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Who (or what) is Minerva?
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Author:  sortie [ Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Good theory. Remember Adam said after his Episode One trip to valve that MINERVA now has a true story arc? Well, due to statements from Jeep Barnett we know that Portal Development began somewhere in late 2005/early 2006. Could it be that Adam knows about the Portal plot, and is MINERVA linked to it? Is Minerva GLaDOS? Probably not, but they're pretty similar in many ways, as I've stated previously somewhere on this forum, somewhere.

Author:  Kenny [ Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

sortie wrote:
Oh mind it's console output, not input. It's the reciever who's biomechanical, and guess who Minerva's favorite combine-enhanced traitor is? Calling this proof for Minerva is a technology-based entity, is just as valid as Minerva using iTunes because the other output said so, but it could be the case.. I dunno.
Judging from the sender of the cryptic message, ttyss000, which is a part of the Mac OS X operative system, it could be Minerva is using an Mac OS X based computer. That would explain why she didn't see the outpost on the Island.

Speaking of that alias...

Did anyone else think it stood for "Talk To You Soon?"

I bet more hints are coming...

Author:  Yar Kramer [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

I can't resist an urge to take the whole thing and get something like "Talk To You Soon, Soldier!" ... or even "Talk to you soon, Soldier 000" ...

Me, I'm gonna bet one cent on her being still human, just with access to some awesome hardware (with "even if some of it is part of her now" as slight plausible deniability). I am hinging this on idea on two things. First, her "our species" comment, taken at face value rather than overthought. Second, if the sum of all our theories will resemble a dartboard with every inch covered entirely by darts, with the bullseye struck essentially by coincidence because statistically speaking someone had to, we might as well have someone who deliberately focuses on one of the less-likely ones.

Author:  Terrapin [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Rather than simply awesome hardware, why not... awesome alien hardware?

Minerva clearly has connections to the world beyond the portal, and we can be sure that whatever civilization once lived there had technology way beyond what humanity has accomplished, having likely built the portal themselves. But what of that civilization? They seem to have fallen victim to some apocalyptic force other than the Combine. Consider, then, that one of them may have survived in some capacity.

In the new OoT page, a quote, perhaps from Minerva, reads thus:
"Why fight, if there is no chance of winning? Why believe, if there is no chance of being remembered? Why live, if you know that you are amongst the last? Why die, if you know that you can be reborn?"

So whoever is writing that is the last of their kind, and can be or has been reincarnated. Perhaps Minerva has a little help, namely, the sole survivor of whatever killed off the people in the portal world, or some essence of their legacy, or whatever.

I'm just saying this because it seems to me that she has a little more help behind her than a MacBook. ;-)

Author:  Kaith [ Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

I've been looking at the Minerva archives online. Notably it is interesting that her first transmission it is from a Black Mesa terminal. Also it may be significant that all of Minerva's "subjects" are equppied with HEV suits. She then continues to talk about how people cannot view the world without misinformation, and that she herself has found a way to allow herself to leave her "mundane surroundings". She also mentions that this was one of her few remaining options. Possibly Minerva, as a human, found a way to upload her mind onto the Black Mesa network when confronted with the Xen invasion, then proceeded to witness and record information about everything that happened thereafter. This would certainly explain her access to such vast quantities of information and her hatred of the combine.

I've added a transcribed version of this entry to this post for anyone interested in reviewing it.

{Black Mesa Research Facility: Employee Terminal:}
{kernel interrupt - 23:11:26 03/28/2002 - spurious console input}
--{timeout: no data to log}
{kernel interrupt - 23:12:03 03/28/2002 - spurious console input}
--{log contains unformatted data}

No future, no past, no present, no life, no death, no world.

{kernel interrupt - 23:12:03 03/28/2002 - terminal pts/0x07d reset}

Sometimes it can be hard to realise the truth. When so much information has been hidden, destroyed, or otherwise made unavailable; when so much of waht you see and hear is disinformation, distortions of the truth - it can be easy to get lost in the void. I was once in a similar situation, but after considering one of the few remaining options, I learned how to escape, how to view things from afar, from outside the plane you are stuck in. It's not impossible to leave the mundane surroundings in which you find yourself, it just requires a little lateral thinking. If you follow others, you might get there sooner or later, but remember - forgiveness of enemies commonly comes upon their repentance.

A friend of a friend

--{timeout: no input after 30s}
{kernel interrupt - 00:45:41 03/29/2002 - UPS power drained}
--{shutdown in 30 seconds}

From: http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/archive_4.shtml
Translated by Kaith to his best understanding.

Author:  Terrapin [ Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Firstly, hello to you, Kaith, and welcome to the forums. On behalf of all of us, I hope you enjoy your stay.

Anyway, theories. I think this theory has been brought up before, at least once, but given all the recent talk of AI, we definitely need to revisit it. You put it very well, and you could easily be entirely correct. Personally, however, I doubt she simply "found a way" to become what she is. I have reasons for that, but that's another thing altogether. My personal thinking as of late is that Minerva was created by Black Mesa as part of some experiment, intentional or otherwise. Since this is a video game, the experiment went horribly awry, leading to this little dialogue, continued here and here.

Now, note that the third archive comes from within Black Mesa, and refers to a need to "reduce the risk of further personnel casualties". We also know that "transportation technologies" were involved. Furthermore, Minerva states in SE that she had a hand in helping humanity discover teleportation technology. My guess is that she was involved in a teleportation experiment which, due to Minerva's so valued "lateral thinking", went very wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it). The result, intentional or otherwise, was Minerva's "inscription" into the computer network, or some other major transformation. That does leave the question of whether she wanted that, but it's kind of irrelevant, since trying to figure out her motives at any point is a logical minefield - you can keep asking "Why?" forever and never figure out anything.

Why am I so convinced the First Black Mesa Incident is involved in her genesis? Because if it wasn't, Adam would have no reason to mention it. He is many things, but wordy isn't one of them. If it isn't relevant to Minerva is some way, it would not be so noted on the Minerva website. So long story short: Minerva was, in my opinion, "created" or otherwise very much affected by the FBMI.

The passage so kindly translated by Kaith is certainly evidence that Minerva did something, but there is very little hint as to what it is. The fact that it comes in the same archive as the Incident details, and indeed right after said, hints at some kind of relation. Looking at the date stamps, it clearly takes place many years after the Incident and Minerva's presumed genesis. Note also that the message in archive apparantly took quite a while to write, as if every letter was a struggle - she started at 23:12:03, and finished at 00:45:41 the next day, at which point it timed out after 30 seconds, before she could put the final period on her closing statement. And for all that time, the message is still rather garbled. This leads me to believe that it was written rather unconventionally. Perhaps this was Minerva, no longer fully human, struggling to find a way to give some final thoughts to a world she had finally found a way to leave.

Again, a window into my thoughts: that was the time of the Black Mesa Incident, the second one, the one that brought the Combine to Earth. With portals to Xen opening everywhere, Minerva finally had a chance to escape her "mundane surroundings". And the rest of Archive 4 falls into place from there. A sort of "So long, and thanks for all the transhumanization". It also fits with what Kaith mentioned; "few remaining options", et cetera.

Any thoughts?

Author:  Yar Kramer [ Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

My first thought is "beware of overthinking things", which Adam has been saying just about everywhere. ;)

To quote Sam Hughes, writer of How to Destroy the Earth: "'Thinking laterally' means to me that you should try methods of attack which don't seem immediately obvious. Such as Occam's Razor."

I'm sticking with my theory: She's a human, just with awesome alien (thanks, Terrapin) hardware, having been transported to Lux Aeternia in the original Black Mesa Incident and healed/saved/whatever by whoever or whatever was there, and she returns to deal with the Combine threat in Someplace Else; the reason she she derides you for being a "hairless ape," when she's one herself, is that she's an arrogant jerk.

There, a one-sentence-long theory which nails everything and requires no extra assumptions, especially that last bit. What do I win? ;)

Author:  Terrapin [ Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

You win an interesting discussion! Congratulations! ;-)

Firstly, you seem to be almost underthinking things. Let's understand one thing: the Minerva story is big. Trying to put it in a single sentence would be like trying to summarize the Mona Lisa in a five-minute sketch; you're bound to leave something out. We have tons of information to work with, from the titles.txt files, to the Minerva website, and all the little hints Adam has given us. Essentially, there is a fine line between being thorough, and overthinking; on that line lies the answer.

I doubt I'll ever be convinced that Minerva is completely human, no matter what technology she has access to. She's human-ish, sure, but she seems too sure of her superiority for it to be something external, not to mention the fact that she pretty much tells us she feels separated from her humanity, that she was "manufactured", and "discarded". She's an egomaniac, as we all know, but she's anything but deluded. She knows perfectly well what she can do, and what can potentially be done to her - she has limits and weaknesses, and as much as she hates to admit it, she knows them all too well. That kind of mentality doesn't come from being in possession of some alien technology, it comes from being intrinsically powerful, though likely not by natural means.

To summarize: it's not what she has, it's what she is that make her who/what she is. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just think your theory moves in the wrong direction.

I think these quotes might help as well:
I am Hypatia, murdered for her beliefs, discoveries ignored by fools, name stricken from record. I am Joyeuse, an infinitely cutting blade wielded by an ignorant tyrant, for a cultural renaissance based upon military might. 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.
But that's enough on that. Your current predicament is more interesting. I'm still at a loss to explain who YOU are, but I'll persist nevertheless. On the outside, seeing in? I've done that. A pretty little box of lights, a window on to a whole separate world. I suppose that's one way of describing me - but I'd rather you didn't.

Instead, consider me as your future saviour, your salvation and your only hope. A messiah complex? Hardly - I'm FAR more powerful than that!

Author:  Kaith [ Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Every time I replay Minerva or revisit the forums, I come back with more questions than answers. It's a beautiful thing really.

Author:  Acteaon [ Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've been lurking around on these forums for quite a while now and I haven't seen any post/topic about MINERVA's knowledge of/relationship with the Free Man's shady employer. Although this interdimensional bureaucrat seems to manifest himself in more... supernatural ways than MINERVA, he and her have remarkable similarities. They speak in riddles, appear to be omniescent, and both most likely aren't human. Still, I find the theory that they might be of the same race or origin or whatever quite improbable, since we simply don't know enough about MINERVA to make such a statement, not to mention about our favourite omniescent suit-wearing being.

I think the relationship between MINERVA and the GMAN (yes, I try to avoid that false code name as much as possible) is not even close to enough discussed on these forums.

Author:  The Amazing Maurice [ Fri May 29, 2009 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Maybe she's Minerva in the literal sense.

Author:  LuaPineapple [ Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Personally I posted several times, thought about it some more, decided I was an idiot, scrap it all, recombed through all the evidence again, and eventually came up with this really ****ed up theory involving time travel, NS universe, parallel earths, and the Precursors.

That said, I think Adam is mind-****ing us by giving us a quarter of the pieces, and now is having a huge laugh.

All that I know for CERTAIN is that Minerva is not/no longer human:

MINERVA: Metastasis, Pegasus wrote:
***INCOMING MESSAGE*** 2009-10-15.20:14:50

Please don't take it as some residual aspect of my own purported humanity,
but I've grown quite attached to you. I'm holding off that final,
cauterising blast from the power downlink - but I have no idea how long
this humane gesture can last.

Continue to the surface. Every moment longer that you survive is a further
insult to your former Combine masters.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary wrote:
Main Entry: pur·port·ed
Pronunciation: \-ˈpȯr-təd\
Function: adjective
Date: 1836

: reputed, alleged <took gullible tourists to purported ancient sites>

Author:  Kastanok [ Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

Humanity may refer to bearing traits considered 'humane', rather than being a member of the species homo sapiens. Minerva could just as easily be implying she is not humane as not human.

Author:  sortie [ Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

And who said Minerva was telling the truth in the first place? She could easily have been lying all along.

Author:  Kenny [ Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Who (or what) is Minerva?

That would be very System Shock-ey- having a guiding character do an abrupt 180 and totally surprise you by lying to you all along.

And thus, we give rise to a new theory:

Minerva is JUDITH MOSSMAN!!!

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