That’s actually a really wholesome part of the story I definitely wouldn’t have known, I’ll have to throw that in there, thank you and thanks to everyone for the warm welcome! I suppose I can just hop right into it and throw down some disparate questions / ideas, first with why the OldGods account stuck out to me.
I was originally working on a video essay about many of the subtle (and overt) cosmic horror elements present in the game but I’ve since pivoted a bit into more about the whole story of the game/ARG/lore because there’s just too much cool stuff to talk about. Nevertheless there were times I felt I was stretching that connection, and I’m sure I was in places, although when I came across OldGods and saw that the account was “in on it”, for lack of a better phrase, and then looked into what their avatar was, and was intrigued to learn about the story of the Lovecraftian character Nyarlathotep and many of the themes that seemed to overlap with ideas from NMS. (most of this is just paraphrased from wikipedia for times-sake so forgive me)
Nyarlathotep wanders the Earth, seemingly gathering legions of followers, the narrator of the story among them, through his demonstrations of strange and seemingly magical instruments. These followers lose awareness of the world around them, and through the narrator’s increasingly unreliable accounts, the reader gets an impression of the world’s collapse.
All I can think about here is the Atlas and its desire of worship from its followers, all the while seemingly losing it’s sanity over the course of the story as it becomes more and more corrupted, crying out in fear of its impending/inevitable fate.
There are a few interpretations of Nyarlathotep involving the universe’s mockery of man’s attempts to understand it…
This screams the -null- story to me. The universe literally mocking him for his exploration and desire to see it all.
…and man’s self-destructive rationality.
The most literal example of this in the ARG is Emily sacrificing herself to save Toby, with the reason that she wants to be more human.
Nyarlathotep was the son of the god at the center of our universe and in whose dreams all of life is set to reside
The journey towards the “center”… dreams and dreamers… the place where all life resides… Sometimes I feel like I’m really stretching these connections but like am I crazy for seeing these as not being coincidental?
“Balaron, Dryn’dargh, Korvax Prime, all the other homeworlds… all of them had an ‘Atlas’. All of them had a machine designed to simulate realities. What if this is a reality truly is? Dream upon dream, coalescing into a sum beyond its parts.”
On that note, I understand there were numerous references/puzzles/tasks involving the word mirror and needing to take pictures of the atlas symbol between two mirrors for that infinite reflection effect. I can’t help but link these ideas/themes together… the world of glass, the void/abyss, reflections/echoes, the cosmic horror themes of terrifying dark truths that would drive us to insanity, the seemingly infinite regress of simulations inside simulations (like reflections in a mirror) that naturally leads us to wonder if we live in a simulation ourselves and the existential dread that comes along with it, etc, etc…
At first I wasn’t a fan of Nada/Polo’s seeming disregard for the whole conversation around the idea that the NMS universe we play in is a simulation, but the more I thought about it I realized I can totally vibe with that whole zen idea that if nothing matters and its all fake then who cares? Let’s just make more friends and be cool to each other in the time we’ve got.
Speaking of the fate of the Atlas… my gut is telling me that Superlumina’s miniaturized particle accelerator is the best culprit for the source of the black hole that would eventually swallow the Atlas, right? (some more of that self-destructive rationality I suppose…) That seems more plausible, at least to me, than some of the other physics-questionable theories I’ve read involving our sun turning into a black hole and such.
Anyway, I have so many more questions/ideas but I suppose I’ll save them for later because I know there’s a lot there already.