(Yes, I know 'canon' and 'cannon' are different things, just role with the pun)
Serious story spoilers to follow, don't read if you haven't played through the story yet.
Subnautica is rife with little unexplained events, mechanics, possibilities, and details that are easy to miss, so I thought I'd share a few of my own and invite you to share yours.
The survival of Lifepod 5
Why is Ryley's the only Lifepod to survive? Simple: Lifepod 5 is the only one that fails to broadcast a distress signal. There's a message about the distress call failing in the status messages on the wall before you repair the pod, and even afterwards it shows "Outgoing radio communication:OFFLINE". By the third or fourth destroyed lifepod he comes across Ryley must have a pretty good idea that it isn't random, so he refrains from any future radio broadcasts. It also helps that Lifepod 5 lands in the shallows where a reaper won't happen across it randomly.
Reapers do the bidding of Warpers…to a point
To follow the previous point, all the other lifepods seem to be attacked by reaper leviathans pretty quickly upon landing, even in places you don't normally see reapers. Additionally, Ryley at one point receives a likely Warper transmission saying all targets but 1 have been eliminated. Taken together this implies the Warpers have some degree of control over the reapers. Reapers don't seem to be technological, so it's probably as simple as the Warpers being smart enough to manipulate the "big dumb reapers" into going where they want, but it's still terrifying to think about.
Ryley is selfish
The Aurora had a crew of about 150, but only about a dozen made it down to the surface. Part of the reason? Most crew who reached a lifepod, including Ryley, launched immediately without waiting for a second crewmate. And lest ye use the "explosion" in space as some kind of excuse, clearly whatever explosion Ryley saw while descending neither destroyed the ship nor killed the captain.
Alterra tech is terrible
Nevermind the instant speed of fabrication, Alterra tech is awful. Parts go flying off at the slightest provocation, fabricators break, radios break, their ships "run out of engine grease", and of the lifepods that reached the surface most had defective flotation devices before they got attacked. Here Ryley got lucky because the only thing that 100% malfunctioned on his pod was the outgoing radio. Let's face it, Alterra is probably the laughing stock of the tech world.
Ryley is engineered for harsh environments
Ok, this is a simple one, but come on, it's not that weird that Ryley's body can withstand pressure, swim for long periods of time, heals rapidly, and so on. Clearly there's some combination of genetic and robotic engineering in his body to make him a space-colonist, let's leave it at that.
Ryley is the future CEO of Alterra
In game terms, the storage lockers on the Neptune are about as useful as deck chairs on the Titanic, but then you have to consider, what would Ryley bring back? Well, Ion technology of course. And who can put a value on that? Well, Ryley and Ryley alone, since he's the only one who knows how to cure the Kharaa bacterium and where to find an unlimited supply of Ion cubes. A trillion credits is nothing next to that.
Ok, that's all I got for now. What do you think? What's your favorite head-canon for the events of Subnautica?
© Post "Ready, Aim, Fire! It’s Head-Canon Time." for game Subnautica.
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