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Just what will Emily find in Bubbles's head? The Bubbles Mindscape!

Unicorn Valley and Pegasus Cove; Emily must save her Little Ponies from the Corpse Witch!
Pyroland (Because it's Emily's interpretation);
TRON-style neon blue-on-eternal night;
Bizarro Northampton with QC characters as avatars of parts of Bubbles' psyche;
A battlefield and a battle Emily must help Bubbles win;
Animé world with Corpse Witch as the Dark Queen;
RL Halifax (Jeph: "The Matrix has your friends, Emily!");
Adventure Time with Bembo and the Wolf Queen!
"Emily Azuma? My name is Alice Grove; welcome to the year 7016AD. Welcome to the future."
A 'straight' virtual datascape like something from The Lawnmower Man;
Other (Please specify in comments).

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Author Topic: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)  (Read 37893 times)

cesium133

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #100 on: 18 Jan 2017, 20:58 »

The assumption seems to be that the monster is CW's malware... but what if Emily just instead destroyed Bubbles' memories? We don't really know who Graygoo is or where they came from, so perhaps their mission is actually to prevent Bubbles from retrieving her memories and they've been lying the entire time?
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Perfectly Reasonable

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #101 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:03 »

Also, when I search for 'car_boys.exe', I get a recipe for cleaning large plastic bottles suitable for containing corrosive liquids. The relevance escapes me. (Did I hear a 'whoosh'?)
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #102 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:07 »

If that's all there is to defeating CW's mighty encryption key, I'm underwhelmed. At the least cyclops-doggie ought to chase Emily around the room a few times like a good Boss opponent.

Maybe CW should have hired Bowser for this. He at least takes a few hits and gets entertainingly furious.

Turns out, that ws just the encryption key's baby. The real encryption key is much, much bigger and much, much scarier.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #103 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:21 »

So far it is feeling like an episode of Knightmare.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #104 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:41 »

You can tell that's a real, functional and potentially deadly piece of software because it has no safety orange tip on the barrel.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #105 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:47 »

I get the feeing that Momoocular Trihornis may just have been some form of Watchdog Program.  Easily dealt with, but taking it out may just have triggered an alarm to alert the real Guard Dog Programs.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #106 on: 18 Jan 2017, 21:55 »

Agreed. This has the feel of Oh You Thought That Was The Real Problem.

@Gyrre, I really like that hipster joke and will be quoting it all over.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #107 on: 18 Jan 2017, 22:33 »

A random meat bag could have done just as well!
But could they? These are just representations. Maybe the magic popgun isn't a magic popgun unless Emily's intellect is holding it. Maybe its a part of Emily's mind as much as a software artifact?

I'm torn, on the one hand I kind of think there should be something more dramatic going on, but I struggle to think what more dramatic is in a logical sense. I'm not sure that, for example, having Emily beat the door down with an axe would be any more logical a representation of entering the locked out space than the silly big key was...
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #108 on: 18 Jan 2017, 23:01 »

A random meat bag could have done just as well!
But could they? These are just representations. Maybe the magic popgun isn't a magic popgun unless Emily's intellect is holding it. Maybe its a part of Emily's mind as much as a software artifact?

I'm torn, on the one hand I kind of think there should be something more dramatic going on, but I struggle to think what more dramatic is in a logical sense. I'm not sure that, for example, having Emily beat the door down with an axe would be any more logical a representation of entering the locked out space than the silly big key was...
I'm thinking that the next step would be a huge jigsaw puzzle, like a million+ pieces. All depicting water.
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Gyrre

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #109 on: 18 Jan 2017, 23:22 »

A random meat bag could have done just as well!
But could they? These are just representations. Maybe the magic popgun isn't a magic popgun unless Emily's intellect is holding it. Maybe its a part of Emily's mind as much as a software artifact?

I'm torn, on the one hand I kind of think there should be something more dramatic going on, but I struggle to think what more dramatic is in a logical sense. I'm not sure that, for example, having Emily beat the door down with an axe would be any more logical a representation of entering the locked out space than the silly big key was...
Actually, I was wondering if perhaps a fourth reason Emily keeps being prompted is that her subconscious mind is filling in gaps in the decryption program while she's in there.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #110 on: 18 Jan 2017, 23:37 »

Well, it seems that Cycloptotricornus only had one HP. Either that or the 'gun' had a damage rating that you'd expect off of a Noisy Cricket.

Seriously, though, did anyone else notice how the monster went low-resolution as it exploded. I get the feeling we're seeing the interface struggling to tell a story here - Specifically of a executable file becoming disconnected from data it needs to function and crashing. I suspect that the 'gun' was actually a type of quarantine application that locked off the watchdog's links to the system causing it to stop running.

Like others, I'm quite sure that this was just the gate guardian. The real part of Emily's adventure is on the way.

What? WHY has Emily, our pet polymath, needed to be prompted every single time? Where is the need for her universal pattern connecting ultra savvy? A random meat bag could have done just as well! I am this close to demanding a refund for my unused portion.

Two obvious explanations come to me: In-universe, I suspect that it isn't Alucard talking at all but the UI using their voice. Basically, Emily has the 'helpful hints and tips' option open.

On a meta level, I think Jeph decided to do it this way to make it obvious what is going on and how it is happening without doubling the number of strips as Emily is shown working her way through the options available by best judgement. With a strip cartoon released sequentially, you really need to balance speed with depth of storytelling (IMO, David M Willis often slides too far over to 'depth', leading to the very slow in-universe progression of time in his stories). FWIW, I think Jeph is getting the speed mostly right. Personally, I would have had a graphical rather than verbal hint interface but this is as valid a direction to go as any other.

So far it is feeling like an episode of Knightmare.

Wow! I'm not the only person left in the world that remembers that show!
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #111 on: 19 Jan 2017, 00:23 »

Do we know if Jeph plays Monster Hunter? Because Deadeye is the name of a deviant species in the last Monster Hunter Generations (Deadeye Yian Garuga).

In any case, Emily might well be the Neo to this matrix. The gun would be the absolute weapon, because her brainpower is dedicated to imposing its effetcs on rogue programs. The cyclopsosaurus went low definition because Emily's brain was deconstructing its structure (lines of program) line by line and they were losing precision and thus purpose. [/Epileptic Trees]
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #112 on: 19 Jan 2017, 00:42 »

I love how this interface conceals things of mind-boggling complexity and sophistication behind such apparently simple facades. Emily just took out that huge monster with what appears to be a suction-cup dart gun!  :-D

Edit: Wait, I thiought Emily's last name was "Azuma"? The strip just had it as "Azuna".
« Last Edit: 19 Jan 2017, 01:01 by Storel »
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #113 on: 19 Jan 2017, 01:28 »

I think that a thing to remember is that Questionable Content is essentially meant to be comedic in its themes. Because of this, we can expect any scenario to quite possibly have a 'silly' solution or resolution simply because that's the way the strip goes. Jeph can and does treat some things seriously but he always endeavours for there to be a punch-line, even if it is only a visual one based on the reaction of the characters to the event.

Edit: Wait, I thiought Emily's last name was "Azuma"? The strip just had it as "Azuna".

It's definitely 'Azuma'; the variant spelling today is probably just a typo on Jeph's part.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #114 on: 19 Jan 2017, 01:33 »

The assumption seems to be that the monster is CW's malware... but what if Emily just instead destroyed Bubbles' memories? We don't really know who Graygoo is or where they came from, so perhaps their mission is actually to prevent Bubbles from retrieving her memories and they've been lying the entire time?

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #115 on: 19 Jan 2017, 02:42 »

Yeah, simply put, that was just way too easy. No way that was all.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #116 on: 19 Jan 2017, 03:16 »

So far this scene has had nothing of interest.  We haven't been shown any reason why Emily is the person to do this, and she's done nothing other than follow external instructions to do things which could likely have been automated or done remotely.  For a character-driven comic, this is currently running very thin.  Hopefully there will be a showdown in which these complaints will be cast aside.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #117 on: 19 Jan 2017, 03:42 »

Yes, I agree. This strip would have been much stronger without the prompting speech bubble. Then the pop-gun-of-doom materialising in Emily's hand would have been her instant flash-hacked countermeasure against the weird-dog daemon.
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brasca

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #118 on: 19 Jan 2017, 04:21 »

If it were this easy then this shadowy organization wouldn't be helping them.  They seem to know Corpse Witch is a fairly skilled programmer and not some con artist who did some unsophisticated work to seal away Bubbles' memories.  The monster could be a decoy or possibly a silent alarm that isn't activated until it's destroyed.  Now that it is some real obstacles may emerge. 
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #119 on: 19 Jan 2017, 07:26 »

I don't necessarily want an exposition/info dump but I would like to get some kind of even pseudo-scientific explanation for the process represented by the doink gun.

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #120 on: 19 Jan 2017, 07:27 »

I agree with those saying this isn't the end of the line; for one thing, the little gun is deliberately made to look non-awesome. It's tiny, and makes a piddling noise. And the doggie's immolation isn't very intimidating either.

Of course, what could happen is that it IS the end, but it turns out that Graycheeks was more interested in destroying Bubbles' memories than preserving them; the doggie was the memories themselves and not the encryption key (which was broken back when Emily unlocked the door). Graycheeks used Emily to do the dirty work in order to make a quick getaway rather than face Bubbles' wrath.
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WareWolf

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #121 on: 19 Jan 2017, 08:42 »

I don't necessarily want an exposition/info dump but I would like to get some kind of even pseudo-scientific explanation for the process represented by the doink gun.

Because "pshoo," that's why!
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #122 on: 19 Jan 2017, 10:37 »

I thought it was pretty clear that Emily nerfed that ICE.
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brasca

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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #123 on: 19 Jan 2017, 12:47 »

I agree with those saying this isn't the end of the line; for one thing, the little gun is deliberately made to look non-awesome. It's tiny, and makes a piddling noise. And the doggie's immolation isn't very intimidating either.

Of course, what could happen is that it IS the end, but it turns out that Graycheeks was more interested in destroying Bubbles' memories than preserving them; the doggie was the memories themselves and not the encryption key (which was broken back when Emily unlocked the door). Graycheeks used Emily to do the dirty work in order to make a quick getaway rather than face Bubbles' wrath.

I don't think "they" fear Bubbles or Faye's retaliation in the least and if "they" wanted to eliminate those memories why go through this ruse when eliminating Bubbles would be more efficient?  "They" want those memories too, but for what reasons remains unclear.   
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #124 on: 19 Jan 2017, 14:48 »

So far it is feeling like an episode of Knightmare.

Omg, someone else remembers Knightmare! :D

All I can say is that I hope it doesn't end like most episodes of Knightmare, with the adventurer being variously eaten, crushed, eaten a different way, zapped by spells or badly miscalculating a gap in the floor. o.o
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #125 on: 19 Jan 2017, 15:24 »

I thought it was pretty clear that Emily nerfed that ICE.

I wonder if there's any significance to it looking like a two-shot nerf gun...
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #126 on: 19 Jan 2017, 16:09 »

I don't think "they" fear Bubbles or Faye's retaliation in the least and if "they" wanted to eliminate those memories why go through this ruse when eliminating Bubbles would be more efficient?  "They" want those memories too, but for what reasons remains unclear.   

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It could be that having AIs openly put down is not something Graycheeks and their pals want to be seen doing. Could cause dissension in the ranks.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #127 on: 19 Jan 2017, 19:51 »

"The thing's hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God! — it's full of air!"
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #128 on: 19 Jan 2017, 19:52 »

So was there never anything in there, or was the monster a visual representation of the memories? Did she just accidentally delete the memories?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #129 on: 19 Jan 2017, 19:58 »

Jeph is getting good at the whole cliffhanger thing.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #130 on: 19 Jan 2017, 20:03 »

A possiblity to consider is that there never were memories Bubbles wanted to forget. Instead Corpse Witch implanted Bubbles with a memory telling her she had memories she wanted Corpse Witch to lock away.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #131 on: 19 Jan 2017, 20:10 »

So was there never anything in there, or was the monster a visual representation of the memories? Did she just accidentally delete the memories?

I'm reading the implication as "there were defenses, but they were protecting nothing and CW has stolen the memories, and only TOLD Bubbles that she locked them up, they were never actually there"
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #132 on: 19 Jan 2017, 20:13 »

It is also possible that deletion is easier than encryption and Corpse Witch didn't give a shit about the distinction.

Of course, Corpse Witch doesn't give any shits, ever.  She has no digestive system.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #133 on: 19 Jan 2017, 20:34 »

One problem solved and another in its place.

Now on to diving into CW's head and gathering incriminating evidence while there!
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #134 on: 19 Jan 2017, 21:04 »

A possiblity to consider is that there never were memories Bubbles wanted to forget. Instead Corpse Witch implanted Bubbles with a memory telling her she had memories she wanted Corpse Witch to lock away.

I can see Corpse Witch doing that but Bubbles would have had no reason to agree to the procedure unless she'd had real PTSD.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #135 on: 19 Jan 2017, 21:10 »

A possiblity to consider is that there never were memories Bubbles wanted to forget. Instead Corpse Witch implanted Bubbles with a memory telling her she had memories she wanted Corpse Witch to lock away.

The problem I see with that scenario is that she'd have needed access to Bubble's mind to implant that memory, which means that Bubbles did allow her access, unless she broke in.

If CW broke in, she's much more sophisticated than she's shown so far.

If Bubbles allowed CW to edit her memories, then why? If she didn't have memories she'd rather forget, then there was no reason to let CW make her forget.

Also, Bubbles said that even if an AI was modified to see the sky as green, they'd still remember seeing the sky as blue the day before. I immagine that it'd be pretty difficult, if not impossible, to implant months or possibly years of fake memories of traumic feelings about the trauma memories that never existed. (I don't remember Bubbles saying how long ago she was in the military.))

Edit: Gah, ninja'd

I can see Corpse Witch doing that but Bubbles would have had no reason to agree to the procedure unless she'd had real PTSD.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #136 on: 19 Jan 2017, 22:07 »

JK! I'm guessing either Emily just deleted the corrupted-into-a-virus memories, or "Sorry, your memories are in another Mind Palace."
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #137 on: 19 Jan 2017, 22:16 »

JK! I'm guessing either Emily just deleted the corrupted-into-a-virus memories, or "Sorry, your memories are in another Mind Palace."

If Corpse Witch really wanted to rub it in she'd have left behind Toad with a note stating that. 

Either the memories are locked away somewhere else in Bubbles mind or Corpse Witch actually has it.  Either way they might be paying her a visit next. 
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #138 on: 19 Jan 2017, 22:23 »

So, the possibilites are:

1) Emily just erased the memories that were disguised as Monooculus Trihornus
2) This room is a blind trap and the Memories are actually hidden behind the back wall which is a very cleverly disguised Security Firewall
3)The memories exist, but Corpse Witch has actually removed them and has them stored in a place only she knows while implanting a false memory about the Encryption Key.
4) This isn't actually the room with the locked memories - THAT is hidden elsewhere snd this has been a flse trail.
5) Or the final possibility - there ARE no memories.  CW (or someone else) implanted the idea of the memories in order to control Bubbles (Reasons to be shown later).


Whatever's going on here, I think things have just gotten interestinger.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #139 on: 19 Jan 2017, 22:54 »

For CW's sake the memories better exist somewhere else; otherwise a very pissed-off Bubbles has no reason to hold back. I'm wondering how much punishment a hard drive with the "core self" can take.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #140 on: 19 Jan 2017, 23:21 »

This twist does strongly lend itself to the possibility that the memories never existed in the first place. However, another possibility is that Corpse Witch is canny enough a hacker to set up an obvious decoy partition containing a trap to destroy any interlopers. Meanwhile, the real encrypted memories are elsewhere, possibly even on the main drive, but inaccessible because the main system doesn't have the encryption key. I think that Emily should really go back to the drive root and look for a door that's obviously different in some way. An encrypted memory section would 'look' very obviously different in some way because of its scrambled contents.

The nature of AI memories suggests that they couldn't simply be deleted or transferred. They would be a part of the whole that is Bubbles and couldn't be removed without her personality algorithm starting to seriously glitch because of all the access calls to empty addresses.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #141 on: 19 Jan 2017, 23:24 »

And now Jeph has caught my attention once more.

For CW's sake the memories better exist somewhere else; otherwise a very pissed-off Bubbles has no reason to hold back. I'm wondering how much punishment a hard drive with the "core self" can take.

Well I'm sure, like most things, it can be encased in concrete and thrown to the bottom of the sea.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #142 on: 20 Jan 2017, 00:07 »

Well, seems like Emily fought and destroyed Bubbles demon(s) after all... but if that were to be THE memories, Bubbles didn't want to lose entirely, she's f%§ked by now.
It could be, CW didn't even try to disguise those memories, just putting them in there as they are and if anyone tried to interfere with them, they'd be easily destroyed - for noone else to recover. That'd be a really screwed up kind of "protection" but something I can see CW planning in her mind.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #143 on: 20 Jan 2017, 00:46 »

As I said before, Corpse Witch had no reason to actually decrypt Bubbles' memories after ten years, that would immediately remove all leverage she had and would let Bubbles take revenge on her.

So she never encrypted the memories, she just deleted them. She also planted the "monster" to make sure Bubbles' mind would be destroyed if someone tried to look (but the tech they're using now is over CW's capability).
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #144 on: 20 Jan 2017, 00:55 »

So, the possibilites are:

1) Emily just erased the memories that were disguised as Monooculus Trihornus
2) This room is a blind trap and the Memories are actually hidden behind the back wall which is a very cleverly disguised Security Firewall
3)The memories exist, but Corpse Witch has actually removed them and has them stored in a place only she knows while implanting a false memory about the Encryption Key.
4) This isn't actually the room with the locked memories - THAT is hidden elsewhere snd this has been a flse trail.
5) Or the final possibility - there ARE no memories.  CW (or someone else) implanted the idea of the memories in order to control Bubbles (Reasons to be shown later).


Whatever's going on here, I think things have just gotten interestinger.
This looks like a good start for next week's WCDT poll! Just add some Spathe Ham and Waffles and we're ready to go.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #145 on: 20 Jan 2017, 01:11 »

>2) This room is a blind trap and the Memories are actually hidden behind the back wall which is a very cleverly disguised Security Firewall

Such things exist in the world of malicious software. Very good concealment techniques exist even in today's non-intelligent computers. An AI's brain must be more complicated and offer more hiding places.

It doesn't matter how hardened Corpse Witch's core module is. As long as there's a fresh backup she can't really be killed. If backups are impossible then it's necessary to retcon some of the early Pintsize adventures.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #146 on: 20 Jan 2017, 01:28 »

I'm getting the impression that backups are illegal now, whereas they weren't back then.

Basically, a backup is creating a new sentient intelligence, which would be destroyed when a new backup is taken (murder).
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #147 on: 20 Jan 2017, 02:01 »

>2) This room is a blind trap and the Memories are actually hidden behind the back wall which is a very cleverly disguised Security Firewall

Such things exist in the world of malicious software. Very good concealment techniques exist even in today's non-intelligent computers. An AI's brain must be more complicated and offer more hiding places.

The whole-disk encryption software I used at work offered the capability to install a complete fake operating system and environment which is opened up by a second password.  This way, the manual tells you in all seriousness (I kid you not!), you can give up the second password when you are being tortured for it (OK, the current version no longer mentions "torture") without giving away any clue what is really on your disk, or any access to it.  Of course, this assumes that the baddies are unaware of this capability of the software...

I hope that at least is what's going on here - but I am still somewhat underwhelmed by the way it's being shown.
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #148 on: 20 Jan 2017, 05:03 »

I'm getting the impression that backups are illegal now, whereas they weren't back then.
Why would that stop Corpsie?
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Re: WCDT Strips 3396-3400 (16th to 20th January 2016)
« Reply #149 on: 20 Jan 2017, 05:50 »

It'd at least deal with the problems of retconning Pintsize adventures.
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