Let’s Play 999 feat. NekoJonez – Part 4 – Putting the Fun in Funyarinpa

We're back, and it's time for our first real puzzle!

I mean, we had that one puzzle in the first room that we had to complete, but I'm not sure that really counts. This is our first post-meeting-everyone game, and the first one where we actually know what the stakes are. We need to complete these puzzles if we want to survive and not have our heads asplode, so it's kind of a big deal.

Well, it might be a big deal, but the music is rather "chill". Here is your music cue. (For those who don't know, this music is what plays during this section of the game.)

Quick recap: we chose to go through door number 4 with June, Lotus and Santa, and found ourselves in a big ol' hallway. Luckily we managed to find the DEAD, where we scanned our bracelets and made sure that we were all going to survive, at least for the immediate future. Our goal now is to find a way to… I'm guessing open the big double door and move on to the next thing? We'll find out, I guess!


This is the room we've found ourselves in. Examining the vase prompts June to make a joke about stealing it, while the picture thing is just 'odd', as Junpei says.

In the room to the right, we pick up a matchbox. Nothing seems super interesting about it right now, but after grabbing it, Junpei starts up a little conversation.

Junpei: Oh, yeah… How's your fever? You feeling better now?
June: Yes. I'm feeling fine.

(June certainly looked fine. Junpei held his hand on her forehead for a few seconds… It seemed her fever really had gone down.)

June: Are you…worried about me?

Junpei: Yeah, I guess I am.
June: *Giggle*

(June blushed and giggled.)

June: By the way…Jumpy…?
Junpei: Hm?
June: How did you end up here?
Junpei: What do you mean? I told you earlier, didn't I?


June: There was a man with a gas mask when you got home at night. You inhaled some white smoke and passed out. When you woke up, you were on D Deck…
Junpei: Yeah, that's it.
June: But is that really the truth?
Junpei: …What?!
June: Jumpy, are you hiding something from me?
Junpei: No! Why would I!?
June: Well, if you think about it, this is awfully suspicious. I mean, why would 2 childhood friends bump into each other in a place like this…?
Junpei: Hey, I could ask you the same thing! Are you hiding something?
June: What would I hide…?
Junpei: Well, I dunno. Anything. I mean, you're hiding it. How would I know?
June: You mean, like…the number of men I've dated?

(Junpei's heart stumbled over itself.)

June: Do you want to know?

(He had to admit, he was a little curious.)

June: Don't worry.

(She smiled at him.)

June: Only 18…


June: …Times 0.

Oh, har-de-har.

Junpei, mate. Why didn't you date Akane? I mean, she is a great catch for you. So, after escaping this, go and make work from it. JUST DO IT.

(June looked a little embarrassed, and scratched the back of her head in a desperate attempt to seem nonchalant. Junpei coughed quietly in much the same way.)

June: Anyway, I'm not hiding anything. Just like you, Jumpy. When I woke up, I was on D Deck…
Junpei: Well, you do have a point. I mean, why did Zero pick us? We haven't seen each other since elementary school.

(June nodded, and for a few moments she had the faraway look of someone in deep

June: "Look for what connects the victims. That will lead you to the culprit." Do you remember Seven saying something like that?
Junpei: Yeah, I do. So?
June: Well, that's what I'm saying. I think this must all have something to do with a classmate of ours…

Bit of a leap, isn't it? Yeah, these two knew each other as kids, but none of the others did (as far as we know, anyway). I think 'classmate' is an unlikely explanation.

Hey, you already forgot something? Clover and Snake are siblings. That bit of information got reveal last time.

Junpei: You got any ideas who it might be?
June: No, nothing…
Junpei: Oh…
June: Well, if it had something to do with school, then it could be one of our teachers, or maybe the principal…
Junpei: Or the janitor or the lunch lady?
June: No… I can barely remember any of them…
Junpei: Yeah, I know…

(Junpei went back to searching, feeling unpleasant and confused. Elementary school… Elementary school… Was there anything strange that had happened in elementary school?
As he searched the room, he continued to wrack his brain.)

I examine the sofa next, thinking there might be something hidden under the cushions, but Junpei has other ideas.


Junpei: Ahhh.
June: Jumpy, what are you doing?! We don't have the time to be relaxing on a sofa!

Fine. Buzzkill. We check out one of the doors around the room and find what seems to be a bathroom.

Thanks, June, that's incredibly helpful.

Captian Obivious, there!

I try one of the other doors, but it must lead out into the hallway, because June doesn't want me to leave.

June: Jumpy, where are you going?
Junpei: Um, I was thinking of going over to Lotus's room…
June: Do you think maybe you could look around here a little more before you go? There's a lot for me to do here all by myself…

The final door (I think) leading off our room goes into a little bedroom. The bottle on the table looks like it could be interesting, but it turns out to just be water.

June: It's a bottle with water in it. This is a bedroom… They probably have it here 'cause your throat always feels dry when you wake up, you know?
Junpei: My throat's dry, but I think that's 'cause I'm a little nervous right now.
June: Well, we did run a lot, so we're kinda sweaty.  Hey Jumpy, did you want to take a shower together?

Junpei: Whoa!
June: *Giggle* Just kidding.
Junpei: (thinking) Too late to take it back… My brain's already working out the picture. My throat was dry already… This sure isn't helping.

This girl knows what she's doing. Don't you get distracted, Junpei – use your head! The one above your shoulders, that is.

Checking out the picture above the bed reveals that it is, in fact, not simply a picture.

Junpei: This isn't a painting. Is it a…map?
June: It looks like a map of the ship's interior.
Junpei: Oh! This is a great find! I think it'll be really useful… Let's take it with us!

We now have a map that we can use during the puzzle sections, which might be helpful!

It will be. I can assure you that this map is going to show its uses later in the story. 

(Junpei took one last look at the map, then folded it up and slid it back into his pocket. June looked up as he closed it.)

June: This ship is bigger than I thought.
Junpei: Yeah, it's probably about 900 feet long.

Yeesh. That's a lot of space for more rooms with puzzles and traps and death.

Why not 999 feet long, eh? Would be a funny throwback to the title of the game. 999 feet long, 9 persons, 9 doors, 9 hours… Maybe that wasn't that funny. 

June: Must be one of those fancy cruise ships.
Junpei: Course, it doesn't really look like a cruise ship. Everything in here is really retro. Even if it's some sorta style choice, there's just too much.
June: Do you remember what Zero said?
Zero: On April 14th, 1912…the famous ocean liner Titanic crashed into an
iceberg. After remaining afloat for 2 hours and 40 minutes, it sank beneath the
waters of the North Atlantic.
June: Do you think maybe this boat and the Titanic have something to do with
each other?
Junpei: Hmmm… That's a good point. I doubt he would've mentioned it if there wasn't a reason…

(Junpei took a moment to look around the room.)

Junpei: Do you think this boat is…


I don't think June would think we were particularly smart if we hypothesised that we were somehow aboard the real Titanic, but I seem to remember that there were actually replica ships that were built (probably before the whole iceberg thing). I think there were at least two full-size sister ships, with names like the Gigantic and the Super Enormous, that sort of thing.

Junpei: A replica of the Titanic?
June: A replica…?
Junpei: Yeah. You know, like a copy of the actual boat.
June: Who on Earth would make something like that?
Junpei: Fans. Crazy Titanic fans.


June: No way! Do you even know how much money that would take?
Junpei: No idea. But all they've gotta do is break even, you know?
June: Break even…?
Junpei: Yeah. They could use it as a cruise ship. "Climb aboard a piece of history! Sail 'round the world in the resurrected Titanic!" Hell, with marketing like that, they'd probably have more customers than they'd know what to do with.
June: Do you really think people would want to ride on a ship with such an
ominous past? It's the site of the worst accident in history… Over 1500 people died… I wouldn't be surprised if you'd get cursed just for going.
Junpei: A curse, huh…

June: Jumpy, do you believe in that sort of thing? You know…curses and stuff?


I don't know what she wants us to say here, but let's go with 'nah'.

Junpei: Sorry, but I can't really say I believe in that kind of stuff.

(Tact was not one of Junpei's many better qualities.)

Junpei: What about you…? Nah, I guess that's kind of a dumb question.
June: Yes, I do believe in curses. In fact, I think it was a curse that sunk the Titanic.
Junpei: What?
June: A curse sank the Titanic. The curse of the Egyptian mummy.

(Junpei couldn't understand how June had maintained a straight face to say that.)

June: Supposedly the Titanic carried the mummy of the Priestess Amon-Ra… Which was stolen from a pyramid. And they say that the mummy had a history… Everyone involved with it died mysterious deaths… 

June: Come on, I'm sure you've heard of it before…"Those who open the coffin will be forever cursed"… Haven't you ever heard that one?
Junpei: So you're saying the Titanic sunk because of that curse…?
June: That's right!

(June's eyes had lit up with excitement, like a child with a new toy.)

Junpei: Hmph. That's stupid. I don't buy it.
June: It's true!
Junpei: How can you be so sure…?
June: That mummy wasn't just a normal mummy. It was really mysterious…totally unbelievable…

June: Well, supposedly, she was really pretty.
Junpei: Pretty?
June: Yes.
Junpei: But…she was a mummy.
June: That's right. She wasn't all shriveled up or rotten or anything. She looked just like she was alive.


Junpei: Ohhh. I get it. It's that thing… I don't remember the name… Where your body turns into some kind of wax? If a dead body is put in the right sort of environment… The fat in it turns into something kinda like candle wax, right? And–
June: Yes, saponification. But that's not what it was.

Did not know that could happen. Pretty grossed out.

Junpei: Huh?
June: That's not it. She wasn't wax.
Junpei: Then what is it?
June: They say…that she was frozen.
Junpei: What…? Frozen?
June: That's right. The whole body was frozen solid… You know how a human body is more than 60 percent water? Well, all of that water was frozen. The story says that from the time of its discovery, all the way through to when it got put on the Titanic… And even though it was carried through the desert… Her body never melted.

Hey, I've seen pictures of dead bodies that have been frozen in ice for hundreds of years, and they don't still look pretty.

In the PC version, June makes a little joke, if you can call it that, about the people in the desert shaving off the ice and eating it. Yum.

(June and Junpei talked a little more, and then went back to their investigation. But even as they did, his mind went back to what she'd told him. Ice that wouldn't melt, even in the desert… Could such a thing really exist? No, even if it did, it wouldn't really be "ice" anymore, would it?
The more he thought about it, the more his head hurt.
Like he'd eaten his ice cream too fast…)

Hm. I feel like there are going to be a few things that seem to be throwaway comments but turn out to actually be somehow really important, and this might be one of 'em.

We check out the bed, prompting… a lot of really bad flirting.

There is going to be a really amusing scene later in the game with June & Junpei. Just you wait, the comments will go to a whole new level then. 

(It's a light blue blanket with some designs on it. Someone's made the bed, or at least never un-made it. There's only bedsheets under the blanket. Nothing exciting.)

Junpei: Should we take another look at this blanket?
June: No, I think we've covered it pretty well.

(Looks like that one was lame enough to get her to blush a little.)

Junpei: Look, there's 2 pillows right next to each other. Guess it's a double… Huh? What's up? You're turning red…

(Oh man… Is her fever back?)

Junpei: Hey, are you all right? Do you need to lay down for a minute?
June: I-I'm fine! I think it's still a little early for that…
Junpei: Huh…? Hey, seriously…are you really okay?


June: A bed frame. Now we don't have to worry about falling off. I…toss and turn when I sleep…

(She's blushing again… What the hell is she thinking about?)

There doesn't seem to be anything going on with the bed other than a ton of unresolved sexual tension, so we check out a dresser in the corner. It has a drawer with a keyhole; oddly, not only is the drawer unlocked but it actually contains a key.

Seems like that's the lot in here, so maybe we need to go see Lotus and Santa now. This key doesn't fit anything I can see in our room, but perhaps it'll fit something in the other one.

June: Jumpy, where are you going?
Junpei: Um, I was thinking of going over to Lotus's room…
June: Why…?
Junpei: What do you mean "why"? I'm just gonna go check up on them. Is there something wrong with that?

June: Well, no… Come back soon!
Junpei: Sure thing. I'll leave the rest to you.
June: Sure. Leave it to me.
Junpei: All right, off to the other room…

Okay, June's not stopping us this time, so this seems to be the right move. Presumably, she'll just stand around uselessly in here until we come back, unless she actually does find and solve some puzzles while we're out.


This is the other room, which looks mostly like a mirror image of ours but with a couple of differences. Most immediately obvious is the picture, so we check it out.

Hm. I guess we want to find some other tiles to put in, then, probably to make it match the one in the other room. I just had a thought, by the way: if we do our puzzle in record time, we could be waiting around for aaaages while the others struggle with theirs, assuming we're all going to be meeting up in the same place afterwards.

The display case in this room is full, unlike the empty one on the other side, and I'm pretty sure that's going to be one of the tiles we need in there. Unfortunately, the key we picked up from the dresser doesn't open the case, and Lotus reckons the glass is tempered, so Santa's suggestion of throwing stuff at it won't work.


We pick up a candle from the table, which reminds me that I picked up something else from the other table…

Now we're just carrying a lit candle around! Huzzah! Let's examine some other stuff.

Santa: Hey, check this out. This's a pretty nice sofa.
Lotus: I know. It's a shame I can't take it back with me.

I accidentally examine the sofa again, prompting Santa to say something a bit curious.

Santa: Huh…?
Lotus: What's the matter, Santa? Why are you examining the sofa?
Santa: Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it.

Hm. Repeated examination yields nothing further, but perhaps we can come back with an item later and make something happen.

Let's try the other room.

Junpei: Awesome. With the light from the candle, maybe we can take a look around over there. But…it gets so hot when I hold it… I wanna put it down…
Lotus: Well, why don't you set it on top of the dresser? It's flat there. At least it won't fall over.
Junpei: Oh, yeah… Good idea.
Santa: Hey. It got pretty bright.
Lotus: Now we can look around a little.

I didn't even realise we couldn't go in this room until we got the candle. Doing stuff in the intended sequence FTW! Anyway, we drop the candle down on the dresser, which looks much like the one we got the key from. Let's try it…

Aha! Tile!

Let's check out the bed in this room, too. Seems like Lotus and Santa's side has more stuff in it than ours did.

Well, that… will presumably come in handy, somehow.

The candle's gone out, so I guess we've got everything we need in here.


As it turns out, there's more to the candle than it seemed: there's a key hidden under there which, now the wax has melted, has come to light. Ha-ha. I think there's only one other lock we haven't been able to open yet, so let's give it a go.

And Lotus nor Santa tried to lift the candle from the holder? "But, Jonez! Then they won't be able to look around in the dark room…". Well, I have a solution to that, it's something called hands. Just carry the candle around. Honestly, I rolled my eyes a bit when this happened. I was like, "what just happened to that whole candle? Did that thing just burn up in seconds?" Yeah.

Ta-da! On picking up our second plate, Santa starts up a little conversation…

Santa: Hey, Junpei, you got a minute?

(Santa had shown up out of nowhere, and gave Junpei no small start.)

Santa: Here, take this.


(Santa pulled something out of his pocket. It looked like a bookmark. It had a [4-leaf clover] in it.)

Junpei: What is this…?
Santa: I found it in-between some of the cushions on the sofa. Pretty sure it ain't gonna be any help to us, but I figured we might as well hang onto it anyway.
Junpei: Then why don't you hold onto it?

(Santa gave him a wry smile.)


Santa: You know what I hate most in the world? I got 4 things: Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck.
Junpei: "Hope", "Faith", "Love", and "Luck"…?
Santa: Damn straight.
Junpei: And you…hate these things?
Santa: Yeah, you got a problem with that?
Junpei: Uh, not really, but…

(Junpei tried to figure out how best to phrase what he wanted to say.)

Junpei: What does a bookmark have to do with any of that?

(Santa scratched the back of his ear, and looked awkward.)

Santa: Well, see, each leaf on the 4-leaf clover has a meaning to it, okay? And that meaning is pretty much those 4 words. It's like…a flower language. Well, I guess it's not a flower is it? So a leaf language, I guess. Yeah, you could call 'em leaf words.


Junpei: Leaf words…

(Junpei looked at the bookmark.
Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck…)

Santa: So…yeah. I want you to take it, okay? Just touchin' it gives me the creeps. Take the damn thing, all right!?

(Santa pretended to shiver with disgust and shoved the bookmark into Junpei's
confused hands.



(…Decided to take it. After all, why shouldn't he?)

Junpei: All right, sure, I'll take it.

Santa: Phew. Man, I feel a lot better now. That thing was a real pain, you know?
Junpei: Do you really hate those 4 words that much?
Santa: Yeah, well, they can all betray you, you know? Hope, Faith, Love… even your destiny…

(What had happened to Santa, Junpei wondered. How had he become such a bitter person? For a moment, they looked at each other.)

Santa explains that in fact, he's got another reason for hating the clover: an inexplicable dislike of the number four.


Santa: It's a half-ass number. Not the best or the worst. That's why I hate it.
Junpei: …What.
Santa: (9) is a way better number. So what if it's last place, right? Least it's not some lameass middle number.

I have no idea what he's on about, but somehow I think it might be important. Does Santa have some connection to Clover? It's not that weird that he'd dislike the number four, though; we know he speaks Japanese at least a little bit, because he picked 'Santa' as his code name due to 'san' being Japanese for three, and four is considered a pretty unlucky number in Japan, associated with death.

Just imagne this scene but Santa having the number 4 bracelet… 

Changing the topic with impressive dexterity, Santa asks us if we 'play'. I have no idea what he means by that, but one of Junpei's possible responses is so specific that I can't help but pick it.

Junpei: You mean, like, the stock market?
Santa: Nah, that's not what I mean. Why the hell would you think that? I mean, yeah, I do stocks too, but…

(This last statement, more or less thrown away by Santa, caught Junpei very much by surprise.)

Junpei: You!? A stockbroker?!
Santa: Yeah. Got a problem with that?
Junpei: No, you just…don't look like the type.

(What Junpei didn't say, of course, was that he didn't think Santa looked smart enough to be a stockbroker.)

Santa: Man, that stuff's just like gambling, you know? All you gotta do is bet on the winning horse. Nothing that hard about it.
Junpei: You sure sound pretty confident. So…are you betting on winning horses?
Santa: Course I am. You remember a couple years back when the stock for Cradle Pharmaceuticals shot through the roof? Stacked a few bills over that, if I do say so myself.
Junpei: Uh huh…

("Uh huh" was all Junpei could think of.
He'd never even heard of [Cradle Pharmaceutical]…
Fortunately, he was saved quickly from further embarrassment.)

Lotus: Hey! How long are you going to stand around wasting time?! Stop screwing around!

(The voice screaming at them from the other room was unmistakably Lotus's.
Junpei and Santa looked at each other.)

Santa: …The lady has spoken. We'd better get back to work before we really piss her off. I don't want her beating me up.

(And with that, Santa walked off, slowly…)

Junpei: Hey, wait! We weren't done!

(He started after Santa, intended to catch him, but…)

Lotus: …

(Lotus appeared from the next room, blocking his path. Her posture suggested she was not about to let him pass. There was nothing for it. He had lost.)

Junpei: Okay, okay. I'll get back to work, damnit.

(Her glare suggested any other choice would not have ended pleasantly for him. Junpei mumbled to himself under his breath, and went back to his search.)

This Cradle Pharmaceutical seems like it might be important. Ace did suggest that this game was probably the work of an organisation; wonder if that's going to be part of the mystery.


Back to the investigation, let's try this side's bathroom. We've got that shower curtain – maybe we can fit it in here for some bizarre purpose.

Well, it hangs, and it's got a hole in it. Hm. Zero likes… watching people in the shower…?

Junpei: Well, with a hole this big, you gotta wonder if maybe they wanted to be caught.
Santa: So, you're saying maybe the one getting spied on was into that shit?
Junpei: Maybe they were into, like, those home invasion fantasies…
Santa: "Home invasion"? Interesting… I see…
Lotus: You 2 are real idiots, you know that?
Santa: …
Junpei: …

I really love the little conversations you can have in this game. I've probably missed a ton of comedy gold already just by not examining everything enough; it really makes you feel like you know all the characters. I'm coming to trust everyone, just 'cos I like them, but that's probably going to resolve into heartbreak when they inevitably betray me and/or turn out to be secretly Zero.


From the other side of the curtain, we can see that the hole picks out a single tile in the wall. Gotta wonder whether this would work if Junpei was a different height. Perspective's a bitch.


Huh. Not the right tile. Maybe we need to do the same thing on the other side?

Santa: What's up? You're going back already?
Junpei: Well, I can't just leave June there by herself.

In the other bathroom, we peel off the corresponding tile to find a third plate. That should be it, I think.

Let's try this…


Oh, good. One of these. I spend a good seven or eight minutes just fiddling around with permutations of plates, until…

Once the picture's complete, the frame slides off to reveal a nice little hole in the wall. God, Zero, hiding the safe behind the picture? So unimaginative. To be fair, points for making the combination part of the picture itself.


Oooooh. That's interesting. Was the big door at the end of the hallway the one with the Mars keyhole? If so, this might be our way out of this puzzle.

(Junpei messed around a bit with the key he had, and looked blankly at the picture that slid down.)

Santa: What's the deal with this picture anyway…

(Santa had only been mumbling to himself, but it drew Lotus's attention. She looked at the picture, and paused.)


Lotus: I…I think I've seen this picture before.
Junpei: Where?
Lotus: In a book. There's a British biochemist named [Sheldrake]. He has a rather interesting theory. I saw this picture in his book.
Junpei: What's this interesting theory?

Lotus: [Morphogenetic field], which relies on the theory of [morphic
Santa: Man, I can't deal with this. Just listening to you talk about it is
giving me a headache.

Wow, Lotus reads some eclectic shit. I think I came across Sheldrake when I was at uni, but I wouldn't have been able to tell you about morphic resonance from seeing a weird Rorschach-style picture.

I saw something similar on the television once, but I got more familiar with the concept when I started to play this game. 

(Santa put his hands on his head, as though he were in great pain. Lotus merely arched an eyebrow in his direction and continued.)

Lotus: It's not a difficult concept to grasp. In essence, he states that the "shapes of living organisms and their behavioral patterns are transmitted through a field not visible to the eye"…
Santa: Uh, what part of that isn't difficult, exactly?

(Lotus did not look pleased.)

Lotus: All right, how about this… Theory of the Telepathic Mechanism.
Santa: Telepathy?
Lotus: Yes, telepathy. Well, perhaps not exactly telepathy, but… It is close enough, for a
simple approximation.

(Santa suddenly burst into laughter.)

Santa: HAHAHAAHA! Are you serious!? Telepathy? Who do you think we are? Kids from the 70s? I can't believe someone would actually do serious research on something like that.
Lotus: Yes, I agree.

(Lotus's response was surprisingly curt. Junpei had expected at least some conflict.)

Lotus: I read the book, but I can hardly say I understood it. I'm in no position to defend or condemn anything it said. It was probably just someone latching on to a statistical outlier from some study and turning it into a ridiculous theory. There's no scientific merit to any of it, I'm sure. But even so… I…
Junpei: …
Santa: …
Lotus: Anyway, I saw a picture like that one in his book.

(Lotus indicated the picture they'd all been looking at. After a moment she walked up to the strange picture, examined it, and then spoke.)

Lotus: Hey… What do you think this picture looks like?

(Santa answered first.)

Santa: Wadda ya mean? Isn't it just, like…abstract, or something like that? It's just black and white scribbles. There's no meaning there. That's it.
Lotus: What about you, Junpei? Does it look like anything to you?
Junpei: Hmm… I guess it looks like…


Okay, so here's the thing. Personally, I can see a dog in there. However… there are very, very few things I remember about this game from when I first played it years ago, but this is one of them, and I'm not passing it up.


Junpei: A funyarinpa? See…? I mean this totally looks like one… Here, and here…

(Junpei indicated parts of the picture that looked exactly like the other parts. After 3 seconds of silence, Lotus looked at Junpei.)

Lotus: What the hell is a funyarinpa?
Junpei: What do you mean "what the hell is a funyarinpa"? You mean…you don't
Lotus: How the hell would I know!?
Junpei: How could you not know?! That's…that's practically blasphemous. Say you're sorry! Apologize to the funyarinpa! Goodness, you are such a rude woman.

(Another 3 seconds of awkward silence went by. Lotus opened her mouth as she shook.)

Seriously, how the heck could Lotus possibly not know about funyarinpa? Damn it, Lotus. Knowing all about Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance, but nothing about the funyarinpa, what good are you?!

If you want to see something amusing. Just Google funyarinpa and especially try it with Google Image Search. You won't be disappointed. But, beware of possible spoilers when you go and look too much. But there is some amusing fan-art with the funyarinpa as a sort of meme. 

Lotus: Junpei, are you just screwing around?
Junpei: …
Lotus: Forget it. I'm just gonna tell you. This is a dog. See…like this.

(Lotus pointed out parts of the picture, and eventually a dog took shape in them. It looked as though she had a point. It was a dog.
Santa also nodded in agreement.)

Junpei: So? Now we know what it's a picture of, but… I don't see how that helps us.

(Lotus nodded, and began to speak.)

Lotus: A TV show from Great Britain did an experiment once.

Repping the UK! *lame toot*

Well, I'm from a neighboring country. No lame toot for me. 

Lotus: They took 2 similar pictures. Both of them were difficult to identify, initially… But once you'd figured out the answer, you couldn't see it as anything else. The first picture was a woman wearing a hat. The other one… Well, to make it easier… Let's just say it was this picture of a dog. So. Their experiment…

Lotus explains the experiment, which seriously seems too crazy to have actually happens, even for British TV, but maybe Jonez knows if it really did go down the way she describes or not. The short form of the experiment is that they sent those illusion pictures out to countries which didn't have access to British radio or TV, then gathered up about a thousand test subjects from across all those countries and asked them what the pictures looked like. 9.2% of people saw the hat lady; 3.9% saw the dog.

Two days later, they broadcast a show to about two hundred thousand people showing the dog picture and explaining where the dog was, so at least two hundred thousand people now knew where the dog was in the picture. Two days after that, they got another thousand or so people from non-British media countries and did the same test; this time ten percent saw the hat lady (about the same as last time, nothing major), but as for the dog, the percentage went from 3.9% to 6.2%.

So… this is presumably relevant, somehow.

Lotus: So, do you understand? Do you realize the significance of this experiment? There was no way the second group could have seen the picture. They lived far away from Britain, and couldn't have seen the picture. But even so, it was only the success rate for the dog picture that went up. Why? How did that happen? What does it mean?

(Lotus looked back and forth, from Junpei to Santa and back again. Normally calm and collected, she looked now as though she were very nearly possessed, and there was something manic about her manner. Santa took an involuntary step backward.
Junpei didn't budge, and stared straight back into Lotus's eyes…)

Junpei: Does this have something to do with that "field" or whatever it was
that you were talking about earlier? …"A field not visible to the eye"… So if more people know the answer… Then that information will pass through the field…
Lotus: …
Junpei: …
Lotus: …
Junpei: …
Lotus: Pssyyyych!

(Her manner suddenly shifted, and Lotus smiled broadly at Junpei and Santa. She waved her hand dismissively, doing her best to laugh the whole confrontation off.)


Lotus: Oh, I was just kidding. You really shouldn't take me seriously. Well, I mean, the things I just told you about are true. They really did happen. But the results of that experiment really aren't anything to go by. They could have easily falsified them. In the end, I'm sure they were just in it for the ratings. They are a TV station, after all.

I don't know how to work out statistical significance. My other half would, since she did psychology at university and a big part of that was figuring out whether research results actually meant anything; I'd guess that the sample size in Lotus' story is too small to draw meaningful results.

Well, I agree with you there. In college, when I was studying computer science, I learned a bit about statistics, but not enough to see if it has a significance change or not. 

(At last, it seemed that Santa had gained control of his composure.)

Santa: R-Riiiight! Man, I gotta admit, you had me there for a minute! I, uh, really thought you were serious…
Lotus: *Giggle* Of course not! Like I told you before, I'm sure it's all just pseudoscience.
Santa: O-Oh, okay, right! Ha ha ha hahahaha!

(Santa and Lotus laughed, and gave one another jovial claps on the shoulder. Junpei, however, didn't feel so much like laughing. Something felt…wrong…unclear…)

Lotus: All right, enough nonsense. We've got the key. Let's get out of here.
Santa: Word.


(Lotus and Santa walked away from the picture.
…But Junpei stayed, staring at the picture of the dog.
"A field not visible to the naked eye"…
[Morphogenetic field]…
The more he thought about it, the more his head hurt.)

I think it's time to get out of this weird room. Bye, funyarinpa! We'll see you next time.

Overthinker and Jonez out!


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