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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Yeah, not everyone thinks as way too hard about the topic as we do. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:41 pm 
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It's a version of the A.I. theory, innit?

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:44 pm 
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Ah, just happened across that and wanted some clarification. I often find myself thinking that somewhere there's a terribly obvious clue that we're all haplessly stumbling over, and I thought for a moment that that may be it. Although that would be suitably clever.

Oh, and now that the wiki is pretty much public knowledge (at least for those who read this thread)... when are we opening it up for general access? The more the merrier. ;-)

By the way, congrats to Adam and his wonderful mod for taking 5th in the "Released Mods" category. If memory serves, it achieved the highest standing of any released single player HL2 mod - well done!


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:49 pm 
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Terrapin wrote:
Oh, and now that the wiki is pretty much public knowledge (at least for those who read this thread)... when are we opening it up for general access? The more the merrier. ;-)


Read access is up, thanks to your work over the last days, Terrapin. I'm waiting for new contributors' applications.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:54 pm 
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locworks wrote:
Read access is up, thanks to your work over the last days, Terrapin. I'm waiting for new contributors' applications.


Didn't see that - glad I could help.

And as a brief public service announcement, I ask all dedicated acolytes to seek registration and contribute to the best of their abilities. Have fun!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled discussion, already in progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:54 pm 
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happy to help, what sort of things need doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:14 pm 
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Terrapin wrote:
Quote:
Caught in the clutches of a rogue artificial intelligence, you must make a desperate strike against the Combine if you are to survive. MINERVA is a single-player modification that features some of the best map work since Half-Life 2 itself!


Does anyone know if this has any accuracy at all? Who wrote this, and should we believe them? My apologies if this has been discussed before, but I think it needs to be said clearly whether this should be considered proper data.


That sounds like the description given in the Rock, Paper, Shotgun review of M:M. I think it is based on the misconception that many had early on that Minerva was a rampant AI. Adam has all but dismissed that theory, if I recall correctly. I was a fan of the AI theory for some time, but because of evidence released later on, I have since changed my mind. I think that many make that mistake because of the comments made early on about Durandal and SHODAN being sources of inspiration for Minerva's character and the similar way in which you interact with Minerva when compared to SHODAN in System Shock 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:02 pm 
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phuzz wrote:
happy to help, what sort of things need doing?

See here.

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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:48 pm 
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New to this, just finished playing, but just trying to parse the main page text:

Minerva was killed for her believes ("I am Hypatia, murdered for her beliefs, discoveries ignored by fools, name stricken from record.") and then made into "an infinitely cutting blade". At the same time we know there was a portal technology experiment gone wrong at Black Mesa in the 70s which fits with Minervas claim to have had something to do with human scientific discoveries of portal/teleportation.

Minerva was a human scientist in the 70s at Black Mesa was transported somewhere after the catastrophically failed experiment. Her name stricken from the records.
Black Mesa scientists have brought onto her forgotten home unimaginable suffering so now she must forgive her colleagues as well (? Bit of a stretch maybe).

There she adopted different forefathers who made her into something else though, an infinitely cutting blade (or a manufactured war criminal? A tool to some other force, as Gordon is to the G-Man?). Now strong enough to create her own system.

The artifacts of her forefathers were scattered, maybe the world beyond the portal played a mythical relevance to them even. A source of great mystery beyond the mysteries that Minerva herself has explored. She knows that place. And thought the combine didn't. But now that they do she is scarred for now they might be able to get to her.

What saved her in an alien world after a failed teleportation experiment? Her wits, using the remains of technology of the forefathers who themselve had long been destroyed? (absent angels?) The forefathers (whether they be)? G-Man?


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:05 am 
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Ah, finally a new post in this section... on behalf of all of us, welcome! We hope you enjoy your stay in our little community.

As to your analysis, I find it essentially outlines what we know of Minerva so far. As of right now, we don't know any particular details about who or what Minerva is, but like you said, we have a basic groundwork. For one, I will state that Minerva must have been originally human; there is all the evidence in the world for it, and very little hard proof against it (read a couple pages back for more on that). Adam himself even acknowledged that we were at least heading in the right direction with it.

I believe it was also discussed that Minerva was involved with the Original Black Mesa Incident, from the mid-70s. The OBMI, as I like to call it, is very likely integral to how Minerva went from human to whatever-sh-is-now. The quotes you cited, to my knowledge, have never been used in this context before, so thank you - if nothing else, you've got me even more convinced that we're on the right track.

And also like you said, some third-party took Minerva in in her time of need (possibly unfathomable distances from her true home and probably injured), and made her something better, at the cost of what she viewed as a substantial portion of her humanity. What's interesting is where these Forefathers are now - are they still using Minerva, allowing her to redeem herself at the cost of servitude? And if so, what do they want? If they are not around, where did they go? If they all died, why was Minerva, their (partial) creation, spared? If they aren't dead, why did they let Minerva escape? And why did they help her, anyway?

It seems to me that the Combine are involved somewhere. This girl has an absolute vendetta against the Universal Union, and that kind of thing doesn't happen from simple misunderstandings. So my guess is that it was the Combine who found her after the OBMI and remade her, turning her into a trans-human, post-human, AI-like entity, et cetera. They used her as little more than a tool, prying out of her everything she knew, including the location of Earth on an inter-universal scale (remember, she's dabbled in teleportation technology, so there's a lot the Combine could learn from her). Okay, so maybe she wasn't single-handedly responsible for the invasion; maybe they learned very little of actual value. But what matters is that she feels like she has some responsibility in all this. Finally, her adopted forefathers arrive, and liberate her. Just ignore the exact specifics of who they are - they're fighting the Combine, and manage to extract Minerva for their own reasons. Now better enabled then any other being to fight the Combine, she begins her quest to make things right.

Remember, she can hack into Combine systems nigh-effortlessly, has intricate knowledge of everything from their Citadels to their history with headcrabs, can apparently subvert their soldiers, given the right conditions, and has mastered their communications network. Yet she also is well versed in human, specifically Black Mesa, technology. She has stolen one of their prized HEV suits, has used their terminals, claimed a role in the development of teleportation technology, and was very likely there at the OBMI. And yet she claims some other ancestry, some other home, as her origin. Add in the fact that she hates the Combine, and I think my above claim is pretty stable. Granted, I've made a few assumptions, but not so many as to violate Occam's Razor - I think my theory is pretty stable.

Anyway, to address your final point, we do not know at this point who the Forefathers were. Connections to G-man? Maybe, but that seems rather unlike Adam. I'm guessing this is some totally new power in play, and right now, all we know is that Minerva considers their legacy and the protection of what they left behind to be of the utmost importance. Beyond that, we'll have to wait for Out of Time.

Thanks again for your post!


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Why does her hatred for the Combine need to be related to her creation? That doesn't quite ring true to me. The combine doesn't seem to be in the business of creating its own powerful enemies it creates mindless drones. It seems completely out of character for them. And anyone as cultured and intelligent as Minerva requires no further reason to hate the combine.

Also I might have missed something but what passages do you draw the redemption theme from?

I'll be a bit more systematic and go through the mainpage text line by line:

"I am Hypatia, murdered for her beliefs, discoveries ignored by fools, name stricken from record."

OBMI, teleportation, etc.

"I am Joyeuse, an infinitely cutting blade wielded by an ignorant tyrant, for a cultural renaissance based upon military might."

She is a Manufactured War Criminal. However Joyeuse was wielded by Charlemagne (Wiki: His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church.). Again, the ignorant tyrant would fit the combine, but the cultural renaissance based on military might would not.

"I am Athena, hunter and scientist, covertly guiding long-dead warriors for my quiet purposes. And as they say, technology and violence are a girl's best friends; power is eternal delight."

Here we clearly enter the game, the mindless drone of the player character is for all intends and purposes long dead.

"Times have changed, moved on. I have forgiven my past enemies, but now in repentance I must forgive my colleagues; their actions have brought on more constructed suffering than your world has ever previously known."

Colleagues, of Black Mesa? or Colleagues of the manufactured war criminal kind? But more importantly who are the past enemies? This sentence is still somewhat puzzling to me.

"Walking among the fires of my forgotten home, dismayed by the torment and insanity of our unwitting hosts, ignored by long-absent angels, I studied their downfall."

Forgotten home. Earth or Lux Aeterna? "Our unwitting hosts" doesn't make sense on earth. Studied the downfall of long absent angels or the unwitting hosts or someone else? The sentence is ambiguous.
Possibility: long-absent angels = adopted forefathers whose technology and history she studied in Lux Aeterna.
Possibility: She walks through earth, humanity her host in some sense, ignored by the forefathers and studies the downfall of the combine she is hoping to bring about.

"In short, I must create my own system, or be enslaved by another."

Clear enough, become a god or a slave to the combine, there is no in between for her.

"And in this, I have an advantage. Your ancients were superstitious, deluded zealots, prone to inflation of already impossible, beautiful claims. My adopted forefathers are different, their scattered, discarded playthings more conducive to a meaningful imposition of my thoughts upon our captors."

Our captors, now it gets interesting. If she refers to the combine, then she says she has been captured by the combine before, (possibly after her post-humanization).

"Fragments of these minor, pivotal dialogues may soon periodically appear,"

The game itself I suppose?

"released from an uncertain, unwelcome future where my previous, abortive attempts at reconciliation may go forgotten. No more restraint, I am too strong for that."

well the dystopian future is now, but what were the abortive attempts at reconciliation? Whatever they were she has grown stronger since.

Ok here is my attempt at a history of Minerva:
a) She is transported in a black mesa accident to LA, on earth all records of this are stricken.
She studies the artifacts she finds and becomes technologically more powerful then ever before, maybe turning herself into something more then human in order to survive on a barren artifact riddled world.
She finally travels on to come looking for earth and is captured by the combine who are intrigued and turn her into a weapon, but due to her own powerful nature she can resist being turned into a complete zombie and eventually breaks free, now a manufactured war criminal, but also further strengthened by combine technology (which, presumably, is inferior to forefather tech anyway though).

This doesn't fit with the cultural renaissance though. Then again that might be a reference to Charlemagne rather then herself. An alternative which is less elegant because it requires another active race:

b) She is discovered by the now long absent angels upon arriving on the other side of the teleportation accident. These take her up and help her become more then human, a weapon to wield her in a war against the combine to restore culture to the universe, they fail and Minerva is captured. She manages to flee to Lux Aeterna and studies the adopted forefathers discarded playthings until she is strong enough to no longer restrain herself and return to earth to fight the combine.

In summary:

I can't frigging wait for OoT :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:56 pm 
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Oh and thanks for the welcome :)

I never played HL2 until last weekend when I got the Orange box and consider my delight when I found such excellent mods already existed as well! I love the many small references (phosphenes as title for the release page for example). Not afraid of sending people to go read up some history and general culture. *g*


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Certhas wrote:
Why does her hatred for the Combine need to be related to her creation? That doesn't quite ring true to me. The combine doesn't seem to be in the business of creating its own powerful enemies it creates mindless drones. It seems completely out of character for them. And anyone as cultured and intelligent as Minerva requires no further reason to hate the combine.

Granted, the Combine don't intend to create their own enemies, but just look at the protagonist if Metastasis (I call him Perseus, just for the sake of calling him something other than "that guy"). He was an ordinary human, who, through the Combine, was remade into something different, and far from human. Set to be disposed of ("discarded pieces of shit", remember), some higher power, in this case, Minerva, comes along and turns slavery into freedom, and helplessness into a chance to fight back. The only difference between Minerva and Perseus is that Perseus defected of his own free will. This is why Minerva seems contemptuous of him - the fate she so despises, he chose. However, seeing someone who is, regardless of the choice or lack thereof involved, in the same situation as her (an ex-tool of the Combine, simply wanting to redeem themselves in), takes pity on our moment of weakness, and helps us to escape, even calling back an escape vehicle for us. I think that answers that.
Quote:
Also I might have missed something but what passages do you draw the redemption theme from?

Minerva wrote:
...released from an uncertain, unwelcome future where my previous, abortive attempts at reconciliation may go forgotten. No more restraint, I am too strong for that.

She also refers to both herself and Perseus as "discarded pieces of shit" and "manufactured war criminals". Clearly, she doesn't hold herself in high moral regard. She may be an egomaniac with an ultra-messiah complex, but she definitely sees herself as having something to "reconcile", as quoted above.
Quote:
I'll be a bit more systematic and go through the mainpage text line by line:

"I am Hypatia, murdered for her beliefs, discoveries ignored by fools, name stricken from record."

OBMI, teleportation, etc.

"I am Joyeuse, an infinitely cutting blade wielded by an ignorant tyrant, for a cultural renaissance based upon military might."

She is a Manufactured War Criminal. However Joyeuse was wielded by Charlemagne (Wiki: His rule is also associated with the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church.). Again, the ignorant tyrant would fit the combine, but the cultural renaissance based on military might would not.

"I am Athena, hunter and scientist, covertly guiding long-dead warriors for my quiet purposes. And as they say, technology and violence are a girl's best friends; power is eternal delight."

Here we clearly enter the game, the mindless drone of the player character is for all intends and purposes long dead.

"Times have changed, moved on. I have forgiven my past enemies, but now in repentance I must forgive my colleagues; their actions have brought on more constructed suffering than your world has ever previously known."

Colleagues, of Black Mesa? or Colleagues of the manufactured war criminal kind? But more importantly who are the past enemies? This sentence is still somewhat puzzling to me.

"Walking among the fires of my forgotten home, dismayed by the torment and insanity of our unwitting hosts, ignored by long-absent angels, I studied their downfall."

Forgotten home. Earth or Lux Aeterna? "Our unwitting hosts" doesn't make sense on earth. Studied the downfall of long absent angels or the unwitting hosts or someone else? The sentence is ambiguous.
Possibility: long-absent angels = adopted forefathers whose technology and history she studied in Lux Aeterna.
Possibility: She walks through earth, humanity her host in some sense, ignored by the forefathers and studies the downfall of the combine she is hoping to bring about.

"In short, I must create my own system, or be enslaved by another."

Clear enough, become a god or a slave to the combine, there is no in between for her.

"And in this, I have an advantage. Your ancients were superstitious, deluded zealots, prone to inflation of already impossible, beautiful claims. My adopted forefathers are different, their scattered, discarded playthings more conducive to a meaningful imposition of my thoughts upon our captors."

Our captors, now it gets interesting. If she refers to the combine, then she says she has been captured by the combine before, (possibly after her post-humanization).

"Fragments of these minor, pivotal dialogues may soon periodically appear,"

The game itself I suppose?

"released from an uncertain, unwelcome future where my previous, abortive attempts at reconciliation may go forgotten. No more restraint, I am too strong for that."

well the dystopian future is now, but what were the abortive attempts at reconciliation? Whatever they were she has grown stronger since.

SUPERLATIVE! With your permission, I'd like to see this posted on the wiki. We could have it so that everyone can give their opinion on each individual passage, each giving their interpretation of what Minerva is trying to tell us. I can't say I 100% agree with all that you said here, but I'm sure our differences of opinion can be worked out later. For now, this is excellent work.
Quote:
Ok here is my attempt at a history of Minerva:
a) She is transported in a black mesa accident to LA, on earth all records of this are stricken.
She studies the artifacts she finds and becomes technologically more powerful then ever before, maybe turning herself into something more then human in order to survive on a barren artifact riddled world.
She finally travels on to come looking for earth and is captured by the combine who are intrigued and turn her into a weapon, but due to her own powerful nature she can resist being turned into a complete zombie and eventually breaks free, now a manufactured war criminal, but also further strengthened by combine technology (which, presumably, is inferior to forefather tech anyway though).

I disagree - if Forefather technology was inferior to Combine technology, why is Minerva so worried about the Combine finding it? Although, the idea that she "upgraded" herself, and was then captured is interesting - it somehow seems right, at least on some level. Again, this should go in the Wiki - call it the "Lux Aeterna Origin" theory, or some such.
Quote:
This doesn't fit with the cultural renaissance though. Then again that might be a reference to Charlemagne rather then herself. An alternative which is less elegant because it requires another active race:

b) She is discovered by the now long absent angels upon arriving on the other side of the teleportation accident. These take her up and help her become more then human, a weapon to wield her in a war against the combine to restore culture to the universe, they fail and Minerva is captured. She manages to flee to Lux Aeterna and studies the adopted forefathers discarded playthings until she is strong enough to no longer restrain herself and return to earth to fight the combine.


Again, I disagree with this - I still maintain that current evidence holds that Minerva was taken by the Combine first, "upgraded" against her own will, and then taken by a third party, the Forefathers, and set free from the "restraint" she is now "too strong for". Your theory, though, does make better use of the reference to "long-absent angels" - again, contact locworks and put this in the wiki if you are thus inclined. Part of me actually thinks you're right and I'm wrong, but who knows? For now, all well-researched theories have merit. Thus...
Quote:
In summary:

I can't frigging wait for OoT :D


Neither can I. The screens on the blog look amazing. Adam seriously needs to talk to Valve about putting OoT on Steam - he deserves to be paid for his work.


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:16 pm 
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You could always send a tenner in the post :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Adam has never been too keen on the idea of him getting paid for MINERVA. Last time it was brought up on the blog he suggested giving the money to charity. So good luck with trying to get him to accept money! ;)

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