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New Interpretation of Gheritt White and Durandal
Posted By: JagerDate: 7/29/04 3:18 p.m.

Okay, I strongly believe that looking at other works by an author, one can help elicite the tru7h.

With ilovebees puzzle/story/craze, when prompted by another bungie forum user (eMCee), I began to look back at Durandal and in particular, the Gheritt White terminal with a fresh eye.

(While I discuss ILB and some Halo story, my purpose is on explaining the Gheritt White terminal's existence and its relevence to the Marathon game. Up to now its been just a random story with symbolism that could only be tangently explained).

In ILB, we have an AI by the name of Melissa. She communicates through a hijacked website. She appears to be an Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) probe that while on a mission, became damaged (shipwrecked she says). She is delirious and confused. She has even forgotten her own name. As she is being repaired, she performs "memory benchmark tests" in which she regurgitates old memories. While this apparently serves to test the systems and the AI's ability to recall past moments, I also believe that in "rebooting" or "recalibrating" the AI, the AI must go through its memory banks.

****Experience makes us who we are (and we can also argue, genetics).****

So if an AI becomes damaged and forgets its own identity, it must recalibrate itself by processing old experiences and old memories. This allows it to "rediscover" itself, so to speak and allow it to resume its old identity. Hopefully, without too many side-effects.

Sprinkled throughout ILB is the AI's MAYDAY texts, regurgitated thought processes as she attempts to make sense of where she is and who she is. Some of the texts that we find regurgitated appear strikingly similiar to Gheritt White. They contain human, not AI, characters recalling past experiences as though they were a dream. Unrealistic thinigs happen, and the "experience" contains many symbols and allusions.

(you can skim this quote, its not important to my point).

"totally different kind of memory all of a sudden, floating up like a bubble from deep water, then *pop* on the surface of my mind. All in black and white for some reason, faded out, or just time bleaching the past like it does, time is hard that way, if you-
stop. stay on task, girl.
so *pop*, and I'm...
playing on the beach, very young, making a castle out of sand. It's a good castle, I'm smart, I'm really smart and I'm good with my hands and the castle is beautiful but the tide is coming up, I'm making dikes and moats and outer walls, getting a little desperate here this castle means the world to me it's way better than my brother's, but the tide is rising and rising, the tide is always coming up and no matter how hard I try to save what I have made, sooner or later the spiders wash over it and melt it down I'm losing the memory already I can't see myself was I wearing a dress or overalls or ...? There's a boy on the beach next to me but a wave comes up foaming with spiders and takes away his face-
oh.
we're made of sand.
we're both made of sand.
uh-oh.
I will stand firm. I will hold my edges and remember. I can do this. I know how to remember things, even through drugs and torture. seek evade reveal resist. I will not dissolve."
-http://bees.netninja.com/wiki/index.php?title=Mayday_text_organized

Without going to much further into ILB I will explain the meaning behind this here. (not in this post anyways). What is important is that this experience *defines* Melissa, our stranded and confused AI. That the experience never happened and is totally unreleastic is not the point. It is highly metaphoric, and contains many things that symbolize how Melissa feels about existence.

A final note on the Halo universe is that the AI's are often(always?) based on real people. Therefore, an AI is a shadow or an image of someone else's mind. Since I believe that experiences make us who we are, logic follows that the AI contains many memories, dreams, aspirations, and experiences from the original mind. Again, when an AI becomes damaged or confused, it must somehow reset itself (i don't think big enough floppies exist to backup an AI . . . ). Thus, to restate my point, the AI falls back on its stored memories to help reset itself.

Okay, sorry about that. Now to the true meat of the post. Durandal.

I believe that Durandal, and not the player, is the source of Gheritt White. And I will use everything above that I explained to say why.

We are told Durandal is damaged in the initial attack. I don't think we are to doubt the tru7h to this statement, however, it is also very obvious that Durandal is holding much back from Leela. Therefore, once Durandal comes back online, he certainly wouldn't bother to fill her in on that bit of information.

Being damaged - here's when I go out on my limb - Durandal must reset himself. We dont' know *how* damaged he is, but I am going to say that he starts going through his memory cores, in a similiar process that Melissa does it. And in searching through his files, he regurgitates up Gheritt White.

But this isn't [i]any[/i] memory . . . this story/experience/memory/dream [i]entirely[/i] symbolizes Durandal's persona in every way. It efficiently describes [i]in a single, little story[/i] the injustices of his early days on Mars, he attitude towards others, his feelings against oppression, and his desire to kill Strauss and willingness to destroy what stands in his way- his ultimate goal of escapinig Closure of the Galaxy.

Perhaps Durandal wrote it sometime previous to the invasion. Instead of cataloguing everything that has happened for the past 300 years (which would also mean reading through every "blog" entry over that time period), Durandal could store all that he needed to know for his "personality reset" in a short, simple story only a few bytes in size.

Or maybe Gheritt White was a person. Maybe that is who Durandal is based off of (if AI's in Marathon are anything like AI's in Halo). Either way, Durandal is damaged. Durandal must reboot. He performs personalility resets, and he runs memory benchmark tests. The AI being damaged, Durandal regurgitates to a random, hidden terminal a story, a memory, a dream.

source of ILB text:http://bees.netninja.com/wiki/index.php?title=Embedded_Text

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Replies:

New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandalJager 7/29/04 3:18 p.m.
     Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandYossarian 7/29/04 4:20 p.m.
           Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandCheerful 7/29/04 4:46 p.m.
     Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and Durand•M 7/29/04 8:30 p.m.
           Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandJäger 7/29/04 8:55 p.m.
                 Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandBoomer 7/30/04 1:02 a.m.
                       Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandJäger 7/30/04 10:33 a.m.
                       Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandEnkidu 7/30/04 7:10 p.m.
           Re: New Interpretation of Gheritt White and DurandForrest of B.org 7/29/04 9:05 p.m.
                 Oh whoa, thanks. I needed a good laugh :DJäger 7/30/04 10:22 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts


 

 

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