Codex: Poor Poor Space Mole Men

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Codex: Poor Poor Space Mole Men

Post#1 » May 06 2007 06:48

I know this is usually a dumb question, but it struck me as very peculiar in the concerns of the subject:

What inspired the Tau?

Of the several (not maniac or great, but several) sources I've looked at and explored concerning sci-fi genres, the Tau just seemed to pop up out of no where, like its Games Workshop's very own.

But I'm not a big sci-fi fan, so I don't know all that's out there. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Or do you think Games Workshop succeeded in creating their very own, very original race + culture?
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Post#2 » May 06 2007 06:55

I don't know if it's really all that original... What is original in Sci-Fi anymore?

They just sort of compiled a ton of things into one race and made the Tau. You see Equilibrium-esque anti-individuality for the greater good, you see the super-advanced technology many Sci-Fi authors portray humans as having in the future, you see almost a direct copy of Protoss anatomy (plus mouths) and technology (minus the psionic-powered stuff), etc. etc.

Just look a little harder at all kinds of Sci-Fi subjects and you can see a little Tau in all of them. :)

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Post#3 » May 06 2007 06:58

Gundam --> XV8

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Post#4 » May 06 2007 07:05

*smites ThatGuy*


Manga/Anime and asian cultures as a whole. Those were basically their greatest influence.

The visuals are heavily based on manga and anime: clean and slated, with a futuristic feel.

The fluff itself and part of the design choices are clearly oriental-themed. The Fire Warrior armour is remarkably similar to a Samurai's armour, for example. Water Caste members use funny hats similar to those conical hats worn by asian peasants. Their entire society and philosophy of devotion, selflessness (and segregation) is also very inspired in the old asian societies, specially the japanese.

Most other things are just staple from science-fiction. Plasma-launching weapons, neurally-controlled battle armour, utopian society, things like that.

Quite possibly, the only original thing in the Tau is their visuals. And maybe not even that, because they really look like the Protoss. :roll:
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Post#5 » May 06 2007 07:06

Doombringer wrote:I don't know if it's really all that original... What is original in Sci-Fi anymore?

Protoss anatomy (plus mouths) and technology (minus the psionic-powered stuff), etc. etc.



Ditto :D

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Post#6 » May 06 2007 07:08

The "hard-wired" stuff is no where near original...

I remeber using similar stuff as part of the Star Frontiers RPG system and it's all over the ShadowRun RPG and is a main stay of anything based on Cuber Punk.
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Post#7 » May 06 2007 07:23

Evangelion and Macross also uses the 'neural-interface' stuff that the XV8s use - Only for their giant eight-billion-foot-tall mechs and YF-21 Variable Fighters respectively...

I'm sure there are better connections/links for the XV8 inspiration than Gundam... In fact I'm positive there are better ones...

*grumble* stupid Gundam/Tau *grumble*

It's quite obvious to me that rather than Gundam, the Tau battlesuits were inspired by current scientific research into invasive electroencephalographic devices, like our little mouse friend here has...

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:roll:

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Post#8 » May 06 2007 07:35

Let's not forget Battletech's Protomechs! They were piloted basically the same way as battlesuits (even the pilot is posed the same way), and only after extensive invasive surgery.

Actually, the first time I saw the fluff for Crisis Battlesuits I was all "hey, cool! That's Clan stuff from Battletech". Tau battlesuit pilots need their neural interface implants to get going. Clan protomech pilots need their neural interface subdermal "tattoos" instead.

And go figure, both suffer from battlesuit neurosis! :biggrin:
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Post#9 » May 06 2007 07:36

silvester10528 wrote:The "hard-wired" stuff is no where near original...

I remeber using similar stuff as part of the Star Frontiers RPG system and it's all over the ShadowRun RPG and is a main stay of anything based on Cuber Punk.


Same here and here I thought me and my brother were the only 2 that ever played star frontiers :D
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Post#10 » May 06 2007 07:37

Well maybe.

But I mean, the Tyranids, for example are clearly obvious. There's numerous (if not hundreds even) of easy inspiration for that. Eldar (Elves, Protoss, the list goes on). Space Marines (duh). Inquisition (historical). Ork (duh).

But Tau just seemed a little more obscure.

...

then there's things like Gunslinger Girl, and F.E.A.R. I'm quite sure there's nothing new under the sun.
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Post#11 » May 06 2007 07:39

Nah, the Tau are just a bit more modern in their references. :smile:
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Post#12 » May 06 2007 10:02

it doesn't seem to be mentioned much but it might just be the language barrier.

So called "Japanese" style robot suits actually have their basis in western and are attributed to as such - the first guys to start drawing their own versions were waking on a cartoon version of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers". I am sure with a little internet research I could did the guys name up but am a little strapped for time this morning.

His work inspired a couple of others guys and Gundam was very much down the road from this. Much closer and earlier designs were Votoms which inspired the Heavy Gear universe. Although the Scope Dogs look quite different to our Crisis suits, I think they are the closest and most original design I have seen. Old too, I think they are 60's or 70's maybe, just going through another revival here.

So you take the idea of an augmented suit and mesh that with the Japanese fixation with gigantism, samurai armor, the one man standing against all odds (the love Steven Segal here!) and voila, Gundam was born.

Funny isn't it, bastardized MI?

So in a very long and convulated way, some of the Tau's equipment has it's seeds in that wonderful book, Starship Troopers. As do the Space Marines and the TyrARACHnids.
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Post#13 » May 06 2007 10:52

I thought that the suit interface came from Starship Troopers or the Forever War. Both are great Sci-fi.

Could it be, even remotely possible, that GW had an original idea?

It may be like the number of licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. The world may never know.

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Post#14 » May 06 2007 11:45

What about Robotech, as far as western influence, as it was (around me) very popular in the US.

weird coincidences...

- Robotech came out in 1985
- Transformers in 1984
- MechWarrior in 1984

Thats a lot of the same related stuff to come out so closely together.

Not that I didnt enjoy them all :)
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Post#15 » May 07 2007 12:49

What about Robotech, as far as western influence, as it was (around me) very popular in the US.


This is assuming it's a question :)

Somebody up on it can probably tell us more but I know the basics, Robotech is 3 different Japanese animation series cobbled together with a totally different plot to form what we know as "Robotech". I know 2 of them, Macross was the first part, the the last one was Mospeada. The one in the middle was... something of the Southern Cross... a quick google would do it but that's the basics to answer the question.

Forever War - sure but it's pretty recent as compared to the older stuff. Not a bad read but pretty light IMHO.
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Post#16 » May 07 2007 01:14

I've always thought that the Firewarriors were heavily influenced by the old Traveller Imperial Marine figures made by Grenadier...which I have (still mint), showing how old I am. :sad:

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Post#17 » May 07 2007 01:18

When I look at the Tau, I have always seen a very good similarity to Japanese culture (circa samurai era) I find a very Utilitarianism, with a slight tinge of socialism, element in Tau society. Tau tech is you standard issue sci-fi weapons, fishy tanks (as in the things with guns), and Battle suits. And when I look at the battle suits I see very Appleseed like battle suits with tinges of Ghost in the Shell (mostly in the heads ( like fuchikomas in the graphic novel and the tanks in general out of S.A.C.). I also find a little 2001 influence in Tau space travel, and a slight tinge of 1960's predictions of modern space travel. On the front of Tau aviation: I also see some Appleseed and GitS, but I mostly see modern aviation Manta-Galaxy, Barracuda-tornado, Tiger shark- Harrier, AX-1-0 Tiger shark-F-15 Air Superiority Fighter. With imperial i see a blunt, almost direct comparison to WWII era aircraft *cough* marauder-lancaster *cough*.
Last edited by XV-02 on May 07 2007 01:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Post#18 » May 07 2007 01:19

they are so retro-cool, thanks Coyote :D

yes, I see some similarity, "so let's give 'em hooves!" and done!
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