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Video Game / Deliver Us the Moon

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Deliver Us the Moon is an episodic Environmental Narrative Game, developed by a Dutch team KeoKen Interactive. It was funded on Kickstarter in March 2016. The development took longer than anticipated, so the first episode, Fortuna, was ultimately released on September 28th, 2018 on PC through Steam.

It is set in the near future, when nearly all of the Earth's resources have run out after the Great Energy Crisis of the 2030, and thus a World Space Agency had been formed in order to extract Helium-3 from the moon, process it on the lunar colonies, and then send it back to Earth through the Microwave Power Transmission system. The work on the colonies began in 2032 and the system was finished in 2041, and it worked...until it went offline in 2054, and all connection with the lunar colonists was lost. Moreover, the Earth no longer had the resources to maintain WSA by that point, and it was shut down a year later. Thus, only a small group of former colonists was able to secretly train and launch the protagonist by 2059, who goes to the moon in what is called "a final do-or-die mission to save mankind from extinction".


Tropes present in this game:

  • Big "NO!": Sarah, in an audio log, after getting separated from Rolf.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The plasma torch never runs out of gas supply that's needed to operate such tools in real life.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The things you can cut with the plasma cutter tool on the Pearson space station have a neat white and yellow color scheme. At times, you have a bunch of such white-and-yellow bolts set amongst many more normal grey ones that cannot be cut, with no real logic as to why it would be designed in this manner in the first place.
  • Crapsack World: There are apparently few resources left on the 2050s Earth, and it is also ravaged by climate change. A broadcast heard at the start of the game proper mentions that the climatogolists have readjusted their estimates of the Equatorial Desert's growth rate after the largest dust storm on the record, predicting that it would soon cover 30% of the global landmass. It continues to say that 46 degrees Celsius (currently only experienced in the hottest regions of Earth and during the worst heatwaves) is a "mild" temperature north of the Equatorial Desert.
    • This is also what gets Isaac Johanson to agree with McArthur's megalomaniacal plans of leaving for unexplored space and treating their colonists as the only remains of the species. He believes that it's pointless to provide power to Earth when the landmass either continues to get dried out and ravaged by the dust storms or gets claimed by the rising tides. However, given that they were fine with living on the moon, which has far worse temperatures and no atmosphere or magnetosphere, and that the absolute majority of the planets in the universe are far closer to the Moon than the even this 2050s Earth, it's still a strange decision to say the least.
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  • Cryonics Failure: One of the scannable items before take-off reveals the 2048 Huygens Cryosleep Malfunction, which ended up killing most of the people involved.
  • Cyber Cyclops: ASE is a small drone with a single bright blue light set in the center of a circular black panel as its eye.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: When you start the rotation engine for the Pearson Station, parts of the incomplete Orion wing break free and take you along with it, leaving you drifting helplessly until you grab a hold of a large piece of debris, swing around, and propel yourself back to the station.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Scanning items with your astrotool fills out its in-built dossier with entries explaining their meaning.
  • Enter Solution Here: Several doors have to be unlocked with access codes you enter via a keypad.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Literally nothing is known about the player character. You never see yourself from outside of the space suit, and Claire refers to you as Fortuna One, allowing you to project any identity onto yourself. That is, until the last scene of Fortuna where it's revealed that you were playing Rolf.
  • First-Person Ghost: At the start of the game, none of the protagonist's body can be glimpsed when they walk over to the astronaut suit in a first person view. Once they put it on, the game switches to third person mode.
  • Heroic Mime: The protagonist never speaks (or otherwise reveals their thoughts and emotions) either.
  • High-Speed Train Reroute: The Timed Mission where you have to save a Runaway Train from crashing by switching tracks via keyboard commands.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: The projections of people are rendered in a simple red/blue color scheme and flicker, to boot.
  • Humans Are White: While nothing about your protagonist is ever revealed, so you can imagine them to be of any race, the known supporting cast members are either white (the Johanson family, which is apparently British since their custody battles were handled by the UK Supreme Court, the American-sounding William McArthur, Sarah Baker or Rolf Rolfsson) or Hispanic (Maria Gonzalez and Rose La Garde.) Even though you take off at the start of the game from a Kazakh spaceport, and there are even a few signs duplicated in Russian and Kazakh, there are no characters from any of the CIS ethnicities present. Moreover, the World Space Agency apparently did not have anyone notable from India or China, even though these nations both amount to a third of the world's total population, and have significant space programs of their own.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Played straight with the arm-mounted flashlight on your space suit. The ASE's flashlight battery gets depleted over time but is quickly recharged once turned off.
  • It's Up to You: First, you are the only one who can be sent to the lunar colony to discover the causes of the MPT blackout and to hopefully reverse it: it's never explained why no-one else is accompanying you, even though the cabin clearly has at least two seats inside. While the Doylian explanation is obvious (the developers didn't have the means to create a human companion, script the entire range of interactions needed for them and record the required dialogue), a Watsonian might guess that the rocket only had enough fuel in it to carry the weight of one person.
    • Then, though, you also have to manually operate a bunch of computer systems and fuel valves in order to successfully get to the rocket and get it ready to launch. Somehow, no-one else could have done that for you, even though one would expect pretty much all of the remaining qualified technicians to be monitoring the launch pads 24/7 so that the launch would go off without a hitch. Instead, it seems that the only other people in this large facility are Claire Johanson and Maria Gonzalez, who are only heard through a voice connection from...somewhere. They are not even in the mission control center, as you have to head there yourself and personally prime the rocket to launch, even as the dust storm that'll wreck the rocket is approaching. Luckily, it's always as simple as pushing a single button or turning a single key.
  • Just in Time:
    • Your group has had years to prepare your mission, and yet the launch just happens to coincide with the arrival of the enormous dust storm that'll wreck the rocket if you don't lift off right before it hits.
    • You manage to stop the runaway monorail inches from the platform.
  • Miss Exposition: Claire Johanson, the daughter of the WSA and Lunar Council's founder Isaac Johanson, fulfills this role at the start of the game when the scannable clips are not considered enough.
  • Missing Mom: Looking around before the take-off reveals that Claire Johanson's mother, Elizabeth, was killed in a dust storm in 2049, after Isaac went to the moon. Claire then took care of her younger sister, Kathy, and a court notice reveals that she also attempted to take custody of Kathy in order to prevent Isaac from taking her to the lunar colony with him, but the UK's Supreme Court forced her to step aside. Of course, her instincts are proven right, as after the blackout, both Isaac and Kathy are presumed missing.
  • New Era Speech: We learn that McArthur gave one to his crew in order to prep them for their upcoming mission.
  • No Ending: The Fortuna episode ends with the player character boarding a monorail to Tombaugh, a Moonhub site from where they can hopefully restart the MPT. However, since the Pearson station got damaged, seemingly irreparably, even that may not work, as it was a necessary link for the transmission. While you do learn that most colonists left with McArthur "onward" into space, and that there was a fight amongst some of the colonists, nothing else of note happens.
  • Oxygen Meter: Venturing into the de-oxygenated zones will drain the suit's oxygen reserves, as indicated by a steadily diminishing light blue meter in the bottom-right corner of your HUD display, complete with a countdown to when the oxygen is set to run out. These are refilled when you pick up oxygen tanks. In the third-person mode, you instead have the countdown appear on your backpack.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: Fortuna ends with the camera panning up to the night sky above the moon.
  • Regenerating Health: You regain health by waiting a few seconds after taking damage (from electrocution or hot steam).
  • Restart the World: Upon getting to the Moonhub, you discover that William McArthur, one of Lunar Council members governing the Moonhub colonists, decides that they should just "save the species and start again" by using the MPT energy to advance "Onward" into unexplored space, rather than continuing to power the Earth. The Fortuna episode ends before you find out how it went. Given that they only seemed to have a few dozen people, though, and the sheer logistical challenges of recreating anything like that moon colony with so few people and no resources from outside, it's unlikely to have gone well.
    • Of the three ships McArthur had, one was left behind due to the lack of fuel (with most of the assigned crew in cryosleep), and another suffered an engine failure and was last seen heading into deep space unable to adjust course.
  • The Reveal: The last scene of Fortuna reveals that we are playing Rolf, Sarah's partner who had to leave her behind five years earlier.
  • Robot Buddy: Upon getting to the Moonhub, you'll eventually repair and reboot a small white drone propelled by jet thrusters named ASE, who'll be accompanying the player from every point onwards. At one point, the player character even pats it on the head like a dog.
  • Runaway Train: The monorail goes out of control and you have to stop it.
  • Slow Electricity: The energy beams from the redirected MPE pillars slowly travel across the screen before connecting to the hub.
  • State Sec: The so-called "World Secret Service" was formed sometime after the 2030 Crisis. Its former director, William McArthur became one of the Lunar Council's governing members after leaving the service. There, he eventually decided that humanity left behind on Earth is not worth saving and they should just leave further into space instead. Strangely, he only seems to be challenged on the morality of doing so in the holographic recordings you see, and none of the scientists ever brings up just how unlikely it is that any of the planets they could go "Onward" to would be superior to even the desertified Earth, or how they may not have enough people to keep the species viable.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: You reconstruct events via log files scattered around the various stations.
  • Take Your Time: In the prologue, even as you hear the worried radio chatter about the incoming dust storm, you can still spend as much time as you want to walk around the place and read the notes placed in the background, and are in fact encouraged to do just that.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: A couple of puzzles require the combined efforts of your player and his ASE. A notable example is the opening of the airlock at the Reinhold crater base.
  • Timed Mission:
    • During the launch pad prologue, you are given 1.5 minutes to get to the rocket before the dust storm destroys it, regardless of how fast or how slow you were before that. Once you're seated in the cabin, each step of the startup procedures give you only 15 seconds to complete it (Technically 30 seconds. The 15 second timer doesn't start until 15 seconds have passed without completing the current step).
    • At the Reinhold Crater Base, after aligning the furthest microwave transmitter to one that's closer to the base, you'll have three minutes to get to the second transmitter, and line that up with the base's receiver to complete the connection before the entire thing comes crashing down.
    • In the Tombaugh reactor After restarting the MPT, you have 2.5 minutes to limp from your starting position to the MPT alignment controls, and then perform the alignment itself while your character is fading in and out of consciousness from blunt force trauma sustained from the force of the MPT starting up.
  • Title Drop: The intro cutscene ends with the title being spoken.
    Now, in 2059, they are ready to launch an astronaut to the Moon. What awaits is unknown and unforeseeable, but the mission is clear: Deliver Us The Moon.
    • Claire repeats it when she signs off her last transmission to you when you are still piloting the rocket before the dust storm hits and forces her and Maria Gonzalez to seek shelter.
  • Virtual Ghost: Upon arriving on the Moonhub, these are then used to convey some of the pivotal plot points.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Claire Johanson acts as a constant presence during the opening chapter at the launchpad. However, she largely disappears once you do get to the moon, due to the obvious difficulty of communication across such great distances.


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