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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.

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The Endless Space 1 Factions

    United Empire 
The Empire is theoretically under the control of a central monarchy. However, the rate of expansion means that the society cannot be ruled that way effectively. In fact, the systems of the colonial diaspora are colonized by the designated Corporations who work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Investment and Development. The Ministry of Security is involved as well, due to the need for native and/or alien pacification, security forces, defense or surveillance.With this somewhat decentralized setup, a certain level of regional autonomy is inevitable, and the various corporate system governors often cut corners when they can get away with it. That said, the central empire is far from powerless. Should a corporation stop paying its dues or become too obstinate, the Imperial fleets stand ready to remind the wayward company of its obligations.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Entire storyline, especially Emperor Maximillian Zelevas, has been prominent in Endless Space 2 and has the ability to reform the United Empire into three different paths: Its current one as the United Empire (Industry), Embrace the past and revive the Mezari Empire (Science), and Sheredyn (Military).
  • Adaptational Heroism: The second game made them far more morally ambiguous compared to the first, where they were the Big Bad to the Pilgrims' The Protagonist.
  • The Empire: An essentially textbook 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. Their prologue in the second game shows a Kal'Tik'Ma dressed in a loincloth made of palm leaves serving fruit to a Raian soldier and shortly after, that same soldier is standing on a large pile of Kal'Tik'Ma skulls, holding a waving flag and smiling.
  • 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. Averted in the second game, where the Empire remains united, but can change itself into two different forms (Becoming more militaristic as the Sheredyn, or becoming more pursuant of sciences and reclaiming their past as the Mezari Empire)
  • 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 color scheme.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Reforming the United Empire into the Mezari Empire will change their ship colors and symbol to those the ancient Mezari used. Their ships become gray and orange, like the Vaulters, while the Mezari symbol resembles that of the Vaulters, but with the lower pentagons stretched downwards.
  • 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, which they eventually did become in the second game.

A group of scientists and explorers, unhappy with the United Empire, hijacked a mission to an outer planet and set up an independent government. They refused the heavy corporate hand of the Empire, preferring to eke out their living on the edge of known space. Aided by the Sophons, this splinter group grew to become the Pilgrims. Accustomed to orbital living and constant movement, during the early years of their development they had a proportionally greater contact and familiarity with artifacts and remnants left by the Endless. They have come to view the Endless in a religious light, and a goal of their society is to one day discover the planet from which the Endless originated.
  • 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.

Curious, analytical and inquisitive, the Sophons are a people who pride knowledge over all. No theory — or machine — is so perfect that it can resist a bit of tinkering: advances come both in great leaps and tiny increments. The Sophons travel the galaxy driven by a thirst to discover and understand. As such, they view war as nothing more than a distraction from the serious things in life. However, with their advanced technologies, they can become a surprisingly dangerous foe.
  • Almighty Janitor: E.N.F.E.R., the Sophon's empire-maintaining AI, who was created to manage the Sophon's civilizaition so they don't have to.
  • 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.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Sophons love working on scientific progress...and nothing else, to a comically self-destructive degree. Their civilization-building Artificial Intelligence, E.N.F.E.R., was created to manage everything that they don't want to, including government, logistics, diplomacy, and the general welfare of the Sophon race.
  • Darker and Edgier: A minor faction, the Mavros, are Sophons dressed Red and Black and Evil All Over, and have a greater taste for exploration, warfare, and the more destructive side of science. Played for Laughs.
  • 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 and large, dark eyes.
  • 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 opponents had researched.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The second game allows the Sophons to use the colors of their siblings, the Mavros, which are an inversion of their usual white and blue scheme.
  • 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.

A highly evolved form of a lowly species, these colorful beings come from an ocean world. Evolving slowly over millions of years with plenty of time to philosophize, it is not surprising that the Amoeba are diplomatic, cultural, and intellectual. Wise and urbane, they have an exceptionally high 'emotional intelligence' and are unusually open to other alien and intelligent species. Their goal is to travel, meet, and learn, though their relatively defenseless natural form has bred into them the need to turn all situations to their advantage, and to be in control of their destiny. Though the Amoeba do not feel that their nature is to dominate and conquer, they can be viewed as warriors whose weapons are diplomacy and trade.
  • Astral Projection: All the Amoeba are able to project their minds outside their bodies, and some of them have done so their entire lives. However, if their body is killed, their projected minds will die as well. Because of this, their ships are designed to prootect the crew's bodies at all costs.
  • Demoted to Extra: Became a minor faction in Endless Space 2.
  • Famous Ancestor: The Amoeba are the devolved and re-evolved descendants of the Eaür, one of the three races that were part of the Conrcrete Endless.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Their main hat as a species.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: They were originally part of the Concrete Endless, and had a powerful empire to their name. Now they're a lowly, aquatic race barely a shadow of their former selves.
  • 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 takes to honest trade over war will more likely be a species of Nice Guys rather than The Barnum.

Incredibly wealthy and only slightly less deranged, Horatio was a Mezari trillionaire who left to discover his own star cluster. Finding a planet sprinkled with labs of ancient cloning technology left by the Endless, the boredom soon drove Horatio to create a race of allies, servants, and slaves who were every bit as gorgeous as the most beautiful person in the universe — Horatio. Once the planet was repopulated, Horatio the First had only to look up, regard the stars and realize how much more beautiful they, too, would be if they were filled with... Horatios. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In the sequel, the Horatio has Genetic Recoding, a repeatable tech/improvement that turns the members of other races into Horatios.
  • Clone Army: A dangerously effective example. Horatios can obtain the genes from certain species to become physically stronger in combat.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Backstory and lore
  • Forehead of Doom: The Horatio's most prominent feature are their large, hairless, cone-shaped craniums. Horatio himself was born with an enlongated head, which led to a painful childhood.
  • 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.
  • Last of His Kind: In a way, Horatio is the last survivor of the Mezari civilization. Although the Mezari as a race survive in the form of the Vaulters, the Pilgrims and the United Empire, Horatio lived during the time of the Mezari Empire and survived into modern times.
  • 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.
  • Precursors: Horatio the First is one to most Mezari factions, as he was born during the times of the Mezari Empire and encountered the survivors of the Argosy's crash landing on Auriga.
  • Self-Made Man: Implied, considering he became a corporate trillionaire within the confines and constant ridicule of the Mezari 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: In the first game, he was an Imperial/Raian. Endless Space 2 made him a Mezari, whose civilization predates the United Empire. In addition, he also investigated Auriga during Dungeon of the Endless and betrayed a group of survivors to retrieve the cloning technology he used to build his empire.
  • Stronger with Age: Gene Hunter allows the Horatio to absorb genes from the other races and grant some of their yields to the Horatio population. Making Horatios and future Horatios much more powerful as population units than any other pops in the game, but makes them incredibly food-heavy in terms of growth.

The Sowers are a machine race created by the Virtual Endless. They took from their creators the mission to traverse the universe and make worlds livable and habitable for the arrival – or return – of the Endless. The Sowers come, establish industries, create the basic infrastructure needed to make a wild planet habitable, and move on to the next one. The Sowers are neither hostile nor friendly; they are simply continuing their programming. Any world they arrive on will be harvested and advanced materials will be developed. Any local populations or other peoples will be ignored — unless they get in the way or oppose the Sowers' holy mission.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In Endless Legend, the Sowers serve as this to the Kapaku, who are only attempting to terraform Auriga into a volcanic hellscape because their native volcano world was itself transformed by the Sowers into a lush green "paradise"... that the Kapaku could not survive on.
  • Von Neumann Machine: Sapent terraforming probes. They land, build a city (and more Sower robots) and bugger off to the next planet.

Created by the Virtuals from an insectoid life form, the Cravers are in the purest sense hunter-gatherers and would never have evolved on their own the processes necessary to raise crops or domesticate animals. Their life cycle is based on consumption, and as such they are capable of digesting any form of plant or animal matter. Once their home world was consumed, they left to seek further nourishment. If they do not continue to expand, discover, and exploit new worlds, their society could literally eat itself to death. Feeding the hive is their all-consuming purpose; the notions of 'treaty', 'trade', and 'peace' do not exist.
  • The Ageless: Cravers do not die of old age. There are still more than a few that are old enough to have fought in the Dust Wars. They refer to some races as "Those-Who-Decay".
  • 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.
    • The second game deconstructs this. The Cravers didn't choose to become this; they were created by the Virtual Endless to serve as Slave Mooks, and they now have no other means of sustaining themselves. Its worth noting that there's a quest the Sophons can pick up where they can successfully research a way of freeing some Cravers from their hunger, and teaching them more peaceful ways.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Can be invoked at the start of their Endless Space 2 campaign, which involves dealing with a rogue Craver ship. The flavor text for choosing to capture the ship intact indicates the mere idea of Cravers killing each other is considered appalling.
  • Being Evil Sucks: The narration of the Cravers trailer hints that the more intelligent Cravers are aware of how miserable and pointless their existence is, especially with their masters gone.
  • Big Eater: An entire race of them, no less, to the point they eat planets.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Living Weapon: The Virtuals made them as such, during the Dust Wars.
  • Slave Race: They were created by the Virtual Endless as living weapons in their war with the Concrete Endless.
  • 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.

The Automatons were created by a long-dead civilization known as the Reyans who perished many millennia ago due to the gradual self-destruction of their world. Decades of uncontrolled industrialization and technologies that relied on a highly toxic underground fuel caused irreversible damage to the ecosystem and atmosphere of their planet. Realizing that they were doomed, the Reyans attempted to build a massive fleet of migration ships to escape their planet, but most of the ships either exploded on launch, or stalled in the atmosphere and fell to the ground. The Reyans despaired… and so they decided to leave a legacy in the form of one of their greatest technological achievements, clockwork beings. Having a very old and proud history of clockwork, the Reyans had achieved the maximum potential of the technology in their creation of massive clockwork men to which they gifted all the traits of a young species. Within a year of the creation of the clockwork men, the Reyans committed mass suicide so as not to suffer through the affects of a dying planet, leaving their greatest creations behind, alone, and lost.

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.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: They're completely absent in the second game.
  • 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.

The Hissho are a modern and civilized people descended from avian DNA. However, they are avian in the way that many species of dinosaur had avian characteristics; in fact, they are not unlike feathered pterodactyls. A race of highly competitive tribal warriors, their history is one of bloodshed, conquest, vengeance and domination. While this has created a very hardy, aggressive, and dangerous people, it has also slowed their advancement and limited their numbers. When they did reach the stars to find other peoples waiting for them, their reaction was to conquer and dominate. Their innate and learned sense of flight makes them superior pilots.
  • Bird People: The Hissho's Avian ancestry is emphasized from their bird-like appearance.
  • Demoted to Extra: Became a minor race in Endless Space 2 with being a minor citizen in United Empire.
    • The Bus Came Back: As of Supremacy Expansion, Hissho is now a major race with its own unique features involving Keii, a unique resources that can only be received through combats, which unlocks special abilities of Hissho's fleets and maintain order within their controlled systems. Their role as a Minor race has been taken by a subspecies, the Yuusho.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: If the Hissho discover Sykagoja, they're given the option to either ignore it, or try and take it over, as an indirect way of getting back at the Endless.
  • The Empire: While certainly more honorable and more centralized than the United Empire, the Hissho also make no secret their desire to conquer the entire galaxy, if only for the glory and honor the conflict would bring.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Combination of Proud Warrior Race and Japanese aesthetics made every Hissho as Samurai warriors.
  • Feudal Future: Played down compared to the UE, but still has a presence. In-lore it's explained that while modern technology has mitigated the feudal aspects of Hissho society, it's still present in the form of various brother and sisterhoods that stand by certain ideals, and have a prominent presence in Hissho affairs of state.
  • Forever War: In Endless Space 2, they run off a resource called keii (honor), which is usually only obtained in relatively fair battle and expended whenever you settle or conquer a colony. While they are capable of peace and diplomacy, unlike the Cravers, they still need something to fight or their society will stagnate.
  • Human Sacrifice: In the sequel, the Hissho have an in-game mechanic that allows them to sacrifice a population for some given bonus, though its indicated to be voluntary on the part of the sacrificed.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The expansion in the sequel, Supremacy, features Behemoths, giant multipurpose space ships, and the Hissho in particular have an affinity for them, as their intro shows one of them accidentally reactivating one with his sword during a fight. They get one for free and gain more keii from battles around them.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Being descended from tribal warriors, and having been modified by the Concrete Endless to fight in the gladiatorial arenas of Sykagoja, 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.
  • Space Romans: Essentially Feudal Japan with elements of the Aztecs thrown in.
  • Uplifted Animal: A rather dark example; they were uplifted by the Concrete Endless to serve as gladiators and slaves. A Virtual invasion during the Dust Wars allowed the Hissho to escape from Sykagoja and return to Uchi, their homeworld. Those that remained on Sykagoja became the Yuusho.

    The Vaulters 
An ancient faction, the Vaulters have suffered a number of major setbacks in trying to establish a permanent home for themselves. Though characterized as restless wanderers, they are in fact a proud and adaptable race, seeking a system that they can finally call 'home.' Their centuries of travel and tinkering have made them skilled at both science and warfare, though their greatest military strength is in defense.

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.

The Vaulters were originally introduced in Endless Legend, and were later added into Endless Space via an update, which also added in the setting of Endless Legend, Auriga, as the Wonder known as the Husk of Knowledge.

  • 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. (More specifically, the power source of an old Hissho ship, the "Grey Owl", exploded when another group of survivors escaped Auriga on it. The explosion also created the rift that infected Coroz) 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 the Lodestone of the Nine, an asteroid-belt-turned-Endless-regeneration field, which fully repaired the ship and saved them. Cue game start.
  • Boarding Pod: The mechanic is introduced with their DLC, again, to fit their Space Vikings theme. While everyone can use this, Vaulters gets access to boarding pods that's better than anyone else's.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Vaulters came along as a major update to the game, a few months after Endless Legend was released. Endless Space 2's first expansion effectively makes the game a sequel to their story in Auriga.
  • 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In one of the endings of the Vaulters' lore quest line in Endless Space 2, After centuries of separation, the long lost survivors from Auriga is finally found, and Ilona finally reunites with her daughter Judit, who was last seen holding the line against the Necrophage invasion on Auriga as the Argosy left the planet, and together they will lead the Vaulters to explore the stars further beyond.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Their artworks shown in 2 show them using modernized versions of weapons they used on Auriga in conjunction with modern guns, including energy weapon version of their axes and shields.
  • 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 Kingdom: They are indicated to be ruled by a benevolent autocrat called the "First of the Bloodline", and there are various families that form something of an aristocracy.
  • The Bus Came Back and Put on a Bus: They had been in cryosleep aboard the Argosy for millennia after launching away from Auriga.
  • Last of His Kind: Culturally, the Vaulters are the last surviving remnant of the civilizations of Auriga, as the Sisters of Mercy are a relatively small power, whilst the Broken Lords are implied to be a Dying Race
  • 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.
  • Portal Network: Uniquely, the Vaulters can build Portals in their systems and in the late-game, in their capital ships, allowing their ships to instantly travel to any system that has another portal. This comes at the cost that the fleet that used the portal cannot move for the rest of the turn.
  • 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.
  • Space Pirates: To fit their Space Vikings theme, they can do privateering right from the start in 2note . Not only that, they can use their own ships for the job in addition to ships brought from the marketplace. They can enter into non-aggression pact with normal pirates, and can even use their bases as portal nodes if they have good relations.
  • 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, Judit, who stayed behind to lead the defenders.

A strange race of living crystals that predate even the Endless. They are a nomadic peole, that travel the universe looking for a place they call "The Core", a place where the great resonating frequencies of stars, planets, matter, and energy are said to chime in an apparently perfect harmony. Convinced that Dust brings nothing but chaos and death, they have dedicated themselves to purging the galaxy of Dust, even if it means coming into conflict with other races.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: In the first game, to the Harmony, morality means nothing. In their eyes, you are either "infected" with Dust, or not.
  • Brown Note: Both Primordial and Endless Dust act as one for them, interfering with their senses, and their ability to search for and find the Core.
  • Demoted to Extra: Returned in Endless Space 2 as a Minor race. Their Irrational Hatred for Dust was also Retconned out of existence. They still dislike Dust, but mostly because it interferes with their senses, and there are a few that completely embraced it, becoming the Pulsos race.
  • 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 
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.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: The Lumeris are Pacifists by default, but this is less due to any peaceful philosophy, and more due to their belief that conflict is bad for profit.
  • 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.
  • Gold Fever: Dust fever really - the entire Lumeris society is on a Dust high.
  • Hot-Blooded: Most of the Lumeris main quest concerns working with the agent Aros to take over the galaxy markets... And then reining him in when he begins to over-do it - violently.
    Jenestra Omalfi'Meos: The second he walked in, I knew the kid was different... He'd take risks; break the rules that tied my hands... But he ignores the Codes. Goes overboard. He misuses Dust. Applies, let's say "unnecessary force".
  • 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.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: A whole race of them. Lumeris are generally easy-going but hedonistic people who look out for ways to enjoy the higher things in life.
  • Proud Merchant Race: Their main trait being both dust bonus and ability to buy outposts.

    The Riftborn 
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.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Riftborn cannot take their true Corozian forms in the Endless universe, so they need to transfer their consciousness to robotic bodies that resemble their true forms.
  • Alien Geometries: A rare abundant example.
  • Attack Drone: As the Riftborn's numbers were severely depleted, they use "Actors", humanoid drones to fight in their stead, and crew their ships.
  • Doomed Hometown: Due to an incident involving an ancient Hissho ship and an exploding Dust-powered reactor, a portal that connects Coroz and the Endless universe was created. Unfortunately, the incompatibilities between both universes led to the latter's laws of physics literally going wild and infesting and killing countless Riftborn. The process is unstoppable and will eventually destroy Coroz entirely, or at least, leave it completely uninhabitable for the Riftborn.
  • The Fettered: Regardless of how ruthless or lenient the player is going through the main quest, the Viceroy of New Coroz is bothered by the actions they have to take to survive.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Exaggerated, Everything is Cthulhu to the Riftborn. It is continuously mentioned how the Endless universe is downright nauseating to Riftborn, akin to living in one's worst nightmares. It gets to the point that their Terraforming tech is actually Hostile Terraforming so that the planets are as lifeless as possible.
  • Invading Refugees: To many races—particularly those hostile towards them—in Endless universe, given they are Starfish Aliens from another universe.
  • The Needs of the Many: Traditionally, the Riftborn commune with each other to find solutions to common problems. In the Endless universe however, the Viceroy of New Coroz holds total executive power to protect their people in a hostile dimension.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Coroz cannot be saved: As Anax-Jink 2077 explains, the Blight is caused by the laws of physics of the Endless universe literally strangling the life out of Coroz's.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Riftborn are essentially sentient mathematical concepts. Coroz, the dimension they hail from is an endless plane of white light and floating geometric shapes, where the concept of time does not exist and the entire race lives in harmony.
  • Start of Darkness: If the player decides to keep the Communion from moving into the Endless universe, the Endless Riftborn becomes a grim, dictatorial Empire; a stark contrast to the peaceful and thoughtful ways they used to adhere to back in Coroz.
    • What may be worse, is that if their victory cutscene is anything to go off of, they've apparently got it in their heads that the best course of action is to alter this new universe to resemble their own.
  • Time Master: The Riftborn's 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.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: By the end of their quest line, Coroz has been so severely blighted that it is uninhabitable for them now, and the surviving Riftborn are forced to permanently settle in the Endless universe.

    The Unfallen 
The Unfallen are a beautiful, peace-loving race of sapient trees. The Unfallen have only ever known their homeworld of Koyasil, preferring to peaceably study what is near rather than discover what is far. They were content with this slow development that they refer to as the "Long Sleep"—the period from their rise to sentience to the modern era. The modern era was rudely thrust upon them by a galactic skirmish in the skies above, and the debris it rained upon their planet. Seeing fire fall from the skies, and viewing the violence of other races firsthand changed their image of their role in the galaxy. Having an intimate relationship with fire as both Fire-That-Destroys and Fire-That-Renews, they view themselves as guardians of peace and harmony in a galaxy that seems to be badly in need of both.
  • 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 AI 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 gain ownership over systems that they've already entwined.
  • Gentle Giant: The Unfallen tower over other races, but are peaceful.
  • Actual Pacifist: What the Unfallen were before encountering other races, and what The Heart constantly encourages them to be. Their gamplay mechanics also encourage this - because they're slow to expand, the Unfallen will almost always be on the losing end of the colonization race and won't have the industrial base needed to support massive war fleets. Instead, their best defense is their ability to force peace treaties with other factions and apply massive amounts of diplomatic pressure using their vine system. They're also far and away the best race when it comes to using the Influence Conversion mechanic to peacefully purchase systems from other factions.
  • Charm Person: The Vines are an aura of influence that is the only way for them to expand their empire. When the vines reach a new system, they can colonize it. If it reaches a colonized system, with the right technology, they can convert its population instantly.
  • Gradual Grinder / Mighty Glacier: The Unfallen are slow to expand, but even harder to dislodge. Their vine system gives them a colossal boost to their defensive manpower while also making their own worlds immune to influence conversion. The vine system also completely bypasses the spheres of influence used by other races and allows the Unfallen to slowly, but steadily, assimilate the galaxy by purchasing entwined systems from other factions regardless of how influential their worlds are.
  • 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 player's choices, they can build warships and are not afraid to use them when necessary.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Completing their lore quest reveals that The Heart, the entity responsible for granting the Unfallen their sapience, is actually one of the last surviving Lost.
  • 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.
    • Ends up being subverted if you choose the Science route during the main lore quest - it turns out that the giant tree is really just a tree, and Koyasil is actually a Lost, an entity of pure Primordial Dust residing at the center of the planet.

    The Vodyani 
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.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Though the setting generally runs on gray morality, the Vodyani are a rather darker shade. While the Cravers at least have the excuse that that they have no choice in their actions, the Vodyani chose to become what they are now, and still to this day knowingly slaughter other races without apology. The only justification they offer is that it's their inherent right as the superior race.
  • 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. Isyander will only meet his end if Isyara sides against him and destroys the Lodestones, which will also destroy the Academy. And depending on how things go, Isyara may change her mind and side with her brother.
  • 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, now known as Isyander Shumèd.
  • 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.
  • Crisis of Faith: Choosing to study the Tabernacle's archives instead of destroying them during the main lore quest leads to this. Depending on the player's choices it can culminate in Isyara deciding that her brother was right all along.
  • 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 resource 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 have 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 anchored to a star system, 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.
    • All system improvenemts, population and upgrades are effectively stored within an Ark and persist even if an Ark decouples from a system and relocates. Arks can be further supplimented with on-ship modules to increase FIDIS or Essence yields and can be retrofitted almost anytime to adapt to circumstances. Given the sheer number of module slots an advanced Ark will have they can even be outfitted as a fast-moving Stone Wall.
    • 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.
    • Vodyani population mechanics work differently as well; An individual Vodyani pop works every (habitable) planet in it's system simultaniously, resulting in huge yields from even a small population. To offset this Vodyani Arks are limited in the number of pops they can support; initially to 3 but upgradable to 9 with system developments. This limit is not affected by the size or modifiers of the planets in question, meaning the Vodyani can effectively put 9 pops on a gas giant.
  • Religion of Evil: Scary Dogmatic Aliens clad in all-black garments, aiming to ressurect what could be argued as the setting's Greater-Scope Villain 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.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: The Vodyani don't see anything objectionably wrong with what they're doing, since they simply see themselves as higher on the food chain than the other races.

    Umbral Choir 
An ancient, immaterial creature from the depths of galactic space, the Umbral Choir roamed the cold, empty space, terribly alone until a great cry of anguish pierced the darkness. Shattering into a choir of echoes, the fractured creature sped towards the source of the space-and-time-rending wail - the Endless galaxy - seeking to salve that which was in pain. Unbeknownst to the Choir, the cry marked the dying scream of the Endless civilization; and as it arrived, millennia later, new life was emerging from the remnants. Still wishing to give peace to any who suffer, the Umbral Choir will remain in the shadows, infiltrating and watching until it is ready to act.
  • A Commander Is You: Espionage Guerillas. The Umbral Choir place hidden colonies, hack other factions to spy on them and have all of their ships cloaked from eyesight at the start of the game. Stealth is partially enforced by their extremely horrible manpower growthnote  making it extremely hard to fill out combat ships until they can alleviate the issue.
  • Body Surf: Implied to be how the Choir creates their sleeper agents, and also implied to be unpleasant to whoever is on the receiving end.
  • Creepy Good: Pacifist and highly empathetic, the Umbral Choir genuinely want to save the galaxy. However, their lack of understanding biological life's lack of a hive mind nature, combined with their visibly frightening appearance, leads to misunderstandings.
  • Energy Beings: Weird cloud ghosts with glowing bits? Check!
  • Hive Mind: The Choir used to be one, but it fractured after it visited Coroz and ate a few tainted Riftborn.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Starting in control of a empty section of space instead of a solar system, the Umbral Choir do not colonise or make diplomacy like other factions. Their gameplay revolves around staying hidden for as long as possible and subverting other factions to get ahead.
    • You don't colonize planets and don't use colonization ships. Instead, you hack colonizable planets and install sanctuaries on them. These sanctuaries can coexist with other factions' existing colonies.
    • You can't build anything on those sanctuaries, instead all resources generated there are flown back to your home system. A few buildings in your home systems can affect pops in sanctuaries.
    • To compensate for the fact that you only have a single system, it's possible to relocate your home system to another node using Transmigration Beacon, which you can get by hacking a noncolonizable system. It does take time to charge up, however, if you want to relocate safely. If you do it prematurely, you'll lose pops and improvements.
    • Everything you own, systems included, are cloaked right from the start. You don't need to install dedicated modules.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Part of a fractured hive mind, the Choir initially has trouble figuring out that the other species of the galaxy aren't like them, becoming upset and confused when people react to their attempts to make contact with horror. This is resolved early into the faction quest.
  • Starfish Aliens: As mentioned above, they're energy beings that take the form of formless, glowing clouds.

    The Nakalim 
The Nakalim developed on a dry planet towards the end of the reign of the Endless. Their reverence for the Lost made them an enemy of the Endless, but the Endless were too wrapped up in their civil war to worry about the Nakalim. Once the Endless fell, they were largely alone in a tamed and civilized galaxy full of the Endless's infrastructure. As a result they grew so rapidly that they over-expanded, and the survivors were driven into hibernation—to wait for their prophecy of the Lost to come to pass

  • Arch-Enemy: They despised the Endless for the genocide of the Lost, and fought against them during the Dust Wars. This anger extends to the Vodyani, who worship the Virtual Endless, one of the destroyers of the Lost.
  • Book Dumb: The Nakalim generate no science, and science improvements they produce are only half as effective. To compensate, they start off with the entire first two tears of all Technology unlocked. To generate science, they must seek out Relics of the Lost.
  • Creative Sterility: The Nakalim lost their ability to innovate on their own due to Sobra's pampering. Because of this, they need Relics of the lost to continue advancing their tech.
  • Deep Sleep: After the fall of the Endless, the Nakalim went into stasis to await the coming of the one who would revive the Lost. Some of their people died due to Cryonics Failure, including their King and his wife, leaving their daughter, Marusia Mapagna as the Empire's new Queen.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some Nakalim, such as Marusia, keep their arms folded while using mechanical floating arms in their place.
  • Precursors: An ancient race that coexisted with and fought against the Endless during the final years of the Dust Wars and the Splintering.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Marusia has a large wolf-like creature at her side.
  • Technology Uplift: The Nakalim were uplifted by Sobra, a Lost.

Others in Endless Space 2

    The Academy 
A large city in the middle of space that appeared to have been already accustomed in its long history, the Academy is where all the heroes of all races come from and have been a beacon of all who are willing to learn the secrets of the Dust.
  • Academy of Adventure: Almost immediately, it comes with this trope, but the Academy's true purpose has mysterious ideas.
  • Cool Ship: Each of the empires chosen by Isyander to serve a role in the Academy get one of these, one of their four flagships;
    • The Grand Admiral/Spear of Isyander gets the "Colorless Fist", a Craver Queen-class carrier, alongside one of the Academy's main combat fleets.
    • The Master of Dust gets access to "The Sum of All Pains", a Nakalim Incantation-class carrier.
    • The Vault Keeper gets the "Instrument of the Will", a Sophon Yotta-class dreadnought-carrier
    • And finally but not least, the Librarian gets the "Warden of Knowledge", a United Empire Zelevas-class Dreadnought.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Almost every heroes, which meant people exposed to large amounts of Dust and performed extraordinary deeds as a result, in the game went there.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: The Vodyani ships used by the Academy are painted white, as that color was used in the Endless altars dedicated to the Lost. Their four flagships have gold details, with at least two of them having more gold than white.
  • Meaningful Name: The Academy's full name is "The Ultimate Academy of Truth and Repentance", only known by Isyander, his inner circle, and the Queen of the Nakalim, Marusia Mapagna.
  • Red Is Heroic: The four variants of Hero ships are mostly crimson red in their default paintjob.

    The Kalgeros 
A race of six-armed humanoid marsupials, the Kalgeros are relatively primitive, and with a history of violence rooted in their natural strength and agility. As time went on and the civilization's conquests grew more destructive, they decided to channel the war-like instincts of their people into something more focused and constructive. They developed a unique fighting style called Mardamari, requiring six limbs to practice and so gained a sense of balance as a people. Led by spiritual warriors called Gunga who impart martial arts and morality, the Kalgeros are a Religious faction that provide a bonus to a star system's Approval.
  • The Fundamentalist: Averted. While a religious, almost zen-like people, the Kalgeros are not implied to be dogmatic or zealous.
  • Simple Staff: Artwork suggests Mardamari involves these weapons.
  • Video Game Tutorial: A Kalgeros is in charge of the tutorial for new players.
  • Warrior Monk: This is their hat, though its not really reflected in gameplay.

    Isyander Shumèd 
The founder of the Academy. A Vodyani clad in a white Cloth. Once the leader of the Church of the Virtual Saints, Isyander rebelled against his own people when he found an ancient Endless database known as the Tabernacle of Remorse, which showed him the truth of Dust, and where it came from. Disgusted with the Endless, he left Vodyani space with a group of close allies, and founded the Academy as part of his plan to revive the Lost.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's unclear whether the Vodyani or Isyander have a higher moral ground. But one thing for certain, if he manages to get what he wants, everyone in the galaxy would be "wiped clean."
    • Good All Along: However, he only intends to "wipe clean" the Primordial Dust (the original form of Dust, the one the Endless based their own in) from the galaxy, so that it returns to and revives its original source, the Lost, so that they (hopefully) bring an end to the galaxy's chaos and wars alongside their rebirth.
  • The Atoner: He seeks to repent from his actions as one of the Vodyani Protectorate's leaders, and for the crimes of his former gods, the Virtuals.
  • The Chosen One: According to the prophecies of the Nakalim Empire, a prophet of the Lost would awaken them and revive their gods. Given Isyander's goals to revive them, they believe him to be the Hero their prophecy speaks of.
  • Defector from Decadence: When he discovered the truth about the origins of Dust and the galactic genocide the Endless committed against the Lost in order to harvest more of it, he abandoned his Scary Amoral Religion, freed as many slaves as he could, and started a civil war that crippled the Vodyani for decades - all before leaving to found the Academy.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Faith Turn / Faith–Heel Turn: A matter of perspective - Isyander and his followers see him as the former, since he now worships the "true" gods of the galaxy, but his sister and most of the Vodyani see him as the latter. Finding the Tabernacle of Remorse can lead to Isyara reforming the Vodyani into doing the same.
  • Honor Before Reason: He's willing to sacrifice all of the Dust in the galaxy in order to undo a "grave injustice" committed long ago. Specifically, he wants to bring back the Lost, the galaxy's resident Old Gods who were hunted to extinction by the Endless because they were entirely made of organic Dust. Isyander himself admits that he has no clue what the Lost will do to the galaxy if he succeeds in bringing them back, and due to how the Umbral Choir refer to the reborn Lost as "unfettered and vengeful", it might not have been a good idea at all.
  • I Regret Nothing: His own views on his actions to revive the Lost, even upon his death from the Lodestones' explosions if the side opposing him wins.
  • Light Is Good: His Cloth (The armor that contains the Vodyani's virtualized self) is completely white, a contrast to othe Vodyani Cloths, which are black. It wasn't always like this, as he still had a black Cloth when he met the Nakalim.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He was the first Vodyani to fully renounce the worship of the Endless, and the consumption of other races.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Like the Trope Namer, Isyander carries a Lost inside of him. It's hinted that this is the reason why he's able to survive without draining Essence from other sentient beings.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Isyander is fully aware of how Dust causes people to become power-hungry over it and how self-destructive the major factions' intentions would do with it, and he will stop at nothing to revive the Lost, as he believes that they can bring peace to the galaxy at last.

    The Endless 
The creators of dust, and the namesake species of the Endless Universe.
  • Abusive Precursors: They are responsible for the creation of the Cravers, the Sowers and the Necrophages, bombed out Auriga to the point she can no longer sustain life by the time Endless Space begins, and, if the Drakken are any indication, brainwashed other species into serving them. They also tried to exterminate the Harmony with a bioweapon.
    • Benevolent Precursors: At the same time, though, they did uplift the Drakken and make Dust readily available to everyone else, so they aren't all bad.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Dust - golden particles that can be used for all kinds of purposes. Whilst it is used as currency in Endless Space and Endless Legend, it also acts as the basis for magic in the latter game, and is used to power rooms in Dungeon of the Endless. It can even be used as storage for Brain Uploading.
  • Brain Uploading: A large amount of the wealthy Endless were able to use Dust to transfer their minds into computers and become immortal, taking on the title of "Virtuals" when doing so. As this costed a lot of money, only the wealthy could do so, and they soon began to look down on those who could not afford to become Virtuals like them, whilst the newly christened "Concretes" felt the same way towards them.
  • Doomed Homeworld: The three civilizations that formed the Endless originated in Tor, a small tundra planet. A failed deep-core mining operation killed most of the planet's sea life, including millions of Eaür, and left the planet covered in glowing crimson scars. Their second home, Kyros, fell to a Grey Goo plague unleashed by Koil, a crazed cult leader that had declared himself the Lord of Kyros.
  • Dying Race: Originally this - while there was a population of damaged Virtuals alive on Auriga (The Haunts), they were heavily damaged from the Dust Wars and ultimately died out when the planet froze over. Though there are a few survivors left, the number can be counted on one hand.
    • This is no longer the case for the Virtual Endless, though - a fair amount of them are implied to have been incorporated into the Vodyani, who worship them as gods.
  • Evil All Along: Despite being initially presented as the galaxy's benevolent forerunners and the creators of Dust, as it turns out, almost everything wrong with the Endless universe was their fault. Not only did their civil war nearly destroy the galaxy, they also knowingly and readily tampered with various races for their own ends (and in the case of the Hissho, their amusement), they also created and unleashed the Cravers, destroyed Auriga, an exploding battery of their design created the Rift that destroyed Coroz, and committed genocide against the Lost just to get more Dust.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: In the final years of the Dust Wars, Tiaych Zhilleaq and a group of other Endless that were disgusted by the genocide of the Lost created the Tabernacle of Remorse, an Endless monument that gathered and preserved information the mistakes and crimes both Virtuals and Concretes had done and committed throughout their entire history, including the extermination of the Lost to take their Primordial Dust. They built it to warn any future civilizations so they didn't do the same mistakes they did.
  • The Ghost: For once amongst Precursors, Averted in the case of the Tandu/Hadun and the Virtuals: thanks to the fact we have three Endless heroes in the games, we know exactly what they look like, and as these heroes can be hired by anyone, they can continue to have an effect on the game's setting, just a lot smaller than before. It's still played straight with the Eaür, or at least their original form as the ancestors of the Amoeba race.
  • God Guise: The remaining Virtual Endless managed to incorporate themselves into Vodyani society, and fully embraced the image of being gods to them.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Dust Wars, where the Concrete (Flesh and blood) Endless fought their Virtual (computer based) counterparts. Both sides were more or less wiped out in the conflict, though there are survivors.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While they may be reduced down a shadow of what they once were, the vast majority of the playable factions have been influenced by them in some way.
    • Just about every empire that arose on Auriga originated from a population placed there for study.
    • The Cravers were originally meant to serve as foot soldiers for the Virtual Endless.
    • The Hissho were bred to be gladiators by the Endless.
    • Horatio got his cloning technology from one of their labs on Auriga.
    • The Amoeba are the descendants of the third race of Endless, the Eaür.
    • One of their devices ended up poisoning Coroz, forcing the Riftborn to evacuate to the Endless Universe.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Tandu/Hadun (although they had different names and skin tones, they were the same species) were nearly identical to humans, except for the bony plates in their faces that extended to their chins.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: They had a vast empire that spanned most of the galaxy, and you can find their ruins all across the galaxy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Elohys, the Endless that saved the Kapaku from extinction by Sowers, did it with the ulterior motive of flooding Auriga's surface from pole to pole with lava, using their volcanoforming technology. It would've killed everything on the planet, including the Kapaku themselves. Needless to say, the Kapaku were so disgusted that they turned on it and stopped it from completing the "Scouring of Auriga" as Elohys called it, killing the Endless in the process.
  • Recursive Precursors: Whilst they are the ones who made the most usage of Dust, they didn't create it - that honor goes to their Precursors, the Lost. The Endless more or less wiped them out in order to create more Dust, as their very beings were entirely made of the stuff.

     The Lost 
The true creators of the Dust, and the Recursive Precursors of the Endless universe.
  • Benevolent Precursors: What Isyander and the Nakalim consider them at least, with them believing they alone can bring peace to the war torn galaxy. Whether or not it's true is left unanswered.
  • Genius Loci: When the Endless began to harvest them for their Dust at the height of the Dust Wars, some of them hid in planets. The Nakalim homeworld of Sorba was one of them, as was Auriga, the setting for Endless Legend.
  • The Ghost: They are never actually seen over the course of the game, and the most we actually see are brief images of tall, four-eyed beings with horns.
    • It does turn out that the Heart that the Unfallen revere was actually one of the few remaining Lost in the galaxy, though an image of it is never seen.
  • Human Resources: for a certain measure of "human", they became essentially this for the Endless.
  • Physical Gods: They are repeatedly referred to, with little hyperbole, as the "old gods" of the galaxy. Considering how it's indicated they were essentially made of Dust, a substance with near limitless capability, this may not be so inaccurate.
  • Recursive Precursors: They were the original rulers of the galaxy, and the ones who actually created Dust. Then the Endless came along, and wiped them out so as to gain more.

Alternative Title(s): Endless Space 2


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