In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
), the Universal Translator
is a Secret Project
. It may be built
at a cost of 400 minerals, on discovery of Homo Superior
(E8). Upon building the Universal Translator your faction immediately gets two free tech advances, which is probably worth the cost in itself. It also allows you to link any number of alien artifacts
to the Network Node
at the base where it is built, whereas normally you can only ever link one alien artifact to each base's Network Node.
How useful is this? By the time you research Homo Superior, you're probably noticing how each new tech advance takes progressively more lab output; hence, an alien artifact (which awards an immediate free tech advance if you can get it safely to a base with a Network Node) becomes correspondingly more valuable as the game progresses. This alone should encourage you to aggressively explore before your rivals harvest the alien artifacts. Although your bases most suited to rapid Project completion are probably near the center of your explored map, you may want to build this one
closer to your unexplored borders, or at least in a coastal base. (You should build transport-capable units specifically dedicated to sweeping for artifacts in ocean
Secret Project animation narrative:
"And the Lord said, 'Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained for them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'"
-- The Conclave Bible,