The Solar Infiltration: An FTL Story


FTL: Faster Than Light is an unfair game. It’s one of my favorite games of 2012 and one of my favorite games to play right now, but it’s still an incredibly unfair game. You never really have any idea if your next jump through space will be a Kobayashi Maru situation. It’s basically gambling.

The most successful run I’ve had as of this writing took a lucky streak when, on a detour, I found a fourth crewmember. For once I managed to eventually get some decent upgrades for my ship, but I wanted to save up for a claw arm which would help me get more scrap. If you’ve played Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls it’s kind of like having thousands of souls in tow, hoping you don’t run into a crappy situation before you’re able to spend them.

That bad luck was waiting for me when I came out of warp too close to a star spitting out solar flares. And then three pirates beamed onto my ship and started tearing up the cockpit.

The only guy in there was the helmsman — Vincent, so I immediately had him run out of there towards the aft. Luckily he outran the intruders so I could lock them in the bow, which I promptly exposed to the vacuum of space. All I could do at this point was lock my crew on one side of the ship and wait for the pirates to suffocate on the other side. It was at this point a solar flare started to engulf my ship in flames.

Luckily the first flare only started fires where the pirates were, weakening them further. Unfortunately those pirates were pretty tough — despite fire and a lack of oxygen (there was only just enough oxygen for those fires to last a little while) they were able to fight their way through my upgraded blast doors into the half of the ship I still held… at the same time another solar flare started a fire there.

So I had a seven-man brawl going on in my weapons systems area which was also on fire. I think life support was on fire too, so the whole ship was now running out of oxygen. Luckily the pirates were so weak by this point my crew could easily finish them off and immediately start working on the fire. Oxygen loss had already suffocated the first fire towards the bow. I just needed to get the hell out of there before the next flare.

To do this I needed to charge up the hyperdrive, which required me to get Vincent back in the cockpit. It still hadn’t fully re-oxygenized though, so he had to risk suffocation in the process while the rest of my crew repaired life support.

Waiting for the hyperdrive to charge back up I got a warning another flare was approaching. I managed to hit the button to jump just in time to hear the flare behind me as I reached the next star system.


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