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This afternoon I played through two Foundry missions by Kirkfat, and I was sufficiently impressed by both that I wanted to come here and post my thoughts before submitting to Lethe's sweet embrace.
First I played The Needs Of The Few. For those who are not aware, this is part of a standard Socialist axiom, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".
And right away we're into the awkward bit.
In the finest tradition of STOS, Kirkfat has used a fictional situation as analogy for one of the political debates which faces the USA (along with most other nations in the world) in real life right now. This is absolutely the sort of thing Gene Roddenberry loved to do in the original series, but....
The foundry EULA says no RL politics. And I'm sure without even looking that the forum EULA contains a similar prohibition.
N.B. I am not suggesting that Kirkfat has violated the EULA. I'm saying that we cannot discuss the analogy without violating the EULA. So I won't
Suffice it to say that this is a mission of the highest quality, absolutely in the finest tradition of the Star Trek mythos, with impeccable touchstoning. It presents the player with a moral dilemma. I was squirming in my seat at the end, thoroughly uncomfortable with having to decide.
Good stuff. I rated this one 5 stars and gave the max tip allowable (which is still a pittance, really more an honorarium than a proper tip, says me as a waiter)
Next up, I played Helna of Troy.
Again, absolutely in the STOS tradition of campy-but-fun episode concepts.
Again, impeccable touchstoning, with a handy summary of the relevant STOS episode provided by your First Officer, who just happens to have written a paper on the incident when she was at the Academy.
This one actually made me laugh out loud, not once, but twice. And there was some fun pew pew at various points.
But I found the puzzle a bit tough, and here's why -
(WARNING! SPOILERS FOLLOW!)
OK, you have four pillars, each of which has a plaque with a quote from, oh hell, I'm not enough of a scholar to tell if it was Homer (The Iliad) or Virgil (The Aeniad), but one of those stories about the Trojan War, or about the background of one of the heroes alleged to have fought in the Trojan War. Anyhow!
Four pillars, each with a quote, each quote mentions a number (1 through 4) and offers a clue to one of the four elements. I looked at them all, tried a few random combinations, scratched my head, finally went back to the old archaeologist. He called me an idiot and gave me the order of the elements, earth, wind, water, fire. This was the last clue I needed!
One quote mentions plowing and a lone son. Plowing is something you do in the Earth, so Earth, the first element, is number one.
Another quote mentions four towers with beacons blazing; clearly Fire, the last element, is number four.
The others were the problem. One mentions sailing, and one mentions breath. Now, thinking of Sailing, I think of wind, but breath has to be wind.
At this point, I knew 1 was the first, 4 was the last, and I'd already tried 1-2-3-4, and I knew that didn't work. So I entered 1-3-2-4, and that did the trick.
No doubt you've already seen what I didn't realize until afterwards. When sailing, you are moved by the wind, yes, but you are moving upon the water. Doh!
Anyhow, from there things get really entertaining, with one long ground battle and an absolute furball of a space battle before it's over.
I rated this one 5 stars, but I'd have gladly given it 6 or 7 if the system allowed. Truly superb work, and far better than some of the "official" episodes.
"Needs of the Many outweight the needs of the few." Is also a famous Vulcan quote and is used as the basis for the name of the STO book "The Needs of the Many"
I can think of at least 17 different smart-aleck comments I could make in response to this, but since you're a Foundry author extraordinaire, I'll keep them behind my teeth and just say thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't aware
In truth, I've never opened an ST book in my life, and always regarded them with a certain measure of contempt. Seriously, folks, a book about a television show? That's almost as bad as a movie made about a comic book.
( I don't care what the box office gross was for "300", it was still utter trash, an insult to the memory of Thermopylae and the brave men who fought there.)