Flexibility is the key to survival. The robotic Mmrnmhrm understood this concept, as proven by their agreement to join the Chenjesu in their "Process", but their warships have integrated this concept wholly and fully. The Mmrnmhrm X-Form, also known as the Mmrnmhrm Transformer, could quickly transform from the slow but powerful X-Wing form to the quick stinging Y-Wing form.1
The X-Wing form has the dubious honor of being the slowest ship in the game, even slower than the VUX Intruder. However, while terribly slow, the X-Wing form has an excellent turning rate, allowing it to quickly bring its formidable weaponry to bear upon its opponents.
The quick Y-Wing form relies on the concept of "If you can’t hit me, you can’t kill me". One of the fastest ships in the game, the Y-Wing form is only somewhat hampered by its slow turn-rate. In this form, the ship can quite effectively evade enemy shots if flown by a skilled pilot.
The X-Wing form is equipped with a powerful twin-laser array that deal enormous damage at a short range. This weapon rapidly depletes the modest energy store of the Transformer, so use the laser array with care.
The Y-Wing form uses long-range twin missile launchers with fair tracking systems. While the missiles cause little damage individually, their range when correctly mixed with the Y-Wing form’s immense speed can slowly demolish a ship, causing slow but constant attritional damage from a safe distance. Being able to outrun most ships, the Y-Wing form is vital to winning any battle.
The secondary ability of the Transformer is to switch between the X-Wing and Y-Wing modes. This is a fairly intensive process, and will fully deplete the combat batteries of the Transformer.
It is worth noting that VUX limpets will affect the two forms separately — limpets that attach to the ship while it is in X-Wing form will only affect its maneuverability in X-Wing form, and the same is true of the Y-Wing form.2
When piloted skillfully the Transformer can prove a lethal adversary to most ships, either by attrition or by short and deadly laser-blast. An experienced pilot can use the flexibility of the versatile Transformer to overcome most ships.
An effective tactical use of the X-Form's transformation capability combines the strengths of both forms in a repeated hit-and-run strategy. The Y-Wing Form's high acceleration and top speed are effective at rapidly getting out of range of an enemy to recharge combat batteries. Once out of range, the X-Wing Form's high maneuverability can be used to quickly rotate around to face the enemy. Another quick switch allows to the Y-Wing allows the Transformer to attack with the long-range, homing missiles before inertia carries it too far away, and to retreat again from the enemy as the wrap-around effect and inertia eventually bring the enemy ship uncomfortably close once more.
Strong Against: Nearly every ship not listed below.
Weak Against: The Chmmr Avatar, with its ZapSats able to neutralize the Y-Wing form's missiles, a more powerful laser with greater range than the X-Wing form, is deadly to the Transformer, leaving little choice but attempting a suicide-run with its lasers hot. The Kohr-Ah Marauder can effectively lay mines which the slow-turning Y-Wing form can hardly evade. Chenjesu Broodhome Crystaline Shots can do the same but it takes a good aim. The Yehat Terminator’s shield turns it into a major adversary. An unwary pilot can find the Earthling Cruiser rather deadly too. The Androsynth Guardian in blazer form can outrun and easily out maneuver the Y-Wing, making it difficult to avoid a costly collision and forcing the X-Form to rely on its short range X-Wing lasers. Finally, the Ilwrath Avenger, with its cloaking device, can render the Y-Wing form's tracking missiles almost useless and force the Transformer into a deadly close-range exchange.
Notes and references
- 1The names for the two forms are found in the Star Control II manual, p. 85 (PC) or p. 36 (3DO).
- 2From a mail by Paul Reiche III to a Star Control II player:
- I should probably come up with some good rationale, but game-design-wise
- I think we were looking for ways to encourage the player to shift forms.
- When play-testing the Mmrnmhrm we noticed that more advanced players
- would engage in a very slow and (to some) boring strategy of remaining
- at long distance, constantly shooting missiles. By allowing the limpets
- to be negated in the alternate form, the player would be more likely to
- shift in order to avoid the limpet slowdown.
- So for a rationale, hmm... Perhaps the Mmrnmhrm ship has total
- redundancy between key functional systems for its 2 forms, including
- hull plates. That way damage, besides loss of crew, would not affect
- the functionality of the alternate form.