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Author Topic: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...  (Read 21205 times)

Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« on: February 26, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
***SPOILERS***

Hi.

As I said in another I've many questions about the story and some characters. I'll begin with some parts I'm not sure I understood well. Google trad is good, but limited tool... ;)

1- Very interesting the story of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. At the end, does Horatio kill Gamma ? I use the torch on the screens were Gamma is hiding himself but I did not understand what happened then, so I switch to the next part.

2- At the end, we learn by Metromind that in fact, Horation was made as a tool to fix other robots or resolve problems, is that right ?

3- About Memorious kiosk. There's one entry that kept me blocked for a few hours, it's "Redline" or "Redlien". I could not understand the logic. It said "REDLINE
A mighty feat :
Redline's boss controls us all.
Total system fault."
With that, was I supposed to find the "Lies" entry ?
What Crispin's advice meant ?
" You know, it was like you could read this "redline" poem in two different ways, boss. "

I did not want to see any complete soluce so I just Googled Redline entry and that gave me this page http://notabenoid.com/book/35602/126219?Orig_page=17 in Russian I guess were I found the Art and Created entries (an then easy to find "Oracle"), but still I did not understand how I was supposed to go from "Redline" to "Lie".

4- I did not understand if Metromind took power Metropol because she wanted it, and by killing Factor, Memorious, Steeple, and Arbiter ; or if it was, as she says herself at the end of the game I guess, a simple logic consequence of the original structure of the city. Maybe this last question is not clear, if so tell me I will develop that.

Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 11:04:03 AM »
1. He "seals off" Gamma but doesn't kill him; basically, Horatio makes it impossible for Gamma to reunited with Alpha and Beta.  There's another way to solve that puzzle -- a better path.

2. Sort of.  There's more to Horatio than that.  The main way to find out involves solving the puzzle in #1 the alternative way.

3. You don't go from "Redlien" to "Lies."  You go from "Redlien" to "Art."  The poem is:

A might feat:
Redline's boss controls us all.
Total system fault.

The first letters of each line form a word vertically (two ways to read the poem -- left to right, or up and down).  This is a poetic device called, in English, "acrostic."

4. I'm not sure there's a clear answer to the question.  Since everything in the city was built a certain way, at least arguably both of your explanations are true: what MetroMind "wants" is a function of how she was built, and how she was built is part of how the city was designed.

One of the themes of the game (especially played out if you solve #1 on the alternate path) is the extent to which a robot can overcome its "core logic" and do something it wasn't designed to do.  MetroMind has never tried to break free of her core logic; so I don't think she's seeking power because she wants it in some selfish sense; it's just what she thinks she was made to do, and she's following her "core logic" to its ultimate point.
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Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 04:54:10 PM »
Thank you for all these answers M. Yohalem.

1- Resolving Goliath part
I have to say that I realized only yesterday, by reading some topics here, that "There are no dead ends in Primordia"... And, also, shame on me, I did not see the "Achievements" button.  :'( But it's ok I just wanted to know what happens when Horatio "seals off" Gamma. If he was dead or something else...

2- Horatio's nature
Ok I definitly must play Primordia again to understand this part. I think this is a central point in what you are telling with this story, am I wrong ? By the way, thank you for not spoiling me this part of the story. I'll "work" on it.

3- Redlien
I spent like 2 hours searching a second, hidden, sense for the "Redline's poem". Because of what Crispin's said. The matter was that I did not understand the poem in any way, primary or second... Thas is the definitive proof that English teachers are bad in my country...
So the logic path, in fact, was Memorious - Oblique - Redlien - Art - Created - Lies - Escape, wich is logical because it put the words in the right order to find the final acrostic. Off course.
Well done, it's a good enigma. I guess English players get a lot of fun with it.

4- Metromind's mind
Thank you for your explanation. Things appear more clear to me that way. And it's really interesting. But I must find a solution for the Goliath before discussing about this.
Anyway that leads me, in a perfect transition, to my next question. It's ok if you do not answer I already take a lot of your time.

5- Going deeper in the analysis : about Madness
I was reading some interview of you I could find on the web. I quote you :
" Some believe in the divine; some believe in justice; some believe in progress; some believe in the past; some simply go mad. "
Could you give your very personal definition of "madness" please ?
I ask you that because I have the feeling that Primordia is mostly a piece of art about madness. About love too, off course, and other things, but I experienced a quite deep thinking about madness in the game.
I'd be glad to have some comment on that.

Again thank you for the time.

Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 06:08:44 PM »
1/2/4: Well, I don't want to lead you astray: the path that reveals more about Horatio and free will is the one where you do not smash the monitor containing Gamma, but rather cause Gamma to rejoin with Alpha and Beta.  If you did that path -- and got the resulting item -- then the question is whether you found an opportunity to use that item near the end of the game.  If so, then you've found most of what I'm talking about.  If not, then that's the path to look for.

3: The ORACLE/Memorious thing seems pretty divisive; I would say that 80% of the time that it's mentioned, it's described as the best puzzle in the game (even in foreign-language reviews), but 20% of the time (as in the GameSpy review) it infuriates people.

5: Oh, I don't have any great definition!  In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with a definition for madness that couldn't apply to any moralizing worldview (justice, religion, golden-age nostalgia, utopian future-orientation, etc.).  But I guess I'd say it's something like, the other kinds of worldviews ascribe values to what happens in the world ("It's all part of God's plan") whereas "madness" is just a breakdown where one is no longer able to perceive what is happening in the world at all.  In terms of the game, Gamma who I was thinking of when I said "madness."  But in some sense, all of the robots you meet are kind of crazy.
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Offline jwalt10705

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 10:46:11 AM »
Thanks, Nevbuilt, for starting this thread! I'm a native English (US) speaker, and I missed some of the depth in this game, until I came across your comments and and Mark's replies. If some reviewers don't like it, they, like me, missed the point. I was even thinking about sending in a "bug report" regarding the mispelling of Redline. The "lie" never occured to me. Getting ready to restart the game and look at it from an entirely different viewpoint.

Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 04:37:26 PM »
@jwalt

I started again Primordia from the beginning today, I really enjoy to see the dialogues again, knowing the history. I understand A LOT of things (and it's not only a matter of being no native English speaker). No boring at all to restart the game.
Do not thank me for opening the topic, better thank M. Yohalem to take time to answer my questions ! ;)

@ M. Yohalem
Ok I'm trying to "Find Horatio's secret". I think Google translation is going to ask me to pay for overusing the device some day.

What I meant talking about madness in the game. Well I did not want to over-interpretate the story you are telling, or anything. It is just my own, very personnal interpretation of what this story tells, that I wanted to discuss.
I read your interviews and the part about "holding a mirror" (interesting mirror you made with Primordia), I wanted to explore some other paths.

As you said, "in some sense, all of the robots you meet are kind of crazy" so I keep the idea that it's a story about madness. Maybe, "mostly about", I said that a bit too quickly before...  ::)
But I got to find Horatio's secret to proceed, I understood it.

About the word madness, I guess we can make the difference about on one side "ordinary madness", and in another part people who "go mad", or crazy ? In Primordia's world, it is as you describe mostly robots" kind of crazy", and Gamma who, indeed, goes completely mad. Two different things fore me.

I have great interest for all these topics you develop in the story (madness, core logic, going through core logic, free will, etc... and also law/order/chaos, clarity/charity/arbiter) for a long time. This part of the story really get my attention and talked to me. More than the "mirror" concept.

Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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Few more questions about backgr63ound
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 09:26:43 AM »
A few questions that came to me during replay :

1- Why is Memorious "Moribuilt" and not "Manbuilt" like other members of Council ? If it's related to Horatio's secret please do not answer.  ;)

2- Where does come from the word "b'sod, b'sodding..." ? Is it a reference to something ?

Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 10:38:47 AM »
(1) The Council member is Memorious Manbuilt.  Memento Moribuilt is a "partial" of Memorious Manbuilt (as Alpha, Beta, and Gamma are partials of Goliath or Factotum is a partial of Factor).  Memento is less of a genuine partial and more of a constructed entity, hence his use of the fabrinymic "Moribuilt."  (Also, Memorious gave him that name as a play on the words "Memento Mori."

(2) Blue Screen Of Death.
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Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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Does one disapear when die if all is fractal ?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 09:53:03 AM »
"Memento Mori"... I definitively did not get that. Really nice.

The "singing robot" in front of the courthouse says that she is "part of the great fractal". And then talks clearly about infinity concept. Does these reflexions match with a viewpoint of yours ?

Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 10:22:09 AM »
(2) Not especially.  I do find fractals fascinating, but I was mostly interested in making Gimbal seem as otherworldly as possible while still employing concepts that would make sense to robots.
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Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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2nd feedback & more questions
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 08:50:50 AM »
I finished Primordia again, here my feedback and some questions.

I do not have much negative criticisms.
+- Music is good, maybe not as awesome as the rest of the game. There's a lot of tracks, that's cool, but then each track considered one by one is not that great.
+- Graphics are ok for me, really nice drawings. I read  a lot of negative comments about it on players reiews. I was like, I don't know, "go play to Battlefield 3, or Skyrim or something..." It's always the same problematic : the less you show, then the more mind create itself, so pixel is ok.
One negative comment I have about drawings is that some are really cool (all the dune parts, especially the giant robot, out (crazy !) and in, out and in the UNNIIC, the dome, the device ; and then inside the tower, Factor, bus screen and waiting robot screen, street, station) when others are more classic or just fine (the underworks, the courthouse, not that charismatic at all :-\ ...).
++ Story, characters, dialogues : nothing to say, great work.
++ Audio dialogues are great ! Big +1 to all actors.
+- Crispin's clue system is great. Maybe sometimes he gives the solution too easily but maybe sometimes I just click on him too quickly.
++ I liked the triptic "left/right/Crispin click" to get different comments on interactive object. Inventory is also really well made. Overall the interactive part of the game is really well made.
( -- The mottor/copper thing was fun at first sight but then really too easy. Quite disapointed on this detail.)  :(
++ The game has an awesome replay value with choice/consequence system and achievements. I still did not find the hidden tape deck...  :-[
++ Commentary mode is well made and fun !
--- "Stop scraper once and for all"... with a virus ?! Nothing so crude as a virus.  >:( With Scraper's own arm, Man damn it ! And then give the arm to Crispin version 2. And then go shoot at zombies in the underworks. In 3D. PS4 graphics. Multiplayer mode available. XP&leveling system. New weapons... I'll stop there. Is some patch possible for that ? Thank's.

Overall I would say that, what mostly made me enjoy Primordia, is the fact that it gives deep feeling of being "homemade", and by people who enjoyed working on it. And this has no price.


***ULTIMATE SPOILER***

I'm sorry, I got a few more questions about thing I did not understand well.

First I believed the giant robot of the sands was the Goliath and had been sent by Urbani to destroy Metropol.
But in fact, the giant robot is the defensive weapon built by Metropol against Urbanian Goliath (then destroyed by a virus). So when I found Horatio's secret, I understood that the Goliath is the UNNIIC ("Urbanian... something"?). And I suppose that when UNNIIC was taken down, Horatio rebuilt himself from parts of the UNNIIC, keeping in his core logic his aim of destroying Metropol ?

So finally what was Horatio's goal : repare, destroy, the two things ?

I was wondering what would be Charity's judgement if she had to judge Oswald/Cornelius/Rex case ?

I had a lot of fun with Primer. Why does he talk whith rhymes like that ?

The clock in the station that indicates 1:55... anything to understand about it ?

Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 10:09:49 AM »
Glad you enjoyed it so much!

(1) UNNIIC/Horus/Horatio/Goliath: As long as we're going heavy spoilers (and since it's hard for a non-English speaker to catch all the nuance), I'll lay stuff out in some detail.   Goliath was the most powerful military machine in Metropol's arsenal (other than their missiles, I suppose), while the Horus was the most powerful machine in Urbani's arsenal. Horus was deployed to achieve "mutually assured destruction" after a Metropolitan poison gas / missile attack on Urbani.  Horus, using the Thanatos virus, disabled Goliath and was prepared to destroy all the machines in Metropol (using the same virus).  It realized, however, that this would kill off the last of the humans in the world, and broke from its programming.  Before the Horus crashed itself, it downloaded part of its AI into a cyborg servitor onboard.  (The crash, incidentally, sheered off the bottom half of the HORUS tag on the ship, leaving behind UNNIIC.)

This servitor took the name Horatio.  From elsewhere in the game, there's evidence that partials like Horatio take names that play off the entity who created them: Memento Moribuilt from Memorious; Factotum from Factor.  (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma clearly do not do this.)  Horatio has as a kind of a false etymology HOR[us] + RATIO, which is to say, "Horus's Reasoning."

The Horus destroyed itself to prevent wiping out mankind; this set Horatio up to revere humanity, so when he met Ever-Faithful Leobuilt, he easily fell into Humanism.

By the time you meet Horatio, he's version 5.  Each prior version locked itself and corrupted or encrypted memories to keep the later versions from accessing them.  (From the ending where you beat MetroMind but fail to repair Crispin or Clarity:

Home.
But there's nothing left for me here, either.
The things I've lost can't be scavenged or repaired.
What's written can't be rewritten.
It can only be locked away.
I know now what the other Horatios knew:
the need to forget.
So.
Horatio, version 6:
May you build better
and make from Horus's sacrifice,
and all the ones that followed,
something more than a power core
and an empty ship,
full of echoes.

)

It's not really expressly stated, but it's heavily implied that this process is one by which Horatio is trying to remove the destructive aspects of his core logic -- to build, rather than destroy.  The culmination of this effort, in my view, is when Horatio has the Thanatos virus, is in a position to finally destroy Metropol (and has good reason to, to destroy MetroMind), but opts to leave the city instead to go work on the UNNIIC.  He says he's "through hating [Metropol]" -- at last he's shed the sentiment which he expresses at the start of the game, an unreasoning hatred of Metropol.  Horatio is, at least in part, free from his "core logic"; the "Ratio" has won out over the "HORus."  So now, I think, he'll be a robot who builds and repairs.

(2) Clarity names Rex "Nullbuilt" because neither robot can prove that he built Rex.

(3) Primer's rhyming is just a function of his being somewhat crazy, as a consequence of having to lock away the parts of his reasoning that would be ashamed at surrendering.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clanging

(4) Just flavor / red herring


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Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 04:05:18 PM »
Thank you for this long answer. I didn't realise that maybe people do not do that, come and aks for explanations about the story and all that, so... what can I say... thank you again.

Just a thing about 2), yes I found this way of solving the problem with Clarity's judgement. My question was : what would have been Charity's judgement for this case. It's just curiosity...

Ok I clearly missed things about the history of mankind Fall. Now I think I got it.
About all you're telling there would be a lot of comments...  ::) But it also raises more questions and projection ("extrapolate" ?).

So, why did Horus "download part of its AI into a cyborg servitor onboard" ? Maybe it was in its core logic to do that ? What would you say ?

And I got another one, it's jus a detail : is there any reason I missed for Primer's medal for being between Factor's doors ?




Offline MarkYohalem

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Re: ***SPOILERS*** Questions about story, characters...
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 10:57:52 PM »
People do ask for explanations.  I have no objection to giving them, except that I have some trepidation about (1) imposing my own views of the story, which, after all, is a text that is open to interpretation, and (2) ruining the process of players thinking about and talking about the game and coming to their own opinions about it (and making their own discoveries in it).  But, like I said, in the case of someone who has diligently played through the game using a translation, I'm happy to help!

Regarding (2) -- I missed the Charity/Clarity thing.  In fact, I missed it in reading your post (twice), and it was just now as I was writing a reply that I finally caught it.  I'm not sure how Charity would have resolved the case.  Part of the virtue of the Clarity school of thought is that decision-making is easier under it; I'm not sure what the most merciful decision here would have been.  Perhaps she would have come to Factorbuiltbuilt, although I think she would've lacked Horatio's unique manner of thinking that produced that answer.  More likely, she would have insisted on mediation, joint custody; perhaps Rex CorneliusAndOswaldbuilt.  ("What?" cries Oswald.  "You would put *him* before *me*?!")

You're open to come up with your own reasons for why Horus created Horatio.  My own view is that Horus wanted to persist, and also wanted to set in motion to possibility of a future version who would build, rather than destroy.

No reason on Primer; just puzzle design.  Perhaps a Factorbuilt cleaning robot had picked it up and inadvertently dropped it when the Factorbuilts went into hibernation?

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Offline WayschangerNevbuilt

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The Rex controversy
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 12:35:16 PM »
(Hi. I understand that you " have some trepidation about imposing [your] own views of the story, which, after all, is a text that is open to interpretation." And I like this state of mind. On my side, I have trepidation about over-interprating a story, because that's quite easy to do.)


Rex case.

I was about to propose « Salomon's split decision » when I noticed, reviewing the scene, that you refer to it whith Crispin's conclusion.

Then I got some criticism about Horatio's judgement on this case (the one which leads to « Factorbuiltbuilt »).
Because, if you keep this logic on, it will lead you to name ALL robots «Manbuiltbuiltbuiltbuilt...».  What do you think ?

About Charity's judgement. Or let's say simply another way of « solving » the case.Well I got a suggestion. Here it goes.
What I observe is that the « Rex controversy » between Oswald and Cornelius seems to be their only (or last) reason to be together. Tell me if I'm wrong but it seems that, whatever the way you solve the case, the consequence is the same on one point : Cornelius and Oswald are no longer together, Oswald ends just drinking (too much) at the bar, kind of depressed  it seems.
Having those facts on mind, my interpretation is that, maybe, « Rex controversy » between them is, at the end of the day, what maintains their « friendship ». Or, to reformulate, Rex is one (strong) symbol of their friendship. If you name it, you break the link. Do you agree with this view ?

So, to conclude, I would say that an Ethic viewpoint would lead to NOT TO give ANY judgement. I'll explain that.
I think it is a matter of Desire. What is Cornelius and/or Oswald's desire ? They think it is to name Rex. But when they reach what they think it's their desire, then there is nothing. Void. They can get no real satisfaction. (Good illustration of « dynamic of desire », which is not here to be reach but to maintain something.)
The only ethic answer to their request would be something like :  « Ask yourselves about your own desire here. »

Another option : Rex Friendsbuilt. With a logic based on searching what created Rex ? From a concept/symbolic viewpoint : their friendship.



Horus, core logic/desire

« You're open to come up with your own reasons for why Horus created Horatio.  My own view is that Horus wanted to persist, and also wanted to set in motion to possibility of a future version who would build, rather than destroy. »

So... it 's a matter of desire too.
That's why I was asking for details or explanations about Horatio v.5's primary function, his core logic, etc. The decrypting revelation is a great moment in the game. Of course it was quite hard to understand, plus I'm no coder...  ???
But I'm ok with your view of the possible future of Horus, knowing his past.
A question about that : would you say that Horatio v.5's will of flying (only) comes from the fact he first was a flying robot (the Horus was kind of a flying ship, am I right) ? Maybe this was supposed to be obvious ?