The Ethereals are only the latest batch of host bodies
- The Ethereals refer seemingly to themselves as the "greatest failure of the Ethereal Ones". They explain that their physical forms are too weak to be sustainable. Humans, being both psionically potent and physically durable, represent their greatest hope - hence their intense disappointment at failures of the squad on the final mission. It would seem the Ethereals themselves may be, as their name implies, bodiless psionic entities that move between hosts. Realizing their current forms are too weak, they have been attempting to engineer or discover a new host species, with humanity as their brightest new candidates.
- Alternatively, it's possible the Ethereals' bodies are their original ones, but they may still be planning to "move out" into human bodies after all their other candidates proved unsatisfactory. Either way, what they imply "lies ahead" could be the imminent Ethereal mass-possession, or it could be something else.
Where did the snakemen go?
- Snakemen were oddly missing from the remake. There was also only one addition to the roster of new alien species. The Thin Men. Which are reptilian in origin. Thin Men are literally genetically engineered Snakemen. There's where they are. Now to go prove that the cafeteria food in X Com headquarters is actually celatids and silacoids.
- The cafeteria food has been confirmed? Jinkies!
- Cyberdisk autopsy reveals that they contain silicon-based organic components. It seems the Ethereals found plain old silacoids unworthy...
The Volunteer survived
- As did all the other members of his/her crew. S/he IS the most powerful psychic ever to exist of all time, afterall. Whose to say s/he couldn't shield them all from the cataclysmic explosion and become a god?
- Maybe it's because I ship my two psychic colonels together and they were the only survivors... Then again, battle hardened psychic space lesbians is a great ship.
- That may be the most awesome ship this troper has ever heard of.
- The Volunteer surviving may be a WMG but the rest of the crew surviving isn't. The cutscene clearly shows them flying away as the ship blows up.
The Volunteer ascended
The Ethereals wanted someone powerful and durant enough to do what they could not. One of the things they couldn't do was ascend ( to some higher state of being, presumably ). The Volunteer, though? Totally did it, after saving the planet.
- There's a Stargate crossover in there to be written.
- This troper heard of such fanfic's existence (Based on classic X-Com though) and can recommend it to everyone who likes either franchise.
None of the squad sent on the final mission survived.
That drop ship just took off rather quickly, I don't think the survivors of the squad would have had time to make it back before it left, especially since it explicate mentioned the "package" wasn't on board. As The Volunteer was pulling that heroic sacrifice, the rest of the squad probably made it back to the drop zone just in time to see the earth they spent so much effort protecting fade away before the final boom.
- I think that they did survive. The "package" that the pilot references is the Volunteer, the rest of the squad makes it back to the Skyranger just in time. But then I'm an optimist.
- Their death wouldn't make sense from a narrative standpoint, as it would render the scene where the Volunteer telekinetically pushes them out through the closing door of the final chamber kinda pointless.
The final mission is a metaphor for the entire franchise
- The Volunteer (The New One) represents XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
- The "Failures" are all metaphors for the previous games in the franchise to try and live up to the original game's success. Some got farther then others, but in the end, none of them reached it's level of quality.
- Mutons are Enforcer
- Chrysalids are Terror From The Deep
- Sectoids are the FPS
- Sectopods are Interceptor
- The Thin Men are Apocalypse
- The Ethereals, the best of them all, represent the original game.
- They have been looking for a true success for years, and they have found it in the form of....The New One. The only one to reach such power and such success.
- Wouldn't Outsiders be the equivalent of the FPS? Outsiders are inconsequential, forgotten shortly after discovery, and ultimately nothing more than a lead to something bigger and better. Sectoids could represent various X-Com remakes and fan sequels—weak (lacking budget and veteran programmers) and cruel (hewing to older game design styles and presentation against all logic), but at least they've got the Gift (fan-love and creativity).
- Not to mention that the outsides are very similar in portrayal to the mechanical enemies in the fps, created a mechanical body from light and energy.
Future DLC will add missions that have your squad rescue one or two important Hero Unit like soldiers to join XCOM. They will possibly be cross over characters from other game series
Candidates so far include one of the main characters from a Deus Ex
game, and Wei Shen from Sleeping Dogs
- Those are Square Enix games, X Com is 2K. Besides we already got a triad member in the DLC.
- Somewhat true. One DLC mission involves rescuing a defecting Triad member who then joins your squad as a heavy.
When modding tools are released, Valve will release a mod that does one of the following:
- Adds a minigame where the RED team fights an endless horde of aliens.
- Adds a council mission where you have to retrieve a fallen Space Core, much like the Skyrim Mod "Fall of the Space Core Vol. 1".
- Adds an council mission where you escort Gordon Freeman out of Black Mesa. He then joins as an assault-class character.
Future DLC will add more classic aliens to the roster.
Fingers crossed, anyway. Snakemen would be the Elite analogue to Thin Men—perhaps sporting more snakelike special abilities (constriction, anyone?). Monoliths (the big floaty geometric shapes) would be upgrades to Cyberdiscs (or Outsiders, depending) and have a heat ray attack similar to, but weaker than, the sectopod's. Silacoids will cause rampant environment destruction against the player's favor. Celatids can suppress with acid spray and inflict poison a la thin men. Reapers are faster but weaker muton berserkers.
- What Monoliths? No X-Com game had anything remotely similar.
Scatter lasers are pumped in order to facilitate cooling.
Since scatter lasers pump out multiple beams from refracted lenses, they require a mini-cooldown after every shot. The pump forces refrigerated air into the system, cooling it enough to make another shot.
- Alternatively, it's a cleverly-veiled reference to Laser Pumping.
- Or, there are several batteries in a clip, and each shot discharges the battery, which would explain the heavy damage the weapon does compared to the regular laser rifle.
Berserkers are the natural state of mutons.
The Ethereals themselves state that the Mutons were basically a pack of angry, violent cavemen, and so stepped in to take them over. My hypothesis is that the typical muton is guided by an ethereal somewhere on the Temple Ship, applying tactical know-how and guidance so it doesn't just bash targets over the head with its gun instead of shooting them. Berserkers are mutons too willful to regularly control, so they're given spiked knuckles and heavier armor and allowed to do their thing.
- Alternatively, your run of the mill Muton are just pumped full of over dose levels of sedatives (by human standards anyway) which dulls their blood lust to allow them to be at least semi-tactful during missions.
- Partially contradicted by the game- autopsy a Muton Elite and you'll learn that the Ethereals simply dump war doctrine and tactics directly into the Muton's mind. Berserkers being largely unchanged from their original state makes sense though.
The DLC hinted at by the Steam Achievements list is a Terror From the Deep add on.
Some of the Achievement pictures have a distinct water theme (the dam and the faucet). How awesome would it be to be fighting the Aliens on land and sea at the same time!
- Jossed. The DLC, entitled Slingshot, will be set in China instead.
- Who says there will be only one DLC? TFTD would make an awesome sequel game though. But then again there's always Cydonia...
The Council are agents of the Ethereals
- To all outward appearances, the Council is a Reasonable Authority Figure working to thwart the alien invasion. But consider the following:
- They certainly give off the "creepy shadow organization" vibe.
- The Council continuously drives the XCOM project to push humans to the limits of their abilities (and beyond), using technology recovered from the aliens.
- Most of the Council missions exclusively involve Thin Men.
- The invasion tends to scale up staying always just one step ahead of XCOM.
- We never see the Council members' faces. (They could be cooperative humans, mind-controlled humans, or even Thin Men)
- As stated in The Reveal, the Ethereals staged the invasion to uplift humanity and prepare them to fight the Bigger Bad.
- "Remember, we will be watching." (Who is "we", exactly?)
- If XCOM succeeds in stopping the invasion, the Ethereals plan to use the uplifted humans in their army. If it fails, the Council pulls out and the aliens presumably subjugate humans as another of their failed attempts. Either way, the Council is actually working for the Ethereals, playing the good cop role and using the XCOM project to advance the Ethereals' agenda!
Alternately, the Council was started
by Thin Men and Sectoids, and the entire XCOM operation is a Xanatos Gambit
- It turns out the Thin Men and Sectoids are looked down on by the Ethereals. If XCOM succeeds, they are freed from the Ethereals' rule. If XCOM fails, they can take credit for a successful invasion, potentially gaining respect from the Ethereals.
The Various Enemies are a Shout Out
to the ET races that are rumored to allegedly exist in conspiracy theories and urban legends
- Sectoids are Grays
- Thin Men are Reptilians
- Chryssalids are Mantoids
- Outsiders are possibly fifth dimensional/density energy beings
- Sectopods, Floaters and Mutons are the only ones that do not have a counterpart in the urban legends
- They may not have urban legend counterparts, but the Sectopods might be ATSTs, Floaters and Mutons might be The Borg and Klingons, respectively.
- Really? I saw Sectopods as ED209 from Robocop.
- Etherals are Annunaki
- Is this really a WMG? It's pretty obvious what they were going for.
Essentially doing what the Etherals could not.
The Etherals are trying to prepare Humanity for the Reapers
The Etherals were a race that the Reapers attacked and nearly wiped out, to the point where only a couple hundred thousand are still left. They spent the 50,000 years since then traveling the galaxy, trying to find a race that they could uplift that would have a chance at beating them. Because Humans Are Special
in both Mass Effect and XCOM, they were the appropriate choice. And if Mass Effect has proven anything, people tend to ignore the existence of the Reapers until they were right on their doorstep, so the Etherals attacked Earth themselves, forcing Humanity to unite under the Council (The Human one) and forcing them to develop more advanced technologies preparing them for the Reapers down the road, not to mention causing Humanity to become much more militaristic with them under the assumption that all there is an empire of aliens out in space waiting to conquer them. When the Reapers eventually show up, Humans will be centuries or maybe even millenniums ahead of what they were expecting.
- This idea is GLORIOUSLY explored here
- Alternatively, the threat the Ethereals speak of is the Dark Voice
Look at that face◊
and tell me he's not!
- That's about the most awkward looking picture you could have possibly found of Alton Brown... but then my science teacher looks exactly like Alton Brown, so there maybe some truth to this...
Soldiers recruited from the greater United Kingdom are former Torchwood
All of Torchwood went defunct by 2010. What else are a bunch of people savvy to that business behind the curtain going to do?
- And by the same token, the Americans (and possibly many of the others) are veterans of the Stargate Program.
What S.C.O.P.E. Stands For
Since the game doesn't actually tell you what the device's acronym stands for lets take guesses. My guess is:
Sight Correction and Optical Perception Enhancer
- Shot Calculation to Optimise Performance Equipment
- Silly Contraption Only for Popping 'eads.