No knowledge of Stargate SG-1 or Stargate Atlantis is required to play in, be part of, or enjoy the_lifeboat
. In fact, knowing little to nothing about the Stargate universe puts players on the same knowledge level of their characters. However, for those who are curious, here is a quick and dirty what you need to know:
The Stargate is a device created by the Ancients that permits nearly instantaneous travel between two planets or other bodies, thus linking them together into a galaxy-wide system. The Ancients, about whom little is known, apparently abandoned the galaxy, but the system of Stargates they created remains. They are in use by people in a variety of cultures on a variety of worlds, many of them peopled by descendents of Earth humans who were removed by the Goa'uld to other worlds to labor. The Goa'uld System Lords freely use the Stargates in conjunction with starships to maintain their far-flung empires, and for a long time, it was thought that the Goa'uld created the Stargate system. Different cultures on different planets have different terms for their Stargates, the most common being chappa'ai
The Stargate, made of naquadah (a quartzite metal not found on Earth) and weighing about 64,000 pounds, is shaped like a monumental standing ring. The stationary outer ring and concentric spinning inner ring work together to set coordinates that permit interstellar travel. The outer ring contains nine chevrons that lock on an inner ring symbol, or glyph. Seven are used to set a destination within Earth's galaxy, and eight are used to set a destination in another galaxy, although such intergalactic travel requires a tremendous amount of energy. It is not known what the ninth chevron is for. The inside ring has thirty-nine symbols, called glyphs, that refer to constellations. These symbols may also be pronounced in the Ancients language. For a normal address, the first six symbols set a coordinate in a volume of space, and the seventh refers to the point of origin.
The naquadah material of the Stargate stores vast amounts of energy: enough to form a wormhole. With properly regulated energy distribution, it is safe, but since it is a very powerful superconductor, imprudent application of energy could cause it to explode catastrophically .
When activated, the Stargate creates a wormhole between two Stargates that permits near-instantaneous travel from one to the other. When the Stargate activates, a blue whoosh of energy emanates out from the Gate, destroying anything in its path. After this initial burst of energy, an event horizon, a two-dimensional energy field that permits entry to the wormhole and that looks like rippling blue water, is created within the ring of the Gate itself, and the traveler simply steps through. Anything that goes through the Gate will arrive on the other side at the same velocity at which it entered. Arrows, bullets, and energy blasts can be transported through the Stargate just as well as a person, or things can be thrown through the Gate.
To render a Stargate inoperable, it is buried.
Although the Stargate can be dialed manually by providing a power source and physically moving the inner ring around (a technique used in emergencies), usually a Dial Home Device (DHD) is used. These waist-high freestanding structures are generally located next to the Gate itself. The Stargate system has a built-in system of checks and balances: if, as one attempts to specify an address, the Stargate detects something that would result in unsafe travel to that destination, it will not permit the address to be dialed.
Although most Stargates that the SGC encounters are fixed in place on land or inside structures, they may also be located on starships, underwater, or in orbit. They may also be located on worlds that don't permit human life to exist. In addition, although Stargates are usually set up so that they are standing circles, it's also possible to activate them while they are lying on their sides, as long as there is room for an event horizon to form.
The Stargate on earth was uncovered at Giza in 1928. Its usage was not discovered until 1996*. In 1997, Stargate Command (SGC) was formed. The SGC was the military and scientific body for the Stargate Program, which administered and maintained the U.S. government-sponsored teams that went through the Stargate. It was housed underground in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The SGC was destroyed when earth was destroyed.*1996 Dates consistent with the television timeline of Stargate and not the movie timeline.
Reference material from The Stargate Wiki.