A whole lot happened since I wrapped up my UC Vanguard quests. I became a Starfield Akila City cowboy and so much more. I knew playing space cowboy is fun, but a lot of the smaller side stuff surprised me. I knocked out all the non-repeatable side quests and activities I picked up along my journey.
Joining the Freestar Rangers to become a Space Cowboy
I purposely saved the Freestar Rangers faction questline for last out of the other faction quests. The whole space cowboy thing was so different from the others. Akila was also one of the main cities I explored the least. I figured I’d knock out all the space wild west stuff at the same time.
To reinforce the space cowboy theme, I visited a large farm on a moon early on in my Freestar Ranger journey. What followed was tracking down bandits who tried to intimidate the farmers. Traveling through the rocky canyons definitely hinted at western movie vibes.
The resulting investigation led me to Hope Town, Neon, the Clinic and several abandoned Freestar Collective facilities. Evidence found along the way led me down the path of “The First”, ex-military vets turned mercenaries. I inevitable tracked down the groups leaders and eliminated them.
Taking Care of the Last of the First
Chasing after Maya Cruz and Paxton Hull were especially interesting bits of the story. I tracked Maya down first at the Clinic where she was a patient and then at an abandoned mine filled with her robotic traps. With my Cyberneticist background, I was able to turn the technology against her. In the end, she revealed to me she was terminally ill, so I allowed her go out her own way.
Paxton Hull, as the leader of the First, put up a decent fight and refused to allow me to spare him like I did Maya. He did give me definite proof of the corruption of Ron Hope and I was more than happy to take down a shady business man with the info.
Ron Hope did not make things easy for me though. He tried bribery, sympathy for his workers and intimidation, but none of it worked. I wanted to take him down. Unfortunately, for him, he decided on violence. He did not survive the encounter.
It was fun to hear about the aftermath on the news feeds. I also liked how salty the Freestar leaders were with my killing of Ron Hope since he was a member of the Freestar Council of Governors, oops. It still earned me a great ship and duster style space suit as reward.
Sam Coe’s Side Mission
I took Sam Coe along with me on my Freestar Rangers quests in order to build up enough brownie points to unlock his companion mission. It also wanted to hear his little quips about the Freestar Rangers since he is a former member. Other Ranger members reactions to his return were entertaining.
Sam spent most of his time on my ship playing the single dad routine with his daughter, Cora. Once her mother, Lillian, stopped answer her messages, queue Sam Coe asking for help. Turns out, she was in deep cover and things were not going according to plan. After tracking her down to a hotel room in Neon, things looked grim with all the blood.
We were able to track her down and extract her from a Syndicate stronghold, but not before her cover was blown. While helping to track down information she needed about a weapons cache, we boarded a United Colonies ship. Problem is I ended up with a bounty no matter how I handled it. More on that later.
After finding the Cache from Lillian’s investigation, we fought off waves of Syndicate members and I well placed plenty of mines before the battle that whittled them down quite a bit. The fight was fun, but it was great to also help reconcile the Coe family. They Same and Lillian weren’t exactly getting back together, but at least their co-parenting plan was a bit more solid than before my intervention.
Trying to Clear my Bounty
The bounty I picked up was quite an annoying problem. Visiting any United Colonies or Freestar Collective star system led to a fire fight. Obviously the UC was not happy with me, but even in Freestar Collective space, the UC Galbank transports there would open fire.
There’s no way to land while in a fight, so I could only Grav jump to another system. I finally solved the problem by building an outpost beacon on a planet outside the settled systems and placing a bounty board on it. Using that, I paid my bounty and problem solved.
Sarah Morgan’s Side Mission
Back before my whole Akila City adventure, I unlocked Sarah’s companion mission. I took her along on my UC Vanguard quests to unlock it. She was a former member of the UC Navy. Once I gain her trust, she informed me that she was responsible for the destruction of her ship. Part of her crew left in escape pods, but were lost on a planet and never recovered by the United Colonies. She felt the guilt of not forcing recovery efforts when the UC deemed them KIA.
The planet where the escape pods crashed into was quite a surprise with multiple biomes. In the barren canyon area where the pod crashed, weird rocks littered parts of the terrain. I was caught off guard when those rocks moved and had teeth. After the initial encounter, I made sure to leave my scanner on to avoid any more surprises from sentient rock monsters.
What we found in the wreckage of the escape pods was proof that there were survivors. They even salvaged parts to build a shelter in the forest of the planet. We didn’t find any of her former crewmates, but we found a bigger surprise, a kid. The crash survivors raised her there until the monsters of the planet killed them.
It was quite a shock for her and Sarah. We managed to convince her to come with us after killing the monster that killed her mother and retrieving the ID tags from the graves of the former crew members. Now we have a new junior member of Constellation and she looks quite a lot like Sam’s kid, Cora. Seems like there’s far fewer kid NPC model varieties.
Taking Control of Project Starseed
For awhile now, Project Starseed topped plenty of lists of must play Starfield missions. It was only after all the other missions I already mentioned that I finally tackled this one. As far as memorable questlines go, it did not disappoint. Every player should experience the mission at least once.
As such, I don’t want to spoil too much, but it’s worth some vague highlights. I killed Ghengis Khan and was betrayed by Wyatt Erp. Amelia Earhart is a part of my crew, well once I find room for her. Made friends with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ada Lovelace. The latter flexed her math muscles by helping me with tough encryption.
In the end, I turned over control of the project to the pragmatists instead of just simply resetting it or deleting everything. How did I interact with all those famous people? What does this all mean? Well I suggest you play that mission and find out.
Surprising Activities Turned Full on Missions
While trying to cleanup my side missions and activities, I found some hidden gems.
After a chance conversation with the Viewport Tavern bartender in New Atlantis, I picked up a mission to retrieve an important ingredient for a new drink. She wanted to create a special drink, but that package was in lock up. My persuasion skills were good enough for me to get past guards without any stealing of uniforms or keycards. I figured it was just a simple fetch mission, but it started a whole questline.
Fast forward to now and I’ve secured investment funding from Walter (and myself) to get her new drink business off the ground. I’ve also found and cleared out warehouse space for the distillery and construction is already underway. I wonder if I’ll see the thing up and running or if this is the end of it.
This was actually the middle of set a of quests stemming from observing a smuggler arrest in Neon. Talking to him later introduced me to his partner at the liquor store and their little side Aurora business. Sometime after that is when he gave me the quest to go join Xenofresh in order to meet their supplier.
In short, the whole questline is basically the Starfield version of Breaking Bad. I learned how to mix Aurora, smuggled some out and negotiated a deal with the big bad of Neon, Benjamin Bayu. It appears I’m at the infinite quest end of the deal now, but I hope they expand on this side story in the future.
I really want to give Bayu the same treatment Walter gave Gus in Breaking Bad.
The Eleos Retreat
Another random activity pointed me to the retreat, I overheard an argument shortly after arriving. Construction workers were blaming the members of the facility for their missing crew member. The reason for that blame was the retreat was a rehabilitation retreat for criminals. The facility paid their bounties and offered them jobs for a time to prepare them to reenter civilized society.
Tracking down the missing construction work led me to learn more about the people at the retreat and their crimes. I figured one of them was responsible, but the truth was much more complicated. There were deadly creatures to fight, bounty hunters to deal with and a mysterious backer for the whole operation.
I’m sure plenty of impatient players might have skipped this quest, figuring it’s just a simple activity. That was one of my last activities before I tackled the main quest, so it was a pleasant surprise.
Running the Red Mile
Along all my travels, I did finally end up running the Red Mile. Plenty of NPCs mention it, so it’s hard to miss out on the action. To me, it sounded like maybe a space version of Running Man and maybe that’s a bit true. There’s no human enemies to avoid, but the alien monsters are plenty deadly enough.
Their explosive projectiles are deadly and so I kitted up for speed. I used plenty of drugs for speed and my skip boost pack to get from A to B as quickly as possible. The game dares you to run it multiple times and possibly beat the course record, but I think I’ll wait on that for another universe in the future.
I feel sorry for the players that will try to take their time running and hiding, then shooting the aliens. Speed is definitely key to success. When I eventually acquire the Personal Atmosphere artifact power, it will like make things easier to fly through.
Now that I’ve finally tackled the faction missions, side mission and activities, minus the radiant/infinite stuff, it’s time to go back to the main quest. I’m sure there are side missions I missed picking up, but the items I racked up on my list are handled. I look forward to finishing my work with Constellation and finally seeing the credits roll before I tackle a new universe in New Game Plus.