What were the people of Terra like? (FFIX Spoilers)

In discussing the “people of Terra”, I am not talking about the Genomes. I’m talking about the actual people of Terra, whose souls were supposed to inhabit the Genomes’ bodies when Terra was restored. What were their beliefs? Were they good or evil? What kind of civilization did they have? I was very disappointed that these things were not explained at greater length in the game, but I still think there were a number of hints in places like Terra itself, Oeilvert, and the Eidolon Wall. A lot of it is pretty obscure, requiring the player to connect the dots from the game’s more obscure passages, but I’ll sum what I’ve found like this:

-The people of Terra were not nice at all. Cold, arrogant and haughty, they had no problem with destroying other worlds to extend the lifespan of their own. Masters of genetic engineering and creation, the people of Terra had also mastered telepathy and the powers of the mind. While not malevolent in the same destroy-the-world manner as Kefka, they still had no problem with destroying “lower life-forms” so they could survive. They had some bizarre legends-legends that involved huge engines of destruction like the Ark. When they had finally driven their own world to death, they had to resort to not just absorbing the life-force of another world (Gaia) to survive, but supplant it completely.

All of this is extrapolated from the game’s hints, and I admit a lot of it is a stretch. But in any case, I’d like some feedback and responses on this, since it could be argued that the people of Terra did not want to have to destroy Gaia so they themselves could live, and weren’t necessarily bad themselves. I’ll reveal the hints I used, and the deductions I made to connect everything together once I get some other peoples’ opinions.

Lastly, if anyone has the Japanese version of the FF9 art book, would you be able to tell me if it included any supplemental information on Terra? I only have the American version, and it’s clear that a lot of stuff was cut from it-witness the pictures of Garland, Brahne, Zorn & Thorn, and Necron that were not in the American version.

Details are beyond sketchy with the Terra people, but the one thing I know is that they are highly advanced in terms of technology and science. Perhaps straying too far away from the simple life is what caused them to eventually ruin their planet. Remember the thing in Oeilvert with the record of their civilization? Maybe their planet became polluted and uninhabitable and they wanted to move to another planet.

The only person we really have to go by for this is Garland - so yeah, haughty, arrogant and technology-obsessed seems about right. They had no problems letting Terra absorb other planets to survive, so it suggests that as a whole, the people of Terra weren’t a particularly humane race.

Edit: And let’s not forget that they cultivated this concept of the Genomes, to allow their own souls to eventually inhabit the Genomes’ bodies and thus begin their civilisation anew. While the Genomes weren’t exactly the life of the party :stuck_out_tongue: they did possess consciousnesses of their own, so in itself this is an act of cruelty.

In description, FF9 sounds so nice. Yet it bored the hell out of me until I stopped playing after an hour or so.

Yeah, I agree that the Terrans were arrogant and stuff. I think when their planet started experiencing the “downfall” or whatever, they just ignored it because they thought that they could never be destroyed. But after the downfall, maybe they (more accurately, their souls) stepped back and took a look at themselves and realized, “wow, we were pretty stupid.” Maybe they want to take Gaia so that they can have another chance at life, and this time they would be more humble. Maybe.

Warning: Massive spoilers ahead!

Thanks to everyone except Aldred who answered. Constructive responses are welcome, trolling is not. If the admins are reading this, feel free to darken any sections that give too much away.

Here are my takes on Terra and its people, and where I’ve gotten them from. Like I said before, a lot of this stuff is pretty obscure, and I had to connect the dots that the game gave, but here’s the lowdown on Terran society as I see it…

Terra was a world with blue alien trees and hillocks, along with large red mountains. The kind of architecture they favored had many bizarre-looking spires, buttresses, winding paths, balconies, and so forth. Triangle and eye motifs were very popular, and the designs of the cities are based in a circular manner, spreading out like Midgar did in FF7.

(If one looks closely at the projections you can see in Oeilvert, it seems that one is looking at a city with those same twisting spires standing in the midst of red mountains in one shot, and in the next we have a city that looks amazingly, to me anyway, like Midgar. Maybe that’s a veiled reference? I don’t know. Anyway, we see the eyes in Pandemonium, in the Meeting Hall in Bran Bal, and on the Invincible. The interior of Oeilvert and the buildings of Bran Bal offer contemporary Terran architecture.)

Masters of technology, the people of Terra constructed huge war machines, mastered genetic engineering, developed psionic powers, and created other miscellaneous devices such as teleportation pods and mind-control devices.

(Oeilvert has a brief section on the history of battleships in Terra, culminating in the development of the Invincible, which is currently in use. Their skills at genetic engineering can be seen with the Genomes and the Guardians of Terra, more of which we’ll se below. Garland talks to both Zidane and Kuja with telepathy, as do the disembodied souls in Oeilvert, and seems able to control all the monsters of Terra, such as the Silver Dragon, telepathically. Finally, if you go back into the room where Zidane is sitting after he learns the awful truth, right before the You’re Not Alone sequence, and go to the menu, the location is listed as “Mind Control”. Garland hooked Zidane up to the device to further scramble his mind after the revelations at the observatory.)

Regarding ethics and morals, the people of Terra were arrogant, cruel, and rather heartless. While not cruel in the same way as Kuja, they had no problem decimating ‘lower-life forms’ so they themselves could survive. Simply viewing themselves as the be-all and end-all of existence, it mattered nothing to them what happened to other people, as long as they survived.

(Garland is not the only Terran we meet in the game-I think the Guardians of Terra are themselves genetically modified Terran citizens. In Oeilvert in the disembodied souls’ speech, they talk about how after the initial resucitation failed, “subjects were selected…after four tremendous sacrifices” seems to suggest to me that the “four sacrifices” in question are the people who volunteered to undergo the transformation. The Fire Guard mentions how they are “filled with the power of Terra itself”, and how “we did not become guardians to chat with mere mortals”. The Wind Guard calls Vivi and Steiner “weaklings”, and the Earth Guard uses the term “lower life-forms”. If they really are citizens of Terra, then Terrans must be pretty nasty.)

(We should also note that Garland had no scruples about committing mass murder in Madain Sari or Alexandria to get the job done. The Terrans were willing to suppress the minds of the Genomes so they themselves could have bodies to inhabit, much like Brahne tried with the Black Mages-it’s no coincidence that Vivi compares himself to the Genomes. Heck, even Terra is trying to subsume Gaia so it can live and be in control. Mikoto also mentions how “Terra has always absorbed new planets to survive”, suggesting that they’ve drained the life out of planets before for sustenance, only this time it was a matter of life and death. Lastly, Garland makes reference to the “hubris” of the people of Terra. Perhaps, as you guys have suggested, the Terrans had finally exhausted their resources and the life of their planet, and instead of just absorbing other planets for sustenance and resources, they now had to assimilate one to restore their planet? Lastly, look at the place the Terrans went after their fall-Pandemonium. Check the FF Compendium name locations to see what that means.)

The myths of the people of Terra center around huge war engines of destruction, like the Ark-a monster that starts out as an airship, then transforms into a giant robotic thing that unleashes a huge blast of dark energy to destroy its opponents.

(This one is the diciest conclusion, and it’s impossible to make unless you first see all the extra murals on the Eidolon Wall. To make a long story short, the eidolons are spirits that take the forms of mythological creatures that humans and other races have-humans give eidolons their forms, so to speak. The last mural makes reference to another type of eidolon, seen near Esto Gaza. It mentions that no legend like this has ever been found in Gaia by the people of Madain Sari, so they conclude that other tribes must have their own legends.)

(Ark is an eidolon, but he’s also a monster found in the Terran “museum” of Oeilvert. He also has to be the eidolon seen near Esto Gaza-since the Shimmering Island, gateway to Terra, is there too. Connect that with the origins of eidolons as realized by the people of Madain Sari, and there you go.)

I fully realize some of these conclusions may seem ludicrous, but I feel they’re still all based on evidence from the game, so I’ll let others comment on and discuss them. If you disagree with any of this, post your own replies-this could make a fascinating discusion and change of pace from the usual Jenova/Sephiroth debates. :stuck_out_tongue:

Can’t really say much more than that, mate ^^’ Sounds like you’ve got it cracked. I especially agree on the guardians point though - I even portrayed them that way in a fic :stuck_out_tongue:

I think Terra’s civilisation did suffer from extreme hubris, and in the end it destroyed them. I never actually got around to seeing the full Eidolon Wall - is everything you’ve mentioned there the entirety of it?

Nah, I’m all for “ludicrous” theories, like my Wild ARMs one. 8)

This is a very good topic, and your ideas are well-thought out and intelligent.

Questions for both Dalton and LunarCry here…

LunarCry: I’d love to read that fic you have on the Guardians of Terra. Where can I find it?

Dalton: Is that a Canadian politician you have as your alias? I’m into politics myself, and I noticed you’re a fellow hoser, so I’m just curious…:stuck_out_tongue:

His avatar?! Isnt that that Bubbles guy from that show…Trailor something?! Politician, hahaha.

No, heh. It’s Milton from the movie “Office Space”. He’s a shut-in who works a dead-end job in an office building, and he has an unhealthy obsession with his red stapler.

I found this to be an interesting thread… and now to go off topic, Office Space is a great movie! We talk about it all the time at work.

ffix is such a great game. i love it. now that i have read this thread i have to go play it all over again. cheers…

I do not think they were arrogent…maybe they were just driven mad by the death of thier planet and snapped? I mean if I became immortal like Garland I would eventually go nuts alone…and as for takeing over the world of Gaia, do you really think the people of Gaia would not do the same damn thing? I mean comeon, I know I would. And also, the Genomes were vessels right? Maybe just maybe they would not destory Gaia but Garland decided to do it cause he wanted something to fuggin do over the last million or what ever years.

What confuses me is what the Terran city of Oeilevert (sp?) is doing on Gaia.
Explaination please. :hyperven:
Also, aren’t the Genomes really just like robots? They have no souls, so they’re not technically living.

I would consider them clones, not robots. Genetic constructs, perhaps. I am re-playing FF9(since i cant play 11) soo i am kinda researching these points. If anyone has anything they want me to keep an eye out for, lemme know, i got 10 days to beat it.

Please look out for an explanation of what the history of Ispen’s Castle is.
That place just confuses me.

The Terrans seem to bear remarkable similarities to our present-day, real-world Earth, anyone pick up on that? A pristine planet destroyed by technology…somehow I feel if an alternate energy source was discovered that, if used, would destroy a world of ferrets (e.g. “lower-life forms”), we wouldn’t hesitate to use it.

Wasn’t Oilevert a colony set up by Terrans? I dunno when they would have done it, though… maybe when they realized that stuff was going downhill they set it up so that people on Gaia would know about them. Dunno why they’d want anyone to know about them, though, if they were planning on taking over the planet. Someone might stop them. Like Zidane. Maybe the Terrans were stupid too?

I tend to look at it as some sort of Research Facility. The Terrans feared Eidolons, and Oeilivert had an anti-magic forcefield.

Also, there is the thing on the Invincible, so maybe that’s where it was developed.

Maybe the Terrans knew their planet was doomed, and left Oeilivert behind as a way of telling the Gaians in hope of saving them. Actually, that might be kind of contradictary.