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Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?
Posted By: Durandal_1707Date: 12/4/15 1:30 p.m.

Okay, there's no doubt that Infinity *itself* takes place in a different timeline from Marathon 2. However, are its individual timelines inconsistent with each other? It would seem so, given that our alliances shift between Tycho and Durandal, and yet are they really? Let's have a look.

The most obvious question here is the Envy timeline, which certainly appears to be a continuation of the previous timeline. There's expressly stated continuity between it and the previous timeline; the raid on Durandal's ship, the destruction of his core, and your acquisition of his primal pattern all happened, and Tycho knows about them. There's *also* continuity between Envy and Despair in the mention of the trick with the authorization stamps, and there's further continuity with Despair in that Tycho was planning to send us to Durandal's ship just as that chapter ended.

So, there's really two big sticking points regarding continuity: K'lia showing up at the end of Despair, and Durandal's section of the game. K'lia, I think, is fairly easily explained; the S'pht'Kr, without Durandal to explain the situation, may need time to analyze what's going on before acting, and once they *do* act, Lh'owon is a big system, and there are a lot of ships orbiting it. It's completely possible for the S'pht'Kr's attacks to be localized to a different area of the planet or system than where the player is, particularly since without any knowledge of the situation, the S'pht'Kr have little reason to care about Durandal or the Bobs. The S'pht'Kr [i]do[/i], of course, show up in Bagged Again, and without the Durandal-Thoth entity around, they truly *don't* care about us; we get captured at the end of the level and they do nothing to prevent it.

The other big thing is Durandal, which raises the point: are we really the same *person* in his section as in the others? After all, we know there were ten cyborgs, that Durandal got one of them, and that Tycho located and "easily separated" them from the colonistsóbut notice that he never actually says he killed them all. What he does say is that he recorded the deaths of all the colonists, and that he was able to distinguish the cyborgs, but who's to say Tycho didn't pick up one of these cyborgs for himself? It certainly seems to make more sense than kidnapping the one cyborg who's got reason to hate the Pfhor the most. If we go with this hypothesis, we could say that the Jjaro have been transferring our consciousness around from one cyborg to another; this would also explain Durandal's "friend of a friend" line.

There's another possibility, however; Durandal's section also appears to occur chronologically before the other sections (Durandal and Tycho haven't met yet, whereas in Despair they fought and Durandal disabled Tycho's ship), suggesting that we do unquestionably have some kind of time travel. However, might we still be in the same timeline? The first thing we do in this chapter seems to be preparatory; eliminating the 723rd early on so that it can't interfere with our plans later on to merge Durandal and Thoth. What exactly the goal is in Where Some Rarely Go / Thing What Kicks is less clear, but it appears the overall effect is that we've basically caused enough chaos on the planet so that the Pfhor have beefed up the "Waterloo Waterpark" facility such that it's now the place where their defenses are heaviest. Also note that "Rise Robot Rise" has the "captured" flag set, causing us to start without our weapons and most of our health. Did the cyborg get captured in Waterloo Waterpark this time around, leading to Rise Robot Rise?

So the timeline goes: Acme-Thing What Kicks (prepatory work) -> capture by Tycho at Waterloo -> Rise-Confound (Tycho gets control of his ship, prepares to board Durandal's) -> Naw Man-Hang Brain (Durandal's ship boarded, Durandal's core destroyed and pattern obtained) -> Envy chapter (Bobs neutralized, Durandal and Thoth merged, nova prevented).

I think it works.

There's also the issue of the "failed timeline" levels, of course, but then again these all occur during a dream sequence, so there's no way to know if they're even real or not. Since they're completely interchangeable, and none of them reference the events of the supposed timelines at all, it's entirely possible that they're simply warnings from the Jjaro being transmitted into our brains to show us what will happen if we fail.

I dunno, what do you think?

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Replies:

Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Durandal_1707 12/4/15 1:30 p.m.
     Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?General-RADIX 12/4/15 2:12 p.m.
           Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Tacticus 12/4/15 8:22 p.m.
                 Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Forrest of B.org 12/4/15 11:17 p.m.
                       Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Durandal_1707 12/5/15 12:31 a.m.
                             Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Forrest of B.org 12/5/15 10:39 a.m.
                                   Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Durandal_1707 12/5/15 11:20 a.m.
           Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?pfhore 12/5/15 4:54 a.m.
                 Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?General-RADIX 12/5/15 6:24 a.m.
     Re: Does Infinity Really Have Multiple Timelines?Dispatcher 12/5/15 5:55 a.m.

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