Heavy Gear: Infinite Tango – Life on Argos, Part 2

I’ve developed some aspects of the Heavy Gear / Mass Effect Andromeda crossover first described in HG:IT – Life on Argos, Part 1.

First, I’ve changed the planet’s name. I initially used the name “Helios,” but another Heavy Gear fan reminded me that Helios is the star in the Terranovan system, so after some rereading of the Andromeda myth I changed the name to Argos, the home of Andromeda’s husband, Perseus.

Second, the locals (MEA’s angara) are now known as the perseidans, derived from Perseidae, the descendants of Perseus and Andromeda.

Third, the human generation ship that settled Argos all those years ago is now the Pegasus.

Besides making as many references to Clash of the Titans as possible, these changes have set up some very specific scenes in my mind.

In the campaign’s present, the group’s commander and its science specialist are speaking one day with perseidan historians and scholars about Argos’s history, when the specialist – let’s call her “Paulette Beaumont,” shall we? – recognizes something the scholars think is an artifact of a long-dead perseidan culture.
Books are as common with perseidans as they are with humans, but this one features a very peculiar design on its cover – that of an animal, but it is no animal found on Argos. This animal is a large quadruped, with a long snout and grand feathered wings.
Perseidans would have no clue at all what a Pegasus is … but P.B. knows.
The book is the Pegasus captain’s personal Bible.

I’ve also fleshed out more of the campaign’s recent history.

The Terranovan Advance Mission was sent in about three cycles before the campaign’s present, but contact was lost as soon as they crossed the Gate threshold to the Argos system. They were attacked by a patrol of Earthers, who found the system themselves about a decade earlier. (For HG: Infinite Tango, the War for Terra Nova seen in Heavy Gear Blitz! never happens because the Earthers have been fighting for Argos instead.)

The patrol was destroyed, so the other Earth forces in the system had no idea the Terranovans had arrived. The Mission ended up in bad shape, however, including losing all of its communications equipment. Low on supplies and completely cut off, the Mission members began to fight among themselves, culminating in a full mutiny a cycle before the campaign begins. The mutiny was put down and those responsible were evicted from the Mission, but tensions lingered and other Mission members left soon afterwards. (I’ll give the Outlaws another name, and the krogan colony on Elaaden becomes a settlement of Western clanners instead.)
Thus, the campaign begins with the characters forced to sneak around and evade detection from a powerful enemy, and with far less help and resources than they planned. Fortunately, their Walkabout Hunters can do so many things….

More to come as things develop.

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Heavy Gear: Infinite Tango – Life on Argos, Part 1

I’ve mentioned in prior posts a couple of new worlds I’ve wanted to add to my Heavy Gear “Infinite Tango” sandbox:

  • El Dorado (for an exploration game), a “Brave New World” that Terra Nova discovers and decides to settle; and
  • Argo (for an “old empire” game), a “Lost World” that was settled by a generation ship thousands of years ago.

My issue is I’ve never been very good at building things from scratch, much as I would like to. I’m much better at taking ideas from this, that and the other, throwing it all in a blender and seeing what I come up with.

In this case, I’ve taken the new worlds above, added in the bones of a failed science fiction video game, and shaken well. I think the result is solid enough to work with.

“Thousands of years ago, the generation ship Pegasus discovered the world Argos. The people aboard the Pegasus settled on Argos and thrived, but for some reason they disappeared. Most of what we know about them comes from the ruins they left behind, maintained and guarded by untold numbers of robots.

We learned about the Pegasus, her crew and her colonists from the ‘perseidans,’ a humanoid species that we’ve learned was created as a race of servants. We’ve worked with the perseidans for a while now and they are a wonderful people, but that revelation has sent shock waves throughout their society.

That’s not the only problem, though. The Earthers found Argos a decade before we did, and they’re trying to kick the perseidans out and us off. We’re not going to let that happen. Earth kicked her colonies to the curb once – they don’t have the right to steal one of ours!”

If this sounds familiar, there’s a reason: Argos is simply a reduced version of the Heleus Cluster in Mass Effect Andromeda.

Take the “worlds” in MEA and paste them onto one planet. MEA’s environments and visuals are the game’s best features, so I say take full advantage of them.

Keep the angara as an artificially-created species, just like the GRELs and the Prime Knights before them. In fact, replace the kett with GRELs and the weakness of the “exaltation” storyline goes away. Rather than goofy looking aliens on some poorly written holy war, you’ve got a mean, purple and established enemy trying to take the planet from your brave characters.

Despite its many flaws, MEA has the bones of a good sci-fi exploration game in a setting featuring a long-dead culture. With some simple changes, I think it can be a solid foundation for a new Heavy Gear setting.

UPDATE, 5/30/18: This concept has undergone a few revisions since I first posted it, so I replaced my prior post with this second draft. These charges are discussed further in the post HG:IT – Life on Argos, Part 2.