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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:24 am 
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Okay, much to address here.

First, Procyon, I did mean your third statement - apparently I can't count ;-). You are correct in that the Nihilanth was in control of the portals, until Gordon killed it. This caused the portals to destabilize, giving the Combine a straight shot through Xen to Earth. Nihilanth was basically a portal "regulator" - when it was killed, it opened a dimensional floodgate which allowed the Combine easy access to the entire planet.

Remember, however, that the Vortigaunts were slaves at the time - those green braces weren't just decorations, they were some kind of mind-control or pacification devices, allowing the Vortigaunts to be used as cheep shock troops (no pun intended). By killing the Nihilanth, Gordon freed them from its control, which is why they all respect him so highly in HL2. So they weren't attacking us because they saw us as invaders - they literally had no choice but to warp in, and start killing.

In any case, we don't know if the Combine knew of Earth before they "found" Minerva, but it's really beside the point now. I don't really see the whys as being as important as the whos, whats, and hows. Gordon caused the portal storms via the resonance cascade, and then killed the Nihilanth, causing the inter-dimensional thoroughfare that is Xen to become unstable enough to permit a rapid invasion. From what we've seen, the Combine want to control everything - we're just another stop.

And the Portal as Forefather technology? Quoth Minerva: "My adopted forefathers are different, their scattered, discarded playthings more conducive to a meaningful imposition of my thoughts upon our captors." Enough said.

The OBMI may not have been a resonance cascade (though it very well could have been), that was an error on my part - I meant to say that it was a teleport accident, severe enough to begin Minerva's journey to post-humanism, but not enough to tear the universe apart at the seams. Although, we don't really know what a "resonance cascade" is. Personally, I do consider the OBMI to have been a resonance cascade, since, in my mind, any teleportation accident is a resonance cascade. As to why we didn't learn our lesson? We're human - learning from our mistakes is not something we excel at. Being pompous, illogical, self-aggrandizing apes is.

Time wise, if the Combine can take over the entire planet in seven hours, I think establishing a basic military could be done in seven years. A tight fit, but it works. Things like gunships and striders were probably around long before they invaded earth, and with their level of technology, creating hunter-choppers, soldiers, etc would not be that hard. Pulse rifles are just a standard Combine turret modified to be hand-held (gunships, striders, etc all seem to use pulse "bullets"), and the bunker-base could be repurposed relatively quickly.

Zero Machine, I agree with what you posted, your information seems right by my reckoning.

By the way, sorry if I come off sounding arrogant here, that's not my intent in the least. I may have done my research, but I'm by no means an expert - anyone who wishes may insult my lack of knowledge at any time :).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:50 am 
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ZeroMachine wrote:
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.




I'm not saying the contrary... The same question would be "Did the portal storms lasted years?" or "How much time after the HL1 events, Earth was attacked by combine?". I doubt that inmediatly after....



What about Gman? Related to the forefathers?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:20 am 
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Procyon wrote:
ZeroMachine wrote:
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.




I'm not saying the contrary... The same question would be "Did the portal storms lasted years?" or "How much time after the HL1 events, Earth was attacked by combine?". I doubt that inmediatly after....


Well, to be technical, Alyx does say after the portal storm at the start of Episode 2 that "it's like the first days all over again", implying that the portal storms were only really bad for a week or two. Since the Combine rely on these portal storms to move from universe to universe (as Dr. Mossman explained in HL2), it seems to me that the Combine had to have invaded within at least two months or so. Otherwise, the portal storms would have ended, and the Combine would be unable to enter our world.

In any case, we digress - this has little, if anything, to do with Minerva's identity and motives. May I suggest a new topic for further discussion to this end?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Terrapin wrote:
Okay, much to address here.
The OBMI may not have been a resonance cascade (though it very well could have been), that was an error on my part - I meant to say that it was a teleport accident, severe enough to begin Minerva's journey to post-humanism, but not enough to tear the universe apart at the seams. Although, we don't really know what a "resonance cascade" is. Personally, I do consider the OBMI to have been a resonance cascade, since, in my mind, any teleportation accident is a resonance cascade. As to why we didn't learn our lesson? We're human - learning from our mistakes is not something we excel at. Being pompous, illogical, self-aggrandizing apes is.


Well there is a problem with that. Seeing as the BMI (HL1) is caused by the analysis of a crystal rather than an actual teleportation experiment.
Also I doubt every teleportation accident is a resonance cascade, this is a big assumption, saying that anything that goes wrong with a teleportation results in resonance cascade.
We even have evidence otherwise. Namely Blueshift, in which barney get stuck in a teleportation loop.
Secondly let's look at the word Resonance Cascade. Resonance is producing a amplitude of vibrations. Cascade is a failure that results in a series of failures, because the system is depend of the original failure.
The Resonance seem to be directed mostly to the anti-mass spectrometers analysis method.

And I'm still doubtfull about the Combine's part in Minerva's ascension to posthuman entity. She seems to be more of an computer intellegence with multitasking (she not only constantly watches you, but also moniters the combine movement and chatter and hijacks a satelite), information gathering and hacking abilities. But their main interest seem to be soldiers and workers. Also why create someone with that much power, but still with enough control of herself to turn against them. And their ability to do something against something they created themselves is extremely poor.
My theory is that her adoptive forefathers, or more accuratly their legacy, healed her former human self after her incident by uploading her consciousness. Her observational abbilities, the ease with which she uses combine technology and her abbility to stay undetected from the combine, suggest to me a Computer Intellegence.
The fact that she is scared that they might be able to find her, since they could enter LA suggest a close link to her abilities and the place. I think it could let them learn exactly what she and how to get her.
This still leaves her beef with the combine of course. But since the only info we have about it says that she has one, I can't really do anything but speculate wildley about it.

I have to say that currently your theory seems to fit best with our current knowledge. But I still think it has holes, which we cannot fill without more information. Namely LA and the combine's inability to do something about a product of their own.

EDIT: On the combine portal technology, theirs is a very direct and therefor energy and time costly process. It is a A-B teleporter, where as the human's use [X]*(en) as a relay between A and B.
So I think that Nihilanth masked the resonance cascade by making it a A-[X] connection. With its death there was no control behind the portals/RC and it went somewhere the Combine could see them.
*[X] indicates that X is a transitional place.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:41 pm 
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Berrie wrote:

And I'm still doubtfull about the Combine's part in Minerva's ascension to posthuman entity. She seems to be more of an computer intellegence with multitasking (she not only constantly watches you, but also moniters the combine movement and chatter and hijacks a satelite), information gathering and hacking abilities. But their main interest seem to be soldiers
and workers. Also why create someone with that much power, but still with enough control of herself to turn against them. And their ability to do something against something they created themselves is extremely poor.
My theory is that her adoptive forefathers, or more accuratly their legacy, healed her former human self after her incident by uploading her consciousness. Her observational abbilities, the ease with which she uses combine technology and her abbility to stay undetected from the combine, suggest to me a Computer Intellegence.
The fact that she is scared that they might be able to find her, since they could enter LA suggest a close link to her abilities and the place. I think it could let them learn exactly what she and how to get her.
This still leaves her beef with the combine of course. But since the only info we have about it says that she has one, I can't really do anything but speculate wildley about it.

I have to say that currently your theory seems to fit best with our current knowledge. But I still think it has holes, which we cannot fill without more information. Namely LA and the combine's inability to do something about a product of their own.


Your theory is certainly plausible. If it was the Forefathers who found Minerva and de-humanized her, and then the Combine came and killed them, Minerva may well have a desire to avenge those she now considers her true ancestors and true species. It also explains their eagerness to exploit LA, the supposed last refuge of the Forefathers - they want to finish what they started.

However, your theory does have intrinsic holes - why was Minerva in Xen? If she was "re-created" by the Forefathers, why not stay with them? If she fled to Xen when the Combine attacked the Forefathers, why did they not go with her? Furthermore, if she is indeed a fully non-corporeal entity, why does she need "screens" - the data should be a part of her. And how could a fully computerized being allow it's knowledge of mythology to get "rusty"? It should all be on her storage medium of choice (futuristic hard drive, etc.). And the real nail in your theories metaphorical coffin? She calls herself a "manufactured war criminal" - this would not be so were she not created by the Combine.

I could go on, but I feel it sufficient to say that Minerva cannot have been created in the manner you describe. Your theory has some rather obvious holes, but it does have many merits. While all evidence definitively points to the Combine having a major role in her genesis, I admit I may have underestimated the involvement of the Forefathers. However, claiming that she must be a computerized entity because she can multi-task is simple apophenia. My theory, of her essentially being a human merged with (alien?) technology, most likely Combine, also covers this, and better reasons her hatred for the Combine. Assuming the Forefathers gave her shelter, helped her be free of her Combine masters, or offered some other support, Minerva may well have more faith in them than in humanity. And thus, we're back where we started.

Here is what, we can say for absolute certain:

* Minerva was human, but was involved in a teleport accident that left her very badly injured, dead, or otherwise compromised.

* Through some alien technology, she was reborn as a trans-human entity.

* Wanting to save humanity in repentance for earlier mistakes, she returns, via Xen, to Earth.

* The Forefathers offered some great level of assistance at one point.

* She can access Combine technology, including their command network.

IN SUMMARY: She was human, and through a likely forced integration advanced alien technology, she became what she is now. I am positive this is correct; given what she says about herself, especially in the last two chapters of Metastasis, nothing else is logical. I suggest we proceed from this point.

Here is what I can infer from these points, with almost absolute certainty:

* The Combine resurrected her using their technology, at the cost of her humanity and freedom, for use in their ongoing war against all other sentient life.

* The Forefathers rescued her, yet she chose to keep her Combine technology - she's a kleptomaniac, remember? - so that she could finally make a real difference.

* Not willing to allow their technology to fall into enemy hands, the Combine pursued - all Forefathers were killed, but due to the Combine technology that was now a part of her, she was able to save herself.

* She fled to Xen, went from there to Earth, and the rest is history.

So essentially, we have Minerva as a human merged with Combine technology, enslaved, rescued by the Forefathers, and then embarking on a journey of inter-dimensional redemption and correction. Unless someone can find a hole in this, I'm truly inclined to think it is correct - Adam told us that we already knew the answer, that it was simple. Locworks can be quoted as saying the backstory is "quite elegant". And a story of a humanity lost and corrupted with the very technology that has killed billions is truly elegant. But enough of my self-assessed grandeur. ;-)


Anyway, your other points; your analysis of teleport mishap terminology seems accurate. Although, if the test Gordon was in at the start of HL1 wasn't a teleportation experiment... what on earth were they doing?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:58 pm 
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I don't like the terms, but I will use them anyways....

What were they doing? Analysing a crystal with a high percentage of "exotic-matter" (normally used to make "teletransportation" possible) with an "anti-mass" espectrometer...

Normally an espectrometer is as dangerous as box of kittens...
Maybe the "anti-mass" espectrometer triggered a chain reaction to this "exotic matter", opening multiple portals (or making lot of wormholes stable), at the same time...

So they were not playing with teletransportation, but with "fuel" for portals.... (There is a lot of difference betwwen the two)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:23 pm 
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So basically, your saying that a resonance cascade is like throwing a lit match into a car's fuel tank. Kind of trite, I know, but the basic idea is that experimenting on what makes teleportation possible, and causing an accident thereby, is not the same as causing an accident with teleportation itself.

As to what exactly went wrong, remember that it was none other than G-Man that delivered the sample that set the resonance cascade in motion - I thus assume that nothing was really wrong with the anti-mass spectrometer (the scientist says that it was while within acceptable levels), but that the crystal itself was sabotaged, perhaps containing certain levels of certain exotic particles that, for lack of a better term, caused things to go haywire.

You seem knowledgeable on this, so correct me if I screwed this up.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:51 pm 
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I reckon the Gman had some kind of role in causing the RC at the start of HL1 as well, or at the very least, he had a pretty close involvement with the whole thing.

Perhaps our benefactress has something in common with the Gman, they both seem to sit outside the players world, manipulating things behind the scenes (they both occupy a similar narrative role in a way).
During the events of HL1 the Gman seems to occupy a fairly physical form, disappearing acts notwithstanding. By the time of HL2 however he's mainly seen in 'visions', and there's a parallel there with Minerva once being human, and now being...Something Else (:wink:).
Both also seem to have a complicated relationship with the combine. Does Minerva have any link with the Gman's 'employers'?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:59 pm 
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G-man did start the RC at the start of HL1... I believe I said that in the post right above yours. :-)

Also, it is indeed true that Minerva has much in common with the infamous blue-suited man; remember, however, that Adam has already known for a long time Minerva's true origins and motives, but he does not know G-man's. This leads me to believe that G-man may be linked to Minerva, but that finding out who Minerva is can be done with no knowledge of the G-man.

Still, the connection is interesting; the G-man essentially allowed the Combine into this world, and Minerva is doing everything she can to kick them out (due to what we have inferred to be her past - great suffering, yet a great benefit at the hands of the Combine). Their modes of action however, seem very similar. This strikes on another interesting connection - outside control. Remember in Ep2 when G-man forced Alyx to deliver his message to Eli? Eli referred to it as "putting words in her mouth", but to me, it seemed a lot like the way Minerva "controls" Perseus - do what I say, when I say, or you die.

Then again, speaking of employers, remember that we now have two competing companies - Aperture and Black Mesa. Maybe G-man works for one, and Minerva for the other, but due to inter-dimensional corporate law, neither can act independently, only through others they've "employed". But now I'm just rambling. ;-)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:09 am 
I don't think a single point has been made in this thread that's anything other than conjecture tbh.

For example something that personally I don't think has been fully/properly explored is the harsh indictment "traitor to our species", emphasis on "our". Anyone ever wondered if Minerva isn't unique? Or at least what Minerva was originally, before being augmented by the Combine. (And I'm not trying to say the grunt you play in the game is of the same species as Minerva). This clearly isn't written by Minerva and has gone unquoted so far. It contains none of the typical egotistical ramblings, and yet displays many similarities to Minerva's comms, but appears more forced (hacked).

What do the Combine do? They take the finest qualities of a species and combine it with their own DNA. What if Minerva was of a species that this DNA stripping was simply not possible, but could still be trapped and serve a purpose if properly augmented. Then the Combine freaked out because they'd bitten off more than they could chew (maybe) and so banished it somewhere it could do no harm, like Xen, for example. A border world where inter dimensional travel is being blocked by Nily, and so is stuck. Gordan F pops over for a cuppa, removes said block, and hey presto the (yet to name itself) Minerva, one seriously pissed off thing is free again. (Another point I'd like to make is that i believe it was a mistake to assume Minerva actually has a sex. So much theory seams to rest on this assumption and yet it's entirely unimportant)

In fact there's a lot of quotes which I believe are being misrepresented, which is why no one truly feels we're getting close to an answer, apart from Terrapin, but fair play mate, you delved right on in. While I'm talking about you I'll put this forward: The problem I have with your theory is that it is not in keeping with Adam Fosters work, i.e self contained. Everything we need to know in order to figure out what/who Minerva is, is contained within the confines of the game and related material. The moment you started talking about female scientists involved in the OBMI being teleported and badly injured, you strolled clean off the map, and so, in my opinion, negated your theory. Personally I'm still not entirely convinced she's post human. Post something, but not post human. Although it remains a possibility, but a highly unlikely one imo.
I believe this and this is purely back story for Adam Fosters work, and is in no way an indication of where Minerva may have come from. Ignore what Valve has produced. Pretend the Half Life universe has yet to even be explored by them, then take another look at the material. The only thing that links the Minerva's world to Half Life's is the Combine, nothing else.
If the story of Minerva does coalesce back to the OBMI I will be disappointed tbh. Stories and arena's can pop out of nothing in Valves universe. Running paralell but never meeting. That's pretty much the beauty of it and Adam Foster seams to be the first modder to capitalise on this trait. Other examples of this are Portal, Blue Shift, Opposing Force - games that lay in the Half Life Universe, and have had an impact on it, but are still entirely separate tales. There are many wars being fought on many fronts in Valves universe, and many people who will help each other out without ever even meeting or knowing the other existed.

One other thing I'd like to point out about this is the handle, clearly designed to be read A friend of a fiend.
Cup of reverse psychology anyone? Or have you already had enough?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:07 am 
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First, thank you for your comments, and welcome to the ongoing discussion. Sadly, I must say I disagree with most of what you said - most of it is directly contradicted within Metastasis, and some simply seems illogical.

Meocene wrote:
For example something that personally I don't think has been fully/properly explored is the harsh indictment "traitor to our species", emphasis on "our". Anyone ever wondered if Minerva isn't unique? Or at least what Minerva was originally, before being augmented by the Combine. (And I'm not trying to say the grunt you play in the game is of the same species as Minerva).


Minerva and the protagonist (Perseus) were both originally human. Right off the top of my head, I can think up at least half a dozen quotes to support this, which I can name if you so desire. Adam himself even hinted via a message to one member that Minerva was still at least partially human. Unless you have some massive and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, both Minerva and Perseus must be assumed to be humans altered in different ways to become something distinctly transhuman; all evidence supports this, and in my mind it should not be considered conjecture, as there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

Quote:
This clearly isn't written by Minerva and has gone unquoted so far. It contains none of the typical egotistical ramblings, and yet displays many similarities to Minerva's comms, but appears more forced (hacked).


If not Minerva, then who? Note the quote at the start: "$ofut&re nokpa)t no pres}nt no li2e no deaH# no wSrldddddddddd". Look familiar? It's the same message that shows up after Minerva tries to kill you. I interpreted this quote as some kind of failsafe code in the Black Mesa computer systems, as it appears in both a "Black Mesa Research Facility: Employee Terminal", and a HEV suit. A password, an encryption key, something to do with the way their network runs. And who do we know who is able to access both Human and Combine systems with seamless ease? Minerva. Who else would try to get a message of that sort out when everyone else was just trying to survive?

Quote:
What do the Combine do? They take the finest qualities of a species and combine it with their own DNA. What if Minerva was of a species that this DNA stripping was simply not possible, but could still be trapped and serve a purpose if properly augmented. Then the Combine freaked out because they'd bitten off more than they could chew (maybe) and so banished it somewhere it could do no harm, like Xen, for example. A border world where inter dimensional travel is being blocked by Nily, and so is stuck. Gordan F pops over for a cuppa, removes said block, and hey presto the (yet to name itself) Minerva, one seriously pissed off thing is free again. (Another point I'd like to make is that i believe it was a mistake to assume Minerva actually has a sex. So much theory seams to rest on this assumption and yet it's entirely unimportant)


Again, Minerva was originally human. Seriously, she pretty much tells us she's human (thrice) and implies it so many times, its almost as if she wants to know she's human. Heck, you even referenced the "traitor to our species" line - we're human, so she must be to.

Quote:
In fact there's a lot of quotes which I believe are being misrepresented, which is why no one truly feels we're getting close to an answer, apart from Terrapin, but fair play mate, you delved right on in. While I'm talking about you I'll put this forward: The problem I have with your theory is that it is not in keeping with Adam Fosters work, i.e self contained. Everything we need to know in order to figure out what/who Minerva is, is contained within the confines of the game and related material. The moment you started talking about female scientists involved in the the OBMI being teleported and badly injured, you strolled clean off the map, and so, in my opinion, negated your theory. Personally I'm still not entirely convinced she's post human. Post something, but not post human. Although it remains a possibility, but a highly unlikely one imo.
I believe this and this is purely back story for Adam Fosters work, and is in no way an indication of where Minerva may have come from. Ignore what Valve has produced. Pretend the Half Life universe has yet to even be explored by them, then take another look at the material. The only thing that links the Minerva Universe to Half Life's is the Combine, nothing else.


A very, very valid point - perhaps my theory could use a little trimming. But please... Minerva was human. You even sited material that proves that, quotes, pages, et cetera. So again, unless you can concretely prove that we're somehow misinterpreting three-quarters of the game, please don't question Minerva's at least partial humanity. Like I said, I can quote a PM from Adam (page two or thereabouts) where he pretty much confirms her partial humanity.

But still, you are right - I do need to take a step closer and examine solely what Adam has produced. Expect another full analysis in the coming days. :-)

Quote:
If the story of Minerva does coalesce back to the OBMI I will be disappointed tbh. Stories and arena's can pop out of nothing in Valves universe. Running paralell but never meeting. That's pretty much the beauty of it and Adam Foster seams to be the first modder to capitalise on this trait. Another example of this is Portal, a game that lies in the Half Life Universe, and has had an impact on it, but is still entirely separate. There are many wars being fought on many fronts in the Half Life universe, and many people who will help each other out without ever even meeting or knowing the other existed.


Brilliantly stated. Again, my own theory is looking a bit to broadly now that you point this out. To summarize your point, I need to think of Minerva as entirely a self contained world - no Orange Box allowed. Adam did say he gave us all we needed to figure out who Minerva is. Still, I think I can still clearly say that Minerva was human, and is now merged with (Combine?) technology. If you need me to list my evidence for this in full, I can, but in short: Minerva says she was once human, and that she is now something else; she hates the Combine, yet is clearly adept at using their technology. Whether the method of her post-humanization is the direct result of the combine, I now cannot say for certain, although I still think it a viable option.

Quote:
One other thing I'd like to point out about this is the handle, clearly designed to be read A friend of a fiend.
Cup of reverse psychology anyone? Or have you already had enough?


It's a friend of a friend. Every "glitch" character represents one other character. So unless she's calling herself a friend of a f iend (note the space), it's got to be a friend of a friend. Anyway, since Adam stated, and you cited, that Metastasis is self-contained answer wise, I think that can be put on the back burner for now. I'm off to play Metastasis again; with any luck, I'll have some epiphany, and the truth will occur to me in a dream-like vision. But more likely, I'll be back here in a few hours time, ready to do this all again, and again if need be. I do think we're close to the answer - call it instinct. And thanks to you, we are several steps closer.

Thanks again for your input - I look foreword to your further analysis!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:17 am 
yes please, I'd like to see this evidence of Minerva being of human origin.
Still far from convinced. faaaaaaaaar.....

as for this:

This clearly isn't written by Minerva and has gone unquoted so far. It contains none of the typical egotistical ramblings, and yet displays many similarities to Minerva's comms, but appears more forced (hacked).


If not Minerva, then who?...


good question.

And regarding the whole friend of a friend/fiend. Do you honestly think it was purely coincidence that it was the 'r' that was replaced?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:48 am 
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Very well; have all that you can take:

Naurgul wrote:
The first sentence is where it all is: We know the player is (or rather was) human so Minerva is a human too. When I presented Adam with this piece of evidence his reply was
Quote:
Heh, it's easy when you know where to look, isn't it?
Certainly less cryptic than one might have expected.


From the first post of this topic; I wholly recommend reading Naurgul's opening post (page one, post one) in it's entirety - if that doesn't convince you I don't know what will.

But just in case...

Quote:
The few Combine records I've been authorised to see...


She's been authorized to see combine records. She didn't hack in - she was given explicit permission to see them.

Quote:
But what would I know, all alone in this forsaken machine?


I see this as being an indication that she is within, or indeed part of some kind of technology, either by choice or by force. But wait, there's more!

Quote:
Aww, fuck. I didn't expect this, I really didn't.

I know that place, and it is IMPERATIVE that you close this portal
and disable all related hardware AS SOON AS INHUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Don't die on me now, please. I need you...


Cursing; using all caps to indicate urgency; emotion; desperation. All so very human.

Quote:
You're the key spanner in our benefactors' foul works.

Our benefactors. Not "your" benefactors.

Quote:
From manufactured war criminals to saviours of the universe - quite a progression for discarded pieces of shit.


Note the use of a plural on "pieces"; she's referring to herself, as the first post (which I really hope you read in full) demonstrates. Bear with me for a moment, the best is yet to come. Right now, in fact.

Quote:
You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine
- so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or
whatever, you may still hold dear.


And there it is. Clear and simple. OUR species. Minerva is one of us, at least in some capacity. There can be no more doubt now, not as far as my logic goes, but please, read on.

Quote:
Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels.


Here we go - Minerva discusses what it feels like to lose your humanity. And the only way she'd know that is if she was once human, but through some "machine" was made something that barely classifies as such.

Quote:
Please don't take it as some residual aspect of my own purported humanity,
but I've grown quite attached to you.


Attachment is a very human thing to feel; one human, changed forever into something else by the combine, would naturally feel empathy for someone in the same situation - us, a former combine soldier. And then the fact that she mentions her "purported humanity"... I almost think she wants us to know that she's human.

Quote:
I was unaware just how rusty my mythology had become. Talking of dulled blades from earlier times...


Irrefutable proof of her humanity - were Minerva not human, she would have zero knowledge of human mythology from any previous time, simply because she hadn't interacted with humans in any meaningful way at that point. But she has known human mythology for a very long time, long enough for her to get "rusty" at it. Thus, her long term knowledge of human literature and mythology proves her (former) humanity.

Quote:
I have invested TOO MUCH towards your survival to let you end it all, shredded by the leeches swarming our once proud oceans.


OUR once proud oceans. Not "your", "our". Enough said.

So, are you convinced now? If not, please let me know, I'd be happy to run you through this in as great a level of detail as you require.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:09 am 
"Heh, it's easy when you know where to look, isn't it?"

Maybe he's deliberately lying to you?

"The few Combine records I've been authorised to see..." tells us absolutely nothing.

Authorisation comes in many forms. For example there's parts of my hard drive that Windows can only access under user accounts with the correct privileges (aka, authorisation)

"But what would I know, all alone in this forsaken machine?"

I see this as being an indication that she is within, or indeed part of some kind of technology, either by choice or by force. But wait, there's more!

You're misinterpreting this sentence.
"... all alone" room for more then? Her mind if INSIDE the machine. She's not a part of it, or joined to it, her conscious is inside it. Think Ghost in the Shell, The Major. This also tells us that, unlike The Major, Minerva has her limitations. From what i can tell she is free to roam through the combine network, but not any further for whatever reason. This explains her fear later on when she says that they know they can get to me now and that scares me.

"Aww, fuck. I didn't expect this, I really didn't.

I know that place, and it is IMPERATIVE that you close this portal
and disable all related hardware AS SOON AS INHUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Don't die on me now, please. I need you..."

Cursing; using all caps to indicate urgency; emotion; desperation. All so very human.


Scraping the barrel with that one. Why are emotions exclusively human? Doesn't really prove anything.

"You're the key spanner in our benefactors' foul works."

Our benefactors. Not "your" benefactors.


Again, you're misinterpreting. She uses the words "our benefactors" simple because that is what they're known as. Minerva appreciates the irony. What the combine did to earth and humanity, they also did to Minerva.

"From manufactured war criminals to saviours of the universe - quite a progression for discarded pieces of shit."

Note the use of a plural on "pieces"; she's referring to herself, as the first post (which I really hope you read in full) demonstrates.


Of course she's referring to herself, and you at the same time, hence the use of pieces instead of just piece. Both yourself and Minerva are manufactured war criminals that were discarded by the combine.

"You were a traitor to our species, but also a traitor to the Combine
- so just hope you've redeemed yourself in the eyes of whomever, or
whatever, you may still hold dear."

And there it is. Clear and simple. OUR species. Minerva is one of us, at least in some capacity. There can be no more doubt now, not as far as my logic goes, but please, read on.


I'll come back to this one in a mo...

"Found yourself staring into an abyss, with the suspicion that it's
naught but a mirror?

Don't worry, the feeling will soon pass - along with any other vestiges
of your humanity. These sickly, assimilated corpses were once human
just like yourself, remember.

I know exactly how it feels."

Here we go - Minerva discusses what it feels like to lose your humanity. And the only way she'd know that is if she was once human, but through some "machine" was made something that barely classifies as such.


No, you misunderstand. Minerva's not talking about loosing, specifically, the traits of humanity. It's talking about loosing what makes you, fundamentally, you - regardless of your species. If you're a sentient being what is it that makes you, you? It's your mind and memories, not your species.

"Please don't take it as some residual aspect of my own purported humanity, but I've grown quite attached to you."

Attachment is a very human thing to feel; one human, changed forever into something else by the combine, would naturally feel empathy for someone in the same situation - us, a former combine soldier. And then the fact that she mentions her "purported humanity"... I almost think she wants us to know that she's human.


She's actually telling us she's not human. And again i ask you why you think emotions are exclusive to the human race. You're correct in so much that Minerva is empathising with our character, but don't mistake empathy for sympathy.
Any sentient being would feel for another sentient being in this situation, providing the other species was an empathetic bunch. Also, click purported.

"I was unaware just how rusty my mythology had become. Talking of dulled blades from earlier times..."

Irrefutable proof of her humanity - were Minerva not human, she would have zero knowledge of human mythology from any previous time, simply because she hadn't interacted with humans in any meaningful way at that point. But she has known human mythology for a very long time, long enough for her to get "rusty" at it. Thus, her long term knowledge of human literature and mythology proves her (former) humanity.


No it doesn't. However it does raise some interesting questions of whether she's observed humanity before. Also, she talking about herself and another when she says "Talking of dulled blades from earlier times" but i can't remember the section of game or context so i'll leave that one there...

"I have invested TOO MUCH towards your survival to let you end it all, shredded by the leeches swarming our once proud oceans."

OUR once proud oceans. Not "your", "our". Enough said.


I can see why you thought this would be the killer blow to my argument, but it really isn't. This is a classic dose of psychology - comradeship!
You are, after all, trying to kill yourself. Or at least that's how Minerva would interpret it. Why else would you wade out in to the sea?

I must admit though, there are times when i wonder if Minerva is the amalgamation of many species... lol, Christ, sounds like all i do with my spare time is ponder the great mysteries of Minerva.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:06 am 
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Very interesting analysis, but in the end, nothing that can really be proven. I really doubt Adam would lie to us, it's just not his style. Lead us on a wild goose chase with metaphors and riddles yes, but outright lie? I just can't see that happening.

The core problem I found with your logic was that you had no evidence and no unifying theory. If we take the quotes "my" way (it's not technically mine, but for simplicity, I'll just call it the theory I'm supporting, thus, "mine"), and assume they support Minerva as human, we get a nice end result. Everything leads to a single point, the discovery Minerva is human. There is no evidence to the contrary, and each piece of evidence is supported by the others.

If we look at it your way, we don't get any neat end product. We have no idea who Minerva is, why she's doing any of this, and no logical reason as to why we should make the assumption that, for example, she uses "our" to express comradeship rather than being of the same grouping as us. Your results and interpretations do not support each other; they are, in my humble opinion, a simple alternate scenario.

I agree your interpretations look nice on paper, but in the end, the other way of looking at it just makes more sense because it gives us an answer, and thus a reason to look at it that way in the first place. Why am I so sure we're supposed to get an answer? Simple: Adam said we were. You even cited his statement that all we needed to find the truth of Minerva's identity is in Metastasis. "My" way of interpreting the quotes, and thus presenting Minerva as post-human, and not just post-something, gives us such an answer. It may not be right, but the very fact that it does yield a common solution and explanation means it's a step in the right direction.


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