The Earth's water supply tainted through generations of heavy industrial contamination, the remaining quantities of unspoiled drinking water were converted into stable water crystal form. Planetary defenses weakened in this time of environmental catastrophe, we mounted a valiant but ineffective defense against the water-crystal-seeking extraterrestrial Hydrites, led by their brutal general Overkill, in a conflict that reduced human civilisation to a few obscure overlooked outposts and turned our remaining ecosystem into a radioactive wasteland, rife with tunnels and ruins and a fecund breeding-ground for disease, mutants and abominations.
Now it is the year 2060 AD. You are an HX-909 soldier in the HeXonium Force, the only known remaining human resistance group. From Zzexon's compound Zzexlia, perhaps the safest spot in a world where walking down the buckled asphalt remnants irradiates you, you mount exploratory expeditions into the great unknown in order to recover essential water crystals, harden yourself for combat, and arrive at a better understanding of what your planet has become. When the time is right, you will descend deep into the corrupted earth, past defunct air bases and toxic landfills, to take back the water and land that is your birthright and lay to rest the rumour that the notorious general Overkill still befouls Terran soil with his footprint.
Though game output is restricted to text descriptions and coloured ASCII symbols on a map, the grim atmospheric tone of the writing compounded with the irrevocable strangeness (rats! I forget -- is my opponent's Salanger better or worse than my Natase?) of the world only a few decades in our future combine to give a player a sense of immersion and urgency. This latter is compounded by a reflex-based combat system, both long-range and melee targets lined up by successfully hitting the space bar at the correct moment of a count-down, the harder the target the faster the countdown -- a real problem with slow modem latency of the era, prompting the release of an ANSI terminal for the game, keeping the bulk of the data (and digitised sound!) on the client's end rather than the server's.
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