Jump to content

Speculation on Old Spoilers from The Sacrifice


Gamer_Auto

Recommended Posts

This has probably been speculated on before, but I swear on Reb's Cult of JojoMemes that I had this thought completely on my own right now.

I could be completely off-base, but I think Ballas had an Anti-Sentient plan. A plan that started with one particular Dax.
Excalibur Umbra. The Umbral "School" (UmForma, UmMods, UmPolarity). Skiajati and Paracesis. Each of these has one thing in common: They were made specifically to fight the Sentients. Better than the Necramechs could. Something that could not only hard-counter the Sentient forces (without them adapting), but could also remove the Tenno factor. The last remnant of Margulis, and of Ballas' failures as both a lover and a "golden god".

My hypothesis: Ballas used his connection with Erra to experiment with forces that even the other Orokin would be hesitant to tamper with; possibly something that would get him glassed by Nihil. The Void; or at least part of it. The only thing that can actually hurt the Sentients. And Isaah's father discovering Ballas' betrayal was just the perfect excuse to kill two birds with one stone. This experiment with what would come to be known by us as the Tau Element resulted in the unique Infestation strain that created Excalibur Umbra. And remember, Umbra is completely autonomous. He's not our cyborg flesh suit, he's our symbiotic partner. He could potentially have been intended as the first of many Umbra Warframes that would give Ballas leverage to remove the Tenno Operators from the equation. The Tenno, remember, were so dedicated and loyal to Margulis that they would only listen to her and The Lotus (who they thought was their surrogate mother). And there have been many cases, even before the fall, of Tenno going rogue and doing their own thing. With the "Devil Children" out of the way, Ballas would have himself an army of Warframes that no Tenno could hope to best. But then Umbra proved to be in so much pain and anguish that he went feral. If you recall, Ballas had some form of control over ExcalUmbra during our confrontation with him during The Sacrifice, and it was only with our help that Umbra broke free.
Therefore, I propose that Ballas wanted to make an army of Umbra Warframes. Not only to replace the Tenno, but also for some kind of power play. Be that to gain control of the Orokin Empire or the Sentients is beyond my ability to fathom at this time. The reason that we only have Excalibur Umbra and Skiajati is because that's all he had time to make. He may have drafted up some plans, but then the Old War came to a climax, the Orokin were nearly driven extinct, the Sentients were driven back to Tau, and The Lotus put the Tenno into their inception nap. With his experiments locked away in a secret location that was no longer accessible, Ballas had no choice but to wait and see if anything could be recovered later. And we both simultaneously beat him to it, and did his work for him. Then he was captured by Natah, and only had enough strength left to give us the blueprints to Paracesis after his...unique method of imprisonment and enslavement.

What I'm ultimately getting at, is this: What if the plans for the other Umbral Warframes are still out there? What if some of the Umbra Strain got out and infected emotionally suffering people, like ExcalUmbra. What if, at some point (possibly during/in conjunction with the Duviri Paradox), we get to find those Umbra Warframes?

I think that'd be a neat way to introduce more, if they wanted to. At least with more weapons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with speculating anything about The Sacrifice is that it contradicts its own timeline, we have no idea WHEN anything is taking place. 95% of the backstory is setting up a giant "THIS IS HOW WARFRAMES WERE MADE, THIS IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" in glowing neon letters. Hell, there's even a Prime Access Trailer, specifically Mirage Prime Trailer, that describes how Mirage was created, and it's summarized as "what I did to Excalibur, I did to you. But where he screamed, you laughed."

...until the writers accidentally contradict themselves and have Ballas speak a line that only makes sense if Excalibur Umbra was the last Warframe to be made, not the first

As a result, we have no idea when (relative to the rest of the Old War) Ballas first contacted Hunhow and Erra, when Margulis died, when the first Warframes were made, etc. 

And the fact Ballas is one of those generic "yes, this was my 65 million year old plan all along!" villains isn't helping matters

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

The problem with speculating anything about The Sacrifice is that it contradicts its own timeline, we have no idea WHEN anything is taking place. 95% of the backstory is setting up a giant "THIS IS HOW WARFRAMES WERE MADE, THIS IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" in glowing neon letters. Hell, there's even a Prime Access Trailer, specifically Mirage Prime Trailer, that describes how Mirage was created, and it's summarized as "what I did to Excalibur, I did to you. But where he screamed, you laughed."

...until the writers accidentally contradict themselves and have Ballas speak a line that only makes sense if Excalibur Umbra was the last Warframe to be made, not the first

As a result, we have no idea when (relative to the rest of the Old War) Ballas first contacted Hunhow and Erra, when Margulis died, when the first Warframes were made, etc. 

And the fact Ballas is one of those generic "yes, this was my 65 million year old plan all along!" villains isn't helping matters

When it comes to the question of "what is and is not canon", I think anything that features in the game takes presidence over a random trailer. But, if you want to go into minutia, I will. Quoth the Codex of Excalibur Prime:

Quote

The Sentients had won. They had turned our weapons, our technology, against us. The more advanced we became, the greater our losses. The war was over unless we found a new way. In our desperation we turned to the Void. The blinding night, the hellspace where our science and reason failed.

We took the twisted few that had returned from that place. We built a frame around them, a conduit of their affliction. Gave them the weapons of the old ways. Gun and blade. A new warrior, a new code was born. These rejects, these Tenno, became our saviors. Warrior-Gods cast in steel and fury striking our enemies in a way they could never comprehend. Excalibur was the first.

- Orokin 'Warframe' Archives

Read here that it never at any point says that specifically Excalibur Umbra was the first. It just says "Excalibur". And from what I've pieced together, the current consensus is that the Prime variants of things were the originals, and all the rest came after. Therefore, while I will give you that we don't know the exact timeline, I think it's safer to say that ExcalPrime was the first Warframe ever made (supported by the in-lore explanation of why it was highest-tier-backer-only), then came everything else as Ballas made the other Warframes for Margulis, then making Umbra possibly near the end of the war (relatively speaking).

Also note that we had a semi-solid idea that Warframes were Soylent Green before The Sacrifice thanks to Ember Prime and Rhino Prime's Codex entries, Gara's backstory found on Cetus, possibly Sands of Inaros. And that's just stuff from before The Sacrifice was debuted. Here's the important stuff.

EmberP Codex:

Quote

Three figures waited behind a simple table. Their attention on a single chair, bathed in light. An old woman's voice from the shadow: 'Send her in'. Across the room a security officer, stern and plain, opened the door. The outline of a young woman appeared at the door. She hesitated, but only for an instant, then crossed the room and sat.

There was a gasp as the light hit her face. Her right eye was bright and blinking, but her left was a greasy slit. Her skin had been burned moon-white. Her mouth was a sagging gash without lips or expression. Her military beret was pulled snug over a scarred and hairless scalp.

The old voice: 'Your name is Kaleen.' Kaleen nodded. 'You were the principal investigator of the Zariman?' Kaleen's voice was a jagged whisper, a rigid face. 'Yes.'

Kaleen coughed, straightened: 'The Zariman was lost making the fold from Saturn to the Outer gates. Mechanical failure. I notified families and filled a report with the inspectors. Nothing ever returns from the fold, so I closed the case.'

'But you reopened the case, days later.'

'I didn't believe it myself until I stepped aboard the ship. It was completely intact, full environmental, as if it had never left.'

'And the crew was gone.'

'Not exactly.' Kaleen hesitated. 'We thought it was empty but we began to find...' Her face twitched at remembered pain, 'We began to find children hiding in the ship.'

'And that is when you violated procedure?'

Kaleen bowed her head, a tear welling in her sightless eye. 'They were children. They were afraid. They needed comfort.'

'So you broke quarantine and this happened to you.'

There was silence as Kaleen touched her face, 'So what have you done with them?'

The old woman gestured for the officer to take Kaleen away. The meeting was over. When Kaleen reached the door she twisted out of his grip and shot back, 'Why would you do that? Why did you put children on a military ship?'

'We didn't. That would violate procedure.'

RhinoP:

Quote

Red lights flashing on stark, white walls. Davis is running ahead of me, dropping his notes. We're running for our lives. The fear gives me a strange perspective - I'm out of my body. I've forgotten how I got here. I don't recognize this place.

Davis and I slam pinned against a cell door and he shouts at me. I give him a dumb look. I can't hear him, the sirens, anything, only the muffled throb of terror in my head. I turn away from Davis down the hall and I see it. The hulking mass, flickering red, glinting like steel and fresh blood. Its skin changes, flowing like mercury when I'm blinded by the sudden muzzle-flashes. They do no good. The beast surges forward and the security men become crimson mist and gore.

I'm a statue, a cornered animal. A gate opens inside me and recognition floods in. I have seen this monster before. I have cut its shell and eviscerated its brothers. I have given it pain and measured its response. I have crafted then rejected countless like it. But I've never seen this beast so close, without the shield, without restraints. I have never seen it... free.

I know I will die so I just watch with curious acceptance. The beast squats down, shovelling a heap of gore into its mouth. It is watching me with vague eyes, a sense of recognition, ancestral memory. It knows who I am and what I've done. It rears up like a bear and roars, shattering the lights and casting us into darkness. I can hear it lumbering toward me, its metal fingers rending the walls, but I know I am dead. I close my eyes and stand ready to pay.

I feel the pull on my arm and realize Davis got the cell open. He tugs me into the cell beyond and I fall on my back. I see Davis standing at the open door, waiting, as the monster tears towards us.

Suddenly I could live through this I shout, "Davis, close the goddamn door!" - But he shakes his head eyes wide as moons. He shouts, "Watch!" over the roaring and rending of metal.

Then silence. Davis is panting, laughing? The beast fills the doorway, inches from him, dripping in blood, but still without violence. It stands there, looking at its hands. Davis whispers, "No one would have believed me."

I crawl up the wall to stand, opposite the door. I've never seen this cell, a cold place with an array of shelves. A morgue? "Where are we, Davis?"

"This is where they keep them. The ones from Zariman." I'm thrown, what was the Zariman? The ship that never returned? "Davis, what's going on?"

Davis turns to me, a smile forming - "What's going on is..." he turns back to the beast now silent and calm.

"...big, fat promotions."

I think the implications of Kaleen being turned into Ember Prime and Rhino Prime having at least some semi-sapient autonomy in the past goes a long way to prove that the Warframes were alive before the outright confirmation in The Sacrifice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gamer_Auto said:

Read here that it never at any point says that specifically Excalibur Umbra was the first. It just says "Excalibur".

He wouldn't have been called "Prime" or "Umbra" at the time. He would have just been called "Excalibur". The "Umbra" designation came much later

1 hour ago, Gamer_Auto said:

I think it's safer to say that ExcalPrime was the first Warframe ever made (supported by the in-lore explanation of why it was highest-tier-backer-only), then came everything else as Ballas made the other Warframes for Margulis, then making Umbra possibly near the end of the war (relatively speaking).

Again, this is looking at the entire subtext of the Sacrifice, the one that is beating you over the head with "THIS GUY IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" written on a baseball bat, then deciding that the one sliver that says otherwise takes precedent

But then again, I can understand not wanting to let go of the "Primes came first" idea. Because ever since Silver Grove, there have been MULTIPLE demonstrations that the Primes actually came last (Silver Grove itself showing that Titania not-Prime came first, plus the Leverian showing Ivara not-Prime was the one being tested, etc.)

1 hour ago, Gamer_Auto said:

I think the implications of Kaleen being turned into Ember Prime

You might be the first person to EVER go that far. Yeah the Orokin will go out of their way to be petty, but what is she being silenced for?

1 hour ago, Gamer_Auto said:

and Rhino Prime having at least some semi-sapient autonomy in the past goes a long way to prove that the Warframes were alive before the outright confirmation in The Sacrifice.

Well duh, Rhino Prime's codex has been solid evidence for years, and was also confirmed in Second Dream

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

He wouldn't have been called "Prime" or "Umbra" at the time. He would have just been called "Excalibur". The "Umbra" designation came much later

Again, this is looking at the entire subtext of the Sacrifice, the one that is beating you over the head with "THIS GUY IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" written on a baseball bat, then deciding that the one sliver that says otherwise takes precedent

But then again, I can understand not wanting to let go of the "Primes came first" idea. Because ever since Silver Grove, there have been MULTIPLE demonstrations that the Primes actually came last (Silver Grove itself showing that Titania not-Prime came first, plus the Leverian showing Ivara not-Prime was the one being tested, etc.)

You might be the first person to EVER go that far. Yeah the Orokin will go out of their way to be petty, but what is she being silenced for?

Well duh, Rhino Prime's codex has been solid evidence for years, and was also confirmed in Second Dream

I'll tackle each point.

Please note that I don't keep replying to try and prove you wrong. I actually enjoy these kinds of debates. It forces both of us to look at points of views not previously considered, and in this context it's actually really fun! :satisfied:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:
  • I could maybe see the implication that Umbra is a prototype Warframe, but the context of the scene still makes it feel like a ways into the lore. Why would Ballas conspire with Hunhow and Erra before the Old War? At least near the end, there's a bit of a motive with the murder of Margulis and his irrational hatred of the Tenno.
  • This rolls back into my last point. Why would Ballas go traitor before the war?

Ballas betrays the Orokin to avenge Margulis. This is another one of those contradictory things, because different plot points show that Margulis was simultaneously alive and dead during the Old War. Throw in the fact that Natah is impersonating her, and things get really confusing. But personally, I subscribe to the idea that Margulis died before the Old War and Silvana was speaking to Natah

2 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:
  • Okay, you didn't seem to catch what I caught, so here it is: Kaleen not only broke protocol, but she figured out that civilians were on a military vessel in violation of the Orokin's' military rules, and the military still allowed it. The knowledge of what happened to the Zariman kids is ammo she can use to start dissent within the ranks. That makes her a loose end, and loose ends can easily pull even the most well-tied knot completely apart. And when you live in as oppressive and tyrannical a government as the Orokin Empire, you will disappear if the government sees you as a threat. It happens all the time here in the real world as well.

OK to clarify my position: I can understand calling in a Scoria assassin or Karris clansman to slit her throat, or sending her to Nihil for glassing. She does need silencing. But why turn her into a Warframe? That was for making an example out of someone, not just silencing a loose end.

2 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

Please note that I don't keep replying to try and prove you wrong. I actually enjoy these kinds of debates. It forces both of us to look at points of views not previously considered, and in this context it's actually really fun! :satisfied:

Indeed, quite pleasant, and in honor of this I'd like to take a second look at the Ivara Leverian:

The entire point is they didn't finalize Warframes until they passed a test. This calls this into question:

2 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:
  • But everything we know about the Orokin points to the extravagant Prime versions being first, followed by the more easily producible standard versions later.

It would, absolutely, be in character for the Orokin to skip straight to the Primes for maximum gold flavor. But Primes are expensive. Non-Primes are cheap. Methinks it would be equally in-character to commission a non-Prime for testing. You're out fewer resources if they fail the test -- and from what little sample size we have, the pass/fail ratio seemed to be 1:2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TARINunit9 said:

Ballas betrays the Orokin to avenge Margulis. This is another one of those contradictory things, because different plot points show that Margulis was simultaneously alive and dead during the Old War. Throw in the fact that Natah is impersonating her, and things get really confusing. But personally, I subscribe to the idea that Margulis died before the Old War and Silvana was speaking to Natah

OK to clarify my position: I can understand calling in a Scoria assassin or Karris clansman to slit her throat, or sending her to Nihil for glassing. She does need silencing. But why turn her into a Warframe? That was for making an example out of someone, not just silencing a loose end.

Indeed, quite pleasant, and in honor of this I'd like to take a second look at the Ivara Leverian:

The entire point is they didn't finalize Warframes until they passed a test. This calls this into question:

It would, absolutely, be in character for the Orokin to skip straight to the Primes for maximum gold flavor. But Primes are expensive. Non-Primes are cheap. Methinks it would be equally in-character to commission a non-Prime for testing. You're out fewer resources if they fail the test -- and from what little sample size we have, the pass/fail ratio seemed to be 1:2

  • That's true. When you throw in Natah, that mucks things up. But to me, it would also call into question why the Orokin never noticed that Margulis just decided to be not dead anymore. You'd think the governing class of Orokin would remember someone they sentenced to death by disintegration.
  • If they send her off to Ballas to become Ember, it means she has no chance to spread her dangerous information before her execution. In a potentially secret lab surrounded by killing machines and a mad scientist is likely the most secure prison they could hold her in.
  • You have a point, there. It would be logical to assume that Standards are the ones that get made first, and perhaps only a select few get the honor of becoming gilded in Orokin decorations; much like Zaws, Amps, Kitguns, MOAs, K-Drives, and Deimos pets for us. They don't become fancy until we make them fancy (or, more accurately, pay someone to make them fancy). That would then not only give more context to the Prime Trailers with actual content, it would also support your theory as to Ballas making Umbra first based on his Mirage Prime dialogue. I personally still call into question the timeline of when exactly Margulis died, and when exactly Ballas betrayed his people. But, short of taking it to the devs themselves, we might never get that answer. Unless there's some web page somewhere that I'm just too dumb to find on my own.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:
  • That's true. When you throw in Natah, that mucks things up. But to me, it would also call into question why the Orokin never noticed that Margulis just decided to be not dead anymore. You'd think the governing class of Orokin would remember someone they sentenced to death by disintegration.

It was their idea. They needed a Margulis stand-in to control the Tenno, so they brainwashed a Sentient Mimic to stand in for Margulis

6 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:
  • If they send her off to Ballas to become Ember, it means she has no chance to spread her dangerous information before her execution.

But that takes even longer. The Umbra Dax was alive for what, over a week? And he had full use of at least one hand in order to play board games; Ballas had to sit in his room constantly to prevent him from writing out any incriminating evidence

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2021-05-03 at 10:04 PM, Gamer_Auto said:

And remember, Umbra is completely autonomous. He's not our cyborg flesh suit, he's our symbiotic partner. He could potentially have been intended as the first of many Umbra Warframes that would give Ballas leverage to remove the Tenno Operators from the equation.

Umbra isn't really suitable for unsupervised release in service to the Orokin. He's autonomous, but not in a way that Ballas would like.

On 2021-05-03 at 10:04 PM, Gamer_Auto said:

The Tenno, remember, were so dedicated and loyal to Margulis that they would only listen to her and The Lotus (who they thought was their surrogate mother). And there have been many cases, even before the fall, of Tenno going rogue and doing their own thing. With the "Devil Children" out of the way, Ballas would have himself an army of Warframes that no Tenno could hope to best.

Ballas had no reason to hedge against the Tenno or the Lotus. Ballas was in control of the Lotus at this point, according to her Ropalolyst speech: "But in truth, we were both imprisoned in Lua’s belly. My light remade by the creators. I became a memory, a ghost. Reprogrammed to destroy my family, my people, my history." We have no indication that this control was ever compromised. And though the Tenno did exhibit isolated incidents of rebellion against injustices they witnessed, you are correct that they seemed to have ultimately followed whatever orders the Lotus gave them (especially considering the Erra cinematic, where she appears to have assumed direct control over a group of Operators).

On 2021-05-03 at 10:04 PM, Gamer_Auto said:

If you recall, Ballas had some form of control over ExcalUmbra during our confrontation with him during The Sacrifice, and it was only with our help that Umbra broke free.

Ballas doesn't appear to have had any "control" over Umbra's actions except preventing them. We've seen Ballas disrupt his abilities (Exalted Blade) and freeze him in place, neither of which let Ballas control what Umbra does – only stopping him from what Ballas doesn't want him to do.

On 2021-05-03 at 10:04 PM, Gamer_Auto said:

He may have drafted up some plans, but then the Old War came to a climax, the Orokin were nearly driven extinct, the Sentients were driven back to Tau, and The Lotus put the Tenno into their inception nap. With his experiments locked away in a secret location that was no longer accessible, Ballas had no choice but to wait and see if anything could be recovered later.

Ballas really does seem to have been the ultimate architect of the Old War and all its events, via Natah who was under his direct control. Again, at no point does it seem that events were outside his control except 1) Margulis' initial execution, 2) the events of The Sacrifice, and 3) his unexplained absence between the Collapse and his reappearance in Apostasy Prologue.

On 2021-05-03 at 11:20 PM, TARINunit9 said:

The problem with speculating anything about The Sacrifice is that it contradicts its own timeline, we have no idea WHEN anything is taking place. 95% of the backstory is setting up a giant "THIS IS HOW WARFRAMES WERE MADE, THIS IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" in glowing neon letters. Hell, there's even a Prime Access Trailer, specifically Mirage Prime Trailer, that describes how Mirage was created, and it's summarized as "what I did to Excalibur, I did to you. But where he screamed, you laughed."

...until the writers accidentally contradict themselves and have Ballas speak a line that only makes sense if Excalibur Umbra was the last Warframe to be made, not the first

I'm not sure why you thought Excalibur Umbra was the first warframe. Everything from the Vitruvian entries and the hospital memory-sequences would seem to indicate that Umbra was indeed one of the last warframes (as far as design stages go; once the Warframe Project got running there appear to have been a constant flow of new warframe development).

On 2021-05-04 at 12:03 AM, Gamer_Auto said:

the current consensus is that the Prime variants of things were the originals, and all the rest came after. Therefore, while I will give you that we don't know the exact timeline, I think it's safer to say that ExcalPrime was the first Warframe ever made (supported by the in-lore explanation of why it was highest-tier-backer-only)

The "current consensus" is still not canon and it'd be best not to rely on it. There is no canon explanations of the Primes.

On 2021-05-04 at 12:03 AM, Gamer_Auto said:

Also note that we had a semi-solid idea that Warframes were Soylent Green before The Sacrifice thanks to Ember Prime and Rhino Prime's Codex entries, Gara's backstory found on Cetus, possibly Sands of Inaros. And that's just stuff from before The Sacrifice was debuted.

You're forgetting the Mirage Prime trailer and Valkyr Prime trailer, which are really some of the strongest pieces of evidence we had before confirmation in The Sacrifice.

On 2021-05-04 at 12:03 AM, Gamer_Auto said:

I think the implications of Kaleen being turned into Ember Prime

Uh, what? I really don't see how you make that leap.

On 2021-05-04 at 1:25 AM, TARINunit9 said:

Again, this is looking at the entire subtext of the Sacrifice, the one that is beating you over the head with "THIS GUY IS THE FIRST WARFRAME" written on a baseball bat

Can you lay out any of this subtext?

13 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

Okay, you didn't seem to catch what I caught, so here it is: Kaleen not only broke protocol, but she figured out that civilians were on a military vessel in violation of the Orokin's' military rules, and the military still allowed it. The knowledge of what happened to the Zariman kids is ammo she can use to start dissent within the ranks. That makes her a loose end, and loose ends can easily pull even the most well-tied knot completely apart. And when you live in as oppressive and tyrannical a government as the Orokin Empire, you will disappear if the government sees you as a threat. It happens all the time here in the real world as well.

The details of the Ember Codex entry clash with what we learn about the Zariman incident later. It's worth remembering that this blurb dates from a time before DE were interested in really telling these kinds of stories rather than hinting at them. Thus, I'm inclined to take it with a grain of salt. The important takeaway of the Ember Codex entry are the main points: the Zariman went into the Void, and when it came out, only the children remained, and they had Void powers. These details have of course been repeated and corroborated in later, story-focused releases, and thus the Ember Codex entry doesn't really serve a purpose anymore.

10 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

This is another one of those contradictory things, because different plot points show that Margulis was simultaneously alive and dead during the Old War. Throw in the fact that Natah is impersonating her, and things get really confusing. But personally, I subscribe to the idea that Margulis died before the Old War and Silvana was speaking to Natah

You're right that there's conflicting evidence on Margulis' death. I take Silvana's recordings as evidence that Margulis was alive for some time during the Old War. I don't think Natah was actually impersonating Margulis. How would that work? Margulis was publicly executed – and for apostasy. The Orokin Executors would want to make sure everyone knew that.

10 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

why turn her into a Warframe? That was for making an example out of someone, not just silencing a loose end.

I don't think warframe-ing was how they made examples of people. Recall from the Mag Prime Codex entry that even the existence of warframes was up for debate among the empire's citizens. And, of course, Nora specifically says "…if they wanted to make an example, they'd suck up your soul and make you a prisoner of the glass forever." (emphasis added)

2 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

They needed a Margulis stand-in to control the Tenno, so they brainwashed a Sentient Mimic to stand in for Margulis

Natah took Margulis' place and aspects of her personhood, but it's still never been said that she took her identity. During the Old War, the Tenno were in the second dream. They were not fully conscious of their pasts or their own identities, only existing in the warframes to fight for the Orokin.

2 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

The Umbra Dax was alive for what, over a week? And he had full use of at least one hand in order to play board games; Ballas had to sit in his room constantly to prevent him from writing out any incriminating evidence

Umbra seems to have been fully paralysed. The komi board was not played with hands by either character.

Ballas: "You remember this game, don’t you? Think your move and the board senses…."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GrayArchon said:

Can you lay out any of this subtext?

Ballas: We had created monsters we couldn't control.

Camera: LIKE UMBRA RIGHT HERE, I'M POINTING AT UMBRA. HE'S THE MONSTER BALLAS CREATED

Ballas: We drugged them

Camera: THAT HAPPENED FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO, REMEMBER ALL THE DRUGS ON THE RACK

Ballas: tortured them, eviscerated them... We brutalized their minds... but it did not work. 

Camera: BALLAS HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT FOR LIKE TWO FREAKING HOURS, THAT'S ALL HE'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT. YOU SAW HOW HE BRUTALIZED THIS GUYS'S MIND

Ballas's vitruvian entry is specifically talking about a failed first batch. The game is SCREAMING at you that Umbra was in that first batch, showing he went through EXACTLY what Ballas describes

 

As for Margulis, you contradicted yourself:

1 hour ago, GrayArchon said:

How would that work? Margulis was publicly executed – and for apostasy. The Orokin Executors would want to make sure everyone knew that.

And, of course, Nora specifically says "…if they wanted to make an example, they'd suck up your soul and make you a prisoner of the glass forever." (emphasis added)

They didn't glass Margulis, therefore they didn't want to make a big example out of her. They just kicked her into the jade light without any spectacle. If we go by your logic, I see no reason that there would be any problems with having Natah impersonate Margulis (do you know the names of everyone the government has ever killed?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@GrayArchonTalk about a hard deconstruction.

  • Of course Umbra wasn't controllable in full by Ballas. Ballas didn't fully get the act of Transference because he never fully believed in it beyond weaponizing it. Of course he'd have no hard control over Umbra. And the Orokin were the ones who created the Infestation, so Ballas likely knew that it corrupts the mind of whoever it touches (thus why the Tenno are the only ones who can pilot a Warframe). But even if you can't directly control your attack dog's actions, you can always point it in the right direction and let it wreak havoc until you force it to stop. It's not like the Orokin were really the type to care about unintended casualties.
  • On EmberP, note that not all the test subjects for making the Warframes were willing. It's likely that they used people like Kaleen, people who knew too much, as test subjects in order to make some use of them before they died. Because even a private execution could run the risk of a Dax repeating any of her last words. They're not mindless (as proven by Teshin hating the Grineer Queens, but having the deep-seeded compulsion to obey the wielder of the Kuva Staff). On EmperP's Codex? I honestly think the entire Codex needs a pass to update it with all the new information that they're bringing out, just to avoid potential contradictions. But I don't believe that this is one. I think there's plenty of time for the events with Kaleen to happen before Margulis was able to start her work with the Zariman kids.
  • I'll admit that I misremembered some rather big plot points, but I think my theory still holds up. Why would he create Umbra, why would Umbra specifically have the ability to walk around on his own, if he didn't intend to remove the Tenno from the equation?

@TARINunit9

  • The use of cinematography is indeed a powerful storytelling tool. And the implication of Umbra being from that "first batch" is possible. But this still brings me back to the timeline of events. Because it feels to me like the Tenno were practicing with Transference on objects like that massive Orokin worm machine in The War Within, then the Sentients invaded from Tau, then the Warframes were made. Dax Umbra wasn't changed until he discovered Ballas' betrayal, then Ballas used his position and research in order to silence him. That then leads back to Ballas' motive for betrayal. If this is prior to Margulis' execution, then this puts his motivations into doubt. Was it an attempt at a coup? Was he just a weasel that wanted to "get on the winning team"? If so, why would he go through with Warframe construction if his whole plan was to let the Sentients win? Because it wasn't until he told Hunhow about Transference that the Sentients started turning the tide of the war. The Orokin almost won! It was only because of Ballas that The Collapse was set into motion. And that only makes sense if this is after Margulis' death.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Gamer_Auto said:

But this still brings me back to the timeline of events. 

Exactly. I would say "this is why DE needs to actually clarify their timeline" but it all goes back to the uncomfortable secret of nerd culture: we care FAR more about this than the writers do. It's not that the writers don't care about the story, they just care about completely different parts

This is why 90% of Avengers Endgame treats everything like a Terminator 1 style "stable time loop," the other 10% like a Terminator 2 style "alternate timeline," and flat-out don't care about anyone who points out the contradictions. It's not all that different in Warframe, the writers care more about the themes and characters than about the technicalities

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

Exactly. I would say "this is why DE needs to actually clarify their timeline" but it all goes back to the uncomfortable secret of nerd culture: we care FAR more about this than the writers do. It's not that the writers don't care about the story, they just care about completely different parts

This is why 90% of Avengers Endgame treats everything like a Terminator 1 style "stable time loop," the other 10% like a Terminator 2 style "alternate timeline," and flat-out don't care about anyone who points out the contradictions. It's not all that different in Warframe, the writers care more about the themes and characters than about the technicalities

The Wiki has some kind of rough timeline of major events pieced together from what is actually in the game. But it's all still speculation. Thankfully, I subscribe to the theory of a streamer I watch: Headcanon is Best Canon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

Ballas's vitruvian entry is specifically talking about a failed first batch. The game is SCREAMING at you that Umbra was in that first batch, showing he went through EXACTLY what Ballas describes

But the process that Ballas used for the first warframes he also used for Umbra, this time knowing it wouldn't produce a useful soldier. His voiceover is indeed talking about the first warframes, but it also applies to Umbra. It's more of a thematic link than a direct relationship between the two – and either can be portrayed by the quest.

6 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

They didn't glass Margulis, therefore they didn't want to make a big example out of her.

The Jade Light still serves as a pretty good example-maker. Everyone knew and feared it, and it seems to be the standard Orokin method of execution (although lately DE likes to talk about glassing). In the Detron Crewman Synthesis entry, Archimedian Perintol witnesses the Jade Light execution of the person ahead of him in line (also an Archimedian, although I don't subscribe to the assumption that this was Margulis). He knows this is the fate that awaits him as well if he does not impress the Executors.

Archimedian Margulis fell in love with the Tenno and defended them unto her death, defying the Orokin. The Orokin wouldn't want that to happen to the others that ended up working with the Tenno. The unnamed genetics Archimedian was an example to Perintol; in the same vein, Margulis would have been an example to Silvana (it can be noted that, although Silvana did rebel in her own way, her motives were entirely different, and thus it may be said that Margulis' example worked in a sense).

Of course, the preceding paragraph is entirely my own inferences. The canon, as mentioned earlier, is somewhat contradictory, so I won't press the issue besides explaining myself.

5 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

But even if you can't directly control your attack dog's actions, you can always point it in the right direction and let it wreak havoc until you force it to stop.

This is kind of a weird metaphor because, to my knowledge, working dogs are trained pretty extensively to the degree that the human partner can easily control many of the dog's actions by issuing commands. As for the larger point, I concede that Ballas didn't really need such a granular level of control over the (hypothetical) Umbra warframes to accomplish his goals.

5 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

It's likely that they used people like Kaleen, people who knew too much, as test subjects in order to make some use of them before they died.

I can certainly see the Orokin doing so, I just think that nowhere in the text does it say or even imply that this did actually happen to Kaleen. To say so is, I think, a fairly big assumption.

5 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

Why would he create Umbra, why would Umbra specifically have the ability to walk around on his own, if he didn't intend to remove the Tenno from the equation?

I think Umbra has his sentience (such as it is) because he was never slaved to a Tenno. Umbra wasn't meant to be a soldier; he was meant to be a punishment. He ended up being a combat platform because Ballas used the Helminth-strain Infestation to do it. But that other half of the Tenno – "to take away its pain" – never happened because it wasn't really Ballas' plan. When we do eventually Transference into Umbra, we do so as a partnership with his consciousness, which is why he runs around when we're busy.

The reason our other frames don't do this is, I think, because all of our other frames are built from blueprints we find (with the exception of our starting warframe, which dates from the Orokin Era). The lore doesn't really talk about the nature of our current warframes, but some people theorise that the blueprint-built warframes don't contain the original consciousness of the warframes, only their physical characteristics, and thus our current warframes are just empty, hollow shells without a Tenno Operator. I think this is a reasonable theory, for lack of a better explanation. As for our starting warframe, it's possible its consciousness just became fully subsumed into the Tenno's own due to being used as a warframe for so long. A lifetime of fighting the Old War likely precipitated more than a little confusion of self, especially considering that the Tenno Operators themselves were in a sort of alternate consciousness.

This is all to say that there are multiple possible explanations for Umbra's sentience as compared to other warframes, and not all of them involve a plot by Ballas to wipe out the Tenno. There is even the likely possibility that there is no explanation, since, as @TARINunit9 pointed out, the devs don't care about this as much as we all do (which is not an insult to the devs but rather a bit of self-deprecation about how we all spend our free time).

2 hours ago, Gamer_Auto said:

If you like, you can also check out the timeline that I put together, although it's specifically focused on the Old War and doesn't cover events after the Tenno went into hibernation. I haven't reviewed the wiki's timeline, but I suspect it's largely the same. I do my best to avoid speculation, so there are citations at each point so you can verify that it's based on canon. There are, of course, gaps where we don't have full understanding.

I'm actually just now noticing that I never updated it with information about the Entrati, although it doesn't really affect the timeline of the Old War at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, GrayArchon said:

But the process that Ballas used for the first warframes he also used for Umbra, this time knowing it wouldn't produce a useful soldier.

This just proves that we are looking at the same event with opposite preconceptions. You see the transfiguration of Umbra Dax (I'm just going to call him Umbra Dax from now on) as Ballas slipping someone onto death row in the middle of a pile of war logistics paperwork. I see it as Ballas's first draft, something he has never tried before, but nonetheless killing at least one bird, potentially two birds with one stone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think figuring out Ballas' arc is pretty simple by now. He's motivated by the guilt of letting his lover die. Him apparently allying himself with the Sentients to defeat the Tenno never made sense. He's not driven by revenge. He needed to get close to Natah and make her trust him, but the Tenno messed him up, putting him at the Sentients' mercy. He had a plan to get Margulis back from the void, which meant killing Natah. Since his mind is linked to Natah through Kuva(that's how we get paracesis, we piggyback on Natah's/Lotus' mind into his), he can't do it himself anymore without getting found out. He wants us to do it, and our shadow obviously wants us to do it as well, for different reasons.

Also, every warframe has the ability to be sentient, or on the same level of sentience as Umbra at least. He doesn't have some divine spark that allowed him to keep his soul. The major difference between Umbra and non umbra frames is that Umbra doesn't need void energy to function. The second dream makes that abundantly clear. All Umbra has that's truly unique to him is one slightly augmented ability, which one can argue could be transplanted onto other frames theoretically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...