A solar system dies as a rogue star enters and destroys gravitational forces in effect for millennium. Orbits warp, planets collide and life comes to an ignominious end. Fortunately, although the catastrophe occurs in what is a nano-second of universal time, the inhabitants of the Malkari system see it coming and have plenty of time to process and plan for the calamity in terms of the human clock.
Through brilliant genetic manipulation, every Malkarian is assured of survival via engrammic programming and storage in scientific banks, also known as vaults. Even as the destroyer star Diantos approaches, political factions wage war over control of the vaults, ending with the dissolution of the populace into independent groups and allegiances. Secretive guilds appear as all prepare for the devastation to come.
As doom day nears, the guilds begin to target vaults, knowing that control of these genetic banks will be priceless and assure survival after the destructive event. Open warfare erupts, raiding parties flourish and a policy of fear, Exclusive Awakening, is unleashed. Finally, as the planets begin to wobble out of control, vaults are sealed and guild leaders are engrammed. Although each vault contains a history of the Malkari people, it has been altered to support the beliefs of the fanatics who controlled each faction prior to the calamitous event.
Diantos' devastation was far beyond any imagined by the Malkari. Fewer than ten percent of the deep bunkers containing scientific banks survived the cataclysmic forces of an entire solar system being torn apart. In some cases, automatic machinery malfunctioned and genetic material was altered or destroyed. Centuries later, following the dissipation of deadly radiation levels, active sensors signal the time for reactivation and rebirth of the engrams.
The process slowly evolves with many of the remaining vaults destroyed beyond hope. A ragtag group of 100 asteroids containing these seeds known as scientific banks is all that remains of the Malkari civilization. From these, only five groups, or guilds, are reborn. Driven only by the hatred and prejudices of the individual histories left to each by the long-ago fanatics, each guild makes plans to conquer what remains of the system and rule according to its inherited purpose.
The only hope for Malkari survival lies in the desperate hope that a great leader will emerge and unite what remains of a once proud race. Unification can be achieved only through political persuasion or force of arms, ensuring the surrender of all opposing forces. It is through this avenue that the Malkari can regain a paradise lost and recover the great achievements of the past.
Malkari is a turn-based strategy game in which five teams (guilds), each with eight players, strive for supremacy through various means. Management of resources, trading, generation and control of energy stockpiles, military might, economic superiority, geology and more are but a few of the options available to players. Modular ships built for offense, defense, construction, tracking, maintenance and surveying purposes are used to further the causes of each faction.
The game world continuously evolves as asteroids and planets remain in constant orbit, changing resource availability and territory management strategies. Random map generation and a "future-mode" feature that centers on changes to the Malkari system in terms of long-range evolution are provided to ensure replay value. Up to 16 players can participate in multi-player action on a LAN, direct link, modem-to-modem, over the Internet or via play-by-e-mail.
Key elements of multi-play include combat, with variable victory conditions (e.g., control of asteroids), automatic fire against anyone not in your own Guild (to prevent teaming up against others) and a simultaneous turn-based system that is designed to prevent slow play and ensure fair resolution.
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