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Video Game / Stars Beyond Reach

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You are the captain of a Sleeper Starship sent into space with the fruits of your civilization's scientific and cultural heritage as well as the best and brightest of its people on board. At least, that's what you've been told by your ship's computer. The implant that should have told you all that has been sabotaged, taking most of your personal memory with it. Not that it would have helped since the ship's records have been wiped along with your navigational charts. The computer's done the best it can to repair the damage, but all it had to work with is these transmissions from a planet called Earth that was blown up a few millennia ago. Better than nothing, right?

You'd better hope so because you're about to make planetfall, and the place is already occupied by thirteen distinct intelligent species, who 1.) don't get along, 2.) can see you're coming, and 3.) are not happy about it.

So there you are, newly crowned benevolent dictator for life, with nothing but a computer, a cold sleep ship converted into a government center, alien technologies and buildings at your fingertips, trapped on a world of things that want to kill you. What do you do? Explore, expand, exploit and... thrive.

Stars Beyond Reach: This World is Mine is an upcoming 4X/city builder from Arcen Games, makers of AI War: Fleet Command and The Last Federation. It is a distant sequel to both games, set in the same universe thousands if not millions of years later.

As of May 2021, the game's status on its Steam store page is set to "Unlikely To Ever Release," with a detailed note from the devs about why the project was canceled. Some resources and design choices from this game made it into AI War 2 and others will be used in future titles.

Stars Beyond Reach contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Acutians try for this if it suits them, but they're always going to be evil.
  • Aliens Speaking English: At the very least the other races are speaking their own languages. Even the player race is implied to have their own language, rendered in English purely for convenience.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Remember that even if they like you the Burlurst are Klingons with the aggression meter cranked up to eleven, and the Acutians would slit their mama's throat for a nickel.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Some Fenyn events have them stir up the local (carnivorous/vicious) wildlife, with the best of intentions.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Spire are rocks. The Zenith are organic starships.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Despite the lack of a childhood, citizens are generally well-adjusted members of their species.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: All Acutians ever, even the ones doing menial work.
  • Death World: Piss off the planet enough and the claws come out.
  • Development Hell: Due to Arcen Games' financial issues.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: The Thoraxians and their boss are not very nice.
  • The Dreaded: The Thoraxians, who have a special icon dedicated to letting you know that they're within spitting distance.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: One of the endings. It's considered a ''good ending'' of sorts.
  • Earth That Was: Planet Earth was destroyed in the backstory (of AI War: Fleet Command at that), but it matters at all only because Earth's last transmissions reached you when you needed to fill in the gaps of your own knowledge base.
  • Explosive Breeder: The Peltians hat, probably because they're so weak they need ever more bodies to throw at their problems.
  • Genius Loci: All of the natural wonders. The planet is alive and passively malevolent. It can end up being your ultimate antagonist or your ultimate benefactor depending on your choices.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: The Andor insist on seeing everyone's actions in the best possible light. Everyone else agrees this makes them hopelessly naive.
  • The Greys: Skylaxians meet most of the physical descriptors.
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Spire in the conventional sense. The Zenith are at least on their level, but took a non-standard path (ie their science is all about figuring out how to produce the desired result from their body).
  • Hive Mind: The Neinzul have a collective memory but individuals still exist within that collective.
    • The Thoraxians as well, but it's really more like the Thoraxian Queen is the only individual and the rest of her hive acts as her limbs.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Skylaxians.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Some races are humanoid, but there are no humans to be had at all.
  • Humorless Aliens: Nope. The Thoraxians are serious business all the time but even they find time for a few gags.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: The Spire don't quite "get" living with other races, mostly because they're just so far advanced compared to everyone else. They're still friendly though, just strange.
    • AI controlled Zenith have the same problem, but they're much more gung-ho about trying to understand and be understood.
  • Killer Rabbit: The prairie dog's attack animation is a flying leap. Early in the beta, nomads could attack without triggering battle mode (meaning free attacks on everything in range), so they were a more literal example than intended.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: All direct attack structures fall into one of these three categories. Unusually, they have direct counters rather than overcoming/being overcome by one of the other points on the triangle.
  • LEGO Genetics: New citizens are all genetically modified and rapidly grown to adulthood.
  • Neural Implanting: How every citizen gets their knowledge and skills. In-universe, the player is the sole original colonist whose neural implant failed, so they made you dictator for life as compensation.
  • Not Quite Human: The Fenyn are the only aliens that look appreciably human, but even they don't look quite right.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: Definitely averted. Not only does every race have pop culture (save the Thoraxians...), you can develop yours to use as trade goods.
    • The Skylaxians especially like it, though they pretend to be above such things.
  • Robot Buddy: The computer adviser is one half this and one half Mission Control.
  • The Paladin: The Skylaxians, reprising their role from The Last Federation.
  • Panspermia: At the very least, INTELLIGENT life is not native to the planet.
  • The Paranoiac: The Evucks are an entire race of these, exhibiting paranoid tendencies all across the spectrum.
    • Properly Paranoid: Shockingly averted. Their proper concerns are the result of being paranoid of absolutely everything.
  • Planet of Hats: Averted and played straight. Obviously no two races are alike, but each race does stick to a hat. The player race can go against that hat, but doing so causes social unrest.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Burlurst play this to the hilt. Everything is an excuse for violence.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The space escape ending involves you and a number of races collaborate on getting off the planet together.
    • Any expats who come to you have decided this about their native race.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: The AI has access to structures the player race never can have. Justified by the player race's lost history being overwritten with human tech.
    • Closer in spirit to the trope, the player cannot warp combat structures all the way across the map.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The Spire definitely, the Zenith maybe.
  • Terraform: The Terraforming Engine will gradually make tiles in a territory look like a race's natural habitat. The planet's native foliage will come back if the engine is destroyed though.
  • The Time of Myths: AI War and The Last Federation are a kind of mythic past for the appropriate races. Exactly what happened during those events has been lost to The Fog of Ages.
  • Totally Radical: The Peltians have a tendency to use this kind of slang, in keeping with their average mental age.
  • Universal Translator: You have to research the languages spoken by the alien races you meet. They have universal translators, which can cause nasty problems if you flub your introduction.
  • Ursine Aliens: The Boarine, who don't really like anyone, even members of their own species.
  • Villain Teleportation: Other factions don't expand much. Think you're safe pissing off a leader on the other side of the map? Wrong; they're about to warp some special attack structures right next to you. Here's hoping you can get a defensive grid up before they finish warming up.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Individual Neinzul live just for a few days. Reminding them of this is a good way to really piss them off.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Fans of The Last Federation asked if the Hydraal would appear. He will not, since TLF is all about his story.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Cobalt Bomb. One of these is enough to destroy just about anything in a given territory.