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Video Game / Noctis

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One of the many vistas from Noctis IV.
Noctis is an open-source space exploration game released in 2000. You play as a Felysian, a cat like sentient species in a Stardrifter, a speedy space ship. The gameplay is mainly exploring the reaches of the universe, and by that it means exploring a galaxy of over seventy billion stars. Aim at a point of light in the sky and you can visit it. There may be planets. They might have an atmosphere. It's possible they support flora, and some even have fauna. A few have structures from previous civilisations. Every part of it procedurally generated, by a program of just under a megabyte (for the first version), by solo developer Alessandro Ghignola.

Noctis IV can be downloaded from the developer's very old site, along with the older versions.

Nothing to do with the road-tripping prince of Final Fantasy XV. Similar in spirit to No Man's Sky, more or less.

Noctis provides examples of:

  • Absent Aliens: The Felysians are the only race in the galaxy and the rest have disappeared, leaving only the player.
  • All There in the Manual: Various world building details surrounding the game's backstory can be found within the game manual.
  • Beautiful Void: Contains 70 billion stars, all procedurally generated. Precious few have life, and your character is the only sentient being. (The website says that there are other exploration ships around, but it's "fantastically unlikely" that you'll ever meet one. For game purposes, you're the only person in the galaxy.) There's no win condition, and no way of losing except against existentialist angst—just exploration, and wonder at the sheer emptiness of it all.
    • The only time you will see another ship is if you run out of fuel and activate the emergency distress beacon. Another Felysian ship will appear shortly and give you a few grams of fuel to get you on your way, then depart.
  • Bleak Level: Landing on a Felysian planet during storms or on the dark side of the planet has this kind of effect, if you've seen the same area before the storm or the nightfall came.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Very rarely, on a Felysian planet, pyramids and various other buildings will be generated. They can't be entered only observed.
  • Crystal Landscape: Played straight with the Quartz planets.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Due to the snapshot system in Noctis IV NICE, it's possible to set a goal related to this. Photograph as many of the animals, plants and/or landscapes you can find. By launching oneself up by the jetpack, taking a snapshot downward and then making it into collage, one could make a map of a sizeable portion of the planet. Be warned though, the planet actually spins forward with time, bringing nightfall to necessary parts of the map.
    • Also, being a Felysian, one can engage in the bird-like alien massacre. It's less bloody then it sounds, you simply sneak very close to the bird, and it is brought close to your face, upside down, since you grabbed it with your mouth. It then disappears on the way on your ship.
  • Green Hill Zone: Plains, forests, shrublands and even taigas on the Felysian planets.
  • Last of His Kind: The rest of the Felysians have disappeared, leaving only the player.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Internally hot planets or planets orbiting too close to their sun. Due to damage system not implemented, they are nowhere as lethal. Only thing is it might be hard to explore, due to traversing lava lakes and seeing bright red all the while.
  • Level Grinding: Without the Omega drive, you will run out of the fuel eventually. Nearing that, you have to find a neutron star (S06). You can acquire a massive amount, but then you'd have to leave the game on for at least four hours.
  • Long-Lived: The Felysians as a whole straddle the line between this and Time Abyss. Their lifespans range anywhere from 3100 to 4500 years.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: It's set entirely in the fictional Feltyrion Galaxy.
  • The Lost Woods: Visiting the Felysian forests at night. Extra points for trying to do so during a storm.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: The Stardrifter can only go so many thousand lightyears before refuelling at a star, making intergalactic travel impossible.
  • Mirror World: A lot of elements on planets are similar, mostly differing by the colors, amount of light, position of the star and weather.
  • Palmtree Panic: Sometimes near the inland seas and oceans a different type of biomes can be found. It has few vegetation and, most notably, much more miniature pools of water surrounded by land.
  • Patchwork Map: When choosing where to land on the planet each area is a little rectangle. On the normal landing roster it's not noticeable, but one can enable the biome filter, which is much more like this trope.
  • Procedural Generation: You explore a galaxy approximately 90 thousand light-years in radius (about double the radius of the Milky Way Galaxy) made of over 78 billion stars, many with planets and moons. If you pick any point in the starfield, you can go there, then land on any rocky planet you find and roam around. All created by a program of under a megabyte.
  • Ram Scoop: The Stardrifter can scoop lithium fuel from certain stars.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Those ruins rarely found on Felysian planets but they're very rare, and as such an awesome sight.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Desert biomes on the Felysian planets, only with more elevation than the usual examples.
  • Schmuck Bait: Trying to land on the planets closest to the sun - lava everywhere. Too far from the star - darkness everywhere. Also trying to fast travel when you've got no omega drive installed.
    • Less dangerous example - running into immobile creatures can rarely cause them to seemingly attack and chase you. However no harm's done due to the lack of a health bar and besides sometimes it's necessary for getting a better snapshot of them.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Frozen planets, except there's not much to the sliding. The icecaps of the Felysian planets also have some elements of this trope.
    • Also, small archipelagos can be found near icecaps.
  • Space Compression: The game is really vast, but with installed Omega Drive, ability to land of different parts of a planet as well as the trick of moving on the top of your ship, while travelling toward stars or local planets, you have little to worry about.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: In fact, there is nothing to do but explore.