Author Topic: FS2 is a cosmic horror story  (Read 1310 times)

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Re: FS2 is a cosmic horror story
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... or it simply means that Bosch in his mind came to the conclusion that the true of the extent of the Shivan threat was far greater than whatever GTVA command with its Colossus project could ever contain before the Sath armada showed up in person, and that a fair chunck of humanity being behind a (hopefully) locked door was the best mankind could happen at this point.

Umm, to be blunt- that line of thought makes very little sense with Bosch's actions: opening the Knossos and grating access to shivan space thus putting humanity in danger, and what he says in his monologues: The Neo Terran Front was just that- a Front, he did not care about making Neo Terra, so he probably would not have cared about going back to earth either- he wanted his alliance with the Shivans regardless of whether or not it was a good idea or even possible, he may have even ran on the assumption that he would be successful and that would stop the Shivans attacking and everyone would thank him, or maybe he wanted only to ally the NTF/himself with the Shivans and they would both crush the GTVA for his own benefit.

Also, and this is a side point, his last monologue is borderline delusional when paired with what we see in that mission where the Iceni is found, so I would suggest he's so blinded by his own objectives that he's no longer able to rationalize how much a threat the Shivans pose.

But uhh, I think what Joshua said puts it better:

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Notable though that the GTVA didn't even know about the existence of the portal until the NTC Trinity opened it - and Terra was behind two locked doors before that.

If the point was to keep the Shivans away from Terra, not opening up the portal would be the best option. Bosch only cares about Knossos in so far that it can bring him closer to the Shivans.

Except the whole point of FS2 was that Bosch chased his vision regardless of how delusional it was? From his PoV it was a step for his plan for humanity even if it sounds like madness to people outside.

The Lucifer fleet found its way into Terran space w/o anybody opening the door for them. The Sath armada would have nuked Capella anyway - yes, Bosch did open the route they considered most suitable or perhabs they were attracted by the subspace signature of the Knossos but implying "Bosch caused Capella" feels maximum bs to me, even worse than "Bosch might be running the NTF as GTVI agent" - the Shivans obviously took interest in him but thats it. Possibly it would have happened somewhat later but thats all.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: FS2 is a cosmic horror story
I don't think I have seen any other game or movie with the same kind of Lovecraftian cosmic horror feel that Freespace (especially FS2) had back in the day. Mass Effect 1 maybe, but the later games ruined the Reapers and made them lame.

That might be missing the point of the Reapers in Mass Effect. And I hate it being made in the framing of "ruining".

The comparison to cosmic horror is only ever invited by the statements of Sovereign and Harbinger, with their grandiose proclaimations of being superior to organic sentients. In the story, both times, we are invited to distrust those statements as both come after the revelation of Reaper Indoctrination-mind control, meaning that we are already inclined to mistrust anything they say as self-serving. The proclaimation of being "uncomprehnsible" is just a claim they make about themselves.
Additionally, Indocrination is always framed as an invevitibility in the franchise.

But on a further level, analysing the conflict in the three original Mass Effect-games (which is also reflected in Andromeda, if you read Andromeda as response to the valid criticism of the first Mass Effect-games very "vulgarly ahistoric" approach to said conflict), is not about the Reapers. They qualifiy as the inciting actors in each of the original Mass Effect-Trilogy's games and they are provide the shootable opposition for gameplay, but only in Mass Effect 2 is a Reaper actually the antagonistic party of the conflict in the story - which is the integration of Humanity in the Galactic Community as facilitated by the actions of your Command Shepard.
That is the conflict that also actively measured in each game with your Renegade/Paragon-scores and it resovling each sub-conflict of that is what ultimately gets to you achieving your goals, rather than any confrontation against the Reapers.

That makes the Reapers in Mass Effect more like force of nature than an entity of cosmic horror - for that the suggestion of an alternative outcome by the whim of the cosmic entity must exist; that's why the good cosmic horror comes not just from the powerlessness in face of cosmic-scale entity but from the suggestion that that entity could possibly do different. That's why the vulgar misunderstanding of mental illness plays into some stories of cosmic horror - abandoning common sense and plunging oneself so deep into the incomprehensible to be damaged is desperate course of action because the possibility of an alternative outcome exists.

The way it worked out was probably the only way it would have every worked out.


EDIT ps. This is also the same reason why the Markers from Dead Space don't work as cosmic horror.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 01:02:12 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

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"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: FS2 is a cosmic horror story
I don't think it was like that in the first game, where Reapers operated from the shadows and used indoctrinated creatures to do their work for them. You only engage with them once in that conversation with Sovereign. In the later games, they became something silly (using human goo to build the terminator), and the Leviathan DLC reveals them to be pawns of another, greater race. The integration of humanity in the council is only an important plot point in the first game, and is not emphasized much later on.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: FS2 is a cosmic horror story
In the later games, they became something silly (using human goo to build the terminator), and the Leviathan DLC reveals them to be pawns of another, greater race.

In Mass Effect 2, the "dead" Reaper is ambient indoctrinating a research team; In the its Arrival DLC, all security measures to ward against Indoctrination fail.
The Protean AI from the Asari homeworld reports that Cerberus "dominate the Reapers"-plans are recurring 5th column in the fight against the Reapers (Jaavik does the same)

The Levithan DLC doesn't make the Reapers "pawns" just gives them a "rogue AI" origin story.

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The integration of humanity in the council is only an important plot point in the first game,

Disagree. All the time devoted to "Ceberus do, the Council don't" in ME2 & ME3 is working the point hard.

In ME2, when you get all the "I work for you, not for Ceberus"-speech every team member eventually as well as affirmations that "well, at least YOU are doing something obvious against the Collectors". Considering Shepard throughout the series is held up as standard-bearer for humanity and the whole "decandent ancient cultures, dynamic surging new culture" (which is very 19th century clash of culturs'ish) that runs throughout, I find it hard not to argue that the thread continues.

In ME3 is not even subtle as the story turns Earth into the lynchpin of the conflict for the final act, for no reason at all - which TBH in my eye only exists to take the sting out of all "Shepard is now going to tell how you are going to fight your war"-patronizing the story of ME3 engages in.
"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."