Zetan Alien motives

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by samoja, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. samoja

    samoja First time out of the vault

    Feb 24, 2018
    So in Mothership Zeta add on we are formally introduced to Zetan aliens, before this there were alien encounters here and there but they were mostly Easter eggs and their canon status was dubious.

    So we get abducted, we escape, and we capture the Mothership, but the motivation behind the original kidnapping is left largely unanswered, you can ask Elliott but he is mainly just guessing based on no particular evidence.

    Let me start this with some things that almost certainly are not Zetan motivations:

    1. they are not trying to conquer Earth.

    Reason for this is that after the nuclear exchange it would be incredibly easy for Zetans to swoop down, mop up what is left of the humans and take the place over, there were not that many humans left, those that were were concentrated in few key spots and almost completely defenseless, and even more technologically advanced factions would be easy pickings for Zetan Death ray.

    On a side note Zetans also did not cause the war, reason for this is simple, had they wanted to wipe out humanity they would not need the bombs, Zetan Death ray has been calculated to have yield of roughly 200 megatons, even if they wanted to be conservative with their resources a couple low powered shots to each side would be enough for both sides to instantly go nuclear on each other, Zetans did not need lauch codes as the bugged recording would suggest.

    2. They are not harvesting us for food.

    Although their cryoexperiments may seem like effort to preserve food fresh there is no reason to freeze humans alive, dead human frozen is just as good food source as living, and that is assuming we are even edible for them.

    3. They don´t want to enslave us as work force.

    Apart from Zetans having fully capable robot drones which would likely be way more effective and consume less resources they also seem wholly uninterested in developing means of communication, which would be vital for any slave labor force, after all even a slave needs orders, slave is entirely useless if you can´t tell it what to do.

    4. They are not using us as guinea pigs to improve their own quality of life, in real life we use mammals as guinea pigs instead of bugs or fish because quality of data is directly proportional to how similar the select lifeform is to us, for a species in outer space who´s evolution happened completely separately from ours any data they may gather will be completely useless in affecting their own lives since they are so radically different.

    Ok, let´s talk about the things Zetans showed interest in:

    1. They showed great deal of interest in cryogenics, for some reason they dedicated vast resources to trying to cryogenically preserve live humans.

    2. They showed interest in human culture, they were around for hundreds of years and abducted people from wide range of historical eras, and they also forced this humans to recite their life story into audio recorders, this shows they are interested not only in human biology, but also in human intelligence.

    3. They showed interest in reshaping human bodies, in particular hybridization with their own DNA, this experiments can be reasonably said to have failed since resulting abominations were feral and berserk.

    4. They showed interest in human maturation, seen in case of Sally and her sister, as Zetans intentionally kept Sally a child where her sister was allowed to grow up naturally so that they can oserve the changes in real time.

    5. They showed interest in human technology but at best only a passing interest, as more of a curiosity, they stacked vast amounts of it in the cargo hold but they do not seem to give it too much attention beyond that.

    6. They showed interest in human biology as evidenced by vast quantities of human organs and blood samples on the ship.
    So on to the conclusion. Elliott theorizes that Zetans may have been the ones who seeded life on Earth in the first place, and their efforts in cryogenics certainly suggest they plan to transplant human life somewhere else. For what purpose they intend to do this is anyone´s guess, maybe they are trying to create a race of supersoldiers (after all your small band was able to run right trough the mothership). Or they simply want to preserve human race for their own purposes. Maybe in their own version of moral code survival of human species takes precedence over any individual human being, so they do not see performing horrific experiments on individual humans objectionable so far as it serves the survival of the whole species.

    Their interest in human culture suggests they plan to preserve human civilization it more or less its current form, perhaps the war disrupted their experiments and they seek to restart them somewhere else, by transplanting humans to another, more hospitable world.

    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    It's just "Look there's aliens, aren't they cool?" There's nothing deep about it to be honest.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  3. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    I think that Bethesda just made a compilation of aliens' tropes in popculture.
  4. samoja

    samoja First time out of the vault

    Feb 24, 2018
    While authors may not have intended Zetans to have any deeper personality we can still glean something about their apparent motivations based on their actions. As anyone who ever wrote as much as a short story will tell you, once you set up a character personality it almost takes a life of it´s own, story sort of grows organically from there. So if we can reasonably establish Zetan profile we can then reasonably extrapolate their motives, ideas, thoughts and much more.
  5. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    While your post provides a solid assessment of Zetans (by the way, I think you are the first person to refer them as such on these boards, but I could be wrong), and your last post is something I would agree with, there is a huge problem here that, while meta-gamey in a way, is too big to be overlooked.

    Fallout was never intended to have aliens as anything more but an Easter Egg. In the original Fallout, where you find the crashed spaceship special encounter, it's authenticity and "canon quality" is immediately questioned given the nature of special encounters (you can find Godzilla footprint for instance). These encounters served as Easter Eggs for lots of pop-culture references which may or may not be connected to the setting (stereotypical aliens are very much '50s, Godzilla is connected with the whole nuclear theme, while some of the other stuff is kinda random and little more than developers' nods to works which influenced them).

    FO2 continued this trend with special encounters (Guardian of Forever from Star Trek for instance), which are, again, not really canon. Even though some would say that FO2 went overboard with pop-culture references, it's still shunned away from confirming anything even remotely connected to extraterrestrial life. Sure, you have a creature simply named "Alien", but that one has no relation to actual aliens (aside from being some sort of weird homage to Ridley Scott's Alien, but that's besides the point) as the game calls them wannamingos and developers were quick to affirm the fact that they are not aliens but rather FEV mutants.

    In short, there were no 100% confirmed aliens in Fallout series until Bethesda came in.

    I'm probably one of the few who actually liked the crashed spaceship location in FO3, though I have many issues with it too - starting with its OP weapon, and the fact that it is, well, always there (unlike FO1). However, despite being a bit on the nose, it was still palatable.

    Mothership Zeta, however, entirely missed the thematic point here (aside from being a poorly designed DLC from gameplay perspective, among other things). Not a thematic point within FO1 only, but on a much grander scale. Let me start with Fallout setting.
    As mentioned before, aliens were nothing more than an Easter egg. A nod to Cold War era obsession with flying saucers, little gray ones, government conspiracies, Elvis returning home etc. and all the works of the era which contributed to this pop-culture milestone. Bethesda completely missed that and made Aliens into literal presentations of this trope, which rendered them comical from the get go.

    Whereas earlier there was mystery and uncertainty, we now got bunch of funny looking mobs on a poorly designed spaceship. From a potentiality of an all-powerful intergalactic civilization we went to the most stereotypical form of alien life, which ingame acts as little more than a re-skinned Raider.
    Sure, these aliens look very much '50s - they even have cool little ray guns - but that completely misses the point.

    The strength of this specific form of alien trope lies in the mystery of it all. Who are they? Where do they come from? How did they come here? What do they want from us? Are they friend or foe?
    Even vanilla Fallout 3 managed to, albeit somewhat crudely, sustain the mystery behind the aliens and their (supposed) presence in the world.

    Mothership Zeta simply, and quite brutally, jumped the shark.

    It turned enigmatic superior extraterrestrial intelligent life into dumb, funny little creatures who are so inept and incapable that they manage to have a mothership destroyed and another taken over - by a 19-year-old who left security of a nuclear shelter nary a month or two ago, and his ragtag band of spatially, temporally and culturally misplaced misfits who, despite all logic, managed to work together.
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  6. Eshanas

    Eshanas Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jul 6, 2016
    They just seem like a bunch of science nerds, more particularly, it's more akin to a scientific mobile base that they rotate crews in and out of. They're callous about life, sure, but it seems they're the equivalent of an Antarctic base.

    That does beg the questions about the second UFO: A civil war broke out? Another faction sending a relatively small ship to rattle someone else? A containment tactic in case the locals took over their tech?
  7. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I always thought that Bethesda had several ideas for the last FO3 DLC and went with Aliens because that would have included all the ideas at once.

    For example. I imagine that Bethesda wanted real cowboys, real samurai, real pre-war soldiers. So I assumed that they might have wanted to make a DLC where you travel back in time (Bethesda has showed that they seem obsessed about the past in Fallout a few times, and look at the start of FO4). But to do that you would need a lot of different style "set pieces" (old west, pre-war and feudal Japan). They also wouldn't have many OP weapons (which since it would be the last DLC, Bethesda thought it should have).

    Enter the aliens. They can easily have kept all of these characters from all of these different times, and they only needed one "set piece" style (50's alien spaceship), they could make all the OP weapons they wanted too, because Aliens have advanced technology. Much easier than time travel too (no need for pesky questions on "if they can travel in time, why not stop the great war?").

    Another question is... Why are Zetans obsessed with Giddyup Buttercup?
  8. samoja

    samoja First time out of the vault

    Feb 24, 2018

    Well i thought it would be good to differentiate between Zetans and "Ancient aliens" of Cabot family, while it is possible those two are one and the same IMO it is rather unlikely, for one Zetans never displayed any telepathic ability, nor did they show willingness or desire to act as mentors to humans. Really this two alien races seem completely different in their intentions (reasonable since Zetans are stereotypical UFO aliens of the 50es where Ancient aliens are more modern interpretation of aliens, based mostly on the idea of Anunaki that were popular around 2010 to 2012 because of the whole mayan calendar fad).
  9. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Tourists? Post-nuclear safari? They're probably pissed off that they got to Earth after all the cool dinosaurs went extinct. Oh sure Cassowarys are hardcore, but that's just how Australia rolls.
  10. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2017
    The LW took a stumble while roaming the Capital Wasteland tripped and hit their head, causing them to pass out and imagine they were on an Alien Spaceship.

    Like a Wizard of Oz all over again.
  11. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Just off the top of my head they are using humans as hybrid DNA baby factory type things like most pop culture tropes suggest. With aliens they are either taking over, eating us, or breeding. That is pretty much it.
  12. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    I wish too the Mothership Zeta was just a nightmare by the Lone Wanderer. But nope, canon to the universe of Fallout. Sigh.
  13. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I don't think they are taking over. They had 200 years of apocalypse to take over without resistance, also they have been around from (at least) the early 1600's (Samurai).

    I don't think they eat us. They have their own Alien Worm and Alien Squid foods all over the spaceship. Also if they ate humans, they wouldn't have those really old ones from past times (like samurai, cowboys and pre-apocalypse little girls. astronauts and soldiers) because they would have probably be some alien dinner by now.

    So that leaves breeding. But for someone who is around since the early 1600's, they seem to have a lack of human-alien hybrids numbers.

    They also seem to like to record their victims talking, for some reason. And they seem fascinated about the robot pony Buttercup, again for some reason.
  14. TerminallyChill

    TerminallyChill Be excellent to each other.

    Feb 16, 2018
    If you were to ask the writers of Mothership Zeta what the aliens' motives are, my guess is they would tell you something along these lines. DNA splicing is the only concrete use the Zetans are shown to have for the human race as far as I remember. I don't necessarily think you can conclude the experiment has failed just because the abominations are hostile, either. Even if it was, is there any indication the aliens have given up? (I seriously don't recall, my brain is probably just trying to protect me.)

    Addressing the aliens' use of cryogenics, while there are definitely simpler ways of preserving DNA for this purpose, if Zetans possesed the resources and the technology to keep live specimens, why wouldn't they? This is about the best argument I can make for this expansion while attempting to take it seriously.

    This might be the best clue as to the writers' intentions.

    If I had to personally guess the real way Mothership Zeta's story was written, this is where I'd place my bet. Much like Fallout 3 as a whole, there are numerous logic gaps and other inconsistencies within the story. For staters, the actual spaceship itself seems to have contradictory motives. Why is there a cryogenics lab, a robot factory, and a fucking weapons testing facility all on the same ship? What is the purpose of this spacecraft? Why does it have a death ray? If the aliens were around for so long and cared about preserving different humans from history, why the fuck did they only abduct a samurai, a cowboy, a soldier, a little girl, an astronaut, and a fucking post apocalyptic Mad Max vault dweller? Why do they even still need to hang around Earth? Nothing makes sense when you hold these things up for scrutiny because the developers didn't put half as much thought into their game as we are right now on this forum.

    100% agreed, which is why I think Fallout 3's rare random encounter where a flying saucer exploded above you and dropped an insanely powerful alien weapon along with a limited supply of scattered ammo was the most appropriate inclusion of extraterrestrials in Fallout 3. It was subtle, balanced, and fit the tone of Fallout.

    Interesting hypothesis. Don't forget about Operation Anchorage, either. The "simulator" might as well have been a fucking time machine. I seriously doubt Bethesda gave much of a fuck about making historical weapons more powerful than modern ones though, just look at Lincoln's Repeater.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  15. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Their motivations?

    They're assholes and we need to take their stuff!

    Damn Space Raiders!
    • [Like] [Like] x 1