ToT: What You Are In The Dark

The beginning of a Star Trek horror movie

Message sent to “F.D.” from Commander Two of Five in the clear:

Sir, we need the fleet.  Now.  It’s gone out of control.

We could be looking at the end of the Dominion.

Message ends.

It hits the fan in the final episode (for now) in the Star Trek Online expansion, “Victory is Life”.  “Tenebris Torquent” brings us a dark twist in the ongoing drama of the Hur’q and the Dominion, and would feel right at home as a slasher movie.  At least nobody says “let’s split up”.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that this is hardly the end of the Hur’q and Dominion storylines, and the mission itself is blatantly slapping up the “To Be Continued” at the back end.  There is a lot of loose ends without the cliffhanger (which is something that the DS9 television series had no problems dishing out, the biggest arguably being “Call to Arms” which left DS9 in the hands of the Dominion).

This is not, however, the end of the line as far as Jalot’iklar’s chronicle goes.  Along with the episodes, the expansion also included a battlezone-the entirety of the Gamma Quadrant-and I think a queue as well.  So there’s at least one, maybe two more posts for this character in the near future.  I will also return to him as we continue with future episodes that are Dominion related, just as I dusted off Rick Masters for time travel shenanigans.  I don’t know how many more episodes are planned for this storyline, but this character is in for the duration.  After the battlezone/queue posts, we’ll see what happens next.

In the meantime, spoilers are ahead after the break.

Roughly two seconds before the scare chord.

This is a dark episode.

I don’t mean thematically-I mean as far as lighting goes.  I had cutscenes that had the primary characters basically black outlines, that’s how dark it is.  (And that was after I fiddled with my graphic settings to get DS9 looking like the lights were on, too.)

After learning the location of the Hur’q homeworld at Havas-Kul (thanks to the efforts of our good friends, the Ferengi), our heroes poke around to see what they can see-which is, for the most part, fascinating astronomical stuff, but no real activity-except maybe a moon that has a bunch of internal caverns showing it’s been mined out, and a planet that is Class-Y, which means it’s environmental suit time!  Why bother?  Because it shows signs of technology and power systems, even if it seems deserted.  (Heh.  “Seems”.)  What you discover will explain why the Hur’q have gone from a true civilization to this swarm of ravenous bugs-and those revelations will rock the Gamma Quadrant.

There are some annoyances in this episode.  First, it’s dark, environmentally speaking.  Next, there’s no working map-so hope you have a good memory as to where you’re going.  Then there are the ambushes.  Shock of all shocks, you aren’t alone here, and it manages to hit a number of horror movie tropes.  Take careful note of the comments about antigravity-it can save your life.  But the worst part, the absolute worst part, is the short chase.  You can stand and fight the thing-and end up dead-or you can run like hell.  The problem?  Well, let’s put it this way:  think platform jumping.  If you stink at games where you have to jump from platform to platform, you’re in trouble here.  And again, this is in the dark, while you are being chased by something that will kill you if you stand around trying to prep yourself for each jump.  If you’re not decent at this sort of thing, expect to undergo a lot of respawns.

That really took the shine out of some of this episode for me.

As the title suggests, there are a number of twists and turns in the episode, and when all is said and done, gods will go to war, consequences of actions taken long ago will begin to bear fruit, and your captain will be stuck in a bad, bad situation.  So, life as usual on the final frontier!

Next time:  a look at a new type of battlezone.

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