Ecco the Dolphin Vortex Analysis

The Vortex from Ecco the Dolphin was another aspect of the games surreal yet surprisingly effective design and plot. While the game was a smash success, few people actually attempted to discuss its meaning and more specifically the meaning of the vortex enemy.

Ecco the Dolphin Vortex Basic Description:

Ecco the Dolphin Vortex Queen

The vortex are a species foreign to the ocean, and indeed earth, that has run dry of food on their home planet and thus every 500 years harvests food from earth and more specifically the ocean. Their appearance somewhat resembles of a mixture between a Giger Alien design and a squid. In a lot of ways, their society is arranged like that of an ant colony, with a Queen at the top of the social structure. It also seems that they are intelligent enough to build machinery and other advanced technology.

Ecco the Dolphin Vortex Parallels With Humanity:

While not physically resembling us, the Vortex are actually humans in that they behave in a very similar way. To elaborate, they draw the life out of the ocean in precisely the same way that humans commercially fish. Thus, the vortex, which sucks the ocean dry of life, is actually symbolic of human fishing. To add further to this argument, the Vortex’s machines and technology also have more than a passing resemblance to humanity’s technology. It can further be argued that the Vortex’s planet is a metaphor for the land of earth, with over harvesting of the land forcing the Vortex to draw food from the oceans.

Ecco the Dolphin Vortex Moral Message:

The moral message behind the Vortex is that humanity should not over harvest but rather should attempt to fit in with the natural eco-system. Ecco the Dolphin delivers this by transferring human behaviour onto an alien race with an easily dislikeable appearance. At the end of the game, the Vortex merge into Earth’s ecosystem and become arthropods such as ants, lobsters, etc.

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