ars ludi

if you asked Ben's brain about gaming, this is what it would say

Quake-pocalypse: That’s no moon! Oh wait, it is.

After six games, we’ve drawn our Quake-pocalypse Microscope history to an epic close.

It wasn’t all easy. After game 4, it looked like we were going to have a hard time explaining how it all fit together. But in game 5, we jumped back and revealed that even before the first UFO was shot down, alien protocells had come to Earth on meteorites and it was exposure to these spores that had opened the door for all the unusual pockets of evolution and mutation that followed: the monstrous morlocks of the Techno-priests, the sixth sense of the blind underdwellers (founded by the erstwhile heir of House Ulysses), and the persecuted mutants of the Laputan golden age. Even the strange slug-riding natives of planet Beacon were the offspring of these protocells.

What brought the aliens to Earth in the first place? Their desire to eradicate any lifeforms exposed to the protocells. Their own advancement was due to protocell evolution and they weren’t about to let another race catch up and threaten them. Their standard operating procedure turns out to be protocell exposure => global extermination. Earth only dodges a bullet because we whack ourselves first with the gravitic drive and the aliens think a) the job is done and b) they’re afraid of getting closer.

Even things we thought already made sense suddenly made even more sense.

Never name a ship “Odyssey”

Awesome. But starting game 6, we still had a bunch of loose ends that defied explanation. We already knew Beacon wasn’t just a planet but a world-ship, ready to be flown to a proper new world. But who made it? Why was it just sitting there waiting to be used? And how did the post-Quake technologists who built the rocket know where Beacon was in the first place, or that it even existed, light years away in space? We’d learned that the strange aliens who lived on Beacon were originally from Earth, but we had no idea how they got there. The Laputa-01 was supposedly the first and only ship from Earth.

Add to that one more tiny little item: we knew that activating the captured alien gravitic drive caused the first quake, but what caused the second quake a few years later? The one that well and truly wiped out what remained of civilization?

So many questions. But as it turns out, one single answer for them all:

Only a few years after the first Quake, the engineers and scientists of the Odyssey Moon Base, determined to escape the alien threat, use the gravitic drive to fly the whole frickin’ moon away. Yeah, the backlash washes over Earth, triggering a second even more massive quake. And yeah, they’re abandoning the rest of humanity to rot in a shallow grave. But they’re going to survive and they’ll save humanity. That’s what they tell themselves and they’re both right and wrong.

A thousand years later, the wandering moon-ship is unrecognizable. At its peak, cities covered every inch of the surface, the triumph of the Odyssian golden age, but they crumbled to dust after humanity died out. The once barren rock drifts through nebula and asteroid fields, collecting atmosphere and life-giving chemicals from passing gas giants, but clinging to it are the surviving protocells, remnants of the samples sent to the moon for safe keeping in the first disaster.

The world is reborn. New life arises, slowly crawling from the primordial muck, watched only by the “ship’s” AI. A new sentient species emerges, its evolution and advancement accelerated by the protocells. The world-ship and its AI await the reunion with humanity, a safe haven and beacon to the survivors of Earth…


EmailFacebookGoogle+RedditStumbleUponTwitter