Players have been traveling the stars in Elite: Dangerous for years, thinking they were alone. But over time, the developers have been planting evidence that, perhaps, that wasn't the case. Last night, all that investigation and speculation culminated in a player having a terrifying encounter.
One player has tried to shoot down the object, but wasn't able to make a dent.
I haven't played a second of Elite: Dangerous, but if I ran into this when I was used to quietly mining resources and bringing them from one part of the galaxy to the next, I'd crap my pants. Doubly so if I was wearing a VR headset.
Previous Elite games have featured these creatures, dubbed the Thargoids, but they've been mysteriously absent from Elite: Dangerous. The developers have been teasing the emergence of aliens since April 2015, as excellently chronicled by this Eurogamer piece back in January.
It began with a post on the Elite: Dangerous forum, published back in April 2015. A Commander called "Dr Arcanonn" had read a question and answer session with Frontier boss David Braben, in which he was asked it the game would eventually feature things to discover that were not stellar bodies.
His answer: it already does.
His interest piqued, Dr Arcanonn posted on the Elite: Dangerous forum to say that Braben's comment meant the game had to feature something new, something hidden. Something alien? That post sparked what is now dubbed "the Threadnaught", a gargantuan online discussion of over 100,000 posts. The Threadnaught is now in its ninth incarnation. At one point, it had grown so large it broke Frontier's website.
It's unclear what happens next, but the developers have confirmed the discovery of "something...strange." I can definitely tell you I'll be be paying attention.