Zarya-1: Mystery on the Moon

Zarya-1: Mystery on the Moon

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How to reach the good ending ("Success")
By Psyringe
This small guide explains how to reach the best ending ("Success" rating instead of just "Partial Success"). If you just want the solution, section 3 has that. If you would like to understand how the game works, feel free to check the rest as well. ;)
1. Introduction
It's important for me to state clearly that I did not discover this solution - that credit should go to ArcticWolf, who was the first to post it in the forum. Thanks go also out to Blake Belladonna, whose post gave me the energy to run some final tests and write this guide. :)

Unfortunately, both guides that were posted in the forum by the time of this writing, made the process look more complicated than necessary, and each one was also missing one potential point of failure. So I'm trying to improve the situation a bit. But my contribution is just to check all the options along that path, distill which choices actually matter, weed out the irrelevant ones, and post the result here at a place where people will hopefully find it easily.
2. The benefit of failing
I suggest playing the game to various different failures, exploring many paths, before consulting this walkthrough. The game is pretty well written (imho), and this includes the paths that lead to failure, I found those enjoyable to read as well. Additionally, a lot of interesting background information can only be obtained from paths that lead to failure, or "partial success" at best. The "success" path is actually one of the least informative routes to take.

However, if you have trouble finding the good ending yourself and it starts feeling like a chore, by all means use this guide. The developers of Zarya-1 have hidden this ending behind some completely arbitrary decisions, and neither of these give any indication as to why one choice would lead to the "success" ending and the others would lock you out. In fact two of the decisions that you have to take, could be seen as clearly suboptimal in the context of your mission. Zarya-1 is not a game where you have to find the "smart" route to solve problems - rather, it's a game where you need to grind through various decision trees until you just happen to find the one combination which (without any chance to foresee that) leads to a better ending than the others.
3. How to reach the good ending
To reach the "Success" ending, you need to take the following six decisions (all others are irrelevant):

  1. When the team asks you which path they should take to climb down to the crater, ask them "What's to your left", and then order them to take the broken path that they discover there.
  2. When you get to decide who should deal with the yellow door, let Savvy open it. You can also choose Chase, but in that case you must ask him "Are you sure?" afterwards.
  3. When you are asked whether to take the elevator shaft or do anything else, don't choose the elevator shaft.
  4. Once you have the welding torch, open the lounge room door.
  5. After the encounter with the alien, choose "Get out! Fast!"
  6. When Savvy suggests to disassemble the buggy, let him look for another way to stash it into the lander.

Taking decisions 2, 5, or 6 differently will kill your team and result in a mission failure. Taking decision 3 or 4 differently will sidetrack you to a path where the best possible outcome is just a "partial success". Taking decision 1 differently will (ironically) also kill you if you tell your team to "take the safe route", but otherwise just makes the "success" ending impossible to reach.

Any other choices that you take throughout the game, will not have an impact on the ending, though some will provide additional information that you may find interesting. Most decisions are just fluff - they keep you engaged, but they don't actually have any effect apart from triggering a few extra dialogue lines.
4. How the game works
While myself and others were searching for the good ending, we considered many things that later turned out to be irrelevant. But some of the recommendations from this time seem to be hard to kill, so I'll try to clear things up a bit. Sorry for the wall of text.

One common misconception that we had, is that you have to "hurry", and be careful with decisions that take time to carry out. Actually the game cannot even track time at all. I'm still seeing various recommendations to "not waste time with the last rites for Sarge", to "keep the team going whenever they request a rest", or to "not analyze the foreign material", all in order to "save time". But when I actually tested this out, none of these decisions had any impact whatsoever. You may get a few lines of extra dialogue depending on the option you chose, but that's it.

There are a few situations in the game where dawdling leads to death, but that's not due to the game keeping track of time, but simply due to the writer deciding "I will turn this decision into a dead end".

The second common misconception is that decisions in the game may have long-term effects. This one is a bit harder to explain. Basically, from the tests I ran, the game does not seem to remember any of your past decisions. It just plays linked pre-written scenes without taking any notes of your choices (or, in a programmer's terminology, without storing any information in variables that it could refer to later).

Let's take the "yellow door" entry as an example. There are two ways of getting past - Chase can blast the door open, or Savvy can override the electronics. With Chase's approach, the entire upper part of the facility loses atmosphere, otherwise the airlock stays intact. But no matter which option you choose, the game always progresses to the same next scene (with your team about to enter the facility, and the option to check the radar first),

While venting the atmosphere seems like a fairly important difference, it is actually never referenced afterwards. And there's a reason for that: Since both decisions lead to the same next scene, and the game does not store data about your decisions, the game does not know which decision you took, so it cannot address that decision later in any way.

There are, of course, decisions that have a long-term impact, such as which path you choose to climb down the crater. The game can handle that because those decisions lead to different scenes. When you are (for example) in the warehouse, the game could reference that you took the risky climb down into the crater, because that's the only way to reach the scenes in the warehouse. But as soon as two or more decisions lead to the same scene, the game has no idea how you arrived there, and therefore cannot reference any events or decisions that may have differed before reaching that scene.

This is evident throughout the game. For example, many decision paths converge in the lab, where you see the alien substance for the first time. This means that any decision that you took before reaching this scene, will be irrelevant for whatever follows afterwards. For the same reason, none of your conversations with your team members have any effect on gameplay - because the game immediately forgets what you said as soon as you progress to the next scene.

Therefore, many decisions that players (including myself) may have considered important (e.g. bury Sarge, analyze the alien substance, turn on the lights, be nice to your team, discover the buggy when you enter, etc.) have turned out to be irrelevant. The game's design is not sophisticated enough to work in the way we players may expect it to, it is in fact extremely primitive. I suppose it can be seen as a credit to the writer that he made many choices appear meaningful while they actually have no impact.

Hopefully the team's next effort will be a bit more sophisticated in design, because I really enjoyed the writing. :)
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Psyringe  [author] Feb 25, 2018 @ 1:51pm 
If I remember correctly, Sarge was bribed by a competing company that wanted access to the information on the station's hard drives. His plan was to fake his own death, sneak into the station, steal the hard drives, and fly back to Earth alone. This plan requires Bones' cooperation for faking Sarge's death convincingly. So the company threatened to harm Bones' family if he would not help Sarge.
金属光泽 Feb 24, 2018 @ 2:27am 
thanks for your guide,but i can't understand why Sarge want to kill his teammate?i am't see clear in that scenes,and seems to relation with kidnapping of the Bones' parents?:steammocking:
Psyringe  [author] Nov 5, 2017 @ 3:50am 
Hi - I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understood that correctly. It sounds like you might be taking the wrong route down.

If I remember correctly (it's been a while, so I may be wrong in the details), the game first gives you the option between a seemingly "safe" path (which will kill you) and a "risky" path (which will lead into a tunnel with an airlock). You have to ask them "what's on your left?" to reveal a third, even more risky path, which leads to the base with the yellow door.

The android version might be slightly different from the PC version though.
Terranghost2.0 Nov 4, 2017 @ 7:29pm 
Please Men, Help i'm playing the Android version of the game, I have tray a lot of combinations of route and decisions, before look this guide. But I do what do you say. After Sarge die, they came on to the crater, the team sends you a picture and they describe you the way to go Dawn. you ask for the left side option and you order it gets down to the same one option.

but when they get down, there isn't the yellow door, they tell you about a way to the structure and the other it's the way to the tunnel.

I was playing the game on my natural language (Spanish) but i decide to play it on (English) maybe i was passing on alth, some text. but now. I'm still Dying.

Please, could you be more specific and help me.

Chuswull Jul 19, 2017 @ 6:16am 
I got it on mobile (Sorry about that) but and it wouldn't make sense for them to load the buggy since they're going back to Earth.
Psyringe  [author] Jul 19, 2017 @ 4:27am 
Thanks for your comment! Do you have a screenshot of that scene? I was pretty sure since they were talking about the buggy, even though it may not make a lot of sense.
Chuswull Jul 19, 2017 @ 1:29am 
The 6th step in "3. How to reach the good ending" I think they're talking about loading the drives not the buggy. I think.