Dark Rainbow

From Elite Wiki
Dark Rainbow Mark I
Dark rainbow MK I.PNG
Size (W×H×L) 74 m×31 m×128 m
Cargo capacity 150 TC
Cargo bay extension 30 TC
Maximum speed 0.46 LM
Manoeuvrability Pitch: 0.8
Roll: 1.8
Yaw: 0.8
Thrust: 45
Energy banks 8
Energy recharge rate

Excellent (5.80)

Gun mounts Fore: 1x
Rear: 1x
Port: 1x
Starboard: 1x
Turrets: 10x
Missile slots 16
Shield boosters available yes
Military shields available yes
Hyperspace capable yes (12 sec)
OXP or standard OXP
Available to player Yes
Base price 2,000,000 Cr

Über-Caduceus ship firing colourful plasma balls from 10 turrets.


  • two new fore and aft plasma turrets, in addition to the 8 original ones (top, bottom and broadsides) which are standard on the Caduceus Omega.
  • a distinctive ship appearance (although without any really innovative graphic elements), mostly due to the UGLY new turret below its chin and also, to a lesser extent, to the new turret sitting above the rear engines. BTW this latter one resembles, when seen from some of the external views, a really graphic 'iron ass'... you might as well say that The DARK RAINBOW as a whole is butt-ugly, or maybe - and more appropriately - ****-ugly (insert your favorite slang wording here).

BTW I'm SURE that at least one person around here will attempt changing the specs for the vertical offset of the front turret, and post screenshots showing what he got. There's always some people around who like to play and show with this kind of stuff...

  • multiple different bright colors for the plasma rounds (that's the main reason behind the ship's name). Special care was taken to assure that the backwards firing turret ended up spitting a carefully crafted blend of brown stuff (and one surely NOT to be found within Oolite's default color pallete). This final touch is meant to add up to the general flavor - erm, smell...? - of the ship.
  • improved firing rates for all turrets, all of them slightly outsynced (on purpose) for added visual oomph.
  • improved accuracy for all turrets.
  • number of pylons increased from 10 to 16.
  • cargo capacity increased from 50 to 180t.
  • lots of STANDARD iron-assing equipment.
  • general availability at whatever systems.
  • increased price tag (you WILL certainly curse at your first maintenance overhaul bill - expect to PAY accordingly for all the power over, under and around the hood).
  • (starting from version 2011.09.14_A) better resilience in furball battles (namely, no turrets will be shot off any more). Due to frangible tweaks, implemented as per this thread.
  • (starting from version 2011.09.14_A) substantial reduction of maintenance overhaul costs (no need to replace, and pay for, missing turrets & engines). Due to the same frangible tweaks named on previous item.
  • (starting from Oolite version 1.76.1) substantial increase in turret power. Due to a codefix applied on the base game by the Oolite team. See various posts further on this thread, starting from this one.

Test Pilot's Report

This ship endorses, and in fact seemingly REQUIRES, a less adrenaline-based approach at combat (good for lazy, laid-back, aging, slow-reflexes, wealthy traders and hunters). So that instead of the usual full head-on jousts, one would do frequently better by just performing a two o'clock fly-by, hit the brakes at 3 km, plan for the next target, optionally switch views to enjoy the colorful fireworks, and most likely do a U-turn to scoop the remains. (A screenshot action sequence, which can be found in the BB thread, graphically illustrates the concept.)

Sidewinders, Asps and Pythons usually require a second fly-by. Sorry, no Thargoid encounters happened during the short test flights, so nothing to report here.

I can also report 2 instances where turret fire was actually SEEN downing missiles (certainly not by design though).

The ship's standard energy units (reinforced with an 'Extra', and NOT with a 'Naval' one) have performed gracefully in all situations, even when [a maximum of] 5 turrets were firing simultaneously. But I don't think that under 'normal' usage any given turret would be firing for more than 10-15 seconds in a row.


What Spaceship? magazine

From a recent issue of 'What Spaceship?' magazine:

Skavurzka Shipyards, a semi-private enterprise associated to the Communist government of Vetitice and strategically located at the center of Galaxy I, has been recently making a non-standard inroad into the high-end ship market.

Details have been somewhat sketchy (no press-release up to the moment), although the availability of the new 'Dark Rainbow' ship is indeed confirmed.

From what we could gather up from various undisclosed sources, it seems that the Caduceus class of ships, ooniversally known for its somewhat mysterious biotech nature, has spawned a higher-specced version of itself. The mysterious-clad 'Homunculus' word - floating around in some muffled talks around the Ooniverse's underground hubs - comes to mind. However, in practical terms, little (if anything at all) is known, up to the moment, about such mythical offspring of the original mighty vessel.

However, and back to our real world, one sure fact is that Boris Ripoffski, the lead designer from the Spaceship Research & Design Bureau of the Communist Cevege government, and seemingly a strong admirer of Udian Shulth's work, has managed to coach what originally was a somewhat spontaneous cellular mutation into a more meaningful variation of a Caduceus. And the ongoing interchange of ideas and technology among the multiple Communist worlds of Galaxy I came to fruition onto the corresponding new ship variation coming out from Skavurzka Shipyards.

We had an interesting off-the-record conversation with Mr. Ripoffski. While he declined to comment further over any details around the mutation process, he indeed described a new technology application of an already-known product, which is being put to VERY good use aboard the new ship.

It seems that Dr. Sergei Scrofushenko, Dean of Applied Astronautics Research at the People's University at the high-tech Inines Communist world, has spent a lot of time evaluating the workings of the traditional HyperCargo system. Mr. Ripoffski told us that, working closely with Dr. Scrofushenko who is an old friend of his, they've managed to extend the 'virtualizing' capacity originally provided by HyperCargo towards additional spaceship fittings, while also making substantial advancements to the stability of any virtualized space and of the contents thereof. The end result is that, without any alteration to the spaceframe and structure of the original Caduceus, they've managed to substantially increase not only the ships's cargo capacity, but also the holding space for flight machinery and equipment. They're both very proud that the 'Dark Rainbow', while having increased cargo space, can also hold more missile pylons... and even MORE so, since that, owing to the patent-pending tweaks and enhancements they've applied to the original HyperCargo technology, prospective Commanders of the 'Dark Rainbow' will still have the option of additionally employing the traditional HyperCargo system (which of course will, in this case, retain its original stability shortcomings).

We also enjoyed some fine time with Natasha Zhukovskaya, lead test pilot for Skavurzka. The fondness and love she has for the ship that her team tested - she indeed employed the word 'trained', instead - transpires in her every word. She also let us know of one interesting detail involving the distinctive biotech nature of the ship.

What happens is, some units of the 'Dark Rainbow' will assume by themselves, within the ships' personality module, the alternative name of 'Warty Popsicle'. This seemingly stems from the initial testing stages, when some female members of the testing crew affectionately addressed one of the early prototypes as such. This alternative name seemingly ingrained itself into at least one of the ship's genetic sub-strains... it is yet unknown if any 'Dark Rainbow' customer, eventually displeased with this punny naming, would be able to revert this.

The 'Dark Rainbow' is not usually 'sold' as a ship in the traditional sense, but rather comes as a do-it-yourself genetic modification kit, easily made available throughout the Galaxy. One might of course opt for not running the improbable risk of a borked in-house mutation result and prefer to lay his/her hands on a REAL, ready-to-fly Dark Rainbow instead... and expect in this case to pay about twice the price of the DIY kit.

In a much appropriate fashion for an unique, elitist luxury item, its price is NOT disclosed or published anywhere in sight. Prospective customers should be most pleased to negotiate personally and directly with Skavurzka's central sales office (no reps !!!) over how much they would actually WISH to pay (erm... 'invest'). However it seems that, once negotiation is done, delivery of the upgrade kits can be quickly arranged to almost any Ooniverse station.

Skavurzka will also arrange by request, in a package deal, that many advanced pieces of generally-available spaceship equipment be delivered together with the upgrade kit, so that busy Commanders can be spared the hassle of having to hunt around multiple space stations for the many individual parts one usually adds to a brand-new ship.

We were also told that Skavurzka backs their offering with a full money-back guarantee. Of course, since at least in probabilistic theory the mutation done by the customer crew MIGHT produce some undesired results, it actually comes down to a ship-back guarantee. In this case the dissatisfied customer would dispatch the unwanted mutated result back to Skavurzka, and sometime later (how long ???) receive a new or refurbished Caduceus. We expect that in this (improbable ?) case, an available Caduceus, which in itself is already a hard-to-find item, might take a few months to come by in order to be returned to the customer... we're not aware, though, of a single unhappy Commander of a 'Dark Rainbow' up to this moment.

As the readers have undoubtedly noticed, EVERYTHING around this unusual offer is accordingly unusual. Stay tuned for an upcoming test flight and thorough hands-on review.

(Dr Handwavium, What Spaceship?)


  • NeoCaduceus.oxz
  • Required Oolite Version: 1.82


  • License: CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0
  • Author: sdrubble
  • Version: 1.2


First and foremost, ClymAngus for the original Caduceus OXP at http://wiki.alioth.net/index.php/Caduceus . Awesome stuff, without which the Dark Rainbow would not be able to bring itself into light.

Initial concept and, uh, 'development': sdrubble.

Coding: Eric Walch for the fire_rate coding hints and also for the advice over mixing-and-matching coding styles. Numerous participants in various pre-existent forum threads, from which I've scooped precious tips and concepts.

Additional concepts: one still-unnamed Commander [who ?] who posted somewhere in the Forum [where ? ... when ?] about his own tweaked Caddy with Boa-II-like cargo capacity and increased number of pylons, whose idea I've unabashedly borrowed.

Tip for alternate hosting site: snork, for suggesting the excellent adrive.com .


Gameplay and Balance Indicator

Tag-colour-red.png Strong, powerful NPCs
Tag-colour-violet.png Super-tough player ship