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The Unplanned Variable

  • The Unplanned Variable pretty much comes out of a mediocre blue collar background and being frozen for decades, only to become Captain Space, Defender of Earth! for the Halycon System (or the dreaded scourge of it).
  • If you play your cards right, you can reunite the town of Edgewater with the Deserters and give Adelaide leadership of both. This will allow her to grow fruits and vegetables to replace the hideous saltuna diet that was causing The Plague in the region. It weakens the control of the Board over the region and makes the colony one step closer to self-sufficiency.
  • On the Groundshaker, you can pretty much preserve the last remaining neutral party in the system by getting some vital spare parts from a group of bandits as well as cleaning out a lower deck of hostile robots as well as ravenous critters. However, it is setting up Parvati and Junlei that proves to be the ultimate test of the Unplanned Variable's skill.
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    • You can pay 3000 bits for Parvati's casserole to give to Junlei, and another 6000 for a fancy set of clothes. That, by itself, is a sign of how much your friendship is worth.
  • On Roseway, you will answer a distress beacon and discover that a laboratory experiment has gone horribly wrong and terrible critters have been released into the wild. You will also note that it was done by a gang of outlaws trying to steal the scientists' research. Surprisingly, you can end up peacefully resolving the issue by putting the animals to sleep (not a euphemism here), getting the Outlaws to leave peacefully, and talking the guards down from revenge. It's even more satisfying than just gunning everyone down.
  • If you're a Guile Hero siding against the Board, playing along with the Board and offering to turn Phineas in, then turning right around and working with Phineas to send a corrupted signal, so Phineas has warning of when they'll come, letting him prepare a trap. It's one thing to screw over the Board. It's another for them to pay you to do it.
  • It is entirely possible to use Persuasion to get the bio-metric data necessary to skip the Hope and Tartarus levels completely. You just assume the holographic image of a Corporate Commander and then walk through each of the levels, occasionally telling people off, and then reach the endgame without firing a shot.
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    • This becomes unintentionally hilarious with a Stop Helping Me! moment where despite not intending to fight, you can have your allies in Stellar Bay/The Iconoclasts/The Groundbreaker launch a massive off-screen military assault to rescue you. Which is, in itself, an awesome moment in its own way.
      • Played straight if you're shooting it out with the corporate goons present.
  • In the ending, if they've gone against the Board but have enough rapport with all the major players in Halcyon, the Unplanned Variable gets the opportunity to install themselves as ruler of Halcyon. Alternatively, and awesome in their own way, they can reject the possibility to continue their life as a wandering hero, or, if they've got the right allies for the job, permit the Board to maintain nominal rule while pulling the strings from the shadows.
    • It's also possible to convince both Chairman Rockwell and Sophia Akande to stand down without a fight. Chairman Rockwell will then become your Yes-Man and sell whatever changes you want to do to the public while Sophia will lend covert aid to Phineas' experiments.
    • And if you side with the Board, Akande and you reduce the Board's incompetence so much that both of you are actually able to rule the colonies properly, with the narration having hope the solution will be found without any mishaps.
  • The final boss fight itself against a giant combat automechanical is one colossal CMOA for your character and you, as it puts you to the test with every single thing you learned about combat in the game. It is a really tough fight, but after you take the robot down, you can feel The Board/Phineas Welles himself shuddering as they realize just how much they/he underestimated you. When you get to Sophia's /Phineas's office right after? They freak out and angrily exclaims "Why Won't You Die?" while Phineas tries to shoot you in vain screaming how much you screwed his plan up.
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    • Better yet? Finish the boss fight with your character having Robophobia. That means they'll have to go through their biggest fear imaginable whilst suffering the stat penalties, all for the sake of saving the colony.

Companions

  • Parvati's date is one of epic proportions with the most expensive casserole ever made, a luxury dress by the system's greatest designer, and possibly her smelling of new engines. Either way, the real secret to her success was just being herself.
  • Vicar Max can finally come to peace with his desire to please his parents and inner self-hatred by killing himself during a Vision Quest. It's doubly funny if you have High Intelligence and can just explain away what he's supposed to do during his spiritual experience.
  • Ellie managing to punish her neglectful parents by stealing their fortune gained through Insurance Fraud. It's a nonviolent but very Laser-Guided Karma moment since they made it by collecting on her death.
  • Felix's best moment in the game is actually not during his quest as you discover he's Chairman Rockwell's son and can then confront him. He won't let the man leave alive but, really, its entirely understandable if he doesn't.
  • When Rockwell tries to get under your companions skins, they all soundly rebuke him.
    Chairman Rockwell: What's the matter, girl? Couldn't find actual employment?
    Parvati: The Captain's treated me right, better than any of you Board folk ever have. I'm exactly where I wanna be.

Doctor Welles

  • Dr. Phineas Welles deserves credit where credit is due. He tracked down the Hope, found its many Human Popsicle passengers, and then made a concoction to rescue one of its residents (i.e. you) all the while being hunted by the corporations who rule the region. He needs your help but only so he could help the other hundreds of thousands of colonists on ice be freed from their state of living death. In a Crapsack World like this setting, he's close to a saint. Mitigated by the fact this was his second attempt and his first got a dozen people killed.
  • In the "Welles Ending", he manages to finally atone for his human experimentation by saving the entire population of the Hope if you got him enough chemicals to wake them all up (and some of them if you got him a third of them). He dies shortly thereafter but the influx of scientists and geniuses results in them being able to solve the food crisis over the course of a decade. He saved the system even if he never got to see it.
  • In "The Board Ending" his fate is sealed, possibly including Driven to Suicide, but at least he got to kill Chairman Rockwell.

Edgewater and the Deserters

  • Reed is willing to go out into the wilderness and die if it means that his town will no longer suffer famine or The Plague. He's an Honest Corporate Executive to the bone.
  • Adelaide McDevitt deserves to have credit given where credit is due. She managed to create a thriving settlement out of the remains of a botanical garden using only her mind and a bunch of corpses to provide fertilizer for the ground.

The Groundbreaker

  • Three generations of the ship's crew have managed to keep themselves independent of the Board in a One Nation Under Copyright situation.

Stellar Bay and the Iconoclasts

  • Sanjar Nandi has one of the most subdued moments in the game as he's successfully managed to make one of the few thriving settlements in Halycon. As smelly and isolated as it may be, Stellar Bay is a place that is not starving or on the verge of collapse. It also has citizens who are happy and relatively free. This is also all happening under an embargo as well. It's an ironic twist of fate given everyone treats him as the Butt-Monkey. It's also possible for him to manage to survive the Board's victory and Phineas' ending both.

The Board

  • They are a complete bunch of scumbags but the simple fact is that they managed to conquer Halcyon and keep themselves in luxury in Byzantium when the rest of the colony was falling apart. This is their fault, mind you, but their entire plan can end up with them becoming an enormous Karma Houdini, except for Chairman Rockwell, who Phineas puts down.


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