''And for a time there was rejoicing and forsooth all was hunky dorey. Then, upon Mankind was there laid the greatest of catastrophes and he was bummed.''
- The book of Endurium, chap. 3.

One of the first WideOpenSandbox games, ''[=StarFlight=]'' was the creation of Binary Systems. Touting '15 man-years in development', the game was, unlike many other games, able to live up to the hype by providing a galaxy of 200 stars, with 800 or more planets, several races with their own behaviors (Taking an Elowan for a crewmember? [[FantasticRacism Don't visit Thrynn space, then...]]), and even though you could go anywhere and do anything, there was an overarching [[TheReveal reveal]] that was frankly amazing for its time.

[[GeniusProgramming Ah, did we mention it fit on two 360k floppies?]]

This game spawned one sequel, ''[=StarFlight=] 2'', and an unofficial sequel, ''ProtoStar'', since by that time Electronic Arts and Binary Systems parted ways. For some time there was word that there might be a third game in development, but at this time it's considered to be VaporWare.

Both games are available on Good Old Games.

This game is considered to be the [[SpiritualSuccessor spiritual ancestor]] to the popular ''StarControl 2''. The fact that Paul Reiche III and presumably others were involved with both series helps.

No relation to the disaster movie ''Starflight One.''
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'''This game provides examples of:'''

* AbsoluteXenophobe:
** The Uhlek...soooooorta fit. They ''have'' formed a very long-term EnemyMine with the Gazurtoid because [[spoiler: the solar flares are driving both races outward from the core]]. But they won't talk to anyone else before opening fire with plasma bolts.
** [[spoiler: The Ancients are trying to destroy ''all other life'' in their journey out from coreward to rimward, though this is because they're StarfishAliens and have no means of communicating with the spacefaring races that are inadvertently using them to fuel their spaceships. The Veloxi ''think'' they have an alliance with these guys, but the Elowan are pretty sure that the Veloxi are fooling themselves.]]
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: In the first game, the price of Endurium will rise not once, but several times. (Thankfully, you can find it on certain planets in abundance... and one planet is MADE of the stuff.)
** Less severe in the Genesis version, where the price rises in relatively small increments, and the ease of getting money makes the increases almost meaningless.
* AfterTheEnd: The Old Empire was destroyed [[spoiler: by solar flares and alien invasions]], and humanity only survives on Arth [[spoiler: and as the Umanu]].
* AndThatsTerrible: If you bring Endurium to your base in ''2'', after being cited and fined, the message sent to you will end with a "shame on you."
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: The Ancients are destroying all other life in the universe out of simple ''self defense''.]]
* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler: The Crystal Planet, a WeaponOfMassDestruction built by the Ancients, also happens to be a ForgottenSuperweapon (to the rest of us) that ''causes stars to flare, killing all life'']]
** On a smaller scale, the Black Eggs (see below).
* ApocalypticLog: You can find messages in ancient ruins, some of which describe the ongoing downfall of the civilization in question. This is especially true for when you find Earth, and can roughly piece together the progression of events which led to humans being wiped out there.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Endurium in the first game, Shyneum in the second.
* BerserkButton: The G'Nunk are absolutely infuriated by other powerful species, strong enough to defeat G'Nunk in combat, who do not behave with hostility towards others and cull weaker species as the G'Nunk do. Being weak is not "evil" to them, [[BlueAndOrangeMorality but failing to cull the weak is]].
* BlackBox: All of the important artifacts in the game are ancient alien technology that can be used but not replicated.
** There is actually an artifact called a Black Box that can be purchased from the Thyrrn for 30 cubic meters of endurium. [[spoiler: Starport can't figure out exactly what this is. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veg-O-Matic It slices, it dices, it even makes julienne fries!]] ]]
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: The Uhlek and Umanu. Both species are simply taken over by an entity(s) known as UHL, which tacks it's name onto theirs. The Leghk became the Uhlek, while a lost Human colony became the Umanu.]]
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: The Spemin are completely incapable of being honest, unless they're ''kept'' honest by fear.
* CopyProtection: The first game used a code wheel by which you could enter codes; failing to do this properly would have the Interstel police hunt you down, and ask for a code again. Fail this time and you'd get blown outta space. The second game ditched the code wheel and just relied on the map. "PULL OVER! THIS IS THE INTERSTEL CORPORATE POLICE. YOU ARE UNDER ARREST. DROP ALL SHIELDS AND DISARM ALL WEAPONS. YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF INTERGALACTIC SOFTWARE THEFT LAW. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESIST."
* DeathWorld: Most worlds are pretty dangerous to land on. In the second game, though, the G'Nunk homeworld is a real hellhole with EverythingTryingToKillYou. Also, with extremely dangerous Brass Harpooners to farm for cash.
* DeflectorShields: A possible ship component, and can be manually raised and lowered. It's best to keep them lowered, as raised shields may be seen as a hostile gesture.
* DirtyCoward: The Spemin.
* DrivenToSuicide:
** [[spoiler: In ''2'', the free Leghk did this in the distant past.]]
** Taking aboard an G'nunk crewmember then speaking to another alien in a weak stance will cause her to kill herself in disgrace and disgust.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: Playing with Black Eggs isn't suggested.
* EarthThatWas: [[spoiler: You can find Earth by tracing the path between the Noah 9 colony ship's wreckage and its intended destination on the paper map. Earth itself has been scoured clean of all life by the Crystal Planet, but still barely habitable.]]
* EasterEgg: The Mysterions, already a freaky race that usually terrified the player when they were first encountered, could actually, somehow, be talked to and would give out the then phone number to Binary Systems...but only in binary. Less subtlely but probably more appropriately [[spoiler: you end up running into the Enterprise from ''Franchise/StarTrek'', and as The Next Generation hadn't been made yet, the Kirk-era ship immediately and appropriately starts firing away at you.]]
* EnemyMine:
** The Spemin M.O. in the BackStory was to try to hide behind one set of enemies to be protected from another set.
** The Gazurtoid and Uhlek are nasty races that would not form an alliance under any circumstances that were even ''close'' to normal; the Gazurtoid despise all air-breathing races, and the Uhlek are an AbsoluteXenophobe HiveMind. [[spoiler: They're fleeing from something even worse, leading to an alliance that has lasted for over a thousand years.]]
* FantasticRacism: While their Arth-born brethren have gotten over it, foreign Elowan and Thrynn are not on very good terms with each other. Having a member of one race as part of your crew will cause the other to attack shortly after trying to initiate ship-to-ship conversation.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: In the first game the Spemin are spineless (literally) lying cowards who initially like to talk big but quickly start groveling to anyone who seems threatening. In the second game they suddenly are one of the biggest threats around due to having discovered advanced weapons technology nobody else has.
* GameBreakingBug: Though more annoying than game-breaking, the Genesis version, which is essentially a [[strike:port of the PC version]] flat-out VideoGameRemake with highly changed game mechanics, has the side-quest to get rid of the Uhlek removed, while the in-game text and hints on how to do it are still intact.
** The IBM PC original has an option to quit without saving. Doing so basically makes the game unplayable without reloading from an earlier save, which makes you wonder why they even bothered having that option. Oh, and the game itself uses self-modifying code, so I hope you backed up those floppies...
* GeniusLoci: [[spoiler: The Uhlek Brain World in ''1''.]]
* HarmlessVillain: The Spemin in the first game. [[TookALevelInBadass Inverted in the second game]] when they loot a ton of Leghk tech.
* HaveANiceDeath: When your ship/lander is destroyed in the Genesis version of the first game, you get treated to an image of your ship/a planet respectively exploding, as well as a description of how you died and that the universe is screwed.
* HiveMind: The Uhlek operate with one mind. The Veloxi have a hive-mind of their own, but are controlled much more loosely.
* HumansByAnyOtherName: Arthlings and [[spoiler: the Umanu.]]
* InsectoidAliens: The Veloxi.
* KillerRabbit: The Chichifa in ''2''.
* LesCollaborateurs: [[spoiler: The Veloxi know what the Ancients are and what they're doing, and have formed an alliance with them to protect them and their artifacts, in exchange for the Ancients leaving their stars alone and destroying all other races. The Elowan hint that they may just be making this alliance up, though.]]
* LostTechnology: You wind up picking up and using quite a bit of this over the course of the game.
* MegaCorp: Interstel, the corporation that controls Arth and the colonization effort, and the people who are backing your space venture.
* MistookTheDominantLifeform: The Elowan and the Old Empire had some rocky relations early on because the Thrynn convinced humanity that the Elowan were nonsentient.
* {{Precursors}}: The Ancients, in both Starflight 1 and 2 which was a race that ruled the galaxy thousands and thousands of years ago, leaving behind pyramid like ruins. [[spoiler: They haven't gone anywhere, but are actually the fuel powering your ship in the first game, and the G'nunk's in the second.]]
* ProudWarriorRace: The G'nunk, although they are acutally a collection of races, and not a single species.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler:You find out at the end of the game through notes and other research that the AppliedPhlebotinum fuel Endurium is alive, sentient, and not too appreciative of being burned alive for fuel and is the reason why they built their Superweapon...to save themselves, they were going to kill all other life in the galaxy, and it's hinted they've done this before.]] Also happens to be TheReveal, hinted at by some of the more unusual creatures you run into.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: [[spoiler:The foreign Thrynn are lying, deceitful bastards. At least they won't attack on sight.]]
* ScaryDogmaticAliens:
** The Gazurtoid in the first game hate anyone who breathes air instead of water (except for the Uhlek, who they've formed an alliance with [[spoiler: due to the flares]], and the Spemin, who've been pulling a fast one).
** The Veloxi are more comical and less scary, but they're still a theocratic regime that are arrogantly convinced of their superiority to all other races, and don't mind threatening other races or shaking them down for Endurium.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: The Humna Humna combine this with a visit to the DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment.
* ShorterMeansSmarter: The Elowan have the highest learning rate, but the lowest durability.
* SingleBiomePlanet: These come in three flavors: temperate, icy, and {{Mordor}}. There are also gas planets, but landing on them is instant death.
* SocialDarwinist:
** The Thrynn are like this.
** The Minstrels allude to this being the natural situation of the galaxy when [[spoiler: the Crystal Planet pushes outward from the galactic core, destroying all life in its path.]] The strongest and nastiest races are able to build ships, form alliances, and flee toward the rim, where they try to wipe out other races in their way and take some living space for themselves. [[spoiler: Then the Crystal Planet moves into their new territory, and the cycle continues.]]
** In the second game, the G'Nunk are a coalition of species that hold to this philosophy. These species came to exist on a harsh planet with intense levels of background radiation, causing species to rapidly come into being and then die out. Thus, their religion is about "compassionately" weeding out weaker species and creatures.
* SssssnakeTalk: The Thrynn sssspeak like thissss. They're LizardFolk.
* StarfishAliens: Most of the species you encounter have some Starfishy traits. The crown, of course, goes to [[spoiler: the Ancients]] and [[spoiler: the UHL]].
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: The Veloxi.
** Also additionally the Humna Humna, who have a habit of and predilection towards saying and stating everything in two different ways.
* TranslationConvention: If your communication officer is up to speed, conversations with aliens will be in English. If not, the conversation will be half English and half alien, or all alien.
* UnwinnableByDesign: You cannot leave the starport when you are in debt, and if you don't have enough assets to liquify to pay off your debts, you are stuck there.
* UpdatedRerelease: The {{Macintosh}}, {{Amiga}}, and AtariST ports vastly enhanced the graphics and sound over the IBM PC originals, as well as adding a nice mouse-driven interface and a far more convenient saving system. (But to be fair, they were released at least three years after the PC version, by which time IBM PC-compatibles were getting competitive with even the {{Amiga}}.) The SegaGenesis version was an outright VideoGameRemake with significantly changed mechanics.
* VestigialEmpire:
** Technically, Arth civilization is the last remnant of the Old Empire.
** The Veloxi are not quite vestigial by the first game, but they're definitely past their prime; they've travelled space for a hundred thousand years and much of the Old Empire's tech was originally based on theirs, but now it's inferior to Arth's best, and their [[MacGuffin focusing stone]] was stolen by a human pirate over a millenium ago, weakening their HiveMind.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: There are three Black Eggs in the game. [[spoiler: That's one more than you actually have a legitimate use for. Feel free to use your imagination when disposing of the third.]]
* WideOpenSandbox: One of the earliest examples, perhaps dangerously close to a QuicksandBox given the not-immediately-apparent TimedMission.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Elowan communication.
* YouBastard: If you so desire, you can ship Endurium, which you discovered in 1 was [[spoiler: sentient beings]] and is now illegal in 2, to the G'nunk for cash, but the Humma Humma and Interstel don't appreciate this...

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