Master of Orion (MoO or MOO) is a critically acclaimed turn-based, 4X science fiction computer strategy game released in 1993 by MicroProse on the MS-DOS and Mac OS operating systems. The rights are currently held by Wargaming.net. The purpose of the game is to lead one of ten races to dominate the galaxy through a combination of diplomacy and conquest while developing technology, exploring and colonizing star systems.
Master of Orion is a turn-based game in which players alternate actions and decisions with computer-controlled opponents using a point-and-click interface as well as keyboard shortcuts to control the management of colonies, technology development, ship construction, inter-species diplomacy, and combat. The game begins with a single colonized homeworld, one colony ship, and two scout ships that can be used to explore nearby stars.
Victory is gained either by eliminating all opponents or by winning a vote on peaceful unification.
One planet is Orion, 'throne-world of the Ancients.' Orion is the most valuable research site in the galaxy, draws support for its owner in the High Council, and hosts several technological advancements including the unique 'death ray.' Orion also hosts a great robotic warship, the Guardian, that must be destroyed before the planet can be claimed.
Planetary population generates production, especially when assisted by factories. There is a limit on the number of factories a unit of population can operate, but players can increase this by researching and building upgrades. Lockable sliders are used to allocate a colony's output between ship construction, planetary defenses, factory construction, ecology, and research. Within each of these industry sectors, there is a fixed sequence of activities to which resources are allocated. For example, defense effort is used to upgrade missile bases, then to build or upgrade planetary shields, and finally to build additional missile bases. Military and spy maintenance is deducted in proportion from every colony's production.
A planet's output can also be transferred to the treasury at a loss. The treasury can also be increased by scrapping ships or missile bases or by gifts from other empires. Money can be given as a gift to other species, or used to boost a planet's production up to double the normal level.
The software generates a map randomly at the start of each game; the player's only influence over the map generator is the ability to choose the size of the galaxy and the number and difficulty of AI opponents. Star systems have at most one colonizable planet and a few have none.
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