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The Settled Systems of Starfield Explained

The Settled Systems of Starfield Explained

As we near the one-year-to-release mark for the game, Bethesda Game Studios shared a new look at their highly anticipated sci-fi RPG, Starfield, via a short video hosted by Design Director Emil Pagliarulo. Bethesda has sent a few short videos filled with lore insights and concept art for Starfield to people enrolled in the “Constellation” program, basically, a fancy way to describe a mailing list but theatrics aside, fans who sign up on Starfield’s website gain access to these videos before they are made public. 

Today’s video is titled “The Settled Systems” and Pagliarulo shares some specific details regarding the physical setting of Starfield as well as some additional background on some of the factions in the game. In this article, we will be going over not only information from this newest video but also some of the other previously released videos that offer additional background information on these places and factions.

The titular “Settled Systems” are located in a pocket of the Milky Way galaxy approximately 50 lightyears away from our own solar system. The Settled Systems are home to a number of factions, although the two major powers appear to be the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective. Pagliarulo describes that 20 years prior to the events of the game, which takes place in the year 2330, the Freestar Collective and the United Colonies were locked in a bloody war, but are now holding an uneasy peace.

In a prior Constellation video, we have also learned that the capital city of the United Colonies is the city of New Atlantis, a high-tech metropolis that is described as a “melting pot” and “a true reflection of the future of our world”. The United Colonies are also described as being the most established and powerful military and political faction in the game. 

The capital of the Freestar Collective is known as Akila City, a settlement that evokes images of Star Wars Mos Eisley. The Freestar Collective is all about individuality and personal freedom, ideals that are shared across a number of different star systems. Akila City is surrounded by a massive wall that keeps out ferocious predators. But what might be more interesting to note is how the idea of this walled-off individuality clashes directly with the United Colonies' “melting pot” mentality. Perhaps that uneasy peace is a little more uneasy than was initially believed?

But back to the Settled Systems video, Pagliarulo goes into a number of “human threats” that include armored mercenaries, pirates under the banner of the Crimson Fleet, violent spacers, and even a faction of religious zealots. Some of these sound similar to factions that we have seen in other Bethesda Game Studios games, but the faction of note here is the Crimson Fleet. Thanks to some eagle-eyed fans and a generous HD behind-the-scenes clip from Emil Pagliarulo’s desk, we have information on the Crimson Fleet from what appears to be an in-game notice or warning about the faction’s increasing foothold in the region. The note reads:

“Urgent Communique”

“Please Be on Alert”

“Pirates of the Crimson Fleet have extended far beyond the Kryx system, and have established footholds in the Sagan, Cheyenne, Lunara, and Narlon systems. Both SysDef and the Vanguard are committed to ridding United Colonies space of these parasites.”

“This is clearly no longer just a Freestar Collective problem.”

“Also be advised that the “Crimson Fleet” is not a single organized entity or faction. Rather, it is a loose confederation of individual captains, all organized under the same banner.”

“Shown here is the symbol or “jolly roger” they’ve adopted. Anyone displaying that symbol is assumed to be associated with the Crimson Fleet, and can be terminated at will.”

So we have a massive military and political power, a walled-off and individualistic confederation, and a group of pirates that are festering throughout the system. Perhaps we will be able to ally ourselves with these factions and complete quests that will boost a specific group’s power throughout the Settled Systems. Also, that note about ships being terminated that display the Crimson Fleet logo might be a hint that we will be able to customize our space-faring ships? 

There is also a little bit of information touched on at the end of the video about the in-game group known as Constellation. As the player, you are a new member of Constellation whose mission is to uncover the many mysteries of the galaxy. In the very first video in this series titled “Into the Starfield”, Game Director Todd Howard described Constellation as “the last group of space explorers”. So clearly in our quest to solve the greatest mystery of the galaxy, we will be exploring the farthest corners, coming in contact with many different factions and groups of people, and undoubtedly getting tangled up in a messy power struggle for control over the stars. 

That’s a good amount of the available information regarding some of the locations and factions we will be interacting within Starfield. There are a few other videos available to watch over on Bethesda’s YouTube channel, complete with additional concept art which really gets the mind wandering thinking about the possibilities of this ambitious game. Are you excited about Starfield? Which faction is resonating the most with you? 

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