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FS2 is a cosmic horror story

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--- Quote from: Iain Baker on January 13, 2022, 01:29:28 pm ---Yup, all of this.

What first made me sit up, take notice and take FS seriously was when I first heard a Vasudan 'talk'. After Starwars, Trek, B5 etc it was refreshing to hear an alien that didn't speak perfect English. They were physiologically incapable of creating human sounds, just as we were incapable of replicating theirs. Hummm... I thought to myself. looks like we have something that takes itself seriously, where the creators have actually put some thought and effort in and it isn't aimed at kids.

Then it had political factions, traitors who were wiser than their loyal peers, religious zealots and aliens that were truly Alien. Its notions of good and evil were a good deal more 'grey' than the childish 'black and white' portrayals in most popular sci-fi franchises of the time. I also liked how it was not at all clear until the last second if humanity was going to prevail, and even when it did, it didn't exactly 'win' it just survived at great cost. I also liked the fact you were a simple and largely nameless pilot, who wasn't special, wasn't the chosen one, wasn't the son of some military hero, and the war didn't centre around you. All these too got my attention and kept it ever since. 
If FS had been like most other franchises which were hard to take seriously, such as Wing Commander (Cat people, seriously???) then I doubt I would have remained interested, regardless of how well it played.

--- End quote ---

With the amount of medals and promotions Alpha 1 gets in the span of a month (presumably) I think they have to be somewhat distinguished and not just a cog in the machine, but Alpha 1 is definitely just a cog in the machine and that's the best part. I can't think of any other games like it at the time that had those huge capital ship battles with powerful beams. Plus compared to its contemporaries, FS2 has been continuously modernized and expanded upon with user-made campaigns that flesh out the universe as a whole.

The Shivans are not unfathomable per se, the GTVA just fails to fathom them.

This makes them an unknown. Which is in no small part because of the presumption of the GTVA, which is that they have developed the technology to bring sufficent violence and force to counter the violence and force expected of the Shivans. That's why the centrepiece of the first antagonist's, Bosch, plan is creating the option for a non-violent encounter with the Shivans - it highlights, in concert with the failure to stop the Shivans until they impose a hard stop to the confronation on their terms, that the GTVA has been travelling down a road to nowhere without realising it.

On my replay this past year, the amount of medals you get at the end of FS1 is truly absurd and the person I was playing it with pointed out just how obviously this was a ploy to boost morale.

and like many people have said, FS2 is a reckoning about the limits of the GTVA's perspective as an extension of the lessons they took from the events of FS1.

So Bosch was right? Possibly. Possibly he just used the common fears among society to manipulate them into civil war, but in the end the grand plan was to sacrifice millions to save billions.

FreeSpace 1 is also rather deep, and our main hero who saves Earth also makes it cut off, so it's effectively dead for all outsiders.
There also is a traitor who assists the Vasudans, knowing the bigger picture that Command is trying to hide.

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.

Also, the fact that so many things are left unexplained and open to interpretation is the reason this community came out with all these mods and campaigns. That open endedness inspired people to fill in the gaps themselves.


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