Subnautica

Subnautica

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RequiemsRose Feb 21, 2017 @ 1:26am
Overthinking the mesmer
I was discussing the game with a friend, and some of the odd logic in the game (like why I need to go halfway across the ocean to learn how to make a box with dirt in it or a door) and we ended up discussing the mesmer. That tiny hypnotic fish is honestly a lot more terrifying than it first appears. The fact that it can manipulate the creatures around it, including the player, into coming closer seems annoying but interesting at first and I quickly dismissed it. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that little fish may just be as intelligent, or even more intelligent, than our space faring human survivor.
When you encounter the mesmer you can hear the voice of the PDA say things like "It is your primary directive to get closer to that beautiful fish" which I originally just dismissed as part of its hypnosis. Yet that one statement, and the fact the statement even exists, implies a lot. First of all the mesmer is capable of manipulating the mind in such a way that it identified the fact the player seeks guidance from the PDA and used the PDA's voice to drawn in the player, plus the fact that it CAN communicate with the player at all, even though the player is an alien species to the mesmer and we communicate in a way the mesmer can not (verbal language). Also the fact it referred to itself as a "beautiful fish", it implies the mesmer is not only self aware, but has an ego.
These little fish may just be subnautica's sapient species (meaning the species most alike humans, not the fastest, strongest, or toughest creature, but smart enough to dominate the food chain anyway). They just don't have the appendages needed to crat tools, or seemingly any drive to use their mind control/hypnosis to force other creatures to build for them.
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
H8M4Ch1N3 Feb 21, 2017 @ 3:31am 
It may also be that they simply don't *need* anyone to build for them - the life they live in the water might just be the best place to live it, I think. But I agree with the fact that they're sapien species - I think they're the smartest, since other creatures we could fear, like Reaper, are *so* stupid it's just sad.
Erikkustrife Feb 21, 2017 @ 3:51am 
I legit wouldnt even be mad if eventually one tried to actually talk to us to give us fetch quests.
MadHighlander Feb 21, 2017 @ 4:39am 
That moment when Mesmers turn out to be the Precursors.
Sgt Tinnie Feb 21, 2017 @ 6:36am 
I always saw it as the players mind playing tricks on itself and hearing voices as it succumbs to the hypnosis and not the actual fish putting specific voices inside the players head through sentiency. Just how i interpreted it.
Gay Homo Queer Feb 21, 2017 @ 7:05am 
The human mind doesn't need much to come up with crazy stuff like, voices that aren't there. We as a species are very imaginitive. At first, I thought maybe it was chemical based. but, there's really no way for the chemicals to enter the body. You have tanks of O2 and a dive suit. (unless it's a wet dive suit and the water can actually go through it, but I believe it is water proof...?) The problem with thinking about this is that it's a fictional game so the only way to truly know is ask the devs unless they don't know either.
TheKiroshi Feb 21, 2017 @ 7:07am 
If you *Really* wanna over think it.

Dogs, Fish, Animals and life of all shapes can think, They just don't think in English. The fact that the Mesmer knows itself to be real is no surprise and the idea that it calls itself "beautiful" is less about it, and more about "You".

The ability to suggest though visuals only is a pretty hollywood-esque idea, Unless you're subjecting someone who has so little experience interacting in life that it effectively becomes the first experience they live by..


The name of the game is hallucination, with this creature it can do it visually.. It's message to you is "Get close, i'm good". You interpt that as the PDA (Your only amount of social interaction, something 'trustworthy') telling you to trust it, "Beautiful" is only a positive afterall. The words, sounds, and such aren't "real" here, but what is real is the message it's sending, which is impressive biologically, but not from a 'i'm doing it to you' standpoint.. Dogs communicate with eyes more then their tales. Humans have our faces, Goats and horses act more energetic and many social animals have 'voices' and tones.. If not pheromons.



There is a lot more to look at though, The "trip" sound effect and visuals, the dialog you hear? This creature is only as dangerous as the curious on-looking, and being the only (Kinda) being on the planet that can inerpt complex language, I think it's safe to say that "our" experience with the mesmer is vastly different then anything else that would look at it. The sad fact about the game being an indie game, is that we can't observe something like the mesmer with other creatures :/


There is also attitude to consider.. the fact that the Mesmer actually *Flees* after it attacks the player (something that it can't ingest) kinda shows that it's more curious then power-hungry, Something that any tool-bearing creature needs to have. To one-up and move up in the food chain. So i'm not sure it would have any care to build tools or such, much less maniplulate another creature into doing other actions.

Gay Homo Queer Feb 21, 2017 @ 7:29am 
Another quick thought is that I believe the sea emperor might be telepathic and if the Mesmer is too maybe just maybe they're related!
bonertank Sep 19, 2018 @ 2:42pm 
Have you guys actually scanned the mesmer? I did.

It displays the usual analysis and then at the end it says something about it having strong sharp jaws and then it's like "error: draw closer to this beauty" or something to that effect. So the mesmer actually takes over your PDA somehow. Makes me wonder if it's some relative of the warpers.
TheKiroshi Sep 19, 2018 @ 3:52pm 
Originally posted by bonertank:
Have you guys actually scanned the mesmer? I did.

It displays the usual analysis and then at the end it says something about it having strong sharp jaws and then it's like "error: draw closer to this beauty" or something to that effect. So the mesmer actually takes over your PDA somehow. Makes me wonder if it's some relative of the warpers.


The image of a mesmer stil effects the player character.. including a digital copy of it.
Raina Sep 21, 2018 @ 2:55am 
Originally posted by bonertank:
Have you guys actually scanned the mesmer? I did.

It displays the usual analysis and then at the end it says something about it having strong sharp jaws and then it's like "error: draw closer to this beauty" or something to that effect. So the mesmer actually takes over your PDA somehow. Makes me wonder if it's some relative of the warpers.
Okay but yeah. The pda assessment it gives is literally "draw closer" after an error mid scary description that turns it into something pretty and nice. It's definitely up to something.
NewbeToAll Oct 15, 2019 @ 1:28pm 
PDA say the reflective material on the fins is what makes the hypnosis happen, and since the scanner is shining directly at the fins when you're scanning it, i would imagine that the error message is because the mesmer is meddling with your scan results, which is even more terrifying
Originally posted by Kiroshi:
Originally posted by bonertank:
Have you guys actually scanned the mesmer? I did.

It displays the usual analysis and then at the end it says something about it having strong sharp jaws and then it's like "error: draw closer to this beauty" or something to that effect. So the mesmer actually takes over your PDA somehow. Makes me wonder if it's some relative of the warpers.


The image of a mesmer stil effects the player character.. including a digital copy of it.

All I think of when reading this is, 'An image of a Mesmer, becomes itself a Mesmer.' So Mesmer = Weeping Angel
Last edited by Dragoon Knight Zero; Dec 6, 2019 @ 11:10pm
Raven Dec 7, 2019 @ 10:21am 
Find a mesmer egg, study in trough glass. look at it for hours, then u will hear the siren song
Milk Duck Dec 7, 2019 @ 5:03pm 
Originally posted by RequiemsRose:
I was discussing the game with a friend, and some of the odd logic in the game (like why I need to go halfway across the ocean to learn how to make a box with dirt in it or a door) and we ended up discussing the mesmer. That tiny hypnotic fish is honestly a lot more terrifying than it first appears. The fact that it can manipulate the creatures around it, including the player, into coming closer seems annoying but interesting at first and I quickly dismissed it. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that little fish may just be as intelligent, or even more intelligent, than our space faring human survivor.
When you encounter the mesmer you can hear the voice of the PDA say things like "It is your primary directive to get closer to that beautiful fish" which I originally just dismissed as part of its hypnosis. Yet that one statement, and the fact the statement even exists, implies a lot. First of all the mesmer is capable of manipulating the mind in such a way that it identified the fact the player seeks guidance from the PDA and used the PDA's voice to drawn in the player, plus the fact that it CAN communicate with the player at all, even though the player is an alien species to the mesmer and we communicate in a way the mesmer can not (verbal language). Also the fact it referred to itself as a "beautiful fish", it implies the mesmer is not only self aware, but has an ego.
These little fish may just be subnautica's sapient species (meaning the species most alike humans, not the fastest, strongest, or toughest creature, but smart enough to dominate the food chain anyway). They just don't have the appendages needed to crat tools, or seemingly any drive to use their mind control/hypnosis to force other creatures to build for them.

or it may just be advanced mimicry. the mesmer scans the prey's mind and uses key bits of information without truly understanding it (correlation versus causation; theres a significant difference animals on earth can understand correlation in other animals even if they dont understand underlying causal explanations).

the messages may not even be originating from the mesmer itself and are just a by-product of the mesmerizing effect which triggers self-originating messages in your character's mind.....again correlative not causative. the mesmer causes hypnosis which triggers your mind to construct the subsequent messages; the messages themselves are correlated with the hypnosis which is caused by the mesmer but they are not themselves directly caused by the mesmer they occur as a consequence of your mind's response to the hypnosis.
Last edited by Milk Duck; Dec 7, 2019 @ 5:07pm
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Date Posted: Feb 21, 2017 @ 1:26am
Posts: 14