"The Academician’s private residences shall remain off-limits to
the Genetic Inspectors. We possess no retroviral capability,
we are not researching retroviral engineering, and we shall not
allow this Council to violate faction privileges in the name of this
ridiculous witch hunt!”
Vice Provost for University Affairs
... spoken with official, assertive voice right after you completed research on "Retroviral Engineering".
--Sister Miriam Godwinson, "But for the Grace of God"
They're all listed out here: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sid_Meier%27s_Alpha_Centauri
-- CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
I recently read the book about Enron and kept thinking about this quote when it came to their lobbying efforts. "Power company" indeed.
“Of course we'll bundle our MorganNet software with the new network nodes! Our customers expect no less of us. We have never sought to become a monopoly. Our products are simply so good that no one feels the need to compete with us. --Where do you want your Node today?”
CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Morgan Data Systems press release
Some of the most meaningful to me were the ones coming from a place of spiritual philosophy. I am absolutely not a religious man, nor would I consider myself to be even remotely spiritual or superstitious. That said, there is a sort of poetic beauty through the concept of a deity as a storytelling mechanism, or a way to put a complex philosophy into a memorable narrative.
"Companions, the creator seeks, and not corpses, nor herds or believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks-- those who inscribe new values on new tablets. Companions the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest. ... Fellow creators, Zarathustra seeks, fellow harvesters and celebrants... What are herds and shepherds and corpses to him!" (this quote is is often shortened, but this adaptation is the most meaningful to me)
"Men, in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to describe its behavior. But they always discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought."
I'm not a religious man, but I do identify with the visceral rejection of humanity's collective hubris.
and of course, hearing 'Eternity lies ahead, and behind. Have you drunk your fill?' some 20x per game really cements that phrase into my head.
I frequently play as Zakharov, and I like his quotes, but they're always rambling and difficult to recall in the moment.
That said, anyone playing as University would always make the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm a top priority. Fusion power and orbital spaceflight follow soon after, and that's the game. I usually go after Yang, then the Believers. Pretty formulaic at this point, but I enjoy it about as much, perhaps maybe even more, than Beyond Earth. SMAC just has so much character to it.
Fiction Writer: "Oh, the arrogance of man, to believe he understands nature!"
There's no hubris like the hubris of a science fiction writer claiming that the plot they cooked up for the express purpose of entertainment implies something deep about the actual risk profile of future technological development. Scientists trudge through a swamp of unknowns every day. That's their job. The idea of a scientist who thinks they know everything is as crazy as the idea of a programmer who thinks that all software is perfect and bug-free.
Fortunately, Alpha Centauri also provides material for those who enjoy a healthy dash of ambition here and there:
"I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice."
- CEO Nwabudike Morgan
"Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left. Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective."
- Chairman Pravin Lal
Maybe it was because I was young at the time, I dunno, it just really stuck with me.
"Beep...beep...beep...beep..." (discovering the satellites tech)
Diedre's got a network node!
Likes to press the on-off switch!
Dig that crazy Gaian Witch!
Civ 6 Astronomy tech unlock.
SMAC is a story of the possible, an homage to “what if?” Many armchair philosophers have dreamt their utopias. SMAC lets you build one. And then it puts you up against other utopians with their own visions and gives you a front row seat to all of the consequences: the atrocities, the nuclear weapons, the environmental degradation.
People have been thinking about these issues for millennia, at least as far back as Plato’s Republic. SMAC lets you experiment and play dictator for a day, without hurting any real people. It gives you the first taste, and if you’re a certain kind of person, you just might end up hooked for life.
I can play a “green Morgan” for example that mixed capitalism and environmentalism. Or throw in police stare to make it a kind of Fascist capitalist state...
It all makes me feel like I truly am playing a character like in an RPG. Which involves me in the story in a way other strategy games don’t.
You can buy the game on gog.com relatively cheap, and there's a set of community patches for things like widescreen, better AI, and other features at (http://alphacentauri2.info).
The biggest annoyance I've found is moving multiple units. I think other civs have figured out grouping better. Alpha Centauri hasn't quite gotten this.
I definitely rank this in my Top 3 4X games (w/ Master of Orion II and Civ V)
I wish the present copyright holders would consider publishing the source code for the game under a license that still requires purchasing the original. I don't think it would drop the sales by much (the pirated download link is #2 result in Google, so I would assume they don't care), but that would give a massive boost to the modder community, and likely more PR/sales.
Realistically though, it probably relies on a bunch of 3rd-party components and reviewing their licenses for each of them would be a massive headache...
- Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"
- Accompanies the Intellectual Integrity technology
There I wrote: "It's interesting to examine Alpha Centauri's political perspectives in light of the fact that it was released in 1999. The triumph of 'the old world's liberal order' seemed so permanent that public intellectuals were writing paeans to 'the end of history,' yet here was a game premised on the ultimate breakdown and fragmentation of that order."
1. Open the alphax.txt file and locate the Chassis definitions. Set the "Missile" flag for the Missile chassis to 0 (set it to 1 for Needlejet) and change its range to 99.
2. Replace the 'deleted' technology in alphax.txt with an arbitrary name and link it to the 'missile' platform.
3. Edit your faction txt file so that it starts with the missile technology and the gravship technology.
4. Open the unit designer, make a gravship former and switch the chassis to missile (the gravship step is important). This will make you a "missile former" capable of instant unlimited terraforming (i.e. terraforming doesn't end the turn) and unlimited range (is gets reset to 99 once it reaches zero).
Kinda breaks the balance, but makes it possible to play for an otherwise weak faction, while eliminating the grind.
One of the best aspects was that it provided so many different ways to play that were effective. Usually in Civ-games, no matter how they try to design around it, there's no real alternative between just rushing technology and pumping cities to snowball.
One of my favorite things to do was to use the terraforming abilities as weapons, and build mountains or flood the low-lying land. Or you could encourage the native life to go wild and take out the other players.
The unit designer was also fun; it's one of the few in games where I have actually bothered to build out specialized units for different roles - usually it's either pointless or too complicated to bother with.
I also like you can do ocean colonies, and working in the ocean isn't entirely second class.
I enjoy the vision of the future split up into ideologies, and not nation states, which seems to be closer to our current life.
On a different note, I loved the quotes in the game that referenced a various fictional books and speeches. Something similar happens in the book "Dune", with quotes to nonexistent books set in Dune's future that referenced the events in the Dune. There's something to be said for when a work of fiction makes references to fictional works of nonfiction within the real work of fiction's fictional universe. (Another book that exhibits this is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", a fiction book that makes references to the nonexistent, nonfiction book after which the real book is named.) I like the illusion of that the fictional universe is much larger than I can see, and the desire to read the fictional works of nonfiction the author lets me peek into.
On a final note, I loved the parody books titles mentioned at the end of the game. Has anyone found a list of the original book titles being parodied, or does someone know all those cultural references? I'm referring to titles such as "Boreholes I Have Known" or "I'm OK, You're a Drone" (the latter of which parodies "I'm OK, You're OK". Yet I don't get what book title the former is parodying, and there are others whose references I don't get.)
I still play SMAC/X and find new campaigns from time to time. If you don't own the GoG version, it's frequently on sale for <$5.
fungus is coming
The best example is horror games like Amnesia. They are essentially "walking simulators" with almost no game mechanics beyond movement. Yet the atmosphere is so good that the players don't notice.
Personally I think too much attention in the game industry has been placed on flow and artificial-sweeteners such as RPC leveling reward systems at the cost of neglecting atmosphere and as a sense real presence.
But it was sort of overambitious, and a lot of the features were ridiculously opaque. I think it's a sci-fi gem, but it definitely takes a bit of patience.
If you don't have patience or time, most of the pithy quotes are here:
One takeaway is to be careful about how strength numbers translate into odds. If your strength is 100 and mine is 1, does that mean I have a 1% chance to out-and-out beat you? Your armored tank shouldn't have an even 1% chance of being completely annihilated by my club-wielding warrior (that's somehow still around by then).
The later Civ games have taken odds out of the equation, and I think it's for the better. Instead, the amount of damage each unit takes per combat depends on the difference in their strength deterministically. From my own perspective, this is overall more fun than 'randomly' having really strong units lose against weak units occasionally.
Because of this Civ2 added health and firepower stats to units, random battles sometimes meant an ancient trireme could destroy a battleship, which is fun to imagine...
Warriors should never be able to defeat a battleship in Civ2 because of the new combat system. The AI cheats (of course); I have had armor go down to knights on deity level
How do I know we're talking about Civilization?
> Because of this Civ2 added health and firepower stats to units
I think it's unlikely Civ II added stats in response to feedback from Civ III.
I was thinking of Partisans which spawn when a city is captured, https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Partisans_(Civ2); I think of militia when I think of Partisans.
However, the weakest unit in Civ 2 is definitely the Warrior: https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Warriors_(Civ2)
In the same way that Civ II cannot have made changes in response to Civ III, it also can't have made changes in response to itself.
But, I'm pretty sure i got to the end game at least once and when I think about it, I remember still having fun and I still spent a lot of time on it. It's actually one i've thought about going back to play as an adult, just because I feel like I'd have a better time of it now.
Also, the author seems to be into conspiracy theories and extrapolates A LOT. This is the latest quote by Chairman Yang, therefore in canon Yang must be defeated by this point, therefore these factions must have defeated him because canon-wise they don't like him, and those were probably the next to go... I think s/he reads too much into it.
It reminds me of the "missing replicant" issue with first cuts of Blade Runner, which was simply caused by reduced budget and removed scenes. They just removed a character from the movie and forgot to update a few script lines.
4x = eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate
The only other time I've seen paean used as a word is when a group of US navy POWs in North Korea praised it saying 'we paean [Kim/NK]' while secretly meant 'pee on'