History Main / PreCursors

8th Jul '16 9:08:34 AM NoSpoilerz
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'''Precursors''', a.k.a. as "Ancients", "Elders" or "Old Ones" are a standard of ScienceFiction (especially SpaceOpera), fantasy and occasionally {{Horror}}: an ancient race whose culture and knowledge rose to its pinnacle in ages long past but which is no longer presen.

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'''Precursors''', a.k.a. as "Ancients", "Elders" or "Old Ones" are a standard of ScienceFiction (especially SpaceOpera), fantasy and occasionally {{Horror}}: an ancient race whose culture and knowledge rose to its pinnacle in ages long past but which is no longer presen.present.
4th Jul '16 4:34:24 AM gewunomox
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* The JimiHendrix song "Up From the Skies" has an alien revisiting Earth after a long hiatus: "I have lived here before/ in days of ice/ and of course this is why I'm so concerned/ and I come back to find/ the stars misplaced/ and the smell of a world/ that's burning." [[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible Maybe a precursor,]] [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation maybe not]], but he'd been here a long, long time ago.

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* The JimiHendrix Music/JimiHendrix song "Up From the Skies" has an alien revisiting Earth after a long hiatus: "I have lived here before/ in days of ice/ and of course this is why I'm so concerned/ and I come back to find/ the stars misplaced/ and the smell of a world/ that's burning." [[Administrivia/TropesAreFlexible Maybe a precursor,]] [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation maybe not]], but he'd been here a long, long time ago.
2nd Jul '16 10:18:54 AM nombretomado
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* The world of ''TabletopGame/AtlantisTheSecondAge'' is destined to be dominated by seven different races throughout its entire existance. Humans are the fifth of these races, making the Jinn, Ophidians, Lemurians, and Atlanteans all Precursor races. Somewhat unusually, none of these have gone extinct yet, but their numbers and powers have been greatly diminished. The Atlanteans are still trying to cling on to their power, but humans are already in the process of taking over.

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* The world of ''TabletopGame/AtlantisTheSecondAge'' is destined to be dominated by seven different races throughout its entire existance.existence. Humans are the fifth of these races, making the Jinn, Ophidians, Lemurians, and Atlanteans all Precursor races. Somewhat unusually, none of these have gone extinct yet, but their numbers and powers have been greatly diminished. The Atlanteans are still trying to cling on to their power, but humans are already in the process of taking over.



* ''{{Bionicle}}'' toyed with this idea a lot, but eventually subverted it with the Great Beings: hailed in the story's early years as powerful, mythological figures responsible for creating the Matoran Universe and its creatures, but then [[NeglectfulPrecursors moved to other projects, and chaos ensued]]. Later it was revealed that these Beings were a highly eccentric group of scientist governors, and can only be seen as the precursors to the Matoran Universe's inhabitants -- whom they themselves viewed as expandable machines. Otherwise, they were just one of Spherus Magna's (the planet which they once ruled over) several species. They are also still around someplace, but are hiding, as the inhabitants of ''their'' world hated their guts.

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* ''{{Bionicle}}'' ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' toyed with this idea a lot, but eventually subverted it with the Great Beings: hailed in the story's early years as powerful, mythological figures responsible for creating the Matoran Universe and its creatures, but then [[NeglectfulPrecursors moved to other projects, and chaos ensued]]. Later it was revealed that these Beings were a highly eccentric group of scientist governors, and can only be seen as the precursors to the Matoran Universe's inhabitants -- whom they themselves viewed as expandable machines. Otherwise, they were just one of Spherus Magna's (the planet which they once ruled over) several species. They are also still around someplace, but are hiding, as the inhabitants of ''their'' world hated their guts.



* The Remnant system in {{Achron}} (where the game largely takes place) has ancient alien ruins scattered throughout. The technology found in these ruins has become them basis of humankinds most advanced tech, most notably [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleportation]]. [[spoiler: The system is then invaded by aliens that use the exact same tech as those found in the ruins. And that technology includes TimeTravel. Hmmm...]]

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* The Remnant system in {{Achron}} ''{{Achron}}'' (where the game largely takes place) has ancient alien ruins scattered throughout. The technology found in these ruins has become them basis of humankinds most advanced tech, most notably [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleportation]]. [[spoiler: The system is then invaded by aliens that use the exact same tech as those found in the ruins. And that technology includes TimeTravel. Hmmm...]]
29th Jun '16 5:49:47 PM nombretomado
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* AndreNorton worked with this trope in both her science fiction and fantasy novels. She wrote a lot of space opera novels featuring relics of various lost civilizations, collectively called "Forerunners". She was one of the early developers of the abandoned-gateway-between-worlds idea that the ''[[Franchise/StargateVerse Stargate]]'' films and TV series are based on; one of her Forerunner cultures left behind such a network, which younger species, including humans, have started to explore.\\

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* AndreNorton Creator/AndreNorton worked with this trope in both her science fiction and fantasy novels. She wrote a lot of space opera novels featuring relics of various lost civilizations, collectively called "Forerunners". She was one of the early developers of the abandoned-gateway-between-worlds idea that the ''[[Franchise/StargateVerse Stargate]]'' films and TV series are based on; one of her Forerunner cultures left behind such a network, which younger species, including humans, have started to explore.\\
29th Jun '16 4:27:37 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' series has the Protoculture, who are apparently responsible for everything that happens in the universe: [[spoiler:humans, Zentradi, and a multitude of other species across the galaxy were all created and seeded by them, and [[Anime/MacrossZero the Birdman]] was made by them in an attempt to mimic [[Anime/MacrossFrontier the Vajra]]. Moreover, they "created" (it's a bit more complex than that) [[Anime/{{Macross7}} the Protodeviln]], who pushed them to the brink of extinction before being defeated.]]
** About the only thing the Protoculture didn't have a hand in creating are the Vajra, and that's because [[spoiler:the Vajra are ''even older''. The Protoculture based some of their most advanced technology (such as Space Folding) after the Vajra's biological systems. The Vajra themselves seem to primarily take a "live and let live" attitude towards other intelligent species; the fact that they don't have a clear means of communication probably has a lot to do with this.]]

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* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' series has the Protoculture, who are apparently responsible for everything that happens in the universe: Milky Way: [[spoiler:humans, Zentradi, and a multitude of other species across the galaxy were all created and seeded by them, and [[Anime/MacrossZero the Birdman]] was made by them in an attempt to mimic [[Anime/MacrossFrontier the Vajra]]. Moreover, they "created" (it's a bit more complex than that) [[Anime/{{Macross7}} the Protodeviln]], who pushed them to the brink of extinction before being defeated.]]
** About the only thing the Protoculture didn't have a hand in creating are the Vajra, Vajra of ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', and that's because [[spoiler:the Vajra are ''even older''. The Protoculture based some of their most advanced technology (such as Space Folding) after the Vajra's biological systems. The Vajra themselves seem to primarily take a "live and let live" attitude towards other intelligent species; the fact that they don't have a clear means of communication probably has a lot to do with this.]]
9th Jun '16 2:54:08 PM StFan
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* ''VideoGame/{{La-Mulana}}'' has several iterations of Precursors, although you only ever learn much about one of them. And then there's [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien The Mother]]...

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* ''VideoGame/{{La-Mulana}}'' ''VideoGame/LaMulana'' has several iterations of Precursors, although you only ever learn much about one of them. And then there's [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien The Mother]]...
8th Jun '16 11:16:37 AM Morgenthaler
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* One of the most widely known Precursor stories is ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', where they are also (presumably) EnergyBeings who guided human evolution.

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* One of the most widely known Precursor stories is ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', where they are also (presumably) EnergyBeings who guided human evolution.
4th Jun '16 4:06:44 AM LordInsane
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* ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' has an event chain where the player can discover the ruins of a precursor civilization and choose to pursue their remains across the galaxy, investigating how they were wiped out. While Fallen Empires are remnants of Precursor civilizations that are still alive and present in the galaxy, but stagnated and turned inward on themselves. The player can also become either a [[BenevolentPrecursors benevolent]] or [[AbusivePrecursors malevolent]] precursor themselves, if they find a pre-sentient race or pre-FTL sentient race on a planet and uplift them to either equal citizens in their galactic empire or a slave race.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' has an five separate event chain chains where the player can discover the ruins of a precursor civilization and choose to pursue their remains across the galaxy, investigating how they were wiped out.out (the precursors were active in different time-periods, hence why more than one can happen and be pursued in the same game). While Fallen Empires are remnants of Precursor civilizations that are still alive and present in the galaxy, but stagnated and turned inward on themselves. The player can also become either a [[BenevolentPrecursors benevolent]] or [[AbusivePrecursors malevolent]] precursor themselves, if they find a pre-sentient race or pre-FTL sentient race on a planet and uplift them to either equal citizens in their galactic empire or a slave race.
4th Jun '16 3:57:35 AM LordInsane
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* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' has the Engwithans, a civilization that existed thousands of years before the time in which the game is set. Their understanding of how souls function was leagues ahead of what modern animancers have learned and their ruins still dot the lands, most prominently in Eir Glanfath. The Glanfathan culture is based around protecting these ancient sites, a task supposedly given to their ancestors by the ancient Engwithans, [[spoiler: presumably to prevent anyone from discovering the origin of the [[PowersThatBe gods]].]]

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* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' has the Engwithans, a civilization that existed thousands of years before the time in which the game is set. Their understanding of how souls function was leagues ahead of what modern animancers have learned and their ruins still dot the lands, most prominently in Eir Glanfath.Glanfath (amusingly the ruins imply -- and WordOfGod confirms -- that the Engwithans were ''inferior'' in many aspects of science and technology to the modern day Eora. It's just that soul science is a very flexible science with lots of applications in the setting). The Glanfathan culture is based around protecting these ancient sites, a task supposedly given to their ancestors by the ancient Engwithans, [[spoiler: presumably to prevent anyone from discovering the origin of the [[PowersThatBe gods]].]]
2nd Jun '16 2:23:01 PM nombretomado
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* HPLovecraft loved this trope and his works arguably served as an early TropeCodifier. See for example "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Shadow Out of Time" and "At the Mountains of Madness". In "At the Mountains of Madness" [[spoiler: Old Ones colonized the Earth two billion years ago and sowed the seeds of all advanced life on the planet]]. The Mi-Go of "The Whisperer in Darkness" may precede the existence of the universe itself. Lovecraft usually concentrated more on the ''lore'' of his Precursors rather than their physical objects. In his work, the Precursor's sometimes remain on Earth, hidden, in outer space or in a space adjacent to our cosmos, ready to return at any time. The "CthulhuMythos" codified by his friend and admirer AugustDerleth builds on this. (Lovecraft himself did not use the term "Cthulhu mythos".)

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* HPLovecraft Creator/HPLovecraft loved this trope and his works arguably served as an early TropeCodifier. See for example "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Shadow Out of Time" and "At the Mountains of Madness". In "At the Mountains of Madness" [[spoiler: Old Ones colonized the Earth two billion years ago and sowed the seeds of all advanced life on the planet]]. The Mi-Go of "The Whisperer in Darkness" may precede the existence of the universe itself. Lovecraft usually concentrated more on the ''lore'' of his Precursors rather than their physical objects. In his work, the Precursor's sometimes remain on Earth, hidden, in outer space or in a space adjacent to our cosmos, ready to return at any time. The "CthulhuMythos" codified by his friend and admirer AugustDerleth builds on this. (Lovecraft himself did not use the term "Cthulhu mythos".)
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