Earth 2150

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Earth 2150 (AKA Earth 2150: Escape from the Blue Planet) is a Real Time Strategy, developed in 2000 by Reality Pump and published by SSI. Unlike its mostly unknown predecessor, Earth 2140, Earth 2150 was one of the first commercial full-3D games of its kind, although it was released later than Homeworld and Warzone 2100. The game has several features that distinguish it from various other Real Time Strategy games, including the day-night shift, a global countdown, and 3 very different sides.

The game was followed by two stand-alone Expansion Packs and a sequel named Earth 2160, which doesn't actually take place on Earth.

The series contains examples of the following tropes:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • All There in the Manual: A cinematic trailer exists for Earth 2160 that hints at what started the wars that eventually led to the devastation on Earth. Long story short, it seems to have started with some sort of crisis in the Gulf. In 2008, a Soviet flag is seen replacing the one over the Kremlin. Troop movements followed, and culminated in a nuclear attack on some (supposedly American) naval strike groups. A nuclear strike on the Washington Capitol seems to have sealed the deal, and it all went downhill from there...
    • The cutscenes are from the later World War III: Black Gold game.
  • Asshole Precursors: The Creators, whose technology is lying all around Sol, and its surrounding star systems. They created the Morphidians as a biological Von Neumann army, then basically left them buried on Mars after they were done, not caring how much damage the species could do in the hands of a Mad Scientist.
  • After the End: Earth 2140 and Earth 2160 qualify as this.
  • Alien Sky: Earth 2160 takes place entirely on other planets.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Completely averted in Earth 2160. All but two of all the planets, moons, asteroids and whatnot encountered are uninhabitable by humans. Of those that are habitable, one planet appears to be mostly covered in deserts, while the other is aptly named Eden.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Neo does this trick several times during the UCS campaign by making all your units (but not your structures) turn against you. In one level, he even uses it to crash the alliance between you and the LC by hijacking your units and sending them against the LC base to make it look like you doublecrossed them.
    • During the LC campaign, he subverts the units of your UCS ally (if you choose not to side with him).
  • Amazon Brigade: LC military is almost entirely composed of women. The LC hero in Earth 2150 is male, since he was sent by UCS as part of the alliance.
  • Apocalypse How: The series occurs after Class 1 with Class X looming on the horizon.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Major Michael Falkner and Commander Heldin Ariah.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Subverted. All units need to be constantly resupplied with ammunition. Only the energy weapons are infinite, but even then they need time to cool down and recharge if overused.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Falkner in the Alien campaign of 2160.
  • Cloning Blues: The Morphidian ground forces are based around the Mantian units which can clone themselves if they drink enough water. Replicatori use crystals and Nanomachines to build more of themselves.
  • Command and Conquer Economy: Earth 2150 averts this when you build a Headquarters; you can ask the AI do perform managerial work (like research) for you. Earth 2160 throws this out of the window.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: The only mechanic that all three sides share is ammunition supply and energy shields. The UCS and ED share base construction and troop production, but the similarities end there. The rest of the gameplay, on the other hand, differ greatly from faction to faction. Even common weapons are used ever so differently that you don't necessarily have a shared style of play.
    • Then comes Earth 2160. None of the four look equally alike.
  • Crapsack World
  • Cultural Translation: The Russian version of the game purposely translated ED mission briefings to be more in line with how Russian military works. Also, all sides were given new names to make them sound more neutral than the original: UCS became the Atlantic Union, ED was changed to Euroalliance, and LC became Children of Selene (Selene being the ancient goddess of the moon).
  • Deflector Shields: Mounted as a second "life bar", only to protect against energy weapons.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The in-game unit editor makes you able to customize your units by choosing the chassis, shield generator and weapon(s).
    • 2160 adds a few extras like putting in auto-repair instead of shields as well as the option of changing the armor to anti-energy or anti-chemical.
    • Then there's the 'newone'-cheat...which allows you to freely combine different chassis/buildings and weapons, cross-faction and without caring whether a weapon is actually suited for a chassis and the maximum of weapons that can be stacked. So you can have a Pamir light tank with a Heavy Plasma Canon with another Heavy Plasma Cannon on top with a Heavy Laser on top. Some combinations can actually crash the game. The cheat also allows building buildings underground...
  • Destructible Projectiles: Rockets, provided somebody has an antimissile somewhere.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom: The final video of Earth 2150 shows Earth exploding. Same with the "game over" screen.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted by the ammo resupply requirement, because it's one of the crucial criteria that decides whether a player will use an Energy Weapon or a kinetic weapon. Played straight with everything else.
  • The Empire: Eurasian Dynasty, to the point where the Khan looks like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.
    • Well, when your sociopolitical "hat" is basically combining the worst aspects of Soviet Russia and the Mongolian Khanate...
    • The increasing political power of AI turns the UCS into this.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: See Apocalypse Now.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: Shooting something with ED ion cannons does electronic damage. Even a single shot can paralyze for a while (indicated by a blue cloud over the unit and the 'Shocked' status) and taking another will put that unit or building out of commission until it's repaired ('Shocked' changes to 'Disabled' and the unit stops regenerating electronic damage). While the unit or building is paralyzed, it can be captured with a repairer (in fact, repairers auto-capture anything paralyzed nearby unless told otherwise). There's no limit as to what can be captured but LC buildings can't be powered once nabbed.
    • The Moon Project introduces a special weapon whose only purpose is capturing buildings without having to paralyze them; all factions have it.
    • Earth 2160 did away with this. LC Hackers can reprogram UCS robots, but will require significant amounts of time to bypass UCS software defense mechanisms, which can go into Awesome but Impractical territory if not used wisely.
  • Expansion Pack: Two for Earth 2150. The Moon Project introduced a new campagin and a set of new gameplay features, plus a whole lot of rebalancing. The Lost Souls is, essentially, a mission pack.
  • The Federation: The United Civilized States was one before the de facto takeover by adviser A.I.s.
  • Fog of War: Vehicles have more visibility at night when using headlights but are themselves more visible then.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Units have no problem shooting through each other with no damage. This doesn't apply to superweapons and if your units are shooting at something in the air, you'd better make sure you don't happen to have a building in the way. Especially if it's an AA plasma cannon.
  • The Hedonist: The entire population of the UCS.
  • Garrisonable Structures: Earth 2160 has those.
  • Hollywood Acid: ED chemical weapons.
  • Humongous Mecha: UCS mechs, of the Real Robot variety.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Some of the most advanced technology of UCS and LC was reverse-engineered from a UFO at Area 51 and an abandoned alien base on the Moon, respectively.
  • Instant Win Condition: In Escape from the Blue Planet, the campaign ends once you provide enough resources, even if you're on a mission.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The UCS possesses Shadow generators that make all units in range invisible. Then The Moon Project came along and the ED reverse-engineered a stolen copy and built personal versions of their own, resulting in the aptly-named Stealth tanks. Both versions only affect units that turn off their lights.
    • On the other hand, if you aggro the AI with invisible units too much, it'll randomly select and attack one of them despite the fact it doesn't actually see them (AI units will target the aggressor directly but buildings ignore it). Quite annoying in the Lost Souls ED campaign when the AI keeps killing your experienced Stealth tanks despite the fact that its base is too heavily fortified (and mined, in the case of non-LC bases) for a direct attack.
  • Just Before the End: The setting of Earth 2150.
  • Kill It with Fire: Napalm grenades are one of the basic UCS weapons.
  • Kill Sat: The UCS superweapon works by firing powerful plasma cannons from the ground and directing them with satellites.
    • In The Moon Project, the LC is trying to build a ring around a moon designed to fire shots on Earth-based targets.
  • Lady Land: After a revolt against Corrupt Corporate Executives, women took control of the Lunar Corporation and reversed traditional gender roles to the point that LC armed forces are made up almost exclusively of women.
  • Les Yay: During one Mission Briefing of the Neo Campaign in the original game (playing LC and deciding to join with the ED) Neo mentions that in the case of Fang's superior not going with his methods, he will release videos of her making out with a girl from the info department. She is understandably very angry about that.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: The Lunar Corporation starts out this way... but actually getting involved in the conflict rather than watching it unfold from the isolation of the Moon kills that, fast. Earth 2160 drives the point home when LC scientists are confirmed to work on chemical weapons.
    • Inverted for the Eurasian Dynasty in 2150, which are significantly darker and more evil than the other factions, and are only kept from being outright Black by the fact that they're fighting for survival just like the others.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Van Troff transfers/alters himself into an alien body and takes control of the Morphidian army beneath the surface of Mars, planning to exterminate humanity because... we're not sure exactly.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Rocket launcher turrets. Vehicles on the heavy end can mount several of these. A few more even get to mount another one on top of that.
  • Mighty Glacier: Heavy chassis units for all sides qualify as this.
  • More Dakka: The ultimate unit for each side has less armor and HP than mid-game units but carry twice as much firepower. Arguably, the UCS has the most powerful defense building: the Fortress which can mount FOUR heavy guns. Also, some heavy guns and the big version of the UCS light rocket launcher can mount an auxiliary light gun on top. To put that in practice, you can either arm a Kruszchev tank with a heavy rocket launcher or dual 120mm cannon plus 20mm chaingun, laser cannon, ion cannon, rocket launcher, antimissile or banner (gives two extra levels of experience to nearby friendly units). Too bad this practice wasn't carried over to Earth 2160.
    • Many weapon upgrades follow the same philosophy: tack on another barrel and double ammo capacity. And starting with Moon Project, the endgame unit now has the same armor and slightly more HP than the mid-game version.
  • Multiple Life Bars -- The effect of mounting energy shields.
  • Not Playing Fair with Resources: The AI Is a Cheating Bastard. Its units don't ever need to resupply their weapons.
  • Nuclear War -- World War III was fought with these, resulting in most of the nations being destroyed. Nukes also played a major part in both the war of 2140 and 2150.
  • Nuke'Em -- The premise deals with a Nuclear War as well as the nuclear strike that shifted Earth's orbit.
    • This is traditionally the ED's superweapon. In Earth 2150, the SDI Defense Center's only purpose is blowing up incoming nukes before they impact; the expansions add the ability to blow UCS Plasma Control Center bolts as well.
  • Organic Technology: Morphidians in Earth 2160, although it's a little vague: since the Creators couldn't make them fly properly, they gave them a mechanical Von Neumann fleet. Even the ground units aren't fully organic: there's cannons, metal, electronic parts, all of them cloned, somehow, organically.
  • Panthera Awesome -- The naming convention used for bipedal UCS mechs.
  • Playful Hacker: Neo.
  • Portal Network: Gigantic alien portals on planets and in space.
  • Powered Armor: Robots and cyborgs are present in Earth 2140 and Earth 2160. Excluded from Earth 2150 to get past Germany's "no video game gore" laws.
    • And with the amount of firepower thrown around late-game, they'd just be in the way. Not to mention that ambient temperatures on the Volcanic and Lava Pits tilesets are a bit too high to have a stroll outside.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Averted. The Earth 2150 campaign is persistent in this way: each side except the Lost Souls' UCS faction has an off-map main base. Units and money in this base are always preserved, those left in the mission area are permanently lost. To this end, the player is provided a special air unit whose purpose is facilitating transfers between bases. The Moon Project and Lost Souls added a pretty useful mechanic: when you end a mission, any remaining money will be instantly transferred to the main base; mining the map bare and selling all structures except the Landing Zone will net you the highest possible gain. For mining missions, ending the mission with no enemies left and at least one Transport Base will gradually transfer all remaining resources to the main base over time. Research is always preserved.
    • In fact, many walkthroughs and strategy guides recommend you to only build powerplants, defenses and resource infrastructure in the mission area, producing and ferrying reinforcements from the main base instead of building them on-site. Aside from scripted events in the Moon Project ED campaign, your main base can never be attacked despite there being announcer sound files for all three factions for it.
    • In Earth 2160, there's no main base but research is always preserved and if a unit that has gained experience survives a mission, it will be available in the next one. Even if it's an aircraft that requires an airfield to land.
  • Ranged Energy Weapons: A lot of weapons. Used because their ammunition does not need resupply micromanagement. They lose their superiority to conventional weapons once Deflector Shields come into play.
    • Energy Ball: The UCS Plasma Cannon. The only type that has an Anti-Air variant, which is damaging and rapid in comparison to other AA weapons.
      • The LC have a variant of their own, but it's reserved for the artillery brigade.
      • There's an Area 51 UFO that mounts a version that bypasses shields.
    • Frickin' Laser Beams: The ED Laser Cannon. While mainstream counterparts burn, cut, or explode, ED lasers heat the target until its engine or ammo stores explode.
      • Oddly, the demonstration video shows the laser vaporizing an entire dummy target.
      • Oddlier still, Earth 2160 turns the ED lasers into a Hollywood Science weapon.
    • Lightning Gun: The LC Electro Cannon. Unshielded targets that survive destruction may fall victim to a secondary Static Stun Gun effect.
      • It may have been based on the Fang's Plasma Projector or some relative thereof, seeing that it has the exact same effect, only it trades off range for firepower.
    • Static Stun Gun: The ED Ion Cannon and the LC Electro Cannon. The former is built for EMP from the ground-up. LC units suffer most when affected by these, because the LC does not have repairer technology to recover units from incapacitation.
    • Sonic Scream: The LC Sonic Cannon, an Area of Effect weapon. Useful against masses and doubly useful for being Friendly Fireproof. Triple if gravity bombs are removed from play... because the airborne Sonic Cannon mounted on LC bombers is not a bomb.
  • Regenerating Health -- The substitute for LC's lack of dedicated repairers.
  • The Republic: The Lunar Corporation.
  • Ridiculously-Fast Construction: Played straight with UCS and ED. Averted with LC, who simply lower their prefabricated structures from orbit.
    • Then again, according to the in-game clock it takes about 30-40 mins just to build a small turret or tunnel network node, so it's somewhat more reasonable than other games.
  • Robot War: UCS armed forces are made up entirely of machines and are controlled by an AI. ED uses cyborgs in Earth 2140.
  • Shoot the Bullet: The Antimissile is to rockets as the Energy Shield is to energy weapons. Its usefulness varies from person to person.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the hacker that is fighting UCS is called Neo. He is later captured and turned into an AI.
  • Single Biome Planet: Subverted initially (we are talking about Earth here) but gradually turns into a volcano planet.
  • Slap-On-The-Wrist Nuke: ED uses nuclear missiles as their superweapon. They are nowhere near as powerful as they should be, especially given that it was their nukes that managed to push an entire planet off its orbit. Also, the destruction of UCS nuclear power plants only results in a mildly annoying but not damaging nuclear explosion.
    • The in-game nukes are probably tactical, while the story nukes were strategic.
    • More specifically, the ED has three kinds of nukes: silo-based ballistic missile, vehicle-mounted ballistic missile, helicopter-mounted unguided bomb (since nukes apparently don't work against aircraft). The latter is a bit buggy in the Lost Souls campaign as it has infinite research time. It may be a bug, but missile silos also gain experience: hit a big cluster of buildings and your next nuke might very well have twice the bang.
  • Space-Filling Empire: UCS controls the Western hemisphere, ED controls the Eastern and LC is the sole proprietor of the Moon until The Moon Project where the UCS takes interest in the Moon.
  • Spanner in the Works: Falkner gradually becomes this to Van Troff as he repeatedly screws over Rifkin in the ED campaign of 2160. Not to worry though; Van Troff recruits him to serve as his Dragon.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: While every human faction in 2160 has regular aircraft, the Morphidians are radically different. Since their creators couldn't find mutations that were powerful enough in the air, the aliens instead received Nanomachines to build a self-replicating fleet with.
    • Replicatorus: the self-repicating element of the fleet. Can endlessly replicate as long as it has access to crystals.
    • Morphoratorus: can't replicate anymore but can rebuild itself into combat aircraft if it absorbs metal.
    • Postomor fighter: produced in batches of four but even one can dominate every human air unit in the game.
    • Morphorator light cruiser: basic capital ship that averts Point Defenseless by having automatic laser turrets to shoot down incoming missiles. Can rebuild itself into more specialised forms if it absorbs crystals.
    • Morphorator heavy cruiser: replaces the light cruiser's universal energy weapons into a ground-only missile salvo that outranges all static air defenses.
    • Morphorator destroyer: has an even more powerful ground-and-air energy weapon and a whopping 4000 health plus point defense turrets. It's not called the strongest air unit for nothing.
  • Superpower Meltdown: Sort of. Units gain more range and firepower as they level up. The Area 51 UFO is no exception, capable of doing the entire mission for you if you micromanage it carefully. However, once it reaches maximum experience, the variables seem to overflow and it gets zero weapon range. Ouch. Corrected in Moon Project.
  • Super Prototype: sort of. The Fang is of alien origin while the mass-produced New Hope isn't. While the Fang has some 800 HP and regenerates noticeably faster than other LC units, the New Hope has less HP (120 without experience) than any other combat unit in the game and all of it's attributes are inferior to the Fang... but it regenerates CRAZY FAST. As in, back to full health in less than a second if it's a non-killing blow. Add in that the sucker has 75% armor and it's nigh impossible to kill a New Hope without overwhelming firepower or numbers.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Partial example. The LC's Sonic Cannon is a modified sonic mining tool.
  • Tank Goodness: The ED tanks. Even the lightest of them is heavier armed than any modern MBT.
    • Actually, the manual states that the TT100 Pamir isn't reminiscent of an M1A1 Abrams[1], it IS an Abrams. Only modified to operate with a one-man crew. Though that still doesn't explain the presence of dual 105mm cannons/futuristic equivalent of Patriot missiles or, from Moon Project onwards, energy shields.
    • There's also Fang's hyper-advanced tank. Justified since it's of alien origin and is one-of-a-kind. Until the Moon Project where the LC starts to field the somewhat inferior "New Hope" mass production model. Said model doesn't have much hitpoints but it has fast regeneration. Not to mention that despite the LC scientists' best efforts, they couldn't field the tank with anything other than the original Plasma Projectors else the recoil would've damaged the armor.
    • Hover Tank: LC ground units, Fang's hovercraft and the Area 51 alien-derived Prototype drive on-- you've guessed it-- antigravity propulsion.
    • Walking Tank: Minus The Moon Project's Cargo Salamander, every UCS tank walks.
  • Technological Pacifist: LC used to be this, until they are forced to quickly learn the art of war in order to compete with UCS and ED.
  • Tech Tree
  • Theme Naming: Oh boy, fits this trope to a T.
    • Animal: UCS units. Most names are based on herbivores, wild cats (bipedal mechs), marine life (ships) or mythical creatures (combat aircraft).
    • Location: ED land units are mostly named after Eurasian landmarks and regions.
    • Famous People: The ED Kruschev superheavy tank.
    • Religious And Mythological: The ED Thor and Leviathan. The UCS Gargoyle and Dragon.
    • Stellar: Most LC units are usually named after astronomical terms, except the Thunderer (bomber), Crusher (superheavy tank) and Crion (mobile artillery). Units added in The Moon Project all avert this trope.
  • The Dragon: Falkner appears to become this for Van Troff in the Alien campaign of 2160 but the final mission reveals that Rifkin was the real Dragon all this time.
  • Timed Mission: While individual missions are not timed, the entire campaign of Escape from the Blue Planet has a 180-day countdown (36 hours when converted to real-time at default game speed), after which follows an Earthshattering Kaboom and a Nonstandard Game Over.
    • The ED's Congo mission is timed. You have somewhere around three days until the UCS deciphers the captured silo's launch codes and nuke you to oblivion. You have until that time to destroy said base. Preferably by nuking them back.
    • Lost Souls also has a tricky ED mission where you have to capture the shuttle launch base. However, it is buggy because you CAN'T complete the mission in time so the timer is fake! More specifically, it triggers a failure message but the mission doesn't end and not even the patch corrects this... Not to mention that said launch base is a decoy, the shuttles aren't even there.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: One of the in-universe theories regarding what happened to the UCS exodus ship. Subverted in that it turns out the pilot AI actually decided to leave the ship orbiting in the Oort Cloud until the ED and LC had destroyed each other, keeping the human survivors in suspension and setting up massive factories to take over the Sol system for them. Pretty nice machines. Also, played straight in what that jerk-AI GOLAN did in Lost Souls, betraying the rest of humanity on orders from the President of the UCS.
    • It was revealed at the very end of Lost Souls that the leaderships of all three factions have conspired with each other to leave GOLAN behind in order to keep anyone from following them and threatening the status quo.
  • Underground Level: UCS and ED can dig underground tunnels that can be used to sneak up on an enemy. LC can use tunnels, but can't build them, until The Moon Project, that is.
  • Variable Mix: Each side is given a unique soundtrack with a list of songs for one of three moods: daytime, nighttime and war. Notably, A Song In The Key of Warning will roll when a player's units begins to sustain hits in a heated skirmish.
  • Weather Control Machine: LC's superweapon. Calls down rain, snow, hail and when the Sun's proximity make summoning precipitation impossible, the LC scientists rig it with a meteor targeting system.
  • Weather of War: Climate conditions don't usually have a powerful effect on combat, but high winds make it hard for aircraft to perform (as well as preventing grounded aircraft from taking off, potentially blocking factories) and whatever the local weather is like changes what the LC's Weather Control Machine is capable of.
  • World War III: Happens in 2048 and results in the later formations of UCS and ED. LC was founded specifically to allow some humans to escape the destruction of the war on the Moon.
  • You Fail Nuclear Physics Forever: It would be almost impossible to shift Earth's orbit even by a tiny amount with nuclear weapons, even in large quantities.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Credits and power are the resources in 2150. 2160 has water, crystals, metal, and power, but lets each faction ignore one of them.
  1. when the game came out, the M1A2 variant didn't exist