extreme fangirl inclinations towards this....I guess we'll call it a story (Kappa), you can think of something that you'd like to see done differently, now that we have established that it won't be a carbon copy plot. In other words: if it has to change, how would you like to see it change?

I don’t think we’re going to be able to avoid the Grøh and Z.W.E.I. competition that’s on the horizon, though. That’s an inevitability that will send many into tears for several different reasons, but the real winner might actually be Wilhelm, assuming these three individuals do convene at some point. It will be a legendary event that will annex itself into our glorious future and really show us what the new timeline is made of.
If those three end up in the same game together, we're going to find out what my stomach is made of....
 
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