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Is there a way to undo the effects of the cannisters?


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I'd been cruising along, thinking like a typical gamer, assuming that the canisters were good because they made me more effective in battle.  Then I talked to someone and got inappropriately angry at her because the canisters had given me the typical Shaper arrogance, and that OVERRODE MY NATURAL PERSONALITY.  (Not all the way; I managed to wrestle it under control, just barely.)

 

Holy moly!  I had no idea the canisters could do that!  I mean, I know I got a message saying that the canister had changed me, but I just thought that was talking about adding the new skill.

 

Now I see that the Shapers are arrogant not necessarily because they choose to be but because using the Shaper biotech has arrogance as a freaking side effect.  Or maybe it's a planned and intended effect on the part of whoever made the canisters; I dunno.  It certainly wasn't intentional on MY part.

 

Jeff, you brilliant man, you!  What an interesting and clever plot twist!

 

Now take it away. :-)  Is there any way to get my own personality back?

 

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5 minutes ago, Randomizer said:

This game doesn't affect too much with excessive canister use. There isn't an in game way to reverse the canister effects.

 

Now in later games it becomes a significant problem in limiting your actions. 

 

Thanks for the information.  Well, I'm glad I played this game first, then, so that I know to be careful in subsequent Geneforge games!

 

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Corylea said:

Now I see that the Shapers are arrogant not necessarily because they choose to be but because using the Shaper biotech has arrogance as a freaking side effect.  Or maybe it's a planned and intended effect on the part of whoever made the canisters; I dunno.  It certainly wasn't intentional on MY part.

 

Not sure if it's a defense of the Shapers or a condemnation, but this is not the case.

Self-shaping via canisters or the gene-forge or any other method is strictly forbidden according to Shaper law. (I don't consider this a spoilers since your character would know this, and I do seem to recall it being mentioned now and again.) Because it has side effects. Shaper arrogance just happens because they believe they have all the answers and they certainly do have all the power, but they do have a few sane policies like "let's not change ourselves into power-hungry gods."

 

There's a reason Sukia island was Barred, after all.

 

That said, I've always enjoyed the Canisters as a mechanic. It's an ideal gamer-trap. On the one hand you get all these cool powers and abilities for free. But on the other you lose control over your character and may end up facing even more damning long-term consequences in-story. (Depending on the game and your choices therein.)

Edited by Iguana-on-a-stick
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1 minute ago, Iguana-on-a-stick said:

Self-shaping via canisters or the gene-forge or any other method is strictly forbidden according to Shaper law. 

 

*blinks*  Wait, what?  Using canisters is forbidden?  But then why are there so MANY canisters?  There are one or two in nearly every area, which adds up to a heck of a lot of canisters!  There are 82 zones in the game, so even if it averages out to one per zone -- though I think it's actually more -- why would the previous Shapers have made 82 items that should never be used?

 

 

5 minutes ago, Iguana-on-a-stick said:

There's a reason Sukia island was Barred, after all.

 

I'm only maybe a third of the way through the game, and my character is still hoping to find out why the island was barred.  People keep whispering about a powerful machine they call the Geneforge, and I'm guessing the existence of that machine might be why, though why the previous Shapers didn't just destroy the thing -- rather than barring an entire island -- I don't know yet.

 

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1 hour ago, Corylea said:

Using canisters is forbidden?  But then why are there so MANY canisters?

Sucia was barred 100-200 years ago (there are conflicting sources in the game as to whether it was one or two centuries), and Shaper laws were apparently more lax then; and on top of that, the people who were running Sucia immediately before it was Barred were also seemingly bending the rules even farther than that.

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I don’t think it’s necessarily that Shaping laws were any more lax, but merely because the canisters and all associated technologies were new inventions, and so not well understood at first.

So far as I understand it, the negative side-effects of the canisters weren’t known about right away. After all, canister use only becomes problematic in large doses. This means that the issue could only really surface after large amounts of canisters had been produced. Even then, the full extent of the problems would only become apparent once enough trials had been conducted to allow one person to use very many canisters. That would take a long time, and may not actually have ever happened prior to the barring of Sucia Island.

Think about it this way. If you knew all the problems posed by the Geneforge when you conceived the idea, why would you build one?

So far as the researchers on Sucia Island knew, their invention was simply a way to improve people and creatures with no known side-effects. It was a huge boon. So of course they would make lots of them!

In any case, I get the impression that canisters were only made illegal with the barring of Sucia Island – either because the ill effects of the canisters were learned about, or because the problems of Shaper information falling into the hands of outsiders had been considered by the Shaper Council. And, by then, the researchers had already been churning out canisters for a while.

Of course, this is based on my fairly rudimentary knowledge of the Geneforge series – so please do correct me if I’m mistaken on some points!

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4 minutes ago, Ess-Eschas said:

I don’t think it’s necessarily that Shaping laws were any more lax, but merely because the canisters and all associated technologies were new inventions, and so not well understood at first.

[...]

Of course, this is based on my fairly rudimentary knowledge of the Geneforge series – so please do correct me if I’m mistaken on some points!

 

All of that makes sense to me, but then, this is my first Geneforge game, so the lore is all new to me.

 

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Geneforge 1 is unique in that canisters, in great enough numbers to cause significant unintended alterations, are simply mechanically essential for most playthroughs. There's not really any other way to get spells or creations. Later games rely on canisters much less completely.

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41 minutes ago, Sudanna said:

Geneforge 1 is unique in that canisters, in great enough numbers to cause significant unintended alterations, are simply mechanically essential for most playthroughs. There's not really any other way to get spells or creations. Later games rely on canisters much less completely.

 

Interesting.  Well, I'll look forward to being more moderate in future games. :-)

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3 hours ago, Ess-Eschas said:

I don’t think it’s necessarily that Shaping laws were any more lax, but merely because the canisters and all associated technologies were new inventions, and so not well understood at first. [...] So far as the researchers on Sucia Island knew, their invention was simply a way to improve people and creatures with no known side-effects. It was a huge boon. So of course they would make lots of them!

Spoiler

I think it's pretty clearly shown throughout Geneforge 1 that Shaper rules- not just about canisters and self-shaping, but about everything- were substantially laxer a century or two ago, both in attitude and in laws. There's an arena where Creations were made to fight against each other, for sport as much as for testing- something which the narration makes clear is illegal, and considered grossly unethical, in the present day. The spawners, as Creations capable of Shaping (however rudimentary or narrow), are also illegal under modern Shaper law. Some of the Servant Minds are given authority well beyond what modern Shapers would be comfortable with delegating to a Creation, too.

 

I'm sure that at least some of these things were only made illegal after the dangers associated with them became clearer, as a result of what happened on Sucia, and probably elsewhere. But when I say that the modern-day Shapers are stricter, and the Shapers of a century ago were laxer, I also mean that I don't think modern-day Shapers would even conceive of making something like the canisters or the spawners except under extremely strict, controlled conditions, in a heavily fortified lab, with direct oversight from the Shaper hierarchy- see, for comparison, how shocking, and even existentially revolting, the Shapers find the Unbound or the shredbugs in the later games. They're much more conservative, and more proactive in restricting anything that might lead to anything remotely like what happened on Sucia. It's comparable- to use a real-world analogy- to how, a century ago, you could just sell whatever as a patent medicine, and claim it did whatever: radium, cocaine, laudanum, etc; whereas today, at least in most developed countries, drugs have to be extensively tested for safety and efficacy, and any product that makes medical claims must be vetted or face legal penalties.

 

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Spoiler

We do know that Shaper laws were in the past more accepting of blood sport, but as far as I can tell, the work done on Sucia may well have constituted the invention of self-Shaping for modern Shapers. We know that genes were (re?)discovered there, and we don't ever really see any methods of self-Shaping not descended from Sucia. Regulations would have been understandably lacking. It may also be that the Shapers of Sucia were bending or breaking the rules that existed even at the time. The comments regarding shades, Servant Minds, creation fertility, etc. point towards this.

 

The most obvious counterpoint to your claim of modern Shaper conservatism is G2 - Zakary and Barzahl both sought, at considerable expense, the secrets of Sucia despite the Bar. I don't recall if Barzahl intended to become his own little god from the beginning, but Zakary was fundamentally loyal. A criminal, but not a traitor. If it had worked out, he would have simply been a very important and respected Shaper. They accomplished a remarkable amount with their authority and isolation, and both had more than one lower-ranking Shaper following them. Danette, Defniel, and Corata were probably not criminals in the same way - Zakazahl get executed, they don't - but their drive for research without supervision seems very similar. Some Shapers are more orthodox than others.

 

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Jeff was prescient when he originally created this story, because CRISPR wasn't invented until 2012, and it was just this year that it was announced that a scientist had used CRISPR to gene-edit a human embryo.  That particular scientist thought the world was ready for a CRISPR-edited human, but the rest of the scientific community disagreed.

 

Given what's happening in the real world, I'm not surprised that there are some Shapers who want research to be controlled and safe and others who want to push the envelope.  That's how people ARE.

 

Good job, Jeff!

 

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23 hours ago, Corylea said:

I'd been cruising along, thinking like a typical gamer, assuming that the canisters were good because they made me more effective in battle.  Then I talked to someone and got inappropriately angry at her because the canisters had given me the typical Shaper arrogance, and that OVERRODE MY NATURAL PERSONALITY.  (Not all the way; I managed to wrestle it under control, just barely.)

 

Holy moly!  I had no idea the canisters could do that!  I mean, I know I got a message saying that the canister had changed me, but I just thought that was talking about adding the new skill.

 

Now I see that the Shapers are arrogant not necessarily because they choose to be but because using the Shaper biotech has arrogance as a freaking side effect.  Or maybe it's a planned and intended effect on the part of whoever made the canisters; I dunno.  It certainly wasn't intentional on MY part.

 

Jeff, you brilliant man, you!  What an interesting and clever plot twist!

 

Now take it away. 🙂 Is there any way to get my own personality back?

 

 

 

Do you want spoilers from the other games (that may well be changed in the remakes) or not? There are some not-right assumptions in your post. 

 

Non-spoiler, only GF1: I was told by Serviles that they are scared by the changes they see in my character. I am pretty sure it would get worse with time as I consume more cannisters. 

 

Tiny-spoiler, from what future games were: Ehh... someone told you that the Rebellion are not exactly paragons of virtue. Take that as a hint... 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Corylea said:

 

*blinks*  Wait, what?  Using canisters is forbidden?  But then why are there so MANY canisters?  There are one or two in nearly every area, which adds up to a heck of a lot of canisters!  There are 82 zones in the game, so even if it averages out to one per zone -- though I think it's actually more -- why would the previous Shapers have made 82 items that should never be used?

 

 

 

I'm only maybe a third of the way through the game, and my character is still hoping to find out why the island was barred.  People keep whispering about a powerful machine they call the Geneforge, and I'm guessing the existence of that machine might be why, though why the previous Shapers didn't just destroy the thing -- rather than barring an entire island -- I don't know yet.

 

 

 

Trust me, if you want to avoid spoilers, you have to be VERY CAREFUL on what you read... ;)

 

I know that I stopped reading comments in this thread after this one just to avoid spoilers and I have played GF2-5. Keep in mind that most people in this forum have played GF1-5 and perhaps more than once. Then, they gather in this forum to discuss it which is reasonable. 
So, if you want to avoid spoilers, you have to step carefully. The good thing is that this special forum is for the remakes. 

Edited by alhoon
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5 minutes ago, alhoon said:

 

 

Do you want spoilers from the other games (that may well be changed in the remakes) or not? There are some not-right assumptions in your post. 

 

No, I don't.  I think most people assume that anyone who cares enough about the Spiderweb games to post here has played them all.  I guess I should stop reading this thread, but it's a shame, because I find the issues interesting.

 

Or I could trust that my old-lady mind will have forgotten all the spoilers by the time I get to the other games. 😏

 

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2 hours ago, Corylea said:

Or I could trust that my old-lady mind will have forgotten all the spoilers by the time I get to the other games.

 

Sure, by the time you work your way through all six chapters of Avernum ... you'll probably have forgotten what a Shaper even was let alone the Loyalists/Rebellion early story...

 

Part of the problem is (and this is NOT a knock against you), from what I've picked up, you still are in the middle of your first run through of GF.  Most everyone responding has finished the game/discovered the secrets of the island/seen the effects of their various decisions in the end game wrap up.  The game got you thinking and questioning what's going on (which is a good thing, Jeff does not make 'go kill everything that moves' hack & slash games), the problem is that, even if we try to restrict comments to be focused on/only use the information available at this time, it's hard not to spoil what's coming up in this game let along the next four chapters afterwards. Things are fairly murky until the final 10% or so of the game (which is wonderful from a story standpoint, but from a discussion standpoint...).

 

I am also emphatically not telling you to just 'shut up until you finish the game' before you start talking about things.  Your questions/observations have been really interesting/good/get to the heart of the matter ... but it's hard to temper my/our responses to your current level of knowledge of the GF universe (especially with many/most of us having played the entire series).  If you do want to discuss 'x', perhaps a quick disclaimer at the start of your post that you are 'here' in the game and know 'this' about what's going on & to please not spoil things by discussing what you will find out later on.

 

Now once you 'do' finish... that should be a fun thread.

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Aside from minor changes in three lines of text in the ending (if the geneforge is destroyed), there seems to be little difference in cannister use on the ending.

For reference, here are the texts:

 

Good end version 1:



"As for you, you begin your apprenticeship at last. Organized training, combined with the raw power you gained on Sucia Island, make you a Shaper of renowned and incredible skill. Several major new colonies are established under your guidance."

"You are respected, but you are also feared. The Shapers never truly and completely trust you. They are afraid of the effects of Sucia Island on you. The taint of the Barred land never truly leaves you."

"You become powerful and influential and wealthy and even, one day, you are the first Shaper to visit the lands of the Sholai. But the highest levels of Shaper society are always closed to you. Wherever you go, there are worried looks and whispers."

"You have a good life, a productive life. But you always wonder what might have been."

Good end version 2:



"As for you, you begin your apprenticeship at last. Organized training, combined with the raw power you gained on Sucia Island, make you a Shaper of renowned and incredible skill. Several major new colonies are established under your guidance."

"You are respected, but you are also feared. At first, the Shapers can't truly and completely trust you. They are afraid of the effects of Sucia Island on you."

"You become powerful and influential and wealthy and even, one day, you are the first Shaper to visit the lands of the Sholai. As time passes, your fellow Shapers realize that you were not permanently tainted by the forbidden research of Sucia Island."

"You have a good, full, productive life, hailed by your people as a great leader and teacher."

Since I know how Jeff Vogel codes his save files, I will save just before the good end and adjust the cannister use SDF byte and see what the threshold is exactly, assuming I am correct in my assumption that the difference above is due solely to cannister use.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2021 at 8:45 PM, TriRodent said:

Sure, by the time you work your way through all six chapters of Avernum ... you'll probably have forgotten what a Shaper even was let alone the Loyalists/Rebellion early story...

Personally, I find it very hard to remember the story of the Avernum games. (There was an emperor, right?) I'm not even sure how many I played. But the Geneforge games each stand out crystal clear.

 

Probably because the central questions of the geneforge world fascinate me. Like @Corylea said, questions of "what kind of power over life should be allowed, and who should have that power" is a lot more topical than "Should we or should we not exile all the undesirables to underground Australia."

 

Perhaps had I lived in 19th century England I would have found the Avernum games more relevant. 🙂

 

Edit: Though I think it also helps a lot that each Geneforge game is set in a distinctive and memorable location with a big overland map you spend a lot of time looking at. Avernum all tends to blur together as "it's a big cave."

Edited by Iguana-on-a-stick
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