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I encountered this sentence in the Cave Story (洞窟物語) game. It appears when I pick up a device that gives me ability to look at a map.

探索する心さえ忘れなければ、いつか外に出られよう。私はそれを願う。

Unfortunately I can’t get the meaning of the first part. Let’s say that the 心 is some kind of willpower. “If I don’t forget my will to explore… at some point I will be able to go out. That’s what I wish for.”

I don’t know. The whole 探索する心さえ忘れなければ construct looks extremely cryptic to me.

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  • I'm more interested in the 出られよう part. Is it potential+volitional or passive+volitional? What does it imply?
    – Jimmy Yang
    Oct 15 '21 at 21:42
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    @JimmyYang I believe this is an old-fashioned way of saying 出られるだろう
    – Angelos
    Oct 15 '21 at 21:56
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It seems you hit a snag with さえ. One of さえ's usages, as explained in Google's definition, goes something like:

《「ば」など条件化の表現を伴って》 後ろに言う事が、その前に言う事だけの条件で満たされる意を表す。

This sense occurs with the 已然形・仮定形 (hypothetical) of a verb and expresses a condition. It works in roughly a similar way to "as long as", and sometimes can also be rendered as "unless" in sentences.

For example, this line means:

メールアドレスさえあれば、誰でも登録できます。
Anyone can log into the account, as long as they have the email address.

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  • Thanks for you answer! So to confirm, the actual meaning is “As long as I don’t lose my will to explore, I can go out.”, right? Does the 心 really mean an endeavor to do something? Does the 忘れなければ imply “as long as I have it”?
    – Glutexo
    Oct 19 '21 at 12:44

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