ルーパーズ ♾ Chapter 4 (Visual Novel Book Club)

Current chapter start date: August 5, 2022
Home thread: ルーパーズ ♾ (Visual Novel Book Club) // Currently Reading!

Loopers

Previous part: Week 3

Next part: Week 5

We’re reading ルーパーズ as part of the Visual Novel Book Club!

As of the time of posting this, reading is scheduled for 1 chapter per week. But feel free to jump in and ask questions or give your thoughts later! There are always people watching these threads :eyes:

Pace

The current chapter can be seen in the menu, and you’re encouraged to keep an eye on that if you wish to read at the club’s official pace! To make this easier, the following image also marks the end of the chapter. While the image may not necessarily be a meaningful spoiler, it’s collapsed by default as there’s no reason to immediately display the images to anyone who crosses through this thread. 用心するに越したことはない

Chapter End Image

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, do your best to provide context. Pasted text, screenshots, descriptions, etc. Unlike book clubs we can’t flip to relevant pages, so we may need a little help identifying exactly what is being discussed.
  • Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Clubs live and die by participation, and asking whatever question you have, no matter how silly it may seem, helps others who are reading it and even the answerer themselves.
  • Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible :slightly_smiling_face:

Participants

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m no longer reading

0 voters

6 Likes

Yes! I was waiting for this. Not because I finished the chapter already. But I have this theory that is probably wrong but anyway.

Theory about something, read up to the end of the first Hilda section

So… I was just reading along, and then right before the Hilda section ends we get another voice visit from 探し女 and I thought she sounded a bit like Hilda. Like maybe 探し女 is Hilda somehow. I’m most likely wrong and maybe by the end of this chapter we’ll know about 探し女, but… I guess it would be weird for Hilda to curse herself, or such. But time loops are weird.

I know I’m wrong (most likely), but does anyone else think that 探し女 sounds a bit like Hilda (ignoring the distortion obviously). Something with the cadence and timing. I don’t know.

Also I have question right before the first Hilda section ends:

Not sure it is worth hiding, but whatever

ベッドはまるで沼
And I can’t figure out what that last kanji is supposed to stand for? Marsh or being very into something. But neither kinda fit, so I wonder if it was related to 泥のように眠る that showed up a bit earlier.

Otherwise I have no idea, and the searches I’ve tried to do have yielded nothing related (I think).

8 Likes

I think swamp works there. “The bed was like a swamp” especially with the following line talking about how it swallowed up her body and consciousness. ヒルダの体も意識も、どこまでも深く呑み込んでいった

7 Likes

Loopers suddenly decided to be metaphorical? Or maybe I haven’t taken note of it before this.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I just finished reading the chapter, I think this week’s was a bit shorter than the previous ones (I have the character count at 4,531 for this chapter). I feel like a lot happened but still so much more to discover haha

Spoilers for the whole chapter


So ヒルダ kind of killed her dad on accident but then she sees him at the very end of the chapter? Kind of wish the chapter didn’t end with her screaming at his appearance, I’m curious if he came back as his usual form or something different.

I don’t have too many theories yet, feels like there isn’t enough to go on. ヒルダ seems to be losing her mind as the 探し女 is tormenting her. In the one scene where the distorted voice plays back nonstop as you read through the text, it made it hard for me to focus too :joy:

It looks like the 探し女 paid a visit to タイラ as well, although her text is slightly different 「謝らなきゃ、謝らなきゃ」vs 「わたしが間違ってた、わたしが間違ってた」. Not sure of the significance of it yet but an interesting detail to think about.

10 Likes

I don’t think I typed anything too dumb below, but I’m feeling sick today with a bad headache, plus messed up sleep from my body temperature swinging around wildly last night (negative covid test today, who knows :person_shrugging:) so go easy on me, haha. I think I made the thread and updated everything else right but lemme know if you notice problems.

Whole chapter spoilers

I’m feeling worse and worse for ヒルダ. Just a couple chapter in a row of tormenting her. I thought this chapter built up the pressure well, but I know exactly what you meant about the distorted voice segment. うるさい indeed. So like @AzusaChan said, we know now that タイラ is getting visited as well, though his still felt pretty benign, so far. The way he just earnestly wants to help sort of supports the assumed cause of this, how ヒルダ angered the spirit or whatever so she’s getting the worst of it… but I still want to stay skeptical of that.

So with her dad I have to wonder, did we somehow start the looping before she returned home? Is it really a matter of her perceptions being warped? Uhh… fake dads and fake レオナs? Something else? At first it really caught my eye how different the time was between the brief switch to タイラ and back to ヒルダ, but I guess the idea was a lot of time passed there as she slept through the whole day? If I have the timeline right in my head, the chapter seemed to be aiming for being disorienting.

Anyway, I love the colors still; was really impressed by how the sky looked at one point when it was starting to lighten up.

I have to say, this experience so far has thrown me for a… uhh, loop. Having not paid all that much attention to what the game was about, the aesthetics and the look of the promotional stuff give off this real vibe of, I dunno, adventure? Like, “cool” sci-fi, the sort where people are somewhat in control. Maybe that’s still to come with our mystery loopers(?), but just tonally, the absolutely out of control spiraling is so unlike the vibes I got prior to starting. I’m enjoying it a lot!

I listened a bit for this and I think I see what you mean? I love the idea anyway, the wilder the better.

Oh yeah, I forgot I was going to add: there was the sound of sirens going by outside my window, absolutely perfectly timed with her dad’s death(?)

Even more spoilers, as I keep having other thoughts pop into my head

I wanted to think about what the two incidents had in common, and beyond the clear “ヒルダ tries to more or less harmlessly hit/push someone and it goes horribly wrong,” I was thinking, in both cases they were bugging her and she really wanted them to stop. She probably wasn’t truly angry at レオナ, but she was digging into that wound of how ヒルダ was afraid and pretending she isn’t. It’s kind of a monkey’s paw curls situation, almost. Might not be the direction this goes, but fun to think about.

Interesting how her dad was around and she in no way tries to tell him anything, though probably not strange considering he’d likely only question her sanity. Just made me wonder, between that and her slipping in even after he died that he was 小うるさい, how strained their relationship may be and if that’ll matter at all.

10 Likes

That was short wasn’t it? I had 4,327 / 218, but once again I used a hook without center text sooo.

chapter comments

We were all happily talking about the characters we liked before, but this was the worst chapter to be Hilda or Leona fans wasn’t it? That was a bit painful to read.

Yeah. They have their meeting in the park sometime in the early morning. Hilda splits with Leona around sunrise. Tyler runs into the other characters in the morning after sunrise. When Tyler has his scene in this chapter it’s exactly noon, but when the scene transitions back to Hilda it’s drawn dark in the middle of the night (I think it was already midnight and she had missed worked).


Considering their timing and dad seemingly being back daily loop before sunrise? Idk. Trying to get through the spooky stuff late at night after a long day was not the best choice I’ve ever made.

9 Likes

Tell me about it. After the first part, I went and read in bed, in a mostly dark bedroom. Everything certainly got scarier because of that!


But hey, at least I finished the chapter last night. Was nice to have a shorter one, especially as it was pretty hard on Hilda, seeing someone go insane is kinda not very nice. Despite the chapter being short, I looked up 124 things and more than a few also showed up in last week’s chapter (but I’d already forgotten). I did recognize a few things from last chapter though, so hurray!

So this week was starting to become a strain right about when it ended. Man, those narration parts (which hold the most unknown words plus no furigana) are killer.

Whole chapter spoilers

So my Hilda theory is not dead yet. Did you guys notice the hairstyle on the 探し女? That could either be Hilda or Mia (although neither’s bangs are that straight), and the hair looked a shade yellow, so… :smirk:

Also this:

If 探し女 is Hilda, then when she is showing to herself, she talks about the the mistake she made. And when she’s showing to others, she talks about needing to apologize (presumably to them?). I thought my theory was super wild and I was just hearing things.

But 探し女 is behaving differently around Hilda. Maybe it is just because Hilda was the one that got cursed, but my theory is still possible. And I’m enjoying that even if I expect it to turn out wrong. :joy:

As to dad being alive at the end of the chapter (quite the cliffhanger there and can understand why Hilda screamed), I assume we’ve finally started our first loop. Not sure exactly what time it started. But I believe dad is genuinely alive again and he died during Hilda-Leona-Tyler’s first time living through what will now become a loop.

It does say something interesting about the looping though, doesn’t it? Take Groundhog day for example, in that movie, no matter where the protagonist ended the day, he began each day/loop waking up in the same hotel room, in the same way.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case here, does it? Although it depends on when the loop is starting. Because if it is once again August 1, Hilda should have been at work around midnight, no? Not home sleeping in her bed.

They also clearly remember everything from previous loops. It does not seem like dad or Hilda’s work does though. (Although we haven’t gotten strong indications yet.)

At least my interpretation of the dad being alive again was that we’re now firmly in loop land. Although could be that is what I’m meant to believe, and you guys are right with Hilda just being insane or dreaming or something.

Same actually, both what I expected and enjoying what’ve gotten instead.

:joy:

Monkey’s paw curls… what? Missing reference entirely.

I was thinking it was more her state of mind. And the fact that she had this voice constantly talking in her head. Hard to think clearly at such a point. Every noise outside her head must have just add to the chaos in her mind. Although for sure, we don’t really know their relationship and it could point to it being a bit strained for sure. ^^

Well, if you want your favorite character to have a lot of air time, I guess Hilda fans were lucky, eh? :crazy_face: I don’t feel so lucky. :joy: Poor Hilda, bestie needs some rest, yo.

9 Likes
Loop conditions spoilers - based on next chapters

The characters are still kind of in a process of being caught into the loop, so everything is still chaotic and unstable, but once everything is settled it will be like this:

  • Everything physical will get reset, and they will indeed start each iteration in the same place

  • They will retain their memories of the previous loops - and the memories are actually the only thing that gets carried onto the next loop.

4 Likes

I’m not gonna read that right now. I’d rather discover the looping conditions as they happen. So I’ll just bookmark it and come back to it later. Just letting you know since my notifications said you quoted me. :slight_smile:

4 Likes
spoils

I was thinking rather than the day the loop point would be the along the lines of their encounter with the 探し女. I could be getting roped around by the author, but it’s the only major/strange event aside from Leona going nuts. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying super close attention to the time of events.

When Tyler ran into Mia and that other guy (did he get named? I don’t remember already ><) they seemed to know about our main cast in detail despite being their first meeting with Tyler. If they didn’t preserve memories would they even notice the loo- wait, no. I’m getting terrible flashbacks to endless eight. Nope nope nope nope nope. NOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.

Since we only heard her scream at the end… it was all a trick and she was hallucinating. Ok, please don’t actually do this authors. I don’t think I could feel any worse for Hilda at this point. I don’t think her actions were unreasonable (well, except the headbutting), but nobody needs this kind of emotional scarring.

It’s one of those be careful what you wish for short stories. The Monkey's Paw - Wikipedia

Interesting :thinking:
That leaves me pretty excited. I actually forgot about groundhog day and that movie is a ton of fun.

4 Likes

Yep, thanks! And specifically @MissDagger , the phrase “the Monkey’s paw curls” is a reference I see kind of frequently online, referring to the moment something you want is granted but something terrible happens as a result.

7 Likes
Chapter all spoilers

I’ve been thinking about this, wild theory ahead :joy: .

My theory is that 探し女 is Mia, the voice sounds younger to me so perhaps Mia when she was younger? I started thinking about her last chapter, we never actually knew why she was in the hospital for in the first place. She didn’t know what was up with her and said they were going to examine her and that was it. I’m thinking that possibly she was already starting to loop, or soon after that, and she’s been looping ever since and that’s maybe why she seems very used to it like the other guy, who honestly I don’t know who that might be. But then that raises the problem, do they age while they loop? Probably not. Also something that doesn’t seem right is that 探し女 's clothes are striped, while Mia’s clothes in the hospital were spotted. Maybe it would have been too easy to make the connection if they kept it the same.

探し女 constantly says 探さなきゃ, supposedly because she’s looking for her heart if I remember correctly, right? Though that’s only what the urban legend says. The heart might not be an actual heart, it could be anything like the heart shaped thingy from the geohunting box, or something more metaphorical altogether that is equally important, though perhaps a long stretch. She says that she was wrong and “someone else” was right and that she has to apologise to them, so I’m thinking that this perhaps is linked to the story at the very start of the game about the treasure and avoiding coming into contact with it again. Maybe she searched for it disobeying it and something bad happened, perhaps that’s what started the loop. Perhaps it has to do with the dinosaur of Tyler, disobeying his telling her to give it away. Or perhaps it has to do with her own treasure coming back at her. 探し女 literally says あなたが正しかった directly to Tyler, possibly hinting back at the conversation at the hospital.

My other theory is that 探し女 is the girl that the witch is talking to at the start of the prologue. And to be honest, that girl might as well be Mia too, similar (same?) hair colour and all. Perhaps that in particular is just coincidence, or perhaps it’s specifically chosen that way to represent Mia.

Anyways I do think she’s Mia, but for what reason, I don’t really know.

It’s weird because some times we’re shown dates, and some others it’s only the time. Have we seen anything other than 1st of August? That might be intentional, but I think we’re all clear that we’re actually looping already. Or perhaps that’s what they want us to think :eyes: .

Yuuuup :smiling_face_with_tear: . I just hope this doesn’t scar her for life and suddenly completely changes for the rest of the game, that was painful to read indeed.

That’s a nice summary. After Hilda wakes up it should be 00:00 of the 2nd of August. Following my comment before, we’re not actually shown a date, so I’m thinking it might be 1st of August again.

:joy: :joy: . I’m actually enjoying it at night too so far! But yeah some of the screams and spooky BGM give me shivers.

Yup, same. I think the dad is alive, and Hilda remembers everything and it’s messing with her mind. The guy in black mentioned that he did things over and over to the point of giving up counting, and both him and Mia remember the actions of Tyler. In the last chapter he kept saying 相変わらず to Tyler.

About this, yeah same. I’ll be honest, I’m skipping anything that mentions content or hints from future chapters that we shouldn’t know because personally I prefer to have discussions and make crazy theories as things happen and not have anything confirmed or denied, that’s what makes these discussions fun for me. Then we can all laugh about who was wrong or right or close to the truth or not at all. Reading mild spoilers might condition someone’s thinking process and guide them to the actual truth so that’s why I don’t generally like them usually. I don’t mind that there’s discussion from future chapters going on, by all means go for it! :slight_smile: As long as everything is carefully hidden. I just wanted to mention that I won’t be reading anything about it so I might not reply in that case either, sorry in advance! This is just me personally.


By the way, I’m not sure if anyone has noticed but on PC if you press CTRL the text goes crazy fast and it’s handy to go back to check details and so on, if anyone finds themselves in need to check or replay something. It’s possibly a tool common to all VNs? I don’t know since this is my first, but just in case wanted to mention it :slight_smile: . Perhaps there’s a similar button on the Switch edition.

8 Likes

Yep, a lot of the times with VNs that have choices so you’d actually replay sections, they have a smart skip that will only skip lines that you’ve already read, but it’s also common to have some ability to just skip through all text as much as you want. Seems like ctrl is the common key for that. In my experience with Summer Pockets it mostly served as the button I accidentally hit instead of shift when I was trying to do Yomichan stuff then I had to go back and load :melting_face:

6 Likes

:joy: :joy: I actually had to change my ShareX keybinds to ALT instead of CTRL because of that. My Yomichan key is shift too so it’s all fine. I just need to be awake enough not to confuse ALT+F1 (screenshots) and Alt+F2 (audio recording) with ALT+F4 :upside_down_face: . Hasn’t happened once yet.

6 Likes

Simiarly, mouse wheel down advances text quickly similar to mouse clicks without speeding through animations/scene transitions. So if you think you’re getting close it’s a bit safer to switch to that. Mouse wheel up also brings up the log, which I find super convenient. It’s a thoughtful layout that lets people disable the menus and play entirely with one hand… for those times when you need a crucifix or similar tool in the other hand to ward off spirits.

The accidental skip won’t happen if the window is unfocused. So I found myself preferring mouse controls for the VN + yomichan workflow. Click game to advance, click back into browser if need a lookup.

7 Likes
Chapter Spoilers

Wow, I was going insane alongside Hilda for a moment there. I nominated this game but I’m still very surprised by the direction it’s taking (but not necessarily in a bad way, I’m intrigued). I really want to finally get to a part where we start getting some answers but I have no idea if that will be next chapter already or if this is just going to get even more confusing.

I had this thought as well… but have no real reason why I thought that so… we’ll see?

This was a shorter one and it took me 40 minutes to read. Seeing that chapters so far seem to be mostly below average I’m wondering if we’ll get any really big ones further down the line.

8 Likes
Spoiler reply

Well, it makes my theory have a bit more weight. :smiley:

I still think it is more likely to not be Hilda, but I will stick with my theory until it is proven wrong. Because why not? :joy:

7 Likes

Week 4 down! :tada: Definitely a shorter chapter this time, I read it in like half an hour :flushed: guess my brain was on board today lmao but no shortage of wild times, that’s for sure.

chapter spoiler time!

I’m absolutely on board with both of you, I definitely think something like that is going on. It seems like 探し女 is in kind of a separate state of existence, manifested from… guilt? Something like that? But yeah with everything Hilda’s going through that sort of mental anguish definitely tracks, and the apologizing and general desperation fits with her whole deal. In that case I don’t think it’s so much that 探し女 cursed her, just that she’s very tied to everything going on, and to Hilda particularly then, so of course she’d show up.

Yes this, 1000% this! That makes it seem so much more directed at Tyler, which based on what we know makes more possible sense with Mia but who knows! The whole dinosaur thing too… that’s foreboding :sweat_smile:

Anyway yeah I think it’s pretty likely that 探し女 is some sort of extension of the emotions (?) of one of the characters we know that exists kinda separately, outside the loop. Adjacently, I don’t know what’s going on with Leona, but I feel like she’s in a similar place probably? It seems different than where Mia and the mystery guy are in reality, so I don’t know how many planes of existence we’re working with :joy:

10 Likes

I finally caught up with you all! And not a day too soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to read a bit tomorrow already, so that I can actually start participating in the next thread before y’all are already done, haha.


Whole chapter spoilers

Phew, that was a hard chapter for me, even apart from the heavy content. There was a huge amount of words I need to look up, and this chapter had no fun interactions and action to tide me along, so I slowly struggled through it, feeling bad for Hilda. I think they are setting the mood very well, but when you are going through it as slowly as I am, it starts to feel a bit tedious.

Also, give me my Leona back! >:(

I agree that she has an excuse, but I am not too sure how to take his lack of reaction to his daughter being hysterical. Some possible explanations:

  • It all just happened too fast for him. Maybe it’s just that - she didn’t give him much of a chance to talk after all.
  • They’re not that close, and he actually is more interested in her not being that loud.
  • They fight regularly and he’s not all that surprised by her behaviour.

What I’m even more wondering about right now is what the two cases don’t have in common - namely, a clear cause of death, weird behaviour by the victim, and the victim’s phantom haunting her afterwards. Apart from the 探し女, the Leona phantom feels like the most mysterious part of the story for me. The most convincing but also most boring idea is that that part is all happening in Hilda’s mind. Anything else I can come up with feels a tad weird to me:

  • Something took over Leona. But why? And when - during headbutt time?
  • Leona was switched out. That would almost make sense, if she wasn’t completely normal and enjoying herself right up until the headbutt.
  • Leona… something something time loop, actually experienced too many headbutts and got angry because of that? :stuck_out_tongue:
    But unless that also gives you magical disappearing powers…

I do wonder if it has something to do with the mysterious vortex. The Leona phantom in front of her house is telling Hilda to come, because “this side” is fun, and she’s dying of boredom without Hilda. So maybe she is somewhere else?

And what I also don’t see is how Leona died, if she did. It seems unlikely that it was from the headbutt, right? I can easily see how falling down the stairs could kill someone, but I assume the headbutting was rather innocuous. (Not least because it was delivered by an expert headbutter. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Oh, and that reminds me: Did Hilda actually see Leonas body getting taken away by the ambulance? If not, I wonder if that has some kind of significance (someone else was actually taken away, considering that the phantom is alive and “well”?), although I couldn’t speculate

Sidenote: Despite me speculating about it now about that actually being true, I found it quite cute when Hilda was like “Wait, maybe it’s me - maybe I hurt my head while headbutting Leona!”

And it was interesting how casual Tyler was about the whole ghost situation. No problems accepting that the ghost actually exists, and also no fear, just a tad of sympathy and regret that he can’t help her. I feel like he would’ve said something in the park if he actually had previous experiences with the supernatural, so it’s probably not that?


Questions
  • それは人間の姿をしてはいるけれど、この世とは違う世界に存在する影……のように感じられた。
    What’s the しては there? There a に missing for a にしては (and it doesn’t seem to fit there?), and it’s not てはいけない either.

  • 頭の中では、寝ている間もずっとずっと、呪詛のように同じ声が繰り返されているかのようだった。
    According to kireicake, かのよう is “same as よう (かの just implies doubt)”. Is it that? I’m not sure how doubt fits here.

  • 感情に任せてスマホを思い切り投げつけるが、呼び出し音が鳴り止んだりはしない。
    Is 止んだり 止む + たり? I know たり。。。たりする, but I can’t find anything about たり + は.

  • 「お、おい、押すなって
    Is that “Oi, don’t push me”? I get the 押すな, but why does in end in って?

  • ヒルダの顔は強がりと混乱と、訳のわからない涙でぐっしょり濡れていた。
    That sentence makes perfect sense for me, except the 強がり. Is that really saying that she is putting on a brave front here? Her thoughts and actions at that point sound absolutely nothing like a brave front.

  • まるで自身に暗示をかけるかのように……ヒルダは何度も何度もそれを呟く。
    Another かのよう where I don’t see how “doubt” fits.

  • (ヒルダレオナと再会して、みんなで一緒に宝探しをしたのが、楽しくて楽しくて興奮しちまったんだ)
    What’s the や doing there? I know is as a non-exhaustive list, but I don’t think he had a reunion with anyone else.


Hilda, don't spoil the ending of the game!! (actually only current chapter spoilers)

8 Likes