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Video Game / Strange Adventures In Infinite Space

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Strange Adventures In Infinite Space is a freeware game made by Digital Eel Games.

In the game, you control a featureless spaceship captain hired out by a shady "businessman" to explore a region of space known as Sector Prime on a ten-year charter. Along the way, you explore new solar systems, discover exciting new technologies, and find new alien races to talk to (or kill). At the end of the ten-year period, you are expected to return home with loot and tales from your strange adventure in infinite space.

...And that's it, really. The game takes about 5-15 minutes to complete, but it's strangely compelling nevertheless.

It has spawned a sequel of sorts (Although it is more of an Enhanced Remake) called Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. This installment is not freeware, but contains the stuff the original had, and a lot more, including Game Mod support.

Not to be confused with Infinite Space by Sega.

Strange Adventures is available here. Weird Worlds can be bought from Digital Eel's webpage, as well as DESURA and Steam.

A third game, Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars started development after a successful Kickstarter campaign. It came out of Steam Early Access on the 29th of October, 2015.

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space provides examples of:

  • Absolute Xenophobe: The Tan Ru are mechanical lifeforms, and will want to kill you for not being the same. The Tchorak are silicon-based lifeforms that despise non-silicoid creatures and will normally try to kill you also. note 
  • Ace Pilot: Ripcord O'Reilly.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: IN SPACE!
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Sea of Stars incorporates some to make gameplay smoother than previous versions.
    • You can retire anywhere anytime without having to go to the Glory System, unlike previous games. Conversely this changes a few things, such as the Muktians no longer sending an ambassador if you go to their homeworld with the lost Muktian fighter in your fleet.
    • In an encounter, instead of having all your ships and fighters on the battle map at once you can choose which ship(s) and/or fighter(s) to deploy, making retreat faster if you don't like the odds. Or you can bring in the reserves at the best moment.
    • Fighters like Ripcord O'Reilly will be controlled by the AI as a default after you deploy them on the battle map, leaving you free to control the starships most of the time. Also, fighters will retreat from battle after taking enough damage rather than dying pitifully easy like before. If your starship(s) survive the battle you can repair the fighter(s).
    • If your ship(s) retreat from an encounter you will no longer be forced to retreat to a nearby system. Instead the system you are currently in will remain unexplored.
    • Ship systems such as engines, weapons and defense now list statistics that enable you to better gauge their effectiveness.
    • You get a fixed amount of starting Credit at the beginning (adjusted by which starship you choose) to help you buy better systems or even upgrade at Haven Station if you want to blow money on that early on. Plus, you can replace weapons and systems and the sales value of the replaced part will count towards buying the new part. If you replace something with a cheaper part, you get the difference refunded to you.
    • Haven Station will sell the Hyperwave Filter Array for 89 Credits- a reasonable cost- and it improves your odds of finding the Klackar Freighter early on.
    • Unlike previous games, you can visit the Klackar Freighter more than once after you locate it to get more goodies.
  • Apathetic Citizens: If Esmeralda doesn't steal anything but the ship's towels, the message about her says that some of the crew "thought they had seen her aboard". They saw a notorious and wanted thief roaming the corridors of the ship, and simply thought nothing of it until she absconded with her haul.
  • Apocalypse How: Several. Stars can go nova, destroying all the planets in the system (and your ship, if you get caught in the blast). One alien artefact (Limited Vacuum Collapser) is capable of destroying absolutely everything within a 5 light-year radius; fortunately, you can set the timer for as long as you want. Finally, two alien racesnote  will systematically destroy planets in a path that ends with your own home system unless you manage to defeat them.
  • Ascended Extra: The Calatians were just a minor encounter consisting of a lost colony and ambassador in Weird Worlds. In Sea of Stars they become a full fledged species complete with their own ships, technology and planets.
  • The Battlestar: The Garthan Light Carrier doesn't really qualify as its weapons only include a pair of weak missile launchers. The Urluquai Carrier definitely qualifies, though. It also has the bonus of being able to cloak until it appears right under your nose to blast your ship to smithereens.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The Swap Meet at the Klackar Orbital Nest in Sea of Stars. Just like the Freighter, but with even more stuff! Plus if you help them in times of trouble, you get two barter tokens good for the Swap Meet, or the Klackar Freighter!
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Most hostility will come with messages to the effect of "We're going to kill you now", but the Urluquai will send friendly messages inviting you to join them in "play among colors and light". This still means "We're going to blow you to bits", they just have a very strange way of thinking about it.
  • Charm Person: The Mantle of Babulon is recognized, and received in friendship by most alien species as a sign of power and authority, even the ones that normally hate you unconditionally. The only ones to reject it are the Tan Ru and (in Weird Worlds) the Tchorak (because you're still organic and carbon-based life, and that angers them) and the Kawangi and (Weird Worlds) Ravians, who are big Omnicidal Maniac invasions.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Esmerelda in Weird Worlds. She will randomly steal an item in your cargo hold (except the Klackar Beacon) and sell it to one of the races (you can later find it on their homeworld). The only way to stop her is to have one of two items (you can guess by their descriptions: Lookout Frogs and Toy Robot. In that case, Esmerelda is captured and you can turn her in at the end of your mission for a 500 credit bonus. If you don't have anything for her to steal, she'll steal all towels on the ship instead.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The hyperdrive is one. If you are lucky enough to find one, or to obtain one via trade with the Klackar, relatively early in your session, you can safely stop worrying about the time limit (which can get quite hairy otherwise, especially if there are lots of nebulae in the galaxy). The hyperdrive will get you to any system instantly, with a recharge time of 60 days between jumps - which is absolutely nothing compared to the travel times with even the fastest conventional drives. It doesn't care if there are nebulae or black holes in the way, either. There is one drawback: if you jump into a system with a supernova set to go off within one month and have no other drive in the cargo hold which you can install, it's a guaranteed game over, as your hyperdrive won't be able to recharge until the Earth-Shattering Kaboom. However, if you happen to have a backup drive lying around, you can safely swap them and escape. In all other situations, the hyperdrive is a guaranteed winner, with zero drawbacks. In Sea of Stars however, the very first hyperspace jump has you pick up the Vortex Beast, a dimensional lifeform that normally lurks in hyperspace. While it can be traded or sold just like any other lifeform, it can become a pain in the ass as with every trip you take to a star system there's a chance it will break loose from containment and either eat one of your other lifeforms or damage one of your ship's systems. Fortunately the Vortex Beast is unique so you won't pick up another one Jumping even if you unload it somewhere.
    • The Klackar Freighter can be considered another. In most games it will be in one of the star systems near Glory, and odds are good it will carry significantly more advanced equipment you can trade in for your starting parts.
  • Doomsday Device: The Limited Vacuum Collapser, which destroys a five-lightyear radius of space when activated. Give yourself time to be further away.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought:
    • The Yellow Kawangi Dreadnought. Large, incredibly tough and armed with devastating weapons. Practically impossible to defeat with a single ship even armed with the best available weaponry and systems.
    • The Damocles. Carries a pair of the longest ranged torpedoes in the game along with a complement of rapid fire energy weapons, and capable of ramming enemy ships. Too bad if you find it that means you have Primordius to deal with.
    • The larger Tchorak ships as well. The lack of shielding is made up for with heavy armor and their weapons are almost as brutal as the Yellow Kawangi Dreadnought.
  • Earth Is the Centre of the Universe: Averted by name (the human homeworld is Hope), but played straight nonetheless. The Kawangi and Ravians both make a beeline for Hope, though they have no issue with humans in particular. It's the done thing for drama.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Occasionally, stars will go nova, meaning you better get the hell away, unless you have a Temporal Flux Shield. The Yellow Kawangi ship is also capable of blowing up stars. If you happen to get the Limited Vacuum Collapser, you can create an even larger explosion that will destroy anything in a five-lightyear radius.
  • Earth That Was: The Player Character comes from the planet Hope in the Glory system, the "new homeworld" of humanity. It's not mentioned why there needs to be a new homeworld. "Old Earth" is only mentioned once, if you happen to find the Golden Cannister from a Voyager probe, containing the Golden Disk, and is stated to be very far away.
  • Enemy Mine: A new feature in Sea of Stars are the possibility of encountering more than one species on the battle map. Species that have the potential of becoming friendly without the Mantle of Babulon may ask for an alliance with you if a different species which is nominally hostile is also on the map. Joining them in the fight will indeed turn them friendly towards you for the rest of the game.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: Sea of Stars introduces Gamma Station, a randomly appearing Terran xenozoological research facility that will have a random alien creature for sale. But more importantly, it will buy creatures from you at double Credit value which is great if you built up a menagerie and want to upgrade to a Freighter or even Destroyer for instance.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Of course. Different engines allow your ship to travel at different speeds. Maximum speed for you is 20 times the speed of light, but some alien species seem to have the technology to spontaneously warp to places on a whim.
    • Unless you're lucky enough to obtain the hyperdrive, which instantly transports you to any star, although you have to wait 60 days for it to recharge afterwards.
    • If you happen to obtain the Aethric Mirror, you can use it to instantly swap places with any fleet you have detected. With a bit of creativity, you can destroy any enemy fleet this way.
  • Genetic Memory: The Calatians are stated to possess this with every new generation. Which also means if you attack so much as a pair of fighters, they will all remember and react with hostility for the rest of the game.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Breaking the Timeless Bauble releases one in the form of Lord Fomax. He will offer you an item of your choice as a reward, which you must then type in. If you misspell, he will say he has no idea what you mean and give you a useless item instead. Even if you get the name correct, you may not always get the item. This may be dependent on whether or not it's a rare item that already exists in the game and cannot be duplicated. You may also, sometimes, ask for an item that would not normally be available to you.
  • Ghost Ship: Space hulks can be found drifting around some planets. Board them and loot them if you want, but beware of automatic weapons systems.
    • Primordius' entire fleet is made out of literal ghost ships.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Limited Vacuum Collapser wipes out everything within five parsecs when it blows up. Causes mass destruction, but it's a useful solution to the Kawangi incursion.
  • The Greys: The Zorg, more or less.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A good way of dealing with the Kawangi, who move from system to system, blowing up stars. If you happen to have the Limited Vacuum Collapser, you can use it to cause a star to go supernova, destroying anything in a five-lightyear radius after a specified time limit. So, pick a star in the Yellow Kawangi flight path, activate the LVC, and run like hell.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Ravians. They come from another galaxy in a powerful ship and move from planet to planet, consuming everything and blowing up the stars on their way out. In Sea of Stars they can be encountered in random star systems outside of the Swarm living up to the locust analogy.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The Calatians, although they do have enough technology to maintain a presence in space however primitive it may be compared to even the Garthans.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Ravians.
  • Intrepid Merchant: The Klackar.
  • Invisible Grid: The Nebular Extent Calculator system introduced in Sea of Stars overlays a grid outline over the now 3-dimensional nebulae so you can measure their actual coverage and better navigate the galaxy.
  • Kill Sat: There are Defensive Satellites that guard both the Damocles and Primordius's haunted battlestation.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Many events give off this feeling.
    • The Underdelve
    • The Epsilon Research base
    • "The Lesser Swarm"
    • The three abandoned ships found in the game all give off this vibe. Damocles is given some backstory, though.
  • Leitmotif
    • The peppy tune that plays at the end of the first two games, and also serves as Ripcord O'Reilly's theme.
    • If you end up saving Hope from annihilationnote  you will be serenaded with a brief kazoo rendition of Blue Danube Waltz.
  • Loan Shark: Lextor Mucron, infamous Tiberian moonshine baron and interplanetary gangster who finances your expedition in Strange Adventures and Sea of Stars, as well as in Weird Worlds if you choose the Pirate Corvette as your ship. Of course he expects to see a cut of the profits from your venture.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Multi-missile weapon does this. Effective against all kinds of enemies. The Ravian starships can do it at medium range as well, you've been warned.
  • Meaningful Name: The Damocles is a warship shaped like a gigantic sword.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Tan Ru, described as a race of sentient machines who are "oblivious to organic life." They attack on sight.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Sea of Stars lets all playable starships be upgraded to a larger type provided you are at the proper racial homeworld for the ship(s) in question and you have enough credit value on hand. Haven Station will take (Capital C) Credits to upgrade your Terran ships.
  • Multiple Endings: What happens to you in the aftermath of your voyage depends on your score at the end. Interestingly enough, you can get an overwhelmingly high negative score (and a bad aftermath) by arriving home late even if you literally saved the galaxy.
  • Nonstandard Game Over:
    • It is possible to use the Limited Vacuum Collapser to destroy your home star, Hope. The game will end even if your ship escapes the explosion unscathed, and a depressing Game Over message will explain why.
    • Retiring from the game if one of the "plots" is active - the coming of Primordius, the Ravian swarm, or the Kawangi invasion - will tell you that they killed everyone, so your ending is moot.
  • The Nose Knows: Calatians have an extraordinary sense of smell that can detect weapons or kinfolk on other starships, although it could be handwaved as being assisted by advanced sensor equipment like a capital scale Smell-O-Scope.
  • No Warping Zone: Nebulae limit cruising speed to the speed of light, except with certain engines. The Nebular Ramjet Engine in particular is an inversion, achieving a speed of 20x light while within nebulae.
    • Strangely enough, even if you have the Nebular Prow installed, which pushes nebular matter aside, your ship still moves slow. After this, though, you can move at normal speed. Sea of Stars features a 3 dimensional Navigation Map which allows different angles of approach and star system placements so the Prow is unused.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Kawangi are a race said to "wreak wanton destruction on a galactic scale." They aren't kidding; they're capable of blowing up entire Solar Systems.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Chromium Gong will destroy the strongest enemy on the field once per battle. This includes bosses. But it can only be used twice before cracking into an ornate but normal gong.
  • Planet of Hats: In Sea of Stars most species you encounter in a gamenote  will have designated homeworlds in random systems where you can attempt to barter for weaponry and starship systems proprietary to that race, or upgrade a ship of that race in your fleet assuming you get past the starship(s) in that system- peacefully or otherwise. Most of the hostile racesnote  will instead have a Treasure Roomnote  filled with random items. No such luck with the Yellow Kawangi or Primordius.
  • Practical Currency: You can trade in items for varying amounts of creditnote  (represented by tokens, with the really valuable items, creatures and systems worth up to 5) as currency to buy things. The Klackar are much more generous, trading on a 1:1 ratio regardless of the actual credit value of the items involved in the exchanges.
    • In Sea of Stars (Capital C) Credits now have a purpose besides scoring; you can spend them to purchase ship systems and ship upgrades on Haven Station or creatures on Gamma Station. You can also sell your cargo at both.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Garthans. Aggressive and dangerous, whether they're on your side or not.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Klackar. Invaluable allies in trade, since they trade items with you on 1:1 basis, no matter the value of the item you give them. Although, technically, you can summon them in the middle of a battle, and they will fight, they loathe fighting, and so are not good at it, getting killed easily. They will also demand payment for getting called into a firefight. If you don't give them something, they will leave, but take their beacon with them, so you can't call them again.
    • In Sea of Stars they have an Orbital Nest in lieu of an actual homeworld that hosts a Swap Meet, with the same great exchange rate and even more selection of parts, creatures and objects. On occasion the Nest will send out a distress call and if you help the Klackar out they will give you 2 Tokens of credit (good at the Swap Meet or the Freighter) in gratitude.
  • Ramming Always Works: Subverted. When two ships collide, this usually results in one of them (often, both) being destroyed or heavily damaged. Unfortunately, it happens a lot. The only exception are ships specifically designed with ramming in mind (e.g. Garthan ships, the Damocles).
  • Random Number God: The galaxy is randomly generated at the beginning, meaning you have no idea where all the goodies are. Additionally, trying to ask for something specific from Lord Fomax in the Timeless Bauble can either result in you getting the item or getting something useless instead.
  • Segmented Insect: The literal heads of Ravian starships will detach from the rest of their bodies like the Enterprise-D saucer section after taking critical damage just so they can keep trying to kill you.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In any game where the Kawangi or Ravians enter, or Primordius, Dread Lord of the Dark Traverse is prophesied to return, the ending becomes this if you return home without defeating them, because they destroy Hope anyway (Primodius will destroy the galaxy). All that hard work for nothing!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several of the stars in the sector are usually named after science fiction authors including Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Clifford Simak and Robert A. Heinlein. Also, some stars might be named after Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, perhaps because the devs were fans of The Blues Brothers.
      • Akroyd and Belushi do seem to be blue stars every time.
      • The star Haze seems to be purple every time.
    • The Purple People Eater. Its description even lists it as being one-eyed, one-horned, and winged (i.e. "flying").
    • The Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Find it on a planet and its discovery comes with a kettle-drum theme to evoke Also sprach Zarathustra in the first two games.
    • If Esmerelda doesn't find anything to steal in your cargo bay, she'll take all the ship's towels, possibly a reference to their importance in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A definite reference is a time capsule with "a pair of peril-sensitive glasses, a useful towel and a note inside reading 'So long, and thanks for all the fish.'"
    • The Tan Ru are named after an alien probe that fused with the Nomad probe in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • One black hole name is Azathoth.
    • A deceptively powerful surprise (at least to Esmerelda if she breaks in to your ship to try and steal something) can come in the form of a Toy Robot. note 
    • The Gluon Gun is a starship weapon in the game.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The Tchorak.
  • Space Fighter: Enemy fighters will swarm you and can be deadly, especially if you only have a low-end shield and no weaponry that can do point defense. Space stations come with their own squadrons. You can also happen upon stranded fighters and recruit them or hire mercenary fighters. Almost none of the fighters are capable of lightspeed travel, with the sole exception of Ripcord O'Reilly's experimental craft. The rest can only travel between star systems by hitching a ride on starships.
  • Space Pirates:
    • Can be hired to join your flotilla.
    • If you're playing the original, or take the Pirate Corvette class in Weird Worlds, you are one. Whether you do any pirating or not is up to you.
    • In Sea of Stars a rare mission triggered after finding the starship Kestrel has you trying to liberate Hope and Glory from a pirate cartel led by Arch Fenster.
  • Space Station: Haven and Gamma Stations, the Klackar Orbital Nest, the Muktian station, the Urluquai station... and Primordius's haunted space station.
  • Space Whale: They appear in a random event. Seeing them is apparently rare and considered a good omen.
  • Star Killing: As Omnicidal Maniacs, the Kawangi provoke supernovae in stars along their path. The Ravians do as well.
  • Stealth in Space: The Plasma Coil Cloaker. Besides being able to be used on a player's ship, it's also present on some Urluquai ships. Aside from getting lucky during a game it's also available for barter if you make it to the Urluquai homeworld of Urlu in Sea of Stars, but damn pricy at 5 tokens worth of credit.
  • Super-Toughness: The Tchorak ships, the Yellow Kawangi Dreadnought, and the space stations, especially Primordius's base.
  • Timed Mission: You have 10 years in the original, or 10, 20 or 30 in Weird Worlds, to explore the entire sector. Best get crackin'! The mission lasts 9125 days (or 25 years) in Sea of Stars, but you get flexibility in being able to retire at any time from any location without having to go back to the Glory system. Finishing late will still cost you massive Credits, however.
  • Title Drop: Every ending features the words "Thus ends your strange adventure in infinite space." Finally Averted in Sea of Stars.
  • 2-D Space
    • Played Straight in the first two games. Ships will even ram other ships, without the ability to avoid each other.
    • Sea of Stars mostly plays it straight on battle maps, with certain weapon's arcs having z-axis tiltsnote . The Navigation Map however, is completely 3D. This means some star systems can skirt close to nebulae without being actually inside, allowing you to reach them at your normal speed with luck and some careful angling.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: You can occasionally encounter black holes on your journey, in which case the game will offer you the chance to turn back. Apparently, even if you're travelling faster than light, you can still be pulled into them and destroyed. However, if any of the ships in your fleet have the Anti-Graviton Shunt, black holes got nothing on you. You can even travel to their systems, although you won't find anything. Some playthroughs put an extra black hole that is home to Primordius, whom you must defeat in order to win the game.
    • In Sea of Stars the Shunt lets you use them as a network of paired wormholes. Except for the one black hole that turns out to be Primordius's hiding place...
  • Wave-Motion Gun:
    • The Particle Vortex Cannon makes almost every other weapon in the game look like a toy. Works well on fighters and corvettes.
    • The Chromium Gong can One-Hit Kill any ship, although you can only use it one per battle. And you only get two shots with it.
    • The Nova Cannon comes close. It's a Kawangi weapon that can One-Hit Kill a good number of ships and has a decent rate of fire. The only way to get it in the main game is to break the Timeless Bauble and ask Lord Fomax for the weapon.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: The battle cry of the Urluquai. They seem pleasant right up until they start shooting. If you make it to their homeworld Urlu by shooting them up or wearing the Mantle of Babulon however, they will cheerfully trade with you for their wares.
  • A Villain Named "Z__rg": The Zorg are an alien race in both games. They aren't exactly villains, though. Just... alien.
    • They can still attack you, if you show up unannounced at their doorstep. They'll usually give you a chance to leave first, though. If you happen to have hired a Zorg ship, they'll instantly turn friendly.

Alternative Title(s): Weird Worlds Return To Infinite Space