Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, better known as N.O.V.A. for short, is an action-adventure game video game for the iPod and other apple products made for Apple by Gameloft. It was released on December 17, 2009 for iOS, WebOS and PSP and is one of the games first containing the Gameloft Live online gaming service. The game's hostiles (known as "xenos") are similar to those in the Metroid series as well as the Halo series.
In the far future, Earth was no longer able to sustain life on its crust. Because of that, huge satellites called "Near Orbitals", were designed and built for people to live on. In order to protect themselves, mankind formed a group called the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance.
An ex-officer, named Kal Wardin, is approached by two soldiers of the Alliance, who proceed to knock him unconscious before gearing him up with a 'Mobile Armoured Suit'. The suit is equipped with a female Al called Yelena, who tells Wardin that the Alliance has recalled him to duty in a time of emergency. She tells him that his objective is to investigate the Colonial Pride, an Alliance space frigate, which recently went silent for unknown reasons. Wardin heads over to a nearby shuttle before taking off into orbit.
On board the Colonial Pride, Wardin finds that the ship has been attacked by a mysterious alien group which the humans know only as 'Xenos'. The crew have been slaughtered, and so General Korolev orders Wardin to activate the Pride's self-destruct process. After fighting through a number of Xenos, Wardin is able to start the process, but he is also contacted by an enigmatic AI named Prometheus on the way. Prometheus does not give away his identity, but briefly implies that he can help Wardin to fight the Xenos. Wardin then escapes from the exploding frigate in a shuttle, and makes his way back to the ground below on New Ceres.
Back on the surface, the Xenos have launched an attack by entering the Alliance's territory through portals. Wardin makes his way towards an Alliance outpost (Epsilon Bunker), which has been completely overrun by Xenos. Upon entering the outpost, he finds that a huge, spider-like beast has been sent in by the Xenos, and has killed many of the soldiers. Wardin manages to kill the monster and purge the Xenos from the base, before being redirected to a Xeno-controlled mining facility in an Arctic area. Prometheus also points out to Wardin that there was another frigate alongside the Colonial Pride, which mysteriously disappeared and is key to their investigation.
Wardin reaches the facility, which he finds to be the place of the Xenos' largest portal. Prometheus warns Wardin that should he succeed in cutting off the Xenos' reinforcements, the Alliance will not need him any more and may come after him to kill him. Wardin starts to close the portal, but Yelena states that Prometheus was correct about the Alliance's intentions for him, and she is then deactivated by the Alliance. A group of soldiers are then sent to the area to 'retrieve' him, but Prometheus tells Wardin to escape through the portal to avoid execution. Wardin jumps into the portal and disappears in a flash of light.
Wardin emerges in a mysterious alien city - a Xeno-controlled asteroid - and the portal closes behind him. Prometheus explains his true identity: he was originally a normal N.O.V.A. AI, like Yelena, but in an accident, he became fully self-conscious, was forgotten about and then went about helping people such as Kal. As Wardin progresses through the city, he comes across numerous terminals which Prometheus is able to read to determine the Xenos' identities, as well as their motives for the attack. The city actually belongs to a supremely intelligent race known as 'Those Who Judge', or just 'Judges'. The Judges currently live in stasis, and have left control of the city to an 'Automated Command Core. The Xenos are actually mere thugs, correctly known as 'Caretakers' - they patrol the city to protect the Judges in stasis, but also act as the Judges' soldiers. Prometheus also explains that the other frigate alongside the Colonial Pride had crash-landed on a meteor near the alien city. The Automated Defence Program had incorrectly assumed the crash as a human attack on the city, and had subsequently ordered the Caretakers to attack first the Pride and then the surface below.
Wardin makes his way to the city centre, where he finds the core of the Defence Program, known as the 'Citadel Guardian'. The Guardian attacks Wardin, but he manages to defeat it by destroying its weapons one by one. Upon the Guardian's defeat, the Program shuts down, presumably ending the Caretaker invasion. A number of holograms of the Judges then appear before Wardin. They tell him that they have seen from him how some humans are able to restore hope, but others, like the leaders of the Alliance, only want wealth and power. They then agree that all of the innocent humans will be spared, but the others, such as the general who commanded Wardin's execution, will be thrown into oblivion. They also declare that Prometheus, who did a lot to protect humanity, will become a representative of the human race, and that Yelena will also be restored.
- (Un)Happy to Help
- A Spark in the Void
- Falling into Paradise
- Falling into Paradise Part 2
- Firefight Part 2
- Wrong Way Out of Eden
- The Mirror, the Ghost and the Gambit
- The Celestial Citadel
- Judgement Day
- Judgement Day Part 2
- Red Demons
- Corrupted Marine
- Heavy Demons
- Alien Abomination (boss)
- Automated Command Core (boss)
- Cargo Ship