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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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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:57 am 
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Obviously much of my lengthy theory above relies on what I said about the 2 holographic images being mirror images of each other, so here they are, the lower one I've flipped horizontally as you can see. Clearly they're not identical, but maybe a slightly different perspective on the same thing. (though of course it's possible they're just taken from the middle of a symmetric hallway or something like that.) Why else though would these seemingly uninteresting images be up on the wall?

both
Image

upper
Image

lower one flipped horizontally, click for fullsize for better comparison
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:47 am 
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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!


I agree it's indicative of a parity violation but the second quite is also a reference to Perseus (who used his mirrored shield to fight Medusa without looking directly at her).

It's also a reference to the players previous life as a Combine soldier (processed and stripped of non-combat essential organs) and his apparent inability to defeat the stories Medusa without their sacred artifacts (guns and ammo).

The next chapter is called Chronoclasm? I'm not classically educated but I know it tranlsates roughly as "Destruction of time". That's also supportive of a "future Earth" scenario or at least indicative of time travel or a disruption of times sequential progression in some respects.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:26 pm 
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Yeah there's various ways to interpret much of this. What seems the most interesting to me is that final quote from Someplace Else ("Half the universe, inaccessible to all but the highest energies") which seems like a perfect description of a mirror universe, which is actually a semi-legitimate physical theory. (especially in light of the other, less convincing evidence that's what he means. And I'm sure we can still cram time travel or something in there somewhere.) (oh, and apparently chronoclasm is now called "Out of Time")

While I'm at it, I read the review on rock, paper, shotgun! and Adam left a comment there where he said

Quote:
..there’s always my own Someplace Else for the original Half-Life. Technically, MINERVA is an indirect sequel, and any architectural similarities are more than deliberate… ;-)

Architectural similarities? That immediately made me think of the portal in Depth Charge

Image

and the gravity nullifier in SE. (better angle on the SE page: http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/para ... -else.html

Image

Obviously they're virtually identical, is this what he means? If so, Someplace Else is "An ancient machine tainted with human technology" then perhaps the portal in Depth Charge is an ancient machine? Could explain why this portal is where it is, not in a citadel. Hmm, an ancient portal unearthed in the Earths crust, where have I heard this recently?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Mercer wrote:
Zebes was a base of the Space Pirates in the Metroid series (you know, Samus Aran and all that?)


Not just. Zebes was also Samus' second home, where the Chozo raised her before most of them sublimed and Zebes was left abandoned for the Space Pirates to use as a base. That's precisely why the Federation sends her to stop the Space Pirates' metroid experimentations on that planet, and why Zebes has Chozo relics scattered about through it.

I don't think I need to outline the similar parts of Minerva's life (at least in Terrapin's posthuman AI theory), but just in case: Samus/Minerva is orphaned (either literally or metaphorically) and adopted by the Chozo/Forerunners, taken to their planet of Zebes/Portalplace to be raised and taught to use their some of their artefacts. She then moves on to do stuff, and the Space Pirates/Combine come along and use Zebes/Portalplace as a base (admittedly, the Combine've just started exploring Portalplace). Yeah, it's a sketchy parallel, but it was my attempt at sounding cryptic and witty. ;)

Ace wrote:
Half the universe? Highest energies? Well I'm sorry, but that's just dead-nuts on.


Damn you and your plausible theories, Ace.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:29 am 
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Screenshot from Someplace Else:
Image

_________________
-Anything that happens, happens
-Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen
-Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, causes itself to happen again; though not always chronologically


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:49 am 
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Ansob. wrote:
Mercer wrote:
Zebes was a base of the Space Pirates in the Metroid series (you know, Samus Aran and all that?)


Not just. Zebes was also Samus' second home, where the Chozo raised her before most of them sublimed and Zebes was left abandoned for the Space Pirates to use as a base. That's precisely why the Federation sends her to stop the Space Pirates' metroid experimentations on that planet, and why Zebes has Chozo relics scattered about through it.


Ooooh, huh...That explains where all the Chozo stuff was doing lying around everywhere :roll:

I really need to get my backstory straight :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:54 am 
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Inspired by White Raven's comment on the blog I finally managed to noclip to the world through the portal in Metastasis (turn on noclipping and God mode and go straight down from the portal chamber) and yeah it's a lot clearer from there rather than trying to see it through the portal. As has been stated before, the architecture does look a lot like Someplace Else. The truss structure looks just like the hallways, and also what I hadn't noticed before was the spire-like things sticking out are also just like the ones in SE.

Image
Image

Seems Adam added these since he made that lux-aeterna page, maybe he wanted to make the hint clearer? This again makes me think of what Adam said, which I quoted a couple comments up about how "architectural similarities are more than deliberate." This implies to me that the "ancient machine" in SE was built by the same civilization that we seem to be seeing the ruins of through the portal. (Not to mention the bit about "eschatological secrets" implying whatever civilization was there is now done for.) So then this ancient civilization seems to be a good candidate for what Adam's referring to in these:
Quote:
...your ancients were superstitious, deluded zealots, ... My adopted forefathers are different, their scattered, discarded playthings more conducive to a meaningful imposition of my thoughts upon our captors.

We are alone in this battle, so should we dare to take up their ancient, abandoned weapons and become like gods ourselves?

And then there's the comparison I made above between the portal in Metastasis and the gravity nullifier in SE. The portal goes to this world of this ancient civilization, and has the same architecture that this civilization used, so this to me further suggests that they built it, and the Combine simply discovered it there. (Explaining why it is where it is, not in a citadel, and why they'd need this unusual power downlink from a satellite to power it.) (note SE predates Halo 2 and 3 so this idea wouldn't have seemed too derivative.)

Unfortunately I'm having a hard time bringing even just my various theories together into one cohesive story. That world could be a future or mirror Earth, making the civilization human. It certainly seems Minerva was human at some point, but she does seem to distinguish between her world and ours several times. She does say the world through the portal was her home once, maybe, but what exactly does that mean? I still think though that the Combine invaded her world, whatever that is.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:18 am 
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L1ddl3monkey wrote:
The next chapter is called Chronoclasm? I'm not classically educated but I know it tranlsates roughly as "Destruction of time". That's also supportive of a "future Earth" scenario or at least indicative of time travel or a disruption of times sequential progression in some respects.

Mmm... Not quite. Let's look at dictionary.com:

dictionary.com wrote:
cat·a·clysm
–noun
1. any violent upheaval, esp. one of a social or political nature.
2. Physical Geography. a sudden and violent physical action producing changes in the earth's surface.
3. an extensive flood; deluge.


So while it is by necessity violent, it is not necessarily destructive, especially when applying it to such an abstract noun as time. Indeed, if we want to look further, towards the Greek (hah) origins of the word:

Online Etymology Dictionary wrote:
1633, from Fr. cataclysme, from L. cataclysmos, from Gk. kataklysmos, from kata "down" + klyzein "to wash."


So if we were to interpret it literally, it would translate to a "washing of time", a wiping clean.

Which to me, is infinitely scarier than a mere apocalypse.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:28 am 
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The Combine never controlled that world beyond the portal. I think Minerva said that. I remember hearing it somewhere. But they also knew what it'd look like before they got there, because there's a pretty holo-globe that depicts the landscape. Yet, there were drop ships and advisor pods, you have to look carefully on one of the monitors, coming out of the portal. They must have been looking for something that wasn't on the scarred surface, or they wouldn't have had a reason to visit it.

I mean, except for playing with antlions.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:59 am 
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Zetetic Elench wrote:

So if we were to interpret it literally, it would translate to a "washing of time", a wiping clean.



Hate to argue over ancient Greek, but I'm afraid you're wrong (and I'm right - nah nah nah and other suitably childish phrases :D ). I looked into this a bit further and you've made the mistake of thinking that the root word is Cataclysm. It isn't related and a "clysm" has a different meaning to a "clasm".

Chrono means time and clasm turns up the following:

clast-, clas-, -clastic, -clast, -clase, -clasia, -clasis, -clasis, -clasmic, -clasm
(Greek: break, break in pieces; broken, broken in pieces, crush)

Looked up here:

http://wordinfo.info/

So it does mean a breaking or crushing of time, which is close(ish) to what I originally thought. Kind of a moot point since Adam changed the name anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:00 pm 
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L1ddl3monkey wrote:
So it does mean a breaking or crushing of time, which is close(ish) to what I originally thought. Kind of a moot point since Adam changed the name anyway.


<silliness>
Time Shock!
</silliness>


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:55 pm 
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Oh gods, I can only imagine what a time-travel themed Bio/System Shock game would be like ...


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