Guys, I need your help with deciding whether this is a theory that should be included in voting as an official theory. Not because I'm unsure of whether it's good or not (I think it is) but due to the subject material being about another game altogether it may or may not be appropriate for the Wiki. I'll try to write it so that there's no mention of being "taken out of the game world".
I was sitting in the usual red chair, my feet rubbing against the soft green carpet and the lamp overhead doing its best to give light and life to the books behind me when I had a thought. My thoughts had taken me to the depths of the lighthouse once again, and I was marveling at the arcade machine found there and have been mulling it over in my mind.
What wasn't entirely apparent to me is the connection between the so-called "Basement", the lighthouse, and the arcade machine itself. But now I have put together the pieces, delved into the minds of others that have traced several paths through those regions, and have come to some conclusions. So I will pen this in two parts to try to maintain some air of clarity on where my thoughts lie.
Part 1 - The Arcade Connection.
The basement is a location, just as real as any other. Yet somehow the entire journey can be viewed through the small screen of the arcade machine. I'll call it the "playbox" to save ink, as my bottle is running low. The ink as well as the gin, I fear, now that I give that bottle a proper swirl as well.
Traces are left between realities. Some have sort of a film-like quality; imprints of memories left in the in-betweens of space and time. Who these memories belong to, I do not know, but I know how those screens work.
Here's what I've put together:
It all starts with the explorer walking down the tunnel, approaching the screens. Now, I am fully convinced that these screens completely radiate blue karmic energy, as they seem to be powered by such from a concentrated stream of unknown whereabouts. This can be seen in the large circular room in between the elevator exit and the screens themselves. The energy is converted by means of the large golden machine next to the screens, and as such the screens are powered.
Now this is the critical piece: the yellow light/energy that flows from the projectors onto the screens. Something tells me this energy is of a different type altogether, one that can not only project images but turn those images into some sort of sustained reality. A reality which can act as some sort of bridge between two locations. An enhanced karma portal if you will, or even an expanded one. While tracking the movement of one such explorer, I noticed that she first entered the area and seemed to actually be in the fields shown in the screens. And the grass crunching under her feet that my audio recorder picked up seemed to indicate that she actually did step into some different world for just a minute or two. The screens actually were able to project a whole world around her, and I do think they did a solid job of convincing her that she might have been in some outdoor setting. The fact that the screens covered a wide panoramic angle probably helped greatly with this effect.
I'm not sure what happened after this, because I was not able to map any of her vitals for a short while until they were picked up at the lighthouse. Though I was able to extract a small sort of visual imprint from the surrounding areas. It showed her journey through the basement, and all of a sudden this perspective was snapped to the viewing window of the aforementioned playbox in the lighthouse. Somehow this playbox is inextricably linked to the screens in the stone room, and I believe a good amount of mental tricks were played on her in order to carry her from the basement complex to the lighthouse.
It would seem that this is a very different type of karma portal, one that uses a new kind of converted energy (when applied properly) to have people enter some sort of virtual reality before crossing to the next location. In this case the VR seems to be what the lighthouse area might have looked like before its burial, making me also wonder whether there are any allusions to a time shift as well during this period.
The most important thing to take from this, however, is that the playbox appears to be able to contain everything that is needed to receive the information transported from the screens and condense it in order to materialize the information in the basement. You could very well say that it is a very well made one-way karma portal, but instead of experiencing no passage of time during use the explorer experiences a brief run-in with a new reality via some unknown golden conversion of blue karmic energy.
Of course, the portal seems to resume its two-way "regular" status if either the playbox or the screens are significantly damaged, as I'm sure must have been quite a shock to her when she passed through the basement complex a second time.
I have now established the possibilities that the playbox, in accordance with some special "karmic screens", can entail for karmic transportation. It is now time to apply that to a different location I have visited in the Subnet altogether.
Part 2 - Location 731
This location has always intrigued me because I always feel as if it was absorbed from some other reality that is not exactly like those the Subnet usually exhibits. Of course, I use the term "reality" loosely, just like everyone else I've come across in this wretched place (and what a dull boy he was). What really grabbed my attention was the large glowing insignia on a far end, where the floor gave way to the massive sign and its suspended entrails. How could it not be clearly made of the karmic energy sought after by dynasties of old?
And of course, we have another playbox.
Now, the chap that I mentioned earlier has had a hell of a story that he managed to tell me. He recounted how he had visited a place very similar to this location in structure, and it was likewise full of playboxes. He also mentioned spotting the same insignia a few times while he was there. He said that he was locked in some sort of suspended room above an endless void, with some sort of forest crafted out of golden resin or sand beneath the enclosure. He doesn't remember much of leaving the place, and the forest was the last memory he had of the place. But it always struck me as odd that wherever he was managed to contain the coordinates to this location.
Does that mean that his whereabouts are also somewhere in this vast net, yet to be properly explored? And more importantly, does the appearance of the giant glowing insignia and the still-somewhat-functioning arcade machine suggest that he had some sort of similar experience with a VR like the girl I watched did? Perhaps, perhaps not. But he did mention seeing nothing but a black void upon searching the horizon when he did manage to escape that enclosure.
This is where I conclude my thoughts for now. My next quest is to hunt for that suspended cage that he so eloquently described to me. Where or if I will find it, I do not know. But I must stop writing, as my pen is scraping the bottom of the bottle.