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Saved by alexburlton
on May 14, 2008 at 5:55:53 pm

The ESCorp

by alexburlton



The ESCorp is a company dedicated to space mining in the universe. It's workforce consists solely of prisoners who are seeking to earn their freedom again. The work is dangerous and the rewards are small but, for the lucky few who stick it out, it is possible to earn the right to return to your home planet and once again enjoy your freedom.


The missions

To complete your prison term, you must complete a variety of missions for the ESCorp. These vary greatly, beginning with simple retrieval missions and eventually leading to full on invasion of planets and travelling to the outer reaches of the universe. The rewards you receive from the ESCorp are all mining-related, and so by working hard you can gradually improve your ability to mine to a point where you can carry out the most difficult tasks and earn your freedom. Of course, this is not the path that everyone chooses, and it should be noted that an alternate company exists who are against the ESCorp and its policies. This group is known as FURI.


The choice

For all early prisoners, the equipment of your envelope is too primitive to try and defy the ESCorp and escape outside their reach. However, many do eventually turn to FURI as a result of the ESCorp's harsh approach, and the first step to doing this is crossing the Karbonis Belt. Please note that once you have done this, the ESCorp will essentially disown you and it will be impossible for you to go back and earn your freedom. But it can be argued that joining FURI is another type of freedom in itself, freedom from the corporate monster that is the ESCorp.

For prisoners who wish to stick with the ESCorp your path is simple, you must continue to complete missions for them (the most infamous of which are the Cleanup missions) until they agree to your freedom. There will eventually come a time when you are allowed to leave the Karbonis Belt as the ESCorp recognises you as a loyal miner, but please note that at this stage FURI will not take interest in signing you up for their side, as you are deemed to be in favour of the ESCorp and its policies. After completing 52 cleanup missions it is clear that you are loyal and have no intentions of leaving the ESCorp, so you are allowed to extend your horizons to the whole universe.


The debate

In gameplay terms, both companies come with their own advantages. Both yield different unique items to use on your exploration, and it is up to you to decide which you prefer and who you will side with. Also to be considered are the missions themselves. For many, the deal breaker are the cleanup missions, as many find these tedious and cannot stand the idea of having to do 52 of them before they can leave the Karbonis Belt.

In terms of ethics, it is never made clear as to how you became a prisoner, but the ESCorp certainly seems to be a shifty corporation. Clearly capable of telling lies (what was that it said about photo-transit to earth after the invasion mission?), the ESCorp subjects its prisoners to a brutal life of travelling through the universe, and it seems only a few prisoners make it out alive. You meet your first victim of the ESCorp's regieme in Douglas, after the Distress Call mission, and no doubt there are many more throughout the expansive universe. Whilst it is true that becoming a miner is a choice, it is not made clear what the other choices were, although it does seem as though mining was the only one that could lead to freedom.

For these reasons many choose FURI, the work is less tedious and you are overall treated more like a human there. It's difficult to make any form of moral decision, however, when you don't know why you are a prisoner in the first place.

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