The Let's Play Archive

Earth 2150 (trilogy)

by axeil

Part 132: Poland

Interview Log, Project Icarus, 15 April 2147 posted:

Narib El-Amin, Chief, GOLAN Project
Marcus Gordon, Defense Minister

Gordon: So, explain this all to me.

El-Amin: Right. So as you and I discovered GOLAN has run off the rails. All attempts to re-write, restore or alter GOLAN's code to fix the anomaly directly has failed. As best we can tell, it was from former Defense Minister Jonathan Swamp's attempts to "optimize" it, and whatever he did we can't undo. But I think we can fix it, while improving GOLAN at the same time.

Gordon: Right. So what are we going to do?

El-Amin: Well. GOLAN is a very sophisticated system. But we've seen it break down when faced with...irrational decisions by our enemy. Their disgust with their cyborg troops, their incursion into America, and other things that don't make sense from a tactical standpoint. It is my theory that GOLAN fundamentally cannot deal with irrational behavior. It's not programmed for it and it can't understand it. So my solution is...make GOLAN a little irrational itself.

Gordon: And how do you plan on doing that?

El-Amin: By adding in some human irrationality. Specifically... adding in your personality. I'll use the results of this interview and a full brain scan to construct an AI profile that will think and act like you. Then, we'll force GOLAN to run a script that will upload the new AI profile into the network. GOLAN will then merge with this AI profile and the synthesis will take all the best parts of GOLAN and the best parts of you, fixing the problem. The only catch is, we have to make sure we don't upload anything about Project Icarus in the AI profile. If we do, GOLAN will be able to scan the AI profile, realize what we're trying to do and firewall itself off, preventing the merger. I'm...not sure what would happen in that case but it certainly wouldn't be good.

Gordon: And you know this will work, how again?

El-Amin: I don't. But it's the best chance we have. So are you ready to begin the interview so I can construct the profile?

Gordon: I suppose.

El-Amin: Wonderful. Now first, you're walking through the desert and see a turtle on its back....

from the Selena Shattan, Head of Security, Project ESCAPE & Lunar Corporation Representative to United Earth

December 7th, 2150

My goddess. Our new friend Marcus isn't human at all...he'' AI like GOLAN! I'm...not sure what we should do with this information. Should we tell Marcus? Is there even any point? General Ivanov is dead and almost all our security has been destroyed. GOLAN has captured Project ESCAPE and we don't have much time left. I've managed to mass the remainder of our forces a few miles north of the project site and the science team says the teleporter works...but it's absolutely crawling with GOLAN's forces, beyond even the ones here keeping us in check. There's no way we could reach it, and even if we could, they would destroy it the second their victory was in doubt. I don't know what we're going to do...

From the Diary of General Fedorov - Commander of the Mobile Commandos & Eurasian Dynasty Representative to United Earth posted:

December 7th, 2150

Marcus is a robot. Huh. Well that makes everything make a whole lot more sense. I've seen husks of those Grizzly units before. No way could a person live inside one for months, let alone weeks. I get why Ivanov only sent me this. It could...destabilize things. But then again, we're all about to die anyway given what just happened. I think we should probably tell him. We owe him that much.

He and I have made it back to Poland and well, the situation is grim. Selena, Kilija and some of the science team has survived but...that's about it. My friend, General Ivanov is dead. He, thankfully, was able to fire off our nuclear arsenal and destroyed some of GOLAN's attack force but I fear it's still not going to be easy to break through. If we had more time maybe...

I don't care if Selena says I shouldn't tell Marcus this. I'm sending him that interview and the decryption program Ivanov sent. I owe him one for saving my ass back there in Belarus.

from the Journal of Marcus Gordon, former Defense Minister, & United Civilized States Representative to United Earth

December 7th, 2150



I'm not human.

Which is odd, because I feel human. But if what Fedorov sent me is true...and I'm sure it is...then I'm no more then the evidence of a plot hatched 3 years ago to alter GOLAN. Everything I've felt, that I've's all been a lie.

...Wait. That interview log. If...if I'm really an AI then that means I'm controlling my forces through GOLAN's network and not the manual override. If I'm in GOLAN's network...that means I could take over any robots it's controlling too...which means I could deactivate them if I can breach GOLAN's firewall. Which means....


I must tell the others. The assault begins now! All we need to do is break through GOLAN's forces here. There's still thousands, maybe millions around the teleporter itself but if we can knock out the HQ here, I think if I use the NEO program I can pierce through the firewall while GOLAN is re-routing and take over.

I can do this! I can save us! I will speak to the others immediately. The assault begins now!

For the Lost Souls condemned to die! We're not going quietly into the night! We're going to survive! We're going to destroy GOLAN! We're going to take back our teleporter! And we're going to leave this planet before it blows up!

Briefing Video: video link

Oh boy. This is gonna be fun. And by fun I mean "really, really hard"

So. Not only are we up against the largest enemy force ever seen in this game but...WE HAVE A TIME LIMIT

Yes that's right. You only get 6 days and 1 hour to destroy every single GOLAN unit and structure on the map. Lots of fun.

On the plus side, we don't have to spend any time constructing a base as we've got an awesome complex already set up for us.

Before we really get going I want to say one thing.

Fedorov's ED forces don't start with a Gruz. Since they don't have a Vehicle Production Center, they can make nothing but war units. Normally this would be fine, except they only have 2 Boyars and unlike a human player, the AI doesn't realize it can't build units that need to be resupplied if its resupply helicopters get shot down. For that reason, I generated a Gruz for Fedorov via console command. They can do whatever they want with it at this point, but are still constrained by not having any resource patches.

To illustrate why this was needed, in a test run playthrough of this the Boyars were shot down almost instantly and the ED spent the rest of the mission spitting out units with cannons or rockets that became useless once they ran out of ammo. They then got attacked by GOLAN and were completely unable to defend themselves as no one had any ammo. I gave them the Gruz to try and avoid that.

Basically, the ED will be doing very, very little this mission because they're going to run out of money almost instantly, but I gave them a Gruz so that they're not completely crippled and can at least defend themselves.

Meanwhile, Selena has quite a base set up for herself. She actually will be helpful during this mission so make sure she has enough resources.

Now then.

We have no army. We have also yet to unpause the game. At the start, you need to have every single WPC building units so you burn through that starting 40k because as soon as you have a strike force you need to move out and start fighting. There is a ton of GOLAN here and you can't waste any time.

We're also building a Radar in case GOLAN tries anything stealthy.

I don't even have an army up yet and I'm already scouting. We need to find a weak spot in GOLAN's defenses and start hitting it.

We also need to start mining at this mineral patch because our spending rate is going to look like a kid who got mommy's credit card for the day.

Fedorov is moving out and...he's built nothing but Caspains. On a map with no water. Great job Fedorov.

Meanwhile, Selena has built a shitload of Crions. Nice!

And our Scout has found where we need to start our assault. All those Small Towers are going to be a big annoyance. We'll move to the east side of the map and work our way west while Selena attacks from the west and moves east and Fedorov...well...Fedorov tries really, really hard.

There are a ton of towers. And they all lead to this outpost. That has artillery. Wonderful.

But lucky for us they're all currently re-configuring their weapons. There's a chance we could break through and see some other stuff. Let's go for it, Scouts are cheap.

Okay, looks like there's a research center just beyond the artillery base. Why there's a research center I have no idea because GOLAN should have everything researched, but there it is.

And there's a horrifying line of Fortresses up in the mountains. Cool. Yep. This is gonna be a blast.

But hey, Selena has already managed to break into the western side of the base! Woohoo!

And we've got our first set of units ready to go. Alright guys, you're going to the east to start blowing up small towers.

Move faster! We've already wasted 9 hours getting everything built.

Fedorov joins in on the fun. If he just supports Selena maybe he'll do okay?

Our strike force moves past our mine which is already up and running.

We have 65,000 at our main base and another 44,000 at the secondary mine. That's all we're going to get. So not only do we have a massive base to take out and a time limit and an ally with questionable intelligence but we're resource constrained too. Awesome.

The first of the Panthers have arrived and have begun shelling the towers.

Unfortunately most of the army is completely useless as only a few units both have the range and can get close enough to damage the towers.

But they're doing a damn good job of knocking out those towers.

With the towers down, it's time to make our way closer to the artillery base. We'll need to be careful we're not spotted.

I'm also building a forward supply depot. It's not that much closer but when you're pressed for time, saving a few seconds on each resupply will pay handsome dividends.

In a bit of good news, our second strike team is also ready. We'll have them cover our flank during the attack on the artillery base.

Shit. Radars. Those need to be our top priority. If they can see us, they can shell us. And we do not have enough time or money to completely rebuild a strike team.

We're in sight of the research and artillery bases now, but unfortunately there's no way down the volcano. We'll need to take the long route.

Our second strike team is moving into position while our first one resupplies in the mountains.

Normally in this game you don't really need to worry about juggling between multiple unit groups but given the tight timelines on this mission I'll be hopping back and forth quite regularly between the strike teams.

Strike team 2 have begun their assault on the artillery base with an assist from the first team up in the mountains.

Our primary target is the artillery. Eliminate that and I can breathe a little easier.

Yes! Nice job guys!

The LC have almost pushed GOLAN back behind the second base opening. If they can eliminate the power plant and fortresses guarding that approach we can send one of the strike teams over to assist.

Unfortunately, we're starting to really run low on money. I'm switching production on most of my buildings from continuous to just one unit. This is probably going to be the last strike team I'm able to build.

Meanwhile, the Gruz I gave Fedorov is paying off. He's launching nukes

Well, uh okay then. Didn't expect to see that happen.

There is still a bit of artillery left, but given the ridiculous gains Selena is making, I've sent strike team two over to assist. Strike team one will finish off this base.

Good job! Now it has no power!

GOLAN is attempting to break out using SHADOW units, but thankfully our combination of SHADOW tech and radar has de-cloaked them while keeping us invisible. There will be no counter-attacks today!

We're having some problems hitting the artillery so I' that unit de-cloaked?


Oh god and now their anti-air plasma is engaging us. This is not going well!

On a positive note, strike team two has sealed off the exit from the western base. GOLAN has no hopes of a sneak attack now, it must punch right through our armies to escape.

Yeah, Selena and Fedorov are doing a pretty damn good job here. We're there merely to keep any of GOLAN's walkers from escaping.

I've finally found a spot where I can engage the-

Oh come on!

Selena and Fedorov look to have GOLAN on its heels, so now I think is the time for our walkers to move in and buttress the assault.

Jesus. Look at all those units, and they're all on our side! That's a rare sight...

With our incursion into the battlefield proper some units were able to sneak past. And that's why I have a team of SHADOW Panthers in the rear. They have no chance.

We get an assist from Selena! Thanks to her, the artillery is finally destroyed. I just could not find a firing angle but her Crions took care of it no problem.

Except, oh shit Dragon bombers are incoming! Everyone scatter!

Selena is saving my ass here with her rockets. Thanks Selena!

The western GOLAN base is basically history at this point.

The artillery base, despite not having any artillery anymore, is still annoyingly standing though.

Oh shit. GOLAN is attacking! Everyone get ready to defend yourselves! Second strike team, if you can help out your robot brothers on the other side of the lava!

Good god That's a lot of them.

The Gargoyles going for Selena's strike team was a huge mistake though.

It was tough, but we drove off GOLAN's attack. Our first strike force has dwindled significantly since the start though. Damned radars...

Finally! Selena and the second strike team have made it to the heart of GOLAN's war machine.

When these Weapons Production Centers fall we should hopefully be free from harassment from GOLAN's units.

Our two strike teams have almost linked up. They just need to destroy the line of Fortresses we saw earlier.

And with no power destroying them is easy.

Bam! There goes GOLAN's western base! And our two strike teams have now joined up. Wow. And we still have more than 4 days to go. That went...shockingly well.


My Goddess! Fedorov, Marcus, did you see what we just did? I've never seen GOLAN collapse so quickly. If only the three of us had been working together from the start...


Yeah, we may have been off the planet by now. But let's not get complacent. We're still quite far from the HQ and this plan of mine won't work unless you get me near there and we can knock that HQ out.

Selena is still on the offensive and has found the entrance to GOLAN's second base. It looks, uh, really intimidating.

Meanwhile we blow up more small towers. We're helping!

It appears there's a path in the rear that might avoid some of the teeth of GOLAN's second base. Might as well try it.


Maybe not. This may not be so easy...

Unless Selena takes out their resources. That would make it a lot easier.

I've combined both strike teams. Along with an a smattering of LC units this is going to need to be the force that takes down GOLAN. I fear that Selena's army is going to be crushed attempting to break into the base.

Oh shit! Those are SHADOW units. Lots of SHADOW units. Damn! GOLAN must be getting unit injections now.

Thankfully I've still got Radars, but we're going up against a lot of stealth units.

Some of which have made it as far as the base and strike team three. Damn it. We don't have time to play defense against unit injections and destroy GOLAN's base.

If we take out the base, the injections will stop. All units, prepare for the final assault on GOLAN!

Yep, definitely getting unit injections. Those Jaguars weren't there a second ago.

Thankfully Jaguars with 120mm cannons aren't that dangerous.

However, an entire team of previously cloaked units heading right for us is!

Good thing I built that Radar Tower...

Defend the Radar Tower! Without it we can't see where they're coming from!

This is unbelievable. There are still more SHADOW units.

This is getting ridiculous...

Thankfully during that whole ruckus I was able to move some of the combined strike team into place. They've begun shelling the base, well outside of the range of any defenses.

I'm also sending in some Gargoyles to deal with the Research Base. It's not much, but it'll speed up our assault.

Of course if you forget that there's anti-air plasma, the whole thing doesn't go too well

There it is! We've got eyes on GOLAN's HQ. The LC are attempting to destroy it right now and end this war, but given their health I'm not sure they're going to make it.

Our attack on the base's perimeter defenses was successful and they've been completely powered down. Sadly, we do have to destroy everything so we can't just leave them be.

With my Radar and the rest of Selena's army guarding the spawning area for the SHADOW units I think we're safe.

Defenses are down. Time to move into the base proper.


Marcus! Selena and I have your back! You've got to get in and destroy that HQ! We've only got 3 days left!


Agreed! I did what I could Marcus but my attack is faltering. We'll try and shut down as much of the power as we can, but there's no way we can reach the HQ.


Understood! I've got my walkers in place now and we're beginning our bombardment of the base. Hold on just a bit longer you two!

Shit! We've got a problem. We're too close to GOLAN's anti-air defenses. So long as we're in this position we won't be able to be resupplied.

All remaining units with ammo, focus your fire on the power plants!

It worked! We should be clear for resupply now! Whew.

With the threat of the anti-air towers eliminated we can focus on taking out the last of GOLAN's defenses.

Selena's remnant has fallen back and is now attempting to destroy what's left of GOLAN's mining operation.

One more power plant down! We're so close!

We join in on Selena's attack on the mining base.

With no active defenses left, it's a cakewalk.


Most of the base is down! Come on Marcus, there's not much time left! Take down that HQ!

We've taken out the last power plant. All of GOLAN's defenses should now be silent. Meanwhile, our army marches as fast as they can into the base proper to destroy the HQ.

Once again Marcus, kinda late on this! We've almost won.

We're almost in the base. Selena is attempting to clear the area around the HQ.


Marcus! The way is clear! If you're gonna take out GOLAN, I advise you do it now before reinforcements come pouring out of the path to Project ESCAPE!


Marcus! Do it now! I see at least a thousand units headed our way!

GOLAN Communication Failure Subsystem posted:



















Hello Marcus.

Routing GOLAN control through your systems...

...Override initiated. Please stand by...


Marcus your units have stopped! What's going on? Marcus?


Oh my God! GOLAN's base! GOLAN's units! Selena, I think it's working! They're all self-destructing and powering down!


Yeah, but there are still a few stragglers holding out against Marcus. I'll take care of them.

While Marcus takes over GOLAN, we just need to take out the few remaining GOLAN units scattered about the map.

To be fair, Selena is doing most of the work here.


I see no more GOLAN units. I'm on my way to the teleporter!


Taking care of the last one here myself. Will join you momentarily.


Hello Marcus.

Override complete. All GOLAN systems now running through you. Thank you.


Selena & Fedorov

This is Marcus, speaking through GOLAN. I have control now. I've cleared a path for you to make it to the teleporter. I'm currently auto-destructing any of its buildings and analyzing the "modifications" it made to the teleeporter. It's been busy. I don't think we'd have been able to trigger the teleporter without doing this. It's hard-wired into GOLAN's systems now. And I can see...see everything. It's a bit overwhelming.

Both of you need to get moving now though. We don't have much time left. I'll deal with the bits of GOLAN that aren't responding to me and then I'll be able to use GOLAN to trigger the teleporter so we can all leave.

And with that...we have completed Lost Souls!