The Metaphysics Necrosis entry of the Steins;Gate visual novel (chapter six) continues with another two episodes for the anime – fifteen and sixteen. A lot of temporal theory was revealed last time, with more to come, so you may wish to jump back to episode one if you dislike spoilers.

Here’s your quick recap: Mayuri keeps dying, no matter how often Okabe does a “mind leap” to earlier on August 13th, 2010. In his most recent leap back, he convinced Makise he wasn’t crazy, and then Suzuha indicated that she has an actual time machine, because she’s from the future. Perhaps that will be useful.

MISSING LINK NECROSIS

We start with the end of episode fourteen, Suzuha saying she’s from 2036, and how she has been posting as John Titor – then immediately into the credits. She continues after about how SERN rules a dystopian world in 2036, and she’s a member of the resistance. We see images of Suzuha being pursued by gunmen.

When all else fails, get your own time machine

Suzuha decided the only way to win was to board a secret time machine, left to her by her father. She came back to July 28th, 2010 at 11:50am.

Makise is skeptical, SERN is a research organization. She even asked Titor (under the pseudonym “Chestnut Rice and Kamehame-ha”) about that. Suzuha elaborates, with a time machine, SERN had the power… and the “mother of time travel” who contributed the most to SERN’s temporal research was Kurisu Makise.

This explains Suzuha’s attitude towards Makise. It prompts Okabe to ask about his future, and he’ll be an anti-SERN terrorist. Oh, and both he and Makise are dead by 2036.

Given the option, would you even want to know your future?

Suzuha now needs to go to 1975. Apparently SERN has a worldwide monitoring system, alerting them to any information regarding time travel. (Recall their failed Jellyman experiments.) Okabe’s first D-mail on July 28th caught their attention, and once they got the PhoneWave, they perfected the technology.

To change that future, they need to delete Okabe’s D-mail from SERN’s database. To do that, they need an IBN 5100. Suzuha can get one in 1975, and ensure Okabe has access. The trouble is, she spent too much time here in 2010 looking for her Dad. And now something’s wrong with her time machine.

Okabe distracts two security guards in the Radio Building, allowing them all to escape.

Please ignore the mad scientist foiling an Organization plot

Suzuha reveals that the thunderstorm on the night of August 9th is what messed with the time machine mechanism. DING, it’s the night Okabe kept Suzuha from leaving, so they could have the farewell party. And the PhoneWave can only send him back 48 hours, so they can’t prevent it.

Mayuri and Daru show up, with a passerby commenting on the trains having been stopped. It’s all happening again.

Makise and Okabe head to the lab. They’ll send him back 5 hours, and from there he’ll go back 48 hours, to 2pm on August 11th. Hopefully that gives enough time to fix Suzuha’s time machine… and build (rebuild?) the PhoneWave in case something doesn’t work out. Because Okabe makes it clear – this isn’t about saving the world of 2036, it’s about saving Mayuri.

Message for you, it’s your mind from two days later

You may recall that we don’t know what happened originally on August 11th; episode eleven had a time skip from Makise talking about her father on the 10th, to the following evening with Okabe eating her pudding. Whatever happened, Okabe telling the lab members about Suzuha’s time machine changes it.

Daru is impressed by the technology, Okabe adding he’ll give Daru whatever he wants if he can fix it in two days. (The reward would be a day long date with Faris. Daru’s also interested in an animation cel from the 1975 series “Radical Girl Omit-Chin”.)

Magical Hacker Daru is on the case

Mayuri says that while they work, she wants to help Suzuha find her Dad. All they have to go on is the codename “Barrel Titor” (Suzuha’s last name “Amane” is from her mother) and the pin her Dad had, labelled “OSHM***A 2010”. Suzuha never met her Dad, and only knows what was in his will.

Later, back at the lab, Makise turns up Future Gadget #2, version 2.67 – the “Bamboo-copter Camera”, and Okabe admits that Daru gives their gadgets “version numbers” just for fun. Then Suzuha gives Okabe the divergence meter, since he created it. This way he’ll know when the number passes 1%. (It’s still 0.337187%.)

Jump to after 2pm on August 12th, and they’re asking around Akihabara about Suzuha’s pin. At one place Okabe tries to speak English, saying “I am mad scientist, so cool!” which the dub changes to him “speaking jive”… so definitely better in the Japanese. Okabe also admits to Suzuha that while Mayuri is his main focus, he wants to help out the other lab members too.

He’s one mad scientist sunovabitch

Elsewhere, Mayuri has flyers and is saying a kidnapper was wearing the pin. They run from the police.

Checking in with Daru, Suzuha remarks on how much of a tech badass he is. Mayuri says the two of them make “a good match”, though she can’t explain why. Later, they’re having dinner, and Suzuha says she’s grateful for Okabe and the others; she’s glad to have been a lab member. She has Okabe promise to keep the world the way it is in 2010.

Which is when Okabe gets a call. The English street vendor from the other day has remembered a guy who asked about making the pin. Okabe runs off into the credits.

SACRIFICIAL NECROSIS

We start out with Okabe confronting the street vendor, asking what the guy from last night looked like. The vendor says he was round, “like a barrel”. Mayuri remarks how “barrel” in Japanese is “taru” – she knows from watching the Rai-Net anime. It’s otherwise a dead-end, as the pin would have taken a full week to make.

Mayuri schools everyone in Japanese

Okabe considers a “time leap” back to see this guy, as we hit the credits.

It’s now August 11th, 6:35pm, and Makise is still toying with Future Gadget #2. Okabe runs off, and discovers Daru is the guy with the vendor. Confronting him, Daru admits he had hoped to fake something, using a copy of the pin, to give Suzuha some happiness before she leaves.

Okabe protests, no lying is needed, as once Suzuha returns… no. Daru spills, Suzuha’s time machine can only go backward through time, not forwards. It’s a one-way trip.

Daru may have perverted moments, but under it all he’s a nice guy

The next day, as they’re checking in with Daru, Suzuha remarks on how much of a tech badass he is… we basically get the end of episode fifteen again. But now Okabe anticipates the promise, and they talk about her being marooned in the 1970s.

It’s August 13th, 3:07pm, and Daru has the time machine working. Only for Mayuri to notice FG204 labelled on the outside. Suzuha explains, it’s what her Dad called the time machine. And Mayuri puts it together – Future Gadget #204, version 2.31, means Daru (or rather, Itaru Hashida) is actually Suzuha’s father. He’s “Barrel” Titor, aka “Taru” Titor.

Look, I tried to help you out here, in my very first column I said Daru was “short and stocky, looking a bit like a barrel”, which is a really random reference until you get to this set of episodes.

Tears of joy. Soon to be tears of another type.

Suzuha is beside herself with happiness, and the musical score here could bring you to tears as she says she’ll now make her father proud of her. Except Daru says he already is proud. (Here the dub does a great job of that, the original’s more subdued.)

Suzuha says she’ll see them in 35 years, and her time machine vanishes.

And nothing changes. It’s still divergence 0.337187%.

As they puzzle back at the lab, Makise says the “OSHM***A 2010” pin has the initials of their last names. (I’d never have worked that out.) And then “Mr. Braun” arrives, with a letter from someone who’d done him a favour, decades ago. It’s from Suzu Hashida. She died ten years ago.

Okabe reads the letter. It’s June 13, 2000, when Suzu wrote “I failed” over and over and over.

Told you. Changing the past is very hard.

She arrived in 1975 with amnesia, and only remembered her mission in 1999. She doomed everything by not going directly to 1975. Maybe, if she hadn’t been prevented from leaving on August 9th, 2010…? Okabe presses “Mr. Braun” for details, who admits that after writing the letter, Suzu committed suicide.

Incidentally, Mayuri is going to die in mere hours.

In the anime, Okabe now sends himself a D-Mail, saying the message about tailing Suzuha on August 9th was a SERN trap. This over Mayuri’s protests, as his message means this reality will disappear…

Changing the past is very emotionally hard

Divergence 0.409431%.

Okabe leaves the lab and asks “Mr. Braun” about Suzu Hashida. She apparently died about ten years ago, having caught a disease… “Mr. Braun” lives in her old house. She took him in, when his own house burned down. Also, turns out she brought her bike back in both realities. Oh, but her prized possession was this metre, that she would gaze at, wondering “is this number before the change or after the change”, to the point of obsession.

Okabe knows it changed, at least from his point of view. And at 8pm that night, the trains are still running, and Mayuri is still alive. It’s not 1%, but have they changed the world enough?

“Mr Braun” shows Okabe the Divergence Meter

Your answer won’t be until episode seventeen, “Made in Complex”.

Know that in the visual novel, if you want Suzuha’s ending, Okabe can’t bring himself to send the D-mail. He keeps mind leaping back 48 hours, trying to fix things… until after hundreds of loops, Suzuha catches on. And she says she’ll bring Okabe back to 1975 with her, so that he can remember the mission. Roll credits.

Are you emotionally invested yet? There was even a callback there to the time travel forum meeting from episode ten, with the misdirect of a guest writer when Daru was Suzuha’s father. This makes one character ending down, and five more to go. No time machine available, aside from D-mails and a 48 hour mind leap. Any predictions? Please do let me know, if you have the time.

Gregory Taylor
Despite having a very linear mindset, time travel has crept into many of Gregory's attempts at fiction (and non-fiction) writing. It began in Grade 7. If you've been to the future, no spoilers about whether he ever tires of it.

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