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Video Game / Empyrion Galactic Survival

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Empyrion: Galactic Survival is a Survival Sandbox exploration game developed by Eleon Game Studios, where the players take on the role of human survivors of their starship's destruction. It was released for PC through Steam Early Access on August 5th, 2015 and it remains there as of the time of writing.

In the 24th century, humanity's fate on Earth was at risk: population had risen to 18 billion, resources were becoming scarce, global warming had caused a rising of the sea levels and industrial civilization was a century away from total collapse.

But then, in 2402, a team of researchers found the wreck of a starship that had been buried under the Antarctic ice. This spaceship not only contained technology advanced enough to allow humanity to reach the stars, but also a map to what appeared to be inhabitable planets. With nothing to lose, united humanity built a fleet that would allow them to leave Earth and prosper, a fleet led by the MS Titan. However, soon after their first space jump, humanity made First Contact with the Zirax, a predatory species that promptly attacked the human fleet. MS Titan was destroyed along with most of the fleet, while the survivors jumped again, away from the Zirax.

The player is the commander of the MS Titan, who managed to escape the explosion in the nick of time by boarding a escape capsule, but this left him knocked out... until he awakens and sees his capsule falling down on an inhabitable planet. After just barely surviving the crash, and armed with a pistol and a few tools, the player now has to find the way to survive by making the most of the situation: finding supplies, harvesting local food, digging for ores... so you can make yourself a spaceship and fight back against the Zirax that inhabit the solar system you are in.

Empyrion: Galactic Survival contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: The player was the MS Titan's commander when the fight against the Zirax destroyed it. As of Alpha 12, the player is the security chief.
  • Alliance Meter: There are multiple factions in the game that you can deal with. Depending on the relationship level you have with them, you may be able to do things that they would normally punish you for. Generally, hurting or killing their people, stealing things from their places, overflying their lands for too long or destroying buildings will make the meter drop, while killing predators or those they consider enemies will raise it. From worst to best, the levels are Hostile, Unfriendly, Neutral, Friendly and Honored: if a faction drops to Unfriendly, you get attacked by them.
    • Pirates: Space Pirates living in stations excavated from asteroids. Attacking anyone else helps raise the meter with them.
    • Polaris: a commercial-bent civilization, their territories tend to be small but usually contain markets where you can buy or sell food and weapons. Trading with them requires, at least, "Friendly" status.
    • Talon: Space Amish who live in primitive fortresses but have spacecraft building ability. The history mode will likely turn them into the main character's main allies.
    • Traders: Natural enemies of the Pirates.
    • Zirax: likely to become the main enemy due to their being the ones that caused the MS Titan's destruction - in fact, it's the only faction that begins at "Unfriendly" status with you. They have the most territory out of all factions, and will regularly send drones and troops to your base.
  • All-or-Nothing Reloads: All the tools save for the basic Magic Tool you get for free work like this. If you reload while the current clip still has charges, you can say goodbye to them.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. While you can breathe in some of the planets, other planets force you to keep your helmet on in order to survive.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Zirax faction begins with a "shoot-to-kill" policy when they see you.
    • Averted as of Alpha 11. Now, the Zirax are one of several factions, and if you play your cards well they may end up regarding you as a friend. Of course, the few ways to make the Zirax happy with you will probably make the others angry with you. The history itself seems to regard them as the Big Bad of the game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the first alpha versions, the only way to get fuel for your initial tools (a drill and a chainsaw) was to wait for your food to rot and then turn it into biofuel, which is quite frustrating when Early Game Hell means every bit of food is important. Eventually, this was replaced with plant fibers, one of the most abundant available resources, both from bushes and from wood. This biofuel can also be used to power generators, even if it is somewhat slow going: 1 plant gives 8 fibers every 20 minutes, and you need 10 to make 1 biofuel unit, which has 10 PU (Power Unit).
    • If you need to create an advanced tool or device but you only have the basic materials, the constructors can carry out all the intermediate steps on their own.
    • Rather than spending time to manually build a base or a vessel block by block, you can just pick a blueprint from the available "factory", feed it with the required materials and wait until it is done. If you have any of the components already, you can add them and the time to build the ship will get shorter to account for that.
      • Similarly, if you have a damaged spaceship whose blueprint you saved, there's a couple of devices that work together to restore the ship to normal by feeding them materials.
    • The base control panel allows you to access any container in your base without having to track them. There's also the option of opening one container and then pick another from a menu in the GUI.
    • Every device that deals with resource manipulation (other than the portable constructor) is now directly connected to containers for both input and output. This makes it easier to create and store tools, food and other devices.
    • When you die, the map will helpfully mark where your corpse is, so your clone can recover the objects you dropped. You can also choose to appear nearby or at your base, at your convenience.
    • From the beginning, you have access to a Magic Tool that allows you to defend yourself, dig for resources and salvage objects and is completely free to make.
    • There are a few basic recipes (like the aforementioned tool, basic food and a portable constructor) that can be made without using a constructor - meaning that, as long as you are alive, you can always get back to your feet.
    • When digging for ore, you usually ended up away from the tunnel you digged to reach it. As of Alpha 11, the player has access to a drone that can carry your tools and use them, so you can easily wait at the end of the tunnel and send the drone to collect the ore. The drone can also be used to salvage materials from hard-to-reach places.
    • If you have the materials, you can upgrade blocks and devices directly using the Multitool instead of having to dismantle them and improve them with a constructor.
    • Your base will never trigger a drone attack if you are not there.
    • The planets in the initial system have a set of obelisks with teleporters, allowing players to travel between planets until they get what they need for space travel.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A base can only have a maximum of 15 solar panels. You can modify this number in the scripts, though.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Armor is likely one of the best things you can get in the game. In fact, it's essential - without armor and the EVA module, you won't be able to exploit the resources of any planet or moon that does not have a breathable atmosphere.
  • Attack Drone: One of your first enemies in the game. The Zirax make heavy use of them, and they can be a real pain to deal with. It is recommended to have turrets ready and armed for the event.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Every creature you fight has a weak point, which, when hit, will cause more damage than usual. Humanoid creatures, for example, will likely be killed or heavily hurt if shot in the head.
    • All large buildings have a core that acts as its "heart". If you manage to destroy it, everything within will stop working and it will be considered "neutral", allowing you to ransack it or replace it with a core of your own, turning it into your base.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The shotgun. It does not have much of a range, but its cheap ammo (copper ingots and nitrocellulose) and stopping power make it one of the most useful weapons - particularly since most fights are likely to happen on the short distance. The upgraded shotgun has more shorts per reload and makes even more damage.
    • Farming. You need a lot of infrastructure (a special light, several growing plots, building blocks to keep the farm isolated from potential radiation storms, energy and oxygen) but as soon as you do it you will be unlikely to run out of food any time soon.
    • Scavenging buildings and crashed ships can be really slow and prone to accidents, due to Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress, but in exchange you get a lot of materials that can allow you to save when you want to build something else. Planting a core on the building allows you to take the blocks directly.
    • Building your base underground. It takes quite a lot of time to dig enough space for a base, but in exchange you get materials (mainly crushed rocks) and, unless you plant anything above ground (such as solar panels or turrets), enemy drones will be unable to destroy your base, as the ground acts as a barrier.
  • Breakable Weapons: Eventually, all of your hand-held weapons will break down. They can be fixed with a Repair Station, but the reparation only restores it partially, and after doing this a number of times the weapon won't work anymore. You can also customize the game difficulty at the beginning to avert the problem.
  • Cast from Stamina: The initial multi-tool you get once used the character's stamina as fuel, but this feature was eliminated.
  • Cool Spaceship:
    • The MS Titan that acted as humanity's flagship was one before its destruction.
    • The player can build ships to travel between worlds. There are two types of ships: Small Vessels (which can carry out just enough to space travel and jump between worlds) and Capital Vessels (which can act as mobile bases - provided you keep them fueled).
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The only problem with dying is that you have to track your corpse again in order to recover what you were carrying. Of course, seeing as you will most likely die near some enemy, it may make recovering your things quite difficult - plus, you have a time limit to retrieve it before it disappears.
  • Demonic Spiders: One of your first enemies will be plate-sized spiders that like to attack in groups and ambush you. They are not very strong, though, and they are a good source of raw meat.
  • Developer's Foresight: Each planet has its own day-night cycle, which will change depending on how far you are from the equator. Also, solar panel efficiency will change depending on the same, and depending on where it is pointing it will produce more or less energy.
  • Downer Beginning: You begin the game as the (maybe) only survivor of the MS Titan's destruction. As of Alpha 12, the story mode reveals that there are other survivors - but you somehow go missing for months and miss them completely.
  • Drop Pod: This is how the player escapes the MS Titan's destruction. The pod also becomes the player's first home and storage room.
  • Early Game Hell: At the beginning, you will struggle to survive even if there are no aliens around - just getting the resources you need to begin will take a long time. Depending on the difficulty, you might be able to find an old refuge that can act as your base, and you might have the tools to start production of basic elements.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Your initial tools are not enough to allow you to thrive. In essence, you have to use what you find in the beginning to make constructors that give you better tools to get resources more efficiently and thus make even better constructors. Also, you cannot leave the planet until you can build a spaceship, which requires a Large Constructor at the very least.
  • Everything Fades: Corpses and dropped objects will eventually vanish. This includes what you drop when you die.
  • Ghost Ship: The surface of the planets in the system have several remains of crashed spaceships. Including the MS Titan.
  • Goddamned Bats: When getting into a large Zirax Base, the Crawlers (which look like large bats) will be hounding you non-stop.
    • The Zirax will periodically attack your base, using drones (armed with miniguns and rockets) or transports (carrying troops). A little strategy will allow you to easily defeat them, but it can be a pain to deal with.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Unlike in other games, things won't float mid-air. If you take a block's connection to the ground, or it weighs too much for said connection to keep it in place, the block will fall. If you are fast, you can recover either the block or part of the materials it was made of.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: If you kill an enemy from far away (with a sniper rifle, for example), the enemy's partner(s) won't even react. Also, when they attack you, they only take one or two shots at you before stopping, moving to another position and shooting again.
  • Humanoid Aliens: All civilizations within the system are humanoid.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chest: Averted. When you find cargo boxes or lockers, it is because they were part of a crashed ship or they are in a base.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Both the handheld and the suit versions can be working nonstop.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: One of the tools you can make can be used to decorate your base and ship.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Every planet has its own day-night cycle.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Yes. You are going to be in need of keeping careful count of what you are carrying at every moment. You may end up finding yourself having to decide which of several objects you want to take from an enemy.
  • Item Crafting: A fundamental game mechanic, as the only way to survive is to craft tools for resource gathering and blocks for base and spaceship construction.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: You will find yourself taking everything you can find in crates, boxes and lockers. If it is a crashed spaceship or a core-less building, you will probably tear it apart to gain more materials. Trying to steal from factions you are friendly with will immediately cause them to become Unfriendly, though.
  • Magic Tool: The Multitool, which allows you to remove, repair and upgrade objects.
  • Merchant City: There are several cities and space stations whose only purpose is to allow players to buy and sell supplies. Later, they add services like free health stations, and offer a variety of tools and weapons.
  • Must Have Caffeine: You can make energy drinks out of coffee bean-like produce.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: The food you can find - even the meat of the local fauna - can be eaten without issue. At later versions eating raw food may cause indigestion, so cooking in some way is necessary.
  • One Bullet Clips: Played straight with the weapons, averted for the tools - if you reload a tool before you spend the current tank, you lose what remained in that tank.
  • Oxygen Meter: Obviously. While oxygen doesn't drop too fast and reserves are plentiful, the player has to keep an eye on it if he wants to survive.
  • Riddle for the Ages: When you find the MS Titan's remains, you realize that the state they are in indicates it's been a few years since they crashed. Alpha 12 reveals that the character went through something during the fall to the planet that caused them to vanish from realspace for several months.
  • Space Friction: Averted. When you are in space, the only way to turn around or reduce your speed is to use the thrusters.
  • Sprint Meter: Stamina, which measures how much time you can keep running.
  • Tech Tree: As you gain experience through harvesting and fighting, you gain points you can use to unlock new build options.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: This is one of the meters you need to keep an eye on. Fortunately, at the beginning it is not hard to find plants that can yield the basis for protein bars and hunting is easy, enough to tide you over until you can get a farm running.