Acheron is a relatively small total conversion project created by Crusader Alpha. Originally known as Escape Velocity Darkstar, the name was changed in late 2007 and the universe was heavily modified to increase the sophistication of the game and decrease its size.
Acheron was released on June 10, 2008. Acheron does not currently have any storylines; however, it has been confirmed that a significant official storyline expansion is currently underway, known for now as "AE".
Crusader Alpha is allowing developers to create expansions and plug-ins for Acheron.
Following are several ships known to exist in the Acheron Universe.
Chariot – A relatively basic starting ship, the Chariot exists in several incarnations and can be heavily modified to fit specific needs. An experienced pilot can use a Chariot as a reasonable light fighter, albeit with more difficulty than a ship specifically targeted for this role.
Carvingspawn – A fast, relatively dangerous light fighter, available in two variants. This ship is specifically useful for quick, light combat or extended combat against more heavily armed opponents. AI variants can be extremely fast and agile.
Sabrewing – Acheron’s primary heavy fighter. The Sabrewing is used extensively by every government in the game. It has ample expansion room, relatively high speed and maneuverability, and considerably heavier armament than a Carvingspawn. Available in two primary variants.
Silverscrall – The largest and most destructive ship in Acheron, the Silverscrall is a corvette that has a good deal of room for cargo and outfits. It only has one variant, which carries eight Skyscarrers and two turrets, along with a few missiles and rockets. There is only room for one additional turret, but the Silverscrall is extremely powerful and can take on a Sabrewing and attain victory quite easily.
Following are several weapons known to exist in the Acheron Universe.
Skyscather – A low-output blast weapon, the skyscather is useful in lighter battles or for careful attack, such as for disabling. The Skyscather turret is the only fully turreted blast weapon available thus far in Acheron.
Skyscarrer – A high-output variant of the Skyscather. The Skyscarrer is more widely used in heavier combat than it’s smaller counterpart, and has a longer range.
Tactical Grenades – available in several forms, tactical grenades can be helpful for strategic purposes in specific combat and non-combat situations. Specific uses include heavy ionization and asteroid mining. Temporary gravity well grenades and several other new types of tactical weapons will be available in AE.
Scorpion Projectiles – Scorpion Rockets and Missiles, each with individual launchers and payloads. These are the primary ranged weapons in the Acheron universe. Long-range combat is relatively limited.
There is currently an official expansion and modification in development for Acheron. Known currently as "AE", the expansion has replaced the previously noted "Renegade Storyline" expansion and members from that expansion have joined the official team. The expansion will dramatically increase the scale of Acheron from a simple set of three systems to a much larger galaxy, with several additional governments and three full storylines. The planned scope of AE is still smaller than that of EV: Nova, however, and the galaxy, while larger than Acheron's original release, is not currently planned to exceed the size of any of the games in the Escape Velocity series.