Many planets are populated by ingenious lifeforms.
- A Arachnids
- B Avians
- L Reptiles
- G Gastropods
- M Mammals
- I Insects
- F Amphibians
- F Fish
- Q Cephalopods
- H Hominids
How to survive your first encounter with lifeformsEdit
Upper-case lifeforms have armor. Why does the list above use capital letters for everything? Because you will hardly ever find a lifeform without armor. According to the help-files, bright green critters have high hit points, bright red critters have nasty, pointy teeth, bright pink monsters have both hit points and nasty weapons, and dark yellow things are so hideous that you may just be better off shooting yourself and saving the creature the bother. (I've faced down a few of the nasty guys, and if you have 30+ security members with the best equipment you can buy and a few things you can't, and you get a few rounds of fire in before they get close, then you'll only lose a few of them. Seriously, stay away from them unless you're armed for invading a major government.)
What the help-files don't say is that every creature is hostile. Every. Single. One. (Okay, the fully-sentient ones usually aren't, but this page is about alien lifeforms, not fellow prospectors, pirates, or sentient starfish.) If they aren't attacking you now, then just wait. Predators will get hungry. Scavengers will decide that meat that moves just needs some "encouragement" so it'll stop moving. Even herbivores will decide that you've impinged upon their territory for too long, or declare that your boots don't go with your shirt, and get murder in their eyes. And when one alien becomes hostile, every alien of that species in sight of the angry alien becomes hostile. And lifeforms can get angry at you when they see corpses of their species, even if it's not your fault! So before you get too far from your ship, consider how hard it would be to go through any aliens on your way off the planet. Planets with a 100% chance of lifeforms just aren't worth it until you can come back with heavy weaponry.
One last note: when you've found that 100%-chance-of-life planet, and you've decided that you're sufficiently armed to handle it, don't treat the aliens as friendly-until-they-turn-hostile. Just assume they're all hostile, and blaze a gory, wreckage-strewn path towards the minerals, or the mining station that needs medical equipment, or whatever else you're in search of. Remember: even if you have the best equipment, having ten or more aliens simultaneously decide that you're a better main dish than a house guest can be harder than you'd think to get out of. And you'll get some bio data along the way, too!
That's nice, but isn't there some way to make money off of this?Edit
Ah, young whippersnapper, you've got the right spirit for this wild frontier! There are three ways to make money off of alien lifeforms:
- Kill them, then [i]nspect the corpse for biological data. Nicely straightforward, but make sure you're reasonably well-armed. This is the only way to get any money out of a hostile (or fearful) alien. Alternately, loot a corpse killed by another alien lifeform, but consider that the other lifeform is still hanging around somewhere, and it may still be hungry for Earthlingburgers. Unfortunately, having the burned husk of a tenth alien isn't as useful as having your first burned husk, so biodata of an alien corpse is worth less the more corpses of that species you've inspected. (Don't auto-inspect; this takes time, which will get you eaten in close combat. Future versions of Prospector may disable auto-inspect in close combat.)
- Drug them, and haul them back to port. This requires you to invest in some special equipment (some anaesthetics and cages), but gives more money-per-alien. This is only possible with semi-sentient lifeforms---the ones that ask "Got food?" when you try to [c]ommunicate with them. You'll be asked if you want to feed them drugs when you talk to them. It's a little late if they're saying "You food!" and making a light snack out of your arm. As a side note, cages are considered medical equipment, so check the sickbay when you want to buy one.
- There's a planet that has an arena---if you can find it, they'll pay better for captured aliens. The tricky bit is remembering not to visit any corporate office before selling stuff at the arena.
- This always nets you 50 biodata, no matter how many of them you capture.
- Trade for alien baubles. This only works with sentient aliens---the ones who speak in complete sentences. Occasionally, when you [c]ommunicate with them, they'll ask if you want to trade. The problem is that there's there are only two paces to sell these gimcracks: the frequently-found Harvey Mudd (who will pay you 10-20 credits per alien gizmo), and the difficult-to-find colony where there's a collector (who will pay you 100-200 credits per item). If you're lucky, an alien will occasionally give you an item, and you can also find them in alien houses. Unless you've found that collector, it will actually be easier to make money by just committing genocide, though you'll probably lose a few security members from their arrows or primitive firearms. (Just make sure to talk to them a few times first---sentient aliens will occasionally talk about the location of shiny stones or cave entrances.)