Monday, 31 October 2016

Star Trek - Better Living Through Chemistry

Written by Joe Pranevich

Romulans!

Happy Halloween! Last episode, we defeated a group of space pirates that had seized a Federation ship. So far, the game appears to have a set pattern as both missions started with a space battle before segueing into a traditional adventure. No items were kept between episodes; they seem standalone so far. I am frustrated that this is my second episodic game in a row, but I can appreciate some designers may prefer that route. This game forces us to play the episodes in order so I still hope that there will be plot progression.

An admiral delivers our orders: Romulans have raided across the neutral zone to attack a station, ARK-7. Our job is to defuse the situation. A planet, then a ship, and now a station? At least we are getting a variety of locations! I find our destination in the copy protection map and emerge from warp to be greeted by a de-cloaking Romulan ship. The captain claims that the Federation is engaging in treachery and that they know of our plans. What plans? Before I can ask, they attack and the episode begins!

So many blinking lights...

Let’s pause here for a moment: I promised a deeper look at the the bridge portions of the game and now seems like a good time to deliver. With only two episodes under my belt, I haven’t delved into all of the systems yet but I can at least tell you what the buttons do. We have two related interfaces: keyboard/mouse for combat and an icon-driven interface for exploration. Many actions can be done in both, but some are only applicable in one or the other.

When it comes to combat, the mouse is the main tool. It’s used for aiming and steering; you have to steer towards the targeting reticule, no strafing. The left button fires phasers while the right fires photon torpedos. You can also use the numeric keypad to steer and use “spacebar” and “enter” instead of mouse buttons, but I did not experiment with this. Before combat begins, you also need to enable weapons (“W” or under Chekhov’s menu) and shields (“S” or under Sulu’s menu) or else it will go very quickly.

As we zoom around and try to hit things, we can also pay attention to a number of readouts:
  • The damage report screens (“system monitor” in the manual) show you what damage the Enterprise has experienced and the strength of her shields. When in combat you can press “A” to toggle “Target Analysis” mode which shows damage on your adversary. I check this every few seconds to catch when I need Scotty to repair something. 
  • The phaser and torpedo charge graphs show how soon we can shoot again: when the bars are full, fire! This hasn’t been an issue so far, but I believe that damage can cause it to fill more slowly. 
  • The energy level meter has stayed full for me so far but the manual says that the shields and weapons draw from it. We can toggle “Emergency Power” with “E” (or under Scotty’s menu) for a temporary boost. 
  • The speed meter is self-explanatory. We can travel from slowest (“1”) to fastest (“0”) or press tilde for reverse (“`”). 
  • The main viewscreen is where the action is and will gradually degrade to static with damage. We can increase or decrease magnification with “<” and “>”, but I haven’t experimented with it. You can go full screen with “V”. 
  • The scanner tells you your position relative to the enemy, sort of. I just try to turn toward the red dot. 

Combat for me consists of flying around at medium speed then throttle back to pivot to the enemy. When he’s on screen, I try to aim just ahead of him and fire like crazy. If the enemy comes straight at me, I speed up and try to turn away; concentrated fire from the AI is deadly. Even if the enemy is damaged, I’m not good enough to aim at the weak part so I just keep firing and hope for the best. It’s not good strategy, but it got me this far. If we are damaged, Scotty can repair one system at a time but you can change his orders if something else becomes a priority. Damage to each part affects the ship differently: shields are the first line of defense, damaged weapons can no longer fire, etc. If the hull is damaged, it is time to panic.

In addition to being an unnecessary distraction from the adventure, the combat sections are also very unlike Star Trek. The Enterprise is a capital ship, roughly similar to battleship or destroyer. It moves slow but has incredible firepower. These combat sections are dogfighting, more akin to Wing Commander than Star Trek. There have been epic space battles in Star Trek but rarely like what is depicted here.

So many icons! Time for a pop quiz?

We do not do much exploration on the bridge, but there are some commands which are not relevant to combat:
  • Sulu can orbit (“O”) the ship around a nearby planet. 
  • Chekhov can warp to another location (“N”). 
  • Spock can be asked for advice (“T”) or can interrogate the library computer (“C”). 
  • Uhura can communicate with nearby ships or planets (“U”). 
  • Kirk (“K”) can be used to access the Captain’s Log (summarizing your score), the transporter to beam to a planet or ship, and the save/restore functions.

Pop Quiz!

Even knowing all of the things we can do, I still find the interface confusing. Here’s a test to see if it is just me: for a few bonus CAPs, I have scrambled all of the interface icons into the image above. How many of them can you name from what I’ve told you so far? Real players also have to remember which icons are accessed through which member of the bridge crew. I will reveal the answers next week! This isn’t a terrible interface, but it isn’t well-designed either. Why couldn’t all the bridge functions just be available in one icon bar?

Birds… in… space!

Where Were We?

Right! I had just been attacked by a Romulan ship. Unlike previous encounters, our enemy can cloak this time to disappear from both the scanner and view screen. Since he has to decloak to fire, I do not have too much difficulty. I just fly around when he disappears and lower speed to pivot as soon as he pops up again. When the enemy is defeated, the crew initiate self-destruct instead of allowing themselves to be captured.

As soon as the dust settles, I research ARK-7 in the library computer. It’s a scientific station with a mission to study the origins of life, led by a very familiar person in Star Trek lore: Dr. Carol Marcus! I’ll talk more about this in the trivia but “wow”. She was a character first introduced in Star Trek II as a former love-interest of Kirk’s and she secretly bore his child. I did not expect this game to “go there”, especially since it takes place prior to the movies. It appears that they accidentally created a plague deadly to Romulans but not other life-forms. I have Uhura open a channel and the Romulan captain, Ardea Preax, answers. He accuses the Federation of making a “genocide factory” and that more Romulans will be crossing the neutral zone soon to destroy the bioweapon. We’d better figure out what is going on quickly!

We approach the station.

Great view! Hope they don’t kill us.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a redshirt beam over to the station’s bridge. Our redshirt this time is named Lt. Ferris and he doesn’t seem to like Romulans. The only thing accessible from here is the main computer. I have Spock search it for more information and he discovers a log from Dr. Marcus. She explains that they created the “oroborus virus” by mistake and are cleaning up the mess by destroying it and all information about it. One more important detail: it affects both Romulans and Vulcans! Since we brought Spock, that might be a bit of a problem. I have McCoy search as well and he learns that the plague works very fast. He suggests we examine how the virus works under different gasses and that the necessary equipment is already on the station. That sounds like a hint!

What a big gun you have!

The part of the station that we can access is pretty small, just four rooms. Rather than narrating my way through them, it’s simpler just to tell you what’s in each. The room just to the right of the bridge is the research lab. That contains:
  • A “Basic Compound Distillator”. It will separate something into its component parts although McCoy stops us from experimenting with any of our current items. 
  • A “Hawking Neutrino Accelerator”. Other than looking like a raygun, it doesn’t seem to be pertinent. 
  • A refrigerator holding samples of the plague virus in little petri dishes. That seems safe. 
  • An unnamed device with a compartment and a nozzle attachment. It’s for “rapid reproduction of virus cultures in the presence of an anti-agent”. I can put some of the virus in the compartment but do not have anything that fits the nozzle yet. 
  • A ladder down to deeper areas of the station. Unfortunately, Romulans are guarding the ladder from below and shoot anyone who gets close. 

Anyone else think that resembles the lab from “The Fly”?

The room to the north of the bridge and northwest from the research lab is the “science lab”. How is “science” different than “research”? I have no idea. This room contains:
  • A “synthesis chamber”. This machine takes two gas canisters (right now, Oxygen and Hydrogen) and mixes them with a third solid that can be placed in a little door to the left. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work right now. 
  • An “ARDAK 1000” molecular replicator. Unfortunately, Dr. McCoy says it will take hours to get it working-- hours that we do not have. 
  • A storage closet that contains an anti-gravity unit for moving heavy things around. We pocket that, although I’m not sure how Kirk has pockets big enough. 

Scotty would love this!

The last room is the engine room, north of the main research lab. That contains:
  • A “Cochrane-500 Fusion Drive”, over a century old and still functioning normally. I suppose you do not need much in the way of engines on a stationary object. 
  • A wrench on the floor which we pick up immediately. 
  • A storage closet containing a canister of Nitrogen. I use the anti-gravity device on the canister of Nitrogen to carry it. 

Unfortunately, in all of this exploring, Spock is getting sick. Every few minutes, he stops to cough. Will it kill him? Or just an annoyance? I have no idea. I contact Uhura on the communicator but she tells me that we have to stay on the station until the situation is resolved, no matter what.

From here, I can start to solve some of the puzzles. I use the wrench on the gas feed in the science lab to start the gas. Doing some simple experimentation, I find that I can create a bottle of water when I mix Hydrogen and Oxygen but only get “wet grey goo” when I add the virus sample. I also swap the Nitrogen with the others to try different combinations. No matter what I mix the virus sample with, all I get is goo, but Nitrogen and Oxygen combined creates a container of Nitrous Oxide, better known as “laughing gas”. All this experimentation too too long however and Spock dies of the disease-- there was a time limit after all. I restore and do the whole section again more quickly.

Hearing William Shatner sing this would be fantastic...

Once I have the laughing gas, I give it to Spock to see if it cures him, but all I succeed in doing is letting it loose in the air. A few moments later and incessantly thereafter, Kirk and McCoy pause to share a joke, a song, or really anything else. It’s silly, but I get a kick out of it. Spock wants none of it, of course; he’s just a stick-in-the-mud. Unfortunately, I have to hear a LOT of these jokes because I get stuck here and have to re-explore everything several times to figure out what I am missing: there is more to the computer on the bridge.

If you re-examine the computer after getting out all of Dr. Marcus’s logs, you can browse the data files. We find entries on laughing gas, a gas called “Tantalum bi-lithium thalo-dihydroxide” (abbreviated TLTDH), and ammonia (NH3). TLTDH can be cooked up from electrical insulation and works like laughing gas on Romulans and Vulcans. I’m pretty sure that I already mixed Nitrogen and Hydrogen, but the TLTDH gas seems promising. I search the station and find an access panel that I missed that contains electrical insulation bits. I cook them up in the distiller to create some “polybendylcarbonate” which I then mix with Oxygen and Nitrogen to create the gas! Unfortunately, using it on Spock only causes him to crack bad jokes too, it doesn’t cure him of the disease.

I completely forgot about the anti-agent device! This was the machine in the main lab that had the nozzle on one side and a slot where we could put the virus cultures on the other. I try that with the water, the laughing gas, and the TLTDH but none of them show a positive response in the virus sample. What am I missing?

This station is not handicapped-accessible.

I’m stuck again so I re-explore everywhere and find one surprise: the Romulans are no longer shooting at us! In fact, I climb down the ladder to discover that they are all near-death. They must be suffering just like Spock! I restore and verify that this must be on a timer since a few minutes prior, they were still shooting. It also makes sense that they would collapse before Spock does since he arrived later. Other than a large door marked “Restricted”, there is nothing to do there. I enter the door.

Always with the handcuffs...

In the final room, I discover Dr. Marcus and her team tied up, plus one unconscious Romulan. I free her and explore the room, but there isn’t too much to say. They drop little dialog hints, but there’s a prototype “Genesis” device (from Star Trek II) in the room so I wouldn’t say that they are being very subtle about the connections. Carol is glad to see that Kirk is her rescuer, but they keep the references subdued. Even with the new area discovered, there’s nothing obvious for me to do and Spock dies again. I restore. I need to focus on curing the disease.

On my next go-around, I find that I can mix Nitrogen and Hydrogen to make Ammonia after all! I have no idea why it didn’t work before. Did I make a mistake? Does it only work after I read about it in the library computer? I don’t know. I use that on the anti-agent machine in the other room and that was the trick! Ammonia affects the virus so it creates for us a small sample cure and hints that we need to create more of it. I go to the science lab and try mixing it with all sorts of gas combinations. Most of them only product grey goo, but Nitrogen and Hydrogen work to give me a syringe of cure. We are almost done!

And you have pointy ears.

I inject Spock with the cure and he’s fine now, but I have a new problem: I can’t get down to rescue Dr. Marcus because the Romulans aren’t near-death yet. I could wait, but there must be a better solution. I search the station and this time find a vent in the engine room that I didn’t poke at earlier. I drop my can of TLTDH down the chute and hear the distant sound of laughter. By the time I make it down the ladder, all of the Romulans are asleep. I have McCoy inject each of them with the cure as we go past then rescue Dr. Marcus. When I inject the final Romulan in her room, I discover that he is the captain that I spoke to on the viewscreen earlier. We get some dialog options again: I can either say that the Romulans were honorable, blame the whole thing on Dr. Marcus, or chase them off the station. I take the nice approach and he takes it very well. In fact, the Romulan captain even awards me the “Romulan Eagle of Valor” which will look very nice next to all my Starfleet commendations! The mission is finally at an end and we can beam out.

What did I miss this time?

We have our light banter-- Kirk muses whether he will ever see Dr. Marcus again-- and the admiral gives us our score: only 95% this time, but still three commendation points. I’m not sure what I missed, but it could have been due to all of the saving and reloading. I probably missed a clue in the final playthrough that I received on a different life. This was a fun episode, but I didn’t expect a full-blown prequel to Star Trek II. Star Trek has done the “have to find a cure quickly” storyline so many times, but this one was still pretty fun. I especially enjoyed the laughing gas jokes. I don’t think it comes off in my write-up very much, but the stream of banter was consistently well-done. Onward to the next one!

Hint, hint.

Star Trek Trivia
  • The Bird-of-Prey design for the Romulan ships are similar to those used on “The Balance of Terror” and “The Deadly Years”. The Romulans switched to Klingon designs for later seasons of TOS, but these are the original versions. These captains may not have been lucky enough to get the new battleships yet. The Romulan practice of self-destructing instead of surrendering also came from the former. 
  • Lt. Ferris might be related or a reference to Galactic High Commissioner Ferris (“The Galileo Seven”). That adventure also had the Enterprise rushing to cure a plague. 
  • The Cochran-500 Fusion Drive was named for Zefram Cochran, the inventor of the warp drive. Kirk ran into him in “Metamorphosis”, but modern Trek viewers will know him better from his role in the film, First Contact
  • After flirting with it last episode, this one goes deep into movie-territory by introducing Carol Marcus and hinting at her work on the “Genesis” device. This episode only winks at her relationship with Kirk, unless I missed some dialog. David, their son, would be seven at this point but wasn’t mentioned. 
  • “Jolan-Tru”, the Romulan salutation used by the captain, was first introduced in the TNG episode Unification. That episode is famous for bringing now-Ambassador Spock into the TNG era. 

Up next: A comedy?

Time played: 3 hr 10 min
Total time: 7 hr 35 min

31 comments:

  1. Is anyone playing along if I need some help? Thus far, I have been unable to defeat the battle at the start of EP4. It's against two ships and my strategy-- as poor as it is-- doesn't seem to deal well with it. I'm going to keep trying and see if I can get better or get lucky. BUT, in the event that I get stuck on the combat, is anyone following along close enough that I could get a saved game just after the battle was completed? I'm playing the non-GOG version and currently have a pretty high score so I'm not sure how doable it will be.

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    1. I'd offer my save, but I'm using the GOG version.

      Basically, the trick to the combat is to go really slow and batter the ever living crap out of one opponent. (I'm actually at a pseudo walking dead state in the final episode now, so that's fun.) You can also use the 'reverse' function to decent effect as the ships you're fighting go way too fast but are notedly less full of firepower.

      I'll admit to getting the same result as you, Joe - though my actual confusion in this episode was the use of the wrench on the canisters. Spock died more times than I care to share over 'attaching' them to the machine, which just seemed superfluous.

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    2. I will keep trying. In this last episode, the thing that got me for the longest time was the ammonia. I have NO idea why I couldn't create it the first time and I may have just screwed up. From there, my next big challenge was in figuring out how to make the full cure but that wasn't so bad. This episode was more difficult than the previous two however (excepting the stupid eclipse puzzle).

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    3. Not sure what to advise, I'm finding the combat relatively easy now that I've figured out the controls.

      Make sure shields are up, weapons hot. I tend to stick to a higher speed early on, trying to attack with phasers from range and photon torpedoes when they're close enough (or heading straight for me). If they go past me, I sometimes go very slow so that I can turn and hit them.

      It's hard to concentrate your fire on one before the other, but you really need to get close enough to get a couple of volleys of photon torpedoes on target. Works a treat. Phasers just aren't strong enough.

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    4. I am not enjoying the combat at all, but I have a few weeks before I decide how much that will impact the score. Am I the only one that feels that these battles are not "Star Trek"? Maybe "Star Wars", but not Trek. When was the last time you saw the Enterprise in a dogfight?

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    5. I guess the ship-to-ship fighting is more because of the movies? Kirk vs. Klingons was a bigger deal in the films than it was during the show.

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    6. For the 2 ship fight at the start of mission 4, I noticed that the ships are different colors on the radar, so I chased down one until it was dead, then started on the other. Hope that helps if there's another multi-ship battle later.

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  2. I could give it a whirl and see if I can figure out some battle strategies. It'd be the GOG or Steam version though. Anyone know what, if anything, is different between those two?

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  3. I do not, but wanted to give my sympathies. I'm not sure you'll even be able to finish this one - combat is off the charts difficult and the last fight in the game is beyond miserable.

    On the plus side they took it out in the sequel...

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    1. Yeah. I'm only at roughly the halfway point so if it keeps getting more difficult, I'm not sure how well I can keep up.

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    2. I beat the EP4 combat! So that was annoying, but we'll have another post. (yay). I'd hate to lose because of the combats being too hard.

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  4. I found this episode a little difficult, because I hadn't fully explored the locations properly. Initially I missed that you could go into the reactor room, then I missed that you could open the panel for the insulated wire fragments. I also spent far too long with trial-and-error for the science because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. (and having to connect the gas canisters and turn them off & on each time was a real pain!).

    The next mission I'm finding even worse though, and I seem to have run into a bug that might have broken the game... but given it's Star Trek I can't actually be sure it's a bug.

    V jnaqrerq nebhaq, ybfg naq ybbxvat sbe jungrire V jnf fhccbfrq gb qb (vg'f irel inthr nf gb jul lbh'er cbxvat nebhaq ng nyy). Bar bs gur gvzrf V jnaqrerq guebhtu jung V guvax vf gur zrqvpny ebbz, Uneel cvpxf fbzrguvat hc, qebcf vg, naq V trg Fcbpx gb arpx cvapu uvz. Ceboyrz fbyirq, bayl jura V'z frnepuvat sbe vgrzf va bgure ebbzf, Uneel vf fgvyy va gur bcravat ybpngvba, ybbxvat guebhtu uvf pbyyrpgvba bs nyvra whax. Gur tnzr qbrfa'g ernpg gb gur snpg V unir gjb Uneel Zhqqf, naq gerngf rnpu nf vs gurl ner gur bayl irefvba bs uvz.

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    1. That is a bizarre glitch but not an actual bug. I encountered it too.

      Lbh qba'g arrq gb vagrenpg jvgu gur frpbaq Zhqq. Gur gevpx vf svaqvat gur yvoenel ebbz (yrsg rkvg gb gur oevqtr / jrncbaf ebbz) naq 'qrpvcurevat' gur nyvra ynathntr. Rirelguvat ryfr snyyf gbtrgure sebz gurer. Gur frpbaq Zhqq qvfnccrnef jura lbh pher uvz nsgre Zppbl xabjf jung ur'f qbvat.

      The final battle of the game is out and out ridiculous though, and is why I'm in my aforementioned dead scenario.

      V unir n fnirq tnzr jvgu gur Rynfv pehvfre, gbecrqbrf ybnqrq naq fuvryqf fgvyy hc. V snvyrq va zl svefg nggrzcg gb jva gur svany onggyr naq rirel gvzr V erhfr guvf fnir gur gvzre pbagvahrf gb gvpx nsgre V qvfnoyr gur Rynfv pybnxrq fuvc - gur Ragrecevfr neevirf naq V erprvir gur "Rynfv obneqvat cnegl gb lbhe perj" zrffntr nf gur phefprar gb ornz gur perj onpx gb gur Ragrecevfr cbcf hc... Nalbar unir nal vqrnf?

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    2. Thanks for the hint, V qvqa'g ernyvfr gung gurer jnf nabgure ebbz, yrg nybar xabj ubj gb ernpu vg. Vg frrzf yvxr jubrire qerj gur ebbzf qvqa'g znxr vg ragveryl pyrne juvpu qverpgvbaf jrer rkvgf (ncneg sebz jura gurer vf boivbhfyl n qbbejnl).

      Vg qbrf frrz yvxr n irel cbbe rcvfbqr gubhtu, V srry yvxr lbh fubhyqa'g rira yrnir lbhe fuvc, ohg engure whfg jnvg sbe Zhqq gb qb jungrire ur'f qbvat. Fubhyq fbzrbar ba n fnyintr zvffvba rira or nyybjrq gb unir gur Ragrecevfr fgnaq thneq bire gurz?

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    3. No worries. It was a fluke that had me find it.

      V qvqa'g ernyyl yvxr guvf rcvfbqr rvgure. V'z tbvat gb or ubarfg naq fnl gung guvf tnzr vfa'g nf tbbq nf V xvaqn erzrzore sebz zl puvyqubbq cynlvat vg. Zl ceboyrz jvgu vg vf gung gur vaqvivqhny rcvfbqrf srry gbb erzbirq sebz gur bguref. Vg'q or n ovt vzcebirzrag vs jr unq fbzr orgjrra-rcvfbqrf cbvagf jurer jr pbhyq jnyx nebhaq n yn rkcybevat gur cbyvpr fgngvba va gur Cbyvpr Dhrfg senapuvfrf orgjrra pnfrf/fuvsgf - gur punenpgref srry yvxr gurl qrcraq gbb zhpu hcba sberxabjyrqtr sebz gur fubj. Whfg univat n erp ebbz jvgu fbzr pbairefngvbaf jvgu perj zrzoref orgjrra zvffvbaf nf bccbfrq gb gur 'rcvybthr' sbezng gurl pubfr vafgrnq jbhyq ghea guvf tnzr sebz 'frtzragrq rcvfbqrf' gb 'pburfvir tnzr' sbe zr.

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    4. I might add that it was possibly a corrupted save file that gave me that issue - I reloaded an earlier one, replayed a bit and it let me through the game into that truly dreadful final fight. The 'reverse' function is really quite important for that one!

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  5. First two Zero Escape games coming to Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/477740/

    They debuted on the Nintendo DS, and this is their first PC release I think. They have some hype but have three star reviews at Adventuregamers.com:

    http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/18554
    http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/23366

    The third game was released on Steam a few months ago: http://store.steampowered.com/app/311240/

    It would be great to see the Ace Attorney series ported to PC too by the way.

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  6. No one wants to try guessing at the interface icons? :)

    Or at least tell me that I'm not crazy for being puzzled by some of them...

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    1. Since you ask:

      A Scanner?
      B Conversation Log or save?
      C Attack?
      D Send? Communication?
      E Isn't that just the federation logo, aka mouse cursor?
      F Looks like the teleport?
      G Talk (pretty obvious)
      H Shield?
      I Warp Speed meaning escape?
      J Stats? The engine rooms for repairs?
      K I have no idea, return to the Enterprise?
      L Health?

      Makes me want to find the demo at my parents house just to try it, hope the chapter shows up here so I can see what one was supposed to do... by letting someone else bang their head to finish it, at least you have the manual ;)

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    2. I know most through playing the game, so I'll ROT13 these:

      N - Beovg
      O - Pncgnva'f Ybt
      P - Nez Cunfref/gnetrggvat ergvphyr
      Q - Pbzzhavpngvba/unvyvat
      R - Zrah, fnir/ybnq rgp.
      S - Fpbggl orvat Fpbggl
      T - Gnyx gb Fcbpx
      U - Fuvryqf hc!
      V - Jnec gb fbzrjurer
      W - fuvc'f pbzchgre
      X - ???
      Y - Genafcbeg gb fuvc/cynarg/rgp.

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    3. Late, but I'll see how many I can remember...

      A - Orbit planet
      B - Fly the enterprise in a curvy pattern?
      C - Weapons on
      D - Uhura send communication
      E - Save/Load/Quit
      F - Take your pills once daily with food
      G - Talk to Spock
      H - Shields up
      I - Warp somewhere
      J - Use Spock's computer
      K - Bones? Talk to the doctor?
      L - Beam us down, Scotty

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  7. The amazing thing is that you are actively playing the game and still didn't know them all-- and got one that you listed wrong as well.

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    1. In my defence, it's hard to remember and I find the interface... challenging.

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  8. You probably missed that Spock, the Romulans, and Preax are all dehydrated after receiving the cure. If you give them water, that should make up the difference. I went back and created a new container of water each time I used it up just to be sure; you may or may not need to hydrate everyone to get full score.

    My first time through, I took just long enough finding the cure that the Romulans had passed out from the disease, so I was able to cure Spock and then finish the episode without figuring out how to make the TLTDH. For me the main issues were attaching and detaching the tanks, because the hotspot for the wrench is very finicky; also, finding the panel that contained the insulation.

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  9. I'm stuck at the beginning of mission 6. Can someone toss me a clue?

    V arrq n pbqr gb trg guebhtu gur qbbe ba gur fhesnpr. Fbzrbar zragvbaf gung vg fubhyq or bar bs gur ahzoref bs fvtavsvpnapr, naq V ybbxrq hc FPLGUR, YHPE, naq FBS ba gur Ragrecevfr'f pbzchgre, pbzvat hc jvgu gur ahzoref friragrra, guerr, avargl-avar, sbhe, naq bar uhaqerq. Abar bs gubfr ahzoref frrzrq gb qb gur gevpx, naq znfuvat gurz gbtrgure va inevbhf jnlf jnfa'g sehvgshy. Nz V ba gur evtug genpx?

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    1. Lbh'er ba gur evtug genpx lrf. Ubjrire, lbh'ir zvffrq n pyhr rneyvre. V'yy whfg yrnir guvf yvax urer: uggc://jjj.rshaqn.pbz/havgf/onfr_a.psz?onfr_sebz=10

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    2. Nccneragyl V fubhyq unir nfxrq gur pbzchgre nobhg ONFR. Naq gura pyvpxrq cnfg gur negvpyr nobhg ONFRONYY (ybyjhg)

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  10. N Fhyh, beovg
    O Xvex, Pncgnva'f Ybt
    P Purxbi, nez/qvfnez jrncbaf
    Q Huhen, unvy/qngn hcyvax
    R Xvex, fnir/ybnq
    S Fpbggl, rzretrapl cbjre
    T Fcbpx, gnyx gb
    U Fhyh, envfr/ybjre fuvryqf
    V Purxbi, jnec gb nabgure ybpngvba
    W Fcbpx, vagresnpr jvgu pbzchgre
    X Fpbggl, gevntr qnzntr
    Y Xvex, genafcbegre

    H and K were process of elimination. This was actually sort of hard for me, as I just use the keyboard shortcuts for most of these. In particular, I had to remember Weapons and Shields by whose voice I can hear saying the line in my head. I haven't actually patched that much original Trek! :P

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  11. Some notes from my playthrough:

    1. When the Romulans cloaked, if I assumed they were still travelling in the same direction I could still hit them once or twice more before they turned.

    2. Is it me, or is the wrench being as long as the height of a chair weird?

    3. I never made the Romulan laughing gas, and don't think I heard Kirk sing, and unfortunately no longer have my save for that level so can't check :(

    4. A “Hawking Neutrino Accelerator” is likely named after Stephen Hawking, who once guest starred in an episode of TNG

    5. Slight plot-hole: at one point I was informed that Spock's reaction to the virus was getting worse, but only found out he was affected by the virus later on.

    6. Shouldn't Bones or Spock have guessed that Spock might be affected by the Vulcan virus and not sent him on the away mission. Beverly and Data wouldn't have made that mistake!

    7. This was my worst mission score wise - I got 70% and 1 commendation

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    Replies
    1. in 6, I meant ROMULAN virus :)

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