Geoffrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
I'm no Marathon expert, but I've tried to piece together some of Beowolf's loose threads.
In the FoR, Beowulf is introduced as an AI attache for ONI. We are never told explicitly, but it makes sense that Beowulf is on the PoA. Who better to record intel for ONI than a ship-board AI? I am not the first to suggest this. If you're familiar with the Transmissions, than you may recognize "via x-process 029184.108.40.2068288 (process owner BW - AI - Class III)" concluding most of the message tags. My guess is that BW is Beowulf, a class 3 AI, who is quietly playing middle-man. So, he's toast with the big blam on Halo right? Other's on the forum have suggested otherwise. When 343 GS says, "Give us the construct,...", he took Beowulf in along with all that juicy human history. Thus explaining the 'us'.
But where have we heard Beowulf before? How about ,"i have been roland, beowulf, achilles, gilgamesh;..." You know the one (link). Many have suggested this is the MC speaking due to the obvious Halo allusions of this cryptic passage. But the full text, especially the ending, just doesn't fit with the end of the game-unless it isn't the MC.
Lets say Beowulf, the PoA's shipboard AI, has written it. First of all, the style is notoriously AI. You wouldn't exactly expect it from a Marathon terminal, but you'd expect it even less from the MC. He begins with a statement regarding his age(lots of old names), but I'll get into that later.I will assume the 'she' he is referring to is Cortana. Apparently he sees her as quite an adversary. Cortana was known to hack into ONI quite a bit, but perhaps they have a more extensive, pre-PoA, history? He goes on with some tragic sounding romance and anguish. Is this another suggestion of a history between them, or perhaps love at first sight? In any case we may need to make some room within the stages of rampancy. He goes on to talk about their meeting in a garden. The verb tense (we met once) makes things confusing, but it still sounds very much like Halo's final days. The 'dry fountain' is the desert looking crash-site, perhaps once a lake bed. Although Cortana technically wasn't on the ship as it crashed, her subroutines were in charge, not Beowulf. So, she crashes the ship. His sin was either his inability to save the ship or perhaps some greater contributing action (Oliphant?).
From this point on, I think he is speaking of Halo's final moments. The ship explodes (pillar=granite monument), with molten bits of metal everywhere. Some have said that the 'ancient oak' is the PoA, but is Halo not the more ancient of the two? Also, there is no ship left after, but there are pieces of Halo, slivers of the oak, floating in space. Now the part which jives better with Beowulf than the MC, 'she leaves'. Indeed she did leave Beowulf, not MC. And he is alive, in 343 GS, to crave their next meeting.
But who is Beowulf? In the FoR, we don't know how old, or advanced he is(We do know he likes to wear dark robes). If the transmissions are correct, he is a Class III AI, whereas the Hermes II's AI, GA, was only a Class II. His age is difficult to judge, but clearly he thinks himself quite old (immortal),having been called many names. I have a connection to make and I'm not sure anyone else has mentioned it yet. I was brought to it on one of many Marathon story pages. It goes "In French romance Orlando is called Roland, Malagigi Mangis, and the sword (his sword) durandal or durindal." This page was mostly a discussion of Feel the Noise's terminal 1, and the swords of Charlemagne (link). If Roland is Orlando, the nephew of Charlemagne, than he wielded the sword Durindal. This is either figurative AI craziness or a Marathon tie in which I haven't worked out yet. My guess is Beowulf is older than he seems.
Tycho never got it right either, especially the part about Roland breaking me. He couldn't. No one can. -Durandal
Some great new perspectives on an old exploration for the tru7h...