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Philosophical: What are or could be drifters?


JeyBeeHH
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Hello,

i like this game, and beat many drifters.
But.... what are drifters?
The VS-wiki only says thats are "common humanoid monsters".
Realy?

I personally find that they have some similarities to orangutans (monkey).
Maybe a little sloth in there.
Ok, booth animals are in reallife more peaceful.

But what you think?

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I Think they are lost souls of the world we now live in that were taken by the disease or blight we somtime find journal note discriptions for.

I think though that the ancients refer to  this as a disease affecting people but they dint really understand what was happening. the world we are in suffers from temporal instabilities and temporal storms. temporal is a referance for time so it is posible that the drifters are ancient peoples that are somhow out of sync with time having been ripped from there realities and somhow broken and diminished and we see them but only as fragments of there former  selves and still out of phase with our current reality. Decayed by living for so long but stuck never really alive or dead. If you could see us the player from there end of the time line it is posable that we would look like a drifter to them whitch is why they are hostile to the player. we appear as horible monsters invading there world that they cant understand. Just as to us they appear to be the  same.

If we could find a way to repair the temporal instabilities and heal the land perhapse we could restore them to there proper place in time and reality. 

Maybe WE ARE THE REAL DRIFTERS:)  Maybe it is us that is out of sync with most of the world that we inhabit.

Edited by MICHAEL CAMPBELL
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  • 3 months later...

Maybe the drifters are humans trying to rescue the player from this nightmare world, but the player does not understand them. I have never seen a drifter attack an animal, or hurt a plant, or destroy a building. They only came after the player. So either the player is antagonizing them in some way, or they are trying to help the player. After all, we do not die, just respawn in the same place, and there is no real consequence to our deaths other then mild inconvenience. 

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Many drifters arrive during temporal storms, and they're flickering so they seem to be coming from a different time where there are lots of them. Or maybe they're coming from many different times which is why there's so many. I was just watching McJty's recent temporal storm and the rocks make electronic bleeps when they hit the temporal storm drifters rather than the usual pink noise.

They don't seem to be trying to help the player, given they attack you and killing you doesn't bring you back to anywhere except your spawn point.

I have noticed the drifters seem to get on their knees and look like they're crying sometimes.

I think it's sad the way they collapse to their knees when you kill them too.

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  • 1 month later...

So, the parts of this game that include drifters remind me a lot of The Shadow over Innsmouth and the subsequent game that was based on that story, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. From the wiki:

  • The narrator finds Innsmouth to be a mostly deserted fishing town, full of dilapidated buildings and people who walk with a distinctive shambling gait and have "queer narrow heads with flat noses and bulgy, stary eyes"

I think that the drifters used to be people a long, long age ago, however they incited an apocalypse event through the discovery and usage of temporal technologies, which can be evidenced by the use of the translocators and other machines that we are not privy to yet. Looking at concepts like the butterfly effect or flashpoints, which are basically cautionary tales against accessing the stream of time, I would probably guess that their usage of the temporal technologies and accessing the stream of time caused some kind of Deep Ones transformation on the population of the Earth and pockets of temporal stability or instability began to show up all across the planet. This would probably explain the aspects like the falling to their knees but also the different types of drifters that exist - temporal instability affects some people in different ways. Some are going to be surface drifters, some are going to be nightmare drifters.

Now, as to how the drifters transformed from people to creatures, I have two theories:

  1. The people started to trap power within the temporal gears - the temporal and rusty gears have the same design, so I would imagine that the rusty gears are old, empty temporal gears (Fallout series bottlecaps as currency). You have to put gears in the translocators to work so the usage of too many gears at once created massive destabilization, which in turn shifted the people and the landscape. As to how they managed to trap this power in the gears is yet to be seen (maybe the locusts and subsequent creatures like it were a part of harnessing the energy)
  2. If you've listened to the Daylight soundtrack, there are some parts where it sounds like there is a whistling. Considering that this is based on Lovecraftian horror, I would surmise that there may or may not be eldritch deities that have yet to be actually put into play, who may have something to gain by turning the people into drifters, who were angry that the people were accessing technologies that they did not believe should have been accessed (for a variety of reasons), or who are trying to hide something that is trapped within the stream of time that the people were accessing for their purposes.

It's possible that it's some combination of both or neither, but at the very least, I think that the drifters were punished in some way for their ambition and hubris and you are left to pick up the pieces of what they left behind.

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  • 1 month later...

rust world monsters and temporal phenomenons seem to only affect seraphs which seem able to communicate more or less telepathically over the whole world (the chat), it might be some kind of collective madness seraphs share because of that.

or some cosmic horror stuff, and as lovecraftian stuff is planned to be added, the latter is (only slightly) more likely...

traders seem to have used temporal gears to create a respawn point, but other than seraphs they respawn only after days and they seem to have to go through quite some unpleasantries, else i'd guess they wouldn't hold a grudge indefinitely. therefore i think drifters were people at some point too... maybe they ARE still people holding a grudge and seraphs were responsible for the fall?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have come across a journal by panning bony soil, that tells how someone was trapped for years underground, not eating, digging bit by bit with their fingers... and once they reach the surface, they are physically "broken" : legs and fingers missing, no skin in places.... after reading this I couldn't help associating this with Drifters.

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  • 2 months later...

I think drifters are both the twisted descendants of the race that brought about the temporal instability of the world and thus broke it, as well as creatures that leach over into this world from the Rust world during temporal storms. They also can pass over to our world when seraphs inadvertently acquire a temporal instability themselves, thinning the temporal veil around them, allowing for their crossing.

They were humans once, long ago before the seraphs appeared.  They lived in both this world and others, but played with nature in a way they should not have. 

In one world somewhere they opened up a window in the temporal fabric of time and space, and on the other side was something dark that consumed them and their world, and any world that has touched it since.  The darkness we call the Rust spread, and most died.  Those that lived long enough became twisted shadows of their former selves- temporal monsters we call drifters, tainted and cursed.

Who knows but that the seraphs are also descendants of the ancient race of humans that once walked the world, who adapted to the temporal madness and the rust that followed rather than succumbing to it; altered beings themselves, for the better rather than the worse, and uniquely equipped to resist the subversion of their world by the darkness that would reach in and consume it.

~TH~

Edited by Thalius
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On 1/11/2021 at 8:16 AM, Kerrech said:

I have come across a journal by panning bony soil, that tells how someone was trapped for years underground, not eating, digging bit by bit with their fingers... and once they reach the surface, they are physically "broken" : legs and fingers missing, no skin in places.... after reading this I couldn't help associating this with Drifters.

I found that same entry you're talking about. It made me think similar. Going off of a couple of other journal entries I've found, my thoughts are more that a strange plague of some sort came first and, in trying to defeat or escape it, the ancestors somehow doomed themselves to becoming the drifters. They can't stand light anymore - it causes them pain, so they break down and cry at times when they see it. They used to rely on the bells to alert them to things deep in the mines where they were digging, and the bells are still around and still ring when there's someone intruding.

I'm more curious about who we are. I've seen the term Seraph used here, but I haven't seen it in game yet. Based on the notes found on some clothing items, we appear to have memory or at least an understanding of life before. What are we? Who on an individual basis is left for us to decide, but what we are feels more strange. If we survived unharmed from the corruptibility of the temporal instability where the ancestors didn't, why? How? We're taller than the average trader and taller than drifters, too. We're not pale like the traders, but skin doesn't seem to be a factor, nor height, because the traders seem to be fine as well. It's more than just us who survived, but the ones that did are so few. A genetic adaptation of some sort, to be sure, because for all of this we don't seem to suffer much from the continued instability, so long as we don't linger.

But maybe that's the difference? The survivors didn't linger in the instability, and the drifters did. Everyone was ordered to go into the mines, but there were some that either broke the rules, were thrown out of the mines, or stayed above to protect the rest from something on the surface. What was on the surface that was so horrible that the mines were considered a refuge?

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Yeah, but they can't grab bare metal tools at the same temp? Are they somehow allergic to hot metal? But, then again, they can grab ingots heated to 1100C on the forge... because, reasons? 

While we're talking about it: quicklime. We can hold quicklime in our bare hands. Quicklime is extremely caustic, and will cause burns when it comes into contact with moisture. No normal human with any knowledge or sense would try to hold something so dangerous in their fists.

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  • 1 month later...

Or the Drifters were once perfectly normal, hardworking creatures. But they were enslaved by the people and used as mercenaries for their wars. Then, after almost a thousand years of oppression, the uprising broke out and the Drifters took brutal revenge and destroyed the world and killed (almost) everyone human being.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure Drifters are humans who, instead of completely rotting away or dying of the rot plague somehow became a parasite-type zombie equivalent; an undying new hybrid-create of fungus and man. But the hunger is always there, both from the human starving and from the rot always wants to spread... What's Odd is why the drifters only "see" the Seraphs as food, or a target for aggression. Why animals and Traders are safe. (Are traders safe? or are their houses just generally secure?)

One of the lores describes someone seeing what the rot had made of the surface; an endless soup of black foul sludge. The catastrophe in the past apparently reduced all organic matter to rot-soup. But then, eventually, organic matter returned maybe?

From the Tapestry called "Seraph" that talks about "returning again" I think maybe Seraphs are people who were changed, and sent far forward in time, to another era past the plague. And I wonder if we wont' discover some weird grandfather's Paradox where sending people forward to escape ended up being the temporal weirdness that had caused the rot in the first place. Something like the weird anomaly that grows over time (but BACKWARDS through time) from the Series Finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After all, we learn from another Journal ("Confessions") that someone who was thought to have invented the solution and was considered a savior, feels like they actually created "A monster" and caused an even worse doom.

Edited by Jessica O.
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  • 5 months later...
On 5/19/2021 at 5:05 AM, Jessica O. said:

Are traders safe? or are their houses just generally secure?

they are actually safe drifters just ignore them, the wagons usually have spawnable spaces and when in a temporal storm there is enough room for drifters to spawn elsewhere in them too.

On 5/19/2021 at 5:05 AM, Jessica O. said:

someone who was thought to have invented the solution and was considered a savior, feels like they actually created "A monster" and caused an even worse doom.

that might point more towards coming horror elements than it being the actual source of the calamity in the first place, maybe that caused some eldritch deity to awaken or by sending some people forward in time it created rifts which will cause the calamity to happen again and again, as the people send through time may each become like a seed for another apocalypse. but that goes more into the other topic of what are seraphs... on the other hand seraphs might not even be meant in "confessions" maybe it was what created the drifters? sending humans far through spacetime could have had terrible consequences for them which the inventor did not anticipate? maybe these people became drifters and/or traders?

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On 3/17/2021 at 9:58 AM, Shaelin said:

Yeah, but they can't grab bare metal tools at the same temp? Are they somehow allergic to hot metal? But, then again, they can grab ingots heated to 1100C on the forge... because, reasons? 

While we're talking about it: quicklime. We can hold quicklime in our bare hands. Quicklime is extremely caustic, and will cause burns when it comes into contact with moisture. No normal human with any knowledge or sense would try to hold something so dangerous in their fists.

The only time they can't handle hot metal is when it's in a mold. Which makes sense--if you try and pick up the copper anvil you just made while it's still liquid, you're not gonna get very far... whereas heated ingots, crucibles, and just-forged items such as chisels can be held easily. It's got nothing to do with Seraph's ability to tolerate heat.

 

I agree with the 'drifters are what remains of humanity' thing ... meanwhile Seraphs seem like something else. Not humans at all, but instead some other type of being that's been put in the world. I don't necessarily think that they're supposed to fix things. Rather, the humans are gone now, and some other kind of being has taken their place. Much more old vs new, as opposed to good vs. evil.

The traders are interesting diversion from that. They're more neutral. They don't often look very similar to either the drifters or the Seraphs. Maybe they're some kind of automaton left by the humans. It would explain why they don't move or starve or sleep, and potentially where they get their stock from (the humans seemed somewhat advanced--perhaps they'd come up with some kind of replicator a la star trek, and the traders were equipped with that?)

Edited by goaliemagics
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The drifters look like short little gloops of material that have hardened into a grey hunchback creature with not a lot of character. This paired with how the drifters are always paired with temporal storms and other temporal talks makes me want to imagine that whatever temporal disaster happened in the past caused a lot of people from a lot of different times to be merged into one creature: the drifter. Imagine 100 generations of your ancestors being merged into one person, it would probably result in a derpy, brown and grey thing due to all of your ancestors' variety and color being averaged out into on person... *drumroll* the drifter.

But yeah that's basically my fanfic on it. I don't think there's much to be discerned from the drifter since they're pretty boring honestly and should get some cool characterization like making dog noises or being super rare.

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