Something I’ve noticed as I play through all these games is that I’m taking more and more screenshots. I’m far too lazy to take notes and I’ve started using screenshots as an alternative way of doing this. This habit has taken new extremes with about 70 screenshots for this space rogue post. To rub this in most of these screenshots just show the conversation text from the game. They are less than exciting therefore but I could just dump them all on here and you would get an idea of the storyline (which isn’t that far off what I’m going to do). I will annotate them a bit.To start off I finished upgrading my ship with another couple of trading runs. At this point it was time to set out and actually try to complete the game.
My first mission is to take an artifact to a government official as a ‘gift’.
This is easily done.
I return to Sir Eid and he gives me some sort of stealth device. I guess this reduces attacks by pirates but its hard to say if it made a difference.
In the bar I bump into an alien trader. He offers to trade in information. I try a few keywords and when I ask about the manchi (the race who attacked my ship in the intro) he offers to give me the information in trade for something valuable. The only thing I have is the malir artifact which he accepts straight off and a get a good few pages of info + some coordinates for the homeworld which will no doubt come in handy some time.
In another system there is a huge military carrer ship which I dock at.
There isn’t that much to do here but breaking through a locked door and searching around I get hold a transmutation coil which must be useful somewhere.
Sure enough one of the remote systems has a scientist on it looking for the coil. He is working on a warp drive which would mean we didn’t need to use the malir gates to travel between systems. I can’t get the warp drive yet but he does give me a null damper which stops me taking damage in worm holes.
One of the travellers in a bar gave me some hints about nsb’s which can be used to keep people sane apparently. I go off to the base to try and get them. There is an extremely fast moving monster on this base though, which I manage to trap between a couple of bins. I find an NSB at the other side of the base and just about manage to make it back to my ship.
This took a good few attempts I should point out, and after every death in this game you are dumped back to DOS and have to restart and reload. I’m really glad I’m using a hacked version here so I don’t have to look up the word in the manual to get past the copy protection.
One of the stations, has a man called Gut on it who I can’t get to see until I’ve commited an act of piracy (i.e. beating up another merchant). Gut is the leader of a pirate group who’s name escapes me for now. I set out to beat up a merchant but mistakenly go for a military titan craft (oops). It goes down anyway without that much trouble but it does take a lot of shots. I eventually get the idea and beat up a tanker instead. When it gets weak, it surrenders and I nick the cargo.
I get through to see Gut now, but he doesn’t have much to say.
I run into a robot who wants me to go after his girlfriend robot. I realise now writing this that I got sidetracked and never did this mission so its obviously not crucial to the game. What sidetracked me is that my rating finally went from pesky to fierce which means that the duchess will finally talk to me.
This is where the games main plot really starts. Apparently my ships last owner was trying to uncover a conspiracy to start a war with the manchi. I have to track him down. I ran into a mad guy on one of the stations earlier and guess its him.
I can’t get much sense out of him and know I want to inject the nsb. It takes a while to figure to type nsb as a conversation option but it works anyway. I say the mission codeword and he spills the beans.
While I’m out this way, I get another mission to track down someones wife who has apparently joined Vilanies cult.
I have to go to the other side of the galaxy to get to this guys wife so I stop off to see the duchess on the way but she has disappeared after an assassination attempt.
I also pop in to see Gut. He comes up with a plan to steal back the Manchi egg but first off I want to get Omas his wife back.
Omas’s wife doesn’t want to go however.
Omas doesn’t take it so well but he does give me his psionic shield which should protect me while I get the egg.
A quick flight across the galaxy later, I land on the station. There is no visual clue to it but the guards are allegedly distracted despite all been stood around in their usual positions. However, when I try to get to the egg and Vilanie calls the guards they don’t come and I’m free to pick the lock at the back of the room and steal the egg.
Now I have the egg, Gut tells me to seek out the warp drive.
I fly off to talk to the professor and he agrees to try his warp drive out on my ship and send me to the manchi homeworld.
I’m warped into the Manchi system and make my way to the homeworld. I was expecting to be bombarded by hostile aliens at this point.
But this vulture at the homeworld is the only one I see and I polish him off in no time.
I just have to fly into the alien planet now and the final cutscene starts.
I enjoyed this game and got quite drawn into it, enough to want to finish it last night rather than updating this blog. It could have been a lot better, I’m aware of all the components that are missing from it which I would expect from a space trading game but this was 5 years before Privateer came out so I probably expect too much. I would have expected missions to go and destory a particular target and the like, new ships to purchase and a bigger universe to explore. Despite this I reckon I enjoyed playing this more than any other game since 2400AD. Partly, this is just because it was a bit of a change from the usual RPG’s I’ve been playing, but the storyline is well delivered also.
The last few games, I’ve played have been a lot more visually impressive and its about this point in time for me that PC gaming was just coming into its own. Soundcards were about to get widely accepted and every Origin game from this point on has soundcard support (Sierra had already been using them for a while). VGA was also about to take off and was a huge leap forward. All Origins games from hereon also have MCGA/VGA support, although Windwalker reverts back to 16 color some of the time and is kind of a transitional title.