Part 22: Loki** Warning: This is a very long update. I thought about splitting it up, but it seemed dumb to do that with the video. So may the internet have mercy on your browsers.
Chapter 20: Loki
A little something extra after the mission itself here.
We begin to the tune of sharper, more bracing music that I've not heard previously or since. OPS thinks the best-case scenario is an endless stalemate. How encouraging. But we wouldn't want it to be easy now, would we ...
The Nexus is as bad as it looks. I'm not sure that it directly disperses Creeper though -- it appears to be more of a situation where it 'turbocharges', for lack of a better way of putting it, the eight emitters around it. But that's bad enough. On our end we have the defensive ridge but very little space between us and it, the Artifact, and all the upgrade nanobots we'll need to max out.
Doom Timer: 5:36
Almost the same as the last mission, actually three seconds faster but close. Don't be fooled by this though, as befits a finale this is much more difficult. There are a couple reasons why it takes so long; one, the opening in that protective ridge is very narrow, so not much Creeper can get through it. Secondly, the lowland here are elevation 2(out of 6). Odin City is on elevation 3 ... but the ridge is at a 4, which I didn't realize. It's actually above us. So it takes a lot of creeper to pool up and overflow it. So that five-minutes plus is basically how long it will take for the Nexus and it's attendants to flood the entire map. That thing doesn't play around.
Here's a good shot of how much it doesn't play around. Took less than 40 seconds for that Nexus to flood most of the map and reach the ridge. That's really encouraging.
Umm, Commander ... have you looked at the map? Everything we have is, at this early stage, jack squat -- and jack left town. Also, how in the heck does the Commander deduce all of that jibber-jabber from a single, nebulous-at-best question?? Furthermore I don't buy the Creeper having no purpose other than our destruction. There must be a reason for that destruction; does it think we pose a threat? Does it need a resource monopoly(no indication yet that it uses/gathers any)?? I mean ... SOMETHING.
Nope. Ok, you got it Commander. All ZERO of our weapons systems are charging up as we speak. Happy??
Underestimating the speed of the Creeper advance already cost us a blaster and a collector, and it'll soon cost us this one as well. Fortunately it's still seeping through that opening slowly, but it's also abundantly clear we are running out of time. Fast. To say nothing about how the west is filling up with much greater concentrations.
Third try has me building a blaster on higher ground, then putting it down in front of the City. Amazingly, that proves to be enough to combat the small amount coming through the opening. Safe-ish for the moment.
About three minutes in, timed scripting here I think, we receive this. So we're irrelevant -- but it's still important for us to be delivered to you. Roger that.
Brave words. He even seems to believe them. I'm not sure he knows, really knows, what they even mean though. 'the living question'? What kind of gobbledy-gook is that??
I don't think they mean nothing, but rather just them and not us. It certainly is sufficiently obvious that, as past generations of humanity found as well, negotiation with the creeper is not a viable option.
Pretty soon we've got a full complement, more or less, of collectors up along with a couple of Mortars. For the first and only time, I find their ability to shoot over walls useful. I'm not sure this does more than slow the rate of Creeper advance, but even at that it's welcome given the massive wave of the stuff headed towards us. As you can see here, a drone bomber base is next on my agenda.
OPS has clearly lost hope. Not that you can blame him.
Here's the full screen just after that. Our first drone bomber is about to be deployed to the far end of the map, taking out some of the deepest concentrations. Right now we appear to have reached equilibrium; the blaster and two mortars could probably keep the creeper from getting past that ridge indefinitely. That's all they are going to be able to do though. Even if we paper all our territory with reactors it might well not be enough. Got three collectors up on the walls, all the space there is for them, and support structures have begun to be put in place. There's really nothing else for it but to ramp up our firepower as much as possible.
What the ...
Could you be any more mysterious please? And why is it that only the Commander can do this?? Whatever 'this' is ...
Platius can make things appear out of thin air apparently. The how-why of his SpaceMagic(tm) are thus-far not explained.
The careful observer will note this thing looks like some kind of aircraft. It isn't far away, but it might as well be in another galaxy given that going out there means exposing ourselves to the might of the Nexus. This will not be easy. And by the way, how is it that this just-materialized object is immune to the Creeper's destructive power? It appears unaffected by our enemy. If Platius can make this thing appear, why couldn't he make it do so BEHIND the ridge?? The questions ... the questions that will probably never be answered. They just keep coming.
6:08 on the timer. Make a note of that. Let's see how long it takes us to get to this thing.
Here's the first idea. The drone bomber targets the area of creeper midway between us and the Nexus. The idea is to thin out what's coming our way, hoping it can do so enough to get some sort of push out to that object. There's still way too much of it though, and that's not even close to being good enough. So it's time for Moar Reactors.
Over ten minutes in. More than doubled the reactor complement(from 3 to 7) and a second drone base to pound the deeper concentrations. I try throwing a blaster just in front of the ridge. No dice, and I eventually withdraw it after it is unable to clear any kind of safe zone. You can't even see it, only where it is due to the persisent vapor of incinerated creeper. It's not long before I withdraw the blaster.
Ok, how about a couple more mortars and some additional reactors?
This results in a noticeably expanded zone of fairly-thin creeper nearby. It's progress ... but our network is getting crowded. There's only so much we can cram in. I send the blaster back out. It does better than before, but is still eventually overwhelmed by the creeper and destroyed.
FINE THEN. Fourteen minutes in now, eight since the object from Platius showed up. More reactors ... a lot more. A couple more blasters ready. Double the bomber bases to four. Anything worth doing is worth over-doing ... right?!?
Tough to get a good shot of it as the bombers keep flying off-screen, but I implement a 'four corners' approach. Spaced out in various locations in the deep areas around the Nexus plateau, the drones pummel the Creeper, giving it plenty of not-at-us places to run off.
Then I move two blasters out in front of the opening in the ridge. It's just enough ... barely ... for them to survive and make excruciatingly-slow headway. Eventually moving a third one out creates just enough room for a collector, hooking up the network to that object. Finally. At 15:39, almost ten minutes after it appeared.
Apparently only the Commander, because reasons, is worthy to wield the power of Thor.
Others? As in, plural? It seems Platius is not the only one of his 'kind'. Whatever/whoever that is. We had only to remove one collector to start building the thunder deity. And of course, more reactors. Even so, Thor is sucking up stupid amounts of energy as predicted. The deficit spiked to almost 80, threatening our blasters which could barely keep enough ammo to hold off the enemy. As construction reached the midpoint roughly ...
Yes, yes, we will all be undone soon. We know. Repeating it won't make us more aware of your threats. Once finished, Thor does this with a strange whirring/warbling sound:
I literally didn't realize what was happening at first. A large section of terrain just had all the creeper on it vaporized here(south, just west of the ridge). That thing is ridiculous.
It seems you simply can't fight back without the Nexus getting all ticked off about it.
There doesn't seem to be any reason given, even a total hogwash one, for where these new coordinates come from. In the Commander we trust, and in Platius he trusts. Such is the fate of humanity a dozen millenia into the future.
It took me a bit to begin to grasp the enormity of Thor's power. When I did so, I moved the ship forward, and it vaporized all resistance in it's path. Literally.
Brave words, jerks.
You keep saying those words('there has to be a way'). I don't think they mean what you think they mean.
That could be problematic. We have no SAMs in place ...
That's a lot of spores(some of which you can't see here due to the vapor). Thor's missiles swat them from the sky with ease. That thing really can do everything, it seems.
Thor parks itself above the Nexus to keep everything under control while the network expands. The creeper tide is all but vanquished, and we have only to wait for the Totems to activate now.
Congratulations, Commander. You've finally done it. You've killed our entire species. I hope you're happy.
This is partway through the process, as everything is sucked into that green-ish black vortex, then explodes.
Err, almost everything. Once the rest is gone, the Nexus itself gives in to the pull and goes in, followed by a huge blue explosion.
Ok, here's my question. How is it that so far Thor and Odin City have managed to resist the pull of the black hole, but the Nexus couldn't? Neither have moved an inch. I'm sure this too will be explained ... and here goes the Commander to sacrifice himself and save us.
After Thor enters, this massive explosion occurs. And everything slowly fades to black on Loki ...
In other words, the Creeper/Loki are a race of depraved children who can't stand any life other than themselves existing anywhere in the 'multi-verse'. Okey-dokey.
What a freaking hero.
That's definitely playing the 'long game'.
In addition to the usual planetary achievement, I am also given the "Lord of the Story" honor.
Credits follow. I find them rather amusing, particularly the musical ones and the various titles that the developer gives himself. Concept art is interesting as well. If anyone wants to see just that part, go to timestamp 35:45 on the video.
Now what? Well since this was so long, I'll give people a chance to process it a bit and then talk about how I plan to proceed with the bonus content in a couple days. It can now be said that I have officially beaten Creeper World 1: Anniversary Edition -- but there is much left to do before we move on.