Starbound is a Wide Open Sandbox Scifi Adventure game. Not to be confused with a Classic Mac game that lets you conquer planets to get more ships and destroy opposing races, nor said game's sequel, StarBound II, or with a certain Lucky Star fic aiming to parody Earthbound.Take Terraria and give it a more Science Fiction based focus with space travel and you have Starbound. Or as some like to say TerrariaIN SPACE!. It is being developed by Chucklefish, an indie game company started by Finn "Tiy" Brice of Terraria fame along with several new faces.Player characters flee or leave their homeworld, becoming hopelessly lost in a sea of stars, and from there, visit procedurally generated planets to research technology, meet new people, and explore the universe.Players may choose one of the playable races for their characters: the Apex, the Avians, the Humans, the Hylotl, the Florans, the Glitch, or the Novakids. Each race has a bit of lore attached to it and will likely tie in to the future primary storyline planned for the finished game release.The game will be singleplayer or multi-player capable and will have the possiblity of other modes of play added in at a later date.Additional features may be added via the communities suggestion system either at release or as free post release content.Watch this Space. Also, keep tabs on Tiyuri's twitter feed for sneak peeks and other minor updates! A sneak peek of the character creator is embedded in the official forums. The game can be pre-ordered here.Beta was released on December 4th, 2013 for all who preordered the game. A full release will likely be sometime in 2014. FAQ here. As the game is still on an early beta, be wary when adding examples as any individual entry can change or become invalid depending on the updates.Has a separate Shout Out page.
Starbound has been confirmed to contain examples of these tropes:
Abnormal Ammo: Uncommon and rarer guns can shoot bullets with special effects, such as ricocheting shots, piercing shots, bullets that split into two shortly after leaving the barrel, and (for legendary guns only) Sticky Bomb bullets that attach to solid blocks and explode when an enemy touches them. Meanwhile, grenade launchers can shoot rounds that resemble Mario's fireball, cluster bouncing grenades, and even mice and pigs.
Abusive Precursors: The Glitch are a remnant of an experiment that made artificial societies. All the other simulated civilizations developed advanced technology which inevitably lead to them wiping themselves out. The Glitch survived because they developed a Glitch that trapped them in Medieval Stasis.
After the End: For the humans, in which a meteor fell to earth that contained an egg to a tentacle monster that ravaged the planet.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Inactive Robot immediately attacks the player upon activation. Then again, giving it the brain of a (probably) hostile monster wasn't a very good idea, as what happened in the codex.
Airborne Mook: Several of them. Most of them will attempt to shoot at the player.
Alien Lunch: A given since you're now living among the stars and likely hunting and gathering when you start off. Some foods are more alien than others, like Oculemons (fruits that look like eyeballs and are poisonous to non-Florans) and Automatoes (metallic tomatoes).
Alien Sky: Particularly during night on a planet, the player can usually see the other planets in the subsystem.
Annoying Arrows: Arrows are nothing more then a projectile with various damage stats. Any additional effects will come from the bow having special attributes. While some enemies are quite very alien the arrows have the same effect across the range of species.
"A cell designed for the most dangerous of prisoners. Killers, thieves, jaywalkers..."
Artificial Gill: Use the Survival System backpack and you'll no longer need an Oxygen Meter for areas without air, such as water, moons and asteroid fields.
Artistic License - Chemistry: Plutonium ore can be found on planets within the X Sector, despite the fact that plutonium is a synthetic element and doesn't occur naturally.
Asteroid Miners: You can do this by either visiting an Asteroid biome (bring a Survival System and heat) or go beyond your planet's atmosphere (not recommended as it's much colder). One advantage is that it's really easy to see all the ores embedded in the asteroids.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Novakids as a race. They have no interest in preserving history or passing it along, which also stymies them technologically - new breakthroughs are completely forgotten within a few generations.
Floran Village Watchman:(to a player with a drawn weapon): "Floran no like sstabbing when others do it."
To drive the point home:
Floran Prisoner:(seeing the player) "Flesssh."
Several pieces of the findable Floran in game lore mentions stabbing things a lot.
Floran PCs, despite having fled to the stars to escape the savagery of their brethren, are not exempt from this.
Floran PC:This music make Floran want to ssstab! But so do most thingsss
In the backstory of Fatal Circuit (aka the Inactive Robot), Big Ape and Greenfinger decided to recreate the robot, but with a Floran brain. Unsurprisingly, it went berserk like the one created with a monster brain.
Awesome, but Impractical: Like Borderlands, the random gun generation can give weapons that are of common rarity that are less than useful. An example is pistols, one the easiest guns to acquire, can deal one damage per shot, take 8 energy per shot, and have a firing rate of 3.30 (which is pretty fast). The end result is a pistol that can only really be used to pepper enemies from afar.
Many cool weapons found on planets tend to be weaker than player-crafted weapons of the same level.
The grappling hook is a reusable climbing rope. You can use it to rappel down large chasms without the need of ladders, cross over pits, avoid monsters, and with some practice go really fast on the surface.
Pulse Jump. Being able to double jump can be very helpful to climb up mountains or caves. Or dodging enemies. The Gravity Bubble is an even more effective version.
Blackout Cavern: The underground is obviously devoid of natural light, with some exceptions. It is advised to carry a large stack of torches and a flashlight as it is very possible to be killed by an unseen monster.
Got 15 iron? Upgrade to the iron bow. It may not be as interesting as, say, a new hammer, but as the bow can get leather and meat, it can allow a player to hunt in the early game to get meat and leather much, much easier.
New materials are used to upgrade the picks. While not very exciting in and of themselves they are necessary for mining advanced materials and mining lesser materials more quickly.
Bottomless Magazines: All guns will have infinite ammo, and be able to fire endlessly, allowing even freshly created guns to be fired. The trade off is that each shot drains the energy bar for a certain amount, with higher end weapons giving a larger drain.
Bow and Sword in Accord: At the start of the game players will find themselves wielding a melee weapon and a bow. The bow is used to hunt monsters for meat as well as more effectively combat the various flying enemies.
Brain Bleach: If they examine a filthy toilet, a Glitch PC will hastily override their analysis mode.
Some of the glitch have what look like brains in jars as part of their heads.
The quest to gain access to the Gamma sector involves harvesting brains from monsters until you find one suitable enough to craft a robot. The end result is a large robot with a brain in a jar.
A literal example is a decoration that can be found in Apex-related labs.
Breakable Weapons: Completely averted for the weapons themselves and subverted for mining tools, when their durability runs out, they simply dull out and become less efficient and can be repaired using ores, beaming up to your ship also instantly repairs it.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of the items you can find is a Starbound arcade game. The description: "A Starbound arcade machine. How meta." Floran characters will even say they got an achievement for breaking the fourth wall.
The Apex suffer from a very advanced case of this. The player character, should he or she be an Apex, is a member of the rebellion who escaped after the Miniknog, the Apex's oppressive government, crushed it. As you can imagine given the game's general tone, it is lampshaded ruthlessly; there are even posters featuring a character dubbed Big Ape, who is said to be all-seeing and whom commands those who gaze upon his visage to OBEY. None of the player characters are impressed, least of all Florans, who comment that they have no plans to obey their dinner.
Apex dungeons have posters that read, "Big Ape is All Seeing".
Apex in Apex settlements will talk about hidden cameras, spies, and other activity alluding to the big brother nature of the Mini Knog government.
Burn the Witch!: The Glitch PC's origin has them being declared a heretic after becoming self aware, and being forced to flee the planet to escape execution.
Call to Adventure: Each race the player chooses has their own reason for traveling among the stars.
Human PCs must look for a new planet to settle because the Earth is either destroyed or over run by tentacle monsters.
Avian PCs narrowly avoided the wrath of the Stargazers and fled their homeworld as an exile and an atheist.
Floran PCs have grown tired of their fellows way of life and cannibalism, and look for a more refined, exciting hunt (and want to make friends).
Glitch PCs have become self-aware, and thus were viewed as freaks by their own people and were forced to flee as outcasts.
Apex PCs are rebels against the Miniknog, and are fleeing the repercussions of said rebellion after it was crushed.
Hylotl PCs are missionaries, looking to spread peace and enlightenment throughout the universe.
Cannibal Tribe: Among the Florans, cannibalism during funeral rituals and wars with rival factions are commonplace.
Celestial Body: The Novakids, described by a human astronomer as "interstellar gas-bag people".
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Novakids tend to have short attention spans (hence their stunted technological development) and a lack of tact when dealing with other races (hence their tense relationships with other races).
Florans as well, in their psychopathic madness, manage to find some lesser kinds of oddity. Like misreading absolutely every sign they find to mean the opposite of what it actually reads, or in the PC's case picking a fight with a robotic crafting table's arms.
The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: When analyzing the Geometric Screen, the Floran PC claims "Floran read words good. Sssay 'ssstab a meatman'. Huh.", which many players will probably dismiss as them just seeing what they want to, considering how... eccentric they can be regarding stabbing. However, doing the same with a Glitch PC will have them say "Analysis. This display appears to read 'stab a meatman' in binary. How unusual."
Collision Damage: Averted. Enemies must actually do an attack animation to cause damage, making shields useful and making non-hostile creatures possible to walk right through/past.
Many monsters do have a "bite" attack that they will use if you're in contact with them, playing this somewhat straight.
Commonplace Rare: Iron is virtually nonexistant in the endgame planets, where its several times less frequent than gold. This is likely to change.
Leather is a surprisingly infrequent drop when you consider every animal should be skinnable.
When you die in Softcore, you lose about 25-33% of your pixels. Since pixels are needed for making anything more complicated than basic equipment, this can set you back quite a ways. You can, however, convert raw ores into Pixels through the Refinery, allowing an easy and efficient means of accumulating more. There is also the Pixel compression machine, which allows you to store your pixels as an inventory item, but is very inefficient.
Hardcore (not to be confused with Terraria's, which is the Permadeath option), on the other hand, makes you drop everything you're carrying on top of the pixels (similar to Minecraft). The game is kind enough to make your belongings player-persistent when the scenario happens, so there's no rush to getting your stuff back as long as you don't save and quit.
Convection Schmonvection: Currently played straight but, with the temprature system included in the game this may change with future updates. Overheating is currently not in the game due to complications of implimenting the system and concerns over gameplay and balance issues.
Cool Starship: Each character gets their own, its design based off their race, I.E. florians having a plant covered ship. It's their base of operations in space, and it also provides the important tech that aids in exploration of the planet below, in addition to apparently being able to recreate any equipment using pixels. It was orginally planned to be upgradable, but at this stage in development, the creators are unsure how they want to go about allowing ships to expand.
Devolution Device: The Apex government invented a way to make their own people into ape-men. Supposedly this was a tradeoff to make everyone more intelligent.
Difficulty Levels: There are three difficulty levels: Normal (lose some pixels upon death), Hardcore (lose pixels and drop items on death), and Perma Death (once the character dies, it cannot be played ever again).
Dungeon Bypass: The devs plan to avert this by including a certain item inside dungeons and temples that prevents the players from collecting or deforming the temple structure and the items within. Once said item is destroyed, then players can loot to their heart's content.
Dystopia: In the Apex society, 1984 meets Planet of the Apes under the rule of Big Ape and the Ministry of Knowledge. Their furniture includes all kinds of cameras and propaganda posters.
Early Game Hell: Your starting multitool takes about 15 seconds to chop down a tree, and that much time to mine out a single block of cobblestone. Your only early means of self-defense is a broken sword, and if you go to any planet with a threat level higher than your armor, monsters kill you quickly. Once you craft an axe and a copper pick, things go much more smoothly.
Some version emerges from inside Earth during the Human intro.
The human lore has the Eldritch abomination landing on Earth from somewhere in space.
Some worlds will have giant tentacles and/or brain or eyeball-themed plant life, making the whole world seem like an Eldritch Abomination.
Elemental Weapon: Some randomly-generated melee weapons can be enhanced with either poison, fire, or electricity. Poison and fire inflict their respective status effect on enemies, while electricity just adds a projectile attack in the form of a short-ranged pulse of electricity that shoots directly in front of you.
Automatoes are metallic-looking tomatoes that contain screws.
Boneboo plants have bones for their stems.
Diodia tastes like copper.
Avesmingo has 100 different flavours in one fruit.
Neonmelons have glowing seeds.
Fantastic Racism: Zigzagged: in any given town from a race different to you, one third of its people will be positively curious about your visit, another third will mock you and your species, and the rest will just talk about something else.
In the backstory, there are mentions of repeated wars between the Florans and the Hylotl, which has led to great animosity between their species. In game, the two races have universally disparaging comments for each other, an occasionally found piece of Floran decor is spike-mounted Hylotl skulls, and the Hylotl Impervium weapons are named "Stemcutter", "Rootcutter", "Plantpounder", "Vinehacker", etc.
Glitch villagers also tend to not care for Hylotls. While they're not as hostile to Hylotls as Florans can be, they are very mistrusting of them and tend love to make fun of them.
"Bragging. Glitch furniture lasts up to ten times longer than that of your species."
Fast-Forward Mechanic: When a planet remains uninhabited for about a minute, its time will automatically reset to just after morning. In single player all a character needs to do is beam up to their ship and wait a short time and it will be morning when the character beams back down to the planet.
Feather Motif: Being birds, Avians have a focus on feathers to varying degrees.
Film Noir: One of the random lore books you can pick up from a glitch society is a book written like this, depicting a detective looking for malfunctioning (self-aware) glitches in a murder case. The detective's dark secret is that he himself was self-aware, but he deliberately fits in with society in order to help other self-aware glitch stay safe.
Fluffy Tamer: The Creature Capture Pods allow players to capture monsters while in their infant forms, then train them to fight for them.
For Science!: The Apex scientists shout this as a battle cry.
Great Escape: Many prisons have a release control somewhere. If triggered by the player, the cells will open and the inmates will Zerg Rush the guards.
Gone Horribly Wrong: In Fatal Circuit's backstory, it's revealed that the Glitch wanted to create a new form of Glitch. After the robot was activated, it went berserk, no thanks to the monster brain used in its construction.
I Am A Humanitarian/To Serve Man: The Florans. Floran characters will openly refer to other species as potential meals when examining posters and other decorative objects, and seem to have a particular fixation towards the Apex, for some reason. Floran NPCs will also threaten to eat the player character.
Idiosyncratic Version Naming: The early beta versions all have "Koala" in their version names. For example: v. Perturbed Koala, v. Irritated Koala, v. Offended Koala, and v. Furious Koala.
Improbable Weapon User: Florans, or at the very least the floran PC, which isn't surprising, considering their sheer bloodthirstiness. In any case, when asked about a hunting trophy stand, the PC will fondly reminisce about the time they bludgeoned their prey to death with a trophy stand before setting it up proper, and when commenting on their own flag, they comment they'd gladly stab someone with the flagpole.
Infinite Flashlight: Each starter kit for characters has one. Due to the way lighting works, they are one of the only ways for a character to light up the surrounding area without placing any item. Due to the way the game works, flashlights can be dual-wielded, however this has little benefit except intensifying the light.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Each race has its own mech that can be piloted once the tech for them is found and equipped. As of Beta v. Furious Koala, human and Glitch mechs have been implemented.
Interface Screw: If your heat bar gets too low, the screen becomes progressively whiter until you can't see anything.
Killer Rabbit: Among the randomly generated creatures, there are some that turn out to be rather cute. Unfortunately, they're most likely aggressive and will attack you on sight.
Kill It with Fire: Florans are not fond of fire at all. Particularly evident when inspecting any fire item while playing as a floran, as the player will often respond with fear or uneasiness.
Let's Play: The developers posted links to a few people who got beta a few days before the public beta released. All of them end round the 30 minute mark, which is generally just finishing up the beginning of the tutorial quests.
Low Culture, High Tech: The Avians were granted spacefaring technology by an as-yet-unamed Precursor race who neglected to give them the necessary social advancement to properly understand that it wasn't a gift from their god.
Man-Eating Plant: The Florans are a race of carnivorous plant people. If you play as one, they have a fixation with food and eating, and will comment on their desire to eat the subject if you examine certain posters showing other races, especially the Apex.
May Inca Tec: The Avians buildings and technology strongly resembles Aztec and Mayan structures.
The Glitch were originally built to progress as a society, developing more and more advanced technology while remaining unaware of their nature as technological constructs. A flaw or literal glitch in the system left the Glitch stuck in the medieval period.
Mundane Utility: Certain high tier weapons can have explosions after an attack. These can be used for crowd control... Or for digging (slowly) through blocks.
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: For the majority of the playable races, the player character themselves have taken to space precisely because they got sick of their race's xenophobia in one way or another. The exceptions are humans (who lost their home planet and didn't have a choice), Hylotl (an inversion who seek to spread their ways of enlightenment across the stars), and possibly novakids (who are described as mostly only doing things because why not.)
No Arc in Archery: Averted. Arrows have a noticeable arc even with the bow at full draw. At the far end of the range the player will need aim higher to hit their target of choice.
Non-Mammal Mammaries: Mammaries are defining characteristic between the sexes of all playable species so, yeah.
Noodle Implements: The Torture Device is... Some kind of fountain thing. We never know how it works (and the description tells us we don't want to), but we do find out that, apparently, Glitch find it particularly unpleasant, the florans themselves find the thing scary, and that it doesn't work on Hylotl.
Odd Friendship: The Glitch and the Florans, whenever one vists a village of the other, react quite warmly to each other. A page in Floran lore also implies the Glitch taught them how to read and write.
Florans have the savage and plant-life hat. They are both as lethal and cruel, even to each other, as they can be, as well as being meat eating plants, and they are a plant race.
Humans currently are a race without a home planet much like humans in Titan A.E.. Something special for the humans is a possibility in the future.
Glitch have the oldest theme, being stuck in the past due to an issue with programming (hence their name), and are still in the time of swords and farming. Despite being robots and stuck in the past, They are actually one of the most friendly races to find on a planet, and seem good natured despite their issues.
Apex are ape-men who seem to follow the government strongly. They are a blend of 1984 and Planet of the Apes. Their furniture tends to be more centered around the 70s and their "music" seems to indicate that they have regained some bestial instincts despite remaining intelligent.
Hylotl are fish people who appear to be the most modern. Despite that, they have a heavy Asian influence in their clothing and ships. It's noted in lore that Hylotl are the most peaceful of the races, to the point of getting mockery from time to time. They also value beauty, which is more of an Informed Ability at the moment due to there being so few items that show that.
Avians are a strongly religious race with a heavy May Inca Tec aesthetic. Avians value piety to their god, Kluex, above all else, and those who renounce their faith are summarily excommunicated.
Plant People: The Floran subvert this. The Meet the Florans pagenote The entry can also be found on the official wiki. points it out, saying that they put their "survival through reproduction and expansion" above conserving the environment and that the assumption that they are environmentalists because they're humanoid plants allows them to thrive.
Planet Heck: The new "Heck" Biomes introduced in Enraged Koala.
Prison: All the races have prisons as important locations, where you can go in and see a little more of their idiosyncrasy. The types and amount of torture devices vary from none to lots, the facilities offered can vary just as much, and in the florans' case they also double as cattle pens.
Procedural Generation: For planets, weapons, wildlife, and visual details like trees' appearance. The game uses the coordinates of each point in space to check if placing a system there, and if it does, uses said coordinates as seed.
Apex have more technological furniture than any other species.
Although backstory wise the Hylotl are this. They're noted as being the most peaceful of every race.
Psychopathic Man Child: The Florans as a whole are very simplistic but notoriously aggressive and violent. The playable Floran is this less so than the rest of their kind, but it still shines through when inspecting things.
Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: The guards of many settlements will advise you to holster your weapon, and after a while enforce it with extreme prejudice if you do not comply.
Rainbow Pimp Gear: Optional. Each character has six equipment slots for armor: three for the armor to actually use and get stats from, and another three for the armor to display, so you can avert it or play it straight.
Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: You can find a book detailing an (in)famous military maneuver made by a Human commander during one of their earliest conflicts with the Florans, entailing the commander dumping several thousand gallons of what is basically Agent Orange on the Florans. This didn't have the intended effect. Instead of killing them it made them drunk, but still achieved the desired effect of allowing the humans to retake the area long enough to evacuate the colonists. Judging by the last line of the book, it serves as this trope to the rest of the USCM.
Ribcage Ridge: Occasionally found on desert planets. Sometimes, the giant ribs and skulls are even placed on top of piles of smaller bones.
RPG Elements: Set to be averted. While subject to change, the devs have stated they have no intention of including character attributes or stats. Any effects or specializations will come purely from equipment. There will be player race specific abilities such as Florans being able to eat poisonous plants.
Rogue Drone: PC Glitches are Glitches who have become self-aware, causing them to be cut off from the rest of the Glitch collective and branded a heretic.
The Glitch are programmed not to fully grasp that they're robots and cyborgs in an otherwise medieval European society.
Despite the advanced technology available to players common starting tools are made of stone and bows are used to hunt for food from animal life. The most extreme example? As soon as the game begins, the player is presented with a handheld nanomanipulator. The very first thing they're likely to do with it is use it to build a pickaxe. Lampshaded by the pickaxe description, which says it's so last millennium.
Schmuck Bait: The descriptions for the first two boss-summoning items heavily imply they do anything but. The summoning item for the Dragon King at least states it is bait for a boss. But what a boss it is.
Variable Mix: Both the experimental soundtrack and the devs hint at this occurring based on the planet you visit and if you are in combat or not.
Violation of Common Sense: You need a processor board to upgrade your crafting table into a robotics table. So you simply craft it, right? That's not how you do it. Instead, build a murderous robot first, activate it, then destroy it in battle and rip off the board from its dead body.
Wakeup Call Boss: The first boss encounter is far harder than any enemy on the starting planet. A common complaint among beta players was that they didn't realize they weren't stuck on their starting planet, and needed to explore other planets for upgrades before even considering summoning the boss. (The description of the summoning item made it Schmuck Bait as well: "maybe this distress beacon will summon help!")
Witch Hunt: Any Glitch that, through yet another Glitch, realizes that they are part of an experiment and that their technology can be more advance is treated as raving lunatics and are hunted down by the mainstream Glitch.
With This Herring: At the beginning of the game, you're supplied with only a matter manipulator, a flashlight, 10 torches, a few crops, a broken two-handed broadsword, and the meager clothes you're currently wearing. The matter manipulator is slower at mining than a stone pickaxe, the flashlight only illuminates areas at a small angle (unlike the torches and almost all other light sources), and the broadsword should immediately be replaced with a hunting knife once you have the iron to craft it.
Wizard Needs Food Badly: The player characters have a hunger meter that slowly depletes over time, and must eat in order to replenish it. Yes, even the robotic Glitch need to eat.
Womb Level: The "Tentacles" planets. The outer layer looks a lot like flesh, trees are replaced by tentacles, and burrowing inside them you can find clusters of flesh and pools of blood.
There's also the Eyeball minibiomes, which are quite similar, except with staring eyeballs.
Wutai: Hylotl appear to have this as their other hat, the first one being fish people and everything that implies. Their default clothing resembles Japanese clothing, and their spaceship seems to take off both the Chinese koi and Japanese dragon. The ship's default interior has strong resemblances to eastern housing as well, complete with lanterns.