The Let's Play Archive

Protostar: War on the Frontier

by Samovar


Here's the new names for the animals discovered last update; alas there wasn't enough room for the name decided for the slinky-beast, so I had to improvise...

When we last left our heroes they were currently just outside Freehaven having been rudely ambushed by a gang of wanna-be heavies who made the Pirates of Penzance look like the bleedin' SAS. After said barney, we headed back to Freehaven to sell our now-redundant ship systems at Frontier Craft for a profit.

Well, glad to help you out of said repair bay.

Now before, I sell all my stuff to him, I'm gonna ask him for the lore explanation of the weapons we just used against the pirates.

: I was hoping we could talk.

: Yeah... sure.

: What can you tell me about Accel Cannon? Wait, I mean Accel CannonS. Cannons. I didn't forget to use the plural there, no sir.

That gif doesn't really convey how fast he shifts his hat around. It's quite hypnotic.

: Tha energy required fer their operation's negligible. Accel Cannon 'r standard gear for Newfront vessels. Tha only defense against 'em 'r Dampenin Fields.

: Can we set our Particle Guns to stun?

: Those guns 'r standard fer Explorer vessels.

: Tha antimatter's released on contact with a solid mass, resulting in molecular annhilation. Energy shields are the best protection against Particle Guns.

Looks like I got the two mixed up in the last update. Whoops!

: Why do I shell out 1000 credits for every Pursuit Pod I use?

: They're yer basic homing projectile, aided by a computer guidance 'n a superior turn rate. Pursuit Pods target tha nearest opponent ta yer vessel.

: There's no defense against 'em, but they consume ten cubic meters o' yer fuel each shot.

: ...because...?

: Because otherwise you'd use no other weapon type besides from it! Now shut it! Maybe we could talk again later.

So, enough chit-chat. We can get rid of all our old Type I systems and the Type II engines the pirates had, leaving us with a very tidy sum of 19500 credits - as I said, pirate hunting is fun AND profitable!

Nice doing business with you, Frontier Craft! Now to head off to the Deresta...

You know, when you catch him mid-fidget, he looks rather fey...

...or, as fey as a weird, blue-furred space-gremlin could look.

: What's on your mind?

: I don't mean to be forward 'r nothing, but I was wonderin if ya know anyone who's lookin fer crew members.


: I figure ya might've heard somethin, being a Commander 'n all.

: This is tha only opportunity I get ta speak with Humans in yer position. Ya may not realize how prejudice interferes with my chances on tha outside.

: Tha reputation of other Kaynik'll always haunt us respectable few.

: I see... I never realized.

: Anyways, I've been a Tactical tech in Frontier Craft fer some time now. They let me play with all o' tha weapon systems. I've learned all I can here, so the work's become reduntant.

: With some luck, I'll soon find employment on a starship.

: How serendipitous! How providential! How providipitous! There's an opening on my crew.

: Ya serious?

:No. Only if you are.

: Ya got yerself one battle ready Kaynik!

: My name's Yikkak.

: Can I call you Worf? I'm Commander Samovar. I'll expect you on board my ship when I leave this Outpost.

And with that, we've managed to pick up yet ANOTHER crew member! As you have no doubt guessed, Yikkak is our tactical officer, having picked up all the required skills at F.C. Giving notice? No, I've never heard of that exactly - why is it important?


Well, I think now's a good time to shift it off this station - but there's just enough time to see what's happening in the lounge...

Dodel! What a surprise! No, I really mean that; I was genuinely expecting the band to be on by now - this is the longest I've ever gone in the game without seeing the band. How are ya, you old space-pirate?

: Well, I try.

: It's good to see that you're still in one piece.

: Well, I try.

: You're okay, kid.

While Dodel's in the neighbourhood, let's see what we can't squeeze from him running a ship. After all, this ol' space-dog had hands-on experience in running one! Right up until the point at which he had them blown off. No, wait, that came out wrong.

: I seem to be attracting a whole gang of people onto my ship as of late; you have any recommendations or advice about crew members?

: You'll meet crew candidates under some unusual circumstances. The better your reputation, the higher your chances of attracting talented help.

: Make sure to respect your crew, and be careful not to threaten their species... they won't do you much good if they're hostile.

: Oh yeah, and be sure to have enough credit in your account to pay salaries every ten days.

: I'm so glad Humanity reverted to French Revolution-era time keeping. I would be grateful for information about tactics.

Yes, I'm beginning to see that.

: Since most Newfront vessels travel solo, expect to be outnumbered. This tactic won't trouble you if the right tactics are employed.

: Your first actions in conflict should be to arm your defenses, then weapons. Next, concentrate your fire on one vessel until it's disabled.

: If your adversaries are very manoeuvrable, put some distance between your vessels, then make an attacking run. I use my Wave Gun when my opponent is passing quickly, and my Accel Cannon when they're dead in my sights.

: You can always pump out Pursuit Pods to limber up the enemy... if you can spare the fuel. The damage you inflict relies on the skill of your Tactician, but that almost goes without saying.

: It's VERY IMPORTANT to keep an eye on your Status Gauges during combat. The victorious Commander directs repairs or treatment where needed. You should also observe the condition and behaviour of your opponents. Frequent scans will tell you what they're still capable of. You can dock with adversaries that surrender, or that have no crew members remaining... so long as their buddies aren't still engaging you.

: If things go badly, and you have highly rated engines, then there's no shame in fleeing. You can always surrender if escape isn't possible.

Jesus Christ, man, did you not pay attention to the last update? I covered pretty much all of that already!

: Talk a lot, don't you?

: Well, it's not as if there's an instruction manual to tell you how to play this game, now is there?

: Touché. Anyway, what about yourself?

: My lust for adventure has faded.

: I'm content to pass the torch to a new generation of risk addicts. Good fortune to you all.

: Well, that's all the time I have for chatting, I look forward to our next encounter.

: Thanks for not bursting into a rendition of 'Fair Spanish Ladies.'

After a suitable amount of time pickling our internal organs with space-whisky, let's get outta this dump, assign Yikkak to Tactical and go to the next stage of our mission.

Here is where we'll find Boobolla and the Deresta people. As with the Vantu, we'll check out the solar system, land on the home planet, steal some local wild-life and terrorize the locals; see if we can't find out a few things.

A pic that conveniently shows the four planets of the Deresta home system (heading out from the sun, Oboee, Boobolla, Darnot and Harbyne)

On the way to Boobolla, however...

Hey! A friendly face. Well, a Human face, anyway. Let's see what they're up to. Open a channel!

: Pleasure's all mine, Z. What's the craic?

: What can I say?

: Fair dos

While we're here, let's see what the general human impression is for the local alien races in the sector.

: You work much with the Deresta at all?

: The Deresta aren't too keen on social skills. I think they spend a little too much time in the lab.

: What about the soon-to-be-no-longer enigmatic Ghebraant?

: Those sentients resemble the insectoid lifeforms that inhabit our home Sector. They are guided by a form of collective mind.

: The Ghebraant I've encountered are looking for a new hive location.

Oh good. They're essentially Tyranids. Except peaceful. I don't know if that makes them more or less horrifying.

: And the Vantu?

: I'm frequently impressed with the knowledge the Vantu possess.

: At times, their demeanour borders upon arrogance. And by borders, I mean runs perpendicularly through.

: Right on, sister! What about the Kaynik?

: If they weren't so divided by internal feuding, they would be just as great a threat as the Skeetch. How can we reason with ruffians that only want our cargo?!

:Heh... heh, yeah. Funny thing about that...

: Well, that's all the time I can spare for now. I look forward to our next encounter.

Guys... I'm getting the faintest idea that working with the Kaynik MIGHT be slightly harder than all the other species...

Ah, sunny Boobolla! With majestic, glacier-ridden oceans! Vast, snow-ridden tundra wastelands! A freezing, arctic thermal atmosphere! M... m... mild weather?


OK, sure.

Whatever, let's just get to the planet's surface.


I'm not sure how on earth that ship works. Like, at all. In any way shape or form.

The more astute of you may have noticed that the Deresta vessel is trying to flee from us. However, the Deresta vessel has level one engines and is could be out-run on foot. It could be out-run by driving a Mako. It, for lack of a better word, sucks.

Well, enough pussy-footing. Let's see what our Ice-hog friends look up close!

That's a face only a mother could love. If said mother was Hellen Keller. Let's put on the charm offensive to these dorks.

: I am completely in your service.

: I'm so happy I could cry!

: Any chance of the lowdown on you guys and your government?

: There's not much to tell, really. We're just your average space-faring sentients with a strong interest in scientific achievement. Just like everyone else... right?

: ..b-but I have to tell you, s-someone's out to get us! I'm not kidding you!

: It wasn't long ago that a group of our honoured scientists completely vanished!

Wow. As is plainly clear, the Deresta are supposed to be the first race you encounter. I wasn't even TRYING to get the quest-line to get them to join the alliance and it pretty much just dropped slap-bang onto my lap; understandable, seeing as they are the closest and most docile of all the aliens in this game.

: A multitude of departments process forms and statistics, then organize this data into plans for safer and more productive living. I feel so much safer with them watching over me!

:ORWELLIANS! What about yerself, big yin?

: Oh (sniggle), you're embarrassing me! I'm just a gifted sentient without lofty aspirations. I treasure my anonymity.

: Oh gosh... well, I gotta go. Thanks for being so patient with me!

Yep. That's what the Deresta are like. Dweebs to the bone. Goony through-and-through. But still, we need their help, and so... Let's get started.

: I hope our prices don't insult you!

No, no, your prices don't. But believe you me, your music does.

Adopting a naive approach, we manage to pick up some extra fuel, sell some resources at a loss, then get to chatting.

: I am humbled by your generous attitude.

: Do you really mean it?!

Oh golly gee.

: I wee bird told me about some missing scientists, ony chance you could elucidate upon they lot?

: It had been leased by a number of our top scientists as transportation to a convention. No passengers, crew or cargo were found on board!

: I do hope you got the deposit back.

: We Deresta can't trust anyone until the mystery of those missing scientists is solved!

: Th-that includes (gulp) you humans!

: 'EY YOU! Are you wanting my help in tracking these poor bastards down or no'? Now, Skeetch are in favour of disintegrating people, so there are only two factions that readily spring to mind re. hostage-taking and stealing cargo; namely space-pirates and the Kaynik. Can you give any idea which of the two is more likely?

: It's getting so that a Deresta can't travel safely anymore. We respect the rights of others... why can't everyone else?

: I mean, can't we all just get along?

: As for the Kaynik, they're the meanest bullies in this sector! Just because they've got bigger guns, Kaynik think they can just stomp all over the Deresta!

: At least you're no' deluding yourselves. But you said you don't think you can trust us Humans? How no'?

: The only Humans I meet work for Newfront.

: You seem like an amiable species, considering your history of conflict... th-that is, you're quite receptive for expansionists...

: ...(eek) wh-what I mean is, you display reason exceeding your intellect...

Bless yer heart, ya big palooka.

: This humble merchant doesn't know anything else.

: Then, if you'll pardon me, I best be to shiftin' myself. Haven't quite strip-mined your homeworld yet, y'see.

: Please help us find our scientists!

Don't you worry, little guy! I'll get right on that!


...right after I finish doing this. You don't mind, do you? Oh good.

So, as you may have gathered, if we want the Deresta on our team, we have to help find these missing scientists - yes, to get species on your side, you first have to make them like you, then you have to find the right piece of dialogue to get the quest activated, THEN you can get them to join you. As it so happens, this is THE easiest quest in the game, again, fitting in with making it seem like the Deresta are actually supposed to be the first species you initiate contact with.

Anyways, we'll see about solving these guy's problems as we make our way to the final of the friendly species, the Ghebraant. Oh boy are you guys going to like the look of them!

But before we do so, there's still one last thing to do!

: ...skates on honed bone ridges protruding from underside... propelled by eight pairs of stubby appendages... forward mouth organ scoops nourishment while travelling... infrequent asexual produced eggs embedded in ice.

: ...olfactory and tactile senses... leaps up to fifteen feet using triangular foot... torso bends backwards when feeding... asexually produced eggs laid during inverted hiberantion.

Inverted hibernation?! What the bloody hell is THAT supposed to mean?! Also, hang on...

Wikipedia posted:

Arachnids is a class (Arachnida) of joint-legged invertebrate animals (arthropods), in the subphylum Chelicerata. All arachnids have eight legs...

That thing is NOT an arachnid.

Mammalian FLATWORM?!

: ...olfactory and taste senses... wedged head and flat body for burrowing through snow banks... fur covering provides thermal protection... annual nesting by both sexes produces small litters.

As a biologist, this poor use of classification insults me. Well, at least it is... kinda... cute? Maybe?

So, any suggestions for these bad boys? Also, if you want any particular topics discussed, just let me know in bold and I'll ask the moment I can get a chance to in the game.