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Author Topic: X-Com- The Rifftrax Adventures  (Read 1030 times)

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Offline Compound

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X-Com- The Rifftrax Adventures
« on: April 17, 2010, 10:04:42 PM »
Hey folks. This is going to be a "Let's Play/After Action report/Help Learn the game Thing" for the Microprose classic X-Com. Certain people requested help in playing it, and the best way to do so is to walk you through a game.

In the far-off future of 1999, mankind is under a secret assault from alien invaders. As to not alarm the citizens of the world, the leading nations of the world created a secret alien fighting force and christened it X-Com. And after a worldwide search of all leading candidates, they discovered that there was only one man qualified to save the Earth from alien invasion - the host of a comedy show on basic cable tv. And here is where our story begins...

Okay, non-story stuff here. As we start the game, we get a lovely title screen. Then some graphics showing aliens attacking a city and then the game itself. The first few screens are self-explanatory.  Pick what language you speak. New game or load one?  And then finally on a new game, pick your difficulty level. I'd advice Novice for your first game. Me, I'm going Veteran, as I've played this once or twice before.

After picking a difficulty level, we come to a screen that you'll be seeing a lot - the Geoscape.


this is where you'll be spending a good chunk of time in the game, as well as planning missions against the aliens. But you've now got your first decision to make: Where to place your base?

Throughout the game, the evil aliens will be sending missions to various places in the world for a variety of reasons. I'll be a bit vague here, as to not spoil things before they happen, but if the aliens manage to do their missions successfully, they may knock a Terran nation out of the X-Com Alliance, denying you their funds, and endangering the Earth. Here's a list of the funding at the start of the game:



As you can see, the funding comes from a number of places: North America, Europe, the CIS (Russia), India, Brazil, Oz, a couple of African nations, the PRC,  and Japan. Now, without a base in an area, you often will never see the aliens coming.  So, you'll want to place your first base somewhere where there's a number of nations nearby. Europe's a good choice. So is Japan. But for this game, we're going to start in the good old USA. Specifically, Eden Prairie, MN.



(Note: This isn't the best place to put the base. In its current position, I'll likely miss alien missions in SoCal and Mexico. A better place would be right in the middle of the US, so that I can catch both coasts plus a good chunk of Mexico and Canada. But hey, I've got a backstory that I'm playing with, so I'm gonna do some stupid things.)

Note: the second that the base is named, the clock starts running. Down in the SE part of the screen, you'll see buttons marked 5 sec, 5 minutes, and more. Those allow you to accelerate time. But right now, 1 sec real time = 5 sec of game time. But we've still got things to do, so let's pause. We do that by going to another screen, in this case the one marked "Bases."



Here's the hope of humanity: Best Brains HQ. Now, X-Com can only run 8 bases at a time. Why? It's Ape Law. But with a base limit, you need to be careful where and how you build them. Now, let's take a closer look. In this base you have 3 Hangars where the planes you use to fight the aliens are stored. You have a living quarters, where your people living. A storage area, where your stuff goes. A lab, where you research new equipment and solve alien mysteries. A workshop, where you'll build stuff. Radar! which you use to detect alien activities. And the elevator, which is used to go to and from the surface. First things first - I want some more peeps and a bigger closet, so I'm going to build another living quarters and another storage area. I'm also going to build an Alien Containment unit for undetermined reasons. Maybe Alf might stop by to chat. Another lab might also be nice, but I'll put that off for a bit. Each piece of the facility costs a base initial amount of money, a maintenance cost, and takes time to build. It also needs to be built next to an existing part of the base.

Now, note. Your initial base sucks. I won't spoil why, but it's a mess. Other folks will disassemble it and rebuild, but I'm just going to suffer.

Next- I need gear. So, I go to Purchase/Recruit. This is where I get more terrestrial gear and more workers/soldiers. I'm going to start by grabbing another 8 soldiers and 10 more scientists. I'm also going to pick up a number of other things - some electro flares (throwable light sources), some grenades, some ammo, and a robot tank. I like those. Each bit of gear takes up space in the storage area, and you'll quickly note that you don't have much free space. Well, that's why we're building another closet.

Research time - clicking on the lab, we discover that we have 10 scientists standing around right now, doing nothing. So, we'll assign them to work. Clicking on "New projects" we note that we can research Laser Weaponry, Medikits and motion sensors right now. While lasers are quite tempting, I'm going for Medikits right now, so I assign all 10 scientists to work on that.

Manufacture- on this screen, you can assign your Engineers to build new and interesting stuff. Unfortunately, they can't right build anything new right now.  So, they'll be slackers. Which is kinda appropriate for the 90s.

Finally, let's look at our crew of soldiers- the brave souls who will fight the alien hordes.


As you can see, X-Com had little choice but to grab the staff from the cable show and press them into service. Well, plus there was that weird European guy from the bank that they gave a gun to as well. (cough) Anyway, I'll also head over to the Equip craft screen to make sure that my guys have enough gear. With all that done, we head back to the Geoscape to wait for the aliens.

Okay, I hit the "30 Minutes per second " button to let some time pass. January 1st passes without incident and just after midnight, some stuff that I ordered arrives. I  also make sure that the new gear is placed on the Skyranger. You'd be surprised how often you'll forget to do that. Back to the Geoscape.

More time passes. More gear arrives and on January 4, the new employees arrive. I assign the scientists to help with the research. And I assign some more crew to the Skyranger. On January 5, my Tank arrives. Yay! It take up 4 crew spaces on the Skyranger, so I quickly assign it there. We're now as ready as we can be for the aliens. More time passes. Hmm. Maybe there aren't any aliens after all. Maybe the UN just cancelled our little puppet show for no reason. Nah. No one would be that stupid.

Finally, on January 7, we get a message - an alien vessel has been spotted on the ground outside of Mexico City. It's go time.

I click on the "Intercept" button and send the Skyranger towards the landed craft. 5 minutes after midnight on January 8, our crew lands at the UFO, and we meet our alien foes...



Here we have the loadout screen. In it, we can give stuff to our troops by clicking on the gear and then dropping it either in the soldier's belt or their backpack. Since it's night, I make sure that my guys have flares and then head out. (One thing that I forgot was to put a grenade in my troopers' hands so that the didn't have to get them from their belts.) Also, the shock rods are there to help me capture live aliens. But since I don't have a containment unit yet, they're not of much use, so I'll keep them in the plane.

Brief combat rundown: Every troop has a number of AP (Action points) which are used to move, fire, turn, change gear, etc. If you save enough AP to fire, you can fire back at the aliens during their turn. There's a nice set of buttons down towards the bottom that will force your troops to save enough AP to fire.



Okay, here's the initial setup. We've got our tank in front and the soldiers behind it. And hey! It's daytime! Weird weather Mexico is having at midnight. Oh well. We can also see a gold "1" showing that my tank, while still in the Skyranger, has spotted an alien. This guy:


He's off to the right of the ramp leading down. Fearless, we grab Disemtankio and roll down the ramp... and get zapped by the Sectoid, who fires off a quick burst of three shots. Which connect and destroy our poor little expensive tank. Ack. Well, the tank is designed to be destroyed so that troops can live, but I didn't expect it to happen that fast. Oh well, onto our cannon fodder...er, troops.

The weird guy, Tommy W. is next in line. After clicking on the "Keep enough AP to fire an auto shot" button,  Tommy heads down the ramp, fires... and misses. Great. He couldn't shoot something if he had his gun in its mouth. Next troop- former honcho Jim M. He also trods down the ramp, fires, and connects with the little grey guy, who goes down like the box office of Pluto Nash. After that, the first turn passes uneventfully. No additional sectoids are spotted. I move some troops down the ramp and move the others forward. With nothing else to do, I hit the "No" symbol and it becomes the aliens' turn.

Now, the aliens move offscreen and aren't seen unless they come into one of my guy's sight... or if they do something like, say, shoot at my troops. Which someone off to the SE of the plane does, taking a shot at poor little Kevin. Thankfully, the blast hits the landing gear rather than Kev, so no harm. It's now turn 2.



Okay, here are the guys, and the shots came from the direction of the arrow. I move Tommy to the fence. No aliens spotted. Next comes Jim M. (He's the guy at the top of the ramp.) He jumps off the ramp, and hey! There's the little guy!



Since the sectoid's a ways away, Jim decides to go with an aimed shot, which uses a lot of AP, but is very accurate. He aims, shoots and hits! But little grey-y doesn't fall. Blast. Next up, Beez. She walks over by Jim, kneels and fires a burst. All shots miss. Kevin's turn. He turns and walks under the plane, spots the alien, shoots... and hits Beez. Thankfully she's fine though. Kev fires again... and hits her again. Nice shooting there, Kev. Beez is now heavily wounded. Bill wanders over trying to take a shot, but there's no clear shot on the alien. We're running out of people in the area. Patrick's next. He strides off the plane and takes a couple of shots, with no luck. Paul's next, and takes a quick auto shot, which miss the sectoid, but do hit the hedge next to hit, destroying it and revealing...



A friend. Great. This is looking bad. I move the rest of the crew off the plane, sending Mike north to keep an eye out for more trouble. The last character on the plane (who is yet unnamed) takes a gamble, shoots, and connects with our grey friends. Boom goes the not going to be said for five years dynamite. One sectoid down. One to go, and it's his turn. Oh well, Here's why you don't get attached to troops in this game. I hit the end turn...

And nothing happens. Well, Beez falls unconscious. Which is okay, as it makes her a less likely target. Okay, at the start of turn 3, I take a look around. The other alien seems to have stepped back into the shade. Great. I start by sending Tommy a bit north, where he spots a bit of the alien ship, off to our NE. Great. There's bound to be a couple of them around there too. I move a couple of people toward the SE without spotting the missing grey. Then my yet unnamed guy with the rocket launcher spots him and fires. He misses but that hedge blew up real good! On the plus side though, there's now a bunch of smoke between the alien and us. If he wants to shoot, he'll have to get closer, and that will allow our guys, who are saving AP to shoot the chance to shoot first. The turn passes without any more gunplay. Alien time.  Our little grey friend walks towards the former hedges, then turns around and moves back into the trees. Good call, little grey guy. Our turn now.

We send Tommy, Mike and nameless gal north towards the saucer. Bill's turn, and hey! Bill can see the alien! He shoots and misses, but the little grey guy shoots back! And hits him! The brave Billy hits the ground, lifeless. Sniff. The world shall never see "Meet Dave" now.  Enraged, Jim who stood right next to Bill advances, shoots and takes Bill's slayer out. Huzzah. 3 Aliens down versus 1 human and a robot tank with an annoying voice. We're doing okay so far. I move a few people towards the orchard and the rest towards the UFO and then end the turn.

Turn 5. No alien activity in between turns. I continue towards the UFO and the orchard. No aliens yet. Turn 6. In between turns, Beez passes away. Great. Nice work, Kev. You Beez-Killer. I continue the advance towards the UFO and after determining that the orchard was clear, take those guys and send them north as well. Turn 7. We're getting close now. Both teams can now see the door to the saucer. Turn 8 closer still. The remaining aliens are holed up in the saucer, waiting for us. Turn 9. Turn 10. We reach the door and wait.



Turn 11. It's time. Paul opens the door, strides inside and spots the last sectoid. He tosses a grenade in, and the grey responds by shooting him dead. 3 of our guys down now. Not good. Tommy's the next closest and takes 7 shots at the grey, hitting him twice but not killing him. Mike's next. He walks to the door and fires, killing the alien. Woot. See, that's how you do it, Tommy. Jim steps in and looks. No aliens seem to be left. we hit end turn and...



Victory! Whew. Okay, not too bad. I've walked away from first missions before with one or two people left, so this isn't bad. Looking at the above results screen, we see that I gained points for killing aliens and finding stuff, and lost them for having troops and civilians die. These results help increase your funding from various countries. I also picked up a few pieces of alien tech, which my scientists can research to discover their secrets.

http://img444.imageshack.us/i/promob.png

Next screen. It's promotion time! After being in combat, troops get promoted, which increases their stats and helps them stay alive. However in order to get higher ranks, you need to have a certain number of troops, so we'll need to keep adding troops in order to get Captains and Colonels.

Okay, there you go. There's a walkthrough the early part of the game. It's fun to discover the twists and turns for yourself, but if desired, I can keep going.


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: X-Com- The Rifftrax Adventures
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 06:44:52 AM »
Pretty cool, Compound.  I will suggest that when looking for new recruits, you want them to have a sizeable PSI Factor for later in the game. 

And you're right, preset bases are stinky.  When building a new one, I try and make it as corridor-like as possible, with the hangar at the very end.  This makes:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

easier to handle.


Offline carlobee

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Re: X-Com- The Rifftrax Adventures
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 12:56:47 AM »
This seems really really fun. ;D