XF5700 Mantis (or XF5700 Mantis Experimental Fighter, its full name), is a space combat simulator made by Micro Prose Software in 1992.
Based on Warhead by Glyn Williams, Mantis takes the plot further by using 90 missions. In what is possibly a rewrite of Williams's game, the invasion by the Sirian aliens (now dubbed "Sirians") takes place on March 16, 2094, leaving 3 billion humans dead. Earth was unprepared for the attack due to a recent war in the Middle East (Eurisian War) that took place thus exhasting the resources for defense against aliens. After Earth was devastated, the governments were dissolved in favor of a unified power called the Fist Of Earth. FOE is Earth's final hope to eliminate the Sirian threat. FOE's defenses is SolBase and the XF5700 Mantis. "Viper" (the player) is a Mantis pilot who was enlisted by FOE to fight the Sirians.
The aliens, which are now called "Sirians", are bug-like creatures which look like giant cockroaches, but have a strong collective group mind using telepathic messages when in groups. At first the Sirians were tiny "roaches" on their home planet, but as time passed, they evolved and eventually took over the dominant race on the planet Siria, wiped them out, and assimilated their technology. Siria later became uninhabitable. Sirians need vertebrate creatures in which to lay eggs to produces new Sirians; this is why the Sirians targeted Earth after searching for a new home planet.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Assimilation Plot: The Sirians got technology from the race they destroyed on their homeworld.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Sirians are nasty cockroach-like creatures.
- Hive Mind: In groups, Sirians communicate to each other telepathically.
- Space Is Air: Averted, the in game physics were realistic and obeyed Newton's laws.