Deadlock: Planetary Conquest
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|Deadlock: Planetary Conquest|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Deadlock: Planetary Conquest is a turn-based strategy computer game by Accolade. The game was officially released in 1996. The story revolves around eight races' struggle for control over the planet Gallius IV, which came to a deadlock. The races are Human, Cyth, Ch'Cht, Maug, Re’Lu, Uva Mosk, Tarth and Skirineen, although the latter are not a playable side.
Expeditions sent by the governments of eight races came to orbit around Gallius IV. An armed conflict ensued as each race was determined to capture the planet for its own purposes. To avoid an intergalactic war, as well as to prevent the disputed planet from being accidentally destroyed by the space fleets battling around it, a treaty called The Compact of Gallius IV was signed by seven of the eight races. Each of the seven would deploy five hundred lightly armed colonists to the planet, who would then each begin developing a colony. No restrictions were put on weapons developed and used by the colonies, as opposed to the colonists only being allowed to bring laser pistols with them. The colony to drive all others off the planet's surface, or to construct a pre-set number of cities, would claim the planet for its leaders. The recently discovered and neutral Tolnans serve as advisers to everyone, while the Skirineen operate the local black market. Below is the full text of the Compact.
The Compact of Gallius IV
"We, the leaders of the Cyth, the Ch'Cht, Human, Maug, Re'Lu, Tarth, and Uva Mosk, agree to stop hostilities in space. Since we all wish to claim the planet, Gallius IV, the conflict will be moved to the surface and resolved there.
Each race can drop one colony ship onto the planet. Five hundred colonists armed only with laser pistols may land. The colonies will have food, energy, iron, and wood.
There are no limits on weapons or technologies. The colony leaders should develop resources and military units as fits their strategy.
Intentional contact with the Skirineen is a direct violation of this treaty. Only Oolan, a Tolnan, may be contacted in space. She will give advice to all colony leaders.
Any colony that builds the agreed upon number of City Centers or drives the other colonies away, keeps the planet forever."
The game can be played against a number of human opponents (over the Internet), or against the computer. Before starting, the player picks one of seven races to lead, modifies the desired size of the planet, its basic geological make-up, the number of enemies, the number of City Centers required to claim victory and the landing site. The colony starts with a small population, which grows in size every turn. By constructing various kinds of buildings, collecting/producing resources and researching technologies, the colony can be greatly expanded. Each can field as big an army as it can support.
Military units are divided into sea, land, air and missile, each type produced by a different line of buildings. Specialists, such as spies, are trained in City Centers. Units can only be given combat orders in advance - the player is presented with a video recording of a battle after one has occurred.
There are two modes: the "world view", where the colony leader can move armies, trade resources with or attack other colonies, and the "settlement view", where colony management (such as town planning and building) takes place.
The map is divided into "provinces", which can differ in land type and the amount of natural resources (food, wood, iron, energy, and, later in the game - Endurium) available. Natural resources are unlimited, but different resources are gathered at different rates on different land types.
Capturing all of the other colonies’ territories or constructing a pre-set number of City Centers wins the game. The latter is much more difficult than it seems: each consecutive City Center is more expensive than the last.
Deadlock: Planetary Conquest consists of seven races, each having a unique ability.
The ChCh-t are a race of insectoids resembling mantises and scorpions. They have a hive mind with most activity revolving around the queen of each individual hive. The ChCh-t excel in construction so units and buildings are produced faster. The ChCh-t produce colonists faster and their housing units hold twice as many colonists. They suffer from slow researchers and weak military units but all military units are faster. ChCh-t scouts can steal resources from enemy colonies.
The Cyth are a race of goblin-like humanoids similar to the Illithid from Dungeons & Dragons. They are very in tuned to their psychic abilities, to the point where most Cyth no longer need to walk but use their psychic abilities to hover a few inches off the ground (They find walking to be uncivilized). This trait is enhanced by ingesting the juice of the egg sac of a spider from their home planet, which the Cyth do constantly through a face mask that almost all Cyth can be seen wearing. They are often regarded as “evil” which makes it difficult for them to form alliances with other races. Their command corps can use a “Mind Blast” technique that mangles enemy units. Cyth scouts can poison enemy territories which cuts that territory’s food production by half. Their morale is always fixed at 80%; this effectively prevents a fifth of the population from ever doing work, but enables the use of practices that would cause morale-lowering scandals with other races (such as oppressive taxation or black market dealings).
The Maug are a race of half-living, half-machine humanoids. After having been forced off their home planet by the Cyth, Maug DNA was drastically altered when they left by the radiation given off by their blue sun. This caused the entire Maug race to become sickly. Even newly born Maug suffered genetic disorders and diseases. Even the healthiest of the species suffer from a cold throughout most of their life. The Maug are a very technological race. They have designed special suits that help make up for their physical handicaps. These handicaps make their military units weak but they make up for it with the rapid production of all units and short research times. Maug scouts can sabotage enemy units and steal technology. Most Maug are constantly depressed which makes them very sensitive to morale changes.
The Tarth evolved on Korga, a world extremely hostile to organic life, only one-third the size of Jupiter. Thus, they are large (about 180 centimeters wide, height and weight not specified), lumbering behemoths with a thick, orange hide covered in scale-like plates. Tarth are bipedal creatures, somewhat resembling bulldogs, with a powerful frame and a short tail. They have 4 fingers on each arm (one thumb) and 3 on each leg.
Modern Tarth society was founded by Guh, who started his life a warrior, and finished it an astronomer. Guh had been severely injured in battle and was preparing to die when his gaze fell on one of the seven natural satellites of his planet — Tunt. As he watched, a volcano erupted on Tunt. Cloud formations visibly changed. Fascinated, Guh regained his will to live and limped back to his comrades. He later became a hermit and constructed his planet's first elescope, discovering life on Tunt. "Moonwatching" became a common practice among the Tarth. Many wanted to travel to Tunt and plant Azarga berries on it. The baron Itoth attempted to conquer Tunt by financing the construction of a gigantic (over 700 meters tall) catapult. It was thought that one would start falling towards the satellite if they could get close enough to it. Five astronomers were simultaneously launched into the sky, falling to their death on the rocks below. The tragedy gave birth to a popular saying: "Wise moonwatchers take turns." A few centuries later, Tarth mastered space travel and created a colony on Tunt. They made contact with the Cyth and helped them create the Quadra Alliance. A titanic statue of Guh can be found in the capital of the Tarth empire. The monument shows him impaled on a spear, watching the heavens through his telescope.
Tarth infantry, artillery, and defense fortifications all have attack bonuses. Their infantry units employ a juggernaut battle order that crumbles buildings quickly. Also Tarth farms produce high amounts of food. Tarth scouts make poor spies and are often caught. Their ships are also very weak and can sink easily.
The humans portrayed in Deadlock are the same physiologically as modern man, but more technologically advanced. As a result of a massive stock market crash, many were forced to leave Earth in search of wealth. The humans generate more in tax revenue than all the other races, but are more susceptible to Skirineen scandals. Their command corps can order a berserk command which will greatly multiply the strength of combat units in battle, but will kill them afterwards.
The Re'lu are a culturally advanced race (at least through their perspective) of light-green humanoids. The Re'lu are odd in that each member of the species is composed of two organisms: the Re'ites, or humanoid components; and the Lu'ites, a brown beast that accompanies each reite. The two organisms share a psychic bond, and the Re'ites are able to send distracting thoughts their way, which Lu'ites apparently enjoy. Their command corps have the ability to convert enemy units to their side during battle. They also have the ability to view enemy territories through ESP.
The Re'lu have a long-standing disdain for humans, who they view as culturally inferior. This came as a result to their initial visits to Earth as holograms and the violent reception they were given. Re'lu and humans enjoy arguing over things ranging from the most efficient way to govern to proper pet care.
The Uva Mosk are a race of shamanistic beings loosely resembling anteaters. The leader of the Uva Mosk is called the Grand Hortus, who leads them on a path of harmony with the planet. Their ability to produce food is second only to the Tarth, but their production of other resources is the highest in the game. Their spies are very adept at camouflage, making them the best spies in the game. They are very independent and pay the least amount of taxes when compared to the other races.
They are an unplayable race in the game. Their only purpose in the game is black market trade of resources. All resources sold by the Skirineen are moderately higher priced when compared to the worth of the same amount harvested on the planet. Dealings with them can affect the morale of the citizens.
Deadlock sold above 100,000 units in its initial two months, and was a commercial success.