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Monday, January 19, 2015

Wizards in Pirate101: Did it Really Happen?

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

The B.O.X.E.S. event in Wizard101 was a hit from the beginning. However, an unexpected Pirate101 crossover engineered by writers from both games left both wizards and pirates with different interpretations of what role the other played.

The Five B.O.X.E.S.

This, like the Lost Pages, was an event KingsIsle released in October of 2014. The event periodically returns for a short period of time, usually a week or two, and then leaves. This event, centered around its Dr. Who roots, involved discussing the fate of the Spiral with The Professor, a time traveler who has detected that a nefarious villain, the Maestro, has attempted to disrupt past events in an effort to further his own plan for the Spiral. Note: Spoilers ahead!

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Wizard City B.O.X.

The Professor first searches out wizards level 10 or higher to speak to him in Wizard City. He has detected that someone, a random stranger, has come and encouraged Dalia Falmea to skip the test in the Book of Wisdom and simply pick the Ice school. This is clearly a mistake, and it becomes the job of the wizard to fix it.

Without Dalia becoming the Fire professor, she'd never create the exchange program in Zafaria, and the wizard wouldn't be able to progress in tracking down Morganthe. After a talk with Gamma, and the current Fire professor, Memphis, Falmea is reassigned to the Fire school.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Marleybone B.O.X.

The Professor also searches out wizards who are level 30 or higher to speak to him in Marleybone. Inside this B.O.X., the professor explains that Halston Balestrom was once arrested for Grand Larceny. The focus has shifted from Meowiarty to Balestrom.

It becomes the job of the wizard to rescue Balestrom, prove he can be a productive citizen (and soon a Storm school teacher). In the meantime, we meet the Maestro for the first time, who received the Opal of Ojai, which would allow him to "defeat those fools who protect the Spiral."

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Mooshu B.O.X.

The Professor seeks out wizards who are level 40 or above to talk to him in Mooshu. This key point in history is after Malistaire's departure from Ravenwood following the death of his wife Sylvia. There are several people vying for the spot of Death professor, and it's the job of the wizard to investigate them.

One of the candidates seems particularly suspicious, and the wizard must go to Dimwood Vale in Darkmoor, the home of Dworgyn, who is kept their by his vampire ant aunts. You must rescue him and ensure his becoming the Death professor.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Zafaria B.O.X.

The Professor seeks out wizards level 60 or higher to assist him in Zafaria. The Maestro has gone to Skull Island to stir up trouble and divert the time stream. The wizard must go and investigate.

Here's where things get tricky. After defeating several pirates in Skull Island, including Buster Crab, the wizard then rescues Boochbeard and Gandry from an exchange between the Maestro and Deacon. The two then decide to go and rescue the orphaned pirate in question.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Avalon B.O.X.

The Professor seeks out wizards level 80 or higher to visit with him in Avalon. In this B.O.X., he explains how the Maestro has managed to avoid the Drakes ever coming to Wizard City. That means Cyrus Drake can't be the Myth teacher, Sylvia Drake couldn't have become the Life teacher, and Malistaire Drake wouldn't have been the Death teacher. Seems like something you'd want to let be, right?

Wrong. The wizard must stop Sylvia (now under the name Spitfire instead of Drake) and convince the Drake brothers to return to their use of magic. Syvlia is leading Dragonspyre to take over the Spiral with the help of the Maestro. And they must both now be defeated (though they'll be back).


The B.O.X. in Question

The issue is the Zafaria B.O.X. If Wizards did indeed play this role, aren't they responsible for the whole success of the pirate in Pirate101? It might seem unimportant, but it's a big question in the just-for-fun Wizards vs. Pirates debate. 

Let's first examine the dialogue. Enlarge as necessary.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Alternate Realities

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey. Figuring out how things play out in multiple realities can be tough, and who knows if I'm interpreting it correctly, but there appear to be several potential outcomes. These are shown on the chart below.

In the original reality, Boochbeard and Gandry discovered the orphaned pirate (the player in Pirate101) all on their own. This is represented by the yellow line. The Maestro, however, intervened, which is represented by the green line, and attempted to make his own reality in which the orphaned pirate was never rescued. At this point, the Pirate101 storyline no longer exists. However, the wizards intervened, and rescued Boochbeard and Gandry, and did one of two things. Either they stayed in their own reality, a new one which they created, or they returned through the B.O.X. to the previous reality. That's the debate. And then, of course, there's a best case scenario, too.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event

Two Potential Paths

These two potential paths have been hotly debated. Wizards claim their rescue of Boochbeard and Gandry and dialogue in Wizard prove that they are the reason for the Pirate story, and took the purple path. Pirates argue that Wizards instead changed a different reality and are now in their own, alternate reality, along the red path.

Blind Mew Weighs In

Still looking for answers, Wizard101 writer Jesse Scoble, a.k.a. King Artorius, suggested opening a thread on the official Pirate101 forums to ask Sam Johnson, a.k.a. Blind Mew, about the issue. Both had collaborated to produce this B.O.X. story. This is what Blind Mew had to say:

If you guys know me at all, then you surely have learned by now that giving definitive answers to even the most simple yes or no questions is anathema to my basic nature. That said, i shall now provide you with several points that may or may not satisfy y'all's curiosity... 
As to whether or not these events really happened, well they must have, in some form, because the Maestro knew to contact the Armada in the first place. So he did know that your Pirate will be critical in the final battle with the Armada, even if the eventual victory he was threatening them with might not be certain. I'm a big fan of closed loop paradoxes, where events set themselves in motion and ideas or objects just materialize out of nothing. A classic example from a DnD game I heard about (but never played): a character received a magical ring from a mysterious stranger when he was a child. Later, through a twist of fate he happened upon a young boy and gave him that ring... and the boy was himself. So where the heck did that ring come from? Who made it? I love that stuff. It ain't a paradox if you can explain it.

In the alternate ending of the 12 Monkeys script that was floating around in my head, I would have written it so that Cole himself was the source of the plague - he picked it up at the beginning of the movie, infected everyone in the refuge with it, and then spread it to the past world at precisely the point the future folks sent him to. And that, my friends, is why you don't do time travel. Just don't.
 
Digression over. I love closed loops that create something out of nothing, but I also dig the notion of changing the future - I love the Terminator films (at least, the 2 good ones) too much to dismiss mutable time. So, the Maestro's intervention either made the PC the crucial figure in defeating the Armada, or it would have happened anyway, just differently. Does it matter? I like both options. 
Now, taking the question from a different angle: "whether or not this type of thing would be even considered"...

The notion that our entire game spun off of some random occurrence in Wizard101 is pretty radical, but by no means would I dismiss it out of hand. Somebody on a forum (might have been KI Wizard, might have been Central) posted something to the effect of "I can't believe Blind Mew would be happy with the idea that his whole story happened because of something Wizards did."
 
Actually the idea fills me with glee. I helped plot that section out, and polished the dialogue. The notion of whether or not Wizard101 is the chicken to Pirate101's egg was fun, but more fun by far was letting Boochbeard's cluelessness run rampant again. Without Gandry, the Spiral may well have been lost. That makes me smile. 
Remember: it's not the answer, friends, it's the discussion that matters. So speculate away.
Blind Mew makes clear that there are multiple possibilities, including those that not entirely logical, i.e. paradoxical.

Wizard101 / Pirate101 BOXES Event


Personal Opinion

You've seen the facts, and you're probably starting develop an opinion of your own. But what do I think?

The Role of Wizards

My personal opinion is that wizards took the purple path. That is, they saved Boochbeard and Gandry and started the whole Pirate storyline. Why? Well, when we went into the B.O.X.E.S. to stop these events from happening, we didn't see their effects in real time. By that I mean that outside of the B.O.X.E.S., all of the Ravenwood teachers were still in place, Sylia Spitfire didn't rule the Spiral, and so on. As Blind Mew says, the events had to have happened. But because we went back in time to stop them, we had always gone back in time to stop them, therefore their effects were not seen. 

I believe that before the Maestro event, Boochbeard and Gandry really did find the orphaned pirate on their own. But after the event, it had technically always happened. We used a roundabout way to save that story, and we, as the wizard, are responsible for it.

How to Confirm the Theory

Even though that's just my theory, it could just as likely be that the other side of the story is correct. So how do we confirm? Well, the other side can't very easily be confirmed until new events unfold in the Spiral. But the theory that Wizards were responsible for Pirates can be proven. IF, in the future, our wizards and pirates interact or overlap somehow (overlap in the sense that pirates talk to Meowarity, which wizards imprisoned in their reality, as well as other examples), then we will know that both our wizards and pirates have to be in the same reality because they are directly affecting each other in a way that they couldn't otherwise if in different realities. At least, the interaction wouldn't be the same. Lost yet?

If they interact, then, that proves that they're in the same reality, meaning that if the events happened, and Blind Mew confirms that they must have in some form, then the reality that wizards saved the pirates is indeed one in which all KingsIsle game characters are playing.

Which reality is the real one in your opinion?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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7 comments:

  1. Lol I play wiz and pir. The debate is pointless to me. The moral of the story: time travel creates crap for everyone. Some examples of this are back to the future series and the upcoming movie project almanac.

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  2. I don't know about you, but I kinda like the "best case scenario" the most.

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  3. While the most "far out" of all realities, I'm inclined to agree.

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  4. loops: What if the wizard had failed to stop the Maestro, or had decided not to accept the Professor's quest? One thing that has always bothered me about time

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  5. Or we could take the Schrodinger's Cat approach: The wizard did affect the time stream, and they didn't at the same time. Because both have the same result, the difference could not be observed, therefore, both realities are correct.

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  6. Tatiana HawkthornApril 7, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I want to know who the second pirate was or was that our first companion?

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  7. I would like to point out a few small points that aren't easily noticed. When we enter Tartarus and speak to Orpheus, he says: "Hail, Pirate!", thinking that we are the Pirate that asks him for the lire to play for Eagilles. When we arrive to Xol Akmul in P101, the aztecosaur says: "Lord of night! You!", but when we go to speak to him, he says: "No, you're not that one, but we still need help!". Did you notice who is that 'you' he was referring to? Yep, the wizard. When we first start the tutorial, Boochbeard asks Gandry: "Is this the one?", knowing that he is supposed to rescue a pirate. And knowing that she/he's an orphan, he asked about how his/her parents passed away. Those points lead me into saying that the wizard did have influence in the pirate's timeline, and that they live in the same one.

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