Thesis on Miang
As Zeno suggested, here it is a re-draft of the theory, following the scheme proposed by him... Expanded it a “bit” more, too (more!?). But yeah, it’s more organized now... I hope people can understand it better.
When browsing through the Xenogears board, I came upon an interesting question, brought upon by They Got Me:
1. Sigurd: "She (Miang) supports Kahr and is kind to anyone, I know that very well. But sometimes I felt a strange fear in her. That bothers me more than Kahr being in this land."
Citan: "That cannot be true... Not in her..."
a) What is this 'strange fear'?
b) What exactly is Citan saying?
This question intrigued me. I have never thought of Miang’s feelings before. I never even paid attention to that line. Instigated, I decided to delve further into that character, to discover it’s motivations, feelings and relationships with other characters. What I present to you now is a rough draft of my research, which hopefully will prove useful in understanding the complex character that hides behind the cold mask Miang supports.
Miang’s origins and purpose
(This is, for the most part, taken from the game or PW, with very little adds from me.)
Miang’s origin remote to 10,000 years before the actual game, and it’s directly linked to Abel’s Contact with the Wave Existence. During Zohar’s activation tests, the Modifier, seeking a more powerful energy source, connected to the Higher Dimension, “pulling down” a being that called itself the Wave Existence. At that point, for unknown reasons, a boy came into Contact with Zohar and, through it, with the WE. This Contact with a sentient being infused the WE with a human trait – will.
At that time, the boy, Abel, was a small child missing his mother. This desire for a mother influenced the WE’s “will”, creating what ‘it’ called “The Will of a Mother”. This will would later manifest itself as Elehayym (Elly).
Trapped in this dimension, and wishing to return to ‘it’s’ own, this higher being developed a plan to free itself. ‘It’ could not destroy ‘it’s’ cage, Zohar, but ‘it’ could transfer ‘it’s’ power to someone who could. This is what the Contact is about – a transference of power, from the WE to the person destined to make Contact with ‘it’.
However, ‘it’s’ plan did not limit to that. ‘It’ also created a sentient being to be the host of ‘it’s’ “Will of a Mother”. In other words, Elehayym. Using the Biological Computer Kadamony and it’s main component, Persona, ‘it’ was able to create a woman – Original Elehayym –, who would later be infused with this will.
The Zohar Modifier, however, was attached to an Interplanetary Weapon System, named Deus. The Deus System was a sentient being, a supercomputer with the ability to think. After it’s activation test on Mitkam, the System went haywire, destroying the entire planet. Thus, the military dismantled it and boarded it on a ship – The Eldridge –, for further analysis.
Even dismantled, though, Deus still had access to Zohar. Taking chance upon this, Deus inserted a program into OR Elehayym, to ensure it’s survival – System HAWWA. This was only possible because, although she was a creation of the WE, she was given flesh by Deus’ components. That’s what is happening on the intro:
“Orange haired woman: Omega one restarted. Alpha One genome restructured. Confirming exon replacement...” --- This points to Deus (Omega) awakening, and restructuring OR Elehayym (Alpha) DNA to insert it’s own program.
This caused a conflict between both “programs”. On the “ON” state, OR Elehayym was in control. On the “OFF” state, System HAWWA took control.
After the crash of the space ship on the planet, System HAWWA was activated and it began to execute it’s functions. It was then that Miang’s tragic fate began. Awakening, on that beach, all by herself, the woman stared at the horizon, watching as pieces of the Eldridge fell into the planet’s atmosphere. Not have an option, programmed to act that way, the woman began to execute it’s primary function – to ensure Deus’ resurrection.
To do that, she created Cain and the Gazel Ministry, using the Animus biological component of the Deus System. Their mission was to reunite with the Anima components that had scattered throughout the planet.
After that, to resolve the “personality” conflict in her body, the Mother created two replicas of herself, each containing a different aspect. One was Elehayym, the other was Miang Hawwa. Furthermore, she also ensured that she, Miang, would always be reborn, implementing the Miang Factor into every woman’s DNA. Until then, she was only doing what she was programmed to do. Miang’s purpose, by then, was only one: to revive Deus, using whatever means necessary.
Miang’s character: Analysis
Here’s where the speculation part comes in... Debate it if you like it, critic if you think I’m wrong or could’ve done better, comment on an issue you might have found interesting. I’ll respond to it all later...
Miang as presented in the game
While she is first presented as having kind and gentle traits, as the game develops, this conception is changed into something a little more... inhuman. We see examples of cold blood murder and cruel manipulations, all attributed to her character. Good examples of this is the murder of Elly’s father and the manipulation of Ramsus.
Initially, you are given the impression that she’s just one more pawn, albeit a mysterious one, working as Ramsus second in command. Later in the game, however, it’s revealed that she is actually one of the master minds of the whole conflict, manipulating events and people to fit on her programming.
Cunning, she’s obviously more apt at politics. In fact, Miang’s greatest weapon is her mind, as she can, given time, outwit everyone.
In battle, you only see her using her Ether capabilities to cure and assist Ramsus... except when she assumes the Executioner guise. It’s then that you see the true power of Miang, as she can easily crush Gears with her amazing Ether control – after all, she does have access to the infinite Ether supply that is Zohar.
This all points to her being a ruthless and powerful manipulator, while at the same time a slave to her own program. Like everything around Miang, a contradiction.
Relationship with other characters
This is, in my opinion, the most important relationship of all. At first, it may appear that she’s “only” his right hand, and maybe even the one who shares his bed, but later the game develops this relationship further. Showing us all the truth behind her acts, we learn that she’s not only the real “master”, but is only into that relationship because it’s part of a grand scheme, that culminates in the Emperor’s and her own death.
Manipulating him since before he was born, she managed to bring him over the edge of insanity, never really caring for the results of this “toying” with his fragile psyche. Her only real intention on this relationship was to create a man capable of killing Cain, provided the time was right.
Allying herself with Krelian, she created in Kahr a need for love and care, a need to always be the best, by “rejecting” him when he was still a fetus, throwing him in the trash, creating an environment around him completely devoid of such feelings.
Later, she would approach him, giving him those feelings that he so much longed for. This allowed her to manipulate Ramsus more easily and subtle, up to the time when the subtly was no more needed and she could just “command” him. It’s then that the “order” to kill the Emperor was issued.
In short, the game give us the impression that she is just using Ramsus to achieve her own purposes – or rather, the purpose of her program –, never really feeling anything for him.
However, when delving in more further, the gamer can clearly see that, in fact, she does cares for Ramsus – maybe even love him, in her own manner.
Lines that may indicate caring:
“Miang: What's wrong? You look like you have just had a nightmare... It wasn't that same dream again, was it?”
“Miang: I'm just trying to help. Didn't I help get those 'shackles' off? They don't know this, but... he's necessary for Kahr. He's the very meaning of Kahr's existence. Yes, I must thank you. After all, you did help me, didn't you?”
“Miang: Calm down, Commander! It's not good for you. You still haven't recovered from the last battle!”
“Miang: Commander, you can't go out there like that”
“Miang: Be careful. I believe in you no matter what others say.”
“Miang: Kahr... Don't worry. I'll always be by your side. No one knows you better than I do. So don't...”
“Miang: Good... This is how I wanted it, Kahr... I am fated so as not to be able to kill myself... Now ...all ...my ...wishes... have... come... true. Thanks... to ... you...!”
The last line is the most important. While all the others can be attributed to Miang’s manipulation of Kahr, this last line is after all the manipulation is done, when all the objectives have been met. Meaning, there was no reason to lie anymore. Yet, her last words for Ramsus were kind ones... which obviously shows that she feels something for him.
Furthermore, I feel it’s left to wonder how much it was manipulation and how much was the truth... She met Ramsus when she was still a little girl (ok, 13 years, maybe a little more) attending at Jugend. By the time the game passes, she has been with him at least a decade, if not more. While you may argue that the program was too strong for her to develop any feelings for him on those years, I strongly believe that’s not true. Not only she was beginning to break free from her programming (I’ll address this further), but she was also an human being, who sensed and felt, despite her original program. It’s absurd to assume that she didn’t develop feelings for him after ten or more years of pretending so, because that’s an inherit human characteristic.
This relationship shows us the two faces that Miang exhibit, as both the cunning manipulator and the kind, gentle woman. More, it also shows that the ‘kind’ could have a chance of prevailing, had not fate interfered. Finally, I think it’s fair to say that she did have feelings for Ramsus – maybe she just didn’t give them the time to develop.
A mystery in itself. How they came into contact with each other, why and when, it’s all obscure. The max I could dig out is that their first contact came to be sometime after Sophia’s death, when Krelian was trying to create his own god. I’m not sure of this myself, but I think it was Miang who approached Krelian with her goals and knowledge. It’s also unclear who is the real manipulator and who is the puppet – if there is such a relation between the two.
It’s obvious that they share a common goal, though. That being, of course, Deus’ revival. Or even more, maybe they both wanted it to be destroyed, so the WE could open the Path of Sephirot between the two dimensions, effectively creating the means in which both could succeed – Krelian could finally be with ‘his’ god, while Miang could finally be set free.
Krelian had crucial knowledge of nanomachines, vital to Deus’ resurrection, while Miang had the means for him to further develop his research. Furthermore, they were both cunning strategists and tacticians, planning every step of their plan, every little move, to make it infallible. The most obvious example of this is, ironically enough, Kahr Ramsus. They created the perfect man to eliminate the only person which could hinder their plans: Emperor Cain. Using of psychological torture, they managed to shatter his fragile psyche, to the point he would do anything to fulfill the void within himself. All this, carefully planned since before his birth, when he was still a fetus on a test tube.
This proved to be a dangerous relationship, as both were willing to sacrifice everything – even humanity itself, be it the race or their own – to achieve their objectives. Even more, they both had the means, knowledge and experience to do so, which is probably why they succeeded in their intent.
The Seeker of Power and the Keeper of Time. An interesting relationship, and like the previous one, also dangerous. However, this one has a more... clear... past.
Grieved after Sophia’s death, Lacan began to wonder about a way to impede further tragedies like his of happening – and also, a way to “live”. It was then that, in the depths of Shevat, he came into contact with the woman named Miang Hawwa. She convinced him to try for the impossible, to search for the ultimate power that resided in the Zohar Modifier and use this knowledge to prevent his fate of repeating itself.
Miang had other intentions in mind, however. Again, humanity needed to be “restarted” (that was the fourth time, I believe). The humans of that era weren’t fit to be parts of Deus, and needed to be eliminated. Furthermore, she also needed to test the Diabolos CORPS, Deus’ Terminal Interface Weapons, and collect combat data to improve them. Not only that, but the appearance of Ether users proved to be a serious threat to Deus. The data provided by the Diabolos would then be used to create effective means of combating those humans.
After years of wandering, finally Lacan came into Contact with the Wave Existence, learning all the truth about his existence, his fate, and gaining the ultimate power. However, as I’m sure Miang predicted, his Contact was imperfect. The Anti-type of that era, Sophia, had already died. This caused a mental instability on Lacan, which would manifest itself at point of Contact, splitting his personality – his soul – in two. One part continued to transmigrate after his execution, eventually reincarnating as the man named Fei Fong Wong. The other part, however, gained the knowledge of how to survive by possessing other people’s bodies. This last part, his will, his desire, became... Grahf.
As Grahf, he had but one goal: To eradicate humanity. Grahf believed that this was the only way to free humanity and himself from their fate, impeding Deus’ revival. If there were no more humans, there wouldn’t be enough parts for Deus, and it couldn’t be resurrected. Not only that, but there also wouldn’t be more hosts for both Miang, The Contact and Elehayym. This would definitely spell the fate for Deus, enabling him achieving his role as a Contact, as he would, in a way, “destroy” Deus.
To do that, he counted with Miang’s knowledge to find and activate the Diabolos, powerful weapons that obliterated everything in their path – the Days of Collapse had arrived. Annihilating 96% of the human population, among them the Gazel Ministry and Rene Fatima, who was once one of his closest friends, he was only stopped by a desperate alliance orchestrated by Roni Fatima between land-dwellers, Solaris and Shevat. Using their Ether powers and the Omnigears, they succeeded in putting an end to Grahf’s onslaught.
Miang’s intent, however, had been achieved, even though the Grahf had failed in his purge of humanity. She managed to gather the combat data to improve the Diabolos, later transforming them into the Seraphs, and also, as a result of this, produced an “Artificial Selection”, so that only the humans fit to be Deus’ parts survived the war.
Later, their relationship would grow, sharing information and manipulating events to achieve their own goals. Sometimes, Miang would assume the guise of the Executioner and work more directly with Grahf when dealing with land-dwellers, such as the Kaiser Sigmund, from Kislev.
Not much to say on this, except for a few points brought up by Myaru on her site. It’s interesting to note that Miang is originally spelt like Myyahele, a clear reflection of Elehayym, which obviously represents their relation very well – two sides of the same coin.
While Miang is the cruel, ruthless manipulator, Elly is the gentle, kind maid, as if when they were “separated”, Elly took with her all the humanity, leaving Miang with only her program. If you consider this to be true, it may be possible that Miang felt somewhat jealous of Elehayym’s ‘humanity’, so to speak. Nothing can be proved about this, however.
I think that’s all there is to be said about Miang’s relationships with other characters... If you feel a let out an important relation or fact, feel free to comment on why and I’ll add it to the list.
Miang as I see her
Ah, finally the part you were waiting for, eh? And also, the more difficult one to present... -_-;;
Miang is a rather interesting and complex character, one that I didn’t imagine to have such depth... not to mention she’s a contradiction in itself. Slave to her own program, master of humanity, cruel murderer, gentle lover... After all, who is the real Miang? Who hides between the cold smile she always present us? Is she really a ruthless woman, who cares for nothing but Deus’ revival – or rather, who is not able to care for anything else?
After researching about her, reading innumerous profiles and comments upon this character, among those I absolutely have to point out Myaru’s as the most informative and helpful, I came to the conclusion she’s not the cold woman she appears to be, or, in the least, don’t want to be.
Miang’s fate is a tragic one. After she was “separated” from Elehayym, it’s like something was lacking in her – perhaps, her own humanity. Bonded to her program, she would never have an option, always doing what she was programmed to do, acting like she was required to. Never free, always chained to the being called Deus, being, essentially, and like Grahf put it well, it’s “main body”, it’s will, much like Elehayym was the host of the WE’s will – but, unlike Elly, she would never be given “choice”.
It’s obvious, from the game, that she was finally beginning to break free from those restraints, fighting against them. Just the fact that she actually lost control over Karen is enough proof of this. Not to mention the fact that, in her last host, she was suffering from something, perhaps something that was originally an ailment from the girl she took over (which, coincidentally, was also called Miang) – then again, perhaps not. Nonetheless, just the fact that she was suffering is proof that the program was beginning to fail.
This is also reinforced by Grahf, as you can see in this quote:
“Grahf: As you said, that was Karen. Through many generations Miang is beginning to break free from her bounds. Now that Elhaym has merged with Deus, she has all of her memories back. All the memories from her original birth as the Contact's complement up to her current transmigration. That includes all of the lives she has lived as Miang, and her substitutes over the centuries. And of course, that includes your mother's memories too.”
This obviously shows that she was succeeding in getting free, and most likely developed her own personal agenda. My belief is, she wanted to resurrect Deus, but as a mean to achieving freedom. If Deus were to be destroyed, the WE would return to it’s own dimension, through what is called the Path of Sephirot, the path which connects both dimensions. Only in this path, she could give form to the Urobolus Ring and the Miang Factor, allowing Fei to destroy it, ending her existence.
I firmly believe that was her goal. Travelling from body to body, never being able to die, living countless lives... Immortality has it’s fee, specially to one who is always bond to the same fate, but not to the same body. Who knows through what kind of lives Miang went through, specially since the host was always random. Young and old, rich and poor, beautiful and ugly, married and single... She must’ve been all and more, suffering immensely with each transmigration. It’s only natural that she wanted to end that damned existence, by destroying the only thing which made her transmigrate. In other words, the Urobolus Ring.
It’s also no wonder that she developed such a cold personality. After going through all those lives, she could only be hardened inside, casting away her feelings, in a desperate attempt to stop the suffering. The only man that we “know” to have awakened ‘feelings’ on her again is Kahr Ramsus. Even so, she still opted to ignore those – perhaps as a self defense mechanism –, manipulating him into killing both Emperor Cain and herself. Yet, at the very end, she still expressed gratitude towards him – a clear sign that she was not that successful in killing her own emotions.
Again, though, I don’t think she really wanted to lose her feelings, but rather, she didn’t have an option. It was not a question of wanting, it was a question of surviving...
And so, my analysis come to an end. I must admit it turn out a lot longer than I thought... it was still fun to do it, though. ^_^ I hope this turns out to be informative...
Lastly, I’d like to credit Myaru and her site, Guardian Angels, for most of the info presented here. While I did delved further than she did, her knowledge and information served pretty much as the fundamental basis for this analysis.
Comments, criticism, doubts? I’ll try to address your points as soon as I can.