The Let's Play Archive

X-COM: UFO Defense

by GuavaMoment



Greetings soldier! We here at the eXtraterrestrial COMbat science unit wish you luck in your missions, and hope you bring back all kinds of interesting gadgets and knowledge.

Late December X-COM forces attacked a UFO and inside found one live alien suspended in some kind of stasis or holding tube. This "Allen" as we have called him has provided us with as much knowledge and information as it could (in the future, we will use the generic pronoun "he"). Allen has no memory of anything prior to X-COM reanimating from the tank, but does possess a large amount of latent memory about his species technology. Most of this information is classified at this clearance level.

The aliens we are dealing with go by many names. The media call them Grays, Allen named himself Reticulan (named after Zeta Reticuli, a system Allen identified on a star chart), but the official naming of this species on X-COM bases is "Sectoid". Seven bodies have been recovered from missions near the end of 1998, and autopsies are being carried out. Results are expected shortly, for now all that you need to know is that Sectoids have a remarkably human-like appearance, and anything that kills a human will kill a Sectoid. Most of the major organs are similar in location and function as in a human.

Once a UFO has been detected and grounded, you will be sent to its location in our Skyranger class vehicle.

The Skyranger carries room for fourteen soldiers, ten soldiers and a remote controlled tank, or six soldiers and two tanks, the latter being the recommended load-out for your missions. Though the Skyranger can be armed, X-COM will not equip the craft with weaponry. It is a craft built for long distance travel and soldier capacity, not dogfighting.

The tanks X-COM has acquired the rights to test are an experimental remote controlled version. From a safe location inside our bases, an X-COM pilot can control the tank, take readings of the environment and provide heavy fire support. While there has been debate on the use of these tanks in the field, X-COM believes that their use is justified. The two tank operators on-base go by the callsigns "Waddle Dee" and "Bovines".

The following is a list of the weaponry X-COM soldiers can be equipped with before missions. A balanced approach is recommended, with a few soldiers providing heavy fire support, but the majority equipped with direct fire weaponry.

Due to the hesitation of most governments to fund the X-COM project with anything more than a pittance, we cannot provide weapons with the same level of quality you may be used to as soldiers in the military of your representative governments. Our major weapons supplier is our low-bid contractor. Thus it is important that you familiarize yourself with the strengths AND weaknesses of your weapons.

The standard issue pistol is an excellent backup weapon, being light and easy to carry. This is its only benefit.

The standard issue rifle has decent power and can be fairly accurate in the hands of a skilled user. It is a recommended weapon for the majority of X-COM soldiers.

The Heavy Cannon has the potential of being a powerful support weapon. However, it is rendered effectively obsolete due to the:

Auto-Cannon. While the armor piercing ammunition is rather unspectacular, the high explosive and incendiary ammunition can be a potent weapon. If an enemy is entrenched in a position, the auto-shot mode of the auto-cannon will simply destroy any terrain the enemy is using for cover. The main drawback of the auto-cannon is its low accuracy rating at long distances, and the danger of friendly fire from the explosive blasts. Be mindful of the explosive radius. Avoid aiming directly at standing targets; instead aim for the ground near the target, the ground being much easier to hit.

And sometimes when the auto-cannon is insufficient, the rocket launcher can provide true destruction. Be careful though - the launcher and its ammunition are heavy and bulky, so make every shot count. Do not use in situations where alien technology recovery is an objective.

Each soldier not carrying explosive weaponry will be equipped with the standard issue grenade.

Finally, the stun rod. Essentially a modified cattle prod, the stun rod is our only current method of disabling aliens without killing them. Requiring short range for use, it is a risky weapon to use. However, capture of live aliens is a vital imperative and we will require soldier proficient in stun rod use. There is little harm in giving stunned aliens an extra jolt, which will prevent them from regaining consciousness before cleanup crews are ready to move in and transfer the alien to more secure holdings. A specialized containment unit is rapidly being installed on base, and should be operational mid-January.

X-COM scientists are working at a feverish pace, using the best of human science and the bits of alien technology recovered to improve upon the equipment of our soldiers. We are leaving the final choice up to you, our loyal soldiers, as to which avenue of research we should persue. Our options are as follows:

-A new periodic element discovered in some crashed UFOs could lead to a high-powered laser-type weapon. A laser weapon would be incredibly accurate and powerful. However scientists are still at the planning stage, and are far from a working prototype. A final combat-ready version may never be available.

-An improved portable medkit. The current issue first-aid kit has been described as "more useless than band-aids and gauze". The aliens seem to be using a type of plasma-based weaponry which can cause burns in soldiers. The new medkit will contain a synthetic skin bandage infused with painkillers. The hope is that this skin will stop bleeding in the field allowing a soldier to continue to fight. If the skin is applied quickly to an injured soldier who then arrives to a medical facility within an hour, the risk of scarring is also minimized.

-A portable motion scanner. A device that scans various non-visible spectra and displays the result on a portable LCD screen. Scientists claim the device can detect any movement in a localized area, but will not prove effective in detecting stationary targets.

Please fill out and submit the following ballot to your superior officer at your earliest convenience.

Laser Weaponry [] Medkit [] Motion Scanner []

We at the X-COM science unit hope to provide our soldiers with more and more effective equipment as research progresses. Best of luck to you in your duties.

X-COM Head Scientist,
Dr. Reis Markus


Paxicon posted:

The recorded voice-journal of Heinrich von Paxicon, Stunproder 1st Class

Mood: Scheisse.

I vaz issued mein waffen today. It is ein stick. I asked herr Kommendant "Can't I get ein gun..?" but apparently zé fakt that I interned at the Düsseldorf Zoo back in '91 means I am the only one qualified to, unt I quote zhat amerikan pig here, "Subdue and kapture" these.. Zektoids. Armed with lasers. Unt plasma. Unt giant spaceships. And probably zixteen-boobed monster women with carapaces.

And me with mein stick.

If I survive my first mission, I schwear I will pee in his office. Rite in zhat little potted plant by his desk.

Signing owt.

Terashell posted:

Accessing Log: Private Dominic "Terashell" Maxwell - Day 2: XCOM facility Early Light
Log accessed. Play? y/n

Playing log

Check this shit out:

Laser Weaponry [x] Medkit [] Motion Scanner []

They're actually taking a step in the right direction, asking the boots if they want better weapons, better healing, or the ability to see bastards sneaking up on them. I don't know about the rest of the shaved monkeys they've got me bunked with, but I've been around enough that I know motion detectors do absolute shit in anything other than a test room. Even the downed alien birds are gonna have ghosts
thanks to broken pipes, sparking wires, and local fauna that decided to investigate.

I'm putting my vote to killing Charlies better. Let some other pencil-neck fix me up after a mission. Never was that fond of field surgery either. They get the bullet out sure, but now I have no sense of touch in my left hand. Good thing I'm ambidextrously violent. Lead with the left, and the other guy's the only one that'll feel it.

Usually puts 'em down too.

I'm getting checked out on the Autocannon and Rifle. Probably stick with the rifle. Feels like an old girlfriend. Used to be able to nail damn near anything they put in front of me and told me to shoot. Gotta hand it to the nerds here, they know how to kill recoil.

Now, if they'd stick me one of those laser dealies they were mentioning, I'd be able to pop some Grey heads even better.

Until then, good old fashion lead will do just fine. Oo-rah.

Log complete.
Continue to next log? y/n

Logging out...

FredMSloniker posted:

1999 Jan 01

Dear Diary:

Happy New Year!

Today I spent most of my time familiarizing myself with my equipment. Much to my relief, the rumors of poor RPV range proved unfounded; two virtual cockpits are set up (is that the right word? Tanks don't have cockpits...) in a special room in the base. I haven't met my partner 'Bovines' yet-- odd choice of a callname, but I'm in no position to criticize-- so hopefully he and I work well together.

I was a little surprised to discover that someone had taken the time to print up a pamphlet welcoming all of us to X-COM. It was an unusual touch, especially considering the secrecy of the project. I kept mine; hopefully, at some future date when this all gets declassified, my nephew will get a kick out of it.

I'm glad I got in the practice time, because my HWP was equipped not with a conventional tank cannon, as I'd expected, but with a rocket launcher. That's fine by me-- the idea of precision fire with a tank is a bit silly-- but it does mean I had to familiarize myself with the splash radius so as not to lead to any unfortunate... accidents in the field. The simulator's graphics are cruder than I'd expected; the 'Sectoids', as they're called, are the same flat photo over and over again. It felt like playing Doom. You'd think a top-secret military facility would at least have Half-Life level graphics, but I suppose they've got better things to do than polygonally render aliens.

Most of the rest of the pamphlet wasn't of personal interest to me, since I'm not a field operative. I've been cleared with weaponry, same as everybody, but if somebody actually attacks the base I'm either going to be locked in the control room driving my RPV around the inside or cowering in a bunker somewhere praying the guys with rifles do some good. With that in mind, I decided to select 'medkit' from the enclosed ballot. As much as the idea of a laser tank appeals to me, there's no guarantee that the research will actually pan out, and I think I'd be better served in the worst case scenario by having someone who's actually survived a few missions to cover my ass.

Anyway, I'm going to do a little mingling, see who's on my squad. The soldiers here seem a bit... eccentric, but I'm sure they wouldn't have been chosen if they weren't good at what they do. Besides, there's not a whole lot else to do on the base. I wonder if I could get my Saturn mailed to me? A little Dragon Force would help me unwind.

Until next time,

Fred "Waddle Dee" Sloniker

Rear Admiral BOOYA posted:


> login: BOOYA, password: **********









Dexanth posted:

Personal Research Notes, L. Takakumi, 1/1/99, 7 PM
I can't believe it. Rather than listen to the input of actually qualified researchers, Dr. Markus has instead chosen to put it up to a public vote.

I wonder if I can convince the med techs he needs extreme deep-scan neuroimaging. Either he's mind-numbingly stupid, or else parasites are busy eating his brain. Given his earlier published works, I am leaning towards the second option; on the other hand, he could have been plagiarizing, as I do recall that bit about Theoretical Tachyon Yields to be remarkably similar to an essay I wrote when I was ten.

Until I can convince top brass that he needs to be replaced by someone with more obvious talents, such as myself, much as it galls me, I will have to play his game for the moment. It's times like these I am grateful for my body - A smile and a perked up chest work wonders when you wish to get a few of those jarheads to support your position. It certainly doesn't hurt when I 'forget' to wear anything beneath my shirt.

It does seem to be working - A cursory check indicates laser research is ahead by a wide margin. And I suppose if neither sickbay nor command will declare Markus unfit to head research, I will have to consider other methods of undermining his authority until he either earns my respect, which is about as likely as the sun going nova tomorrow, or there is no need to continue such due to his removal.

Oh, and I must remind myself for later - Ms. Cuddles managed to expose herself to some form of glowing substance that was recovered from that intact Sectoid ship the cannon fodder recovered. I'll have to keep on eye on her to make sure my precious kitty isn't suffering any ill effects.

And if she does, then death itself won't stop me from delivering an unending tide of torment and suffering to those alien bastards.

Interdepartmental Memo, 1/1/99, 7:15 PM
Dr. Markus,

Although I disagree with your methodology of determining which course in research we shall take, it behooves me to nonetheless add my input. Enhanced weaponry ensures that we are better prepared to kill anything we come up against. We have a near-unlimited pool of men and women to draw from to serve as soldiers, so while any loss of life is certainly regrettable, worrying about their safety is a secondary concern for the moment.

It also strikes me that the other two venues of potential advancement, while no doubt possibly helpful, would be unnecessary if our foes were simply dead before they could injure us. Therefore, I would recommend we proceed with full-scale weapons research, with a secondary task force delegated to developing motion scanning systems. I am sure that, if you were to poll our team, you would find that all would recommend me as head of weapons design.

Lastly, a point of personal concern. When passing you in the halls of late, you've looked rather weary. I would recommend you spend at least a brief time with the base doctors so that they might conduct a thorough examination to ensure you are still in prime health.

- L. Takakumi

Roar posted:



...towards college, and shit, another fourteen grand after I finish the program, assuming there's anything left after I get through with this shit. I hope they put me up as a sniper, I'd be picking them off like a fucking arcade and shit.

Yeah man, I remember Susanne, she's the one with the big r


real, man? Yeah, she's a little vixen. ...yeah. It's too bad Commander Douchelick won't let us bring our girls on base, because I need some serious tang. I swear, I just wanna smack that guy a new asshole. ...yeah, you can do that. Trust me, if anyone can do that, I can.


...Well, the only thing I'm really not up to snuff on is grenade handling. I played around with a couple of duds in practice, and let's just say that if it was real, my dick would be shot from here to my girl's house. Fortunately, I think I'm going to be set up with


an insufferable dick. You know he called me "ma'am" when I got off the transport? I really want to tell that guy off, but I...yeah, yeah, hold on a second. What do you suppose is recording on this thing? ...I dunno. I didn't mean to record shit. Dude, let me call you back. Bye.


What the fuck. Stop recording, you piece of shit. Stop recording already. OH JESUS, DON'T SEND. What the hell are you sending? What the hell? ...the hell? I don't understand this fucking computer! ...hmm. I wonder if unplugging it would wo


Dexanth posted:

Diary of L. Takakumi, 1/1/99, Entry 2
Note to self - Must not let Ms. Cuddles romp on keyboard when I am not paying attention. Came back from putting her to bed to find she'd left my memo onscreen. Hearing slight grumbling from soldiers, gotten mild dirty looks. Also heard considerable complaining about lack of women on the base, so I think I may have to step up my goodwill generating projects a bit.

Though, then again, there are a few who I'd be willing to sleep with even if there weren't a career reason to do so.

So long as they accept that I'm on top.

Dr.Magnificent posted:

"Dear Julia,

Welcome from  Censored Censored ! I've been meaning to write you since I got here  Censored Censored ago, but I haven't had much time until now. I am glad you convinced me to join  censored  when  censored  offered me the job. I have to admit when I first signed up it was  censored censored censored censored. censored censored censored  is unbeatable. I just hope I get the chance to  censored censored censored . What  censored  left out when he recruited me was just exactly  censored  would be tasked with doing.

We are an  censored censored censored censored !


I  censored censored  around  censored censored !

It'd be awesome if it wasn't so dangerous. I did not know when I signed up that I would be a field medic. I have yet to run a real mission, but I have seen  censored censored censored  from the  censored censored , it was horrific. The  censored censored censored censored censored . I can not put into words what it does to a man when it hits him. We wear a type of kevlar armor that works well against  censored censored , but does nothing to stop the  censored censored.   censored censored  the body is a  censored censored  death  censored . It can  censored censored censored censored kill  censored censored censored censored  the leg. I assume it must be caused by blood loss or shock, having not  censored censored  myself

 Censored  tells us this is the most important task that  censored censored censored censored censored , but you wouldn't know that from my medical kit. I have less in my kit then a medic in  censored  had! It is almost better to shot a wounded soldier than to try to save him, because then his pain will end fast.  Censored  promises that they are in the process of acquiring more  censored censored , he even mentioned that it might have  censored censored censored , but I really  censored censored censored  at this point. Because of that, I've taken up going to  censored censored censored censored times a day to get a better handle on my long range shooting, in the hopes that I can be of some use whenever we go into  censored .

Despite all of my complaints I  censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored. censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored. censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored. censored censored censored censored, censored censored censored, censored censored censored . So overall I love it here in  censored 


Ambrose, Proud Member of  censored "

Dexanth posted:

Diary of L. Takakumi, 1/1/99, Entry 3
I've concluded my earlier idea of how to associate with the cannon fodder was terrible. Almost all of them are total psychopaths or wet behind the ears otaku. I swear, when I hear that one kid's name, it's all I can do to keep from letting Ms. Cuddles introduce her claws to his face.

At first, I thought that the commanders were simply insane, and was going to recommend they be checked for brain parasites as well. But now, I've realized the true genius of it - Spend the first few months throwing out waves of completely dispensable troops! That gives us time to gain valuable intelligence on our enemy, advance our research, and who knows? Maybe they'll actually win a few times, which'll bring back even more toys for me to play with.

Then, when we actually have some idea of what we're up against, we bring in the elites and unleash the full power of R&D.

I need to figure out exactly whose responsible for this. I may have found a potential father, here.

Ah, but the day's been long for now. Time to go lock myself in my deliciously luxurious quarters, and let Ms. Cuddles do what she does best. She's so soft and snuggly. Kitties are so nice. Other than when they bring up confidential documents on a public terminal, anyway.

Terashell posted:

Accessing Log: Private Dominic "Terashell" Maxwell - TIME CODE LOST: XCOM facility Early Light
Log accessed. Play? y/n

Playing log

What in the hell have I been gotten into? I've been wandering around the base when I'm not at the range, and you wouldn't believe some of the chucklefucks they've got me with. Bunch of crazies, pansies, and general fuckwits. Only person who seems to have any sense of reality is that scientist who likes her cat a...little too much, if you get me.

Still, if shit and fan meet up at any point, I'm going to make sure she gets out of here alive. Or at least have some secret goodies stowed away for a rainy day.

Anyway, it's about time for me to kick that jerk I'm shift-bunking with out of bed so I can get some rack time. I'll check in after I have more news. Other than the funny looks I get from some of the scientists, it's pretty boring shit around here right now.

Log complete.
Continue to next log? y/n

Logging out...