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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:38 am 
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Well, she may not unnecessarily be on life support in the traditional sense - my theory is simply that she is trapped in a very likely alien machine, and has no way to live independent of said machinery, at least, not without dying.

That, said, who really says it has to be an alien machine? Maybe she was locked away in some machine, as an experiment to further evolve humanity - perhaps by her own choice, as part of some experiment, or maybe as punishment for her self-diagnosed kleptomania.

Sometime in the quasi-near future, I plan to re-write my theory in detail. Then I plan to PM Adam and see if I can pry out a response to said revised theory. Then I plan to discus my theory and any official word in detail with my fellow acolytes, making changes, seeking new opinions, and hopefully getting the odd cryptic hint thrown in by the odd knowledgeable bystander, until another revision of theories is needed. Then I plan to do it all over again.

Oh, and if Metastasis was just a dream... I cannot be held responsible for any acts of insanity. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:36 pm 
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As promised.

====================
Minerva: In-Depth Analysis
====================

I’m going to start by skipping all the usual preamble and introduction. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you have a pretty good idea of what’s going on here. All statements here have been carefully researched and referenced from official Minerva materials – Someplace Else, Metastasis, the Minerva website, or various interviews or media releases from Adam Foster. I’m not going to site each individual statement, because if I did, my bibliography would be longer than this document itself.

Now, I’m not trying to be egotistical (that position is best left to the lovely Minerva herself), but I personally think this theory is pretty good. Naturally, I’m sure there will be suggestions, critiques, and omissions posed by my fellow acolytes, but as far as actual reference goes within the Minerva universe(s), this is probably pretty close to the ne plus ultra for now.

So then, down to business; who is Minerva? Short answer: she’s an egotistical posthuman entity, that is, she was once human, but, like the protagonist from Metastasis, has been made something quite different. She despises the Combine, and will do whatever she can to injure them – she even admits to keeping us alive partially just for the sake of insulting our “former Combine mastersâ€


Last edited by Terrapin on Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:43 pm 
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Well, first of all I want to wish a merry Christmas to everyone, since I'm confident that wishing good will do no harm to any human being, regardless of his/her beliefs.

Enough for the OT, back in-topic.
I must say that I like this dissertation, and especially like your ways of investigating, Terrapin.

I hypothesized something similar to your theory in a post of mine, previously in this topic, but you have put it all together with almost flawless consistency.
Every text message from our goddess, even the one from the MINERVA main page, even the "former echoes" from the archive do actually fit.
Except for one, single piece, that I've been unable to correlate with the others, not even now: that is the land beyond the portal, or "Lux Aeterna", the "eternal light", as it should maybe be called.
This place, as you will surely agree, is (or better, has been) known to Minerva but unknown to the Combine and it also has something to do with the alien device found in SE.
Now, how can we explain, by your theory, that Minerva knows very well something that her combine former masters didn't know?
That is the main and only issue I can find, in what would otherwise be, as you correctly said, a simple, "elegant and most of all working theory".


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:16 pm 
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Hmm... an interesting point. Here's an idea: we know that Xen exists as a boarder world. But it is never stated exactly how many other universes it boarders.

We know that at one point, Minerva was in Xen against her will. What this means, essentially, is that she does not want to be in Xen, and/or that she wants to be someplace else (no pun intended). Let's suppose that she escaped from the Combine, and managed to get to Lux Aeterna (henceforth, LA). But she knew that if the Combine ever followed her there, it would put all sentient life in a very bad situation, as that world somehow related to apocalyptic events. Thus, she fled to Xen, which boarders, by my reckoning, "our" universe, the LA universe, and at least one other universe from which the Vortigaunts, refugee Xenians, and indeed the Combine came from. From there, she jumps back to Earth, via an old teleporter, and is now in the position we find her inhere, having just interfaced with a presumably human network.

So that works in two ways - it clears up a potential hole, and covers LA, giving Minerva two reasons to fight. I'm still interested, though, in what exactly LA is, and why the normally unshakably confident Minerva goes to pieces at the thought of the Combine finding it. Ah well, that's another theory. Thanks for the contribution![/url]


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:34 am 
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Personally I never quite bought that Herself was captured/experimented on/altered by the combine, but I don't have any real evidence except for two words:
Quote:
Adopted Forefathers


Where do they come into it? Personally I always assumed they had something to do with making Minerva what she is, and/or something to do with Lux Aeterna. (again, no real evidence, just gut feeling)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:25 pm 
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Well, it can be assumed assumed that they were a non-human group (Vortigaunts, etc) that helped her escape into Xen, or perhaps LA. Either that, or she is referring to the Combine.

Note, however, that she speaks of "discarded playthings"; this could thus be taken as a direct reference to LA, due to the fact that all sentient life there seems to have died long ago.

Bear in mind that there are still a lot of things we don't know; I've painted a rough picture of who Minerva is - teleported to some other dimension, mortally wounded/killed, rescued/resurrected by Combine technology, escaped, visiting LA at least once, goes to Xen to prevent the Combine from following her to LA, goes to Earth, finds Perseus, etc - but there's still a lot we need to know. Let's hope Out of Time answers some questions when it comes out.

EDIT: While we're on that topic, I'd just like to clarify something: at this point, Minerva has been to no fewer than three planets, perhaps four, likely within different dimensions. She started on Earth, of course, and was teleported elsewhere - either Xen, or another, not-yet-mentioned region of the universe(s), where she was "post-humanized" with Combine technology. At one point she lived in LA, possibly after being rescued from the Combine, but eventually relocated (returned?) to Xen, either by force, or by choice to keep the Combine from following her to LA and discovering it's secrets, likely related to her "Adopted Forefathers" and their "abandoned, eschatological secrets". She then returned to Earth. Note that there may have been other stops along the way, but for the moment, they are not relevant. There, now that's cleared up.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:34 am 
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Terrapin wrote:
Well, it can be assumed assumed that they were a non-human group (Vortigaunts, etc) that helped her escape into Xen, or perhaps LA. Either that, or she is referring to the Combine.

Note, however, that she speaks of "discarded playthings"; this could thus be taken as a direct reference to LA, due to the fact that all sentient life there seems to have died long ago.

Bear in mind that there are still a lot of things we don't know; I've painted a rough picture of who Minerva is - teleported to some other dimension, mortally wounded/killed, rescued/resurrected by Combine technology, escaped, visiting LA at least once, goes to Xen to prevent the Combine from following her to LA, goes to Earth, finds Perseus, etc - but there's still a lot we need to know. Let's hope Out of Time answers some questions when it comes out.

EDIT: While we're on that topic, I'd just like to clarify something: at this point, Minerva has been to no fewer than three planets, perhaps four, likely within different dimensions. She started on Earth, of course, and was teleported elsewhere - either Xen, or another, not-yet-mentioned region of the universe(s), where she was "post-humanized" with Combine technology. At one point she lived in LA, possibly after being rescued from the Combine, but eventually relocated (returned?) to Xen, either by force, or by choice to keep the Combine from following her to LA and discovering it's secrets, likely related to her "Adopted Forefathers" and their "abandoned, eschatological secrets". She then returned to Earth. Note that there may have been other stops along the way, but for the moment, they are not relevant. There, now that's cleared up.


To further tie this theory to the Half Life universe, she may have been post-humanized on the actual "Combine overworld" that is referenced by Dr. Magnusson in Episode Two (The code that Alyx carries). As for Lux Aternea, I'd love to think it's the Half Life version of purgatory. After Minerva escaped the Combine, she retreated here. One thing that puzzles me is what the structures were in that place. What were they for? Were they pieces of a larger machine, long forgotten? Perhaps that is the "discarded plaything" that Minerva refers to. One hole in the theory would be to say "Why wouldn't Minerva tell humanity the location of the Combine Overworld?" Perhaps she had more impact on the Half Life story than we realize- she might have covertly enabled Alyx to get the code from the Citadel reactor in Episode One- but this is probably more extraneous speculation. Get OOT done with already. =P

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Finished Minerva on Normal...
What about Hard?...



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:50 am 
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Like you said, I really doubt that Minerva, or any human for that matter, has ever been to the Combine Overworld. The security risks are simply too great. Think about it - in a war, prisoners aren't taken back to the country that captured them because, should they somehow get a communication out, they could tell their allies exactly where to strike. Besides, even if Minerva was taken to the Combine Overworld at one point, I doubt she could have represented its "location" in any meaningful way, given how far research had to progress just to get a stable portal to Xen open.

And as for those machines in LA... we know they were built by some now-dead species, who died of something unrelated to the Combine. However, what is undeniably most important is that one of the structures is (or at least very closely resembles) a human truss-beam, such as those found in bridges or dams. Perhaps a failed human settlement in another universe, dead to some plague or other misfortune. Or a world distant not in space, but in time; a future version of the Earth, where human and Combine alike are both dead to some unfathomable catastrophe.

The bottom line: speculation about Lux Aeterna is entertaining, but unlike theories regarding Minerva herself, which we know for certain that we have the information to solve (or perhaps we've already solved it?), we just don't know enough about LA. So far we have:

1) Minerva knows about it, and has been there at one point.
2) The Combine are only just beginning to explore it, via an ancient, almost certainly alien device they have unearthed.
3) Even Minerva cannot fathom the secrets that land holds.
4) It has something to do with an/the apocalypse.
5) The fact that the Combine are there is enough to make even Minerva practically break down into hysterics.
6) Human construction seems to be present.
7) There are antlions there.
8) Minerva considers it her home.

So that tells us very little about LA, but a great deal about Minerva. Please note that I am in no way implying that Minerva is in LA at the time of Metastasis. This is simply not possible, for many reasons. Minerva simply considers LA her home - she values it more than she does Earth. This is likely because LA is where she was taken after she was liberated from the Combine, and thus where she was "born". Remember that she no longer considers herself fully human, and thus, this world, likely inhabited, at least at one time, by her oft-mentioned "Adopted Forefathers" is now her true home, according to her values.

In summary: we don't know enough about LA to make a fully supported theory about what exactly it is; we know just enough about it to discern it's relevance to Minerva, and ergo reinforce our theories.


By the way, Kenny, regarding your signature: Minerva on hard is insane. I've done it, but I probably died forty or fifty times. Then again, I'm not very good. ;-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Could we have a clarification from Adam that the ant lions were supposed to be in LA, and not just the nearest convenient model that looked like an alien life form. After all, we weren't supposed to get a close view of LA, just what could be seen through the portal, any information gathered through noclip should be considered suspect until proven otherwise.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:50 pm 
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I don't think it really matters whether they were intended to actually be antlions - LA has alien life on it, plain and simple. Still, if you'd like confirmation to help with your own theories, it's a good idea. Although, I do remember quite clearly identifying "them" as antlions on my first play-through - if Adam didn't want us to think of them as antlions, and just as some generic alien life form, he would certainly have done a better job of making it so.

In any case, the nature of LA's inhabitants is not really relevant to who Minerva is - she once lived there, thinks it so valuable she now considers it her home world, and considers its continued existence more important than almost anything else, her own safety included. This tells us a great deal about her, perhaps that under all of that tough-as-nails cool, she really and truly cares about the fate of humanity, or of all life in general. Her genuine fear at learning of the Combine exploring "her" world is proof positive, to me at least, that she is still somewhat human. Heck, in chapter 4, she practically admits to liking us. Awww... ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:49 am 
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I have some things to say... some details, maybe not useful...

About Lux Aeterna... we see some old pseudo-structures similar to the alien building we see in SE... There's no doubt that they were not made by vortigaunts, the combine or contemporanean humans, but by another alien race ("adopted forefathers"?) probably extinct (or not?).

Through the portal is possible to see alien creatures (antlions). Remember that most Xenian life are not indigenous, because it is a borderworld; so LA could be the homeworld of the antlions or probably they just got there, the same as Earth and Xen (portal storms was just a only-Earth-local catastrophe?).

The combine got access to Xen and to Earth after the Nihilant was killed (he was keeping portals between Xen and Vortiworld/Overworld closed somehow), that is how they gained the ability to go to Earth and LA.


Someplace Else is before or after the Resonance Cascade of Hal-Life 1?
There are corpses of HECU soldiers, but did they went there? Why they aren't just HEV scientist, if Mineva came to Earth before the BMRC/OBMI?

And one last thing... Adam is considering Opposing Force as canon? Remember we have a 3rd Party (more likely a 4th/5th party) here, the Race X...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:21 am 
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Adam has no choice about wether to consider Op4 canon or not... valve considers it canon, therefore it IS canon. Having said that, I'd love to see a real sequel to Op4, involving Sheppard or Race X, and I'm not including the mod "Awakening". It just doesn't make sense.

Sorry for going off topic... but in order to say that I went on it at least a little, I doubt Race X has anything to do with anything in the MINERVA series. Then again, you never know.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:47 am 
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Procyon wrote:
I have some things to say... some details, maybe not useful...

About Lux Aeterna... we see some old pseudo-structures similar to the alien building we see in SE... There's no doubt that they were not made by vortigaunts, the combine or contemporanean humans, but by another alien race ("adopted forefathers"?) probably extinct (or not?).

Through the portal is possible to see alien creatures (antlions). Remember that most Xenian life are not indigenous, because it is a borderworld; so LA could be the homeworld of the antlions or probably they just got there, the same as Earth and Xen (portal storms was just a only-Earth-local catastrophe?).

The combine got access to Xen and to Earth after the Nihilant was killed (he was keeping portals between Xen and Vortiworld/Overworld closed somehow), that is how they gained the ability to go to Earth and LA.


Someplace Else is before or after the Resonance Cascade of Hal-Life 1?
There are corpses of HECU soldiers, but did they went there? Why they aren't just HEV scientist, if Mineva came to Earth before the BMRC/OBMI?

And one last thing... Adam is considering Opposing Force as canon? Remember we have a 3rd Party (more likely a 4th/5th party) here, the Race X...


Well, as to who exactly has inhabited LA over the years, we may never know. What matters is, they have been to LA, Earth, and Xen, and may have interacted with humans at one point. I think it's safe to assume that the "master race" behind LA, the ones that built the Portal we find in Depth Charge, the Gravity Nullifier in SE, et cetera, are Minerva's adopted forefathers. Nothing else makes sense - she considers LA her home, and "the Forefathers", as I shall henceforth refer to them, seem to have held a strong presence there as well. In summary: good point. :-)

Your second statement, I disagree with. The Combine discovering and invading LA had nothing to do with the Nihilanth. Minerva takes place years later, with the Combine already having a strong presence on Earth. They found LA when they unearthed the ancient Portal, a construction of the Forefathers, and figured out how to get it open. This is significant, as it shows that Forefather technology was more advanced than even the Combine's.

Your second last statement is most intriguing. Did SE take place before or after the OBMI, or the second resonance cascade? Well, it very clearly takes place after the OBMI, because the OBMI was the first step in Minerva's genesis, if you will - if SE took place before the OBMI, Minerva as we know her would not exist. As to whether it takes place before, during, or after HL1... I'm going to say before, but very shortly before. This touches on your final point, already well addressed by ZeroMachine - Black Mesa was nuked at the end of Op4, thus, there would be nowhere to go back to if it took place after HL1. It could, I suppose, be during HL1, but that doesn't really matter. SE was just a prequel, a convenient way for Minerva to begin her redemption (fighting the Combine) by returning to Earth. But still, it is something to be pondered.

Oh, and as for Race X, I agree - they were a side story, an interesting side story, but nothing more. I really doubt we'll see too much of them in the future, but who knows? Anyway, unless there's some massive evidence to the contrary, I really doubt they have anything to do with Minerva.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:25 am 
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Quote:
The combine got access to Xen and to Earth after the Nihilant was killed (he was keeping portals between Xen and Vortiworld/Overworld closed somehow), that is how they gained the ability to go to Earth and LA.
Quote:
Your second statement, I disagree with. The Combine discovering and invading LA had nothing to do with the Nihilanth. Minerva takes place years later, with the Combine already having a strong presence on Earth. They found LA when they unearthed the ancient Portal, a construction of the Forefathers, and figured out how to get it open. This is significant, as it shows that Forefather technology was more advanced than even the Combine's.


You mean third right?...
Before the coma I am right; Nihilant was preventing an attack from the combine to Xen, and at the same time, blocking the way to Earth. In HL1 the ones who attacked Earth were Xenians (correctly called vortigaunts) seeing the Humans as a hostile race that attacked Xen. The combine attacked earth years later after the HL1 events, during the portal storms event, you can't be sure if the combine knew of Earth before.
How do you know that the island portal is forefathers technology? There are no visible FF tech in Earth.




Quote:
Someplace Else is before or after the Resonance Cascade of Hal-Life 1?
There are corpses of HECU soldiers, but did they went there? Why they aren't just HEV scientist, if Mineva came to Earth before the BMRC/OBMI?
Quote:
Your second last statement is most intriguing. Did SE take place before or after the OBMI, or the second resonance cascade? Well, it very clearly takes place after the OBMI, because the OBMI was the first step in Minerva's genesis, if you will - if SE took place before the OBMI, Minerva as we know her would not exist. As to whether it takes place before, during, or after HL1... I'm going to say before, but very shortly before. This touches on your final point, already well addressed by ZeroMachine - Black Mesa was nuked at the end of Op4, thus, there would be nowhere to go back to if it took place after HL1. It could, I suppose, be during HL1, but that doesn't really matter. SE was just a prequel, a convenient way for Minerva to begin her redemption (fighting the Combine) by returning to Earth. But still, it is something to be pondered.


I got confused with your terms... Why do you call 2nd resonance cascade to HL1 events? Do you consider a resonance cascade what happened in BM during human-Minerva? If it is the second, why BM scientists/personnel didn't learned the lesson, and why the world followed its normal path after the "first" RC?"
And what about the HECU soldiers? Orange suited corpses would make more sense... If it weren't of the soldiers, Before HL1 would be the perfect answer.
Also check the dates, SE is in 2002 and M:M is in 2009, 7 years are enough time for the events of the "2nd" RC, Portal Storms, combine invasion and a strong combine presence, even with an already formed overwatch and rebellion? Maybe yes, but I thing is short time.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:48 am 
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Procyon wrote:
The combine attacked earth years later after the HL1 events, during the portal storms event, you can't be sure if the combine knew of Earth before.


Actually, weren't the original portal storms caused by the Resonance Cascade that Freeman caused? It's what I always thought.


Procyon wrote:
I got confused with your terms... Why do you call 2nd resonance cascade to HL1 events? Do you consider a resonance cascade what happened in BM during human-Minerva? If it is the second, why BM scientists/personnel didn't learned the lesson, and why the world followed its normal path after the "first" RC?"


The original Resonance Cascade was in the mid 70s as stated by the Minerva site's archives, but it was no where near as catastrophic. That's most likely when Minerva started becoming Minerva. And as for the fact that we didn't learn the lesson? Humans can be arrogant. The researchers probably thought they had figured RCs out and that there was next to no chance of it happening again.

And if I'm getting any of my information wrong... please tell me. I'm making a lot of assumptions.


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