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Escape Vector

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Escape Vector
Escape vector logo
Genre Action
Release June 03, 2008
Multi-player No

Escape Vector is a 2-D flight game, where players must adhere to rules of momentum and gravity in order to prevent themselves or their cargo from crashing or otherwise being destroyed, while evading obstacles and enemy traps.

Escape vector-music
Cold Planet (link)
The main theme.


Common Controls

  • Left arrow - Turn Left
  • Right arrow - Turn Right
  • Up arrow - Thrust
  • Ctrl - Shoot
  • Shift or Spacebar - Use Shield
  • Enter or R or Alt - Shoot Rock Buster
  • M - Open Minimap

The OSS Katsuro is a single-engine, triangular ship that can spin freely about its center-point (independent of what, if anything, is being towed). Thrusting will cause the ship to accelerate in the direction it is pointing, but that ship also experiences forces due to gravity, enemy alien pods and the inertia of any towed object.

Towing

To tether to an object, land gently (with the nose pointing upward) within one or two shiplengths from it. Most power-ups are gathered by tethering (with the exception of the fuel pod, where you land on the pod's platform). Furthermore, most are automatically drawn into the ship for use instead of being towed: TNT is an exception.

After tethering to a towable object (such as the cargo or TNT), the object will be in tow once you lift off. Once an object is in tow, if that object touches any other object (no matter how gently), it will be destroyed and the tether removed.

An important consideration when mastering towing is that the tether between object and ship is fixed, such that the distance between object and ship is constant. This is different from a soft tether (such as rope) which only governs the maximum distance between objects. A yo-yo is an example of a soft tether. Were it tethered to one's finger and dangling down, one would expect that raising the finger would pull the yo-yo upward; however, rapidly lowering the finger would not cause the yo-yo to drop any faster than by gravity. The tether in Escape Vector does not follow this expectation, which adds to both the strategy and challenge of controlling the ship.

Shield

The shield in Escape Vector acts as a protective bubble against collisions with either terrain or other objects (including enemy bullets). The shield does not absorb the energy of impact, meaning momentum is conserved: if you hit a wall at a rapid speed and while activating the shield, you will bounce off of the wall at the same relative speed, but a different direction. This happens to be the mechanism by which Speed Nitwit is achieved. Similarly, using the shield against a seeker will cause some opposite rebound.

Shooting

Bullets (and Rock Busters) in Escape Vector are not instantaneous: they take time to reach their target. As a result, they are affected by the velocity of the ship when the shot is fired. It is important to compensate for the ship's velocity when aiming. However, bullets are not affected by gravity. Bullets can be fired quickly at no cost, so it is often advantageous to blanket a target with many bullets.

Powerups

There are various useful powerups in the game. All of them except fuel are worth 1,000 points on top of their specific effect. A fuel depot can be destroyed by bullet or rock buster to score 500 points, but should be preserved until you know you will no longer need it to refuel.

Image Name Type Effect
EV extra shield
Shield Limited use Gives 300 shield (increasing shield bonus at end of level).
EV refueler
Fuel Depot Unlimited use Fills your ship up to 5,000 fuel (refuel before picking up cargo to maximize fuel bonus).
EV rock buster
Rock Buster (1) Limited use Destroys land and laser gates
EV rock buster x5
Rock Buster (5) Limited use Destroys land and laser gates
EV extra thrust
Engine Boost Ship upgrade Gives your engine doubled thrust
EV triple shot
Tri-Shot Ship upgrade Your ship fires 3 shots instead of 1
EV TNT
TNT Carried Destroys land

Ship upgrades last until the end of the level. TNT is carried by the cable like a crate and explodes when it touches land.

Alien Infrastructure

There are various items of alien infrastructure which attempt to kill you either by making you lose control of your ship or by actively attacking you.

Image Name Effect How to Destroy
EV green pod
Green Pod Shoots bullets at you. Bullets blockable using shield. Bullets
EV blue pod
Blue Cylinder Pushes you away from the Cylinder. Bullets
EV red pod
Red Cylinder Pulls you towards the Cylinder. Bullets
EV seeker mine
Seekers Homes in and destroys you. Bullets/Shield/Guide it into a wall
EV laser gate
Laser Gate Destroys you if you pass through while it's activated. Destroys tethered cargo if caught within beam, but not the tether itself. If the ship is shielded while attempting to pass an active laser gate, the ship will bounce off. Rock Buster to either end

Modes

There are 4 different modes in the game: Retrieval Easy, Retrieval Hard, Retribution and Simulator.

Retrieval

EV Retrieval-Normal
EV Retrieval-Hard

In Retrieval, you are tasked with flying the OSS Katsuro into a sub-surface cavern, locating and tethering stolen cargo, and then flying back above the surface with the cargo in tow. If, when the ship passes a certain altitude, the cargo is intact and in tow, the mission is successful. At all other times, the level is restarted with no penalty. Hence, if the cargo is lost at any point, one can return to the surface and restart the level without sacrificing a life or points. You are granted three lives (the game ends the third time your ship is destroyed).

Dialog

Sit down, Commander. Prepare for mission briefing.
As you know, Aliens broke into Earth's most advanced weapons and technology installation. They used cloaking devices and would have made good their escape...
...had our most powerful items not had tracking devices fitted, allowing us to track the aliens to their home system.
Your mission is to take your ship, the OSS Katsuro, into the caves where our devices are being stored. You must overcome the aliens' defences and recover the equipment.
Our emergency rescue teleporter has enough power for two transmissions. The aliens will attempt to stop you, and we can only save your life twice...
...so we are relying on your skills as a pilot to win the day for Earth.

Levels

This level set is available to all players, and contains the following levels:

Number Name
0 Tutorial
Asteroid levels
1 Low-Security Facility
2 Deep Excavation
3 Blue Defence
4 Pod Defence
Baked Moon levels
5 Attractor Tunnel
6 Moon Fuel Depot
7 TNT Storage Cavern
8 Force Matrix Defence
Icy Moon levels
9 Ice Labyrinth
10 Seeker Caves
11 High-Security Stronghold
12 Rock Buster Twister
Aliens' Homeworld Levels
13 Small Ship Fuel Depot
14 The Shafts
15 Seeker Prison Cell
16 Central Munition Cavern

Normal

An easier version of Retrieval - Hard, it was released on 22 July as the default level mode was rather hard.

Hard

The first version of Escape Vector, it was the only mode available until the 22 July update.

Retribution

EV Retribution
Congratulations, commander. You have recovered Earth's most advanced technologies from the mysterious aliens.
Unfortunately, the aliens had time to analyse and duplicate some of our stolen weapons technology.
They are now quickly amassing an armada, ready to strike at Earth.
Earth's defences need time to prepare for repelling the alien invasion.
Given your location in the alien home system, you have been ordered to do all in your powers to delay the alien arms build-up, and give Earth time to prepare.

Unlike the Retrieval levels, your ship is now armed with a tri-shot and a boosted engine, along with more-than usual fuel/shields, at the start of each level.

On your minimap (opened by hitting the M key ingame), you'll see powerups/fuel depots as yellow squares, while targets are in red. You must destroy the red targets to complete the level. On some of the levels a self-destruct mechanism will trigger when you destroy the last or deepest target, and will give you a time limit to escape.

This level set is members only, and contains the following levels:

Number Name Self-destruct time limit
0 Tutorial N/A
Asteroid levels
1 Fuel Storage Unit 531 N/A
2 Outlying Fuel Depot N/A
3 Fuel Production Caverns N/A
4 Canister Elimination Run 60 seconds
Baked Moon levels
5 Mine Shafts N/A
6 Fortified Mine 40 seconds
7 Mine Field N/A
8 Auto Destruct 60 seconds
Icy Moon levels
9 Drive Research Facility N/A
10 Engine Research Station N/A
11 Cold Fusion Laboratory N/A
12 High-security Research Cavern N/A
Aliens' Homeworld Levels
13 Growth Pod Caverns N/A
14 Mined Cloning Facility N/A
15 Genetic Research Laboratory N/A
16 Secluded Cloning Pods N/A

Simulator

EV Simulator

Definitely not recommended for beginners, the Simulator levels are the hardest levels of the game. They can be completed in any order (16 levels), and are retrofitted with a new colour scheme, which is green for walls, enemies, and your ship. Missions are either Retrieval or Retribution style.

This level set is members only, and contains the following levels:

Number Name
1 Anti-gravity
2 Breach
3 Cataclysm
4 Dash
5 Deep Vertigo
6 Divided
7 Explosive Exit
8 Gravity Chamber
9 Mine Field
10 Orb
11 Pinball
12 Pulse
13 Slanted Mines
14 Upwards and Onwards
15 Asteroids Normal
16 Asteroids


Achievements

Total Achievements: 32
Total Orb Coins: 108
Total Orb Points: 10750
[Secret Achievements] | [Hidden Achievements] [Halloween Achievements]

Image Name Requirement Orb Points Orb Coins Members? Sorter
Ace Pilot Ace Pilot

Retrieval - Hard: get 100,000 points

500 5 No AF
Belter Award Belter Award

Retrieval - Hard: complete the asteroid levels

100 1 No AA
Belter Award (Normal) Belter Award (Normal)

Retrieval - Normal: complete the asteroid levels

50 1 No AS
Bouncing Around Bouncing Around

Complete 'Pinball' on Simulator

500 5 Yes BE
Cold Fusion Cold Fusion

Complete the icy moon stage on Retribution

300 3 Yes AY
Flak Dancer Flak Dancer

Retrieval - Hard: complete 'High-Security Stronghold', destroying no more than four green pods

500 5 No AP
Force King Force King

Retrieval - Hard: complete 'Force Matrix Defence', without using the power-up

300 3 No AN
Free Fall Free Fall

Complete 'Anti-gravity' on Simulator

100 1 Yes BF
Fuel Filler Fuel Filler

Retrieval: complete a level with more than 2500 fuel

100 1 No AG
G Force G Force

Land on one of the attractors in 'Force Matrix Defence' in Retrieval

300 3 No AR
Hero of Earth Hero of Earth

Complete Retrieval - Hard

300 3 No AD
Hero of Earth (Normal) Hero of Earth (Normal)

Complete Retrieval - Normal

150 1 No AV
Heroic Pilot Heroic Pilot

Score 350,000 points in Retribution

200 2 Yes BA
High Octane High Octane

Complete the asteroids stage in Retribution

100 1 Yes AW
Moon Raker Moon Raker

Retrieval - Hard: complete the icy moon levels

200 2 No AC
Moon Raker (Normal) Moon Raker (Normal)

Retrieval - Normal: complete the icy moon levels

100 1 No AU
Moon Runner Moon Runner

Retrieval - Hard: complete the baked moon levels

100 1 No AB
Moon Runner (Normal) Moon Runner (Normal)

Retrieval - Normal: complete the baked moon levels

50 1 No AT
Ore Crusher Ore Crusher

Complete the sun-baked moon stage in Retribution

200 2 Yes AX
Power Pilot Power Pilot

Retrieval - Hard: collect all power-ups in one session

500 5 No AL
Saviour of Earth Saviour of Earth

Complete the Retribution level set

500 5 Yes AZ
Seeker Shaker Seeker Shaker

Retrieval - Hard: complete 'Seeker Caves', without using your shield or shooting

500 5 No AO
Seeker Slingshot Seeker Slingshot

Retrieval - Hard: complete 'Seeker Prison Cell', without using your shield

500 5 No AQ
Escape Vector Speed Demon Speed Demon

Retrieval - Hard: complete all levels in under 20 minutes

1000 10 No AK
Speed Freak Speed Freak

Retrieval - Hard: complete all levels in under 30 minutes

500 5 No AJ
Speed Nitwit Speed Nitwit

Blow yourself up at speed in the mothership's auto-shield area

100 1 No AI
Spirit of Vengeance Spirit of Vengeance

Retrieval - Hard: destroy all possible alien infrastructure in one session

500 5 No AM
Star Pilot Star Pilot

Retrieval - Hard: get 25,000 points

200 2 No AE
Total Annihilation Total Annihilation

Destroy all alien infrastructure in Retribution

500 5 Yes BC
Tough Destroyer Tough Destroyer

Retrieval - Hard: destroy an alien laser gate and complete the level

300 3 No AH
Ultimate Pilot Ultimate Pilot

Score 800,000 points in Retribution

500 5 Yes BB
Virtual Reality Virtual Reality

Complete the Simulator level set

1000 10 Yes BD
All information for these achievements is stored on their respective pages, along with walkthroughs and tips for many of them. So, if you notice a mistake, or have a good strategy, go there!

Did you notice a missing achievement? You can help the FunOrb Wiki by making a page for it. Simply type the achievement name in this box to make a page for it.


Trivia

  • This is the first (currently only) game to have achievements that do not give exactly 100 orb points per orb coin, as well as the first to give an odd multiple of 50 orb points.
  • In the "Deep Vertigo" level on the Simulator set, when you are close to the end of the level, you can see the image of the Vertigo 2 avatar that you play with in the game.

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