I had to post this thread against because something strange happened which meant that it couldn't be found on the Temple of Gaia menu. So, I hope you don't mind.
Aside from their dichotomy with the Messians, I think something about the CHAOS alignment and the Gaians is hypocritical. They say they emphasize freedom, but I don't think this is completely true. My main problem is that the Cult of Gaea and the CHAOS alignment are presented by the games as promoting freedom, including freedom of speech, thought, and action. The bottom line is that they do no live up to that at all. To prove this, I'll examine how CHAOS behaves in the four main MegaTen games.
WARNING: Spoilers are to be expected
Shin Megami Tensei - The original game probably had a hard time presenting the alignments neutrally. I mean, why do general bosses that aren't important to your alignment still have the CHAOS theme? But outside of that, the CHAOS alignment is presented worse than the alignment, associating the alignment with all the kinds of people you don't want to associate with. And this happens early in the game. The first Gaian leader we see is Gotou, a charismatic military leader and avid follower of the Cult of Gaea. In the course of the story, Gotou puts Japan under martial law, and we all know that is. While making your way to the resistance leader, one of the town people says something like "Why do we have to do what Gotou says all the time? What happened to our civil liberties?". Why would Gaians condone martial law, which we know is a state of military rule that doesn't protect civil liberties? Or maybe the Gaians like the idea of martial law. Let's not forget that Gotou is a military leader after all. Also, while Gotou himself claims to have not been involved with the kidnapping of the resistance leader and all girls with the same name as her, Ozawa is involved and he serves as Gotou's right-hand man, not to mention Yuriko is involved too and sides with Gotou as well. 30 years later, you encounter Yama, the lord of death who serves as the Gaian judge, who throws you in jail for not comlying with the Gaian plan and ideals. After you beat Ladon, you meet a Gaian high priest who welcomes you, but then throws you out if you're not on the CHAOS alignment. You're not even given an alignment test or something. Later on, it gets easier to feel sorry for the CHAOS demons, but only in the last few parts of the game starting from when you reach Tokyo Destiny Land, but even then, Echidna (who is ironically a Jashin, which is a LAW clan) says she kills you "in punishment", presumably for not helping the Gaians. But easily the most screwed up part of the CHAOS hatters is when you fight them in the Great Cathedral (if you don't side with them), particularly in the NEUTRAL path. While the Chaos Hero acknowledges your neutrality, Surt, Arioch, Astaroth, and the Asura Lord don't. Instead, they confuse you for a LAW hatter. The Four Archangels call you someone who is filled with darkness, but at least it's broad enough to mean CHAOS or NEUTRAL. The Four Devils call you a pawn of God, and that's not accurate if you're NEUTRAL. Couldn't the developers have given the Devils different text for if you're neutral? All of that shows that the Gaian appreciation of freedom of thought is false.
Shin Megami Tensei II - There isn't much to say about the Gaians since they get significantly fewer appearances in the game. In the first game, the representation of each side isn't exactly fair and balanced, but at least both sides get virtually equal time. In this, the Messians get a good chunk of the game, but it almost seems like they're the bad guys even though they're not supposed to be good or evil. The Gaian churches behave the same way as the original game, but outside the churches they're easier to sympathize with. Maybe it's an attempt to up the challenge when it comes to taking sides. I honestly don't think CHAOS really cares about freedom, save for that of their religion. Even the alignment testing head before the elders (Michael, Raphael, and Uriel) makes this statement when you score CHAOS:
CHAOS: "Thou dost thyself in battle and chaos. Thou wilst be hailed as a great warrior, but thy blood-drenched hands wilt surely be cursed!".
So CHAOS is cares far more about battle than freedom (it doesn't care about freedom at all, in fact only Lucifer cares about freedom). And the alignment-testing head has surprising accuracy. Look its statements of LAW and NEUTRAL:
LAW: "Thou dost fight for God and the people. Thou shalt be hailed as a saviour."
NEUTRAL: "Thou dost not rely on anyone, and seeks to find thy own path in life. That path is long, hard, and hast few rewards."
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne: LAW, NEUTRAL, and CHAOS aren't really the same as they were in the classic games. It's hard to now which ending belongs to what alignment if any. Some would do it like this:
Shijima - LAW
Musubi - NEUTRAL (sort of)
Yosuga - CHAOS
Freedom - NEUTRAL (for real)
Demon - NEUTRAL (in a CHAOS sort of way)
Amala Labyrinth - CHAOS
I prefer to do it like this:
Shijima, Musubi, and Yosuga are LAW because you follow the rules of the Vortex World set by Kagutsuchi (YHVH).
Reasons that go against Kagutsuchi, like Futomimi's and Yuko's reasons, are technically NEUTRAL since they go by their own path and violate Kagutsuchi's will.
The Freedom ending is most definitely NEUTRAL since you are going by your own path.
The Demon ending is half NEUTRAL because you don't change anything and half CHAOS because it's a Demon ending since you technically are giving Lucifer what he wants.
The True Demon ending is definitely CHAOS because you become Lucifer's greatest general against God.
So does CHAOS care for freedom, probably not. Though I don't know what the Freedom ending means by Freedom. Yosuga also scores LAW points by opposing the Manikin idea of a world without hierarchy.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey - CHAOS, in this game, is so disappointing. Louisa Ferre advertises it as being associated with the "free gods", whoever they are, and some CHAOS converts on the Red Sprite say it's about the freedom Man once had, but that's just what you hear. Jimenez, the resident Chaos Hero, in the CHAOS ending openly states that they're going to create a world where might makes right, the same thing that Mantra and Yosuga wanted in Nocturne. So in the end they don't truly care for freedom. Also, Louisa Ferre, in the CHAOS path, goes far enough to say humans belong to her.
"Humans, born of the God's madness, belong to me. I have no love for them. But neither will I abandon them. That is freedom. "
Well, her not abandoning them is freedom, but humans being owned by anyone definitely isn't.
So, if the Gaians and the CHAOS alignment are hypocrites, is it any wonder? GalaxiaWild 14:40, May 1, 2011 (UTC)