JavaScript is required to use Bungie.net

Lore

Discuss the deep lore of the Destiny universe.

8/9/2014 8:20:54 PM
141

Exploring the Exo:

Hey Bungie Community! In my wanderings through these forums, someone asked me: "What are the Exo?" I'm a really philosophical guy, so I started my answer to help out and tell him what we know, but as I dove deeper it developed into a discussion not only of what an Exo is, but what it means to "be" Exo. The remainder of this post is my answer to him (heavily edited and expanded), and I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you to maybe provide a new perspective on, and perhaps a new appreciation for: the race of Exo. With that introduction, I give you: Exploring The Exo: The Exo were war machines designed and built by humans. The Traveler wiped their memories of all of the time before and then blessed them with true sentience. The Exo are true thinking, feeling beings now. They are still machines inside and out, but they absolutely have full and evolving personalities like everyone else. The Exo must confront their lack of mortality (an Exo lives forever with effective maintenance), to my knowledge they cannot mate or reproduce (I'm fairly certain the secrets of building the Exo was lost in the collapse as well), and that they cannot remember any of their existence before the Traveler uplifted them. There are both male and female Exo. I believe this is only for the purposes of defining themselves as having a male or female persona now that they are sentient, rather than for mating capability. The body types are likely different to accent and celebrate that "choice." I know gender isn't a choice per se [at birth], so when each Exo was uplifted by the Traveler, it was likely "born" in that moment and must have realized that they were either one or the other. That issue of gender without gender roles may be another of issues that every Exo faces. They also have no childhood, no learning process through years of experiences under the guidance of parents to make them who they are. They were static. One moment they did not exist from their own perspective, and the next moment they did. Its like their entire personality, all of who they are... was just given to them, handed down from on high, rather than developed over years of growing up and experiencing things. Its gotta be a shocking way to enter the world, and it can't be comforting to know that SOMETHING ELSE decided who YOU were going to be. To look at another possibility, assume for a moment that when they were born in that moment of uplifting it was as if they knew nothing at all (emulating a human newborn), then they would have learned everything from humans (in the Golden age and early stages of the collapse there were no Awoken, and those who existed in the dark ages lived almost exclusively on the Reef. This would make it very unlikely for an Awoken to have ever "raised" an Exo). What would that mean for them? How alien would it feel to sit down to a family dinner when you cannot grasp the concept of food? As children, these Exo would not have been smaller than their adoptive parents, they would in most cases be physically superior. By what method then could a young Exo be disciplined? As a sentient being, every Exo should be vulnerable to feelings like pride or anger. How would a proud and self aware Exo take orders from a mother or father figure whom they could beat to a pulp in seconds? Why must he or she listen to those who cannot enforce their own rules? In the end I don't know if one or either of these cases is the truth concerning the uplifting of the Exo, but both possibilities are rife with unique challenges that simply are not faced by members of any other race. The Exo are philosophically pretty cool. They can make really interesting characters, especially when/if they learn that their entire race were once unthinking slaves used by humans for protection and warfare. This event raises some wicked questions. How does that make them feel about the robots that we see doing all of the menial labour in the tower now? Would they understand that the use of a non sentient machine is different from slavery, or would they see what they could have been and be disgusted? Even better, how does that make an Exo feel about being a Guardian?A being brought back from the dead for the singular purpose of protecting the City by roaming the solar system and killing every single threat to its inhabitants? Does that diminish them once again into no more than slaves used by others for protection and warfare?With the knowledge of his or her race's past available to them, An Exo guardian might feel more like a slave than a hero. As if we didn't have enough degrees of separation already, the Exo also don't sleep which is admittedly badass and quite useful, but could also be very lonely in a world of Humans and Awoken. Could this make Exo society self contained? When the Humans and the Awoken of the City go to sleep (I can't comment on the sleep patterns of the Awoken, they may not match those of humans, but lets assume for now that they're similar), the Exo population in its entirety remains exactly the same. Naturally they could spend this time together, and no member of the other races can be there for them all the time. Eventually the differences in schedule and culture could lead to many Exo folk drifting away from organic society, preferring their own kind exclusively. There are likely no rituals for eating, there are none for sleeping, waste excretion is a non issue. Routine maintenance could be better understood by those who also perform it upon themselves, and of course there must be many other issues besides. In addition, organic races would eventually be surpassed in knowledge and wisdom by the Exo, who have lived every moment since the moment of uplifting to the present (with the exception of those who died and were raised as Guardians, they/we clearly missed a big chunk of time). The sheer number of experiences they have would make most Exo very wise and interesting people. This raises another interesting question. Does the Exo have limited memory storage space? Of course it probably does internally. Exo memories were never designed by humans, but rather were "granted" by the Traveler. The physical computational memory used by them as machines of war before their transformation is certainly quite significant, but is that how they record their memories now? If that was so there would be a defined limit to what an Exo can know and remember. This is true for all races, but the Exo may be forced to actively pick and choose which of its experiences, which parts of its life to simply erase. At first glance such an ability is both a blessing and a curse. It is also one more thing that may prevent the Exo on a fundamental level from fitting into the human societies we all know. Moving on from there, we've assumed so far that as sentient mechanical beings the Exo are fully emotionally capable... so then what in Gods name does an Exo do when they fall in love with an organic? It could happen to an Exo as easily as to a Human, and as any wise person understands, we can't choose who to love. The Exo don't need sexuality as part of their companionship, but its presence in organic life could make that a serious barrier to her (or him). They could not produce offspring with that person, and if they were exclusive romantically, they would condemn their partner to a life with no sexual component, and more importantly no children. Then, even if all that works out, when the Exo's organic partner dies, they have to continue on alone. Nevermind all of the potential social stygma around the idea of organic/synthetic relationships. Like I said earlier, the Exo are philosophically very interesting. Just by virtue of their birth race they can be quite tragic characters. They must shoulder burdens we can only even wonder at. They see a World they cannot be a part of that has existed since before they themselves were even an idea. They owe the Traveler their "existence" (in its Cartesian definition), but they would not exist without the Humans who built their bodies. All they are, the good and bad, was someone else's decision. Do they love the others for making the right decisions, or hate them for making the wrong ones? Should they thank us for their existence, or blame us for the pain they suffer because of it? There is an old saying that "To 'ere is human, to forgive, divine." The Exo are neither. Thanks for reading -Thoughtfully yours, TheDestined
Add more answer options

Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

  • Interesting post.
    Add more answer options

    Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

    4 Replies
    • I saw a Titan Mark Or some such class armor that had a pattern and quote on it that said a graphic representation of the algorithm that gave EXOs ture though or some such.
      Add more answer options

      Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

    • Basically the DRN from the almost human television show
      Add more answer options

      Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

      1 Reply
      • I couldn't stop thinking of The World's End reading that last quote. Seriously, absolutely frabjous post, I never thought the Exo were interesting until now.
        Add more answer options

        Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

      • 1
        PA1N7 1T BLACK
        PA1N7 1T BLACK

        Praise the gun! - old

        This is a really well thought out post (a great relief in this time of quarreling children). It is something that makes them so interesting, they arent robots trying to act "alive". To them, they really are alive and experiencing the world around them. Theyre a really cool race that I hope we can learn more about throughout the story!
        Add more answer options

        Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

        1 Reply
        • I couldn't stop thinking of The World's End reading that last quote. Seriously, absolutely frabjous post, I never thought the Exo were interesting until now.
          Add more answer options

          Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

          2 Replies
          • Damn, the end kind made me tear up a bit. Beautiful post man! Hey, there is a group that i'm making called Starship 42. It's a info/data dump for posts just like this pertaining to Destiny as a whole. The group is hidden from the public but you should be able to join if I send you an invite. You interested?
            Add more answer options

            Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

            2 Replies
            • Awesome post! In my personal take, the races of the city are totally unified in their mission for survival. The Exo definitely face their own existential crises, but it does not appear that this leads to any misgivings between the races.
              Add more answer options

              Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

            • WOW!! I must admit you outdid yourself with this post. Very captivating, I just wanted to keep reading more and more. Keep up the exceptional work.
              Add more answer options

              Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

              4 Replies
              • Bumping for the lost exo guardians we traveled with during the beta.
                Add more answer options

                Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

              • Need to get some Blade Runner up in this post son!
                Add more answer options

                Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                6 Replies
                • 10/10 Would bang again. Well done.
                  Add more answer options

                  Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                • Well done! I love hear theories about the low of this game! This is great!
                  Add more answer options

                  Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                • Great post, very thought provoking. I don't know if it's wise but I plan on creating 3 characters, 1 of each race and class. I think the Exo, having been a war machine should be my Titan. The Warlock should be an Awoken. My Hunter should be a Human. It's just my opinion but given the lore the Exo fits the Titan. Everyone else is free to make their own choices of course
                  Add more answer options

                  Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                  9 Replies
                  • nicely done
                    Add more answer options

                    Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                  • Ah.. I figured they were cyborgs.. Y'know, human on the inside? [spoiler]shold pay more attention :)[/spoiler]
                    Add more answer options

                    Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                  • This seems to have assumed that the Exo were originally built with individual personalities for some sort of altruistic reason. Given what we know about human nature, and the way we construct mass-produced killing tools, that sounds unlikely. People already have issues walking through the Uncanny Valley when you put a face on an ATM. Putting not only a face, but also the surface perception of true individuality and volition into a machine you're intending to use as cannon fodder would be pretty contrary to our historical attitudes to such things. Not only does it creep out the civilians, it reduces the effectiveness of your commanders; sending cruise missiles in is a no brainer, but what if you have to sit down with them first over coffee and discuss the battle plan? Suddenly they're not disposable, and then what's the point? Another answer might be that the Exo were created to replace specific people. Infiltrators, perhaps. This would provide a justification for going to the expense and trouble of making weapon that could talk back, desert, defect, or refuse to fight. "Exo" is an interesting choice for a moniker, as well. Exo-skeleton? What if the personalities trapped inside appear to be human because originally they [i]were[/i] human? Maybe the Exo was originally just the battlefield embodiment of of a soldier thousands of miles away. We already do that now, but our tools are far more crude. Anyway, it was a fun read. More thought about why humanity would create this specific weapon in this specific way may serve you well.
                    Add more answer options

                    Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                    6 Replies
                    • I'd like to be able to meet people by walking up to them and saying hey. Not fiddling with teams and friends lists and chat boxes, etc. I'd like to share laughter or thanks with strangers in the moment, not after the fact. It would be pretty easy to just turn this setting off if you're not interested, or mute specific people if they're being obnoxious. What do you think? Share your idea's here and in a bunch of other threads so it spreads like wildfire and bungie does something about it before launch! (ik this is off topic but this needs to be heard)
                      Add more answer options

                      Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                      2 Replies
                      • Edited by Bill the Cabal: 8/10/2014 1:25:25 AM
                        A thought struck me about the Exo. At the beginning of Destiny our own Ghost finds us and restores us to life. Whatever conflict that killed the Human or Awoken at the walls of Old Russia was probably instant or quick, but I always imagine that my Exo, or any other Exo, was only damaged to a state of paralysis, watching Russia fall, unable to do anything. The only company to be had is the wildlife and memories if (s)he can even access them. Time goes by and eventually, the last systems will fail, corrosion and rust set in and the Exo could never scream for help, only wait for the dark to fall.
                        Add more answer options

                        Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                        9 Replies
                        • This is deep. Mind blown.
                          Add more answer options

                          Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                        • Edited by MrDemonX: 8/10/2014 1:40:48 AM
                          Sweet post. I wish we would see more posts like this one then the crap thats been going around. Posts like these are why I still read the forums. Awesome job man!
                          Add more answer options

                          Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                        • Very cool :)
                          Add more answer options

                          Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                        • I take issue with the "falling in love" piece. Why should Exos feel the need to reproduce or find companionship? They are sentient, but not human. They don't have millions of years of evolution that have programmed the need to be social or produce offspring. Their programming could be completely different. They seem to be somewhat social, but love and offspring? I don't know if these can be taken as given. Let's not jump to anthropomorphize. They may be fundamentally different than humans.
                          Add more answer options

                          Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                          4 Replies
                          • Holy cow. (ರ_ರ) tl;dr WOOHOO I'M IMMORTAL!!!! oop gotta re-tighten that bolt in my head.
                            Add more answer options

                            Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                          • Edited by TK129: 8/10/2014 3:11:16 AM
                            I'm not so sure about this stuff Destined, is this entirely your own conjecture? Or are there any references and information supporting this stuff? As far as I was aware, this Grimoire description of the Exo is all we know: "Exo began as self-aware war machines developed by humanity during the Golden Age for a long forgotten war, with the sole purpose of protecting their creators. They were rebooted during the collapse and now have no memory of their original function. Exos are "so advanced that nothing short of a Ghost can understand their inner functions. They remain ciphers, even to themselves; their origins and purpose lost to time. Whoever built the Exos fashioned them in humanity's image, gifting them with diversity of mind and body. Many of the City's Exo citizens live and work alongside their organic brethren, yet others fight again, reforged in the Light of the Traveler to serve as Guardians." So, humans created the Exo, and now the why and the how have been lost to the collapse. And in terms of the Exo complexity and personality, I imagine that as they're robotic, sentient beings, they're something like Bender and the robots of Futurama: Made for a specific purpose, but sentient and self-aware such that they basically carry out normal lives at the same time. This is both to integrate them into society and to give them a more meaningful existence, rather than them only fulfilling their original purpose. So I don't think there is any growing up and educating, nor like you said, sleeping or eating. They were manufactured, programmed with unique personalities and an understanding of the world around them, and then they just begin carrying out their duties and living their lives - learning more as they go on, like the Terminator haha. I have to say the Traveler, as far as we're aware, has not changed anything about the Exos except for the few who are now Guardians. The Traveler changed them in the same way it changed the Human and Awoken Guardians. On your point about Exo society being separated, I imagine it wouldn't be much different to the way Humans are constantly active in the larger cities of today's world. Exos will always be active. As will the Human and Awoken presence in the Last City, the people will be no doubt less active at night, but there would still be activity other than the robots and Exos. Further, the robots around the city are likely none too dissimilar to Exos in that they seem to also be sentient beings, just more basic in form and function and without any greater purpose than the every day tasks around the city. So due to all this, and the mystery surrounding the history of the Exos, I wouldn't think at all that the Exo would have any negative feelings towards Humans and Awoken. Quite the opposite, they are likely loyal and devoted to the Humans and Awoken. Thus why they returned to the Last City upon their re-awakening after the collapse and their unity with the rest of the Humans in their struggle for survival. The Exos have never been unthinking like you said. They have always been sentient since their original creation. EDIT: I also agree with Kabooozie in that I highly doubt Exo would be in any way romantically involved with anything. The closest feeling I imagine them having to love would be respect. Like Kabooozie said it just wouldn't make sense for them to have been created that way. They are sentient, but romance would serve no purpose. They clearly would handle social interaction as a requirement, but nothing so intimate as romance. I'm sure they'd see it as a benefit. They'll have all the companionship they need as long as they and the Humans and Awoken don't die out!
                            Add more answer options

                            Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                          • Edited by EL ROCKSTEADY: 8/10/2014 2:28:38 AM
                            I like your post. I think the most important point you brought up is being emotionally capable. By that we are looking at them through a human lens. Emotions, or what triggers them would have to be nurture rather than nature. If they are truly independent and free thinking, it is only natural to have at least two opposing forces, including the belief or disbelief in what us guardians are trying to accomplish (Bad guy EXOs from a Guardian's point of view). This would be true even if they all learned the same thing. Of course if you threaten them with disassembly. I think this would be the only possible explanation for 100% of the EXO population being compliant. a vague final analysis would be they are moderately intelligent. They can fly a ship, carry on a conversation and fight. Interaction with other entities are basic. They dont feel pain and any expression that would seem either positive or negative would be imprinted in a memory bank to react as such in certain situations rather than a chemical reaction that is naturally triggered in nature for a reason or purpose. Of course it would still suck for us humans to lets say watch an EXO die. It would register to us as distressing in some way and we would feel despite the EXO having an automated response to it dying : [b]EXO[/b] "I.... feeeel...... sooooooo....... cooolllllldd...." [b]Guardian[/b] "Stop it, your a robot and we can fix your brain when we get back to the tower" We are looking at this too humanly. Sorry to ruin some peoples parade but dogs dont smile and neither do dolphins. :)
                            Add more answer options

                            Cancel Edit Create Fireteam Post Play nice. Take a minute to review our Code of Conduct before submitting your post.

                            3 Replies
                            1 2 3 4 5 6
                            preload icon
                            preload icon
                            preload icon
                            You are not allowed to view this content.