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A time loop or loop is a physical and temporal resetting of an enclosed area done by the App. These are known to occur in smaller instances such as Battle Zones, as well as larger instances such as the Game. A loop can also refer to the period of time and location that is affected by the reset.
Within the loop
The loop is restricted to an enclosed area, and as such the area outside of loops are not affected by loop resets.
An environment is reset by a loop when specific conditions of the enclosed area are met, namely victory of one party over all others present within the loop. It may also end when no participant is left, such as in cases where an Exception decimates everything within the enclosed area. When a loop resets, the App restores everything within the enclosed space to the way it was when the game started, including memories. However, memories can be retained so long as a connection is formed with the area outside of the loop or through the use of pillars.
For small resets such as Battle Zones, both parties and outside observers of the battle who are registered with the App retain full memories of the fight. Battle Zone resets do not typically incur memory loss since the Summoning Emblem forms a connection to Tokyo, which includes the area outside of the Battle Zone.
In a larger instance, such as 5 Wards of Tokyo undergoing a reset, a powerful wave passes through the minds of all those within the enclosed space, disorienting all affected by it. Those unprepared for this backlash can forget everything that had happened within the enclosed space, though it is possible to remember with enough determination.
In comparison, Game resets that encompass a whole world, also referred to as a Great Flood of Time, typically incur mass memory loss among all the inhabitants due to no connections being formed outside of it. This would especially be true of younger generations who live in Tokyo, who have lived inside the Walls of the city for all their lives. A notable exception to this is individuals with Sacred Artifacts that act as pillars. These Sacred Artifacts have the ability to resist being swept away, as they are deeply rooted in the earth, thus resisting the flood.
Loops happen not only in Tokyo, but in all other Worlds as well due to those Worlds being within their own enclosed area and Walls.
- Surtr's anguish originates from seeing his children, the giants of Muspell, die repeatedly as he watched his World of Yggdrasil experience Ragnarök countless times, their souls unable to be put to rest.
- Michael mentions that the world of Eden has been suffering from an endless flood that once wiped away all lives but now only memories.
Outside of the loop
The area outside of the enclosed looping area is not affected by loop resets. Additionally, nothing from the outside can interfere with what occurs inside, although they may witness what's occurring, as in the case of Battle Zones.
Within Tokyo, a loop is commonly triggered through the death of the Protagonist. As the Protagonist acts as the Game's trophy and end goal for the Representatives, a loop is triggered upon death to bring the Game back to normal. A reset can also be triggered if the majority of the people within Tokyo wish for it. This is commonly seen when Tokyo is under war and the people subconsciously wish for Tokyo to return to peaceful times. Additionally, the destruction of the world (and a loop following it) will be triggered automatically if one violates a taboo. Examples of taboo acts include The Hero touching and entering the Tower of Babel, or attempting to steal the Protagonist and escape the Game.
- According to Smoky God, at least 5,670,000,000 loops have passed since he participated in the Game.
- According to Mononobe, there has never been a loop that the Protagonist graduated from high school, implying that no loop known so far exceeds two years.
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