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Lets Play / Stellaris Invicta

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"Over a century ago, we paid for our future in blood.…
…A century ago our forefathers fought the right to exist.…
…And so today, as ships and armies march forward under the banner of our great nation, they carry with them a sacred fire that a century ago was lit in the heart of all mankind. Soon that fire will blaze across the stars, and should any stand against us, THAT FIRE WILL BURN THEIR FIELDS AND BOIL THEIR OCEANS, UNTIL THEIR MOUNTAINS CRACK AND EVERY HOPE IS BURNED TO ASH! THE ENTIRE GALAXY WILL KNOW: IF WE CANNOT MOVE HEAVEN, WE SHALL RAISE HELL!
— Marc, opening speech

Stellaris Invicta is a Stellaris Let's Play on Twitch created by the YouTube channel The Templin Institute. It focuses on the Greater Terran Union, the military regime that has led humanity ever since it threw off an Alien Invasion by a race called the Tyrum from 2089 to 2096, later emerging onto the galactic stage as a rising imperial power dedicated to making sure that humanity is never threatened by invasion again.

In addition to videos on the centuries-long campaign of the Greater Terran Union, the Templin Institute has also released supplemental videos detailing its history and organization. The entire series can be viewed here.

A second season, focusing on a new human civilization, has been announced. On September 4, 2020, it was announced it will be focused on the Antares Confederacy, descended from a colonization fleet that left Earth in 2159 only for a wormhole accident to dump them in the wrong system, where they were forced to survive on a harsh Death World instead of the thriving, developed colony they were originally heading to. What's more, the leaders of the Lost Colony have figured out that something terrible has happened to Earth, and that, if they ever do return to their homeworld, the Confederacy may have to liberate it. In addition to a Stellaris Let's Play, season two will also feature a Cities: Skylines Lets Play titled Skylines Invicta: Founders of Antares, focused on the Antares Confederacy's capital of Sagallo as it grows from a small colonial outpost to the seat of a galactic empire.


Stellaris Invicta provides examples of the following tropes:

    Season one 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Pretty much the state of the GTU post-world cracking the Tyrum homeworld.
  • Alien Invasion:
    • Centuries prior to the start of the series, Earth was invaded by the Tyrum. However, humanity managed to cripple the invaders’ orbital command ship with an ICBM barrage, and then spent years fighting the invaders tooth and nail for control of Earth. Eventually, the invaders were pushed off of Earth, though not without great cost.
    • You could argue, and many in the GTU have, that humanity played the role of alien invaders for the Wessari, the Skiro, and the Vol Hive.
  • The Alliance: Much to its surprise, the GTU found itself in an alliance of convenience to avoid entanglement in a war between two fallen empires. For added embarrassment, the alliance included its erstwhile military antagonist, the Florian Matriarchy.
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: The Florian Matriarchy declares war on the GTU for building a Dyson Sphere around Barnard's Star and thus removing it from their skies. The Florian Matriarchy lies hundreds of light years from GTU territory. Barnard's Star lies six light years from Earth, and yet is so dim that it is impossible to see with the naked eye.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The GTU's destruction of the Tyrum homeworld happened on Christmas Eve.
    "'Twas the night before Vengeance, and all throughout space, The fleets had assembled, to destroy the whole Tyrum race."
  • Big "NEVER!": How the High Marshall responded to the demands of the Jaz'Gavaz and Xani to join them or suffer.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The GTU's final pincers move against the Unbidden, thanks to a fleet mustering in neighboring systems that lasted an entire year.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With the Wessari. Eventually.
  • Dyson Sphere: The GTU built one around Barnard's Star. This of course lead to a war with the Florian Matriarchy mentioned above.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Union's revenge against the Tyrum, as delivered to their homeworld.
  • Enemy of My Enemy: The GTU was the beneficiary of this trope as many former enemies joined it in mutual defense against the Fallen Empires and, later, the Unbidden.
  • Forever War:
    • Over the course of 232 years, from 2263 to 2495, the Terran Union was locked in conflict with the Algan Republic and its allies, fighting a total of seven wars before finally conquering them outright.
    • From 2517 to 2661, the GTU finds itself locked in a seemingly endless stream of wars, first with the Vol Hive, then the Florian Matriarchy, then the NEX computer network, then pretty much the entire galaxy in the Five Front War, then the Fallen Empires of the Mesh Ben and the Jas Gavaz, and then finally with the Unbidden.
  • Genocide Backfire: The GTU's shattering of the Tyrum homeworld leads to near-universal condemnation from the other galactic powers.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The GTU appears to have little problem with genocide, provided it is against hive minds.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Invoked in-universe, as some members of the Union believe that by invading the Wessari homeworld, the Union has become no better than the aliens who invaded Earth in 2090.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Great Khan's successor performs one during the war with the Unbidden, delaying them from conquering a vital system long enough for GTU reinforcements to arrive.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Tyrum Consciousness, who were the aliens responsible for invading Earth back in 2090.
  • Human Resources: The GTU, after invading the Vol Hive, thought they could consider themselves heroes after liberating a slave race from the Hive's clutches. Unfortunately the species, though humanoid, was simply mindless livestock.
  • Knight Templar: No matter how noble their intentions, it's undeniable that the GTU is taking some rather distressing actions to ensure humanity's prosperity.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Pretty much sums up the relationship between the GTU and the Wessari.
  • Merchant City: Karma, capital of the planet Moksha, and the Vaikuntha system. This is due to the fact that Vaikuntha holds the only group of settlements in the long and only hyperlane corridor conecting the outer rim to the core sectors, making it effectively the only possible route through which to move people and goods between both halves of the GTU.
  • Portal Network: The Gateways, which span the galaxy and were built by a mysterious, long-gone Precursor race (as is the case in Stellaris). The GTU theorizes that the Tyrum used a Gateway near Sol to invade Earth back in 2090. They eventually use one to return the favour, and then start building their own.
  • Planet Destroyer: The exact function for what the Sword of Terra was built.
  • Plant Aliens: The GTU has encountered at least three: The Sophox Garden of Worlds, the Algan Republic, and the Florian Matriarchy.
  • Ring World Planet: The GTU constructs one in the outer L-Cluster, which, together with the energy from the Dyson Sphere, provided the resources to counter the Fallen Empires and the Unbidden.
  • Rising Empire: The Greater Terran Union, even while being a great empire already, is still on it's way to grow even larger and more powerful.
  • Robot War The mid-game crisis is an AI uprising by a networked intelligence called NEX.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Somewhat averted, The GTU currently has fleets consisting of Corvettes, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships, Battlestars, and a Planet Cracker.
  • Those Were Only Their Scouts: The GTU's battle against a networked AI called NEX turned out to be a pre-emptive strike in a gigantic combined offensive comprising most of the major powers in the galaxy.
  • The Unfought: The GTU never fought the Great Khan, since they were not an immediate threat to themselves and died before they could encroach on their holdings.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Following the destruction of the Tyrum Consciousness the GTU began to grow arrogant and believed no one would ever be able to challenge them. This caused the GTU to seriously underestimate the Florian Matriarchy and their rivals, resulting in a costly and devastating war that proved otherwise.

    Season two 
  • Death World: The system that the ships landed up in was filled with these. Of the nineteen settlements they established across eight planets, only eleven colonies on six planets survived, and the fate of one colony is classified. It was 149 years after first landing when regular contact between the surviving colonies was reestablished, and by that time, they had evolved into separate nations entirely and formed four separate power blocs.
    • Dakarai, the most habitable and Earthlike world in the Antares system, is blessed with great mineral wealth and a perfect climate for growing human crops... but is also plagued by massive hurricanes owing to its slightly larger oceans and warmer temperature compared to Earth. Needless to say, it is the most populated planet in the Antares system, and the Republic of Rutiva and the Federation of Jut Fareed, the Confederacy's two largest and most powerful nations, both originated on this planet.
    • The ocean world of Hai is the second most populated and habitable planet in the system. It shares Dakarai's propensity for mega-hurricanes, but it lacks mineral wealth and natural resources, most of which are found on the planet's sole continent. The Republic of Chengatai is based on that continent, and the much smaller Federation of Rhumdara is based on Hai's many island chains.
    • Lindiwe was initially thought to be a great choice for settlement, but serious environmental issues eventually cropped up, too late for them to relocate. Along the banks of the planet's largest river, a giant insect carried a deadly plague that killed about 30% of the colonists living there, and near the colony of Sagallo, the soil composition caused the crops they attempted to grow to asphyxiate themselves; only a breakthrough in genetic engineering by a scientist named Rho Phan and the support of a sympathetic officer named Banza allowed them to solve their food problem (and solve their energy problem while they were at it). The republics of Maltuan, Alfjari-Vet, and Mandakir are based here, as is the Confederacy's capital at Sagallo.
    • Alhaji lacks oceans, but is still blessed with fertile soils and serves as the breadbasket of the Antares system. The Union of Thanh-Jenal controls the entire planet.
    • Vinh, another ocean world, is plagued by volcanism but blessed with enormous mineral wealth and exotic resources. The Commonwealth of Embasora controls the entire planet.
    • Vinh has a single moon, Ziva, a jungle world where said jungle is actively hostile to human life, but is also the only world with life forms as evolutionarily complex as Earth's. The Sabmadi Republic, one of the planet's two nations, only survived because of the firepower of its military drones, while the Tehnali Republic was founded by those who hid in underground caves to escape the hostile wildlife. Two other colonies on Ziva both failed.
    • Ariane seemed like a pleasant world at first and was even considered the jewel of the Antares system, but none of the colonies that landed there survived, owing to its Earthlike qualities being such that the colonists were given only the bare minimum equipment needed for terraforming... only for them to discover too late that the anomalies in the planet's magnetic field would cause extrasolar radiation to kill their crops and give them cancer. Humans are still banned from visiting its surface.
    • Finally, the alpine world of Nakiska is a closely guarded secret and, like Ariane, an exclusion zone, with what little is known about it concerning its cool climate, towering mountains, and vast alien forests. Officially, the Confederacy says that no attempts were ever made to colonize this planet, but its constituent republics all have evidence proving that one colony ship did in fact land there, and the fate of said colony ship has been fodder for Conspiracy Theorists throughout the Confederacy. What's more, lights have been documented as appearing on its surface, which the Confederacy dismisses as natural phenomena.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In theory. After defeating the Vrul, the Confederacy grants them full citizenship and free movement within their territory, and begins to reconstruct their economy.
  • Dug Too Deep: The reason why the Vrul homeworld was destroyed. Out-of-control mining operations fueled by greed eventually destabilized the planet's crust and caused its destruction.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The fate of Vrul-Ho, taking much of its population with it. Furious that they callously left billions to die (and seeing an opportunity to neutralize an aggressive neighbor), the Confederacy invaded the Vrul Salvation League.
  • Earth That Was:
    • Officially, the Antares Confederacy tells the public that it received no messages from Earth after passing through the wormhole. In truth, their leaders received over a hundred mostly garbled messages implying that something very bad happened to Earth, such that they suspect that, if they ever return home, it will be to liberate their homeworld. It turns out that Earth was invaded by aliens, who created a collaborator regime called the United Terran Protectorates.
    • On an alien level, this also happened more literally to Vrul-Ho.
  • Eagleland: The Confederacy's casus belli against the Vrul was essentially to liberate them from themselves.
  • Entitled to Have You: Apparently, the Terran Protectorate's rulers, the Skrek, have declared their right to the Antares Confederacy.
  • The Federation: The Confederacy joins into a Galactic Union with the Cloister of the Spirits after subduing the Vrul.
  • Fictional United Nations: The Confederacy sends envoys to the Galactic Community, where they make first contact with the United Terran Protectorates.
  • Gaia's Lament: An alien example. Vrul-Ho was destroyed by mining operations that eventually Dug Too Deep and destabilized the planet's crust, rendering it uninhabitable and forcing the evacuation of as much of the Vrul elite as they could to a new world.
  • Humans Are White: Averted. The people aboard the Earhart colonization fleet mostly came from the "Third World", specifically Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean, and South America, as the first wave of colonists to the original Antares system came mostly from the world's wealthier nations. It's mentioned that Islam is the largest religion in the Confederacy, followed by Christianity, Hinduism, and atheism, and while the Confederacy's most common languages include French and Spanish, they also include Swahili, Arabic, and Vietnamese.
  • Kill the Poor: The Vrul Salvation League did this on a ghoulish scale. Once it was learned that their homeworld Vrul-Ho was dying thanks to their own greed, the Vrul set out to colonize a new world, Torix — but only the elite were invited to go. The rest of the Vrul were worked to death in the mines on their doomed homeworld, given the false promise of a ticket to Torix as a reward for their work. The Antares Confederacy is so appalled by how the Vrul treated their own people that it leads them to declare war.
  • Lost Colony: The Antares Confederacy, which never reached its intended destination and instead landed up in a system full of Death Worlds. And it turns out they were lucky to be cut off from Earth.
  • Mythology Gag: Earth's alien rulers, the Skrek, have the same avatar as the Tyrum from season 1.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Previously undiscovered instabilities in the wormhole between Sol and the original Antares system caused the colonization fleet to get sent off course to an uncharted star system. What's more, it's implied that this may be connected to whatever happened to Earth.
  • Paradise Planet: The original Antares system was the site of the first planet humanity discovered that was amenable to human habitation. The Earhart colonization fleet was expecting to colonize this planet, where the first wave of colonists had already built infrastructure in anticipation of their arrival.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: "Hic manebimus optime" — "here we will remain most excellently" — is the slogan of the Confederacy. It comes from Livy, who said that it was first uttered by the centurion Marcus Furius Camillus in an address to the Roman Senate when they planned to evacuate Rome in anticipation of an attack by the Gauls, and was adopted by the Confederacy for their refusal to give up in the face of adversity.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The war against the Athorian Empire ends with the prior status quo restored, with neither side making any gains, and with the Confederacy at war with the Athorians' far larger and more powerful ally, the Beldross Empire.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The second race the Confederacy encounters, the Vrul, are a genocidal race of reptilian Fanatical Purifiers.
  • Shout-Out: The home system of the Cloister of the Spirits is named Chromatica.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The first aliens encountered by the Confederacy, the Cloister of the Spirits, are a race of friendly, spiritualist rock people.
  • Take a Third Option: The Confederacy is descended from the Non-Aligned Movement, formed by the smaller colonies who opposed the dominance of the Antares system by its three superpowers.
  • United Space of America: Some of the specifics of the Confederacy's byzantine governmental system seem quite similar to those of the United States. Namely, it has a bicameral legislature, with the Chamber of Representatives meant to represent the people (members are elected democratically and apportioned according to the population) while the Senate is meant to represent the Confederacy's constituent republics (each republic gets equal representation, and Senators are selected by the leadership of their republics), much like how the United States Senate was structured before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment. The capital of Sagallo, like Washington, D.C., is a federal city not part of any of the Confederacy's republics. It is also a cultural Melting Pot of people with roots all over Earth (and, as time goes on, various alien species), with strict laws preserving freedom of religion and language, and much like the Mayflower, their colonization fleet landed up very far away from their intended destination. One notable difference, however: unlike the US, it is a parliamentary system rather than a presidential one, with executive power vested in the head of the Chamber of Representatives (the prime minister) rather than a separate office (like the US President). To quote one commenter:
    "So, a quirky constitution, a host of newly made traditions, limits on the national military, a Senate that represents territories rather than people, no official language, and what you might call a wall of separation between mosque and state: so basically totally not not the USA in space."
  • Voluntary Vassal: After a much-contested "Vrexit", the Vrul are granted their own territory within the Confederacy's sphere of influence. They are later reincorporated after they take their freedom a bit too much for granted and expel all humans from their planet.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • The Confederate Republics of Antares is a true confederacy, and its government and military are the result of many, many compromises between its constituent nations.
    • The Moya Pact between the Confederacy and the Cloister of the Spirits grows increasingly strained out of a sense that the latter is dragging the former into its wars.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The Earhart colonization fleet, which gets lost in space.
    "Just go ahead and name it "Icarus" or "Hindenberg". Couldn't doom it much more."


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