An Analysis of Explorer

Translated with permission from lore analyser Ma Yi Jia: https://meici674.lofter.com/post/1ea10181_12d02cff5

* Overall impression: Kurt is a really poor thing. Caring for children begins from caring for their mental health. 

* The accuracy of deductions is not guaranteed. This is just for viewing purposes. Please consider the official developers for accurate lore information.

* Explorer’s deductions is probably the most abstract of all the characters. Even the chronological order in his stories are jumbled up (malicious intent from developers.jpg)

* For easier navigation, View > Show document outline

TL;DR: 

One of the inspirations for Explorer is Swiss-born adventure novelist Georges Arthur Surdez. He was the first person to use the term "Russian Roulette" in books. 

Deduction story analysis: Kurt’s deduction story does not follow a chronological order, but is randomized. The actual chronological order should be 1/12-5-4-6-2-(456)-7-8-9-10-3-12. The brackets signify parts that will be mentioned. 

Plot summary: Kurt accompanied his parents in their travels all over the world, moving from place to place, so he hardly spent a lot of time staying in a specific school. His parents may have argued often, which led to the development of a sensitive, introverted, and avoidant personality. During his childhood, with the rise of the printing industry and the popularity of adventure novels, he consumed a lot of related books, and indulged in fantasies. 

At a very young age, he joined the barracks (I’m leaning towards the boy scouts). He remained as a recruit for a very long time, and gained a sense of social identity through sharing with others the stories he had read. When he completed his service, and had explored outside for some time, his parents believed he should receive an education. Kurt followed their wishes. However, his experience at school was vastly different from the barracks. People mocked his experiences in the barracks, and believed that he fabricated his (actually true) stories. During this period, Kurt’s avoidant personality developed further, eventually progressing from a neurosis to a disorder. After he saw illusions, he chose to quit school, and wanted to earn money as an adventurer (he may have even attempted writing novels during this time). However, he unfortunately got addicted to gambling, and owed debts. 

He had no place to go. On one hand, he indulged within his own fantasies; on the other, he faced pressures from reality. When he heard about the manor, he brought along his favourite adventure novel and travelled to the manor, hoping he could clear his debt and become a true explorer. 

This textual analysis will begin with an introduction of Kurt (translations amended from Gamepedia): 

The adventurer Kurt Frank was born in Yorkshire, England. After his birth, he moved with his parents and immigrated. He went from England to Italy, then to France, and back to England, constantly passing by all sorts of adult travelers. This unique period of experience made Kurt feel like a migratory bird, forming a typical case of avoidant personality. He found it difficult to concentrate, and was fascinated with reading novels everyday about ancient artifacts and expeditions, such as the classic Gulliver’s Travels. He kept surmising that he was a great adventurer.

As an experienced adventurer, Kurt is passionate about exploring the limits of mankind. He did not hesitate to sail across the English Channel, to ride a hot air balloon across old-growth forests, completing seemingly impossible travels. After receiving a mysterious invitation letter, Kurt is about to join this game of life-and-death. There is no question that he is already a renowned master of survival, but he hopes to become the ultimate winner. 

(Headache)

Cleary, this section contained a large amount of information. After considering the clear symptoms of hallucination within the deduction stories, Kurt’s experiences include both real and imaginary experiences. We are not sure how much of his story can be considered as actually having taken place.

Despite that, if we can’t find anything relevant, this textual analysis does not even need to be written. While searching for information relevant to Kurt, we can discover 2 important points of breakthrough. 

Firstly: Avoidant personality disorder 

Secondly:  

Avoidant personality disorder is first recorded in ICD-6. The reference I used was from ICD-10, and the information on Wikipedia is based on the latest DSM. 

From ICD-10

You may skip over the section from here until the part on psychoanalysis. 

You may be asking, what’s the ICD? What’s the DSM? 

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a health care classification system that provides diagnostic codes for nuanced classifications of a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or disease. The ICD is maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO). All health conditions are mapped onto corresponding generic categories together with specific variations, and are assigned with a designated code up to 6 characters long.

In layman terms, it is a systematic classification of human diseases. The earliest proponent of a standardized and consistent disease classification was Nightingale (yes, the lady with the lamp). She had advocated the idea in the 1860 International Statistical Congress. It was widely received, and the first version of the ICD was finally established in 1893. However, no manual was provided before the 6th edition. In other words, the complete set only appeared in ICD-6. 

Another term, DSM:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In the United States, the DSM serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses.

Although the ICD resolved many problems, it lumped both biological illness and mental disorders together. When World War 2 began, the doctors found the ICD inconvenient and unsystematic while checking for illnesses. In response to Legionnaires’ disease, the first DSM (DSM-1) was adapted from the ICD-6 and published in 1952. It can be seen that the study of psychiatric illnesses was highly related to historical wars. Many of the 60 different mental illnesses within the DSM were associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Why are we discussing medical terminologies? Because this is relevant to the era Kurt lived in – human beings are inseparable from their sociocultural context. We need to use the manner in which mental disorders were studied in Kurt’s era to discuss how he developed an avoidant personality. 

The first 2 editions of DSM were largely influenced by psychodynamics, so psychoanalytic terminologies often appeared. That’s right, those are Freud’s. Of course, we are not going to follow his crooked path in discussions about sexual drives. The current psychological community also no longer recognizes psychoanalytic theories. Thus, my analysis is coming as an outsider. Please do not take this as an actual academic analysis. 

Next, psychoanalysis would be utilized to understand Kurt’s past and current mental state. You may skip over this section to read the deductions. 

Firstly, psychoanalytic theory has a few basic tenets:

  1. A person's development is determined by often forgotten events in early childhood, rather than by inherited traits alone.

  2. Human behaviour and cognition are largely determined by instinctual drives that are rooted in the unconscious.

  3. Attempts to bring such drives into awareness triggers resistance in the form of defense mechanisms. Conflicts between conscious and unconscious material can result in mental disturbances, such as neurosis, neurotic traits, anxiety, and depression.

So clearly, Kurt’s psychological issue is an avoidant personality with delusional characteristics: Through fabricating and exaggerating his personal experiences, he makes others believe he is an amazing explorer. To understand the purpose of this, we need to analyse from 3 perspectives: Why the need to fabricate? Why did he choose to be an explorer? What is the purpose of fabricating? (I will touch on this very briefly, otherwise it would be too lengthy)

Why the need to fabricate?

Through self-enhancement and inflation of his self-esteem, he protected himself from harm coming from the outside world. We know that he started fabricating stories in the barracks. As an immigrant or foreigner to a new land, Kurt felt anxious and worried. Through self-glorification, he was able to make others aware of his existence and reduce his anxiety. 

At the same time however, this influenced Kurt’s entire life, and eventually worsened his mental state. An individual’s personality is usually shaped in his youths. I deduce that he joined the barracks at a very young age, perhaps 15 or 16 years old, or even younger. 

Why did he choose to be an explorer? 

As colonies were developed, adventure stories were welcomed by many. Many of the classic science fiction works and horror stories first appeared within and after that period of time. There were also many fantasy novelists in that era (e.g., our dearest Mr. Lovecraft). An adventurer was the symbol of bravery and manliness, accompanied with the characteristic of leading a wandering but smooth-sailing life, an explorer is someone that younger Kurt would aspire to be. 

What is the purpose of fabricating?

To show others the tenacious side of him, to earn others’ support, trust, and love. 

From Kurt’s introduction: “From England to Italy, then to France, and back to England, constantly passing by all sorts of adult travelers.” As a child, Kurt did not gain a regular sense of emotional security from his family. His language barrier made it difficult for him to communicate with others, naturally leading to the development of an introverted personality. Most importantly: adult travellers. A child can hardly distinguish his existence and capability in front of a group of adults (especially in front of male adults). Thus, he craved for an existence that is either equal to, or superior to others. 

The role of an explorer happened to satisfy this fantasy, so he accepted this identity. This defense mechanism is considered as identification, whereby the individual “assimilates an aspect, property, or attribute of the other and is transformed wholly or partially by the model that other provides.”

We can find that, Kurt later did not fear travelling, and instead amplified this behaviour to explorations. In other words, his defense mechanism is inclusionary rather than exclusionary. This is a part of his personality, which we will further discuss later on. 

Kurt may previously have a neurotic disorder, also known as neurosis. The term was used for more common psychological problems with no symptoms of abnormal brain functioning, irrational thinking, delusions, or hallucinations. Individuals do not violate social standards, but experience chronic distress, are self-defeating, or lack the ability to adapt to their environment. 

However from deduction 8, after entering university, his illness worsened. There is a possibility that it had developed into psychosis. This condition is distinguished from neurosis in terms of property (psychosis as a disorder of the mind, neurosis as a disorder of the nervous system) and severity. Individuals with a psychotic illness often behave in ways that markedly deviate from social norms, and often experience difficulties determining what is real and what is not. In other words, a loss of touch with reality. This matches the part where Kurt sees a dragon; it had begun to affect his everyday life. 

Before we talk about the original inspiration for Kurt, we first talk about the deduction story. Kurt’s deductions are very interesting. I will be putting them in the order I have analysed (i.e., 1/12-5-4-6-2-[456]-7-8-9-10-11-3-1/12).

(1/12)

Here we connect two sections together as the introduction of the deduction analysis, to highlight how important adventure stories were in Kurt’s childhood, and that he already had confused his own personal experiences with the story plot (the way in which children play).

We have previously analysed that he spent much of his childhood drifting about. Introversion and language barriers (switching from English to Italian to French definitely involved a process) led Kurt to not have many friends. The nature of children is to play, so while he read, he naturally immersed himself with his imaginary friends. Such a characteristic is an expression of creativity. However, if it extends to adulthood, it becomes an unfortunate beginning for his life.  

As for why 12 is here: It is because this is a recollection of his childhood memories when he became an adult. We will talk about this point later. 

(5)

There may not necessarily be a chronological order to deduction 4 and 5, but I believe 5 can be placed in front in order to highlight the importance of adventure stories in Kurt’s life. We can see clearly from this section that Kurt had attempted to share stories to others and gained a sense of social identity. This suggests that he had entered a place where he could gain recognition: The barracks. 

(4)

The title indicates the beginning of a lie. Yet, I do not believe Kurt had embellished himself with adventure story plots during his time in the barracks. He may have lied to himself sometimes, but they did not have serious consequences. He misses his time in the barracks because the people there treated him seriously. This beautiful memory made him believe that he could achieve something. So when did he start lying? After entering university. 

As for the details within the barrack, we will talk about it after the following image. 

(6)

Regarding the external traits of Explorer and Mercenary, we find that other than Kurt possessing exploration skills (“Explore”), the other traits were not really associated with the military. The description of his exploration skills were “superior survival skills”, and not for marching or others. 

So my opinion is different from analysing Naib. I do not believe he joined a very professional military. In contrast, I believed that he had joined a temporary scout camp for boys or teens. 

Time to supplement with historical knowledge: Scouting

This movement originated from the Brownsea Island Scouts during the Second Boer War. The government believed that they should inculcate military ideologies to children, in case of times of need. (Of course, the nature of these movements are completely different today.) 

Why do I believe that Kurt was involved in scouting? Because for the barracks to be seen as a place with beautiful memories, especially for an introverted, thin, and weak individual, it suggests that Kurt did not experience any traumatizing events there. In other words, he never actually went to war, he never killed anyone. Instead, he only received some survival skills training and had the rare experience to get along happily with people around his age (might be around 15 or 16 years old). 

For a person that drifts about, having friends is such a joyous thing. He told them stories he had read, and learnt to make eloquent, persuasive public speeches. His friends may have even believed that some of his stories were from his own personal experiences. No wonder why Kurt misses them after entering university. 

(2): “Path to education” as the title

However, good times never last. After Kurt left the barracks (and may even have moved houses a few more times), they finally settled down in England and led a relatively stable life. As a result, his father requested him to attend university… it may not be a university, but a high school. Anyway, we can see from here that Kurt may have attended the military camp at an age beginning with “1x”. For a child that did not undergo training and moved from place to place, it is a bit too early, so I believe he may have been very young.

A brief mention of the relationship between Kurt and his father: it is only a guess, but their frequent migrations may be influenced by his father’s work. Kurt has never mentioned his mother, so we cannot infer that their parents divorced. However, it is clear that the person that demanded him was his father, and the words used were very uncompromising. 

An introverted child follows his family over the long-term in moving from place to place. His father treats him rather inflexibly. When he’s alone, he spends it reading books. Kurt’s personality is clearly not accompanied with feminine traits of weakness and docility, suggesting he was not as influenced by his mother. It can be imagined that his parents are not very caring about the child (at least, emotionally), and their relationships may be strained. It is no wonder that Kurt never talked to his parents after experiencing problems at school; instead, immersing himself further within his imaginations. 

(7): “A true hero would never leave his teammates behind”

In the first half of the deduction, the team members were probably the imaginary characters in Kurt’s stories, or the friends in his barracks. In the second half of the deduction, the “people” must be his school classmates. Kurt’s life experience was not a topic that students would be interested about, so it is also not surprising for them to reject and question his stories. Except, this clearly created a blow in Kurt’s self-esteem and triggered his avoidant personality. 

(8)

The failures in his life made him turn inwards mentally, where he began to deceive himself. This was where his delusions became more serious, and he began to lie. The current explorer Kurt was created from here on onwards. The persuasion skills he learnt in the barracks became effective (at first for himself, and then for others). He started thinking and believing he was the great explorer.

(9): “In actuality, I may have seen wrongly”

Western dragons are not a good omen and are considered an existence of evil. It is often the villain in many adventure stories. Kurt had begun to hallucinate; the people that he believed to be dragons may have been his classmates. The conclusion also suggests that he noticed his confusion between what was real and what was not. 

(10) 

After realizing issues within his mental state, Kurt decided to leave this heartbreaking place. He dropped out of school, and may have argued with his family members. This worsened his psychological issues, which eventually developed into a disorder that affected his actual life. (Sentence issues had started surfacing within his diaries, almost giving the impression of disorganized speech)

(11)

Probably after having a fall-out with his family, Kurt went his own way and made speeches by assuming the identity of an explorer. In his introduction, it was mentioned that he sailed across the English Channel, rode a hot air balloon across old-growth forests, and completed seemingly impossible travels… These stories probably circulated around this time. 

Based on his title, Kurt probably really did make certain adventures, but there were other stories that he had fabricated to trick others. Furthermore, because of his mental illness, he probably did not lie intentionally, but his brain believed that he had really experienced those adventures. He may even have written a basic autobiography to boast about his own adventure stories (just like within the deductions), but they were not entirely true. 

At this point in time, he probably disguised his introverted personality into a complete extroverted personality. His survival skills and exploration skills were also accumulated within this period. Of course, this leaves us with many other questions. For example, most explorers rely on sponsors for patronage and make money by delivering results. But Kurt… clearly does not have a specific sponsor.

(3)

As mentioned previously, without money, Kurt began to have an outstanding balance and may have gambled. He eventually owed a huge amount of debt and needed to find a way to pay them. The manor’s invitation was his lifesaver; he clutched at straws and went to the manor, along with his dreams and expectations of clearing his debts. 

And then 

And then! A breakthrough!!! The Russian roulette!!!! (The sudden agitation of a mental patient)

Time to analyse (one of) the original inspirations for Kurt 

A question: Where did the term “Russian Roulette” come from? 

In the story The Fatalist of 1840 by Russian poet Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, a character had gambled with his life by pulling the trigger of a flintlock pistol placed on his head. However, flintlock pistols do not have a spinning chamber, and the story did not utilize the term Russian roulette. Thus, the first person that used the term “Russian roulette” was Georges Surdez. It was mentioned in his 1937 short story Russian Roulette, and the term later became popularized through books. 

Georges Surdez is the inspiration for Explorer Kurt Frank: Born in Bienne, Switzerland, of French descent, he later became a writer of adventure stories. 

(Portrait of Georges Surdez)

How is Georges similar to Kurt?

A childhood marked by moving from place to place, an overbearing father, an intense hatred towards school experience, a passion towards exploration, and a love towards life in the barracks. 

Next there will be a simple biographical introduction for Georges Surdez. It is not difficult to realize the multiple similarities he shares with Explorer. 

Georges was born to a middle-class family in Bienne, Switzerland. His father Eugene was a watchmaker. The family life was outwardly perfect. In the middle of the 19th century, the arrival of the railway turned Bienne from a rural backcountry into a bustling city. Changes also occurred within people’s lives. 

Georges had elder brothers and sisters who were much older than him. He did not have much of an impression on them because they had moved to America while he was still very young. They would send letters and gifts home during Christmas. However, his father was envious of his children’s happy life in America. He was embittered and became dissatisfied with everything around him. As a young man, Georges’ father Eugene lived in New York for four years and remained awed by his memories of the city. Eugene eventually came to Bienne as a watchmaker. After a long time, he was no longer satisfied with his unchanging life. While Georges was still a few years old, Eugene decided to give up on everything he had currently. He brought along his whole family to settle down in a far away country, where he intended to search for a new job. 

However, one thing led to another. Triggered by Eugene’s pursuit of a new mistress or a drunken brawl that attracted the attention of the police, the family eventually moved across the border to a series of French towns. Georges’ childhood was spent with temporary friends in rented rooms.

Different from Kurt… this original was much more disobedient. While he was 3 years old, he secretly climbed onto a huge truck. He toured the town for a few laps before finally being delivered back to his worried parents. At that time, he really enjoyed a series of adventure stories to pass the time. These novels were pocket-sized adventure stories full of heroes, villains, and gunfights. Surdez’s books cushioned him from the unhappiness of his parent’s marriage, but not from his two siblings’ tragic death before he was 6. His elder brother Gilbert died falling from a tree, and sister Blanche died in a sleigh accident.

In 1907, a younger brother was born, bringing his parents back together for a while. However, Surdez’s father could not stop chasing other women for long. Two of his adult sisters intended to emigrate to America. Perhaps believing the break up of the family would be the final straw for their marriage, Surdez’s mother Marie suggested that they all start a new life in America. 

Yet after heading to America, he was mocked by his classmates due to language barriers. He mentioned in a letter: “I [sank] from a fine scholar to a semi-moron, tongue-tied and awkward, the target for jokes and laughter, pushed down to the bottom of the human scale as a peculiar, rather nervous importation from a quaint land.”

There were many destitute soldiers on American streets, so Georges befriended them. From them as well as from the pocket-sized books, he learnt about even more adventure stories. Pulp magazines were also especially popular in America, allowing him to consume a large amount of stories in a short period of time. He started craving for an adventure. 

Pulp magazines were invented in 1896 by Frank Andrew Munsey. This person’s name may be the origin of Explorer’s surname. 

The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which various fantasy magazines were printed. Many of the famous science fiction authors had made their first publications in these magazines (e.g., E. E. Smith, the father of space opera).

He dropped out of school at the age of 16, with his mind full of pulp adventure. Although he had raised his English proficiency to a native standard, his classmates continued to ostracise him, calling him a “dirty Swiss”, “square-head”, “froggy.” His French language proficiency allowed him to join the military. At that time, World War 1 had just started raging. He was considered too young to be dispatched to the frontlines; instead, he worked as a clerk and watched the war from the sidelines. After the war ended, he joined an American timber firm. As a result of work, he sailed for the French colony, and got away from his quarreling family. He even considered joining the Legion, but after experiencing it first hand, realised he was not cut out for it. Due to tax issues, he lost his job, and was forced to return to New York. 

After returning to New York, Georges attempted to earn a living by retelling his various experiences in the colony and by churning out adventure stories to submit for magazine publications. Due to his documentary style, he successfully became a professional writer of adventure stories. During his work, he continued to travel to various colonial settlements and got in touch with the legionnaires to gather more inspiration for his adventure stories. Even after he became a naturalized American citizen, he and his wife went to the French colonies in Africa and the Far East for a year, gathering more stories from the legionnaires. (He wasn’t exactly a serious writer. His writings contained some adult content, you may search for them if interested.) 

Unfortunately, their return was met with the financial crisis from the collapse of the New York stock exchange… Under this situation, Georges bravely continued to be an adventurer, submitted publications to the magazines, and boasted himself as being “very famous in foreign countries” to attract readers. On 30 January 1937 a 1,600-word piece of fiction by Georges called “Russian Roulette” appeared in the magazine; it tells of adventure, gambling, and death amongst foreign Legionnaires in an isolated North African outpost… He may not have ever thought that this fictional game would kill more than a thousand Americans.

10 years later, Georges’ marriage collapsed. His wife moved out to live with another man. Due to his age, he was not enlisted in World War 2, and could not obtain regular military wages to pay for various debts. The stories he had written were widely imitated, leaving his stories no longer valuable. Six years before he died, he published an autobiographical novel of his childhood, but sales were low. Georges went back to the surviving pulps and managed to keep a roof above his head. He eventually died at 49 years old from poverty and illness. Something worth mentioning is that Georges appeared to be a supporter of human equality. He had corresponded with black civil rights activists. However, because his letters are now missing, his actual attitude cannot be inferred. Regardless, the only thing that people remember him by is the Russian roulette; on the night of his death, 22 others who lost the game accompanied him in death.

Kurt’s birthday letter – Diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia

(This letter was not released before Ma Yi Jia analysed it in December 2018, so this section is simply my personal opinion)

I believe that “delusional schizophrenia” is a poor translation. The Chinese birthday letter uses the term “夸大妄想症”. Translated directly, Kurt has delusions of grandeur.

According to the DSM, schizophrenia is diagnosed when the patient demonstrates the presence of at least 2 of the following:

* At least 1 of the criteria must be 1, 2 or 3

  1. *Delusions

  2. *Hallucinations

  3. *Disorganized speech

  4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

  5. Negative symptoms (put simply, an absence of what would usually be present, such as inexpressive faces, blank looks, monotone and monosyllabic speech, few gestures, seeming lack of interest in the world and other people, inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously)

In this case, despite the lack of negative symptoms (meaning, Kurt’s expressions are still considered normal), he still classifies as schizophrenic due to the presence of 1 and 2. Interestingly, there was a term for this form of schizophrenia – paranoid schizophrenia. This term has since been discontinued as of 2013, but the old definition would still apply to Kurt’s era. Paranoid schizophrenia lacks certain symptoms common to the other forms: "disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior and flat or inappropriate affect". Furthermore, in previous editions of the DSM, paranoid schizophrenia was differentiated by the presence of hallucinations and delusions involving the perception of grandiosity in one's beliefs about the world. This criteria is very specific; in other words, it highly coincides with Kurt’s diagnosis.

Another exciting thing is that Kurt shares his first name with a renowned psychiatrist who was responsible for pushing our modern day understanding of schizophrenia. This person was Kurt Schneider. His work is said to have an influence over the current classifications of personality disorders in the DSM-V and ICD-10.

Kurt Schneider was concerned with differentiating schizophrenia from other forms of psychosis. How is psychosis different from schizophrenia? Put simply, psychosis is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, but psychosis can also be present in other forms of mental illnesses (such as depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, and borderline personality disorder). Kurt Schneider devised a system that would later be known as the Schneiderian First-Rank Symptoms. This system contains the psychotic symptoms that are unique to schizophrenia. 

Kurt Schneider also classified schizophrenia as several different types: paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual schizophrenia. However, this system was not perfect. Psychology is an ever developing field, and the reliability of his first-rank symptoms for diagnosing schizophrenia has been put to question. Regardless, this form of schizophrenia – paranoid schizophrenia, although discontinued as of 2013, would still apply to our dearest explorer Kurt Frank.

Alice in the Wonderland Syndrome

(This section again is simply the translator’s own personal opinion, so it has less credibility, please view with caution)

Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS), also known as Todd's syndrome or dysmetropsia, is a neuropsychological condition that causes a distortion of perception. People may experience distortions in visual perception of objects such as appearing smaller (micropsia) or larger (macropsia). In this case, Kurt most likely has macropsia, as he perceives himself becoming small and the environment around him becoming larger than they are. Interestingly, patients with macropsia have noted the cessation of auditory function prior to the onset of visual hallucination, indicating possible seizure either before or after the hallucination. A buzzing sound in the ears has also been reported immediately before macropsia development. This may just be purely coincidental, but there are different sound effects for when Explorer uses his book, be it shrinking or returning to normal size. Additionally, some patients claim that symptoms may be eased if an attempt is made to physically touch the object which appears enormous in size. This seems to parallel how Explorer is unable to interact with the environment until he returns to normal size! 

Another one of his skill may also parallel the physiological feelings that individuals with Alice in the Wonderland syndrome experience while hallucinating. 

While experiencing the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome, the person becomes alarmed, frightened, and panic-stricken throughout the course of the hallucinations. In other words, the fact that Kurt becomes more alarmed to hunters while shrunk (while experiencing macropsia) is a common symptom of people with Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

Alice in Wonderland syndrome also has been linked to 2 stories, which would again serve as a parallel to Kurt’s love of novels and his ability to shrink while reading. The symptom of micropsia has been related to Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical novel Gulliver's Travels (the book that Kurt holds!). It has been referred to as "Lilliput sight" and "Lilliputian hallucination".

The term Lilliputian is coined by British physician Raoul Leroy in 1909, based on the small people that inhabited the island of Lilliput in the novel. The surname Leroy may have a possible connection to the Magician Servais Le Roy in the Forward diaries.

The second novel is as suggested by the name of the syndrome, the 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This could also explain why he was given the A skin Alice. 

(The translator ended up analysing far more than she expected. Apparently there is a wealth of information regarding the parallels between Alice in the Wonderland and mental illness)

Alice appeared to lose touch with reality, seeing things that were not there, and believing things that were not possible. For example, only she was able to see the Cheshire Cat. Whether this relates to the Mercenary’s role in the Forward diaries remains to be seen. 

Another curious parallel is that the Mad Hatter also had a disease named after it, the Mad Hatter Disease (mercury poisoning). The Mad Hatter also demonstrates the characteristics of borderline personality disorder, and appears to see Alice as an important person to him. This again may relate to Magician’s role in the Forward diaries. 

Greek mythology skin – Icarus 
Translated from Ma Yi Jia: https://meici674.lofter.com/post/1ea10181_12e9aa110

(This is not an actual analysis on Explorer, but just extra information on his Greek mythology skin)

Flying bravely towards the sky, but melted by the sun

If one falls weakly, he will be engulfed by the sea

Adventure is like flying without an exit

Icarus was, before his birth, and remains after his death,

The image of man’s disquiet, of the impulse to discovery, the soaring flight of poetry

Mythological allusions:

In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. Icarus and his father attempted to escape from Crete by means of wings constructed by feathers and wax. Icarus' father asks that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea's dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun's heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted, he tumbled out of the sky, fell into the sea, and drowned. To remember Icarus, the island on which his body was buried was named as Icaria. 

Details on the skin:

Firstly is the colour choice. The main colour scheme of Icarus is not red, but blue. Blue and green are seen as second class colours in Ancient Greece, and are not as valued as red, black, and white, which are considered to be the highest class colours. 

Icarus is indeed the only skin within the Greek mythology series (Great Hero, Cerynitis’ Bane, Apollo) that is not linked with any god, and only with humans. It may be because of this that the colour scheme is different. 

Different from the other three, Kurt does not wear laurels, but ivy. 

In Greek mythology, ivy signifies happiness and vitality. However, it also signifies immortality and perennial youth. Icarus fell into the sea when he was in his youths. Kurt also chased after adventures in his youths (I personally feel that this skin design is one of those that works well with his lore).

If someone notices this symbol of an eagle: Eagles were considered the most prominent of birds in classical antiquity, and one of the symbols of the Greek God Zeus. This also relates to the wings of Icarus. 

Lastly, shoes.

Ancient Greek sandals featured a multitude of straps securely fastened to the foot. The soles were made of cattle skin, or of even better quality, and made up of several layers. Ancient Greeks went barefoot indoors, wearing sandals only when walking outside. Slaves and women often went outdoors barefooted. 

(Photo of ancient Greek sandals)

Apollo’s shoes are the ones in the middle. The others (Great Hero, Cerynitis’ Bane, Icarus) have the first type of shoes and are accompanied with armors. 

A brief discussion about the association of mechanical puppets and Ancient Greece: Even though it may sound unbelievable, “robots” already existed in Ancient Greece. 

In 400 BC, Plato’s friend Archytas, the founder of mathematical mechanics, had designed the first self-propelled flying device, a pigeon-shaped machine. In the 2nd century BC, Ancient Greeks invented the first automaton, a movable statue powered by water, air, and steam. 

Records of mechanics in Western civilization can be traced to Homer’s poem Iliad (In Eastern civilization, the Gujinzhu). In it, the god of fire Hephaestus utilized gold to create a set of automated assistants. Thus, the combination of ancient Greek designs and puppets is not weird, but highly fitting. 

(Ancient technology is a lot more brilliant than we believe it to be)

This textual analysis will end here. Again, please consider the official developers for accurate lore information. Thank you for reading so far.

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