Topic: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files  (Read 418 times)

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AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
[SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:30:25 am »
XCOM. It's a fairly well-liked turn-based game about shooting aliens and saving planet Earth. Or at least humanity.

The game's roots lie in a fairly old title known as "XCOM: UFO Defense". And, surprise surprise, that's the game we're playing today!



Or, rather, we're playing a total conversion mod known as "The XCOM Files". Made by one Solarius Scorch, this mod starts your organization before the events of the canonical game - the year is 1996, and the X-Com: Global Investigation Bureau has just been established in the face of mounting evidence of extraterrestrial forces on Earth. As its commander, your job is to find and stop such activities, slowly growing stronger and stronger until you can find the source of all the strange phenomena...

And I'm preparing to present a Let's Play of it!

--

I know my first attempt at a SSLP didn't go over so well. I got discouraged early on and decided to abandon the project, complete with deleting my save file.

Well, I can't just sit around just playing video games to pass my free time, and, hey, maybe I'll be able to complete this (or at least get a few characters killed)!

Okay, so, before I set up the actual intro post itself, I'd like to extend an offer to join the organization as an agent - note that this means you'll be hiring on as a rookie and may very well die on your very first mission.
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 07:27:12 am »
Feel free to add me. Doom and Quake taught me more than enough about facing extraterrestrials :D

nav'

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Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 08:41:54 am »
^ Same here, plus some experience with both the original games and the remake. Killing aliens is fun. Count me in.
Рабинович глядит на плакат «Ленин умер, но дело его живет!»
— уж лучше бы о он жил!

Tamer Anode/Cathode

  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: T-A-C
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 03:31:15 pm »
As someone who also did an SSLP of X-COM on this forum way back, I'm interested to see how this goes. Sign me up.

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 06:35:31 pm »


File 001





It’s my first day on this job and I think I’m fucked.

After an unfortunate incident involving a spent shell casing, a stapler, and the gift I was sending for the department’s Secret Santa, I... kind of found myself being assigned to an... unenviable position.

I’m now in charge of the newly formed XCOM Global Investigations Bureau, a project that most of my colleagues agreed was - and still is - doomed to failure. Which, I suppose, only further cements my position here, seeing as how I barely know what we’re supposed to do. The objective of the project is to investigate for signs of extraterrestrial activity and put a stop to them. For now, that means wait for something to come in and respond to it, I guess. That appears to be the set up we’ve got.

Okay, that’s not giving my colleagues enough credit - all of them are probably more fit to run this thing than I am, and somehow they haven’t attempted to make a move... Or offer any guidance, really.

Guess they can already tell how well things are gonna go and wanna get back to positions that mean something to them.

Might as well introduce you to who they are, what they do, and what problems they’re gonna be facing, ‘cause while other departments are fighting a lot of fires, we set up in the midst of a forest blaze.

Okay, that one sounded fucking stupid. I’ll probably delete it later, but, knowing how oversight can be, just typing this in probably preserved it for eternity. Anyway...



This is the accountant, Helen Marks. Her role is to make sure I don’t run myself into the ground financially and also to manage the project in general. I suppose she won’t exactly be doing a whole lot specific to the nature of our work, but she’s still a critical component nonetheless, and she assured me she’d be here at least as long as me... Which, knowing me, is probably the next two months, if we’re lucky.



This is Diana Vahlen, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau. Treats agents after they’ve sustained injuries, and also performs any scientific analyses on the things we bring in, whatever their nature. Constantly uses antiseptics to keep her lab and gear clean, and she supposedly heard good things about me? I’m pretty sure she was just buttering me up when I said that, though.



Rodriguez Scott here is boisterous, an excellent coffee maker, and also the intel specialist - whether that’s making calls, conducting research, or just scaring the hell out of people. Kind of like what happened the first time I forgot her name. Seems that she’s currently completely in the dark as to the cause of the reports we’ve been getting are, just like the rest of the world, and will need subjects or documents in order to begin to get intel. The way she talked made it sound as though killing people in the field would be nothing... which still seems strange to me... I wonder how many of my colleagues have killed before...



Randall Graham handles our armory and equipment, and can help expand our arsenal as needed. Seeing as we only have pistols and small shotguns available, we might need something else. He said something to me when we first met about how his instinct said shootings will be common... and, well, he’s old and in his position for a reason, so I suppose I should listen, even if I don’t quite buy into the idea of gut instinct.

I just hope “harder to take down than usual” doesn’t mean “bulletproof”, because if that’s the case we’re gonna have some real problems on our hands.





And finally, there’s two people, Dismas and Reynauld, who seem strangely familiar somehow... I can’t really think of much to say about them so far save that Reynauld seems more skilled than Dismas, at least, according to the evaluation reports...

Probably better I didn’t question it. I’m in enough trouble as it is.

So yeah. To recap, first day, already fucked, surrounded by talent and currently waiting for something to come in.

I’m having a great time here.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 07:18:52 am by AzyWng »

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 07:45:42 am »
File 002





The new year passed without much incident. Nothing had come up in that time.



Second of January, though, things kicked up a little. Wasn’t long before we got word of some unusual activities in Detroit, so, sending in Dismas and Reynauld, we decided to investigate.



The overwatch camera system was a bit difficult to get used to, but before long I was able to tell what everything was - even if it was all super pixelated.



It wasn’t long before the target was spotted... Who, incidentally, looked like an aspiring bank robber, except for the fact he had a machete instead of a gun.



That didn’t mean he was harmless, though - a fact Dismas soon learned as Reynauld took the suspect down with his baton.



The suspect didn’t drop anything particularly useful. We’ll have to interrogate him back at base to learn more...



Once the people in the office have all the basics sorted out...



Before long, more calls started coming in, and Reynauld refused to leave Dismas’ side in the infirmary - so it fell on two of the new recruits to start going on missions - a “Cyberangel” and “Nav’”. I didn’t ask questions about codenames, they didn’t ask how I got here, the arrangement was that simple.





First mission was in Hiroshima - more criminal activity taking place.



Not much to say about that one other than “What the hell was he wearing?”





The second one was also a simple enough affair. Reports of an alien abduction over in Eastern Europe  - we were able to reach the victim, though they... weren’t in a state to come quietly.



Thankfully, there were no witnesses. Would have been a bit awkward trying to explain why we were subjecting the victim to a second abduction.



Then there was the zombie one.



The two found a pair of... well, zombies is the best way to describe them.



Slouching posture, vacant expressions, and attempts to violently maul Cyberangel. That pretty much ticks all the boxes needed to classify them as zombies, right?



Thankfully, with a bit of quick thinking, Cyberangel was able to take fend off his attackers before Nav’ landed a final shot with her shotgun and took her out.



And that’s when I can say without any shame that I ordered the retreat - the agents took the bodies to the car and drove off - making sure to restrain the unconscious zombie to keep it from slaughtering the agents. We’ll have researchers poking at them soon enough - again, once all the basics are put in place.



We later learned that a pair of bodies were found in the forest the next day. The victims appeared to have been eaten alive, and the other zombies had disappeared without a trace. I guess I should have known that would happen... but I couldn’t afford to send my agents into danger blindly - well, not that I wasn’t already doing that to begin with...



The next mission went relatively uneventfully, Nav’ getting another takedown under her belt.

After all the work we’d done, I figured we were gonna get a good grade on our evaluation reports, so I asked Helen to bring up a graph of our overall performance...



Oh.

Maybe we wouldn’t be getting such a good grade after all...

And, finally, one more mission happened before this report’s writing. We’d received word that a local had been ripped to shreds by some kind of strange animal.



Arriving at the scene only revealed a single civilian. Some guy looking for a lost dog. Yeah, good luck with that, pal. There’s danger afoot.

As we passed him and searched the forest... We heard a growl and a cry of pain.



Yeah.



That’s what we found.

As for what happened after that... I keep going over what happened in my mind, what I could have done to stop it...



Guess I just panicked and gave orders without thinking...

All it would have taken was having Nav’ back up before firing, and Cyberangel could have lived...



Been barely twenty days and I’ve already gotten someone killed. Worst part is, I barely feel anything. I don’t know what’s wrong with me - maybe it’s the screen, the fact he was a stranger, the fact that they’re supposed to be putting their lives at risk - but I don’t feel any of the guilt I should. No pangs of conscience, nothing. I can’t talk to anyone about this, I know what they’ll all say, anything from “Make sure it doesn’t happen again, you dumbass” to “It’s an occupational hazard, get over it, you pussy”.

And I have an uneasy feeling that it will happen again. If we’re going up against creatures like that wolf, then who knows how long it’ll be before our luck runs out and we lose more agents? I... I didn’t sign on for this. But I sure as hell can’t back out now...
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 10:53:18 am »
I'm not even angry, really :D *faint sounds of chipboard snapping*

Feel free to reincarnate me in any way you see fit. Or should I come up with different name?

But huh, the mod sure looks curious. Smaller missions, but things might pick up later, I guess? Also wonder what all that research and interrogations can come up with.

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 04:51:05 pm »
I suppose I should at least explain why you died.

In vanilla X-COM, melee combat is rather limited - the only player-wielded weapon is the stun rod, used to capture aliens non lethally. Additionally, there was little need for melee weapons - you could simply spray a weapon at point-blank range.

However, The XCOM Files runs on what I believe is a modified version of the game engine, and melee combat is given more depth. Now melee accuracy really does matter, and point-blank shots are no longer guaranteed kills.

When a point-blank shot is made, there’s a chance (depending on the melee and reactions skills of both combatants) for the shot to go off in a direction the enemy isn’t in. This is supposed to represent the fact a combatant isn’t just going to let someone put a gun to their head and fire it.

Sometimes, like what happened just now, that causes things to work out... not in your favor.

A different name would be nice. I think it would be difficult to justify why all those agents took the same code names...

Edit: Also, take some comfort in the fact you accomplished at least one badass feat before dying - you survived two zombies and even knocked one down.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 04:52:53 pm by AzyWng »

nav'

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Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 05:04:27 pm »
So that was just a misdirected point blank shot? Wow, good job me! At least I'm still alive and kicking...
Рабинович глядит на плакат «Ленин умер, но дело его живет!»
— уж лучше бы о он жил!
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2019, 05:15:18 pm »
Well, going melee in a shooting game is totally in-character for me  :]

I guess I'll base my names on my favourite Touhou game then, so let the next one be "Nightbug".

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 04:42:00 pm »
Working on File 003 now.

Spoiler alert: Agent "Nightbug" is dead. Some rats killed them.

Also, unless someone suggests/requests names for agents, I'll be using randomly generated codenames. Be prepared to meet such illustrious figures as "Clueless Mosquito" and "Armored Duck". At least, in later files.

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 07:14:47 pm »
Seeing as next week has at least two tests and an essay that is also a test grade, I don't think I'll be able to finish File 003 any time soon...

Please wait patiently while I try to study, write, and not get distracted!

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 06:24:17 pm »
"Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 14 d"-I get it man.

Just wanted to let you folks know that I'm not dead, and that I'm not intending to quit the series the way I did with the Darkest Dungeon one. It's just that in between getting distracted and having to deal with schoolwork (including a few articles and an essay I need to write), I'm not very certain when I can finish the writing here - in part because the segment of footage I'm trying to cut down is nearly an hour in length.

Still, though, I will continue working on it best I can. Thanks for being patient.

nav'

  • nothing to see here
  • definitely not a Ditto
  • Nickname: Pirx
  • Gender: go away
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 08:25:42 am »
No worries, we're still waiting. At least I am.
Рабинович глядит на плакат «Ленин умер, но дело его живет!»
— уж лучше бы о он жил!

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2019, 02:47:16 am »
File 003

It's almost a two month delay, but better late than never - here's another post for the XCOM Files!

North Africa had more zombies. This time, though, I wasn’t nearly as afraid - in part because I brought shotguns. Everyone knows zombies are weak to shotguns. The battle went on a lot longer than I anticipated, in part because Tamer and Julia were much, much more cautious than before.

But before too long, the final zombie fell. One of the civilians couldn’t be saved, but all in all, it was a good day’s work.
Before long, we had another mission - this time all the way up past Greenland. Strange life forms were attacking the locals, blah blah blah. Tamer and Julia hadn’t taken a scratch from their battle with the zombies earlier, so I sent them in. A bit of brief exploration and a toss of an electro-flare revealed... something. But I wasn’t quite sure what.

Adjusting the camera a bit, I found it was...

W-what the hell?

It took way too many bullets to bring that thing down. Julia ran out of ammo for her shotgun and had to grab a pistol from the car. Some poor soul blundered into the creature’s path and got eviscerated... I don’t think any of us are going to be the same after that.

A few new agents to bolster the roster...

And... Fucking finally, Rodriguez! I know paperwork takes a long time to handle, but god damn! It’s been nearly four weeks!
Not long after that, I got word from Vahlen about the “zombies”. They are, in fact, victims of an alien parasite that almost completely takes over the host’s brain. Intellectually, they’re not capable of anything short of trying to claw people into pieces and eat them - though their deteriorated metabolism means they tend to have more than a little trouble digesting what they consume. Notably, these creatures are completely immune to pain, so the best strategy to deal with them is to simply crush them.
The next mission... didn’t go over so well. Suffice it to say that giant rats can be plenty dangerous if you get careless, and when people get careless... sometimes they die.
Henrikki Molanen is dead.
After the rat-catching debacle, our interrogation of the strange man in the karate outfit finished.

From the info from the interrogation and the research we conducted on them, these specific people are “Black Lotus Followers”: low-ranking members who act somewhat like sleeper agents - even if their monk-like appearance is a dead giveaway that something about them has changed. Maybe they’re not privy to particularly valuable information, but we might still get something out of them - and that something’s worth more than nothing.

This time, that “something” was info on a Rennnielle Diolata - former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) member, until he discovered his family dead one night, with an AFP cap at the scene. His strike on the same base he once served at turned out to be the end of a lot of good people - and thus his current status is something Interpol will definitely be interested in.

A short while after that, Helen came in with her report on our logistics network. In short, while ours is heavily hampered by red tape, she managed to get us van access - letting us deploy four agents anywhere on the globe with all the gear they need. Unfortunately, the increased logistics behind planting four agents on foreign soil means that the van will take much longer to set up and bring to the site.

Another agent was lost to the rats - this time it was “Nightbug”.

After talking to an abducted farmer that we apprehended, we now know at least one of the things the aliens have been up to - “harvesting” the animals of farms, often removing organs or leaving mutilated remains on farmland. Naturally quite the distressing sight.


More gang takedowns ensued and, after that, our research on the giant rats was complete.

Analysis of a live specimen showed that most of the rats carry a disease that makes them much more violent than normal. More distressingly, the rate at which these giant rats multiply is as fast as normal rats, making them a significant threat to food supplies.

Another gang member captured, and another piece of basic equipment handled. Graham wasn’t able to get kevlar vests - which most larger-scale police forces have access to - but he does know how to get us some, even if the paperwork for that might be able to stop a bullet. In the meantime, however, he suggested leather coats, in the hope that they might stop a weak attack and, thus, will be better than no armor at all.

And, finally, a giant bug, possibly related to the giant rats from earlier.
Our most recent event is a notification of suspects in Lagos. I’m hoping to send our newest agent - “Hawke” - in alongside a more experienced member of the team to show who’s available.
Note: Received word from Helen. Turns out all the photos and videos from field footage I was attaching to the notes wound up padding their size, and our higher-ups don’t like the idea of our networks using more bandwidth than is needed. Probably bullshit, but in any case, you can expect fewer photos and video attachments in the future.

nav'

  • nothing to see here
  • definitely not a Ditto
  • Nickname: Pirx
  • Gender: go away
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2019, 04:28:35 am »
So we're now fighting bugs that take ages to kill and gargantuan beasts from Diablo II? Most disconcerting.
Рабинович глядит на плакат «Ленин умер, но дело его живет!»
— уж лучше бы о он жил!

AzyWng

  • "I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap."
  • "So this was it. My easy retirement."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Red Tape and Xenos - The XCOM Files
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2019, 06:50:52 pm »
Disconcerting indeed!

I've heard that Diablo II wasn't very well-received.
 

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