Xcom UFO Defence
All X-communication here
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I know a lot of you guys like the Xcom games so... .

http://www.projectxenocide.com/xcomufo/game/index2.html

Sorry if posted before.
is it me, or does it not work?
i got the load screen up. But i am on my phone.
I got to choose difficulty, and then nothing.
nickachu wrote:
I got to choose difficulty, and then nothing.

:this:

X-Com is so awesome... until you assault a Muton Base and your prized squad gets 3/4 wiped out in the first turn by a blaster bomb.

:(
Yeah, I am getting that now. Not sure why, it worked before. It does say it is a work in progress, but... :)
Curiosity wrote:
X-Com is so awesome... until you assault a Muton Base and your prized squad gets 3/4 wiped out in the first turn by a blaster bomb.

:(


Rather like when your Skyranger pilot brings you to a terror site and decides to land in the middle of a group of Chrysalids (which are made double annoying by the fact that their graphics give them a smug grin) and those hoverdisc things. I've had squads have to climb down a pile of bodies to get out the ramp.
BZZZT. Cyberdiscs are never found in the same terror mission as Chryssalids ;)

Which is fortunate, because they're bad enough by themselves - I expect a mission would be near unwinnable if you had to square up against both of them at once.
It's those big fuzzy bipedal bitey things with Chrysalids, isn't it?
Nah, Chryssalids are paired with Snakemen. Cyberdiscs are paired with the Sectoids (the "greys"). The Chryssalids are the big fuzzy bipedal bitey things that turn your entire squad into zombies before you've even had chance to get them out of the landing ramp.
Chrysalids are spindly black insectoid things that turn your squad into zombies that, when killed, hatch a new Chrysalid.

The thing I'm thinking of was a large, brown carnivore hairy beast thing - The Reaper, which I've just read was the terror unit of the Floaters.
Aah yes, the Reaper. Always forget about them. It was the "bipedal" bit confusing me, always thought of the Reapers as quadrapeds, which they're not. D'oh.

Still, Reapers weren't particularly fearsome. By the time you come across them you should be on Laser Rifles and they'll make mincemeat out of them, especially on reaction fire.

Of course, the big fun with Reapers comes when you get psi abilities and mind control one of the four squares, causing the other three squares to attack and kill it ;)
Reapers were pretty much the least worrying creatures in the game. A single explosive shot from a heavy or auto cannon - starting weaponry, and mandatory for any mission in which you're likely to encounter them early on - would kill them outright. They could surprise kill you if you were dropped into a pack of them or had only riflemen at hand, but otherwise they were pretty helpless. Especially as they had the odd habit of not running directly for your men, but dawdling around in plain sight. Not like the chryssalids, which would be on you immediately, and could wipe out a whole squad in a turn even if they started half a mile away.

I can't get it working either, but then it seems a weird choice to play in flash, as it takes ages to play a game.
Yeah, unless you could download it and it saved your progress then it's a bit pants... but then why the hell program all these things in flash anyway? I could just get one of those portable emulator things and shove it on a USB stick if I wanted to play surreptitiously anyway. And it's be real proper X-COM that doesn't just crap out when I choose my difficulty.

Did anyone even bother with laser weapons? Apart from the Sectopods (the robot walkers the Chryssalids used) they weren't much cop.

My research was always medikit immediately (because in the year 1999, remember, medikits hadn't been invented yet) and then the motion scanner, and then I would plough everything I had into heavy plasma as it's without question the best and most versatile weapon in the game. Really accurate, really powerful, auto bursts will kill just about anything, it can blast through walls, and unlike the laser rifle you don't need to manufacture it - you'll come away from missions with enough to arm the military forces of the world and still have plenty left over.

Once you had heavy plasma you'd cut a swathe through most aliens and only psionic and Chrysalid attacks would worry you until you got your PSI amps and flying suits.

TFTD didn't have anything to touch it (the Sonic Cannon didn't autofire and for some reason even on surface missions where Heavy Plasma would have worked, X-Com had seemingly sold all their stocks of it).

Apocalypse, meanwhile, had the Devastator Cannon which was arguably better than Heavy Plasma. Stupidly powerful, rapid fire... AND it had unlimited ammo (it would recharge with time) meaning you could just order your soldiers to assume a Civil War-style firing line (guys in front prone, guys in middle kneel, guys behind stand) and just fire constantly until everything in your way was dead.
Laser pistols are fast and more powerful as the rifle - you can arm some spotters with them and have them run around finding targets, and the burst fire can injure or kill most early enemies in a pinch and still give you time to hide and let the backup take aimed shots with conventional weapons. They are really fast to research too (faster than the medkit and motion sensor), and they can make you a profit early on by giving your engineers something to build for resale.

And the laser rifle is an excellent standard weapon. Moderately powerful, light, accurate, and held unlimited ammo. It also only counts as one item, where a plasma gun and clip count as two or more, which limits your storage space and your loadout options when defending/loading a ship.

The rest of the laser weapons were rubbish, though.

As I recall, the story for the second one said that plasma weapons disappeared because there was nothing to power them - we hadn't yet got to mining the stuff on mars that made them work.

I always prioritised armour in UFO. It's worth more than the guns - ten bloke with big guns but no armour will still get wiped out by the weediest alien weapons, whereas ten blokes with good armour can take down all but the hardest enemies with the heavier basic weapons and liberal use of grenades. I rarely bothered with the motion sensor, although I wouldn't say it's useless by any means.
sinister agent wrote:
And the laser rifle is an excellent standard weapon. Moderately powerful, light, accurate, and held unlimited ammo. It also only counts as one item, where a plasma gun and clip count as two or more, which limits your storage space and your loadout options when defending/loading a ship.


Yeah, the only hassle was making sure you kept your transports stocked with heavy plasma clips, and to ensure each soldier was carrying at least two. I don't know how many guys you tended to send but I never really sent more than ten, and they'd generally work in groups of three... a point man with stun equipment and a motion sensor, and two following (with psi once they could use it) to shoot at anything the point guy spotted. It also meant that there'd always be at least one person set to react with full TUs as they moved through dangerous areas for those sneaky aliens that would step out, fire, and step back behind something.

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As I recall, the story for the second one said that plasma weapons disappeared because there was nothing to power them - we hadn't yet got to mining the stuff on mars that made them work.


Yeah, it was something to the effect that it was only by pooling all of Earth's dwindling stockpiles for one ship were they able to travel (either to Mars or beyond) to find more. The story also said that X-COM was essentially mothballed by the time of TFTD and so I suppose all the assets would have been sold. Doesn't explain why you had to suffer with the incredibly crappy weapons at the beginning until you developed gauss/researched alien sonic stuff given that laser stuff should still have been around (even if only for stuff above the surface). TFTD is noted for being full of plot holes, though.

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I always prioritised armour in UFO. It's worth more than the guns - ten bloke with big guns but no armour will still get wiped out by the weediest alien weapons, whereas ten blokes with good armour can take down all but the hardest enemies with the heavier basic weapons and liberal use of grenades. I rarely bothered with the motion sensor, although I wouldn't say it's useless by any means.


The personal armour I found was almost totally worthless - in my experience it just meant that my soldiers could sustain a critical wound, fall unconscious and die a lingering death over a few turns instead of being killed outright by alien fire. On the flipside, with heavy plasma they could with any luck kill the aliens first instead of firing three pathetic rifle rounds from the crappy default rifle, hit with all three and fail to kill a sectoid, and then be barely armoured for the inevitable plasma rifle return fire that'll kill them anyway.

The motion sensor was more useful in TFTD than XCOM (aliens loved to hide in the sprawling TFTD levels) but it was in Apocalypse that it truly came into its own as it would always be displayed in the corner of the screen if you had the soldier holding it selected, and it meant you could walk around, and then stop and look for any returns that kept moving.
I never played more than 20 minutes of TFTD, for some reason. Also: I never got Apocalypse working.

Strangely, I bought them all on steam a few months ago when the pack was £5 or something. Also: It includes the brillaiant XCOM ENFORCER. (I bought that for 50p from Gamestation a few years back and was pretty impressed at what my 50p had netted me)
Apocalypse was the finest for me. TFTD I also played for 20 minutes and forgot about it.
The Terror from the Deep demo was the first ever PC game I played, as it was on the cover of whatever magazine persuaded my father to go out and buy the family's exciting pentium-75 processor. Forget Resident Evil and all those stupid adventure games- TFTD is the scariest game I've ever played.

UFO is definitely better balanced, and deserves all (and more) of the plaudits and recognition it gets, but TFTD is much scarier. The underwater thing adds an extra element of clautrophobia, plus that scarcely needed bump in the difficulty level makes the sense of impending doom on most missions almost overwhelming. The terror missions especially were always a traumatic slog, but immensely satisfying if you could save a few civilians.

I never got along with Apocolypse, nor tried any of the sequels that have followed. And indeed, why bother when the original still stands the test of the time? I'd say it's as close to 'perfect' as a game has come since the Gameboy version of Tetris.
It still amazes me that people regularly play X-COM: UFO Defense, a game that is 15 years old, and despite countless individuals and groups trying, no-one has ever managed to recreate the formula well enough to be truly called a spiritual successor.

They all make some change to the inner workings of the game that ruin it. Whether it's changing from turn-based to real-time (or a hybrid of the two, like the UFO: After*) games, or changing it so that soldiers cannot die (they just get injured and taken out of the running for a while) or limiting the number of soldiers you can take on a mission to 8.

Part of the atmosphere of X-COM has always been watching your rookies get mercilessly slaughtered by the aliens and having to detach yourself from their situation so that you can just buy more, knowing full well they're basically cannon fodder too until you can get some better weaponry.
Oh yeah, personal armour was crap. But power armour wasn't out of reach quiet early on (I'm pretty sure it could be researched before you had a reliable supply of plasma clips), and you also had to research ufo-related stuff to get it, which gave you a small headstart on the air war.

TFTD was great in that it was immensely difficult and really quite atmospheric (and those lobster men remain among the most fearsome of villains in any game. Utterly unstoppable in the early game - I still remember several pitched battles ending with my whole team wiped out by three of them, or about two of my blokes surviving from a fourteen strong squad, bleeding and limping, just about managing to finish off the last of a dozen of the bastards by scavenging desperately, and grenading absolutely everything on the level ten times over. And then just as you start to even the odds with better weapons, they turn up with the tentaculats... chryssalids THAT CAN FUCKING FLY. Evil, truly evil.


It's a pity that the game itself was so hopelessly bugged and rather fiddly, and while I enjoy a long game sometimes, you could literally be stuck trudging through 200 missions before having any chance of capturing the next vital tech you need to proceed.

Apocalypse is brilliant, though. It's a very different game, so kind of comparing apples and oranges to ask which one's better. The motion sensor was ace in that though, aye. I particularly liked the way the walls would show up on it when the trooper carrying it was moving.
sinister agent wrote:
Oh yeah, personal armour was crap. But power armour wasn't out of reach quiet early on (I'm pretty sure it could be researched before you had a reliable supply of plasma clips), and you also had to research ufo-related stuff to get it, which gave you a small headstart on the air war.


I contented myself with just following the bigger ones to ensure I could see where they landed, and then go capture them intact (more booty and the important high-ranking aliens didn't die in the crash) until later.

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TFTD was great in that it was immensely difficult and really quite atmospheric (and those lobster men remain among the most fearsome of villains in any game. Utterly unstoppable in the early game...

It's a pity that the game itself was so hopelessly bugged and rather fiddly, and while I enjoy a long game sometimes, you could literally be stuck trudging through 200 missions before having any chance of capturing the next vital tech you need to proceed.


Yup. The ridiculous difficulty (until you had at least the Sonic Blasta or better the Sonic Cannon, all but your heaviest weapons were pretty shitty) combined with the broken research tree (unfinishable game ahoy!) kinda ruined it for me. I did play it constantly for days and days after I got it, but then I hit the wall. The sheer number of missions I was having to deal with, but also the sheer length of each one and the difficulty of each one just took it out of me. In the end I did an experiment - I just ignored all the enemy subs, bases and terror attacks, and waited to see just how long it would take for my crucial research project to finish. Sometimes a month and a half, and that was with scores of scientists working on it. In that time, I saw so many subs land, two bases spring up and three terror missions. That, I reasoned, would take me the rest of the weekend... and I just couldn't be bothered any more.

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Apocalypse is brilliant, though. It's a very different game, so kind of comparing apples and oranges to ask which one's better. The motion sensor was ace in that though, aye. I particularly liked the way the walls would show up on it when the trooper carrying it was moving.


Apocalypse was marvellous. The issue of sprawling levels and lots of combat missions was largely negated by the real-time combat which meant you could just run at fast-forward speed and let your guys sweep the building, rather than walking them forward five paces each and then ending the turn and waiting etc etc etc.

Plus you could run! So someone who was hurt could run to safety. The number of critically injured soldiers I saved by just ordering them to run out of the building was ridiculous! There was also the cool factor of rooting the aliens out - an alien infiltration level meant I'd send a groundcar with four soldiers around to each of that organization's buildings to search for aliens (quite often I'd see them being beamed in by a UFO I couldn't shoot down in time) and quite often find only a few combat units (the rest were those egg or chrysalis forms) and in a few lucky cases nothing but eggs which meant the mission finished instantly with a success for me!

And that's before the cool factor of an entire building collapsing as a UFO blows it up...
Apocalypse is the Daddy. Love that game and still play it often now.
I'm gutted... I have a brilliant game of it on the hardest difficulty going, I'm coping quite well and I've just recently gotten the devastator cannons.

Alas, the game ALWAYS crashes on the End of Week review screen. I've tried everything I can think of, including going and blow up a bunch of buildings hoping it might change something and stop it crashing. But no.

:'(
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And it's be real proper X-COM that doesn't just crap out when I choose my difficulty.


I'm assuming y'all know the stories of the difficulty modes in UFO and TFTD?
No, what are they?
Great things about apocalypse:

incendiary grenades and ammunition that actually works, and is brilliant for flushing people about

Raiding your enemies at will

Enemies raiding you at will

Fighting security forces and aliens at the same time

Hurling a clip as though it were a grenade, causing enemies to flee/leave cover

stun gas

Machine guns

Devastator cannons

Teleporters (so late into the game that they're little but a redundant toy for the last few missions, but what a toy)

running from bouncing, homing proximity bombs as the level explodes around you

Entropy launchers (which are FUCKING EVIL but wonderfully imaginative - a semi-sentient flying testicle thing that flies suicidally towards you and dissolves your armour. Bastards)

homing rocket pistols

Holding two homing rocket pistols, and storming an enemy base alone on a jetpack.

keeping a stunned enemy down by standing on them

Making the spitters cry

etc.
sinister agent wrote:
Great things about apocalypse:

incendiary grenades and ammunition that actually works, and is brilliant for flushing people about


Fuck yes. I was singlehandedly funding the Diablo gang through my bulk purchases of incendiary grenades. Apart from throwing one into a room through its only door and then waiting for the cries of dying aliens inside who won't come out the door lest they be shot by my squad... they were also great for the crash sites.

The aliens tended to make their exit through the large gouge the crashing ship had made in the ground, so I'd position my squad along both sides of the gouge and throw incendiaries into the trench. Any aliens attempting to fight their way out would have to run through the fire and so would be weakened, on fire, and caught in a crossfire of devastator cannons. WIN!

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Entropy launchers (which are FUCKING EVIL but wonderfully imaginative - a semi-sentient flying testicle thing that flies suicidally towards you and dissolves your armour. Bastards)


While it's imaginative, they almost ruined the middle-to-late stage of the game for me. As soon as I entered the room, a horde of these almost impossible to dodge things come flying at me. Quickly order the affected soldier to drop all their stuff in a big pile and go hide until the enzyme stops working. Order them to go and pick their stuff up... painstakingly repositioning each part of their armour, weapons, and equipment. Two seconds later, another entropy shot comes flying and hits them again.

FUCKING.

Suffice it to say, I fast-tracked the shield development and ensured all my troops carried at least two at all times just to get around this hateful, hateful weapon.

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Making the spitters cry.


Yeah. Roffles.
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[UFO ENEMY UNKNOWN] Difficulty Bug

The DOS version had a problem where no matter what difficulty level you chose, you were actually playing at "Beginner" level. Because of one or two incorrectly set bytes in all dos versions of the game( 1.0 through to 1.4), no matter what difficulty was selected, the difficulty bug would reset to beginner at the end of the first mission. XcomUtil corrects this problem. This bug was officially fixed in the Collectors Edition Windows port (also commonly known as UFO Gold).

From UFOpaedia.

TFTD has the OPPOSITE BUG. No matter what difficulty you play on, you're actually playing Superhuman!
MrD wrote:
TFTD has the OPPOSITE BUG. No matter what difficulty you play on, you're actually playing Superhuman!


I expect it'd still be rather extremely hard even without the bug - the weapons and equipment would still be shit and the aliens would still be brutal fuckers.
TFTD is harder than UFO in a like-for-like difficulty comparison:
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The bug in UFO Defense caused the difficulty to scale back to beginner. Because of that, gamers complained that the game was (relativly) easy, which made the developers of TFTD to increase the difficulty across the board.
MetalAngel wrote:

While it's imaginative, they almost ruined the middle-to-late stage of the game for me. As soon as I entered the room, a horde of these almost impossible to dodge things come flying at me. Quickly order the affected soldier to drop all their stuff in a big pile and go hide until the enzyme stops working.


You do know that if a soldier is wearing an energy shield, the acid/enzyme mix won't affect them, right? They'll take a bit of a hit to the shield and that's it. After that point, aliens wielding a scrote gun (seriously, look at the picture in the ufopaedia and tell me they're not alien nadge sacks) become little more than punching bags.

Edit: Damned tabbed browsing. I didn't catch that last bit, sorry. To be honest, there's nothing in the game you should prioritise researching above the personal shields anyway.

Also, up until that point, you can dodge a lot of them by keeping your blokies on automatic and defensive, and letting them use cover as they see fit - their sidestepping out of cover trick usually causes homing weapons to hit the wall. Although you'll need to bring someone up to the attacking alien to flank, or you'll be at it all day. Still, it's true that they are the bane of your existence up until that point. But in a slightly masochistic way, I kind of liked that about the UFO games. The blaster bombs, stun launcher, battleships and mind control in the first games all caused similar walls you had to surmount (usually by climbing up a large pile of your soldiers' mangled corpses), but once you'd overcome the odds, you got to cackle gleefully as the tables turned.
Apparently you can also use the personal teleporter to just move instantly out of the way (though these are among the last items you research) or if you're in midflight you can take off the Marsec chest armour which will cause your soldier to plummet out of the projectile's way, and then quickly put it back on before they hit the ground and die.

It wouldn't be half as bad if you didn't have to manually drag and drop each inventory item individually.
Is there a new upto date version..

I have ufo aftermath but not impressed..
In a word, no.

Everyone that tries to do a modern remake fucks up some critical aspect of it that ruins it.
That really is a shame
I'd settle for a graphics update (the original devs clearly wanted it to be anime, so why not bring in some proper artists to give everything a clean, crisp makeover?) and a bugfix, and leave it at that.

If anyone's interested, UFO (Gerry Anderson series, think live-action Thunderbirds) is on ITV4 right now. UFO was the inspiration for the original X-Com (hence it being called UFO: Enemy Unknown and having that delightfully odd coverartwork) and you can enjoy the similarities.
MetalAngel wrote:
I'd settle for a graphics update (the original devs clearly wanted it to be anime, so why not bring in some proper artists to give everything a clean, crisp makeover?) and a bugfix, and leave it at that.

Yeah, same. Give it a higher resolution, but still use the same isometric style, using proper 2D sprites rather than 3D nonsense, and fix some of the major game-breaking bugs and add in some of the extra stuff from XcomUtil (automatically outfitting soldiers with their previous missions' equipment for example) and I would be on that like a fly on shit.
:this: Please some one do an upgrade!!
GazChap wrote:
Yeah, same. Give it a higher resolution, but still use the same isometric style, using proper 2D sprites rather than 3D nonsense, and fix some of the major game-breaking bugs and add in some of the extra stuff from XcomUtil (automatically outfitting soldiers with their previous missions' equipment for example) and I would be on that like a fly on shit.


Yup. When you look at TFTD (which I think had a bigger art team alone than all of the original game's staff) the difference is incredible.
In favour of TFTD? I find TFTD's art style to be absolutely abhorrent, I just can't get on with it.
Not in terms of the actual style, no... but everything else. There's loads more little animations, there's a lot more different and detailed scenery in the combat sequences, and the artwork for the UFOpaedia is a lot, LOT better.
Massive improvement in TFTD over UFO: the ability to right click to open a door without spending time units.

Anyhow, I bought the X-Com pack on Steam since my last post (damn you all and my weak mind) and got through the first few months of TFTD on 'Experienced' thinking "this is much easier than I remember it being". However, I'm now in April and reached my first Terror mission with the Lobster men (on the two-level boat), my team equiped only with Sonic rifles, and I'm regretting ever doubting the game's ferocious difficulty.

Would love to get get into Apocolypse (I enjoyed just reading the UFOpedia entries about all the different city factions), but am finding the interface slightly bewildering. Damn they're fierce.

And for the record (before anyone else makes the mistake of letting their curiousity get the better of them): X-Com Enforcer is an abomination that makes me weep for what the X-Com brand has been allowed to become. The lispy scientist alone makes we want to snap my monitor in two.
TsuMuch wrote:
Massive improvement in TFTD over UFO: the ability to right click to open a door without spending time units.

Only pansies wait before charging in to near-certain death ;)
TsuMuch wrote:
Anyhow, I bought the X-Com pack on Steam since my last post (damn you all and my weak mind) and got through the first few months of TFTD on 'Experienced' thinking "this is much easier than I remember it being". However, I'm now in April and reached my first Terror mission with the Lobster men (on the two-level boat), my team equiped only with Sonic rifles, and I'm regretting ever doubting the game's ferocious difficulty.


Indeed. A barrage of Sonic Cannon fire is the best way. And one of the bastards hid in the closet of one of the cabins, and took HOURS to find!

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Would love to get get into Apocolypse (I enjoyed just reading the UFOpedia entries about all the different city factions), but am finding the interface slightly bewildering. Damn they're fierce.


It is a bit confusing. The battles are excellent, however, and a lot more fun to control without all the irritating turns.

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And for the record (before anyone else makes the mistake of letting their curiousity get the better of them): X-Com Enforcer is an abomination that makes me weep for what the X-Com brand has been allowed to become. The lispy scientist alone makes we want to snap my monitor in two.


Follow UFOpaedia's links to TheLastOutpost.co.uk for some excellent interviews about X-Com... Enforcer was more of a case of 'we need product now!' but Genesis sounded excellent.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Eight days after Apocalypse ended, the 'original' aliens came back and invaded Earth again. As X-Com had become so dependent on their hybrid technology (which stopped working after they shut the dimensional gates) they were overwhelmed easily. You were controlling a rescue force sent from The Frontier and had to retake Earth.

A few huge plotholes aside (Mega Primus is destroyed, but for some reason this also means the funky retro look also went, also the game was about recapturing cities but Mega Primus was meant to be the only city on Earth) it sounded pretty cool. The conclusion was meant to be discovering the Aliens were terraforming Earth to suit them, but instead you capture the terraformer and repair the Earth's ecosystem.
i have aftermath, which of the other new ones are worth playing?
X-com UFO Tower Defence anyone?
So long as there's no Chrysalids infecting your towers!
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