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Analysis: Oracle of Tao

Analysis on the Oracles

To better understand the work, consider it as a multi-source fangame with Shout-Out examples, or outright rips from various sources. Ambrosia's Oracle Crests are based off of various moral lessons, which are okay in their own right, but when viewed as a whole produce a different message. Let's start with Alexander, the first Oracle (unless you include Delphi and the Sage Lao Tzu). Well, okay, let's start with Delphi. Delphi of course from the Oracle at Delphi, who was gifted with prophetic fortunes, and used as a device in Greek dramas. The battle versus Delphi is a "guess which mirror image is the real one" with a death penalty if the wrong one is killed. In other words, the lesson here is being able to determine what is real or not.

The first true Oracle however, is Alexander. Alexander basically draws from Final Fantasy, and is usually a summon creature of Light. Light is often the classical first skill (possibly because it makes order out of the nonexistence and chaos that is darkness), and is seemingly the weakest effect that has hidden significance and strength later. This is also typically the case with regard to its effect which typically is only good against undead. It is of course found in a basement (light shines brightest when things are darkest) where monsters attack you right and left. A tablet you read that offers you this power tells you "seek the answers within." Normally, this would be a cryptic message and there would be something "within" to read (like a book). But Ambrosia after a moment figures it out, not within the tablet but within herself. The message after reading the first time clarifies, "believe in yourself." Light here is a force of hope given solid form, as opposed to fear/chaos of darkness. Further, it resides most strongly in darkness, or as it later comes up when more important, "In Deepest Darkness Shines the Light." (A Shout-Out to a line from Ronin Warriors)

The next one is Apollo. This one is slightly oddly fitting, considering Apollo is the actual god of light in Greek myth, and should be the one above. But Apollo is also a deity of everything from medicine to poetry. The description text calls this the Divine Oracle as a tie-in (leaving out the fact that the next three or four Oracles are actually Greek or Roman deities), and associates the power with Immortality. And so, a fitting message for this Oracle is made, from Taoist teaching.
"I have heard that those who are expert in handling life, can travel the land without meeting tigers and rhinos, can enter battle without being wounded. The rhino has no place to plant its horn, the tiger has no place to place its claws, weapons find no place to rest their edges. Why? Because he has no death-ground."
The actual battle for achieving this Oracle Crest is a non-battle, in which you should not even attack the boss in question, but heal or defend for the next 20 or so turns. After this, the Oracle drives home the concept of nonviolence, which due to Never Say "Die" in place in battles, might almost not be a Broken Aesop. The Oracle says, however, that sometimes violence may happen anyway, so it's important to try rather than get upset if it doesn't work.

Chronos, the Oracle of Time, never actually discusses time as a concept, instead talking about the side-effects of time, such as why we have deja vu and the nature of reality. There could be a whole analysis on just this point, but instead we'll discuss the message. This boss doesn't have a battle for you, instead preferring to Mind Screw. Ambrosia ends up wondering whether or not she exists, tracing back to a point where she indeed might have died, and from there on everything might be a dream. She can actually choose to accept that in fact she's dead, in which case it is indeed game over. But usually, she puts forth a strong, but rather unconvincing statement that "of course" she exists. This is later brought up to be otherwise, but then is double subverted or possibly triple. The message here is similar to Delphi's, about knowing or believing what is real.

Thanatos, the Oracle of Death, has a message about the darker aspects of human nature. The pet theory mentioned here is called The Chain of Harm, which basically says that there's a trickle down effect of all that you do. It is also here that Ambrosia's evil side (or at least more sexually liberated side) is first shown. The message here seems to be that everyone has faults, but it's important to avoid letting them ruin things.

The Four Gods, or more specifically their leader, tells you a series of Green Aesop moments. Specifically, though, the one that stands out refers to the fact that everything is fleeting, and has cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.

Lilith, the Oracle of Chaos, basically says that like a child who disobeys lessons that he/she has been told, great truths can't be taught. So she joins your party basically without giving a lesson (except that was the lesson).

Michael, the Oracle of Battle, tries to get you to come to his line of thinking about religion. But instead, by Ambrosia debating with him, this message actually becomes about free will, that the religion or belief one chooses, should be one's own choice, or the person is effectively a zombie. It tempers this free will however by saying that it is choosing to serve that makes someone truly free, as choosing to run off or something just leads to disorder.

The Oracle quest returns back to where it began, the tower of Aiken. The Final Oracle asks you how to help others when she becomes the Oracle of Tao. After she reviews the ruling styles of many other people, she is given a choice. Rule humans directly, cut out completely and be a hermit leaving the Earth to its fate, or remaining involved but mainly living her life. The latter is of course the answer.

After the last Oracle, Ambrosia merges with her dark side, and becomes the Oracle of Tao.

Earlier, this analysis claimed there was a deeper message to all these lessons. What is it? These lessons when taken together describe an ideal romance. Before starting a relationship, you have to know it is real. You need to have faith in it, and also you need to have faith in yourself (since your lover will likely get tired of someone down on themselves). A relationship should try as much as possible to avoid abuse of the other party, though it may sometimes happen anyway. As in the beginning, it is important in the middle, to know the difference between reality and delusion. Just as everyone has flaws, there will be flaws in the relationship, and everyone has tough times, but it's important not to have these take over and define the relationship. A relationship might at any time end, so it's important to cherish it. Likewise, a relationship can have a rebirth, so it's important to be open. You can't really think about how love works, or give dating tips. Doing so not only destroys the mystery, but the so-called "experts" on romance are likely deluded anyway. Things like love spells or cupid's arrows are garbage, love is not a compulsion, but a decision. But it's tempered by the fact that it's not all about you, but you choosing to be a part of someone else's story. A person should not meddle with other people's relationships, nor should they cut themselves off from the rest of the world, but should find a happy medium where they are out in the world, but also able to enjoy each others company. The final lesson, is that whether you still in a relationship or have become single, the end result of love is that it teaches your to accept yourself, and become a more whole person.

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