Alternate Realities is a loose term to encompass many possible realities that are different from our own.
Alternate Realities can refer to...
- Alternate timeline - the belief that time itself is fluid, therefore can be subject to change. Changing an event in the past would therefore change events in the present and the future, thus creating an alternate timeline. The time-traveling Menders of Ouroboros subscribe to such a belief. The place known as Recluse's Victory is an example of how changes in time can change reality.
- Alternate universes - the concept of multiple universes, or multiverse, was created by American psychologist and philosopher William James in his 1895 book The Will to Believe. The belief is that the reality that we know is but one of many universes, and that other universes exist where events turned out differently, or even that certain rules in that universe are different.
- Parallel Earths - An alternative to the multiverse concept is the idea that in the vastness of our current universe, there is a statistical possibility that the same forces that created our Earth could do the same thing elsewhere. This can happen either through chance or by the design of a cosmic force or cosmic being.
(See also "Omniverse")
At the heart of the idea of alternate universes is that there is one all-encompassing universe, an Omniverse, in which different various realities exist inside.
In the "City of Heroes"-based "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" series, Ryder Lightning refers to this as "The Vortex", a place where time and space "bleed" together. He believes that if one can enter this vortex, that person can then travel to other realities.
(See "Multiverse Directory")
City of Heroes
The City of Heroes multiverse actually spans several realities, and includes a multiverse invasion as part of their in-game history.
The primary universe for City of Heroes is known as "Primal Earth", otherwise known by some as the "Paraverse". Universe designations are established through the Portal Corporation and are defined as being either "Inter-Dimensional" and "Extra-Dimensional", depending on whether they can be reached through their devices.
The Portal Corporation defines an inter-dimensional universe as one that can be reached through their dimensional devices.
Examples of inter-dimensional universes as categorized by Portal include:
- Upsilon Beta 9-6 - Otherwise known as Praetorian Earth, this is the universe where Marcus Cole became the global conquerer known as Emperor Cole or Tyrant.
- Delta Zeta 24-10 - Otherwise known as the Axis America Earth, this is where Nazi Germany won World War II. Here a Nazi version of Statesman known as Reichsman kept America under control until he discovered the existence of the Primal Universe.
- Omega Xi 6-4 - A world where mutations are considered a mark of royalty. On this planet, mutants rule under a Geno-Aristocratic system, with magic being considered a forbidden art. This world was one of many devastated by the Rikti.
- Hydra Dimension - The home universe of the formless Hydra creatures.
- Shadow Shard - The universe controlled by Rularuu The Ravager. This is also where the Pocket D nightclub and the Ski Chalet exist.
- Rikti Home World - The home universe of the Rikti.
The Portal Corporation defines an extra-dimensional universe as one that cannot be accessed through normal dimensional technology. The idea that such universes could exist was considered theoretical until April of 2007, when an unknown Crisis Event created several rips in the fabric of our universe, and three people from another universe arrived.
Examples of extra-dimensional universes include:
- XHT-S7 - A world where superpowers were given from a meteor shower in 1938. The Guardian Exiles and Icon Powers came from this universe. This universe was destroyed by Alor in 2007.
- D52-M616 - This is a collection of multiverses that are personified by two tyrannical cosmic beings known as The Brothers "Dee" and "Marv". They are very possessive of their multiverses and have often sent their collective agent to retrieve or eliminate any duplicate elements.
- A567-96LD - This is the home universe of Alexander of the First Order, otherwise known as the self-professed god Alor. It is not known if this universe is still in existence. Alor had cannibalized most of the universe in order to gain more power. It reportedly collapsed into full entropy in 2007 (CMT) when Alor's machinery was destroyed by Daybright and Icon Powers, although this cannot be confirmed.
- UTOS - This is the home universe of a race of cosmic observers, where the mysterious Galen or Doc Tor originally came from before being banished to the Primal Universe. It is believed that his activities were responsible not only for the inhabitants of XHT-S7 getting their superpowers, but also in bringing the Guardian Exiles to the Primal Universe.
- Limbo - This universe exists outside of normal space-time activity. Some speculate that it is the theological limbo, but others are not certain.
- Gamma-Chi-919 - This is the universe of Champions Online.
- Beta-2-2-0-12 - This is the universe of Star Trek Online.
Extra-dimensional realms are considered a relatively recent discovery even though extra-dimensional beings have been in the world of Champions for centuries.
There is also a blatant bias concerning extra-dimensional beings, particularly involving UNTIL officials. This bigotry was reinforced with the discovery of an alternate world where the iconic heroes there are ruthless despots.
- Multifaria - An alternate universe similar to the world of Champions Online where James Harmon IV seized power and became "Shadow Destroyer", ruling the world with an iron fist with help of his robotic army.
The "Four" Worlds
Mystical agents talk of "Four Worlds" which govern every aspect of the world of the Champions. These realms have been identified by ancient mystical and religious terms. However, even their own books conceal the truth of more than one "realm".
- Assiah - The Material World in which Earth exists (a.k.a. "Champions World").
- Yetzirah - The Astral World of magic and fantasy. This is the source of much of Earth's magic.
- Briah - The Mental World of disembodied concepts such as Order, Chaos, Art, and Nature. This is the realm in which telepaths cross through.
- Atziluth - The Archetypal World of infinite power which no sentient being can expect to encounter. Some call this "heaven" or even "God".
- Qliphothic - Lying “behind” or “to the side” of the Four Worlds is a fifth, the Qliphothic World, a realm of ancient and horrifying dimensions whose energies have decayed and their forms twisted into the stuff of nightmares. It is inhabited by malevolent beings such as the Kings of Edom and others that have been perverted into monsters.
Star Trek Online
There is only one confirmed "alternate universe" in the reality we know as Star Trek Online.
- Mirror Universe - An alternate universe where Zephram Cochran killed the Vulcans visiting Earth, and thus began the "Terran Empire", which conquered much of the galaxy. In this universe, advancements are made through assassinations and brute force.
City Of Heroes
- Recluse's Victory - a period in the near-future that Lord Recluse believes would be when he would conquer Paragon City and, by extension, the world. Since time at this period is highly volatile, Recluse developed a way to "lock" this future in through a series of Temporal Anchors. As long as these anchors are in place, his conquest of the city is assured. However Statesman and the Freedom Phalanx are also trying to install their own anchors, which would erase Recluse's conquest of the world and transform Paragon City into a utopia. Because of the random changes in this timeline, it cannot be locked as a fixed event. It could even qualify as a separate universe.
- Empty World - A brief alternate future that would begin in the year 2010 with an experimental defensive program headed by NovaPrima that would be used to stop an incoming Shivan transit pod. The result of this program would accidentally result in the extinction of all sentient life on the planet. In 2011, an arriving Kheldian by the name of Talmyia would discover the lack of sentient life and report back to the home world to claim it as a new colony planet. This alternate future was eliminated by the actions of Doc Tor.
- Galatea Future's Timeline - In 2010, Galatea Powers was spirited to Ouroboros to prevent her from changing certain events on Earth, forcing her to remain there until 2013. In this alternate timeline, Rularuu The Ravager arrives on Earth in 2018 and decimates it. Lord Recluse would further hinder things by taking over the planet. The planet would be rendered inhospitable by 2053. Galatea would eventually go on to become the "Last Guardian" of humanity as it struggled to survive on other worlds. This future was changed when Galatea used the Pillar of Ice and Flame to go back in time to save Daybright from the threat of Alor. To further neutralize this Omega-Incarnate version of Galatea from making any other changes in time, the Pillar altered events again so that Galatea Powers would be sent home in 2011 instead of 2013. (Note: the future version of Galatea would be saved from oblivion and sent to the world of Champions Online.)
DC Universe Online
- Legends Future - An alternate future narrated by Lex Luthor of a time when he would lead an army to destroy Earth's superheroes, cultimating with himself finally killing Superman. At that point, Brainiac would appear and take over the planet. To prevent this future from happening, Luthor teams up with Batman to travel back to the present and release Exo-Bytes on the Earth that would give many people superpowers. This story is the starting point of the DC Universe Online MMO.
Star Trek Online
- Enterprise-C - An alternate timeline seen in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series in which a past version of the Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) plunges into "the future" prior to being destroyed by Romulans and encounters the Enterprise-D (NCC-1701-D). In this altered time, the United Federation of Planets is in a losing war against the Klingon Empire. Although they wished to stay in the present, Captain Picard is convinced and convinces Captain Garrett that the Enterprise-C must return to its own time and to its destruction. The Enterprise-C does, but not without the substitution of that alternate time's Tasha Yar for the killed Captain Garrett. The timeline is restored, but the substitution of the alternate Yar creates a minor change. This Yar survives the destruction of the Enterprise-C and is rescued by the Romulans. The Romulan commander falls in love with Yar and they produce a child, Sela. Sela eventually becomes the Romulan Empress.
- Kelvin Timeline - This is the alternate timeline where events in the remade "Star Trek" movies exist. This timeline differs dramatically when the U.S.S. Kelvin is attacked by a renegade Romulan from the future named Nero. The unprovoked attack forces Lt. George Kirk to sacrifice himself and the ship to save the crew, including his mother and newly-born son James. Because he is without a father, James T. Kirk grows up differently in this timeline. He joins Starfleet at a different time, and he is forced to take command of the newly-finished U.S.S. Enterprise when Nero returns to finish his plan for revenge, which includes the destruction of the planet Vulcan.