Wadjet Eye Games

Author Topic: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)  (Read 7546 times)


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So, I just did my first run through of the Blackwell titles, and I must say that I find the story to be absolutely enthralling. It’s not only a good take on the idea of mediums and the spirit world but an interesting spin on the detective Noir type genre as well. The puzzles were intuitive and challenging without crossing into the territory of having to perform the dreaded pixel hunt. All in all I’d probably rate the game as on par with the first of the Broken Sword titles in terms of just how good the story was.

That said there were a couple of things that stood out to me which very well might cross into SPOILER territory, so for those reading this I’d just like to give you the opportunity to stop reading it before I go on with this line of thoughts.
Now I didn’t actually go through the game with commentaries on, so this very well might have been answered and I just didn’t get the chance to hear it. But I’ve been wondering about the science behind some of the things that happens with both Joey and Rosa/Lauran. I suppose the best place to start is with Blackwell Legacy. There’s not a lot to say on this subject but this is where we were introduced to Joey as a character and some of the rules at which he operates when he’s around Rosa or Lauran. More specifically we learned two things that are kind of my main focus in this line of thoughts.

The first is that Joey emits a sort of electromagnetic pulse around him that causes waves of all sorts to be scrambled. The most common of these waves are radio waves, but has also been known to interrupt cell service, satellite frequencies, wireless routers, and infrared (Which most remote controls operate under.)
We also learned that Joey has a range of about 30 feet that he can move away from his host before he’s blocked by some invisible force. Now this invisible force hasn’t been well defined, to the games credit, but it seems to me that this is more of an invisible leash sort of deal than it is some sort of barrier. This is supported by the fact that Joey acts like he could move further when he’s at the end of his line but doesn’t. (Probably due to the invisible link.)

Now, the first thing that struck me odd in terms of these two facts was that in Deception Rosa has gained a new tool in her investigative belt right at the start of the game. Replacing her notepad is the MyPhone, a handy little device that allows her to surf the internet and make phone calls, a bonafide cell phone as it were.  Now there was a brief sort of explanation as to how this could have worked in that Rosa sent Joey away when she received her first phone call in the game. However during the rest of the game you can pretty much use the phone standing right on top of Joey. There’s also the fact that in unbound there is a small quip from Rosa when you look at her phone on the desk when she says that she has a land line mostly because Joey makes it impossible to have a cell phone. 

This got me to thinking about Joey’s field, and ghosts in general. Mechanically I can understand why the cell phone was implemented; it supplies players with the ability to streamline their research, however thematically I think it was partially an oversight. Joey’s field has always been vaguely described, in Unbound and Convergence it was made out to be a larger field of influence. The radios in both these games were described as never working with Joey around which seems to say that no matter where Joey was in the apartment that the radio was unable to be used. This went the same for the remote control on the couch. If those were the only descriptors of Joey’s field you would think that his field covered a pretty large area. However take into account that Joey said that Lauren wouldn’t let him near the television when she was watching Days of our Lives, and that Joey had to be right up on the wireless router in order for it to go down then you would assume that his field was a lot smaller.

So the question is does Joey have some control over this field or does it affect different signal types in different ways?

This comes back to the cell phone, which is a bit of an explanation in itself. Modern day cell phones can usually operate under three different types of signal. The first is the general mobile phone signal which operates much like a radio signal would, bouncing off nearby towers before being transmitted to satellites. This signal handles phone calls and SMS messaging, and that’s pretty much it. The second and third type of signal has to do with internet usage, and in smart phones can be either EVDO or WiFi respectively. Now if Joey has a variable range all is well and good, but if he effects different signal types differently then he would probably be effecting the ability to make or receive calls on the cell phone quite a bit.

This doesn’t really lead anywhere other than to point out that it started me thinking about Joey’s signal scrambling abilities.

Joey’s movement range has also kind of been on my mind. Or rather what exactly his range means when concerning his host. In unbound we were introduced the mechanic of being able to take control of Joey and do some invisible investigations as long as the host was still around. Now as has been stated Joey seems to have had a range of about 30 feet. However what does that mean to a ghost who can defy physics entirely? Can Joey go thirty feet up into the air, or thirty feet below ground as well? Again I don’t know if this is actually well defined, it doesn’t seem like Joey seems aware that he could in fact fly, he ‘walks’ along the ground at the same level as his host, uses doors rather than just poking through walls and generally seems to follow the same laws as a human would.
But is this because he has too, or because he wants too? More often than not Joey seems to be kind of reticent about the fact that he’s a ghost, which is an understandable position. So it’s not a far cry of the imagination to think that he might just be against using his ghost like abilities to his full potential because he wants to seem like a regular guy. In Deception where you explore Lisa’s place there is a part of her house that goes upstairs and back toward the front of the building. It’s at the top of the stairs that Joey says that he can’t go any further. This is where I question whether Joey has a sphere of influence to work with or if he’s actually on an invisible tether, the fact that he wasn’t able to head back toward Rosa on the second floor seems to suggest a tether to me, and that Joey can’t actually fly or descend.

Another thought is when Joey is apart from Rosa how is information relayed between the two of them, there is no doubt that Rosa and Joey have good team work. But there are parts of the game where information is gained that wouldn’t have been able to be gained by the other member other than talking about or seeing the information. My only real citation with this is in deception when you have Joey listen to Gavin’s phone call so that Rosa can relay that Gavin intends to kill Lisa. Now, it’s possible that I just abused the game mechanics and didn’t have Joey return to Rosa, but it seems to me that Rosa gleaned that information through Joey’s eyes. Just the way that she told Lisa that she was a medium seemed to tell me that there was a lot more going on than she was letting on.
This could be Rosa’s powers getting stronger as was hinted at in Convergence, because I can’t recall a case of anything like this happening in Unbound at all.
I dunno, this is all here say on my part, and just observations I made on the whole. The fact that I’m even thinking about it means that the game stuck with me in some special way. So there is that.

Good job.


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 04:13:12 PM »
I'll preface my post with the possibility of...


You know, it didn't even occur to me while playing Deception that Joey was not interfering with Rosa's MyPhone.  But now that you bring it up, it does make me wonder about Joey's field of interference.

And as for Joey not necessarily using his ghost powers to their full effect, I believe you hit it spot on.  He gets mad when you try to make him go out a window or walk through a wall.  He doesn't necessarily like to be reminded that he is a ghost.  One of the responses (in one of the games, I don't remember which) he has when you try to make him pick something up says something about him keeping his hands in his pockets for a reason, avoiding disappointment.

Since the Steam release of the Blackwell games, I'm currently in the process of playing through them with the commentary on (I've only just started Unbound), but I'd wager that Dave mentions something about the MyPhone interference issue in the commentary.

And as long as we're talking about Joey and the protagonists, did anyone else get the vibe that Joey had somewhat developed romantic feelings for Lauren?  This was kind of the feeling I got in Unbound (Joey getting a bit angry when Cecil and Lauren were flirting, for example).  Some of the things Joey says in the later games in regards to Rosa makes me feel like he wants to remain kind of distant from her, possibly a lesson learned from his experience with Lauren.  But then, this could just be because by now he's realized that he will always outlive his hosts, and he wants to try to minimize the disappointment he'll feel when they die/go comatose.  But also, the relationship between Joey and Rosa doesn't feel quite as close as the one between he and Lauren.

EDIT: I just got to the part in Unbound I was referring to above with Lauren and Cecil, and Dave's commentary confirms what I was thinking about Joey's feelings.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 02:16:56 AM by ericdp »


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 12:17:50 PM »
Just thought I would bring this up-- on Rosa's twitter she had this to say about Joey and her iPhone:

Rosangela Blackwell @RosaBlackwell 11 Aug 10  Reply  Retweet  Favorite · Open
I just got one of those "myPhone" smartphones. They are hard to use with Joey around, but it beats trekking back home to do a web search.

Just thought I might share.


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 07:19:19 PM »
I don't think that Joey can actually control how much distruptance of the waves around him he emits. I'm pretty sure it's a pretty small range, and that Joey just enjoys giving all of his hosts a hard time (in my opinion, about everything) and doesn't like to let them watch TV, listen to the radio, etc. Actually, if you watch some of those silly videos Wadjet Eye put up on youtube, Rosa and Joey DO watch TV together, and Joey's standing near the couch. Now, we don't know exactly how far away the couch is from the TV, but we can presume it's just a few feet.
Actually while I was writing this I thought of another thing. In TBL Rosa comes home and says, "I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a 500 square foot apartment in my entire life" or something along those lines. If that's the case then if Rosa stands say in the kitchen and Joey stands by the door, which happens all the times in the three Rosa games, they would probably be far more than 30 feet away.
Also how is it exactly that Joey knows he can't leave his host. I mean, he mentioned vaguely in TBL that he's tried and failed. But, what happens? Is he shocked like some sort of electric collar? Can he physically not move any further? And he seems to be able to sense when he's getting close, does he start feeling tingly or something, does he hear tiny warning bells?
I think I may just be being ridiculous.


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 09:20:43 PM »
Perhaps Joey is a psychic projection created initially by Rosa's Grandmother, passed through the line by word of mouth and manifested eventually when the girls need comfort like a warm memory, and acts as an avatar for her abilities for reconnaissance in the unknowing. 

The EMI width could vary with the limits the "host" provides according to her experience in this plane of existence.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 09:25:44 PM by DaeSkaarj »


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 03:15:54 PM »
Perhaps Joey is a psychic projection created initially by Rosa's Grandmother, passed through the line by word of mouth and manifested eventually when the girls need comfort like a warm memory, and acts as an avatar for her abilities for reconnaissance in the unknowing.

That is a very good ideia, but i don't think it it possible, i mean, how could he had saved Danny then?


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 06:25:15 PM »
Coincidence?   ???

Joey is recalcitrant to discuss anything to do with him and the story involving Joey forms around the evidence rather than the evidence giving flesh to the subject which Joey bails the tale (no pun intended.)

Although if that is an accurate psychoanalysis for peripheral mental associations I wonder where visualising getting dirty with the Coed stems from...

Dannys' memory of Joey Mallone does give credulity of Joey being an actual person linked to the Big Apple Tree, the apple doesn't fall far, so They say.

After Rosa successfully solved several murders I wonder why the NYPD don't commission her for Cold Cases?


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Re: Observations about Joey and Rosa/Laurens Powers (Possible Spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 03:40:39 PM »
In response to the idea that Joey can control his wave-scrambling powers, my vote is no. I think that based on the scene in convergence where Joey has to get right up close to scramble the wifi and similarly to scramble the radio in legacy that it's a rather small range of interference, probably about the size of his body. Which makes sense because he's only interrupting the space he's "occupying". The reason that Lauren and Rosa are often complaining about things like the remote and the radio is because Joey is always wandering around the house and he's certainly not going to let himself be banned from an area surrounding electronics every time they want to hear the news. It's probably just easier for all parties involved to stay away from those unnecessary complications.
In regards to his range of motion I'd say it's more of a radius that extends upwards, downwards, left, right, etc. I would reckon that Joey can probably move up to 50 feet away from his host but plays it safe by staying close. What happens when he gets too far is unclear, but the best bet seems to be the invisible leash concept: where he'll just be dragged along, probably painfully, with his host.
I'm more curious about Joey's legs/feet. We don't ever see Joey doing anything but standing or moving, so presumably he can't bend his "legs" to sit down or even move out of that position to lie down. It seems to be that he's levitating about six inches to a foot above the ground regularly, and has the ability to float up as high as he likes (as long as he's within range of his host), as we've seen in several of the games.
We know that Joey has the ability to, I don't want to say run, but move at a faster pace than usual. How is this possible? How can he control his direction at all? Floating is presumably something that just occurs, I don't think he's able to really change his physical position, yet he can move in any direction, and can choose to quicken or slow his speed like he has legs.
But he doesn't, right? His body just kind of fades out at around his knees, like all the other ghosts.