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 "Where were you when the universe ended?"

Reconstruction Zero: I Miss the Sunrise is a prequel to The Reconstruction, made by Space Lizard of Tilde-One Games.

Thousands of years from now, mankind had achieved a perfect, utopian society. Marvels of science and technology allowed every need to be cared for and granted worldwide peace. Even immortality had been achieved. Humans traveled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, discovering a new, alien species, the lacertians. In time, they were integrated seamlessly into human culture (though their evolutionary relatives, the "Lessers", were too barbaric to be reasoned with). The dreams of humanity across the galaxy had been achieved, and progress was poised to march ever onwards. Everything was perfect.

But in an instant, that all changed.

A strange, inexplicable event, known only as "the Shine", wrought havoc across all of civilization. A blinding flash of light appeared to warp reality, slicing mechanical constructs and ships into fragments as if it was peeling them apart. For an unknown reason, planets were not affected, but little else was spared from the destruction. Billions died, and relay nodes were destroyed, isolating communication and fragmenting civilization further. In addition, emotions, suppressed for aeons, began to surface, leading to chaos as people tried to fight over what was left. Bandits and marauders fought survivors over the scraps of civilization, and, to make matters worse, the Lessers became far more intelligent, stealing ships and using them to cause even more destruction.

However, emotions are not purely negative. Determination and hope also arose, and with them, a light in the darkness was formed: the Inquiry Project, headed by commander Virgil Sorenson. Its goal is to repair the fractured world to its former glory, to restore peace and order once more. A daunting and nigh-impossible task, to be sure, but they have hope...

You are Ros Ouranos, a pilot with no knowledge of their prior identity. You awake in a stasis pod aboard the Inquiry, and are told you are one of three pilots the crew found in a strange, abandoned ship. Your abilities are unique, as you have a special protein in your body that, when combined with another chemical, grants you the ability to think in a sort of stasis, taking as long as necessary to analyze a situation while appearing to take no time at all from an outside perspective. This is, obviously, an incredibly important ability for a commander to have, and thus, like it or not, you are the Inquiry Project's last hope.

Oh, and you'd better be careful...the other two pilots didn't last very long.

Gameplay-wise, I Miss the Sunrise plays a bit like a blend of an Eastern RPG and a Western RPG. There is an extensive character customization screen for Ros; you can change their gender and make them either a human, cyborg, or lacertian, the latter options having major effects on his/her stats and some changes to dialogue. Perhaps the biggest aspect of customization, however, is the ability to fine-tune Ros' personality -- and not just in the bland Character Alignment sense, either. Every character in the game, including Ros, has three separate personality scales: Logical vs. Imaginative, Conservative vs. Aggressive, and Lawful vs. Flexible. And they aren't either/or choices -- there are up to ten different steps of the scale that can be used to define where a character stands. The closer you are to another character on the scale, the easier it will be to get along with them. Personality will also slightly change Ros' dialogue during cutscenes. To add on to this, there are some important choices during sidequests that will have far-reaching consequences depending on what you choose, in addition to changing Ros' personality slightly.

Combat is very similar to that of The Reconstruction, taking place in a grid map. Every ship has three meters that serve as both Life Meters and Mana Meters: Hull, Systems, and Pilot. However, every character and enemy in the game has the exact same health value for all three -- 1000. The only difference in survivability are defensive stats. There is also no generic "attack" command -- every ship must select from a number of up to five weapons to attack. They come in four varieties: Auroral (long range, low damage, high accuracy), Ballistic (medium in everything), Contact (short range, high damage, low accuracy), and eXtension (which are not weapons at all, but passive buffers, similar to armour). Each species specializes in a different type of weapon. You can also create new weapons between missions -- doing so is the main method of power progression, in fact.

It can be downloaded here, in addition to more details on the story, item crafting system, and gameplay.

You can see the trailer here.

The game is being released episodically, with five episodes planned in total. The latest part to be released is Episode 4: Forever And Ever. The announced release date for Episode 5: A Plan For Everything is 23 July.

Do note that, as a prequel to The Reconstruction, there will be unmarked spoilers relating to it ahead. If you want to see the full saga, you should play that game first.


This game is the Trope Namer for the following trope:

  • Immortality Inducer: The +ii emitter; see Immortality and Fan Nickname, below.
    • Overexposure to its radiation is very, very bad, though; if people don't use stasis chambers to block it, it can ruin their minds.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

Narrative

  • Arc Number: 1000, to a very minor extent. Since all statistical numbers are out of one thousand, you'll see it (or at the very least "[number] permille") come up a lot.
  • Beehive Barrier: Ral seems to create large, physical versions of these using raw mechanical materials in the final mission of His Master's Voice. They don't actually use it in combat, though.
  • Body Surf: The Black One can do this every time he dies, but his consciousness can only take over the body of a Lesser. Since their brains aren't as complex as other creatures', this leads to memory problems.
  • Book Ends: Kind of. Thus far, each episode begins and ends with Ros in a stasis pod.
  • Buffy-Speak: Marie refers to the FOCS construct as "big spinny ring thing" at one point when talking to someone who didn't know its actual name.
  • Central Theme: Scope, again, though in an inversion of what it was in the sequel. Tezkhra says at the end of The Reconstruction, "How far back must we stand before we can see everything ahead? And...does that mean we must lose sight of what was closest to begin with?" The Reconstruction analyzed the first part; this game analyzes the second.
    • A secondary theme seems to be nihilism. Despite our best efforts, we can never create something truly eternal; entropy will always catch up with us eventually.
  • Cliff Hanger: To an extent. Every episode has an ending cutscene that foreshadows or mentions some major event that will drive the plot in the next episode.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: You need to fight them twice, though. Jessamine is fought as a Mini Boss towards the beginning of His Master's Voice, and can be fought again as a Bonus Boss later. They join your party after that.
  • Doomed by Canon: Actually inverted in a few cases -- Marie and Rami are mentioned in the Golden Ending of The Reconstruction, so they can't die (by extension, the rest of the main crew is probably safe as well). Mahk is also a prominent character in The Reconstruction, so he's got Plot Armour too.
    • Played very, very straight with Tezkhra, of course, though it is likely he will only die at the very end.
  • Emotions Versus Stoicism: People apparently repressed their emotions in the past, though they're resurfacing now. The characters tend to treat them as both a blessing and a curse, instead of planting themselves firmly on one side. Most characters do lean towards one or the other. The personality bars, especially the mentality one, also represent this.
  • Foreshadowing: It is mentioned by some characters on occasion that if the Shine happened a second time, the world would be completely screwed. This does not bode well.
    • There is also an evacuation hatch in the furthest ring of the Inquiry. That isn't ominous at all.
    • You'll get tons of this if you recover Typelog fragments when investigating, since most of them are lines spoken by characters in the future.
  • For Science!: Once upon a time, an EROS research facility set up an experiment. The best case scenario was the successful reallocation of matter. The worst-case scenario? Unintentional spaghettification of all reality (read: the Shine). They went through with it -- twice, in fact, the second attempt causing their facility to implode.
    • Subverted -- the final data files in the abandoned databanks show they actually had a very good reason for doing it. If successful, the experiment would reverse entropy, thereby halting the decay of the universe.
  • Got Me Doing It:

 Luke: Ros Ouranos... D-ah, I mean, uh, Ros! Gah, they got me doin' it now. Let's... leave soon, yeah?

  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: When the crew finds a strange Lesser that seems to recognize Tezkhra, but who Tezkhra says he's never seen before, it should be easy to confirm who's telling the truth through a simple trip to the Typelog archives. However, Tezkhra apparently deletes files he deems "unnecessary", so, even if he did know the Lesser once, it could be impossible to tell.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Ros, who can remember everything except what happened before s/he was put in stasis.
    • Anyone can have this, actually, and it is a necessary side effect of Immortality; Typelog has devised a system allowing people to replace unused memories with ones they currently need.
  • Madness Mantra:

 Immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent...immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent...immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent... IMMORTALALLKNOWINGOMNIPRESENTIMMORTALALLKNOWINGOMNIPRESENTIMMORTALALLKNOWINGOMNIPRESENT

  • Multiple Endings
  • Order Versus Chaos: Most of the characters (and a lawful Ros) fall squarely on the "order" side. What message the story itself seems to be giving, if any, is unknown at this time.
  • Precision F-Strike: You know things have gotten serious when Tezkhra swears.
  • The Reveal: The high-level offices in the abandoned databanks answer a lot of major plot questions, often taking this form.
    • A few of the crew members' final interaction scenes can take this form as well, usually answering lingering questions about their character arcs. It's even lampshaded in the case of Tezkhra, where the reveal is so obvious that everyone admits they already knew it.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Ros was kept in a suspension tank during the Shine.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The Lessers.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Cybernetic surgery is a common practice.
  • Wham! Episode: The penultimate mission of And Yet It Moves, where the crew discovers the true nature of the Shine (it was manmade).
    • Also, the final offices of the abandoned databanks. Lacertians did not evolve naturally; they were synthesized in a lab, and Lessers were the prototypes. Ivoronus was also the first one created. Plus, the rationale behind the creation of the Shine -- it was an attempt to combat entropy. And to kick it all off, latent energy (a.k.a. magic) is from a quantifiable wellspring point that appears to be a portal to another plane of reality. Big stuff, and some of it appears to be Foreshadowing for an even greater reveal!
  • Wham! Line: In episode 3:

 Willis: [Typelog] must have traced back the sabotage of the Mind/Matter Interface project to our agent on the inside.

    • Episode 4 has a wham word. In Ivoronus' final scene, you get a piece of paper with their name on it. It's "PRIME", the name that #1213 gave to their most beloved creation.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: 0001 planned to combat the decay of the universe by introducing a large amount of energy, expanding outwards, reversing compression. This is known to most people as the Shine, and it's really obvious that such an experiment could have major ramifications. The text fragments collected at the location of the Shine even show that they knew reality would be spaghettified if anything went wrong. In fairness, though, he was rather insane by that point.


Characters

  • Action Girl: Virtually every female character, a female Ros in particular.
  • Alliterative Name: Rami Ransed.
  • Arm Cannon: Tezkhra has one.
  • Badass Bookworm: Due to the fact that every single character you meet has lived a very long time, almost all of the playable characters are very knowledgeable, in addition to being good fighters.
  • Badass Longcoat: Chac's uniform.
  • Blood Knight: Mahk, in stark contrast with his personality in the sequel.
  • Cain and Abel: Ros and Lazarus.
  • Character Development: Mahk is...different...than in his sequel appearance. Presumably, he'll be going through a lot of this.
    • In his final dialogue in His Master's Voice, he reflects on the conflict he's seen and begins to question the purpose of his weaponcraft.
    • By the end of And Yet It Moves, he reveals that the purpose of Sikohlon weaponcraft was deterrence, not destruction, and being forced to kill (or narrowly avoid killing) the rebel colony actually makes him feel horrible.
  • Companion Cube: Deirdre's ship, apparently. Justified for a number of reasons; its stasis chamber kept her from going insane from emitter radiation, she was naturally inclined towards science and technology to begin with, and the other members of Purity Point shunned her, leaving her with little other companionship.
  • Creepy Monotone: It's hard to convey through text, but Mr. Right and Mr. Left seem to speak in a robotic monotone, indicated by the fact that the sentences appear instantly instead of letter by letter.
  • Deadpan Snarker: You can turn Ros into one of these if you so desire, depending on the personality you choose and which choices you pick in Dialogue Trees.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A bit of an odd example, as Marie is hardly an "ice queen", and doesn't even "defrost" all that much. However, she does have a softer side, and can warm up to Ros if you take the time to talk to her.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A lacertian man named Chac seems to have passed it; he was the lone survivor of a ship that was wrecked by the Shine, and is wracked with survivor guilt. In addition, he lost both his wife and his legs. Turns out he hasn't quite passed the brink; though it takes a Herculean effort, his sidequest involves bringing him back from the event horizon.
  • The Ditz:
    • Daszk. Justified, since Lessers are less intelligent than lacertians.
    • Also, Luke.
  • The Dividual: Mr. Right and Mr. Left are classic examples of the Twindividual. Even their names imply they are never seen apart.
  • Five-Man Band: More than five, but most of the characters still fall into the archetypes.
    • The Hero: Ros, ostensibly, though s/he can subvert almost every trait of this trope if you so choose.
    • The Lancer: Marie.
    • The Smart Guy: Rami, Tezkhra, Neff, and Kara. Also Deirdre, to an extent, if you recruit her.
      • Marie has shades of this as well if you explore her Hidden Depths, as it's revealed that she's one of the oldest people in the galaxy -- she was around before the Immortal Procreation Clause came into effect.
    • The Big Guy: Marie, Mahk, and, if you recruit them, Jessamine and Cassidy. Tezkhra is also this at times, being the only one with a built-in weapon, though he prefers to be The Smart Guy.
    • The Chick: Nobody really fits this so far. Daszk might count, though it's a bit of a stretch.
  • Gentle Giant: Tezkhra has quite an imposing frame (plus an Arm Cannon), but is generally rather calm and introverted.
    • Daszk, even moreso. He's huge, due to being half-Lesser, but he is also extremely shy and meek.
  • Half-Lacertian Hybrid: Daszk is half-Lesser.
  • Hidden Depths: A lot of the characters are shown to have this, if you talk to them between missions.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Inverted with Deirdre, who was exposed to emitter radiation before she was an adult -- as such, she looks like a child despite being just as mature as everyone else.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mahk.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Daszk.
  • Last-Name Basis / First-Name Basis: Formal and/or stoic characters will address Ros as "Ouranos", while more informal and/or emotional characters will address Ros by his/her first name. The exception to this is Mahk, who addresses Ros on a Last-Name Basis, despite being a passive-aggressive Deadpan Snarker (though he likely does so sarcastically; it's hard to tell in pure text).
  • Like Is, Like, a Comma: Luke.
  • Mad Scientist: The leader of the project listed in the abandoned databanks, known only as "#0001", definitely seems to be this. He created the Shine, for one, and his later notes have him growing increasingly deranged and desperate.
  • Man in White: The Sikohlon.
    • Played straight with Mr. Right, inverted with Mr. Left.
  • Minored in Asskicking: Tezkhra.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Luke isn't actually The Ditz. He acts dumb and ineffectual so that people will let down their guard and he can rob them blind.
  • Opposites Attract: Cassidy and Cole.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Jessamine.
  • The Quiet One: You're lucky to get a response from Cole that's anything other than "Mmph."
    • And even when you do, expect it to be monosyllabic.
  • Reverse Mole / Heel Face Turn: As of the end of episode 3, the Black One seems to be edging towards this.
  • Science Hero: Most of them, particularly the Cyborgs.
    • Especially Deirdre: she talks about science and progress a lot, and treats her ship like a Companion Cube. Justified, since the people of Purity Point hate technology, and ostracized her so that machines were her only source of companionship. She also realizes that science is quite literally the only thing keeping her alive after she's augmented.
  • The Stoic: Tezkhra and Sorenson, so very much, as well as Dispatcher Amalas. Also Ros, if s/he is very Logical or Conservative.
    • The backstory mentions that for a long time, everyone's emotions were technologically suppressed to prevent conflict. Shock caused by the Shine made most people snap out of it, but it seems like all Typelog employees are still in this state.
    • Not So Stoic: Tezkhra's reaction to finding out that Typelog stole his Stardraw technology: "Damn it all!!" The rest of the crew is rightfully freaked out by this. He also gets rather aggressive whenever Mahk annoys him.
      • However, it's later revealed to be subverted. His reaction was because his technology wasn't designed to store that much energy, and could cause a catastrophic failure, so he wanted to warn Typelog. It seems like that's just what he's telling the crew, though; he still appears to be seething with barely-concealed rage when talking to Typelog.
      • Also, Sorenson sounds like they're on the verge of going berserk in the ending cutscene of And Yet It Moves.
  • Older Than They Look: Everyone, since they all have Biological Immortality, though particularly Marie, who has apparently been living since before the Immortal Procreation Clause came into effect (for reference: everyone else on the Inquiry only vaguely know what a "child" is).
    • Also Deirdre, who was exposed to emitter radiation while she was still a kid. Unfortunately, this makes her look like a kid despite being as mature as everyone else. This is a source of irritation for her.
  • Theme Naming: Except for Father Ivoronus, all of the Sikohlon have four-letter names. One NPC speculates that they're abbreviations for their real names. This is possibly a Shout-Out to NES games, like fih'jik names were in The Reconstruction.
    • And from the named Sikohlon we see in The Reconstruction -- Rehm, Dehl, Moke, and Xopi -- it would appear that Mahk continued the trend when he founded the clan. (It would seem he even continued the "fathers get full names" rule, as the one Sikohlon who breaks the pattern, Skint, is one of the three fathers.)
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Chac can be rather verbose in his optional conversations.


Setting

  • After the End: Despite this, it manages to be pretty upbeat and hopeful. For now, anyway...
  • Apocalypse How: The Shine was a Galactic (possibly Universal) Societal Disruption.
  • Arms Dealer: The Sikohlon (to the extreme surprise of everyone who's played The Reconstruction) are a mix of type 2 (they're the only known arms dealer in the galaxy) and type 3.
  • Black Market: Word of God says that there will be one in Episode 3 that sells high-level components for extremely high prices.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted, if anything; all the playable cyborgs thus far have been some of the most cheerful and optimistic characters. (Except Tezkhra, anyway, who is The Stoic, but otherwise a perfectly nice guy.)
  • Cyborg: Augmented humans. Lacertians can't be augmented, as there's something about their cellular construction and regeneration that's incompatible with the machinery.
    • Tezkhra is an odd exception to this, though. It has not yet been revealed how he was able to be augmented.
  • Drill Tank: Well, Drill Ship. One of the side-missions has you trying to catch 'The Tunneller' who uses a gigantic drill to bore through a planet.
  • Fan Nickname: In-Universe; some affectionately refer to the +ii emitter as the "immortality inducer", because the Roman numeral looks like two i's.
  • Fantastic Racism: Averted for the most part -- lacertians were welcomed by the humans with open arms, and by the point the story starts, have been integrated seamlessly into human culture. Played completely straight with the Lessers, though, who are universally reviled by both humans and lacertians. They do have fairly good reasons, though; Lessers are The Unintelligible and extremely violent.
    • However, the members of Purity Point hate lacertians for unknown reasons, saying that they are "corrupt". When you visit, they force your lacertian crew members to sit in a small room. It's probable that their insanity has given them xenophobia.
  • The Fog of Ages: Addressed. Typelog's purpose is to avoid this by allowing everyone to keep records of every memory they've had, and swap out their current memories for old ones if they need to. So, the negative effects of this trope are avoided for the most part.
    • Unless, like Tezkhra, you delete "unnecessary files"...
  • Gender Is No Object: Except to Luke, gender seems to be a completely meaningless distinction. Possibly justified due to the mass sterilization of the human race; there is literally no functional difference between the two genders anymore.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The lacertians.
    • Justified; they didn't evolve naturally. They were synthesized in a lab by human scientists, so it makes sense that they would copy the basic structure.
  • Immortality: Radiation from a +ii emitter causes Biological Immortality. As pointed out by numerous characters, it's pretty much a necessity for space travel.
    • Living Forever Is Awesome
    • Immortal Procreation Clause: Done voluntarily, since there was no longer any need to reproduce once the +ii emitter was invented.
    • Fog Of Ages: The amount of memories the human brain can store is limited, and you have to regularly clean up your mind by "dropping" minor memories into the Typelog database.
  • Justified Save Point: The Typelog database that functions as a save system is a key element of the setting; it's part of what allows immortal society to function properly.
  • Lizard Folk: Lacertians and Lessers.
  • Mega Corp: Typelog, though they seem to be fairly benevolent...for now, anyway.
  • Science Is Bad: Completely inverted during the main narrative (it is Science Fiction, after all), but the members of Purity Point believe this due to their insanity, saying that it brings corruption. The painful irony here is that they're both right and wrong; overexposure to radiation during the Shine ruined their bodies and minds, but that same radiation is the only thing keeping them alive.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Pretty idealistic so far. Civilization was on the brink of collapse, but is managing to pull itself back together, and it is definitely possible to restore it to its former glory. Judging by how idealistic The Reconstruction looked at first, though, only time will tell if it keeps up the idealistic streak.
    • Things seem to be going downhill fast as of episode 4, however. A war has broken out, with Typelog and EROS as the main aggressors, and minor factions going into a free-for-all mentality. Death and destruction is rampant, and Virgil remarks that it's exactly like what led to the Breach in the first place -- only this time, there's nowhere to run.
  • Society of Immortals: Everyone has type II Immortality due to the mass-production of the +ii emitter.
  • The Unintelligible: All attempts at reasoning or communicating with Lessers ended in failure in the past, and they're still impossible to communicate with. There are a number of counterpoints, however:
    • The Black One not only speaks to the crew, but has an augmented leg, something that should be doubly impossible.[1]]]
    • Turns out that the rational, intelligent Tezkhra is a Lesser.
    • In episode 4, you can find an abandoned EROS laboratory inhabited by Lessers, but they are actually quite calm and nonthreatening. Furthermore, they exhibit intelligent traits -- they can talk, read, and make observational deductions. They are still not at human- or lacertian-level intelligence, however.


Gameplay

  • Achilles Heel: Neff has outstanding Hull and Pilot defenses, but the lowest Systems defense in the game.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In the battle with the Cryocarrier, as an intentional Call Back to the Cryomancer.
  • An Adventurer Is You:
    • Fragile Speedster: Mahk
    • Glass Cannon: Mahk, Rami, Marie
    • Jack of All Stats: Ros (for his/her species, anyway)
      • Also, Tezkhra, in terms of defensive and offensive stats -- he has a surprisingly even spread (probably the reason why he's such a great Stone Wall). In terms of speed stats, though, he's a Mighty Glacier.
    • Lightning Bruiser: Jessamine, Chac, Cassidy, Cole (though the latter two have low AP)
    • Mighty Glacier: Tezkhra, Daszk, Ivoronus
    • Squishy Wizard: Sort of. There are some characters who are extremely specialized in one weapon type, to the exclusion of all the others:
      • Ballistic: Rami
      • Contact: Jessamine
    • Stone Wall: Tezkhra.[2] There are also characters with extremely good defense in one area particularly, though they usually have an Achilles Heel in another:
      • Hull: Neff, Daszk
      • Systems: Deirdre
      • Pilot: Marie
    • Joke Character: Luke
      • Lethal Joke Character: However, if you take the time to improve him via Trust, his fleet leader bonus increases from +1 AT to +1 AT and RT, which basically makes everyone faster and dodgier to boot.
    • Purposefully Overpowered: Ivoronus, the secret character.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have five ships per fleet. There isn't a justification for it this time around.
  • Barrier Change Boss: The Queen, the final bounty hunt. However, she isn't outright immune to anything, so it is entirely possible to just brute force your way through the battle without ever hitting a weakness.
  • Bonus Boss: The bounty hunt missions. They usually have Video Game Set Pieces and require you to use your head both to find them and to defeat them.
  • Boss Banter: Lazarus talks to you every round.
  • Cap: Damage of normal attacks caps at 900, probably to prevent cheap One Hit Kills (damage being counted in permille). Critical Hits deal 50% more damage, so the max damage you can inflict is 1350.
    • Also, accuracy is capped at 950‰, probably so that there is always a chance, however slight, of attacks missing.
  • Character Level: Ranks, though the bonuses they provide are minor for the most part, and are only awarded every 3 levels.
  • Cherry Tapping: There's a merit for doing this to an enemy, as well as a merit for an enemy doing it to you.
  • Climax Boss: All of them, though particularly the Black One in His Master's Voice.
    • And topped off with Lazarus in Forever And Ever, who even has unique battle music.
  • Collection Sidequest: Kind of. Scrap Carboderm, otherwise just low-value Vendor Trash, can be traded to an NPC in Habitation Zero for more useful items. They aren't unique items, though (they're actually pretty common).
  • Crippling Overspecialization: YMMV on the "crippling", but there are a number of characters who are highly specialized in on one offensive/defensive type, to the exclusion of all their other stats, making them kind of Squishy Wizards.
  • Damage Over Time: During certain boss missions, you can place your secondary fleets on certain tiles to gain "fire support" from them, causing a small but reliable amount of damage to the boss per turn.
  • Damage Sponge Boss: Averted. Space Lizard states that he wanted to avoid the usual "high HP = tough enemy" mechanic.
  • Dialogue Tree
  • Diegetic Interface
  • Difficulty Levels: You can adjust the AI of enemies at a console on the Inquiry.
  • Disc One Nuke: If you know the codes, you can obtain any of the powerful Easter Egg weapons mentioned below during the prologue.
    • Forget about the Easter Egg weapons -- if you keep a record of every weapon code you create, you can recreate them as soon as you have the cash on a new playthrough.
    • To a lesser extent, you can get very high-quality weapon components before they start appearing normally if you unlock high-level splices early...which is pretty easy.
  • Dronejam: NPCs like to move a lot, and some places are not designed for handling this, so you might have to spend some time waiting for that NPC to move out of the way.
  • Dual Boss: Subverted by the twins. From their name alone, you'd imagine they'd be this...but in actuality, they're on opposite ends of the map, and you need to split into two fleets to capture them.
  • Duel Boss: The Black One looks like it's going to be this, but then the rest of your crew shows up and it turns into a normal battle.
    • Played straight with Lazarus, however.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Word of God claims that there is a secret, super-hard difficulty mode involving the AI console. It is unlocked by entering the menu for setting the difficulty to "normal", then scrolling down to select an invisible option.
    • There are a few special weapons named after beta testers. They can be found by inputting a certain weapon code:
      • Fool's Errata (Auroral, Luminous, Pilot damage, Acc+ III): ITHINKIMESSEDUPAGAIN
      • Ace in the Hole (Ballistic, Pulse, Systems damage, Acc+ III): NOTHINGUPMYSLEEVE
  • Easier Than Easy / Harder Than Hard: Casual and Expert modes, respectively. Additionally, Word of God mentions a hidden "Masochist" difficulty.
  • Easy Mode Mockery / Hard Mode Perks: Very minor. Adjusting the AI rating will change the amount of credits you get from battles. Seeing as most of your income comes from Vendor Trash and that money is nigh-worthless anyway, it's not a big deal.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them, thus far (except for the Collector and the Tunneler, anyway).
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Due to Ros' protein; the battle screen is what s/he actually sees on his/her monitor, including the turn-based nature of combat. The layout on the mission map is also generated by his/her computer.
      • Later in the game, the implications of this are thoroughly explored; Thomas shows off Ros' true potential by having him/her command an entire army, which they pull off easily. It also makes Lazarus drunk with power, claiming that time itself has no hold over them, and they are free to do whatever they wish with no one to stop them.
    • Each race specializes in a certain weapon, with a few exceptions. It is explained why in the flavour text during character creation.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The flashy explosions that occur when ships are defeated aren't meant to represent what actually happens, but a ship shutting down and disengaging looks far less impressive.
  • Universal Currency: Half-credits. Justified, since credits were probably made universal long before the game started.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Though "Ros" is the main character's default name, you can change it to whatever you want. Also subverted; his/her last name, "Ouranos", is always a constant and cannot be changed.
  • Item Crafting: It's the main form of progression, since rank bonuses are minor and infrequent.
  • Item Farming: Since you can't buy high-level components, this is your main source of them.
  • Laser Blade: Most likely how Ivoronus' "White Cleave" weapon works.
  • Last Lousy Point: The fourth merit, "By A Thread", requires you to dodge an attack while having health in the double digits. Getting it requires extremely good luck -- getting into double-digit health without dying relies an awful lot on random damage variance in the first place, and accuracy is almost completely up to the whims of luck as well. (Plus, if the enemy decides to attack someone else instead, the pilot hanging by a thread will just regenerate, which could waste all your hard work.) Since there's no hint on how to obtain a merit until you actually get it, this may also count as a Guide Dang It.
    • "I'm Insured" is no easy task either. It requires you to finish a battle with all three health values at critical (<250) levels. Most likely, you'll have to fight very weak enemies to avoid being defeated while being that vulnerable, and wear down your health with high-level weapons.
  • Lost Forever: Anything you don't pick up in missions. Fortunately, they're only minor items. The most you'll miss is a high-level weapon component that you can get from random missions anyway.
    • A bigger thing to watch out for are the optional conversations: though most of them can be seen as long as you complete a mission, even a random one, sometimes they'll jump ahead to a story-related one, skipping over any you missed in the process.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Many of the sidequests that require items, since treasures are random. However, you come across so many that you usually get what you need before long.
    • The components sold at the black market are also completely random. You'll just have to hope that one of the components being sold is the one you need, otherwise you'll have to do another mission to refresh them.
  • Money for Nothing: Your money will pile up fast. Weapons don't cost much to make (though making them from blueprints is rather expensive). The components sold at the Machinatorium become obsolete midway through episode 1, so you'll rarely be buying those. Bounty hunts pay for themselves. At the end of the day, the only real money sink is unlocking new splices, and even those can usually be made up with little effort.
    • However, the black market in episode 3 can help to thin your purse, since the components are fairly expensive, and you'll want to head there after every mission.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Exactly the same as in The Reconstruction. They're even analogues for the meters used in that game: Hull instead of Body, Systems instead of Mind, and Pilot instead of Soul.
  • Non-Lethal KO: Justified and somewhat deconstructed. The big explosions you see are just stylistic choice; what actually happens when one of a ship's parts reaches critical levels is that it shuts down and disengages from combat. This mainly shows just how sheltered from death the whole world is.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Sort of. If any of your crewmates are defeated while under the effects of a jamming pulse, it's an instant game over. Justified, since the story can't continue when they're dead.
  • Optional Party Member: Thus far, there have been two per episode; Luke and Chac in Castles of Sand, Jessamine and Deirdre in His Master's Voice, and Cassidy and Cole in And Yet It Moves. Forever And Ever only has one, though: Ivoronus.
    • Usually, one is pretty easy to find, but the other requires more effort, such as completing a sidequest.
  • Player Character: Ros, natch.
  • Point of No Return: While we can't know for certain yet, the end of episode 4 seems to be this, what with Thomas saying "you will never walk these halls again" in dark red text.
  • Post End Game Content: Will have at least a bonus splice and bonus bounty hunts.
  • Puzzle Boss: Most of the bounty hunt bosses, as mentioned above.
  • Randomly Drops: Not only for enemies, but treasures gained from capsules and investigations are random as well.
  • Relationship Values: Personal trust. It's gained by taking dialogue options during cutscenes or conversations that the character likes or agrees with. And no, this game isn't a Dating Sim.
  • Rush Boss: All of them, except for perhaps the Diamond and Lazarus. The combat system in general tends to favor quick, dangerous skirmishes over long, drawn-out battles.
  • Take Your Time: Lampshaded.

  Rami: Y'all notice how the boss is always late to these things?

  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Quite literally; there's a merit for inflicting over 1000 damage in a single attack.
  • Timed Mission: A variant; the limit is in turns rather than real-time. Like in The Reconstruction, they're only for additional bonuses at the end.
  • Twenty Bear Asses: Occurs with scrap carboderm. Fortunately it's just a sidequest with minor rewards, and it's more for giving the carboderm you accumulate over time a purpose beyond Vendor Trash than for making you go Item Farming.
  • Vendor Trash: Some of it can be used in sidequests, though.
  • Video Game Caring Potential / Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can treat your crew very nicely, talking to them whenever they're troubled and giving them advice. Or you could mock them relentlessly and rob them blind.
    • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: However, personal trust is a really important stat, since it improves the pilot's damage and accuracy and it's a limited resource. Letting it go down too far will negatively impact your crew's performance. Furthermore, at certain trust levels, your crew members will give you gifts that you can use for money or weapon crafting.
  • Videogame Set Piece: The Final Boss of His Master's Voice is immune to Pilot damage. Justified, as her sensory input is cut off, and since that's usually what Pilot weapons overload, they won't work on her.
    • In addition, some rare weapons (usually wielded by bosses) have elemental properties that are not normally compatible with their shell. Thus far, they are:
      • Pressure Beam, a kinetic Auroral weapon[3]
      • Irradiation Field and Freezing Agent, chemical Auroral weapons[4]
      • Pulse Drill, a pulse Contact weapon[5]
      • Red Lotus Cannon, a thermal Ballistic weapon[6]
      • Targeted Torrent, an electrical Ballistic weapon[7]
      • White Cleave, a luminous Contact weapon[8]
    • Jamming pulses, a mechanic introduced in Forever and Ever. They shut down crafts' safety mechanisms, so pilots don't regenerate health, and if they're shot down, they're dead. Craft get extra health to reflect this, but they're still very dangerous and just serve to underline how nasty things have gotten by that point.
      • The Final Boss of Forever and Ever is also fought under the effects of one.
  • Wave Motion Gun: High-level Auroral weapons can feel a bit like this sometimes, though by far the best example is the prismatic Stardraw array in episode 4, which can take out entire armies.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: If the leader of a fleet is defeated, the battle is lost instantly. Somewhat justified in that they're the ones giving the orders, but still...
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Cosmetic: Merits will grant slight bonuses to the Personal and Battle Trust of all allies, including ones not recruited yet.
  • Wrap Around: Since the Inquiry is a set of centrifugal rings, all of its corridors do this.


Meta

  • Artistic License Biology: Emitter radiation is stated to work by stopping the division of cells. While it's true that this would prevent telomere erosion and therefore stop aging, it doesn't say anything about making the cells immortal. Thus, shouldn't this just mean that everyone dies within the span of a few months as all their cells die with no new replacements?
  • Battle Theme Music: Engagement for normal battles, Engorging for Boss Battles.
  • Boss Remix: Inverted; Hunting, the BGM for bounty hunt missions, quotes the boss battle music in certain parts.
  • Call Back: The Cryocarrier bears an intentional similarity with a similar Bonus Boss from The Reconstruction.
  • Continuity Nod: Skywatch birds were an enemy in The Reconstruction, and here, a type of MODs is named "Skywatch".
    • This may be looking a bit too much into things, but lacertians being unable to have augmentations is oddly similar to shra being unable to use magic in The Reconstruction.
  • The Developer Thinks of Everything: Due to the way the weapon creation code works, there is a hard limit on the number of weapons that can be created in a single game. The limit is absurdly high, so the player probably won't even get close to it in normal gameplay, but if they do, Mahk changes his dialogue when weapon creation is attempted.
  • Epic Fail: There's a merit for achieving this:

 CHECK YO' SELF: Take more than 1,000 damage from an attack.

 "There is little else to hunt at this time. In this...episode."

"A bigger game is afoot for you. Bigger and more important games, yes. Yes. But perhaps after this game is complete, we shall have even more distractions for you."

 Ivoronus: Interesting defense array for this facility. Almost as if you forgot space is a three-dimensional affair.


  "Immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent...immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent...immortal, all-knowing, omnipresent..."

Notes

  1. Lacertians can't be augmented in the first place, but they shouldn't have the technology to perform an augmentation, and even if they did, they don't have the intelligence or knowledge necessary. Or so it would seem.
  2. which is fitting, given it's the same role he had in The Reconstruction.
  3. Used by the MOD Master
  4. Used by the Alpha Twin and the Cryocarrier, respectively
  5. Used by the Tunneler, though it is given as a reward after he's beaten
  6. Deirdre's primary weapon
  7. Alicia's primary weapon
  8. The fifteenth character's primary weapon
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