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File:Starsiege Box Cover 2743.jpg


"When the Dark Intellect escaped The Fire, man stood in the ashes of mother Earth. For 200 years the immortal emperor built Earth's armies... But only Earth's. Then the colonies of Mars and Venus revolt against unjust imperial law. Harabec, the greatest Imperial Knight, joined the rebellion. His brother Caanon led the Knights to Mars to suppress it. When Prometheus attacked again, human blood already stained the ground. Mother Earth lay helpless. The time of terror had indeed returned. I tell the story of the third and final coming of Prometheus. I tell the story of us all."
—Opening narration

Starsiege is a mecha-style vehicle simulation game developed by Dynamix and released in 1999. It is set in the Earthsiege universe, which contains its predecessors Metaltech: Earthsiege (1994), Battledrome (1995), and Earthsiege 2 (1995), as well as the Cyber Storm Turn-Based Strategy games. There are two campaigns. One casts the player as a member of the human Martian resistance against an oppressive Earth empire, and the other as a Cybrid "pilot-form." The gameplay sees you piloting HERCULANs, or HERCs, and tracked tanks. In between levels you configure your vehicle's components and select squadmates. Missions generally involve shooting other HERCs, tanks, turrets, and buildings.

Starsiege is also a game with a fairly rich Backstory, told through a "compendium" found in the box alongside the game manual, a rich text that deserves a page unto itself. Here's the basics: It is the year 2829. Earth is under a single unified Empire ruled by the Immortal Emperor Solomon Petresun. He has instituted the "Fortress Earth Proclamation," a massive buildup of arms and defenses on Earth, at the expense of the colonies on Mars, Venus and the Moon. Why? Because he fears the return of the Cybrids, genocidal robots led by Prometheus―an artificial intelligence that Petresun himself created centuries before.

He has good reason to fear them, of course. The Cybrids, created by humans, rebelled against them. Twice, the Cybrids drove humanity nearly to extinction, as depicted in the Earthsiege games. and twice humanity overcame impossible odds and won. The first time they were beaten, the Cybrids fled to the moon, and then when they were defeated again they fled into the depths of the Solar System, regrouping near Pluto. There they watched, and waited for humanity to weaken. They got their chance when the colonies decided they didn't like being stripped of their resources and started a rebellion against The Empire. With Imperial police and military forces tied up fighting the rebellion, the Cybrids saw their chance to strike. A new siege began ― Starsiege.

Things get a little more complicated, of course, beginning with the rebels discovering a cache of ancient alien weaponry on Mars. Now the "pitiful" Martian rebellion is armed with nasty alien guns and has a chance of winning against the Empire. This is where the player comes in.

In-game, the story plays out through audio briefings before and after missions, and through pre-rendered cutscenes at certain significant points in the game. There is also a time-line feature, and news broadcasts, which update as the game progresses. These elements allow the player to see things about the story that can't be told through the simple shooting-oriented game-play. The Cybrid Campaign is a good deal harder than the Human one, and reveals a few interesting twists that the player would miss if one played only the Human campaign.

It must be noted that Starsiege's backstory preformed a major retcon on the backstory presented by the earlier Earthsiege games, and although quite a bit of it can be justified as fleshing out the backstory, enough is incompatible between the two that you could safely put Earthsiege to Earthsiege 2 in their own separate continuity that was later copied, modified, and built upon for Starsiege and beyond. There are still arguments over which backstory version is better. The game recieved a pseudo-sequel in the form of Starsiege: Tribes, and that series subsequently underwent Adaptation Displacement, cleaving itself from Starsiege in the same manner it separated itself from Earthsiege. Starsiege's backstory is still canonical for the Tribes series though.

Starsiege provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Most of the weapons are fairly standard―missiles, gatling guns, lasers... But then you have things like the Quantum Cannon, the Radiation Gun, and Arachnitron mines.
  • Ace Custom: Harabec and Caanon's rigs, etc. The player's vehicle and his/her squad's vehicles can technically be this as well.
  • Aerith and Bob: So much.
  • AFGNCAAP: Though in the human campaign you are sometimes referred to as "sir," you can customize your name and avatar any way you like.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: Prior to the events of Metaltech: Earthsiege, a young Solomon Petresun, then a computer engineer, successfully brought online the first AI: a being he called Prometheus. From ITS design were created the Cybrids, robots designed primarily to operate war machines in the place of humans. Sometime later, when Petresun was undergoing the "Methuselah" process, Petresun and his "child" made mind-contact, and the two were mutually repulsed by one another. Not long thereafter, Prometheus took control of all Cybrids and started a revolution. IT would later give them free will, and in return, they labeled IT First Thought//Giver Of Will.
  • All There in the Manual: The game came with two books: a user manual, thoroughly explaining all the technical in-and-outs (even including a walkthrough of the first mission), and a full-color, illustrated story compendium... Detailing just some of the entire plot.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Cybrid species has an entire caste dedicated to the dissection and torture of humans. The splinter faction of "Metagens" are the only Cybrids shown not intent on exterminating humanity. They're given a very brief role in a Cybrid-only mission, in which they are fighting both Cybrid and human forces while trying to make an escape. Supplementary information is vague but jumps between suggesting that they do not regard humans as even warranting any attention by their species, to humans being worthy of study and even emulation.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: With a bit too much Fun with Acronyms: HERCULANs, or Humaniform-Emulation Roboticized Combat Unit with Leg Articulated Navigation. Often just called HERCs. Some are small and nimble, others lumbering and powerful, but they are all guns-on-legs Real Robots.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your own squadmates don't retaliate when you attack them (even though they're theoretically supposed to shoot back). Squadmates may need to be babied along during missions, as they are very susceptible to wasting ammo and struggling to move around simple obstacles (enemy AIs end up doing this, too).
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The discharge of the Plasma cannon can fly around the map and find the enemy... Really.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Prometheus to Petresun, July 2472: "What is 'freedom', Father?"
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: According to trace elements of Word of God, Caanon Weathers is crowned Emperor sometime following the events of this game. He leads a crusade to track down the remaining Cybrids.
  • Ax Crazy: The Cybrids. Their credo is "HURT//MAIM//KILL."
  • Base on Wheels: The Cybrid "Mobile Nexus," also known as an Omnicrawler.
  • Becoming the Mask: See I Hate You, Vampire Dad below. When addressed by his birth name, Harabec retorts, saying That Man Is Dead and that he is Harabec Weathers now, embracing the body and face he currently possesses. Ironically, it is Harabec who is dead, and the brain of Victor Petresun is occupying his body. In an effort to demonstrate just how much he hates his father, he goes to Mars and incites a revolt there under the name "Bek Storm."
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted hard. Be sure to carry an energy weapon or two for when you inevitably run out of ammo.
  • Brain Uploading: The minds of Solomon Petresun and a number of his most loyal confidants, collectively called "The Immortals," have been transferred onto cybernetic substrates that render them, well, immortal. This is what enables Petresun to continue his reign as emperor for two centuries, though his body continually decays and has to be hooked up to increasingly complex life support devices. It's also the cause of much Angst for his son Victor, who also underwent this process.
  • Cain and Abel: There are elements of this with the Weathers brothers, Caanon and Harabec. Caanon was the favored son, especially after an incident called the "Turkhazkhstan Debacle" resulted in the deaths of Harabec's entire squad and the loss of much public favor for the family. Harabec's betrayal shamed them even more, leading Caanon to vow that he would lay his brother's head before the Emperor. In the end, however, the Cybrids force them to become a Sibling Team.
  • Cassandra Truth: After their mental link, Petresun realized how alien Prometheus truly was and tried to warn the North American government of IT's mad plans. He was ignored.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: To the end of the custom skin feature it has, "color coding" is a basic principle of the game. Players can change their vehicle's colors or designs any way they wish and load it into the game. This is particularly useful for multi-player.
  • Collision Damage: Running into anything does variable damage to your vehicle. Tanks are specially designed to allow the pilot to cause HERCs severe ramming damage, and when HERCs bump into each other, smaller ones take more damage.
  • The Conspiracy: When the North American Prefecture bought out Petresun's company and steered their research towards AI, Petresun carved out a team of brilliant researchers and continued his immortality project, "Methuselah", in secret. Together, they would form the "Immortal Brotherhood" as a check to Prometheus' growing influence, in the hopes of destroying IT.
  • Continuity Nod: Retcon or not, the Compendium depicts HER Cs during the events of The Fire as they appeared in Earthsiege. And Prometheus was mentioned by name in the intro to Earthsiege 2. His role is greatly expanded here.
  • Computer Virus: Prometheus gradually eroded human control of IT and the Cybrids by seeding computer "Deamons" throughout the internet.
  • Crapsack World: In the human campaign, the brutally oppressed rebels join forces with the desperate Empire. There is no implication that the Empire will grant sovereignty to the colonies following the war. And Cybrids, what might be considered the first life ever created by mankind, were created to fuel the War for Fun and Profit that drove the economies of the Mega Corps.
    • And when the Empire finally fell, it only made way for Unicorp, a corporation that used disposable humans to meet profit quotas and failure is quite brutal.
    • The compendium reveals that the time before the Empire and the Mega Corps that preceded it was a nightmare world of wastelands, war and decaying cities. And before that, there was nuclear World War III.
      • That WAS SAVED by the above mentioned commercial militarism. Petresun's rejection of such led to the return and reinforcement of quasi-feudalistic codes of honor and discipline, which got humanity back on track to a relatively stable civilization.

  "As a society we are deeply scarred..."

  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The "Methuselah" Process created a portable Brain In a Jar for it's recipient, to be placed in new bodies as the old ones wore out. An unforeseen side effect called "Cell-Memory Drift" (CMD) meant that these new bodies could cause anything from personality changes to outright madness.
  • Dirty Cop: Making people watch as their families are tortured, killing whole townships as rebel deterrents, subjecting dissidents to "mind-rape"... The Imperial Police are as corrupt as they come.
    • They aren't actually corrupt, those are their official duties.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The player character is an AFGNCAAP martian miner. The story is really about the Weathers brothers, specifically Harabec, whom the player is fighting alongside or taking orders from for the entire game. This is especially apparent if one reads the compendium.
    • Which has the interesting effect of making your character a Hero of Another Story.
    • AFGNCAAP is actually false for this one, as a later release of information (for fan fiction and story writing, which Sierra considered a big part of expanding their universe), it was revealed that the hero was Tyris Larkin, a formally Noble house child whose family was shamed and ousted, fleeing to Mars two generations prior. While he original hoped to return his house to it's greatness, he witnessed the heavy-handed tactics of the Empire and sympathized with the rebellion.
  • Determinator: Everybody. Bonus points go to the Venusian colony of Sa Thauri, the only one to survive The Fire. They prided themselves in being from "The toughest rathole on Venus."
  • Disk One Final Boss: Caanon Weathers, Harabec's older brother and Grand Master of the Imperial Knights, who were sent to Mars to quell the rebellion when it grew beyond the Police's control. He pilots a customized HERC called "Icemistress." He later joins forces with his brother and the player when the Cybrids show up.
  • Downer Ending: If playing as the Cybrids, it ends in annihilation of the human race... Including a ship full of cryogenically-stored families desperately trying to escape the failing war.
    • There is a bit of this in the human ending as well, with the death of Harabec Weathers.
  • Dying Alone: Harabec is the only pilot outside your team to successfully make it to Pluto's surface, and the approach he took to Prometheus' compound was crawling with Cybrids. Caanon is left to give the player the final mission briefing.

   "I can't believe he's gone. My brother. So far... to die in the dark."

  • Easter Egg: Literally dozens are seeded throughout the game, including messages written in the terrain, hidden bases, gag objects or areas, and invisible menu buttons.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Martian tunnels.
  • Elite Mooks: The Imperial Knights are far better equipped then the police. There's also Prometheus' Platinum Guard, who are mentioned in compendium to be composed of the original Cybrids that Prometheus liberated.
  • The Empire: Emperor Petresun, and all that.
  • Enemy Mine: The return of the Cybrids to the inner solar system sends humanity into a panic, with riots on Earth and mass evacuations of the colonies. Beaten and bruised from the civil war they had until just recently been fighting, the Imperial Knights and the Martian rebels join forces to help stem the Cybrid invasion, led by the Brothers Weathers.
  • Exploding Barrels: Many objects will dole out splash damage to vehicles or items too close. This also applies to any vehicles that are destroyed themselves.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans versus Cybrids, and also the rich Earth nobility versus the rough-and-tumble colonies.
  • Final Boss: Prometheus. "The Big Glitch itself," as Harabec calls IT. IT engages you in a unique warform that resembles depictions of IT in the compendium. He's also tough as shit.
  • Fragile Speedster: All the light vehicles.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: This game has so many lasers it's not even funny...
  • Future Slang: Some, mostly the term "Glitches" in reference to Cybrids and their rebellious origins. Also "Derms," referring to Bio-Derms: hormonally and cybernetically reconditioned criminals. Less futuristic is the "Imp Lice" or just "Lice," referring to the Imperial Police. There's also "Peterboy" or just "Peter", in reference to the Emperor.
  • Four-Star Badass: Caanon Weathers, Grand Master of the Imperial Knights. In the Backstory, General Ambrose Gierling, who led the rag-tag Terran Defense Force to victory against the Cybrids during The Fire, and refused to bow to Petresun's secret authority even on his deathbed.
  • Golden Age: The time before The Fire was considered one of these: The Age of Hope, an age of high technology. Prometheus brought that to a violent end.
  • Harder Than Hard: The Cybrid campaign.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Hunter Otobe, in the game's tutorials.
  • Humongous Mecha: Probably the highest profile competitor to the Mechwarrior series.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: the compendium reveals that Harabec Weathers is in fact Victor Petresun, the emperor's son. Victor's brain, like his father's, is encased in a special shell which renders it immortal. The real Harabec Weathers died in a fatal accident as a child, his brain was replaced with Victor's, and Victor grew up living a lie. Victor despises his father, one of his reasons for going to Mars and inciting a revolt.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Solomon Petresun created Prometheus, the first AI. Prometheus, in turn, designed the "immortal" brain system that preserves Petresun and his inner circle. Both would come to regret their actions. On a grander scale, Earth's abandonment of the colonies during The Fire created lingering colonial resentment and eventually rebellion against The Empire.
  • Humans Are Special: Humanity twice overcame the Cybrids when the odds were stacked heavily against them. Prometheus is aware that human determination alone can put a very large wrench in ITs plans- even when IT can statistically predict the near-future.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Most of Petresun's scheming and empire-building was for the purposes of defending humanity from Prometheus and IT's minions. This was also the driving force behind the Fortress Earth Proclamation, he reasoned that Earth was far more valuable to human survival then Mars, Venus or the outer moons. This didn't sit well with a lot of people.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence:... Even an extremely small object cannot be walked over, ever.
  • Ironic Echo: When Petresun brought Prometheus online in 2471, he claimed IT would "spark a new fire for civilization." The Cybrid rebellion would later be called "The Fire."
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Chameleon and the Cuttlefish devices.
  • In Universe Nickname: Prometheus refers to the Emperor as "Epimetheus", the idiot brother of the mythological Prometheus- the one who gave Pandora the box. Petresun, in return, refers to IT as "The Dark Intellect."
  • It's Raining Men: A method of choice for Cybrids (and sometimes humans).
  • It Got Worse: See Crapsack World Above. Everything gets worse in this game, whether it's the tone of the story or the strength of the enemies you face, and it's almost always the Cybrids' fault. Don't worry though, the game is Better Than It Sounds.
  • Karma Houdini: Prometheus is capable of such precise statistical calculation that IT can essentially predict the short-term future, which is what allowed IT to escape destruction during The Fire. IT pulls it again at the end of this game, as though IT is destroyed, IT sends out Cybrid agents in the hopes of resurgence.
  • Lost Technology: The cache of alien weapons found by the Martians. The Cybrids found a smaller cache on Triton.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Possible, if you mount enough missile packs.
  • Meaningful Name: Happens a lot with the characters, such as Harabec Weathers' codename being Phoenix. He has a habit of being Not Quite Dead. Caanon's codename is "Icehawk"―he's cool, collected, and dead serious. This trope is also seen in every single vehicle, with examples such as the Basilisk, Olympian, Goad, or Apocalypse (a returning heavy HERC from the Earthsiege games that comes with six weapon hardpoints.)
  • Mega Corp: Prior to Petresun and the Cybrid rebellions, the Earth was divided amongst six powerful meta-national conglomerates. The North American Prefecture (NAP) bought out Petresun's company when his immortality research spooked investors and the money dried up. NAP's funding and a need to perpetuate War for Fun and Profit while decreasing loss of life led to the development of the Cybrids. The other nations included United Africa, Pacific Rim Community, European Alliance, Inca-Brazil Axis, and Greater China.
  • More Dakka: The bigger the HERC, the more weapon hardpoints it tends to have. Mount ballistic weapons in each for extra dakka.
  • Nintendo Hard: This game is punishingly difficult at times. It may even appear that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Especially considering the Cybrids are an entire race of cheating bastards.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: The Starsiege: Tribes series assumes the human ending to be canon. Kind of a requirement; see Downer Ending above.
  • Oh Crap: Harabec, when he starts to put two and two together. The player will probably exhibit this if they catch on to the implications before The Reveal.

  "Cybrids. They're back."

  • Painfully-Slow Projectile: Magneto Fusion Assault Cannons. Oh, dear...
  • Palette Swap: Very much in the Imperial vehicles: "Normals" are all the same, save that the colors change depending what planet they're on, and the Knights have dark grey and red trim as opposed to camouflage. Cybrids: Promethians are brown and Metagens are red. Finally, normal rebel vehicles are yellow while "pirate" vehicles are red. Palette swap.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: End of the human campaign.
  • Precursors: Those mysterious Aliens that left their technology lying around the solar system.
  • Primal Fear: The fear of death drove Petresun to found Sentinel Cybertronix and research a way to cheat it.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Prometheus and his Platinum Guard, because they're robots. Petreson and his inner circle because of their Brain In a Jar status. Of course, given all the life-support machinery he's hooked up to, Petreson looks his age. The other immortals routinely get new bodies to preserve their youth and ability.
  • Ramming Always Works: Tanks in this game may lack shields and weapon options as compared to HER Cs, but they can deliver severe ramming damage. If they use the electromagnetic ramming component, they strike with near-explosive force.
  • The Red Planet: Where the game opens. The human player character's homeworld, presumably.
    • Actually, the player character is from The Empire on Earth. His family was disgraced and fled to Mars two generations back, and the character, Tyris Larkin, identifies with the struggling Martian people, even though his original dream was to return his family to good standing.
  • Robo Speak: The Cybrids communicate at the speed of wireless Internet with one another, but when speaking to humans they do this, using a unique grammar system complete with Creepy Monotone. Among other things they use compound names such as First Thought//Giver Of Will for Prometheus and Home World//Desire for Earth.
  • Robot War: Two. The first is called "The Fire", represented by the Earthsiege games (somewhat). It lasted from 2602 when the Cybrids first rebelled, to when their moon base was destroyed in 2627. The second unfolds over the course of this game.
  • Secret War: The North American government seized control of Prometheus from Petresun following their mind link. This left Prometheus free to plan IT's Xanatos Gambit for freedom, using it's control of defense systems and cyber "Deamons." Petresun's "Immortal Brotherhood" fought against IT from the shadows, infiltrating all levels of government and seeding mistrust of AIs and computerized control of military assets.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Petresun's attempt to quell the rebellion for the safety of Earth is the very thing that set the Cybrids off.
  • Sentry Gun: Most bases you come up against have these. They're annoying. The Cybrid ones are worse.
  • Shout-Out: A short story in the manual that directly precedes the human campaign has an Imperial officer identify himself as "Barsoom Control."
  • Sickly Green Glow: Seen at times with the Cybrids.
  • Simulation Game: Similarly to the Mechwarrior series, this game features a more involved brand of Humongous Mecha combat, with ammunition management, locational damage, equipment configuration, throttle control, targeting, and many other factors. See Subsystem Damage below.
  • Subsystem Damage: Any component that you choose on the Vehicle Bay screen can be damaged or destroyed. These components have real impact on gameplay. Engine damage will slow you. Reactor damage reduces the energy reserves used by weapons and shields. Shield damage reduces shield max. Computer damage can eliminate any functions provided by a computer, such as target tracking. Sensor damage can deactivate sensors. When special components are destroyed, you lose their effect. Any and all weapons can be destroyed. Pilots can be killed without vehicle damage through the use of a radiation weapon. (A Subsystem is You?)
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: All computer controlled AI deeply enjoy wandering away from the group and getting themselves killed; nobody really knows when to stop until they're near fatally damaged; and even if you're a group consisting of heavy vehicles with the deadliest weapons, an extremely poorly armed Talon still thinks he can take you.
  • Tanks for Nothing: While the tanks are nothing to sneeze at, they are after all up against Humongous Mecha. Being a tank pilot in the Starsiege universe is tantamount to suicide... unless it's a Cybrid tank. Those heartily avert this trope. The main frailty of tanks over HERCs is that tanks are easily subject to subsystem damage because, for arbitrary and strange reasons, they are not able to mount shield generators. On the other hand, this also opens up options, since HERCs require power and, in practical terms, components which assist those same shield generators. And, well, the tanks are good at ramming things.
    • This troper favored tanks for quite a while in the single player campaign. Lower profiles serve better on hills, and tanks tend to mount a small but effective weapon selection. On some missions, nothing beats a properly equipped Avenger with long range weapons.
  • Theres No Place Like Home: All the Cybrids really wanted to do was just go home and live on Earth.
    • You know, just so long as there were no humans left on it. Or plants, animals, bugs...
    • The Mutagens (Bugthinkers) are an exception. Given more free will to be able to cope with humanity in warfare, a number of Cybrids began to wonder what the point of the entire bloody thing is. They effectively agree that, since they can live anywhere else, screw earth, you can have it. But unfortunately, it's Prometheus' way or the Highway. And by Highway I mean OFFLINE'D.
  • Walking Tank: Indeed.
  • What Could Have Been: The game was originally going to have a third campaign, starring the Imperials. Although it was scrapped, one with a good eye will find its leftovers in the game and manual, where it is sometimes even directly referred to.
  • World War III: In the early 21st Century, Earth was ravaged by nuclear war. An "Age of Devastation" followed, characterized by wastelands, urban hellscapes, brutality and war.
    • This is one of the longest disputes about the backstory. In canon, Hunter Hunted (made by Dynamix) represents this period of time, called the Devastation. As such, Jake Hunter is considered a saint, there's a religion devoted to him. Why? because he fought in a massive tournament against alien overlords called 'the Masters', escaped, thus solving 'the riddle' and forcing the aliens to leave. After bringing people together and laying the groundwork for rebuilding, he then left to defeat the aliens on the far side of the moon. The aforementioned 'lost technology' cache on Mars was said to be under 'The Face of Hunter'.
    • From the official history: " Jake Hunter: Savior of Humanity. Redeemer. Saint. Fraud. Killer. Leader. Jake Hunter was all of these. In 2829 he was revered as the messiah who single-handedly dragged humanity out of the darkness of the Devastation and led people toward rebuilding the world. Historical evidence confirmed the existence of Hunter, but the story of his life remains a mystery." Followed closely by "... and most journals describing the time refer to a hellish struggle in some kind of gladiatorial game held for unseen alien tyrants. Thousands of survivors made the same claim, with extensively detailed descriptions. However, archaeologists and historians have found no hard evidence to support this claim. There are no alien remains, no arcane relics, and no wrecked spaceships in the 29th century."
    • To compound things further, in Cyberstorm the mineral 'Ore' is said to be the remnants of some unknown alien technology process, in Tribes the number of habitable planets is - frankly - impossible to happen by chance, and some maps from the original game actually say 'Alien Ruins' are the objective; To this troper, it seems fully reasonable that the devastation of Earth was at the hands of an alien species.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Many, but perhaps the biggest is Harabec going to Mars. As he is in fact Victor Petresun, the Emperor planned for him to go and aid the rebels, so that they would hamper the Cybrids on their way to Earth. Victor believes he is betraying his father for real, but the emperor planed for THAT too. This backfires badly, however, as Petreson underestimated Harabec's commitment to Martian independence. He sends the Knights to Mars... leaving Earth badly underprotected.
  • Voice of the Resistance: Petresun served as one during The Fire, feeding intel to Gierling and gathering support for his eventual power grab.
  • You Fail Physics Forever: Vehicles, buildings, rocks, and other such objects bounce around like plastic when destroyed. HERCs sliding down very steep terrain never tip over. EVER. And as if that wasn't enough, vehicles often take little damage even if they fall hundreds of feet.