Saturday, March 16, 2013

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary - Valentine Stewart, The Last Smuggler

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

Heir to the Stewart family smuggling empire, Valentine has a serious case of wanderlust. He dreams of the days when his family did the real dirty work. With a future of desk sitting and paper shuffling Valentine decides to break free, steal a family owned vessel, and strike out on his own. First he needs to dispose of this cargo and redo the paint job on the ship. Thus, the Golden Goose is renamed the Holly Roger, and the rare commodities are summarily dumped... into the sun. Can't take any risks of it being found, right?
Well, as it turned out, the contract for those 3 units of Super Slip is a pretty big deal. While the Stewart family can overlook a little ship loss, they need to take decisive action against Valentine for breaking the contract. He's excommunicated from the family for his actions. Things have definitely not gone according to plan, Valentine just wanted some time on his own, flying through space, hooking up with friendly aliens, and return home at some distant point in the future. There is only one recourse for this, Valentine needs to become a real spacer. He needs to discover a source for 3 new units of Super Slip. And, he'll need to run the boundary to complete the contract.
Jen is a childhood friend who updates Valentine on what has happened.
Once again, and for the final time, I take another character through the undiscovered planets. The only difference to note is that Corbis, normally a late planet, was discovered fourth. The reason for this is it's a definite source for Super Slip, one that refills randomly every 1 - 10 weeks (this assumption is based on a passage for another rare refillable resource that mentions range). Only one other source was in my notes at the time, so it's good to have found this early.
The other source is from fighting an alien slime that lives on Arthlan. Before getting to that though, I help myself to another dose of Corbis after marking down planet locations across the galaxy.
With the precious cargo stowed away, I run the Boundary and soon find myself in a meeting with Valentine's father. In more words Valentine says he won't return to run the business, but something big is happening and the Stewart family needs to be part of it. A new contract is written up and I receive a Flame Jewel with the new quest of locating a source. To explore deeper space though, I need the tri-axis drive.

I quickly assemble the pieces and soon find myself battling Outpost to reach the end of the game.

Final Score: 4170
Turn: 232

I decide to continue my exploration as a real smuggler should. My goal is to gain the best cargo and reach max score. Getting all the equipment was easy enough with the stock pile of commodities on Outpost. Filling my bays with special cargo took some tricky inventory management, but the storage container on Sto. Sta. 7 came in handy. In my journeys I made a significant discovery... one new event I had never experienced. There's more to Hootenaller than meets the eye.

Hootenaller is an unassuming planet with an abundant food supply and an option to choose any one commodity (not repeatable). The last option is to relax, and I think that's the trigger to unlock a disturbing reality, even though there's no hint to this fact. Unless this action is taken, Hootenaller remains a veritable paradise with unlimited food. Once you spend a few days relaxing, take off, and return, Hootenaller turns into a planet beaten by torrential rain.
Does anyone know what this horrible blue-green mass is good for?
Relaxing, taking off, and landing will once again change the landscape. Now the planet has turned a stark orange that clashes with blue and green streaks, and it's no longer spherical...described as a deflated beach ball it has taken on a more elliptical shape. In the blue mist I found a strange life-form that attacks on first sight. Defeating the creature allows me to choose any 1 unit of special cargo.
I knew there were still surprises to uncover, but I can't believe I'd overlooked this whole series of events through multiple playthroughs and even a multi-player game (which I'll go over in my next post). In the end I enjoyed this screen showing a maxed out score.
The Horrible Mass and Immature Riallan are stand outs, but the former isn't an option to import into the sequel.
I reviewed all passages I'd missed at this point to search for what the horrible mass could be used for and find out what events I missed. Many were quest reminders and multi-player combat results for Outpost. I'll go over a few more in the next post. For now, the story of Valentine is on hold until the next game.

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