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  • Breather Level: After each level of HW1, the player can choose to sit around and do whatever they like, such as collect resources or build ships. In addition, a few missions (such as missions 09 and 11) feature very little in the way of combat or difficulty compared to the previous mission(s). The game drew some criticism for how long these breather segments could last.
    • Homeworld 2, on the other hand, removed manual exiting of a mission zone in favor of just giving all the resources that were left in the area, then leaving—even when it made no sense, such as being given thousands of kilometers worth of unharvested resource pockets while fleeing an explosion that creates a massive spacial hazard, with seconds to spare. The remastered version of the first game does this as well.
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    • One of the points where Cataclysm was praised was the option to increase time-flow by up to 800%, as it stuck to the first game's way of dealing with mission endings (though it often left the player with a significantly stronger force coming after their hide, as an incentive to move on.)
  • Broken Base: Several, and all are violent. The most notable are listed below:
    • The divide between those who think Cataclysm is a good part of the Homeworld universe, and those who are so horrified by it they refuse to even consider it canon.
    • The divide between those who like Homeworld 2 and those who don't.
    • The divide between those who believe the Kadeshi were wiped out, and those who believe they are still alive.
    • There is a significant amount of debate over whether using the Salvage Corvette is "fair" or not.
    • The remastered version is already engendering this, with cries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! echoing far and wide over issues as important as the altering of significant game mechanics in HW1 to ones as pointless as the sounds of various weapons in either game. The latter has already received a patch.
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  • Complete Monster: Emperor Riesstiu IV the Second is The Caligula of the Taiidan empire. Before the events of the game, he was a corrupt and unstable ruler whose brutal policies have reduced his empire to a mere shell of its former self. When the Kushan unknowingly violate a treaty forbidding them from developing space technology, a treaty long forgotten by everyone except historians, Riesstiu orders the genocide of the entire Kushan civilization and has his fleet firebomb their planet Kharak, roasting alive untold millions. He then broadcasts the footage all across his empire, threatening hundreds of worlds with the same fate. When the peaceful Bentusi give aid to the Kushans, Riesstiu orders his fleet to attack one of their motherships, intent on slaying everything on board. When the Kushans arrive at their true home world Hiigara, he mind rapes fleet control Karan S'jet, and then personally attempts to finish the very genocide he started. Seeking power at the expense of everything that lives, Riesstiu is reviled throughout the galaxy.
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  • Demonic Spiders: The Keepers in HW2. They're carrier-sized battlecrusiers with two fast-firing ion cannons, armor that shames anything you've got and then some, the ability to launch powerful drone fighters that can take incredible punishment, the ability to go to hyperspace and bounce to the other side of the field should those fighters be destroyed (where it will launch more), and finally the ability to phase out of the game itself and return with full health should you damage them enough. It's intentional, of course, as both instances of them appearing are siege missions and you're not supposed to win, just hold out until the plot lets you proceed.
  • Ear Worm: "Adagio for Strings", the music that plays during the 3rd stage in the first game. It really enhances the emotions on that level.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The Kadeshi. Despite appearing in only two missions from the first game and possibly getting completely wiped out by the player they are quite popular.
  • Game-Breaker: The Salvage Corvette in the first game went Off the Rails quite quickly, as it could steal the enemy's Game-Breaker ships. The first major example was the Kadeshi multi-beam frigates, which can shred pretty much anything because they have four Wave Motion Guns, while the most expensive ship the Kushan could build at the time only had two. The research-station mission had valuable capital ships cut off from any reinforcement by a super nova, making it (relatively) easy to capture large numbers of them—but the worst was Mission 14, with dozens and dozens of Ion Cannon Frigates ripe for capture (the last one was intentional on the developers' part, given what you have to blow up in the very next mission).
  • Good Bad Bugs: Homeworld has both the F2kzzzz and "probe bomb" tricks, which both exploit different bugs for viable strategies in the game.
    • The F2kzzzz glitch basically puts several different command queries for scouts together to make them flying ninjas of doom. First, you press the F2 key, which sets the scouts to evasive, making them slightly faster for a cost in firepower. Then, you press "k," which initiates the kamikaze attack. Normally, this would be lethal, but by then pressing "z" repeatedly on the keyboard, you initiate a special Up to Eleven ability for scouts that makes them even faster, so fast in fact, that they prove too agile to die. As a result, the scouts become nigh impossible to kill and trail closely behind enemy fighters, shooting the entire way.
    • The probe bomb trick takes advantage of the unusually wide area of effect for scuttling a probe, thereby enabling you to kill any number of unfortunate strike craft to wander in range.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the original Homeworld game, the main antagonist is a galaxy-spanning dystopian empire which responds to any planet which opposes them by deploying an atmosphere-destroying device and is ruled by a very long-lived Emperor who seems to possess psychic powers. Guess what game Relic made a few years later? Possibly crosses over with Shout-Out, given the circumstances.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Beast in Cataclysm whoever it is. Among others, it used an infected Republican cruiser to lure a convoy's escorts so it is vulnerable to attack, used one of your captured ship's controller to switch off a sentinel shield grid, sending a captured previously friendly ship you met to lure you to it, and most of all, manipulating the Imperialists into doing its bidding which includes repairing the Naggarok's drives, giving it the Cruise Missile designs, and making them do most of the fight with the Hiigarans in general.
    • The Taiidani Emperor of the first game also counts, having let centuries of paranoia and corruption cloud his judgement and leading him to pursue a genocidal campaign against the Kushan the moment they receive word of their mastery of hyperspace technology. In the destruction that follows, he uses the near-annihilation of the Kushan Exiles as a means to galvanize the people of the declining Empire, and when this only prompts further rebellion from within his own empire he sends his vast armadas to crush both the Kushan survivors and the rebels before they can finally break his iron grip over the Empire's domain. As the Kushan prove they will not be hindered by the Taiidan's vast fleet reserves, the Emperor resorts to attacking the comparatively more peaceful Bentusi to deny the Kushan a crucial ally in their war against the Empire. He even attacks Karan S'jet herself in the hopes of decapitating the Kushan leadership just as they reach their homeworld. Suffice to say even with the odds stacked overwhelmingly against him, the Emperor refuses to go out without a fight.
  • Memetic Badass: In some communities, Salvage Corvette from the first Homeworld.
  • Narm: "Bring Sajuuk to bear!"
    • The NAGGAROK's 30 second long Big "NO!". (It's been suggested that this isn't really the Naggarok screaming, but every Beast ship in the Galaxy feeling the pain of being lobotomized by the Naggarok's destruction.)
  • Moral Event Horizon: Taiidan forces cross this when they destroy Kharak and its whole population, for the crime of returning to space, based on the treaty that was made millenia ago. It's so bad that captain of operation is heavily implied to be tortured to death for information by survivors and the fate of the crew is unknown... The Taiidan Empire rises in rebellion when word spreads.
  • Nightmare Fuel: What The Beast does with whatever organic matter it makes contact with. Especially in the case of the Bentusi who are not merely killed and reduced to biomass but instead remain alive and conscious inside the infected ships due to them being integrated into their vessel circuits, much like Karan is one with the Mothership.
    • Made even more scary with the resulting distorted Death Cry Echo of the victims in your radio which sounds like the crew had just been assimilated!
  • Spiritual Licensee: The game was originally intended as a Battlestar Galactica (1978) game but it did not work out in the end, forcing Relic to alter the universe and characters slightly. The story is still there though.
    • Somehow the game also taps into the feel of the re-imagined BSG despite predating it: The game's mood and the heavy spirituality matches the re-imagining more than the original BSG. Same with the physics and the way ships do battle. Arguably, Homeworld is the combination of the more fantastic elements of the original BSG (aliens, wave motion cannons, an evil Empire) and the more stylistic elements (lack of goofiness, a more serious mood, spiritual feel, the way battles are conducted) of the re-imagined BSG. And it works!
      • Also, compare the "Unbound" (S'jet, her Vaygr arch enemy Makaan, etc.) with the "Hybrids" piloting the Cylon Basestars in the re-imagined BSG. Their portrayal is eerily similar, down to the Machine Monotone voices. It's as if Ron D. Moore played Homeworld and got a bit inspired... (But granted, Spaceship Girl is a nigh universal sci-fi trope these days.)
      • "As if"? The First Hybrid was played by Campbell Lane, who voiced the Bentusi. If that was a coincidence, it was one hell of a coincidence.
  • Surprise Difficulty: The first two missions in HW2 consist of "Build a ship! YIPPIE HOORAY!" ... Then "build a building, build some ships, kill an enemy scout" ... Then the third mission is "Destroy an enemy fleet twice your size on one side of the map, while another enemy fleet just as large warps in on top of the only mineral field on the map, killing your miner and thus preventing you from building another fleet, while your main fleet is wholly occupied with the first fleet."
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The dynamic difficulty system in space-based installments of Homeworld has been known to annoy some players. Trying to amass large fleet can result in the game spawning even more hostile ships in the amount that make the missions much harder to compete against you.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Many fans have already written off the Homeworld series as doomed after finding out Gearbox obtained the rights to the series. Considering that Gearbox has never worked on an RTS before, and considering the arguably poor quality of some of their more recent games, these fans have plenty of reason to fear.
    • And then Gearbox turns around and lets Blackbird Interactive use the license for their spiritual successor to Homeworld, Hardware Shipbreakers. Blackbird Interactive has a number of Homeworld's original development team on staff.
  • That One Level: The convoy escort mission in Cataclysm most notably. The catch, it is not exactly hard at all, but rather the high amount of Nightmare Fuel involved.
    • "Help us! HELP US!!!"
    • In the traditional sense, Mission 14 of the first game. The objective is rather simple: blow up 8 hyperspace inhibitors so you can jump closer to the Higaara system, and while they have a good amount of HP, they have no guns of their own. Unfortunately, the game ensures that brute force will not work here, with a dynamically adjusted fleet guarding the inhibitors, and somewhere on the order of 150 Ion Cannon Frigates surrounding the inhibitors in sphere formation (by comparison, your unit caps limit you to about 20 frigates total). While there are many ways to approach the mission, any method that keeps your fleet safe from the sphere also takes an impressive amount of time, and it's not uncommon for players to spend several hours on just one attempt at the mission.
    • Asteroid mission 6 in HW1. It's boring, long, and without any enemies to fight or engage with, just destroying asteroids that don't fight back. It's little wonder that the demo of HW1 skipped the mission and replaced it with a special "Assault on the Turanic Raider Homeworld" mission.
      • This mission is much more difficult in the remastered version. When asteroids are destroyed they split, and the new asteroids have to be manually targeted or your ships will just ignore them even as they are killed by them requiring a lot of micromanagement when the targetable and harvestable chunks get mixed in together. The mission also starts with the first wave of asteroids right on top of you, without enough time to get your ships in position.
    • The Remaster version of Mission 16 is effectively impossible on the first try. Not only are you immediately attacked by three large fleets, they all ignore the rest of your fleet to single-mindedly target the Mothership. Unless you had your fleet mix specifically set up ahead of time and use Sequence Breaking to give orders before the briefing starts you'll lose the level before your Strike Craft are launched. If you make it past the first three minutes it's a complete cakewalk, but your must first last three minutes.
    • In HW2, Mission 3, you exit a jump to hyperspace and find that the shipyard that you need to continue the plot of the game, is under attack by the Vaygr. You set up a forward asteroid mining operation, then kick the shipyard's attackers out. Then... the Vaygr warp in and attack your (likely undefended) little mining operation, and shortly after you repair the shipyard, THREE VAYGR CARRIERS warp in and use Infiltrator Frigates to board the shipyard. The new Carrier you get has barely enough time to make Marine Frigates, and if you don't you'll have to give it a Fighter facility, then make bombers and try to take out as many Vaygr Infiltrator Frigates as you can. Most often, the Shipyard is taken over and begins the self-destruct sequence. You now have FIVE MINUTES to get all the Infiltrators and then make more Marine Frigates while also making more bombers to get all the carriers, then make Interceptors to help the bombers take down the assault craft which guard the carriers and make swiss cheese out of your bombers, and, if you're unlucky, your Interceptors. All the while you have very limited resources and ship selections to work with. Later on it actually gets easier, for some.
    • Mission 5 in the first game was no cake walk either. The Taidan have a carrier and two destroyers with frigate escorts at a point where you can only build frigates. You have also just learned to make ion frigates recently so you will not have more than 2-3. Unlike every other mission in the game, the Taidan act smart about your salvage corvettes and will drop everything in order to turn around and kill them before they get to latch onto their ships.
    • In HW2, the mission "Thaddis Sabbah" is a freaking nightmare if you built up your fleet beforehand. The games Dynamic Difficulty scales the defending fleet to be far more powerful than your own; a fully maxed-out player fleet will yield an utterly gargantuan Vagyr fleet even before Makaan shows up, sometimes producing over 10 battlecruisers (to your 2, natch). Expect the battlefield to be littered with derelicts before you're done.
    • If you thought that "Thaddis Sabbah" was nightmare, try the very next level with full fleet. You warp in, see TWELVE battlecruisers, that are packed in one large group which will mow through almost all of your fleet before (and if) you manage to take them all down. Ah, and after that the only thing left to do is destroy that massive horde of rocket frigates that attacking the gates that are vital to mission. By time you are through with battlecruisers, usually 3\4 of the gate systems HP is already gone.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Remastered version of Homeworld 1 made a number of changes to allow cross-game multiplayer. Fighters got it worst; they no longer hold formation in combat and were made much less durable, making them almost useless after the earliest parts of the campaign. Frigates were also made into glass cannons which Destroyers can easily pick off before they even come into firing range, and are only useful in large numbers. These changes completely invalidate most strategies from the original version.
    • Formations (and tactics, which were missing) were re-added in a large patch, fixing many of the issues with fighters. Frigates remain somewhat more fragile than in Homeworld 1, but have been rebalanced to fit a more suitable role.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For all its faults, the Remastered Edition offers a welcomed new and modernized take of the many iconic ships and scenery of the original games.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, combat in Homeworld 2 would have revolved around massive space megaliths left by various ancient civilizations, allowing for Death Star-type fighter combat and units that could be deployed on the surface. This idea was eventually scrapped - although you can still see the megaliths in the cutscenes and the background art - and the biggest object you can interact with in the series remains the Taiidan hyperspace inhibitor from the first game.
    • In addition, Homeworld Shipbreakers will have surface units as being your primary units. Which makes sense seeing as it's set on Kharak before Homeworld and thus the Hiigarans (then known as Kushans) are mostly relegated to the sandy surface of the planet.
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