Reaper design. Are we missing something?

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Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rifneno on Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:17 pm

I got this book on Mass Effect's art design yesterday. It's incredible. It's got all kinds of sketches for ideas that were discussed, like turians' fringes working like a cockatoo's crest, or explaining what some of Jack's tattoos mean, what some of the background devices in Mordin's lab do, all sorts of things. But one thing is shockingly absent. There's nothing on Reaper capital ships. Sovereign and Harbinger are mentioned in passing on entries such as Saren or the Collectors, but aside from that, nothing. Why? The demonic cuttlefish are one of the biggest points of the series. The only thing I can think of is that there's something about their basic design that they haven't revealed yet. But could that be? We've been staring at Sovereign for 7 years. Any thoughts?

Oh, and in closing I leave you with this beautiful quote for synthesis: "The lowest image has concepts for the exterior of the Collector ship. Again, we references termite mounds to show that this was, like the Reapers, a synthesis of artificial and organic life."

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:20 pm

Nice.

Makes me think of that scribbled note from the Final Hours app (you know, the one with "Lots of speculation for everyone!" on it), which seems to mention a point about "Reaper anatomy".

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Andromidius on Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:22 pm

Leaving the Reapers as being mysterous is a good design decision.

However, the reductionist version of the endings destroys the mystery. Hense why we need something to steer us away from that.

I'm still slightly disappointed that we didn't have multiple designs for Reaper capital ships. I can accept the Destroyers all being the same, since they are basically the 'lesser' harvested races - but the capitals? More variety!
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rifneno on Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:56 pm

Andromidius wrote:Leaving the Reapers as being mysterous is a good design decision.

However, the reductionist version of the endings destroys the mystery. Hense why we need something to steer us away from that.

I'm still slightly disappointed that we didn't have multiple designs for Reaper capital ships. I can accept the Destroyers all being the same, since they are basically the 'lesser' harvested races - but the capitals? More variety!

Nevermind the endings, unless Leviathan is revealed to be 100% unadulterated bullshit, they've heavily damaged that mysterious aura regardless of whether the endings are revealed as IT.

Either way, I'm not talking about anything that would damage that aura of Lovecraftian horror. I'm talking about some early design sketches and how/why they settled on the cuttlefish appearance. They told us that destroyers are based on an early design of Sovereign so they obviously went through that process with the Reapers. That wouldn't ruin anything unless part of it is some secret that they plan to reveal down the road.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:14 pm

Rifneno wrote:

Nevermind the endings, unless Leviathan is revealed to be 100% unadulterated bullshit, they've heavily damaged that mysterious aura regardless of whether the endings are revealed as IT.


You mean if it turns out that the Leviathans only think that they created the Reapers? Although that might make the story a bit more convoluted, I think I might prefer that. Maybe the Levies are actually biological constructs, programmed with all these false memories of ruling an empire and creating the reapers, just to obscure the Reaper's true origins? Although that would mean that the Capital ship that they seemed to hack would have to be one hell of a method actor to crash itself into the sea just to maintain the façade.

Nevertheless, if Bioware decided to go down that route, I think I could live with a quasi-retcon like that (I'm not quite sure of the definition of a retcon). The current origin story is a bit silly, so if they want to erase that and start again I'd go along with it.

EDIT: Re the different Reaper designs, I wonder if Bioware originally intended the Leviathans to be a eusocial species like the Rachni, with different body types to serve different functions in their caste system? Maybe they cut that idea as too much work by ME3?
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rifneno on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:20 pm

Eryri wrote:
Rifneno wrote:

Nevermind the endings, unless Leviathan is revealed to be 100% unadulterated bullshit, they've heavily damaged that mysterious aura regardless of whether the endings are revealed as IT.


You mean if it turns out that the Leviathans only think that they created the Reapers? Although that might make the story a bit more convoluted, I think I might prefer that. Maybe the Levies are actually biological constructs, programmed with all these false memories of ruling an empire and creating the reapers, just to obscure the Reaper's true origins? Although that would mean that the Capital ship that they seemed to hack would have to be one hell of a method actor to crash itself into the sea just to maintain the façade.

Nevertheless, if Bioware decided to go down that route, I think I could live with a quasi-retcon like that (I'm not quite sure of the definition of a retcon). The current origin story is a bit silly, so if they want to erase that and start again I'd go along with it.

No, I mean much simpler than that: they're lying their Cthulhu asses off. Perhaps there was never a rebellion and the Reapers are actually their allies. Perhaps there actually aren't even any Leviathans at all and those were just capital ships playing dress up to help in this scheme to indoctrinate Shepard. Maybe it's a partial hallucination. Who knows? There's many routes available.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm

Rifneno wrote:

No, I mean much simpler than that: they're lying their Cthulhu asses off. Perhaps there was never a rebellion and the Reapers are actually their allies. Perhaps there actually aren't even any Leviathans at all and those were just capital ships playing dress up to help in this scheme to indoctrinate Shepard. Maybe it's a partial hallucination. Who knows? There's many routes available.

Ah I get you. The only wrinkle I can see in that specific "Leviathans and Reapers being chums" theory, is their knocking that capital ship out of the sky. That seems a big sacrifice to make just to trick Shepard. Unless the Reaper was some sort of projection / hallucination, but if so it would have to be one that affected the whole crew in the shuttle.

I do think the Leviathan's are lying about something though. Perhaps as others have suggested, they're planning to use Shepard as their agent to usurp the Catalyst and regain control of the Reapers?
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by GethJuggernautMKII on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:38 pm

What worries me the most about Leviathans are their sudden offer of support against the reapers while refusing to reveal the truth about them.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Andromidius on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:57 pm

There's no actual 'proof' that Capital ship the Leviathans 'killed' is actually dead though. It just seems to power down and land in the water. Considering their construction, they can surely take more of a beating then landing in water.

What might be interesting is if the Reapers were created from Leviathans, but the Intelligence was not.

Basically, the Leviathans were the old solution to some problem or another. The Leviathans failed (allowing Synthetics to rise to threaten the 'balance') and so the Intelligence turned on them and created a new solution (remember "we have tried something similar already"?).

The Leviathans themselves almost admit they don't really know what happened themselves, as they weren't the ones around during the first harvest. What they know could be either misinformation or lies they told themselves.

'The Intelligence' may well have been much like Sovereign was to Saren - a ruse where it pretended to be their tool while it was actually manipulating them.

That would bring the mystery back - but instead of the Reapers being the mystery, the Intelligence behind them is. What the hell is it really?
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rifneno on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:03 pm

Eryri wrote:
Rifneno wrote:

No, I mean much simpler than that: they're lying their Cthulhu asses off. Perhaps there was never a rebellion and the Reapers are actually their allies. Perhaps there actually aren't even any Leviathans at all and those were just capital ships playing dress up to help in this scheme to indoctrinate Shepard. Maybe it's a partial hallucination. Who knows? There's many routes available.

Ah I get you. The only wrinkle I can see in that specific "Leviathans and Reapers being chums" theory, is their knocking that capital ship out of the sky. That seems a big sacrifice to make just to trick Shepard. Unless the Reaper was some sort of projection / hallucination, but if so it would have to be one that affected the whole crew in the shuttle.

I do think the Leviathan's are lying about something though. Perhaps as others have suggested, they're planning to use Shepard as their agent to usurp the Catalyst and regain control of the Reapers?

That capital ship wasn't physically damaged. We only assume it was dead because it basically clutched its chest and yelled "ahh, my heart!" before going limp. In fact, it makes more sense for it to be a setup than for it to be legit. If it's legit, why are they even hiding? They can take down the best the Reapers have to offer like it's a mentally retarded varren. Hell, why did they let it stay up for as long as it did? They kept knocking the Kodiak shuttle out of the sky with their pulse and didn't bother with a Reaper capital ship that was close enough to see with the naked eye? That's like swatting at a fly when there's a lion charging at you. Unless the lion is on your side.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Andromidius on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:22 pm

Probably going off topic here, but hey...

Let's think about how we meet the Leviathans.

We're drawn to a floating wreckage on an ocean planet. Our shuttle is grounded twice before we decide to use the diving Atlas, but only after the Reapers find us. The Leviathans are almost directly below the wreckage.

They WANTED to be found.

1/ Floating wreckage covered in clues about the Leviathans and full of Leviathan Control Orbs - check.

2/ Not allowing Shepard to escape - check.

3/ Waiting until the Reapers arrive before Shepard decides to search for them underwater - check.

4/ Diving equipment available nearby and in working order - check.

5/ Wreckage floating almost directly over the Leviathan's location - check.

6/ Leviathans at a depth that's at the utter limit of the Atlas' capability - check.

7/ Leviathans not just hiding in their trench which is outside of Shepard's field of vision and allowing Shepard to just die from the pressure - check.

8/ Threatening Shepard with enthrallment, but suddenly changing their minds when Shepard tells them the Reapers have found them - even though they most likely already knew that - check.

...yeah, they wanted to be found.
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:22 pm

Andromidius wrote: snip

'The Intelligence' may well have been much like Sovereign was to Saren - a ruse where it pretended to be their tool while it was actually manipulating them.

That would bring the mystery back - but instead of the Reapers being the mystery, the Intelligence behind them is. What the hell is it really?

I actually really like this line of speculation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I got the impression from Vendetta's speech on Thessia that the Protheans found evidence of cycles of destruction dating back even further than the Reapers. What if the current Reaper war is just an echo, or the current incarnation of some even older, more fundamental, universal conflict? What if the true purpose of the Reapers, unbeknownst even to themselves, is to pit organics and synthetics against each other to limit the evolution of all forms of life?
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:26 pm

Andromidius wrote:Probably going off topic here, but hey...

Let's think about how we meet the Leviathans.

We're drawn to a floating wreckage on an ocean planet. Our shuttle is grounded twice before we decide to use the diving Atlas, but only after the Reapers find us. The Leviathans are almost directly below the wreckage.

They WANTED to be found.

snip


Wow, when you put it like that it sounds incredibly suspicious. I don't know if that's intentional on the part of the writing staff or just the infamous "bAd ryting", but my God if it's the former... That's genius levels of subtlety.
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Restrider on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:47 pm

Eryri wrote:

Ah I get you. The only wrinkle I can see in that specific "Leviathans and Reapers being chums" theory, is their knocking that capital ship out of the sky. That seems a big sacrifice to make just to trick Shepard. Unless the Reaper was some sort of projection / hallucination, but if so it would have to be one that affected the whole crew in the shuttle.

I do think the Leviathan's are lying about something though. Perhaps as others have suggested, they're planning to use Shepard as their agent to usurp the Catalyst and regain control of the Reapers?
Why would that have to be a sacrifice? You do not see that Reaper breaking apart or something. He is justing having a bath in the sea...
If normal shuttles can go under water -- as depicted by Cortez -- I assume that a Reaper could also swim/dive.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:15 pm

Restrider wrote:
Why would that have to be a sacrifice? You do not see that Reaper breaking apart or something. He is justing having a bath in the sea...
If normal shuttles can go under water -- as depicted by Cortez -- I assume that a Reaper could also swim/dive.

True, we don't see the Reaper actually damaged. It just does that ungainly back-flip into the sea. It just seems a little... I don't know... humiliating, I suppose, for something as arrogant and powerful as a Reaper to play possum like that, just to deceive Shepard. I could be wrong though. That reaper could be a giant shared hallucination for all we know.
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by RavenEyry on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:18 pm

They might have attacked it, but only stunned it. As in, it didn't willingly flop into the sea.
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Baranus33 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:24 pm

i thought Leviathans just used an EMP of sorts to disable the reaper coming down. The reaper falling over like that was very very similar to how the reapers just "fall over" in destroy and playing dead. If I were the Leviathans/Reapers I would totally sacrifice a few pawns for an elaborate ruse, Reapers are all about deception.


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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Eryri on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:29 pm

RavenEyry wrote:They might have attacked it, but only stunned it. As in, it didn't willingly flop into the sea.

Could be. That would imply that if the Leviathans and Reapers are on the same side, then the Reapers are actually the junior partners. I can't see a reaper like Sovereign or Harbinger agreeing to put on that kind of show, or putting up with being stunned against their will, unless they were actually very scared of the Leviathans.
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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rankincountry on Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:44 pm

My take is that the Leviathans are being partially truthful. After all, the best lies all contain a kernel of truth. I think that they did create an AI that rebelled against their rule leading to the creation of the Reapers, and that since then they have waited for a cycle that has a chance to defeat the Reapers.

This offers a possible interpretation for the crucible - essentially it's not a Reaper trap, but a Leviathan trap. A worthy cycle proves itself by being able to construct the crucible, with the Leviathans ensuring the plans can be passed from cycle to cycle using their thralls while remaining hidden from the Reapers. The crucible is used to defeat the Reapers, but also gives the Leviathans access to the entire mass relay network. Meanwhile, Leviathan Enthrallment Teams are busy spreading Leviathan orbs all over the galaxy, believing themselves to be fighting the reapers.

With the galaxy depleted by war, the Leviathans are then ideally positioned to seize back control.

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:20 pm

Rankincountry wrote:My take is that the Leviathans are being partially truthful. After all, the best lies all contain a kernel of truth. I think that they did create an AI that rebelled against their rule leading to the creation of the Reapers, and that since then they have waited for a cycle that has a chance to defeat the Reapers.

This offers a possible interpretation for the crucible - essentially it's not a Reaper trap, but a Leviathan trap. A worthy cycle proves itself by being able to construct the crucible, with the Leviathans ensuring the plans can be passed from cycle to cycle using their thralls while remaining hidden from the Reapers. The crucible is used to defeat the Reapers, but also gives the Leviathans access to the entire mass relay network. Meanwhile, Leviathan Enthrallment Teams are busy spreading Leviathan orbs all over the galaxy, believing themselves to be fighting the reapers.

With the galaxy depleted by war, the Leviathans are then ideally positioned to seize back control.

I'm with you here, but I think the Crucible situation is even more complicated than that. I do think the Reapers have a hand in it.

Reapers = Create and maintain Cycle
Leviathans = Seek for ways to subvert the Cycle, learn more about it, take control of it when the dust eventually settles from a Reaper defeat

They're not the big bad of this trilogy, in fact they're greatly weakened. But with the Reaper defeat, they could pose to be a more nefarious threat than the 'we do this for your own good' "Dark Angels" that the Reapers are.

They want power and worship.

But for the Reapers, its just an awesome side effect, but they exist to maintain their Cycle (following their form of programming).

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Rankincountry on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:09 pm

SwobyJ wrote:
I'm with you here, but I think the Crucible situation is even more complicated than that. I do think the Reapers have a hand in it.

Reapers = Create and maintain Cycle
Leviathans = Seek for ways to subvert the Cycle, learn more about it, take control of it when the dust eventually settles from a Reaper defeat

They're not the big bad of this trilogy, in fact they're greatly weakened. But with the Reaper defeat, they could pose to be a more nefarious threat than the 'we do this for your own good' "Dark Angels" that the Reapers are.

They want power and worship.

But for the Reapers, its just an awesome side effect, but they exist to maintain their Cycle (following their form of programming).

Hmm, I like the sound of this. So if I understand you correctly, the changes and developments to the crucible design are the Leviathans attempting to subvert the Reapers' trap and the Reapers implementing countermeasures to ensure the crucible works in their favour?

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Re: Reaper design. Are we missing something?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:57 am

Rankincountry wrote:
SwobyJ wrote:
I'm with you here, but I think the Crucible situation is even more complicated than that. I do think the Reapers have a hand in it.

Reapers = Create and maintain Cycle
Leviathans = Seek for ways to subvert the Cycle, learn more about it, take control of it when the dust eventually settles from a Reaper defeat

They're not the big bad of this trilogy, in fact they're greatly weakened. But with the Reaper defeat, they could pose to be a more nefarious threat than the 'we do this for your own good' "Dark Angels" that the Reapers are.

They want power and worship.

But for the Reapers, its just an awesome side effect, but they exist to maintain their Cycle (following their form of programming).

Hmm, I like the sound of this. So if I understand you correctly, the changes and developments to the crucible design are the Leviathans attempting to subvert the Reapers' trap and the Reapers implementing countermeasures to ensure the crucible works in their favour?

That's the general idea. It's a 'crucible' for everyone involved, really.

Leviathans keep losing though, the losers. No wonder they're all emo about it. Harbinger is too leet with his mind haxors.

But eventually, chaos wins out.

I don't think the next game will be so in-your-face action because if the next threat is the Leviathans or related to them, they need buildup. Because so far, they're the clear losers for many millenia, in this cosmic game.

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