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Stop the presses! Alien life has finally been discovered…in a video game. But its still really cool. Players in the space sim Elite: Dangerous have been following the developers hints across the expansive 400 billion sun universe for the past two years and they’ve finally made first contact. Its good seeing a space sim developer that can finally keep their promise. Take notes, Hello Games.
The discovery of alien life within the game has much of the gaming community excited for various reasons. The first being the years of cryptic hints and teasing by developers at Frontier Developments, but mostly because its done in a really impressive way that even none fans should appreciate. The most impressive part of this, however, is how they managed to keep the whole thing safe from data miners, preserving a massive and literally game-changing surprise for players that now has the entire Elite: Dangerous community flipping out.
All the commotion started two days ago when one player, DP Sayre, was on a routine hyperspace jump only to get pulled out of hyperspace for unknown reasons, something that has never happened before to any players of the game. Sayre’s ship shut down, then a massive alien ship appeared out of nowhere to scan his ship and deliver a mysterious message before moving on. Sayre uploaded the entire encounter via Xbox DVR and space sim history was made. Shortly after, Frontier Developments confirmed the authenticity of the encounter on Twitter. When asked for a further statement, the developers said to Ars Technica:
We are currently investigating reports of unusual sightings around the Elite: Dangerous galaxy, but we are otherwise unable to comment on galactic rumor and speculation.
Now a number of players are trying get into contact with the aliens–known as Thargoids–and documenting where they are running into them. The subreddit has numerous coordinates and video encounters listed so players can try and track them down. Generally, the subreddit is just a huge mess of players freaking out about aliens. There’s even a thread where users fans discovered that the logo for Galnet, the in-universe news organization, actually looks suspiciously like a Thargoid ship. It could be a tease, or maybe its just shaped like that because that’s what galaxies look like.
The existence of the Thargoids has been teased for years, dating further back than even Elite: Dangerous itself. They’re a hostile, incredibly powerful insectoid race that were featured in a previous space sim, Frontier: First Encounters, and have popped up in the lore of their other titles as well, which may cause some fans to scour through Planet Coaster for any signs of the mysterious aliens. In 1984’s Elite, for instance, players could sometimes run into Thargoids during hyperspace jumps gone bad. These encounters would usually wouldn’t end very well for the players.
Back in 2012, when Elite: Dangerous was in the middle of getting its Kickstarter campaign funded, executive producer Michael Brooks said the Thargoids were still around. He later added on Frontier’s official forums, “We’ll be doing something far more with them in a future release.”
Its still unknown what exactly Frontier Developments plans to do with the aliens now that they’ve been discovered, but one thing is clear: fans are hyped and eager for more.