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A quadrilogy of shooter games developed by Arcade Town. Some of the few original games to come out of the site, and most likely the best. The games are, in order-
- Antaris Realspace
- Apocalypse Outpost (Chronologically the first in the series, taking place before Antaris)
- Realspace 2: Emperor's Revenge
- Realspace 3: Apocalypse Returns (Shareware)
They chronicle the war between the United Fleet and the Katuri Empire in the year 2357. After taking to the stars, humanity believed it was their right to rule the galaxy, and crushed any alien forces that would not succumb to their rule. With the human army, the United Fleet, powering their drive for war, no one could hope to stand up to them. After rampaging through half the galaxy, they came across the Katuri Empire, another race that refused to obey the human army. Humanity then wasted no time in invading the outer worlds of the Katuri Empire, believing them to be another easy target.
However, humanity underestimated the Katuri. The Katuri responded by obliterating the United Fleet's offensive force, and destroying all the human space stations in their path (Referred to as "outposts"). Only one outpost survived: Apocalypse.
With the United Fleet hanging on by a thread, a resupply mission was needed to fortify the forces on the front lines. But due to the Katuri Juggernaut Carrier blocking the route to the 5th fleet (The main offensive force of the United Fleet), no one could reach it. After many failed attempts, one final group, led by a gunner named Antaris, managed to smash the Katuri blockade and reach the 5th fleet. With the newly reinforced United Fleet combined with the power of Apocalypse, Humanity managed to turn a desperate situation into victory.
The United Fleet managed to regroup and struck back against the Katuri Empire, barreling through the heart of the empire. With the blood of their comrades now spilled, they fought against the Katuri with renewed rage. No world was safe. They eventually reached Sirius Prime, the Katuri homeworld, and mounted one final assault against the Katuri. The Katuri attempted to fight back with the remnants of their army, but failed, and the United Fleet began to devastate Sirius Prime. In a final act of desperation, a group of Katuri suicide bombers struck the United Fleet assault force, forcing them into retreat. With the Katuri now hanging on by a thread, one Katuri commander, Vengeance, led a massive assault against the United Fleet, single-handedly regrouping the Katuri army and leading a massive attack against the human homeworld- Earth. At the end of the second game, the Katuri manage to destroy Earth and annihilate the United Fleet.
With humanity all but destroyed, Antaris alone regrouped the United Fleet and began to lead them back to Apocalypse, the only place the Katuri could never conquer. As the United Fleet slowly regained some of its former power, they began to strike back against the Katuri army in the final phase of the war. During this long series of battles, Vengeance, leading the Katuri army, seeks to destroy Antaris and cripple the United Fleet's resolve, whereas Antaris and the fleet must survive at their last base and defeat the Katuri. Throughout the third game, the United Fleet slowly beats the Katuri back and eventually ensures victory over them. In the final battle of the war, Antaris duels against Vengeance in the middle of a nebula in deep space, destroying him and ending the Katuri forever.
The first three games were spread around the internet in the early 2000s, but faded into obscurity until 2007 with the release of the Shareware Realspace 3. The series briefly enjoyed a surge in popularity, before quietly fading into obscurity, where it looks like they'll stay. The series has a small but loyal fanbase and speedrun community, as well as a few Lets Plays.
Tropes in this series include:
- Aliens Are Bastards: Humanity certainly seems to think so.
- Aliens Speaking English: Averted, Vengeance is the only Katuri who can speak English.
- All Up to You: It's up to Antaris to save humanity. Likewise, in the second game, It's up to Vengeance to save the Katuri.
- Anti-Villain: By the end of Realspace 3, Vengeance could care less about the Human-Katuri war, he just wants to destroy Antaris.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range
- Apocalypse How: Humanity caused at least a class 1 on Sirius Prime, and the Katuri cause a class X.
- Arch Enemy: Antaris and Vengeance.
- Art Evolution: Justified with the length of time between the release of the second and third games, but still- compare this and this to this.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: In the second game, Vengeance is just a normal fighter pilot, with only a basic ship and weaponry. In the third game, after he's become more or less the leader of the entire Katuri army, his ship gets an upgrade and his weapon loadout becomes brutal. Also an example of Asskicking Equals Authority.
- Badass Boast/ Boss Banter: Most of Vengeance's lines in the third game.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Katuri are gone for good, but humanity paid a steep price for victory: their homeworld, as well as at least 80% of their population.
- Blood Knight: Vengeance.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Vengeance flees in absolute terror when Antaris and Apocalypse destroy the Katuri Flagship.
- Climax Boss: Vengeance.
- The Katuri Flagship at the end of the last game. You fight it with UFS Chimera and Apocalypse , and it can still easily destroy both.
- Cool Starship: Everyone, especially Vengeance.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The third game has a wicked soundtrack.
- Deflector Shields: Everyone's got 'em.
- Demoted to Extra: The final boss of Antaris Realspace was a Katuri Juggernaut Carrier, otherwise known as the most powerful Katuri ship. The only other game they appeared in was Realspace 2, and rarely at that.
- Development Hell: The third game was originally intended to be released much earlier, but Arcade Town remade their entire site before the third game's release, pushing back its release by at least a year. Additionally, the programmers rewrote the entire game from scratch afterwards, causing additional delays. This is likely the reason the game was released as shareware.
- Dramatic Thunder: A type 2 in the final duel between Antaris and Vengeance.
- Earthshattering Kaboom: At the end of the second game, sets the stage for the third.
- Enemy Mine/ The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Vengeance views Antaris as this.
- Explosions in Space
- Made of Explodium: Bigger ships do not go down quietly.
- Friendly Fireproof
- Glass Cannon: Antaris. His firepower is brutal, but his shields aren't much stronger than an advanced fighter's.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: In the second game, as the Katuri attack Earth, an enormous black space station sits right by the planet, with no explanation as to what it is or why/ how it got there. It's never even mentioned again after Earth is destroyed.
- It doesn't even appear in the third game's opening cutscene, which reviews the second game's ending, right where it was!
- Gray and Gray Morality: The war was started when humanity invaded the Katuri worlds in an effort to expand their empire through conquest. The Katuri want to destroy every last human in response.
- This can almost be viewed as Black and Black Morality.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Katuri suicide bombers who saved Sirius Prime.
- Humans Are Bastards: If humanity hadn't charged into the Katuri worlds thinking they could own them as they please, the war wouldn't have started to begin with.
- ISO Standard Human Spaceship: For the United Fleet.
- Late to the Party: Antaris shows up just minutes after Earth is destroyed.
- Lightning Bruiser: Vengeance is FAST, and has the firepower to back it up.
- Macross Missile Massacre: One of Antaris' secondary weapons is this.
- Meaningful Name: Vengeance.
- Mighty Glacier: The Heavy Torpedo secondary weapon in the third game. It's the slowest projectile in the game, but has a bigger punch than the beam lasers.
- Any ship bigger than a heavy bomber also qualifies as this.
- My God, What have we done!?: As the Katuri charge through the human empire and head towards Earth, this is more or less humanity's reaction, since they only have themselves to blame for incurring the Katuri's wrath.
- Not So Different: Both Antaris and Vengeance were normal fighter pilots who ended up saving their respective races. Antaris does it twice, though.
- Both are also seen as the strongest attribute in their armies. Both pilot smaller-than-average, yet unique ships. And both are dedicated to destroying the opposite race.
- One-Hit Kill: Do NOT get caught in Vengeance's beam lasers.
- Planet Terra: The Katuri call the humans Terrans in the second game, though they never refer to Earth as Terra.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Katuri are implied to be this.
- Pyrrhic Victory: For humanity.
- Recycled Script: The plot to the third game is essentially the same as the second, only with the sides flipped.
- Recurring Boss: Vengeance, again.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Both sides have at least one.
- Sapient Ship: Though never directly shown, Katuri flagships have an enormous brain in them, with several wires and tubes attached. It's unknown if those brains are actually the flagships' minds or if they're simply for show.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the end of Realspace 3, Antaris quits the United Fleet after finding himself lost in a nebula.
- Space Is an Ocean
- Space Is Noisy
- Space Station: Apocalypse and other outposts. Both sides have them.
- Standardized Leader: The only real things we know about Antaris are his name and that he's a spectacular pilot. Hell, Antaris could be a girl for all we know.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Oh so very much.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Each game added more ships, levels, and features than the last, as well as improving the graphics with each game.
- That One Attack: Vengeance's beam lasers.
- The Battlestar: Katuri Juggernaut Carriers.
- The Empire: Each side sees the other as this.
- The Katuri are called the Katuri Empire, though.
- The Federation: The United Fleet seems to see itself as this, but they're most definetly not.
- The Ghost: The Katuri Emperor.
- Took a Level In Badass: Vengeance went from a normal fighter pilot to the savior of the Katuri race in one game.
- War Is Hell
- Wave Motion Gun: Beam Lasers in the third game.
- We Will Meet Again: The result every time Vengeance fights Antaris except the last one.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Humanity has NO problems exterminating a race it happens to encounter on its quest for expansion.