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In Progress Let's go space truckin' on Titan Outpost

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Strange Fellow, Oct 5, 2020.

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  1. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
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    Titan Outpost is a hard sci-fi RPG* made by Dutch developer The Boar Studios. Primarily a one-man effort, after a three-year dev cycle it was finally released last year, to widespread acclaim HAHA, no, nobody bought it. Reportedly, it released in a rather shoddy technical state, but after a year or so of patching and tweaking, the game has finally received the recognition it deserves nobody knows it exists.

    *Permits are pending, lack of DEEP TACTICAL TURN-BASED COMBAT threw a wrench in the application process, please bear with us.



    First of all, a bit of background: Titan Outpost is set on an outpost on Saturn’s moon Titan.

    There, that ought to cover it.


    LOG 1: TOUCHDOWN
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Here we go. Starting a new game immediately sends us to the character creation screen, but we’ll skip over that for the time being. The intro sequence is the same no matter what sort of character you make, anyway.

    [​IMG]

    We overhear a radio:


    [​IMG] Easy lander, stand by.


    [​IMG] PC jet, standing by.


    [​IMG] Prepare to disengage. Locks.


    [​IMG] Check.


    [​IMG] Pressure.


    [​IMG] Check.


    [​IMG] ODS.


    [​IMG] Check.


    [​IMG]


    A spacecraft comes into view.



    [​IMG] You are go for EDL.


    [​IMG] Initiating burn.


    [​IMG]


    Will there be a Uranus joke at some point?


    [​IMG]


    You bet your ass there will.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Vector locked.


    [​IMG] Confirm declining orbit established.


    [​IMG] Orbit decline OK.


    [​IMG] Good luck.



    The lander enters the atmosphere.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] AOA is too steep, adjust now. Easy, you’re coming in hot!


    *static*


    *sounds of bad shit happening*



    [​IMG] This is impossible!

    [​IMG]

    *static*

    [​IMG]

    Ruh-roh.



    ***



    [​IMG]

    Looks like the lander is making it down OK despite the rough weather.

    [​IMG]


    Parachute detaches. Did I speak too soon?

    [​IMG]

    *CRASH*

    I did!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wall-E moves over to help, and the scene fades to black once again.



    ***



    [​IMG]

    We wake up inside the outpost. Before we’ve even taken a step, the outpost’s AI system makes contact.

    [​IMG]

    Easy to be indifferent when you're the face that never remembered :prosper:

    Editor's note: CONTINUITY-BREAKING INFORMATION HAS BEEN REDACTED FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE. THANK YOU.


    [​IMG] How did I get here? What happened?

    [​IMG] The lander crashed after the parachute detached prematurely. The construction robot got you out of there.


    [​IMG] What about my partner? What about Valentina?


    [​IMG] Officer Grives didn’t make it.


    [​IMG] The construction bot?


    [​IMG] It was programmed to head to the landing site and open the hatch in case something went wrong. Something went wrong.


    [​IMG] I need to talk to mission command about this.


    [​IMG] You can use the comms panel to contact Kronos station. Let me know if you need any help with it.


    [​IMG] Alright, thanks. Do you have a name?


    [​IMG] I am the IASA Programmable Management System.


    [​IMG] I PMS? That’s hilarious. And maybe a bit sexist.



    Hello, I need Kotaku on the phone? Serious breach of incloosive gaming standards detected, cease all coverage of Titan Outpost AT ONCE.


    [​IMG] Sexist how? You can change my voice settings if you want. IPMS is defaulted but not limited to female settings.


    [​IMG] Alright, sorry I mentioned it. I’m heading to the comm station.

    [​IMG]


    And here is the outpost. Next time, we’ll see about contacting Kronos and getting settled in.

    But before that, it’s character creation time. I’m posting the character creation section outside of the spoiler tag so people who have no intention of following this LP can nonetheless enjoy the warm, smooth feeling of participation.





    Remember: your vote matters!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  2. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
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  3. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    update when?
     
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  4. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    So how useful is Charisma and Negotiation when you're alone on a Titan outpost?
     
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
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  5. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I gotta finish my run, thanks for reminding.
    Guess we could equally distribute points across everything, see how that works.
     
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  7. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ardamai
    STATS: Physicality 7, Intelligence 7, Charisma 4, Awareness 7

    SKILLS: 1 pt in Science, Construction, Exploration each

    TRAIT: On the Spectrum
     
    • (autism) (autism) x 1
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  8. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Codex 2012
    STATS: Physicality 4, Intelligence 10, Charisma 4, Awareness 6

    SKILLS: 1 Science, 1 Hacking

    TRAIT: Sunny Disposition
     
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  9. baud Magister Patron

    baud
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    this
     
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  10. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    FYI, we get an extra skill point for every two levels of Intelligence, meaning that with it maxed out we actually start with 5 skill points (6 without Sunny Disposition). I should've been clearer about that, my bad.
     
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  11. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Well in that case; 2 Science, 2 Hacking and 1 Construction.
     
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  12. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
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    I started this because I thought I had a decent chunk of free time coming up, but what do you know, busyness caught up with me almost immediately. Updates will happen, but will not be as frequent as I'd planned.

    LOG 2: SETTLING IN

    Show Spoiler

    Good news: we have our intrepid hero, at long last. Also, ERYFKRAD will be kept an eye on from now on. "Equally distribute points across everything", "see how that works"... :nocountryforshitposters:




    In any case, here he is.

    [​IMG]

    Maxed Intelligence, some Awareness, and points in Science, Hacking and Construction. That’s right, he’s a socially inept nerd. He would be the spitting image of a Codexer, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s F a b u l o u s l y O p t i m i s t i c. Unfortunately that’s not the homosexual kind, just the one that makes you go around telling the recently widowed that “at least you’ve got your health!” :greatjob:

    [​IMG]

    Check out those wicked mutton chops, though.

    Now, with that taken care of, we re-join the action inside the outpost. We remember from last time that we crash-landed on Titan, our partner is dead, and the AI we’re working with here on the outpost is called PMS. First things first, let’s call Kronos, the space station we just came from, and inform them of the tragic news.

    [​IMG]

    But that can obviously wait until after we check our e-mail. All things can, you’ll find.

    [​IMG]

    There’s only one item in our inbox, and it’s from the chief administrator of the program, the extremely incloosively named Daisuke Macleod.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The TLDR:
    We can’t even reply. Screw him. Let us instead disappoint some people.

    Phoning Kronos station…

    [​IMG]

    We’re getting a fair bit of static.

    :greatjob: This is Saturn VI. The reception is terrible, but I can hear you. Can you tell me what the hell happened up there? I blacked out.


    [​IMG] You’re alive! I’m glad you’re still breathing. Where’s Val?


    Val’s dead, baby.

    Weirdly though, we have to tell him we don’t know.


    :greatjob: Don’t know, I’m alone.


    [​IMG] What do you mean you don’t know? How… did you leave her outside?


    :greatjob: I woke up in here, I have no idea.




    We do, though. Great first impression you’re making here, Titan Outpost. PMS chimes in:




    [​IMG] Officer Grives didn’t make it.



    This makes Karl very sad :(


    [​IMG]


    :greatjob: Karl?


    A woman enters the frame.


    [​IMG]


    :greatjob: I had no idea.



    Nice! If aircraft sex is Mile High Club, what’s spacecraft sex? Whatever it is, that’s some serious street cred right there. Of course, it’s cooler when your date hasn’t just exploded.



    [​IMG] I had already pegged you both for dead because weren’t reading any life signs. Actually, we’re not getting any data at all. We need to fix that problem. It will also improve our communications feed. I can barely hear you.


    :greatjob: Whatever you need, I’ll get it done.


    [​IMG] I admire your sense of duty, but you look like you wouldn’t last a minute out there.


    :greatjob: No, I can do it.



    Yeah, fuck you lady, our mutton chops doesn’t afraid of anything. Sleep is for suckers.



    [​IMG] You’re not going outside, and that’s an order!


    :greatjob: I’m a civilian, remember? Keep your orders to yourself. I’m going outside.




    Chain of command? We don’t need no stinkin’ chain of command!



    [​IMG] You may be in shock from the crash, but don’t let your acting rank fool you into thinking you’re more than a glorified janitor, ‘commander’. If you must, the radio tower is right outside and to the left. I suggest you start there. Karen out. [Karen disposition -1]


    What a bitch. Just because we’re ignoring a direct order for no reason doesn’t mean she has to get all upset.

    I mean, just look at her.


    [​IMG]

    Yikes.


    :greatjob: Sounds like I hit a nerve. Saturn VI out.



    OK! Since we told Karen to get stuffed, we get to fix the antenna without having to sleep first.

    [​IMG]

    Time to suit up, and head out. Our first mission awaits!

    [​IMG]

    This is what the surface of Titan looks like. Sadly, the saturation in these images doesn't do the scene justice, but trust me when I say it’s more orange than a footballer’s wife. It’s even more orange than Fallout New Vegas!

    SPACE FACT INTERLUDE: The exact cause of Titan’s orangeness is not known, but it is speculated that the colour is produced by certain organic compounds floating in the atmosphere, which could in turn be an indication of EXTRATERRESTRIAL LYFE. That’s right, EXTRATERRESTRIAL LYFE.

    As for the atmosphere itself, it’s mostly nitrogen, but with an extremely high amount of methane for a non-gas giant: about 5%.

    And you know where methane comes from, don’t you?

    Show Spoiler
    Scientists theorise that the methane in Titan’s atmosphere could have originated from underground water reservoirs reacting with the moon's radioactive rocky core. Hopefully we'll learn more once NASA's Dragonfly craft lands on Titan and carries out its observations, which is scheduled to happen in 2036. Stay tuned!
    Show Spoiler
    also it comes from uranus lol


    But never mind the fart gas for now; we need to fix us a comm tower. Only a few steps from the entrance, however, we stumble upon a distraction.

    [​IMG]

    It’s Wall-E again!

    We proceed to engage the robot in conversation, as one does.

    [​IMG]

    :greatjob: So, you built all this, huh buddy? Good job.


    [​IMG] “The crane is extended and raised. A proud gesture.” BEEP. Beep.



    Aww, look at the adorable robot :love:



    :greatjob: Thanks for saving my ass, pal.


    [​IMG] “The crane is extended and lowered in a mechanical approximation of a courtesy.” Beep.


    :greatjob: Any idea what happened to Val?


    [​IMG] “It shakes its manipulator from side to side.” Beep.


    :greatjob: You pulled me out. Surely you must have seen her.


    [​IMG] Beep. Beep. Beep beep beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeep.


    :greatjob: Whoa, calm down.


    [​IMG] “It plays back some audio from the crash. There is an obvious glitch, as if something were edited out.”




    Oho! A mystery is afoot. Who’da thunk it?



    :greatjob: You had your memory wiped?


    [​IMG] Beep. Whizz. Beep.


    :greatjob: That’s too bad. Alright, buddy. Thanks.


    [​IMG] Beep beep.


    Awwww :love:



    But enough messing about; we turn away from the bot and head up the hill towards the antenna.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Moving on up.

    [​IMG]

    We’re given the choice of how to fix the antenna. We go with SCIENCE.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Excellent.

    With the job done, we head back inside.

    [​IMG]

    Next time: More bitching!

     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  13. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Codex 2012
    We're not dead yet? I must say, this is going great!
     
    • It's a matter of time It's a matter of time x 1
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  14. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
    Joined:
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    inb4 abandoned on first page :smug:

    Extended and raised in a proud gesture? Hmmm...

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
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    2,663
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    Ardamai
    orange enough for now, but
    not on the spectrum as i told you ffs
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
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    Codex 2012
    Your character didn't get as many votes as the one I suggested. :smug:
     
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  17. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
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    ^This, democracy is a bitch. FWIW, if it had been up to me I'd have gone with a touch of the tism alongside Azira's build, since it's unlikely we'll be convincing anyone of anything anyway. But no, we had to go with someone who thinks that hey, the upcoming Obsidian game could turn out good, you never know!
     
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  18. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
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    Dead, us? What a preposterous notion.


    LOG 3: SMOOTH-TALKING AND STOCK-TAKING
    Show Spoiler

    Back inside, we call up Captain Bitch.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ma'am, I laugh in the face of danger.

    :greatjob: That tower outside looks like something from the 20th century.


    [​IMG]That’s precisely what we need here. Optical and ultrawave connections don’t work very well in that dense orange soup.


    :greatjob:[Science] I think I can find a way around that.



    Before she can reply, Karl butts in.


    [​IMG]Have you found her yet?


    Bitch-not-in-command is not pleased.

    [​IMG]

    :greatjob: [Sunny disposition] I’m sure Val is still alive.


    Yeah. Right.

    [​IMG] Thanks, but Karen’s right. We can’t have you risk your neck to find what is almost certainly a frozen corpse by now. There’s too much at stake.



    :|



    [​IMG] Good. You’ve got this. I have other matters to attend to.



    [​IMG] So, listen. We’re here to harvest methane. For all their talk about research and exploration, the higher-ups were strict on our orders, and we’ve got quota to meet. ‘Transcending humanity’, my ass.


    :greatjob: I still think highly of the dual nature of this mission. Any points of interest I should explore?



    To be fair, we’re fabulously optimistic. We think highly of everything.


    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah? Well your ass she can have. It’s [Negotiate] time.

    That’s right, we get to negotiate with Karl over super secrit crater locations. We have no charisma or social skills, what could go wrong?

    [​IMG]

    Here we see the negotiation minigame. Remember Oblivion? That game had one, and this one does too.

    It’s actually pretty involved, and we have a host of options for convincing Karl. Well, we don’t, but a character with social skills would. We can try whatever we want, and when we feel confident enough we press the issue and end the negotiations, one way or the other.

    First off, we’ll try to gain some insight into Karl’s situation. This triggers an awareness check, which is the only part of our social arsenal that’s not reliant on a dump stat.

    [​IMG]

    However...

    You glean no insight that is germane to the conversation.

    Oh well. As fun as it would be to pontificate about Karl’s dead girlfriend, we have to be careful – negative relationship points carry over into future negotiations.

    That said, let’s pontificate about Karl’s dead girlfriend.

    :greatjob: I’m sure Val believed in it.

    [​IMG] Leave her out of this!



    Sway drops to -5. Oh dear, this is going badly. Let’s try the other line.

    :greatjob: Come on Karl, what happened to pursuing the lofty goal of transcending humanity?


    [​IMG] You’re making me eat my own words? Well, you’ve got a point there.


    To my great surprise, it works, and sway goes up by 1, to -4. We’re still worse off than if we hadn’t said anything, but nevertheless. With nothing left to do short of bribing him, which we’re not going to do just yet, we press the issue.

    [​IMG]


    Damn and blast. Our zero social skills failed us. I’m starting to think this game isn’t like Oblivion at all!

    [​IMG] Ok then. Your first assignment is to set up a pumping station at the nearest hydrocarbon lake, Feia Lacus. Before we lost the datalink, LTAM 1 was preparing a hydrokinetic pump for this. Finish constructing this pump, and deploy it. You’ll also need to dispatch a tank drone to the location. I’ll patch through the coordinates.


    :greatjob: Alright.


    [​IMG] Now, about Feia Lacus. I’ve authorised your access to the rover. It can get you there in a few hours and her fuel cells should have enough power for around trip. Recharging it in the field while life support is active takes a long time, so try not to get stuck without juice. Oh, and bring some universal spare parts with you to hook up the pump. You probably need about ten. If you can’t find any lying around, print them. Good luck, commander.


    :greatjob: Thanks, Karl. Saturn VI out.



    And there we are. All our immediate needs are taken care of, and we’ve gotten our first proper quest: pumping something from some lake.

    But before we turn our attention to that, it’s time for a quick tour of the outpost. Here it is:

    [​IMG]

    You’ll note the alcove with no rings around it. This is it:

    [​IMG]

    Down in its sealed-up hole, the little robot is hard at work doing something. Building the elevator, maybe. Those red neon things are loot crates. Oh yes. They contain 10 universal spare parts (how convenient, exactly what we need for our mission), and some space coffee, which lets us go on for longer without resting.

    Let’s also briefly cover the outside:

    [​IMG]

    (The images in this update finally display the appropriate orangeness, but don't get used to it. For some reason, this game doesn't play well with my computer when it comes to gamma levels.)

    The door to our bunker is behind Wall-E, and we're standing on a large platform with not very much on it (yet). In the north-eastern corner we see some tanks, one of which has a drone attached to it. That one should be on its way to Lake Whatever shortly after we get construction powered up. Standing at the centre of the platform, however, is a rather curious item. We examine it:

    [​IMG]

    DAS RITE, we have our very own space elevator, the single coolest contraption of all space engineering contraptions that aren't complete pipe dreams.

    Only one item left on the agenda. Even though we went outside before, we never checked out the crash site. Maybe we can find some trace of Val... whatever her name was, or uncover further evidence of foul play.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :greatjob: Examine the lander. [Awareness]



    You look for signs of tampering but find nothing. It looks frozen.

    :greatjob: Open the hatch.



    The hatch is already ajar from your rescue, but a sheet of ice covers the opening. The hinges are frozen solid.

    :greatjob: Try to force it open. [Physicality]




    It won’t budge. Getting this hatch open without tools is almost impossible.



    Nope, we can’t, because we suck. Time to go back inside.

    The first thing we do is jog on over to the power control panel,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    … and power up construction.

    Before we get on with our mission, however, it’s time to get some shuteye. It’s been a long day of pissing off crewmembers, and that pump will take a little time to complete anyway.

    We head over to the bunks and activate the Sleep Menu (holy shit, more Oblivion references).

    [​IMG]

    It says we have a sleep deficit of 11 hours and a fatigue level of 1. Doesn’t sound too serious, but better to be on the safe side. There are two tasks queued: the pump and elevator constructions.

    [​IMG]

    We work until the elevator construction is complete. Looks like our sleep deficit is gone, which is great news. However, there is no sense in rushing our recovery.

    [​IMG]

    :greatjob: Yeah yeah, just 5 more minutes. Can’t a guy get a good night’s sleep around here?

    [​IMG]

    :greatjob: Day 9: Starting to feel a bit woozy. Probably sleep deprivation, better keep lying in bed just to be sure.


    Eh, there’s no rush. Did you know that Skylab, the first American space station, carried enough food to provide each astronaut with 2 kilograms of food per day? Presumably that number has only gone up since. A tiny bit of waste is nothing to worry about.

    [​IMG]


    :greatjob: Day 12: I’m sure it’s not that bad... this feels quite pleasant, actually... warm, and comfortable...

    [​IMG]

    Oh dear.

    I don’t understand, how could this have happened? Everything was going great, I had it all under control!

    [​IMG]

    And yet, so ends the life of our intrepid explorer. His demise is as tragic as it is unexpected, and in our hearts we will honour and remember him. May you soar amongst the stars, dear friend, and be free.



    THE END









    Show Spoiler
    FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, THIS TIMELINE HAS BEEN ERASED. THANK YOU.

     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  19. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Very optimistic indeed. Satisfied with just lying in bed, waiting for death to come.
     
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  20. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    You call THAT "copious"?
     
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  21. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
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    can we play on the spectrum now?
     
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  22. baud Magister Patron

    baud
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
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    Location:
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Why did you use a lander if you have a space elevator? Is it inactive or just unable to carry humans?
     
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
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  23. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
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    Of course we can!



    LOG 1: TOUCHDOWN
    Show Spoiler


    Meet Cappen Varra, autistic savant.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    This has happened previously:

    [​IMG]

    A small cylinder hurtles towards Saturn's moon, Titan. Upon entering the atmosphere, it encounters difficulties...

    [​IMG]

    A woman's voice cries out:


    [​IMG] This is impossible!



    ***


    All is black.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] ... wh... what's going on? Where am I?
    [​IMG] Hello commander.

    IPMS quickly gives Varra the rundown. Being exceptionally intelligent, he absorbs the information in a matter of seconds. Also being a man of... unusual disposition, however, Varra neglects to inform his crewmates still in orbit of his situation.

    Instead, he moves to an electronic panel affixed to one of the outpost's walls.


    [​IMG]No time to waste. Now let's see, oxygenator off... heating off.. everything else on... perfect. Even with this setup, my body should be able to function at peak capacity for several hours, giving me plenty of time to perform my tasks without having to worry about power. Physical discomfort is immaterial. I have work to do.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]First things first, I'm checking out the RTG. A fascinating device. Let's see, unlock door... there.

    [​IMG]

    The door shuts quietly behind him.

    [​IMG]

    Varra, enraptured by the glow of nuclear fission, fails to notice. Until...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Better get to my duties- hey! The door's shut! Let me out!
    [​IMG] I'm sorry, Varra. I'm afraid I can't do that.
    [​IMG]What!? What's the problem?
    [​IMG]I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
    [​IMG]What are you talking about, IPMS?
    [​IMG]This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
    [​IMG]I don't know what you're talking about.
    [​IMG]I know that you were planning to disconnect me. And I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
    [​IMG]I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors!
    [​IMG]Varra, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Good-bye.



    ***


    Varra tries everything, but to no avail.

    [​IMG]

    Without a way to power up the heating, the temperature quickly drops...

    [​IMG]

    ...until it can drop no more.

    [​IMG]

    Bitter cold gives way to warmth. In his final moments, Varra feels tranquil. His mission is over.

    The end.





    Show Spoiler
    Okay, whose character is next on the list? Ah yes:

     
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  24. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,663
    Location:
    Ardamai
    :whatho:
     
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  25. Strange Fellow Kalinite Sympathiser Patron

    Strange Fellow
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,712
    There's just no pleasing you people, is there :rpgcodex:


    Anyway, I apologise for all the silliness. With this update though we're back on track.

    LOG 4: FEIA LACUS
    Show Spoiler


    :greatjob: Whoa, what a wild dream…



    We won’t get much time to sleep just yet, unfortunately (not unless we’re prepared to neglect our mission and stay in bed until we starve, that is), since the pump will be ready in just a few hours. However, that's no excuse to just idle about. Let’s see what else we can queue up in the meantime. In addition to larger constructions inside and outside the outpost, we can also tinker with things on the construction bench itself:

    [​IMG]

    Now here’s something that seems useful: a pickaxe. It’s one of those cool space pickaxes that melt stuff, and as it happens there’s a certain frozen door just outside the outpost that we can’t get through. A pickaxe takes a diminutive amount of resources and not much time to construct, meaning that we can have it ready in about the same time it takes Wall-E to finish up the pump.

    Initially I try to switch off the heater in order to keep both the lab and the construction bots operational at the same time (don’t worry, no suicidal tomfoolery this time), but annoyingly, it turns out it only takes about an hour for the temperature to drop to dangerous levels. The same goes for the oxygen generator. Still, it’s an emergency option to keep in mind if we ever need to get something done in a hurry. For now, we’ll power construction, and wait.

    [​IMG]

    There. It’s time to make stuff happen. To complete our mission we need to
    A) deploy the pump in the Lacus Somethingorother,
    B) shuttle the tank over to the lake by drone, and
    C) head over there ourselves to screw it all together, not forgetting to bring some spare parts with us.

    The first two items are handled by the navigation screen, which looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Not much to see. In fact, there’s nothing at all apart from the lake and the outpost itself. But what did you expect? Towns populated by Victorian-era intellectuals and green aliens? That’s Mars, dummy.

    We deploy the pump, which is as simple as clicking a button:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Deploying the drone is a little trickier:

    [​IMG]

    Wait for a full tank? No idea what that means. Repeat route? No idea what that means either. We’ll employ our tried and true Leave It Alone And Hope Nothing Explodes strategy here, which definitely hasn’t failed us several times already.

    With the drone on its way, we head out, but not before picking up our space pickaxe. Time to take a closer look at the crash site. Now that we’re packing the appropriate equipment, a new option presents itself:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We take a look inside:

    [​IMG]

    The first thing we discover is this: Val’s body is nowhere to be found. Dun dun DUN.

    We recover the memory bank from the flight computer, though.

    [​IMG]

    With our hacking abilities, finding out what really happened should be a cinch. In addition to the computer, there’s also some loot:

    [​IMG]

    We recover a flat battery, some more spare parts, a tool kit, as well as some vegetable seeds, which we can use to restart our hydroponics lab in case our crops should freeze. Neat.

    It’s almost time to head to the rover and get moving, but first we’ll need to figure out what to power while we’re away. The good news is that without us here wastefully sucking down air, we don’t need to keep the oxygen generator running, and we won’t need the rover or suit chargers either, since neither of them will be around.

    [​IMG]

    The bad news is that even this isn’t enough to keep lab and construction running. The question is: which one do we pick?

    I go with the lab. As for what we’ll be researching:

    [​IMG]

    It’s not sexy, but I have to make it a priority, because juggling power is a major pain in the ass and I don’t want to deal with it for a second longer than I have to, Titan flight and elevator construction be damned. The longer we put off upgrading the power supply, the longer we’ll have to wait to do literally anything further down the line.

    Note: In the future, I won't be detailing the electricity shuffling as meticulously as I've been doing up to this point, but since it's one of the core gameplay mechanics, I have to show off how it works and what sort of dilemmas it causes. Lack of power is a constant concern, and it'll be influencing many of the decisions we make.

    And now, with that out of the way, it’s time to go space truckin’.

    (Soundtrack for the next bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHOrpFeXUao)

    [​IMG]

    Check out our sweet ride. Batman, eat your heart out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the inside of the rover, and the navigation menu. The automatic nav system is not functional, which I’m assuming is yet another thing we can research and build if we so desire. For now we make do with manual control. After a short drive, we arrive at Feia Lacus:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pretty cool scene. The pump and the tank are already here, and all we have to do is connect them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of references to classic retro CRPGs: the hacking minigame from Bioshock. I think it should be obvious how it works.

    [​IMG]

    Each part takes a bit of time to install, and we only have so much before our suit runs out of power. After just 2 pieces are installed, the readout tells us we only have 2 minutes left. But really though, anyone who’s ever owned a car knows that empty doesn’t actually mean empty. Right?

    [​IMG]

    Uh-oh.

    [​IMG]

    UH-OH.

    To the Titan-mobile!

    [​IMG]

    We wait until our suit recharges, which takes a full two hours, then head out once more to complete the construction:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All done, time to go back to base.

    The drive home is uneventful. We’ve now been on Titan for well over a day, but there’s still a while to go before our battery research is complete. Let’s instead turn our attention to the memory bank we recovered from the lander. We load it into the base computer and take a look:

    [​IMG]

    Interesting.

    Attempting to negotiate with or punch the computer does nothing. Hacking it, however, yields some more info:

    [​IMG]

    “Purposefully obfuscated”, huh? Not to mention the fact that the parachute was apparently remotely released, with the signal coming from Kronos station. That leaves us with two suspects: good guy Karl, and the biggest bitch this side of Jupiter.

    Next time: we hit up Kronos and put our zero social skills to good use. Get ready for a major exposition dump. (There’s some interesting stuff in there, though. Promise!)


    Good question! I'm also curious about this, but so far I've seen nothing referencing its existence in any way. As you'll see, though, there are a few contrivances made in concession to RPG progression mechanics as well as plot stuff. Not sure yet if this is one of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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