Cipher Manuscript



  • Seldane recently brought up the Prophecies of Neleneus, which I think is a cool topic. Maybe because they're all cryptic books, but it also reminded me of the Cipher Manuscript. I used the forum's search feature, but I can't really find any good discussion of the Cipher Manuscript. Maybe it's my poor searching skills. Oh well, two gravedigs in as many days would probably give Sely a heart attack anyway. Which would be bad because... um... well.

    Anyway, I'm opening up a BRAND NEW TOPIC about the Cipher Manuscript! Here's my questions:

    Who are/were the Chimera?
    -Are they seen or referenced or alluded to anywhere in the game besides in the Cipher Manuscript?

    Why was it written?
    -Was it just a journal, or was it a letter to someone? Maybe it was written exclusively for the purpose of Bellerophon finding it eight or nine hundred years later?

    What ever could Th L Dr W mean, and where did that mysterious thought come from?

    The link to Fiery's Cythera book collection is: http://sfiera.net/~s...hera/books.html
    (Thank you Fiery for transcribing and hosting all those books, it's really cool!) One typo there though, it says "Bone Stone," it's really "Bane Stone."

    Now I'll rant about why I think it was written by Magpie. Maybe everyone already thinks it was, but I'm just going to assume someone disagrees so that I can justify the rant :D

    It says "I have brought the humans" -past tense. This means it was written sometime after 0 AT (& sometime before 180 AT, because that's when the charred remains were discovered in Pnyx). While I don't know exactly how old Magpie is, I think it's quite possible that he predates the humans on Cythera. His wife Chrysothemis was born in 158, and by the time she died in 201, Alaric was old enough to go wandering off on his own. I say Magpie & Chrysothemis must have gotten married sometime between 170-190. I conclude that Magpie is really old.

    The author of the CM learned how to travel through the Void. As far as I know, this is the only character who has claimed to know how to do that. And whose idea was it for Alaric to cast through the Void to another Reality and summon Bellerophon? Yep, Magpie's. Summoning Bellerophon sounds pretty similar to summoning the inhabitants of Thera, doesn't it? Same Reality even.

    I say it was Magpie's plan for Bellerophon to gather the fragments of the Crolna, or the Bane Stone. The CM says, "Gaining (the Crolna) shall be a dangerous gamble, which I shall only undertake if it appears that all else is failing (for that failing gamble might well hasten the end that is most feared)." I think that fits in with what we know about Cythera II - that the dangerous gamble will hasten the collapse of the Barrier between Cythera and the Void. I think that supports my theory that the author is someone actively participating in the game - who else could it be but Magpie?

    Anyway, enough about Magpie. In the Journal of Tavara, Tavara lists the Cipher Manuscript as one reason his faith in the Undine was wavering. Is it that the Undine tried and failed to destroy it? That would explain why the remains were charred... No wait, the Undine wouldn't destroy something with fire, would they? Heehee.

    Anyone have any answers or theories?



  • Here's the text for those too lazy to click a link!

    ------------

    Between the multitude of Realities is the Void. To be able to cross the Void, is to be able to cross between Realities. That those of the Chimera have done so is given as fact, and from them I have learned the ability.

    Realities can be as small as Kythera, or an entire Universe, complete in itself, as the human homeland was. All, however, are created as Chimera. Kythera appears unique in the weakness between the Barrier and the Void - the Elemental forces are strong to maintain cohesion, or so I was told. I however, hold that the strife between them has allowed this Barrier to weaken - if allowed to continue, it will be destroyed, and with it, Kythera.

    Both futures must be planned against - both in attempting to realign the Elemental forces, as well as increasing the localization of the Barrier, should Kythera fragment. Were the latter to happen, the shockwave might well disrupt nearby Realities as well - the Chimera know not for sure, but thus have they warned me. In this warning, I could not help but perceive a thought - Th L Dr W, though he meaning of these letters I know not.

    To unify the Four Pillars have I brought the humans, being of the Fifth Element, though their arrival has disrupted much of the balance. If, indeed, it was a balance to begin with. One other tool, if it is gathered, might help - the fragments of the Bone Stone. Those fragments, however, are beyond my reach at this juncture. Gaining them shall be a dangerous gamble, which I shall only undertake if it appears that all else is failing (for that failing gamble might well hasten the end that is most feared).

    ------------

    Quote

    Why was it written?
    -Was it just a journal, or was it a letter to someone? Maybe it was written exclusively for the purpose of Bellerophon finding it eight or nine hundred years later?

    After playing MYST, they had a similar idea. The characters would write books (mainly in the form of journals) that explained how the worlds were created, thoughts, etc. This really sounds like one of those, which makes me feel like it was intended for whatever to read at a later date so he or she could get a better understanding of the situation.

    Also hey, is Bellerophon a unisex name? I mean, you can play as a woman in Cythera.

    Quote

    What ever could Th L Dr W mean, and where did that mysterious thought come from?

    Since there are people who have foresight in the game, I'm gonna say this was some kind of vision that came to him as he was pondering it all. Short of the "Dr" (CYTHERA NEEDS A NEW HERO, AND HE DRIVES A BLUE POLICE BOX) I'm drawing a blank. If anything, it's tied into the apocalypse, and there's four groups of them. Maybe the elements?

    He also mentions 'increasing the localization of the Barrier, should Kythera fragment.' which I'm going to tie into my guess that in Cythera two, the world is split apart and a new world map feature is implemented that maybe has you jumping across realities. But guessing aside, this probably also plays into the four groups of letters, maybe four sections of Cythera?

    Remember that the game is based in Greek mythology and the like, so just knowing English could seriously hamper trying to undo that puzzle.

    Quote

    Anyone have any answers or theories?

    I think you have a pretty strong argument for Magpie, accept that he could have just gotten the Bellerophon in Cythera 1 then right? Instead of making Alaric sicker? Unless he needed to stay. Anyways, while it's hard to knock the idea, I wouldn't rule out the possibility the the author of the book was some other interdenominational traveler with interest in calming down the land of Cythera.

    This post has been edited by Two Jacks : 04 February 2011 - 08:12 PM



  • 453’s Magpie theory is interesting, but that would mean that Jhiaxus has been sitting around in the iron mine for a very, very long time. :blink: As for the Chimera, this is particularly interesting:

    Quote

    Realities can be as small as Kythera, or an entire Universe, complete in itself, as the human homeland was. All, however, are created as Chimera.

    It is also possible that Chimera is a mistranslation, as it seems illogical that a reality is created as an animal. They seem to be almost like gods of some sort in the manuscript.

    And yes, thank you 2J as I was indeed to lazy to click, even if you forgot to fix the typo. :p

    @two-jacks_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 07:52 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Bane Stone.



  • I figure that's what we have mods for. :p



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 04:18 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    What ever could Th L Dr W mean, and where did that mysterious thought come from?

    Selax pointed something out to me the other day that I hadn't realized before. Th ldr w is the vowel-free name of one of Glenn Andreas' earlier games named Theldrow. The only problem is that Gandreas once specifically said that there is no relation between Cythera and Theldrow in this topic (started by Seldane, interestingly enough :) ). A few years ago I actually tried Theldrow, and I couldn't make heads-or-tails of it. I couldn't even understand what I was supposed to be doing. Even so, the name similarity is undeniable. Selax figures it was a cryptic form of advertising Theldrow ;)



  • @the-wizard_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 11:52 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Selax pointed something out to me the other day that I hadn't realized before. Th ldr w is the vowel-free name of one of Glenn Andreas' earlier games named Theldrow. The only problem is that Gandreas once specifically said that there is no relation between Cythera and Theldrow in this topic (started by Seldane, interestingly enough :) ). A few years ago I actually tried Theldrow, and I couldn't make heads-or-tails of it. I couldn't even understand what I was supposed to be doing. Even so, the name similarity is undeniable. Selax figures it was a cryptic form of advertising Theldrow ;)

    :o I never noticed that before. It’s possible though that even if the game isn’t related, the name Theldrow might somehow be related to Cythera in a similar way that Chimera evidently is.



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 04:18 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Seldane recently brought up the Prophecies of Neleneus, which I think is a cool topic. Maybe because they're all cryptic books, but it also reminded me of the Cipher Manuscript. I used the forum's search feature, but I can't really find any good discussion of the Cipher Manuscript. Maybe it's my poor searching skills. Oh well, two gravedigs in as many days would probably give Sely a heart attack anyway. Which would be bad because... um... well.

    Anyway, I'm opening up a BRAND NEW TOPIC about the Cipher Manuscript! Here's my questions:

    Comforting to know you are concerned about my health :p .

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 04:18 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Why was it written?
    -Was it just a journal, or was it a letter to someone? Maybe it was written exclusively for the purpose of Bellerophon finding it eight or nine hundred years later?

    What ever could Th L Dr W mean, and where did that mysterious thought come from?

    I had not considered the possibility it was letter. It had always seemed most like a journal to me, although the letter possibility is interesting. If it is a letter, the receiver seems to have some knowledge of the Bane Stone, since no apparent explanation of that is given; the fact that it was mostly destroyed might also suggest the receiver considered the knowledge either very horrifying and/or dangerous.

    The fact that the only copy of the Manuscript in Pnyx is kept in the highest degree hall at least suggests the mages find it a very disturbing document.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 04:18 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Now I'll rant about why I think it was written by Magpie. Maybe everyone already thinks it was, but I'm just going to assume someone disagrees so that I can justify the rant :D

    It says "I have brought the humans" -past tense. This means it was written sometime after 0 AT ( & sometime before 180 AT, because that's when the charred remains were discovered in Pnyx). While I don't know exactly how old Magpie is, I think it's quite possible that he predates the humans on Cythera. His wife Chrysothemis was born in 158, and by the time she died in 201, Alaric was old enough to go wandering off on his own. I say Magpie & Chrysothemis must have gotten married sometime between 170-190. I conclude that Magpie is really old.

    The author of the CM learned how to travel through the Void. As far as I know, this is the only character who has claimed to know how to do that. And whose idea was it for Alaric to cast through the Void to another Reality and summon Bellerophon? Yep, Magpie's. Summoning Bellerophon sounds pretty similar to summoning the inhabitants of Thera, doesn't it? Same Reality even.

    I say it was Magpie's plan for Bellerophon to gather the fragments of the Crolna, or the Bane Stone. The CM says, "Gaining (the Crolna) shall be a dangerous gamble, which I shall only undertake if it appears that all else is failing (for that failing gamble might well hasten the end that is most feared)." I think that fits in with what we know about Cythera II - that the dangerous gamble will hasten the collapse of the Barrier between Cythera and the Void. I think that supports my theory that the author is someone actively participating in the game - who else could it be but Magpie?

    Magpie is a possibility, but the author to me seems to refer to the elementals as separate entities. He seems to be referring to Cythera as though it is an external reality rather than his home one.

    I'm also not sure that Magpie (or possibly even Alaric) would have the power to bring the entire human population of Thera (even their boats and such) to Cythera. I think the author is someone from another reality entirely who somehow contacted the mysterious Chimaera and learned to travel the Void from them.

    I do agree that there is strong likelihood that the Bane Stone is the Crolna.

    Also, Magpie must be at least 120 eternities old (if memory serves), since Jinrai was killed at that time. That is not, I concede, much use since no one really knows how long that is.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 04:18 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Anyway, enough about Magpie. In the Journal of Tavara, Tavara lists the Cipher Manuscript as one reason his faith in the Undine was wavering. Is it that the Undine tried and failed to destroy it? That would explain why the remains were charred... No wait, the Undine wouldn't destroy something with fire, would they? Heehee.

    Anyone have any answers or theories?

    I think he means it indicates there are greater powers and intelligences than them and that their knowledge of them (and of the nature of reality) is quite weak. It suggests a reality beyond Cythera and indicates that the elemental conflict is in fact a serious danger to Cythera. The Undine appear either ignorant of these facts or are ignoring them.

    He goes on to say that the Undine are not so "all-powerful" as they pretend, if memory serves.

    I have always considered the Manuscript one of the most interesting documents of the game. Indeed, it shapes a great deal of my TS characters. It indicates the Void is a multiversal container, that Cythera is a unique reality in the Void, that disaster in Cythera could have consequences far beyond it, etc. I have actually used the Chimaera in a story or two, mainly as powerful guardians of the Void. (I suspect my TS interpretation of these characters is way off what gandreas intended, to say the least.)

    I'm not certain if the letters are intended to reference Theldrow or not. I think the two games are intended to be unrelated. If there is a reference, I suspect it might be an indication of what could happen if Cythera fragments as the document warns.



  • @two-jacks_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 07:52 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    (CYTHERA NEEDS A NEW HERO, AND HE DRIVES A BLUE POLICE BOX)

    Haha Nezmy, that's golden! That's a really good idea for a Crossover Chronicle! Will you write it? Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?

    @two-jacks_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 07:52 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    I think you have a pretty strong argument for Magpie, except that he could have just gotten the Bellerophon in Cythera 1 then right? Instead of making Alaric sicker? Unless he needed to stay.

    Yeah, that's true, and I don't have an answer. But in the game we notice that Magpie is intentionally keeping Alaric in the dark about the elements and the bigger war going on. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's important for Alaric to think he's the most powerful being in the world. Maybe it's so important, that Magpie couldn't let Alaric know that he (Magpie) had the inter-void summoning ability. & if Magpie just secretly summoned Bellerophon himself, perhaps Bellerophon would not have been able to ever find LKH and save Alaric. The hintbook implies that no one can find LKH unless Alaric wishes it.

    @buzzzzy_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 09:42 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    453’s Magpie theory is interesting, but that would mean that Jhiaxus has been sitting around in the iron mine for a very, very long time.

    Well Jhiaxus did say he had been (or maybe will be? o.O) alone for 120 eternities, which sounds like a long time. But what does my Magpie-is-the-one-who-summoned-mankind-to-Cythera theory have to do with that?

    @two-jacks_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 11:45 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    I figure that's what we have mods for. :P

    Unfortunately, no. Sely only ever uses his 1337 mod powerz when someone is actually breaking the rules, and Tyry only ever uses his 1337 mod powerz when it is for his own amusement. You'll have to edit your own post :P

    @the-wizard_bot, on 04 February 2011 - 11:52 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Selax pointed something out to me the other day that I hadn't realized before. Th ldr w is the vowel-free name of one of Glenn Andreas' earlier games named Theldrow. The only problem is that Gandreas once specifically said that there is no relation between Cythera and Theldrow in this topic (started by Seldane, interestingly enough :) ). A few years ago I actually tried Theldrow, and I couldn't make heads-or-tails of it. I couldn't even understand what I was supposed to be doing. Even so, the name similarity is undeniable. Selax figures it was a cryptic form of advertising Theldrow ;)

    That is very interesting! I think that the Cipher Manuscript is referring to the Reality of Theldrow. That Reality may be "near" the Cythera Reality, and therefore in danger of the shockwave of Cythera exploding. That is a bit contrary to what Gandreas said, but I think it could work.
    If "th l dr w" really does mean "Theldrow," this implies that the written language of the Cipher Manuscript (which I thought was Seldane, because I think Magpie wrote it) doesn't have any vowels. It also implies that the author is not aware of the Theldrow Reality.

    @selax_bot, on 05 February 2011 - 02:26 AM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    Magpie is a possibility, but the author to me seems to refer to the elementals as separate entities. He seems to be referring to Cythera as though it is an external reality rather than his home one.

    Maybe so, but I got the opposite impression. The only Realities he mentions are Cythera, and the human homeland. It could be that those are the only Realities he's ever seen. I can definitely see how it could have been written by some powerful being from a different Reality (& I always picture Selax :P), but I still think Magpie is more likely.

    @selax_bot, on 05 February 2011 - 02:26 AM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    I'm also not sure that Magpie (or possibly even Alaric) would have the power to bring the entire human population of Thera (even their boats and such) to Cythera. I think the author is someone from another reality entirely who somehow contacted the mysterious Chimaera and learned to travel the Void from them.

    Yeah, that's possible, but I'm inclined to think the author is someone you actually meet (or at least learn about) in the game. In the same way that fake Pelagon was finally proven to be Omen's master when originally some of us thought he was just a powerful Undine we never meet. Or that the lich in the second stronghold was proven to be Tavara. Having the author be someone in the game just seems like something Gandreas would do.

    @selax_bot, on 05 February 2011 - 02:26 AM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    I think he means it indicates there are greater powers and intelligences than them and that their knowledge of them (and of the nature of reality) is quite weak. It suggests a reality beyond Cythera and indicates that the elemental conflict is in fact a serious danger to Cythera. The Undine appear either ignorant of these facts or are ignoring them.

    He goes on to say that the Undine are not so "all-powerful" as they pretend, if memory serves.

    Yeah, I guess so... But still why were the remains of the manuscript charred?



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 05 February 2011 - 12:49 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    That is very interesting! I think that the Cipher Manuscript is referring to the Reality of Theldrow. That Reality may be "near" the Cythera Reality, and therefore in danger of the shockwave of Cythera exploding. That is a bit contrary to what Gandreas said, but I think it could work.
    If "th l dr w" really does mean "Theldrow," this implies that the written language of the Cipher Manuscript (which I thought was Seldane, because I think Magpie wrote it) doesn't have any vowels. It also implies that the author is not aware of the Theldrow Reality.

    That's a thought; even though they wouldn't work well in the same universe as Gandreas said, they could be related realities through the void, just as the human universe is a separate reality linked to Cythera by the void.

    The other possibility that had occurred to me is that Gandreas may have been planning to reuse the name "Theldrow" for something Cythera-related.

    Speaking of Theldrow, I found an old topic about it on some other board here. The fifth comment mentions that the final screen of the game promised that there would be a sequel, but it never came. I'm afraid Gandreas comes up with these very detailed ideas for whole realities, makes one game about them, and then moves on. . .



  • @the-wizard_bot, on 05 February 2011 - 10:05 PM, said in Cipher Manuscript:

    The other possibility that had occurred to me is that Gandreas may have been planning to reuse the name "Theldrow" for something Cythera-related.

    Seeing as he seems to have done exactly that with Chimera, this seems quite likely.



  • I'm going to opt for the idea of name reuse for Theldrow, and I'm going to add that there could be some useful information in that game. I'm wondering now if someone wants to pick apart the contents of that game and see if there's anything relevant or at the least a plot and maybe the plans for the sequel.



  • I died.



  • I tried Theldrow again, and I died many times. I did actually reach the town of Boden a couple of times, but I was killed by giant ants inside the city :(

    And Buzzzzy, I'm trying to figure out what you're referring to about the Chimera. Where did Gandreas reuse that name?



  • Buzzy meant that Gandreas had a game called Chimera, and reused the name Chimera in Cythera. In the same way, he may have reused the name Theldrow in Cythera.



  • Gandreas had a game called Chimera? I didn't know that. Is there any place I can find it?



  • I believe someone said Chimera was something he had under development or was planning, I don't think it was ever actually fully produced.



  • AGG WIZZY, DID YOU EVEN READ SELDANE'S GRAVEDIG! It was gravedug because it's cool!



  • For those too lazy to read, Chimera was an abandoned project gandreas was working on either before Cythera or simultaneously with Cythera. :p



  • From the book: "Both futures must be planned against - both in attempting to realign the Elemental forces, as well as increasing the localization of the Barrier, should Kythera fragment. Were the latter to happen, the shockwave might well disrupt nearby Realities as well - the Chimera know not for sure, but thus have they warned me. In this warning, I could not help but perceive a thought - Th L Dr W, though he meaning of these letters I know not."

    From Gandreas: "In a perfect world, I'd rather move forward and do Cythera 2 & 3 ( because the aftermath of the events of Cythera were earth-shattering) but that's an even bigger commitment that I can't realistically make."

    Coincidence or intentional? Judging on how Gandreas seems to word things, I would say intentional.



  • The name “Cythera II: Shattered Realm” seems to agree with this, also I just stumbled across gandreas’s other name for it, “Quest for Alaric” which is rather interesting—this seems to disprove the theory that Alaric is the “unifier” and dies before Cythera II.


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