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ThunderPeel

Plot Intricacies [A thread filled with major spoilers]

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MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

I'm just playing through BA a second time, and I thought it'd be fun to piece together exactly how and when the two stories intersect.

It seems to me that Shay's first mission to the "Phil" Talon Nebular is probably Meriloft in Vella's world.

There's three creatures who need to be saved. Shay manages two before an enemy vessel arrives -- and leaves one behind. Which is exactly the state we find the Maidens Feast in Meriloft, with Car'l's daughter, Twyla, left behind of the three offered up:

?ACT=36&fid=39&aid=3656_6sBcPwoYjPw28kNpAhfy&board_id=1

In Shay's second mission, the one in Danger System 5, he saves four of the five creatures, before the last one manages to break free and escape -- Vella in Sugarbunting's Maiden Feast.

?ACT=36&fid=39&aid=3657_lnDr0rFR7lswmaKDkAZI&board_id=1

Which of course means Shellmound is Prima Doom.

Question: What was the "enemy vessel" in the Talon Nebula? Was it Jessie, or some other big bird, in Vella's world? Or something else entirely? It doesn't appear Marek's creation, as no such ship appeared in Danger System 5, even when he wanted Shay to leave.

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Question: What was the "enemy vessel" in the Talon Nebula? Was it Jessie, or some other big bird, in Vella's world? Or something else entirely? It doesn't appear Marek's creation, as no such ship appeared in Danger System 5, even when he wanted Shay to leave.

Actually the 'enemy ship' does appear on the monitor in Danger System 5. Not at first, but a bit later on in the scene. I think it's probably something Marek can make appear on the computer.

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Oh, I did a replay post official release and thought I noticed some other things, which have been mentioned before. There's the father orb telling Shay that he "felt the same way at his age", which is another indication of the repeating cycle going on. Part of me was a little curious if the computer mom and dad were really computers, or yet another act.

Alex is another slight enigma, as he clearly describes a similar situation as Shay, yet does appear to know slightly more about the inner workings of his ship. Someone on I think a Destructoid forum also brought up some connections I hadn't noticed earlier. The "Mog Ships," purportedly on project dandelion meant to find a new world, is referenced on Vella's side as 'plucking a few flowers' as he passes by. This does suggest that there may be some who actually understand what's going on. Either that or it was a convenient way for Tim to create some early parallels and foreshadowing to tie the plots together...

I do think computer mother's surprise had something to do with the abducted girls, rather than anything more sinister. It will be interesting to see what happens there with Vella.

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Thank you for that post WITH screenshots - that's really a clear way to see it.

But what I don't manage to get my head around, regarding to the cycle: everyone seems to expect only one maiden to be picked up at a feast, while Marek insists on picking up as many as possible (even if not all of them), before they stop and escape. It seems like this cycle is already different from others - and it breaks the uniform "pick meeeee!" idea of the feasts.

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Thank you for that post WITH screenshots - that's really a clear way to see it.

But what I don't manage to get my head around, regarding to the cycle: everyone seems to expect only one maiden to be picked up at a feast, while Marek insists on picking up as many as possible (even if not all of them), before they stop and escape. It seems like this cycle is already different from others - and it breaks the uniform "pick meeeee!" idea of the feasts.

I think there could be an even longer cycle in play.

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Keep in mind, Marek is definitely trying to always leave one 'creature' behind each time, and Shay bullheadedly wants to get all of them. That being said, if it was really important to always leave at least one, you would think Marek would have prevented it from happening somehow. Which tells me that he was somewhat surprised as well by what was going on. I think Marek is still following 'the same old script' as it were - which Shay might have continued if he had 'stuck to the plan'. Assuming that there is some kind of society where Shay is from, stuck in routine as much as the people on Vella's side. (Though it could always be some kind of crazy computer loop with cloning or something.)

One way or another, it does pose the question: Why is there another technologically advanced civilization on the planet when the rest of the cultures appear to be mostly without modern technology? Some if not most of this technology may be 'smoke and mirrors,' considering the elaborate scheme Shay is unknowingly involved in, but clearly not all of it is. I'm less and less inclined to believe that they crash landed from somewhere else - or if they did, possibly the other people on the world are ancient descendants who forgot the old technology. The computer systems from the original ship may be setting up this elaborate ruse to continue its mission of 'finding a new world.'

Or something! Now I'm going into speculation rather than pointing out game clues. I'll have to play through one more time soon and try to actually write things down when I notice them, because I think there are more small things that's I've already forgotten. (But I do think people are way too obsessed with Soylent Dreams, which I'm 99% sure was just a joke reference.)

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Another information to throw in the discussion is whether the girls Mog Chothra "ate" died or whether they were indeed in quarantine. I tend to believe that they survived and are going to be used somehow. A strange hint we are given is that Mother used to be a Sacrifice Girl. So perhaps the girls are taken elsewhere to participate in some kind of contest? Perhaps who will marry Shay?

I am still completely at loss about what the enemy ships actually are. From the information we are given in Act 1, I guess they do not exist and Marek is using them as an excuse to leave one girl behind. Leaving one or more girls behind makes it look like Mog Chothra is choosing, which is a clever scheme to make the girls want to participate in the "contest" and try hard to be chosen.

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Regarding quarantine, the old lady in Sugar Bunting (I forgot her name) said something about "going beyond the plague dam". If you think about it literally, Plague Dam and quarantine zone means basically the same thing.

Also, something which really surprised me is that Vella appear to understand what a spaceship is when she met Alex, which seems odd to me seeing how her world doesn't seem technologically advanced.

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But what I don't manage to get my head around, regarding to the cycle: everyone seems to expect only one maiden to be picked up at a feast, while Marek insists on picking up as many as possible (even if not all of them), before they stop and escape.

I'm not sure I read that in the dialogue, myself. Everyone wants to be picked, but I'm not sure it implies that only ONE would be.

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Isn't Mog Chothra too small in order to fit the whole spaceship and "fake" Space room?

just a quick example bellow, never mind the endless corridors of the spaceship and huge square meters areas.

s5imqb.jpg

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Isn't Mog Chothra too small in order to fit the whole spaceship and "fake" Space room?

I just figured some of those rooms are sort of like Star Trek holodecks. That way the ship could keep presenting a variety of "adventures" to keep Shay entertained all his life.

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I just figured some of those rooms are sort of like Star Trek holodecks. That way the ship could keep presenting a variety of "adventures" to keep Shay entertained all his life.

I think that's exactly what they are. You can see a holodeck-like shimmer on the wall by the door in the avalanche scene.

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Also we never really get a look at how far back he goes.

Also that 13 meter estimate seems a bit off because Mog Chothra is further away in that picture. I think in that view there's definitely an element of 'not to scale' as well. In the pictures where he's up close he quite clearly looks more than 13 meters across.

That is to say, I think he's clearly longer than this when he's up close: http://s3-media1.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/pEOUwvyqwG6mSxuKc73UeQ/l.jpg

I would hazard a guess there's a lot of space in there. But also probably holodeck-ish stuff going on. And maybe some Tardis-ish effects, all fits within their advanced technology.

I'm more interested in the time differences.

You clearly visit Danger System 5 (Sugar Bunting) straight after the Talon Nebula (Meriloft) but in Vella's story those events happen a day apart. What's up with that?

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I suppose it depends on how quickly Shay gives the starmap to the Star Weaver :)

Or maybe there's some time compression thing going on.

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I suppose it depends on how quickly Shay gives the starmap to the Star Weaver :)

Or maybe there's some time compression thing going on.

Maybe. It's certainly implied he does those first two one after the other, and it would have been easy enough to contrive some passage-of-time thing. Come to think of it it may even have been more dramatic to have Shay return the next day, rather than do two in a row.

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I re-played Broken Age yesterday and I started wondering about the battle in Vulgentoll the guards of the Dead Eye God shrine mention, the fight between humans and mogs. For one, I was surprised that the guards considered fighting against the mogs a valid course of action. Secondly, I wonder where they got this prophecy from. From the DEG/Alex himself 300 years ago? You could interpret Vella's fight against Mog Chothra, with the help of Alex, the start of the fight the humans wage against the mogs. I wonder if in Act II we will see more of it? More mogs, more fights against them?

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There's no reason to assume that the ship is capable of moving only through space. How else does it appear every 14 years? I doubt there's a new ship coming each time.

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Plague Dam is not being referenced nearly as often as it should be in these kind of discussions.

There is quite probably some kind of a "higher-purpose" thing at play here.

I think it is pretty straight forward laid out that Mogs are human creations. Machines that would allow a person to live beyond the Plague Dam.

Within this theory Maiden Feasts are a way to control the population of the protected territories that are unaffected by the plague.

Limited space, limited resources. If population is low enough (and from what we've seen it is) removing a few maidens from the reproduction circle would help keep the balance stable, allowing the rest of the population to live in relative prosperity and not eventually die of hunger and disease.

Ultimately, the older generations have probably decided that under the circumstances this is the best way of keeping the humanity alive. And if this is indeed so, nature of this decision might be put to question in Act 2, with some characters thinking that probably it is time for the things to change.

There are interesting parallels with Norse mythology as well, which Tim is fond of. In particular with the story and character of Heimdallr, a god born at the edge of the world, and born of Nine Maidens, no less. He keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarok (read as "Battle of Vulgentoll") and is also said to be the originator of social classes and guardian of the gods. I'm not going to speculate on whether this is more Alex or Shay. The way it is right now, the story could very well hold up without any time-travel involved, or actual spaceships for that matter. Think Moon 2112.

Following this trail of thought, Vella in this context would probably be Freyja. She is connected to Heimdallr in certain interesting ways, which are not quite fully understood by me. Among other things Freya is also a goddess of fertility, love, war and death. She is also the ruler of Fólkvangr. For some reason people know of Valhalla, but according to the texts only half of the warriors that die on the battlefield go there, the other half goes to Fólkvangr.

"as a receiver of the dead Freyja's abode is also open for women who have suffered a noble death."

Also, as most of you probably know, your favorite day of the working week, Friday, is named after her.

Seeing that Marek is a wolf, I just can't think of him as of anyone else, but Fenrir, who is said to devour the Sun and the Moon. Some sources say that it is Sköll and Hati that devour those, but there is much confusion to the point, where all three are probably just one being.

As for the art-piece. and, actually, the letter O in the title; this is what the Nordic rune Ingwaz/Ing looks like:

iveq.png

Ing is an older name of the god Freyr, twin-brother to Freyja. Like Freyja he too is associated with fertility.

Sometimes that rune is also drawn like this and by itself means the following:

BUZea50.png

And, since I already started, the second part of that art-piece, which Vella refers to as three legs of a bull, could be imagined to be this rune:

25vGrqo.png

Anyway, I could go on forever, coming up with this stuff and making connections that most likely aren't even there, so I'll stop here.

But also, I don't know if this is an easter egg of some sort or what, but "Loruna Scathe" is a character in the Star Wars universe. She used to be part of the Mistryl Shadow Guard:

The Mistryl Shadow Guards were an elite group of all-female Human mercenaries, sent from their home planet of Emberlene to earn money in support of the devastated communities of their world. The Shadow Guards history was a long and tragic one, full of deception, greed, anger, and destruction, beginning long ago, with the loss of Emberlene.

And one last thing, I wonder if "Operation Dandelion" is a reference to "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip Dick. The game does share some common themes with that novel.

640px-The_Wolves_Pursuing_Sol_and_Mani.jpg

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There's no reason to assume that the ship is capable of moving only through space. How else does it appear every 14 years? I doubt there's a new ship coming each time.

I think that is the beauty of it :) You see, it comes around every 14 (or is it 13) years and Shay is right around that age. It is as we know a "coming of age" game, so is this perhaps some strange ritualistic coming of age for children like Shay?

P.S. I am certain Tim is rubbing his eyes with the deductions we make, which are perhaps much further than what he has in mind :P

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There's no reason to assume that the ship is capable of moving only through space. How else does it appear every 14 years? I doubt there's a new ship coming each time.

Actually it's said at the beginning of Vella's story that each of the Mogs ARE different. At least in appearance.

I do wonder who names them, though. Probably the same types of people who name Tornadoes, I guess.

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I think that is the beauty of it :) You see, it comes around every 14 (or is it 13) years and Shay is right around that age. It is as we know a "coming of age" game, so is this perhaps some strange ritualistic coming of age for children like Shay?

Or maybe the ship was originally used to harvest the villages but last time something went wrong and it was hijacked and repurposed by Mom to make it a home for Shay.

P.S. I am certain Tim is rubbing his eyes with the deductions we make, which are perhaps much further than what he has in mind :P

Considering all the stuff that went on in Psychonauts, we probably aren't going far enough.

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Actually it's said at the beginning of Vella's story that each of the Mogs ARE different. At least in appearance.

Hmm... Levina said that a new Mog appears each 14 years, but it's not really clear that they are different ships. Maybe it's just part of the folklore.

I do wonder who names them, though. Probably the same types of people who name Tornadoes, I guess.

Mog Chothra -- Mothra

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I think Alex's existence lends favor to the idea that they are different ships each cycle. Plus, all the inhabitants say mogs and seem to believe there are many.

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There's no reason to assume that the ship is capable of moving only through space. How else does it appear every 14 years? I doubt there's a new ship coming each time.

I think that is the beauty of it :) You see, it comes around every 14 (or is it 13) years and Shay is right around that age. It is as we know a "coming of age" game, so is this perhaps some strange ritualistic coming of age for children like Shay?

P.S. I am certain Tim is rubbing his eyes with the deductions we make, which are perhaps much further than what he has in mind :P

yeah Im super curious to find out whats up with this cycle. it seems too short for a generational cycle...maybe just another red herring to get us thinking that way? but their ages and that cycle has got to be related somehow...but has their age been referred to in-game? I know Ive heard it in the doc. maybe theyre a little older.

(it really is a feat to design the game so that its so hard to figure out whats going on from the first act. make just the right amount of sense)

also I wonder if theres a relation between the names loruna and levina (the witch). for a minute I thought that maybe theres a land that only has boys and another that only has girls...but there are boys in meriloft arent there.

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Maybe "Operation Dandelion" is a human dispersal program whose goal is to populate as many planets as possible. The maidens are collected for a breeding program to start new/add to populations on other worlds.

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I wonder if it's just my imagination, but I've listened to it a few times now and I'm not sure it is... but there's a bit of a clue at the end of Shay's Act 1, in that as you are passing out and it's fading to black and the music is getting all weird, I feel like I can hear in the background of the soundtrack as it fades out just a hint of seagull-like sounds as if some of the sound from Shellmound is drifting in. It's distorted, but I'm sure that it's deliberate.

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Maybe "Operation Dandelion" is a human dispersal program whose goal is to populate as many planets as possible. The maidens are collected for a breeding program to start new/add to populations on other worlds.

That's not a bad suggestion. The only problem is that they they go back to the Plague Dam after the Feasts :-/

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I'm not sure about the whole breeding thing. It makes superficial sense but it's also a bit 1950s pulp sci-fi story, and also a bit creepy considering they're 14 years old. Also I don't get why they'd have to do it every 14 years, why not just do it once?

I think there's some pieces missing here that will shed some light on what the maidens are REALLY for.

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