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Everything posted by oceanes

  1. This is true, mechanically. It is, however, the path the Takers want you to take, and the one where their goals are met.
  2. I find it interesting that, when you talk to them and ask that question, they admit that they do not know, except to attempt to learn some form of Shaping, so as not to be on the bad end of a power imbalance. I think one of them also implies that the decision on what to do with the essence once they have it will be up to the homeland leadership, not them. The Sholai as a culture seem to have been made aware that they are playing catch-up to the Shapers, and are trying to find ways to get on an even footing as quickly as possible. Combining this with their geas magic, and what seems to be a longstanding policy of keeping their homeland secret, seems to indicate a reactive, defensive mindset that simultaneously seeks to avoid wars through trade while also never presenting a vulnerability for foreigners to exploit. Of course, they could be soft-selling themselves by claiming to want diplomacy and trade, but none of the unaugmented Sholai we meet act like people from an expansionist empire. They are oddly skittish, though. They fear things, but rather than fighting or hiding, seek to know everything about everything in order to outwit or work around it. It really makes me want to know the set of conditions and diplomatic neighborhood that created this mindset. Who are the Sholai used to dealing with, that this is their approach?
  3. Yeah, I've noticed in G2I that when referring to the previous expedition, the Sholai always mention not offending the Shapers for fear of starting a fight they can't win, not because they agree with the Shapers conservatism as regards research and experimentation. Hence why they bargain with Barzahl, I suppose. As regards Trajikov, the ending explains that while he's sane in the sense of not being homicidally mad, and still vaguely "holding on to his humanity, barely" which is more than any other Geneforge subject can say, he's not lucid enough to really run the government, nor trained for it. Hence, you and the Takers.
  4. You know, speaking of the Sholai, I just finished a GF1M Taker playthrough, and it surprised me how dark Trajikov's new order is. The ending texts states that much of the Shaper knowledgebase was lost in the war, Trajikov while barely sane, isn't really up to ruling, and seems to rely on you and the Takers. The Takers, for their part, seem more interested in revenge than being better than the Shapers in a general way. The last line of your personal ending mentions you looking out "over the ruins", while having attained great personal wealth and power, as if no one has really bothered to rebuild Terrestia's infrastructure. A Taker PC seems basically to end up like Alaric the Visigoth, warlord king over an empire he broke in the conquering. The serviles get their freedom, but it's overall a much worse outcome than say, Sucia after a Ghaldring victory in GF5. I had a much rosier recollection of the ending before playing it again, and it leaves me with many doubts about the Sholai's ability to be better than the Shapers should they somehow attain power.
  5. Yeah. Ghaldring just fundamentally doesn't care what happens to humans, and Litalia is too obsessed with him to argue. The more I think about it, the more Litalia reminds me of Belatrix Lestrange. When you ask her about meeting Ghaldring, it's clear that she found him while psychologically compromised in some way, even suicidal, and imprinted on him afterwards. Come to think of it, being a Trakovite later might have more to do with attempting to rid herself of his influence on her after being cast aside than any real conviction. It just gives her an ideology to obsess over rather than a person, and as she is in control, no one can betray her that way again.
  6. Broadly, she's an idealist in GF3, albeit one that is attracted by the powers of the Shapers, but mainly for their ability to solve problems. She encourages you to use the first canister you find, but to be fair, neither of you know what they do at that point. Both she and Alwan talk things over with you periodically, and ask for advice. I think you are their senior. Notably, Greta may have been the one to invent the term "lifecrafter", given one of her last major dialogues in GF3. She says that you are not really a Shaper anymore, and that they need to think of a different name. She's reckless, and more individualistic than you would expect for someone raised in Shaper society, and she immediately resonates with the plight of both Lankan's rebels and the rebel creations on the Isle of Spears, though she does keep questioning her path right up until the end of GF3, only fully committing after her last talk with you.
  7. Keep in mind, too, that Greta is not really a Shaper, or at least, she doesn't see herself that way. She's a washed-out trainee Agent that was canned for complaining about the way the instructors treated creations. I think she was only there for a year or two, and the only reason she's in South End still is either lack of funds, or that she can't figure out how to break the news to her family. Basically, she's a more ideological Shaper version of Ahsoka Tano, or similar. She has a valid psychological reason for wanting to paint the Shapers in a bad light, for derailing her life for taking a moral stance, at least from her perspective. From the Shapers' perspective, I would guess that pro-creation views are tolerated least among the Agents, as their role in the Shaper Empire likely involves less direct oversight than the other branches, and because, in any state, ideological subversion of your intelligence arm is existentially bad.
  8. It's implied that the Drypeak mountains are very remote, as in half a year on foot or so. In fact, if, as a Barzite, you evict Elissia from the Upper Research Hall, she attempts to return to the Council and bring them down on the whole valley. Your character thinks that she will almost certainly die trying to get back, and even if she doesn't, by the time she warns them, it will be far too late. Macnulty and that group are in similar straits; if they obtain enough supplies to set out, they leave the factions, especially Barzahl, unimpeded for long enough that the news won't matter. Zakary, on the other hand, wants the mess cleaned up by him before he tells the council and falls on his sword. You, on the other hand, are young, made the trip already recently, and only leave after everything is done, and so can afford to take your time, rather than hurry with urgent news.
  9. Agree with most of the above. I'd also like to note, that it's kind of odd how few people in G2 on the other side of the tunnel seem to get that what they're doing is against Shaper law. Humans, that is. The serviles get it mostly. The commons, though, really have little idea of what is forbidden or not. The Shapers seem like a very hands off, but opaque government. Even people like Carnelian don't seem as nervous as I would expect, given that the Shapers and mages with the Awakened must know the Council's likely response. It makes you wonder just how much latitude local Shapers have to bend policy, and how well an argument of "The Shaper I was serving under gave me the order to do X." holds up in broader Shaper courts. It certainly seems to work for Zakary's people. In fact, I wonder if most "Shaper law" boils down to "the judgement of a Shaper in a given time and place, as precedented by the conventions of previous Shapers". It would explain a lot.
  10. Well, Emily wasn't exactly a normal human by the time we meet her. It might depend on how she was altered, and what was used as a template for the modifications.
  11. Thank you, I'm glad google works for this. I didn't try that because I was under the impression that the Geneforge wiki was incomplete/dead, but I guess not. That makes the detail work for this a lot easier.
  12. You could be right, though I could have sworn Lord Rahul's wife was one of the primary loyalist trainers in GF3. I'm not in a position to really check though.
  13. Doesn't Lord Rahul in GF3 have a Shaper wife? I thought it was marriage to a common that was looked down on, as with Taygen, for info-sec reasons.
  14. You know, this is something of a lore anachronism, but given the new lore concerning Sholai oath-magic in G2I, one could hypothesize that Trajikov's behavior is being moderated by the terms of certain oaths he took before his expedition. One would expect his superiors would want to hold him to certain rules of behavior, assuming the geas described can be used in that way.
  15. I wonder if that is because they are creations? After all, it is possible to upgrade your own creations after making them without apparent ill-effect. Perhaps beings fashioned from essence are more adaptable, less likely to lose themselves? It depends on just how Sucia-tech and its process differs from traditional Shaping. Also, drakons are born with the ability to manipulate essence. I wonder if in humans, that runs in families, or if it is a purely learned skill?
  16. Trajikov is one of the key examples of someone handling Geneforge tech remarkably well, better than any other subject, in fact. Of course, from a Doylist perspective, this has to do with the fact that the exact effects of self-Shaping developed over the course of the series, but given that Jeff saw fit not to change the endings for the remake (with one exception, in the loyalist ending), it points to the exact mental effects of the Geneforge depending on one's starting point, physically and mentally. In fact GF4 reinforces this, with the protagonist not being mad despite using a Geneforge, albeit a reduced one, from the beginning. Given this, I have to chalk it up to Trajikov not being a Shaper, either technically or culturally, and thus having a different mindset, just as the GF4 PC was a commoner beforehand. There is something about Shaper training, and its worldview that mixes poorly with whatever heightened mental and physical state the Geneforge and canisters produce. Relatedly, there is also evidence from GF2 that the negative effects of canister use can be ameliorated up to a point by spacing out use, and giving the subject time to acclimate.
  17. True. I wonder if we have a Kim Dynasty situation here. Do you think Tyallea would kill him if he tried to evacuate to Medab and merge with the Awakened? Would Drypeak revolt if he did have sympathies and showed them? Not that he does, by the time we meet him, but a calculus like that may have influenced what side he fell on and subsequently convinced himself of. Zackary is also the sort to view any sort of conflict with the Shapers as hopeless, even more than Pinner, and unlike her, has the option of not resisting. If Zackary dies, he knows most under him like Nora will be spared, as long as he preaches loyalism.
  18. You know, I can forgive him for treating them like commons, because the Awakened explicitly state that that's what they want to be considered as legally in their own writings. That stance is the reason they refuse to Shape. To learn to do so would undermine their argument to the Shapers, not that that argument has much of a chance of working, at least on its own merits. I could see a future where the Awakened have prosecuted most of a war against the council, only for an Astoria figure to publicly concede to the Awakened's terms as a sort of face-saving measure to end the war before war fatigue causes internal civil unrest and ends their regime. The Shapers involved wouldn't really believe it of course, but having a new sort of common is less of a blow to their narrative than free Shaping drayks and drakons like the Takers.
  19. There's a couple of different ways to take Zackary, almost none of them good, even from a Shaper standpoint. His few virtues seem to be that he doesn't delude himself, and that, for a Shaper, he is not cruel. He responds favorably when you speak of allowing Emily to live, and that he had hoped you would be kind to her, that that was important to him. It was an odd piece of dialogue, that I didn't expect from him. There is also a very timid servile in Medab who mentions that Zackary was the only Shaper who was ever kind to him, that he treated him gently. I think Zackary has a soft spot for children, or those he thinks of as children. He's also very blunt about his failures as a Shaper and general mediocrity, if a bit bitter about it. Barzahl regards him as being a coward who lost his nerve, which I think is probably fair, given he went as far as he did under the nose of the council, only to balk at actually making war, which you have to admit is probably the logical next step from the initial idea, even if Zackary might have wished otherwise. Zackary of course frames this as an attack of conscience after Barzahl got power-drunk, which is also fair, but only up to a point. It's easy enough to also say that he just got scared of Barzahl, or squeamish at the potential cost of war, but he doesn't really attempt to flee his death either, and is always upfront about being doomed, but gaining dignity cleaning up his mess anyway. Most in his position wouldn't do that, and the council doesn't seem to care either. I do wonder why he never seemed to use any canisters before the split. As the more mediocre of the two, they should have been more attractive to him than even Barzahl. Has anyone played the Servant path to know if he ever mentions why?
  20. The alchemist in Drypeak, as well as a few other people, complain of Zackary being deceptive in describing the settlement and the place's growth potential, and now most of Drypeak's population are stuck there, faced with either sneaking away to join Barzahl, like Ajax the miner did, or trying to make the journey back to Shaper lands with no supplies, assuming Zackary would let them, for fear of news getting out. Remember, Drypeak was explicitly set up to be a front to fool the council, and the majority of Drypeak's population know that, but now that the factions are at war, they aren't getting any of the benefit, while having been suckered into being accomplices to a major breach of Shaper law.
  21. Yes, I'm afraid so. The addition of this quest kind of incentivizes you to go west first rather than north, if you are using canisters or the purifying blade.
  22. Relevant song for the Awakened/Taker debate: Leslie Fish's "The Sun Is Also A Warrior" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiEAz1TDm1c
  23. Akkat, yes. He's the one I mentioned as resenting the drakons.
  24. We do however, know that such drakons likely are not powerful enough to fight the entire rest of the Rebellion/Takers, as in G5, a group of drakons already in power essentially tried to do that in the Rebellion ending, and it failed miserably for them. Now, the Takers are somewhat more dependent on the drakons than the later rebellion, but they are also more dependent on the drayks, and as we see with Akkat, many drayks somewhat resent drakon arrogance. If Rhakkus or Eass snapped, they would likely band together to fix the problem.
  25. You know, there are really only two arguments against the Takers; one is how many eggs they are willing to break to make their Omelet of Liberation, and the other is whether they have it in them to do the job the Shapers did, or an equivalent, once their revolution succeeds. The first complaint is the one the Awakened have, and obviously, the fear that the Takers will lose if they start their apparently suicidal war. Of course, we know that they ultimately aren't collectively suicidal, but the characters in-situ don't. Eass and his chain of drakons are the Taker solution to the second complaint; of course, we see in G5 how drakons do in Shaper shoes in Ghaldring's ending, if briefly. Also, it's worth noting that, given how the Shapers have constructed their society, the commons of the Shaper lands would not easily be able to fill a void of Shaper leadership without someone there to step in and keep Shaping; their entire techbase is dependent on it. This is why the Trakovite goal is kind of idiotic; forget the Shapers, the commons aren't going to want to live without Shaping, as soon as they have a problem that they can't solve without it. I assume, in the full rebel ending in G5, Greta and the humans kept many of the drakons alive to function as Shapers under supervision, or perhaps the serviles have learned to Shape well enough to do the job. It's never been clear to me how many human lifecrafters the rebellion had; likely not many, if participation in historical rebel movements is any guide, most people just turtle up and wait to see who wins. Turning back to G2I for a second, it's worth mentioning that even in the Awakened ending, they still have to break many of the same eggs the Takers do, just because of who the Shapers are, and what an existential threat free creations are, not just to Shaper power, but to their philosophy, worldview, and most importantly, to the order of things they've sold as natural to the commons. Here, the Awakened decision to stay in the mountains aids the Shapers because Drypeak is remote, and by keeping them boxed in, the Shapers are likely running information control. The public likely doesn't know the Awakened exist.
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