The Let's Play Archive

X-COM: UFO Defense

by GuavaMoment



Thanks to the recent efforts of our soldiers, our scientists have an incredible new amount of research completed. We're still buried under a mountain of fantastic alien technology but we're slowly discovering some of the aliens' secrets.

Though we have captured of two of the aliens' ships, we're mystified as to how they manage to propel themselves. While there is an obvious engine-type device in the center of the craft, how it produces locomotion is unknown.

This alien ship was identified by Allen, the only living alien in our custody, as a 'medium scout ship'. Built for long-distance exploration and scouting. Despite having only five passenger seats, a recent mission found eight crew inside. Though this ship poses little threat to humanity, it is a harbinger of larger ships to come. The top observed speed of the ship has been listed.

We have not captured any of the small scout UFO yet, but we do know three important facts about it. First, the craft is harmless as it possesses no weapons. There is only room for one crew member. And most importantly - one avalanche missile completely annihilates the craft, leaving nothing to salvage.

Due to the response of the X-COM operatives on base, our scientists have made researching laser weapons a priority. And we are very pleased to announce we have a working prototype.

Introducing the X-COM standard issue Q-switched cavity dump laser. As stated before, a new periodic element was discovered inside captured UFOs. The crystal oxide of this element has the unique property of having an incredibly high gain saturation and low population inversion threshold, resulting in a powerful lasing storage medium. Optical pumping is provided with high-efficiency LEDs, powered with the latest in lithium-polymer batteries, providing essentially limitless "ammunition" for one mission. The weapon pulse emitted is a microsecond pulse of near-infrared radiation in the megawatt range.

In less technical words, aim at something you want to die and pull the trigger.

We are lucky that the aliens have so far not shown themselves to be wearing armor. Care must be used around infrared reflectors to avoid friendly fire from scattering beams. Also be mindful of the lack of recoil in laser weaponry. The laser pistol is perfectly accurate, but in tests some soldiers have missed shots. It was determined that the soldiers unintentionally change their aim slightly in anticipation of a recoil jolt. This is a bad habit laser users must stop or effective accuracy of the laser pistol will be reduced. Finally, the weapon needs a few seconds to recharge after every shot and should last for over 500 shots; more than enough for one mission.

X-COM doctors recent acquired sufficient alien corpses to finish a rudimentary autopsy. An important discovery has been classified for this security clearance. What we can tell you though is that it is of the utmost urgency that a live Sectoid be captured and interrogated for more information on this species.

The bodies we have recovered are all between 4 and 5 feet tall, weighing around 80 to 110 pounds. Human-like in almost all respects, with similar placing of all major organs. The main findings relevant for soldiers are highlighted below.

-The Sectoids are physically weak, easily bested by a human in hand-to-hand combat. This suggests the Sectoids evolved on a low-G world, probably around 0.4 Gs.

-The eye structure is much more evolved than ours, and they have superior vision in all respects. Their eyes can see a greater range of frequencies. The large area of eyes allows for greater light collection, meaning the Sectoid have superior night vision. If engaged in nighttime battles with Sectoids, they will see you before you see them. Use of flares or incendiary weaponry is recommended. In daytime, a partially transparent nictitating membrane covers the eye, eliminating glare and brightness that would otherwise blind the Sectoid.

-Their sense of smell is very limited and non-remarkable, but then again so is the human sense. Finally, their sense of hearing is similar in range to ours.

-After running DNA analysis on the 15 corpses recovered we have only revealed three unique genomes. We would assume Sectoids births are highly monozygotic (multiple identical children) but the complete lack of genitals or other reproductive organs lead us to conclude that Sectoids are cloned and grown from a limited stock. This would explain the nature we found Allen in - a grown Sectoid with no personal memories, found in some kind of growing chamber.

The discovery of a second alien species came as a shock to us, so autopsies on the "Floater" corpse was deemed a high priority. The Floaters are a fusion of machine and biology, obviously using the machine part to endow them with a limited flight ability. All we know about this machine is that it is similar in construction to the design of UFOs, scaled down.

The biological part of the floater consists of only a human-like head, arms, and a hollowed out torso. We can assume that before machinery is added, that Floater possesses legs. Overall height is between 4 and 5 feet, plus one foot of float height. The arms have a similar strength to that of humans, and the Floater has superior senses of sight, hearing and smell.

DNA analysis shows the Floaters have no relation to any known species, and each corpse was a unique genome. This suggests that there exists an unmodified group of Floaters who most likely reproduce sexually. We cannot be sure of this though, as the machinery surgically added in necessitates the removal of the reproductive organs. Assuming they keep their gonads in the same place as we do.

Until the capture of a live alien, we will know nothing of their culture or motives. In the meantime, many new avenues of research are available to us. As before, we ask you, the soldiers to provide input as to what you require most. Though research is not decided by simple majority vote, your input is reviewed and analyzed thoroughly.

The new "Alien Weapon Technology" box is fairly obvious. While we have seen the alien weapons work, we cannot use them, as soldier Sugary demonstrated in-mission. Focused researched is required to determine why this is. Weapons include various plasma based weapons, as well as a grenade, and other miscellaneous hand-held alien devices.

We hope "Alien UFO Technology" will eventually provide us with the ability to make human ships based off of alien designs. Spin-off technologies would include a possible armor that would be light and flexible. This research path also includes the Floater machinery, possibly leading to personal floatation devices for soldiers.

Medkit [] Motion Scanner [] Alien UFO Technology [] Alien Weapon Technology []

Best of luck in your future missions. We hope to provide our soldiers with what they need to limit future casualties.

X-COM Head Scientist,
Dr. Reis Markus