The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:53 pm

In Mass Effect 3 we are introduced to a prothean VI that explains that there is a more subtle pattern to events of each cycle of the Reaper’s harvest. The assumption that this pattern is the responsibility of the Reaper’s is quickly introduced; and just as quickly dismissed as only one possibility – with the truth being unknown. It is suggested that the Reaper’s may “serve” something else – and this entity may be responsible for the pattern. This is supposed to be a moment of foreshadowing that alludes to the now infamous “Catalyst”. Regardless of whether or not this statement is accurate, by the end of the game many argue that the “Catalyst” that we are presented with is at the very least aligned with the Reapers. But to simply focus on the Reapers would be remiss. Remember that in order to understand the universe, at times you need to remember the most basic of scientific laws. I refer to Newton’s third law, “every force has an equal an opposing force”. I know that this is a law for the mechanics of motion but I think that it is quite relevant. So, the question would be if the Reapers are on half on the equation what is the other half?

Enter the Leviathans. We learn through the DLC aptly named the same, that the Leviathans were an ancient super race. A race that could control practically everyone else in the galaxy at their time. But being organic, they were not above emotion and they viewed themselves as benevolent caretakers of the galaxy. They perceived a threat against other organic races and the desire to explore the unknown dangers of evolution. In particular the evolution that compelled these organic races to first create synthetic life and then face the possible eradication from their creation. So the Leviathans, deemed that they had to do something to protect these hapless organics and thus created an intelligence to find a way to resolve the potential conflict between organics and synthetics. This intelligence determined that the destruction of all organic races was inevitable and therefore the only viable solution was a merging of these two opposing forces. The intelligence deemed that in order to have the power to enforce its vision of the “pinnacle of evolution” that the Leviathans would need to be the first race to submit to this synthesis. This synthesis would create the ultimate being, a being capable of controlling other life forms without the frailty of being organic. And thus the Reapers were born. But the Leviathans would not simply submit to synthesis of their entire race, but knew that they did not have the resources to combat this new threat. So they hid. Biding their time and watching the galaxy for the opportune moment to unseat their new foes. And the pieces of the galactic game of chess were finally set.

To understand this game, we need to understand the motivations of each side. Let’s start with the Reapers. A fusion of synthetic and organic life that viewed itself as a pinnacle of evolution. That was given the responsibility of ensuring that organic life would not simply be snuffed out. A task that the Reaper’s guiding intelligence deemed could only be accomplished through synthesis. So, everything that the Reaper’s do is motivated by this desire to achieve this synthesis. But you can bet that because they had face opposition from the first race (the Leviathans) that they wouldn’t expect organic races to understand their noble purpose. They wouldn’t expect organic races to simply line up for the chance for this gift of ascension. So what to do? Well…they did have this ability to be able to control others…could they use that to help move their agenda forward? I think so. And if they expected there to be opposition – what would be there primary goal? To weaken that opposition of course. And they would do this through their various means of subterfuge available to them from their ability to control.

And what of the Leviathans? Remember back to our initial discussion of every force having an equal an opposing force? So if the Reapers are trying to weaken organic races to make their harvest easier – than it would make sense that the Leviathans would be seeking ways to strengthen organic races. Oh, and guess what they have the same ability to control. So rather than being involved themselves they would be using pawns to further their agenda. And let’s not forget that they themselves viewed themselves as a super race, a master race. And they are not happy about being unseated from this position of power. So the Leviathans would be doing everything they could to strengthen organic races – with the intent of keeping much of that galactic structure in place so that could resume their seats of power.

So now we know what the two sides are, what their motivations are, and what their preferred methods are. If you are familiar with the game of chess (which I assume you are), than you understand that the basic principle of the game is to employ a strategy where you planned moves put you in the position to unseat your foe. This is accomplished through a series of move/countermove acts that allow you to accomplish your goal. Now imagine that you are playing a foe that uses similar techniques as you do…how would that match look? If you played this opponent again and again? Would a pattern emerge? This is exactly what I think you see happen in Mass Effect 3 when you look at the “pattern of cycles”. The Reapers, through control, constantly weaken organic opposition by creating galactic instability through war; while the Leviathans seek to undermine this process through their own methods of control in attempt to hinder the Reapers and regain their former seat of power.

The last thing that we need to do is just examine some of the in game/out of game lore that demonstrates that there is indeed a pattern. I would love for this to be a community activity! So what I ask (after you have taken the time to read through this long winded post), take time to digest the information and see if you can think of an example that would fit – then share it with the rest of us. I will start by referencing a great thread here, that has discussed one of the best examples of this. Here is the link:

http://indoctrinationtheory.forumotion.co.uk/t51-could-the-quarians-end-up-like-the-zha-til-if-we-make-peace-between-quarians-and-geth

I will also leave you with another quick thought. If you had been trying the same approach over and over again and failing (think the Leviathans here), would you try to employ a different stragety? And if you did, when would you try to implement that new stragety? Part of my assumption regardng the series and the direction that it may be going can be examined by looking at the differences between the current cycle and the previous cycle (the Prothean cycle). What are those differences? And more importatnly how and why do they exist. I think that the Leviathans sensed that their efforts during the Prothean cycle would not be successful. And that they influenced the Protheans to "change the game" by sowing the seeds of potential across so many diverse races. Where they had failed to create a unified empire where conformity was the standard - perhaps diversity would be the key to finally defeating the Reapers.


_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:26 am

17 views and no responses... Crying


_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by lex0r on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:41 am

DSharrah wrote:17 views and no responses... Crying


Wait for it...
avatar
lex0r
Admin

Posts : 599
Join date : 2013-01-07
Age : 27

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by Lombus on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:54 pm

I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

_________________
Mass Effect: Strength through diversity.  And victory through unity.

"In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something. Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us. When all seemed lost, I found a truth. And I knew what I must become. "
cat Hell Cat  cat
avatar
Lombus
Adjutant

Posts : 559
Join date : 2013-01-08
Age : 24
Location : Portugal

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:43 pm

Lombus wrote:I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

I wouldn't go as far as calling them protectors...but they are pretty upset that the Reaper's knocked them down and took their spot as "king of the hill"...

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by Lombus on Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:58 pm

DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

I wouldn't go as far as calling them protectors...but they are pretty upset that the Reaper's knocked them down and took their spot as "king of the hill"...
I'm an eternal optimist what can I say Tongue . Well I guess it can go either way really, wherever BioWare wants the story to go.

_________________
Mass Effect: Strength through diversity.  And victory through unity.

"In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something. Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us. When all seemed lost, I found a truth. And I knew what I must become. "
cat Hell Cat  cat
avatar
Lombus
Adjutant

Posts : 559
Join date : 2013-01-08
Age : 24
Location : Portugal

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:11 pm

Lombus wrote:
DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

I wouldn't go as far as calling them protectors...but they are pretty upset that the Reaper's knocked them down and took their spot as "king of the hill"...
I'm an eternal optimist what can I say Tongue . Well I guess it can go either way really, wherever BioWare wants the story to go.

I don't see them as necessarily evil...my opinion of them is mainly neutral. Think of it this way - if you were an ant, how would you view humans? In alot of ways they can allow you to flourish in your life; in other ways they can be utterly destructive; and yet in other ways certain individuals can be very cruel. Knowing all of this (and remeber you are an ant), how would you judge the entire species? It is from this sense of perspective that I judge the Leviathans - I don't necessarily trust them, but I think organics would be a lot better off with them than the Reapers.

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by Lombus on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:24 pm

DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:
DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

I wouldn't go as far as calling them protectors...but they are pretty upset that the Reaper's knocked them down and took their spot as "king of the hill"...
I'm an eternal optimist what can I say Tongue . Well I guess it can go either way really, wherever BioWare wants the story to go.

I don't see them as necessarily evil...my opinion of them is mainly neutral. Think of it this way - if you were an ant, how would you view humans? In alot of ways they can allow you to flourish in your life; in other ways they can be utterly destructive; and yet in other ways certain individuals can be very cruel. Knowing all of this (and remeber you are an ant), how would you judge the entire species? It is from this sense of perspective that I judge the Leviathans - I don't necessarily trust them, but I think organics would be a lot better off with them than the Reapers.
That's true... but again almost anything would be better then the Reapers :) We barely know the Leviathans too so it's just pure speculation. The only thing I'm sure it's that they way more advance then the other species we met, so it's not difficult to see how we can't understand them.

_________________
Mass Effect: Strength through diversity.  And victory through unity.

"In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something. Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us. When all seemed lost, I found a truth. And I knew what I must become. "
cat Hell Cat  cat
avatar
Lombus
Adjutant

Posts : 559
Join date : 2013-01-08
Age : 24
Location : Portugal

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 pm

Lombus wrote:
DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:
DSharrah wrote:
Lombus wrote:I like your ideas really: the Leviathans serving as a hidden protector for organics and constantly failing...Maybe that's the reason why they were so hesitant to help Shepard. Maybe they didn't have any hope left for organics after failing every single cycle for who knows how long, besides don't wanting to die of course.
I always saw them as pure evil, cowards, I also thought they might even become a future nemesis in other ME games, but they won't. It's something to think about for sure Wat .
After reading this I also think that maybe the spheres where planted on purpose by them to help the Proteans. Joyful

I wouldn't go as far as calling them protectors...but they are pretty upset that the Reaper's knocked them down and took their spot as "king of the hill"...
I'm an eternal optimist what can I say Tongue . Well I guess it can go either way really, wherever BioWare wants the story to go.

I don't see them as necessarily evil...my opinion of them is mainly neutral. Think of it this way - if you were an ant, how would you view humans? In alot of ways they can allow you to flourish in your life; in other ways they can be utterly destructive; and yet in other ways certain individuals can be very cruel. Knowing all of this (and remeber you are an ant), how would you judge the entire species? It is from this sense of perspective that I judge the Leviathans - I don't necessarily trust them, but I think organics would be a lot better off with them than the Reapers.
That's true... but again almost anything would be better then the Reapers :) We barely know the Leviathans too so it's just pure speculation. The only thing I'm sure it's that they way more advance then the other species we met, so it's not difficult to see how we can't understand them.


Well one thing is for sure...there's more going on with the Leviathans than we really learn about in the DLC. I would love if there was an "Encyclopedia of Mass Effect", that we could use to pore over every detail of every single part of the universe.

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by CSSteele on Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:46 am

The concept I believe is expressed within the DLC. There was also a group of people Javik mentioned that had been working on things the Protheans couldn't even grasp, (From a previous cycle, or an relatively unknown/newly discovered race from their time) that someone linked to the conversation you stumble in on and only hear part of in the mining colony in Leviathan.

Even with that vague bit there, I'm in agreement with the core tenants of your proposal, however, the details are hard to find and collate, since Levi is such a short DLC.
avatar
CSSteele
Nemesis

Posts : 291
Join date : 2013-01-09

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:19 pm

CSSteele wrote:The concept I believe is expressed within the DLC. There was also a group of people Javik mentioned that had been working on things the Protheans couldn't even grasp, (From a previous cycle, or an relatively unknown/newly discovered race from their time) that someone linked to the conversation you stumble in on and only hear part of in the mining colony in Leviathan.

Even with that vague bit there, I'm in agreement with the core tenants of your proposal, however, the details are hard to find and collate, since Levi is such a short DLC.

The fact that is so very subtly hinted at is what makes it so tantalizing...and the implications...

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by shadoww6021 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:48 pm

ok, it'slate and i could probably add more to this, though one thing that is definitrly a pattern is the discovery of the mass relays, and the mass effect. but why. surely not every species that evolves for space flight will be in a system with a relay. and not every species will evolve technologicaly before going the way of krogan. it is presumed by most IT'ers and literalists alike that the relays are a trap made by the reapers, to set them down a technological path that we never truly understood. the protheans were 'close' though were cut short. but perhaps this has something to do with the leviathans. perhaps they uplift these species. perhaps even in cycles. cycles that the reapers learnt to read. maybe, every 50000 years the reapers and leviathans would begin there game again.

edit: sorry about my bad grammer

_________________
avatar
shadoww6021
Pod Crab

Posts : 38
Join date : 2013-02-17

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:21 pm

shadoww6021 wrote:ok, it'slate and i could probably add more to this, though one thing that is definitrly a pattern is the discovery of the mass relays, and the mass effect. but why. surely not every species that evolves for space flight will be in a system with a relay. and not every species will evolve technologicaly before going the way of krogan. it is presumed by most IT'ers and literalists alike that the relays are a trap made by the reapers, to set them down a technological path that we never truly understood. the protheans were 'close' though were cut short. but perhaps this has something to do with the leviathans. perhaps they uplift these species. perhaps even in cycles. cycles that the reapers learnt to read. maybe, every 50000 years the reapers and leviathans would begin there game again.

edit: sorry about my bad grammer

It's definetly suggestive of that...as for other patterns; you can look at the example that I linked it the OP (it's the thread about the similarites b/w the Zha'til and the Quarians/Geth), another example is that both the current cycle and the Protheans both tried wiping out the Rachni but ultimately failing. There are other examples, but part of the fun of the thread is to find the examples that resonate with you and discuss the implications given the topic.

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:02 am

I agree entirely, OP. It's a shame many seemed to ignore this thread.

I made a recent post regarding this:

http://indoctrinationtheory.forumotion.co.uk/t306p800-xxii-was-the-ending-a-hallucination-indoctrination-theory-mark-iv#35210

Random idea time.

1. Leviathan puts all their chips on the Prothian cycle - having manipulated the cycles just enough for the Prothians to make their appearance, and controlling their evolution so they create an empire FAST enough and LARGE enough to possibly successfully oppose the Reapers.
The Prothians also have mental and biotic powers that the Leviathans may have found useful. 'Evolution' is also worshiped by them, as it likely is by the Leviathans (except they do so as the 'gods' of evolution, not its subjects).

2. Leviathans still don't get directly involved except via a few scattered orbs (like Reapers don't get very directly involved even with their artifacts around, until the Harvest). Thus, they don't interfere with the Keepers and the initiation of the Harvest itself.
Why? Because they are so arrogant, they don't WANT to stop the Harvest, but instead want to usurp the Reapers and take control of it for themselves. The Reapers do what they always wanted to do, but backstabbed them in the process.
"There was no mistake." -Leviathans (lolwat?)

3. Even with accelerated advancement and growth compared to possibly every previous cycle, the Prothians still fall, and never complete the Crucible in time. The Leviathans lose whatever hope they had until this point, that they'll be able to take revenge on the Reapers/Intelligence (Harbinger?). They fully retreat back into the darkness, and resume miscellaneous experiments.

4. However, the Prothian cycle may have been the closest that the Leviathans came to victory, so our cycle may have actually been the FIRST (barring any info someone has on this) cycle that the Reapers leave a vanguard to directly watch over. It always struck me as needlessly dangerous towards exposure for the Reapers to leave a Reaper hiding and monitoring their crops, so Sovereign being a more newly tasked Reaper makes some sense.

It also may explain how it was so 'fail' a doing its novel task. It tried the tried and true method (Keepers) and failed. (Sidenote: Perhaps the Reapers are attacking this cycle at this tech level so they don't have another Prothian situation?) If it tried to influence the rachni (?), then it failed. It finally tried Saren+Geth+Krogan Clones and that failed. All due to Shepard and the Prothians' legacy...

5. So now the Leviathans gear up for more experiments, this time to do things right. But Shepard breaches their darkness, and exposes them. They're forced now to overtly fight, but nothing indicates that their other plans have changed.
They see and monitor Shepard (I wonder how? Is the orb from Firewalker a hint?) and yes, can tell that this cycle IS different.
So they join.
That doesn't mean they're heroes, or any good allies. I think they'll be right on back to trying to have humanity worship them as the gods they are, once the Reapers are gone.
In fact, I think that's the whole plan.

My main points are:
-What if the Prothians are partially Leviathans' doing? (even if the Prothians' actions are mostly not)
-What if Sovereign is actually a new plan by the Reapers, which failed because they're becoming increasingly incapable to adjusting to 'organic chaos'?
-What if the Reapers are trying to obtain Shepard (if possible - I mean, they still won't mind killing him, but if he walks into their palms via indoctrination or other means, they and especially Harbinger will take him), in order to find a way to more properly adjust for this organic chaos?

I mean, they never made a Prothian Reaper.... they may be hankering for something to fix their situation, even as they speak with their massive arrogance.

So getting Shepard installed into a Reaper (possibly as head intelligence? We'll see if so) could finally 'perfect' the Cycle and establish 100% Reaper dominion.

I consider Shepard himself as an Avatar as the Leviathans' chaos.

Doesn't mean he'll agree with them, but hey, that's chaos. IT itself has us all as chaos supporters rather than the imposed order of Control (Reaper dominion continued) or Synthesis (force everyone to have the same fundamental change).

The Leviathans are not good guys - not by a long shot.

And I think they have a greater plan, that spans the whole trilogy and beyond.

...but for now, they need to eliminate the Reapers from the playfield. And I think they have agents that do this. Shepard is just one of the unwitting (and would be unwilling) ones.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by DSharrah on Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:04 am

@SwobyJ:

To be fair, when I created this topic I expected it to take time to grow. As I have stated a couple of times on this thread and others, the hints that the Leviathans have a much larger role in the Galaxy is really only subtly hinted at in the games - so subtle in fact, that I think it is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. More than anything, I wanted to call attention to this immensely deep and potentially rich plot piece...so that others could examine the game from a slightly different perspective. And simply ask the question, what if? What if we are simply pawns in this galactic game of chess?

_________________
Renegade Shep's response to Starbinger the Reaperbieber stating that destroy would wipe out all synthetics:

"Does that mean it will kill your smug ass too?"



avatar
DSharrah
Space Cow

Posts : 816
Join date : 2013-01-09
Age : 37
Location : Lying in some rubble...

Back to top Go down

Re: The Galactic Game of Chess: The Reapers vs. The Leviathans

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum