Hi to everyone,
Here are some observations on some errors, urban legends, confusions etc. which appeared in this topic in the past. People write various things on this interesting subject, and some of them do not even give the version of the game (they do not know or what?). That is why, to add my own notices, I have examinated the following 4 versions of the game:
1. A legal copy of TFTD 1.0,
2. 2.0 made with the official patch applied on the legal 1.0,
3. So called 2.1 made with changing geoscape.exe in 2.0 (prepared as in 2),
4. CE (taken from... somewhere, and not quite legal).
First of all, it appears that CE is (or: behaves like) 2.0, not 2.1, and still has one bug which is not present in 2.1. And so, there are three official versions of the game (regarding the tech tree), and examining CE is not necessary (good for me as I have not a non-pirated version of CE, and thus I cannot be sure of anything concerning it). All these three official versions were examined thoroughly by using two hacker-like semi-natural methods: adding items and aliens to magazines when needed (in base. dat or astore.dat), and shortening the research time by changing the proper byte in project.dat. No more hacking, no guessing, no citing others' opinions, only own exact testings and observations.
And these are the results (I hope, repeatable for everyone):
1. Tasoth Commander is a clear myth (BladeFireLight is obviously right). Such a monster does not exist. It cannot be spotted on missions, and most of all it cannot be examined in any way. You can create it only by writing three bytes in astore.dat - but even then you would not be able to examine this thing. It concerns to all versions of the game. The reason is pretty simple: project.dat has no field for coding Tasoth Commander.
So, please stop talking about so called "Tasoth Commander bug" then. Such a being cannot destruct your game because it does not exist - at least in any of the official versions of the game, including 1.0. And when you catch this monster, send it to me please, together with detailed information of the game you play (or better with the game itself).
2. Aquatoid Commander does exist, does not know anything so it is not worth examining, and does not harm the game. Gill Man Commander does also exist, knows a little more, and does not harm your game either.
3. When you have finished Alien Origins, you can examine one of three fellows: a. Gill Man Commander, or: b. Lobster Man Navigator, or: c. Lobster Man Commander. Each of them will let you begin with the Ultimate Threat. I have noticed that many people write only about Lobster Men here - but Gill Man Commander can also be interrogated in this point. It does not harm - checked in all the versions of the game.
BTW. Notice that there is no such a guy like Gill Man Navigator, and that Aquatoids know nothing interesting so examining their commanders or navigators means a waste of time. And about Tasoths: they can only be soldiers or squad leaders. No commanders, no navigators, no technicians, no medics. The game will not see such individuals if you create them and place manually in astore.dat.
4. In order to make no more confusions: if you finish The Ultimate Threat, you can examine Lobster Man Commander (and not other race/range). It will lead to the subject T'leth, the Aliens' City (and to Latest Flying Sub, but only if you have already finished with Hammerhead).
5. Ion-Beam Accellerators cannot be produced in any of the versions of the game. Either it is a bug which has not been repaired, or it is on purpose - as the alien technology is too complicated for human brains.
6. In order to get the subject M.C. Disruptor, you need ANY TASOTH (there were some false rumors here on this). Not necessarily Squad Leader. Tasoth Soldier will also tell you everything you need. It has been checked with all versions of the game. Of course, you must have M.C. Reader examined before you start the interrogation of the poor tasoth... If you have a (pirated) version of the game which makes you use Tasoth Squad Leader and not Tasoth Soldier, send it to me please... to my room of peculiarities
. (I am just kidding. But comparing such a version with the official ones would bring to find how the tech tree is coded, maybe...).
7. There also were rumors on tanks / displacers and the flying subs. Here is what I have found. There are three types of tanks you can produce: a Gauss one (which is a normal tank), a Sonic one (a flying one) and a P.W.T. one (a flying one). You will be able to produce each tank when you have finished researching:
a. Manta (NOT necessarily Hammerhead - there were many missunderstandings in this point),
b. the cannon (= deck weapon, used with subs) of the proper type (Gauss Cannon, Sonic Oscillator, P.W.T. Cannon).
* note that so called "Sonic Cannon" is a handgun, not a cannon; the name of the sonic version of the deck weapon is "Sonic Oscillator" (I bet the creators of the game have used this name for yet more confusion...),
* there is no link between e.g. Sonic Oscillator and Displacer P.W.T., or between Gauss Canon and P.W.T. (one has nothing to do with the other),
* the fact that you have already started to produce an item or not has (hopefully) nothing to do with anything in the tech tree (I have read that you (as if) get tanks when you begin to make Hammerhead - I have checked it, and it is not true; note that this error is also on the scheme at the beginning of this thread, this error was also on Nethog's Tech Tree, once accessible somewhere on the Net),
* (the thing which appears to be very confusing for many people and to be the source of many errors:) you can get no more than 4 different productions a time; if you should get more, the extra productions will appear with the next finished examination, whatever it will be.
For example: you have already finished (even some times ago) Gauss Cannon, Sonic Oscillator, and P.W.T. Cannon. What will it hapen when you finish New Fighter Flying Sub (= Manta)? That time you should be able to produce: 1. Manta, 2. Coelacanth Gauss, 3. Displacer Sonic, 4. Displacer P.W.T., 5. P.W.T. Torpedo. But five is too much joice in TFTD, so in fact you will get only four of them (in my trials, Displacer Sonic was that missing but I cannot guess if it is by rule or by chance). Then try to begin any topic. When you finish with it, the missing production will appear on your list. As the next topic is often Hammerhead, here we have the source of the errors presented in various places, also here (on the scheme).
Of course a better solution is to finish with (researching, not producing) Manta BEFORE at least one of the cannons. If a cannon is the second (after New Fighter Flying Sub), you will always get the possibility to produce the proper tank.
And finally about "bugs", both really existing and concocted. I would divide them into three categories:
I. True bugs, i.e. things that can make your game endless, or irremovable and harmful in another way.
1. The Alien Sub Construction bug: if you finish researching both Zrbite and Transmission Resolver without having Alien Sub Construction in your stores in this final moment, you will never finish the game. This bug exists in all versions (I wonder why they did not remove it when preparing the "2.1" or "beta" geoscape.exe). I hope that one day a clever modder will find the proper byte in the exe, and will make this way the patch.
2. The M.C. Reader bug: if you finish M.C.-Lab with no M.C. Reader in your stores, you will never have another occasion to examine this thing, and you will invent M.C. Disruptor and M.C. Generator. This bug was removed in 2.1. Note that it is still present in so called Windows version of the game (which is not playable under XP without a special loader, so the name "Windows version" is inadequate). It is so because Collector's Edition is based on 2.0, not on 2.1.
In 2.1 (NOT in CE): if you finish M.C.-Lab without M.C. Reader, and you get the thing after, you will be able to examine it as soon as the most advanced of current researches (whatever it is) is finished.
BTW. 1. Has really nobody made a patch for the CE executable so far, basing himself on the differences between 2.0 and 2.1? Strange indeed...
BTW. 2. In TFTD there are 5 things altogether, such that: a. you must have the object in order to examine it, b. you need prerequisites. Note that such situation does not take place in UFO Defense at all (this is one of the reasons for which TFTD is harder to play). These things are: Disruptor Pulse Launcher, Disruptor Ammo, Alien Sub Construction, M.C. Reader, and Magnetic Navigation - but the latter only in the version 1.0 (in 2.0 and 2.1 Magnetic navigation does not need the prerequisite which is Lobster Man Navigator in 1.0). The programmers have not made a good show (and who were betatesters? and what did they use to do?): Alien Sub Construction is buggy in each versions, M.C. Reader was mended only in 2.1. (and CE was again prepared with the previous bug). Magnetic Navigation was not really buggy (there are many Lobster Men Navigators in the game, and their research is repeatable). Only Disruptor Pulse Launcher and Ammo work fine in all versions of the game. If you managed to finish Zrbite before getting them, nothing wrong has happened. You will be able to research them when you get them and when you finish any other research.
II. Logical bugs.
1. The Coelacanth/Gauss bug. The tank is not flying, so what is the reason for the need of having Manta researched for the tank? In my humble opinion, the tank should be available with Gauss Cannon - but it looks like a plain tank, with a new cannon. I would remove Manta as a Coelacanth/Gauss prerequisite... if only I knew how to do it. Coelacanth/Gauss is not a very strong weapon, and it is practically of no use because of the Manta dependency. It appears too late in the game to make some real use of it. Of course Manta as a prerequisite for both displacers is all right, logical and understandable.
2. Humans cannot build Ion Beam Accelerators (it is acceptable) - but they can invent some things parallelly to the aliens! Incredible, isn't it? I mean 4 items: Aqua Plastics, Vibro Blade, Thermic Lance, Heavy Thermic Lance. It is enough to investigate Deep One Corpse in order to invent a new technology: Aqua Plastics. And then it will appear that the aliens have invented the same independently! In my opinion, it is a logical bug, and the four things should be needed for researching - while they are not. The game would be a bit harder - but a little more logical in the same time. BTW, so called Deep One bug (only in the version 1.0 - you must have Deep One Corpse not only as a prerequisite but also in order to start the Aqua Plastics topic when Deep One Corpse has already been finished) is not very much harmful.
3. A logical bug in 1.0 is Magnetic Ion Armour with ONLY Ion Beam Accelerators and Magnetic Navigation. It is very strange that you can have the best armour without those ones of less quality - and hopefully it is mended in 2.0 (and 2.1). Since 2.0 you need Magnetic Navigation and Ion Armour (instead of Ion Beam Accellerators) as prerequisites for Magnetic Ion Armour. Yes, this makes you have to research Deep One Corpse in order to finish the game - but this is not a bug!
III. Bugs that are not bugs (but rather problems for players with little experience).
Finally: I do not think that the "order bug" is a bug. Quite inversely, I think that the "bug" is quite logical. But during an interrogation we must know exactly about what we should ask the prisoner. So, for instance, if we have some knowledge on Ion Beam Accellerators, and we have already invented Plastic Aqua-Armour, we know what questions should be asked to a caught Deep One. First problems, then interrogation, not inversely.
Yes, it may be a problem for persons who have never played TFTD so far what to research first and what next. It is true - but the same problem with the investigation order is present in UFO (first part), and nobody terms it a bug! Namely, in UFO you must first examinate Alien Origins, and only next a Leader to get the Martian Solution. And exactly the same is in TFTD: first Alien Origins, next Gill Man Commander/Lobster Man Navigator/Commander, not inversely. The same about The Ultimate Threat, New Fighter Transporter and Lobster Man Commander (cf. UFO), the same about M.C. Reader and any Tasoth, and about Ion Beam Accellerators, Plastic Aqua-Armour and Deep One. This is not a bug - but at most a thing that makes the game harder. And the difference between UFO and TFTD is (in this point) quantitative only, not qualitative.
I am about making a visual version of tech trees for all X-Com games. Check my personal website
in several days if interested (as for now, you can find there only a very buggy version of TFTD tree). The site is not in English but the scheme will not use any language, only English names.