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Alpha Centauri


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So, I've been playing a bit of the old 4X game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri a lot lately (by the way, if you don't have it they sell it on Steam, and GOG.com has regular sales of it) and felt like discussing it with other Kerbalites...

Hopefully it's within the subforum rules to discuss this old game here?

Anyways, Alpha Centauri was a game and a work of science fiction far ahead of its time in many ways.  It powerfully envisioned the future in such a compelling way I still find myself quoting it from time to time (and I don't usually quote games).  Here is one of my favorite quotes from the game, for instance:

"Human behavior is economic behavior.  The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant.  Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse."

- CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Ethics of Greed" -

There are many other interesting and thought-provoking quotes in this game on everything from how to fight a war, to the nature of liberty.  For instance:

"Beware of he who seeks to deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."

- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights" -


I'lI have to post audio clips of the in-game readings of these quotes some time, because Alpha Centauri's voice acting is simply superb.  Anyways, for now that should be enough to bring back a few memories and stimulate some discussion.  Go forth and converse!




Edited by Northstar1989
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6 hours ago, Northstar1989 said:

Anyways, Alpha Centauri was a game and a work of science fiction far ahead of its time in many ways.  It powerfully envisioned the future in such a compelling way

Agreed. Fantastic game. And speaking of quotes, I was always rather fond of this one from the good Provost:

"Man's unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts."

Heard after researching 'Intellectual Integrity'.

Darn you Northstar - time to dig out my copy of SMACX tonight. :) 

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Go on then - I'll bite. :)

Which were your favourite factions and why? We'll go with vanilla SMAC rather than SMACX for now - mainly because I don't recall a lot about the expansion factions.

Actually, I'll start by flipping that on it's head. My least favourite factions were the Spartans, the Believers and the Peacekeepers. Ideologically I wasn't much for the first two - and I found them difficult to play as well. Not really a surprise since  I always preferred a builder type game to an early military, conquest style game. The Peacekeepers, I could completely get behind but they were the classic jack of all trades, master of none, so I found them quite dull to play.


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I seem to be the only person in the world who did not like this game. 

Firstly, in every game I played, the hyper-aggressive Believer faction would ignore nearby rivals and make a beeline straight to my faction, make demands, and then start a war when I didn't give in to their attempts at extortion. And then, following the habit of altogether too many game AIs, they would refuse to make peace, no matter how badly I was beating them, so that the only way to end the war was to kill the entire faction off entirely. Very aggravating and tedious. 

Secondly, the Civilization family of games are all driven by economic/industrial growth, and then in the late game, you suffer environmental penalties for having a highly developing industrial base. In the others, though, it was a relatively minor problem. it didn't spoil the game for me. But in SMAC, the result was that you would be targeted by a never-ending succession of mindworm attacks, and it would just keep getting worse until my nation was either crippled by the constant fighting, or by having to dismantle enough of my industry to be acceptable to the damned worms again. 

I really did not like that game. Yes, I know. I'm the only one. 

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Go Green, build a couple of Psi troops and have yourself an endlessly regenerating army to bug the AI with. :)

 I'm right with you on the Believers though, although luckily they tended to be incompetent as well as aggravating. And as soon as I worked my way up Mind-Machine Interface on the tech tree - well anything that was left of Miriam's troops tended to melt under an unending wave of Chaos Choppers.

Strangely, it was Morgan who always used to irritate/amuse me. "You won't let me rip you off - then I must declare unending war on you." Because killing off your customers is such an efficient business strategy.

Edited by KSK
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I remember there being a novella of sorts on the Firaxis website when the game first came out (found it), and it more or less drove my choice of faction. Hidden steel is the best kind. :) 


"As we approached we were confronted by the ruined splendor of Sparta Command. The true immensity of the place became instantly apparent as our Quantum Tank crunched over the rubble and parked next to a shattered bunker, but the extent of the destruction took weeks to assess. The shielded datacore had sustained several massive breaches and smoke still billowed from the numerous cannon ports. There were few signs of human life."

-- Lady Deirdre Skye, "Our Secret War"


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I have Alpha Centauri here somewhere, but I know I have Beyond Earth sitting there waiting for a playthrough in my steam account.  Think I'll take that for a spin.

You were really going to like the game or not, similar to Colonization.  (And I suspect most fans will admit to having certain strong opinions when it comes to the version of Civ they prefer...)

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