1. If you're looking for help-related things (for example, the key rebinding tutorial), please check the FAQ and Q&A forum! A lot of the stickies from this forum have been moved there to clean up space.
    Dismiss Notice

The Cultivator: A Silly Fan Thoery

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by YellowDemonHurlr, Oct 2, 2017.


So what do you think?

  1. Brilliant!

    8 vote(s)
  2. Heresy!

    1 vote(s)
  3. To the thought reassignment chamber with him!

    5 vote(s)
  4. I am NOT related to florans!

    1 vote(s)
  5. He's crazy. I like that.

    5 vote(s)
  6. Ssssstab!

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    Starbound's life-forms make zero sense. The planets you visit are not only Earthlike, but have Earth plants and animals on them. You can fly hundreds of light years in any direction and to squirrels and bunnies playing in grassy fields dotted with flowers and pine trees. All of the sapient races aside from humans are talking animal foreigners: we have Japanese axolotl people, tribal plant people, Aztec bird people, Soviet monkey people, and cowboy sun people. The odds of these species and cultures all independently evolving this way are so slim that the term "astronomical" is much too large to apply.

    So in the spirit of epileptic trees, I present a fan theory: all of these life-forms originated on Earth.

    In this theory, the evolution of life is a very rare event. This isn't to say that life only evolved on Earth, but it certainly wasn't so common that you would find life-bearing planets in every system. The Cultivator was one of the earlier forms and reached some sort of ascension point. He didn't particularly care for the overall emptiness of the universe, or for the fragility of planetary biospheres, so once a planet developed life sufficiently to his taste, he took samples from that planet and populated them across other planets in the region. This is why he's called the Cultivator: because he took life from seed worlds and cultivated it more broadly across the universe. This both made the universe a more flowery place and protected each biosphere from extinction if something happened to the home planet.

    The effect of this would be that each galaxy would have distinct bio-regions dominated by life-forms derived from the local seed planet. Starbound takes place inside Earth's bio-region, but there are other bio-regions out there beyond known space.

    Obviously not all planets in Starbound perfectly match Earth. Garden planets with earth plants and bunnies also have alien life forms like poptops and whatever those orange bouncy things are, and there are also "alien" planets which are visually very different. All of this life is still derived from Earth, however--it's just evolved in different directions to suit the unique environment of that planet.
  2. Yubs

    Yubs Big Damn Hero

    This makes sense, especially how we, as players, also like doing cultivating too. I have turned a couple of desolate planets into Rice Planets.
    LtBlujay likes this.
  3. Tyle

    Tyle Existential Complex

    It's not a bad theory, I like it.

    That though, what if all sentient life we saw wasn't based on humans, but humans and everything else were based on the Cultivator? As in, Cultivator is the original being with the 'humanoid' base and all the humanoid races are shaped after him, and we see humans is the most 'humanoid' because, uh, most writers are human?

    That being said, I completely see how your idea would work, thanks for sharing!
  4. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    Well my problem with that is that humans can't have been made to resemble the Cultivator because we have a clear line of evidence leading to our humanoid form, and an adaptational explanation for why it occurred. We know how and why we became human, and there's no evidence that we were specifically shaped.

    Also, if we were made to be Humanoid by the Cultivator, that makes him incompetent oaf because our humanoid shape causes a whole host of medical problems. The reason human birth is so painful and dangerous, for instance, is because the shape of our pelvis is altered for bipedal locomotion such that the birth canal is narrow and twisted.
  5. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Personally I'm not much of a fan.

    While there is some evidence suggesting that recurring monsters being on numerous planets are the result of life-spreading efforts of Ancients/Cultivator (judging by the presence of these creatures in Ancient Vaults,) and it is likely that if it weren't for those efforts, the universe would be a far more barren place... I don't think you should attribute all of that to Earth at all.

    It would make sense for Earth species such as bunnies, or dogs, or cats to originate on Earth. But trying to connect everything that we ever see in Starbound to Earth, including lifeforms that just wouldn't evolve on Earth, such as basically all unique monsters found throughout the universe...

    All of that just feels like a huge stretch, and a stretch made for no other reason to forcefully turn Starbound into a hard sci-fi setting which it had never been.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
    oinkgamer likes this.
  6. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    This is hardly a hard sci-fi theory. More like squishy sci-fi, as opposed to the thin liquid sci-fi we have now.

    Anyway, most of the animals aren't that different from Earth species. If they were placed there a couple tens of millions of years ago, we could potentially see such creatures evolve, providing you hand-wave stuff like breathing fire. My biggest thing is that Earth plants everywhere--if there are Earth plants, the biosphere must trace its heritage back to Earth (or have been taken over my an Earth biosphere) because you can't have oxygen-breathing land animals before land plants.
  7. D.M.G.

    D.M.G. Master Astronaut

    I just got one thing to say

    Scientists stated that, if life exists elsewhere than on Earth, it'd most likely look like what we got here
    Guest0241525 likes this.
  8. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Sorry, I must've missed encountering creatures like these while going on a walk.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Alternatively, humans just travelled a lot, their ships full of seeds from Earth. It wouldn't be weird for humans leaving some behind in their journeys. Not to mention Protectorate's supply capsules being everywhere - I'm sure some of those might've also contained seeds, so that budding explorers can grow their own food without the danger of consuming something poisonous.

    It feels somewhat more likely than "everything in Starbound originated from Earth"
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2017
    DraikNova likes this.
  9. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    [Citation needed]

    Even if convergent evolution is a thing between planets (and it probably is sometimes), it probably wouldn't look exactly like Earth life. We might see squirrel-like things, but not squirrels.

    I could totally see the first two. Maybe not the second. Remember that I'm proposing an event in the distant past, tens of millions of years ago. I could totally see new stuff evolving in that time period.

    I could see the Protectorate deliberately spreading Earth life... if someone would let them. Let me introduce you to a document called an Environmental Impact Statement. It's a document, between several hundred and several thousand pages long, detailing potential environmental outcomes for possible actions. It's mandatory in the US before undertaking projects with major potential to cause environmental problems. Most likely, such documents still exist in the future.

    Now imagine having to write a document for every planet the Protectorate wants to seed. Every garden, desert, forest, tundra, etc. planet you see? Several thousand pages of paperwork (at least--it's a whole planet). Does that seem like a useful way to spend time on the off chance that some explorer might some day land on the planet who forgot to pack lunch and doesn't feel like zipping back to the outpost?

    Assuming that the policy-makers on Earth would even allow them to just randomly introduce Earth species into existing ecosystems. That's a recipe for environmental havoc.

    Maybe the Protectorate only seeded lifeless worlds, but terraforming isn't a passive process--you have to tend it. Seeds on their own probably wouldn't make it, and even if they did it would take thousands of years to cover a planet.
    LtBlujay and DraikNova like this.
  10. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Well, exact Earth creatures and plants likely did originate on Earth - if not spread around by Protectorate, then possibly by Ancients, Cultivator, or other humans. Even T-Rex fossil descriptions mentions something to that effect

    All I really wanted to say is that connecting all of Starbound life to Earth just because some of Earth life spread around the universe feels like a stretch and makes Earth much more "special" than it should be. It's fine for Earth to be a meaningful for humans, and other Protectors, but otherwise giving it such an unique status on a galactic scale feels like a little too much.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2017
  11. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    I definitely agree that it does make Earth feel a bit too special, but it seems like the most logical explanation based on what I observe of the way the universe is put together.

    If I was making Starbound, the alien worlds would actually be alien. No snails or pine trees unless they were someone put them there. And definitely no Earth culture-flavored funny animal aliens! The fenerox are the closest thing you'd see to that.

    Even if, in my own Starbound, I decided that the Cultivator took Earth life and seeded it across the galaxy, I'd do that in a distinct region of space and have other regions be more alien. That's more logical.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  12. BatPetersAKAEnderzilla747

    BatPetersAKAEnderzilla747 Pangalactic Porcupine

    *peeks into thread* I think cats are actually aliens who came to Earth long ago, dumping their biological experiments (Wild cats and such.). They returned during the Egyptian times to build the pyramids. Many stayed to act like gods among the humans. They had humanoid robotic frames that they piloted. They are particularly interested in the Hylotl, and send spies within each surface village.

    That's my explanation of why "domesticated" cats are in the stars. Some came along with humans for the hell of it.

    inb4 someone comes and and says "or they can just be Earth originated mammals that were tamed by humans and bred into their small states today."
  13. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    No, it doesn't really.

    You keep pushing that something being vaguely "Earthlike" absolutely must be connected in some way to Earth because of your own preconceptions - but there's absolutely nothing to indicate that in any way in the actual source material.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2017
    Lintton likes this.
  14. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    I could accept Earthlike alien trees that just happen to look like pine trees in the pixel art style we have. Or flowers. Or grass. Or cactus. I could accept small alien critters that happen to look like squirrels. Or rabbits. Or snails. But the Starbound's alien worlds have all of these things, across many, many, many planets. The odds of that occurring naturally are infinitesimal. I could accept things that look roughly like pine trees and squirrels, but these look exactly like pine trees and squirrels. This isn't natural, so they must have come from somewhere else. Since we have a clear record that pine trees and squirrels and whatnot evolved on Earth, I identify Earth as the source.
  15. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Nobody's saying that squirrels or rabbits or bananas absolutely need to be a coincidence - these likely do originate from Earth alright.

    But you just take it too far by throwing everything that isn't the same as on Earth into the same category.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2017
  16. Lintton

    Lintton Guest

    Your "theory"-- which is really thinly veiled-- makes far less sense actually.

    You are makong the assumption that lifeforms on earth would just "evolve" to suit the planet's biosphere. That is not how evolution works. The lifeforms in question would have to be able to at least thrive there first. You throw a fox onto a volcano planet, you aren't going to get a fennox.

    Also, We do not have mechanical life, much less mechanical life capable of evolution, yet there is mechanical flora and fauna just as abundant.

    Also Also, what of the species that go extinct in the wake of the race importedand the planet? One good look at earth's extinctions would show the hubris involved.
  17. YellowDemonHurlr

    YellowDemonHurlr Ketchup Robot

    I see. I didn't quite get that that was what you were saying.

    I'm not quite following your point about evolution. Of course any species that doesn't go extinct when introduced into a new environment is going to evolve to become better suited ot die trying (using the term "trying" loosely as it's not a conscious effort). I'm not proposing that the Cultivator just drops a bunch of stuff onto the surface and moves on, that would probably lead to immediate extinction. I'm proposing he uses them to build new biospheres. He's basically terraforming empty planets.

    Mechanical life forms are a legitimate point.

    As for introducing Earth life forms onto existing life-bearing planets, that's not what I proposed at all. Maybe I wasn't entirely clear, but I'm proposing that the Cultivator seeded/terraformed empty worlds with no life on them.

    The two of you are convincing me that some of the weirder animals we see may not be from Earth. So why are they there, across multiple planets? I really don't think that it could have been something the Protectorate did. Too much work for too little benefit, and it would take centuries at least.
  18. Roskii Heiral

    Roskii Heiral Heliosphere

    It could be that the cultivator is actually an underpaid coder and he didn't have time to uniquely code life for every individual planet he came across. So he threw in a sequence of parts to randomly assemble more "unique" alien life forms. He then decided to create a few special creatures that he thought were particularly clever and spread them out over multiple planets. He then packed this universe and sold copies of it to other cultivators for much profit.
  19. Arcadoof

    Arcadoof Star Wrangler

    Maybe the cultivator is the arceus of the starbound universe.
    Maybe he just popped up and created some planets, then he created the ruin to clean up unused planets and it went rogue.
    Roskii Heiral likes this.
  20. WingedOracle

    WingedOracle Master Chief

    yeah, but what about novakids?

Share This Page