The Let's Play Archive

Protostar: War on the Frontier

by Samovar

Part 12: Somehow worse than a QTE boss

Well, you guys gave your guesses as to what it the secret to defeating the Dreadnought could be. A good collection, a good variation. However, thetruegentleman and Duckbag were the closest. We need to find our old friend Dodel and give him a wee shakedown, see what he knows about this thingmy.

However, at this point in the game; he'll never spawn anywhere except Bordertan; the area where Skeetch spawn the most and where you'd be least wanting to go with the appearance of the Dreadnought. But still, nowt ventured...

...nowt gained.

Of course, it goes without saying that even though Dodel will ONLY spawn at Bordertan, this does not mean that he will ALWAYS spawn there. It is at this point I found out that the game can actually have you encounter the Dreadnought before having the necessary stuff to defeat it, rendering the game unwinnable.

Basically, any time you see a green ping heading towards you, you have to run. This can make the game just that little bit more infuriating to play.

Hey! I see things have changed up a bit around here. Can't say I like the décor, but at least the music's better.

: Well, if it isn't the infamous Samovar...

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

: Deja vu, mate. How're things wi' you?

: (belch)

: I've been searching high and low across this sector for someone, ANYONE wi' some idea of how that big bastard o' a Dreadnought can be destroyed. Do you have anything?

: I knew we'd see those terrors if things went sour for the Skeetch.

: They're constructed from refractive armour and protected by reactive energy emitters.

: I've never heard of those technologies.

: In simpler terms, they've got defenses that'll neutralize damage from any Allied weapon.

: What about Pursuit Pods? Filling them up with diesel? A potato in the tail-pipe?

: No luck there, either... their emitters operate on a multicycle band that adjust to multiclass payloads.

: Just be thankful the Skeetch could only produce a small quantity of Dreadnoughts; we still have time to get out of this sector before they send out more!

: Now I figure you and me could slip through Janus sector and...

: You haven't told me everything.

: Whaddya mean?!

: How do you know so much about the Dreadnoughts?

: You know... I, uh... hear things.

: Oh really? Well, I guess I was totally mistaken. I'll leave you in peace for you to run outta with yer tail between yer legs. You'd have to get REAL CLOSE to one to learn the details you told me.

: Something tells me the Skeetch aren't inclined to publish their weaponry patents willy-nilly, like.

: You're leaping to conclusions when we should be leaping out of this sector!

: I can't leave the Allied Species in their hour of need.

: Did you donate your brain to the Biotech centre?! You'll be killed if you stay here!

: A Humans got to do what's right.

: What, like chattel slavery?

: no, I-

: Oh, then you must mean enacting divine providence as a casus belli.

: Not that either, I-

: The Glavnoye upravleniye ispravityelno-trudovykh lagerey i koloniy?


: I don't want you to go through what happened to me.[/i]

: Then help me, Dodel. You're my only hope.

: Tell me about your previous encounter with Dreadnought class ships.

: All right, whoops! I mean; alright, if it'll bring you to your senses...

: I was a mercenary in my youth... opportunistic and with little conscience.

: The Skeetch were a fledgling Empire that employed privateers to deal with their enemies.

: Just like the Bush administration!

: Funny. And don't interrupt. I contracted with the Skeetch for about eight years.

: YOU worked with the Skeetch?!

: That's right, and so did mercenaries from a lot of other species.

: The Skeetch weren't bent on conquest in those days... or so they lead us all to believe!

: I found evidence on board that showed they'd discovered remnants of an advanced civilization...

: Oh Christ, not this tired, old plot development again...

: ...and were secretly constructing Dreadnoughts using advanced technology.

: I also learned they were employin' us mercenaries to isolate weakness in other species.

: Did you tell the Alliance?

: Try to understand that my line of work made me unpopular with the authorities.

: Besides, I was more concerned with how I could profit from the situation.

: Really making yourself look good there, Donald Trump.

: I orchestrated a raid on the research facility where the Skeetch transport had been headed.

: I nearly escaped clean with a few prototype systems...

: Those bastards tore me up pretty good.

: Couldn't you outrun the Dreadnoughts?

: They had me boxed in too tight.

: I flew circles between 'em until my Drone could get the prototype system installed...

: ...then fried them with one of their own inventions!

: My whole experience was a lesson... it changed me.

: Well, I see that worked out well for you.

: Now do you understand why we should escape?

: What I understand is that the Allied Species don't have the choice you did.

: It's not their careers, fortunes or prides that's being threatened... it's their homes and identities. And lives, of course.

: They can't just abandon those things.

: What difference could WE possibly make?

: They're still on the Whirlick... my old warship.

: I figured the Skeetch could trace my location if I ever sold them.

: Let me use those systems, Dodel.

: If they help me defeat the Dreadnought, then the Skeetch may realize they're vulnerable and abandon their operations.

: You're some piece of work, Samovar.

: I disabled the ship and deserted it at coordinates 156,066.

: It's secured by energy fields that can be deactivated with the code 3o8df3.

Now we're talking!

: The projector weapon directs electromagnetic disruption through a Hyperpath passage.

: This means you can cause damage within an enemy vessel, disregarding all defenses.

: Be certain you have LOADS of fuel before you use the Projector.

: Just be careful out there.

And so we head out to find the mysterious Whirlick, and obtain the Master Sw-, I mean Photon Projector.

But Samovar, you may ask, what happens if you find out about these location and code before Dodel tells you it? Surely the game wouldn't allow you to break it in two like that, would it?

To answer your question; you can indeed get to the derelict and get all the stuff before meeting ANYONE in the sector - they game doesn't even think to randomise the access code.

Do any characters comment on this in the game?


Hey! That's an impressive looking hulk in the centre there; let's see how it looks close up, no?

And somehow a ship that is ~ 1/6 x 10^18 the mass of the Earth generates 120% of the gravity generated by the Earth.


Now as we enter docking profile, we get treated to some nice, spooky music - just to let us all know that this is serious business here.

Let's get to the bridge; hopefully Dodel didn't scupper this thing TOO ba-



But hark! What yellow light on the right-hand side of the view-screen breaks?

Why, it's our ticket to the prototype systems!

: Security fields have been lowered, Commander.

: This vessel has the most advanced engines I have ever seen!

: There is also an unusual device linked to Tactical.

: Transfer those systems to our starship.

: Right away, sir.

Now, do any of you lot see what's changed in that last picture of our bridge?


Here, let me help you.

That's right. We now have the peerless LEVEL V Engines. NOW if we get caught by the Dreadnought, we can just shimmy our sweet tushes outta there.

HOLY CRAP! Look at the speed we go at now!

And with this supercharged high-octane beast, the rate of fuel consumption for our ship is also dramatically reduced.

So, all we need to do is go find this big bastard, blow it up so hard that pieces of it travelling one way around the universe will meet other pieces travelling the other way and we're home free, aye?


...well, not quite. Y'see, Dodel mentioned something earlier: "Be certain you have LOADS of fuel before you use the Projector." - and he isnae kidding. The Lone Badger's strategy is also partially true. I'll be needing to get to Galothia; But instead of having to force you guys to watch me go through all that guff; you can pretend you did so, or alternatively, hit yourself round the head with a half-brick, seeing as both are equally valid.


We could go... check out a little place in the seeming middle of nowhere.

Now, you may well be asking me; Samovar - why on Earth would you go to 072, 003? It's deep space! There's nothing there!

And I would reply: 'Nothing?'

'Not quite...'

Yes, there is indeed a hidden solar system in this game. Now, why on Earth would a solar system be hidden? Why, only if there was something in there that needed to be hidden!

And what could be hidden here?

OK THEN! There's a planet I want nothing to do with in any way whatsoever. Surely the next planet must be better!


oh no

Ohhh-h-h-h no-no-no-no-no

No, no, no, no, no...





Oh yes.

Now we see the TRUE villains of the game. Those whom even the bravest warrior would flee in mortal terror. The secret Clown people.

: I demand that you cooperate fully!

: As if...

Now... I'm going to leave a few options up there for you guys to choose to ask about... if you dare, But I'mma ask a couple of questions myself.

: Dreadnought. Verdict. Now.

: Dread not for whom the hand buzzer shocks...

: shocks for thee.

Well, about as helpful as anyone else in this godforsaken galaxy has told us, I guess.

: You know Dodel? How?

: I thought his name was Doodle, or Doddle. Don't you think he'd make a great Clown?

No, I fucking don't!

: This had better not do what I think it does, but... what about employment?

: How many clowns does it take to screw in a light bulb?

: I'm sorry, that's a lawyer joke, isn't it?

: If you have a Clown as a crew member, you don't have to pay him; he'll pay you!

Yep. That's right. You can get a Clown crew member.

Who'll pay you for employing him, and is fantastic at any crew station.

How do you get this... beneficial character?

Notice how we now have a full cargo? And if we look at our crew roster...

We have a 'Kooky' onboard; of the species 'Maxis Funis' with salary requirements of -1000 Credits.


Oh, and what's in our cargo bay you may ask? Why, nothing other than the LAST undiscovered species of animal in the game!

: ...a clown will pay top credit for any and all hand buzzers... in fact, a clown will do almost anything for these shiny gadgets!

And after that; it is automatically named 'Handbuzzers'. Oh, and that line about clowns doing anything for them? False. You try and trade with these guys they're all 'I have nothing to sell!' and 'You have nothing that I want!'

Ha-ha! Funny, eh?


No. Not at all.

Oh yeah, You also can't sell the Handbuzzers to anyone. The only way you can get rid of them is by dumping them into deep space. Where they rightfully belong.

Well, I've had enough of this godforsaken realm of hell. It's time to end this game once and for all. It's time to go Dreadnought hunting.

It's pretty easy to find the thing; almost any green ping from now-on is the beast itself. All we have to do is go right up to it and chib the bastards.

Wow. You might just be the ugliest thing I've seen in the entire game. And I discovered the Crabssalid for Christ's sake.

Now, before this fight begins - tell me, what are YOU expecting the boss to look like? I mean, we saw the cutscene of it warping in; and it was a massive fuck-off beast of a ship. And the Whirlick was no spring lamb, either. So with that in mind...

...did you expect it to be anything else than a re-skinned Skeetch warship? No? Neither did I.

Now, I'm sure there must be games with WORSE final boss fights; but, I cannae think of much off the top of my head. Y'see, I think it is best illustrated with the following gif.

Now, do you see that? Orthodox weaponry makes no effect on the thing whatsoever. But the Photon Projector is a homing, hitscan weapon. All you have to do is point and click the instant the Dreadnought is in view. No need to centre it; as soon as it is on screen, you fire, and it hits.

But did you guys notice the VERY IMPORTANT THING about using the Projector. Here - I'll make it much clearer in case you missed it.

Before firing Photon Projector

After firing Photon Projector

That's right. EVERY shot with this thing takes up 50 units of fuel. Unless the Dreadnought is right by you when you've collected the last of your fuel, given that the maximum hold of your cargo is 1000m3, you can only ever have a maximum of nineteen shots against this thing,

But as we all well know, you can't direct WHERE the damage is going to be in this game, so there's no guarantee that nineteen shots is going to be enough to beat this thing. So what happens if you run out of fuel?

Why, you have to run away, or re-start the fight and try again.

Oh yeah; if this sucker sends out a distress signal? It calls in more Dreadnoughts, too.


...Fuck you, Tsunami.

Anyway, I'm not going to pretend this is good anymore. Just watch this if you want to hear the music for the fight, but otherwise, you can just pretend we reached the end of the fight.

: I've come to congratulate you, Samovar... your mission was a success!

: The Skeetch are scrambling back to their sector in a panic!

: That's a relief! I guess taking down their crème de la crème ship in thirty seconds can effect morale somewhat...

: Not only are their supplies exhausted, but some recent development has sent waves of alarm through their ranks.

: I've acquired a new weapon that can defeat their Dreadnoughts.

: Well done, Samovar... that must be the cause of their anxiety.

: No... really? I couldnae have guessed that. Sir, I need to talk with you about the Allied Species.

: Yes... I've heard a great deal about this coalition since I arrived. Would you care to explain yourself?

: The Human Alliance is obsolete, Director Hawking. We were victorious in this conflict due to the support of our alien constituents. If you call a raving drunkard ex-merc a constituent, that is.

: It's time for Humanity to accept their position in this galaxy. As Supreme Autocrats!

: These advocates deserve an identity we can all share. The Human Alliance must give way to an Allied Species.

: That was some speech, Samovar. I had no idea that you were a Lib Dem, ya milquetoast liberal, you.

: Now, is there anything I can help YOU with?

: Have you seen an ex-mercenary with a hydraulic arm since you arrived? I owe him a few drinks. And a few slaps round the heid for no' telling me about the systems before-hand.

: He left me a message to tell you...

: ...he's gone ahead to the Janus system, where he'll be recuperating from all the excitement.

:Where HE'LL b-?! I was the one who did all the work for that lazy, Captain Ahab wanna-be punk!

: He said that you're bound to run into him again in your next adventure.

: Ah-hah, I see what you did there, Tsunami. Very fuckin' funny. Interesting... thank you for your help, sir.

: I should be thanking you!

And... roll credits! Yes, that's it; after approximately 27,100 words and two months of time, the game's over. There's nowt more to see here.

Sorry for not getting all the different announcements, species' and crew-members' stories recorded - I didn't want to bog down the LP with a bunch of fluff that didn't have much to do with the game itself. If there is indeed interest in speaking to anyone one last time, I'll put up a bonus update with whatever requests you have.

But in the meantime...



Yes, really the end.