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jameson (ST)

Aberrant: Phoenix Rising - Inspiration: High Hopes

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I don't think I realized it until around this time last year, but this song was the core inspiration for the direction I tried to take this game in. I've pasted the Lyrics below and I'll add my comments in, maybe this will give you some insight into my view of the game.

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young

In a world of magnets and miracles

Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary

The ringing of the division bell had begun

Hi, me again. So the world of magnets and miracles is obviously the golden age before the fall of novas and the war. The death of Slider could be looked at as the division bell, or at least its first sounding.

Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway

Do they still meet there by the Cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps

Running before time took our dreams away

Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground

To a life consumed by slow decay

The small creatures are, for better or worse, mankind. Novas aren't human, not anymore and while Divis Mal's methods were shitty his point was correct; novas should never have been trying to retain their humanity when everything that they are is pushing them away from that. To me that is taint, at least in the purview of this game, taint is evolution of the form to suit the spirit within. If I had it to do over again I'd have tried working more closely with players to have their long term power themes and their aberrations align more than they did in some cases.

The grass was greener

The light was brighter

With friends surrounded

The night of wonder

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us

To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side

Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again

Dragged by the force of some inner tide

So at this point we have the PCs who I feel were stuck in a world that was so caught up in trying to regain what was lost that it was failing to move forward in a meaningful sense.

At a higher altitude with flag unfurled

We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

The Moonies, who had through extensive social and eugenic controls created a society that was diverging from humankind.

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition

There's a hunger still unsatisfied

Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon

Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener

The light was brighter

The taste was sweeter

The nights of wonder

With friends surrounded

The dawn mist glowing

The water flowing

The endless river

Forever and ever

Once again there is, to me, a rift between humanity and novakind. The novas have the opportunity to achieve whatever they set out for themselves (within the limitations of their thematic concept and structure of power), but maintaining human attachment, and by association, ambitions, prevent them from doing so.

In the end, such as it is, the characters secured the future of both novas and humans, though I suspect that you as players may not be happy with either result. With the exception of Anna who embraced herself, and transcended her link to humanity.

For better or for worse the humans on Earth are no longer capable of becoming novas without help, i.e. without the use of nodespark. And the moonies/novas are no longer truly human any more. Thousands of year from the end of the game its possible that psions may evolve from the humans on Earth and given the more naturalistic society they have they will develop biotech and possibly move to once more reclaim their place.

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Of course "High Hopes" wasn't the only Pink Floyd influence on this game, in point of fact consciously and subconsciously the entire game was driven somewhat by their works. Every chapter was titled after an album or song of theirs as shown below. These titles were meant to also carry a link to the story within. Example: Chapter 3: "Animals and Relic" dealt with the Aberrants of York who are/were both animals (in their behavior) and relics (of a past time).

Book 1

  • Chapter 1: The Delicate Sound of Thunder (A Delicate Sound of Thunder, 1988)
  • Chapter 2: Wish You Were Here (1975)
  • Chapter 2.5: Goodbye Blue Sky (From The Wall, 1979)
  • Chapter 3: Animals (1977) and Relics (1971)
  • Chapter 3.5: One of the Few (From The Final Cut, 1983)
  • Chapter 4: A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

Book 2

  • Chapter 1: Obscured by Clouds (1972)
  • Chapter 2: Meddle (1971)
  • Chapter 3: Pulse (1995)
  • Chapter 4: The Division Bell (1994)
  • Chapter 5: The Final Cut (1983)
  • Chapter 6: (a)Lost for Words, (b)Coming Back to Life, & ©Keep Talking (All from The Division Bell, 1994)

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