Through the trading and analysis of stories, we eventually worked out a series of “rules” regarding The Princess. These “rules” were really just constants we noticed between stories. The rules, I feel, were the best and worst part of the society. They were the best part of the society because they actually provided pretty solid advice for dealing with The Princess and staying safe should she appear. They were the worst part of the society because having these rules made us feel safe. We started to think that just because we’d written these rules, The Princess was somehow obligated to obey them. But, with the number of times these rules had to be re-written, it was increasingly obvious our petty analysis was barely scratching the surface.
The following are the rules in their latest incarnation, taken more-or-less directly from the board (with some fixing and explaining from me).
If you see her, you’re safe if you turn off the game. She has no power if you turn off the game. You can turn it right back on without fear. She’ll be gone. Note that you must turn the game completely off, meaning powering down your console. If you encounter her in a PC game, quitting the application should be enough, but this seems to vary by program so your best bet is just to shut the computer off for a second.
There doesn’t appear to be any video game, or type of video game, in which she straight-up cannot appear. She has strong preferences, but not limits. She only ever appears in video games.
The Princess comes for those who look for her. If you specifically play a game trying to see her, she is very likely to appear. To a lesser extent, simply thinking about her seems to increase her chance to appear. For this reason, she has a tendency to appear to people multiple times.
Her preference for games appears to be largely chronological. She appears most frequently in N64 and PS1 games. Going further back or forward in era, she becomes less and less likely to appear. Her “favorite” game appears to be Ocarina of Time. We have more Ocarina of Time sightings of her than any other game by a wide margin.
Any browser game, online multiplayer game, or game that otherwise streams a significant amount of data from the internet seems to keep her at bay. LANs also seem to hold her off to a lesser extent.
The Princess can absolutely appear even if you aren’t alone. Being with a friend will not keep her away.
The Princess doesn’t always directly appear the moment she enters the game, so be wary. Other signs she’s entered a game are increased load times, music and sound distortions, graphical glitches (especially the failure of graphics to load), AI glitches (especially the disabling of AI) and the removal of text.
Always be aware that The Princess seems to be able to see you, the player, while she is in your game. She has been known to react directly to things players say or do. You can quickly make a situation far worse by saying the wrong thing. If you are trying to establish communication, keep it to simple and innocuous questions.
She can, if sufficiently provoked, kill players. She does this rarely, but this must always be kept in mind, because next to nothing is known about how or why she does it. It does not appear to be related to the amount of time one spends playing. It does not appear to be related to the type of person you are. For now, it must be assumed it occurs at The Princess’ inscrutable whim.
You cannot fight her. Once she begins whatever she does that kills her victims, there appears to be no way to fight back or resist. It is not currently known how she kills players. There is evidence to suggest that something physical appears in the room with the player, brutalizes their body, and disappears. There is nothing that directly indicates “The Princess jumps out of the TV and beats you to death.” This is just a theory.
If you ever, ever get the sense while encountering The Princess that she is trying to communicate with you, be extremely careful. If necessary, log onto this board and ask your fellow society members for advice. You are in a very dangerous situation and it is likely you could trigger The Princess’ kill ability very easily. You could also provide the key to unlocking this entire mystery. Please consider what you do very carefully.
The following theories are wild conjecture and, while often brought up on this board, should not be taken as fact.
-“The Princess can only enter one game at a time.” While this certainly seems likely, there’s no way to test it
-“The Princess steals your soul if she kills you.” All the evidence we have suggests that those she kills are, simply, dead.
-“The Princess is the ghost of Mr. Carver’s daughter.” (My Note: I’ll get into who Mr. Carver is a few parts from now.) There is nothing to suggest The Princess is the ghost of anyone, or even a ghost at all.
-“You can’t just turn off the game. You have to unplug it.” On modern consoles, The Princess has been shown capable of preventing the system from powering down naturally (as this is accomplished by a program and not a simple switch being flipped). In those cases, it is indeed usually necessary to unplug the console. You don’t need to do this for EVERY console, though, and The Princess has only overridden a modern console’s natural power-down sequence once on record.
-“Attacking The Princess’ avatar in a game ‘hurts’ her.” While it does occasionally seem to aggravate her, there is nothing to suggest that The Princess could be injured or destroyed simply by attacking her with in-game weapons.
-“The Princess will be destroyed when someone figures out her true name.” This is just a rumor that got way, way out of hand.
-“I could totally fight off The Princess if she attacked me.” You are welcome to test this theory, but do not expect to be correct.