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Visual Novel / Adastra (2018)

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Amicus (right), Cassius (top), Virginia (left), and Neferu (center)

Adastra is a 2018 Ren'Py Sci-Fi Space Opera Furry Visual Novel made by the collaborative indie group Echo Project, who are also responsible for the Psychological Horror visual novel Echo and its standalone prequel The Smoke Room and sequel Arches as well as Glory Hounds.

The story follows your player character, a university student from Earth who was studying abroad in Rome, as he is (unintentionally) kidnapped by Amicus, the prince of a galactic wolf empire from the eponymous planet. Amicus finds himself in a power struggle where although he is next in line for the throne, he is challenged by his brother Cassius for the throne. Amicus believes bringing a human from Earth will impress his people and improve his reputation to give him an edge over his brother but things soon go wrong, very horribly and hilariously wrong. Space adventures, romance, and political hijinks ensue.


The project was completed in 2020 with a sequel titled Khemianote , in development with regular monthly scheduled updates. The latest versions and updates can be found on the Echo Project's Patreon page and page. As well as a main Twitter page which contains information and updates on all their current projects.

Not to be confused with the Brad Pitt movie, Ad Astra.note  Seriously, no. You clicked on the wrong page. You're not going to find Brad Pitt in a furry visual novel. And the sequel is not to be confused with Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis either.

This visual novel contains graphic content, sex, and violence. As such, all external links on this page are to be considered NSFW unless stated otherwise.


Adastra contains examples of:

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  • Alas, Poor Villain: More along the lines of "Alas, Poor Jerkass" in regards to Cassius. While the wolf was constantly hostile to Marco and Amicus early on in the story, it's still horrifying and saddening when he ends up getting poisoned by Cato. The fact that he was going to give up his lifelong desire of being Adastra's Emperor (despite knowing how humiliating it would be for his reputation to abdicate in such a short amount of time) in order to help his siblings and Marco oust Cato while also putting his brother in charge as originally planned for the planets sake probably gave way to some sympathy points. Later on, Cassius is revealed to have survived the murder attempt (making the trope mostly averted) though it still doesn't make what was almost his death scene any less painful to read.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified. Amicus implants a translator chip called a Lingua near Marco's eye which allows him to speak to aliens.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • What Marco was hoping all of this space nonsense was but unfortunately for him, it's not a dream...
    • There are several sequences where Marco has dreams and hallucinations. Two of those sequences (after he catches avia pox and falls into a coma-like state and after he gets his throat slit wide open and loses consciousness), can be considered an example of a Dying Dream, though he manages to luckily avert it in both cases.
  • Alternate History: Adastra is what colonized Earth and began the influence for the Roman Empire. It's also strongly hinted that the Khemians (jackals) had an influence towards Ancient Egypt, the Omorfans (cats) had an influence in Ancient Greece and the Hindos (tigers) had previous connections in India. It's then revealed that there are 8 different races that have colonized Earth and influenced Earth cultures: The wolves, jackals, cats, tigers, bears, rams, lions, and an unknown 8th race.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Adastra and other nearby colonies and civilizations tried to uplift on Earth but ultimately failed, and all records of Earth mysteriously vanished from Adastra afterwards. The Ancient ruins in various countries (such as Rome's and Egypt's) are the only remaining traces of the failed uplifts.
  • And I Must Scream: Marco being tranquilized sounds like he is being slowly killed or completely paralyzed by the effects of the device.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Marco kicking off his eight year journey on Earth to bring his people into the Galaxias and Amicus continuing his work as the ruler of Adastra while also starting a major diplomatic mission with the Khemians.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: After Cato is killed in the arena duel and the Com declares Amicus as both the victor of the fight and the new Emperor of Adastra, the wolven populace has this reaction (as cheers of celebration are loud enough to be heard from Adastra City).
  • Applied Phlebotinum: How the Lingua works, not even Amicus knows how it translates languages other than it "attaches itself to the brain and influences the language center".
  • Arranged Marriage: During Cato's final attempt to gain complete and total control of Adastra, he makes plans to forcibly marry Amicus' sister Virginia once he executes Neferu. Thankfully for the female wolf, Amicus and Marco get her out of it when they kill Cato in the arena.
  • Audience Surrogate: Marco plays this role from a narrative perspective.
  • Back from the Dead: During an attempt to save Amicus from getting killed, Marco ends up getting his trachea and vocal cords severed by Cato and bleeds out in the Palace's arena. However, he is soon brought back through the help of the Parents after Amicus submits to their will as part of a deal, with the deep cut being fixed and held together by some artificial alien material.
  • Bad Ending: At one point in the story, Marco is asked if he would submit himself to the will of The Parents in the form of a "yes" or "no" question, which in turn affects his fate after he get his throat slit open by Cato in the arena later on. If the latter option was chosen, Marco ends up bleeding out from his deep cut in front of Amicus before he feels himself simultaneously cease to exist and be a part of many present beings at once. He then dies, ending his story then and there.
  • Beard of Evil: Cato has a small grey beard and is the main antagonist of the story.
  • Beast Man: The aliens of Adastra and other planets resemble Earth animals like wolves, jackals, and cats. Tigers are also mentioned, but none appear anytime during the plot,unless you get the Meera ending through some dialogue choices.
  • Berserk Button: For Amicus, if anyone says or tries to do anything that's even remotely threatening toward Marco, you can guarantee it'll get them facing the wolfs full-blown wrath, as he truly does care for his humans well-being. Even referring to Marco in a dehumanizing way (such as "slave", "pet" and "it") when Amicus is in the room is enough to completely get on the wolven royals bad side.
  • Big Bad: Cato, a ruthless tyrant with a seething hatred for Khemians who wants to usurp the throne and start a second war with them.
  • Big Eater: Amicus turns out to be one. During the flight back to Earth near the end of the story, Marco mildly lampshades this trope upon seeing his wolf quickly eat half a bag of candy (along with him noting how little food Amicus had on the ship when he first took Marco to his world, implying Amicus devoured most of the supplies on the way to Earth), with Amicus' reply about his eating habits basically confirming it.
  • Body Horror:
    • Amicus has a tranquilizing device much like a taser but without electricity which he uses to knock out and kidnap Marco. The story goes into graphic detail how his body seizes completely and how he feels dead inside where he can't feel or move any parts of his body.
    • And when Marco hits him with the reversal, he uses the device at the maximum setting which cause Amicus to spasm violently, drool and foam at the mouth while seizing uncontrollably and his face distorting like a twisted cartoon.
  • Boldly Coming: Although Marco is first appalled by the idea of starting a relationship and having sex with an alien, he slowly warms up to the idea.
  • Book Ends:
    • Marco and Amicus' first and last encounter during the story takes place in the Italian apartment room where they first met.
    • The story begins with Marco getting taken to Adastra, where he goes through a life changing journey. The ending has Marco starting another journey connected to Adastra, though it's informed that it mainly takes place on his home planet for the first eight years.
  • Borrowing from the Sister Series: Adrasta borrowed some of its worldbuilding horror elements from Echo, The Other being extremely similar to the "Echo Entity" (which in turn likely derives from Black Gate 's The Eternal; Echo did begin as a supplementary for Blackgate before the team split up altogether). Inversely, The Smoke Room burrowed Adastra 's fanservice and "horniness" (to quote the devs) wheres Echo ultimately chose a (mostly, never titilating) non-pornographic style.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Not long after the third trial, Neferu taunts Cato by revealing that he knows about his involvement in staging the event, followed by some more smug quips as part of a plan to get the tyrant into saying something incriminating. Cato (who's hatred towards the Khemians has been made clear by this point) responds by slamming the jackal into a wall and kicks him so hard in the groin that he vomits.
  • Cain and Abel: Cassius is the Cain to Amicus' Abel, as the former is determined to become the next leader of the planet and doesn't hold back when it comes to trying to undermine and discredit his brother. It should be noted that the bad blood between the brothers does settle down after Amicus becomes Adastra's Emperor, with Cassius taking on another government role he finds more suitable.
  • Canon Name: The protagonist's default name is Marco.
  • Cast Full of Gay: With the exception of Cato, every major male character in the story is homosexual.
  • Cat Folk: Alexios and his people are talking cat people (otherwise known as Omorfans).
  • Cats Are Mean: After he gets outed as a spy and saboteur, Alexios pretty much acts like this towards Marco in a verbally passive-aggressive way. There's also the fact that his main goal on Adastra is to destabilize its society, with him not having any problem destroying thousands of innocent lives off-screen.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The background of this series is a conflict between Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and a Mechanical Abomination for the fate of all life. Following the former's plan to perfection no matter how painful it might be is the only way for life to survive in the long term.
  • Crapsaccharine World: As mentioned under Scenery Porn, the world of Adastra looks breathtakingly beautiful, but there is also plenty of government corruption (such as poorer cities not getting any critical aid while the richer areas are pampered with more resources), lots of homophobia, sexism and Fantastic Racism going around and riots that break out in several areas (with mention that one city had one even before the real conflict within the palace kicks off), just to name a few issues. There's some hints in the story's tone that the royal family might find a way to fix these problems in the long run after Amicus becomes Emperor.
  • Darkest Hour: Marco ends up in more danger than ever following the events of the staged third trial. Basically, his status as part of an uncontacted species is revealed (which nearly gets him executed by Cato, as unauthorized first contact with any species not part of the Galaxias is a crime worthy of a death sentence for everyone directly involved), Cassius ends up getting crowned Emperor thanks to the staged fight, Amicus is thrown into the dungeons following him losing a fight to save his human and tense exchanges leave Marco partially at odds with Virginia (with his friendship to Alex also crumbling soon afterwards).
    • Amicus ends up experiencing an even darker hour later on in the story after he witnesses Marco actually die in his arms following his life-or-death duel with Cato. Not wanting to accept this, Amicus takes his humans body to the Archive device to contact the Parents in a desperate attempt to revive him, with no guarantee that he'll return with his lover alive again...
  • Defiant to the End: Moments before he dies, Cato makes it clear that he doesn't let his hatred for the Khemians settle down even a bit, as his last words are him angrily blaming Neferu for causing all his problems.
  • Didn't Think This Through: This is Amicus' biggest flaw, as he sometimes tends to act out whatever idea or impulse that comes to him without fully contemplating any possible consequences or factors that could end up causing more trouble in the long run. He's even introduced carrying out an idea he immediately came up with (going to a planet that Adastra apparently failed to uplift long ago and bring home one of its inhabitants to get more support from his people to be made the next Emperor) that kicks off both Marco's story and the duos main conflict.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Cassius belittles and threatens Marco a few times during the story and acts as though he can easily get away with it, but each time he does this Amicus ends up threatening to hurt him (even carrying out on his threat at one point), which prompts Cassius to immediately cower and back down with a look of complete panic on his face.
    • Alexios can build a strong and threatening presence when he relies solely on his verbal skills to intimidate any of his opponents (such as getting to Neferu when casually bringing up his status as the Un Favorite in his family), but when it looks like someone is about to physically attack him, he immediately loses his composure and freaks out (as Marco quickly manages to leave him terrified and begging for mercy when he confronts the cat about his underhanded actions and threatens to hurt him).
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Cato, who emerges as the story's main antagonist before the third trial, ends up getting killed by Amicus and Marco near the two-thirds point in the story. After that, the main conflict is more on politics of Adastra and Marco and Amicus struggling with the fact that they'll be separated for eight years to fulfill a mission for the Parents.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The royal siblings (Amicus, Cassius and Virginia) all have a mark atop their foreheads that looks like a down arrow.
    • The stylized down arrow mark shows up in many other areas as well. The gold collar Alexios wears has a down arrow printed on it, as does the belt Bjarni the bear diplomat wears in Interea. On the Khemia soundtrack, the clothing Neferu is wearing has a cluster of down arrows and a promo pic for the sequel VN has a female Khemian (most likely being one of Neferus sisters) with a golden down arrow painted on her forehead. Finally, if the player makes certain decisions and gets the "Meera" vision on Marcos last night on Adastra, anyone can see the Hindo (tiger) has a similar down arrow mark atop her own forehead.
  • Divine Conflict: Of the Eldritch Abomination variety. The Parents are locked in eternal conflict with The Other, the former favouring life and the latter its extinction.
  • Dr. Genericius: The wolves have Roman-influenced names such as Amicus, Cassius, Cato, etc.
  • Dumb Muscle: Amicus is stout, robust, and muscular, but not exactly intelligent.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Scipio, a wolf diplomat and the main character to the sequel story Khemia, makes two short appearances in the plot (the first time being described in appearance by Marco at a university and the second time appearing in a stinger to give Amicus some diplomatic news).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: An odd variation of this trope. During Marco's final night on Adastra, he contacts the Parents through meditation to voice some of his worries, with one possibility (depending on dialogue choice) prompting them to show the human his apparent future. What Marco sees is him returning to Adastra years later with the worst of his life being far behind him. He ends up being Happily Married to Amicus for the rest of his days (and beyond), with the wolf in turn becoming a great leader and companion that travels the Galaxias with him until retiring from politics, and has Neferu be his most trusted and closest ally. It's unknown if this will be canon or not though, as the visual novel ends the next day on Earth at the start of Marco's mission. It's also implied that the Parents aren't always honest or trustworthy.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Cassius may be a huge Jerkass who isn't fond of his brother, but when Cato reveals his true colors and goes full sociopath to put him on the throne for his own agendas (which involves making clear death threats to Marco and violently hurting Amicus to make it look like he lost a fight for the Adastran leadership), Cassius becomes scared shitless by the ruthlessness and brutality displayed and openly objects to it.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Amicus secretly plants a tiny translator chip on Marco while he is sleeping, however he implants it right above his eyelid. Marco describes it as a jabbing and throbbing pain but it went away after a while.
    • It's informed that Cato lost an eye during the Adastran-Khemian war long before the start of the story. Echo Project later showed a flashback image of the moment during one of their new story build announcements.
  • Facial Horror: During the Khemian War (a conflict that took place between the jackals and wolves long before the story began), Cato ended up losing an eye and part of his skull during a battle, and while Amicus' father persuaded The Parents to heal the damage (while also supplying a visor to cover up the injured section), there are still some uncanny looking scars on the older wolf's face, which are revealed alongside Cato's role as the main antagonist later on.
  • Fanservice: Muscular anthropomorphic men who are shirtless 95% of the time? Check.
  • Fantastic Racism: Several examples of this are in the plot.
    • Marco ends up getting insulted and teased by Cassius and later more subtly by Alexios over the fact that he's a human. Cato later tries to get him killed upon learning that he's from an uncontacted species without a second thought.
    • Later on in the story, Marco ends up getting tasked by the Parents to bring his fellow humans into the Galaxias. He reflects that the Adastrans will probably react negatively to his kind in the long run; being despised a similar way to the Khemians.
    • As the story progresses Cato also makes it more and more obvious that he has nothing but pure hatred for the Khemians, and later tries to publicly execute Neferu on false regicide charges in hopes of shattering a possible alliance between the wolves and jackals while also going to war with them again.
    • The Omorfans (cats) obviously have a less than positive relationship with the Adastrans, given the fact that they sent Alexios to their planet so he could spy on them while also subtly sabotaging their government. With the exception of his lover Cassius, Alexios clearly shares this viewpoint as he basically tells Marco he did what he had to do while the human reflects the consequences of the aforementioned actions (which actually contributed in starting deadly, full scale riots).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Adastra is a futuristic Roman society but was the precursor to Earth's Ancient Rome where this alien society is what tried to uplift their influence on Earth in the first place. The Adastrans (Wolves) are Romans, the Khemians (Jackals) are Egyptians, Alexios and the Omorfans (Cats) are analogous to the Ancient Greeks and the Hindos (Tigers) are Indian. There are still other races and cultures that are yet to be revealed. So far all we know are the bears, rams, and lions, but none of the cultures are yet known.
  • Fish out of Water: Marco is a human from Earth and finds himself on an alien planet where he has to learn to adapt.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Marco is whisked away to Adastra, where the society is very similar to Ancient Rome but with sci-fi elements and futuristic technology.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Cassius is more refined and snobbish than the laid-back and carefree Amicus. However, after Amicus officially becomes Adastra's Emperor he notably tries to act more serious and shows a more responsible side to his usually relaxed personality.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: A flashback scene reveals that when Amicus was eighteen, he was publicly outed after being covertly recorded kissing another male wolf (being filmed by the wolf's father, who had a grudge with the Emperor). Ever since that day, Amicus has been forced to live with a reputation of being a tail-raiser (a homophobic slur on Adastra).
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Cassius' bitter demeanor and aggressive personality is said to stem from a variety of sources.
      • In his youth Cassius' father (as well as many others) made it unambiguously clear they preferred Amicus to be the next Emperor of the planet, leaving the youngest royal feeling underappreciated and distant in his constant status of being second place to his brother. The fact that his father also completely neglected him in favor of Amicus may explain why Cassius often shows disdain towards his older brother.
      • His disability, which made him grow up with brittle bones and thus be physically weaker than the average Adastran, also made it seem that he was viewed as helpless and in need of extra support by everyone around him. Needless to say, Cass didn't enjoy being viewed like that.
      • The death of his mother also gave Cassius a lot of despair and may have later contributed to making him act distant towards his remaining family, due to the close bond the mother and son shared (as they both suffered from the same bone conditions and presumably were able to understand what they were going through the most). With her gone, Cassius' sole source of support and parental love ended up dying with her.
    • Later in the story, Cassius claims that Alexios has an excuse in regards as to why he carried out destructive espionage. He explains to Marco that the Omorfan government basically used Alexios as their own stylus and a means to an end for their agendas to hinder Adastra from making a comeback to the Galaxias, with Alex being lead astray by them into thinking he was doing things for the greater good (as his underestimation of Cato's cruelty highlighted this). However, Marco counters this by pointing out (both personally to himself and out loud to Cassius) that Alexios nonetheless had a choice, and he chose to accept his saboteur assignment and do all he could to bring harm to the wolven populace.
  • Furry Reminder: Amicus is weak against belly rubs and sprawls and kicks his legs like a dog. Amicus even tries to get back at Marco only to find out it doesn't work on humans.
  • General Ripper: If any trope were to be used to describe Cato, this would be the most accurate one. Long before the main story, he led a brutal attack on a Khemian/wolverine settlement with incendiary weapons and killed all but two of the thousands of residents, leaving behind a gruesome aftermath. He also served as a General in the Khemian-Adastran war and contributed to a lot of death through his relentless brutality, as gleefully angry comments he makes to Neferu after the third trial indicates he enjoyed causing all that slaughter and is eager to cause so much more. Finally, it gets revealed that the main reason he tries to usurp the Adastran throne is so that he can go to war with the Khemians again and cause more violence and slaughter, with his planned killing of Neferu being the start of his goals.
  • Gratuitous Latin: As Adastra is the precursor to Ancient Rome, Latin is abundant.note 
  • Groin Attack:
    • During their fight on the spaceship, Marco kicks Amicus in the crotch in order to escape his grip.
    • When Cato and Neferu get into a fight, Cato knees Neferu in the balls so hard that he's left vomiting and incapacitated.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can name the protagonist but entering nothing gives the default name Marco.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: After tranquilizing Marco with a device called a Nervo twice, Marco decides to use it against Amicus with much more power than he used.
    • Later in the story, Marco ends up stabbing Cato in the back and throat with a golden knife that he was going to use to wrongfully execute Neferu with.
    • Right before he dies, Cato manages to carry out the same trope toward Marco by seizing the same knife from his grip and using it to slit his throat open.
  • The Homeward Journey: Marco's objective is to escape Adastra and return home and he isn't getting home that easily. Over time he then changes his tune and likes his life on Adastra and after falling in love with Amicus, he wishes to stay with him instead of returning back to Earth.
  • Hope Spot: Several of these come up during the story for Marco and Amicus, with all three trials for the Emperorship not playing out as smoothly as they envisioned being prime examples. However, the most cruelest example of the trope takes place during Amicus' fight against Cato: Just when it looks like the tyrant is about to tear out Amicus' throat after getting the upper hand on him, Marco boldly intervenes and critically stabs him twice with the same knife he almost killed Neferu with, making it seem that Cato will die before he can hurt anyone else...only for Cato to suddenly pry the knife from Marco and slit his throat wide open with a wild swing, causing the human to die not long after his own demise.note 
  • Humanoid Aliens: Adastrians share the same basic anatomy and biology as humans but with an animalistic twist, they are basically Beast Men.
  • Humans Are Special: Given how he's portrayed on the planet's television channels, Marco is this to the wolves of Adastra. It's justified, as none of the Adastrans have ever seen a human prior to Marcos arrival (along with the fact that Marco was involved in several recent major events connected to the Emperorship). A cosmic entity made by the Parents known as a "Monitor" who communicates with Marco regularly, remarks that there is something special about Earth and humans.
  • Human Pet: Marco has to pretend to be this in the beginning to avoid people finding out about Amicus' illegal first contact with him. He drops the act once the secret gets out. Alexios is also considered the "pet" of Cassius. It's implied Adastran royalty often kept other sapient alien species as pets as a status symbol.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: After he is forced to give up his life long dream of being Adastra's Emperor (while also miraculously surviving his poisoning by Cato), Cassius tells Marco that despite the fact that Alexios was a traitor and saboteur to his own people, he just wants to be with the cat because he now only wants peace with a romantic partner who understands him.
  • Inexplicable Cultural Ties: Discussed that Adastra colonized Earth and began the Roman Empire. Of course, ultimately it failed. But they tried conquering other planets as well.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's hinted that Cassius' bitter demeanor stems from this through a variety of reasons, with his father completely neglecting him in his youth note  and his bone disease making him fragile and vulnerable note  being the main factors. Amicus even tells Marco that Cassius hates himself at one point, with his bid for the Emperorship possibly being an attempt to give meaning and self-importance to his life.
  • Info Dump: During several points in the story, Marco (and the reader) gets to know more about the history of Adastra, as well as several other relevant topics, from long conversations the human partakes in or just listens to.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Marco, a human from Earth and Amicus, an alien wolf man, fall in love.
    • Cassius (an anthro wolf) and Alexios (an anthro cat) are also a couple in the game who display plenty of affection for one another.
    • Played for Drama with Drusus (a wolf) and Meera (a tiger) who are famously known as the legendary tale of how Adastra was created where they fell in love and their love was forbidden by their people.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: The aliens of the game are basically walking and talking Earth wolves, cats, jackals, tigers, etc.
  • Irony: In an attempt to destroy Adastra and Khemias potentially forming alliance, Cato tries to publicly execute Neferu in the Palaces arena, only for him to be the one who winds up dead after Marco and Amicus show up at the last moment and defeat him in a fight to the death.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Cassius refers to Marco as "it" and "pet" several times with disdain early in the story, despite knowing what his real name is.
  • Karmic Death: Cato, who committed multiple atrocities throughout the story (ranging from violently tampering with the third trial to put Cassius on the throne for his own agendas to attempting to directly murder more than half the cast), ends up getting killed by Marco and Amicus in the arena when he tries to publicly execute Neferu, both by the same knife he was going to kill the jackal ambassador with and by the hands of the same wolf he unjustly imprisoned to stay in power.
  • Karma Houdini: After having one last bitter talk with him before returning to Earth, Marco laments to himself that Alexios, who intentionally caused quite a lot of chaos, death and destruction on Adastra, doesn't have to answer for most of his actions due to a plea deal he made to help take out Cato at the most critical time, along with Cassius using his influences to keep the cat from being deported.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: Marco is kidnapped and flown to Adastra without his consent and even after refusing to join Amicus.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: What Amicus was hoping to put Marco through as he tried to explain as little as possible as to what's happening and in order to make the façade that he was dumb and unaware of anything more credible. In return, Amicus was going to lavish Marco and make his stay on Adastra as comfortable as possible while they figured out a plan.
  • Manchild: Even though they're in their 20's, Amicus, Cassius and Neferu have their moments where they act completely immature (such as Amicus whining when a restaurant he wants to dine at with Marco is closed, Cassius overreacting to Marco accidentally bumping into him by declaring it would have been a real tragedy if he'd fell to the ground, etc.).
  • Manipulative Bastard: If you only read his earliest scenes in the story, you'd be surprised to discover later on that Alexios (who gives Marco, and by extent the audience, the first impression that he's a loyal friend that can be trusted) is actually a spy with hidden agendas in regards to ruining Adastra, with him using Marco behind the scenes at specific points to try and achieve his goals.
    • Near the climax of Amicus and Cato's life-or-death duel in the arena, Marco also pieces together that Cato was trying to manipulate the trials to favor Cassius while pretending to give Amicus a fair shot at winning the Emperorship, before Cassius' failure to win the second trial made him interfere with everything more directly.
  • Manly Gay: Amicus is tough, masculine, and very much gay.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: Although they had a rocky start and Amicus accidentally kidnapped Marco, they warm up to each other over time and set aside their differences, enough so that the duo become engaged prior to Marcos eight year mission on Earth.
  • Mature Animal Story: The majority of the cast are anthro animals, and the story they are in has swearing, cutthroat and tension-fueled politics, inner corruption amid the titular planet's leadership, NSFW scenes and occasional acts of brutal violence.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Ad astra" is Latin for "to the stars".
    • "Amicus" is Latin for "friend", where despite his misinformed intentions and rocky first impressions, he may just be the only true friend you have in this hostile environment.
    • "Cassius" is based on Gaius Cassius Longinus, the man who betrayed and assassinated Julius Caesar. What that says about him and his sketchy behavior does not bode well. This turned out to be a red herring as Cassius warmed up to be a lot nicer eventually and a good ally.
    • "Alexios" is Greek for defender/helper and seeing how he is kind and helpful to the heroes really fits him well. The kind and helpful part is mostly undermined later on when Neferu and Marco discover that Alexios was really a spy sent by his planet to cause trouble from within the Adastran government, making him give the duo a very haughty reply when called out on his actions. And while he does help overthrow Cato later on, Alexios still remains distant towards everyone, with Cassius being the sole exception.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Amicus is bold, manly, and topless most of the time.
    • Neferu is even more so with his seductive personality.

  • Naïve Newcomer: Marco is new to Adastra and learns how to cope and adapt in this newfound society.
  • Nanomachines: The Lingua is a tiny microscopic chip that is attached anywhere like a piercing and allows the user to translate virtually any language in the known universe.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Marco knocks out the only person who can get him home and tries to navigate a spaceship he has no idea how to pilot or read anything and ends up nearly hurling him and Amicus into a star.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Marco has to pretend he is a dumb pet for Amicus so that people won't question him or Amicus. The reason why is that when Amicus went to Earth and brought Marco to his home planet, he apparently made forbidden first contact (as a legal one requires authorization from a God-like entity known as The Parents) and the consequence for anyone directly involved in it is execution.
    • To an extent, Alexios also has to play the role of a meek subservient pet for Cassius while he is secretly spying and trying to sabotage the empire while collaborating with his people.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Amicus realizes Marco isn't as unintelligent as he presumed, as it leads him to discovering he committed a forbidden first contact with humanity.
    • When Marco realizes that he thought he could take on the musclebound seven-foot tall alien wolf Amicus in a fight.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A villainous example. On the day Cassius plans to abdicate the Adastran throne (as part of the heroes plan to stop the Big Bad from using him for his agendas while also freeing Amicus from the dungeons), everyone in the room gets on edge when they notice that Cato, who was very hostile and distant towards everyone since the third trial, is in a "happy" mood, with Virginia noting it's odd that he would summon everyone together for breakfast as he'd never done this for a long time. It turns out everyone had a good reason to worry, as Cato discovered the secret plan to oust him from his position from Alexios. Cassius ends up getting poisoned before he can renounce his leadership and everyone else in the palace (including Alexios) find themselves at the mercy of the tyrants wrath soon after.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Marco is an average American college student who was studying abroad in Rome and just before his semester started he was taken by Amicus to Adastra.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Virginia is fully dressed while most of the male cast is topless, very likely for Fanservice.
  • Perpetual Frowner:
    • This is Cassius' main expression, usually on its own or with a Death Glare thrown in.
    • Cato is also hardly seen without a frown.
    • Once his true saboteur intentions are revealed, Alexios ends up turning into one as well, with the character sprite of him smiling basically disappearing from the story.
  • Persona Non Grata: As soon as he learns that Alexios was a spy subtly causing havoc on Adastra, one of Amicus's first orders as Emperor is forbidding the cat from entering his home palace ever again (not that it stops Cassius sneaking him inside during Marco's last day on the planet).
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of Potes, the royal siblings father, five months before the beginning of the story is what starts Amicus and Cassius' fight to be made the next Emperor of Adastra. This in turn leads to Marco getting brought over from Earth by Amicus when Cassius starts taking the lead in the campaign, as Amicus thought reintroducing a lost and forgotten uplifted species to the Galaxias would give him the support from his people he critically needed.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Big. Fucking. Time. This should be called Poor Communication Kills: The Visual Novel. Amicus and Marco fail to communicate so many times that things just blow up in both their faces.
  • Puppet King: Cassius gets made into one due to Cato brutally staging the third Emperorship trial in his favor, with the "former acting" Emperor clearly still in charge even after the youngest wolven royal is crowned Adastras new leader. Out of both fear towards directly defying Cato and concern to how the public would treat him if he were to abdicate his rule in such a short amount of time, Cassius ends up going along with this role for a while.
  • The Quest: The plot revolves around Marco's adventure through Adastra and trying to return home. By the story's end, Marco's goal shifts to trying to accomplish an eight year mission on Earth so that he can return to Adastra and be with Amicus again.

  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Cassius has red eyes and is one of the first antagonistic characters introduced in the story, though the trope is subverted after his brother is made the official Adastran Emperor, as Cass turns his hostile behavior down a bit from that point in the story.
  • Red Herring: At first, the narrative makes it look like Cassius will be the main villain of the story (due to his constant Jerkass behavior, his desire to do anything to be made Emperor and the fact that he threatens to have Marco executed once he becomes Adastra's leader at one point). However, it later turns out that Cassius is more "all bark, no bite" and Cato ends up taking the role of the main antagonist (with his brutal actions scaring even Cassius).
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: After he witnesses Cassius agree to step down as Adastras Emperor as part of a plan to stop Cato, Alexios throws Marco and the other palace residents under the bus by snitching to the tyrant about the secret plan to overthrow him (with this action being part of his own saboteur intentions). To his horror, this results in his wolven lover getting poisoned by Cato, followed by the feline getting punched across the room after he screams to the tyrant about how he went too far. Later on, Marco overhears Alex freaking out about the recent events and when confronted, he laments that he'll probably be executed by Cato in the near future. Unlike most examples, Alexios isn't killed for his betrayal, though given Catos violent tendencies it's not a stretch to say he would've fulfilled this trope and killed his "informant" had he gotten to personally dealing with him.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds and scenery are simply amazing and definitely fit an otherworldly Roman influence.
  • Sequel Hook: The final scene of the visual novel (which happens after the "The End" photo of Amicus on his throne) has a messenger inform Emperor Amicus that an important diplomatic mission with Khemia has been approved and is ready to start as soon as the order is given. Word Of God has also confirmed that a sequel is in the works and will take place on Khemia.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Virginia, Amicus and Cassius' sister, is the only female major cast member.
  • Space Romans: Adastra is a Roman society in space that influenced Earth's Ancient Rome.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In the society of Adastra, female wolves have more restrictions and less rights than their male counterparts. When Marco asks why Virginia can't compete for the Emperorship alongside Amicus and Cassius (as she shows a strong sense of savviness and passion in politics), he's told it's simply because her gender forbids it.
    Neferu: You accuse me of deception, yet we both know you've figured out the answer. Why do you feign ignorance?
    Virginia: It's the best weapon in discourse...and it is easy to feign stupidity, at least for me. It is expected on my part.
    Neferu: (concerned) And why would you say something like that?
    Virginia: I have a vagina, Neferu.
  • Straight Gay: Amicus is a very masculine wolf who has no feminine interests and is very much gay. Although, he does regularly use lavender-scented cologne and grooms his fur, which while considered normal on his planet, would be considered feminine on Earth.
  • Stupid Evil: Before he dies, it gets pointed out that if Cato had actually succeeded in his vengeful ploy of executing Neferu, Khemia would have ended up going to war with the wolves over the death of their royal diplomat note  and that they would have inevitably destroyed Adastra, as their Kingdom is the strongest of all the siblings (even being mentioned in the sequel as being close to powerful as The Parents themselves). Despite probably knowing all this, in Catos mindset the destruction of his home Empire and people still would've been worth it if it meant Adastra and Khemia never aligned.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When Marco first meets Amicus, he ends up getting freaked out by the sight of a giant alien wolf that somehow speaks English in front of him. And his first reaction is to promptly kick him in the chest to get him away.
    • Likewise, Cassius also has a major freak out when he first sees Marco unexpectedly, as he'd never seen a human in his life up to that point and naturally assumed he could be dangerous. The reason why Virginia and Neferu reacted calmer to their first encounter with Marco is because they heard about him in advance before seeing him, giving them time to prepare for the surprise of seeing a new species.
    • One of the risks to a human being on a planet full of sentient aliens is that they're vulnerable of catching viruses and diseases that their bodies are not used to. At one point, Marco ends up catching something called avia pox, and while the average Adastran can easily deal with any symptoms, the human ends up suffering more severely (ranging from having violent hallucinations to slipping into a near coma-like state) as his body has no idea how to fight off the alien illness.
    • After Marco is brought back to his Italian apartment room on Earth after spending about a year on Adastra, he notes that all his stuff is gone (presumably taken during a police investigation) and that his mysterious disappearance probably got a lot of media coverage akin to other strange disappearances in the area.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Marco obviously isn't happy about being dragged to Adastra by Amicus and is forced to work alongside him in order not to blow their cover and so that he can (possibly) return home. That is, before he fell in love with Amicus and enjoyed staying in Adastra.
  • Token Human: Marco is the only human living in Adastra, justified as he was brought from Earth against his will.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • After Cato is killed, Amicus gets made the planet's Emperor and he recovers from his poisoning, Cassius notably turns his Jerkass and hostile traits down a notch, as his first onscreen chat with Marco following his recovery has him speak more passively and less "better than thou" to the human, even thanking him for his role in putting the Empire on a less corrupt course and having a mostly casual conversation with him about how he plans to help Adastra through his new government position, which is a step up from the constant distrust and aggression he displayed early on.
    • In a more subtle case, Virginia takes one towards Marco as well. While she is mostly civil to him throughout the story, she also remains the most socially distant character in the palace towards him (with Marco even noting that he learned nothing about her after a year passed). However, on Marcos final day on Adastra, Virginia finally opens up about herself a bit and explains why she acts distant (mainly to get by in the planet's politics, which has no room for other females as of the current time, while also relying on her lessons of not entirely trusting any male, as she feels there are too many opponents who will try and drag her down if she doesn't keep her uptight personality up). Marco ends up understanding her points, leading the duo to develop a small connection before parting ways for the next few years.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Alexios towards Marco. The cat's first chat with the human (not long after Marco was taken to Adastra) has the duo bonding over breakfast and gardening while sharing details about themselves and Adastra in a curious yet seemingly well-intentioned way. Alexios' last chat with Marco (which takes place after the feline was outed as a spy and was using Marco for his own goals to cause chaos) has him and the human speaking to each other in a very hostile and aggressive tone, with clear indication that the broken friendship isn't going to heal anytime in the near future.
    • Cassius also took one towards Amicus long before the start of the story. When they were pups, Cass often looked up to his older brother and had a higher level of respect for him, but the duo became distant towards each other as they grew older (especially around the time their mother died).
  • Trapped in Another World: Marco is kidnapped from Earth by Amicus and brought to Adastra with no word on when he will return to Earth, if ever. As it turns out, Marco does make it back to Earth by the end of the story, but also ends up yearning to go back to Adastra and soon gets started on a mission that is said to end in his return to the planet.
  • The Unfavorite:
    • If the player takes Alexios' word for it, Neferu is this to his family back on his home planet, as his older brother and two younger sisters have more powerful positions in politics than he does (with Neferu looking uneasy when asked about his life and family relations later on).
    • Growing up, this trope was played straight on Cassius and subverted with Virginia when it came to their father.
    Virginia: "While young, my brothers and I experienced very different sides of my father. He coddled Amicus, neglected Cassius, and for me, it was a sort of in-between."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even though Marco helped make a plea deal to keep him from facing severe punishment for sabotaging Adastra's government, Alexios still tries to steal Amicus' ship with a drunk Cassius on the night before Marco was due to leave for his eight year mission (which the cat fully knew about).
    Marco (to Alexios after learning his plan): "Man, you're a real piece of shit, you know that?"
    • Before the start of the story, Cato ended up getting severely injured during the Khemian War (losing part of his skull, an eye and his entire vision), which prompted Amicus' father, who was the Emperor and the wolfs closest friend, to get aid from the Parents to heal his injuries, which helped Cato miraculously survive. This helpful act ultimately meant nothing to Cato however, as he still ended up sabotaging the Emperors ship and killed him, all so that he himself could become acting Emperor and work on his goal to start another war with Khemia from a higher level of power.
  • The Unmasqued World: Not shown during the main story, but it's heavily implied that by the time Marco finishes his mission on Earth, everyone on the planet will know about Adastra, Khemia and the Galaxias as a whole. On the night he returns to his planet, Marco can possibly be informed that the Parents have already made some form of contact with it, meaning that the trope has already started to play out.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: After winning the second trial, Amicus tells the player that all they have to do is win the third trial, and then Marco can be returned to Earth. Of course, Cato sabotages Amicus and stages the trial. Later, when Neferu, Marco, and Virginia collect incriminating evidence about the staged trial and Cato's murder of the previous emperor, they plan to blackmail Cassius into abdicating the throne. Cato then poisons Cassius and assumes the emperorship before that could happen.
  • The Unreveal: It's not made clear what Neferu did to earn his status as The Unfavorite in his family, with the jackal only bringing up vague responses such as, "After what I put them through, it's only fair", when asked why they're forcing him to stay on Adastra in order to help form an alliance that they know has little to no chance of success.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Cassius was very sweet and kind when he was young and got along very well with his family, but after his parents passed away he became more bitter and spiteful towards almost everyone in general (primarily towards Amicus).
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Amicus, Neferu, and Cato (along with Cassius and Alex to a lesser extent) almost never wear shirts and are topless pretty much most of the time, due to the furry appeal this should be obvious enough why.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Amicus' plan to bring a human to Adastra kidnap and bring a human against their will and deceive them and lie to them by hoping they will be too unintelligent to suspect what exactly is going on. In Amicus' defense, he does end up regretting his poorly though out idea of kidnapping Marco, as he quickly realizes he put an innocent life in a very dangerous position for a good chunk of the story, and goes out of his way to keep the human safe from any and all harm no matter what. He even tearfully apologizes to Marco for dragging him into his conflict for the throne after the entire post-Cato fight ordeal section concludes, with Marco forgiving him.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • During his first few days on Adastra, Marco befriends Alexios (an anthro cat who was apparently left behind on the planet years ago and now works as Cassius' servant), and the two characters stay on mostly friendly terms amid all the politics and drama going on at the palace. However, after Marco and Neferu discover Alexios was actually a spy and was basically using Marco for his own agendas to cause havoc within the planets main government, the human and cat officially become bitter rivals, with Marco lampshading this trope later on.
    • Amicus also ends up becoming this to Alexios once he learns about all the sabotage and espionage the cat did to hinder Adastra from getting back into the Galaxias (with the tone clearly indicating that the fallout between them was even bigger than Marco's example).
    • Amicus also had a close relationship to his brother Cassius where they grew up together having fun and bonding all the time. Cassius always looked up to Amicus and felt safe being protected by him since Cassius was tiny and fragile while Amicus was robust. But then eventually after their parents had passed, Cassius had changed and instead of letting Amicus become emperor, he challenged him for the throne and became more antagonistic towards him.
  • What Does She See in Him?:
    • Marco questions how Alex could have feelings for someone like Cass.
    • On his last day on Adastra, Marco flips the question by asking Cassius why he still wants to be with Alexios, given that his actions over the past year caused harm to everyone around him and that the duo being together keeps Alexios in a position where he can potentially do even more harm.
  • Wolf Man: The denizens of Adastra are wolf people.
  • Women Are Wiser: Compared to her brothers (who do have their own strengths but also behave like manchildren at various points), Virginia is the most mature member of the royal family, as she's fully responsible with any task she's given and is the least likely to display any form of immaturity or incompetence. Granted, she was molded into behaving like this during her youth through many etiquette lessons (much to her chagrin), though she does also admit that it helps her get by in a world where women's rights are years behind Earths.
  • You Are What You Hate: At several points in the story, Cassius scornfully calls his brother a "tail raiser" (which is a homophobic slur on Adastra) even though he clearly has feelings for Alexios, as shown by their deep and passionate kiss during the first trial.
  • You Sexy Beast: Despite their differences and terrible first impressions, Marco slowly warms up to the idea of making love to Amicus, an alien wolf man.

Interea contains examples of:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Out of all three royal siblings, Virginia is the one most likely to be considered non-violent and civil. However, she also ends up being the one most open to the idea of executing Alexios as punishment for his prior destructive acts of sabotage, even suggesting his death be made to look accidental during the ride to the university. Given the Omorfans actions indirectly resulted in the near deaths of both her brothers, as well as put her in a scenario that nearly had her forcibly married to Cato, it's easy to see why Virginia feels Alex doesn't deserves mercy.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Neferu spends the first chapter of this novel roaming the Imperial Palace & grounds stark bollock naked. Disregarding all objections to the display of his "unsightly privates" whenever so raised.
  • Written by the Winners: When studying the history of Adastra through Com, Marco hears from a wolven source that during Amicus' fathers time as Emperor, he sent Cato to a planet that was made up of anthro wolverines being uplifted by Khemian Geneticists to apparently handle some sort of affront that was committed against the Empire, with Cato managing to cleanse the planet of Khemian crime with no unnecessary bloodshed. Marco clearly detects some historic whitewashing and has Com then play audio from a Khemian source that covered the same incident, where he discovers that the planet was originally owned by the Adastrans before they declared it devoid of life, which prompted the Khemians to buy the rights to explore the planet from them. The Khemians soon found the wolverine species underground and began the uplifting process for two centuries before the wolves found out. Rather than initiate talk, the wolves reacted by launching a sudden full scale attack with deadly incendiary weapons, with another Khemian that was part of the rescue force arriving months later describing the gruesome aftermath of the wide scale genocide.

Khemia contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Close friends and relatives sometimes refer to Scipio as "Skip".
  • Downer Beginning:
    • During preparations to set sail for Khemia, Scipio and Neferu decide to go to a nearby hotel and hook up or just spend the night together. But things suddenly take a turn when an assassin sneaks into their room and attempts to murder them before he is swiftly killed by security drones and leaves a bloody and messy aftermath which triggers Scipio's PTSD of a past event where he witnessed someone being brutally murdered.
    • An unseen event but the news that Marco unintentionally spread avia pox throughout Earth, essentially starting a pandemic.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: According to Scipio, the footage of Neferu getting his balls kicked in by Cato is still well remembered three years after it happened (and also the thing the jackal himself is mostly remembered for).
  • Tragic Keepsake: Possible example, despite three years having passed since Amicus ascended to the Adastran throne, the chambers reserved for the use of the Emperor have remained untouched, since Neferu last used them in the events of the first novel. Whether or not this is because Amicus refuses to leave the bedroom where he & his human spent so much time for sentimental reasons or the monument of an all too painful reminder featured within the Emperor's bedroom, a vacant bed set aside for his pet, is unclear.

Alternative Title(s): Adastra