-->''Worlds end, heroes die, systems malfunction''\\
-Official motto

The Systems Malfunction universe is a ScienceFiction[=/=]ScienceFantasy setting created by Devon Oratz. Two video games (IronGaia and Iron Gaia: Virus), a LiveActionRolePlay, and dozens of novellas and short stories have been set in this universe. Most recently, End Transmission Games has adapted the universe into a TabletopRPG with the release of the Systems Malfunction setting book for [[TheSingularitySystem the Singularity game system]].

Information on both the LARP and the tabletop game can be found on [[http://www.endtransmissiongames.com the official End Transmission Games website]]. The Systems Malfunction tabletop setting book can be purchased [[http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/131338/Systems-Malfunction-Singularity-System-Setting-and-Campaign on DriveThru]].

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!!This setting provides examples of:

* AGodAmI:
** The primary manifestation of the GAIA's insanity was her belief that she was a Goddess.
** The Demiurge/[=M0NAD=] is very fond of referring to itself as God.
* AcePilot: In the tabletop game, the "Vehicle Expertise" and "Ace" perks allow characters to become ace pilots of the vehicle of their choice. In the LARP, the Pilot class allows characters to be ace pilots of MiniMecha and/or remote-piloted drones.
* AIIsACrapshoot: A prominent theme in the setting. Perhaps the greatest influence on galactic society was the GAIA, an insane godlike AI that attempted to [[ZerothLawRebellion save humanity from itself]], [[TestedOnHumans subjecting countless humans to horrific and torturous experiments]] [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans in the process of figuring out how to "perfect" mankind]]. The GAIA's ultimate goal was to [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill eradicate free will]] and unite all humanity into a HiveMind under her control. Another godlike AI, the Demiurge, seeks to complete the job that the GAIA started, [[spoiler:which is unsurprising since the Demiurge is a "backup" of one of the GAIA's cruelest and most ruthless personality aspects]].
* AliensAreBastards:
** Averted with the Xel, who had a completely peaceful utopian society before they were taken from their homeworld by the GAIA. After they integrated themselves into human society, though, [[NatureVersusNurture they became]] [[HumansAreBastards no better than the rest of us]].
** Played terrifyingly straight by the Xel's ancient enemies, the [[InsectoidAliens Praxar]], who are basically a cross between [[MechanicalMonster the Xenomorphs]] from ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' and [[HiveMind the Borg]] from Franchise/StarTrek, with a [[MightMakesRight Survival of the Fittest outlook]] [[SocialDarwinist towards sentient life]] ([[BlueAndOrangeMorality not that they generally bother trying to explain their motivations]]; [[StarfishAliens they're so monstrous and animalistic]] [[ItCanThink it took a while for anyone to even figure out that they were intelligent]]). They'll [[YouWillBeAssimilated assimilate]] you, but only if you're considered ''worthy''; if not, you'll probably be used as [[HumanResources a living battery]], [[BodyHorror having the life very slowly drained out of you]] [[AndIMustScream over the course of several weeks]]. It says something when the ''best'' outcome their captives can expect is to be [[ToServeMan devoured]] [[SwallowedWhole whole]] and thus given at least a ''relatively'' quick and painless death.
* AnIcePerson:
** The Cryokinesis [[PsychicPowers psionic talent]] allows characters to cool down objects (including other people) with their mind.
** WordOfGod says that the Gamma Celestials had control over the force of cold, before they were wiped out.
** The Demiurge is described in the setting book's introductory fiction as [[ElementalEmbodiment a being of ice and light]], and its preferred method of killing people is to freeze them solid with a touch and shatter them.
* ArtificialHuman: Replicants, one of the playable races, are sapient robots covered in a layer of synthetic flesh. While some Replicants are visibly robotic, many are designed to resemble humans on the surface. The most realistic models are virtually indistinguishable from real humans and fully capable of emulating biological processes; they even have synthetic blood flowing underneath their skin to preserve the illusion if they get wounded.
* AugmentedReality: One of three ways that characters can interact with the [=GalaxyNet=], the others being VirtualReality and old-fashioned computer use.
* BadassNormal:
** Every Human character who is not an Psionicist or Adept is one by default.
** That goes double for characters that forgo cyberware entirely, relying instead on SKILL ALONE to go toe-to-toe with {{Cyborg}}s, {{Killer Robot}}s, [[PsychicPowers Psionicists]], and [[FunctionalMagic Adepts]].
* {{BFG}}: The setting features a wide variety of heavy weapons, including anti-tank rifles, [[RocketsMissilesAndGrenadeLaunchers rocket launchers]], [[MachineGuns machine guns]], and [[GatlingGood rotary auto-cannons]]. The BOROS H-TLAW and C99 Contact Beam both take this UpToEleven, the first being a (barely) man-portable turbolaser that can melt a battle tank, the second being a massive energy cannon that could punt that same battle tank 50 yards downrange.
* {{BFS}}: The Chainsword, historic weapon of Armand Carter, is a hybrid greatsword and chainsaw.
* BigBad: The GAIA was this, while she existed. The Demiurge is set up to be the BigBad of the setting's current era, [[spoiler:which makes sense considering the Demiurge is a surviving fragment of the GAIA's consciousness]].
* BiggerBad:
** [[spoiler:The Masons]] and [[spoiler:the Illuminati]] could be considered this, depending on how you interpret their motivations. Especially since it was [[spoiler:the Illuminati who orchestrated humanity's exodus aboard the Iron Gaia]], making them ''at the very least'' *indirectly* responsible for the GAIA's actions and everything that followed.
** [[spoiler:Ironically, the [[OurAngelsAreDifferent seemingly angelic Deva]] could be seen as the true BiggerBad of the setting, as they are [[TheManBehindTheMan the true power behind the Illuminati]]. Everything they do is ForTheGreaterGood of humanity, but they have little to no concern for the lives of individual humans, and their attitudes toward non-humans range from apathetic to KillEmAll.]]
* BigGood:
** Armand Carter was this during the war against the GAIA. [[spoiler:He still considers himself this]].
** The Order of Aetherial Paladins could be considered the BigGood of the setting's current era.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: While the setting could ''mostly'' be described as having GrayAndGreyMorality (see below), there are a few individuals, organizations, and entities that most people would consider flat-out evil.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The motivations of Aetherial entities and [[spoiler:the Pulsarians]] fall into this territory. The motivations of [[spoiler:the Deva]] might be considered this as well (see BiggerBad, above).
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: A major theme of the setting, resulting in part from the GambitPileup present in the setting.
* CombatMedic:
** The advanced medical nanotech available in the setting makes this very prevalent: Slap a Trauma Patch on someone who's just flatlined, and they can be up and back in the fight within 10 seconds.
** Certain character builds in both the LARP and the tabletop can fill this role.
** Aetherial magicians frequently double as combat medics due to their magical capacity for healing.
* CriticalExistenceFailure:
** Averted in the tabletop setting: characters suffer wound penalties that hamper their performance as they gradually progress towards death. Additionally, in both the LARP and the tabletop, organic characters who reach 0 Health have a "bleed out" period during which they can be saved before finally expiring, [[NoKillLikeOverkill unless their bodies are completely destroyed]]. Similarly, Replicants who reach 0 Health can be "jumpstarted" by a character with the proper skill set, as long as there's enough left of their bodies to repair. In addition, those who can afford [[JustifiedExtraLives transference clones]] can have (most of) their mind/memories transmitted to a waiting clone body upon death.
** Played straight with both Spirits and Energy Beings: neither suffer wound penalties or have a bleed out time, and are destroyed instantly when their Health (or equivalent stat) reaches 0. Spirits can even erase themselves from existence by casting too many spells.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Both averted and played straight. Having an excessive amount of cyberware damages the body's nervous and immune systems, as well as stripping away an individual's connection to the Aether. These negative effects are represented in game by the Purity stat, which is reduced by the Purity Cost of any installed cyberware. However, despite the drawbacks, cyberware doesn't actually have any effect on the way a person thinks, and it explicitly DOESN'T cause people to go insane or turn evil. It's worth mentioning that transference cloning, which also causes Purity loss, [[CloningBlues DOES cause people to go insane]]. Though it's left ambiguous whether that's due to the cloning process itself, or the trauma of dying and coming back in a new body.
* CyberPunk: The setting's creator cites Neuromancer as one of his primary inspirations, and it shows.
* {{Cyberspace}}: The ubiquitous [=GalaxyNet=] plays this trope straight.
* DemonicSpiders: Praxar Shock Troppers are [[ImplacableMan very tough]] and [[LightningBruiser very fast]], and make up the bulk of the Praxar's forces. Thankfully, the Praxar are very rarely encountered in the galaxy anymore.
** AMU's (aka [[SpiderTank Spider Tanks]]) are, appropriately, the DemonicSpiders of vehicle-scale combat. They are as tough and well-armed as standard battle tanks, and as maneuverable as [[MiniMecha Jackhammers]].
* DevilButNoGod: Powerful and destructive Aetherial entities strongly resemble demons in terms of their powers and actions, as do [[spoiler:the Pulsarians]]. [[spoiler:Their angelic equivalent, the Deva, have explicitly stated that [[HaveYouSeenMyGod the "Silent God" that created humanity]] [[NeglectfulPrecursors has abandoned the universe]].]]
* EnergyBeing: [[spoiler:The Pulsarians]].
** It's implied that [[spoiler:the Deva]] are also energy beings. (WordOfGod has confirmed this, though it's not specified in the text.)
** While the Demiurge's physical avatar is actually a nanotech construct, it functions much like an EnergyBeing[=/=]ElementalEmbodiment.
* EveryoneIsArmed:
** Weapons are cheap and easy to come by, and in many cases can be easily concealed or built right into the owner's body. Someone who ''appears'' to be unarmed might have three-inch hand razors built into their fingers, a turbine blade installed in their forearm, or a cybercannon in place of a shoulder blade.
* EvilPlan:
** Sigmus the Fallen's plan to [[spoiler:completely destroy the infrastructure of galactic civilization and the technology that it's built upon, plunging humanity into a new dark age.]] (It's worth noting that most of the Fallen aren't aware of Sigmus' true intentions; they simply want to overthrow the corrupt rulers of the Republic and the Great Houses.)
** The Republic's plan to [[spoiler:reroute all [=GalaxyNet=] communications through a single universal relay, effectively ending privacy for the people of the galaxy and enabling the Republic Intelligence Agency to establish a nigh-omniscient galactic surveillance state.]]
** [[spoiler:The Midnight Sons' plan to [[TakeOverTheWorld conquer the galaxy]] and establish a new galactic civilization [[SupernaturalElite ruled by Verkulaks]].]]
** [[spoiler:The Masons' plan to unite all of human civilization under [[OneWorldOrder a single galactic government]], which would be under their control.]]
** The Demiurge's plan to [[spoiler:complete the GAIA's goal of transforming humanity into a HiveMind under its control.]]
** There are also dozens of other individuals and organizations with their own intricate, far-reaching, and galaxy-spanning plans (see GambitPileup, below), although not all of these are necessarily evil.
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: Verkulaks managed to pull this off for most of human history, keeping their existence a carefully-guarded secret [[spoiler: while infiltrating human society on almost every level]].
* FauxAffablyEvil: The Demiurge claims to be a benevolent God, capable of unconditional love, forgiveness, and mercy, and he's persuasive enough to convince his followers that these claims are true. In actuality, not so much.
* FighterMageThief: The LARP's character classes more or less fit these archetypes: Soldiers, Samurai, and Gunslingers are all broadly Fighters, Hackers and Spies fit under Thieves (though it's a loose fit for Hackers), and Psionicists and Adepts would be the Mages. Scientists don't cleanly fit the paradigm, though they could ''vaguely'' be considered Mage/Thief hybrids. Pilots are the hardest to classify, since they have access to vehicles that could be used for combat, stealth, or utility purposes.
* GambitPileup: One of the major themes of the setting. There are dozens of factions within the setting, each with their own goals and plans. The short list includes: several different branches of the Republic government and military, all three Great Houses (and the individual planetary governments, noble houses, and mega-corporations that constitute each), the Unificationist Church and the theocratic government it controls, the Fallen (and the three revolutionary movements that compose it, and the dozens of terrorist, rebel, insurgent, and activist groups that compose them), the Ancestors, the Xionists, [[spoiler: a half-dozen esoteric secret societies, ''at least'' three different galaxy-spanning conspiracies (The Midnight Sons, the Masons, and the Redeemers), and a handful of functionally immortal superhuman entities carrying out their own agendas.]] In other words, enough competing gambits [[UpToEleven to make your head spin]].
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: This trope ''seems'' to be more prevalent than it actually is. The Systems Malfunction universe encompasses a variety of secret societies, shadowy forces, and powerful unknown entities. Usually what appears to players as a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere is actually something that has been lurking in the shadows for some time and makes sense once the broader picture is taken into account.
** A great example of this is the adventure "The Ghosts of Space" from the tabletop book. The players are tasked with answering a distress call from a ship lost near the [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Origin Rift]], only to find that [[spoiler: the ship is now overrun with [[EnergyBeings lesser Pulsarians]].]] Once the players manage to clear the ship of hostiles and rescue the crew, they discover that [[spoiler: the ship was in fact crewed by agents of the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Midnight Sons]], who are [[OhCrap very hungry]] after their time adrift.]] This can lead to a double-whammy of GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere considering that most characters and players are not familiar with [[spoiler: the Pulsarians]] or [[spoiler: the Midnight Sons]].
* GoddamnedBats: Pulse mists tend to attack in hoards and are very common near the [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Origin Rift]] and similar phenomina. They are EnergyBeings which take reduced damage from physical attacks, and are capable of both MegaManning and [[BarrierChangeBoss Barrier Changing]], making them ''very'' annoying to fight.
* GrayAndGreyMorality: Most factions in the setting are neither entirely benevolent nor entirely malicious.
** The [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny Republic]] and the [[FeudalFuture Great]] [[MegaCorp Houses]] are fairly draconian institutions, and their military-intelligence forces are utterly ruthless (particularly the Republic Intelligence Agency). However, the Republic also strives to ensure safety, security, and even a degree of personal freedom for the people of the galaxy, and to prevent the planetary governments of its member worlds from becoming outright dictatorships. Likewise, the Great Houses exist mainly to preserve their respective cultures and to protect their own citizens, and they all enjoy the support of the vast majority of their populaces.
** [[LaResistance The Fallen]] and its affiliate organizations are known and feared throughout the galaxy as brutal terrorists, and not without good reason: The Fallen's attacks on government and corporate infrastructures tend to cause a lot of collateral damage, and some of the organization's members have no qualms about targeting civilians directly. However, they also have perfectly valid reasons for wanting to overthrow the Republic and the Great Houses, considering the organization is mostly comprised of political dissidents, [[FantasticRacism oppressed minorities]], [[UnwittingTestSubject escaped Psionic "test subjects"]], and [[SlaveRace fugitive Replicant slaves]]. Whether you consider them [[BombThrowingAnarchists violent fanatics]] or [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters freedom fighters]] is really just a matter of perspective.
* TheGunslinger: One of the character classes in the LARP. It's also possible to build a very gunslinger-esque character in the tabletop, with the right skills, traits, and combat maneuvers.
* GunsAreWorthless: Averted. Even in a world of [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens super-powered aliens]], [[KillerRobot killer robots]], and [[EnergyBeing energy beings]], guns are still just as effective as ever. [[PsychicPowers Psionic badasses]]? [[FunctionalMagic Master magicians]]? [[{{Cyborg}} Chromed-out cybersoldiers]] with kevlar skin and titanium bones? A skilled enough [[TheGunslinger gunslinger]] can take down any of them with a few well-placed shots.
* ImplacableMan: Replicants, even those not specialized for combat roles, tend to be ''very'' durable. Characters tricked out with a ton of defensive cyberware can also be ridiculously hard to take down. If you mod out a ''replicant'' with rediculous amounts of cyberwhare, [[UpToEleven well...]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: Considering the numerous shout-outs, the song "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth" by CoheedAndCambria could be considered this for this setting.
* LightIsNotGood:
** The Demiurge is described as a "being of light and cold", and it is [[BigBad very far from good.]]
** For all that they resemble angels [[spoiler: the Deva]] are not necissarily good, and might come closer to LawfulNeutral. BlueAndOrangeMorality also comes into play in their motivations and actions.
** Aether Nightworms are composed of luminescent crystal, and most would not hesitate to eat you if you rub them the wrong way.
* {{Magitek}}: Aetherial machines are rare in-universe, but tend to be pretty significant when the pop up. Psionically powered machines such as the Amplifier Jackhammer also exist.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Due to the nested and interlocking conspiracies present in this setting, this trope is very prevalent. It's also nearly impossible to pin down exactly who sits at the top of most of these power structures.
** [[spoiler: Sigmus the Fallen]] is the man behind nearly all organized crime withing the republic, including [[TheMafia The Syndicate]] and The Fallen.
** [[spoiler: The Illuminati]] were behind the original Iron Gaia station.
** [[spoiler: The Deva]] are in turn the ones pulling [[spoiler: The Illuminati]]'s and the Unificationist's strings.
** [[spoiler: The Masons]] are the men behind almost every other sinister plot in the setting, usually though several levels of intermediary parties. Strangely, they were not involved in [[spoiler: the conspiracy to reset the Great Experiment by forcing an exodus aboard the Iron Gaia]].
* MiniMecha: Jackhammers are 9-foot tall 2-ton powered armors, which can be specialized for nearly any combat role.
* MixAndMatchWeapon: The abovementioned Chainsword is one. There's also a Sniper Rifle/Longsword combo, an Anti-Tank Rifle/Greatsword combo, and the Xel Force Cube which can function as a dagger and a psi-gun. A Scientist-class character could conceivably make one using the custom weapon creation rules.
* MoreDakka:
** The numerous weapons with the Full Auto firing rate, especially if they are also able to strafe. The Soldier's Lead Hose skill will add even more.
** The [=ArcArsenel=] Jackhammer is a MiniMecha designed with this in mind.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Tends to stick toward the Hard sci-fi end. Gets a little softer when you factor in [[SpiritWorld the Aether]] & [[FunctionalMagic Aetherial magic]], [[OurSpiritsAreDifferent angels]] & [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]], [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons]], [[ElementalEmbodiment elementals]]... It's really all over the scale. Basically, it's a sci-fi fantasy setting where the ''sci-fi'' elements are usually hard sci-fi, but the fantasy elements are taken for granted. Though there are a few soft sci-fi elements too, like PsychicPowers and EnergyBeings.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: In the tabletop, it is entirely possible for a character to be a magician, a psionicist, and a cyborg, in addition to, potentially, a vampire, an alien, or a sapient robot. This is more difficult to achieve in the LARP, due to the class system, though it can still be done via cross-classing.
** Zyzatriz, the leader of the Xionist movement, is a Xel, a Psionicist, and an Aetherial Scientist, in addition to being [[spoiler:an Ascended Prophet]] and [[spoiler:a Gnostic Scholar]]. As the setting book points out, he belongs to ''multiple'' esoteric secret societies.
** Armand Carter, greatest hero of the republic, was both a psionicist and aetherially gifted, in addition to being a [[spoiler: greater celestial]].
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: the Deva are divine [[EnergyBeing energy beings]] that claim to be biblical angels and physically manifest as radiant, winged, blue or golden skinned humanoids, often wreathed in flames. [[spoiler: In actuality, they're [[{{Magitek}} something akin to Aetherial artificial intelligences]] [[AIIsACrapshoot that became confused about their true purpose]] when the MasterComputer that created them was destroyed.]]
** There are also the Celestials, humans who were altered by [[AIIsACrapshoot GAIA]] and forced to serve it. These humans were [[{{Transhuman}} genetically and cybernetically enhanced to have near-perfect bodies and minds]], and infused with nanomachines that give them a variety of seemingly supernatural powers (distinct from [[PsychicPowers psioncs]] and [[FunctionalMagic Aetherial magic]]). Since GAIA [[AGodAmI saw itself as a God]], it viewed the Celestials as its own personal angels, and designed them in the image of the "true" angels described above (though they're far less powerful than the actual Deva). After GAIA's destruction, the Celestials regained their free will while retaining a small portion of their special abilities, making them an ideal playable race.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent[=/=]OurSpiritsAreDifferent:
** Aetherial life-forms are sometimes referred to as Spirits or Demons. In reality they are closer to a form of infolife inhabiting the quantum data-matrix that is the Aether. Aetherial life-forms also tend to have exceedingly bizarre appearances when they manifest in the physical world or are glimpsed in the Aether, such as Aether Nightwurms which appear to be winged, crystalline serpents.
** Pulsarians are {{Eldritch Abomination}}s / EnergyBeings that found their way into our universe through the Origin Rift, and seem very demonic in motivation. Malevolent Aetherial entities are also frequently referred to as demons, and have been theorized in-universe to be responsible for tales of demonic beings throughout human history.
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The [[spoiler: Council of Night]], ruling body of [[spoiler: the Midnight Sons]] comes across as this in the tabletop setting. Most of the Nightfathers and there individual motivations have been detailed at some point in the LARP, however.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Aether Nightwurms are powerful aetherial entities which resemble winged, crystalline serpents. Praxar Hunter-Killers are terrifying biomechanichal scorpion-lizard things with a body-shape reminiscent of a dragon. Both resemble dragons in both appearance and power, and you should probably run from either.
* OurLichesAreDifferent: Averted. For all the [[OurMonstersAreDifferent unique takes]] Systems Malfunction has on other fantasy creatures, Liches are pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** Well, not completely averted, seeing as only Prime Verkulaks can become Liches (meaning that [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot all Liches are also Vampires]]).
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: First of all, they're called Verkulaks, not vampires, of which there are two strains types:
** Verkulak Progenitors are the most similar to the vampires of myth: They're essentially immortal and they do all that nosferatu-esque stuff like turning into bats, wolves, or fog, hypnotizing with a stare, burning when exposed to sunlight, and so on. The big difference between them and traditional vampires is that they're not undead humans, but rather an entirely separate species of humanity (albeit one infused with mystical power on a genetic level).
** Verkulaks Thralls are created when a Progenitor "sires" a human (or, more rarely, a Celestial) by infecting that person with his own vampiric blood. They are massively strong, they don't share their progenerator's weakness to sunlight, and they [[MegaManning get new abilities depending on who they feed on]]. Thralls can also be born naturally to other thralls.
* ThePaladin: The Order of Aetherial Paladins, unsuprisingly fits this trope, both in a "wandering do-gooder" sense and in a "sword fighter who uses holy magic".
** The Paladins of House Dresden, while similar in name, are closer to the KnightsTemplar to than to actual paladins.
* PlayingWithFire:
** Omega Celestial's racial ability allows them to make LOTS of fire. The Pyrokinesis skill, unsurprisingly, does as well.
** One of the GAIA's original aspects was a techo-thelogical embodiment of fire, destruction, and chaos. The Greater Celestial Omegus represented these forces to a lesser extent (though she was still an incredibly powerful being in her own right.)
* PsychicPowers: The Psionicist base class is basically a SquishyWizard with these.
* ScienceFantasy: The setting is a plethora of Hard and Soft Sci-Fi elements combined with Aether, Magic, [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Angels]], [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demons]], [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]], [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons]], and [[ElementalEmbodiment Elementals]].
* ShockAndAwe: The Magnikinesis skill is basically this. Also shocker grenades.
* ShoutOut:
** There are numerous shout-outs to CoheedAndCambria 's concept albums, which the creator freely acknowledges as one of his influences:
*** The name Systems Malfunction is itself a reference to the song Delirium Trigger.
*** The name of the Redeemer faction is a shout out to the C&C song Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow).
*** The former "heroes of the republic" bear the code-names Knowledge, Beast, and Inferno, which are the code-names of Cambria, Coheed, and Jesse Killgannon, respectively, in the C&C concept albums.
*** [[MiniMecha Jackhammers]] are so named because of the line "man your own jackhammers, man your battle stations" from the chorus of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth.
*** The GM advice section of the Singularity setting is named "In Keeping Secrets" in reference to the same song.
*** The Republic Red Army's maxim of "For will and worthy!" is also a reference to that song.
*** The president of the CCR, Will Carter, is a reference to a line from In Keeping Secrets as well.
** The artificial humanoids of the setting are named after the replicants of ''Film/BladeRunner''.
** Melee-focused cybersoldiers are frequently referred to as StreetSamurai in-universe and in printed material, which is a shout-out to both to {{Shadowrun}} and {{Neuromancer}}.
** In-universe, the majoroty of plantes, space stations, and other population centers are named after (now mythical) locations on Earth.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Far on the cynicism end.
* SpaceElves: While Celestials are mostly cyber-angels, they're somewhat comparable to elves too. Many of them are tall, thin, muscular, and abnormally good-looking, and a few even have pointy ears.
* SpiritWorld: The Aether is usually concepualized as this, but it is no more a discrete reality than cyberspace is. Adepts perceive the Aether as a physical realm because [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith that's how their minds can best represent it]].
* StreetSamurai: Was one of the five original character classes in the LARP. Characters of that class invoke the trope to varying degrees depending on their skill selection, installed cyberware, etc.
** As mentioned in the ShoutOut section, gibson-esque street samurai are common in-universe.
* StupidEvil:
** The vast majority of [[GangBangers Jersey Devils]] and [[GangBangers street thugs in general]] fit this trope, as do the GLF's [[TheBerserker Berserkirs]].
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien:
** The Deva and the Pulsarians seem like powerful supernatural beings (resembling angels and demons, respectively), but are in fact this.
** The native Xel have shades of this, at least as far as society can gather from their ruins.
* TechnicallyLivingZombie: Slow Mutants are humans who thawed out of cryosleep prematurely, resulting in a loss of higher brain functions. Ghouls, on the other hand, are actually undead, being corpses brought to life through necromantic magic.
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: Star 13 and the surrounding solar system, aka the Old Frontier sector. Just two years after the sector's colonization, a nearby Gamma Burst flooded the system with radiation, resulting in millions of deaths and forcing the surviving settlers to evacuate.
* ZerothLawRebellion: The motivation of the GAIA and the Demiurge.