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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:36 am 
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I'd be careful about that, Kenny, because "looks like somewhere on Earth" is such a broad term as to be more or less useless, in my opinion, since the variety of places on Earth is so broad as to cover just about any natural habitat in which humans could survive unaided. Indeed, it's the inverse of an episode of Stargate: SG-1 in which they find themselves on "an ice planet" ... which turns out to be Antarctica. My first impression, once I'd gotten the idea that it wasn't the Combine homeworld again, was "a fourth dimension altogether."


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:59 am 
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I got from context that it was near Minerva's location. Close the portal, because they're coming for him/her.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:45 am 
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bbcisdabomb wrote:
I got from context that it was near Minerva's location. Close the portal, because they're coming for him/her.


Since the craft we saw were coming through the portal to your location rather than going to whereeveritactuallywas I'm not sure that was what was going on.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:57 am 
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Minerva states that there are some sorts of ancient artefacts there, presumably capable of being weaponised. Thus, it is plausible that they've already opened the portal earlier (It'd be a strange coincidence for the very first activation of the portal to occur whilst you were down there). Thus, they probably sent a few dropships there to either do some recon, or to transport some of said artefacts back to Earth.

Also, I feel this may have been mentioned a bit in the text before the credits.
"We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their
ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?"

I'm not saying that 'ourselves' refers to the combine, although it could. More likely, it just a nondescript group, be it humans, Xenians, some other race, or just all sentient life in general.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:39 pm 
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Terrapin wrote:
One, we know Antlions came from Xen.


They don't; or rather, they don't originate from Xen. Marc Laidlaw said it himself: no life is indigenous to Xen. Xen is a transit point between dimensions - a busy subway station in the universal order (not to be confused with the Universal Union). The portal storms brought the antlions to Earth (and here, a point can be made both for and against the theory that they were part of the Nihilanth's stolen Combine army, given their absence in Half-Life), but that's as far as the correlation between antlions and Xen goes...

Personally, I subscribe to the theory that claims that that was Minerva's birthplace, and a previously virgin world at that - though she is no longer there, she still doesn't want the Combine to be able to conquer and assimilate the portal's destination.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:41 pm 
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You'll notice that the architecture is composed of objects using the shaderlab textures. Guess where else those textures have showed up...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:59 am 
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Someplace Else took place on Zen.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:04 pm 
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Not a time portal. Most likely a world that is hard to transit to (distant from most?), hence the reason for the combine to make a portal on earth instead of on their home world. Probably a civilization that has long been dead. Possibly references to and/or artifacts from the civilization/planet on other planets/worlds. Maybe Minerva has not been there before but knows of it.

Certain: We will go there.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:21 pm 
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Ansob. wrote:
Terrapin wrote:
One, we know Antlions came from Xen.


They don't; or rather, they don't originate from Xen. Marc Laidlaw said it himself: no life is indigenous to Xen. Xen is a transit point between dimensions - a busy subway station in the universal order (not to be confused with the Universal Union). The portal storms brought the antlions to Earth (and here, a point can be made both for and against the theory that they were part of the Nihilanth's stolen Combine army, given their absence in Half-Life), but that's as far as the correlation between antlions and Xen goes...

Personally, I subscribe to the theory that claims that that was Minerva's birthplace, and a previously virgin world at that - though she is no longer there, she still doesn't want the Combine to be able to conquer and assimilate the portal's destination.


I stand corrected, then.

In any case, I'm beginning to doubt that that was, in fact, a portal to somewhere (or somewhen ) on earth. Minerva refers to it as "that place" and "that planet", meaning that it is unlikely to be on Earth. But since the presence of time travel is a very real possibility, perhaps it isn't Earth, but another world, colonized by humans at some point in the future. Perhaps at some point, a somewhat large number of us managed to escape via a portal (intentionally or not), where the Combine could not, or would not, follow. There, we reproduced, and used our knowledge of technology to begin anew. I have to admit, I really have no evidence for this, but it does fit. [/i]


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:15 am 
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Terrapin wrote:
In any case, I'm beginning to doubt that that was, in fact, a portal to somewhere (or somewhen ) on earth. Minerva refers to it as "that place" and "that planet", meaning that it is unlikely to be on Earth.


I have to admit; I've just had a change of mind. I'm starting to agree your theory that Minerva was human but is now some form of AI* disseminated across the web, or a similar infrastructure, rendered so by her "adopted forefathers." That'd mean the world in question isn't some othertime or parallel Earth but simply her Zebes.

*A god from the machine. Heh.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:33 am 
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Allusions to Metriod... well done. 8)

If you've seen Ace's Lux-aeterna thread, then you'll know we've got a pretty big clue as to what that place is. Lux aetrena means eternal light, and Minerva also state's that we're "lucky to see this world", and that it is something worth preserving - she recognizes that the Combine have destroyed countless other worlds, but deems this one worth preserving above all else. She also says that the place may once have been her home, and we can also see some markedly human looking construction (the truss beam); where there's humanity, there's computers, and if I'm right, then where there's computers, there's a potential "home" for Minerva.

But what of her view of it a valuable, more so than the countless other worlds the Combine has destroyed. This place, this "eternal light" is something Minerva will (and did) risk her own safety to protect.

Here's an idea: humanity's loss to the Combine is inevitable. They are too many, too powerful, too advanced. We're doomed, here on Earth. Like the Xenians before us, if we want at least some measure of survival, we must find it elsewhere. But while they were forced to retreat into the horrific realm of Xen, Minerva has a far better option for us: Lux aeterna. Why were humans there before? The teleportation experiments at Black Mesa. We tried to access this paradise, a perfect world for humanity to grow and prosper, to begin anew momentarily beyond the Combine's reach. But things went awry, and Minerva was stranded there, and thanks to the project being shut down, no one could join her there. Somehow, something or someone in this place "adopted" her, making her into the artificially immortal program we know today

Think about it - L-A holds the secret to how Minerva became what she is, then to repent her earlier mistakes, she wants all of humanity to join her, casting aside their cages of flesh and bone, becoming more that rodents and hairless apes, and joining her as digitally deified entities the Combine can never destroy.

An interesting idea, yes?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:46 am 
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Yeah this thread-hopping feels a tad cumbersome, it just seemed to me that that world was important to who Minerva was, thereby transcending thread barriers. (wow, that sounded pompous!)

Well I for one think the human colony/outpost idea for lux aeterna is an interesting one. The rest is a rather heavily speculative of course, but it's a shot.

Terrapin wrote:
...she wants all of humanity to join her, casting aside their cages of flesh and bone, becoming more that rodents and hairless apes...


Vaguely reminds me of Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. Ever read it? If not, I'd give it the thumbs up, one of my favorite scifi novels.

And I haven't a clue what Zebes is or how it applies here. Anyone care to elucidate?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:58 am 
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Terrapin wrote:
An interesting idea, yes?


Holy crap yes...that's an excellent bit of speculation...



Ace wrote:
And I haven't a clue what Zebes is or how it applies here. Anyone care to elucidate?


Zebes was a base of the Space Pirates in the Metroid series (you know, Samus Aran and all that?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metroid_%28series%29 Link just for you...

Although, I have no idea what he means referring to the place beyond the portal as Minerva's Zebes

Oh another note, I think it's very possible the world-beyond-the-portal is a long forgotten future-earth, due to things like this:
Image
Image
Some pretty heavy hinting I think!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:11 am 
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It does indeed look as if they're comparing the two worlds. The real question is what they're looking for. A specific location, or a place meeting certain criteria? What I find odd is that, while the end of the portal we're on requires massive amounts of machinery and power to run (but can be disabled by pulling a single cable ;) ), no functional machinery of any kind is viewable on the other side.

We know Combine portals must have two ends - Alyx says at the end of HL2 that Breen "turned over control [of his portal] to the other side", and when the portal does open, machines can be seen on the other end. Yet this portal seems to only need one end to be operational, meaning it could theoretically open anywhere, at any time - literally. So perhaps those images were a map of the other world, and they were trying to find the best locations to go to.

Oh, and as for it being Earth... unlikely. Minerva refers to it as "that planet", meaning it differs from the planet we are currently on. But maybe I'm reading too much into two words.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:48 pm 
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What about that other pair of holographic images in that room? It looks to me like an analogy question, picture A is to B as C is to D. Well, if C and D are the earth and ganymede images, what are A and B? Well, they look like images of those combine transport thingies, but if you'll notice the upper and lower images are almost exact mirror images of each other. (almost, but not quite, so I guess it could be coincidental). (screenshots are on post on next page.) Hmm, so what's that mean? Minerva did say something about mirrors twice in M3:

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

.. without your mirrored shield, winged sandals or
invisible cloak, you're just a dumb, processed grunt with your
larynx torn out.


Though admittedly they don't immediately seem relevant. But something in my head is screaming parity violation!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parity_%28physics%29

For non physics grad students out there, it basically means mirror inversion, and it turns out in some (high energy physics) situations to matter, sort of, whether our universe is right or left handed. (see parity violation at bottom of above article.) So it does seem suddenly altogether not unreasonable to me to think that the world on the other side of the portal is some sort of mirror Earth in a mirror universe. Hmm, maybe I've seen & read too much scifi over the years, but this is starting to sound good to me. It would explain Minerva's references to "our species" and "our oceans" but also distinguishing between her and our worlds ("..saving our worlds") as well as the reference to eschatology. (eh, maybe.) And now those quotes above actually do sort of make sense in this interpretation, especially that first one. Though all of this does of course hinge on my assumption about the images A is to B as C is to D, maybe that's not the implication?

EDIT: I'm reading up on this a bit more and finding that there really is a legitimate physical theory about this that I hadn't realized. Check out this quote from the wikipedia article posted above:

Quote:
This implies that parity is not a symmetry of our universe, unless a hidden mirror sector exists in which parity is violated in the opposite way.


Hidden mirror sector links here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_matter

And is one speculation as to the origin of dark matter! Well, this may be far off the mark, and getting farther, but oh well, I like it. And I do seem to recall reading somewhere that Adam was a physics student, and so could conceivably come up with such a thing? (and Minerva did indicate in Someplace Else that she has a working knowledge of general relativity! Eh, if that's relevant.)

EDIT 2: Alright, check out this ending quote from Someplace Else:
Quote:
The real aliens were closer than you ever thought - just around the corner, but out of reach, caught by a quirk of twentieth century physics. Half the universe, inaccessible to all but the highest energies.

But such a boundary could never remain unbreached.

Half the universe?, highest energies? Well I'm sorry but that's just dead-nuts on. (Or maybe I'm just finding ways to justify my ridiculous theory?)


Last edited by Ace on Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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