The reference to "numbness" is not fanfic. Neither is the reference to "vibrations". Both of these are clearly in the Arilou dialogue.
- I wouldn't say that the reference to "numbness" is fanfic. Your interpretation that it applies to some evolutionary process is. When I removed the statements, I believe that I moved the mention of the numbness to the Falayalaralfali to avoid some article sprawl and since I believe that those comments more directly belong in a description about the planet and not the Arilou themselves. The references in the Arilou dialogue to numbness are:
- Perhaps, in the fullness of time we will let you visit the surface of our world. There are many beauties here unmatched anywhere... the Mountain Clouds of Thought... the Tangible Wish... the Dark. Unfortunately, you are not yet... acclimated. Premature exposure to these would render you... numb.
- Hello. We are pleased to see you again. Have you any numbness yet? Good. It should be too soon for that. Too soon by far.
- If the numbness comments are going to stay here, we need to tone down the evolution speculation part of the comment. Also, I couldn't find any reference to "vibrations" in the Arilou dialogue. Where do you see it? --Fyzixfighter 11:22, 2 Nov 2005 (CET)
I'm a murderer
I killed a lot of the content in "Theories" because, frankly, it was disorganized and kind of confusing, and I might be calling the kettle black here but I didn't see much support for it in canon. The idea of the Arilou being a far-future evolved version of humanity I can swallow and it's in fact quite elegant and compelling. Extrapolating from this that the Orz are some sort of far-future rival to the Arilou, or an alternate-universe version of a different humanity, or a far-future version of the Androsynth, or whatever the writer of "Theories" was trying to say is really unwarranted.
In general I'm not a fan of the idea of a "Theories" section. If a speculation is appropriate it goes at the end of the relevant section of the main article to flesh out the reader's understanding of the possibilities that surround that topic and the implications people are drawing from it. If it's not clearly appropriate for that reason -- if it's "Wouldn't it be cool" daydreaming -- then it belongs in a thread on the forums and will probably be more fun there, as there'll be a more structured way for people to discuss it and reply to it.
Since there's a *lot* of interesting and relevant speculation attached to the Arilou I've tried to integrate most of it into the article body. But a divorced "theories" section is unnecessary and, I think, destructive. If there's a whole topic that's primarily speculation then it should be "Theories about the Arilou/Human connection" or "Theories about the Androsynth disappearance" and go in the proper categorization.
Great work on the first contact section. A few things with it didn't sit right with me, though.
"The Human governments searched their ancient archives and found the resemblance too close to be coincidental..."
- I don't remember this level of detail being given in the game. Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds like a bit of extrapolation.
"It was on the moon's surface where Human and Chenjesu delegates met the Arilou La'leelay..."
- Another detail I'm not recalling. Sounds feasible, though.
- This is mentioned in the SC1 and SC2 manuals.
"No other race had made contact with the Arilou before the beginning of the First War..."
- Not so sure about the veritablilty of this statement. How about the Umgah, or even the Thraddash?
- True. Okay, no *Alliance* race had made contact with the Arilou before the First War.
-Fadookie 07:28, 25 Nov 2004 (CET)
The most annoying thing about many of these entries is that in a misguided attempt to be objective they present things as "up for debate" that aren't legitimately up for debate. "Arilou La'Leelay" is explicitly stated in the game to be a Celtic name, given to the Arilou by the "children of the Celts".
Go ahead and make any changes you feel are appropriate. I haven't played through the game since over seven years ago; sometimes I can't remember what was stated as fact and what was conjecture.
I probably will soon enough when I've got time, but I want to note that this article needs a full rewrite; numerous things about it are factually wrong. The Arilou do *not* militarily defend the area around the natural QS portal; they act utterly pacifistic and refuse to engage you in combat even if you goad them repeatedly. They also don't seem to "jealously guard" this secret, since the Spathi, Melnorme et al. discover it without trouble -- just none of them have the guts to enter the Portal.
No evidence that the Arilou care at all about the Androsynth or the Syreen. The Arilou actually directly *abandon* the Syreen to be defeated after the slave-shielding of Earth -- they don't stick around at all to see what happens to the Syreen. And though they're fully aware of what happened to the Androsynth there's no evidence they intervened to help them, nor do they ever claim that they did so; they just use that as a reason to warn *you* not to mess with DF. They come off as incredibly Human-centric. (On the other hand, the game *does* mention that they tampered with the development of the Thraddash, although purely for fun.)
Leaving aside magic sci-fi technology, "crossbreeding the two species" would not guarantee that they would remain that genetically similar over time; parapatric speciation does occur and, in fact, is inevitable when you have a strong bottleneck like that between two separated groups of a main species. The only plausible non-magic explanation is that the two subspecies were separated in very recent evolutionary time (which makes sense, since the story only really needs to start with the dawn of Human history, about 10,000 years ago).
- Given the strong resemblance between humans and other Earth apes, it seems really unlikely that humans could be transplants from off Earth. However, there is conveniently no way to check that the Syreen are really native to Syra... 220.127.116.11 03:40, 20 March 2007 (CET)
Finally, I think I'm cutting out this stuff about Falayaliralfali looking like Earth, since in this screenshot:
the resemblance is very superficial. For one thing, Falayaliralfali's continents don't match Earth's continents' shape. For another, the continents are purple.
- The Arilou homeworld appears to be a water world, so perhaps the line in question could be changed to reflect that. Still though, it appears to be very earth-like, and even has what appears to be a small, gray moon. -Fadookie 05:52, 23 Nov 2004 (CET)
- The moon is the most convincing part in real life -- such a moon is a lot less likely than one might think -- but in the SC2 universe we see plenty of worlds with moons, including water worlds IIRC. Other than that Falayalaralfali just being a water world isn't much of a coincidence. There are plenty of water worlds in the game, and water worlds are one of the few types of worlds on which one could reasonably expect to find life, especially enough diversity of life to allow a species to evolve to sentience (and look anything like a human being at all). If they'd wanted it to be eerily reminiscent of Earth, they probably would've at least drawn the continents in green and brown, and made them closer to Earth's continents in size and shape. The planet looks like Earthsea; it looks like Earthsea; large islands about the size of Australia but nothing like what we'd count a continent.
Where is the Arilou messing with the Thraddash for fun mentioned? I can't find it. -- SvdB 21:36, 23 Nov 2004 (CET)
- Ask Commander Hayes about other alien races who weren't in the War. He mentions the Pkunk and the Zoq-Fot-Pik: "The Chenjesu implied that they had met at least 2 other starfaring species: one near the Giclas constellation, and the other directly coreward from Procyon." He then mentions the Thraddash: "The Ariloulaleelay once mentioned having 'some fun' with an alien race in Draconis but like so much else with the Arilou, they never revealed the whole story."
What warrants the dubious tag
Val, since you placed the tag, would you mind identifying here on the talk page which parts look dubious? I know this article has been the focus of some editors' pet theories, so I don't doubt there are fanfic parts embedded. But every once in awhile I'm surprised be something that turns out to be canon. So give us a list of what you see, we can then either add to it, double-check the canon to see where the items may come from, and possibly allow the original editor to address it here without getting into an edit war. Thanks. --Fyzixfighter 20:40, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
- Just fixing the problems is simpler than first listing them and then fixing them, but if you think it's necessary, I'll do it. Tomorrow. Valaggar 20:55, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
- Well, I say this since you have a propensity for riding roughshod when making drastic actions and occasionally illiciting strong emotions in others when you do so. You're also occasionally wrong, and sometimes it takes awhile to show you this. I'd rather discuss then fix, rather then have you "fix", some other editor revert, you attempt to "fix", and then maybe start up discussion. Being bold is good, but also remember that this is a community effort. Discussion followed by editing can also lead to a more nuanced modification of the material if it appears it is related to canon rather than hacking away anything you don't recognize. In the words of my father, "Do it right the first time" and "Measure twice, cut once". --Fyzixfighter 21:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
- Yeah, of course. I'll be here in a few *pieces*. Valaggar 08:27, 14 October 2007 (CEST)
- Tamam. Here's the list:
- 1. 'Skin [...] with a hue that ranges from pale gray to green' — Yes, real-life alien abduction witnesses show mostly gray aliens, but nothing implies that the memories of the witnesses (in-SC-universe) were so reliable as to accurately show the colour of the aliens' skin in such stressful conditions (and, after all, other forms of aliens were reported, such as reptilian aliens or Nordic aliens or the Men In Black).
- 2. 'Their eyes appear to contain a tapetum lucidum over the retina (like Earth cats, or the Syreen)— the resulting internal reflections cause their eyes to appear to glow in dim light.' — yes, appears to contain, but wouldn't it be better to say "their eyes appear to be very bright, though a reliable source (SC2 manual, p. 63) asserts that they are naturally dark, implying that they are very reflective" (or something similar)? And nothing implies that whatever makes the Syreen's eye to glow is a structure similar to the one present in the Arilou's eyes.
- 3. 'Many, especially Humans, found this (that the Arilou communicated telepathically) unnerving because in most communications, they would appear completely motionless and wearing an enigmatic smile.' — Not sure if we have statistics. Yes, it's quite obvious that the Humans would be pissed by that... but then, isn't mentioning this quite superfluous?
- 4. 'They would also remain nearly motionless while piloting their ships, manipulating the controls using psychokinesis' — ??? Again, neither the SC1 nor the SC2 manuals' descriptions of the Arilou don't say that (though of course there might be some piece of info somewhere there, even though searching for "psychokinesis" or "telekinesis" yielded no results), and no, the Melee captain image doesn't imply it. Also the Utwig captain image seems to imply that they control the ship telepathically, since they don't move, but maybe they radio orders to the crew, or maybe the captain isn't responsible with piloting, or maybe they have a console under the robe. In the Arilou case, maybe they just playfully move their arms according the the ship's movements, or maybe they do this and also have a console in their hands with which they control the ship's movements, or maybe they have a sensor that detects their hand/leg motions and gives the appropriate command to the ship etc.. And yes, they do emit four weird-looking white jet-like things from their heads when they teleport, but maybe that's psychic *sliding*, or steam, or telepathy (not psychokinesis).
- 5. 'This is only a description of the Arilou's visible, physical forms, and the Arilou themselves repeatedly implied that their true nature was more "solid" and "real" than physical matter. This seems to indicate that, like Human conceptions of faeries or gods, they are creatures who are at least partly composed of a spiritual or noncorporeal matter outside of their physical bodies.' — "More solid" doesn't imply that they are spiritual beings. The Arilou use "solid" when telling The Captain that he's not solid enough to touch the *Nnngn*, but "solid" might mean, for instance, "solid in the context of HyperSpace" — that is, TrueSpace beings are like ghosts to HyperSpace entities - just like They were for TrueSpace beings. And the Arilou don't say that they are more "real" than physical matter. Also, just because they believe that death is merely a discorporation, doesn't mean they're right.
- 6. 'They claimed to lack the limitation of a typical biological lifespan, and the Arilou representatives who spoke to The Captain claimed to have personally participated in events many centuries ago. Their civilization as a whole is certainly very old, extending back hundreds of millennia and aware of events that took place in the time of the Sentient Milieu.' — They certainly didn't claim it directly. Yes, they talked about events in the age of the Celts, then skipped to the present by saying "More recently, we were part of the Alliance of Free Stars", but nothing implies that "we" doesn't merely refer to their species. Or maybe they are capable of time travel (or *time* travel). Though yes, it is true that they live much more than Humans: "I imagine you humans are still very short lived. How sad.". As for the age of their species - they know about the events in the age of the Milieu, yes, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they have also lived then.
- 7. 'Objects like the *Nnngn* or features of Falayalaralfali they referred to as the "Singing Mountains of Thought" or "The Tangible Wish" appear to be similar entities that exist at a higher level or spirit level with which they can interact.' — Here the only thing I disagree with is the term "spirit level". Why "spirit" and not merely "extradimensional"?
- 8. 'The perception of Arilou as long-lived is distorted by their claim to not naturally perceive time sequentially as Humans do, and take some effort to order their perceptions of events into a coherent history.' — Not quite. They sometimes, intentionally or not, "forget" certain things (due to the fact that "[the Arilou's]... context, is infinitely broader than [the Humans'] in scope, both in space and *time*." — where "*time*" is a best-fit and as such isn't necessarily related to time), which aren't exactly related to time, but normally they order events very easily and naturally. And they certainly don't claim that they have a distorted perception of time.
- 9. 'They appear able to directly perceive future events psionically and perceive several possible timelines at once, seeing which events are necessary to shift the mass of probabilities toward one outcome or another. They seem to perceive this as a quality attached to certain individuals who make certain signficant choices; this is eerily similar to the perceptions the Utwig claim to receive from the Ultron and lends credence to the Utwig concept of "destiny".' — I suppose this is based on "This matter must be resolved, or many event strands will grow... more complicated. Your presence is required."? That sounds, to me, just like a fancy way of saying "The consequences of you leaving would be grave." Still speculation, nonetheless.
- 10. 'They have never been directly observed doing this and certainly did not use this ability to any effect during the war, perhaps because it involves some form of astral or spirit projection rather than physical travel, though they claim to be able to touch and affect physical objects while traveling this way.' — Let's keep speculation for the forums. "perhaps because" and everything that follows it might be better off removed. And no one says that the Arilou didn't use that during the War, actually. Or maybe they didn't use it because "That would require a degree of involvement in this *time* which is not presently permissible."
- 11. 'Though they might therefore seem to be entirely rational, they nonetheless admit that their core driving motivations and worldview are irrational and, in fact, involuntary, and claim that their basic nature as living things somehow drove them to formulate and implement their grand plan involving Humanity.' — I suppose this is based on their answer, "What gives you the right to move, the right to fall? Some acts are motivated, others are automatic. Do not presume that you can decide which is which for anyone but yourself or you will be... disappointed." to the question "What gives your people the right to interfere with mine?"? Their answers seems, to me, more like a cryptic way of saying "Maybe we have a reason, maybe not, but we're not telling! :P"
- 12. 'However, the small and lightly-armed Arilou fleet took heavy casualties during the course of the war, as they were primarily engaged in the main fighting on the Coreward Front defending Human space.' — Yes, they took heavy casualties ("Too many shipmates were forcibly... discorporated.. in the last conflict.") but where does it say that they were busy defending Sol et co. more than other regions?
- 13. 'The cowardice and treachery of the Arilou are still cursed by the Syreen to this day.' — "Cursed"? Maybe that's a little too exaggerated. From Talana: "The Arilou, those creepy little weasels, just plain bugged out -- vanished".
- 14. 'The Arilou give many hints that their degree of knowledge and control [about the Dreadnought wreck] was far greater than they let The Captain know, and some suspect that they engineered this wreck as well as other events within the war on humanity's behalf, including their fortuitous meeting with The Captain in the first place.' — Simply wrong. And the Arilou actually claim that they are happy that the Humans are slave-shielded, since this is a good protection.
- 15. 'It was at around the time of this battle that the Arilou finally reenter TrueSpace contact with the Alliance races, as a flotilla of four Skiffs materializes at the Earth Starbase.' — An editor's note says that this is in the 3DO ending. It's not. (By the way, and not really related, that ending is full of discrepancies with SC and the real world - entering HyperSpace from just next to Earth, hyperfast clouds that hover above the slave-shield...)
- 16. 'The Arilou seem to imply that this [the attack of Them] is a direct result of their not protecting the Androsynth;' — No, they do not. They say that it was a result of the Androsynth "showing themselves" on their own will, as a sort of "workaround" to the Arilou's protection (which is related to *smell*): "They would like to find you, but they are blind to your presence... unless you show yourselves. The Androsynth showed themselves, and something noticed them. There are no more Androsynth now. Only Orz."
- 17. 'The Arilou kept up a continuing program of steering Human cultural development while subtly tweaking Human physiology through periodic interventions, modifying the Human genome through genetic engineering and selective breeding' — Where does it say exactly that they tweaked the Humans' culture and physiology and that they used selective breeding?'
- 18. 'We can surmise Arilou intervention at the very least had the goal of preventing a nuclear holocaust, while most likely was also meant to prepare Humans for the inevitable first contact.' — We can surmise. But we can't also write it in the Ultronomicon.
- 19. 'Apparently the UFO craze itself was part of the effect the Arilou wished to have on Human society.' — See 18.
- 20. 'Their purpose in this war was first and foremost to prevent the wholesale destruction of Humanity; they appeared to be unprepared for the eventuality of Human conflict with the Hierarchy and uncertain of the Humans' fate should they face defeat.' — Sounds like blatant speculation again.
- 21. 'The Captain, intriguingly, was more than simply chosen by the Arilou; the Arilou appear to have watched him from birth. The Arilou claimed to have traveled repeatedly to the Unzervalt colony during the interregnum between the two wars, overseeing the Humans' progress repairing the Precursor shipyard and building The Flagship. At that time the Arilou also began observing The Captain: Many claim that, far from merely assisting the New Alliance in its initial stages, the Arilou were responsible for its existence and the beginning of the resistance movement in the first place, as the strange chance of a Human child being born with a natural affinity for ancient, complex Precursor computer equipment may be the result of Arilou tinkering.' — The part with the Arilou visiting Unzervalt and The Captain being very computer-savvy is true... but the rest is blatant speculation all over again, now in blue.
- 22. 'This is, of course, unconfirmed, but the Arilou maintained a deep fascination with the young boy who would become The Captain. They referred to him as the "focus" of the conflict and said that they were purposely putting the responsibility of saving Humanity and all other sentient life from the Kohr-Ah on his shoulders, in striking similarity to the way The Captain was viewed by the Utwig Ultron-worshippers. They also kept covert observation on him during all his efforts to defeat the Ur-Quan; one Arilou captain once inadvertently referred to his habit of somehow invisibly penetrating The Flagship to monitor The Captain as he slept.' — Ahhh... Again, the only part confirmed as true is that the Arilou said "Our cooperation is not necessary. You are the focus." and that the sentence is similar to the Utwig ("Ultron-worshippers"? Sounds strange.) quote "YOU are the solution! Only YOU may halt the Kohr-Ah's seemingly inevitable advance upon life.", though I don't think that this is worth mentioning, as it sounds a bit forced. Also, it's true that one Arilou captain visited The Captain as he slept (but not necessarily for the purpose of examining him).
- 23. 'Intriguingly they often speak of Humans attaining a similar state to that of the Arilou, claiming that given time to evolve and develop Humans will eventually attain the same quasi-supernatural status, able to live very long lifespans, perceive the invisible and share fully in the Arilou's technology. The implication is that Humans may become the Arilou's peers and companions, or, as one popular theory has it, the Arilou's "heirs" as the Arilou pass away.
An even bolder theory takes note of the Arilou's frequent use of an untranslated term that the Precursor's powerful translating computers rendered in English as "time" to describe dimensional spaces such as QuasiSpace. If the interface between dimensional spaces bears some special relationship to what we understand as time, then the interaction between Arilou from QuasiSpace with Humans may be a nonlinear causal loop; the Arilou may be a far-future, evolved version of Humanity causing their own existence by creating and manipulating their own ancestors.2 This theory is, while seemingly implausible, consistent with much of the observed evidence, but it bears disturbing implications and is still unaccepted by most. ' — Again, speculation, and not one too firmly rooted in what we know.
- 24. 'the planet Syra being the template for the Eden stories in many human religions (as was hinted at by the Syreen), but without further information from the Arilou we can do no more than speculate.' — That's just ridiculous. Talana refers to Syra as their Eden three times, when she's caught by nostalgia, but this isn't any more evidence that Syra is the model of Earthling legends about the Eden than the fact that the pink triangle on the Androsynth's suits is a gay symbol is evidence that they're homosexual.
- 25. 'One need only look at the extremely distorted, counterintuitive and maladaptive social mechanisms employed in Thraddash society to find it likely that their cultural development was somehow artificially tampered with. The Arilou may have done this, as they say, purely for sport, or it may have been an early experiment in covert social engineering, to perfect techniques that they would later use on Human society.' — Pure unleashed Human imagination. The Umgah are badly twisted as well, and they're near the Arilou. The Ilwrath are quite close to Arilou space, and the Pkunk claim that they were once good. The Utwig are depressed without the Ultron, and their planet is a letter away from the name of the Faz (just like there's a Spathi named "Pkunky", and a VUX named "ORZ"), but this doesn't imply that their personality was affected by staying under a slave-shield for so long. The Melnorme can be interpreted as being schizophrenic, and they were slaves to the Dnyarri, but this doesn't mean that we can automatically infer that they were traumatized and this lead to schizophrenia.
- 26. 'It may be that many of the biological techniques used on the Humans by the Arilou were at some point learned or borrowed from the Umgah; the Umgah certainly seem accomodating to the Arilou's desires and would most likely find the large-scale manipulation of Humans to be a wildly funny joke.' — It may be that Frungy is also borrowed from the Umgah. Yup. Besides, it's silly to assume that the Arilou would tell the Umgah what they are doing with the Humans, or even that they are doing something with them at all.
- Also, it seems that the verb tense is off in multiple sections of the article, specifically the Orz section.
- Now I am waiting for you to *spit*. It is a pleasure. Valaggar 13:47, 14 October 2007 (CEST)
(unindenting) See, that wasn't too hard. I think you've hid on a lot of truly fanfic points, the ones that bother me the most are the "spirit" ones. I think the the anon 130... editor (Art) is probably the source of many of these detailed extrapolations and reading between the lines. Some of these may have come about in an effort to compromise with him. Let's see if I can throw my feeling on these:
- Skin hue : I'd be fine with trimming it a bit. The skin is always described as pale in the literature, and is always some shade of green in the images. Hayes makes one comment about the abductees' descriptions of the aliens as having white skin, so it might be able to work that in somehow with how diverging from canon.
- Eyes : I'd say lose the biological explanation and simply say the eyes are dark, but have been described as (Hayes on abductees' description) and observed to be "glowing" or "luminescent".
- Pissed humans : I'd say lose the sentence entirely, only keeping some comment on their smile. The only canon reference to something like this may be the Syreen calling them "creepy weasels", but that might be a general impression and not due to their ventriloquism.
- Psychokinesis : I'd probably trim that down, making it clear as speculation along the lines that they appear to use their psionic abilities when engaging their hyperdrive shunt (the white squiggly lines). Extrapolating that to controlling entirely by telekinesis seems a bit much given some of the other captain animations, but maybe we're missing something in the canon.
- "Solid" : this seems based solely on the *nnngn* comment and the "discorporation" comment. The whole sentence could be trimmed down to relate more to that first comment.
- lifespan : kill the first sentence entirely, keep the second slightly modified - we know their civ is quite old.
- spirit level : take out both phrases and say that they exist as part of a reality with which only the Arilou appear able to interact, or something like that.
- perceive time : I'd say turn this sentence around to focus on their perception of time and events (hopefully it stills works with the following sentences). That allows us to bring in the "event strands" comment, and use that wonderful "context" quote.
- predict the future : mesh with above
- astral projection : agree whole heartedly, and would say to work in the quote you found somehow.
Let me pause now for station identification (Sundays are rather busy for me so please be patient). I'd say go ahead and take a whack at these, trying to still incorporate the original idea, but staying closer to the original canon without delving too far into the fan speculation. Cheers. --Fyzixfighter 02:25, 15 October 2007 (CEST)