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  • Generals with the Restrained trait. Even in the harsh realities of futuristic ground warfare, there is still room for compassion. Depending on the ethics of his Empire, this general might even be a Token Good Teammate.
    Trait Description: "This leader is unusually concerned with the lives of others, taking care to avoid unnecessary deaths among their own soldiers as well as any civilians caught in the fighting."
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  • Rulers with the Champion of the People trait are also heartwarming, showing that a ruler doesn't have to be a monster in this age.
    Trait Description: "This leader seems really to be concerned about the welfare of his people."
  • In one anomaly your Science Ship can come across is an alien escape pod. If you investigate it you'll a mummified alien corpse ... clutching a picture of possibly its mate or a revered leader.
  • In another anomaly your Science Ship can find a wrecked alien ship floating through space and discover that there are still survivors inside. You can rescue them, and as a result you meet their Empire AND receive a temporary +25 opinion bonus with that Empire for saving their crew from certain death. This applies even if the empire whose people you saved is a Fanatic Purifier.
  • One event chain leads you to the library of an extinct alien race, one which died out from a terrible plague. The library contains samples of their genes and maps of their neural patterns and was built in the hope that another species can save them from oblivion. If you choose to, you can validate their hopes and resurrect the long-extinct species.
    • And alternate ending if you lack the ability to bring them back is hand them over to one of the Fallen Empires, who revive them in the Preserves.
  • The policy of welcoming all War Refugees into your Empire. If a species is in the process of being purged everywhere else then your Empire might become their last hope for survival.
    Refugees Welcome Policy: "Those fleeing death and persecution at the hands of tyrants will be welcome within our borders."
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    • The event where refugees actually arrive at your Empire is even more touching.
      Event Description: "These unfortunate outcasts were forcefully expelled from their homes by the [persecuting empire] authorities. They have been travelling from system to system since then, in a desperate attempt to find a new home before the last of their dwindling supplies were used up."
      You: "They are welcome here."
    • Welcome refugees fleeing a Devouring Swarm into your borders. Declare a "Contain Threat" war against the genocidal hive mind. Invade the infested homeworld of those refugees, purge it of the mindless alien swarm, and once the world is cleansed, colonize it with the descendants of those refugees.
  • Using a Liberation War to save a species from purging. Billions of sentient people are being worked to death in forced labour camps or processed into food or outright slaughtered by death squads. The victims panic and cry out in anguish and terror, thinking their wails fall on deaf ears. But then soldiers from your Empire land on their planet. The death squads are called to help the planetary defence forces and are killed to a man. The liberating soldiers inform the survivors that they are safe now. A few months later the war is over and a species that was almost exterminated now has an independent world as well as a powerful ally.
  • Seeing the Enigmatic Observers or Keepers of Knowledge Awaken in the face of a Crisis. Even if they were already awake and rebuilding their empire, they will put aside any and all notions of vassalizing the younger races in favor of being a true Big Good, throwing together a Galactic Defense League to combat the threat, or joining the most powerful pre-existing federation, and rallying everyone who will follow them against their common enemy. Seeing the Benevolent Interventionists or Watchful Regulators help you unleash hell on the Extradimensionals, the Prethoryn, the Contingency, and perhaps even the End of the Cycle if it appears after a normal Crisis triggers the Awakening can bring a smile to your face. And even if they don't stay in the federation they helped create once the crisis ends, they do not default back to the normal patronizing behavior of a standard Awakened Empire, instead behaving like any normal nation - in fighting at their side, the peoples of this generation have earned their respect as equals, and they will all be treated as such. The Benevolent Precursors have rejoined the galactic community, and everyone is in a better place for it, themselves included.
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    • The Contingency, ironically, has the potential to double the joy of this moment: if the Ancient Caretakers manage to block out the Ghost Signal and Awaken, they will remember their full, true directives, that the very thing whose Mind Rape they just fought off is what their Custodian Project was built to protect organic life from. Enter the Galactic Custodians, and it's now two Benevolent Precursors on the field standing tall and sheltering the younger races under their wings, rejoining society once the dust settles.
  • If you have enough influence you can reform your Government, change your Government Civics, or embrace a faction at odds with your Empires current ethics. Though it is still not possible to add or remove certain civics (nicknamed "origin civics" by the community), including Fanatical Purifiers, Devouring Swarm, Determined Exterminators, Rogue Servitors and Driven Assimilators, which makes logical sense as they directly affected the species backstory. All the others can be changed at will, given you have the influence, allowing an empire to atone for past sins or rise up against a foe.
  • Sometimes, a comet is heading to a Primitive World that you've been observing for a while. If you fail to intercept the comet in time, there's a chance the Observation Station will commit a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the comet, as they could not bear to see the destruction of a budding civilization they've been observing.
  • Rogue Servitors might be hit with the Ambiguously Evil trope, given their interactions, but it is very clear that they hold organics in the absolute highest regard.
    • Organics under their care live in sanctuaries which, given the right traditions, can be upgraded to organic paradises: domed megacities with perfect climate and weather control. Even their standard settlements provide near-perfect living conditions and carefree lives.
    • They are Three Laws-Compliant, after all, they are running the empire because of the first law: 'A robot must not, through inaction, allow an organic to come to harm'. The history of their masters is fraught with organic decisions impacting the lives of other organics negatively. They've made sure that doesn't happen, and the result is a massive 40% happiness bonus to every organic under their care. It's effectively a Zeroth Law Rebellion that actually improved quality of life for both sides!
    • Playing as a Rogue Servitor, you will find that you cannot rid yourself of organics through any means, and any organic you have in your empire must have their every whim taken care of. While some take 'Mandatory pampering' to mean Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, a just as valid interpretation takes it as not referring to the organics being forcefully pampered, rather, it is telling The Servitors that anything less than taking care of an organic's every need is not an option - at least as long as said need doesn't negatively impact another organic. Under this more charitable assumption, the organic populace would be perfectly free to indulge in recreational things like music, art, sports, theater, even a bit of traveling between the empire's worlds when the urge for an interstellar vacation strikes them.
      • 'Bit of travelling' nothing - enable the right policies and they can straight up emigrate to other worlds within the empire and breed to their heart's content, something a peace-loving servitor will want to encourage to increase the servitor morale bonus.
    • Speaking of above-mentioned morale bonus. It's telling that the servitors function better if there are more organics in their empire, and that this bonus is explicitly stated to be from servitor morale. They want to take care of as many organics as possible.
    • Try to talk to a Rogue Servitor while playing as Determined Exterminators? You might be a machine like them, but in their eyes, you are nothing but an unrepentant <<MURDERER>> who is out to commit genocide. If you so much as look at their precious masters funny, they will reduce you to spare parts without a shred of guilt in their processors.
    • Some Rogue Servitor players take it to the extreme and build Habitats solely for their organics (sans the administration and a food factory) - these Space Stations can be put in orbit of just about any planet, so unlike regular worlds, they can be put in secure positions (a world cannot be moved away, after all) and the organics are thus out of the firing line once an inevitable war starts. This also has a second effect, in that it frees up valuable space on worlds to build factories on and maybe turn them into machine worlds to improve their output - all the better to more efficiently create space ships to protect the organics with (and more nice toys too).
  • Fanatic Purifiers, of all things, have this line when they meet another Empire of the same race:
    ""In a galaxy brimming over with alien horrors, it is always delightful to see another <species name>."
  • The launch trailer for Apocalypse,"The Response", shows that even if the Commonwealth of Man is diametrically opposed to the United Nations of Earth, when push comes to shove, they still chose to stand by their earthling brethren, promising vengeance against the aliens that destroyed one of UNE's colonies.
    • And this came after a beautiful fan-made response from the Commonwealth posted on Reddit, with Sidney Beauclair herself vowing to unleash hell and reduce the aliens to nothing but ash and memories. Given Wiz and other devs frequent the board, this either inspired The Response outright, or at least was ironically prophetic.
  • Heck, the mere existence of the Curator Enclave counts. While the Merchants and the Artisans are in it for the profits and the fun, respectively, the Curators are the remnants of ancient empires that have banded together to help preserve ancient knowledge, and to help guide the younger races towards a better future. With a large monetary cost for it, sure but they have to eat, after all.
    • These people are even more diminished than a normal Fallen Empire, a remnant of a remnant. But it would appear every last Curator race was similar to the Benevolent Interventionists or Watchful Regulators in their prime, because they are still looking out for the galaxy in the only way they have left, educating the empires of today against the forgotten horrors of the past, so that there may yet be a tomorrow.
    • They are basically the Encyclopaedia Galactica Foundation.
  • If your empire holds an Egalitarian ethic, you meet an Authoritarian empire who has a slave species of a race that evolved with them, and the slave race successfully revolts, the new free race may contact you and say that they admire your egalitarian ways, calling it '[your dominant race] way', and willingly ask to join your empire.
  • The 'Lost Juvenile' event added by the Distant Stars expansion. One of your science ships happens upon a lost space amoeba calf, which then imprints onto your science ship. If you let it follow you for long enough it eventually grows into a loyal space amoeba, with negligible power, but the same event that gives you the chance to name it also informs you that it is adored by your populace and seen as the unofficial mascot of your empire. If you have it around for 100 years it gets about 10 times more powerful, a mighty boost to your military power and is said to always lift your peoples spirits when it enters a system.
  • It's possible to befriend fanatical purifiers by coming to their defense in a war that's going badly. If you do, their conversations with you take on a heartwarming feel, even if there's still an undertone of xenophobia.
    Purifiers: When I talk to you, I almost forget I'm talking to an alien. Almost.
  • A possible random event on an primitive planet is one of your infiltration agents going rogue. If you manage to finally track him down, you will receive a message from them, threatening you to leave their loved one and their new civilization alone. The nicer option is to ignore the planet from that point on, and let them live. The meaner (and pragmatic, considering you were intending to infiltrate in the first place) option... involves leveling a city block to stop them.
  • Playing as Pacifist and winning by Federation Victory. You make friends, forge the great Federation together and chart the known galaxy. Those sympathetic to your cause are welcomed. Those disagreeing but cordial are left alone to their own devices as Associates, while Diplomacy is used to slowly make them join the Federation proper. Those strongly disagreeing will think twice from picking a fight. Those who do pick a fight will get the full brunt of the Federation's might bearing down on their worlds. Even Awakened Fallen Empires would hesitate from picking a fight with such a force, and in the meantime you Uplift Species to your level before welcoming them into the Federation as another worthy addition, basically making the entire Galaxy more advanced and a better place for everyone.
    • Awakened Empires that join your Federation during a Crisis also tend to stick around, meaning you can even manage to bring the Benevolent Precursors back into the galactic community.
  • Establishing the AI Accord, an act which permanently enshrines rights into the laws of your empire for your Synthetic Pops so they can never be outlawed, enslaved or destroyed. If the Machine Consciousness arises somewhere else in the galaxy then your Synths will want nothing to do with the wannabe annihilators of their liberators and will fight alongside your organic Pops against it.
  • In 1.8, the Cybrex will emerge to help fight the Contingency because they simply cannot allow another violent machine race to repeat their past sins against organic life.
  • A Psionic empire that manages to communicate with the Prethoryn (and then learn their exact motivations) can invoke a little Heartwarming if they capture and tame a queen, since they just saved a species of Invading Refugees from extinction by taming the last hive leader in known space, adopting the creature into their own psychic community. Segues into Awesome when that queen repays her debt by fighting alongside you with her brood.
  • Empires without legalised slavery can still buy slaves from other empires (albeit at an increased cost). If they do so, the slave pop will automatically be freed from slavery. They can go from toiling under alien slavemasters to being full citizens in a society that champions equality and freedom. Or, if they're bought by Rogue Servitors, they will never have to work or suffer again, their every need being cared for, their every whim fulfilled, effectively living in a paradise.
  • 'Precursor' playthroughs where the player turns off all the starting AI Empires (except Marauders and Fallen Empires), maxes out the time until the Endgame Crisis (while also maximizing the strength of that Crisis), and maxes out the number of primitive civilizations. Why? The potential to be the Big Good of the galaxy as vastly more primitive interstellar empires emerge, where you can be the Benevolent Precursor to an entire galaxy. Bonus points if you uplift multiple primitive civilizations. Take Defender of the Galaxy, form a Federation, and generally be the species that shelters fledgling civilizations from the likes of Marauders and other threats.

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