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A quadrilogy of shooter games developed by Arcade Town. Some of the few original games to come out of the site, and most likely the best. The games are, in order-

  • Antaris Realspace
  • Apocalypse Outpost (Chronologically the first in the series, taking place before Antaris)
  • Realspace 2: Emperor's Revenge
  • Realspace 3: Apocalypse Returns (Shareware)

They chronicle the war between the United Fleet and the Katuri Empire in the year 2357. After taking to the stars, humanity believed it was their right to rule the galaxy, and crushed any alien forces that would not succumb to their rule. With the human army, the United Fleet, powering their drive for war, no one could hope to stand up to them. After rampaging through half the galaxy, they came across the Katuri Empire, another race that refused to obey the human army. Humanity then wasted no time in invading the outer worlds of the Katuri Empire, believing them to be another easy target.

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However, humanity underestimated the Katuri. The Katuri responded by obliterating the United Fleet's offensive force, and destroying all the human space stations in their path (Referred to as "outposts"). Only one outpost survived: Apocalypse.

With the United Fleet hanging on by a thread, a resupply mission was needed to fortify the forces on the front lines. But due to the Katuri Juggernaut Carrier blocking the route to the 5th fleet (The main offensive force of the United Fleet), no one could reach it. After many failed attempts, one final group, led by a gunner named Antaris, managed to smash the Katuri blockade and reach the 5th fleet. With the newly reinforced United Fleet combined with the power of Apocalypse, Humanity managed to turn a desperate situation into victory.

The United Fleet managed to regroup and struck back against the Katuri Empire, barreling through the heart of the empire. With the blood of their comrades now spilled, they fought against the Katuri with renewed rage. No world was safe. They eventually reached Sirius Prime, the Katuri homeworld, and mounted one final assault against the Katuri. The Katuri attempted to fight back with the remnants of their army, but failed, and the United Fleet began to devastate Sirius Prime. In a final act of desperation, a group of Katuri suicide bombers struck the United Fleet assault force, forcing them into retreat. With the Katuri now hanging on by a thread, one Katuri commander, Vengeance, led a massive assault against the United Fleet, single-handedly regrouping the Katuri army and leading a massive attack against the human homeworld- Earth. At the end of the second game, the Katuri manage to destroy Earth and annihilate the United Fleet.

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With humanity all but destroyed, Antaris alone regrouped the United Fleet and began to lead them back to Apocalypse, the only place the Katuri could never conquer. As the United Fleet slowly regained some of its former power, they began to strike back against the Katuri army in the final phase of the war. During this long series of battles, Vengeance, leading the Katuri army, seeks to destroy Antaris and cripple the United Fleet's resolve, whereas Antaris and the fleet must survive at their last base and defeat the Katuri. Throughout the third game, the United Fleet slowly beats the Katuri back and eventually ensures victory over them. In the final battle of the war, Antaris duels against Vengeance in the middle of a nebula in deep space, destroying him and ending the Katuri forever.

The first three games were spread around the internet in the early 2000s, but faded into obscurity until 2007 with the release of the Shareware Realspace 3. The series briefly enjoyed a surge in popularity, before quietly fading into obscurity, where it looks like they'll stay. The series has a small but loyal fanbase and speedrun community, as well as a few Lets Plays.

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Tropes in this series include:

  • 2-D Space: Due to the games being 2-D shooters. Averted with Antaris in Antaris Realspace.
  • Action Bomb: The Katuri employ two types of these: spatial mines (think sea mines IN SPACE) and suicide bombers.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Humanity certainly seems to think so.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted, Vengeance is the only Katuri who can speak English.
  • All Up to You: It's up to Antaris to save humanity. Likewise, in the second game, It's up to Vengeance to save the Katuri.
  • Anti-Villain: By the end of Realspace 3, Vengeance could care less about the Human-Katuri war, he just wants to destroy Antaris.
  • Apocalypse How: Humanity caused at least a class 1 on Sirius Prime, and the Katuri cause a class X.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: For energy weapons and missiles alike. Heck, in the very first game Antaris's shots are stopped by a 2-D plane of hard vacuum.
  • Arch-Enemy: Antaris and Vengeance.
  • Art Evolution: Justified with the length of time between the release of the second and third games, but still- compare this and this to this.
  • Artificial Stupidity: It's more obvious in the Attract Mode, but in Realspace 2, Carriers use the same AI as any other ships, and so fly towards enemy ships until "scared off" by enemy firenote , despite having no weapons of their own.
  • Attract Mode: Realspace 2's "Demo Mode" intro screen is this, displaying randomly generated Katuri and United Fleet ships engaging each other over a background of generic planets, stars, and nebulae. It also periodically resets, progressively erasing each ship before restarting from default, as the Katuri's Juggernaut Carriersnote  usually allow their fleet to snowball into an unstoppable mass, with only UF Battleships able to inflict anything approaching meaningful losses.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking/Asskicking Equals Authority: While it's not clear exactly what his position is, Vengeance is clearly someone important to the Katuri, and has a powerful ship to show for it. In the second game, he flies a supership that is approximately the size of a cruiser, as resilient as a battleship, has rapid fire capital cannons for basic weaponrynote , and is easily the fastestnote  ship in the game. In the third game, he speaks with authority (the fleet attacking earth holding fire for him to speak), and his post-Retcon ship is a stupidly resilient and reasonably agile superfighter with stronger guns than the others which can also mount several brutal weapons for the bossfights against it, such as even more powerful guns and a fighter-sized Beam Laser.
  • Badass Army: In Realspace 2, there are no useless (combat) units on either side. Even the most basic fighters can effectively shoot each other down, and deal relevant Scratch Damage to larger shipsnote .
  • Badass Boast/Boss Banter: Most of Vengeance's lines in the third game.
  • The Battlestar: Katuri Juggernaut Carriers are a subversion; despite their formidable status and ability to soak up a lot of damage, they only launch fighters and have no offensive capabilities otherwise. They have guns in 3, but pack much less firepower than a dedicated battleship.
  • Beam Spam: In Realspace 2, large scale fleet battles will inevitably become a combination of this and Macross Missile Massacre. Both Antaris and Vengeance can also invoke this on their own, especially once Antaris gets the Star Cannon and/or a Rapid Fire or Double Fire powerup. With all three at once...
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Katuri are gone for good, but humanity paid a steep price for victory: their homeworld, as well as at least 80% of their population.
  • Blood Knight: Vengeance.
  • The Bus Came Back: Antaris is nowhere to be seen in Realspace 2. He's the player character in the third game, though.
  • Climax Boss: Vengeance.
    • The Katuri Flagship at the end of the last game. You fight it with UFS Chimera and Apocalypse, and it can still easily destroy both.
  • Color-Coded Armies: The Katuri are red, the United Fleet are grey (with some blue in the later games). Confusingly, the colors are reversed in the minimap of Realspace 2.
  • Cool Starship: Everyone, especially Vengeance.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Subverted in Realspace 2. If you look closely, you'll notice:
    • The Katuri Basic Fighter not only has homing shots, but they move faster than the seeking shots fired by the only United Fleet fighter to get such. This makes them better in most ways than all three of the United Fleet fighter variants, with them only falling short in speed against one variant.
    • The United Fleet has no equal to the Katuri Juggernaut Carriers, having only standard Carriers of its own.
    • United Fleet carriers can only deploy one fighter at a time, as compared to the Katuri standard Carrier getting to launch two at once and the Juggernaut Carrier being able to put out a whopping 4. This makes it noticeably more likely to get shot down before deploying all its fighters, especially since Carriers only start to launch fighters once they get sufficiently near enemy forces. (And even more so if KFS Vengeance gets involved.)
    • Katuri Battleships have two capital cannons and two missile launchers, as compared to the United Fleet battleship's four capital cannons and lack of missile arrays.
    • Katuri Cruisers fire two homing shots in quick succession, while the United Fleet has Light Cruisers which fire single homing shots (and have less health) and Heavy Cruisers which fire two unguided shots (and have more health).
    • The United Fleet does not deploy Suicide Bombers or equivalents.
    • Due to the absence of UFS Antaris, the United Fleet has no equal to the supership KFS Vengeance.
  • Deflector Shields: Everyone's got 'em. Except some of the light fighter craft, in which case it sucks to be the pilot of one.
  • Demoted to Extra: The final boss of Antaris Realspace was a Katuri Juggernaut Carrier, otherwise known as the most powerful Katuri ship. The only other game they appeared in was Realspace 2, only during the final few levels.
  • Destructible Projectiles: A staple of the games up until Realspace 3. In fact, shooting enemy projectiles was pretty much the only way to avoid taking damage from them. The only exception to this rule is beam lasers.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Antaris's reward for saving the United Fleet? A very small pay raise.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: At the end of the second game, sets the stage for the third.
  • The Empire: Each side sees the other as this. The Katuri are called the Katuri Empire, though.
  • Escort Mission: Technically, the entirety of Antaris Realspace and Realspace 2, as losing all your other ships in these games is an instant Game Over.
  • Explosions in Space
  • Featureless Protagonist: Both Antaris and Vengeance. The games are all about the ships, which means we don't get to see what anyone looks like.
  • The Federation: The United Fleet seems to see itself as this, but they're most definitely not.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Averted in the earlier games, where ships could shoot in all directions. Played straight later on with Vengeance, Antaris, and the fighters and bombers in Realspace 3.
  • Fricking Laser Beams: All over the place. Some of them are even homing.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Ships can simply shoot through their allies.
  • Genocide Backfire: The goal and plot of Realspace 2 is basically to ensure this happens. To the enemy humans.
  • The Ghost: The Katuri Emperor.
  • Glass Cannon: Antaris. His firepower is brutal, but his shields aren't much stronger than an advanced fighter's.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the second game, as the Katuri attack Earth, an enormous black space station sits right by the planet, with no explanation as to what it is or why/ how it got there. It's never even mentioned again after Earth is destroyed. The obvious answer is that it's the Moon, but no one comments on it.
    • It doesn't even appear in the third game's opening cutscene, which reviews the second game's ending, right where it was!
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: The war was started when humanity invaded the Katuri worlds in an effort to expand their empire through conquest. The Katuri want to destroy every last human in response.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Both sides seem to see the conflict this way. In fact, the Katuri may come closer to averting it, as they attempt to surrender at the beginning of the second game. Unfortunately for them, the United Fleet has other ideas.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Katuri suicide bombers who saved Sirius Prime.
    Narration: Our pilots' ultimate sacrifice saved the homeworld. The Emperor himself bestows high honour to their houses!
  • Homing Lasers: The Star Blaster in Realspace 3. Also various unique non-player weapons in Realspace 2.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: If humanity hadn't charged into the Katuri worlds thinking they could own them as they please, the war wouldn't have started to begin with.
  • Kick the Dog: The United Fleet's response to the Katuri Homeworld surrendering after the destruction of their defensive outposts? Open fire. They don't stop even despite the Katuri begging them for mercy; it takes a wing of suicide bombers inflicting significant additional materiel loss to the United Fleet to "convince" them to retreat.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Emperor's Revenge opens with the United Fleet destroying Sirius Prime's defenses easily, prompting the Katuri to surrender... only for the United Fleet to open fire on the planet instead. Not only do they get driven back, but the Katuri fleet led by Vengeance proceed to destroy Earth in retaliation.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Antaris shows up just minutes after Earth is destroyed.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Vengeance is FAST, and has the firepower to back it up.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of Antaris' secondary weapons is this. The second game also lets Vengeance indulge in this with an upgrade.
  • Meaningful Name: Vengeance.
    • Apocalypse Outpost as well, as it becomes the staging point for the United Fleet after Earth goes kablooey.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Heavy Torpedo secondary weapon in the third game. It's the slowest projectile in the game, but has a bigger punch than the beam lasers.
    • Any ship bigger than a heavy bomber also qualifies as this.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As the Katuri charge through the human empire and head towards Earth, this is more or less humanity's reaction, since they only have themselves to blame for incurring the Katuri's wrath.
  • Nintendo Hard: Antaris Realspace and Realspace 2, past the first few levels of each, largely because your fleet carries over between levels (with a few reinforcements added each time) and you lose if all of them are wiped out, meaning that slipping up in an early level can make the later levels that much harder. Ships in these games also tend to be quite fragile; for instance, a cruiser doesn't take much more damage than a fighter, and it's not helped by the heavy firepower of the enemy. Finally, there are no save points in either game.
  • Not So Different: Both Antaris and Vengeance were normal fighter pilots who ended up saving their respective races. Both are also seen as the strongest attribute in their armies. Both pilot smaller-than-average, yet unique ships. And both are dedicated to destroying the opposite race. The main difference between them is that Antaris saves his side twice.
  • Oh, Crap!: Vengeance flees in absolute terror when Antaris and Apocalypse destroy the Katuri Flagship.
  • One-Hit Kill: Do NOT get caught in Vengeance's beam lasers.
    • On the NPC vs. NPC side, in Realspace 2, Katuri Suicide Bombers seem able to destroy any United Fleet ship they connect with in their suicidal ramming attacks. Thankfully, the United Fleet lacks an equivalent, and when you face the Katuri suicide bombers yourself in Realspace 3, they're also nerfed by the Retcon mentioned below, being transformed into a fighter-sized unit that deals heavy damage to you, and enough damage to capital ships to be concerning, but far from a one-hit kill.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Vengeance views Antaris as this.
  • Orbital Bombardment: How the Katuri homeworld is nearly destroyed by the United Fleet in Real Space 2, averted only by a kamikaze-style attack by a wing of suicide bombers. Should they get that far, the Katuri's goal is to return the favour to Earth.
  • Pendulum War: Each game sees the war going another side's way.
  • Planet Terra: The Katuri call the humans Terrans in the second game, though they never refer to Earth as Terra.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Katuri are implied to be this.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: For humanity.
  • Ramming Always Works: Obviously used by Katuri suicide bombers. Vengeance can also destroy enemies in the second game by ramming them, but doing so causes Vengeance to take damage proportionate to the target's hull armor. As such, while it can survive ramming a Dreadnought, it's probably not a good idea to do so, and attempting the same on an outpost ends exactly how you'd expect it to.
  • Recurring Boss: Vengeance, again.
  • Redemption Demotion: Of a sort. The Katuri Juggernaut Carrier in Realspace 2 (where the player is on the Katuri side) is nowhere near as powerful as the one that served as the Final Boss of Antaris.
  • Retcon: In Realspace 2 the battle roles and armaments of many ships, including KFS Vengeance, are very different to what they are portrayed as in Realspace 3 - which chronologically begins immediately after, with no time for the factions to entirely overhaul their ship types and battle doctrines.
    • In Realspace 2, the distinction between fighters and larger ships isn't as clear (beyond fighters being able to be launched from carriers) and fighters seem to do double duty as corvettes, being the appropriate size and armed with slow-firing weapons that can deal (some amount of) meaningful damage to any other ship in isolation (or destroy them through volley fire when massed). They are often deployed on their own or in pairs/small groups, as well as as part of a fleet. Most ships carry either one of a few different energy weapons note , capital cannons, or missiles, and use these weapons to engage each other.
    • In Realspace 3, fighters are much smaller, and are almost never seen on their own; they're basically always deployed as squadrons, fleet support ships, continuous spawns (from offscreen or warp-ins), or from carriers. Capital ships are visibly much bigger than any fighter, and carry dedicated anti-small-ship weapons (relatively rapid fire guns and light missile launchers) while only engaging each other with their primary beam lasers; in turn, fighters can only deal Scratch Damage to them with their own rapid-fire light guns, and bombers armed with anti-capital torpedoes are introduced. Katuri Beam Ships and UF Torpedo Destroyers take on the role of capital-sized corvettes.
    • KFS Vengeance is first shown in Realspace 2 as something akin to a super cruiser or battlecruiser in both size and armaments, with its default weapons as a rapid-firing fixed forward facing version of the strongest capital cannons available to NPCs in that game. Come Realspace 3, KFS Vengeance is unambiguously shown as a superfighter instead - it's larger than other fighters, but smaller than even Katuri beam ships (as well as also being smaller than the United Fleet transports it was at least the size of in the previous game), and while using a stronger version of standard fighter weapons by default, also lacks any meaningful ability to engage capital shipsnote .
    • Additionally, at the end of Realspace 2, Earth is destroyed by massed fleet fire, much like the Katuri homeworld nearly was in the opening cutscene. The opening of Realspace 3 instead shows a cutscene where the Katuri fleet take up positions around Earth, and inflict some damage on it with fighter fire, only to cease fire and announce "the instrument of their vengeance" as a wave of suicide bombers, which proceed to finish the job.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Both sides have at least one.
  • Sapient Ship: Though never directly shown, Katuri flagships have an enormous brain in them, with several wires and tubes attached. It's unknown if those brains are actually the flagships' minds or if they're simply for show.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of Realspace 3, Antaris quits the United Fleet after finding himself lost in a nebula.
  • Space Is an Ocean
  • Space Is Noisy: In larger battles, things will get very noisy. And flashy.
  • Space Station: Apocalypse and other outposts. Both sides have them.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: For the United Fleet.
  • Standardized Leader: The only real things we know about Antaris are his name and that he's a spectacular pilot. Hell, Antaris could be a girl for all we know.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: Although it's not actually the stars, the celestial objects in the midground and currently present starships despawning sequentially when the Attract Mode resets itself definitely gives off these vibes.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Partway through Realspace 3, you have to play as an unarmed spy shuttle to find Katuri industrial facilities, evade their defences long enough to discover all three, and report back to base.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: In the third game, Vengeance is invulnerable in all missions where he appears, with two exceptions, both one-on-one dogfights between him and Antaris. In the first, he flees after taking enough damage; in the second, Antaris takes him down for good.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Oh so very much.
  • Too Dumb to Live/Honor Before Reason: While the Katuri suicide bombers are effective both tactical and strategic units, the use of them against Earth comes across as this, when there are three unopposed capital ships present, and a swarm of fighters which ceases fire right before they show up for Vengeance to give a grandiose speech. Made worse by the fact that prior to the aforementioned Retcon, the Katuri did destroy Earth through sustained fire, and before that their homeworld was also ravaged and nearly destroyed by United Fleet weapons fire.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The first time you pilot a capital ship, rather than UFS Antaris, may come across as this in Realspace 3. Also, the aforementioned Stealth-Based Mission, and an additional unusual mission where you have to rescue stranded shuttles as Antaris.
  • United Space of America: The human faction here is called the United Fleet and they have a banner very reminiscent of the Stars and Stripes.
  • Unstable Equilibrium:
    • In normal gameplay, Realspace 2 has the "kept resources" version of this, as most levels reuse the fleet/remaining friendly ships from the previous level, sometimes with additional reinforcements. You also lose if you lose all your allied ships, as noted under Escort Mission, so it doesn't matter if you're still able to solo all the remaining enemies without backup unless you're also able to keep your last remaining ship(s) alive while you do.
    • The Demo Mode goes wild with this to the point of Foregone Conclusion in the Katuri's favour, as both factions get roughly equal spawns of random ships... however this includes Katuri Carriers and Juggernaut Carriers, which as listed under Cosmetically Different Sides, are superior to the United Fleet's standard Carriers and produce superior fighters. As noted in YMMV under Game-Breaker, this rapidly snowballs into a critical mass of fighter-corvettes and support ships that can obliterate anything with volleys of Homing Laser fire, leaving only enemy capital cannons (which oneshot fighters and have a decent firing rate) capable of inflicting meaningful losses in returns.
  • Villain Protagonist: Vengeance and the Katuri are the playable characters of the second game. The United Fleet is also an expansionist, imperialist entity which conquers space by force to facilitate its own expansion and fires on a defenceless, surrendering planet with the apparent intent to commit genocide, and can therefore be argued to be getting - or avoiding - its just deserts.
  • War Is Hell
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Beam Lasers in the third game.
  • We Will Meet Again: The result every time Vengeance fights Antaris except the last one.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Humanity has NO problems exterminating a race it happens to encounter on its quest for expansion.

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