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JasonHise

A Greek Myth

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STORY FRAMEWORK ---------------- A woman named Elpida is working at an archeological site at Delphi, where she discovers the top entrance to a perfectly cubic room. Falling inside the room, she finds that there are adjacent rooms, each of them also cubic, and connected with the topology of a tesseract. (See the video here for a demo of tesseract movement mechanics) Using a special key, it is possible to open the doors of each of the rooms such that instead of connecting to the adjacent tesseract rooms, the doors open to the world that each face of the tesseract is embedded within. There are eight separate worlds to explore, and a different key is needed to unlock each of them. Because the tesseract can be used to change the player's orientation, each of these worlds can be explored from six different orientations as well. Each of these worlds contains a different culture, all of which have variations on a common mythology. Elpida is driven to uncover the past event which has linked these cultures. As the game progresses, the people of the various worlds develop subtle personality changes, becoming more short sighted, power-hungry, and aggressive. At the climax of the story, Elpida becomes aware that this is being caused by a virus which was lying latent in the tesseract, but which was released into each world as its doors were unlocked. The virus attacks the higher order functions in the brain, causing people to revert to their baser instincts. To prevent any more damage from occurring, Elpida must seal the tesseract from the inside, thus trapping herself. This is where the story ends. ---------------- On the off chance that it was not immediately apparent by the end, this is based on the Pandora Myth. To develop the eight different cultures that Elpida will encounter, I would like to use different but related myths from other ancient earth cultures. Unfortunately, the only similar story I can seem to find is that of Eve in genesis. Are there other similar mythological tales that I have overlooked which could be used for inspiration?

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Viruses are contagious, once they were released into a world there would be no purpose served by sealing that world's portal or by the woman not living out the rest of her life there. If all the worlds were already infected, there would be no purpose seeing anything. Also, vaccines or natural resistances to the virus would eventually develop in worlds where it had been released. So basically, you better call the negative force some other kind of contamination because a virus makes no sense in the context of your desired ending.

For parallel myths to Pandora, hmm... There are some Native American/South American ones involving containers, containment, and continence of various kinds. The most directly relevant thing I can think of is the myth where death is not originally permanent, but due to people not following the rules death becomes permanent. It's more directly parallel to the Orpheus myth than the Pandora one, though.

Oh, I know - the European one about the woman who opens the forbidden door is very similar to the Pandora myth. The moral is a bit different though - the forbidden door, when unlocked, reveals the crimes of her husband, usually the murdered bodies of his previous wives, and once she discovers the truth the husband either kills her too, or in more positive versions he is tricked and killed and the previous wives brought back to life. That myth has a direct parallel in some Native American myths about giant killing (possibly originated by Vikings who sailed there before Colombus).

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Original post by sunandshadow
Viruses are contagious, once they were released into a world there would be no purpose served by sealing that world's portal or by the woman not living out the rest of her life there. If all the worlds were already infected, there would be no purpose seeing anything. Also, vaccines or natural resistances to the virus would eventually develop in worlds where it had been released. So basically, you better call the negative force some other kind of contamination because a virus makes no sense in the context of your desired ending.


A very valid point, though I'm not sure what evil to replace it with. I would prefer to stay within the realm of science fiction, and hence do not wish to introduce any form of 'magic' as a source of the evil. Perhaps some form of radiation?

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
For parallel myths to Pandora, hmm... There are some Native American/South American ones involving containers, containment, and continence of various kinds. The most directly relevant thing I can think of is the myth where death is not originally permanent, but due to people not following the rules death becomes permanent. It's more directly parallel to the Orpheus myth than the Pandora one, though.


I am having difficulty tracking this one down, though if the Orpheus Myth is an accurate indication it may be a bit too far removed.

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Oh, I know - the European one about the woman who opens the forbidden door is very similar to the Pandora myth. The moral is a bit different though - the forbidden door, when unlocked, reveals the crimes of her husband, usually the murdered bodies of his previous wives, and once she discovers the truth the husband either kills her too, or in more positive versions he is tricked and killed and the previous wives brought back to life. That myth has a direct parallel in some Native American myths about giant killing (possibly originated by Vikings who sailed there before Colombus).


This is quite promising... though it will need a degree of adaptation to fit the story it can definitely work. :)

Replacing the husband of the myth with a deity, the myth is transformed in an interesting way...

"Beyond this door are the failed, fallen worlds where people who have seen the true nature of god have been forced to endure his wrath. So long as the people of this world do not try to discover the true nature of god, they will be spared his fury"

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I have a comment about the baser instinct:

For humans, the baser instincts are actually quite manageable. If everyone just have their baser instincts in a natural world, they would just behavior like kids.

I think what you were describing instead, is the situation where the people are suppressed in some way, but the "virus" wiped out their conscious inhibition against their venting of the resulting aggression.

So instead of a virus, you could make it such that the people with their cubes opened become sleep deprived. For some unknown (or science fictional) reason, they start to lose sleep, and eventually, no one can think right to inhibit their suppressed aggression. At the same time, they become hallucinated and so on.

In terms of your framework, I think you are missing major connections among:

P1: The past events that links the cultures.
P2: The purpose of having the "virus" in the tesseract.
P3: Elpida needs to get trapped.

In terms of the meaning of the story, why are these events significant?

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Original post by Wai
In terms of your framework, I think you are missing major connections among:

P1: The past events that links the cultures.
P2: The purpose of having the "virus" in the tesseract.
P3: Elpida needs to get trapped.

In terms of the meaning of the story, why are these events significant?


P2 and P3 both tie this story to the Pandora myth. After releasing whatever evil is in the tesseract (aka Pandora's Box), she becomes trapped inside (the box was quickly sealed before 'hope' could escape, and Elpida is the greek name meaning hope)

P1 is a bit of a MacGuffin... an element to drive the curiosity of the main character, and also a way to slowly expose the true nature of the tesseract through the varied interpretations of the different cultures.

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The Native American myths are mentioned somewhere in Claude Levi-Strauss' Mythologiques, but I don't own a copy, I just borrowed them from the library, so I can't try to look them up. But, I'd recommend them for you to read anyway if you're interested in comparative mythology.

The main character would seem to be more akin to Pandora than hope...? The point of hope being trapped inside was that each element which was positive while contained became its negative when released. Health became illness for example. Hope remaining trapped inside prevented universal despair (which might have led to racial suicide, logical in that the box was given by gods who hated humanity and wanted it eliminated, and the box was a trap-gift intended to accomplish this).

A science fictional trope relevant to this idea of things reversing their nature might be antimatter, or reverse-chirality molecules, but I still don't think you could make it make sense scientifically. My personal opinion is that nonsensical science fiction is a hell of a lot worse than fantasy. But then, I don't like self-sacrificial, destroy/bury-the-object-that's-too-dangerous-to-exist endings, so, eh.

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Original post by sunandshadow
The Native American myths are mentioned somewhere in Claude Levi-Strauss' Mythologiques, but I don't own a copy, I just borrowed them from the library, so I can't try to look them up. But, I'd recommend them for you to read anyway if you're interested in comparative mythology.


*Makes mental note to pick this up*

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
The main character would seem to be more akin to Pandora than hope...? The point of hope being trapped inside was that each element which was positive while contained became its negative when released. Health became illness for example. Hope remaining trapped inside prevented universal despair (which might have led to racial suicide, logical in that the box was given by gods who hated humanity and wanted it eliminated, and the box was a trap-gift intended to accomplish this).


Indeed, the main character was intended to be an amalgamation of Pandora and 'Hope'. The intention here was to transform the main character from a helpless tragic figure into someone who could achieve redemption through sacrifice. This sacrifice would somehow bring hope to the world. Of course, the devil is in nailing down the details.

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
A science fictional trope relevant to this idea of things reversing their nature might be antimatter, or reverse-chirality molecules, but I still don't think you could make it make sense scientifically. My personal opinion is that nonsensical science fiction is a hell of a lot worse than fantasy. But then, I don't like self-sacrificial, destroy/bury-the-object-that's-too-dangerous-to-exist endings, so, eh.


Perhaps the answer then is to not go with a force of nature, but instead something a bit more technological? A form of grey goo would be easy to drop in here, though I'm not sure it is terribly satisfying...

Also, going back to the virus idea just temporarily... the virus would not have to come from the tesseract itself. Just exposing different ecosystems to each other could result in disaster, as when smallpox was brought by the Europeans to the Native Americans.

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