Earth & Beyond
was an MMO developed by Westwood Studios
and published by Electronic Arts
that was released in 2002.
The backstory goes like this: At some unspecified point in the future, humanity has spread into space. Over time, three distinct cultures develop:
- Terrans, who are the baseline for the other two 'races'.
- Jenquai, philosophers and explorers who seek knowledge above all else.
- Progen, genetically engineered proud warriors who excel at the military arts.
As one can probably guess, things weren't bound to stay peaceful. The Jenquai stumble over an ancient artifact: a jumpgate. The Jenquai, worried over what the other two races would do with it, keep it secret. It doesn't last, and a spy from the Terran Megacorp InfintiCorp leaks the information, sparking the Gate War.
Nine years of war later, a truce is declared and the three races agree to share the gate. Shortly after that, Infiniti Corp unveils its InfinitiGate, a reverse-engineered version of the ancient gate.
The game itself picks up fifty years later, when things have started getting...interesting.
Sadly, the game was shut down on September 22, 2004, after an extremely short run. That said, the fans continue to do their best to revive the game via the Earth and Beyond Emulator, including classes that were dummied out prior to the game's launch.
See also EVE Online
, which launched around the same time but lasted much, much longer.
Tropes appearing in Earth and Beyond include:
- Bug War: Against the V'rix.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Eeeyup.
- Dummied Out: The Terran Scout, and the Trader class for the Jenquai and Progen. Available in both the emulator and the Character and Starship Creator program, however.
- Ear Worm: Some of the station ads will easily end up being this. Tada-O's are a paticular offender.
- Emote Animation: For both player characters and their ships.
- Fantastic Racism: A decent amount between the Progen and Jenquai, stemming from the Gate War, where the Progen sacked the old Jenquai capital of Jove City.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: All three have a distinct resemblance to an Earth culture.
- The Terrans are Americans and Western Europeans. Their colonies in Alpha Centauri, Tau Ceti, and 61 Cygni seem to have been settled primarily by Germans, Scots, and Africans respectively.
- The Progen are Roman. This is likely a deliberate choice, fitting with their hat.
- The Jenquai are Japanese. Since the ship that colonized Jupiter was called the Jenqui Maru, its crew (and therefore the Jenquai) are probably of Japanese descent.
- Japan Takes Over the World: Subverted. They left and colonized the moons of Jupiter.
- Mega Corp.: InfinitiCorp, among others. Even EarthCorp, the Terran Military is a Corp.
- Portal Network: The gate network, of course.
- Precursors: The Ancients.
- Proud Merchant Race:
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Progen's hat.
- Scenery Porn: Many of the space environments, such as: