The Let's Play Archive

Umineko no Naku Koro ni

by ProfessorProf

Part 185: Letter from a Summoner

This is the last one of the pre-EP4 TIPS. It was printed in a commercial guidebook for EP3 and, as such, parts of it have been intentionally omitted from the excerpt posted on the Japanese Umineko wiki site.

It's probably for this reason that this TIP has until now remained untranslated to my knowledge. I thought it was a pretty interesting one, so I wanted to try translating the excerpt anyway. One line in particular gave me a lot of trouble, though. It's marked with an asterisk and details about it can be found at the bottom. If you know Japanese, please help me fix it.

Letter from a Summoner

The various miracles brought about by magic are literally "miracles" in the human world.
Moreover, miracles in the human world could perhaps be compared to needle ice on a midsummer day.

Needle ice in the summer is already a miracle by itself.
As such, it would be possible to create needle ice under the scorching summer sun by means of a magical miracle.
But of course the ice would instantly melt due to the midsummer sun, and both its shape and the miracle would be lost.
As that would be regrettable, we need to search for magic to create even larger needle ice and to make it last even longer under the sun.

Making the needle ice larger requires vast amounts of magical power.
Keeping the needle ice frozen for longer requires vast amounts of magical power.

In other words, when it comes to magic that causes a great miracle in just an instant, versus magic that persists forever with just a tiny miracle, it would seem at first glance that the former kind is much flashier and superior. However, the amount of magical power required is exactly the same.

In that sense, it has to be said that the latter, more subdued kind of magic called 'summoning' by great magic practitioners, has not been very popular in the history of magicians.


The main fuel of magical miracles can be supplemented with a fuel of madness called magical power.
If that is difficult to understand, it's usually simple enough to think of it like physical strength.
Imagine that in front of you there is a heavy baggage that you're supposed to move somewhere else.

If you simply lift the burden up and carry it as it is, that would certainly require considerable strength and endurance.
However, if you used something like a cart or a lever or attached something to it to get a better grip, you could lighten your load quite a bit.
The same applies to magic.
This is why things like magic circles and catalysts are prepared.

Many of these preparations take a huge amount of work.
That should be no surprise. After all, the preparations are meant for supplementing the missing parts of one's magical power with labor.
Those who aspire to be magicians should not forget this.
Magical power is not only what one was born with. A fanatical tenacity of purpose is also "work" that leads to magical powers.

As an aside, I had no magical talent when I was born.
Nevertheless, I was able to gather enough magical power to call myself a magician.
It could be said that magical power is not necessarily a matter of talent, but rather a matter of how much madness "one can maintain for a long time" as well. *
Particularly those who desire the magical art of summoning which "allows miracles to forever persist upon the earth" should not forget this.


Also, according to my experience, a certain preparation is indispensable for raising the success rate of summoning.

It is what we call a vessel.


A vessel is, in simple terms, a "dwelling" for visitors from different worlds.


Let us return to the matter of the needle ice.
It is only natural that needle ice, if simply left as it is, will melt away in no time under the blazing midsummer sun.
However, one could prepare a cooler box that blocks sunlight and heat and put the ice in there. Compared to when these preparations are not made, the ice should certainly last for much longer even in the midsummer.


The vessel should be appropriate for the summoned visitor.
The more appropriate it is, the more power it manifests.


Those who aspire to be summoners should take an interest in not only training but vessels as well.
For those who think they can accomplish anything with their magical power alone, know that that is nothing but juvenile carelessness.
I would like you to heed your elder summoners and make careful preparations, with not just any kind of passion but the unending passion of a summoner, and perform a magnificent summoning.

I have no doubt that meeting with yet unknown visitors from other worlds will be a most valuable experience in your life.

* The original line reads: 魔力は才能では断じてない、むしろ、どれさけの狂気を"長い時間維持できたか"によって宿ると言い切ってもいいだろう。 I assume どれさけ is a typo and it should be どれだけ but even then it's a pretty confusing sentence for me to parse. For the translation, I just went with my best guess.