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Old 11-07-18, 15:52   #1
Grimaldi
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Default Should Lara have been the vessel?

Just something that’s been on my mind. We know of Himiko’s priestesses and her grooming process that they were taught “languages, etiquette, history, warfare – all the skills needed to rule.” Qualities that ultimately aren’t needed when they’re possessed with someone with those traits anyway, but it stood out to me how those skills could parallel with Lara’s own self discovery. Who else is accumulating knowledge of language, etiquette (skill), history and warfare? Lara. Who isn’t? Sam.

Himiko herself is described by Sam as “beautiful, enigmatic, but also ruthless and powerful,” which better describes Lara as she was than it does Sam. It’s no secret the Ascension ritual is thematically tied to Lara’s own ascension, who even compares herself to Hoshii, the last priestess to (almost) become queen. It’s also telling how Himiko is depicted in this tomb mural — not as an elegant, poised queen, but a fighter with weaponry (a bow and melee weapon - sound familiar?).

It would appear the ritual only works on Himiko’s descendants, but this calls into question her grooming method and the studies preparing them to act as queen. Was it all a farce? Why was it necessary? Could this have been done differently?

Here’s an idea: what if the ritual could only work on people with a similar disposition as Himiko? She could theoretically possess anyone, blood-related or not, but the further away they were from her as a person, it just wouldn’t take, destroying the mind of the vessel in the process. She grooms up to a thousand handmaidens, training them relentlessly, searching for the one who’ll adapt and emerge something hardened and new, like her.

What does this mean for Sam? Nothing, except her status as a damsel would be instead to lure and mold Lara into someone capable of withstanding the ritual. We know the magatama necklace was originally going to play a big part in the story, and I’ve always had this little headcanon that it was a symbol of the Priestesses of the Sun. Potentially thousands of them were made to be worn, allowing Lara to find one when she was little, and wearing it marks her as a priestess. Perhaps Mathias sees Lara wearing it and interprets it as a sign that she’s the one, kidnapping Sam to force her into spilling blood (think Claudia’s intentions with Heather in Silent Hill 3).

The final ascent to the ritual chamber could have this ominous tension; Lara knows going there herself poses the risk of being used in the ceremony, but Mathias is threatening to use Sam if she doesn’t rescue her, who’ll be driven mad in the process.

What do you guys think? Did you have a similar feeling that Lara suited the role of successor more or were you fine with the plot as it is?
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Old 11-07-18, 16:42   #2
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This all sounds very interesting, but how would the plot progress? I never noticed the parallel between Hoshi and Lara either, nice catch

I like your suggestions to the plot. Lara being under threat of being possessed would be really cool and even awesome in terms of gameplay mechanics. Maybe they could have Lara battle visions or something, I don't know
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Old 11-07-18, 18:43   #3
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This all sounds very interesting, but how would the plot progress?
I was thinking much the same, with Mathias kidnapping Sam to the palace and Lara being under the assumption that Sam was important somehow, but with an additional area along the way, like a kofun or temple, for her to discover Himiko’s intentions earlier. The final realisation is that she is the new queen, not Sam.

I definitely think they should’ve toyed with the idea of Himiko “speaking” to people on the island. They almost tease it with “no one leaves” being scrawled everywhere, like she’s burning it into their minds, but there was potential to go deeper, like you mentioned. Maybe we could’ve fought Himiko or Mathias in a trippy hallucination landscape like the Vaas fight in Far Cry 3? Or something like Baba Yaga, but real?
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Old 11-07-18, 19:44   #4
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Ooooooh this sounds like a very interesting idea!!!

Maybe the soul transfer ceremony happens and Lara would fight Himiko on a "mind plane".

I also like your idea of Himiko's presence on the island being more prominent, with her speaking to people, messing with their heads... like she actually haunts the place.
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Old 11-07-18, 21:18   #5
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Maybe the soul transfer ceremony happens and Lara would fight Himiko on a "mind plane".
That would’ve been awesome, and could’ve shown her strength mentally as well as physically. I’m picturing something like the final boss of Dead Space 2 (01:15) as a concept, but with Himiko taking a form similar to these cut concepts:



And less of a horror vibe, of course.
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Old 12-07-18, 04:18   #6
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I'm sure that all that preparation was a farce. A smokescreen.

Spend time making the new girl look and act like the queen, and when the queen eventually inhabits her body, no one will be any the wiser.

There's no need to think more deeply than that.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:12   #7
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Spend time making the new girl look and act like the queen, and when the queen eventually inhabits her body, no one will be any the wiser.
The problem I have with this is that, apart from her handmaidens, no one had to see her. “No men attended her” after all. I think even the real myths described her as reclusive. Maybe it was just a distraction for her priestesses so they wouldn’t catch on, but it didn’t sound like a public display.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:46   #8
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It "could" have been interesting, however now you'd have a white character becoming a potential future Asian Queen. It wouldn't bode well at all in this day and age.


No, Sam still makes the most sense: not only she is Japanese, she is probably a direct descendent from Hoshi, and her family is not only rich, but influential in Japan.

I think that, instead of being kidnapped again or Lara being the vessel, it would have been more interesting if Sam willingly returned to the Solarii. Not because she wanted to become queen, but because she believed she had to do that sacrifice to allow her friends to leave Yamatai. Or maybe because she wanted them to leave safely AND to become a queen. I think that would be more interesting.
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Old 12-07-18, 10:12   #9
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It "could" have been interesting, however now you'd have a white character becoming a potential future Asian Queen. It wouldn't bode well at all in this day and age.


No, Sam still makes the most sense: not only she is Japanese, she is probably a direct descendent from Hoshi, and her family is not only rich, but influential in Japan.

I think that, instead of being kidnapped again or Lara being the vessel, it would have been more interesting if Sam willingly returned to the Solarii. Not because she wanted to become queen, but because she believed she had to do that sacrifice to allow her friends to leave Yamatai. Or maybe because she wanted them to leave safely AND to become a queen. I think that would be more interesting.
*cough*ghostintheshell*cough*

Actually with this talk of other people getting possessed, wouldn't it have been cool if during their struggle, Lara knocked Matthias into Himiko or something and this resulted in Himiko possessing Matthias for some sort of elemental boss fight?
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Old 12-07-18, 10:20   #10
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It "could" have been interesting, however now you'd have a white character becoming a potential future Asian Queen. It wouldn't bode well at all in this day and age.
She wouldn’t actually become Japanese royalty, just be possessed by someone who was. Becoming “queen” is only a metaphor after all, Yamatai only ever had one. It’s about as problematic as a white character saving the remaining people of colour which I haven’t heard anyone criticise.

I don’t know, if Sam willingly gave herself up, I think I’d be more frustrated than if she were kidnapped. She knows the stories of Himiko and should know, especially after time in captivity with the Solarii, that bringing her back isn’t a good idea. If she thought she needed to be sacrificed then that might make more sense, but they already tried with the fire ritual, and it was clear they needed her alive after that.

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Actually with this talk of other people getting possessed, wouldn't it have been cool if during their struggle, Lara knocked Matthias into Himiko or something and this resulted in Himiko possessing Matthias for some sort of elemental boss fight?
I’d be down for that. Now that you mention it, there was so much potential for a Himiko fight where she commands the elements. Ice, fire, wind, cracking the earth beneath you.
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