Tag Archives: Jarenth Plays

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Epilogue

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, we did it. Thanks to the efforts of six brave volunteers, and one impromptu Weird Science body-trip on my end, ADVENT’s control over Earth has been well and truly shattered. All Elders we encountered in the alien seat of power are dead, the aforementioned base is destroyed, and thanks to our disruption of the ADVENT Network Control tower, the alien psionic information network is down for the count.

Is that the end of our story? It is, and it isn’t. There is always more story to tell, after all. Not much of it, we’ll be privy to. But I’d be one mean storyteller if I didn’t tell you how the fade-out goes…

After the break: Step Three: we take our planet back from alien occupation.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 27: Part Of Your World

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, XCOM finally did what XCOM’s been wanting to do since the beginning. We broke into the ADVENT Network Tower, hacked their signal, and broadcast the truth — ‘Soylent Green is people’ under any other name — to the masses worldwide. And just like that, the situation flipped: where once we had to operate in the shadows to avoid the overwhelming reach of ADVENT and their propaganda-indoctrinated masses, humans worldwide are now standing up to fight for their survival. The global resistance, finally in the limelight, is stepping up to combine the riots and the uprisings into a global coordinated push-back against the alien occupation.

They won’t win. Not like this. We couldn’t even win with the full might of the united human nations behind us. But in a surprising Lord of the Rings analogue, this fight isn’t important for their possible victory or loss. This fight is important because it ties up the lion’s share of ADVENT’s forces. Giving a small XCOM team the opportunity to sneak into this story’s Mount Doom equivalent, the mysterious alien ‘seat of power’, and destroy it from within.

The survival of humanity depends on the success or failure of this strike team. Luckily for them, I’m about to take a slightly more active hand in this particular outing…

After the break: Step two: under the cover of global resolution, a team of XCOM operatives infiltrates the alien base and… does something. We haven’t quite worked out what, but I can see us playing this by ear.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 26: Can’t Stop The Signal

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, our understanding of the whole ‘Avatar Project’ situation moved forward by leaps and bounds. Three leaps and bounds, to be precise. First, we figured out the deal with the alien portal: it’s a gateway to somehow, an important alien base that might as well be on the moon in terms of reachability, but we learned that a particular combination of factors would be needed to travel through it. Second, we dissected the alien Avatar corpse in an attempt to get those factors. Results were… interesting: the long and the short of it is that we’ll have to build us our very own Avatar, and that I will have to ‘remote-control’ it through the portal and into the base. This sounds dangerous, and prone to unexpected errors. But if it’s the only way…

And third, finally, we learned that ADVENT is getting ready wrap this Avatar Project up. Which sounds alright enough, but it would mean the extermination of all human life on Earth. So, you know. We can’t let that happen. Luckily, the Councilman brought us — at great personal cost — the plans that will let us turn ADVENT’s propaganda broadcasts to our own ends. As well as a location that tells us were to look…

After the break: Step one: we find the ADVENT Network Tower, infiltrate it, and replace their propaganda lies with some more wholesome programming.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 25: I Hope You Like Talking

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, we finally encountered the eponymous Avatar. One of the eponymous avatars, at least. And then we killed it, and dragged its corpse home with us. For ‘study’. Definitely not for stringing up in the training room and using as an ersatz boxing dummy; that would just be weird. I don’t know why you’re even suggesting this.

Richard cautioned against cutting open our one and only Avatar corpse too quickly. Without evidence to the contrary, we have to work under the assumption that this is the only one we’re ever likely to get. And trying to study it without knowing what we’re really looking for is a good way to squander that unique opportunity. All other Shadow Chamber projects should be completed first, he cautioned.

And that’s what brings me to the Shadow Chamber on an early, early September morning…

After the break: Looking forward to seeing what exciting alien fights I get into this episode? Well, reader, do I have news for you!

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 24: Avatar

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, our new power armors certainly did the trick vis-à-vis: keeping everyone alive on the battlefield. Well, a combination of armors, heavy weaponry, psionic powers, and dumb luck. But listen: the armors definitely helped. I daresay, in fact, that it looks like we’re more or less at the top of the tech tree. No more easy examples of alien technology to steal, reverse-engineer, and improve upon: what we have now is probably what we’ll be working with for the foreseeable future.

If both we and the aliens have halted our upward mobility, that means the onus of XCOM should re-focus once again on finding and stopping the Avatar Project. We’ve been letting it slide, for the last few weeks: only reluctantly assaulting and exploding an alien facility because it was sort-of in-the-way. But there’s no putting it off any longer. Every moment we delay is another inexorable step forward in… whatever is is the aliens are planning. We’re honestly still not sure?

We’re getting closer and closer to uncovering the truth, though. For example, doctor Tygan has made some very interesting discoveries in his latest Shadow Chamber work…

After the break: In case the episode title doesn’t spell it out for you, we make a big leap in understanding the Avatar Project today.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 23: Fortify

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, I gained my first glimpse into the inner workings of the mind. The inner workings of the mind sure do look a lot like an alternate soldier advancement tree with clearly delineated powers! Who’d have guessed. Thus emboldened and enhanced, I took my squad into a ‘routine’ base-destruction missed wherein I immediately lost Captain Blackfox to Sectopods.

Okay, so psionic powers are nice. I’m not dismissing that. But not even the most extra of actions or the most guaranteed of soul damage can do much against concentrated aliens weapons fire. We need a more old-school solution for that: an engineering solution, all sweat and metal and axel grease. And as it so happens, I’ve been working on just such a solution for a few days now…

After the break: Payback is a dish best served by casually breaking the laws of physics. And also, by hiding.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 22: Didn’t See It Coming

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, XCOM went through two long-overdue, much-needed upgrades. Of those two, one was fairly immediately obvious: Lily and Richard have (re)discovered how to make human-suitable plasma weapons. Plasma rifles, plasma handguns, plasma shotguns: you name it, we can make it now. And we did! And then we put those weapons to good use in an alien retaliation mission: the first, no less, where the aliens released their NuChryssalids into a human population. And while I don’t want to suggest things would’ve gone poorly for us without the new plasma weapons… let’s just say I was happy to have them.

Our second new tech upgrade has, in contrast, been a bit of a slow burn. For five days now, our new Psi-Lab has been chugging away, quietly infusing its two occupants with powers of the mind. But for today, I’ve set a special alarm clock: the training process is finally ending, and two new very special recruits are about to join the XCOM forces…

After the break: our psionic operatives are put to the test immediately. But will their fancy powers and ancient religions be a match for a good blaster at your side?

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 21: Upgrades

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, we did unto the aliens as they would do unto us. How do you like those UFO defense missions now, ADVENT? You mess with the XCOM, you better prepare for the Menace.

The UFO offense mission did show us that the alien tech level isn’t exactly static either. Another new heavily armed and armored enemy very nearly took out two of my operatives. We’re doing good, tech-wise, but we could be doing better. There’s no reason to sit on our mag rifle and plated armor laurels when there are higher, loftier plateaus to be reached.

One of those new plateaus is, in fact, being scaled as we speak…

After the break: It’s time for my first adventures into <i>tier 3</i>.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 20: What Goes Around…

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, the aliens defied established conventions when they came after us, shooting the Avenger from the sky. I mean, it got better. But still. Their, er, let’s say marginally provoked attack shook us out of a state of complacent reverie. We’ve been feeling too invincible for too long, I think. That feeling is definitely gone now.

I do wish there was something we could do to get back at the aliens over this. I mean, more so than we usually ‘get back’ at them. Stealing their unique psionic powers is nice from a ‘screw you’ perspective, but some more direct counter-strike would be good for morale, if nothing else…

After the break: Revenge is a dish best served from the business end of a mag rifle.

Surprise! I thought of a better mouse-over joke at the last second. These bits are guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules.

Jarenth Plays XCOM 2 — Episode 19: You Come Into MY House

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM 2, a squad trip to New Brazil uncovered us more of the aliens’ secrets. They… they were weird secrets. Purple plants, and a giant stargate, and a floating robot space orb that wasn’t a robot and that could resurrect the dead and also Mimic Beacons… And that’s before the new Chryssalids even came in. Why do the aliens still have Chryssalids? And why use exclusively Chryssalids to guard an important place like that? We’d have been golden if we’d have managed to keep one hover SHIV from the previous war.

‘Worst’ part is, though, that we can’t even get to prodding our findings yet! Partially because it’s going to take some… adjustments to the Shadow Chamber to accommodate this giant gate. But also partially because we were busy studying our previous mystery item first…

After the break: I plan for a few days of quiet, uninterrupted scientific study. This plan is rudely interrupted.