Author Topic: Novellas, And Which One Is 'canon'  (Read 2081 times)

Offline Norsehound

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Novellas, And Which One Is 'canon'
« on: April 06, 2012, 05:59:31 AM »
There's an old ancient thread that was brought up about this. It's since been locked, the key turned with, 'if you want to talk about it, start a new thread, don't necro'. So, here I am with some fresh thoughts.

I'm better acquainted with Plymouth's story, so I went ahead and re-read the Eden turn of events and it kind of struck me how paranoid and political Eden is compared to plymouth. Even without the Masters there was a great deal of secrecy and political machinations going on... almost to the extent of ignoring the blight as a threat. The real problem in Eden was this genetic supremacy cult that has NO representation in-game, but was created somehow to express the tensions of a civilization where everything changes day-by-day. Even then, the Masters could have been as viable as a threat if the Blight hadn't been released, unless somehow the move pushed Echo over the edge (perhaps the girl in the Evac Transport's story was Echo? Finally loosing it?)

Even within Eden's story, Eden is their own worst enemy. Plymouth makes token appearances and lightning raids but they aren't an ominous threat to the survival of the colony. The Masters and Eden coming apart are the greater danger.

Plymouth's story on the other hand reacts to the environmental disasters, the Blight, Eden's threats, and everything else equally. All of these things are very real problems in the game and are treated as such in the fiction.

Plymouth's story feels like a novelization of the game. Eden's story, while it gives greater depth to Axen, how Eden was founded and divided and so on, tackles a completely different issue that isn't reflected in the game.

Looking at another angle it seems Plymouth is the underdog. They are behind technologically, Eden has the superior weapons, Eden has the superior drive to USE those weapons. If it weren't for Emma pushing Plymouth into action then Plymouth doesn't stand much of a chance. Eden by contrast is bickering and self-dividing. Plymouth's story also puts the pressure on the crash-program to develop the spaceship, which is clearly important and left unmentioned really in the Eden story.

Another interesting point is Axen himself. I don't know, maybe it's me, but Axen seems happier in the Plymouth story than in the Eden one. In Eden, he's brooding, distant, and hostile to most everyone around him in the den of secrets. When Emma shows up at his secret base it seems he's happy to be leading his revolution against Eden. He and Emma have more significant moments between them instead of bitterness and touch-and-go over communications channels of the Eden story.

Another thing to consider is when Axen and Emma speak for the first time after the disaster. In Eden's story he pleas with her to sabotage Plymouth's space program AND hand over the gene bank. In Plymouth, he states he's going to give Plymouth the best shot he can because the masters have already taken over. The trade isn't as severe and one-sided in the Plymouth story, and given the state of Eden's leadership in the Eden story it's kind of a wonder that the Masters didn't move faster than they did.

There's also the point about the Savants and their destiny. Nothing is said about it in Eden, but in Plymouth it kind of puts a cap on the Blight and makes the story come full circle. A disaster for humanity is a blessing for their creations. It kind of gives the blight more significance in the scheme of things, instead of being the chemical spill that never ceases and a cause for the instability in Eden.

The last point is purely technical, but the menu theme for the game when you start up is Plymouth4.

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But I think in the end we're supposed to find latitude across both novels when looking for what's canon. Personally I believe Plymouth colony is the one to launch the ship. As the struggling underdogs there's a greater payoff in overcoming the planet, the blight, and the colony out to exterminate you. It's capped with making the Blight into something significant as well. Eden is just too divided and antagonistic - even with itself- to be the final heroes of the story.

But we can believe Axen was a political prisoner and eventual Hero in Eden, that the masters still had their rebel colony and that the balance of power was not so swing-sided as it was in the Plymouth story. I think the 'real' canon of Outpost 2 can be found in the threads between both stories.

I suppose you can say whomever wins affects the ideology of the colony to come, but with the children of the other colony along for the ride I think any future Outpost installments leave room for the other colony to return when the children decide to pick up the banner of their lost parents to rebel against their forcibly adopted caretakers.

However I also like the point where Emma leaves with them. She'll be the last legacy from Earth.

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Well I wanted to post my thoughts. Like the board game idea I had them and wanted to share them with an audience that might be interested in carrying on a discussion. Thank you for your time.

 :op2:  
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