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Video Game / Deep Sky Derelicts

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Deep Sky Derelicts is a Sci-Fi Roguelike game with Turn-Based Combat, developed by the Russian Snowhound Games and published by 1C. It was initially released in Steam Early Access on 15th November, 2017, with the full release happening on 26th September, 2018.

You playing as the commander of a player-generated crew of stateless scavengers that specialize in exploring and looting the titular derelicts - spaceships where something has Gone Horribly Wrong, often hundreds or even thousands years ago, and they have been abandoned ever since. Their skills get them noticed by the Deep Sky region Sub-Governor, who offers them a full galactic citizenship and the ability to retire on a prestigious mirror world in return for locating the fabled mothership, rumoured to be filled with all manner of Lost Technology. Of course, the Sub-Governor has also hedged his bets, and you have rival scavengers looking for the same prize as well.

The game is notable for its Cel Shaded, retrofuturist aesthetic. It uses turn-based combat and exploration reminiscent of Darkest Dungeon and Halcyon 6, but also includes Collectible Card Game elements, as each skill is represented by a card drawn from a deck.


Deep Sky Derelicts contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There are hostile robots on some of the abandoned spaceships you explore. Some may accuse "insolent meatbags" like you of "spoling the purity of the vessel" before the fight. One encounter has insane robot janitors accuse your group of being "biological stains".
  • Apocalyptic Log: You can discover datapads while exploring the derelicts that often amount to this. They can also be sold for 50cc.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You are limited to fighting with three characters at any one time, unless the tech-oriented characters deploy drones during combat. Luckily, the enemies are also limited to four at the most.
  • Attack Drone: Tech-heavy characters get cards allowing them to deploy these, with names like "Obliterator", which then become the fourth character fighting on your side.
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  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Drudger insects fight in this manner. They will typically deal more damage with those than your own characters do with low level weapons, too, to compensate for their obvious lack of shields.
  • Brain in a Jar: The guy in charge of the Research Workshop keeps a literal example on his desk. It's unclear if that brain is still alive, or simply a creepy souvenir.
  • Breast Plate: Some female antagonists like Cobras wear fully enclosed spacesuits that nevertheless have minor "boobplates".
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: Played with: space travel is certainly pretty easy for you, as working for the Sub-Governor gives free travel on the Deep Sky Express as one of the perks. However, the motto of that same Deep Sky Express is "We'll get you there alive or your money back!", clearly hinting that it's far from being all that safe.
  • Chainsaw Good: Some of the killer robots you'll fight are equipped with these.
  • Critical Hit: There are critical chances for many of the attacks, but also for many of the support abilities, which gain stronger effects in such instances.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Most of the hostile robots, like Purifiers, have only one eye.
  • Deflector Shields: Your characters have these by default, and so will most of the enemies you fight. Attacks on the shielded characters will show the attack stopped by the splashy blue of the shield.
  • Dem Bones: Here, you have undead spacemen, who are still encased in their suits, and so their combat capabilities are more justified then in most examples.
  • Dialogue Tree: These are present during the quest conversations, allowing you to accept and reject quests, ask minor questions and to make choices within the quests: i.e. about which quest-giver you want to support.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Parson-T robot used by the Office of Parsimony and Toil to enforce compliance with its regulations is authorized to open fire if it detects "inflammatory language", like being called a "dumpster".
  • Drop the Hammer: Banger undead wield these.
  • EMP: Here, EMP grenades a way of quickly eliminating the enemies' shields, at the expense of not actually doing any physical damage. However, there are also Pulse Grenades, which deal limited physical damage, but also disrupt target's tech and medical skills.
  • Dungeon Shop: You may well discover fellow explorers willing to trade on the very same derelicts.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: There's an in-game codex.
  • Enemy Summoner: Deathmorphs will "warp in" weaker allies.
  • Field Power Effect: These appear on some tiles of the derelicts you explore. One example is Energy Surge, which gives an extra card every turn and a 25% chance of the ENERGIZE status effect.
    • You can also create some of these through deploying objects like power generators, which make all actions on the nearby tiles cost no energy.
  • Flunky Boss: The Final Boss, Neurone, is flanked by a Blue and Red Disciple. He also lets them do most of the fighting, and specializes in powerful debuffs and support skills instead.
  • Fog of War: One is present across the ship, but is dispelled with your scanner. However, scanned rooms will go dark after a few turns again.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: There are skills oriented around this, like "Dirty Punch". Then again, all the "punching" is done with a Power Fist.
    • However, Gutser undead just straight-up pummel targets with their hands.
  • Hollywood Acid: Skink lizards spit acid and attack with acid claws.
  • Laser Sword: Characters of the Leader class fight with these, in addition to a pistol.
    • Purifier robots also have these as an arm attachment.
  • Mecha-Mooks: A frequent opponent. There are more variations of various rogue machines than of any other enemy type.
  • More Dakka: A level 1 weapon mod is a secondary barrel, which simply makes the modified gun shoot two projectiles at once, although the second shot only has 17% of the original's damage.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Downplayed. The characters killed in action stay dead after the battle...unless you are willing to pay often enormous sums to get them revived at the Deep Sky Medical station.
  • Oddly Overtrained Security: You can get encounters with hostile robot janitors that nevertheless all have Deflector Shields and gun + chainsaw arm attachments. Odd to say the least, unless they somehow managed to upgrade themselves in this manner.
  • Perma Death: The main difference between the Normal and Hardcore modes.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyronic robots are equipped with dual flamethrowers.
  • Overpopulation Crisis: Once you finally reach the core of the mothership, you get to talk to Neurone, the last member of the race that created the ship, who tells you that his race overpopulated to such an extent they consumed everything in their wake, and left what he described as "an ecosphere of death". His solution, however, turned into a plague of suicides that wiped out way too many members of the species, and forced the rest to turn into machines.
  • Psychic Powers: Present, and Psykers specialise in these.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Sub-Governor is pretty decent, as he acknowledges in his opening dialogue the hardships you have likely gone through as stateless people, and which he can't even imagine as an aristocrat. Once you finish the game, he fulfils his end of the bargain and lets you retire in peace.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Banger undead wield hammers and shields. They can also do a "Plague Bash" attack with that shield.
  • Shock and Awe: There's an Electric Discharge power that calls down a whole lot of lightning.
  • Shout-Out: Spaceship engines use dilithium power sources.
  • Super Spit: Skink lizards can spit acid.
  • Sword and Gun: The equipment of the Leader class. Granted, the sword is an Energy Blade.
  • This Is a Drill: Blue Disciple robots have this as an arm attachment.
  • Used Future: Very much the case. Going long enough with the intro conversation reveals that many of the derelicts you are looting have been drifting around space for milennia.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: One of the first missions asks you to locate a woman named Salome and get her to deal with PST's office documents, when she fled to a derelict precisely so that she would no longer deal with it, and would rather you kill her instead. However, you can also resolve the quest in her favor by destroying the office's Parson-T robot on the same ship and deliver its remains to her.
  • Vendor Trash: You can loot plenty of stuff that's useless to you, but valuable for the traders. Various raiders, for instance, may drop dilithium power sources. Damaged rooms may contain burnt superconductor arrays, etc. In the shops, there's a helpful "Sell all junk" button just for such cases.
  • Whip It Good: Cobra enemies fight with poisoned whips.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Played with for the undead Gutser enemies: they simply have "Gutsplosion" that slightly damages your entire group and stack plague vulnerability on them.


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