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So Alpha Centauri is a pretty fun game

TubeTube Registered User admin
edited January 2010 in Games and Technology
I have been playing it again. It's a real shame it didn't franchise in the way that the Civ games did. There are a few things I'm noticing though

1. It's harder to figure out what various buildings and units do intuitively than it is in civ.
2. By the end of the game the world is ending no matter what. The seas will rise and you will be fucked. Any victory other than transcendance is a hollow one because the world still ends
3. The easy levels are ridiculously easy, so even if (like me) you're pretty average at Civ you should play on the third difficulty at least.
4. Fuck the believers
5. It's a bit easier to break the game. For instance at one point my nearest opponent had 27 votes on the council and I had over 3000
6. It's a pretty fun game and I wish I had a strategy guide for it

Tube on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    2. By the end of the game the world is ending no matter what. The seas will rise and you will be fucked. Any victory other than transcendance is a hollow one because the world still ends
    No, it won't. You just need to keep your Planet rating high and your pollution low. Huge amounts of forests help. And, if the situation gets out of hand anyway, just have the Planetary Council launch a solar shade.

    Mind you, Planet's awakening will fuck you up, but fortunately almost every ending has you gearing up to deal with that, so it's still OK.

    And yeah, fuck the Believers.
    Gaians 4 lyfe!

    WotanAnubis on
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    Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Are you playing with the expansion? Because i've never been able to find that anywhere.

    Canada_jezus on
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    scrivenerjonesscrivenerjones Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    expansion is not that great, the sea pirates or whatever are comically broken, but game owns.

    scrivenerjones on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Damnit Tube why did you post this I have to many games on my plate to go back and play SMAC.

    Specially since I lost my Alien Crossfire disk :cry:

    Buttcleft on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    expansion is not that great, the sea pirates or whatever are comically broken, but game owns.
    And the Data Angels would've been fun to play as if their Probe rating didn't automatically get so awesome that it loops back to useless again.

    I still like the Cybernetic Consciousness, though.

    WotanAnubis on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2009
    expansion is not that great, the sea pirates or whatever are comically broken, but game owns.

    I haven't played as them yet (I always play peacekeepers), in what sense are they broken? They certainly did a fair bit better than the other teams last time I played against them, perhaps because sea bases are hard to invade. I imagine if it came down to it you can pretty much just leave them in the sea and ignore them though.

    Tube on
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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Well, there goes my week.

    I've loved Alpha Centauri since it came out. Day 1'd the expansion, played it hardcore, lost my discs six years ago and I've been shepherding my install from hard drive to hard drive with meticulous care.

    Recently, I picked up the trilogy of books they made for the game, which are surprisingly good for game tie-in novels. The second two, at least. The first one is a little crappy, but I blame the peacekeepers for that.

    In the third book...
    The Believers steal tech from the University and use it to blow up Planet, while everyone except for the Believers and the Hive decide to place their brains in a virtual world and escape the hell that Planet has become.

    It's pretty dark, and pretty rad.

    I dunno about Alien Crossfire, though. A lot of the stuff it adds is cool, and a lot of the stuff it adds really sucks. The Pirates are way overpowered as a faction, the aliens are just kinda lame, etc, etc. The original felt like a tighter thing to me.

    Gaians and Spartans are so the best factions. University is for people who like to win the easy way. Believers suck.

    @Tube: Starting with a seabase and getting extra resources from sea squares is huge. In endgame seabases are almost better than landbases, they're way harder to invade(by several orders of magnitude,) and there's billions of unity pods scattered across the ocean that the pirates can pick up early.

    ALSO, they can nab the good spots on the ocean quickly and raid enemy landbases without fear of repercussion since nobody is going to have a fleet worth a damn.

    Rainfall on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Pirates were easy mode because it was hard for the land lubbers to do anything because they are to busy early game expanding and fortifying, While you are pretty much free to expand unharassed.

    Buttcleft on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    expansion is not that great, the sea pirates or whatever are comically broken, but game owns.

    I haven't played as them yet (I always play peacekeepers), in what sense are they broken? They certainly did a fair bit better than the other teams last time I played against them, perhaps because sea bases are hard to invade. I imagine if it came down to it you can pretty much just leave them in the sea and ignore them though.
    Lemme think. The Pirates are, indeed, untouchable early game and their mineral bonus means they can expand pretty quickly. So they'll get huge fast and not even their Growth penalty can stop them.

    And you can only ignore them if you don't plan on visiting other continents, because they'll soon have a chokehold on all the sealanes.

    WotanAnubis on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    expansion is not that great, the sea pirates or whatever are comically broken, but game owns.

    I haven't played as them yet (I always play peacekeepers), in what sense are they broken? They certainly did a fair bit better than the other teams last time I played against them, perhaps because sea bases are hard to invade. I imagine if it came down to it you can pretty much just leave them in the sea and ignore them though.
    Lemme think. The Pirates are, indeed, untouchable early game and their mineral bonus means they can expand pretty quickly. So they'll get huge fast and not even their Growth penalty can stop them.

    And you can only ignore them if you don't plan on visiting other continents, because they'll soon have a chokehold on all the sealanes.

    basic strategy for pirates is to perfectly space colonies along the coasts of every continent to lock people on land

    Buttcleft on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    In the third book...
    The Believers steal tech from the University and use it to blow up Planet, while everyone except for the Believers and the Hive decide to place their brains in a virtual world and escape the hell that Planet has become.

    It's pretty dark, and pretty rad.
    Good grief. I can't believe Miriam would be that stupid.

    ...

    Wait, she is a fundamentalist hellfire preacher. She's probably waiting for Jesus to come back any day now in order to Rapture His Church.

    ...

    Yeah, she can be that stupid, can't she?

    WotanAnubis on
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    zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    All the expansion races are comically broken. They're just a tier above the original factions. Well, except the free drones, worthless drones.

    With pirates, you can conquer and colonize half the world while everyone's barely starting.

    zerg rush on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    the drones need to be nerve stapled.

    Buttcleft on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    the drones need to be nerve stapled.
    How can you say that? The Drones need you. They look up to you.

    WotanAnubis on
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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    In the third book...
    The Believers steal tech from the University and use it to blow up Planet, while everyone except for the Believers and the Hive decide to place their brains in a virtual world and escape the hell that Planet has become.

    It's pretty dark, and pretty rad.
    Good grief. I can't believe Miriam would be that stupid.

    ...

    Wait, she is a fundamentalist hellfire preacher. She's probably waiting for Jesus to come back any day now in order to Rapture His Church.

    ...

    Yeah, she can be that stupid, can't she?

    Yep. Singularity Planetbusters all over the place. Stupid, stupid Believers. I love how even in the books they're retarded fundamentalists who don't get along with anybody.

    Rainfall on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    Rainfall wrote: »
    In the third book...
    The Believers steal tech from the University and use it to blow up Planet, while everyone except for the Believers and the Hive decide to place their brains in a virtual world and escape the hell that Planet has become.

    It's pretty dark, and pretty rad.
    Good grief. I can't believe Miriam would be that stupid.

    ...

    Wait, she is a fundamentalist hellfire preacher. She's probably waiting for Jesus to come back any day now in order to Rapture His Church.

    ...

    Yeah, she can be that stupid, can't she?

    Yep. Singularity Planetbusters all over the place. Stupid, stupid Believers. I love how even in the books they're retarded fundamentalists who don't get along with anybody.
    Well, in Journey to Planet, I think it was called, she was actually quite calm and reasonable.

    On the other hand, Santiago and Yang were villains, so...

    WotanAnubis on
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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Yeah. Journey to Planet was definitely the best piece of AC fiction.

    So good, in fact.

    I gotta say my favorite character out of all the faction leaders is Morgan, though. Guy is just awesome.

    Rainfall on
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    zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    Yep. Singularity Planetbusters all over the place. Stupid, stupid Believers. I love how even in the books they're retarded fundamentalists who don't get along with anybody.

    A lot of her stuff isn't too crazy when you look at it.

    Complaining about MMI. Creating intelligent nanopaste that could devour the world. The only really dumb objection she has is to teleporters, but even that is understandable.

    The only reason we can say she's dumb is because there's no option for the game to end prematurely with "robotic nanobots assimilates the whole world." We know that it can't happen, but people living then wouldn't. I can see why what she says makes a lot of sense.



    Not to me though, I'm a transhumanist. She and all her kind can go suck a donkeydick.

    zerg rush on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    the drones need to be nerve stapled.
    How can you say that? The Drones need you. They look up to you.

    That phrase just fired off like 50 different memories of playing this game.

    Wow, that was intense.

    Buttcleft on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2009
    Are planetbusters pretty much useless? The only strategy I can really think of is that if you're pretty badly underpowered you could devote all your resources to building as many as possible and take out all your opposition in one alpha strike. Then enjoy ruling a dead world.

    Tube on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Are planetbusters pretty much useless? The only strategy I can really think of is that if you're pretty badly underpowered you could devote all your resources to building as many as possible and take out all your opposition in one alpha strike. Then enjoy ruling a dead world.

    I've always used them to take out land bridges to my continent or coastal cities, because Coastal cities usually end up being sunk into the ocean with planet busters, and if they don't have pressure domes they get instantly destroyed.

    Buttcleft on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    I gotta say my favorite character out of all the faction leaders is Morgan, though. Guy is just awesome.
    Not a big fan of his Greed is Good theme myself.

    Dude's got balls, though, I'll give him that. In Journey to Planet, anyway. In the game he's just way too busy being smug about how much money he's got.

    WotanAnubis on
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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    I gotta say my favorite character out of all the faction leaders is Morgan, though. Guy is just awesome.
    Not a big fan of his Greed is Good theme myself.

    Dude's got balls, though, I'll give him that. In Journey to Planet, anyway. In the game he's just way too busy being smug about how much money he's got.

    so much money.

    Planetbusters are only really great for the super-badass factor they have. Blowing up land bridges and sinking cities into the ocean is good, but pressure domes start getting built really quickly after that first strike.

    But if you have a spare city to build one in and want to intimidate the hell out of any opponent you're facing, then go to.

    Rainfall on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2009
    Most of the factions are extremely broken, and that's what ruined it for me. Never tried it multiplayer, but I imagine that'd just come down to whichever is gamebreaking quicker. I think the exponentially expanding Gaian armies was probably my favorite not-really-a-strategy. Get lucky and have a couple exp monoliths nearby, and you'll be a veritable god while your enemy is still trying to figure out what the fungus is.

    Aroduc on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2009
    The other thing I've wondered is if it's possible to get an enemy to surrender BEFORE they're basically crushed. Generally once they've surrendered they only have a few cities left and are far beyond the point where they'll ever recover so I tend to just beat them up.

    Tube on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2009
    The other thing I've wondered is if it's possible to get an enemy to surrender BEFORE they're basically crushed. Generally once they've surrendered they only have a few cities left and are far beyond the point where they'll ever recover so I tend to just beat them up.

    That's the point where it's fun to abuse the mechanics. Pay them for one city, then immediately declare war and conquer their second to last (or last) city and get almost all your cash back.

    Aroduc on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2009
    There's quite a few broken units too. Helicopters are ridiculously good. In my last game I took out a faction of equal size purely based on the fact that I had helicopters and locusts and he didn't. You can clear out all of a cities defenders in one turn and then move the locusts in. I once took 4 cities in one turn with 2 units.

    Tube on
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    Chrono HelixChrono Helix Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I remember Chairman Yang had quite a badass moment in Journey to Planet.

    I liked playing as Lal. One of the most interesting games I had involved everyone except Miriam agreeing to my diplomatic victory. The other 6 of us decided to crush her before declaring me the victor.

    Chrono Helix on
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    OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I really wish I could play this game without paying through the nose for it

    I missed it growing up and it sounds really fun

    I wish Sid Meier would remake this like he remade Colonization

    Olivaw on
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    FerrosolFerrosol Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ah this brings back memories. I nearly always played the goody two shoes Lal and Deirdre. Never could get my head round Morgan and Miriam. Zharkov was easy mode Santiago was a challenge and Yang was fun to zerg rush with. Never had a copy of the expansion though. Oh and every game Miriam must die!

    Ferrosol on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited November 2009
    Are planetbusters pretty much useless? The only strategy I can really think of is that if you're pretty badly underpowered you could devote all your resources to building as many as possible and take out all your opposition in one alpha strike. Then enjoy ruling a dead world.

    Like real nukes it always felt to me that the point of planet busters was more in having them than in using them. I think they helped on a few occasions to keep the other factions off my doorstep when I was otherwise militarily vulnerable.

    Jacobkosh on
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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Olivaw wrote: »
    I really wish I could play this game without paying through the nose for it

    I missed it growing up and it sounds really fun

    I wish Sid Meier would remake this like he remade Colonization

    If EA weren't a bunch of fucking cocksuckers, maybe we could have a SMAC franchise. I'm sure Sid Meier and Firaxis would love to go back, the game is obviously a labor of love. All of that detail and personality is still in a league of its own in many ways.

    I mainly play Santiago. Spartans + Doctrine: Air Power = I win. Gaians are awesome too. And Miriam is the first to go. Always. Then next up is usually Yang or Lal.

    Guess I know what I'll be playing in between Borderlands binges now.

    Drake on
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    SpindriftSpindrift Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Drake wrote: »
    Olivaw wrote: »
    I really wish I could play this game without paying through the nose for it

    I missed it growing up and it sounds really fun

    I wish Sid Meier would remake this like he remade Colonization

    If EA weren't a bunch of fucking cocksuckers, maybe we could have a SMAC franchise. I'm sure Sid Meier and Firaxis would love to go back, the game is obviously a labor of love. All of that detail and personality is still in a league of its own in many ways.

    Is there anything stopping them from releasing another Alpha Centauri under a different name?

    Spindrift on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    They gots brains in jars in their secret labs! These scene starts off with a nice view of the city on a sunny day and then you meet horrors in a backroom.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBVCi0PmW24&feature=related

    emnmnme on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I love this game. I bought it on a whim for $10 at Office Depot many years ago with no idea what I was getting into. It's been ages since I've played it though, as I have no idea where the disc is.

    I'd generally play the Hive or the Peacekeepers. The Believers were almost always first to go, those sanctimonious slags.

    The FMVs that would play when you finished researching stuff were one of my favorite parts of the game - some of them (like the one above) were really pretty awesome.

    firewaterword on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The FMVs that would play when you finished researching stuff were one of my favorite parts of the game - some of them (like the one above) were really pretty awesome.
    That was one of the (admittedly few) things that disappointed me in Civ IV: no awesome Wonder of the World movies. The only one that came close to approaching the level of the Secret Projects was The Internet.

    Which, I suppose, makes it kind of ironic that The Network Backbone is my favourite SP movie.

    The Network Backbone

    WotanAnubis on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The one for the Dream Twister project is pretty f'd up! Let's splice a scary ass scene from Baraka with a bunch of Tuol Sleng photos and creepy snakes! Brilliant!
    Dream Twister
    I always went for the Weather Paradigm first though. That one is badass.

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    HavelockHavelock Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    4. Fuck the believers


    I'd always be Zakharov, minding my own business, doing SCIENCE, and then I'd see an orange transport on the coast and suddenly Sister fucking Miriam is on the horn calling me a godless science-worshipping heathen and incidentally can you spare some high-grade military tech?

    Havelock on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    To be fair, the University was always pretty easy to push around.

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Spindrift wrote: »
    Drake wrote: »
    Olivaw wrote: »
    I really wish I could play this game without paying through the nose for it

    I missed it growing up and it sounds really fun

    I wish Sid Meier would remake this like he remade Colonization

    If EA weren't a bunch of fucking cocksuckers, maybe we could have a SMAC franchise. I'm sure Sid Meier and Firaxis would love to go back, the game is obviously a labor of love. All of that detail and personality is still in a league of its own in many ways.

    Is there anything stopping them from releasing another Alpha Centauri under a different name?

    I suppose not. The "spiritual successor" loophole seems to work out I guess. Still, I would have vastly preferred a System Shock 3 over Bioshock. Without the original factions, backstory and content to build on, it just wouldn't be the same. EA and their franchise killer tactics can go to hell.

    Drake on
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