The Let's Play Archive

X-COM: Apocalypse

by GuavaMoment

Part 1

This LP can be viewed in its entirety (including comments) in the Something Awful Goldmine here. Registration is probably required.
X-COM UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep spoilers ahead.

X-COM UFO Defense is quite possibly the best PC game ever so go play it! Fans have been begging for a good sequel since its release in 1994. Instead we got the palette swap Terror From the Deep. It's still a good game, but there's nothing new about it.

Then there's X-COM Apocalypse. Many people didn't like the (at first glance) campy retro Sci-fi look or the fact that you're only defending one city. There was a lot of features cut, and this game it notoriously difficult to get working at all. However, I still love this game, and would love to show it to all the X-COM vets who never gave it a real chance.

Preface: October 23th, 2084

I initially began writing this journal to document what we have come to call the Third Alien War. I now realize that as humanity is on the brink of destruction that this journal is the only record we may have to inform future generations exactly how X-COM failed to defend Earth from the greatest threat we have ever seen. Our enemy is overwhelmingly powerful and our scientists forsee no hope of victory.

Someday, after generations of slavery, we may be able to defeat our oppressors and someone will discover my journal. This hope is what will keep me going in the dark days ahead.

If we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it.


March 7, 2084:


My name is Otto Zander. I was born March 3rd in a small town in Austria. I was a soldier recruited by X-COM to fight the alien menace in the First Alien War.

I will go down in history as being the first person to set foot on Mars. This is sadly not quite true as I was actually the third - the first two people were killed by Cyberdisk fire not long after leaving our ship. Our scientists had discovered an alien hive mind in the Cydonia region, and we were sent to kill it.

I was the first to reach the alien "brain". It tried to reason with me, to trick me into not destroying it.

It didn't work.

Humanity recovered well from this war. X-COM soldiers returned home, and X-COM itself was eventually disbanded. Civilian scientists discovered incredible new technologies were that were reverse-engineered from the aliens. The problem was that all our new technology depended on the alien fuel source Elerium, element 115.

All sources of this fuel were acquired from the aliens. Without them we had no source of Elerium and our new technologies didn't work. Eventually humanity forgot about the alien threat, that is until 2040.

The Second Alien war was fought under the seas. The X-COM project was renewed, and I was installed as the director. As in the first war, X-COM soldiers were able to capture powerful technologies to use against the aliens. We discovered a sunken alien city, T'leth, in the Gulf of Mexico that directed the alien molecular control network. Once T'leth was destroyed the MC network failed, and as before, without leadership the remaining aliens were easy to defeat.

The destruction of T'leth was a turning point in our history. Since the early 1900s humanity had been polluting the Earth, pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and toxic chemicals into the water. The explosion that consumed T'leth was a tipping point in the environmental collapse of the Earth. Toxic chemicals and particulates from the explosion filled the air, seas and land. Many cities became unliveable. The aliens may had won the second alien war in defeat if were it not for the discovery of reliable interstellar travel via a means not dependant upon alien technology. The Corporations Transtellar and Solmine began returning materials and elerium from mines in other solar systems. With this influx of materials the environmental clean-up could begin. This is where the Mega-Primus project comes in.

Mega-Primus was built on the ruins of Toronto. Designed as a fully self-sufficient, and environmentally clean city, it was to be the template for future cities all over the world. While there have been some delays and problems with the city, Mega-Primus is well on its way to proving the concept of a clean city.

Which brings us to today.

Strange floating triangles have been appearing over the city. There have been reports of strange UFOs emerging from these triangles, and depositing alien creatures into the city. The Senate has pulled me out of retirement to once again head X-COM as we defend Mega-Primus from this new and mysterious threat.

If we are on the brink of a Third Alien War, it will require a superhuman effort to defeat them.

Our base was built underground, in the foundation of one of the government owned buildings in the 'slum' part of town.

We named this base "Evening Star" in an homage to the reports of the first UFOs a hundred years ago. Evening Star is equipped with all the means needed to fight an alien threat - barracks, workshops, science stations, the works.

It's not located as centrally as I would have liked, but we should be able to intercept alien incursions with speed anywhere in the city from here.

The Senate building of Mega-Primus. It must be defended at all costs.

Off to the right of the Megapol police station is one of these alien triangles. We suspect them to be some kind of dimensional portal. Further research is necessary.

Dr. Strangleglove is a veteran scientist from Second Alien War. While his English isn't very good and he can be erratic at times, he is the most brilliant man I've ever met. I'm confident he and his team will be able to discover the nature of the alien threat.

Our Bio-chem division is quickly researching a way to strap an alien containment module onto one of our flying craft.

We are equipped with a Valkyrie Interceptor and two Pheonix Hovercars. The ability to fly to any point in the city will surely be an asset. The ships are equipped with a plasma cannon and a Janitor missle array for dealing with UFOs. The Valkyrie has room for 12 agents and their equipment.

As is the case throughout modern history, Elerium shortages are common. Without fresh shipments, our weapons will run out of power.

I have included brief synopses of the major players in the city. I will include synopses into this journal of the other corporations as they come into play.

What we need now are soldiers. We have posted recruitment ads on every Sensodrome channel. Currently we are being supplied by Megapol, but we have placed a large order with the Mars Security force (MarSec) and more powerful weapons should be available within a week.

Our weapon options are as follows:

The pistol is small and easy to use but lacks accuracy and punch.

The machinegun has a high rate of fire but again lacks accuracy.

I have high hopes for the Laser Sniper Gun - High accuracy and the power to put a serious hole in the aliens.

The Armor Piercing rounds of the Auto Cannon are near worthless, but nothing's better at clearing crowds than the explosive or incendiary rounds.

Research and interrogation of live alien subjects was key to winning the first two alien wars. I suspect it will be again and have placed a large order of Stun Grapples for Agent use.

Late in the first two wars, Psionic and MC attacks allowed our soldiers to wage war without ever stepping off our craft. Biologically, humans have more Psi potential than even an Ethereal. Our superior biology was able to defeat the alien's superior technology. Could that be the case once again?

Standard equipment will also include grenades, stun gas grenades, armor and a medkit.

An emergency contact network has been set up to inform us when civilians encounter an alien presence in the city. We're already getting calls. Once we assemble our force, we can go in and clear the areas.

I pray for our success.


How do I get this freakin' game to work?!?

Apocalypse was released right in the middle of that awkward transition period between games that run in DOS and games that run in windows. As a result, it works in neither. Follow the directions in these links and one of them will surely work. I find DOSBox to be slow and prefer the windows version.

The version on Underdogs lacks music, so if you don't have the original CD, you might have to find other abandonware sites.