A young engineer on the colony of Olympus 7, the protagonist has never had the chance to experience the larger galaxy outside the space station which houses her home colony. That changes dramatically, however, when she makes an unexpected discovery which draws the attention of the sinister Galactic Liberation Front onto her. Forced to run for her life when Olympus 7 is attacked, she soon crosses paths with the misfit crew of a starship named the Promise, and with them finds herself entangled in an adventure of galactic importance.
The visual novel draws heavy inspiration from the Raygun Gothic adventure serials of 1950s science fiction, crossed with influences from Star Wars and similar Space Operas. Naturally, though, it's the love story that's front and center, with various potential Love Interests for the player to choose from, including straitlaced starship captain Orion, roguish bounty hunter Jaxon, superhuman warrior Nova, cantankerous pilot Atlas, and enigmatic Empire captain Antares.
In 2020, a pilot short set in the world, A Cosmic Match, was released, featuring a new alien heroine and two potential alien love interests. Both were later expanded into full routes.
This game provides examples of:
- Accidental Kiss: At the end of Atlas's first season, the startled protagonist loses her balance, falls, and ends up lying on top of Atlas with her lips against his when he tries to catch her.
- Affectionate Nickname: Tyrian calls the heroine "Firebug," a nickname he gave her when they were in school together as kids because of her tendency to accidentally cause laboratory explosions.
- After Action Patch Up: Happens with a couple characters, such as Jaxon and Antares in their first seasons.
- Air-Vent Passageway: The heroine uses air ducts to escape locked rooms and get around in various routes.
- Ambiguous Disorder:
- The player character's thoughts and behavior suggest both ADHD and some form of anxiety disorder.Protagonist: I know I'm smart in theory. [...] But in reality, at any given minute, ninety percent of my brain's CPU is devoted to anxiety.
- Antares Fairchild's first two seasons depict him with a need for control over himself and the people and things around him that borders on obsession, such that a case can be made that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's downplayed increasingly in his later seasons, however.
- The player character's thoughts and behavior suggest both ADHD and some form of anxiety disorder.
- Artificial Family Member: Nova sees Beta and Gamma, fellow creations of Dr. Xendalia, as her siblings, and the doctor herself as the closest she has to a mother.
- Artificial Human: Nova and her siblings were lab-created by Dr. Xendalia. In Nova's sixth season, she and the heroine have a baby, who is lab-created from a combination of their genetic material.
- Ascended Meme: Fans were comparing Antares to Kylo Ren from his first season. In a premium scene in his eighth season, Antares remarks that he's been contemplating adding a crossguard to his beam saber (in the fashion of Kylo's much-discussed cross-guard lightsaber).
- Asteroid Thicket: The Promise sometimes has to lose pursuers by dodging through asteroid fields.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The protagonist's chain of thought bounces around like a ball in a pinball machine, lightning-fast but very easily sidetracked onto irrelevant tangents.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: True to the game's Space Opera / Raygun Gothic roots, a good half of the character names are designed to sound as cool as possible, with Orion Akatsuki and Antares Fairchild topping the list.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In Nova's fifth season, Zhora shoots Orion's gun out of his hand. Atlas does this to her a couple episodes later during a firefight, though she pulls another and keeps fighting.
- Bling of War: Officers of the Empire wear uniforms fairly dripping with gleaming gold accents. Admirals in the Union also have shiny gold trim on their uniforms, though not quite to the ostentatious extent of the Empire's upper ranks.
- Bounty Hunter: Jaxon's specialty, though all of the Promise crew participate.
- Bridal Carry:
- Jaxon does this with the protagonist at the end of his first season.
- Nova holds the protagonist like this during a fight with Beta.
- Broken Ace: His first two seasons portray Antares as obsessed with control and almost physically incapable of relaxing and emotionally withdrawn to the point that even once they're lovers, he only very rarely shows the protagonist any hints of emotional intimacy, most of which is implied to be the result of the extreme degree of focus and effort he has invested in achieving his high level of skill and status within the Empire. A combination of Character Development and Depending on the Writer moves him away from the trope during his third and fourth seasons.
- Broken Pedestal: Jaxon's friend Quinn, who he idolized in the past, became a Space Pirate.
- Chekhov's Gun: The black hole from Antares' lab ends up being used against Admiral Mirra.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Tyrian Aquila's route involves entering into a romantic relationship with a childhood friend, as Tyrian and the heroine were classmates together as children on Olympus 7.
- Childish Pillow Fight: Nova and the heroine have one in Nova's sixth season.
- Clear My Name: The plot of Atlas's first two seasons involves the heroine being accused of spying for the Empire, and her efforts to clear her name and get herself and the rest of the Promise crew off the Union's wanted list.
- Clone Army: Dr. Xendalia is working on an army of Super Soldier clones.
- Color-Coded Characters: The heroine and the Promise crew members each have a signature color which is featured prominently in their design. The heroine is green, Orion is blue, Jaxon is red, Nova is purple, and Atlas is orange.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live: The first meeting with Nova on her route.
- Cool Shades: When he's not in his combat armor, Antares wears a red-tinted visor. He claims it's part of the uniform, but its main purpose appears to be to obscure his eyes, making it harder to read his expressions.
- Control Freak: Antares in his first two seasons. His attitude is illustrated in his response when the player character asks him why he keeps fish as pets - one of the reasons he gives is that he has total control over their environment, and can thus protect them.
- Cue the Rain: In Zhora's first season, after the heroine fully explains her situation to Zhora, who refuses to get involved and leaves, one of the colony's scheduled artificial rainfalls begins.
- Deadpan Snarker: Atlas. Dry sarcasm appears to be his default setting.
- Declaration of Protection: Atlas drops an unorthodox one in episode five of his first season, when he informs the protagonist that he intends to protect her from the Union's pursuit out of pure spite.Atlas: I wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire! So if they want you, then... then they'll have to rip you from my cold dead fingers.
- Did I Say That Out Loud: The main character has a habit of this. Inverted in one case:MC: [after an inner monologue] Oh! Speaking of which!
Nova: Of what?
MC: Um. Did I not say it out loud?
Atlas: Say what?
MC: (I have to stop doing that )
- Distracted by the Sexy: The protagonist is highly distractable in general, and she frequently veers off from matters at hand into admiration of her love interest's charms, often having to force herself back on task. Antares practically weaponizes it on his route; he knows good and well the effect he has on her and he tends to take advantage of it to distract her from disagreements.
- Dressing as the Enemy: In Jaxon's season 1, he and the protagonist disguise themselves as Empire soldiers to sneak aboard Kreave's ship.
- The Empire: The Empire, or, as they call themselves, the Galactic Liberation Front. They take over worlds by force to expand their reach and are at war with the Union.
- Enemy Mine: The Promise crew teams up with Antares in Orion's season 2.
- Erotic Eating: A heart scene early in Zhora's first season leads to her demonstrating her skill at tying a cherry stem into a knot in her mouth.
- Escape Pod: Practically every ship is seen to have these, and they often get used to make escapes.
- Fake Defector: In Jaxon's eighth season, he pretends to be on Vespira's side as part of a plan to get close to her.
- Fake-Out Make-Out:
- While hiding onboard Kreave's ship in disguise, Jaxon leans into the protagonist when some soldiers walk by. It works; they tell them to get a room and move on.
- In her first season, Zhora proposes this as an excuse to kiss the heroine.
- Fantastic Racism: Anti-alien prejudice is implied to be an issue in the Union; all of the Union officers and soldiers seen thus far have been human except for the part-alien Admiral Mirra, who mentions having struggled for her position due to her alien heritage. The Empire, in contrast, has been shown to have aliens and humans alike throughout their ranks.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: All the ships are capable of this.
- First-Name Basis: In Antares' route, the protagonist starts out addressing him as Captain Fairchild, but he eventually tells her to call him by his first name.
- Fog of Doom: The smoke creatures appear as black clouds that move across the surface of a planet, engulfing all life.
- Forgotten Friend, New Foe: In Atlas's second season, the main cast encounter Union soldier Tyrian Aquila among the Union mech troops deployed to capture them. Only after they've taken Aquila hostage in order to escape Union custody does the heroine remember knowing him when she was a child.
- Four-Star Badass: All the higher rank officers seen are capable fighters. This includes Antares once he's promoted to Vice Admiral in his third season.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The player character worked as an engineer until people started coming after her, and she's capable of quite a lot of technological wizardry. While some routes focus more on her hacking and programming skills, Antares, Atlas, and Jaxon's routes showcase her talents as an inventor.
- Gay Option: All of the Lovestruck titles feature at least one LGBTQ love interest option, and Starship Promise is no exception. In this case it's Nova, the beautiful super-soldier.
- Geeky Turn-On:
- In Orion's first season, the protagonist realizes that the music he's listening to incorporates whalesong and immediately thinks, "Oh, Captain, I am in love!"
- Antares finds watching the protagonist turn unsolvable theoretical physics problems into practical weapons of mass distraction an incredible turn-on.
- The Ghost: Jaxon's father is never seen onscreen. He's always either conveniently out when Jaxon is seen visiting home, or he's just offscreen during video calls.
- Gilligan Cut: During Orion's third season, while working on a plan.MC: (Let's hope this works )
MC: (This isn't going to work.)
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: An unnamed recurring character, who usually appears as a bartender, is a beautiful blue alien woman. She eventually received a name (Jessa Flexand) and a lead role as the female love interest of the "A Cosmic Match" Valentine's Day short.
- Hands-On Approach:
- In Orion's route, when he teaches the protagonist how to handle a gun.
- In Zhora's second meeting with the heroine on her route, she lets her pick up a gun and steps behind her to adjust her grip on it.
- HeelFace Turn: Nova finds Beta and Gamma adrift after the clone affair on her route and convinces them to help combat the alien threat. They both remain on good terms with her afterward.
- Hidden Depths: In Orion's route, Atlas is referred to as having this after his words regarding Evander's veneer.
- High-Five Left Hanging: In season 2 of Atlas' route, this exchange occurs:Atlas: I'm going to my quarters. Nobody bother me.
With that, he leaves. After a few minutes, I stand, closing out the diagnostics.
MC: I'm gonna go bother him.
Jaxon: More like get him hot and bothered, am I right?
Jaxon holds up a hand for Orion to high-five. Orion just gives him a hard stare in return.
- Honorary Uncle: If the heroine has children with one of the Promise crew members, the rest of the crew are considered uncles/aunt.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The smoke creatures that show up across various routes. They are aliens of unknown origin who move from planet to planet, consuming all life and then moving on.
- Hot Men at Work: One of Atlas' first CGs features him working on the Promise with his coat off, showing off his muscular build while the heroine admires him from off to the side.
- Humanoid Aliens: The aliens that show up generally look like this, having humanoid frames but very nonhuman facial features or skin.
- I Call It "Vera": In Orion's route, he gives the protagonist a gun to help defend herself. She names it "Sparky".
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Dr. Xendalia's behavior toward the protagonist has an intimate tone to it. She only does it in front of Nova though, seemingly to mess with her.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Atlas kisses the protagonist's hand twice in a scene late in his second season, after admitting to her that he has feelings for her and wants her to stay.
- Improbably Female Cast: Zhora's route has an almost entirely female cast, even down to the faceless soldiers.
- I Need a Freaking Drink:
- While meeting with Evander in Orion's season 2, Atlas takes out a flask and drinks from it.
- In Orion's seventh season, Antares reacts to the newlywed heroine and Orion being cute at each other by saying, "That's adorable. I need a drink."
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: At the start of Atlas's second season, the heroine attempts to extricate herself from an awkward situation, ordering herself to 'say something clever!' The options presented to the player are "I have to fix the flux capacitor," "I have to see a man about a horse," or "I have to feed Pearl."
- Instant Sedation: Zhora has a device up her sleeve that can stick a person with a needle to quickly knock them out.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: In Nova's season 3, the protagonist excuses herself and Nova so she can ask what's troubling her. The excuse she gives the others is that they need to debrief, and this is Jaxon's response:Jaxon: Oh, 'debrief', is it? I'll have to use that one.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Atlas Molniya, self-described "tired, cranky old bastard." Though crusty and irritable, he's as loyal and caring as anyone on the Promise. It's just harder to see it through his griping.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: In his sixth season, Antares and the protagonist go into combat in their wedding regalia when a squad of Union powersuit soldiers attack during the reception.
- Kidnapped Scientist: The heroine is held prisoner by a couple different antagonists who force her to work for them. On at least one occasion, she builds a secret failsafe into the device she's forced to work on.
- Kinky Cuffs: Antares's sixth season has a heart option for handcuff play.
- Kiss of Distraction:
- In Orion's route, he does this to get the protagonist onto an escape pod while he stays behind.
- Antares is fully aware of the effect he has on the heroine, and on more than one occasion kisses her to distract her when she's trying to argue with him.
- At the midpoint of Tyrian's first season, the heroine - realizing that Tyrian will not be persuaded to let her escape from the Union base - kisses him on the cheek to distract him while she swipes his sidearm.
- Lame Pun Reaction: In Orion season 7:MC: Atlas! You left The Promise?
Atlas: I had a promise to keep.
Jaxon: Ba-dum, ching!
Jaxon: What? He had a PROMISE to keep?
Antares, Orion, & Atlas: No.
- Laser Blade: Officers of the Galactic Liberation Front wield "beam sabers," and can use them to deflect blaster fire. Antares has a red-bladed one, which he seems to prefer over firearms. Commodore Bazirg has a green one.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Tyrian Aquila, the Childhood Friend-turned-Union soldier introduced in Atlas's second season, has long purple hair and what the protagonist's narration describes as one of the most striking faces she has ever seen.
- Light Is Not Good: Union admirals wear pristine white uniforms, but the ones that the main cast encounter tend to be no more trustworthy than officers of the Empire.
- The Little Detecto: Antares Fairchild's route is kicked off because the protagonist has invented one of these which picks up signs of alien life from outside the known galaxy. Upgrading the device (which the protagonist has named the Blip Bop) occupies most of his first season.
- Magic Ampersand: In Atlas' third season, the Promise crew plays a roleplaying game called "Constellations and Crusaders".
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Antares dresses in an extremely snappy black Empire uniform with shiny gold braid and trim, with cape, at all times except for when he dons his combat armor. He has a very well-established taste for luxury that borders on the obsessive; everything he owns seems to come with some kind of explanation of how rare, high-quality, and difficult to obtain it is. As one of the love interest options he's the very least of the game's evils, however.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Antares' route begins with him kidnapping the protagonist.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Nova gets glowing yellow eyes when she's controlled by Gamma. Later it turns out it indicates a state of heightened psychic sensitivity.
- Moment Killer: In a heart scene towards the end of Tyrian's first season, he and the heroine are about to kiss when they're interrupted by Comet getting between their faces.
- Morning Sickness: In Jaxon's route, the heroine gets this after she becomes pregnant.
- Murder by Mistake: In Orion's backstory, he was fighting with Antares and tried to shoot him when their friend Rhea intervened and got shot instead.
- My Greatest Failure: Orion accidentally shot his friend Rhea when she tried to intervene between him and Antares.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: In Atlas's first season, Nova helpfully observes that she's noticed the protagonist's heart rate increases when she's been in proximity to Atlas.
- Mystical White Hair: Nova's silver-white hair contributes to the sense of otherworldliness about her, especially in combination with her dark skin and purple eyes.
- Myth Arc: Though each route has its own plotlines from season to season, the details of which often vary, every route has the same larger myth arc as its backdrop, involving the potential invasion of the smoke aliens and the Empire's "Project Jormungand."
- Nap-Inducing Speak: An exchange in Nova season 6:Nova: You've fallen asleep multiple times when I've tried to explain the intricacies of thermal dynamic weaponry.
Jaxon: Because that's boring!
- Noodle Incident: In Atlas season 3, when Jaxon is explaining that his contact Zeg owes him a favor:Jaxon: It's a long story, but let's just say there's a reason why it's now illegal to breed salamanders on seventeen different colonies.
- Not So Different: In Jaxon's first season, Kreave claims that he and Jaxon are the same, motivated by riches and personal glory. This starts to get to Jaxon and he worries that he really is no better than Kreave.
- Now or Never Kiss: The first time Orion kisses the protagonist on his route is right before he pushes her into an escape pod, saving her from Antares's ship while staying behind himself.
- Only One Name: Nova. AKA Alpha.
- Parrying Bullets: Antares and Bazirg are able to block blaster fire with their beam sabers.
- Pass the Popcorn: In Zhora's first season, when the heroine catches up to Zhora at the spaceport and gives her a piece of her mind, Wyst pulls out a bag of peanuts and snacks on them as she watches, thoroughly entertained.
- Perspective Flip: The special story "Through Tyrian's Eyes" retells part of Atlas season 2 from the perspective of Union Lieutenant Tyrian Aquila.
- People Jars: Dr. Xendalia's lab sports an array of tubes full of green goo and decomposing humanoid specimens. Antares ends up in one of them in his third season, complete with CG.
- Planet Eater: The smoke creatures suck the life out of the planets they consume, leaving them barren.
- Power Crystal: Jaxon's route involves looking for some crystals that the Empire is after, to destroy them before the Empire can use them to power their planet-destroying super weapon (which also appears in some other routes). Later, it turns out the crystals are their best hope against the invading smoke aliens, so the Promise crew switch to trying to collect them for that purpose.
- Powered Armor: The Union develops powered suits for their troops, which include functions like flight and a Shoulder Cannon.
- Precision F-Strike: Orion in his route, after his reaction to Tyberius costs the crew their mission.Orion: Trust me, I know how this looks. And I know the stakes. Johdo is my home. And because of me, it might not be here tomorrow.
Orion falls quiet, one hand covering his face. Between his splayed fingers I can still see his eyes, wide with shock, shimmering with some unnameable emotion.
Orion: I fucked up.
- Prematurely Grey-Haired: Atlas is greying at the comparatively young age of 34. On his route, observing that he's younger than she first took him for, the protagonist guesses that the streaks of grey in his hair are the result of either genetics or stress. Either way, it adds to the overall sense that he's a man who's been around the block a few times.
- Psychic Powers: Nova has powers of empathy and a sense for impending danger. Gamma is an even more powerful psychic, able to incapacitate people with their mind alone.
- Ragtag Band of Misfits: The crew of the Promise is a wildly mismatched little family full of unusual skills, checkered pasts, and emotional trauma.
- Raygun Gothic: The game's story and aesthetic draw a lot of inspiration from '50s sci-fi adventure serials, albeit crossed over with some grittier Star Wars-style Used Future elements. Stellar Names, impractical but flattering Space Clothes, and Applied Phlebotinum abound.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Empire's colors.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The smoke creatures that show up across various routes evolve to the point where they have glowing red eyes in the midst of their dark, swirling masses. In Orion's route, when the smoke creature impersonating him reveals itself, "Orion's" eyes go solid red.
- Relative Error: At the beginning of Atlas's fourth season, Atlas begins receiving calls from a woman who says she misses him and wants him to "come home." The heroine assumes it's an ex-lover and gets herself pretty worked up about it until Atlas explains that the calls are from his estranged sister Maia.
- Rescue Romance: Orion, Jaxon, and Nova's routes begin with them coming to the protagonist's rescue.
- The Republic: The Union of Democratic Star Systems, more commonly referred to as simply The Union. They have the markings of "the good guys" — opposed to the Empire, peaceful and orderly standards of living on their planets and colonies, and a pristine look — but on the occasions that the Promise crew cross the Union's path they prove just as antagonistic as the Empire. According to Atlas, the Union's benevolent image is propaganda which conceals a history of unlawfully occupying planets, seizing their assets, and oppressing their native residents, and there are occasional signs of pervasive Fantastic Racism in the Union military.
- Robot Buddy: In Atlas's route, the protagonist has built herself a pocket-sized robot companion/assistant named Pearl, essentially a cute spider-like pet with all manner of amusing features built in.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Comet, the adorable green space mouse (space chinchilla?) that serves as Team Pet to the crew of the Promise.
- Running Gag: Antares's deep disgust at the silly names the protagonist gives her inventions on his route, particularly the Mega Blip. By his third season he still can't entirely say the name without wincing.
- Saying Too Much: In Jaxon's season 3, the protagonist accidentally lets slip to Quinn that the crystals weren't destroyed.
- Schrödinger's Gun:
- The story always begins with the Player Character making a discovery which draws the Empire to come hunting her, but the nature of that discovery is different in each route. In Orion's storyline, for example, she's decrypted Empire transmissions containing secret battle plans, while in Antares's storyline she's created a device which is picking up on alien activity from outside the galaxy.
- Atlas's first season mixes things up a little by having the Union be the ones after the heroine instead of the Empire, but otherwise remains true to form.
- Screw Your Ultimatum!: Early in Atlas's first season, the Promise and its crew are confronted by an entire Union fleet and read a laundry list of the crimes the stowaway protagonist is accused of. Atlas responds by making a rude gesture with both hands and telling the Union admiral to go screw himself.
- Secret Handshake: Tyrian and the heroine had a secret handshake as children, which they used to seal promises that should never be broken. In his first season, he offers it as proof that he's sincere about helping her despite having arrested her several times previously.
- Secret Project Refugee Family: Nova eventually finds a family in her "siblings" Beta and Gamma after their respective Heel-Face Turns.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Atlas is a former fighter pilot, and whatever prompted his break with the Union was traumatic enough to leave him with lasting emotional scars and a lot of bitterness toward the military he used to serve in. In his first season, he experiences a full-fledged flashback during a space dogfight, with only the player character in any position to try to talk him down before they're both killed.
- Shipper on Deck: Literally on deck, given how much of the action of any given route takes place on board a starship. On Atlas's route, Jaxon catches on to the growing relationship between Atlas and the protagonist long before either of them do and makes no effort to hide how entertaining he finds it. On the Empire side, meanwhile, Officer Corvus informs the protagonist that he thinks she's exactly what Antares needs - and yes, he means that exactly the way she thinks.
- Taking the option to order her Robot Buddy to attack causes the protagonist to shout, "Pearl, I choose you!"
- At one point in his first season, Atlas derisively refers to Union soldiers as "nerfherders." The heroine also uses the term in Zhora's first season, after a drunk spacer spills his drink on her, gets annoyed at her for it, and walks off.
- In Antares' seventh season, one of the protagonist's increasingly flimsy ideas for how to beat the smoke aliens is "a regiment of warrior monks with psychic powers" - as in Jedi knights.
- Atlas can also be heard complaining that he is getting too old for this shit.
- While the Promise crew are infiltrating the Empire in Atlas's third season, they encounter a pair of friendly Empire soldiers named Biggs and Wedge.
- In Nova's fifth season, she mentions a romance book series called Legend of Altea with fairy tale creatures in it.
- In Atlas's fourth season, the heroine has "a severely disturbing dream involving a sentient toaster on a road trip to Mars".
- Space Clothes: All over the place, unsurprisingly; aside from Atlas's retro bomber jacket, pretty much everybody who isn't wearing a military uniform is dressed in some flavor of vaguely-to-very "futurey" attire. The protagonist's default outfit is a particularly noteworthy example consisting of a sleeveless shorts bodysuit with matching opaque thigh-highs and white ankle boots, often with either a white labcoat or a jacket with the same grey, black, and green color scheme as the bodysuit.
- Space Pirates: Quinn and his crew.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The Empire doesn't even include an invitation for objections in its wedding ceremonies, but in Antares' sixth season a belligerent rear admiral still sees fit to interrupt Antares' wedding to the heroine with an objection between the vows and the kiss.
- Spot the Imposter: In Orion's season 6, the heroine at one point has to choose between shooting two Orions, with one being the real deal and the other an alien imposter. If you pick the wrong one, he'll barely dodge the shot.
- Stellar Name: Everywhere, in keeping with the overall retro-sci-fi feel of the setting. In fact, the only main character who doesn't have a space-themed name is Jaxon Silva.
- Stupid Sacrifice: In Orion's route, Rhea kills Tyberius Fox and takes care of a bomb threat by putting them both on an escape pod and ejecting it — with herself on board, even though that part wasn't necessary. It's implied to be an intentional act of suicide.
- Sudden Soundtrack Stop: In Jaxon's season 4, the protagonist is thrown during the fight with Kreave and hits her head. The action music comes to an abrupt halt.I stop.
- Sweet Tooth: Orion is a bit of a chocoholic. His answer to what three things he would want with him if he were stranded on a deserted island includes a lifetime supply of chocolate, and in his third season Jaxon successfully bribes him to share an embarrassing story by promising him his favorite brand of chocolate bar.
- Tainted Veins: In Antares' route, he gets infected by the alien threat and the veins on his back turn green.
- Tempting Fate:Orion: We'll be fine as long as we don't run into any
[patrol ship appears]
- That Came Out Wrong:
- In Jaxon's first season:Jaxon: Well, go on then, show me what you've got.
Heroine: Oh, I'll show you everything I've got!
Heroine: ( )
- In Orion's seventh season, he and the heroine are dancing at a club when a moth alien lady tries to get Orion to dance with her instead. The heroine, taking his arm and flashing her wedding ring, declares:Heroine: We come together or not at all.
- In Jaxon's first season:
- There Is Only One Bed: At one point in Orion's season 2, the crew needs to divide themselves among two rooms — one with three bunks, and one with a bed. They debate which two people are going to share the bed. Turns out there's also a couch in that room, so no bed-sharing is required.
- This Cannot Be!: Kreave, upon his defeat.
- This Page Will Self-Destruct: In Nova's fifth season, when the heroine is preparing a message for Polaris to arrange a meeting, one of the options is "try to sound badass", which leads to the first draft claiming the message will self-delete.
- Token Super: Super-soldier Nova is the only member of the crew of the Promise to have extra-human abilities, including super strength and an empathic sense which can alert her to danger or ill intentions from others. Jaxon gets a cool bionic arm in his season 4, though.
- Unwanted Rescue: By the time the Promise crew show up to rescue the protagonist from Antares in the latter's first season, she'd just as soon stay put. Especially when she learns that they're not motivated by altruism, but were paid to retrieve her by a third party.
- Uterine Replicator: In Nova's season 6, a machine is created to act as an artificial womb for her and the heroine's baby.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Jaxon betrays Vespira as part of his Fake Defector plan, she flies into a rage and turns on her guards, blaming them for their absence after she'd personally sent them out of the room, and starts firing on them.
- Villainous Face Hold:
- Dr. Xendalia does this to the heroine in the first episode of Nova's third season, tilting up her chin with a finger to examine her. This starts jealous feelings in Nova which Xendalia goes on to stoke.
- In Tyrian's first season, he needs to get the heroine past Mirra, who is suspicious of her reason for being there. She slips a knuckle under her chin to force her to meet her gaze, trying to suss her out.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Most Union citizens, including the heroine, trust that their government is reasonable and just and that the military nobly defends people from the predations of the evil Empire. In truth, the Union has really good propaganda, and the Union officers whose paths the Promise crew cross tend to be every bit as bad as the officers of the Empire.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Atlas and Jaxon trade a lot of snark and generally give one another a hard time, but when the chips are down they are crewmates on the Promise, and therefore consider each other family. Much of their dynamic can be construed as Jaxon acting as Atlas's Annoying Younger Sibling.
- Wall Pin of Love: Antares does this to the heroine early in his first season as he impresses upon her that she is his prisoner.
- Weakened by the Light: The smoke creatures are repelled by bright light.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: Ragnarok, the Empire's super weapon, can blow up planets. It's intended for fighting the smoke aliens, but the Empire's use of it to destroy occupied planets leads to the Promise crew destroying it before they learn of said aliens.
- Weird Beard: Zeg, a contact of Jaxon's, is an alien with a beard of tentacles.
- Wham Line: From the last episode of Antares season six:Antares: I don't want to become a commodore. I want to become the emperor.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: The protagonist never runs out of admiring things to say about Antares's gorgeous blue eyes, even at the beginning of the route when they're hidden behind his helmet's visor and he's in the process of kidnapping her.
- What Is This Feeling?: Nova, on her route, is uncomfortable seeing Dr. Xendalia interact with the protagonist, and later seeing a contact of Jaxon's flirt with her. It takes her some research to identify the feeling as jealousy, an emotion new to her.
- Where Did We Go Wrong?: Jaxon's mother does not approve of his decision to live the dangerous life of a bounty hunter, and it's a source of conflict between them. She ends up coming around after he saves her from an Empire incursion and she realizes he keeps other people of the galaxy safe from them as well.
- You Are Number 6: Dr. Xendalia's Super Soldiers are referred to with Greek letters. There's Alpha (aka Nova), Beta, and Gamma.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Human hair colors include green, purple, and silver.