Mirror's Edge: Catalyst. Corporate Postironia.
Unbeknownst to me, some suspicious person did an unknown thing, after which - EVERYTHING!!!
A brief summary of a local ENT.
Postironia (post-irony, from Latin post - after and irony) is a term used to refer to a state where sincerity becomes difficult to distinguish from irony.
Greetings, everyone. What do you think of the detailed breakdown of CoD: MW 2019? Judging by the scores - liked it. Unfortunately, such masterpieces of idiocy are rare. Today we have a much less spicy dish - namely, we're going to take apart the history of the Mirror's Edge: Catalyst game world. Like this, all of a sudden and without declaration of war - because not everyone, who played the game, studied all sorts of notes and files, where the history of the world is described.
And even less of it - climbing on thematic sites. The situation is somewhat reminiscent of Killzone, the history of the world which I parsed somewhere nearby here (search the blogs). The relationship between Cascadia, OmniStat, Sabeus and the City of Mirrors itself is an interesting backdrop for a not-so-interesting game. The kind of case where the concepts and artbook are far more interesting than the final product.
Lace up your shoes, check your PULSE - now a sofa historian and political scientist from the Lower Internet will berate the ENT games. And the occasional praise. Also - inappropriately insert quotes from the greats. This is by no means a review of the game (there would be something to review) - we just walk around the City of Mirrors. See who inhabits it. Where did he come from, what does he do, and things like that.
And even assume how the world of the game lived before its events, and what's in store for it in the future.
INTRODUCTION. It had to be...
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is an attempted reboot of Mirror's Edge, which shot quite well in 2008. Despite its modest financial success, the game was memorable - firstly because of the incredible feeling of running, inertia and movement of the heroine (Faith), and secondly because of the visual style.
The minimalism of the environments and vivid details on an intuitive level helped speed up and keep the pace running. Plus it was possible to save money on textures and tighten the optimization - a critical point for a game based on fast movement in space (2008, my laptop has 16 GB of RAM, which was pretty cool for those times). Unfortunately, to the cheerful running could not bolt the same cheerful mechanism of interaction with enemies. We could stuff their faces, grab a weapon - and if it wasn't a gun, the game turned into an over-the-top shooting gallery. With a gun, the shooting range was a little more fun - you could jump and jump - but it was still clearly not a game about combat.
And that could have been forgiven if there was something more important to the game than those parkour things of yours. But here the cancer interfered, and it's still killing the game... Mirror's Edge 's storyline was not berated by just lazybones, the most comprehensive analysis I've seen is by Filinov and Rusyaev. I will only say, that one Rianna Pratchett took part in creation of this masterpiece of graphomania - and she didn't let us down. All her "professionalism" was shown in full. To create even more confusion Mirror's Edge: Catalyst operates with old characters, references to places, organizations and names - yes, yes, like the new CoD operates with the names of Zakaev and Shepard.
What finally confuses things is the extremely strange chronology of the game universe, which vaguely gives us a sense of dates and locations. It seems to be 50 years since the Civil War and the founding of Cascadia at the time of the game. And Ten Years - since the November Riots.
AND THUNDER RANG OUT.
Judging by the outlines of the continents, the game takes place in some parallel world. Or maybe the geographical map was heavily manipulated by nuclear blasts and the construction squad, for I tried to pull the outlines of the land on the globe, but I failed. Anyway, we have both Cold War references here in Europe, and Asian controversies - which are spoiling our eastern neighbors pretty badly. Also, I read that the geographical map is based on South Tasmania after the sea level has risen 60 metres.
An inattentive player might have missed it, but Mirror's Edge: Catalyst is somewhat of a post-apocalypse! Yes, yes, looking at the giant skyscrapers and gleaming mirrored rooftops, the last thing one thinks of is radioactive deserts and raiders, but human civilization has experienced a collapse known as the Great Regression. It's one big prolonged resource crisis, paralleling wars, famine, disease, and other survivalists' favorite things.
However, contrary to the classical scenario people have not fallen into barbarism, and even the opposite - noticeably advanced in the field of high technology, medicine and genetic engineering. Which is logical, for as the great ancient sage said:
War is the father of everything!
Politics and the institutions of the state did not disappear anywhere: in the conditions of endless danger, scarcity of resources, the need for their proper distribution to avoid total collapse, the "laws of the market" quickly gave way to a planned economy. This is how OmniStat appeared on the wreckage of the old world. Yes, yes, that's right - capitalized and in two capitals, OmniStat.
About how people lived in this world BEFORE the Regression, we will say a little later - based on circumstantial data.
...It was inspired by the lore of ancient utopian states, classless societies where every citizen was valued equally and the fruits of labor were shared among all...
From the description of the OmniStat device.
The name of the state itself hints at the iron discipline, order and accounting - which automatically made OmniState a center of attraction for weak city-polis. Where by diplomacy, where by brute force, but OmniStat eventually became a unified country, under the rule of the ruling Party. This refers back to the Civil War in China - which in many ways was only formed into a unified country by the careful mass shootings orchestrated by the CCP and Mao Tse-tung personally.
Now it's time to take a step back - and see exactly how the people lived before the Regression. Again, on the basis of circumstantial data. As far as we can understand from the morsels of information, city-polises were a normal phenomenon in the game world, even before Regression.
For a well-governed city is the greatest bulwark; in it all is contained, and so long as it persists, all is intact, but if it perishes, [with it] all perishes.
This scheme clearly takes us back to Hellas: the polis-cities were independent political units, emerging from several united settlements. The form of government in each individual polis could be different: monarchy, oligarchy and democracy. As a matter of fact, oligarchy was the form of board in the majority of them. I say so confidently because not once or twice we will be told that this or that corporation has a history going back to the old times, pre-domnistani times.
Let's digress a little and think hard: how realistic is something like this? How exactly did such society grow to modern technologies - it is really an interesting question. The fact is that the relations of the Hellenic polities were very unstable - they were always fighting each other, betraying each other, forming coalitions and shaky alliances. Blood flowed as a river, daggers were inserted into each other's backs in a way which nobody would dream of Caesar, and venom and poison poured out in buckets. This is very interesting to study - but above the conditional Middle Ages such a system develops with great, great difficulty. Sooner or later there is someone especially zealous, who smacks everyone and builds according to the ruler.
By the way, in Assassin's Creed Odyssey ("Amazing"? Are you serious?) we could even take part in the war between Sparta and Athens ourselves.
Those who don't do so cease to exist and are swallowed by their neighbors. But there is always an exception to the rule: Italy. Italy formed more or less in its modern form in the 19th century, and it finally consolidated itself largely thanks to the Duce's activities. True, it was probably the only thing he succeeded in... Before that there were many intrigues, wars, bloody vendettas and betrayals between powerful cities. Pisa vs Milan, high-profile duels, but I digress.
I don't want to dig SLIGHTLY deep, but it seems to me that the world of Mirror's Edge: Catalyst before the Great Regressions came to corporate neo-feudalism. This is when large corporations and the clans that run them fatten up to the point where they don't really need the state anymore, and they saw it to pieces. In cyberpunk setting this is a regular occurrence: one may recall Vadim Panov's "The Enclaves" or William Gibson's "Anthill", where corporations finally got out of hand and bent the state over.
By the way, this may well be one of the main reasons for the Great Regression: nothing in its killing power can be compared with the corporate monster that sees an opportunity to increase profits. It will shred, slash, squeeze out all the juice and chase even the ghostly shadow of profit. Right, EA? Isn't that right, Disney?
THE KRUGER REBELLION
The Kruegers were a very powerful figure even before Regression. Apparently, their company specialized in security and safety: that is, in modern parlance, the PMC. You pay - and they fight for you.
OmniStat made a deal with the Kruegers: the clan was allocated seats in the ruling Party. It should not be forgotten that not everyone agreed to join OmniStat on a voluntary basis: apart from diplomacy, OmniStat used force, and the Krueger corporate army came in handy here.
Except the OmniStat leadership missed one nuance: the Krueger soldiers remained Krueger soldiers. Again, I may dig too deep - but any military officer will tell you that disbanding and stripping a unit is a pretty significant blow to combat readiness. That is, if you have a high-tech special forces unit with some nanotanks - you're better off keeping them in one punching fist. This is efficient: the guys have already worked together, polished their actions, organized the tactical alignment. But at the same time who knows what is in the heads of these commandos - so they must be watched carefully. OmniStat failed in that task.
So after a while, Ditter Krueger raised what is now known as the Krueger Rebellion. It resulted in a bloody Civil War that raged for decades--the Triumvirate War is also called afterwards.
The ideology of the rebellion was the exact opposite of the OmniStat ideology: private enterprise and individualism versus collectivism and unified leadership. And the Kruegers were not alone: they put together an entire coalition of like-minded people, and during the Civil War they chewed out a whole chunk of what is now called Cascadia from the Omnistat, which was in crisis. Another of the remaining Omnistates has also fallen apart, the Sabean State, as they have had their share of fishing in troubled waters during the Civil War.
Little is known about Sabey: a theocratic state with a murky religious and political ideology, where people from the Grey Earths run away and never return. Intelligence yields nothing - agents move to the side of Sabei - but there have been no attacks from there yet either.
It's like Terra Incognita.
It seems that there was planned a DLC associated with these mysterious types. But given the financial success - or rather lack thereof - that can be forgotten.OmniStat used water - or its overlap - to bend people to his side. The rebels later recalled this - as the desalination plants they captured were very valuable and Omni-Stat didn't dare attack them. This was one factor in their victory: OmniStat was afraid that the rebels would blow up the plants if they tried to repel them.So, the newly formed Cascadia captured the most developed and "fat" territories, cutting off OmniStat's access to the sea and making it dependent on water in the process. And all seemed well! They won the war, thanks to resources available to them, they built themselves up.
First of all, Dieter Krueger is dead. How and to what extent independently is unclear. It is quite possible that his yesterday's allies decided to eliminate him as an overly active politician.
- What's better than a hero?
- Dead Hero...
Secondly, the corporate families vividly organized the Conglomerate. Remember the phrase about "all animals are equal, but some are more equal"? Well, this is it: corporate employees started to have more political rights (They work for the good of the country and the whole society!). Well, since it was the corporations that paid their salaries and gave them jobs, it was the corporations that very quickly started ruling Cascadia through the Conglomerate.
Krueger was supported by 12 family corporations: we'll talk about these nice people a little later. For now, it's important to understand that despite the seemingly democratic slogans of the Uprising, LEGALLY democratic principles have never been enshrined. So a sense of uncertainty and fear of tomorrow is the norm for the people of Cascadia.
CASCADIA. A beautiful new world...
Cascade is a word of French-Italian origin, meaning "waterfall" or "fall". A cascade is also a system of repeating elements: "cascade of hydroelectric power stations," for example. Or "cascade of fountains".
Cascade , in this case, is a country made up of repetitive faceless corporations that tightly control their subordinates. Although it started out with slogans of individualism and private initiative, at the time of the game Cascadia is a tightly regulated caste society. So a cyberpunk-antiutopia in an open world with a distinctive design and chips - how is it even possible to screw it up? You can. Very much how. Cascadia's dystopian society is the dystopia of teen novels, with their division into Friendly and Fearless factions.
Let's start at the top of the food pyramid: the Corporations, aka Corporate Houses, which form the Conglomerate.
The local PeCa-boys and console commanders. They produce software and hardware, gobbling up all other competitors. They cooperate closely with "Kruger Sec", but are afraid that they can be taken over by them. They are quite understandably afraid, because Gabriel Kruger is not a person who will show politeness and play by the rules.
Builders of anything and everything. The City of Mirrors is their brainchild.
They are responsible for the Spectacles, attached to the synthetic bread. Simultaneously - propagandists and manipulators of mass consciousness.
Power and fresh water. Most of the fresh water in Cascadia is desalinated seawater. The desalination plants are riddled with wear and tear, as are the sources of electricity, with fatal consequences for the country's entire population.
The newcomers, producers of consumer goods, are young and bold. Other corporate houses look at them askance - for what can manufacturers of toothpicks and stationery do? And with good reason - Anansi has good contacts with the local crime lords, so don't discount them. On the other hand contacts with criminals are sometimes very unpleasant - for example, in the game criminal boss Dogen gives us the task to make a diversion, after which Anansi will have to pay to repair his skyscraper.
Production of cars, tools, machines, instruments, robots and so on.
Freight, transportation, postal services are all of them.
Foodstuffs. It would seem - everyone wants to eat at all times, and this company should be influential, but Gabriel Krueger is careful to make sure that Raposa does not even think of trying to use the threat of hunger as an argument in politics.
In charge of these Internet people of yours. Responsible for the functioning of the Net.
I'm not quite sure exactly, but they seem to be the Michurins around here: engaged in breeding and genetic improvement of plants, trying to develop new varieties - a very topical problem, given the difficult ecological situation.
Clothes, cosmetics, and so on. In the caste system, appearance is a marker, an identifying mark and a passport by which you are read by those around you.
If I have a little bit of CC, I have the right to wear yellow pants, and the patsak in front of me has to squat not once, but twice. If I have a lot of CCs I got the right to wear crimson pants and a patsak must squat twice in front of me, and a chatlanin must do "koo", and an etsilopp must not hit me at night... Never!..
We don't steal from Krueger!
Kruegers are feared, hated, other corporate houses think that Gabriel Krueger has gathered too much power in his hands... But no one is in a hurry to take that power away from him. For one thing, Krueger knows how to tear limbs off of competitors. Not as effective as his namesake on Elm Street, but very effective. Second, the very figure of Gabriel Krueger makes those who disagree with the Conglomerate's policies put out of their minds silly thoughts. Kruger Sec is a creepy scarecrow that allows the accumulated protest energy to be channeled. As long as there is Kruger - other corporations can live in peace: people hate him and his subordinates.
First of all, Cascadia's chief dictator and scarecrow of all things looks like EA CEO Andrew Wilson, which already hints. Secondly, Krueger is not such a monster: if you look, he's the most adequate character in the whole game. His son began his career in his father's company as a lowly policeman, and was killed in the course of the November Riots. There's a version that it was Kate Connors who killed him - then, as a child, she grabbed a gun and shot her son Kruger out of fear. It doesn't say it directly, but that's what it seemed to me based on the murky flashbacks. Perhaps that's why all weapons in the game are now equipped with scanners and only work in the hands of the owner - the father did it in memory of his son?
However, Krueger did not order the youngster's head to be twisted off (which he could have!), but gave her the name Isabella and adopted her. As stated, Krueger is leveling other corporations, giving the particularly violent protesters a smack in the butt, and looking for a way out of the current protracted crisis where corporations are only busy counting their profits, resources are scarce, and OmniStat could go on the offensive.
Unfortunately, many opportunities associated with this character have been missed...Kruger Sec is all about police, weapons production, and mining. There has to be some way to use the prisoners that the company's employees capture, right?
The conglomerate is a sort of supreme council, where the Corporations spin intrigues, screw each other over, and generally lead a full political life. Every once in a while Gabriel Krueger barks, bangs his fist on the table - and the chaos is interrupted, everyone starts "fighting the right way" and ends the strife and vacillation.
SIMPLE VEGETABLE CITIZENS.
The citizens of Cascadia are divided into castes and groups along the way. The first division is basically a caste member, and an outcast (outcast). The former has at least some rights, while the latter is considered a "parasite" (with the prospect of eviction to the Greylands).
The second division is between city dwellers and Greylanders. The Greylands are home to huge plantations where the most unpretentious foodstuffs are grown. For example, mushrooms. Given that there are nuclear power plants and chemical plants nearby, most of the food grown there goes to feed the lower castes.
Finally, there is already a hierarchy within each of the castes.
We have more or less dealt with the Corporate Houses, now let's turn our gaze downwards...
Heads of departments, corporate officials, particularly useful researchers. But they are still salaried employees - and so they try to curry favor by wishing to be accepted into the Corporate House.
Rich "middle class". Here you can find musicians, artists, and other free individuals with artistic talents. Their influence is noticeably lower than that of the Performers, but they also enjoy all the benefits of civilization.
"Middle manager," "little man," "corporation cog" - small clerks and employees who are only slightly above ordinary workers.
small clerk messes up and gets demoted to a worker.
Or when some mid-level manager jumps out of a skyscraper, brought to his knees by his beloved superiors.
Welcome to the bottom.
This is where corporate employees with terminated contracts, criminals, and other niceties await us. Over time, they've become part of Cascadia - prostitution, espionage, murder, guns and drugs. In the Grays Land there are also whole villages which are not subject to the Conglamerat: however, the Conglamerat is not very keen on conquering them. It is far, expensive - and they themselves will die out from chemical pollution.
Those that are captured are sent to the most dangerous mines and factories, where they slowly die.
This also includes the Runaways - couriers who deliver packages and information that must be hidden from the ubiquitous Conglomerate, and Black November - a terrorist group that is no stranger to mass murder and explosions.
The November Riots are an important event in Cascadia's history. First, it's when Kate and Faith (fancy name choice - 10 out of 10) found themselves separated. Second, Krueger's son died and he adopted Kate, giving her the name Isabella. Third, Kruger Sr. then proceeded to hand out lead gifts to protesters. Riots were triggered by the socio-economic crisis, so even among the Corporate Houses, some received a bullet to the head from Gabriel Krueger, poison in their favorite cocktail or a kamikaze drone through the window. Nevertheless, the confrontation between the conventional "streets" and the "corporatists" escalated, and the freshly formed Black November faction turned to terror and sabotage.
At the time the game began, fifty years had passed since Cascadia's emergence. The bottom line is that people have been raised by the Conglamerate, for the Conglamerate, and know no other world. And it's safe to say that the world of the game - well, or at least Cascadia - is doomed.
Constant infighting within the country, unrestrained use of resources, their depletion and other pranks sooner or later (sooner rather) will lead first to riots, and then - lead a decent part of the population to the grave. Despite the seeming prosperity, the uranium reserves for nuclear power plants, for example, are already depleted, and the desalination plants are worn out.
According to the ENT of the game, corporations have cut back on scientific research for reasons of "economic efficiency" - hello to our forest fires! Or - the residents of Minamata City.
Someone is trying to do something, but both OmniStat and Cascadia, despite their seeming prosperity and high technology, are close to collapse. Although the same Elysium Labs are trying to do something - chemically with genetics, for example.
The Mirror's Edge Catalyst game is so incredibly post-irony that it is even embarrassing. A game that shows all the doom of the corporate world, which due to corporate tailgating and desire to make money never became a masterpiece, leaving only a bunch of hints and hooks. Thus, it is a monument to corporate facelessness and short-sightedness. It suits her more than anyone else with its laconic and sterile style: that of the corporate office. mirror's edge, parkour, cyberpunk, lors, game world Write a comment Total comments: 5