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The Operator/Tenno Dichotomy: Lore vs gameplay/quests


(PSN)supersocc11
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Warframe resonated with me so much back in the early days because i had all this cool head canon that the warframes were ancient, silent warriors that had somehow been transported to the future and augmented with scifi armor and weapons. So, like many others, I naturally did not want to accept the idea of the kid operator after the second dream. eventually i tried to switch up my perspective and came around to the idea of the tenno child being the game's protagonist. 

Now what bothers me about the kid Tenno being the focus is the dissonance between the lore surrounding the tenno/operators and what we see in gameplay/quests.  It seems to me that the lore points to the tenno as a highly disciplined, legendary faction of warriors with their own laws and code.  then you are slapped in the face with your 12 year old saying goofy ass things and telling Teshin to "quite calling me a child".  they act exactly how they look - like children.  That wouldnt be a problem if the lore didnt reference all this amazing history and descriptions ancient tenno culture...it just doesnt connect and kinda kills my warframe lore boner.

So what is it?  Are the tenno actually just 12 year olds and then slept for generations and are angsty? or are they millennia old beings who physically look and act like children for some reason, disregarding everything that is written about the Tenno sect?  Lorehounds, tell me what im missing!     

Edited by (PS4)supersocc11
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The Tenno were originally active during the Old War, when the Orokin fought against the Sentients using every weapon at their disposal. The Tenno were the only ones that ended up being effective long-term. The Zariman survivors were put into a deep sleep and controlled the warframes using their dreams: "It felt like waking up, but it was just a lucid, second dream." The Zariman children didn't know they were children. They didn't know what they had gone through. All they knew is that they were warriors, fighting for what was right.

The lore about the Tenno and their honour and their discipline implies that they were fighting in the Old War for many years, perhaps decades. During this time, they built schools (the Tenno Ways) and designed weapons (the Tekulu series, etc). But they were still asleep, still dreaming, all that time.

During the Second Dream, the Zariman children woke up from their dreams for the first time since the Old War, for the first time in centuries. "I'm confused… I thought I was…." It was a massively disorienting experience, learning that they were still only children. Later, during the War Within, they relearn about the trauma that created them, and truly get in tune with their Void abilities (which were disabled during the Old War when they were put into the second dream).

Physically, they have not aged. This is perhaps due to their Void exposure, or cryo-stasis (which we know was used to preserve warframes, at least), or a combination of both. The mind is at least partly biological, so any arrested development would have affected their minds as well – their emotional maturity, their coping mechanisms, etc. And any kind of trauma during childhood (such as seeing one's parents die, perhaps even by one's own hand) can potentially affect mental development. So the Tenno are centuries, perhaps millennia old, but they are still children in many ways. The Tenno of lore, from the Old War, were not necessarily children, but in a sense, they didn't really exist. They were dreams, figments of imagination that became real through Transference. But now that the Zariman children are awake, they can mature through their experiences and become those warriors that they dreamt of in their own time, in their own way, and have it be a real experience this time. That's where we are now.

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I still don´t get this angsty teen  thing, what I remember is in the second dream they mention how someting horrible happened to them, made them suffer but ultimately they turn their lives around taking control of their powers, helped prevent other from suffering like them and stop being victims. And maybe is because english is not my mother tongue but tenno lines are not really cringy to me.

As i have understand the lore, the tenno were put in the warframes and fight the old war seemingly for many years, enough to create a culture of their own, as stated in various lore and weapon descriptions they formed clans, crafted weapons, become assassins, musicians and enforcers of orokin law though we have to remember they supposedly lost their memory at the start of the game.

Because the game took a lot of time to flesh out the characters, the lore we had was myth like, and there is a chance we overfantasize their legend, everyone fill the gaps with their own ideas and came to shock when a story was set in stone.

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il y a 7 minutes, GrayArchon a dit :

The Tenno were originally active during the Old War, when the Orokin fought against the Sentients using every weapon at their disposal. The Tenno were the only ones that ended up being effective long-term. The Zariman survivors were put into a deep sleep and controlled the warframes using their dreams: "It felt like waking up, but it was just a lucid, second dream." The Zariman children didn't know they were children. They didn't know what they had gone through. All they knew is that they were warriors, fighting for what was right.

The lore about the Tenno and their honour and their discipline implies that they were fighting in the Old War for many years, perhaps decades. During this time, they built schools (the Tenno Ways) and designed weapons (the Tekulu series, etc). But they were still asleep, still dreaming, all that time.

During the Second Dream, the Zariman children woke up from their dreams for the first time since the Old War, for the first time in centuries. "I'm confused… I thought I was…." It was a massively disorienting experience, learning that they were still only children. Later, during the War Within, they relearn about the trauma that created them, and truly get in tune with their Void abilities (which were disabled during the Old War when they were put into the second dream).

Physically, they have not aged. This is perhaps due to their Void exposure, or cryo-stasis (which we know was used to preserve warframes, at least), or a combination of both. The mind is at least partly biological, so any arrested development would have affected their minds as well – their emotional maturity, their coping mechanisms, etc. And any kind of trauma during childhood (such as seeing one's parents die, perhaps even by one's own hand) can potentially affect mental development. So the Tenno are centuries, perhaps millennia old, but they are still children in many ways. The Tenno of lore, from the Old War, were not necessarily children, but in a sense, they didn't really exist. They were dreams, figments of imagination that became real through Transference. But now that the Zariman children are awake, they can mature through their experiences and become those warriors that they dreamt of in their own time, in their own way, and have it be a real experience this time. That's where we are now.

This is exactly my thought and i will add on top of it.

In the second dream, the operator are just child, freshly awaken. They are confused but they end up being reassured by the mother figure of the Lotus. In the end they may have awaken but they can still somehow dream inside their chair only manifesting as a spirit on the battleground.

In the war within, the operator is brutally sent back to reality by the grineer queen cutting them from their warframe. This time, there is no mother figure to appease them. Instead, they are led by Teshin who force them to accept the reality of hat they are and what they can do.

In the apostasy, things go further as the operator lose the Lotus. They are cut from their guide and at this point, there's no more dreaming possible. The operator are alone in the harsh reality.

In the sacrifice, the Operator has to decide, to think on their own and they chose to rebel against their creator. But somehow, it seems they identified themselve as being Umbra and being the one who killed his son and became a warframe. Maybe a side effect ? Anyway, the operator are now exercising their will, they are chosing.

 

With each quest, the operator is gaining in maturity. Now i only wish it would reflect on these in mission quote.   

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13 minutes ago, Sitchrea said:

How, in any way, are Tenno angsty teenagers?

The way they act.  Like the OP stated when they say “Quit talking to me like a child,” it comes off as extremely childish and something a teenager would say.

i get the point the OP is trying to make.  Finding out the Operator was child was not my favorite move by DE.  The story which, up to that point, made it possible for the player to put themselves into the role of operator rather well was a major let down for me.  Even just making it a choice between ages would’ve been a better choice for me, personally.

That said it isn’t my game or my story so I take what I get.

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21 minutes ago, Sitchrea said:

How, in any way, are Tenno angsty teenagers?

Maybe once upon a time, but the whole point of the War Within was to get us to grow up.

We start out being all 'Don't call me a child', sure, but by the end of it the Tenno mature. This is basically spelled out.

"That child I met the mountain shall surely die here."

"That child is gone."

As well as "Don't. Don't make excuses for me."

And this is displayed in the Sacrifice.

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1 minute ago, (PS4)horridhal said:

The way they act.  Like the OP stated when they say “Quit talking to me like a child,” it comes off as extremely childish and something a teenager would say.

i get the point the OP is trying to make.  Finding out the Operator was child was not my favorite move by DE.  The story which, up to that point, made it possible for the player to put themselves into the role of operator rather well was a major let down for me.  Even just making it a choice between ages would’ve been a better choice for me, personally.

That said it isn’t my game or my story so I take what I get.

And to that my reply is this:

23 minutes ago, Marekthejester said:

This is exactly my thought and i will add on top of it.

In the second dream, the operator are just child, freshly awaken. They are confused but they end up being reassured by the mother figure of the Lotus. In the end they may have awaken but they can still somehow dream inside their chair only manifesting as a spirit on the battleground.

In the war within, the operator is brutally sent back to reality by the grineer queen cutting them from their warframe. This time, there is no mother figure to appease them. Instead, they are led by Teshin who force them to accept the reality of hat they are and what they can do.

In the apostasy, things go further as the operator lose the Lotus. They are cut from their guide and at this point, there's no more dreaming possible. The operator are alone in the harsh reality.

In the sacrifice, the Operator has to decide, to think on their own and they chose to rebel against their creator. But somehow, it seems they identified themselve as being Umbra and being the one who killed his son and became a warframe. Maybe a side effect ? Anyway, the operator are now exercising their will, they are chosing.

 

With each quest, the operator is gaining in maturity. Now i only wish it would reflect on these in mission quote.   

 

Just now, Loza03 said:

Maybe once upon a time, but the whole point of the War Within was to get us to grow up.

We start out being all 'Don't call me a child', sure, but by the end of it the Tenno mature. This is basically spelled out.

"That child I met the mountain shall surely die here."

"That child is gone."

As well as "Don't. Don't make excuses for me."

And this is displayed in the Sacrifice.

So I ask again, how are Operators angsty teenagers? Did you see what we did in The War Within and The Sacrifice? You're judging a character by what they were at the start of their arc, when you should be looking at what they've become.

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9 minutes ago, Sitchrea said:

You're judging a character by what they were at the start of their arc, when you should be looking at what they've become.

They still have a childlike mentality that comes through.  You are trying to make me somehow forgive that mentality and, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.  The OP is correct when we look at Tenno society and how it was described prior to the revelation of their age and who they are doesn’t jive with the reality of what the Operator is.

again, prior to the operator it was easy to put yourself in that role of the controller of a silent warrior, following that revelation it became much harder, story wise.  It’s fine it’s a thing and I’m not complaining about it, but the complaints about it are fair and do have merit.

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1 minute ago, (PS4)horridhal said:

They still have a childlike mentality that comes through.  You are trying to make me somehow forgive that mentality and, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.  The OP is correct when we look at Tenno society and how it was described prior to the revelation of their age and who they are doesn’t jive with the reality of what the Operator is.

again, prior to the operator it was easy to put yourself in that role of the controller of a silent warrior, following that revelation it became much harder, story wise.  It’s fine it’s a thing and I’m not complaining about it, but the complaints about it are fair and do have merit.

Not liking Operators because they are children is a subjective opinion. Everything about the Tenno being great warriors is still true, none of that changed. What changed is the sense of identity you have - you're not the Warframes. But one of the points of the Sacrifice was to show how you are just as much the Warframes. The player is both at the same time: it's a symbiotic relationship.

The only merit your argument has is subjective. Sure, you don't like it, but you don't like it because you're not realizing what the story is saying. Don't just get stuck on the appearance of the Tenno, look at what they do. How are they not still the great warriors they were before?

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il y a 1 minute, (PS4)horridhal a dit :

They still have a childlike mentality that comes through.  You are trying to make me somehow forgive that mentality and, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.  The OP is correct when we look at Tenno society and how it was described prior to the revelation of their age and who they are doesn’t jive with the reality of what the Operator is.

again, prior to the operator it was easy to put yourself in that role of the controller of a silent warrior, following that revelation it became much harder, story wise.  It’s fine it’s a thing and I’m not complaining about it, but the complaints about it are fair and do have merit.

Here's food for thought. What if the operator was actually the mirror of the player ? Once believing to be a powerful ancient warrior awoken from time past but someday realizing they are only a child. One can think the operators would react just like the player :

Some just accept it and move on, some are actually happy to discover what they truly are, some regret the time where they could simply dream, and some still can't accept the reality and do all they can to deny it. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Sitchrea said:

Not liking Operators because they are children is a subjective opinion.

I never claimed otherwise.

18 minutes ago, Sitchrea said:

The only merit your argument has is subjective

We are discussing a plot line, not something that can be dictated objectively.  Like I said, complaints against the story at that point are valid and have merit because liking or disliking any story is entirely subjective.

Look, I don’t really feel like having some long drawn out back and forth over something we can both, I think, admit is entirely subjective.  I will say that the complaints about said subject matter shouldn’t just be dismissed or tried to be talked down.  IJS.

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Anyone else do not think of Operator as the only player character? Space kid is important, but they are only a half of who Tenno is. Warframe is not a mere tool, infested puppet or an empty shell... At least this is how I see it.

Like in GoW - Kratos is the one you control. The story is about father and son. In the grand scheme of things, Atreus is the one all the fuss is about. But that do not diminish Kratos role or significance.

On topiс: what second poster said. I would only underline one thing: don’t forget about joys of growing up. It is not easy to stay calm and collected then your mood swings randomly. The mind is a plaything of a body.

Edited by rand0mname
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I did feel like the operator was really angsty and it was embarrassing to play, but there wasn't much I can do and I changed the voice actor, which helped a little bit. I wish there was a way I could change my operator's gender, because the female voice lines are way less cringey, more just cathartic "I'm tired, lets get this over with" type of vibe I can dig.

Edited by Quait
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14 minutes ago, Quait said:

I did feel like the operator was really angsty and it was embarrassing to play, but there wasn't much I can do and I changed the voice actor, which helped a little bit. I wish there was a way I could change my operator's gender, because the female voice lines are way less cringey, more just cathartic "I'm tired, lets get this over with" type of vibe I can dig.

male operator faces have broad torsos while female operator faces have a slim waist and a bit more breast, I think the last devstream they showed operator gear they showed one version for each gender with and without helmet on, so you may have to change your face but you can change the gender.

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