It's easy to blame the player for a lack of scientific knowledge isn't it!
Note: I've covered a lot of territory in my posts so far and will cover even more in the below post. Click here to see maps that cover all the way up to the end of this post. You'll need to download the file and view in Excel, as Google seems to split the worksheet into sections for some reason. Sorry to those of you that don't have Excel (I'm open to suggestions for sharing the worksheets effectively). The cells in purple are the areas I know don't have breathable air.
My previous post ended with me discovering the corpse of a doctor in the Research Laboratory. His suicide note had given me some idea what was going on, but it probably raised more questions than answers. I gained a little more insight from the research notes I found on the table in the lab, which were written by Dr. Edward Stanley (not certain whether the two doctors are one and the same). The notes describe how a researcher discovered a slime creature on a cupcake wrapper. The creature was dead, and the researcher wanted to figure out how it had died, in case the information became useful. His theory was that the creature asphyxiated due to the antioxidants in the cupcake, which may “have blocked copper haemoglobin’s ability to oxidise”. I had to wonder how this information was useful, but figured I’d know when the time came. Perhaps I could defeat the large gelatinous creature in the mine shaft by feeding it a cupcake?! I set out to explore the rest of the lab, focussing on the filing and storage cabinets on the back and right walls. Within the filing cabinet I found some biomedical records of various life forms indigenous to the asteroid. “Each creature’s file mentions a computer entry in the BIOMED database of the installation’s main computer. You quickly scan the files labelled Tymak, Brelt, Karik, Glitten and Zeld.” (10 points)
There's not really any reason for the (s) is there? It's not like I can open more than one at a time!
With the suicide note, the scientific notes, and this file, I was starting to get a bit overloaded with information within a short period of time!
The doctor’s suicide note had mentioned that the Zelds had learnt to use the airlocks. Now I knew that the Zelds were indeed alien creatures, but I wasn’t sure what else I could take from it all. Inside the storage cabinet I found a glass jar that contained a bee named Eric! I picked up the jar (15 points) and wondered what use I could possibly have for an African bee. Having checked out everything I could in the Research Laboratory, I made my way back to the Central Hub and took the east airlock. The plaque told me this would take me to both the Observatory and the Garden, and I soon discovered that the tunnels forked on the way to both destinations. I decided to check out the Observatory first, entering a dome-ceilinged room with a huge telescope positioned to make the most of it. The roof was closed, and the telescope was connected by cables to a computer, which in turn was connected to a printer. I figured I’d be able to control the telescope or open the roof from the computer, but I kept getting messages such as “The computer is operating” and “The printer looks like a printer” when I tried using them. My only success in the Observatory was to find a pair of field glasses sitting on the desk, which I picked up (15 points). When I typed “look at glasses”, I was given a closer look at them, revealing them to be military style binoculars with “fixed magnification and auto focus”. Way cool!
I bet I know who Eric's favourite singer is!
I really hope I get to use this at some point.
With the Observatory section done, I re-entered the tunnel and chose the pathway that led to the Garden. I was in for a bit of a shock on arrival! As soon as I entered the Garden, I was told that I’d disturbed “the spider”. The doctor’s note had mentioned a spider in the garden, but I hadn’t expected one as big as the one I was now confronted with! Before I could react in any way, the giant arachnid wrapped me in web and lifted me off the ground. I was now going to starve to death or be eaten, but either way it was game over. I restored and tried entering the garden again, hoping that I might at least be able to type something before being attacked. It turned out I wasn’t able to type or move in any way, which suggested I either had to enter the Garden another way or take some form of protection in with me. I restored, and made my way back to the Central Hub to choose a new destination. I still hadn’t visited the Security Office, the Administration section, or the Recreation Area, but since the latter two had no oxygen, I went for the Security Office. On arrival I found much to check out, with a large computer, a doorway leading to an inner office, a terminal at the bottom of the screen, and a desk with various utensils on it in the middle of the room.
Seriously, a painting my three year old did this morning looks quite similar to this!
Oh joy! Another large computer that I won't be smart enough to use!
I started by checking out the computer, but as usual my character had no idea how to use it. The desk had a pad of paper, a pencil, a coffee pot, a mug, and a small folder with the words “Incident Reports” on it. I wasn’t able to pick up any of it, andthe incidents reports folder was empty. The door leading to the other part of the office was locked too, so I went and sat in the chair in front of the terminal. To my surprise, typing “use computer” brought up a DOS-like interface, and I was asked to select a database. I couldn’t think of anything to type as I didn’t think I’d read anything likely during my travels (If I’d gone through my screenshots I would have found the answer, but we’ll have to come back to this later). Once again, I made my way back to the Central Hub. I wanted to finish mapping the upper level before checking out the lower one, so that left only the two sections that had red lights above them. It was time to put my helmet back on! I did so, and then passed through the door to the south, intending to access the Administration section. On passing into tunnel AO1, I was most distressed to receive a message stating: “You hear a muffled pop as your pet bee decompresses. That’s going to cost you all your points. Sorry pal. Does that tell you anything?” My points reverted back to 0 out of 800, really driving the point home! Clearly I’d just dead ended myself, so restored back to the Central Hub. At least the game had the courtesy of letting me know!
I assume the supercomputers on Solus are running on the DOSBox 456.7 operating system
Could you be a little more direct? I can be a bit thick sometimes!
I was a bit perplexed at this point. I couldn’t enter either the Administration section or the Recreation Area, since Eric the bee would die. This got me thinking that I was at a massive disadvantage having picked up Eric early on. Should I restore and leave him in the Research Laboratory until I needed him? I decided to go check out the lower levels before considering other alternatives. After all, the use for my African bee might just be in one of the rooms down there. I took the south-west airlock and reappeared in an elevator. Pressing the down button took me to the lower level, where I was shocked to find a Lower Central Hub with yet another seven new airlocks to pass through. I really hadn’t expected Earthrise to have such a large environment! I was going to have to start up a new worksheet in Excel to map this floor. I now had the following sections available to me: N – Living Quarters, NE – Gymnasium, E – Engine Room, SE – Power Plant, S – Cryogenics / Emergency Exit, W – Mine and NW – Kitchen / Mess Hall. Unfortunately, there was no oxygen in the tunnels leading to the Living Quarters, the Engine Room, or the Power Plant, meaning I wouldn’t be able to visit any of them while I had Eric the bee in my possession. I didn't have any leads that would suggest which section I should visit first, but I chose the Mine for no other reason than I wanted to see if I could avoid the gelatinous creature somehow and get the pick axe.
Oh alright! Caption contest!
Holy Testicle Tuesday Batman! This base is huge!
On my way to the Mine, I entered a room full of lockers. I figured perhaps one of them would be unlocked, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to open any of them. There was a plaque on the wall warning me that I was about to enter the Mine, and it was only then that I realised I probably wouldn’t be able to. I saved my game and entered anyway, killing my precious bee in the process as expected. Oh well, time to check somewhere else out! I decided the Kitchen and Mess Hall would be my next destination, so chose the north-west airlock this time. I soon arrived at the Mess Hall, where I found a bowl of soup, a bunch of plates and a piece of chocolate cake sitting on a large table. The crockery was of no interest to me, but the cake was astoundingly still fresh due to high amount of preservatives contained within! Not only was I able to pick up a piece of cake (5 points), but I was also able to eat it (5 points). I picked up another piece and tried to eat that one too: “As you bring the piece of cake to your mouth, you realize that you have already had a piece, and decide not to make too much of a pig of yourself.” With the piece of cake in my inventory, I continued onward into the Kitchen proper, ignoring the door leading east out of the Mess Hall for now.
Ha ha ha. You're so incredibly amusing!
Seriously, I feel bad about this every time it happens!
Aaagghhh!!! What happened to my head!?
I'm salivating despite my wheat intolerance
There was an item in the kitchen that immediately caught my attention. There was a knife on the table, so before I looked around, I went straight for it and tried to pick it up. I was able to (15 points), and looking at it revealed that it was extremely sharp. I wasn’t certain where it would be useful, but I sure felt better having a weapon on me. I could find nothing to do with the counter, the sink, the cabinet, the microwaves, or the menus on the wall, but there was a button on the northern wall next to a door that looked promising. Pressing it revealed a pantry, which I entered and mapped accordingly. Within the pantry were drums of oil and shelves of food packages. When I looked at the oil I received the following: “The drums have MESSIN Brand Cooking Oil written on them. According to the date stamp on the top, this stuff will be good until January 3051. Amazing, these new preservatives.” The word “preservatives” triggered my memory! The note I’d found in the Research Laboratory had talked about how it was the preservatives in a cupcake that had killed a slime creature. Was the gelatinous creature I’d seen in the Mine such a slime creature? Should I collect some of this oil so as to use it as a weapon on the slime? I tried to take some, but wasn’t able to. I tried every way I could think of, including putting the cake in the oil, but kept getting messages such as “You don’t want it”. I’d been so confident about it, but had to let that idea go.
Why are they still using that shade of blue so long after CGA?
I'm not sure either of these are a good idea given the location!
Please let there be an ice-cream bar in here! How I love their oh so nutty chocolate coverings!
I did have some success in the pantry though! While the packages on the shelves contained nothing but plastic forks and napkins (that I couldn’t pick up), I was able to pick up one of the food cylinders there. Strangely, the only one I was able to pick up was an empty one, as I apparently didn’t have the right tool to open the others anyway (15 points). Looking at it revealed that it had an airtight screw-on lid, but was otherwise uninteresting. I made my way back to the Mess Hall and passed through the airlock on the eastern wall. I continued through two tunnels labelled KM3 and KM4 before hitting a tunnel that had no oxygen. My African bee and I died very quickly, and it made sense to me after looking at my map that I must have passed into the Living Quarters section (which I already knew had no oxygen). I restored my game again, and this time made my way back to the Lower Central Hub. My next choice for exploration was the north-eastern airlock, which would take me through to the Gymnasium. My trip there was uninhibited, meaning I quickly walked into the large room filled with gym equipment. There was a large wheel, a bench, a chin-up bar, a rack of dumb-bells, and some sort of frame. I checked everything out, but the only thing of interest I could find lay on the bench. There was an electromagnet there that someone had left behind, which I eagerly picked up (15 points). Looking at it revealed that it had a battery pack connected to it, and that the batteries were currently at 14%.
An empty one! I can only have an empty one!?
Memories of Leisure Suit Larry III come flooding back
The Gymnasium was done, so I made my way through the last airlock that held a safe environment behind it (the Living Quarters, Engine Room and Power Plant sections were still off-limits due to having no oxygen). Taking the south airlock brought me into the Cryogenics section, more specifically the Cryofreeze Area. There were a bunch of cryogenics units there, but I had no need for them so focussed on the door on the northern wall. Pressing the button next to it opened it, and I passed through into a small storage area. There I found some oxygen tanks, one of which had a valve I could use to top up my suit! I did so, and then read the plaque on the side of one of the other tanks: “Comments? [73766, 347]” What the hell did that mean? I knew I’d seen a number with a similar format before, and soon realised it was up on the radio tower on the surface. I looked back through my screenshots, eventually finding that the format of the number I’d seen on the panel there had been a little different (11166.1713). Hmmm...could it be that I would need to access some sort of comments system using the code? Perhaps they were coordinates? I really didn’t know what to make of it, so I had to move on. Luckily, I saved my game before continuing south out of the Cryogenics section. The airlock took me to the Emergency Exit, where I briefly saw a ladder leading up to the surface before my bee (and I) died.
Does this mean there were six inhabitants on Solus originally?
Poor Eric! This must be like Groundhog Day.
I restored and made my way back to the Lower Central Hub. It was then that I realised I’d visited all the sections I could from both the Upper and Lower Central Hubs. There was nowhere else to go without decompressing poor Eric and losing all of my points. I figured the solution had to be one of three. 1. There was something I needed to do with Eric in one of the sections I could access, therefore removing him as a hindrance. 2. There was something I was supposed to do prior to picking up Eric, meaning I was now dead-ended. 3. There was a way to travel through the areas that had no oxygen with Eric still in my inventory. I looked at the inventory, and had a brilliant, yet totally obvious, idea! The cylinder had an airtight lid! I typed “put bee in cylinder” and fist-pumped when I received the following message: “You carefully move Eric from the jar to the food cylinder, and tightly close the lid.” I put on my helmet, and stepped through the northern airlock towards the Living Quarters. Eric didn’t die! This victory meant I was now able to check out five new sections that had been inaccessible to me previously, which was a huge relief. This post has gone on long enough though, so I’ll stop for now. I apologise if my posts for Earthrise are confusing or boring (or both!), but the initial exploration part of the game is going on far longer than it normally would. I assume once I’ve visited all the locations in the base I’ll be able to focus on figuring out what’s going on and how to pass certain obstacles.
I do? I do! Eureka!
Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 2 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!