Part 6: Hot Lava! And More Unimaginative Naming Schemes.
We've arrived on Starbase 2.
First impression, it's really purple. And blue. I actually like purples and blues so I'm a-ok with the color sch--hey, is that a female Krill? I hope she's not as curt as Psy--
Well I hope this isn't a trend here...
As it turns out, it is. None of the women here want to chat with Recker.
The Comm Room is locked too, so we can't even tell Tierney we're here and safe. Not that we're looking forward to chatting with him. Recker's still upset about the poison and the human killing.
Well time to go the only place we can go. Let's go talk to our new Commander.
: Welcome to Starbase 2, Mister Recker. You will address me as Commander Zelly. You will find that I run a very tight ship, unlike your previous Commander's putrid animal stable.
Hmm...I'm getting bitch vibes already.
: He briefed you on the purpose of your transfer?
: Yes ma'am. He suggested that High Command was please with my piloting skills and saw fit to promote me.
: A transfer and a promotion are two very different things Mister Recker. You should know that I read all about how you came to be in Bloss's service. A crack pilot found clinging to life in a human prison ship. Rather unconventional way to join our ranks, wouldn't you say?
: Yes ma'am, I would.
: And here you stand, adorned in the armor of a Krill, wandering among us? Can I rely upon you to follow my orders? Even those that may turn you against you own kind?
: Maybe you missed the footnote in Bloss's report.
: Oh, about the human mining facility? Yes, I read it. But don't pretend one skirmish proves your allegiance to Krill Command... I still find it suspicious.
: If you don't trust me yourself, what is your purpose in bringing me here?
: Oh, I didn't bring you here dear boy. The order came from the Tyrannical Overlord.
: The Tyrannical Overlord?
: Our leader. The head of the Krill High Command.
Yeah... the Krill certainly aren't the bad guys with a leader named that. Certainly.
: He's in charge? Why the interest in me?
: That information is beyond me. But I do know that while you're here, you'll follow me orders to the letter. Clear?
: Good. We are to continue the work begun on the Forest Planet by Commander Bloss.
: Another geological survey?
: Blune will fill you in.
: Don't expect any special treatment Recker. I'd just as soon see you dead and out of my hair.
: But since I have no say in the matter, welcome aboard.
: Quite a sense of humor you have.
: Not really.
: That will do. Blune, please bring Psyme in for her briefing. Recker, you are free to tour the starbase. You will find your quarters at the end of the hall. Dismissed.
Nice bunch. Between them and Psyme, it's feeling like a real friendly place. Well at least we have quarters in this starbase. Bloss didn't really give us any...maybe now we can catch a little sleep. That travel was probably long.
Ah, here we go. Time to sleep--
: Tierney out!
: Great. I have no access to that room. Now what am I going to do?
So much for that. No rest for the deceiver.
Before finding a way into the Comm Room, it's of note that Starbase 2 has a lot of Gun Data to find:
In one of the other quarters is the Bullet Data, Triple Shot. It's a better Double Shot so I equipped it with no second thoughts.
Hidden under the floor in the last other quarter is the Impact Data, EXP Leech. It drops a little box of bonus EXP every 30th impact. I didn't equip it because I'd rather keep my strength and I don't think the EXP it drops is substantial enough to warrant a decrease in strength.
And last, at the end of the quarters hall is the Cannon Data, X Cannon. It fires in an X pattern and I realize that the picture doesn't show it at all now that I look at it... I equipped it to try it out but you'll soon see I didn't keep it long.
Heading down into the lower parts of the starbase, we find this girl here who instead of blowing us off like everyone else, actually strikes a conversation with Recker.
: I'll say. Is she always like that?
: Look, I'm supposed to clean the COMM ROOM. If you do it for me, I'll give you all the dirt on Psyme. Whadaya say?
: I'll need an access key.
: That's no problem. I have an extra.
: Make sure you clean around the touch panel. Dust builds up there and drives Commander Zelly nuts.
The Comm Room Key actually goes in the Inventory slots on the Status Screen, the first of a decent number of items. You'll never fill all the slots though, as there simply are not enough inventory items in the game to do that.
Now we can unlock the Comm Room and talk to Tierney.
: What is it this time?
: Are you getting settled?
: Yes. I'm operating under a woman named Commander Zelly. She doesn't trust me one bit. Completely by the book.
Were I Zelly, I wouldn't trust Recker either, I mean, the situation is pretty suspicious as she noted. However, this is the only time I'll agree with her methodology. You'll see what I mean in a future update...
: I've been teamed up with a female soldier named Psyme, and now some guy...Blune. He's the commander's right hand man. A real Earth hater.
He's also the ONLY man on the starbase aside from Recker. Zelly keeps an all female crew.
: He'll have valuable information, so do whatever you can to get close to him. Also, I've anticipated a more thorough investigation into your past by Krill High Command. We've recently discovered a piggybacked signal on AEF's lines. It's very likely a Krill wiretap. We're dummying up some documents that support your story, and we'll be placing the files where the Krill can find them. If they investigate your past, they'll find a detailed account of exactly who you said you were.
Well there goes my good name.
: They are sending me down for another survey of this Fire Planet. Tell me now Commander, is there another Earth base down there?
: No. We have no knowledge of this planet of why the Krill would want it. As soon [as] you have concrete data, send it over. Tierney out!
That [as] is actually a typo in the game, it's 'has' ingame.
I talked with a couple techs to see what they had to say. Some of them had stopped blowing me off entirely, or just changed how they blew me off.
Man, Zelly REALLY doesn't trust us.
: pyramid and hasn't been seen since. I hope she's OK.
Foreshadowing to Starbase 4. It's a safe assumption pyramid gets equated with sand, so it must be based over a desert planet or something.
Well, getting blown off is nice and all, but it's time to move along the story once again. Recker decides sleep will have to wait and goes to meet Psyme and Blune at the landing bay.
: Krill High Command requires detailed scans of this planet. But to do that, we need to be able to find a fissure that will allow for a deep reading.
: No problem. We handled something like this before.
: But you weren't suspended over a boiling sea of lava at the time.
Huh, wait, lava? Why, again, are we doing this?
: Naturally, the weakest points on the landmass are best for scanning, but don't allow for the weight of the starbase. So, we'll need to land further out and set up force fields to act as bridges to span the crevices on foot.
: Sounds dangerous.
: It's worse than you think. The kind of force fields he's talking about require beacons to be set up right against the edge of the crevice.
: So you'll need to go down to the surface, and post the beacons first. That will tell the crewmen here on the base where to project the force fields.
: What's the hold up? Let's go already.
Screen mid-landing sequence. All you see is the colors changing through the windows in back as you exit space and into the atmosphere.
: What am I looking for?
: A discolored plot of soil is best. It means the ground is soft, but not flowing with magma. We'll need 3 BEACONS set up to triangulate properly.
: Three beacons, got it.
It's really hot here. Still shots don't show it, but those circles on the ground are supposed to look like little boiling pools of water. I bet that parasite Recker's wearing doesn't smell too good right about now.
And the game said Welcome to the Fire Planet to me by sending me into the first random battle as the goddamn Bomber. And I had the X Cannon on, which fires slower than the V-Cannon, meaning I couldn't kill anything fast enough because the enemies here are quite strong. Again, thank god for bombs, which helped speed up this horrible encounter.
Remember how I thought I was slightly overleveled? I wasn't at all. Watch my EXP gauge for the rest of the update and try to figure out how many levels I gained. Then understand that I'm still having trouble against the enemies because they're still very powerful.
Buried in this ring of crystals we find the Cannon Data, Scatter Cannon. It alternates firing forwards, forwards-up, forwards, forwards-down, repeat. I switched to this because it allows me to hit things in many places, though it's still not that great. It's a temporary solution to our mediocre cannon selection. I could use Free Movement but I think that would be making things harder for myself.
Well this looks like what they were talking about.
: It's done. Let's find two more spots similar to this one.
As I mentioned, enemies here are pretty tough. Maybe not offensively but defensively, even with my new Triple Shot, and the Bubble Impact acting as a second hit, these things can take multiple hits to go down as they fly towards you.
These pulsating magma things are worse defensively. They each take probably 8-10 hits and are usually in clusters. Luckily they don't attack or approach you, and in fact get knocked back by your attacks. It's usually a great idea to kill them though, since they each drop 50-100 EXP.
Oh yeah, it's at this point the game ramps up the EXP drops. The easiest enemy here drops about 10, the hardest drops 200.
Oh look, a wild Hen'nk. At least, I think that's the species. It's not as hard as its recently exploded cousin though, and goes down in three shots. Later we'll discover more resilient variations.
On the other side of the cave we find the Cannon Data, Front/Back Cannon. With this, you will never ever use the Horizonal Alternating Cannon again because this does that but fires both at the same time instead of alternating. Great cannon, but I kept the Scatter Cannon for the time being. I wouldn't be surprised if I switch to this at some point in the future though.
VIDEO: Fire Planet Random Battle.
Watch my EXP counter soar, and also watch how many hits enemies take.
Well we can't get in there yet. *marks down another place to backtrack*
This is actually right to the left of the Front/Back Cannon but we can't get to it. Recker can actually fall down that hole and there's no other path from this side to get there. Too bad.
So far, my gun is simply not powerful enough to kill these fire bird things, even if I begin shooting as soon as they enter the screen from the right. Bombs are the only way. They drop 200 EXP each though, so I'm definitely killing them as much as I can.
Here's one of the minibosses! It's this turtle-like thing. It's a bit hard to hit too since it walks around on the bottom.
It enters on the left actually and follows you towards the right. When you pass over it going to the left, it opens its maw and fires bullets in a bunch of directions. Then it follows you to the left, which is about the only time you can get to shoot the thing. You then have to pass over it again to the right to give yourself room to hit it again. When you do this, it leaps at you as you fly over it. Then you start repeating.
It's a pretty hard hitting miniboss. I only got hit maybe twice by bullets. Eventually it blows up and gives about 700 EXP.
Hurting from the miniboss battle, I ran back to the starbase to use the Data Plug to heal and Save. No dishonor in retreating if it keeps you alive to fight another day.
This is actually a decent stopping point since this update is getting a little long and this means next update will be of decent length. Chapters 1 and 2 are kind of short compared to other chapters.
See you next time when we continue laying beacons and take more surveys.
Current Weapon Data:
: 7 - Scatter Cannon. Alternates shots in a forward array.
: 5 - Double Shot. A triple laser with max hit area
: 11 - Bubble. Bubble is left behind that rises slowly.