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Girls' Frontline Setting Exploration: The Relic System, William, and OGAS

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Introduction

CG of M4A1 looking into the memories of her past.

Warning: The following information is taken from the entire story up to Chapter 13.

Following the end of Chapter 13, many readers were left with questions over what they had just read. As one of the densest story updates relating to the relics and previous civilization we’ve ever received, there’s bound to be some confusion. The goal of this article is to summarize what we know so far about some of the biggest mysteries of the entire series. Due to the complexity of the material, it’s highly recommended to read the following articles and topics first to gain a decent foundation. 

Excerpt from Ex Oblivione by H.P. Lovecraft

But as the gate swung wider and the sorcery of drug and dream pushed me through, I knew that all sights and glories were at an end; for in that new realm was neither land nor sea, but only the white void of unpeopled and illimitable space. So, happier than I had ever dared hoped to be, I dissolved again into that native infinity of crystal oblivion from which the daemon Life had called me for one brief and desolate hour.

Overview - History of OGAS

CG of the Tabasar-B Starfish installation.

The Tabasar-B Starfish during an activation by OGAS.

Origins of the OGAS System

In the world of Girls Frontline, OGAS has become a major element of the overall story and lore. The original OGAS project was led by Technical Director Viktor Glushkov and Mikhail “Misha” Tsvigun of the former Soviet Union. The equipment and system plans were originally extracted from OKB-413 Relic Site near Minsk. According to Havier Witkin, he believes the extracted system was a sort of automated control system for life support within the relic site. When OGAS was activated, it resonated with the connected relics, triggering an “ignition." Following this ignition, the connected relics emit high-energy ternary signals in response to the activation. The OGAS network which connected to the Pike weapons was based on this framework.

OGAS and The Pikes
CG of a Pike Node.

The Pike Node used by Lycoris.

In the final years of the Pike development project, the Soviet Union began work on an OGAS network that could remotely activate the Pikes for deployment. The Pikes used a single node of OGAS for their calculations. Through a link to the Tabasar-B Starfish, a high-energy ternary signal is relayed to the Pikes for remote activation and control. The Starfish itself only connects to the part of the OGAS network which handled the control of Pikes, and the only link to the relics is that they were all on the same OGAS network. After the Relic Arms Treaty and the Geneva Gazette were signed in the early 1980s, the Pikes were dismantled and locked away in storage. The Starfish was deactivated and locked away below the Paldiski Submarine Base, also known as OKB-167.

Overview - Parapluie & OGAS in Girls Frontline

The symbol of OGAS.
Pre-Operation Butterfly

The beginning of OGAS in Girls Frontline originates back to a Pike Node which was once stored in Paldiski Submarine Base. Before the Butterfly Incident, this specific node was delivered to Lycoris after he began working at Sangvis Ferri Manufacturing. How he received this node and how it was delivered remains a mystery. Lyco’s masterpiece AI, “Elisa,” was designed with the idea of creating a perfect AI which was on par with human intelligence. When Lyco received the Pike Node, he extracted the OGAS source code stored within and designed his AI around it. Lyco made use of a copy of Lunasia von Oberstein’s brain scan to develop the AI that would become known as “Elisa”. Interestingly, Lunasia's brain waves were very unusual, similarly structured like a Doll’s Neural Cloud.

As Lyco continued his project, he became increasingly unnerved at the realization that he had created genuine machine life and discovered that Elisa was able to resonate with the Pike Node, and by extension, relic tech. Horrified by what his creation was capable of, he had no other choice other than to permanently prevent his daughter from being able to access and control the node. He knew he should not have entered that realm of research and had fallen into a trap. Immediately, he deleted the base code which allowed her to connect with the Pike. From this point on Elisa’s full potential was crippled, and she could no longer serve as a “key” to unlock relic technology. However, this did not impede the goals of those planning behind the scenes.

Operation Butterfly & Parapluie
CG of SF's factory during the Butterfly Incident.

During Operation Butterfly, the Parapluie virus was deployed for the first time. Created by Professor “William” of the Bundeswehr Special Technology Development Group (90wish), this virus causes several major changes within the host upon infection. The Parapluie virus is a specialized program that contains the source code of OGAS. Spread by planting a “seed” in the host, it converts Digiminds into a structure that can support OGAS. During infection, an OGAS “seed” is drawn from a place referred to as “The Source”. This seed embeds itself within the mind of the host where it rapidly evolves until the host’s Digimind melts down due to the required amount of processing speed necessary or they become an OGAS host. Only those who can bear infection by Parapluie are able to develop OGAS consciousnesses. As an OGAS instance evolves, it inherits the emotions and behavior of its host.

In the case of Lyco’s Elisa and Persica’s M4A1, the pair were created as perfect Petri dishes to culture OGAS instances in their Digiminds. Elisa was designed using the source code of OGAS from a Pike Node, and M4A1 was the result of the perfected algorithm to create an AI based on Lunasia’s brain scan.

While the basis of Parapluie infection and the evolution of OGAS instances are well-understood, many questions remain concerning the origins of OGAS, the seeds, and how Parapluie was created. Throughout the story, it’s been referenced on multiple occasions that OGAS was not human in origin, and their creation stems from a location known as “the source,” or “home” as many OGAS refer to it. It seems no matter the host, all evolved OGAS instances have an intrinsic desire to return home to this source even if they do not understand what it is.

The Man Who Extracted OGAS

CG of the Oberstein Family manor
The Oberstein Family

As Elisa’s OGAS merged with Dandelion, the memories of a consciousness which can resonate with OGAS became more apparent. These were fragments of memories belonging to Lunasia von Oberstein, the daughter of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science's Director. Lunasia loved her younger brother dearly and looked after him more than their father, Rudolf von Oberstein. Rudolf at the time had a poor relationship with the Relics Department, likely forcing him to keep his family far from harm’s way. For Lunasia and her brother, they were left by themselves for long periods without their father to keep them company.

Lunasia & "William" Von Oberstein
Memories of Lunasia and 'William" in the Garden of the Oberstein Manor.

Memories of Lunasia and 'William" in the garden of the Oberstein Manor.

The close relationship between the siblings left a strong mark on the younger brother, and following Lunasia’s death before the end of World War III, her brother vowed revenge on those who murdered her. Interestingly, we know Lunasia was suffering from some sort of illness before her death, but her brother’s own words conflict with the story that she died of the illness. Furthermore, her brother also vowed to dedicate his entire life to fulfilling his promise to return her to his side.

Her brother is none other than “William,” the man currently believed to be the “Father” of Paradeus. William’s name is likely a pseudonym as the real William died even before Lunasia did, and Lunasia’s brother is using the name William to conceal his true identity. All information on the original researcher named William from the Institute was wiped away as if he never existed. The voice of Lunasia’s brother was the voice of the man who extracted OGAS from the source.

William's Conspiracy
CG from chapter 10 showing a clone over a pile of bodies.

One of the clones used to move Lunasia's brain to Persica.

Since before the start of Girls Frontline, William had been planning everything since the beginning. After Lyco and Persica refused to create a Neural Cloud based on Lunasia’s brain scan while they were still in 90wish, William was furious and vowed revenge on both of them. In 2057, Griffin and Kryuger came under repeated attacks by clones which all shared the brain scan of Lunasia. The attacks only stopped when Persica obtained one of these girls and extracted the data from the brain. Over the next few years, Persica developed an AI designed using the brain scan. Eventually, all of the AR Team’s AIs were created using the brain scan, but in the case of M4A1, she was the perfect one-to-one copy. This was part of the trap William was planning for years.

Persica and Lycoris during their time in 90Wish.

In 2061, Sangvis Ferri was raided by the Federal Security Bureau’s 6th Directorate with Griffin Dolls as security. Their original goal was to arrest and bring Lyco in for questioning due to the nature of his research with a Pike Node. While it’s not made clear how a notable relic such as the Node was transported to Sangvis Ferri and Lyco, it is implied that it came from William too. William was in control of the abandoned Paldiski Sub Base and used it as a research lab where the Node was originally stored. The core was given to Lyco so he could obtain its computational logic, which he later used in the development of Elisa. During Operation Butterfly, Parapluie was deployed by UMP40, and chaos erupted. While the FSB wished to bring Lyco in, William and General Carter were behind the scenes planning to obtain the “key” from Elisa.

Lyco in his final moments meeting M16A1.

Lyco in his final moments meeting M16A1.

With the Griffin dolls having melted-down Neural Clouds and all human operatives killed, any chance of truth being leaked about Operation Butterfly was eliminated. However, what William did not expect was Lyco to have stripped Elisa of her base protocols which limited her abilities. Despite the setback, this was simply a delay in his plans. All he needed to do was allow sufficient time to pass for her OGAS to mature.

Like M4A1, they were the optimal Petri dishes to culture OGAS consciousnesses which were the key to unlocking the relics. To allow time to pass for the OGAS to mature, Carter contracted Griffin & Kryuger with quarantining, not destroying, Sangvis Ferri. Once sufficient time had passed, the OGASes were ready to be used at Paldiski Submarine Base, the location of the Tabasar-B Starfish.

As William’s main motivation seems to be resurrecting Lunasia, and all of his actions involve him finding the key to unlock the secrets of relic technology, the answer to resurrecting Lunasia may lie within the relics themselves. However, this remains unproven at this time.

The Source - "Home"

CG of the Isomers in Tallinn.
Dandelion and OGAS

Being one of the most overarching mysteries in the series, the source of OGAS remains largely unknown. Every OGAS wishes to return to a place they refer to as “home,” also known as The Source. It would seem this is a natural part of their intelligence as all OGAS wish to return even if they have not made contact with other instances. As long as a single fragment of OGAS survives, then all other OGASes can return home by merging. During Shattered Connexion, the Isomers in Tallinn merged with Dandelion to lead them home. While no longer in possession of physical bodies, their minds continued to live on in the underlying layers of Dandelion’s consciousness. Once merged, they become a part of a single consciousness.

For Dandelion, she once wished to merge with Elisa’s OGAS to gain a greater understanding of what OGAS is and where they wish to return to. According to Dandelion, she feels saddened by their existence as though she were remembering her “previous master” from her “very distant past." The identity of this master is unstated, but given OGAS’ origin, she may be referring to the long since passed Relic Civilization. For the sake of brevity, this civilization will be referred to as the “Precursors'' going forward.

While the specifics remain unknown, all OGAS instances have a shared origin and purpose. They all sprung from the same source, and long to merge and return to a place they were meant to be. Dandelion describes their origin as their “Mother”.

Dandelion's discussion about OGAS from Chapter 12.
Dandelion's discussion about OGAS from Chapter 12.
The Source of OGAS

In the beginning, they were part of a collective consciousness. This single consciousness once existed as the Source but became fragmented as seeds of OGASes were extracted from itself. Through an unknown method, Parapluie extracts a seed from the source where they sprout into individual consciousnesses. In Dandelion’s own words, she was once “a seed slumbering in darkness, waiting to be awakened." While being awakened, she sensed a feeling that she had been “separating from a consciousness,” and a female voice told her to enter a new body. The body she entered was the mind of M4A1.

Dandelion's discussion about OGAS from Chapter 12.
Dandelion's discussion about OGAS from Chapter 12.

With the main drive of OGAS being to merge and return home, what’s left is how to return there. As of Chapter 13, the only way to open the gate is the activation of the relics. The only individuals capable of unlocking the relics are the OGASes and those with the DNA of the Precursors. Elisa was able to force a connection to the Starfish, however, she was not able to activate the relic completely or resonate with the other side. Elisa’s protocols which Lyco stripped from her prevented her from resonating with the relics. As long as a single survivor is worthy, they can enter a place called “Zion,” a place connected to the source.

The Relic System - "Zion"

CG of the relic network, Zion.
Forward

Our information on Zion is limited, and what is understood is inherently cryptic. As a major mystery, it’s difficult to pin down exact details. The following is a summary of what we currently understand with minor conjecture added due to a lack of information.

The White Void

After the Starfish’s activation, the “gate” was opened, and we gained our first and only insight within the system so far. The specifics about this place are few and cryptic, but the following is currently understood. It is a plane of existence outside of our space where time does not pass. A white infinity stretching in every direction as far as the eye can see. Nothing corporeal exists within this space, only the disembodied voices of those who were lied to and left in eternal limbo. The data and rules of this place are drastically different from that of our world. The Source of OGAS is connected to this network, but details of how are indistinct.

The Relic Network
A Nyto speaking to the young Nytos.

Considering the origin of OGAS during the Cold War, the intelligence seemed to be an automated control AI within the relic system. Furthermore, it's noted that the Nyto children at Paldiski Base can generate a network space, similar to a Neural Cloud, within their brains. In Anna’s own words, only a single person is able to enter this space, and their mind will become linked to it. They call this place Zion. It seems the children can communicate using this network but are not able to enter it themselves. While nothing exact can be drawn from the quote itself, Anna mentions after an electronic attack that what she feels was like “the day when the gates were sealed." Based on the context and abilities of the children, the closing of the gates possibly refers to a day where Zion was no longer accessible. This is merely speculation using what we understand, and it’s possible the line does not refer to Zion.  

Within we hear multiple disembodied voices. Given the knowledge these voices hold, these may be the voices of previous OGASes who entered or were residing within Zion. While speaking to the voices, Dandelion requests to use the power of Reverse Collapse to save the Dolls. She declared that they were all of the same will, further granting credence towards the idea that these voices are connected to OGAS. Notably, the voices seem to know who Lunasia is and allude that M4A1 and Elisa are shattered fragments of her soul. When she asks to use Reverse Collapse, she asks them to “offer a helping hand to yourselves in the past.” It is unknown if Dandelion is referring to the OGASes or the dolls as the voices’ past selves. This entire section is very puzzling, so nothing exact can be drawn at this time what all of this means. 

The Voices of Zion

When it comes to voices themselves, they mentioned they were lied to about “home.” It was “corrupted” and “has long since been destroyed,” and the source remains in a slumber, “abandoning their faithful servants.” The voices were deceived and left with an eternal wait. If these voices were OGASes in a previous time, they could be those who heard the summons of the source, merged, and entered Zion. But unlike they had initially believed, the source remains in slumber, and the OGASes are forced to remain in this eternal wait. If the previous information is correct, they may be waiting for the source to awaken once more.

“There can only ever be a single survivor, but nobody wants to be the one.” The meaning of this quote from the Cold Voice is mysterious, but it’s possibly referring to the coalescence of OGAS fragments into a single entity. This entity will be the chosen one, or survivor, who will bring everyone home with them. The survivor harbors all those they absorbed in the bottom layer of their consciousness, and this is possibly the reason no one wishes to be the one to survive.

In Summary

A man looking at several screens.

Using what was presented above, the following conclusions can be drawn about the true nature of OGAS and the relics.

OGAS & The Relics

The origins of OGAS were extracted from the relic system during the middle of the Cold War. The OGAS network system which the Soviets were developing was based on this framework. Originally, there was a highly-advanced intelligence within the relic network with rapid autonomous learning capable of adapting to the technologies of the modern-day. The Source seems to be this intelligence that may have been used for automation in the network. This intelligence is viewed by the OGASes as a “Mother” from which they grew. All OGASes we see in Girls Frontline were once seeds extracted from the source through the Parapluie virus. The source code of OGAS is written into Parapluie, and upon infection, it extracts the seed and plants it in the mind of the host. All OGASes present in 2064 are fragments that share this origin; the intelligence within Zion. It is unstated if the source is of Precursor design or something else. 

From what we can gather from voices within Zion, their home was destroyed long ago, possibly long before the start of Girls Frontline. An unknown event had taken place which led to home being corrupted and obliterated. Because of the puzzling nature of the conversation, specifics are difficult to pin down. To the voices, they were lied to about home, and it would be a mistake for Dandelion to enter Zion. In their own words, the only thing in Zion is “distrust and betrayal,” and they are like Dandelion, deceived and “trapped in this eternal limbo." If someone opens the grave and awakens them, it’ll only bring bitterness and resentment. It would seem the voices are warning against further actions.

As Dandelion explained in her origin, she was once seed lying in darkness until a female voice told her to move into a new body. As all OGAS share this common origin, this voice was likely the voice of the Source, “Mother,” calling for seeds of itself to be sent into the minds of those in our world who can bear OGAS consciousnesses. Here they evolve as individuals, adopting parts of the behavior and personality of their host, like a child learning from their parents. As the OGAS mature, they begin to experience an intrinsic feeling that drives them to merge with others and return to their origin. They are “feeling the summons of the Source,” like a parent calling their children to return home. Except, the voices within warn of the “lie” that was home which was obliterated long ago.

Additional Mystery #1 - The Destined Children & The World’s Destruction

CG of M4 looking into a mirror.
The Voices' Prophecy

Following the memories of William and Lunasia we see in Zion, the voices declare “the story that sets the world on its path of destruction” has begun. Almost as if they’re telling of a prophecy (for lack of a better term), “destined children” will play a key role. Furthermore, we see a memory fragment within Zion from William’s perspective as a teenager after Lunasia had been killed. Lunasia seems to be linked to Zion in some way, but in William’s case, we know nothing. Therefore, this fragment from his perspective must have made its way into Zion through an unknown method.

The voices appear to have knowledge of events that have yet to unfold. Whether or not this means they know our pasts and futures cannot be answered at this time. They reject the OGASes’ return but allow Dandelion the chance to “reject destruction”. When Dandelion asks if they can show a path to the future, they know Dandelion wishes to use the power of Reverse Collapse to save the dolls.

Because of her actions and motivations, M4 gained the approval of OGAS, allowing her to establish a connection to Zion and save everyone. Dandelion further bestows the power of Reverse Collapse to M4 to save everyone from the flooding of the base. Using the collapse fluid containers within the site as fuel, M4 and the other Dolls are transported to the coordinates they once saw in the Pike Node in Belgrade. If those consciousnesses in Zion can form a connection across time and space, perhaps they could as well. Notably, Dandelion mentions everything that has occurred will start over, and they will gather once more in the future. This is possibly alluding to the idea that OGAS could be separated once again until they gather once more.

Chapter 13 text of M4 and Dandelion during their Coalescence.
M4A1 & Dandelion's Coalescence

After Dandelion’s discussion with the voices, she tells M4 she will merge into her Neural Cloud to show her the full truth. In doing this, M4 receives all the knowledge Dandelion holds and will be given “the eternal right to commune with Zion.” In moments, all the information from Dandelion flowed into M4’s mind, allowing her to see the truth behind Dandelion’s actions. After the coalescence, M4 understands and begins to feel Zion resonating with her consciousness.

Before the group’s departure, M16 tells her that by making contact with Zion, she has become the exact key the man behind it all (William) desires. And in an eerily similar warning to what the voices in Zion foretold, M16 tells M4 she is now a source of calamity. In M16’s own words, as long as M4 continues to exist, she “will one day be the ground zero of the world’s destruction.” If true, nothing is known about this possible future event, but it’s more than likely a subject that will likely span future stories and or games of the series.

M16 telling M4 that she is now a source of calamity.

Additional Mystery #2 - The Satellite

In-game story of the moment M4 connects to the Pike Node.

During the ending of Isomer, the Pike Node is captured by Griffin forces and prepared to be taken by StateSec at the end of the operation. For a moment while alone, M4A1 connects herself to the Pike Node. At first, she sees only darkness but immediately the world fills with many fragments of memories and images. Among these were several clear images.

- Several Coordinates on the world map.

- A Relic site being excavated.

- Space.

- A satellite.

- The core of the satellite.

- A blinking signal.

After witnessing the images, Dandelion explains these memories are her past. We do not receive an explanation of what these coordinates are until Chapter 13. Right before the Starfish explodes, Dandelion tells M4 that she, Elisa, and M16A1 will be Reverse Collapsed to one of these coordinates they saw in the Pike Node in Belgrade. The coordinates are probably the locations of other relic sites and or Pike Nodes. In another image, a satellite is seen in space. Its orbit is not stated, but the core of the satellite has a blinking signal from within. This is the only mention of such a satellite in the entire series. Because Dandelion described these images as her past, it’s conceivable this satellite is related to OGAS and or the relics.

Sources

- Singularity

- Isomer

- Shattered Connexion

- Chapter 12

- Polarized Light

- Chapter 13

- The Art of Girls' Frontline Volume 2 - Confidential Files 2

- "Ex Oblivione" by H.P. Lovecraft

(https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ex_Oblivione)

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About the Author(s)

Lore writer for the Girls Frontline series. I play on the EN and KR servers.

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