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|“|| N, noooo!! Can't handle it anymore!! Something's wrong with all of you! Working like machines day after day... You have no will! This isn't living!! This is... is... Stop it! Let go! Uaaaaaaaaaahhh!!
Solaris, also known as the Sacred Empire of Solaris, is an advanced society in the skies. It is extremely high above the planet and is hidden by an invisibility shield. It is implied that Solaris is constructed of a "base" and an "dandelion", both of which are hidden. There are multiple "gates" which prevent access from Solaris: Etrenank Gate, Ignas Gate, Ethos Gate and Sargasso Gate.
For the past 800 years, Solaris has manipulated the balance of power and other key events on the surface by directly utilizing advanced technology, some of which was manifested from unethical sources, such as human experimentation. As such, they essentially control both the events and the people on the planet (the Lambs) through subjugation.
Its capital is Etrenank, which technology is far beyond that seen in the surface cites below. Everything is automated, people drive hover cars, and news is broadcast via holograms, rather than video monitors or radio receivers. Solaris has an artificial gravity field, so when the group first arrives on it, they are upside down on the ceiling.
Solaris's society is a draconican three class system, where the elite first-class citizens, who are purebred Solarians called "Gazel", subjugate the lower classes through an elaborate dystopian system involving ID cards, security drones, and immutable castes. The citizens of Solaris have been thoroughly brainwashed since birth via mind control, propaganda and psychological warfare. There are blasphemy laws preventing freedom of speech, and those who speak out against Solaris are killed with death sentences. Flying hover robots constantly monitor Solarians and "dispose" of misbehaving problematic residents.
The world in the year 9496 (before the Shevat-Solaris War) had many different peoples, and civilized small nations began war with one another. For all, this was a time of chaos and confusion. And so, from this time, Solaris began invading the surface using their vast military power. Almost no one realized it at the time, except for Shevat, which took a vigilant stance against Solaris.
At this time, backed by their control of a powerful military and with advanced scientific technology, Solaris overwhelms all the nations one by one, all the while expanding their own power. However, their goal in expansion was different from what the surface dwellers thought. And so, using their military might, they invaded other countries in order to bring the M (Malakh) Plan to fruition.
Using gene manipulation, the M Plan (Malahk Plan) re-created humans into the most powerful biological weapons—Malakh (Angels)—and also as created materials (parts) for the building of the super mobile fortress Merkava. Also, these parts were also integral for the resurrection of Deus. The people kidnapped by Solaris were remade into these living parts.
At last, having accelerated the M Plan, Solaris started to invade the other powers with their military. Also, they began to establish facilities, the Soylent Systems, all over the world for the re-forming of humans since 9499. In consequence of this, many surface dwellers were kidnapped and sacrificed.
And so, the truth about Solaris' goal became known. The countries of the world rebelled strongly against this, and slowly by degrees, the small warring countries began to band together and their goal became to "topple Solaris", forming the Anti-Solaris Alliance.
This proved futile, as Solaris won the Shevat-Solaris War in 9500. After the Diabolos Collapse killed the majority of humanity, Solaris' existence became hidden from the public. Karellen also eventually became a leader of Solaris.
Planning to rule behind the scenes, Solaris established the Ethos Church organization in 9511.
In 9698, Solaris begins the first invasion of Shevat.
In 9701, Solaris begins the second invasion of Shevat.
In 9982, due to a germ experiment at a Soylent facility, a plague breaks out in Solaris' Third-Class citizen level. Hyuga Ricdeau is poisoned.
In modern timeline of Xenogears, it is separated from surface via dimensional gates (such as Ignas Gate) that were put in place to prevent its destruction that had almost occurred in the events 500 years prior in the Great War (Shevat-Solaris War) and subsequently events known as the Diabolos Collapse. Knowledge of Solaris and its existence was then erased from all surface dwellers as an added countermeasure.
Fei Fong Wong first learns of Solaris from Elehayym Van Houten and Citan Uzuki. Knowing the truth of Solaris and allying with Shevat, the group decides to take down Solaris, and go to it using Seibzehn after destroying the gates.
Fei and Elly explore Solaris, and Fei meets Elly's parents Erich Van Houten and Medena Van Houten. While investigating, the group realizes Solaris has been secretly producing food, meat and medicine out of recycled mutated human (Wels) corpses in the Soylent System facility. Citan soon reveals himself to be Hyuga Ricdeau, a spy who has been working for Emperor Cain, a Solaris leader. The party also learns that the Gazel Ministry seeks to revive Deus and achieve eternal life, while Karellen seeks to obtain Elly, as she is needed to resurrect Deus.
Solaris is a fascist nation that operates under total secrecy. The player initially learns of it through a chance encounter with a woman running covert operations, and soon discovers that it's supplying one of the world's two known countries, Aveh, with advanced weaponry. To the casual observer, the despot Shakhan appears to control the desert country of Aveh, but Solaris' special forces, Gebler, are only aiding him to further their interests.
Persecution of Lambs Edit
Solarians generally believe that they are superior to surface dwelling Lambs, as well as persecute and doubt even those of mixed heritage, though most citizens seem unaware of the world outside their city walls.
Solarians are taught to persecute and discriminate against Lambs, see them as a resource for slave labor, or as a potential threat, should they invade restricted areas. Military who are deployed to the surface, such as Elly, are instructed to kill any Lambs that they come into contact with.
Lambs who are promoted through the class system, like Dominia, often take this trait to an extreme, while others who still remember their origin disassociate from it entirely.
Ethos (religion) Edit
- Main article: Ethos
While it initially appears that Solaris is supporting Aveh to help it win its war with Kislev, it is really covertly managing both nations through the use of a religious institution known as the Ethos. On the surface, the Ethos provides both nations with powerful excavated weapons in addition to supplying religious services and aid, but its true purpose is to monitor and control humans of both countries. Solaris uses the religion, the Ethos, to further its agenda. The Ethos brainwashes surface dwellers (Lambs), while secretly kidnapping its downtrodden and using them for experiments or slave labor in Solaris.
Class System Edit
With a society divided into classes, Solarians can't effectively rebel against Solaris because they are too concerned with their own class.
- 1st Class citizens, called Gazels (not to be confused with the Gazel Ministry) live rich, wealthy, privileged lives. They inhabit huge luxurious mansions that often have indentured servants from the surface. Their status and comfortable existence often lead them to ignore or even encourage wrongdoing. Almost all Gazels seen in the game have blonde hair and blue eyes, a factor that made Elehayym stand out, due to her appearance.
- 2nd Class citizens are described by Perfect Works as "a mix of classes", which function as a sort of middle class. They serve as a contrast to the 3rd Class level, and give 3rd Class citizens a 'goal' to aspire to. While some, like Elly's squad, mention they were once 3rd class citizens, it's unclear at what rate 3rd Class civilians are actually 'promoted'.
- 3rd Class citizens, also referred to as 'worker bees', are slaves who live in a prison-like honeycomb of tiny pods, only leaving when it's time to work. Most are kidnapped, brainwashed Lambs from the surface. Though some, like Citan Uzuki, manage to rise to the 2nd class and work in the sectors like the military, the reality for a typical 3rd Class citizen is grim, having to work in harsh conditions and suffer from mental and physical abuse. If a person speaks out, they are killed immediately by drones. Those that try to escape, if they are caught, are 're-educated' and at worst, 'rearranged'.
Solarians speak a different language from the Lambs, and Elly acts as a translator for Fei. When Elly isn't with Fei and Fei attempts to speak to Solarians, it results in "!%#?&+!"
This later results in a short scene where Fei, no longer having Elly there to translate, has to navigate the city, unable to understand what any citizens are telling him.
Soylent System (food and medicine) Edit
- Main article: Soylent System
The Soylent System is a huge Solaris slaughterhouse plant that was first connected to Karellen's Lab before being moved to the ground. This is the facility where Solaris turns foreigners into mutated Wels, and, subsequently, food, meat and medicine. It is likely Solaris feeds these products to both Solarians and Lambs.
The meat/food/medicine has been implanted with genetic Limiters which are intended to prevent rebellion and uprising in people. Products from the Soylent System serve to keep the seal of the Limiters. In addition, Solaris puts in additives in the food and medicine supply to control people's behavior, presumably making them sicker, dumber, docile and submissive to authoritative figures.
Both Solarians and Lambs are intentionally kept in the dark about what the Soylent System is. Elly says, "I've heard the Soylent System is an important support system for Solaris, but I don't know much else."
Characters from Solaris Edit
All characters who were born in Solaris or have lived in Solaris, either through will or kidnapping.
Residents and/or military figures:
- Elehayym Van Houten
- Medena Van Houten
- Erich Van Houten
- Shakhan (operates on the surface)
- Kahran Ramsus (since 9975)
- Isaac Stone (Isaac Stein)
- Dominia Yizkor (since 9993)
- Citan Uzuki (Hyuga Ricdeau) (from 9970 to 9996) - Citan was former slave, who rose up to the military. He secretly works for Emperor Cain.
- Jessie Black (from 9965 to 9990) - Although he was not a slave, he was part of the military. After learning the dark truth of Solaris, he escaped Solaris with his family, changed his identity, and is now on its wanted list.
- Billy Lee Black (since birth to 9990)
- Racquel Black (left in 9990)
- Sigurd Harcourt (from 9983 to 9987) - Once a kidnapped slave of Solaris, he joined the military. After learning the dark truth of Solaris, he escaped and is now on its wanted list.
Slaves or escapees:
- Maria Balthasar (Maria was born in 9986 in Shevat, kidnapped at an unknown point in time, probably in 9987 by Solaris, and escaped Solaris in 9990 to Shevat)
- Claudia Balthasar (9987-9990)
- Nikolai Balthasar
- Samson (recent victim, killed during the game)
Solaris may be a reference to a 1961 Polish philosophical science fiction novel Solaris by Stanisław Lem. The book centers upon the themes of the nature of human memory, experience and the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species.
In probing and examining the oceanic surface of the planet Solaris from a hovering research station the human scientists are, in turn, being studied by the sentient planet itself, which probes for and examines the thoughts of the human beings who are analyzing it. Solaris has the ability to manifest their secret, guilty concerns in human form, for each scientist to personally confront.
- Solaris keeps watch over Fei Fong Wong and his allies via the Memory Cube savepoints. Each time the player accesses it, the Ministry tracks where Fei is. Citan also mentions the memory cubes are meant for obtaining living data, presumably searching for adequate genetic material to resurrect Deus and the Gazel Ministry.
- Some Solarians call themselves the "Abel", which is the opposite of Lambs. They also call themselves "Shepherds". They claim it's "divine providence" they are the "chosen people", and that their purpose of existence is to subordinate the earth dwelling Lambs.
- As previously mentioned, Solaris was involved with biological experimentation on Lambs. These not only include the Wels/Reapers, but Solaris also made demi-humans by experimenting with human DNA, likely mixing human and animal DNA.
- Considering the German name of the Jugend Military Academy, the fact that Solaris idealizes blonde hair and blue eyes, and the fact that Solaris wishes to control humanity with eugenics, Solaris is an allegory for Nazi Germany. This is also affirmed by Cain being the leader of the "Anonelbe", which is a mistranslation of Ahnenerbe, and a reference to Nazis. Cain believed he would became a new central ﬁgure for this new "kind" and believed "Ahnenerbe" would rescue human beings. As such, Cain (and Karellen) could be compared to Adolf Hitler.
- Arbot Plaza at Solaris is a misspelling of Arabot/Araboth Plaza. In Judiasm, Arabot/Araboth is the name of the seventh Heaven where God and his most highly ranked angels live.
- Etrenank is a misspelling of Etemenanki, the name of a ziggurat dedicated to the god Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BCE. The name means "temple of the foundation of heaven and earth" and is thought to have inﬂuenced the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel (the game has its own).