This is the character sheet for Endless Space and Endless Space 2. This list is organized by empire. Heroes will also be described in their respective empire. Minor factions will be described here as well.
The Endless Space 1 Factions
As a whole
- Adaptation Expansion: Entire storyline, especially Emperor Zelevas, has been prominent in Endless Space 2 and ability to appeal to the three culture: United Empire (Industry), Mezari (Science), and Sheredyn (Military).
- The Empire: An essentially textbook evil empire whose roots originate on how predictably selfish their inner imperial planets are towards their lowly outer worlds.
- Feudal Future: A slightly unusual variant, given that quasi-sovereign corporations standing in place as their Raian aristocrat compatriots, both of whom are allowed a degree of autonomy as long as they pledged loyalty to the Emperor.
- God-Emperor: The ending for Endless Space 2 has Emperor Zelevas becoming immortal (and de-aged to his prime years) thanks to injection of Dust into his body.
- Humanity Is Superior: Imperial society has a clear undercurrent of human supremacism. Aliens aren't quite exterminated on sight, but they are effectively second-class citizens, and not the equals of human subjects.
- It's All About Me/Defector from Decadence: How the United Empire broke down to three separate factions: The empire itself, the Pilgrims and the Sheredyn.
- Mega Corp.: Despite it being named and empire, it's actually composed of numerous corporations, and the current Emperor is former CEO.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Imperial colour scheme.
- Retcon: Their role in Horatio's backstory has been changed to a Mezari, who also acted as predecessors, in Endless Space 2.
- Space Romans: And also Space Soviets.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Their base design of every ship has aspects of what appears to be hulking pieces of metal plastered together. This can, unfortunately, mistake them as The Protagonist faction.
Jorun EgezreyA dangerous operator, Egezrey is known for his affection for data. He will take the time necessary to analyze and calculate risks, then happily leap in and take them. As a member of a corporate/military security department, Egezrey volunteered as a guinea pig to be infiltrated by Dust
Guner WuchterLiving on that fuzzy line somewhere between "unpredictable" and "out of control", Guner was an erratic if successful leader of colonial explorations. When his mission uncovered an Endless site and Guner was augmented by the free-floating Dust, his eccentricities seemed to get worse. At that point the Empire decided it would be far better for him to find work elsewhere...
Ivan GagarinIvan lived his early life among his people, learning the trades of thievery and trickery. He met his destiny the day he tried to steal Dust from a plain-clothed officer of the Empire's Secret Service; the dust he stole from the officer rose to his defense before he could be captured. That same day a special assault squad cornered him in his hideout and they made him an offer he couldn't refuse...
Jutka NaratyaA product of the Empire's Corporate Military Academy, Jutka's success as a pilot led her to lucrative sponsorship contracts with corporations that were underwriting colonization efforts. Her dry wit and irreverent attitude undermined were at odds with their PR plans, however, so Jutka was left alone—happily—to pursue her dreams of flight and exploration.
As a whole
- Decoy Protagonist: The Pilgrims are introduced like this in the beginning of the game but players can pick any faction of their choosing right off the bat. They can also be mistaken for antagonists between the United Empire.
- Demoted to Extra: In Endless Space 2, they only appeared as a member of Minor Race (ironically, able to be absorbed into United Empire) and a secondary citizen in Sophons. The latter is justified as Sophons has been instrumental in harboring them during their exile.
- Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: Pilgrim crafts are a mix-match between the Sophons and the Empire. Being long, curvy strips of metal covering thin ones on the inside.
- Space Cossacks: The Pilgrims are composed of dissidents who want to escape the United Empires oppressive rule.
Isoke TekezNobody touches my orbital and gets away with it.' A gritty, scarred warrior who stands out in a race of seekers and explorers, Tekez uttered these famous words when a United Empire scouting party attempted to forcibly re-integrate Tekez's 2,000-person habitat back into the empire. When the Dust finally cleared, the Empire's task force had been defeated, looted, and covered with insulting graffiti.
Oyita NilfeyLed a team of experts in Imaging & Particle Systems from the department of Prove & Live Exploration. A natural leader with a sly sense of humor, she encountered Dust while investigating an endless temple. Enhanced by its capacities, she decided to enter Academy and learn more of Dust and its uses.
Chidi BademdiThree times Bademdi executed the monumental effort of scouting, proposing, and implementing the establishment of a colony on a new world—while under enemy fire. His ability to stay cool under pressure earned him the nickname "Iceberg."
Gero KartalSmart, subtle, and dangerous, at least three clients have hired Dafa so that their enemies could not. Clever, wily, and very efficient on defense, he was key in forcing a stalemate when working for the outnumbered and outgunned Jabhat Colonists' Collective. It was simply a business deal when he left to work for a higher bidder, leaving them teetering on the brink...
Thomaem LabefdilLabefdil is viewed as a useful man to have around. A hard worker, he is good with his hands, even when they are carrying weapons. Though his Dust-augmented skills greatly improved his ability to tinker with the technical infrastructure of Pilgrims ships, he is more than happy to jump their defense when they are threatened.
Abebi TiryakOne of the many Pilgrims leaders who learned hard lessons about building and defending habitats in the Second Separation War, Tiryak's skills in construction and defense were notable even before they were improved by Dust.
Therna UbantriLed a small team that wrote a paper convincing the United Empire of the economic inefficiency of slavery as a Human Resources policy. Was put on a Wanted list for that effrontery, and subsequently fled and joined the Pilgrims. Intensely committed to the human condition and the dignity of the individual, she has never failed to do what she believes is right.
As a Whole
- Badass Adorable: Sophons are a foot shorter than human beings, are a Genius Ditz as an entire species and has images that emphasizes their goofy antics in the sequel.
- Boring, but Practical: Their sequel variation are introduced in such a way that direct development of technologies is off means to defeating their enemies.
- Blue and Orange Morality: They see nothing good in wars nor the anticipation of peace. They see peace as a sign of progress until they lay in scalpels and microscopes to see what their allies would look like inside.
- Expy: They are essentially a hybrid race of the curiously ditzy Kerbals and the technologically advanced Protoss.
- Everything Is An I Pod In The Future: All their ship designs are using white, sleek, bulbous figures presenting how technologically advanced they supposedly are.
- For Science!: Their legitimate strategy in the game, out-improve their competitors in the studies of Dust until they reach omnipresence.
- Genius Ditz: For a good measure, they can harness the power of stars within a few generations of evolution and they blew up their own homeworld's moon by accident.
- Good Is Not Soft: If left unharmed for too long, a Sophon faction can easily overwhelm enemies with sheer improvements of technology especially when their weapons are a tier higher than yours.
- The Greys: A rare benevolent depiction. They have enormous heads, large beady eyes and slim body frames, they are also confirmed, in the sequel, to have grey skin.
- Mad Scientist: Their species hat. Played for Laughs.
- Magikarp Power: Used as gameplay option, Sophons start out less productivity than any other factions, rendering them easily picked out by Zerg Rush. But if left peacefully with some time, their Omniscience traits can ramp up technologies faster than any other race since they aren't financially taxed by war times.
- In their ES2 incarnation, their Omniscience gets even more powerful, as all technologies that haven't been research by any faction in the galaxy can be researched at an additional 50% research speed. This also doubles as a strategic value, allowing any Sophon faction to be ahead of their competitors while knowing which technology their enemies haven't discovered yet.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Downplayed. They are no less in the same level of technology as the other races, but can pick up speed faster than any of them.
- Uplifted Animal: A rare natural example. They were once grey skinned lizards living on a thriving radioactive planet until the radiation granted them intellectual acceleration that made them the dominant species on their homeworld. The Sophons essentially uplifted themselves to the era of space exploration within a few generations.
As a Whole
- Demoted to Extra: Became a minor faction in Endless Space 2.
- Friend to All Living Things: Their main hat as a species.
- Mega-Microbes: Like its namesake.
- Organic Technology: Amoeba spaceships look more like sea creatures than vessels.
- Proud Merchant Race: Probably a Reconstruction. A species who take to honest trade over war will more likely be a species of Nice Guys rather than The Barnum.
As a Whole
- Baleful Polymorph: In the sequel, the Horatio has Gene Hunters, a unique trait that turns the members of other races of choice into Horatios, including the populations of conquered planets.
- Clone Army: A dangerously effective example. Horatios can obtain the genes from certain species to become physically stronger in combat.
- Forehead of Doom: The Horatio's most prominent feature are their large, hairless, cone-shaped craniums.
- Freudian Excuse: In Endless Space 2's intro, Horatio was mocked as a child for his elongated head that led to his narcissism.
- Human Resources: Every upgrade to the Horatio genetic code comes at the cost of multiple alien lives.
- It's All About Me: The first Horatio will stop at nothing to make everything and everyone his own and himself.
- Jerkass: The only word you could use to adequately describe a man so selfish and conceited as to want to murder all other life and replace it with clones of himself.
- Kill and Replace: By the end of his personal quest the original Horatio will have been killed by his clone, Fourth, who rules the empire claiming to be him.
- LEGO Genetics: Gene Hunters takes up as Horatio's primary affinity.
- Me's a Crowd: An entire species and multi-system empire consisting entirely of one man's billions of clones.
- Narcissist: Up to eleven. The entire faction itself is composed nothing more but one person dedicated to spread their own beauty.
- One-Gender Race: Previously averted in Endless Space 1, as clone heroes do have an assigned biological sex. In Endless Space 2, all Horatios are all manufactured from the genes of the one and only Horatio.
- Self-Made Man: Implied, considering he became a corporate trillionaire within the confines and constant ridicule of the United Empire before his self-served exile. Takes it very literally with his own army of himself as they earn their own living in his own empire.
- Retcon: Though Endless Space 2 made him a member of Mezari race, who were also made as the predecessor to United Empire at least if the player made a choice to embrace their lifestyle. In addition, he also investigated Auriga during Dungeon of the Endless and betrayed a group of survivors just to get the relic.
- Stronger with Age: Gene Hunter trait allows the Horatio-kin to absorb genes of the minor races they take hold on. Making Horatios and future Horatios effectively more powerful as population units than any other pops in the game, but makes them incredibly food-heavy in terms of growth.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Sowers see nothing of interest to neither war or peace among factions, but instead enjoys watching planets grow under their own supervision and will only plow those who try to stop them.
- Von Neumann Machine: Sapent terraforming probes. They land, build a city (and more Sower robots) and bugger off to the next planet.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Cravers have a trait where you cannot negotiate nor cooperate with them that instigates peace other than the heroes you recruit who occur from their race.
- Body Horror: They are no less but a lookalike of a human being with four arms and long legs. They also come without skin tissue that covers their very visual muscles.
- Evil Is Bigger: They stand a few feet taller than the humans and are realistically more muscular in comparison.
- Foil: For the Sophons. Cravers are a truly power hungry race that cares nothing more but their own survival, created by the Endless to serve their goal to consume the entire galaxy of life. Sophons are a race that thirst only to fulfill their curiosity even if it means risking their own lives For Science!, natural selection created them and serves to not just their allies but their own progression as a species.
- Hive Mind: The Cravers are commanded by their Queens who rule over the Hives. However the day to day tasks and decisions are made by a sub group called Bishops who decide what they will do next.
- Horde of Alien Locusts/Planet Looters: Devour all other biomass and resources on their planets, turning them into Depleted worlds. Their intro cutscene shows this happening in seconds.
- Hostile Terraforming: The result of Craver-colonized planets is turning them into depleted version of it, producing little resources to the point that it becomes more of a burden than help.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Their cutscene shows them guzzling up all the resources on a planet within seconds. This is actually variable, depending on planet size but takes several turns (which are implied to be a year each in gameplay terms).
- To Serve Man: As a gameplay trait, Cravers are meant to eat away factions as quickly as possible. If left out in peace, their economy will quickly collapse under its own weight.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: In addition to the tropes Multi-Armed and Dangerous and Multiarmed Multitasking, the Cravers' additional two limbs are simply there to terrify their enemies.
Over time the clockwork creations of the Reyans developed a simple society of their own and began exploiting the technologies left behind by their creators. All was well for the young civilization of machines until one day a large Endless ship crashed into the planet spreading the dust it was transporting all over the surface. The dust modified the machines, gave them enhanced abilities and over time even sentience. The deadly and toxic fuel that used to power the machines was also replaced, but strangely the new fuel became dust. In only a few weeks, the clockwork machines had evolved, become truly sentient, and gained new purpose in existence which was unheard of in even the most advanced AI’s created by the Endless. They came to call themselves, the Automatons and with the newly gained freedom of dust they began learning... and advancing.
The Automaton Civilization stayed on their planet, learning to live in a symbiotic relationship with nature as the planet healed over time. They used the knowledge of their creators and their new dust engines to produce massive floating ships on which they lived in order to protect the healing ecosystem on the planet from their involvement. Over the course of centuries the planet healed and the Automatons learned to live with and love nature while still developing immense industrial capacity and production within the hulls of their floating ships —which had also grown over time. But eventually the Automatons calculated that their dust supply would run out and their civilization would die, so they uncovered the old ruins of the crashed endless ship and began developing their own vehicles for space flight.
As a Whole
- Clockwork Creature: Their entire Mechanical Species are composed of nothing more than turning gears and gyroscopes that emit blue and yellow auras which represent their lifeblood.
- Good Is Not Soft: While they don't bear the high technology growth of the Sophons nor high productivity of the Sowers, the Automatons initially have toughers ships and can hold on to planets better than the other two factions.
As a Whole
- Bird People: Hissho's Avian ancestry is emphasized from its bird-like appearance.
- Demoted to Extra: Became a minor race in Endless Space 2 with being a minor citizen in United Empire.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Combination of Proud Warrior Race and Japanese aesthetics made every Hissho as Samurai warriors.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To Feudal Japan. Though they also have some elements of the Aztecs as well.
- Proud Warrior Race: Being descended from tribal warriors, their entire society and history is based on warfare and honor that tend to make them good fighters at the price of scientific and numerical aspects.
The Vaulters have an old tradition of appointing female leaders, and their trust in this tradition has been confirmed by the faction's uncanny ability to escape, survive, and live to fight another day. Once based on the planet Auriga, they left the planet when their predictions indicated potentially cataclysmic geo-atmospheric problems. Their attempts to colonize elsewhere have only had brief success, and the notion of a permanent base has gained an almost mythical status.
- Canon Immigrant: The Vaulters came along as a major update to the game, a few months after Endless Legend was released.
- Cutting Off the Branches: Their existence as a space-faring faction, and the presence of the Argosy, shows that the canonical ending of Endless Legend is that the Vaulters finished their questline and escaped Auriga before its destruction, although someone else restored the Grey Owl. In Endless Space 2, it's shown that they assimilated the Sisters of Mercy minor faction into their empire before departing.
- Back from the Brink: Their prologue video shows a nonviolent example of this, as the massive Dust explosion seen in the New Beginning trailer was indeed in Auriga's orbit. It had disabled the Argosy's engines and effectively crippled the ship for millennia, the only thing keeping the Vaulters alive being Opbot and his *Undying Loyalty, but even that ran out... seconds before the Argosy drifted into an asteroid-belt-turned-Endless-regeneration field, which fully repaired the ship and saved them. Cue game start.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Spacefaring Vikings.
- Humans Are Advanced: Played straight and subverted at the same time in Endless Space 2, as they awoke to find themselves at the same technology level as the rest of the modern galaxy. They still have their portals that no-one else in history ever invented including their Mezari ancestors, which plays it straight.
- Humans Advance Swiftly: In all three games they appear in, the Vaulters have a research boost and sometimes access to research buildings from the start, plus unique ones.
- The Bus Came Back and Put on a Bus: They had been in cryosleep aboard the Argosy for millennia after launching away from Auriga.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: In Endless Space 2, the Vaulters have the faction trait named Involuntary Nomads, which means their only colonization ship is the Argosy and they start with no home system or planet, but instead at the Lodestone of the Nine, the regeneration field that saved them in the first place. It instantly colonizes a planet instead of going through the outpost method like normal colony ships, can temporarily create their trademark portals on systems, is restocked over several turns each time it colonizes (acting as a cooldown before you can even move it again), and creates Golden Ages if enough turns pass between colonizations which boost everything in the new colony for a short time.
- Space Nomads: Subverted, as they were in suspended animation for almost their entire voyage until colonizing their first planet. They do lack a true home system and start in an asteroid field, however, but in the end their ultimate goal aside from discovering the history of their Mezari ancestors is to have a thriving home. Invoked, since the Argosy and this starting condition are from a faction trait named Involuntary Nomads.
- You Shall Not Pass!: The comic showed the Vaulters staying behind on Auriga to hold off the Necrophage invasion against the city during the launch of Argosy. One of them being Ilona's pregnant daughter who stayed behind to lead the defenders.
- Blue and Orange Morality: To the Harmony, morality means nothing. In their eyes, you are either "infected" with Dust, or not.
- Knight Templar: Nothing will stop them from pursuing their crusade against Dust, and they are more than willing to eradicate anyone who stands in their way.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: They are the only faction that does not use Dust in any way. This means that they cannot upgrade their ships after being built, buy out improvements, and do not use Heroes. In fact, the presence of Dust on their planets hurts their FIS until it is removed via a unique system improvement.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They fit the Aliens as Fundamentalists category. They view their mission to purge the galaxy of Dust as a holy crusade, and will not allow anything or anyone to stand in their way.
The Endless Space 2 Factions
- "The Lumeris are a society that revolves around trade, economic deals, economic growth, and doing business. Expansion and acquisition are the bywords of their culture, and as an amphibious people they are prepared to make money in any environment. Their society is organized around a series of families that have traditionally run different parts of their economy, and the balance of power and negotiations between the families is what drives progress - or blocks it."
The Lumeris faction is a Proud Merchant Race that dedicates their time earning as much Dust with any means necessary.
- Enlightened Self-Interest: Their Pacifist ideology being more towards their profit-minded nature rather than general benevolence.
- Everyone Has Standards: While politicking and backstabbing are not uncommon, the Lumeris tend to avoid all-out war and aggressive maneuver. Above all, they limit their criminal activities when it comes to each other - "don't steal the fish from another Lumeris' plate."
- Fish People: The Lumeris are descended from amphibian species on mostly ocean planet, as a result they gain bonus on atoll.
- The Mafia: The entire faction revolves around the Four Families, which may or may not be the FIDS game mechanic that handles the game's economy.
- Proud Merchant Race: Their main trait being both dust bonus and ability to buy outposts.
- "Hailing from an alternate dimension orthogonal to the Endless universe, the Riftborn would've happily led out their abstract, timeless existences entirely ignorant of galactic strife, were it not for a breach that precipitated a disaster of unimaginable proportions. Like a poisoned blade slashed deep into clean flesh, the rift acted as a source of terrible disorder in the Riftborn's pristine, geometrical universe. Desperate, unable to halt the disease's advance no matter what they tried, the Riftborn took the last available course of action that might lead to their survival: Together with their strange time-shifting abilities, they stepped into the Endless universe."
The Riftborn is a new faction of the Endless Space universe that originated from the what is known to be Abstract universe. With their homeworld tainted by the exhuming effects of Dust into their dimension, the Riftborn were left no choice but to leave the safety of their old home in search of a new place to stay.
- Alien Geometries: A rare abundant example.
- Invading Refugees: To many races—particularly those hostile towards them—in Endless universe, they can come off as strange alien being from another dimension.
- Starfish Aliens: The Riftborn are essentially sentient mathematical concepts. The dimension they hail from is an endless plane of white light and floating geometric shapes.
- Time Master: The Riftborns' unique trait, Time Sculptors, allows them to create Time Bubbles that accelerate, slow down or pause a Star system that are covered by the area of their influence.
- A Commander Is You : Pacifist/Diplomat/Loyal/Balanced. The Unfallen are the best faction in the game at playing the diplomacy game, because everyone wants to have them as allies. Half of their bonuses need them to be at peace with everyone, and increase when in an alliance. They include huge Approval boosts and bonuses to space and ground combat. As such, Unfallen need to make friends to be effective. However, they also can give Approval and Food bonuses to friendly systems once they're entwined, which builds up positive relationship modifiers with the IA to help with that goal. Their ships are focused more on Defense than Offense, and offensive wars have almost no use to them, since they can only colonize planets near their homeworld due to how their Vines system works, and they rid them of their bonuses.
- Gentle Giant: The Unfallen tower over other races, but are peaceful.
- Organic Technology: Unfallen ships have hulls made of a twisting wood-like substance, and red leaf-like solar sails.
- Starfish Aliens: As essentially tree people, comes with the territory. It's heavily implied in the Unfallen prologue trailer that they weren't even sapient before watching Imperial soldiers execute a Riftborn made them aware of death.'Narration: "Ignorant of other worlds, of other races... [...] We were even ignorant of ourselves."
- Technical Pacifist: Depending on the choice, they can build warships and not afraid to use them when necessary.
- When Trees Attack: Their secondary citizens, the Guardians, are unique that they can appear away from home systems and provide negative approval on enemies' controlled system and provide defense bonus when invaded.
- World Tree: The Heart, a massive tree which is the source of all Unfallen. The Unfallen expand their empire by expanding an aura of "vines" which link one system to another.
- "Victims of a classic cycle of over-industrialization, the Vodyani were saved by technology culled from ruins of the Virtual Endless. These precursors quickly gained an aura of divinity in the eyes of the Vodyani, and are now worshiped as gods. Clothed in their great black suits of borrowed technology that they refer to as their holy "Cloth", Vodyani leaders pilot their great arks across the star lanes. The Vodyani seek other peoples to convert, control, and consume, as they survive through the simple expedience of draining other peoples of their life forces. While many view this as a grotesque, the Vodyani see themselves as "chosen" by the Endless and deserving of their stature. They are simply higher on the food chain than all other races, and that is that."
The Vodyani is a hyper-religious spacefaring race that dedicates themselves in search for Dust and its creators, the Endless, a reason that has uplifted them to the growing faction that they are today. Hailing from massive Arks from their respective planets, the Vodyani is a very mobile faction that excels in both combat and economic capabilities.
- A Commander Is You: Elitist/Technical/Gimmick, with a dash of Loyalist. The Vodyani are few and far in between, and their population grow a lot slower than those of other factions. As such, Manpower is best spent on a few, elite ships, especially with Arks taking so much of it. However, their yields are bar none the best out of any pop in the game, and non-conditional to boot. The Gimmick comes from their Essence mechanic, a sixth ressource that is earned by applying specific modules on Arks, leeching minor factions, sacrificing Dust, or any combination of the above, and is required to create new Arks to expand and to bypass the absymal growth of the Vodyani, as well as to create new Manpower. The Technical comes from their Arks, and all of the unconventional possibilities they bring (changing systems on a dime, huge module diversity for defense, offence, utility and system amelioration) as well as their management, unlike every other faction in the game. As for the Loyalist, they get a small boost to Approval as they are not affected by overcrowded planets, and being Elitist means less discontentment from too much pop working on unfavorable planets.
- Brain Uploading: The entire species uploaded themselves into Virtual Endless technology after their home planet suffered from ecological catastrophe. They can also double up on this by sharing their bodies with the digital remains of Virtual Endless, which they view as a mark of divine favor.
- Cain and Abel: While Isyara is by no means benevolent when it comes to expanding the Vodyani's might across the stars, she is the Abel to Isyander's Cain to supposedly the Endless. Although Isyander gets to meet his end but only to get a call from the Lost after activatingnote the Academy's beacon.
- Church Militant: the Vodyani are deeply pious, deeply fanatical and absolutely willing to commit genocide against lesser races (everyone but them) if it means slightly advancing their goals.
- Civil War: Their hierarch Isyara St Shaiad, the leader of the faction, and her subordinates are at war against her own brother Isyander St Shaiad.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Despite being an Expy of the Broken Lords, the Vodyani are essentially their Evil Counterpart - They are both races of Animated Armor who rely on Vampiric Draining to survive, but while the Broken Lords are deeply conflicted and struggling to maintain their nobility despite their condition, the Vodyani wholeheartedly embrace their powers and have even built a Scary Amoral Religion around the exploitation of 'lesser' races.
- Dark Is Evil: Vodyani technology is made predominantly of jagged black plates and plenty of sharp angles, contrasted with golden Tron Lines.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Vodyani have the most frustrating earlygame of all factions tied with Horatio, and unlike them you have so many different mechanics to deal with compared to the rest of the cast that a misstep is both likely and costly. You are also permanently starved for Food because of how the Vodyani pop works, and as a result Manpower increases really slow, limiting your ships' performances. Arks are both a blessing and a curse, as while you get a Dreadnought-like ship on the first turn of the game, you cannot aford to lose it as it will erase everything you built on it. To make things even harder, your first quest will always force to deal with pirates in your immediate vicinity, either forcing you to use your Ark and lose precious turns of production, or to rush military ships. However, the Vodyani pop is the single best one in the game, with +4 to all FIDSI, and you only need one to work every colonizable planet in a system, giving you crazy yields with only a dozen of pops or so. Your ship line-up is powerful, fast, resilient and versatile compared to other factions, meaning you get to always counter the enemy's fleet composition. Arks lategame are absolute monsters that can punt even Carriers, and once you have several, you can basically set up shop everywhere in the galaxy, grabbing the richest systems under the nose of your opponents and leaving disadvantegous positions without any consequence save five turns of not producing max. Planet size is a non-concern, as your Max Pop depends on your Ark level, which means you can have 9 Vodyani working on powerful planets with usually low number of pops, like gas giants or lava planets. And your ability to consume Essence for Manpower at 1-1 rate is absurd once you have enough of it, as it allows you to resplenish any casualties in a turn or two so long as your Essence production keeps going.
- Energy Beings: As they are basically consciousness tranferred into digital forms from Endless technology, the "body" is basically energy projections.
- Evil Is Bigger: While more Ambiguously Evil due to the way of their extreme religion, the Vodyani are towering humanoids in comparison to most major factions.
- Magikarp Power: Early on, the Vodyani have a brutal start, as their only means of colonizing requires a special ressource that generates slowly on its own. You can increase its generation by either consuming three quarters of the Dust production of a system and locking your production chain, or using leecher ships that, firstly, are really frail, secondly this method requires you to have minor factions as neighbors (you could try leeching of major factions, but this early in the game you frankly have better to do than pissing them off), and thirdly, you must hope that the leecher ships don't get blown to kingdom come by wandering pirates. Their Religious political bias also doesn't help them, as it aims to boost Influence, something you do not need compared to Food at this stage in the game. And while your Ark is a powerful detterent, it's also a curse in disguise : Since Vodyani colonize systems with ships, invaders don't need to launch ground assaults, they just need to blow up the Ark and you lose everything in it. However, as the game carries on, you get access to instant colonization of all planets in a system due to how Vodyani colonization works, the ability to move your arks wherever you please, including the middle of your enemies' territories, access to one of the best ship lineups in the game with bordeline Master of All stats that includes the ludicously powerful Arks mentionned above, and the strongest pop in the game, with a flat +4 to all FIDSI expect to Influence that can be boosted to +8 if you're willing to burn the luxuries for it, and this bonus applies separately for each planet in a given system, meaning a single Vodyani could bring +40 to all FIDSI by his lonesome, and you get to have up to 9 of them on a single Ark. Needless to say, once you reach this situation, there's not a lot that can stand against you.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: The Vodyani has an unusual method of colonizing star systems. They rely on building Arks, by using their unique resource, Essence, that they acquire from leeching planets with special ships or by sacrificing their Dust income. The Arks are then positioned above a star system like a colony ship allowing the surrounding planets to be claimed. A highly expansive mindset allows Vodyani players to grow fast, so long as there are habitable planets surrounding their territory.
- Logical Weakness: Despite of this, Arks can be prematurely destroyed by conventional means as if they are warships, making Vodyani colonies easily liberated, provided that you have a sizable armada.
- Religion of Evil: Scary Dogmatic Aliens clad in all-black garments, aiming to ressurect what could be argued as the setting's Bigger Bad species, who don't shy of practicing Vampiric Draining on a system-wide scale. It's also stated that Vodyani are born by way of said Vampiric Draining. The Vodyani don't care about any of this, claiming the other races are 'infidels'.
- Religious Bruiser: A given with the faction's theme and aesthetic.
Others in Endless Space 2
- Ambiguously Evil: It's unclear whether the Vodyani or Isyander have a higher moral. But one thing for certain, if he manages to get what he wants, everyone in the galaxy would be "erased" from existence.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: His conspirators and loyalists are made up of different races and cultures. This is also shared by the diversity of the Academy.
- I Regret Nothing: His own views on the actions to erase Dust, even upon his death from Lode system's explosions if the sides opposing him wins.
- Necessary Evil: Isyander is fully aware of how it causes people to become power-hungry over Dust and how self-destructive the major factions' intentions would do with it, and he will stop at nothing to clear everyone in the galaxy of their corrupted intents.