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Landers are hovercraft that are deployed to the surface of planets, in order to explore them.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Star Control's vehicle of choice for resource retrieval and planetary exploration. Without modification, it is highly vulnerable to radiation, caustic chemicals, and extreme temperatures. Notorious for its lack of life support and safety features.
Every lander has an automated resource collection unit. We advise you to make frequent use of this to gather critical resources for refuelling, trade and expanding your flagship and fleet. Most of what the resource collector does is automated, however, there are a few things you should be aware of. There are primarily two ways to find resources on planets and moons. First are the surface level resources represented by 'floating' HUD elements. Moving over these will activate the collector which will extract the resource from the immediate ground area. Second some resources are locked away in objects or even living animals, and will require you to shoot them first to break them apart.
Keep in mind that the lander has limited cargo capacity and that resources have varying values as defined by what they can exchanged for in terms of resource units (RUs). You will often need to visit a planet more than once to collect all of its available resources.
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After safely landing on a planet or moon you can drive your lander using the WASD keys or analog stick on your controller. Unlike in space, there is no fuel expenditure for the lander itself. However, you will find a variety of hazards both natural and artificial that may block you from reaching certain locations.
There are three advanced features to be aware of while piloting a lander. The first is a boost that can be activated by holding down the shift key by default. Second, an anti-grav booster that, when unlocked and equipped at a starbase, allows your lander to temporarily hover over the otherwise impassable terrain. Finally, there is the lander gun which once equipped allows you to shoot semi-homing energy projectiles.
Once you have explored and collected all you wish to, you can return to your flagship. By default this is done by pressing the escape key or the menu button on a controller. If there are uncollected resources you can always return.
Hazards[edit | edit source]
When you are on strange new worlds you may encounter a variety of natural and sometimes unnatural hazards. These can range from abnormally hostile weather and extreme surface radioactivity to automated drones and aggressive wildlife. Most natural hazards can be observed from the orbital view. Surface temperature, toxicity levels and hazards will be listed in the planetary scan interface, however specific details on other potential dangers such as aggressive wildlife may not be obvious. While on the surface of a planet or moon the landing party crewing your lander may become injured or even killed by these hazards. Try to return to the flagship before you lose all of the landing party members or you will lose the lander altogether.
Upgrades[edit | edit source]
There are numerous upgrades to obtain for the lander, increasing its ability to explore planets, moons, planetoids, etc. despite unfriendly locals, locales, and weather patterns. The very first upgrade that can be obtained, effectively for free, is the laser gun is attached to the lander by exploring the Lexites ruins on the Moon and inserting Uranium into the machine. This is part of the On The Trail Of The Lexites objective.
Lore[edit | edit source]
It's Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This[edit | edit source]
The potential for hostile contact on planets, especially now that we have the means to go to other stars, is seen as inevitable. That being the case, Star Control has adapted some older designs left by the Lexites for an advanced ground-based defensive system that can be optionally equipped on all our planetary landers.
Our primary means of defense is a plasma-based weapon system. This device uses a special method of electromagnetic containment to bubble up hydrogen supercharged into the plasma state. Due to the unique properties of the containment bubble these projectiles have a limited self-tracking capacity, especially against metal targets.
Secondary to this active defense is the lander's own environmental protection systems. Ablative ceramic armor, inertial dampeners based upon the designs used in the Vindicator-class vessels, and even an advanced air filtration system help to protect the landing party from hostile threats. And we hope to be able to expand upon these systems soon through breakthroughs in material sciences and new picotechnology systems.
Dowsing Rod Not Included[edit | edit source]
Unique to our new planetary landers is the resource collection system or RCS for short. This system combines several devices and technologies to survey, locate, and extract surface level resources. Due to the use of proprietary techniques and classified technology we are unable to specify how every aspect works, but we can cover the basics.
First, the system identifies surface level minerals, collected liquids, and ambient gases using a full range spectrograph suite, augmented by networked data from a Vindicator-class vessel in orbit. This information is presented to the landing party in an easy to follow heads-up-display from within the vehicle itself.
Then it collects the desired resource by using a high-speed particle disassembler and gravity-channelling collection system. The system can filter out undesirable elements through a variety of methods depending upon the exact nature of the element and material being processed. It then stores the collected resource in a compressed form within the lander's limited cargo space. This is shielded for radiation protection and secured for exit velocities.