In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Ascent to Transcendence is a Secret Project. Once any faction completes the Voice of Planet Secret Project, any and all factions may begin production of the Ascent to Transcendence, even if they don't have the implied prerequisite technology (Threshold of Transcendence, E15). It takes 2000 minerals to complete.

How useful is this? Well, that depends if you're shooting for the Transcendence win condition, of course. If not, it's just another Secret Project in your score, and confers no other game effect.

The Ascent to Transcendence culminates the whole subplot of interludes (triggered by first mindworm attack on one your faction's bases, first native unit production, first Centauri Preserve base facility, etc.) It's firmly in the realm of science fantasy, reminiscent of Asimov's Robots and Empire or Clarke's 2001.

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