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Ending Confusion


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14 replies to this topic

#1
Ananisapta

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I'm having trouble understanding the game's ending: I learned that 'the gods' were an Engwithan invention. I made some choices about the fate of souls that had accumulated in the weird Engwithan machine. Then the folks round-about were harshly punished by some of the mythical gods, claiming that I had promised to make a different choice. Do they exist or not? What am I missing?



#2
house2fly

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The gods do exist, but they aren't gods. They're immensely powerful constructs created by the mass sacrifice of the Engwithans- that's why there are no Engwithans any more, their souls were used as raw material to create the gods.

One argument that's come up since the game's release is whether they should be considered gods anyway- they are powerful, after all. Within the game, though, this question doesn't matter. Thaos is one of the ancient Engwithans, and he was driven to despair by finding out there were no gods. As far as he's concerned, people need gods because they need to believe the universe makes sense and that there are forces watching over them. If people find out the gods were created then, to Thaos, the gods are meaningless. That's why he goes to such extreme lengths to protect the gods' origins- he doesn't want anyone else to go through the same pain as him

#3
AeonsLegend

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Define God. Christians will not accept the Engwithan Gods as Gods per se. It's more of a theological discussion if any. A divine being that stands on the precipice of creation? Governs life and death and the way of the world is shaped? Well the Engwithan Gods are just that. Sure they were created by the Engwithans, but that point is moot if you ask me. They sacrificed their entire civilisation to create them. All of the Engwithans were killed to create the Gods. Beraths wheel was created to guide souls into new bodies, this is why some people have memories from past lives. The Wheel also serves as a way to siphon power to the Gods and make them truly immortal. Thaos is the only one that was allowed to keep his memories although I don't recall the means that was used. The others are called "Watchers". They retain some of their previous lives and most are destroyed by it by going mad. Truly awakening like the MC Watcher is rare. Your meeting with Maerwald is especially insightful if you know what's going on.

 

For me, it's an easy discussion. I don't believe in an entity that has always existed and just decided to create the world. That makes no sense at all and is just lazy thinking. So Gods created by man is actually very realistic to me.

 

Thaos wasn't driven to despair when he found out there were no Gods. He's trying to make Woedica the most powerful singular God. That is his ultimate plan.



#4
house2fly

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Sure, but why does he want to make Woedica more powerful? Because she'll stamp out animancy. Why does he want animancy stamped out? Because the gods were created by animancy, so if it's allowed to get much more advanced the gods' creation will be exposed. Why does he want to conceal the gods' creation?

Consider that when you talk with him at the end he says that life without the gods would be hollow and meaningless, just souls being ground down by a natural process. He's not speaking hypothetically, he himself found out there were no gods and he's talking about how it affected him.

#5
AeonsLegend

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Sure, but why does he want to make Woedica more powerful? Because she'll stamp out animancy. Why does he want animancy stamped out? Because the gods were created by animancy, so if it's allowed to get much more advanced the gods' creation will be exposed. Why does he want to conceal the gods' creation?

Consider that when you talk with him at the end he says that life without the gods would be hollow and meaningless, just souls being ground down by a natural process. He's not speaking hypothetically, he himself found out there were no gods and he's talking about how it affected him.

He wants to conceil them because that's what the Engwithans purpose was. For the Gods to be Gods and have people be none the wiser. A God is more powerful if it is unknowable.

 

He's not against Animancy intself, he just wants to protect the Gods.

 

I disagree though with you on your assumption that he is affected by this in the way you describe. He simply wants to retain what currently exists. As so many people do. People are shortsighted animals and naturaly resist change. The fact that the Gods weren't real didn't affect him. The fact that the Gods could disappear affected him.



#6
demothios

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The way it's phrased in the game, "there are no gods, but really there are" is a little... clumsy. The gods were made real, the only thing fake about them is the mythical origin stories surrounding them. The gods are essentially the fused souls of an ancient, massive animancy-science experiment. So, the gods are real, but the stories - or mythology - spoken about them is fake. I don't recall if the in-game mythology says that the gods actually created everything- or if it's similar to most indo-european gods where gods aren't omnipotent universe-creators (although they might edit the world abit after emerging into it...).



#7
house2fly

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If they were really gods their origin story wouldn't matter and Thaos wouldn't have to run around shutting people up for centuries



#8
demothios

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If they were really gods their origin story wouldn't matter and Thaos wouldn't have to run around shutting people up for centuries

Not sure I follow your reasoning, excatly, but I guess at the heart of the debate is what consitutes a "god" to begin with. If one likens "god" to a creator god, then, sure, they aren't gods. If, however, you don't think that's a neccesary requirement to be called a god, if a god is "simply" more of an incorporeal, immortal, supremely powerful being that could have been created by something/someone else, then they are gods. No matter if they started out as kith.

 

Thaos' and the Leaden Key's deception isn't that the gods aren't real - the entities known as Berath, Wael, Magran, Eothas, etc. obviously exist - but what the gods are, their origin stories, the history of their creation. So, I would say that the question of the true origin story of the gods, vs. whatever origin stories the believers were told for centuries, is at the heart of the story. 



#9
AeonsLegend

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If they were really gods their origin story wouldn't matter and Thaos wouldn't have to run around shutting people up for centuries

Not sure I follow your reasoning, excatly, but I guess at the heart of the debate is what consitutes a "god" to begin with. If one likens "god" to a creator god, then, sure, they aren't gods. If, however, you don't think that's a neccesary requirement to be called a god, if a god is "simply" more of an incorporeal, immortal, supremely powerful being that could have been created by something/someone else, then they are gods. No matter if they started out as kith.

 

Thaos' and the Leaden Key's deception isn't that the gods aren't real - the entities known as Berath, Wael, Magran, Eothas, etc. obviously exist - but what the gods are, their origin stories, the history of their creation. So, I would say that the question of the true origin story of the gods, vs. whatever origin stories the believers were told for centuries, is at the heart of the story. 

 

Hm I actually think that for Thaos it's not about people knowing how the Gods came to be per se. It's more about not letting people know how the Gods were created so they wouldn't be able to repeat the process or even undo it. This also links directly to events in PoEII. Thaos wants to preserve the Gods. He needs to prevent the creation of the Gods to become global knowledge. Animancy is a way that links to what the Engwithans did long ago even though it is in its infancy. That's why he stops animancy as well.

 

If their origin stories didn't include the means to replicate it or undo it then Thaos wouldn't have minded. He would have left it as is. I think in this sense it is what house2fly means by being fake Gods. Because I think his reasoning is that a God isn't real if man can have power over its creation or undoing regardless of how powerful the entity in question really is. It's a fair point. If a God entity is unknowable it is far easier to sustain belief in such a God, whether it actually exists or not doesn't even matter.

 

The Gods exist and have effect on what happens in life or death as well. So it's not about not believing in them or not accepting them. It doesn't matter what people believe. All Thaos wants is to preserve them or even strengthen them.



#10
Bleyas

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On the first run i also get a little WTF at the end. Like they are, or they are not gods and what should i do as good guy. I was like damn, it's false circle. Every nation, every world would rise for thousand of years just to came up with same conclusion that there are no gods. What i miss in Engwians logic is how they actually discovered that there are no gods? How in their minds the world was created? Since we don't have any evidence of these and actually how can you confirm that god don't exist? In those cases i come up to conclusion that I will support animacy to see to what conclusion this nation come up to and if there would be choice to let everyone know the truth I wouldn't say that. I would just wait for them to come up on their own conclusion.Hope you guys understand me as English is not my native :D



#11
AeonsLegend

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On the first run i also get a little WTF at the end. Like they are, or they are not gods and what should i do as good guy. I was like damn, it's false circle. Every nation, every world would rise for thousand of years just to came up with same conclusion that there are no gods. What i miss in Engwians logic is how they actually discovered that there are no gods? How in their minds the world was created? Since we don't have any evidence of these and actually how can you confirm that god don't exist? In those cases i come up to conclusion that I will support animacy to see to what conclusion this nation come up to and if there would be choice to let everyone know the truth I wouldn't say that. I would just wait for them to come up on their own conclusion.Hope you guys understand me as English is not my native :D

As one of the most famous scientists in history of mankind once said. People look to Gods for things they do not understand. Once you understand there is no reason to look to Gods.

 

Look at it this way. On this planet there are no God or Gods and we made them up so we could feel good about things we don't understand. Once you understand there is no more need to believe in something divine. I myself don't understand the quest to look for something to prove it isn't there. It's more down to the discussion of "do you believe" or "do you not believe", rather than whether something actually exists. For instance christianity is built around something that you cannot percieve. So there is no way to prove it exists or prove it does not exist.

 

If you compare the Engwithans with our own culture you can safely say that religion ultimately will die out. In my country less than half of the population now believes in a God and it diminishes every year. Once all religion is snuffed out people will look for something else. Perhaps even create Gods of their own. Why? Because they can.

 

The whole thing where the Engwithans decided that they would sacrifice themselves to create them is what is most perplexing. What was their reasoning behind that choice? Because the reason cannot be that they wanted Gods to simply exist, because if that were the case they would have not sacrificed themselves. No, I think there's something more to it.



#12
house2fly

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Yeah, they wanted to die

#13
AeonsLegend

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Yeah, they wanted to die

All of them? Seriously, I've never run into a civilization that all wanted to die. That's reserved for small groups of nutty indoctrinated people. We call them cults.



#14
house2fly

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They don't all have to want to die, just the people in charge

#15
AeonsLegend

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They don't all have to want to die, just the people in charge

Yes of course. The machines. I forgot about the machines.






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