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Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon

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Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon is a PC strategy game, part of Disney's Action Game strand. The game takes place five years after the events of the film, Treasure Planet. The single-player campaign details the story of Jim Hawkins ascending the ranks as a naval officer, and an additional skirmish mode includes several historical and open-map skirmishes. Of note is the fact that no battle actually takes place at Procyon, a fact which is actually noted in the end credits of the game.

Game modes

Campaign

The game continues Jim Hawkins' adventures. 5 years after Treasure Planet, Jim Hawkins is about to graduate from the Royal Navy Academy. The first mission revolves around the final exam, which is invigilated by Admiral Amelia aboard her ship, the Lyonesse.

As Jim patrols various sectors of the Etherium, Her Majesty's Empire is in the process of negotiating peace with the Procyons, raccoon-like warriors who have been at war with the Empire for centuries. They send a Diplomatic Fleet that seems more like a war fleet under the command of Procyon diplomat Boas to Parliament, the centre of government and home of the Queen, for the peace talks.

However, on the Frontier, ships begin to mysteriously vanish without trace. Soon, strange ships are sighted. While all known craft are solar-powered wooden ships (Procyons use trimaran designs), these strange ships are made of iron, where there should be sails there are only smoking chimneys. These bizarre, almost unstoppable craft are nicknamed Ironclads.

After missing out on a chance to join the fleet scouring the Frontier for Ironclads, Jim is sent to investigate Ironclad activity after finding one apparently lost deep in Empire territory. After locating and destroying an Ironclad base hidden in a nebula, he discovers the Ironclads are Procyon vessels, meant to draw the Navy fleets to the Frontier, allowing the "Diplomatic" Fleet to kidnap the Queen unhindered. Meanwhile, it turns out that the command ship of the Pirate fleet apparently aiding the Procyons is Silver, Jim's old friend. Jim is ordered to warn the Empire of the Procyon trap.

However, they are soon intercepted by Silver's Pirate fleet. Jim tries to talk to Silver, but Silver denies ever knowing him. After a brief altercation, Silver retreats. Jim refuses to believe Silver is in league with the Procyons, but is heartbroken as he sees Silver disable a civilian ship and force it into a black hole. Now determined that Silver is not the man he once knew, he pursues Silver to a Pirate fortress.

Inside the fortress, Jim finds two identical command ships, both commanded by a Silver. Both Silvers recognize Jim, each claiming the other is a robot. One is happy to see him, claiming he just escaped his robot doppelganger's prison, and is angry over the other Silver's ruining of his good reputation. The other Silver is aggressive, repeatedly ordering Jim to destroy the first Silver. Here the player has the option of firing on either Silver's ship. If Jim fires on the aggressive Silver, the real Silver congratulates Jim, and together they destroy the false Silver. Silver regains command of his fleet, and, together with Jim's fleet, rush back to Parliament to stop the Procyons.

They arrive at Parliament, only to find the Procyons have already sprung their trap. The Navy fleet, commanded by Admiral Amelia, is fighting off a combined force of the Procyon Diplomatic Fleet and a fleet of Ironclads. After aiding Amelia in fighting off the first wave, the Procyons split up. The Diplomatic Fleet heads straight for Parliament, and the Ironclads head for the combined Navy/Pirate force. Jim agrees to protect Parliament from the Procyon vessels, while Silver and Amelia fight the Ironclads. Jim manages to stave off the Procyons, but an Ironclad Dreadnought arrives, apparently having destroyed Amelia and Silver's fleets. Fearing the worst, Jim engages the Dreadnought. Although the Dreadnought is outnumbered, it easily outguns Jim's fleet.

Jim's Man-O-War is now heavily battered, and has lost all of its weapons. The Dreadnought stops firing, preparing to ram, which will completely obliterate the Navy vessel. At the last moment, Silver's badly damaged ship arrives. Ramming the Dreadnought, both ships are apparently destroyed. It's unknown whether Silver survives, but Jim says he knows Silver is still out there, somewhere.

The Procyons are forced into harsh peace terms thanks to their treachery, and the Empire is saved.

Skirmishes/Multiplayer

In the game, there are three separate factions: the Royal Navy, the Procyons and the Pirates. The Ironclads are included in the Procyon fleet list, which gives away the twist ending somewhat. In the skirmishes, depending on the map in question, the player either chooses a faction to play or has one chosen for them. AI players can be added, and can be made allies or enemies of the player or other AI.

In historical skirmishes, the fleets, crew, arms, factions and allies are locked. In open-map skirmishes, it is possible to customise your fleet, such as changing the weapons at certain weapon hardpoints, adding named crewmembers who improve performance in certain areas (areas of ship crew includes Captain, Gunnery, Navigation, Rigging and Spotter), and selecting different ships to serve in your fleet.[1] Fleet permutations can be saved for reuse in future games. However, all this is limited by "Victory Points", which function as currency. In the single player campaign, Victory Points are won from completing missions, destroying enemy vessels, and picking up lifeboats which randomly appear when a ship is destroyed. In skirmish mode, Victory Points are set at a certain level to ensure competing AI fleets are of equal size. The largest amount possible is 1000, but it is not necessary to spend all the points. Similarly, the maximum fleet size is 10 ships, but again it is possible to limit this amount.

Multiplayer also uses the same historical and open maps, which was originally played over either a LAN connection or the Internet. Each player must interchange a unique code, which ensures that a player only plays against his/her friends and not someone he/she does not intend to play with. There is also a talk system to allow communication between players. Although LAN play is still possible, Disney shut down the matchup server some years ago and Internet play is now impossible. In 2009, a group of Italian players found the way to use a program named Tunngle for playing in LAN mode, they are on Facebook and YouTube, accepting all the players who wants to join the game, and also creating a new network for this old game.

Gameplay

Ship navigation is controlled with the mouse. Left-clicking sets waypoints for the ship's course and attacks targets, right-clicking is used for interaction, such as focusing the viewpoint on objects, initiating docking maneuvers, firing tow-ropes and grappling hooks, and, when used on the player ship, activating the cloaking device (only available on the Procyon Submersible). In line with the "classical nautical" design of the ships and the universe in general, the speed control is designed to look like an engine order telegraph.[2] There are 4 speeds, Full Stop, Ahead Slow, Ahead Full and Emergency Full. Speed affects turning rate, the faster the speed the wider the turning circle. Faster speeds means outpacing the enemy, but slower means a better turning circle, so in battle the player must make a tactical decision between the two.

One of the main focuses of the game is engaging in battles. Each ship is loaded with a set amount of guns, each in a weapons bank a weapons hardpoint, some of which can be changed if allowed by the skirmish or upon acquiring a new ship in campaign mode.

Each of these banks are classed in one of three groups, light, medium and heavy. Light guns are weak but quick to reload, and vice versa for heavy guns. There are also lobbing weapons, which are aimed and fired manually. Light guns tend to be more useful against sails (especially the Laser Gattling Gun, which acts like a machine gun), and heavy weapons tend to be useful against the hull.

Most weapons load, aim and fire automatically, the only acts required on the player's part is to maneuver the ship into a position where the desired target is in the desired weapon's line of sight, targeting the vessel, and stipulating when to fire and at which section of the ship (sails, hull or rudder). The border around the weapon banks will turn green when that bank is in range and has line of sight to the target, whether the bank is loaded or not.

Lobbing weapons work differently. Clicking on their respective icon changes the cursor to the lobbing weapon's icon. The player must place the weapon's charge in the desired location. Often, because a ship is moving, estimation of where the ship will be is crucial to use these weapons effectively. The mortar weapons are long-range and can tear a ship apart if placed correctly. Grav Charges can trap ships in gravity wells, making them easy targets.

A feature of the firing system is Panic Fire. This fires all weapons in range of an enemy, regardless of whether there is an obstacle or not, and whether that enemy is already targeted or not. It only fires fully-loaded weapons banks, and does not fire lobbing weapons. Each of the weapons banks will fire to the enemy closest to them, even if there are multiple enemies on one side; it also does not selectively aim at any part of the enemy ship, just at the middle of the hull. Panic Fire comes in handy when the player is surrounded.

References

  1. Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon :: PC Review. Kidzworld. Retrieved on 2009-04-06.
  2. Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon HUD Screenshot. Gamefaqs. Retrieved on 2010-01-06.

External links


fr:La Planète au trésor : La Bataille de Procyon

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