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A Retcon (Retroactive continuity adjustment) is the alteration of previously established facts within the continuity of a fictional work.

EGS is pretty good in this regard, with the vast majority of its strips being unchanged since being posted (which may be related to lot of stuff being planned long before it appears in any strip). Still, there are some cases where Dan decided that it's better to change continuity, and there are others where he is known to have considered doing so. One remarkable point is that he does not try to hide those cases from the readers: in fact, he points them out.

Actual Comic Changes Edit

The Power of Pheromones Edit

Dan's original notion of the effect on pheromones that FV5 could have was a little too exaggerated relative to what was possible in real life, as mentioned in the commentary of the EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-14 ("An Explanation Or A Complement?"). He later decided that they are not powerful enough to overcome Sarah's heterosexuality and the EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-30 ("Stupid Lunch Trays Make It Impossible To Tell That They're Walking") was changed so Sarah and Elliot did not actually kiss. The Original version[1] is still linked from the commentary.

It also wasn't powerful enough to overcome Susan's ... well to make Susan behave out of character in the EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-27 ("Affection From The Hammer Queen") and call Elliot "cutie" and "honey". Although this may also be related to overall deepening of Susan's character. Again, the original version[2] is still linked from the commentary.

Narration changes Edit

There are cases where narration was added after Dan realized (based on reader reaction) that something was not as obvious as he thought.

  • The EGS Main Story Comic for 2018-09-21 does not take place immediately after the EGS Main Story Comic for 2018-09-14 chronologically; Diane was in class since the previous comics in which she appeared in the present and did not skip class. Also, the former comic takes place in a hallway as opposed to somewhere with a mirror. Apparently, the original strip fostered both of these misconceptions in some readers so, in addition to the aforementioned narration, Dan darkened Diane's reflection in the first panel. The change was probably done on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 7:33:26 PM GMT, based on the file timestamp.

Canonicity Changes Edit

Matt and Rat Edit

There is not supposed to be any fourth-wall breaking stuff in canon (outside Q&A, which is considered separate canon status), but technically there is. Specifically, Dan put in Matt and Rat, his characters from an earlier comic, and made them refer to their fictional status. When Dan revisited these strips to provide commentary he opted to not actually change the comics themselves, but instead refused to acknowledge them being canon in the commentary[3] and later pretended panels with them don't exist.[4] Earlier, Dan declared that some time after their last appearance, they got treated for their shared psychosis and became productive members of society.[5] Whether Matt and Rat should be considered canon or not is debatable but for the purposes of this wiki, they themselves are considered canon while their ideas being valid in universe are not considered canon.

Temporary Changes Edit

For several hours (judging by timestamp in filename, between Fri, 11 Mar 2016 20:29:02 GMT and Sat, 12 Mar 2016 02:51:39 GMT) the comics on EGS Main Story Comic for 2013-01-21 lost last three panels. The commentary still referred to missing panels, so it didn't seemed like deliberate change. Because Dan referenced the gauntlet on that day's NP, SeriousJupiter noticed the same day. (current (fixed) image, shorter image, original image.) Dan's reaction [6] on being told about the missing panels was "Oh carp. It’s because I’m a dummy and tried to remove an outdated update schedule message and didn’t upload the double-sized version. Fixing ASAP, thanks for telling me." (mentioned in same thread by Scotty).

Out of Continuity Canon Changes Edit

Copying enchanted forms Edit

In what Dan refers to as a speed record for retconning, the EGS:NP Comic for 2017-07-19 was published and just few hours afterwards declared to contain an obvious continuity issue and therefore be retconned out and replaced with EGS:NP Comic for 2017-07-21 with a different explanation.

Name-based affinities Edit

In rare cases of retcon which does NOT leave original behind, wording on EGS Main Story Comic for 2019-04-10 changed after multiple people pointing out how unfair it would be to trans people. The relevant changes are:

explicit mention of "strange names" in panel 1: originally, it was just "affinity based on your name"
in panel 2, "solid no" changed to "usually no" and "gives power to particular names" changed to "sets off magic's future irony sensors"
in panel 3, "applicable" changed to "really on the nose"

Dan also mentioned he will be adding another page of clarifications after this one which wasn't planed originally.

Ideas/Backstory Changes Edit

Elliot's Inner Demons Edit

Originally, Elliot had a lot of pent up rage that could be unleashed though a special move, making him significantly more powerful, but kinda crazy and out of control.[7] These "inner demons" were mentioned in 2002,[8] but later explained out.[9] Then Dan forgot he already explained it and after getting the question again he again answered it.[7]

Melissa Edit

When Melissa first appeared,[10] she and Justin had simply gone out on one date and she'd become obsessed. Later, Justin's story evolved and with it also Melisa's role (also, Noah appeared).[11] The whole backstory was hinted at, mentioning that it's a retcon[12] and finally fully explained in the EGS Main Story Comic for 2011-01-31.

Ellen's Depression Edit

While Ellen had a pretty unhealthy lifestyle before starting school it could have been worse as it is possible she would have turned out to have been suffering from depression[13] before Dan dropped it due to it being too significant of a tone shift (see the commentary on that page).

The Skull Haunting Grace Edit

Grace was haunted by skull around the time of Painted Black.[14][15][16] In a commentary, Dan admitted he doesn't remember what was that supposed to represent in the original vague plan.[16]

When the skull appears for the last time,[17] it changes into creature Grace can hug,[18] later confirmed to be a Lespuko.[19]

It might've been Grace's Lespuko parent, or maybe her Lespuko side she merged with (her form changed when the creature disappeared).

Painted Black Changes Edit

Painted Black was the first story EGS was planned to have: everything before that was setting up for it. Dan provides a whole storyline about how it changed from the original ideas to how it actually looks.[20] He doesn't mention an exact timeline, but it is possible that some changes were made while the arc was already running; the secrecy of everything could've masked a lot.

For example, the explanation provided in Shade, part 2[21] was later referred to as "the version of the story for people not in "the need to know"",[22] but the differences between that and later version might've actually be what of backstory changed in the meanwhile.

Magus intervention in Sister Edit

The Sister story arc originally involved TF Gun breaking on it own, Tedd zapping Elliot[23] just because he was angry, Grace coming up with the wall-of-text plan by herself[24] and the disturbingly convenient location of the Dewitchery Diamond in a ridiculously low-security facility just being a coincidence.[25]

Tedd later noted how weird the TF Gun breaking was.[26] Magus was retconned to have been following Pandoras plan for the whole thing: breaking the gun twice,[27] influencing a lot of people to follow that ridiculous plan and, with the assistance of Sirleck, bribing the guard[28] which presumably would explain how the diamond got on display.

To repeat, the timeframe of events was: 2002, the Sister arc takes place; 2005, Magus appears and is retconned into having role in Sister; 2010, the first direct mention of that role is stated; 2017, almost a full explanation is given.

FV5 Edit

In the EGS Main Story Comic for 2015-06-08 Dan mentioned that he overdid the FV5 effect on Ellen in the EGS Main Story Comic for 2008-04-11 ("An Unexpected Complication") and since then has been using the same effects in the sketchbook, but that it's not consistent with how FV5 is supposed to function.

This is not completely clear, but it likely means he will start drawing FV5 Ellen with smaller boobs. Dan being Dan, he talks about it instead of leaving it be and maybe hoping people will blame it on art change.

Hammers Edit

When Dr. Germahn explained the Hammers for the first time in the EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-03-13 ("Remember: REAL Hammers Do REAL Damage"), he mentioned that they can't be used if the situation is serious. Obviously, the situation Susan and Nanase were in in France was serious, so it seems like a retcon that they could use them then.[29] Note that it can be argued that the mugger didn't do or say anything offensive towards women, but the explanation was definitely retconned.

Carol Edit

Carol being Sarah's sister wasn't planned. That's the real reason behind Elliot not recognizing her in the EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-11-05, as explained in that comic's commentary.

PTTAOLUTASF Edit

PTTAOLUTASF was possibly retconned twice - unless the first "retcon" was planned from start. When it first appeared, it was just jokingly underfunded and low security.[30] The commentary from October 20, 2014 still talks about it that way, presenting that as the reason Tedd was able to get in so easily. However, a comic from 2010 mentions that Sirleck bribed the guard (without specifying what was the bribe for).[31] This suggests Tedd got in because of the bribe.

The second retcon is that the facility is actually a trap.[32] It's not supposed to prevent people from getting in - it's supposed to catch them when leaving with any artifacts - and it deliberately looks even less guarded than it is. Note that in this context, the bribe might've been for putting dewitchery diamond to display.

Susan's dark hair Edit

Judging by commentary on EGS Main Story Comic for 2017-12-08, that show with hair color during Susan's awakening on EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-07-07 was originally supposed to be just change of color, but later Dan decided that instead of giving Susan special boost spell, he will make it that her hair is STILL blonde on genetic level[33] but is colored black by magic stored in it.

... this raises interesting question which is unlikely to be answered in comics or even just by Patreon pinup unless Dan becomes significantly more comfortable with fanservice ... and maybe not even then as it's likely Susan shaves herself.

Idea/Backstory Changes - Partially Revealed Edit

Mrs. Kitsune the traditionalist Edit

Mrs. Kitsune was originally supposed to be more stereotypical, as revealed in commentary for EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-01-11 ("Aw, Well Isn't That... Wait, What?"). While none of her behaviour was retconned (and probably wouldn't be), her motivation became more complicated. What could originally be just a stereotypical Japanese mother wanting Nanase to do nothing other than study and then marry and become a homemaker[34] might now include Mrs. Kitsune not being sincere in her attitude towards Nanase and likely involve her knowledge about secret stuff[35] and/or her opinion on her sister Noriko Verres.[36]

Possible/Unconfirmed backstory changes Edit

Liz Gets Magic Edit

Liz seems to get magic during Marker based on Pandora's thoughts in the EGS:NP Comic for 2016-08-26 ... However, the fact that there was nothing about her having magic in earlier comics which happened chronologically after that one would suggest otherwise. On the other hand, Liz isn't featured on-panel enough for this to be a problem ... probably ...

Diane's role in Justin's backstory Edit

In EGS Main Story Comic for 2005-08-16 ("Requiem for Dreams of Love") a girl who looks like Diane appears to be outing Justin. This is never acknowledged later and The Legend of Diane implies that the worst thing she did to him was to call him things like Nanase's defective male companion in Intro to South.

Note that this can be explained without retcon: the page is likely supposed to show people talking about him being gay. The main blame of outing him is on Melissa and her sister. Even if Diane told that to someone who didn't heart it before, unless she was quite high in the information-spreading tree or particularly active in spreading it, her contribution would be minimal and hardly worse than calling him things not just once but presumably all the time.

It would only count as retcon if Diane was supposed to be significant part of outing and we have no proof for that.

Mrs. Kitsune's hatred of lesbians Edit

Nanase once said that her mother is sickened by homosexuality[37] but later she merely expresses comtempt towards Nanase seeing her relationship with Ellen as more than a phase.[38][39] This can be explained by Mrs. Kitsune lying about her feelings (see above) and either not realising that Nanase is a lesbian or wanting Nanase to fear her but later realising that she went too far.

Pandora's purpose for helping Magus Edit

Magus once said that Chaos wouldn't have helped him if she didn't want him to be free but only wanted to be entertained by uncertainty.[40] This suggests that she had always planned to use him for something, and only thing she used him for was to make Edward Verres kill Abraham.[41] Pandora's later thoughts, however, imply that this was an impulsive action[42] rather than something planned for two years. This would mean that Magus was wrong. On the other hand, she told Adrian that she predicted she won't be able to convince Magus to kill Abraham.[43] Then we have her warning to DGB which seems to suggest different plan[44] ... and the fact that future conflict between DGB and Magus is likely.[45]

To conclude, options are:

  • Pandora's motivation was retconned
  • Pandora's plan involved something which didn't happened yet
  • Due to her clairvoyance and age, Pandora's "impulsive action" may involve two years of plans (note that it's really not clear how much she predicts)
  • Due to Pandora being unstable (crazy), her motivation is actually changing in complicated way without any retcon (note that her memory might not be reliable ... or at least she can lose focus[42])

References Edit

  1. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-30 ("Stupid Lunch Trays Make It Impossible To Tell That They're Walking")
  2. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-27 ("Affection From The Hammer Queen")
  3. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-05-30 ("Wow... Freaky")
  4. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-12 ("Hm? Say That Again?")
  5. https://web.archive.org/web/20130415185529/http://www.formspring.me/DanShive/q/233324136087167409
  6. egscomics tumblr post ID 140887787463
  7. 7.0 7.1 EGS Main Story Comic for 2011-07-08
  8. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-04-14 ("Nanase VS Elliot")
  9. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-02-04 ("Trying Too Hard To Realize The Camera's Still Rolling")
  10. EGS Main Story Comic for 2003-03-07 ("Meet Melissa")
  11. EGS:NP Comic for 2004-05-13 ("Not A Date At The Mall - Part V")
  12. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-12-31
  13. EGS Main Story Comic for 2003-07-16 ("One Mystery Solved...")
  14. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-03-18 ("A Nightmare And A Greeting")
  15. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-09-11 ("Recurring Nightmare")
  16. 16.0 16.1 EGS Main Story Comic for 2004-01-14 ("Haunted Grace")
  17. EGS Main Story Comic for 2004-08-28 ("Grace's Dream, Part I")
  18. EGS Main Story Comic for 2004-09-01 ("Grace's Dream, Part III")
  19. EGS Main Story Comic for 2016-06-08
  20. EGS Main Story Comic for 2004-07-07 ("In the Beginning")
  21. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-03-17 ("In The Shadows Lurk The Nightmares Made By Man")
  22. EGS Main Story Comic for 2004-03-01 ("The Purpose Of Grace")
  23. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-06-09 ("Oh Boy... Or Girl?")
  24. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-07-08 ("Elliot Is Probably Saying What Many Are Thinking")
  25. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-07-26 ("Disturbingly Convenient")
  26. EGS Main Story Comic for 2005-02-07 ("Holy Cr- Oh, False Alarm. They’re Everyday Students.")
  27. EGS Main Story Comic for 2017-11-22
  28. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-08-09
  29. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-05-28
  30. EGS Main Story Comic for 2002-07-26 ("Disturbingly Convenient")
  31. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-08-09
  32. EGS Main Story Comic for 2018-03-05
  33. EGS Main Story Comic for 2017-12-06
  34. EGS Main Story Comic for 2007-03-13 ("No Cookie For You")
  35. EGS Main Story Comic for 2009-12-01 ("Secrets, Secrets And More Secrets")
  36. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-01-28 ("Cousin Family Tree")
  37. EGS Main Story Comic for 2003-07-30 ("Tearful Acceptance")
  38. EGS Main Story Comic for 2010-01-11 ("Aw, Well Isn't That... Wait, What?")
  39. EGS Main Story Comic for 2011-08-19
  40. EGS Main Story Comic for 2007-05-08 ("Magus Fails at Division")
  41. EGS Main Story Comic for 2009-11-11 ("Monster")
  42. 42.0 42.1 EGS Main Story Comic for 2017-08-14
  43. EGS Main Story Comic for 2009-12-18 ("Raven Family Reunion")
  44. EGS Main Story Comic for 2007-01-10 ("Opportunistic Child of Chaos")
  45. EGS Main Story Comic for 2018-6-11
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