|“||We do not have much connection, you and I. Still, this encounter feels special. I hope you won't mind if I think of you as a friend.||„|
Solanum is a young Nomai who was on her rite-of-passage pilgrimage to the Quantum Moon's sixth location when the core of The Interloper ruptured and wiped out the rest of her clan.
She grew up in the Sunless City on Ember Twin, where she played with her childhood friends Laevi and Lami. Together, they played the Fossil Fish Game; at that point, Solanum was still small enough to reach the fossilized anglerfish by climbing through the hole at the Anglerfish Overlook.
Solanum later reached both the Tower of Quantum Trials and the Tower of Quantum Knowledge; some encouraging and congratulatory notes in the latter tower are directed at her. She also resided in the Hanging City for a while, as she wrote some messages on the walls there, but whether she lived there or merely passed by on her pilgrimage is unknown.
Interactions with the Player
Upon landing on the Quantum Moon, the player can locate Solanum's corpse at the south pole. Her spaceship has become quantum entangled with the moon, and will blink in and out of existence randomly. If the player manages to venture to the moon's north pole, they can then disembark from the Quantum Shrine as the moon orbits around its sixth location. At this point, the player is free to venture back to the south pole where they will encounter Solanum alive and standing serenely, as if waiting for their arrival.
Trying to interact with her prompts her to create some symbolic language stones, which will allow the player to have a rudimentary conversation with her about the Eye of the Universe, the Quantum Moon, and about each other. She says that she has many questions she can't ask because she cannot understand your language, but is happy that you are able to translate hers. When you're finished with the conversation she will continue to gesture towards the symbol stones. The only other choice is to leave her. She doesn't seem perturbed by your departure.
Solanum's arrival on the Quantum Moon has created an interesting temporal scenario. Given the curious quantum properties of the moon, at the moment the core of the Interloper ruptured, she was technically present at all of the moon's possible orbital locations at the same time. Thus, as the moon orbited the five planets within the immediate blast radius of the comet, she was killed along with the rest of her species. But in the sixth location, around the Eye of the Universe, and far from the reach of the comet's destruction, she was spared. As such, this is the only location in spacetime in which the player can find her still alive.
It's highly likely that, due to the inconsistent and uncertain laws of physics at this location, time has not passed at a conventional rate for her, which explains why she is still alive hundreds of thousands of years after the rest of her species has died. It's even possible that time as we know it ceases to exist in that space - it could be mere hours, or even minutes since she landed, from her perspective. And while her lack of surprise at meeting you seems strange, she seems well-educated as to the unpredictability of the Quantum Moon, and therefore is likely prepared for any unexpected encounters she might have.
At one point in your conversation with her she correctly guesses that she might not be 'entirely alive', undoubtedly due to the fact that in five of the six possible realities in which she simultaneously exists, she is in fact dead. She doesn't elaborate further on this point.
If the player has located Solanum during their run, they will find her during the finale after they have entered the Wormhole on the Eye of the Universe. When gathering the rest of the Hearthian explorers, Solanum can be heard playing an instrument that sounds like a piano. She will join the rest of the group at a campfire and play the game's theme, conjuring a new universe from the smoke of the fire, and restoring life to reality.
On the Quantum Moon, the Protagonist can carry on a conversation with Solanum in the Nomai language by using different combinations of language stones. During the Ending, they seem to be able to speak to her normally.
- Identify and You
- “I am Solanum, a Nomai. My clan arrived in this star system before my birth, and we now call it home.”
- Explain and You (adds info to Ship's Log)
- “I am on my first pilgrimage to the Quantum Moon. All Nomai in my clan make this journey when we come of age. Even though the Eye cannot be reached from here, the Quantum Moon remains special to us, as it carries us nearer to the Eye than any other place we know. I’ve journeyed here to be close to the Eye. While the Eye is obscured from our sight, we can see the Quantum Moon’s reflection of the Eye in the sky above us.”
- Identify and Quantum Moon (adds info to Ship's Log)
- “This is the Quantum Moon, where we both are standing. Despite also orbiting other celestial bodies, the Quantum Moon is the Eye of the Universe’s moon.”
- Explain and Quantum Moon (adds info to Ship's Log)
- “Have you encountered a quantum shard on another planet? The shards look the same as the quantum moon’s surface does now, while at the eye. From this, we can reasonably infer the Quantum Moon’s natural state is as we see it now, and that the Eye is its primary location. 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.”
- Identify and Eye of the Universe
- “We are orbiting the Eye of the Universe now, although we cannot see it (only the Quantum Moon’s reflection of it). The Eye is older than the universe itself, and my clan believes it dwells in an extremely distant orbit around this star system.”
- Explain and Eye of the Universe (adds info to Ship's Log)
- “There is fundamental uncertainty throughout the universe. Normally, this uncertainty is only observable on a very small scale. As one approaches the Eye, however, that uncertainty grows enormously. The Quantum Moon probably exhibits macroscopic quantum behavior because of its proximity to the Eye. Shards that broke off from the Quantum Moon have a similar effect, as I imagine you’ve seen elsewhere in this star system. 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.”
- You and Eye of the Universe (adds info to Ship's Log)
- “Many in my clan have believed the Eye called to us for a particular purpose. When I was a child, I used to believe the Eye was malevolent, to have lured my clan to this star system only to then vanish from them so completely. But I don’t fear the Eye, anymore. In fact, it became my fondest hope to see the Eye itself, someday, but I fear this may be beyond my reach. You may think I’m strange, but I have a hypothesis that I may not be entirely alive. Perhaps my journey has reached its end.”
- You and Quantum Moon
- "Like many of my clan before me, I journeyed here to see the Quantum Moon's reflection of the Eye. This is the closest any of us have come to seeing the Eye itself. You may think I'm strange, but I have a hypothesis that I may not be entirely alive. Perhaps my journey has reached its end. "
- You and Me
- “We do not have much connection, you and I. Still, this encounter feels special. I hope you won’t mind if I think of you as a friend.”
- Identify and Me
- “I’ve never met one of your kind before. It’s an honor to speak with you! I particularly admire your four eyes. There are many questions I would ask, if I could comprehend your language. You have my gratitude for understanding mine.”
- Explain and Me
- “I imagine your purpose here is the same as mine: to learn about and to find the Eye of the Universe. I’m unsure how you arrived here, however. Perhaps you came from another star system, as my clan originally did?”
- Me and Eye of the Universe
- “Suppose you could reach the Eye of the Universe: would you try to enter it? What do you imagine the effects of a conscious observer might be?”
- Me and Quantum Moon
- “Is this your first time on the Quantum Moon? It’s my first time here. If you’ve come here looking for answers, I hope you find them.”
- Quantum Moon and Eye of the Universe
- “I imagine you’ve noticed the Quantum Moon changes in appearance depending on which location it is currently orbiting (for instance, the moon looks quite different when orbiting Giant’s Deep than it does when orbiting the Hourglass Twins). Because the Quantum Moon clearly changes in its different forms, the Eye (being this moon’s primary location) must be similarly malleable. From this, we can hypothesize that the Eye represents extreme changeability. That said, despite its malleable nature, the Quantum Moon becomes locked to one specific version of itself when it is consciously observed. But what would happen if a conscious observer were to enter the Eye?”
- Identify and Explain
- “These are the two tenets of Nomai philosophy; to seek out and to understand is our way of living.”
Before finding all astronauts
- "Hypothesis: Everyone must be here before we can begin. Once they arrive, I think we'll be ready for the next step. I'm glad you remembered me"
After finding all astronauts
- “A conscious observer has entered the Eye. I wonder what happens now. Is it time to find out?”
- “This song is new to me, but I am honored to be a part of it.”
- >Not yet.
- “Then I will wait until you are ready to know the answer.”
After Campfire Song
- “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?”
- “I admire your curiosity, friend. Let’s find out together.”
- >Not yet,
- “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.”
- Solanum is a genus within the nightshade family containing potatoes tomatoes and eggplant.