The discovery of an alien craft entering our solar system causes quite a stir. When the small craft is accidentally fired upon, it creates a strange electromagnetic effect that envelops the Earth, causing it to disappear. While its gravity remains, the physical Earth simply isn't there. The moonbase, surviving on scrounged resources and manpower, builds an interstellar ship. A team of four specialists is then sent into deep space to find unique parts for the construction of the Centauri Drive, a machine that the moonbase scientists hope will cause a reverse effect.Planet's Edge
is a sci-fi role-playing game with space exploration and other gameplay elements, including spaceship combat, mining for resources, trading, and light puzzle-solving. The game begins on the moonbase, where the player can access the shipyard, crew quarters, warehouse, and research lab. The player is put in control of four pre-made characters: William Dean (pilot), Katya Mershova (weapons officer), Nelson Ngatadatu (engineer), and Osai Tsakafuchi (medic) . Each of these characters can be cloned for different attribute rolls, while retaining their primary skills: astrogation and ship weapons for William; light, heavy, and hand weapons for Katya; ship repair and computers for Nelson; and first aid and xenobiology for Osai. Unlike most role-playing games, characters do not receive experience points and can only become stronger by equipping better weapons and armor.
The game is completely open-ended, allowing the player to travel to any of the dozens of stars. The player physically navigates the ship on an overhead screen. Entering a star system enlarges the view, allowing the ship to orbit a planet. Though most planets cannot be landed on, a large amount remains that can be explored on foot from a top-down view similar to that of Ultima VI
. Each planet is represented by an enclosed populated area, usually containing friendly NPCs as well as enemies. Advancing the storyline involves gathering clues from various characters as well as obtaining objects, many of which have to be used in other locations in a puzzle-like fashion. Combat on the ground is turn-based and can be avoided in most cases.
Planets can also be mined for various elements such as organics, metals, liquids, etc. These elements can be then brought back to the moonbase, where they can be used to produce better equipment for the crew members or upgrade the spaceship. Alien technological blueprints can also be recovered and used in the research laboratory to develop new ship models. The spaceship can carry cargo between planets, which can be traded or used to bribe hostile aliens. If the bribe is unsuccessful or the player decides not to resort to it, a fight against a hostile ship ensues. These fights are action-based, requiring the player to manoeuvre the ship in real time while shooting at the opponent.
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