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Project Mentem

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Project Mentem is a machine created by Ford Pines.

History

In "The Last Mabelcorn," Ford takes Dipper to his private study, where he puts the machine's helmet on Dipper, projecting his thoughts onto the machine's screen, the intent being to block Dipper's mind from Bill's influence.

After sitting in the machine for a while, Dipper decides to put the helmet on Ford in order to find out what he is hiding. When Dipper mistakenly believes that Bill is possessing Ford, he attempts to erase Bill out of his uncle's mind, but the memory erasing gun misfires and hits the computer instead, destroying the machine.

Appearance

Computers

The machine is a combination of computers and screens. In the center is the largest computer. To his right and left are smaller machines with smaller screens, and on top of the main computer are two smaller screens. Below the main screen is a control console.

At the bottom of the main computer, there is a drawer with a plaque reading "Project Mentem." The inside of the drawer is cushioned with a red pillow, on top of which is a helmet that has a bundle of cables coming from its top, connecting it to the computer.

When a person is attached to the machine, their thoughts are projected onto the 5 computer screens. The thoughts take the form of text, images, and sound. On the center screen, thoughts are typically displayed in seven or eight lines that scroll to the right, each at a different rate. Each line is a different sentence or train of thought. In an abnormal situation, the text lines may separate and be replaced by an image (see Ford's thoughts below).

Helmet

The helmet is composed of two parts: the top (where it sits on the user's head) and metal strips (that encompass the user's head). Both parts are brown.

The top of the helmet looks similar to a strainer, as one would use for cooking spaghetti, and it appears to have some rust on it. At the top most part of the helmet, there is a cluster of black cables that lead to the main computer. to the side of the cluster of wires is a small silver switch.

At the back of the top part of the helmet, a piece of metal extends to the base of the user's neck. Four curved pieces of metal stick out of the main piece, with two on each side, resembling a small rib cage. When the helmet is placed on the user, the four curved pieces of metal close in towards the user's face, wrapping around his/her cheeks.

Other Equipment

There appears to be an EKG.

Beside the various computers and machinery, there is a file cabinet. Inside this cabinet is The Cipher File.

Function/Purpose

It can scan one's mind, bioelectrically encrypting one's thoughts so that Bill Cipher can't read them.

Users' Thoughts

Dipper

First Display

  • Line 1: Oh man, I can't believe I'm with the author!
  • Line 2: Gosh, I hope no one was looking!
  • Line 3: Maybe if I cross my legs, no one will notice!
  • Line 4: Kinda kinda hungry, but could also not eat.
  • Line 5: I should really try out the president's key sometime.
  • Line 6: I could probably I could probably rob a bank.
  • Line 7: I miss Tyrone!
  • Line 8: That red bathing suit, man!

Phrases superimposed over the 8 lines accompanied by Dipper's voice saying them:

  • "Oh man, I can't believe I'm with the author!"
  • "Is my fly down?"
  • (sung) "Disco girl coming through!"
  • (three times) "Wendy"

Clips shown:

Second Display

  • Line 1: Ugh, this is so hard! I've been here forever!
  • Line 2: Eeeny meeny miney you.
  • Line 3: Does Ford like me?
  • Line 4: Is Bill indestructible?
  • Line 5: What's his secret?
  • Line 6: Who stole the capers?
  • Line 7: Why does he have to be so mysterious about Bill?
  • Line 8: I can handle the truth!

Superimposed over the 8 lines is written "Scanning Thoughts 15%," above which is a progress bar.

Third through Seventh Displays

The text displayed were accompanied by an audio of Dipper's thoughts. In several instances, the audio of his thoughts were in response to something he said aloud.

Third:

  • Audio (via the machine): I wonder what Great Uncle Ford is thinking.
  • Lines 1-8: I wonder what Great Uncle Ford is thinking?

Fourth:

  • Audio (via the machine): Use the machine, it'll show you his thoughts!
  • Lines 1-7: Use the machine, it'll show you his thoughts!

Outside the machine:

  • Dipper speaking aloud: I shouldn't.

Fifth:

  • Audio (via the machine): He won't know. He's going to tell you eventually.
  • Lines 1-7: Just a peek!

Sixth:

  • Audio (via the machine): The more you know about Bill, the more you can help.
  • Lines 1-7: He wants your help he just doesn't know it

Outside the machine:

  • Dipper speaking aloud: Man, I am really good at rationalizing.

Seventh:

  • Audio (via the machine) repeated several times: Yes you are!
  • Lines 1, 3, 5, 7: Yes, you are!
  • Lines 2, 4, 6: Astute, I would say. Good observation Dipper!

Ford

First Display

  • Line 1: I can't tell him, he's not ready.
  • Line 2: I'm so cl--the grand unified theory of weirdness. [The screen is not consistent, and so the sentence is never pieced together in a steady stream]
  • Line 3: I miss dimension 52.
  • Line 4: I'm sorry Fiddleford
  • Line 5: Crampelter

Shortly after displaying the text, lines 1, 3, and 5 scroll off the left side of the screen while lines 2 and 4 scroll off the right side of the screen. The text display fades out and a video of Bill Cipher replaces it.

Second Display

  • Central screen: A clip of Bill Cipher, with blue flames in the background. The audio matches the clip.
  • Left and right screens on top of central computer: A clip of blue flames.
  • Audio of Bill: Bill laughing.

Third Display

  • Central screen: Stanford lying down covered with a blanket, and covering his ears with a pillow. (This is possibly a memory of a restless night).
  • Left screen on top of central computer: An image of part of the portal.
  • Right screen on top of central computer: A clip from "A Tale of Two Stans" where Fiddleford tells Stanford to destroy the portal before it destroys everything/everyone.
  • Audio of Fiddleford: Where are these ideas coming from? Who are you working with?

Fourth Display

  • Central screen: A clip of Stanford underlining "Trust no one!" in Journal 3.
  • Left screen on top of central computer: An image from one of the Journals of the phrase "I'm losing"
  • Right screen on top of central computer: An image from one of the Journals of the phrase "my mind!"
  • Audio of Stan: My brother is a dangerous know it all.


Fifth Display

  • Central screen: A clip of Ford talking to Dipper, standing by the computer, from earlier in the episode. The clip matches the audio.
  • Left screen on top of central computer: A close-up image of Ford's eyes.
  • Right screen on top of central computer: A close-up image of Ford's eyes, but his head is a profile view.
  • Audio of Ford: He would trick or possess anyone.


Sixth Display

All three screens match the audio.

  • Central screen: Ford in the mindscape extending his hand
  • Left and right screens on top of central computer: A clip of Ford's mouth while he's talking.
  • Audio of Stanford: It's a deal. From now until the end of time.

Seventh Display

  • Central screen: Bill in the mindscape extending his hand, which is glowing with a blue flame.
  • Left and right screens on top of central computer: A clip of Bill's eye with blue flames taking the place where yellow would be.
  • Audio of Bill: Just let me into your mind Stanford.

Eighth Display

  • Central screen: A clip of Ford and Bill shaking hands. The clip matches the audio.
  • Left screen on top of central computer: (This image is indistinguishable on the screen as only part of the screen is visible to the viewers)
  • Right screen on top of central computer: An image of Bill.
  • Audio of Stanford: Please, call me a friend.

As Ford says "a friend" the top two screens turn off and the central screen is a close-up of Ford and Bill shaking hands, with both hands glowing in a blue flame.

After Ford's line the central screen is a clip of Stanford possessed by Bill with a matching audio of Bill laughing.

Sightings

Season 2

Trivia

  • "Mentem" is the Latin accusative form of "mens" (mind).

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