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Video Game: Pandora First Contact
A 4x Strategy game set on an alien planet developed by Proxy Studios, Pandora: First Contact a self proclaimed spiritual successor to Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri, with factions paralleling the ones in its predecessor.

  • the militaristic Imperium
  • the theocratic Divine Ascension
  • the technocratic Togra University
  • the capitalist Noxium Corporation
  • the environmentalist Terra Salvum
  • the fascist Solar Dynasty
  • the diplomatic Ambassadors

Despite the parallels between factions in Alpha Centauri and Pandora, the motivations and backstories vary wildly. For example the Lord's Believers(of Alpha Centauri) follow predominantly Christian themes. The Divine Ascension leader, on the other hand, has A God Am I complex, and the religion is described as "the worst parts of Facebook, Scientology, and North Korea"


This game provides examples of:

  • 4X: Much like it's predecessor, gameplay centers around building a civilization, exploring the planet, discovering new technology, and conquering your rivals.
  • A God Am I: The leader of the Divine Ascension found faith in herself as a god, and travelled to Pandora to claim it for herself
  • Abusive Precursors: The Messari, who leave deadly booby-traps in their ruins. They have also left beacons that notify them if someone else is roaming around their abandoned homeworld. They then return to eliminate anyone who dares to do that. It's even mentioned that attempts at communication only lead to even greater aggression.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: The Divine Ascension suffers a penalty to scientific research.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The leader of the Imperium forces says this word for word, when discussing a battle that was regarded as particularly hellish.
    Heid:“Yeah sure, I’m aware that for some of our guys fighting in this hellhole was a living nightmare and traumatizing experience. But for me... it was Tuesday.”
  • Crapsack World: Unlike Alpha Centauri there is no democratic faction to hold them together and most of the factions are immoral and evil.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Turning your troopers into snipers or tanks into artillery pieces allows them to attack without retaliation (artillery can even attack two cells away). However, sniper rifles and artillery weapons are significantly weaker than standard weapons, which means they can leave units severely underpowered if they are attacked.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: Like in Alpha Centauri, you have a workshop where you can modify a unit's armament, armor, and equipment. Unfortunately, renaming units is not an option, so you might end up with several different types of infantry all named "Colonial Trooper" with only icons to let you know what they're carrying. Existing units can be upgraded to new designs of the same type, for a price.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The alien life doesn't like you setting up shop on their planet and neither do the other human factions and then there is this little alien civilization invading the planet about 200 turns in. The fungus is also harmful to any unit who steps on it, although you can eventually make your formers immune to it.
  • Expy / Captain Ersatz: All the factions in game map to ones in Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri and share almost exactly the same strengths and weaknesses.
    • Imperium = Spartan Federation.
    • Divine Ascension = The Lord's Believers.
    • Togra University = University of Planet.
    • Noxium Corporation = Morgan Industries.
    • Terra Salvum = Gaia's Stepdaughters.
    • Solar Dynasty = The Hive.
    • Ambassadors = UN Peacekeepers
  • Generation Ships: Unlike the other factions, Terra Salvum didn't have the resources or the time to build cryo-units for the long journey to Pandora. Thus, most of those who first set foot on Pandora were born aboard, including the faction's leader Vivian Gardinier. Apparently, a malfunction during the trip also served to prematurely kill off most of the adults.
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Messari, whose units are way stronger than their equivalent human units. You basically need a Goliath mech to take on a Messari trooper.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Goliath mechs are the ultimate unit. They are huge, tough, and strong. However, they are too big to use roads, so roads have no effect on them.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flamethrowers are usually one of the first weapons you can research.
  • Mad Scientist: Togra University has this reputation, as the line went that if you wanted to do something immoral, then you asked Noxium – but if it was immoral and impossible, then you asked Togra.
  • Mega Corp.: Noxium Corporation, which if you read their back story, are implied to have evolved out of the Illuminati.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: Noxium Corporation.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Once you build the appropriate satellite uplink, you can call down orbital bombardment every couple turns.
    • According to the Imperium backstory, this is how the original founders of Empire Management were killed by a disgruntled employee. Using one of their own Kill Sats to boot.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Divine Ascension faction. According to the in-game documentation, the faction leader created many religions online, including a secret hidden truth in all of them, and used the influence of these religions to collect blackmail material.
  • Private Military Contractors: This is what the Imperium (officially known as Empire Management) are and they got into space by violently, as in using actual soldiers and weapons, taking over Noxium's competitors.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Admiral Heid's reason for breaking all ties with the largest Mega Corp. in the Solar System and making off with one of their colony ships? Noxium's decision not to include the Imperium in the venture. In fact, it's rightly pointed out that Heid's mercenaries have no interest in Settling the Frontier. Heid, however, can't bear for there to be a war without his participation.
  • Send in the Clones: The leader of the Solar Dynasty is a clone of said nation's founder and a good chunk of the Solar Dynasty's colony expedition are his clones.
  • Spiritual Successor: Of Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri. In fact, it plays almost exactly like SMAC with upgraded graphics.
  • Spy Satellites: After building the appropriate uplink, you can periodically reveal a small portion of the map.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Lilith Vermillion managed to survive being shot in the head by a sniper. However, it's implied that she did sustain irreparable brain damage, resulting in her A God Am I complex. Previously, she only used the Divine Ascension as a way to amass more power and blackmail material. Afterwards, she began to genuinely believe that she was a prophet.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: An occasional eclipse lasts for several turns and results in an unusually high aggression from the alien life, even introducing several alien types that you don't normally encounter. It's specifically mentioned that the eclipse will not affect crop production, since most of food is grown hydroponically under artificial lighting.

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