[Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

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[Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby BrettM » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:27 am

To my way of thinking the game left out the best possible ending: not blowing up the Bleeder!

Sure, the bad ending showed us that C.W. was wrong, but that doesn't really mean that Caroline was right in believing that the Trees (or whatever is behind them, if anything) are benevolent. That's pretty binary thinking. Anybody who's ever watched the original Twilight Zone can think of an example of apparent alien benevolence that did not end well: To Serve Man is a cookbook! How does she know that the Trees didn't save everyone for use in some unpleasant psychological or social experiment? Furthermore, the Villeins were snatched despite the fact that they were in the process of leaving a dying world, as their species had been doing successfully for eons. They did not need to be "saved" from their situation by any outside interference. How is that act even remotely benevolent even if the intentions were good?

My point is that there are legitimate, unsettled questions about the wisdom of letting the Trees act as they wished or were designed to do. And every living being of every species had a stake in the final decision. All three alien species apparently agreed to defer that decision by allowing the humans to connect their Trees to the Bleeder along with the Tree in Hunrath. The Villeins actively cooperated in building the device. Any of the species could have told the humans "suppress your Tree if you want, but leave ours alone" if they had faith in the outcome of allowing their Tree to come to natural fruition.

At the end, both CW and The Stranger know for a fact that there are still living members of other species around. Even assuming everyone in stasis and the trapped Villein died, the Arai were still around. None of them appointed either CW or The Stranger as the Great Decider, entitled to make a final decision concerning the Tree for them. CW might not have cared what a bunch of aliens thought and might not have believed us when we told him about the humans still in stasis and might not have cared where the other cells went when Hunrath returned to Earth, but The Stranger should have had the option to not be so arrogant, particularly as a newcomer who was perhaps not as conversant with all the factors and considerations as those who had been living in the cells for years.

Refusing to blow up the Bleeder is the only morally-justifiable action under those circumstances, IMHO. Wait for everyone to come out of stasis. Grab some tools and go back to Maray to try to rescue the trapped Villein. Go back to Kaptar and try to open communication with the remaining Polyarch. Sit in a corner and blow spit bubbles after throwing the dynamite in the lake. Anything other than blowing up the Bleeder.

While I'm at it, whose witless idea was it to position the dynamite so the Bleeder would fall towards and destroy a critical installation rather than towards the hills on the other side of the lake? I suspect that would turn out to be a Bad Thing even if CW's hopes had been realized. In the good ending the people of Hunrath are now marooned permanently on an alien world without a source of power. (And we were apparently doomed to die stuck up in a tower with no way down. Perhaps a fitting reward for our hubris.)

Why was it even necessary to blow up the Bleeder in the first place? Apparently the thing was designed without a simple "off" switch by the same mechanical geniuses who never thought of putting more than two buttons on an elevator control panel regardless of how many floors it was intended to serve. But, even in that case, using a pair of insulated snips to cut a few wires would have been a more elegant solution to the problem of disconnecting the Bleeder than a large explosion.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Twitch » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:16 am

So they could have a cool explosion.
Really, though, since we don't know the details of how the bleeder worked, it's possible that it needed to be destroyed that way.
What if it fell towards the bubble wall and completely shorted out upon contact with the bubble, frying the tree itself?
What if a shutoff switch would just arc when you pulled it, causing severe burns to the user and not actually shutting it off?
We don't know the nature of the energy that it was handling, nor the details of the machine itself. It may have been necessary to get the top of the Bleeder as far from the bubble as possible. Still, in that case, they probably should have pulled all the exploding red barrels out of the train cars...
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Twitch » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:17 am

Oh, they might have also wanted to avoid the bleeder hitting one of the two ambassador seeds it was nearby. Who knows?
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Tahgtahv » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:20 am

Also, the 4 spheres were still in the original 4 worlds (which were dying) albeit swapped. Not blowing up the bleeder would just mean that at some point apparently soon, they would be destroyed.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Haldi » Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:52 pm

BrettM wrote:At the end, both CW and The Stranger know for a fact that there are still living members of other species around.

What? Stranger? What Stranger? Never met this guy.
Wait... why do i even have a signature?
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby BrettM » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:44 pm

Tahgtahv wrote:Also, the 4 spheres were still in the original 4 worlds (which were dying) albeit swapped. Not blowing up the bleeder would just mean that at some point apparently soon, they would be destroyed.

There is no question that the cells were not sustainable in the long run. Hunrath, for example, did not have an infinite amount of fuel, clothing, medicine, etc. They couldn't stay where they were forever no matter how long it took the host planets to die. And the only way out was to shut down the Bleeder so the Trees could transport the cells elsewhere.

But "soon" is relative. The cells weren't going to be destroyed in a day or a week or however long it took to get everyone out of stasis and call a conference to make a decision. My vote would have been to take a chance on the natural fruition process, since the "go back to Earth" plan was clearly a non-starter for several reasons. But that wouldn't give me the right to force my preference on everyone. Yet that's exactly what I did in either ending. I made a choice between CW's plan and the alternative, and I implemented that choice for everyone without giving them any say in the matter despite the fact that there was time to do so.

This is far different from the situation in Myst, where The Stranger was the only one with the actual power of choice, since the others were helplessly trapped. I was forced to choose one of the three because I was the only one who could resolve the stalemate. But even so they were not voiceless and each had a chance to advocate for themselves.

In Obduction we were not actually in a stalemate situation at the point where we blew the tower. We knew the views of CW and Caroline, which were diametrically opposed, but we don't know the views of any of the other humans, much less the aliens. The only thing we know is that none of them were previously ready to follow either course, since all agreed to put the Bleeder into operation to defer the decision.

(Oh, what I wouldn't give so see some of the material that Josef took with him and put in the pods! The journal detailing the history of the Mofang conflict would be enlightening, I'm sure. But I would especially like to see the journals of the previous mayors and particularly those of Farley and Sims. Why was Sims suspicious of Farley's death? Hmmm.)
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby tommyap » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:19 am

The bad ending is a tad over the top.
Not only have you unwittingly caused the death of all chambered souls, human or otherwise, you get to watch a cataclysmic event on Earth as well before you succumb to a presumably radioactive duststorm and it is all your fault.
Both Charmingly Friendly and Cantankerous Wretch seem to operate on assumptions with the best of intentions.
They may disagree but who is right? Their disagreement seems to be on friendly turns anyway.
As a player you get practically no information on what the conflict/war/whatever is about. Is it or is it not connected to C.F. and C.W.'s difference of opinion? You can only guess. More people agreeing with C.F., if the two things are connected, does not make her right. One trapped-wounded alien gives you nothing but a number which leads to a clue you can read various ways. The other mimicking-a-human-badly alien can also be interpreted in different ways.
The only usefull clue that can prevent you from making the wrong call is found IF you shoot the dead human and accidentaly connect the dots correctly before you disable the device you have been warned about all over Hunrath and consequently don't.
I did not, nor did I witness whatever caused the damage to the chamber structure afterwards, nor did I have any clue to why or by whom I was locked out of it on first play through.
Even if you asume the immens skeleton in Kaptar is the remains of a polyarch the species that hunted it may not necessarily be evil. Besides; A carcas that size will need some time to fully decompose. The machinery is obviously old. All the structures in Kaptar are damaged and partly collapsed. The species hunting Arai may be extict by now. There is an abundance of Arai larvae all over Kaptar and elsewhere so the Arai do not appear to be at the brink of extinction, but anything else is gone. If I had asumed the skeleton to be Arai and seeing the abundance of Arai larvae I would have shunned the species like the plague, not the Mofang.
If they are the species hunting Arai, they may have had good reason to. Something that huge needs a LOT of substanance. One sphere, or even four, is likely to small a habitat for a single adult to survive. The adults being intelligent on top of being absolutely enormous does not bode well for my or anyone elses survival. Herbivores do not tend to be overly bright, their food does not run or swin to savety. Predators need wit to catch them though. Seeing those shiny scales in all their splendour one second before being eaten is meagre consolation. It may feel sorry for the little critters, but breakfast comes first. To end up locked in with that gargantuan beast could be worse than the "bad" ending. There are spheres of yet other worlds on Kaptar. There is one sphere with brownish rock, some structures and yellow Arai larvae. There are two spheres with blueish rock, some structures and green Arai larvae. Rocks of those colours are not found anywhere else. There is no mention of green or yellow Arai larvae in Caroline's notes. But Arai larvae are everywhere.
Symbioses with the tree?
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Bryan B » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:19 pm

I saw that ending and it was exactly what I was expecting. I never fully trusted C.W.

Then I realized that I could
[Reveal] Spoiler:
reload my game
.

Warning!!! Solution: You can then
[Reveal] Spoiler:
unhook the battery (you had to know there was a reason C.W. was so worried about the battery being hooked up, right?


I suspect you could also
[Reveal] Spoiler:
leave the door to the battery cable connector open and let the critters unhook it as well, but I haven't tried that one yet.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby BrettM » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:59 pm

In the bad ending, we don't really know what happens to Maray and Kaptar, so it's impossible to say that the chambered humans who didn't have time to swap back to Hunrath died. It's possible that those two cells had a natural fruition after the Bleeder was destroyed and were saved, given that the Trees there were not hooked up to CW's apparatus. Those cells certainly did not go to Earth along with Hunrath.

I don't think the analysis of Kaptar is on target. For one, we can see four Polyarchs in stasis chambers, so they aren't anywhere near the size of the giant skeleton. For another, the Arai appear to be exoskeletal in all forms, while the large skeleton is clearly an internal skeleton. The large skeleton is almost certainly that of one of the creatures that the mechanical race was harvesting.

I don't see the Arai as being much of a threat, even if they didn't already have a long record of peaceful coexistence with other species. The Polyarchs seem to regard the barnacles and beetles as being disposable units, allowing the mechanical race to use the beetles as bait and allowing Caroline to experiment with larvae. The larvae can't even hatch unless a Polyarch chooses to approach them, so they have a great deal of ability to control their population to limit it to the available resources. I just don't envision a race like that planning aggression against the others.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Susa'n » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:19 pm

The huge skeleton in Kaptar (with the flippers) is the whale/shark-like water creature depicted in the wall drawings near the first ambassador seed machine and stone statue heads in the temple (the heads remind me of a wahrk). I don't know what the smaller skeleton is -- a polyarch?
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Annabelle » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:04 pm

I don't know which game you played guys... but you get some weird assumptions let me tell you!

Hunrath was snatched from Earth (abduction in masse), a whole piece of desert land in Arizona, in the 19th century. Some other parts were added coming from different eras like Farley's home (more 1950s style home) and the garage/junkyard area.

The first alien race they met were the Mofangs. Humanoid and friendly creatures who had hard time to communicate in human language but able to comprehend human languages. They shared their knowledge with humans (all the red devices everywhere). They linked their Tree with the one of the Humans using the Heart as a link between worlds. Their sphere is located just beside the Humans' one. The portal in Hunrath is a "representation" of "what was Soria, the sphere of the Mofangs". Unfortunately, at the moment we are abducted there, Soria is a waste land. Soria had a great past. Soria was inhabited by the Mofangs.

The Humans came afterward in contact with 2 other alien species, the arais and the villeins. The villeins settled themselves in Maray, that wasn't their land at all. They are great travellers. The arais' home is really Kaptar but not Kaptar as we see it when we actually visit the place. They welcomed in their past 2 different civilisations; a civilisation of builders who built those amazing temples which helped them developped because of the possibility to niche their cocoons in remote places. The 2nd civilisation was a little less well-aimed. They were hunters and they use the arai as bait to hunt monstruous birds. We can see a skeleton of one those beasts.

The Villeins setteld in Maray to avoid extinction.

The four species created a community in harmony connected by their respective Tree and the Heart in the middle of it all.

What's important here is that all 4 races (Humans, Mofangs, Arais, & Villeins) are carbon-cell creatures. This is one of the main focal point of this game. What does a carbon-cell creature needs to survive? It needs to feed on carbon-cell organisms. That's an universal rule, intangible.

Look at Maray, plenty of life there!
Look at Hunrath, there's life there, not as much as in Maray but in sufficient quantity to sustain a certain number of Humans.
Look at Kaptar, even though it's mostly rocks and minerals, there are life forms there (other that arais)
Go take a walk in Soria now... What do you see? That's the answer!

The game is solved right there!
The Mofangs cannot live there anymore, there was a meteorite crash right in the middle of their sphere. Everything is melt. Take a look at the Tree there. By any chance, one half survived...

Mofangs are at war for one and only reason, they need to survive. There are 3 spheres remaining. Kaptar might be good enough for arais but not so for Mofangs. 2 possibilities: Hunrath or Maray. Villeins and Humans decided to cryogenised themselves in order to survive. If you look at the list of the cryogenised creatures, you'll see some Mofangs so they were not all that bads. They were not bad at all, they have to survive!

They left some folks behind: Villeins guards to protect the cryogenitic facilities from a masse attack from Mofangs and C.W. on Hunrath to prepare the "transfert".

The game design is really well done too in order to let you understand the story. Caroline tells: "Josef was the first gone!", first cryogenised. When you arrive in Maray, you have a welcoming message by Caroline saying, cross the bridge, the sign-in area is right around the corner... Yeah... The bridge has been disabled... So you have to go through the "challenge area" set by the Villeins to stop an attack en masse (by Mofangs), Caroline gives you the whole story on a nice broded paper note. All the obstacles have been put there by design. During your journey, you'll hear and see a Mofang morphed to mimic Josef (but very very badly). With interferences you see the morph, going reptilian and going back "human" even the eyes go reptilian, it's a disturbing and unsettling experience. Mofangs can morph and they cannot use human language intelligentably.

The only way to reach Soria is during the completion of the "Challenge area" in Maray. So you understand finally why the Mofangs are at war. When you come to the sign-in area, you see a battle going on. You have to get close to the Villein guard in pain and dying, he is trying to communicate with you. You know that Villeins cannot be understood but when you turn back you'll see the number "222" on the screen. If you look in the journal on the table nearby, you'll see it's the number for Josef. The Villein guard wants to tell you: "The guy that said to you we were going to eat Josef and all the others is a fake one, a morphed Mofang, go see the cell of Josef, he is cryogenised." That's what you need to do. You see Josef alive. The way is now open. You see on the path the Mofang half-morphed in Josef. If you look at the "transportation sphere" he came with, that's Soria, the Soria that is no longer! You see life form, you see colours, there were living organisms before the cataclysm. When you operate the blue ray on the half-morphed Mofang, you'll see the full Mofang.

So the whole talk about leaving things as they are is not understanding the story at all!!! One of the spheres is dying, the whole harmony is disrupted. One of the four species is on the war path. There's only 2 choices possible:
1) transfert somewhere else following Caroline wisdom (acquired by telepathy with arais)
2) transfert somewhere else following C.W. mechanical & logical understanding on how the seed energy works

Thus the 2 endings. Anything else cannot work!

And if you say..."Where have you taking all those informations from?"... Guess what! I've played a game called "Obduction" released by Cyan World on August 25th, 2016 :lol: ;)

Ohh... and I read every piece of journal, paper, etc... ;)
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Altairien » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:08 pm

Annabelle wrote:I don't know which game you played guys... but you get some weird assumptions let me tell you!

Hmmm...

I'm not going to go into everything I'd like to, but I wanted to point out a few things from several posts. I'll be having several more play throughs before I'll be making any summaries.

Annabelle wrote:The first alien race they met were the Mofangs. <snip> Their sphere is located just beside the Humans' one.

Their sphere is located on Earth. You can actually view Earth and confirm this while visiting the Mofang sphere. It's even an achievement on Steam.

Annabelle wrote:Go take a walk in Soria now... What do you see? That's the answer!

The game is solved right there!
The Mofangs cannot live there anymore, there was a meteorite crash right in the middle of their sphere. Everything is melt. Take a look at the Tree there. By any chance, one half survived...

Actually, I believe this explains that...
Mayor's Council Notes wrote:There is an odd justice to Farley's plan in that whatever the Mofang <snip> send to kill us, will be returned back to them.


BrettM wrote:In the good ending the people of Hunrath are now marooned permanently on an alien world without a source of power. (And we were apparently doomed to die stuck up in a tower with no way down. Perhaps a fitting reward for our hubris.)

The diesel-electric isn't destroyed. The bleeder tower fell on a boxcar that had barrels of something in it that caused a secondary explosion, but the diesel-electric isn't involved. So there is still power for as long as the fuel holds out. How else are the TVs working up in the tower that allow you to see and hear C.W. and Farley?

tommyap wrote:Even if you asume the immens skeleton in Kaptar is the remains of a polyarch the species that hunted it may not necessarily be evil.

Even if you don't view the polyarchs in the pods (yes, they fit just fine in them), you can see the remainer polyarch in Kaptar. The size difference alone says that huge thing wasn't a polyarch. Now there could be a much smaller skeleton that may have been a polyarch, but the large one... no way.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby belford » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:43 pm

There is an odd justice to Farley's plan in that whatever the Mofang <snip> send to kill us, will be returned back to them.


I'm going with that implication: the crater in Soria is the result of the war, not its cause.
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Morgon » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:02 pm

belford wrote:
I'm going with that implication: the crater in Soria is the result of the war, not its cause.


I'm with you in that belford. The destroyed Soria was caused by the Mofang weapon that was swapped back immediately by the polyarch of the Arai once it got swapped to Kaptar by the Mofang. Apparently it was the plan of the Mofang to destroy all the other main spheres by swapping the weapons there but some of the Mofang didn't want to participate and warned the other races. Instead they set up watchers (the polyarch, C.W., one of the Villein) at the ambassador seeds to Soria to immediately swap back the weapon once the Mofang try to swap them to a sphere.

You can experience the dreadful consequences of the Mofang weapon yourself if you get close to the Mofang device in the Soria swap on Maray before disabling it with the blue beam (save before getting close to it :D ).
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Re: [Spoilers] Endings: Bad, Good, and BEST.

Postby Bryan B » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:23 am

The only endings I really wanted was more levels (which obviously wasn't going to happen) and being able to look through C.W.'s shop. It was torture knowing he would never let me in there to see the place.

There was also a few rail tunnels that were blocked off with actual rocks. It would have been cool to check out where those tunnels went somehow.

If those are my only wishes after seeing the entire game, that is pretty good hahah.
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