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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The evil Nalis of Nali Castle? (Read 2720 times)
Buster
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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #15 - Dec 8th, 2018 at 2:38am
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Na Pali may be stuck between 2 systems in the same region of a galaxy. It's just a matter of distance and transportation. Continents didn't remain isolated as the methods of transportation advanced, driven by the need for vast natural resources. It's not that much different than earthlings stripping the land of any and all resources, using the indigenous people as cheap labor or moving them to controlled areas (not everyone was wiped out), and transporting huge amounts on ships literally across the globe. Just take what is done every day on this planet and sci-fi the sheit out of it. Maybe the Aztec style of the temples, the medieval style of the castles, and the future tech that is present with the mining sites are the Nali's version of a similar history we have here on Earth. Maybe there's an alien race out there wanting our water, and wants humans to multiply as much as possible, because they've got a lot of hungry bellies to fill. It should be a tv show or movie. Oh yeah, it's been done. Lots. I found lots of similarities to the Nali in the movie Avatar. I think he got a few of his ideas from playing Unreal. He just doesn't want to admit it. Lmao
  

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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #16 - Dec 8th, 2018 at 12:20pm
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I am obviously right, how can you not agree with me! Cry
  

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Buster
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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #17 - Dec 8th, 2018 at 9:48pm
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Maybe the Nali aren't the indigenous race of Na Pali. Maybe the planet was terra-formed by another race, and the Nali were engineered and placed on the planet. Or maybe it's like Stargate. Some race brought their slaves with them when they first arrived on the planet, and over the centuries (or longer) only the Nali were left. Why the Nali? There were more of them. Dozens of slaves for every ruling individual.

Or maybe we're all full of sheit. Who knows? It's fun trying to figure out where the designers got all of their ideas from. When Unreal was being conceived it was only a few years after the Berlin wall was torn down. I'm sure the gen-x attitudes found their way into the game's background story.
  

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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #18 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 3:59am
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Although we canít 100% say that the Nali were the only people who inhabited the planet before them, the structures are more the favor of them. It suits their culture and lifestyle, further giving more evidence in the favor that itís indeed their own.

We canít 100% prove it, but the evidence itís stronger in that it was created by them, rather than taken over by them.
  
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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #19 - Dec 9th, 2018 at 10:08pm
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It is fun to examine the possible cultural origins of a fictitious alien race. One thing I've noticed is most of the creatures on Na Pali, including the Nali themselves, seem to be of an amphibious origin. That's just based upon the lack of fur and hair. Of course, it was probably more a texture issue than one of background info. The planet may have been very swamp like in its distant past, with a lot more trees. That could be why the Nali developed the ability to levitate, to be able to get around and keep away from any predators. Like the rabbits in Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, which were published around the time the Unreal game was being conceived. Not many people analyze video games beyond visual, audio and other technical aspects. Not like novels and movies, or other forms of story telling.
  

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Re: The evil Nalis of Nali Castle?
Reply #20 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 8:36pm
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Hellkeeper wrote on Dec 4th, 2018 at 1:31am:
I just gave this a little bit of thought and I think you're wrong, here's what probably happened.

We've all noticed ancient Nali temples are reminiscent of Aztec and Mayan temples, which hints at a similar kind of culture, probably tending towards the Aztec one given the main cult being Chizra, a water god who, to me, evokes the Aztec god of rain Tlaloc, supreme deity of the Aztec pantheon.
So they probably used a similar system of belief and societal organization: priests were at the top and workers at the bottom. This is made clear by the presence of Nali priests and normal Nalis, but the absence of warrior Nalis is explainable by their slaughter at the hand of the Skaarj.
Similarily, they probably used grain as currency. Instead of cocoa seed, they probably used the single most common seed the player encounters on his trip: healing fruit seed.
The seed, as we all know, can produce too fruits in a matter of seconds. The plant has also been shown to be able to grow rapidly on any type of surface and material, under any type of climate. Hence a rapid devaluation of the currency as its number could increase infinitely, and with the priests having little knowledge of inflation mechanism, trade probably ground to a halt rapidly. This is hinted by the absence of any market in any place we've visited on Na Pali. This was not as terrible as it sounds as food literally grows on trees down there, but it meant Nalis being pretty much self-reliant scattered across the planet and society never became unified under a single state, or a pre-existing state fragmented rapidly (a strictly vertical organization was probably present at some point, as large military buildings are found, such as the Nali Castle).

However, with small communities being dispersed all over the surface, the Nali religion became the single unifying factor of the species... If that. We have no way of knowing whether the different gods of the Nalis were all present at the same time, are local gods artificially tied into a larger pantheon like some of the gods of Egypt, or were completely different religions, present at the same time in separate localities. Given the state of the temples, it seems Chizra was worshiped at a later period than Vandora, or that his cult persisted after Vandora's faded.

Vandora's apocalyptic cult is a clear sign that Nali society in a somewhat distant past underwent a violent and painful phase, which explains the presence of the Dark Arena in a relatively good state (it is brand new compared to Vandora's temple). At some point before the arrival of the Skaarj, Nali priests (and hypothetically warriors) forced the lower classes into violent games or had them executed in spectacular ways to serve as examples, probably after a wave of unrest or attempted revolutions. I propose that these were a reaction to the atomization of society and the breakdown of old religious beliefs, probably prompted by a sever economic crisis as the upper classes tried to obtain a monopoly over the production of healing fruit seed, erasing the former production cycle where peasants would harvest part of the seeds for currency and use the other to grow crops.

This destabilization of traditionnal agriculture was an attempt to centralize the currency and stop the population from bleeding out of the main Nali settlements into the distant countryside and preserve the integrity of Nali fiefdoms and keep the population under manageable power structures, in a word, to prevent total anarchy. This was probably successful but left deep scars in Nali culture. This is probably the point where the cult of Vandora was at its strongest as her cult relies heavily on the belief of a better world after a life of suffering on Na Pali. After a while, things probably settled down into a stable society and the cult faded or diminished in importance, but the rise (or apparition?) of the religious importance of Chizra indicates that agriculture remained the central aspect of Nali society, either because drought caused great worry among peasants, or because the lower strata of feudal Nali society sticked to purely day-to-day problems while the priests and warriors busied themselves with higher questions. It's not impossible to imagine a somewhat separate religion for warriors, loosely tied to the normal pantheon.

However, with the currency firmly in the hands of the upper class, the peasantry still failed to maintain appropriate trade, hindered also by the mountainous landscape of the planet making trade routes dangerous and overland travel a chore. Moreover, the importance of warriors went down as the most recent-looking monumental buildings encountered in the game are devoid of military significance and seem to be religious in nature, I'm talking about the Sunspire, a marvelous building which looks brand-new and which hints at Nali society being still integrated enough to provide the manpower and resources needed to erect it. Moreover, it leads to the Sky Haven, which is entirely devoid of any military apparatus (the walls have no chemin de ronde) and was occupied in this very state just before the Skaarj invasion. We can thus conclude that the harsh action of the upper classes were successful in keeping Nali society united, but the warriors seem to have lost their importance as time went by, while priests remained important and maybe supplanted or absorbed the former fighting-class. As you all remember, all Nalis encountered in the game were either priests themselves or deeply religious.

What we have then is a quite foreseeable evolution of society: with the end of feudal military traditions, the Nalis were unable to resist the Skaarjs. The absolute power of the clergy probably led to an ever increasing concentration of wealth into the hands of the Church, with large churches and cathedrals being built in recent times (again, look at sky town) and society becoming ever more dependent on charity by the Church. It's easy to imagine land became largely a propriety of religious congregations too and free peasants became serfs working under the direction of priests. As with communism in Russia, this led to decreased output, diminishing crops creating famines and a lower number of seeds causing runaway deflation, stiffling whatever remained of any trade. With little to no food, less currency and prices increasing, population declined, which is obvious in the game given how few Nalis are found in all villages and sometimes entire cities. The Skaarj probably invaded at a time where the Nalis were on the brink of revolution or about to go extinct after several years of famine.

This explains the presence of cross symbols in various places in Na Pali. They seem to be traces of cult of pain, as they clearly existed before the arrival of the Skaarjs (Bluff Eversmoking could not have been built after their arrival given how depopulated the area is). The cult of Vandora was probably also making a comeback or was about to be revived when the Mothership landed. The belief in the coming of someone who would free them from the Skaarjs and cleanse them from their sins seems to indicate a longing for the domination of the extinct warrior class, probably in the hope it could have protected Na Pali from the Skaarj and because the salvation theology of the Nali associates the suffering of the population under feudal miliary lords wth stability and independance. The player is only lucky to fit the vague sacred texts perfectly.


Didn't check back to this post in a while, but an incredible theory Hellkeeper. Btw you know, you guys develop and stuffs, you can make a prequel based game of Unreal on the story on Nali's before Skaarj Conquest on Na Pali, their life and all, if you could develop creatures you can definitely make Nali Warriors, also do stuffs wit Titans in the Dark Arena. Just saying, but something like that would be cool....
  
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