Cortex Command

From Data Realms Wiki

Revision as of 20:55, 29 June 2012 by Brendan (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search




Cortex Command is the primary project of Data Realms LLC. The game is still in development.

"In Cortex Command, you play as a prospector and explorer in a time where complete cybernetics and whole-body amputations are common practice. Your severed brain is able to control many different types of bodies remotely from its underground bunker: clones, robots, spaceships, defensive turrets, and so on.

A typical scenario starts with a building phase where you get to construct your own bunker complex from scratch. Then you need to mine precious gold from the deformable pixel terrain in order to buy more and better ships, soldiers, weapons, digging tools, and deployable defenses. Use these assets to defend your disembodied brain and destroy or bankrupt your opponent!

Control your team of remote bodies either directly or let the friendly AI do your bidding through real-time strategy elements built into the game. Play with up to four players in split screen -- 2 vs. 2 players, or all four cooperatively against the computer. Eventually, you can play the campaign missions together with friends..."


Earth was over.

Once peaceful, our world was awash in bloodshed, wracked by wars backed by holy men. It was humanity's darkest hour, and the boldest decisions were simply all we had left.

Forged in the rush of war, a curious symbiosis between man and machine formed. Our numbers bleeding away, technology enabled the survivors to control robots and clones from safety. And in the end, we found our bodies an obsolete constraint, and cast them off. Brain and mind interfaced with machines, we became more spirit than flesh-- one person living through many bodies.

And in this new form we attained escape from the corpse of our world. Interstellar rocket ships for the decades-long flights to reach new worlds became common once life support for entire bodies was unnecessary.

Fleeing into the dark unknown, humanity discovered it was not alone, but also not important. Humanity struggled for acceptance in this alien community, eventually forging the Orion Spur Amalgam. Interstellar trade flourished, and with it came rapid expansion. As the era of faster-than-light dawned, humanity could live again in peace and prosperity.

But human nature wasn't cast off as easily. For every city and space station compounded the ever-growing hunger for resources. Worlds were stripped in civilized sectors where law ensured conquest by the highest bidder. So all eyes turned outward, to star systems where no law existed but what you could enforce.

As the gold rush brings commanders from several rival groups to one such world beyond the far eastern fringes of the OSA, all prepare to assume... Cortex Command.


Note: Techs replaced Factions in Build 27. Techs are distinct groups with their own sets of units, weapons, tools, bombs, and even vehicles, as well as access to Free Trade products. The player acts as a kind of local commander or franchisee of one of the Techs competing with the others. Cost to buy from Techs other than your own are double.


A militarized organization, the Coalition produce a large array of units and weaponry to choose from. They are versatile and powerful, making them a strong ally or a dangerous foe.


These robots were originally designed as test subjects for weapons, vehicle safety measures, and other lethal experiments, but an AI controller became sentient and broke off from its manufacturers, starting a new line of robots and weapons to defend itself.


Rag-tag parties of bandits who prey on weak and unsuspecting explorers. Their soldiers are unarmored and weapons primitive, but they manage to get the job done.


A strong mercenary group who are fearsome when confronted up-close. What they lack in range is made up for in durability, allowing them to close distances while soaking bullets.


The Imperatus rely on pure brute force and the reliability of their sturdy and easy to produce armored units. They use simple low rate of fire guns and cannons which tirelessly deals out good damage.

Free Trade

This is the "default tech" as any buyable item not assigned to any .rte tech will be in the top-level of the Buy Menu. You cannot campaign as Free Trade, nor are they part of skirmishes.

Free Trade is a super corporation which owns and operates TradeStars, including TradeStar Midas which transports everything you purchase in the Buy Menu. They also sell a few units and weapons of their own as well as most all the tools available.


Some of the factions that are featured in the game. Some of these have yet to be implemented and there are more to be revealed. Some are only involved with services or storyline fluff, thus may not have soldiers or even equipment for sale.


The critters that inhabit the gold-rich planet you're on, primarily crabs. Unfortunately for them, your fighting and mining is killing them and is laying waste to their planet.


An elite faction formed by a few high-tech corporations. They focus on expensive units and exotic weaponry, and have the distinction of being selected by Free Trade to occassionally provide security for TradeStar activities.
Known until recently as the "Whitebots", they appear in the opening cinematic for Cortex Command but have yet to appear in any game demonstrations. However, they are actively being developed post-Build27.

Green Dummies

Largely identical to the familiar orange Dummies, these general purpose labor robots are only for use in the Tutorial Mission. They are what the Dummy forces were before their AI control unit became a sentient computer.


Aliens, sure; you really can't tell what species the brain is can you? You might be a Zxolophlox controlling those human bodies, because human bodies makes nice organic meat puppets. The opening cinematic briefly shows various alien lifeforms that may be integrated into the game.


Alchiral is one of the largest manufacturers of organic human bodies. Most or all TradeStars in sectors with human populations carry a compliment of Alchiral VAT arrays. The technology is under strict control by Alchiral's overseers to ensure that their monopoly is maintained.

Undead Became "Culled Clone" units sold by Free Trade as of Build 27. They formerly were a faction first encountered in a "Zombie Cave" mission also featuring a Ronin hit squad.


Cortex Command uses a simple variable-base object designing system to allow modders to create their own entities, along with lua for more complex features. Modding is easy to learn for Cortex Command, and currently there are many mods being released every day. Released mods may range from serious and realistic to fun and silly.

To find and download mods, you can go to Mod Releases.
For help installing mods, you can go to How to install mods.


The first recorded development of Cortex Command started on the 22nd February 2001, and was originally called D.I.R.T, by Daniel Tabar (a.k.a. DaTa, or Data), and a working alpha was released publicly some years later. Since then "Cortex Command" has gone through numerous changes and updates.

As the game carried on DaTa realized that he wasn't exactly the best artist and sought the help of Promster (a.k.a. Prometheus). Promster's graphical changes were implemented on the 27th of July, 2004 and gave Cortex Command the graphical style that it is now known for.

In 2008, he contracted several members of the community to do work for the game. These contributors included capnbubs, TheLastBanana and numgun. Following a huge amount of community support, CaveCricket48 was included onto the team, shortly followed by Lizardheim, and Abdul Alhazred.

The time lapse between public releases has occasionally been extensive, and it was for this reason, amongst other things, that the developer numgun left the team, and indeed the community. There was a gap of two years between builds 23 and 24, which was due to a lack of dedication from Data himself, and between those builds it was felt very much by the community that not enough had been accomplished. Following the release of build 24, Data improved his relations with the fans, and gave regular updates via his Twitter Updates. Very quickly build 25 was released, which was, by all accounts, a rousing success.

Build 27, the last public testing release before the full version of the game, incorporated a nearly fully working campaign, and de-activated the ability to injure team-mates, amongst other modding tools.

The project has been in development for eleven and a half years. It has been submitted to the Independent Games Festival four times, and the forth time it won two awards; one for technical excellence and the other an audience award. Cortex Command has a feature on the Great Games Experiment, and was featured in Play magazine. It was also one of the prestigious Humble Indie Bundles, where it was widely well received.

Personal tools