Heat Signature

Heat Signature

32 ratings
Trapped in the Practice Terminal: Workaround
By Dr. DJ X
The following is a brief guide for how to return to reality if (by no fault of your own) the exit terminal within the simulation is destroyed.
The following is a brief guide for how to return to reality if (by no fault of your own) the exit terminal within the simulation is destroyed.

Step 1: Panic
This is bad. You've seen the Matrix, you've seen the Lawnmower Man. You know the rules of virtual reality: if you die in the game, you die in real life.
Step 2: Take Stock
Okay, now that all that adrenaline is pumping through your virtual veins check your inventory. Your physical body is wasting away even now, so you'll want to be quick. You should have at least 8 remote breacher grenades and a shotgun with 72 rounds of ammunition. If you don't, reconsider the value of your life because it probably wasn't worth living anyway. If (for some reason) you were prepared for this eventuality you may have also brought along some rechargeable shotguns for that little bit of extra ammo.
Step 3: Orientate Yourself
The bad news is that you're going to need to jump out that gaping hole and into space so you can get a fix on your position, there is no good news. Once you're in space pause and zoom out. Then zoom out some more. As far as you can. Look faaaar to the South-East, you should find what appears to be a perfect facsimile of your own galaxy. That's where you're going. Zoom back in on yourself and make special note of the orientation of the ship relative to the galaxy. Your perspective will flip once you're back aboard the ship so it's critical you know exactly which direction you want to head.
Step 4: Don't Kill Yourself
Right now you probably want to revisit Step 1, too bad, you had your chance. Take that shotgun and use it to propel yourself back to the training ship by firing it behind you. You'll likely overshoot your target once or twice, but so long as you remember that you can slow yourself down by firing in the direction opposite to the one you're headed in, you should be fine. At least, you should -feel- fine. You're lost in cyber-space-space using a shotgun to transverse the void. You are anything but fine. As a side note you may notice that the space around you is filled with buckshot flying in all different directions. That you can see this is a good sign, since it means that none of it has hit and killed you. Yet.
Step 5: Activate Engines
We often forget that an engine is just a series of polite explosions. Your body is dying, you don't have time for such niceties. Place down three remote breacher grenades along the edge of the ship opposite to the galaxy. Take shelter someplace safe where you're unlikely to be sucked out into space. Detonate the breachers.
Step 6: Hurtle
Congratulations, you just blew up one third of your ship. You want to know if that was really a good idea? Um... Hey, why don't you go back to Step 1 for a little bit. My treat.
Step 7: Extrapolate
You're going to need to apply Steps 3 and 4 again. This time you want to determine the trajectory of your hurtling wreckage. Odds are that you'll probably be passing too far North of your galaxy, but individual results may vary. As with before, try not to be disorientated when your perspective flips on returning to the ship.
Step 8: Maneuver
As with before, lay down grenades along the edge of the ship opposite to the way you want to adjust course. Detonate. You may need to repeat steps 7 and 8 multiple times until you've perfected your trajectory or condemned yourself to lonely death flying through the depths of simulated space.
Step 9: The Waiting Game
Despite consisting entirely of holding down F for 30 minutes as you inch closer to the safety of the nearest asteroid base, most video game critics rate this a respectable 7/10.
Step 10: Wait, You're Still Here?
Wow, you've been at this how long and nobody has come to check on your body? Yeeesh. You must not have been a very nice person. Well, the not-so-bad news is that by now you should be passing close by a friendly station. If you're not, go back to Step 1 and stay there. Otherwise now's the time for some last minute course corrections to get you as close as possible to your target.
Step 11: Recoil Rocketeering
It's now time for you to step back outside one last time. By now you should be an accomplished shotgun rocketeer, but you'll also probably be running low on ammunition after your earlier spacewalks. Either way, take solace in knowing that your misery will soon be over. Try and aim to pass directly over the station door, since it should suck you in from almost any speed.
Step 12: You Made It!
If you're reading this, you failed to reach the station and are now consoling yourself (as you drift through space slowly asphyxiating) by reading ahead to find out what awaited you at the end of your journey. You'll take some solace in knowing that-

Aaaaand now you're dead.

Okay, for those of you who actually reached the station successfully, congratulations! On arriving you'll no doubt be struck by the amount of effort the programmers put into simulating a station almost nobody would ever visit. If you go to the mission listing you'll find that you have a practice mission underway. Go ahead and abort that. Next, enter the simulated practice terminal and complete an easy mission. Exit the terminal. Welcome back to the real world! The strange visual interference that was partially clouding your sight should now be gone, surefire proof that you've returned back to reality. Pay no attention to the fact that you're still missing all the equipment you used on your odyssey back. Also, weren't you on a different station to begin with?

You know what, who's to say what's real and what's not anyway?

Alternative Workaround
Press R to reset the simulation and then E to end it.
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Stavbearer Aug 12 @ 6:05pm 
just go back to yer pod
oompityloomp Apr 28 @ 6:53am 
hilarious, i loved it and im going to try it out:steamhappy:
Dr. DJ X  [author] Oct 11, 2017 @ 8:43pm 
Thanks for letting me know about the C&C episode, hearing them talk about it was a blast. It's also super cool that you were able to replicate the odyssey back to 'reality'.

It may just be the default pod that's disabled for the simulator. I -think- if you buy the tick it flies around like normal (I seem to recall testing it in my own playthrough). Did you complete a practice terminal run before retiring?
Patrick Oct 11, 2017 @ 3:17pm 
Your post was discussed at length on the Crate & Crowbar podcast, which the developer has co-hosted for the entire time Heat Signature was in development. I was so amused by hearing of your work on this that I tried it myself, by golly it works!

Some other things I noticed after escaping from the simulator and flying back to reality:

You have no pod. You can buy a new pod, but the pod engines don't work. I didn't test teleporting with a tick sadly as I didn't have enough money to buy one.

If you retire, the game crashes with a lack of other characters.

You can cancel the practice and accept new missions but can't get to them without a pod.
derpykat5 Oct 7, 2017 @ 10:28am 
alternative alternative workaround: press Esc and then "change charachter" (also works for quitting defector missions)