Welcome to this Let's Play of The Earth 2150 Trilogy! I'll be playing all three games in the series: Earth 2150, The Moon Project and Lost Souls. I've still got my copies of all the stuff that came with the games so as the thread goes along I'll try and post some bonus updates about the manuals, box art, Prima guides that came in the box, etc.
I also will be posting all the in-game cut-scene videos and game music. The cut-scenes can be a bit but the music is great. My hope is this LP can be a definitive look at the series and give people insight to three amazing games they probably haven't played.
The Earth 2150 Trilogy is a series of three games made by TopWare Interactive/Zuxxez Entertainment AG, two game companies from Poland. There have been some other games to come out of Poland recently like The Witcher Series and The Call of Juarez Series but the Earth 2150 Trilogy predates them by a number of years.
The first game, Earth 2150, was released in June of 2000 and was revolutionary. It was followed by two sequels, The Moon Project, released in March of 2001 and Lost Souls released in October of 2002.
Why was the first game revolutionary? Well other strategy games at the time looked like this:
But Earth 2150 looked like this:
The game claims on the box it was "The First Real-time Strategy [Game] with Total 3D Warfare!" This is
So why didn't everyone play it? As far as I can tell there were four reasons:
1. The original developer, TopWare Interactive went bankrupt in April of 2001, a month after the second game in the trilogy, The Moon Project was released. As a result the series did not have the best bug testing and there are still weird bugs to this day. Support was almost non-existent.
2. The game was made in Poland so there was little exposure here in the States. This was made worse because...
3. There was little effort put into publicizing this game. I think the only reason I bought this game when I was a kid was because C&C Tiberian Sun was too expensive and this one was on sale. Places like Best Buy and Circuit City had all sorts of advertisements for C&C Tiberian Sun and Starcraft/Warcraft but I didn't see any advertisement for the Earth series.
4. Other good RTS games from much larger publishers came out in 2000. Shogun: Total War (EA) and Ground Control (Sierra) were released weeks after Earth 2150. They were both very well received and the Total War franchise has gone on to be an RTS juggernaut. That's some pretty stiff competition for a brand new franchise from fairly obscure developers.
To illustrate this issue: It took me months to find Lost Souls when it came out in 2002. I think I ended up getting it from some weird game site that I no longer remember. This is despite the fact it's a fairly strong title and has a much more engaging campaign than The Moon Project does. If I could barely find this game then what hope did they have of selling this to someone with no stake in the franchise?
But not to worry Internet, I'm going to be bringing the Earth experience to you.
Yes! GOG has the Earth Trilogy for sale here: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/earth_2150_trilogy. The game is really cheap and you'll love it. There are some issues with running it at modern resolutions though, so check the support forums. I'm running at 1280x960 and things are okay.
- If the games crash when you go into the construction center, set the resolution to 1680x1050x32 or lower. You can also try using the OpenGL render option.
- If the game crashes when trying to make a profile, turn off Data Execution Prevention in Windows.
Still not working? Trying to mod something? Your best bet is probably opening up the .wd files in the game and playing around with those. Except the mod tools no longer work. Not to fear! TwelveBaud has fixed WDPackager to work on x64 systems. This will let you pack and unpack files from Earth 2150's proprietary .wd format. You can find it here: http://twelvebaud.net/WDPackager.zip
Earth 2140, a previous game from TopWare details an eight-year war between the United Civilized States (UCS) and the Eurasian Dynasty (ED) following a UCS invasion of the ED-controlled British Isles. In 2148, a desperate retreating ED army launched a barrage of nuclear weapons at UCS positions near the North Pole. The explosions were so intense that the orbit of the planet was destabilized and life on Earth would soon perish due to the orbital instability. I have no idea if that's actually possible but it's a really unique take on an apocalypse. The ED and UCS are now gripped in a final struggle to gather enough resources to build an evacuation fleet.
But a forgotten moon colony from the early years of the 21st century has re-appeared. Calling themselves the Lunar Corporation (LC), they have tentatively allied with the UCS and also seek to escape the planet. Only 183 days remain until Earth becomes uninhabitable. Who will escape?
There's also a ton of words in the manual about each faction's history. I tried to summarize it as best as I could and fix any continuity and translation issues I noticed.
Founded in 2050 by Colonel Siergie Zugij following a global thermonuclear war in 2048. The Colonel amassed power by venturing out into Mongolia after the bombs fell and combining his knowledge of secret Russian military sites with the manpower of the local Mongolian families. This culminated in a marriage to a chief's daughter and Colonel Zugij changed his name to Yaga Zi Khan. In under a decade he controlled most of the uncontaminated areas in Asia and his son christened the empire the Eurasian Dynasty.
The Khan gave the highest priority to military research and due to their control of old Soviet military bases, they possessed a large nuclear stockpile. In 2140 the ED's arch rivals, the UCS invaded the British Isles. This gave the ruling Khan, Tiao Thi Zhe Khan a reason to achieve his dream of an ED-controlled South America. The war dragged on for years, bankrupting the empire and angering the people. The Khan's cousin, Kata Mae Zhe Khan instigated a riot which destroyed the Khan's super cyborg-soldiers. Without them he was powerless to defeat the UCS and the internal unrest and was deposed and executed.
The change in government did not help in the war and in a desperate retreat in 2148 Kata Mae Zhe Khan gave the order to fire nuclear weapons at UCS positions in the North Pole, which lead to the orbital instability that dooms the planet.
The ED's focus on military technology has, paradoxically, made it the most backwards of the three factions. The main ED force is made up of large tanks using 21st century rockets and anti-tank weapons. There are rumors the ED has been working on some sort of heat laser but most people do not take the rumors seriously. The ED also is the only nation left that possesses a conventional nuclear stockpile. Based on the actions of the Khan in the previous war, I doubt they will hesitate to use them.
In the early 2000s the US suffered a stock crash and economic recession more severe than the one seen in the 1930s. This lead to an increasingly bellicose foreign policy and a belief that all other nations were gunning for America and merely waiting for an opportunity to attack. A minor dispute in 2048 with Greater Russia provided the spark that would ignite the world. In the ensuing nuclear war, all European and Asian powers were completely annihilated. The US missile defense system shielded it from most of the damage but the US government collapsed in the chaos.
From the ashes came 12 former US States who believed self-interested and greedy politicians were responsible for the immense pain and suffering of the past half-century. Lead by so-called philosopher, Richard Bowman, the states acted to set up a new government which would not be subject to the whims of corruptible individuals. The government created by Bowman and his acolytes was run by an absolute minimum of bureaucrats chosen by lottery with terms lasting only a few months. This form of government became known as Stochocracy and despite some growing pains the nation was kept at peace for decades thanks to highly specialized computer systems that would advise the lottery winners on how best to proceed. These AI improvements were also spread to the home and business and by the early 2100s computers had intertwined themselves in all aspects of society. It was assumed that lottery winners merely needed to give their seal of approval to the AI's "advice."
This changed in 2134 when a computer engineer named Jonathan Swamp became Minister of Defense. Swamp had been involved in coding the government AIs and knew their full potential. Due to this, he was given full access to the military administration processor, GOLAN. He made changes to GOLAN, allowing himself to run simulations of military encounters with the ED all over the planet. But these changes resulted in a number of unforeseen glitches, culminating in GOLAN's decision to send UCS mechs to the British Isles.
GOLAN's systems were improved during the ensuing war with the ED and the citizens of the UCS praised the computer and believed it was the only thing that had saved them from utter annihilation after a series of early ED victories. Near the end of the war the ED launched a massive barrage of nuclear missiles at UCS bases in the Arctic Circle to cover their retreat from the continent. By January of 2150 it was clear to UCS scientists and scientific AI that the Earth's orbit had been permanently destabilized by this bombardment and it would be only about half a year until the planet was uninhabitable. This knowledge was incomprehensible to GOLAN and the AI's attempt to find a solution to save Gaia ended up destroying its circuitry. Fortunately the newest version of GOLAN was ready to lead its people in the attempt to make an escape fleet. GOLAN II was not only a military AI but also was given complete control over every element of the UCS government. No one would be able to tinker with the AI like Swamp had done ever again.
The UCS was contacted in late 2149 by the LC about a possible alliance. GOLAN II was still mulling over the possibilities when General Fang, a hero from the War of 2140, volunteered to be an emissary to the new faction. It remains to be seen what, if any action the AI will take with the LC and their proposed alliance.
The UCS army is entirely mechanized, with human commanders in place only where absolutely necessary. The UCS also has mastered the science behind anti-gravity flight and the earliest prototypes are now being tested at the Stanford Weapons Lab. The Stanford Weapons Lab also created the plasma gun late in the War of 2140. The energy weapon should allow UCS forces to carve their way through any ED formation. GOLAN II also has issued a report saying the plasma gun can be used in conjunction with the UCS orbital satellite network to fire plasma blasts anywhere on the planet.
UCS scientists have not yet made any report on their progress with this proposed counter to the ED's nuclear arsenal.
John Fisher was obsessed with space flight since he witnessed the space shuttle launch at the age of 5. His dreamy nature did not translate into academic achievement and in the 1990s NASA rejected his application to work as an engineer on the International Space Station. But John Fisher had some influential friends. In early 2002, John Fisher announced that with the backing of 10 anonymous donors he was founding the Lunar Corporation, a private spacefaring company. By 2014 due to budget issues related to the economic downturn in America, NASA's operations were privatized and merged with the Lunar Corporation. In 2025 on the anniversary of his denial for the ISS job, Fisher announced his plan for the construction of Orbital City I, a permanent colony in space. Fisher noted in his speech that it would be superior to the International Space Station in every possible way. Historians would agree Fisher's spite and bitterness over the NASA rejection caused him to focus on Orbital City I to the detriment of other space-related projects, but it would turn out to be a wise calculation.
When Orbital City I opened in 2034 the situation on Earth had grown quite tense. Wealthy citizens from around the globe paid exorbitant sums to acquire small apartments in Orbital City so as to escape from the turmoil on the ground. With the LC's coffers overflowing the company began its next plan: a fully functional moon colony. The Moon colony, known as Luna was up and running only a few weeks before the the thermonuclear war began on Earth. Once the missiles started flying, all residents of Orbital City I were evacuated to Luna and John Fisher was given control over the colony as its president. The Moon was not such a great place to live though. Wealthy, pampered individuals were not used to the grueling physical labor and harsh conditions and by 2052 the colony was in open revolt. Fisher was removed from power as his declining health made him incapable of fully dealing with the rebellion. The new administrator was ruthless and bloodthirsty and when the rebellion was finally pacified, the LC government had all participants shoved out of the colony without their space suits, a particularly painful death.
The response was outrage and horror. In the upheaval that followed the government was reformed and the maxim "personal worth is based on the benefit one brings to society" quickly became the slogan of the remaining colonists. The government took on a matriarchal tilt after a number of very successful women leaders, most notably the Prof. Atomi Hakura. She discovered a large number of extraterrestrial artifacts in 2061 and by 2070 she had unlocked the secret of rapid terraforming. She promised that her terraforming project would give Mars "a climate no different than on the mother planet we left behind." Even more surprising, she promised the terraforming would be complete by 2190.
By 2150, Mars had seen its temperature increase by 15°C and LC scientists believed that by 2170 there would be enough water to sustain human life with the assistance of respirators. The LC had already begun preparations for their move to Mars years ago, but surveyors indicated there were not enough resources on the moon to construct the needed evacuation fleet. After almost 100 years, the Lunar Corporation would be returning to Earth.
The LC has no conventional military, having fought no true wars since the Uprising of 2052. As a result they have no military commanders and no sense of tactics or strategy. However, their discoveries have made them the most technologically advanced faction vying for control of Gaia's few remaining resources. Additionally, the LC unit voices are all done by women, so presumably they're an all-female army. I always thought that was cool. Unlike ED and UCS units, the LC has developed regenerative metals, allowing their units to repair damage in the field.
Rumor has it their terraforming efforts on Mars have yielded insights into how to control the weather. However the only evidence to suggest this is a report from an ED expeditionary force. They claim a heavy snow began mere minutes before an LC assault on their position.
With that all said, let's get started and have some fun! Look, even the manual wants you to have fun!