From FreeSpace Wiki
Released: 26th July 2005
Author: Ransom Arceihn
Cobra's GTSC Plato
Lieutenant Sunder Marcel never particularly enjoyed his assignment in the Luyten patrol. The pay wasn't bad, but this far from the central systems things got a little hazy. Nestled within asteroid belts and lurking over scarcely travelled supply lanes, it seemed there was always some desperate set of renegades waiting for their day's profit to come drifting by in poorly defended transport crates. The three pilots who jumped his convoy today, however, were not interested in money.
They need his help, and they're not prepared to take no for an answer. Already it's much too late to run; the landslide of events has long since started, and even now its dire effects are beginning to take hold. Things that were once clear now have no meaning, and reality is beginning to slip ...
Everyone has a limit ...
Transcend has been criticised for having a confusing or downright incomprehensible story. From the beginning of the project I wanted to make a campaign that showed rather than told the story to the player and force them to work things out for themselves, in contrast to that of Sync which had a few missions that were little more than one of the characters spouting exposition for the player's benefit. As a result the campaign would certainly not be to everyone's taste, and to be honest it was received far better than I was expecting.
The theories that rose from the story's ambiguity were both interesting to read and pleasantly surprising. More than one got extremely close to my version of events.
Another thing it's been criticised for is repetitive missions. I don't really have anything to say about that other than it's completely true and I'm not sure what I was thinking with some of those missions, which is particularly embarrassing as Sync suffered from the same problem.
One misconception I'd like to clear up is that Transcend is not a sequel to Sync. It takes place in the same continuity, but it isn't a chapter in that storyline. It's a spin-off, in other words.
Some references of varying significance which may or may not be of any interest to anyone.
GTD Voran - Voran is a demo character in the MMORPG Clan Lord.
GTD Brax - Another demo character from the same game.
GTC Tanner - Tanner Mirabel is a character in Alastair Reynold's Chasm City.
GTT Incontrovertible - A friend of mine wrote a fanfiction for David Brin's Uplift series which involved a ship by this name. I don't know if he made it up or if it's actually in Uplift.
GTC Brice - Name of a character from the film Below.
Transcend was actually complete in late March. However, due to a slew of problems, specifically Taristin's Kelpie being unplayable (the game crashed when you shot at it, a complication of the 3ds max pof exporter plugin) and SCP bugs, it was delayed for four more months until everything was fixed and the campaign was released.
Transcend has got to be one of the best FreeSpace mods I have ever played! Really well thought out storyline and all-around great mission construction! (I'm still wondering how the developer made the missions the way he did!) On the upside of the mod, Transcend really has a spooky feeling to it after the first mission (enough to the point that after I emerge from the first nebula, I was afraid of going into another nebula without wingmen or a capitol ship battle going on in the background!) and the mod is open-ended enough to keep you asking yourself questions about the story of the mod. On the downside, though, this mod does tend to get kind of repetitive until you get to the nebula. I mean, it's like you fight through one gauntlet, and then you more or less do it again. Other than that minor problem, this is a mod worthy of playing over and over again! 9.75 out of 10, in my books! - NFSRacer, callsign "Cypher"
The transcend campaign is a masterpiece. The author who thought of all this is a hero. This campaign thrilled me, scared me, and entertained me. I would say it's almost a stand-alone game... The triggers are simply amazingly well done as well as every details. Fantastic, eery atmosphere and gameplay. Some parts were actually scary. If you are a fan of scary science fiction, I definitely recommended downloading and playing this campaign... And i think it's integrated in the latest SCP anyway. Good Job. ~KR
Transcend redefined the tools for storytelling with FS2 and the types of stories that could be told. Transcend is one of the campaigns you MUST play to really understand what the SCP engine is capable of. Transcend's gameplay is mostly solid but occasionally dips, but as to telling a story...this is about as a good as anyone has done to date with the FreeSpace engine. (Even now two years later!) With a story that brings to mind for me Dean Knootz stories such as Phantoms and Dragon Tears, Transcend lives up to its name by transcending the boundaries of all previous campaigns in what can be done with FreeSpace as a medium. Ngtm1r 15:55, 14 June 2008 (CDT)
Transcend plays almost identical to Sync, which means that if you're wanting to have fun playing a space warfare simulator, Transcend will disappoint you. However, if you're looking for an interesting and at parts Twilight Zone-ish story, then you're going to enjoy this. Ngtm1r's comment above is accurate--Transcend tries to tell a story with FreeSpace as a medium; not give you great gameplay. The story telling is great in that regard. My problem still lies with me wanting Transcend to be a game and not just a short story told by cut-scenes. --Ioustinos