Startopia is a 2001 simulation game where the player is tasked with the administration of a toroidal space station in the aftermath of a galactic war. It met mediocre reviews, but became a cult classic. The developer, Mucky Foot, was founded by ex-Bullfrog employees.The game is known for its Shout Outs and references to a numerous popular science-fiction shows and their respective tropes.The singleplayer mode is essentially one large tutorial, with each mission focusing on one key element of the gameplay. The Kasvagorian Proud Warrior Race Guys will want you to violently attack and disperse squatters, while the profit-oriented Gem Slugs will want you to get rid of some opponents economically, for example.Startopia is a surprisingly complex game, with the developers programming things to happen that the player might not realize. An extremely thought-out game guide online that details many of these, and many of the tropes below.For those who prefer their info in wiki form, the is also the Startopia wikiThis game is now available on GOG.com. The game recently released on steam.
This video game provides examples of the following:
Accidental Art: The creator of the Turraken's 'racial statue' wants everyone to know that it's just the casing of an old anti-matter conducer. The 'creator' is simply an art researcher.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Crimes vary from 'attempted extermination of all sentient life in the galaxy' to 'appeared in terrible low-budget sci-fi film'.
Artificial Stupidity: If a rival administrator is kicked off the station many guests will simply wait around for everything to start back up again. Unfortunately this means that many of them will die as their needs increase rather than simply leave the station.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence (If one gets 12 Zedem Monks and 12 Penitents, an Ascension ritual is performed. It looks flashy and has the benefit of ridding you of those annoying penitents at no cost. It's also required for the eighth mission.)
Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Skrashers, giant bugs bigger than many of your buildings, with the instinct to smash up everything. Fortunately, if you keep the place tidy, they won't appear that often.
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: See those scantily-clad Dahanese Sirens, their broad-shouldered males and petite females with large breasts? Now replace "male" with "female" in the previous sentence and vice versa.
Bowdlerise: In the data files, the Oroflex was originally called the Orophux. Given that its a thing that gives massive stat gains in 'Love'...
Creative Sterility: The Greys' racial statue is simply a small collection of basic shapes. The description points out that while the Greys are intelligent and hardworking, their culture is very strict and unbending, completely opposed to creativity.
Crying Indian: Karmaramans lose a little bit of happiness and spiritual happiness if they see you harvest a plant on the Biodeck.
G-Rated Sex: The Dahnese Sirens run G-Rated brothels: they hover in the air and beam sparkly love magic to their clients, who levitate during the encounter. Then there's the Oroflex, a sort of Tilt-O-Whirl with tentacles that looks alarming and disturbing, but the customers appear to enjoy it, having their "love" and "fun" stats boosted.
The Greys: One of the in-game races. They're employed as your medical staff. VAL says they're sorry about that abduction and cattle mutilation business, and they hardly ever do it now.
Several of Greys appear to have had relatives, who died during the UFO crash-landing in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
Killer Rabbit: The irresistibly adorable memau resemble a cross between a kitten and a raccoon. They sneak aboard the station through docking ports and wander around looking for trash to eat. Visitors and residents can't stop themselves from giving the cute little critters a skritch on the head. Unfortunately, if they encounter a memau that has eaten enough litter, they'll be given a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong and become infected with skrasher spawn. Unless they get immediate medical attention, you can expect a huge mess.
Luke, I Am Your FatherArona Daal claims this in the ending sequence. Which is rather odd, when you consider VAL effectively implies the player's home planet is Earth. Most likely a Star Wars parody.
Matter Replicator In the game any non-living, non-moving mater (no droids) can be replicated, but doing so is less efficient than buying it from a trader or manufacturing it.
Misblamed: The Karmaraman racial statue may not have actually made the thing. None of the designers remember doing it, and there's rumors that another alien race designed the thing when the Karmas went off after getting the munchies.
No Biochemical Barriers: Used and averted, all aliens breath the same air without complaint and synthetic food can be eaten by all species. However, some species will find certain biodeck environments highly unpleasant and specialist food can cause problems if eaten by some species. There are also diseases that can be caught by any of the aliens races, but hit some races harder than others.
Nobody Poops: Yes they do, and if you don't provide the facilities they may die of bladder wrack. Excepting the Polvakian Gem Slugs who just do it anywhere, though their droppings are valuable energy-rich Turdite.
Non-Entity General: The only clues to your identity are VAL's comments that suggest you're a contemporary human. (Well, you are.) Doesn't explain how you come to be in charge of rebuilding an alien space station, though. Or the fact Arona Daal claims to be your father.
Planet of Hats: Every single race, including the race that occupies the role of spies and saboteurs. The work is clearly delineated by their hat: Greys are doctors, Karmaramas are gardeners, Salthogs are engineers and mechanics, Kasvagorans run security. Also somewhat averted, as any race (save the enemy agents) can be terrorists or criminals, and Salt Hogs, Greys and Targ will take up lasers along with the Gors when called or attacked.
It's implied that, back before the galaxy went to hell, the Empire engaged in deliberate social engineering to make each race specialize, forcing them all to depend on each other, as an attempt to prevent interspecies wars from breaking out. It didn't exactly work. (Though it seems to working now.)
Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Kasvagorians. Apparently none of the others survived the war according to their intro.
The security control building screen often shows games of Pong and Asteroids.
Sometimes laboratory computer terminals show blue screens, guess the future has windows. It's notable that this isn't a background thing but it occurs with Turakkens with lower skill ratings and they visibly bash the keyboard when it occurs.
Also the terminals sometimes show a variant of the old Beziers Screensaver that was avalible in Windows.
Single-Biome Planet: The garden-like Biodeck can be set for a range of moisture and heat settings. Each race prefers a different one and some even take hits to their health if it's the exact opposite of their preference, though they all get along with the median state and all of them enjoy swimming, even the Zedem Monks will get a thrill walking ontop of lakes.
Small Annoying Creature: Vermin, looking like rats with big toothy grins, will pop up out of the deck if you have too much litter lying about. Visitors and residents who encounter them are disgusted, especially the snobby gem slugs. If a vermin gets within range of a security column, the column's guns will blast it to pieces, which can be fun but also freaks out anyone nearby.
More importantly, anyone who interacts with them has a very high chance to get ill.
There are also teleporters between floors, rather than lifts.
The Missionary: Zedem monks, they occasionally convert others to their faith, which result in them becoming Penitents, who wander around being useless. You get a nice cash bonus for this.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-universe, Polvakian art and sculpture is only 'incomprehensible' if you're one of those classless poor people.
Universal Ammunition: Actually Universal Consumables; certain cargo can be used for significantly different purposes. Specifically, 'Food Supplies' can be used to feed your people, or used as raw materials for a simple 'general store'. Luxury Goods supply Leisure-related or music-related stores... and are harvested from plants.
Which veers into Fridge Brilliance when you realise that the universe has both highly advanced teleportation technology and the ability to turn matter into pure energy (via the recycler). It's not a massive leap to assume they're able to do it in reverse and recombine raw materials into whatever they want.
Well... yeah. If you don't have the requisite goods, a shop will have a small energy expenditure before completing the transaction, presumably from replicating whatever item the customer wants.
Your Head Asplode: Visitors and residents can become infected with a disease called "Blastycephalis". Without immediate and proper medical attention, the victim's head suddenly expands until the pressure causes it to pop leaving behind a large spatter of bone fragments.
Also Skrashers have this effect on their unwitting victims.