Part 172: MegalandMegaland
And then there were four remaining systems. Before we head to the achievement-bearing ones, it's off to the most planet-packet system in the entirety of the Alpha Sector. It's known simply as
J. 17 planets. Buckle up, because we're going to be a while even if everything goes well. Which it probably won't. FYI I'm a little over 200 hours into CW3 now. That's a fair amount more than the first two games combined, and I only a few titles in my Steam library with more than that. So yeah - I've spent a chunk of time on this.
Some pairs or series of maps, and much like Cavemaniac the majority are at least somewhat on the smaller side. To being with naturally I head to the monstrosities with Megaland.
It's real freaking big with instructions required apparently, some outlying islands and whatever the heck that's supposed to be in the middle. A picture frame with some bizarre tendriled creature? In any case, the weirdest thing about all of this is that are no Creeper structures right now. Of any kind. I suppose we should read the directions (yes, we really should read the directions - it just might be possible I didn't remember some important things).
To be fair, Lia usually isn't that much more helpful than this.
Make sure you do a spell-check while you're at it.
Ought to be used to it by now.
There are no such structures right now, so this apparently is a thing that happens later.
Clearly we've got a lot of scripting going on here.
I didn't remember this, and it cost me. Having said that, there is an exception that I think is unintended.
Lia always knows what to do just as soon as it's too late.
Normally this would annoy me, but here I kind of like it. Hammers the point home without being too repetitive, given that there's a different person saying it.
This level took me a bit of getting used to. It just doesn't behave like a normal one. As soon as you start things off, stuff happens. You can see here the 'tower' that moves around the central island, and some Spores. They didn't come from a spore tower, at least not in the traditional sense. They just spontaneously appear. And head towards the northwest island. So on the video, there's a fair bit of me just sort of staring at all this and going 'uhhh .... ' because that's about all I could do just trying to make sense of things.
Also worth noting are the blocks at end of the 'tendrils', and the Digitalis covering them. Right now the tower just moves around in a clockwise direction, it isn't actually doing anything yet. So in that sense, it's a weird start because as long as I stick to the central island, nothing will attack me. Ever. But as the briefing mentioned, the longer you wait, the harder things will get in clearing out the other locations.
Here's the big picture after a bit. We've got two islands with nests and digitalis, one with an emitter, one with a spore tower except it doesn't behave traditionally. That is, it just sits there while the spores originate in thin air elsewhere. And if you look closely, you can see there are a lot of them here.
With that in mind, I focused on getting up enough energy to supply a ring of Beams around the island. Not to defend myself, but to intercept as many of these projectiles as possible so that we didn't have any more buildup than necessary. Eventually I reached a point where I could shoot most of them down - some don't come into range. Then, heeding the warnings, I set up a ring of Digitalis Cannons as well.
Then I did a bit of experimenting - that tower just literally moves through anything we put on the border, like this Sprayer, as if it wasn't even there.
Throwing up a Bertha, raiding party, and Guppies, I targeted that northwest island and took a few runs at it. Only a limited amount of creeper was there, but it's a large area and it took a bit to clear off enough for a landing. Also notice how packed it is getting here. That'll be an increasing issue since Terps are not allowed and I didn't always place things precisely.
I want to say this was the fourth raid - I thought we had enough progress and in fact this proved correct. Just a matter of continuing to defend against the spores while I cleared out the island.
And there's what happens when you nullify one of these things. Everything blows up. I think the guppies survive because they are just landed, not based there, so the game counts them as mainland items. Also, about this time I (belatedly) started my sprayers going in always-on mode to create a protective blanket around our primary network.
The 'attack tower' for lack of a better term reacted to this by ... doing nothing. I wanted upgrades, but as we'll see it was a really bad idea to put the Forge on an outlying island. A SuperBertha was also added to help our assaults elsewhere.
Next up was the lower-right target, aka Emitter Island. I figured keeping that from building up any more than I had to put up with was a good idea, and the artillery did a bunch of heavy lifting here. There's also a nice ore deposit to add to our resources.
When the emitter went down, it killed everything on that island (which I expected) and everywhere else (which I didn't). But noteworthy here is the exception. The SuperBertha took quite a bit of damage, but is actually hardy enough to survive the blasts. More annoying is the fact that the forge was destroyed, and with it all of my upgrades. I didn't have that many, but I had to rebuild it on the mainland and start from scratch.
The attack tower now started dispensing a moderate amount of creeper on its journey, which ate through the blocks and started working down the tendrils. Our AC blanket was plenty for the moment.
It took a bit of doing, but with sufficient Snipers, digitalis cannons, and artillery support we were able to subdue the first of the two Digitalis Islands. Meanwhile I put a couple of Mortars up in suitable locations to add to our primary defense.
The next schtick was runners and digitalis surrounding our network, so I put up snipers to combat this. Almost certainly more than I needed, but better safe than sorry. Then it was on to the fourth island, more digitalis and runners and we were comfortable dealing with that, and then ...
This activated the final stage. The eastern and western islands are active with attack towers of their own. All three towers produce creeper, digitalis, runners, and now also occasional spores. I still have all the Beams up though so none of that was really a big concern.
The tower's underneath all the vapor here, but basically we have a pretty well-enforced and well-rounded group of weapons in place, and overall resistance in these final two conquests isn't more than moderate. Just a case of getting enough weapons in for a successful landing, and clearing out enough space close enough to nullify.
A fairly creative level that I wouldn't want to replay much, but it was definitely enjoyable.