I always try to justify things. Call it idiotic and dumb, but I like to think of in-world reasons as to why things are the way they are and why we can do things again and again and again. Like explaining how there can be two Medics on a team fighting against five Engineers. Or explaining how you are capable of killing Warframe bosses repeatedly. But this gets really hard to justify the deeper you go into a game.
When I first started playing Warframe, I didn’t get that same old feeling I often do with video games, that I’m one of billions of chosen ones out there. Not straight away, and not to the degree of something like the Elder Scrolls series or Fallout or normal RPGs. At least up until the point where I saved Darvo. The awkward feelings of sacrificing characters so you can get to safety and stuff like that really put me off Elder Scrolls Online, although that’s probably different now. I kinda just felt like I was just some space ninja just trying to get by.
And at first, I was. I was just wandering around, destroying Corpus robots and Grineer clones and just thinking that I was helping out a little. But the quests, the quests would tend to somewhat drag me back into that ‘chosen one’ vibe. Not all of them, not at first. Once Awake and the Archwing are both quests that feasibly could be happening all the time. Dr. Tengus could constantly be experimenting on the Infested, releasing them and blaming it on the Tenno, it fits his motives completely. And Vay Hek is always trying to build Fomorian Cores and build his Balor Fomorian super weapon, so it makes sense to get more Tenno with Archwing gear to try and stop him.
But the cinematic quests? They’re kinda hard to justify and claim that you’re not a chosen one.
At the end of the quest Natah, you blow up Hunhow and drop an ocean on his head. In the War Within, you kill the Elder Queen, either personally, letting Teshin do it or leaving her to die. In the Second Dream, you literally drag the moon out of the Void with the Lotus’s help.
It seems a little bit implausible to think that every single Tenno (which there are a lot of) did that. Even if you think of the Zariman Ten-Zero ship being a colony ship and assume that there are only really a few thousand Tenno in canon, it still doesn’t really work. Because at the end of the day, everyone blows up Hunhow, everyone kills the Elder Queen and everyone stabs Ballas in the stomach. Everyone also saves Darvo, but I can totally see Darvo as the sort of guy who could get captured several thousand times.
Also, Stalker attacking us individually when we’re at our weakest, trapped in our Warframe’s arms? That could also happen. But still, we pulled the moon out of the Void. That doesn’t happen repeatedly.
So how do we fix this?
Well, the Elder Scrolls have a really cheap way out. They have Dragon Breaks. Basically, time becomes circular rather than linear, the Dragon God of Time Akatosh goes a bit loopy (well, more than normal) so a bunch of shit happens and no one really knows what’s the truth. This is how all of the endings in Daggerfall ended up being the real endings and all being canon, and it’s part of the the reason why no one knows exactly why and how Nerevar died. Although honestly I think Vivec and co. killed him because Vivec’s a fucking cunt and I hate him. Oh, sorry, xim. Because Vivec’s transgender.
In Warframe, we don’t have a dragon god of time or any gods in general (although my Phoviverse does, and Kairos is far less of a cunt than Vivec or Akatosh are) so we can’t simply explain shit away. And no, Magical Space Ninjas doesn’t work either as we ARE the Magical Space Ninjas.
My solution is pretty dumb, but it’s the best I can do.
The Tenno are all connected to one another, and what we see, or at least some of what we see, are visions of what happened.
This idea comes from Apostasy Prologue. It’s clear as day that not every single Tenno was present when Ballas walked off. But at the same time, it’s possible that even WE were not supposed to be there. The Lotus never even sees us. It’s clearly a vision, and it’s even more apparently when we see the transference static that’s normally reserved for when we’re in our Warframes.
So maybe other quests, or at the very least parts of other quests, are in fact visions, showing us what’s going on.
For example, us escaping from Vor? That happens. We experience that. But us pulling the moon out of the Void is something that can only really happen once. So we see a vision of doing that. Upon seeing that vision, courtesy of the first few Tenno who actually DID help pull the moon out of the Void, we gain their knowledge and memories and can visit the moon ourselves. After that, we are capable of going to the Reservoir where our true bodies are being kept and free ourselves, while at the same time revealing our location to the Stalker and giving him a chance to attack.
Of course, the Tenno all being linked by Transference could all be seeing this automatically, without even being aware that they’re sharing visions of these events. After all, everything in Warframe is hive-mind-y. The Corpus are hiveminded into worshiping profit, the Grineer are hiveminded into serving the Queens, the Infested ARE a hive mind, as are the Sentients and the Corrupted in the Void. What’s to say that we’re not a hive mind too?
But even this theory isn’t air tight. Mainly because of the Sacrifice. Because in that quest, we rebuild Excalibur Umbra. And we keep him after the quest. We technically made a few thousand copies of this haunted Warframe. But honestly, I don’t think we brought him back to life, I think we created replicas. It’s just that, because Ordis was currently a bit… overpowered, the replicas turned out to be almost perfect.
Let’s be honest though, it’s a bit silly trying to explain this, lore-wise. Quests are played by everyone, because it would be silly to limit the quest to a handful of people. We’re not all the chosen ones, but we get to feel like we are.
Still, a Tenno hive mind would be pretty cool.