Monthly Archives: January 2013

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 29: Vision Quest

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I did a bunch of lasts. Last Abduction mission, last regular mission. Last time exploding cars will get the better of me. Last time exploding cars did get the better of me. And, of course, last time Tim ‘Bishop’ Paradox was considered an active, happy, alive human being.

The end of that episode was met with the completion of the Gollop Chamber, the special facility housing the alien Psi-Link. The amount of effort I had to go to in order to construct it, the strict requirements for its use and the big, shiny purple button that just appeared on my Command HUD all point in the same direction: one way or another, it’s time to end this.

BUT FIRST: a musical intermission. Well, you’ll have to imagine the music.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 28: Final Countdown

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I diverted another alien terror attack and successfully captured a living Ethereal. I also started work on the Gollop Chamber, a facility that should allow me to make full use of the alien ‘Psi-Link’; while not spoken out loud, the doctors’ implication — that this device might be our last, best and only way to beat back the truly massive UFO now in orbit — is clear. Hopefully, the Ethereal we hold locked up in our alien containment facility right now will be able — and willing — to provide us with more information.

Not that it has much of a choice: our ‘interrogation’ is more like deep-tissue brain scanning. But, you know, it’s the spirit of the thing that matters.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 27: Brick Squad

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I traded the life of my oldest and most powerful psychic for the corpse of an alien Ethereal and the strange psionic device it was guarding. Doing so spurred an almost excessive reaction from the aliens, however: the ship that materialized over the coast of Brazil is large enough to put most countries to shame. And now, as the world is literally quaking in fear, my departments of Science and Engineering both are rushing to find an answer to the question that could well determine the fate of our entire planet:

How do you defeat something that could stomp a mountain into submission?

Whatever plan they come up with, I will veto the assigned name in favour of ‘plan David’.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 26: Auld Lang Syne

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I performed what may or may not be known in pretentious writing circles as a ‘narrative time skip’. One month of game time was covered in the blink of an eye, victories left uncelebrated and deaths left unmourned, all to more quickly get us to that final, elusive goal: watching an EMP-equipped Firestorm finally take down the Overseer UFO.

I think we can agree it will probably have been worth the wait, though.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 25: Bell Curve

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I used a routine mission as an excuse to round out my captured-alien collection. I own all the ones I know of that are capturable now. No news on whether or not Chryssalids, Drones and Cyberdiscs will ever become capturable; part of me hopes so, but another part of me doesn’t want to have to deal with sending another soldier into Chryssalid melee range for as long as I live.

More importantly, the results I got from interrogating the new Heavy Floater alien put a serious dent in the time required to develop a new type of fighter craft; one that should, hopefully, be capable of catching up to and bringing down that Overseer UFO. And since the Council has just docked me serious performance points for letting it slip so often — though that didn’t seem to translate to lost funding, as far as I can tell — I now have a personal stake of sorts in getting this project done.

Because even though nobody else cares, I don’t like being told I suck.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 24: How To Make Friends

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, the game basically handed a me a freebie. The ‘Terror Mission’ I spent so much time worrying was hilarious: it was exclusively staffed by Mutons, who are somewhat less than dangerous at this point in time, and Berserkers, who could have been scary had it not been for the long, open corridors this map was made up of. I left the mission with six completely uninjured soldiers, twelve saved civilians, and a head full of confusion. Did XCOM just take pity on me?

It’s not unlikely, given how much I was basically flailing around sucking at everything I did.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 23: Difficulty Cliff

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I was all like “Haha, I’ve got this war thing down forever now! Those aliens can’t do anything to scare me!“. And then the aliens were like “Oh, really?” and proceeded to throw a Terror Mission at Benin City, Nigeria. And then I was all like “Oh, damnit!“, completely forgoing to opportunity to make my hilarious 419 Scam jokes, because I remember the last time I did a Terror Mission and it wasn’t pretty. And then the aliens were like “Haha, chump! Bet you’re scared now!”.

And I was like, “Totally“.

No, I don’t really know where I was going with this either. Just roll with it, yo.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 22: Be The Sectoid

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I traded one low-level Support and one low-level Assault for one high-level Support and the power of mind control. Or at least, that’s how I’m rationalizing it to myself: the alternative — that I got two soldiers killed by some ill-conceived strategy involving hiding behind burning cars — paints me in a much less favourable light. And casting criticism on the Commander, who is me, is tantamount to letting the aliens win. So as far as the history books are concerned, last mission’s trade-off was gruesome, but fully intentional.

Also, and maybe more importantly, Argentina permanently and irrevocably left the Council of Nations. That’s one blip on the Doom Tracker, and one stack of funding and associated continent bonus I’m never ever getting. I can pretty much say goodbye to the ‘have satellite coverage on the whole world’ achievement as well. I haven’t figured out a way to spin this in my favour yet, but rest assured that our top minds are working on it.

If you still find yourself feeling different about this, the mind control hasn’t taken effect yet. Just sit right there and let it happen.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 21: Don’t Cry For Me

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I disarmed a bomb. That’s… that’s pretty much it. It wasn’t a particularly difficult, dangerous or interesting mission: just a whole mess of Thin Men to kill. But after a string of highly difficult and sometimes flat-out disastrous missions, I’m not about to complain about the game throwing me a freebie. Plus, since that mission took place in Brazil, that country’s Panic levels have dropped to manageable levels. Looks like one half of South America is going to stay an XCOM Project supporter after all!

As for the *other* half…