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Please don't give us the finger!


TenebraeAeterna
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!!!! Mild Spoiler Warning !!!!

Alright Digital Extremes, you finally did it...you've flipped us all the bird...

In all seriousness, I was rather disappointing when a giant humanoid finger appeared within the Reliquary Drive...especially seeing as how it's alluded to being heavily related to "The Man In The Wall." I always figured that you were going with something extremely eldritch and almost unfathomable, an entity that may evoke existential dread...but now there's a massive finger sitting in our pod chilling with that ominous void plume. You could have gone with a mass of writhing tentacles, Spidery-like limbs, many alien eyes opening and closing in and out of existence, materializing maws of utter madness, our own operator twisted into some sort of terrifying shadow of themselves distorted in ways that cause people to visibly cringe, hell...just keeping the void plume and ominous whispers, anything...but you went with a giant humanoid finger. I mean, look at the Sentient Devourer-Ship...a design that screams eldritch, as it's literally ripping its chest open to call forth more Sentients. This design is phenomenal, to say the least...extremely eldritch, very unique!

Alongside such, as we stand there...we can sometimes hear, "You mad at me, kiddo? Don't forget, you owe me..." and something along the lines of us being nothing without him. This kind of tosses that whole alignment system into the trash, as some of us were seemingly aligning with this entity's wishes, like if we consumed the Kuva. So, to have him suddenly under the impression that we're mad at him when some of us have made zero choices against his presumed path seems......well, like you're just ditching the whole alignment thing altogether.

This wouldn't shock me, but I really hope that isn't the case because I was greatly desiring more choice in narrative as the game progressed...and perhaps something actually becoming of the alignment system that made our choices matter. I was hoping for a more interesting and unique dynamic than this entity simply being the next big bad guy...seemingly in the more literal sense, judging from that massive finger. This just seems to force us onto a path with choice tossed to the wayside. I would have thought that these voices would have something much more positive to say, seeing as how I downed that Kuva like it was Kool-Aid and pleased this enigmatic entity with, apparently, a horrendously large human finger that we've stolen away to power our Raijack's jump capabilities. Oh god, did I drink finger-juice? Is that what Kuva is?! Please, Digital Extremes...say it aint so.

I guess what I'm trying to say is #TeamVoidDad and please don't make him the Jolly Void Giant looking for his missing digits. Wait... Digits. Digital Extremes. Holy hell, I've cracked the code!

That is all. Thank you for your time and understanding.

P.S.

Why could I not add the Spoiler Tag here?

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12 minutes ago, nerfinator6 said:

" Empyreans were the children of deities from the Upper Planes. "

Size = huge

 

they're just things from DND lol

Empyrean is Latin.

I mean, I guess the two could be related...as the Nephilim within biblical mythos were also giants and Empyrean means heaven, or related to such. If they go biblical with this though, I'll be highly disappointed. I thought they were simply using Empyrean to denote our exploration of space within a free-range sort of environment...rather than anything like that. Basically, us exploring the classical concept of the heavens, space.

Regardless, I fully expected "The Man In The Wall" to be capable of augmenting his projected size at will...but a humanesque finger? At first I thought it was a toe, but then I realized it was a finger. I was less disappointed than I would have been, were it a toe, but still pretty disappointed. I mean...it's a finger. It's even pretty normally proportioned for its size, for crying out loud!

7 minutes ago, Thanatos_13 said:

Most names are from DnD

Which then come from dead languages like Latin, because medieval Latin is the bee's knees and I'm entirely unbiased in that claim. Nope. No bias here.

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3 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

I would have thought that these voices would have something much more positive to say, seeing as how I downed that Kuva like it was Kool-Aid and pleased this enigmatic entity with, apparently, a horrendously large human finger that we've stolen away to power our Raijack's jump capabilities. Oh god, did I drink finger-juice? Is that what Kuva is?! Please, Digital Extremes...say it aint so.

Why would you assume that Kuva has anything to do with the Man in the Wall, though? Kuva, near as I can tell, is in some way related to Orokin immortality and regeneration, whereas the Man in the Wall appears to be a void entity of some description which starts showing up once we disconnect Rell who has been suppressing it. Said entity seems to be something the Orokin were aware of and were potentially using for Void Travel, similar to Half-Life's Xen - given that they seem to be using pieces of that entity to power their warp drives. I don't think the relic being a human finger has anything to do with what that entity actually is, if for no reason other than Cy's continual description of "an absence."

Warframe is infuriatingly short on details on what the Void actually is, but I think it's pretty clear by this point that it's not just a pocket of ordinary space ala Xen. If anything, it seems to be closer to WH40K's Immaterium - a "place" where space, time and energy don't necessarily apply, where realspace constructs can persist in their original configuration only if heavily shielded and where all native denizens are inherently shapeshifting because none of them "exist" in the traditional sense as we would understand it. I don't know what DE intend for "the Man in the Wall," but I'm not going to assume that that thing HAS a body of any kind until I've seen evidence to support this.

Consider that Railjacks appear to be a fairly common frigate design, with presumably dozens if not hundreds if not more built and used during the Old War. You're not going to build many more than 10-20 if you're relying on them being powered by the fingers of some physical entity. We also have it on pretty good authority that the Orokin have been experimenting with creating artificial life forms for whatever reason, often using forces they don't fully understand because of their MASSIVE HUBRIS. The Sentients, the Infestation, the Warframes and - near as we can tell - deliberately the Tenno. Time and again they try to harness some kind of eldritch, poorly-understood power and craft a meat body around it, only for that to turn around and bite them in their blue Smurf asses.

The finger is undeniably dumb - no argument there. However, I still feel it was a neat gimmick if only for that one scene of "Hey Kiddo" holding up a hand with the index finger folded to tell us where this "relic" came from without having to spell it out for the cheap seats. Give them credit, that was some nice directing there.

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4 hours ago, HandsomeMask said:

The finger gives a feeling from old Chinese novels like Journey to the west. Mortals finding body parts of gods.

Certainly apt, I just wish the gods were a little more...less...

...I just wish it wasn't a humanesque finger, okay? 😛

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Why would you assume that Kuva has anything to do with the Man in the Wall, though?

I have absolutely no idea if it has any direct connection, just that he expresses approval if you consume it during The War Within.

If you consume, Moon alignment, you get: "Hey, kiddo, what took you so long?" This is said with a tone of approval.

Both Sun and Neutral are more disapproving responses, with Sun being "You mad at me, kiddo? Did you forget? You owe me." and Neutral, "Don't forget, kiddo... you're nothing without me."

It's very clear that he wants us to consume the Kuva, but why and whether or not it has any direct relation to him isn't explained.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Kuva, near as I can tell, is in some way related to Orokin immortality and regeneration, whereas the Man in the Wall appears to be a void entity of some description which starts showing up once we disconnect Rell who has been suppressing it. Said entity seems to be something the Orokin were aware of and were potentially using for Void Travel, similar to Half-Life's Xen - given that they seem to be using pieces of that entity to power their warp drives. I don't think the relic being a human finger has anything to do with what that entity actually is, if for no reason other than Cy's continual description of "an absence."

Correct, but our first encounter with him is during The War Within where he speaks through us depending upon our final choice...which involves said Kuva. As for the giant finger, I'd certainly hope not...but the pod has those ominous whispers associated with him and, when we insert the Void Key, he appears atop the pod to wave. From that point on, we hear him when approaching the pod each time we log in.

The finger itself may not have a direct connection though, and I certainly hope that it doesn't...

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Warframe is infuriatingly short on details on what the Void actually is, but I think it's pretty clear by this point that it's not just a pocket of ordinary space ala Xen. If anything, it seems to be closer to WH40K's Immaterium - a "place" where space, time and energy don't necessarily apply, where realspace constructs can persist in their original configuration only if heavily shielded and where all native denizens are inherently shapeshifting because none of them "exist" in the traditional sense as we would understand it. I don't know what DE intend for "the Man in the Wall," but I'm not going to assume that that thing HAS a body of any kind until I've seen evidence to support this.

Yes, I would hope.

Again, I'm just going off what's happening involving said pod. It's perfectly possible that the pod itself is tethered to the void, and him as its void personified, but the finger itself has nothing to do with him directly and is, perhaps, some sort of species living within the void. ...I still hope Kuva isn't finger-juice.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Consider that Railjacks appear to be a fairly common frigate design, with presumably dozens if not hundreds if not more built and used during the Old War. You're not going to build many more than 10-20 if you're relying on them being powered by the fingers of some physical entity.

If the entity has the standard of ten fingers, 8000 ships would require the fingers of 800 entities. That's taking aside the possibility that these pods can use toes, with said entities potentially having toes, and we just happen to have a finger...which would reduce the volume needed to 400. Lastly, that's assuming the entities have a ten finger and toe configuration...as they could have more, many more even. If they have more, the volume of entities that would need harvested could, potentially, be far less...and then that also takes aside the possibility that they or it are the source of Kuva and have extremely adept regenerative capabilities. If that was the case, all fingers could be harvested from a single, imprisoned, entity. At that point, you could have as many as you want...with the volume limited only by the time it takes to regrow said digits.

...or they could clone them from a single finger they harvested.

Many possibilities, especially with the technology available within the lore.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

We also have it on pretty good authority that the Orokin have been experimenting with creating artificial life forms for whatever reason, often using forces they don't fully understand because of their MASSIVE HUBRIS.

Very much so! ...but that supports the possibility of the above. It highly supports them having come across something they didn't understand and using it to reverse engineer their entire line of technological. That would actually be the easiest narrative for DE to run with.

Kuva, the Infested, the Biomechanical tech of the Orokin, all of this could have come from a single solitary entity that they didn't fully understand but, somehow, subdued and harvested, cloned, and then incorporated into their tech henceforth.

It would also be a fairly convenient and dull possibility...but the easiest narrative to run with.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The Sentients, the Infestation, the Warframes and - near as we can tell - deliberately the Tenno. Time and again they try to harness some kind of eldritch, poorly-understood power and craft a meat body around it, only for that to turn around and bite them in their blue Smurf asses.

Was it ever explicitly stated that they created the Infestation? I thought that was left somewhat ambiguous with them having simply used what was already there?

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The finger is undeniably dumb - no argument there.

YES! That. That is what I want. VALIDATION! So many things could have been done...hell, just leaving it like it was and having "The Man In The Wall" appear atop would have been fine.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

However, I still feel it was a neat gimmick if only for that one scene of "Hey Kiddo" holding up a hand with the index finger folded to tell us where this "relic" came from without having to spell it out for the cheap seats.

My screen wasn't big enough to notice that.

I was more-so distracted by the fact that he lacked hair on my screen...likely a glitch, as my Operator certainly has hair and one of the default styles, at that. I wish I would have thought to have waved back...though I doubt that would have done anything unique. Would have been neat if they did add something for a returned wave though.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Give them credit, that was some nice directing there.

Perhaps, it just feels wasted on a giant finger...especially if this implies a giant person.

You really don't need The Man In The Wall to give any visual explanation on where it came from, it's a finger...it's pretty evident. The only way that it would be clever is if the finger was, in actuality, our own...somehow, for whatever the reason. ...but that would take one hell of a well done design in plot twist. It could be done...but it would take one hell of a clever writer.

It could also be a tongue-in-cheek meta-metaphor for the player themselves...as our finger being what guides the ship, har har. I don't think they would do something like that though, regardless of how clever it was.

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3 minutes ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

Both Sun and Neutral are more disapproving responses, with Sun being "You mad at me, kiddo? Did you forget? You owe me." and Neutral, "Don't forget, kiddo... you're nothing without me."

That's not what I experienced. I'm 100% Sun and I got both of the "Don't forget..." and "You mad at me..." responses. It's possible there's some bugginess in there, obviously, but I'm somewhat dubious at this point.

 

5 minutes ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

...or they could clone them from a single finger they harvested. Many possibilities, especially with the technology available within the lore.

My point was rather that using the literal finger of an actual god entity is silly, narratively speaking. Not entirely unprecedented - a lot of Christianity is based around the reliquary of dead saints - but underwhelming enough that I have to imagine something more interesting is happening. As you suggest, my suspicion is that this is the Orokin's attempt to recreate something they neither understand nor control using their own technology, hence why they'd try to build it in their own image.

 

7 minutes ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

Was it ever explicitly stated that they created the Infestation? I thought that was left somewhat ambiguous with them having simply used what was already there?

Very clearly, yes, though that might depend on your individual Operator voice. Mine (Falcon) has the line: "Infestation... An Orokin weapon which backfired!" The Orokin seem to have been trying to create life for some time. When the Sentients didn't work out and - worse - subverted Orokin tech against its own masters, the Orokin themselves seem to have "improvised" with a self-sustaining, self-replicating nanomachine infestation which the Sentients couldn't control... And neither could the Orokin. The Warframes themselves are an amalgam between this Sentient-immune Infestation and human soldiers in an attempt to create both a tough killing machine and one which can be controlled... Which also failed as Ballas' encounter with the Excalibur Umbra shows. It wasn't until the Tenno started interacting with the Infested Warframes that something resembling a controllable fighting force could be put together.

And even then the Tenno ended up wiping out their own masters - something the Sentinets and the Infestation didn't manage to pull off. Essentially, the Orokin have a history of playing god, trying to create life, mistreating it badly, then having to defend themselves against it. Them trying to clone their own Chaos Demons would be entirely within character.

 

13 minutes ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

My screen wasn't big enough to notice that. I was more-so distracted by the fact that he lacked hair on my screen...likely a glitch, as my Operator certainly has hair and one of the default styles, at that. I wish I would have thought to have waved back...though I doubt that would have done anything unique. Would have been neat if they did add something for a returned wave though.

Basically, the scene is trying to tell you something without saying it words. It shows you a giant finger, then shows you the persistent demonic hallucination you've been seeing waving with one finger deliberately bent in. In plain text it's saying "This finger is MY finger." In subtext, it's saying "I'm not just in your head. I'm what the Orokin used to power their technology, and here is your proof. We'll be seeing each other again soon." I suspect DE started with that short cutscene and worked backwards to arrive at the finger. This is more of a dramatic filmmaking technique than an actual bit of lore, if you will. That's my reading of it, anyway.

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1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

That's not what I experienced. I'm 100% Sun and I got both of the "Don't forget..." and "You mad at me..." responses. It's possible there's some bugginess in there, obviously, but I'm somewhat dubious at this point.

Do you mean during The War Within or the Reliquary Drive?

I'm 100% Moon and I'm getting both of those too...but that's my point, as it alludes to the removal of that third option...which seems to align with The Man In The Wall. It certainly could have been a bug though.

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

My point was rather that using the literal finger of an actual god entity is silly, narratively speaking.

Extremely, but it also seems to be the most possible plot line. At least, in my opinion.

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

Not entirely unprecedented - a lot of Christianity is based around the reliquary of dead saints - but underwhelming enough that I have to imagine something more interesting is happening.

I would certainly hope so...but the signs man, the signs...

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

As you suggest, my suspicion is that this is the Orokin's attempt to recreate something they neither understand nor control using their own technology, hence why they'd try to build it in their own image.

It wouldn't make much sense that it was in their own image though.

The Tower of the Unum is a product of the Orokin and it certainly doesn't look like a giant humanoid. It seems strange that they would develop some sort of biomechanical device and then design it to look like a massive mummified finger. They were fancier than that, so the only logical explanation is that the finger is either of the creature itself...or cloned from said creature and still visually representative of it. 

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

Very clearly, yes, though that might depend on your individual Operator voice. Mine (Falcon) has the line: "Infestation... An Orokin weapon which backfired!" The Orokin seem to have been trying to create life for some time. When the Sentients didn't work out and - worse - subverted Orokin tech against its own masters, the Orokin themselves seem to have "improvised" with a self-sustaining, self-replicating nanomachine infestation which the Sentients couldn't control... And neither could the Orokin.

Nay, they all get that line...but it doesn't really seem to be very explicit. Not that it matters in the context of the conversation, of course...just wondering if you knew of anything more than that quote. I could have sworn that there are also plot lines that indicate that it was around before the Orokin too...and they just used it to their advantage as a weapon. Not sure though, I'd have to dig.

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

And even then the Tenno ended up wiping out their own masters - something the Sentinets and the Infestation didn't manage to pull off. Essentially, the Orokin have a history of playing god, trying to create life, mistreating it badly, then having to defend themselves against it. Them trying to clone their own Chaos Demons would be entirely within character.

Oh, no doubt there. They're a very arrogant and insidious faction of humanity. The only one who showed even a shred of goodness was Margulis, and they killed her for it...heh.

1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

Basically, the scene is trying to tell you something without saying it words. It shows you a giant finger, then shows you the persistent demonic hallucination you've been seeing waving with one finger deliberately bent in. In plain text it's saying "This finger is MY finger." In subtext, it's saying "I'm not just in your head. I'm what the Orokin used to power their technology, and here is your proof. We'll be seeing each other again soon." I suspect DE started with that short cutscene and worked backwards to arrive at the finger. This is more of a dramatic filmmaking technique than an actual bit of lore, if you will. That's my reading of it, anyway.

Well, yeah...but that circles back to my point: it's a humanesque finger. That's pretty unimaginative for the entity that's supposed to exist outside the Origin Universe, an entity that could be a personification of the Void itself.

GRANTED, the finger could be metaphorical...as it no longer shows up in my drive and has been replaced with the void essence once again. So it could have been a hallucinatory way of saying, "This is a small fragment of my being, that you're now using."

THAT would be okay in my eyes...

It's not REALLY a finger, we just temporarily perceived it as a finger because The Man In The Wall wanted to give us a little insight into what it was that we were using...a piece of his being, a fragment of the void. If that actually was what they were going with, this sort of metaphorical representation, I'd be fine with that.

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6 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

The Tower of the Unum is a product of the Orokin and it certainly doesn't look like a giant humanoid. It seems strange that they would develop some sort of biomechanical device and then design it to look like a massive mummified finger. They were fancier than that, so the only logical explanation is that the finger is either of the creature itself...or cloned from said creature and still visually representative of it. 

Well, that's assuming the Orokin had much of a say in the matter. Remember the old movie Species from the 90s? The premise there was that aliens sent genetic material to Earth somehow, I forget the specifics. Human scientists cloned it without really understanding it, creating a creature which grew up superficially human-looking, but was in fact an alien infiltrator of some sort. It's been 20 years and it's a pretty dumb movie so cut me some slack on the details 🙂 Point being, the Orokin are known to play with powers they neither understand nor control. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried cloning "something" out of the void, producing some kind of big nasty thing, which they eventually cut up and used as a power source. Given how insidious that "thing" is, able to reach out and "touch" people through its mere presence, that in itself might explain a lot of the Orokin's own behaviour.

If you look into WH40K lore, you'll find something similar. The Eldar lived a life of such privilege and debauchery that they ended up boning a Chaos god into existence. Once they'd attracted the attention of Chaos, though, their own actions and behaviour began being influenced. Debauchery turned to perversion turned to sadism as the line between pleasure and pain blurred and they fell ever more under the sway of Slanesh (I think). You have a similar tale with Mass Effect's Reapers, where Saren and his entourage genuinely thought they were fighting for what they believed in... Except an unseen voice was silently influencing what they thought they believed in.

The Orokin are absolute bastards, this much is undeniable, but... That thing, whatever it was that's always talking to us. That may be capable of influencing people on a large scale and to an excessive extent all the while never actually being noticed. If the Orokin were given a corpse or cloned a corpse, cut it up and thought THEY were the one using it, it's entirely possible that their culture was in fact being influenced into a path of cruelty, debauchery and - above all else - reckless experimentation. I'm obviously speculating here, but we ARE still working with new information. We know the Man in the Wall is a real thing, yes, but we also know it's related to a cornerstone of Orokin technology as well. I previously thought it only related to Rell and the Void, but now it seems like its influence might be far wider and far more long-lasting.

Of course, I'm pretty sure DE themselves haven't written the story out that far ahead, so who knows? Maybe we can give them ideas 🙂

 

6 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

GRANTED, the finger could be metaphorical...as it no longer shows up in my drive and has been replaced with the void essence once again. So it could have been a hallucinatory way of saying, "This is a small fragment of my being, that you're now using."

Goofy name incoming so hold on to your butts, but... There's a character called The Skeleton King from an old animated show by the name of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! He possessed a lot of stock villain tropes, but also an additional one - anything he touched was poisoned. Even when the heroes killed him (one of the times), his corrosive influence was still there. Anyone who picked up any of his old stuff was corrupted, machines hacked by malicious code, minds invaded by evil thoughts, societies driven to violence and cruelty, etc. In many cases, he acted not by "attacking" but simply by coming into contact with people and letting THEM act as unwitting agents while the corruption developed.

I may be projecting, but I can definitely imagine the Orokin finding or making these "relics" thinking they're safely in control, only to be indoctrinated into society-wide devastation. The Lotus as Natah already talks about how she used to firmly believe that her defection was caused by developing feelings for the Tenno, but now believes it was a foreign influence planting thoughts into her head. We know from Simaris' research that the Orokin created the Sentients as terraforming tools and regarded them with utter contempt, likely starting the war with them in some fashion. All of these things are consistent with the presence of a single greater consciousness able to indoctrinate others undetected through its mere presence and spurring rival factions into open conflict towards some unknown end.

Again, this is mere conjecture that I have no means of defending, but eh - we're speculating here anyway 🙂

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4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Well, that's assuming the Orokin had much of a say in the matter. Remember the old movie Species from the 90s? The premise there was that aliens sent genetic material to Earth somehow, I forget the specifics. Human scientists cloned it without really understanding it, creating a creature which grew up superficially human-looking, but was in fact an alien infiltrator of some sort. It's been 20 years and it's a pretty dumb movie so cut me some slack on the details 🙂 Point being, the Orokin are known to play with powers they neither understand nor control. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried cloning "something" out of the void, producing some kind of big nasty thing, which they eventually cut up and used as a power source. Given how insidious that "thing" is, able to reach out and "touch" people through its mere presence, that in itself might explain a lot of the Orokin's own behaviour.

That's fair enough, but they've shown the ability to augment organics through a myriad of methods. It seems somewhat odd that they would just clone up a finger and leave it at that, without any augmentation to the visual design. As you said, they have a habit of tampering with things...and they're overwhelmingly extravagant with their tampering.

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

If you look into WH40K lore, you'll find something similar. The Eldar lived a life of such privilege and debauchery that they ended up boning a Chaos god into existence. Once they'd attracted the attention of Chaos, though, their own actions and behaviour began being influenced. Debauchery turned to perversion turned to sadism as the line between pleasure and pain blurred and they fell ever more under the sway of Slanesh (I think). You have a similar tale with Mass Effect's Reapers, where Saren and his entourage genuinely thought they were fighting for what they believed in... Except an unseen voice was silently influencing what they thought they believed in.

Of course, that's why I said it's the most logical plot-line. It's just the easiest narrative to run with.

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The Orokin are absolute bastards, this much is undeniable, but... That thing, whatever it was that's always talking to us. That may be capable of influencing people on a large scale and to an excessive extent all the while never actually being noticed. If the Orokin were given a corpse or cloned a corpse, cut it up and thought THEY were the one using it, it's entirely possible that their culture was in fact being influenced into a path of cruelty, debauchery and - above all else - reckless experimentation. I'm obviously speculating here, but we ARE still working with new information. We know the Man in the Wall is a real thing, yes, but we also know it's related to a cornerstone of Orokin technology as well. I previously thought it only related to Rell and the Void, but now it seems like its influence might be far wider and far more long-lasting.

Sure, though I'm not entirely certain that The Man In The Wall is, or should be, so two-dimensional...in terms of psyche, goals, etc. I'm actually hoping for a dynamic similar to what the show "Prodigal Son" seems to portray between the lead character and his incarcerated, serial killer, father. Thus far, The Man In The Wall has only aided us in our endeavors...and while we know that he feels we owe him, from choices outside of the Moon, it's not exactly specified what he wants. Granted, it's very likely a desire to be "let into" the Origin System in full.

Regardless, I'd like to think that the Orokin were, if influenced by said entity, simply a product of a natural effect generated through exposure that The Man In The Wall has no control over and doesn't always actively seek to cause. Think of it as though your personality would leech into the minds of those around you simply through proximity. This would make the creation of the Tenno more interesting if what happened to their parents wasn't actually intentional and said entity imbued them with their powers out of genuine affection..................even if it's what anyone within the Origin System would deem amoral. This would give a much more complicated dynamic where the Tenno are genuinely favored by an entity that's perceived to be evil. An entity that goes beyond the realm of the physical and may not even consider its actions as evil, but playful...as one could presume that an immortal entity of energy would view physical creatures as toys with the knowledge that they're simply in a stage of existence that's, in the grande scheme of existence, trivial.

It's really easy to imagine that an immortal entity that knows of life beyond death, energy being immortal and thus some sort of soul's existence, would be very flippant towards physical existence and enjoy toying with it. With the above possibility in mind, Rell's psychological decline may have been little more than a result of his resistance against said entity wearing on his sanity and not something The Man In The Wall even wanted. It could have been that Rell was keeping a tear between existences sealed...and the strain was what caused his downward spiral whereas The Man In The Wall potentially even held back to avoid annihilating his psyche...which would add further complexity to the character, as it would then imply that he didn't harm Rell and was actually holding off on passing through because this child stood in his way...but couldn't stop the effects of his own nature from wearing said youth down.

I guess we'll see though. I'd rather there be a much more complex dynamic though than, "Roar...I'm the big bad guy!"

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Of course, I'm pretty sure DE themselves haven't written the story out that far ahead, so who knows? Maybe we can give them ideas 🙂

That's ultimately the point of the thread.

I just don't want him looking like the Jolly Void Giant. :P

I'm fine with him being formless, actually...but if they want to give him some sort of fleeting form, I'd hope that it would be something as interesting as the Sentient Devourer Ship and not some giant humanoid. Something that screams, "I'm not from your existence, but outside it. Fathom me."

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Goofy name incoming so hold on to your butts, but... There's a character called The Skeleton King from an old animated show by the name of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! He possessed a lot of stock villain tropes, but also an additional one - anything he touched was poisoned. Even when the heroes killed him (one of the times), his corrosive influence was still there. Anyone who picked up any of his old stuff was corrupted, machines hacked by malicious code, minds invaded by evil thoughts, societies driven to violence and cruelty, etc. In many cases, he acted not by "attacking" but simply by coming into contact with people and letting THEM act as unwitting agents while the corruption developed.

I may be projecting, but I can definitely imagine the Orokin finding or making these "relics" thinking they're safely in control, only to be indoctrinated into society-wide devastation.

Oh, I certainly agree with this.

I'm writing as I'm reading...so I actually already suggested this myself. I definitely agree, I believe that the very presence of The Man In The Wall causes a sort of psyche leak. This entity has existed for an unknown volume of time, likely far longer than the Origin System...so it's had time to mellow out a bit with its own nature. Those who are "infected" by it are suddenly struck with personality traits that aren't their own, so they don't have the same level of control over these impulses...hence the Tenno's family.

I think it's the abruptness that turned them homicidal...whereas The Man In The Wall may be flippant towards physical life, and perhaps even energy, but less impulsive in snuffing it out...or may, and likely, revels in the chaos it causes due to some sense of entertainment, pleasure, etc.

Definitely agree though...it fits with what happened to the Tenno's parents. I don't think The Man In The Wall actually caused them to go mad intentionally, it's just what happened under the circumstances...and so he intervened out of pity, a desire for favor, genuine affection, or possibly a combination of all. I mean...some sadistic and cold blooded killers even have ethical standards where they won't kill women and children. We may get to see such a notion in an Eldritch being who, similarly to the Lotus, decided to adopt what fell into his lap.

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The Lotus as Natah already talks about how she used to firmly believe that her defection was caused by developing feelings for the Tenno, but now believes it was a foreign influence planting thoughts into her head.

Yeah, I imagine that's going to play out heavily in the story to come with her discovering that the feelings were genuine...even if she was forced into the position. ...or maybe, in an ironic twist, Void Dad turns out to be the good guy and anti-hero...haha.

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

We know from Simaris' research that the Orokin created the Sentients as terraforming tools and regarded them with utter contempt, likely starting the war with them in some fashion.

They were supposed to establish a new utopia for humanity and decided that humanity was flawed. As far as I know, it's that notion that resulted in the War...as the Sentients returned out of fear towards the Orokin eventually coming, subduing, and destroying the newfound system they built up. Basically, they seem to believe humanity is a failed species that isn't worthy of existence, as it destroys all it touches.

Violent Space Hippies.

4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

All of these things are consistent with the presence of a single greater consciousness able to indoctrinate others undetected through its mere presence and spurring rival factions into open conflict towards some unknown end.

It's definitely possible.

We know the Orokin were using Kuva excessively and that seems to have some connection to The Man In The Wall...even if it's only through a desire for others to consume it. The Sentients, presumably, passed through the Void on their way to the Tau System... The Lotus says something about the journey back being what cost her the ability to reproduce...alluding to traversing through the Void, as it's toxic to them.

It's possible that the Sentients sentience is a result of the Void affecting them...and that their sudden desire to snuff out humanity is also a result of that presence warping their consciousness. In turn, it's possible that the Orokin are victims of their own arrogance and imbued themselves with a similar nature through their excessive use of Kuva and experimentation with the Void.

It seems a little too convenient though.

It also seems strange that The Man In The Wall would spare and continue to openly aid the only faction that would likely try to stop him...the Tenno. They're immune to his presence, save for Rell after a LONG psychological battle that may have not even been an intentional conflict, and are deemed benevolent and honorable within the context of the lore...working to maintain peace and ensure none of the more tyrannical factions win over the other to assert their dominion and oppress the plebs.

Yet, The Man In The Wall aids them still...even if he does so through playfully sadistic means, toying with their minds a bit.

It may ultimately be that he's not responsible for the nature of the Orokin or the Sentients...and is simply having a little fun with it all. Honestly, I've been wanting the alignment system to ultimately allow us the choice of who to side with, creating factions of Tenno that aren't exactly opposed to each-other...but have different views on how the Origin System should progress.

As the alignment system currently stands...it makes sense that the outcomes would be the Sun ultimately falling back in line with Lotus, the Moon Tenno siding with The Man In The Wall, and those of a Neutral path deciding that neither of these powerful forces are right and they seek to forge their own path forward.

This could create an interesting dynamic between pseudo siblings born through the act of an eldritch entity and the guidance of a sentient machine. Not directly opposed, but opposed in ideology.................like many siblings end up being, hah.

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6 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

Sure, though I'm not entirely certain that The Man In The Wall is, or should be, so two-dimensional...in terms of psyche, goals, etc. I'm actually hoping for a dynamic similar to what the show "Prodigal Son" seems to portray between the lead character and his incarcerated, serial killer, father. Thus far, The Man In The Wall has only aided us in our endeavors...and while we know that he feels we owe him, from choices outside of the Moon, it's not exactly specified what he wants. Granted, it's very likely a desire to be "let into" the Origin System in full.

I wouldn't call that two-dimensional so much as self-interested. Years ago, City of Heroes writers came up with the concept of "The Well of the Furies," an entity which constituted either a source or a collection of super powers and was responsible for all of Earth's gods. It offers great power in large measure to strong individuals while asking nothing in return, but it ends up corrupting and eventually controlling their minds through sheer willpower. City of Heroes' end game story revolves around the player character gaining the Well's power slowly so as to avoid the psychological influence, and hints are made that we would have eventually surpassed it and created "a Well of our own" had the game not been shut down in 2012. I personally always asserted that the Well is in fact metaphysical pyramid scheme - an entity with no power of its own which consumes the power of strong individuals and offers only the power consumed from previous victims. Offer super powers, wait until the owner dies, take them all back and then also take HIS powers too.

I'm not saying that's what the Man in the Wall is, but rather that being aggressively and subversively self-interested isn't necessarily being simple or badly-written. We don't know how much power this entity has even if we suspect it's a lot, but we do know that it has very limited power HERE, in realspace. Whatever it wants, it can't simply wish for it and bend reality to get it. Others have to get that for the entity - others who can be influenced in subtle but persistent ways. I understand the appeal of unknowable Lovecraftian horror which is so alien that we can't even describe it... But I've personally always held that a good villain always had method to their madness, always has a goal to the horror. Sure, a monster so powerful it doesn't bother wanting to understand us is scary. For me, though, a clever monster who understands how we work and is capable of selectively sabotaging us where we're least defended and least likely to notice or identify is far scarier. A powerful entity can be beaten if we too grow powerful enough. An insidious entity requires us to look inwards at our own flaws.

Everyone in the Origin system is and always was small, petty and driven by fear. The Orokin were driven by the fear of not just being destroyed by their own creation, but the fear of having to admit their perfect world was a hollow lie. The Sentients were driven by the fear of what the Orokin would do them. The Fulmetal Alchemist anime (the first one) had a pretty interesting take on "power," pointing out that those who seek power because they're afraid will ultimately fail. This seems to be the case for a lot of the factions. Everyone wants powerful weapons because everyone lives in constant fear of everyone else wiping out their culture. It's a pretty bleak, dystopian setting and exactly the kind where an intelligent, malevolent entity can thrive even without much in the way of raw power.

Hell, that's basically what the Elder God was in the Legacy of Kain series 🙂 Here's an entity which exits outside of time and has tremendous power over life and death, yet it predominantly acts through unwitting agents. Kain is convinced to break the timeline rather than end his entire bloodline, Raziel is convinced to break the timeline to expose Janos Aldrin, again and again the voice of the Elder God is poison, even if it comes from one we considered an ally. Of course a powerful eldritch entity like the Man in the Wall here would attempt to present itself as our friend and ally if we're in some way useful to it. If I were the one doing this deception, I would test out multiple approaches on any given person, see what they respond to and push that. If I can pretend that what they're doing is what I wanted them to do, then I'll act as an ally and try to call on favours. If I perceived them to resent me, then I might try reverse psychology, asking them to do the opposite of what I want expecting them to act to thwart me. These are exactly the kind of mind games I'd expect from the entity able to speak to me in my head and direct me along the plot. If you'll recall, it was the ghost Operator wearing the Lotus helmet which sent us to the Chimera.

 

6 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

Definitely agree though...it fits with what happened to the Tenno's parents. I don't think The Man In The Wall actually caused them to go mad intentionally, it's just what happened under the circumstances...and so he intervened out of pity, a desire for favor, genuine affection, or possibly a combination of all. I mean...some sadistic and cold blooded killers even have ethical standards where they won't kill women and children. We may get to see such a notion in an Eldritch being who, similarly to the Lotus, decided to adopt what fell into his lap.

In writing player characters, I generally like to prefer not writing powers as having been "given" to the player by a third party. It tends to cheapen the experience and erode ownership of the character concept. Now granted, Warframe is not a free-form MMO where you get to write your own backstory and I already brought up Legacy of Kain where Raziel is straight-up GIVEN his powers by the series' de-facto antagonist. In this case, however, I like to think that it can be avoided. Treating the Void as the Immaterium allows the Tenno to have developed powers of their own, in some way "understood" the Void on an intuitive level and trained themselves in controlling it, to some extent. It's mentioned in a few places which I can't recall off the top of my head that the Tenno themselves are VASTLY more powerful than their own Warframes and indeed powerful on a whole different level from everything which came before... But also limited by their ability to control this power without damaging or destroying themselves. That's the reason for the suits and the chairs and the training and - indeed - the fear.

As such, depicting the Man in the Wall as A Void entity rather than "the Void itself" is where I'd go. For one thing, it gives us more of an actual character that we can interact with, meaning a proper antagonist. For another thing, it enhances both the mystery and the menace of the Void. After all, if this is just ONE of the entities which came out of it once we stared hard enough, what else could be there? How many more of these could there be? May some of them be more powerful, more malicious, or indeed less interested in even speaking with us? Now granted, I tend to be a fan of "god decay." I used to do amateur writing back in the day (can you tell? 🙂) and did some preliminary writing for City of Titans in VERY early development. Almost without fail, the stuff I touched upon was cosmic/divine in nature, and almost without fail the characters who started as indescribable unknowable entities ended up getting their asses beat for various reasons and joining the main cast as powerful but very much "human" characters, in the metaphorical sense.

There's value to be had in pairing a fragile human character first coming into contact with eldritch power against an ancient eldritch entity... Then having them cross over eventually. Yes, it does cheapen the eldritch stuff so a bit less horror, but it's also a hopeful story. It shows us that humanity at its best is able to rise to any challenge, overcome any obstacle and stand proud with the best of them, while at the same time showing us that even the gods have challenges of their own. Plus, the enemy becoming an ally storyline can be extra cool if said enemy IS one of the gods/demons/elders/aliens/etc. It's not like Warframe hasn't done this already. For all his faults, Alad V is pretty much our "frenemy" at this point. Yes he still wants us dead, yes he's still working with our enemies, but... You know what? When the chips are down and his ass is on the line... Yeah, he'll still help us out the side of his mouth, even if he'll also still try to screw us over when it's all said and done.

The more of a personality DE give to the Man in the Wall, the more I'm expecting a Face Turn at some point. Maybe somewhere during the New War, once we start to grasp exactly what kind of threat the Sentients pose beyond "lots of alien guns."

 

6 hours ago, TenebraeAeterna said:

It also seems strange that The Man In The Wall would spare and continue to openly aid the only faction that would likely try to stop him...the Tenno. They're immune to his presence, save for Rell after a LONG psychological battle that may have not even been an intentional conflict, and are deemed benevolent and honorable within the context of the lore...working to maintain peace and ensure none of the more tyrannical factions win over the other to assert their dominion and oppress the plebs. Yet, The Man In The Wall aids them still...even if he does so through playfully sadistic means, toying with their minds a bit.

For one thing, I don't know that the Tenno are looked upon kindly in the lore. The Orokin feared and despised them, repeatedly calling them some variety of demons and devils. All of the major factions right now - both Corpus and Grineer - regard the Tenno with contempt and anyone familiar with ancient history regards them as "betrayers." Granted, that's not everybody but at the very least Alad, Vor and the Stalker, probably a few others. Simaris at the very least has to be aware. Now even the Lotus is starting to address us as monsters. Yes, the civilian population does generally regard us as saviours, but the game's lore is WOEFULLY lacking in regards to any of the non-combat populations that I don't know how wide-spread that is beyond Cetus and Fortuna. We are, when it comes down to it, space pirates and mercenaries. We're given paid contracts and do people's dirty work. Sometimes the pretext is "saving a colony," but often no pretext is offered. "We've been given a mark. You have to eliminate your mark."

With all of that said, the Man in the Wall as you've described him strikes me as very close to Dragon Ball's Freeza, circa his appearance towards the end of Super. A self-interested, sadistic villain who nevertheless goes out of his way to help the heroes while still taunting them, all for the sake of getting himself fully resurrected. This is the character who'll say things along the lines of "I hate you, you make me sick to my stomach. Now take some of my power, because I need you to keep fighting." And yes, that's Dragon Ball, I know the memes. However, look at DE's writing up until this point. A lot of their characters slot neatly into anime archetypes. Simaris is the Tsundere in Suda's quest, constantly talking about how she should be destroyed before the infection spreads and not wanting to waste time helping her... Then he shows up to help her anyway, but keeps insisting this is nothing but self interest! He totally doesn't actually like her and totally isn't embarrassed to admit it!

At the end of the day, DE for whatever reason like writing annoying characters who go through their own arcs and find some greater depth and usually some amount of kindness in their hearts. Except for Hunhow, but man... Poor Hunhow. I hope we didn't actually kill him and he comes back at some point. The Man in the Wall will likely turn out the same way - introduced as an unknowable evil, eventually developing into a part of the main cast, either on the hero or villain side, and showing up every so often as a recurring character. I wouldn't be surprised if DE began treating him like Star Trek's Q after a while. I suspect me saying this will horrify you, but... Well, we seem to want different things out of that entity 🙂

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