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Excess Speculation?[edit]

This is something that's been bugging me for a while now, and that I probably should have mentioned earlier: It seems that most of this article is speculation. For starters, I recall Alex stating, near the end of DD, that their only goal was reactivating the Apollo Lens and that "the methods were [theirs] to choose." The way this article is currently written sounds like the High Empyror planned every last detail. Also, and this applies to more than just this article: Where does it say that the giant airship seen in DD is the Tuaparang nation. I do recall a book in Tonfon saying that the Tuaparang "reappeared" on an airship, but that doesn't mean that the entire nation has been relocated to a flying fortress. Only that Tuaparang soldiers made their return debut aboard it.

On another note, there's also a lot of content here that has little to do with the High Empyror himself, such as Blados and Co. manipulating Matthew's party into reactivating the Alchemy Machines. Currently, this article seems to double as a plot summary for Dark Dawn, despite the fact that the High Empyror is rarely mentioned. True, he is the driving force behind the plot, but he has little direct involvement and probably shouldn't get as much credit as he recieves here. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 15:17, 6 April 2011 (CDT)

Perhaps it is the case that the article is truly only worth around two paragraphs at total right now. It's unfortunate that for the next couple years until the release of a follow-up game, the entire wiki is pretty much left in a sort of limbo on this and related subjects. How does one write comprehensively on something that is mentioned so little and yet is a central driving force to the overall game's plot? Does one rely strictly on fact and be left with a really brief page, or does one discuss all the implications and potential behind-the-scenes reasons for why things happen the way they do? With something as unexplained as this behind-the-scenes character, it seems hard to imagine that there's a "middle-ground" way we can fall back to for writing a page like this.
I suppose I should define an "ideally-written wiki" as one where any instance of something being uncertain and possibly having different meanings is specifically stated as that kind of an instance, like "It is not known whether the High Empyror has any purpose for activating the Eclipse Tower beyond causing the Apollo Lens to open up, as per what a legend about Apollo Lens states - that the apparatus can only be opened up once there is a Grave Eclipse active. The mass death caused by the Grave Eclipse may either have been specifically intended by the High Empyror or is merely considered a side effect inconsequential to his true goal to take control of the Lens." I shouldn't have assumed that the High Empyror specifically intended for killing everyone on Angara with the Eclipse, and that not shutting it down with the Apollo Lens was specifically what Alex meant by the High Emperor sending him to make sure the Apollo Lens was "used according to his plan". In truth, the player does not know what the High Empyror's plan for the use of the Lens was, only that he was planning to use it somehow.
I will admit that when I was writing this page and other content on the wiki, I somehow didn't really assume that Alex's statement about his and the Tuaparang commanders' methods to fulfill the Empyror's goal being theirs to choose was the whole truth. And I probably shouldn't have disregarded that. For all I know, a lot of the wiki's core DD plot content could be critically wrong about what it assumes and what kind of speculation it considers "okay" to allow. What makes this Tuaparang and Empyror case difficult is not only the rare amounts of text in the game devoted to explaining it, but how the actual ultimate meanings and implications of said text are clouded as well, to the point that different players can come to different conclusions. As an example of difficult-to-decipher text, I was never previously able to guess or understand what exactly is being implied and insinuated in this exchange between Alex and the duo, when the Tua Warriors jump down from the airship:
Alex: "Naturally we can't really trust each other, but I need to ask one question: are those men who came down from the airship really Tuaparang soldiers? They seem to have strange powers unlike normal Psynergy... Just like you two. You are here for the Apollo Lens, correct? What will you do with it?"
Blados: "What a good question! Chalis, what will we use it for?"
Chalis: "Oh, we can't spoil the surprise, can we?"
Alex: "Based on the trajectory, your target is Tuaparang... Or perhaps the area around Sol Sanctum... Since you have not contradicted my deductions, may we now consider Dark Psynergy an open secret?"
The many questions I had been left with: Why would it be relevant to whether the Tua Warriors are affiliated with the Tuaparang or not that the Tua Warriors (allegedly) have strange non-Psynergy-like powers similar to Blados and Chalis'? If it's not relevant, why would Alex bring that up at this point? Are the Stealthy Scouts from the beginning of the game also like Tua Warriors in that they have the capacity to use these powers, and does that make them Tuaparang soldiers or "not-really-affiliated-with-Tuaparang-soldiers" loyal specifically to Blados? We'd naturally assume that the trajectory of the Lens is at Eclipse Tower, the structure it's designed to stop, since that's what it ends up firing at when Volechek activates it, so how could the trajectory also end up encompassing both the nation of Tuaparang and the area around Sol Sanctum far to the west of Eclipse Tower? Perhaps this would be more plausible if it turns out the lens could be rotated and aimed, even though the player doesn't see any such mechanisms for that at the Apollo Lens area; this would allow for Tuaparang to apparently be actually near Sol Sanctum. This is even though the airship along with a big detachment of Tua Warriors is right above.
Many players would have logically concluded while playing the game that the Tuaparang, the nation known as the "Zenith Tribe" because they reappeared on an airship, are therefore based entirely on one colossal airship, and it's that airship that's seen over Mt. Aleph at the beginning and over Apollo Lens at the end. But what you point out really does open the plausibility that the airship at the end is not the entire nation of Tuaparang - it's probably just one of Tuaparang's ships that Blados, Chalis, and Arcanus use for themselves to carry out their campaign for the Empyror. (And, yes, looking now, the airship that flies in could only be large enough to contain about twenty people closely packed in together, based on the human-sized drop pods that drop out of its underside.) That does mean it's possible that the "real" Tuaparang Empire is apparently located near Sol Sanctum at that point in the game, therefore giving sense to Alex's not-countered-by-Blados deduction that the Lens could be targeted at either Tuaparang or Sol Sanctum by Blados and Chalis based on trajectory. But then, of course, which of the two targets are the duo planning to aim and shoot at? What possible reasons would they have for either target? Why does Alex revealing that the Tuaparang are "scions of the Umbra Clan" and potentially spilling the beans on what the duo is going to use the Lens for make the duo decide that Alex is worth eliminating, and which of those two secrets is the more sensitive secret the duo did not want revealed? And what exactly does Alex mean when he says he has determined "the truth is now [their] best weapon" before revealing these things to Matthew?
All the thought I had to go through in order to write the previous two paragraphs did make me grasp more on what probably is the case in some areas. I'm going to guess that the Empyror had the two commanders and "Arcanus" concoct and enact their own plan and carry out their own campaign to get the Eclipse Tower activated and the Apollo Lens subsequently set up and under his control. I think the assumption should be made that the whole group knew the legend that Apollo Lens only opens up while the Grave Eclipse is being projected by the activated Eclipse Tower, and therefore knew that getting that tower set up in advance was a required preliminary objective. While Blados and Chalis and the Tua Warriors working under them and accompanying them are carrying out their campaign over the course of the game as Tuaparang's agents, they are ultimately Umbra Clan Dark Adepts that conspire against the High Empyror of Tuaparang for some reason (supported by how the Empyror does not trust the duo and personally asked Alex to make sure the Lens was used according to the Empyror's plan), and these Adepts are apparently separate from the rest of the men of the Tuaparang empire (supported by how Alex points out that the men Blados and Chalis brought with them to claim the Lens are not really Tuaparang soldiers, but instead have powers similar to the Dark Adept powers the duo have by themselves). The duo and their men, flying in on an airship that may or may not be the one seen in the intro, plan to use the lens against Tuaparang and its emperor, and since it is a giant cannon of destruction, the Empyror certainly knew he and his nation would be at risk and distrusted the duo as most likely going to attempt to do this. The Empyror personally trusted Arcanus to make sure the Lens was used according to his plan rather than against him; he did not, however, anticipate that Alex would stab him in the back by letting Matthew fire the lens at Eclipse Tower, thus ending the eclipse and making the Apollo Lens be unable to be used anymore per what the legend holds. As for when Alex reveals both the secrets of Dark Adepts and what Blados and Chalis possibly intended for the Lens, the duo and their Dark Adept kin apparently considered their craft important to keep secret, because they don't counter Alex's deduction that they intended to keep that a secret by eliminating him, as well as eliminating the other ones that heard it, Matthew and Co.
Honestly, I really want all details concerning the whole Tuaparang-Empyror-Blados-Chalis-Arcanus-Apollo Lens-Eclipse Tower thing to be identified and cleared up - which details are straight statements of fact, which details are uncertain, which parts are the kind of speculation that the game itself actually seems to be encouraging the player to think about, and which parts are pure speculation without any real basis. Are there things about all I wrote here that you can point out and discuss so that more of it can be verified as either true, "good speculation", or "bad speculation", before I start rewriting many things? Thanks for reading all this. x_x Erik the Appreciator 23:29, 6 April 2011 (CDT)
O_o And I thought I could get chatty when left unchecked. Okay, first of all, I'll agree that Camelot left a lot of things unexplained/poorly explained, and there's a lot we can't know for sure until GS4 (I'm as annoyed by it as you are, but we'll just have to live with it for now -_-). I think it may be a good idea to create a sub-page somewhere - maybe the Tuaparang article would be more appropriate than here - where we can elaborate on all the implications made throughout the game. The main articles should be trimmed down to only discuss established, unarguable facts (except, perhaps, for the Umbra Clan article, since it's so heavily "shrouded" in mystery *Gets pelted by rotten tomatoes*).
What that means for this article is that we should stick to what few facts we can glean - that the High Empyror is the leader of the Tuaparang nation; that he wanted the power of Apollo Lens for his own purposes and ordered Blados, Chalis, and "Arcanus" to activate it; that he began to distrust Blados and Chalis and ordered Arcanus to make sure the Apollo Lens was used according to the Empyror's plan - followed by admitting that Dark Dawn leaves a lot of questions unanswered (and topped off with a link to the speculatory sub-article I mentioned earlier). As for your request for feedback, I'll have to get back to you on that, after I've formulated my (hopefully not-as-long) response ^_^; The World's Hungriest Paperweight 11:18, 7 April 2011 (CDT)
P.S. The talk page is now longer than the actual article. Creepy... The World's Hungriest Paperweight 11:19, 7 April 2011 (CDT)
Okay, where to begin... Well, first of all, your next-to-last paragraph sounds about right to me, although there are a couple changes I'd like to make:
1) While it's quite likely, we don't know for sure that the Tuaparang knew that the Apollo Lens could only be used during the Grave Eclipse. In fact, we don't even know for sure if that's true! All we have to support it is a bit of dialogue only found during a return-trip to Passaj (that I can't recall right now, so I don't remember how explicit it is ^_^;). Even if it is true (which I believe it is, by the way), there's always the possibility that Blados and Chalis, unaware of the GE prerequisite, only activated Eclipse Tower to provide the Umbra Clan with a powerup, justifying themselves to Alex as providing Matthew's party an incentive to activate the Apollo Lens for them.
B) We not only don't know what the High Empyror planned for the Apollo Lens, we don't know what Blados and Chalis wanted it for either. The bits about aiming at Tuaparang and Mount Aleph are speculation on Alex's part and shouldn't be taken as fact (although we should still report it). All we know for sure is that the Umbra Clan had different plans for the Apollo Lens than the Empyror had. And, of course, that they didn't want the Grave Eclipse to end.
Now, I do think that the GE requirement and Alex's theories should be included in the articles, since the former is heavily implied and the latter is just reporting an in-universe theory (like the werewolves of Garoh acquiring their Psynergy from Psynergy Stone particles carried on the winds of Air's Rock). Still, we shouldn't assume that either is entirely true. As for the other issues you brought up earlier...
Tuaparang Vs. Umbra Clan - I mentioned this earlier on another article, but I don't remember where or when, so I'll say it again here. As you mentioned, Tuaparang are described as the "scions of the Umbra Clan." I don't have access to my dictionary right now, but according to Wiktionary, scion could be interpreted as "descendant", "heir", or even "guardian".
There's obviously some link between the Umbra Clan and Tuaparang, but what exactly is that link? It's no doubt far too early to say, but we can certainly speculate. Perhaps the Umbra Clan is a faction within the Tuaparang nation that's grown tired of taking orders from the High Empyror. Perhaps they're a separate nation altogether that has had a long-standing alliance with Tuaparang. Perhaps the Umbra Clan and the Tuaparang were once the same entity, but now only a few of the Tuaparang people can use Dark Psynergy. In the end, though, all this is is speculation. For all we know, not even the High Empyror is aware of the existance of the Umbra Clan (which would further explain why Blados and Chalis wanted to keep their secret under wraps).
Plans for the Apollo Lens - Oh, wait, I already talked about that ^_^; Moving on!
Tuaparang's location - You said that "Many players would have logically concluded while playing the game that the Tuaparang...are therefore based entirely on one colossal airship." The problem is that this possibility never crossed my mind until finding it on the wiki. I played through the game and never came to this "logical conclusion". I'm not saying you're wrong, mind you; perhaps most players did come to this deduction. My problem is calling it "logical." Logic is all about taking what you know and coming to the most reasonable solution. I haven't seen enough evidence in Dark Dawn to support the "Tuaparang is the airship" theory.
As for Tuaparang being located near Mount Aleph: That hadn't crossed my mind either, but I think it's much more likely than the airship theory (it's still speculation, though). In fact, it would explain another hypothesis that recently occured to me...
Psynergy Vortexes - AKA "And now for something completely different." As you probably recall, there was a device near the Psynergy Vortex in Konpa Cave. Although we can't say for certain, it could easily be inferred that the device was creating the Vortex, and that the Tuaparang created the device. This is supported by the fact that Psy Grenades, used exclusively by the Tuaparang, are able to drain Psynergy, just like the Vortexes.
Now, let's think for a moment. Where else have we seen Psynergy Vortexes? Carver's Camp, Goma Plateau, and the Abandoned Mine in the back of the Tanglewood (which has its own darkness-based problems). It would appear that Psynergy Vortexes are only an issue for the area around Mount Aleph. If the Tuaparang nation is also located around Mount Aleph, then it's possible they're the source of all the Psynergy Vortexes, as well as the infamous Mourning Moon. Granted, this is as much speculation as anything else, but I felt it should be brought up.
P.S. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume there's a way to aim the Apollo Lens. As for why its creators would allow it to be used on anything but Eclipse Tower is anyone's guess...
P.P.S. Near the beginning of Dark Dawn, Isaac says that they suspect someone is targeting and harbors an intense hatred for the Wise One. I think we've simply been assuming that Isaac was talking about Alex, but how do we know he isn't speaking of the High Empyror or someone from the Umbra Clan? Just food for thought...
P.P.P.S. So much for my response being shorter than your post ^_^; The World's Hungriest Paperweight 12:34, 7 April 2011 (CDT)

Much of that sounds good, and it totally did not occur to me that one of the many things that technically can go either way based on known information is whether the High Empyror even knows that the Umbra Clan exists or not. And I had actually guessed yesterday that it may end up being the case that GS4 will reveal that Tuaparang being near Sol Sanctum is the cause of the giant Psynergy Vortex at the end of the game. And when I wrote the "logically" line, that wasn't really a word that suffices to completely convey what I was trying to imply - that the typical player, the kind who is only casually interested in the game while playing it, who would only think about what is stated and shown up front onscreen without thinking too much about the behind-the-scenes stuff, and who wouldn't play the game again after beating it once, would be likely to conclude that when Alex says the Tuaparang is coming and the airship flies overhead, that airship is "the Tuaparang". ...Now that was quite a sentence.

Now, the main thing I'm responding to here is whether the Passaj line about the Grave Eclipse being required for the Apollo Lens to open up should be counted as the truth. The four elders in Passaj, which Bogho introduces as knowledgeable elders that will help Matthew on what he is trying to do, have different sets of plot-and-game-direction-relevant things to say each time something happens - first, after you fire up the Alchemy Forge during the first visit, they talk about the Exathi that created the Forge, the zol the forge worked with apparently to make something that can cross the sky, the Exathi-built Ouroboros Labyrinth that the Ayuthay people apparently hold the secrets to surviving because they were once part of the Exathi that built it, the Kaocho palace built on the dungeon, and the Sol Mask hidden within the dungeon.

The next time the elders have wisdom to share is after the Forge gets the Sol Mask but the zol clouds aren't strong enough and you need the Ice Queen Stone. They talk about how strengthening the clouds with the power of a blue gemstone that a sleeping queen's power must be imbued into could help people cross to Craggy Peak, and that the power we're talking about here grants the capacity for fire to be forged into ice, which is how the clouds are actually bolstered. They say there is a story of a demonic queen that was once trapped within a prison of blue, waiting for a foolish man to free her. And they talk about how the actual sparkling stone was in Passaj for ages until someone took it years ago. Perhaps unfortunately, though, the elders only have these same stories to share even after you transform Passaj and have the opportunity to step on the cloud platform that will take you to Craggy Peak and the next part of the game.

The reason I went into such detail just now about all the stuff the elders say in the earlier parts of the game is that I wanted to show that everything about what they say, both specific and vague and even somewhat speculative on the elder's parts, end up entirely true, and their statements guide the player into understanding the plot and the objectives of their quest at those points in the game. Some of these little tidbits are actually not even stated this way within the mandatory cutscenes that happen at Passaj. This leads me to believe that the elders here are almost like an in-game means the developers of the game employ to tell the player what is really going on, sort of like Word of God and all that. Since what they know and even what they partially speculate is so fully accurate, it is as though the developers intend players to assume that all the stuff they would say, like what they say late in the game is also made purely out of pieces of the truth.

The last time the elders have wisdom on the plot is, of course, when Passaj may be revisited late game and it is obviously relevant for Passaj's keepers of lore to bring up whatever legends and ancient accounts have to say about the Grave Eclipse (since there's a new and very real Grave Eclipse going on which already killed at least one of Passaj's residents). The first three elders this time talk about how the Apollo Lens was used by the Jenei to create a powerful spear of light to stop the Grave Eclipse of ancient times, that it is an ancient Alchemy Machine that amplified light many times over in order to create this powerful ray, that it was so powerful that it was hid somewhere high in the mountains, and that this ray can be aimed at a target. O_O; Well! I suppose that clears the aiming issue up - the game says for you through the elders in this scene that it can be aimed.

And so we come to the heart of the current case, where the elder on the far right ponders the one way to end the Grave Eclipse: "There is an Alchemy Machine called the Apollo Lens hidden in Angara. Legend says it will open up only when the Grave Eclipse occurs." All I'm going to say about this line is that, based on what I established above, and therefore based on how the assumption that this is a true statement ends up making this the only information players have to make critical sense of much of the endgame plot with, there really is no reason why the developers would go out of their way to put that line there if not to guide players through an otherwise highly cryptic series of statements and events before and after the final boss. Erik the Appreciator 23:26, 7 April 2011 (CDT)

You probably could have trimmed most of that post out and just provided the quote. I had simply forgotten it was as explicit as it is ^_^; (And I'm willing to admit when I was wrong.) Although, now that we're on the subject, the elder only says that the Apollo Lens opens during the Grave Eclipse, not that it automatically closes when the Eclipse ends. Considering the lengths the antagonists go to prevent Matthew and co. from firing the Lens, I think we can safely assume it does shut down afterwards, but we can't be 100% certain (I'd say 95%, if not a bit more).
Anyways, I think we should get back to the main point: What to do about all these speculatory elements. You originally said that you don't see any middle ground between only stating the facts and going into detail on all the potential implications. I think my earlier "sub-page for speculation" idea may be a kind of middle ground that should at least serve us until GS4. Anything we can't say with near-100% confidence can be put on the sub-page while the main articles would stick to the facts, then provide a link to the sub-page so readers can view the related "we're not entirely sure, but" stuff. What do you think? The World's Hungriest Paperweight 09:19, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Dedicating a subpage to the speculative parts of a main article is a strange and creative idea which I would be willing to try out if it's you that's the one proposing it. Though I wonder now if "/Speculation" or "/Speculations" or something else would be the best title for the subpage... Erik the Appreciator 11:46, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Or we could get unneccessarily complex and call it "/Speculatory elements" (and no, I don't mean Sol and Luna ;P) I'm not too concerned with the sub-page's name, so I'll let you make that call. Unless someone else has any ideas... The World's Hungriest Paperweight 12:01, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
What's the more important issue is that we convey that these pages are for "estimated" speculation as opposed to what can be called fan wank. An estimate is defined as an educated guess, and while I'm not sure if being "estimated" is really the best way to describe it, both the title and the introductory part of the subpage should tell that it's dedicated to the unconfirmed but likely elements that the game is more or less encouraging its players to think about on their own, like "Alex's statement that the Apollo Lens' trajectory is at either Tuaparang or around Sol Sanctum suggests that the actual Tuaparang empire is apparently located around Sol Sanctum at that point", instead of wild and baseless claims like "the Psynergy Vortexes may be Dark Psynergy effects the Tuaparang/Umbra Clan invented and deployed in some sort of operation to get at the Wise One, assuming the Wise One is currently located underneath Sol Sanctum, because the High Empyror may be the one Isaac described in the beginning of the game as having an "absolute hatred of the Wise One"." So, "/Estimated speculation", then? Erik the Appreciator 12:27, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Hmmm, good point. Have you considered some variation of the word "imply"? The World's Hungriest Paperweight 14:46, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Well... Implied Elements? Implications? Unconfirmed Implications? Implications and Estimates? Speculated Elements? Out of all those, an implication being defined as something that is implied seems to be the most functional word to have as the title. Erik the Appreciator 16:24, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Implied Story(line) Elements? Implied Plot Points? By the way, you basically said "An implication is something that's implied." Kinda obvious, isn't it? ;P The World's Hungriest Paperweight 23:50, 8 April 2011 (CDT)
Well, I was trying to, er, imply that it being as obvious as that might indicate that it's the most functionally straightforward solution, and therefore it could end up being the best solution for the wiki's sake. =P When the reader follows a link from the article to the "Implications" subpage, they'd be thinking that a page named that will be featuring prose that talks about what is technically unconfirmed but definitely hinted at by the game and left open by it to let players think about. Once there, they'll read the introductory paragraph that will finish clarifying what kind of partially speculative content the subpage contains. Erik the Appreciator 23:59, 8 April 2011 (CDT)

(Resetting indent) Hence why I suggested the word ;P But I see what you were trying to "imply" now *Dodges rotten tomatoes* The World's Hungriest Paperweight 12:36, 9 April 2011 (CDT)

Something else that just occurred to me about the proposed Implications subpage: should all pages that have implied and speculative elements have their own subpage, however little speculative content can be found? Or should all implications in the game be put into one subpage that's the subpage of the Golden Sun: Dark Dawn article itself? Or could it even be a subpage to the Golden Sun series article so that all unknown but likely elements can be gathered in one place for both the current games and future games? Erik the Appreciator 13:23, 11 April 2011 (CDT)
Well, I certainly wasn't planning on giving every page its own implications subpage, but I was originally thinking of putting it under the Tuaparang page. But I think your idea - creating a subpage for all implications throughout each game, or the entire series! - may be better. I'm not sure which one we should go with, but I think subpages for each game would be better, because a subpage on the series in general would (in theory) just get longer and longer with each game. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 13:39, 11 April 2011 (CDT)]
That it probably would, but you see, a subsequent game would most likely end up giving answers to several of the things that this subpage would talk about, and therefore those inquiries would be removed from the subpage. I doubt a subpage for the overall series would ever get unreasonable amounts of length, because of this. Erik the Appreciator 13:57, 11 April 2011 (CDT)
That's why I said "in theory". There's no guarantee any of these bits will be addressed in the next game. While they likely will eventually, there's no telling how long that will take. But that's just my spin on things ;) The World's Hungriest Paperweight 15:12, 11 April 2011 (CDT)