Quote is Curly Brace, question mark?

Apr 23, 2022 at 2:35 AM
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Hello Internet, welcome to Cave Theory! Cringe reference aside, I just had a major realization that I know someone has thought up before I have, but it is an interesting idea. So, Quote's cap, despite official artwork leaving the plate on it blank, allowing for funny edits to emerge from it, it has been stated by Sue in both the AGTP and the Nicalis translations that his hat has letters marked onto it (or some sort of symbols). Based on artwork for the beta version, it can be deduced that his hat says "Curly Brace", as that was his original name.
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However, this is the current version of Quote we're talking about, and even if his cap does canonically say "Curly Brace" on it, it wouldn't just be because in the game's history, he was called Curly Brace. This is Pixel we're talking about, he wouldn't have thought this far ahead, even if he denies the fan claim that it says "Curly Brace" (source needed if he's ever mentioned it in his BBS). So why the hell am I making this theory thread, then? Well, it's because it isn't that Quote wasn't originally named Curly Brace, but I think, he is a Curly Brace, or rather, that is the name of the robot model both he and Curly are. Let me explain.

Quote and Curly, they're both very similar robots in design, besides the aesthetic, of course. Both are equipped to use weapons in ranged combat (even if given a melee weapon), both can take life capsules to increase their durability against any hostile being that comes to them or anything sharp, they're also both amazingly sentient for a pair of androids, as both are capable of emotion, free will, morals, and even amnesia! If Misery would've wanted to, she could've had their minds wiped with magnets over magic, the fact that she used magic to make them forget the events that happened a decade prior to the events of the game implies they think more like humans than like machines. However, while that can apply to most of the surface robots (like the soldier from the Core's room), Quote and Curly seem to be more compatible with each other than they would with any other robot soldier. Curly was able to transfer her Air Tank to Quote without any problem (and vice versa in Curly Story), and both are able to use pretty much the same augmentations to their combat skills (Turbocharge, Whimsical Star, Missile Upgrades, Arms Barrier).

But what really seems to seal the deal with those two being the same model has to be the Iron Bond. An item seemingly shared exclusively between the two. Now, in the description for the Iron Bond, it is Quote's "tie to Curly Brace, the only warrior [he] would trust his back to." Now, in a story perspective, it makes a whole lot of sense metaphorically. Despite Quote and Curly having barely met in the Sand Zone, he still felt compelled to rescue her from drowning, drain the water from her system, travel all around the Island just to help restore her memories with the help of a mushroom he has slain just to restore her memories of him, only to find out they were there for each other long before in-game events, it'd only make sense for them to team up later on and fight side by side, as partners (that is, if you already know about the Sacred Grounds, but that's another story altogether). But it can also be taken in a literal sense. Quote literally straps her onto his back so they can traverse through Hell together, and seemingly shoot at things without any spoken command at the same time, like, literally simultaneously. While that can just be deduced to just the two of them being controlled by the player, and video game logic, there could be more to that. What if the ability to shoot together simultaneously comes from the two robots using the Iron Bond, the item that is exclusively used between the two robots? With its coloration, it resembles a computer chip, and it could be used as a network transmitter between the two, the two robots become one entity when in combat, sharing the same mind together. They're also able to switch back to their usual selves once they finish their killing rampage, as seen after killing Ballos.
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So this is why I think Quote and Curly are the same model of robot, the Curly Brace model. And that's what makes them unique compared to the other surface robots. But hey, that's just a- Nope, I'm not going to finish that sentence.

Yes, I know Curly Story is entirely non-canon, as much as Tyrone himself saying all bonus content in Cave Story+ is canon.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 2:59 AM
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alternatively: quote trans canon
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:13 AM
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Well, it's kind of a no-brainer that Quote and Curly are very similar models, so they likely have very similar architecture, and are likely to have a very deep technological connection beyond just their ability to mimic human emotions and care for each other. And of course, it's even revealed that Quote and Curly were both sent together on the same mission, so it's reasonable to assume they were both built by the same entity. As for calling them both "Curly Brace" models, I think that's a bit of a stretch. If they both had that name, then why give Curly Brace the name Curly Brace, and Quote the name Quote? That naming logic would seem to make Curly the "dominant" model, which doesn't seem consistent with both Pixel choosing to make Quote the main character, Quote succeeding in some areas where Curly fails, and NICALiS sort of making it semi-cannon that Quote is a slightly stronger fighter than Curly when Misery mentions in Curly Story that Quote "was even more persistent" than Curly before sending her to the Labyrinth. If there is some common model that the two robots are built after, it's probably some shared name that isn't mentioned in-game. For the record, it's really not confirmed what words are actually written on Quote's cap.

For many years, I've had my own personal head cannon that Quote and Curly are able to communicate to each other with their antennas, and that they just forgot how to tap into that functionality when they lost their memories, and would over time slowly rediscover this ability. Expanding further on this personal head cannon, I always theorized that when Curly made her way through the Sacred Grounds but got injured, she instinctually used her radio communications to try to contact Quote and call for help. And without fully understanding it, Quote received this transmission, which is why when he was running out to the edge of the island to jump with Sue, he felt some urge to turn back and go into the Sacred Grounds to rescue Curly. Of course, only a theory.

The Iron Bond theory is a very interesting one. I'm not super keen on the "coordinating" theory with them shooting at the same time, since the credit art depicts Curly having a much different demeanor and kind of concentration than Quote during the heat of battle, but I suppose it's still possible. Even if it's not exactly that kind of coordination, it's still totally possible that the Iron Bond has some other sort of function that helps Quote and Curly communicate better with each other on a subconscious or semi-conscious level. It would also help explain why you aren't able to get the best ending without getting the Iron Bond, a requirement that we've long dismissed as a plot hole or "typical video game logic".
 
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Apr 23, 2022 at 3:25 AM
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If they both had that name, then why give Curly Brace the name Curly Brace, and Quote the name Quote? That naming logic would seem to make Curly the "dominant" model
Tbh, that's the only flaw that destroys that theory entirely. Especially when in Cave Story 3D, Quote's serial number is "PXL-001", which would imply he's the dominant robot between the two (that is, if Curly's is PXL-002, with that logic). Then again, it would be too on the nose if they're Pixel models, lmao.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:25 AM
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That iron bond bit is very interesting. The fact that Curly already has this item means it has an inherent purpose, which obviously would be what you proposed. Maybe it not only coordinates the two together in terms of combat, like in hell, but also draws them toward one another in a time of need through some GPS robo bullshit. Like a distress signal maybe. Robo X is in danger so Robo Y instinctively follows suit in helping out whatever way they can. In that case, it's curly going through Hell.

or something
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:52 AM
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Despite this being a joke,

This theory has supporting evidence.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 4:00 AM
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I'd love to see where Serri said it was joke. Sometimes I don't take her seriously as well... :greydroll:
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 3:01 PM
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Tbh, that's the only flaw that destroys that theory entirely. Especially when in Cave Story 3D, Quote's serial number is "PXL-001", which would imply he's the dominant robot between the two (that is, if Curly's is PXL-002, with that logic). Then again, it would be too on the nose if they're Pixel models, lmao.
What if Curly was PXL-000?

In term, Curly would be the dominant model since 0 comes before 1. ah-ha!
 
May 5, 2022 at 7:40 PM
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It's pretty much confirmed that Quote and Curly were presumably made as a pair (when you give the Ma Pignon to Curly and learn the backstory) specifically for their mission. So yeah, them being the same model with minor differences makes a lot of sense.

If you take Quote's hat saying Curly Brace as canon and try to work with that in the final game's plot, an alternate interpretation could be that it's actually Curly's hat (unlikely, given its style) or that perhaps Quote scavenged the tag and attached it to his hat at some point during their first (semi-failed) intervention on the island. That's also kind of my interpretation of the Iron Bond - it's clearly intended as a memento of what they've gone through together, and it only becomes relevant once its importance is recalled.

That said, if you want to go all out another interesting theory could be to tie it into the red flower/red crystal arc. The Iron Bond does sort of look like a container with a red heart on it - what if it's a window and what you're looking at is some sort of distillation of the former kept inside? In his ramble at the throne room, the Doctor does go on about one of the aspects of the red flowers being to bring out one's latent potential (albeit with horrible side effects), which if we're taking the red flowers to be a manifestation/spread of Ballos' magic does make sense. And we know at least two Mimiga have harnessed said power in non-destructive ways. Quote and Curly did face the previous wielder of the Crown, so there's a clear precedent for how they could have got their hands on it (esp. since we don't really know what Miakido did with its power) and subsequently forgot about its true nature. We don't really know how far they got.

If you go with that line of thought it could very well be some sort of amplifier that allows Quote and Curly to harm Ballos in the first place (for example since it's part of his own essence). Or it could just be a key needed to enter the sanctuary by the same virtue (recognised as part of the power imprisoned within, so permitted to enter). Although a problem with the key interpretation is that Curly enters the sanctuary before Quote does, so unless she has a second key this idea doesn't really add up. But yeah, tons of wild speculation to be had there.
 
May 6, 2022 at 5:58 AM
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I’ve had the same theory for as long as I’ve played the game! Ive also read in the BBS logs that Quote in the beta was a female android, which is very interesting to me!

It may or may not be canon that Quote is possibly trans but it’s a fun headcanon of mine!
 
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