The Freespace is a series of space combat simulation games. The first is titled Descent Freespace: The Great War was initially released in 1998. The was also an expansion titled Silent Threat and a sequel called Freespace 2.
Descent Freespace: The Great War
- "Ours was a proud people, and always the strongest. For thousands of years our empire expanded. For so long, we could imagine ourselves alone in the universe. For so long, never did we encounter advanced life. And we traveled faster and farther, spreading in our galaxy. And before long we could see the day when our reachable systems would have been exploited, and then there would be nowhere else to go. And we discovered subspace. It gave us our galaxy and it gave us the universe. And we saw other advanced life. And we subdued it or we crushed it. In months, the elimination of billions of years of evolution, on a similar but slower path. With subspace, our empire would surely know no boundaries."
- "When the Destroyers came for us, we attacked. Never had we been defeated. They were like the others: strange, hideous, resisting, fighting. Only these were not like the others. They did not die. We made our first retreat. We could forgo one system. We left it to the Destroyers and went elsewhere. But they followed. They hunted us. They followed us when we retreated, discovered where we lived. For a long time we did not know why they chased us. They were no ordinary enemy. They did not seek our territory, our technology, our resources. Now we know our crime was sin."
- "And we retreated to our home system, abandoned our empire. We believed at home we would be safe, for they are not a terrestrial species. We know when we entered subspace we were trespassers. But our planet is our home, and yet still they came, and our world is gone."
- "There are few of us left. We know we will soon be gone, and so we can see our fate as others will see it. There will be little legacy. No great expressions of what we once were. Our technology, our achievements, if ever they are seen again, will spawn none of the awe that filled our conquests. We know our fate. We are being eliminated. When we traveled subspace, the Cosmic Destroyers took note. When we conquered and colonized in galaxies where we had no place, the destruction and the anguish and the loss were the clarion call of our doom, and so the Destroyers came for us."
- "There is little left for us. Little time, but much irony. We did discover they are not invulnerable. The Destroyers that darkened our skies like a plague can be harmed. But we have no way to deliver the hurt. We have the knowledge, but not the means. And so this is our legacy: In subspace they cannot use their shields, and into subspace they can be tracked."
- "I know why the Ancient Ones were destroyed, and I know what they knew. I know that if not for the Shivans they would have perished long before. Without the Shivans, someone would have discovered the Ancient Ones in their infancy, and eliminated them, just as surely as they eliminated countless billions of others. I believe it is only the destroyers who are killed. The Shivans are the great destroyers, but they are also the great preservers. That is why when we moved into space, there was no one powerful enough to kill us. Long had we been the destroyer. Our turn had nearly come. In the Vasudan War we learned how to adapt. We learned how to study our enemy. We learned how to overcome. We learned how to survive, and so we did. All the jump points from Earth are gone, but the Shivans can rebuild them. I'm told we can expect them again, but not in my lifetime ... such is liberation."
- "Oh my God... It's the Lucifer!"
The cutscene begins with fighters flying toward a battle over a planet, we see a number of Human and Vasudan ships fighting the Lucifer. The text reads "The Great War: Battle of Deneb 2.28.2335".
Two GTA Bombers - Medusas - fly swiftly toward the Lucifer, which powers up and fires its beam cannon at a nearby GTD Orion, vaporizing them and tearing a huge hole in the Human warship which begins listing dejectedly. We then see a lone GTA Fighter - a Hercules - fly toward the Lucifer before a Shivan Manticore swoops in to attack. The aggresor fires several times with its main guns before launching a missile that streaks towards the human craft and explodes, sending the burning fighter spiralling toward the planet. Rising from the smoke the words "Freespace 2" appear prominently.
As the smoke clears we see ruins and debris across the surface of the planet. The accompanying text reads "thirty-two years later". The monologue begins as the view pans across wrecked planet surface:
"Thirty-two years have passed since the Great War. The Shivans vanished half a lifetime ago. And now, we live in the mausoleum of history."
The scene shows skeletons in armor, the decayed remains of soldiers half covered in sand.
"We inherit the legacy of ghosts who haunt these ruins. The elders call us the 'Lost Generation'"
The scene pans over the trench left by the stricken fighter seen earlier. It has scored a deep rut in the sand as it hit the ground. The pilot sits in a pressurised combat suit propped against the ruined craft, a small holoprojector in the sand near his hand repeating a short home movie of his loved ones while the eyeless skull stares out from behind its mask.
"I remember stories of a glorious civilization. Of cities, with spires that reached the sun. Of a blue planet, with vast seas. Of people with myths of Humanity, everlasting. Of children, who saw, in the embers of dying stars, the destiny of their race."
The camera ascends rapidly, returning to space and into the debris-field left behind from the battle depicted in the opening scene. Suddenly the screen dims for a moment as the camera passes backwards through a gaping hole now recognisable as a huge corridor torn through a Human ship that becomes visible as an Orion-class destroyer. This warship is the GTD Legion.
"And they hurled themselves into the void of space with no fear. They say our people have no present, only a past filled with horror, and a future they can only dream of. Now, we forge a new alliance, to guard the tomb of space, and to find within its cold expanse the salvation of our race"
And then, came some GTVA starships into the scene, including the GTVA Collosus.
- "Thirty-two years ago on the Altair system, Vasudan scientists discovered the remnants of an extinct civilization we now call the Ancients. And here we found the secret to defeating the Shivans. How close did we come to being a footnote in the history of a future species, that would happen upon our ruins 10,000 years from now? Would they indulge in the fiction of their own immortality until the Shivans came for them? And how long had this gone on? Did the Ancients stumble upon the monoliths and the tombs of their predecessors in this distant corner of space, dismissing the warnings carved on the walls of the sepulchre? And when the Destroyers came at last, what did the Ancients think as they sifted the cremation of dust and bones, staring into the mute remains for a key, some solution to their plight. What if there had been countless races, stretching back into infinity? And like the 9 cities of Troy, each civilization had been built on the rubble of one that came before, each annihilated by the Shivans. The Ancients died 8,000 years ago. As humanity emerged from its neolithic infancy, they believed their voyage across the sea of stars woke the dragon that slept beneath the waves, that the Shivans were birthed from the flux of subspace, and their destruction was the revenge of an angry cosmos."
- "I hear my enemies speculate about my motives, my ambitions. 'Who is Admiral Aken Bosch, and what is that old scoundrel up to?' The tragedy of my life is that I will be remembered as a butcher of innocents. And this assessment is not unfair. I cannot argue with their condemnation, or with the verdict of history. The Neo-Terran Front is an army of stupid cattle, driven by their hatreds, their fears and insecurities. Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny and old wounds open all too easily. I am merely a fool who created a monster I am now powerless to stop. And so I will play my role to the bloody end. I have given the Lost Generation something to die for, and now my legacy will be crowned with infamy. What my enemies will never understand is that my rebellion is about my love for humanity, not my hatred of Vasudans. In the Gamma Draconis system the Destroyers have returned, and soon the Alliance will learn the method behind my madness."
- "Why does the ancient portal lead us here? Have the Shivans been waiting for us for thousands of years? This odyssey, this exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago, I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die? My regime has caused nothing but savagery and suffering. But I cannot turn back now. I must find the Destroyers that lurk behind this veil of clouds, or I must wait for the Destroyers to find me. The nebula is a remnant of a supernova thousands if not billions of light-years from Earth, and I wonder now if our ancestors witnessed the death of this star, erupting over the Egyptian landscape, blazing with the brilliance of 400 million suns. Even in their divinity, no Pharaoh could have imagined this."
- "This is the final entry in the personal log of Admiral Aken Bosch, Supreme Commander of the Neo-Terran Front. Our encounter with the Shivans has vindicated all I have fought for these past thirty years. My life's work has been achieved. I have created the technology to enable communication between the Shivans and the human race. Although our first contact was rudimentary and crude, I have initiated the first phase of a new alliance with the Destroyers, an alliance upon which the fate of humanity depends. As a young pilot, I battled against the rebels of the Great War, the Galactic Terran Intelligence, whose research of Shivan technology and biology would form the cornerstone of my project. The Terran-Vasudan Alliance buried this knowledge, but I resurrected it. I alone realized our species had no future with the Vasudans. If we are to survive our destiny must lie elsewhere. As I make this final entry my crew is preparing to scuttle the Iceni and board the Shivan transports. We embark on a miraculous journey toward a new horizon; this tragic era of hatred and misunderstanding between our races is over. On this day, for the first time in my life, I am filled with joy."
- "The following is classified Level RHO, unauthorized access is punishable under the GTVA Security Act, Deneb Convention, Section 21.3.5. We vanquished the Shivans in The Great War, but the hard questions remained. How would we confront the threat of future invasions? The Shivans might return at any time, any place, without warning. How would we fight the next threat to the very existence of our species? In 2345, on the 10th anniversary of the Shivan attack on Ross 128, the Vasudan Emperor Consu the 2nd adressed the newly formed GTVA General Assembly. The Emperor inagurated an ambitious and unprecedented joint endeavour; the GTVA Colossus."(Khonsu II)"Together we built a civilization on the ruins of The Great War. But now we stand on the threshold of a new era of prosperity and harmony. With project Colossus the Vasudan people celebrate our renewed covenant or peaceful coexistence and mutual defense of our Terran allies."(Briefing Officer)"The Colossus is the most powerful space faring warship ever constructed. Spanning 6 kilometres from bow to stern, the Colossus has taken over 20 years to complete. 12 Lucifer class destroyers can fit within it's massive hull. It's state of the art weaponry includes; 45 laser turrets, 15 flak guns, 12 missile batteries, and 12 beam cannons. The Colossus weilds more firepower than 5 Orion class destroyers combined, 60 fighter and bomber wings are housed in it's vast hanger, and it's crew numbers over 30,000. Among it's major contractors are industry giants Triton Dynamics, Subach Innes, and the Akheton Corporation. The Alliance now wages war on multiple fronts, in Deneb, Alpha Centauri, Epsilon Pegasi, and the mysterious nebula beyond Gamma Draconis. Once deployed, the Colossus will end these conflicts swiftly and decisively. If ever the Shivans return to threaten our worlds, we will be ready to face the challenge, securing peace for today, and for generations to come"
- "This team vs Team mission pits your team against Zeta team with a Ganymede installation inbetween. Goodluck pilot. Try to say that 5 times faster. *laughs*" (Outtake)
"To the officers and crew of the GTD Aquitaine. We have halted the Shivan advance, the battle of Capella is over. We sealed off the system and our people are safe, maybe forever. No one can fathom how or why the Shivans destroyed the Capella star. Though we know our enemy better now than we did 32 years ago, their motives remain a mystery. Perhaps they are exiles like we are, nomads wandering the universe, searching for a way back home. The explosion of a star might be the bridge between this universe, and their own. As the old poet once said, 'there are more things in Heaven and Earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy'. From our odyssey into Hell, we've returned with a gift; the ancient technology to build a portal between Delta Serpentis and Sol. To restore the link to our blue planet. To return home after all these years. This is Admiral Petrarch, signing off."
- MIA Ending
"To the pilots and crew of the 70th Blue Lions, GTD Aquitaine. It is my sad duty to report that your squadron leader never reached the Vega system. According to observers, Alpha 1 remained behind so that others might reach the Vega node. The pilot made this decision even after being advised of the impendng catastrophe. Because of this sacrifice and the sacrifice of thousands of others, we halted the Shivan advance. We sealed off Capella and our people are safe, maybe forever. No one can fathom how or why the Shivans destroyed the Capella star. We lost a place many of us called home, we lost entire squadrons, the Colossus, and most of our fleet. We lost so many friends that we celebrate our victory with grief and mourning. From our odyssey into Hell, we've returned with a gift; the ancient technology to build a portal between Delta Serpentis and Sol. To restore our link to planet Earth. To return home after all these years. This is Admiral Petrarch, signing off."
- "Command let Bosch escape!"
- "You tell me, pilot. I'm informed on a need-to-know basis."
- "I can live with being a pawn if the game makes sense!"
- "Command should shut down that node and send the Aquitaine back to Deneb. We've got no business being out here."
- "If Command needed your opinion they'd promote you to Admiral. Now shut up and focus!"
- "We should be fighting the NTF if you ask me. I never signed on for hunting Shivans."
- "Don't kid yourself pilot. We're the ones being hunted."
- "This doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. The rebs are nuts, but they're not slow."
- "These detonators were a piece of junk. I even followed the directions."
- "Keep your eye on the ball kids, we're almost there."
- "Dive! Dive! Dive! Hit your burners pilot!"
- "What, do I look Shivan to you?"
- "That was a little too close. We gotta wait fifteen minutes to change our shorts. Well we've deteh- *Laughs* [person laughs in background] Stop laughing there, co-pilot!" (Outtake)
- "Do not engage, I repeat [static echoes in background], dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. Heh. Alright. Had your fun?" (Outtake)
- "Avoid the beams and you won't get hit, pilot."