(This is part of my journey going checking out Star Trek 25th Anniversary. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Believe it or not, I have not forgotten about or lost interest in playing this game. It merely goes to show how incredibly busy July got for me, to the point where I didn’t have any lunch breaks (or wasn’t home) for my usual retro gaming. But I do want to finish this one, so let’s get back to Captain Kirk investigating demons while mocking the colonists’ religion!
To to recap, the Enterprise got called to help a mining colony that was seeing demons. When Kirk and company beamed down, they encountered Klingons instead, although those turned out to be robots. A Tellarite claimed to see one of his culture’s evil mythological beings, and you can see where this plot is heading.
Demons ain’t gonna scare captain hotpecs away! Kirk struts back into the cave, wisely ignoring the fact that he and the rest of the landing party have heads that are bigger than their chests. Perhaps the atmosphere is different here and their skulls are about to pop — red, red, red, and green. He finds a cave-in and decides to engage in a little phaser diplomacy with the rocks. Pew pew!
Blowing up rocks is so much fun that Kirk doesn’t want to stop. He keeps jamming on the firing switch after the cave-in is gone, causing both Spock and McCoy to take turns chastising him. Hey, what else do you want me to do? Investigate that dead body over there? Forget that, I think that rock right there looks vaguely Klingon-shaped! ASSUME FIRING POSITIONS.
Oh well, nevermind. It turns out that the corpse actually isn’t; the acolyte got crushed by a couple dozen tons of rock but somehow survived both that and Kirk disintigrating the rock off his back.
Waving the severed robotic hand above his head like a gruesome trophy, Kirk sprints back to the cave — perhaps for the sixth time now — and unlocks the door to what he hopes will either be a room full of treasure or green Orion women of datable age. It ends up being neither, just a room full of “abstract alien art,” submarine wheels, and other tech.
There’s a simple lever puzzle to be solved here, after which a praying mantis-like alien pops out of the floor as aliens are prone to do. Howdy! So… you’ve just been sitting in that box for years waiting for someone to click three buttons on this console over here? Actually, here’s a better question: How were you able to develop technology at all — nevermind “advanced” technology — with two claws and no opposable thumbs? There’s something fishy going on here, and Kirk ain’t having none of it.
I love the dialogue choices in this game. It’s so painfully obvious what the prim and proper Starfleet response is, but where’s the fun in that? I’d rather go snarky, because if anyone was going to be as non-Starfleet as possible, it would be Kirk.
Anyway, the Nauian unloads a dump truck of exposition on Kirk to explain the weirdness of what’s been going on. Apparently this race was facing some sort of planetary apocalypse and thus created shelters to hibernate the bad times away. So why couldn’t this “advanced” race build a starship to get off-planet? LA LA LA THE GAME CAN’T HEAR YOU. To keep people out of their shelter, the Nauians built a machine that would read their minds and build robots to prey on their fear, which is a totally normal thing for a race to do. I mean, locked doors might be simpler, but demon robots, that’s where the real science is.
With his eyes rolling at the stupidity of it all, Kirk accepts the Nauians’ application into the Federation and beams back up. He’s given a post-mission report by the admiral who says that — even with all of my snark — I got an 86% grade and three commodations. So admirals give captains report cards?
I also must say that for an episode called “demons,” it’s SO disappointing that we never got to see any, even robotic versions. Spock remarks that the demons preyed upon the weak human emotion of fear, while McCoy shot back that there must be a reason most demons are portrayed as having pointed ears. Point, McCoy, and the end of the episode!