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Mad science has never been so cute!
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 Post subject: The World of the Game
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:59 am 
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(Note: This section will eventually be an area where background information of the world of "Echos of Insanity" will be posted for the curious to read and indulge in. Anyone playing in the main game may post background information they'd like to put up here for anyone to read.)

Pertinent World Setting Details:

1. The tensions between the United States and Canada

What originally started as a early colonial border dispute erupted into a much more heated situation when Canada, using weapons of destruction and land-based troops, launched an attack onto American soil during the first World War. Although the fighting grew worse and worse, eventually the Canadian menace was repulsed shortly before the European side of the war was resolved. However, to this day Canada still controls splotches of northern land that the United States feels should belong to them, such as a large part of Minnesota and North Dakota, as well as all of Montana and what we think of as Washington.

Although the U.S.A/Canada conflict didn't reignite during the second world war, shortly afterwords Canada and the United States entered a cold war of sorts, which mostly consisted of a race to acquire and understand any sorts of Mad Technology that they could lay their hands on. This dispute has continued to this day, and the Canadians seem to have the upper hand after purchasing [CLASSIFIED] and the opportunity to further study [CLASSIFIED] from the European Union five or six years ago. Several nations are growing nervous of Canada's increasingly aggressive stance on the acquisition of Mad artifacts and research notes, and while the Canadian government has essentially touted it as the continued pursuit of the acquisition of knowledge, it is the general opinion of a great many people in the United States that their northern neighbors are plotting something...

2. The Mad Science Wars, a pop culture phenomenon

Despite some people trying their best to ignore it, Mad Science has essentially dominated the attentions of this world, so it comes to no surprise that even after the last Mad scientists faded from the eyes of the world, that eventually TV executives began to think "Hey! A sci-fi/sit com about Mad Scientists! It smells like money!" and began production on the original show in the mid-seventies. It essentially became something similar to the Star Trek Franchise in terms of it's existance: split across several shows which eventually got canceled, until another show in the series appeared at a later date. The original show, "The Mad Science Wars" was made and produced in the mid-seventies and canceled by 1979, and focused on the adventurers of several Mad Scientists: Jane Narbon (A Mad Biologist and femme fatal), Professor Andrew Tinker (A Mad English professor), his henchman Thaddeus Guy, A nanite-using Mad codenamed So it Begins and his supercomputer Prime, and Professor Zobot, the primary antagonist for most of the original series. The final season ended with aliens from Mars invading the planet, and Professor Zobot being reborn as an amnesic wannabe hero.

In the early 80's, another attempt at making a successful show, "The Mad Sci Wars: The New Tales", was made, which preserved the original cast, as well as introducing several new Mad characters who became popular with the die-hard fans. The most current incarnation would be the Late 90's era "Mad Science Wars: Dark Conspricies", which only ran for 2 seasons and took a bit of a darker tone compared to earlier shows. The two seasons, dubbed Project Tanglebox and The Bluelight Operation, introduced no new characters but achieved a mild cult following before getting canceled for reasons similar to those which spelled the doom of Firefly. Two other shows, spin-off animated series known as "Mad Sci High" and "Mad Science Wars Z" were also made but canceled within their first seasons. Although this information doesn't directly impact the current Game, it has had the effect of romanticizing the image of Mad Science in the eyes of the public, and likely would affect how any Real-Life mad scientist would be received by people around them.

3. Australia

Australia is now mostly a smoking crater, a living reminder of the power that a Mad Scientist can wield. The testing ground for a terrifying doomsday device that was unleashed during the early 30s by the infamous Mad Scientist Yuan T. Lee in an attempt to make a lasting impression on the world that would cause people to never forget his name. Despite achieving destruction across the entire continent, he failed in his goal of getting people to remember him and his work, and since his death as faded into obscurity.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The World of the Game
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:39 pm 
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Ok... More background details about the world setting:

4. Chimera Species and "Pures": The existence of such creatures was likely inevitable in a world where the presence of supergeniuses was once an uncommon thing. A number of Mad Scientists in the past tried their hand at creating new forms of life, with varying levels of success. These attempts usually ended badly one way or another, since they were often caused by flights of fancy at best or partially-developed ideas at worst. However, every so often someone actually succeeded at creating a viable form of life which has outlasted it's former creature and gone on to become a part of the world today.

Biologists specializing the the field of Mad Zoology divide the creations of the lost Mads into 2 categories: Chimeras, which are attempts at creating new life by splicing the genomes of two or more species together into one cohesive whole, or Pures, which is the politely informal name for any species created without using a preexisting lifeform as a base. (They are also known as Abominations, Miscreations, and Abhorrents in less polite terms.) As they tended to be as volatile, cause problems in preexisting exosystems, and threaten the continued existence of preexisting species, Pures aren't well liked by most modern society, especially the eco-minded. It might seem strange that Chimeras aren't nearly as disliked, but keep in mind that a Chimera is usually a species ill-suited to any environment by it's very nature as a product of two very different species. whereas a Pure is a custom-built lifeform designed not only to survive in a certain biome, but usually to thrive and dominate it. Chimeras usually are much less of a threat to other species because they are often sterile, of limited intelligence, and unable to sustain a large species after the death of the Mad who created them. Pures, however, tended to be either incredibly dangerous one-of-a-kind killing machines or beings designed to threaten Humanity's position on the top of the food chain. So Pures through history were typically more hated by humans, whereas Chimeras were more often than not seen as more of a nuisance.

In the modern world, there are laws against gene splicing, and combined with the lack of Mad Scientists in the world there are very few new species of chimeras being produced, and no known Pures. However, in some corners of the world there still exist some chimera species produced over the past 1000 years that have refused to completely die out and have become more or less a part of the modern natural world. These include the bizarre Lobster-Bats, clawed and winged denizens of caves and damp places, and a scourge to spelunkers in the more tropical climates near the equator. Another still-existing Chimera species of note are the winged cats that inhabit parts of western Europe and have spread across the North American continent. Created by a whimsical child-Mad almost 200 years ago, they unexpectedly started to thrive in the wild and have become one of the most commonly accepted new lifeforms created in the past 500 years. Winged cats are known to have lighter, hollow bones, much like most species of birds do, and are more fragile than their ground-based cousins. They are a tamable species and both feral and tame winged cats can be found in cities all over the United States. Another significant surviving breed of chimera are the surprisingly resilient geckomice, adaptable and a common sight in larger cities. (Indeed, many wild winged cats feed off of these pests.)

5. Dikon: While on the topic of the information discovered above, Dikon should be noted as being one of the most infamous, and possibly one of the few surviving, Pure creatures left alive. The creation of a Mad Scientist of little renown and almost no other fame back in the early 30's, little is known about Dikon save what could be salvaged from the tattered remains of the notes found in the Mad's destroyed lair. Dikon was apparently intended to be a silicon-based lifeform, (as opposed to, say, all the life on earth) and is thought to be of human-level intelligence or higher. Sources disagree on whether it would be crystalline in nature and appearance or more like a construct made of living sand. It apparently was also mobile and went on a rampage shortly after it's creation, resulting in the death of it's creator and 5 other humans who happened to be in the wrong places at the wrong time. Death was by numbers of deep cuts and gashes that resulted in the loss of fatal levels of blood. Dikon disappeared, and there's been no reliable evidence for it's continued existence since then.

But there has been LOTS of unreliable evidence. Dikon has a following similar to that of Bigfoot in terms of fanaticism, and all sorts of different sources have claimed to have sighted the creature over the past 70ish years. The commonly believed hiding place of the creature, should it still be alive, is thought to be the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, one of the largest underground cave systems in the world, and the general clustering point for most of the sightings of the creature. However, there's never been any conclusive evidence...

6. If you believe... they put a man on the moon: In the 1920's, German Mad scientist Adalard Bathurst became the first man to land on the moon. In 1929, he became the first person to colonize it. Establishing a Moonbase visible from Earth via telescope, he was envied and acclaimed in the scientific community. Eventually, he withdrew to his new lunar lair, and was promptly never seen again.

Any attempts to contact the moonbase have failed over the years, and in previous moon-landings various government bodies have attempted to explore the base and plumb it's secrets. And none of them have gotten past the front doors. Rather nasty energy-based security systems exist which have daunted most conventional attempts to enter, and the doors are firmly locked. Will anyone discover what's really inside, if anything remains at all? Only one thing is known... on occasion, a very odd radio signal has been reported as being broadcast from the Moonbase. It's an infrequent occurrence, but one that has continued up to modern times. The signal is strange in that it seems to be a jumbled mismash of letters, numbers, equations, and words, spoken by different voices and not seeming to make any coherent sense. The content changes each broadcast but the broadcast itself has continued to occur, in unpredictable intervals, since the disappearance of Adalard Bathurst. The U.S. government has shown a large amount of interest in this broadcast, and has had a think-tank of cryptologists studying recent ones recorded over various radio channels in the past 20 years.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The World of the Game
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:06 am 
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Even MORE campaign setting details... there will probably be two more of these posted tomorrow. Probably. I make no promises about that.

7. Game Over: Don't laugh. Game Over is one of the most notorious Doomsday devices ever created, an application of a number of scientific principles which, if properly used, would literally destroy the earth, despite the difficulties concerned with that.

In the late 1980's an Egyptian archeologist and self-styled Mechanist attempted to hold the world hostage with a device he claimed his family had unearthed from an ancient Egyptian dig site that would "tear the earth itself apart." He wrote manifestos that he had sent to the United Nations and attempted to seize control of the world through the threat that he believed he posed to humanity. He dubbed the device "Game Over" in the spirit of the emerging video game industry, (which coincidentally had a very strong holding in Egypt on this alternate Earth, for some reason.)

Needless to say he was taken out, and the device itself was captured. The man himself was no Mad, and had no knowledge of how the device worked. It was seized, and has more or less been kept under a steady guard within neutral territory by the collective forces of the United Nations, under the hopes that no one would be stupid enough to want to try and utilize it ever again. Scientists studying it have been somewhat baffled by it: it is far, far too old...

Most details on Game Over are being kept classified by the collective governments involved in taking it out. The knowledge that the device itself is about as large as a house is publicly known, but what it actually DOES is a mystery, only that it really would result in the end of the world. According to government promises and declarations, the current focus of study of the people they have working on it are trying to find ways to disable/dismantle it without causing any potential dangers, but it's extremely slow and tedious work, especially because the technology is so divorced from modern ideas of design.

8. The Narbonics: A girl gang of sorts that sees the character Jane Narbon, of the television show "The Mad Sci Wars" as an empowering role model to emulate. While localized to the New York region, the Narbonics are ambitious and manipulative, having caused no end of trouble for local law enforcement and local business owners. It's rumored that the Narbonics recently have started receiving financial backing from an unidentified source, but who or what that source is is up for debate.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The World of the Game
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:06 am 
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Ok... 2 final bits of world setting information...

9. Las Vegas: The city that never sleeps, and would-be entertainment capitol of the world, Las Vegas is actually fairly unchanged between this world and ours. However, there's one extremely significant difference that separates them: Las Vegas within the world of "The Second Battle" is powered by an ancient relic: An invention of a Mad Scientist that is probably about one hundred and twenty years old. The object in question is a tiny sphere the size of a baseball, although few people currently alive have beheld it. Many would like to study the device since it seems to be a limitless source of energy, which is flagrantly impossible, even by the standards of Mad scientists. However, it is privately owned by a man commonly known as Smiling Sam, who owns an extremely large chunk of Las Vegas and seems to have little to no interest in the device so long as it keeps providing power for his city.

As one may expect, the energy source is the object of a lot of people's desire. Smiling Sam is particularly infamous as the man who manages to both run the city as well as keep it from getting leveled by foreign and governmental influences who would like nothing better than to take his property away from him, usually without any use of force whatsoever. Only time will tell how long he can keep a lid on the city and competing interests, however.

10. Atlantis: It doesn't exist. It never did, even if there does seem to be some conclusive proof laying around that indicates the existence of the city but not it's location. And it's certainly not an ancient city comprised of incredible technology the likes of which defies even modern knowledge, lurking somewhere out there beneath the great wide ocean. And it definitely isn't something considered the grand prize for a number of would-be rulers, tech-scavengers, and archeologists the world over who would like nothing better than to get there first. Got it?

Now then... moving onto things that aren't theoretical and certainly might not be potential plot points later in the game: New Atlantis is an actual, physical place suspended in the middle of the pacific ocean. It is the result of a failed geothermal experiment at the turn of the 19th century which resulted in the eruption of several undersea volcanoes and the creation of what is ostensibly called the 8th Continent. New Atlantis is an unclaimed landmass too large to be called an island but too small to really be thought of as an actual continent, and is legally considered a "neutral ground" which no governmental entity has any claim on. Until the end of the second world war, it was typically a hive of scum and villainy, a haven for privateers, pirates, lowlifes, smugglers, and the like. But at the end of the second world war, the newly-formed United Nations decided that it was the perfect place to serve as a meeting place for their representatives to convene. Through the severe use of military force, they eventually cleared out the landmass, and established upon it The Bastion of Political Unity, a large building within which governments could work to further everyone's collective interests, so that every nation on earth could benefit.

Things have pretty much gone downhill from there, as you may expect.

The building is essentially the dominant place of note on New Atlantis, but a large city has grown up around it, primarily consisting of privately owned, upscale shopping areas, tourist traps, and fancy restaurants. Each individual landowner is permitted to set their own rules for whatever land on New Atlantis they may own, which they are also responsible for enforcing. Several nations in the UN also have small military presences established on the island, mostly to prevent any sort of terrorist activity or destruction that may result from the lack of an established centralized government. All in all, it's not a bad place to visit, although it is an extremely expensive place to live on.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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