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The Eye of the Universe is a planetary object older than the universe itself which is in a distant orbit around the Sun. Learning about the Eye of the Universe and discovering the information and equipment necessary to reach it represents the intended goal of the game.

Description[]

The Eye of the Universe is a highly quantum object, being made of the same unknown quantum material that the various Quantum Shards are made of.[1] Visually, the Eye looks like a dark planet with a purple storm surrounding it. Occasional lightning strikes can be observed as well. Strange branches fan out from the planet into the storm. These branches are exactly the same as the ones on the symbol for the Eye as seen by the Nomai.

The Eye is indirectly the source of all quantum shards within the solar system. It features an incredibly powerful quantum storm funneling quantum energy into a quantum maelstrom at the south pole. This storm is capable of severing the connection to the Protagonist's scout probe and preventing it from being recalled permanently. The Eye also features a large crater at the south pole.

The Eye of the Universe has one moon, the Quantum Moon. Solanum explains that the Quantum Moon is the Eye's moon and that its proximity to the Eye likely made it quantum.[1]

History[]

The Stranger's inhabitants[]

The Stranger's inhabitants witnessing the effects of the Eye of the Universe

Sometime in the past, the Eye of the Universe started sending its signal. The inhabitants of the Stranger received the signal while on their home moon. Shocked by its discovery, they stripped their world bare of all its resources to build the Stranger, a giant artificial ring world. They left their home moon on the Stranger and arrived at the location of the Eye of the Universe.

The Eye's signal being blocked

After analyzing the Eye of the Universe, they found out what would happen if they interacted with the Eye. They learned that it would reduce planets to dust and kill all of the Stranger's inhabitants. This terrified them to the extent that they decided to build a spacecraft that capable of blocking the Eye's signal.[2] Upon activating this blocker, the Stranger moved to the center of the Solar System where it enabled its cloaking field.

The inhabitants were devastated by how they destroyed their homeworld to build the Stranger to reach the Eye of the Universe. They created a simulated reality that resembled their home moon and went to sleep, their minds forever in the simulation. However, one of the inhabitants woke up and disabled the signal blocker, allowing the signal to once again broadcast throughout the universe. This individual was quickly caught by the others of its kind, who imprisoned them in a vault hidden in a submerged structure. The other inhabitants immediately reactivated the signal blocker and went back to sleep. Nonetheless, for the brief time that the Eye's signal was set free, the Nomai were eventually able to receive it.

Nomai[]

The Vessel encountering the Eye's signal

Due to the Eye signal blocker's brief deactivation, the Nomai of Escall's Vessel received the Eye's signal that appeared to be older than the universe itself.[3][4] Their curiosity piqued, they immediately warped to the source of the signal, but instead ended up ensnared within Dark Bramble.[5] With their Vessel damaged beyond repair, the Nomai evacuated the Vessel on three Escape Pods and subsequently settled the Solar System.[6] They named the source of this mysterious signal the Eye of the Universe, as the signal looked like an eye with a circle in the center much like a pupil.[7] The Nomai became determined to find the source of the signal that had led them to the solar system.[8]

The Eye signal received by the Vessel

They continued their search by first building an Eye Signal Locator on the Attlerock, but this device rotated wildly when asked to follow the Eye's signal and was unable to pinpoint its location.[9] Concluding that their locator might not be sophisticated enough, they built the Southern Observatory on Brittle Hollow to house a more advanced locator to find the exact location of the Eye.[10][11] Unfortunately, this more sensitive locator was likewise not able to find the Eye's location.[12]

In the meantime, the Nomai had succeeded with their mission to land on the Quantum Moon and had found out that the Quantum Moon is the Eye of the Universe's moon.[13] Due to this, they knew the Eye of the Universe's physical characteristics and that the Eye was in a distant orbit around the Sun.[14][15] They wanted to send out a probe to find the Eye visually instead, but were worried about the probability of launching a probe in the correct direction.[15][16] The Nomai had also found out that warped objects arrive before they even depart, which effectively meant that objects could be sent back in time when enough energy was added to the warp cores.[17]

The Ash Twin Project

With this knowledge, the Nomai started building the Ash Twin Project, which was powerful enough to send information back in time.[18] To power the Ash Twin Project, they would first use the Sun Station to cause the Sun to go supernova.[19] Using this energy, the Ash Twin Project would send the order for the Orbital Probe Cannon to fire a probe back in time by 22 minutes.[20] 22 minutes after this order was received, the Sun Station would again trigger a supernova so the Ash Twin Project would send the probe's launch data back in time, as well as the order to launch the probe in a new random direction.[21] This meant that the Nomai had infinite attempts to use their one probe to find the Eye of the Universe. However, after completing the Ash Twin Project, it turned out that the Sun Station was ultimately unable to cause the Sun to go supernova, so the Nomai were unable to power the Ash Twin Project.[22] Before the Nomai could find a suitable power source replacement, they were wiped out by the Ghost Matter that flooded the solar system after it erupted from the Interloper.[23]

Over two hundred thousand years later, the Sun reached the end of its natural lifespan and subsequently went supernova.[24] This powered the Ash Twin Project and activated the Nomai's time loop. After more than 9 million loops, the 9,318,054th probe launched from the Orbital Probe Cannon was finally able to discover the location of the Eye of the Universe.[25] The Nomai had set up memory statues which would pair with somebody only after the Eye was found, storing their memories and sending them back at the end of each loop.[26] This would make them aware of the time loop. As there were no surviving Nomai to pair with, the statues paired with the Protagonist and Gabbro once the Eye was found.

Location[]

The Eye of the Universe is in a distant orbit around the solar system's Sun and is the farthest celestial body, far outside the reach of the supernova. It cannot be found by conventional means and is normally unreachable until the coordinates within the Probe Tracking Module at the core of Giant's Deep are discovered. After this, the Advanced Warp Core powering the Ash Twin Project must be removed and placed in the Vessel on Dark Bramble. The Vessel can then be used to warp to the Eye's coordinates.

The Eye could be found by a probe and has fixed coordinates and a stable orbit. However, the Eye Signal Locator on the Attlerock is unable to find its location, and the Quantum Moon Locator on Ember Twin similarly fails to find the Quantum Moon when it is orbiting the Eye of the Universe. The more advanced Southern Observatory Eye locator shows a constantly shifting orbit for the Eye far outside the solar system. This behavior is caused by the signal blocker built by the Stranger's inhabitants, which prevents the Eye's signal from being broadcast.

Eye signal blocker[]

The signal of the Eye of the Universe is blocked by a spacecraft built by the inhabitants of the Stranger. The blocker is in orbit around the Eye and can be most easily seen by its pale green light. Since the Stranger's inhabitants destroyed the controls for the blocker, the Stranger lost its connection to the spacecraft.[27] This means that the Eye signal blocker can no longer be turned off.

The blocker was responsible for the Nomai being unable to track the Eye's signal and thus find the location of the Eye of the Universe. This eventually led to them constructing the Ash Twin Project to find the Eye visually instead.[15]

Purpose[]

The Eye sending its signal

The Eye of the Universe is older than the universe itself and a highly quantum object.[28][29] At some point in time, it starts sending a signal that looks similar to an eye, which can be received by an intelligent species.[7] If any of these species interacts with the Eye, it brings about the end of the universe, vaporizing planets and annihilating all life.

The big bang after observing all possibilities

When the Protagonist reaches the Eye of the Universe, it turns out that a conscious observer can also cause endless possibilities for a new universe to appear.[30] By observing them, they can collapse these possibilities into a single reality.[31] This causes a big bang and a new universe to come into existence.

Ending[]

The travelers creating the possibilities for a new universe

The Eye of the Universe plays an integral role in one of the Endings. After learning about the Nomai, the impending death of the Universe, and all the necessary information required to reach the Eye of the Universe, the Protagonist makes the journey to the Eye of the Universe. They take the Advanced Warp Core from the Ash Twin Project and insert it into the Vessel on Dark Bramble, after which they warp to the Eye of the Universe.

On the Eye of the Universe, the Eye creates various quantum objects that the Protagonist finds familiar, including trees, a quantum version of the Observatory, and quantum versions of all the travelers. The travelers gather before assisting in the creation of a new universe beginning with a new big bang. The fate of the Eye of the Universe following this event is unknown, although it is possible that the Eye continues the cycle and will call out to other lifeforms at the next end of the universe.

Texts and recordings[]

Notes[]

The Sun going supernova as seen from the Eye of the Universe

  • If reached near the end of a loop, the Sun can be seen going supernova safely from the surface of the Eye of the Universe.
  • If the player loses their probe while on the Eye, during the post-credit scene it will be seen flying among the planets of the new Universe.
  • The Eye of the Universe is physically impossible to reach by conventional means, as the player is loaded into a different level when they activate the Vessel’s warp.
  • If the player entered the black hole at the Ash Twin Project during the last cycle, then the fabric of space time will eventually be destroyed at the end of this cycle, even if the player is located on the Eye itself. To nullify this, the player must enter the Eye's vortex.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Solanum: Given the Quantum Moon is the Eye’s moon, it’s likely that any characteristics the moon exhibits are also exhibited by the Eye itself. The Quantum Moon and its shards, for instance, are quantum, thus, the Eye is likely also quantum. In fact, this moon is probably quantum because its proximity to the Eye made it quantum, the same way the areas surrounding quantum shards that landed on other planets eventually became quantum, too.
  2. Eye of the Universe observatory exhibit: This species traveled from a nearby star system in search of the Eye of the universe, but, horrified by what they discovered, decided to block the Eye’s signal so that no one else would ever find it.
  3. Sun Station: 281,042 YEARS AGO: No user commands received for 10 minutes. All systems entering sleep.
  4. FILIX: I’m recording now — I’ve never encountered anything like this! The signal the Vessel is receiving appears to be older than the universe itself!
  5. ESCALL: This is our first contact with anything of this nature. Everyone, prepare to warp immediately! FILIX: Escall, wait, I need more time to send an outgoing message! Shouldn’t we tell another clan where we’re going? ESCALL: We can send the message upon our arrival. This extraordinary signal appeared suddenly; it may disappear just as quickly, and we can’t lose a discovery this incredible! Focus on preparing for the warp, instead.
  6. FILIX: We... we are abandoning our Vessel. Any Nomai clans or spaceflight-capable species receiving this message, I implore you, we need your help!
  7. 7.0 7.1 FILIX: The signal looked like an eye: round, with a circle at the center much like a pupil. (Suppose the signal was looking for something.)
  8. THATCH: Imagine what rare and profound knowledge it might offer. We must find this Eye of the universe.
  9. COLEUS: However, something strange is happening when I ask the Eye signal locator to follow the Eye’s signal: The device’s indicator rotates wildly and never points to just one direction.
  10. CASSAVA: It saddens me to posit this, my friends, but I believe we need to build a more sophisticated device if we want to find the exact location of the Eye of the universe.
  11. PLUME: The southern glacier on Brittle Hollow has ample available space. I could construct a new building to house this proposed locator.
  12. PRIVET: The locator we built on the Attlerock and the new, more sensitive locator we built here were both unable to detect any trace of the Eye’s signal.
  13. Solanum: Despite also orbiting other celestial bodies, the Quantum Moon is the Eye of the Universe’s moon.
  14. MALLOW: Based on our knowledge of the Quantum Moon, we believe the Eye is in orbit around this star system’s sun. This would mean the Eye is located within a finite (albeit enormous) range.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 MALLOW: We know what the Eye looks like thanks to the Quantum Moon, so what if we try to find the Eye visually, instead? Let’s send out a probe!
  16. CASSAVA: Mallow’s idea is clever, but we have no idea where the Eye is in relation to here. The probability of launching a probe in the correct direction would be absurdly small.
  17. Ship's computer: The Nomai successfully reproduced the temporal anomaly first observed at the White Hole Station (warped objects appear to arrive before they depart). The Nomai discovered they could increase the negative time interval between arrival and departure by adding energy to the warp cores.
  18. YARROW: Today we finished the excavation of Ash Twin. Here, in this space we carved, we will craft our most ambitious project yet: the Ash Twin Project, powerful enough to send information back in time.
  19. YARROW: We’re nearly ready to activate the Ash Twin Project! Here is what will happen: First, the Sun Station will receive the order to fire at the sun, prompting it to explode.
  20. YARROW: Using the energy from the resulting supernova, the Ash Twin Project will send the order for the Orbital Probe Cannon to fire back in time by 22 minutes.
  21. YARROW: Exactly 22 minutes after these orders are received, the Sun Station will again trigger the supernova to send the probe data from this cannon launch back in time.
  22. YARROW: These words are difficult to write: The Sun Station did not work. YARROW: However, this is the closest we have ever been. The Ash Twin Project is theoretically sound; we were only unable to power it. Perhaps there is another way.
  23. Eye of the Universe observatory: They perished when the Interloper arrived, bringing with it the deadly substance we called ghost matter that flooded the entire solar system almost instantly and without warning.
  24. Eye of the Universe observatory: At the end of its lifespan, our sun collapsed under its own gravity and then exploded in a violent supernova.
  25. Probe Tracking Module: Deep space anomaly matching all known criteria for the Eye of the universe found by probe 9,318,054.
  26. RAMIE: I’ve installed the masks inside the Ash Twin Project, Phlox. They look beautiful (although I do feel as though I’m being observed!). RAMIE: It’s comforting to know the statues will not pair until the project succeeds. Otherwise, I imagine the experience would be hard to endure! PHLOX: Ideally, they’ll only need to activate once the project succeeds; as a safety measure, however, the statues will also activate in the event of equipment failure.
  27. Ship log: I found a room with a burned control interface and a projection that seems to indicate a broken connection between the Stranger and another craft.
  28. Hanging City Eye Shrine district: What we know is this: The source of the signal (which we have chosen to call the Eye of the universe) is older than this universe itself. The rest, we have yet to learn.
  29. Solanum: Conscious observation forces a quantum object to collapse to a single possibility. But what would happen if a conscious observer somehow entered the Eye itself? Over time, this has become my clan’s greatest question.
  30. Solanum: I believe we’ve reached the end of our journey. All that remains is to collapse the innumerable possibilities before us. Are you ready to learn what comes next?
  31. Solanum: It’s tempting to linger in this moment, while every possibility still exists. But unless they are collapsed by an observer, they will never be more than possibilities.
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