Links with NMS: Abandoned Facilities


#1

I have copied most interactions with the Abandoned Facilities, that happen within No Man’s Sky. Texts are slightly edited for brevity and bolded to highlight what I believe are more crucial and/or connecting parts to Waking Titan. This might be especially useful to those that do not play NMS, and I think it does help a lot with adding meaning to the lore of the game in general.

Comment: This is the part of No Man’s Sky that Waking Titan seems to follow or build upon. It makes it clear that within the game, we discover a set of ship log messages written by “someone”. In the very last encounter (Part 24) it is discovered that the person reading the messages is the same person that once in the future sent them backward in time, assumedly to him/herself.

Abandoned Facility Part 1
It looked like a wound on the world. Crimson and ragged-edged, like something that once lived but was then torn asunder. I should have stayed away.

Abandoned Facility Part 3
I found a body. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen. If there’s a species like it, then I hope they’re all dead like this one. At first, I thought it some tragic remnant of a matter-transfer tech malfunction: a cage of bones and flesh studded with random patterns of crooked teeth and rheumy, lidless eyes. But no. Some horror of twisted evolution, warped by cruel nature. I can’t help but picture what it would have looked like alive. I cannot help but fear that it will live again.

Abandoned Facility Part 4
I found evidence of past life here, but no signs of it. Does the native flora and fauna hibernate when it comes to eat them, then return and repopulate once it retreats? I can feel it moving inside my brain, whispering. It wants me to discard my suit and swim.

Abandoned Facility Part 5
I awoke from a dream where I was drowning in something thick and glutinous. It filled my pores and suffocated me. I want to believe that this is my tired mind playing tricks. I have been so long without deep sleep.
The crimson sphere shimmers at the corner of my eye whenever I try to rest. I cannot comprehend how it tracks my spoor from world to world. Or is it that I am following it? The orb cannot be in all places at once. That cannot be.

Abandoned Facility Part 6
Is this what we become? At each turn on my journey I find only more to taint my spirit and my flesh. The fanged maws erupt around me when my back is turned. I hear them chattering and spitting. Sometimes they scream sounds that may be words. Perhaps my name.
I haven’t removed my exosuit in many cycles. I’m afraid to look at my own skin. I know it will be seething, pus-wet and pitted. I have become a vector of infection. The corruption of something ruinous lives in my flesh. Don’t come looking for me.

Abandoned Facility Part 7
What are the Sentinels? Who made them? Who gave them the will to police the stars and demand that we bow to their silent rules? The goal of the experiment was to learn the answers to these questions. It began on an uncharted world beneath a blue-white sun, far from the axis of civilization. The first drone screamed when it was cut open.

Abandoned Facility Part 8
Where do the Sentinels come from? No ships are ever seen arriving to deposit them, yet we know they have spatial drives and can appear on any planet. Korvax science speaks of metals in their makeup that should not exist in our age of the universe. No-one has ever seen them built. They are simply here, as if the universe expresses them into existence.

Abandoned Facility Part 9
There is a world – turned to dust long before the rise of the Vy’keen – where the natives turned against the Sentinels. They chafed under the omnipresent eyes of the machines. Soon there was war; and still the machines came, in exponential growth until at last they ended a species as a punishment. Still, the Galaxy refused to learn from this…

Abandoned Facility Part 10
Is there a connection between the monoliths and the Sentinels? The origins of these ancient structures seem to predate all known civilization, although over time they have become imbued with the beliefs and the histories of the creatures that evolved around them.
What if there was a precursor species that came before us all? Imagine one of such infinite knowledge and interstellar power that even after extinction has erased their traces, their tools remain for us to pore over, like an infant confronted with a fusion reactor.’

Abandoned Facility Part 11
When there is no explanation for a phenomenon, it is a natural progress for intelligent beings to fill in the missing parts of their experience. On some worlds, the Sentinels are still worshipped as avatars of an all-seeing deity. There is a disturbing commonality to many elements of their theologies; a recurring visual symbol of a crimson sphere and the promise of an end time soon to unfold.

Abandoned Facility Part 12
The experiment’s final phase emerged from frustration. We wanted to learn something new. We wanted to know how they worked. We wanted to see inside them. An untested dimensional-warping process was used, one we believed would allow us to capture a drone intact. We would cage it, keep it docile. It was our error to believe we could.
The machines co-opted the warp-tech and turned it upon us. In the horror of it all, our flesh was merged with their metal. Our questions were finally answered.

Abandoned Facility Part 13/14
Comment: Talks about the creation of intelligences utterly unlike us through a sort of glass/crystal that is cutting through flesh, and also that feeds life.

Abandoned Facility Part 15
The orb rests within its cage-cloak of crystal in so many guises. The angles of the shroud are utterly perfect. When measured, no device of known science can determine any flaws, any variation in surface even down to the molecular level.

Abandoned Facility Part 16
If one can see clearly enough, you will come across a crystal and learn that it is made, not of atoms and molecules, but of thought and gravity and numbers. Come and see, I beseech you. More than I must know of this, if only to spread the word and warn the other species. Tell it to all. Write it in every language you know, etch it in stone, scream it in song but never be silent. I tell you; I have seen what lies beneath the surface of everything. The brittle grid of reality crumbles.

Abandoned Facility Part 17
It is here and not here. We reach for the mastery of the galaxy but we do not understand the truth. What if I told you that time is the drug that keeps us docile and unquestioning? There is no now and then, there is no today or yesterday. This is an illusion reflected in glass, patterns of untruth that the universe uses to laugh at us. We are not meant to see such things. Our smaller minds rebel at concepts so unimaginably vast that they cannot be held in a single thought. It is how it controls us.

Abandoned Facility Part 18
The lacerated, blade-filled path is the truth and I am unable to deny it. In time, there will come daring souls far cleverer than I who will learn from my errors. I forge the way for the ones to come after. I walk barefoot on shards of broken reality, into the infinite and shattering forever. At the heart of it, the secret awaits me.

Abandoned Facility Part 19
My comms hub detected a garbled message sent with strange resonance qualities. Not unusual, given the atypical qualities of local space-time in this quadrant.
Systems spent several cycles attempting to reconstruct the missing elements of the message to no avail. Analysis indicates that the signal shows signs of degradation corresponding to initial transmission occurring before the planet I orbit was even formed. And yet my name is spoken clearly amid the static and the distortion.

Abandoned Facility Part 20
I traded with a Korvax Entity I met on Ikdlak. It encountered the anomalous message I detected several cycles ago. I dismissed the signal as a chance event, a random coalescence of interference that happened to resemble a spoken voice. In truth, it had disturbed me. The Entity analysed the message in its own curiosity and revealed another layer beneath the audio component. A visual of a world with green skies and an obsidian moon.

Abandoned Facility Part 21
The mysterious message continues to prey upon my mind. With the aid of the Entity, I have learned that its temporal origin is approximately two to five thousand solar cycles from the now. I have narrowed down a point of transmission to a sector of space in the haze zone, close to the galactic anterior. I realize now that to ignore the signal would be an error. It is incumbent upon me to trace it. In my more fanciful moments, I wonder if it might be a warning or a revelation. I have set a course.

Abandoned Facility Part 22
This will be my last recording for quite some time. I have refitted my vessel with a powerful Odvinsko hypderdrive and a cryogenic suspensor pod. It is my intention to enter a dormancy state in order to survive the journey to the distant source of the anomalous message.
I have nothing to hold me here. I have committed myself. While I sleep, I will listen to the signal. My resting mind may be able to parse yet more meaning from it.

Abandoned Facility Part 23
I awakened to discover that the planet from the image is gone. Only a belt of rubble surrounding a red giant star in the final stages of collapse remains.

Abandoned Facility Part 24
The red giant consumes itself. The interactions between spatial shearing zones in the system are causing the formation of a singularity. Space-time is becoming malleable. I am unable to depart. In the ashes of a dead world, I exhumed the corpse of the ship that had sent a message to me across the millennia, the ship that knew my name. Crushed and warped by unimaginable forces, I could barely recognize it. But I see a corroded Odvinsko hyperdrive, a cryo-pod. The same as my ship’s. My vessel is buried here. The voice is mine. I am warning myself-


#2

[quote=“bcatrek, post:1, topic:1090”]
Abandoned Facility Part 8
Where do the Sentinels come from? No ships are ever seen arriving to deposit them, yet we know they have spatial drives and can appear on any planet. Korvax science speaks of metals in their makeup that should not exist in our age of the universe. No-one has ever seen them built. They are simply here, as if the universe expresses them into existence. [/quote]
This is curious. I have to assume this is true because I can’t imagine the Korvax would lie about it. I can only imagine two truths from this.

  • Elements in this universe can’t be synthesized artificially by any race, no matter how technologically advanced. Only in the fusion reactions in the centers of stars, to seed the universe when they go supernova. This seems a bit farfetched, given the high level of technological prowess among the civilizations in the universe.
  • Within the very quarks, or whatever constituents of matter exist in this universe, there is a kind of dimensional clock always ticking, and synced to the universe.

Either way, this would mean the Korvax have discovered that the Sentinels are from the future, consisting of “older matter.” Not sure what essential implications of that are.

[quote=“bcatrek, post:1, topic:1090”]
Abandoned Facility Part 16
If one can see clearly enough, you will come across a crystal and learn that it is made, not of atoms and molecules, but of thought and gravity and numbers. Come and see, I beseech you. More than I must know of this, if only to spread the word and warn the other species. Tell it to all. Write it in every language you know, etch it in stone, scream it in song but never be silent. I tell you; I have seen what lies beneath the surface of everything. The brittle grid of reality crumbles. [/quote]
The Traveller/we are apparently going spaceballs in the course of this weird journey. I’m assuming what he encounters is true, as he apparently documents everything. This one is kind of weird though. He’s having quite a freakout that he discovered physical evidence that the universe is not physical. He feels quite agitated and determined that every race be “warned” about this. Maybe it’s his state of mind - for that matter, maybe it’s mine, too laid back and analytically chill about everything. But I’m not quite grasping why he’s so crackers about this.

As an aside, I’ve been on a quest for Truth ever since my teen years, so I’ve explored just about everything. I’m totally down with the Christian view that the universe is a creation of God, and Jesus holds it all together in His Mind. I consider this reality to be an artifact or work of art by Him. And there are a lot of problems with a naturalistic explanation of the universe coming to be from a Big Bang or similar origin: impossibility of star formation from expanding gasses, so much heavy metal in Earth requiring a lot more than three or four generations of supernovas to account for it, difficulties with solar system formation scientists are beginning to admit, origin of life, etc. So I’m not amazed at any theory which explains the universe in simulation terms. Then again, I’ve always had a kind of metaphysical view about stuff since I was very young. I could see a naturalistic scientist having an existential trauma from something like this, and why our scientists generally balk at the upstart Creationists and Simulationists among them. We present quite a problem.

[quote=“bcatrek, post:1, topic:1090”]
Abandoned Facility Part 17
It is here and not here. We reach for the mastery of the galaxy but we do not understand the truth. What if I told you that time is the drug that keeps us docile and unquestioning? There is no now and then, there is no today or yesterday. This is an illusion reflected in glass, patterns of untruth that the universe uses to laugh at us. We are not meant to see such things. Our smaller minds rebel at concepts so unimaginably vast that they cannot be held in a single thought. It is how it controls us. [/quote]
This sounds like the “block view” of the universe and time, or what we used to think of as the Universal Movie. The past, present and future are all there all the time, and equally real. What defines Time is how our consciousness perceives and organizes this four dimensional existence. Like a cosmic Movie Projector, our minds “illuminate” or experience the “frames of reality” in order. The universe makes sense, things happen in a sensible order, events occur due to causes, etc.

The “control” that the universe has over us is that we don’t know the future. We’re at the mercy of events as they spring to life on us. The question is, why does this matter to Reality? Why does it want to keep us shackled in ignorance of the future?


#3

I for one come more from a Buddhist world view, in which “reality” is dubbed such merely because of our perception of it, but has no real “substance” to it… and I actually first thought that both Atlas and Abandoned structure interactions pointed to that and I could swear that Sean Murray had had a year of backpacking through India “finding himself” just like I did. We all add our own experiences when interpreting what in reality is a neutral set of data, so to speak. Anyway.

I choose to read the Abandonded structure posts as logged messages written by someone else who was here before us. Someone that chose to document her/his journey. Someone who realises in the very last logged message, that she/he was actually tracking her/his own footsteps. That she/he had somehow (after Part 24) travelled backwards in time when dying, losing all of her memories (just like the Traveller mind you), only to stumble upon her/his own recordings. Is this person stuck in a loop? Is this person now calling out for help? Is this person Emily or Elizabeth? And since the time-travel seem to have taken place at the moment of death, does that mean that a “personality” within NMS is merely a computer program running within the simulation, á la the Matrix movies, which is rebooted at the moment of “death”?

This would definitely play into the theory that someone found a way not only to transport messages backwards in time á la Tachyonic Antitelephone, but also her/himself. We are clearly partaking in the same branch of multiverse since we can see the effects of this person. Actually, WT is mentioning Computationalism, which to put it bluntly is a theory that conscience and human existence is merely a result of a code or an algorithm, and that our entire existence can be understood as a set of instructions, much like a computer programme.

If the whole world is simulated, well, then that would make sense. I clearly believe that the purpose of WT is to (1) find out who is running the simulation and why and (2) help a damsel in distress (one of the two E’s further down the line) as a means to achieve (1). Both of these might not be solved withint WT, but need NMS in the long run?

Edit: Inserted likeness to Matrix movies


#4

I was going to mention Eastern religions and philosophies in my post, but criminey, there’s so much to think of at once! I lose track. :yum:

The way the Korvax live and seem to view existence is very much like the eastern religions (Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, though Buddhism is the most popular). In them, reality is practically irrelevant as bcatrek states. The whole point of life is contemplation, relationships, love, the journey, the experience, self discovery, good karma, all that groovy stuff. We live, we die, we go back to the lifepool or whatever concept they fancy, and in time we return to continue the journey which is meant to purify us through endless reincarnations. The goal is to leave the drudgery of this reality for a higher one, ultimately to be refined into divinity to exist forever in Heaven, Nirvana, etc.

The Korvax view is a funny flip of this coin. Like the eastern people. they live, they die, they do so happily so they may return to their own lifepool and impart what they learned. In contrast from what I understand, to them, the universe is as important as it is in the west. It is a real, discrete thing. The point of life is to make discoveries of truth and information. Information is what matters; truth, facts, and conveying it back to the Convergence to complete its understanding of it All. All that other stuff has to do with those silly organics, distractions and emotional nonsense which get in the way of intellectual pursuit of the Truth. Truth and Knowledge are what is sacred in this realm. Religion and Science are just different forms of the same thing, like a pair of gloves.

I wish I could talk to Nada and see what he would confess of his pursuits, his ambitions. Why he departed the Convergence. What he hoped to find. I wonder if I could convince him that I am his friend, and would do all I could to support his goals.


#5

The conclusions drawn from the Abandoned facility monologues are fascinating. It makes it clear that the Traveller is perceiving a foreign or unknown lifeform within itself, and doesn’t know how to feel about that.

It reminds me of someone having obsessive thoughts, and ultimately leads to the fact that the Traveller doesn’t know what he or she is – which goes very well with the idea that our identity is unknown within the game. Is the Traveller indistiguishable from Atlas? The Traveller does report on having a crimsom orb haunting it: ”I cannot comprehend how it tracks my spoor from world to world. Or is it that I am following it?”

The Traveller also reports on not having removed its exosuit in several ”cycles” - where the word ”cycles” is a reference to passage of time of course. Moreover, it is a reference to periodicity. Since we are space travellers, there is no obvious reference to time within the game (we have the ”Sol” concept, which basically compares planet-time with earth-time, but planetary physics is sort of limited in the game). So does the word cycle refer to a rebooting of the simulation? Maybe a new loop within a regressive system? This does allude to the time-travel aspect that Elizabeth Leighton have been postulated to be stuck in.

Then we have ”the experiment”, which aims at understanding where Sentinels come from. And this for me is the biggest hint of a hierarchy within the lore. It could look something like this: There is the larger theater/universe in which Atlas is (one of?) the major players, and then within that universe we have several different PCs and NPCs that are seemingly acting out of free will, even though they, as viewed from the outside, are not – being partakers of a simulation. The fact that someone wants to understand where the Sentinels come from and what their infrastructure looks like, with this ”someone” being a Traveller, does point to the fact that Travellers are inserted into the simulation and left to act on their own. They are given freedom to investigate and explore, thus helping Atlas to understand its own creation.

So, there seems to be no way around it: We are stuck with the question WHY – Why does Atlas have a need of understanding itself?

Does the question point to something having gone wrong with the original simulation? Maybe the simulation overtook the reality it was set in, and lured or trapped its creators – Elizabeth being one of them - somewhere within the simulated universe? I’m seeing the physical body of Elizabeth being in a cryo-pod somewhere, with her consciousness ”trapped” in a Matrix-like environment. However, it is not hard to argue for the ”Elizabeth is trapped” scenario, since it is clearly stated within the monologue.

In Part 12, it says that untested dimensional-warping was used against us, and forcefully merging ”our flesh” with the tech of the sentinels, i.e. creating an organic-artificial hybrid. A hybrid that very well might be the Korvax. Are the Korvax then emerging from those previous travellers that did these experiments with the Sentinels?

Artifacts left behind in the universe point to an ancient civilization far superior than any other we see in the universe today. This is a common sci-fi setup, in which the protagonists are left to solve present-day problems or evil and advanced plots, by using the mystique or powers of the ancients.

However, there is also another advanced or intelligent life-form being described toward the latter half of the monologue (talking about merging crystals of glass with ”flesh”). This could also refer to the Korvax – or maybe it’s a parallel description to the one described here above?

Regardless of which, the Travellers do obtain knowledge of the greater scheme (the Atlas) as the creator or holder of knowledge that they should not have seen. The logged messages speak about the need for documenting this seen knowledge, and write it down and to sing it out loud in every language imaginable. I therefore postulate that the knowledge stones within NMS might have been made by previous Travellers who gathered knowledge of the universe before our arrival, passing on their info to us á la Protheans in Mass Effect.

It is only toward the end of these messages that we can learn about those garbled messages that can be the story of either ourselves from a distant future (in which case they serve as a warning) or a cautionary tale from someone else in a tried-and-failed scenario, informing us of pitfalls and what not to do in our oen explorations.

Actually, there are many warnings throughout WT, maybe especially in tape 9/16, sent to CobraTV. Is the computerised voice in those messages the same person as the one writing the logged entries in the Abandoned building messages? Just a thought.