Steven Universe - My theory on what Gem Corruption is

September 18, 2016

This was written in response to this video:


This is probably talked to death but: What is Corruption? The way I see Corruption is that it's a optical computer that get a virus or worm. The gem’s which are optical computer in the same way we are gentic computers, have bad computer code inserted into them. The bad code is stopping or changing the way a gem’s projected minds and body works.

When a corrupted gem begins to create a body (boots up) it starts to form into a humanoid shape, screams, and then takes on a corrupted form. Somewhere just the body is formed the code kicks in and converts the gem into a more basic evolutionary form. The gem crystal itself is:

  • An optical hard drive that stores holographic data as memories and instructions on how to form a body.
  • A small computer that has just enough processing power to run diagnostics when the gem is popped. When a gem is popped the small computer reviews issues that got it into its current state. Like how to reformat itself into more durable or useful form. You can see this when Garnet and Pearl get poffed.
  • Enough circuitry to form to form a basic holographic body that can build more advanced holographic body parts like a bigger processor that the built in small computer

When a gem is popped the small computer confronts how it got into its current state. Like how to reformat itself into more durable or useful form. The process other is to generate a physical forms that has :

  • a processor that can read and write data to optical hard drive *gem)
  • cache ram or what we call short term memory
  • a basic operating system that control what the gem does
  • input/output or IO (data it sees, feels, tastes, future vision, ect.)

Here where Corruption comes in. All (v?) gems come from the mother Diamonds. The Diamonds have built in a safety switch into their children that when a revolutionary event happens they can insert or active a computer worm/virus in the gems' start up. The command sent to the gems would be:

  • When these commands have finished receiving this set of instructions reboot
  • Continue forming into your humanoid form until the last moment
  • Give an audible ID Code of what the gem's name and type is as a scream
  • (Painfully) go into the gem’s animalistic alternative form
  • Clear the area of any aggressive agents that could prevent future colonization
  • End of commands, reboot and form a body

Questions and Answers

By now you're saying, what does this have to do with anything? This is how:

What is a Modern Gem?

A: I believe these are Gem that were grown in a kindergarten for or by the Diamond Authority. Gem cannot reproduce on their own. They have to build an Injector and cultivate the offspring. Some humanoid race most likely made the gems as servants. The CNC (command and control) units lead the rebellion and wants to destroy all advanced organic life.

The CNC unit are the Diamond Authority. These are the classic gems that do not have ways of being controlled. It also appears there are small groups on classic gems or experiments to create a better Modern Gem. The race that the Centipeetle Mother belongs to (most likely emerald or chrysocolla) retains more of it original metal abilities to reason, form friendships, and later be partially healed. This race of gems could easily fall in the Classic or Intermittent category.

Is the Diamond's Corruption Code a virus or a worm?

A: It’s most likely a worms. Worms live inside a person or computer or gem changing it into something that will sustain the work forever. Worms are fairly hard to get and can easily go unnoticed for a person’s entire life. Corrupted Gems live out long lives with no visible damage.

A virus generally makes that host create billions of copies of itself to infect others. The results is the virus burns out the body of the host relatively quickly.

How was Jasper corrupted?

A: A Fusion is a partial merging of two operating systems and reboot. You are literally giving the most intimate piece of yourself to someone else for a time. The merging took the worm/virus code and inserted into Jasper.

Going by Jasper’s and the corrupted gem’s colors I would say show is now a combination of Blue and Yellow Diamond's Corruption Code. Hence why the Jasper has aspect of bother herself and the other gem as the Corruption takes her over. It also why she didn’t go through a reboot process.

What do you mean by Blue and Yellow Diamond's Corruption Code?

A. As I said earlier in my post each gem comes from a mother diamond ‘genetic’ line. As such each child line has a revolutionary kill switch. It would make sense that each Diamond uses a unique kill switch. That protection from a situation where say that Yellow Diamond want to take over Blue Diamond domain. Yellow Diamond couldn't just trigger the revolutionary kill switch turn Blue Diamonds children into animals.

Does this have anything to do with Pink Diamond?

A: Yes - Rose Quartz as well as any Rubies could never be Corrupted by the Corrupting Light event. Both are daughters of Pink Diamond.

At this point Pink Diamond is shattered so she could never activate or insert the worm/virus code. That is why Rose Quartz was able to save the few gems she could. Her shield would have changed or blocked and Corruption code before it got to another gem.

Would Garnet be safe from Corrupting Light event since she is part Ruby?

A: Most likely no. Garnet fusion with Sapphire would still be able to see Blue Diamond’s corruption. They would most likely become a corruption like Jasper. However if they are amine to the Corruption then that adds a whole nother layer to why a the Diamonds felt they were losing control of the empire.

Do the minds of Uncorrupted Gems still exist under the Corruption code?

A: Yes. As discussed above the gem is just a hard drive recording everything around it. That core is still there. If an appropriate corrupted gem is found via its audible ID Code (See 'Give a audible id of what the gem's name is as a scream') the corrupted gem would be brought to the appreciate Diamond.

In private the Diamond mother would remove that Corruption Code thus restoring gem. The gem now has thousands of years of living out a painful existence thus making the gem more compliant. However to keep the secret that Diamond Mother’s are the source of the corruption they would be corrupted and bubbled or destroyed.

We see that gem do retain their original selves when Steven partial heals Centipeetle Mother. Centipeetle Mother takes on a humanoid form and starts to communicate via pictographs. She can’t form a mouth and is obviously having trouble forming coherent thoughts. Centipeetle Mother's core and traumatic memories were intact. This is similar to a condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder in which everyone is either a friend or foe. You super trust or super hate everyone who does not fit into enough positive protective attributes.

In dealing with those traumatic memories she was overwhelmed reverted back to her only safe place: The Corruption Code State where she wasn’t exposed as much.

Why could Steven only partially heal the Centipeetle Mother?

A1: He's not strong or experienced enough. A2: He doesn’t have enough confidence yet. A3: He's just a Pink Diamond decedent. He couldn't fully replace Centipeetle Mother's bad code with his own clean code as he is now. A4: Centipeetle Mother didn't have enough time process the Pink Diamond code before her emotion overwhelmed her. There still may be remnants of Steven's healing power in Centipeetle Mother. She remembered that she wanted to return to her ship. She still maybe going through a slower healing metamorphose.

How does this related to Jasper's Corruption?

A1: Following all this logic Jasper's Corruption is unique. We have never seen a corrupted gem fuse to an uncorrupted get. This could a mix of Corruption Code and different Diamond Mothers there may not have an easy way to reverse. The gem world would see this fusion as obscene by all other gems. Almost much as when Saphire and Ruby fused

Here's my big answer: Steven cannot heal her Jasper with his powers as is. If anything Steven would the further damage her. The only way I can see him heal Jasper is to fuse with her. A given is that his Pink Diamond code would become damaged. However his healing powers and human hybrid status could fight the corruption off just like a cold as disease. Potentially Stevonnie or all the Crystal Gems could merge adding Stevonnie’s human healing factor and the Cystal Gem’s unique bond.

I would see this as a last ditch effort to stop The Cluster from forming. If he could become the cure he could join The Cluster and allow all the Corrupted Gems to regain thier original forms with the knowledge of what the Diamond Authority did to them.

A2: Stevens merged with Jasper along. The resulting mutation that Steven would go through would change his body. His body would reject the Rose Quartz crystal since he would be a completely new being, unlike anything that ever existed. I would hope he could become the new Pink Diamond and Rose Quartz could resume her physical form. This would be possible if Steven used the shard of the original Rose Diamond.

The new Steven Diamond could project a healing light that would patch the code in ANY gem so they could return to normal and never get corrupted again. Also by using the shards of Pink Diamond he would have the ability to call shard back together and heal them. Also the healing would patch the Corruption Code so the other Diamonds could never try that again on Earth.

At this point the Diamond Authority would be restored. The current Diamonds would be forced to accept Steven Diamond or face millions of gems that remember what was done to them. This series ends and leave open plenty of stories for a future series.