The trouble with Tiddlets

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The Tiddlet Breeder hailing the player

The trouble with Tiddlets is a story contract that becomes available when the player enters the second sector. The mission can be repeated so long as the entering system in the sector has not been swallowed by the anomaly.

Story[edit | edit source]

The player is hailed by a Tiddlet Breeder looking to transport 8 Tiddlets and their transport crates to the end of the sector. The breeder has had trouble finding a ship to transport them as the Tiddlets are sensitive and prone to dying of shock when traveling through Hyperspace for longer than 12 seconds.

The breeder claims the Tiddlets are supposed to be female, but that isn't true. During the first Hyperspace jump after accepting the mission, they multiply and continue to do so until the end of the mission. Tiddlets reproduce telepathically, so there is no known way of keeping them from multiplying.

Paths[edit | edit source]

Humanitarian[edit | edit source]

If the player delivers the Tiddlets to the sanctuary, they are rewarded with $400,000. If the player delivers a significant amount of Tiddlets, they will also receive two long-range Hyperspace Sensors.

Criminal[edit | edit source]

The Shady Buyer hailing the player.

A second contract appears after the first jump. If not accepted, the player receives a hail from a Shady Buyer after the second jump. The buyer offers to buy the Tiddlets for a higher price.

If the player delivers to the buyer, they're informed that the Tiddlets are being farmed for food. The breeder will still hail the player in the final system and express their disappointment.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

Tiddlets can be damaged during space combat or meteor showers. Damaged Tiddlets will not be collected when turning in the contract, leading to the cargo shuttle and contract getting stuck until the player exits the sector. Leaving the sector leads to failure of the contract.

The only way to resolve this issue is to edit the Save file manually. The save file will contain one section, as shown below, for each Tiddlet. The Damage value must be set to 0.

       BEGIN "[i 94]"     
           Id                   11319  
           Type                 Tiddlet  
           Position.x           134.5000  
           Position.y           60.50000  
           Damage               5.101318  
           Toughness            5.101318  
           Scale                1.020264  
           OldPosition.x        133.5000  
           OldPosition.y        61.50000  
           WanderTimer          2.7404962732787288  
           MaxHyperspace        20.616210937500000  
           SystemId             19  

Notes[edit | edit source]

A sample of the jobs overlay during delivery of the contract.

The route through the sector may require many jumps, resulting in an ever-increasing Tiddlet population. When the player arrives at the last sector of the system, the ship will likely be overrun with Tiddlets. Since each must be delivered to the Cargo Shuttle separately, delivering this contract can take a significant amount of time. It is advised to ensure sufficient resources are available to keep from becoming stranded or losing passengers and crew.

During the contract, the Sector Map is updated with a green circle around the ship representing the safe jump distance. The number of Tiddlets born after each jump appears to be randomized.

The trouble with Tiddlets is a reference to an episode of the second season of Star Trek, "The Trouble with Tribbles" (1967). The episode is highly regarded, receiving a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It has been referenced in many other media. Chris Delay and Mark Morris have stated that Star Trek's utopian themes are a big inspiration for them and what they want to do with The Last Starship.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

  • DEMO1: Introduced.
  • DEMO2B: Player will receive a hail upon entering the sector. Added character portraits.
  • Alpha 1A: FTL travel speed increased. Tiddlet safe jump range updated from 22 seconds to 12.
  1. Morris, Mark and Delay, Chris (February 8, 2023). "The Last Starship - LIVESTREAM #1" (video). Introversion Software.