Not long ago, I bought FTL: Faster Than Light on steam. I was hooked almost immediately, it was insanely fun! I kept telling myself "Just one more try!" Every time I failed, and that happened a lot. When I finally beat the boss, The Rebel Flagship, I was elated, I was so proud of my skills! Somewhat later I went on to unlock all the ships in the game... but then what? There was not much else to do. I started to play other games until I heard that the game is easily modded. I felt like I needed a mod to spice things up and get me back into the game.
Most of the mods I played were basic add-ons which add new ships and such, along with new crewmembers and the like. But one mod caught my attention, it was titled "rblflt3726", I naturally assumed this was short for "Rebel Fleet", which is what is pursuing you throughout the game. As for the "3726" Part? I had no idea, maybe that was the modmaker's top score? Maybe it was the file number on the site? This was getting odd fast. Curiosity took over quickly, though, and I installed the mod, and loaded up the game.
It showed a normal title screen, then crashed. I tried again, the screen loaded up as normal, but I clicked "New Game" and it crashed again. Now I was starting to get annoyed, the only other game I owned that crashes as much as this is now is Portal 2, and that won't even load up for me anymore. I shook it off and tried one more time. Screen loaded up, New game create succeeded, and I chose to play as the Red-Tail, Kestrel type B. The beginning message box appeared, but instead of the usual opening, stating your mission and explaining the rebel fleet, the message box simply stated "They are chasing you, You must get to the end as fast as possible!"
I was assuming the message box was just a shorter version of the original opening, but it said nothing about the mission, I shrugged it off and continued. I clicked "OK" on the message box, but was instantly greeted by a broken oxygen system, open, broken doors, and suffocating crew members. There was no time to repair anything as they all collapsed from lack of oxygen. The game over screen appeared stating "GAME OVER: With your entire crew dead, no one can stop them, looters will find your ship, and scrap it for their own selfish needs. SCORE: 20".
This was strange, usually when your entire crew dies, the message says "Your ship will now continue to drift forever, or until looters destroy it". Then I get a popup saying "Achievement Unlocked: Victory Through Asphyxiation" Odd, since I had already gotten it and I'm in easy mode. I figured this is just the mod's doing. So far all I've seen it do is change some text boxes. Maybe it reset my achievements too. I thought maybe this was just a waste of space, but I decided to continue.
I loaded up the game with the crystal cruiser in hopes that their reduced suffocation damage would allow me to repair the oxygen and doors fast enough. The crew members took shifts, all going in and partially repairing each system only to make a mad dash for the medbay when they were near death, then I'd sent the next squad in. Eventually this worked, and everything was repaired. I sent one of the crystal men to man the shields, the other to man the weapons, one of the humans was a pilot, and the other manned the engines. My usual set-up. I went to jump but I noticed that the bar was filling up extremely slow. It also seemed... a bit off-colored, it was a grey bar instead of the normal bright yellow. was this just a graphical glitch or the mod's doing?
I waited for the bar to fill up and when I went to jump, I noticed half the sector was a nebula. I never really minded them, but ion storms were really annoying. I jumped to the first nebula beacon and I was blind-sighted by a boarding event!
My crystal lock-down ability bought me some time while I opened the door and drained the intruder's oxygen. Before they died, a message box appeared saying "Why? Why do you make us suffer the same fate as them?" before he collapsed. I closed the airlock while thinking about what he said, but I then upgraded the door system, that's the last time I forget to get blast doors. I continued to the next Sector, but i noticed that the rebel fleet had accelerated as if I had triggered a scout! Without any second thought I made a beeline for the exit beacon, the fleet drawing closer every jump.
I finally reached the exit beacon. the event there was, you guessed it, Giant Alien Spiders. I was about to click the button to leave, but then I notice that the only option is "Run, before you're killed too!"
I click on that in hopes of leaving, but the following text box was... odd. it said "You attempt to jump away, but a spider jumps from the station to your ship and burrows through your hull, tearing apart your systems from the inside, it then bursts into your cockpit and kills your pilot." When I regain control of the game, all my systems are destroyed, what looks like an edited mantis sprite is in the cockpit, my pilot is gone, and when I click the button for "Jump" it jumps somewhere automatically, not to the next sector, it was steering me directly into the fleet!
I sent my crystal members in to defeat it, it was no match for the 2 of them, I then sent my spare human in to pilot the ship and headed for the exit beacon, instead of having the same dialouge, the message now says "The space station is empty, no life signs detected, not even the spiders. you try to beam aboard to see if any drones are still active, but there's no response. with no one to stop you, you scrap the station and take everything."
I then gained 156 Scrap, A Glaive Beam, and a quest marker. I was excited to try my new Glaive beam, it was exceedingly powerful whenever I got one. So I spent the scrap to upgrade my weapons system enough to accommodate it, I went to put it in, but the tooltip was different than usual. It read "A weapon of mass destruction, banned on most areas, this fearsome weapon has the power to topple the mightiest of empires, and has been known to destroy entire gunships with a will of it's own." This was a cool description, and it really suits the weapon, but it was still a bit off, I figure that what this mod is supposed to do is just swap some colors and change some dialogue.
I pressed on; I was intrigued. I was making a beeline for that quest marker. As soon as I got there, the game made a loud noise, I had to take my headphones off as soon as it played, it could have busted my eardrums! I think it said "CONGRATULATIONS!" But i can't be sure. Then I saw a familiar sign appear in the top right corner, saying "SHIP UNLOCKED: rblflt".
rblflt? Wasn't that the name of the mod? I shrugged it off, maybe this mod was legit after all. I went to jump to the next beacon, but i was shocked to see the rebel fleet was about to advance twice as fast as they were before! I was about to jump but a message box appeared saying "You've stolen a rebel ship, but this has alerted the fleet to your exact coordinates! You must escape as fast as possible!" Now this was getting fast paced. the exit beacon was 2 jumps away, the fleet was closing in and i only have 2 fuel left.
I decide to go for it and see what happens. On the next beacon, i was greeted by a ship, I brought out the glaive beam, and upon seeing it, they instantly surrendered, giving me 50 fuel, 200 scrap, and one of my favorite augments, the Weapon Pre-Igniter. I think I just found my new favorite weapon! I upgraded my shields to level 3 with all my new scrap and continued on, unfortunately, I got cocky and ran straight into the rebel fleet.
What I saw was awful. the ships were painted pitch black and the message box for the mantis ship that had the rock parts attached on appeared on my screen, but it was... altered. "This rebel ship is one of the most dangerous in the fleet, it has killed countless enemies in battle and has worn the destroyed remains of their crew as ornaments, scattering broken ribs and assorted organs across their hull as trophies. You MUST flee immediately before it attacks!".
The word MUST Caught my eye because it was written in a different font than what the game uses. it was more of a blunt type, rather than the pixelated font the game uses. I shrugged it off and thought that it was the mod, I clicked "OK" on the message box and pulled out my glaive beam. I get a new message box. "We're not afraid of that tiny thing! Open fire!" They started firing 3 pegasus type missiles, which fire 2 missiles at once! 6 missiles were heading for my ship! I diverted all power to my level 2 engines, my shields were no match for the missiles, they tore through the shield and then through my hull, they seemed to be stronger than most missiles in the game, they did 4 damage per hit, and recharged... Faster than light... FTL! That's it! I had neglected it the whole battle! I have to jump away!
I go to press the jump button but that very instant a rocket hit my cockpit, which killed my dodge chances and prevented my escape. Another message appears on-screen.
"You're not going anywhere", They say. They cut communications after saying "Divert all power to the super-weapon, then cut communications", followed by a "Yes-sir.""
I wasted no time, I sent all my crew members to the cockpit to repair it, eventually, it was repaired and I wasted no time in mashing the jump button and dashing for the exit beacon. as soon as I left the super-weapon activated, a giant beam shot out of the front of the ship's hull, leaving a small black hole where I was.
I had checked the damage when I was at the next jump, things were looking grim. I had 6 hull points left, and most of my systems were destroyed. the only functioning system was my life support. but I then remembered what that boarder had said to me, it was something about not making them suffer the same fate that they did. Who were "They"? was it my older game on the kestrel? Could it be my dead crew? I thought it was just a coincidence, until I got to the exit beacon, I had gotten the event where you find a ship floating in space with no information on the whereabouts of the former crew, except the ship model used was the kestrel, I felt sad to see this event, maybe that crew I suffocated was the crew of this ship... was this my ship? I was guessing things left and right but I finally convinced myself it was just a coincidence.
I went to visit the next sector, but I see that the only 2 options are rebel controlled. After what happened I DREADED to go there. but it was my only option. I pressed on, despite my fears, the next jump lead into an asteroid field, with the event where the pirates disable your engines. but they had an ion blast 2, And begin spamming at my shields, An asteroid hit my oxygen room, and left 4 breaches and completely destroyed the system, my crew asphyxiated and died.
But instead of a game over screen, it sat there, until the rebel fleet came in, i was then presented with an image of the ship I encountered earlier taking my crewmembers as trophies, things seemed to go by in real time, looters eventually stripped the ship, until the area was just empty space. i finally get a game over screen... I started to read it. "Game Over... You Failed to Live. SCORE: 3726"
I noticed this was the same number as the mod name, so I went back to the page to try to search for details, but I saw it was taken down by an admin. I then looked in the mod folder and I saw a single image file named "FTL". I opened the file, and it held a picture of my ship, with a large caption in red, bloody letters spelling "YOU FAILED TO LIVE!"
I immediately uninstalled the mod and went to my favorite forums site, turns out someone on there had finished their newest FTL mod...