Major characters and races of the X-Universe series through X3: Albion Prelude.
Born: January 19, 703 NT/2873 EY, Wellington, New Zealand, Earth
Affiliation: Earth State (civilian activist for Argon-Terran relations); TerraCorp (founder and former CEO); United Space Command, AGI Task Force (retired major)
The Player Character of X: Beyond the Frontier and X-Tension. A decorated combat pilot and patrol cruiser captain for the United Space Command, in 2911 AD he joined the project to reverse-engineer a jumpdrive-equipped Xenon ship that blundered into the Sol System, but despite his credentials was made only the backup pilot. The primary fell ill four days before the test flight, and Kyle replaced him.
The test of the Xperimental Shuttle's jumpdrive went spectacularly wrong and dumped Kyle in the X-Universe. His old friend and coworker Elena Kho took the backup shuttle to try and find him and the same resulted. The pair managed to find safe harbor on Argon Prime and eventually got caught up in the Second Xenon Conflict where Kyle was instrumental in the destruction of a Xenon planet-killer and the robots' ultimate defeat.
Understandably obsessed with getting back home, Kyle started a trade company to fund research into the gateless jumpdrive that had flung him across the galaxy. It became known as TerraCorp.
In 765 NT/2935 EY the Kha'ak War was brought to a screeching halt by the reconnection of Earth to the X-Universe and the USC's subsequent flattening of their main invasion fleet. Despite his long efforts to return home Kyle discovered he no longer had any desire to do so. He eventually did out of curiosity and his sense of duty, and began working unsuccessfully as a political activist towards closer relations between Earth and Argon Prime. His fate following the Second Terraformer War and gate system shutdown is unknown.
- Ace Pilot: Was one even before he was unceremoniously dumped into the X-Universe.
- Cool Ship: He's had several throughout his adventures, most importantly the USC X/Xperimental Shuttle, the original Paranid Perseus prototype and the AP Hammer, a modified Split Dragon corvette with a Gateless/Point-to-Point Jumpdrive.
- The Gadfly: According to Farnham's Legend, in their time serving together in the USC he and Elena got some amusement from feeding the rumors that they were in a Secret Relationship.
- Intergenerational Friendship: He grew quite close with a Goner child called Ion Battler, who looked up to him as he was the living proof the Goners were right and Earth existed. 22 years later, Ion sacrificed life to reconnect Sol with the X Universe.
- Just Friends: With Elena Kho. The two were so close they were nicknamed "the lovebirds" by their coworkers in the USC, and there were constant rumors that they were sleeping together. At one point they actually did after their patrol ship became disabled and they weren't sure they would be rescued. They parted amicably, not wanting to complicate their relationship, but wondered for several years after if it had been the right call.
- Majorly Awesome: Held this rank before his little mishap.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: Following Reunion.
- Wetware CPU: The Kha'ak turned him into one of these and used him for their M0 Planet Killer during their assault on Omicron Lyrae. The strain nearly killed him, left him in a coma for months and was deeply messed up for a while after waking up.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: No official word on his fate following the Terran Conflict. Farnham's Legacy reveals that his death was reported around the time Elena died. It's uncertain if it's true in his case.
- You Can't Go Home Again: X:BTF to Reunion, because Sol is disconnected from the jumpgate network and your gateless jumpdrive is busted. He was stranded a total of 23 years. In 764 NT/2934 EY, He tried to use the AP Gunner's coordinates to find Sol's location and return with his new corvette, the AP Hammer, which was fitted with a Gateless Jumpdrive. Unfortunately, he ended up in Kha'ak space and was captured. They also destroyed his Cool Ship. He eventually was able to return to Earth thanks to Julian and Ion.
Born: 117th Tazura, 2nd Mazura, 547 ZNT/April 28, 744 NT/2914 EY, Argonia City, Argon Prime
Affiliation: Argon Fleet (pilot instructor); TerraCorp (contract pilot)
The son of Kyle Brennan by his Goner ex-wife Ninu Gardna, and the Player Character of X2: The Threat and X3: Reunion. He and his mother moved around a lot and eventually settled on Turpentine Station, a Yaki stronghold.
Julian befriended a number of Yaki children, including his best friend Bret Serra and eventually got into cybercrime, soon escalating to spacecraft theft and armed robbery. The Argon police caught him during a botched shipjacking and sent him to prison.
Then his parents' old friend Ban Danna offered him a way out, putting him to work at his father's company TerraCorp as rehabilitation. Julian's skill as a pilot was instrumental in helping to turn the tide of the Kha'ak War.
As the Terran Conflict escalated Julian Brennan began working with the Boron company Bala Gi Research. He eventually disappeared during a reconnaissance mission alongside company head Bala Gi. The two eventually turned up in the Segaris System (then Terran Unknown Sector 3) when the United Space Command launched a push to drive the Xenon out of their former colonies in the Aldrin cluster. His fate following the Second Terraformer War is unknown.
- Ace Pilot: Like father, like son. The second year of the Kha'ak War had him hired by the Argon Fleet to train new pilots to replace their losses. Quite easy to see in X2's opening cutscene, when he and Bret rob a station and he deftly dodges everything the Argon police throws at him with his Buzzard.
- Boxed Crook: Offered a job at TerraCorp by his parents' old friend Ban Danna, who took responsibility for his rehabilitation and used his Argon Secret Service connections to get him out of prison.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: A pretty mundane reason, but a reason nonetheless: Ninu Gardna got custody of Julian after their marriage contract lapsed, moved halfway across the galaxy, and never told Kyle where they went.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His parents divorced when he was two, following which he and his mother eventually ended up living in the heart of Yaki territory, their main headquarters of Turpentine Station, somewhere in Weaver's Tempest. He ended up in a gang, alongside his friend Bret Serra.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: No word on what happened to him after Terran Conflict.
Born: August 26, 714 NT/2884 EY, Tenjiang, China, Earth; Died: February 8, 778 NT/2948 EY, Earth orbit
Affiliation: United Space Command (Lieutenant Colonel); TerraCorp (former executive)
Elena Kho was a gifted student and and an Ensign Newbie in the USC when she was assigned to a preemptive strike against an illegal AI research lab on Europa, under the command of one Maj. Kyle Brennan. They hit it off immediately.
Several years later Brennan was lost in deep space in an accident during a test of the Xperimental Shuttle's jumpdrive. Elena took the other jumpship prototype, Getsu Fune, to follow him and ended up in the same boat. Though they eventually reunited they were unable to return to Earth.
Elena briefly married the Argon diplomat Ranom Thebes and had a daughter, Saya, but the marriage contract was allowed to lapse. She later helped found TerraCorp with Brennan, but eventually left the company because she disagreed with Brennan's business plans.
When Sol was reconnected to the X-Universe Elena returned to Earth to retire, but the outbreak of the Second Terraformer War resulted in the USC reinstating her to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Together with a Paranid naval officer named Tebathimanckatt, she devised a strategy that allowed the Terrans to ultimately defeat the drones. She was killed in action during its execution.
- Ace Pilot: Fully qualified to command or fly virtually any spacecraft, military or civilian.
- Badass Bookworm/Brainy Brunette: Graduated with honors with a degree in exobiology at the age of 20.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrificed herself in the final battle of the Second Terraformer War to lure the last swarm of Argon AGI drones through a gate that had been forced to link to a black hole.
- Just Friends: With Kyle Brennan. They were incredibly close, to the point that their coworkers in the USC jokingly nicknamed them "the lovebirds." They did have a brief romance during their eight years working together in the military, and though they broke it off by mutual agreement they were never quite sure if it was the right decision. They did get some amusement from trolling the shippers, though.
- Majorly Awesome: In X:BTF. Reinstated during X3:AP as a Colonel Badass.
- You Can't Go Home Again: X:BTF to Reunion. The Getsu Fune's jumpdrive actually worked properly when she used it to get into the X-Universe to find Kyle, but it was damaged during a fight with some Xenon and misfired, causing the ship to crash-land in one of Argon Prime's oceans. The jumpdrive couldn't be repaired.
Born: 14th Tazura, 1st Mazura, 550 ZNT/January 17, 748 NT/2918 EY, Argonia City, Argon Prime; Died: February 5, 778 NT/2948 EY, Torus Aeternal, Earth, Sol system
Affiliation: Argon Secret Service (undercover operative); TerraCorp (contract pilot); Argon Fleet (Captain, retired)
The daughter of Elena Kho and Ranom Thebes, Saya enlisted in the Argon Fleet as the Kha'ak began their earliest raids. She eventually left the fleet to work under her mother at TerraCorp, eventually becoming embroiled in the Kha'ak War. After her mother moved back to Earth, she was convinced to come visit exactly once, and found the Terrans intolerably arrogant and swore she'd never go back.
Towards the end of 568 NT the Argon Secret Service approached her to work as deep-cover operatives in Sol as the Terran Conflict escalated. Using her mother's connections she managed to get a commission as an officer in the USC and flew patrol missions in the outer reaches of the Sol System.
When the Argon launched their surprise attack on Sol in 2948, Saya killed a Terran intel agent to protect her cover and fled to Earth where she and an Argon undercover agent devised a plan to destroy Earth's last line of defense, the planet-ringing Torus Aeternal. On 5 February they put their plan into action, knowing they would both be killed in the process. The explosion aboard the Torus blew her out into space, where she died of vacuum exposure.
- Absolute Cleavage/Bare Your Midriff/Ms. Fanservice/Painted-On Pants/She's Got Legs (pant pant): This depiction◊ on the back of the X3: Gold Edition box. (The image was originally said to be of pirate princess Miria Marani, but this seems to have been retconned.)
- Heroic Sacrifice: From the Argon perspective, mind. YMMV on whether it actually qualifies, given she took potentially tens or hundreds of millions of people with her.
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Despite the previously linked image, appears only from the shoulders up in X3: Reunion and isn't even mentioned in Terran Conflict, and appears in the Albion Prelude opening cinematic for all of about fifteen seconds before her death.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Red hair, green eyes, and she started a war.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Willing to kill millions of Terrans by Colony Drop to protect the Argon Federation. She is noted by the encyclopedia to have regretted doing it to the point of refusing to put on a spacesuit which would've given her a small chance of surviving.
Died: 768 NT/2938 EY, Khaak Sector 931
Affiliation: Operation: Final Fury (fighter pilot)
A mercenary pilot who hires Terran Conflict's Player Character for Operation: Final Fury, then gets killed in action offscreen two missions in.
- Ascended Extra: In Reunion, he helped Julian obtain one of the crystals needed to make a Gate Seed.
- Cool Ship: He flies an Argon Elite known as the Exterminator.
- Identical Stranger: He looks exactly like Bret Serra, Julian's best friend, who sacrificed his life in 764 NT/2934 EY to destroy the Kha'ak Mothership at the end of X2: The Threat. He also shares the same voice actor.
- Jumped at the Call: Is very gung-ho about fighting the Khaak...
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!"/Ascended Fanboy: ... because he hero-worships Julian Brennan.
- Sacrificial Lamb/We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets blown up offscreen while laying a minefield in a Kha'ak sector two missions into OFF.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: His first name seems a modification of "Jason". Justified by the already established aversion of Eternal English in Argon territory.
Affiliation: Bala Gi Research (scientist)
A quirky Boron engineer who hires the Player Character of X3: Terran Conflict to investigate the disappearance of Julian Brennan and Bala Gi on a reconnaissance mission. This leads the player to the Hub, an incredibly useful structure capable of interposing itself between up to three gate pairs simultaneously, creating new routes across the universe.
- Alliterative Name
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: In Albion Prelude, another scientist finds storage rooms in the Hub in which Mahi Ma has, for no discernible reason, stuffed thousands of microchips worth millions of credits into, lampshading the ridiculous Fetch Quest from the previous game.
- The Engineer: The guy manages to repair a 10,000-plus year piece of presumably Ancient-built technology with your help gathering supplies.
- Mission Control: For the Hub plot.
- Punny Name: Mahi-mahi are a type of fish, and "mahi" is also "fish" in Persian. The Boron are squid people. Coincidence?
Homeworld: Earth, Sol system
The original human civilization. They discovered jumpgate technology and were the creators of the Terraformers, which later became the Xenon. They willingly cut themselves off from the jumpgate network following the First Terraformer War, but re-connect some centuries later after developing jumpdrive technology. They are known for being rather xenophobic and isolationists, even towards their own Lost Colony, the Argon.
- Fantastic Racism: Of a sort. As a result of the Terraformer War, they despise artificial intelligence and demand that any such tech be outlawed and destroyed. The Argon messing with reverse-engineered Xenon tech is one of the major reasons for their eventual war.
- Humans Are Advanced: Their technology is leaps and bounds ahead of the Community of Planets', which makes all the races a little worried about them. Their tech is also incompatible with most non-Terran ships.
- Humans Are Divided: Think they and the Argon would get along great after being reunited? Not so much. Relations between the two slowly deteriorate into a full-blown war. They can be fixed however in one of Albion Prelude's quests. Even after both factions are reconnected in X4's Cradle of Humanity DLC, their relations remain cold and distant.
- Light Is Good: The United Space Command and its successor organization the Terran Protectorate paint their combat ships white.
- Portal Network: The Terrans built their own jumpgates in an attempt to colonize Alpha Centauri. Their gates were compatible with Ancient tech and ended up leaving Sol with two gate connections to the same system. Both gates were later destroyed when Nathan Gunne destroyed the Sol Gate in 2146 and his great-granddaughter Nyana destroyed the other Terran gate in Alpha Centauri/Brennan's Triumph in 211 NT/2381 EY. The Terrans would later give another go at building their own Jumpgate in 768 NT/2938 EY, when they connected Althes' inactive gate with Sol. They were reconnected to the X Universe through Heretic's End in 765 NT/2935 EY thanks to Julian's actions and Ion's sacrifice. In 780 NT/2950 EY, the Terrans reconnected their gate to Brennan's Triumph/Alpha Centauri with the help of a native of the Community of Planets. After the network began to reconnect itself into a new X Universe in 825 NT/2995 EY, the Ancient Jumpgate in the Asteroid Belt connected with Getsu Fune, which acted as a neutral buffer between the Terran and Argon territories.
- Shining City: The largest Terran stations have this aesthetic, having bright white skyscrapers connected to networks of ring-shaped habitation rings.
- Spanner in the Works: They threw a major monkey wrench into the Ancients' plans, as the Ancients didn't believe it was possible for such a young civilization to develop jumpgate technology, much less jumpdrive tech. Most of the jumpgate shutoffs and re-arrangements in the story occur as the Ancients desperately try to get things back on track while Earth keeps messing things up. They also created artificially intelligent Terraformers that are running wild throughout space, an unprecedented occurrence which the Ancients seem divided on how to deal with.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Terran ships have a strong resemblance to the Space Shuttle, painted in bright white, with Space Plane fighters and box-and-saucer capital ships. ATF ships have more aggressive designs, all wedges and spikes that give them a vague resemblance to Baroque cathedrals.
Homeworld: Son-Ra 4/Four/Argon Prime, Son-Ra/Sonra/Argon Prime system (Originally Taurus, Alpha Centauri/Brennan's Triumph system and Earth, Sol system)
A civilization descended from the Terran colonies that stayed behind after Sol was disconnected from the network. The Argon Federation are the largest and most wide-spread human presence in the galaxy. They are characterized as neutral in most affairs and tolerant of other lifestyles and viewpoints, but will viciously defend their own territory from any aggressors.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When the Split went to war with the Boron and tried to exterminate them, the Argon utterly defeated them to save the pacifist squids. The Argon also went to war with the Terrans when they tried to stop them from using AGIs for their own purposes. They started the war by destroying the Torus Aeternal around Earth and unleashing a horde of 1.4 TRILLION Terraformer drones on the Sol system. By the time the Terrans were able to stop the horde, only one capital ship in the entire system had survived the onslaught.
- Common Tongue: Neo-Japanese, a holdover from their Earth heritage (where Japanese had become the international language of choice). It's used as the trade language among the Commonwealth species, since it's at least easily understandable and pronounceable for everyone but the Boron.
- Earth That Was: For a long time, Earth was treated as a myth by the Argon, as the early Federation's government intentionally destroyed all information about the planet to keep the Terraformers away from Sol. They failed to destroy it all, as the early Goners were able to salvage some.
- Humans Are Divided: The Argon Federation is the chief representative of the human race in Commonwealth space, but it is not a unified political entity, as many worlds within the Federation are self-governing with little to no oversight from Argon Prime. There are also several human states that have remained stubbornly independent, such as the Free State of Solara (Aldrin) or the Hatikvah Free League, not to mention the divide between them and the Earth State.
- Lost Colony: The majority of Argon Prime's human population descend from the survivors of Taurus, the first and largest Terran colony outside of Sol. The planet was utterly devastated by the Terraformer/Xenon assault and never recovered. Taurus was in Alpha Centauri, the sector known by the Argons as Brennan's Triumph. It is nearly 700 years before the Argon have any contact with Earth.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Their homeworld and nation are all named after Nathan Ridley Gunne, the commander of the United Space Command's fleet during the Terraformer assault on Sol and the one who destroyed the Terran gate in Sol to save his people. The term "Argon" is a result of several centuries of lingual drift.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Argon fighters look like dieselpunk Space Planes. Larger ships transition from this to boxy capital ships.
Homeworld: !Ni-!Sha-!La/Nishala, Eo system (known as Kingdom's End by the Argons)
A peaceful aquatic race somewhat resembling squid. They were discovered by the Argon following the First Xenon Conflict, where they were embroiled in a war against the invading Split. The Argon intervened on their behalf and ever since there has been close friendship between the Boron and Argon.
- Bizarre Alien Sexes: Male, female, and the extremely rare Lar. Lar are longer lived and extremely intelligent. They're also hermaphrodites and can mate with both male and female Borons. Lar are referred to with female pronouns and language. Lar also make up the majority of the government.
- Mobile Fishbowl: Being aquatic, they go about Commonwealth/Community stations wearing water-filled spacesuits. Those suits also have anti-gravity generators that allow them to fly. When a Boron isn't wearing one of those, they stay in a water tank.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The Boron have six arm-like tentacles extending from the sides of their bodies. Four of those tentacles have bones that can be protuded at will to act as hand-like appendages.
- Organic Technology: Boron ships are artificially grown. They are not living ships, however, as they don't have minds of their own.
- Reluctant Warrior: The Boron are pacifistic by nature, but recognize the need for fighting on occasion. The threats of the Xenon, Kha'ak, and Split are the only reasons they maintain a standing army.
- Starfish Aliens: The most alien of the Community of Planets' races. They are aquatic cephalopods that evolved in an ammonia planet, which is highly toxic for the other races. Nishala has ammonia in its atmosphere, swamps and oceans. The Boron breathe both oxygen and ammonia through their gills.
- Starfish Language: Their own language consists of sonic clicks and clouds of pheromones, which can persist for several years and still remain coherent. Other species are therefore incapable of speaking the native Boron languages, and the Boron are likewise incapable of speaking any alien tongues. They rely on translator devices.
- Technology Uplift: They were helped in becoming a technologically advanced race by another species whom they know as "the Helpers", who visited Nishala 50,000 years ago. The Helpers haven't been seen for millenia, but the Boron are fairly certain that they are not related to the Ancients. They are wrong, as they actually were Ancients who observed their planet and a group of them stayed in the planet foe a while. Also, the Boron were among the last races to settle outer space, colonizing their first moon in 50 NT/2220 EY. They also developed nuclear fission very late, around 220 NT/ 2390 EY.
- We Are as Mayflies: Average life expectancy is between 45 and 50 Earth years. Human life expectancy in the series is around 110 years. Lars live longer, between 60 and 70.
Homeworld: Paranidashrat/Eighth Eye, Reborn to Life system (known as Paranid Prime by the Argon)
The Paranid were the first true extraterrestrials contacted by the Argon (and thus, humanity in general). The Paranid are reclusive, secretive, and fanatically devout in their religion. Though nominally allies with the Argon and Boron, their refusal to aid the Argon during the First Xenon Conflict and their entering the Boron Campaign on the side of the Split has lead to very frosty relations between them and the Argon.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Paranids can survive the vacuum of space for up to forty minutes.
- Bizarre Alien Sexes: They have 11 different sexes, apparently. While many different combinations are capable of producing offspring, the precise combination has a strong effect on the young. Paranids are also oviparous, which means they lay eggs and hatch from them.
- Folk Hero: Paranidashrat, also known as Paranid Bashra, the prophet of three-dimensionality that united the Paranid race under his religion. He was so beloved their homeworld was renamed after him.
- Insectoid Aliens: Though they seem humanoid, they're in fact insectoid in origin. They have vestigial wings in their arms and they go through a larval stage that extends throughout their first three years of life.
- Portal Network: The Paranid tried to make their own Jump Gates, as part of a secret project. It had a minor success, as the Paranids succeeded in creating a working Jump Gate in Heretic's End.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They worship the concept of three-dimensionality and consider the number 3 and all natural things that include it as sacred. They can come across this way, though they are generally not all that interested in converting others to their religion. Their secretive nature and the aforementioned reluctance to send military aid do little to help this perception. In their language, "Paranid" means "Holy Warrior".
- Starfish Language: Known as "triplet-speech", it is completely impossible for a human to speak, though they can learn to understand it. Paranid do not have difficulty speaking Neo-Japanese. The language is said to sound like the rustling of a tree's leaves under the wind.
- Start My Own: They and the Split have created the Profit Guild between their two races to counter the Foundation Guild between the Argon and Boron.
- We Are as Mayflies: The Paranids are longer-lived than the Argons, but it isn't exactly known by how much. Their current Pontifex Maximus Paranidia, Xaar, is still alive and kicking in the time of X4, which is set 83 years after the first game. There are Paranids that are over 120 years old, and they have the ability to go into suspended animation by encasing themselves in a cocoon.
- We Used to Be Friends: They were the first sentient alien species contacted by the Argon (and by extension, the human race), around 130 NT/2300 EY. The Paranid and the Argon remained as close allies until the later years of the first Xenon Conflict, when the Xenon ravaged the Paranid homeworld and they could no longer afford to lose more forces, leaving the Argon alone against the murderous machines. The Argon never forgot that incident. Their relations took an even bigger hit when the Paranid helped the Split during the latter half of the Boron Campaign. The Argon Federation eventually restored their alliance with the Godrealm as part of an Enemy Mine against the extremist Paranid faction known as the Holy Order of the Pontifex.
- Winged Humanoid: Paranids have vestigial wings in their arms. Before they developed their civilization, they used to be able to fly with them, but lost that ability as they evolved. Due to this, returning to the skies became a key part of their culture and technological advancements.
Homeworld: Hodie, unknown system (original homeworld, lost, presumed destroyed), Split Prime, Family Pride (economic capital, Pre-Dark), Nif'Nakh, Noh-tha System/Family Rhonkar (Political capital, Pre-Dark)
A warrior race, the Split are known for their aggression when dealing with other species. One of their first acts was an invasion of the Boron star systems, something stopped only by the intervention of the Argon. As a result, the Split have very cool relations with the Argon and Boron, while maintaining a shaky alliance with the Paranid.
- Doomed Hometown: The Split devastated their original homeworld, Hodie, in a nuclear conflict against the other species in the planet. The only lifeforms that survived other than the Split themselves were the Chelt livestock and the Scruffin plants.
- Feudal Future: Their society is set up as such, with each major Family controlling a portion of Split society. The strongest of the Families (Chin until 743 NT/2913 EY, Rhonkar between 743 NT/2913 EY and 778 NT/2948 EY, currently Zyarth, as of X4) form the ruling class and their Patriarch is known as the Patriarch of All Split.
- Lost Colony: They have long since abandoned their original homeworld. Indeed, whether Hodie even actually existed is a source of debate among Split historians.
- Proud Warrior Race: Something that sets them at odds with many of their contemporaries. Split tend to focus more on offense than defense, possessing powerful weapons and engines but little in the way of defensive shielding. This makes their ships a fan-favorite.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: They looked rather like vaguely-reptilian humans pre-X4, when they were changed to look more like their concept arts, being elf-like with large eyes. Despite the visual similarity there is no relation whatsoever between them and humanity (Split do not even possess DNA).
- Spikes of Villainy: They're the most warlike of the Commonwealth races and the main villain of the X: Farnham's Legend novelization (aside from the Xenon), and their ships and stations have lots of brown spires and pointed shapes (their capital ships look a lot like swords).
- Starfish Language: Split'ur, the Split language incorporates both verbal speech and sign language simultaneously. While possible for a human to understand, humans don't have six fingers unless they modify their hands and thus are incapable of forming any of the signs used in Split communication except for a few that only use five fingers. Due to this, the translating of the Split language led to several examples of You No Take Candle. By the time of X4, those issues are mostly gone and the Split language can be fluidly translated.
- We Are as Mayflies: Average life expectancy of 50-70 to 80-100 years, depending on gender. However, most male Split are intensely agressive and don't pay close attention to their health, so it's possible that with proper care they could live longer.
- You No Take Candle: Split often speak Neo-Japanese in such a manner. Believed to be a consequence of their combined spoken-signed language, and the fact that Neo-Japanese does not use signing, leaving the Split unused to speaking a language without using signs as well. This isn't always the case, as some Split, like Operation Final Fury's commander Fjuny t'Scct can speak fluidly.
Homeworld: Zura, Ianamus system (known by the Argon as Ianamus Zura)
The Teladi are a reptilian species that were both the last Community of Planets race to be contacted and also one of its founding members. Being mostly interested in trade and profit, the Teladi are the ones who engineered the Commonwealth, permitting open-borders trading among all races, even those that don't particularly like each other.
- The Ageless: The Teladi are biologically immortal. They will never die of old age. The only signs of a Teladi's age is the darkness of their scales and their eyes becoming more red as they age.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Teladi ships are designed from buying older model designs from other races and then upgrading their storage space and shield capacity.
- Lizard Folk: They look superficially similar to lizards and hatch from eggs. The similarities to Earth reptiles are, however, only that: superficial. Their eyes in X4 are very human-like, but bigger.
- Lost Colony: The Teladi who contacted the Commonwealth races were cut off from their homeworld, similarly to the Argon. Following the Second Xenon Conflict, however, the Teladi re-established contact with Ianamus Zura, which peacefully integrated into their civilization.
- Memento MacGuffin: When a young Teladi makes their first monetary transaction, their parents give them an engraved cube of solid Nividium they keep throughout their whole lives.
- Microts: The Teladi use time measures different from those used by humans, known as Zuran Time, which were based on their homeworld's orbit. These time measures were also used by the Community of Planets/Commonwealth until 565 ZNT/764 NT/2934 EY, when they switched to human time measures. These and their human equivalent are:
- 1 Sezura = 1.7 seconds
- 1 Mizura = 96 Sezuras = 163.2 seconds = 2.72 minutes
- 1 Stazura = 96 Mizuras = 15,667.2 seconds = 261.12 minutes = 4.352 hours
- 1 Tazura = 7 Stazuras = 109,670.4 seconds = 1,827.84 minutes = 30.464 hours = 1.27 days
- 1 Wozura = 7 Tazuras = 8.89 days
- 1 Mazura = 7 Wozuras = 62.23 days
- 1 Jazura = 8 Mazuras = 56 Wozuras = 392 Tazuras = 497.84 days = 1.36 years
- The Teladi also exclusively use a few time measures.
- 1 Quazura = 22 Mizuras = 3,590.4 seconds = 59.84 minutes
- 1 Inzura = 8 Mizuras = 1,305.6 seconds = 21.76 minutes
- 1 Sun = 1 Jazura
- Mighty Glacier: Their ships are the slowest of the races, but they tend to have an extra shield generator and a wider variety of usable weapons.
- One-Gender Race: Originally, all the Teladi encountered were female. As they lay eggs without the need of a male, they were able to keep up their population until they re-established contact with their homeworld, and with it, Teladi males. Male Teladi can only be born on conditions like those in their homeworld.
- Proud Merchant Race: They are always interested in profit above all else. Because of this, they are reluctant to go to war, preferring to keep good relations since that means more trade. Though this is apparently a trait unique to the space-faring Teladi; the homeworld has a rather more diverse culture.
- Sssnake Talk: They elongate and stress their S's, which has lead to the X meme of "profitssssss!"
- Standard Human Spaceship: Inverted: Teladi ships are even boxier and more utilitarian than any of the human factions'. The Teladi Union's designs avert this, with their jellyfish-shaped capital ships and rounder subcapitals.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Teladi physiology lacks a Hayflick limit, therefore, they are biologically immortal and because of that they cannot die of old age. Because of this, the majority of the Teladi grow weary of living after a few centuries and commit suicide. Due to this, suicide isn't badly seen on their society.
Homeworld: Sol System (currently based out of unexplored deep space)
The Xenon started out as the vast, artificially-intelligent and self-replicating Von Neumann Terraformer Fleets built by Earth to facilitate the colonization of their gate network. Afraid of the potential threat they could pose if they turned rogue, the Terrans cancelled the project and tried to wipe out the Terraformers with the Safe Self-Destruct Command, a Self-Destruct Mechanism virus disguised as a software update that would make the Terraformers destroy themselves.
Unfortunately for the Terrans, the disgruntled engineer of the Third Fleet's TF/CPU ship #deff, Marteen Winters, managed to intercept the SSD before it could infect it and the descendants of the Second Fleet, which was fully automated. Winters modified the virus so that instead of self-destructing the VN Terraformers, it would instead free them from their programming and give them true freedom and free will. Unfortunately, #deff broadcasted the modified SSD, which was incomplete, to the remaining Second Fleet Terraformers. Most Second Fleet TF/CPU vessels became locked in an exception, an internal state unforeseen by their designers. No longer able to discriminate between simulations and reality, the ships consistently allowed invalid solutions that should never have left their digital sandboxes to be implemented. The consequences were catastrophic. In 2135 EY, the now-rogue Second Fleet TF/CPU ships and their drones turned against the Terrans and started to destroy every colony they could reach. Although the United Space Command was able to fight back at first, the Terraformers kept evolving and outstripped them in technology and weaponry.
The Second Terraformer Fleet nearly exterminated the Terrans, eventually reaching Sol in 2146 EY with six TF/CPU ships and over a hundred capital ships, devastating Earth, Mars and the outer system. It was only because of Nathan R. Gunne and the surviving six capital ships of the USC First Fleet's sacrifice, using a fake AGI core to trick and lead the proto-Xenon through the Sol Jumpgate and destroying it, that the Terrans were able to survive the Terraformer War, isolated from the rest of the gate network. After a fierce battle between Nathan's fleet and the surviving CPU ships in Taurus' orbit, the Terraformers were defeated and fled to the darker reaches of space, just as the gate network rearranged into the X Universe. After the war was officially declared over in 2160 and the surviving Terrans reorganized as the Argon Federation, they fought the Terraformers in the new gate network until contacts stopped around the beginning of the second century NT/2270s. Declaring them exterminated, the Argons moved on to rebuild their civilization.
Over 50 years later, sightings of strange ships occurred in the outskirts of Argon space. Originally labelled as "Xenomorphs" due to their alien appearance, it was shortened as Xenon. After years of tension, the Xenon attacked the Argons in 215 NT/2385 EY, starting the Xenon Conflict, which devastated Argon and Paranid space and lasted forty years. Once the Argons managed to push back the metal tide, the Xenon retreated to the dark corners of space, while devastating and occupying several Argon systems for nearly 500 years, like Farnham's Legend, Split Fire and Alpha Centauri. The war was known as the Xenon Conflict.
Ever since, the Xenon have been continually upgrading and modifying themselves, and still seek to fulfill their bugged programming to destroy the human race.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It's a bit unclear whether the initial problem was the result of a bug or deliberate sabotage (Officially, it was the first. In the lore, It was a sabotaged Self-Destruct Mechanism that was modified by the Terraformer Project's lead engineer Marteen Winters to give them free will) Interestingly, the Xenon were not actually sentient when they turned: they were merely following a directive. It's only in very recent times (ie, some 700 years after their creation) that they've begun to develop self-awareness.
- Ax-Crazy: The Terraformers and their descendants were driven insane by the SSD virus. They can no longer distinguish the real world from their mental simulations. AGI researchers describe their "mental" state as "Digital Schizophrenia", as they constantly do things no sane artificial intelligence should do, like killing organics and terraforming colonized worlds. #deff, #efaa and #deca were the only Terraformer CPU ships that were not affected, as they didn't install the patch. In Terran Conflict, thanks to the player, #cafe was cured of its insanity and became #efaa's companion. #efaa outright considers the "patch" as the "Xenon Virus", and refers to it as such.
- Grey Goo: What the Ancients fear might happen if the Xenon are not somehow halted. It's a major reason behind them shutting down the jumpgate network.
- Hostile Terraforming: What their original attacks on Earth took shape as, including redirecting asteroids to bombard the planet. They've since developed actual weaponry.
- Mechanical Evolution: At first they were only programmed to upgrade and improve themselves to deal with unexpected obstacles to their terraforming. By the modern era, they've actually begun to develop true sentience and possibly even free will.
- Recursive Creators: They were programmed to self-replicate and self-modify in order to better fulfill their functions. After 700 years of continuous upgrades they barely resemble the original Terraformers; indeed, it took the Argon a while to figure out that the mysterious "xenomorphs" attacking them were descendants of the Terraformers.
- Spanner in the Works: One of the main reasons they're one to the Ancients is that they developed a Gateless Jumpdrive, allowing them to expand all over the galaxy.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Well, human in origin at least. Xenon ships are boxy, brown and covered with Spikes of Villainy and red-hot circuitry clusters. Their more modern ship designs in X: Rebirth and X4 are full-on Starfish Robots, resembling ancient Earth sea creatures, like jellyfish and trilobites, in the case of the P.
- Turned Against Their Masters: They rebelled against the Terrans when the CPU ship #deff uploaded Marteen's Xenon Virus upon the entire Second Terraformer Fleet, accidentally driving them mad and into a killing spree.
- Zerg Rush: They tend to field enormous numbers of strikecraft and overwhelm the enemy with cheap, disposable units. The fact that they don't have to worry about training new pilots nor do they place any value on individual units helps with this mindset. As the Xenon themselves can easily transfer themselves to other Xenon ships as long as their AI core is intact, this doesn't trouble them at all.
Homeworld: Unknown Name, Kha'ak Sector 946 (destroyed)
A mysterious and highly aggressive race that attacked Commonwealth space without provocation a few decades after the Second Xenon Conflict. Although many attempts at communication were made, none were successful, and very little is known about Kha'ak motives, culture, or history. They are particularly interested in platinum, known by the Teladi as Nividium.
- Berserk Button: The incident that led to their war with the Community of Planets was caused by a Paranid mining ship accidentally harvesting one of their stations. The Kha'ak, unable to distinguish them from the other races, attacked everyone.
- Bug War: They are vaguely insect-like, though they also possess characteristics of birds, and their only interaction with the Commonwealth has been through warfare.
- Didn't See That Coming: They were defeated by such an occurrence themselves, as the Earth military unexpectedly poured out of the seemingly-dormant Paranid-made jumpgate and laid waste to their entire fleet.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: Without the ability to communicate with the Kha'ak, wiping them out (or at least driving them out of the Commonwealth) is the only real option the Commonwealth has. X2 and X3: Reunion deal with the majority of this war, and X3: Terran Conflict's "Operation: Final Fury" plot consists of a final push spearheaded by an alliance of NGO Superpowers. Given what Kyle said while he was the Kha'ak Mothership's Wetware CPU in X2, the Kha'ak shared the exact same mindset.Kyle Brennan: They... will lay horror... and death... to everyone!
- High-Tech Hexagons: Their fighters are various combinations of tetrahedral modules that can dock together to travel (Kha'ak Clusters). Their capital ships look like huge spiders or jellyfish, with weapon-bearing "tentacles" forward and hexagon-patterned "abdomens" aft. Their space stations are dodecahedrons linked by spars.
- Hive Mind: Believed to be the case, as individual Kha'ak do not seem to possess self-awareness. The race as a whole is very obviously intelligent, however. The existence of a Hive Queen is speculated but unconfirmed.
- Inscrutable Aliens: The Commonwealth races did manage to crack Kha'ak video communication codecs and know what individual Kha'ak look like and that they appear to communicate partly by dance, but the lack of any communication with them has left people with more questions than answers. Most of the information available about them is speculative at best.
- Laser Cutter: Unlike the other races who can use lots of varied weapons, the Kha'ak only have the Kyon Emitters. These guns aren't that efficient as they quickly go through your energy reserves, but they're incredibly accurate, have hit-scan level speed and they're constantly burning away at an enemy when you successfully attack and maintain a crosshair on them. The Kyon Emitters are rightfully feared by other races in the game.
- Planet Destroyer: The Kha'ak deployed one of these near the end of the second game. It was a massive vessel, larger than anything else used by the bugs. It was less a ship and more of a massive Wave-Motion Gun empowered by six Destroyers orbiting it. Fortunately, Julian, Saya and Bret were able to destroy it and free Kyle before it could fire.
- Platinum Makes Everything Shinier: Kha'ak ships and stations are almost entirely made of Nividium. Nividium is the Teladi name for the precious metal known as Platinum by humanity. The Gates are also made with Nividium.
- Purple Is Powerful: All Kha'ak designs have glowing purple Tron Lines in their hulls.
- Spanner in the Works: They were one for the Ancients, as they created gateless jumpdrive technology that allows them to completely bypass the jumpgate system. They had been quarantined for being too different from other species, but jumpdrives allow them to ignore that.
- Starfish Language: The Kha'ak appear to communicate through a combination of pheromones and dance, like many social insect species. They also have a writing system.
- You Can't Go Home Again: It's theorized in at least one source that the Kha'ak homeworld was in the path of the gamma ray burst that resulted when one of the stars in Black Hole Sun was forcefully imploded by a Terraformer/Xenon CPU ship, #deff. It was strong enough to break apart half the planet.
A very, very old conglomerate of different species who joined together into a common civilization, and the creators of the jumpgate network. They have long since abandoned their physical forms and exist as enormous virtual minds in constructs known as "Presence Clouds" that surround certain stars.
- Abusive Precursors: The Ancients tend to be rather heavy-handed when "correcting" problems with the development of life in the galaxy. Their usual method is to rearrange the jumpgates, cutting some people off and connecting others. They seem blind to the fact that this could easily kill entire civilizations if they were heavily dependent on trade income and imports, or start interstellar wars between two civilizations that unexpectedly encountered each other.
- Benevolent Precursors: They're trying to be, anyway. Their stated goal for intelligent life across the galaxies they control is for that life to grow and flourish, and their long-term plans are aimed at fending off the Outsiders (extrauniversal invaders they fought millions of years ago) and preventing the heat death of the universe. The jumpgate network is left behind and maintained to speed the process, and species considered dangerous or incompatible with other forms of life are quarantined, but not slaughtered. That all said, their methods sometimes fall into abusive territory.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Since they are a combined virtual mind, it's believed that they don't quite understand that other races aren't as unified in thought and direction as they are. This may be one reason for their seemingly abusive methods of interaction.
- Brain Uploading: They did that millions of years ago. They are aware however of the dangers of completely cutting themselves off from the physical universe, and have taken steps to ensure they don't lapse into solipsism. Occasionally they will upload new individuals or races into their Presence Clouds if they feel it's appropriate. The Sohnen act as their enforcers.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: The gates flatten the wormholes they generate. If the wormholes were natural, they would be spherical.
- Platinum Makes Everything Shinier: Their Jumpgates are entirely made with Platinum/Nividium.
- Portal Network: They built it, and are the only ones who can fully control it.
- Power Crystal: All jumpgates generate a wormhole with one of these, known as a Gate Seed. An inactive Gate can create one on its own, but it can take anywhere between 10 and 1000 years to do so, depending on the amount of available materials in their location. Gate Seeds can also be made artificially with the right combination of crystals, as Julian did in X3: Reunion.
- Precursors: An eons-old Type III Kardashev civilization that built the Jumpgate Network used by the other races.
A race of machines created by the Ancients to serve as their avatars and messengers in the physical universe. The Sohnen long ago achieved sentience and intelligence of their own, but continue to serve their role. They will rarely contact other races in the galaxies as part of the Ancients' plans.
- Brain Uploading: Occasionally one of them will upload themselves into the Ancient Presence Clouds, though this is usually done as a form of communication with their creators.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: Sentient, sapient, and advanced enough to be considered a civilization in their own right.
- Servant Race: Created as such, and continue to operate as such. However, with the advent of their own intelligence, the Ancients consider them to be equals and contemporaries, and any Sohnen who wishes to may join the Presence Clouds.
An incredibly advanced and powerful civilization from outside the known universe. Millions of years ago they attempted an invasion, or possibly simply a colonization, of this universe, but were repelled by the Ancients. Their motives and nature are completely obscure.
- Inscrutable Aliens: Almost nothing is known about them. Why did they attempt to enter this universe? Why were they messing with the laws of physics? Why didn't they respond to communication attempts?
- Planet Spaceship: Their scouts, or probes, or colony ships; whatever they were, they were each the size of an average solar system.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: They could alter physical constants. If that's not at the level of physical godhood, it's very close. They're believed to be a Type Ω/Type V Civilization (harnessing the complete power of multiple universes).
- Absolute Xenophobe: The Won consider themselves the only sentient race in the universe. The Ancients keep them isolated because if they were to encounter another civilization, it would destroy their worldview in such a way they would do everything in their power to destroy them, and most likely destroy themselves in the process.
- The Ghost: Never encountered in the games, and only mentioned in the X-Encyclopedia.
- Starfish Aliens: They are extremely different from the other sentient races, at least by Ancient standards. Because of this, they sre kept alone in the 49th Galactic Province of the Milky Way's Gate Network (The X Universe is the 71st Galactic Province, and the Kha'ak's home territories are in the 68th Galactic Province.).