Sunday, July 1, 2012

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary - Professor L. D. On Alien Abilities

Please note that each character entry will contain spoilers. If you're looking for an overview of the basics of this game, I suggest looking here.

Note: In my mind, Professor Lee Dambroke is a man, so I'll refer to him with the proper pronouns for that assumption. The game never indicates gender for the main characters.

After a short introduction, I'm left to my own devices on the planet of Wellmet. I exhaust my options by going to the various markets. Welmet is mostly controlled by rich smuggling families. I learned that it might be possible to smuggle supplies by busting through the border patrol using superior firepower. Quite possibly, this'll be how I get back to Harvard.

With little else to do, I make my way to the next closest planet in a counter-clockwise motion, Para-Para. The planet is a desolate black rock, hardly visible. People have colonized the planet, inhabiting an underground sphere. It's an ideal location if you have something to hide. Nearly everyone I met here was a scientist of some kind, as is Dr. Peterson. Benefiting from a quick love affair, I learn that some people on Para-Para make regular trips through the Boundary. Not a year out and my mind is already blown that the impenetrable Boundary is anything but.
I think I've been lucky that this is the only nearly unreadable scan I've come across. Anyone have a better one?
My best translation:
When [...] [...] the two of you, alone together in the doctor's apartment, you pass the time in a variety of ways, all of them memorable. While you're cuddled together on the couch, sadly agreeing with each other what a shame it is that all good things have to come to an end, "Doc" suddenly grins from ear to ear and suggests that this doesn't have to end so soon. "Why don't you come with me to see 'Sundown Road?'"
If you would like to do so, plot the following option:
(WUGOEF) (7 phases) Accompany Dr. Peterson on a trip [...] the Boundary.
It so happens that Dr. Peterson is attending a show, and invites me to come along. Not one to miss a chance to figure a way back into the Nine Worlds, I accept. The ride was uneventful thanks to advance knowledge of the patrol routes given to the pilots. Someone on Para-Para has some high connections. It's too much to hope this is an option to return to Harvard as I don't have an option to take the smuggling route again.

On my own once again, I do a little digging into the secure areas and find one building under heavy lock and key. My first attempt to defeat the defenses of the alarmed door prove futile as I have no weapons to speak of. With the alarm triggered I rush off planet. Earlier I happened to pick up some Fuel using the Crystals I traded for during the tutorial (a brief visit to the Moiran market).
Some options are one-time use, others can be repeated.
Making some gains in commodities proved useful as I exchanged the newly acquired Fuel for some Munitions. Thinking it best to pick up a weapon and armor I purchase an Exploder and Laser Reflector. Feeling a little more confident, I move on to Medsun (the alarmed door can wait).

Medsun is the first planet I arrive on that has native alien lifeforms. Real talking aliens! I can hardly contain myself! The Medsunians resemble humans--although a little shorter on the average--except for their bright yellow skin. As they approach, I also notice they have three necks. I later come to learn each neck is fully functional, and an alien can survive even if two of these are severed.

Needing to sate my appetite for knowledge regarding these beings, I attend a lecture at their Academy of Knowledge. Here I learn that everyone on Medsun lives in peace; absolutely no heated arguments. This is due to a special form of... empathy is the closest thing I can equate it to. I'm surprised when the aliens offer to teach it to me, free of charge. This is exactly what I've been looking for.

I spend the better part of two weeks learning this new ability, Phrmm. During this time, I'm staying at the academy studying and practicing day and night. Finally, I believe I have the basic concept down, and am able to use the ability to some degree of success. The constant urge to move on, explore, and learn more is the only thing that holds me back from true mastery. It's the philosophy of removing all threatening feelings that seems to keep everyone at peace, and causes many to stay on Medsun. In fact, it was assumed I'd stay as well.

The Medsunians were helping themselves to my cargo when I arrived back to my ship. I became enraged--about ready to shoot someone--when a Medsun native apologized for the misunderstanding, as everyone who has learned Phrmm has stayed. Immediately my anger dissipated. Some of my cargo was missing, anger rising. Medsun said they couldn't find it, anger lowering. Obviously I was under the influence of Phrmm, but even knowing it I was powerless in the face of it. I resolved to leave before they helped themselves to anything else.

Next planet is Crater. As I surveyed the planet, I became locked in a tractor beam. Crater is a military stronghold with enough firepower to take on the Border Patrol. They are a suspicious lot, paranoid to be proper. After interrogating me for days, they deemed me not a threat (maybe the Phrmm was helpful after all). I was free to explore.

Without a large cargo bay filled with commodities I didn't have much to do here. I took a course in combat techniques, which helped explain the basics. I also made note of the cargo bay drone that would allow me to trade with planets without visiting them in person, definitely a handy piece of equipment for an intrepid explorer like myself.

I made my way back to Moiran, a small smuggling planet with a sulfuric atmosphere that burns at my nose. Forgoing my environmental suit so to blend in a bit better, I suffer through it as I make my way to a local hang out known as Dee's Palace. I'm offered a table and drink while the waitress gets me a "menu." Only a few sips into my drink and the room starts spinning. I suppose I stuck out anyway. I wake up in the alley, head throbbing, and one less Laser Reflector in my possession.

Hoping to recover my equipment, I head over to Tony the Shark. I don't find my missing Reflector, neither can I afford any of the other equipment. While heading back to my ship, the fumes of the back alleys start to get to me; I end up making several wrong turns. Before long a mugger approaches me brandishing a blaster. "I could really use that Laser Reflector now," I think to myself.

Focusing my thoughts, I use Phrmm to turn away the menace the mugger eyes me with, allowing me to lob an exploder without harm. Knocking him out, I relieve the unconscious form of his Blaster. I'm relieved that Phrmm is about as good as any armor for the time being. Before going back to the ship, I stop by the Phase Steel refinery. After greasing the palm of the bookkeeper, I'm told Phase Steel is generally bought up months in advance by the Families of Wellmet, and the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol! Smuggling resources! In any case, I now have a connection for any excess surplus.
The CGM is the Computer Game Master, basically the computer portion of the game.
Resolved to leave Moiran for now, I head back to Para-Para to break through that alarmed door. It doesn't stand a chance again the exploder, and I'm lucky to have raised no attention in the process. Inside I find a utility closet with a lab coat. Using my new disguise to gain what information I can about the internal workings of Para-Para, I find it quite easy to move around without questions. Apparently the lab coat I have on also comes with an air of authority.

Eventually I gain access to a secure terminal for a short time, and find they're investigating the Space Plague. The information suggests the plague was a manufactured virus as it seems genetically disposed to attack humans with no "junk DNA" present in all other natural life. The reason for only killing half the population is unknown. Before I can learn more, I notice the analyst whose desk I'm sitting at returning from his coffee break.

As I rise I notice a familiar face. The man who gave me the star maps back on Wellmet, he works here. He probably wouldn't be too pleased to find me here, so I duck around and head back to the entrance. Removing the lab coat and replacing it where I found it, I return to my ship, head still reeling over all the new information I've learned recently regarding the Boundary, the Border Patrol, and now the Space Plague. What does it all mean?


  1. On the translation of the bad scan, I'd guess the first two missing words are "it's just" and the last is "across". The code also looks like "WCGDEF" to me, but I could be wrong on all counts :)

    1. Right on all accounts except the code (unless it's misprinted), as I typed that from the choice in the game instead of trying to figure it out myself. I appreciate the comment. I had actually found the passage typed out by someone else. Still, it'd be nice to get a better scan up.

    2. I agree on those readings, but am way behind in reading your blog. Must. Catch. Up.

    3. No worries, I've slowed down the pace for you. ;) I'm hoping to get back to posting in the next couple of days. I got caught up in finishing this game.