In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Longevity Vaccine is a Secret Project. It may be built at a cost of 270 minerals, on discovery of Bio-Engineering (B5). The effect of the Longevity Vaccine varies with the economic Social Engineering model in effect: -2 Drones at each base with Planned economics, -1 Drone under Simple or Green models, or +50% Economy, only at the base where the Project is built, in a Free Market.

How useful is this? The Free Market model is the most disadvantaged social model in the game, with +2 Economy at the expense of -3 Planet and -5 Police. Since it's such a liability, I'll assume you will avoid it like the albatross necklace it is; let's move along to the drone reduction aspect under more sane economic models. The higher the difficulty level, the greater the drone riots problem, so the value of this Project is dependent on difficulty. At the highest difficulty levels, it makes an excellent target for capture from whichever of your rivals builds it before you can.

The Longevity Vaccine is a strong sci-fi element, reminiscent of Heinlein's medical "rejuvenation" (Time Enough For Love). I recall reading an article on the search for a tooth decay vaccine, perhaps a decade ago; while theoretically feasible, there's still no practical implementation. I'm no biologist, but I think "vaccine" is a misnomer. Aging seems to be a genetic feature, not the agency of an external organism. Medical defeat of aging will probably lie on the path of gene modification and tissue replacement, rather than anything akin to "vaccination". Will extended physical youth yield happier populations? I think not - I've known plenty of relatively healthy, yet bitter and/or depressed, senior citizens. Probably a more appropriate game effect would be enhanced Growth and/or Research.

Secret Project animation narrative:
"I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice."
   -- CEO Nwabudike Morgan,
   MorganLink 3DVision Interview

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