The Zenith are an alien race of living starship-sized creatures that originated from an adjacent galaxy, and once controlled a massive intergalactic empire billions of years ago. Now nearly extinct, their presence can be seen in the devices and designs they left behind. The Zenith made their debut in AI War and were the subject of The Zenith Remnant expansion, and are also a playable race in Stars Beyond Reach.
Despite the number of Zenith derelicts in a galaxy not their own, no sign has ever been discovered of their pilots. As Zenith vessels are a combination of organic and inorganic material, belief has spread that Zenith are their spaceships. This supposition is correct, with a surprising caveat: in their natural life cycle, the Zenith begin their lives as human-sized beings and grow into their better known kilometers-long starship sized forms over time. The ramifications of human and AI creation and control of Zenith vessels has yet to be explored.
The Dyson Sphere is both the largest surviving group of Zenith specimens and currently the largest known object in the AI War universe, also known as the Murdoch Quadrant.
Role in AI War
Unlike the Spire, Zenith do not exist as a cohesive faction. Multiple "Minor Factions" represent individual Zenith factors that can be introduced to a campaign, the player's benefit or detriment both. The most notable of these are the Zenith Trader and the Dyson Sphere,
The Zenith Starship is a starter starship derived from Zenith engineering principles, additional fleetcraft and starcraft are both available as bonus ships and used by the AI.
Link to the Zenith dedicated page on the AI War wiki: here.
The Golems are long dead Zenith ships/bodies that can be brought back into a working condition both by Humans and the AI.
Two groups of living Zenith can also be found in one of the nebulae systems that appear when Ancient Shadows is installed. These are the Shattered Pillar Zenith (friendly), and the Citadel Ascendant Zenith (hostile). The Shadow Vessels/Champions can also take a Zenith form that resembles the Shattered Pillar vessels.
Role in Stars Beyond Reach
In the far future Stars Beyond Reach's events are set, a small group of surviving Zenith appears. Those Zenith are trapped in a zoo-like state on the planet seen in the game. Those Zenith are stunted and small (only a few hundred meters across, not kilometers like the space-based ones). Those other Zenith have been trapped on the planet for a very, very long time, by the will of the mysterious thing that holds all the races found on that planet.