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Adventurers, for obvious reasons, never tell.

Landers, very conveniently, never ask - or never ask too much.

Not even the ones depicted as knowledge-hungry.

Not even when Adventurers let slip terms such as "NPC", "real life/world", "game", etc.

Yes, Landers can be very curious sometimes, but I don't remember hearing them asking embarassing questions about the Adventurers' world, questions that may lead to the unspokable topic. Not even Regan, Lenessia, or

Rudy.

Are there, in the Log Horizon franchise, Landers which [discovered | were told | figured out | whatever] about Elder Tale?

Do some of them know the "uncomfortable truth"? I.e. that, in the world where Adventurers come from:

  • "Adventurers" are not "Adventurers" at all, they don't have special powers, they just played a game in which they killed monsters for fun, sitting on a chair and clicking buttons on a machine
  • Theldesia is just the fictional setting of that game, where Landers are fictional, computer-controlled characters.

It would be interesting to see how they reacted to this shocking revelation.

Note 1: I only watched the two seasons of the "Log Horizon" anime. If the answer would contain spoilers for additional material, please direct me to that additional material (if it is available in English, since I don't speak Japanese).

Note 2: just realize that "Adventures don't treat us like real people" is necessary but not sufficient for what I'm looking for. This because realizing this is not so hard: in fact, before the Catastrophe, Adventurers did not look like real people to the Landers as well (so probably the "Welcome to the village of Arb" joke in season 1 episode 5 could be true also from the Landers' POV). I'm looking for at least a Lander who knows something like "Adventures don't treat us like real people because they used to see us as fictional characters in a game, the so-called heroes were just playing make-believe to escape boredom". This is a completely different animal.

Note 3: The fight between Papus and Elias Hackblade goes near to what I'm looking for, but I still don't think that's what I'm looking for. Papus says to Elias that he (Elias) is fictional, Elias is horrified, but it's not clear if he's horrified by the revelation, by that ugly monster or by the magic the monster he's casting on him. Anyway, Kanami treats Elias as real, but then the scene is cut and we don't know what happens next (at least in the anime). According to the wiki entry for Papus (beware of spoilers!!!), he has a special power that causes Landers to believe they are fictional. I don't care about what the Genius think about Landers, and I don't care if Landers are fictional or real people. I care if there are Landers who will believe what the Genius say, and if this will bring them to discover that Adventurers were just roleplayers, and how this will change their relationship with Adventurers. (Note that Elias is a perfect example of Lander that did not react or ask questions when Kanami and her friends used words like "NPC", "playing", "game", "real life", etc. No, I don't think he already knows the truth about Elder Tale just because he's on the Elder Tale box).

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I've watched the Log Horizon anime twice, but I haven't read the original material. It's been awhile, though. What I remember is that the Landers (People of the Land) have memory of times before the gamers got trapped in their world, and even before that. In their understanding, there was no pre-conscious "NPC" existence, just a continuum of life. They knew the Adventurers were different, in that they didn't seem to die permanently. But as far as they realize, they themselves have not changed.

Whether that understanding is an actuality or not in unstated. It could be implanted/programmed memories of the Landers. Another possibility is that the Adventurers had a limited understanding of the "MMO" world, as if they had only been experiencing it in a sort of "slide show" or veiled fashion instead of the full world it had actually been.

::add:: A year after originally answering, it occurs to me that the most likely possibility is that the game itself had been incapable of representing the true agency of the "NPC"s. The complexity of modeling actual intelligence for these in-game characters was simply beyond what could be programmed.

It is possible that the character whose name you ghosted now realizes that the Adventurers had not thought of his people as "real". I think it likely he has greater insight due to his focus on becoming like them. But I don't remember the anime series explicitly stating that anyone but the Adventurers now realized they had previously existed as part of a game.

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  • Upvoted because I like it (especially the "slide show" metaphor), but not accepted (yet) because first I wait for other possible answers. In the meantime, I added two extra notes to my question to clarify what I'm looking for. – Teem Porary Nov 12 '17 at 14:48
  • Since a long time passed witout other answers, I mark this as accepted – Teem Porary Oct 28 '18 at 16:34
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    @TeemPorary Being notified of your acceptance, I reread this page. This led me to adding a new paragraph which seems a better possibility than those listed before. – RichF Oct 28 '18 at 18:08
  • It was noted that Shiro was an Arch Mage, and that there were record of his exploits going back 50+ years or something like that. Because the in game days were only minutes instead of 24 hours, the years Shiro played the game translated into 50+ game years of time. There must be some truth to the worlds being separate but connected via the game. – Ryan Dec 4 '18 at 16:34
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Can't reply to some of the other comments but we can't forget that the translation system could be shielding the Landers from the abnormal phrasing like Game, NPCs, Real Life, Other World, etc.

Translations could be:
Game = before world fraction.
NPC = Landers.
Real Life = past Life.
Etc

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  • Nice theory, I didn't think about it! – Teem Porary Dec 4 '18 at 20:43

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