Talk:Talking Pet (device)

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You're a good story teller, but this is supposed to be an encyclopedic entry; you shouldn't fill up the holes with your own assumptions.

"speculation exists that the Umgah gengineers' work enhanced the creature's psychic range and sensitivity far beyond that of its Dnyarri ancestors". I've never heard anyone speculate that before now. A bit weak to be included imho, but at least you're not presenting it as a fact. "allowing it to implant and maintain post-hypnotic suggestions". What makes you conclude that the Talking pet uses post-hypnotic suggestions?

Basically, we're told that Dnyarri were assigned one to a planet, yet the neo-Dnyarri maintains control over several systems' worth of planets all by itself. But that it doesn't do this by direct control over everything in that area, given that you can fly through the area without being compelled till you reach the homeworld. And when it does compel you to -SEEK DEATH AT THE HANDS OF YOUR ENEMY- you remain compelled all the way out to Ur-Quan space, the definition of a post-hypnotic suggestion if I ever saw one.

It's not the "suggestion" I object to, it's the "hypnotic".

While we don't receive direct evidence that this is a new behavior, it's certainly never mentioned in the discussions of the original Dnyarri, and the fact that the guy we meet is almost always referred to as a "Talking Pet" or "neo-Dnyarri" rather than just "Dnyarri" seems to indicate that the other races know that it's different from the original Dnyarri.
New does not necessarilly mean different. But even if they are different, that does not mean that they are different in this specific way.

"the Dnyarri's powerful instinct of self-preservation gave it enough strength to protect itself even with the Shield active". Again, totally out of thin air. All we know is that it escaped, if we can trust the ending sequence. Not how. It might have help from a crew mate feeling sorry, or it may have just hopped aboard the escape pod while noone was looking.

Actually, I don't think the Dnyarri was meant to have survived the explosion of the Vindicator. I'm referring here to the fact that the Talking Pet won't let you kill it, and if you try to refuse to agree with its plan it actually *forces* you to do so.
Ok, then it's more plausible. Still, all that we *know* is that it managed to psychically convince the captain not to kill it. Why not say that? Why do instinct or self-preservation have to be thrown in?

"Zelnick's own sense of self-preservation and deep loathing of the idea of psychic compulsion kept the neo-Dnyarri from gaining enough control over him". Where did that come from?

Enh, it seems the most sensible explanation for how the neo-Dnyarri's powers can be so powerful the one minute (keeping you from killing it, forcing you to bring it on the ship) and so weak the next (unable to get you to turn off a simple switch). But yeah, that's unnecessary.

"all the while in the back of his mind seeking a way to betray and destroy it before it could escape and conquer the galaxy". First of all, the captain never agreed to anything. Second, you do not know whether finding a way to betray and destroy it was in the back of his mind all the time. It may have been an afterthought. Or he may have decided on it early on and never gave it another thought until it was time.

Yes, he did agree, at least implicitly (even though his agreement was coerced); at the very least he *hears* the Dnyarri's plan and decides to go along with it. You can't win unless you actually contact the Dnyarri and tell it to activate its psychic powers at the Sa-Matra; you can't just ignore it. I'd be very, very surprised if finding a way to get rid of the Dnyarri was an "afterthought"; he'd have to be very stupid, given everything he's learned about the Dnyarri, not to have plan after plan for killing the bastard as soon as he met the thing. I actually think the "he decided at some early point and never thought about it again" theory is most likely, but that is one possible interpretation of "in the back of his mind"; I've changed it nonetheless.

"even through the Taalo Shield's influence". It seems to me that the Taalo shield affected the physic susceptibility of people, not the psychic powers of the Dnyarri itself. And besides, the Shield may have been turned off for a while while the Dnyarri did its thing (possibly set on a timer that would automatically reenable it).

No, that's inconsistent with the way the Shield is described as working on Ensigns Hodgkins and Witherspoon; it interferes with the psychics' own brains and somehow negates the "psychon interaction" that they have with the external world. That's why it gives the psychics headaches and mental disruption (and the neo-Dnyarri tells you that the Shield "gives me a headache".) Otherwise while the Dnyarri was inside the Shield's power it'd be able to "reach out" to something beyond the Shield's range and control that, since we know the Dnyarri's range is prodigious.
Good points.
And we're definitely given no evidence that the Shield was deactivated for a timed interval, or that a device to do this was eer installed on the Shield.
Absence of evidence is not equal to evidence of absence. As long as there is a reasonable possibility for an alternative, no explanation should be presented as fact.
Indeed, were the Shield inactive and the Dnyarri at full power, it could directly *command* the Ur-Quan rather than just confusing and distracting them. More importantly, it could directly command the whole crew to jettison the Shield out the airlock, something that would *definitely* be at the top of its priority list. Anyway, the Dnyarri never tells you that you need to set the Shield to blink off for a certain period of time for the plan to work; instead it just tells you that it will only be physically capable of maintaining its distraction for a set period of time, and it seems pretty clear that it's the one telling *you* that this is a limitation of *its* abilities (while the Shield is on) rather than a limitation set by the *your* own decision for how long it's safe to set the "off" timer.
Confusing and distracting an an entire fleet of dedicated Ur-Quan seems like a rather big task. I do not want to assume that the Dnyarri could do that with the shield on.
I find it rather strange that one Dnyarri could command an entire fleet of dedicated Ur-Quan, but not a single human very close by on the same ship, while the shield is on.
But I don't want to go into this any further. The point isn't whether the shield was on or off. The point is that it could have been off, and hence it shouldn't be presented as a fact that it was on.
(Would you really do that? The Dnyarri keeps pushing you to turn the Shield off; how hard would it be for it to get you to accidentally set the timer a bit too long, long enough to get you to throw the Shield into a furnace?)
Whether I would do that is irrelevant. But if it's the only chance to save humanity, I wouldn't find it strange that the Captain would take a chance here. Especially considering that the Dnyarri wants revenge against the Ur-Quan.
Given that we have clear evidence that the Dnyarri's powers do work just fine, if on an incredibly weakened level, while the Shield is on, there's no need to multiply entities here. The Dnyarri needs to gather up all its strength to do something as simple as move the Ur-Quan a few km to the side, because that's all it *can* do with the Shield on. The Shield always stays on; the game makes it pretty darn clear that ever messing with the Shield is the stupidest damn thing the Captain could ever do, and hence you constantly see the Shield in your cargo bay with its reassuring "on" glow.
You see the "on" glow even before you know what it is. And there is no reason to assume that instructing an Ur-Quan to move aside is any more difficult than instructing it to do something extremely complicated.
As for multiplying entities, I don't quite understand what you're refering to. And this better not be a reference to Occam's razor, because as far as I can see it is completely inapplicable here.

"Luckily, Zelnick's cleverness and willpower allowed him to confuse his own conscious intentions about the plans for this battle even to himself. Shrouding himself in a cloud of fear, anxiety, and other emotions, he was able to "accidentally forget" to enact any plans to bring the neo-Dnyarri with him on the escape pod before the Vindicator exploded, a fact which the neo-Dnayarri, sneering at Zelnick's scatterbrained anxiety, only realized just before its death.". Again total speculation.

  • Something* needs to explain the rather weird ending sequence in which the Dnyarri dies. The Dnyarri seems to suddenly realize that you're going to leave it on board the ship at the *very last minute*; up to that point you're all buddy-buddy, and then, while idly chattering, it suddenly blurts out, "Oh, and... I'm not coming with you. Because you've locked me in here! HELP, YOU IDIOT!" It's definitely not an "Oh, I've been had, I should've seen this coming" vibe; it's a "What the hell?" vibe. At the very least it's clear that the Captain somehow concealed his plan to leave the Dnyarri behind from the Dnyarri till the last minute, and given the Dnyarri's psychic powers, and the way the Dnyarri discovers it's being left behind as an "accident", I think it's pretty clear that the designers intended this to be some kind of Freudian slip planned unconsciously by the Captain. Though I agree that end scene could've been a lot better written to be more satisfying and make it more clear exactly what had happened; the game's writers weren't always good of making what they intended to be unambiguously clear unambiguously clear to all the players: witness the controversy over whether Orz are "evil".
I'm sure there is some explanation to explain the ending sequence. It could be your explanation, but it could be another. And because of the latter, the text shouldn't present the former as a fact.
And, though irrelevant to the subject, it seems to me that whether the Orz were good or evil was meant to be ambiguous: "we wanted the Orz to be much scarier and if you ever took them into Quasi-space with you bad things would happen. We really wanted them to creep you out so that you were never sure whether or not it was a good idea to be allied with them."

"the New Alliance forces remain watchful". Based on?

Nothing but a fanciful interpretation of the end-credits quote with the Talking Pet. I don't think the end-credits quotes are really meant to be canon (certainly the ones with the actors "playing" the Thraddash and Kohr-Ah are just jokes) but they are cute speculations on what might happen after the end of SC2, and are worth including as an alternative to including SC3 information as SC2's future.
encyclopedia texts shouldn't interpret. They should report what is known.

Also, the player can choose the captain's name. It doesn't have to be Zelnick.

Yes, but we have to call him *something*; that's the reason he has a default name in the first place, isn't it?
There's also a reason that the player has a choice at all...
Like the starship name Vindicator, or the name the New Alliance of Free Stars rather than Empire of Zelnick, or Culture 20 versus the Fat Obstreperous Jerks? It seems fairly clear that there are some possibilities within the game that the designers took a bit more seriously than others.
Anyway, I find the practice of just calling him "The Captain", as they did in Interbellum, incredibly annoying. He is an actual man with an actual name, whatever it is.
I personally don't find calling him "The Captain" annoying, but then I didn't read Interbellum. But an encyclopedia article isn't a novella. Using "The Captain" seems like the most accurate that you can get. It can be as much an identifier as a family name.