Only known from ancient myths and dark legends, and mentioned only in hushed whispers and unconfirmed rumors, a race of paranoiacs who have an instinctual talent of analyzing an opponent and finding their weaknesses, known throughout galactic history as the Destroyers. Archeological studies of ancient Ruins of the mythical Orions has revealed the name of the Destroyers, the Antarans.
- 1 Background
- 2 Antarans
- 3 Antares (Planet/System)
- 4 Antaran Ships
- 5 Gallery
Introduced with Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, the Antarans have become a staple of the MoO Franchise and one of the iconic villains within Rogue Gallery of Gaming.
From the creators of Master of Orion,™ Computer Gaming World’s 1994 Premier Award winner, comes the sequel you’ve been waiting for.
Banished from Orion, a xenophobic race lurks in the darkness. You prayed they would never return. But now, in the deepest reaches of outer space they plan their revenge. Introducing MASTER OF ORION™ II. Discover new technology. Command detailed tactical combat. Come face to face with new alien creatures. Use the multi-player feature to challenge friends over a local area network, go head-to-head via modem, or compete in a hot seat game. Whatever you do, lead your team cautiously. Because you must master the ultimate evil before it masters you.
Orions and Antarans
(Excerpted from “Pre-Psilonic Galactic Civilizations” Vol. II, by Ectron Victor, retired Master Adjudicator, Psilon Central History Institute.)
As a story is told and retold over the course of generations, no matter the attention paid to detail and no matter the importance of the tale, the truth is gradually nibbled away by little mistakes and innocent exaggerations. Carried off on these well-intentioned, tiny feet, the facts deteriorate softly and painlessly into a condition generally referred to as “shrouded by time.”
The legends concerning the Orions and Antarans are shrouded by time. What is certain is that at one time both races coexisted in the galaxy. The scope of their power and technical advancement has surely been enhanced by hyperbole, but that they were far superior to anything now known is indisputable. Perhaps it was inevitable that two such behemoths meet in violence.
The legends paint the Antarans as ruthless, xenophobic killers, but we all know that history is written by the victors. The Orion-Antaran war was a protracted holocaust of galactic proportions. While we can never know if they truly flung entire star systems across deep space as weapons (as the storytellers claim), our astrophysicists have uncovered evidence of directed energy bursts the power of which staggers the imagination. That both races had the ability to raze planets no one contests.
The Orions eventually defeated the Antarans. Rather than exterminating the race, as the stories claim the Antarans would certainly have done, the Orions chose to imprison their enemies in a “pocket dimension”—a volume the size of a single star system, formed and carved somehow out of the fabric of space-time. Physicists to this day puzzle over the theory and the technique, but the result was obvious; the Antarans were banished one and all from this dimension.
At this point, even the storytellers admit that the legends become vague. Sometime after the war, the Orion race inexplicably disappeared. They left only two legacies for the galaxy’s future inhabitants. One was the tales of their power and legends of the Antaran war; the other is the Orion system itself. One planet circles this star, and it is reputed to be the original home world of the Orion race. Despite the incredible potential this abandoned world must hold, no one has yet plundered or colonized it. The reason for this is that the system is only uninhabited, not undefended. The Orions left a single Guardian to protect their home. Perhaps they intend to return some day.
Perhaps the Antarans intend to return, too.
"It is said the true challenge of creation lies not in the engineering, but rather the ability to control one's progeny. The Antarans understood this axiom well. Understood that it applies to the individual organism, as well as the body politic. First analyze the problem, devise a solution that allows for manageability. Assemble the elements that comprise the whole. Combine them, allowing reactions to occur. Observe the reactions and identify the cancerous elements. The elements that perform counter to the intended results. The ones gnaw away at the new creation and once identified, the rogue elements can be dealt with… Cast out… Eliminated… Thus, the new creation can thrive and grow. Evolve towards its intended purpose. The Antarans now face the challenge of control. Control is not a simple thing, it requires vigilance, discipline and sometimes… intervention. For when the new creation becomes strong enough… independent enough… it can veer from its intended destiny to forge its own. For only when control is firmly and finally established can one rightfully hold the title of Master." - Master of Orion 3 Intro
Main article: Master of Orion 3 backstory
Strategies vs Antaran Raids
Antarans attack in a very specific way. The attacks can be devastating and wreck your entire fleet as they will always spawn and attack a colony with a fleet that is greater than the defenders.... Having said that, the attack can be directed to a particular system and even almost wholly mitigated without a fight.
- Whomever owns the largest fleet (by strength not ship numbers) will have one of their colonies attacked.
- If that fleet is in a system with a planet you own, that planet will be attacked (if you own more than one planet in that system, they seem to pick on the same planet every time). If your fleet is in a system you have no planets in, they will spawn one of your colonies in a nearby system to your fleet.
- Antarans seem to only spawn on dormant fleets i.e. if you park somewhere too long - keeping your fleet on the move might mean they won't spawn (this is far from tested but it seems like they ignore you during protracted wars of conquests going eons with no sign of them).
- When Antarans raid a colony, they will fight any defending ships and defences like Star base they only drop biological bombs that can be mitigated by Planetary radiation shield, Planetary flux shield or Planetary barrier shield. Once shields are depleted, remaining bombs will kill Marines, Tanks and population. Antarans will blockade the planet for one turn while attacking and then leave the way they came. THEY WILL NOT DAMAGE ANY BUILDINGS DURING THE BOMING!
Therefore, you can plan what system they will attack by placing your fleet in a system convenient to you (you might want to empty out a captured colony of unwanted aliens to replace with more useful pops so let them take the genocidal hit.)
You can save the population by building as many Civil transport as you can and moving them away from the planet in time, only to come back after the blockade.
See Short Stories
The Antarans are an Elder Race; they are far older and more technologically advanced than any of the other races in the galaxy. The Antarans are what you'd call 'control freaks'. They can't accept anything being outside their domination. That means races weaker than them are conquered or destroyed so they can never become a threat, and races powerful enough to threaten them are just outright destroyed. For countless thousands of years, the Antarans ruled their sector of the Galaxy with an iron-clad fist and their reign of terror seemed to be unstoppable…
Until they meet a race that represent their ultimate fear, a race so far beyond them that they could never defeat them.
The Herald of Antares
The Herald of Antares was introduced within Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars; very little is known about him but he appears to be the supreme leader of the Antarans and the mastermind behind the Antaran Attacks.
Xyphys, the Antaran Warrior
Xyphys is a ship leader who appeared in Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares; he is the pilot the Star Fortress, a gigantic and powerful space station that protects Antares, the Homeworld of the Antarans, and serves as the “Final Boss” in the game.
Just like the ancient myths and legends of the Orions and Antarans themselves, the mysterious homeworld of the cruel Antarans is shrouded by time. While many know where the coveted Orion System is, no knows where the Antaran homeworld of Antares is located as it is lost to history.
Any coordinates for Antares that are uncovered in both ancient Ruins of the mythical Orions and Antarans all lead to a desolate corner of the galaxy with lifeless planets scarred by orbital bombardment and destroyed planets slowly crumbling into asteroid belts. Those who arrived at the coordinates found nothing but empty space, no star, no planets, not even a rogue comet or cosmic dust.
Only those with highly sophisticated sensors are able to detected a strange anomaly, an unusual curvature in the space/time continuum, a dent in space itself. It is as if a celestial object of great size and mass, like a planet or a star, is bending space with its gravity, but there is no sign of anything physical being there as if it both invisible and intangible for those residing in normal space.
Are the ancient legends true? Did the Orions fold time/space itself, displacing an entire solar system and imprisoning Antarans within an artificially created pocket universe? Are the Antarans still alive within their dimensional prison?
Many of the Greatest Galactic Historians, Xenoarchaeologists and other Scientific Minds of the Galaxy have argued, speculated and discussed this topic for several thousand years and they have done so most vigorously. Some want to open a portal into the pocket dimension to see what lies inside it, but many would agree that some things are better left alone.
Especially if the dark legends about the Antarans are true.
Antaran Ship designs do not follow any rhyme or reason we can understand, or maybe we are incapable of understanding, as the minds who created these vessels are far older and more advanced than ourselves. While the designs of ships of the younger races are based on things from nature and obey the law of physics as we know it, Antaran ships do not.
They have an utterly otherworldly look about them, an air of dread and wrongness surrounds them, and when just looking at them you almost get an instinctive feeling that they don’t belong in this universe and every inch of their design screams death and fear.
But they are still ships and they can be destroyed; however these vessels are on a higher technological level than the ships of the younger races, their weapons are devastatingly strong and their incredibly tough defenses make them dangerous foes to fight against. Even the new technologies and battle tactics that the best and brightest of younger races’ scientists, engineers and tacticians think up are not enough to hold back the coming tide of darkness. The only way to fight the Antarans on an equal footing is by capturing their technology and turning their weapons against them.
However, the Antarans are so paranoid about other races getting their hands on their technology and reverse-engineering it that they equipped all their vessels with a powerful self-destructive device that vaporizes the entire ship if it becomes too damaged, leaving nothing behind for the victor to claim as their prize but a cloud of metallic vapors.
The enigmatic Antaran Eluder-Class Scout Ship is just that: a rumor. While no one has actually seen one, let alone found any evidence to prove its existence, one would be foolish to think that the Antarans would not have a dedicated class of vessel for Scouting and Spying on their enemies and future targets. It is speculated that the Eluder is equipped with a highly advanced cloaking device that renders it invisible and undetectable to even the most sophisticated sensor arrays.
The Antaran Raider-Class Frigate would be the first and last Antaran ship any of our colonists would see before their unguarded and/or undefended colonies are bombed out of existence. While having lighter armor compared with the other more battle-hardened vessels in the Antaran Armada, they are still far above anything the younger races can build.
The Raider’s strength lies in their speed and they use quick hit-and-run tactics, and they also can be mass produced and put in the field of battle in massive numbers.
The Antaran Marauder-Class Destroyer is up-front the Antarans' first choice of front-line ships. Having better armor and weapons then the Raider Class Frigates, these ships are the first to lead the charge, and last to leave. They are often used for bombing missions to destroy any settlements on an unsuspecting planet, bombing every single living soul to extinction from high orbit with powerful and devastating Neutronium Bombs.
The Antaran Intruder-Class Cruiser, much like the cruisers of the younger races, are multi-role vessels that can be loaded up with different modules; this model can function as a carrier craft with several Interceptor Bays or be equipped with devastating weapons that are capable of warping space itself and crushing its targets.
The Antaran Interdictor-Class Battleship is an ancient terror straight out of myth and legend. This type of vessel is mentioned a lot in the ancient myths and legends about the Orion-Antaran War. Loremasters tell us that should an Interdictor appear in the skies of our world and judge it to be unfit to be enslaved and a threat to the Antarans, there is nothing you can do as it unleashes scouring hot beams of death from the heavens onto the unsuspecting planet and brings death to everything that the beam touches.
Also known as a "Fleet Killer", the Antaran Harbinger-Class Titan is most powerful ship in the Antaran Armada, heavy armored and shielded with powerful weapons that bring untold devastation. The Harbinger-Class Titan truly earns its title as "Fleet Killer". Entire fleets have been turned to space junk, debris and scrap metal in their wake, and entire planets have been turned into lifeless worlds of rubble, ash and ruin by these Titans.
Even the mightiest warships of the younger races barely stand a chance against this Titan among titans as it turns its weapons upon them. With numerous Particle Beam Cannons, Neutronium bombing bays, weapons that cause spatial distortions or fire scouring hot beams of death, and if the rumors are true, a weapon that literally fires microscopic black holes, these monolithic titans are as unstoppable as those told of in the ancient myths and legends.
Star Fortress (Doomstar)
In the Myths of the Orion/Antaran War, it is said that the Antarans had gigantic vessels known as Star Fortresses at their command. According to the myths these vessels were giant engines of death and destruction about the size of a small moon with the power to destroy entire planets with its dreaded weapon known as a Steller Converter.
While the destructive capacity of Antaran Interdictors and Harbingers is legendary, it pales in comparison with what the Star Fortress is said to be capable of. It is said that the Antarans once had thousands of these world-destroying weapons at their disposal, which they threw against the Orions during the Orion/Antaran War, sundering entire planetary systems with their destructive power.
Many believe that all Star Fortresses were destroyed at the end of the Orion/Antaran War and their imprisonment within the pocket dimension would have left the Antarans incapable of building any more Star Fortresses, having only the resources of their own solar system at their disposal. Even if the Antarans want to build a Star Fortress within their dimensional prison, they would need to strip bare, hollow out or crack open every single planet within their home system to gather the massive amount of resources needed for the construction of such a weapon. Even if they did, it must be either an act of sheer desperation or madness.
It is said the modern Mobile Planetoid Stations known as Doom Stars, of which many of the Races of the Orion Sector own at least one, were inspired from these myths. Even after their banishment the influence of the Antarans can still be felt across the Orion Quadrant and their myths inspire the creation of terrifying world-destroying weapons.
Antaran during Master of Orion II
Antaran during Master of Orion 3
Antaran during Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars