Characters / Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri

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

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Original game:

    Lady Deirdre Skye (Gaia's Stepdaughters) 

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."

Born 2025, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Studied at Cornell University School of Agriculture, acquired Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Biology, Masters in Biology, Ph.D. Biology and Genetics. Immediately distinguished self with deep intuitive knowledge of plant strains and ability to intuit powerful genetic manipulations at Bionex Research Lab, White Plains, N.Y. Later worked for Red Cross and United Nations Disaster Relief Fund to revitalize radiation contaminated areas with highly specialized biostrains (Skye variation v097 apple and Skye Mark IV wheat strain considered as highest examples of adaptable biogenetics in contaminated soil). Selected as top candidate for Mission Botanist/Xenobiologist by U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission Committee, appointed against wishes of Chief Science Officer Prokhor Zakharov.

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 (and even he understands how a pissed-off planet's ecosystem wanting to Kill All Humans would be bad for business). 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, who are hated by both of them).
    • 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 cannot employ green economics.
    • Subverted with the Spartans; although several secret project videos show the Spartans as targets of Gaian mind worm attacks, the two factions have no particular animosity in-game and often just ignore each other.
  • Disk One Nuke: Deidre starts with a +1 Planet rating, letting her capture alien lifeforms to use for her own army. This lets her get a powerful, difficult-to-defend-against army of mind worms in the early game. However, it won't take long for enemy factions to develop breakthroughs to better combat psi units, and then eventually capture and grow their own worms.
  • 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 or bred native lifeforms.
  • Good Is Not Soft: She is the nicest of the Faction leaders save for Lal - but she will bite back HARD if provoked. Also keep in mind that the Stepdaughters are one of only three factions (along with the Cult of Planet and the Caretakers) that's capable of capturing native fauna at the beginning of the game- which means if you make her mad, you are very likely to be assaulted by hordes of mind worms and spore launchers.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Studied at Cornell University.
  • Ludd Was Right: Averted, Deirdre's a brilliant scientist who had invented new strains of GMO crops. She actually sees scientific development as a boon for ecology.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-universe; the more she's under stress, the more noticeable her native Scottish accent becomes (she's self-consciously upper-middle-class, and as such tries to speak with her more "refined" RP accent normally).
  • 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 with sending waves upon waves of mind worms to do the dirty work for them. There's also technically nothing stopping her from building and using a planet buster, although that would be highly out of character.
  • 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 Economics' models since she views them as irresponsibly polluting the environment. That said, she's much less bloody-minded about it than most faction leaders; alliances between the Gaians and Morganites, although not usual, aren't exactly uncommon either, as both are fundamentally peaceful and usually agree about everything else. (Indeed, if you play as Lal or Zakharov, binding the both of them in an alliance with you is a fairly common alignment: both she and Morgan are by far the most peaceable leaders, and with Lal and Zakharov not being particularly belligerent either, they do well together.)

    Colonel Corazon Santiago (Spartan Federation) 

Colonel Corazon Santiago (Spartan Federation)
Voiced by Wanda Niño
"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."

Born 2026, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Family emigrated to Mexico City; orphaned during East Side Riots of 2034. Joined survivalist gang known as Jade Falcons; remained in city with younger siblings for several years more (exact whereabouts unknown). Later appeared in Boyce Heights, New Los Angeles, alone. Joined NLA Red Panthers (community security force), then moved on to join City Guard; distinguished self as Battalion Commander as city imposed martial law in 2050. Joined U.N. Security Force in 2053; excellent discipline, physical agility and ability to thrive in any environment led to selection as part of security force, U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission.

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:
    • Primarily with the Morganites (since she views their pursuit of wealth as being decadent and untrustworthy), the University (since she suspects that their pursuit of science is actually a smoke screen for advanced weapons research), and the Angels (since their preference for sneaky activities and decentralized organization over direct use of force and a clear and rigid chain of command are completely contrary to her views). Really, it's easier to count the people she doesn't have a grudge with; she leads the most militaristic faction, after all.
    • Subverted with the Gaians; although several secret project videos show the Spartans as targets of Gaian mind worm attacks, the two factions have no particular animosity in-game and often just ignore each other.
  • Colonel Badass: She goes by the rank of colonel, and she's at the top of the pyramid in a society where Asskicking Equals Authority.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Santiago's personal creed is "Survival at any cost." This in turn influences much of the Spartans' ideology. In play, Santiago is surprisingly likely to pledge a Pact of Sisterhood with any faction that manages to best her military, rather than fight to the last. So apparently, Defeat Means Friendship can be a matter of pragmatism, as well.
  • 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. For example, it is she who says there must be facilities for children, since their parents can concentrate on their jobs without worrying about them, and that, if the child is threatened, a parent will fight to the death.
  • 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.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While she's not evil, she definitely cannot comprehend the idea that anyone on Planet isn't looking to bring her down at the first sign of weakness, because that's how she's looking at everyone else. If a faction values Knowledge, she automatically assumes that it's just a cover for a secret weapons program, even if it's the Peacekeepers. (Of course, in some cases, she's likely to be right.)
  • Gun Nut: Called exactly this by her enemies. Given the vast numbers of military units she hoards, this is no exaggeration.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite: Like any good Social Darwinist. Santiago's own son is a weakling and she pulls a lot of strings to ensure he's safe in the brutal society she advocates.
  • Irony: For all their advocacy of ruthless pragmatism and social darwinism, they are the only canonically confirmed faction to have been eradicated. Even more humiliatingly, it was at the hand of the faction who advocated peace and living in harmony with the new world.
  • Just Think of the Potential: To quote the GURPS supplement: "The Spartans are no better at scientific research than any other faction, but they do have an uncanny ability to turn any new technology to military use." They also think that everyone else thinks like this, and any attempt at developing Knowledge for its own sake is a cover for something really ugly.
  • 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.
  • Properly Paranoid: She fears that any Knowledge-based society is developing secret weapons programs that might destroy the Spartans. She's inevitably right, if for no other reason than that a rapidly-advancing society will develop weapons programs as part of their basic development.
  • 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 by a 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.
  • The Starscream: Back when the Unity launched, she used a few connections to get some of her fellow survivalists assigned to the vessel. Once the Unity arrived over Planet, she attempted a coup to take control of the ship, which ultimately fragmented the crew into the different splinter factions present at the start of the game. However, she did not actually assassinate Chief Garland.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: How they view the world. Considering that they live on a 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. Subverted if you manage to push her back against a wall. She will pledge a Pact of Brotherhood with anyone who can definitively beat her down, and unlike the other factions, she's very unlikely to go against her word once she's in a better situation.

    Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang (Human Hive) 

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."

Born 1999, in Wuhan, China; father a prominent Chinese scholar. Master of the Five Excellences: calligraphy, poetry, painting, traditional medicine, and martial arts (including martial t'ai-chi, wushu, and others). Studied Chinese Literature and Military History at Beijing University, later acquired a PHD in Psychology from same. Taught joint lock techniques to Chinese military during the Second Golden Revolution, then commanded Golden Emperor's personal security force. Vanished for several years following the Crimson Succession, to resurface in United Nations security training force. Selected Chief of Security, U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission.

The Human Hive'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)
  • Immune to negative Efficiency modifiersnote 
  • May not use "Democratic" politics

  • The Anti-Nihilist: He considers nihilism to be the result of maturity. That being said, one of his quotes sums up his relationship to nihilism nicely. "Life's only purpose is life itself"
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Downplayed, since there can be no true Big Bad in a strategy game that has so many variable factions in shades of Grey and Gray Morality. But, if there is a singular villain among the base factions, it's Yang. Garland considered him to be the single most dangerous person on the Unity mission (of which he was a power hungry second-in-command), it's implied he may have been the one to assassinate Garland which caused the Unity crew to fraction, and he was a war criminal back on Earth. In terms of faction performance, Yang under AI control tends to be one of the more aggressive ones, and his ideals and goals are closely aligned with traditional supervillains.
  • 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.
  • 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, they 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 Huangdi.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Subverted. Human Hive is immune to inefficiency, which allows them to use Police State and Planned Economy without any ill effects. Any other faction would commit an industrial suicide picking those two together.
  • 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.
    • Also he applies this to himself. When he was being hit by an Pain Whip by the Spartans on the Unity, to make him compliant, he was using it to wake himself up and remain focused.
  • 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.
  • Human Resources: Yang states it's the duty for citizens to be "recycled" after they die, and part of that is a Human Resources sort of answer.
  • Inscrutable Oriental: He originates from China, and his faction is highly paranoid and secretive with a social agenda many would find abhorrent.
  • 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.
    • In Journey to Centauri, he uses various techniques to get his Spartan guard to shoot herself. Garland who watches this on a camera is Genre Savvy enough to order his arrest for murder.
  • Moral Sociopathy: He's passionate about the greater welfare of humanity as a whole, but he shows no remorse or compassion for the suffering his policies may cause for many individual humans.
  • The Needs of the Many: The other major pillar of his philosophy of government.
  • Pet the Dog: In a twisted way. If a person is in pain, he would help them. Not by easing the pain but by teaching them to control and master the pain. Even in the Transcendent victory he would allow anyone who did not want to ascend to opt out with enough supplies, crops, and animals to survive afterwards. Of course also an example of Pragmatic Villainy as it's a backup in case it goes wrong.
  • Police State: His preferred method of government, and he'll attack you if you don't run one.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Played With. In the prequel book, when the Spartans wake up Yang from cyrosleep they're under specific instructions not to let him talk. Once he's able to speak, he quickly demonstrates why by convincing his guard to shoot herself in the head with one monologue. What's weird about it is that she's not intending to commit suicide, but trying to prevent his escape and has somehow been convinced that her own head is actually his. It is implied that this is less Psychic Powers and more that Yang had actually installed a Trigger Phrase in the Spartans at some point that gave him control over them (and presumably is how he controls the Hive), hence the warning.
  • The Sociopath: The GURPS supplement outright calls him one.
  • The Stoic: He views emotion as an impediment to rational thought and strives to keep coolly detached even when under great stress.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: His argument for the Genejack Factory is rooted in this. The Genejack is designed from the ground up to feel no pain and desire nothing other than the completion of its duty. Hence, he says that enslaving these purpose-designed drones is not tyrannical because they cannot suffer.

    CEO Nwabudike Morgan (Morgan Industries) 

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."

Born 2005, of African royalty. Nwabudike, using seed money to buy and sell weapons during the Sahara Burst Wars, was able to purchase a private mercenary force to claim a series of diamond mines from a defeated enemy nation. Leveraged his growing wealth to expand into several other businesses, including mercenary forces, U.N. escorts, brokering food deals, and creating Morgan Safe Haven Hotel Fortress chain "for the discriminating executive."

A wealthy African plutocratnote  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 accustomed 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. He also clashes with the Gaians, the Planet Cult and the Progenitors due to his preference for inefficient and environmentally-unsound Free Market economics.
  • 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, which admittedly, is a fairly common naming scheme for companies. See: Honda, Fox, Boeing, Colt.
  • 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 the entire global energy market. This results 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. This still extends to a certain degree now that he's on Planet: although he's certainly a "Screw the Rules if it Makes Me Money" guy, he does hold some degrees of Pragmatic Villainy to ensure his profitability, as well as survival. This extends to sometimes allying with the Gaians (albeit grudgingly), or putting the brakes on pollution in order to ward off Planet's attacks on his industries.
  • 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.

    Academician Prokhor Zakharov (University of Planet) 

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."

Born 1994, in Cherskiy, Russia. Educated Interlink Correspondence courses, Universities Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Joined Kolymar Defense Force out of college, tested very high in engineering aptitude, sent to University of Moscow on site for Masters' in engineering. Later served as Combat Engineer along the Bering Strait, developed specialized snowbound powered armor for skirmishers, coupled with profound ability to land heavy machinery in any imaginable conditions. Quickly rose to Chief Engineer, Kolymar defense initiative. When skirmishing ended was brought back to Moscow to a high-ranking R&D position in the Russian Republic Ministry of Defense. Used a trip to a conference in Germany to transfer to the United Nations team responsible for developing planetside technology, U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission. Recommended unconditionally by high-ranking U.N. official for position of Chief Science Officer on ship.

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.
    • He tends to clash with the Spartans and Pirates as well, since he sees their pursuit of military power as irrational.
  • 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.
  • Disk One Nuke: Zakharov's free Network Nodes lets him hook up Alien Artifacts to his bases for instant tech advances, which can be a huge advantage in the early game. By the mid game, though, the likelihood of finding an Artifact in a resource pod is rare, and any tech advantages Zakharov has are probably due more to his own innate Research benefits than usage of the Artifacts.
  • 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 extremes. The pursuit of knowledge is imperative, and one shouldn't let little things like "informed consent" and "human rights" get in the way.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: He refuses to run a Fundamentalist government, and is astounded that people still adhere to religious faith. Unlike Yang, Lal and Roze, though, he doesn't interfere with other factions' Fundamentalist governments; he simply never has one himself.

    Sister Miriam Godwinson (Lord's Believers) 

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."

Born 2014, in Athens, Georgia, father a high-ranking member of the Evangelical Fire. Baptized in River of Fire at age 7; attended series of religious schools, including College of the Covenant. Received Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University. Abundant charisma led her to position as ranking Psych Priest of Heavenly Diocese; later appointed U.N. Honorary Psych Chaplain for Re-integration Forces sent to countries decimated in Crusader Wars. Reassigned stateside when native populations elevated her to a cult-like religious figure (the 'Prophet Phenomenon' often coinciding with post-nuclear madness). Political pressure for the reconciling of the secular and the spiritual led to her appointment as Psych Chaplain, U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission.

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, she's hardly unique in that regard — few of Planet's factions 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: Played with.
    • On the one hand, 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.
    • On the other hand, Sister Miriam is a psychologist by training, and she uses that knowledge to instill her followers with a fanatic zeal and a strong sense of common purpose. The Believers' Probe Teams also benefit from this, being better able to manipulate the malcontents and dissidents in other factions and to spot the telltale signs of other factions' Probe Teams trying to pull the same tricks on them.
  • 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.
  • Dark Shepherd: While she's sensitive to those she sees as being in distress, she's also not afraid to bring down the wrath of God on anyone she views as an unrepentant non-believer or apostate.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Hostile to factions with democratic governments due to their secular nature. Ironically, while Miriam is hostile towards democracies, there's nothing to stop her from establishing a democracy herself.
  • Fiery Redhead: Miriam is by far the most passionate of the base factions and coded to be very aggressive.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: She can use late game technologies that she condemns as immoral.
    • Her in-game bonuses and leader personality are also the opposite of her presentation in her quotes and the first novel.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: 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.
  • Moral Guardians: One of the factors slowing down the Believers' research is that new discoveries have to be vetted for morally-approved applications before they can be acted upon.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: For all that she's the setting's token Knight Templar Moral Guardian, it bears noting that she gained her initial power base by showing compassion for a segment of Project Unity's colonists that other leaders only held in contempt.
    • She was also the only other leader to vote with Lal to preserve the unity of the mission in the introductory novel — of course, in-game Lal's use of democracy means she's likely to wipe him out if they encounter each other early on.
  • Police State: Subverted. Miriam has the centralized government and fervent belief that one would expect from a police state, but she considers such a thing barbaric and will attack you if you run one. although she can run one herself.
  • 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.
  • Turbulent Priest: The Believers' Probe bonus applies offensively as well as defensively, modeling how their Probe Teams work with a missionary zeal and can easily manipulate the downcast in other factions with promises of a better life.
  • Zerg Rush: They can maintain a massive army, but it'll usually be a bit lower-tech than everyone else's, encouraging this tactic.

    Commissioner Pravin Lal (UN Peacekeeping Forces) 

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."

Born 2006, in Rajkot, India. Degree in Philosophy and Medicine, Oxford University. Trained in Thoracic Surgery. Achieved international acclaim for selfless devotion to victims of radiation poisoning following the Twelve Minute War and the India Border Conflict. Served as member of research team investigating genes that encode proteins aiding with DNA repair, University of Basel, Switzerland. Later appointed Assistant Director, World Health Organization. Top candidate for Chief of Surgery, U.N. Alpha Centauri Mission.

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: He despises anything but Democracy, and thus, will clash frequently with both the Hive, the Believers, and usually, the Cult of Planet. All of them are quite aggressive.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Averted. Despite everything that life has thrown at him, including the death of his wife, only son, and grandson, he still clings to his ideals.
  • Determinator: Will do anything possible to uphold UN Charter. Even if you press the 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 faction with no weaknesses or strengths that significantly influence his playstyle, and is extremely friendly to new players. His benefits to Talents and base size allow the player to build up their faction comfortably, and the size of his population in tandem with his vote bonus lets him easily win Governor elections and go for a Diplomatic Victory. His sole penalty is -1 to Efficiency, but his preferred form of government, Democracy, offsets that with +2 Efficiency. And in story terms, Lal's whole schtick is trying to reunite the Unity crew and keep true to the mission set by the United Nations back on Earth. For this reason, unless you run a Police State, you can also expect an AI-controlled Lal to not cause you much grief.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: He sees religion as a relic of humanity's barbaric old days that has no place in governing Planet, and gets distressed when other leaders run Fundamentalist governments. He can still run one himself, though.
  • The Remnant: The Peacekeepers are the faction with by far the best claim to being the "continuity" faction representing the original mission of the Unity. But they're still just one faction out of the original seven.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: You can't buy his vote when trying to repeal the 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.
  • The McCoy: Lal tends to allow his emotions to influence his decisions more than reason.
  • ‹bermensch : Averted. Despite his political power, charisma, idealism, and other traits that make him suited to the archetype, Lal is wholly committed to the UN Charter set out before him, and seeks to preserve them amongst the environment of Alpha Centauri rather than formulating his own ideology. Whether this makes him the only sane man or not is up to the player.
  • 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) 

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.
  • Purposely 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) 

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

  • Aliens Are Bastards: These ones certainly are.
  • 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.
  • Purposely 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) 

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."

Born of a fisherman father and barkeep mother in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Spent his early 20s following in his father's footsteps before he joined the Navy in 2042. Served with distinction in the various Pax Decay wars, earning himself a berth at OCS and an eventual appointment as navigator with the William Jefferson Clinton battle group. During the disastrous 2053 Battle of Baffin Bay, he single-handedly rescued the flag admiral and three other senior officers trapped below decks when the Clinton's magazine exploded, costing Svensgaard the use of his left eye. For his heroics, he was offered his choice of assignments; he chose the fledgling Unity project.

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 due to their distrust of researchers. They also have issues with the Angels because they see covert action as cowardly. Like the Spartans, though, it's hard to see them as being particularly chummy with anyone due to the fact that their entire ideology is built on the idea of taking things away from people that they feel don't deserve them.
  • 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 20,000 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.
  • ‹bermensch: Subverted. His faction is a big Shout-Out to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but he doesn't share any of Nemo's peculiarities or philosophical nature. He and his faction aren't built around an ideology, they're built around plunder.
  • Wretched Hive: Their entire civilization is built around crime and violence.

    Prophet Cha Dawn (Cult of Planet) 

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."

Very little is known about Cha Dawn; available data comes from deprogrammed adherents whose information is coloured by the Cult's indoctrination techniques. Apparently, Dawn was found as an infant in the fungus by a splinter group known as the Ecological Malcontents, soon after Planetfall. His parentage and birthplace are unknown. According to the lore of the Cult, the native life forms did not harm the child, and he possessed no breathing mask, although the length of his exposure was also unknown. The Malcontents raised the child as a kind of messiah for his supposed rapport with Planet, and he did demonstrate extremely accelerated mental development. After a period of several years, the faction declared Dawn its leader and began the task of cleansing Planet from any 'foreign' defilements.

The Cult of Planet are under his 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 and the Drones. They also run afoul of both alien factions due to their interest in "wasteful" Planned economics.
  • Dark Messiah: There's that whole "Kill all humans who stand in our way" angle. Compared to him, even Miriam is downright civil.
  • Foil: To Deirdre. They represent opposite takes on Green ideology; Gaia's Stepdaughters believe that humanity should exist in harmony with Planet and design their civilization to accommodate this, while the Planet Cult believes that humanity needs to go away so that Planet can return to a pristine state.
  • 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.
  • Messianic Archetype: Cha Dawn's followers view him as such.
  • No Place for Me There: The Cult of Planet may build and utilize industry and civilization to wage war, but once all humanity is united under their control, they will raze their bases and submit to death.
  • Oracular Urchin: By far the youngest faction leader in the game.
  • Outside-Context Problem: No one is completely sure where he came from.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: While he may not be evil, exactly, he's extremely dangerous and not entirely human, and his eyes emphasize both.
  • Touched by Vorlons: One theory of the Prophet's origins states that he was a human child that was "adopted" and modified by Planet itself. The Cult accepts this wholeheartedly; other factions are somewhat skeptical.

    Prime Function Aki Zeta-Five (Cybernetic Consciousness) 

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."

Born 2028, in Hollingsdall, Norway, of shopkeeper parents. Studied at Oslo University, earned Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Programming, Masters in Computer Science, Ph.D. Computer Science and Computer Age Philosophy. Became expert with C* and C** programming languages; joined Zakharov Research Institute three years prior to launch of Unity. Assigned to Alpha Centauri crew as expert computer tech. Details are unclear, but evidence exists she initiated an unauthorized experiment in pre-sentient algorithms, using dormant bandwidth on the Unity computers, possibly on the orders of Prokhor Zakharov. She designed the experiment to run for 40 years, hoping for some interesting results over that unprecendented time frame. However, upon awakening, the crew found a a system crash message dated from launch +3 months, along with an auto-stack dump that indicated program failure. Luttinen received disciplinary action for her part in the experiment. She was stricken with rheumatic fever three weeks prior to arrival. Unaccounted for and presumed lost in hospital bay during Unity crash. Reappeared soon after on Planet surface, now calling herself Aki Zeta-5.

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 a fundamentalist government. 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.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Downplayed; despite being less emotional than other humans, the Consciousness's citizens are not especially evil, and Aki-Zeta 5 is actually the most peaceful of the Alien Crossfire faction leaders. But the whole faction has a penalty to population growth, as the cyborg citizenry lose their grasp on human concepts like love and lust.
  • Cyborg: More or less their whole civilization.
  • 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, allowing them to focus their cybernetic brains on creative tasks.
  • 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, a cyborg republic, but still...
  • 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) 

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."

Born Asa Wright in Trinidad, West Indies Co-Prosperity Sphere. Enjoyed an unexceptional and stable childhood, raised by two professors at the fledgling University of Trinidad. Some speculate that her lack of childhood struggle and trauma led her to seek excitement and meaning in creating chaos. Other observers believe she merely pursued her gifts. Either way, by her early teens she had already topped Interpol's "Ten Most Wanted" hacker list for a string of asset transfers and incursions into Defense Department computers at a dozen multinational corporations, operating under the handle of "Sinder Roze". Eventually, she was captured and hauled before the Cyber Crimes Tribunal at The Hague. Offered clemency if she renounced 'unethical' uses of computers and if she agreed to lend her talents to the Unity project as chief network administrator. Through the creation of skillful systems architecture, she made herself indispensable to the mission and was assigned to the crew after a lengthy personnel struggle with Captain Garland, who viewed her as the most dangerous person on the Unity after Sheng-Ji Yang.

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

  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Downplayed. The Data Angels' decentralized society isn't constantly fighting itself, but it does have much more trouble keeping the people down when something's going wrong.
  • 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." Due to their inability to pursue Power, they can also end up at odds with the Spartans and Pirates.
    • The Data Angels also have a natural rivalry with the University. While they don't conflict on beliefs note , the University is especially vulnerable to hacking, which is the Data Angels' speciality. This makes the former an easy target for the latter's probe teams. This also means both will be racing each other for the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm; the University in order to cover up their hacking problem, and the Data Angels in order to keep anyone else from building it to shut them out.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Refreshingly Averted, the Data Angels are quite a fair depiction of an anarchist society. Though of course this depends on how you play; they certainly can throw bombs if you want them to.
  • 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.
  • Information Wants to Be Free: They're hackers, so it goes with the territory. Freeing that information is their specialty, and their radically democratic ethos is at the core of their rivalry with the Hive and the Believers.
  • Just the First Citizen: Roze's role of Datajack is essentially purely an advisory one, yet her followers look up to her because she's one of the best hackers (if not the best hacker, period) on Planet.
    • Garland ranked her as the second most dangerous individual on the Unity, second only to Yang. She has a reputation to uphold.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: No one knows Sinder Roze's real name. Then again, in a society of hackers, one's hacker name is one's real name.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: She sees religion as holding back progress and restricting people's freedoms. While she can still run a Fundamentalist government herself, she objects to other leaders doing the same and prefers Democracy.
  • Playful Hacker: The Data Angels' "creed" (to the extent that they have one) places as much value on style as it does substance. Hacking for them is as much about showing off their skills as it is about recovering valuable data, or perhaps more so. Other factions take a rather dim view of their antics.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: An entire faction based in such. They rebelled against The Man and created an anarchist hacker nation built upon free information, and they did it in style.
  • The Trickster: Roze 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) 

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."

Domai was assigned to the Unity as a mining specialist, to be awakened Planetside after the regular mission crew had set up permanent settlements. However, a cryopod malfunction following the meteor strike prematurely awakened him into a miasma of toxic gases vented by the crippled ship, causing temporary damage to his memory and communication faculties. Assigned to repair crews as a common drone, Domai struggled to reassert his identity and regain his full humanity. Once recovered, Domai led his co-workers in a revolt at their brutal working conditions, commandeered a colony pod, and set out for Planet in command of his new band of followers.

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.note 
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted. While the faction's ideological underpinnings are strongly anarchist in character, Domai is opposed to hierarchy, not to rules, and the Free Drones are as orderly as the next faction.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • 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.
  • Chummy Commies: Their collectivist society is generally benevolent, is highly effective for making sure that every citizen gets the benefits of their psychological resources, and is always happy to help liberate the oppressed drones of other societies. While they don't necessarily employ a Planned economy, their version of a Market still includes a strong welfare state.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. If Yang is a Mao Zedong Expy, then the closest historical counterpart for Domai would probably be a mix between Huey Long and Mikhail Bakunin.
  • For Happiness: The Free Drones are unabashedly committed to universal Eudaimonia in a society where men and women come together to work for the common good of their own free will.
  • 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.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: They have the same Fantastic Caste System as everyone else, and working to eliminate it is entirely the player's own prerogative.
  • 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.
  • Nonindicative Name: The Free Drones are not all drones. In fact, they're more likely than any other faction to have no actual drones, as they have No Poverty as a factional goal.
  • 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.
  • Only One Name: Domai's full name isn't mentioned. Then again, this isn't even his birth name, so he may not have a full name now.
  • 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: Averted in a way. 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 are not required to war with each other as the aliens do.
  • 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. Domai himself is a marked difference from the other leaders, which are usually Ivy League scholars; he's just an experienced mining technician.
  • 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) 

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 

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 Captain: He's the only man who could have held his bickering lieutenants together for the good of the mission.
  • Doomed by Canon: In the prequel novel, readers should be aware that he will die at the end.
  • Posthumous Character: The game begins with Planetfall, Garland having already been assassinated.
  • The Unreveal: His assassin is never revealed.

    The Voice of Planet 

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.

  • 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
  • Archive Panic: The Planet does not initially take it well, but this exact maneuver (represented by the construction of "The Voice of Planet" Secret Project) is necessary to achieve the Transcendence victory.
  • 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.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Up until it gets hit with the Archive Binge, its fundamental viewpoint is rather childlike and innocent. As it has the mentality of a Hive Mind, it doesn't appear to grasp that trimming back the human population by sending massive boils of mindworms that chew their way through the victim's brain is something your faction leader may not appreciate.
  • Genius Loci: The Voice of Planet effectively is Planet, given how ubiquitous it is.
  • Hive Mind: A Planet-wide mind that links all the native life into a single guiding consciousness.
  • 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.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Mind worms are essentially the equivalent of white blood cells, having no will of their own and automatically attacking anything not linked to the Planetmind as a foreign invader. Planet itself is barely self-aware for most of its life cycle, only attaining sentience towards the end of its flowering. Part of the Ascent to Transcendence involves finding a way to stabilize Planet's intelligence and get it to accept humanity as a part of itself.
  • Vicious Cycle: The xenofungus intelligence becomes complex enough and abundant enough to achieve sentience after about 100 million years. However, the massive flowerings of fungus needed to achieve this sentience kills off most other life on the planet. With no source of food and no more native lifeforms produced by the fungus to maintain it, the fungus slips back into its semi-conscious dream state. This has been going on since the Lower Paleozoic era on Earth. Now, the presence of humans on Planet's surface accelerates the cycle, and a new flowering is imminent. Can humanity find a way to break 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.