This episode begins with Kirk receiving orders to travel to the Harlequin system to rescue a scout ship being harassed by Elasi pirates. I knew they would be back! The library computer tells me the system is a war zone with two inhabited planets, one Elasi-controlled and one Federation-controlled. We head there and provide just enough distraction to enable the scout ship to warp away but that leaves two attackers closing in on the Enterprise. It’s time for the obligatory combat sequence!
|Boom! That has to sting.|
After many false-starts, I revise my strategy by flying backwards. The ships are fast, but they do not have have our caliber of weapons or shields. If I fly backwards when they take a run at me, I can trade blows with them easily. I take a ton of damage, but also get in some good hits. I believe that I destroyed one ship that way (but I do not recall getting a message about it) and eventually the second one gives up and runs away. Not my finest hour, but I hope my score is not penalized too much.
|A man of mystery and challenging likeness rights|
|What the heck is that thing?|
|And you have been terrible trouble to us...|
Now that the prologue is out of the way, we can explore. The room we are in contains a box of dodecahedrons (which I’m just going to call “spheres” from here on out because that word is easier to type) which Spock identifies as being memory modules of some kind. We also find the “degrimers” that Mudd was pawning and some thumbnail-sized lenses on the ground. The lenses fit the tool perfectly and I can use it to cause random electronics in the room to explode. Neat! I have no idea what that will be useful for, but making random things on the ceiling explode is fun. Kirk says that he now understands why the pirates wanted the degrimers, but I don’t. Are they weapons? That seems like it, but then why were the pirates trying to kill the guy instead of capturing him?
|Hey look! More dodec… er… spheres.|
I mistakenly exit and re-enter the room because I wandered too close to the door and on my return I get a brief cutscene with Mr. Mudd. He appears outside his hatch and tells Kirk that he has to “er… fix something”. He wants to know if we’ve seen a “multipurpose doover” around since he left it someplace. We haven’t, but we have a dialog choice anyway: I can either tell him that I do not know or that I wouldn’t give it to him anyway. I select the latter and Mudd returns to his ship. Of course, just then the life support system starts to shake. I have Spock scan it and he says that it’s about to fail-- we’d better fix it soon. I think I know what the “doover” is for!
|I feel like I’m in one of those claw machines.|
|I’m not sure those beds look very comfortable.|
In all this dawdling and exploring, Spock lets us know that life support is down to 75%. Still plenty of time...
|Is that a doohickey I see before me?|
|That sounds like a good idea, actually...|
How can I learn more about the aliens? Let’s try using my memory module! I explore the ship to find somewhere to plug it in-- starting with the bridge. While there, Spock discovers that the two consoles are configured differently. I’m not sure why that is a surprise since Sulu and Chekhov also have different consoles on the Enterprise, but whatever. He also believes that the aliens are fixated on the number six, as well as numbers related to it, especially threes and twelves. Although all of that is fascinating, none of it helps me find a place to plug in my sphere. I keep looking.
The library has a giant memory sphere and a data screen, currently black. I still can’t plug in my sphere anywhere, but Spock seems to think we can use the power of threes and the tricorders to decipher the data in the spheres… somehow. Honestly, I’m sure exactly what is happening. We learn that the universal translation is offline because the Enterprise is out of range due to interference; that is why we can’t read their language already. I eventually work out that if we use both the medical tricorder and the science tricorder, we are able to work out the basics of the language. (I have no idea what the “three” there is that Spock was referring to earlier.) Now that we know the language, we can use the ship’s controls! But… isn’t the reason we couldn’t use them before a lack of power? Spock also tells us that we should donate these memory spheres to the Kornephoros Life Sciences University for further study.
Searching the library further, we learn that almost all functions except weapons can be managed from the bridge. The power boosters, called “whyos”, increase the range of their weapons but not their strength. Spock is also able to discover that the ship was created by a race called the L’Shaians, lizard people with three pairs of eyes and twelve fingers. That explains their fascination with threes, sixes, and twelves!
|Is it a hexclops?|
Once Mudd is fine, I head back to the bridge to finish exploring now that I can read the language. There are two consoles, one that I can use as Kirk and another that I can use as Spock. On Kirk’s, we can access the communications or viewscreen. The latter just opens the window but doesn’t show anything unexpected. Communications is similarly a bust as we still have too much interference to reach the Enterprise. Spock has access to sensors, navigation, and engineering controls. Looking at the sensors reveals the next big surprise: the Enterprise is locked in battle with more pirates! While we’ve been exploring, they’ve been fighting and there was no way for us to know. We do have partial engineering function because the pods are gathering energy now, but no navigation. We are dead in the water with no way to aid our comrades… unless I happen to have crazy long-range weapons lying around.
I head back to the weapons room and Spock is able to use the console to load a torpedo into one of the firing mechanisms-- this finally lets us use one of the cranes that have been on the ceiling in every room. Unfortunately, my plan ends before it begins because the main battery has been destroyed; there is no way to fire the weapon. Spock recommends taking it back to the Enterprise but that hardly seems helpful in the circumstances. I get a dialog option where I can either agree with him, disagree, or try to hail the ship. None of them seem to drive the plot forward and hailing fails because of the continuing interference.
I do another round of re-exploring the ship and for some reason-- I have no idea why-- we are able to hail the Enterprise from the bridge. We learn that they have successfully defeated the pirates and everything is going to be okay. We get an option whether or not we want to beam out or talk to Mudd first so I choose to talk. After a few dialog options, Kirk accuses Harry of selling weapons to terrorists and convinces him to donate half of everything to the university that Spock liked. Mudd reluctantly agrees and everyone is happy. We beam out.
|He’s always blinking.|
I mean “wow” because I have no idea what happened here. Did I just completely misunderstand the plot of the mission? We didn’t help the Enterprise defeat the pirates, we didn’t use the weapon they hinted at since the beginning, and I never found a use for either the memory sphere or the degrimer that I picked up. The hints in the library computer seem to be for another game entirely. When was I supposed to learn that the ship was under attack? Did they not finish coding this mission? All in all, it feels incomplete and to still get 100%... I don’t even know what to say. Loved seeing Harry Mudd, but this was a mess.
|Name those references!|
- Mudd was the only returning villain of the original series. He was in “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd” and references to both can be found here. I was unable to find any references to the animated episode, “Mudd’s Passion”.
- Stella Mudd was Harry’s strong-willed wife and was never truly seen on the original series, only android replicas on “Mudd’s Women”
- Starbase 7 was never seen on the original series but can be implied as the Enterprise twice visited the higher-numbered Starbase 11. (It did appear in novels and comics however.)
- The “universal translator” largely went unmentioned in TOS (it is explored more fully in the spinoffs) but a version was featured in “Metamorphosis”. The fact that the Enterprise needs to be nearby is unusual.
- The Vulcan neck pinch used on Mr. Mudd was Spock’s signature move and was used several times on the original series (and more sparingly on later shows).
- When discussing other adventures that must be worse than Harry Mudd, the redshirted security officer references salt vampires (“The Man Trap”), deranged computers (“The Return of the Archons”, “The Changeling”, “The Ultimate Computer”, “That Which Survives”), blood-draining clouds (“Obsession”), cell imploding sirens, and Greek gods (“Who Mourns For Adonais”). Of those I can figure them all out except the sirens. Is that a reference to the animated episode, “The Lorelei Signal”? If so, that’s the first episode of the animated series to be referenced. Kirk replies that he’d rather have dealt with any of those instead of Harry Mudd.
If this episode does take place after an animated one, that puts the whole timeline in a bit of as bind. Both this game and TAS appear to take place in the 4th year of Kirk’s 5-year mission, but the animated show replaced Chekhov with two animated-only characters: M’Ress and Arex. Since our Russian friend is still here, it can’t be later. We should just shrug and not take this stuff so seriously!
|Sounds vaguely biblical?|
Time played: 3 hr 15 min
Total time: 10 hr 50 min