Friday, August 29, 2014

Planet Alcatraz - Part 2: Character creation and Landing Zone

I. Opening cutscene

The Russian version of the game has a short FMV right after you start the game, but before the character creation. I don't speak Russian, so I can only assume that's our 5 guys being briefed before getting dropped onto the planet to investigate the shuttle's construction.
The caption reads: Planet Huron - 3. Location guards (???). Reconnaisance & Sabotage Brigade "Totenkopf"
Our guys, standing in front of the overly complicated hologram

This looks like a ... bomb, perhaps?
Good luck, and good speed (maybe)

II. A brief introduction of Vampire Squad

In "Dungeon Cleaners", you are tasked with leading the "Vampire" Reconnaissance and Sabotage Team. Team members are would-be graduates of the Desmatch (Deathmatch?) Academy, Brigade "Totenkopf" (Death's head) elite training unit. The team's leader, Sergeant Hartman, is not in the picture, as he went missing after the landing.

The protagonist of "Dungeon Cleaners" - saboteur Boar, from the eponymous book by Goblin. Under the personal supervision of Desmatch's legendary saboteur Goblin, he finished the Academy's training with honours and achieved the rank of "Cadet." Boar is characterized by outstanding agility, exceptional strength, extraordinary intelligence and excellent fighting skills.

Boar lands on "Sailor's Silence" as part of the RST Vampire. Besides him, the team consists of cadets Kruger, Sullen and Demon. The squad leader - re-enlisted Sergeant Hartman - goes missing immediately after landing; thus, Boar, the most capable and well-trained of the four, takes command of the team. In the course of reconnaissance and sabotage activities on the planet, Boar's combat skills and wits will be put to the test as he searches for the remaining three "vampires" and completes the mission.

Depending on the results of the mission on "Sailor's Silence", Command will consider the promotion of Boar to the rank of "Private."

III. Character creation

The character creation system "borrows" heavily from Fallout. The stats do pretty much what you expect them to. This is how I set up my character.


  • Constitution 9 (10 with Bull): More health. One of the most obviously useful stat.
  • Intelligence 9: More skill points per level gives me a chance to recover if (when) I mess up my character (not that I will this time).
  • Strength 6 (7 with Kamikaze): Later in the game, Strength has only one significant function, which is fulfilling requirements for heavy armor and weapons.
  • Agility 6: Agi adds points to all combat skills and some non-combat skills.
  • Perception 4: PER lets me see and hear further, as well as adds to a few non-combat skills, and gives accuracy bonus when aiming weapons. Boar will not be aiming, he will hold the machine gun and spray blindly, so PER is *probably* not important.
  • Charisma 1: Yeah, the typical dump stat. Nothing to see here. Moving on.


  • Bull (CON + 1, Melee Defense - AGI*4) and Kamikaze (STR + 1 , Melee Defense - AGI*4)
  • Near the end game I'll be mostly using guns anyway, and so do my enemies, so the low Melee Defense won't be much of a problem. Done!

Preferred skills (Tag skills, if you will)

Melee & Trading (On this run, Sullen will be the thief, not Boar)

So, this is what Boar looks like after I'm done messing with his stats (I don't bother changing his face this time, they all look pretty much the same anyway). Boar happens to be blinking right when I take the screenshot. Also ignore the horrid translation at the bottom of the screen.

And... off we go to Sailor's Silence, uhm, I mean Planet Alcatraz.

IV. Opening cutscene (another one)

Distribution Central "Vladimir". Under management of Ministry of Internal Affairs, Empire
Prison ship arrives to pick up convicts
Convicts are herded into the landing pod
The ship goes through the zero-T portal...
... and emerges at planet Sailor's Silence
... drops the pod, then flies away for some reason. Isn't it supposed to head back through the portal?
An industrial guard prepares to take the convicts away ...
... but gets ambushed and killed by the rogues

V. Landing zone

After waking up (probably for the 30th time by my count), Boar is greeted by two rogues with about 10 HP each. He kills each of them with a kick, and pick up the cleaver.
You can spot several thing from this picture. First, the items dropped on the ground can be highlighted by pressing Alt. Second, I've had the vision range turned on. The green circle around Boar is his hearing range, and the red area in front of him is his vision range. Their range depend on Perception, the Scouting skill, as well as time of day.

Another convict, also recently dropped, had his legs broken and tortured by the rogues. Normally Boar'd put the guy out of his misery for some xp, but let's just ignore him this time.

Another pair of rogues with slightly higher HP see Boar, initiate some untranslated dialog, and attack. Boar kills them, loots one's leather vest and pants and shoes, and moves along.

The game features a few types of hand-made muzzle-loading weapon that are nigh-useless. Technically, these cannot be reloaded during combat, but you can cheat by dragging the ammo onto the weapon for an "instant reload". Nevertheless, these things are still useless as they do pathetic damage and are inaccurate as hell.
At the rogue's camp entrance, another cutscene. "My spear will overcome your spear".Oh yeah!
And he throws the spear. This game has a few types of throwing weapon, which can be thrown (duh) and retrieved for later use, unless they get stuck in some inaccessible place.
The Rogue's chief. Who's Mbanza? I just kill 4 of your dudes (the crippled guy doesn't count), who are you talking about? (Also remember the names Amamba and Mbanza. They are gonna creep up a lot)

Some of the prisoners try to escape during the commotion, but get captured by a dude called Hamster. Hamster! Who refers to them as "victims of justice"! I mean, is that even a phrase? I don't blame him, though, it's probably Google-Translate's fault.

Back to the main camp entrance, it's fighting time! Easy way out: stand in a corner, kill one by one, heal when wounded, etc. The enemies can accidentally shoot at each other, which is nice.
Done! Let's check some of the bodies. The rogue chief has an iron chain mail, and a random rogue has a Legion Helmet. Now Boar's starting to look like a real soldier. Let's not bother with the remaining junk and move on.
Carrots! Space carrots! The type that instantly heals you the moment you pop them in your mouth! These things even works when you pause the game.
The chest at the middle of the camp contains a few healing items and a grenade. There's also a Pipe Rifle, which does so-so damage, but has very high critical chance. Nevertheless, this thing's useless right now, due to Boar's pathetic Heavy Weapon skill.
There are 2 slaves in the rogue's camp, however the game doesn't let me talk to anyone until all hostiles are dead.
Indeed, there are 2 wolves and 1 Young Gorriloid left on the map.

From now on I will sometimes play through and take screenshots of alternate routes, so you can see how the plot unravels differently when I take another approach (if it's not too much work anyway. I haven't finished the game, so I'll try to focus on the main quest and the shorter route first).

Alternate route (this doesn't happen on the real playthrough): Boar kills every hostiles and talk to the captives.
The wolves drop wolf/dog fur, which can be sold for money.
When Sneak mode is activated, and no enemies has detected him het, Boar fades away like this.
Boar sneak attacks the gorriloid with the grenade, then closes in and chops the hell out of it with the cleaver. Area cleared!
The captives can be talked to now.
The dialogue is... underwhelming to say the least. I wonder why the devs bother to put the captives here. Or maybe the original dialog has more content, but is cut off due to it being sexist or whatever. I'll check the Russian version sometime to verify that. At least we learn that Boar's a bit of a prick here.
Alright, quick load!
As the aim is to avoid gaining xp until all 3 other team members are found, let's just ignore the animals and bolt for the exit.
On a side note, the crippled guy dies by himself

Aaaand... Cutscene!

Boar sneaks up to Hamster, presumably to free the runaway convicts and find out what the hell's going on. Hamster drops his gun, but another one (we later learn that his name's Gabriel) sneaks up on Boar.
Dude, what about the women?
I half expected to fight these guys, but instead Boar just gives up and lets himself knocked out and captured. Talk about cutscene incompetence.

That's all for the landing area. In the next post, Boar will have to talk and fight his way out of the labor camp, a.k.a the Industrial Zone.

To Part 3

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