DarkStar One is a space trading and combat simulator game developed by German studio Ascaron and published by CDV.
The PC version of the game was officially released on June 16, 2006 in the European Union, August 14, 2006 in North America and subsequently digitally via (GOG.com) on December 17, 2006 (English only), and (DotEmu) on May 19, 2008 (English, French, German). The Xbox 360 version was released on July 20, 2008 under the title Darkstar One: Broken Alliance by Kalypso Media, featuring 1080p and improved gameplay.
The DarkStar One is an advanced, partly organic starship that was built by the protagonist's late father, Simon Jarvis, using technologies from an ancient race. Jarvis was the co-founder and co-owner of a security firm, SimRob Industries; and his business partner and friend, Robert Altair, gives Jarvis's son Kayron, the protagonist, the starship after his father's death. After Kayron becomes familiarised with the controls of the DarkStar One, Robert tells him the manner of his father's death. The weapons system on Jarvis's ship had been sabotaged by Jarvis's former co-pilot Jack Forrester. Robert identifies Forrester as a traitor and murderer.
While Kayron sets out to hunt Forrester down in revenge, a series of attacks takes place on research stations across the Galactic Union (GU). The attacking ships, identified simply as drones, appear to be a type of vessel completely unknown to the GU, and Robert convinces the Galactic Council that they are of Thul origin, a genetically engineered human civilization. This antagonises all races within the Galactic Union against the Thul.
In a state of heightened tension, military units are mobilised to the GU's borders in anticipation of galactic war: precisely what the Union was founded to guard against. Unfortunately, this leads to an escalation of unrest already present within GU territory: border disputes between the Arrack and Oc'to, and an increase in piracy and smuggling in the more remote and independent systems.
Soon Kayron meets a pilot called Eona, who – enigmatically – is also looking for Forrester, but she does not divulge why. Eona's mysterious past, of legally questionable nature, means she has many contacts otherwise unavailable to Kayron, mostly linked to the criminal underworld. She becomes Kayron's co-pilot.
Their adventure together leads them to Eona's sudden kidnapping and her subsequent rescue, the collecting of information from four research stations pertaining to Oc'to scientist Dr Zarkov's research into the drone attacks, and the eventual discoveries of Forrester and Dr Zarkov. There is also the revelation that it was Robert who was behind Kayron's father's death, for which he framed Forrester, and that the Thul are not responsible for the drone attacks. A highly advanced, extra-galactic race called the S'kaa is behind the attacks, and they are bent on galactic domination. Their primary means of achieving this is to control individuals in power, including Robert, and intimidate them into divulging where the weakest and most easily conquerable planet systems are. They also exploit tensions already present in the galaxy's politics, subtly manipulating races into wars that will weaken all sides.
With help from allies who they meet during their travels – including the Thul cruiser Eoghane II – Kayron and Eona manage to find and reach the system where the S’kaa mothership is located. Together they formulate a plan of attack: using the DarkStar One’s unique plasma cannon, they create a rupture in the S’kaa ship’s (otherwise impenetrable) shields, shortly after Robert – who is held captive inside the mothership for his failure to kill Kayron earlier in the story – double-crosses the S’kaa and sends a message to Kayron detailing the mothership's shields. With the shield penetrated, Kayron manoeuvres the DarkStar One through the ship’s maze-like outer hull and into its core. After destroying the shield generator in the core, he flees from the ensuing explosion and flies back out to space.
The S’kaa escape by detaching the top of their mothership from its main body and activating a portal back to their home territory. The rest of the mothership disintegrates. The DarkStar One and its allies destroy the portal beam generators that opened the portal, thereby preventing the S’kaa from returning. Victorious, they all return to the Thul cruiser on which the final battle was planned.
Eona leaves the DarkStar One afterwards, but programs the ship's computer with her voice so that Kayron will "never be alone". The mission log reads "No more story missions available", but the open-ended activities of trading, escorting merchant ships, carrying out mercenary assignments and fending off pirate attacks can still be done.