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Background

"It is the year 1999. Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have started appearing with disturbing regularity in the night skies. reports of violent human abductions and horrific experimentation has struck terror into the hearts of millions. Mass public hysteria has only served to expose Earth's impotence against a vastly superior technology.

Many countries have attempted to deal independently with the aliens. In August 1998, Japan established an anti-alien combat force, the Kiryu-Kai. Equipped with Japanese made fighter aircraft, the Kiryu-Kai certainly looked like a powerful force, however after 5 months of expensive operations they had yet to intercept their first UFO. The lesson was clear: this was a worldwide problem which could not be dealt with by individual countries.

On December 11th 1998, representatives from the world's most economically powerful countries gathered secretly in Geneva. After much debate, the decision was made to establish a covert, independent body to combat, investigate and defeat the alien threat. This organization would be equipped with the world's finest pilots, soldiers, scientists and engineers, working together as one multi-national force.

This organization was named the Extraterrestrial Combat unit."

History

XCom was originally released in Europe as UFO: Enemy Unknown by Mythos Games (published by Microprose) in December 1993, but, because of some copyright issues (apparently), when it was brought to America the name had to be changed. It was changed to XCom: UFO Defense, for release in June 1994, which was the equivalent to UFO version 1.2. Later, a patch for version 1.4 was released, which fixed some spelling mistakes and removed copy protection.

Details

XCom consists of two modes: Geoscape and Tactical.

Geoscape is the management mode where you build/maintain bases, buy/sell equipment, research aliens, manufacture alien technology, stock your cargo ship with equipment/soldiers, track UFOs, attack UFOs, and initiate tactical missions. This mode presents a globe labeled with all the sponsoring countries with a day-night cycle. On the side of the screen is a clock which can be sped-up to increase flow of game and a bunch of buttons to view your bases, the UFOpedia (the information gathered through research), funding, alien activity charts, to enter option menu, and to intercept UFOs/Alien Bases. When intercepting a grounded UFO or Alien Base, you enter tactical mode.

Tactical is the isometric, turn-based, battle mode. In this mode you are given a certain amount of time units per unit per turn. You can use these TUs to move your units and attack the alien force (mostly by shooting). There are three main types of tactical missions: UFO Recovery, Terror, and Base Assault/Defense.

The UFO Recovery missions are the most common missions in the game. These occur whenever you land your manned craft down at a UFO site (either crash site or not). Your goal here is to eliminate alien forces and recover as much alien technology as possible.

The Terror missions occur when a UFO lands in a city and wrecks havoc on civilians. Your goal is to eliminate aliens while protecting the civilians.

Base Assault/Defense missions are very important. When a UFO lands in your base you need to defend your base. Occasionally at the end of the month you will be notified that you have found an alien base. Once you have you can send your soldiers there to assault the aliens. Eliminating an alien base results in obtaining lots of alien technology and quite a large funding increase.