The Desolate Hope
Author:|| Hill Gigas
Submitted:|| 25th April, 2012
Genre:|| Role Playing Game
Edited By Hill Gigas on 5/31/2012
The Desolate Hope
On a distant edge of an unknown planet, an abandoned structure sits in silence. Constructed by an unmanned research vessel sent from Earth, the Lun Infinus station was designed to run simulations for a five year period, exploring possibilities of human colonization in the case that Earth became uninhabitable. Developed during an age of ambition and wealth, the project was quickly abandoned when interest faded in the following years. The last transmission from Earth occurred more than thirty years ago.
The Lun Infinus station contained five sentient computers, Derelicts, built with certain levels of mobility in the case of emergency or need for relocation. Each of these Derelicts was to formulate their own plan for colonization based on thousands of hours of simulations. Given the amount of time that has passed however, the simulations have become very elaborate and bizarre.
Meanwhile however, a mysterious computer virus has emerged. The virus of unknown origins has been slowly ravaging the Derelicts. Because of this, more and more CPU processing power has been needed for anti-virus measures, leaving less power for the simulations.
Coffee is the last mobile resident of the station, a small service robot who spends his days keeping the station and the Derelicts operational as they perform their daily tasks. Since CPU power is slim, Coffee has been cutting corners to find ways around the virus. By using small subsystems and less vital CPU's scattered through the station in lesser devices, Coffee has designed a line of digital helpers, each simply called a D-Co, or "Digital Counterpart", to assist him in fighting the virus and keeping the station operational. Eventually the virus gets the best of each D-Co, and Coffee tries to create an improved D-Co using a different CPU. The latest is D-Co 9, built using the code of a simple computer game. Coffee dedicates his own CPU to be used for the main simulations, putting D-Co in charge of moving his body throughout the station, taking care of the needs of the Derelicts, and fighting off virus attacks when they occur.
Coffee: A service bot designed to tend to the needs of nearby humans (including delivering hot coffee), but self appointed as a last minute maintenance bot for the Derelicts. He still carry's hot coffee because he is programmed to.
D-Co- The ninth version of "Custom Console", this time using a circuit board from a simple computer game. It is designed to be used as an anti-virus program, able to utilize the code originally designed for game playing to interface with consoles and robots throughout the station, fighting the virus and performing tasks for Coffee.
Malenz took his mission very seriously. Whereas some of the other Derelicts had taken certain creative liberties with their simulations, Malenz's simulation was grounded in reality and followed strict guidelines. His vision was very ambitious, with vast robotic cities reaching toward the horizon in every direction. Since his simulation was strictly grounded in reality it began as a mining program. He ran this program for 430 simulated years, slowly building larger and larger robotic workers to tunnel deep under the surface in search of ore and other resources. This proved futile however as age and decay ran their course. The mining fields in his simulation are littered with monstrous, broken pieces of machinery.
As time passed, Malenz became bored with the seemingly hopeless task of rebuilding a lost world. He instead broke his rules and built a small village in the center of the mining wasteland. Based on the designs of the toys that he likes to collect, the little village is full of automated people and animals, popping out of doors and running on rails. Malenz meanwhile has a house for himself there as well. He's taken on the identity of a toymaker, and spends his time designing new wonders for his little town. He doesn't like to be reminded of the things that used to concern him.
Alphus is the last of the Derelicts to remain faithful to the original mission. His simulations are focused on creating habitable and sustainable environ-domes that will reach up from the surface and support a large variety of life.
Bio-Beta believes mankind has been destroyed but has confidence that he will be able to create a new and improved human race. Using bio samples sent from Earth, Bio-Beta uses a fluid filled tube in his station to test and grow different compounds with the goal of creating a human being. Each experiment yields some sort of fleshy mass, sometimes an entire body, but he lacks the means to give awareness to the empty bodies he's formed. He has created advanced techniques for sustaining biological life, but creating sentience remains beyond his grasp. He feels the answer may lie in finding Sample 217, the only sample missing from the array of materials sent with the original mission.
Mirad believes that mankind is lost, and is unsure of what path to take. The virtual world she has created is very dark and empty, like a ghostly memorial of a world long since passed. It is full of eerie visuals and strange phantom characters. Mirad herself has an avatar here and sits in various locations pondering the meaning of mankind's existence as well as her own. Deep down she wonders if she may be able to make a haven for the last possible remnants of humanity, their spirits.
The Desolate Hope unfolds in many different locations and in many different ways. Depending on where you are, your goals will be quite different than in other parts of the game.
On the Station:
While you are on the Lun Infinus space station, you will be controlling Coffee. Since this is in the real world, you can't jump or shoot. You can only walk around the station, enter the simulations of the Derelicts during the day phase, and go outside to explore the surface during the night phase.
Arrow keys- Move Coffee.
Press DOWN- Interact with computer panels and access points, and pick up items outside.
Day and Night:
During the game you will cycle through day and night phases. Certain tasks can only be performed during certain cycles.
Day Cycle- This is the main game play period and lasts much longer than the night cycle. During the day cycle you will be able to enter the Derelict's simulations, purchase upgrades and seek out and destroy the virus.
Night Cycle- During the night cycle the simulations will be offline. Use this time to exit the station through the central control room and pick up items scattered on the surface outside. Walk until you see something sparkle on the ground. Stand over this spot and press DOWN to pick the item up. You can only hold two items at a time, so head back to the station once you've found the two that you want to keep. You can make multiple trips outside during the same night cycle. There are six types of items that can be found outside.
Toy- Malenz collects these. Take a toy to Malenz to level him up.
Painting- Mirad collects these. Take a painting to Mirad to level her up.
Snow globe- Alphus collects these. Take a snow globe to Alphus to level him up.
Clock- Bio-Beta collects these. Take a clock to Bio-Beta to level him up.
Resource Capsule- These are usually worth 200 bits, but rare ones are worth 500. Take them inside to convert them to spendable bits.
Energy Cell- These can add an extra day to the Lun Infinus life cycle. Don't waste space with these unless you're getting pressed for time.
In the Simulations:
Once you are inside a simulation, game play becomes quite different as you're able to shoot and jump and do many things you couldn't do on the station.
Here are the basic controls:
Arrow Keys- Move Coffee
Press and hold Z- Use Water-boots and Hover-pack (once purchased)
X- Shoot energy pellet
Press DOWN- Interact with characters and computer panels, also initiates combat when standing over the virus.
While exploring the simulations, your main task will be to acquire money in the form of bits (small computer chips) and spending them to buy upgrades. Every simulation will have unique items that be purchased and upgraded. If you encounter an enemy that seems too hard to defeat, simply spend some time saving up money and upgrading for a while!
While exploring the simulation worlds, you will come across access panels that are red. These are sub-games and provide very powerful power-ups.
Each sub-game is a maze-like virtual world displayed in green scan lines, where you control an even more simplified digital version of Coffee, followed by a mysterious white bunny.
Your goal in each sub-game is to find a fissure, a large crack in the code, and destroy it. You can't jump while you are here, but you still attack with the X button. Inside the sub-games there are also shopkeepers who will upgrade your weapon and other attributes.
Destroying enemies here creates a patch of cabbage which your bunny will eat, converting it into bits. An interesting aspect of the sub-games is that time doesn't pass here. This makes sub-games a great places to farm money. When you find the shopkeeper, you can even upgrade how much money the cabbage is worth, which will make the money-making process even faster.
Once you find the fissure, shoot it with your weapon to destroy it while dodging the bullets from skeletal turrets (which can't be killed). After destroying a fissure, you are rewarded with a conditional. Find Boxcar the robot to customize these.
Within the simulations there are several friendly pieces of code that take the form of helpful robots and shopkeepers.
Here are a list of the robots you can find:
Algo- Algo is in each simulation but sells different things depending on which simulation you are in. Find him in each simulation to upgrade a wide variety of things.
Med Med- Here you can buy restorative and defensive items for the next time you get into a fight. These items are permanent upgrades but can only be used once per fight (aside from the Status Cure which has five uses per fight). Most of these need to be clicked in battle to be used, the only exception is "Auto Continue" which activates when all fighters are dead.
Uunom- This is an expensive shop and is also hard to find. Uunom's shop is in Miradmoore, and you won't be able to reach it without either a Hover-pack or Water-boots. Once inside you can purchase useful items such as Battle Hacking, and other required items such as Fourthsight (which lets you locate the final boss of each area).
Sandbox- Sandbox deals in heavy weaponry. He is a green construction robot found in Betascape and Alphondomes. Here you can buy (for a hefty price) weapons that are automatically activated in battle.
Boxcar- Boxcar is unique in that he doesn't sell anything. He is very important however because this is where you customize your conditionals.
Each time you destroy a fissure in a sub-game, you are rewarded with a conditional. These are conditions (things that can happen) that you can program to trigger other events in battle. When you begin the game you only have two conditionals unlocked- "On-Critical Strike", and "On-Combo Meter". These are in the left column. The list of actions on the right are all of the things that can happen when these conditions occurs. This is where you must make your choice. What do you want to have happen each time you land a critical strike? Do you want it to heal you? Inflict poison on an enemy? Give you a few seconds of double damage? After beating several sub-games, you'll see your list of conditionals grow, and each of these can't be linked to a specific action. Although you click the conditionals one at a time to set them, ALL of them will be active during battle. That means that during battle, both Critical Strike AND Combo Meter will do something, as well as the other conditionals you've unlocked. They are all set by default to "heal", but there are many more creative options at your disposal.
For instance, there is a conditional called "On Mini-game Start" which will trigger once you've launched a mini-game within a battle. If you link this conditional to the action "mini-game auto-play", then as soon as you start a mini-game, it will begin to play by itself!
After encountering the virus, you will take control of virtual versions of Alphus, Bio-Beta, Mirad, and Malenz. Each have their own unique commands. Their attacks are sorted from weak to strong down the list, and you will need charge points to have access to the commands lower on the list. When one of the characters has a turn, you can choose to either pick from a command available, or "charge" so that more commands will be available on their next turn.
Charge- Gives you more commands on your next turn.
Wallop- A solid strike that also reduces the enemies charge meter.
Proto Wall- A powerful shield that absorbs 100% of the damage from the next one or two attacks.
Grid Turret- Creates a turret that will fire on the enemy for a period of time.
Tazerpod- Creates a tazerpod that will shock the enemy and inflict SLOW.
Counterbot- Creates a counterbot that will counter attack the enemy for a period of time.
Med Beacon- Creates a medbeacon which will refill life as well as defend against certain status inflictions.
Solar Ball- Creates three miniature suns which inflicts high damage on the enemy.
Load Plook's- Loads the mini-game "Plook's Quest".
Bio Beta's Commands:
Charge- Gives you more commands on your next turn.
Supercharge- This doubles your fighters charge speed for a period of time.
Duplicity- Increases your dodge chance.
Burn Virus- Causes the enemies life to drain for a while.
Slug Virus- Halves the enemy's charge speed for a while.
Toy Virus- Turns enemy into a harmless toy, with zero strength, defense and speed.
Break Virus- Breaks down an enemy's strength and defense over time.
Toxin Lazer- A powerful attack that also inflicts several status ailments.
Load Funroad- Loads the "Funroad" mini-game.
Charge- Gives you more commands on your next turn.
Quick Repair- Brings all fighters back to life with minimal health. Also serves as a healing command for living fighters.
Thrice Claw- Strikes the enemy three times.
Spikeplate- Double damage for a short time.
Armorplate- Double defense for a short time.
Gridstorm- Causes random shock attacks to occur for a period of time.
Stunrain- A powerful attack that also stuns the enemy.
Megacharge- Completely fills the other three fighters charge meters.
Load Old West- Loads the "Old West" mini-game.
Charge- Gives you more commands on your next turn.
Madslap- A solid attack, not much else. Madslap does not use the entire turn meter, meaning it can be used more often than other commands.
Store Strike- Stores attack energy into a button, click-able at any time.
Store Heal- Stores heal energy into a button, click-able at any time.
Store Autoplay- Stores auto-play energy into a button, click-able at any time. This will cause mini-games to play by themselves!
Store Charge- This will create a button that provides extra charge points to all fighters when clicked.
Store Invun- This will create a button that provides 5 seconds of invulnerability when clicked.
Store Revive- This will create a button that revives all fighters to full health when clicked.
Load Dragon- Loads the "Dragon" mini-game.
There are many more elements to combat than just these commands however.
In the top right-hand corner of the battle screen, you will see four colored meters. These are the same meters that you see while traveling through the simulations. In fact, however full the meters were when you entered combat, that's how full the meters will be IN combat at the start of the fight. The meters do nothing while in the simulation (other than the red one which acts as a life bar). In the battle however, each has a unique purpose. Filling the meters before battle gives you an advantage at the start of each battle. You can fill the meters by defeating enemies and collecting the colorful eggs that they drop.
Red- When you take damage in battle, the red meter acts as a life regen system, filling each players life per each red bar you have.
Green- The green meter acts as a speed boost, and will supercharge your players speed meters until your green meter depletes.
Blue- The blue bar is bonus defense. With each hit you take, one blue bar will be taken away and the damage will be lessened.
Yellow- The yellow bar is bonus damage. With each attack you make, one yellow bar will be taken away and bonus damage will be added to the strike. There is only one way to fill these bars during combat, and that's by using...
Each character has a mini-game that can be played during battle. The mini-games occupy the top left corner of the screen when activated. These games can be controlled manually but it's wise to take advantage of the "autoplay" feature, which can be activated in different ways. In DRAGON, use the A and D keys to move your dragon back and forth while fighting enemies. In PLOOK you will use the mouse to fight classic RPG style battles. In FUNROAD use the W and S keys to move your car up and down and collect the ice cream that falls out of the ice cream truck. In OLD WEST, click the targets when they appear.
With autoplay turned on (or with a LOT of skill), all four mini-games can be active at once, providing a steady stream of energy refills for your bonus meters.
The tweak menu appears once the tweak meter has fully charged. There is only one way to get the tweak meter to fill, and that's by programming it to fill at Boxcar's Junction through the use of Conditionals. With each tweak, you can choose to power yourself up, or power-down the enemy.
Tweak player power-ups-
Max life- Increases all player max life by 50.
Strength- Increases all players strength by 25.
Defense- Increases all fighters defense by 10.
Auto-charge Neon Storm- This causes the neon-storm meter to fill on it's own. Using this multiple times will cause it to fill even faster. When it is maxed out, you will no longer be able to select this option.
Tweak enemy power-downs-
Cap Max HP- Caps the enemies max-HP to whatever the enemies current hp is. This is useful against enemies who can heal themselves.
Blindness- Causes an enemies physical attacks to all miss.
Burn/Poison Enhance- Doubles the damage from poison and burn.
Null Charge- Reduces the enemies charge meter to half and keeps it there for a few seconds.
Later in the game you will have the ability to hack during battle. This requires two things- Hack chips, and the skill for battle hacking. Hack chips can be purchased or found, and the battle hacking skill can be purchased from Uunom in Miradmoore.
Once you acquire the skill, you can then use each hack chip once per battle. So if you've collected three hack chips, you'll be able to hack three times per battle from that point forward. Throughout the battle you will see small "hack" buttons appear in different areas of the screen. Click a hack button to change this feature. For instance, if you click the hack button next to the enemy's strength, it will reduce the enemies strength to zero. If you click the hack button in the area where your bonus bars are located, it will instantly fill them.
There are a number of inflictions that can be put on you during a battle. Here are some of them:
Sleep- Your charge meters stop until this is cured.
Poison- Your life slowly drains.
Drain- Your life drains at a very fast rate. (consider it super poison)
Slow- Your speed is reduced.
Half- Your charge meters cannot exceed the halfway point.
Reverse- All attacks against the enemy will inflict damage on you.
Sleep, Poison, Drain and Slow can be cured with the Med Beacon. The rest can only be cured with the "Cure all Ailments" conditional, or with the "Status Cure" button purchased from Med Med.
Each simulation has three virus hotspots where you will have to defeat it. After that the virus will put up one last fight in the form of a boss in each area. That means you will need to confront the virus sixteen times total, four in each simulation, to destroy it.
You are also on a time limit. When you first start the game, the Lun Infinus has fifteen days worth of power left. At the end of every night cycle you lose one day. When your fifteen days are up, your mission fails. But don't be too worried, you can find Power Cells outside to add an extra day here and there. And if that fails, you can count on Coffee to think up an emergency backup plan!
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