Thursday, April 16, 2020

Galactic Empire: Space Journalist Go Home

I like to consider myself a fan of Coktel Vision games, and I also consider myself to be good at adapting to new video games, not necessarily getting all that good, just decent. Unfortunately, Galactic Empire has proven difficult to do that. No one bothered to upload the English manual online and this is one of those games you need the manual. So I checked some Youtube videos, to see if anyone knew how to shoot. The only one that was not Advance Galactic Empire did not actually get to the shooting, but did show me how to activate an item. Let's test that out:
It works. Also, it does nothing against soldiers for some reason or they're really strong. Ammo isn't a regenerating thing, like I assumed for some reason. To shoot, you need to click on the item, move it over the target you wish dead, and click until you kill it or run out of ammo. You have one big ammo pool, at least so far. This doesn't prove ideal against the soldier who moves up on me after robbing the place, so I flee to a place he doesn't chase after me. I don't know if I'll ever find out why.
Also, the other thing was a map/radar. Its only active when I'm completely still, but that's still REALLY helpful. So, I'm out of options, I might as well get a copy or something. But, to my financial fortune, it turns out they shot the foldout manual at just a high enough resolution for me to read it. Parts of it anyway. My choices are that, or a French manual. And at some point this might turn into a side-scroller, according to the back of the US boxart. That breaks one of my rules, but if I make it that far, I'm not going to reject it.
Now, while I'm doing this, I have the game going on in the background. A noise suddenly comes up, and when I check it again, lo and behold, I'm running out of oxygen. So, this hunk of rock that someone is being a petty dictator for, going as far as to try to break away from the empire, isn't properly oxygenated. Bravo, bravo. I don't really understand what's going on at all right now nor how I advance. I'm pounding my fists against a brick wall, hoping for something to give. Or is it several hunks of rock? I don't know.
That means start things over, and this time do it right. The starting area has two oxygen tanks and two "refills". Of what, I suspect ammo, but will confirm later. There's also a grenade...lying around. I don't think I just brought it along; I start with some kind of taser. I guess spaceport security is lax around here. Hang on, I have a grenade, and a customs officer who doesn't want me in. What if we put the two of them together?
Aha! Success! Only, this leads to another problem, the soldiers. They're not dumb. At least, they're not dumb enough to let me get away with murder. So, I futz around for a little bit. To discover that the correct path was...a dialog choice. I spent two hours screwing up a dialog choice. He tells me to go past the laser fence to a building north of me. Before shooting me once, but that was probably because I was in his personal space. On this path there's another grenade. Who leaves this many grenades around?
Said building has another customs agent. This time he checks me for weapons. He takes all my weapons and then starts shooting me. His sentence is vague enough that I don't know what he meant by it until he shoots me. I assume that's because I was in his personal space, but unlike the other customs agent, he chases me outside. Did I mention this game has a short draw distance and conversation reach? Fortunately, he proves receptive to the ol' dumb the weapons outside and pick them up later trick. This gives me a card to unlock a few bridges.
Past a bridge that feels more like a gate, it is clear I am free to do whatever I like now, in regards to continuing my investigation. If you've ever felt a pang of terror at what to do in an open-world video game, then, boy, do I have news for you. Imagine an open-world video game where everyone could freak out and attack you and Silent Hill-level draw distance. I converse with a merchant, who calls me a vulture when I ask about the ongoing civil war. A few more times reveal that I can't figure out how to buy things off this merchant.
So I wander around. My initial thought that I was free to journey everywhere was wrong. The area is still closed off in a certain sense. Only one path forward at any time, everything leads back to that one path forward. Here, for instance, is what was a soldier just standing over something called an Arachnopistol. I take it, because nobody's been giving me crap for taking grenades off the ground randomly. He shoots me and I die. In fact, there's a grenade near him and he does nothing about that. Well, maybe not entirely true, I try again and he just goes after me, gun or no gun. This guy is right behind a building I need to enter to get a key item to advance.
The merchant near the instakill soldier offers an exit badge. Getting this requires careful choice of dialog options. "Go stuff yourself with the robots" is not one of those options. Did I mention Coktel Vision are French? What does the exit badge unlock? I don't know. There are two gates, neither of which are unlocked by it or the card. Let's see, that puts me at the 3.5 hour mark and I'm still within walking distance of where I started. I wonder why no one else seems to have played this in modern times. I'm stopping here, for the time being. Something tells me the next time is going to be more pointless blathering while I advance ever so slowly in the game.

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