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Galaxy on Fire is a series of space trading and combat simulation games developed by Fishlabs with multiple ports, including, but not limited to, iOS, Mac, and Windows. The game takes place in a galaxy ruled by four major factions (the Terran Federation, the Vossk Empire, the Nivelian Republic, and the Mido Confederation of Planets).

The first game, Galaxy on Fire 3D (AKA GOF1), has a fairly short storyline, taking place during the Terran-Vossk War. The player takes on the role of Keith T. Maxwell, a mercenary Space Fighter pilot formerly of the Terran space fleet. After being given his own ship in the Eden Prime system, Maxwell starts doing missions for both the fleet and any random optional tasks. Eventually, it's revealed that a Terran officer is in league with a Vossk general. After Maxwell finally kills him in combat, Admiral Smith gives him a hyperdrive, allowing Keith to travel to other star systems.

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The second game, Galaxy on Fire II (AKA GOF2), starts some time later, with Keith chasing a band of Space Pirates for a bounty. After killing them in battle, he attempts to jump, only to find out that a lucky shot has damaged his hyperdrive, causing it to malfunction and send him halfway across the galaxy to the Mido system. His ship, damaged beyond repair, is salvaged by a Midorian named Gunant Breh, who gives Maxwell a ship and some cheap equipment to perform some tasks to make enough money to buy passage to Terran space aboard a battlecruiser scheduled to arrive to a planet in the system (the system is too new to have a jumpgate). Additionally, Keith discovers that the malfunctioning hyperdrive not only sent him far from Terran space but also threw him over 30 years into the future (which is why he has never heard of the Mido Confederation before). After arriving to Terran space and reconnecting with an old colleague, Keith is recruited to help the fleet deal with a new threat in the form of a strange new race called the Voids. The Voids randomly appear in inhabited systems by opening wormholes, strike at lightly-escorted freighters, and disappear before anyone can react. Their speech is incomprehensible, as are their goals. Eventually, Keith is put in contact with a Terran organization called Deep Science, dedicated to studying the Voids, and its leader Dr. Carla Paolini. Maxwell performs several dangerous missions for Carla, including a trip through a wormhole into Void space, convincing her to go on a date with him after he's done. He also helps a Grey scientist named Khador develop a new form of propulsion based on the Void wormholes. This new Khador Drive allows anyone to jump to any known system without using the jumpgates, including systems without gates and Void space. With the Void threat increasing, the Terran fleet makes a deal with the Vossk Emperor to conduct a joint mission into Void space to destroy The Mothership that controls the wormholes. The mission is successful, albeit at the cost of the Vossk pilot's life, and Keith receives thanks in the form of a date with Carla (complete with a bra floating through space). Keith then wakes up alone and finds a note from Carla who lets him know that she is working at a new undisclosed location.

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GOF2 has two Expansion Packs called Valkyrie and Supernova, continuing the storyline and adding new ships, equipment, and systems.

In Valkyrie, Maxwell is contacted by a secretive organization led by an overbearing woman named Alice. She hires Keith to perform several dangerous tasks, paying handsomely for each one. Meanwhile, Carla summons Keith to her new lab, located in an inaccessible system (without a Khador Drive, that is) and informs him that something has happened to Khador. After locating and freeing Khador from a group of pirates, Keith is once again called by Alice, eventually figuring out that Alice is trying to get her hands on Khador's invention to rebrand it as "Alice Drive" and sell it on the open market for a fortune. He also finds out that Alice is Carla's estranged sister. After Keith accidentally lets it slip that he has a Khador Drive of his own, Alice takes it from him, installing it in her mobile Space Station and jumping to the Deep Science station to destroy any competition. Maxwell manages to save the day and damaging Alice's station enough for the "Alice Drive" to malfunction and send the station to the Void space without any energy cells.

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In Supernova, a strange new supernova threatens the Mido Confederation, who employ Maxwell to help them study and contain the threat. The Midorians start building an array to stabilize the star to keep it from expanding further into Midorian space. However, a group of Nivelian extremists sabotage the array, forcing Keith to invoke Plan B: to retrieve Alice's Valkyrie Station to use as a replacement for the array. At the climax, Keith is forced to face off against the Nivelian mastermind behind the supernova, who seeks to eliminate the Midorian rebels. After the battle, Alice manages to escape from prison and boards her station, unaware that its "Alice Drive" was removed, and has no choice but to sacrifice herself to save everyone.

Galaxy on Fire: Alliances (AKA GoFA) is a massive multiplayer freemium strategy game, taking place in a new region of space called the Shroud Nebula. Unlike the previous games of the series, this is a management game, with the players in control of planets and their industries and fleets. The player select ones of the three main races (Terran, Vossk, Nivelian), and is initially given control over a single planet. The player can then improve the colony with new structures and then build ships, such as battleships, carriers, and fighters.

Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore is a free-to-play flight simulator with a different main character from the first two games, replacing him with a Featureless Protagonist. The storyline is also far less interesting than in the second game, with the player becoming a merc aboard the titular carrier in the recently-discovered Neox sector that is suddenly wanted by all galactic powers. The player takes on short randomly-generated missions to get cash and slowly churns his (or her) way through a powerful gang, which appears to be the only semblance of a story in the game. The trading aspect has also been completely removed and exploring the sector involves traveling to an area (mostly empty of other ships) and searching for pieces of intel and crates with goodies.


The series contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A.I. is a Crapshoot: Averted. Jalen, pirate AI, becomes your shipboard AI and as the story progresses, she expresses a growing and intense dislike of pirates and greater appreciation of the player. Wingmen tend to fall under A.I. Roulette for moments of great dogfighting followed by ramming into your ship as they pitch.
  • Alliance Meter: There are two in GOF2. One measures Keith's relationships with either the Terran Federation or the Vossk Empire, while the other one does the same for the Nivelian Republic and the Mido Confederation. Having a perfect relationship with one side means having the other side as your enemy. A random character may offer you the chance to rehabilitate yourself in the eyes of the enemy faction for a price, which will also shift the meter away from the friendly faction.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Armor is very useful and provides an extra layer of protection if your shields go down. Story-wise, Terran ships tend to rely more on shields, while the Vossk trust their armor more than shields. Thus, the very best shields tend to be of Terran design, while the best armor comes from the Vossk Empire.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: One of the Most Wanted fugitives you can pursue in the Supernova DLC is wanted for piracy, murder, theft of weapons prototypes and a space station docking procedure violation for coming in too fast.
  • Asteroid Miners: One of the ways of getting resources or making money is mining resources from asteroids. Almost every planet has them not far from the station. To mine an asteroid, the player needs a scanner (to determine which ore the asteroid is made of and how much of it is there), a laser drill (different drills allow for better stability and output), and a large enough cargo hold. A-class asteroids also contain valuable cores, which are difficult to obtain but are worth a lot more than ores. The most powerful scanner is able to identify A-class asteroids without even pointing at them. Occasionally, blasting an asteroid (either with weapons or by simply plowing through it) can, occasionally result in some ore or a core being left behind, which can be tractored by the player.
  • Bag of Spilling: GOF2 starts off with Keith taking an unlucky shot to his hyperdrive system just as he activates it. This totals his ship and sends him 35 years in the future, only still alive because Gunant Breh found him and offered an old mining ship as a means to start over. The news ticker will later reveal that Gunant sold your old ship for a pretty substantial fortune after you left for other planets.
  • The Battlestar: The Terrans start deploying fighter carriers to this sector of space during the Supernova DLC. In the multiplayer Go FA, your fleets consist only of Battlestars and fighters., and you fight against other factions' Battlestars.
  • Big Bad:
    • GOF1: Vlad Borsikov
    • GOF2: The Voids.
      • Valkyrie: Alice Paolini.
      • Supernova: Trunt Harval.
  • Bigger on the Inside: A series of equipment is used to expand cargo space. While the early versions describe themselves as merely more efficient loaders and stackers, the most advanced version outright states to be using miniature black holes to warp the space inside the ship to store stuff somewhere else.
  • Bragging Rights Award: Collecting all the medals Grant's you the Fireworks blueprint. Fireworks are "nuke" weapons that only deals 1 point of damage and shows off a portrait of Keith surrounded by hearts.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the Supernova storyline, Keith is subjected to one of Khador' longwinded speeches. The player can skip the dialogue at any time, but Keith wishes he had a skip button of his own.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: There are two ways of getting your own personal Space Station (basically, a huge locker to keep your loot) in GOF2. One involves a tough battle followed by a tedious trek around the galaxy, trying to find enough of a particular item plus a huge number of credits to buy it off the current owner. Alternatively, you can just buy the VIP Pass for real money and be immediately given the station. As a bonus, the rare ships and equipment you can buy on the station will cost half the price for VIPs. You can also buy in-game credits for real money. Naturally, since Alliances is a freemium game, this is par for the course.
  • But Thou Must!: In the Valkyrie storyline, Khador asks you to test fly his Cronus prototype ship, once you escort a convoy to the new Deep Science station. You must fly this ship until you finish the Valkyrie storyline and defeat Alice. The game won't allow you to sell this ship anywhere, or even swap it for a different ship at your own station, until the story is complete.
  • Cat Folk: The Leonids in GOF1. They appear to be completely absent in GOF2.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The major factions are characterized by their main colors:
    • Terran - yellow.
    • Vossk - green.
    • Nivelian - blue.
    • Midorian - brown.
    • Voids - purple.
    • Pirates - red.
    • Deep Science - white.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Two instances of this happen in the main storyline of the second game. The first is Lieutenant Boyle starting to complain if you take too long flying around doing side quests instead of flying him to the Deep Science station. The second, is Carla complaining if you take too long to get to a Void wormhole in a specific system.
  • Cool Gate: The look of a jumpgate depends on the owner of the given system. Terran and Vossk jumpgates have spinning sections at the rear, while Nivelian and Midorian gates are static. The latter two gate types only differ by their color schemes, since their builders are, essentially, the same species. Terran and Vossk gates have a number of protrusions facing the front, with Terrans having four "stubs" with blue lights and Vossk having eight "blades" with green lines.
  • Crippling Over Specialization: Multiple ships you can buy fall into this category:
    • In the base game there is the Betty, which zips around really fast but is definitely not something that should be brought to a firefight.
    • The Cormorant and the Anaan are two behemoths with lots of armor and immense cargo space for trading. Unfortunately they handle like semi trucks, so don't bother taking them on combat missions.
    • The Mantis has immense firepower and protection, but cargo space and customizability through available equipment slots are nothing to write home about.
    • The Dace has the best handling, but it is a Fragile Speedster.
    • In the Valkyrie DLC we get the Cronus whose only characteristic is the built in Khador wormhole drive
    • In Supernova we get the Rhino, with cargo space that puts even the Cormorant to shame and the highest possible armor among all ships. It also handles like a drunk rhino.
    • Supernova also gives us the Groza Mk 2, the fighter with the highest primary weapon damage capability, but little else.
    • The Bloodstar averts this by being the only ship with a very high armor, high cargo space, very high firepower, great handling, high customizability, basically the master of all stats. It is very expensive and tough to get though.
  • Cthulhumanoid: The Octopods are a semi-aquatic race with multiple eyes and tentacles growing out of their faces and limbs. Apparently, females of all species find Octopod males irresistible, possibly due to their numerous tentacles. They also like to arm wrestle. One of the more well-known Octopods in the series is Mkkt Bkkt, whose description calls him the slimiest being in the galaxy, both figuratively and literally.
  • Cuckold: Keith meets quite a few of them in the space lounges, complaining how their wives cheated on them with an Octopod.
  • Cyclops: In GOF1, the Occulars appear to be an aquatic race with a single large eye. They are completely absent in the sequels.
  • Data Crystal: According to Khador, each Void crystal appears to contain a miniature image of the entire universe, which is what allows them to be used to generate wormholes. Khador uses the crystals to create a more practical device he calls the Khador Drive, which can instantly jump to any known system.
  • Deflector Shield: Buying an equipping one is almost a necessity in any prolonged dogfight. However, none of the enemy fighters appears to have any shields. This changes in Manticore, where enemies definitely have shields. Bosses have regenerating shields.
  • Disk One Nuke: The Veteran ship, available for a rather steep price of 2,400,000 credits. Has a high cargo space, good handling, lots of equipment slots, and more importantly, has a turret slot with its primary weapons being bunched in really close. The bunched in weapons allow you to concentrate fire on one target, being able to destroy it faster, while your turret slot, if equipped with an auto turret can shred anyone looking to sneak up behind you, or on your beam. The next ship to have similar stats costs about seven million credits, so chances are, you can't get it till you've done a lot of leveling up and side questing.
    • The Berger AGT auto turret automatically targets enemies, independent of who you've locked onto, and therefore functions like a permanent wingman. The next auto turret unlocks only after a Valkyrrie mission, while the best auto turret is craftable from a very expensive blueprint, and requires copious amounts of rare items.
  • Early Game Hell: GOF2 doesn't give very many options to earn money directly outside of mining at the start of the game. Your starting ship is extremely slow, only has room for one weapon, has an extremely slow targeting sensor, and not much armor. The first few mining drills in the game are widely inaccurate and extremely difficult to control (putting strain on your thumb trying to control it), and it comes down to luck if you can last long enough to get a core from an asteroid. If you leave the completely secure Terran systems, you always run the risk of a pirate attack as soon as you enter a sector or leave a base. This puts you in auto-fight mode which disables fast travel to space stations and hyper gates, slowing down your progress even more. Fighting off pirates won't yield any loot until you get a tractor beam that costs in the mid-hundred thousand credits range in order to pick up their supplies. An early story mission offers you a tractor beam, but you still need to have collected 80,000 credits first. Combat becomes much easier once you're able to upgrade to a ship that would generally cost a few dozen thousand credits, and even then only if it can support a turret to fight off enemies without having to chase them down or put yourself in their line of fire.
  • EMP: Used to temporarily disable or slow down enemy units. If a powerful enough Tractor Beam is equipped, this also allows the player to steal cargo without destroying the enemy. Comes in both gun and missile forms. Some missiles have both normal and EMP damage effects. Some side missions require the use of EMP to rescue captives.
  • Escort Mission: You will get numerous missions where you must defend a convoy of freighters until they reach a certain point. Enemies will ignore you and attack the big lumbering freighters. Also, the final storyline mission in the base game is an escort mission which you will eventually fail.
  • Everything Is An Ipod In The Future: Averted for the most part, but the Deep Science station and ships in Valkyrie have a definite minimalist design with a predominance of white. Strangely, the Cronus design looks very much like a Predator drone.
  • Failure Is the Only Option : In the base game's final mission, your mission to escort the Vossk freighter with the Nivellian bomb will fail in a cutscenes, no matter how well you had protected it upto that point. This eventually requires the Heroic Sacrifice mentioned later.
    • In the Supernova DLC, the first attempt at stabilizing the dying star will fail. The second attempt also fails when the stealth fighters led by Trunt Harval shoot down the emitter dish Deep Science constructed.
  • Featureless Protagonist: in Manticore. Lampshaded when Jalen is talking trash, apologizes for it, but Bryce says he'll allow it due to your silent nature.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Lasers are the cheapest and the weakest weapons, but they have the longest range (usually 3-4 kilometers) of all non-missile weapons. As expected, they are portrayed as slower-than-light bolts of energy. However, the most powerful laser in the game, obtainable in the Supernova add-on, not only deals tremendous damage, it's also Hitscan and even includes a limited auto-aim feature, as long as your ship is locked-on.
  • Gargle Blaster: Two are encountered in the game, both are sold by the dodgy dealer Mkkt Bkkt. The first one is Neuro-algae that got an entire space station's crew completely wasted with tentacle growth on their faces as a side effect while the second one is the Pascal Inartu Flabbergaster that leaves everyone babbling incoherently.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: Two instances in the Valkyrie DLC. Your first mission is to steal a prototype Vossk interceptor before it gets released to market while a subsequent mission has you chasing after an Octopod who steals an experimental construction laser that is also a highly lethal weapon.
  • Green Rocks: In the third flight sim, the recently discovered Neox sector is full of a strange glowing substance called Mhaan-Tiq (it's probably not a coincidence that it sounds very similar to Manticore, the name of your carrier Home Base) with amazing properties that is wanted by every galactic power. In-game, it's your premium currency used to speed up upgrades.
  • The Greys: The Greys are your typical smart guys. Very few can be found in the game. All There in the Manual claims that the Greys used to be a galaxy-spanning empire back when humans were riding around on horseback hitting one another with swords. Then most of them died out from some mysterious plague. There are also rumors of them having visited Earth through out history. A picture of a Grey in GOF1 looks like your typical example, while the ones in the sequel are less so. A key individual in the second game is a Grey named Khador, who revolutionizes interstellar travel with his Khador Drive, based on Void technology. You might also be able to buy the only Grey ship in the game, the Vol Noor, whose hull has a distinct saucer-like shape. Khador implies to having been studying humans, while making them think they were studying him. If this is true, he may be much older than he appears.
  • Harder Than Hard: Extreme difficulty. Enemies when they attack will outnumber you eight to one in Secure systems, to twelve to one in Dangerous. And unlike easier difficulties, they will swarm you all at once instead of attacking in waves. You need twice as many Energy Cells to use your wormhole drive to travel, those cells and most other commodities become rare to find and in very low numbers when found. Mining becomes harder with an aborted mining op giving you only half of the tones you extracted, and ore as well as cores cannot be bought on stations. Furthermore, wingmen cost five times as much, bribes are ten times as much and certain blueprints require significantly more amounts of certain rare commodities to complete.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The final mission of the main GOF2 campaign has Keith escort a Vossk freighter piloted by Erkkt Uggut, which has to deliver a powerful explosive to take out the Void Mothership. No matter how effective Keith is, the freighter is critically damaged and crashed onto the Mothership. Keith urges Erkkt to eject, but the Vossk replies that the Escape Pod is damaged, telling the Terran to fire on the freighter to detonate the explosive.
  • Hitscan: While most lasers are of the "bolt" type that travel slower than light, several higher-end models are of the insta-hit beam variety. They also tend to have limited auto-targeting ability, which tends target the closest ship in the reticle, even if it's a friendly.
  • Home Base: In the third flight sim game, the player has a constant base on the merc carrier Manticore, which looks very much like a modern naval carrier with a huge flat flight deck (which is pointless in space). In the second game, you can acquire Kaamo station in the Shima system as your home base - either by breaking a siege, then paying its owner 30 million credits and 50 Buskat drugs, or pay real money to buy it outright.
  • Hyperspeed Escape:
    • It's pretty easy to escape from a battle to another planet in the same system, but it requires the player to point at the planet for a few seconds for the ship to lock on. After which, a single press of a button accelerates the ship beyond the enemy reach.
    • If the player is near a jumpgate, he can escape to another system (the ship takes no damage during the jumpgate activation animation, even if hit).
    • The Khador Drive can be used at any time to flee anywhere else.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Many of the items with blueprints in GOF2. It usually takes a lot of traveling and/or mining to track down all the components for each blueprint, but the result usually pays off. Some components can be very rare and only show up in one or two systems and even then not always and in insufficient quantities. GOF2 HD does allow you to skip the process for an exorbitant amount of credits, but it's usually more than what you'd have spent on all the components put together. As of Supernova, some extra rare and powerful weapons can be randomly purchased at the Kaamo Club. Another character at Kaamo also sells rare ship modifications.
  • I Shall Taunt You: A rare heroic example becomes unlocked at the conclusion of the Valkyrie DLC. Keith can taunt a stranded Alice whenever he visits Void space. But only until she becomes relevant to the plot of Supernova.
  • Item Crafting: GOF2 has blueprints that can be purchased on some stations or obtained during storyline missions. The blueprints typically allow the player to build a piece of equipment that is superior to what is normally available on the market. Opening a blueprint reveals all the component necessary and their quantities. Some components can be mined (such as ores and cores), while others (including the ores and the cores) can be purchased. Once components are moved into the blueprint, the item is considered to be under construction on the current station. Transferring components to the item under construction is free only at the current station. If the player wishes to ship the components from another station (to avoid flying back and forth), this costs credits. Once the item has received all the components, it is completed and placed into the player's cargo hold. In case of missiles, each completed "item" is usually 10 missiles. In GOF2 HD, blueprints can be auto-completed without all the necessary resources for a lot of credits. Some items can even be sold for profit. As of Supernova, there are new components that cannot be automatically shipped due to their volatility, which means they must be carefully ferried by the player and can go off for any of the following reasons: using boosters, turning sharply, firing weapons a lot, getting hit by weapons, collisions, using the Khador Drive, etc.
  • It's a Small World After All: What are the chances that Carla's sister Alice would hire you to work against Carla? And no, Alice has no idea about your relationship with Carla or Deep Science at that point.
  • La Résistance: The Mido Confederation was created during Keith's time jump as a consequence of the Nivelian Civil War. It is mostly populated by Nivelians, Terrans, and various outlaws. While the Terran Federation has recognized Midorian sovereignty, the Nivelians refuse to acknowledge them as anything but rebels and traitors, and border skirmishes are common.
  • Love Interest: Christine Hammond in GOF1 is a potential one. Unfortunately, she tries to take on the Big Bad alone and is easily dispatched. In GOF2, Keith hooks up with Dr. Carla Paolini, although Keith eventually realizes that he's not yet ready to settle down and spend his time picking out curtains with Carla.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Certain types of missiles split into multiple smaller missiles to swarm the opponent.
  • More Dakka: Projectile weapons tend to emphasize rate-of-fire over damage. They also have Bottomless Magazines.
  • Nitro Express: Supernova has several missions where you are required to transport highly unstable substances from one system to another. This means no afterburners or sharp turns, meaning you can't maneuver to get out of danger. Also, a few good hits by the enemy is enough to set off the cargo, no matter your shields and armor state. Your own weapons also partly fill the "red meter". These missions absolutely require an Invisibility Cloak (although the best one out there only lasts 40 seconds) and a good dose of luck (or Save Scumming). Essentially, it's a good idea to stop at a Space Station (i.e. Save Point) after every jump. Oh, and you're also not allowed to use the instantaneous Khador Drive, as it would set off the cargo, meaning you have to stick to the good old-fashioned gates. The first time you have to do it isn't too bad, although the fact that you're, essentially, carrying a quick hangover cure ruins the mood. The second time you need to collect (from a warzone, no less) the highly-unstable red plasma and move it across the galaxy, as you can't pay someone to transport it for you (as you can with any other cargo).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Quite a few
    • Nukes called Tormentor, Oppressor and Extinctor
    • The infamous pirate ship "Bloodstar"
    • Cluster missiles called Shesha (giant snake in Hindi) and Petala (demon in Hindi)
    • Terran fighters called Inflict, Furious and Groza ("thunderstorm" or "terror" in Russian)
    • Nivellian ships called Wraith, Ghost, Scimitar and Specter
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Three instances
    • Lose the pirate hunting wager to Erkkt Uggutt and therefore fail to prove your skills as a fighter pilot to him. The result is a Game Over even though you are alive.
    • In the base game's final mission, you must enter the Void wormhole only after the freighter you are escorting has entered it. Attempt to fly through it before, and your ship splatters against it and explodes no matter what your health is.
    • In the Supernova DLC you must hack Valkyrie station and take control of it in three minutes. Fail to do so and Alice will use her Alice Drive to teleport the station to parts unknown, denying you the ability to use it to stop the supernova. Game over man, game over!!
  • Nuke 'em: Nukes are powerful area-of-effect unguided missiles that can destroy or seriously damage clustered enemies. They detonate upon impact, upon reaching their maximum distance, or on command from the player. The Valkyrie add-on introduces the craftable Liberator missile, while is a nuke with a ridiculously long range (almost 14 kilometers) that can be piloted by the player. There are also nuclear mines that can be dropped behind the player to discourage any enemies chasing him.
  • Old-School Dogfighting: Naturally. Most combat takes place at distances less than 3 kilometers. Most weapons are forward-mounted with mines and turrets being the only exceptions (some turrets require manual targeting, while others are automatic). There are very few ships larger than a fighter, and they don't usually play a role in the game.
  • One-Federation Limit: The Terran Federation, the Vossk Empire, the Nivelian Republic, and the Mido Confederation of Planets.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Played straight in the first game, where you must complete the main campaign in order to gain access to all sectors. Averted somewhat in the second game where the sandbox is open once you are taken to Terran territory, but due to the Void raids, the economy is near standstill. Once the Void Mothership is destroyed however, the economy comes back to life.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The Voids in GOF2 arrive via large spinning white portals that appear in space. Wormholes can disappear after a while and reappear in a different location. Getting close to one pulls the player into it (they are bidirectional), and the player finds himself in Void space. Escaping requires entering another wormhole or using the Khador Drive. The wormholes disappear after the destruction of the Void Mothership.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In GOF1, Earth is involved in a fairly standard interstellar war with a rival galactic power. The Big Bad in this case is a rogue Terran officer. In GOF2, the Big Bad is a strange race of beings from an unknown region of space (possibly, not even from this dimension), who can't be communicated with and whose motives are unclear.
  • Perpetual Motion Machine: Cronus, one of the ships in Valkyrie developed by Deep Science, is stated to be powered by a Perpetuum Mobile. The description states that the exorbitant cost of the ship goes to cover the psychiatric care for the scientists who worked on the power system. When looking at the back of the ship, one can see the working pistons of the PM engine even in the hangar.
  • Planet Terra: The word "human" is never used. It's always "Terran". And yet, Earth is still called "Earth" and not "Terra".
  • Portal Network: Most systems in GOF2 are connected by Hyperspace Lanes via jumpgates, which are located on one of the planets in those systems. Some systems are not connected and cannot be reached without a Khador Drive. An interesting feature is that, when selecting the target system, the player also can also select a planet in that system that does not contain a gate. This is likely an Anti-Frustration Feature. The gate's appearance depends on which faction is in control of the system, but they all work the same way.
  • Precursors: GoFA has some of the planets containing the ruins of the Old Ones, a mysterious race that died out a long time ago (presumably, even before the rise of the Greys.)
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Initially played straight, where you need to dock at a station to recover hull and armor health. Turns into regenerating health and shields once you buy and install a Repair Bot into one of your equipment slots.
  • The Reptilians: The Nivelians are lizard-like humanoids. They tend to be hard workers and are extremely loyal to their family. Most of the Nivelians live in the Nivelian Republic, but some broke away and formed the Mido Confederation with a group of Terrans and outlaws. Midorian Nivelians tend to be more easygoing than their cousins, having picked up those habits from Terrans. It's pointed out that many Terrans assume the Vossk are also reptilian. They're not.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: The Mido Confederation doesn't even get a mention in the third flight sim. Partly justified, since the setting moves to a recently-discovered sector of space far from the settled portion of the galaxy. While Nivelians are one of the races represented in the Neox sector, it's not stated if they're from the Nivelian Republic or from the Mido Confederation. The game also makes no mention of Keith Maxwell, the protagonist of the first two games, despite him playing a significant role in galactic events until then.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Scatter guns are the space equivalent of a shotgun. They tend to have shorter ranges (1-2 kilometers at most) and do splash damage, which lessens the need to aim. However, they can also damage allies or neutrals.
  • Shout-Out: A very high number of shout outs to Mass Effect as shown in the list
    • In the beginning of the first game, Keith is at Eden Prime. He is also trying to get back there in the beginning of the second game.
    • Errkkt Uggutt mentions that Keith was based on Novaterra or Terra Nova, which could have in turn been a shout out to Star Trek: Enterprise
    • In the first game, you can visit Tortuga, which is a location in the little known Mass Effect Galaxy game.
    • There is a planet called Dis, shouting out to the infamous Leviathan of Dis in Mass Effect, which in turn shouts out to Dante's Inferno.
    • There is an Aquilla system here, just like in Mass Effect 2
    • There is also an Ymir system, a shout out to the feared YMIR mechs of Mass Effect 2. The name Ymir is itself a shout out to Norse Mythology. The ship Aegir also shouts out to Norse mythology
    • At the end of the Supernova DLC, you must fight a Spectre who is attempting to commit genocide.
    • For a non-Mass Effect reference, the best Invisibility Cloak is called the Yin Co. Shadow Ninja. In The Shadow, the titular hero's former Chinese name was Ying-Ko, and his tactics are most definitely ninja-like.
    • Additionally, towels appear as a tradable commodity, and their description is taken straight from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with only the planet names removed.
  • Skewed Priorities: In Supernova, Carla spends half the game obsessing about which curtains to get for their room, while a titular event threatens to destroy several star systems. Sure, she does her job and works on the problem, as befits a top scientist, but every time Keith returns to the station after yet another daunting task (which usually involves getting shot at), she persists asking him if he has made a decision on the curtains yet.
  • Space Pirates: They vary in threat from "annoying" to "very dangerous". At least one system is entirely under their control, and they demand payment in the form of 5% of the cost of whatever's in the cargo hold every time you visit the system. Some planets can have their stations closed for business until the pirate threat is eliminated. This can be done by finding the pirate outpost (marked by a red nebula around it) and destroying it.
  • Space Station: The player never lands on planets, always interacting with various space stations. Pirates also have outposts in some systems that can be destroyed. Alice has the unique Valkyrie Station that is capable of moving, can be fitted with a Khador Drive, and has powerful weapons.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Bobolians look like human-sized slugs with eyes on long stalks (they actually look similar to the slugs from Flushed Away). Despite their name and appearance, they are actually pretty unfriendly. They also insist on walking around naked (in fact, it's Bobolian law), despite their salt allergy.
  • Starfish Language: The Voids' language is incomprehensible to anyone and cannot be translated by any known system. In-game, any Void speech is shown as strange-looking purple symbols, while random electronic-like sounds are coming from the transmission.
  • Stealth in Space: There are several systems in GOF2 that lower your signature, so the enemy has trouble tracking you. The best of these is the Yin Co. Shadow Ninja, which acts like your typical Invisibility Cloak for about 40 seconds but consumes 5 energy cells every time you use it. While the enemy won't fire at you when you're using the Shadow Ninja, nothing stops you from firing at the enemy.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: At the end of the main storyline of GOF1, Christine Hammond tries to take on the Big Bad alone and is easily dispatched, forcing Keith to take him on by himself, making it that much harder.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the Alliances multiplayer game, this comes into play with fighters, bombers and interceptors. Fighters are best at neutralizing Interceptors, Interceptors are built primarily to shoot down Bombers while Bombers exist primarily to obliterate Fighters.
  • Tractor Beam: Used to grab cargo dropped by destroyed enemies. More powerful versions can steal items from still-intact enemies disabled with EMP (which is a requirement for hostage-rescue missions). The most advanced tractor beam does not require the player to first lock on to an item and has an enormous range.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Multiple storyline missions require the completion of blueprints that require some unusual items to get
    • In the main game you need to mine 50 Void crystals to make the wormhole drive that makes the succeeding parts of the game much easier. While you can skip this quest in the base game, this drive becomes very essential in later DLC.
    • In the Valkyrie DLC, you are given a list of commodities to obtain for a guided missile prototype. which can be a real lifesaver on the Boss Fight and later on to gain at least two achievements.
    • In the Supernova DLC, you will need to get a specific alcoholic beverage for some drunk to make her reveal vital information.
    • Later on, you have to obtain a volatile poisonous toad extract to sober up a different drunk.
    • Supernova again has you electrically exciting and then sucking in large quantities of various amounts of plasma (some highly volatile and in enemy territory) to complete the McGuffin needed to finish the game.
    • Supernova finally has you going apartment hunting.
  • Universal Universe Time: The AMR corporation tried marketing a brand of digital watches, but quickly discovered that they were practically useless to everyone because they were stuck on Earth's 24 hour time period compared to the univeral standard of time that the rest of the galaxy uses.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It's possible to get stuck in a star system without a jumpgate by jumping there with a Khador Drive without sufficient energy cells to jump back.
    • In the Supernova DLC, Informer missions will fail if the Stealth Fighters pick that time to attack you, because if anyone besides The Mole gets attacked during this mission, it is an automatic fail.
    • Those same enemies can also cause you to fail Rescue or Retrieval missions since shooting the ship carrying the hostage or stolen item and destroying it before you can extract them with EMP, causes the mission to fail.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Greys had an intergalactic empire during Earth's Middle Ages. Then most of them were wiped out by a mysterious disease. Now, Greys can only occasionally be seen on other races' space stations.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: The currency used in all known space. Strangely, the credit symbol is a dollar sign ($), which is placed after the amount.
  • Wing Man: In GOF2, you can, occasionally, hire other pilots to escort you for a certain time period. During this time, you can give them limited orders.
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