Meanwhile, they’re still heading for their destination. Looking at the floor map, Operating Room 3 is the second last room from the end of the corridor.

The corridor is quite unnerving. It feels cold and slippery to walk, possibly from the moisture, and the steps remind Mystic of the pools of blood.

She says, with quite a stinging tone, “yes… yes. I worked there.”

Shen Yünjü quickly asks, “you can remember now?”

Mystic tells him, “the game company… it wasn’t a big company by any means. It was about mid-sized, but the founder was quite the real estate agent. He bought the entire building whole a long time ago.

Our work there was quite relaxed, therefore. We weren’t ambitious. We made the games we wanted to make, and the founders and board were happy to let us continue the way we want to.”

Their shoes are almost slipping on the floor. Mu Jiashi has to lean against the wall to not embarrass himself, as he was also listening to Mystic intently; there’s a bit of reverberation through the hallway, too.

He shudders unconsciously, while keeping a close ear on Mystic.

“We had a lot… really, a mountain of game design ideas. All the idle thoughts and sparks of genius. Some of them we try to realise, most not, but every game designer there had a huge catalogue full of designs.

Sometimes, we would start on a game by taking the catalogue, reading through them, and even combining them.

There were games of ours that were successful, both commercially, and artistically. We succeeded in those areas.

And we failed, too. You can never avoid failure. Then, at some point, it was like… we lost ourselves. We were… going mad.”

Shen Yünjü asks, “you mean, after the madness spread?”

Mystic looks lost in her thoughts, mumbling, “perhaps.”

The next seconds are followed by silence.

The description wasn’t much useful to them, to be honest. It was a factual recount of the past.

Possibly, with the exception of one thing.

Shen Yünjü asks, “you said that the game company had a policy of fusing different game design ideas together?”

“Are you saying…” Mu Jiashi suddenly gets it, “the Tower? The Nightmares, the Apocalypse, too?”

Shen Yünjü nods but shakes his head immediately afterwards, “not just that. The artificial intelligence. Survivors, a protector… I think there are at least four different elements in there.”

Separation from loved ones in the Apocalypse, parallelling all the tragedies taking place in the Apocalypse;

Discovering the truth about the Apocalypse from the ‘Nightmare’ and also, helping dispel unresolved traumas;

Safe ‘floors’ in a building;

A protector of survivors in the post-Apocalypse…

Shen Yünjü has identified these elements as relevant.

A game that was a mish-mash of ideas.

“So that makes this the last element to find,” Mu Jiashi says analytically, “the AI; the protector.”

They have arrived outside of Operating Room 3.

Then, Mu Jiashi knocks on the door.

“i dont get what the four elements mean”

In the stream, as Mu Jiashi, Mystic and Shen Yünjü’s conversation proceeded, the viewers became confused.

Most of the viewers were here when Xü Beijin streamed the little girl’s Nightmare, so they were able to largely follow along.

But… it all went downhill from there.

“I think theyre saying that the game company in that nightmare, is actually this games producer?”

“oh, so i did get it right”

“too bad we can’t play or know who the developers are, it looks really well made”

“if the game really was made by that game company, then that must make that little girl’s nightmare like an easter egg, cuz it has the game company’s own characters in there”

“too bad they never went below the 9th floor… shame, that”

“shame +1”

“but so what theyre saying is not just that nightmare has this game company featured, but also what theyre doing in the ultimate nightmare is also related to that company?”

“you mean, the company has left behind clues and hints for the ultimate nightmare?”

“Alright. Let’s see, I think it’s this way. It’s almost like matryoshka dolls with the situation we’re facing.

The game developers did develop this game, and then put themselves inside, as a sort of… bonus Easter egg? Or simply a hint?

Meanwhile, this means in the game, there is also a ‘game company’ modelled after their own company.

So the identity of Mystic in the game… I mean, as the setting given to her, is that she was one of the employees of this game company, inside the game. So she knows about the game company.

This is probably related in some sense to her possibly having completed what is like a special mission in the little girl’s Nightmare. This gave her unique information, related to this in-game game company.

I don’t know if you can understand, but it’s basically a matryoshka doll. It’s getting set-up in a setup. Like that dream in a dream, it’s a game in a game.

Here’s an analogy. Take this game as the ‘real world.’ That makes the original game developers, the Creators of this world.

When creating this world, they cast their own image into it… Does that make it better?

And then, about the information pointing to the game’s ending. Everything the game company was doing was to help drive everyone towards the eventual ending, for players to win and enjoy their game.

So this ‘Creator’ did have a purpose – to facilitate the players’ progression with hints and information on the Ultimate Nightmare.

And there has to be justification for any such element, as this is a logical, deduction game where it is crucial.

Now you might ask, what is the actual ‘clue’ or ‘hint’ we’re talking about here? From what Mystic told us, take note that the game company had a style of creating games by mashing different elements together.

This is both the habit of the game company in the game, and the game developers outside, in reality.

In other words, ‘Escape’ had such different elements inside when first designed. They perhaps started with a game about the Apocalypse, and started throwing ideas and thoughts that they once had at it.

“nice story detective dalao!”

“i see i see, so a collection of ideas?”

“ok, I know about the game developers habits and how they made the game, but then what does it have to do with the players getting an ending?”

“I am not sure myself, but I have ideas. Let me give another example – we’re saying the AI here is the protector, right?

But with different ideas coming together, we’ll have to compromise and adapt the settings.

The overseer I talked about would actually be human, and perhaps a whole ruling class of aristocrats.

And probably with corruption of power and authority and all that jazz attached. But now, if we try to slot an AI in there, which would be mechanical and entirely just and incorruptible, what drives the conflict of humanity with this manager of the Tower will have to change.

It will then turn into Beibei’s answer from before——

That the AI is tasked with safety of the Tower, and thus has to chase all the insane people out, which brings it into direct conflict with other survivors.

This shifts the central conflict into an AI being unable to comprehend human connection and emotion, leading to the showdown.

Of course… now we have a strange issue. An AI has no emotional feelings about things. Where did its Nightmare come from?”

<< Click to download Android App >>