What Could Have Been


??? (34+)

Preceded by:

Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey

Followed by:


Title page number:


What Could Have Been is the eleventh chapter of The Way Of The Metagamer. This chapter features The Metagamer Brigade, as well as some anthropomorphic personifications, and Xavius.

This chapter begins with The Party exiting The Second Party via a stable plot hole, and finding themselves in some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland. The title page for the chapter page contains a mirror-of-things-not-being-the-same-in-the-reflection , and the final fantasy map code appears to be inactive, and as such, Trope-Tan surmises that they are in an alternate timeline without a Final Fantasy Map Code. At this point, the Dawn of a New Day begins, seeming to indicate a plot similar to the plot of the game Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

The Author and Xavius then go to The Authorship Shrine, to have Xavius do something with the remaining shard of the Fourth Wall.

The Metagamer Brigade then continues walking to the right, until they reach a cardboard Apocalypse Shelter, with a machine with a Windows shell. After Bob installs cygwin, Trope-Tan begins "hacking", but is unable to type fast enough. Trope-Tan's hacking eventually leads to the creation of Bash-Tan, the anthropomorphic representation of the Bash Shell.

Using tab completion is suggested to Trope-Tan, who then begins using tab completion. This causes Tab-Tan to appear. Bash-Tan and Tab-Tan go through a musical number, during which Trope-Tan almost finishes hacking.

The story then cuts back to Xavius and the Author, where it is revealed that the Author brought Xavius to the shrine to put the last remaining shard of the fourth wall back on a display pillar, and that the Author cannot do so because the Author would die upon touching the shard. Xavius puts the shard on the pillar, and mentions that it would be easy to usurp the Author in his current position.

Back at the Apocalypse shelter, Trope-Tan is shown to have finished hacking, revealing that the password they were looking for was for a file with their name (trope-tan.tar.bz2.des3) and that by checking variations on "swordfish" she was able to find the password. With Bash-Tan and Tab-Tan, they decrypt the file, finding a folder containing the Matroska video file called "trope-tan.mkv". They open this file, and using tab completion, accidentally open it in ascii video mode, which depicts two stick figures next to a machine on the group, appearing similar to a cash register or some other somewhat stationary device with an input area.

Focusing again on Xavius, after a shaking of the room, the shard falls off the pillar, going through a rube goldberg machine like series of steps, leading to the shard hitting the Author, killing them, leading Xavius to take the place of the author in the author's notes area below, with the username, teh_summariser12. Also, the colors and such of panels become less precise while Xavius is acting as Author. Xavius informs Trope-Tan and co. of the Author's death, and his control. They discuss what to do with the authorship responsibilities. Upon considering making Bob the author, six as yet unknown characters are shown exclaiming that it would be a bad idea. Xavius admits that he does not know who those characters are, and as such cannot write about them. He then transfers authorship responsibilities to Trope-Tan, who changes the art style to that of Create.swf.

After the art style shift, there was a stable time loop x3 combob in which Bob doesn't realize that time moves right to left in the new art style. Trope-Tan and others attempt to find a plot for Trope-Tan to write. Trope-Tan attempts to focus on Bash-Tan and Tab-Tan's romantic thing, but that doesn't make for much plot. Then there is discussion of the photo-dictionary. Then, the comic didn't update for a while. Then, there were lightning bolts under the comic.

In the next comic, the characters talk about the the properties of the current comic number, and Wikipe-Tan is introduced as the explanation for why the other chararcters know so much about the number. Also, Hiatus-Tan is introduced. Xavius demonstrates interest in Diskworld, and personification powers. Trope-Tan demonstrates an interest in Wikipe-Tan. Hiatus-Tan's powers are explained to some degree.

Then audience participation/ask blog style stuff happens. (beggining with a rush adapter being sent in).

Then there is another hiatus+discussion of hiatus stuff, including about the limitations of Trope-Tan's omnicience.