Thank god the thread was revived!
I love talking about .flow and there is always something that leaves the radar like the excessive plant imagery few people have talked about.
I think the empty boxes represent like 3 major things that make Sabitsuki a human being.
I kind of interpret her dropping the effects as dropping her identity / memories behind (therefore Rust) so the empty boxes would have to be the deeper, locked down artifacts.
Not a memetic thing like the effects, but more of a thing that marks Sabitsuki deep down, even if she's not really her (Rust), she's still Sabitsuki.
Let's call it a "Sense" maybe.
The first empty box (the womb) of course represents her birth, the disease & the parents that she never got.
The second empty box (the mouth) probably represents some sort of social exclusion as some pointed out.
I can't really decipher most things from the school because its just "Sabi had trouble in school" but from what i saw from most of the area it does have a theme of exclusion / struggle for acceptance (You see a lone Sabitsuki with a uniform in a sort of…depressed pose) but the most confusing thing is Smile.
Haven't seen much theories on Smile's whereabouts and his lack of potassium (kudos to anybody who misheard his phrase as that) but i will try and lurk deeper.
The third and last one, the tube, is yes, indeed the one that sort of…"broke" the story you shall say.
My friends immediately started wild mass guessing when they saw her in a jar, saying Sabitsuki is a cyborg and Rust is just literal or some weird shit.
Really made my head wrap around.
The interesting thing is that its a teen Sabitsuki, not a child one.
Perhaps a cure or her vision of her "right/perfect" self or something like that?>>12041
I find your theory really interesting, but one part that i always found interesting is, right before you enter the room with the Sabitsuki in a jar, you meet a (i think it was sort of rusted/with-a-kaibutsu-like smile) Sabitsuki inside a cage.
I suppose that must represent the rusted self or the disease.
I don't know if it means anything, but with the heavy plant imagery the game has, the vines near the tube do spark my intrigue.
Anyways, im probably going to do a follow up post later, since i'm tired.
I still have to find the rest of the things linking the empty boxes together.
Also, one interesting tidbit, i played .flow 0.03 and a thing i noticed is that the game seemed to have a way different vibe, it didn't seem to have the "Rust" thematic, even though the character's name was still Sabitsuki. (and we all know what that kanji means)
And yes, to the poster way up above, those 4 locations were actually the first ones, that was a nice find.
I really do love looking at the logistics and the simple things when looking at a story.
In MGS2, for example, Raiden (the main character) was supposed to sneak into a offshore plant by underwater infiltration.
The fences were cut, and Raiden did not bring any gear.
How was he supposed to get in?
We later learn that another operative (Snake, the main character of the 1st game) has cut the fence.
After you learn a huge clusterfuck conspiracy that the mission Raiden was going through was a simulation of the events of the first game and that Snake was not a part of the simulation
one wonders how Raiden could have gotten past the fence, and with the heavy surreal imagery and plot holes nearing in later the game, one might theorize that it was all a VR simulation.
At least 'till MGS4 came.