: Lia didn't make any new segments for "Deep Into the Grotto",
: although she did add a couple of secrets to the area shown in your
: screenshot and also revised one of my two new secret areas slightly. The
: area seen in your screenshot existed in all prior revisions of the map,
: but part of it required a grenade jump to access, and part of it wasn't
: accessible at all. I have no idea why; you'll have to ask Drictelt. If you
: look at the map for 1.0.x or 1.1, though, you'll see that segment was
: there on all of them.
: I added one secret to the northwest quadrant of the map for 1.2 and another
: to the southwest. The one in the southwest is probably pretty easy to
: find, but the one in the northwest may be more elusive.
That's interesting to know. I'll need to keep an eye out for it in the older versions.
: With respect, if this is what you got out of Eternal, then you missed one of
: the game's central points (and I don't appreciate your use of misogynistic
: slurs, either). Durandal explicitly says in the final terminal of the game
: that the Jjaro have become indistinguishable from the W'rkncacnter in
: their methods and goals: The final chapters of the game are showing how
: the once-idyllic Jjaro society has turned into a totalitarian nightmare.
: Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
: safety deserve neither, as Franklin put it. The game is showing how both
: too much order and too much chaos are undesirable: the Stage Three Jjaro
: are, not to put too fine a point on it, lawful evil and the W'rkncacnter
: are chaotic evil. You are not meant to sympathise with either; the
: short-sightedness of their conflict literally destroys the galaxy at the
: end of the "Where Giants Have Fallen" timeline.
: In calling for the extermination of "always chaotic evil" beings,
: you are also coming dangerously close to calling for outright genocide.
: There is no such thing as "always chaotic evil" in real life.
: Tolkien himself sincerely regretted popularising that trope and considered
: it one of the biggest flaws with his own work; he spent his whole career
: searching for a satisfactory justification and never found one that
: pleased him.
: Terrorism is a complex problem with a myriad of causes, and treating it as a
: simple black-and-white issue that can be solved by killing the right
: groups of people misidentifies the causes and is certain to extend the
: conflict. I don't have time to write go as far into depth on the topic as
: I'd like right now, but one of the most pertinent points is that civilian
: casualties create more resentment - and, in all likelihood, more
: terrorists. I'll simply focus on a couple of case studies, one real and
: one fictional.
: It is of course a cliché that one person's terrorist is another's freedom
: fighter, but I don't think most people appreciate how far this extends:
: the U.S. and U.K. governments under Reagan and Thatcher, amongst others,
: both labelled Nelson Mandela's African National Congress as a terrorist
: organisation. (In fact, the ANC wasn't removed from the US terrorism
: watchlist until 2008.) I have, to put it mildly, no great love for either
: Thatcher or Reagan, but they weren't completely without justification to
: do this; they were just massively oversimplifying the issue by focusing on
: only one side's violence.
: The ANC became far more militant after the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in
: which 69 people were massacred after police opened fire on antiapartheid
: protestors; after that point, the ANC became more willing to commit acts
: of sabotage, and at least occasionally attacked both members of the
: military and civilians. Mandela himself explained: The ANC's military arm,
: the aforementioned uMkhonto we Sizwe (meaning Spear of the Nation),
: conducted several bombings in the 1980s that resulted in civilian deaths;
: the deadliest, the Church Street bombing, claimed 19 lives. The Truth and
: Reconciliation Commission formed by the ANC itself after the end of
: apartheid also found that uMkhonto we Sizwe routinely engaged in torture
: and executed prisoners "without due process".
: Of course, the ANC, despite those atrocities in its past, was not and is not
: at all comparable to either al-Qaeda or Daesh. (I refuse to dignify Daesh
: with the name "Islamic State", as it is neither.
: "Daesh" is derived from group's Arabic initialism and also
: sounds like the Arabic words "daes" and "dahes", both
: of which refer to someone who tramples on another, i.e., an oppressor.)
: Something somewhat more comparable would be MIDA from the backstory of
: this very game series.
: A major event that enabled MIDA's rise to power, however, was the Misriah
: Massacre in which UEG forces casually murdered some 500 starving Martians,
: which suggests that the UEG wasn't really any better. Notably, MIDA did
: *not* institute anything remotely resembling a Truth and Reconciliation
: Commission when it came to power, or even attempt to. Instead, it murdered
: some 10% of Mars' population on suspicions of being UEG sympathisers.
: Another of the central points of Eternal is that taking this sort of
: black-and-white thinking to extremes is morally myopic and leads to people
: becoming indistinguishable from those they fight. The game is explicitly
: endorsing a balance between order and chaos; and, ideally (and less
: explicitly), a balance of power, so that no one has the authority to
: coerce others through violence. The fact that Durandal notes (in the
: game's final terminal) that he and the player will have to obtain that
: latter balance through violence of their own is a major irony of the game
: - and arguably, of real life itself. Of course, this exact form of irony
: has been noted in writing for millennia: "Sī vīs
: pācem, parā bellum."
: The Jjaro and W'rkncacnter may share opposing goals, but they both seek to
: impose their will on others through violence. (And a central irony of
: Eternal's plot is that they both could create their own realities that
: conform entirely to their own desires, and spare the inhabitants of our
: reality their conflict entirely.) This is far from the only similarity
: between them; but it is a crucial one.
You're right about all of the last bit, including the parts about how Always Chaotic Evil doesn't exist in real life and how terrorism is as complex a problem as you say. What I was saying in the writeup at that point was how I initially interpreted it back in 2013 and thought it was pointing out flaws with fiction tropes. I didn't actually know it was based on real life, morally grey conflicts until years later when I read Marathon's TV tropes page.
Sorry if I came off as a genocide sympathiser, that was not my intention.
Personally, on the Rushing front, I always felt that the song felt like Marcus was thinking "I can do this, no problem. I've survived worse" for that level, but once you get to Where Giants Have Fallen and the melancholic Splash remix kicks in, that's when it hits home to Marcus just how serious what the watcher was saying is, and that even if he escapes the sphere, he might not make it.
I guess once the Hathor boss gets implemented in later versions, a non-Rushing song like What About Bob or Leela/Covenant dance (mostly the less heroic sounding Covenant Dance portion) might actually work better at that point so it's not all as bad as I thought. :)