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Elite: Dangerous players make first contact with aliens after years of waiting

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The Thargoids arrive

Elite: Dangerous
Frontier Developments

The Elite: Dangerous universe just got a lot bigger (and a lot scarier). Players of Frontier Developments’ space sim made first contact with the game’s insectoid alien race, known as the Thargoids, today, more than two years after Elite: Dangerous was officially released.

The first encounter with the Thargoids — or at least first video evidence of it — comes from someone playing the game on Xbox One. Player “DP Sayre” uploaded clips of their run-in with the alien ship to Xbox DVR. Even if you’re not an Elite: Dangerous player, the encounter feels spooky and intimidating, as the player’s ship is pulled out of “witch space” and appears helpless as the Thargoids scan their disabled spacecraft.

Here’s a look at that encounter, which currently has the Elite: Dangerous community freaking out.

After the clip was uploaded, Elite: Dangerous’ developer appeared to confirm the legitimacy of the Thargoid encounter on Twitter.

Reports are now coming in from multiple players who have run into Thargoids, and players on Reddit are compiling a known list of locations where encounters have happened.

The Thargoid are a hostile, insectoid race and have appeared in previous Frontier games. Frontier Developments has said it planned to feature the aliens in Elite: Dangerous as far back as 2012, when the space sim was still in its Kickstarter-backed infancy.

“The Thargoids are still around,” said Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael Brookes in response to a question from a backer. The following year, Brookes said the aliens would be in the game’s initial release, but in a limited capacity.

“Thargoids are in the initial release, but only as encounters,” he wrote on Frontier Developments’ forums. “We'll be doing something far more with them in a future release.”

What’s in store for Elite: Dangerous players now that the Thargoid have appeared is still a mystery, one that a virtual galaxy is now rallying to unravel.