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File: 1482562312415.png (25.37 KB, 371x288, flow.png)

 No.11960

Seeing the nice litle activity /fg/ is having, i figure i would point out something a lot of people overlook when theorizing about .flow.

What the fuck does the beginning mean?

I mean the sequence at the start where Sabitsuki is just hovering around in a black void.
When you press Z to continue, the static goes haywire, and the most interesting thing is, the visual effect that appears on the screen when you wake up is used to introduce you to Sabitsuki's Room.

Considering the already weak line between reality and dream .flow has (after collecting all effects you have to dream 3 times in a row (1 time inside your own dream) to begin the last part of the game) the intro sequence screws it even further.

Oh, and when you press Z and when the static is going haywire, Sabitsuki's model shortly changes to a sorta monochrome black haired girl.

Also, i wonder how .flow would play out if it relied less on gore and more on the technological / psychological factor, i really think the game is perfect as it is, just wondering.

Oh, and also.
when is .flow 0.20 going to come out

jk

 No.11962

I usually saw it less as "dreaming" and more as logging in to a network. Seems more like you're perusing blogs and memories in almost a VR-like setup.

 No.11963

File: 1482669178759.png (468.27 KB, 529x500, tumblr_n5zbp5Etf71sdhikzo2….png)

Well, the instructions call the activity that you're doing on the computer "Flow", and when you start the game the first option says ".flow" instead of start or play, so really, even the part of the game that seems like reality is part of .flow/the dream/a VR projection. Every time you use the computer you get into deeper layers of Sabi's mind.

>Also, i wonder how .flow would play out if it relied less on gore and more on the technological / psychological factor, i really think the game is perfect as it is, just wondering.

Hmmm, would be pretty cool to see that accomplished with no dialogue. I guess you could try something with NPC behaviour (like make 'em all stare at you if you're using certain effects) or by playing around with the setting. Something like the place where you find Ghost Oreko, but on a bigger scale. And have the TV effect do more stuff.

 No.11964

File: 1482674820333.png (39.93 KB, 640x480, rust.png)

>>11963
>when you start the game the first option says ".flow" instead of start or play
that's a thing i forgot to mention too, that always intrigued me along with the intro but there were almost to none theories about that.
The "wake up" animation does play after the intro ends, but she isn't sitting by her PC.

>Every time you use the computer you get into deeper layers of Sabi's mind

Yeah, to become Rust you need to drop all effects (dropping her memories / identity perhaps?) then go in flow while already in flow, unlocking a "deeper" layer (locations) that Sabitsuki refused to go to before the end-game.

But something bothers me.
Her waking up animation when she is Rust.
Red static plagues the screen and zoom's to Rust's sprite.
Unlike the other animation where she just pinches her cheek.
Considering that she already had to dream within a dream to become Rust, and the true ending bringing shit from the dreams to IRL the game has a really screwy grip on reality.

>the nexus changing every .flow session

The nexus' "broken glass" / "transitors" / "random tech shit" or whatever you like to call it changes in form every session.

It has a white form, a grey / blurry one, a black form, and 2 "rusted forms" that appear when your nearing the end-game, oh and a Oreko form too.

I don't know exactly what it represents, someone proposed that it was her mental state / disease progression, but i'm not sure.

 No.11965

>>11964
>The "wake up" animation does play after the intro ends, but she isn't sitting by her PC.
Hm, you say wake up, but I personally see the intro as Sabi entering a .flow session - her being in the centre of the room is the kind of detail that makes the theory for me. When you normally use the computer you appear on the balcony, so it would make sense that another "external" .flow/dream session would place Sabi away from the computer. If she was on the computer at the beginning, it could be interpreted as her just finishing a regular .flow session (like the ones that you go through in the game).

>Her waking up animation when she is Rust.

>Red static plagues the screen and zoom's to Rust's sprite.
>Unlike the other animation where she just pinches her cheek.
Huh, I never really thought about that being connected to the whole reality/dream thing. It just seemed like a cool way to make Rust different from Sabi, and to show how corrupted and inhuman she is (doesn't even need to do a cute motion to wake up… jeez). But I guess if Rust is even deeper inside the dream, in a fake reality inside a fake reality inside a reality(?), she could just control the "program" with her mind, without the need for any special input (the cheek pinching being a command to wake up). Then again, she equips effects without any motion, so it might not be as deep as that.

>I don't know exactly what it represents, someone proposed that it was her mental state / disease progression, but i'm not sure.

First of all, it looks cool as hell, so it doesn't even need to have a meaning.
But more seriously, the central cluster could represent Sabi's surface memories, with the door to her room - the most material place, closest to reality and her most recent memories - being in the middle. The lone pathways branching out lead to forgotten far-away memories, buried much much deeper.

 No.11966

File: 1482684133836.png (393.03 KB, 720x800, rust.png)

>>11965
> I personally see the intro as Sabi entering a .flow session - her being in the centre of the room is the kind of detail that makes the theory for me.

That's what i was meaning, when she "wakes up" normally she just exits the PC.
The visual effect of waking up / dreaming is used here, so it implies she's already dreaming (as the intro implies) or she awoke from a .flow session. (if so it would make more sense if she left the PC)

I mostly believe the former, since it has more backing to it.

> it looks cool as hell


the nexus' (aside from albino girls) appearance was what intrigued me to play .flow, which seemed to rely more on like, the psychological factor coming from it's appearance.

> The lone pathways branching out lead to forgotten far-away memories, buried much much deeper.

Yeah, a thing that baffled me was the huge jump in quality between the 4 "original" locations and the areas it leads to.
Like, every area that leads after it is much more detailed.

I love the game's level design, it (kinda) reminds me of the first Dark Souls, because there are no dead ends and there's shortcuts everywhere.

> Rust's waking up animation

Yeah, it's a nice little thing to set Rust aside from Sabitsuki, but a thing that always bothered is how Sabitsuki is renamed into Rust, but in "reality" she still looks like normal Sabitsuki, not a "sickened" one.

Then again, the end-game and the endings says "fuck you" to everything, shit gets real and the game doesn't care if it screws your mind in the process.

The overall status of the .flow sessions begin to detoriate and like, out of control when your playing as Rust.
Red demons everywhere, every NPC around you is dying / has dissapeared and new locations and events are available.


It's kinda nice to talk about a game that seems to be dead, i haven't seen that much discussion of fangames for a while, although that might be because everybody is tired of them.

I wonder if lolrust will try and update or sorta remake .flow some time.
He's been developing other games, but he's most known and he appears to like .flow the most out of his own games.

Have a jolly christmas, anon.

 No.11967

File: 1482689926407.png (496.68 KB, 1000x638, tumblr_nhgegdYDm41swr2y4o6….png)

>>11966
>Yeah, a thing that baffled me was the huge jump in quality between the 4 "original" locations and the areas it leads to.
I haven't seen much of the older versions of the game, but I assumed these areas were made first, when lol didn't have as much art experience and was probably sticking more to the YN formula, so they naturally have the whole vast emptiness thing.
I'm not sure if I want it to be on purpose or not - I want the areas to have more things added to them 'cause they're pretty boring by themselves (even though we probably won't be getting any more updates…), but then again, you need to put the interesting stuff farther into the journey to make it rewarding when you find it.

>I love the game's level design, it (kinda) reminds me of the first Dark Souls, because there are no dead ends and there's shortcuts everywhere

Yeahhh, I love that too. One of the reasons why I prefer .flow to Yume Nikki is because you can navigate through the world much faster. I haven't played it in a while though, so I've forgotten half of the directions. And I used to know the whole dreamworld like the back of my hand, gah.

>It's kinda nice to talk about a game that seems to be dead, i haven't seen that much discussion of fangames for a while, although that might be because everybody is tired of them.

When I got into .flow it wasn't exactly dead, but it seemed like pretty much every theory had been covered, so there wasn't really anything left to discuss, which was a shame because .flow is my favourite fangame. You finally gave me a chance to talk about it, so thanks for that, heh.
I'd like to see another update, but if lol's done with the game's story there's really no need to add new content, especially if it's gonna be stuff made up on the spot just to please the fans. Sucks that it means the game will fade into even more obscurity.

And Merry Christmas to you too!!

 No.11977

>>11967
.flow had a great run IMO. You should look into lolrust's other games, I know Shoujo Gaiden is getting translated, and Shoujo Kidan was a pretty fun ride, though very different from .flow (Less gory/mindfucky, more atmospheric and mysterious)

 No.11978

>>11977
Yeah, i played Kidan, and i'm waiting for the Gidan translation.

.flow feels more of a complete package compared to Kidan.

Gidan, though, from the few japanese i know, and the few parts of the game i played, is way more atmospheric and it seems like lol combined all the skills he learned from making his past two games to make a glorious one.

 No.12032

File: 1485352205303.png (54.63 KB, 640x480, get2.png)

>>11960
I also wonder what pic related means
legit saw no theories on the empty boxes except the womb one.

this one seems to break the entire "story" though
theres still plenty much to cover because people only touched the "rust is disease ecksdee" theory, but the fanbase died out

 No.12040

>>12032
Is Oreko cloning Sabi?

 No.12041

File: 1485444550319.png (127.4 KB, 600x600, tumblr_myu246hCeu1rdpbtwo1….png)

>>12032
Thanks for reviving the thread, anon! I really really love talking about .flow.

I've always seen the empty boxes as three major periods/events in Sabi's life, or maybe the three core themes that persist in it and shape her as a person.
The hospital empty box would be her birth and childhood, and of course the disease she was probably born with.
The school would be her teenage years, and the social exclusion/bullying she experienced (the whole place is littered with eye and mouth-related imagery, which can be associated with gossip and staring).

The empty box in the industrial maze would then represent the final period, which I guess would be late adolescence. I mean, she does look pretty tall in that tube, so she's not a child at least.
I haven't really decided on an interpretation here. The rusty machines in the area could symbolise older Sabi, falling apart after years of rusting. Or maybe they represent some kind of solution to the disease's effects (metal-tan + the machine effect + the tumbling doll/dharma effect + Sabi getting her legs cut off at the end). That would fit in with the box representing a recent/present event; Sabi as we see her in the game is in the final stages of whatever the procedure for getting cured is. The relation to Oreko could be Sabi remembering her friend who had never gotten the chance to grow up with her, or to live to see a cure.

As for the tube itself, I have two theories:

In her late adolescence, Sabi realises that her entire life she's really just served as a test sample, trapped in a "test tube" - a hospital that gave its patients inhuman treatment, probably not even caring that much to cure the disease as much as they wanted to experiment with it. Maybe this fate was something decided by some higher-ups even before her birth, and she found out about it in her later life (through her connections with the gas mask maids or something).
OR
The .flow program is an experiment aiming to find a cure and Sabi has no choice but to participate, hence trapped in a tube. She's not allowed to leave her room and doesn't really have any hope left other than this, so she goes with it and lets her mind be destroyed by it, in the process creating Rust who completely annihilates any resemblance of her old personality (dropping all the effects, getting the empty boxes and killing Sabi at the end) and ends up being killed and discarded by the maids.

 No.12044

>>12032
Could blackboxes represent wants but things she can't have?

I figured they'd represent whatever the normal effects do, except she sees them as being unattainable. Given where they're found, I figured they'd be something like "Mother/Love/Murder" for the womb, "Education/Acceptance" for the school, and "Health/Calm/Stability" for the tube. All could be seen as desires for a better body as well. Though it really depends on how you see the effects. They could also be seen as memories of a mother, bullying, and hospital treatment as well.

Given the more technical aspects, you could consider them as being literal black boxes on her computer, though their functions aren't well known. It all leads to her getting her legs cut off anyway.

 No.12045

File: 1485480659005.png (146.98 KB, 754x1059, machine.png)

>>12032
>>12040
>>12041
>>12044
Thank god the thread was revived!
I love talking about .flow and there is always something that leaves the radar like the excessive plant imagery few people have talked about.

I think the empty boxes represent like 3 major things that make Sabitsuki a human being.

I kind of interpret her dropping the effects as dropping her identity / memories behind (therefore Rust) so the empty boxes would have to be the deeper, locked down artifacts.
Not a memetic thing like the effects, but more of a thing that marks Sabitsuki deep down, even if she's not really her (Rust), she's still Sabitsuki.
Let's call it a "Sense" maybe.

The first empty box (the womb) of course represents her birth, the disease & the parents that she never got.

The second empty box (the mouth) probably represents some sort of social exclusion as some pointed out.
I can't really decipher most things from the school because its just "Sabi had trouble in school" but from what i saw from most of the area it does have a theme of exclusion / struggle for acceptance (You see a lone Sabitsuki with a uniform in a sort of…depressed pose) but the most confusing thing is Smile.
He's just…there.
Haven't seen much theories on Smile's whereabouts and his lack of potassium (kudos to anybody who misheard his phrase as that) but i will try and lurk deeper.

The third and last one, the tube, is yes, indeed the one that sort of…"broke" the story you shall say.
My friends immediately started wild mass guessing when they saw her in a jar, saying Sabitsuki is a cyborg and Rust is just literal or some weird shit.
Really made my head wrap around.

The interesting thing is that its a teen Sabitsuki, not a child one.
Perhaps a cure or her vision of her "right/perfect" self or something like that?
>>12041
I find your theory really interesting, but one part that i always found interesting is, right before you enter the room with the Sabitsuki in a jar, you meet a (i think it was sort of rusted/with-a-kaibutsu-like smile) Sabitsuki inside a cage.

I suppose that must represent the rusted self or the disease.
I don't know if it means anything, but with the heavy plant imagery the game has, the vines near the tube do spark my intrigue.

Anyways, im probably going to do a follow up post later, since i'm tired.
I still have to find the rest of the things linking the empty boxes together.
Also, one interesting tidbit, i played .flow 0.03 and a thing i noticed is that the game seemed to have a way different vibe, it didn't seem to have the "Rust" thematic, even though the character's name was still Sabitsuki. (and we all know what that kanji means)
And yes, to the poster way up above, those 4 locations were actually the first ones, that was a nice find.

I really do love looking at the logistics and the simple things when looking at a story.
In MGS2, for example, Raiden (the main character) was supposed to sneak into a offshore plant by underwater infiltration.
The fences were cut, and Raiden did not bring any gear.

How was he supposed to get in?
We later learn that another operative (Snake, the main character of the 1st game) has cut the fence.
After you learn a huge clusterfuck conspiracy that the mission Raiden was going through was a simulation of the events of the first game and that Snake was not a part of the simulation one wonders how Raiden could have gotten past the fence, and with the heavy surreal imagery and plot holes nearing in later the game, one might theorize that it was all a VR simulation.
At least 'till MGS4 came.

 No.12048

File: 1485530777579.jpg (259.66 KB, 752x1062, in_a_town_by_lolrust-d6lmr….jpg)

>>12045
My main thing about .flow is that what a lot of people forget is that it's all on Sabi's computer. Even if she's just using a music program to induce a trance much of it likely translates to a computer environment. I figured that the effects were things she's found online that she likes that she's saved, but they're things she already has or can get easily. The black boxes can't be acquired so easily. They're impossible to truly get.

My theory is that the initial part of the game is simply Sabi throwing herself into distractions and hollow pursuits. Things she enjoys, but are ultimately frivolous and don't really contribute much to her quest of self understanding or whatever. Dropping the effects is her basically deleting system 32. They aren't important. None of it is. She's just trying to avoid bigger issues.

The rust part is just Sabi growing increasingly unstable with self-loathing and hatred. Violent tendencies towards herself and others slowly consume her and she begins to believe that there's really nothing inside of her. She focuses on this point to the point that she becomes suicidal. What many say could be bloodstains from disease could also be evidence of Sabi harming herself out of depression. It culminates in the ending, which could either be about Sabi attempting suicide and failing at the cost of her legs, or Sabi attempting to seek treatment for her intense depression and get better only falling back into her old ways. Either way it's something that she can't beat, nor ever will probably.

You can also say the empty boxes all contribute to her wanting to die as well. With the mutilated mother having 'killed' her in the past (along with the white room), the gaping mouth which could easily eat her, and the tube where she's floating lifelessly, possibly drowned.

The gasmask maids are probably representatives of depression/self-hatred. They help Sabi because that's just how it is. It's contradictory. Sabi wallows in hatred and self pity to feel better. It's not good at all for her but it's all she knows. The maids feed her, likely a sign of stress eating, and they hand off the limbless effect, which may encourage self harm. If the April fools update is any indication, Sabi has had these feelings for a very long time. They're simultaneously awful yet comforting.

 No.12050

File: 1485684819735.png (30.1 KB, 640x480, orekorust.png)

>>12044
>I figured they'd represent whatever the normal effects do, except she sees them as being unattainable.
I like this.

>>12045
>but the most confusing thing is Smile. He's just…there. Haven't seen much theories on Smile's whereabouts and his lack of potassium
Hah, was the potassium thing ever commented on by lol? I remember the phrase being interpreted as either "You're a sick girl, but I'll see you again." or "She's a sick girl. Give her some potassium." with lol messing up the English a little bit, but I have no idea if anything was confirmed.
I'm pretty sure I've seen plenty of theories on Smile, though. Sabi's high school friend, bully, boyfriend… Sabi falling into delinquency with him, Sabi killing Smile, Smile hurting Sabi, Sabi killing Smile's sister, Sabi and Smile being the excluded freaks, Sabi being excluded from Smile's gang…

>right before you enter the room with the Sabitsuki in a jar, you meet a (i think it was sort of rusted/with-a-kaibutsu-like smile) Sabitsuki inside a cage.

Yep. And don't forget, if you're playing as regular Sabitsuki, Oreko is there holding her hand. She also turns towards you when you walk around the cage.

>>12048
I love your interpretation, especially your thoughts on what the gas mask maids represent. You got anything else?
It's pretty neat coming across unique theories that don't just take everything literally (even though I do that myself, ah…), so I definitely wanna hear more!

 No.12051

File: 1485709394033.png (470.47 KB, 640x480, 6221_f9c1_960.png)

>>12050
I haven't thought on it a whole lot honestly, just that Sabi has depression. I wouldn't say she's physically sick, or she might be, it's just not so terribly severe. However most of the hospitals in her mind tend to relate to her being younger, so she was probably hospitalized as a child for whatever reason (disease/suicide attempt/some sort of accident) but obviously didn't stay there, which is why I don't tend to think "rust" is some kind of disease.

Relating to the theme of being online, Kaibutsu could be cyber bullying. Or bullying in general since they appear a lot at the school. Sabi probably also does it as well considering the Kaibutsu Sabis, however they tend to attack her, which may be a further example of self-hatered, however she could have done it to others in the past in an attempt at making herself feel better. In the ending, when she becomes one, could represent her relapsing and going right back to attacking herself, with the cleaner being Sabi's depression. The cleaner then cuts her legs off. Symbolic or literal, she basically winds up back where she started, only this time she can't get away.

Oreko could be an online friend who she bonded with over a shared love of tech. Or they may have known each other previously for hospital treatment, but Oreko had to move away. Sabi has been lashing out on her recently due to her emotional issues, putting a strain on their relationship. Oreko is probably just as insensitive however. The idea of mechanics makes me think that she thinks she can somehow "fix" Sabi, which is impossible. Depression can't be cured, only treated.

Smile could be a prior abusive relationship she had. Even though she broke it off, the relationship still haunts her. Her visiting him could be simply looking at his Facebook page and considering getting back together, only to realize how bad an idea that is. The school could be looking over chat logs or something, and remembering how much she hated herself back then and how he abused her. Somewhat hypocritically, he cares a great deal for his sister, who could even be their illegitimate child.

The black haired woman was simply someone else Sabi knew who had depression and killed herself. She probably had issues relating to rape, which Sabi never experienced. She might want to in order to "justify" her feelings.

Likely Sabi developed these feelings of hatred and sadness due to a childhood event. Maybe her mother died in an incident that left her hospitalized for a while? Bullying might have started around there, considering that the children partially resemble Kaibutsu. She became traumatized by the whole ordeal and started to develop suicidal thoughts. The black haired girls in blue might be PTSD, like how the maids are depression. Gore probably sets her off because of whatever happened, though she's attempted to cope with exposure therapy to desensitize her. This is probably what leads to her breakdown that starts the game. She tries to distract herself from these thoughts, then ultimately embraces them becoming "rust".

I haven't thought about it too much, I'm just looking for alternative theories most people will ignore since it's more common thinking about Sabi like she's sick with some fantastic disease or something.

 No.12052

File: 1485714068113.jpg (52.59 KB, 408x213, proxy.jpg)

You guys may be interested in knowing that lol is working in a short game titled Milya.
http://game.nicovideo.jp/atsumaru/games/gm1684

>ミーリャちゃんへ

To Milya:

>ミーリャちゃん おたんじょうび おめでとう

Happy birthday, Milya-chan.
>わたしたちは あなたのために このお話を 作りました
We have created this story for you.

>ミーリャちゃんは ただ歩きながら

>お話を聞いてくれるだけで いいのです!
All you (Milya-chan) need to do is to walk around and listen to the story!

I just found out when I was sending him the mail that gidan's translation is technically done (all I need is some people testing the dialogues and telling me whether they sound weird or not, I'm not a native).

 No.12058

>>11965
>Sabi uses PC to go into deeper .flow layers
>you use PC to start the game
>instead of "play" it reads ".flow"
no anon, you were the Sabi all along

 No.12059

File: 1486195787232.jpg (57.55 KB, 500x524, aa.jpg)

>>12058
holy SHIT, you're right.

Thank you so much, lolrust-san… I'm finally the white-haired mentally scarred shut-in anime girl I've always wanted to be…

 No.12060

>>12058
Dreams DO come true…

 No.12657

File: 1508635403384.jpg (12.59 KB, 480x360, YUME NIKKIIIIIIIIIIII.jpg)

bro literally all i got was girl escapes reality because terminal disease and shitty cards dealt and then legs get cut off cause lole ur not infecting the rest of these wonderful people and moral of the story and dedication to yume nikki is somewhere along the lines of "everybody has a reason to dream" the whole pc thing throws me off it seems that is the only thing thats open for speculation everything else seems obvious



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