Halcyon 6 is a Strategy RPG developed and published by Massive Damage, Inc. The original version, Starbase Commander, was released on September 9, 2016 for PC. An Updated Re-release, Lightspeed Edition, was released on August 10, 2017, for PC; an iOS port followed two months later. Both versions are packaged together when purchased through Steam. On January 31st, 2019, the game was also ported to Nintendo Switch.
The player takes control of a commander in the New Terran Federation, a human organization originating from Earth, as they reclaim and rebuild a derelict space station called Halcyon 6. It will stand as a center of operations against the Chuul, a hostile and mysterious alien force. In order to combat it, neighboring star systems must be explored for resources, alliances with other alien races be built and broken, and new technologies researched. Will the Terran Republic survive, or perish against the invaders?
This game utilizes the following tropes:
- Achilles' Heel: Each race/creature type has a specific weakness to a certain status effect, increasing both the odds and damage of a matching status inducing attack.
- Big Damn Heroes: Every race you managed to ally with will send one of their best ships and officers to join your fleet. Depending on your difficulty level and strategic abilities, those ships might even be enough to retrieve the Halcyon artifacts and destroy the Chruul mothership without any support on your part.
- Combos: Weapons either inflict a status effect, or exploit a status effect for extra damage. Setting status effects up on enemies will allow you to pull of truly disgusting amounts of damage. For example, Salvage Harpoon inflicts both Vulnerable and Hull Breach, allowing you to follow up with Portal Cannon (exploits Hull Breach) and finish off the poor schmuck with Bullseye (exploits Vulnerable).
- Helpful Mook: When flying in Chruul territory, a possible random encounter is a Chruul who offers you some Chruul equipment in exchange for resources without a fight. Even the your command staff is baffled at this Chruul's peculiarly non-aggressive stance.
- Hive Mind: Played with by the Korzan, who introduce themselves as a collective greater than humans, but turn out to have a fair amount of in-fighting among themselves.
- Last Chance Hit Point: Ships and officers that reach zero HP will stay alive in a "Critical" state, a la Death's Door. Any further damage (including damage over time effects) will destroy/kill them permanently.
- Living Ship: The Chuul's ships are notably organic.
- Zig-zagged with the Chruul mothership. Breaking its outer layers will expose organic-like flesh and bones, but eventually even those will peel out to reveal a metallic starbase similar to Halcyon 6's, albeit with a literal Brain in a Jar taking up the entire upper deck.
- Lizard Folk: The Yabblings, with green skin and red eyes.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The Collective, an alien group reminiscent of The Borg.
- Proud Merchant Race: The Yabblings, a swamp-dwelling reptilian alien species that introduce themselves by offering to buy Halcyon 6 and flip it on the market. Similarities to the Ferengi are almost certainly coincidental, though, to be fair, they do seem to be both slightly more sincere and a fair bit more polite.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Xlar-Yanthu, an alien group reminiscent of the Klingons. Noticing a pattern here?
- Red Shirt: "Green Shirts" is the term used for expendable crewmates, as red is reserved for officers specializing in exploration.
- Mauve Shirt: You can promote one of the Cadets after he ends up taking an experimental Super Serum, making him able to use the Cloning Chamber in case things go south for him. He can't pilot any ship besides the Shuttle and his selection of ground combat skills is subpar, but he has pretty good stats and is best used to respond to emergencies in the starbase proper.
- Shout-Out: The game is heavily inspired by science fiction, particularly Star Trek, and references it often.
- Space Pirate: Early on, the player can find three different factions sharing a space system, and can choose to either wipe them all out or keep one alive in exchange for benefits.
- Starfish Aliens: The Chruul, unlike all other aliens in the game, are notably inhuman.
- Status Effects: The game heavily emphasizes inflicting/protecting against these. Additionally, certain attacks exploit these status effects, dealing increased damage but removing the status effect.
- Hull Breach/Bleeding: The ship takes 200% of the inflicting attack's base damage over 3 turns. Bleeding results in 36 damage over 3 turns for ground based combat
- Sensors Offline/Blinded: The ship's/character's aim is reduced by 30%
- Engines Down/Shocked: The ship's/Character's speed is reduced by 25%
- Crew Panic/Confused: The ship's/character's evasion is reduced by 100%, making hits a near guarantee.
- Ship Disable/Stunned: The ship/character is forced to skip its turn(s).
- Vulnerable/Exposed: The ship/character takes 20% more damage and threat is increased by 50%
- Weapons Disruption/Afflicted: The ship has one of its abilities randomly locked, preventing it from being used, and damage dealt is by this ship is reduced by 25%. Afflicted merely reduces damage dealt by 25%