Cataloging the events in Fortnite is no easy task. Given that the timeline spans nearly five years, a lot has happened in-game and the lore has expanded at an exponential rate.
Nevertheless, there are those who dare compile and make sense of it all. These talented individuals conceptualize and theorize numerous possibilities and ponder the mysteries of the Fortnite metaverse.
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda Gaming's Matthew Wilkins, Marco, the founder of Timeless Order and a lore enthusiast in Fortnite, talks about his humble beginnings, the evolution of Fortnite, its lore, and the past, present, and future of the game. Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Timeless Order - Cateloging reality, one Fortnite theory at a time
Q. Hello. It's finally nice to talk to the founder of the enigmatic Timeless Order. Kindly tell our readers something about yourself and the organization.
Marco: It's nice to talk to you too! I'm Marco, I do most things for Timeless. By trade, I translate games, but I've always been captivated by Fortnite's story. Something so rich and complex on such an amply available platform is wild.
Timeless Order is written and administered by me, but friends like Brucetheblob and big john help me revise articles and make them look as neat as they can be. Love them to bits!
Q. What gave birth to the Timeless Order? Since it popped up around the time of the alien invasion in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7, was it created for hype or was there a concrete plan in place?
Marco: I’ve always been around the lore side of the community. Back during Chapter 1 Season 4, when the first ever Live Event happened, I couldn’t watch it because I had to go see The Incredibles 2. I absolutely love the franchise, so, priorities.
When I came back to Fortnite, everyone was freaking out about there being a giant crack in the sky. Asking if there was a shield or a bubble protecting the island, or if they’re trying to destroy Tilted Towers. There were so many cool speculations at play.
I grew up watching Doctor Who and all sorts of similar content that had to do with interdimensional rifts and whatnot. So after seeing the crack, I went on Reddit and wrote a post explaining (or at least trying to) what The Visitor had done, and what that meant for the game. That was the first time that I had done anything related to "Timeless."
And last July, when the alien invasion happened, they had this (Alternate Reality Game) to market the season. That’s when I talked to Shiina and he mentioned that there was no lore account explaining things. “There’s no major player in the field, so why don’t you do it?” He motivated me to start Timeless Order, and I did. He means the world to me.
Q. What was the initial plan after creating the Timeless Order? Was the focus solely on lore and theories in Fortnite or were there other avenues that you wanted to explore as well?
Marco: That's a great question! All I wanted to do back then was lay down the story and organize it in a way where anyone could read and understand it. Irrespective of whether they were fans of the game or not, they could still enjoy it.
I originally began writing on Medium before I moved to Substack. That's where I had this new idea of what Timeless is: flavor writing for Fortnite's history. I want people to be able to experience these events as they're reading the articles. My aim was to make them feel as if they're discovering the story for the very first time, even if they’re long-time players.
That was my number one priority and the only goal I ever had, but as Timeless grew, it became a massive thing. It has hit 10,000 followers in under a year, that’s mental. I’m incredibly grateful.
As it grew, I thought about maybe expanding Timeless to games like Overwatch, where world-building lends itself to the game in a symbiotic way. Maybe even Five Nights at Freddy’s, haha.
Growing up with the lore of Fortnite motivated me to be really passionate about it. That's why I want to turn Timeless into this strong article library and then maybe see where things go from there.
Q. Moving on to the next question, I'm rather intrigued as to where you get your ideas from? Since a lot of your lore is unique and not available on Fortnite 'fandom' pages, how do you come up with the ideas?
Are they based around personal experiences within the game or random theories that you build up and try to justify? Walk us through the process.
Marco: Part of Fortnite's story and the backbone of it all is the metaverse. Epic Games created this medium and they were the first to have a story be told in live events on a free-to-play game.
They tell things through all sorts of different channels. Slone, for example, is the major antagonist of the season, but all her backstory comes from paintings seen in Chapter 2 Season 7, in Corny Complex.
The paintings showed her as a child writing equations on a chalkboard, and it really put things into perspective. It showed that she grew up in the Imagined Order and was indoctrinated into accepting their ideas and the organization itself. I mean, for all we know, she may have even been kidnapped?
Just these tiny little lore clues are spread throughout the game via Outfits, Loading Screens, and even tweets from Donald Mustard. He tweeted about Paris about a month ago, and now the Doomsday Device looks exactly like the Eiffel Tower! The French strike again.
Keeping track of any and all bits and pieces they let slip is how I roll. My entire knowledge is constructed on analyzing as much as I can, and comparing it to what we’ve known before.
Friends like big john and Shiina help me stay on top of things as I have a hard time with my memory. We keep bringing up any and all theories, no matter how absurd, shouting at each other if we’re wrong. This totally helps in the creative thinking process! I promise.
Q. Continuing along the line of storytelling, I wanted to know your views about it in the current season. Unlike the older seasons, there were no live in-game events taking place on the map.
For example in Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 8, we got to see the Cubes move in real time before the Pyramid formed. However, in the current season, one moment there was Loot Lake and the next a large Collider. What’s you take on it?
Marco: So, you want to see more in-game events, right? For example, how the Collider is charging up. I like them too. They’re really cool.
But I think what Epic’s done lately is compensate for the lack of those in-game interactions with the expansion to other mediums, like the upcoming Fortnite X Marvel: Zero War comics.
They’re going to reveal so much of the story through that. Maybe they don't see the benefit in having smaller beats of content, but rather release them in more cinematic and orchestral ways like events and collaborations.
For instance, in Chapter 1 Season 5, when Kevin The Cube showed up, Reddit named him and people were theoring what he could do. The funny thing is that john kept calling me insane for thinking Kevin was a tesseract, as in-game he had some funky geometry within to help with his effects. I was technically right with the reveal of the Last Reality.
So, take that — but don’t hurt me, john.
Based on the map changes at the time, we couldn’t know their true meaning. We didn’t even know what The Zero Point was or why Kevin wanted it so badly. With Chapter 2 Season 8 showing the Queen’s troops function by establishing runes, as Kevin did, and all sorts of other dark magic-based insanity, it showed that Epic planted a seed for a future they could write later.
Kevin's return in Chapter 2 Season 7 showed that, even though Fortnite is a game about experiencing the present before it’s gone, they’re still willing to honor and further expand upon old narratives built through that gameplay instancing.
By the way, shoutout to the incredible writing team currently in charge of Quests, including Megan MacKay’s wonderful Resistance missions, as they’re my crushes now. All of them have so much heart and passion in making sure these characters are truly shown to be existence’s finest. And that we belong in — and are an important part of — their legacy.
All of these things aid in compensating for the lack of the in-game update-upon-update building of what’s next. And they, in my personal opinion, are just as good.
Q. Timeless Order has been here since Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 7, so I wanted to know of all the theories that have been theorized thus far, which is the craziest one that came true or at the very least resembled something similar.
Marco: Epic Games plants hints, right. They do it all the time. They hint at future content, about things currently in development. For example, The Imagined tried to search for files from her past, and she thought that she might’ve been this horrible person.
The hint is that currently someone with advanced Imagined Order clearance levels is erasing every single one of The Sisters’ files. And in recent quests, Jonesy’s recognized that digital footprint as Geno’s — the IO’s occluded leader. So these brief moments are something I have to work with for Timeless.
But to answer your question, one thing came to mind before too many hints were given. Before Timeless, and after the rocket’s launch, I think I predicted the horrors of the Loop! Yippee…?
I remember Donald Mustard tweeting something about the game’s matches being important, or maybe he did an interview and said something I caught onto. And with the bunkers and everything, I sort of recognized that this might be a loop or perhaps a simulation; and the collaborations done being experiments brought onto this playground.
And… that’s exactly what the Imagined Order’s doing. They bring all of existence into this cage of dread, where they forget who they are but not what they know, with their only willpower being the instinct to survive — or else, be killed by others. It’s absolutely horrifying — the game’s story is some lovecraftian horror.
That was the only bit I ever predicted, and it made me feel rather incompetent in retrospect, as you’d think I’d be more on top of things. Something like Kevin The Cube returning before the leaks went public or when Midas might show up next - I wish I predicted cute things like that.
Q. Talking about The Loop in Fortnite, Batman Who Laughs is trapped within but due his visor being made from Dark Metal, he’s able to retain his ‘sanity’. What are your thoughts on that?
Marco: I’m a major fan of DC — I’m wearing a Batman sweater right now! And, as you know, Epic Games and DC have this long partnership that they’ve developed by writing narratives with both universes.
I personally feel that a lot of people miss the entire story that the Zero Point comics were trying to tell, as well as the Batman/Fortnite Foundation - the sheer scale of it all. To put it into perspective, the Imagined Order couldn’t make rifts before Lex Luther taught them. This ties DC so closely to the Fortnite story.
When things start going nicely for us, maybe when we force the Imagined Order to retreat after this tireless war, we’ll see Batman Who Laughs is the one catalyst that’s going to make everything break again. Because having him in The Loop, unscathed, able to convert others to his twisted dark magic, which I know nothing about. That’s a threat.
He could be a major antagonist in seasons to come or he could be the reason why we can’t even relax after everything that’s happened. I think that we shouldn’t underestimate the fact he’s on the island, even though he’s on the sidelines.
Q. On the subject of not getting a break from world-shattering events, as a theorist, what's your take on the new Doomsday Device in Fortnite? It’s on the island, powering up, and we do know a few things it could potentially do thanks to leaks but what do you think it can actually do? What’s its end-game purpose?
Marco: It’s got so much potential. The name gives a lot away. For example, people related its name — The Collider — to the Large Hadron Collider.
Real-world colliders are made to test the collision of particles. When the Hadron Collider first opened, there was this giant fear of it potentially making a black hole in its town. If we can extract anything from that connection, it’s that the device will obliterate whatever it’s targeting.
I initially didn’t even want to see the name, because knowing Epic Games, it’s always chosen with the utmost care. But unfortunately, I couldn’t stay away from it! That’s okay though, hah.
Something else that’s interesting about it is its design. The base looks incredibly similar to a Rift Beacon — long story short, devices powered by fragments of the Zero Point during Season X — and it’s relatively centered to Loot Lake.
The Zero Point was located there during Chapter 1. If we’re to assume this new island configuration has the same centralization, maybe the Collider uses its power directly from the Zero Point itself. Like a giant Rift Beacon. That’d be catastrophic.
This would certainly explain the brand new type of energy we see emanating from it, which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t the one from Midas’ Device. So, yeah. Exciting times. It could either accidentally open a portal and release the Cube Queen’s wrath, reassuring us that the IO is still human and very much incompetent, or the IO’s finally got some real teeth!
Q. Let's assume that The Collider does open a rift. Could we have Darth Vader and Jedi Hunters come through it? Furthermore, since he’s been showcased as a skin on the leaked Battle Pass for Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 3, do you think that another Star Wars themed season could await us next season?
Marco: I think it’s good to keep in mind that Epic and Disney’s partnership is really big. The past two collaborations we’ve had were a season dedicated to comics and bringing their slices to the island.
For Star Wars, when Rise of Skywalker was released, the live event featuring Donald Mustard, JJ Abrams and others was like this talk show. It introduced the movie and answered some fan-based questions. It also revealed a scene where Mustard played a Stormtrooper — where his dying yelp was magnifique. The Lightsabers were introduced then as well.
But most importantly, when that live event ended, you could hear Emperor Palpatine’s transmission. Lines like “the great error is corrected” and “the day of the Sith.” It’s interesting to note that this was exclusive to Fortnite, and was even referenced in the movie’s opening crawl sequence.
Marvel has major events connected to Fortnite, and Star Wars has a whole film’s story directly tied to it. It’s why I’ll never disconsider that potential. Maybe they want to take him from exactly the point in time where he was strongest and bring him to the island — the exact timeframe of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series — but the significance and size of the partnership could vary tremendously.
Q. Moving on from Darth Vader to the island itself, what's your general outlook toward map changes/updates for Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 2? Aside from the Airships crashing to form mini POIs and The Collider, there hasn’t really been much else happening on the island.
Marco: I completely agree. I don’t know why they’re doing this. But to answer your question, we have to go back in time to Chapter 1 Season X. This is when we had our first tapes and Joel McHale, who went to the Fortnite Pro-Am, was invited to voice The Scientist.
The tapes during that season were encrypted. We didn’t know that Joel McHale was voicing them. In fact, we didn’t even know if we were getting any voice acting in the first place. That was the very first time that we had that sort of thing.
We currently have three voice actors in the season’s released content - Troy Baker as John Jones, Rahul Kohli as The Origin, and Cherami Leigh as The Imagined. So, basically with all of that content, whenever an update happens, Epic lets everything simmer freely in the files - relatively open for anyone to look at with a single bit of software.
At the moment, I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers, BUT — I’ve heard that the very last week of voice lines are finally encrypted. This made me really happy, as the previous ones were leaked way too early. It spoils so much, so fast.
For example, The Imagined, one of her voice lines from the latest update revealed that The Seven have kind of won. They’ve pushed the Imagined Order back enough to take things lightly.
I think the season’s narrative content was written incredibly well, and its quest availability, too. Additionally, the disguises and custom-made Back Blings made for them really add to the immersion. While I think they’ve done a swell job, things could always be better.
It’s sad that we only had Blimps this season in terms of map changes. I would like to see more dynamic changes like they did back in Chapter 2 Season 4. During that time, every Marvel character that came to the island, we had this tiny little island that would portal in.
So we had the Heroes’ Park from the Marvel’s Avengers game. Although it was very small, it was meaningful. They even added a statue from Wakanda to honor the late Chadwick Boseman. All these map changes were small but mighty. Yes, including the Ant-Man one.
Coming back to the Airships crashing into the sea - I saw so many complaining about that. And, the fact that it was the only map change the entire season, when compared to others it felt very lacking. But the new quest elements showcased in the season, to an extent, helped balance things out.
Q. On the topic of the war season and lack of changes, do you personally feel that things have been very lowkey due to the ongoing turmoil in Europe? What's your take on the matter?
Marco: Absolutely, 100%. Epic Games works seasons in advance. There’s always two to three being worked on simultaneously at all times. With this season, there’s not much that could have changed at the last minute.
But regarding the Ukraine conflict, Epic Games did two things to help improve the ongoing situation. They made a gigantic donation by funneling all the money made via in-game purchases. It ended with $144m being donated as relief funds. It was a massive thing and I think that Epic Games became the single largest corporate donor to Ukraine — it was really touching.
However, Epic knows their community and how the gaming world sees them as a whole. Reducing the amount of war-related concepts might’ve been done. For instance, the aforementioned blimp crashes being a bit underwhelming. But that’s the kind of discussion that’ll never leave Epic’s Zoom calls, and it doesn’t have to. It was clear they were in a tough spot.
Q. What's your thoughts about the next season? What do you think the future holds for Fortnite? Will the Seven be closer to defeating the IO or will the organization seize power once more?
Marco: I think next season is going to be a bit less dramatic and bigger than this one. Epic Games is marketing the current season as “The ultimate battle for The Zero Point.” And when you combine that with the upcoming comics, the entire narrative takes place in this time period.
Maybe a nice, shocking theme to get back into gear after a heavy story this season. But I don’t see things like Geno being revealed happen. Best we’ll get is likely the last few comics tying directly to the season, if they ever leave the Season 2 time period.
However, I think Geno will be revealed by Season 5 at the very latest. I think that the Imagined Order’s entire chain of command is going to be explored because every single symbol on their insignia is a different branch.
I reckon that Epic Games is going to take a step back and start exploring all of those things to showcase the scale and scope of the Imagined Order — and perhaps even the scale and scope of The Seven. Maybe we’ll get some flashbacks, perhaps more cinematic content.
Since fans have been dying to get a Fortnite TV. show, maybe we can get some more animated shorts to get us to stop, smell the roses, and look back at the past we never saw. We could really use that to digest what Epic’s trying to tell us — the "epic" factor of it all, which requires us to look back before going forward.
Q. So theories aside, what's your aim with the Timeless Order in Fortnite? What's the long term goal? Will you be sticking to theories and speculation or will you be going into the leaking scene as well? Perhaps a very niche position within the whole ecosystem?
Marco: Shiina’s my best friend and does the leaking part of our döner empire — something you don’t need explained, by the way. So we talk all the time about story-related events that might happen and whenever he needs help with story tweets, he sweetly asks for my input.
I really value the friendship we have and the collaborative aspect of both our accounts. He always helps me, and vice-versa. Because of this, I don’t see myself dealing with leaks directly.
So, I don’t think that it’s necessary to try and cover both the present and the future all at once. I'd rather just try and focus on what I can see, get people caught up on everything, and explain what’s going on.
Q. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for time but before we wrap up the conversation, tell us your thoughts about Fortnite? What got you hooked on the game and how has it evolved overtime. What do you think the future holds for the platform?
Marco: I loved talking to you too! You’re awesome. The story most definitely got me hooked on the game but that’s not how things started. It was a family member who worked in the Esports scene that introduced me to Fortnite. At the time, he was working on things related to first-person shooters, and the whole hype around that time was PUBG.
I remember him telling me, “Oh, there’s this game called Fortnite, it's free-to-play, you should give it a try.” And I was like, “No, it looks like a children’s cartoon and I don’t want to play it - it sounds boring.” At that time, I didn’t really like battle royales.
Eventually, I started playing it and I kind of liked it. Raged quite a bit, lost hundreds of matches — won like two — and when Chapter 1 Season 4 came about, I remember that morning. Waking up to the whole “Brace for Impact” trailer, it meant so much to me.
Although it’s a free game, the amount of impact that Fortnite has due to its production quality and consistency, and the fact that they started telling this cosmic interdimensional story - that’s my bread and butter. That’s the kind of thing I love.
To have a game that tells the kind of story that I really appreciate means so much to me. Seeing the build-up for The Visitor through loading screens, which then led to Season X and The Seven, was amazing. The only thing that’s keeping me in the game and the one thing that got me into it, has been the story.
Regarding the evolution of the game, from the moment we saw Chapter 1 Season 4 with cinematics and Hollywood-level production of storytelling, I think the entire gaming industry realized that Donald Mustard is a bit of a genius.
Epic Games' art team is one of the most talented in the industry. Their job is to gather IP from all over entertainment and then make it cohesive within a single world. It's an incredible responsibility and they take that honor and their passion to create amazing things. That DNA is what makes Fortnite special.
Personally, having worked closely with the neighboring world that is Roblox, Fortnite’s growth has never been stagnant. Sure, the word metaverse might be smeared with utterly incomprehensible stupidity like NFTs, but Epic plans further than that.
Their platform is one of the few genuine metaverses out there, alongside Roblox. An interactive space for hangouts that unites all entertainment into one digital realm.
When things corrupting that vision eventually die, like an improperly maintained flame, Epic’s planning and careful analysis of the market will come to full effect. I can’t imagine what Fortnite could become.
Epic’s consistency of quality with Donald’s ambition is the perfect marriage to construct the ship that is Fortnite, sailing the blue ocean of possibility. I’ve never underestimated that side of the company, and greatly respect the work and ambition that goes into maintaining it.
The story’s heavily impacted by this — sometimes negatively to the eyes of those more appreciative of Fortnite’s original content instead of other IPs — but there’s good effects, too. It’s how we have Dwayne Johnson leading reality’s greatest heroes.
Storytelling will never require a single medium. All a writer needs is their imagination. When a company discovers how to turn that power into reality by imagining their own order of mediums, can they ever really be stopped?
I can’t wait for what’s to come. And finally, thank you so much for calling me for this. I’m honored, humbled, and grateful for what Timeless has become, and for what the future holds for both us, and Fortnite itself.