Flexibility is the key to survival. The robotic Mmrnmhrm understood this concept, as proven by their agreement to join the Chenjesu in their "Process", and 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 quickly to 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 deals 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. However, the Transformer can struggle in battles where speed and maneuverability are simultaneously required.
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 to the Y-Wing allows the Transformer to attack with the long-range, homing missiles and to retreat again when the enemy gets too close.
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.