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Alien Species

Chiron (Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri)

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Chiron, or more commonly known as Planet, is an earthlike alien world orbiting Alpha Centauri A. It was the intended destination of the USS Unity, a colony ship that had fled war-torn Earth in search of a new home in Alpha Centauri. A reactor malfunction aboard the Unity damages the ship, and the ship's Commander Garland was assassinated for unknown reasons just prior to arriving in Alpha Centauri. The ship's seven most powerful leaders split into seven factions divided by ideology and their vision of the new world. The factions take their chosen crew aboard the Unity's colony pods and descend to the surface Planet as the crippled Unity breaks apart above the alien world.

EnvironmentEdit

Planet is, of course, very different from Earth, yet in some ways similar. The biggest difference is the Xenofungus, a red fungal plantform that covers most of Planet's land and floats in large clusters in the seas. The fungus, at first unknown to the humans, is actually a planetwide sentient life form that organizes the ecology of the world via telepathy. Other than the fungus, not much plant life besides lichens, moss and the occasional shrub exists on Planet besides the thick forests of the Monsoon Jungle. Planet's atmosphere is toxic to most animals, including humans, but is paradise to earth plants. Carbon is scarce on Planet, so the plant life was forced to economize on carbon consumption.

Among other strange creatures that we never see, like the Razorbeak, the most notorious of them all are the Mind Worms. These eight inch mottled nightmares appeared from the fungal beds shortly after mankind arrived on Planet. Since all native life forms are connected to the neural net's hive mind, the humans were viewed as threats to be eliminated. As such, huge swarms or "Boils" of Mind Worms crawled forth from the fungus and converged on the early human colonies. The Mind Worms' methods of seeking out and killing their prey are well-known and feared by the colonists. Mind Worms are designed to hunt down concentrations of sentients that are not assimilated into the neural net. Upon finding prey, the victim is assaulted by dreadful Psi-Attacks that paralyze him with fear. Once they have been scared into submission, the Mind Worms then carefully implant their ravenous larvae in the brains of their still-conscious prey. Only the most hardened soldiers are able to keep the Psi-Induced terror at bay long enough to trigger the flame guns that easily burn the worms to a crisp. Burning a Mind Work leaves a husk with crystals that contain valuable minerals. Such crystals, called "Planetpearls" are worth a tidy sum of Energy Credits. The amount of Planetpearls recovered depends on the life stage of the Mind Worm Boil.

In later stages of the game, contact is made between the leader of the player's faction and a mysterious telepathic entity called "the Voice", which originates from the Xenofungal neural net. The Voice first makes contact with the leader when he or she is undergoing longevity treatment, later on communicating during the leader's REM sleep. The Voice is very obscure in her telepathic messages, with a relatively simple vocabulary. It refers to the humans and their colonies as "Animal" and "End of Growth Dream", possibly alluding to their impact on Planet's ecology. The Voice also has a penchant for poetry, which is shown in an interlude after the player builds his or her first Centauri Preserve facility. Later on, during the final days of the game, the Voice suddenly makes contact with the player during council. It is yet another warning about the obscure "Growth Dream", and at this admonition, the player demands answers. The Voice answers that the Growth Dream involves a major fungal bloom and a planetwide genocide of many of the native life. But there is a way to halt this...

LandscapeEdit

Planet's landscape varies from rocky highlands to vast plains to fertile wetlands. Weather patterns altered by mountains or improvements like the Condenser and Thermal Borehole can either make dry places wet and wet places dry. Using terraforming vehicles called Formers, forests of gene-banked earth plants can grow and thrive in Planet's unforgiving environment. The world is covered by vast salty seas, with only one source of clean water at the landmark known as Freshwater Sea. There are also several distinct Landmarks that provide extra supplies of Nutrients, Minerals or Energy in the tiles they span. The Landmarks are known as Pholus Ridge, Garland Crater, Sunny Mesa, Uranium Flats, Great Dunes, Monsoon Jungle, Mount Planet, Geothermal Shallows, Freshwater Sea and The Ruins. Xenofungus is found covering most of Planet's land, and Sea Fungus covers the water like seaweed. It is difficult to traverse Xenofungus, and often, Mind Worms can be spotted in Xenofungus tiles.

Ascent to TranscendanceEdit

In one of the ultimate victory conditions, the Trancendance Victory, a faction that completes the Ascent to Transcendence project will be chosen to join with the Planetmind.
It begins with a day like any other at your base. Recently, you've approved to complete (...?)

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