I have a seven-week break before chemo starts again. Let’s gogogo!
The title screen has changed to a shot of… the chapel, I think? May just be the main house.
This is a surprise, that even you do not surrender.
The Golden Witch has exceedingly high expectations of you.
Have you perhaps come to realize the structure of this world?
There can be no victory without knowing the rules.
Please enjoy a hearty game with the Witch.
The difficulty level is fair.
Fair for you, and fair for the Witch.
So I know last time I was kind of joking about writing a paper on fair play in Umineko but I was talking about it to my advisor at the start of the semester and she seemed super into it and LOOK AT THAT GODDAMN LINE “There can be no victory without knowing the rules.” R07 YOU SUNUVABITCH.
We’re in someone’s head, but it’s not clear who. They refer to ‘grandfather’ so I think we’re meant to think it’s one of the kids, but I don’t think it is. I get the impression it’s one of the adults as a kid.
Whoever it is is talking about a beautiful vase in the house that despite admonishment, they can’t help but touch.
However… just as Grandfather had said, it was a thing that shouldn’t be touched. Something this beautiful should never be touched. Such beauty can only dwell in something so easily broken. Because of that, just the brush of a finger by someone like me would…
Sure enough, they give into their curiosity and the vase knocks over and breaks.
Lightly dancing golden butterflies…were coming towards me. As mysteriously glowing golden dots shone in the air, the butterflies began to gather, one at a time.
Oh, it’s Beatrice. Beatrice, that reliable Golden Witch, had arrived.
The butterflies materialize into a person, and…
She was always there for me. Whenever I was in trouble, she’d always appear and save me.
“Good day to you, princess.”
So we’re far in the past, then.
Beatrice points her cane at the vase and urges it to come back together. Slowly, it reforms.
Oh, could this be baby Kinzo? And could our Beatrice be his daughter with this Beatrice? God that would make a lot of sense. But wait, ‘princess.’ Hmm.
Later on, the narrator and Bea are in the garden, and the narrator says magic is amazing, it can fix anything. Bea says no — she isn’t powerful enough to permanently fix something. All she did was temporarily delay its fate. Sure enough, a cat jumps on the vase and breaks it. But now it’s not the narrator’s fault, so it will be okay.
“…Then, is fixing stuff really hard…?”
“It is. It’s so hard that you broke down crying, unsure of what to do.”
“…Does that mean magic is easier to use when doing terrifying things? That breaking… and killing is really easy, but fixing and reviving things is really hard…?”
“…That’s right. With magic, it is far easier to break and kill. That’s why weak witches lose to temptation and become intoxicated with gathering easy power for themselves, neglecting their true magical training. Real magic is the power to repair, to revive. To summon happiness that has disappeared, to summon love that has grown cold. And, it can even summon a smile to the face of a princess who has forgotten how.”
Bea says powerful witches can fix things permanently, and are called ‘Endless Witches.’ Their reward for power is true happiness.
The narrator says she’s decided — she wants to be a witch. Bea says if she’s truly sure, Bea will start teacher her. The narrator promises she’s sure, and Bea says from now on, Bea is her teacher.
The scene ends, and we cut to our Beatrice. Oh… that was Bea, wasn’t it? Poor Bea. She muses that she became an ‘Eternal Witch’ long ago.
“I remember what Teacher told me. When one is released from all sadness, it is the same as eternal bliss. That’s what makes me think… that Teacher couldn’t ever have reached that level.” Eternal bliss means eternal boredom. That’s the beginning of eternal torture.
Or, to put it another way:
“Now that I’ve earned the name of Endless Witch, I truly wish I could speak with Teacher again. Is ‘happiness’ really what lay at the end of our training? And just what is ‘happiness’? I wish I could talk with her about that now.”
‘Training has no end. When you think you’ve reached the eternal level, that’s exactly the time to bemoan your own immaturity.’ I recalled those words as though she’d answered me directly.
Bea scoffs at the idea that she has anything left to learn. Poor cynical Bea.
As she muses, one of the stakes comes over, seemingly to complain about the Battler!furniture. They killed him again and want Bea to reform him. So she does. Then tease him for a while then kill him again, and again Bea reforms him. She’s endlessly entertained by torturing Battler, and wonders if this is witch bliss.
“I see, I see. Yes, this bliss certainly is amusing. *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*! Wahhahahahahahahahahahaha!! I’ll revive you over and over, kill you over and over!”
We then cut to the opening cinematic. Same one as last time:
So. This was a pretty short prologue. What we’ve established here, besides stuff like the existence of old!Beatrice and that our!Beatrice was a princess, is that something big happened, likely something Kinzo-related, that caused Bea to become dangerously cynical and lose her way as a witch and a person. This isn’t too surprising, since we got lots of hints in that direction last route. Her line to Battler, “…Realize this. When people are born, they don’t know of fraud. …They suffer it somewhere. And so it is learned.” is one of those great lines that I still think about a lot, like Rin’s “I laugh because if I don’t I’ll cry.” I think it’s also the key to Bea’s larger character, and hopefully this opening means we get to know more about her this route.