It's time to go where no bee has ever gone before!
So I’d finally figured out how to enter the areas on Solus that had no oxygen while keeping both myself and Eric the bee alive! It was time to finish mapping the base, starting with the Living Quarters. Having taken the northern airlock from the Lower Central Hub, I passed through tunnels, Q1, Q2 and then into Q3. While I was busy adding these sections to my map, a message popped up onscreen that really scared me! “Uh-oh, Eric has stopped buzzing. A quick glance in the food cylinder confirms your fears. Poor Eric was in there too long, and suffocated.” Aaarrrgghhh!!! So transferring Eric from his jar into the airtight cylinder allowed me to enter danger zones, but it only gave me a short period of time before his air ran out anyway. Was it really enough time to explore the whole areas I’d not yet visited? Seemed unlikely! I restored and rushed through the tunnels, and soon found that it was indeed enough time, at least to get to the Living Quarters. Once I took a right turn into Q4, the status panel on the wall informed me that there was sufficient oxygen to breath. I transferred Eric back into the jar and took off my helmet. I presumed that I’d be spending a fair portion of the game transferring Eric between the two containers and putting on / taking off my helmet while traversing the base.
My triumph was short-lived...or was it?!
I’ll cut to the chase here and say that the Living Quarters held numerous rooms to the north and south of the main tunnel which had previously been occupied by the Solus inhabitants. They all contained pretty much the same furniture, including locked wardrobes, beds and drawers. Within the majority of them I found and collected some sort of item, including a comb (15 points), an old sock (15 points), a hacksaw (15 points), a hammer (15 points), and a gun (15 points). It felt great to finally have a large stash of items to play with! At the end of the Living Quarters I ran into a barricade made up of furniture and steel bars bolted and welded to the walls. I didn’t seem to be able take anything away from it or pass it, so I turned around and made my way back to the Lower Central Hub, pausing to transfer Eric and put my helmet on and then reversing the process once through. My next destination awaited me through the eastern airlock, which promised to take me to the Engine Room. My progress through the tunnels was delayed when I found that part of the wall had forcibly been damaged. There was a large red pipe on the ground, which had obviously been used to do the bashing, but I wasn’t able to pick it up. There was some blood too! Looking at the hole in the wall revealed three exposed pipes, and there was a bleeder valve on the oxygen one.
The inhabitants really made no effort to individualize their rooms.
How on Solus will this sock be useful!?
Man! Some aliens have no respect!
I tried to use the bleeder valve, but was told it required a special wrench that I didn’t have. I was also told that the valve would only stay open as long as I held it open. This was interesting, but I knew I had only moments until Eric would pass out and die. I moved onto the next part of the tunnel, and ran into a giant frickin Praying Mantis!!! “The large green insect-like thing doesn’t look very mean. In fact, he looks almost friendly.” I was certain that this description was leading me into a trap, so I saved my game before approaching the space insect. “Wait! It sounds like the creature is trying to whisper something... Actually, it sounds more like a pair of salivary glands on overdrive.” Friendly indeed! The praying mantis grabbed hold of me and bit my head clean off! I restored and tried using some of my weapons on the creature (the knife, the hammer, the hacksaw), but nothing worked. The gun may have worked, but I didn’t have any bullets (or even a magazine installed). Whatever I need to defeat it, I figured I mustn’t have it yet. I restored back to the Lower Central Hub and passed through the only airlock I hadn’t yet tried, the one leading south east to the Power Plant. Once again I ran into an unpassable obstacle, with this one being a very large crack in the tunnel.
You are one ugly mother...
If I still had a head, I'd be appalled by that joke!
I assume you have another side-splitting joke to crack me up?
My first thought was to try jumping it, but doing so resulted in a very humorous death scene. The low gravity caused me to crash into the ceiling above the crack, and then fall through it onto a stalagmite below, impaling myself in the process. Earthrise has some seriously gory death scenes, and they come thick and fast! I couldn’t think of any way to bypass the crack, so instead made my way back up to the Lower Central Hub. There were two more things I wanted to do before I made my back up to the Central Hub to complete my exploration. Firstly, I’d previously passed through the Cryofreeze Area, only to die once I reached the Emergency Exit. This time I was prepared, and on arrival I noticed something strange about the ladder there. Looking at it revealed that “the lower section of it seems to be missing, and someone clever chained a portable collapsible ladder against the wall to make it usable”. A closer look revealed that the ladder was being held to the wall by two steel chains, and I knew exactly how to remove it! I typed “use hacksaw on chains” and watched as my character detached (7 points) and then picked up the collapsible ladder (15 points). Looking at it revealed that it could extend as far as ten feet! I strained my brain, trying to think of somewhere I might be able to use the ladder, but came up with nothing. The second thing I wanted to do was revisit the mine. I had an idea of how to kill that damn gelatinous creature!
Oh, look at that, I've been impaled! (Over to you Draconius)
It's tool time!
Reading back over the notes I’d found in the Research Laboratory had reminded me that the slime creature they’d been studying had died due to the antioxidants in the cupcake it was attached to. Maybe these same antioxidants could be found in the piece of cake I’d picked up in the Mess Hall? It seemed even more likely to work, given that the kitchen next door was filled with drums of preservatives. I re-entered the Mine and tried various commands that I hoped would give the cake to the blob. I tried all sorts of things, including “give cake to blob”, “throw cake at blob”, “drop cake”, “feed cake to blob” etc. etc., but nothing worked! I was disappointed, but at least now I felt like I’d done all I could on the Lower Level with the items in my possession. I made my way back up to the Upper Central Hub, planning to check out the final two sections in the base (the Recreation Room and the Administration section). I chose to go south to Admin first, but a couple of screens in found myself face to face with another large creature! This one was green and had huge sharp teeth! It also had three legs, meaning the footprints that I’d seen on the surface were almost certainly made by a creature of this type, if not this one in particular. It was described as looking very hungry, so approaching it was undoubtedly a bad idea. I of course decided to do it anyway...
Well at least the thing might die after eating me, since I ate some cake myself.
This isn't going to end well!
As I got close, things got rather humorous. “The creature gives you an extremely dirty look. You decide to stare him down............you seem to be winning the staring contest.........OOPS! You blinked..........I think you’re in trouble...........” After losing the contest, the creature enclosed its mouth over my upper torso and began chomping on me. I had to laugh, despite the fact that I now had to restore once again. I doubted anything in my inventory would affect this thing, so decided to check out the absolute last airlock running out of the Upper Central Hub. As soon as I passed through the north-west airlock, I discovered a pressure suit lying on the ground. It had holes all over it! “If its last owner was in it when this happened, he probably didn’t enjoy it much. Funny, there’s no sign of the previous owner at all.” I wasn’t able to do anything with the suit, so I proceeded with care into the next section of tunnel. Waiting for me there was yet another creature, with this one looking like a large brown porcupine. Before I could do anything, it fired a bunch of spikes at me, all of which pierced my suit and passed out the other side. Blood showered out of me onto the floor, and I eventually fell over...dead! “Wow, that little critter didn’t even give you a chance! Well now you know what happened to that guy in the other hallway. Next time you had better be ready for the little bugger.”
Yes, I restored and typed "make obscene gesture with finger". It didn't work.
I have a bad feeling about this!
I think Earthrise might actually top Space Quest III for gory death scenes!
So finally I’d gone at least partially into every section of both levels of the Solus base. I’d picked up heaps of items, including a ladder, a piece of cake, a cylinder, a pair of military glasses, a kitchen knife, an electromagnet, a security badge, a pistol, a comb, a sock, a hammer, a hacksaw, and an African bee called Eric. I’d run into numerous obstacles, including a large crack, a huge praying mantis, a scaly green three-legged monster, a vicious porcupine, a hugely acidic gelatinous blob, a gigantic spider, and a locked door. The problem I had was that there weren’t any obvious ways to apply my items to these obstacles. Rather than take the trial and error approach, I decided to go back through my screenshots looking for anything that might assist. The most likely place I thought I might find something was among all the notes I’d collected in the Research Laboratory. Within a minute I had what I needed! I’d not paid much attention to the biomedical notes I’d found in the filing cabinet, since it hadn’t given me any information about the various life forms on the asteroid beyond their names. Looking at it again, I was very excited by the following line: “Each creature’s file mentions a computer entry in the BIOMED database of the installation’s main computer. Could it be that typing BIOMED into the terminal in the Security Office held the key? I raced over there, and typed BIOMED at the database prompt. Instead of telling me the database was unknown, I was now prompted for a search string!!!
This has gotta work...oh please!!!!!
Yes, yes, yes, I have exorcised the demon! This house...is clear!
The notes had listed five species names, being Tymak, Brelt, Karik, Glitten and Zeld. I tried typing “tymak” at the prompt, and was rewarded with a full description of the creature! “Small gelatinous creature. Secretes deadly caustic fluid that will dissolve everything tested. We haven’t found a way to stop these things yet, but they are slow enough to avoid. They tunnel through some kinds of rock. I believe they are responsible for violating the integrity of some of the tunnels, allowing pressure to escape and the native atmosphere to enter. They have been spotted in every part of the base, the only exception being the botanical gardens. For some reason, they avoid that place completely.” Clearly the blob in the Mine was a Tymak, but the file failed to describe a weakness as I’d hoped. I could only hope that I’d find the answer in the garden, but I’d have to get past the spider to follow that lead. I typed “brelt” and got the following: “Small rodent-like creature, resembling a porcupine. These little devils fire steel darts from their skin at respectable velocities. At close range, these darts can penetrate pressure suits. I have seen two people try to fight them; they both died. Bullets and laser blasts seem to have no effect, their steel spines act as an effective shield. I haven’t quite figured out how they manage to produce steel organically, but I am working on it as of the filing of this report.” It was pretty obvious which creature I’d come across that matched the description, but how would I possibly kill a creature made of steel?! Eureka!!! My electromagnet!!!!
It felt so very exciting to uncover and read these files.
Perhaps the little bugger is a relative of the echidna rather than the porcupine
That's it, go ahead and run. Run home and cry to mama!
New TAG Category: WTF!
Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!