Privateer with a Tarsus

So, here is my thread about playing through Privateer in only a Tarsus. I did it once, but I lost the savegames (well, I guess I still have them, but where?).

This time, however, I not only simply want to finish the missions: I also want to spare as many friendlies and other interesting persons as possible.

So, let's start! When I first played the game I did some transporting missions to earn my first credits, however this time, I did a lucky patrol run in Troy and managed to kit out the Tarsus - between some additional bounty hunts. First the Tungsten Armor and Afterburner, Engine Level 1, then two Meson Blasters, then a Hunter AW 6i, a Rocket Launcher, another one (all FF), upgrade the Meson Blasters to Tachyon Cannon, buy the Repair Droid, Jump Drive, ECM Level 3 - and off to Sandoval. Talked my way out of encounters with pirates as often as possible.

The Sandoval mission is straight forward. I talked my way out of some pirates and killed a few Retros. Talons can easily be defeated by releasing two FF missiles quickly after another, then finishing them off with the Tachyons.

Tayla was also not difficult, the most haunting thing are the asteroids. Talk your way out of pirate encounters, I fled Militia as I didn't want to kill them. A good tactic is to use Afterburner and when flying with keyboard, tapping in "a circle" - left, down, right, up and repeat. Wait about 1-2 seconds between each tap, so your Tarsus fully flies in the new direction. Look for the small pebbles moving past. It should be about an inch of deviation on your screen relative to the destination (about 1/5th of the front screen in your Tarsus). That way I also fled Riordian - didn't want to kill him, as I didn't also want to steal his job: I just want the info.

The first Lynch mission is incredibly easy: jump to Seelig, talk to him, jump back when he turns hostile. No need to fire a single shot.
The second Lynch mission is more difficult: Kroiz can be evaded when you enter Rikel via 44-P-1M. Immediately after entering, lock on to Kroiz to be able to talk to him. When he's talking, open the Nav Map and select Nav Point 2 (Jump to Midgard). Continue talking to Kroiz until he turns hostile, then boost using the technique described above towards Nav 2. Use "A" or "D" to check the distance. When it's about 60.000 to Nav 2, open the Nav Map and select Siva (Nav 3). Fly towards Siva, again evading by using the circle technique. I made it there in my second attempt (hit an Asteroid on my first attempt).

Kroiz is spared (but Lynch still comments on his death) and it's on to the next mission.

The Stilettos are very difficult. I managed by selecting one after another, then shooting at them using two FF missiles each, then fleeing using the circle technique towards Romulus. You have to execute the run flawlessly or they'll hit you and then it's a matter of luck to survive. If they hit your A/B or engines it's over. I had a lot of luck on my second attempt to run at the hidden nav point into pirates, which could be appeased with just one hail each - that distracted those Stilettos enough to make it through.

That's it so far. I'll post as I move along. I remember one of the blockade missions to be the most difficult (and fighting the Kamekh in Gamma without rockets, that took about half an hour or so).
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I'm sorry that didn't appear in real time, something triggered this post to be stuck in an approval queue... which is something I didn't even know existed! Eager to hear more about your Gemini Sector adventures.
No worries! I managed to finish Lynch's missions in the meantime, there's only the one left with Miggs attacking you. As soon as you jump into Newcastle, lock him again so you can insult him :)
There are some nice radio messages you can send him. He's in a Talon, so no worries - but four of them can still get the better of you.
I upgraded to Shield Level 2 in the meantime. You can lower them by pressing "S" to some level between Level 1 strength and completely off (yes, lower than Shield Level 1), but it'll still give you some shield.

Then it's off to Oxford, my favourite planet! I guess I simply dig the train - which funnily looks like a tube when seen from the landing pad (and like a high speed train, as an ICE, when at the market place).

The first mission is to save Hunter Toth. I had no problems there, lower shields to that in-between-level and blast away. Stay close to Toth, though. The Drayman will fly with 200 kps towards Oxford, so adjust your speed when you're done to escort it. I don't know if that's necessary, but during my first play through ever I think I lost the mission because I engaged Autopilot and Toth was killed by.. something?

Anyway, the next mission is the Black Rhombus. I really love that one, and I hate it at the same time: I don't want to fight software pirates and I don't want to fight a Galaxy because that's my second favourite ship (to the Tarsus) but then they're deleting the stuff in Oxford, too - so despite their ideals (which I share) they're fair game.

The second to last mission with the Vulcan Forge is the first one where I encountered Demons as an enemy. Pity. They are quite tough, beware the Torpedoes. You will survive a frontal hit, but when one manages to get behind you, you're toast: you will lose your speed and that's it.

Two FF missiles and a lucky shot with both Tachyons will do the trick. I recommend going in with full shields, then as soon as you got a few hits (or the first missile or two) and things calmed down, switch to the lower level and immediately back up: this will give you more energy and slowly raise your shields for the next barrage.

And a final one, again an escort mission. This time be careful: the Talons are aggressively targeting the Drayman the second you look away! Kill them with extreme prejudice.

That's the end for Masterson's missions. Pity, I really like this guy (and his missions!). Honest work.
When you enter the library you get some background info on Dr. Monkhouse. I remember that as a kid I had a lot of trouble figuring out where to go next - English not being my first language. I used a dictionary to play this game (and I learned English that way!). There's a typo in the text (and it's consistent: they wrote university wrong - univerisity).

Off to Palan we go. Meet Monkhouse. When you get there, Bounty Hunters are hostile (also on the way, e.g. in Perry), but you can actually talk your way out of their encounters. Same goes for your trip to Basra! Use this. Interestingly I have turned friends to pirates in the meantime, so the asteroid field was no problem at all.

Now that I'm older I understand a lot more of the dialogue with Murphy, in more than one way! The first mission is tough, but doable. Try to send two missiles for each Demon, take a potshot with the Tachyons, then switch. Switching is key! Switch shields to lower as soon as the first barrage ends, then up again immediately. Switch between enemies. As soon as I have dealt out the first missiles, I don't lock onto them - keep moving!
The pirate encounter in the asteroids brought the idea to lure them into the Asteroid field: that can be done, but this time there were Retros - tough luck. I didn't survive. On my third attempt I managed to finish the mission the conventional way.

Now the most difficult mission ever (except for the Kamekh, which I already mentioned): fight four Demons, then four Centurions. I almost did it, but the Centurions can take a beating. I took out one and was scoring hits on the second, but it didn't explode and eventually one of the other two got me: that was my end. Maybe I'll try tomorrow again to lure the Demons into the Asteroid field when there are pirates - it could work, especially when the Centurions spawn at Nav 1 and take their time to get to the field so I can repair.

More to come in a few days!

In the meantime I tried to get Dosbox play Midi with the Fatboy soundfont, but it doesn't work. However I replaced the GOG Dosbox with Dosbox staging and this one emulates the look of CRT monitors! Nice! It still doesn't use the Fatboy soundfont, though - although it has Fluidsynth built in. I guess I'm still handing it over to the Windows Midi.
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Re: Dosbox staging midi
If you are comfortable with editing your dosbox-staging.conf in notepad, in your [midi] section, set 'mididevice' to 'fluidsynth'
Under the [fluidsynth] section set your 'soundfont' to the full path to your selected .sf2 file. If you add an integer afterward, it will attenuate the volume produced to be that percentage of the standard (I often run with 20 to lower it to 20 percent, so that midi doesn't overpower all other audio)

That should get staging to output through fluidsynth.
Re: Dosbox staging midi
If you are comfortable with editing your dosbox-staging.conf in notepad, in your [midi] section, set 'mididevice' to 'fluidsynth'
Under the [fluidsynth] section set your 'soundfont' to the full path to your selected .sf2 file. If you add an integer afterward, it will attenuate the volume produced to be that percentage of the standard (I often run with 20 to lower it to 20 percent, so that midi doesn't overpower all other audio)

That should get staging to output through fluidsynth.
Thank you! I tried that, it didn't work so far. Maybe I have to replace the dosboxPRIV.conf with the dosbox-staging.conf from my %APPDATA%/Local folder? I'll try this tomorrow.

Short update on my progress: I am stuck.
I managed to get to Basra (that was easy), meet Monkhouse and then fly to Palan. Not only is Lynn a tough broad, her missions are tough, too. The first one (eliminate those Demons) is actually pretty easy.

The second mission however- that's tough. It's not three Demons but four, followed by four Centurions. The Demons by itself are dangerous, but the Centurions are a killer. You practically need to keep using afterburner all the time and squeeze in a few shots as well- energy management is almost impossible. Suffice to say you can't run full shields.
In fact, I had to resort to external help to finish this mission: I lured them to the asteroid field between Basra and Palan, where luckily some friendly Pirates were helping me. This almost worked, I often managed to get them down to two Centurions left- but it was not enough.
Only when I tried to lure only one Demon to the asteroids it finally worked: I taunted the first one, waited until it was about 15.000 klicks away, then ran toward the asteroid field. Luckily only two Demons followed! I killed them, returned to Nav 1 and lured the other two Demons into the field. When I was finished with my repairs the Centurions showed up and I had still 16 FF missiles left.

It was still close. I had no armor on my left and front, almost no armor on the right. The cannons would only shoot occasionally and I could basically only turn left and slightly up. I don't know if I killed the last Centurion or if the Pirates did - but it was gone. I was limping home to Palan for my last mission. When I landed my Jump Drive still wasn't fully repaired.

That was some seriously tough sortie, and it's nothing compared to the last one.

Those four Demons at Basra chew you up within seconds. I managed twice (out of about a dozen attempts so far) to kill two of the first four, which leads to another two, fresh Demons to arrive. It's impossible. Also my luck ran out, when I went to the Asteroids hostile Militia were waiting.
I could have pleaded to them, but I was busy evading both the rocks and the Demons- to no avail.

I know I could just land, but this would be a failed mission - I want to avoid that. I'll keep on trying, but it's really frustrating at that point, even more so as I managed the Centurions and this felt like such an accomplishment - and now I have to succumb to mere Demons.
Another update: I finally did it! Again the "lure them into the asteroid belt between Palan and Basra"-trick worked. Luckily for me some pirates were waiting there, and we're friends. The militia wing did nothing, but the pirates managed to do some damage.
Also being some 30 klicks away from the reinforcements arriving helps - a lot!

In fact, once you have defeated the first four and the second wave when they arrive, it's easy going. Well, not exactly easy, but I didn't limp back to Basra as I did to Palan after the Centurions.

As everyone knows, once you meet Monkhouse the Kilrathi show up - and they are mean. The Gothris by itself are a mouthful, but being in a 300 kps Tarsus and fighting Dralthis is - difficult.

I didn't. I ran. It worked, although I did manage to hit an asteroid in the belt (why do THEY never hit them - or at least, why is it so rare? I know asteroids always move opposite to where the player is facing, but when they follow me, shouldn't they run into a barrage of asteroids then?).

So I bode goodbye to Lynn (she still is not satisfied with me, oh well) and talked to Monkhouse. Charting new systems? After that talk I am even more looking forward to Star Citizen!

In Rygannon, I met Taryn and just got my first mission. Shoot, just as I got friendly with pirates now I face them again as enemies. Why? Also on my way to Rygannon I encountered a load of Retros - a glimpse into what's to come or pure chance? That is, are they scripted? Or are the system stats changed after you talked to Monkhouse? That would be interesting to find out.
Last update on Privateer!


If you think pirates are easy after fighting Demons and Centurions - think again. Well, they are easier. But if you stop paying attention just for a second they will chew you up- badly.

Then it's off to find Garrovick. As I said, I don't want to kill anyone just because he's mad at me for any reasons - or crazy (yes, Miggs was crazy, too - but he was also a thug, so it was fair to off him). It's easy when you do Nav 2 and 4 first, then go to Nav 3 and head back to the jump to Delta.

I found out something interesting: when using FF missiles, it's very easy to kill Garrovick by accident! Just run from him in a straight line and fire a missile a bunch of seconds apart, maybe 10-20. It would probably be faster if you fired them more rapidly, but as I said, I didn't want to kill him: it was an accident.

The thing is, he simply doesn't evade when pursuing you and the missiles always hit him head on. Also his shields seem to regenerate rather slowly. I tried to use the missiles to get him to swerve (as most Talons do when they follow you: eventually they'll break away and this is where you can gain some distance), but he never did. He just ate them. I think I used not more than 4-5 missiles, the nose turned red at the second or third missile, then I tried to delay the next shot as long as possible, but when it went for him he was done. That was my attempt of saving time by running in a straight line.

I did the mission again, this time again first Nav 2 and 4, then Nav 3 and then using the "box" technique while fleeing Garrovick.

Now it's time for the final boss, the one that crushes your soul: Gamma.

It's impossible to win. You simply can't do it with a Tarsus. No matter which way you go, clockwise or anticlockwise, you will die. The Kamekh is a joke, with dual Tachyons my patience ran out before I even managed to scratch its paint.

The Dralthis are much harder to kill than Talons, even harder than Demons - and they deal more damage than Demons. And don't get me started on the Gothris. You will run out of missiles long before you meet the Gothris anyway.

I tried the Garrovick move on the Gothris, but they are no lunatics: they do evade. Same goes for Dralthis, by the way. Or at least it's pure chance if your missile hits the left or right wing, most often it's the wrong wing and you just wasted a missile. You'll almost never hit the front, especially not twice in a row (as with Garrovick).

So you can't fight your way through, how about fleeing?

Well, there's the asteroids. And there's a bucketload of enemies, that wait ahead when you show up (and you have to pass through the Nav points!).

And, as the icing on the cake, there's EMM. I managed to evade all those enemies combined, but when I met the last group Privateer crashed. You have that tail of enemies and at some point it's probably too much. I did this twice until I quit.

I played with the dosbox.cfg a little, got the fatboy soundfont to work just to remove it again because it messed up the speech pack, increased the memory from 8 to 16 (or 16 to 32?) and occasionally tried again, but failed, failed, failed soo often. It was unbearable.

Then, not trusting the edited cfg (the memory increase, should it really change things?) I tried simultaneously a second approach: kill the first four Dralthis, repair, then go to Nav 2, kill at least one Dralthi and then try again.

Often I wouldn't even make it past the first group. Once I was very effective and by accident killed all four Dralthis at Nav2, too - just to be killed by the Gothris.

I ran into Asteroids at Nav 3 and exploded.

I got killed by the Gothris. I ran into an asteroid just before jumping out and got killed by the pack while trying to reorient (at this point it became clear that this did work, at least in theory!).

I died again and again and again until I finally made the jump out. It's difficult to convey my relief. I talked my way through all enemies on my way home, landed and saved.

From there on it was easy: sell one gun (by the way, do you lose the money when you land at Derelict and one of your guns is discarded?), then fly to talk one last time to Taryn Cross, find Goodin and kill the thing.

Things that make it easier:
-when you jump into a system and the drone is there, jump back immediately - chances are, it'll rather be there now and when you jump again, you can pass without interference.

-when you pass a system with hidden nav points, avoid them. Simply use F9 to steer in the direction where you can avoid it and then hit autopilot once clear.

The last fight is rather easy, as long as you don't let the drone hit you twice.

And that's it! I carried the save over to Righteous Fire and things are considerably easier with Level 4 Generators. I'm on my way to Masterson now - is he always the start or can I start with Tayla as well? I have to find out.
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One last note on Righteous Fire:

I said it was easy because you now had Level 4 engines and the speed bonus.

I was wrong.

Most RF missions are in fact incredibly easy, except for two (or three):

First is the one where you are to support Commander Uhler. Uhlie, when does your shift even start?? He doesn't fire a single shot! You can actually talk your way out of the Kilrathi at the first nav point, but the rest are going to attack you no matter what. I did fight them to the teeth - literally. Took me a few attempts and when I finally managed to beat the mission, I did so by ramming - I had fired my last rockets long before the last nav point and unfortunately had been getting a few frontal hits and the occasional collision, resulting in me losing my guns as well. As Uhlie is waiting for his shift to end, I had to beat the mission by ramming the last four (!) Gothris until they were gone. Took me about 40-60 minutes, I guess. But I succeeded, no thanks to CMDR Uhler.

However, this was not the most difficult mission: the crown goes to killing Mordecai Jones. He is not that difficult, but the Salthis (what's the difference to the Shok'lar, by the way?) with copies of your gun are. Until that point I was playing with Tachyons and just the Speed Enhancer upgrade, to beat that mission I upgraded to Fusions, the Gun Cooler and the Shield Regenerator (does this even make any difference?).
It was still not easy, but I managed at the second or third attempt.

That's it! And one last thing:

What's up with Magdaline? Everywhere I go there are cargo missions to Magdaline in the Padre system. Even more than cargo missions to New Detroit. Often multiple at once!

I guess there is some probability table for cargo missions, but I wonder how it works. Some bases are never considered and Magdaline - well, it's the outlier. I wonder if something is bugged there in the calculation?