Friday, 2 December 2016

Star Trek - Extended Vengeance

Written by TBD

No, not THAT extended Vengeance

When I decided to play the CD-ROM version of the final mission of Star Trek 25th Anniversary, I knew it was extended due to complaints about the original version's short length, but I had no idea just how extended it was.

When Joe played the floppy version the only 'puzzle' he needed to solve was brilliantly deducing that using Doctor McCoy's medical equipment on the dying woman might be useful. The extended version gives us multiple puzzles, so let's see what happens between watching a Starfleet officer die and meeting the man who wants to kill us in a ship battle...

In the extended version, we don't immediately beam back to the ship after the woman dies. We can't even if we want to. Calling the Enterprise just has Uhura telling us that they're still tracking the distress call.

But we have other locations to explore. We don't even need to go to sickbay first. When we leave the bridge we are presented with a map of the ship.

Shiny!

The yellow, DAMAGED sections are the ones we can explore. The only ones available at the start are the BRIDGE, AUXILIARY CONTROL and SICKBAY. Unavailable areas are TRANSPORTER ROOM, ENGINEERING AND WEAPONS BAY.

Let's start with SICKBAY, where we've already been in the floppy version. Going to the sickbay area by turbolift takes us to the corridor outside sickbay. .


The red door to the left takes us to the sickbay we've seen, but the debris at the end of the corridor covers the entrance to the next turbolift, which we need to enter the other areas.

I try the obvious solution of using my phaser on the debris to destroy it. It works, but more debris (which looks suspiciously like the same debris) falls from the floor above. Using Spock's tricorder suggests that we need something to support the roof.

The sickbay itself has a small table not seen in the original version. On the table I take a MEDICAL DRILL that fires a microscopic phaser beam, and an empty HYPODERMIC INJECTOR. I was expecting one or both of those to be useful in saving the alive woman, but no luck. She's dead, Jim.

So now let's try the AUXILLARY CONTROL room. We end up just outside the door to Auxillary Control, but the door won't open. Amongst the rubble we find a MOLECULAR SAW that doesn't help us open either the door or the panel next to it. We use Spock's tricorder, which is something I do on everything in every area I go to.

This man died while trying to perform the Karate Kid 'crane' technique.

The medical drill I took from sickbay helps me open the panel, but the drill isn't powerful enough and the molecular saw is too bulky to remove the jammed debris.

I go back to the bridge and look around in more detail. A support beam had fallen at the left side of the screen.

Spock uses two pages of text to say “It is a metal stick”

I use the molecular saw and Kirk dutifully cuts the beam, which I then take to the sickbay corridor to see if it will hold up the floor above. With beam in place, I shoot the debris and it works.

Um, could that one beam really hold up a floor full of infinite debris?

I walk through the red gooey mess that was once random debris and enter Turbolift 2, now able to visit more areas. Weapons Bay access is still blocked by extreme radiation, so I try Engineering.

So you mean I should shoot it with a laser gun, gotcha, Spock.

I shoot the dangerous debris (I'm not sure how many times I read the word debris during this mission, but I read it enough to start wondering what the plural of debris was) and find a PORTABLE FUSION POWER PACK. Spock points out that if I'd fired 3.2cm lower we'd have been destroyed, but I didn't, so he can just carry the power pack himself if he doesn't stop complaining.

Entering the door to Engineering, I find the Impulse Engines are still intact and clicking on anything in the room bombards me with typical Star Trek technobabble.

Shouldn't you have said, “the lines to the power regulator have been severed”? I find your use of grammar illogical.

So, I find out that I can restore power to the ship by using the Impulse Engines, but to do so I need some power cables. Searching around I find two hanging cables in the teleportation room corridor and the sickbay corridor. I take them and come back. After I plug them in, Spock tells me that I need to research the correct setting otherwise the fusion reactors will melt down. I can always count on good ol' Spock to bring my mood down when I think I've achieved something.

I eventually find a storage closet in engineering that looks more like generic scenery, which contains oil and a library of ENGINEERING TECHNICAL JOURNALS. Convenient. I can't take the oil, but I can use the syringe with it to take some, on the off chance I'll be needing to perform emergency surgery on the tin man at some point soon.

I go back to the Auxillary Control Room and use the oil on the debris blocking the door's gears. It loosens them and I can now remove the debris and enter the Auxillary Control Room.

On the floor of the control room I find some of the captain's log files and play them on the nearby computer. The log shows that the Republic fought off unknown cloaked ships before noticing the Enterprise in the sector and asking for help. It seems the Enterprise surprised the Republic by firing on them while they were unprepared. As for why these logs are here but the final log is in the bridge, I don't know. It doesn't really make sense that Captain Patterson would be here for the fight with two unknown vessels, but move to the bridge for a fight with the Enterprise, so we'll go with the rule of 'fits the plot' here.

MATHEMATICS UPDATE: Fry pointed out in the comments that the final log here was from the First Officer, so more the rule of 'player wasn't paying attention'. The Captain did make the first two logs here, and the log after the first fight was posted on Stardate 6088.1 but the final log here was from the First Officer on 6088.5. Some googling shows me that the difference of 0.4 is 9.6 hours, which gives the Captain plenty of time to move to the bridge before the Enterprise arrived and shot at them. Using the same maths, if the Captain is prompt with his log-making, the fight with the Elasi took 7.2 hours!

Spock tells me that connecting his tricorder as well as Bones' medical tricorder to the auxillary control computer will give the ship enough computing power for limited functionality but we shouldn't do so until restoring power to Engineering.

In other words, we should solve this puzzle last, as the plot won't make sense otherwise.

While in the Auxillary Control Room, we also check out the Engineering Manuals on the log player and memorize the information we need to get power back to the ship.

We go back to Engineering and Spock successfully uses the information from the Engineering Manuals to reroute power from the Impulse Engines.

Now we can insert both tricorders into the CPU in Auxillary Control which gives us exactly enough computational power to control a single ship's system.

As we do so, Redshirt points out the bleeding obvious

Thank you redshirt, but shouldn't a random occurrence or petty alien have killed you by now?

We can now divert power to one of: WEAPONS, SHIELDS, or TRANSPORTER CIRCUITS. Spock suggests we raise the shields, but as I've reloaded a saved game after doing that and hitting a dead end, I first attempt to divert power to weapons. Attempting to do so has Spock let us know that the torpedo loading system is malfunctioning and to clear it we'll have to physically fix it despite all turbolift access to the torpedo bay being blocked by a hull breach. I instead raise the shields and the Elasi hail us in response.

The Elasi captain is upset that I didn't give his associate on the Masada some important information back in Mission 2. There you are, Joe. There IS a link to a previous mission in the final one. I have the option of being defiant or telling him it will take time to get the info from the Republic's computer as it's been badly damaged. I choose the latter and after defusing the Elasi's second threat by pointing out that destroying us will also destroy the data, he agrees to give us time to get the data. Spock begins to point out that any data has already been destroyed until McCoy tells him to shut his Vulcan pie-hole. PROTIP: Never bring a half-Vulcan if you intend to bluff an enemy.

The Elasi tells us that he'd rather not kill me as an old friend wants to meet me, and gives me thirty minutes to get the information.

We can't use the transporter to get to the Enterprise as it's too far way, but we'll be able to fight back if we can get the weapons online. We can't transfer the power from the shields as we need to keep the Elasi off our ship.

Seems we have to find an alternate way to get the transporter powered so we can get to the weapons area to fix the malfunctioning torpedo system (I suspect debris is somehow responsible for the malfunction).

We go to the transporter room and plug in our portable fusion power pack that you probably forgot we picked up earlier. Spock warns us that with the small amount of power it contains, only one of us will be able to transport to the extremely dangerous weapons room.

I heroically order Ensign Redshirt to be the guinea pig and Spock transports him to the Weapons Bay. He examines the problem and lets us know that he can force the torpedo door open, but when he does the room will lose pressure and we won't be able to beam back there again.

I'm pretty sure you won't be making it back here anyway, ensign. I'll be sure to log your heroic sacrifice in my log... if I have time... and don't manage to find a date.

Ensign Kije does the job, and requests a transport back. I tell Spock to beam him back. He pulls the lever, and I can see Kije's atoms appear on the transporter pad, and then...

Well, that was a letdown. He lived, and I'm not certain but he seems more muscly and heroic than I remember.

I go back to the Auxillary Control Room and hail the Elasi Captain. I choose to tell him that we have the information, but he'll have to beam over to get it because our computer's subspace transmitter is out.

The captain doesn't trust us, but his sensors show that only our shields have power and demand we lower them at once so they can beam in.

I promise to comply, and lower my shields by diverting power to our weapons instead.

The Elasi lower their shields so they can beam in. I immediately fire the torpedoes that Kije fixed.

This scene seemed very classic Kirk to me. Tricking his enemy into lowering their shields so he could destroy them.

The Elasi captain orders his weaponmaster to fire all weapons on the Republic, but all their weapon systems are off-line due to our torpedo strike.

The Enterprise approaches and the Elasi Captain cloaks his ship after threatening that we may meet again sooner than I realize.

Uhura hails us and Chekov tells us that they detected another ship nearby and came as soon as they could. We assume that the Elasi must have done dealings with the Romulans to get access to their cloaking technology but brush the question off to beam back to the Enterprise and look for the ship that attacked the Republic.

This is where we get back to the point that Joe described in his 'Lost' post as “The scene jumps ahead as Kirk narrates an updated Captain’s Log. We have located and are pursuing the ship that destroyed the Republic and it really is an exact duplicate of the Enterprise, right down to hull markings and transponder signal”

We then have the same discussion with Bredell and the 3 versus 1 battle which I also failed to win after multiple attempts.

I found it interesting that Joe noticed that the scene jumped ahead – it jumps ahead here too but seems much less jarring having met the Elasi and seen more of the damaged ship. It seems to me after playing the mission that this version is always what was intended in the original game and it was shortened either due to time or disk space constraints. It was probably my favourite and the longest of all missions, and a much more fitting final mission to the game, disregarding the near impossible space battle finale.

My conclusion: A significant and almost necessary addition to the game that fleshes out the Republic's fate, with many more dead bodies and more destroyed/damaged ship parts, but for the love of Quetzalcoatl, this game update should have included difficulty settings for the ship battles!

Session time: 2 hours

9 comments:

  1. The log in the main bridge is Captain Patterson's final log. The log in the auxiliary bridge is the first officer's final log. No contradiction!

    When the Elasi ship appears, if you power shields immediately like Spock suggests, you deadman yourself, because you can't divert the power to another system (as that would allow the Elasi to beam aboard), but you don't know that the weapons are jammed since you haven't scanned them, and since you don't know that there's anything wrong with the weapons, you aren't allowed to beam your redshirt to the weapons bay. Lame. So you have to ignore Spock's suggestion and power the weapons first, so you can have Spock scan the weapons console to learn that the weapons are jammed.

    Interestingly, you can actually skip the portable fusion generator - after you scan the weapons console, you can divert the main power to transporters (so long as you haven't diverted it to shields yet). I gather you can get a game-over if you're too slow in executing though, as the Elasi will beam themselves over since you're shieldless.

    I have a save for the long version in the middle of the final battle in a strong position (fake Enterprise down and one pirate down, my ship not in terribly bad shape). Let me know if you want it.

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    1. Oops. Thanks for pointing that out about the logs. I'll make a note in the post a bit later.

      And I'd love to have a go at the save to see the ending in-game rather than youtube, and suspect Joe would too. You can get it to us by attaching it to an email to adventuregamer@googlegroups.com

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    2. I found that raising my shields dead-ended me both at the point spock says to do it, and also after I have checked the weapons controls. To complete this puzzle I had to power weapons, scan, then do the transporter room stuff and only then go back and raise shields.

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    3. I appreciate the save game, but for me I'm done. I didn't win myself and I'm upset about it, but I also just can't bring myself to play more. Thanks to TBD for playing the extended version of the last episode.

      Fry: If you are up for it, would you like to write 2-3 paragraphs on your strategy for winning and then cover the ending? TBD wasn't able to win the last battle either. If you're up for writing something, I'd gladly include it at the top of my Final Rating post in a few days. I'm sure the blog would like to see how it turns out, but it's beyond my abilities for now and I do not have the time to practice to get good enough (if even I could).

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    4. OK, sent my files. Good luck! Let me know if the files don't work, I can try grabbing the whole directory instead of just the save files.

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  2. Full Throttle Remastered trailer: https://youtu.be/nARJJ9gc404

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    1. That trailer would make me totally ignore the game and not give it a second thought... if I didn't already know I liked the original.

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    2. Yeah, the original was great, but that trailer doesn't do much.

      Hopefully they do something to fix the stupid "kick the wall" puzzle. :/

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    3. 13 screenshots over at IGN: http://in.ign.com/full-throttle-remastered/101724/news/13-new-full-throttle-remastered-screenshots

      Looks like they redrew the backgrounds from 4:3 to widescreen.

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