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Author Topic: That Garbled Transmission in Overload...  (Read 411 times)

Offline Scyphi

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That Garbled Transmission in Overload...
« on: February 23, 2020, 08:30:42 PM »
I think everybody here has surely played it all the way through by now, but in case anyone hasn't, SPOILERS AHEAD for Overload's main plot.

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In the opening briefing for Skoll Outpost (level three) in Overload, MARA plays back a transmission the MPSV Iberia received from Titan, but that transmission was garbled to the point that it is unintelligible.

However, I could tell that at least parts of the recording were simply being played backwards, and long wondered if what it actually says could be determined with a little audio editing. As I wasn't finding any sign of anybody else having tried it and getting fed up over it bugging me, I finally sat down and isolated a clip of the audio to play with myself.

For reference, here's what that transmission NORMALLY sounds like in-game:
 
And here's what it sounds like when played IN REVERSE:
 
Clearly, it's still very garbled, but now that it's playing the right way around I can still pick out some key parts of it.
  • "...identify..."
  • "...in direct violation..."
  • "...transponder..."
  • "...this is (inaudible)..."
  • "...MPSV..."
This is significant, as later in the game, when you're at Titan Harbor, the last audio log you pick up says:
Quote
“We lost contact with the outer moons four days ago. Now there's an MPSV near Skoll. Its transponder is off, and we're unable to establish contact. This could be the attack Kantor warned us about.”

All of the audio logs and mission briefings have time stamps indicating the date they were given/recorded. This last audio log was dated for 8/28/2118. MARA gives the player The Skoll Outpost mission briefing the next day following.

Clearly, the garbled transmission is Titan's attempts to contact the Iberia while it was still at the outer moons of Saturn, at the beginning of the whole incident the game covers. The transmission is probably even sent by Sam Amjad at Titan Harbor, who was the one who recorded the cited audio log above.

As for why the transmission is garbled, the game never gives any sure clues, and honestly any number of artificial or natural phenomenon could explain it...but given circumstances, I figure it was an attempt by the second sovereign, later revealed to be already aboard the Iberia by that time, to try and prevent MARA or the player from finding out the truth.  ;)

A little detail in the grand scheme of things, but seeing it had been bugging me so much, it's pleasing for me to finally resolve that little mystery.  ;D

Anyway, I've filled my super-sleuth quota for the day--on to other activities!
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Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: That Garbled Transmission in Overload...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 08:43:29 AM »
Hmm... I did seem to recall this was all pretty much spelled out in the briefings for level 10 and 15.  At least the reason for the garbled transmission: "[The second queen] struck the ship's colours and confused their words so they would not be known."
But it is a story with a lot of subtext -- and there's more stuff than this that you might not get if you don't look at the dates. :)

Offline Scyphi

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Re: That Garbled Transmission in Overload...
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 02:28:52 PM »
Like I said, not a great big reveal or anything, this. But regardless, I was darn curious to know just what exactly that transmission said, and since I went to all the effort of finding out, I figured I might as well share.  :)

Besides, you're right about the story being nuanced and full of subtext. In searching to see if anybody else had already done this, I found other Overload-related discussions in which it was clear not all players gleaned the same facts from the story, so yeah, what might be obvious for one might not be so obvious for another.
"I thought I had a great idea, but it never really took off. In fact, it didn't even get on the runway. I guess you could say it exploded in the hanger." -Calvin and Hobbes
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