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Author Topic: The Big O Ending  (Read 24386 times)
Hal356
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« on: July 02, 2008, 08:19:05 PM »

Okay guys, I am still not clear on the ending of The Big O series. Can anyone clear this up for me as I have heard many different theories. This one that I copied off of another website seems to make the most sense of the series. I just need others opinion.

From: htfwky | Posted: 11/5/2007 12:50:12 AM | Message Detail

The Event was a cataclysmic war utilizing Megadeii to effectively destroy all life on earth. Paradigm City is the only known surviving city, and was rebuilt by Gordon Rosewater for the purpose of restoring mankind and repopulating the earth.

Roger and likely every other character in the series are clones. Once created, they were implanted with memories of the world before The Event by Gordon Rosewater, whose technique was imperfect, thus forcing him to perform the procedure multiple times over the course of several years. This is what is meant by "tomatoes" and "the harvest:" the citizens of Paradigm are tomatoes. As Gordon Rosewater lamented to Roger, when they are implanted with memories, they are "synthetic." Only by repeating the growing process year after year can the original "taste" of tomatoes be restored; that is, Roger and the citizens of Paradigm will never be genuine, but Rosewater's goal is to create a group of humans to be as close to their pre-Event personalities as possible.

When Angel lamented that "the power would be released too soon," she was referring to the power of Big Venus, whose purpose is to erase all memories of Paradigm City and restore it to the state it was at the beginning of the growth process. Diagrams from the Big O art book portray Paradigm City as a gigantic stage which is constantly pushed upwards from underground. Essentially, copies of Paradigm City are manufactured underground and pushed upwards with each new generation of "tomatoes." Memories are also manufactured underground (the miniature "stage" where the Archetype was found was likely used to film re-enactments of The Event, just as the log cabin stage was used to film Angel's memories of her childhood. These memories were implanted in Angel and Roger by Gordon Rosewater, in hopes that they would result in perfect copies of the original Roger Smith and Angel Rosewater).

Leviathan and Behemoth were designed for cleanup: Behemoth dug the underground chambers where memories are manufactured. When Big Venus is activated and memories are deleted, Leviathan dissolves all evidence into sand (this is why Paradigm is surrounded by deserts), allowing the new stage to rise upwards. The stagelights, which were mistaken for bombs, are also used for cleanup, and systematically timed to fall in accordance with the activation of the dock flares and, most likely, the activation of Big Fau.

Interestingly, each "version" of Paradigm City seems capable of taking multiple event paths, evidenced by Roger's memory flashes in Act 26 upon discovering the underwater machinery in the trench. In our observed version of Paradigm City, the chain of events leading to Big Venus's activation was started by the death of Timothy Wayneright: without his death, Dorothy does not serve under Roger and he dies when Big Fau throws him into the sea; further, without Dorothy there is no way for Roger to activate the Final Stage, the Archetype is not awakened, Big Fau is not restored due to the absence of Dorothy's core memory module, etc. etc. Wayneright is the key, and Dorothy is the most important character in The Big O. Notice that there are several copies of Dorothy (notable R.D. and the android encountered in Wayneright's laboratory in Act 15), one for each "version" of Paradigm City.

It seems, thus, that the purpose of Paradigm City is to ensure that The Big Venus is not activated. When Big Venus is activated, all memories are deleted, Paradigm City is destroyed, and the entire city resets. Only when all threats to Paradigm City have been eliminated and the city is protected by The Big O does the desired scenario play itself out: Big Venus is not reactivated and the loop is broken, so Paradigm can continue in a natural state, populated by people who are nearly identical to the people who were alive right after The Event. This is the goal of Gordon Rosewater: to effectively eliminate the negative effects of The Event and allow Paradigm City to advance into the future with no threats to its existence.

With this in mind, several "rogue" elements can be identified. All of these elements are remnants of The Event, or glitches in Rosewater's plan, that should not exist in his desired city:

    * Big Duo
    * Big Fau
    * The Archetype
    * The Union
    * Dagon, Behemoth, Osrail

The Red Balloon

The red balloon identifies glitches in Rosewater's scenario. These include:

    * The Union. These are failed tomatoes who were likely cast into the wilderness in past versions of Paradigm City. If the Union exists, Vera will activate the flares that begin the destruction of Paradigm City via stagelights, thus awakening Big Fau, which eventually awakens Big Venus.
    * The three foreign Megadeii. These carry the parts for Big Fau, whose appearance signals the eventual awakening of Big Venus. Also, Dorothy's existence in the scenario is likely a glitch, as her assistance of Roger Smith allows him to
    * Young Dastun and Rowan. These copies of Dastun and Rowan likely appeared prematurely; their existence tips off Dastun to the "infinite loop" nature of Paradigm City.

Conclusion: Roger Smith is a clone and destined to die. It is very likely that Angel Rosewater cannot bear this, and thus, as the Director, keeps the infinite loop going despite her knowledge that she will lose her memory every time.
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 09:31:43 PM »

Umm... no. Most of that is incorrect. Not everyone in Paradigm was a clone (or tomato)... and Angel certainly was not refering to Big Venus in her Act14 line (she was refering to Big Fau, which was hidden inside the 3 Foreign Megadeuses). This guy is obviously taking the "Paradigm is a lie" theory to an extreme.

Quote
Leviathan and Behemoth were designed for cleanup: Behemoth dug the underground chambers where memories are manufactured. When Big Venus is activated and memories are deleted, Leviathan dissolves all evidence into sand (this is why Paradigm is surrounded by deserts), allowing the new stage to rise upwards. The stagelights, which were mistaken for bombs, are also used for cleanup, and systematically timed to fall in accordance with the activation of the dock flares and, most likely, the activation of Big Fau.
This is certainly an interesting take on what's in the show... but false. Leviathan and Behemoth are just megadeuses (powerful ones at that) which were left over from long ago (the war before The Event of 40 Years Ago most likely). Behemoth is clearly a drilling megadeus, but the areas underground are much too small (think Act4, "Expo '04")... so we don't know it's exact purpose (aside from being humungous).  Leviathan... well one theory (based just on in-story canon) is that Schwarzwald summoned it to destroy Paradigm. Another is just that it awakened randomly, a leftover from the war (see: Flashbacks in Act26) and went on a rampage.

Big Venus... I won't even get started on that. Some believe Big Venus IS Angel (Angel physically becoming the megadeus), others think it's a time/reality altering megadeus which created The Event and starts each 'Loop' of 40 Years... there are many theories. But I think a blanket term which everyone can agree on is that Big Venus is the "god" of Paradigm City. Further evidence to support this time-travel/altering theory is that The Big O's story is supposedly taking place in the year 2099, which allow for 2 "40 Year" loops and the third is the one we are witnessing with Roger Smith.

The stagelights are not bombs... never were considered/mentioned as bombs.

Quote
Interestingly, each "version" of Paradigm City seems capable of taking multiple event paths, evidenced by Roger's memory flashes in Act 26 upon discovering the underwater machinery in the trench. In our observed version of Paradigm City, the chain of events leading to Big Venus's activation was started by the death of Timothy Wayneright: without his death, Dorothy does not serve under Roger and he dies when Big Fau throws him into the sea; further, without Dorothy there is no way for Roger to activate the Final Stage, the Archetype is not awakened, Big Fau is not restored due to the absence of Dorothy's core memory module, etc. etc. Wayneright is the key, and Dorothy is the most important character in The Big O.
What?
Okay, obviously this guy is trying to explain Memories... and failing. There is no evidence to support his claims within the show aside from the various Memory clips (which are what he's trying to explain!). Memories are strange things. Most of them point towards a War before The Event, and the ones which Roger experiences in Act14 ("Roger the Wanderer") point to alternate versions of Paradigm City (either past, or just in Roger's head).
Either way, we have learned to take discussion of "Origin of Memories" with a grain of salt.

Quote
It seems, thus, that the purpose of Paradigm City is to ensure that The Big Venus is not activated.
Wrong.
It should be the other way around actually (if you'd like to believe my theory). The purpose of Big Venus is to make sure Paradigm City doesn't destroy itself. Think of it as the ultimate System Restore, or referee. It came to Paradigm City (or was built) to restore it after the War, and after Rosewater and Big Fau tried to annihilate the city in Act26. This ties in a with a prevailant theory that Paradigm City is a testing ground for mankind (a "paradigm").... each time they try to get closer to perfection and paradise, but this time there was corporate corruption and Alex Rosewater's god-complex. It's a theory, and a pretty decent one at that.

Also, his analysis of The Red Balloons is all wrong. They were symbols and signals for The Union. Angel releasing it in Act14 was a message to The Union, and again when they meet up in Grand Central Station, and yet again when Sybil Rowan assassinates old politicians.

Quote
Conclusion: Roger Smith is a clone and destined to die. It is very likely that Angel Rosewater cannot bear this, and thus, as the Director, keeps the infinite loop going despite her knowledge that she will lose her memory every time
Umm... there is NO conclusion. We never figured that out. If that's true, then what of Angel in the TV screen room with Roger and Dorothy behind her? What as the final scene in act26? We don't even know why Angel is a Memory or the Director (or what being The Director means).

Whoever wrote that post you quoted, Hal, was obviously confident he had solved the mystery of Big O. But the mystery is not solved... it never has been, it never will be. We've discussed it for 5 years and we came close, we uncovered a lot of information, we compiled many different theories... but what that person has wrote is just not wholely correct.
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 11:53:03 PM »

To summarize Evan's post, the answer to the 'question' of The Big O is that there is no answer, and there probably never will be, no matter what theory sounds the most logical to whoever's reading it.

And honestly, I don't think we'd get an answer in a third season. Or even the fourth. The nature of the series would  call for more and more mysteries, more and more unanswered questions, and vague, unclear answers to the questions we already have.
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 11:59:49 PM »

To summarize Evan's post, the answer to the 'question' of The Big O is that there is no answer, and there probably never will be, no matter what theory sounds the most logical to whoever's reading it.

And honestly, I don't think we'd get an answer in a third season. Or even the fourth. The nature of the series would  call for more and more mysteries, more and more unanswered questions, and vague, unclear answers to the questions we already have.
Which makes the series "FACKEEN ORESOME" (~ZeroPunctuation). The fact that things aren't explained out right makes it really nice, yet really painful to comprehend. Finale's right in that there is no one universally accepted theory for the series (aside from the "Because I Say So" theory), but generally there are things that a majority of people who used to frequent PCF have agreed on being "the facts"... or "the pseudo-facts which we will pretend to understand" as brought to you by A Clockwork Tomato. Wink
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Hal356
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 01:12:51 AM »

Umm... no. Most of that is incorrect.

Thanks guys. Since that story was total BS, could you guys point me to the stuff that you have been talking about for 5 years. I mean, some things make me skeptical, especially the final scene in the Finale where it appears to have started all over again, but Dorothy and Angel are standing next to each other. I have read so many different things on how this was portrayed, that I don't know what to believe.
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 11:47:54 AM »

Just go to the same address as here, only .com instead of .net. Click on Forum Archive in the left menu bar and go to the Smith Mansion there for all of our old topics. You may have to go back quite a ways as it was many years ago that were bending our brains over this one.
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Hal356
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2008, 12:54:18 AM »

The only thing that I don't understand the most is the wave of memories that Roger witnesses while he and Big O are sinking to the bottom of the trench. Huh The other part that confuses me is when Roger and Dorothy are standing in a room with Angel, and there is a Promo poster in the background Huh (Truman Theory? I hate that theory)

Could people at least tell me an idea of what it mostly means. Especially these two:

1)The memories of what appears to be Roger lying dead in Big O, which I think would have happened if Dorothy did not come to save him from drowning and sinking to the bottom of the trench.

2)A line of what appears to be manufacturing clones of Roger Smith as an android.
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2008, 10:57:33 AM »

The other part that confuses me is when Roger and Dorothy are standing in a room with Angel, and there is a Promo poster in the background Huh (Truman Theory? I hate that theory)

That might've been Big Venus' cockpit. How did Roger and Dorothy get there? Teleportation, or a vision broadcast into Roger and Dorothy's brains, or maybe downloading into a virtual space... that explanation is up for grabs.

Promo poster... I don't like it either, but yeah it's possible that Angel is directing Paradigm City for the benefit for an audience, in the Truman theory.

It's also possible that there isn't an audience, but since she is the director, she feels that she has possession over Paradigm City. It's all up to her how things go, so she gives her story a name and builds up a lot of pomp around it... even though there might not be an audience beyond herself, since the rest of the world is supposedly still a wasteland.

However you put it, I think the movie poster is just another piece of symbolism, not to be taken literally as in the Truman theory.

Quote
1)The memories of what appears to be Roger lying dead in Big O, which I think would have happened if Dorothy did not come to save him from drowning and sinking to the bottom of the trench.

There's that. Roger could've been imagining his future as a drowned man. There's another possibility besides that, though. Remember the picture that Roger pieced together, of him shaking hands with a younger Gordon Rosewater? The picture seems to imply that there was a previous incarnation of Roger Smith. Some people think that this incarnation was the one who drowned, or that the incarnation in the picture is actually Norman in his youth.

Some also think it's evidence that Paradigm City is stuck in a loop, but I don't agree. Just because Roger got cloned or whatever'd... doesn't mean the entire city undergoes the same thing every couple years.

Quote
2)A line of what appears to be manufacturing clones of Roger Smith as an android.

Most of us agree that this is symbolic. Roger's all about choice, freedom. He doesn't want to believe that he's programmed or manufactured to follow a set of commands. So when this imagery pops up in Roger's mind, he rejects it, telling us something about Roger and hopefully confirming something about Paradigm City.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2008, 11:09:18 AM by R. Daniel Olk 01 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2008, 12:07:16 PM »

A world unto itself

Since the red balloon scenerio started in Winters Night Phantom, it strikes me as an odd scene for a grown woman to be holding a red balloon, it later was identified as the unions' symbol of communication between members for actions to take place. 

Night life in ParadigmThe scene in Winters Night Phantom when Dastun is chasing his antagonist down a sidwalk, followed by a motionless and emotionless scene of adolencence staring through the screen all uninterested in the Carnival activities.  This shows that the youth in this scene are aware of the situation before them, but are still distrusting of the brown-uniformed military police, the funding for such an authority does not intrest them and adds to the pain of this episode.  The opening of this episode provided a grim reality that no place is safe from what looks like a soulless robot (another theme in the series) that looks like it's toy mold could have come from the 4th quarter of the 20th century.  speaking of toys.

manufacturing line 
Perhaps this is an alogory of a production line of toys, the tomato being a production of agriculture, and how bound humans and their culture are to this paradigm of life, the final scenes breaking free from that paradigm into another paradigm as a propaganda agenda for something or someone.  I find the ending scenes irrelevent and a way of creating a satisfactory conclusion given the intensity of the topics and mostly analogies as to what the reality of creating The Big O actually were. 

 
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 04:23:45 AM »

To summarize Evan's post, the answer to the 'question' of The Big O is that there is no answer, and there probably never will be, no matter what theory sounds the most logical to whoever's reading it.

And honestly, I don't think we'd get an answer in a third season. Or even the fourth. The nature of the series would  call for more and more mysteries, more and more unanswered questions, and vague, unclear answers to the questions we already have.
Which makes the series "FACKEEN ORESOME" (~ZeroPunctuation). The fact that things aren't explained out right makes it really nice, yet really painful to comprehend. Finale's right in that there is no one universally accepted theory for the series (aside from the "Because I Say So" theory), but generally there are things that a majority of people who used to frequent PCF have agreed on being "the facts"... or "the pseudo-facts which we will pretend to understand" as brought to you by A Clockwork Tomato. Wink
Don't forget that the vague answers to our questions will only pose more questions, and the racking of our brains to understand (in some cases that's subliminal) is what makes us continue to watch. In any case, Big-O is like SEL (Serial Experiments: Lain): A group of us love the show, but there's so much vagueness that we have no idea what is going on or why as far as the grand scheme of things. In the time I've been associated with PCF (I think that's going on 5 years now...PCF was one of my first homes, and my first legit RP site), we've discussed both of these shows, only to conclude that the only answers are that there are none. What the hell is SEL even about and what does it mean? Why do many of the events in Big-O happen? Dunno. Never will know. After time, you grow to not care too much, and just try to come up with something that sounds cool to add to the theory pool. Okay, it's not that you grow to not care, but that you realize that you never will have a "true" answer to the almighty question of "Why?" so you watch intently looking for something you can suggest as possible and logical. You type it out in word, copy and paste it here, where it gets picked at like vultures on a desert carcass.

Dig-O is awesome, and if we ever get a nonvague answer to "Why?", then by all means fill me in, until then, I'm in no rush, and I'll just look at the interesting ideas. One day I might add one for O.
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2008, 04:22:49 PM »

Who's to say that Paradigm City isn't the biggest, most obfuscated virtual reality/visual novel crossover ever to exist?
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2008, 12:15:09 AM »

I've thought that Serial Experiments: Lain was more about humans, and their growing connection with The Wired (Internet), moreso than Lain herself. But it's been awhile since the last time I watched the entire show.

To stay on topic, the idea of "What are memories, and how do they affect who we are" is more important to The Big O than any concrete answers. Of course, that's not to say I wouldn't like to discover the answers, but not at the cost of the message TBO tries to convey to it's audience.
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2008, 02:42:21 AM »

I think i've learned more in two sentences than...........um...................... ever.
You should all co-write a novel...
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 10:48:14 AM »

I'm bringing this thread back. Please understand. I've been bed ridden for the last few weeks. Managed to injure myself something fierce. As I was browsing my animu folder, I was reminded that I had the Big O full series. Obviously I watched it from beginning to end. I have a very different view on the ending, a nice post modern theory I'm going to share with you all.

First we have to understand that from the get go this anime had always been approached with a post modern skew. The Big O was originally conceived as nothing more than a ploy to market a new line of action figures. The staff quickly concocted a series that exclusively derived it's content from other shows/genres. Honestly if you think about it, the mecha aspect of the series even feels a bit forced, out of place. The writers obviously embraced this with Roger's constant cries of "SHOWTIME" and "ACTION". I should also mention at almost all times I've been under the influence of prescription painkillers, alcohol, and medicinal herbs.

I perceived the ending from a very detached, almost 4th party view, if you will. Essentially as Gordon Rosewater explains, everything was designed for a plot. Even the 'Union' was really just made the funk up. While this is rather cryptic to the characters, it seemed an almost loudmouthed shout out to me, the viewer. The stage lights in the sky represented that everything under them is a pure fabrication, made for some kind of audience. The reset was rather straight forward. Essentially I feel in a kind of comical way, the show basically forces the characters to recognize that they are just that; characters in a show. They serve no purpose other than to fill their role. They even proclaim this multiple times throughout the series. Hence the promo in the background when Roger grabs Angel's shoulder. The show simply went back to the beginning. If they decide to bring back the series again, they'll have a fresh new palette and plot to start with.

On a side note, I really feel like the series being on hiatus for a few years kind of messed everything up. The second series doesn't feel like the same show. It's almost like the writers kind of forgot what was going on and when they came back, their only interest was tying up the overall plot. For instance the whole thing with the red balloon really pisses me off. Essentially they decided to recycle and retool a stand alone icon from the first season. Not only did it's new meaning prove pointless once it was established that the 'union' was nothing anyways, but this also negated the original intensity of the balloon in Dastun's memory.

In the end, the creators walked into this knowing they were making a show that people would watch and become intrigued with. They made sure we walked out knowing it was a damn show and didn't need to make sense. I'm sure they're kicking back with Hideo Kojima, loling at all the weeaboos trying to figure their shit out.
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 12:11:56 AM »

Quote
The second series doesn't feel like the same show. It's almost like the writers kind of forgot what was going on and when they came back, their only interest was tying up the overall plot.

And still, he sort of just wrote the same ending he'd already used for something ("reality is deleted/restarted'= The exact thing that happens at the end of serial experiments lain. It was the same guy, same guy wrote both.)

Quote
A group of us love the show, but there's so much vagueness that we have no idea what is going on or why as far as the grand scheme of things

It wasn't that vague, it's been a while since I saw it but yeah it pretty directly explains the plot at the end.

It's just kind of trippy in the meantime.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 12:29:18 AM by Sharpshooter005 » Logged
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