Part 9: ABC's newest hit soap opera
The screen shakes a little.
: Psyme, I'm concerned about Blune.
: Me too. Commander Zelly will take drastic action now that she's found a security breach.
: What do you know about her?
Other than that she's crazy.
: What is she capable of?
: The crew will be replaced that's for sure. Maybe incarcerated.
: Or killed? Like that crewman?
: Why do you feel so responsible for all this? I thought you were the standoffish hired gun.
: Wouldn't anyone in my place feel the same?
: You sound frightened.
: Well look at me! I'm a million miles from Earth stuck in a crate! Who knows if I'll ever see Earth again! Or if it will even be there when I do!!
: You're such a big baby.
: I know you're not impervious to all this madness.
: Pffff...You don't know me at all Earthman.
: I've learned a bit. You blew an attack on Earth and got demoted. You're probably bitter about it. Now you've got no friends so you throw attitude in everyone's face even when they're trying to help you.
: Why don't you do something about it? If you work hard I bet you could get your post back.
: I already worked hard to get where I was before! Forget my old life! All I want is a second chance at that human pilot that brought me down!
: I'll show him what I'm really made of!
: This pilot... What can you tell me about him?
: Not enough. Only that he survived by the skin of his teeth.
--We interrupt this program to bring you this FLASHBACK--
Hmm, I guess she's right. I thought I survived better than that.
--We now return you to Sigma Star Saga, episode already in progress.
: I took out his entire squadron before he brought me down. I'm told his name was Sigma. Ever hear of him?
: Sorry, can't help you there. Psyme, doesn't it bother you that you shot down those pilots? For all you know they were good men!
This is a dumb question for his supposed backstory and Psyme calls his bluff.
: Simmer down!! You know, for a murderous convict and alleged human hater, you sure go soft when it comes to your mother planet.
: Come clean with me. Why were you banished from Earth?
Shit shit shit Tierney never told us our cover story. Improv time!
: It's complicated.
: We've got time.
Nice try, no cigar. Improv.
: Fine. I used to work for my uncle... Err...Uncle Sam.
I'd forgotten about this line so seeing it while playing made me laugh and applaud Recker's shit-making-up skills.
: He put me in charge of some guys, and I sort of got a big head. Forgot how to lead by serving others... I... ...When my guys needed [me] most, I was only looking out for myself.
I'm assuming that "me" is supposed to be there because the game doesn't have it at all, instead reading "needed most".
: It cost them their lives. After that I was removed from the job, and exiled into space.
: Your uncle must have been an important man. How long was your banishment?
: I am beginning to think it was permanent. Returning to Earth might not be in the cards for me anymore.
: You must regret your crimes then.
: ... Yes. But I can't live them down. All I can do is live with the consequences of my failure. Look, Psyme... If I ever get back to Earth, I'll find this pilot that ruined your life. We'll finish him off together.
: You're sweet.
: You need to let it go. Even I know there's more to life than keeping score. You should learn to stop and enjoy the moment from time to time.
: What could possibly be good about being locked in a box for hours?
Psyme on the floor, Recker against the wall, arms folded. For some reason that sprite of his looks really smug. Don't ask, don't tell I guess.
The screen shakes after Psyme stands up.
: Hmm...Huh? What's going on?
: Didn't you feel that? We've landed.
: Oh yeah. Sure is quiet.
Screen shakes violently.
: That was the loader arm dropping us I think.
: Whoa... It's getting cold!
: Sure is. Let's ditch this crate. That is, unless you'd like to stay in here.
: Aww, it wasn't so bad.
: You'd better not be referring to my kiss.
: Err... I'll get the hatch.
I hope that parasite doubles as a parka. Psyme on the other hand is going to be a bit chilly here...
: What happened to Starbase 3?
: Looks like we've been delivered to the Ice Planet by mistake.
: It's no mistake. This is Zelly's idea of a joke. Or worse, she's ready to take things to the next level. I sort of went over her head earlier.
: Oh great. Thanks for dragging me down with ya.
: What are friends for?
: Friends, huh?
: We'd better look for signs of life, or a way to alert Starbase 3 that we're down here.
: Call for help on that bikini slug.
: I told you before! I can only communicate when the fleet is overhead.
: Then I guess it's up to me to scout ahead.
Welcome to the Ice Planet! It's cold. At least there are no random battles here yet, and the music is pretty decent. I definitely like this planet better than the Fire Planet.
This snow mound cannot be destroyed by my Krill Puck, which bounced away harmlessly.
More underground switches. These don't do much other than slow you down but they're harmless enough so it's no huge deal.
Still have no way to do anything to these pillars.
Well well, what's this? Reminds me of a certain human establishment...
: I shouldn't be so surprised but here I am, standing in the presence of yet another unexplainable human settlement!
: It's not a mining operation. No heavy equipment or displaced land.
: Any tremors?
: *gets out her scanner* I'll check.
: I can't believe there are humans out here! You said this planet was remote event by Krill standards!
: Uh oh.
: Uh oh what?
: Brace yourself. We've got another match. This makes three planets now, all shaking in unison. That means the humans knew about two of the planets before we did!
: Come again?
: Keep this under your hat. Earlier we met with the Tyrannical Overlord, head of the Krill High Command. He said that both the humans and the Krill were searching for six matching planets.
: I know. I eavesdropped on your meeting.
*gasp* sound effect should be played here but it's played at the start of Recker's next line. Slip up I guess.
: What?! How could you do that?! Our necks are on the chopping block as it is!
: I want to know what this is all about, and you should too! This alien matter could be a weapon!
: Who knows? It could just as easily be starship food! You know, your meddling is getting out of hand, and I'm going to be the one who gets bit on the backside!
: I'm going to look around inside the compound.
: Go! I've had it up to here with you!
Welp. That went well. This settlement is also all of one hallway long.
Whoa, that's different!
???: Help! Help me! They're everywhere!
: Hang on!
???: Aim for the head!
Were I smart I would have used the Krill Puck to kill these zombies in one hit. With the gun they take three.
Easy enough, now who are you?
Ah, of course, the perfect clothing for an Ice Planet.
: Human beings?
???: Yeah... what's left of 'em. You're a man, right? Like, a human man?
: Oh, right. I'd almost forgot about the Krill armor. Regular human, same as you.
???: Err... Why are you dressed up like that? You look ridiculous!
: I'll explain later. Who are you?
: Scarlet Keys. I work here. Or I did, up till the accident anyways. Are you with a rescue team? Or a decontamination squad? You're not going to stick me in a plastic bubble are you?
Scarlet's character portrait is absolutely horrible in my opinion so I've made a custom one that I'll be using for the rest of the game. I'll also be editing screenshots with it for consistency. It's more trouble for me but I'm much happier with the custom one I made up so I can spare a couple minutes each update doing that. I'll show the real one at the end of the update for comparison.
: No, no. Look, Miss Keys you said?
: You're cute. You can call me Scarlet.
: Ok, Scarlet. I'm only posing as a Krill to get information out of them. It's important that you play along. We'd both be in serious trouble is my cover's blown.
: Double agent gig. Ok, sure.
: First, I need you to tell me what this compound is here for.
And here begins the official start of this game's transition into a space soap opera. Let us carry on!
: Oh, I see... Good catch Recker!
: Who's this?
: Me? Oh, I'm Recker's girlfriend. He's lost his taste for scrawny little Earth girls.
*Scarlet makes a sound of disgust.*
: Just when I thought men couldn't stoop any lower!
: Um... She's not serious! Really!
: What's with the bloodbath?
: I found Scarlet-
: -under attack by a horde of diseased humans. They looked crazed somehow. Like, well...
: Like B-movie zombies.
: Are there more humans here? Like you?
: Nope, nuh-uh. I've ID's all of the scientists and the support team. I'm the only uninfected person left.
: How did this happen?
: We were sent here by AEF to breed a very specific strain of virus. We were successful, but a byproduct of the virus contaminated our food stores somehow. By morning everyone was infected. I was watching my carbs, so I sort of dodged that bullet. Girl's gotta watch her figure, right purple?
: You said you were breeding a virus. What for?
: We were given a sample of Krill genetic material. The virus was required to multiply and destroy the material utterly. It was quite a challenge since the sample was completely foreign to us, but we...
: Stop. Am I at risk?
: No, I doubt it. The virus running amok here is not the pure strain. Like I said, just a byproduct. The real virus only exists in code until we manufacture it. I still remember the formula... Maybe I could whip some up for you?
This relationship is starting out great.
: Hold on. You can't kill her!
: Why not? We can't leave her here to breed a virus that will destroy the Krill!
: Then she's coming with us. We'll have better chances of surviving if we stick together.
*Psyme lowers her gun.*
: You're not thinking of trading up are you?
: Of course not! I mean, it's not like... Bah, let's just go! Come on!
: Where are we going?
: There's a Krill starbase in orbit. We need to let them know to scramble the fleet so we can warp out of here.
: What about her? She can't be summoned into a Krill ship.
: I don't want to go on a Krill ship!
: Well we can't stay here. Hmmmm. Scarlet, are those flares? On your belt?
: Oh, these things? The light will only rile up those dead humans though. It's the first thing I tried.
: But now there are three of us, plus we know a station is up there expecting us. I could plant the flares in a wide formation while you two cover my back. If they're still scanning up there, we might be able to catch their eye.
: I'd guess TEN FLARES ought to do it. Find dry spots and jam them pointy side down.
Cool. I'll get on that.
VIDEO: Ice Planet Exploration
The girls then walk offscreen and one of them yells "Come on!" through the GBA speakers.
So here's the Ice Planet. Lots of small rooms, and only a couple areas we cannot immediately access. We can also see that our 10 flares take up 10 inventory spaces so for whoever said that the inventory is big for no good reason, I guess this is a part of why it's so huge.
As a whole, the planet is rather unremarkable, so unfortunately, screenshots of this part that aren't Recker talking when he finds a place to stick a flare are going to be fewer than previous updates. It also doesn't help that there are no random battles to take screens of, though it is nice to run around freely. For a better look at this place, I highly suggest watching the video, as it goes through this entire area up to the end of this update.
Before leaving this room to the left, going down leads to a lower area where we find more zombies and the first dirt patch to stick a flare.
Looks like another part of the human settlement is here but those pillars are in the way again.
It also looks like I forgot to screengrab the second flare patch. Oops! It's down a ways from this settlement.
These images are really self-explanatory and the patches are impossible to miss if you look around all the rooms and check the dead end ones too.
Oh hey, Gun Data! This cave has the Cannon Data, Cross Cannon. It's like the X Cannon but fires in a + shape. Maybe useful but I'm not switching.
These zombies have some pretty great melting sprites. They're really smoothly animated too.
Considering every time I see these pillars, there's one of these red pads nearby, I'm going to assume they're linked somehow.
More spikes and switches. Zombie at the end is annoying since the Krill Puck gets caught up on these small bridges and doesn't work so you have to shoot at him instead.
This ledge holds Gun Data too, though I accidentally collected it before I could take the screen. It is the Cannon Data, Sprinkler Cannon. It's like the Scatter Cannon but fires downwards. Useless in most scenarios because the game likes tight passages with enemies coming from the right.
This is annoying because those two zombies congregate at the base of the ladder, meaning you have to take a hit to get by.
There we go, all ten flares are set. The girls are over to the right but now is a good stopping point since talking to them activates the next sequence of events, and we just passed a nice save to rest at.
Join me next time as we run for our lives.
Current Weapon Data:
: 3 - Triple Cannon. Fires shots in a forward spread.
: 3 - Heavy Shot. A large projectile with a large hit area.
: 9 - Ignite. Bullets stop, gather strength, then blaze ahead in flame.
So as I mentioned, I think Scarlet's ingame portrait is horrible and so I made a custom one. Here's the ingame portrait:
It's pretty ugly if you ask me.