The most known part of Polish Real-Time Strategy
game series containing three main titles and four expansion/mission packs.
The first title of the series, Earth 2140
, 2D game developed by Reality Pump
in 1997, takes place in year 2140 and shows us the war between the United Civilized States and the Eurasian Dynasty fighting for the last resources of the planet. Have two additional mission packs.Earth 2150
(AKA Earth 2150: Escape from the Blue Planet
), also developed by Reality Pump
and published by SSI in 2000, unlike its mostly unknown predecessor, was one of the first commercial full-3D games of its kind, although it was released later than Homeworld
and Warzone 2100
. The game has several features that distinguish it from various other Real-Time Strategy
games, including the day-night shift, a global countdown, and 3 very different sides (with Lunar Corporation as a new faction).The game was followed by two stand-alone Expansion Packs
The third and so far the last part, oddly named Earth 2160
(since it doesn't actually take place on Earth
), follows the destruction of the Earth from the previous part
and for the first time gives us a hero units (in story mode and skirmishes).Earth 2150
is unrelated to Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.
The series contains examples of the following tropes:
- All There in the Manual: A cinematic trailer exists for Earth 2160 that hints at what started the wars that eventually led to the devastation on Earth. Long story short, it seems to have started with some sort of crisis in the Gulf. In 2008, a Soviet flag is seen replacing the one over the Kremlin. Troop movements followed, and culminated in a nuclear attack on some (supposedly American) naval strike groups. A nuclear strike on the Washington Capitol seems to have sealed the deal, and it all went downhill from there...
- The cutscenes are from the World War III: Black Gold game, implying it was either intended as a disguised prequel to the series or later Retconned into one.
- The Manual for Earth 2150 however is pretty extensive in explaining the factions, plot and even units however.
- Asshole Precursors: The Creators, whose technology is lying all around Sol, and its surrounding star systems. They created the Morphidians as a biological Von Neumann army, then basically left them buried on Mars after they were done, not caring how much damage the species could do in the hands of a Mad Scientist.
- After the End: Earth 2140 and Earth 2160 qualify as this.
- Alien Sky: Earth 2160 takes place entirely on other planets.
- All Planets Are Earthlike: Completely averted in Earth 2160. All but two of all the planets, moons, asteroids and whatnot encountered are uninhabitable by humans. Of those that are habitable, one planet appears to be mostly covered in deserts, while the other is aptly named Eden.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Neo does this trick several times during the UCS campaign by making all your units (but not your structures) turn against you. In one level, he even uses it to crash the alliance between you and the LC by hijacking your units and sending them against the LC base to make it look like you doublecrossed them. And no, you can't avoid that happening by pulling all your units out of the mission zone just before the scripted event happens; the alliance still gets annulled on the spot.
- During the LC campaign, he subverts the units of your UCS ally (if you choose not to side with him).
- Siding with Neo in the first LC campaign brings you to the Rio de Janeiro mission. The objective? Bring Neo into the enemy base. The result? This trope, including over a dozen robots with plasma cannons, all for the player to toy around with. Have fun!
- Amazon Brigade: LC military is almost entirely composed of women. The LC hero in Earth 2150 is male, since he was sent by UCS as part of the alliance.
- Apocalypse How: The series occurs after Class 1 with Class X looming on the horizon.
- Artificial Gravity: The propulsion of all LC units and UCS aerial units.
- Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: It would be almost impossible to shift Earth's orbit even by a tiny amount with nuclear weapons, even in large quantities.
- Awesome but Impractical: ED lasers, depending on the situation. Lasers can kill unshielded vehicles in the blink of an eye, but they take a lot longer to eat through shields than plasma cannons do, and they're almost useless against structures (because concrete doesn't heat up as well as metal does). Hence, use ion cannons against shields first if really required (stealing enemy units is even better after all).
- Big Damn Heroes: Major Michael Falkner and Commander Heldin Ariah.
- Boring but Practical: Rocket launchers. Everybody has them, they deal a decent amount of damage, they have large magazines, they can shoot at ground and air targets alike (notably the only other weapon which can do this is the 20mm chaingun), they bypass shields, they can fit on almost all mounts, they rarely miss when upgraded, come in light and heavy versions, and the UCS even gets a light rocket launcher for heavy mounts, which can accept a sub-weapon - including a normal light rocket launcher for twice the amount of rockets.
- Bottomless Magazines: Subverted. In Earth 2150 and Earth 2160 all units need to be constantly resupplied with ammunition. Only the energy weapons are infinite, but even then they need time to cool down and recharge if overused. Only in Earth 2140 we have a straight example of this.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Falkner in the Alien campaign of 2160.
- Cloning Blues: The Morphidian ground forces are based around the Mantian units which can clone themselves if they drink enough water. Replicatori use crystals and nanomachines to build more of themselves.
- Command And Conquer Economy: Earth 2150 averts this when you build a Headquarters; you can ask the AI do perform managerial work (like research) for you. Earth 2160 throws this out of the window. 2140 is also like this.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: As expected of an RTS game, the computer starts with a lot more resources than the human player and is of course The All-Seeing A.I.. However, the computer can still run out of resources and won't get any more otherwise. Also until the latest patch, the AI units did not have to reload, ever. This was patched out because it made several missions impossible to solve without using cheats.
- The Computer Is A Lying Bastard: The general info in all campaigns is always "Do not rely on mass warfare, opt to save experienced units instead." While this is viable for the LC and UCS campaigns, seeing how they get the technology needed, for the ED it's a straight-up lie: the AI opponents always have the best available versions of units, always are several tech levels ahead (You got machine guns and tank turrets? They got grenades and missiles. They are using energy weapons? Yeah sorry, you don't get to use shields yet.) and always opt to use these two as soon as possible. Most ED missions can only be won by mindlessly spamming tanks and helicopters in the hope that the enemy will run out of resources sooner than the player.
- Cosmetically Different Sides: The only mechanic that all three sides share is ammunition supply and energy shields. The UCS and ED share base construction and troop production, but the similarities end there. The rest of the gameplay, on the other hand, differ greatly from faction to faction. Even common weapons are used ever so differently that you don't necessarily have a shared style of play.
- Then comes Earth 2160. None of the four look equally alike.
- Crapsack World: Earth 2140 gives us a great example of this trope. Earth 2150 takes this Up to Eleven with the coming destruction of Earth.
- Cultural Translation: The Russian version of the game purposely translated ED mission briefings to be more in line with how Russian military works. Also, all sides were given new names to make them sound more neutral than the original: UCS became the Atlantic Union, ED was changed to Euroalliance, and LC became Children of Selene (Selene being the ancient goddess of the moon).
- Deflector Shields: Appear for the first time in Escape from the Blue Planet. Mounted on units and buildings as a second "life bar". They protect only against energy weapons.
- Design It Yourself Equipment: The in-game unit editor makes you able to customize your units by choosing the chassis, shield generator and weapon(s).
- 2160 adds a few extras like putting in auto-repair instead of shields as well as the option of changing the armor to anti-energy or anti-chemical.
- Then there's the 'newone'-cheat...which allows you to freely combine different chassis/buildings and weapons, cross-faction and without caring whether a weapon is actually suited for a chassis and the maximum of weapons that can be stacked. So you can have a Pamir light tank with a Heavy Plasma Canon with another Heavy Plasma Cannon on top with a Heavy Laser on top. Some combinations can actually crash the game. The cheat also allows building buildings underground...
- Destructible Projectiles: Rockets, provided somebody has an antimissile somewhere and said rockets are shooting at said somebody. The UCS and LC have also large anti-missile lasers to shoot down the ballistic missiles.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The final video of Earth 2150 shows Earth exploding. Same with the "game over" screen.
- Easy Logistics: Averted by the ammo resupply requirement, because it's one of the crucial criteria that decides whether a player will use an Energy Weapon or a kinetic weapon. Played straight with everything else.
- The Empire: Eurasian Dynasty, to the point where the Khan looks like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.
- Well, when your sociopolitical "hat" is basically combining the worst aspects of Soviet Russia and the Mongolian Khanate... it's enough if we quote the ED recruitment propaganda video:
- The increasing political power of A.I. turns the UCS into this.
- The End of the World as We Know It: See Apocalypse How above.
- Enemy Exchange Program: Shooting something with ED ion cannons does electronic damage. Even a single shot can paralyze for a while (indicated by a blue cloud over the unit and the 'Shocked' status) and taking another will put that unit or building out of commission until it's repaired ('Shocked' changes to 'Disabled' and the unit stops regenerating electronic damage). While the unit or building is paralyzed, it can be captured with a repairer (in fact, repairers auto-capture anything paralyzed nearby unless told otherwise). There's no limit as to what can be captured but LC buildings can't be powered once nabbed.
- The Moon Project introduces a special weapon whose only purpose is capturing buildings without having to paralyze them; all factions have it.
- Earth 2160 mostly did away with this. LC Hackers can reprogram UCS robots, but will require significant amounts of time to bypass UCS software defense mechanisms, which can go into Awesome but Impractical territory if not used wisely. LC Psionic weapons can also brainwash enemy units, but they have an equal chance of turning them into a crazed, randomly-firing neutral unit as well. Also, the aliens have a unit named Gryllopian Brainer - huge, six-legged, walking brain - which can capture an infinite number of enemy units with frightening speed but it is absolutely useless against UCS units, aircrafts and buildings.
- Expansion Pack: Two for Earth 2150. The Moon Project introduced a new campagin and a set of new gameplay features, plus a whole lot of rebalancing. The Lost Souls is, essentially, a mission pack. Plus, Earth 2140 have two mission packs: Mission Pack 1 and Final Conflict.
- A Father to His Men: General Fedorov form Lost Souls and Major Falkner from Earth 2160. Commander Ariah can count as A Mother to Her Women.
- The Federation: The United Civilized States was one before the de facto takeover by adviser A.I.s.
- Fog of War: Vehicles have more visibility at night when using headlights but are themselves more visible then.
- Friendly Fireproof: Units have no problem shooting through each other with no damage. This doesn't apply to superweapons and if your units are shooting at something in the air, you'd better make sure you don't happen to have a building in the way. Especially if it's an AA plasma cannon.
- Garrisonable Structures: Earth 2160 has those.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: LCDAY2 sounds like a heartbeat, albeit somewhat electronic and eerie like the rest.
- The Hedonist: The entire population of the UCS.
- Hero Unit: Fang is such unit in Escape From the Blue Planet LC campaign. If you lose him, game over.
- In Earth 2160 we have plenty of such units, both story-only and neutral. Most of them with their own vehicles, firearms and abilities.
- Hollywood Acid: ED chemical weapons in 2160. The anti-ground version is basically a hose the size of a tank turret while the anti-air version is delivered as a missile payload. If you don't happen to have anti-chemical armor, prepare to be massacred.
- Homeworld Evacuation: This is the ultimate goal of all three factions in Escape of the Blue Planet, on account of the imminent Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Throughout the campaigns, you not only have to complete missions to cripple your rivals, but stockpile your excess resources in order to build a colony ship to carry you to Mars before the countdown expires.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Some of the most advanced technology of UCS and LC was reverse-engineered from a UFO at Area 51 and an abandoned alien base on the Moon, respectively.
- Instant-Win Condition: In Escape from the Blue Planet, the campaign ends once you provide enough resources to build your evacuation ship, even if you're on a mission.
- Inverted in some missions that have... interesting scripting.
- In one of Moon Project's LC missions, due to bad scripting: if at any point you ferry all your units back to your main base, even if you have a fully functional base with enough credits to hit the unit limit three times over, it's an instant game over the millisecond the transporter carrying the last unit disappears from the mission area. And no, you don't get any advance warning about this, only the mission failed debrief and the game over movie.
- Similarly, the Amazon mission for the ED in 2150 is scripted to fail if at any point there is less cash on the map than needed for the objective. Thing is, only resource fields and your mission area credit pool are counted, the 5,000 credits you can put into the transport aren't. Which means that you might find yourself failing the mission by simply pressing one button.
- Invisibility Cloak: In Earth 2140 the UCS possesses the Shadow tanks with generators that make all units in range invisible (as long as you do not you come too close to the defense towers or the enemy will not use the jammers).
- In Earth 2150 they have a new generation of these generators that can be mounted on heavy mechs. Then The Moon Project came along and the ED reverse-engineered a stolen copy and built versions of their own, resulting in the creation of Ruslan tanks. However, both versions only affect units that are equipped with it and turn off their lights.
- On the other hand, if you aggro the AI with invisible units too much, it'll randomly select and attack one of them despite the fact it doesn't actually see them (AI units will target the aggressor directly but buildings ignore it). Quite annoying in the Lost Souls ED campaign when the AI keeps killing your experienced stealth tanks despite the fact that its base is too heavily fortified (and mined, in the case of non-LC bases) for a direct attack.
- It's a Small World After All: At the end of Lost Souls, the protagonists state that they have no idea how accurate their space teleporter is and express doubts that it won't dump them out somewhere in the void of outer space, but with the Earth about to fall apart around them, they don't exactly have a choice in the matter. Comes Earth 2160 with no mention of anyone ever having made out of Earth after the three factions have abandoned it, seemingly supporting the idea that the teleporter had indeed malfunctioned or that they were simply Retconned out of existence. Then right in the middle of the UCS campaign, it turns out the teleporter worked quite well... too well, in fact: it massively overshot the intended destination and dumped the survivors into a completely different star system. The very same system the 2160 La Résistance passes through on their way to Eden, just in time to pick up their distress signal and save their hides from an idiotic ED commander.
- Just Before the End: The setting of Earth 2150.
- Kill It with Fire: Napalm grenades are one of the UCS weapons in Earth 2140.
- Kill Sat: The UCS superweapon works by firing powerful plasma cannons from the ground and directing them with satellites.
- In The Moon Project, the LC is trying to build a ring around a moon designed to fire shots on Earth-based targets.
- Lady Land: After a revolt against Corrupt Corporate Executives, women took control of the Lunar Corporation and reversed traditional gender roles to the point that LC armed forces are made up almost exclusively of women.
- A Lighter Shade of Grey: The Lunar Corporation starts out this way... but actually getting involved in the conflict rather than watching it unfold from the isolation of the Moon kills that, fast. Earth 2160 drives the point home when LC scientists are confirmed to work on chemical weapons.
- Inverted for the Eurasian Dynasty in 2150, which are significantly darker and more evil than the other factions, and are only kept from being outright Black by the fact that they're fighting for survival just like the others.
- Mad Scientist: Professor Van Troff transfers/alters himself into an alien body and takes control of the Morphidian army beneath the surface of Mars, planning to exterminate humanity because... we're not sure exactly.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Rocket launcher turrets. Vehicles on the heavy end can mount several of these. A few more even get to mount another one on top of that.
- Mecha: One of the UCS iconic things. Comes in Walking Tank, Chicken Walker and Spider Tank versions with Real Robot flavor.
- Mighty Glacier: Heavy chassis units for all sides qualify as this.
- More Dakka: The ultimate unit for each side has less armor and HP than mid-game units but carry twice as much firepower. Arguably, the UCS has the most powerful defense building: the Fortress which can mount FOUR heavy guns. Also, some heavy guns and the big version of the UCS light rocket launcher can mount an auxiliary light gun on top. To put that in practice, you can either arm a Kruszchev tank with a heavy rocket launcher or dual 120mm cannon plus 20mm chaingun, laser cannon, ion cannon, rocket launcher, antimissile or banner (gives two extra levels of experience to nearby friendly units). Too bad this practice wasn't carried over to Earth 2160.
- Many weapon upgrades follow the same philosophy: tack on another barrel and double ammo capacity. And starting with Moon Project, the endgame unit now has the same armor and slightly more HP than the mid-game version.
- Multiple Life Bars: The effect of mounting energy shields.
- Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Except LC units. They have Regenerating Health.
- The 2150 games have no less than four bars: health (obvious), shieldnote , heatnote and electronicsnote . Each one can be set to display in the in-game options menu.
- 2160 replaces the heat bar with a "mind" bar, only affected by LC and Alien psionic weaponry. Depleting this one will permanently mind-control the unit to the attacker's faction (unless the former owner mind-controls it back). Only appears on organic units or vehicles with a pilot - leading to the logical conclusion that the UCS is completely immune to these weapons.
- Not Playing Fair With Resources: Subverted, with the latest patch, defying The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Formerly, enemy units never had to reload.
- Nuclear War: World War III was fought with these, resulting in most of the nations being destroyed. Nukes also played a major part in both the war of 2140 and 2150.
- Nuke 'em: The premise deals with a Nuclear War as well as the nuclear strike that shifted Earth's orbit.
- This is traditionally the ED's superweapon. In Earth 2150, the SDI Defense Center's only purpose is blowing up incoming nukes before they impact; the expansions add the ability to blow UCS Plasma Control Center bolts as well.
- Organic Technology: Morphidians in Earth 2160, although it's a little vague: since the Creators couldn't make them fly properly, they gave them a mechanical Von Neumann fleet. Even the ground units aren't fully organic: there's cannons, metal, electronic parts, all of them cloned, somehow, organically.
- Panthera Awesome: The naming convention used for bipedal UCS mechs.
- Playful Hacker: Neo.
- Portal Network: Gigantic alien portals on planets and in space.
- Powered Armor: Robots and cyborgs are present in Earth 2140 and Earth 2160. Excluded from Earth 2150 to get past Germany's "no video game gore" laws.
- And with the amount of firepower thrown around late-game, they'd just be in the way. Not to mention that ambient temperatures on the Volcanic and Lava Pits tilesets are a bit too high to have a stroll outside.
- Prequel in the Lost Age: Sort of. One of the 2160 trailers is basically a chronological montage of various 2140 and 2150 cutscenes - however, the 2140 segment is preceded by one made of cutscenes from World War 3: Black Gold, another Reality Pump game that uses the very same game engine as 2150 and shows how the current-day world had gone from the US stepping up military presence in the Middle East due to an oil embargo to Russia jumping into the fray and escalating the conflict into a full nuclear war. With the 2150 manual (released far earlier than WW3:BG) confirming that it was a full nuclear exchange that plunged humanity into the miserable state it is in at the start of the Earth series, it seems very likely that WW3:BG is an unofficial prequel.
- Reinventing the Wheel: Averted in the Earth 2150 campaign that is persistent in this way: each side except the Lost Souls' UCS faction has an off-map main base. Units and money in this base are always preserved, those left in the mission area are permanently lost. To this end, the player is provided a special air unit whose purpose is facilitating transfers between bases. The Moon Project and Lost Souls added a pretty useful mechanic: when you end a mission, any remaining money will be instantly transferred to the main base; mining the map bare and selling all structures except the Landing Zone will net you the highest possible gain. For mining missions, ending the mission with no enemies left and at least one Transport Base will gradually transfer all remaining resources to the main base over time. Research is always preserved.
- In fact, many walkthroughs and strategy guides recommend you to only build powerplants, defenses and resource infrastructure in the mission area, producing and ferrying reinforcements from the main base instead of building them on-site. Aside from scripted events in the Moon Project ED campaign, your main base can never be attacked despite there being announcer sound files for all three factions for it.
- In Earth 2160, there's no main base but research is always preserved and if a unit that has gained experience survives a mission, it will be available in the next one. Even if it's an aircraft that requires an airfield to land.
- Played straight in Earth 2140.
- Ranged Energy Weapons: lots of 'em. Used because their ammunition does not need resupply micromanagement. They lose their superiority to conventional weapons once Deflector Shields come into play.
- Not really, sure energy weapons are blocked by shields but that only really hoses the LC. UCS plasma and ED laser and ion weapons cut through shields through brute force and all energy weapons ignore armour. All projectile weapons have to deal with armour that can reduce damage by as much as 75% and projectile weapons tend to hit for alot less than damage (Earth 2160 balances this). Not to mention the status effects like EDS's ion weapons causing paralysis.
- Energy Ball: The UCS plasma cannon. The only type that has an Anti-Air variant, which is damaging and rapid in comparison to other AA weapons.
- The LC have a variant of their own, but it's reserved for the artillery brigade.
- There's an Area 51 UFO that mounts a version that bypasses shields.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The ED laser cannon. While mainstream counterparts burn, cut, or explode, ED lasers heat the target until its engine or ammo stores explode.
- Oddly, the demonstration video shows the laser vaporizing an entire dummy target.
- Oddlier still, Earth 2160 turns the ED lasers into a Hollywood Science weapon: light lasers fire red bolts while heavy lasers fire a continuous pink beam that damages the target's health (since 2160 no longer keeps track of unit heat levels).
- Lasers in Earth 2140 also damages the target's hull.
- Lightning Gun: The LC electro cannon. Unshielded targets that survive destruction may fall victim to a secondary Static Stun Gun effect.
- It may have been based on the Fang's Plasma Projector or some relative thereof, seeing that it has the exact same effect, only it trades off range for firepower.
- In Earth 2160 it become a One-Hit Polykill weapon since it can bounce between targets.
- Static Stun Gun: The ED ion cannon and the LC electro cannon. The former is built for EMP from the ground-up. LC units suffer most when affected by these, because the LC does not have repairer technology to recover units from incapacitation.
- Sonic Scream: The LC sonic cannon, an Area of Effect weapon. Useful against masses and doubly useful for being Friendly Fireproof. Triple if gravity bombs are removed from play... because the airborne Sonic Cannon mounted on LC bombers is not technically a bomb, despite being used in the same role and doing comparable damage.
- Regenerating Health: The substitute for LC's lack of dedicated repairers.
- The Republic: The Lunar Corporation.
- Ridiculously Fast Construction: Played straight with UCS and ED. Averted with LC, who simply lower their prefabricated structures from orbit.
- Then again, according to the in-game clock it takes about 30-40 mins just to build a small turret or tunnel network node, so it's somewhat more reasonable than other games.
- Robot War: UCS armed forces are made up entirely of machines and are controlled by an AI. ED uses cyborgs in Earth 2140 and 2160.
- Sequence Breaking: Some missions in 2150 can be done with the mission objectives out of order. For example, the Alaska mission for the ED instructs you to raid a UCS mining operation, kill everyone at the site then beat back a hefty counterattack and hold your position against the enemy onslaught until you reach the target amount of extracted resources. However, you're not prevented from mining the field first, then demolishing the base (since the last building's destruction is what triggers said counterattack); doing so is far easier and less stressful, as not only you have as much time to prepare as you want, you can leave the destruction part to a single unit and pull out before the UCS reinforcements even spawn on the map.
- Shoot the Bullet: The antimissiles is to rockets as the energy shield is to energy weapons. Its usefulness varies from person to person.
- Shout-Out: The name of the hacker that is fighting UCS is called Neo. He is later captured and turned into an AI.
- Simple Yet Awesome: UCS Plasma weapons deal a whole lot of damage very quickly, and can be fielded within minutes. Being energy weapons, they're absorbed by shields, but the damage and rate of fire is high enough that you'll likely strip those shields off in seconds.
- Single-Biome Planet: Subverted initially (we are talking about Earth here) but gradually turns into a volcano planet.
- Played stright with some planets/moons in Earth 2160.
- Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: ED uses nuclear missiles as their superweapon. They are nowhere near as powerful as they should be, especially given that it was their nukes that managed to push an entire planet off its orbit. Also, the destruction of UCS nuclear power plants only results in a mildly annoying but not damaging nuclear explosion.
- The in-game nukes are probably tactical, while the story nukes were strategic.
- More specifically, the ED has three kinds of nukes: silo-based ballistic missile, vehicle-mounted ballistic missile, and helicopter-mounted unguided bomb (since nukes apparently don't work against aircraft). The latter is a bit buggy in the Lost Souls campaign as it has infinite research time. It may be a bug, but missile silos also gain experience: hit a big cluster of buildings and your next nuke might very well have twice the bang.
- Space-Filling Empire: UCS controls the Western hemisphere (North America, Western Europe and North Africa), ED controls the Eastern (Eastern Europe and large part of Asia) and LC is the sole proprietor of the Moon until The Moon Project where the UCS takes interest in the Moon.
- Spanner in the Works: Falkner gradually becomes this to Van Troff as he repeatedly screws over Rifkin in the ED campaign of 2160. Not to worry though; Van Troff recruits him to serve as his Dragon.
- Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: While every human faction in 2160 has regular aircraft, the Morphidians are radically different. Since their creators couldn't find mutations that were powerful enough in the air, the aliens instead received nanomachines to build a self-replicating fleet with.
- Replicatorus: the self-repicating element of the fleet. Can endlessly replicate as long as it has access to crystals.
- Morphoratorus: can't replicate anymore but can rebuild itself into combat aircraft if it absorbs metal.
- Postomor fighter: produced in batches of four but even one can dominate every human air unit in the game.
- Morphorator light cruiser: basic capital ship that averts Point Defenseless by having automatic laser turrets to shoot down incoming missiles. Can rebuild itself into more specialised forms if it absorbs crystals.
- Morphorator heavy cruiser: replaces the light cruiser's universal energy weapons into a ground-only missile salvo that outranges all static air defenses.
- Morphorator destroyer: has an even more powerful ground-and-air energy weapon and a whopping 4000 health plus point defense turrets. It's not called the strongest air unit (and strongest unit in general) for nothing.
- Superpower Meltdown: Sort of. Units gain more range and firepower as they level up. The Area 51 UFO is no exception, capable of doing the entire mission for you if you micromanage it carefully. However, once it reaches maximum experience, the variables seem to overflow and it gets zero weapon range. Ouch. Corrected in Moon Project.
- Super Prototype: Sort of. The Fang is of alien origin while the mass-produced New Hope isn't. While the Fang has some 800 HP and regenerates noticeably faster than other LC units, the New Hope has less HP (120 without experience) than any other combat unit in the game and all of its attributes are inferior to the Fang... but it regenerates CRAZY FAST. As in, back to full health in less than a second if it's a non-killing blow. Add in that the sucker has 75% armor and it's nigh impossible to kill a New Hope without overwhelming firepower or numbers.
- Superweapon Surprise: Partial example. The LC's sonic cannon is a modified sonic mining tool.
- Tank Goodness: The ED tanks. Even the lightest of them is heavier armed than any modern MBT.
- Actually, the manual states that the TT100 Pamir isn't reminiscent of an M1A1 Abramsnote , it IS an Abrams. Only modified to operate with a one-man crew. Though that still doesn't explain the presence of dual 105mm cannons/futuristic equivalent of Patriot missiles or, from Moon Project onwards, energy shields.
- There's also Fang's hyper-advanced tank. Justified since it's of alien origin and is one-of-a-kind. Until the Moon Project where the LC starts to field the somewhat inferior "New Hope" mass production model. Said model doesn't have much hitpoints but it has fast regeneration. Not to mention that despite the LC scientists' best efforts, they couldn't field the tank with anything other than the original Plasma Projectors else the recoil would've damaged the armor.
- Hover Tank: LC ground units, Fang's hovercraft and the Area 51 alien-derived Prototype drive on— you've guessed it— antigravity propulsion.
- Walking Tank: Minus The Moon Project's Cargo Salamander and four units from Earh 2140, every UCS tank walks.
- Technological Pacifist: LC used to be this, until they are forced to quickly learn the art of war in order to compete with UCS and ED.
- Tech Tree
- Theme Naming: Oh boy, fits this trope to a T.
- Animal: UCS units. Most names are based on herbivores, wild cats (bipedal mechs), marine life (ships) or mythical creatures (combat aircraft).
- Location: ED land units are mostly named after Eurasian landmarks and regions.
- Famous People: The ED Kruschev heavy tank from 2150. Kirov and Rasputin from 2160.
- Religious and Mythological: The ED Thor and Leviathan. The UCS Gargoyle and Dragon. LC units in 2160.
- Stellar: Most LC units in 2150 are usually named after astronomical terms, except the Thunderer (bomber), Crusher (superheavy tank) and Crion (mobile artillery). Units added in The Moon Project all avert this trope.
- The Dragon: Falkner appears to become this for Van Troff in the Alien campaign of 2160 but the final mission reveals that Rifkin was the real Dragon all this time.
- Timed Mission: While individual missions are not timed, the entire campaign of Escape from the Blue Planet has a 180-day countdown (36 hours when converted to real-time at default game speed), after which follows an Earth-Shattering Kaboom and a Non-Standard Game Over.
- The ED's Congo mission is timed. You have somewhere around three days until the UCS deciphers the captured silo's launch codes and nuke you to oblivion. You have until that time to destroy said base. Preferably by nuking them back.
- Lost Souls also has a tricky ED mission where you have to capture the shuttle launch base. However, it is buggy because you CAN'T complete the mission in time so the timer is fake! More specifically, it triggers a failure message but the mission doesn't end and not even the patch corrects this... Not to mention that said launch base is a decoy, the shuttles aren't even there.
- Turned Against Their Masters: One of the in-universe theories regarding what happened to the UCS exodus ship. Subverted in that it turns out the pilot AI actually decided to leave the ship orbiting in the Oort Cloud until the ED and LC had destroyed each other, keeping the human survivors in suspension and setting up massive factories to take over the Sol system for them. Pretty nice machines. Also, played straight in what that jerk-AI GOLAN did in Lost Souls, betraying the rest of humanity on orders from the President of the UCS.
- It was revealed at the very end of Lost Souls that the leaderships of all three factions have conspired with each other to leave GOLAN behind in order to keep anyone from following them and threatening the status quo.
- Underground Level: UCS and ED can dig underground tunnels that can be used to sneak up on an enemy. LC can use tunnels, but can't build them, until The Moon Project, that is.
- Variable Mix: Each side is given a unique soundtrack with a list of songs for one of three moods: daytime, nighttime and war. Notably, a Song in the Key of Warning will roll when a player's units begins to sustain hits in a heated skirmish.
- Weather Control Machine: LC's superweapon. Calls down rain, snow, wind, lightnings and when the Sun's proximity make summoning precipitation impossible, the LC scientists rig it with a meteor targeting system.
- Weather of War: Climate conditions don't usually have a powerful effect on combat, but strong winds make it hard for aircraft to perform flights (as well as preventing grounded aircraft from taking off, potentially blocking factories).
- World War III: Happens in 2048 and results in the later formations of UCS and ED. LC was founded specifically to allow some humans to escape the destruction of the war on the Moon.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: Credits and power are the resources in 2140 and 2150. 2160 has water, crystals, metal, and power, but lets each faction ignore one of them.