Re: Are there even timelines at all?
Posted By: PhiltronDate: 1/4/21 4:15 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Are there even timelines at all? (Durandal_1707)

: Also, in M2, Blake's humans had already been trying to activate Thoth for a
: while before they rescued the player, so it's possible that they might
: have hit a few sites already by that time.

They did not.

Here is what Blake says on "This side towards enemy":

"Durandal's last instructions were for us to
reactivate a dormant S'pht AI, sealed
beneath the surface and reachable only
through teleportation. We hope you will
succeed where we failed."
"You're doing well, but have not activated
all the personality cells in this area. We
have been able to find no maps of this
structure to help you, but the activation
switches must be nearby."
"The S'pht have verified the partial
activation of the AI. The Pfhor are
already curious about what we are doing,
but when they realize what we have found
they will go insane."

The context from this should be absolutely clear: the main character is the first person to begin activating Thoth. The Bobs don't have maps of the area. The S'pht verify the partial activation of Thoth, not the further activation of Thoth. The Pfhor begin to take interest in what is happening as though this the first time it's happened. The way Blake describes all this is as though we're the first ones to do this, and that is clearly the intended reading.

Then on My Own Private Thermopylae:

"Your success made us bold again, and I took
thirty men ahead of you to secure the next
level. There was an ambush; Pfhor troopers
were waiting for us and we were decimated.
I returned with as many men as I could, but
more remain trapped nearby and the area is
lousy with heavily-armed Pfhor.

They must realize that we intend to awaken
this ancient S'pht computer, and whether
they understand our reasons for doing so or
not, I am certain the Pfhor will continue
to make every effort to stop us."

So, Blake decides to actually have the humans activate part of Thoth themselves and are slaughtered by the Pfhor. Then on Kill your television, Blake isn't even sure if the cores are at that location. It's clear the humans have never been to these places or they simply never reached the cores.

It's obvious from a Close Reading of the text that we are intended to read the activation of Thoth as done by the main character himself. We see all six cores and all three activation sites in M2.

: However, I don't think the location in "Strange Aeons" is actually
: Thoth's core. Like Durandal, Thoth is software, and can transfer himself
: to other computers as needed, and Thoth is already active at the time you
: go to SA (presumably activated by Durandal's humans), as he has been
: sending messages to you on the previous level. The purpose of the facility
: that we power up in Strange Aeons seems to be for merging the two AIs, and
: Thoth presumably transfers themself to it once we power it up.

: This also explains why (in-universe, anyway) we needed a new uplink chip in
: Strange Aeons—this ancient machine certainly would have a different
: interface than Durandal's ship. It'd be like trying to insert an SD card
: into a CompactFlash reader.

There is nothing to indicate that the purpose of Strange Aeons is to merge AIs except that you happen to merge AIs there combined with your own fanciful thinking. That doesn't mean it can't be, but there's nothing indicating that it is (especially when there is a much clearer explanation). There's no reference to the Jjaro ever merging AI nor that they had technology capable of this. There is nothing in the actual Text of the game that suggests this. No, the path leading up to the chip insert does not suggest this, it only suggests that that room is designed for uploading large amounts of data.

The cores are designed to look exactly like the cores in M2, so clearly we are meant to interpret these as Thoth's cores. This is the simplest and most straightforward explanation for what that place is.

And no, the main character does not find a thousand year old (or whatever age) uplink chip floating in the water. Your attempt to force a diegetic reason for a chip to be there doesn't make sense and actually contradicts itself.

If the new uplink chip is S'pht/Jjaro and we need it to connect with the cores in Strange Aeons due to its interface, then connecting Durandal's primal pattern with this chip would face the same problems with connecting directly with the cores: the interface of the Jjaro chip would be different than Durandal's ship. And if Durandal's primal pattern could just be downloaded from the main character's brain into the Jjaro chip, then it could also just be downloaded directly to the Jjaro cores.

So, no, the main character does not pick up a microchip on Hang Brain and hide it in his underpants until Strange Aeons where he happens to find a thousand year old Jjaro chip which magically connects to the chip with Durandal's brain. The chips are clearly there for the reasons of game mechanics and representing how the main character contains Durandal's pattern in his own brain.

The only diegetic explanation that would make sense is that the main character picks up an actual chip on Durandal's core, stores Durandal's neural net in his brain as well for some reason, the chip gets confiscated by the Pfhor, which happens to be given to a Pfhor scouting team in Son of Grendel, that Pfhor team drops the chip in Strange Aeons when they're killed, which is where the main character finds it again.

However, even that explanation is weak due to the fact that the main character has everything he needs to resurrect Durandal in his own mind. No chip is actually necessary to accomplish what is happening. If the interface would be a problem then it should also be a problem with a thousand year old Jjaro chip.

: We could also just say the nitty-gritty details of map layouts are
: non-diagetic, I guess.

We definitely shouldn't interpret the map design as hyper literal.

However, the location of Thoth's cores is not the "nitty-gritty" of the map layouts. Their locations aren't slightly off or redesigned, they're in completely different geographical and narrative locations from each other (except maybe the one underwater in Chapter 1, but I'm too tired to check if there's a corresponding location in M2). It's not nitpicking to point this out, this is a major element of what's going on with them.

: As for Durandal defeating the Western Arm on his own without the S'pht'Kr, 1)
: he explicitly says he can't do that in M2, and nothing we ever see in-game
: suggests otherwise, and

If you're going to cite things to disagree with someone then at least look up the context for how they occur.

Here is everything that Durandal says, from various terminals regarding this:

"You must hurry. The Pfhor fleet is close
enough that I can identify its flagship as
the battleship Khfiva. If the Khfiva is
still admiral Tfear's vessel then there is no
chance that I can best him in the coming

Tfear is a brilliant strategist and the
Pfhor's oldest active admiral. I'm sure
his list of decorations and victories would
only bore you, so get back to work.
Battle has been joined in orbit and Boomer
is taking heavy damage. I cannot hold out
for long, but the Pfhor will not soon
forget the day that a lone corvette
obliterated half of Battle Group Seven,
Western Arm.
The Pfhor fleet has won, and Tycho is with
them. My ship is crippled. I am trying to
make an emergency landing on Lh'owon's
second moon, Y'loa.
Today I have forced the Pfhor Naval Academy
to update its curriculum. The Third Battle
for Beta Tear must be dropped from the
Seven Great Battles which every aspiring
Pfhor naval officer must memorize and
replaced with The Humbling of Battle Group
Seven at Lh'owon."

So, while Durandal is trapped in Lh'owon orbit, refusing to move to a better tactical position because he wants information, he is attacked by an organized and prepared Admiral Tfear (aided by Tycho) who see Durandal from AUs away...

And he smashes them so badly that he destroys half their fleet in a battle that could be considered a humbling of them. You could take that last bit as Durandal just being arrogant, but unless you think he's lying about how many ships he destroyed then this was an astounding feat. He barely lost and that was while being at a tactical disadvantage and while his enemies were being directly aided by an AI that is part Durandal itself.

However in Ne Cede Malis, Durandal has not explored Lh'owon and so he's not trapped in Lh'owon orbit, Tycho isn't with Tfear's fleet to help them, and it seems Durandal may have ambushed Tfear (the way Tfear ambushed Durandal in the manual chapter) as Battle Group Seven entered the system.

If Durandal could destroy half the fleet while he was at a disadvantage in M2, then it's reasonable that he could defeat the fleet entirely (or enough that they'd launch the trih xeem) if he engaged them on his own terms.

: 2) Durandal is an egomaniac, and it's completely
: in-character for him not to share credit—heck, he won in M2 via a Hail
: Mary pass and still is all like "He couldn't break me. No one can.
: " in the ending.

This is a very narrow view of Durandal that doesn't match a Close Reading of the character. Durandal acknowledging the presence of the S'pht'kr would not be out of character for him. A Close Reading of Durandal at the end of M2 shows that he is actually proud of the S'pht'kr arriving precisely because of his arrogance: He sees the arrival of the S'pht'kr as his own accomplishment. Durandal has no reason not to mention the presence of the S'pht'kr in the battle because he sees their arrival as part of his own tactical brilliance, his own triumph. "Once again we are triumphant."

: It's left open-ended, and the specifics aren't
: clearly stated, but my interpretation is that the player's first attempt
: was to have Durandal run a bee-line straight to Thoth's core, without
: spending all that time poking around, establishing a base, reading history
: terminals, exploring the citadel, etc., in the hopes of getting done and
: leaving before Tfear can fire the trih xeem.

The specifics aren't stated but from what we see in-game, the most reasonable thing to interpret is that Durandal defeated battle group seven (for the reasons I mentioned above) on his own due to arbitrarily different decisions he makes in this timeline.

Also, let's be clear. The main character does not control or influence the behaviors or actions of other characters in the game. The main character would not be able to force Durandal to do things differently.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Infinity: the Story: Chapt 2, Part 1/2Philtron 12/16/20 2:21 p.m.
     Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 2, Part 1/2Philtron 12/16/20 6:45 p.m.
     Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 2, Part 1/2Godot 12/16/20 11:33 p.m.
           Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 2, Part 1/2Philtron 12/17/20 3:38 p.m.
     Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 2, Part 1/2HamburgerBoy 1/2/21 8:26 p.m.
           Are there even timelines at all?Durandal_1707 1/2/21 11:07 p.m.
                 Re: Are there even timelines at all?General-RADIX 1/2/21 11:54 p.m.
                       Re: Are there even timelines at all?Durandal_1707 1/3/21 6:41 a.m.
                             Re: Are there even timelines at all?Godot 1/3/21 7:39 a.m.
                 Re: Are there even timelines at all?Philtron 1/3/21 12:02 p.m.
                       Re: Are there even timelines at all?Forrest of B.org 1/4/21 1:01 a.m.
                             Re: Are there even timelines at all?Durandal_1707 1/4/21 7:27 a.m.
                                   Re: map layoutsDocument 1/4/21 9:22 a.m.
                                         Re: map layoutsVikingBoyBilly 1/4/21 10:15 a.m.
                                   Re: Are there even timelines at all?Philtron 1/4/21 4:15 p.m.
                                         Re: Are there even timelines at all?Durandal_1707 1/4/21 7:26 p.m.
                                               Re: Are there even timelines at all?General-RADIX 1/5/21 6:13 a.m.
                                                     Re: Are there even timelines at all?Philtron 1/5/21 5:17 p.m.
                                               Re: Are there even timelines at all?Philtron 1/5/21 5:12 p.m.
                                               Re: Are there even timelines at all?VikingBoyBilly 1/6/21 8:05 a.m.
                                         Re: Are there even timelines at all?VikingBoyBilly 1/5/21 5:48 a.m.
                                               Re: Are there even timelines at all?Philtron 1/5/21 5:25 p.m.
                                                     Re: Are there even timelines at all?VikingBoyBilly 1/6/21 8:42 a.m.
                                                           Re: Are there even timelines at all?Forrest of B.org 1/6/21 9:59 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Are there even timelines at all?Godot 1/8/21 5:21 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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