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Total Extinction; An Introduction

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:21 am
by Ford Prefect
I have been asked, and it is my pleasure, to summarise Total Extinction.

At the surface, Total Extinction is soft, pulpy sci-fi. It is, basically, space opera, like Star Wars. It operates on a galactic scale, has a handful of advanced aliens and relates very little back to human culture on earth, outsideo f innumerable pop-culture references. Like many worldbuilding projects, its central conceit is based around a conflict: in this case, the on-going war between the human Interplanetary Space Alliance and the enormous alien conglomeration known as the Ark. On the surface, Total Extinction is very simple: the total number of polities is only around five or six.

However, this is only on the surface. Total Extinction, in my mind at least, is all about the arcs and stories. You can trace back the beginnings of this to an old RPG on Omniverse Zero, which involved a super-commando team attempting to break the siege of an important human planet. From there, the characters, made by various members of the board, were adopted into the greater canon of the universe, and fully integrated what we might call Mobius 1's 'masterstroke'. From this point, the war between humanity and the Ark was mostly defined by character conflict: Jak Easly, the mercenary starfighter aces known as Raptor's Rogues and the aforementioned super-commando group (the 303rd) fighting against the primary characters of the Ark. Initially, this was Warmaster Trego, though he was followed by the cybernetic creature known as the Tyrax.

I believe that this is Total Extinction's strength, that it settled upon using individuals fighting over-the-top duels against each other as opposed to focussing on fleet actions and other, wider forms of combat. While those are present, they can ultimately be boiled down to one character fighting against his counterpart on the other side. The focus on characters produced a considerable layer of complexity to the universe, with plans and schemes and betrayls becoming more important than the winning of one system or the other. I could explain this in more detail, but that would lessen the impact of the arcs, particularly the climax of Total Extinction - Apocalypse.

In short, the onyl way to really appreciate Total Extinction is to read its stories. Luckily, they tend to be fun to read; Mobius has a style which has been given the moniker of 'akshun'. It is inevitably very silly, but also exciting.

Re: Total Extinction; An Introduction

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:26 am
by Mobius 1
I asked Ford to lend a hand on this because I despise writing articles in all forms, and would appreciate and outer source defining the verse, as Ford has had a very large part in the development of the verse. In any event, this summary is win.