Video Game: Colosseum

Everything gets shot in this game.

Colosseum is a total conversion for Escape Velocity Nova. Created by JoshTigerheart in 2008, it was the first total conversion for Nova to be released in years, albeit just barely with Acheron and Ashen Galaxy released right on its heels, and was well received by the community.

The total conversion is a major gameplay departure from the game is built on. Instead of being a large, open ended galaxy where the player chooses what to do, it instead has a much more linear plot and focus on combat. More specifically, it focuses on dogfighting between space fighters. Players customize their fighters by choosing a careful balance of weapons and essential outfits, such as engines and shield generators, to use in various fights, primarily duels, against other pilots. The goal is to advance in rank and eventually win the tournament, though the player gets caught up in other events in the meantime.

Originally, medium and capital-sized ship classes were going to be included, but were scrapped so the plug could get released instead of becoming vaporware. A third party capital ships expansion by Jacabyte is in the works and is supposed to actually be pretty close to finished, just lacking a storyline. LNSU was responsible for the medium-class, but dropped the project. The original release is still maintained, with an update coming "soon".

The closest thing Colosseum has to a website, which contains a bit more information.


This video game mod provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • The Chaingun doesn't actually use bullets, it fires tiny, explosive warheads.
    • Even stranger would be the Hector Cannon and its Birdseed Pellets.
  • The Alliance: Coalition of Independent Systems, though they've been defeated by the time Colosseum starts.
  • All Just a Dream: Win, lose, or reload your pilot, the battle with the flat Teacup ships may just be a dream. Though it's hinted that it might not...
  • All There in the Manual: Most of the backstory is within the plug-in's readme file.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: In fact, everything that can explode will once it reaches it.
  • Art Evolution: Originally, Colosseum was using placeholder graphics from the trilogy. Then it found some free-to-use-with-credit graphics. And finally, during the beta testing, it finally got its own complete set.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Precisely why the A.I. gets more and more jamming as you advance in rank, since they're too dumb to dodge missiles. Also why the star in one arena sector isn't dangerous to collide with. They had a habit of killing themselves...
  • The Asteroid Thicket: BAS-8050, BAS-1134, TAS-0007. Though, as in the original game, the asteroids are not dangerous and merely existing for eating weapon shots.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Grigory Smirnov
  • Awesome McCoolname: A large number of the names, including random named ships, default pilot names, bosses, and randomly generated opponents.
  • Battle Cry
  • Betting Mini-Game: Only now it's simulated space fights!
  • BFG: Nuclear Pulse Emitter
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Spaceball Trophy. According to the guide, it actually does things. The problem is, none of those features it affects are used in Colosseum.
  • Bonus Boss: If you reach a high enough combat rating, you can demand tribute from the various stations and planets, just like in Nova! Good luck actually winning...
    • Some of the random special ships, such as most of the ones flown by the plug-in's beta testers, could count too.
  • Boss Battle
  • Combat by Champion: Unlike the EV trilogy, when you demand tribute you do not face hundreds of ordinary ships. Instead, you get to fight a Bonus Boss.
    • Granted, other ships in the system tend to jump in anyway.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Many of the NPC ships are stuffed with more weaponry than the player could ever hope to own.
    • Also, let's not forget that system murk and interference don't bother them at all.
  • Cool Starship: The player's ship, the Arctic Fox, is not only described as such, but is too cool to use within Colosseum's regulations. Of course, that doesn't stop it from getting stolen and used against the player.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Slightly subverted. While ships are disabled right before getting destroyed, they'll otherwise run just fine regardless of close they are to being disabled.
  • Deadly Dodging: Unlike in unmodified Nova, every weapon, including homing missiles, can hit every ship excluding the shooter. Well, except Nuclear Pulses and their massive blast radius that damage the shooter.
  • Dual Boss: Optional, but if you're crazy you can fight dual bonus bosses by demanding tribute from Colosseum and Al's Paint Stations.
  • Duel Boss: There may be 2 vs. 1 duels and team battles for normal fights, but all storyline bosses are fought 1 vs. 1.
  • Easter Egg: Lots, particularly the whole post-storyline bit.
  • Escort Mission: Inverted, for once the player is the escort.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Fake Difficulty: JoshTigerheart has admitted to using it to make up for the A.I, which can prove to be quite stupid at times.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: There are no practice mode opponents, you have to learn how to fight your opponents on the fly.
  • The Federation: Sol Confederation
  • Fight Clubbing: The whole point to Colosseum, albeit legally.
  • Final Boss
  • Final Death: "Strict Play" is still in, and so are escape pods. Auto-Eject Systems, however, are not.
  • Flunky Boss: In an indirect sense. Demand tribute from any of the stations and watch as everyone in the system joins the boss against you!
  • More Dakka
  • Nerf: Heat Seeking Missiles and Needle Rockets, two of the most abused weapons in the original release, got smacked with this.
  • Nintendo Hard: Not so much normally, but when you turn on "Strict Play"...
  • Old School Dogfight
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: You become this if you don't equip any shield generators or armor layers.
  • The Power of Friendship: Aleksander and Elisa try to help the player recover the Arctic Fox. It doesn't work though.
  • Ruleof Cool: The reason why the less realistic weapons exist.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: Largely in optional and post-storyline content.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Power Duels, 2 vs. 1 matches where you're the 1.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Burst Lasers and Burst Ion Bolts too. JoshTigerheart, in an "unused ideas" text file, mentioned he originally planned to have a Chaingun version too called the shotgun.
    • If one looks in the files, there's also a Burst Trap Cannon collecting dust. JTH says it doesn't work right, however.
  • Shout-Out: Lots. These include references to the EV Trilogy, some of JTH's other works, many games, shows, internet Abridged Series, and more.
  • Skippable Boss: Jordan Smith.
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Space Friction: As in the main triology, ships have a maximum speed and will drift to a stop when disabled. But otherwise ships do not slow down when the engines are cut off.
  • 2-D Space
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Averted now, but in an old version if the player died, ejected into an escape pod, or otherwise reloaded their pilot during the battle with the ships from Teacup TC, the player would be booted back to Colosseum Station and would be unable to finish the storyline. It got fixed my making it All Just a Dream.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: JoshTigerheart has mentioned Larry Antiles is meant to be this.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • Attack the random, non-hostile duelists or the Colosseum Staff. I dare you!
    • Attempting to dominate the stations for tribute also counts.
    • It's actually a bug, but the Antares and Orion Hypergates will lock if you shoot too many non-hostiles.