Terminus is a space-flight role-playing/action computer game by Vicarious Visions. It was released in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple Macintosh. Terminus won awards in the 1999 Independent Games Festival for "Technical Excellence" and "Innovation in Audio".
Terminus is outstanding in its implementation of Newtonian laws of motion, which means that objects are subject to inertia. Once accelerated, they float indefinitely into one direction, unless again accelerated into a different direction. This makes steering quite complicated, but mirrors actual behaviour in free space.
In Story mode, the player chooses one of four careers (United Earth League military, Mars Consortium militia, Marauder Pirate Clan, mercenary) and follows Terminus's single-player storyline, set in the year 2197. In 2000, Terminus was unusual among RPGs in that the player's actions can affect the ending of the storyline. Failing a mission, for example, may lead to a different ending than would have occurred if the mission had succeeded. One unique feature of Terminus is the story would progress with or without the player. The player could begin the game in story mode, then go off and do something else and the story missions/battles would still take place, reaching an outcome depending on which side eventually wins.
In Free mode, the player chooses a career and does the same as in Story mode, except there will be no storyline missions. In Gauntlet mode, the player outfits a ship with near-infinite money at their disposal, and faces several waves of attackers, with the object of staying alive for as long as possible.
Support for Terminus has long since ended. Although the game is still licensed by Vicarious Visions, the source code was licensed to the owner of the TerminusPoint website to allow continued development of the game and thus has been improved and enhanced.
In addition to hosting the enhanced version of the game, TerminusPoint also has links to live servers and other community sites.
Source: Wikipedia, "Terminus (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.