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Old 11-10-17, 23:41   #11
Blue_light
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Originally Posted by Grimaldi View Post
Immortality and the Stormguard

How are they still alive? If they've been around for as long as Himiko's been trapped, why does she have a continued need for vessels? Her Stormguard don't show any signs of decay, yet she couldn't achieve that for herself? Is it her "witchcraft" alone that keeps them alive? Unlike the Deathless and the Divine Source, we don't really get an answer in the game.

More importantly, why are the Stormguard not searching for a vessel? Allegedly her general was the only person to know she required one but she's extremely powerful - couldn't she communicate to her own supernatural army psychically that she needed a new body? If she can take down planes on will alone I don't think that's outside the realms of possibility.
I always assumed that the Stormguard were like the Thralls, as in reanimated corpses with the sole purpose of protecting the Queen. It could be the result of a curse or a pact possibly made by Himiko, in which the Stormguard were granted immortality at the cost of their humanity and free will in order to stay loyal, hence them not decaying.

Stormguard not searching for a vessel: have you seen the island? How many women are there? She probably doesn't find the men attractive.

Himiko needing vessels. My theory is as following:

When the priestess killed herself during the ritual, her soul was not yet fused or overwritten by Himiko's soul, so the priestess was still the body's rightful owner. As Himiko's soul was transferred after the priestess died, the body, as it was dead, was not able to recognize the new soul as part of it, so Himiko does not have access to the new body, so she cannot stop it from decaying.

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They seem to imply that Himiko does communicate with Mathias, at least his ability to know the names and languages of people who'd washed up doesn't seem natural. If so, the Solarii must be of some use to her in finding the "key" but she already has an immortal, committed group of men who could do it.
There are a lot of abandoned ships, ancient ruins, and WWII constructions. He could've found the bodies, ID documents, personal objects, and other artifacts. You can also assume that the documents the player finds are also available to Mathias.

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The fire ritual and vessel requirements

Does anyone know why it was performed? I feel like this should be really obvious but I don't get it. Himiko should know who she wants to be her successor, why the need for theatrics? How does it help confirm suitability when it boils down to Himiko giving a yes or a no like it's Vessel's Got Talent? What are the actual requirements for being a vessel?
"Vessel's Got Talent" I love it!

When Lara sees the first panel at Himiko's Tomb she's like "this looks like a sacrificial ritual", but after a bit more observing, she's like "wait a minute! This is an ascension ritual!", and the panel with a woman on fire could be taken as symbolic, instead of a literal sacrifice.

Fire can be symbolic for purification, so you could say that the candidate is someone who is the embodiment of purity, being depicted as a woman consumed in flames. It also makes sense when you consider that the vessels chosen were priestesses, who undergo purification rituals.

The pilgrimage would be Himiko grooming the vessel, and the actual ritual the moment to transfer the soul.

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Sam says she's a descendant of Himiko but am I alone in thinking "how do you know this?"
I remember reading a document where Sam comments that her grandmother (or great grandma, I don't remember) was the one that always told Himiko's story, but told her in a way as if it was a memory. My theory is that Sam's grandmother was born to a woman, or had relatives, who was already a reincarnation of Himiko.

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Either way it seems like something Himiko has no need to prove - she should just know. She's magic. Taking Sam to be burned at the temple instead of straight to the ritual just seems like a waste of time.
That kind of reinforces the idea that Mathias cannot communicate directly with Himiko, and that he most likely took the "woman on fire" as a literal sacrifice, instead of symbolic, like Lara thought the first time. Of course Himiko wouldn't allow that.

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On a smaller note, like I mentioned above only the general was privy to the body-hopping but in Hoshi's time the queen is referred to as Himiko. Did each proceeding queen take on the name or is this an error? It's something that might've made the twist a bit less obvious had we heard about all the different queens beforehand.
I think they took the name, kinda like how the Popes' names aren't their real ones.

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The dark horrors

Does anyone know what the Chinese Ambassador saw or learned that spooked him so much?
Most likely the Stormguard + Oni, since, you know, they're undead.
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Old 12-10-17, 00:59   #12
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Excellent points Blue_light!

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
I always assumed that the Stormguard were like the Thralls, as in reanimated corpses with the sole purpose of protecting the Queen.
I could buy this, it's just the presentation that throws me off. The thralls were simple-minded shambling corpses, the Stormguard are physically unchanged (with the exception of big dude Oni), capable of speech and combat. They seem high-functioning, like they could take orders, especially from their sworn queen.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
Stormguard not searching for a vessel: have you seen the island? How many women are there? She probably doesn't find the men attractive.
This is the thing, you'd think she'd get over herself and possess anyone she could instead of throwing a colossal tantrum if her vessels weren't limited to descendants.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
Himiko needing vessels. My theory is as following:
That's an interesting theory. I definitely think Hoshi's idea was to die during the transfer and somehow take Himiko with her. As in, even if you take me, you'll be taking a corpse and be trapped.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
There are a lot of abandoned ships, ancient ruins, and WWII constructions. He could've found the bodies, ID documents, personal objects, and other artifacts.
I love this idea. The Solarii see Mathias as this mysterious priest-like figure but he's really just a clever sociopath twisting and manipulating them. The only thing that's off to me is Mathias could fluently speak Russian. I know it's not impossible he could before the island but the Russians were taken aback by it. That he appeared when the storms cleared, knew where and who they were and how to talk to them has an unnatural vibe about it, but that could just be because we're seeing it from their POV.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
Fire can be symbolic for purification, so you could say that the candidate is someone who is the embodiment of purity, being depicted as a woman consumed in flames.
Damn, that makes so much more sense. I really dig the imagery of the pilgrimage being a metaphor for the grooming and not a physical journey too. Really goes with "the truth behind the myth" theme Crystal have going. So taking Sam to burned was totally incorrect on Mathias's part and Himiko's extinguishing of the flames was her saying "wait dude what the actual **** are you doing?!" I love it.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
That kind of reinforces the idea that Mathias cannot communicate directly with Himiko, and that he most likely took the "woman on fire" as a literal sacrifice, instead of symbolic, like Lara thought the first time. Of course Himiko wouldn't allow that.
You're right, that makes more sense.

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Originally Posted by Blue_light
Most likely the Stormguard + Oni, since, you know, they're undead.
This was before the fall of Yamatai though, unless the Stormguard at some point became unnatural like the Athanatoi in Rise.
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Old 12-10-17, 11:22   #13
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I could buy this, it's just the presentation that throws me off. The thralls were simple-minded shambling corpses, the Stormguard are physically unchanged (with the exception of big dude Oni), capable of speech and combat. They seem high-functioning, like they could take orders, especially from their sworn queen.
That's why I mentioned the possibility of a curse or a pact.

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The only thing that's off to me is Mathias could fluently speak Russian. I know it's not impossible he could before the island but the Russians were taken aback by it. That he appeared when the storms cleared, knew where and who they were and how to talk to them has an unnatural vibe about it, but that could just be because we're seeing it from their POV.
Mathias did mention that he was a teacher, or maybe he was just interested in broadening his horizons. I mean, Lara can understand Japanese, and various other languages, so why not?

For the second part, Mathias could have observed the Russian people from afar, and could've waited until they started losing their sense of reason to make an appearance.

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This was before the fall of Yamatai though, unless the Stormguard at some point became unnatural like the Athanatoi in Rise.
Oh, right. Forgive me, I was one of those that didn't read all the documents.
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Old 15-10-17, 11:44   #14
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My theory is:

The stormguards (and the onis), are something similar to the deathless ones.
Wich means they are linked to Himiko in some ways.
The question is in what way, since Himiko used magic, while the deathless ones were linked to the divine source.
I don't mention the onis, since they are mythical creatures.

The fact, the stormguards doesn't look for a new vessel, is completely undersandable.
Firs of all, when Hoshi sabotaged the ritual - wich means Himiko couldn't find a new vessel after that- Yamatai has fallen. The inhabitants left the island.
We know (and see at the beach) people had stranded on island, but they died there, mostly men i guess.
So there wasn't any women on the Island and I guess changing gender , isn't a possibility.

Also when the japanese soldiers arrived and installed those bunkers, it was for defense, I think. (those "canons " looking at the beach...)
Plus, they have noticed, those storms what Himiko has caused, so they made a research facility. (Lara mentions troughout the optional tombs)
Also, they went for treause hunting too, that's when they were slaughtered.

When Mathias arrived, he heard Himiko as she tried to communicate with him. The result was ,that Mathias went insane and founded the Solarii. Anyone who turned against him, died. As for this reason he was alone on the island for a while, so he learned some secrets of Yamatai/Himiko.
During the game there are places, where they sacrificed womens to Himiko but they obviously died (Same for children and weak men). Maybe racial issue?
When Sam arrived, Himiko realized that could be the only chance for her, since Sam linked to Yamatai. (Maybe one of Sam's anchestors lived on Yamatai under the rule of Himiko.)

Himiko attacked her own soldiers:
At first, she was protecting Mathias, as she couldn't control the guards. (The guards knew, the Himiko's body has deceased, but Himiko herself was still around, that's why they didn't left with the others.)
For the second time, where Lara blasting trough to the ritual chamber, she was stopped by an oni. Himiko tried to kill her, but the climbing axe was stronger, so Lara didn't flew away.

The ritual:
I've read the comics, wich indicates, there are two ritual.
1. Slow:
Needs a body, a vessel and an incantation. (That's what we witnessed with Lara)
2. Fast:
Needs a body, a vessel and the Wei mirror.
The queen forced the chosen one to look in the mirror, wich resulted in the body got emptied. (The mirror swallows the souls.) Then Himiko possessed the body. (That's what was explained in the comics and got Sam freed from -Himiko)
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Old 15-10-17, 16:12   #15
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Thank you for that information about the comics, I haven't read them so that's interesting to know! Makes me wish they'd had the mirror in the game for Lara to find instead of Sam.

Yeah, I think it boils down to Himiko needing a descendent in her bloodline which was difficult to find due to the fall of Yamatai. There was no sacrificial fire ritual, it was entirely metaphorical. The circumstances surrounding the Stormguard's immortality could've been fleshed out more but Blue_light's theory sounds likely.
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Old 16-10-17, 00:15   #16
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How are they still alive? If they've been around for as long as Himiko's been trapped, why does she have a continued need for vessels? Her Stormguard don't show any signs of decay, yet she couldn't achieve that for herself? Is it her "witchcraft" alone that keeps them alive? Unlike the Deathless and the Divine Source, we don't really get an answer in the game.
It's possible the Stormguard are possessed Japanese survivors. Just a guess though.

Quote:
They seem to imply that Himiko does communicate with Mathias, at least his ability to know the names and languages of people who'd washed up doesn't seem natural. If so, the Solarii must be of some use to her in finding the "key" but she already has an immortal, committed group of men who could do it.
They're clearly not immortal though so might as well just leave them be to fumble around smacking around anyone who's there.

Quote:
It's also worth noting there's a few instances where Himiko kills her own Stormguard (blowing them from the bridge and off the ritual chamber) as if to stop them from stopping the ritual. What?
The stormguard aren't dear to her or anything. In her time they would have been disposable at her whim.

The fire ritual and vessel requirements

Quote:
Does anyone know why it was performed? I feel like this should be really obvious but I don't get it. Himiko should know who she wants to be her successor, why the need for theatrics? How does it help confirm suitability when it boils down to Himiko giving a yes or a no like it's Vessel's Got Talent? What are the actual requirements for being a vessel?
Himiko wants vessels who are as much like her as possible
Sam says she's a descendant of Himiko but am I alone in thinking "how do you know this?" If it's a case of possessing people in your bloodline, alright, but do we know if Himiko had any offspring or family that didn't die in the fall of Yamatai? Mathias says she's a suitable candidate because she "carries the blood of this land" - is it more of a race thing then? But are you genuinely telling me that in hundreds of years Sam is the first Asian woman to plop on the island?
Women were historically kept from sailing and everyone else who washed up may not have been to Himiko's taste.
The real Himiko didn't have any children. Any descendants of Himiko would have been from her siblings.

Quote:
Either way it seems like something Himiko has no need to prove - she should just know. She's magic. Taking Sam to be burned at the temple instead of straight to the ritual just seems like a waste of time.
I'm sure Himiko knows, but she's a bit proud and theatrical about it. If you read Hoshi's diaries she dotes on her, dresses her in her clothes. Basically grooming her.

Also, Mathias is the only one she's talking to, so for the Solarii to know Sam is the chosen one a ritual where Himiko shows her powers is a good idea. It shows Himiko is powerful and it shows who they need to protect.

Quote:
On a smaller note, like I mentioned above only the general was privy to the body-hopping but in Hoshi's time the queen is referred to as Himiko. Did each proceeding queen take on the name or is this an error? It's something that might've made the twist a bit less obvious had we heard about all the different queens beforehand.
All her people would have known is that she is a witch who uses witchcraft to live long. They probably didn't know she possessed people to live forever.

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Does anyone know what the Chinese Ambassador saw or learned that spooked him so much?
It's possible he saw Himiko controlling the storms. That can be terrifying.
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Old 16-10-17, 02:45   #17
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Originally Posted by ancientIo
It's possible the Stormguard are possessed Japanese survivors. Just a guess though.
What implies that they are? Lara asks the question "how can they be alive after all this time?" If spirits of the Stormguard were possessing survivors I think it would've been mentioned.

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Originally Posted by ancientIo
The stormguard aren't dear to her or anything. In her time they would have been disposable at her whim.
I was more concerned with her killing her own soldiers as if they couldn't respond to commands, but I don't think they were entirely disposable in her time either. They were largely what made her kingdom so formidable (you can read about their plans to conquer further than Yamatai after a successful battle in the game). So much so she's somehow keeping them alive for them to still serve her.

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Originally Posted by ancientIo
I'm sure Himiko knows, but she's a bit proud and theatrical about it. If you read Hoshi's diaries she dotes on her, dresses her in her clothes. Basically grooming her.
True, but I think it makes more sense that the flames were symbolic. In her time the ritual would be just an excuse to blow out a giant birthday candle for no gain, in Lara's time she's been suffering for hundreds of years, too long to believably be concerned with formalities if she already knew imo.

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Originally Posted by ancientIo
It's possible he saw Himiko controlling the storms. That can be terrifying.
Hm, maybe. What storms would be so great before the fall of Yamatai to be described as "dark horrors" though? It's a weird line.
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Old 16-10-17, 19:13   #18
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What implies that they are? Lara asks the question "how can they be alive after all this time?" If spirits of the Stormguard were possessing survivors I think it would've been mentioned.
They're pretty mysterious but the Japanese soldier in Wartime Intelligence said that the Oni were consuming their souls. That's what made me think of it.

Quote:
I was more concerned with her killing her own soldiers as if they couldn't respond to commands, but I don't think they were entirely disposable in her time either. They were largely what made her kingdom so formidable (you can read about their plans to conquer further than Yamatai after a successful battle in the game). So much so she's somehow keeping them alive for them to still serve her.
I'm not sure they're under her control. They attack Lara, kill Whitman and don't even act like the Solarii are there even when they smack them. They're just cool looking bosses that attack at the slightest provocation. It's kinda funny that they're so immortal and scary but they get killed by Lara anyway.
After the fall of Yamatai they must have been soldiers without a Queen. So I don't think they're obedient to Himiko, just to a general.

Quote:
Hm, maybe. What storms would be so great before the fall of Yamatai to be described as "dark horrors" though? It's a weird line.
Her people seemed to be scared of her and claimed she could control the storms.

Seeing as how she killed Stormguard with her powers maybe she harmed someone with her storm powers? Fit of rage maybe.
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Old Yesterday, 23:53   #19
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I was reminded of a few things I didn't really understand about the plot while watching the Game Statistic's review that I thought I'd ask about here. I'm sorry if the answers are really obvious.

Immortality and the Stormguard

How are they still alive? If they've been around for as long as Himiko's been trapped, why does she have a continued need for vessels? Her Stormguard don't show any signs of decay, yet she couldn't achieve that for herself? Is it her "witchcraft" alone that keeps them alive? Unlike the Deathless and the Divine Source, we don't really get an answer in the game.

More importantly, why are the Stormguard not searching for a vessel? Allegedly her general was the only person to know she required one but she's extremely powerful - couldn't she communicate to her own supernatural army psychically that she needed a new body? If she can take down planes on will alone I don't think that's outside the realms of possibility.

They seem to imply that Himiko does communicate with Mathias, at least his ability to know the names and languages of people who'd washed up doesn't seem natural. If so, the Solarii must be of some use to her in finding the "key" but she already has an immortal, committed group of men who could do it.

It's also worth noting there's a few instances where Himiko kills her own Stormguard (blowing them from the bridge and off the ritual chamber) as if to stop them from stopping the ritual. What?

The fire ritual and vessel requirements

Does anyone know why it was performed? I feel like this should be really obvious but I don't get it. Himiko should know who she wants to be her successor, why the need for theatrics? How does it help confirm suitability when it boils down to Himiko giving a yes or a no like it's Vessel's Got Talent? What are the actual requirements for being a vessel?

Sam says she's a descendant of Himiko but am I alone in thinking "how do you know this?" If it's a case of possessing people in your bloodline, alright, but do we know if Himiko had any offspring or family that didn't die in the fall of Yamatai? Mathias says she's a suitable candidate because she "carries the blood of this land" - is it more of a race thing then? But are you genuinely telling me that in hundreds of years Sam is the first Asian woman to plop on the island?

Either way it seems like something Himiko has no need to prove - she should just know. She's magic. Taking Sam to be burned at the temple instead of straight to the ritual just seems like a waste of time.

On a smaller note, like I mentioned above only the general was privy to the body-hopping but in Hoshi's time the queen is referred to as Himiko. Did each proceeding queen take on the name or is this an error? It's something that might've made the twist a bit less obvious had we heard about all the different queens beforehand.

The dark horrors

Does anyone know what the Chinese Ambassador saw or learned that spooked him so much? His exact words are:


Lara adds:


My first thought is he discovered the truth, but how do you "see" it? If he witnessed the ritual it's not visually horrific.

I think that's all for now, sorry for the ramble.
The Oni we're alive because of the power their queen possessed. The reason they didn't go searching is because they we're to protect her body at all time. Himiko knew her soldiers weren't supposed to leave so she orchestrated ships and all types of carriers that carried people to be stranded there. Like a sort of prison she wouldn't anybody leave until Mathias started to understand and study her history and begin to be infatuated with finding a proper sacrifice. Himiko also didn't coordinate the fire ritual. It was the Solarii. Once she sensed the bloodline was suitable she'd blow the fire away and protect the priestess at all cost. Sam wasn't the first asian girl on the island. It's mentioned that the ritual was casted before on other girls by the Solarii. Himiko was the first and last Queen. And they only referred to her as the Sun Queen not Himiko.
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