Day 168

I head down to the last room on level 3 and run into another Mondite. He goes the same way as all the others.

Behind him is a big metal contraption built in to the wall – as soon as I step into this it closes on me.

When it opens up again, I’m encased in a nice shiny hardsuit. This should mean I can go into the reactor room.

I want to explore here first. I get the reactor access code off one of the screens.

The dead mondite dropped a log book which gives me the code to get out of the base as well.

Another set of screens in the corner of the room gives me some info on a special sort of spaceship that the Mondites have been working on.

A button on this screen lowers the floor area I’m standing on and I’m dropped down into the room with this ship and yet another Mondite.

The ship looks the part but its not going anywhere for now as the battery is dead.

Instead, its back upstairs where I discover a set of controls for a forklift truck which I drive into the reactor room and push its guard off the edge of his platform.

Its time to try to fix the reactor. I head out and another Mondite has appeared. He assumes I’m one of them since I’m in my hardsuit so I get a free shot at him before we fight. Every fight in the game has unique dialog and this has lines like “Guess we Mondites aren’t all one big happy family”. These lines are nearly always funny – combat in these games can be a bit of a chore but its always kept fresh in Bioforge.

There is some sort of alien cyborg in the reactor room – presumably the one that escaped from the cell near mine.

He isn’t friendly and I fight him for a bit but he isn’t going down. I get more ridiculous dialog like “What manner of foul creature are you?” and “Will you die? Damn you.”

I’m taking too long over all this and a countdown starts before the reactor blows up.

What I have to do is to run back over the force field bridge after I’ve hit the alien a few times. I can then turn it off after he follows me so he drops down the chasm. This is a staple puzzle in any game with a light bridge in my experience.

I then have to pull the levers on each side of the reactor and key in the code into the console.

The timing for this is extremely tight and I only have a couple of seconds to spare. The reactor becomes stable but its only a temporary measure and I still need to get off this moon.

I head down to floor 4 – it all looks quiet then as the doors close behind me a security bot walks in the other end.

One hit and I’m down. This is a nicely done scene – now I just have figure out how to survive it.

The bot only fires off a shot every 5 seconds or so. I have to dodge these and get a shot of my own off before dodging again. A few hits later and it makes a nice bonfire.

This gets me to the landing pad I saw in the introduction of the game. I head for the nearby lift.

There is a path cut into the side of the cliff guarded by loads of little bots. These things can’t do any more than aim straight at me so I can run through without any danger of being hit as I’m long gone by the time the laser shot arrives.

I’ve found an alien cube in my travels which comes in handy now. Its a sort of transportation device which lifts me between these blocks over an acid lake. I remember taking ages to figure this out the first time I played the game – there is no real clue anywhere and you can only find this out by trial and error which isn’t my idea of a good puzzle. It’s the only one of these in the game.

These blocks make a path of sorts which I float across.

At the end of all the blocks is a little island with one of the crashed dropships on it. There’s a missle on the ground which I’m tempted to look at but I need to leave this for a bit.

While I’m out here a giant monster comes up out of the lake – I really don’t want to be outside and head into the ship.

The inside of the ship looks as alien as anything I’ve seen. The marines all appear to have died in their cryo chambers.

There is one left alive in the bridge at the end. This will be my toughest fight yet. When he dies I get a remote control off his body giving me access to the bridge.

There isn’t much room in here but I find a monitor which lets me fire off a few missiles.

I can’t aim them but I shoot a missile off and it causes a fire in the structure at the end of the lake. The big monster looks interested and wanders over.

When it gets there I fire off another shot and it loses most of its head in the explosion and comes crashing down into the acid.

I now need to grab the end of the missile which turns out to be a counting bomb and head back over the lake with it as quickly as possible. I take a shorter route behind the drop ship. The dead monster forms a bridge between some of the blocks.

I need to run into this pipe with the bomb and blow up the door at the end of it.

I literally don’t have a second to spare with this and it needs a couple of attempts before I make it in time. The door is blown out allowing me access to a new area. I need to go back and pick up a giant gun the marine on the dropship left behind. I couldn’t carry this and the bomb at the same time.

There is another of the hardsuit machines at the end of the new area. This takes me to a new area as well as removing my hardsuit.

Doctor Escher is in here being eaten by some sort of floating alien. I don’t know the details but the doctor rebelled against Mastaba somehow so I’m hoping she will be on my side.

I kill off the alien. It rolls into a ball each time I hit it like an armadillo. I have to wait for it to unfurl before hitting it again. I use one of my medical devices to help Doctor Escher. She gives me a translation device in return and sends me off to an alien dig site to translate the alien runes there.

I head up the corridor to have a quick look around before I head for the dig. There are a load of alien storage chambers in the new room. Before I get chance to investigate, my alien friend from earlier bursts through the wall and attacks again.

As soon as hes hit me he runs off for the next room. He uses a device to light up the tube and jumps in it. I can’t follow for now as the lights go out again.

I head back and open up one of the chambers.

Inside is a well preserved alien holding a device. There is a puzzle of sorts I have to do to free him from the energy shield but I leave this for now and head for the dig site.

Something I notice when I get back outside is that my hand is shown inside the hardsuit when I’m saving my game. I do like this sort of needless attention to detail.

The dig site is a strange looking place covered in alien symbols. The globe in the middle of the floor looks significant but I can’t do anything with it. There are 3 panels on the walls which I can use the translator on to read.

These translations give me a bit of history on the alien race from this planet (the Phyxx). They used the technology that is a part of me to improve themselves and lived in several great cities. They had separate classes warrior, learner, etc but there was some sort of falling out and most of them have killed each other off. There are rumoured to be phyxx sleeping at the center of the planet waiting to be revived.

I don’t learn anything hugely significant actually from the dig and I could probably have skipped it if I’d felt like it. I head back to solve the puzzle to open up the alien chamber then grab the device that the body is holding.

This device activates the tube which the alien jumped through. I do the same and am sucked into the center of the planet.

This gets me to a central hub with four of these tubes to pick from but none of the others are lit up yet.

There is a central console which I have to use to make the symbols shown above the dead tubes. I just pick the shapes which when joined can make the same sign.

The first chamber gets me into a zero g room with a lethal star thing in the middle. I can propel myself by shooting my laser – I just need to time one shot to go through the door at the far side of the room.

This place is looking more alien all the time. The floor in here is glass so I have to be careful to stand on the girders.

The alien shows up again, this time with a new toy. Its a reflective shield which bounces back laser shots. I have to take him out the old fashioned way.

I finally beat him and get to steal his shield for good measure.

I use the shield on myself and walk through the field blocking the door.

This gets me into a large room with a single panel. This panel is another puzzle. Its dead easy – I have to fill up the entire board moving between adjacent octagons. The only difficulty is that the directions reverse every other move but this really isn’t a big problem and I get this done in no time.

Once complete the room starts to light up a bit at a time.

It looks like I’ve restored the power down here. An alien ship looking like a collection of building blocks pops up and an alien comes out and floats over to me. The room is vast I gather and I can see an alien city in the distance but the perspective doesn’t come across too well until this point. The alien tells me that I need to take the ship I found earlier to escape from the moon. He regards me as one of his race now and wants it to survive through me. There is a giant loop shaped tunnel circling the moon which I can use to achieve escape velocity but there is debris in this I need to clear first. He also gives me the duracell of alien batteries with an extra large charge. I will be able to use this to power the space ship.

I go back to the central hub and use the same console to activate another exit. This gets me access to the loop I was just told about. Its full of asteroids I have to clear out. To do this I can step on the arrows on the floor here to rotate the rings in the distance. When I get the symbols correctly aligned the ring opens.

All the asteroids are ejected into space. All I need to do now is to get back to the ship.

There is a monitor at the central hub. I examine it and see a couple of soldiers examining the dig site.

Pushing the top button on the monitor lifts up the sphere in the middle of the room. One of the marines walks over and has a look in.

I press the bottom button and drop the sphere straight on his head.

I lift it back up to try the same again on his buddy but even a marine isn’t that dumb. He chucks a grenade in instead. This gets sucked along all the way the the room I’m in. I have to quickly grab it and throw it back.

With that threat dealt with I go back to see how Dr. Escher is getting on. She has vanished and the hard suit room has been bombed so I can’t get out that way.

Escher’s log has been left behind. This log tells me how she wasn’t really a true Mondite but joined up for the opportunity to work on dig sites such as this alien world I’m on. Mastaba was only interested in the technology and what could be done with it – she clearly has sympathy for my plight but was not in a position to do anything about it. I get a new access code from this log.

I have to exit through the dig site – my reflective shield serves as an environmental suit. A load of new marines must have arrived as I have to fight my way through a series of them.

2 marines later and I’m approaching the landing platform. A new dropship is sitting on it and taking potshots at me. I have to back off each time it fires to avoid being thrown off the cliff.

When I get close enough to be safe the ship takes off. Mastaba has got away and he promises to carry on his experiments with Dr. Escher who he has onboard with him. He has also left a couple of marines behind. He says he will come back if time allows – I wouldn’t fancy my chances if I was one of the marines.

After dealing with another marine on the platform I find a logbook with a new access code to get back through the airlock and into the base again.

I work my way back to the operating room and key in Eschers code into the monitor here. I’m able to discover my identity but it seems insignificant by this point.

I go to the ship and swap batteries with it.

The roof is lifted off and I climb in. The game has gone onto autopilot at this point and this marks the start of the end cutscene.

The roof is welded back onto my ship. I blast my way through the wall, accelerate through the loop and escape into space. A few alien craft join me along the way and the phyxx live on. Mastaba has escaped for now though and I would have got to attempt to rescue Escher and get revenge on Mastaba in the next game if it hadn’t been cancelled. The intro for Bioforge 2 was completed and is on youtube for anyone who is interested.

This game deserved a sequel and it really is a shame that it never got completed. The ending struck a reasonable balance between cliffhanger and satisfying conclusion but a sequel was clearly expected. I’ve always said that games with unresolved endings hardly ever get sequels though.

I really have enjoyed playing this again but it is a much shorter game than I expected. Last night was the first time I put any serious effort into it – I never thought for a moment I’d finish it. Knowing it as well as I do now, I could easily sit down and finish the whole thing in a morning. On the whole, this is the price for having a game as rich and detailed as this and its one I’m wiling to pay myself.

After a large batch of mediocre games in the last year or two (with the odd gem), 1995 has been a major return to form for Origin. Abuse wasn’t really an Origin game so I’ll ignore that but this and Cybermage have both been excellent. This is set to continue with the final game of the year.

Next: Crusader – No Remorse.

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