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simpsorama · 2 months ago
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Crack ideas for “Marvel’s What If”: 
What if Ben Affleck Daredevil was used for the Netflix series?
What if Wanda Maximoff grew up on anime instead of sitcoms? 
What if Wong listened to Rihanna instead of Beyonce? 
What if Thanos led the Avengers?
What if Leo Fitz married Melinda May instead of Jemma Simmons? (hehe)
What if Sam Wilson teamed up with Drax instead of Bucky? (the show is renamed “Falcon and the Destroyer”)
What if MJ was a redhead? (the joke here is that the MCU Spider-Man movies are exactly the same, except Zendaya now has red hair)
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Balan Wonderworld Novel Notes
The applications I used to read the novel weren't very precise about pages. On one of them, if the font size changed, the page count would also change. On the other, it was inconsistent depending on the window size. So the pages I cite here may be a page off, either forwards or backwards.
Please support the Balan Wonderworld IP by buying the novel! Don’t just use this list of notes as a substitute for it.
All under Read More because hoo boy is it long.
General:
The novel uses the spelling "Theatre" only when used directly after "Balan" (such as "the Balan Theatre"). Everywhere else, it uses the spelling "theater" (such as "the theater" or "my theater")
Typos become more frequent closer to the end of the novel.
Balan tried to get Leo and Emma to defeat Lance upon their arrival in Wonderworld, and they impatiently went to fight him on their own before Balan could prepare them. Upon failure, Lance tried to take both of them the same way he took the others, but only succeeded in taking Leo. (Page 109)
Entering the theater with a closed-off heart is what allowed Lance to manipulate the inhabitants. Emma had already begun to trust Leo, who said he'd have her back when she appeared frightened, so she's the only one who wasn't susceptible. Leo was only putting up a brave front. (Page 110)
The way Balan runs Wonderworld is to give inhabitants a series of tests (tasks) to complete to help restore their heart's balance before he'll let them leave. (Pages 87, 108: "You said we couldn't leave the Balan Theatre unless we passed some sort of test. You locked us in!") It’s unknown if Lance ran Wonderworld the same way before.
After reuniting, Leo and Emma have their own tasks to carry out. Leo is to save the inhabitants and try to rally them to fight Lance. (He initially fails) Emma is to find the path to Lance's stronghold. However, Leo's real test that will let him leave Wonderworld is to make friends, which Balan knew he would have normally refused. (Page 214)
The Balan Theatre is the gateway between reality and Wonderworld. It's not directly part of either of them. (Page 106: "It's a gateway, you see, 'twixt time and space.")
The Balan Theatre really does appear anywhere, no matter how out of place. (Page 96: "[...] a theater in the middle of the central square." Page 130: "[...] right in the middle of my mangled fields." Page 165: "[...] I went to the beach, and the Balan Theatre was there.")
People other than the intended inhabitant are able to see the Balan Theatre. (Page 261: At the end of the alley, resplendent and glowing, sat the Balan Theatre. Fifteen years had passed since Cass the Clocktower Kid had last seen it. Six, for Jose the Scarecrow.) (Speculation: This may be just be a quirk for the cast of the game, who retained their memories.)
In Wonderworld, you can have unlimited stamina and wakefulness, (Page 24) but the circumstances for having it aren't told, as it seems to be taken back later. (Page 195)
Negati fill you with an unsettled feeling even if you're not seen as an enemy. (Page 24)
The Negati instinctively know who Lance's allies and enemies are, and will attack his enemies as soon as they're decided. (Page 112)
Negati actively seek out drops. (Page 41)
Tims can appear and disappear as they like. (Page 78)
There's no special requirement for Tims eating drops. They can eat them in stages just fine. No flowers or Isle of Tims required. Isle of Tims isn't even mentioned in the novel. (Page 117)
The inhabitants don't mention the Tims leading them to the theater like is shown with Leo and Emma in the game's opening cutscene. They simply encountered the theater and felt pulled toward it.
Tims and Negati don't die. They only disappear for a while when weakened. (Page 120: "Negati—and Tims, for that matter—don't die. They just disappear when their power runs dry. And eventually they do reappear, though how long that takes is unclear.")
Drops come in various sizes. The largest known one is about 11x24 inches. (Page 24)
Drops just kinda show up wherever whenever. (Page 25)
Drops aren't just left on the ground, but actually floating in the air and inside objects like in the game. (Page 117)
Drops come in the full rainbow spectrum, not just those shown in the game. (Page 25)
Drops can be positive or negative, but it's never told how to tell one from the other by sight. Tims eat positive ones and Negati eat negative ones, but the wording seems to imply this is a preference rather than only being able to eat one kind. (Page 112: "[Tims] tend toward the positive ones, but the Negati go for the negative.")
Inhabitants don't need to acquire new props. They can create anything easily, even fake people. (Page 26)
The fake people fabricated by inhabitants are partially transparent. (Pages 32, 65)
In Wonderworld, anything or anyone that needs to be differentiated from something or someone else has a name that can be discerned just by looking at or thinking about it. (Pages 28, 38, 61, 91) This counts for Wonderworld itself, too. (Pages 79, 80, 91) This also means you don't know even know you yourself have a name until you need to verbally differentiate yourself from others. It takes a while for this to be perceived as strange. (Pages 29, 38, 79) The fabricated people can't tell names by sight. (Page 76)
Much like names, the inhabitants of Wonderworld instinctively know how to use costumes. (Page 118: "It was more than just the name that came to him—he knew all the things he was capable of in this form, too.")
The inhabitants of Wonderworld have been there for unknown amount of time, from days to years. (Pages 24, 30, 93)
The inhabitants don't remember their real names, and have been given codenames that work like all names in Wonderworld. (Every single time anyone is referred to by a name) Leo and Emma remember their real names, but it's not stated if the other inhabitants remember theirs after regaining their memories for the sake of transforming.
The inhabitants of Wonderworld visit each-other often via hidden passageways, though it might not have been entirely intentional that they're able to do so, (Page 29) but Lance doesn't seem to mind them doing so. (Page 33)
The way the passageways are described sound more like 2+ maps that have overlapping pieces, and you trick the world into loading the second map by taking a very specific route. (Page 32)
The passageways are different between each stage, (Page 50) and it may be more or less difficult depending on the bond between the stage owners, or on how open the stage owner is to other people. (Page 38)
The passageways between the stages are blocked off when the stages transform. (Page 112)
Elements in the inhabitants' stages are under their direct control. (Page 39)
The inhabitants' clothing can change along with the stage. Some aren't wearing their outfits from the game by default. (Page 60 - Eis is dressed casually)
Inhabitants can ask for the maestro (or at least for Lance) to make part of their stage for them. (Page 66)
The inhabitants' stages warp and change when the stage master does. It becomes unrecognizable. (Page 98)
The illusions of the inhabitants found in their stages are products of their discarded positivity, which is trying to guide the protagonist in the right direction. (Page 117)
The costumes are a manifestation of what the stage owner perceives as an ability or trait. For example, Jose's image of strength is that of a wolf and of course the tornado that wrecked his farm, thus the costume is Tornado Wolf. (Page 188: "This is the shape of strength in Scarecrow's eyes.") No other costumes are given such explanations, so feel free to speculate.
Costumes don't need to be introduced or collected; you can change into them at will based on what you need to do at the moment. (Page 134)
Each inhabitant only has 2 positive fragments of their hearts left. (Page 115) These fragments are willingly discarded, and then the inhabitant is able to transform. (Page 98) By forcing the fragments back into the inhabitant through their Negati marks, they're returned to normal. (Page 115) Rather than attacking, this is what the protagonist does during boss battles. (Page 128, every other page depicting a boss battle)
When transformed, there is nothing remaining of the inhabitants' true nature that's in control. (Pages 142, 170, every other time Leo tries to speak to them)
Heartrees are surrounded by negative force fields that need to be broken before you can take the heart fragments from it, (Pahe 122) and the positive power from Tims can break it fairly easily. This takes up a lot of energy and hurts them, so they'll shrink afterward. (Page 123) (It doesn't necessarily mean anything, but if you're playing the game co-op, Player 2 will be hurt when you approach the Heartree—but not when the Tims break the barrier.) Leo feels bad about needing the Tims to break the barrier. He even goes back to gather more drops for them before grabbing the heart fragments. (Page 125) With enough determination, a human can break the barrier on their own. However, it's painful enough to knock them unconscious. (Pages 199, 200)
When touching the positive heart fragments, you can feel the positive feelings left in them. (Page 125)
In the game, a cage appears that you slot the heart fragments into that then takes you to the boss. In the novel, it's a door at the innermost part of the stage that needs the fragments to unlock. (Page 127 and every other leadup to a boss)
The intensity of the inhabitants' negativity translates directly to their power. (Page 173: "The stronger the fear, the stronger the negative power in turn.")
The end of a boss battle is different in the novel. After being restored, the inhabitants' memory of the time they spent transformed isn't completely clear, but they recall attacking the protagonist, and most (though not all) express remorse for it and choosing to succumb to their negativity. They recount their trauma to the protagonist, who tries to encourage them. They still have negative power within them, and thus are too caught up in their sorrow to do anything but stay in their stages, convinced that there's nothing for them in reality. Balan only sometimes offers words of encouragement (or scolding), but usually only ushers the protagonist on since they've done all they could. The protagonist leaves them to think and work through their problems on their own. (Page 128 and every other boss end)
After the final battle, in the game, the inhabitants are in a white void. In the novel, they're back in the Balan Theatre, (Page 214) though it's implied that the theater is fading to the white void along with Balan and the Tims. It only appears to fade, though; everything is still there, it's only vanishing for the inhabitants since they don't need the theater anymore. (Page 215)
At the end, in the game, all the inhabitants are thrown toward their own exits. In the novel, they all walk toward the single exit of the theater together, talking amongst themselves. (Page 216)
Some of the inhabitants hold hands as they exit the theater, though they all still exit to the time and place they originated from. (Page 223)
Lance:
Lance is meant to be perceived as handsome. (Pages 5, 25, 36, 62)
Lance is overwhelmingly kind and accommodating and always has a gentle smile on. He compliments the inhabitants' creativity with their stages. It's almost creepy for me looking from the outside, but the characters he's befriended really like him. (Page 26)
Lance doesn't put much effort into trying to stop the inhabitants from finding out about Balan. It is kinda guilt trippy and gaslighty though. (Pages 62, 63, 84)
Lance taught the inhabitants how to fight in order to stop Balan, and warned them of how unpleasant it would be. (Page 93) They fought willingly while knowing it was the power of negativity. (Pages 100, 102)
Lance is pretty upfront about having altered the inhabitants' memories by the time they're confronting Balan, (Pages 94, 95) and is honest about doing it again if they defeat Balan (Page 100) or he defeats them. (Page 208)
Lance initially appears as his silver-haired form. He's able to change between that and his Negati form at will. His power mostly comes from his Negati form, as it's what he uses to fight. (Page 94) Lance claims to the inhabitants that his Negati form is his true form, (Page 94: "This is my true form—behold.") and the inhabitants are kinda creeped out by it, which makes Lance sad. (Page 94) But later on, he says his final boss form is his true form. Gee Lance how come your mom lets you have two true forms (Page 200: "I'll have to rely on my true form to finish this brawl." Negati flocked to him by the hundreds, clinging to every inch of his body. Leo watched in horror as Lance transformed into an even larger, more powerful, more hideous monster, covered head to toe in those marks of his.)
The mark on Lance's chest is supposed to be disturbing, and something Lance has fondness for. (Page 94) (Speculation: Though the fondness may be a fabricated to fit a rhyme. Need JP ver. to check.) ... But we never actually see it since it's covered up by his shirt, and it's not actually described in any amount of detail beyond being "the most disquieting of them all."
Lance strokes his own tentacles. ... There's probably no real value to this information, but I apparently thought it was important enough to bookmark. He does it right before splitting into 5. (Page 208: Slowly Lance began to rise into the air, stroking the tentacles protruding from his back.)
Lance doesn't want to fight the protagonist or the other inhabitants. (Page 208)
When on offense, touching Lance's Negati marks is even more painful than breaking the barriers around the Heartrees. (Page 210)
Even before Lance says it, the inhabitants (or at least Yuri) know that Lance loved them. (Page 212: "I know you loved us, in your own way,")
Lance is not unaffected by the fact that all of the inhabitants are fighting against him at the end, (Page 212) but he doesn't let that sway his love for them. And this love may have been revealed to be quite possessive. (Page 213) (Speculation: The dialogue in question may be a translation quirk. Need JP ver. to check.)
Lance's final words to the inhabitants after his defeat are: "You may not believe it's true," he murmured sadly as he faded away before Leo's very eyes, "but I only ever loved all of you." (Page 214)
In the game, Lance is dragged through a portal by the Negati. In the novel, he fades away, and Balan later meets him in the theater. He is transparent at this point, and his fate isn't specified, but he doesn't seem to be implied to be dying. (Pages 219, 222: Lance wandered slowly away into Wonderworld, his weakened Negati stumbling after him.) (Speculation: Perhaps like the Tims and Negati, nothing in Wonderworld dies. Or Lance is truly a Negati now, and thus can't die and will reappear at full strength later.)
Balan:
Balan, while wearing his hat, is meant to be perceived as unsettling or creepy. (Pages 5, 44, 75)
Balan, without his hat, is also meant to be perceived as handsome. (Pages 197, 215)
Balan really doesn't like repeating himself. (Pages 106, 120)
Balan is just as much a showman in the novel as he seems to be in the game. (Page 108: "With great effort and care. And an extra dash of flare." Balan struck a dramatic pose like a leading actor in the spotlight.)
Balan also doesn't have much regard for personal space, though the novel doesn't exactly mention anyone being uncomfortable with sudden touching or closeness. (Pages 110, 166)
Balan will sometimes bend for people shorter than himself whether it's contextually necessary or not. (Page 110)
Balan isn't affected by others lashing out in frustration. (Page 185: "Do you ever shut up!?" he shouted. He hadn't really meant to. Balan only shrugged.)
Balan always makes the same general motion when teleporting: running one or more fingers along the brim of his hat. He can teleport any inhabitant with him if he's touching them. No hub world necessary or mentioned.  (Pages 113: "Balan put a hand on Leo's shoulder and skimmed a finger along the brim of his top hat. A bright light enveloped them, and Streetbeat-Leo squeezed his eyes shut tight against it.", 132, 152, 167, 192)
Balan can instantly change the costume of an inhabitant by touch. (Page 188: "Balan reached for Leo, and the moment he touched him, Leo was enveloped in light.")
The only inhabitants Balan speaks to while Leo is restoring them are Bruce (Page 137: both encouragement and scolding), Cal (Page 150: scolding), Lucy (Page 159: encouragement), Fiona (Page 165: encouragement), Sana (Pages 183, 184: comfort), Attilio (Page 190: scolding??), Cass (Page 197: comfort), and Iben (Page 205: comfort).
The first time Balan removes his hat and stops smiling is while he comforts Cass. Leo is surprised to find that Balan is just as handsome as Lance. (Page 197) The second time is while Balan comforts Iben. (Page 205)
In the game, Balan cries when Leo and Emma hug him, and then takes his hat off for the first time. In the novel, Balan doesn't cry until after the inhabitants have all left and his entire world is being shaken, and he took his hat off in front of all of them. (Page 215) In the game, Balan seems pleasantly surprised when he realizes he cried, but in the novel, he's very distraught. (Page 221)
Balan & Lance (Keep scrolling, there’s more about them further down):
Balan and Lance are both men. He/him. (Every single time either of them are mentioned. And if you hate the novel, the official site has "Those who see him never tire of his unexpected and comical antics." about Balan.)
Both Balan and Lance use 私(watashi) as their first-person pronoun in Japanese. Don't @ me about Japanese pronoun usage; it's more nuanced than you probably think, and it's not unusual to hear watashi from men. (「私が迎え来よう!」 「私は人間の悲しみや苦しみに寄り添いすぎた。」
Balan and Lance don't exclusively speak in rhyme. For shorter sentences, they don't bother. (Page 26: "Are you sure?", Page 33: "Fancy meeting you here.")
Balan and Lance don't rhyme in Japanese. Do note that this is not due to Japanese being unable to rhyme, it's just not a big part of most of their poetry or prose like it is in some other languages. You can still find examples of Japanese rhyming in things like rap music if you listen with your ears. Anyway. They don't have any verbal ticks that I can discern in Japanese, but I'm also not really confident enough to say there aren't any. Balan speaks like you would expect a showman on stage to. I don't have a lot of samples right now of Lance, but I'd guess he speaks slowly and softly.
Sometimes the maestros' rhyming isn't connected to the same thought or conversation. (Page 34: Said to Leo, "You didn't ask, and I didn't tell." then said to Cass, "I do hope all here is well.")
Lance tells the inhabitants that Balan is bad, but this isn't said in the context of a lie. Balan is bad from Lance's perspective; he's trying to remove the inhabitants from Wonderworld, where Lance has made them blissfully happy. He doesn't technically lie. (Page 93) (Speculation: ...But I need a Japanese copy of the novel to do a translation check on this line, which would render that assumption moot: "He wants to be Wonderworld's maestro, to have total control. To him, you're nothing but outsiders in the way of that goal." It sounds like it may have been fabricated to fit a rhyme. I'm blindly guessing that the line boiled down to nothing more than "He wants to be the maestro of Wonderworld.")
Leo:
Leo’s Wonderworld name is “Streetbeat”.
Leo is roughly 13 or 14 years old. (Pages 26, 51)
Leo has consideration for others even before he really knows them. (Pages 32, 51, 110)
Leo feels sentimentality for the Negati after spending so much time with them, and didn't like the idea of possibly killing them. (Page 120: "He didn't think he could bring himself to kill one, even in self-defense.")
Leo is fairly observant. (Page 125, where he notes the lack of arrowslits on Jose's castle walls and theorizes about what exactly he's trying to defend against.)
Leo lives in an apartment building on the edge of town. (Page 257)
Emma:
Emma’s Wonderworld name is “Fighter”.
Emma is roughly 13 or 14 years old. (Page 26)
Emma doesn't trust people because she's only ever been treated kindly because of her parents' fortune. (Page 110)
Balan states Emma to be good at finding the hidden paths through Wonderworld. Since she's the one to find the path to Iben's stage, it can be assumed she's even better at it than Cass. (Page 206)
Jose
Jose’s Wonderworld name is “Scarecrow”.
Jose’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): 'He wanted to protect his family...' It was sad to think Scarecrow had discarded such an important part of his heart.
Jose is "middle-aged." (Page 46: A middle-aged man in overalls)
Jose's farm is in an area that Lantern Fritillary butterflies are native to. (Pages 248, 249)
As part of keeping him happy, the corn on Jose's stage never ripens. (Page 130: "Truth is, the corn crop on my stage would never ripen. I reckon that's on account of me being so afraid of a storm coming right before harvest time. I didn't want to grow something just to watch it all[sic] that hard work get destroyed again.")
The game doesn't give any detail to Jose. In the novel, he built his farm so his wife could live well and so he could pay for his son's college. (Page 129) He has to take a loan to rebuild it, but he's able to pay it back and put his son through college. (Page 249)
Fiona
Fiona’s Wonderworld name is “Seagazer”.
Fiona’s positive heart fragments (direct quotes): The first one he found was the part of Seagazer that loved the ocean. [...] This fragment was Seagazer's tenaciousness in the face of failure.
In the novel, the part of Fiona's stage that you would normally see in the game is meant to be an aquatic shrine, from which the ocean has entirely receded. This is only a piece of her stage, not the entirety. Before its warping, it was a piece of her stage that was made by Lance at her request. The rest of her stage is merely a beach. (Page 159)
When Anjellica is defeated, the ocean tide is meant to come back and cover the shrine that makes up Fiona's stage in the game. ... An escape sequence would have been fun. (Page 164)
The water you travel through in Fiona's stage is meant as a major deterrent, but only because Fiona herself would have been scared of traversing it. (Page 160)
There are notably very few stage hazards in Fiona's stage. (Page 161: Whether Seagazer had thought the walls and water pillars would be enough to keep Leo out, or whether she was just so kind—even when consumed by negativity—that she didn't want to hurt anyone, he didn't know. Either way, there were hardly any traps or dangerous obstacles that posed serious risk of harm.)
Fiona is also afraid of jellyfish. Why is never explained. (Page 163: [...] spewing forth a school of electric jellyfish. 'So, you were scared of these too, huh?')
In the game, Fiona was able to quickly return to diving. In the novel, she's tried and failed to work herself up to do it several times, and can't quite forgive the dolphin who caused her accident. (Page 237) Seeing Haoyu fly is what gave her the courage to dive again. (Page 238)
Yuri
Yuri’s Wonderworld name is “Bugsy”.
Yuri’s positive heart fragments (direct quotes) : As soon as he touched it, he knew this was the part of her that loved taking care of little creatures. [...] the strong part of her that did not care a single bit about what other people thought of her.
Yuri is roughly 13 or 14 years old. (Page 51)
In the game, Yuri is simply made fun of for liking bugs. In the novel, she's still made fun of, but there's more to it. She brought caterpillars in for the class to take care of since they were learning about butterflies. Nobody liked them, and slowly stopped helping take care of them. The species she brought in was far from their intended habitat and needed special food, which she went out of her way each morning to find. (Page 143) When the caterpillars became butterflies, her classmates became interested and her teacher was encouraged her to give a lesson about butterflies. (Page 247) When she sets them free, their eventual flight path leads her to Jose's farm. (Pages 248, 249)
Haoyu
Haoyu’s Wonderworld name is “Skygazer”.
Haoyu’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): This one was his love of the sky. The second fragment was his tenaciousness in the face of failure. Pretty much identical to the fragments that Seagazer had discarded from her heart.
Haoyu is highschool age. (Page 65: a bespectacled boy who looked like he could be in high school.)
Haoyu walks really fast, and is pretty athletic. (Pages 67, 68)
Haoyu's stage is originally a hill by the sea. Its transformation rips it from the ground. (Page 167)
The whale that you have to land on in stage 4 is Cetacean Island, which Haoyu had Lance make for him. (Page 168)
Sana
Sana’s Wonderworld name is “Watcher of the Woods”. It’s shortened to “Watcher”.
Sana’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): First, he recovered the part of Watcher that found purpose in protecting the woods, and then the part of her that trusted others.
Sana is in her 30s. (Page 55: [...] whom he guessed was somewhere in her thirties.)
Sana's stage is almost unchanged when it transforms. When transformed, the only real difference is that it's meant to be much darker. (Page 179: Watcher's stage had barely changed at all. [...] The only difference was the light, or lack thereof. It was pitch black beneath the foliage, no more sun dappling through the leaves.)
Sana's stage has notably more Negati than others. (Page 179)
In both the game and novel, Sana gets her nature reserve built and the lazulibirds return. (Page 239) In the novel, a fire threatens the nature reserve and the refusal of most firefighting units to see to the safety of it nearly has a relapse. (Page 241) She is the only one to have this happen, and Eis can even see the dark light in her eyes. (Page 344)
Cass:
Cass’s Wonderworld name is “Clocktower Kid”.
Cass’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): 'This one's the part of her that loves cats, and this one's the part of her that has the courage to face reality.’
Cass is around 10 years old. (Page 28)
(Most of her notes have to do with other characters, so have a look through the Multiple Characters section.)
Cal
Cal’s Wonderworld name is “Checkered King”.
Cal’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): The first one he obtained was the part of Checkered King that cherished life, and then the part that was forgiving of himself.
Cal is middle-aged. (Page 76: the middle-aged man that came out to greet them)
Cal is very sharp compared to most of the cast. (Pages 79, 80 - He's the first to question their situation in Wonderworld at length, and theorize on why names work the way they do in Wonderworld.)
In the game, Cal's imbalance came from only his defeat. In the novel, he was facing a long losing streak. His wife became sick while he was too busy agonizing over his many defeats, and by the time he realized it, it was too late to help her and she passed away. This became his biggest source of grief. (Pages 149, 150)
In the novel, Cal has fabricated a beautiful queen to be his partner. (Pages 76, 78) This fabrication is identical to his real-world wife. (Page 231)
In the game, Cal had lost to an adult. In the novel, he lost to a "young boy" who had admired him, and by the time Cass is 20, has become a champion. He and Cal have become friends, and he visits Cal regularly. (Page 228)
In both game and novel, Cal eventually teaches younger people to play chess. In the novel, he opens a whole workshop in his home for it. He also takes up cooking as his second favorite hobby. (Pages 227, 228)
Iben
Iben’s Wonderworld name is “Lady of the Midnight Sun”.
Iben’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): ‘The part of her that loves people, and the part of her that can accept love from others...’
Iben's hair is meant to be perceived as blue, not white or silver. (Page 88: a woman with long blue hair.)
Iben is a very rude, curt person during her stay in Wonderworld. (Pages 88, 89)
Iben is perceived as very beautiful. (Page 89: Streetbeat had never seen anyone as beautiful as her.)
The heartrees in Iben's stage are side-by-side and have a stronger barrier than others. (Page 199)
Iben's stage doesn't have any traps. Leo perceives this as strong confidence that she can take him on without help. (Page 201)
Iben is the most difficult of the inhabitants to fight and nearly defeats Leo. (Page 203)
In the game, Iben had been engaged before her parents died. The novel doesn't mention her getting engaged, though it does say she married after leaving Wonderworld. She was still scared to love all the way up to having her first child, after which she vowed to open her heart again. (Page 252)
Attilio
Attilio’s Wonderworld name is “Pensive Pierrot”. It’s shortened to “Pensive”.
Attilio’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): The first was the part of Pensive Pierrot that had the courage to bare his heart, and the second was his courage to accept others' feelings.
The name of the theme park that Attilio worked at is "Christmas Rose Park". (Page 101)
The name of the character that Attilio's crush plays is "Princess Merry". Nobody on staff knows her real name, as the mystery is part of the park's marketing strategy. (Pages 101, 102)
As the inhabitants become what they fear, even Leo calls Attilio out on how twisted his feelings can be. (Page 188: A horrible heroine for the horrible parade in this horrible park. Princess Marey. "Seriously? You lose your nerve and suddenly she’s the villain in all this? I thought you loved her!")
Lucy
Lucy’s Wonderworld name is “Madam of the Mansion”.
Lucy’s positive heart fragments (direct quotes): The first piece was Madam of the Mansion's confidence in her appearance. 'Is that why there weren't any mirrors before? Because she couldn't stand to look at herself anymore?' [...] the second fragment of Madam of the Mansion's heart: the part that accepted herself just the way she was.
Lucy is very lively and friendly, and doesn't have much in the way of physical boundaries. (Page 74)
Lucy is the only inhabitant to speak a language different from the others. All of the others come from places that share a language. Wonderworld had everyone speak a common language, so they're all surprised to learn this. (Page 234)
Lucy is from somewhere far south of where Cass, Attilio and Cal live. Cal imports cheese "from the south", and the cheese is wrapped with a poster featuring Lucy and her art exhibit. The amount of postage is noted to be impressive, and they have to travel by plane to go meet her. (Pages 229, 230, 234)
Lucy won't leave her canvas once she's in the groove. She's shown to sleep in the gallery and use the staff's facilities to bathe while she's painting her masterpiece. (Page 233)
Eis
Eis’s Wonderworld name is “Sentinel of the City”. It’s shortened to “Sentinel”.
Eis’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): In the flames he found the first Heartree, where he recovered the part of Sentinel that found purpose in protecting his town. The next fragment was Sentinel's faith in himself. 'What kind of firefighter just abandons his duty? A sentinel can't protect anything if he isn't at his post.'
In the game, Eis faces his fear and runs in to save a child from the burning building. In the novel, his partner had stood their ground while Eis had fallen back when the fire became too much to control. Orders came in for them to fall back, but only after he had already done so. His partner was reprimanded, even though their actions saw the fire successfully doused, and developed a fear of fire. Eis continues to work as a firefighter, and his partner returned a week later. (Page 243)
Bruce
Bruce’s Wonderworld name is “Invisible Custodian”.
Bruce’s positive heart fragments (direct quote): First was the piece that loved his town, and second was the part of him that was forgiving.
Bruce's stage is originally peaceful ruins. When warped, it's revealed that the ruins were made of garbage. (Page 133: [...] crushed appliances and flattened cans, shredded magazines and crumpled plastic bottles. 'These ruins were made of fossilized rubbish'?')
In the game, several townspeople begin to help Bruce clean the city. In the novel, Iben's son helps and slowly inspires the other children and even adults to help as well. Iben told him all about Wonderworld, which is how Bruce ends up meeting Iben. (Pages 251, 253) He has no family of his own, and treats her children as his own grandchildren. (Page 253)
Multiple characters:
The inhabitants don't remember anything from before they entered Wonderworld. They believe they've always been there, and that things simply are the way they are without question. (Pages 79, 92: "[...] I realize I have no memories of my childhood. I have looked like this since the very moment I first set foot into Wonderworld.") This is non-standard for Wonderworld, and is something intentionally done by Lance to keep them ignorantly happy. (Page 94)
The source of the inhabitants' imbalance is missing from their stages and memories, even if it was something they enjoyed, (Page 33: Cass’s abundance of stuffed animals with no stuffed cats, Page 46: Attilio’s parade music without a parade, Page 51: Jose’s laborless and harvestless farm, Page 52: Yuri’s many bugs with no butterflies, Page 56: Sana’s forest has no birds, Page 64: Eis’s city has no fire hydrants, Pages 82, 88: Bruce’s ruins, Iben’s village and Leo’s city have no people, Page 153: Lucy has no mirrors) and the inhabitants refrain from mentioning them. (Page 56: "[...] pointing out what's different about someone else's stage is bad manners.")
The inhabitants are scared of the Tims, without ever having been told what they are. (Pages 74, 78, 83) (Speculation: This relatively extreme reaction almost makes me want to say that Lance has warped their perception of certain things and people, but nothing of the sort is ever stated, and you'd think that he'd have removed the unease that Negati cause if he was going to warp their perception in that way.)
After being restored, the inhabitants to express remorse for attacking the protagonist are Jose, Bruce, Yuri and Haoyu. (Pages 128, 136, 142, 171) The inhabitants to express sad indignance at their stage being threatened are Lucy and Cass. (Pages 158, 196) The inhabitants to not express anything are Cal, Fiona and Eis. (Pages 149, 164, 175) The outliers are Sana, who still holds distaste for humanity as a whole, which includes the protagonist (Page 182); Attilio, whose immediate worry is Cass's wellbeing (Page 190); and Iben, who expresses anger at her stage being threatened. (Page 204)
Leo was almost moved to tears learning of Eis's backstory. (Page 175)
Leo feels especially bad for Cass since she's so young. He puts off fighting her almost for last, and hugs her toy cat plush as a form of comfort before fighting her. (Pages 193, 194, 195)
Leo found beauty in all of the inhabitants' transformations except for Iben? (Page 202: The tiny spark of beauty he had found in the other monsters was utterly absent from her.)
Leo thinks that Lance's Negati markings are "eerily beautiful." (Page 94)
Both Leo and Cass think Balan and Lance are handsome. (Pages 197, 215)
Cass was the first person in Wonderworld that Attilio and Leo met. (Page 38) (Speculation: She was likely the first one that most of them met, since she claims to be so good at finding the hidden passageways.)
Cass has the biggest most obvious crush on Attilio. (Too many instances to cite.) She tries to impress him and seem more mature, (Page 47) but he only sees her as a little kid. (Pages 70, 101)
Cass is upset that hers and Attilio's names don't match. (Pages 61, 70)
Attilio's first thought upon being restored was of Cass's wellbeing, but he still didn't have it in him to help save her, and perhaps even used her as an excuse to do nothing. It's what Leo accuses him of, but Leo is also especially frustrated at this point and beginning to say things he doesn't mean. (Page 190)
Cal was the first person in Wonderworld that Cass met. (Page 38)
Sana and Eis are close, (Page 60) and their heart fragments are very similar. (Pages 174, 179)
Haoyu and Fiona are close, (Pages 67, 68) and have similar personalities (Pages 68, 70) and heart fragments. (Pages 162, 169)
Fiona and Haoyu both express concern for each-other after being restored. (Pages 165, 171)
In the game, all of the inhabitants offer their thanks to Balan through various physical gestures (Jose a handshake, Haoyu a fistbump, he pats Cass, Fiona a hug, a shared hug with Lucy), and Leo and Emma both hug Balan simultaneously. In the novel, the inhabitants hardly interact with him at all, and Emma is the first to hug Balan with Leo joining shortly after. (Pages 215, 216)
The day before Leo and Emma entered the Balan Theatre, there was a meteor shower called Eltrandos that lasted for a single night. Leo mentioning this on the way out of the theater, along with some other small asides, is how everyone is able to track each-other down throughout the various times and places they came from. (Page 216)
Leo and Emma live on Highland Isle. (Page 255) You can only get there by boat. Cass, Attilio, Cal, Haoyu and Fiona live such a distance apart that they're able to meet on their connecting flight to the docks. Jose and Yuri live within driving distance of the docks. (Page 256)
Meeting post-Wonderworld:
The game makes no real attempt to convey it, but the Princess Merry that Attilio was in love with was an older Cass. Attilio confesses his feelings directly after exiting Wonderworld, so he technically doesn't have to go without Clocktower Kid for more than a couple minutes compared to everyone else's long stretches of time alone. There's no internal struggle shown about reconciling Cass, the precocious child, as Princess Merry, the woman he's had feelings for. (Page 225)
In the game, Cass is shown to meet with Bruce some time after exiting Wonderworld. In the novel, she meets with Cal instead about 1 year after exiting Wonderworld. (Pages 228, 229)
In the game, Cal is shown to meet with Lucy some time after exiting Wonderworld. In the novel, he's been friends with Cass for some time (Pages 228, 229) and they only meet Lucy after Attilio has joined them after exiting Wonderworld. (Page 234) In both, the way they know to look for Lucy is because she had an art exhibition featuring paintings of the inhabitants and their stages. (Pages 230, 231)
In the game, Haoyu is shown to fly over Jose's farm, where Yuri is chasing bugs, and then over the ocean where Fiona is swimming. In the game, Haoyu speaks with a recently engaged Attilio, and with the encouragement of Cass, Cal and Lucy, flies over the Atilla Strait where Fiona is on a boat trying to work herself up to go diving again. (Page 236) Seeing each-other gives them the extra push they need to finish flying and swimming again. (Pages 236, 238) Later, Jose does meet Yuri when she's chasing bugs near his farm. (Page 249)
In the game, Iben meets Sana, Eis, Cass and Attilio while walking with her newborn baby. In the novel, Iben meets Bruce when her son, aged 5 or 6, begins helping him pick up trash and talks about how they just moved to town and how Iben is in the hospital after giving birth to her daughter. (Pages 250, 251) Sana and Eis meet when a large fire is ravaging the town and Eis's unit is the only one sent to help protect the nature reserve. (Pages 241, 244)
In the game, Leo, Emma, and the rest of the inhabitants meet during the winter holidays during a street performance. The novel ends with Leo and Emma exiting Wonderworld and being greeted with the rest of the inhabitants, at an unknown time of year. (Page 261)
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The entire passage is already on Tumblr in comic form and on TVTropes in text form, so I might as well just repost the whole thing here. This entire part is placed directly after the inhabitants exit Wonderworld. Nothing else comes before it, and nothing else that involves Balan or Lance comes after it. It's a very detached scene, and it's the last we ever hear of them.
No one remained in the Balan Theatre save for Balan himself, the Tims, and a few lingering Negati. After sending everyone on their way home, Balan turned and made his way to the heart of the theater. There he found Lance, as transparent as a ghost. Balan let out a light snort. "Masquerading as Wonderworld's maestro was quite ill-advised. I hope I can take this to mean you've been properly chastised." Lance's eyes fluttered open. "It was no masquerade, not in the sense you imply. But I suppose yes, by omission I did lie. To call myself maestro I indeed have cause—not of Wonderworld now, but Wonderworld that was." "Oh?" "I was the one who kept positive and negative powers in harmony. Before I was called Lance, my name was Balan, you see." "No—" "Denying it won't make it any less true. But now I have a question for you. Have you any memory of the real world you can recall? Three thousand years it's been, after all." Balan's breath hitched in his throat. "No, I... Why—" "Before you became Balan, it was my part to play. But I grew too close to the humans, and to their sorrow and sadness fell prey. Balan no longer but Lance I became, and negativity began laying upon Wonderworld its claim. To save, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to create a new Balan: you." A faint smile played across Lance's lips. "But now you're falling in love with them too. Be careful, Balan—or Lance they'll soon call you." "Never," shouted Balan. "That won't happen—ever!" "Honestly, enough with the self-deception. You normally take everyone's memories when they leave, so why this time did you make an exception?" "Why? Because—I..." Balan took a flustered step back. "And what is that running down your cheek? Don't tell me your eyes have started to leak." Balan jerked a hand up to his face. When he pulled his fingers back, they were wet with tears. "Face it, you don't stand a chance. It's only a matter of time until you become Lance." "I don't—I won't—" Slowly, Lance got to his feet, a small, sad smile playing across his features. "That's what I said, too," he muttered. "But it was too late for me, and it's too late for you." Balan gave a furious shake of his head. "I swear on my top hat, I will not end up like that!" Lance wandered slowly away into Wonderworld, his weakened Negati stumbling after him. "Do you hear me?" Balan shouted after his retreating form. "I refuse to share your destiny!"
The above segment also has a translation error that may well have been a typo for all we know. This is the kind of thing I would be looking into if I had the Japanese version of the novel, but for now, thanks to pupusukka from twitter for posting screencaps of this part and bringing attention to it. Rather than Lance creating Balan, it was Wonderworld itself that created Balan. Where the typo theory comes in is "To save, there was only one thing I(t) could do". Pretty big typo/error. lol (Please don't be boring and just use this to assuage whatever guilt you felt for shipping them. This is actually something that affects their characterization, not just something to justify your wanks. If Lance had made Balan, that would imply that Lance knew early on that he was going down the wrong path and would need someone to take his place or keep him in check. But that's not what happened, so that kind of introspection likely didn't happen for Lance until far too late.)
Anyway. Everything to be gleaned from the above segment summed up: Lance was the previous maestro of Wonderworld, and went by the name Balan. Balan was never aware of this and has no memory of anything before being Wonderworld's maestro. He's extremely shaken by this revelation. Balan normally erases the memories of Wonderworld from inhabitants' minds when they leave, but he made an exception for these ones, and even cried when having to let them go. Lance recognizes these as the first steps to the same downfall he experienced and sadly warns Balan as such. Balan is in denial that he'll become like Lance. (Speculation: And depending on whether it's a translation quirk or not, Balan may place a disproportionate amount of value on his hat.)
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Timeline based on all of the years and ages mentioned throughout the novel, assuming that Leo is right when he guesses Cass is 10 years old when she enters and exits Wonderworld
Cass age 10:
Cass enters/exits Wonderworld
Cass age 11:
Cass meets Cal
Cass age 13:
Cal is "middle-aged"
Cal enters/exits Wonderworld ("Seven years, give or take")
Cass age 15:
Leo, Emma and Yuri are 3 or 4 years old
Cass age 19:
Jose enters/exits Wonderworld
Cass age 20:
Attilio enters/exits Wonderworld
Attilio and Cass begin dating
Cass, Attilio and Cal meet Lucy
Cass age ?? (order of events unclear):
Cass and Attilio get engaged
Cass, Attilio, Cal and Lucy meet Haoyu
Haoyu meets Fiona
Eis enters/exits Wonderworld
One week later, Sana's city experiences a drought and catches fire
Sana meets Eis
Bruce enters/exits Wonderworld
Iben gives birth to her second child. Five or six years prior, she gave birth to her first child.
A couple days later, Iben's oldest child meets Bruce
Cass age 24 or 25:
Yuri enters/exits Wonderworld
Jose meets Yuri
Cass age 25:
Cass and Attilio get married and go on their honeymoon to Eltrando
All inhabitants besides Leo and Emma meet each-other on the way to Highland Isle
Leo and Emma enter/exit Wonderworld
All inhabitants reunite
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Stage order differs between game and novel. On the left is game, on the right is novel.
Jose - Jose Fiona - Bruce Yuri - Yuri Haoyu - Cal Sana - Lucy Cass - Fiona Cal - Haoyu Iben - Eis Attilio - Sana Lucy - Attilio Eis - Cass Bruce - Iben
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Speculation Everything from here on is pure speculation, but pages are still cited.
General:
In Wonderworld, inhabitants are stuck as they are without ever growing. Cass is implied to have been in Wonderworld for years, yet she never grew physically or emotionally. (Page 30) We don't know if this was a deliberate choice of Lance's, or if the same would be true (in full or in part) under Balan's (or another maestro's) rule.
Wonderworld may be made up of something akin to the collective consciousness. What this actually means is unclear, as Balan's words seem to imply nobody knows how it works for sure. (Page 107: "Everyone thinks hearts are individual islands, which is to be expected. The thing about islands, though—deeper down, they're all connected. It's what we call Wonderworld, this most happy land. What some scholars call the 'collective consciousness,' but who knows if any truly understand...")
Balan's explanation for why Leo didn't transform doesn't make sense. (Page 110: "Remember the walls you built 'round your heart? Meeting everyone here slowly tore them apart. You may have maintained you were fine on your own, but a desire to protect new friends you've always shown. Starting with that promise you made to Fighter-Emma when she was afraid.") Lance marked him the same as the others, and he was able to warp his stage, but he wasn't able to remember anything from before Wonderworld without Emma jogging his memory. He almost transformed when he started feeling useless for being unable to transform, so it must be triggered by intense negative emotions. He would have been able to transform if he wasn't interrupted by Emma.
The codename stuff in the novel may be a universal experience of Wonderworld rather than one of Lance's choices. Balan (and the narration) sometimes refer to the protagonists as "Streetbeat-Leo" and "Fighter-Emma".
The lava in Eis's stage is bordering on realistically hot in some circumstances. Probably Wonderworld keeping everyone from actually dying. (Page 174: "But even so, he still sweltered in the heat of the blaze. It was so hot, the sweat he flicked from his brow evaporated in seconds.")
The origins of drops are slightly inconsistent. Page 108: "You thought you could live on your stages without a care, but all the pain inside you brought negative drops to bear. And from those drops Lance's Negati drew power, grew stronger and stronger with each passing hour." Page 112: "The drops you see all around Wonderworld are made from people's memories and emotions." ^ This says drops aren't exclusively made from tears, but emotions in general. Page 109: "What's so special about drops?" "The tears people in the real world cry when they're happy or sad or don't even know why." ^But this implies that they only come from people outside of Wonderworld. I suppose it could be both. But I hate it not being solid.
Balan says the Negati are born from negative pieces of heart, but it seems redundant to have both Negati and negative drops be born of basically the same thing. (Page 121)
The tests Balan assigns may not have any relevance to the reason someone is in Wonderworld. The first thing he wanted Leo and Emma to do was defeat Lance. (Page 109) The dialogue doesn't say anything about befriending the other inhabitants before fighting. So what does defeating Lance have to do with being friendless or untrusting? Especially when it's something Balan should be doing for himself as the current maestro. He later claims that Leo's test was to make friends, (Page 215) but that was only possible after the initial defeat. I don't buy that Balan was thinking that many steps ahead.
Inhabitants are able to warp instantly through some unsaid means. I suppose the implication is that it's something Balan lets them do. (Page 112: "At that, [Emma] spun on her heel and vanished.")
The abilities of costumes may not have to be attached to a visually distinct costume, but just something you can do by willing it. (Page 117: "You forget we're in Wonderworld, where impossible is only a matter of your imagination's range! Your stage, little one, isn't the only thing you have the power to change." "It isn't your negativity you draw power from now, but positivity—and I'll tell you how. Take cleaving open this stone, for a start. Envision yourself strong enough to do it, in your heart." Page 118: "Think of positivity like a costume you don whenever you need some additional brawn.")
The game's cutscenes sort of just hand happiness back to most of the inhabitants after saving them, but the novel never really explains what "balance" is and how Wonderworld restores it. Here's everything that's ever said about it: Page 107: "My theater exists for only one end: to protect people's hearts, as long as they've hearts to defend." "How do you protect hearts?" "With great effort and care. And an extra dash of flare." Page 107: "A heart is made of two pieces combined: a positive piece and a negative, balanced and twined. My theater appears when that balance goes haywire, to help people lost within straits most dire. Inside they go and inside they remain, until they pass a test to restore their heart's balance and return whence they came." Page 166: "It's just... Everyone's been hurt so badly. It makes me wonder if they'll ever be happy, even once they leave Wonderworld." Balan snorted. "Happiness isn't weather—it can't be forecast. Not by you, nor by me, nor by anyone asked." "Then what's the point of making us pass a test before we can leave Wonderworld?" "The test restores balance, nothing more, nothing less. Your happiness is up to you once you leave, a problem you yourself must address."
Wonderworld, and perhaps Balan and Lance, are implied to have some amount of sway over reality. When the inhabitants are meeting with each-other in reality, frequently a breeze will pass by that makes them feel nostalgic for Wonderworld, and sometimes directs them toward another inhabitant. Also perhaps Balan and Lance smell the same. (Page 225: A gentle breeze twirled around them, sashaying through the silver wig in Cass the Clocktower Kid's hand and filling Attilio with a strange nostalgia. Page 230: As he went to fetch a cutting board, Cal felt as though a breeze wafted about him. Odd, considering they were inside. "Do you smell that? It sure brings me back," he murmured, but as soon as he tried to sniff for the scent again, it vanished. The paper that had been bound about the cheese fluttered in the wind. Page 233: She reached for a tube of pigment and felt as if a wind had wafted over her. Her eyes closed, she breathed in deep. The aroma it carried made her heart ache with nostalgia. She tilted her head into the breeze, and when she opened her eyes saw three familiar faces staring at her from the front of the crowd. Page 247: At that moment, Yuri felt a soft breeze play over her face. For some reason it made her feel instantly nostalgic. 'Why does it remind me of Balan? And...why does it smell like Lance?' [...] There really was something oddly familiar about that wind. Page 249: A breeze drifted past him, carrying a fragrance that smelled achingly familiar. Page 255: The wind carried the sharp scent of the sea. Yuri breathed it in and smelled something else mingled with the salt. It made her feel intense pangs of melancholy. Page 259: The breeze picked up, stirring their shared memories like leaves. It carried a fragrance vaguely reminiscent of Lance, or of Balan, or, maybe, of both.
Balan:
The description of Balan's appearance in the book mostly implies that what we're shown of his design is a stylistic choice rather than a literal interpretation. (Page 5: With his top hat drawn well below his eyes and a mouth warped in a constant grin [...], Page 104: The brim of his top hat was pulled so low that Streetbeat could see nothing of the man's face except his mouth, stretched wide in its usual grin.) From this, I'd assume the eyes on the hat aren't actually there, and the "lollipop" head is meant to be a generic "in shadows" effect rather than a distinct shape and set of facial features. His hair is never mentioned. The only thing breaking this interpretation is that Balan is said to wink while his hat is still on. (Page 118: They were giant! And his fingernails had sprouted into long, sharp claws. "What did you do to me!?" Balan winked. A mirror appeared in front of him, and in it he saw he had been transformed into a wolf.")
I don't know how much weight I'd place on Balan's "I've lost track of how many millions of times I've introduced myself to the theater's guests" line. As the narration says, he's quite dramatic about it. The problems of the known inhabitants sure can vary in severity, and there's billions of people in the world, so it's not out of the question.
Balan has a pretty harsh view of egg farming. I'd understand if it was just cattle for the slaughter in his example, but don't people who keep hens for eggs typically care for their hens? Maybe it's creative liberties with the translation. I want the Japanese copy. (Page 108: "The same way a farmer cares for his egg-laying hens. It's the drops he loves, but that doesn't make you friends.")
Balan may be able to read peoples' minds to an extent. (Page 111: Balan nodded as if he knew what Streetbeat-Leo was thinking. Page 113: [...] he said, as if he could read Leo's mind. Page 117: "You mistake my intent, that isn't at all what I meant." said Balan, as if he could tell what Leo was thinking from the look on his face.)
Balan tailors his words and acts of encouragement to fit who he's helping. He is softer to some, and firmer to others. ...I wonder what he's like when he isn't playing off of others?
Balan likes pranks? A mushroom that Leo was earlier shown to produce sweet smells now produces foul ones. Balan doesn't bother to warn him about it and laughs at him. (Page 138)
Balan doesn't seem all that fond of humans in general, or perhaps he has his own strong opinions of who deserves sympathy. (Page 184: "Humans are everything you accuse. Between them and the sweet lazulibird, I know which I'd choose." Page 191: "Little one, you needn't so harshly speak. It isn't his fault humans are weak. You trap yourselves in purgatories of your own devising and tire yourselves out with endless agonizing. Easy prey for the negativity to devour when you are at your weakest hour.")
I'm not quite sure how to interpret Balan's reaction to being told he's good-looking on page 215. (Balan doffed his top hat and swept into a low bow. Clocktower Kid's eyes widened in surprise. "You're better looking than I thought!" "Thank you, thank you. I'm flattered, to tell it true.") This is another part I'd like to have the Japanese version for. It'd probably be easier to tell his tone.
Balan and Lance:
Balan says that the reason Lance keeps the inhabitants ignorant and blissful is to cultivate more negative drops for his Negati. (Page 108) That doesn't make sense, since the inhabitants aren't feeling any negativity with which to create negative drops. I suppose it doesn't matter if it makes sense or not, since Balan is incorrect in his assumption about Lance's motives anyway.
Lance never hears Balan's claims about his motives, and never directly refutes them, but his dialogue and hesitation during the final boss fight seems to imply he only had the inhabitants' best interests at heart. He wanted to shield them from reality, take their trauma away and let them live in ignorant bliss. I find it hard to believe he'd want to preserve these specific people if his biggest motive was to use them as a farm. They'd be disposable, replaceable.
Lance is not explicitly said to be near or exactly 3000 years old. The direct quote is from Balan on Page 108: "[Lance is] The product of all the chaos and war since civilization's birth—three thousand years, give or take, for what dates are worth. All those negative emotions affect Wonderworld too, and gave rise to Lance, the one who's deceived you." ... Let's work down the list of what counts as human civilization. Agriculture started around 10000 BCE. Metal-working and proto-cities started around 6000 BCE. The Bronze Age started around 3300 BCE. Cities started to be made around 3000 BCE. The Iron Age started around 1200 BCE. So either they believe civilization started with the Iron Age, or the world that Balan Wonderworld takes place in has a very different history.
...Age aside, since Balan is wrong about Lance's motives, and wasn't aware of Lance being the former maestro, his claims about Lance's origins are likely incorrect as well. He sure is quick to make assumptions. I wonder how many more of his claims are entirely misinformed?
Lance may be more powerful or hold more sway over Wonderworld than Balan does. It's implied that the reason Balan doesn't fight Lance with the protagonist is that Lance is keeping him away. This may be why he needed someone else to deal with Lance for him. (Page 207: He didn't notice when everything had become shrouded in darkness, nor when Balan and the Tims had disappeared from his side. From somewhere up ahead, he could feel pulses of immense power. 'Guess I'm the only one Lance wants to see.')
Lance:
The amount of times Lance transforms, claims that more than one of them is his "true form", and the circumstances under which he does so kind of invalidate any attempt to discern which is his true form. When defeated in the game, he reverts to his white-haired form. When defeated in the novel, the narration says "[...] Leo saw Lance lying at the explosion's epicenter, back to the form he'd had the first time they'd met." (Page 214) but they never actually say what that is. We don't know what form Lance appeared in when they first first met back before Lance took his memories, so we're kind of left to assume it means the white-haired form, but it doesn't specify. He fades away after this, and then later just shows up to talk to Balan after the inhabitants leave. In the accompanying illustration, Balan is depicted without his hat (which he's never stated to have taken back off), and Lance is depicted in his Negati form. So I have no idea.
Emma:
Emma is implied to be the strongest or most resilient of the human cast, and not only from her name. All within the same final boss fight that she was forced to try to solo, she suffers multiple attacks without any additional costumes (Pages 206, 207), recovers from being knocked nearly unconscious and manages a final attack to free Leo. (page 214) (The costume mentioned isn't given any detail, just "her costume", so I'm only assuming they mean her normal clothes. Even if that's incorrect, that's a knockout-worthy number of strikes against a single costume.)
EMMA SPENT ALL HER TIME OFF-SCREEN BENCHPRESSING BALAN’S CLONES. BUFF EMMA. BUFF EMMA. SHE WAS TOO STRONG TO BE IN THE PROTAGONIST’S SEAT.
Cass:
Cass, who entered Wonderworld at the earliest point in time relative to the other inhabitants, claims she didn't want to change the past or future, and thus didn't interfere with the turmoil any of those she knew were going through. However, she intentionally tried to be cast as Princess Merry, whose actress she knew Attilio had feelings for, and there's nothing to say that she didn't change anything by doing this. It's never speculated about in the narrative.
The way Cass speaks about Leo at the end of the novel implies they were all friends for much longer than was portrayed. They had only just met, but she's familiar enough with his dance moves and his music player of choice that she can recognize when they're being invented in reality to use as a key to track him and Emma down. (Page 254) Perhaps the original plan was to have them interact over a far longer period of time than was shown.
Multiple characters:
Cass, Attilio and Cal all live in the same general area. (Page 228)
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Edit: I know this whole list kinda makes Balan seem like a total asshole, but he really is kind depending on who he’s speaking to. Let that be more motivation to buy the book; to read it yourself and see how he comforts characters like Iben and Cass.
Edit2: Fixed timeline so Leo/Emma/Yuri aren’t mysteriously 5 years older than they’re stated to be.
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thehypercutstudios · 4 months ago
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My version of bww english voice actors
Leo Craig - Zach Callison Emma Cole - Grace Rolek Balan - Alastair James Lance - Bryce Papenbrook
Inhabitants Jose Gallard - Tom Schlarpling Fiona Demetria - Cristina Vee Yuri Brand - Erin Fitzgerald Haoyu Chang - Micheal J. Woodard Sana Hudson - Carrie Keranen Cass Milligan - Claire Corlett Cal Suresh - Vic Mignogna Iben Bia - Iduna Menzel Attilio Caccini - Kyle McCarley Lucy Wong - Mary Jo Catlett Eis Glover - Cle Bennett Bruce Stone - William Shatner Nega Bosses Barktholomew - Jim Cummings Anjellica - Kimberly Brooks Wormsworth - Dee Bradley Baker Worville Wright - Weird Al Cuckoo - Dee Bradley Baker Purrla - Michaela Dietz Fortstopher IV - Vic Mignogna/Richard Steven Horvitz The Grim Creeper - Tom Kenny Princess Marey - Sarah Stiles Inkabelle - Christine Pedi The Hydrac - Dee Bradley Baker Hooverton - Frank Welker
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lovelyteng · 4 months ago
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Haunted Corruption Chapter 2 - Hiding From Hazard Place
(Fade as cut to Cal's bedroom as his alarm clock shown was 5:31 AM. Cal takes his fedora and coat from his closet, then he wears it. He out of his bedroom as locked it with his key, then walking slowly to Sana's bedroom as seek to inside with doorhole as Sana sleeping with sleeping mask, Cal locked Sana's bedroom and then walking and locked Yuri's bedroom in sad, and then walks and enters Haoyu's bedroom as he feeling suspicious.)
Cal: (suspiciously) Hmm... Something's not right about this. (realized as shocked) For now as started from last night. (gasps) Oh no!
(Cut to day as morning, then Yuri's bedroom as alarm clock rings at 7:00 AM. Yuri awake up as stretch her arms and then yawns as snooze her alarm clock as she takes her glasses and wears it, she walks the door as open it but locked as she start panic as knocks the door.)
Yuri: (worried) Uncle?! Mother?! Help me for let me it out! Someone locked my room!
(Cut to Sana at her bedroom. Sana awake up in shocked as she removed her sleeping mask and runs to the door as open it but locked as she start panic as knocks the door.)
Sana: Cal! Brother! Help us to open the door! (no answer, paused with worried) Cal? Calvin!
Yuri: (offscreen) Mother, I thinks he's not here when Haoyu got infected as corrupted as he's inside in the theater!
Sana: I thinks you're right! I'll calls Eis! (Runs to her phone as calls the Eis.)
(Cut to inside of Fire Recuse Department. Firefighters wearing their firefighter outfit while Eis already wearing it as drinks his cup of coffee, suddenly his phone rings as his coffee puts on the table and then answers it.)
Eis: (happily) Good morning, Sana! How'd your day?
(Screen start turn into two grid as Sana on the right and Eis on the left while calling each other. Sana feeling worried.)
Sana: Eis, help us! Me and Yuri locked in the bedrooms! (Eis starts paused, then shocked.)
Eis: What?! But where's Cal and Haoyu?
Sana: (annoyed) Haoyu still inside the theater when got infected... (Worried) Then Cal left us, since Haoyu's not here in the house as he checking about happened from yesterday!
Eis: Don't worry! I'll calling our other friends!
Sana: Thank! (Hang out of calling to her phone.)
(Pans of full scene to Eis when after calling. He feeling love dreaming while other Firefighters looking in happily as others start laughs but muttered until Eis looking them in shocked.)
Eis: (shocked) You guys watching me while I calling the my friend whole time?!
Dan Dennis/Firefighter #1: (in German voice-toned) Well, yes. I knows who calling to...
Jet Jackson/Firefighter #2: (in Australia accent) That's your girlfriend, Sana Hudson, mate? (He and other firefighters snickering as laughing while Eis blushing until stopped as they're all paused and looking their fire chief, Benson Bennett.)
Dan: Chief! We're just... (Interrupted with ax as holds it to throw by Benson who starts irritated which Eis and his teammates start worried.)
Benson: (irritated) Everyone get back to work! (Eis and Firefighters running to the pole as slide down until Eis stopped by him as said.) Not you, Eis Glover!
Eis: What? Why me?
Benson: Just come to me.
(Eis breaths and walks to Benson.)
Eis: What is it, Benson?
Benson: (pats Eis' shoulder, smiling) Just your friends need you.
Eis: (gasps) Really?
Benson: Yes, you always to they're need you by your friends.
Eis: (runs to the pole) Thank, Benson!
Benson: (salutes, then waves to Eis) Then good luck that, Eis!
(Cut to firefighters takes equipments and then hopping on the fire truck, Eis slide down as takes his equipment even toolbox and then runs out of Fire Recuse Department while other firefighters looking at Eis.)
Firefighters: (confused and shocked) Huh? (Benson slide down on the pole as they looking at him.) Chief!
Jet: Oi! Why Eis doesn't joins us for trouble of fire problem?
Benson: Because his friends need him... Always...
(Cut to Eis holds his equipments as he running on the street as sidewalk as he running in left, he passes to person hold the book for covered the face called "Haunted Corrupted" as sitting on chair for the table at Chess Café, the person uncovered the face as closed the book and adjusted the fedora was Cal Suresh who feeling worried to Eis until looking small blue box with black-and-white square ribbon by waiter.)
Waiter: Here your other, Suresh.
Cal: (quietly, holds the box) Thank you. (Stand up from table as put it in his coat.) For excuse me... (Start walks in backward as looks to waiter.) I'm going to... hiding place. (Runs away in right.)
(Cut to Cal running as passes the people as voice-over starts speak.)
Cal: (narrating) As you'll see... I realized about that... Was... They're not here at their home!
(Cal dumps into Cal's former rival and closer friend, Wally Darren and his son as Cal's first chess student, Willy Darren who they're shocked to him but he still running away.)
Willy: Dad, why Cal keeps running away from? (Wally shrugs and shook his head.)
(Cut back to Cal continue running as passes the people as voice-over continued speak.)
Cal: (narrating) As I finding the place for... happened to them.
(Cal gasps and stopped runs, then walks and inside of abandoned building, sitting on the floor as roll of ball position and then he crying.)
Cal: (crying) This is all my fault! A whole time! My friends getting hurts because of me! (Continue crying, then gasps and looking silhouette of Fortstopher IV who smiling evilly as Cal stand up and stay back from Fortstopher IV, worried.) You!
Fortstopher IV: That's right, Sir Suresh! I'm back!
Fortie VI: (pops out of Fortstopher IV's chest) Don't forget about me!
Cal: No... Not you guys!
Fortstopher IV: Yes, we are...
Cal: (stuttering) But-but-but-but-but-but! I-I-I-I t-thought you're gone!
(Fortstopher IV walks to Cal which stay away from him.)
Fortstopher IV: Sir Suresh, me and my friends going inside you and your friends as started from... (Glowing brighter as Cal closes his eyes.) Last years!
Cal: (shook his head as still closed his eyes and holds his head in worried) No! You're not along me!
Fortstopher IV: (shook his head in calmly) Oh, Sir Suresh. I'm always right as commonly to you.
Cal: (opened his eyes as glares to Fortstopher IV) No! You're not a... (realized as gasps) You're right, we're both common each other.
Fortie VI: Now, that's what we're talking about!
Cal: But I knows one missed about you...
Fortstopher IV: What is it?
Cal: (removed his fedora) Your past mistakes!
Fortstopher IV and Fortie VI: (gasp in horror) What?!
Cal: Which means, you're getting angry when loses of streak as the friends was left!
Fortstopher IV: (angrily) No! That's not true!
Fortie VI: Yeah!
Cal: As I told you about that! Which I was right of this!
Fortstopher IV: Fine! You have a deal, Sir Suresh!
Cal: Okay then!
Fortstopher IV: But I'm still haunted you! (Start fade of his body with Fortie VI as they laughing as fade out as disappeared.)
Cal: (wiping his swears) Phew! That was so close! (Bruce walks slowly to behind Cal with clean cane.) At least, nobody heard me by myself.
Bruce: (whispers as start swings his clean cane) Come to us, Cal...
Cal: Uh? (Quickly ducks as Bruce missed swings him with clean cane. He gasps.) Bruce?!
(Jose, Yuri, Sana, and Eis walks to Cal as surrounding him with Bruce.)
Cal: (worried) But, but, but how'd you escaped from bedroom with you and Yuri, Sana?!
Sana: I called Eis to unlocked it.
Yuri: But you seen Haoyu wasn't here on the house as you knows it which start suspicious about now to them.
Cal: (agitated) Yes. That's what I was thinking about them. (Jose holds up the rope as he, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce starts walk slowly to him which feeling scared.) Guys, listen. I know you're want me to my help for any... trouble... Uh... (Points at right direction.) Look! Someone has fire on the street!
Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce: (looking for Cal's points at) Where?!
(Cut to building with the fire while firefighters spraying it with water and recusing the people from building while other people watching to building in horror. Cut to Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce, they're all shocked, then Eis impressive to his teammates.)
Eis: Yeah, I know. Benson told him as my friends need me. Always.
(Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce turns to Cal, then shocked to Cal wasn't here.)
Jose: Where's he go?! (Eis throws the ax on the ground.)
Eis: Great! Here go again!
(Cut back to Cal running as passes the people, he wears his fedora back and hold up the box for his order, he sighs.)
Cal: I'm starting hungry for now. (Start opens the box but looking to six familiar people as same Cal's wearing but the sizes and wearing sunglasses, he gasps and hiding the behind of the crate box, whispers.) Oh no... They're got outside of the theater!
Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce: (offscreen) Cal Suresh!
Cal: (gasps) Oh no...
(Cut to Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce run as passes the people until looking six familiar people who looking in shocked to them as Cal looking in more shocked than before.)
Cal: Oh no! That's a worst!
(Cut to Leo Craig and Emma Cole walks to the people as their friends.)
Leo: Hey, what's going on?
Emma: Looks like you have a trouble.
(Cut to Cal shook his head while eating lemon cheesecake macaroons from the box in worried.)
Cal: No! That's a worst! (Gulps.)
(Cut back to Leo, Emma, and their friends with six familiar people.)
Jose: You seen our genius friend, Cal Suresh? Anyone? (Leo, Emma, and six familiar people shook their head.) Aw, great! We've lost him!
Emma: Don't be down, friends. We're never give up for anything!
Sana: You're right! We're never give up for anything!
Familiar People #1: (in unison of Princess Marey and male voice with eerie and echo) You're right... If you're never give up... Then we come to us for going the theater.
(Cut to grids of Leo, Emma, Jose, Yuri, Sana, Cal, Eis, and Bruce gasps in horror as together for same time.)
Yuri: That's voice! Sounds familiar!
(Pans of full scene to Cal when closes the box and then puts it, he runs away. Cut back to them as the second one of six familiar people shot Leo, Emma, Jose, Yuri, Sana, Eis, and Bruce with tranquilizer as they're passed out, and the third one holds big wagon, then six familiar people removed the fedoras as revealed was Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, Attilio, and Lucy.)
Fiona: Nice jobs, Skygazer! You're used our friends fall asleep!
Cass: But one more missing of our friends to get a tranquilized.
Iben: It was...
Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, Attilio, and Lucy: (gasp in realized) Cal Suresh!
Attilio: He's hiding everywhere!
Haoyu: Let's find him!
Lucy: We're not used the powers while everyone see us!
Attilio: You're right! Let's go! Me and Clocktower Kid holds these guys!
Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, and Lucy: Right!
(Fiona, Haoyu, Iben, and Lucy running in different directions for finding Cal while Cass and Attilio lifting Leo and Emma into big wagon. Cut to Cal running on the street as entered to Lucy's Art Museum as seem likely darkness as slightly shown painting as Cal walking slowly in cautious as looking around in worried and holds the flashlight as turned on.)
Cal: (worried) Oh! I don't like Lucy's painting with her future visions! (Looking art process room as slightly open of the door.) Huh? I just... looking for that. (Walks art process room as open and enter it as looking around.) Wow... She's lots of her ideas about creative mind! (Looks the unfinished painted on the easel stand as he walks as holds it.) I wonder she's doing about her painting? (Turns around the painting as lights on to painting was silhouette of Fortstopher IV smiling evilly as behind Cal. He screams, then fall, then stay back to the painting, then stand up and runs out of art process room as closes the door as he runs the main doors but tires the open it as locked.) Oh no! It's locked!
(Cal walks slowly in backward until spotlight turned on as lights to him which he covers from light, the looking another light to ink-covered painting as looking it as Lucy pops out the painting as Cal screams and runs away but Lucy throws the glue ball onto Cal's feet on the movable tiled floor as he tries move as he turns around to Lucy who laughing.)
Lucy: You can't escape for this when you looked my painting with future visions! (Laughing)
Cal: (worried) Lucy! Why you always likes me at whole time?!
Lucy: Please, darling. Called me... (removed her sunglasses as shown her eyes was Inkaballe.) Madam of the Mansion.
(Cal screams as looking Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, and Attilio walks as surrounding him with Lucy, they're removed the sunglasses as shown ther eyes was Nega-Bosses while Cal screams in horror.)
Lucy: As you saying, I wants you to looking my new painting after you looked it... Started for now...! (She, Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, and Attilio laughing as Haoyu holds up tranquilize in the syringe as they walk to him.)
Cal: (shocked) WHAT?! You means... Coming with me in the theater?!
Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, Attilio, and Lucy: (calmly) Yes, Checkered King!
(Cal gasps in horror as starts struggling by Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, Attilio, and Lucy as holding him, then Haoyu shots Cal's neck with tranquilize as he gasps in silence and passed out as Fiona and Haoyu holding Cal.)
Lucy: Don't worry, Checkered King. (Holds Cal's head.) You entered the theater, then you've got infected with your anger and narcissism into half-corrupted with Fortstopher IV, then you looking my new painting as you'll like it. (Kisses Cal's cheeks while Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, and Attilio smiling in warmhearted.)
Fiona, Cass, Haoyu, Iben, and Attilio: Aw...
Iben: How sweet, Madam of the Mansion!
Lucy: (slightly blushes) Thank you, The Lady of the Midnight Sun.
(Cut to close-up of Cal feeling worried while he passed out.)
Haoyu: (offscreen) Don't worry! Cal and his friends worn off as wake up in 2 hours! As we're going to the theater with him!
(Fade out as pitched black screen.)
To be continued.
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elizabethanism · 4 months ago
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Happy Together (1997) / Wong Kar-Wai
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And Leo Tolstoy wrote:
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Anna Karenina
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kpoophell · 12 months ago
Any thoughts on Yixing and all the delightful fire sign friendships he’s making on his latest show?
IT’S SO CUTE ISN’T IT??????? I’ve been having a blast watching his show and seeing how he approaches these things, deals with set backs, disagreements in principles etc. They did a great job casting in that yixing, yibo AND jackson have all tackled it COMPLETELY differently so it’s REALLY fun to compare. I haven’t watched any of the after-filming hot pot eps... that seems like it’d be the place for the juicy firesign dynamics (like that clip of jackson stealing all of yibos cilantro). But i’m here~ i’m nothing if not full of thoughts~
Yixing is /definitely/ showing his Extreme air-sign dominance on this show-- he’s got a plan, it’s a great plan he’s thought about it at least several times and even taken notes. There are people and things. They are connected and it’s critical to the Plan. Unfortunately he has No plan b so when things don’t go according... it’s a meltdown. 
Jackson is an aries looking to vibe, he’s all about the vibes Only. Yixing is VERRRRRY accustomed to aries-- luhan, sehun, minseok are all aries that yixing has been close with and gotten on with well. They seem to understand each other at a base level which makes sense given they share moon in libra. Side note but MAN i’m continually surprised jackson doesn’t have any aqua in his chart.... perhaps his asc. 
It HAS been really cute watching yibo and yixing interact because yibo respects him enough not to clown him and be a COMPLETE little shit (how he treats his OTHER libra gege xiao zhan). But he DOES approach rships critically (venus in virgo) SO he ends up following yixings lead or asking him for :I krumping lessons :II and acting pretty sweetly towards him, even if it’s not necessarily his intention, or how he perhaps sees himself! 
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Historical sapphists with moon in Aries : Liane de Pougy, Natalie Clifford Barney, Tamara de Lempicka, Virginia Woolf & Anne Lister.
Historical sapphists with moon in Sagittarius : Anna May Wong, Elisabeth de Gramont & Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Historical sapphists with moon in Leo : Mercedes de Acosta & Marlene Dietrich.
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blkdiamond-art · 2 years ago
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West Coast to East Coast
Multi fandom
American
Go Vote!! 🇺🇸💙❤️
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ulecelecs-art · 2 years ago
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Side characters for the Starco/Jantom AU
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joostjongepier · 2 months ago
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Wat? De roeping door Leo Wong Loi Sing en Moeder met kind (Zwarte Madonna) door Noni Lichtveld
Waar? Tentoonstelling Surinaamse School in het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Wanneer? 15 juni 2021
Leo Wong Loi Sing schilderde de roeping (1965) tijdens een verblijf op het seminarie in Galibi waar hij priesterstudent was. Het werk roept, ook al is het een stuk minder theatraal, associaties op met De roeping van Mattheüs door Caravaggio. Dat komt waarschijnlijk vooral door het handgebaar van de geroepen discipel. Mattheüs en de hier afgebeelde jongeman wijzen beiden op hun borst, alsof ze willen zeggen: “Maar u kunt mij toch niet bedoelen?”.
Noni Lichtveld maakt zich met haar Zwarte Madonna een christelijke beeldtraditie eigen waarin Maria gewoonlijk als witte vrouw wordt afgebeeld. Het werk is deel van een serie kerstkaarten die Lichtveld ontwierp waarin uit elke Surinaamse bevolkingsgroep een Maria is geportretteerd.
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trondynewman · 3 years ago
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It’s finally here! Tawny Newsome (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) and Alex Kilner (Second City) have long straddled the worlds of comedy and music, but now they’re combining their two passions, and bringing some special guests along for the ride. On each episode of their new podcast, The Supergroup, Tawny & Alex invite a comedian and a musician to collaborate on a song. The group takes you through the process step by step, from inspiration and writing, to recording and mixing, culminating in a brand new piece of music. The podcast is funny but the songs are legit. Get ready for...the Supergroup! Coming July 11th to Stitcher Premium. Go to stitcherpremium.com/supergroup for more details and use promo code SUPERGROUP for 1-month free!
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