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Welcome to Project Mercury, Elite Dangerous’ diplomatic response to the Thargoids

Elite Thargoids

Elite Dangerous’ war with its very own existential threat is heating up. The Thargoids reappeared in Frontier’s space sim last year, and sightings, and more importantly conflicts, have been cropping up across the galaxy.

A group of intrepid Elite players have spent months studying the Thargoids.

But one player has decided that violence is not the option, and is instead opting for a more diplomatic approach. Player Benjamin “Heisenberh6626” Bahr has been working on a means of communicating with the Thargoids, even if Frontier haven’t allowed for this kind of approach in-game.

In an thread on the Elite forums, Bahr suggests that even though “we currently have no in-game methods of contacting the aliens known as Thargoids, I propose we at least make sure that Frontier realizes there are CMDR’s who attempt to do this on a roleplaying level.”

Bahr has spent a year researching the Thargoids, culminating in Project Mercury. The project is Bahr’s attempt to communicate with the aliens, using sounds taken from them and the reverse-engineered to create images converted into sounds. The video above shows Bahr delivering that message to a Thargoid ship, but sadly it’s not actually being relayed in-game.

Despite the arms race taking place across the galaxy between the Thargoids and humanity, Bahr claims that his more diplomatic approach hasn’t come too late. In an interview with Kotaku, he claims “it’s never too late to start talking to each other.”

Initial attempts to make contact with the Thargoids were surprisingly restrained, but when a subtler approach didn’t really work, it didn’t take long for players to start fighting back. One previous player did figure out that some Thargoids just seemed to be hungry, and that they could be tempted to chow down on select in-game resources.