Cortex Command

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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 would never recover. Once peaceful, the world was awash in bloodshed, wracked by wars backed by holy men. And in humanity's darkest hour, the boldest decisions were the only ones left.

The rush of war forged a curious symbiosis between man and machine. Cybernetics led to casting off the entire body. Brain and mind melded with machines, the person became more spirit than creature-- one mind, but one body was no longer its limit.

This new form offered the only escape from the corpse of our world. Needing life support only for a brain, it became possible to build interstellar rocket ships for the decades of flight needed to reach new worlds. And as this interstellar era dawned, so did peaceful contact with other intelligent life in the universe. In time, interstellar trade flourished, and with it rapid expansion. Humans again knew peace and prosperity.

But war always comes home. Expansion created an ever growing hunger for resources. So, once again, all prepare to fight in order to assume... Cortex Command.


Note: Techs replaced Factions in Build 27.


These are standard, cloned troops. They represent typical military factions, and are usually clad in green. They are strong versus most gun fights, but are slow. They come pre-equipped with helmets, which can stand a single headshot before death. Their weapons come in a variety of types.


Cheap and easy to build, these robots can be used for light attack roles. The tutorial mission is your first introduction to these guys, you are given the task of maneuvering your dummies in a small obstacle course to get acquainted with the mechanics of controlling a body. Dummies are well-rounded, and are also light, allowing them to move relatively quickly, however they are easily defeated by stronger enemies and should not be depended upon to hold a base.


A collection of "rebels" or "space vikings" owing to significant Norse ancestry. They use antique weapons, and recruit civilians, prisoners, and the poor. Effectively, cannon fodder. Though demonstrably clones, there are six individually named Ronin characters, each with unique characteristics which lend them to different combat roles. Ronin have jetpacks but lack armor.


A recently added race, made by Capnbubs, little is known of their character. The Browncoat tech fields light and heavy infantry, both with heavy-duty jetpacks. Health can outlast napalm. Most Browncoat weapons are flame-based.


More recent than Browncoats with even less known. Imperatus field only heavy infantry robots and currently are the only Tech with their own brainbot (all were Trade Star's before Build 27). The heavy-calibre Bullpup Assault Rifle is their signature and, so far, only weapon.

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.


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

Techion / Whitebots

Until recently, the Techion were being called Whitebots. They represent a somewhat elite faction. The current dropship and rocket were said to belong to the Whitebot faction included as a stub in previous Builds. Although not shown in any game demonstrations to date, they have been spotted in the opening cinematic in a conflict against the Coalition featuring a large and powerful-looking brainmech. They also appear in artwork depicting them land from a MK1 Dropship.


Became "Culled Clone" units sold by Trade Star as of Build 27. They formerly were a faction first encountered in a "Zombie Cave" mission also featuring a Ronin hit squad. Any connection between the groups is speculative, but both are distinguished by a lack of armor and offering cheaply bought units and equipment.


Aliens, sure, you really can't tell what 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.


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.

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