The Anthem swims through your mind… It knows you. It knows us all.
-Kali, Anthem Conviction
The Anthem of Creation—an enigmatic potency found naturally; the power behind creation, destruction, and life and death—is at the heart of everything in Bioware’s Anthem.
The Gods of Coda, the Shapers, used the Anthem to make the world. They molded the clay into what it has become now, according to their own bidding through larger than life instruments.
The Anthem is literally a song, a melody so bewitching that once someone hears it, they cannot let it go. It is a music which is so powerful that its barely audible rhythmic hum can be heard all the time by Cyphers, who themselves are people altered by the Anthem.
A chthonian strain, the Anthem is a danger to everything in this world—living or lifeless. It can drown in peoples’ minds, coercing them to do things unimaginable, just for the sake of hearing it again. It can corrupt life into chimeric abominations. It can reshape anything and everything, and make realities lose their existence.
As mysterious as Anthem is, we know that it is the most active around unstable relics, which were left behind by the Shapers before they vanished. When a relic becomes unstable, it harnesses dangerous levels of the Anthem and forces it to create devastating forms of sentient life forces such as Titans. And when the energy anomaly goes beyond the charts, the relics become the genesis of Shaper Storms and violent Cataclysms and unreal realities. And a new reality coming into an existing reality, means a new Anthem.
[Shaper Relic going Berserk by a Ruin]
Oftentimes, the Anthem leaves behind residues of its energy called Echoes. These glowing orbs can alter microbes, plants, minerals, and animals to create chimeric substances. But unlike a Relic gone haywire, Echoes do this job over the course of a long period. Sometimes, echoes linger around long enough to alter these objects so much that they mimic larger things, which include people, flora, and fauna. And when this happens, it is possible to mistake these mirages for real people and have an actual one-sided conversation.
Arcanists believe that when energy from the Anthem overflows a Shaper instrument, Embers are formed. They are also formed in plants and minerals as a by-product along with chimeric compounds and alloys. The Crystals formed during intense cataclysmic activities when the Echoes of Reality began expanding, resonate with the Anthem. Then there are Cymatic Notes—raw energies of the Anthem inside cataclysms which keep the reality from taking over by exerting stability.
The Gateway is a buffer between human mind and the Anthem. Humans can channel their will into ember-based technology using the Gateway. A Lancer is connected to the Anthem through their Javelin via a Gateway. This allows them to feel the power of their Javelin and perform feats beyond human capabilities. But Cyphers are a different story. They are already connected to the Anthem, and using the Gateway only amplifies this, which makes it difficult for them to use a Javelin, but not impossible.
As much as humans have learned to manipulate minuscule fragments of the Anthem through their ember-based technology, they still do not know where it all comes from, and most importantly, why! There is no known origin to the Anthem. It has subsisted since the beginning of time and persists in all aspects of existence. When heard, it rearranges you… leaving you wanting more.
The famed Arcanist Mederines has remarked, “The Anthem will always be an unknowable, ever-changing tune. It has... a will. It must create, for it is creation. In that way, it must also destroy, for creation and destruction are merely two edges of the same sword.”
With all these awesome powers the Anthem of Creation has, there certainly are those that want to harness it, control it, use it for dubious purposes. The Anthem of Creation is the ultimate power. The womb, the spark, the will of life itself. No one can touch the Anthem, and anything that gets close to it is destroyed and remade. Its power is raw and untamed.
So, the Anthem will not be controlled!
Currently, the only known people who have coherently listened to the Anthem are Faye Navine, the two comatose Cyphers who were present during Haluk’s failed attempt at silencing the Heart of Rage, Owen Corley, Armas Brom (the Monitor who helped create the Heart of Rage), every dead Cypher when the Cenotaph was disturbed, and the mythical First Cypher.
There are people who still don’t believe in the Anthem of Creation; it is a myth for them, or a propaganda placed to control their lives by the authorities. Whether or not people have any faith in it, the only way to survive on Coda is to live in harmony with the Anthem and not establish dominion over it. For Arden Vassa once said, “We must sing the Anthem as we hear it, and none should be forced otherwise.”
The Anthem of Creation lives within us all... Will you sing your melody? Will you hear its call?
• Anthem Journal entries
• Anthem in-game dialogs
• Songs of Icetide
• The Art of Anthem