Author Topic: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG  (Read 2589 times)

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Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
This is where our interpretation fundamentally differ. You interped the events of Homeworld 2 - esspecially the chase after Maakan - as a test and frame the acquisition of Sajuuk and the Core Trinity as something that was meant to be.

I ... don't?

The race for Sajuuk isn't a test imposed on the Hiigarans and Vaygr from the outside; None of the parties involved know at the outset just what Sajuuk actually is, what they do know is that whoever controls it regains at least a measure of the power the people who left us all those megastructures wielded.

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I disagree with that reading. And here is why:

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The Hyperspace Cores were found. They were not gifts or heirlooms handed down from the Progenitors to worthy successors, younger species happened upon them and used them.

There is only a single indication that some kind of line of tradition for the Hyperspace Cores was ever intended and that during the mission after you have acquired the Oracle and it leads you to the first Progenitor wreckage. This then however immideatly contradicted in the post mission cutscene...

I never claimed or intended to claim that such a line of tradition exists. All I was talking about was that there is a clear thematic connection between DoK, HW1 and HW2 that Cataclysm doesn't really follow, for crying out loud.

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Exhibits A and B combined make clear that by definition Maakan cannot be an usurper as there is no rightful claim to any of the three Cores. They, Sajuuk and the hyperspace gates are not an inheritance passed down but remains (i.e. objects that survived the span of time but originally not meant to - as opposed to tradition) that both Maakan and the Hiigaran freely use.

Yes, if you want to be this pedantic about it, then I apologize for using the word "usurper". However, I don't really know what sort of other term to use for him.
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Offline Col. Fishguts

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
stuff

You put more thinking effort into this post than the writers of HW2 did into the entire story line (at least the one of the released game, not counting the Dust Wars draft).
"I don't think that people accept the fact that life doesn't make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. It seems like religion and myth were invented against that, trying to make sense out of it." - D. Lynch

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
@The E:
I am going of your post verabtim... Look at what I highlighted in my quote.

stuff

You put more thinking effort into this post than the writers of HW2 did into the entire story line (at least the one of the released game, not counting the Dust Wars draft).

That's because I cherish Homeworld 2 as object lesson regarding story telling - esspecially on the background that I once wrote a Hammer of Light-campaign that would delve into an "Old World" for the Freespace-universe.
"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

"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 Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Oh for ****'s sake.

1. Yes, usurper was the wrong word. I apologize profusely for ever using it in a way that caused unintended interpretations to occur.
2. "Progenitors" is the term used consistently in the games for the people who built these megastructures, and I used it to refer the same group. I may have made the mistake of using "our progenitors" instead of "the Progenitors", but seriously? For you to construct an elaborate debunkment of my starting statement (which, I must note, you haven't actually done: I am talking about theme, you are talking about story, you must be aware that those are different things), that's a very weak and very pedantic starting point.

To get back on track without such linguistic nitpicking, here's my starting point:
DoK, HW1 and HW2, taken together, are the story of a civilization clawing back its way towards apotheosis, climbing up the giant's back until we are standing on their shoulders once more. Every single game makes it very clear that, compared to the Progenitors, what we do and achieve is insignificant compared to their achievements; When Sajuuk is reclaimed at the end of HW2, the people we've been playing as finally manage to surpass their original starting position, thus achieving (within the context of this game's lore) apotheosis.

The theme shared by all of those three games is one of gaining further understanding of the protagonists' place in the universe and the history of said universe, and through that understanding becoming ever more god-like (Or more like the Progenitors, if you prefer that term). Cataclysm, with all its down-to-earth, common laborers against the borg stylings doesn't share that theme, or at least, doesn't emphasize it as much as the other games did.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Uhm ... You treat me as if called you names but all I did was to say that I would like (or do) disagree with your reading of themes involved. I did not say that you were "wrong", I merely pointed out the flaws in the case you brought.

I may have been flippant in my last statement, and for that I'd like to apologize.

As for nitpicking/pedantry: Is it from time to point out that in order for the grammar to make sense it has to be "giants' backs" or "its shoulders" in the first sentence of your thesis :D



As for "themes vs story":

Themes do have to expressed in the text/transcript. While the most expressed theme might not be the dominant one (e.g. when you highlight something through absence) you at least are able to present evidence of it.



As refuting/debunking your thesis:

I never said I wanted to refute your thesis. I said that I disagree with it. And I pointed out that the case you brought verbatim was flawed.

Disagreement does not require me to refute any of it; I can let it stand well and secure in the confidence that I have the a pattern of evidence backing me up, which I consider to be more coherent and logical sound.



As for "did I actually disagree":

Unlike what you state, I actually did point out why I disagree:

Homeworld 2, despite declaring is the Hiigarans and Kara S'Jet the protagonists, is not about them outside the Prologue (Missions 1-2) and the Epilogue (Final Mission + Ending Cutscene) which I consider to be framing. Their actions do not drive to the plot and their are not imbued with much agency, as the plot does not really rely on them doing anything but is driven by the Bentusi, the Oracle, the Movers, the Keeper and of course Maakan and the Vagyr entering the stage they stand on.

As such it is hard to claim that the story of the Homeworld 2 is expressly about them. While a connection through the Hiigarans rising to new power, understanding and prominence exists, it is a very different rise than in Homeworld 1: This rise is not by their actions or designs. This essential difference makes it thematically similar but not the same.

For example: The plot development of Homeworld 1 may have been kickstarted by the bombing the prison world but the plans to leave the planet for Hiigara were already in place well before that, as evidenced by the Cyrotrays being present in the Mission 1 already.
While Homeworld 2 opens with the launch of the Pride of Hiigara, we are informed in sequence first of Maakan's ambition to conquer Hiigara, than of the construction of the mothership - implying that the latter was predicated on the former.

(I would like to point out now, that of course the protagonist of a story does not have to be source of all agency in that story. The entire genre of tragedy is rooted in its protagonist(s) "suffering" either the agency of others or the inadequacy of their own agency.)

This is why in my opinion your assertion of a thematic connection in the story proper does not hold much water.*

*= Just to avoid a future misunderstanding: "if an opinion or a statement does not hold water, it can be shown to be wrong", so for a statement to metaphorical not hold much water does not mean that it is completely wrong or false. I am merely expressing my disagreement. If you bring a more detailed case, I would be open to reconsider.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 12:17:32 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"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

"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 Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
I think HW2 is best understood as a hopelessly fumbled attempt at making the thematic continuation that E is talking about, really.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Uhm ... You treat me as if called you names but all I did was to say that I would like (or do) disagree with your reading of themes involved. I did not say that you were "wrong", I merely pointed out the flaws in the case you brought.

I may have been flippant in my last statement, and for that I'd like to apologize.

As for nitpicking/pedantry: Is it from time to point out that in order for the grammar to make sense it has to be "giants' backs" or "its shoulders" in the first sentence of your thesis :D

I have to apologize as well, I do get easily frustrated when my attempts to explain myself don't work.

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Homeworld 2, despite declaring is the Hiigarans and Kara S'Jet the protagonists, is not about them outside the Prologue (Missions 1-2) and the Epilogue (Final Mission + Ending Cutscene) which I consider to be framing. Their actions do not drive to the plot and their are not imbued with much agency, as the plot does not really rely on them doing anything but is driven by the Bentusi, the Oracle, the Movers, the Keeper and of course Maakan and the Vagyr entering the stage they stand on.

That is, in my opinion, a failure of the writers to translate their themes into story. The question of who is and isn't the protagonist and who has agency is immaterial in the discussion of what themes are shared between the games; We all know that HW2 as a text is hideously flawed, but a theme is a theme, even if expressed badly.

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As such it is hard to claim that the story of the Homeworld 2 is expressly about them. While a connection through the Hiigarans rising to new power, understanding and prominence exists, it is a very different rise than in Homeworld 1: This rise is not by their actions or designs. This essential difference makes it thematically similar but not the same.

But that thematic similarity was my entire point!

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For example: The plot development of Homeworld 1 may have been kickstarted by the bombing the prison world but the plans to leave the planet for Hiigara were already in place well before that, as evidenced by the Cyrotrays being present in the Mission 1 already.
While Homeworld 2 opens with the launch of the Pride of Hiigara, we are informed in sequence first of Maakan's ambition to conquer Hiigara, than of the construction of the mothership - implying that the latter was predicated on the former.

This is unimportant to my point about the theme being "growth through understanding" though. In DoK, we learn that we're not from Kharak, but descendants of people who were transported to Kharak and may be able to escape our dying world; In HW1, we learn that we are actually prisoners and that we have the chance to reclaim our ancestral home, and in HW2, we learn that the Progenitors, whose relics fill the skies and through whose advanced science we were able to rebuild, have left behind the keys to their kingdom for us to find and use and thus claim their place for ourselves.

Who the protagonist is, and who is driving the plot in each case doesn't matter in this regard.

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This is why in my opinion your assertion of a thematic connection in the story proper does not hold much water.*

*= Just to avoid a future misunderstanding: "if an opinion or a statement does not hold water, it can be shown to be wrong", so for a statement to metaphorical not hold much water does not mean that it is completely wrong or false. I am merely expressing my disagreement. If you bring a more detailed case, I would be open to reconsider.

But you yourself pointed out that thematic similarities do exist. My entire point here is that the similarities between DoK, HW1 and HW2 are stronger than between HWC and the other games.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

  

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
I preferred the cataclysm story to the homeworld 2 story as home word 2 didn't give me any sort of preamble in the manual or game.  It was simply, you've defeated the pan galactic empire in homeworld 1 any established yourself as it's equal.  Oh by the way, have some new super raider clan thing that's now challenging you.  The visuals were nice in 2 but the missions felt lacking.   Where as the visuals in cataclysm were not fantastic and the ships were downright ugly but the story and the mood had me gripped from the off.
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