The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 3: Something "Outside" Your Experience

Part 3: Something “Outside” Your Experience

So, let’s see how the soldier ants are doing on the ant farm today…

Hey, treadmill buddy, how’s it going?
Who are—Allen? CAROL? What the hell?! You’re Asian!
Vahlen needed one more test subject for the thing that changed Bar-Lev’s skin. I figured, “What the hell. It’ll either kill me, or give me superpowers.” Actually, Dr. Vahlen pretty much outright said it might give me superpowers…maybe next time… But she said that from now on there shouldn’t be any more goo accidents, so my sacrifice of melanin was not in vain!
Well, it’s not a bad look for you.
Why do you keep saying that!?
I’m an out-of-work fashion designer who enlisted. What’s your story?
Third-generation comic book store owner. Digital’s killing us, so I needed the cash…

Hmm, what’s Bar-Lev up to back there?


Colonel M,

The mission statement for XCOM is, surprisingly, genuine. Aliens are real and kidnapping humans, though not from our region of the world, yet. They are armed with strange energy weapons that have yet to be recovered intact, but there are other developments.

I have been exposed to some strange substance that has completely altered my genetic makeup. I’m black now, as in AFRICAN black. (We will need a way for me to prove my identity to you when next we meet). This was merely an accidental byproduct of the true purpose of the substance, which I have determined is what the aliens use to genetically modify or cybernetically enhance themselves. This one side-effect would be immeasurably useful in the intelligence community, for obvious reasons, and there’s far more to come.

Dr. Vahlen and Dr. Shen are outlining plans for a super-soldier program utilizing this substance and I plan on volunteering as soon as I see it is safe. If all else fails, I can bring the technology back to our country inside my own body. However, I urge you to pass the message along to our nation’s leaders that they need to become full members of the XCOM project, to benefit from all the fruits of this organization’s labor. We cannot afford to be left behind.

Agent “Naomi Bar-Lev”

(So, she’s a spy, huh? Heh. If she tries to leave she’s in for a surprise, but I’ll let her send this message, maybe it’ll get one more nation to fund us.)

Bottom-line it for me, docs: what is this stuff?
This ”Meld,” as we call it, is filled with nanomachines and proteins. It’s…well…amazing. Their structure is—
That’s not bottom-lining it for me. How. Can. We. Use. It?

I could use it to grow an artificial nervous system, which would allow me to create cyborgs of incredible power!
OR we could use it to create super-mutants with the same powers as the aliens!
I’d prefer cyborgs, myself…
ENOUGH! We’ll build a lab for each, okay? Jesus Christ, you people…and by the way, Vahlen, you’re not cleared for the files from the 1960s. Yet. I’ll let you know more later. Now, what kind of stuff do you specifically think you’ll be able to turn our people into?

Just for starters, I could give our soldiers regenerating health and better vision. The more alien bodies I inspect, the more useful traits I’d be able to splice.

I wouldn’t just turn our volunteers into a normal human-sized cyborg…I’d replace most of their body and allow them to interface with a huge MEC suit larger than a standing polar bear, armed with a vulcan cannon and various other armaments of our choice.

These all sound too good to pass up. We have some money, I’ll order the construction of both facilities.

We’ll need more power soon, but we’re digging towards a thermal vent that’ll help us out with power. Meanwhile, Dr. Vahlen, start researching those alien bodies!

Commander! Our “special satellite” over America has detected an alien craft, just as you said it would!
Launch interceptors and down it!

Who programmed this interface? This isn’t to scale!
What, you don’t like it? Game interfaces that are always to scale are so boring and tedious, so I improved it.
Actually, this is a lot less eyestrain-inducing than “tiny dot on radar…”

It’s down!
And still in one piece. Get the strike crew to the Skyranger, we’re raiding THEM for a change!

Hit it, troops!

It’s somewhere up ahead, I can see a burning log…
Keep your ears open. We may hear them before we see them.
Shouldn’t you say, “Stay frosty?” They always say “stay frosty” …
No they don't.

Contact! Two on the right!

Two on the left! Aaah!
Looks like they’re just as surprised to see us, they’re scrambling for cover.

You’re not kill-stealing me today, Bar-Lev! Take this!

Too far for grenades…let this hit, please…

X-ray down! Allen, Leroy, it’s up to you!

Too far away, but I can flank ‘em if I rush him! I’ve been doing sprints!

Huff-huff—goo found, not it, now DIE!

X-ray down, but the other one’s right on top of me!

Can’t get to the last one, Allen, but I’ll give you some cover! Try not to breathe in, okay?

I’m good! …huh, this smoke tastes like mint?

Angle’s bad…frag out! Sorry, Dr. Vahlen!
It’s fine, you shot the other three conventionally…

All currently visible aliens dead, move up to the saucer!
It’s not very saucer-y…more like…pancake-y…

Got something up there! Floating…energy crystal?

Holy shit! The crystal summoned armor around itself! It’s a summoner!
…I’ve seen instant-construction technology! Alien is now identified by callsign “Outsider!” Make it your priority!
And it’s got a bigger version of the Sectoid weapon! Help!

It’s in heavy cover, but that wall looks weak, I bet I can blast it with a grenade. Frag out!

I got it!

Hey, the armor vanished right after you shot the crystal thing. It is a summoner!
That’s it? Four sectoids and one…outsider? Good job, everyone.
I’ll get the meld…hey, cool, the new disarm technique works! No spray!

Good job, Watkins, you’re promoted! Pick out whatever weapon you want!
Not bad for a failed comp sci major, huh?
Just don’t reprogram any more of our computers without my permission. Now…time to wait and see how long it takes Vahlen to come up with more goodies…