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Characters: Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri
Default leaders and their factions in Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri and its expansion Alien Crossfire.

Original game:

Lady Deirdre Skye (Gaia's Stepdaughters)

Voiced by Carolyn Dahl
"Observe the Razorbeak as it tends so carefully to the fungal blooms; just the right bit from the yellow, then a swatch from the pink. Follow the Glow Mites as they gather and organize the fallen spores. What higher order guides their work? Mark my words: someone or something is managing the ecology of this planet."

Former Unity Chief of Hydroponics, from Scotland. The Gaians believe the greatest mistake humanity made on Earth was the blatant disregard of Earth's biosphere. They desire not to repeat this mistake with Planet, and attempt to live in ecological harmony with the environment. Other factions tend to view her as a tree-hugging hippie and/or a pagan heretic due to her overt environmental concerns, and she might very well declare war on another nation to stop them polluting or exploiting the planet's resources—or perhaps just to prove that their lack of empathy with Planet will bite them in the ass.

  • +1 to Planet (Environmental safeguards; can capture mindworms)
  • +2 to Efficiency (Experience with life systems & recycling)
  • -1 Morale (Pacifist tendencies)
  • -1 Police (Freedom loving)
  • +1 Nutrients in fungus squares
  • May not use "Free Market" economics

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's introverted by nature; in particularly, she's more comfortable around plants than people.
  • Appropriated Appellation: "Gaia's Stepdaughters" was originally a label of mockery given by their foes.
  • Arch-Enemy: With the Morganites, due to the all the damage to the environment they cause with their free market economic policies.
    • This rivalry can be considered one-sided, though. Morgan is opposed to Planned economics, but there's nothing stopping him from going Green. That, and the fact that both factions are fairly pacifistic, means that it's not unusual to see them working together in an uneasy alliance (especially against the Free Drones below, who are hated by both of them).
    • Later on, the Free Drones, who focuses entirely on improving the standard of living for their working class citizens through industrial development regardless of the resulting pollution, and favor inefficient planned economies.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She is the nicest of the Faction leaders save Lal - but even allies will have Diedre-controlled Mindworm boils stirring up havoc. If the player controls her, they can harass allies with no repurcussions by moving Mindworms close to their territories then un-controlling them. Hey, if they attack, it's not Diedre's fault anymore. Right.... right?
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Due to their +1 Planet rating and tendency to employ green economic and social engineering policies, their military frequently consists mostly of tamed native lifeforms.
  • Ivy League: Studied at Cornell University.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-universe; the more she's under stress, the more noticeable her native Scottish accent becomes.
  • Reclusive Artist: In-universe. She likes to spend long periods of time alone with Planet, composing poetry.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Collectively, Gaia's Stepdaughters play the more pacifist-leaning blue oni to the Cult of Planet's more aggressive red oni.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Deirdre opposes Free Market and Planned economics because of the harm they do to Planet's ecosystems, especially Free Market (which is the most profitable). She naturally prefers Green economics.
  • Technical Pacifist: Their people are peaceful in nature due to their ideology, but they have no problem in sending waves upon waves of mind worms to do the dirty work for them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She will go to war (likely resulting in the death of thousands) with factions that uses either the 'Free market' or 'Planned' economic models since she views them as irresponsibly polluting the environment.
    • Strawman Has a Point: After a certain threshold of eco-damage, the Planet goes against whole humanity, as xenofungus spread all around, mind worms go into a killing frenzy, water levels rise thanks to global warming... so the last thing wanted is Bullying a Dragon with pollution.

Colonel Corazon Santiago (Spartan Federation)

Voiced by Wanda NiŮo
"Superior training and superior weaponry have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall military strength. Well-trained, well-equipped troops can stand up to many more times their lesser brethren than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate."

Former Unity Security Lieutenant. The Spartans are militant survivalists, and believe that a strong military is essential for humanity to overcome the dangers inherent in Planet's dangerous ecosystem. The Spartans value discipline, order, strength and a chain of command, and are naturally tolerant of martial law. If anyone could pull off a Police State, it might be Santiago...although the occasional nods to the supporters of an individual right and duty to bear arms (e.g. Robert A. Heinlein) could indicate a sort of "classical military republic" in which citizenship requires armed service but citizens do have rights (a weak Democratic).

  • +2 Morale (Well-armed survivalist movement)
  • +1 Police (Highly disciplined followers)
  • -1 Industry (Extravagant weapons are costly)
  • Prototypes do not cost extra money
  • May not use Wealth value in Social Engineering

  • Almighty Janitor: Colonel is not a particularly high rank for the head of a society to hide. Justified in that Santiago is technically just the head of the government rather than the chief of the armed forces.
  • Arch-Enemy: With the Peacekeepers, due to their social Darwinist policies and warlike worldview being incompatible to the former's peaceful and humanitarian ideals. This conflict is somewhat a canon, since it's one of the main plots in novelizations.
    • Also, with the Morgans, since she views their pursuit of wealth as being decadent and untrustworthy; and the University, since she suspects that their pursuit of science was actually a smoke screen for advance weapons research.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Santiago's personal creed is "Survival at any cost." This in turn influences much of the Spartans' ideology.
  • Crazy Survivalist: The Spartans are so focused on expanding and maintaining their military that their non-military industrial sectors suffer production penalties due to all the resources being diverted to weapons production instead of say, schools and farms. However, many of the Colonel's quotes emphasize the necessity of training the next generation and ensuring that other aspects of society are strong enough to properly support the military.
  • Elite Army: See the faction quote. Due to their industrial weakness, the Spartans can afford to build and support fewer units than other factions. Due to their high morale (superior training) and ability to quickly get new technology into the field (superior weaponry), though, they have one of the most powerful military forces on Planet.
  • Had To Be Sharp: She spent first half of her life on Earth as a gang member in slum-driven Mexico City. One of the reasons why she was picked for Unity Project was her ability to survive all of that and some more.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Encourages this sort of thinking in her faction.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Unlike many other factions in the game, who will fight to the bitter end rather than surrender to a clearly superior foe, Santiago knows when she's beaten and won't make trouble again afterwards if the player pushes her back to the wall.
  • The Social Darwinist: Believes that since the Unity survivors are the last remnants of humanity, only the strongest deserves to survive. In extended universe materials, it was stated that if a child shows too much weakness, he or she will be taken out of the classroom and to the hallway by an teacher, then they will have the child's throat slit in order to remove such weakness for their society.
  • The Spartan Way: An integral part of their social paradigm.
  • Violence is the Only Option: How they view the world. Considering that they live on Death World that is filled with other humans factions that will go to war with you over ideological differences, technologically advanced Scary Dogmatic Aliens, and native wildlife that uses Mind Rape as a weapon, she is not entirely wrong.

Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang (Human Hive)

Voiced by Lu Yu
"I maintain nonetheless that yin-yang dualism can be overcome. With sufficient enlightenment we can give substance to any distinction: mind without body, north without south, pleasure without pain. Remember, enlightenment is a function of willpower, not of physical strength."

Former Unity Chief of Security, from Great China, Yang's philosophy takes influences from communism, collectivism, and elements of Buddhism and Taoism to produce a society with a strong emphasis on sacrificing the individual for the greater whole. Yang himself is something of an amalgam of historical communist leaders, and has big plans for social experimentation and mind control, although his philosophical quotes exhibit a strong Nietzschean influence—which he then subverts, by embracing the collectivism Nietzsche rejects. He's very much his own man.

  • +1 to Growth (Rapid population growth)
  • +1 to Industry (Brutal serfdom)
  • -2 to Economy (Little political freedom)
  • Free Perimeter Defense at each base (Underground bunkers)
  • May not use "Democratic" politics

  • Arch-Enemy: With the Peacekeepers and the Data Angels, since the existence of a democratic government on the planet threaten to make it hard for him to keep his population under control.
    • And the Believers, with Yang viewing religion as irrational superstition that must be removed.
  • Badass Bookworm: He started out as a scholar on Earth, but later turned to a military career as the planet in general and China in particular grew more chaotic in the days leading up to the Unity mission.
  • Bald of Evil/Bald of Awesome: Your Grey and Gray Morality May Vary.
  • Boxed Crook: Yang was wanted for war crimes back on Earth during the Second Golden Revolution in China, but was still accepted into the Unity project due to his leadership abilities and military experience.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Due to his extensive knowledge of physiology, during his psy-evaluation test, he was able to manipulate the UN into thinking that he supports their ideals and was chosen to be part of the project. All the while hiding his true Dirty Communists, Nietzsche Wannabe, and outright Knight Templar ideological beliefs from the council until it was too late.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Refers to democracy as 'the cousin of anarchy' and will go as far as to declare war against democratic factions for not keeping their people on a tight leash.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Believes that for humanity to ascend to enlightenment, we must give up the idea of individuality and embrace collectivism as one society.
  • Expy: While you could say that he's essentially the distilled essence of every collectivist absolute autocrat ever, the most apt comparisons would probably be to Mao Zedong and Qin Shi Huang.
  • Heroic Willpower: One key tenet of his faction's ideology is "mind over matter" — any amount of pain can be borne as long as you can convince yourself you're not actually feeling pain.
  • Hollywood Atheist: If you pick the fundamentalist government policy, he will sarcastically mock you for your 'medieval beliefs' in a way that would make Christopher Hitchens proud.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He has an uncanny ability to play on the emotions of others while remaining unmoved himself. He's cultivated it to such an art form that it's essentially his style of governing.
  • The Needs of the Many: The other major pillar of his philosophy of government.
  • The Sociopath: The GURPS supplement outright calls him one.
    • Moral Sociopathy: Despite it, he is still devoted to what he considers to be the Greater Good.
  • The Stoic: He views emotion as an impediment to rational thought and strives to keep coolly detached even when under great stress.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian

CEO Nwabudike Morgan (Morgan Industries)

Voiced by Regi Davis
"Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed has followed us to the stars and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse."

A wealthy Kenyan plutocrat who funded the entire construction of the Unity in exchange for a cabin aboard the vessel. Morgan and his followers are highly individualistic and value the pursuit of wealth above all means, and believe that free market capitalism leads to prosperity for humanity. However, this leads to reckless trading and corruption, and the people are accostomed to luxurious lifestyles.

  • +1 Economy (Industrial Conglomerate)
  • -1 Support (Followers have expensive tastes)
  • Commerce activities with other factions such as treaties, pacts, and loans are leaned more in their favor
  • Begin with 100 extra energy credits
  • Need a Hab Complex to go above 4 population (Creature comforts at a premium)
  • May not use Planned Economics

  • Arch-Enemy: With the Data Angels and the Free Drones, who both regard Morgan Industries as the Big Man trying to keep the Little Man down.
  • Arms Dealer: His first major business venture on Earth was trading weapons during the Sahara Burst Wars. He later leveraged this position to fund a coup against Namibia's government, which led to him seizing control over their diamond mines.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive / Honest Corporate Executive: Averted on both counts. Morgan is a complex man, and he has his positive and negative points.
  • Egopolis: All the bases are named "Morgan ***" by default. Of course, since each base is apparently headquarters of some division of Morgan Industries, this is less egotistical than it might be otherwise. Then again, the faction is called Morgan Industries...
  • Fiction500: Back on Earth, his company was so wealthy that when it came to contributing resources to the Unity project, it was on equal footing with major nations such as the USA, EU, India, and China. (More specifically, he almost single-handedly stepped in to cover Russia's end of the bargain when that nation's economy collapsed in the 2050s.)
    • And on Planet, it is easiest for the Morgans to go for the economic victory. Which is achieved by investing so much of your energy reserves into the planetary economy that after a few turns, you corner e tire the global energy market. Resulting in total economical collapse and meltdown for all the other factions, forcing them to surrender to you without firing a single shot in battle.
  • Genre Savvy: He realized that given the situation on Earth, it will most likely not survive the next 50 years, and by then all his wealth will not do him any good. So he poured his considerable private wealth into the Unity in order to gain a berth, for a chance to shape humanity's future.
  • Greed: One of his fictional books is even titled "The Ethics of Greed", and for an excerpt:
    "Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill."
  • Megacorp: Imagine if the world is divided between seven super powers. And one of them is controlled by a single corporation that not only serves as it's government, but also have various trade and business interests in the six other countries. That is Morgan Industries in a nutshell.
  • Merchant Prince: On Earth, he was born into wealth and privilege, but leveraged it into economic and political power.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: A piece of his flavor text argues this is the natural order of things — energy resources are the most vital resource humans have, and those who control access to energy can rule the planet. In time, megacorp will eventually become government and entrepreneur will become emperor.
  • Pride: His second-biggest character flaw after Greed.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When you've got the energy credits to pay for the immediate construction of new units and for ridiculously complex probe team operations, what is "fair" anymore? Also, favors Free Market economics, which is just what it sounds like -- no oversight and control, resulting in ruthless and unethical business behavior at the benefit of huge profits.
    • Note that he doesn't necessarily get into trouble with the Gaians as often as one might think—as much as Dierdre hates Free Market, he doesn't actually have that huge of a beef with Green—his main opposition is to Planned economics. Their similar temperaments (both are pretty pacifistic) means that it's not actually that unusual to see Morgan and the Gaians in a grudging alliance.
    • Another caveat: The Morganites will almost always honor the letter of their contracts. They'll make sure to get the best out of the deal during the negotiations, of course, but that's just how things get done. After all, going back on your word is bad for business.
    • Using green economics would actually be in character for him. Planet trying to Kill All Humans is really bad for business.
  • Self-Made Man: While of African royalty and already rich on Earth, he had none of that when he was reawakened on the starship Unity. Despite not having any official position in the mission, Morgan managed to work his way into the leadership and gather a large following in the few days he was awake before the Landing, set off to Planet with his followers, and create a powerful faction with his own talents.
  • The Team Benefactor: A major financial contributor to the Unity project and his company took over part of the ship's construction after the Russian government went broke.

Academician Prokhor Zakharov (University of Planet)

Voiced by Yuri Nesteroff
"There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn, nonetheless, for the latter."

Former Unity Chief Science Officer "Academician" Prokhor Zakharov, an Omnidisciplinary Scientist from Russia. The University believes that human survival and welfare are best achieved through the constant pursuit of science and technology. To this end, however, the University can and does often disregard ethical concerns, and Zakharov is vocal in his condemnation of all forms of religion or spirituality. He treads a fine line between the famous German scientists: Albert Einstein and Josef Mengele.

  • +2 Research (Brilliant research)
  • -2 Probe (Academic networks vulnerable to infiltration)
  • Free Network Node at every base
  • One Bonus Tech at beginning of game
  • Extra Drone for every four citizens (Lack of Ethics)
  • May not use Fundamentalist Politics

  • Arch-Enemy: With the Believers, as their fundamentalist and anti-progressive tendencies are direct opposite to University's main goals.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Believes that religion and conventional morality hinder scientific progress.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's more condescending than outright aggressive towards his opponents' views.
  • Emperor Scientist: The chief scientist on the Unity. And after becoming the leader of his own faction, he still give science lectures and perform experiments outside of politics.
  • Expy: In addition to the similarities with Einstein and Mengele, there's also a bit of Carl Sagan in him.
  • For Science!: Taken to (a)moral extreme.
  • Hypocrite: Every faction leader is one in one sense or another, but one instance in particular stands out for Zakharov: He believes in transparency and free access to scientific data for all researchers, yet he also conducts secret experiments into retroviral engineering in his own quarters.
    • Though he is denying its existence to the Genetic Inspectors, so it may just be for the sake of politics.
  • LEGO Genetics: Specifically calls this out as entirely inaccurate in flavor text.
    "The genetic code does not, and cannot, specify the nature and position of every capillary in the body or every neuron in the brain. What it can do is describe the underlying fractal pattern which creates them."

    "Remember, genes are NOT blueprints. This means you can't, for example, insert "the genes for an elephant's trunk" into a giraffe and get a giraffe with a trunk. There are no genes for trunks. What you CAN do with genes is chemistry, since DNA codes for chemicals. For instance, we can in theory splice the native plants' talent for nitrogen fixation into a terran plant."
  • Mad Scientist: Regarded as such by other factions.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Even have his own quote in which he state his amazement that religion still exist in the world and humanity hasn't Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions yet.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions
  • The Stoic
    • Not So Stoic: In the quote for the Temple of Planet, he's absolutely furious:
    "Let the Gaians preach their silly religion, but one way or the other I shall see this compound burned, seared, and sterilized until every hiding place is found and until every last Mind Worm egg, every last slimy one, has been cooked to a smoking husk. That species shall be exterminated, I tell you! Exterminated!"

Sister Miriam Godwinson (Lord's Believers)

Voiced by Gretchen Weigel
"The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets that were evil."

Former Unity Psych Chaplain, from the Christian States of America. The Believers are fanatical Protestant Christians who view the destruction of Earth as the wrath of God, and Planet as their Promised Land that awaits the faithful. Their unfaltering faith places them frequently at war with factions who don't conform with her views. Whether she is justified or not is unclear—she manages to never become a true straw man of her religion, and while she is aggressive and intolerant of the non-believers, all the factions rarely tolerate viewpoints differing from their own.

  • +1 Probe (Devout believers difficult to brainwash)
  • +2 Support (Citizens eager to defend faith)
  • -2 Research (Suspicious of secular science)
  • -1 Planet (Believe Planet is their promised land)
  • +25% Bonus when attacking enemies (From strength of convictions)
  • Accumulates NO research points for the first ten turns
  • May not use Knowledge value in Social Engineering

  • A God Am I: Downplayed, but functionally played straight. Miriam doesn't claim to be God herself — that would be blasphemy — but she views herself as His divinely appointed messenger to what's left of humanity and that her every action is in accord with His will.
  • Arch-Enemy: The University, since they epitomize Science Is Bad. She also takes issue with the Peacekeepers and Angels, since they favor godless democracies, and The Hive, which favors a brutal Police State.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: They have a crippling 20% research penalty, and can't research at all for the first ten years of the game. This is explained by their inherent distrust in the skepticism that goes with the scientific method, as well as the fact that theology tends to be a better study choice for a successful career than the applied sciences.
  • Church Militant: Along with Yang, Cha Dawn, and the aliens, she's very aggressive.
  • Dark Messiah: Her conception of God is very much in the Old Testament tradition, and she sees herself as His messenger and cleansing flame.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Hostile to factions with democratic governments due to their secular nature.
  • Fiery Redhead: Miriam is by far the most passionate of the base factions and usually one of the most aggressive.
  • Ivy League: Back on Earth, she got her doctorate for psychology from Yale. Her quotes show that she certainly knows quite a bit about it.
  • Large Ham: Slips into this in a lot of flavor text when she denounces the evils of the latest breakthrough.
    "Beware, you who seek first and final principles, for you are trampling the garden of an angry God and he awaits you just beyond the last theorem!"
  • Messianic Archetype: Her passionate faith, her extensive training in psychology, and her sense of duty to help those in need make her an extremely charismatic figure. Of course, see also Dark Messiah above.
  • A Mother to Her Men: Played with. She feels a sense of duty towards those in need of spiritual guidance, but that means killing anyone who doesn't get with the program.
  • Science Is Bad: Subverted. Miriam isn't opposed to science because science is bad, but because she thinks humanity isn't ready to use the immense power of technology in a sensible way. Given some of the late-game technology breakthroughs and their implied impacts on society, she may very well be right.

Commissioner Pravin Lal (UN Peacekeeping Forces)

Voiced by Hesh Gordon
"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

Former Unity Chief of Surgery. The UN forces attempt to remain true to the ideals of the UN Charter. Lal, the appointed successor to Captain Garland, has constructed a faction strongly dedicated to peace, tolerance, and humanitarian ideals. Pravin Lal is quite possibly the most level-headed of the factions leaders, but occasionally his "peacekeeping" heads towards "police actions" and "occupations", and the other leaders may regard him as a simpering, cowardly fool for avoiding war.

  • -1 Efficiency (UN Style Bureaucracy)
  • Extra Talent for every 4 people (Attracts intellectual elite)
  • Population growth may exceed Hab Complex requirements by 2 (Moderate asceticism).
  • Receives double votes in elections for Governor and Supreme Leader
  • May not use Police State Politics

  • Arch-Enemy: Not as prominent as with other leaders, as he really is a pacifist. He will usually be on bad terms with Spartans for their over-militarization and warmongering tendencies, and he's liable to fight Yang at some point (since the Hive will always pick Police State and loathes Democratic, while the Peacekeepers will always pick Democratic and loathe a Police State). The latter is particularly true if the Hive and Peacekeepers are neighbors—and the Random Number God seems to have a perverse preference for making them so.
  • Determinator: Will do anything possible to uphold UN Charter. Even if you press barrel of an impact rifle to his head.
  • The Federation: The last remnants of the UN command structure that was intended for the Unity. Stands for the ideals of democracy and human rights, but like its real counterpart, Lal and Peacekeepers frequently just talk a lot, having very variable influence on other factions.
  • The Medic: His original role on the UNS Unity.
  • Jack of All Stats: Lal is probably the most level-headed of the faction leaders, and the Peacekeepers are arguably the easiest faction to play as, since their penalty is -1 Efficiency, but their preferred form of government, Democracy, offsets that with +2 Efficiency.
    • Master of None: The price of having no major weaknesses is, of course, no major strengths. Lal must make use of his own talents more than his faction's stats if he is to claim victory.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: You can't buy his vote when trying to repeal UN Charter.
  • Technical Pacifist: He will try to avoid any conflict and use lots of Unusual Euphemism for many words related with war and violence.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: Depending on how the game goes, can ended up finally achieving the Unity's original goal of forming a united world government based on the UN. Seeing how they can go both directions in either achieving victory via diplomatic or military means, this is very possible.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: One of the downsides of their commitment to the UN Charter is that it forces them to adopt a complex and inefficient bureaucracy to make absolutely certain that everything is approved and documented through the proper channels.

Alien Crossfire:

Guardian Lular H'minee (Manifold Caretakers)

Voiced by Jeff Gordon
"Tau Ceti flowering: Horrors visited upon neighboring systems must never be repeated. Therefore: if it means the end of our evolution as a species, so be it."

One of two factions of Scary Dogmatic Aliens that crash-land on Planet after a violent confrontation in orbit. Led by "Conservator" Lular H'Minee, the Caretakers intend to maintain Planet's pristine state while searching it for the mysterious Manifold Nexus — even going so far as to knock their Usurper rivals and any human obstacles out of the way. The more reasonable of the two, but still doesn't think much of humans.

  • +1 Planet (Understand workings of Planet, the Sixth Manifold)
  • +25% Defensive Combat (Can sense & manipulate "Resonance" fields)
  • Free Recycling Tanks at every base
  • "Energy Grid" at each base: (Increased infrastructure generates additional energy)
  • Make Planetfall with a Mk I Battle Ogre and extra Colony Pod
  • All prototyped combat units have 2-square sighting radius ("Resonance" sensitivity)
  • Can direct research efforts (rediscovering technology & infrastructure)
  • Possess a physical scan of Planet's surface

  • Arch-Enemy: The Usurpers. There is absolutely no way they can get out of committing war with them. They also run afoul of the Morganites, Gaians, and Planet Cult, since the Caretakers prefer planned economies.
  • Berserk Button: Starting the "Ascent to Transcendence." She will call Vendetta on you immediately if you start the project.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: As with the Gaians, expect lots of mind worms.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: In the RPG book, H'minee is noted to be interested in humans and their societies, though she still tends to regard them as not-quite-sentient animals rather than rivals.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: Both Progenitor factions have several advantages over the human factions, in return for lacking the ability to cooperate between factions at the same level. Notably, they nave no seats on the UN Council and can never be non-hostile with one another.
  • My Greatest Failure: As a race, they believe they were wrong to try and manipulate the manifolds, and seek to never do it again.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Want to exterminate all other life-forms on Planet and leave it in peace, though they won't necessarily make every effort to wipe out humanity until they attempt to Transcend.
  • Starfish Aliens: Their society is frequently described as strange and inhuman.

Conqueror Judaa Maar (Manifold Usurpers)

Also voiced by Jeff Gordon
"Risks of Flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure?"

The second faction of Scary Dogmatic Aliens, led by "Conqueror" Judaa Marr. Having exhausted their technological advantage while fending off the Caretakers in the search for Manifold Six (their name for Planet) and the Nexus within, they seek to affect the evolution of the Planetmind as a means of restoring contact with the Progenitor home system. Of course, if they can just as easily dominate alien and human alike through military force.

  • +1 Growth (Abuse Planet's resources for their own gain)
  • +1 Morale (Warlike culture)
  • -1 Planet (Planet senses Usurper's dark intent)
  • +25% Offensive combat (Can sense & manipulate "Resonance" fields)
  • Free Recycling Tanks at every base
  • "Energy Grid" at each base (Increased infrastructure generates additional energy)
  • Begin game with a Mk I Battle Ogre and extra Colony Pod
  • All prototyped combat units have 2-square sighting radius ("Resonance" sensitivity)
  • Can direct research efforts (rediscovering technology & infrastructure)
  • Possess a physical scan of Planet's surface

  • Arch-Enemy: The Caretakers. Also, since they run a planned economy, expect problems with the Gaians, Morganites, and Planet Cult.
  • Large and in Charge: Absolutely huge compared to even the largest human leaders, and stands several inches taller than H'minee.
  • Not So Different: The RPG book notes that, despite their open contempt for humanity, the Usurpers in general and Judaa Maar in particular are much more "human-like" than their estranged cousins.
  • Planet Looters: Here to use the power of the Manifold for their own ambitions, and to destroy anything in their way.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: Both Progenitor factions have several advantages over the human factions, in return for lacking the ability to cooperate between factions at the same level. Notably, they nave no seats on the UN Council and can never be non-hostile with one another.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Canonically, these guys are evil, the only faction explicitly called out as such by the game.
  • Social Darwinist: Their ideology is basically that the Progenitors should do whatever it takes to make themselves more powerful, even if at the expense of everyone and everything else.

Captain Ulrik Svensgaard (Nautilus Pirates)

Voiced by James Liebman
"The sea... vast, mysterious... and full of wealth! And the nations of Planet send their trade across it without a thought. Well, the sea doesn't care about them, so it lets them pass. But we can give the sea a little hand in teaching the landlubbers a lesson in humility."

Former Unity Astrogator, U.S. Navy Captain, and fisherman. He has no particular ideological beliefs and is extremely flexible in his pursuit of wealth and power, especially other people's wealth and power. The Nautilus Pirates are primarily water-bound and benefit from expert sea-floor mining and farming skill.

  • -1 Efficiency (Individualistic mentality opposed to central organization)
  • -1 Growth (Culture does not play high emphasis on family)
  • Free Naval Yard in every base once you discover the tech "Doctrine: Initiative")
  • Can build enhancements in trench squares after discovering "Advanced Ecological Engineering"
  • Sea colony pod & sea former prototypes free
  • Bonus mineral from ocean shelf squares
  • All sea units have Marine Detachment once discover the tech "Adaptive Doctrine"
  • Begin the game landing in the sea instead of land

  • The Alcoholic: Other factions opposed to Svensgaard remark that he spends his days swilling rum and talking to his parrot.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Downplayed. The Pirates aren't pleasant people by any means, but their violent trainwreck of a society still functions. However, it is still a violent trainwreck of a society, suffering from inefficiency and slow growth because of it.
  • Arch-Enemy: They tend to run afoul of the University.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: As their lifestyle tends to discourage strong family ties, most of their population growth comes from malcontents fleeing from other, more socially constrained factions.
  • Expy: Their methods and motives — and their name — are essentially lifted straight out of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and transplanted to Planet's oceans, with Svensgaard himself filling the role of Captain Nemo.
  • Foil: In pure gameplay terms, to the Peacekeepers, surprisingly. Like the Peacekeepers, the Pirates are a Jack of All Stats faction with a reduced number of real weaknesses. However, while this makes the Peacekeepers a highly flexible faction that can pursue different goals that is highly reliant on player skill, the Pirates' bonuses keep them on a particular track of behavior.
  • Honor Among Thieves: One of the few laws (as such) among the Nautilus Pirates is that one Pirate does not steal another's property. Members of other factions are fair game, however, especially if they're stupid enough to trespass where no landlubber belongs.
  • It's All About Me: Their culture is a hedonistic, selfish one that discourages familial growth and efficiency.
  • Jack of All Stats: Like Lal, Svensgaard has relatively few major weaknesses and can use virtually any form of social engineering. However, unlike the Peacekeepers, the Pirates' advantages push them towards pursuing certain kinds of behavior (staying in the sea, attacking and plundering other factions, etc.), and they lack the Peacekeeper's full flexibility.
  • Pirate: Svensgaard consciously emulates the legendary pirates of old Earth and steers his faction in the same direction.
  • Plunder: Their goal in life.
  • Social Darwinist: The straightest and least-sympathetic example in the games. The Pirates take what they want, and screw those who can't hold onto it.
  • Space Pirates: Though more like regular pirates.
  • Wretched Hive: Their entire civilization is built around crime and violence.

Prophet Cha Dawn (Cult of Planet)

Voiced by Stacy Spenser
"Mankind has been blind for thousands of years- for all of its history. We have come to a place whose wonders are a hundred-fold more amazing than anything on Earth. Around us is clear evidence of the will of a higher power. I bring the Vision to the blind eyes of men. I bring the Word to the deaf ears of men. I will make them see it. I will make them hear it."

An orphan, the empath-psychic Cha'Dawn is a messianic child prodigy, who was found unharmed in a fungal bloom field. The Cult of Planet are under her spiritual command and preaches the cleansing of humanity from Planet, and will go to any length to achieve it. Their followers are fanatical and believe Cha'Dawn to be the physical incarnation of the Planetmind.

  • +2 Planet (Devoted to promoting native growth)
  • -1 Industry (Reluctant to pollute environment.)
  • -1 Economy (Uninterested in wealth and its trappings)
  • Free Brood Pit in every city
  • Mind Worms do double police duty
  • May not make Wealth choice in Social Engineering
  • Start with a Mind Worm

  • Animal Wrongs Group: In charge of a country.
  • Arch-Enemy: As with the Gaians, dislikes the Morgans. They also run afoul of the Free Drones and both alien factions due to their interest in "wasteful" Planned economics.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: A much angrier, more violent version of Deidre.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Supposedly he was found alone among the xenofungus and completely unfazed by an environment that would be lethal to any normal human. If true, it would mean that some non-human element has fundamentally altered his biological processes from the norm.
  • Humans Are Bastards: While the Gaians believe that humanity can learn to coexist with Planet peacefully on theoretically equal terms, the Cult of Planet instead believes that humans have already blown their chances by ruining Earth and that only Planet itself is worthy to judge whether human beings deserve to continue living.
  • The Messiah: Cha Dawn's followers view him as such.
    • Dark Messiah: There's that whole "Kill all humans who stand in our way" angle...
  • Oracular Urchin: By far the youngest faction leader in the game.
  • Outside-Context Villain: No one is completely sure where he came from.

Prime Function Aki Zeta-Five (Cybernetic Consciousness)

Voiced by Allie Rivenbark
"Those who join us need only give up only half of their humanity- the illogical, ill-tempered, and disordered half, commonly thought of as 'right-brain' functioning. In exchange, the 'left-brain' capacities are increased to undreamed potentials. The tendency of Biologicals to cling instead to their individual personalities can only be attributed to archaic evolutionary tendencies."

Cold and calculating, "she" is a union of an illegal pre-sentient computer algorithm and the Norwegian computer technician Aki Lutinnen, a programmer who worked for Zakharov. The Cybernetic Consciousness offers advanced cybernetic augmentation in exchange for joining their minds with AIs. They are highly intelligent, rational and logical, but they tend to have problems understanding and interpreting emotion—their own and those of others.

  • +2 Research: (Human research abilities enhanced by algorithmic control)
  • +2 Efficiency (Cybernetic biologicals extremely efficient)
  • -1 Growth (Humans 'possessed by an algorithm' find reproduction awkward note 
  • Impunity to Cybernetic penalty (Cybernetic social choice is 'rational' and not dissented by citizens)
  • Can steal technology when capturing a base
  • May not make Fundamentalist choice in social engineering

  • Arch-Enemy: The Believers, since they cannot run fundamentalist. Ultimately the Free Drones, since their idea of an ideal society clashes with the Consciousness's.
  • Asexuality: Outright stated to be a side effect of fusing with an AI.
  • Cyborg: More or less their whole civilization.
  • Emotionless Girl: Aki-Zeta 5.
  • Ill Girl: Aki before her merger with the AI.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Notable in its aversion. This is the traditional problem of their Cybernetic social policies that their advantages remove.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Downplayed, especially compared to Zakharov, but the Consciousness cannot make use of a Fundamentalist government.
  • Power Copying: Their military can compensate for its reduced size by reverse-engineering other people's stuff after capturing a city.
  • Robot Republic: Well, cyborg.
  • The Singularity: Their ultimate goal, to the point that they will attack other factions for not pursuing it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: It is not uncommon for the Consensus to be a firm and useful ally to your faction all game long, up until the exact moment you decide not to subsume your civilization into a cybernetic collective.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Have a hard time understanding love and lust, so procreation is rare.

Datajack Sinder Roze (Data Angels)

Voiced by Christine Melton
"What's more important, the data or the jazz? Sure, sure, 'Information should be free' and all that— but anyone can set information free. The jazz is in how you do it, what you do it to, and in almost getting caught without getting caught. The data is 1's and 0's. Life is the jazz."

Former Unity Network Administrator, she is a Trinidadian cybercriminal who parleyed her sentence into community service (specifically, working for Morgan Industries during construction of the Unity). The Data Angels are concerned with the freedom of information and the freedom of the individual. They are highly trained in information technology and information warfare, which makes them experts in all forms of espionage. However, their anarchist tendencies means they're barely a full faction.

  • +2 Probe (Highly motivated computer specialists)
  • -1 Police (Decentralized, difficult to control)
  • Gain any tech discovered by three other factions
  • -25% cost to probe team actions
  • Free Covert Ops Center in every base
  • May not make Power choice in social engineering

  • Arch-Enemy: The Hive and the Believers, both of which base their societies on restricting access to information by promoting their respective ideologies as the "One True Way."
  • Boxed Crook: Back on Earth, after Interpol arrested Roze for her cyber crime activities, due to her expert skills in computer programming, she was offer a way out by serving on the Unity project.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: The Data Angels as a whole value independence and free thought and tend to hold anyone who claims authority by virtue of their position (rather than through their own skills) in contempt.
  • Defector from Decadence: She initially aligned herself with the Morganites, but struck out on her own with a group of like-minded followers after she became fed up with their obsession over wealth and greed.
  • The Federation: Other then the Peacekeepers, the only other faction that always prefers a democratic government system. And given their ideology, it is very likely that citizens living under the Data Angels enjoy the most personal freedoms compared with the other factions.
  • Playful Hacker
  • The Trickster: She views herself as one and lives off the excitement that comes from stirring people out of their complacent lives.
  • We Are Struggling Together: One of the downsides to the Data Angels' general contempt for authority is that it hinders their own group actions, as everyone has a voice and no one wants to feel like they're just another soldier in someone else's personal army.

Foreman Domai (Free Drones)

Voiced by Frederick Serafin
"Now it's day and night the irons clang, and like poor galley slaves. We toil and toil, and when we die, must fill dishonored graves. But some dark night, when everything is silent in the town. I'll shoot those tyrants one and all, I'll gun the flogger down. I'll give the land a little shock, remember what I say, And they'll yet regret they've sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay."

An Australian mining expert who was turned into a drone by an accident shortly after Planetfall. Domai led a rebellion against his treatment as a second-class citizen and founded the Free Drones, a socialist nation without class segregation. The Drones are numerous and powerful industrialists, but lack advanced technology and distrust "Blue Sky Research" without obvious benefits, so they must often resort to human-wave tactics.

  • +2 Industry (Excellent craftsman and skilled workers)
  • -2 Research (Emphasis on productivity instead of 'blue-sky' research)
  • One less drone in every base
  • Revolting bases join Drones
  • May not use Green economics

  • Ace Pilot: The "Cloudbase Academy" quote comes from Domai, and he knows his way around an aircraft.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Consciousness, since Eudamonia, the Free Drone ideal, is not considered rational. The Gaians and Morganites have their own issues, since Domai prefers a planned economy. Subverted with the Hive. Chairman Yang is Foreman Domai's personal nemesis in the backstory, and the two factions they lead are more-or-less foils to one another, the actual gameplay ensures that cooperation between the two is not impossible if the Drones end up favoring a Police State.
  • Awesome Aussie: One of the few faction leaders to have fame from his personal valor in war, and also the largest and most imposing human. Unlike everyone else, his opening quote is actually an excerpt from an old Australian ballad.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Domai rebelled from Yang early during Planetfall. He also disdains the idea of being above others.
    Domai:' The managers always talked about the view from 30,000 feet. The problem is at that height, everyone looks like ants.
  • Commie Land: A rare, benevolent version.
  • Defector from Decadence: Although originally the project's head mining specialist, Domai spent his first years on Planet as a drone in the Hive after a cryopod malfunction caused temporary brain-damage. Upon recovering his higher faculties, his horror at the injustice of the Hive's society caused him to lead his fellow workers in revolution.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Yes, they have the same one as everyone else. While everyone is ideologically equal, some people are still going to have more access to the benefits of psych education than others, and while the faction has a stronger social welfare net than other factions, sometimes people will fall between the cracks and create a repressed underclass for whom "freedom" is a joke.
  • Foil: For Yang and the Hive. While they both subscribe to collectivist worldviews, the Free Drones follow a more grassroots approach, with everyone voluntarily contributing their work for the greater good of the whole, as opposed to Yang's imposed equality by a ruling elite.
  • Gaia's Lament: The Free Drones care little for environmental concerns when faced with potential benefits to the people. Note that they aren't necessarily stupid about it, and that they can implement technologies to minimize their footprint more-easily and -quickly than any other faction, but they can't make environmentalism a primary policy goal.
  • Hot-Blooded: Domai's experiences as a second-class drone left him with a nasty temper and a grudge against his oppressors. Some in-universe speculation wonders if his recovery from the more-obvious symptoms of his brain damage masks his more subtle ones, such as increased aggression and decreased impulse control.
  • Just the First Citizen: "Foreman" isn't even a political title in most societies. The GURPS RPG book states that Domai even takes turns in the factories, just like everyone else, and lives in what would be rather modest, if comfortable, housing in most other factions.
  • Large and in Charge: The tallest and heaviest human faction leader by a decent margin.
  • No Poverty: One of the faction's goals is to better the lot of the common citizen by more-equally distributing the fruits of their technologically-advanced society.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Played with. While the Drones' Eudaimonic agenda doesn't favor heavy military build-up in the long run, it takes them time and struggle to get there, and in the meanwhile Domai can be quite aggressive with his foreign policy. And coming into contact with the Free Drones can cause other cities to undergo revolutions of their own and joining him if they are mismanaged.
  • Science Is Bad: Downplayed, but present. They simply dislike non-practical research, slowing the rate of progress rather than the adoption of new tech. Additionally, scientists are expected to pull their weight and engage in practical labor just like everyone else, reducing the amount of time they can devote to research. Once advances are made, the Drones can implement them everywhere more rapidly than anyone else.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Though their mutually exclusive goals for the future ultimately doom them to war in the end, the Drones and the Consciousness can find common ground before that necessarily becomes an issue. And while Chairman Yang would seem to be Foreman Domai's arch-foe from their backstory and the Drones' official ideology, in practice the Free Drones do not require a democratic government.
  • That Man Is Dead: Foreman Domai's given name is Arthur Donaldson. He doesn't use it anymore, to emphasize his "rebirth."
  • Working Class Hero: Can crank out infrastructure, and focus heavily on improving the lot of everyone, instead of just a favored few.
  • Working Class People Are Morons: Just like the Believers, they suffer a built in research penalty due partly to their dislike for all those upper class fancy intellectuals and scientists, and partly to their desire not to "waste" money on 'blue-sky' research that could be going to better the lot of the common people.
  • Zerg Rush: What they must freqently rely on since they lack the superior technology of other factions.

Sid Meier & Brian Reynolds (Firaxians)

The Lethal Joke Characters, either can lead the faction (depending on which of their profiles you import into the selectable factions). Bereft of all the other factions' distinctions and idiosyncracies, their main claim to fame is bringing singularity technology to Planet about 300-350 years before it would normally develop. No bonuses or penalties, but start the game with Singularity Mechanics, a Discovery 12 tech that allows a reactor upgrade that can vastly improve unit mobility while also decreasing costs. The other factions will want to trade for it.

Other Characters

Captain Garland

The Captain of the Unity, days before planetfall he was assassinated. This was the event that fractured the crew into the assorted factions due to disagreement over the mantle of leadership.

The Voice of Planet

The mysterious psionic entity that appears to be the planet itself, its neural network makes up all the native lifeforms, including the xenofungus, of the planet. It communicates regularly with your faction leader.

  • A God Am I: The other factions largely see it as one, not hard to understand why.
  • Archive Binge: Invoked - in an attempt to force higher intelligence on it as its growth reaches critical mass, you end up downloading the entire datalinks onto it.
    "Imagine the entire contents of the planetary datalinks, the sum total of human knowledge, blasted into the Planetmind's fragile neural network with the full power of every reactor on the planet. Thousands of years of civilization compressed into a single searing burst of revelation. That is our last-ditch attempt to win humanity a reprieve from extinction at the hands of an awakening alien god."
    Academician Prokhor Zakharov, Planet Speaks
  • Hive Mind
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the Transcendence victory, humans merge with it, becoming psionic entities with the option of re-entering human bodies to live mortal lives for a time if they so choose. Whichever faction completes the final secret project first has their leader become the dominant personality.
  • No Name Given: The physical planet is called Chiron, the alien hive mind controlling its lifeforms has no such designation.
    • Kinda goes into Everyone Calls Him Barkeep in that, when you complete the Threshold of Transcendence secret project, when the planet starts calling itself Planet because that's what the humans call it.
  • Vicious Cycle: Planet's native life becomes sentient approximately every 100 million years, with the sentience coming just too late for planet to prevent massive die-backs caused by the flowering that leads up to planet becoming sentient, sending the newly-sentient Planet back into a semi-sentient dreaming state. The presence of humans on Planet's surface accelerates the cycle, leading to Planet rapidly becoming more coherent. Can humanity find a way to end the cycle? Yes, they can.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: As it grows more sentient, it develops one that includes rolling its r's.

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