During TennoLive 2018, a gameplay demonstration was shown to the audience, largely guided by Steve Sinclair. This demo was a scripted, unique event that was played through live, showcasing elements of Fortuna, the Orb Vallis, and Railjack. Fortuna would release later that year, ending up very similar to what was shown, but Railjack would not be released until late 2019, after being substantially altered (and renamed to Empyrean). Railjack missions against Corpus capital ships, as shown in the demo, would not be released until 2021. Railjack was also shown off during TennoLive 2019, in a new demo, prior to its final release.
Part One: Fortuna
The demo began with the introductory cutscene to Fortuna, featuring Eudico and the Solaris workers singing We All Lift Together. As the cutscene ended, Rebecca Ford, playing as Mag Prime, entered Fortuna by jumping down from the high ceiling. She slowly walked to Rude Zuud's store while Steve explained details of Fortuna, the Solaris, and Nef Anyo. At Rude Zuud's stall, Rebecca and Steve quickly demonstrated the kitgun system, before crossing the canal and heading to see the Moa companion system and its vendor, Boon. Sheldon Carter explained how modular Moas would work. Rebecca then went to The Business' stall, where Steve alluded to servofishing and the new Conservation system.
(greeting the Tenno) The Business: "How do you do, Outworlder? My mission is to conserve this region's unique species. You know, before the Corpus drive them to extinction. I'm known as 'The Business'. Eudico calls me… [sighs] 'Biz'."
(opening store) The Business: "To capture your chosen specimen, you'll need an Echo-lure and the appropriate tranquiliser. So, let's address that."
Rebecca purchased an Echo-lure and a Tranq Rifle.
(upon exiting store) The Business: "Walk around Fortuna long enough and you'll hear the name Solaris United. They fight for the workers, and they keep Nef honest. If that sounds like it might be your business, find Eudico."
(bidding farewell) The Business: "Stay warm, friend!"
Rebecca then walked over to Eudico's bounty board. Megan Everett, playing as Excalibur, and Danielle Sokolowski, playing as Volt, were standing nearby.
(upon approach) Eudico: "Tenno, over here."
Rebecca went to talk to Eudico.
(greeting the Tenno) Eudico: "So. Biz vouched for you. Name's Eudico. Nef Anyo's loyal floor boss… and, when he's not looking, the voice of Solaris United. Let's us have a quiet conversation."
(upon opening bounty board) Eudico: "I got something needs doing. If Biz says you're good for it, I'll take him at his word. You gonna make him a liar?"
Eudico had 5 active bounties:
- Infiltration: Sneak into a Corpus Base
- Culling the Corpus: Destroy Corpus assets
- Solaris Intel: Retrieve the stolen Solaris data
- Commandeer the Corpus extractors: Disrupt Corpus drilling operations
- Defend the Solaris: Prevent the Corpus from retaking their base
Rebecca selected the bounty "Defend the Solaris".
(upon selecting a bounty) Eudico: "Outstandin'. Now get out there and void some soddin' warranties."
Rebecca entered the elevator and began moving up to the surface.
(upon entering elevator) Eudico: "The Orb Vallis was a firestorm when we arrived. The Solaris bled, toiled, sweated, and died for an age to make this place a reality. It ain't paradise, but I gotta say: feels good finally having someone to show it to."
Part Two: Orb Vallis
(upon entering Orb Vallis) Eudico: [deep, satisfied sigh] "Welcome to Venus. It'll kill ya."
Rebecca looked around the landscape, taking in the snowy terrain, giant fungi, stormy skies, and coolant lake. Megan and Danielle had already ridden up the elevator previously and were standing by the entrance. The massive Profit-Taker Orb Mother could be seen climbing over the mountains to the north, headed west in the direction of the Temple of Profit. Danielle ran after it, with Steve explaining that she would track it down while Megan and Rebecca completed the bounty. The two Tenno ran down the road to the Enrichment Labs.
(upon sighting Enrichment Labs) Eudico: "See that Taxmen base dead ahead? Solaris United just captured it. Only problem? Poor Nef is under the mistaken impression it still belongs to him. Use that muscle of yours to convince him otherwise."
Nef Anyo: "Solaris United shall be eradicated for this outrage!"
A thunderous bombardment from orbit began raining down upon the base, and Buzzard dropships of Corpus troops and proxies swooped in to provide boots on the ground. Rebecca and Megan moved in and started killing the Corpus.
Nef Anyo: "Tenno? Here?! No matter. We have secured a mighty profit: the Solaris United personnel roster. We will hunt them down like RATS."
The corpses of the Solaris who had been killed in the bombardment were lying on the ground as the Tenno entered the base and continued clearing it of Corpus forces. When all the Corpus were dead, the bounty was marked as complete and the Tenno were awarded a Kreska blueprint.
Eudico: "The base is ours. Speak to my man in the field and we'll get you resupplied."
A Solaris worker standing near the north gate to the facility was now available to pick up new bounties. Rebecca ran over to him to continue the mission.
(upon approach) Solaris United agent: "Weather like this, I do not miss my organics. So, uh, what do you need?"
(greeting the Tenno) Solaris United agent: "Base locked down. Comms up. Now. No time for a break, Eudico's got more work for ya."
The same five bounties seen earlier were available from the field agent. Rebecca selected the bounty "Solaris Intel".
(upon selecting a bounty) Solaris United agent: "We'll keep watch here. You, stay warm."
Eudico: "Nef's crew fell back to his Church. Get in there and get our personnel roster back. We've got good people in deep cover who are dead if we don't."
Rebecca and Megan summoned K-drives from their gear wheels, jumping on them and riding them north. The road crossed a bridge onto the large island in the middle of the Coolant Reservoir, then turned west onto the mainland, before turning north again and heading up into the mountains. At this point, Rebecca stopped and dismounted her K-drive before a trail of animal tracks crossing the road. She followed the trail to a pile of animal scat (which she shot at with her sidearm, destroying it).
(upon approaching scat) The Business: "Outworlder. Do you see that? Virmink scat! Haha, a sweet smell. They feed on the gene-altered foliage of the Vallis. See if you can track it."
The trail went off the road, up into the rocks above. Rebecca used a puff mushroom to launch herself above the cliffs, then resumed tracking the trail of footprints in the snowy hills above the road. The trail wound its way through a field of white ferns, and soon Rebecca came to a patch of ferns that had been partially eaten.
(upon approaching chewed ferns) The Business: "Hmm. Signs of grazing here, possibly an endangered White-Breasted Virmink, judging by the bite width. Outworlder, if we don't relocate this animal, the Corpus will snatch it up for their Feed & Research Division. Now. Ready your tranq and see if you can mimic its call with your Echo-lure!"
Rebecca equipped the Echo-lure from her gear wheel, crouched down, and sounded a call. There was a response in the distance.
(upon hearing a response from the animal) The Business: "Did you hear that? Sounds like a young male! Hurry, mimic its reply before it becomes suspicious and moves off."
Rebecca sounded another call, and got another response from the animal.
(upon hearing a second response) The Business: "That's it! You've got his interest. Now we wait for the animal to approach. Stay downwind and hidden until you have a clear shot with your tranquiliser. If you spook the animal, we'll lose this opportunity."
Rebecca jumped up onto a rocky overlook and equipped the Tranq Rifle from her gear wheel. The Virmink soon appeared, walking up the trail of footprints it had left, and Rebecca promptly tranqed it.
(upon tranqing the animal) The Business: "Excellent!! Quickly, tag it with a beacon, and I'll send in a relocation drone."
Rebecca approached the unconscious animal and triggered the "Call for collection" interaction prompt. A drone came down and picked up the animal, showing a quick victory screen, displaying the captured animal and its stats.
- Rescued! White-breasted Virmink
- Gender: Male
- Weight: 30.8kg
- Age: 2y, 1 m
- Standing: +0
The Business: "An adolescent Virmink. Poor health. Outworlder, you've rescued this animal just in time. Expect due compensation."
Rebecca bullet jumped back to the road, summoned her K-drive, and continued travelling north, also performing some K-drive tricks to demonstrate the capabilities of the hoverboard. The Tenno rode past the giant head of Nef Anyo at Temple Fabrication, before heading up the road into a tunnel. Inside the tunnel, they were attacked by a group of hidden Mite Raknoids which forced them to dismount from their K-drives and fight the robots before continuing on to the Temple of Profit. As the Tenno approached the Temple, a loud alarm was heard, and fleets of dropships left the area, heading in all directions. The Tenno dismounted and continued to the Temple on foot. A brief cutscene showed, zooming in to the massive statue of Nef Anyo and its missing face. A Scyto Raknoid emerged from the hole in the statue and idled on the statue's folded hands as Nef gloated.
Nef Anyo: "You're in my church, Tenno, and here, sinners pay for their sins!!"
Two more Scyto Raknoids emerged from the statue's head-hole and all three of them climbed down the statue towards the Tenno below. The cutscene ended, and the two Tenno were soon engaged in a battle with the Raknoids and supporting Corpus on the snowy plain outside the Temple.
Nef Anyo: "The Void is generous! The Void is munificent! Behold! It has bequeathed us creatures grand… and creations monstrous! BEHOLD! And TREMBLE!"
At Nef's words, Rebecca looked into the distance to the west, where the Profit-Taker Orb was climbing over the rocks to enter the vicinity, heading for the Tenno. Shortly afterward, the last Scyto Raknoid was killed, dropping a blue datamass.
Eudico: "Grab that datamass; it's the personnel files."
Rebecca collected the datamass by walking over it, and the bounty was marked as complete, rewarding the Tenno with the mod Tek Gravity. Profit-Taker was still slowly approaching.
Eudico: "Tenno, listen up! Not worth it! Get out of there!"
Rebecca and Megan summoned their K-drives and rode west, towards the Profit-Taker, then under its legs, dodging the fire from her weapons. They rode away from the Temple, up the road to the south and through another tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, Rebecca dismounted her K-drive and ran off the road, up the mountain, and onto a rocky promontory overlooking the entire central region of the Orb Vallis, facing southeast towards the Coolant Reservoir, the Fortuna elevator, and Enrichment Labs, with the Spaceport and Orokin ruins faintly visible in the far distance. As she stood there, the Fortuna update logo appeared on the screen, and a whistle of We All Lift Together could be heard.
Nef Anyo: "Oh, Tenno, you've crossed a line, and by the Void, you'll regret it."
A series of booms was heard, and artillery strikes rained down from orbit, striking an area to the south, near Temple Fabrication. In response, a cutscene played where a Railjack ship entered the lower atmosphere with a sonic boom, circling around the Temple of Profit and shifting to its ground configuration, coming to a hover directly in front of Rebecca, who bullet jumped into one of the airlocks.
Part Three: Railjack
Rebecca and Megan boarded the Railjack from its aft starboard airlocks and started to walk towards the bridge.
Ordis: "Welcome aboard, Operator! —Operators?! This is a Sigma-series Railjack… a multi-crew Interceptor! Engineering, Tactical, Weapon systems all await your command."
In the main cabin compartment of the Railjack, most of the Orbiter segments were available, including Arsenal, Foundry, Mod Bench, Incubator, and Sentinel segments. There were also turret stations on each side, with wide viewports.
(upon entering bridge) Ordis: "I have locked on to an Obelisk in orbit… high above the Vallis. Awaiting launch sequence. Are you ready for this?"
Danielle was already on board, waiting for them on the bridge. Rebecca went to the Command Console in the middle of the ship, which brought up a Systems interface with only a single button, "Launch". Upon activating it, the main ship systems came online and populated the Systems interface:
- A "Status" section showed the Life Support, Hull, and Reactor systems, with status bars for each. All were at maximum.
- A "Routing" section showed a triangular diagram of power allocation to the Engines, Shields, and Weaponry. Each was currently receiving an equal third of the available power.
- A "Shields" section showed a diagram of the ship and four sectors of active shields, for the fore, aft, port, and starboard sides of the ship. All four sectors had three layers of shields active.
The ship began to shake as the sound of turbines spinning up could be heard. Rebecca walked to the front of the bridge, to the viewport, as the main engines fired and the ship began to take off into space.
Ordis: "There are many emergency exits aboard this spacecraft, Operator! Please take note of the one nearest you. In the unlikely event of a violent decompression, safety lights will illuminate in the floor to guide you."
There was a lengthy sequence as the Railjack flew through the different layers of Venus' atmosphere.
Ordis: "Rough air ahead. We're in for some chop."
The Railjack arrived in Venus orbit. The area was strewn with asteroids and dominated by an array of large orbital defence Towers. Most were damaged and inactive, but a few seemed to be functional, spinning slowly in place and linked to the surface by beams of bright light. Hidden behind some of the Towers was a Corpus Obelisk capital ship, currently raining artillery down onto the surface. A banner across the screen announced "Venus, Frontier Grid Ruins, Sector 3:871".
Ordis: "Ascent complete, Operator. You have the helm."
Ordis: "Enemy capital in this sector. Be advised: They have alerted the fleet. Reinforcements are inbound."
Rebecca entered the pilot's seat and began slowly manoeuvring through the asteroids and around the Towers, occasionally shooting at small asteroids in her way. As she rounded one of the Towers and came in full view of the Obelisk, it began launching multiple smaller fighters.
Nef Anyo: "My Interceptors will take good care of you, Tenno."
Ordis: "Incoming fighters! Get to stations!"
Megan left the bridge and entered the side turrets to shoot down the fighters.
Ordis: "Hull damage! Get them off us!"
Ordis: "Hull breach! Life support depleting!"
Nef Anyo: "Boarding parties!!! Launch your ram-sleds!"
The Railjack shuddered as ramsleds impacted the hull.
Ordis: "Intruders aboard! Intruders aboard!"
Rebecca left the pilot seat and went aft, where Danielle was fighting the Corpus intruders. After they were killed, Danielle then equipped a wrist-mounted fire extinguisher and started putting out the fires left by the battle. Rebecca returned to the pilot's seat and continued flying towards the Obelisk. Another wave of fighter craft approached, and Rebecca ran over to the Command Console, switching to the Tactical interface. There were three unlabelled "Battle Modules", and Rebecca activated one that Steve described as a "Helix". The Railjack launched a spiral array of orange, auto-targeting missiles that cleared out the remaining fighters, and Rebecca steered the Railjack close to the Corpus capital ship.
Ordis: "Shield coil located. You will need to infiltrate and disable it from within."
Megan exited the ship via airlock and entered Archwing flight in space. She flew over to the main side airlock of the Obelisk and boarded the Corpus ship.
Ordis: "Operator, fleet reinforcements converging on this sector. We must complete the mission before they arrive."
Megan engaged Corpus troops as she entered the ship, but soon ran into a shield barrier that obstructed her progress. Corpus Crewmen on the other side shot at her through the barrier. Rebecca, on board the Railjack, went to the Command Console and switched to the Tactical interface. It brought up a minimap of Megan's position, including waypoints for enemies, allies, and other objects. Rebecca selected an autoturret in the room, and the Railjack hacked into it. The turret began shooting at the Corpus Crewmen. Rebecca then hacked the shield barrier, disabling it and allowing Megan to proceed.
Nef Anyo: "They're onboard??? In the name of profit, cast them to oblivion!"
Ordis: "Fleet reinforcements are imminent! T-minus 2 minutes!"
Megan fought through more Corpus troops and proxies before reaching the shield coil: an orb suspended in the centre of a large room. Four large pillars around the walls were linked to the orb with beams of energy. Megan shot at the pillars, destroying them and leaving the shield coil vulnerable.
Ordis: "1 minute until reinforcements arrive. We need to get out of here!"
Nef Anyo: "Ready my emergency skiff. The Void still has plans for me."
Megan walked up to the orb and scanned it with her Codex Scanner, marking it as a target. On the Railjack, the shield coil showed up as a red objective marker. Rebecca left the pilot's seat and went to the Command Console, routing power away from the Engines and Shields and putting it all in Weaponry. She then entered the Forward Gun position behind the Command Console, taking her down to the gun seat below the bridge.
Ordis: "This is it, Operator! —Don't miss!"
Rebecca charged up the gun and fired at the red objective marker on the Corpus ship, striking it dead centre. Explosions broke out all across the Obelisk. Megan, still on board, raced for the exit as the ship burned around her. As she reached the airlock, a cutscene played where she flew away from the doomed ship in her Archwing. The groans of twisting metal were heard as the Obelisk continued to break apart. Megan flew to the Railjack and boarded it, and the Tenno ship transitioned to its Rail-traversing configuration, before warping off into the distance.