The games of Yoko Taro have gained a sudden popularity recently. Where formerly, Taro was a niche director who couldn’t even maintain consistent control over his own series, he has suddenly burst onto the stage as a legitimate auteur, another in a long line of Japanese big names. In my writing elsewhere, I have compared Yoko Taro to Wagner by way of Nietzsche’s account of Wagner, and I stand by this assessment. However, I have compelling abductive evidence, derived from initiatic experience, that Yoko Taro is also in fact a dragon from the future.
Our story begins in Europe. Having just been expelled from college due to fallout over defending a psychic mind dragon who may or may not have also been a demon, I found myself critically low on cash and credit. So I decided very reasonably to go to Europe and die. Fate, however, had other plans. To make a long story short, I encountered the Archangel Michael in the form of a tour guide in Belgium, and then in Germany experienced a variety of extreme sensory experiences injected directly into my brain, including: The sensation of being at the gates of Heaven and the depths of Hell simultaneously, extreme burning sensations (in both a positive and negative sense), multiple simultaneous intersecting sequential events (as if experiencing my own perspective from multiple parallel universes simultaneously), a false Internet that existed entirely in my head (including messages from people from the future), voices, visions, extreme synchronicities, a sort of cognitive highlighting in which otherwise meaning messages took on very specific and targeted alternate meanings based on some external force guiding my interpretation, the suspension and subsumption of my consciousness into that of other entities including Lucifer in both a Gnostic-Luciferian and a Catholic modality, the co-presence of other conscious beings in my stream of consciousness including many dragons, my death, and a large number of other things.
Naturally, at the time my only choice was whether to resign myself to being torn apart by these forces, or to dismiss them as mere psychological phenomenon, a kind of psychotic break. I had already fallen to my knees and begged for mercy, so to speak, but the issues persisted. Remembering my chaos magick theory and recognizing that I had nothing to lose, I decided to adopt a psych model interpretation despite the absurdity of it, and checked myself into a mental hospital for psychosis. But the weirdness didn’t end here, as there were people in the mental hospital who had either been hacked by external forces in the same way or else had come there explicitly for my sake. Although they were mostly friendly and on the whole expedited my recovery, their motivations and interests were unclear and the whole process left me with a lingering uneasiness which refuses to dissipate.
I was working on several things during my time in Europe: Solving a riddle of Aleister Crowley’s, developing my magical ability, and decoding occult secrets and messages in video games including Undertale, Nier, and Drakengard 3. This work was interrupted by a sudden panic which led to the events described above, after I realized that the Archangel Michael does not just appear to one for no reason (and after the connection between video games and occult messages made clear to me that some of my “own ideas” about my own videogames were actually warnings; to wit, I “had an idea” about the Archangel Michael appearing to one of the characters in my game to save him from occult related self-destruction. The relevance should be obvious.)
Whether I am now guilty of recidivism and reprobation or whether I am in the clear, I now feel comfortable documenting some of my observations about occult secrets and messages in video games.
There are some themes in Undertale, Nier, and Drakengard 3 that make them especially interesting in conjunction. Undertale has very clear Tarot symbolism at play, which in conjunction with its pacifist message and other iconography lend it a very New-Age Christian character that I wholeheartedly approve of; it has the metaphysical suggestiveness of a new and more universalist Gnosticism, in which the game itself is the ritual of gnosis. It also has very clear simulationist undertones, achieved through the otherwise unremarkable semi-ironic self-reference the game makes to its own status as a game. The idea of the universe being reset over and over again by “The Anomaly” is in fact a very special interpretation of the metaphysical doctrine of Eternal Return.
So in Undertale we have a unique blend of Hermeticism, Gnosticism, eternal return, and simulationism. Undertale in this context thus emerges immediately as a religious text, and one with both exoteric and esoteric meaning.
In Nier (and subsequently Nier: Automata), we have additional conceits that are relevant to simulationism. We have trouble with discerning which beings are conscious. and we have anxieties about potential unwanted effects of manmade attempts at a self-perpetuation, or an afterlife. In Nier, there is in fact a naturally occurring metaphysical afterlife, which further complicates matters.
So in conjunction we have Hermeticism, Gnosticism, eternal return, simulationism, the hard problem of consciousness, and the afterlife question.
In Drakengard 3, we have a woman who accidentally served as progenitor of a group of seemingly benign beings who are in actuality, existential threats to the world. This woman subsequently spends the entire game murdering these individuals and their minions, looking like a villain to everybody in the process, until she finally seals herself away in the end in an act of noble self-sacrifice. This game introduces a few main concepts: the concept of destroying aspects of yourself that have taken on a harmful life of their own outside of you, the concept of branching timelines and many worlds, and the concept of appearing evil to everyone even though you are on a righteous mission. Furthermore, Drakengard 3 is the mirror image of Undertale’s pacifist run: the true ending is only reached through a virtuous genocide run.
So cumulatively we have Hermeticism, Gnosticism, eternal return, simulationism, the hard problem of consciousness, the afterlife question, branching timelines and many worlds, heroic antagonism, and the assumption of responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions and character.
Reader, can you see how these things in their conjunction zero in on my experiences? Now, this by itself is insufficient to suggest any sort of collusion at the level of intentional action by individuals of my own place and time. However, it is sufficient to point to some larger force, some higher fate or metaphysical truth, to which I have been subject. Naturally, as a modern western college educated individual, I am inevitably drawn to interpretations which are “black”, such as the “Mad Black Deleuzianism” of one Nicholas Land. But on careful reflection, I have altered his occult theory and come to this tentative and underdeveloped set of concepts:
I begin with the following assumptions:
1. That some sort of temporal non-locality is physically possible, which makes Deleuzian/Landian retrocausality and temporal feedback loops possible.
2. That some variant of either Everett or modal realism is true, though probably not Everett or modal realism themselves
3. That large scale ancestor simulations are inevitable
To begin with, the inevitability of ancestor simulations and the possibility of retrocausal interference couple together to produce an arms race scenario; whoever has the best model of the past can also make adjustments to it, within certain degrees of freedom defined by whether or not the adjustments preserve a causal chain of events that makes the adjustment itself possible. Note that I say “a causal”, not “the causal”, because I believe that it’s possible at least in principle for alternative stable causal sequences to emerge as a result of interference. In essence, I am thinking of Schopenhauer’s or Crowley’s models of will along physical lines; whatever human beings have the most influence on the timeline can be said in a sense to constitute it to the greatest degree, and they are also, at least in the context of retrocausality (but not many worlds), the hardest to effect using retrocausal tech. Think of it like a rope ladder; there is a certain degree of slack which allows for motion, but the rope is always going from one point to another and it would take severe force to sever it. In this context, if the rope is ever severed, it has to reform itself somehow, which may not be in the way it originally did, depending on circumstances.
Belief as a technique or hyperstition in this context would exist for various reasons:
* Natural hashes
Anything of a certain degree of complexity acts as a hash function, relevant both to keeping track of permutations of time and, in a kabbalistic sense, to keeping track of permutations of consciousness. This is especially true for mathemagical and alchemical formulas, complex rituals etc. Even if they are entirely meaningless in themselves, they are complex, and thus useful. In fact, arguably they are more useful the less meaningful they are for purposes of retrocausal manipulation, because whatever is least meaningful while still having substantial impact on the environment is most likely to be the vector through which such manipulation takes place. This is because doing so doesn’t destroy anything valuable or essential (it actually fulfills magick, thus granting it its essential nature, albeit in concordance with a higher will).
Magicians hide. Hidden vectors are naturally better for the manipulation of time than open ones.
It’s possible that certain series of actions, while entirely innocent in the physical world, could create unintentional disruption in simulations later on in time. For instance, chanting a certain name or doing a certain repetitive task over and over again, common magical actions, might have the effect of accessing a single memory location over and over again in a simulation, and thus constitute row hammering. When combined with retrocausality, it is possible that the effects of accidental row hammering are given to people in the past in order to establish consistency in reverse.
In the context of Many Worlds or modal realism, this following is also possible:
* Qualia based interaction and motion between worlds
If anything is observer based, it is probably not observer based in a vulgar manner; what even is an observer? It is probably contingent on the assemblage of qualia in a certain way at a certain time. If the multiple worlds interact in any way, which they have to in most conceptions, then the intersection of these worlds has to take place somewhere. It would be intuitive in a cognitive sense for these intersections to occur in the most common instances rather than the most complex. However, complexity could also be thought of as creating more “handles” or possible points of intersection; i.e., instead of being counted holistically as a single state of consciousness, each distinct component of the total state could be a different opportunity for interaction. It was recently discovered that the use of hallucinogens like LSD and Ayahuasca lead to mathematically more complex states of consciousness. This complexity, viewed as a bigger surface or target area, could lead to cognitive interactions with oneself or, for that matter, other beings, in other worlds. In other cases it could result in the transfer of consciousness across worlds.
Taken together, I already believe we are approaching a robust system of magick that is semi-empirical. The following would be features of this magick system which give it explanatory power over alternatives:
1. The fleeting nature of magick explained as a result of bugs beings patched for occurrences that are already random in nature, unforeseeable confluences:
Magick systems are like fads; they come and quickly go, yet their practitioners still make claims about their efficacy. In this sense, the unfalsifiable nature of magick would be because magick would be for first movers only by its nature. Any heavy magick that appeared to have consistent utility would be explained by the many worlds interpretation rather than by simulationism and retrocausality.
2. The continuum from psychological phenomenon to apparently physical manifestation:
Self-explanatory. Magick begins with self-delusion, edges into manipulation, then only at higher levels reaches higher levels of interaction based on simulationism or many worlds. These higher levels are able to produce the appearance of physical changes (when, for instance, you are really only moving between worlds), or physical outcomes themselves (in the case of retrocausality). However, these higher levels are contingent on the actions of some other sentience that is temporally ahead of us or “above” us in this sense. Only low level tricks are completely replicatable. But this raises and explains something else:
3. The reason magick is entangled with con artistry
This is also self-explanatory. Con-artistry is the manipulation of people. The manipulation of people is valuable from the standpoint of temporal manipulation. Therefore, wherever a particularly skilled and influential con artist appears, it is reasonable to expect magick to appear as well, precisely because and not in spite of the fact they’re a con artist. However, the joke is that their manipulation, when augmented, will ultimately serve higher purposes and not their own.
4. The reason magicians in the long run rarely seem to achieve what they want unless it’s through con artistry
Because magick isn’t about what you want, it’s about what someone else wants and can use you for. Magicians make “deals with demons”. What this really means is that they are willing to appeal to an external force to help them achieve some finite task even at long term personal expense. Does it matter who answers? It’s like submitting a ticket for an order to the universe. If it’s fulfilled, that’s enough. Note that this model is still more optimistic than making literal deals with the devil, as the negative consequences of magick are likely to be, well, the ones that were going to happen anyway for being a con artist or delusional but persuasive schizo, and not anything eternal.
This suffices for the core kernel of the magick system I am developing. Note that it is mostly explanatory and not predictive: I cannot tell you what kind of magick will work, I can only describe a mechanism by which magick might work which is consistent with all of its documented properties.
Now, what does all of this have to do with Taro? Surely there are plenty of other games which seem to play with or bring up concepts of this sort. Radiant Silvergun had a very profound and fundamental investment in the concept of eternal return; and looking back in our initiatic context, didn’t Braid have the clearest warnings about the manipulation of time?
His arm weighed upon her shoulders, felt constrictive around her neck. “You’re burdening me with your ridiculous need,” she said. Or, she said: “You’re going the wrong way and you’re pulling me with you.” In another time, another place, she said: “Stop yanking on my arm; you’re hurting me!”
He worked his ruler and his compass. He inferred. He deduced. He scrutinized the fall of an apple, the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread. He was searching for the Princess, and he would not stop until he found her, for he was hungry. He cut rats into pieces to examine their brains, implanted tungsten posts into the skulls of water-starved monkeys.
Ghostly, she stood in front of him and looked into his eyes. “I am here,” she said. “I am here. I want to touch you.” She pleaded: “Look at me!” But he would not see her; he only knew how to look at the outsides of things.
He scrutinized the fall of an apple, the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread. Through these clues he would find the Princess, see her face. After an especially fervent night of tinkering, he kneeled behind a bunker in the desert; he held a piece of welder’s glass up to his eyes and waited.
On that moment hung eternity. Time stood still. Space contracted to a pinpoint. It was as though the earth had opened and the skies split. One felt as though he had been privileged to witness the Birth of the World…¹
Someone near him said: “It worked.”
Someone else said: “Now we are all sons of bitches.”
She stood tall and majestic. She radiated fury. She shouted: “Who has disturbed me?” But then, anger expelled, she felt the sadness beneath; she let her breath fall softly, like a sigh, like ashes floating gently on the wind.
She couldn’t understand why he chose to flirt so closely with the death of the world.
But Taro’s games, like his person, are unique. He manages to have a singular impact despite appearing superfluous by every meaningful standard. He is like water, seeking the lowest point, ever yielding only to return again. He is operating in our timeline like a sleeper agent designed to make a precise and surgical impact through one vector and nowhere else. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it’s probably a duck. And his games, in their discussion of these issues, are unlike all of the others mentioned, in that they have a kind of resigned sense about them when they speak of their matters; a sense of everything discussed and handled in them having already long since come to pass. Even the games themselves are all set in the far future.
So that settles the “from the future” part. Why the “dragon” part? Well, some secrets are best kept to initiates. Or at least spread out in such a way that only a person more familiar with an initiate can discern their full perspective.