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An example of the astronaut speaking with an alien

When landing on a garden planet, the player has the option to meet the local aliens, initiating a conversation using the game's alien language. Conversations will result in the player learning an unknown alien word; successful conversations also allow the player to obtain Omega or learn a new technology.

Each alien conversation follows one of a limited number of patterns. Learning those patterns allows unknown alien words to be inferred, increasing the chances of receving a gift.

Alien Runs Away Edit

If the alien considers you a god, it will make a set of statements, drop Omega on the ground, and then run away. The alien statements are always:

  • WE PEOPLE <RACENAME>
  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> FEAR GOD
  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> FEAR YOU
  • YOU GOD
  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> GIVE OMEGA

Standard Dialog Edit

Otherwise, if the alien does not consider you a god, a standard dialog will be initiated.

The first phase of a standard dialog is a set of statements followed by a one-line question. The player's response is either "Approve" or "Disapprove" -- and the correct response depends upon the question.

If the player responds incorrectly, the alien doesn't want to talk any more. Otherwise, the alien proceeds to propose an exchange of items.

Greeting Statements Edit

There are only ten possible sets of greeting statements, each of which can be followed by any of the ten possible greeting questions.

Even without knowing any alien words, each set of greeting statements can be uniquely identified by its word pattern: the number of lines, the number of words in each line, and where <RACENAME> appears. Identifying the displayed statements allows multiple alien words to be inferred.

The possible statements, sorted by the number of lines and words in the statement, are:

3 words / 4 words:

  • WE PEOPLE <RACENAME>
  • WE GIVE LOVE YOU

4 words / 2 words:

  • <RACENAME> LOVE FEAR YOU
  • WE <RACENAME>

4 words / 5 words:

  • WE PEOPLE <RACENAME> GOOD
  • <RACENAME> LOVE STAR LOVE LIFE

5 words / 3 words:

  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> FRIEND STAR IRON
  • WE FRIEND YOU

5 words / 4 words:

  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> WANT LIFE YOU
  • LIFE GIVE YOU WE

6 words / 4 words:

  • STAR GIVE LIFE WE PEOPLE <RACENAME>
  • STAR GIVE LIFE YOU

3 words / 4 words / 3 words:

  • WE FEAR JUDGES/ARCHITECTS
  • WE FEAR GOD DEATH
  • WE PEOPLE <RACENAME>

4 words / 2 words / 5 words:

  • PEOPLE <RACENAME> FRIEND TECHNOLOGY
  • WE <RACENAME>
  • PEOPLE DEATH EVIL JUDGES/ARCHITECTS EVIL

5 words / 5 words / 4 words:

  • WE <RACENAME> FEAR PEOPLE DEATH
  • WE <RACENAME> LOVE LIFE LOVE
  • WE LOVE FEAR YOU

3 words / 3 words / 2 words / 2 words:

  • <RACENAME> WANT LIFE
  • <RACENAME> WANT LOVE
  • <RACENAME> TECHNOLOGY
  • WE <RACENAME>

Greeting Questions Edit

The final line of the greeting dialog is always one of ten possible questions. The following list provides those questions, each followed by its correct response.

The current question (and the appropriate response) can be narrowed down first by counting the number of words in the question and seeing whether <RACENAME> appears in the question. Then the specific question can normally be picked out using words that are already known, or words that also appear in the greeting statements.

Two-word question:

  • YOU FRIEND? (Approve)

Three-word questions:

  • YOU WANT LIFE? (Approve)
  • YOU LOVE JUDGES/ARCHITECTS? (Disapprove)

Four-word questions, without <RACENAME>:

  • YOU EVIL YOU DEATH? (Disapprove)
  • YOU FRIEND PEOPLE DEATH? (Disapprove)
  • YOU STAR IRON GOOD? (Approve)

Four-word questions, with <RACENAME>:

  • YOU LOVE EVIL <RACENAME>? (Disapprove)
  • YOU LOVE PEOPLE <RACENAME>? (Approve)
  • YOU WANT DEATH <RACENAME>? (Disapprove)
  • YOU WANT FRIEND <RACENAME>? (Approve)

Greeting Fails Edit

If the greeting question is answered incorrectly, the alien takes offense and refuses to talk any more. The possible alien statements at this point are:

  • ME FEAR FEAR YOU
  • YOU GIVE FEAR ME
  • YOU WANT DEATH FRIEND <RACENAME>
  • YOU JUDGES/ARCHITECTS
  • YOU LOVE DEATH
  • YOU TECHNOLOGY DEATH
  • ME FEAR
  • YOU WANT EVIL
  • FEAR FEAR
  • YOU FRIEND DEATH
  • <RACENAME> FEAR YOU
  • YOU GIVE DEATH
  • YOU GIVE FEAR
  • YOU STAR IRON EVIL
  • ME FEAR FEAR
  • YOU FRIEND DEATH FRIEND EVIL
  • ME PEOPLE FEAR

Exchange Dialog Edit

If the greeting question is answered correctly, the player is presented with the following dialog, which provides the opportunity to exchange an item from the ship cargo for either Omega or a technology.

  • ME PEOPLE <RACENAME>
  • ME PEOPLE GOOD
  • ME WANT <ELEMENT>
  • ME GIVE <OMEGA|TECHNOLOGY>

Early in the game, there is a limited list of elements that alien races are willing to accept: the possible values of <ELEMENT> are limited, as well as the player's list of response choices. As the game progresses, more elements are added to the accepted list in a fixed order: Fe, H, Hf, Th, then W. Finally, the remaining elements except oxygen (i.e., Pt, Si, Cu, C, Au, He, and Co) are all added at the same time. The only element that aliens never request is oxygen.

One option at ths point is to cancel the dialog. As long as the planet is not mined, the player can subsequently restart the dialog. The alien will always request the same item (unless the game is reloaded at the main dialog), thus giving the player the option to obtain a missing item elsewhere and then return to complete the exchange.

If the player provides the requested <ELEMENT>, the alien "seems to like my gift". Otherwise, the alien "receives my gift but doesn't seem to like it". Either way, the alien says:

  • ME PEOPLE <RACENAME>
  • ME PEOPLE GOOD
  • ME LOVE YOU

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