The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: UAF on May 18, 2009, 07:55:46 pm



Title: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 18, 2009, 07:55:46 pm
Wow, I can't believe I'm posting here again after all those years... Anyway:

I've been reading around a bit and as usual I see some discussions about the usual stuff - Ur-quan, Chmmr, Arilou Orz and Androsynth. And as usual, people seem to give very little attention to the Mmrnmhrm, even when discussing the Chmmr (or so it seems to me).

Now when I was working on TimeWarp and had to give attention to all the races some ideas came up regarding the Mrn that I really like.
So what I'd like to do is to get some discussion about those mysterious robots. And yes, they are mysterious!

Lets see what we know of the Mrn from SC1&2:

1) The were created by the "Mother Ark" 1,000 years ago. The Ark is a space factory not indigenous to this area of space. It travelled here and begun producing Mrn for a time, and then stopped.

2) They have a plan! (BattleStar Galactica anyone? :) ). Not only they have a plan that was instilled (and installed) into them upon their very creation., they refused to tell what it is. Hays (the starbase commander) believe that they are some colonization vanguard or something. But that's his own personal opinion.

3) They are technologically advanced. The SC1 manual contain Ur-quan "reports" on the Alliance races. And they call the Mrn's tech "almost admirable" – that's a huge compliment from an Ur-quan.


Now the ideas I really liked in TimeWarp about the Mrn and that I'd like to mention here in hopes that people will see the great potential of the Mrn are two:

A) The Mrn have a mission that they would not reveal. Despite it they agreed to merge with the Chenjesu. One of the two races (and it might be the Mrn) had the technology to open the slave shield. They could've stayed separated and try to defeat the Ur-quan again.
What I'm saying is that they wouldn't merge with the Chenjesu without knowing for certainty that they will be able to continue with their mission after the merge.
In TimeWarp the mission was never revealed, but the idea was that the Mmrnmhrm consciousness can take priority over the Chenjesu part of the Chmmr. The Mrn are still in control!

B) There are many, many Mrnmhrm out there. There is absolutely no support either against or in favor of this. But I think it's a cool idea. The Mrn have some mission. Why should it be small and localized? There is every chance that countless Arks were sent across the stars. The Mrn are not even close to extinct – they are everywhere.
In TimeWarp the Kohr-ah cleansed them several times, and the Kzer-za enslaved them as many. In the past 1,000 years the Ur-quan fought the lonely Mother Arks still on their way. Small and still underdeveloped Mrn colonies, and even Mmrnmhrm armies with a still-functional Mother Ark replenishing their numbers.
And even now there are still countless Mmrnmhrm out there, working on Their Mission.

Well, I hope this will start an interesting discussion about the lovely robots, and their super secret (and perhaps evil?) objective.

Hey, one idea was summoning the Orz! :)



Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: cloneof on May 18, 2009, 08:24:32 pm
No offense but, didn't we already have a topic for SC mysteries?


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 18, 2009, 09:00:55 pm
Nothing relevant that I could find. Post a link if there is. Or just discuss matters here :)


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Lukipela on May 18, 2009, 09:03:50 pm
The idea of several Mother Arks is interesting. Hadn't thought of that before.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Elerium on May 18, 2009, 10:01:32 pm
Keep in mind the Mrns were a stagnant race, then dragged into a war on the Alliance side- every loss of a Mrn costs them a lot in the long run. As the main Mrn fleet was destroyed at Rigel it probably forced the Mrn with extinction, the "process" of them with the Chenjesu was probably to save their legacy by merging with a compatible race (being silicon) to start their species as one that can reproduce. That and they were good friends either way.

The Chenjesu on the otherhand being vast intellectuals probably couldn't turn down the offer to become a new advanced form of life by becoming one with the Mrn's superior technology. That and the Ur-Quan at the time were becoming the dominant lifeform in the galaxy. What makes me curious though is if they had the vast tech, then why were the Mrns in SC stuck with an interceptor? Is it because they're built as one specification that way and can't build any other way and the Mother Ark holds all the Mrn tech and secrets?

As it's been said the Mrns were built from another alien race from across the galaxy, it's probably hinted they were made by another force (hopefully not Precursor). It might be interesting to have "our" Mrns as some Ark which was sent to find galaxies to find for preparing (hence the weakish advanced X/Y form class the Mother Ark in our galaxy can only produce), but then ran into the Chenjesu, a non organic lifeform and became good buddies. Then possibly they developed their own sense of self with the Chenjesu's help, but with a lot of secrets that they still kept under wraps? So they became more than just terraforming tools and a new species.

There's also the realms of possibility that if there were more Mother Ark's out there, some might be geared to producing Battleship Mrns, others being Colonization Mrns (to terraform planets for their master race) and so on. Alternatively, they could have been a race that was sent out like Nomad from Star Trek, one of a kind robots originally sent to prepare planets in other galaxies for long dead/lost masters given a new lease of existence thanks to the Chenjesu, then they wouldn't want to lose their legacy, or that of their old masters by being reborn as the Chmmr.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Draxas on May 18, 2009, 11:56:49 pm
I can't remember where I saw this, but I thought that the Mmrnhrm were not entirely sure what their mission actually is, and that the Mother Ark broke down before it instructed them on what their purpose was. Because of that, they were forced to make their own way and befriended the Chenjesu in the process.

I also like the idea of the Mother Ark being one of many. The idea of the Mmrnhrm as advance colonization or terrforming robots makes a lot more sense if Mother Arks are mass produced and sent to points of interest.It also opens up the possibility of seeing both Chmmr and Mmrnhrm in the same time period, as well as different groups of Mmrnhrm with variations in appearance, weapons and ship designs, and even attitudes toward other races.

However, the idea of the Mmrnhrm being evil or having nefarious plans never really sat well with me. I chafed at the idea when it was broached in SCnot3 (even though the Daktaklakpak made it up, it still bothered me), and I'm no happier with it now. While I realize that things are not always what they seem in the SC universe, the Mmrnhrm never gave any indication that they had nefarious plans of any sort, and it seems like a twisting of their character to suggest it now that the only known group of them are gone (even though they never really got much character development to begin with).


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 19, 2009, 12:20:43 am
I can't remember where I saw this, but I thought that the Mmrnhrm were not entirely sure what their mission actually is, and that the Mother Ark broke down before it instructed them on what their purpose was. Because of that, they were forced to make their own way and befriended the Chenjesu in the process.

I think the source for that (mis)conception is Commander Hays again. I'm pretty sure he speculated that the Ark stopped working because it broke down, and people took it from there to believe that the Mmrnmhrm are also unsure what their mission is.
But it's pretty clear that the Mmrnmhrm do know what their mission is, or at least know a part of it, because they acted with purpose after being created (building ships and colonizing worls).
As for the Ark breaking down – that's Hay's idea.
I find it more likely that it was suppose to stop working, then that it broke down and the Mrn lack the ability to fix it.

However, the idea of the Mmrnhrm being evil or having nefarious plans never really sat well with me. I chafed at the idea when it was broached in SCnot3 (even though the Daktaklakpak made it up, it still bothered me), and I'm no happier with it now. While I realize that things are not always what they seem in the SC universe, the Mmrnhrm never gave any indication that they had nefarious plans of any sort, and it seems like a twisting of their character to suggest it now that the only known group of them are gone (even though they never really got much character development to begin with).

Actually the Daks claimed that the Chenjesu were evil creatures created by the Eternal Ones, and that their mission was to unite with the most advanced race around, which the Dak claimed were the Precursor created Mrn.
That idea was ludicrous even in SCnot3 (I like that name). I also really hate the idea that the Mrn were created by the Precursors. Which is also unlikely because the Precursors disappeared 200,000 years ago, and the Mrn were created about 1,000 years ago.

As for the Mrn being evil – certainly nothing indicates it. The known Mrn history (what little of it exists) shows them to be rather nice fellows.
Of course, they might really be nice fellows only they have to fulfill their mission and that might be something that ends badly for other races.

Still, that's just a crazy idea to throw. The Mrn mission is really open, it can be almost anything. However I don't think they would've kept it secret if it was Galactic Peace or a simple colonization effort.
The Mrn didn't fight over systems with anyone (even evacuated a Spathi system when the Spathi claimed that they always viewed that territory as their own), so I don't think anyone would oppose their creators race coming to settle in the Mrn system some time in the future.
IMO a mission that require secrecy is something more complicated then that.

And as I said earlier, I don't think that they would've merge with the Chenjesu if the merge was going to prevent them from completing the mission.
Also there is no indication that their creators are gone. 1,000 years is not a very long time. They might even still be on schedule, or perhaps their creators and lots of other Mrn are waiting for the ones in our sector to finally finish their part of the mission.

Could be interesting if some will come to check what's the delay…

As for having one ship class – I don't think it indicates anything as all races only have one class in SC. Heck the Mrn have the closest thing to two.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Alvarin on May 19, 2009, 12:54:36 am
Quote
Heck the Mrn have the closest thing to two.
The others being now gone Androsynth .


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on May 19, 2009, 10:12:48 am
The Mmrnmhrm plays a major role in my (now old) Star Control story (http://itchstudios.com/psg/sce/intro_story.htm).

I never quite liked the fighter plane aesthetics of their ships, it seems unbecoming of a 'Dalek' type robot. I do like how the Mmrnmhrm themselves look though, and I think they deserve a bit more meat on the bone.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: cloneof on May 19, 2009, 02:06:41 pm
Perhaps the Ark was a prototype and broke down do to an error not so far from a normal bluescreen  ;D.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 20, 2009, 02:03:07 am
Interesting read Arne. I like how you played the Mrn's robotic-ness, as they must fulfill programmed missions without completly understanding them.
I'm not too fond of having the Mycon part of the same system, or the hints that the Precursors made the Mrn.
The Precursors made enough stuff, I always preffered having some other alien race create the Mrn.
Also, I think the Ur-quan would be more impressed with Mrn technology if they were created by the Precursors. :)


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Alvarin on May 20, 2009, 04:07:18 am
UAF - the mycon ARE artifitially made creatures , so they ARE a part of some system . Having TWO DIFFERENT "systems" in the same space is less likely than having one , so I kind of lean towards Arne's way . I saw no major holes in the setup the races behave just as they should in my opinion as well under the circumstances .  The biggest thing that contradicts my view of the canon is the breaking of the Chmmr part . I always thought the Chmmr unification process was writing the Mrnmhrm code over  or embed into Chenjesu physiology so the breaking in my view is not likely . I'd incline more to takeover of the code over the hybrid . This actually doesn't contradict the rest of the story , especially with the later Chenjesu and Mrnmhrm separated colony .


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on May 21, 2009, 01:40:37 pm
But it's not clear how the merge worked, or if it's even finished properly. On the comm image the metal bits are separate, and what's depicted there can be some kind of head honcho and not a typical Chmmr.

The Ur-Quan may not know who created the Mmrnmhrm because they haven't observed their ark behavior before. Whomever made the Mmrnmhrm was probably pretty competent. I think of it a bit like Order 66 (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Order_66). A piece of dormant code which was more protected than the rest, and the Chenjesu missed it because they were rushed.

I think the break up is necessary as it eventually disarms the otherwise too powerful Chmmr, and creates tension / balance again.

I'm thinking the Mycon could've had a rather inane purpose initially, but they were left to their own devices and things escalated.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 21, 2009, 06:42:22 pm
Races in the SC universe tend to be focused.
The Mycon are biological constructs, the Mrn are purely unorganic, so there's a good chance they were not created by the same race.
Also, the Mycon seem to be much older. I'm too lazy to seek the quote but one of them mentions that he has memoeries from 50,000 years ago IIRC. At any case it was several thousends years ago - much older then the Mrn (The Ark arrived about 1,000 years ago).

So all in all I still believe the two races are not of the same origin.
Also, please remind me, we think the Mycon are not natural because of something the Umgah said, right?


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Lukipela on May 21, 2009, 06:57:22 pm
Races in the SC universe tend to be focused.
The Mycon are biological constructs, the Mrn are purely unorganic, so there's a good chance they were not created by the same race.
Also, the Mycon seem to be much older. I'm too lazy to seek the quote but one of them mentions that he has memoeries from 50,000 years ago IIRC. At any case it was several thousends years ago - much older then the Mrn (The Ark arrived about 1,000 years ago).

That the Ark arrived in our Quadrant around 1000 years ago doesn't tell us much though. It may have been travelling for a very long time before that and we don't know anything about its origin. Or if there are loads of arks, this might be one of the newer, constructed by older arks further off. Those may in turn be much older.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 21, 2009, 07:18:05 pm
Yes, but 50,000 years older?
It's my personal impression, but I think the Mycon are much older then the Mrn.
I'd give the Mrn (and their creators) up to 10,000 years.

And there is the biological constructs / unorganic constructs difference too, which is just as important.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Alvarin on May 21, 2009, 10:57:28 pm
UAF - couple of thousand years ago we watched dying coals in the cave instead of browsing the internet .
I mean the creators of the "system" could've started with biological bots and when their technology created good enough AI switched to unorganic . Still simpler than two systems in the same place .


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 22, 2009, 12:03:10 am
Doesn't fit with the way the SC universe seems to work, IMO.
Races tends to focus.

Besides, one constructed race 50,000 years ago (at the very least, migth be much more) and another 1,000 years ago from a different origin doesn't sound so far fetched to me. It's not like they arrived at the same time, or anything even close to that.

Actually, constructed races aren't that rare in the SC universe if you think about it.
The Androsynth are another one. And possibly the Humans and or the Syreen are too..
Oh, and the Evil Ones were probably created by the Umgah.
Kzer-za and Kohr-ah are sort off constructed as well.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on May 22, 2009, 10:15:32 am
I can understand the focus argument when it comes to the Ur-Quan who may be quite conservative. Also, young races like humans haven't had time to experiment much. Even so, they managed to build the Androsynth. The Precursors however were left alone (?) to experiment for many thousands of years. If they built one race they might as well have built several. And their 'focus' in my story would not be having built a race, their focus would've been 'The System'. The constructed races are a side effect of that. Also, their focus could have been to experiment and by compulsion they had to build one race out of each material (mammalian, fungoid, robotic, etc), perhaps to minimize the vulnerability of the system.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 22, 2009, 11:59:35 am
Just to make it clear, I'm not saying it is impossible or a really bad idea or something.
Only that IMO, thr Mrn and Mycon are of different origin, and I think it is very unlikely that the Mrn were made by the Precursors.

While I can see the Mycon as a Precursor leftover that stopped working right over the years (although I'm not so sure about that either, I got the impression that the computer on Unzervult was rather intelligent, and it worked fine. So they seem to be better craftsman then creating Mycon that go faulty and start destroying life teeming planets) - I really really don't see the Mrn as a Precursor creation.

The Mrn are too "young".
Whoever built them had advance enough technology to impress the Ur-quan, but nothing close to the Precursor's level.
As for their purpose, I think that their secrecy suggests that it's not as benevolent as preserving life in the universe.
It's probably not summoning the Orz, because the Arilou would probably stop them if that was the case. But some kind of private enterprise that will advance their creator's interest seems likely. Build a network of StarGates, I don't know, something grand!


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on May 22, 2009, 05:49:29 pm
The precursor computer needed more than a decade of work though, and it had probably been shut down for a long time. The Mmrnmhrm on the other hand may have been left running for long periods of time, and computers start getting weird if they're left on for too long.

But in my story neither is the case, at least not to any larger degree.

Small batches of Mmrnmhrm are built every now and then (like 1000 years ago) to keep their numbers up. They are a specialized system, a tool, so they're not meant to show off superfluous fancy advanced technology and attract attention. Although they are capable of quickly reproducing and defending themselves against complete annihilation if need be, they weren't made to conquer the galaxy. Their task is to build the arks on a specific signal.

The Mmrnmhrm were probably not aware of their important and highly advanced dormant code themselves. Whomever built them made sure they only got the minimum of what they needed in terms of information and technology, perhaps for security purposes. Simply put, the Mmrnmhrm were a way to hide things in plain sight.

The Mmrnmhrm lived a rather empty and meaningless existence, so perhaps the merge with the Chenjesu seemed appealing eventually. In my story, it obviously didn't put the advanced dormant code at risk.


Edit: This setup might also explain why only the Mmrnmhrm are left functioning. If someone tried to destroy the system, they might have overlooked the modest Mmrnmhrm. The Xrrrrrr (responsible for the combat) would have been easier to spot. Although, in my story I think I say that the system was abandoned and just wasn't meant to be left running unmaintained for such a long time.
 


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: jaychant on May 23, 2009, 03:36:49 am
This computer that I'm on has been on for months, and it's not acting weirdly. :P

You would think that a more advanced species would be able to have a computer that can stay on indefinitely.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Serosis on May 26, 2009, 01:26:32 am
My thoughts would be that the Mrnmhrm are the future equivalent of SkyNet, they are what is left of an advanced civilization that used robotics to bring a means to an end.
The race that which created them has long since died (could have been the Precursors) and left them one final objective to complete, which of course only the Mrn and the original race knows.

Now I can also speculate that the Mrnmhrm are future robotics built by the Humans that went back in time to help save humanity from the Ur-Quan and their objective will never be complete until the human race is "safe".

Is there any backstory to them in any of the SC manuals?


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on May 27, 2009, 01:16:10 am
Only what I said in the first post.
The Mother Ark arrived here about 1,000 years ago and begun building Mrn until it stopped.
They have a mission but they won't tell what it is.
The Ur-quan are mildly impressed with their tech level (which rule out Precursor origin IMO, even if you somehow ignore the fact that the Precursors disappeared 200,000 years ago, and the Mother Ark arrived to this sector only 1,000 years ago).


The Mrn story is therefore open for almost anything. Which is perhaps a bit of deterrent for people who prefer to build upon existing material.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Defender on May 27, 2009, 02:57:44 am
Which makes me wonder why they would integrate themselves with the Chenjesu. If they have a purpose, maybe there is a plot point, to some how "take control" of the combined Chenjesu/Mmrnmhrm consciousness and carry out their original plans? Sounds ominous but I like ominous.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: CelticMinstrel on June 10, 2009, 09:05:47 pm
I don't see what's wrong with the idea that the Precursors created the Mrnrnmhrm. Sure, they disappeared 20,000 years(?) ago, but the disappearance was of the "went somewhere else" type rather than the "became extinct" type. It's perfectly conceivable that they may be still alive somewhere else in the galaxy (or in some other galaxy, or even in a QuasiSpace-like place).

Quote from: UAF
Actually, constructed races aren't that rare in the SC universe if you think about it.
The Androsynth are another one. And possibly the Humans and or the Syreen are too..
Oh, and the Evil Ones were probably created by the Umgah.
Kzer-za and Kohr-ah are sort off constructed as well.
Apart from the Evil Ones, those aren't constructed races. Rather, they are modifications of existing races. The only intelligent constructed races are the Mrnrnmhrm, Chenjesu(?), and Mycon.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on June 10, 2009, 11:12:26 pm
I don't see what's wrong with the idea that the Precursors created the Mrnrnmhrm. Sure, they disappeared 20,000 years(?) ago, but the disappearance was of the "went somewhere else" type rather than the "became extinct" type. It's perfectly conceivable that they may be still alive somewhere else in the galaxy (or in some other galaxy, or even in a QuasiSpace-like place).

The Precursors disappeared 300,000 years ago (or 200,000, but I'm pretty sure its 300,000).
At any case that's MUCH more then 1,000.
Also, that's not my main gripe with the idea of the Mrn being Precursor creations.
It's more of a case of "wow, yey, that's original. MORE precursor leftovers". That's especially true after SCnot3, in which EVERYTHING was made by the Precursors.
Lets just have some original things around, PLEASE. :)

Apart from the Evil Ones, those aren't constructed races. Rather, they are modifications of existing races. The only intelligent constructed races are the Mrnrnmhrm, Chenjesu(?), and Mycon.

You say Potato, I say Potato :)
None of them are natural in any case (natural - created without intervention by intelligent beings).
Also there is absolutly nothing that hints that the Chenjesu are constructed.

P.S - you can add the Chmmr to the list of un-natural races, I forgot them earlier.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: CelticMinstrel on June 10, 2009, 11:43:39 pm
I was certain I remembered hearing a theory that the Chenjesu are constructed, and upon checking the wiki I found it fairly quickly.

Quote from: Chenjesu article (http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Chenjesu#Physiology_and_culture)
Their rare physiology, advanced sentience and peculiar evolutionary path leads some to speculate that they are the product of an ancient, peaceful culture. An alternate explanation is that they are mostly software, interacting with their environment through some kind of field manipulation mechanism.

And the source for that is apparently an IRC chat with Fred Ford and/or Paul Reich III:
Quote
   <_Stilgar> <zenir> Q: how did the chmmr/taalo evolve.. especially to sentients?
    <Fwiffo> Adaptation and evolution require the ability to change in response to the environment. The Taalo and Chenjesu must either be the product of a previous culture, or they must be mostly software with some kind of field [manipulation] ability.

So while it's true there's no in-game indication of it, there is evidence from the creator that they may be constructed.




As for the Precursors thing... the Precursors are the only ancient advance race that we know of who could have created the Mmrnmhrm. It's quite possible that there's another advanced race out there, but since we don't know about it we're more likely to suggest it was the Precursors.



EDIT: And yes, I was off by an order of magnitude with the Precursors: they lived between about 300,000 and 250,000 years before the events of SC2.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on June 11, 2009, 01:46:34 am
It seems like those are my words (about the Chenjesu (http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4242.0)), although I didn't edit the wiki. Anyways, not canon, it was just a theory which I developed. Edit: No, wait, it seems 'Fwiffo' actually said that. Then it's some kind of... theory convergence at work.

I've already addressed the time discrepancy for the Mrnrnmhrm in my story, so it's not a problem. And SC3 didn't happen so guilt by association doesn't work.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: CelticMinstrel on June 11, 2009, 01:48:48 am
No, I think it was based on Fred/Paul's words. "Fwiffo" is apparently both of them on IRC.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on June 11, 2009, 01:53:21 am
Yes, I just noticed and edited my post before your reply rolled in... I think it's an appealing explanation.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: UAF on June 12, 2009, 12:59:48 am
Meh, I prefer the Chenjesu to be naturally evolved.

But if they were not, then we have even more (!) unnatural races around. And ALL of them are attributed to the Precursor? No thanks.
Besides, compared to the Mycon (and Chenjesu and Taalo, if you MUST) the Mrn are not impressive at all.
It is quite possible that the Ur-quan, Melnorme and Arilou all have the technology required to constructed a race such as the Mrn. Therefore it is very plausible that another race of a similar tech level created the Mrn, and not the Precursors.

At the end, none of it is cannon (even the Chenjesu and Taalo origins) so right now it's all a matter of taste and personal preferences.

The only "advantage" I see in having so many unnatural races, is that it explains why space in the SC universe is so teeming with sentient life - other, more ancient races put them there.
Meh, I still don't like it.  :P


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on June 13, 2009, 02:43:47 pm
My version of the Chenjesu (http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4242.msg55359#msg55359) was not created by the Precursors or anyone. They evolved naturally, but mostly "memetically" with their physical shape not changing much.

In my previous posts I've already addressed the issue of the Mrnrnmhrm appearing recently and being seemingly not-so advanced (it's features incorporated into my story, which depends on them). Also, IIRC, they are the only race definitely built by the Precursors in my story, with the Mycon being an option for another race. So, two canon races tops, and a third non-canon race which probably didn't survive.





Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: spinsane on June 20, 2009, 05:09:35 am
I think if you're going to get into creating fan-fiction based on the SC uni, you can't make a claim that MIGHT go against Canon.

As the Captain, we have only the tidbits of information we recieve about different races and what information is provided.

Quote
Secrets, huh? You want secrets? OUR SECRETS!?
YOU MADE FATAL MISTAKE, HUMAN!!
... Har! Har! Har! Good joke, eh? Scared you!
Sure! We'll tell our secrets. Now let me see... what ARE secrets?
Oh, yeah!... remember! It about Mycon!
You see, Mycon only other race we know of
that have same kind of biotechincal skills as Umgah.
But amazing thing that they do all with their own bodies, don't need tools.
They just THINK genetic modification, and it happen!
We found that pretty hard understand, so when nobody looking, we clonk one on head
bring it back here to homeworld and slice it up for detailed study.
Those guys not product of ANY natural evolutionary process
they constructs!... some kind of multi-purpose biological tool.
We don't know who made them or for what purpose
but they WAY beyond anything we ever heard of.
We not figure out much more before tissue samples all gross
so guess that pretty much all of big secret.
Oh... do us a favor? Please not tell anybody about clonking Mycon.
It kind of against Ur-Quan Laws, and not want get Mycon mad at us.


Quote
Your simple sexual process produces random mosaics of genetic instructions
yet with the simplicity of breath, I modify my own patterns
You humans improve a tool and double your capabilities
We Mycon improve ourselves and increase a thousand-fold.

Between what the Umgah say and what the Mycon say, the Mycon aren't necessarily constructs. The Mycon are only constructs in so far as they can manipulate their own genetics with such a degree of precision that they may appear to be too precise to be natural. It's also possible that the Mycon are created to perpetuate Deep Children. It may not even be so complicated as there is some kind of god-race standing above that made them.

It really gets down to how we can interpret the way FF and PR3 wrote the game. How much information and misinformation they want to reveal, and how deep each bit of information is. IDK if Fwiffo has explicitly stated the Mycon were constructs, but, from the perspective of the Captain, this isn't something that can be ascertained with any degree of certainty.

If you're making Fan-fiction in the SC uni, I think that you can't make too many assumptions without raping the purity of the world. There is only so much fact to work with, so it's a good idea IMO to stay within those boundaries, and let post SC2 events be driven by the characterizations of each race and the actions of the captain, as opposed to some divinely orchestrated plan. Whatever that plan is, FF and PR3 WILL someday have the opportunity to make it a reality, in the meantime, I think it's a good idea not to get too involved in the meaning of everything.

FF and PR3's writing styles (as per some interviews) are not as meticulous as we may make them out to be. they like leaving things open-ended so that they have more material to work with. They gave each race some degree of ambiguity so that they could do with them whatever they wanted and when. Aside from that, each race, to some degree, is based upon different things and different ideas they had. The Pkunk's perception of the Ilwrath is based upon data-types wrapping around to the negative sign after they get too high (because in binary the 'sign' is determined by the position furthest to the left, this makes it so that if an integer is assigned or increased in value beyond the limitations of the data-type, the MAX_VALUE+1 = MIN_VALUE, or the greatest possible negative number). A lot of the races have some kooky creative designs incorporated in them, and while I personally haven't though too much about Chenjesu, Mrnn or Mycon, in terms of their literary origins, they most definitely share some kind of kooky origin in creativity. Heck, the Androsynth were originally a bunch of..... you get the idea. They all have their own degrees of purity in their origin stories, but they ultimately reflect much more trivial ideas that work as a sort of basis with which the other ideas get drawn around.

If you want to get into biology, geology, and physics as much as possible to explain what they've created is quite a lot of fun. Especially since there are plenty of hints to work with.

Chenjesu: Somehow or another, sentience has to exist in a crystal lattice. What are the limitations of a thing becoming an 'observer'? We definitely don't know. Just as supposedly evolved via a perfectly ideal chemical compositions and electrical storms, it is possible for a similarly randomly generated crystalline structure to possess the natural quantum structure necessary to facilitate observation. Either way, its a lightning storm that strikes the right crystal in the right way that creates thought. After a long period of contemplation and the development of self-awareness, the development of minor telekenetics or some method of manipulation would have to take place. The way that crystals are made vary to great degrees. If the Chenjesu exist in a silicon lattice then they're basically going to be similar in composition to glass. Lightning would need to strike glass in such a way that energy was retained, and that weather was manipulated. IMO- I don't see any progress happening with the Chenjesu's 'evolution' unless they develop an extremely keen awareness of their environment and how to manipulate it via energy discharges stored from lightning. Essentially, they'd be nothing without being able to manipulate weather for a period of time until their 'observer'-state would be existential without thriving off of an external energy source. At which point water/lightning can be used to reproduce to some degree. The main problem with machines is presented quite well in Ghost in the Shell- how do you yield offspring to evolve? Chenjesu communicate, though that doesn't mean that they have individuality. It is still possible to improve, to develop gravitronic manipulation of some kind via an advanced observer state, though their manipulations would most likely be limited to materials that shared similar properties (hence their technology and the broodhome being as it is). Being created or evolving is possible.

Quote
we are the chenjesu... we are the mmrnmhrm
WE ARE THE CHMMR.

They are both most likely hive minds. Meaning that when they do communicate, it is the passage of information and that actual 'reproduction' doesn't occur, in so much as communication is only necessary to share information and to provide instructions to their various *fingers*. The Mycon work in an oddly similar way. If the Chenjesu can generate offspring, as opposed to just kind of cloning themselves in crystal lattice and then slight variations occuring over the various experiences of each Chenjesu 'cell', then their generation would require physical construction of additional crystal and what not. IMO, they aren't independent thinkers. Neither of the three are. Though... that doesn't mean that they 'can't' be. Mycon have Purity Monitors to ensure everyone is think the same. The Chenjesu may just as well exist as sort of 'chakra' type beings that rely on the structure of the crystal lattice. In which case there could be a certain degree of individuality... but they definitely don't possess the capability of making 'new' life, like organic observers do. Whether they got jumpstarted by lightning or were electrostatically aligned into the crystal lattice it's hard to say. Either way, they probably all 'think' in a similar way, driven by curiosity to find what is beyond- being as sensitive to 'vibrations' as they are. Taalo would probably function in a similar way- though in my head I imagine them as rocks with legs that kind of shuffle around... they probably didn't do much walking though.

Whatever their origin is, I think it isn't us as fans to decide what it is or why it is, but rather, as they are, what would they do and how would they do it? Throwing in a bunch of new stuff claiming that things exist for a certain purpose makes me feel a little easy. It's taking way too many assumptions. Working within the limitations of what the captain knows and developing on that, or delving into the history of the Coreward Front and other battles, or explaining things that HAVE already happened in a way that is ambiguous and could use characterizations and development to make them more interesting, is what fan-fiction should do. Stepping up and saying 'this is this and that is that' is like betraying the Juffo-Wup! After all, the original SC2 was terribly ambiguous, it would be a crime to destroy that by explaining anything. The only thing we should do is seek to make it more ambiguous.....

Mrn are the only race we can claim to actually have been made. There is no real way for mechanical sentience to exist without being created first (Unless God IS a machine- ftw). Since it is within Mrn's programming to make decisions based upon potentially unknown circumstances, I would say that they were either given a degree of sentience or they got the Bolt of lightning (it's either lightning or a creator race, in basically every isolated instance of evolution that involves any kind of physical shell existing before the development of a sapient observer) and 'liberated' themselves from servitude. Humans call it the Mother Ark (though Mrn don't 'think' of it that way, per se), so as a creative decision FF and PR3 may have wanted to imply that they were a race of machines that evolved sentience from random events within the development of AI and, this AI desiring reproduction, created a 'Mother Ark' to carry her to children to a new world. It is possible that they come from Kohr-Ah death march territory, and that the Mrn are the remnants of a race that wanted their legacy to continue, even though their actual species could not. There are sooo many intangibles with the Mrn, especially since we know essentially NOTHING about them. They possessed enough sentience or enough complex programming to make the decision to merge with the Chenjesu... or the Chenjesu reprogrammed them? The Mrn are pandora's box. If they existed in Kohr-Ah space, that would account for the Kzer-Za never meeting them before (as per their comment regarding them implies that they hadn't run into anything like them before), so, considering that the Kzer-Za and the Kohr-Ah basically dominated every corner of our galaxy, it's likely that the Mrn who joined with the Chenjesu were the last of their kind, just as the Chenjesu had no other homeworlds in which to perpetuate. Doing anything with the Chenjesu or the Mrn is a dead horse- I don't think either are meant to exist in any future context.

Objectively, the only problem I had with that idea for a sequel was the claim that the Melnorme are an IDF race, IIRC there is no indication that they are. In fact, they probably aren't because they know so little about the Orz and the Arilou, who AFAIK are always *dancing*. The idea is well developed, but I think the focus is weighted too heavily on making every race an integral part of the story and explaining every unturned stone. IMO, just make it fun, confusing, hilarious and wierd- going with a story that's just a good story in itself, and not really be concerned about making everything important. The quest in SC2 is pretty simple. Everything else was just ambience. There are only 20 places you have to go to finish the game... for the greatest epic adventure game of all time (with even such a weak plot device as forcing the Ultron onto the player via Supox), IMO that's a much smaller amount than we may even realize. Most of the game is gathering resources and finding enough rainbow worlds to get hellbore cannons and just paying attention to all the little things that made the SC uni soooooo immersive and interesting... there isn't even an easter egg after finding all 10! :P.

Anyhow, IMO, keep it simple. SC3 really isn't the most terrible game- the plot outline isn't bad, even the whole precursor's being cows to avoid the eternal ones. There was just sooooooo much clearly non-canonical BS. Hyperspace breaks? Hegemonic Crux existing even though Ur-Quan cleansed/enslaved the entire galaxy? The Utwig brought their Ultron on a SINGLE colony ship off of their  homeworld? Spathi, what? Arilou's genetic needs? Chmmr origin story? Kzer-Za joining the NAFS? Building a new precursor vessel at Unzervalt (no precursor computer, arguably unnecessary)? These things make SC3 BAD because everything that each of the races does is entirely non-archetypical. The story you've come up with doesn't directly go against canon, but it draws a lot of assumptions that make it likely to break the archetypes, which is the same as going against canon.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: Arne on June 20, 2009, 06:37:04 am
I could not tell if you were referring to my story. I've done fan-art, but I rarely, if ever, do fan-fiction. Most of my projects are more like: *By the power of Gray Skull - I have the Power!*, meaning, hypothetical sequels or revisions of the original material.

I'm sure there are some exceptions, but I think a sequel needs to expand on the source material (using interpolations and extrapolations) and sometimes take a stand when the source material contradicts itself. I also believe it's permissible to nudge a few of the loose details a little, especially if it was the Spemin (a race of untrustworthy creatures from Starflight) told you about something :)

Also, I don't know if I wrote this on particular project page, but I usually over-explain everything when I write a design doc. Not doing it would be poor design. The idea is to later delicately remove pieces but still hint at the structure (perhaps even having multiple functional structures). A story is much more powerful if it's a bit fuzzy, especially if you nudge reader come up with 'their own' theories.

In conclusion, I obviously don't think that I've made the races act out of character. While you may frown upon frivolous extrapolations in fan-fics, I think you may agree that official sequels are a different story. Of course, I'm not actually doing an official sequel, I'm just pretending to. It amuses me to no end.

Edit: Most of the art on that intro story page is outdated, btw. Here's some newer stuff (http://androidarts.com/starcontrol/star_control.htm). I always try my hardest to keep the visuals faithful. In the case of the Thraddash I think managed to patch up a contradiction in the source material - the comm pic and pilot portrait having a different design. Sometimes a choice doesn't have to be made.


Title: Re: Don't forget the Mmrnmhrm
Post by: spinsane on June 20, 2009, 10:55:50 am
Your syreens are just... wonderful... very good artwork! I always find the most demoralizing part of designing/writing indie games is not having any decent skills with art...  Ilwrath Puppet ROFL, that's genius.

interesting- I was first thinking that bringing back the Zebranky would lie in the realm of silliness, but there's a lot of strong potential, especially since the ZFP are nothing but silliness. It's a bit of a stretch though, given the Zebranky were defeated by the ZFP before the wheel of fire, without religion there are no canopic jars! Zebranky also aren't a space fairing race on their own, so what the Umgah actually make versus what the Zebranky actually were, and how the ZFP respond to that could be hilarious. "I've come for my revenge!" *blank stare* (springy dude) "Do we know you? I don't recall you at the frungy nationals last year... I mean, it's hardly revenge if you got knocked out in the preliminary rounds... they don't even broadcast those and no respectably frungy player gloats over defeating weaker helpless opponents! I mean, I can't help it if I defeated someone in the preliminaries and don't remember them- I mean, not that I'm soooo used to attention that I wouldn't possibly remember... but there have been so many... or was this revenge for something else? I can't imagine it being for anything else..." and shortly afterwards there's a ZFP in Rigel.

Ya, I think I just had to jump on that 'system' idea though. Mycon and Mmrn with preintended synergy is quite a stretch. However Hayes acquires the information that the Mother-Ark was a vessel in the first place (and not some latent factory that just turned on after a time) can't really be thrown into question. The sources of information would either be the Mmrn or the Chenjesu... Chenjesu would have been able to detect the arrival of the Mother-Ark if it DID arrive, in which case they may have shared that information with Earthlings, but I'm not even so sure that the Mmrn would've told anybody had they come on an Ark, so where the information comes from could be sketch. If the Chenjesu told Earth AND knew it came from space because they detected it in Hyperspace (they do that I hear), then it's most likely to be true, as Hayes's source is pretty reliable. The main problem is that the Mmrn are a very new race and are probably non-existent.

The idea and drive to 'create' or manipulate other races is incredibly common. The Arilou manipulate Humans who created the Androsynth who were absorbed by the Orz. The Yehat uplifted the Shofixti. Chenjesu/Taalo/Mycon/Mmrn are possibly constructs. Even the Umgah are so far gone they may not even know what they are. I think it's a compelling mystery that so many of the races are so similar... some people prefer Chenjesu being naturally evolved, it doesn't matter as long as it's a good story. Precursor super race making other races all over the place is completely reasonable and interesting.

I just stumbled across these forums and read through some articles and just had to post, but they aren't really targeted at anybody. I had to point out 'the system' though, as most others already outlined how it'd be difficult to argue. I think that my opinion on the realm of fan-fic isn't really important. All that matters is whether a game is interesting and the story is good, even if you go against canon it isn't really that important-- but it does take something away from it. I think if I played SC3 with an open mind I wouldn't feel like my soul was dead. Building on top of the SC legacy is a daunting task.