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Brom
2009-03-07, 11:34 PM
I read somewhere on this forum that there was an idea that Charlie was Parson from the future. It's not a complete wild card theory, I think, after taking a look around the comic. First thing:

"M'glad you think so." - This has been said 2x in the whole comic, once by Charlie, once by Parson. No one else says anything like it.

"Maggie and I started talking Thinkamancy. Incredibly useful, incredibly scary magic." - Charlie's Arkentool is the Arkendish, which gives him 'an unprecedented command of Thinkamancy. If I had to guess which Artifact Parson would want as his own, it'd be the dish. This is less sound but still notable.

"May I call you Parson?" It's possible that Charlie just picked this out of his head, but working on the basis that Charlie is some sort of future version of Parson, Charlie would know Parson's name. Further, Maggie was shielding Parson at the time. Again, it's possible that Charlie picked it out of his head and the Arkendish allows him to do so subtly enough to not get caught...we don't know the power of the dish, as it hasn't been quantified.

"You'll pull through this just fine." - Assuming Charlie is a future version of Parson, he'd come to the conclusion that he wouldn't exist if Parson died in the battle. This also helps explain why Charlie is so keen on taking him alive. It's true that Charlie also says he's willing to take the Mathamancy artifact from Parson's body, but that could be a bluff.

Some general similarities are also visible:

- Charlie, like Parson, doesn't commit to face to face battle. If Charlie was a future version of Parson, this'd make sense, seeing as Charlie still wouldn't necessarily qualify as a unit and thereby would be put at significant risk if he tried to have a face to face fight.
- Charlie, like Parson, is exceedingly intelligent and is a step ahead of everyone. When Parson tells Charlie that he'll be on the tower, Charlie immediately asks where he'll really be -- Ansom, on the other hand, buys into it.
- Charlie has taken no direct action against Parson. If I was Charlie in the future, I'd do much the same; who knows what damage I could do to myself by harming my past self.
- Charlie and Parson seem to have parallel minds in some scenes, and do many of the same logical leaps and conclusions.
- Parson assumed at first that everyone had a setup similar to the EyeBooks. Charlie has made a killing off of Thinkagram communication hosting between sides. If Parson were to go off and make his own side, I can see how, with the Arkendish at his disposal, even if he'd never met Charlie and seen how he'd done it, he would set up a similar business.
- Charlie was able to get into the EyeBooks...which, if he was a future version, he might still *have* an EyeBook.

Feh. I could be picking at straws, but these are general observations.

galdon
2009-03-07, 11:40 PM
its a decent theory, but if charlie is parson from the future, he'd probably already know how parson would respond to everything, charlie is tricky and well educated, but he isn't omniscient.

i think a more probable idea is that charlie may be from earth like parson is, but has been around a bit longer

Ragn Charran
2009-03-07, 11:43 PM
"M'glad you think so." - This has been said 2x in the whole comic, once by Charlie, once by Parson. No one else says anything like it.

Remember the setting though. Parson said it shortly after hearing Charlie say it, in a conversation in which he was trying to convince Ansom he had a secret allies in the RCC. I always took it as part of Parson's mind game, to deliberately use a Charlie figure of speech. I mean really, when has Parson talked like that any other time?

Tensu
2009-03-09, 11:09 AM
Charlie claims to want Parson as a warlord, which would probably entail putting his past self in harm's way. I also doubt someone of Charlie's intellect would do anything as utterly foolish and stupid as temporal manipulation. I mean, time travel is like saying "Hello universe! please implode on account of temporal paradox!" That Charlie is also from earth makes more sense, or even just a very prudent erfworlder.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-09, 08:05 PM
"May I call you Parson?" It's possible that Charlie just picked this out of his head, but working on the basis that Charlie is some sort of future version of Parson, Charlie would know Parson's name.It's also vaguely possible that the Archon Parson stated his name and rank to passed that little tidbit of information on to Charlie. You know, like any good secretary would do before letting someone go in to see her boss.



"You'll pull through this just fine." - Assuming Charlie is a future version of Parson, he'd come to the conclusion that he wouldn't exist if Parson died in the battle. This also helps explain why Charlie is so keen on taking him alive. It's true that Charlie also says he's willing to take the Mathamancy artifact from Parson's body, but that could be a bluff.Hmmm, not buying it. First, Charlie is a manipulator. Telling someone they'll be just fine is free, and it can make a friend at zero cost if they allow it to. Lots of salesmen tell you things will work out just fine.


- Charlie has taken no direct action against Parson. If I was Charlie in the future, I'd do much the same; who knows what damage I could do to myself by harming my past self.Blasting the GK air force didn't help Parson, and hurting your past self in a battle where that life is at stake brings to much time-paradox into play. If Charlie assumes he can do or not do anything at all because he is alive today, doesn't that sort Charlie up just a little too nicely? *

* I already think Charlie is set up just a little too nicely for the good of this strip, but adding a mastery of time paradox to his already sweet set up would just be way over the top.

It's not a horrible theory, and I do see where it could be true. I hope that it is not, because I think that would be a mistake, story wise. Some folks have theorized that the next match up in Erf will be Parson vs. Charlie. If they are the same person, this would be a bit awkward.

Corwin Weber
2009-03-10, 01:37 AM
Actually I think that's my post you're referring to. I suggested the idea mostly offhandedly, but there is at least a little bit to suggest the 'paradox/anachronism' possibility, although I consider it to be the least likely theory here. I waver between the 'Parallel Parson' and 'Other Earthman' theories myself. :)

Starwaster
2009-03-10, 11:50 PM
Remember the setting though. Parson said it shortly after hearing Charlie say it, in a conversation in which he was trying to convince Ansom he had a secret allies in the RCC. I always took it as part of Parson's mind game, to deliberately use a Charlie figure of speech. I mean really, when has Parson talked like that any other time?


QFT. Very obviously Parson was engaged in Psy-Ops and trying to make Ansom paranoid. And get under his skin.

Though I get this feeling that Charlie might be from Earth after all. Assuming of course that Parson isn't actually in a coma like he's afraid he might be.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-10, 11:59 PM
:biggrin:

As originator of said theory, I am glad to see it's still being tossed around. One day, the Tin Foil Hat Alliance (TFHA) will be proved to have been correct all along - then we will have shown, shown you all! :smallamused:

EDIT:

Actually I think that's my post you're referring to. I suggested the idea mostly offhandedly, but there is at least a little bit to suggest the 'paradox/anachronism' possibility, although I consider it to be the least likely theory here. I waver between the 'Parallel Parson' and 'Other Earthman' theories myself. :)

Perhaps, but I recall proposing said theory (in detail!) on the advent of this page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html), cemented by Charlie understanding "omg h4x" - whereas Sizemore was befuddled (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0059.html) by "kk thnxbai."

Oh yes, a slim reed, but enough for the TFHA! :smallcool:

LurkerInPlayground
2009-03-11, 12:21 AM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html

If he's comin' it shun't be long.
Guess what? Some characters speak more informally than other characters.

A lot of things that seem idiosyncratic to Parson because he's from Earth actually also exist in Gobwin Knob, they just don't have the same significance.

Basically the logic sounds sort of like this:
Charlie owns a satellite dish. Satellite dishes only exist in Earth, therefore Charlie must be Parson!
Epic fail.

If you were to tell me that Jill is bisexual, we'd actually have in-comic facts that would reasonably support that and it wouldn't be pointless speculation that you're just making because it seems cute or because it rubs some shipper's fetish involving Jill.

Besides, Charlie being Parson manipulating time just seems like cheap writing. It's not foreshadowed and it doesn't fulfill any real theme or connect to the immediate plot in a meaningful way.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-11, 12:51 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html

Guess what? Some characters speak more informally than other characters.

Ah, but this isn't just informality; it is internet slang in a world without an internet - and no more than one set of eyebooks. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0053.html)

It is true that the Tool uses chatspeak (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html) but "OMG h4x" and "kk thxbai" are partially meme-based and partially the product of FPS chatspeak. Normally this wouldn't stop them from being integrated into eyebook chat (like emoticons), but we see that Sizemore (a veteran eyebook user) has no idea what that means.

In fact, the only person fully conversant with Parson's idiom is Charlie. "OMG" is not a problem - Orlies say stuff like that all the time - but "h4x" makes absolutely no sense for Erfworlders because (1) the number-letter substitution is not an easily intelligible contraction and (2) "hacking" has no analogy in Erfworld. Now, you could say that Charlie just picked the meaning out of Parson's brain - but if he could do that, why act surprised here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html)? He should be able to just pick the calculation (which Parson must have already done) out of Parson's head rather than spend a precious calculation.

This is enough to build a case for "Charlie is from Earth;" the TFHA part of it is to assume that "Charlie" is actually Parson - from the future - communicating through the Arkendish into the past to create a Stable Time Loop (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StableTimeLoop) :smallbiggrin:

And they called me mad, mad at the Academy!

SmartAlec
2009-03-11, 02:34 PM
As someone else pointed out in another, earlier thread, for Charlie to be a Parson from the future, Parson would have to undergo a very radical change in his approach to warfare and life in Erfworld. Parson is all about the challenge; Charlie is all about the reward.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-11, 03:54 PM
As someone else pointed out in another, earlier thread, for Charlie to be a Parson from the future, Parson would have to undergo a very radical change in his approach to warfare and life in Erfworld. Parson is all about the challenge; Charlie is all about the reward.

Not if he's making a Stable Time Loop. Remember Parson's definition of strategy (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0137.html) - list your objectives and then find a way to achieve them with a minimum of muss & fuss.

In this scenario, Future Parson wants to make sure Past Parson will eventually take control of Charlie's Archons and the Arkendish, so that Past Parson can then build up "Charlie's" empire in the distant past. Once "Charlie's" empire is constructed, it can then be used to rescue Parson from the Tool and/or Ansom, so that Parson can be free to "win" Erfworld using "Charlie's" forces.

God, I love talking about Time Travel :smallbiggrin:

Fjolnir
2009-03-11, 05:03 PM
Either way John Connor should have faded into nonexistance when he melted the terminator in Terminator 2, delaying judgment day.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-11, 06:15 PM
Either way John Connor should have faded into nonexistance when he melted the terminator in Terminator 2, delaying judgment day.

Wait, what? That T-100 was a different one than was sent back in Terminator 1 - they were never temporally linked, I don't think.

Besides, the Terminator Continuity was proven to be a You Can't Fight Fate (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitle123ut4ni5x96?from=Main.YouCantFightFate) sort of place; Skynet does awaken, it kills a bunch of humans before being defeated by the humans.

It's one reason I'm so baffled by Terminator: Salvation; the first three movies (particularly the third one) have proved that time just doesn't change - unless they're going to do a "Matrix: Revolutions" thing, what's the point? :smallconfused:

Ultimatum479
2009-03-11, 10:53 PM
Why does everyone see this theory as being dependent on time travel or the like? Erfworld is a GAME. Strategy games generally have pre-built scenarios which can be reloaded as many times as the players desire. Charlie could merely be Parson after having played this scenario, and the scenario just got reloaded, but Parson/Charlie is still stuck here since he doesn't get reloaded along with it (as he doesn't really follow the rules of Erfworld, what with his lack of visible stats and the like). Scenarios can be won or lost, with each such incident being independent of previous iterations of the scenario; therefore, Charlie's only advantages here in terms of knowledge are of the default settings of the scenario. Things can change this time around, or the next. The similarities everyone's mentioned between Charlie and Parson support this, not being dependent on Charlie knowing every detail of what's going to happen, but simply having a basic idea of events. If it were a stable time loop or the like, he'd have to know absolutely everything.

Fjolnir
2009-03-11, 11:20 PM
Wait, what? That T-100 was a different one than was sent back in Terminator 1 - they were never temporally linked, I don't think.

they destroyed the mainframe of the company working on replicating the original t-100 and stole the part they were reverse-engineering from before they dumped the hero t-100 into the molten metal, my point is that the series is ABOUT about using the past to change the future, these events would lead to a dead tree (skynet doesn't come to life until later, time travel is pushed forward at LEAST a decade if not more) whoever fathers JC at the end of the original terminator would end up being different due to the staggering of time in this respect. though that doesn't mean I don't hold out hope for this terminator movie being the LAST in the series and creating it's own closed time loop (IE: skynet loses, Arniator goes back in time to eliminate sara, JC's father goes back in time to do the nasty in the pasty and prevent her death, JC is eliminated by a different Arniator who is reprogrammed for T3)

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-12, 12:02 AM
my point is that the series is ABOUT about using the past to change the future

I'd disagree with that; Terminator is much more of a You Can't Fight Fate series.

JC Already Changed The Past (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouAlreadyChangedThePast); he was going to father John Connor no matter what. T1's T-100 was always the basis for Skynet (Stable Time Loop (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StableTimeLoop)) but by the time T2 blew it up the military already had enough data to build Skynet, so we still get Robot Wars at the end of T3.

At most, the only thing that got changed by time travel (assuming everyone the various Terminators killed would have been dead due to Apocalypse) was pushing back the events of T3 by a few years.


Why does everyone see this theory as being dependent on time travel or the like? Erfworld is a GAME.

Technically, Erfworld is a game-like reality. It is unknown if it actually takes place with human players (a la Reboot (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Reboot)) or if the rules of this particular reality just so happen to mirror the games Parson plays. Judging by the fact that Parson was physically transported into this world, I'm going to say it is not a game played by Earthlings; perhaps Charlie is a Physical God (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PhysicalGod) who constructed a pocket dimension as a plaything and he happens to be conversant with Earth culture circa Parson's era... when the world was created?

SmartAlec
2009-03-12, 12:33 AM
I'd disagree with that; Terminator is much more of a You Can't Fight Fate series.

It's a bit all over the place.

Terminator 1 leans towards the idea that the future is unavoidable.

Terminator 2 does an about-face, with the 'No Fate, but what we make' message.

Terminator 3 either goes back to the future-is-unavoidable idea, or makes the point that Skynet can mess around with the timeline just as much as Sarah and John Connor can - interesting to note that the Skynet that sent the T-X is a different Skynet to the Skynet that sent the T-800 and the T-1000.

The trailers for Terminator 4 seem to hint that time has been so messed around, John hasn't got a clue what's going to happen beyond 'robot army'.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-12, 12:40 AM
Terminator 2 does an about-face, with the 'No Fate, but what we make' message.

Terminator 3 either goes back to the future-is-unavoidable idea, or makes the point that Skynet can mess around with the timeline just as much as Sarah and John Connor can - interesting to note that the Skynet that sent the T-X is a different Skynet to the Skynet that sent the T-800 and the T-1000.

Fair enough, though I see T3 as a total negation of the themes in T2. It takes the uplifting theme of "we are masters of our own fate" and then turns it back around by revealing that no amount of time travel could actually stop Skynet.

It is interesting that the Skynet in T3 is different from the original Skynet, but I honestly don't think it'll make that big a difference in T4. It just seemed like they made T3 as a cash-in movie, which meant they had to undo the "final ending" they had in T2.

That said, T-X was hawt :smalltongue: