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The Endless Space 1 Factions
The Empire is theoretically under the control of a central monarchy. However, the rate of expansion means that the society cannot be ruled that way effectively. In fact, the systems of the colonial diaspora are colonized by the designated Corporations who work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Investment and Development. The Ministry of Security is involved as well, due to the need for native and/or alien pacification, security forces, defense or surveillance.With this somewhat decentralized setup, a certain level of regional autonomy is inevitable, and the various corporate system governors often cut corners when they can get away with it. That said, the central empire is far from powerless. Should a corporation stop paying its dues or become too obstinate, the Imperial fleets stand ready to remind the wayward company of its obligations.
As a whole
- The Empire: An essential textbook evil empire whose roots originate on how predictably selfish their inner imperial planets are towards their lowly outer worlds.
- Feudal Future: A slightly unusual variant, given that quasi-sovereign corporations stand in the place traditionally taken by feudal lords in the hierarchy.
- It's All About Me/Defector from Decadence: How the United Empire broke down to three separate factions: The empire itself, the Pilgrims and the Sheredyn.
- Mega Corp.: Despite it being named and empire, it's actually composed of numerous corporations, and the current Emperor is former CEO.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Their base design of every ship has aspects of what appears to be hulking pieces of metal plastered together. This can unfortunately mistake them as The Protagonist faction.
Jorun EgezreyA dangerous operator, Egezrey is known for his affection for data. He will take the time necessary to analyze and calculate risks, then happily leap in and take them. As a member of a corporate/military security department, Egezrey volunteered as a guinea pig to be infiltrated by Dust
Guner WuchterLiving on that fuzzy line somewhere between "unpredictable" and "out of control", Guner was an erratic if successful leader of colonial explorations. When his mission uncovered an Endless site and Guner was augmented by the free-floating Dust, his eccentricities seemed to get worse. At that point the Empire decided it would be far better for him to find work elsewhere...
Ivan GagarinIvan lived his early life among his people, learning the trades of thievery and trickery. He met his destiny the day he tried to steal Dust from a plain-clothed officer of the Empire's Secret Service; the dust he stole from the officer rose to his defense before he could be captured. That same day a special assault squad cornered him in his hideout and they made him an offer he couldn't refuse...
Jutka NaratyaA product of the Empire's Corporate Military Academy, Jutka's success as a pilot led her to lucrative sponsorship contracts with corporations that were underwriting colonization efforts. Her dry wit and irreverent attitude undermined were at odds with their PR plans, however, so Jutka was left alone—happily—to pursue her dreams of flight and exploration.
A group of scientists and explorers, unhappy with the United Empire, hijacked a mission to an outer planet and set up an independent government. They refused the heavy corporate hand of the Empire, preferring to eke out their living on the edge of known space. Aided by the Sophons, this splinter group grew to become the Pilgrims. Accustomed to orbital living and constant movement, during the early years of their development they had a proportionally greater contact and familiarity with artifacts and remnants left by the Endless. They have come to view the Endless in a religious light, and a goal of their society is to one day discover the planet from which the Endless originated.
As a whole
- Decoy Protagonist: The Pilgrims are introduced like this in the beginning of the game but players can pick any faction of their choosing right off the bat. They can also be mistaken for antagonists between the United Empire.
- Demoted to Extra: In Endless Space 2, they only appeared as a member of Minor Race (ironically, able to be absorbed into United Empire) and a secondary citizen in Sophons. The latter is justified as Sophons has been instrumental in harboring them during their exile.
- Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: Pilgrim crafts are a mix-match between the Sophons and the Empire. Being long, curvy strips of metal covering thin ones on the inside.
- Space Cossacks: The Pilgrims are composed of dissidents who want to escape the United Empires oppressive rule.
Isoke TekezNobody touches my orbital and gets away with it.' A gritty, scarred warrior who stands out in a race of seekers and explorers, Tekez uttered these famous words when a United Empire scouting party attempted to forcibly re-integrate Tekez's 2,000-person habitat back into the empire. When the Dust finally cleared, the Empire's task force had been defeated, looted, and covered with insulting graffiti.
Oyita NilfeyLed a team of experts in Imaging & Particle Systems from the department of Prove & Live Exploration. A natural leader with a sly sense of humor, she encountered Dust while investigating an endless temple. Enhanced by its capacities, she decided to enter Academy and learn more of Dust and its uses.
Chidi BademdiThree times Bademdi executed the monumental effort of scouting, proposing, and implementing the establishment of a colony on a new world—while under enemy fire. His ability to stay cool under pressure earned him the nickname "Iceberg."
Gero KartalSmart, subtle, and dangerous, at least three clients have hired Dafa so that their enemies could not. Clever, wily, and very efficient on defense, he was key in forcing a stalemate when working for the outnumbered and outgunned Jabhat Colonists' Collective. It was simply a business deal when he left to work for a higher bidder, leaving them teetering on the brink...
Thomaem LabefdilLabefdil is viewed as a useful man to have around. A hard worker, he is good with his hands, even when they are carrying weapons. Though his Dust-augmented skills greatly improved his ability to tinker with the technical infrastructure of Pilgrims ships, he is more than happy to jump their defense when they are threatened.
Abebi TiryakOne of the many Pilgrims leaders who learned hard lessons about building and defending habitats in the Second Separation War, Tiryak's skills in construction and defense were notable even before they were improved by Dust.
Therna UbantriLed a small team that wrote a paper convincing the United Empire of the economic inefficiency of slavery as a Human Resources policy. Was put on a Wanted list for that effrontery, and subsequently fled and joined the Pilgrims. Intensely committed to the human condition and the dignity of the individual, she has never failed to do what she believes is right.
Curious, analytical and inquisitive, the Sophons are a people who pride knowledge over all. No theory — or machine — is so perfect that it can resist a bit of tinkering: advances come both in great leaps and tiny increments. The Sophons travel the galaxy driven by a thirst to discover and understand. As such, they view war as nothing more than a distraction from the serious things in life. However, with their advanced technologies, they can become a surprisingly dangerous foe.
As a Whole
- Badass Adorable: Sophons are a foot shorter than human beings, are a Genius Ditz as an entire species and has images that emphasizes their goofy antics in the sequel.
- Boring, but Practical: Their sequel variation are introduced in such a way that direct development of technologies is off means to defeating their enemies.
- Blue and Orange Morality: They see nothing good in wars nor the anticipation of peace. They see peace as a sign of progress until they lay in scalpels and microscopes to see what their allies would look like inside.
- Expy: They are essentially a hybrid race of the curiously ditzy Kerbals and the technologically advanced Protoss.
- Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: All their ship designs are using white, sleek, bulbous figures presenting how technologically advanced they supposedly are.
- For Science!: Their legitimate strategy in the game, out-improve their competitors in the studies of Dust until they reach omnipresence.
- Genius Ditz: For a good measure, they can harness the power of stars within a few generations of evolution and they blew up their own homeworld's moon by accident.
- Good Is Not Soft: If left unharmed for too long, a Sophon faction can easily overwhelm enemies with sheer improvements of technology especially when their weapons are a tier higher than yours.
- The Greys: A rare benevolent depiction. They have enormous heads, large beady eyes and slim body frames, they are also confirmed, in the sequel, to have grey skin.
- Magikarp Power: Used as gameplay option, Sophons start out less productivity than any other factions, rendering them easily picked out by Zerg Rush. But if left peacefully with some time, their Omniscience traits can ramp up technologies faster than any other race since they aren't financially taxed by war times.
- In their ES2 incarnation, their Omniscience gets even more powerful, as all technologies that haven't been research by any faction in the galaxy can be researched at an additional 50% research speed. This also doubles as a strategic value, allowing any Sophon faction to be ahead of their competitors while knowing which technology their enemies haven't discovered yet.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Downplayed. They are no less in the same level of technology as the other races, but can pick up speed faster than any of them.
- Uplifted Animal: A rare natural example. They were once grey skinned lizards living on a thriving radioactive planet until the radiation granted them intellectual acceleration that made them the dominant species on their homeworld. The Sophons essentially uplifted themselves to the era of space exploration within a few generations.
A highly evolved form of a lowly species, these colorful beings come from an ocean world. Evolving slowly over millions of years with plenty of time to philosophize, it is not surprising that the Amoeba are diplomatic, cultural, and intellectual. Wise and urbane, they have an exceptionally high 'emotional intelligence' and are unusually open to other alien and intelligent species. Their goal is to travel, meet, and learn, though their relatively defenseless natural form has bred into them the need to turn all situations to their advantage, and to be in control of their destiny. Though the Amoeba do not feel that their nature is to dominate and conquer, they can be viewed as warriors whose weapons are diplomacy and trade.
As a Whole
"Incredibly wealthy and only slightly less deranged, Horatio was an Imperial trillionaire who left to discover his own star cluster. Finding a planet sprinkled with labs of ancient cloning technology left by the Endless, the boredom soon drove Horatio to create a race of allies, servants, and slaves who were every bit as gorgeous as the most beautiful person in the universe — Horatio. Once the planet was repopulated, Horatio the First had only to look up, regard the stars and realize how much more beautiful they, too, would be if they were filled with... Horatios. The rest, as they say, is history."
As a Whole
- Baleful Polymorph: In the sequel, the Horatio has Gene Hunters, a unique trait that turns the members of other races of choice into Horatios, including the populations of conquered planets.
- Clone Army: A dangerously effective example. Horatios can obtain the genes from certain species to become physically stronger in combat.
- Forehead of Doom: The Horatio's most prominent feature are their large, hairless, cone-shaped craniums.
- Freudian Excuse: In Endless Space 2's intro, Horatio was mocked as a child for his elongated head that led to his narcissism.
- It's All About Me: The first Horatio will stop at nothing to make everything and everyone his own and himself.
- LEGO Genetics: Gene Hunters takes up as Horatio's primary affinity.
- Me's a Crowd: An entire species and multi-system empire consisting entirely of one man's billions of clones.
- Narcissist: Up to eleven. The entire faction itself is composed nothing more but one person dedicated to spread their own beauty.
- One-Gender Race: Previously averted in Endless Space 1, as clone heroes do have an assigned biological sex. In Endless Space 2, all Horatios are all manufactured from the genes of the one and only Horatio.
- Self-Made Man: Implied, considering he became a corporate trillionaire within the confines and constant ridicule of the United Empire before his self-served exile. Takes it very literally with his own army of himself as they earn their own living in his own empire.
- Retcon: Though Endless Space 2 made him a member of Mezari race, who were also made as the predecessor to United Empire at least if the player made a choice to embrace their lifestyle. In addition, he also investigated Auriga during Dungeon of the Endless and betrayed a group from many survivors just to get the relic.
- Stronger with Age: Gene Hunter trait allows the Horatio-kin to absorb genes of the minor races they take hold on. Making Horatios and future Horatios effectively more powerful as population units than any other pops in the game, but makes them incredibly food-heavy in terms of growth.
The Sowers are a machine race created by the Virtual faction of the Endless. They took from their creators the mission to traverse the universe and make worlds livable and habitable for the arrival – or return – of the Endless. The Sowers come, establish industries, create the basic infrastructure needed to make a wild planet habitable, and move on to the next one. The Sowers are neither hostile nor friendly; they are simply continuing their programming. Any world they arrive on will be harvested and advanced materials will be developed. Any local populations or other peoples will be ignored — unless they get in the way or oppose the Sowers' holy mission.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Sowers see nothing of interest to neither war or peace among factions, but instead enjoys watching planets grow under their own supervision and will only plow those who try to stop them.
- Von Neumann Machine: Sapent terraforming probes. They land, build a city (and more Sower robots) and bugger off to the next planet.
"Created by the Endless from an insectoid life form, the Cravers are in the purest sense hunter-gatherers and would never have evolved on their own the processes necessary to raise crops or domesticate animals. Their life cycle is based on consumption, and as such they are capable of digesting any form of plant or animal matter. Once their home world was consumed, they left to seek further nourishment. If they do not continue to expand, discover, and exploit new worlds, their society could literally eat itself to death. Feeding the hive is their all-consuming purpose; the notions of 'treaty', 'trade', and 'peace' do not exist."
- Always Chaotic Evil: Cravers have a trait where you cannot negotiate nor cooperate with them that instigates peace other than the heroes you recruit who occur from their race.
- Body Horror: They are no less but a lookalike of a human being with four arms and long legs. They also come without skin tissue that covers their very visual muscles.
- Evil Is Bigger: They stand a few feet taller than the humans and are realistically more muscular in comparison.
- Foil: For the Sophons. Cravers are a truly power hungry race that cares nothing more but their own survival, created by the Endless to serve their goal to consume the entire galaxy of life. Sophons are a race that thirst only to fulfill their curiosity even if it means risking their own lives For Science!, natural selection created them and serves to not just their allies but their own progression as a species.
- Hive Mind: The Cravers are commanded by their Queens who rule over the Hives. However the day to day tasks and decisions are made by a sub group called Bishops who decide what they will do next.
- Horde of Alien Locusts/Planet Looters: Devour all other biomass and resources on their planets, turning them into Depleted worlds. Their intro cutscene shows this happening in seconds.
- Hostile Terraforming: The result of Craver-colonized planets is turning them into depleted version of it, producing little resources to the point that it becomes more of a burden than help.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Their cutscene shows them guzzling up all the resources on a planet within seconds. This is actually variable, depending on planet size but takes several turns (which are implied to be a year each in gameplay terms).
- To Serve Man: As a gameplay trait, Cravers are meant to eat away factions as quickly as possible. If left out in peace, their economy will quickly collapse under its own weight.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: In addition to the tropes Multi-Armed and Dangerous and Multiarmed Multitasking, the Cravers' additional two limbs are simply there to terrify their enemies.
The Automatons were created by a long dead civilization known as the Reyans who perished many millennia ago due to the gradual self-destruction of their world. Decades of uncontrolled industrialization and technologies that relied on a highly toxic underground fuel caused irreversible damage to the ecosystem and atmosphere of their planet. Realizing that they were doomed, the Reyans attempted to build a massive fleet of migration ships to escape their planet, but most of the ships either exploded on launch, or stalled in the atmosphere and fell to the ground. The Reyans despaired… and so they decided to leave a legacy in the form of one of their greatest technological achievements, clockwork beings. Having a very old and proud history of clockwork, the Reyans had achieved the maximum potential of the technology in their creation of massive clockwork men to which they gifted all the traits of a young species. Within a year of the creation of the clockwork men, the Reyans committed mass suicide so as not to suffer through the affects of a dying planet, leaving their greatest creations behind, alone, and lost.Over time the clockwork creations of the Reyans developed a simple society of their own and began exploiting the technologies left behind by their creators. All was well for the young civilization of machines until one day a large Endless ship crashed into the planet spreading the dust it was transporting all over the surface. The dust modified the machines, gave them enhanced abilities and over time even sentience. The deadly and toxic fuel that used to power the machines was also replaced, but strangely the new fuel became dust. In only a few weeks, the clockwork machines had evolved, become truly sentient, and gained new purpose in existence which was unheard of in even the most advanced AI’s created by the Endless. They came to call themselves, the Automatons and with the newly gained freedom of dust they began learning... and advancing.The Automaton Civilization stayed on their planet, learning to live in a symbiotic relationship with nature as the planet healed over time. They used the knowledge of their creators and their new dust engines to produce massive floating ships on which they lived in order to protect the healing ecosystem on the planet from their involvement. Over the course of centuries the planet healed and the Automatons learned to live with and love nature while still developing immense industrial capacity and production within the hulls of their floating ships —which had also grown over time. But eventually the Automatons calculated that their dust supply would run out and their civilization would die, so they uncovered the old ruins of the crashed endless ship and began developing their own vehicles for space flight.
As a Whole
- Clockwork Creature: Their entire Mechanical Species are composed of nothing more than turning gears and gyroscopes that emit blue and yellow auras which represent their lifeblood.
- Good Is Not Soft: While they don't bear the high technology growth of the Sophons nor high productivity of the Sowers, the Automatons initially have toughers ships and can hold on to planets better than the other two factions.
The Hissho are a modern and civilized people descended from avian DNA. However, they are avian in the way that many species of dinosaur had avian characteristics; in fact, they are not unlike feathered pterodactyls. A race of highly competitive tribal warriors, their history is one of bloodshed, conquest, vengeance and domination. While this has created a very hardy, aggressive, and dangerous people, it has also slowed their advancement and limited their numbers. When they did reach the stars to find other peoples waiting for them, their reaction was to conquer and dominate. Their innate and learned sense of flight makes them superior pilots.
As a Whole
- Bird People: Hissho's Avian ancestry is emphasized from its bird-like appearance.
- Demoted to Extra: Became a minor race in Endless Space 2 with being a minor citizen in United Empire.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Combination of Proud Warrior Race and Japanese aesthetics made every Hissho as Samurai warriors.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To Feudal Japan.
- Proud Warrior Race: Being descended from tribal warriors, their entire society and history is based on warfare and honor that tend to make them good fighters at the price of scientific and numerical aspects.
An ancient faction, the Vaulters have suffered a number of major setbacks in trying to establish a permanent home for themselves. Though characterized as restless wanderers, they are in fact a proud and adaptable race, seeking a system that they can finally call 'home.' Their centuries of travel and tinkering have made them skilled at both science and warfare, though their greatest military strength is in defense.The Vaulters have an old tradition of appointing female leaders, and their trust in this tradition has been confirmed by the faction's uncanny ability to escape, survive, and live to fight another day. Once based on the planet Auriga, they left the planet when their predictions indicated potentially cataclysmic geo-atmospheric problems. Their attempts to colonize elsewhere have only had brief success, and the notion of a permanent base has gained an almost mythical status.
A strange race of living crystals that predate even the Endless. Convinced that Dust brings nothing but chaos and death, they have dedicated themselves to purging the galaxy of Dust, even if it means coming into conflict with other races.
- Blue and Orange Morality: To the Harmony, morality means nothing. In their eyes, you are either "infected" with Dust, or not.
- Knight Templar: Nothing will stop them from pursuing their crusade against Dust, and they are more than willing to eradicate anyone who stands in their way.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: They are the only faction that does not use Dust in any way. This means that they cannot upgrade their ships.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They fit the Aliens as Fundamentalists category. They view their mission to purge the galaxy of Dust as a holy crusade, and will not allow anything or anyone to stand in their way.
The Endless Space 2 Factions
- "The Lumeris are a society that revolves around trade, economic deals, economic growth, and doing business. Expansion and acquisition are the bywords of their culture, and as an amphibious people they are prepared to make money in any environment. Their society is organized around a series of families that have traditionally run different parts of their economy, and the balance of power and negotiations between the families is what drives progress - or blocks it."
- Enlightened Self-Interest: Their Pacifist ideology being more towards their profit-minded nature rather than general benevolence.
- Everyone Has Standards: While politicking and backstabbing are not uncommon, the Lumeris tend to avoid all-out war and aggressive maneuver.
- Fish People: The Lumeris are descended from amphibian species on mostly ocean planet, as a result they gain bonus on atoll.
- The Mafia: The entire faction revolves around the Four Families, which may or may not be the FIDS game mechanic that handles the game's economy.
- Proud Merchant Race: Their main trait being both dust bonus and ability to buy outposts.
- "Hailing from an alternate dimension orthogonal to the Endless universe, the Riftborn would've happily led out their abstract, timeless existences entirely ignorant of galactic strife, were it not for a breach that precipitated a disaster of unimaginable proportions. Like a poisoned blade slashed deep into clean flesh, the rift acted as a source of terrible disorder in the Riftborn's pristine, geometrical universe. Desperate, unable to halt the disease's advance no matter what they tried, the Riftborn took the last available course of action that might lead to their survival: Together with their strange time-shifting abilities, they stepped into the Endless universe."
- Alien Geometries: A rare abundant example.
- Invading Refugees: To many races—particularly those hostile towards them—in Endless universe, they can come off as strange alien being from another dimension.
- Time Master: The Riftborns' unique trait, Time Sculptors, allows them to create Time Bubbles that accelerate, slow down or pause a Star system that are covered by the area of their influence.
The Unfallen are a beautiful, peace-loving race of sapient trees. The Unfallen have only ever known their homeworld of Koyasil, preferring to peaceably study what is near rather than discover what is far. They were content with this slow development that they refer to as the "Long Sleep"—the period from their rise to sentience to the modern era. The modern era was rudely thrust upon them by a galactic skirmish in the skies above, and the debris it rained upon their planet. Seeing fire fall from the skies, and viewing the violence of other races firsthand changed their image of their role in the galaxy. Having an intimate relationship with fire as both Fire-That-Destroys and Fire-That-Renews, they view themselves as guardians of peace and harmony in a galaxy that seems to be badly in need of both.
- Technical Pacifist: Depending on the choice, they can build warships and not afraid to use them when necessary.
- When Trees Attack: Their secondary citizens, the Guardians, are unique that they can appear away from home systems and provide negative approval on enemies' controlled system and provide defense bonus when invaded.
- World Tree: The Heart, a massive tree which is the source of all Unfallen. The Unfallen expand their empire by expanding an aura of "vines" which link one system to another.
- "Victims of a classic cycle of over-industrialization, the Vodyani were saved by technology culled from ruins of the Virtual Endless. These precursors quickly gained an aura of divinity in the eyes of the Vodyani, and are now worshiped as gods. Clothed in their great black suits of borrowed technology that they refer to as their holy "Cloth", Vodyani leaders pilot their great arks across the star lanes. The Vodyani seek other peoples to convert, control, and consume, as they survive through the simple expedience of draining other peoples of their life forces. While many view this as a grotesque, the Vodyani see themselves as "chosen" by the Endless and deserving of their stature. They are simply higher on the food chain than all other races, and that is that."
- Ambiguous Robots
- Brain Uploading: The entire species uploaded themselves into Virtual Endless technology after their home planet suffered from ecological catastrophe.
- Cain and Abel: While Isyara is by no means benevolent when it comes to expanding the Vodyani's might across the stars, she is the Abel to Isyander's Cain to supposedly the Endless. Although Isyander gets to meet his end but only to get a call from the Lost after activatingnote the Academy's beacon.
- Civil War: Their hierarch Isyara St Shaiad, the leader of the faction, and her subordinates are at war against her own brother Isyander St Shaiad.
- Energy Beings: As they are basically consciousness tranferred into digital forms from Endless technology, the "body" is basically energy projections.
- Evil Is Bigger: While more Ambiguously Evil due to the way of their extreme religion, the Vodyani are towering humanoids in comparison to most major factions.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: The Vodyani has an unusual method of colonizing star systems. They rely on building Arks, by using their unique resource, Essence, they dig up from invading planets. The Arks are then positioned above a star system like a colony ship allowing the surrounding planets to be claimed. A highly expansive mindset allows Vodyani players to grow fast, so long as there are habitable planets surrounding their territory.
- Logical Weakness: Despite of this, Arks can be prematurely destroyed by conventional means as if they are warships, making Vodyani colonies easily liberated, provided that you have a sizable armada.
Others in Endless Space 2
A large city in the middle of space that appeared to have been already accustomed in its long history, the Academy is where all the heroes of all races come from and have been a beacon of all who are willing to learn the secrets of the Dust.
Isyander St Shaiad
The founder of the Academy and the Heretic against the Vodyani, the main antagonist in Endless Space 2.
- Ambiguously Evil: It's unclear whether the Vodyani or Isyander have a higher moral. But one thing for certain, if he manages to get what he wants, everyone in the galaxy would be "erased" from existence.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: His conspirators and loyalists are made up of different races and cultures. This is also shared by the diversity of the Academy.
- I Regret Nothing: His own views on the actions to erase Dust, even upon his death from Lode system's explosions if the sides opposing him wins.
- Necessary Evil: Isyander is fully aware of how it causes people to become power-hungry over Dust and how self-destructive the major factions' intentions would do with it, and he will stop at nothing to clear everyone in the galaxy of their corrupted intents.