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17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 22 Oct 2016, 22:50

A nice enough finale to Xidia, and a final trip through Outpost Pheonix seems a fitting way to end it (though the transition from the previous level is a bit arbitrary). It's bastard hard, but it's Xidia so I guess that's the only way it could go, though the bot-like enemies can be kind of obnoxious. I recall the Cray fight being incredibly difficult if you don't know how to prepare for it and pretty easy if you do. I guess that's almost every fight in Xidia though. Overall it wraps up the plot and provides a satisfying ending too.
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 22 Oct 2016, 22:52

Also here's the commentary text that comes with Xidia:

MAP7- Beacon

Mr.Prophet-

" This map is all about chasing Cray back to the beacon, confronting him as your betrayer, and find your way home. The subplot of the last map is that the genetic Skaarj seen in the Ice map are now out, and after you, along with the Cyborgs."
" Set once again at Outpost Pheonix, this time at night after a terrible rain storm, this 3rd installment of the Outpos includes more of the original map along with the dock, making this the most complete section of Outpost Pheonix to date."
"Not much to say other than it's the last map. At this point, all the shockers have been revealed and your simply returning through familiar territory making one last attempt to go home. The Cray showdown is very much reminisant of UT, and any pro at bot killing should be adept enough to take Cray out, although he isn't an easy boss. He is not the Darklord, and I don't want players to expect an epic Darklord duel. This isn't grand finale showdown fight, it is the completion of the story and the completion of Spencer's circle. Killing Cray makes Spencer a new person, two men fighting to the death."
" In the end, the only way for Spencer's story to matter or even make the slightest difference to anyone is if he takes human life. Another Skaarj fight or even if the Darklord resurrected itself for one last fight, it just would be too much. There was no point making the last fight huge, that was already achieved when you fought the Queen in map 6. The Cray fight stands out among the pack, and it makes you realize that the entire time, the whole fucking time the game was about betrayal and revenge between two human beings. All the Skaarj, the mining outpost, even the name Xidia, it was all a subplot really. It had to be there because the name was ''Xidia''. The ending had to be there because the rest of the name was ''The Escape''. I much prefer Beacon to Darklord, Spencer's ending just worked and felt more comfortable than Jones's ending."
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 17/10/2016 - "Beacon" by Mr.Prophet

Post Posted: 24 Oct 2016, 19:47

Glad to see lots of discussions on a MOTW thread :)

Mister_Prophet wrote:I am very happy that we even had a legitimate central antagonist. Unreal packs had villains but Cray was an opportunity to have a fully voiced personality that had a motive that wasn't just trying to kill the player.


This might be the most distinct contribution of Xidia: The Escape to the world of Unreal/UT community packs. I'm glad you brought this about (and damn I'm looking forward to playing Seven Bullets in the not-too-distant future!), and I agree with salsaSkaarj's view on voice acting as well. You know, IMHO voice acting can totally be legit in an Unreal mappack, after all one doesn't have to follow the stylistic conventions of the original campaign. At the end of the day, I think it turned out pretty well with both ONP and Xidia. On a somewhat related note, I liked the voice acting elements in the mothergame ("You have Entered a restricted ArEA", as well as the alien voices), RTNP (mostly in the intro and outro), retail UT (OK that doesn't really count in SP!) Xerania's Fall, Legacy and... Nali Chronicles! (the Nali voices worked well in the RPG context!) There's more but I haven't seen everything...

So, about Beacon:-

The teleportation from the previous map was brutal but cool, I admit I reloaded the save I had from after defeating the Queen to experience the "AAAAAaaaaaahhhhh!!!" one more time ;) Spencer, in the way that he is portrayed, isn't without humour although it's mostly serious stuff.

So I didn't expect to appear in this place once more, but yeah it is a fitting setting for the end of the Xidia story. I move forward, see the bridge get blown up (together with the first live humans I was seeing since Cray's betrayal), get completely fucked by that Skaarj Trooper with the Flak Cannon... reload and this time do it better! The tunnel to the heart of the outpost holds the first real hard challenge - the Skaarj Hybrids are merciless, and once again I'm reloading - not because I died on my first try but because I was as good as dead anyway, with literally less than 5 HP and no medkit left around! After getting this passage right, I move into the outpost proper and holy shit - I love how the Cyborg is introduced into the action, forcing itself through a locked door and ambushing you with the help of Skaarj you might have not been paying attention to on a first playthrough :P After that the danger is mostly in the form of fixed turrets, that is until you meet one of those Skaarj Praetorians which caused me some problems as usual :) That was (almost) nothing compared to what comes next, though: the fight with multiple hybrids is one of the toughest moments in the whole of Xidia Gold, which is saying something and is the reason why I consider Beacon to be an extremely hard level (same as the original Outpost Pheonix)! But man, while I did get seriously pissed, it felt fitting, and I was proud of myself when I made it through! I internally begged for medpacks though, and (as I expected) I got to stack up again one more time - in that side room with Cliffy no less (heh) - before the final showdown with Cray.
And I will say this: yes, the sound quality is far from professional, blabla but I liked this last exchange between the two protagonists, it works great and I felt really pumped up when Cray said "Let's dance!" shrrrschrrschrck (and props to Cope for that last line, I forgot the young man behind the mic and felt the menace of Cray in those last words)
The fight itself is hard, yeah, no surprises - but not very hard either: I probably don't have the right technique but I usually cowed on top of the staircase and tried to pick him off from a distance, until it worked :P
And the final cinematic is very satisfying (spoilers? :) ), it's your typical "action hero escape" where you see that it really was ABOUT TIME you left the base, what with all the Skaarj finally truly swarming the place and even trying to shoot down your ride! Nice visuals of the ascent into the upper layers of the atmosphere as well! :tup:
All in all, awesome and the best way to wrap up the Xidia adventures 8)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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