Reconstruction Zero: I Miss the Sunrise is a prequel to The Reconstruction, made by Space Lizard of Tilde-One Games.Thousands of years from now, mankind had achieved a perfect, utopian society. Marvels of science and technology allowed every need to be cared for and granted worldwide peace. Even immortality had been achieved. Humans traveled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, discovering a new, alien species, thelacertians. In time, they were integrated seamlessly into human culture (though their evolutionary relatives, the "Lessers", were too barbaric to be reasoned with). The dreams of humanity across the galaxy had been achieved, and progress was poised to march ever onwards. Everything was perfect.But in an instant, that all changed.A strange, inexplicable event, known only as "the Shine", wrought havoc across all of civilization. A blinding flash of light appeared to warp reality, slicing mechanical constructs and ships into fragments as if it was peeling them apart. For an unknown reason, planets were not affected, but little else was spared from the destruction. Billions died, and relay nodes were destroyed, isolating communication and fragmenting civilization further. In addition, emotions, suppressed for aeons, began to surface, leading to chaos as people tried to fight over what was left. Bandits and marauders fought survivors over the scraps of civilization, and, to make matters worse, the Lessers became far more intelligent, stealing ships and using them to cause even more destruction.However, emotions are not purely negative. Determination and hope also arose, and with them, a light in the darkness was formed: the Inquiry Project, headed by commander Virgil Sorenson. Its goal is to repair the fractured world to its former glory, to restore peace and order once more. A daunting and nigh-impossible task, to be sure, but they have hope...You are Ros Ouranos, a pilot with no knowledge of their prior identity. You awake in a stasis pod aboard the Inquiry, and are told you are one of three pilots the crew found in a strange, abandoned ship. Your abilities are unique, as you have a special protein in your body that, when combined with another chemical, grants you the ability to think in a sort of stasis, taking as long as necessary to analyze a situationwhile appearing to take no time at all from an outside perspective. This is, obviously, an incredibly important ability for a commander to have, and thus, like it or not, you are the Inquiry Project's last hope.Oh, and you'd better be careful...the other two pilots didn't last very long.Gameplay-wise, I Miss the Sunrise plays a bit like a blend of an Eastern RPG and a Western RPG. There is an extensive character customization screen for Ros; you can change their gender and make them either a human, cyborg, or lacertian, the latter options having major effects on his/her stats and some changes to dialogue. Perhaps the biggest aspect of customization, however, is the ability to fine-tune Ros' personality — and not just in the bland Character Alignment sense, either. Every character in the game, including Ros, has three separate personality scales: Logical vs. Imaginative, Conservative vs. Aggressive, and Lawful vs. Flexible. And they aren't either/or choices — there are up to ten different steps of the scale that can be used to define where a character stands. The closer you are to another character on the scale, the easier it will be to get along with them. Personality will also slightly change Ros' dialogue during cutscenes. To add on to this, there are some important choices during sidequests that will have far-reaching consequences depending on what you choose, in addition to changing Ros' personality slightly.Combat is very similar to that of The Reconstruction, taking place in a grid map. Every ship has three meters that serve as both Life MetersandMana Meters: Hull, Systems, and Pilot. However, every character and enemy in the game has the exact same health value for all three — 1000. The only difference in survivability are defensive stats. There is also no generic "attack" command — every ship must select from a number of up to five weapons to attack. They come in four varieties: Auroral (long range, low damage, high accuracy), Ballistic (medium in everything), Contact (short range, high damage, low accuracy), and eXtension (which are not weapons at all, but passive buffers, similar to armour). Each species specializes in a different type of weapon. You can also create new weapons between missions — doing so is the main method of power progression, in fact.It can be downloaded here, in addition to more details on the story,item crafting system, and gameplay.You can see the trailer here, and there is also some trivia on the developer's blog here (beware of spoilers in the latter, obviously).Do note that, as a prequel to The Reconstruction, there will be unmarked spoilers relating to it ahead. If you want to see the full saga, you should play that game first.Has a wikihere.
Beehive Barrier: Ral seems to create large, physical versions of these using raw mechanical materials in the final mission of His Master's Voice. They don't actually use it in combat, though.
Big "NO!": Ros' reaction to witnessing the destruction of the Inquiry.
Bittersweet Ending: The optimist ending. The universe is preserved at its current state — no more, no less. The war is over, but it has taken its toll — now there is even more work to do before society gets back to pre-Shine levels of stability. Neff, Chac, Cassidy, Cole, and Ivoronus are dead, and Tezkhra and Mahk have disappeared. Ros is possibly dead as well. As the ending title says, you pretty much have to believe that everything will turn out alright in the end.
Body Surf: The Black One does this every time they die, essentially giving them Resurrective Immortality. However, their consciousness can only take over the body of a Lesser. Since their brains aren't as complex as other creatures', this leads to memory problems.
Book Ends: Kind of. Each episode (except the final one) begins and ends with Ros in a stasis pod. Episode 5 mixes things up a bit by destroying the stasis pod.
Buffy Speak: Marie refers to the FOCS construct as "big spinny ring thing" at one point when talking to someone who didn't know its actual name.
Central Theme: Scope, again, though in an inversion of what it was in the sequel. Tezkhra says at the end of The Reconstruction, "How far back must we stand before we can see everything ahead? And...does that mean we must lose sight of what was closest to begin with?" The Reconstruction analyzed the first part; this game analyzes the second.
A secondary theme seems to be nihilism. Despite our best efforts, we can never create something truly eternal; entropy will always catch up with us eventually.
Chekhov's Gun: Early in the game, in one of the optional side conversations, a character makes note of how Ros shows no signs of emotional suppression, despite not witnessing the Shine (which is what cracked other characters' stoicism). In episode 4, it's revealed that this is because the Ouranos project was designed by those who avoided suppression — thus, they did not incorporate it into their creations.
Cliff Hanger: To an extent. Every episode has an ending cutscene that foreshadows or mentions some major event that will drive the plot in the next episode.
Defeat Equals Friendship: You need to fight them twice, though. Jessamine is fought as a Mini-Boss towards the beginning of His Master's Voice, and can be fought again as a Bonus Boss later. They join your party after that.
Emergency Transformation: To save Deirdre's life from horrible radiation poisoning, Rami has to convert them into an AUG. They join your fleet afterwards.
Emotions Versus Stoicism: People apparently repressed their emotions in the past, though they're resurfacing now. The characters tend to treat them as both a blessing and a curse, instead of planting themselves firmly on one side. Most characters do lean towards one or the other. The personality bars, especially the mentality one, also represent this.
The Multiple Endings seem to be connected to this. The optimist ending is emotional, the pessimist ending is rational.
Foreshadowing: You'll get tons of this if you recover Typelog fragments when investigating, since most of them are lines spoken by characters in the future.
For Science!: EROS flip-flops with this. Some of the stuff they do is for a real purpose, but a lot of it is just because.
In particular, Willis is not bogged down by any of your silly "ethics" nonsense, and most of his projects have little to no applicability (or if they do, it's a secondary consideration).
Specific example: Once upon a time, an EROS research facility set up an experiment. The best case scenario was the successful reallocation of matter. The worst-case scenario? Unintentional spaghettification of all reality (read: the Shine). They went through with it — twice, in fact, the second attempt causing their facility to implode.
Gainax Ending: The pessimist ending. Ros enters the Core and absorbs the universe into a single point of energy, thereby completing the Progenitor's plan...then the game just ends.
Luke: Ros Ouranos... D-ah, I mean, uh, Ros! Gah, they got me doin' it now. Let's... leave soon, yeah?
Gray and Grey Morality: There's no unambiguous good guys here. There are technologically-advanced superpowers fighting to impose their visions upon the galaxy, renegade Space Pirates who want to live free of the squabbling great powers' influence while taking what they want through combat, barbarian space lizards who don't have the intelligence to be any better ...except when they do, and a group of intrepid explorers just trying to knit society back together, until their leader decides to knock everyone's heads together to restore peace. As for the Big Bad? He's an Omnicidal ManiacÜbermensch who happens to have a very good point, but whose solution is somewhat questionable.
Tezkhra, after discovering that the Black One wasn't just spouting nonsense — the work that he loved so passionately nearly caused all of reality to be destroyed. This is what leads him to running away and crash-landing on the PLSE surface of The Reconstruction.
Mahk, after learning that the Machinatorium has been destroyed, becomes unresponsive and uncharacteristically quiet, eventually culminating in him freaking out and running away to find Tezkhra. It is also potentially kicked up a notch by Ivoronus' Heroic Sacrifice.
Heroic Sacrifice: When the Inquiry is being destroyed, Virgil stays behind and uses the last available backup power to get Ros to safety.
Also, Neff, Chac, Cassidy, Cole, and Ivoronus in the optimist ending. PossiblyRos, as well.
Holding Back the Phlebotinum: When the crew finds a strange Lesser that seems to recognize Tezkhra, but who Tezkhra says he's never seen before, it should be easy to confirm who's telling the truth through a simple trip to the Typelog archives. However, Tezkhra apparently deletes files he deems "unnecessary", so, even if he did know the Lesser once, it could be impossible to tell.
Subverted, however, as canonically, he dies in The Reconstruction without ever seeing Ros again...
Jerkass Has a Point: Thomas may be a cold, arrogant, and generally unpleasant individual, but he does bring up many salient, logical points. This is especially prevalent in his Hannibal Lecture to Ros at the end of episode 4, where he points out the negative consequences of all the choices they have made.
Order Versus Chaos: Discussed to some degree. The society at large (and a lawful Ros) falls squarely on the "order" side. However, with the resurgence of emotions, chaos is starting to drift in. In the background, many characters wonder about this and question what the balance between the two should be.
The conflict between Typelog and EROS fits this, though EROS members themselves are firmly lawful. Typelog members retain their emotional suppression, are scrupulously polite, and consider computerization and data to be the highest form of advancement. EROS follows a very emotional form of For Science!, runs on a scientific variant of Asskicking Equals Authority, and their members tend to constantly analyze and disparage the Inquiry's methods. Neither group is especially nice.
Quip to Black: Virgil tends to make one of these at the end of each episode.
Subverted in the ending for And Yet It Moves, however, where he noticeably loses his composure and ends on a much more serious and ominous One-Liner.
The Reveal: The high-level offices in the abandoned databanks answer a lot of major plot questions, often taking this form.
A few of the crew members' final interaction scenes can take this form as well, usually answering lingering questions about their character arcs. It's even lampshaded in the case of Tezkhra, where the reveal is so obvious that everyone admits they already knew it.
Status Quo Is God: Many of your crewmates' final personal scenes are built up to seem like they will be making major changes to themselves or the world, but these plans are always prevented or shut down for various reasons. Some characters' subplots do get proper resolutions in the ending, though.
Title Drop: Upon witnessing a sunrise for the first time in millennia, Marie's reaction is "God, I missed this."
A lesser example: a title drop for an individual episode. Strangely, it actually happens in the episode that comes after it. When Jessamine visits her "girls" in the ending: "Always and always! Forever and ever!"
Uncertain Doom: In the optimist ending, the last thing we see of Ros, they are dragging the Core towards a black hole. Other characters say that it's not certain whether or not they will actually have to pass the event horizon, but it is a possibility that they don't make it back, and Word of God has stated that they don't plan on the character reappearing in any future games.
Wham Episode: The penultimate mission of And Yet It Moves, where the crew discovers the true nature of the Shine (it was manmade).
Also, the final offices of the abandoned databanks. Lacertians did not evolve naturally; they were synthesized in a lab, and Lessers were the prototypes. Ivoronus was also the first one created. Plus, the rationale behind the creation of the Shine — it was an attempt to combat entropy. And to kick it all off, latent energy (a.k.a. magic) is from a quantifiable wellspring point that appears to be a portal to another plane of reality. Big stuff, and some of it appears to be Foreshadowing for an even greater reveal!
A Plan For Everything is pretty much this non-stop. It begins with the Inquiry being destroyed, and goes downhill from there.
In his final dialogue in His Master's Voice, he reflects on the conflict he's seen and begins to question the purpose of his weaponcraft.
By the end of And Yet It Moves, he reveals that the purpose of Sikohlon weaponcraft was deterrence, not destruction, and being forced to kill (or narrowly avoid killing) the rebel colony actually makes him feel horrible.
Companion Cube: Deirdre's ship, apparently. Justified for a number of reasons; its stasis chamber kept her from going insane from emitter radiation, she was naturally inclined towards science and technology to begin with, and the other members of Purity Point shunned her, leaving her with little other companionship.
Creepy Monotone: It's hard to convey through text, but Mr. Right and Mr. Left seem to speak in a robotic monotone, indicated by the fact that the sentences appear instantly instead of letter by letter.
Deadpan Snarker: You can turn Ros into one of these if you so desire, depending on the personality you choose and which choices you pick in Dialogue Trees.
Tezkhra is eligible for the role of tritagonist, also, as his subplot gets a great deal of focus and is significant to the main story.
Defrosting Ice Queen: A bit of an odd example, as Marie is hardly an "ice queen", and doesn't even "defrost" all that much. However, she does have a softer side, and can warm up to Ros if you take the time to talk to her.
Despair Event Horizon: A lacertian man named Chac seems to have passed it; he was the lone survivor of a ship that was wrecked by the Shine, and is wracked with survivor guilt. In addition, he lost both his wife and his legs. Turns out he hasn't quite passed the brink; though it takes a Herculean effort, his sidequest involves bringing him back from the event horizon.
Fiction500: Ivoronus. He says that 500,000 half-credits is but a minor fraction of what he owns. Interestingly, however, he does not flaunt this wealth, and doesn't seem to use it for much more than perfecting his Machinatorium.
Five-Man Band: More than five, but most of the characters still fall into the archetypes.
The Hero: Ros, ostensibly, though s/he can subvert almost every trait of this trope if you so choose.
The Smart Guy: Rami, Tezkhra, Neff, and Kara. Also Deirdre, to an extent, if you recruit her.
Marie has shades of this as well if you explore her Hidden Depths, as it's revealed that she's one of the oldest people in the galaxy — she was around before the Immortal Procreation Clause came into effect.
Last Name Basis / First Name Basis: Formal and/or stoic characters will address Ros as "Ouranos", while more informal and/or emotional characters will address Ros by his/her first name. The exception to this is Mahk, who addresses Ros on a Last Name Basis, despite being a passive-aggressive Deadpan Snarker (though he likely does so sarcastically; it's hard to tell in pure text).
EspeciallyDeirdre: she talks about science and progress a lot, and treats her ship like a Companion Cube. Justified, since the people of Purity Point hate technology, and ostracized her so that machines were her only source of companionship. She also realizes that science is quite literally the only thing keeping her alive after she's augmented.
Snaketalk: The Black One. For his first two bodies, anyway — he talks normally in his third.
The Lessers in the Lesser Habitation also talk this way, except for the "Resolute Lesser", probably to make him seem more intelligent.
The Stoic: Tezkhra and Sorenson, so very much, as well as Dispatcher Amalas. Also Ros, if s/he is very Logical or Conservative.
The backstory mentions that for a long time, everyone's emotions were technologically suppressed to prevent conflict. Shock caused by the Shine made most people snap out of it, but it seems like all Typelog employees are still in this state.
Not So Stoic: Tezkhra's reaction to finding out that Typelog stole his Stardraw technology: "Damn it all!!" The rest of the crew is rightfully freaked out by this. He also gets rather aggressive whenever Mahk annoys him.
However, it's later revealed to be subverted. His reaction was because his technology wasn't designed to store that much energy, and could cause a catastrophic failure, so he wanted to warn Typelog. It seems like that's just what he's telling the crew, though; he still appears to be seething with barely-concealed rage when talking to Typelog.
Also, Sorenson sounds like they're on the verge of going berserk in the ending cutscene of And Yet It Moves.
Also Deirdre, who was exposed to emitter radiation while she was still a kid. Unfortunately, this makes her look like a kid despite being as mature as everyone else. This is a source of irritation for her.
Omnicidal Maniac: Lazarus, possibly. He's a mentally unstable Blood Knight, and characters claim that he would annihilate everything in the galaxy For the Evulz if he had the chance, but when you do meet him, he claims that such things are beneath him. Given what the Big Bad's plan is, though, it's possible that he wants to permanently destroy all of reality by ascending to godhood and then preventing the new universe from being born.
Theme Naming: Except for Father Ivoronus, all of the Sikohlon have four-letter names. One NPC speculates that they're abbreviations for their real names. This is possibly a Shout-Out to NES games, like fih'jik names were in The Reconstruction.
And from the named Sikohlon we see in The Reconstruction — Rehm, Dehl, Moke, and Xopi — it would appear that Mahk continued the trend when he founded the clan. (It would seem he even continued the "fathers get full names" rule, as the one Sikohlon who breaks the pattern, Skint, is one of the three fathers.)
The Progenitor really did have the best of intentions — he was only trying to save humanity — and the universe — from entropy. In fact, his biggest mistake that everyone blames him for happened due to circumstances outside of his control.
The Black One isn't as crazed and violent as they first appear — they are actually trying to save the universe in their own way. Unfortunately, those methods involve killing Tezkhra.
After the End: Despite this, it manages to be pretty upbeat and hopeful.
Apocalypse How: The Shine was a Galactic (possibly Universal) Societal Disruption.
And, according to the Black One, the Big Bad's plan (compressing the universe into a single point of energy — essentially an artificial big crunch) will cause Universal (possibly Omniversal) Metaphysical Annihilation — "It will be the end of all things!". It's not entirely clear how or why, though.
Arms Dealer: The Sikohlon (to the extreme surprise of everyone who's played The Reconstruction) are a mix of type 2 (they're the only known arms dealer in the galaxy) and type 3.
Black Market: The Hole & Corner Market, first introduced in Episode 3, which sells high-level components for extremely high prices.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted, if anything; all the playable cyborgs thus far have been some of the most cheerful and optimistic characters. (Except Tezkhra, anyway, who is The Stoic, but otherwise a perfectly nice guy.)
Cyborg: Augmented humans. Lacertians can't be augmented, as there's something about their cellular construction and regeneration that's incompatible with the machinery.
Tezkhra is an odd exception to this, though. He was probably able to be augmented due to being the same species as the Black One, and therefore not having a normal lacertian body.
Drill Tank: Well, Drill Ship. One of the side-missions has you trying to catch 'The Tunneller' who uses a gigantic drill to bore through a planet.
Fantastic Racism: Averted for the most part — lacertians were welcomed by the humans with open arms, and by the point the story starts, have been integrated seamlessly into human culture. Played straight with the Lessers, though, who are universally reviled by both humans and lacertians. They do have fairly good reasons, though; Lessers are The Unintelligible and extremely violent.
However, the members of Purity Point hate lacertians and cyborgs for unknown reasons, saying that they are "corrupt". When you visit, they force your lacertian crew members to sit in a small room. It's probable that their insanity has given them xenophobia.
Interestingly, the Lesser Habitation in episode 4 does seem to show that Lessers are not as unintelligible as they seem, and are definitely sapient.
There appears to be a deal of negative stigma towards cyborgs as well.
The Fog of Ages: Addressed. Typelog's purpose is to avoid this by allowing everyone to keep records of every memory they've had, and swap out their current memories for old ones if they need to. So, the negative effects of this trope are avoided for the most part.
Unless, like Tezkhra, you delete "unnecessary files"...
Immortals Fear Death: Because of failsafes in combat craft, battles almost never lead to Final Death. Fighting under jamming-pulse conditions is absolutely terrifying to the immortal Inquiry crew, and even killing hostiles is seen as a major Shoot the Dog.
The Fog of Ages: The amount of memories the human brain can store is limited, and you have to regularly clean up your mind by "dropping" minor memories into the Typelog database.
Justified Save Point: The Typelog database that functions as a save system is a key element of the setting; it's part of what allows immortal society to function properly.
Research Inc: EROS, sort of. Due to living in a post-scarcity society, they are more focused on For Science! than money, but other than that they fit the bill.
Science Is Bad: Averted in the main narrative, where the effects of scientific advancement on society are discussed in a (mostly) fair and balanced manner, but the members of Purity Point believe this due to their insanity, saying that it brings corruption. The painful irony here is that they're both right and wrong; overexposure to radiation during the Shine ruined their bodies and minds, but that same radiation is the only thing keeping them alive.
On the one hand: Civilization was on the brink of collapse, but is managing to pull itself back together, and it is definitely possible to restore it to its former glory. The cast contains a number of enthusiastic scientists working to undo the damage of the Shine.
On the other hand: Things go downhill fast in episode 4. A war breaks out, with Typelog and EROS as the main aggressors, and minor factions go into a free-for-all mentality. Death and destruction is rampant, and Virgil remarks that it's exactly like what led to the Breach in the first place — only this time, there's nowhere to run.
In the final ending choice, the pessimist ending is cynical (Ros believes the current world cannot be saved), while the optimist ending makes an attempt to push back towards idealism (Ros believes the universe is worth saving, and everyone pulls together to try and fix the damage from the war).
The Unintelligible: All attempts at reasoning or communicating with Lessers ended in failure in the past, and they're still impossible to communicate with. There are a number of counterpoints, however:
The Black One not only speaks to the crew, but has an augmented leg, something that should be doubly impossible.[[labelnote:note]]Lacertians can't be augmented in the first place, but they shouldn't have the technology to perform an augmentation, and even if they did, they don't have the intelligence or knowledge necessary. Or so it would seem.[[/labelnote]
In episode 4, you can find an abandoned EROS laboratory inhabited by Lessers, but they are actually quite calm and nonthreatening. Furthermore, they exhibit intelligent traits — they can talk, read, and make observational deductions. They are still not at human- or lacertian-level intelligence, however.
Also, Tezkhra, in terms of defensive and offensive stats — he has a surprisingly even spread (probably the reason why he's such a great Stone Wall). In terms of speed stats, though, he's a Mighty Glacier.
Lightning Bruiser: Jessamine, Chac, Cassidy, Cole (though the latter two have low AP)
Squishy Wizard: Sort of. There are two characters who are extremely specialized in one weapon type, to the exclusion of all the others: Rami for Ballistic weapons, and Jessamine for Contact ones. (Oddly, there is no equivalent for Auroral weapons.)
Stone Wall: Tezkhra. (Which is fitting, given it's the same role he had in The Reconstruction.) There are also characters with extremely good defense in one area particularly, though they usually have an Achilles' Heel in another:
Parodied with "The End", a post-game bonus boss. Mr. Right and Mr. Left make a big deal of how powerful it is — the mission nodes leading up to it even have names like "feeling of dread" and "getting the shakes". However, when you actually engage it, it goes down in one or two hits.
Capped off with the Tatzylvurm, the real final bounty hunt — and it does not disappoint.
Bragging Rights Reward: Lampshaded. After defeating the final Bonus Boss, you gain a massive windfall of top-tier weapon components...but your contractors dryly comment that the reward is largely meaningless, since you would need to have unparalleled weaponry in order to beat the thing in the first place.
Cap: Damage of normal attacks caps at 900, probably to prevent cheap One Hit Kills (damage being counted in permille). Critical Hits deal 50% more damage, so the max damage you can inflict is 1350.
Also, accuracy is capped at 950‰, probably so that there is always a chance, however slight, of attacks missing.
Character Level: Ranks, though the bonuses they provide are minor for the most part, and are only awarded every 3 levels.
Cherry Tapping: There's a merit for doing this to an enemy, as well as a merit for an enemy doing it to you.
Climax Boss: All of them, though particularly the Black One in His Master's Voice.
And topped off with Lazarus in Forever And Ever, who even has unique battle music.
Collection Sidequest: Kind of. Scrap Carboderm, otherwise just low-value Vendor Trash, can be traded to an NPC in Habitation Zero for more useful items. They aren't unique items, though (they're actually pretty common).
Controllable Helplessness / Hopeless Boss Fight: The absolute final battle, where Neff tries to take on the entire Lesser horde. You can't win — enemies will just continually respawn. The odds are even stacked against you — you're constantly losing Zone of Control every phase, and the difficulty is automatically set to expert level.
Crippling Overspecialization: YMMV on the "crippling", but there are a number of characters who are highly specialized in on one offensive/defensive type, to the exclusion of all their other stats, making them kind of Squishy Wizards.
Damage Over Time: During certain boss missions, you can place your secondary fleets on certain tiles to gain "fire support" from them, causing a small but reliable amount of damage to the boss per turn. (If they are occupied by enemy fleets, though, this can happen to you.)
The manual also mentions certain Field Power Effects that inflict small amounts of damage to all combatants every turn, but only two are actually in the game.
Due to Ros' protein; the battle screen is what s/he actually sees on his/her monitor, including the turn-based nature of combat. The layout on the mission map is also generated by his/her computer.
Later in the game, the implications of this are thoroughly explored; Thomas shows off Ros' true potential by having him/her command an entire army, which they pull off easily. It also makes Lazarus drunk with power, claiming that time itself has no hold over them, and they are free to do whatever they wish with no one to stop them.
Each race specializes in a certain weapon, with a few exceptions. It is explained why in the flavour text during character creation.
Gay Option: Kara and Mahk. The former is technically bi; she will make romantic overtures regardless of Ros' gender, as long as you fit her personality requirements. Mahk, on the other hand, will only be attracted to a male Ros.
Universal Currency: Half-credits. Justified, since credits were probably made universal long before the game started.
Guide Dang It: Getting the Secret Character. In The Reconstruction, there was a blazing neon sign if you met the requirements. Here, not only do you have to recruit all the characters, you have to see all of their personal interaction scenes. Then, after you think there is no reason to interact with your crew anymore (except to fall in love with them), you need to talk to Mahk. The game gives you absolutely zero hints on this.
Hello, Insert Name Here: Though "Ros" is the main character's default name, you can change it to whatever you want. Also subverted; his/her last name, "Ouranos", is always a constant and cannot be changed.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Some of them, like the ones in storage areas, aren't as inexplicable, but many can get pretty ridiculous, appearing in the middle of rooms/corridors and even blocking paths in some cases.
Item Crafting: It's the main form of progression, since rank bonuses are minor and infrequent.
Item Farming: Since you can't buy high-level components, this is your main source of them.
You can even loot your crewmates' personal lockers. Doing so does incur a personal trust penalty (albeit a surprisingly minor one), however.
This is lampshaded in Episode 5. One of the NPCs in the Ezekiel will inform you that there are no item boxes to pilfer in the area, and that "We know all about your kleptomania!"
Laser Blade: Most likely how Ivoronus' "White Cleave" weapon works.
Last Lousy Point: The fourth merit, "By A Thread", requires you to dodge an attack while having health in the double digits. Getting it requires extremely good luck — getting into double-digit health without dying relies an awful lot on random damage variance in the first place, and accuracy is almost completely up to the whims of luck as well. (Plus, if the enemy decides to attack someone else instead, the pilot hanging by a thread will just regenerate, which could waste all your hard work.) Since there's no hint on how to obtain a merit until you actually get it, this may also count as a Guide Dang It.
"I'm Insured" is no easy task either. It requires you to finish a battle with all three health values at critical (<300) levels. Most likely, you'll have to fight very weak enemies to avoid being defeated while being that vulnerable, and wear down your health with high-level weapons.
Lost Forever: Anything you don't pick up in missions. Fortunately, they're only minor items. The most you'll miss is a high-level weapon component that you can get from random missions anyway. For everything else (characters, bounty hunts, etc.), this is averted.
There is one thing of importance that can be missed: If you have not already seen Tezkhra's previous personal conversations in episode 1, he will permanently skip over them to talk about events that occurred in the third mission.
Luck-Based Mission: Many of the sidequests that require items, since treasures are random. However, you come across so many that you usually get what you need before long.
The components sold at the black market are also completely random. You'll just have to hope that one of the components being sold is the one you need, otherwise you'll have to do another mission to refresh them.
The battle with Lazarus can be this if you only use one weapon type. Each of their attacks has a high chance of inflicting one of the blockage effects, which can make you a sitting duck for a number of phases. You basically have to hope that the A.I. Roulette picks one that won't cripple you.
Money for Nothing: Your money will pile up fast. Weapons don't cost much to make (though making them from blueprints is rather expensive). The components sold at the Machinatorium become obsolete midway through episode 1, so you'll rarely be buying those. Bounty hunts pay for themselves. At the end of the day, the only real money sink is unlocking new splices.
However, the black market in episode 3 can help to thin your purse, since the components are fairly expensive, and you'll want to head there after every mission.
Multiple Life Bars: Exactly the same as in The Reconstruction. They're even analogues for the meters used in that game: Hull instead of Body, Systems instead of Mind, and Pilot instead of Soul.
Non-Lethal K.O.: Justified and somewhat deconstructed. The big explosions you see are just stylistic choice; what actually happens when one of a ship's parts reaches critical levels is that it shuts down and disengages from combat. This mainly shows just how sheltered from death the whole world is.
Nonstandard Game Over: Pretty much anything that nets you a Game Over is this. It's actually pretty hard to do so, since it only happens under a select few circumstances.
No Sell: The third boss is immune to Pilot damage. Justified, as her sensory input is cut off, and since that's usually what Pilot weapons overload, they won't work on her.
Nostalgia Level: Splice i is a bit of an in-universe example; it's formed entirely out of Ros' previous experiences. This is represented by its enemies all being previous bosses.
Optional Party Member: There are usually two per episode; Luke and Chac in Castles of Sand, Jessamine and Deirdre in His Master's Voice, and Cassidy and Cole in And Yet It Moves. Forever And Ever only has one, though: Ivoronus.
Usually, one is pretty easy to find, but the other requires more effort, such as completing a sidequest.
Secret Character: The fifteenth and final crew member, Ivoronus. There are no in-game hints as to what you have to do to find him, and the method of doing so is somewhat counter-intuitive (see Guide Dang It, above).
Rami: Y'all notice how the boss is always late to these things?
Justified in one instance later. In Episode 5, the Inquiry is being torn to pieces by a swarm of all-powerful MODs, with frequent explosion and alarm effects — but of course, you can take as much time as you need. This is actually because the Progenitor was just trying to smoke Ros out — once they've escaped, he calls in the big guns and destroys the Inquiry immediately.
Twenty Bear Asses: Occurs with scrap carboderm. Fortunately it's just a sidequest with minor rewards, and it's more for giving the carboderm you accumulate over time a purpose beyond Vendor Trash than for making you go Item Farming.
Unstable Equilibrium: The Zone of Control mechanic. Unlike in The Reconstruction, the "Rally" command isn't the only way to raise it — it also changes automatically at the end of every turn depending on a number of factors. One of these factors is the total number of enemies, which means that defeating an enemy will make your attacks stronger and more accurate, thereby allowing you to kill more enemies, and so on.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: However, personal trust is a really important stat, since it improves the pilot's damage and accuracy and it's a limited resource. Letting it go down too far will negatively impact your crew's performance. Furthermore, at certain trust levels, your crew members will give you gifts that you can use for money or weapon crafting.
Jamming pulses, a mechanic introduced in Forever and Ever. They shut down crafts' safety mechanisms, so pilots don't regenerate health, and if they're shot down, they're dead. Craft get extra health to reflect this, but they're still very dangerous and just serve to underline how nasty things have gotten by that point.
The Final Boss of Forever and Ever is also fought under the effects of one.
Artistic License - Biology: Emitter radiation is stated to work by stopping the division of cells. While it's true that this would prevent telomere erosion and therefore stop aging, it doesn't say anything about making the cells immortal. Thus, shouldn't this just mean that everyone dies within the span of a few months as all their cells die with no new replacements?
The entire Tatzylvurm mission is a giant Call Forward to The Reconstruction, with characters saying the exact same dialogue as in that game. The music is also from The Reconstruction, and even the gameplay bears similarities — the boss has pitiful defense, but massive health, an inversion of how the gameplay normally is.
The Developer Thinks of Everything: Due to the way the weapon creation code works, there is a hard limit on the number of weapons that can be created in a single game. The limit is absurdly high, so the player probably won't even get close to it in normal gameplay, but if they do, Mahk changes his dialogue when weapon creation is attempted.
Fridge Logic: One bit of it is actually addressed In-Universe. How does a robot take Pilot damage, you might ask? The answer is that Pilot damage usually works by overloading sensory input, which is, for some reason, different than Systems damage for robots. (Don't ask how weapons that attack life support systems still work...)
"There is little else to hunt at this time. In this...episode." "A bigger game is afoot for you. Bigger and more important games, yes. Yes. But perhaps after this game is complete, we shall have even more distractions for you."
Painting the Medium: The heavily simplified and stylized battle and exploration screens are what Ros literally sees on his/her monitor. The fact that the battles are turn-based is also justified due to Ros' special protein.