Can an Old Cat Man Live Here - Why you shouldn't feel bad about the Lostbelts

Hallo everyone,

It’s something that’s come up with every LB-release so far: is team Chaldea truly doing the right thing killing not just an entire people, but entire worlds over and over again only that our world may continue to exist?

Watching a certain old sci-fi flick in full recently - Logan’s Run, it’s been years since I saw bits of it on teevee - I have come up with a rather simple formula that should put any qualms about our MC’s actions to rest.

That is by posing the question:

Can a good old man and his cats actually live in this place?

If he can’t, said world doesn’t deserve to exist.

A short, not too expansive spoiler on the movie in question, "Logan's Run" -

in said movie, someone somewhere in gubmint (Nixon, probably) decided to push the button, destroying most of the world except for an isolated city. Said city limits the maximum age to 30 for “sustainability’s” sake, yet allows its people to enjoy themselves to the fullest until then. Except when they try to run, anyway, hence the movie-title, “Logan’s run”, named after the main character who’s first to break out of there in some 250 years of the city’s existence. Outside, he meets the “Old Man”, acted by none other than Peter Ustinov, together with his crew of cats in the ruins of Washington D.C. The mere existence of this jolly “Old Man” motivates Logan to return to the city and tear it down. The city isn’t just a hellhole for precluding the possibility of an old coot like Peter Ustinov to exist, but doesn’t even know about cats, so good riddance to that.

With that simple criterion in mind:

Can an old man and his cats actually live in this place?

let’s look at the 3 Lostbelts released to NA so far.

Lostbelt 1

Some of the furry-population may live to an old age, but evidently cats either died out or evolved to become some other horror. If the fact that the world is populated by furries isn’t reason enough to delete this, an old man not being able to live in peace together with a bunch of cats definitely is.

In short - nothing to regret here, delete this.

Lostbelt 2

There may or may not be cats within the Villages - yet, given the scarcity of resources, it’s likely that Skadoodle considered them non-essential, hence no cats for you urgh. More obviously, the people there don’t get to grow old in the first place. There’s no place for an old coot to hide away together with a herd of cats either since it’s just as much of a fridge as LB1 and giants roaming outside the Villages don’t want no human -

Again - delete this, no regrets.

Lostbelt 3

No kitties are mentioned here, either, but maybe they do scurry about freely, here? Yet, the Emprah goes and is even more devious about people not reaching anywhere near retirement age.

So, obviously, delete this. Ustinov and all of catkind wills it.

I haven’t looked ahead in detail, yet my wild guess would be that future LB will be comparable hellscapes not passing the criterion of whether Old Man and Cats can live there.

13 Likes

But what if you want to live in a furry world? This is the best chance to. Granted you’ll have to be ok with forever winter and kind of bad meat.

As for the ice princess. She might be a good support servant but she’s a pretty bad ruler. Amirite everyone? :fgo_sthenosmug:

Why need cats when we have a supreme moth? Or maybe the entire population can be thought of as cats with the emperor being the old man. See the oldman and cats can live in LB3. :fgo_sthenosmug:

And retirement age? What’s so fun about being old? All you’re doing is living long enough to see your children abandon you in some shady retirement home where they might treat you well. :fgo_quetzsmile:

But LB3 can only be looked as bad if you take normal human morality and individuality into it. Whether they’re cats to an old man, dogs to a master, ignorance is bliss or no different than ungabunga cavemen of eras past, if they’re all happy in ignorance then what’s the problem?

1 Like

Hmmmm I don’t think LB5 has any of those drawbacks. Then again there won’t be any old men with eternal youth nanomachines, so delete too I guess.

2 Likes

A fair point, actually. LB3 does have that (woefully underexplored) angle of people being kept deliberately illiterate or, at best, brought directly to Emprah’s central to sing his praises. Similarly, the city dwellers in Logan’s Run got certain linguistic…deficiencies, shall we say primarily because they got nothing better to do than screw each other every day.
Plus, if a society sets itself back to the stone age for the majority of its members, can it even still be considered any good as a whole?

And those probably aren’t handed out just so for people’s benefit either, right. It’d be my guess since none other than Lord Cherry Wodime is in charge of that one.

3 Likes

@Meta_Cat, look^^^, further proof that everything is better with cats!

4 Likes

Plus, if a society sets itself back to the stone age for the majority of its members, can it even still be considered any good as a whole?

Heh I think Dr. Stone might be touching on this.

My problem with ‘not feeling bad about Lostbelts’ seems to be the moral high ground it entails.

LB1, ok that’s fine to delete. Because of the extreme survival of the fittest end route they took, not even the citizens seem all that happy. They do fight for their home, but none of them seem really happy. Or rather if you told them about our world like Paxti, I could see a lot of them jumping ship.

LB2, yea you could delete too. While everyone seems fine the lostbelt is hanging on by scotch tape and is only in that position as a reaction. Not so much by choice. Our world at least has gorilla tape holding it together.

LB3 imo, you have a contender. Stagnation vs evolution. Shall humans keep striving or remain in their cage, Individuality vs a group collective. Most people will see their rule as bad because I assume most of us are born with that morality of striving and for individuality. But if you were an alien from another planet with morals of neither world, which looks more peaceful and would keep going till the sun supernovas?

Which world looks cooler with fun stuff? Which world has more war? Which world has caused species to go extinct or drive them to near extinction? Which world has an old man and a cat? Which world has a young boy and a dog? Which world made gacha?

Of course we can’t get all these answers because it would be impossibly long to explore everything of the lostbelts to compare and contrast. For story constraints we just get the sparknotes version to judge it upon based on our morals.

Should we feel bad for them because they’re living breathing people with their own hopes and ideals or should we not care because their world already lost and they’re basically NPCs so we can go roughshod on them like it’s GTA V?

2 Likes

It’s not for any person’s benefit and it’s more like mandatory for citizen than a privilege. Wodime is working to topple Zeus anyway though, so immortality AND free will! There’s literally no downside! (Unless you consider the inability to die to be one)

1 Like

There are some downsides as the gods in various myths have different levels of immortality and we have no idea exactly the end result of Wodime’s design would do for humanity. One of Egypt’s more famous myths is how the god Osiris was killed by this brother Set which is how we get mummies. And of course Ragnorok which ALL about the Norse gods getting killed in a huge battle … if that wasn’t just Christians trying to get the local to convert to Christianity.

Adding to that not like the god all have the same power such as Zeus supposedly being stronger than the rest of the Olympians put together.

Wodime’s plan might allow a real asshole to get incredibly powerful and then humanity is stuck with a potentially immortal asshole that we can’t beat.

To me, what I’ve found interesting isn’t so much that you feel bad per se for deleting the Lostbelts but rather that there’s a more fundamental challenge - on what basis is the Old Man and his Cats a good test for a morally sound society?

I elaborated but it got longer than I thought so I'm putting it behind a cut

The first two were a little wonky - largely because they both played on the idea of what was necessary for survival taking precedence over all else, which isn’t terribly compelling - but LB3 really found its legs, I felt. The moral centre of the world was internally consistent and logical, and while some things felt somewhat out of place (namely the Benefaction - they just kind of… ignored that very juicy detail after revealing it to make the world seem inherently evil) even they were consistent with the internal logic of the theology. A strong centralised theology like that requires strong rebuttal, and invites interesting questions. If individuality is superior, on what basis? On what basis is an organism considered “an individual”, and where are those boundaries drawn? Can we genuinely say Proper Human History is based on individuality, rather than using individuality as a cover story to prevent social cohesion, therefore creating an easily exploitable populace without any kind of collective bargaining power? What of the rights of animals and livestock - are they not also individuals? etc.

I think the game’s choice not to particularly engage with those questions and reduce the answer to, essentially, I fight for my home only because it is my home, is actually quite an interesting approach. Not only does it feel less preachy, it leaves the player to do the heavy lifting if they feel like it, so you can still just press buttons and call it a day if you’re not all that interested in the philosophical sequelae. But it also leaves those prompts there, and in a way, seeing a hypothetical “other world” presents a challenge to us to better our own world, because it allows us to think of features we’ve come to accept as permanent through cultural conditioning as instead mutable characteristics that can and perhaps should change.

And lastly, on what basis can we determine the Lostbelts incapable of further evolution? If we assume a priori there exists a morally faultless social system, a true utopia, is it not reasonable to conclude that one of the Lostbelts might make it there faster? In that case, would it not be reasonable to suggest that the end does in fact justify the means? Our world is hardly devoid of suffering, after all, so if suffering is inevitable then the shortest past to utopia has ethical merit, as it necessarily will reduce the suffering to its lowest possible level over an appropriately long time scale. Just cause the Lostbelts aren’t doing so hot now, doesn’t mean the world itself is inherently unsalvageable.

So yeah, while to an extent I’ve felt bad for ending the lives of individuals within the Lostbelts, I’ve not felt terribly bad about ending the Lostbelts themselves with their associated sociopolitical baggage. I’ve been much more interested in how the hypothetical changes in history have created a new trajectory, and the way that poses a challenge to some of the elements of our world that we might like to change.

3 Likes

They’re happy but they’re barely even human. The citizens in LB3 are basically kept as livestock and are high as a kite all the time

I honestly feel like once this story line resolves, there will be a happily ever after. Either that, or the world is never restored anyways. Happy go lucky, or somber. In the end, I do not think it will technically that the lostbelts were ended.

Just a guess. Or… two guesses?

I think they’ll have ended, there can only be one

And that one is me

1 Like

I mean it’s explicitly stated in-game that Lostbelts are versions of humanity that are pruned away because they are doomed to stagnation, whether from extinction or eternal prosperity. It’s not a law that LBs are required to not be doing so hot. In fact, LB3 can’t do anything but hot. It’s an utopia of eternal stability with no chance of world war, pandemic, or major disaster. It’s that very prosperity that dooms the human race to stop being human, which is why it was pruned before the sombrero seed came.

3 Likes

My philosophical argument is you should always feel bad about killing a LB off no matter what you think of it. There are a lot of arguments for which society is the best and which are wrong but at the end of the day I have a simpler view. We are at the end of the day erasing living thinking creatures who are aware of the concept of death, this called metacognition. It is a state of being shared with humans and only a couple of species of animals, most notably rats who we experiment on.

While we can argue the pros and cons of each lostbelt versus our own world which depending on your point of view can include arguments such as evolution, stagnation, survival of the fittest, individualism, group mentality, or simply that there are close to 7 billion ppl in our world and no other lost belt comes close to raw number of ppl who will suffer. We can’t argue we aren’t killing metacognatitve. While I don’t think overall we are wrong in killing these lostbelts because I do subscribe to 7 billions innocents need to be saved versus a couple hundred thousand in each belt, I do think it is important that we as ppl feel bad, even for LB 3 whose ppl don’t even seem to fully grasp the concept of history and cultural.

With the exception of the horror show that is LB 1 at least in NA we haven’t seen a LB where the ppl themselves where monstrous and even in LB 1 they were reacting to their environment, much like mankind has done for basically all of history, never forget our own history is basically a never-ending cycle of violence and oppression. So we should at our core as human beings feel empathy for their situation. What we are doing is horrible but it is a rare justified example of doing something horrible. That its justified shouldn’t take away from the fact that at its core its awful. We are killing entire worlds and we should recognize and feel empathy for that, its what separates a person in a bad situation with no good options from a sociopath.

Granted this assumes you are able to invest in the story enough to feel for its characters, some ppl find that easier than others. Some ppl can read a story like a news report while others can empathize with characters, that’s just how different ppl process.

1 Like

I can only feel so bad about it. After all these worlds were already pruned away and that certainly wasn’t my fault. And they were dragged into existence and forced into a slaughter where only one has even a hope of continuing to exist. That one is on the hands of gods or whatever that is behind all this. We’re definitely chopping down these trees, but we neither created this situation or have the means to stop them from being destroyed anyways.

Heck, the reason we can’t use Rayshifting to less brutally deal with this situation is due to freaking Kadoc. So a lot of this is honestly on him.

The obvious path for the story is to eventually present a LB that doesn’t entirely suck and create some questions about which should exist. But that’s hard to manage since the reason they are LB in the first place is because they aren’t very good.

Yeah, sure you can feel bad about wiping these places out. There are lives being lost at the end of the day. They certainly didn’t drag themselves into this mess. But same goes for our side in all this. We’re just trying to deal with this and get things back on track. I feel bad for individuals within the respective LB. But I don’t feel terrible about it since there is someone far more responsible for these deaths and getting through this will allow us to slug them in the face. So I’ll focus on that part.

3 Likes

Yes, this is a good criteria to judge worlds by, whether cats can exist there. :fgo_elementarymydear:

3 Likes

While I intend to reserve conclusive narrative judgement until the Lostbelts are actually dealt with, it seems to me that the idea of bringing back 7 of them to begin with was probably that warring for supremacy would shock one of them back out of stagnation. Without devolving into endless what-ifs, it’s not hard to imagine an ending where even surviving the relatively paltry invasion of the Chaldeans would substantially, perhaps radically, reshape the Lostbelt world (again, primarily in LB3 onwards once we move more into differences in theology as opposed to differences in material circumstances necessitating harsh rule).

Plus, even with in-text explanation, that doesn’t negate the fact that the force doing the pruning (presumably the Counter Force?) isn’t really accountable to anything or transparent in its reasoning, nor is it likely able to account for the interference of whatever outer entities are responsible for this whole shebang in the first place - so while they were initially pruned for stagnation, there’s no particular reason to believe they are definitionally doomed to that in the current circumstances. Ans even if they are, I’m still interesting in the question of why and how the criteria for pruning the Lostbelts were decided upon. The reasoning as it stands is essentially circular - stagnant worlds must be pruned, therefore these worlds were pruned because they were stagnant. I still think this is the interesting part of the narrative, moreso than the comparatively immaterial unfolding of events, but I admit I’m a sucker for themes over lore.

I like to overthink things, is the short version :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

The Lostbelts are SIMULATIONS made real by a cell and maintained by a pseudo grail. Hence why the LB collapses when you remove the pseudo grail that was maintaining its existence. If the LB was real then removing the pseudo grail would do NOTHING. Even if we didn’t take the pseudo grail ourselves the pseudo grail would have run out of juice and the LB would have collapsed anyways.

PLUS the LBs are going to be destroyed by the alien god anyways. If you follow the story in LB2, the alien god only made the LBs to appease Wodime to give the crypters something to do while the alien god advances his/her own interests on Earth. Once the alien god is ready to advance his/her plans on Earth he/she would have just collapsed the LBs himself/herself.

Of course there is no reason to think that collapsing the LBs is going to save anyone since all the people on Earth were wiped out BEFORE the LBs were erected. So the LBs weren’t responsible for the annihilation of the human species. That took place during the prior 9 months before the trees were planted and the LBs created. Even destroying the alien god isn’t going to bring people back because all the people died when they were killed. I guess at best it’s possible that the people weren’t so much killed as disembodied and are being held as spiritrons by the alien god to be used as food or fuel or specimens in some experiments.

The whole “pruning away” thing is nonsense written by a writer who lacks any concept of logic. Reality is the thing that takes place. And the thing that takes place is the only that could take place. Everything that happens is a result of what happened before. You aren’t going to suddenly murder your sleeping family in the next hour because you aren’t that sort of person. So there is no version of reality where the you as you are now murder your family. This is the most basic logic many writers don’t understand and it’s why multiverses based on differing timelines aren’t possible. There isn’t an infinite degree of possibility. To say otherwise is to basically assert that only only does free not exist, but the soul and people don’t exist either. Everything would just be a bunch of atoms moving around completely randomly, something which isn’t possible because even atomic and subatomic particles cannot take random actions as everything costs energy and particles with energy cannot magically lose that energy. They all move based on necessity according to their prior energy state. So no random events take place. There is no possibility for an atom to shift to two different states in two different timelines.

Hell the writer for LB3 actually created a character which REQUIRED that events necessarily occur as a result of previous events. Remember that Xiang Yu sees the future by analyzing the past and then calculating the necessary resulting actions that must take place. So at least one writer understands the truth but he/she seems to be in the minority.

Wow I’m astounded how someone can write an essay this long and be wrong at everything in it.

  1. No one in the game said LBs are simulations. They have always said that LBs are parallel universes that shouldn’t be. Something happened to a branch and now that branch can’t branch out anymore, so it becomes obsolete and got pruned.
  2. You didn’t write the LB arc. You don’t dictate what logic applies in it. You don’t get to decide if it’s a simulation or not, you don’t get to decide if multiverse is possible or not, you don’t get to decide if I can or can not one day suddenly murder my entire family.
  3. If you read just a little itty bitty bit on quantum physics, you’d know that atoms do shift to two different states in two different timelines (assuming there are different timelines anyway). In fact, the atoms in your body now have their electrons in several different places at once in this one timeline even as you’re just reading this right now. Yes they are affected by the series of prior event, but all prior events do is just increase the likelihood of where an electron currently is at any given time, not predestine it to be in one specific place at any given time. Xiang Yu predicts the future by acting on the most likely future based on the past. The future isn’t set in stone. Heck, the present isn’t even set in stone.
2 Likes

The whole “pruning away” thing is nonsense written by a writer who lacks any concept of logic.

Ah yes, a magical ritual where the spirits of long-dead people and even some people who were never real to begin with duke it out over a wish-granting device capable of accessing the primordial whirl of energy that began everything? Fine. An impossibly powerful supercomputer on the moon, built before the moon, capable of running simulations so complicated they’re indistinguishable from reality and even warping reality itself? Fine. A sentient planet-wide “will to survive” capable of amassing and collecting agents across time and deploying them, at will, to resolve threats to the long-term longevity of the planet? Fine. The universe within which these exist also possessing a force that is capable of, by mechanics yet unexplained, identifying and removing possibilities it deems suboptimal? That’s a bridge too far.

Seriously, aside from Wussling’s accurate objections above, you’re jumping a lot of guns here. It’s entirely possible the Counter Force acts to prevent the possibilities we know as the Lostbelts from taking place before they even happen, or that it’s capable of manipulating what we perceive as “the past” - for a disembodied cosmic force on the scale of the Counter Force, who’s to say time is even necessarily linear? The logic of the Lostbelt arc is fanciful, yes, but I hate to be the one to tell you that fiction isn’t actually real, and is therefore allowed and even encouraged to be fanciful. The internal logic of the Fate universe is twisted, but it’s yet to be meaningfully self-contradicting. Quite aside from your misunderstanding of the probalistic - not predictable - behaviour of atoms and sub-atomic particles, it’s still entirely possible for the Lostbelts to exist even under your ridiculous premises. That’s kind of the whole point of fiction.