X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

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BlackSails
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X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby BlackSails » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:43 am UTC

I am playing x-com total pack via dosbox. However, im stuck on an assault the enemy base mission, where the last alien is just nowhere to be found. I want to try loading the game into a save game editor, but I cant find the saved games! Does anyone know where they are stored?

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Re: X-Com 1

Postby Soralin » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:31 am UTC

It should be in the same folder as the game, as the folders GAME_1, GAME_2 etc. for the corresponding save slot(The whole contents of the folder is the saved game).

If you can't find it there, If you're running vista or windows 7, and have the game in the program files folder, windows seems to have some protections against saving things in there, so you might have to check the C:\Users\UserName\Appdata\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\ folder for stuff that a program tried to save there.

You can also destroy an alien base without killing all the aliens, by destroying the command center:
Destroying the contents of the room on the second floor of the Command Center renders the base destroyed for all intents of a base assault. Specifically, you must destroy all 16 sections of the 4 purple octagonal tables (normally these are UFO Navigations). A single Blaster Bomb to the upper level will usually set off a chain reaction: if you hear 16 explosions in a row, you're all set. If you abort the mission after destroying the Command Center, the mission will end and the base will be destroyed. Be sure to move all your troops onto the green tiles in the "exit areas" on the upper level. Any troops not on a green tile (including those on the red lift tiles in the exit rooms) will be counted as MIA.


But you'll end up leaving behind all of the nice equipment and such that you're not carrying on you. Your last alien is probably hiding in some closet, or floating up by an inside wall above a doorway or something like that.

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Re: X-Com 1

Postby BlackSails » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:01 am UTC

I ended up finding it eventually. It was just running around, avoiding my troops, and eventually I managed to gun him down.

Is there really any reason to use anything besides laser rifles? Heavy plasma does more damage, but I dont like having to be worried about running out of ammo, especially against the sectopods I just started fighting, who take a billion plasma hits to die.

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Re: X-Com 1

Postby GeorgeH » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:19 am UTC

Heavy plasma will eventually become essentially mandatory (unless you want to break the game and use psi-amps.)

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Re: X-Com 1

Postby FearoftheDomo-Kun » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:11 am UTC

Yeah, Heavy Plasma really is fantastic, and i've never found ammo to be scarce. But the laser rifles are prettier though!
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Re: X-Com 1

Postby BlackSails » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Until I get my psi labs up and running, is there anything I can do to not get demolished by ethereals? I just assaulted a battleship full of them, and I had to reload about 20 times to get a map where I didnt die in the first 5 turns. I ended up having my tanks go around and kill everything, then have 3 people who were mind control-safe (ie, stun weapons and unloaded rockets) go to the top floor of the bc and kill the aliens with the rockets. And they still managed to mind control a guy back in my ship, who thankfully didnt kill anyone.

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Re: X-Com 1

Postby GeorgeH » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

You've essentially got it. Tanks with holstered or inactive weapons is pretty much the only way to go at first.

There are two psi stats, one for natural talent (0-100) and one for developed skill. A natural talent much less than 80 will lead to unacceptable levels of mind control and berserk behavior, and you really want to aim for 90+. What that means is that right now 80-90% of your troops are pretty much worthless, and if you're using transport space for tanks there's a very good chance that every single soldier you're bringing to the fight is nothing but dead weight.

If you decide to go the "Psi Corps" route, you're really going to want to build one or two bases that are nothing but living quarters and psi labs (using general stores to make a skeleton base, otherwise they'll take forever to complete.) If you're training enough soldiers every month, eventually you'll have a steady enough supply of 90+ soldiers to replace losses and build up a competent fighting force.

The problem with going the "Psi Corps" route is that once you've got a single Psi Squad with some experience you'll be invincible. Battles will go something like this: Land -> See alien 1 -> Mind control alien 1 -> Use alien 1 to see alien 2 -> Mind control alien 2 -> Gather aliens 1-n together -> Form assembly line of point-blank snap-shot executions -> Win. Once your psi soldiers are good enough, there isn't a single alien that won't fall to mind control on the very first try (even the supposedly "immune" ones) and the only reason you'll ever lose a soldier is because you got so bored that you stopped paying attention.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Soralin » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:38 pm UTC

One key tip, that GeorgeH mentioned, is that soldiers have a stat for their psi defense. Now, this is hidden before you get psi labs up and start testing people, but you can also determine it in a rough way by who is able to be mind controlled. So what I did was just shoot anyone who gets mind controlled, especially if it's just on the first attempt. Even if you end up killing off a lot of your own people, or even have to retreat after killing off a bunch of your own people, the ones who manage to be alive at the end will likely be the ones with a high enough psi defense to have a good chance of resisting mind control. A few missions like that, and mind control won't be as much of a problem for the survivors on future missions. :)

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Felstaff » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm UTC

I've noticed that, if you have long-range radar around Europe/Russia, aliens just fuckin' love to invade Novosibirsk. As a youngster I learned so much about Russia because they kept invading (same time every month) and it was one of the few cities I couldn't pronounce (I called it Novv-ER-ski-BERSK) so I encyclopaedia'd it, and learned Russia's entire history as a result.

Now I've set up a base directly there (and one in Rio de Janeiro, of which the aliens also love to invade. Perhaps they are just party aliens looking for a good time and to cruise for Latino honeys), do they invade? Do they HECK.

My general tactic (when beginning) is to build nowt but research labs and blow all my hard-earned dough on scientists. Then I research the fuck out of everything, initially with heavy plasma (laser rifles are handy backups thanks to their infinite ammo). Manufacturing is for suckers; just take the alien gear. It's easy to make $millions by selling all but one version of each alien. Sectoid corpses reach around $50,000ish? One mission alone can pick up around 12 of those babies, and selling 11 off means you can still do the research. (Can you sell live aliens? oh god, I hope having fewer alien corpses around doesn't hinder research. Does it? Nah, I don't think so.) Also selling off all alien weaponry except the stuff you use/need to research is a good money-spinner. Cautiously approaching alien craft will result in it receiving less damage when it crash lands, usually meaning more aliens, but also more intact power source/elerium to take home.

I've found the character armour to be somewhat bizarre in terms of what it can withstand. I've had a guy with no armour get shot in the goddamned face three times with a heavy plasma rocket kapow and receives "minor bruising". Then some little shit hits my power flying mega suit with a slingshot or whatever and my guy dies on the spot.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Adacore » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:31 pm UTC

Yeah, with the mind control stuff, I generally go for 'stun in the mission, then dismiss' rather than just executing them on the spot, but basically you don't want to keep anyone that gets mind controlled more than once. Once you've got the psi-lab up, you can start the mass screening of the entire human military. Seriously, I normally hire about 200 soldiers a month, of which maybe 30-50 make it past the basic 'morale and TUs' screen to the psi labs, then I'll maybe keep five to ten of those for my XCOM squads... also, it might be an idea to just avoid ethereal battleships until you've got decent psi.

With regard to money, is the 'transfer all your scientists and engineers' trick regarded as dirty cheating? I'd guess it is. But it saves so much cash! (Not that that matters when you're manufacturing enough weapons for sale that you've got income several orders of magnitude higher than your funding anyway).

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Adacore » Wed May 25, 2011 6:54 am UTC

Necro-doublepost time! I just started playing this again last night (Steam is amazing - it just works straight away, no fiddling around with dosbox settings), and my new game has been pretty epic so far. I wish I'd taken notes so I could do a proper after action report. Here's what I can remember (soldier names would make it a lot more readable):

Spoiler:
It's January 1999 and I'd been tasked to stop the alien threat, operating out of a secret military base in the Black Forest. I did the obvious - hired a few dozen scientists and pumped all my research funding into laser weapons; in the meantime I bought half a dozen autocannons and a tank [I've been bitten too many times by having nothing to kill cyberdiscs in early terror sites, so always go for autocannons and lasers first thing now]. Boy am I glad that I did.

The first two weeks are uneventful. A couple of small UFOs are intercepted, and one landed UFO is assaulted; my teams have no problems wiping out the sectoids and collecting the bounty, with minimal losses. Laser pistol research is complete, and I start on manufacture, researching laser rifles.

Then, totally out of the blue, on about the 20th January 1999, aliens assault my base! I have maybe 20 soldiers, armed with the first weapons that came to hand - a mixture of normal rifles, autocannons and the first six laser pistols hot off the production line, with about 10 grenades; I also have (and this is a godsend) a fully equipped cannon tank. This base is not optimised for defense - it's just the standard starting base design, with three hangers surrounding the central complex and the lift in the middle. I had plenty of troops, so tried to set up a perimeter around the core of my base, hemming in each of the hangers. At first, things went pretty well - my tank cleared one of the hangars pretty easily, while a second hanger didn't have many aliens and my troops took control, with a couple of losses - at this stage I was pretty confident. Then things started to go wrong. The first two squaddies to attempt an assault on the final hangar were massacred by a hail of plasma fire, and I was forced to fall back, at which point the leader of the remaining firesquad by that hangar was mind controlled, turned around and promptly massacred most of the rest of the hangar 3 team.

The loss of so many soldiers in quick succession - I was now down to about 10 of my original 20 - was taking its toll on morale, with two soldiers panicing and one going berserk. But help was at hand - with hangar 1 secure, the tank swung around and cleared the lift complex, finding the sectoid leader (the one doing the mind control) and blowing him away. I gathered the remains of my forces and pushed forwards - while I moved into position one more soldier was gunned down and another died from his wounds, leaving me with 8 troops, half with shattered morale. The assault on the third hangar was relatively efficient - I lost another couple of men, and my tank was destroyed by a lurking cyberdisc. If I hadn't had those laser pistols, the cyberdisc would probably have massacred my entire team; even with them the explosion from its death wounded most of the rest of my troops. At this point, only two team members were alive and not panicked or going berserk. The pair stormed into the hangar and wiped out the remaining sectoid attackers... but the mission didn't end.

It was now a race against time - all but one of my soldiers were injured and bleeding out. I hadn't researched medikits yet, so I couldn't heal their fatal wounds - the only thing I could do was search the entire base as fast as possible, hoping to kill the final alien before my veterans died. And worse, I only had four soldiers with which to do it (a couple had come to their senses after hangar 3 was clear, but two were still stricken by fear). The remaining men and women sprinted through the base (figuring the last sectoid couldn't be armed, or he would've shot at them by now) and, finally - my captain with only 4hp remaining - found a sectoid with a mind prope cowering in a supply room off the side of hangar 2.

After the battle to hold the Black Forest, I had only five soldiers remaining, three of them wounded and out of action for several weeks, so only two were available for active service. I immediately hired another 20 troops, and bought another tank. No sooner had the new recruits stepped off the transport than alerts sounded - the aliens were terrorising Jakarta, on the other side of the world! This was literally about 2 hours [game-time] after the troops had arrived, but I had no choice - I loaded the new soldiers onto the skyranger immediately and set off. This must've been around the 26th January. This mission was a cakewalk compared to the base defense, but again I lost my tank (and a couple of troops).

The end of the month is approaching, and I'm eager to see the results of my first performance review. On the evening of the 29th, a UFO appears over Europe, so I intercept it and, on the morning of the 30th, a Skyranger is despatched to investigate the crash site. Aside from losing a couple of troops (including one of my more experienced veterans who survived the Black Forest defense) when disembarking the transport, mainly because of the lack of a tank for scouting (the replacement for the one lost in Jakarta has not yet arrived), the mission went ok. The only real hiccup was finding the last alien - a sectoid hiding out on the roof of a farmhouse.

I'm a bit short for cash, and most of my first batch of experienced troops were slaughtered defending my base, but I think January has gone ok. Once I get some personal armour and medikits for my soldiers their survivability will improve substantially, and their skills should start to improve significantly. I'm just waiting for the month to tick over so my funding for February arrives and I can start another program of investment. My Skyranger arrived back at base, around 2pm on the 30th.

It's now 8pm on the 30th January 1999 and the alarm sirens are going off again. Another alien assault on my Black Forest base! This time, I don't have a tank and my troops are more spread out. Still no medikits or armour, although I do have a few laser rifles. Wish me luck...


I'm still a bit shell-shocked. Two base defense missions and a terror mission, and it's not even the end of the first month. I guess now the aliens know where my base is, I'm going to be getting attacked every few weeks? That'd be fine, but those attacks come with no warning, so your save-point (not that I've save-scummed at all yet) is at the start of the defense, not on the geoscape, so if the situation is horrible there's nothing you can do about it. :?

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Serrin » Wed May 25, 2011 9:36 am UTC

That's an awesome story. I wish half my games turned out that epic. I think half the reason they don't is that once it's practical, I turn UFOs into pavement with blaster bombs first, and ask questions never.

On the topic of X-Com, who else is following Xenonauts? They're apparently making serious progress towards having a real game.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:33 pm UTC

Yes yes yes, Firaxis making a new turn-based XCOM!!!!!

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:37 pm UTC

I still shake my fist in fury that the FPS squad version of this game was shelved.

Big fan of TFTD. Never beat it, but my most recent run through is sitting on pretty good footing.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Yes yes yes, Firaxis making a new turn-based XCOM!!!!!

I read this yesterday, and passed completely over it, being fairly tired and not one to parse pertinent information unless I'm actually looking for it. Also, sometimes more than one exclamation mark throws me and I get confused.

Then this morning I was in the bath, and my mind drifted from playing the submerging continents game with my legs to Firaxis. And then I was totally like 'shit, Sid Meier's Microprose reviving X-COM?! Holy interrobatarang, Batman! Then my mind revelled in just how fantast-fucking-ic that combination would be. (I only ever played Civ III, but I heard the later iterations were equally, if not moreso, goodly).

I'm going to play Civ IV, which has been sat untouched on my Steam for a good year or so, when I get home.
Screw that noise for a game of soldiers, I'm going to play X-Com when I get home.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby EvilDuckie » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Yes yes yes, Firaxis making a new turn-based XCOM!!!!!


Who-hoo!

I've had endless fun playing the original XCOM and Terror From The Deep. They're classics.
Quack!

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Phoenix112358 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:29 am UTC

I've never played any of the other XCOM games other than Apocalypse - how would you guys say it compares to UFO Defense?

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:37 am UTC

You have done the equivalent of walking into a fine steak house with McDonalds, and asking how they compare. That guy sitting at the table slowly drinking 60 year old Scotch is gesturing to his 7 ft tall Samoan body guard, and affording you the faintest head nod. You may have noticed the piano player has switched keys, no, wait, he's playing left handed, because his right hand is slowly inching towards his boot and reaching for cold, folded steel. Conversation has stopped, and the maitre d' is calmly heading to a table of shocked onlookers, assuring them their meal will be free tonight.

What now?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Phoenix112358 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:29 am UTC

Haha that was amazing :D Okay then I might give it a shot the next time it's on sale.

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Endless Mike
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

On sale? Its normal price on Steam is like $5, if that. I gladly paid it despite having purchased it at least once in the past. (I'd check the actual price, but game sites are blocked at work.)

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:00 pm UTC

I haven't played UFO Defense, but I hear Terror from the Deep is basically the same game, mostly underwater, with a bunch of stylistic and balance updates.

I would LOVE to see a variant of the game wherein you play the Aliens.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

Yeah, there's some changes, but TFTD is pretty similar. If I remember correctly, though, UFOD had a bug where no matter what difficulty you set, it was always on the easiest, and TFTD had a bug to do the opposite.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Yeah, there's some changes, but TFTD is pretty similar. If I remember correctly, though, UFOD had a bug where no matter what difficulty you set, it was always on the easiest, and TFTD had a bug to do the opposite.

Almost- UFOD did have that bug. TFTD did not have a bug, but they received lots of criticism about how easy UFOD was even on the hardest difficulty, so they kicked it up a few notches, having been ignorant of the original bug. So the difficulty in TFTD was an intentional design decision.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Adacore » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:52 pm UTC

I believe the UFOD difficulty bug was fixed, though, right? If you get the Steam version then difficulty settings should work ok.

There also used to be a bug that meant TFTD was impossible to complete if you did research in the wrong order. Did they fix that, or is it still an issue?
Spoiler:
According to the wiki, researching a live Deep One terrorist before you have the other prerequisites for Ion Armour (Ion Beam Accelerators and Plastic Aqua Armour) causes a glitch and doesn't allow you to research Ion Armour, which is on the required tech path to winning the game.

Also, researching the Tasoth commander can apparently glitch the final tech in the victory tree.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:37 am UTC

Adacore wrote:I believe the UFOD difficulty bug was fixed, though, right? If you get the Steam version then difficulty settings should work ok.

I honestly have no idea if it was fixed- I was just speaking to how the difficulty for each game came to be. If they eventually fixed that bug, it would have been after TFTD had it's difficulty set.

You know, I never actually did play TFTD.. I'm tempted to fix that, having been reminded of it by posting here.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:I believe the UFOD difficulty bug was fixed, though, right? If you get the Steam version then difficulty settings should work ok.

Yeah, looks like only the DOS versions have the bug.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby ElWanderer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:13 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:There also used to be a bug that meant TFTD was impossible to complete if you did research in the wrong order. Did they fix that, or is it still an issue?


Years ago, I had the original XCOM: Terror From The Deep on disks, which had a tech tree bug whereby I could never seem to research Ion Armour. But this didn't prevent me from playing/winning the game, at least with my typical research path. I did wonder why the description of Mag.Ion Armour said it was "an improvement of Ion Armour" or similar, but it was a while before I found out I was meant to have researched Ion Armour first.

Then I bought TFTD again via Steam fairly recently. The version I got this way is updated over the original, but in terms of the tech tree it swaps the old bug for a new one - the one whereby it is possible to render the game impossible by researching in the 'wrong' order, which happened to match my typical reasearch path. I had to check online and follow the instructions very carefully to avoid being stuck in a dead-end game!

Hmmm, perhaps I should add a disclaimer that I assumed the bug existed and acted accordingly, rather than that I actually hit the bug. Perhaps I should play the game again... for science!
Last edited by ElWanderer on Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:34 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

I was under the impression that raiding the final Alien city required Magnetic Ion Armor (or whatever it's called) because you needed to ascend/descend into parts of the base.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:21 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:You have done the equivalent of walking into a fine steak house with McDonalds, and asking how they compare. That guy sitting at the table slowly drinking 60 year old Scotch is gesturing to his 7 ft tall Samoan body guard, and affording you the faintest head nod. You may have noticed the piano player has switched keys, no, wait, he's playing left handed, because his right hand is slowly inching towards his boot and reaching for cold, folded steel. Conversation has stopped, and the maitre d' is calmly heading to a table of shocked onlookers, assuring them their meal will be free tonight.

What now?


Apoc is the XCOM game that could have been.

If only they had fixed the roads so that your tanks didn't die instantly.
If only they had not gone for "retro only" for the city.
If only the aliens didn't go into narm territory.
If only the alien ship maps were more randomized.
If only they had lighting effects for maps.
If only psychic powers were more useful.
If only your scientists/engineers could travel by foot instead of pissing off the cab company meant a fuck you.
If only half the city didn't collapse from a few stray bullets.
If only you could actually fortify your base so it wouldn't collapse so easily.
If only beam weapons could actually move at the speed of light, instead of missing almost all the time.
If only missing an early ufo didn't mean the game was unwinnable.
If only the manufacturing industry could actually keep up with your weapons usage.
If only they made more than 1 melee weapon.
If only you could have flying armor that actually protected you.
If only...

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby ElWanderer » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:01 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I was under the impression that raiding the final Alien city required Magnetic Ion Armor (or whatever it's called) because you needed to ascend/descend into parts of the base.


Hmmm, I don't remember ever needing to ascend/descend, but then I've only ever gone to T'Leth with everyone weating Mag. Ion Armour. I do remember a combination of hovering and blowing holes in walls was good for taking a few short-cuts, as the first T'Leth levels were excessively labyrinthine.

Reading online, it does seem that if you research a live deep one too early, it won't unlock Ion Armour. That's not such a problem in the original release, but in the patched version, Ion Armour is a pre-requisite for Mag. Ion Armour, which in turn is required to research the advanced submarines and therefore necessary to be able to get to T'Leth. There are various other research gotchas, but that one can render the game unwinnable (unless you have more captured deep ones to interrogate and the game lets you do so).
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:04 pm UTC

Oh right, the subs.
CorruptUser wrote:Apoc is the XCOM game that could have been.

After seeing how bad Apoc was, I believe you meant 'Enforcer' was the game that could have been. I was quite clear about what Apoc was.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:19 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Oh right, the subs.
CorruptUser wrote:Apoc is the XCOM game that could have been.

After seeing how bad Apoc was, I believe you meant 'Enforcer' was the game that could have been. I was quite clear about what Apoc was.


Didn't play Enforcer. No, Apoc was a good game that was destroyed by so many things. Like, everything I mentioned. Instead of bringing McDonald's into a steakhouse, it's more like bringing a steak into the steakhouse, except the steak has started to rot and there is a turd on it. If it wasn't for the turd and the rot, it might've been a juicy steak. Your comparison is more like something that could never have been more than deep-fried dogfood on cheap bread.

But Interceptor? That was McDonald's.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Woopate » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:52 am UTC

Picked up the total pack on steam a few days back to relive the glory days. My roommates asked "what's that?". I was astounded. I told them "it all began back at the beginning of 1999, I was a young commander charged with a special mission and a massive budget..." later that day they had the total pack too.

I remember UFOD being one of my earliest memories of games, back when I was 4 or 5. Well actually, it was of me watching the Stargate movie, and my dad commenting about the jaffa staff weapon "now THAT's a heavy plasma." and me understanding the reference. I now realize that it was quite bizarre for my dad to let me watch stargate and play X-Com at four or five years old.

In any case Enemy Unknown looks quite promising. I hope their camera angles idea pans out. If there's a place for camera shenanigans it's in a turn-based tactics game.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby emceng » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:Yeah, there's some changes, but TFTD is pretty similar. If I remember correctly, though, UFOD had a bug where no matter what difficulty you set, it was always on the easiest, and TFTD had a bug to do the opposite.

Almost- UFOD did have that bug. TFTD did not have a bug, but they received lots of criticism about how easy UFOD was even on the hardest difficulty, so they kicked it up a few notches, having been ignorant of the original bug. So the difficulty in TFTD was an intentional design decision.



Hmm, I find this hard to believe. I played a ton of UFOD, and it was not easy. I guess part of it may be I had issues with mind control, and so lost lots of soldiers that way.

And Felstaff mentioned not using manufacturing? WTF? I was always broke as hell, so needed to churn out laser rifles by the hundreds to make money. Plus tanks seemed to die so easily, and they were expensive.

I only beat the game once(usually got bored or lost my save). That one was pretty much luck. Had massive issues with mind control because I didn't know the best research order. Got to the final mission and lost all but 2-3 guys to MC or MC+shooting friendlies. One of my few remaining guys had a guided missile. Fired it down a hallway, up a lift, down another hallway into the control room. Boom!
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Felstaff » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

Capturing live aliens really helps research and opens new advanced paths quickly, so make sure you build an alien containment on Jan 1st 1999, and always take stun rods (later small launcher + stun bombs) with you.
I think capturing a live Ethereal or a mind-controlling/high-ranking Sectoid will open up research paths for psi-training. Ethereals, for me, usually show up around August 1999. I know capturing a live Cyberdisc opens like 10 more avenues of research, 'cause they're so freakin' hard to capture with their goddamn self-destruct mechanisms.
Also leaders/commanders never leave the ship's core, so once you've killed off all other aliens, launch in a stun bomb through the ship's door, as leaders provide much more advanced research opportunities. (You also don't damage the ship's interior, so you come away with more alien artefacts/elerium-115/navigation sources etc.)

I always have too much money, it seems (#whitewine). I think it's because I sell off all but 8 heavy plasmas (and only ever have 8 soldiers on a mission). Those babies reach $150K a pop. Taking out a large ship landing site with 10-15 floaters yields 10-15 heavy plasmas - there's a cool mil/mil-and-a-half right there. Plus $20K per body, and alien grenades reach a pretty penny, too.

Building one base (with nothing but a hangar, a large radar system, and a big fuck-off defence) in each continent really ups your UFO-catching ability, too. Just place an Interceptor/Lightning/Firestorm in each one, with Laser/Plasma armaments (so you don't have to keep manufacturing ammunition) and you can take out 5x the amount of UFOs flying around than when you only have one base. Think of each interception as giving you $1-2 million in alien stuff you can sell off. Crash sites stay for days, so it might get a bit hectic with all those grey Xs dotted over the globe, and your Skyranger/Avenger has to hop between them, clearing up the mess.

I'm a very cautious player - I rarely venture far from the ship unless mind-controllers are about. Let 'em come to you, I say (and screw the civilians in a Terror Attack). Your ship provides enough protection, and your tank can take a few hits when it scouts out. Having soldiers with high reactions really helps, as you can place them tactically over a few goes, and let the aliens walk straight into their line of fire (hiding out in barns is excellent for this).

Once I've got an array of Supermen with 80+ Psionic Ability, sometimes I just send out a redshirt to find one alien, and then mind-control my way all the way to the mothership's core. The best part is when you have manipulated about 8 aliens without killing a single one of them, moving them into a campfire-circle, and then you force the alien commander to wipe them all out with a single blaster bomb (or you can get your sharpshooter to pick them off one by one, so his/her firing accuracy really shoots up. Or you can send out a red shirt with a stun rod and just buzz 'em all til you've got 8 unconscious aliens, which your science team will thank you for. (I get frustrated with stun bombs, as they frequently miss/don't stun and use up far too many time units).

Also, get some of your noob Psi soldiers to practice panicking the test subjects. I think using psi abilities around 6 times per mission will boost their ability between up to 5 points. Once they hit the 50s in ability, they can mind-control pretty much first time (Mutons and Floaters only take an ability of 20 or so and close proximity, but Ethereals take at least 60 before you can fully control them). My commander is currently sitting pretty with 100/92 in Psi (as well as 90 firing accuracy, not that he's brought a gun with him for the past 12 missions) which means that he can pretty much mind-control any alien, from any distance, on the first try. I'm deliberately holding back from researching 'Cydonia or Bust?' until I have a veritable army of mind-warping Ubermensches.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby Adacore » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:34 am UTC

Learning to be ruthless with psi-failures in the early days (before you have any screening) is vital. If you keep the weak psi troops around then every mission against sectoids will be tough, and any fight against ethereals will be a total bloodbath. Soldiers that are vulnerable to psi aren't just 'weaker soldiers', they're 'alien surprise attacks waiting to happen' - having them on a mission is actually worse than not having those soldiers at all.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby ElWanderer » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:22 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Learning to be ruthless with psi-failures in the early days (before you have any screening) is vital. If you keep the weak psi troops around then every mission against sectoids will be tough, and any fight against ethereals will be a total bloodbath. Soldiers that are vulnerable to psi aren't just 'weaker soldiers', they're 'alien surprise attacks waiting to happen' - having them on a mission is actually worse than not having those soldiers at all.

*shudders* the horror... the horror...

(TFTD) Yeah, I have happy(?) memories of landing a squad full of experienced, well-equipped aquanauts next to a bunch of Tasoths for the first time, only to watch them tear themselves apart under molecular control. If I knew I was facing Tasoths at a terror site, I'd land, stun the first one I could see, drag them back onto the landing craft then take off, abandoning all the civilians. That's if I needed the research - otherwise it was tempting to open door, shoot anything I could see, then take off. You lost far fewer points if you turned up then fled, as compared to not turning up at all.

When you get psi-labs/MC-labs up, it always seems to be the best, highest-promoted trooper who has the lowest defence against being taken over, so you have to fire them or consign them to garrison duty. At least once you have your own mind control troops, the quality of the rest doesn't matter so much.
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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:45 am UTC

I have to wonder what the hell happened to all those psychic soldiers after Cydonia was destroyed. These are mercenaries with mind control machines. Poorly paid mercenaries; 40k a month to get face-raped by evil alien lobsters? Pass. Granted that all that fancy flying suits and hand cannons simply stopped working once people ran out of Elerium, or so we are told. Mars had the facilities to manufacture untold of thousands of battleships, so there should have been huge stockpiles somewhere. Maybe all of TFTD and APOC was just what the few remaining super-soldiers wanted us to believe happened.

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby BoomFrog » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:07 pm UTC

Okay, So X-Com:Apoc was my second favorite game ever after Diablo II, so obviously I'm going to have to play the original now that I know I can get a working version from steam. However, I object to most of these objections:

Apoc is the XCOM game that could have been.

If only they had fixed the roads so that your tanks didn't die instantly. - Valid, although you can bring down most UFO's with a swarm of missile wielding hover-cycles.
If only they had not gone for "retro only" for the city. - I actually don't know what your objecting to here. You didn't like the art style?
If only the aliens didn't go into narm territory. - It's been a while, what is narm?
If only the alien ship maps were more randomized. - This I agree with
If only they had lighting effects for maps. -
If only psychic powers were more useful. - It sounds like psycic powers were too good in previous games. Mind control was still awesome, even if you only had a split second of control. "Set all your grenades to explode, drop your armor and weapons and throw your shield generator at me" was a pretty devastating move, and one of the only ways to get shield tech.
If only your scientists/engineers could travel by foot instead of pissing off the cab company meant a fuck you. - Never had this happen, that sounds pretty bad.
If only half the city didn't collapse from a few stray bullets. - On the other-hand no one seemed to care that you blew up the city.
If only you could actually fortify your base so it wouldn't collapse so easily. - Never had a problem with this I suppose because the missle swarm brought down UFOs so quickly.
If only beam weapons could actually move at the speed of light, instead of missing almost all the time. - I agree silly but, again, missiles. And it's not unreasonable for a beam weapon to miss if the tracking is difficult. Your only real objection is to the animation.
If only missing an early ufo didn't mean the game was unwinnable. - Why?
If only the manufacturing industry could actually keep up with your weapons usage. - Manufacture your own.
If only they made more than 1 melee weapon. - Shooting pointblank range seemed to work fine.
If only you could have flying armor that actually protected you. - Use the flying chest piece and the stronger armor for the other bits, you can still fly.

Short version: I think it's a great game if you look at it in a vacuum. However, I'm going to go try some steak.
"Everything I need to know about parenting I learned from cooking. Don't be afraid to experiment, and eat your mistakes." - Cronos

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Re: X-Com: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

A couple of responses

Retro only wasn't the worst of all sins. In some ways it's ok, others it's kind of silly.

Narm is basically where something is supposed to be intense, but due to poor execution it's just ridiculous. The aliens are supposed to be a horrifying menace, but the blue guys look like they should be in special ed, the pink guys are just pathetic, the big giant guys also look like special ed students, etc. Compare discovering just one chrysalid in XCOM, to anything in Apoc.

Swarms of missiles can take down most UFOs, but you can't manufacture them (until very late in the game) and the city always runs out of missiles each week.

The lighting was always daylight. Part of the fun/horror of the previous games was having to do a night mission.

I don't want mind control to be a game breaker, but the aliens with brainsuckers could mind control you, but you can't do that back...

I played on hard a few times, and if transtellar hates you, you can't buy new scientists. Well, you can, but transtellar won't send them by cab, and they refuse to walk.

The city DID care about the destruction, if you played on harder difficulties.

You make it sound like you have a version with infinite missiles. The later UFOs may not be interested in just dropping off aliens, and instead just burn your base to the ground. And again, with a limited amount of missiles each week you may have to sit back and watch in horror as they shred your base.

I don't have a problem with beam weapons missing from time to time, but they miss nearly all the time.

If you missed UFOs 3 or 4 (or maybe 5 or 6 too), they never show up again. Since your vehicles require specific UFOs to research, even if you took down the later UFOs and captured those, missing an early UFO meant the game was unwinnable.

Like I said, you can't manufacture your own missiles until late in the game, and by that time it's a moot point.

TFTD had hand-held drills of doom, as well as a stun rod. Apoc only had that sword. Wasn't a terrible oversight, but I would've liked the option of more weapons.

Yes I know the chest piece was all that was needed, but the chest was the most likely place to be hit. When you make your own armor, your armor has 3-4 times th protection of the flying piece.


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