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Hypothesis: The Inventory Exists Outside Of Normal Space-Time

posted by Kyronea on - last edited - Viewed by 512 users
It does, in my mind. To explain what I mean, back in the late nineties/early 2000s there was a small miniseries of Star Trek books called The Captain's Table. Long stories short it was mostly an excuse for the various captains to tell stories in first person, but essentially The Captain's Table was a bar that could be accessed from anywhere in any time(During Picard's book, for example, there was at least one 1860s sea captain listening in to his story.) The bar also seemed to change appearance depending upon who was viewing it.

I propose The Inventory works the same way. Let's look at the facts. Firstly, Tycho's world in Penny Arcade has never shown any indication that it takes place in a reality very far removed from our own(besides a couple of robots.) More to the point he's aware of the existence of Max's video game series and the Heavy's, which even the Heavy doesn't seem to be aware of.

Max's universe is shockingly different from both our own and presumably the others as well, with the most important difference being Max as President. Because of the sheer number of sentient species other than humans in Sam and Max, and because there has never been a sign of such in Penny Arcade, at the very least these two cannot coexist in the same reality.

Strong Bad is an odd case. His whole town is bizarrely animated, with even the supposed relatives of each other looking so incredibly different from one another that something odd is going on with biology there. Plus with nothing ever being acknowledged outside of Free Country, USA besides the e-mails, it seems to me that it would be very hard for Strong Bad to coexist with any but Max, and even there it's debatable.

The Heavy is the best example. His whole game originally took place in a late 60s environment and while he's been updated to the 80s in his references, the fact that he's recently gotten a "new Walkman" and thinks Purple Rain is new says he's from a different time than the others, and probably a different reality to boot due to the various technologies present.

The benefit to the Inventory existing in this form means that any characters can show up without there being some sort of contradiction or invocation of their existing with one another. I mean we all know there's no way Marty or Doc could live in the same world as Sam and Max, for example. Plus it adds a nice mysterious air to the whole place, one that works to its benefit.
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    I think it follows more closely the concept of a dimensional nexus for video games or just a place where just to hang out outside the "studios" where the characters usually work.

    Following Occam's Razor, it is probably the latter.
  • Something to consider: Strong Bad is aware of SBCG4AP and Telltale, so at least this version of him lives in the kind of enhanced real world where Behind the Bad is set.
  • jmm;443900 said:
    I think it follows more closely the concept of a dimensional nexus for video games or just a place where just to hang out outside the "studios" where the characters usually work.

    Following Occam's Razor, it is probably the latter.
    So they're basically Animated Actors?
    Well, let's analyze this. There are some things that are certain...

    Max: Is aware of his role in the Telltale Games and is satisfactory with the fact that the company is making money from his and Sam's exploits, also pointing out that people have been doing this for years, which would branch their game universe back to the show and the comics.

    Strong Bad: Was a Telltale Intern during the Making of SBCG4AP who was unsatisfied with the final product, as well as the fact that he is aware of his role in the Homestar Runner Universe of Media.

    Tycho: Is aware of his personal status as not only a webcomic character, but also as a game character. Plus, he seems to have a pretty good knowledge of the Penny Arcade Expo, which seems to mean that whatever reality these characters exist in has the Expo going on as well.

    Heavy: is seemingly unaware of his status, but remembers growing in Soviet Russia and being through years of training and education. I have two possible explanations: Either Heavy is very immersed in his role, even outside of TF2, or he's a method Actor, put out onto the field of battle with the explanation that he is fighting an actual war, which would mean that his role in TF2 is a Truman Show Plot.

    It all comes down to whether or not you believe that the events of the Telltale Games actually happened in that specific universe. My theory? They were just actors, doing their games for the money.

    You can decide on your own, but try not to think about this too much, okay?
  • Given how all four series have a firm policy of ignoring the concept of continuity, I wouldn't be surprised if The Inventory fit into all four franchises' loose concept of canon.

    Anyway, how much each of the characters in Poker Night break the fourth wall seem to depend on how much the fourth wall exists for them normally.

    For Strong Bad, it just doesn't exist, so he's free to talk about how popular his website is or how much he hates Telltale's job making a video game about him.

    Penny Arcade's whole shtick is gaming jokes, and since Tycho and Gabe are meant to be the real Jerry and Mike (even within the comic their job is making the Penny Arcade comic, to the point that there have been some comics about making comics), it makes sense to have Tycho talking about PAX or his website.

    For Sam and Max, the fourth wall is continually destroyed and rebuilt, depending on what would be funnier. Sometimes we'll get Max saying things like "Your word balloon is blocking my field of vision, Sam," and then sometimes we'll just have Sam tell Max the unseen force monitoring his every movement is really him. Poker Night seems to have Max alternate between being aware and unaware he's a fictional character (sometimes in the middle of the same conversation!), which is pretty accurate to how he usually is.

    And with TF2, there's been some limited fourth-wall breaks from the Scout ("Yeah, come on, ragequit! Make us both happy!"), but besides that nothing. As far as the Heavy is concerned, everything's real.
  • I liked my old theory about this being sortof an afterlife for the characters.

    Strong Bad does get killed in sbcg4ap and when he is revied about 5 seconds later, he acts really shocked that he is at Free Country USA, so time could be close to nonexistent there.

    Max died in 305 so it works there.

    The heavy and Tycho have both died many times in their respective media, so once again that works.
  • I think it also needs to be asked: how real are the games for the characters? If they are just acting in a video game like Strong Bad says and like the Heavy is unaware of, then did Max really have psychic powers? Did he really go back in time? He is aware of Telltale as well.

    Why are things so real for the heavy anyway? Tycho mentions he is in a steam game. Maybe the Administrator knows the answer.

    And if Tycho and Strong Bad have a 'real' presence in our world with a comic and blog that they can plug the game on. How real does it make the other characters at the Inventory?

    I don't know about an afterlife for everyone there. Momma Bosco and Stinky have died but not Pom Pom or Flint Paper.

    (Way too much thought in this)
  • Tycho has "met" various video game characters in Penny Arcade strips before. That mostly happened in older comics, though.
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