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Video Game / Endless Space 2

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Your Vision. Their Future.

Endless Space 2 is the fourth game in the Endless Space series, and a soft reboot of the first game.

The various races of the galaxy are trying to build empires that are worthy successors to that of the the Endless. From humble beginnings on a single planet, it's the player's job to guide your chosen species to supremacy over the entire galaxy, by any means you deem necessary.

The factions and their heroes for this and the predecessor can be found here.

The game was released in Early Acess in October 6 2016, and received its full release in May 18 2017.


Contains Examples Of:

  • Abusive Precursors: While many revere and honor the Endless, neither of the two Endless factions (Concrete and Virtual) were very good. They readily tampered with other races for their own ends, and almost destroyed the galaxy during their faction war.
  • Actual Pacifist: It's possible to play most of the races like this, but special mention goes to the Unfallen, who have special abilities that allow them to end conflicts without firing a shot. There's also an achievement for somehow winning a game without winning a space battle.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Sophon storyline involves them thinking up an AI to run their empire named ENFER. Good news: The AI is pacifist! Bad news: It chooses to enforce pacifism rather violently. In the end, you can choose to completely wipe out ENFER, or to save a portion of it for later.
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  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: Earth is never at any point referenced or even hinted at in the game, and the human factions are not even referred to as such (the Imperials refer to themselves as Raians or Mezari, and the Vaulters refer to themselves as the Aurigans).note 
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted for most of the factions, as a player can potentially form alliances and deals with all of them (sans Cravers) and all are portrayed sympathetically to some degree. There are also members of every race in the Academy.
    • The Cravers themselves are a rather tragic deconstruction, because they were created by the Virtual Endless as Living Weapons, with their only purpose (and means of sustenance) being to destroy and devour other lifeforms. It is possible to get them to give up their Forever War, but it will inevitably lead to starvation, and they'd have to keep expanding.
  • Ambiguous Robots: The Riftborn come from an alternate dimension where form and thought are not separate. They are "infected" by this universe and specifically by Dust when a star ship tears a hole in their universe. An expedition is sent through to this universe and they assume robot-like forms with floating segments while really being thought given form.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: As noted both in the game and the tie in comics, Dust (essentially large colonies of nano machines) is extremely versatile, and capable of almost anything. Its indicated that its now used as a form of galactic currency.
  • Ascended Extra: The Academy, mentioned in the first game, becomes a major part of the story of the game.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: The ultimate goal of the Vodyani. Also how they justify their interspecies relations practices; they're not enslaving and consuming other species, they're just helping them to ascend.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology:
    • The United Empire's ships are bulky and imposing, black and red with a chisel-like prow at the front, and even the weakest of their combat ships are usually covered in (cosmetic) missile ports that clack open from the top.
    • The Vodyani are grey with yellow highlights, their ships consisting almost entirely of flat plates and sharp angles with Eva Fins and sharp points jutting from the chassis.
    • Sophons, as befitting their higher-tech nature, lean towards Everything Is An Ipod In The Future with smooth-white ships seemingly devoid of visual intimidation.
    • With characteristic eccentrism, Horatio ships are segmented mechanical Space Whales that slowly swim through the cosmos, covered in bronze-gold plating etched with intricate geometric patterns. Naturally, such elegant fragility pays through the nose both at the shipyard and in battle.
    • The Cravers had to scavenge their way back into space and it shows through their ship designs; patchwork plates of brown metal barely covering rough internal sections. Exposed pipes and reactor spheres are common, suggesting a haphazard throwing-together of functional systems.
    • The Lumeris are an interesting lot, with their ships being divided almost evenly between smooth, colorful sections of hull and exposed sections of piping or engines, almost something out of Homeworld. This makes more sense if you consider their navy to essentially be comprised of re-purposed civilian ships.
    • The Riftborn crew very similar ships to the Lumeris and the Sophons, but their extra-universal nature reveals itself in their floating, geometrical modules.
    • The Unfallen are vaguely biological, pale and brown, resembling seedpods, as befits a race of spacefaring trees.
    • The Vaulters build ships that are grey and sturdy in line with the Standard Human Spaceship, although they tend to be wide where the United Empire is tall. They also have a fondness for mounting thick sheets of metal to the hull via girders which gives their ships the impression of hiding behind walls (alternatively. given their Norse aesthetic, they couldbe meant to evoke the way vikings attached shields to the sides of their longboats).
    • The Hissho, a race of avian warrior people, make use of ships that are sleek and sharp, with recurring bird motifs and Aztec-like markings.
    • The Umbral Choir ships are comparable to the Riftborn in their symmetry and floating pieces, but the former are more rounded opposed to the rectangular latter. This causes them to resemble clouds to some degree, which the Umbral Choir essentially are.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Starting April 24, Amplitude Studios' social media accounts were taken over by E.N.F.E.R., the A.I. that controles the Sophon empire, after they gave it access to the in-game opponent A.I. It promplty asked users to "define" various images it posted on twitter through it's knowledge base and then to "hack" into its core to remove safety locks. ENFER mysteriously gave control back to the devs after it had all the locks removed.
  • The Assimilator: Horatio's ultimate endgoal is to assimilate positive traits from the various alien species into himself before remaking those same species into himself.
    • Its implied that the Riftborn seek to do this to our universe, altering it into a form resembling their own.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Horatio's ships are beautiful and awe-inspiring... but they sacrifice basic hull integrity to achieve that effect.
  • Base on Wheels: The Vodyani Arks are mobile bases that can colonize whole star systems at once and be moved if you so desire. Vodyani grow slowly with only food (you can speed this way up with essence harvesting) but every Vodyani population counts as inhabiting every planet in the system at once, and they keep all their system improvements when they move. Vodyani Arks are also quite capable as combat vessels in the early game, packing a lot of firepower; however, taking one into battle is risky as it represents a considerable loss if destroyed.
  • Bungling Inventor: In their introductory video, the Sophons are characterized as a species that will do pretty much anything "for science". Up to and including accidentially blowing up their moon.
  • Cain and Abel: Some time before the events of the game, the current Hierarch of the Vodyani, Isyara, fought a bloody civil war against those led by the heretic Isyander... who also happened to be her brother. Who turns out to be running the Academy. At the end of the Academy quest-line you can choose to side with Isyander, or to kill him and the Academy.
    • If you're playing as the Vodyani, you can find the Tabernacle, the device that showed Isyander the truth of Dust and the Lost, and depending on the choices, Isyara can hold on her beliefs and refuse to believe it, or decide that her brother was right and side with him.
  • Church Militant:
    • The Vodyani are deeply, deeply religious. They also survive by draining the life force of 'lesser species' (i.e. the ones that aren't Vodyani), so they benefit greatly from being permanently at war with at least one faction.
    • The Cravers are militarists by default, and the de facto rulers are a caste called Bishops; there are also several Religious Craver heroes.
    • And, of course, depending on what kind of stuff you build and how your empire grows, you could become a Church Militant faction any time. The Religious political stance doesn't even necessarily worship any kind of god; it's focused on excessive zeal and has laws that make everyone Content at minimum and other ways of riling up the people.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Umbral Choir are shadow creatures with the ability to possess people and make a literal shadow empire right underneath existing ones, but they really only want harmony to be restored as they find the war-torn Endless galaxy depressing.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Hissho, the Amoeba, the Pilgrims, the Sowers and the Harmony have been demoted from playable races to minor factions in the base game (the Hissho get re-ascended with the Supremacy expansion, whose main feature is the return of the Hissho as a major, playable faction; the Vaulters got re-ascended with their own dedicated DLC). Flip-flopped with the Mezari. They are mentioned as the ancient ancestors of the United Empire (one quest option lets you re-brand the UE as the Mezari, complete with citizens gaining a tech bonus but losing the influence bonus).
  • The Empire: All the factions to some degree, but the straightest examples include the United Empire, the Horatio, and the Hissho.
  • Feudal Future: United Empire ran with this as the more prestigious elites of Raian society adopted the rank of Baron, Duke, and Count as well as Mega-Corp running autonomous colonies under the supervision and support of Imperial Government. The Vaulters as well, as their government is led by a benevolent autocrat, the "First of the Bloodline", and there are other noble families.
  • For Science!: The Sophons happily engage in destructive, and self-destructive, behavior in the name of science. "The Sophonity! Where science, and the reckless disregard for survival, go hand-in-hand!" The nature of their Omniscience bonus means it's easier to research things nobody else has researched, which may result in players making just as odd choices for research in-game as in-lore.
  • Freudian Excuse: Horatio The First was given an origin as being bullied for his elongated head as a child as a reason behind his love for aesthetics.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It is extremely difficult, but the Cravers can (at least temporarily) give up their Forever War... if Pacifists are running their empire. This requires catering to the Pacifist faction in your empire specifically through a lot of deliberate actions, and it's possible they could always fall back on their hunger...
  • Hive Mind: Subverted with the Cravers, who are implied to communicate via the way insects do. Played somewhat straight with the Umbral Choir, though its indicated to be fractured at this point.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Deconstructed. The Cravers didn't so much choose to be this let alone become this naturally, so much as they were forced to be by the Virtual Endless, and now its the only way for them to survive.
  • Human Resources: Several examples:
  • Human Subspecies: In the strictest sense the Horatio are Mezari (humans), but Horatio himself does not consider himself as such, and instead believes that he and his clones are a completely separate species. He's not entirely incorrect.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The Riftborn come from a universe of mathematical purity where everything is mostly just white geometric shapes and light; they find complex organic life terrifying on an instinctive level. Fortunately most of them can swallow this distaste long enough for basic diplomacy with fellow thinking beings.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Played down somewhat with the Cravers, which are vaguely insectoid, and have a hive-esque society, but are at all least partly machine, and most of the ones scene are humanoid.
  • It's All About Me: Taken to its logical extreme with Horatio the First, and the Horatios after him.
  • The Kingdom: The Vaulters are indicated to be lead by a benevolent autocrat called the "First of the Bloodline", with a form of aristocracy called "Protectors".
  • Mad Scientist: Sophons, played for laughs.
  • The Mafia: The Lumeris are this space; their government is functionally controlled by the Four Families, who control various under-families.
  • Martial Pacifist: The Unfallen start as Pacifist, but they are capable of creating warships just like everyone else.
  • Master Race: Master Person more like; Horatio explicitly believes himself to be the most perfect, beautiful thing in existence and is intending to fill the galaxy with himself, destroying or forcibly converting any other sentient species in the process. Gains elements of Jerkass Has a Point as Horatio upgrades his genetic code; Horatio citizens will provide more and more yields in more and more fields.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: The Hissho were once gladiators and slaves to the Concrete Endless, but after the Endless disappeared, they made it their personal goal to achieve supremacy before anyone else could try again.
    • Part of the Riftborn goal is not only to put an end to the infection in their universe, but also to ensure that it can't happen again by altering this universe into a form resembling their own.
  • Not the Intended Use: Horatio's ability to forcibly convert pops into his population is one of the most effective methods of dealing with the ecosphere-wrecking Cravers.
  • Plant Person: The Unfallen, the community created species, a race of sentient trees.
  • Proud Merchant Race: Lumeris specializes in mercantile activities and financial clout over other civilizations but with The Mafia aesthetics.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Hissho are this through and through, with much of their gameplay emphasized on martial ability. However they are also something of a deconstruction, as its indicated that they were tampered with by the Concrete Endless and used as gladiators, turning them into the fierce warriors they are now.
  • Recycled In Space: While not as blatant as most cases of the trope, it's obvious that the Vodyani's story (forced by an environment cataclysm to become inorganic, vampiric monsters and drain the life out of other beings) is a space faring version of what happened to the Broken Lords. The main difference is that while the Broken Lords were tragic figures who resented themselves for having to feed off the very people they originally swore to protect, the Vodyani think the other races deserve it due to their religious beliefs and worshiping the Virtual Endless.
  • Religious Bruiser: Though they're militarists by default, the Hissho have a secondary religious affinity, and are described as deeply spiritual.
  • The Reptilians: The Lumeris are scaly spacefaring Mafiosos, though they're amphibians rather than reptiles; early in the beta their populations gave a bonus to Dust generation if they got to live on planets with the (now absent) 'Water' attribute.
  • Shout-Out: One of the generic skills for heroes is known as Cosmic Castaway
  • Slave Race: Anyone unfortunate enough to fall under the power of the Cravers or Vodyani. From the Vodyani's perspective, 'unascended' races are inherently inferior to the Vodyani, though a select chosen from each race "absorbed" are allowed to become Vodyani. From the Craver's perspective, they're all food anyways, so they might as well get some work out of them before chowing down.
    • The Hissho and the Cravers used to be this for the Concrete and Virtual Endless respectively, the former as gladiators and the latter as soldiers.
  • Starfish Aliens:
    • The Riftborn hail from an alternate universe, and are best described as sentient mathematical concepts made to take on robotic bodies to enter and interact with the Endless universe. They were forced to leave their own after a rift opened connecting it with the Endless universe, a rift that brought "a poison", and are looking for a cure.
    • The Unfallen are gigantic, sapient trees, who (so far) are the only faction in the game utilizing Organic Technology to build their ships. The narrator in their intro implies they weren't even sapient until two alien fleets (the Riftborn and the United Empire) had a battle over the skies of their planet which stirred them into awareness. The intro also depicts two United Empire soldiers executing a Riftborn, completely unaware that the "tree" towering overhead is watching them.
    • The Umbral Choir are an extra-galactic race of Energy Beings that resemble clouds of glowing gas that can possess other races. Its indicated that they one of, if not the oldest races in the universe, predating even the Endless by a sizable margin.
  • Time Master: The Riftborn, owing to their extra-dimensional nature, are capable of perceiving and manipulating the flow of time. This allows them to build Singularities, which allow them to affect systems in various ways such as speeding up or slowing down production.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Several notifications, in particular the "Population Threshold" and "Political Party" ones, have artwork depicting a collection of species living in harmony. Including the Horror Hunger Cravers.
    • It's possible for a colony to be peacefully assimilated by another major faction. The notification for this shows a Sophon and a Craver fist bumping.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Totally averted. The Pacifist political stance is the one that favors economic growth. Even the gangster-like Lumeris agree that even if you have to have..."disputes," it's best to handle them civilly rather than in a back-alley.

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