About Ascendancy
Design 2007 b-sting.nl
Content based upon Darth's
Ascendancy page which
in turn was based upon
"The Way" by Jason Goldman
and others.
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About Ascendancy
Ascendancy is a science-fiction turn-based strategy computer game for DOS. It was released in 1995 by The Logic Factory. You can read more about the history and general idea of the game on the Wikipedia page on Ascendancy, but here we will focus more on the gameplay. In 2011 Logic Factory ported the game to iOS, so it can be played on the iPhone, iPad and iPod. You can get it here. This manual focusses on the DOS-version, but essentially works the same.

In Ascendancy you pick a species to play with (each with its unique advantages) and from your home planet start exploring, colonising and conquering the universe while other alien species (played by the computer) do the same. To learn how to play, it's best to start with tutorial in the game itself. The text below is by no means intended as manual to learn how to play the game itself (use the in-game tutorial!), but purely to illustrate the gameplay:

Setting up the game

When you start a new game, your asked to set the different dificulty parameters for the game:

These are:
  • the species you want to play with, each has specific advantages (see: species)
  • the star density: this is best set lowest when you are beginner and want to explore the game before really playing, densest takes longest and is the hardest
  • the number of species: less is easy, more is harder
  • the atmosphere: hostile, neutral or peaceful, peaceful obviously being easiest
  • player colour: pick your favourite!

  • Start the game!

    Starting up

    You begin at the universe screen with all the planets and starlanes. It's in 3D and the buttons on the bottom right allow you to navigate it. At the beginning of the game this will be just your home world and the connecting starlanes, but as you explore more it might look something like this:

    The dots are star systems (suns with planets orbiting it), the blue and red lines are starlanes connecting each system. Travelling through starlanes takes a few turns (in the game known as 'days'). Red starlanes take much longer to travel through, but usually there's no way to get to distant starsystems by only travelling through blue lanes. Clicking on star system shows you the sun and it's planets, the starlanes and any ships in the system in 3D (sort of).

    You can click on any planet to see what's going on there.

    On planets that are yours, you can build stuff by clicking on the red, green, blue, white and black squares or in orbit left besides the planet (also see: planets).

    In the main screen you can click on the research to invent new stuff for your planets and ships.

    Stuff to be researched is shown as empty circles in a 3D-tree you can rotate and scroll much like the universe or planet screens. Research discovered are filled circles connected with lines to indicate what research is needed to get to the next (also see: research) as shown below:

    Also in the universe screen, you can select an overview of your ships, where they are, what state they are in and what they are doing (also see: ships). From this screen you can also go directly to where the ship is:

    Like the ship overview, you can also go to a planet screen from the main-screen that shows you how awesome your planets are (or not), what star they orbit and what they are doing

    And then there's the competition / allies / the others you also have a screen for. From here you can talk with them, exchange knowledge, declare war, make peace and see who's dead. All this of course, only if you have already encountered the other species.

    Want to play Ascendancy? Go to the downloads page to see where you can get it (legally and for free).