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  1. This is a fun joke-ish arc, chronicling the shutdown of the original game. The player goes after "Soften Sea", recovering the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom or something. The foes are a custom group with at least a dozen types, all of whom have funny bios. The joke density is high, and all of them hit the mark, making this a must play. The only downside is that people who weren't there for the shutdown won't get it. Incidentally, does anyone with a long memory recall an AE called "Your final Mission", which was released about a month before Live shutdown? It was designed to provide a way to retire your favorite character or something.
  2. 1) After a sudden sneeze blasts out all the windows in the Skyway City Super Duper Mart, Hayfever Lass finds herself in the PPD jail, where she is approached by one Tristanna Caine, who works for "Section 41", a top-secret off-the-books division of the PPD (a bit cliche, but oh well). In exchange for losing my paperwork or something, she sends me into the sewers to rescue her friend, Juliana Nehring. The sewer just happens to have computers containing the details of Dr. Vahzilok's plot to have his minions pee in the city's water or something. 2) Into the sewers again to recover more data on Dr. Vazh's new project, the "menuloks", who I guess are zombies make up from restaurant scraps or something. I dunno. Tristanna warns me not to touch the machines in there, but Hayfever Lass manages to break all of them by sneezing on them. Oh no, the 5th column is involved! 3) So now it seems that Section 41 doesn't exist, not in a top-secret 'disavow all knowledge' way, but it really doesn't exist, and Tristanna isn't real or something, so we go into (wait for it) a warehouse, where we find Tristanna, who is really someone else, and she was trying to infiltrate Section 41, which actually does exist. Or something. 4) Off to an office to collect evidence on Section 41, which really does exist, really. This mission has custom mobs, about half a dozen types, with bios and varying powers. This mission suffers from a bit of Objective Overload, with 12 glowies to click, 2 things to smash, and Defeat All. Interestingly, this office is the one with the hole in the floor that leads to the sewers, which suggests that Section 41's off-the-books budget is rather tight. since they can't afford a office with intact floors. It must kinda suck to work for a black-ops group with a tiny budget. I'm imagining their agents taking the bus to their target's home to assassinate him, then waiting for off-peak hours to report the job done. 5) Now, we head into a 5th column base to put an end to the Menulok project. Again, a bit of Objective Overload, with 6 glowies to click and 5 thingies to smash. Then we pummel Dr. Menulok, who is actually a brainwashed Tristan Caine. After the mission, we try to get the brainwashing undone, but Section 41 can only afford Big Jim's Discount Deprogramming, which is really just the back room of a Major Flanders' Fried Chicken, where the assistant manager splashes expired Orange Crush on his face while saying "Snap out of it, okay?" Friends and Lovers is another very well executed arc, with excellent writing and a well done custom group. My only nitpick is too many objectives in a few maps.
  3. A quick joke arc, the player is tasked by "Saint Jessica" with finding out why devils are getting into Heaven, then stopping them, the going to Hell to pummel Satan. There are at least a dozen types of custom mobs, all with funny descriptions. The whole arc is fast and not too hard. My only nitpick is that the contact dialog is barely one sentence per screen, and no contact bio.
  4. This is a quickie joke arc, wherein the Circle has stolen your birthday cake for some reason, maybe to offer as a sacrifice to the birthday gods. You pummel the mages and get the delicious cake. It's a bit bloated (why are there four "the cake thief"?) but it makes for a fun five minutes, especially if it is in fact your birthday and you're celebrating it via Zoom with a reheated Hostess Ding-Dong.
  5. This is an odd one. First the player (reduced to lvl 15) rescues "The Spanish Maine" from some ghost pirates. Or are they pirate ghosts? Then you're in the criminally underused Preatorian slum map, rescuing five heroes with colorful descriptions, one of whom turns on you for some unknown reason. The contact speaks only in song quotes featuring the work "Jack". Then you follow the smell of rum to an alien signal, then rescue a guy from a prison, then the contact dies I think. This is a vanity arc for the author's old SG, featuring the old characters. People who were in the old SG will no doubt get a kick out of seeing the old faces again, but the general public will be kinda lost, like watching a foreign film but the subtitles are in yet another language.
  6. I was able to complete it this time, and this is definitely a top-notch arc. Great writing, compelling characters, copious use of clues, no spelling errors, no time wasters. Let me restate that for emphasis; no time wasters. Even pausing to read all the dialog, including over a dozen clues, I was able to complete this in under 15 mins. My only minor gripe is the morality. The player is cast as a villain (you're approached at random walking through Grandville) but throughout the arc the player doesn't act villainous, you're all "I'll help out, for SCIENCE!" Maybe you're a hero who just went to Grandville for coffee like Arbiter Sands does. Anyway, this is a great arc that everyone should play!
  7. I tried this just now, and mission 2 glitched. Taking the hostages to the map exit didn't work; the waypoint was way off the map.
  8. This... uh... this has been in the game how long?
  9. I took a quick run through this just now. It's a quick, fun story with a lot of jokes, although a few are injokes that only hardcore oldschool players will get. The mobs aren't too hard, and (this is important) there are no time-wasters, a good character can bang through it in five minutes. My only nitpick is a few missing details; no contact bio, and some of the custom mobs have Fifth Column bios. IMHO the final boss should have the full text of the original 🙂
  10. Another week stuck at home, and many of us are starting to go off the deep end from boredom. Alphabetizing the spice rack and watching the entirety of Bewitched on Netflix only go so far, leaving us scrambling for ways to fill the time. Instead of filming your own telenovella or building a 1/10 scale replica of the Alamo in the backyard, Moonstar ULTIMATE: Part 5 gives us a way to make the hours fly by. 1) Again, the contact is Celeste Moonstar, who tells us that the assault on THE ENTITY is beginning. However, we still haven't been told who or what THE ENTITY is. Spider-Kitty does a quick Google, and the only thing she finds is a 1982 movie about a woman raped by a ghost. Hopefully that isn't what we'll be facing here, but Kitty checks her dentata just in case. Stepping into the portal, we are unexpectedly flung backwards in time to... ...Poohland? Poohland??? Kitty looks around frantically but doesn't see Tigger or Christopher Robin anywhere. Why is this world named Poohland? I can only think of one other reason why a world would be called that, and it ain't pretty. After a few minutes behind a dumpster, Spider Kitty begins searching Poohland, which looks a lot like Skyway. There are five EBs, collectively known as ???, from which I can only assume they're as confused as I am. They're pretty tough, but nothing can stand in the way of a fully incarnated Crab Spider. Except lawn sprinklers. Kitty hates those. 2) Again we're flung back in time to "Red City", which resembles Cap au Diable, but at least it doesn't smell as bad as the previous map. Five more ??? EBs, with no descriptions, and their only combat chat is "...". 3) Now we need to go to Kitty's timelime, which is "Tech Square" in 2010. Eleven EBs are waiting to be clobbered, with names like Ambrose Beepboop and Belle Beachball. The map is the instanced one with the SERAPH labs submap, making many of the mobs unaccessable unless the player knows enough to click on a particular door. 4) Time to enter Future Sonic's timeline for some reason. Kitty is sent to the Altas Park map and finds it occupied by twelve, yes, twelve EBs, at which point I threw down the mouse and closed the arc. Moonstar ULTIMATE: Part 5 is a time-waster of epic proportions. If you're a full-time basement dweller looking to while away the days until the next episode of Super Kawaii Ninja Schoolgirl Panty Raid, this arc is just what the doctor ordered. Everyone else, stay away.
  11. With most everyone stuck at home for the foreseeable future, people are finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Now, granted, we're all hardcore MMO players, so quite a few of us have been practicing 'social distancing' long before it was cool, ensconced in our mommy's basement surrounded by a pile of Hot Pocket wrappers. Still, those of us who used to have lives are now sitting with CoH open on one screen, Windows Solitaire on another, and a long-abandoned copy of Atlas Shrugged half open on the end table (spoiler: it sucks). For those desperately looking for ways to kill more time, we have the latest installment in the MOONFIRE: ULTIMATE saga. 1) The contact is Sparkle Moonstar, who tells us that Ultraneon has enough people to attack THE ENTITY. We haven't been told exactly what THE ENTITY is, so I'm assuming it's really Aunty Entity, looking to solidify her hold on Bartertown. The player busts into a lab to find the location of the Lightspire, joined by Celeste and Sparkle Moonstar. We hack a computer, then defeat four elements, then the Guardian, a rather tough EB. The enemy mobs are a custom group, the Corrupted, with about eight or nine types and cool costumes. 2) We escort Sparkle to the center of the Lightspire, but there are baddies so we whomp them, then trek back to the mission exit. Oh no, Celeste was captured! 3) The player and Sparkle go rescue Celeste. Sparkle's bio describes her as having near-infinite power, making Spider-Kitty wonder why she's needed. Maybe she's there as an emotional support cat or something. Celeste was corrupted, so we smack her a bit until it wears off, then bring her to safety. Yup, you guessed it, we have to escort her all the way across the map to the exit. 4) Some Corrupted have followed us back to the home base, so we need to go whomp them. We join up with Ultraneon and Neon Jr. and YD Slasher and Xenon, and they all have friends too, resulting in a huge swarm of catgirls following the player. Although I couldn't see any tails, so maybe they're catgirls in spirit. For those of us who have just finished the last puzzle in the Big Book of Jumbo Crosswords our cousin sent us back in '03, MOONFIRE: ULTIMATE presents us with a great opportunity to kill time as we sit at home waiting for that 24-pack of paper towels to arrive from Amazon. Seriously, why is everyone so concerned about toilet paper when paper towels are in stock? They work just as well. Anyway, every mission in MOONSTAR: ULTIMATE will help you while the hours away: the first has a ton of objectives, the second and third make you walk back to the exit, and the fourth is a defeat all. By the time you're done, society will have finished collapsing, leaving you with no choice but to drive to Bartertown for toilet paper.
  12. I tried the second arc today, and it went pretty much the same. The second mission contained a boss even though I had bosses set to off, who summoned multiple ambush waves, overwhelming my lvl 20 MM. The writing that I saw was top-notch, and I'm sure the rest of it is great too, but most low level characters will never see it.
  13. Standard Operating Procedure 1) This arc opens in an interesting way, with the player having a dream about being on a rocky asteroid, and there's a dude named Willie Sullivan who appears hostile, but when you get closer he's friendly, and oh yeah Willie is also a chick. And then you wake up, but can't get her out of your head for months or something. Kinda like all the yiffers yiffing in Pocket D, whose bios tell you how you're enraptured by their ethereal beauty or something. 2) Now you're not dreaming, and Detective Frietag gives you a job. Or maybe you're still dreaming, you just woke up from one dream into another. Anyway, some dudes are breaking into an antique store in King's Row, so you head on down to make with the punching. The foes are guys who can't decide whether they're Hellions or Skulls. Maybe they wanted to join the Hellions because they can shoot fire, but then considered the Skulls because they shoot darkness. A tough choice. 3) Now we're headed into an office, where the "Skullions" are trying to steal a diamond. We rescue an African prince who needs our assistance in moving a large sum of money out of the country or something. The Skullions are a custom group with about a dozen members, with varied powersets, but no bios. Some of the names are a bit odd, like "Tactics-X" and "Darkfemme". Oh no, they stole the diamond! 4) Now we need to go into an office and plant a bug or something. More punching. For some reason we need to manually exit afterwards. 5) And finally the diamond is being put on a boat, so we go to the Port Oakes docks for more fistyness. A truck needs to be smashed, which triggered multiple ambush waves. We also need to "clear the decks"; I punched every mob on the boat, but the mission didn't end until I stood next to a decorative NPC. The story is continued in the next arc. This is a tough arc to rate. The writing is extremely well done, although the opening bit feels like it was written by someone in Pocket D roleplaying as a immortal demon vampire succubus from another dimension whose immeasurable beauty mesmerizes everyone in the room, bending them to her will. And also she has six boobs or something. There are a few spelling errors and missing descriptions, but the big problem here is the difficulty. Every map has wandering patrols who can arrive in the middle of a fight, and almost every objective triggers ambushes. The truck in particular appears to be set to send ambushes at 75%, 50% and 25% health, but it doesn't have many hitpoints, so after a few punches you will be knee deep in mobs. This is simply not a good idea for a map designed for levels 10-20. I tried it with a new lvl 10 MM and got flattened multiple times, then switched to a 50 stalker, and still had to eat a pile of insps. Standard Operating Procedure tells a very good story, but it really needs to be made more accessible to low levels.
  14. After another week of 'arresting' Malta and Carnies and searching their pockets for loose change (loitering is a crime, right?), Kyksie finally decides enough is enough. Speaking to an old aquaintance in Port Oakes, she robs the bank in Atlas Park, then Kings Row, working her way through the city one bank at a time. After beating Overdrive for the third time at the Peregrine Island bank, she finds herself with enough cash for rent, bills, and a double helping of Freem Fries at Up-N-Away Burger. Still, being a full-time villain doesn't sit well with Kyksie, so after a quick shopping spree at Macy's (just the essentials, honest) she asks around if there are any heroic deeds that need heroing. 1) The contact is Elizabeth Bouchet, an agent for an anonymous client, who offers her a chance to save the world and get a substantial cash reward. Why didn't I hear about this last week? Oh well. She requires Kyksie to sign a contract before accepting, which is odd if the world really is at stake. We need to jump forward in time to get a crown or something. As always, the future is a broken hellscape, but instead of the usual biker gangs we find Coralax. In addition to the usual red and blue Coralax, there are pink and fushia and chartreuse varieties. Kyksie kicks a few and finds the coral crown. The popup stated that "ghost allies will help you find the crown", but I couldn't find any. 2) We need to 'borrow' a tome from the Legacy Chain. When we arrive there, the office is being attacked by Coralax, so more kicking. Oh no, someone got the tome already! And also Freakshow. 3) The Freakshow have formed a cult worshiping the ancient goddess Merulina. (which kinda rehashes the canon arc where we go after the Shaper). Off to the 'Freakshop', where we kick more Freaks and Coralax, including some custom Freaks like the "Bone Nurse" and "Juice Nurse" and "Hello Nurse". I think that's it. The sendoff said that there was a tough EB, but the leader was only a boss. 4) Off to a lake to smash some coral spires. Another custom group! 5) And now to save the world. Into the leviathan caves map, where we join up with Elizabeth and Barracuda, and pummel Calystix the Shaper. (minor bug: the nav bar for Barracuda said 'rescue Elizabeth'.) The sendoff warned me that Calystix was really hard, but I didn't have much trouble. Afterwards, we find that the mystery client was in fact Barracuda, who is working to find the truth about the coral. It does seem a bit odd that Barracuda had access to time travel, but maybe she bribed the Project DESTINY techs with some sushi or something. Save the Diver, Save the World is another great arc, with lots of excellent writing and just-right difficulty.
  15. Interesting. Like I said in the review, normally I advise against using that map because it's confusing and the caves are hard to find. When I played it, however, there was a waypoint pointing me to the cave door.
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