|This friendly fellow is called a Grell, and he lives in the sand|
Even a little water would be nice, but I've picked up the survival kit from the crashed escape pod which contains the next best thing - dehydrated water! I also decided to carry around a bit of sharp glass from the window (the smashing of the glass doesn't exactly fill me with confidence about the quality of the escape pod, but I suppose I shouldn't complain too much since I'm alive... for now). My quest to get off this rock begins by trying to find anyone or anything that doesn't want to kill me.
|The huge and majestic bones of a large creature are spread across this area |
I get the feeling moving further into the desert would be a very bad idea, even careful mapping and fortunately-placed oases would have little benefit. Instead, I head towards the rather scenic looking bone formations. I feel like these should be some sort of tourist destination. Some sort of gift shop with hats, thermal underwear and refreshing drinks would go a long way in this desert heat.
|This skull looks very dinosaur-like, did Tyrannosaurus Rex travel through space?|
The local wildlife seems almost extinct, with the vast fossil skeleton of a probably carnivorous animal creating a semi-sheltered area. The plant life isn't much better, and on closer inspection the local flora is quite sticky, and every attempt to remove the plant from my hand only ended up with it sticking somewhere else (currently on my leg, for use later).
|The Orat and Robot-spider-kill-machine introduce themselves to each other|
I'm definitely not alone here though, having bravely run away from some variety of gigantic sand snake and a wild Orat (I was just trying to rest in the cool cavern, when it practically bit my head clean off!). Meanwhile, the Sariens decided to drop some form of mechanical spider in my vicinity, which tracks me like an 80s movie serial killer (slowly, menacingly, with appropriate soundtrack).
|Tumbling through a tunnel|
The robot-spider-kill-machine (I couldn't come up with a snappier name with heatstroke) wasn't the most intelligent of opponents though, and I combined two of my problems by having the Orat take an unhealthy interest in my robotic friend, resulting in the termination of both of them. I try not to be violent, but in this case I had very little choice!
|This guy seems a little clingy|
This allowed me a little bit more time to explore, and to find out that this desert is quite remote and probably will be the death of me (it's tried a couple of times now, so I can't fault it for persistence). My heroic fumbling eventually gets me out of trouble, as usual, as I manage to trigger a trapdoor into some sort of underground lair.
|Ah, The Big Giant Head!|
The caverns down here, whilst cooler than the overground area, are predictably lethal. After grabbing a bit of stalacmite (or is it stalactite?), I venture forward only to find a grate monster. Quite what such a monster feeds off when there isn't a healthy supply of space janitors, I don't know. It turns out that sticky plant was just the thing to keep it occupied though, allowing me to sneak past while it tried to unstick itself.
|Dr. Slash Vohaul seems like a nice chap, I hope to meet him (or a relative) someday|
My next challenge was a door, apparently sealed and quite strong that was opened by merely dropping the stalacmite piece into a steam vent. Somehow it almost feels like I'm a rat in a maze, but I continue anyway. The next chamber contains a large pool of sizzling green liquid, which is almost certainly horrifically corrosive. I decide to keep my distance, and instead find my way past a laser barrier by the cunning use of the reflective glass shard I've been keeping in my pocket. Onwards and upwards, I have to dodge my way past dripping acid (where is it even coming from?), until I find myself in a dark chamber.
|They're quick to get me to leave, but at least I get this free sand-skimmer|
A massive alien face appears from nowhere, and I find myself pinned to the spot. At first I couldn't understand a word of it's bizzare language, but somehow I managed to switch on the strange device I'd found in the drawer near the airlock back at the Arcadia. Turns out it's a universal translator, which is awfully handy and it would have been quite upsetting if I had not taken it! My penchant for picking up everything that isn't nailed down came in handy immediately afterward too, as this alien creature wanted me to kill the Orat on the surface. Since my pal the robot-spider-kill-machine (still haven't got a better nickname) has already done that duty, I dropped the bit of Orat that I'd taken with me on the floor as proof, and was let into the alien's base!
|Ah, an arcade sequence. Doesn't everyone just love these? I skipped it of course|
It turns out these folks live underground, and are using thermal vents for steam power. Thanking me for offing the Orat, they give me a sand-skimmer to make my way to the nearest settlement. While I'm here though, I notice a computer that will allow me to look at that cartridge I've been lugging around. Turns out Dr. Slash Vohaul, inventor of the Star Generator, had suspected possible Sarien activity and had created a destruct code. Hopefully some brave, foolish man will be able to handle this task when I pass this on to the appropriate authorities (Where is the nearest Xenon embassy?).
|Maybe you should try and make your arcade sequences a bit better!|
Making sure I picked up the cartridge, I got in the skimmer and headed out to Ulence Flats. The skimmer was serviceable, but fragile as glass and had a nasty habit of smashing into rocks. I let the autopilot do it's job though, and soon found myself in what could generously be termed a settlement. The town itself seemed centred around a dive bar, and I could use a drink, so I parked up outside. It looked like a kind of biker bar, but there didn't seem to be many people around. The only notable fellow was a rather shifty looking man, who tried to buy the skimmer from me. His offer of 25 buckazoids was far too low though, so I told him politely that I wouldn't sell, and he wandered off.
|I'm not sure what he wants with a sand-skimmer,|
but I know it's surely worth more than 25 measly buckazoids!
Next stop, the Rocket Bar to quench my thirst!
Interesting Death of the Day (TM)
Today's interesting death could have been one of many, as it seemed like everything was out to get Roger on Kerona. I'm sure Ulence Flats will be much safer. This particular death was caused, like so many others, by curiosity. Interested in the pool of green liquid under the Keronian desert, Roger decided to put his arm in and see what happened. It turns out that was a poor decision. But at least I spared you half a dozen grate puns by not going for the grate monster death!
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!