Failures of Infinity: Don't lose your head!

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:36 pm

But there was no trace of Tokyo-3 turning to core or FoI popping from the ground while Shinji was pulling out Rei from Zeruel, so whatever happened with the FoI happened after 2.0.
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Postby Monk Ed » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:36 pm

Thread surgery complete. The topic, originally a split from Impact Mechanics, wandered back to a similar topic. The split content went here.
Last edited by Monk Ed on Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:59 pm

Raising this thread to continue the discussion started here:

View Original PostBlueBasilisk wrote: I think the FoI might have come from a similar place. Mark.06 fused with Lilith while carrying its payload of not-Armisael and impregnated Lilith with a bunch of pseudo-Adams that then burst out of her while she was growing. For whatever reason, they weren't ripe yet and stopped dead in their tracks.


View Original PostReichu wrote: This provides a delightfully vile explanation for Lilith's disemboweled state. However, my brain has one major monkey wrench to offer: if the possessed Mark.06 is responsible for the failures, why do the finished-looking ones look like Eva-01? We can take this to the relevant Rebuild thread if need be.


That's a monkey wrench for any theory about the FoI. It feels like we have one Eva that doesn't fit the evidence. Lilith turning into Rei and the FoI taking on the form of Unit 01 all imply that it was somehow active in the proceedings, but if it was, why was Mark.06 present in the condition that it's in? And if Unit 01 wasn't around or doing anything, why the dopplegangers?

Nobody in Wille ever accuses Shinji of taking part in the true Third Impact which I'm sure they would have if it were true. The results of that are far more heinous than N3I. For a while I kicked around the idea that Unit 01 had briefly awakened after the Spear of Cassius was removed like it did with the Mark.04B, but Wille never mentions that either. Since the possibility is never raised and the only awakenings alluded to are the two we see ourselves, I feel like this theory can be safely discarded for now.

It could be a resonant effect from Rei's merger with the awakened Unit 01, but I think that cut to Lilith during N3I was meant to show that Rei's current situation has no effect on her. So my best guess is that Mark.06 caused it. I don't think it's outlandish to assume it has similar or identical abilities to Unit 01 which includes the ability to reshape Angel blood/core matter like Unit 01 did with Red Rei. A lot of this hinges on the circumstances on Mark.06's autonomy and exactly who or what was driving it when it was taken over by the 12th Angel, which there's no way to know right now.

But as for the why, I think it might be possible that Seele had to revise their plans for Instrumentality once it became clear that Shinji wasn't coming out of Unit 01 (if their plans hadn't already accounted for all of this) and they had Mark.06 or its pilot create the FoI in Unit 01's image so that Kaworu could use them as guilt ammo against Shinji once he did eventually come back. Kaworu's yarn about Unit 01 causing all that damage isn't so believable without those clones littered around. It sounds weird even as I type it, but Seele still went through with Third Impact even though there was no reason to without Shinji around, and the end result of it all was still in accordance with their plans somehow. I wouldn't put anything past them.

If Third Impact all took place down in Central Dogma, then we have a handy explanation for why the FoI look so different on the surface. The perfectly formed FoI, the ones down in Dogma and the snack-sized versions dogpiled in the command center, are all close to Lilith's body or directly above her, but the deformed ones are farther away scattered across the city. Maybe Mark.06's power just doesn't extend that far even merged and they start shifting or deforming as the distance increases. The near ones aren't trying to merge with each other, either.

Until You Come To Me and Eva 3.XX give us these three curious shots:
SPOILER: Show
Image
Image
Image


The one in the foreground in the first picture is armored and a few in the back show hints of pylons, but the others show no signs of armor at all. They're thin, naked humanoid bodies with visible musculature and fingernails. The rugged spines and ridged chests look suspiciously similar to that shot of the Adams(?) that appears later in UYCTM. And if that's set some time after 3.0 like the beginning suggests, then these are even further out from the epicenter and well outside the crater zone where the Black Moon emerged. They're a mixed bag of well formed and deformed but they don't look like armored Unit 01 at all.

That's the best explanation I can come up with using the available evidence, anyway. ^_^
Last edited by BlueBasilisk on Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:14 pm

Has anyone put forth the idea that the failures of infinity are just unit ones that have tried to reconstitute themselves from instrumentality as pure core beings?

Like wasn't one of Yui's plans to give everyone a core body? Like what if all of them busted out of Lilith, but were stopped before they could fully form? Like someone stabbed her or unit 6 before the process could be completed.
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:59 am

View Original PostChaddyManPrime wrote:Has anyone put forth the idea that the failures of infinity are just unit ones that have tried to reconstitute themselves from instrumentality as pure core beings?

Which then raises the question of how and when there came to be multiple Unit-01s. Also of whether Evas take part in instrumentatlity anyway (if they do, there's scope for fanfic exploring what our protagonists learn from them during the sharing of their minds).
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Postby BlueBasilisk » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:07 am

Right. That just brings us back to our original question of why Unit 01 exists in multiple. And I don't think that's what Yui and Gendo want. It sounds like that's what Seele is angling for so there'd be no reason for Gendo and Yui to oppose them if that's the case.

And another question it raises: if these were made by Unit 01, whether through Instrumentality, core shaping power, contact with the 12th Angel or what have you, why do the majority of them look like the armored Evangelion and not the true form of the Adam underneath?
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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:40 am

Yui and Gendo's motives remain unexplored in this version of events so far, so it seems unwise to make assumptions there.

I don't think I can buy into the suggestion that Mark.06 created Eva-01 lookalikes. It just doesn't add up, IMO. Some points:

- The failures aren't actually used to guilt trip Shinji. From where he and Kaworu were standing during the guilt trip scene, they would not have been visible. Later on when Shinji sees them up close, Kaworu just describes them in vague terms and leaves it at that. The failures all have their backs turned, so any resemblance to 01 would not be discernable. The connection can only be spotted by eagle-eyed viewers while the FoIs are free-floating during 4I, so I think them being Eva-01 copies was put in there for US, not Shinji...
- Eva-01 is currently in a state wherein she turns anything that touches her to core. Cf. the inside of her orbital prison, along with the arm Eva-02 used to insert the igniter. Suffice it to say, a lot of stuff has been turned into core post-3I, though curiously this doesn't include the supposed epicenter.
- Lilith turning into Rei up until the point of decapitation requires explanation.

So I don't think the proper response is to dismiss Eva-01's role. At the same time, it's probably also futile to think we have enough information to solve this mystery right now.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:36 am

I doubt any of these mysteries will be solved when 3.0+1.0 ends either. They're not relevant to Shinji Ikari's personal journey so in the grand scheme of the actual story they don't really matter. I imagine a lot of the world building elements of 3.0 will be left unexplained when the four films are finished.

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:03 pm

If (as I expect) we get one or more CRCs covering the last two films, there may be explanations of at least some things in there.
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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:10 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:I doubt any of these mysteries will be solved when 3.0+1.0 ends either. They're not relevant to Shinji Ikari's personal journey so in the grand scheme of the actual story they don't really matter.

Finding out what really happened “doesn't matter” to Shinji's personal journey? Considering the sheer psychological effect that taking in the post-3I sights had on him, I think you're playing up this supposed “character / setting” segregation to absurdly artificial heights. Of course it matters: Shinji is led to believe that he was responsible, and so finding out the reality of what happened is absolutely crucial if he is to ever move on.

Not to mention, Anno's directorial style really likes to allude to complicated ideas with a combination of rapid-fire cryptic dialogue and massive amounts of visual storytelling -- and then leave us put the pieces together. This persistent "there won't be room for anything but chemically pure, hermetically sealed character development!" meme has no real basis in anything that I can see, other than maybe mythological narratives audience members tell themselves about the director's motivations. (Even bloody EoTV managed to make some not insignificant contributions to NGE's world-building in spite of everything.) I'd be glad to hear you elaborate upon your own specific point of view, though I recommend such a conversation continues here or another more appropriate thread.

-----------

I have more to say @ the topic, but since I get into the timeline and mechanics of Third Impact in general, I'm thinking another thread resurrection might be in order...

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:59 pm

Wait a tick guys, wasn't one of the plans to have the human race turn into perfect core beings? If so who's plan was that? I'll say for the sake of argument that the reason they look like Unit 1's is cause that's what a perfect being looks like. Cause I think that's where the detective work should start.
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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:15 pm

My ginormous follow-up reply can be found here. Reply there, not here, thx.

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:15 pm

I agree that the truth about Third Impact will be essential to Shinji's recovery. It was such a driving factor for him in 3.0 that there's really no way to avoid it going forward.

I also readily admit that that my idea about the FoI is full of holes and probably nowhere close to the truth as it's built purely on the aftermath in Dogma and the things people did or didn't say. It's almost certain that there were other parties present that simply can't be accounted for based on the evidence left behind, never mind things that might have been moved or altered after the fact while the place was being sealed up. We certainly couldn't piece together 4th Impact based on the evidence that left behind. :tongue:

There were a couple in the main shaft that were facing forward, but you do have a point. By the time Shinji can see what they are, Kaworu waves them off. The camera panning over the FoI in the city is deceptive because it seems like that's what he's looking at too, but could he even see them from up there in the pyramid? That thing has to be nearly a mile in the air.

Unit 01 radiating core is interesting because even Unit 13 doesn't cause it to that extent. Wasn't Unit 02's arm also engulfed in some kind of nervous tissue before it exploded?

I'll go read the other post you linked. It's really hard to talk about the FoI without veering off into discussion about Impact mechanics and the Adams, isn't it?
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:49 pm

I skipped most of this thread to be honest so I'm sure I missed out on a lot of the nuances.

What I meant was : What are the Failures of Infinity? Probably a mystery that will never be solved because what they are isn't directly relevant to Shinji's story.
Whatever gaps in world building created by the fourteen year time-skip will probably be left as what they are, mysteries for fans to ponder over for years to come. But the story of Final is most assuredly going to be exclusively about Shinji coming to terms within himself for having had a role in what caused the world to become the wasteland it is. Would some of that pressure be alleviated once he learns he didn't directly cause it all but was merely the starting point? Sure. So arguably some of the mystery elements in 3.0 will be answered & are relevant to Shinji's story - what Angel mystery is under Asuka's eyepatch is of course one of those important mysteries that will most likely be answered - but a lot of things will stay unexplained.

Either way, maybe this is just a flaw in my viewings of the films. See my interest in Evangelion is almost entirely build around the character journeys, what the filmmakers are saying about the human psyche through it & how they use science fiction to express those ideas. So the intricacies of things like how the Evas function or what were the Twelve Steps to Third Impact have never interested me. Like I said, probably a flaw in how I view the films.

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:52 am

I recently got my own copy of the Q storyboard book, so here's some cool new tidbits I noticed. I can hypothetically provide (really shitty) scans, but it's just chicken-scratch notes in Japanese so I dunno how many would be interested.

1) The core-based Eva-like beings are actually called "Infinities" in the storyboards. Most of the cuts where they appear attach a pluralizing suffix to "Infinity" (-tachi or -ra), so each one of them is an "Infinity". This does seem to contradict what Kaworu says -- 「ああ、全てインフィニティのなり損ないたちだ」("Aa, subete Infinity no narisokonai-tachi da") -- in some ways. Namely, he emphasizes the fact that they failed to achieve this Infinity state, and this is born out by the fact that they're both incomplete and suspended, so if "Infinity" is what they failed to be, how can they also be that thing? Maybe the storyboards are just simplifying for the sake of having something to call them... If you compare the storyboards with the BD script here, all of the mentions of "Infinity" are replaced with the rather nondescript "Eva", so it's probably too soon to give up on "FoI" as a placeholder label.

As much of a dead end as this seems to be, it does possibly suggest that "Infinity" is the name of a hypothetical kind of entity, which all of those red Eva things were attempting to become.

2) The skulls in Central Dogma are identified explicitly as "heads of the Infinities, turned to bleached bone".

3) The FoIs that vent out of the Black Moon are identified as the source of the weird scream-like sound. This note is, bizarrely, not found in the BD script, even though the scream made it to the final version of the film. (How does one scream without a head? I dunno, ask Ramiel...)

4) "Infinity" is used to refer to both the weird crystalline Evas in Tokyo-3 and to the red Eva-01 replicas inside Nerv HQ and the Black Moon. This seems to provide backup to the idea of throwing all of these entities under the same tentative label (FoI) despite the degree of discrepancy in their appearances.

5) When Shinji sees the FoIs on the wall of the Central Shaft, the storyboards have him saying, "Eva-01?" -- crossed out and with the final dialogue written in. Wise omission. The odds are pretty close to zero that Shinji would notice that these cut-through headless bodies forming a thick red layer of eye-strain, most of whom have their backs turned to us anyway, actually match Eva-01's chest and pylon armor details.

-------

I actually have some new thoughts about what these things actually ARE, but it is legitimately so insane I think I would need an entire thread to demonstrate that the insanity is merely a result of this bold new Eva infecting my thought processes, and is thus, somehow, perfectly logical... Something juicy is cooking, anyway.

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Postby Zoop » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:22 am

Been a while since I read this whole thread (so excuse me if I bring up stuff already mentioned), but I had a train of thought about this yesterday, so I thought I'd share.

Losing a head / being headless seems to be a common theme in NTE, I'm starting to think that it head holds the fruit of wisdom, and the body (which holds/is the core) the fruit of life.

The head doesn't seem to be needed for eva's/angels. Most angels don't even have a distinct head (but rather something more akin to a mask). The head is useful for eva's because it has eyes and brain capacity, but it can function just fine without (eva-01 getting its brain punctured by sachiel, eva-02 still functioning after missing large portion of its head, mk9 continuing after losing head, the mk4 eva's dont have heads). But the head is mainly just another limb. Only Tunniel has a pretty defined head, makes me wonder if maybe it was added (all sorts of tech is attached to it), maybe thats why its head is a bit similar to Wunder.

So I'm thinking that the head (which holds the brain, the part that gives us "wisdom") is a distinctive Lilim feature. And maybe it helps / is required for syncing with an entry plug (transmit lilim brainwaves to the eva), so thats why eva's with pilots need a head (mk9 being special with the Seele program).

Life born directly from Lilith appear as only heads (the infinity skulls, the Rei heads Fuyu shows to Shinji).
Life born directly from Adams/Angels only have bodies (mk4 series mainly), a core can be a body.
A head could be added, but it would be a "fake" (evident with mk9, its head is mainly one large mechanical eyeball) without a fruit of wisdom.

The failures of Infinity were being born as just a body and they crawl their way towards Lilith to receive their fruit of wisdom heads (I believe you already made this point).
I just wanted to point out that being headless could mean quite a bit. The weird mk4's who are mainly just eva legs. Also the dss choker pretty much removes the head. The Adams do appear to have pretty humanoid heads tho, but I just can't shake this feeling that being headless is important somehow, like not having a core, really missing something important (and I guess it's the fruit of wisdom).

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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:50 am

I figured it was the other way around, counterintuitive as it feels. The red Eva things are specifically described as things that failed to achieve the state "Infinity", and furthermore they are shown in conjunction with Kaworu's description of HIP being something that turns Lilin into Fruit of Life beings. The Fruit of Life correlates to the idea of "Infinity"; their headless state correlates to the notion that they are fundamentally incomplete or failed in what they were meant to be.

Infinity Not Achieved + No Head = Head is FoL

It is a confusing bit of symbology for sure, but I'm not sure how to avoid it. Sometimes the movies seem to reinforce it, and other times not. Examples of the former:

- FoIs, which desire the Fruit of Life, are clustered around Lilith's head (not her body)
- Mk.6 with 12th Angel inside is where Lilith's head should be
- 12th Angel turns into a Lilith head
- Deformed Rei heads appear on 10th Angel and 12th Angel cores (contrast to pre-3I Lilith, who is sprouting Rei legs / lower bodies)
- Mk.09 only regrows its head in the wake of Eva-13 regaining the Fruit of Life; ripping off this head also disables it until regeneration kicks in
- When 10th Angel eats Rei, it keeps its original head section while sprouting a new body
- Snapping neck of Angel-infected Eva-03 renders it helpless
- Asuka has something very weird and glowy sealed behind her eye (i.e. inside her head)
- Popping 'decoy' core of 7th Angel also makes its heads explode; body falls apart until main core is repositioned as the "head"
- 4th Angel's regenerative abilities (which come from FoL) exhibited via growth of second head
- Mk4s all lack heads; only confirmed power sources are artificial in nature (e.g. N2 reactors)

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Postby Zoop » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:06 pm

I was typing up a whole rebuttal, but I suppose I can't get around why the people who turned into fols would have the fruit of life, and would need to (re)claim a fruit of wisdom. Guess I didn't think that through. It's just that fruit of wisdom for the head would make more sense, or maybe we're looking too much into an actual container for the fruit. Maybe it's more metaphysical than that ... No doubt that the not having head / losing head is important, since it's such a prominent recurring feature, but maybe it's not about fruit's ... Ah well, I had a train of thought and now it's derailed :p

One point though, do you got more to reinforce that no fruit of life = foi? I'm more guessing that Failure of Infinity is not necessarily failure at getting Fruit of Life, but rather failure at getting both = becoming basically god = infinity. To me the way they used the word, it's more powerful than just being a synonym for an S2 engine.

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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:24 pm

It's just that fruit of wisdom for the head would make more sense

Even after that list I provided? :tongue: "Making sense" is relative, dependent on the context one is dealing with.

A couple of other things to consider: the Failures are alive (as indicated by the active core texture) but they just sit around doing nothing. Since they're SUPPOSED to be beings with the Fruit of Life, NOT having that very thing could explain why they aren't working very well. :nyao: Also, if they're SUPPOSED to be FoL beings, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense why they would be incomplete (i.e., lack heads) for not having something (FoK) they aren't necessarily supposed to have anyway. I don't think there is anything in the movies that suggests they "ought" to possess the FoK. Quite the contrary, in fact. Gendo rather directly implied in 2.0 that Seele want to purge the world of Original Sin, and Seele 01, before dying, wishes for the purification of all souls. The whole sin thing really needs its own topic (I'm working on it, slowly), but needless to say, original sin is associated with the Fruit of Knowledge. Logically, if you want to purge souls of that, HOLDING ON to the legacy of the Fruit of Knowledge makes little sense.

If you're still tripped up by the whole "but the power of the FoK is the brain!" thing, remember -- it's a visual metaphor and it's all relative. Another way to look at the FoL can be as the power to control the world with nothing but your mind. Angels are effectively ESPers. Those with the FoK, lacking this power, use their physicality to bend the world to their will. Contrast recurrent visuals of Angels directing vast amounts of power with nothing but a glance against, say, the recurrent visuals emphasizing a link between hands and the will to impose charge.


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